Disclaimer: Joss owns Buffy and Faith and Kripke owns the Supernatural Boys. No profit is being made, no infringement intended. I just like to play in other people’s sandboxes from time to time.
Pairings: S/F, B/D
Summary: Another one-shot brain-worm that wouldn’t leave me alone until it was on paper.
A/N: This piece wouldn’t exist without the lovely Ky – She gave me the lyrics (posted below the story), gave Faith a voice and gave the entire piece a beta when I begged for help. She's the best!
He hates places like this. Swanky. Crowded. Full of fucking accountants looking to get drunk and laid. Not a goddamned pool table in sight. Nothing but watered down, over-priced drinks poured by barmaids whose entire knowledge of bartending seems to come from watching a few episodes of Sex in the City with their girlfriends and served by waitresses who specialize in tormenting the male clientele with their short skirts and cropped tops
The service is slow and he and Sammy have been waiting what feels like forever for their drinks before their waitress sashays up to the table and deposits the four beers and a whiskey sour on the table with a flourish. She’s giving Sammy the once over in a way that even his oblivious baby brother can’t ignore and trails her fingers up Sam’s arm as she purrs, “Anything else you need, sugar?”
Flushing, Sam scoots his chair back and stands up quickly, avoiding her eyes.
“I. Um. I’m gonna hit the head,” shooting a look at Dean he rushes off toward the restrooms on the other end of the building.
Obviously put out, flirty waitress turns disappointed eyes on Dean and snarks, “Was it something I said?”
Shaking his head, Dean pulls out his wallet and passes her two twenties before reassuring her with a wink, “Don’t take it personally, sugar; little brother’s just not into chicks.”
Her eyes widen a tick and she breathes, “Oh! Okay. I guess that makes…” Following her gaze as she trails off, it’s all Dean can do not to sigh.
Well, shit, he thinks and smothers a grin.
Sammy didn’t quite make it to the bathroom. Instead he’s pushed up against the wall at the hall’s entrance, kissing the lithe brunette who’s attached herself to his lips for all he’s worth. He schools his features into a neutral mask and turns back to the waitress.
“Oh, don’t be fooled, sugar; That’s not a woman.”
Blue eyes rake over the amorous slayer’s form critically, “Sure looks like a woman to me.”
He inclines his head slightly, as if conceding the point, “Fair enough. I guess, technically, she’s a woman now. Paid a lot of money to make that happen,” he takes a sip of the whiskey sour to hide his smile and finishes convincingly, “Leave it to my kid brother to fall in love with a transsexual.”
As if confirming his lie, Faith pulls Sam into the men’s room and the door closes behind them. He has to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing as the disappointed waitress walks off with a heavy sigh. As soon as she’s out of earshot, he allows himself a chuckle and nurses the pricey drink.
Idly, he scans the dance floor, watching the crush of bodies writhe and sway to the music. He pretends he’s not looking for anyone in particular but when he catches sight of her, long blonde hair swinging wildly as she shakes her hips and sidles up to a familiar brunette, he feels a tightening in his chest that always makes him a little uneasy. Absently he rubs a hand over his heart, wonders in passing if this is normal or if the time that faith healer’s borrowed for him is about to run out again. But then her eyes meet his and pretty much all thought stops as she licks her lips and grinds against the taller slayer. Her eyes never stray from his and suddenly the tightness moves from his chest to his groin and he has to shift a little in his seat, trying to alleviate the pressure of the snug denim against his swollen cock. Even from the dance floor, she catches the slight movement and winks at him before the sea of humanity swallows her up again.
Suddenly feeling a little hot in the crowded club, he downs the rest of his drink in one massive gulp and signals to the waitress for another. Since she’s gonna take her sweet time, and nobody else is around to care, he swipes one of the two beers he’s mentally catalogued as belonging to Faith and takes a long swallow. As he’s setting the bottle back down, he catches sight of his brother, looking more disheveled than before, coming out of the men’s room, awkwardly adjusting his clothes.
Sam towers above the crowd in the club and Dean easily watches his progress back toward the table. When he sees the giant hickey on his brother’s neck, he lets the shit-eating grin spread across his face and waits for Sam to sit down. As soon as he does, Dean pushes one of the waiting bottles of beer in his direction and cocks an eyebrow.
Sam grabs the bottle and drinks deeply before meeting Dean’s amused stare. As a blush starts to work its way up his neck, he averts his eyes and orders, “Just shut up, Dean, okay?”
“I didn’t say a thing,” Dean manages before a full blown laugh escapes him. The deep rich sound hasn’t quite faded from the air when the waitress returns with his second whiskey sour and sets it down, pointedly ignoring Sam. Off Sam’s confused look, Dean shrugs and lies easily, “I guess some chicks just have a short attention span, Sammy.”
“I guess,” Sam starts to agree before he’s cut off by the beeping of Dean’s cell phone.
They both stare at the phone for a moment before Dean picks it up and flips it open. Sam watches and his heart sinks a little as he sees the grin disappear from his big brother’s face. By the time Dean’s done reading the text message, his lips are set in a grim line and he’s grinding his back teeth in a way that always makes Sam wonder how much money Dean’s shelled out on dental work over for the years. If there’s one thing he learned from his decidedly type-A freshman year room-mate, it’s that TMJ’s not a cheap condition.
Steeling himself for whatever’s coming, Sam takes a long pull on his beer and asks, “What’s up?”
Dean sets the cell down deliberately, slides it across the table so Sam can see the message for himself.
Sam reads the text and looks back up at his brother, “So?”
“So,” Dean repeats the word condescendingly, as though he’s speaking to a slow child, “We have our orders, Sam.”
Sam runs a hand through his messy hair in frustration, tries to figure out how to say what’s on his mind without setting Dean off, “You do know we’re not actually soldiers, right Dean? We’re old enough now that Dad can’t just give us orders.”
“Damn it, Sam. I’m not having this conversation with you again. Dad’s got a job for us. That means there’s something evil out there that needs killin.” Seeing that Sam's ready to interject, Dean holds up a hand, silencing him, “You don’t wanna come? Fine. You stay here. I’m leaving in the morning, with or without your gangly ass.”
“What about Buffy?”
Glancing out at the dance floor, Dean shrugs, “What about Buffy?”
“Yes, what about her,” a feminine voice breathes into his ear, reaching across him to grab him to grab a beer.
“Nothing,” Dean assures her flatly, reaching for his drink.
Settling down into a stool at the table, Faith arches an eyebrow at Sam, the question clear on her face even though she isn’t voicing it. Her boyfriend just shakes his head and she shrugs it off. She knows the Winchesters well enough to know that neither of them respond well to prying and she’s content to bide her time. Sam can’t keep his mouth shut for very long as it is and she’s pretty sure she can persuade him to spill whatever it is later.
An awkward silence hangs over the table as Buffy approaches, her honey colored hair wild from dancing and a slight flush coloring her pretty features. She greedily swallows some slightly bitter beer and grins cheekily at her boyfriend.
“Hey big boy. Feel like dancing?” She’s flirting with him, a sparkle in her wide hazel eyes as she holds out a hand in invitation.
“Thanks, darling, but I’m good right here,” His voice deliberately cold, Dean settles further back into his chair and tries not to flinch as he sees the hurt flash in her eyes.
She scans the table, her gaze lingering for a moment on Faith and a look passes between the two before she turns back to Dean and tries again, “But I still feel like dancing…”
He flashes her a brittle smile that doesn’t reach his eyes, “Well, don’t let me stop ya, sunshine. You’re a big girl. Go have fun.”
For a long moment, Buffy just stares at him in shock before spinning away to blink back tears. Swallowing hard, she keeps her voice steady as she calls out over her shoulder to Faith, “Feel like dancing, Faith?”
“Right behind you, B.” Narrowing her eyes at her boyfriend’s brother as she gets up, Faith stalks around the table and smacks Dean on the back of the head as she passes behind him.
Studiously avoiding his brother’s gaze, Dean takes another sip of his whiskey sour. The mixture of alcohol and his disappointment goes down bitter, burning his throat as he watches the two women walking away.
“What the fuck is wrong with you, man?” Sam explodes, rubbing his temples to ward off a headache.
“What do you mean?”
Sam stares at his brother as if trying to comprehend the question for a moment, “What do I mean? I mean, why are you being such an asshole, Dean?”
“We got our orders, Sam,” Dean sighs tiredly. “I already told you I’m leaving in the morning.”
“That still doesn’t give you the right to be a dick to her. You finally find a woman who not only puts up with your shit but actually loves you and this is how you treat her? She doesn’t deserve this from you.”
“Whatever. Women LOVE me, Sammy.”
“Women love to fuck you, Dean. There’s a difference.”
“Stay out of it, Sam. It’s my life.”
“Yeah? Well, I think you’re fucking it up.”
Resting his head on his hand with a sigh, Dean looks miserable and mumbles, “Yeah, Sam. I know.”
Surprise registers openly on Sam’s expressive face and he shakes his head, “I just don’t get you, Dean. If anybody’s ever gonna be able to accept our lives, accept us, it’s gonna be Buffy and Faith. They know what we do. What’s really out there. Why would you throw that all away?”
Dean opens his mouth like he’s going to answer Sam’s question before he slams it shut again. Closing his eyes, he grabs a beer and downs it in three long swallows and before studying Sam intently for a moment. Apparently having come to some sort of decision, Dean suddenly stands up.
“What are you doing?” Sam asks, confusion etched on his face.
“Look, Sam. Not for nothing, but since it seems I’m destined for a chick flick moment today, I’m gonna go find my chick and fucking have it with her, alright?”
Snaking his way across the crowded floor, he lets loose a curse as someone bumps his shoulder, hard, and nearly knocks him into the wall. Rubbing his shoulder, he looks into the cold, brown eyes of his assailant and realizes his baby brother may just be dating the scariest fucking hot chick on the planet.
“Bitch,” he shoots back, still rubbing his sore shoulder as he tries to move past her.
With a deliberate step in front of him, she blocks his way and arches a sculpted brow, “Goin’ somewhere, pretty boy?”
“I suddenly feel like dancing. That okay with you, Ms. Bodyguard?” The hard look in her eyes doesn’t soften as she gives him an assessing glance, lingering on his feet until he asks defensively, “What?”
“Those don’t look like blue suede, Dean. Gonna dance or be a dick?”
He quirks an eyebrow at her, tries his best for disarming, “Can’t I do both?”
“You could try... But then I'd have to remove your tonsils through your nose. You don't want that, do you?”
“You are one scary bitch, Faith.”
She nods her head in agreement and points to where Buffy is dancing, “You hurt her again and you and me? We’ll be having more than words tonight.”
Trying not to dwell on all the ways Faith will fuck his shit up if he doesn’t fix this, he makes his way over to Buffy and positions himself between her and the preppy businessman who’s been trying to dance with her. At the guy’s protest, he just shoots him a dangerous look that has Mr. BrooksBrothers leaving the dance floor in a hurry.
Grabbing her hand, he comes as close to begging as she’s ever seen him, “Will you just… Dance with me? Please?”
“I thought you were fine over there,” she snits back at him waspishly, pulling her hands free and he knows he deserves it.
“Look, Buffy, I gotta tell you something. I’m leaving town. I have to go.”
“Oh,” her voice is small. “Well, when are you leaving?”
He glances down at his watch, sees that it’s already close to 2am. “Today. In a couple hours, actually.”
An image of Angel passes across her mind quickly and she dismisses it just as quickly. It’s been too many years and he and Dean aren’t anything alike. It’s not fair to either of them to compare them.
“Where are you going?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know? You tell me you’re leaving in a few hours and you don’t even know where the hell you’re going? What is going on, Dean?”
“It’s my dad. He needs me. Us. He want us to meet him in two days.”
Suddenly, everything makes sense again and she chews her bottom lip as she thinks things over.
Dean never talks about his dad but she’s heard enough stories from Sam to know that, in Dean’s mind, there’s no choice to be made. He’s gotten his marching orders and good soldiers follow orders. Dean’s always been his father’s best little soldier. She’s never met John Winchester but already knows she doesn’t like him.
“So you’re off on a hunt?” She works hard to keep the derision out of her voice, happy when it comes out even. She’s never quite understood the Winchester insistence on calling it hunting. Even though she’s a long way from the Valley Girl she was when she was called, she’s never lost the revulsion for “hunting” that she’s had since her mother took her to see Bambi. Hunting brings to mind old men, big rifles and cute, hapless animals being gunned down in the forest. It never brings to mind fighting tooth and nail to kill something evil and not die yourself. It definitely doesn’t make her think of something that always fights back, gives at least as good as it gets and only lets you walk away if you’re both lucky and good and even that’s not a guarantee.
He nods, digs his hands deeps into the pockets of his jeans, waits for the explosion. Buffy’s a sweet girl but she’s got a temper that matches his own and he figures that after his behavior earlier, he’s overdue for an eruption.
Instead, she leans back against the wall and wraps her arms around herself. When the question comes, it’s not at all what he expected, “Will you come back?”
He thinks of the last few hunts his family went on before his father dropped off the grid for months and inwardly winces at the memories. He’s painfully aware he’s on borrowed time and their recent track record isn’t exactly filling him with hope.
I hope so, he thinks but doesn’t tell her that. Instead he just graces her with a ghost of a smile and says, “Just as soon as I can.”
She searches his eyes, sees the promise in their hazel depths and simply nods.
“So,” she smiles up at him after a minute and her eyes sparkle a little, “Feel like dancing with me, big boy? Or do you want to be an ass some more?”
Flushing, he walks forward, wraps muscular arms around her tiny body and lowers his lips to her ear. “About that,” he breathes, notes the little shiver that runs through her as he talks, “I’m sorry. Really sorry.”
“Why…” the question dies on her lips as he kisses her, his soft lips brushing against her own hesitantly. It’s more a question than a kiss, she realizes and quickly wraps her arms around him, squeezes him tightly, gives him the answer he needs from her.
Relief washes over him and he tries to give her the answer she’s seeking as well, “I thought it’d be easier…”
He rests his chin on her head as they sway to the music, breathing in the scent of her shampoo and cursing fate that he has to leave. Weeks of hunting with Buffy, or “Slaying” as she and Faith insist on calling it, have spoiled him. He’s going to miss the quick quips and make out sessions that are a big part of his nightly routine now.
Thinks about Sammy and his dad and fights he’s going to be stuck breaking up between the two and for a second he hates everything and everyone that’s led to him having to leave Cleveland. Hates the demon, hates his dad. Hates the idea of being away for weeks before he can see Buffy again. HATES the idea that by the time the hunt’s over, it could be too late. Slayers live longer now, but they still have a nasty habit of dying young and Buffy’s way ahead of the game since she’s died three times already. He’s got a sinking feeling the next time it’s gonna stick and realizes abruptly that he doesn’t want any part of this.
He takes a breath, steels himself, “Actually, Buffy, I’m thinking maybe coming back’s not the best idea.” He feels her stiffen in his arms, hurt radiating off her in waves, and finishes his thought, “Feel like taking a little road trip with me, Summers?”
Cumbersome – Seven Mary Three
She calls me Goliath and I wear the David mask
I guess the stones are coming too fast for her now
I'd like to believe this nervousness will pass
All the stones that are thrown are building up a wall
I have become, cumbersome to this world
I have become, cumbersome to my girl
I'd like to believe we could reconcile the past
Resurrect those bridges with an ancient glance
But my old stone face can't seem to break her down
She remembers bridges and burns them to the ground
I have become, cumbersome to this world
I have become, cumbersome to my girl
Too heavy, too light, too black or too white
Too wrong or too right, today or tonight
Too rich or too poor, she's wanting me less
And I'm wanting her more
The bitter taste is cumbersome
Yeah! Ah, yeah, no... yeah. Ohhh.
There is a balance between two worlds
One with an arrow and a cross
Regardless of the balance, life has become cumbersome