Title: Sailor Boy

Author: Smenzer

Rating: PG

Characters: Elizabeth, Norrington, Will Turner

Pairing: Elizabeth/Norrington

Status: Complete

Warnings: None

Word Count: 2020 words

Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to Disney or whoever owns the rights to Pirates of the Caribbean. This is just for fun.

Summary: Takes place after AWE (no spoilers that I'm aware of as I really don't know/read any). James and Elizabeth talk about the future and the missing Will Turner.

Author's Note: Originally posted on LJ under a different account.

Miss Elizabeth Swann rested upon the beautifully carved chair swing that hung from a tree in her father's yard, one pale hand loosely gripping the metal chain the chair hung from, her cheek pressed to her hand, bored. Spring had come to Port Royal again with a riot of blooming flowers, thicker humidity and the loud ruckus of thousands of mating birds. The human residents were feeling the pull, too, and love was in the air. Girls could be seen strolling down the street near the waterfront in fine spring dresses, fashionable hats and lace-covered parasols. Either they had a man on their arm or were working hard to attract one. Although Elizabeth was wearing the beautiful pale pink dress her father had bought for her, she didn't feel any of the thrills of this year's Season.

Her betrothed, Will Turner, had disappeared over a year ago on a quest to free his father from Davy Jones. Since then she had run through all the various emotions his absence had caused: fear for his safety, heartache at being separated, hope and expectation that he'd appear one morning at her doorstep with a smile on his face. When the months started to roll past without any word for him, despair settled in. Then annoyance and anger soon followed, for how could he run off and abandon her like this – all for a man who had abandoned him as a baby to go pirating? Not only had Will abandoned her but his business as well. A new blacksmith had moved into town and took over the business from the alcoholic Mr. Brown, for Port Royal couldn't exist without a skilled metalworker. The only souvenir she had from Will was the chains that held up the swing, a gift Will and her father had worked on together. Although the swing was a fine piece of craftsmanship, it could not fill her empty heart. The swing quickly lost all appeal and was now just a convenient place to sit while outside. Even with all the windows open, the house was too stuffy and humid, like a sauna.

"Elizabeth?" A well-cultured voice said softly.

Lifting her eyes, she was surprised to see James Norrington standing before her in his neat Navy uniform, his feathered dress hat atop his white powdered wig.

"Elizabeth, it pains me to see you like this." James stated as he seated himself on the swing next to her. His green eyes were filled with concern and he hesitantly put his arm around her shoulders, pulling her close when she didn't protest.

Pressing her face against his warm chest, the fabric of his uniform rough against her cheek, Elizabeth closed her eyes. His arms encircled her waist, his splayed palms hot against her back. It felt good to be held by someone who cared about her and her heart soared a little higher. "I … I don't understand how can he run off and just leave me, abandon me like this? I thought he loved me…"

"The boy never had a good father figure." James commented as he rested his clean-shaven chin atop her head, one hand gently stroking her back. "Mr. Brown certainly wasn't a wholesome figure for him. In fact, he served as just the opposite. Then toss someone like Jack Sparrow into the mix. The man is a great manipulator. He even manipulated me several times, a fact I'm not proud of. But a pirate I am not."

"You are a good man, James." Elizabeth admitted. "Even during hard times you protected me and pointed me in the right direction."

"Children of single parents, Elizabeth, often grow up to be single parents themselves." James gently explained. "It is different in cases where one parent has died, like your mother, but the boy most likely has no clear idea what it means to be a husband or father. I, on the other hand, come from a stable household where my parents loved each other very much. My father taught me values. I will not run off and abandon you as he did."

Elizabeth pulled back slightly so she could look into his eyes. "Do … do you think he is dead?"

"I honestly cannot say." He admitted, his voice sad. "I wish I could tell you one way or the other, for I understand the not knowing can be agonizing. But the world is a very big place and this island is just a tiny speck on the ocean. But if he truly cared for you, he wouldn't be doing this. You would already be married instead of sitting here by yourself worrying about him. He is not worthy of your affections, Elizabeth."

"I know…" She whispered sadly. It was the same conclusion she had come to as well. Either Will didn't love her or he was dead, his body rotting away on some island or perhaps at the bottom of the sea. Or he had truly gone pirating, following in his old man's footsteps. None of the three possibilities did her any good. "I've known that for awhile now."

"Elizabeth," James moved off the swing and knelt before her on the grass on one knee. Taking her hand in his, he stared up into her eyes. "I still love you. I've never stopped loving you. And I want you to know that my new position doesn't require as much time out at sea as when I was a captain or commodore. I will be home with you almost every night and you need not be alone. You need not worry about loosing me out at sea, as many navy wives do."

Nervous butterflies started fluttering in Elizabeth's stomach. She knew he was about to propose to her again and this time he was doing it the traditional way on bended knee. He looked very handsome in his uniform, something that she had never really noticed before. But perhaps more important she had seen James at his lowest and even then he had been a decent man. Yes, he had drunk rum on the one occasion but had thrown it all back up soon after, proving he had never drunk any before.

She wasn't really sure how she had recognized him that day in Tortuga. The bar had been a riot, everyone fighting and running about. And James had looked nothing of the dignified man she was used to seeing. His clothes had been dirty, torn and tattered; his white wig a wild rat's nest upon his head. Yet from her place in the bar's doorway she had knew it was him instantly and had gone to his aid. Later when she had helped him up from the pig's pen he had recognized her instantly as well, even disguised in her boy's clothing. Even Jack hadn't identified her right away. Perhaps they were meant to be together.

"Nor will I hold you to only my interests, as some husbands do. You are free to pursue your own hobbies. Nor need they be lady-like things like embroidery. I honestly cannot imagine you doing such a passive activity." James smiled up at her, light twinkling in his green eyes.

"It would drive me mad." She admitted, and then stared him in the eyes boldly. "You will fence with me? I haven't had anyone to practice with and I don't want to get rusty, less more pirates attack. A girl never knows when she'll need to defend herself from lowlifes."

"If that is your desire. I certainly know you're skilled with a blade." James eyes lowered to her dress with the thick petticoats and he daringly fingered the material. "If we're going to fence, then allow me to purchase you more appropriate clothing?"

Her mouth dropped open and her eyes widened. "You would buy me men's clothes?"

"I must admit you looked quite fetching on the Pearl." James admitted, grinning. "I never realized there were certain advantages to seeing a woman in men's pants before…"

"James!" Elizabeth cried, blushing. She had an all too clear idea what he had been looking at.

"Can I not admire your beauty, your perfect form?" Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a sparkling ring. Clasping her hand again in his, he gazed up into her eyes. "Elizabeth, will you be my bride?"

"Yes!" She replied, throwing her arms around his neck, catching him off guard as she pressed her lips against his. A startled squeak was heard as he lost his balance and fell over backward to land on the green grass, the feathered hat falling off his head. She promptly landed atop him, still kissing until she was forced to pull away for air. Settling herself on his waist, Elizabeth smirked at him, humor in her brown eyes. "Why, James, I believe you have to marry me know with us in such an indecent position and outside no less!"

Embarrassed, he blushed.

Taking the ring out of his now numb hand, she happily slipped it onto her finger. She and James were much better suited to each other. Her boldness complimented his shyness nicely. Yes, they would make a nice couple. She was looking forward to planning their wedding and this one wasn't going to get away, she was going to make certain of that. After admiring how the ring flashed from reflected sunlight on her finger, she turned her attention downward to see him still looking fairly red in the face. "Why, James, don't you want to kiss me?"

"I …"

Elizabeth giggled and pressed forward to kiss him again.

Seven years passed before Will Turner came back from his adventures and looking for Elizabeth. It had taken him that long to free his father from Davy Jones' clutches as he had refused to go back on his promise. It hadn't mattered to him that the man he was rescuing had abandoned him and his mother years ago or it was his absence that has caused his poor mother to work herself to death to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. Bootstrap with all his pirating and gathering loot had never even bothered to send them any coin. He had just fathered him and forgotten him, just like Will had forgotten Elizabeth during his quest. Somehow along the line he'd gotten the crazy idea that she'd be waiting for him all this time so it was with great surprise that he found her found her standing near the piers.

"Elizabeth!" Will happily cried upon seeing her, rushing over. "I'm so happy to see you. I'm sorry I've been gone so long but it was harder to free my father than I thought. Can you ever forgive me?"

She eyed him coolly. "It is already forgotten, Mr. Turner."

Will gave her a slightly confused look at her use of his surname but continued on. "How are you, Elizabeth? I thought of you every moment I was gone."

"I am perfectly fine."

A little girl came running up to Elizabeth, a toy sailing ship clutched in one hand. She wore a beautiful pink gown with satin trim, a lacy bonnet on her head and had the most amazing green eyes. The ship she carried looked very much like the navy vessels anchored in the harbor.

Will's face took on the confused, dumb expression he often favored. "Who's your little friend?"

"That," James Norrington said as he exited from the nearby fort and took Elizabeth's arm. "Would be my daughter. Good day, Mr. Turner."

And with that, the three of them walked away into the setting sun, heading for home.

The End