|Rating: PG, slash, humour/romance
Other characters: Telling would be spoiling!
Summary: Lieutenant Gillette investigates a cowardly attack on Commodore Norrington
Author's note: Happy Valentine's Day!
"The height of impudence! Outrageous!"
Dr. Browne agreed with Lieutenant Gillette, but he was too busy examining Commodore Norrington's injury to reply. That aside, he knew from personal experience that Gillette didn't really expect a comment; he just needed to air his anger.
"Sir, I promise we'll catch the assassin in no time. I'm absolutely certain that my shot hit its target, so he must be wounded. By God, I'll examine each of the men personally until I've found the bastard, pardon my French, and I'll hang him personally from the yardarm! This miserable, worthless son of a-"
"I have no doubt that you'll find him," Norrington interrupted his first lieutenant's rant. "We're at sea; it's not like he could leave even if he wanted, unless he should try to swim back to Port Royal. All things considered, I can count myself lucky. Indeed, it doesn't even hurt."
And it didn't. The small wound on the left side of his chest was already healing, much to Dr. Browne's puzzlement.
"I wonder what inflicted that wound," Browne said. "It wasn't bullet, that's for certain. A thrusting weapon, maybe? But then we'd found the knife."
"There was no shot aside from the one I fired," Gillette insisted. "I didn't see a knife either. We were on deck, and then I heard an odd rustling, almost like the sound of a bird flapping its wings. Next thing I knew, Commodore Norrington collapsed. I shot my pistol at the direction of the sound, and I'm absolutely certain I heard a pained cry immediately afterwards. I must have hit him. Pity I didn't kill him."
Norrington rested in his cot, face pale, but Gillette couldn't make out any signs of pain. If anything, the commodore looked calm, peaceful, even happy. That and the hint of a smile on his face were rare sights, especially in a situation as grave as this one.
"Had you killed him, we'd never learn why he tried to murder me," Norrington said wisely. "Dr. Browne, thanks a lot for your assistance, but really, I'm fine. It's nothing, barely a scratch."
"Are you certain?"Browne asked suspiciously, knowing Norrington's tendency to downplay his injuries.
"Very certain. Just a bit of rest, and I'll be my old self again tomorrow. For now, there might be an assassin out there who needs your help before we hang him."
"As you wish, Sir." Browne packed bandages and bottles in his bag and left commodore and lieutenant alone.
"If there's anything I can do for you, please let me know, Sir." Gillette paced up and down in the great cabin; the worry about his captain's well-being made him restless. "I wish I could have prevented this."
"Mr. Gillette, I appreciate your concern. You may spend all the time you wish on the hunt for the criminal. As far as I'm concerned, I can assure you that I feel perfectly fine, though."
That was an understatement. Norrington didn't feel fine - he felt great. Fantastic, even! He was relaxed, comfortable and happy, and he experienced a tingling sensation, a pleasant anticipation - anticipation of what? Gillette was still talking, and while Norrington didn't pay much attention to his words, he enjoyed the sound of his voice. Why had he never noticed the warm, secure quality of his first lieutenant's voice? Probably because Gillette yelled and ranted more than he talked, Norrington thought.
"Yes? Oh, my apologies, Mr. Gillette. Could you repeat your question?"
"Certainly. I asked if I should send the boy for some wine, Sir."
"Wine would be nice, yes," Norrington replied, and Gillette smiled, happy to get the chance to do something for his captain. What a charming smile! Norrington was intrigued. That smile transformed Gillette's face in the most fascinating way.
Gillette yelled for the boy and in no time, they were served with a decanter of port and two glasses. Norrington insisted that he wouldn't drink alone, so he had the pleasure of seeing Gillette taking a swig of wine, then licking his lips. Seeing that pink tip of his tongue run across the thin lips was more entertaining to Norrington than anything else he could think of. What a strange night! It had started out with an attack on his life, and now he felt more alive than ever before! He was just about to comment on this strange observation when he made a worrying discovery.
"But Mr. Gillette, you're injured!" he cried out.
"Injured? Me? No. How?" Gillette put his glass aside and looked down at his chest. There was no sign of a wound, no scratch, no torn fabric, no blood.
"Come here, please," Norrington ordered, and Gillette obeyed. Norrington reached out and ran his finger along the ridge of Gillette's ear. The lieutenant shivered - a stinging sensation - pleasant, though, tingling, spreading all through his body.
"Just a small cut - looks like my assassin attempted to attack you as well, Mr. Gillette! Fortunately, he missed his target. I really wouldn't know what I'd do without you."
The lieutenant's eyes lit up. "Really? Thank you, Sir, but I'm certain there are many officers who could serve as your first lieutenant just as well as me, if not better."
Norrington shook his head. He touched the tiny wound again, and, just to make sure it was the only one, he ran his fingers across Gillette's cheek and down his neck. Not much to see there unless Gillette would untie his cravat.
Now there was a thought.
* * *
" The height of impudence! Outrageous!"
"Ouch! Mother, please, could you treat this with a little more care? It hurts!"
"Mortals. Incredible! That's what we get for looking after their needs," Venus ranted. "Now hold still, this will sting. How could this happen, I ask?"
Cupid sucked air through his teeth when the healing oil touched his skin. What an embarrassment! Not only had he been caught during his mission, no, this ruffian of a red-haired lieutenant had dared to shoot his pistol at him! Outrageous, indeed! And to top the shameful incident, the bullet from Gillette's pistol had grazed his backside. Once the other Gods would learn of that small detail, he'd never hear the end of it. A disgrace!
"I only did what you told me, and what I always do. I saw the captain and shot my arrow. Of course I didn't miss my target. And then, before I could take proper aim, that Gillette shot at me!"
Venus looked up. "Gillette? What Gillette?"
"Well, Gillette. The other half of the couple," Cupid explained, waiting for the pain in his right buttock to stop. "The one with the titian hair. On that ship, the Dauntless."
His mother arched an eyebrow. "Son - did you write down what I told you?"
"No need for that," he muttered. "Do you think I'm too stupid to memorise two names?"
Venus threw her arms in the air.
"Why, yes, that's exactly what I think! I said: go and shoot your arrows at the captain of the Sans Cesse and his sister's friend, Mademoiselle Ginette! Sans Cesse! Ginette! Not Dauntless and Gillette! Good grief, son - what have you done? Can't you tell the difference between a French merchant and a British battleship?"
Cupid rolled off the chaise-longue, limped a few steps and shrugged.
"French, British, what do I care? I'm a Roman deity, after all! And it's not very kind of you to tell me off in such a way. I'm injured! I was attacked! You could show some compassion, mother!"
Venus sighed. As usual, it didn't take more than a pout and batting of lashes from her son to allay her anger.
"Well. Nothing happens without reason, so who knows, maybe this misunderstanding will mark an important and positive change in the life of this Gillette-person. We better not tell your father, though. You know what he's like."
Cupid nodded enthusiastically. "I promise it won't happen again, mother. The next mission will go without problems."
"I hope so. It's an easy one, anyway," Venus said, brushing some specs of dust off her toga. "Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann. You can't miss them. Make sure you write it down this time, though!"
"I will, mother," Cupid promised. "Such an embarrassing thing won't happen to me again."
He pulled a feather out of his left wing, dipped the tip into olive oil and noted the names of the happy future couple on a vine leaf.
* * *
"I can't wait for Commodore Norrington to return and question that despicable pirate. But enough of that. I'm very pleased to see you so happy today, Elizabeth," Governor Swann said during breakfast.
"How could I not be happy? It's such a wonderful day!" Elizabeth smiled, a soft blush spreading all over her face. Swann couldn't help but smile along with her. His only child, finally in love! The signs were all there: smiles, blushes, silly giggling with the maid. Ah, he really hoped that Elizabeth had finally seen sense and decided to give her heart to Commodore Norrington. Such a fine man, and what a promising career! Certainly, Will Turner was a decent young man, but not the right choice for his little princess.
"How hot it is today," Elizabeth complained. "So stifling!"
"Quick, boy, let in some fresh air," the governor ordered, and the servant hurried to open the windows. "Ah, that's better."
Unfortunately, the air was not the only thing to enter the dining room.
"Ouch!" Swann cried out, simultaneously slapping after the mosquito that had stung him.
"Father, you're bleeding!" Elizabeth looked a little worried and bit her lip. Swann examined his hand, and really, there was a bit of blood on his fingers. Damned that insect, he'd make a fine sight with that sting on his forehead! Maybe he should change his wig later on? The longer one would hide the mark.
"Father, are you fine?"
"What? I beg your pardon, dear child, my thoughts have been somewhere else. It's nothing, really. I'm fine."
And he was. Governor Weatherby Swann felt happy, his skin tingled pleasantly and he had a dreamy smile on his face. Who needed James Norrington? It was a beautiful day - he would question Jack Sparrow himself.
* * *
by Molly Joyful