Categories > Movies > Pirates of the Caribbean > The Promise of Redemption

Chapter 6: Oh, What Tangled Webs

by Pink_Rapid 3 reviews

Oh, what tangled webs we weave, and what bedraggled hair we leave. Will a late night, a mirror, and a brush cause ends to fray, or transform unruliness into something new?

Category: Pirates of the Caribbean - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Humor, Romance - Characters: Norrington, Other - Published: 2006-11-05 - Updated: 2006-11-05 - 1393 words

Author's Note: Okay, so, maybe not that linear. But I am going to finish this fanfic, by God! Not much to say, really, except enjoy!


A haze slowly drifted through Juliana Bryar's mind as she felt her weary, heavy eyelids begin to open. Whimpering in confusion, she glanced around at the darkness of her room. As slumber's fog began to clear from her mind, she heard irate, indistinct grunting. Glancing over at her door, she saw a sliver of golden light shining from beneath, illuminating the wooden floor of her chamber.

Eyebrows knitting in confusion, Juliana slowly rose from her bed, brushing her hair from her face and walking groggily towards her door. Gently unlocking and opening it, she squinted into the seemingly harsh lamplight emanating from the other room.

"God Damned..." she heard James whisper harshly as he tried to tug a brush through his knotted hair. He grunted again in exasperation, the knuckles of his hands white with the force he was exacting on the comb.

"What are you doing?" inquired Juliana, rubbing the last remnants of sleep from her eyes and approaching him. He didn't grant her an answer as he finally reached his breaking point, whispering curses and releasing the brush, though it continued to dangle unceremoniously from his locks.

Sighing, Juliana walked back into her bedchamber. Returning with a mirror, she propped it on a small wooden end table near the sofa and dragged a chair over to rest directly in front of it. "Sit," she ordered him.

Avoiding her gaze, James refused to move. Shrugging, she approached him, wrapped her slender fingers around the handle of the brush and gave it a sharp tug. "Bloody Hell!" he cursed.

"Then get up and sit in the damned chair!" Juliana responded, continuing to tug the brush towards her, guiding him to the seat. Growling and cursing something foul, James sat heavily with a resounding thud.

Instructing him to stay there, she quickly fetched some scissors from a drawer and returned. Looking at him in the mirror, her determined gaze locked with his own stubborn one. "This is going to hurt, but keep your voice down and it'll be over in a moment."

James was about to ask what she meant when, without warning, she grasped the brush tightly at the head and yanked it away, successfully separating it - and more than a few hairs - from his knotted tresses. "JESUS!" he whispered harshly.

"Sorry," she apologized, not quite sounding sincere. "You're over the hump now, just let me take care of the rest," she assured, starting to work the brush through his hair, beginning at the ends.

"Like you took care of that?" he hissed, glaring daggers at her through the mirror.

Rolling her eyes, Juliana continued in silence, occasionally using the scissors to snip away particularly unruly nests. After a long hush, she said quite stately, "It won't do for you to be mad at me, you know."

James scoffed. "Would you rather I shower you with praise and thanks?"

Juliana laughed. "That'd be a start." A short pause followed, but her tone became more serious, "I do mean it, James. What say you to an accord? I'll not ask you of your past if you'll not get all in a huff over silly little things."

He glared, wincing slightly as she tugged on the roots of his hair. "It wasn't silly," he seethed, tone as cold as ice.

She sighed. "That's exactly what I mean. I may not have been silly to you, but in the end, losing your temper over something like that is just frivolous. If I don't know about it, don't be angry with me. If you don't want me to know about it, don't answer me when I ask and I vow not to push it. Does that sound agreeable?"

James muttered a nearly incoherent "Fine." and sat, arms crossed, while she continued to work, both of them in tentative silence. Deciding to test the waters, Juliana ventured by asking, "Do you mind telling me where you got that coat from?"

"I didn't steal it," he defended, tone clipped.

"Did I say you did? No, I'm merely asking," she replied, voice even. Its calmness disturbed him.

"It's just important," he replied, gazing stubbornly out the window. Juliana nodded, becoming mute as she maneuvered the brush through his hair.

Many minutes later, after she had cut away a rather nasty clump, she stood back to admire her handiwork. "Half done," she assured, sounding proud.

A short pause ensued before James couldn't help but ask, "Why?"

"Why?" Juliana echoed, fancying him mad. "Because I finished this half."

James rolled his eyes. "Why go to all this trouble for a sloppy drunk?" he asked, though he didn't consider himself one, as his appearance in the mirror looked rather sharp. Well, the left side, at least.

Juliana shrugged. "If I don't, who will?"

"I can take care of myself," he said, though not sounding as bitter as before.

Smiling, she motioned to the rather large, unappealing pile of knotted hair and snapped bristles resting on the end table. "I can see that."

"I would have gotten it eventually," he said through gritted teeth.

Allowing herself a light chuckle, Juliana picked up the scissors. "James, you'll come to see that some things," she snipped away the last resilient knot and smoothed his hair with the brush, regarding him the in the mirror, "require a woman's touch."

Looking his reflection over, James decided he looked a glimmer like his old self. Besides the rascal's beard, he appeared a touch dashing. "I daresay," Juliana interrupted his thoughts, "that you'll make quite the dandy without that beard."

He groaned, turning around to watch her as she put away the scissors. "Are you going to shave me, too?" he asked in disdain.

Juliana smiled, enjoying his sarcasm. "It's a tempting offer, James, but I think you'll manage on your own."

She soon brought over a bowl of water, a brush, a crude blade, and some cream. "Where did you get all this?" he inquired.

"Bloke friend of mine had a few extras lying about and permitted me use of them," she looked at the tools, hands on her hips, "or you, rather."

At the mention of a male friend, James couldn't help but feel his gut turn. Ignoring the unfamiliar sense in the depths of his stomach, he turned towards the mirror and quickly got to shaving, not bothering to mutter a thank you.

"I'm going back to bed, James," Juliana said, stretching her arms into the air and yawning. In the mirror, her charge took the time to notice how, at some point in time, the top button of her dress had slipped out of its loop. The result was a slightly more than modest view of her bosom.

"Ow!" James cursed, nicking himself out of distraction.

Rushing over to grab a cloth and return, she dipped it into the water and pressed it to his cheek where a spot of blood had formed. "I suppose you're out of practice," she mused.

James huffed, though unable to ignore the light brush of her hand on his cheek and the proximity of her slowly rising and falling chest. "I can take the rest, thank you," his words were rushed as he quickly secured the handkerchief himself, his fingers resting on hers for only a moment before she withdrew her hand.

She grinned a smile that finally reached her eyes. "Why, James, did you just thank me?"

Concentrating hard on his reflection in the mirror and continuing to shave, James told her she was mad and that her ears must be stuffed with cotton.

Juliana shrugged. "They aren't, but they might as well be, considering the roosters will be up soon. Good night, James. Get some sleep." She offered a small, half hearted wave before disappearing behind her door.

Her ward heard the familiar click of the lock and stared intently at his face in the mirror, searching for answers. His expression was solemn, his mouth pressed in a thin line. "Something is not right with that woman..."

Remembering the mention of the man who had leant her the shaving tools, James could feel an anger rise in him again, setting his insides to churning. "Either that, or something is not right with me..."
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