|Overall rating: PG-13
Category: slash, romance, humour
Other characters appearing: Mr. Gibbs, Lord George Cutler Beckett
Warnings: none - unless you're a leprechaun. In that case, you might want to skip this story.
Feedback: very welcome. Good or bad.
Author's note: this is without a doubt the weirdest story I've ever written about James Norrington and Thomas Gillette.
Summary: Mr. Gibbs reveals why Thomas Gillette joined the Royal Navy.
James Norrington knew who had been knocking on his door. For a brief moment he was tempted to pretend that he hadn't heard anything, but then he invited his visitor in.
The door opened, and indeed, there was Thomas Gillette.
"I suppose you know why I'm here, sir?"
"Of course, lieutenant. It's 17th March."
"Only thirty seconds to go, sir."
Norrington nodded, and the two men stood in silence, avoiding looking at each other. When the last bell of the First Watch stroke, Gillette blinked, and his uniform disappeared, replaced by a splendid red coat with gold lacings, a silken waistcoat and red breeches.
"It feels good to wear this coat again. I've always been very taken with velvet, as you know. My twelve years of service are over, James Norrington. I have kept my part of our agreement - will you keep yours?"
"You've been an excellent officer, Tómas. The best I've ever served with. I regret that you - that your commitment has come to an end, but I understand that you have to return to your family and your duties."
"My duties - of course. What do you think my duties are, James Norrington?"
"To protect your treasure, I suppose?"
Tómas looked down at his shiny shoes with the gold buckles and nodded.
"So you release me then?"
Norrington read once more through the document on his writing slope. It was a letter of recommendation for Lieutenant Thomas Gillette. It was unlikely a leprechaun would have any use for such a document, but writing it had been better than sitting and waiting, thinking with dread of the moment their paths would separate.
"Of course. I stand by my word. The twelve years are over and you are free to leave. You may also take your gold with you."
"You're one of very few honourable men among your kind. Farewell, James Norrington."
He blinked and disappeared. Norrington stared down at the letter of recommendation for a long while, then he folded it and put it carefully in his writing slope.
* * *
"Time to wake up."
Lord George Cutler Beckett opened one eye.
"That's good, we're halfway there already," an amused voice said. "Now open your other eye as well, Seoirse. We have business to discuss."
Cutler Beckett couldn't have been more awake if somebody had poured a bucket of ice water over him. He retreated to the head end of the bed and pulled the coverlet up to his nose.
"What on earth are you doing here?"
Tómas, who sat on a chair next to the bed and rested his long legs on the nightstand shrugged.
"Your mother sends her best wishes. She hasn't seen you for three hundred years and desires you to visit her soon."
Cutler Beckett couldn't have cared less for his old mother.
"I thought you were caught by a mortal?"
"Don't be ridiculous, cousin. Me? Caught by a mortal? Not every leprechaun is as clumsy and daft as you, Seoirse. How's Mr. Mercer doing, by the way?"
Cutler Beckett winced.
"Unfortunately in the best of health."
"How long will you have to serve him?"
"Two more years. I predict those will be the worst of my life."
"Seoirse, stop pretending that you're suffering. I know that you enjoy this; you've always been a greedy, cunning misanthrope."
"Indeed, and I'm very proud of it! For I, unlike you, am a perfect representative of our kind! I have more gold than any other, and I've only just began my quest!"
"Your quest - good that you remind me. Seoirse, my beloved cousin, your quest is the reason that I'm here."
Cutler Beckett licked his lips and looked at Tómas with great suspicion.
"Why? Do you wish to participate? I'm afraid I have to decline. I don't wish to share power or gold with anybody."
"Keep your power and your gold. I'm here to talk to you about James Norrington."
"You are - what?"
"Here to talk about James Norrington," Tómas repeated a little impatiently. "Why, are you hard of hearing?"
"He's a useful tool, and once he has done his part, I'll dispose of him."
"I'm afraid I can't allow that," Tómas said, shaking his head regretfully. "If you and Mr. Mercer want to become Emperors of the Caribbean please do so, I don't care. But you'll leave James Norrington out of it. He's under my protection."
Cutler Beckett laughed.
"Under your protection? Good grief, Tómas! This is my world, and you have no say here. I'd only have to blink and he'd fall down stone dead."
"Don't be ridiculous, Seoirse. You can't harm James Norrington, just like I can't harm this unpleasant Mr. Mercer. All I want is your word - as a leprechaun, mind you - that you will keep him safe from harm, and I'll return to the green shores of our beloved home and shall never bother you again."
"I can't see how James Norrington is any business of yours," Cutler Beckett snapped.
"And I can't see how it's any of your business why he's any of my business. Do we have an agreement? Make haste, I hate the climate here and wish to return home as soon as possible."
Cutler Beckett blinked, and stood suddenly next to Tómas, wearing a splendid coat of blue velvet with diamonds for buttons and a silk waistcoat.
"No, we don't have an agreement. I do as I please. Go home to my mother and count the four farthings you have in your kettle."
Tómas stood up and looked down his long nose at George, his eyes green with anger.
"If you don't give me your word to keep James Norrington safe, I'll stay here and look after him myself, and I'll make your life as difficult as I can. I might not be the best leprechaun when it comes to hoarding gold, but I haven't been bested yet as far as cunningness is concerned!"
"Now are you? Good! I'll give you my word, indeed - that I'll best you, that is!"
"Is that your last word, Seoirse?" Tómas asked.
Tómas blinked. Instead of velvet and silk he was now wearing the uniform of a lieutenant of the Royal Navy.
"Fine. Have it your way then. If it's war you want, then it's war you shall get. We will meet again, Seoirse!"
"You can bet your lousy copper kettle on that!" Cutler Beckett howled. "And you'll see how that will do you any good, you... you... man, you!"
* * *
Tómas sat down on James Norrington's cot and looked around the cabin. Not much had changed since his departure; Norrington had become a little older, but that had to be expected of a man.
"Time for his Morning Watch," Tómas murmured, and pinched Norrington's arm.
The captain jumped and opened his eyes, muttering something unintelligible. Then he saw Tómas and blinked. He shook his head and rubbed his eyes, but Tómas was still there, looking at him with a cheerful smile.
"You?" Norrington croaked.
Tómas grinned, inclined his head and pressed a quick kiss on Norrington's lips.
"Lieutenant Gillette reporting for service, Sir. I'm here to guard my treasure."
* * *
by Molly Joyful