Buffy and Jason (AB)
Disclaimer: Buffy and Anita Blake aren't my creations. I'll put everyone back where I found them as soon as I'm done playing with them.
Spoilers: very vague ones for Blood Noir
Jason did more than a double take when he saw Buffy Summers move out onto the ice for his first session in the adult advanced figure skating class. In fact, the sight of her made him stumble badly enough that he nearly face-planted onto the ice. She had arrived in St. Louis a few weeks ago, announcing that the city's fight with Mommy Dearest was only going to get worse and that she was there to help make the difference in what was threatening to turn into an out and out preternatural war. And, after she had figured out how to work with and mostly peacefully coexist with Anita, Jean-Claude and Richard, she had done just that in a very successful way. So much so that seeing her taking figure skating lessons was in the same category of weird as watching Edward playing miniature golf would be.
"Jason!" she said, offering an additional smile and a wave when she saw him see her.
"Didn't know you were into skating," he said, gliding closer to her so he didn't feel like he had to shout across the ice.
"Haven't for years but then I caught a little bit of nationals on TV last weekend and got all nostalgic for all things graceful and sparkly. And I figured a class would be a good way of working my way back into it. Can't expect to pull off a toe loop or two the first day back, and if I was going on my own, I'd probably try and crash into the boards and word would get out and all the vampires in town would laugh at me."
"Laugh at you, I doubt it. And you could always pretend they're laughing with you if they did."
"Yeah right," she said with a snort.
About that point, the class instructor made it onto the ice. Shortly after that, Jason found himself in a world of spirals, eight step mohawk patterns and inside slide chasse, and even managed to successfully land a toe loop three times in a row. He snuck glances of Buffy here and there, and came to the conclusion that, while she may have claimed she was rusty, she had been quite good at one time and was decidedly still better than the other women in the class.
"Buy you a drink to celebrate a successful return to the ice?" he offered once the hour of lesson finished up.
"Sounds good to me," she replied and shortly he found himself sitting at a table in the lobby of the ice arena drinking really bad vending machine hot chocolate with her. Who would have thought she was such a cheap date?
"Funny how most people wouldn't picture you as a figure skater these days," he said, thinking of the serious looking woman in the leather jacket she turned into when she was in the tunnels under the Circus.
"You should have seen me in high school. It was all being a pretty princess girl. And I did all the girly girl things- cheerleading and dance classes and figure skating."
"You definitely looked like a professional out there tonight compared to us amateurs, claims of rust and all. You looked really happy out there too."
"Strange as at may sound coming from a Southern California native, but for me it was like ice equals love. I was never good enough to do the whole big compete across the country deal, but I was probably good enough for the ice show circuit. You'll probably think it sounds dumb, but when I was like thirteen and fourteen, the plan was to take a year or two off between high school and college and let the Ice Capades pay me to go travel around the world. It just seemed like it could be a really cool thing to do."
"Believe it or not, I can get it. This small town Carolina boy remembers every Broadway touring play that came through the area around my little home town. I never missed a show, and I'd read down the program and see how many of those actors came from the same kinds of places I did. Always had a little bit of a dream that I could do the same thing. I mean I know I'm too short to be a leading man, but there were usually plenty of other roles out there."
"And then real life happens."
"Pretty much. I mean nothing compared to your whole called as a Slayer deal, but take a father who vowed he wouldn't pay for college for me if I so much as took a single acting class, and the lycanthropy and then finding out that it was actually pretty fun to take the dancing in another direction. Ever wonder what might have happened if your life had turned out normal?"
"Pretty much every day for a long while in my life. Then I finally came to the conclusion that, just because I was stuck with the Slayer gig didn't mean that I couldn't carve out little bits of happy normal in my life sometimes, even if I did feel like I was having to do the carving with some freaky ancient samurai sword."
"Hence the skating gig."
"Hence the skating gig that is happily on a Sunday afternoon and where you're the only creature of the weird I'm going to run into is the amazing stripping werewolf. And speaking of you, why figure skating? Your job, I would have thought you'd take some sort of hip-hop dance class. Seems like it would go better with your profession."
"Did that class for a couple years but I got kind of bored with it. I've also been through just about every other type of dance class offered in St. Louis at this point so I figured it was time to go beyond dance and look at other classes involving movement. So I looked around, came to the conclusion that figure skating fit my criteria number one far better than martial arts did, and, hello Brentwood Ice Arena."
"Criteria number one?"
"That the class was probably going to be at least seventy five percent female. This is for fun after all, and it's even more fun when the odds are that much in my favor."
"That makes sense for you, I guess."
"And as a bonus, once you get into lifts and all that, well there's a whole lot of grabbing of cute girls in interesting places and they seem to like it. I mean, if you look at all the pairs and dance teams they show at the Olympics and stuff, if they aren't gay or related to each other, they almost always end up married. Gotta love that kind of odds for mutual attraction."
"Men.I should have expected it, but still. Men," Buffy sighed and buried her face in her arm in mock outrage.
"I am who I am, and that's a very cute guy who is pretty much guaranteed to be strong enough to not drop you if you're interested in partnering up on the ice." And maybe more than that. Buffy hit all his buttons when it came to strong and smart petite women. "Since you're the veteran at it, maybe you could show me some cool moves Miss Tracy hasn't gotten around to demonstrating yet." He smiled and gave her his best puppy dog meets boy next door look.
"That just might be fun. I've got to fly up to Chicago tomorrow to look at an artifact, but that shouldn't take me too long. Do you have to work on Tuesday night?"
"Calendar's clear. It's not like you get too many bachelor parties that time of the week."
"They've got some open freestyle and dance time at five."
"And then I could buy you dinner afterwards. Least I could do for you, Coach." And somewhere along the line they could have to shower together to get the sweat of the workout off and that could lead to other things where just maybe he could teach her a lesson or two of his own.
"Save the date then. Look I don't want to seem rude, but I've got to take a conference call from Osaka in like fifteen minutes."
"Yeah, yeah all that top secret Watchers and Slayers stuff. Can't have you discussing it in front of the monsters either," he said with enough of a grin to let her know he was teasing her with that. End of the day, Buffy seemed to have a lot fewer prejudices about the supernatural than a lot of werewolves he knew. "See you back here on Tuesday night for that saved date date."
"I'm looking forward to it too."
He gave her a brief pat on the forearm, tossed the remains of his awful fake cocoa into the trash, and headed out the door, the smile still on his face.