Title: Whiskey and Wine
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, Fox, Mutant Enemy and any other entities that can lay claim to them. Definitely not me though. However any original characters or places are mine.
Author's Note: This is based on the song, 'Brandy' by Looking Glass. All song lyrics belong to them.
Chapter 1 – This Harbor Town
There's a port on a western bay
And it serves a hundred ships a day
Lonely sailors pass the time away
And talk about their homes
And there's a girl in this harbor town
And she works layin' whiskey down
They say, "Buffy, fetch another round"
She serves them whiskey and wine
"Hey, Buffy, hurry up, girl," Arnie hollered. "We got customers waiting on ya."
"I'm moving" Buffy said, smiling up at her boss. "Did every damn ship have to come to port at one time?"
"It was the storm," Arnie said, pulling on the blonde's ponytail. "Just be thinking of all the money you'll make."
With a final smile, Buffy hoisted the tray onto her shoulder and made her way through the throng. She tried to ignore the occasional feels as she passed the sailors. For the most part they were good men, lonely and far from home, but there were always a few that went too far. That's why she didn't mind working at The Edge of Paradise; Arnie always took care of his girls. As long as they worked hard and treated his customers well, he'd make sure none of the men went further then the girls wanted.
Carefully, Buffy brought the tray down onto the table filled with some of her regulars. They all sailed on the Darla. The freighter hauled goods from Europe and the orient to the small port in Sunnydale and would be distributed all over the western coast of the United States. She laid the whiskey down in front of Angel, the draft of Michelob in front of Xander, the bottle of Budweiser in front of Wesley and the bourbon on the rocks in front of the only man she hadn't met yet.
From the moment they had walked in with hearty hellos for her, the newcomer had been staring at her. It was making her nervous as she hurried around doing her job. The intensity of those blue eyes made her feel as if he knew her every secret and her every desire. Few really knew her, and everyone else knew just what she wanted them to know. Forcing a smile she glanced at everyone.
"Need anything else, guys?"
Xander looped an arm around her hips affectionately. "Buffy, my girl, I think that's it."
"Isn't anyone going to introduce me?" The stranger asked in an out of place British accent. His eyes boldly stared into hers until she flushed and looked away.
"Buffy, this is Spike, one of the newbies but he's cool," Xander said.
"Hi, Spike," Buffy said, making eye contact with him again. "Welcome to The Edge. If you need anything let me know."
"I'm sure I will," Spike answered.
As she walked away, Buffy could hear Angel warning Spike to leave her alone. It was the protective warning of an older brother for his sister. They'd been friends since childhood along with Xander and Wesley. And once she'd even dated Angel but it was something that just wasn't meant to be. They'd broken up when he started his life on the sea. She'd never date a sailor, they were never around and a broken heart was the last thing she needed in her life. She served them their drinks, smiled prettily, flirted a little and collected her tips. It was all she wanted. And it was all she could handle.
The sailors say,"Buffy, you're a fine girl"
What a good wife you would be
Yeah your eyes could steal a sailor from the sea"
The pretty little blonde was hustling her ass off and never stopped smiling once. She carried trays of drinks that had to weigh more than her tiny body would soaking wet. Spike couldn't stop himself from staring at her. He knew from the guys that she wasn't that kind of girl and to leave her alone. He also knew they weren't just blowing smoke out his ass. It was there in her eyes, an innate innocence in spite of all the ugliness around her.
His tablemates were slowly drifting off as they went home or to be with their girls. Spike stayed where he was. Unlike his shipmates he was new to this town and other than sitting here watching Buffy his only alternative was that he could return to the ship to read. Whores and prostitutes weren't his style and he was still nursing the broken heart that had sent him to sea in the first place. Drusilla had walloped a mighty punch when she kicked him out and he was trying to outrun his memories. So, far it was without much success.
A pair of tan legs came into view and his eyes slowly followed it over the tiny black shorts that hugged Buffy's hips, to a flat stomach, rested for a moment on the white t-shirt pulled tight over perfect breasts right on up to a pissed off expression. He smiled. She didn't.
"Do you want another one?" Buffy asked.
"Drink or look?"
"I'll ring up your total," Buffy said, turning to leave.
"I'm sorry," Spike said. "I'm a bad rude man for admiring your beauty and should be seriously flogged for it. I once again offer my humble apologies."
It earned him a smile accompanied by the rolling of her eyes. At least she wasn't angry anymore. He rolled his shoulders and weighed his options. With a sigh he looked up at her and shook his head.
"Total," he said. "Don't want to be hurtin' in the morning."
"Give me just a minute and I'll be back," Buffy said, still smiling.
Spike watched as she strolled away. Her hips swayed in time to the music coming from the jukebox in the corner as she crossed the floor. He wondered why she was working in a place like this but wasn't that what every man said about a pretty girl that appeared to be still innocent. It wasn't his business and he swallowed the last of his drink. His finger ran around the rim of the glass while he compared Drusilla, his dark princess, to the sunny light of Buffy. He wondered if their personalities were as contrasting as their looks.
He sighed. He didn't want involvement and Buffy wasn't the kind of girl you took to a motel so it didn't even bear thinking about. Except he hadn't enjoyed the company of a pretty girl in a long time and the little blonde waitress was making him think about breaking his own rules. His quarrel with himself was interrupted by a commotion a couple of tables away.
"Oh, come on, girl, quit being so prissy," a drunken old man was saying as he held Buffy on his lap. He was trying to kiss her and she was struggling against him.
Spike didn't hesitate. The chair was thrown to the floor in his sudden movement to help the girl. She looked scared and was frantically looking around for someone to help her. Arnie had disappeared off the floor. A piteous cry was uttered when a rough hand was clamped on her breast.
"Look, mate, she said no, so let her go," Spike growled, towering over the pair.
The drunk locked eyes with him and pushed Buffy off of him. She stumbled, clearly shaken, and it was only Spike's arm that prevented her from falling. He held her against him for a moment as she regained her composure.
"You okay, Lamb?"
She nodded, pulling away from him and straightening her clothes. He turned to the man as he pulled bills from his pocket to pay for his drinks and Spike plucked a ten from the pile and handed it to Buffy.
"What the hell are you doing?"
Her eyes were flashing fire at him as she grabbed the ten and handed it back to the customer.
"Was trying to help, Pet," Spike said, perplexed by her behavior. As far as he was concerned the old man owed her something for his attempt to accost her.
"I'm not your pet," Buffy snapped. "Thank you for helping me but I don't want anything from him."
She counted out change and dropped it in the man's hand. He turned and left the bar. As soon as the door closed behind him, Buffy let out a deep breath. Spike wasn't sure if she was mad at him or if it had been a backlash of her other emotions. Deciding not to push his luck he returned to his table and righted the chair.
"I'm sorry," a small voice said behind him. Buffy was standing there and was fidgeting. "I appreciate you helping me."
"You're welcome," Spike answered. "My mother taught me to always come to lady's aid."
"She taught you well," Buffy said, a grin had returned to her face. She reached into her pocket and pulled out his tab. "Do you want me to wait or…?"
"I've got it."
Spike reached into his pocket and after glancing at the total handed her some bills.
"Let me go and get some more change," Buffy said, turning away from him.
"If you don't have a problem with tips in general keep the change."
It was his turn to smile as she looked back at him. Her eyes were filled with uncertainty at his teasing but around the edges was something else. He recognized it and his grin widened at the thought that she found him attractive. Lust flooded his body as he wondered what it would be like to hold her and kiss her. She must have sensed his interest because she straightened up and whatever he had seen in her eyes was gone.
"Thank you. Again," Buffy said. "Have a good evening."
Spike had been dismissed. He tilted his head and saluted her.
"Thank you," Spike answered. "Maybe we will meet again."
Without waiting for a reply he left the bar. Thanks to Drusilla he knew he wasn't that great of a catch. That was one of the reasons he had gone to sea in the first place. To remove himself from any temptation of giving his heart away. And the first time that he had been in the least bit tempted he had been slapped back into place.
At the corner Spike paused to light a cigarette and heard a noise. He looked around but didn't see anyone however something was telling him to be careful. A laugh coming from the bar's entrance made him turn around and he saw Buffy waving good-bye to some other waitresses. Something wasn't right and after the incident with the old man he didn't feel right leaving her to get home alone. Spike ran to catch up to her and as soon as he got close enough to her, Buffy turned and swung. Her fist connected with his chin and he fell on his ass.
hell, woman," Spike snarled, looking up at her. "I was trying to help you."
"And like I said I appreciated your help but that doesn't give you the right to stalk me or assume that I want you in my life."
"I wasn't assuming anything," Spike said, rubbing his chin and standing up. "I was heading back to the ship and something wasn't feeling right. So, I came back to check on ya."
"Oh," Buffy said, stepping closer. Her fingers brushed his aside to inspect the damage. "You'll live. And that's not a very original pick up line."
Spike's stomach was tied in knots from her gentle touch. And his lower extremities were paying attention to the exchange trying to decide if they should be paying closer attention.
"It's not a pick up line," Spike grumbled, locating and grounding out his cigarette. "Like I said I was getting warning bells and I was worried about you."
Spike looked up and she was still standing close to him. He could smell her shampoo, the hint of alcohol and smoke from the bar and a scent that was pure woman. His lower extremities stopped waiting for further encouragement and started to stir on their own. Her head was tilted back as she studied him and giving up he took a step back. She laughed and he knew he had been had. Buffy wasn't as innocent as she seemed.
"You were worried about little old me?" Buffy asked, her eyelids batting in rapid motions that gave away her sarcasm. "Were you going to be my big old hero and come swooping in to save me? Now, just where did you park that white charger of yours?"
"Fine, next time I won't care if some big, nasty beastie eats you alive."
His duster flew behind him as he stomped away from her. Yeah, he wanted her. Wanted her so bad that he would give up his self-proclaimed vow at celibacy just to be able to taste those little cupid bow lips. But that hadn't been his motivation when he had come after her. It was totally honorable. Now, if he known she had the punch of a damn prize fighter he would have left that curvy behind to deal with whatever baddies were out there on her own.
"Spike, wait up," Buffy called.
He ignored her and kept walking. A hand curled around his arm and he slowed down a little. He glanced down at her and faltered. Something had spooked her. Buffy looked behind her and was jogging to keep up with his pace. Spike slowed down.
"See something back there?"
"That guy from the bar was hanging out in the alley," Buffy explained. "Maybe I should have listened to you."
"Maybe," Spike commented. "So, are you going back to the ship with me since that is where I am heading?"
Buffy stopped and chewed her lower lip. Spike almost groaned and asked if he could do it instead. It took her a couple of seconds and a few quick looks between him and the empty sidewalk behind them. Finally she sighed and looked up at him.
"Would you mind walking me home?"
Feeling like he had pulled off a coup he nodded his head, bent his elbow and held his arm out to her. Her hand returned to the offered limb and he was given an appreciative smile at his playing the hero after all. Maybe things were looking up after all and he wondered if he was going to get a good night kiss for this.
To be continued…