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The Errors of Lieutenant Norrington

by Linaelyn


Fandom: PoTC    Rating: NC-17    Pairing: Norrington/Gibbs    Full Header   Gibbs Series #3


I knew it to be wrong. I knew it could cost me my career. Yet I proceeded as if there would be no consequence to my actions. I was rash and youthful, and thought no further in the future than the next port.

I was wrong to do so.

I was the superior officer, and should have continued to hold myself superior, to remain distant.


I was...weak. And in my weakness, I led another to destroy his own life, sully his own reputation, and besmirch his own good name. To save mine.

I will live with the guilt the rest of my days. But I must needs always remember my failure. I must remember that I serve others, and not only myself.

Even if he did seek me out first.


As soon as he stepped onto that deck, I said to meself, "Aye, Joshamee, now there's a sweetmeat worth riskin' a bit of the lash fer." And I wasn't wrong about that, now was I? Nay, Leftenant Norrington was as delicious as they come, and they come mighty tasty, fresh to his majesty's service from the manors and townhouses of the gentry. And all eager, like.

But James, aye, he took a bit more convincing than most.

Usually I'd wait 'til the new feller pulled dogwatch with me. No-one worries much about what's done in the dark of night, and when the mind wanders without relief...and relief is offered...

Let's just say my timing's often canny.

So I goes to his elbow, pitch-black of the bells, and I catch his eye. He seen me, so I tugs at my lock, and I says to him, "Cold night for it, aye sir?"

"It will grow less chill in the waters farther south, I'm sure."

"Still, bit of a nip to it, an' us only a day or so out of Portsmouth." I leaned into his arm slightly, and say the fatherly protective thing, to which these lads, first-far from home sometimes respond, "You're a slender fellow, be ye warm enough?"

An' he gives me that look, the officer's look. "Are your duties insufficient to keep you occupied, Mr. Gibbs?"

I saluted again and took my leave in silence. This one's a tough nut.


He appeared rather chill, that first time he spoke to me. I was warm enough in my officer's uniform, to be sure, but the enlisted men's kit was far less seaworthy, as a rule. He actually huddled near me for warmth, and I was sorely tempted to drape his broad shoulders with my own bluecoat when he asked if I was warm enough. Drastic breach of naval discipline, and I was shocked at myself for the thought.

It wasn't the last time he made my mind drift to things far beyond the proscribed behavior of his majesty's service. Not the last time, indeed...

We were nearly sixteen days out, and not far north of the Azores, when the torrential rains struck. The Captain asked Governor-elect Swann and his child to retire with him to his cabin, so we could allow the men a rare dousing, and save our passengers' sensitive noses from too much of the fragrance of unwashed crewmen. We were still nearly full-up in the fresh water barrels, so giving them an opportunity to bathe was only prudent.

That's when I first saw him unclothed. The lash had scarred his back, seemingly myriad times. He bore a bullet wound behind his left thigh. His right elbow had a section of burned skin, puckered and poorly healed, that he later told me came from a misfire on a swivel gun. His face and forearms and feet were as nearly brown as an Egyptian, but his Scot's fairness showed on the rest of him, pale and pink and glowing in the dampened light of the cloudy skies.

His eyes found mine, examining his details. I did not yet understand the meaning of his slow smile, when first I saw it.


Caught 'im lookin', I did. Knew better 'an to strut fer 'im, that wouldn't be this one's style, not at all. No, this one needed the subtle knife between the ribs, cut the heart out of 'im, and then bleed 'im dry.

He was still such a pup then, back in '12. Sometimes makes me chuckle, to think, "I knew the Commodore, when..." But we all was inexperienced lads once, we all was.

So the next dogwatch we was both on came that very night. Rain had lasted long enough for the officers to have their rub-a-dub as well, though I was aloft at the time, sent to reef the royals and all my attention on the task at hand.

It was just past four bells, and he calls me up onto the quarterdeck, from my post amidships, "Gibbs! Who carries messages this watch?"

"That'd be me, sir," I says.

"Very well. I have a sensitive matter for you to convey." He lowers his voice, and says, "Midshipman Quarles is feeling rather poorly, still suffering from some malaise. I believe we can manage without his presence on deck, in the current weather. Will you carry him my order to stand down? If I speak directly to him, he'll dispute with me." And he leaves the matter to me.

"Aye-aye," and I sees that p'raps this's fair chance. The lads before the mast savvy when to turn and examine the horizon, on a voyage of this length. So I shows a leg and soon return to the Leftenant's side.

"Will ye be needin' any other messages carried, sir?" as an excuse to approach.

"No, no... Just that one."

Still, I does my best to contrive to remain in his sight. "Do ye fancy a tale, sir?" I asks him.

"Pardon me?" he turns from his post beside the helmsman, cocks his head over his shoulder at me, and gives me a lovely view of that chiseled jaw of his'n. Oh, if I could just get me a little taste of that...

"A tale, sir. A yarn. I've some rope splicing to be doin' down amidships, but I thought perhaps to pass the time by tellin' a bit of a story to another of the crew." I gives a gander to the sparsely manned deck. But on dogwatch, few enough of us have the leisure to tell, let alone to listen, and so I says, "An ear to take in the words is more to me liking, sir, if ye take my meaning. You're the only fellow's not got more pressing duty, an' I thought with it so peaceful on the watch..." I lets my voice trail off hopefully.

The pause was a mite lengthy, as he gives it a full consideration. But after a moment, he says, "I suppose it might be good for your morale, at that, eh Mr. Gibbs?" An' he turns to Davies at the helm and bids him hold the Dauntless steady on course, not that much headway's been made since the rains let up this eve.

We traverse to where the splicing needed done, and I settles myself down to the task. Can't rightly marry the lines whilst standin', so I sat on the deckboards at his feet, and him still afoot.

"How's about a tale of a wreck then? I know a right sweet one, about a young Leftenant, just your age, and a nearly desert island in the south seas."

"Does the lieutenant die?" and he gives out a snort and a half-masted smile.

"Nay, he goes on to great glory and promotion. Becomes a Commodore, eventually."

"Does he now? Well, tell me one where the young officer dies. I prefer my stories to be plausible."

A tough nut, this one, aye.

So I launches in to my tale:
'Tis a story of a handsome young fellow, off on his first commission, caught in a fearsome storm, tossed and wracked on the sea, and finally swept overboard in the dark of night, somewhere in a southern sea's archipelago.

He swims for his life, swims in what seems like circles, for hours an' hours, no star in the sky to steer him, and the swell blocking his view at every turn.

An' finally, dawn comes, an' sea calms, and he sees a little palm-topped isle not ten furlongs distant, and he strikes out for it with the last of his strength...only to be captured by the natives of the island. He's hauled ashore in their little dugouts, half drowned anyways, and fully expecting death at their hands.

And then he notices it. They're all comely lasses, for all they're brown as the bark of the canoes. He's stumbled upon the secret tribe of Amazons, and they've taken him to their hidden palace among the hillocks of the atoll chain. Strong and deadly, and with subtle curves in all manner of pleasant places, like an armory full of longbows, they are.

I watch 'im as I spin the yarn, and he's drawn in slowly. Tilts back, rests at a lean. Steady now, reel 'im in slowly, carefully... Watch 'im for the swallow. There it is, adam's apple bobs up and down, an' he's ready for a little more heat in the tale.

Thighs like carven mahogany, and seeming to rise forever, since they're nearly completely unclothed in the heat. Waves of silken hair fall around them, mostly tied back, but a few wearing it loose. The sweat glistens on their skin, and their teeth flash white at him.

The way they 'andle him, e's sure they're to butcher him for their next feast, all gropin' and pinchin' at 'is muscled arms. He thinks he'll be the first red meat they've had in months, but he's mistaken. His fate is to be far more dire. They've decided to keep him, to be their latest stud-horse, to sire the next generation of daughters.

I shift a little closer to 'im, just working my way around the lines. Ah, yes, he's closed his eyes, now. From this angle, you can see the white breeches bulge, and he's not without some anticipation of the story's next twist. I smile a little, knowing he can't see.

So they ask the leftenant his name, but he's wise, and he gives them a false one, says his name is James and not Stephen, as his mother had him christened. The Warrior-maids take him to their queen, and she's far more lovely than the rest even, wild and fiery and fierce. The queen, she takes him to her bower, and says that she must test him, find if he has the mettle to withstand the coming onslaught of her warriors who need their fields plowed.

She strips him down to nothing, and removes her own gold and finery. Then pulling him towards herself, she begins to lick at the surface of his skin. First she begins by tasting all down his collarbones and his shoulders, for she is nearly as tall as he is. Slowly, her tongue swirling over his chest, she works her way downwards. She nips and bites like a wild animal. Soon, the skin of his entire torso is marked with her attentions.

'James,' says she, 'I have need of a man for one thing, and one thing only' and with her mouth, she moves lower, and engulfs that part of him that is the one thing she needs of a man. Her mouth is warm...and wet...and deep...

He parts his lips, and licks them. His breathing is deep and measured. He's deep in the thrall of the narrative.

Aye, I have him now.


Able Seaman Gibbs was famous aboard for his tales, that much I knew. However, I hadn't been acquainted with this crew long enough to have been notified of exactly what manner of tale was meant by "A Real Gibbs Yarn." Else, I never would have...well. Perhaps, in all honesty...

His story was ludicrous, laughably implausible. Yet it still touched a certain instinct in me. Something...base. Animal, even. His descriptions of the warrior women were certainly cause for arousal, in any case. It was a nice detail, putting my name on the fellow.

What harm in merely listening to a tale? I was officer of the watch, but on becalmed nights, in open water, with a sharp look-out and a competent hand at the helm? I was a redundancy, insurance for the unexpected, and the point-source for authority and discipline, to keep the sailors on their duties. My full attention was not warranted.

So I'd leaned back against the mast, and closed my eyes, to better visualize the account. That was my first error.

I swear, by all I hold dear, I never expected what came next.


I watched him as 'e rested against the mast, black lashes on his soft cheek, the curve of slender eyebrow above it. Such a pretty one, this. I always did have a bit of a hanker for the ones with the dark hair and the pale eyes and the skin even paler. And he was going to be mine, this night, I was sure of it. The way he hardened in his breeches so quickly, this one had need of it, alright.

I paced the tale, watched him for when the opportune moment came. Then, I ran a deft palm up the inside of his thigh, up to press in at his crotch, just there.

Predictably, his eyes flew open. The lads are so amusing, when they do that.

Keepin' it all respectful-like, I asks his permission. "Allow me to take care of this for ye, sir," but I don't wait for his word before I work my way down the buttons, push metal through fabric slits, revealin' the tender mercies held within. You know, for all the enjoyment of the rest of the business, sometimes this part is my favorite. The first blush, the unknown, the risk of him crying fie and foul. But the young officers, they never do, do they? They need it worse'n me, and I'm doin' 'em a favor, really. Well, an' doin' me one at the same time, I s'pose.

I'm quick with a row of buttons, and he's bare beneath the breeches, so there's nothin' to hide 'isself from me. Glory Be, but the lad's a grower, he is. Not much to notice in the trou before, but now? Well, pretty is as pretty does, to be sure, but I wouldn't mind more than one night's doin' with this one, no.

I've got my hands around him now, pulling him out and stroking softly, working back the sheath and bringin' it out to play a bit more. He's soft-surfaced, and feels almost silky against my calluses. Lord Almighty, I must have done some good deed to deserve this, and him all freshly washed and smelling of some lavender thing his mum must have sent 'im.

"Mr. Gibbs," he sounds as if he's chokin' on somethin', "are you...can you...what...are you doing?"

"Hush, Leftenant," I whispers, "or they'll come and find us this way, and hang me for it." Then I take him in my lips, and make 'im gasp. He tenses in the balls and the belly, and I know he won't be long. It's a shame, really. Be nice to have a leisurely fuck with this one, really take 'im for a ride. But that's not in the cards, not this time, at least.

He's as still as the mast behind him, just holding in place while I work my mouth on him, and only tiny little gasps of 'is breath to show me anythin'. Ah, the control in 'im, 'tis enough to make me gasp a bit meself. This is one of the fellows destined for command, sure to be off doing great things, farther down the pike. I can tell these things, clearer than readin' a palm. How a man handles himself as he's blown, that's a better guide to his future than any set of wrinkles and lines in a hand.

He's of a goodly significant length, but not so big around that I can't flourish me talents a bit, and take 'im in deeper every few strokes. Holding 'im by the base, I feel the pulsing start, and build in 'im. I draw my breath in deep, and hold back the flow with me fingertips, for a heartbeat. Clear my throat, so's I'm really ready.

S'bad luck not to be able to swallow it all.

This night, luck is with me.


"Mr. Gibbs," I managed to sputter, "are you...can you...what...are you doing?"

"Hush, Leftenant," he whispered, "or they'll come and find us this way, and hang me for it." There was a man, knelt at my feet, with my cock in his hands.

Correction. In his mouth.

Oh. God in heaven.

If I had called out, he would have been hanged. But to not call out is to submit to this, this...dishonour. I am his superior officer. This is wrong.

My second error was in not stopping him at that juncture.

I may not have been a match for him in hand to hand combat, as he was more burly and had the reach of me, but certainly I could have bested him sufficiently to cause him to desist.

A part of me deeply desired this, however, this carnal connection to another. It had been a very long time. He was voracious in a way that none of my previous encounters had been, although those had involved the exchange of remuneration, so perhaps that is logical. I had never before experienced such enthusiasm.

And yet even so, his concern for the way in which the tale had affected my person, was quite touching, really. I wondered what his given name was.

That was what pushed me over the edge, and not any specific skill in his handling of my member. I was suddenly struck that my cock was being fondly sucked by a man, whose name I didn't even know. This thought was so unconscionable, that it plunged me over the edge into oblivion.

It seems my mother was right in her concerns, about a career in the Navy.

And later that watch, I made my third, and most serious error of judgment.


Rest of the watch went by quiet 'nough. I wasn't surprised that he managed to make 'isself scarce from my presence, anytime we was both on the same deck that night. But I was a fair bit apprehensive when he called me to the helm, just before the change of the watch.

"Mr. Gibbs," he says to me, "I have found your conduct this watch to be exemplary. I wish to commend you on your performance."

I tugs at my brow and keeps silent, and wonders what mischief he's contemplating for me. It's never, ever, a good sign if the officer takes notice of ye afterwards.

"I understand you've extensive experience as a gunner's mate. I would very much appreciate a greater understanding of the ship's complement of ordnance. Would you be willing to tour me around the guns and ports, at your convenience?"

An' I permits meself just a bit of a smile, and replies, "I'd be honored, Leftenant."

"Very good. That will be all." But then he calls to me again, as I retreat, "Oh, Gibbs? What's your Christian name?"

"Joshamee, sir," says I, "after me mother's father." An' there was just a wee bit of a smile in his curt nod there, I recall.

Well now. This was likely to be as inneresting a voyage as I'd ever set sail on, land or sea.


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