Remix: The Gift (The Broken Heart Remix) [James Norrington, 241 words, rated G, a bit AU], by velvetmouse
"Consider it a wedding gift," he said and turned before she could ensnare him further. Before she could see the bitterness in the set of his jaw, the tightening around the eyes. Before she could see how much those words pained him.
A month. He was giving them a whole month's head start. Why, he wasn't exactly sure. He had only given Jack Sparrow a day before he had given pursuit. And yet he was giving the Turners a whole month before he commenced the search. That he would be the one chasing them was never in doubt.
What was in doubt was why he, a duly (re)commissioned officer of His Majesty's Navy, was covering for the governor's wayward daughter and her equally wayward husband, who were planning on running off with a notorious pirate, who went so far beyond the concept of "wayward" that he came around and met it on the other side.
And in the end, James decided, it came down to respect and fondness. Respect for Elizabeth and her resolute determination to live her life as she saw fit, and respect for the skill of Jack Sparrow on the open seas. James never was one to shy away from a challenge. And fondness. They had reached a tentative accord, there at the end, and he did not doubt that the girl was genuinely fond of him.
It wasn't love. But it would do. It would have to.