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She insisted on going with him.

"The way may be hard," Westley said, "and after all this, I still may not be worthy of you."

"You are worthy now," Buttercup said in her most commanding tone. When Buttercup said something in her most commanding tone, there was no arguing with it. Knowing this, she used it sparingly, but she deemed it necessary at the moment. "Besides, if I come with you, you won't have to send for me once you've made your fortune because I'll already be there."

Westley considered this. "True."

"Farm Boy," Buttercup said, leaning in close to Westley. She only called him that when she was feeling particularly fond of him. "Take me with you."

There was only one answer. "As you wish."

He leaned toward her, his love for her plain in his eyes, and--


"Are they kissing again?"

"If you let me read, you'd find out!"

"Can't you just skip ahead to the good parts? You know, like the fighting and stuff you told me about?"

"You're sick; I'll humor ya. 'When the pirates attacked--'"

"Attacked by pirates is good!"


When the pirates attacked, Buttercup was more angry than scared.

"How dare they delay our journey?" she asked the captain, as they stood on deck waiting to be boarded.

The captain gave her a grim look. "They'll do more than that, miss. This is the Dread Pirate Roberts."

Buttercup drew herself to her full height. "And I am Buttercup, and I fear no one's name."

They were taken aboard the Revenge, though from what the captain said, they wouldn't stay there long. After all, the Dread Pirate Roberts never left survivors.

Buttercup could see Westley keeping watch, quietly taking note of where everyone was. He was a tactician, and she loved that about him, but he did tend to be a little more subtle than she preferred.

"Are you going to tell me to stay quiet, so we won't be killed?" she whispered to him.

Westley looked at her. "...yes."

Buttercup nodded. She thought so.

But Westley knew her too, and murmured. "What are you planning?"

"Nothing yet," she whispered. "Promise me you will not try to stop me."

He caught one of the pirates watching them, indicating him to Buttercup with his eyes while nodding slightly. Buttercup glanced at the pirate and tried to look innocent. He wouldn’t think she was a threat anyway. No one ever did.

Maybe the Dread Pirate Roberts really didn’t leave survivors--although, if he didn't, how did anyone survive to know he never left survivors, Buttercup wondered. Nevertheless, once they were all assembled, hands tied with rope behind their backs, the Dread Pirate Roberts emerged to sneer at them. He explained what he was going to do to them in lengthy, excruciating detail, but Buttercup was paying more attention to where he was walking. At a certain point in his pacing, he was close to the edge of the deck. Dangerously close. And he wasn't paying attention to where he moved, so he was closer every time.

"Next time," Westley told her quietly, because he had noticed the course of her eyes, knew what she was planning to do. Buttercup smiled at him; she'd never loved him more.

The next time the Dread Pirate Roberts walked in front of them, in one fluid motion, Buttercup stood and hurled herself at him, hitting him squarely with her shoulder. The impact of her body sent him backwards, tripping over the edge and splashing into the water below. She kept her balance and stood--carefully, since her hands were still tied behind her.

"Pull me back up, you oafs!" shouted the Dread Pirate Roberts, but as the pirates gathered a rope to throw their leader, the water about him churned. He opened his mouth to shout at them again, but he was quickly pulled under and did not return.

Buttercup dimly remembered the Dread Pirate Roberts saying something about throwing them into eel-infested waters while she'd been planning her attack. She supposed she should've been paying more attention.

Westley had his hands free, and was using a knife to free Buttercup's. She gave him a thank-you kiss before taking the knife from him and turning on the pirates.

"Who else wishes to cross me?" she demanded. "Who wishes to join the famed Dread Pirate Roberts among the eels?"

No one moved. The pirates didn't seem sure what to do. Westley merely watched her and waited.

After a moment, Buttercup lowered the knife slightly, though she still stood ready to fight in case anyone rushed at her the way she had rushed at Roberts. "And who will join me? Who will accept my leadership?" She glanced at Westley, silently signaling that he could jump in at any time.

Which he did. "Your previous leader. How many of those pompous speeches did he give?" Murmurs. "Was he the first to a fight?" Louder murmurs. "Did he seek to burnish your names, or merely his own?" Grumbles of discontentment. "Hear this now! This woman is fiercer than any of you!" He glanced at her, eyes carrying just a hint of mischief. "She's certainly fiercer than I am." He turned back to the pirates. "She has a steely demeanor, a courageous heart, and a steady hand. She will not risk your lives and livelihoods merely to posture before others." He turned to look at Buttercup, love shining in his gaze. "She will take us to a brighter future than you can possibly imagine."

The pirates erupted into cheers, while the other prisoners regarded Buttercup and Westley with some bewilderment.

"As for you," Westley said to the prisoners, "you'll have time to consider whether you wish to join us...or the eels."

The pirates cheered again.

"Which way, Captain?" called one of the pirates. "To Guilder?"

"To Florin," Buttercup answered. "We always pillage Guilder this time of year. They won't be expecting us in Florinese waters." Satisfied that she didn't need to threaten the pirates any longer, she slipped her knife into her belt.

"I suppose this makes you the Dread Pirate Buttercup," Westley said to her.

"I suppose," she said, thinking about the title.

"There truly are no limits to your commanding tone, are there?" he asked, smiling.

"You should never have doubted it," she answered with a smile of her own.

"I will never doubt again," he said.

And thus began their greatest adventure of all.