This little scene takes place in Nights
, which is a bar that Xander opened in Methos
' story Tales from a Barman...
. I'm borrowing the setting and her Xander (?) to listen to another story, because I've only now read her Round Robin Epos and, damn, it's now closed. If it were open/unfinished, I'd add this as a chapter.
CROSSOVER: TFATF Series
DISCLAIMER: Hoo boy, so not my show. So not my movies. So not even my story arch universe thing. This chapter down below, though, I wrote, all on my own even, the mind boggles.+++
Xander moved the towel over the counter, mopping up spills of apple juice and vodka that otherwise would get sticky rather quickly and looked over to the man sitting at the far end of the counter.
The man was probably middle-aged, but wore it well. He was tanned and muscular in the way that told he'd worked hard in his life. The shaved head seemed to be as much an admission of a receding hairline as well as attitude.
He was nursing a Mexican brew and played with the slice of lime Xander had put inside the bottle's neck. The way he twitched from time to time as if his body wanted to leave Nights
and go get whatever the guy wanted and all that held him in place was the beer he gripped tightly, very obviously proclaimed that he was at war with himself about something. Xander smelled a story there.
Xander dragged a bowl of peanuts over to the guy and placed another Dos Equis in front of him. The guy looked up at him, startled out of his thoughts.
Xander smiled and introduced himself, "Hey. My name's Xander and I'm the barkeep and owner of this establishment and you, gringo, look like you have a story to tell. You'd like to have a neutral ear listen to it?"
The guy had a very intense gaze when he focused entirely on you. This man could be dangerous if he wanted to. Xander kind of liked him.
"Hey, I'm a good listener and a very good keeper of secrets, I let you know." Xander pointed at the Wall behind him. After a moment the guy's eyes left Xander's face and took in the bits of history. Then he took the new beer bottle out of Xander's hand, fished out the new slice of lime, bit into it and sucked it dry. Eventually he offered his name.
"Name's Toretto." He took a long swallow of beer. "And, yeah, I could tell you some stories. Why'd you want to hear 'em?"
Look at that drawling speech, the guy's from Cali, too. "I collect them. On a good day, they make me smile. On a bad one, they can make me realize that I'm not the only one with a fucked up past," Xander offered as an answer.
Toretto looked at the various scars on Xander's skin and the eye-patch and grunted an acknowledgment.
"So, you want to hear my story. Alright... Tell me, barkeep, have you ever fallen in love with the wrong person? Somebody that would … ensnare you. Make you trust in them, make you let them be part of your family and then they go and fuck up your entire live? Fuck up your family, fuck up your friends, fuck up your future, fuck you
up and then make you see that they only did the right thing. The good thing.
And after they have taken from you everything you hold dear, they give you everything back, but different. Offer you freedom, but without them."
Toretto gulped down half the beer in one draft.
"And I took the freedom."
The bottle was slammed back down onto the counter, making a sliver of lime peel fling across the room. Neither man cared.
"And you hate the freedom."
"And I fucking hate the freedom, yes. You know, barkeep, my sister once told me I was gonna fuck up my relationship with the perfect girl I'd known my entire life with some blond, busty one-night-stand."
"And did you?" Xander knew Toretto hadn't, but it was the right thing to say here.
"No, I didn't. I fucked it up entirely on my own. Oh, sure, there was the whole thing with the FBI because of the truck hijacking we did for months and the Trans killing Jesse on my own stupid lawn. But-" here he faltered.
"But you fucked it up entirely on your own. Spectacularly."
Toretto snorted. "Hell, spectacularly, yes." He finished off his beer. Toretto got something out of his right jeans pocket: a car key chain.
He jingled it a few times in his palm, then seemed to have made up his mind. He looked at Xander and smirked in a bemused way.
blond, though." He stood up, left the car key chain and ten bucks on the counter, turned and left Nights
and went over to his BMW motorcycle. He hadn't had time to get himself a proper ride again since he'd been back in the States after his trip to Japan. The illegal immigration thing took up more of his money that Dom had estimated.
He straddled the old bike, kick-started it and drove himself over to Brooklyn Heights where he had got information Brian O'Connor has lived for the past two months.
It was time to open up a new chapter.+++
Xander looked at the key chain more closely as he was about to mount it up on a nail he had just driven into the Wall. There were two keys, one a Toyota car key, the other an ordinary door key, as well as a thin sliver of metal, one side of it a bright orange, and a cheap plastic photo key chain frame.
Inside there was a cut out of a photo; Toretto and two people. A girl, that looked like she was related to him and a blond man with a bright smile.
Xander wished Toretto the best.