Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pirates of the Caribbean and Supernatural all belong to people who are, unfortunately, not me. This is merely a non-profit piece of fanfiction with the sole purpose of entertaining people. A Fountain of Trouble
“Now this,” declared the pirate, swaying slightly as he waved at his surroundings, “is hardly what I call a nice welcome. Doesn’t anyone love me?”
“Um… Sam?” Dean raised an eyebrow at his brother as he pointed towards the apparition in front of them. “Something’s not working here. You sure you got the right bottle?”
“Dead sure.” Sam replied, eyeing the now-empty flask in his hand unhappily. A last, single drop of Holy Water fell to the ground with a perversely loud splash. Right in front of one slightly wet and rather irritated pirate.
“Hm,” Dean looked the pirate over again, absentmindedly scratching his chin. “He’s not smoking.” He cocked his head as the pirate opened and closed his mouth a few times without saying anything. “And his eyes didn’t turn black.”
“I know.” Sam was beginning to sound more and more disappointed. “I kind of noticed that.”
“So,” Dean grinned broadly. “You were wrong. He isn’t a demon. Told you he was just some nut job.”
“But the fog!” Sam pointed accusingly towards the harbour where a thick, grey mist hung low above the waves. It was thickest around a wooden tub that was haphazardly anchored to one of the footbridges. “And the ghost ship.”
“Doesn’t look like much of a ship to me.”
“It is a perfectly fine ship,” the pirate interrupted, flashing his gold-capped teeth at the two brothers. “And if you tow fine gentlemen are interested in buying this nice and sturdy ship, I’ll cut you a very nice deal.”
“It’s the twelfth town it’s been sighted in,” Sam argued, completely ignoring the pirate. “And the fog moved into the harbour without there being any wind. Those are classic signs for ghost ships. And he could still be a ghost or a vengeful spirit.”
“It’s barely past sunset. And he walked right through our salt.”
“That’s all very nice,” the pirate interrupted them once more as he pushed himself between the two brothers, “but if we could get back to how much you were going to pay me for my ship…”
“We’re not buying your fucking ship!” Dean snarled.
“And on that note,” the pirate nodded briefly at Sam, giving him a mock salute, “I shall take my leave.”
“Fuck! Where the hell did he go?” Dean turned around a few times, pointing his gun at empty air and mist. “He fucking vanished!”
“Maybe he became part of the mist.”
“Not funny. Are you sure you didn’t permanently damage yourself when you ran into that guy at the cemetery?”~***~
Shit. Xander crouched deeper into the shadow of the trash can he was hiding behind. Not good. So not good. The apparition had just disappeared. And speaking of disappearing, where the hell had the bleached menace vanished to?
“Spike?” He whispered into the fog. Which he was sure was probably trying to choke him. “Where are you? You’d better get back, ‘cause the wanna-be feds are so with the shooting of stuff and not at all with the accidentally stumbling in.”
“Keep your pants on, pet. No need to get your knickers in a twist over some pirate who wants to be the invisible man.”
“Not so much with the wanting and more with the being,” Xander hissed, rubbing his aching elbow. “And can’t you lay off the sneaking for once? You made me jump into the trash can.”
“Can’t help it, if you’re skittish, pet,” Spike smirked and leered at Xander. “Didn’t know you were so keen on jumping into things. Got a nice and comfy bed at the motel you could jump into, though.”
“Ew!” Xander scrunched up his face. “Bad fangboy. No innuendos. Go play with Mr Pointy, if you’re feeling naughty.”
“What?” Spike’s snicker made Xander rethink what he had just said. “Oh God.” He barely managed to resist the urge to hit his head against the trash can. Repeatedly. “Why did Giles insist that I take you along?”
“Shouldn’t you be worrying your pretty little head over something else?”
“Like what?” Xander frowned at Spike, who was leaning against the wall and nonchalantly cleaning his fingernails with a small dagger.
“Like the reason for the Slayer dragging us to this god-forsaken dump of a town in the first place.”
”Fuck!” Xander almost hit his elbow again as he spun around. “The pirate!” He groaned. “And the feds are gone, too.”
Xander refused to turn around again. He could really hear Spike smirk this time. And when the hell had he become so attuned to the vampire’s habits?
“Come on, fangboy,” he said after a while. “We’ve got to tell Buffy and Giles.”
Once again Xander refused to answer. He did roll his eyes when he was sure that Spike was not looking, though.~***~
“Xan!” Willow immediately pulled her friend into the direction where Xander knew the bed should have been. Right now, however, all he could see was an absolutely scary amount of books, scrolls and wadded-up papers. He winced. It looked like another research war had taken place in his absence. He eyed the almost bed-shaped thing warily. Maybe it was alive? And if it was, it was probably looking for a Xander-shaped snack, too.
“Giles found a really interesting prophecy in one of the scrolls and get this, it’s all about some pirate who has seen the worlds and travels through the mists of time to aid the Chosen One in battle when hell threatens to devour the fountain and -”
“Will!” Xander shoved a few – or rather a lot of – books away and flopped down on a corner of the bed. “Breathe. Air, remember? The stuff you need to breathe.”
“Should take your own advice sometimes, pet.”
“Not so fangless anymore, pet.”
“Xander,” Willow interrupted. “Don’t get him munchy-mad. We don’t want him to start munching on people again.”
“Really,” Spike sniffed disdainfully. “Where’s herself at? Haven’t seen stake or bloody hide of her for hours.”
“Unfunny pun, fangboy.” Xander closed his eye and lay back, scratching the skin under his eye-patch, only to jerk up again. “Wait, fountain? What fountain? Why fountain? And which hell-dimension are we talking about anyway?”
“You sure you don’t want to ask another question?”
“Spike.” Xander closed his eye again. “One of these days I’m really gonna stake you.”
“Now there’s a Freudian Slip if I ever heard one.”
“Spike!” Xander glared at the vampire, who was merely grinning back at him. He flushed, glancing sideways at Willow, who was coughing and blushing just as furiously as he probably was. Great. Just wonderful. He really needed some Ibuprofen if they expected him to deal with the bleached menace any longer.
“No need to hide your attraction behind empty threats, pet.”
“Just shut up, Spike, or you’ll find out just how deep I can drive this stake,” Xander declared, waving his favourite stake at the vampire.
“Do I even want to know what brought this kind of comment on?” A new voice, that was accompanied by the sound of a door being closed, asked.
“Um, Giles?” Willow interrupted the watcher before he could say anything else. “Work now, scold Xander later? Because, guys, the prophecy says something about hell becoming truly eternal once it is one with the fountain.” She squinted at the text. “And if I translated this last bit correctly, then we really don’t have much time left.”
“What last bit?”
Xander couldn’t help chuckling. Trust Giles. The G-man really was predictable. He frowned as he noticed Spike looking at him with a speculative gleam in his eyes. What the hell? And what was taking Buffy so long?~***~
“This is getting us nowhere.”
“Dean could you just…” Sam trailed off, hands clenching down on empty air.
“We just should have shot the son of a bitch instead of sprinkling him,” Dean insisted from his position on the bed. “And staring at the laptop won’t do us much good now that the pirate is gone.”
“At least I’m doing something.” Sam glared at his brother, crossing his arms in front of his chest. “And that’s more than can be said for you.”
“I am helping.”
“Doesn’t look like it from where I’m sitting.”
“I’m thinking about that prophecy of yours.”
“Of course.” Sam nodded. “And are you, oh great and enlightened once, willing to share your wisdom with the rest of the world?”
“Sarcasm doesn’t become you, Sammy-boy.”
“Chosen One could mean you, you know?”
“Er…” Sam gestured vaguely around the room. “Still here but I think you lost me.”
“Well, yellow eyes did try to make you his general. Chosen One.”
“I was right about the pirate not being a demon.”
“Doesn’t mean you’re right about this one.”
“Yes, I think I do.” Sam grinned at his brother. “I get to drive the Impala for a whole week if you’re wrong.”
“No fucking way in hell!”
“Right.” Sam got up, stalked to the door and stopped for a second. “I’m off to get a drink. Don’t,” he added as Dean started to rise, “even think about coming with me.”
“This,” Dean told the empty room as the slam of the door assaulted his ears, “really sucks.”~***~
“And this pirate,” Giles asked as soon as Xander had finished his patrol report, “was there anything distinctive about him?”
“Apart from the fact that he never stopped swaying, looked like he had come straight out of some Disney movie and travels in a wooden bath tub?” Xander snorted. “No, nothing. Nothing unusual or distinctive about him at all.”
“You forgot to tell them about the feds who tried to nick the pirate as soon as he landed.”
Dead silence followed Spike’s announcement. Finally, Xander sighed. Heavily. “Thank you oh so much, Spike.”
“Anytime, luv.” The vampire flashed him a grin that was mostly teeth and hardly anything else. “Anytime.”
“Feds?! Willow took a deep breath. “Feds? So not of the good. Because, you know, the last time the government…. and I really don’t wanna, Feds?”
“Yes, Xander,” Giles interrupted Willow’s babble by placing a comforting hand on the young woman’s shoulder. “Please do tell us about the federal agents.”
“It was nothing, really.” Xander tried to smile placatingly and failed rather spectacularly. “Just, you know, these two supposedly FBI guys I ran into at the cemetery turned up at the harbour all of a sudden when the pirate arrived and what’s funny, and I mean funny-strange not funny-haha, is that they didn’t try to arrest him or something and didn’t go with the snatching at all and instead just poured some Holy Water in him – oh, and salt – and started arguing about whether he was a demon, a ghost or a vengeful spirit.”
“You met them twice?”
“Well, yes, couldn’t really not since they were kinda skulking around the cemetery at sunset and,”
“And your one-eyed wonder stumbled over a shovel,” Spike completed gleefully. “Made one hell of a racket. Probably could have raised the Master all over again by himself with that infernal cursing of his.”
“Thank you so much, fangboy.”
“As I said, nummy. Anytime.”
“Spike.” Giles frowned, polishing his glasses. “Please come down from that windowsill. Or at least take your boots off.”
“Hey, guys. Still trying to get the vamp house-broken?”
“Well, well, well,” Spike drew his boots up onto the sill, “if it isn’t the vampire layer herself.”
“Oh, do stop growling, Spike.” Buffy kicked the door shut and made a beeline for the nearest can of soda. “Mr Pointy didn’t get much action tonight. He might remember you, if you don’t behave.”
“I’d rather let the whelp have at me,” Spike muttered with a pointed glare at Buffy.
“Nothing,” he lit a cigarette and turned to stare out of the window as the discussion turned back to the prophecy.
“So,” Buffy tossed the empty can aside, only missing the trash by mere inches, “has anyone by any chance found out who the cute guy in the black suit three doors down is?”
Again, all conversation died an instant death.
“Guess that means no,” Buffy mutter, nudging Xander until he finally relinquished a bit of his corner of the bed. “Pity,” she yawned. “Might have been fun to ask him out once we get this latest apocalypse thingy taken care of. It is an apocalypse, right?”
“That…” Xander shook his head, “was just wrong. On so many levels.”
“What?” Buffy looked more than just ready to pout. “Am I not allowed to date anyone? I’m over Riley, you know.”
“And it’s not nearly half as wrong as Spike coming on to Xander,” Willow added, eeping as Buffy launcher herself and Mr Pointy at the vampire with a growl that would have done any demon proud.
“Buffy! Spike! Please stop it already,” Xander shook his head. “Giles, say something. Make Buffy put the stake away. And Spike, for fuck’s sake, stop hissing at Buffy. You know she doesn’t like it and you sound like a cat in heat and… ew. And I so didn’t need that mental image.”
“Buffy, please listen to Xander and put Mr… Pointy away,” Giles sighed and – predictably as always – began to clean his glasses once more. “The powers must have had a reason to send Spike back and I sincerely doubt that having you kill him was their purpose.”
“They should have sent him back chipped, then.”
“I do not sound like a cat in heat,” Spike continued to glare down at Buffy from the wardrobe he had jumped onto. “And I’m not coming down as long as she keeps waving that thing around.”
“Stop it.” Xander pinched the bridge of his nose. “Buffy, don’t let Spike rile you up, you know it amuses him. I’m going to get something to drink or some crisps or something and when I come back I fully expect all stakes to be out of sight and all vampires back on solid ground.” He turned on his heel and marched out of the room without giving anyone a chance to reply.
Only when he had closed the door behind him did he allow the tension to seep out of his body. His heart was racing as though he had just run a marathon. No matter how used he had become to fighting and slaying evil, he still hated any kind of fight that didn’t include some ancient harbinger of doom or at least a demon or two. Or maybe a ghost. And he had so not just thought that. He was beginning to sound like Giles. In his thoughts. Somehow that was even worse than the recent change in Spike’s behaviour. Which he still couldn’t explain.