Disclaimer: I do not own Pirates of the Caribbean and since I have no ship or crew, I cannot effectively steal them. No suing.
Disclaimer 2.0: This story is post-AWE. Obviously, there are some pretty major spoilers here, so if you don't want to know, DON'T READ IT!
A/N: There are far too few Norrabeth fics on the site. So I wrote this right after I got home from the opening night show and I went to see it again today and got more inspired, so there may be more where this came from. ;) R&R.
In his heart, James Norrington had always been a good man. He reflected on that small comfort as he lay dying; all thirty-four years that he had lived, he had tried his best to be a good and honorable man.
But even the best of men make mistakes, and James had made his fair share. The worst of which had been giving Beckett control over Jones. He had been so caught up in regaining his honor that he had done dishonorable things.
By assisting the East India Trading Company, he had not only left the last remnant of the world's pirates at Beckett's mercy, he had betrayed Will and Elizabeth.
Elizabeth. Until those final moments, she had probably never realized the full extent of his feelings for her. He loved her. That was why he had stood out of the way when she wanted to marry Will. It was why he had given the blacksmith a pardon and why he had allowed Sparrow to have a day's head-start. And it was why now he was lying, rain-soaked on a cold deck, his life bleeding away.
To James, propriety had always been a key value. The James Norrington of two years ago would have never dreamed of kissing Elizabeth like that; without her consent and without being married to her. But, perhaps, if he had stopped hiding his emotions and being so distant, she would have understood that her connections and status meant nothing, that he wanted her because he loved her. Maybe then neither of them would be here now, in this situation. Maybe.
Or maybe not. It was impossible to know, but somehow, James didn't mind. All that mattered now was that Elizabeth was safe and that he had, on some level, redeemed himself.
And that, he decided as he saw Jones stalking towards him and felt the last of his strength giving out, that made it all worth the while.
A/N: This movie seriously bummed me out as much or more than it awed me, so I need some review to be consoled.