Title: Alcohol
Author: CriesofCapricorn
Pairings: Norrington/Elizabeth (mention).
Warnings: DMC Spoilers
Summary: The commodore never liked to drink much. A one shot showing how Norrington has changed (seen through his consumption of alcohol).
Author's Note: The first fic I've posted (or written) about POTC. One Shot!Any comments (constructive criticism, included) would be awesome!

The commodore never liked to drink much. Vile and dissolute liquids, he used to call them, as he had called the men who drank them many years before.

He was a man of honor, bound by the integrity of the laws and by the goodness of justice. And so on the small occasions that James Norrington would drink, he would gently pour the beverage into the finest imported English goblet. He would watch as the champagne's bubbles would nearly rise up to the very top of the glass, longing to flee, but would eventually be subdued. James remembers pushing his glass into the air, celebrating the joyous occasion with his respected equals.

The one celebration he remembered most often, though, was not one practiced for achieving a naval victory or being promoted to commodore. It was the celebration of his announcement of engagement to Elizabeth. It was not a grand celebration; he and his men were busy hunting down pirates. But James was just too overjoyed and could not wait to spread his good news. Within minutes of his announcement, his companions had pulled out a few glasses, poured sparkling wine into them, and wished him and his bride-to-be the best of luck. The entire ceremony lasted thirty seconds, but it was enough for James.

Happily sipping the last of his drink, James felt the back of his tongue tickle and he knew this is where he belonged.


The ex-commodore, on the other hand, could not refuse a once-called vile and dissolute drink for the life of him.

His days were spent roaming Tortuga from pub to pub. The owners appreciated his business as James soon became a very recurrent customer. Quickly, his money diminished into nothingness, though, and often times, he would snatch a half-empty bottle of rum from the person next to him and down it in as little time possible. James would squeeze his eyes shut as the rum rushed down his throat, burning his insides.

Staggering into boisterous bars and pilfering drinks from men he once looked down upon became a routine. On a good night, James would end up thrown into a sty and sleep with a pig that, convinced it were nourishment, picked at the meaningless wig upon James's head. The sty was often filthy and always malodorous, but at least it was warm. It reminded him of home. On a bad night, the owners of the bar, unpaid and insulted, would shove an angry and intoxicated James out into the streets, whereupon he would find the way to the beach and sleep on the sand that wriggled its way into his clothes. He would sleep curled up against him to protect him from the cool night winds.


This particular past night had been a bad one. James Norrington squinted open his eyes to find dawn beginning to break. He woke up this morning with a nasty little headache. His sword was not in its proper place, but it was a few feet away from his being. His shoulder ached and he suspected he had had a bit of a brawl last night. His skin felt chilled this morning and his mouth was dry. Beside his misplaced sword laid a nearly empty bottle of rum. Too dazed to fully sit up straight, James raised his body at an acute angle. His right hand immediately grasped the bottle. He devoured the rest of the drink, shutting his eyes, and scowled as he realized he's swallowed sand along with rum.

The alcohol swam down his esophagus and James took a moment to try and recall what had gone on the previous night. Yet, his mind only allowed him to remember days long past … now dead within the shadows of his broken mind.

He remembered glistening champagne that tingled. He remembered polished glasses that would shatter if not handled properly. He remembered smiling whilst staring at a flustered Elizabeth in his arm.

James Norrington opened his eyes and found exactly what he expected – an empty, discolored bottle of rum in his hand.

James threw the bottle down into the sand and rose suddenly, making him sway.

He spent the rest of the day searching Tortuga for champagne.

Having found none, that night he settled into the closest pub and traded his gold watch for more rotten and bitter alcohol.

This was his home now, among the drunks and the agitators and the pigs and the liquid that burns his throat instead of merely tickling it.

This was where he belonged.

And there was nothing he could do to change that.