Title: Hello, My Name Is...
Spoilers: All of BtVS, The Princess Bride (assuming you’re one of the few people on the planet who hasn’t seen this movie...). Post-Chosen, Post-Princess Bride.
Disclaimers: I don’t own any of the characters, situations or dialogue found in Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Princess Bride. This is purely a work of fiction and no intent to defame or gain profit from this enterprise is intended. Like someone would pay me for this silliness?
A/N: Cassilda, it’s probably a good thing you said no farce–I was extremely tempted to send her to Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am for the wrongness this ended up being, but the idea wouldn’t leave me alone.
Emotion: Anything except farce
Character to use: Dawn
Even though she loved the feeling of the wind blowing her hair back, she couldn’t help glaring at her companion in disgust. After all, he was wearing a fur-trimmed tunic that swished fluidly when he strolled up and down the deck of his ship, plus tights and long pointy-toed shoes. He’d also tied her to the mast of the ship, as if the fur and swinging skirt weren’t bad enough.
Smug, pontificating bastard. Oh, and the name! Prince Humperdinck. Made ‘Buffy’ look like Victoriana. Dumbass. But also evidently very secure in his masculinity, which she supposed was a point in his favor.
As Dawn struggled against her bonds, thankful that he’d used a thick rope that couldn’t be tied as tightly, she pondered how she’d gotten into this predicament. “Stupid Giles. ‘Dawn, you’re on semester break. Would you please do me a favor and pick up a book of spells and prophecies from a Milanese monastery and send it to me in Bath? Shouldn’t take more than an afternoon–I’ve let them know you’re coming. It’s the only remaining copy in existence, since the Council’s was destroyed, so be very careful with it.’”
She snorted in remembrance as she continued wiggling. A quick scan of the deck showed her that none of the crew members seemed to notice anything out of the ordinary and were going about what she assumed were their regular sailor-type duties–not that they’d struck her as a particularly observant bunch anyway. “Nothing about not reading the table of contents out loud because it would transport the reader to another dimension...talk about a warning that might actually have been useful, Giles...but no, we can’t have that...”
She resisted the urge to cheer as she felt her right hand begin to slip free. She hoped this prince guy was a better ruler than he was a knot-tier, because his knots sucked. And he had stupid taste in clothes.
She looked down at herself. She’d materialized in this dimension wearing a pair of jeans and a long-sleeved shirt and had spent the first week obsessively studying Giles’s book trying to get herself out of wherever the heck she was. Unfortunately, hunger eventually won out. Her trip to the nearest village to find an inn had apparently started some kind of weird rumor mill/gossip thing going. Mostly about her being prettier than some person/thing/animal/weed named Buttercup.
If she found out later that the villagers were comparing her to a cow, someone was getting staked.
Prince Humpback had shown up the very next day with about forty goons and kidnapped her–forcing her at knife-point to leave Giles’s book on the table of the inn where she’d been staying, since he apparently found literate women ‘distasteful.’ All she knew was that if that book wasn’t there when she got out of this, she was barbequing his royal hindass over a spit and he’d learn the real definition of distasteful. With mustard.
As if that wasn’t enough, the aristocratic waste-of-space apparently found women in pants too confusing for his pea-sized brain to comprehend. The first thing he’d done after he kidnapped her from the inn was to hand her an ice-blue satin dress and make her change into it, leaving her jeans behind in some random field. Dawn had to concede that the dress was gorgeous, but it had just as obviously been made for someone else. It kept slipping off her shoulders and was about three inches too long.
A greasy-looking sailor opened an eye, used it to leer at Dawn for a few minutes and grinned when he noticed her struggles. Figuring that she wasn’t going anywhere for a while, he closed it again and was snoring within minutes.
She was about an inch from freeing her hand when his assness flounced over. Did his shoes really have heels on them? “Well, well, well, my dear...”
Dawn rolled her eyes. Ugh, could the guy be more of a cliché? “What the hell do you want?”
He stared down his aristocratic nose at her and waved a hand. His lace shirt cuff fluttered attractively on the wind. “Why, you, of course.”
She rolled her eyes again. Yeah, okay. Half an inch to go, then she was taking some names. “Riiight. And why did you want me, exactly?” Please don’t want to use my blood to open a portal to another dimension, please don’t want to use my blood to open a portal to another dimension, please don’t...
The prince interrupted Dawn’s mantra, throwing his long hair back over his shoulder and raising an eyebrow. “Why, because you’re the most beautiful woman in the land, of course.”
“Of course.” Dawn couldn’t help the dryness in her tone, but it wasn’t as if Prince Nobel caught the sarcasm. Quarter inch to go. She began looking around for something on deck that she could use as a weapon. Ooh. Sharp-looking sword on moron-boy’s belt. That would do nicely. Plus, bonus points if cutting his belt made his tights fall down.
“Naturally, you will become my wife.” Humperdinck ignored the girl’s sputtering. She must have swallowed an insect of indiscriminate nature. The girl was beautiful, therefore she was the best. Of course he would marry her. And he was the handsomest prince in the province. Of course she would want to marry him. Who wouldn’t?
As a matter of course, he ignored the little voice in his head that reminded him of Buttercup. The girl currently tied to his mast was more beautiful than Buttercup could ever hope to be–her features were delicate and refined, displaying none of his previous fiancee’s now rather obvious homespun coarseness. Obviously, this girl was fated to be his, and he’d been misguided to pursue Buttercup in the first place.
Dawn had actually been struck speechless at his arrogance and stopped wiggling for a minute; mouth dropping open. Here she was, almost free, ready to kick his blue-blooded ass into the middle of the next millenium, and he was telling–not asking, telling!–her that she was going to marry him. As if! She’d marry Angel first–after being dipped in hot canola oil and covered in toasted sesame seeds.
Although, on the bright side, when she got back, she could tell the gang that she had evidence that complete strangers thought she was old enough to be in a serious relationship and that maybe she should be allowed to attempt dating again.
Dawn’s right hand slipped free of the ropes, but she grabbed them quickly so that Humpback wouldn’t notice a slackening of the tension and figure out what was going on. Now she just had to bring him close enough for her to grab the sword... “I don’t know yet if I’m going to marry you, your highness.”
Not that he’d actually asked her, of course. Dawn couldn’t stress the ‘not asking’ part of the equation strongly enough.
Now idiot-boy looked dumbfounded. Was it possible he’d never been rejected before? She gave him a quick once-over. Nope. The very idea was inconceivable. “I beg your pardon?”
Dawn fluttered her lashes at him, thanking the monk-memories of frequent coquette lessons given when Cordelia pulled babysitting duty on late research nights. That girl had definitely known all the stops to pull out when it came to manipulating the male of the species.
Y’know, assuming this prince-a-ma-callit was actually of the same species.
“I can’t marry you until I know if we’re compatible.” She gave her eyelashes another bat, thanking the goddess that she didn’t wear contacts.
The royal pompous windbag recovered his aplomb quickly at this sign of his captive’s interest. “Oh, well, of course. What is your intention?”
Dawn swallowed. Here she went. “I want you to kiss me.” Hey, look, no gag reflex! Cool!
Humperdinck preened and straightened his collar. Well, of course she did. He leaned in for a kiss, and his lips touched hers.
Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. One legendary kiss left them all in the dust. This one didn’t even make the first cut.
The next thing Humperdinck knew, his tunic was billowing in the wind, his hindquarters were developing gooseflesh from their almost contact with the brisk ocean air, and his future bride was holding a sword to his throat.
His breath caught. She looked absolutely magnificent–definitely worthy of his interest.
Dawn’s next reaction, now that her hands were free and she was armed, was to back away from her delusional captor, waving the sword to keep the henchmen away.
Not that she’d needed to–none of the surrounding sailors took a step to stop her since Humperdinck had yet to pay them and it didn’t look like he was going to anytime soon. The rumor, which hadn’t reached the outer provinces where the majority of the crew had been hired, was that Humperdinck’s credit wasn’t that good these days–anytime he sent one of his ships out of port to trade, they were immediately attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts.
Who, during all of Dawn’s wiggling and freeing herself, had managed to approach on the ship’s starboard side without anyone raising an alarm.
Dawn was almost at the starboard rail when she heard an accented voice announce, “Hello, my name is the Dread Pirate Roberts! As you’re all aware, I leave no survivors, but do happen to be a bit understaffed at the moment. Is anyone interested in becoming a member of my crew?”
A sea of hands around Dawn went up–the Dread Pirate Roberts was well known for paying his bills on time. She rolled her eyes and swung a leg over the rail, having had enough of this and by now prepared just to swim to shore and be done with it.
The speaker, dressed from head to toe in black (including a mask, of all things) noticed what she was doing and stuck a hand out in warning, “Dear lady, stop! I sympathize that you wish to be as far away from Prince Humperdinck as possible, but this water is full of shrieking eels!”
Shrieking what? Dawn immediately glanced down. Oh. Lots of little creatures with lots of sharp teeth were making an unholy racket between the two ships. She shuddered, then looked to the prince, then to the water again. “Compared to the prince, I think I’m willing to risk it!”
The prince began sputtering, putting his hands firmly on his hips in an aggrieved fashion, which had the added benefit of holding his tunic down, not that he noticed. “But you can’t leave! Don’t you know who I am? I am Prince Humperdinck–the handsomest prince in all the land! You are destined to be my queen!”
Dawn rolled her eyes again. Seriously, this guy made Dru look well-balanced and self-aware. “Oooh...hey, look, is that the sphinx? Maybe a couple of pyramids?”
Even though he didn’t understand the girl’s statement, the masked man gave a shout of laughter at the expression on Humperdinck’s face, then swooped across in Westley-approved Dread Pirate fashion and snagged her from the deck, returning her to his ship in one arc of the rope.
The sailors proceeded across the plank between the ships in much less dramatically, but obligingly carrying casks of mead, bolts of fabric, and jars of spices with them. Dawn looked back and saw only the prince, belt-free tunic swirling around him like so many angry weasels as he looked across at the ship she was now on, hands still braced dramatically on his hips, clearly trying to figure out what had happened.
The man in black couldn’t stop grinning. In one day, he’d plundered Humperdinck’s ship, taken on enough crew members to create a second crew in case of illness, dismissal, or retirement of his current crew, and helped end Humperdinck’s engagement for the second time.
The girl was lovely, even if she was wearing one of Buttercup’s old cast-offs, which had been left behind at the castle when she’d fled with Westley. Buttercup would be happy to have it back–he’d heard her bemoan her lack of wardrobe many times.
Even the sword suddenly against his gut didn’t make him stop grinning. “Hi. My name is Dawn Summers, not that anybody asked. I have a sword and I’m not afraid to use it. You’re going to drop me back at the inn in the village so I can pick up my book and try to get the hell home, where there may be vampires and demons, but at least there aren’t pirates or delusional prince-guys running around.”
Dawn took a step forward and tripped on the hem of the dress. “I’d also like some clothes that fit, if you have any.”
Inigo gave a quick bow, his grin reduced to a smirk. “As you wish.”