Here's the story, of a lovely lady...
Notes for this fic:
It’s the February of the year 2000.
BtVS: AU after ep 5.14, “Crush”. Joyce is 42, Buffy has just turned 20, and Dawn is 14. The entire Scooby Gang, including Joyce and Dawn herself, are aware that Dawn is the Key. Joyce has just had a successful operation on her brain tumor and is recovering and showing interest in dating again.
SPN: Pre-series. John is 48, Dean has just turned 22, and Sam is 17 and in his senior year of high school. Sam insisted on spending his entire senior year in one place, so they’ve set up shop outside of Portland, Oregon, where Sam is attending school and John and Dean are working as mechanics. John leaves nearly every weekend on a hunt; he’ll currently take anything on the West Coast or in the Northwest, anyplace he can get to in less than a day’s drive. As a result, he gets roped into a job in Vegas. (Muaahaha.)
Gah. I should totally
not be posting this. I should be working on the Hustler series. But damnit, this plot bunny would not let me go
Non-explicit sex between mature persons. Angst. Cussing. Some violence later on, maybe.Disclaimer:
I do not, in any way, own the characters or settings or anything else you recognize. I do own the plot. Well, some of it.
John’s first thought upon awakening was that he was going to kill
Caleb, of the dancing blue eyes and wicked smile. Caleb, who had assured him that the grimalkin catching drunken patrons off-guard in the corners of a certain Vegas bar was an easy but entirely necessary hunt. Who had insisted that the best way to catch the thing was to start drinking himself, until he attracted the cat-demon’s attention.
This was the third morning in a row he’d awoken with a roaring hangover, and still no little grey cat-thing.
He shifted, the sleepy weight starting to fall from his limbs. Feeling returned, and with it a sensation he hadn’t felt in years – the feeling of a soft form molded against his.
John froze. Oh. Oh God
. Had he really
After a moment, he screwed up his courage and looked down.
Sure enough, there was a woman in his arms, naked as a jaybird and pressed pretty intimately against his own, equally nude body. Christ.
He barely even had time to process the thought when the woman stirred. A delicate, well-manicured hand brushed messy gold curls from a pleasantly mature face, and bleary hazel eyes lifted and focused on his.
She froze just as he had, searching his face.
“Hmm,” she said, voice soft and rusty from sleep. “I’m never going to hear the end of this.”
When Joyce awoke, her first thought was that she hadn’t felt this good in a while.
Yeah, she had a headache, big whoop. She’d had a headache for several months straight now. And this one was pleasantly different, in that she knew exactly why she had it and it wasn’t likely to cause her to see things, or, you know, KILL HER. Brain tumors really put things in perspective.
Besides her head, the rest of her body had that heavy, muzzy feeling that came from drinking too much and passing out into a sound, dreamless sleep. It was probably the best sleep she’d had since long before she’d gotten sick – not waking up at all hours to check if her eldest was back home from patrol, or from nightmares about all the horrible things that could happen to any of her family at any time.
Dawn had been right. Vegas was good for her.
Although, she was beginning to suspect, not in the way her daughters had intended.
She slit her eyes open, blinking into the pale morning sunlight. A broad expanse of naked, very male chest met her gaze, causing her mouth to twitch into a smile.
Yep. That explained the dull, pleasant ache in her abdomen.
She hoped her drunken self had good taste, considering how bad her taste in men was when she was sober. There was a reason she hadn’t dated anyone since the Ted fiasco.
This man was different from the men she usually dated, though. He was built like a brick house, for one; large and solid from the arm draped around her shoulders to the thick thigh pressed between her knees, and no trace of the belly that usually showed up on men in her age bracket. He was tall, too. Tall enough to fit her 5’8” form snugly under his chin, in any case.
The angle her head was resting against his chest made it impossible to see his face without squirming around and possibly waking him. So she admired what she could see, feeling a little smug pride starting to swell in her throat. His other arm was laid across his ribs, as muscled and powerful as the rest of him, ending in a big, calloused hand resting on her wrist.
A big, calloused hand with a plain gold band around his ring finger.
She closed her eyes. Great. Apparently her drunken self was the ‘other woman’.
Well, it was
Vegas. She refused to worry about it. Other people’s marriages were not her concern. It wasn’t as if she’d been planning on keeping this guy around, in any case.
The guy in question chose that moment to stir, shifting and groaning softly under his breath in a way that suggested he was awake. Then he stopped, as if he’d suddenly noticed her presence. He was actually holding his breath, she noticed with some amusement.
Well, it wouldn’t do to keep him in suspense, the poor man. He’d just cheated on his wife, probably entirely without meaning to, if his tenseness was any indication.
So she slid her hand out from under his and brushed her – ugh, so messy! – hair from her face so she could see him.
Oh, of course
. He couldn’t have been homely, no. He had to be handsome, all rugged stubble and bright green eyes and dark, tousled hair. And yeah, he looked scared out of his mind. Buffy was never going to let her live this down, and before she could stop it, she’d told him as much.
He blinked down at her for a moment, utterly confused. Then he let out the breath he’d been holding in one long exhale.
“This is awkward,” he muttered, and she had to smile to cover her swoon. She’d always been a sucker for deep, gravely voices. “I’m sorry, I don’t...I didn’t...” He stopped, his cheeks darkening.
“Yeah, me neither,” she interrupted, taking pity on him. “Hi, I’m Joyce.”
He smiled sheepishly at her, dimples and teeth, making a little sound at the back of his throat that somehow managed to express just how embarrassed he was. “John. ‘M sorry I’m such a mess. I don’t usually do things like this.”
She had to raise an eyebrow at that. “Yeah, so I gathered,” she said, tapping his ring with an accusatory finger.
His eyes widened, a little comically. “Oh! No, it’s not...It’s just...” He stopped, snapping his mouth shut and apparently gathering his thoughts before trying again. “She passed,” he said, softer. “A long time ago.”
She could have kicked herself. Way to go, Joyce. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
John’s smile was soft, faraway, and obviously not meant for her. “You couldn’t have.” He looked around, categorizing his surroundings. “This your room?”
She nodded slightly against his chest, knowing she should move away and really not wanting to. He was so very solid and warm, and it had been a long, long time.
“Yeah,” she muttered, answering his question.
“It’s nice. Big,” he said, conversationally. There was a slight undertone of – awe? disdain? – that made her want to defend her extravagant suite.
“It’s much bigger than I’m used to,” she explained. “I won it. Or rather, my daughter won it for me.” She smiled, remembering the utter glee on Dawn’s face when she’d opened the mail. “She entered me into one of those mall sweepstakes. All expenses paid. Apparently in her opinion I needed a vacation.”
“Oh yeah?” he said, cocking his head quizzically. “A daughter, huh?”
His thumb was stroking her shoulder blade in a way that made her want to stretch and purr like a cat. “Two, actually.” She allowed her back to arch just a little, ostensibly so she could better see his face. The way his body felt against hers had nothing to do with it, nope. “Is that a problem?”
He chuckled. The sound reverberated from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. “Can’t see why it should be. Got a pair of boys, myself.”
“Really?” She was vaguely aware of her fingers playing with his chest hair. She couldn’t seem to help it. “How old?”
“Dean’s 22, Sammy’s 17.” John shifted a little, turning slightly towards her and pulling her closer. Fingers wove in and out of her hair, tracing the shape of her disorderly curls.
“Are they as handsome as their father?” she asked, feeling bold and a little mischievous. He let out a startled little bark of laughter.
“Far more so. They took after their mother, thank God.” He studied her face, a small smile dimpling his scruffy cheeks. “Bet your girls are awful pretty.”
She couldn’t help but flush at the compliment, reflected and sideways though it was. “Absolutely beautiful, even as children. Now they’re all grown. Well, almost,” she amended, picturing her youngest’s childish pout. “Dawn’s 14 and Buffy’s...oh my, is she 20 already?” Joyce shook her head, somehow not quite comprehending that it had been two decades since she’d had her first child.
“And their father?” John asked softly. From his tone of voice, he was obviously expecting her to be as widowed as he.
Joyce rolled her eyes. “Currently in Spain with his secretary.” She enjoyed the look of shock on John’s face for a moment. “We’re divorced.”
“Oh.” There was a note of deep disapproval in his voice that made her a little smug. See, Hank? Even complete strangers think you’re a douche.
Which John was, of course. A complete stranger, that is. The thought made her giggle.
He gave her a look. “What?”
“Just...us,” she said, between giggles. “Trading life stories. For all the world as if we’re not
lying naked in a hotel bed after a night of drunken debauchery.”
“Debauchery, huh?” he rumbled, his smile turning slightly wicked. “Think we were that bad?”
“Well,” she said, deliberately shifting her leg against his. “Seeing as your shirt is there
,” she pointed towards the door, “and your pants are there
,” she continued, indicating the far corner of the room, “and your underwear is bunched under the covers at my feet, I’m guessing yes. It’s all pretty hazy, though. I’m afraid I don’t drink very often.”
John actually threw back his head and laughed at that, a deep, rich belly laugh that warmed Joyce to the core.
“You are something else,” he said, smiling so wide she thought she might be able to lose something in his dimples. And then the next thing she knew he was pulling her up his body and kissing her full on the lips.
It was a closemouthed kiss, as both were too polite to expose the other to their morning breath, but it sizzled nonetheless. Joyce felt giddy as a teenager, dragging her leg up his body and reflexively clenching her fingers into his broad shoulders.
John kissed like he spoke, deep and slow and rough around the edges. His hands and arms were strong and supportive at her back, holding her in a way that was passionate and respectful and somehow chivalrous, all at the same time.
Hmmm, maybe she’d have to keep him around, after all. Just for a little longer.
John wasn’t quite sure what the hell
he was thinking.
Mary had been gone for 17 years. He could count the number of women he’d been with in that time on one hand, with fingers to spare. They had all been women he’d saved, who wanted to thank him, and he’d been too weak, too lonely, to refuse. In each case he’d been gone before they awoke the next morning, guilt-ridden and surly for weeks afterward.
So what the hell was he doing in a swanky hotel in Vegas, cuddling and chatting and necking the morning after?
He briefly considered that the woman might be a succubus, or a witch, or something else supernatural. Most of them chose the form of a gorgeous 20-something when they went hunting, but it wasn’t outside the realm of possibility that one would take the image of an older woman if they were in the mood for more mature prey.
But if that was the case, she’d have done her thing and been long gone by now. Instead of tracing his lips with her tongue and his biceps with her fingers and rubbing her leg slowly across his entire lower half and really
, it should be illegal for a woman her age to have legs like that.
Of course, it had been years since he’d been with anyone
, and his body, mutinous as a sailor deprived of shore leave, was acting entirely outside of his control. Distantly he registered leaning forward to meet her mouth, hips rutting lazily against her thigh, hands separating and sliding down to her ass and up into her hair.
His fingers came in contact with a patch of fuzzy stubble and a thick raised scar somewhere near her temple. The feeling was enough to jolt him out of his haze, and he pulled away and gave her a questioning look.
Joyce blushed a little and gave him a wry smile, a combination that set something wriggling deep in his gut.
“Brain surgery,” she said, quietly and matter-of-factly. “A few weeks ago.”
John couldn’t help the shudder that ran through him. He was so used to dealing with weird horrors and strange phenomena that he sometimes forgot normal life could be just as dangerous, just as frightening.
“You’re ok, though?” The question was gruff to cover his concern. Brain-dead or not, John Winchester never showed unnecessary emotion. Because it was unnecessary. Obviously.
She smiled, bright and warm and mischievous, and rolled her hips wetly against his thigh. “Better than I’ve been in years
The sound that ripped from the back of his throat was half-moan, half-growl, and the next thing he knew Joyce was on her back, arching and gasping underneath him, and his hand was flung out blindly, searching for the box of condoms on the bedside table. His last coherent thought before his starving libido took over was Christ, I’m so fucked
Sometime later, lazing in the bed in her underwear and watching John pull his jeans on, Joyce couldn’t help but regret that she’d been so very drunk the night before. If he performed like that the morning after, still sleepy and sore and hungover, she could only imagine what he would have been like after several drinks and what must have been hours of flirting and foreplay.
She glanced at the clock – it was nearing noon. By all the laws of one-night stands, he should be gone now. If not now, then very soon.
She found she didn’t want him to go. After a few moment’s consideration (in which she was only slightly distracted by the play of muscle as he pulled on his shirt), she decided she would invite him out to lunch. A casino, maybe. She thought he looked like the gambling type.
Joyce opened her mouth to voice her idea, but was stopped by the look on John’s face. He was holding a sheet of heavy paper in his hand, staring down at it like the proverbial deer in the headlights.
“What?” she asked, swinging herself out of bed. She grabbed a sleeveless tunic top from her open suitcase, pulling it over her head and down past her hips as she came to his side.
Wordlessly, he handed her the paper. She scrutinized it carefully, her eyes widening just as his had when she realized what it was.
It was a marriage license. With their names on it.