“Good morning!” Andrew crowed. He burst into the kitchen, interrupting Buffy's admonishment to Jack. He was wearing a T-Shirt from Alcatraz that he'd bought soon after they'd first arrived in the city. It hadn't taken long for Andrew, Xander, and many of the others to play tourist. Though to be honest Andrew and Willow had needed to almost drag Xander along.
Andrew had insisted that Anya would have wanted Xander to enjoy himself. Xander had countered that Anya would have wanted Xander to be absolutely miserable and inconsolable for at least the summer before even beginning to recover from her death. But as it turned out, Andrew's enthusiasm and Willow's resolve face made a deadly combination.
Now the young man was almost bouncing with excitement, ready to play tour guide. He had maps and brochures poking out of his pockets.
Faith on the other hand was being rather low key, which Jack appreciated. Andrew was amusing but kind of annoying after a while. The brunette's attitude was a nice counterbalance. And Jack really liked the way that leather jacket was hanging on her. “Hey.” she nodded. “Ready to go?”
“Thanks for this.” Jack grinned. “There's an air of melancholy lying about this place that's none to my liking.” Then his grin turned into a cheeky leer. “And thank YOU darling for wearing that shirt.”
Faith snickered and shoved Jack towards the front door. She was wearing a tight tank top that showed off her figure quite well. She turned back to offer Buffy the opportunity to come with them when she noticed the empty bottle on the table.
“Why is the vodka gone?”
“Well now, that's new.” Jack mused. The view out the window had not done the view from the top of the hill justice. Nor had the photos in the books. Okay photographs were also a worthy advance in technology. Jack's good opinion was mostly due to the collection of photographs Xander had hidden under his bed. Running water, and photography. Everything else Jack was less impressed with.
But this...this was definitely, if not impressive, than, close to it. The last time Jack had seen San Francisco it had been little more than a tiny, albeit growing harbor town. The thriving metropolis he saw stretched before and below him now was a far cry from that.
The ringing of a bell broke him from his observations and alerted him to the arrival of their transportation. It was not easy to keep from staring at the contraption It appeared to be moving of it's own accord, up the incredibly steep hill towards them.
“We're riding on that? You are brave aren't you.”
Jack looked around at the restaurant incredulously. Faith gave Andrew an “are you kidding?” look. “A pirate theme restaurant Drew? Seriously?”
“It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Andrew said defensively. “I thought Jack would like to know people still liked pirates.”
“Drew this place is a joke, and it makes pirates look like a joke.” Faith shook her head.
“Arrrrrr, me hearties,” the waiter said, studiously ignoring the shock on the one eyed guy's face. “I be here to take yer order.” The shock gave way to dismay, and really the waiter couldn't blame the guy. He didn't know why he had that eye patch, but what kind of joke did his companions think they were playing on him?
“Rum.” Jack demanded. “And lots of it.”
“Excellent choice cap'n.”
They had rum. Good, at least the place wasn't a TOTAL loss. But...this was what people thought of pirates? That man's accent had been horrendous, and sounded nothing like any pirate. Jack was beginning to despair for his kind's legacy.
“Who's this singing?”
“Huh?” Andrew tore himself away from defending his choice of eating establishment to pay attention to the music being piped in over the sound system. “Jimmy Buffet.”
“I like 'im.”
Andrew sighed with relief.
Jack frowned. The bridge was very impressive. And pretty, in it's way. But something bothered him. “It's not gold.” He looked closely at the bright orange paint. “It's not even bronze.”
Faith snickered. Andrew looked as if this had never occurred to him.
“Good point.” the boy frowned as well. “I think maybe it's a reference to heaven. You know, the Golden Gates and all.”
Faith snickered again. “Kinda ironic that this is the most popular place to commit suicide then.”
“Is it?” Jack looked at her, interested. He looked over the railing then, and nodded. “Aye I can see that.”
“Must you be so negative all the time?” Andrew sighed to Faith.
“Oi, what's that?” Jack asked suddenly, pointing to something in the bay. The view from the bridge was fantastic.
“What?” His guides hurried to his side to see what he was pointing at.
“That, that fortress.”
“Oh!” Andrew bounced. “That's Alcatraz! It's a prison. Or it used to be.”
“What is it now?”
“A tourist attraction.”
There was a moment of silence, and then Jack burst out laughing.
Jack declined to look through the windows that allowed a view of the tank, underwater. Crowds of tourists were happy to take his place. The Oceanographic Institute in Sausalito had interested Jack when they'd arrived, and he had no problem with the movies and models and tanks. He just preferred the view from above the surface of the water.
“Are you okay?” Andrew asked. He was getting worried that Jack had not been enjoying himself as much as his guide had hoped he would.
“Most sailors tend to avoid being under the water savvy?”
Faith lifted a brow at the sign identifying the huge aquarium as the “George and Gracie Viewing Aquarium. ABSOLUTELY NO SWIMMING!!!”
“Man they're really hammering home that message. Wonder if they had a problem with that.”
Finally they had found something to interest Jack. The Waterfront and Fisherman's Wharf with all the touristy things there seemed to fascinate him. He also seemed to be taking careful stock of each and every bar.
“Right, what's this?” he asked, staring into the wide open door of a video arcade.
“Oh people come here to play uh, games that simulate things like racing, and uh, shooting things.” Andrew explained.
Jack frowned. “Their lives are that boring?”
“Hey I like video games, and my life's not boring.” Andrew said defensively.
“My apologies mate. Just seems a little strange. You fight Vampires and summon Demons eh? Why do it for pretend then?”
The young man didn't have an answer to that. He fell behind slightly as the group proceeded along. Noticing the look Jack was giving the ships available for touring, old time sailing ships and the like, she shook her head.
“They ain't seaworthy captain.”
“Just for the tourists eh? Shame. Fine looking girls they are.” he eyed some girls who were walking side by side. “As are they-” They were holding hands. “'Ang on...”
As he unabashedly stared, his eye caught on one particular ship. It seemed different from the other ships. More functional perhaps. The writing on the side proclaimed that it was the Flying Dutchman.
“That's not the Dutchman.” he muttered.
Faith and Andrew followed his gaze.
“The Flying Dutchman? Where do I know that name?” the Slayer asked.
Andrew frowned, confused. “Huh, that's new.”
“That ship, the Flying Dutchman, it wasn't here last time I was down here. Jack what did you say about that not being the...Oh no.”
Jack was gone. Slipped away with more stealth than Xander had ever possessed.
To Be Continued...