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13 January 2007 @ 03:58 pm
PotC Ficlet: Last Rites  
Just a tiny bit of fluff that I came up with, while the longer story is still caught up in re-write hell. Rather sweet and not very serious in nature *g*

Title: Last Rites
Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean
Characters: Groves, Norrington
Summary: Theodore Groves looks after his captain
Rating: PG
Author's Notes: Lots of thanks to the fabulous fabu who proofread this one for me :-)




LAST RITES


"Shall I fetch you the surgeon, Sir?" Theodore asked. Even for his own very lax standards it was an odd moment to witness. He had seen all sorts of injuries over the years. Light ones, deep ones, the ones that bred maggots and nightmares, but never a stubbornly heroic personality like Norrington flinching from such an everyday nuisance as a sore heel. The wound had the shape and size of a coin with raw, oozing flesh and a bit of encrusted blood round the fringes. Altogether not very messy and harmless in nature if properly treated.

"What else are you suggesting, Groves? Amputation perhaps?" Norrington said, sounding awfully tense. His smirk was a mere act of defence, Theo decided.

"Not at all. Just that you take a breath and calm down. Here, for strictly medical purposes…"

When Theo handed over his hip flask, Norrington did not even bother to ask what was in it, just had a brave, hearty and very long swig. There goes your Scotch, Charlotte, Theo thought, but chose not to comment. With more than just a tad of amusement he watched Norrington cough and fight for breath.

"Your generosity will be marked, Groves. Quite exceptional stuff. Where did you get it?"

"My aunt, Sir. She re-married last Spring and moved up to Inverness. Scottish baronet's wife now; apparently a reason to send gifts all across the Atlantic."

"You must think me rather pathetic, don't you?"

"No," Theo replied. "All I think is that you are very justifiably worried." A shameless lie, he knew, but one for right the motives. It was his guess that such a major step in life as a promotion to Commodore could cause strangely imbalanced behaviour in even the sanest, especially if they were eager.

Hoping that his words would match his intention, Theo looked Norrington straight into the eyes.

"The ceremony will run well, Sir. You've had everyone, including yourself, exercising for hours."

"What? You watched me practice?"

"I and Perkins did. And if you allow me to say so, we both agreed that your moves looked nothing but splendid. A true sight for a king."

"It's not the ceremony that has me worried," Norrington said. Theo could not help but notice how slowly the words came out of Norrington's mouth and how much his voice quavered.

"What then?"

"Writing desk. Top drawer. Just open the casket and say what you think."

"That this is a very beautiful ring, Sir," Theo replied after he had leaped up and done what he was asked for. Under his feet, the ground trembled a little, for he had never expected Norrington to entrust him with such an intimate secret. Carefully Theo held the precious little thing against the sunlight to see it unfold the softest, most fetching silvery glow. Certainly not an inherited item, he reckoned, judging by the modern cut and cluster arrangement of diamonds. Quiet and simple, yet at the same time very effective with a larger, slightly champagne-coloured stone set in the middle. Dear God, Theo thought. If he's financed that ring alone from his captain's salary and a little prize money here and there, he must have been saving for months.

"Sir, I'm convinced that whoever the lady in question, she will instantly know that your intentions are serious and the purest of heart, and your affection deep, gentle and steady."

Hopefully the statement would offer the form of support that his superior needed. While the Scotch had brought back some colour to Norrington's cheeks, he still looked rather strained and unhappy.

"Each night I pray that she will," Norrington finally said. "If that stupid foot gets infected, or if it rains and I have to get through the whole affair all soaked and hobbling on crutches…-"

"Then you'll find a better moment to tell her."

"You believe it is that simple?"

Theo took a clean handkerchief out of his pocket and sprinkled it with a few drops of liquor.

"Yes, Sir. And now let me see what can be done for your heel."



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Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
 
Amorette: Norrington Roaramorettea on January 13th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
Poor, sweet James.
Bimo: NorriBeth_painfulcasebimo on January 14th, 2007 08:57 am (UTC)
I couldn't agree more ;-)
porridgebird: POTC-james-hmm?porridgebird on January 13th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, James, bless his heart. And Groves, I can never get enough of him.

Thanks for this lovely fic :)
Bimo: NorriBeth_painfulcasebimo on January 14th, 2007 09:52 am (UTC)
Oh, James, bless his heart.

Definitely. There he sits, all hoping and worrying, with this beautiful ring that he has put so much effort into, because he feels that it might express his feelings so much better than he ever could do with words. And Elizabeth will never even come to appreciate the gesture...

And Groves, I can never get enough of him.

Writing the piece from Groves' perspective was real fun for me; his relaxed and down to earth attitude provides a good counterpoint to Norrington's insecurity, I think *g*

Lots of thanks for your feedback!

The Gryphon's Lair: PoD Jamesgryphons_lair on January 14th, 2007 02:24 am (UTC)
I just love it when our Navyboys look after each other! :-)

And poor James, I can so see him anguishing over whether Elizabeth will accept him or not.
Bimo: NorriBeth_painfulcasebimo on January 14th, 2007 09:19 am (UTC)
And poor James, I can so see him anguishing over whether Elizabeth will accept him or not.

Then my goal is achieved *g*

So glad that the characterization worked for you. Lots of thanks for the feedback!
galadhir on January 15th, 2007 12:08 pm (UTC)
Aw, this is gorgeous! I love your Groves, whose sunny personality comes through almost from the first line. And oh, poor James! With that gorgeous ring that he never gets the chance to give her, agonizing over proposing and getting everything right on his big day. That's very sad, in a sort of amusing way. Poor lad!

But he deserved someone better anyway
Bimo: Terra_incognitabimo on January 18th, 2007 09:17 am (UTC)
I love your Groves, whose sunny personality comes through almost from the first line.

As I usually tend towards angsty characters in angsty situations, writing someone so relaxed and generally cheerful was a rather new experience for me. I'm so relieved that the characterisation worked!



And oh, poor James! With that gorgeous ring that he never gets the chance to give her, agonizing over proposing and getting everything right on his big day

I think I really wanted something that screamed I'am true and sincere, and will stretch myself for you as much as I can, if you could love me back just a little. If you are curious enough to spoil the literary illusion, here's a link to the actually existing Georgian ring that I used as a model.



But he deserved someone better anyway

Let's say someone more suitable, who would match Norrington's personality better than she does and who'd be able to love and accept him as the man that he his, with all his strengths as well as his weaknesses. *g*

Psst...Don't tell anybody over at rnotc, but I actively and positively support Liz even in her DMC incarnation - well, minus the magical fighting skills, perhaps... And if there is one general assessment of Elizabeth that can I wholeheartedly agree on, it'sfabu's ;-)

galadhir on January 18th, 2007 11:38 am (UTC)
I love the ring! If I had the money I would buy it for me :) (It looks wonderful on the hand. Not as flashy as modern diamond rings, but enduringly interesting.)

I very much agree with Fabu's portrait of Elizabeth - in every particular. I liked Elizabeth in CotBP - with certain strong reservations which were exactly the same reservations that I had for Will. The 'anything for the one I love' hero/heroine doesn't do anything for me in general, because it tends to be so destructive of society and the lives of the innocents in the story.

To me all the main characters of DMC are driven by different degrees of selfishness. Liz is driven by her love for Will, Will is driven by his love for Liz, and then for his father, Jack is driven by his love for himself. And I find all of those drives essentially selfish - and therefore am having a hard time liking any of them.

But I don't share a dislike for Liz over and above any of the other characters. They all seem much of a muchness to me. I just fail to see why I should admire Liz's ruthlessness in the pursuit of her goals (which leads her to kill) and *not* admire Beckett's ruthlessness in the pursuit of his (which leads him to kill.) I suppose it comes down to the fact that I very definitely don't agree that the ends justify the means.

There's some grey area, some wiggle room, so that I can agree that using Norrington's love in order to save Will's life balances out as more good than evil. But killing one person in order to (potentially) save another... I have more problem with that, which is why I have more problem with DMC Liz. Also her personal style - the blatant use of sexuality, the stridency and the swordfighting in #2 I find unattractive. But in that case I'm not saying it's wrong - I'm just saying it's not to my taste. I prefer my heroes to be a little more restrained :)
galadhir on January 18th, 2007 11:42 am (UTC)
Oh, and before 'the blatant use of sexuality' comes across as misogynistic, it's part of what I don't like about Jack too :)
Lyralyra_lupin on January 17th, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
That was so sweet and well written! Nice idea for a ficlet.

Lyra
Bimo: Terra_incognitabimo on January 18th, 2007 07:49 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed :-)
aft_and_daft: naval legaft_and_daft on January 17th, 2007 03:48 am (UTC)
oh, how sweet - poor, dear, nervous James. And much love for Theo. A lovely little fic, both amusing and touching. aaww. :-)
Bimo: Terra_incognitabimo on January 18th, 2007 08:07 am (UTC)
Both amusing and touching. aaww. :-)

*beams*

That's exactly how I wanted the story to be. So glad the mood came across! Thank you so much for the comment :-)
aft_and_daft: fight for your wigaft_and_daft on January 21st, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC)
You are most welcome for the comment! I've been impressed by your work that I've read thus far, and hopefully sometime when I'm less swamped I'll be able to read some of your other pieces. :-) It's always lovely to find other raving!James fans, particularly when they write as well as you do. :-)
Joliejolie_black on February 27th, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC)
Whee! This is very sweet. I usually prefer my Norrington as a truly tragic hero, but it's very refreshing to take a break from the gloom and doom once in a while!


"What? You watched me practice?"

Ha! Practising the sword-fling-thing, no doubt. Thank you for that mental image, it cracks me up!


And it's really nice to see our notoriously uptight commodore loosen up a bit in a friend's company, and showing his more human sides and flaws. :)
Bimo: Terra_incognitabimo on March 1st, 2007 06:39 am (UTC)
Whee! This is very sweet. I usually prefer my Norrington as a truly tragic hero, but it's very refreshing to take a break from the gloom and doom once in a while!

*chuckles* Well, I had promised my poor, much abused Norrington muse he'd get something sweet and lighthearted as compensation for all the hardships of Distant Figure ;-)

Practising the sword-fling-thing, no doubt.

I totally love that scene and always thought it was a terrible shame the film never provided us with a close up ;-)

Thank you so much for your feedback!

Joliejolie_black on March 1st, 2007 08:22 pm (UTC)

I totally love that scene and always thought it was a terrible shame the film never provided us with a close up ;-)

AND a blooper reel with it, please. I really want to know how many of the extras he only just avoided poking in the eye with the sword while rehearsing that. *g*
Corricorrielle on June 6th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
How on earth did I miss this when it was first posted?

Love it. Love Theo's newly married aunt's Scotch, love his calculations about the ring, love Theo in general, actually.

And James... sarcastic, worried, and marvelously in character.
Bimo: NorriBeth_painfulcasebimo on June 7th, 2007 07:21 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for dropping by! It's such a great feeling to receive a satisfied reader's comment so long after this little ficlet was posted :-)

May I be so curious to ask how you found it? (As most of my pieces are brief and rather inconspicuous, I know that I'm not all that likely to appear in people's memories or rec lists ;-))
Corricorrielle on June 7th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)
To answer your question... I was going through the archives of pirategasm and _norrington looking for a fic that involved James dying and Jack giving him a proper sailor's burial, and when I saw the title "Last Rites" in the archive, I thought I might have found it. When I clicked on it and saw that it wasn't what I was looking for, but that it featured James and Theo... I had to read it, since stories with the two of them aren't exactly common. And I'm very glad that I did.
Livophelivia on June 13th, 2007 01:03 am (UTC)
This is SO CUTE! And I like that you used Groves, I like him better than Gillette.