June 1775, America
Dressed as a boy, Buffy ends up in a war between nations but gets lumbered with a little more than she had expected...
Categories: General Fics Characters:
1. I by Bluebell
2. II by Bluebell
3. III by Bluebell
June 1775, America
“But women do not fight.” It was a bit late for advice now. She’d made her choice and now she’d have to live with it. Or die with it, Buffy thought ruefully.
She had signed up stupidly three winters previous and agreed to fight the English should a war start. But that was back when the reality of the world hadn’t reached her yet, and at a time when she was desperate to be elsewhere.
She had crept out of her father’s house that night and gone to the forbidden meeting as a man. Edward Lincroft, that had been the name she used. And now she was to become him again, thought this time she might die as him.
“Please, Buffy, don’t go.” Her friend asked again as she watched her tie her hair back with rough string and don her musket.
“How do I look?” Buffy asked, stopping for a moment before she reached the door. Her friend stood up on shaken legs.
“Like a man.” She frowned back, morosely.
“Then all is done.” She breathed before arms draped around her and she embraced her one friend whose family had remained American. A bell sounded in the street, summoning her to her horse. “All is done.”
“Come, boy,” one of the men slapped her hard on the back. Encouragement, she assumed, coughing slightly as she moved quickly to keep up with his steps. “There will be blood before midday. You will have your honour. Patience.”
Buffy shot a look up at him. He had obviously mistaken her nervous carriage for eagerness. Oh, how wrong he was!
Her throat had gone dry, her hands were damp, her legs felt weak; and that was only her reaction to being dressed as Edward, never mind the war. She could barely see above the blue-clad shoulders of the thirty or so men around her all laughing jovially as they headed towards a battle that could cause an end before a middle.
“Where are we going?” She asked, as they left the streets behind and continued on foot.
“To meet them where they land,” another man growled back. “They’ll not poison our land with their presence for long.” There was a scar already on his face, and a fresh wound against his neck, but he was three feet higher than her, she was sure. If he had been injured in battle then she was sure to be flattened.
She let out a feeble groan and looked away. She preferred looking at her feet. It made her less aware of how soon she was going to die.
The man in front of her stopped abruptly and she found herself flattened against his body before able to stand upright. She looked around. Everything had stopped, everyone was stood, and everyone was ready for battle… Except her.
Out of breath she tried to see beyond the people and the grass, but she could see nothing but grassland. Maybe they had gone home.
All the men went silent and began to spread out. Buffy blinked; there were far more men than she had first thought. These English did not stand a chance.
“Boy, get out of the way!” A man growled, pushing her behind him to take her place. She was forced to the back, peering through the blue and green to a dash of red beyond.
A foreign accent called out loudly and unafraid. “Stand down and disperse.”
“Stand down and disperse.” It called again, louder. Buffy strained to see more.
“What’s going on?” She whispered to a tall man next to her.
He peered down at her and frowned for a moment before responding. “The British want us to leave.”
Buffy blinked and shifted from foot to foot. “Surely there is no need for war. They should go.”
The man laughed. “Indeed.”
A cry was let out from the men.
“What has happened?” She asked hopefully, as everyone began to move. “Is it over?”
He laughed and lifted his musket, readying it in a final preparation. “No. It is just begun.”
Buffy let out a breath and felt her stomach turn. She swung her gun round and played with the holes and balls just as she saw the other men doing until the young man took it from her.
“Here,” he said, passing it back a few moments later. “Just pull this back when you want to fire. Then move this and fire again. By then you will be on your own.” Buffy swallowed held onto the metal tightly. “Do you have a blade?” He asked, frowning at her.
“Yes.” She croaked back, indicating the dagger at her side.
He furrowed his brow and rested a hand to her shoulder. “What is your name?”
“Eli-Edward Lincroft.” She coughed as all went silent again.
“I am Robert Mortimer. Lincroft, you are about to get a taste of war. Stay with me and you may get another.”
Buffy’s face hit the dirt hard as she dived upon seeing the smoke from another firing. That had to be the last, she was sure! The shouts of war all about her, she held a bloodied dagger as if all her life depended upon it. Thank God for Mortimer! Were it not for him, she would have died long ago.
“We are outnumbered by far,” she choked as Mortimer dived next to her and there was a crack overhead.
“Yes,” he said, wiping blood from his brow before it blinded him.
“Are you so fearless?” She breathed, readying herself to go back over.
“We fight for freedom in this mud. Our numbers mean nothing; we have right on our side.”
Buffy arched her back and tipped her head back to see the field as it remained. None left on horseback. Muskets cast aside, the men fought sword to sword. The British were like madmen, and though they fought back, the redcoats swarmed again, bloodthirsty for more. She paused to spy a man with a bloodied face and chest without uniform as he stabbed two men at once and revelled in his triumph, short, light hair dripping with his success. “Are you stupid?”
He laughed and caught his breath a moment before turning and charging over the mound. A few moments later she joined him. Whatever it was that was causing them to fight in this way, she knew she had reason enough to fight for Mortimer at least.
A man swung at her and knocked her to the ground. Hot pain splintered in her jaw as she dropped her dagger and spat blood. She flipped her head back just in time to see his sword stab down inches from her.
Scrambling to her feet, she slipped in the mud and fell inches from the dagger. He cried out again as he lifted his blade, ready to swing, and once again Buffy found herself inches from its fury.
She pushed herself up and ran as he moved to follow her, reaching out in time to grab a cluster of her hair and rip it with the string from her hair. She cried out and fell down upon the body of a man.
Thinking fast, she reached for the blade within his hand and forced herself to her feet just in time to push his sword from hitting her and slide her own blade deep into his flesh, shouting out with her own cry.
She watched him choke and blood dribble from his mouth, but held firm, falling with him even as he fell to the ground. She waited for him to die before taking calming gulps of air and blinking in the realisation that she was still alive.
Every part of her that ached and stung, she ignored. Spurred on by a new determination, she rose once again, sword and dagger in hand, and charged deeper into battle.
Buffy screamed as another fell to the ground by her hand. Time seemed endless, this battle seemed endless. No matter how many fell there were always more. But she was part of it, and she would live her part while she could.
Laughter resonated from behind her and she turned to see the mad, wild, bare-chested man she had seen revelling in the bloodshed before. This time his piercing eyes were fixed on her. Despite herself she swallowed.
Taking a quick breath, she lunged forwards, screaming, but he deflected her blades as if she was nothing, and laughed all the harder when she felt into the mud.
“Come on, boy. Give me something to remember you by. After all, you are going to be the smallest man I’ve killed.” Buffy pushed herself up and, with bared teeth, charged again, this time turning just in time and catching his arm.
She looked back to see his reaction and watched him taste his own blood. “Seriously, not buying the whole warrior thing yet. Why don’t you try holding a man’s sword, or can’t you carry it?”
She ran for him but he flipped her, this time tapping her backside with his foot as she passed him.
“Fight me!” She yelled, glaring at him, trying to move her hair from her face so that she could see, sword and dagger raised.
“Bold words, boy. Are you sure you want to die just yet?” He asked, stepping forwards without lifting his blade.
“Fight me like a man!”
He looked at her and frowned for a moment, unable to quite make out what was different after the boy he fought.
“Fight me like a man!”
And then it came to him.
She charged again but he tripped her up, falling down on top of her and pinning her hands to the ground. She tried to move but he was too strong.
“Could say the same to you, pet,” he grunted, shifting a little on top of her just to check. “Missing something?”
END OF PART ONE
Breathing heavily, Buffy tried to flick the hair out of her face with no avail. "Get off me, pig!" She shouted, wriggling and pushing back as best she could.
"You're a woman." He laughed, genuinely amused. "Are you aware there's a war on?"
She grunted and glared at him. "Vaguely." She continued to writhe beneath him.
"Mmmm," he said, happily watching her and without effort keeping her pinned. "What are we going to do with you?"
Blood from his face dripped onto hers, deep against the pale skin. He watched it with a pleasant, amused expression, and lowered his head to her neck, taking in a deep breath.
"Get off me so that I can kill you!" She head-butted him as hard as she could, but only managed to free a leg before he repaid the favour. Her head hit the ground in pain and she cried out.
He seemed to enjoy it, but only for a moment as she shot her knee up as hard as she could and rolled him off her. Forcing herself up, she pushed on, grabbing a blade from the ground as she went.
Head pounding, Buffy ran away. She knew it was cowardly, but in a time of war who could really judge what was so terrible? If the battle was already lost was it so important that she was killed? Or caught, she thought ruefully.
A hand caught her foot and she went crashing head-first into the mud. "Oi, girly," it was that killer. "I'm not done with you yet." He was laughing as he climbed up her body.
"Get off!" Her breath was fast as she spat the mud out of her face and struggled, but he held her there, twisting her arms behind her back until she was in unbelievable agony. She cried out and attempted to move but the pain was unbearable.
"Now I've got your attention," he forced her head to one side so that he could see her face. "Your side's lost."
"Get off me before I kill you!"
"Heard of the spoils of war?" He licked a line up her face. "That's you."
It was easier than she had first thought to force him off a second time. She had stopped struggling and waited for him to stop talking. But then, as soon as he'd turned her around, she had kicked him hard and back to the ground and now stood over him, lifting his weapon from him and plunging it into his side. She fell forwards on top of him on the strength with which she sunk the blade through his naked flesh.
He grabbed onto her hand and held it there, tugging her closer with a strength that she did not wholly understand. Surely he should be in some kind of pain. She tilted her head down and saw the blood. She had definitely struck him.
With his other hand, he gripped her neck and forced her to look at him. They were both breathing heavily as he pulled her closer and covered her mouth with his own. In a rough possession he used his remaining strength to force her lips open and dip his tongue against her own.
Buffy was confused. Was this what dying people did? It felt strange, but not wholly unwelcome. His hand moved away and she pulled back, staring at him.
And then, laughing, he fell back into the mud.
Marie was staring at her, open mouthed. What on earth was Buffy thinking, bringing a half-dead man into their apartments? She asked her.
"He's not half-dead." She told her from the other end of the room. "If he was I would not be thinking to tie him down." She tightened the restraints around his wrists and ankles.
"But why is he here, Buffy?" She stressed, watching cautiously from her safe position by the door.
She rubbed her eyes. "I... I don't know."
"What if my father finds out?"
"He won't find out. He and my mother never come to this part of the house," she wiped her hands on her clothes. She was still covered in the blood and muck from the field. "I need to change." She let out a breath and cast a look at the sleeping man in her bed. She had no idea why she had saved him.
Buffy had long been asleep. She had bathed and dressed in Marie's room, but returned to her own to see whether or not the man had woken up. He had not.
There was a tap at the door that jolted her awake. Like lightening, she shot up and ran to stop it from opening just in case it was one of the maids. It was not.
"Marie, what do you want?" She asked, sleepily, opening the door and letting her in.
"I brought you some food. I told my father that you were feeling unwell and would not be joining us for dinner." She strode across the room and set the tray down. "He is not yet awake?"
Buffy stifled a yawn and shook her head. "No, but his breathing quickens from time to time as though he were ill." She picked up a small potato from the plate with her fingers and popped it into her mouth. And then she laughed. "I watched men die earlier today and now I stand here covered in frills eating potatoes." She closed her eyes as a tear slipped out. "I think I am going mad. Did I tell you about this man I met? His name was Robert Mortimer." She swallowed and stared across at Marie. "He saved my life."
"I think you are tired." Marie whispered after a moment or two and Buffy nodded.
"You are right." She sighed and rubbed her eyes. Coughing distracted her. He was awake! She ran to the bed and stared down at him as he fluttered his eyes open. She watched him focus before he frowned.
"I know you." He wasn't quite sure where from. And then he tried to move. His head shot around, his eyes wide awake as he both saw and felt the restraints. "What is this?" He growled.
Slightly nervous of what he might do if the knots did not hold, she took a step back. "You are a prisoner of war." She lifted her chin as best she could and tried to look fearsome for whatever would come next.
Despite all her actions and efforts, he merely paused and stared at her momentarily, and then laughed. "You're that bint from the field."
Buffy glared down at him, not wholly sure what he meant but certain that it was not a kind thing to say. She folded her arms beneath her breasts and shot a look to Marie who remained quiet by the door.
"Oh, this is bloody priceless!" He laughed again, tipping his head back to look at the headboard. Then he sighed. "Circle of life." She swallowed involuntarily as he turned and looked at her. "You're a strange one."
"I can assure you, so are you." She snapped.
"Go on, tell me," he said, leaning as best he could towards her, wincing slightly at the pain in his side. "Why did you bring me back here? Was it that kiss?" He grinned, his tongue between his teeth.
"Kiss? Buffy!" It was Marie, gasping.
Spike lifted his head, noticing her for the first time. "Oh, hello..." She turned coyly away.
"No," Buffy told him, pulling back the bedclothes to his obvious enjoyment. She pressed against a bloody stain that had formed through the bandages she had wrapped around his wound. "Because of this."
He coughed and pressed his head into the pillow when she did so. "Bloody hell, woman!" He growled. "Have a little charity!"
"Oh, just like you, you mean?" She spat at him, covering him back up. "You killed a good man today."
His eyes took in her form and face, as if painting a new picture of her in his mind. "Many good men have died and many more will go on doing so. It is nature. Learn to love it, you sadist."
She clamped her teeth together. "You are mad!" She almost laughed.
"And yet you are the one with a prisoner of war tied to your bed." He told her, tilting his head to one side. "Everyone has the potential to kill. That's why you stabbed me."
"I am no murderer," she told him, shooting a look to Marie. "That's why I brought him back here, Marie. Because I do not want blood on my hands."
Spike forced his head back up to look at Marie. "It was a little about the kiss."
"I still do not see why we should keep him here," Marie pressed. They had locked their captive in the room and gone to her room for a private conversation. Of course, having stressed the importance of silence. "Buffy, think what would happen if we were caught! He's British." She whispered the word as if it would call upon the Devil to hear it spoken.
Buffy had to admit, her friend had a good point. To be caught would mean... Oh, she scarce could think of what they would do to her. "We will keep him until he is well enough to move on his own."
"He can move 'well enough' already."
Buffy rolled her eyes. "He is stupid, yes," she explained, "and although he may say that he can do these things, he is still bleeding heavily into that bandage."
"But, Buffy," Marie insisted, "why save him at all?"
"Because." She swallowed. "I do not want to have killed a human being, even one so disgusting as him."
Marie sighed and leant back against her pillow. "But he does not seem that disgusting, Buffy." She shook her head. "His manners are a little course, but he is attractive enough—"
"Marie!" Buffy breathed, eyes wide. "Are you mad? Had not I stabbed him, I am quite sure that he would have done things that would try even your sensibilities." Her friend did not look impressed. "We shall keep him here for a few days, and then decide what is to be done. Most likely he will wish to simply be released back into the wild with a promise not to do anything stupid."
"And if not?"
"Then, well," she took a breath. "We shall see..."
Buffy ran into her bedroom and closed and locked the door behind her immediately. “Be silent!” She squeaked running towards the bed.
“Oi,” he growled, moodily, “I’ve been calling you for hours.”
“I know,” she snapped. “Shout again and I shall silence you!” There was a fresh look of menace in her eyes that fascinated him. He locked onto her glare, then allowed his eyes to drop to the soft swell of her breasts in their tight corset. She waved a hand at him in a silent reproach. After a few moments of silent breaths her face relaxed. “What do you want?”
“Food. Wine. Now, preferably, and these bonds removed.”
She tilted her head back and looked down her nose at him. “It is barely seven. You shall have to wait until the kitchen staff has gone to bed.”
He snarled and threw his head back against the pillow. “In prison our meals were regular.”
She laughed sarcastically. “In prison you would be beaten and tortured.”
“Am I not here?” He scoffed, looking away.
“How do I torture you?” She asked, intrigued.
He turned immediately to face her, a smile upon his lips as his eyes lifted from her feet until he met her eyes. Buffy felt shivers and decided that she did not wish to know.
“I,” she cleared her throat, moving to the door, “shall find something for you to eat.” She turned back to him from the frame. “Do not call again. If you are found we shall both probably hang,” she let out a breath as she undid the lock, “if my mother does not kill us first!”
Marie glared at Buffy in the mirror. “So you have fed him?”
“Yes,” she replied, bending down to pick up some books that had fallen to the ground.
“And bathed him?”
Buffy lifted her eyes to her friend. “His wound, yes, Marie. And his face and hands. His sole presence here is dependent on his survival. I would not have brought him back if he was merely to rot away on my pillow.”
Marie turned to face her, eyeing her sceptically. “And now you bring him books? How will he hold them, Buffy? With his beard?!”
Buffy scowled. “I shall shave him tomorrow.”
“That was not the point—”
“The books are for me, Marie.”
“Buffy,” Marie stood and looked desperately at her friend. “He must leave here, and leave soon.”
Buffy opened her mouth to speak then stopped. She knew what must be done.
It was late when Buffy returned to her room. She closed the door silently behind her and stared across at the figure in the bed. He wasn’t moving. The sounds of his sleep filled the air.
“Hello?” She called out, but he continued to sleep. The looked down for a moment before deciding to be daring. “Spike?”
Deciding that he was sound asleep she moved behind her screen and removed her dress. She stepped out of the petticoat around her waist before removing her slippers.
She was tired. It had been a long two days and she was welcoming her second night of rest since the battle. Wearing her simple corset and other undergarments, she moved the sort distance to her wardrobe, checking that her captive hadn’t moved. She froze, hand on the door for a moment before carefully arranging her clothes. Ordinarily her maid would do this for her, but for over a week now, her ladies’ maid had left her.
She headed back towards the screen, head down as she began to unpop her corset. She paused and frowned on one particular clip. For some reason she was unable to pop it out. She breathed in and pushed down hard.
Warm fingers reached around her waist from behind and she let out a scream that was soon smothered by a hand.
“Shush, pet,” a voice whispered in her ear. “It’s only me.” She shot a confused look towards the bed. There, still, was the outline of the sleeping figure. How could he be behind her?
Spike had her pressed tight up against the wall. He held her hands above her head in one hand, and covered her mouth with the other. She stared at him in confusion and surprise.
“Sorry,” he breathed against her neck, “not into bondage.” He grinned at her. “Well, now,” he slid even closer, “that’s not even slightly true.”
She frowned as he lowered his hand from her mouth and brought it down slowly to her waist. Her jaw had been clamped shut in fury but now opened freely despite the anger that it held.
“Williams,” he smiled, watching her lips as his fingers splayed against her hip.
“Mr Williams,” she glared, forcedly unmoved. “Remove your hands and turn around right now!”
He paused for a moment and raised his eyebrows. Was she serious? Despite himself, he released her and took a step back. He furrowed his brow and put his hands on his hips.
“And turn around.” She said, letting out a breath as she stood up straight from the wall, shaking out her limbs. He locked eyes with her for a second or two before turning slowly around. “Thank you.” Her tone was no nonsense as she quickly pulled her dress back on and tugged on the ribbon as best she could in her hurried state. Her dress was European and tied at the front, otherwise she would have found it impossible to retain her dignity. “Alright,” she sighed at last. “You may turn back now.”
“You mean you are not going to club me over the head with a book?” He asked, casually turning back to face her.
She smiled tightly and folded her arms, aware of the strange feeling the fabric of her dress and shift elicited without her petticoat. “What are you doing out of bed?”
“Didn’t much like it, pet.” He leaned forwards slightly. “Unless you’d like to join me.”
She forced herself not to react how he would expect and stared down at the bloodied bandage wrapped around his naked torso. “Are you in pain?” She asked, coldly.
“Only in my heart at your indifference,” he mocked her freely.
“You are supposed to be in pain.”
He nodded, taking a step towards her. “I am in pain.” He said, darkly.
“Then why are you running around and fighting?” She lifted her head as he loomed over her.
“Didn’t know we were fighting. That what it was?” She sent him her best not-amused look and blinked slowly. “I think I might need you to change my bandages.”
He may have said it cockily, but there was something about the way that he lolled gently on the spot and the paleness of his skin that made her frown. She would scold him later.
“If you weren’t such a bastard, Mr Williams, then this would not happen to you.” Buffy told him as ripped the final part of the bandage off him in one clean move, the dried blood clinging to his raw skin before finally succumbing to the force.
“Urgh,” he ground his teeth together and looked up before his lips spread in a grin. “Whoa, you are not a nice girl, Buffy!” He panted heavily and watched her move the bandages onto a tray, returning with a bowl of fresh water.
She flashed him dark eyes before focussing on the task at hand. She pushed his chest back flat and held him there; ignoring the way the touch of his skin seemed to sizzle against her fingertips. “Miss Summers,” she corrected, wetting a cloth and dripping the water directly over the wound.
His stomach muscles contract at the pain. “Is this some kind of punishment,” he asked, watching how she worked, “Buffy. You were gentle when I pretended to be asleep.”
“Do you think you need to be punished?” She asked, tartly, part hoping that perhaps he was repentant of his sins.
“Do you?” He growled back as she wiped the cloth roughly, mopping up the blood over an inch around the wound. “Is this about someone I killed?” She lifted her brow, tightly, and pressed her cloth flat against the bloody opening. This time he cried out, doubling over and gripping her wrist, twisting. “Careful, girly.”
“Buffy, you cannot be serious!” Marie exclaimed, shooting upright in bed. “He’s not some tame animal that you can simply keep as a pet. He’s a murderer!” Buffy hugged her knees, leaning against one of the posters of the bed and waited for her friend to finish. She was tired and knew this had to be said before she could say her part. “You’re letting him just run around your room? What next, the house? Or shall you wait until he has convinced you to give him the key to the weapon’s cabinet before you realise that something is amiss?” She threw her hands up in the air. “Oh, we are all to be murdered in our beds!”
That was her cue. “Marie, pray calm yourself,” she leant forwards. “And lower your voice in future before you are heard.”
“I hope I am!” She shrieked. “I may yet save a life!”
Buffy sighed. “He is not going to kill anyone. He is just as he ever was, only now he is not tied to my bed.” She brushed her hair behind her ears and pulled her shawl tighter around her. “He cannot do any of that anyway because he is too ill. He was bleeding terribly earlier.”
“Well, I pray he goes on doing so.”
She was calming down, though remained irritated by the situation. “He does not pose a threat to you, I suppose.” Buffy watched her carefully. “Then you may sleep here tonight.”
Buffy lay awake, aware of every tiny sound. She was desperate to sleep, desperate to close her eyes and wake up in tomorrow, but she still did not trust her captive. She still knew that he would do whatever he would and she had no control over him. Perhaps tomorrow she would convince him to be good…
END OF PART THREE
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.