Meetings in Bars
Disclaimer: I don't own "Buffy" or "Magnificent Seven". Thanks to Mog for creating the ATF universe.
Chris Larabee stared down at the worn picture in his hand. It was the anniversary of his wife and son’s deaths, and he was stuck in Las Vegas attending a stupid conference. So he had done the only thing he could do. He had gone to a bar and gotten completely smashed. A young blond sat on the stool next to him.
“What’s a hunk like you doing in a place like this?” she said. Chris snorted into his beer.
“Forgettin’” he slurred. “You?”
“Same. Maybe looking for a little comfort,” she said. Chris snorted.
“Only makes it worse,” he managed. The blond looked at him funny.
“What makes you say that?” she asked.
“Makes me remember,” Chris slurred again. The blond leaned into him.
“How about we try comfort my way and see how it goes?” she asked. He looked at her.
“Was that a pick-up line?” he asked drunkenly. The blond smiled at him.
“I don’t know. Did it work?” she asked. Chris gave a cockeyed grin.
“Your room? I don’t think I can remember where mine is,” Chris slurred as he nearly fell off the barstool. The blond caught him.
“Sure. Let’s go. By the way, names Buffy,” she said. Chris found himself snickering. “Yeah, I know. My mom swore she still high on the meds when she named me.”
“I’m Chris,” he managed. She supported him as they walked out of the bar and to her hotel.
To anyone passing by, the hotel room would have seemed ordinary. No one would have noticed the sex going on inside. It was deceptively quiet. ‘Was’ was the operative word. With a cry of “Sarah” the silence was broken, if only for a brief moment. Then all was quiet again.
“Sarah. You got someone back at home I should know about, studdly,” Buffy asked. Chris had suddenly become sober when he had cried out in climax. He looked her with horrified eyes.
“I…I…” Chris stammered. Buffy smiled.
“You were drunk, get over it. So tell me. Is she pretty?” Buffy asked. Chris turned away, panting. How could he have done this? He had betrayed Sarah…her memory. There was a shifting of the mattress underneath him, telling him Buffy was moving.
“What’s wrong? She doesn’t have to know. I can keep my mouth shut…” she said, leaning over him. She got a good look at the expression on his face. Grief and sorrow. “She’s dead, isn’t she?” Buffy asked quietly. Chris sat up, determined to get away. Buffy moved with him. “I know what you’re going through.”
“You have no idea what I’m going through,” Chris shouted heatedly.
“I’ve lost lovers, too,” Buffy said. “My boyfriend was in a chemical spill, and he went insane as a result of the fumes. He tried to kill me…I ended up having to kill him,” Buffy said, editing the truth so as not to have to explain the supernatural. “A few years ago, I lost my mother to an aneurysm…I found her dead on our couch. I’ve lost a lot of friends too to gang violence...So yeah…I know what it’s like to loose those close to you,” Buffy said. Chris turned to look at her. The same pain that was in his eyes was in hers, only deeper, a sure sign that she had lost more people than he had.
“She was my wife,” Chris said slowly. “I was on a case and…there was a car bomb set in my car and…it killed my wife and son.”
Buffy didn’t know what to say as the big blond man began to leak tears out of the corners of his eyes. She wrapped her arms around him as he cried.
Chris groaned as the light pierced his eyes. His head throbbed. He rolled over and opened his eyes to see a lovely blond in bed next to him. For several seconds, he struggled to remember the previous night, then it came rushing back to him. He closed his eyes and groaned. He’d never opened up to anybody like that. But the pain in her eyes…
“Just so you know, it was completely mutual,” the lithe form next to him said. Chris opened his eyes again. In the current light, he saw how young she looked and gasped.
“Land sakes! You’re just a kid!” he said. Buffy got up and glared at him.
“I’m 26 years old. I’m so not a kid,” she said indignantly. Chris grimaced as his headache worsened.
“I took advantage of you!” Chris said. Buffy’s glare deepened.
“No. You didn’t. If anyone took advantage of anybody, I took advantage of you because I was sober, you weren’t,” Buffy said. Chris groaned.
“I didn’t have to stay after we…” Chris trailed off. Buffy was glaring at him again. Man, she had a glare as good as his.
“We were both looking for comfort…that or we both really needed to get laid,” Buffy said. Chris’ jaw dropped at the casual way she said that. He began took a look at the clock and swore before beginning to look for his pants.
“What are you doing?” Buffy asked.
“I got a flight back to Denver in less than 3 hours, and you know security these days. I gotta get moving,” Chris said. “I still have to pack the stuff in my hotel room.”
“Gotcha. Yeah, security is a big pain. Um…your pants are over here,” Buffy said. Chris looked up as Buffy tossed them to him. They landed on his head as a result. He heard Buffy laugh, a sound he found strangely pleasing. He took the pants of his head and gave her one of his patented Larabee glares. It only served to make her laugh harder.
“Save it for someone who doesn’t have to use her own version to get things done,” Buffy said. Chris rolled his eyes before digging into his pants pocket for his wallet. He pulled it out and rifled through it for a card. He quickly jotted down his home, cell phone, and made sure his work number was current before handing it to her. She raised an eyebrow at the card.
“ATF, huh?” she asked. Chris shrugged.
“Pays the bills,” Chris said. “That I keep some really mean shi-uff off the streets,” quickly changing what he had been saying so as not to offend the Lady’s ears. Buffy only rolled her eyes.
“I’ve heard worse coming from Xander after he hammers his thumb,” Buffy said. She giggled at the expression on Chris’ face. “He’s a one-eyed carpenter, and sometimes his depth-perception is off, so he hits his thumb.”
“So...uh,” Chris stood and finished pulling on his pants. “Call if you’re ever in Denver?” he asked. Buffy grinned and tossed him his shirt.
“You can count on it.”
It wasn’t until he was on the plane he realized he didn’t have her full name and number.
Please R & R