Red & Gold

By L.M. Griffin

The first image that came to Theodore Groves's mind whenever he bit into the juicy roundness of a peach was Andrew Gillette's hair.

A strange comparison, to be sure, but that was the case. Had anyone ever asked the young second lieutenant to explain it, (not that they would, for this was a private contemplation, not to be shared with others) all he would be able to answer with was a smile and a shrug.

In his mind, however, the litany of thoughts that would run through the moment the word 'peach' was mentioned always ended in one thing; the brush of softness against my lips, the sweet and the tart smell, the glorious colour that flushes all around - tantalizing russet that was nearly purple but curved to crimson-orange, beautiful, rich, full...Andrew's hair...

Of course, as was Navy custom, Gillette's hair was not the kind which drifted down beyond his shoulders. Rather, in a case of vanity that Groves and even their superior and friend, Commodore James Norrington, indulged in, his hair was a few inches longer than the stubble that most officers kept their hair at. The three often joked amongst themselves that they were the 'popinjays' of His Majesty's Navy. Norrington's dark hair was so long, it neatly flopped over his eyebrows when it was let loose. Groves's dark-brown strands had a bit of curl to it, keeping it from his face, but Gillette's hair... it was a thing of beauty.

Wavy, glorious red, which swept away from his narrow face. The sort of hair a man wanted to bury his hands into.

And it always smelled of peaches.


Andrew Gillette loved peaches.

He loved their taste, their smell, the way they felt in his hand, round and perfect.

He loved to watch Theodore Groves eating them.

He loved to watch the sharp straight teeth biting into the soft, sweet yellow flesh. Loved to watch the juices gather around the corners of those full lips. Loved the gleam of bright pleasure in those dark eyes, the flush of pleasure to the already sun darkened skin. He would wait to eat his half, savouring merely the pure and unadulterated (sinful? sensual? somewhere in-between?) pleasure of Theo suckling his half of the peach.

Tradition demanded they split the peach in half, for the first peach they ever shared as midshipman with just enough halfpennies between them to afford the one piece of luscious fruit. But the first time Andrew watched Theo bite into one, he was always filled with the desire to let him half the entire peach to himself, just so he could watch.

Perhaps taste. Taste the juice from Theo's lips.

No. No tasting. No such thoughts. No such dirty and disgusting thoughts ever left his mouth, ever transformed themselves into filthy actions.

He never, however, stopped loving peaches.


If love tasted of peaches, hate tasted of apples. Green apples. Green as James's eyes.

Theodore turned away from the soft laughter being shared between the Commodore and his First Lieutenant. Turned away from that hand, that Commodorial hand, resting on Andrew's shoulder as they all sat on the Fort Charles's wall, taking a moment to themselves. A private moment, with wine, and apples.

He glowered at the Hand. So comfortable. So smug in its possession of that shoulder. Why did the Commodore always have to touch Andrew? Couldn't he just keep those long fingers to himself?

There was the soft sound of crunching, and Theodore turned his gaze long enough to see James availing himself of his favourite kind of fruit. Tangy, sweet-sour smell of apples filled the air. James caught him looking, and then gestured down to the small satchel. "Help yourself, gentlemen."

Theodore watched as Andrew bent over to snag one (did he have to grab it so fast? So eagerly? What else of James's did Andrew grab hold of so intently?), something in his throat tightening as he watched Andrew's pink lips encircle a bite of apple, and dig into it.

He turned his head away, his voice light, his mood black as midnight. "No thank you, James. I have no taste for apples."

They tasted like betrayal. Like spurned lust. Like jealousy and a belly filled with rage.


Hate also tasted like rum. Molten-rage in a bottle, golden like the glint of a bared sword at daybreak. Like a pirate's rich mouth.

Like a certain pirate's rich mouth.

Andrew scowled off into his cup of ale as Theodore swung his hands in a near-perfect impression of Jack Sparrow. Theodore swiveled his hips (enticing, weren't they, with that little wiggle? Just to grab, and hold in place, and shift and grind and ...), imitating the pirate's near-drunk swagger, moving about like a dizzy whore. The other officers laughed as Theodore regaled them with his tale of his latest 'crossing of swords' with the infamous Captain Sparrow.

Why did Theodore need to admire the man so? Didn't it occur to him that the man was a thief and a brigand? It was as the Commodore said (although who knew what he believed, nowadays), one good deed did not clear a man of a lifetime of wickedness. Andrew watched as Theodore's fingers curled again in that Sparrow-esque way (had those browned hands touched other browned skin? Had wig come off to make way for those clever fingers to dance through the short dark curls?), grinning with a mouth lacking in gold.

From across the pub, the smell of rum wafted.

Andrew growled under his breath and slammed his fist into the heavy wooden table. Imagining a smirking golden face beneath his fist instead of the scarred surface before him.

Rum and hate were a potent concoction that made a man's blood overflow with poison.


Nothing stays hidden forever.

Not treasures. Not haunted islands.

Not hidden desires or jealousies.

Sooner or later, when you least expect it, they all come out of the blue, as if they were there waiting for you all along.


The sky opened up on the day that Andrew found the wine.

The peach wine.

Hiding amongst Theodore's things in his desk.

It was an unintentional find, to be sure. Andrew had come for ink, and instead found liquor. Corked in a clear glass bottle, with a crooked red ribbon around it.

He blinked at it, at the unforgettable smell of peaches, clinging to the air as it smacked him figuratively in the nose. For an absurd moment he smiled. Theodore must have remembered his birthday, then. A fine gift, to be sure. Something that showed thought and content. A nice quiet bottle of wine to share with a friend (watching the bright wine-flush that would come over Theodore's face, the brightness to those dark eyes, wine clinging to those full lips...)

Then he noticed the card. The card in an unfamiliar scrawl, but with a very familiar name on the bottom.

Nassau was lovely and quite lewd. Thinking of you.

~CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow

The bottle of ink slipped through Andrew's fingers, crashing to the floor.

Nassau. Lovely. Captain Jack Sparrow.

Captain Jack Sparrow.

The floor was splattered black, swirling with the black thoughts comes from Andrew Gillette's mind, and he clutched the peach wine to his chest, his dark eyes going quite bright as he held it protectively. Willing the sweet peach essence to be his, his, HIS and no-one else's.

Notes however, written in a bold and brash hand, don't lie.

He stared down at the bottle for a long moment, and his dark eyes, so filled with anguish, instead filled with an unholy determination.. The peaches were his, and Jack Sparrow would not have them. In any way, shape or form. All he had to do was wait. There was no way this bottle was meant to be shared alone. Oh no.

Patience. Patience and the peach-thief-pirate would come to him.


The main marketplace of Port Royal was a bustle of activity when Theodore ran into his commanding officer's housekeeper, Mrs. Gardiner. She bobbed her head respectfully, he bowed in turn. Conversation switched to their purchases after social pleasantries. She inquired why he would need so many peaches, and he laughed a little, fighting the flush of his cheeks as he explained it was Andrew's birthday the day after next (Andrew's dark eyes lighting up as he opened the sack, pulling out the peach that brought out the brilliant contrast in his hair..).

Her gaze brightened, and she patted her basket, filled with apples, as she stated cheerily, "Well now it makes sense! I wish I had known he liked peaches instead, but Commodore Norrington would insist on apples."

Something in Theodore's chest squeezed, as he put an entire question into one little word, "Oh?"

She nodded her head cheerily, "He said there was a special dinner to be had, a private one, and he begged me, sweet man that he is, for a batch of my apple turnovers. Since I know they're for Lieutenant Gillette, I'll make them extra crispy. That's how he likes them, yes?"

Theodore's smile froze on, like a painting, as he nodded his head, and dipped his head, stating his business elsewhere. As he walked away, his buckled shoes clicking against the cobblestones, his head pounded out a rhythm of thought.

James. Apples. James. Special dinner. James. Andrew. Apples. Special Dinner.

Someone roughly brushed his shoulder and he started from his nightmare reverie to stare up blankly at the sign above his head. A pub, he couldn't even contemplate which one, but he entered nevertheless.

He would take a drink. One drink. Three drinks. Perhaps five.


Anything. Anything to drown out the litany.


Scrape. A loud clang that sounds like hook scraping against stone.

Then a soft muttering, a voice in turns aggravated and oddly affectionate, "...cannae have an office on the bloody ground floor of this bloody Fort, oh no, that'd be too simple. Then leavin' me notes, tellin' me to meet him at home so I have t'go and get the bottle of wine back... how in the name of Hell did I do this last time?" One hand curled around the window frame, brown and dirty, and its mate followed a moment later, and start hauling the arms, the lean and rough body, up and over the frame.

The lean frame dressed in a long dark frockcoat that has seen better days.

Breeches, somewhat dirty, and long brown boots, scuffed but well worn in. A white shirt framing brown skin that's marked with the sun, surf, and ink.

Brown skin that stretches sharply over the features of a dark-eyed devil's gaze and golden smile as the interloper grins to himself. "Ah, right. Last time I had a bit more rum t'me..." There is a pause, a stop, and then that dark gaze narrows. Wary, stepping down into the office, crouching ever so slightly.


The man pursues his slightly chapped lips, before shrugging and moving towards the desk. He sniffed the air as he cracked open the drawer he had left the liquid ambrosia in, and frowned.

...Peaches? Why in the world did he smell peaches? Had he not -- he pulled out the wine bottle. He had. The wrong damned bottle, atop everything else and ...and ...quite a bit lighter than it should be, wasn't it? He sloshed around the contents, frowning.

Then just barely ducked out of the way when the sword slashed down where his hand was, and imbedded itself into the desk. He blinked at the sword. Then blinked up at the man attempting to pull the imbedded blade out from the wood. Jack cleared his throat. "Your aim seems a bit off t'day, Lieutenant Gillette."

His usually pale freckled face pink with wine and exertion, Andrew growled deep in his throat, before slurring out, "Cap'n Jack Sparrow, t'day is the day you are going to rememb'r as the day when I sliced you open like a melon and let yo'r rotten innards spill all ov'r this office."

Jack Sparrow observed the darkened expression of the naval officer, licked his lips and attempted an innocuous grin. "Oh... goody?"


Very few things could pull James Norrington away from his paperwork once he started - especially when he was seeing the end of the reports before him. He was down to the last five, humming some nonsensical tune under his breath as he put his quill to parchment paper, sketching out his signature in a neat hand.

Splat. His chin jerked up.

Splat. Green eyes moved towards the window, and widened at the yellow, smashed, dripping marks left on the clear glass.

Splat. Splat. He was on his feet, moving towards the door of his study, down the front hall of his modestly sized home, and out into the expansive grounds.

Splat. His shoes crunched on the gravel path. The hour was late, the servants all gone to bed, and he was merely up whiling the hours away until his visitor arrived. If it was ruffians he would hopefully scare them off. If this was his visitor, then they would have words. He gritted his teeth together as he swung around the last corner, growling out, "For. God's. Sake! Most people just throw rocks at a window to get someone's attention, you damned... Theodore?"

Theodore tilted his head back, the light from the study window catching his flushed face as he looked at James, and smirked broadly. "H'llo James."

"Theodore -- what in the name of hell do you think you're doing on my grounds in the middle of the night?" James frowned. Theodore was disheveled, his wig and hat askew, a bag of... whatever he had been throwing in his grip. "And you've been drinking far beyond your limits."

"The devil you say." Theo slurred, weaving just slightly.

"Theodore, you can barely stand up straight, and you are as red-faced as an apple," James noted, taking a few cautious steps towards him.

Theodore blinked down at himself. "Well, yes. I do seem to be wobbling. Very keen of you to notice, James. You have such an attention for detail, don't you?" His expression lifted, fixing on James. Darkened rage flickered over his normally handsome and relaxed features. He then reached into the bag, his voice lowering, "...However, I am sober enough to throw in a straight trajectory. So do be a good fellow, Commodore, and Don't. Move."

James opened his mouth to protest, and found to his dismay, that he was being fired upon.

With peaches.


The smell of rum and nervous sweat had filled the air.

"Now. Lieutenant!" Sparrow huffed, darting around the desk once more. "Surely there's a deal that we can -- ah, ah, ah! Sharp sword! Shaaaaarp! Watch where you're swingin' that thing!"

"Stand. Still!" Andrew snarled, lurching around the other way, the gleam of his blade as bright as the gold in the pirate's mouth. "Do you think you can just come here and take what's mine, you... you....!" He began to scream French insults, "Sale le fils d'un chien de chou femme malpropre!"

Incomprehensible French insults, mind.

Sparrow stopped for a moment, confusion warring over his sharp features. "First of all, what in the world would I ever be touchin' of yours, mate? And second ... what in the name of Neptune are you blabberin' about? 'Cabbage ....unclean' whaaaat? I don't think y'put much thought into what you're sayin', lad."

"Shut ....Up," Andrew growled, swinging his sword towards Sparrow's head, missing it utterly and getting it stuck into the wood of the door frame most solidly. "What makes you think you have any right to him? He's one of the finest men I know and you .. you're nothing but a dirty, low-born bastard PIRATE!"

The change over Sparrow's face was chilling. The buffoon gone and nothing but the man remained, his stance went from languid to predatory. "So this is what this is about then, eh? I wondered when this would happen." Golden teeth flashed into a sneer. "Never thought it'd be you, tho'. Always struck me as too stiff in the breeches. But maybe that's your problem. Maybe you jest couldn't get him, b'cause he's a man who likes to know there's more under the clothes than a stiff rod up one's ar --"

He never finished, as Andrew's fist swept up and hit that golden mouth as hard as he could. Jack slammed back into the wall, his bravado and his words pushed right out of him. For a moment, there was no sound, save the heavy breathing of two shocked individuals - Sparrow felt his jaw as if it were made of glass, dancing fingers across swiftly swelling flesh, and Andrew stared at his fist as if it were not part of his body, as if it had moved of its own purport.

He looked at his fist another moment, before his ebony gaze locked with Sparrow's tiger'eyed one. "...He's entirely too good for you. Theodore is ten times the man you'll ever be, and you don't deserve him."

Sparrow struggled upright, a glare fixing over those sharp features, "Yes, well, why don't we just let him..." He stopped. Cocked his head in that confused Sparrow way, like the bird of name, and spoke once more, clearly baffled, "Wait ... who?"


"Teddy! TEDDY! For the love of Christ, would you stop throwing those damned things and just - !" James threw up his hands to ward off another amazing accurately aimed peach at his head. "Just Listen To Me! I don't understand what you're talking about!"

"I thought I made it abundantly clear, James," Theodore growled, pitching his arm back and lobbing another peach in the direction of the Commodore's head. "I won't have you taking what's mine!" Another peach. "Mine always!" One more, for good measure. "Mine... because... He Isn't Yours!"

James stopped dead, staring at Theodore openmouthed at his last words, while the three peaches hit him in succession. One splattered against his shirt. Another smashed against his wig, throwing the entire hairpiece off his forehead, but it was the one that hit him in the eye that sent him flying back down to the ground.

The silence was heavy, and the air was filled with the smell of ripe peaches as Theodore Groves gaped at the fallen form his commanding officer.

Who heaved a heavy, put upon sigh, and barked out from his position flat on his back, "Second Lieutenant Groves, drop your peaches and Stand Down."

The bag hit the ground with a soft thump.

"Now. You are going to tell me, Mister Groves, why it is that you feel the need to throw fruit at me to defend... whomever it is you are defending." There was that undeniable Commodorial growl.

Theodore was sobering much faster than he wanted to. "Yes sir."

"You are Also going to tell me who I am not allowed to have." James sat up, scowling as he wiped peach from his face, and winced a little as he prodded at his eye. "If it is who I think it is, he and I are going to be having a long conversation about his jealous lovers coming to see me at my home. Again."

"...Andrew has... other lovers?" Theodore said quietly, the slow stab hitting him deep. God, how much more of this could he take?

Green eyes rested on him, hard like emeralds one moment, soft like velvet the next. "I don't know, Theodore. I've never bedded Andrew." He pushed himself to his feet slowly, letting out a little groan. "In any way, shape, or form. I do not want to have him, either. What I want is this - a drink and an explanation. In that order."

"Yes sir. It's a long... story, however." Theodore breathed out, rubbing the back of his neck.

"Start at the beginning. It's a good place for all things." James swept more peach mush off his face.

Theodore leaned down to pick up the satchel, murmuring quietly, "It started with peaches, sir."


"That's an extremely sappy story, mate. Practically a bloody novella.." Sparrow huffed from his cross-legged seat on the floor, handing the bottle back again, its contents severely dilapidated. "Shakespeare's written less angst."

"You asked for the story, Pirate, and that's it," Andrew slurred, glowering at him as he took it, filling himself mournfully with the peach wine, letting it burn down his throat (biting, biting down on the peach, oh god Theodore please bite...).

"Well, it's hardly over now, is it? You've confessed, as it were, now it's time for the big bald-ay-ral endin', so to speak." Sparrow moved his hands like fluttering butterflies.

Andrew was caught in the motion, so it took him a moment to respond, "Hm? And what sort of ending is that?"

"Why, the draaaaa-mat-icakal love confession, mate," Sparrow stated, those butterfly fingers taking flight.


"You're mad," Theodore proclaimed, slumping further in the soft divan, staring up at James with wide disbelieving brown eyes.

"Listen man, despite the fact you have assaulted me with soft fruit objects, I am giving you sound advice." James sipped his brandy, wincing a little as the bruise about his eye swelled a bit more.

"You do realize that you are promoting sodomy amongst your men?" Theodore asked dryly, (pushing into that pale hot flesh, red hair between his fingers, yes you're mine, mine..)

"I am doing nothing but telling my officer to be honest with himself and his fellow officers. As long as you don't try to throw him down and give him ye old yardstaff, I doubt he will call the constabulary on you," James responded, leaning his tall frame against the fireplace.

"Yes, but how in the world do I say something like this?" Theodore put his glass down. It clicked against the oak table, loud as his own fears.


"...Say? SAY? There's no sayin' anywhere in this, mate. Oh, there might be words later on, but those will mostly be curses and pleasant things said in the heat o' the moment." Sparrow smirked. "No, no. This is going t'be all eyes meetin', and there won't be anything TO be spoken. B'cause if it's right, you'll just know."

"Just know?" Andrew's head lolled to the side in confusion. "What, like instinct?"


James shook his head negatively. "No. It's more than instinct. It's... you've lived through the storm and the squalls that followed which make up your life. You look up, the sky's suddenly clear, and you've found the shore. You've found that safe haven in that other person's eyes, and you didn't have to say a word." The fire illuminated the gentle smile tugging on the serious mouth. "You're home."

Theodore pursued his full lips together, fingers pulling at the gold brocade running down his jacket. "...Is it worth all that? Is it worth all the risks?"


Sparrow waved his hands in exasperation and feeling, glowering at Andrew, "O'course it is! It's worth the possible hangings, and the being away so long from one another so long you feel like pulling off his skin and wrapping yourself in it... all bad imagery asides, because you've missed him for so long. It's worth all the fights when he screams at you for havin' your way with a few too many pretty vicious faces who have left too many pretty, vicious marks in their wake. Not because he's jealous, mind, but because every time you let someone into your bed that hurts you... that's one more time he can't protect you, and the scars you gain are as much his as they are yours..."


"..All the nights where you don't know where he is, where he is going, if you're ever going to see him again. And if you do see him - if he's going to get angry at you for talking of marrying one of the fine social ladies. Or he is going to understand, finally, that it isn't that you don't love him enough. But that your love won't produce a son to follow in your footsteps that he can teach all his wicked pirate ways, or a daughter who will laugh, and sing his silly song and wear all his pretty jeweled presents in her hair.." James trailed off, smiling a little more. "It's worth it. Worth everything."

"...Then I should go," Theodore said finally, pushing to his feet, wiping his suddenly sweaty palms upon his breeches.

"A moment, Teddy. I did have a present for Andrew - and I think... it will be better coming from you." James also rose to his feet, heading off towards the door. Teddy spent the next few moments in confused silence, until James returned with a carved wooden box, wrapped in red ribbon. "I think you'll find the contents ... useful."

"Useful?" Theodore blinked down at the box, opening the lid and staring at the contents for a long moment, before raising an eyebrow at the other man. "And just how useful is pastry going to be?"

"Trust me." James put his hand on Theodore's shoulder with a knowing look, "There is no way to overcome horribly awkward romantic adversity -- without pie."


The parapet atop Fort Charles. High above, it watched, silent sentinel to the waves and the ships that sailed to and fro from the ocean and back again. It was a scene of great dramatic import -- all the greatest local gossip surrounded it. Love given, love taken away, fainting damsels and falling fiends, it was almost as though it had become part of a great love story that had yet to end, or rather, parts of love stories that had just begun.

Now it was faced with a young hopeful lover, leaning against the cool stone, musing as he looked off to the darkened water. The sentry had gone past him a moment ago, surprised to see Lieutenant Gillette sans his wig and hat. Just a look from the officer sent the young marine moving along, nary to return for a good hour or so.

Or at least, that was what Andrew thought, as he turned to bark a sharp order, "I thought I told you... Theodore."

The other Lieutenant offered a hint of his brash smile, clutching a sack and a box under one arm, the other holding his hat in a death grip. He didn't meet Andrew's eyes right away, instead looking towards the water. A pleasant evening, is it not?"

Words fluttered through Andrew's mind as he took a step closer, watching Theodore's hands grip, then release. Sending a quiver up his spine, hot flashes in his stomach. Finally the words exited his mouth, "Indeed. Quite lovely - I came to get some fresh air before I..." (throw myself at your mercy, please don't hate me, don't hate me for wanting you..) "I went home."

"It's a pleasant night for walking home," Theodore said, still not looking at him, and flashes of panic ran across Andrew's vision. He moved a little closer, as the man spoke again, "I came looking for you. At your office. You weren't there."

Embarrassment flushed over Andrew's face, as he thought of the confrontation with Sparrow in Theodore's own office. He wondered where the pirate had gone, after slipping out of the window once more. That thought is hijacked by the panic again, as Theodore twitches once more, and he fumbles for an answer, moving closer. "I came out here. I needed some time alone."

"Really..." Theodore let out a breath, parting bitten reddened lips, as Andrew drew up, stock still. Theodore's brown eyes rested on his, and he saw... everything. The storm, the shore, the light in the windows. He was home, and he knew Theodore saw the same thing, because the other man straightened, his voice dropping to husky welcome, "Aren't you ever tired of being alone?"

The question was there. The answer was this.

"Yes." A whisper, a murmur, and then Andrew's arms were wrapped around the other man's shoulders, their lips crashed together, and then it was tasting. Tasting of heaven and warmth, salty tang and by god, peaches. Sweet, sweet peaches.

Andrew's lips parted as he suckled down Theodore's eager tongue, burrowing himself into smell, and the taste, and the man.

Later, neither one of them would remember how they managed to stumble through the streets, lips parting then meeting again in the darkened back alleys of Port Royal, Andrew's hands roaming wherever they could. Theodore moaned all the way to Andrew's home.

The journey to the bedroom was even more interesting, trying not to make noise, trying to touch, trying just to not knock anything over. When the door was finally shut and locked, Theodore broke away to put aside the things that had been getting in the way - his hat, the deflated sack, and the box ... the box he placed with reverence on the bed.

Andrew shucked aside his coat, hat and wig across his dresser, auburn curls tossed, his face pink and ebony eyes bright. His sharp cheekbones arched into one of his smiles, touched with curiosity. "What's that, there?"

Theodore's light brown fingers tugged at his wig, releasing the dark curls. Andrew watched, fascinated, as he tossed them a little. Theodore finally lifted his head, giving Andrew a wicked, brilliant smile as he crooked one finger. "Come over here and see."

Andrew moved forward, his breath quickening, freckles disappearing as his flush deepened. He sat delicately next to Theodore, who put the box between them, and opened it. Andrew looked down, tilting his head in what Theodore considered a completely adorable way, frowning. "...Pastries?"

"Pies. Little pies. Little peach pies," Theodore said solemnly, picking up one of them, and the wicked smile of his appear again as he stuck his finger through the flaky crust, his other hand moving up to pull loose Andrew's neckcloth. Andrew trembled, just a touch, as those brow fingers unbuttoned his collar, and slid, cool flesh against warmed skin, the shirt away from his throat. Theodore's brown eyes were dark with concentration and something more feral as he lifted his finger out of the pie, and gently spread a trail of sticky peach and sweet golden crust along the line of Andrew's neck. He lowered his mouth, nipping his way up gently, as Andrew let out a low moan.

Theodore grinned broadly, dipping his finger down into the pastry again, but before he could spread it across Andrew's pulse point, Andrew's hand gripped his wrist, and he blinked, meeting Andrew's eyes. The other man's dark eyes glowed, as he murmured, "I want a taste."

Theodore's throat constricted, as Andrew brought his dripping finger to his perfect pink mouth, wrapping his lips and tongue around the single digit. Suckling it down, the too-tight pull reaching right through his hand and down to his groin, Theodore muttered guttural curses, his free hand clutching Andrew's breech-covered thigh, rubbing hard. Andrew opened his eyes, his gaze filled with wicked knowing, making Theodore growl deep in his throat.

He pulled his finger from that teasing grinning mouth of Andrew's, pushing the pie-box across to the safety of the far side of the bed. He pounced, pushing the slighter man down to the bed, attacking his buttons with a single-minded intensity, "You think you can tease me like that, Mon-sieur Gillette?"

Andrew shrugged out of vest and shirt, slender fingers working on Theodore's own clothes, "I think I can tease you any way I want." His hand slid down the front of Theodore's breeches, finding his cock. Grasping firmly, he stroked Theodore to wide-open groans, watching with fascination as the sweat gleamed from that perfect golden skin. He murmured pretty French softly, still stroking, his mouth coming to tease one darkened nipple with the mouth Theodore wanted to possess. Struggling, struggling to make out the words muttered across his skin, as he finally buried one hand in those red curls, the other palming the growing bulge in Andrew's own pristine white breeches.

Stroke, unbutton, stroke, tug, listen, stroke, tug more, listen to the breathy words caressing his too-hot skin, free both hands as they struggled together to get out of the last of their clothing, listening, stroke the heat, stroke, biting down on that sweet peach tasting mouth, stroke, away from the mouth, stroke, perfect white flushed skin, stroke, listening to that beautiful passion-hoarse voice mutter, "Je t'aime, Ted-dy - je t'aime..."

Pulling up that flushed face to meet his own, their lips dancing over each other's skin, Theodore murmured in a phrase he learned long ago, from a lovely French lady who took pity on a young virginal midshipman. One he never thought he would use, but now did with abandon, "J'ai envie de toi..."

Andrew froze, his arms tightening around Teddy's own lithe form, breathing out softly, "...Really?"

Theodore mouthed the fine line of Andrew's jaw, wriggling bare skin against bare skin, making them both quiver. "Really...really."

In response, Andrew gripped Theodore's bare hips, rolling him unto his back. He pressed kisses against Theodore's eager lips, and as Theodore's eager hands ran down his chest, tweaking his rose-coloured nipples, he aligned their cocks against one another.

Thrusted, met Theodore's thrust, thrusted again, buried himself into the warmth, felt Theodore's hands bury into his hair, thrust, slide, thrust, harder yes harder, thrust, hot skin, hot touch, hot mouth, biting down, thrust, thrust, thrust, have to have you god yes, thrust, thrust, thrust, bodies moving against one another, golden and pale white, perfect symmetry, rough salty taste of Theodore's skin, thrust, thrust against, hips banging into his, yes, yes, call of his name moaned against his throat, dark curls, thrust, dark eyes, thrust, dark want, thrust, dark tunnel with sparkling lights, thrust...

Explosion. Cannon-fire. Names torn from harsh screams. Collapsing, being held, being kissed. Long needed-to-be-heard words of love. More kissing.

The two men wrapped each other in their own bodies, warmth and contentment singing through their blood. As they floated towards sleep and dreams of each other, a sweet scent carried them off to Morpheus.

Peaches, sweet peaches, clinging to the air like the warmth of summer and the damp of spring. Peaches tasting of all the good things in life, and all the good things yet to come.



Epilogue -

The peach-coated window of James Norrington's study swung open, and a rum-soaked voice said into the firelit darkness, "Did y'know, James, that your office is the third to the left of the watchtower, and NOT to the right?"

One elegantly arched eyebrow raised in the face of the Commodore, comfortably slouched in his favorite chair. "Yes. Did you know I haven't been sleeping with Andrew Gillette?"

A jingle of the hair, as the pirate captain's head tilted with a soft chuckle, then a concerned question, "That one's fairly obvious, darlin'...What happened to yer eye?"

"The man who hopefully is, at this moment, sleeping with Andrew Gillette." A Naval-frown, staring at the face of the pirate captain, as the self-same pirate crept further into the room. "...What happened to your mouth?"

"Andrew Gillette." The pirate pouted, dropping on his knees and resting his dark head on the Commodore's (in his opinion) perfect lap, and whined, "Jaaaaam-es. I came all this way, 'n I got yelled at in French, and hit in French, and had to climb in and out of high windows ... 'n...'n... I've had a horr'ble evening. 'N I want pie. Piepiepiepiepie. Pie."

The Commodore's fingers traced around his own black eye, burrowing his free hand into the dark, jumbled (beautiful to the sight and to the touch) hair, petting soothingly, "I concur with that statement, and further proclaim we get cream with our pie, Jack. With just one addendum."

The pirate simultaneously perked, then frowned. "Aye? What's that, James?"

"Absolutely, in no circumstances whatsoever..." The Commodorial voice became like immovable stone as he stated, "Will we have peach pie. Never, ever, nev-er."

And the pirate captain, in one of his few moments of piety, pressed his hands together and said solemnly, "Bloody. Hell. No. A-men."

The Commodore relaxed back into James. "...Apple pie all right with you?"

Jack's golden grin was all the answer needed.



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