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Disclaimer: You all know the drill. I don't own any of the BTVS characters or POTC characters, because if I did Captain Jack would be my own personal cabin boy ;)
Summary: Set during POTC: At World's End and post 'The Gift' Season 5 of BTVS. Tia Dalma had seemed so sure when she said that everyone who'd died were at rest. Clearly she'd never met Buffy…
Sad were my thoughts that anchor'd silently
On the dead waters of that passionless sea,
Unstirr'd by any touch of living breath:
Silence hung over it, and drowsy Death,
Like a gorged sea-bird, slept with folded wings
On crowded carcases—sad passive things
That wore the thin grey surface, like a veil
Over the calmness of their features pale.
Thomas Hood 'The Sea of Death'
"Him at peace now."
Tia's dark eyes burned into hers and Elizabeth nodded as she wept. The crew shuffled uncomfortably, already disconcerted at the thousands of tiny boats bobbing near them as they sailed through the sea of dead people.
Suddenly there was the sound of something heavy and wet landing on the deck behind them. Pistols drawn, the crew turned to see the body of a young woman sprawled on the floor.
She rested for a moment on the deck and then sat up, beginning to wring out water from her clothes and hair. "Actually, some of us aren't."
The sound of weapons being primed and cocked didn't seem to faze her. Instead, she coughed, spitting out seawater, and picked a piece of weed out of her blonde, tangled hair.
"And who are you?" asked Will, his sword in hand.
She ignored the question and got up easily, stretching out her arms and legs, the bones cracking. She stepped out of the ever growing puddle that she'd been standing in and strolled back over to the side of the ship where she'd boarded.
Reaching down there was a loud yelp and then she drew her hand back. In her grasp was a squirming boy of about ten, dressed in tattered clothes and with a thick rope burn marring the skin around his neck. She dropped him on deck with a disapproving look and then eyed the crowd of armed people.
"Yay me. The welcoming committee," she sighed. "Right. Who's in charge of this boat?"
Jack stepped forward, frowning. "That'd be me love. Captain Jack Sparrow. And this is my ship- the 'The Black Pearl'."
The woman nodded but her face showed no sign of recognition.
"Captain. Jack. Sparrow."
"Yeah, I heard first time. I'm dead, not deaf."
Barbossa laughed. "Finally we meet someone who hasn't heard of you, Jack. What a mighty shame."
The woman shrugged. "Sorry. We only get news when someone new dies." She swept an arm out to indicate the thousands of tiny little boats bobbing around them. "And you may have noticed but this lot aren't the chattiest bunch ever."
"Sorry," said Will, "but you never said your name?"
"Buffy Summers." She smiled brightly, swallowing the Vampire Slayer part. These people seemed like they had enough problems of their own without her adding the world of demons, darkness and the forces of evil into the mix.
She glanced at the small, grubby, wet boy next to her. "And this is Fred. We ended up in the same boat for some reason, and now the kid won't leave me alone will you?" She ruffled his hair. "So, can we go yet?"
Everyone turned to Tia and Will spoke up. "I thought you said they're all meant to be at peace down here?"
Tia frowned. "Davy Jones is not doing his job properly."
Buffy crossed her arms. "Oh Davy Jones has nothing to do with this. If you want major blammage I'd go for the PTB. Stuck up, screwed up bastards. I swear they just love messing with me. I mean I jump in a portal prepared to sacrifice myself to save the world expecting Heaven on the other side." She jabbed a finger in the air angrily. "And instead of clouds and harps I get some weird underworld populated by the dead of the eighteenth century floating around in dinghies. I mean, whose messed up version of an afterlife is that?"
Jack looked around, considerably bewildered even for him. "Um, did anyone understand a word of what she just said?"
Buffy waved a hand. "Oh it doesn't matter. Long story short, I shouldn't be here. I mean I didn't even die at sea, and technically I haven't even been born yet so if I seem a bit ungratefully dead and eager to get out that'd be why." She scowled. "And Fred's just…well, he'll follow me even if I tell him specifically to stay in the boat." She sent the small boy a particularly pointed look. "So if we could get out of here before the rest of the dead click onto the fact that we're leaving whatever hellish afterlife this is and board your boat too, I'd be really happy."
The others looked at each other hesitantly.
Buffy decided some serious wheedling was in order. "Please, you have to take us with you. Do you have any idea how boring it is sitting around here?" She cast a glance over at Elizabeth. "No offence, I'm sure your Dad is having a blast."
There was a stony silence.
"Ok, new tactic; I'm really good at killing stuff. And this is only the second time I've ended up dead." Her nose wrinkled. "Or undead, whatever. And you people look like you could do with a hand. Plus Fred's good for…whatever kids do on boats."
"Can ye scale rigging lad?" asked Gibbs. "Like the devil himself was after ye?"
Fred nodded enthusiastically. "Yes sir."
"Good," muttered Jack. "As he normally is."
Barbossa eyed Buffy suspiciously. "We've already got a crew of able-bodied pirates on this quest of ours. Why should we take you on when you look like nothing but a scrawny little girl who'd faint away if Jack breathed in your face?"
She punched him squarely in the jaw. Barbossa stumbled backwards as the rest of the crew drew forwards, swords at the ready.
Jack on the other hand, was smiling broadly. "Well, I like her already."
"All right," Barbossa acquiesced, wincing as he touched his face, "you've got a good right hook on you, and seeing as how I'd like to keep the rest of me body intact I'll take your word for it that you know how to fight."
Gibbs opened his mouth to comment but was cut off as Jack clamped his hand over his friend's lips. "It's been said many times," Jack shot Gibbs a dark look, "that having a woman on board brings bad luck. That may be true, given the somewhat unfortunate series of events that have unfolded ever since Miss Swan arrived."
Elizabeth opened her mouth in protest but the joint glares from Will, Jack and Barbossa silenced her. She crossed her arms instead and pouted.
Jack fiddled with one of the beads in his hair and continued. "And I don't think having a dead woman onboard will likely turn things in our favour. But!" he added as Buffy began to interject, "in this case I think it best that we let Miss Summers remain seeing that it will be nigh impossible to get rid of her and we do have other matters to contend with, such as say how we get out of Davy Jones Locker to the land of the living and defeat the nefarious plans of our enemies." He paused and looked her up and down. "On the other hand we could just chuck her overboard."
Buffy smirked. "Try me. I'll just keep climbing back on, and if being dead has given me any perks, it's that I have an infinite amount of patience."
"It looks like I have no choice then," Jack shrugged. "And the boy as well?"
Fred grinned cheekily.
"We're sort of a two for one deal."
"I know I'm going to regret this." Jack held out a hand. "But welcome aboard."
Buffy's hand gripped his. "Thank you, Captain Sparrow."
It wasn't very long before Buffy began to think she'd made a mistake. It didn't help that they still hadn't managed to escape the Locker and as such morale was going down hill fast.
"If we cannot escape these doldrums before night, I fear we will sail on trackless seas, doomed to roam the reach between worlds, forever," moaned Tia.
Buffy quirked an eyebrow. "Way to be optimistic."
"I'm afraid, Miss Summers," said Barbossa, watching in bemusement as Jack began to run from one side of the ship to the other, "that you seem to have swapped eternity in a small boat, for eternity in a much bigger one."
"With crazier people," Buffy added, a grin lifting her lips at the corners. "But at least I'm not bored anymore."
"No," the pirate agreed, "that's certainly true."
"He's rocking the boat!" called out one of the crew.
"Aye, Jack's cracked it, the mad fool!" Gibbs shouted.
"Can I ask you a question?" asked Buffy as she got up from her position on the floor and began to run from one side to the other with the rest of the crew.
Barbossa eyed her carefully as if weighing up how much this would cost him and then nodded. "Aye."
"Your face seems very familiar. I don't suppose you've ever been dead before?"
The man blinked before grinning widely. "Aye, I have been. But the trick to being alive again is to make yourself invaluable to those who kill you off in the first place."
The boat banked into the air steeply and below her feet, Buffy felt the vibrations as loosed cannons smashed into the side of the ship. "So apart from you and me is there anyone else on this boat that hasn't been dead at some point?"
The boat was now rocking wildly and Barbossa gripped onto his hat as the ship tipped nearly vertically into the sky. Their feet left the ground and all of the crew were left dangling dangerously high above the sea.
"Excepting Miss Swan and Mr Turner the rest of us have all had a taste of our own brand of immortality Miss Summers." A hard glint came into his eye. "Remind me to tell you about it sometime when I'm not hanging from the side of my ship."
"I thought it was Jack's ship."
Barbossa laughed. "Jack thinks it's his ship. But then there's always been a great deal of difference between what Jack thinks and the truth."
And then the boat sank into the water and the last thing Buffy saw before the world somersaulted were dark green waves covering the sky.
"Blessed sweet westerly. We're back!" Gibbs stared at the sunrise in amazement as Buffy began to wring her clothes out…again.
As it turned out, getting out of the Locker only led to a new set of problems. Namely, that Jack was none too happy about going to fight a Pirate War and everyone seemed to want to kill everyone else.
"Alright then!" said Barbossa, his pistol pointed at Jack. "The Brethren Court is a-gathering at Shipwreck Cove; and Jack, you and I are going and there'll be no arguing that point."
"I am arguing the point. If there are pirates gathering, I'm pointing my ship the other way," Jack retorted as Elizabeth swung both her pistols to aim at his head.
Except Will and Elizabeth, Buffy noted wryly, who had so much unresolved sexual tension and romantic angst going on between them that if they didn't get it sorted soon, one of them would explode.
"If we don't stand together, they'll hunt us down one by one 'till there'll be none left but you," pointed out Barbossa.
Jack shrugged, a dark look in his eyes. "I quite like the sound of that. Captain Jack Sparrow. Last pirate."
Buffy raised an eyebrow as the ship's monkey came to sit on her shoulder for a better view of the standoff. "Hi."
"Aye," retorted Barbossa, "and you'll be fighting Jones alone. Now, how does that figure into your plan?"
"I'm still working on that," said Jack, his lip curling. "But I will not be going back to the locker, mate. Count on that."
Then he shot him.
Or at least he would have done if the powder had not been wet. Instead they had a rather poor water pistol fight in Buffy's opinion, which ended with Jack making faces at Barbossa's back.
"Sorry to butt in like this," said Buffy as the monkey leapt from her shoulder to the rigging above her head, "but you can get back to shooting each other later." She motioned to the rest of the crew. "The rest of us who don't want to die would quite like to get off this boat and find land."
The group stared at her.
"What?" she said defensively.
"Miss Summers, is this place suitable for your liking?" Barbossa asked, handing her the telescope.
"Yes to the white sandy beaches and tropical paradise, no to the fact that it's miles from civilization and there's something very big and very dead on the beach." She slid the telescope shut. "And it looks like it's been dead for a while. I prefer my paradise without the stench of rotting flesh, so thanks, but I'll be staying onboard a little longer."
The monkey landed on Barbossa's hat and Buffy smiled. "He's cute."
"Where are my manners, you haven't been introduced." Barbossa smirked. "The immortal Miss Summers (deceased) meet the immortal Jack, (also deceased)."
"Wait, the monkey's immortal?" she rolled her eyes."They're really just handing it out nowadays aren't they?"
"It's a more precious gift than you think, and there are some, who'd be willing to do just about anything to get it." Buffy followed Barbossa's gaze to land on Jack pouring over his maps.
"Yeah...but in this trend have you noticed how you have to be dead to live forever?"
Barbossa wet his lips. "Certain people wouldn't see that as a downside."
Barbossa, Jack and the supply party had barely left the ship for thirty minutes and already trouble had found The Black Pearl.
"There's another ship coming!" cried Elizabeth, drawing her sword.
Buffy grinned. She was starting to like the woman more and more. "So are these guys bad?" she ventured, slipping into her own fighting stance. "Cos to me, these pirates all seem the same."
"Not bad exactly," Elizabeth explained. "Just not on our side."
The other ship swung round hard to the port side and immediately swarms of oriental pirates began to board, filling the air as they swung aboard. Buffy ducked down low and swept her leg out fast, tripping the newcomers who made it on deck. She pulled out a sword from one of the fallen and slashed out in an arc, the metal ringing as it met another blade.
"And what side are we on?"
Elizabeth raised an eyebrow as she buried her sword into a pirate's chest. "These days I'm not really sure. But the best advice I can give you is to look after yourself, because no-one else will." She frowned. "There's no honour amongst pirates. Don't believe a word anyone says."
"So why I should I trust you?"
Elizabeth bit her lip. "Good point. Duck!"
Elizabeth's sword met just above Buffy's head, blocking a blow that would have severed her head. Elizabeth moved her other arm quickly and slit the man's windpipe with a small dagger.
Elizabeth nodded. "You're welcome."
The Black Pearl was immediately overwhelmed with sheer volume of numbers. It hadn't helped that the Chinese crew who had been onboard with them had mutinied; joining with the invading pirates. It was also a slight disadvantage that the Slayer code had always strictly forbidden her from harming humans, though Buffy managed to get as many punches and as much non lethal maiming in as she could. There were a ring of unconscious pirates surrounding her before she was finally bound.
"Are you alright?" she hissed in Elizabeth's ear, as they stood handcuffed next to each other on deck. The young woman nodded, though she looked extremely angry. Will was nowhere to be seen. "Who's the bald Chinese guy?"
"Right," she swallowed. "That means nothing to me."
"The last time we saw him, his bathhouse got blown up."
"Well that explains the murderous look in his eyes then. I'd hate it if someone destroyed my bathroom too." Buffy sighed as Jack and Barbossa clambered aboard. "And here comes more trouble."
She wiggled her hands in her handcuffs and began to silently try to slip her fingers out of her shackles. Despite being dead, her slayer flexibility was still as good as it had ever been, and this time dislocating her fingers didn't hurt in the slightest. Apparently being dead meant pain was not an issue. Tuned out of the conversation that was happening around her, she'd just managed to twist her left hand out of one of the cuffs when she felt a ripple of laughter run round the crew.
"Captain Turner?" blinked Jack incredulously.
"What the hell is Will up to?" she hissed in Elizabeth's ear, but the other woman was too focused on her fiancé to even notice she'd been spoken to.
"Aye, the perfidious rotter led a mutiny against us," said Gibbs.
'Well,' thought Buffy, 'that certainly explained why they'd been overwhelmed so quickly.'
"I need The Pearl to free my father," said Will as Elizabeth's shackles were undone. "That's the only reason I came on this voyage."
Once released, Elizabeth strode towards Will, her expression black. As the crew slipped forwards to fill her place, Buffy inched backwards so that she was now wedged between the rigging and more of the crew.
"Why didn't you tell me you were planning this?" demanded Elizabeth.
Will refused to look at her. "It was my burden to bear."
Buffy rolled her eyes and continued to surreptitiously free her other hand. If she could only move her fingers slightly to the right she would have both hands free.
"Did no one come to save me just because they missed me?" said Jack indignantly.
Buffy smiled slightly as the monkey raised his hand.
"I'm standing over there with them," said Sparrow, but before he could move Sao Feng had gripped the back of his neck and he was caught fast.
"I'm sorry, Jack. But there is an old friend who wants to see you first."
"I'm not certain I can survive anymore visits from old friends."
"Here's your chance to find out," said Sao Feng, pointing to the horizon.
Buffy's heart sank. "Oh great. More ships."
As swarms of soldiers boarded The Black Pearl and Will and Elizabeth were shackled (again) Buffy watched from her position in the rigging. It had been only a moments work to slip unnoticed away from the crew and up into the air where the sails billowed and kept her from being spotted. And then she bumped into a familiar face.
"Fred!" She gave the boy a hug. "I wondered where you'd gone to."
He frowned and touched his neck. "I had to hide from the soldiers."
"Oh." Buffy shifted uncomfortably. They'd never talked about how and why Fred had died, but she'd known it hadn't been pleasant. "Right. You stay here with me then."
She watched as Barbossa and Sao Feng bartered amongst themselves, even as Elizabeth and Will watched with growing apprehension from the side.
"Is it just me, or are you having a hard time keeping up with who is double-crossing who?"
Fred shrugged. "They're pirates. It's what they do."
"Well I wish when they did it they had diagrams and signs to explain what was happening," Buffy grouched. "This would be so much easier if Giles was here."
Fred smiled at the mention of her Watcher. They'd had plenty of time being dead to exchange stories and Buffy's father figure had come up many times. "Well, these soldiers are British if that helps. East India Trading Company. They're bad by the way. For pirates at least."
"Cops of the ocean. Gotcha. Oh no," Buffy squinted. "What's Feng face up to with Elizabeth?"
"They're arguing again."
"And now she's hitting Will. Those two really need to kiss and make up." Buffy crept a little further down the mast and hooking her ankles over one of the yard arms she hung upside down to listen to the conversation.
"Then we have an accord?" said Barbossa eagerly, watching Sao Feng and Elizabeth.
"Aye." The Chinese Captain wasted no time in releasing the young woman from her bonds and even as Will protested she was led from The Black Pearl to Feng's vessel The Empress.
"Here we go again," said Buffy, swinging herself back up. "I'm following Elizabeth-I don't trust her alone with that lot even if they do think she's a goddess. You," and she grabbed Fred's shoulders, "stay on The Pearl where at least you'll be safe…ish", she amended seeing the look on his face. "And no following me this time. I'll go grab Elizabeth and be back before you can say pieces of eight."
As Elizabeth had saved her life it seemed only fair to repay the debt. It was a simple matter for Buffy to slip onboard in all of the confusion, especially when all three ships began firing upon one another, and Buffy officially gave up on trying to figure out who was on whose side. She briefly spotted Jack flying through the air in a daring swing that impressed even her Slayer sense of grace and balance, before hiding herself away in an unused storage cupboard. She was content to wait for the opportune moment to knock out Sao Feng, rescue Elizabeth and get herself off the ship. Preferably in that order.
"The plan would have worked if everyone didn't keep blowing each other up," Buffy muttered to herself.
She'd been fully prepared to rescue Elizabeth as night had fallen. Instead The Dutchman had attacked them. Now, in place of rescuing her friend from Sao Feng's lust, Buffy had found herself on an empty ship being towed behind Davy Jones' ship, realizing that she would have to sneak aboard The Dutchman before it sailed away with Elizabeth now captive on it.
Which was why the Slayer found herself landing with an ungraceful splat on the deck of The Dutchman sometime later. There hadn't seemed an easier way to get aboard but to dive off one ship and swim to the other.
"This is getting old fast," she muttered to herself, adjusting her soaked clothing, checking her (stolen) sword was still attached to her (also stolen) belt. She spat a lungful of seawater overboard, grateful for her immortality at times like these. At least the plus side of already being dead was that you couldn't die anymore.
"Buffy?" she glanced up to see Elizabeth and a rather good looking man in naval uniform staring at her. "What are you doing here?"
Buffy put her hands on her hips. "Well I was coming to rescue you, but Team Buffy now seems a bit redundant." She eyed the rope slung between The Empress and The Dutchman. "And that would have been a much easier way to cross." She waved an arm at the officer, who looked the picture of bemusement. "Well, carry on with your rescue, I'll follow after you."
Elizabeth shook her head and then turned to the man at her side, obviously continuing an earlier conversation. "Come with us. James, come with me."
Buffy began to wringing out her hair for what seemed like the nth time, when she noticed someone coming towards them, and they didn't look particularly friendly.
"Sorry to interrupt this heartwarming reunion but we've got trouble coming."
Elizabeth paled. "Bootstrap."
"Who goes there?" The sailor called out into the dark.
The man, James, urged Elizabeth onto the ropes. "Go. I will follow."
Buffy rolled her eyes. "Now's not really the time," she said in a sing song tone. "Live first, argue later."
Fortunately James seemed to agree with her. "Our destinies have been entwined, Elizabeth...but never joined." He kissed her and then urged her further onto the ropes. "Go! Now!"
Elizabeth disappeared into the night sky as James turned to the threat currently coming their way. "Back to your station, sailor."
In the moonlight Buffy couldn't repress a wince at the nature of the man's condition as he slowly morphed into one of Jones' sea monsters. On the other hand he was clearly not human and therefore slayable. She grinned into the darkness. Finally.
"No one leaves the ship."
James had drawn his own sword. "Stand down. That's an order!"
This was clearly getting them nowhere. Buffy drew her own weapon and nudged the man closer to the ropes. "Go."
"I won't leave a woman onboard a ship such as this!"
Buffy remained unimpressed. "Well, that's…very chivalrous of you, but I'm in far less danger of dying than you are. So go."
"I really must protes-"
"Ladies first," she said and unceremoniously pushed him over the side so that he had to clutch at the rope to hang on.
"I'll. Be. Fine," she said through gritted teeth. She gripped her sword tighter as Bootstrap began to bellow into the frigid night air.
"All hands, prisoner escape!"
James was still hanging there. Buffy raised an eyebrow. "As touching as you hanging on is, you better drop into the sea before I make you."
"Oh for the love of-"
She cut the line between the ships. The man fell into the water, and as she peered over the side she could just make him swimming over to Elizabeth who was bobbing in the waves as well, her face watching the unfolding scene in horror.
Well, it was always nice to have an audience.
She turned back to face the oncoming hoards of sailors. She dodged a lunge from Bootstrap, her sword neatly slicing off a fin from a member of Jones' crew who was sneaking up behind her. Unfortunately she found herself backed herself up against the side railing, watching as Davy Jones himself walked up to her, his tentacles gleaming in the lamplight.
She couldn't help the look of disgust that passed over her face.
"Do you fear death?"
Buffy managed a wry smile. "Been there, done that. I'd have got the t-shirt but it's not that kind of place."
Jones snorted at her arrogance and she lunged at him. It was a direct hit through his chest, but it didn't seem to affect him at all as he drew her sword out of himself.
"I take that as a no." He thrust the sword back at her, and it slid easily into her heart.
Nothing happened. There was no agonizing death rattle, no scream as blood gushed over her clothes. She smiled her cat's grin at the look of confusion that passed across the Captain's face as she pulled the cutlass out of her body.
"Looks like I can do that trick too."
There had been no pain, and briefly brushing her fingers over where she'd been stabbed, she was fairly sure that when she stripped her shirt off later there would be no wound either. But now wasn't exactly the time to debate why. She had an angry, confused squid captain staring at her in disbelief to deal with first.
"You look familiar, have I eaten one of your relatives?"
Jones sucked in a breath in fury.
She winced as she replayed that sentence in her head. Okay, perhaps not the best conversation starter.
Before he had a chance to try to kill her again she swung her sword, slicing off a tentacle before throwing herself overboard, in a rather shoddy attempt at a dive.
There was a shout of rage from above her before she hit the waves hard. Barely pausing she broke into strong strokes and in far less time than she'd thought she was wearily clambering aboard The Empress. A strong hand grabbed her shirt and heaved her onto the deck and she sank onto the wooden floor gratefully. Elizabeth was peering over her in concern.
"Are you alright?"
"Oh, just peachy," she muttered and threw the still wriggling tentacle from Jones at her. "Here, have a souvenir."
Elizabeth held the squirming tentacle in-between her thumb and index finger and raised a brow. "Thanks."
She managed a weary smile at her friend's sarcasm. "You're welcome. Where'd Mr Melodrama go?"
"If you are referring to me madam, then I am here."
Buffy lifted her head at the masculine tone and found him watching her from his position on top of a stack of crates. He'd shed his coat and wig and Buffy found herself admiring his features, realizing it must have been his hand that had hauled her aboard.
"So you did make it then."
"My grateful thanks for your determination to secure my safety, lady. Though how you yourself didn't end up dead, I have no idea. I was sure that Jones had killed you."
She brushed aside his suspicious tone. "I have a few tricks up my sleeves. And I'm not the first person to narrowly escape certain death."
He had to concede that. "Yes, I've met several men who fit that description, my lady."
"Buffy, please." She sat herself up and held out her hand. "We haven't been properly introduced. You are...?"
"James Norrington." He slid his hand into hers and they shook. She enjoyed the sensation of his warm heat sinking into her permanently cool flesh, his firm grip against her fingers, her hand lingering in his perhaps longer than was strictly necessary. He helped her up from the floor and she let go reluctantly.
"Well," said Elizabeth, "that's because she's -"
"-just been for a swim in the ocean twice," said Buffy glaring at her friend. She sent James a fleeting grin and then shivered as the wind whipped through her soaked clothing. She wasn't really cold; it was just a reflex action that her body still had memorized from when she was alive. Things it still did unnecessarily, like blinking or breathing, but which made her feel more human, and less… odd.
"Come, we should change out of our attire before we catch our death."
Buffy hid a smile at his unintentional choice of phrase. "Great. And then, Captain?" She turned to her friend. "What's our heading?"
Elizabeth pursed her lips. "Shipwreck Cove. We need to get to the Brethren Court; I've got a battle to arrange."
Buffy waited until Norrington was out of hearing distance before she turned to the other woman. "Listen, Elizabeth, I'd really appreciate if you didn't mention my extreme deadness in front of cute guys. It tends to put them off. "
Elizabeth's eyebrow rose. "Why? He's going to find out sooner or later."
"Yeah, and I'd prefer it to be later. Way later." She looked at her friend pointedly. "And you're one to talk about secrets. Since when do you kiss guys other than Will?"
Elizabeth had the grace to blush. "James kissed me- not the other way round! And besides, he thought he was going to die."
"Details," said Buffy, brushing them away with her hand. "Who else have you kissed?"
"And I suppose he was going to die as well?"
"Actually," said Elizabeth, "he did."
"Oh. Is that why you and Will have this weird tension thing going on?"
Elizabeth nodded morosely.
"Just tell him I sent my first lover to Hell," said Buffy evenly. "That'll really put things in perspective for him."
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