Overall rating: mild R
Genre: slash, drama - Pirates of the Caribbean / Silmarillion crossover
Pairings: Norrington/Gillette, Erestor/Glorfindel
Warnings: angst, violence
Feedback: very welcome. Good or bad.

Summary: It takes more than water to wash blood off your hands.

Lieutenant Groves and Midshipman Collins sat on one of the benches in the mess, looking at the cornucopia of delicacies that was their lunch. Or supper. Might also have been something else altogether; they had lost track of time. They weren't quite sure if 'mess' was the correct description for that place, either. The tables and benches, richly decorated with carved vine leaves; the elegant silver plates and crystal glasses the table had been laid with - all those things were far too exquisite for a mess.

Collins sniffed on his sleeve and wrinkled his nose. "I smell like... roses, I think. Sir, that's not very much in the way of a gentleman, now is it? The roses, I mean."

Groves had been ordered in no uncertain terms by a rather stern looking member of the ship's crew to take a bath. He had done so, but dear God, what a waste of good water! Hadn't he bathed only two months ago and washed every week since? His uniform had then been carried away, held at arm's length. Now Groves as well as his uniform smelled like a meadow, and that, he agreed with Collins, was not a scent to be connected with an officer of the Royal Navy!

Collins' fate had been even worse. Two women had dragged the struggling midshipman to a tub with warm water. They had scrubbed him clean with a soft brush and a sponge, completely ignoring his protests. The people on this ship were of the firm mindset that he was a child and therefore should be treated as such. Naked in front of two beautiful ladies, what would his mother say!

Now Collins sat opposite of Groves, his face rosy from the heat, hair damp, and his uniform, just like Groves', was as clean as if it had just come from the tailor. Even the buttons had been polished!

"I have noticed that before. Everything is perfectly clean here. I haven't seen a spec of dust anywhere! Very strange, Mr. Collins, very strange. But that's not what really troubles me."

"No, Sir. I mean, yes, Sir. I understand what you mean. It's - Mr. Gillette."

Groves took an experimental sip of the wine and his eyes widened. He had never tasted the like - absolutely delicious! He forgot all about roses and soap thanks to the scent of roast goose and thyme tickling his nose. That aside, it was easier to focus his attention on the meal than on the very strange relationship his commanding officer seemed to have with their hosts, so he skirted Collins' question.

"I am very certain we will learn in time all we need to know, Mr. Collins. And even if Mr. Gillette has some strange acquaintances, we have to obey his orders. And as his orders were that we should take a seat here and eat a hearty meal, I suggest we will do just that now."

"Yes, Sir," Collins replied. After weeks of nothing but hard tack and sour beer, he had absolutely no objections.

* * *

Norrington woke up from a nightmare; a nightmare involving his fruitless quest to capture the
Black Pearl and see Jack Sparrow hang from the gallows on the town square of Port Royal. The nightmare also involved gunshots, fire, the topgallant sail and men falling to their death from the yard. Gunsmoke and blood; they had been thrown right into the depths of hell. There was a hand on his shoulder, shaking him, a man yelling, ordering him to stop. Who was the one who dared to gainsay him? He was the captain, he was the one to give orders, and the order was to catch Captain Jack Sparrow, at any cost and loss, dead or alive!!

With a cry, Norrington sat up in his bed. And a bed it was, softer and more comfortable than any other he had ever slept in. He could feel a gentle, barely noticeable rocking - he was on a ship. Next to his bed stood a man, girded with a sword. He threw an angry glance at him, and Norrington immediately turned to reach for his own sword. There was none, of course. He was not in his cabin. He was not on the
Dauntless. But he was at the mercy of this stranger. Beautiful, indeed, a face like he had never seen one before, but the expression of dislike was so strong that Norrington couldn't tell whether he was friend or foe.

"Who are you?" he asked, moving closer to the head-end of the bed.

"Erestor. Or rather, Master Erestor to you. I have saved your life, though the Valar only know what purpose
that  could serve, and I would be most grateful if you could stop moving. You are injured, and I have no wish to spend more time than absolutely necessary on your healing. Rest and recover - the faster, the better, so you and your men may leave our realm."

Norrington sank back into the pillows.

"Your realm? What port did you leave from?"


Norrington was confused. "
Mithlond? I've never heard of such a place."

"We are very careful whom we allow to make port," Erestor said. "You have never been there, and I may assure you that you will never go there if I have any say. Neither you nor any of your men."

The hostility in Erestor's tone didn't escape Norrington. "There has been a battle..." he began, but Erestor cut him off with a sweeping gesture of his hand.

"Indeed. A battle. Your ship is a wreck and most of your men are dead. We are currently repairing your ship. I admit that I am most curious to learn what the purpose of that battle was. Corsairs, I heard?"



"Pirates - of course, pirates." Norrington's head began to clear. The
Black Pearl. Jack Sparrow. His honour.

"What happened to Jack Sparrow?" he asked. "Have we caught up with him?"

"Sparrow, thrush or partridge, what do I know. However, the deep concern you show for the fate of your men touches me. Why, do you not wish to know who lives and who died of the men and children who served under your command? Do you care so little?"

Norrington bit his lip. It was true; his first worry should not have been Jack Sparrow, but his men.

"Is Lieutenant Gillette still alive?" he asked.

Erestor cringed.

"I find it very difficult to answer that question truthfully. Rather ask me if you may talk to him, then I can say 'yes' and leave it up to him to explain to you what you cannot understand, anyway. Do you wish me to call for the Ambarussa?"

"The what?"

Erestor decided he had wasted enough of his time with Norrington. "I will go and fetch your precious Gillette for you, so you may tell him how very much you have missed him," he mocked.

"Hardly," Norrington countered. "I intend to ask him why he tried to murder me."

* * *

Author's notes: Mithlond, the "Grey Havens", was one of the Elvish ports. The Portsmouth of Middle-earth, so to speak...

previous chapter                          next chapter not online yet
Dramatis Personae
The Stories
by Molly Joyful