Author's note: And now we return to the first movie, the night before Jack's scheduled execution. I think I might've stolen Lt. Groves from Honorat (read her stories, they're amazing), so thanks to her if he doesn't actually exist. This is a one shot from Norrington's POV.

Coincidence? I Think Not

Commodore James Norrington, gazing out the window of his study in Fort Charles at the storm-snarled sky, ground his teeth in aggravation and incredulity. Even securely imprisoned and isolated, the self-proclaimed Captain Jack Sparrow still managed to incite trouble and chaos amidst the sailors of the world's finest navy.

He glared at Lieutenant Groves, whom he was annoyed to notice could not quite erase the amusement that tugged at the corners of his lips.

"How did this happen?" he asked quietly to no one.

"I believe it was the storm, sir," Groves quipped, even though he must have known the query was rhetorical.

Norrington sighed. "Have someone fetch the carpenter. There are less than twenty hours before Sparrow's appointment with the gallows."

Groves gazed at him steadily as he saluted. "Aye, sir." He moved toward the door.

"Groves," Norrington intoned. His lieutenant halted, turned back, waited expectantly for the question Norrington knew had already occurred to him and all of the other superstitious sailors quartered in Port Royal tonight. "This is not merely coincidence, is it?"

"No, sir. I doubt it," Groves responded, and then he was gone to summon the carpenter.

The Commodore faced the window once again, closed his eyes in disbelief and exasperation. After all, who honestly could have predicted that tonight of all nights the gallows would be struck with a particularly impressive lance of lightning?