Title: Falcon in the Dive

Summary: Beckett's thoughts as he hunts down Jack, all dialogue using the lyrics of "Falcon in the Dive" from The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Pairing: A potential Meckett

Rating: PG

Genre: Songfic/Drama/Angst

Disclaimer: The song and the characters are not mine, even if I did change some of the lyrics to fit the story better.

The words on the page didn't seem as though they could be real. Beckett stared at them as slow fury built inside him. Jack Sparrow had freed the entire cargo of slaves that Beckett had sent him with - and disappeared without a trace. He had brought the note, so he was still in London somewhere - hiding. But not for long. Soon he would steal Beckett's ship, on top of losing a great deal of Beckett's profit. Beckett crumpled the parchment in his fist and turned furiously on the guards awaiting orders behind him. "Hunt for this man," he ordered to nearby guards, "Comb the city - every street, every grate! You - put a guard at every gate. Drag him out and shout the moment that you find him!"

He turned and stormed into his office, locking the door tightly shut behind him. "Damn!" he swore, kicking the desk hard. His clerk, Mercer, raised an eyebrow but said nothing. "Sparrow," Beckett snarled in explanation, throwing the crumpled parchment onto the ground at Mercer's feet. While Mercer went to retrieve it, Beckett stomped back out of his office and shouted at several other guards, "Lock up the doors and lock up the city - track him down through this town - and be quick about it now!" He slammed the doors again and turned back to Mercer, who had finished reading the parchment and was now standing at attention, calmly awaiting whatever Beckett would say next.

Beckett paced miserably to his desk and dropped into his chair with a sigh. "How the devil can I ever prevail when I'm only a man?" he asked despondently. His face contorted with rage as he added, "I can never be duped by that scurrilous phantom again."

Mercer interjected, "You're doing all you can, sir."

Beckett sighed once more and buried his face in his hands. "I wasn't born to walk on water," he said despairingly, thinking of all he had had to do to earn his current status in the East India Trading Company, and how much he had yet to do before he arrived at the status he desired. And all had been going so well…

"You'll just have to wipe out the pirates," Mercer said simply. "They're the ones standing in your way."

"I wasn't born to sack and slaughter, either," Beckett snapped.

Mercer retorted, "Well, on my soul, you weren't born to stoop to scorn and knuckle under." He approached the desk and said forcefully, "A man can learn to steal some thunder - a man can learn to work some wonder! The pirates have challenged you, yes. But now the gauntlet's down; it's time to rise and climb the sky!" Mercer pounded a gloved fist on the desk for emphasis. "And soon the moon will smolder and the winds will drive… Yes, a man grows older, but his soul remains alive," he said, almost bitterly – as though he had some experience in that matter. He shook his head as though to clear the thought and motioned to the starry sky outside. "All those tremulous stars still glitter; you will survive!" he insisted. "Let your heart grow colder and as bitter as a falcon in the dive…"

Beckett shook his head slowly, almost as though he hadn't heard a word. "There was a dream, a dying ember…" he murmured, tapping his fingers on the desk. "There was a dream…" He frowned darkly. "I don't remember!" he said finally, rising from his desk in agitation. "But I will resurrect that dream…" he added certainly, "Though rivers stream and hills grow steeper…" He snorted disdainfully as he looked out his office window. "Well, here in hell where life gets cheaper…"

"Here in hell, the blood runs deeper," Mercer smirked.

"And when the final duel is near I'll raise my spear and fly, piercing into the sky and higher…" Beckett breathed, almost rapturously, as though he could suddenly see his power in the future with perfect clarity. "The strong will thrive. Yes! The weak will cower while the fittest will survive…" He turned to face Mercer, his excitement now palpable within the room. "If we wait for the darkest hour 'til we spring alive - then with claws of fire, we devour like a falcon in the dive!"

Mercer grinned, a terrible, merciless grin that would have made a lesser man than Beckett cower back. "These are the days," he smirked, "Yes…"

"Days of glory, days of rage," Beckett agreed. "And the dream…" The frown returned, replacing his previously happy expression. "And the dream of London preys on my bones… clawing night and day and…" His face contorted, and he turned his back to Mercer again, clutching his head in his hands. "No!" he cried.

Mercer stepped forward, gripping Beckett's shoulder as though to anchor him. "Never kneel – never bend!" he ordered, his voice low and urgent. "Rend that bastard pirate to bits – bite! For the beauty of the fight…"

Beckett drew himself up slowly, calming himself. Mercer stepped back and watched with concerned eyes, his head tilted slightly to the side. Beckett turned back to him, completely collected. "I'm not a man to hunger for blood," he said coolly, "But the spirit can cry to be younger and fiercer and fly – piercing into the sky and higher…" His eyes wandered to the window again. "The strong will thrive," he said softly, more to himself than anyone, a dark grin flitting across his face. "Yes – the weak will cower while the fittest will survive. If we wait for the darkest hour 'til we'll spring alive… then with claws of fire…"

The smile on his face turned to ice.

"We devour like a falcon in the dive…"