Yo-ho, Yo-ho, a Pirate's Life for Me.By Dave Turner.Disclaimer:
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the lyrics of any of the following songs. I write these stories for fun not profit.Crossover:
Pirate songfics and multiple xovers, me-hearties ARRRRRRR! Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar:
Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.Timeline:
Sometime after season 5.Words:
Several chapters of 2000+ words.Warnings:
An occasional collection of tales inspired by Piratical songs and other pirate themes, ARRRRR me-hearties! Each chapter is part of an interconnected set of sea faring yarns.0=0=0=0Keelhauled.My friends I stand before you,
To tell a truth most dire.
They lurks a traitor in our mist,
Who hath invoked the captain's ire.
He don't deserve no mercy,
We ought to shoot him with a gun.
But I am not an evil man,
But first let's have a little fun.
We'll tie that scoundrel to a rope,
And throw him overboard,
Drag him underneath the ship,
A terrifying deadly trip.
Keelhaul, that filthy landlubber,
Send him down to the depths below.
Make that bastard walk the plank
With a bottle of rum and the Yo-Ho-Ho.0=0=0=0
Standing upon the quarter deck, Buffy felt the ship move under her feet as she listened to the sound of the timbers creaking and the wind in the rigging. Slowly she walked over to the helmsman, her silver buckled boots clumping on the holystoned decking. Glancing up at the sails she gauged the strength and direction of the wind before checking the ship’s course on the compass in front of the helm. Resting her hands on her hips she glanced over to where the helmsman stood.
“Left hand down a bit,” Buffy ordered quietly.
“Aye-aye, Capt’n,” replied the helmsman as he moved the great wooden wheel through his hands, “‘left hand down a bit’ it is.”
Never having really got her head around all the ‘ports’ and ‘starboards’ and other nautical lingo, Buffy made do with saying things like ‘the sharp end’ for ‘bow’ and ‘left hand down a bit’ when she wanted the ship to go left. The crew seemed to understand her, as well they should, she was one of the most successful pirate captains to sail the Spanish Main (what a ‘main’ was, Buffy didn’t know and was too embarrassed to ask). Having led them on several profitable voyages her pirate crew would follow her to…well that was the problem. Buffy had quickly discovered that being a pirate captain wasn’t like being in the navy, just because she was ‘The Captain’ didn’t mean the crew would automatically do as she told them.
Of course this didn’t mean that during a storm if she ordered the sails to be lowered that the crew would stop and have a vote on it before they did anything. No, they’d obey those sorts of order without question, trusting that their captain knew what she was talking about. But, if she were to suggested sailing into Cadiz Harbour and setting fire to the King of Spain’s trousers in broad daylight, they’d most certainly have something to say about that. However, as long as she showed no desire to ignite the contents of the King of Spain’s wardrobe, and only attacked Spanish galleons loaded down to the handrail thingies with gold…well they’d follow her almost anywhere.
Then there was also the thing about challenging her for the Captaincy. Pirate lore said that any man had the right to challenge the Captain for command of the ship. This usually only happened when the Captain had screwed up ‘big-time’ or was an otherwise ‘bad’ Captain. As a woman of course, Buffy had fought more than her fair share of challengers; women’s lib not being particularly strong in this time or place. Also she had the added handicap of being short, blonde and pretty. It was obvious, or so the reasoning went, that a short, blonde pretty young woman couldn’t possibly know how to command a pirate ship.
As it happened after the sixth or seventh (Buffy had lost count after number three) challenger had been thrown overboard (after number three, Buffy had stopped even going through the motions of a fight, she just threw the man over the side) she’d miraculously stopped being challenged. Thanks to her the pirating community was now more open to the possibility of short, blonde, pretty women commanding ships.
Hearing the sound of a commotion coming from the waist of the ship, Buffy walked rapidly over to the handrail that prevented people from falling from the quarterdeck into the waist of the ship. Resting her hands on the rail she looked down to see her First Mate and several of her sailors struggling with a man dressed more like a clerk than a pirate.
“What’s going on Mister Mate?” Buffy demanded, she didn’t approve of fighting amongst the crew.
“Found a stowaway, Capt’n,” Mister Mate replied as he and the other sailors finally subdued the ‘clerk’; they held him so that Captain Buffy could get a look at the miscreant.
“Blistering barnacles!” Buffy gasped (another thing Buffy didn’t approve of was too much swearing), “Xander!?”
“B-Buffy!?” replied Xander with equal surprise and not a little relief.
“What are you…?” Buffy began to ask before remembering her old friend was still in the none too gentle clutches of her second in command. “Leave him be Mister Mate.”
Reluctantly Mister Mate and the seaman let go of Xander’s arms.
“What are you doing here?” Buffy asked from the quarterdeck.
“I could ask you the same question, Buff,” Xander replied, relieved to have been rescued so unexpectedly.
“Excuse me, Capt’n,” Mister Mate called up to his commander, “but should I take it that ye know this scurvy knave?”
“Totally,” Buffy nodded her head firmly, “he’s Xander Harris an old school friend of mine.”
“Be that so?” Mister Mate ran his fingers through his beard as he considered the problem, “Arrrr,” he said after a little thought, “Then ye might be able to tell me why he has a freshly minted Doubloon in his pocket?”
“A Doubloon!?” Buffy looked at the large gold coin in Mister Mate’s hand, “Throw it up here,” Buffy ordered, “let me see that.”
Snatching the glittering, gold piece out of the air, Buffy held it in her hand and studied it. A Doubloon was like a King’s Ransom; there were eight, Pieces of Eight to a Doubloon. Twenty-four shillings to a Piece of Eight and twelve pennies to a shilling. As a pint of ale cost a farthing (one fourth of a penny), a single Doubloon could keep you very drunk for a very long time (nine-thousand-two-hundred-and-sixteen pints of ale to be precise). What was more the Doubloon had been minted in Portobello the home of the hated El Supremo the Governor of Portobello.
“And that’s not all, Capt’n,” Mister Mate called up to her, “he musta been aboard since we last docked, so ‘e musta been stealing rations from every man jack aboard.”
“Arrrrr!” Agreed the sailors as they looked to their Captain for justice.
“Is this true?” Buffy demanded, “Have you been stealing food from the galley?”
“Yeah, okay,” Xander admitted, “so I helped myself to a snack here and there.” Xander looked around uncertainly at all the unfriendly faces, one of which belonged to Buffy, “Look,” he said hopefully as he gestured to the coin in Buffy’s hand, “I can pay!”
“Ye carnt eat gold!” Announced Seaman Staines (an ugly man from a town west of London).
There was a loud ‘ARRRR!’ of agreement from the rest of the crew.
“Hmmm,” Buffy looked from the coin to Xander and then to the expectant faces of her crew; if it was up to her she’d accept the coin as payment for Xander’s passage, but it wasn’t.
Not only did Buffy have her own position to think about she also had the wellbeing of her mother and sister to worry about.
“What do you suggest we do with him, Mister Mate?” Buffy had a fair idea what Mister Mate would want her to do with Xander.
“Well, Capt’n,” Mister Mate gazed up at Buffy almost sympathetically, “he’s a stowaway, a thief an’ probably a spy for El Supremo…”
“Is this true?” Buffy asked hoping Xander would deny the charge.
“Hey, look,” Xander looked up a Buffy pleadingly, “the Governor said I could help catch some pirates.” Xander swallowed nervously at the growls from the assembled pirates, “Pirates are bad, right?” He added desperately only later realising that this probably wasn’t the right thing to say in the present situation, “I didn’t expect the pirate to be you Buffy.”
“Mister Mate,” Buffy’s gaze shifted from Xander to her officer, “Will you accept the prisoner’s plea that he holds this ship and crew no ill will?”
“If it were up to me, Capt’n,” Mister Mate replied, “maybe I would, but…” Mister Mate looked around at the sailors; by now most of the crew had congregated in and around the waist of the ship to join in the fun. “…it’s not up to me is it lads?” He looked up at Buffy, “Neither is it up to ye, Capt’n.”
“You’re right of course…” Buffy agreed sadly.
“BUFFY!” Xander cried out in alarm, “It’s me your old friend the Xand-man here, you’re not going to let these…” Xander looked around at all the unfriendly faces and chose his words carefully, “…really nice guys tell you what to do. Aren’t you the Captain?”
“Its not like being in the Navy, Xander,” Buffy tried to explain, “they don’t have to do stuff just coz I say so.”
“But…” Xander tried to continue his defence but was silenced when half a dozen strong pairs of hands grabbed hold of him and held him in place.
“Now lads,” Mister Mate called out in a voice that could be heard of a hurricane, “what be ye decision on how to punish this spy, thief and stowaway?”
The crew went into several huddles and there was much muttering and not a few ‘Arrr’s’ as they weighed the pros and cons of the case. Finally after about five minutes Seaman Staines stepped forward and looked up a Buffy.
“The crew ‘as come to its verdict, Capt’n,” Seaman Staines announced formally.
“Which is?” Buffy asked with a lump in her throat.
“Keelhaul, that filthy landlubber, send him down to the depths below.” Cried the crew as one man, “Make that bastard walk the plank, with a bottle of rum and the Yo-Ho-Ho!”
“You’re sure about that?” Buffy asked, “I mean keelhauling and
walking the plank, that seems a little excessive.”
“Keelhaul, that filthy landlubber, send him down to the depths below.” Reaffirmed the crew with a lot of waving of weapons in the air, “Make that bastard walk the plank, with a bottle of rum and the Yo-Ho-Ho!”
“Well if you really feel like that…” Buffy began but was interrupted by the crew once more.
“Keelhaul, that filthy landlubber, send him down to the depths…” the crew started to repeat their refrain but this time Buffy interrupted them.
“Alright, already,” Buffy cried, “I get the picture, but…” Buffy desperately tried to think of an alternative to save her friend, “…but…but couldn’t we just flog him round the ship or something?”
The crew muttered amongst itself until eventually Seaman Staines stepped forward again.
“Capt’n!” He called, “At thrupence a go we’d only get about ten shilling for ‘im,” Staines paused as he thought of something else, “and what would Roger say?”
“Oh yes!” Buffy nodded resignedly, “Of course, I forgot, Roger the Cabin Boy.”
“Arrrrr!” Agreed the crew good naturedly.
“Sorry Xander,” Buffy looked at her old friend sadly, “looks like it’s the fishes for you.”
“BUFFFFFFFY!” Cried Xander as he was dragged over to the side of the ship.
“Capt’n!” Once again Staines stepped forward, “Seeing how this scurvy dog is ya friend an’ how I can see his death pains ye,” the crew ‘Arrrr-ed’ and ‘Aye-ed’ in agreement, “we’ll settle for keelhauling or
walking the plank,” Staines and the rest of the crew looked up at Buffy sympathetically, “your choice.”
Raising her eyes from the expectant faces of the crew, Buffy looked out across the shimmering sea to see an island not one mile off the right hand side of the ship. Remembering how Xander had been on the swim team at school, she thought, surely he could swim to the island and safety. Being marooned was better than drowning any day.
“STOP THE SHIP!” Buffy yelled, “We’ll make him walk the plank right here!”
“What?” Mister Mate looked around to see what the problem was as the crew ran automatically to their stations leaving Xander in the care of two of the largest cutthroats.
“Right hand down quite a bit!” Buffy ordered.
“‘Right hand down quite a bit’, it is Capt’n,” replied the helmsman
“Bring down some of the sail things,” Buffy gestured urgently at the sails, “don’t overshoot that island!”
“Arrrr,” Mister Mate looked from Buffy to the island and then to Xander before looking back at Buffy and nodding his head almost imperceptivity; he could see what his Captain was planning, “Look lively me hearties,” he called, “an’ get aloft there!”
With an efficiency that made up for Buffy’s rather vague and un-nautical orders, the crew soon had the ship anchored less than a mile off the island. At Mister Mate’s order a plank was brought up from the carpenter’s store and thrust out over the side of the ship where it was secured in place. Next Xander had his hands tied behind his back and was led over to the plank. Coming down from the quarterdeck, Buffy crossed over to where Xander stood with a panicked look on his face.
“I’m sorry Xander,” Buffy said as she came up behind him and slipped a small knife into his hand, “but there’s nothing I could have done to stop this.”
“You’ll pay for this!” Xander turned and spat in her eye before being hustled to the ships side and pushed up onto the plank.
“Over the side with him!” Buffy ordered.
Eagerly Seaman Willey used a boarding pike to push Xander out along the plank. Not being able to watch, Buffy turned her back and started to walk towards the quarterdeck. Pausing in mid stride she heard a loud splash as Xander hit the surface of the water.
“Up anchor!” Ordered Mister Mate, “Make sail, secure that plank!”
The crew were so distracted by Mister Mate’s stream of orders that they never noticed Xander bob to the surface, his hands free of their bonds, and start to swim strongly for the island.0=0=0=0
‘Keelhauled’, by ‘Alestorm’ from the album, ‘Black Sails at Midnight’.
Also references to ‘Captain Pugwash’ an old BBC children’s cartoon from many years ago, plus some totally untrue urban myths about said cartoon.
Buffy’s un-nautical orders were inspired by Sub-Lieutenant Philips a character in the old BBC radio series ‘The Navy Lark’.