Summary: Scene addition. She's just seen her father sail by on the sea of lost souls. He's looking for some rum. And he's got a grudge. Slight Jack/Elizabeth.

His World's End
Stumbled

He hadn't gone searching for her, he really hadn't. But it just so happened that he happened upon her, in his search for some rum on their god forsaken little ship.

He didn't mean it really, he loved the Pearl but sometimes he wondered if she was really worth it.

It was in his stumblings that he stumbled upon his murderess, the one whose fault it was that they were all stuck in the land between lands, no doubt destined to sail the trackless waters for eternity, since Davy Jones had given up transporting the lost souls.

("Pirate.")

He would admit, though only to himself, that their conversation on the deck of the Black Pearl had been entirely true. She was curious. Sometimes too curious for her own good. But the worst of all was that he'd been curious too and if it hadn't been for that damned black spot then he would certainly have been the curious cat, and not the 'good man' she claimed.

He snorted silently. Good man indeed. He was the bloody curious cat. Because he'd kissed her back when she kissed him. And he'd gotten killed. Like they said, curiosity did kill the cat. He was living… well, sort of living, proof.

She'd shackled him to the bloody boat and left him for dead. He'd never forgive the murderous little wench. He'd tried to ignore the gentle touch of her fingers as she withdrew her hand from around him.

And then she hadn't told the rest of the crew what it was exactly that she'd done. True, he had believed them all to be an illusion, something his mind had conjured up, especially after the way she said his name. He'd looked at her, smelled her - even after she'd been swamped in the sea she still had a distinct scent - and he knew then that it was definitely not an illusion. If she'd been a man, she'd have had a bullet hole through her chest right there and then. Or maybe even her head.

Though it was a pretty head, too pretty, perhaps, to put a bullet hole in?

Oh shut up, he muttered internally.

His eyes trained on her once again, her shoulders shaking and he heard her sobs echo in the damp underbelly of the Black Pearl.

Her father had just passed them in the sea of lost souls.

He hadn't allowed himself to be near her at all since they had once again boarded the Pearl but when he had heard her yelling out to her father, he couldn't help himself. He knew what it meant that her father was rowing past and she'd looked so hopeful that it had almost crushed him.

He almost didn't have the heart to tell her that they weren't back yet.

Then she'd gone all womanly and gotten hysterical. He wanted nothing more in that instant than to wrap his arms around her and protect her from everything. From the East India Trading Company, from living a life stuck on a ship full of pirates and from himself.

But he didn't.

He let his resentment for her flutter up once again. Tia Dalma had called to them - to him actually - telling him not to let her leave the ship. But he hadn't been able to move. He had been torn between letting her leap of the ship and be gone with her and to wrap his arms around her and carry her off to his cabin and shelter her from the pain. So he'd stayed put as everyone else struggled to restrain the lass.

He tried to ignore the aching sensation when he'd watched the whelp wrap his arms around the girl. If Jack was correct – and he normally always was – things between the happy couple weren't exactly too… happy. It would take a man who'd lost all his senses not to sense the thick tension between the two. And Will seemed to hate Jack more than he normally did.

All of which had led to Jack having a headache which led to him being here, supposedly looking for rum but instead was looking at dear Elizabeth as her shoulders shook in uncontrolled sobs.

His mind called out to him – the little guy on the left – to leave her be, or taunt her or, or… he didn't know but do something to make her feel even worse. But his heart – the little guy on the right – told him to console her, to tell her that everything happened for a reason and that maybe, with what was happening back in the land of the living, they should all jump overboard and hope that life as a dead man would be better than what might await them back in reality.

No wonder his head hurt so much. He'd definitely been thinking too much.

Stone bloody crabs.

He shook the random thought away and a few of his trinkets jangled in his hair. He cringed and closed his eyes hoping the noise would be lost to her. But he heard her sobs stop and, when he half opened his eyes; he saw that her shoulders had stopped heaving also.

"Bugger," he muttered as he sauntered into her line of view.

He watched as she swiped at her tears, heard her sniff, felt her soft hair between his fingers-

Eh?

He let his hand drop when he realised she was staring at him in confusion. He held her eyes for a moment then licked his lips as he looked away. His eyes sought out the bottles of rum that should be stored down there but he saw none.

"What do you want, Jack?"

"Tha's Captain Sparrow, luv," the little guy on the left corrected her but Jack didn't flinch at the look of hurt that passed across her face.

"I'm sorry, Captain, what is it that you want?" Her eyes were fierce and he pulled his thoughts away from another time when he saw them that fierce.

"Actually, I was lookin' for some rum," he replied glibly and gestured to the rum holders against many of the walls. He trailed his eyes back to her and half smirked. "Instead… I find…" he gestured towards her with his two index fingers and eyed her body up and down, "-you." He moved his mouth in a motion of distaste and drew his head back slightly.

He was Captain Jack Sparrow, and the look of utter pain that thrashed across her face did absolutely nothing to his heart beat.

"I'm terribly sorry, Captain, I shall remove myself from your presence and leave you to your rum."

What did the bloody woman expect? He sure as hell wasn't going to sit down and get cosy with her, not after what she'd done to him.

She attempted to stand up but Jack swung around and clumsily fell onto the stoop beside her, effectively pushing her back down.

There went the 'right' man again; making him do things he didn't want to do. He sighed to himself and rolled his eyes before leaning back against the wall, his legs spread wide in a relaxed stance.

"The rum's gone darlin'," he said as he sent his hand in a large arc to demonstrate the distinct absence of rum. "Unless you have some hidin' in there," he motioned towards her attire, "somewhere."

She stared at him hard, her eyes full of disgust and Jack tried to push his characteristic smirk onto his face but it fell flat and he looked away. He heard and felt her stand up quickly, her clothes rustling slightly but he couldn't bring himself to look at her. He didn't know what to say.

Her angry footsteps stomped around him to where he'd been hiding and she placed her foot on the bottom step.

"I know 'ow you feel, 'Lizabeth. Losin' someone that you love."

Bugger. Bugger, bugger, bugger. Why was his mouth speaking without asking his brain's permission again? He looked up into her confused brown eyes. Oh right. She was there.

"I hardly think a boat compares, Mr Sparrow."

He let her use of his improper title slip, just this once, and he stood too, never removing his eyes from hers.

"You're right, Miss Swann, a ship don't compare. But I still know 'ow you feel."

He watched as her eyes softened and he took a few steps towards her, their eyes never wavering from each others.

"Jack." His name, spoken in such a wounded tone cutting through his heart, was like a plea – no a prayer on her lips. She lowered her eyes as they filled with tears and Jack, unsure of what to do, took another pensive step forward. She wasn't going to tie him to the ship again he reasoned with himself and took another step. Her red, blood shot eyes rose to his, locking there and knocking Jack's wind out of him. "It hurts so much."

Uncertainty coursed through him. He wasn't used to dealing with grieving people. He worked with pirates, scally wags, strong men who never let their emotions show and now she – of all people, he thought and internally rolled his eyes – was in need of comfort.

He was standing so close to her that he could feel the loose tendrils of her hair tickling his face and his neck, he could feel her warmth.

"Jack," she whispered throatily, her words clogged with tears. "Why does it have to hurt so much?"

That was what done it for him. He tentatively reached his arm around her shoulders and felt her body crash into his. He tucked his head onto the top of hers. It was so surreal and something that Jack Sparrow did not do and yet he found he couldn't help himself.

Shouldn't it be now that he whipped out his sword and sliced it through her stomach? She had killed him after all.

But he didn't and he knew that he wouldn't.

"I know, luv. I know." He couldn't even remember hearing his voice sound so soft and he only hoped and prayed that none of his crew came down. Or Will, for that matter. He pushed the thoughts of his mutinous crew and the whelp away and pulled Elizabeth back to their stoop. He set her down on it and kneeled in front of her. She pulled his body to hers once again and Jack felt his shirt dampen under her face.

"Make it stop, Jack. Please… make it stop."

"'Lizabeth, darlin'," he murmured and she looked up at him through teary eyes. "It 'as to 'urt. Tha's what happens. It hurts for a while and then… then you come to terms with it." He held her chin in his hand as she tried to turn away from him. "Listen to me, it'll 'urt tomorrow, hell, it might even 'urt in ten years time but tha's because you loved him." Where the hell was all this coming from? Jack mentally patted himself down; just to make sure he was himself and not one of the many Jacks he'd somehow created in his mind.

Maybe all the rum had gone to his head. He frowned. Or maybe it was just the heat?

He could see fresh tears forming in her eyes and he tried not to tut out loud. Women, they were so bloody emotional.

"He didn't have to die Jack. My father was a good man."

He watched her as she sniffled on her sleeve and he frowned at her lack of hygiene. She was becoming very un-lady-like. He remembered that she'd called him a good man, once. And look what happened to him.

"So are they all, luv."

He could see her pull herself together, Elizabeth rebuilding the walls that were usually so tightly guarded. He smiled. That was his girl.

His girl? His girl?

Bloody 'ell, Jack, you need ta get outta Davy Jones' locker, mate.

He nodded to himself.

Too right, mate, he agreed with himself. Jack frowned. This was getting confusing.

He could see the shame rise in her eyes at having broken down to Jack. Could see it in the way her face coloured and he smiled slightly. Then he saw the guilt rise and he suddenly remembered that he was supposed to be avoiding her, and hating her and…

"Jack…"

He stood abruptly and looked around wildly at the empty walls. He really needed a drink of rum. Why was the rum always bloody gone?

"Well!" He exclaimed and clasped his hands together in typical Jack manner and bowed to her slightly. "Now if you'll excuse me, Miss Swann, I have me some rum to find."

He ignored her calls of his name as he bounded up the stairs to the deck. He ignored the apology in her tone. He ignored the way the feel of her in his arms lingered even as he pored over the map Barbossa had given to him.

He wasn't ready to forgive her for that yet.