Buffy walked into the Magic Box. Giles had asked her to meet him there after her patrol in order discuss the current situation with Glory after the run-in Buffy had had with her the night before.
It had been a quiet patrol, however, and when Buffy got to the shop it was empty. She sat on the counter, idly twirling her stake as she waited for Giles. After a moment, she looked beside her, seeing an open shipping box beside her. She peeked in, finding it full of books. Needing a way to pass the time, Buffy set the stake by the register and pulled out a book, frowning as she read the title: Skulls, Crossbones, and Desire .
The cover, with its chesty heroine being clasped by an over muscled pirate made the genre of this particular tome quite evident. “When did Giles start selling romance novels?” she wondered aloud before shrugging and turning to the first page.
It was the sort of night that chilled one to the bone. The young maiden wrapped her cloak tightly around her to guard against the cold sea winds, her nipples pressing against the fabric of her bodice.
Buffy rolled her eyes. Two sentences in, and it was already bordering on raunchy. She didn’t see why anyone would be interested in this stuff. It was horrible. She kept reading.
“Whatcha readin ‘, Slayer?”
Buffy jumped, her eyes wide. “Spike! What the hell are you doing here?”
“Lookin’ for you. Wanted to ask if the nibblet was all right.” He gave her a wicked grin. “That must be some book to get you so caught up you didn’t even hear me come in.”
“I…I was just waiting for Giles. I wasn’t really reading it.”
“Uh huh. What’s the title?”
“It’s…I didn’t pay attention.”
“Right. Give it here.”
“No!” Buffy said, backing away from Spike.
“If you’re not reading it, Slayer, then you shouldn’t mind if I take a look at it.”
“I do mind! I mind because…because…you can’t be trusted with the merchandise!” Spike rolled his eyes and snatched the book out of her hand. “Hey!” Buffy cried in protest as Spike ran behind the counter to keep her from reclaiming the novel
Spike flipped to the middle, laughing as he read aloud in a breathy falsetto, “Oh, I just can’t resist you! I must ride you like the lusty stallion you are!”
“Give it back, you, you—pervert!” Buffy cried, jumping over the counter to get to him as Spike continued to read.
“Her bosom heaved as he wrapped his arm around her to pull her close, his lips descending on hers, overwhelming her with his pleasing, masculine taste. She moaned, melting as he…”
Buffy grabbed the book, trying to pull it from Spike’s tight grasp. Suddenly, there was a bright flash of light, and Buffy raised her free hand to shield her eyes.
The book fell to the ground, leaving the Magic Box empty once more.
*** *** ***
Buffy woke with a splitting headache. And to make things worse, the room was spinning. She frowned. No, not spinning. It was rocking. Why was the room rocking ?
And furthermore, why was she in this room at all?
“Oh, thank goodness you are awake. I was beginning to fear you would never come to.”
Buffy sat up, clutching her head. At least that voice was familiar. “Giles? Where are we?”
“Try not to speak, Lady Elizabeth. It will only tire you. We can discuss our current situation when you are better rested.”
Buffy removed her hands from her head, glancing over at Giles. He looked like her Watcher. He sounded like her Watcher. But why was he wearing those funny clothes? Her gaze darted down. Why was she wearing funny clothes? Had someone gotten into the possessed Halloween costumes again?
Just then, the door burst open, and Spike came bounding in. Buffy frowned. He was wearing funny clothes, too. And why in the world was his hair long? “Buffy!” he announced, his tone scarily chipper, “We’re on a pirate ship. And get this—I’m the captain! There’s a whole mess of pirates out there that’ll do anything I say!”
Buffy buried her face in her hands with a whimper, wishing she would wake up but knowing at the same time that everything was too vivid to be just a dream. Somehow, someway, she’d ended up trapped on a pirate ship with Captain Spike and crazy Giles.
Why did these things always have to happen to her?