Pairing: Elizabeth Swann/James Norrington
Fic Title: a far better fate
Rating/Warning(s): PG / character death
Genre: Alternate Universe
Special Rec: 24/30
Why This Must Be Read: Because this is a pairing that is built on the possibility of the road not taken, and in this piece dollsome gives us three plausible ways Elizabeth and James could of ended up together.
“James,” she ventures timidly.
He doesn’t turn to look at her. With his hair hanging loose, his clothes worn and sullied, he looks like a madman. (A bit like Jack.)
“You shouldn’t be here,” he says darkly. There is an edge to his voice that chills her heart. It doesn’t fit him. Not the man she knows.
Still, she takes another step toward him. “What are you talking about? I’m to be your wife. I think that gives me reason enough.”
“Not anymore,” he mutters.
“What?” She feels as though she’s been slapped.
“The engagement is terminated.” He still hasn’t looked at her.
“Shh,” she orders as gently as she can, coming up beside him; her hand comes up to caress his cheek. “You’re exhausted. You don’t know what you’re saying—”
“I know,” he interjects, roughly encircling her wrist with his fingers, “what I’m saying.”
He thrusts her arm down, making no effort to be gentle.
“Then why are you doing this?” she demands, anger sharpening her words.
“Elizabeth, don’t be foolish,” he snaps. “You have nothing to gain from marrying me.”
“Don’t say that,” she protests.
“Why not?” he demands, laughing once – the sound is stark and hollow. “It’s true. I have nothing. I am nothing. Everything I once was has been torn from me.”
It only takes a moment to come to her decision. She reaches up to touch his face again. This time, he doesn’t make a move to stop her. His skin is darker, weathered and rough beneath her fingertips. A poorly healed gash mars one cheek. His mouth has gone hard and mean. But his eyes are the same.
“Not everything,” she insists quietly. After a moment’s hesitation, he leans into her touch.