This one-shot takes place during and after the deleted scene from Curse of the Black Pearl "Peas in a Pod."


Commodore James Norrington's eyes narrowed. It was night, and few were awake aboard the Dauntless. But Jack Sparrow was one of them, and James watched suspiciously as the pirate approach Elizabeth Swann. What did that filthy man want with James' fiancé? James set his jaw before he headed down the stairs from the helm. As he approached, he heard Jack say, "Peas in a pod, darling." James almost scoffed at the thought—Elizabeth had nothing in common with that bastard.

Elizabeth glanced over Jack's shoulder and caught James' eye before quickly looking away. Jack turned and jumped a little in surprise when he saw James. "With me, Sparrow," James said coldly, tossing Jack his broken compass. Jack did not hesitate to head up to the helm. James' brow furrowed slightly when Elizabeth refused to meet his gaze. Perhaps she has done something that makes her like Sparrow… James turned away, shaking his head slightly. No—Elizabeth was not and would never be anything like Jack. She was too perfect.

"You're a lucky man, Commodore," Jack commented as they stood at the helm. James' arched an eyebrow and Jack nodded toward Elizabeth. "You've got a hell of a wench for your bride."

"Call Miss Swann a 'wench' again and I will shoot you," James said calmly. Jack eyed James warily, unsure of whether or not the Commodore would hold to that threat.

After giving the helmsman a bearing, they stood in silence for a while until Jack finally spoke. "Take some advice from old Jack, mate." James rolled his eyes. "Don't let her go. There aren't many like her."

James' eyes narrowed suspiciously as he watched Jack look down at his compass. "No. There aren't," James agreed curtly.

Jack glanced up at James, his deep brown eyes glistening. James found himself locked in Jack's gaze. He had such deep, knowing eyes, eyes that seemed filled with secrets. What did he know that James didn't?

Jack's eyes moved to James' neck. "Hair, Commodore." James reached to where Jack was looking and felt a small lock of hair on his neck that had escaped from under his wig. Jack twirled the beaded braids of his beard in his fingers as James quickly tucked his hair back under his white wig. "Why do you wear that?" Jack asked.

"It's part of my uniform," James said, shaking his head at the stupid question.

Jack nodded and stepped closer to James, turning so that his back was to the crewmember at the helm, cutting him off from the conversation as Jack lowered his voice. "I know that. And I ask again—why do you wear it?"

James blinked, trying to understand what the pirate was talking about. It was proper to wear the wig. It was expected. "You make no sense, Sparrow," James said after a moment.

Jack sighed heavily, almost in disappointment. "You're going to lose the girl, mate."

James stared at Jack in horror, his eyes widening. "Explain," he ordered harshly.

"You need to loosen up a little—let your hair down, so to speak, savvy?" James shook his head and rolled his eyes. "Lizzie's not one for the perfectly prim and proper, Commodore." Jack chuckled sadly. "God, Commodore, you didn't even smile when she said she'd marry you."

I didn't? When James thought on it, he could not recall smiling at that moment—in fact, he could rarely remember smiling…ever. "You've such a handsome smile, too." James' eyebrows raised in surprise. "But does it really take you catching a pirate with a 'broken' compass and no extra shot nor powder to make you smile, Commodore?"

James turned to look at Elizabeth, who was still standing by the railing of the Dauntless and gazing out onto the sea. She was so beautiful, so kind, so perfect…but how did she see him? After all, she had provided "conditions" when she said she would marry him. Oh, she called it a request, but James had no choice but to attempt to rescue William Turner. Did she even care about James?

"This Will Turner we're off to rescue," Jack said suddenly, pulling James out of his thoughts. "He doesn't wear a wig, does he?"