Pairing: Norrington and Elizabeth one sided
Disclaimer: I do not own any of this.
A/N: This just popped into my head one day and I had to get it out. Excuse the title, it doesn't really have anything to do with the story I just needed a title. XD Please read and review! I really appreciate them!
He was running out of things to do, running out of excuses. The deck had been swabbed and tarred profusely, the lights put out, the ropes coiled. Sparrow had even let up a bit, allowing them to keep to the shallows and douse canvas. The crew had already retired below decks, eager for a rest after a long flight from Jones's legendary sea monster. But not him. He was still on deck, searching for something to keep him out there but he knew there were none. He didn't want to rest, knowing that it wouldn't come with him laying in a hammock and the snores of the Pearl's crew echoing loudly in his ears. It would be a night of torture for him, if anything. A night serving as a cruel reminder that he was no longer the man he was before. Because while the crew slept as pirates without a second thought, as pirates who felt perfectly at ease with their life, he didn't. He slept as a pirate with a lifetime of regrets, as a pirate ashamed of what he had done and it killed him.
Casting another glance over the ship, he knew he had to turn in for the night. To hell with them, he thought. I'll sleep on deck. Sparrow doesn't give a damn anyway. With heavy feet, he dragged himself to the helm, deciding that he'd sleep on the aft deck. But to his surprise, someone was blocking his way to the bridge. He bent down to see the face that was covered slightly by strands of straw-colored hair and stopped in his tracks when he saw who it was.
Elizabeth lay there, sprawled over the steps of the stairs, fast asleep. For a moment, he stood rooted to the spot, his mind working furiously to tell himself to walk away. But his legs just wouldn't get the message. Instead, he moved forward and, ignoring what his mind was screaming at him, slowly sat down next to Elizabeth's sleeping form.
He never took his eyes off her. He just found it impossible. Never before had he seen her like this, so peaceful and still and he was mesmerized. He barely breathed as if fearing it would wake her. He didn't really know what he was doing there but he watched her anyways. And as he did, feelings he had tried so hard to push away came floating back to haunt him.
He was still in love with her. He knew that from the moment he let her go although he couldn't exactly call it that. A part of him was still attached to her as much as he tried to sever it and it would remain like that. It hurt him to see her happy with another man, by God, it hurt. But he loved her so much that he'd rather suffer without her than have her endure a lifetime completely miserable with him. He couldn't do that to her. He loved Elizabeth since the moment they met and he would always love her no matter what. She could be married with children of her own and it would make no difference to him. He suffered rejection twice. What would he lose living the rest of his life through it? Nothing he hadn't lost already.
Suddenly, she stirred beside him, sighing softly in her sleep and before he knew what he was doing, he reached out a hand to stroke her face. Her skin was so smooth against his rough fingers and he realized that this was their first actual physical contact, where his skin touched hers. In his proper mind, it was unthinkable for him to be doing this but as much as it screamed at him to stop, he just couldn't bring himself to pull away. She was so beautiful asleep, her soft features creaseless. Tenderly, he tuck a strand of stray hair behind her ear and ran a finger down her jaw line, stopping at her chin. He looked at her a while longer then did something that at one point had been completely forbidden by him.
Leaning down, he brought his lips down to hers and kissed her gently. He stole himself this one moment, knowing he'd never get the chance to do it again. After a second, he reluctantly pulled away but his face remained close to hers and just for a moment, he thought he saw a faint smile form on her lips.
"I will always love you, Elizabeth Swann." he whispered into her ear. "No matter what."
Then he hauled himself to his feet and headed below decks. It would hurt him less tonight to sleep with the crew than to remain on deck knowing Elizabeth was there.