A/N: welcome to my first and probably only Ghost Ship fanfic. this is a pre-movie fanfic. more romance and adventure than anything else. i watched the movie a couple times, so if they mentioned Munder's first name, i didnt catch it. i made one up for him anyway. lol! it'll come up soon. and so, here it is. the first chappie! enjoy!

Chapter 1: Kidding

Megan sighed as she cleared the table full of beer bottles and glasses onto a wide tray she held flat on her palm. The bell attached to the door of the pub she owned chimed, and the silence was broken by laughter and celebration of some kind. She stepped toward the bar, setting the tray on its surface as the group she was currently ignoring sat at one of the round tables.

She was so tired she could barely stand, having worked all day, but it was worth the pay check. Even if pubs in Sydney Australia were a dime a dozen, they were always in business. Especially the ones at port, exactly where her pub was located. Sailors would come in from long trips at sea looking for an ice cold beer and a corner to pass out in. And, if they came to her pub, they usually tried to find themselves a piece of ass to go with their beer.

No matter what she did, they always hit on her. She would treat the men like crap, humiliate them in front of their friends and they still kept coming. Some of them got so drunk they didn't know exactly what they were saying to her that made her slap them, or they were just naturally crude and she would slap them before they even opened their mouth. Everyone knew her and her temper, but it never mattered when you were pissed and looking for action.

"Hey, sweetheart!"

Her head shot up from whipping down the bar, her amber eyes searching for the man that dared to call her 'sweetheart' and she caught him instantly as he waved his hand to her.

"Bring us a round of beers, would ya?" the blonde man called, gesturing in a circle to the group with him before he slammed the hand down on the table and grinned, "We're celebrating!"

"Is that right?" Megan smiled in her light Aussie accent, leaning both hands against the bar and scanning over the people sitting with him. "And what would you celebrating?"

"The best damn salvage job this month!" the Hispanic man sitting with them grinned back as Megan stepped toward the fridge behind her and gripped the necks of six bottles and headed toward them.

"This year!" the blonde man grinned back as she stepped between him and the man sitting next to him to place the bottles on the table. The blonde man leered at Megan as she set one bottle in front of each of them and lifted a hand behind her, announcing, "Never had a fine woman like you serve me a drink! Must be my lucky day!"

The swat on her rear made her jump and a couple of the men laughed as the only brunette woman sighed in exasperation and the older man sitting next to her rolled his eyes. Megan's temper flared, but she managed to keep it from combusting as she turned around to head back to the bar. She tucked her ankle around one of the legs of the chair the blonde man was sitting in and pulled.

"Holy shit-!"

He fell on his back with a grunt, staring wide, ice blue eyes at her as she looked down at him in false surprise.

"Whoops," she chirped, and turned to saunter away as his friends laughed, the Hispanic and the long, dark-haired man sitting next to him laughing especially hard as she called, "Sorry!"

"The hell you are!" the blonde man growled, shooting to his feet.

"Sit your ass down, Dodge," the older man with them chuckled. "She's liable to take you down with her little finger if you try somethin' like that again."

"Why thank you, Sir," Megan smiled, lifting a cup she had started wiping down, and he lifted his beer to her before taking a swig from it as she continued, "It's rare to have a gentleman come in. I mostly get the ruffians like your friend there…Dodge, was it?"

"Wow, she hit that nail on the head, didn't she?" the black man sitting with them laughed and Dodge glared at him.

"Shut up, Greer," he muttered into his beer as he tipped it toward his mouth for a drink.

"That comment you made was a complete lie, by the way," the dark-haired man next to him finally spoke up then almost yelled, "The girl in Anchorage was cuter. She had a nicer ass on her."

"Well, I'm sorry my ass isn't up to your standards," Megan shot back casually, knowing the comment was directed at her. "I think if you head down a ways, there's lovely pub where you'll find a bartender with a nicer ass to serve your drinks. I think his name is Kevin."

"Whoo! This one's got a mouth on her, doesn't she?" the older man smirked, taking another swig of his beer. "I like her."

"Hey, Munder, go check out that bartender and see if it's true," the girl laughed, holding her beer up to drink. "We need a comparison, and you're a good judge of asses since you pretty much kiss 'em all the time."

"Aw, shove it, Epps," he muttered, slumping in his chair and as Dodge slumped in his, both men having been shot down.

"Why don't you come and have a drink with us?" the older man called to Megan, waving her over.

She glanced around the pretty much empty pub, other than the table full of salvagers and shrugged her compliance before turning back to the fridge and grabbing a beer for herself, popping it open on her way to sit. She pulled up a chair between the man that had invited her over and the Hispanic.

"I'm Captain Murphy," he introduced then gestured to each of his crew as he continued, "This lovely lady is Epps, that's Greer, my first mate, sitting next to her. You've met Munder and Dodge, and sitting next to you is our engineer, Santos."

"I'm Megan," she smiled. "Megan Kyle. I own this pub."

"You own and run it all by yourself?" Epps frowned, then glanced around the room. "I don't see anybody else working here."

Megan nodded, saying, "It's not so bad. When I get a full house, I just keep goin'. It's worth the money though. I pay the mortgage, buy whatever supplies I need, and since I don't have any workers to pay, the rest is mine to play with."

"Can't be much," Greer guessed and Megan shrugged.

"It's enough," she replied, taking a swig of her beer. "And I don't really play too much anyway, so I've got plenty in my savings for now."

"How old are you?" Santos wondered with a frown.

"Twenty-five," she replied.

"And you own a pub?" he questioned in wide-eyed shock.

"Family heirloom, really," Megan admitted. "I inherited the place. I pretty much grew up in this pub."

"That must have been fun," Dodge suddenly spoke up, finally over with his sulking.

"Not as fun as you'd think," Megan smirked.

The bell on the door sounded, making her straighten in her seat and look up to see a couple walking in, hand in hand. She excused herself from the group and headed back toward the bar to wait to serve them.

"Nice girl," Murphy nodded, taking a drink.

"Yeah, for a hot-tempered barkeep," Dodge muttered into his beer.

"You're just pissed because she knocked the wind outta you," Greer shot back. "Which, frankly, I didn't think anybody could do."

Dodge made a face at him as the rest of them chuckled, but Murphy's attention was turned to Munder who was still slumped in his seat, twirling his beer bottle on the table where it sat, his green-hazel eyes focused ahead. Murphy looked over to se what he was looking at then smirked as he turned back.

"She's rather attractive for a hot-tempered barkeep too, wouldn't ye say, Munder?" he smirked into his beer before taking a swig, but Munder's attention stayed on Megan for a moment before Epps glanced between them with a smirk and leaned over to smack his arm.

"What?" he chirped, jumping in his seat and nearly spilling his beer when his hand smacked it. "What'd you hit me for?"

"You were staring," Epps sang and Munder glared at her.

"Aye, dios, again?" Santos groaned, drawing Munder's attention. "You do this every time! There's always a girl!"

He started rattling off his complaints in Spanish and gesturing in exasperation, but none of them knew what he was saying.

"He's right," Greer replied when Santos quieted, turning to Munder. "You always find a girl to have a fling with whenever we come to port. Can't you keep it in your pants?"

"Me?" Munder snapped defensively, sitting up and holding his beer, pointing to Dodge as he replied, "What about him? He's just as bad!"

"Hey! At least I don't leave them without so much as a 'See you later! Thanks for a good time!'," Dodge argued. "You take off in the middle of the night!"

"What the hell do you know?" Munder snapped. "You're not there!"

"Oh, I know enough!" Dodge shot back.

"Alright, knock it off," Murphy cut in, firmly and the two men backed down, looking away from each other, a sulk on each of their faces. "Munder, try not to break this one's heart, huh?"

"Oh, so now I need permission to sleep with someone?" Munder snapped. "Is that what this is?"

"We're the ones gettin' your hate mail too, ya know?" Murphy shot back and Munder went to reply but Epps shook her head in warning.

"Fine," he growled, snatching Megan's beer as he stood to head to the bar where she was wiping down a glass.

He sat at the stool in front of her and set the beer between them, making her stop and look to the beer before looking at him in question.

"Did you need something?" she asked, turning her attention back to the glass as she held it up to see if she missed any spots.

"Just thought I'd bring your beer to you," he replied, leaning on the bar. "Figured you'd wanna finish it."

"Maybe later," she shrugged and Munder bowed his head, glancing to his friends at the table as they watched the scene unfold.

"So…you live around here?" he asked, ignoring the groans and chuckles from the table when his friends heard the question.

"I live in the room upstairs," Megan replied, not looking at him. Munder opened his mouth to reply, but she quickly added, "No, I'm not lonely. No, I don't get cold at night, and no, you can't have a peek upstairs."

Bursts of snickers came from the table as Munder slumped forward before glaring at them to shut up.

"Like I said, there's another pub down the street with a bartender who'd love to take you up on that offer," Megan continued. "You're just Kevin's type."

"But he's not mine," Munder retorted, deciding to bite back.

"Oh?" Megan hummed through a smirk before leaning closer to him on the bar and murmuring, "What is your type?"

Munder smirked back and pushed forward a bit, and Megan's confident air dropped with her smirk when he muttered, "You're my type."

Her eyes widened as she swallowed, suddenly realizing their faces were inches away from each others and jerking back to stand on her side of the bar.

"Well, you'll just have to find another girl to keep you warm tonight," she muttered, placing the glasses she'd just cleaned below the bar top and hurrying to the back, but Munder smirked as he stood from the stool, catching what she had tried to hide before taking a swig of his beer as he turned to the table.

He made her blush.


Megan wiped down the last table, her back facing the door she hadn't had a chance to lock yet as she tried to scrub a certain spot of the table that had stained. The bell on the door sounded, but she didn't turn to see who it might be.

"Sorry, pub's closed for the night," she called, not looking away from her work, but when she heard footsteps coming toward her she frowned and stood tall to turn around. She gasped when she nearly rammed into a recently familiar face and took a step back to lean back on the table as she stared at him in surprise.

"What are you doing here?" she snapped. "You scared the shit outta me! What are you tryin' to do? Give me a heat attack?"

"Sorry," Munder chuckled. "I didn't mean to scare you."

Megan stood tall from the table but when he didn't move away from her personal space she placed her fingertips on his chest and pushed until he took a step back, reiterating, "Like I said, the pub's closed."

"The door's not locked," he replied, as if that explained his being there as she turned to continue wiping down the table.

"I don't care if the door's blown off its hinges, we're closed," she shot back, knowing he was probably staring at her butt as she leaned over the table.

"I just wanted to apologize for earlier," Munder explained, making her freeze and stand tall, but she didn't turn back to him. "Dodge shouldn't have slapped your ass, and I shouldn't have said what I did. You're actually pretty cute for a barkeep."

Megan gave a very slight smile before turning a straight face to him and guessing, "You're not the type to apologize for nothing, I'm sure. What do you want?"

Munder's gaze narrowed at her and he lifted his hands in hopelessness as he turned back to the door, calling, "Not a damn thing. Enjoy your night, Miss Know-it-All."

"Hey, wait!" she called back, but he didn't stop and she ran toward the door to press her back against it, blocking his way as he looked down at her with a frown. "Now it's my turn. I'm sorry I said that. Sometimes, I can't control my mouth, ya know? I'm so used to guys hitting on me and trying to get something from me I just shoot my mouth off without thinking. Your friend isn't hurt from when I kicked that chair out from under him, is he?"

Munder's frown disappeared as he shrugged, "Only his pride. But he'll get over that."

"Good," Megan nodded, and glanced toward the bar before waving to him to follow her as she stepped toward it. "Come on. Have a drink on the house since I was such a bitch."

"Well, if you insist," he shrugged with a smirk, following her to the bar and sitting on a stool to lean on the bar as she grabbed a bottle from the cabinet behind her and two glasses.

"This is the good stuff," she smiled, pouring it into the glasses. "I only pour this when I've been a bitch. It's a nice apology, don't ya think?"

"Definitely," Munder smirked.

Megan set the bottle down and slid one of the glasses closer to him as she raised her glass.

"Cheers," he smiled, and they tapped their glasses before downing their drinks.

"So-!" Megan choked and coughed to clear her throat before asking, "When do you ship out again?"

"A few days," he replied, setting his glass down. "Gotta check the books on the ship we brought in and we're outta here when we get our money."

"Where you headed after this?" she wondered, leaning on the bar with an elbow and propped her chin in her hand.

"I'm gonna have Murphy drop me off on Catalina Island for a while," he smirked, then joked, "Wanna come?"

"Sure," Megan shrugged, snapping his wide-eyed gaze to her and she looked back at him with a frown to shrug, "What? I've never been there, but I've heard some good stories about it."

"I was kidding," Munder chuckled.

"I'm due for a holiday," she smiled, stepping toward a door behind the bar. "Stay right there and I'll get a few things. I don't pack much."

"But, the bar-!"

"Pubs are a dime a dozen out here, mate," she smirked, opening the door to reveal a flight of stairs. "Where one is closed another is open. Besides, my customers need to start findin' other places to hang out besides here. Broaden their horizons."

"I sleep on a tugboat!" he called as she headed up the stairs.

"I don't take much room!" she called back. "I'll only be a second!"

Munder sighed, lowering his head into his arms on the bar. He didn't think she'd take it seriously. It was a joke. He thought she'd get angry, thinking he was hitting on her, which he was. He couldn't help it. Whenever he was around attractive girls, he had to hit on them. It was habit. A tick. It was about to get him in trouble.

"Oh, shit!" he hissed, and scrambled up over the bar counter to run up the stairs, turning to the only door at the end to his right and knocked. "Hey! You can't come! Murphy's gonna kill me!"

"I thought he liked me," she retorted on the other side of the door.

"Doesn't mean he wants you on his boat!" Munder shot back.

"How rude!" she called, and he heard her giggle for the first time.

"Look, I was kidding! It wasn't a real offer! Stop packing!"

The door suddenly swung open and Munder found his arms filled with a girl he'd just met, grunting when she rammed into him and he hit the wall behind him at the same time. Megan's arms were tightly wrapped around his chest as her face buried itself in into his plaid shirt.

"I need to get outta here," she breathed, not looking up at him as his hands set themselves on her shoulders. "Take me with you, please? I promise I won't be trouble. I'll even help on the boat if you-"

"Yeah, right, like Murphy's gonna let that happen," he muttered, gently pushing her off enough to look at her. "What's so bad around here that you feel like you need to leave, huh?"

"The men!" Megan cried. "They're all assholes!"

"We're assholes too," Munder retorted. "Or did you forget about the swat on the ass Dodge so graciously bestowed upon you?"

"But you all left me alone after that," she recalled. "You were all nice to me, even after I kicked his chair out from under his arse. Anybody else around here would have kept on hitting on me or tried to get even. You guys are different. And you travel with a girl already, so it won't be much different if I'm around!"

"Epps isn't much of a girly-girl, ya know?" Munder chuckled. "She'd take out any one of us in a tussle."

"Munder, please," Megan breathed, their gazes locking and he could see she was desperate. "I wanna see the world too. I'm sick of just running this pub. You can leave me on Catalina Island when we get to America, I don't care. Just please, take me with you."

Munder stared into her amber eyes for a moment. She was getting teary-eyed. Damn, he couldn't stand it when women started crying. It made him wanna give them whatever they wanted without thinking of the consequences, and sometimes, that got him in trouble with police, boyfriends he didn't know about, or Murphy. The third mentioned was the one he was about to get a beating from, but right now, he couldn't bare to see this girl cry.

"Fine," he sighed in defeat, and Megan's face lit up in a bright smile, the first he'd seen from her since they met. "But you stick with me and do exactly as I tell you. Got it? You're gonna end up my responsibility, I just know it."

Megan nodded vigorously and threw her arms around him again for a tight hug as she breathed, "Thank you, Munder. You won't regret this."

"I hope not," he muttered.

A/N: well, how'd i do? reviews?