This Beautiful Skin
Disclaimer: I do not own them, 'cause if I did they'd be wearing collars with my name on them ^_~!
Pairing: references to slightly abusive Norri/Will
Notes: I think the job is getting to Norri, he's getting ideas worthy of Jack! See, he does have an imagination ^_^
Norrington had been sitting on the bed beside Will, mentally reviewing important documents in his head, when Will stirred around noon. Will sat up and crawled out of bed. He didn't even glance at Norrington as he began a frantic search for something beneath the bed. Norrington watched as the young man muttered to himself, rooting around and coming up empty handed.
Will's head snapped towards him, his eyes wide and glassy. "Where are my shoes?"
Norrington blinked. "I do not know."
"I need my shoes," Will muttered as he began searching under the bed once more. Norrington watched him before a thought finally bubbled to the forefront of his mind. It seemed that Will was a sleepwalker. Often when he was younger, soldiers would find him down on the docks fast asleep with no knowledge of how he'd gotten there. It had been a sort of a joke among the town's people as to where Will would end up next. It was often said that it wouldn't be long before the lad shipped himself off to China in his sleep. Will seemed to have grown out of it over time, but it appeared that the young blacksmith was once again sleepwalking. He had to somehow get the young man back in bed.
"William, come to bed," Norrington said softly, trying to coax the sleeping blacksmith back.
"I need my shoes, I have orders to fill. The shop will not run itself and Mr. Brown certainly won't run it," Will's voice was muffled from under the bed.
"You need to finish resting, you haven't even eaten."
"I cannot. We've no food anyway. Mr. Brown spent it on rum. That's why Mrs. Brown sailed off to visit her sister and never came back." Will's head popped up and he sighed, his head resting on the lumpy mattress.
"Are you hungry?" Norrington questioned. It was obvious the boy was quite thin. If he skipped a few meals, it wasn't hard to imagine him starving.
Will shook his head. "Even if I were, I have work I must do and I cannot find my shoes."
Norrington stood, a plan slowly spinning in his head. It was bizarre to be sure, but then, so was much in his life lately. "But you have an important meeting."
Will looked up, his eyes wide. "I do?"
"Yes, today you were to go to the Garden Tearoom," Norrington said as he opened the chest of clothes and began pulling out items.
"Who am I meeting?" Will asked.
"Me, we have many things to discuss, but first you must get ready." Norrington held up a dress.
"I...I need to get ready!" Will stood, picking up the items that Norrington handed to him. Will fumbled out of the nightgown and began and pulling the clothes on, mumbling softly to himself about being presentable for an important meeting. Norrington aided Will as his clumsy half-asleep fingers fumbled with the garters. He helped Will into the corset and pulled the laces the carefully, hoping the Will would stay asleep just long enough for him to get the young man dressed. "A little more," Will murmured, trying to suck his breath in as the dream figure of Norrington carefully pulled the lacings of the corset for him. Why Norrington was in his dream, he wasn't sure, but he easily let himself be manipulated into the clothing, sensing that it was important that he do so.
Norrington couldn't help but admire Will's form in the under-clothing. The clothing fit his thin frame quite well. Norrington had to pull his eyes away as he picked out a golden colored gown and helped Will into it. He wanted Will to look presentable for the crazy plan he had in mind. He was surprised at how cooperative Will was being. He decided that Will must be deep in the midst of some dream to allow him to dress him as he did. When Norrington finally got Will settled into the dress, he noticed a distressed frown on Will's face as he lifted the skirts and looked at his feet.
"What is wrong?"
Will looked up, his soft brown eyes hazy and wide. "My shoes."
"We'll get them on." Norrington assured.
"But we can't...you...you took it. You took the shoe," Will whispered sadly. He looked away, his hair falling into his face.
"I have it here," Norrington offered, pulling out the slipper and offering it to Will.
Will looked at it sadly, reaching out to run his finger over it, but not taking the slipper.
"It's not mine."
Norrington sighed. "I'm giving it to you."
"No." Will shook his head. "You can't own me."
Norrington frowned. What had gotten into him yesterday that he had the nerve to tell another human being he owned them? He set the shoe aside and carefully stepped forward, taking Will's fidgeting hands in his own. "William, I was wrong to say that. It is wrong for one person to own another. These were gifts, and giving them does not give one ownership over another person. If Elizabeth does not want them....and you will appreciate them more, then I give them to you freely. You owe me nothing, not even your respect as it seems that I am not worthy of it."
Will looked bewildered at the admission. He looked down at his hands, his thumb brushing over Norrington's knuckles. "It is too bad this is just a dream," Will murmured.
Norrington decided to bite the bullet. It appeared that he wouldn't get any more cooperation out of Will while he was in the midst of his dream, and stuck remembering the previous day's events. Norrington took a deep breath and squeezed Will's hands. "It is not a dream."
Will looked up. "It isn't?"
Norrington shook his head. "No, you are not dreaming. I am really here."
Will's eyes widened. His hands twitched before he pulled them away from the other man. "No!" He gasped, stepping back. "You…you cannot be here! This is just a dream."
Norrington shook his head. "I assure you that I am here."
"No, you are merely haunting my sleep." Will continued to back away, bumping into the bed. "You are not real." Will looked around wildly. "Jack, where's Jack? What did you do with him?! Jack? Jack! Where are you? What did you do with Jack?!" Will glared at Norrington accusingly.
"Jack has merely gone out to do laundry. He left you in my care." Norrington tried to explain.
Will would have none of it. "No. You must have done something with him! Jack wouldn't leave me. What did you do? You hung him didn't you! You hung Jack!" Tears started to pool up in Will's eyes as he backed himself against the wall, breathing far too quickly for Norrington's liking.
"I did not hurt Sparrow. I assure you he is only out on a chore and should be back shortly." Norrington cautiously approached Will.
"Why would he leave me with you?" Will demanded, his breathing harsh and sharp. He ignored the fact that his vision was wavering and tried to keep his eyes fixed on Norrington.
"Turner." Will flinched. Norrington frowned and tried again. "William, please calm down, you are going to faint if you keep acting this way."
Will looked at himself. "Why," he rasped, "Why am I dressed like this?"
Norrington edged closer. "If you just come over and sit on the bed, I'll explain everything. You must calm down though." Norrington insisted.
"I...I can't calm down." Will stuttered, his hand on his chest.
"Did I pull the lacings too tight?"
Will looked at the concerned expression on the Commodore's face and felt confused. "No, it's just right...I feel light-headed." Will murmured. Norrington closed the distance between them; he quickly wrapped his arm around Will and led the young man back to the bed. He set Will down and pulled a fan out of the chest of things, fanning Will lightly. Will looked up at the Commodore as though he'd suddenly sprouted wings. "Why are you doing this?" Will asked softly.
"I came here to apologize, but Sparrow left me to watch over you." Norrington explained. "He went off to clean up your clothes."
Will nodded, vaguely remembering throwing up all the rum from last night. "But why am I in this?" Will ran his hand over the soft gown and looked up at Norrington.
Norrington shook his head. "It was a silly notion, pay it no mind."
"No...no, you said...you said we were going for tea? An important meeting." Will said slowly, trying to remember the details of his "dream."
"Yes, I thought, I thought perhaps if I got you out of the Smithy, we could have a civil discussion. You seem a bit..." Norrington reached for a word. "You seem a bit underfed, so I thought perhaps I would treat you to tea as a sign of good will."
"You're not going to take me out in this and expose me are you?" Will asked warily.
"No. That hadn't crossed my mind. Please believe that my intentions were honorable."
Will frowned, his hand lifting to his bruised cheek. "I'm sorry, but I have a hard time believing that."
"I know," Norrington sighed. "My actions of yesterday were truly deplorable. I truly have no excuse for them and only hope that you can allow me to express my heart felt regrets." Norrington knelt down in front of Will. "Please allow me to treat you to tea. I know it cannot make up for my behavior, but perhaps I can prove to you that I am really not as horrible as the impression I left yesterday."
Will studied Norrington. The Commodore that he knew had always been a good man. He often put the needs of the many in front of his own needs and was often recognized for his kindness, even if he was a bit stiff at times. Everyone had a bad day. Perhaps yesterday was the Commodore's. Granted, if he had been trying to woo a lady and found someone parading around in the clothes that he'd given her, he'd probably react in anger too. Will chewed on his bottom lip trying to decide. Should he continue to stay angry with the Commodore and send him away, or hear him out? His stomach growled and he blushed. After a moment he looked up, resolved. "I've never had tea at the Teahouse before."
Norrington read the hesitant answer between those words. "Please allow me to escort you then."
Will nodded, slowly standing up. "I need to finish getting ready."
Norrington also stood from his kneeling position. "Yes, yes of course." He nodded nervously.
"Could you…could you please get out the perfume and powder? I have trouble bending over," Will admitted quietly.
Norrington moved to comply, taking out the box of French powder and the perfume he'd bought in hopes of replacing Elizabeth's over-powering floral scent. He handed them both to Will who thanked him quietly. He also fished out a fine silver hand mirror and matching brush. He walked forward and held the mirror up for Will as he began to apply the fine powder to his face. Norrington watched, with no little amount of guilt, as the dark handprint on Will's cheek was covered up leaving only smooth pale skin. Will reached out to adjust the mirror in the Commodore's hands as he began to powder his neck and chest, covering up the fine bronze color with the soft silky powder.
Norrington watched the transformation in amazement. It had taken him quite some time to figure out Will's identity the previous day. At first he'd thought that perhaps one of Elizabeth's maids had decided to go parading around in her mistress's finery, but once he had gotten Will settled in his study, a decidedly male moan had given foiled that notion. After a good hard look, Will's true identity away. He had been furious. It was as if something inside him broke at seeing his rival mocking him in Elizabeth's clothes. Even the pain of his hand connecting with Will's cheek hadn't brought him out of the red haze he fell in and the situation had plummeted from there.
"Can I please have the brush?" Will asked softly, snapping Norrington from his thoughts.
"Yes, sorry," Norrington handed Will the silver-handled brush. He watched as the young man brushed the tangles from his soft brown hair.
"I should put it up," Will murmured, looking around for a comb of some kind.
Norrington was about to say that he liked it down when he closed his mouth. It was a rather inappropriate comment. Besides, putting it up would mask its length. "I believe there are some combs," Norrington said, handing Will the mirror and going to search through the chest. He returned with a finely carved box, which he held out to Will. Will carefully opened the box, surveying the delicate collection of combs from within. "They came from China," Norrington explained.
"They're very beautiful."
"Those gold ones, with the red flowers, they look like they will match your dress," Norrington offered hesitantly.
Will nodded, pulling out the combs in question. Norrington laid the box aside and retrieved the mirror, holding it up for Will. Will carefully twisted his hair up, setting the combs in it to hold it aloft. He turned his head, watching the mirror. Norrington reached out to adjust one of the combs and Will looked away. A few hairs escaped to curl around his face. Norrington brushed one back lightly, but it fell back into Will's face. Will licked his lips nervously. Norrington drew back his hand at seeing Will’s unease.
"It looks perfect," he said quietly, needing to fill the silence.
Will nodded, surveying his reflection. His hand went to his throat. "A...a necklace, to cover..." he trailed off, lightly tracing his Adam’s apple.
Norrington moved to retrieve the requested item as well as picking up the shoes. As Will fastened the necklace around his neck, Norrington knelt in front of him, sliding his feet into the slippers. Will blushed and was glad that the powder would hide the color from showing through. As Norrington stepped away, Will stood, collecting a pair of gloves and sliding them on. Once again, Norrington was stunned by the transformation. If he hadn't seen it happen before his eyes, he'd have thought it some form of witchery. He swallowed hard, before he could find the words to set his plan in motion. "Are you ready?" He asked, hoping his voice didn't sound as scratchy to Will as it had in his own ears.
Will nodded and Norrington offered him his arm. Will looked up, confused.
"It is only proper when escorting a lady," Norrington explained.
Will blushed again, lowering his head he took Norrington's arm and let the Commodore escort him out of the Smithy.
To Be Continued...
Hmmmmm, now isn't this a fine twist? Well, I say it is, but then I am biased because I wrote it ^_^ Anyway, am I on the right track or have I fallen off my rocker? ...And since when am I in a rocker because last time I checked I was sitting in a computer chair o.o!