Dawnie’s Harbour Café.I know of a tavern not far from here
Where you can get some mighty fine beer
The company's true and the wenches are pretty
It's the greatest damn place in the whole of the city
If you're looking for crewmates, you'll sure find 'em there
Cutthroats and lowlifes and worse I should dare
Ol' Dawnie don't care who comes to her inn
It's a den of debauchery violence and sin
So come take a drink and drown your sorrows
And all of our fears will be gone till tomorrow
We'll have no regrets and live for the day
In Dawnie's Harbour Cafe!0=0=0=0
Nimbly dodging the grasping hands of drunken sailors, Dawn manoeuvred her jugs…of ale towards their target. Placing the two containers heavily on the table she snatched up the two pennies that awaited her in payment for the ale. Deftly avoiding yet more amorous advances, she turned ready to head back to the bar, seeing a figure standing silhouetted in the doorway she paused and stared. Recognising the figure she squealed with joy, slapping away a large hand that had grabbed her butt cheek, Dawn fought her way through the boisterous crowd of seafarers and made her way to the door.
“BUFFY!” Dawn threw her arms around her sister’s neck and hugged her fiercely.
“Dawnie!” Buffy replied with only slightly less enthusiasm; Buffy and her sister had grown a lot closer since they’d arrived in ‘Pirate-world’.
“Come-on,” Dawn released her hold on her sister for a moment before grabbing Buffy’s hand and towing her across the room; arriving at a secluded corner table, Dawn glared at the two pirates already sitting there. “Move it guys,” she told them her voice low and menacing, “unless you totally wanna mess with the famous Captain Summers or worse yet…ME!”
“Beggin’ y’pardon, Capt’n, Miss Dawn,” the pirates muttered their apologies as they stood up and backed away from the two sisters.
“Hey!” Buffy smiled as she sat down in one of the recently vacated seats, “You’ve sure got this place under control.”
“Yeah,” Dawn replied as she sat down across the table from her sister, “the guys here are okay,” Dawn paused for a moment as she waved her hand, signalling to one of the serving wenches, “they’re all scared of you and they’re frightened I might cut them off.”
off?” Buffy asked with more than a little concern.
“Ale,” Dawn replied happily not noticing her sister’s apprehension.
“So mom has you running the bar now?” Buffy relaxed back in her seat and studied her sister for a moment.
In the past year, Dawn had grown from a whiney, annoying teenager into a bright young woman…who seemed to be able to frighten harden sea-wolves with just a look.
“I see mom got rid of the Paisley table cloths and the Chintz curtains,” Buffy smiled her thanks to the wench who’d placed a tankard in front of her.
“Yeah,” Dawn nodded as the girl placed another tankard in front of her, “it so totally wasn’t working out and like the laundry bills were ruining us.”
“Mom lets you drink beer now?” Buffy raised her tankard to her lips and sipped cautiously.
“You want me to drink the water here?” Dawn asked as she took a good swallow of her own ale, “I thought you loved me!”
“Sorry,” Buffy looked appreciatively at her tankard, “hey that’s not half bad!”
“It’s called ‘Old Spiced’,” Dawn informed her sister, “it’s something mom an’ me came up with,” she gestured to the boisterous crowd in the tavern, “the guys can’t get enough of it. I’ve had to hire extra serving wenches and prostitutes.”
“PROSTITUTES!” Buffy yelled causing the tavern to go completely quiet as everyone turned to see what the problem was.
“Well, d’uh,” Dawn shrugged as she took another slug of ale, “of course prostitutes…”
“An-and mom l-let you?” Buffy stammered as the noise level slowly rose back to its normal level.
“She took some convincing,” Dawn admitted, “but I managed to totally talk her ‘round after a while.”
“Totally kipper me capstans much!” Buffy muttered as she took a long swallow of ale, her world had just received a severe knock.
Glancing at her sister, who seemed totally unfazed by the idea of hiring more prostitutes, Buffy noticed the rather loose and low cut blouse Dawn was wearing.
“Oh god!” Buffy repeated as she put down her tankard, she pointed at Dawn’s top, “You’re not…?”
“What?” Dawn frowned at her sister for a moment until it dawned on her what her sister was inferring, “You think I…?” Dawn restrained herself from slapping Buffy’s face. “NOoooo!” Dawn glared across the table, “How could you totally think I’d…?”
“Sorry!” Buffy apologised quickly, “I really wasn’t…I…” Buffy took a deep breath and started again, “…I’m sorry that I suggested that you-you, well y’know that you…”
“Where a whore?” Dawn snapped not so easily mollified.
“Yes! No!” Buffy shook her head, she really didn’t want to upset her sister, “Look I’m sorry Dawn I don’t know what made me think that…it must be the beer.”
“This is the weak stuff,” Dawn pointed out before taking a deep breath of her own, she’d wanted this to be a good visit. “Look,” Dawn continued in a much more conciliatory tone, “I’m sorry I snapped too…friends?”
“Of course…” Buffy began but was interrupted by a huge drunken sailor who’d grabbed hold of Dawn’s shoulder and shook her until she turned to look at him; Buffy’s hand started to edge towards the hilt of the rapier at her waist.
“‘Ello Miss!” the large man rumbled as he swayed drunkenly above Dawn, “You’re very pretty…” he hiccupped ale fumes over Dawn, “…how much do you charge for a bedtime story like me ol’ mum used to tell an’ a good hard shag?”
“Umm,” Dawn smiled sweetly up at her customer, “I’m sorry I don’t know any bedtime stories and as for a good hard shag…” again Dawn smiled this time adding a shrug, “…well, I totally don’t do that.” Dawn stood up and pointed across the tavern, “Why don’t you go an’ ask Molly there. I’m sure she knows loads of bedtime stories and I’m curtain she’d be amenable to a good hard shag!”
“Thank-you kindly, Miss,” the sailor touched his forelock to Dawn before staggering unsteadily across the room towards the waiting arms of Molly.
“Hey,” Buffy watched her sister sit down with new respect, “that was neat how you dealt with him.”
“Oh that was nothing,” Dawn laughed lightly but her eyes never stopped roaming around the tavern as they looked for potential trouble spots, “they’re all just big teddy bears really.”
“Teddy bears with swords, knives and loaded pistols,” Buffy pointed out.
“Well yeah,” Dawn admitted, “but we’re down to one fatal stabbing a week and no one’s been shot in like ages!”
“Oh Dawn,” Buffy reached her hand across the table and took one of her sister’s in her own, “how did we come to live like this?” She sighed tiredly, “I’m a pirate, you run a tavern come brothel and mom…”
“And mom’s very happy running the fencing and banking side of the business,” Dawn patted Buffy’s hand; their relationship was more like it was before Buffy became the Slayer, when they’d just been sisters. “And anyway,” Dawn continued in a business-like manner, “if we hadn’t fallen through that portal into the past, Glory would totally have killed us all,” Dawn took a deep sad breath before adding, “I just wish that Xander, Giles Willow and Tara were here with us…” Dawn noticed the guilty look on Buffy’s face, “…what’s wrong Buffy?”
“Erm,” Buffy wondered how Dawn would take the news that she’d had Xander walk the plank.~Several minutes later.~
“…and you’re sure he didn’t drown?” Dawn demanded, she still had something of a crush on Xander even with Anya in the picture.
“The last I saw,” Buffy replied as honestly as she could, “he’d cut his bonds and was swimming towards the island.”
“You’ve got to go back and rescue him!” Dawn demanded.
“Look I can’t,” Buffy tried to explain, “my crew thinks he’s dead but you could charter a ship to go look for him…” Buffy smiled; Dawn had taken the entire walking the plank thing better than she’d expected, “…I marked the position of the island on my chart the best I could…”
“Yeah, like, good,” Dawn seemed momentarily distracted from the entire ‘rescue Xander’ plot, she’d seen possible trouble walk into the tavern.
“What’s up Dawnie?” Buffy asked her voice full of concern.
“See those two?” Dawn nodded to where a grey haired man and a youth had just walked into the tavern.
“What about them?” Buffy frowned as she ran her eyes over the pair, “They don’t look dangerous.”
“D’uh, Buffy!” Dawn gave her sister a hard look, “Will you look at the rest of the people in here?” Dawn waited for Buffy to look around before adding, “It’s because they don’t look dangerous that they’ll cause trouble.”
“What…?” Buffy was confused.
“You never were that quick on the uptake, were you?” Dawn smiled sadly at her sister.
“What…?” Buffy repeated; she was almost sure she’d been insulted but couldn’t be curtain.
“Look,” Dawn sighed but didn’t take her eyes off the pair at the bar, “don’t worry about it…tell me what else you did on your last trip…apart from throwing Xander overboard”
Over at the bar the older man exchanged a few words with Joe the barman; Joe pointed to a buccaneer sitting by himself in the far corner of the tavern. While this was going on the youth tried to make himself look as small and inconspicuous as he could while leaning against the bar. Unfortunately he was spotted by One Eyed Norman, an obnoxious character who could never get a birth on a ship because he was such a trouble maker.
Deliberately bumping into the youth, One Eyed Norman accused the boy of spilling his drink. The boy apologised, but One Eye kept pushing at the boy hoping to goad him into drawing the cutlass that hung from his belt. Much to Dawn’s surprise the youth refused to be provoked.
“I don’t like you,” One Eyed Norman breathed rum fumes into the youth’s face, “I think you’re a whoopsy,” he belched loudly before adding, “I’ve got the death sentence on me in twelve ports y’know?”
“Oh crap,” Dawn whispered as she stood up and started to make her way across the tavern leaving her sister sitting at the table.
“Come, come,” the older man turned from talking to Joe and placed his hand gently on One Eyed Norman’s arm, “this little one isn’t worth it, here let me buy you a drink.”
“UNHAND ME YOU SURVY DOG!” One Eyed Norman pulled his arm from the old guy’s grip and went for his cutlass.
Faster than the eye could follow, particularly One Eye’s eye, the old man had drawn his rapier and had thrust it through One Eye’s chest. Groaning, One Eye went down as all around pirates went for their swords, knives, cutlasses and pistols.
“NO FIRE ARMS!” Dawn yelled as she grabbed a heavy earthenware jug off a table and brought it smashing down on the head of a pirate who was just bringing a pistol up to fire at the old man. “What’s goin’ on here?” Dawn demanded angrily.
“It were self defence, Miss Dawn,” Joe called from behind the bar, “One Eye started it an’ the gent ‘ere finished it.”
Casting a baleful eye over all concerned, Dawn still clutched the handle of the jug in her hand like it was some sort of weapon; she’d seen most of it herself and no one would miss One Eye. Glancing at the youth and the old man, she sighed and relaxed a little.
“Okay,” Dawn looked at the old guy, “you can put away your sword and get about your business.” Bending down, Dawn rifled through One Eye’s pockets, removed a small purse of coins which she popped down the front of her blouse, “Okay,” Dawn stood up again, “someone get rid of this,” she poked One Eye’s body with the toe of her shoe, “an’ every body else get back to drinkin’ and whorein’, this is a tavern not a…” Dawn was stuck as to what the tavern wasn’t, after a moment she stopped trying to work it out, “…just get on with it, huh?”
Within seconds One Eyed Norman’s body was stripped and dumped in the street outside.
“Thank-you Miss…?” the old guy smiled kindly at Dawn.
“Dawn,” Dawn replied briskly, “and I don’t want you in my tavern any longer than you need to be, get on with your business and get out!”
Turning on her heel, Dawn made her way back to where Buffy stood rapier drawn and ready to rescue her sister.
“I’m impressed,” Buffy smiled as she sheathed her sword.
“Yeah,” Dawn sat down grumpily and signalled for one of the wenches to bring more ale, “like I say they’re no trouble and those who are, they’ll either get dead or barred.”
“Who’s that guy the swordsman’s talking to?” Buffy pointed across the room to where the old guy and the youth were in deep conversation with the buccaneer.
“Oh that’s Hum-so-low,” Dawn shrugged as two more tankards of ale were placed in front of her and her sister by a buxom serving wench, “Captain of the Falcon, claims it’s the fastest ship on the Spanish Main,” Dawn paused to sip her ale, “he’s really nothing but a no account smuggler.”
“Smuggler?” Buffy quieried.
“Booze and slaves mostly,” Dawn glanced around at the smuggler, “he’s fairly honest if he wasn’t I’d have a word with the old guy, totally warn him off, y’know?”
“Lolloping landlubbers Dawn!” Buffy laughed, “You’ve totally grown up haven’t you?”
“Yeah,” Dawn admitted, “it’s a case of having to and anyway didn’t I always say I could do this stuff, I’m not a little girl anymore.”
“Not being a little girl anymore is part of what worries me,” Buffy sipped her ale as she nodded at Dawn’s exposed cleavage.
“Hey!” Dawn grinned as she glanced down at her breasts, “No one here would dare lay a hand on me…” Dawn appeared to reconsider this statement, “Okay a few have tried but everyone knows they’d have my big, tough, sister to deal with if they did anything I didn’t want them to do.”
“What do you mean?” Buffy stared at her sister, “You didn’t want them to do?”
“Look Buffy,” Dawn replied quietly, “I’m not planning on staying a virgin all my life…whatever you an’ mom might have planned.”
Opening her mouth to speak, Buffy shut it again with a snap. Dawn was right, she wasn’t a little girl anymore she was a young woman and one day she’d find someone she wanted to…Buffy closed her mind to Dawn doing ‘things’ with young men. No, she had to learn to let go and let Dawn go her own way, after all hadn’t she made a success of this place with only minimal input from their mother?
“No, you’re right,” Buffy admitted out loud, “and actually it’s the grown-up Dawn Summers I wanted to talk to…not that I need an excuse to visit my beautiful, grown-up, successful, sister.”
“Enough with the flattery, Buffy,” Dawn watched her sister suspiciously, “what do you want?”
“I’ve had this brilliant idea,” Buffy leant towards her sister so she wouldn’t be overheard, “but it won’t work without your help…”~Five minutes later.~
“…well I’ll have to think about it,” Dawn told her sister.
“But you do think it’ll work?” Buffy asked urgently.
“Yeah I don’t see why…” Dawn’s voice faded away to nothing as she looked towards the smugglers table.
“What’s wrong?” Buffy wanted to know.
“See that guy sitting with Hum-so-low?” Dawn whispered, the old guy and the youth had gone a few minutes earlier.
“That’s Greed O’Keefe,” Dawn saw the puzzled look on Buffy’s face and explained, “he’s an enforcer for Jab in the Butt.”
“Jab in the Butt?” Buffy repeated wondering why everyone had such stupid names.
“Local asshole,” Dawn was about to say more but was interrupted by a pistol shot.
A great cloud of white powder smoke billowed up from under Hum-so-low’s table; Greed O’Keefe slumped forward across the table a bullet hole between his eyes.
“HEY!” Dawn was on her feet in an instant, “I said no fire arms!” Her eyes flashed with anger, “Get out So-low you’re barred!”
Dawn pointed at the door as Hum-so-low got slowly to his feet and headed for the exit. He stopped as he drew level with Dawn and bowed low.
“I’m most heartily sorry for the disturbance, Miss Dawn,” He placed a Piece of Eight in Dawn’s hand, “that should cover any inconvenience.”
Slipping the coin down the front of her blouse, Dawn walked over to look at Greed O’Keefe’s body.
“Darn it,” Dawn sighed quietly as she felt Buffy come and stand beside her; she looked despondently at the ragged bullet hole blown in the table top, “that was a new table too!”0=0=0=0 Oh, pour me a slug of it,
Throw me a mug of it,
Bring me a jug of that Famous Ol' Spiced!0=0=0=0
Songs; ‘Nancy’s Harbour Café’ and ‘Old Spiced’ both by Alestorm.
Movies; Star Wars IV.
References; Captain Pugwash and Blackadder III.