Disclaimer: Thomas Derrington is an OC. Other than that, I really don't own anything.
Summary: Elizabeth finds Jack posing as a blacksmith in London. He had a gift for her. Mild Sparrabeth. One-shot.
A/N: I was bored, so I googled some prompts. This particular one is "Write a story in which two people who know each other are introduced — but neither person admits to knowing the other." I also chose this one because I like the idea of Jack using an English accent.
Also, it's 9/11. Honor those who died during the attacks that day, 19 years ago.
A Sword Fit For A King
Jack Sparrow- no, John Swallow, one of many blacksmiths of the town of London, was hard at work. With his left arm, he held down the cooling metal of what was to be a sword. With his right, he brought a hammer down, banging the material into the correct shape.
Five years ago, he had given up his life as a pirate. He'd had no choice. After the battle that defeated both Davy Jones and Cutler Beckett, the East India Trading Company had regrouped and launched attacks on pirates all over the seas. The Brethren Court had met and decided that it was best to go into hiding. So Jack had taught himself to become a blacksmith and had gotten employed in London under a pseudo identity.
He'd undone his dreadlocks and chopped his hair short. He'd tamed his beard and maintained it on a regular basis. He'd even reverted to his English accent. He'd had to get rid of most of his belongings. He kept his hat and compass, however. They had taken up a permanent home in his room in a local boarding house. He kept his brand and tattoo covered by an armlet at all times; no one could know who he was.
However, he couldn't do anything about his golden teeth. His excuse for them was that he'd been a merchant sailor in the past. It worked well.
Jack didn't enjoy fitting into society, being bound by the law. But he went along with it. After all, the seas were no safer than land was for pirates now. Whatever kept him alive was what he'd do. Unfortunately, that was blacksmithing.
"It is decided. We're goin' into hidin'." Captain Teague declared.
"Bugger...I hate this already." Jack muttered unhappily as the meeting broke up.
Elizabeth Turner, Pirate King, approached him. "Where will you go?"
"I dunno." He scowled. "London, probably. My reputation isn't as big there as it is 'ere. Thank bloody goodness for that."
"And what will you do in London?" She asked pointedly.
"Keep me head down an' stay out o' trouble. Obviously."
"Good idea, Jack."
Pain shot through his thumb as the hammer collided with it. He yelped in surprise, pulling his hand back and setting down the hammer. He cursed in annoyance as he examined the digit. It was a blue-black color, the nail cracked and appeared as if it'd pop off any second. That's the third time in two days. Pull yourself together, Jack.
"Don't tell me you smashed your thumb again, John." A graying brown haired man stood at the entrance to the room.
Jack's eyes went wide at who stood next to him. It was Elizabeth Turner herself. She was dressed eloquently, as if she were still living with her father in Port Royal. But he knew she wasn't. Her father was dead, after all.
The pirate turned blacksmith composed himself quickly, wiping his sweaty forehead on his sleeve before approaching them. "I will neither confirm nor deny that I did. So, are you gonna introduce me to that fine lady beside you, Thomas?"
Thomas Derrington, Jack's employer and shop receptionist, nodded. "Elizabeth Turner, this is John Swallow, the blacksmith of this area of town. John, this is Elizabeth Turner, duchess of Gloucester in the New World."
So she's still going by her real name then. Risky. He politely kissed her hand, his own thumb still throbbing. "Pleasure to meet you, milady."
"The pleasure's all mine, Mr. Swallow." He could see recognition and warmth in her eyes.
"What can I do for you?" Jack asked formally.
"She's come to admire your handiwork." Thomas answered for her.
"Ah, well, that shouldn't take too long then." The former pirate commented. He started off towards the completed swords that hung on the rear wall of the room. "Come along."
"Thank you, Mr. Derrington." Elizabeth called over her shoulder as she followed him.
"It's been an honor, Duchess." The sound of the door to the entry room signaled the man's leave.
Jack expected his companion to break her act and bombard him with questions, but to his surprise, she didn't.
In his pirate accent, he whispered,"Ye're not actually a duchess, are ye?"
He could practically hear her roll her eyes at his back. "About as much as you're a blacksmith."
John's eyebrows rose briefly, but he smiled. They reached the sword covered wall and came to a stop. The blacksmith returned to his English accent as he plucked a sword from a hook and held it up. "Right, well, this one's personally one of my favorites. It's not quite equally balanced, but the extra weight is shifted to the front of the blade. Strikes a harder attack that way." He demonstrated, slashing the blade through the air. "This one isn't actually for sale, though. I like to keep it around." As he replaced the weapon on the wall, he offered,"Point one out and I'll tell you about it."
"How about this one?" The Pirate King suggested, gesturing to one.
"Ah, that one." Jack nodded thoughtfully, pulling it from the hook. The hilt of the sword contained a white bird carving. He knew why it had caught her eye immediately. He held the handle out towards her so she could see it. "It's a swan. Though I reckon that's why you chose it. Took hours to make it. The swan's carved from bone, the metal hilt built through a slot I put in it. It's tight enough not to move, but after a while it'll loosen."
"Oh, J-." She stopped herself from saying his name, remembering someone could be listening in on them. She traced the detailed carving with her fingers. "It's wonderful."
"That's not all." He said, turning it so that the blade slid between them. There were words carved into it. "Fit for a King", it said. He turned it over. The words "Never shall she die" shone up at them. "It's for you."
He allowed her to take it from in, taking a step back to allow her to experiment with the weapon. She swung it through the air. A whoosh sounded as it cut cleanly. She gazed at it in admiration.
"It's perfectly balanced." She mused.
"That it is." Jack confirmed.
"How long have you had this?" Elizabeth asked him, finally looking away from the sword.
"Couple years now, actually." He admitted, eyes twinkling with a twinge of humor. "Been wondering if you'd ever stop by to pick it up."
"You're not the easiest person to find." She whispered pointedly.
"London isn't that big."
"It is if you've not been there in years."
The pirate turned blacksmith shrugged and then advised,"You might want to conceal the sword when you go out into town. After all, this is London and women don't normally carry weapons on them."
"I've already considered that." The Pirate King told him. "Can you help me with my skirts?"
Jack made a face. The Elizabeth I know wouldn't...He didn't allow himself to finish the thought. He nodded in reply, grabbing a couple fistfuls of the silky gown and lifting them upward. He wasn't surprised- but a little disappointed- to see that she wore trousers underneath. He was surprised, however, to see a scabbard on her left hip. He watched as she slid the sword in it. Then he released the gown.
"You came prepared." He commented.
"I'm always prepared." She assured him.
He offered a small smile. "Shall I see you out, then?"
"Very well." She agreed.
Jack formally stuck out an elbow. She grabbed onto it, allowing him to lead her towards the door. They reached it too soon. He held it open and waved her out into the main room. He leaned on the doorframe. Derrington stood behind the front desk.
"Thank you for allowing me to admire your craftsmanship, Mr. Swallow." Elizabeth said, her tone dignified and betraying nothing of what had happened in the other room.
"It's been no problem at all, Duchess. It's not often anyone pauses to look at the quality of what is made." The blacksmith pirate responded.
"Yes, that is too true." She agreed, moving to leave. "I bid you two gentlemen a good afternoon."
And then the Pirate King was gone, the wooden door creaking closed behind her.
"I hope she was impressed by your talent?" Thomas asked.
"She was." Jack assured him with a small smile.
"You work too hard, John." His employer told him. "In fact, you should take a couple of days off to get some rest and heal that thumb of yours."
"Er- Ah, no, it'll be alright." He stammered. "I enjoy keeping myself busy with my work."
"I insist. You've looked so exhausted the last few days. A little rest never hurt."
"Alright, alright. If you say so. I have a sword I need to finish up before I leave first."
"No worries, I'll take care of it. You forget that I was in your position before I hired you, John. It never hurts to sharpen my skills here and there. You go clean yourself up and head on home." Derrington offered.
"I'll get to it then." Jack reluctantly agreed.
"That's the spirit."
The pirate headed back through the forge, to the back door. He opened it, walking over to a water pump a few feet away, along the outer wall. There was a barrel full of water underneath it. He dipped his forearms into the barrel and rubbed at them to get some of the soot off. Then he reached up and rubbed at his face and neck with his wet hands. He put his mouth under the pump, pushing down on it once. Water squirted out of it, wetting his dry lips.
Refreshed, Jack closed the back door of the forge and began making his way through the nearby streets. He passed by a few pubs, letting the cheerful laughter and music soothe him a little. Then he came to his boarding house, opening the door and entering. He called a greeting to the house owner's wife, who called one of her own back. He began making his way upstairs to his room, when he heard her call him back.
"Oh, John!" She said. "A letter came in for you today."
"Really?" He wondered aloud, climbing back down the stairs and to the kitchen, where she was busy at work. "I never get letters."
"That's what I thought. But there's a first time for everything." She pointed to an envelope on the round table where they normally ate.
Jack walked over to the table, picking up the envelope. Sure enough, his pseudonym had been written onto it. "Huh. That's curious." He opened it, unfolding the parchment that had been inside it.
Meet me at the docks tonight.
He didn't recognize the writing. His eyes drifted down the page, taking in the shape of a graceful, long-necked bird. A smile creeped up onto his face.
"Who's it from?" The woman asked.
"An old friend."