?

Log in

No account? Create an account

The Culture Channel

Bureau of Mutants, Superhumans, & Costumed Vigilantes


December 29th, 2003

Post Christmas Update (and fic): @ 09:00 pm

Current Mood: lazy lazy
Current Music: Jack Hinshelwood--"If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O"
Tags: , ,

Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen. Everyone was pleased with the presents I gave them, from the items of apparel made out of Irish wool, to the books, to the Irish/Euro 2¢ pieces. My cousin Tyler even liked the Cadbury's Turkish Delight bar, much to my astonishment (I've got to confess, I gave those out largely to see the expressions on my cousins' faces when they bit into them).

And my Grandmother is happy too, because my sister and I were well dressed, attractive, and polite at all of the various relatives' parties, thereby giving her "my grandchildren are better than your grandchildren" bragging rights. The fact that Sarah's at the Air Force Academy now helped (and those who weren't impressed by the Air Force Academy were usually impressed by Ireland--and by Hollins, since, being Virginians, they all knew about Hollins University).

I haven't gotten a chance to watch my PotC DVD yet, as we only got home from Richmond yesterday. I did, however, watch the original Die Hard on tv last night with my family. It kicked ass. Everyone who for some reason has not yet seen it should go rent it now. I especially liked the bit where Bruce Willis is pulling glass out of the bottom of his feet (it's nicely shot, so that you hear the pain in his voice and see it on his face long before the camera pans down to his feet and you realise what he's doing). Also, it has Alan Rickman in it. Playing a German terrorist/thief.

And now, for those of you who don't care what I gave my relatives for Christmas and are only reading this because I promised fic in the title, another PotC AU snippet (the second of the five things bits--the last three will be finished after I re-watch it). Behold as I misquote Marlowe.

But That Was in Another Country, and Besides, the Knave is Dead

Elizabeth stood by her husband’s side and watched the HMS Zephyr’s sailors tie her off at the dock, trying unsuccessfully to ignore the sound of George and Cecily arguing.

“There are sea monsters in the Pacific,” Cecily insisted. “And mermaids, too. I read it in a geography book.”

“That shows how much you know,” George said scornfully, with all the authority of four extra years. “Mermaids are a legend. Ask Father; he’ll tell you.”

“Then why are there mermaids and monsters drawn on all the maps, half-wit?” Cecily demanded.

“As decoration, lack-brain.”

“George, Cecily,” Admiral James Norrington said, not turning his eyes from the ship before them, “stop arguing, or I shall have your mother take you home.”

There was instant silence.

Elizabeth smiled slightly, as she saw Cecily stick her tongue out at her older brother behind her father’s back. Cecily, the only girls, with her strong opinions and avid curiosity, had always been her favourite child. However, that didn’t stop her from mouthing a stern, “behave,” at her before she too, turned back to watch the Zephyr dock.

As always the sight of a ship tying up caused a small pang of something that was not quite sorrow in her heart. Everything important in her life, it seemed, had always begun or ended with a ship. It was onboard a ship that she had met James, when she had been only a few years older then Cecily. It had been a ship that had taken Will away from her, when he sailed away to Virginia, and the exile from Jamaica that had been the price of his pardon. It had been a ship that had carried Elizabeth herself back home to England after James had been promoted to Admiral, when she had been pregnant with George. It had been a ship—this ship—that had taken her oldest son away from her last winter, only to return him again today.

When Midshipman John Norrington strode down the gangplank, moving with the rolling gait of someone who has spent months at sea, Elizabeth almost stopped breathing for a moment. He looked so grown up, so different from the fourteen-year-old boy who had gone to sea a year ago. So very like his father.

Halfway down the pier, John abandoned dignity and broke into a run, the long tail of his black queue bouncing behind him. “Father!”

He skidded to a stop in front of James, grinning broadly and fairly bouncing with excitement. “I mean, ah, Admiral, Sir,” he corrected himself.

“Welcome home, John.” James reached out and clasped John’s hand. Elizabeth could tell he really wanted to hug him, but was restraining himself in deference to the sailors and officers lining the dock. “How were the south seas?”

“Wonderful, sir. Most instructive.” It was the expected thing to say, but Elizabeth could tell he really meant it. Still grinning, John turned to her. “Mother,” he began.

Elizabeth, not bound by Navy protocols, pulled him into a hug. She could still do it easily; he was inches taller, but still didn’t have the height George was already beginning to gain. “Welcome home. I’ve missed you.”

John hugged her back very briefly, before letting go and stepping safely out of range. It wouldn’t do for his shipmates to see him embracing his mother. Brave, tarry naval officers, Elizabeth supposed, were not supposed to have mothers.

“Johnny!” Cecily was almost dancing with glee. “Did you bring me a present?”

“Cecily!” Elizabeth scolded, “Don’t be rude.”

“May I have my present, please?”

John laughed, picking Cecily up and swinging her around. His eyes danced, looking blacker than ever against his new tropical tan. “Of course, Cecily love. I wouldn’t forget to get a present for my favourite sister. But you’ll have to wait until we get home, all right?” He set her on her feet again and rumpled her hair.

“All right. Did you see mermaids?”

“Of course I did. Beautiful ones, with long, silver tails,” he sketched a curve in the air with his hands, “and seaweed in their hair. They wear necklaces made of pearls and sing like nightingales.”

“See!” Cecily crowed triumphantly. “I told you. There are mermaids.”

“There aren’t,” George insisted, his practical nature insulted. “He’s just lying to you ‘cause you’re a baby. Aren’t you, John?”

“I might be.” John grinned, white teeth against dark tan, a hauntingly familiar expression. “And I might not.”
The five of them walked together to the carriage, John striding proudly beside James, the father in whose footsteps he was following, but whom he looked absolutely nothing like.

Elizabeth, watching them, remembered one wild, drunken night on a tropical island, so long ago and distant that it seemed almost to have happened to someone else, and remembered also an almost as distant hanging, held two days after Will had reluctantly taken ship for Virginia, and a week before her wedding. She had hated James for that banishment and hanging, once, before John’s birth had changed things between them.

She was happy with her life now, rarely regretted it even when she received letters from Will’s family in Williamsburg, telling of another daughter born or a new forge built, but for a moment, as she looked at the son whom both she and her husband pretended was James’, she wondered what piracy would have been like.

^_~
 
Share  |  |

Comments

 
[User Picture Icon]
From:guede_mazaka
Date:December 30th, 2003 02:40 am (UTC)
(Link)
1. Your fic was sweet as honey and had a kick like a vodka chaser. Talk about unexpected yanks at the heartstrings. And the mermaids...such a lovely hint at Elizabeth's could-have-been. At least, that's how I read it.

2. Hey, remember that historical 'Mexico' fic we talked about? Well, I wrote it, and it, and it, and it. And in consequence, my fingers and my brain are still bleeding. 66 pages in 3 days, because you encouraged me.
[User Picture Icon]
From:guede_mazaka
Date:December 30th, 2003 02:42 am (UTC)
(Link)
Actually, should be 70 pages. Am already meeping at what I've done to the Bible; don't want to tempt fate with an almost 'number of the Beast.'
[User Picture Icon]
From:elspethdixon
Date:December 30th, 2003 03:42 pm (UTC)
(Link)

*copy-pasts Historical epic onto disc. Installs disc in laptop. Reads story in room, so relatives won't know about the threesome-ness and bondage* Picture me squeeing in uncontrollable delight. This story was so much fun. I love the way you worked bits of dialogue from the movie in there (the cook still got shot! Yea!) and mixed events from the two films together. I think I like the "El-stretched-out-on-the-counter/table/bar-getting-his-arm stitched-up" scene even better in your version. Nearly all scenes can be improved by having Sands lie down on top of El.

I also loved Lorenzo's past as a de-frocked priest (I imagine he got caught in flagrante delicto with somebody, right?) and, of course, the fact that Carolina was in it. *applauds Carolina * She and Sands make a scarily good team. El never had a chance.

“I’m fine,” he answered too-brightly. “Just wonderful. You have very nice floors, by the way. Top-quality grain, and no splinters.”

“He didn’t break his mouth,” Carolina remarked. “Damn.”


I loved that bit for some reason. It's so them.

But best of all is: "He's hot chocolate in clothes." Because it's true.



[User Picture Icon]
From:guede_mazaka
Date:December 30th, 2003 07:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Sands is like salt--add it in reasonable amounts to anything, and it'll make things taste better. Add too much, and you poison yourself.

Carolina is fun. And Lorenzo probably was getting it on with the mayor's daughter in the confessional. What were they thinking, trying to put that guy in a cassock?
[User Picture Icon]
From:elspethdixon
Date:December 30th, 2003 03:28 am (UTC)
(Link)
Not to be incredibly pedantic, but you're actually misquoting Marlowe

*grovels before the shade of Christopher Marlowe* I'm so, so sorry, Kit. I didn't mean to get you mixed up with your contemporary. They should revoke my 2/3rds completed English lit degree. *grovels to Shakespeare, too, just for good measure*

Now that I'm through grovelling, thank you for the comment ^_~. I rather like the little Norringlettes too, especially John Norrington, whose highest ambition is to be captain of a ship of the line, and who has no clue that he's actually the illegitimate son of a dead pirate (when he finds out, probably shortly after he passes the examination for lieutenancey, it will be ugly). I think George is going to be a barrister when he grows up.
[User Picture Icon]
From:thelauderdale
Date:December 30th, 2003 04:11 pm (UTC)
(Link)
This is too tantalizing to be a lone fic. You write more, yes? Or consider doing so? Just an aside, but Norrington would make a wonderful father. He's got a good personality for it. A bit stern, but I think having kids would soften him up a lot. It would be interesting seeing a fic about his relationship with his wife's illegitimate son by a pirate--that would make a great story, and a touching one, because I think Norrington would love him dreadfully, even though he might make a half-hearted attempt at a a wicked stepfather act.

The third Die Hard movie, FYI, is my favorite action hero flick. Does Speed better than Speed does Speed, and it's got Jeremy Irons. Le drool....
[User Picture Icon]
From:pinkdormouse
Date:December 31st, 2003 03:56 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Arghhh! There I was talking about your 'PotC' polyfic elsewhere and realised I'd never congratulated you on it personally. Blame the Festive Season and my determination to get the third installment of the Sands/El-that-isn't out this morning.

Jolly well done anyhow.

And I like the above too. lovely little flash of family life.

Gina


The Culture Channel

Bureau of Mutants, Superhumans, & Costumed Vigilantes