André Gillette took a large swig of rum. Bloody pirates, he thought sourly. Bloody Captain Jack Sparrow. Though André rarely drank, the alcohol was a necessity to him at the moment.
With a sigh, André recollected his relationship with Commodore James Norrington. He had always looked up to him, and long been a close friend. What James never knew was that André felt much more than friendship for him—he was completely in love with him.
But James was in love with the Governor's daughter, Elizabeth Swann. André did not wish to get in the way of James' happiness, and thus never told him his true feelings. As horrible as he felt about it, he had been ecstatic when Miss Swann had chosen to leave James for William Turner. She was a complete idiot, obviously. James was as close to perfect as a mortal could come, but now André had a chance with him.
Although André had the opportunity to tell James his true feelings for him, he found that he could not. André feared that James may not return any romantic feelings, and that he may lose his friendship with James if he told him how he felt. James may have realized, but the two never openly discussed a relationship of that sort. However, their relationship did grow much closer, and James trusted André more than everyone.
When André fell ill, James personally helped attend to him, and he also hired the best doctor to look after him. But he could not stay in Port Royal forever, and he left to find and arrest Captain Jack Sparrow. James swore he would return triumphantly, and André promised to overcome his illness by the time James arrived.
But James did not come back. At first, it just seemed that his search was taking much longer than expected. But then came the rumor of his vessel's destruction in a hurricane.
André believed that was the worst time of his life. The man he loved was dead—gone forever.
Or so it seemed.
Then André heard a rumor about the Commodore's miraculous survival. Even if it was just a rumor, André was determined to discover its legitimacy. He was going to find James Norrington and bring him home to Port Royal, no matter what the cost.
Which was how André found himself in Tortuga. He had received a tip from a sailor on a Royal Navy vessel who had heard it from a pirate prisoner who heard from a whore that there was a former Royal Navy officer hiding out in Tortuga. True, it was not much to go on, but André was not taking any chances.
He had managed to acquire leave, but he had a limited time to find James and get back to Port Royal. The sooner he found the man he loved, the better.
Tortuga was a place ridden with harlots and cutthroats. It hardly seemed a place to find a gentleman like James. But now that James was ruined, this did seem a likely place for him to turn up. Sitting in a filthy bar and drinking far too much rum, André thought about the reason for James' suffering—Captain Jack Sparrow. He would kill that man.
"Stop following me, Mr. Gibbs. I've nowhere to run, nor is it likely I will."
André could hardly believe his ears. He knew that voice. He heard it in his dreams every night; the smooth voice was music to his ears. He gazed around the bar, searching for James' bright green eyes.
"The captain wants to be safe," a man, most likely Mr. Gibbs, replied.
"Then he should be the one following me."
And then André saw him. He was still wearing most of his uniform, but it had become torn and dirty, hanging from him in a manner most dissimilar from how André remembered. A tattoo of an anchor was revealed by the open shirt. André had never seen James' chest before, and was rather surprised to see the tattoo. The marking seemed quite unlike James to have.
James was not wearing a wig, and his dark hair was sloppily pulled back and tied with a black ribbon. He had a beard, something that made him momentarily unrecognizable to André. But his eyes—those beautiful, vivid eyes—were just the same as André remembered.
André got to his feet and prepared to approach him, but stopped as a pirate drunkenly approached James and Mr. Gibbs. He was also dirty, as a pirate should be, with dark dreadlocks and a beaded beard. André's hand clenched into a tight fist as he recognized the man as Captain Sparrow.
"Who says I wasn't following you, Commodore?" he said with an impish grin.
"I thought you trusted me more than this, Jack," James said, smirking slightly in a manner André had never seen him do before.
"Oh, now you should know better than that, Jamie."
Jamie? André had never heard that name applied to James before. At first he considered how cute it sounded, but then he quickly became angry at this sign of familiarity.
André abruptly forgot the nickname as Jack placed a hand on the back of James' neck and pulled the man closer to him, pressing his lips to his.
André's mouth fell open.
Why isn't James pushing that filthy pirate away? André's eyes narrowed as the kiss deepened, and he put his hand on the pistol in his belt.
James smirked as he pulled his head back. "Yet you still don't trust me."
"Not for a second." Jack took a deep swig of rum. "Come on—we need to start recruiting."
"You can't honestly expect a hundred men…" James' lovely voice trailed off as the three walked to the other side of the bar.
André could not believe what he had seen. James and Jack? It could not be, should not be, just as James should not be a pirate. The world had gone mad.
Bloody Jack Sparrow, André thought, gulping down more rum. I am going to kill that man.
André watched across the bar as Mr. Gibbs set up a table and a short line began to form in front of it. James and Jack stood nearby, with Jack fiddling around with his compass, shaking it and opening and closing it, as though it was not working. After gulping down the last of his mug of rum, André wiped his mouth and prepared to approach them.
At the same moment, James wandered away from Jack and toward the bar. Jack eyed James suspiciously as he did so, apparently truly not trusting the same man he had just shown affection for. A low growl escaped André's throat as he decided to take this opportunity.
He casually meandered up beside James as the former Commodore ordered another drink. James glanced at André and looked away before his head suddenly snapped back to André again. His eyes went to André's auburn hair that was usually hidden by his wig.
"André?" he hissed, wisely keeping his voice low.
André threw him an uncaring glance, pretending not to know him. "Yes, sir." The last word came out more spitefully than he had intended as the image of James, his James, kissing that pirate surfaced in his mind.
"What the hell are you doing here?" James said out of the corner of his mouth as he glanced at Jack, who appeared to be watching them.
"I could ask the same of you," André said coldly.
"I couldn't go back to Port Royal. There's a warrant out for my arrest, you know," James said, taking a drink of rum. "Helping Jack Sparrow escape and all."
"I was there, James. You didn't aid in his escape—Turner and Swann did."
James shifted uncomfortably at the mention of his former fiancé. "But I let him get a head start—and my crew paid the price."
"I think your 'captain' wants you back," André said callously, noting that Jack was now watching James and André intently.
"André, you need to go back to Port Royal," James said under his breath. "You've got a life there. I have nothing."
"You'd have me," André breathed.
James turned to him sharply, not hiding his gaze as he studied him. His jade eyes widened slightly as he bit his lip, his expression sad. "Why did you come to Tortuga, André?"
André swallowed hard. "Because I heard you might be here."
James stared at him, his intense green eyes boring into André. "I can't go back, André. That life is over."
"James…" André said softly.
"I'm sorry." Without another word, James walked back to Jack.