Title: Sense of Duty

Author: desiringpirates

Rated: M

Pairing: Jack/Elizabeth

Summary: The Keeper of the Code is an honorable job, handed down from father to son to son to son. For over hundreds of years, the Sparrows have kept up the tradition of dying as the keeper. But one Sparrow does not want the job . . .

Notes: AWE Spoilers, Sexual Situation, Violence. This is my take on after AWE, with one twist: Barbossa never got the Pearl back.

(J)(E)(J)(E)

Prologue

This is a time-honored tradition, one that is not to be taken lightly. In this book, it holds all the stories, the rules and guidelines. It holds the true beginning of piracy, holds the secrets of the deep. Venture in too farand you may never get out.

Only one family has the honor, and the right to guard the Code. Only one family can protect the darkest and dangerous untold stories; only one family can have that right.

"That's why I hand this over to you, son. With this key, you can unlock the book, and let all the wonders be known. But! Only when you need it . . . you got that?"

Teague Sparrow nodded, and threaded the key on a leather cord and tied it around his neck. His father gave him a warm smile. Teague pushed him down on his bed, and handed him his glass of vodka.

"Thank you, my son." The old man took a sip of the potato juice and coughed, and was not able to stop. Teague looked on worriedly, and handed him a piece of cloth. "No use, son. I'm dying!" His father smiled and weakly laughed, trying to lighten the situation.

That night, Teague walked out of his father's room at Shipwreck Cove, a solemn look on his face. The Pirate Lords looked up at him, and sang a morbid song of death. The next day, the old Code Keeper was buried as the new Code Keeper took up his post.

Teague was soon married. Only - only - because it was tradition that the Code Keeper married. What he did in bed, his or in others, no one paid any mind to at all After a year, his wife had gotten with child, his child, and nine months later a son was born.

Teague tried to stay on land, tried to act as a father and the Keeper of the Code. But the sea called to him, he could not stop his blood from boiling whenever he thought about sailing on the blue. Against his wife's wishes . . . not that he cared about them in the beginning, he set his crew up and sailed around the coast of Africa .

Over the next few years, whenever he sailed in for meetings or just to put up his boots, he tried to talk to his son. He tried to get to know him. But the boy avoided him, fought him, or just ignored him whenever he talked to him. There were some moments that Teague could swear he got through to Jack, but then Jack would use his words against him or go off and do whatever he wanted.

When Jack turned fifteen and got caught up inside of a wife of one of the Pirate Lords, Teague gave up. He went back to the sea until he was too old to travel on the water.

When he got back to Shipwreck Cove, he learned that his wife had died about five years before.And his only son left piracy to pursue a career in merchant sailing - for the East India Trading Company.Teague took up his chair in the court room and strung on his guitar, seemingly unfazed by the changes.

Ten years after, his son had washed up on shore and came up to see him. He had been branded 'Pirate', and his ship had been stolen from him. Mutiny, as a young age. Teague felt a stab of sympathy for his son, and as a father, he gave him a gift or two.

The first gift was a slap - upside his head Then Teague showed him his beached vessel, and handed over the crew to go with it. Five years later, he would learn that Jackie had lost it in a battle.

Various stories of his son floated among the pirates, tales of sacking ports without shot and winning his ship back from Barbossa, who was a cursed skeleton. One name that never had been heard before, was brought up and caught Teague's interest, was a young woman's.

Teague did not know what stories to believe, but he heard the one about the Curse of the Black Pearl many times, enough to believe it.

A year later, Teague received horrible news. His only son, the one he was proud of even though he never really knew him, was dead. By the Kraken.

Teague spent the day in his room, alone, and tried to recall all the happy memories he had of his son. All he could think of were all the memories that did not include him in them.

Almost a year later, his son had sailed up with his crew on the Black Pearl. Teague knew all along that his son was not done with living his life. He just had to get out of hell, and back in the world, and that one name he heard before came back up: Elizabeth Swann.

When he met the lass, he thought she was darling, daring, and smart to boot too. No wonder Jack had elected her King.

But Teague noticed something behind his son's eyes, whenever he allowed himself to look over at the new King. And Teague knew, immediately, what it was. Loneliness.

"It's not living forever, Jackie." He had told his son. "It's about living forever . . . with yerself."

His son nodded, and for once Teague knew that he heard him.

But now his son was gone. And Elizabeth Swann, who had grown on him, was the only link to him that Teague had left. So one night, when he knew that he would no longer be with the world, he had pressed the key to the book in her hand and whispered only one name: "Jackie."

(J)(E)(J)(E)

Elizabeth Swann gripped the leather cord in her hand, watching as a borrowed crew member rowed her into Tortuga . Wherever she asked, whoever she asked, everything had pointed toward Tortuga . That was where she was going to find Jack.

And sure enough, as she stepped up onto the dock and threw a few shillings to the pirate who rowed her here, she looked up and found the Black Pearl anchored.