A Pirate's Life For Me by Addie Logan

ReviewsRating: NC-17

Summary: Post Blood Ties. As the Slayer, Buffy Summers is certain she hates the vampire Spike. But when an enchanted book pulls her into a world where she's Lady Elizabeth Summers, trapped on the ship of famed pirate William the Bloody, things start to look a little different…

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Chapter 4

The look on Giles's face told Joyce as soon as she opened the door that something was wrong. "Is Buffy here?" Giles asked.

"No. You didn't find her either, I take it."

"No," Giles replied, stepping inside the house.

"You didn't…you didn't find any signs of Glory, did you?"

Giles shook his head. "Nothing overt. But if Glory simply grabbed her, then…" He trailed off, noticing the look of worry on Joyce's face. "I'm sure Buffy's fine."

"Which is why you've got that wild, nervous look in your eyes, right?"

Giles sighed. "I am worried, but Buffy's taken longer to patrol before. She may have simply run into something that took up more time than she was anticipating."

"Is that a nice way of saying my daughter is probably somewhere fighting for her life?"

"Well, not quite that extreme… Perhaps we should call some of the others, see if they've heard anything?"

"Good idea," Joyce replied as she and Giles walked towards the telephone.

*** *** ***

Buffy woke curled up against a warm body, a heartbeat sounding steadily beneath her ear. Strong arms were wrapped around her waist, keeping her in place. For a moment as she drifted through that place between sleep and wakefulness, she found nothing about this position to be out of the ordinary, still accustomed enough to waking up next to Riley.

But as she became more aware, she remembered that Riley was gone. Besides, the body she was nestled against was too tight, too compact to be Riley. The events of the previous day came back to her, and who exactly it was she was currently using as a pillow became blazingly clear. Buffy's eyes popped open, confirming that it was indeed Spike.

Her initial impulse was to jump away from him, but the novelty of hearing a heartbeat emanating from his chest kept her in place. She reached up and touched his cheek, fascinated by the warmth—the life —she felt in his skin.

"That tickles, you know."

Buffy pulled her hand back as if burnt. "Spike! You're awake."

"Wasn't until you started going all Helen Keller on me," Spike mumbled, shifting a little. "Something on your mind pet?"

"You're alive."

"Well, yeah. Would explain the whole 'not bursting into flames thing' when I'm on deck. Besides, we already discussed the fact that I don't seem to be a vampire here—just like you're not exactly in prime Slayer condition."

Buffy winced slightly at his reminder of her newfound weakness, but she decided not to dwell on it. "I know, but now—hearing your heartbeat, feeling your warm skin— makes it seem all that more real, y'know?" Buffy pulled away from him. "But it's not real. None of this is real. We're stuck in some trashy book."

"Can't be all that trashy."

"What makes you say that?"

"'Cause we're not shagging."

Buffy frowned. "You're a pig, Spike."

"Do you ever plan to come up with any new insults for me?"

"I prefer to stick with the classics."

Spike folded his hands behind his head. "Suit yourself. But the timid young maiden being ravished by the sexy pirate captain—sounds like fun to me."

"Hey! I'm not timid—or a maiden for that matter. And that's not my kind of fun."

"It's not, huh? No wonder Cap'n Cardboard ran off to play G.I. Joe in the jungle." Spike could've kicked himself as soon as the words were out of his mouth, and the pain on Buffy's face made the regret even stronger. "Buffy, I'm sorry. I didn't…"

Buffy climbed out of the bunk, picking up her clothes from the floor. She struggled to put the corset back on for a moment before throwing it to the ground, tears in her eyes. Spike came up behind her, putting his hands on her shoulders, but she pushed him away. "Don't touch me."

"Look, Slayer, I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything by it. I say dumb things sometimes. You know me—I just open my mouth and out pops just about anything. I'm sure the git's leaving had nothing to do with your skills in bed."

Buffy made a noise somewhere between a laugh and a sob. "No, you're first observation was probably closer to the truth. After all, why else would he run off to get bitten by vampires?"

"That didn't necessarily have anything to do with sex…" Spike said , wincing as he knew his tone was anything but convincing.

Buffy turned around, tears shimmering in her eyes. "Please. You're a vampire—most of the time anyway—so you know what a bite can do to a human. And don't go trying to tell me otherwise, because I know, too."

"Riley's an idiot, Buffy. Any man who wouldn't be satisfied with you is."

"No man's ever been satisfied with me, Spike. Not Angel, not Parker, not Riley. I don't know what's wrong with me, but there has to be something."

"Or maybe there's something wrong with them , Buffy. Riley, as I've said, is an idiot. Parker was obvious a wanker that did that to all the girls, and Angel…well, if I listed off all his issues we'd both be old and gray by the time I finished."

Buffy shook her head. She hated being this vulnerable around Spike, but at the same time she felt like she couldn't help it. She felt scared and lost, and he was the only person around who she really knew, physical appearances of some of other people on the ship not withstanding. "I'm starting to think I could never be enough for anyone," she admitted softly.

Spike took a step closer to her. "You'd be enough for me."

Buffy's eyes grew wide, and she backed away from him. "What did you just say?"

"I uh…I was just trying to make you feel better. Not like it was a declaration of love or something, Slayer. No point in getting your knickers in a twist about it." Spike chuckled nervously.

"I should go back to Giles. Or Pod Giles. Or whoever he is. He's probably worrying. Pacing, cleaning his glasses, mumbling 'oh dear'—the whole shebang."

"Right. So you need help getting that corset back on, or…"

Buffy looked down at the garment in question in disgust. "I really, really don't want to."

"I have an extra coat. You could throw it over what you're wearing now, should be enough to make you decent. Eighteenth-century style underwear is a far cry from your usual thongs."

Buffy eyed him skeptically. "How do you know I wear thongs?"

Spike internally berated himself for saying one dumb thing after another all morning. The last thing he needed Buffy to know about was his little excursions into her underwear drawer… "Uh…lack of panty lines?" he replied.

"You pay that much attention to my butt?"

"Look, do you want the coat or not?"

Buffy glanced at the corset and her dress again. As much as the idea of running around a ship full of pirates in what was essentially her underwear was unpleasant, the thought of squeezing back into that outfit was worse. She couldn't breathe, and the dress had to weigh a ton. "Fine, I'll take the coat."

Spike went over to the chest and got the coat, bringing it back to Buffy. She muttered a "thank you" as she wrapped it around herself. He then put his boots back on and led her back to the cabin where Giles was, Buffy's face flaming as the other pirates made catcalls and obscene comments.  When he started to go into the cabin with her, Buffy put her hand out, stopping him.

"You have a ship to captain."

Spike looked at her, confused. "But what about trying to get out of here?"

"Come back later, when there are less people around."

"Buffy…"

"I'm fine. Go play pirate."

"I'll look around for anything that could…"

"Yeah. Let me know if you find something."

Buffy shut the cabin door, and Spike stared at it for a moment. He cursed himself again for all the holes he'd stumbled into this morning by opening his mouth. He turned around, seeing that most of the crew was watching him. "Get back to work!" he called out, storming angrily back towards his own cabin.

*** *** ***

"Lady Elizabeth! You're back! I was so worried about what that vile, contemptible wretch was doing to you."

Buffy sat down on her bunk. "I'm fine, Giles. The 'wretch' didn't do a thing."

Lord Rupert looked at her for a moment. "But you're wearing his jacket—and his shirt? Where is your dress?"

"On his cabin floor," Buffy muttered.

Lord Rupert sat down again, immediately proceeding with a thorough glasses cleaning. "He's…he's compromised your virtue?"

Buffy snorted. "Gallons and gallons of no."

"Pardon me?" Lord Rupert blinked, unsure of what to make of her response.

"That was a no. As in he didn't do anything to my virtue."

Lord Rupert scratched his head. He couldn't imagine a situation where a man such as William the Bloody would take a woman for the night and not do anything to compromise her. Perhaps his ward was too unfamiliar with what took place between a man and a woman to understand what had happened. "Are you quite sure? He didn't…"

"Look, Giles, I may be a damsel here with the weakness and the swooning, but I think I'd notice that . We slept. I had my clothes on, he had his clothes on. End of story." Buffy muttered under her breath. This was all enough of a hassle without having someone fretting about her "virtue."

"I am quite relieved to hear that. I have worried since I discovered you were no longer here. I know you have led a sheltered life and know nothing of these things, Elizabeth, but men like him, they do things to women that are dastardly and vile."

Buffy stifled a giggle. She thought that anything Spike would do to her might be a bit on the "dastardly" side, but she doubted it could possibly classify as "vile." When she realized what she'd just thought, any desire to giggle promptly vanished. Anything with Spike would be vile. It was Spike . Current heartbeat not withstanding, he was still as disgusting as ever. They'd get out of here, and he'd go back to being nothing but a soulless vampire—just like the ones she staked everyday. Definitely no reason to think of him as anything else.

Buffy ignored the little voice in the back of her mind that loved to remind her that Spike was not like the other vampires she encountered on a daily basis. That he was nothing if not unique.

"Did he discuss what he plans to do with us?" Lord Rupert asked after a moment, breaking the silence.

"No," Buffy replied. "But he'd not going to kill us, so don't worry about that."

"Are you certain?"

"Yes." And she was. Somehow, any worry she'd had earlier that Spike might take advantage of this situation in order to kill his third Slayer had passed. He'd demonstrated behavior pointing towards the exact opposite.

What Buffy found even more surprising was that she was now wishing she'd remained with him instead of returning to the cabin with pseudo-Giles. Her uneasiness over his comments before had passed, and she felt a desire to see him again. Unbidden, her mind kept replaying everything she'd felt waking up with him that morning, how good it had been to be in his arms.

Buffy shook her head. Those weren't good thoughts to have. Warm, fuzzy Spike thoughts were definitely of the bad. She lay back on the bunk. "I'm going to rest for a while. I have a headache."

"I will keep myself quiet for you, then," Lord Rupert replied.

Buffy nodded slightly, then rolled over towards the wall. She tried to fall back asleep, but found it impossible as her mind kept bringing her back to Spike.

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