Title: Punctuality
Author: just_a_dram
Fandom: PotC
Pairing: Jack/Elizabeth
Rating: T for innuendo
Word Count: 1838
Summary: Pirates are not known for their punctuality.
Originally written for the LJ disney_advent comm.
Author's Note: For anonymous_plume, because she's a dear, and a girl can't have too much Jack in her life.


"You're late," Elizabeth called to him, as he strolled into the hall, not moving from her perch atop the bottle strewn table, leaning back on her elbows, brown glass bottle griped in one hand.

"You must pardon my tardiness: I popped[1] my pocket watch, love."

She pursed her lips, a smile threatening the corners of her mouth as she sat upright. "You don't have a pocket watch."

"That would explain me bein' late then, wouldn't it?" Jack said with a slow smile, stopping to stand before her, close enough that her skirts brushed his boots. "Nevertheless, you are not wholly acquainted with all me haves and have nots. I would have you know that I had a very fine gold watch…"

"A stolen watch," she interrupted.

He held up one finger, as he dug in the pocket of his coat. "Which I popped in order to get you this," he said, as he withdrew a necklace slowly from his pocket, letting it hang above her and glint in the candlelight.

She cocked her head, holding out her free hand, so he might let the pearl and jewel strand coil in the palm of her hand. He was pleased to see how long she stared at his offering. Let it never be said that Captain Jack Sparrow arrived empty handed. He could be a most courteous houseguest.

Not as pleased, however, when she looked up through her lashes at him and asked flatly, "What lady's neck did you slip these off of, Jack?"

He chuckled, "One that asked damn fewer questions than you, darlin'."

She brought the bottle to her lips, tipping back her head to drink, exposing the length of her unmarked, ivory neck.

He considered for a moment, before reaching out to stroke her neck with his knuckles. "And one with a neck not near as lovely as yours. Baubles this bonnie belong on you, Lizzie."

"How sweet," she deadpanned.

"Now, share with old Jack, hmm?" he said, holding out his hand expectantly for the bottle, which he very much hoped held a good, hearty rum.

She jostled the jewels in her hand, as if weighing something, before handing over the bottle. He wasted no time in taking a draw, sighing as the hoped for rum ran down his throat, heating his belly.

"What is this supposed to be exactly?" she asked, holding the necklace from one end, so that it dangled and swayed from her fingers.

His brows furrowed, as he leaned forward into her space, snatching the jewels from her. "A necklace, my dear. Surely you know swag when you see it," he whispered close to her ear. "Pirate Queen."

"King," she corrected, as she pressed a warm hand to his chest.

He could not be sure whether it was to hold him off or encourage him, but Jack was an optimist, so he pressed on. "Let me bedeck your fair form with it," he purred, moving to brush her unbound, golden hair off her shoulders, so that he might clasp it behind her neck, his fingers lingering against the skin there longer than strictly necessary.

Her fingers entwined in the linen of his shirt, twisting. "No, Jack," she hissed, "what is this?"

"Ah," he murmured, pulling back enough to look into her eyes. "Just some gentle persuasion."

He almost hated himself for admitting it, when her hand slipped from him and her eyes narrowed in unabashed triumph. It was always a battle between them, always a victor and a victim, but he mightily preferred being victim to Elizabeth Turner née Swann than any other man, woman, or beastie.

"That's what I thought," she said brightly, as she took the bottle back from him and drained it.

"Damn you're a hateful harpy," he grumbled, when she sat the empty bottle down with a satisfied clunk.

She shook her head, clucking, "Harpy? Come now, Jack. You're even worse at seduction than you once were."

"Keep tellin' yerself that, darlin'," he said, as he sunk his weight into one hip. "Your lack of confidence in me abilities would sting, love, only you needn't worry about mes affaires de cœur. I hardly lack for company."

"You can dress it up in poorly pronounced French, but no respectable woman would have you," she insisted, her aristocratic nose turning up at him.

He could not help his grin or his response, even though he knew they would only incite her: "You're not a respectable woman, Lizzie?"

Her eyes widened, recognizing the trap he had set, and she sputtered, "Of course…I am."

"I only ask, because if me rum soaked memory serves me correctly," he said, gesturing back and forth between them and just managing to dodge a slippered heel that emerged from her red skirts aimed at his shin.

This would not do, although he counted her lively—nigh on vicious—spirit as one of her finest qualities. He had not come to fight. He had come for other purposes that required some level of accord. So, he moved forward, trapping her on the table with his body. She struggled against him for only a moment until his hands slid down her bare arms and wrapped themselves around her wrists, as he amended, "Although to be perfectly, principally, punctually fair, your respectability may now be rightfully under question. Not that I hold it against you, mind."

Despite their closeness, her voice was measurably calm, when she stated, "I'm afraid that while you may have success charming strumpets and scallywags, Jack, I am neither of those things."

"Course not. I don't bother bringing trinkets to doxies, darlin'," he soothed, rubbing his thumbs over her wrists. "You're a rare thing, an exception, a prize, and you know how I covet treasure."

"Let me go, Jack," she gritted through her teeth. "I'm in a prime position to level you with a well placed knee."

"That would be decidedly unwise." He paused to press an open mouthed kiss below her ear, humming against her skin, "I might remind you that we both are in need of me effects."

She huffed, "You're despicable."

She made no move to injure him, however, Jack took note, and if that had been her real desire, she would not have hesitated to do so. "I missed your compliments, Lizzie. They're so delightfully elevated."

"Bloody pirate," she said, turning her face to meet his.

"You've gotten yourself a mouth hangin' about Shipwreck Cove. Watch that, love. Some men don't like a dirty mouthed woman," he softly advised, before capturing her lips with his own.

He groaned, when her hands slipped free of his and settled solidly on his hips, pulling him closer, as he tugged on her full lower lip, dimpling it with his teeth. He had waited too long to kiss these lips again. The sea and its horizon might represent endless promise, but Elizabeth had a Siren call all her own. His straining reaction to the caress of her tongue against his lips begging entrance was reminder enough of her unbounded appeal.

He gripped the edge of the table tightly and pulled back, resting his forehead against hers. "You're not sore with me, eh, Lizzie?" he asked on an exhalation. She reached up a finger, tracing his beard, as he continued, trying to play upon her charity, "Not on Christmas."

"Oh, Jack," she sighed. "Christmas was over hours ago."

"I'm inexcusably unreliable," he scolded himself. "Particularly when you're dressed so sweet." It was not often Elizabeth traded breeches and a queue for a dress, and while she looked pert and pretty in boy's clothes, he preferred the allure and convenience of women's attire. He need only take these skirts in hand and…

"I know. Jamie waited up for you until he collapsed in a heap and had to be carried to bed," she said more stringently, gripping his chin between her thumb and forefinger.

"Well, for disappointing the little princeling, I am heartily sorry. How is the young lad? Spitting image of his father, I presume?"

"Fortunately, no," she said, turning his face in profile with a twist of her fingers and scanning his face appraisingly.

His heart softened at the thought of seeing the boy, and it was God's honest that he did not relish the notion of letting him down. It was an unadvisable thing to be a pirate with stirrings, but Jack had always lived life on the knife's edge.

"Did you bring him a hat? He's dreadfully desirous of that hat you promised him."

"I might have something back on the ship." He had more than one, in case the boy preferred feathers to cockades.

That seemed to satisfy her, and she released his chin, murmuring, "Three years in February," as she tucked her head into his shoulder.

Yes, the boy would be three shortly and they had decided upon his fourth birthday as the year the pair of them might join him at sea, join him aboard the Pearl. Jack soon discovered that every time he dropped anchor on these shores, he thought their plan more flawed. He would have them with him now: pirates were not patient sorts after all, and once he was set upon something, he did not like being told to wait. Elizabeth was entirely inflexible in this, as she was in everything, however.

"I won't be away so much in the meantime, Lizzie," he vowed, as he slid a ringed hand behind her and drew her to the edge of the table, flush against him.

"Pirates and promises," she said before tilting her head up to press a kiss to the line of his jaw.

Inspired by sentimentality and the feel of her body curling into his, he sealed the vow he knew he might not be able to keep with further softness, "Aye, but Christmas promises carry a bit more weight." He kissed the blond of her hair at her temple, as his hand skated over the buttons on the back of her silk dress. He would rather no one but Elizabeth hear his tender confessions, and it was dangerous to make them even to her, and yet, he added another to the heap: "And there aren't so very many others, love. Certainly no one of note."

Her fingers played at the ties on his breeches, her voice thick, when she said, "Let's not think of anyone else for now."

Elizabeth's someone went unspoken. That was always the way, although counting down to the boy's fourth natal day was not the only clock ticking away between them.

"You can look in on him," she said, as if reading his thoughts like a infernal sea witch, "even though he sleeps." Unthinkable as it was, this was the one thing that could make him wait a space to possess her. "And then we'll rest somewhere soft," she finished, her voice laden with invitation.

He twitched, and then before he could rethink his wants, pulled her from the table. "That would be fine. Lead the way, my liege."

The End

[1] Popped—pawned.