The Scythe's Song

BY : hallowedmaiden
Category: Pirates of the Caribbean (All) > Het - Male/Female > Jack/Elizabeth
Dragon prints: 1375
Disclaimer: I do not own POTC or the characters and I do not make any money from this story.

Hello readers! Welcome to my Sparrabeth AU! This is going to be a long-fic, probably coming to an end around 250k+ words. I feel confident that I will finish it by March at the latest. I am making an effort to incorporate their past into this instead of making it a purely modern fic. So, there are plenty of flashbacks to various time periods.

But the main story takes place in 2017. Jack and Lizzie drank from the Fountain about two years after AWE, in a scenario where Will left her to choose who she wanted. So as far as their age, Lizzie is 25, and Jack is 30 physically. My logic with the Fountain is that it brings the drinker's body to their prime physical state. So Lizzie stayed mostly the same, while Jack got wound back a couple of years.

This story does contain plenty of smut, so if you are uncomfortable with situations of that nature, read at your own risk.

This story will also contain some very light cross-overs, but they will be kept vague.

I hope everyone who reads enjoys, and I would be tickled to hear your thoughts! Reviews keep me going! Seriously, I check my email about every 10 minutes for new comments, and I respond to everyone! :)


It would have been dangerous to be standing out in the middle of a large crowd like this, where there could be a spy watching her behind the warm eyes of the Mumbai citizens, carrying their baskets of fruit, and peddling off-brand electronics, but she was used to the chaos that a place like this bred. It was exciting, rushing through her blood, the same way that standing in the path of a tornado might be exciting, or running from a pack of rabid dogs.

The mundane lives of those around her did nothing to entertain her, and she would loathe adopting their day in and day out of providing for their families or listening to whatever drivel was airing on the telly that day. Not that she could ever physically live that kind of life; her mind wouldn't allow it. Her mind barely allowed her to do this job the way it bombarded her with sensory information and connections to things she did, saw, or thought about a day, a week, a year ago.

She saw everything, and some might say that it was more of a curse than a gift, but damn it if it didn't make her one of the best thieves working. More sensitive people liked to call her an 'acquirer of high-grade merchandise' or a 'professional', but she was never around sensitive people enough to be bothered by their poor language choices.

People, generally rich old men that owned nice cars and nice houses, would hand her a wad of cash, upwards of five grand, and instructions for what she was to steal. Six years ago, when she had been captured for all of five hours in the depressing city of Berlin, the detective had read off a list of everything that had been credited to her. The list was long, two pages, and she had happily denied every charge of theft that they had accused her of, even though every damn thing on there had been stolen by her.

A bag of compromising photos depicting someone in royalty had been plucked from the briefcase of a government official while he was standing at the curb waiting for a limo, a rare painting had been flawlessly relocated one evening in Paris, a katana had been carried out of a Japanese museum in broad daylight, and a rare, very rare codex was stolen from a villa in...well, that one didn't matter, because she had kept it for herself anyway. That employer wasn't pleased with the new arrangement, but she had...convinced him otherwise.

Sometimes, she found something that she just wanted. Her most recent acquisition was a piece that she had been seeking for quite some time, (65 years) but had always been thwarted by an unknown party. A small ring with a jade stone, and a dragon wrapped around it. It had belonged to someone of historical importance, though her few close friends had never gotten her to tell them who it was. She liked it so much that she currently wore it on her pointer finger, and had done so since she had gotten it.

The city of Mumbai was terrifying to anyone who didn't know their way around large cities. They were grids, simply put, made up of different sectors and different levels of risk. Mumbai was on the fringe of even scaring her sometimes, if only for the constant violence that would ebb and flow around the markets and slums. Gunfire was a common occurrence here, one so common that it was treated the same way as a car horn, just another annoyance.

She was also often accused of being an adrenaline junkie, but she didn't think that risking her life for trinkets and jewelry quite toed that line. That title would be far more apt to describe her when she was stealing her other favorite thing: cars.

Most women liked to ride in the passenger seats of cars, while their rich husbands drove them around shopping, or to lavish parties, but she generally wouldn't let a man drive her around if he had a gun pointed at her head. Especially the car that she had fought tooth and nail for in a dusty industrial park two months ago.

A matte silver blown Plymouth Roadrunner with 670 horsepower, and a white leather interior. It was a muscle car truly fit for a king. Not that she was one anymore, but the title still made her smile every now and then, along with the man that had given it to her so long ago. Once she had managed to drive it out of the park, unscratched thankfully, it had joined her collection.

Inhaling, she let the pungent mixture of ginger, chili powder, and turmeric prickle at the inside of her nose. There was the always constant stench of gasoline, the haze of cigarette smoke, the greasiness of the deep fryers sizzling away in the side-of-the-street food shops, and the absolute aroma of menace that hung on everything, on her, on the people, on the buildings, and in the air.

"Excuse me, miss?"

She spun around to see a little old man trying to sell her mirrors and caught her reflection in one of them. Her skin was a light tan, a caramel hue that glowed in the sunlight. She wore dark black on her eyes, but her face was otherwise free of makeup. Her honey-colored hair hung in tousled waves to the middle of her back.

"Miss?"

Opening her mouth to give him a polite 'no thank you', her phone rang, making her sigh in relief. She gave the man a just-a-moment gesture and then blended into the crowd as she answered into the receiver with a posh British accent.

"Hello?"

Of all the people that it could have been, the woman that answered on the other end picked her mood up just a little bit.

"Hey Liz, so made any progress?"

No, she hadn't made any progress, because Mumbai was like a fucking maze, and the thing she was here for was very small, and very easy to hide.

"Not yet, Ringa. I'll find it."

Liz rolled her eyes when the other woman made a snickering noise.

"You find everything, niña tonta, but this might be the one that slips away."

Over her dead body.

"We'll see."

Just as she was about to hang up, Ringa shouted a hang on at her.

"...Yes?"

"Did you ever figure out who tried breaking into your car garage?"

Oh. That.

That had happened three weeks ago, actually. It had been around midnight, and she was just about to relax into her black suede recliner when the alarm to the garage nearly made her throw her glass of Merlot in shock. She had grabbed her .45, sprinting down the stairs with it, through the hallways, arriving to find exactly nothing wrong. At first, she had thought that a circuit had been tripped, because there was nothing missing or damaged that she could find.

She had inspected every car, gone over each one with a fine-toothed comb, growing more and more frustrated and confused, until finally, she found something out of place.

But it wasn't that something was missing, it was that something had been added. A small bead, just a bit larger than a jellybean, had been sitting on the seat of her Roadrunner, innocuously. Mustard yellow, transparent, and completely irritating.

After that, it had rested on the nightstand next to her bed every night, taunting her, reminding her that someone had been in her damn garage and that someone had no other goal in mind but to drive her insane.

Not only because of the bead, but because of the note that had been left with it. She wasn't sure which one she spent more time studying.

'Number ?/?

Haha. Good luck with the rest.'

It could mean that whoever had given her the bead knew what she was collecting, but then the bead was still unexplained. She had so many theories, too many, probably.

"No, Ringa, I haven't figured it out yet, but when I do, you'll be the first to know."

"No problem Liz," she replied, laughing. "Adios."

The woman hung up, only to send a text immediately after, a common practice for Ringa really.

'Be careful, there may be another interested party.'

Liz was tempted to call back and ask her exactly what the fuck she meant by that because there was no way that she had been tailed here, and she had made damn sure that no one else was already here. As least, she thought.

Dammit. It was going to be hard enough to locate her current object of interest, but even harder to keep it out of the hands of other interested parties. Scrolling through the plethora of images on her Galaxy phone, she arrived at the only photo she had of the damn thing, and it was a shitty photo at that.

It was worn down, quite a bit actually, the black wood scratched and beaten in too many places, and the string attached to it was frayed to the point where it was in danger of just falling off. But she wanted it, wanted it so damn bad that she would kill for it. It was the only piece that she was missing, after she had acquired the jade ring. Nothing would stop her from getting it.

Just then her phone buzzed again.

It was a text from an unknown number.

'Looking to complete a collection? Head on down to the InterContinental Hotel now to claim this one time offer before it's gone.'

The InterContinental? That was only about eleven minutes by bus from the Zaveri Bazaar, the area she was currently trying to inconspicuously walk around in. But she wasn't stupid.

'Who are you?' she sent back.

It took a good thirty seconds before the mystery texter responded.

'Time is running out! Elizabeth Swann, you are the lucky winner! Come and claim your prize!'

She was tempted to roll her eyes, and then a half a second later she wondered exactly how in the seven layers of fuck this person knew her full name. No one knew her full name.

'Fuck you.' she smashed out on the screen, and then nearly launched her phone through the air at the reply she got.

'Haha, I'm not going to be generous for long, so really, claim it or lose it.'

She boarded the next bus that ran through, wondering just what kind of shitty trap she was walking into.

The InterContinental was a handsome blue building, stretching up tall like a glittering mass of mirrors. The doors reflected the darkening city around her as she walked through them.

Her phone buzzed.

'Glad you decided to brave it. I promise I don't plan to jump you or anything.'

'Not that you would have a hope of touching me anyway.'

'Too confident. Eventually, there has to be someone as good as you.'

'There is no one as good as me.'

'Well, I found your little trinket before you did, so wouldn't that qualify me?'

She stared at her phone screen for a second, contemplating.

'I doubt that you even know the significance of what you have.'

'Hahaha, who do you think left that yellow bead on the seat of that gorgeous car of yours?'

She froze, scrolling back up to the first text they had sent her.

'Looking to complete a collection?'

'Good luck finding the rest.'

A text message and a note, both written by the same person. The same asshole.

'Who are you?' she sent again, fuming.

'An interested party. Come up to Room 64, third floor. The desk clerk has already been notified.'

'Why should I trust you?'

'You shouldn't. But you're going to because that is how badly you want this compass.'

She stopped at the desk, waiting for the woman to finish her phone call.

"Hello, I-"

"Elizabeth, yes, he said to just give you the room card, here you go," she said in a thick Indian accent.

Taking the card, she rose an eyebrow at the woman, trying to see if there was anything lying beneath the rather easy-to-put-on hotel clerk facade. Finding nothing, she turned and headed for the lift. Stepping in, she punched the button for the third floor and listened to the whirring of the mechanisms as she went up.

When the doors opened, she exited but didn't continue down towards the hotel room.

'Send me a picture of the compass.'

'Paranoid are we?'

"I'm just not stupid.'

'Fine, fine, here.'

The next message was indeed a photo of the black wooden compass, and it was laying in an outstretched hand. She inspected the rest of the picture for anything nefarious and found nothing.

'I already told you, I'm not a threat to you.'

'I don't believe you. I don't even know who you are.'

'Yes, you do.'

'All I know about you is that you broke into my garage.'

'But you do know who I am, darling.'

'Darling? Eat shit.'

"Cheeky. No thanks though.'

'Give me more assurance.'

This banter they were having seemed vaguely familiar, but she chalked it up to temporary deja vu.

'Sorry, can't do that. It would ruin the surprise.'

'Surprise? What the fuck are you talking about?'

'Such foul language. Room 64, come and find out.'

The room was at the end of the hall. She turned on her heel and strode towards the door, stopping in front of it.

'I can hear you out there. Stop being a wuss. I don't bite.'

'A wuss? In my...our? line of work, there is no such thing as being too cautious.'

'Touche. You're still being a wuss.'

'Fuck off.'

'Lizzie, Lizzie, you are going to feel bad for being so rude to me.'

The card reader seemed far more dangerous than it actually was when she slid the plastic key through it. It beeped and turned green, allowing her entry.

A cold draft of air hit her in the face when she stepped through, and she blinked a few times to get used to the dim lighting of the room. Her hand hovered next to her pocket knife, though she felt a strange sort of safety in here.

'No need for the knife, love. I would take it from you before you could cut me with it anyways.'

Love? What in the fuck?

"We are in the same room now. I think we can do away with the texting."

She got no answer. Looking around the space, she saw a couch and a flat screen TV to the left, and a kitchen to the right. Stepping around the counter, she noticed a wine glass and a bottle of Merlot sitting there.

'Isn't this more fun though? Go ahead, the wine is for you. I'll be out in a second.'

'Are you sure it isn't poisoned?'

'Well, if it is, call an ambulance, because I just drank a glass a little bit ago.'

Smirking involuntarily, she poured just a little bit into the glass and started sipping on it, keeping her awareness on high alert.

'It's good.'

'Indeed.'

'So are you actually in the hotel room, or is this some kind of trick to get me in here?'

'I sleep on the roof. They gave me special accommodations.'

'Right.'

'I said I would be out in a second. Can't be looking anything but my best for you, darling.'

'Oh, is this a date now?'

'Not sure you tell dates to 'fuck off' before you even meet them, so no, I wouldn't call this a date.'

'You said I knew who you were already.'

'You do. Surprised you haven't figured me out yet.'

'Don't have much to go off of. A yellow bead, our evident mutual liking for Merlot, and the fact that we both want the compass.'

'I never said anything about wanting it.'

'So…'

'There were more than two interested parties looking for it. I wanted to make sure you got it.'

'I didn't need help.'

'Lizzie, you were running around Mumbai for two days struggling, you needed help.'

'What's with the Lizzie shit'?

'That's your name isn't it?'

'Not to you.'

'Right.'

Sensing that they were done texting her, she slid her phone onto the counter, and waited, seating herself on the barstool. The hotel room smelled familiar, like patchouli and smoke, with a hint of spice.

Finally, the bathroom door opened, and her heart rate accelerated. On impulse she turned around to look at the...man, she discovered. He was turned away from her, leaning over the briefcase that was sitting on the small coffee table next to the couch.

A handsome casual suit, charcoal colored, adorned his frame, and he had nearly black hair that ran to his upper back in soft waves. His cologne slithered through the air.

Drakkar Noir, nice. Now he just needed to turn around. She watched him extract something from the case.

The compass. It looked exactly how she remembered it, with just a little bit more wear and tear.

"Are you going to tell me how you got it?"

He didn't respond to her, answering the phone that was ringing in his pocket instead, speaking with an American accent.

"Hello? Yeah, don't worry about it."

"65 grand, that's right. Put it in the car. Don't let anyone see you."

"The silver car, damn, pay attention next time."

"...Fine, fucking fine, bye."

He stalked off down the hallway again, making her anticipation climb to near unbearable levels. His voice sounded familiar too, rich and deep. But something seemed off about it like it didn't quite match up.

When he returned, his face still hidden by the shadows of the room, he was loading a Beretta M9, tucking it into his trousers, and then covering it with his suit jacket.

"This mystery of your identity is r-"

Then he stepped into the light, and her heart nearly stopped.

Oh my god.

The yellow bead. The goddamn fucking yellow bead. This...this fucker had broken into her garage to give her a damn bead that…

It used to be tied into his hair. And he had the fucking compass because it was his in the first place. She would never forget the curve of his lips, or the warmth, the sparkle in his dark brown eyes, or his slim yet muscular frame, or the angle of his fucking cheekbones.

She dimly slid her attention to the compass when he held it up.

"Looking for this, or are you too busy looking at me?"

He was speaking with his normal accent now, a mix of British and some other flavors that she had never managed to identify.

When she failed to respond to him, he threw her the compass, and she only caught it out of reflex. He stepped around the counter and poured himself a glass of wine.

"Glad to see that I can still make you speechless, love."

Oh god, how did she not pick up on it? Love, Lizzie, darling

Turning around in her chair, she continued to gape at him. He still had his facial hair, just without the braids on his chin. His hair was loose, hanging in tousled dark chocolate waves, and his skin still had that perfect smooth Caribbean tan.

"Granted, last time you saw me was…1973, was it? Something like that, I think."

"What? Um...yes, '73 is right. London."

"We had a bit of an argument."

Ignoring the blush that was surely staining her cheeks, she sat up straight.

"A 'bit' doesn't quite cover it," she snapped.

"You got me arrested."

"You tried to steal the car I was hunting!"

"And the only way to stop me from succeeding was to turn me into the cops?"

"You aren't exactly stupid."

He had the audacity to smile at that. Cheeky fucker. While he was digging around in the cupboard for who knows what, she scrolled back through their conversation, seeing it in an entirely new light.

"I know, and that car was damn beautiful too," he said over his shoulder.

"I am assuming that you got an eyeful of it while you were rooting around in my garage?"

He returned from the cupboard with a pack of Marlboro cigarettes and a lighter in his hand. She watched, mesmerized, as he placed one between his lips and lit it, smoke wafting into the air around them.

"Not really, I was too interested in that Roadrunner of yours. You're lucky you still have it."

"You wouldn't be alive if you had stolen that car, Jack."

The end of the cigarette glowed when he took a deep drag, laughing at her indignant tone.

"So, are you going to tell me why you have been collecting things of mine? The compass was the only thing you had left, wasn't it?"

No. Well, now it wasn't. She hadn't considered having a hope of collecting his hair beads, but if he had one, he damn sure knew where the rest of them were.

"Your...your hair stuff. I need all of that yet. And because the property of Captain Jack Sparrow would sell fairly high on the market these days. Having a full set would fill my pockets."

"Are you suggesting that I would allow you to sell my things?"

Oh. She hadn't considered that.

"Who do you suppose allowed you to acquire them in the first place? Let's see, I put the pistol in the museum in Beijing, I planted the sword in Cairo, and the hat, well, you almost caught me when I planted the hat. Everything of mine that you have found has been given to you...by me."

She had the grace to look impressed by his orchestrations.

"Why are you in Mumbai?"

Stubbing the cigarette out against the box, he sipped at his wine before answering.

"Retrieving payment for something. Not your concern."

"Keeping me outside the loop, then?"

He perched his elbow on the counter, waggling his finger back and forth between them.

"You and I, we are in direct competition. I only gave you the compass and the rest of my effects because I knew that you were the one who deserved them. Don't think that I am going to give you anything else that could inconvenience me."

"Inconvenience you? So you expect me to be on my merry way after this?"

A gleam entered his eyes, making goosebumps sprout all over her skin.

"No, love. I was actually wondering if you wanted to go to a party of sorts with me."

"A...party?"

"Mhm, I have a dress here for you, if you are interested."

Going to a party with Jack Sparrow could only end in something either spectacular or terrible happening, and either way, the prospect was exciting.

"Fine, I don't see why not."

"Marvelous, it's in the bedroom."

She climbed off of the barstool and headed off, only allowing herself a mild bit of hyperventilation when the door was surely closed. The damned man could still make her wild.

She hated him. And loved him. Sometimes, she wasn't sure where the line was. She did know that this was not how she had expected her night to go.

The dress was on the bed. It was a pretty violet purple, sparkling with crystals that adorned the hem. Quickly undressing, she slipped it on, discovering that it was about knee length. She also discovered that she was going to need help zipping it up. Of course.

Sighing, she headed back out of the room, barely ignoring the way Jack's gaze climbed up her body.

"Can you help me please?" she asked, turning around and pointing at her back.

His cologne assaulted her once again as he crossed the room, stopping just behind her.

"My pleasure, love," he whispered into her ear, the vibration of his voice sending delicious sensations across her neck. His fingers raised the zipper slowly, making damn sure to graze the skin of her back on the way up. "If you want, I can help you out of it later too."

Flashes of heated moments between them raced through her mind. Stolen kisses against numerous walls, his mouth in places that were definitely not her mouth, waking up next to his sleeping form. Normally she would have retorted with an immediate no, but if she was being honest with herself, the prospect of revisiting their physical relationship sounded very attractive right at that moment.

"We'll see."

He grinned at her and stepped around the couch to dig in the briefcase again, extracting a pair of car keys.

"Let's go. And you better not even think of stealing this car."

"Ooh, what are you going to do, punish me?"

"Try it and find out Lizzie."

She fought the sudden ridiculous urge to stick her tongue out at him, and they both exited the hotel room.



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