Fool's Knot

For missvaughan22 who requested the prompt L: a stolen kiss.

This is what happens when I browse knot books with a prompt in mind… ;)

I hope you enjoy!

Rating: T

Words: 1800, roughly

The past two nights Elizabeth had taken to the habit of joining Jack at the helm after supper. It was a small thing, and yet Jack found himself looking forward to it as the days wore on. He had longed for this girl in the most abstract way since their last parting, and yet he'd never really thought to ever see her again, and especially not as still a maiden. He enjoyed this time to the extent that his conscience—buggering meddlesome conscience—would allow.

He'd nearly kissed her earlier that day, in front of the whole crew. But the re-appearance of the black spot, and that goddamned inconvenient impulse to do the right thing, got in the way. Yet now it was dark and no one was watching, just he and Lizzy and the helm. He was a marked man who knew there was a rather good chance he would die—or be sent to the Locker—perhaps as soon as the morrow.

Lizzy leaned against the gunwale, twisting a length of rope into various patterns over and over. Determined, was Lizzy, to master the basics. At the moment she worked on the bowline, that most versatile of sailor's knots. Looked like she was getting quick at it too.

"How did you become a pirate, Jack?"

The question took him rather aback. It was a thing he rarely spoke of in detail. To cover his discomfort Jack took a long swig from his jug of rum, narrowing his dark eyes in Lizzy's direction. "What makes ye think I weren't always a pirate?"

She shrugged, turning those doe eyes up to his. Damn that look. It made him want to tell her everything, just for the novelty of being understood by one person on this forsaken Earth.

"No one was always a pirate, Jack."

Though he didn't exactly disagree, Jack took another swill of rum. It was not exactly the good stuff, and it burned all the way down. He winced a little. Fidgeted. Looked about.


"The fact is, Lizzy…"

Did he really want to open this proverbial can of worms? Really?

"Yes, Jack?"

"We have yet another thing in common, you and I."

Elizabeth straightened a little, looking upon him intently. "What's that?"

Oh, he had her now. He could tell, and he reveled a little in the power of it. "Not sure I want to tell you though..."

Immediately that indignant look crossed her fine features, and it was all he could do not to chortle in triumph. He loved her fire, almost more than her sweeter moments, few that they were. "But you must."

"Must I?"

Unable to contain herself, she left her place by the gunwale to stand nearer to him, which was not a bad development. "What is it?"

Jack pursed his lips, seemingly reluctant, and it wasn't completely for show. "It's not nice."


"Puts a bad taste in me mouth to speak of it."


He made a face as though to illustrate, and she rolled her eyes. "Jack!"

The pirate sighed heavily, secretly enjoying his one-woman audience on pins and needles. Frustrated, she turned on her heel to go, when finally Jack said, "Cutler Beckett."

"What about Cutler Beckett?" she spat, turning back to him, annoyed by his game.

Jack held up his arm, pointing to the P scar she knew lay beneath his sleeve. "He gave me this and left me for dead. After I…released his cargo."

"He branded you a pirate for throwing over tea and spices?"

Sadly Jack shook his head, ever so minutely. "People, love. Slaves. I set 'em loose and he didn't like it."

Understanding dawned upon Elizabeth then, the weight of it playing out upon her expressive features. Jack had risked everything for a good deed back then, much as he had risked his own freedom to pull her from the harbor the day she almost drowned. "Oh Jack." She took a step towards him, but he found he couldn't stand her sympathy. Anything but that. So he quickly changed the subject, looking down at the now forgotten piece of cord clasped in her hand.

"So, you master that knot yet?" he kept his tone light, even as it felt as though his insides were as twisted as her little piece of rope.

She knew it was a ploy, but she let him change the subject, for now. "I believe so, though it is slow going."

Jack shook his head, trinkets clinking, clucking his tongue with disapproval. "Then ye haven't mastered it yet," he assured her with all the authority of his station. "Ye have to be able to tie a knot like lighting in a pinch, me girl, with your eyes closed, t'say you've mastered it."

Frowning, Elizabeth held out the rope in challenge, telling herself that every time he used a little familiarity like Lizzy or love or me girl didn't melt her a little more on the inside. "Is that so? Let's see it then, Captain Sparrow."

With a mischievous glint in his eyes that Lizzy should have known to beware of, Jack accepted both ends of the cord, gave it a few practiced twists, and cinched.

"Jack!" she exclaimed, tugging at the infuriating bonds that had appeared like magic about her delicate wrists. "Untie me this instant!"

"Hmm. I rather like you this way," he confessed with a smile that glinted gold in the moonlight, looping her bound arms over his head. Heat flooded her cheeks—and other areas—as he brazenly pressed his body against hers, his hands loosely about her waist. She stared up at him with parted lips, equally horrified and intrigued, utterly unable to move.

What she did not know was that the bit of magic Jack had conjured with that rope was a fool's knot. A sailor's trick and unless further secured, a cinch that would fall away with any kind of dogged resistance.

Lizzy didn't seem to be resisting, though.

"Jack…we can't do this."

"Remind me why?"

She had to think rather hard about it, with Jack Sparrow an inch away from her nose. "Because…Will. I am engaged to Will."

There wasn't much force to her declaration, and she knew it, was painfully aware of her failure to defend her honor, her engagement, or her fiancé.

"True. But I don't see him here now." His hands raked up the sides of her ribcage, winning a gasp that was far more pleasure than righteous indignation. As he leaned down towards her, she suddenly knew two things with certainty: Jack Sparrow was going to kiss her, and she wasn't going to do a thing to stop him.

A part of her expected that he would be rough with her. That he would lean down and take her mouth with a punishing violence, like boarding a prize vessel. Take what you can and give nothing back.

In fact, he did the very opposite, brushing her lips lightly with his own, teasing her with that soft and full mouth that had no business on a man, much less a pirate. She gasped, and she was ashamed with herself for expecting Jack to be crude, as the rest of the world did, just because he was an outlaw. She of all people should have known that Jack would not take with violence what he could gain with persuasion, and perhaps a little of his own personal brand of subterfuge.

As she gasped her mouth opened beneath his, and Jack groaned, taking it as invitation. He simply could not resist sweeping inside her mouth with his tongue, exploring that moist, forbidden recess of her.


Elizabeth Swann.

He was kissing Lizzy, and if Davy Jones didn't kill him Will Turner surely would. As she moaned softly and siddled just a little bit closer Jack thought that maybe some things really are worth dying for.

It was a sweet kiss, simultaneously tentative and titillating. She was unschooled but determined, and Jack was fairly certain Will had never kissed her like this. It made him feel rather possessive of her, wanting to broach territory with the lass she'd never explored before, to own her first experience, to live forever in her memory at least.

Because more likely than not, he probably was going to die soon. How long could he keep running between the rain drops?

"Lizzy," he found himself whispering in her hair, against the shell of her ear, and the curve of her neck where he pressed kisses that burned her flesh like a brand. Surely everyone would be able to see the evidence of their passion tomorrow? "Say you'll remember ol' Jack when I'm gone? Promise me you'll remember this glorious night on the deck of the Pearl, and the way Captain Jack Sparrow kissed you?"

Elizabeth found herself gasping for breath, utterly incapable of respiration when Jack plied her this way.

"You aren't going to die, Jack," she assured him, and it left her lips as more of a moan than a properly spoken sentence. "I won't…I won't let you."

And she had no idea how exactly she intended to prevent it, but the conviction of her statement pulled a smile from Jack's lips.

She was so young.

His fingers found their way into her hair, and he kissed her again, this time without pausing to converse for quite some time.

Elizabeth hardly realized it as the knot loosened about her wrists, falling away to the deck. She only knew that her hands were now free to bury themselves in Jack's mane of dark hair, and explore the line of his broad shoulders and muscular chest. His physique was much different than Will's, wiry and angled to the blacksmith's youthful Grecian perfection. She wanted to memorize him, his every line, because she did in fact want to remember what it was like to kiss a legend like Jack Sparrow after all was said and done.

Not because he might die, of course. That was unthinkable. But because…she would surely marry Will at some point in the future, and she would need a good adventure and a stolen kiss with a pirate to look back on, when she was slaving away in their little cottage over laundry or bread or children, waiting for Will to come home from the forge.

Her grip tightened upon Jack with the thought, and uneasiness spread throughout her belly. Not because she had finally fallen so far as to snog with a buccaneer on the deck of the Pearl, but because she didn't want to stop. She didn't want any of this to stop. The kissing, or the sailing, or the mad-cap adventure or the chasing of the horizon.

A small sad smile tugged at the corner of Jack's mouth, as though he knew all too well her thoughts, as well as though they were his own. But he was in no position to make any promises, and so he simply squeezed her hand in his. "Tomorrow, love. We'll see what comes, tomorrow. Who knows? We might catch that horizon yet."

She laced her fingers with his, and sincerely hoped that they wouldn't. She was only now beginning to realize that the chase was the best part of the fun.