With a Kiss

He supposed it was a fitting end. He'd never really considered himself the leading man, the romantic hero. But to die on a kiss seemed, in a way, just. He wasn't sure why he thought it so, or why he thought such things as his own sword plunged between his ribs.

And with such accuracy. He had to give the old captain that. And why not? With the last dying thoughts, why not give praise to his killer's accurate blow, the swift way in which he decided to snub out the last of Norrington's flame. He smiled, coughed, blood on the lips that last Elizabeth Swann had touched.

Ah, that he should die with a kiss. It seemed the thing of fantasies, women's books, the romantic hero with the lovely woman clutched to his side in one last swish of bravado. But he wasn't the hero. He wasn't even romantic.

Hopeless, he thought as the lights of the world winked out around him. Hopeless romantic, James Norrington.

He remembered the day at the docks. Five years ago. She was wearing green, her hair pulled up and away from her neck, the dip of the collar just enough to expose the tip of her collarbone. She had smiled for him, twisted her parasol in a way she thought playful, looked out across the water. He wanted to take her there.

He could see her from the battlements, see her pacing the line between sand and water. Her bare feet danced at water's edge, daring the tide to swallow her up.

He could hear her in the water, crying out, battling the wake of the Dutchman, crying out for James.

James, he thought. He liked that she called him James.

Davy Jones leered over him, snatching the sword back from between his ribs, his own red blood dripping from its tip. It was harder to breathe now.

He remembered the smell of her on the salty breeze, standing together on the pier as her father returned from a diplomatic meeting back in England. He'd watched her honey hair tangle around her face, the wind whipping in from the top of the fort, her face full of nothing but glee. She saw him watching, and for the first time, he remembered not looking away. He imagined stooping down to kiss her then. Cold breeze on his hot face. He'd looked away first, back to the rippling sails of the ship, anywhere safer than her eyes.

The stars were gone above him, the whole world tilting, reeling, dissolving.

He had hoped to marry her. She'd smiled. Lips red, face white, eyes taking up all the world. He should have liked to have married her. Kissed her at the altar, given her everything.

Norrington laughed again. To die with a kiss.

James, she cried, her voice raw from screaming, from seawater.

James, James...

Who was James?

AN: Hello, old fandom! Long time no see! It sure has been a while. Anyway, this fic is part of a small project of mine. This Valentine's Day, I have literally nothing to do, so I've decided to pick my 14 favorite pairings and write some sappy vignettes for them! Not all of them will be from one fandom, so if you're interested, check out my profile! Norribeth (one-sided, usually) is one of my old favorite OTPs, and I thought I'd revisit it with this project. But now I'm a bit sad... Anyway, it's been a while since I've seen the third movie, so let me know if it's off in any way. Leave me some love, and stay awesome!!