|"I dare say – he is not waving to us, is he?" Norrington asked.
"I can't tell for sure," Will replied, shading his eyes against the sun. Maybe Jack was waving. Maybe he was not. Did it matter?
"He is waving," he finally confirmed.
"He is not," Norrington stated, taking one more look.
"You're right. As a matter of fact, I think it's Elizabeth who is waving."
Norrington punched the air.
"This is insulting! Infuriating! Intolerable! Words fail me!"
Trying to calm himself, Will focussed on the crabs that were making their way across the beach. For a moment he considered catching some: after all, they would have to eat sooner or later. But then he decided against it. Why should the creatures suffer his anger when there was a far more suitable victim close by?
"For someone who has been failed by words, you 're talking an awful lot," he said.
"And I have all the reason in the world to complain! Just look at this - there they go, leaving us behind! To think I once considered marrying that woman!"
"Well, you've been failed by words, I've been failed by my fiancée and we have both been failed by Jack. I think it's safe to say that this expedition was a complete and utter failure."
"Should you use the word 'fail' one more time, young Master Turner, then I shall not fail to drown you in this very ocean here," Norrington promised. Will was not impressed.
"Be my guest," he said. "We're stuck on a desert island with no provisions save a barrel of rum and a failed compass, my father is somewhere out there holding conversations with the blue mussels on the planks of the Flying Dutchman, and my fiancée has run off with a pirate. To be quite honest, your suggestion holds a certain appeal."
Norrington glared at Will, then straightened up.
"As you so correctly state, we are in a dire situation. So I suggest you stop staring at the Black Pearl sailing into the sunset and find us shelter and water, while I evaluate our situation."
"Who do you think you are to order me around!" Will snapped.
Norrington halted his steps and turned around.
"Well, at least I am not the one responsible for our current situation. How about listening to me for a change, Mr. I-have-a-cunning-plan?"
Will's face turned red with anger.
"Ah, so now it's my fault we're in this hopeless situation? How about you being stupid enough to give Davey Jones' heart away, heh?"
Norrington gave Will his most arrogant look.
"At least I was not stupid enough to give my heart to Elizabeth. Pardon me, Mr. Pirate-in-Training, but who was the idiot who decided to go after that fickle young lady, despite her obvious infatuation with this unreliable individual we know as Captain Jack Sparrow?"
"If I remember correctly, that particular idiot was you, because you wanted those papers back."
Norrington cleared his throat in obvious irritation.
"Well... from your uneducated point of view, it could appear that way. This was, of course, only one aspect of a very clever plan, but... we do not have time for such idle talk. Stop being difficult and follow me."
Will grumbled, but finally trotted after Norrington into the shade of the palm trees. From time to time, he would turn around and focus on the horizon, where the Black Pearl could be seen as a dark dot the size of a pin head. In a matter of minutes she would disappear from sight completely.
"And the situation is not that hopeless, young Mr. Turner," Norrington said after a while, with a cheerfulness that grated on Will's nerves. "At least he left us the compass."
"I fail to see how that is a comfort," Will muttered.
Norrington silently counted to ten.
* * *
|WITHOUT FAIL 1/7
by Molly Joyful