Chapter Seven: Crime and Punishment

A/N: Thank you to my lovely reviewers! As requested, this chapter features the lovely TARA as a cameo-er! (Finished it earlier than I thought! And to answer your other somewhat odd question- you mean Strawberry Shortcake the cartoon character? Ummm she's okay, I don't really care about her one way or the other. Might I inquire as to why you asked? lol)

Disclaimer: POTC is not mine and neither is Tara. I also don't own Crime and Punishment, I just stole the title for the title of this chapter.

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 Mr. Steele led all of us into his office and slammed the door tight behind himself. There were only three other chairs besides his own. Jack quickly claimed one and casually lifted his boots to rest on Mr. Steele's desk. Will, being a gentleman, offered a chair to Elizabeth and Carrie took the last one. I stood against the wall between Will and James, holding Jack-Monkey tightly in my arms.

 The glacial stare of Mr. Steele surveyed us silently for a few moments. Finally Jack let out a huge yawn, stretching his arms far above his head.

 "Listen, mate, is this is gonna take awhile? I have things ta do, ya know," Jack said.

 Mr. Steele glared at him. Any other student would have immediately turned to stone had that stare been directed at them, but Jack just looked right back at him with a bored expression.

 "Like what, pray tell?" Mr. Steele asked, folding his hands and leaning forward on his desk.

 "Like anything but waste my time with a scurvy dog like you," Jack replied, also leaning forward.

 "Well Mr. Sparrow, congratulations. You just increased punishment for yourself and all your little friends from ten hours of community service to fifteen. You can start immediately by going about school picking up trash and scraping the gum off the ground. I will come around to check on you periodically and for every time I catch you goofing off I will add another five hours to your total," Mr. Steele said.

 I let out a small sigh of relief. It wasn't as bad a punishment as I had expected. At least we would get community service credit towards our 32 hour graduation credit.

 "Furthermore," Mr. Steele said, and I winced, expecting the real punishment to follow. "You will also take turns serving detentions with Ms. Pearle, who will decide on individual punishments. Go in alphabetical order, starting now."

 "Sir, last names or first names?" Carrie asked timidly.

 Mr. Steele sighed, rolling his eyes heavenward. "I don't care, just get out of my sight!"

 We hurried from the office, pausing when we were far enough down the hallway that Mr. Steele had no chance of hearing our discussion. After some debate we decided to go in alphabetical order by first names, which meant Carrie was first. While she went to Ms. Pearle's classroom, the rest of us went outside to start our community service. We got trash bags and trash grabbers from the janitor's shed and started searching for trash.

 Jack found a nice shady tree to lean against and proceeded to take a nap with his hat over his eyes. I kept glancing worriedly around to make sure Mr. Steele wasn't around until I decided I had to tell Jack to get his lazy butt moving. I didn't want to spend the rest of my high school career picking up trash!

 "Jack," I hissed when I was closer to him. There was no response. I tried again, louder. "Jack!" Nothing more than a loud snore and a mumbled, "I'll meet ye in Tortuga."

 Recalling an episode during my jaunt on the Black Pearl, I leaned down real close and whispered, "Jack! They're going to commandeer the Pearl!"

 Immediately, Jack sprang to life. He reached for his sword, which we had stripped him of, then started letting out a string of curses before he noticed me standing there, totally unimpressed.

 "You! What ye be wantin', Liz?" he asked.

 "Look, Jack, Mr. Steele said we all have to pick up trash. If he catches you napping he's going to blow his top! We'll be stuck out here picking up trash until we're so old we need diapers!" I said, poking him in the chest for emphasis. He didn't seem to like that very much.

 "Not my problem," he shrugged, settling down again with his hat propped over his eyes. I let out a frustrated sort of yell and poked him with my trash grabber.

 "Jack, please! Have a heart for once!" I begged.

 "Pirates don't need hearts," he muttered.

 "Look at Will. He's sort of a pirate and he has enough heart to fall in love with a woman. Surely you have some shred of compassion left in you! Just pretend like you're doing something, as long as you're not sleeping!" I cried.

 Jack snored in response. I sighed, putting a hand on my head and looking skyward. "Why me?" I asked of a non-existent audience. Just then, my friend Tara came up to me.

 "Hey Liz, what's going on?" she asked, glancing at Jack curiously.

 "Tara, what are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be in class?" I asked.

 She held up a hall pass. "I saw you from my classroom window and asked my teacher if I could use the hall pass. I wanted to find out what Steele did to you guys."

 "Fifteen hours of community service, plus individual detentions with Pearle," I sighed.

 Tara winced. "Ouch. That sucks. Oh, I wanted to warn you. I saw Steele on my way over here. I think he was looking for you guys."

 "Oh, man! If he sees Jack napping, he's gonna add hours to our community service!" I cried. Upon hearing his name, Jack's head shot up.

 "Wha? What is it?" he mumbled.

 "Jack, you have to get up! Steele's coming!" I said, pulling on his arm.

 "So are you really a rock star from England?" Tara asked interestedly. I gave her a look. Now was so not the time for chitchat!

 Jack looked at Tara. Seeing the look she was giving him, he smiled charmingly and got to his feet. "Aye, lass, I'm quite famous where I come from. Just my name can strike fear into the heart of the sturdiest sailor."

 "It's so cool that they based Jack Sparrow in the movie on you. I'm sorry they didn't give you any credit," Tara said sympathetically. Carrie and I had made sure Jack was informed on our cover story, so he knew better than to correct Tara.

 "Aye, it's unfortunate," Jack sighed as if he was truly hurt. He took a step closer to Tara, saying, "But my welcome in America has warmed me old heart. Everyone has just been so… nice…" Jack slipped his arm around Tara's shoulders. She giggled and moved closer.

 "Jack! This is not flirting time! You better get your butt moving to pick up some trash right away or you're going to have to deal with a very pissed off Liz!" I warned, poking his shoulder with my trash grabber.

 Jack gave me a bored look for a moment before he turned back to Tara. "So, care to see me treasure, love?"

 Tara giggled. "As long as it's not cursed!"

 "Of course not," Jack smiled, reaching into his pocket and producing a strand of black pearls. "There ya go, lass, a nice little token to remember ol' Jack by."

 "Why do you listen to Carrie but not me?" I wondered aloud, not expecting a response. "You did push-ups when she told you to, but you won't pick up some trash when I tell you to."

 "Because you told me yourself, firs' time we met, that you're a –whaddya call it? –ah yeah, a Will 'fan girl.' Why should I waste my time on you if yer jus' tryin' ta get to Will?" Jack asked.

 "That's what this is all about? You're just jealous?" I laughed.

 "Why should I be jealous of the whelp?" Jack demanded, apparently quite outraged. "But the fact is, love, I jus' can't understand why so many women find that boy so desirable! I'm the captain, for cryin' out loud. He's jus' first mate!" By this time I was laughing so hard I had to lean on the trash grabber for support. It was very obvious that Jack wasn't entirely sober, but his hip flask hadn't provided enough to get him actually drunk. He seemed a bit fuzzy and, as a result, a little pissy. I just hoped no one else noticed his buzz.

 "I like you, Jack," Tara smiled.

 "Captain Jack! How many times do I have to say it?" Jack cried in exasperation.

 "Sorry!"

 "Liz!" I turned around at the sound of my name. Will was waving frantically at something coming from the shadows of the hallway. I stared in terror as the person came into the sun. The sun glinted off his shiny bald head, nearly blinding me.

 It was Mr. Steele.

 And he was not happy.

 Tara quickly disappeared, leaving Jack looking quite crestfallen. I guessed it had been awhile since he'd had any female that close to him.

 "Let's see, two people shirking their duties? I suppose I'll have to add ten hours to your total time. Enjoy yourselves, students!" Mr. Steele announced, sounding a bit gleeful that he had the chance to punish us even more. He stood there for a minute or two, watching us with his arms crossed over his chest, before Jack and I came to our senses and began picking up trash again. With that, Mr. Steele left.

 Carrie came back from Ms. Pearle's room a few minutes later, which meant it was Elizabeth's turn for individual detention. (I was going by Liz, not my real name, Elizabeth, which meant I didn't take a turn until after Jack and James.) Carrie took Elizabeth's place and we all resumed picking up trash in silence.

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A/N: Hope you liked that chapter. Tara, I really hope your cameo was to your liking, because I really had no idea what to do with you, lol.

Attention: I will be accepting requests for no more than two cameos for an upcoming chapter. First come, first serve, and please provide me with your name (you can use you real one or make one up, I just don't want something like "Will_is_1337") and something that you'd like to do (such as flirt with Jack, get attacked by Jack-Monkey, call James on his non-blindness, anything of that nature). Thank you very much!!!!!