Devils in Skirts.By Dave Turner.Disclaimer:
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or 'Carry On Up The Khyber'. I write these stories for fun not profit.Crossover:
BtVS with the movie, 'Carry On Up The Khyber'.Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar:
Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.Timeline:
Post BtVS season 5, pre BtVS season 6.Words:
Twelve Chapters of 2500+ words.Warnings:
Beware, double entendres. Summary:
A 'Carry On Up The Khyber' xover. The natives are revolting and the officers look pale. But, what's really worrying Sergeant-Major MacNutt is; why does Corporal Summers make such a realistic looking dancing girl?0=0=0=0Kilted soldiers wear no drawers,
Won't you kindly lend them yours?
The rich must always help the poor,
To save the British army.
Toora loora loora loo,
They're looking for monkeys up at the zoo,
And if I had a face like you,
I'd join the British army.*
*: 'The British Army', traditional.The Governor's Residence, Khalabar, the Northwest Frontier Province of India, 1895.
Listening to the sound made by her hobnailed boots as they clumped on the bear floorboards, Buffy walked slowly along the corridor to her office. She couldn't help but wonder at the strange twists and turns her life had taken recently. One minute she was jumping to her certain death from Glory's tower, the next...well the next she was here and not dead. Reaching into her sporran Buffy pulled out the key to her office before slipping it into the lock and opening the door. Walking into her small office, she glanced upwards and saw that the punka was hanging motionless from the ceiling.
“PUNKA WALLAH!” Buffy yelled and a moment later the punka started to sway slowly from side to side as it began to stir the already warm air.
Undoing the brass buttons of her khaki tunic, Buffy took it off and hung it up on one of the hooks behind the door. Walking over to her desk, she sat down and stared for a moment at the typewriter that took pride of place in the centre of her desk. It was a big, solid, black machine (except for the keys which were silver); Buffy suspected the only reason she'd been given the job of company clerk was that she knew how to use this latest example of Victorian, high-tech machinery.
Sitting there staring at the 'dread machine', Buffy happened to look down at the front of the light blue shirt she wore and asked herself the same question that she asked herself almost every day for the last six months; namely, why hadn't anyone noticed her breasts? Okay, she admitted, she wasn't quite as 'big' as Faith, but her breasts still made two discernible bumps in the front of her shirt and to a lesser degree when she wore her tunic, so why didn't anyone say anything?
It was all a mystery to her, very much like the mystery of how she came to be here in Khalabar in eighteen-ninety-five in the first place. Having jumped to save the world and her sister, she'd woken up to find herself here in Khalabar on the Northwest Frontier of British India. Then to make matters worse she'd not woken up on that first morning in a hotel or something, no, that would have been way too easy for Buffy Summers. Instead she'd woken up to the sound of someone blowing a bugle in her ear; they hadn't really, but that's what it had sounded like to an increasingly stressed out slayer.
New pieces of information had broken over her like waves on the beach and like great, big waves rolling in from the ocean they had at first threatened to drown her. First she noticed no one had cut her hair while she had plummeted towards the ground. Now she had to try and tie her hair up so it wouldn't be noticed. As can be imagined this didn't always work, particularly when she wasn't wearing a hat. However, just like her rather obvious breasts no one mentioned that her hair was somewhat longer than was normal for a soldier of this time period. Apart from anything else she didn't want to be a soldier in the British army at the end of the previous century, she wasn't even British for Christ's sake!
Very quickly Buffy had discovered that her name was 'Corporal Buffy Summers', it appeared that in this place and time 'Buffy' was a nickname given to men and boys and not a girl's name. Next she'd discovered that not only was she a soldier, in a time and place where women soldiers were completely unheard of, but she was company clerk for 'A' Company of the one-hundred-and-thirty-third Regiment of Foot, better known as the Earl of Inverlockty's Own Highlanders also known to the natives here abouts as 'The Devils in Skirts'. The regiment's motto being 'Always Ready for Action' which Buffy had to admit sounded better in Latin than it did in English, 'Semper Promptus Actus,
' or something not very dissimilar.
But what really annoyed and confused her was the way no one seemed to notice that she was a girl, or if they did they weren't saying. At one point she'd even considered stripping off and walking naked onto the parade square. Perhaps then they'd notice and send her somewhere where she didn't have to wear the unflattering big, black, boots and the heavy tartan kilt that were the main and most unfashionable articles of clothing that made up her otherwise reasonably practical uniform.
Sighing as she always did at all these unanswered and possibly unanswerable questions, Buffy got on with her daily round of typing up reports and orders. Knowing she wouldn't be disturbed for at least a couple of hours, she also knew that this was the most productive part of her day and took full advantage of it. 0=0=0=0
It didn't take slayer ears to enable her to hear Sergeant-Major MacNutt's footsteps as they stomped angrily along the corridor towards the office next to hers.
“CHAR WALLAH!” Buffy cried alerting the native bearer who was in charge of making the tea to get the kettle on; as the footsteps got closer, Buffy called out, “Good morning Sergeant-Major.”
“Good morning Corporal Summers and no it's not!” MacNutt said as he came to stand in Buffy's doorway.
Looking up, Buffy gave a little sigh as she always did whenever she saw the Sergeant-Major. MacNutt was tall, dark and handsome and so much younger than she'd expected a Sergeant-Major in the British Army to be. Buffy was in fact in love with Sergeant-Major MacNutt or at least seriously infatuated with him. Another odd thing that should be noted at this juncture; not only did no one notice Buffy's breasts or long hair but they also appeared not to notice that Buffy had a voice somewhat higher than the average Highland soldier and that she also lacked a Scottish accent.
“Tea's on the way, Sergeant-Major,” Buffy gazed up at this picture of masculine beauty from behind her typewriter and gave another little sigh, “Gotta say Sergeant-Major you look mightily pissed at something.”
“Pissed off, more like,” MacNutt muttered as he walked into her office, pulling up a chair he sat down in front of Buffy's desk.
Buffy couldn't help giving a little gasp as the sergeant-major seated himself, as he sat with his legs spread wide apart, Buffy had almost got a glimpse of what lay hidden beneath the Sergeant-Major's kilt.
“I've just been up to the border post,” MacNutt explained apparently not noticing Buffy's little gasp of desire, “to check on Number Three Section.”
The border between British India and Afghanistan was only a couple of miles away along a dusty road outside Khalabar itself. It was part of the Inverlockty Highlanders' job to supply a guard detail to one of the minor crossing points
“Oh...” Buffy could see now why the Sergeant-Major looked so despondent, “...Private Widdle?” she asked.
“Private Widdle,” MacNutt agreed with a nod and a heavy heart.
For a moment Buffy and MacNutt sat in silence each contemplating the minor disaster area that was Private Widdle. How the man had got into the Highlanders, Buffy didn't know. For the moment she ignored the fact that she was in the Highlanders, so how someone like Widdle got to be there shouldn't have come as such a big surprise. The man was short, thin, wore spectacles, didn't know one end of a rifle from another and was, Buffy suspected, gay. Not that Buffy had anything against gay people, after all her best friend in Sunnydale was gay, but in this time and place being a soldier wasn't a great career choice for a gay man.
“Don't worry, Sergeant-Major,” Buffy had to stop herself from reaching out and patting MacNutt's hand as it rested on her desk, “You'll feel better after a nice, hot cup of tea...talking of which, where's that Char Wallah?” Buffy yelled again, “CHAR WALLAAAAAH!”
In the kitchen at the back of the admin block the Indian servant who was in charge of making the tea, winced at the volume of Buffy's yell and regretted the day that the Sahibs had allowed Memsahibs to join the army.0=0=0=0The Khyber Pass.
About one hundred yards inside Afghanistan, two local tribesmen (known as Burpas) looked down at the gate that closed off the rough track that led down to Khalabar. Peering from behind a handy boulder on that rocky, desolate hillside the two warriors watched as a solitary British soldier marched up and down besides the barrier as he guarded the 'Gateway to India'; they knew it was the 'Gateway to India' because there was a sigh on the gate that said so.
The larger of the two warriors, Bungdit Din, scanned the area with his sharp, hill-man's eyes. There was the gate, there was the fence that stretched off into the distance on either side of the gate. There was the guard house with its accursed British flag flying from the flag pole on its roof, a symbol of Britain's mastery over all of India. However, apart from this one soldier, a particularly short, weedy specimen, there were no other British soldiers in sight. Still Bungdit Din felt uneasy about approaching the gate.
“Oh, Bungdit Din,” wailed Bungdit's companion, “we can't go in, there is a guard!”
“Only one man, Stinghi,” Bungdit Din replied.
“Oooh,” Stinghi wailed yet again, “one Devil in Skirts is enough, you know they are invincible!”
“If we fight, maybe,” Bungdit Din smiled, his teeth flashing from beneath his great, black beard, “but there is always bribery.”
“What have we got to bribe the guard with?” Stinghi wanted to know.
“Don't you know what British soldiers are always looking for?” Bungdit Din asked his comrade in arms.
“Yes,” Stinghi shrugged, “but where are we going to find a bint up here?”
“No, no, no, no,” Bungdit Din waged his finger and shook his head, “No, they are always looking for souvenirs.” Pulling back his goat skin jacket, Bungdit Din drew forth his long, curved and very sharp sword, “I'll offer him my weapon if he'll let me go through.”
Standing up out of his hiding place, Bungdit Din approached this lone guardian of the British Empire while Stinghi kept him covered with his Jezail. Walking openly down the track towards the gate, Bungdit Din got a better look at this example of British manhood that his people held in such terror. The man, and Bungdit Din used the term loosely, was even thinner than he had at first thought. He looked at the soldier's thin, bony knees and started to doubt all the stories about the devil's in skirts fighting prowess. The soldier had not even noticed his approach, he appeared to be too busy concentrating on marching up and down. Eventually the soldier did notice the sound of Bungdit Din's feet on the loose gravel of the track; he turned and pointed his rifle (butt first) at Bungdit Din.
“Halt! Who goes...” the soldier seemed to have forgotten what he was supposed to say, “...who goes...oh what's the word...?”
“There?” Bungdit Din supplied helpfully.
“Oh, yes, thank-you,” Private Widdle replied politely before getting back to the script, “Who goes there?”
“I go there,” Bungdit Din hurried up to the gate and smiled in a friendly manner at Widdle, “Very good friend.”
“Oh!” Widdle replied pleasantly surprised, he'd been warned that all Burpas were dangerous cut-throats, but this one didn't seem like a cut-throat at all, “Advance friend and give the password.”
“With pleasure, sir,” Bungdit Din's smile grew wider yet as he rested one hand on the gateway to India, “What is password?”
“Pomegranate,” Widdle replied without thinking.
“Very good,” Bungdit Din nodded happily as he opened the gate and walked through, “pass friend.”
“Hey, just a minute,” at this point even Widdle realised that something wasn't quite right, “You're supposed to give me
“Oh! I'm sorry sir,” Bungdit Din tried to look innocent, which was no mean feat for such a large and heavily armed Burpa, “I'm just a stupid, ignorant Burpa.”
“Oh no you don't!” Widdle pointed his rifle at Bungdit Din even harder than he had been before, “Stay right there, I've got you covered.” It was then that Widdle realised he'd got his rifle the wrong way round, “Just a minute...”
Bungdit Din waited patiently while Widdle got his rifle pointed in the right direction; once everything was in order, Widdle once again pointed his rifle at Bungdit Din.
“Oh, no, no, no, sir,” Bungdit Din laughed good naturedly, “No need for antagonism...I have present here for you...” Bungdit Din drew his sword and held it up in front of Widdle's shocked eyes, “Very good Indian tulwar, can cut man in two with one stroke!”
Widdle swayed unsteadily on his feet as Bungdit Din demonstrated a couple of air cleaving strokes with his sword. As the tulwar whistled through the air next to Widdle's ears, all the blood rushed from his brain and down into his boots; he fell in a dead faint onto the track.
“What did I do?” Bungdit Din asked himself as he stood over the body of the Devil in Skirts.
He was just about to continue on his way down into Khalabar town when an evil thought came to his mind, he turned back to look at the unconscious Private Widdle.
“I wonder...” he muttered as he approached Widdle's recumbent form.
Reaching out with the point of his sword, Bungdit Din lifted up the hem of Widdle's kilt. The sight that met to his eyes surprisingly didn't fill him with terror, in fact it filled him with mirth. Smiling widely he laughed out loud.
“Now we know!” Bungdit Din laughed even louder, “HURR-HURR-HA-HA!”0=0=0=0
Bint: A Young woman.
Jezail: A long barrelled matchlock musket.
Tulwar: A Heavy bladed sabre-like sword.
Char Wallah: A Wallah who makes the char.
Punka Wallah: A Wallah who punkas.