Chapter Six: A Peek at Mary
Deals of the Damned
Chapter Six: A Peek at Mary
Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy or Supernatural and any recognizable dialogue is taken from the BtVS episode ‘Life Serial’.
Author’s Note: All readers please note, my computer is broken and the guys at Best Buy say it will take 3 weeks to fix, therefore updates will be more sporadic than usual…at best. Sorry.
“Who was that?” asked Giles.
“Dawn! Hurry up or you’re going to be late!” Mary called chuckling when she caught the faint sound of bad cussing coming from upstairs. “Sorry Giles, what?”
“On the phone, who was it? As you said everyone you know already lives here,” Giles said patiently.
“Oh that, it was Angel, he’s glad I’m not dead,” Mary said forcing a smile.
God, that had been an awkward phone call.
“I’m quite sure that is the understatement of the century,” Giles replied cleaning his glasses.
“Yeah, well, you know Angel, he’s a vampire and kind of a drama queen,” shrugged Mary, “He actually flat out insisted we needed to see each other immediately, as if I didn’t have enough on my plate trying to get my life back on track,” she scoffed.
“So you’re not going to see him?”
“No I’ll see him, we’re having dinner in Orange Hill on Sunday night,” Mary clarified.
“Ah, a date?”
“Do you really think I’m that stupid?” asked Mary one eyebrow raised in frank query.
“No!” he answered to quickly, “No, it’s just...you’ve been through so much, and Angel…well…”
Since Giles seemed unable to continue Mary filled in the blanks herself.
“You think that since I’ve been through a trying resurrection and have found myself suddenly thrust back into everyday life with all the responsibilities of a pseudo mother and bread-winner that to relieve the stresses, pressures and tensions that have inevitably built up I’ll lose all my good sense and Angel and me will have a round of passionate, emotional, and ultimately self-destructive comfort sex, right?”
“Er…would I be a terrible person if I said yes?” asked Giles ruefully.
“Probably, but I won’t hold it against you,” Mary grinned wickedly.
“Said yes to what?” asked Dawn pausing to tug on her shoes.
“Yes to making you wake up fifteen minutes earlier so you get out the door on time,” Mary threatened handing her a brown bag lunch with cold cuts instead of a peanut butter sandwich.
“You wouldn’t dare!”
“If I get a call saying you showed up to class late today you bet your skinny little butt I’d dare,” Mary snorted.
“I’m going, I’m going!”
The door banged shut and Mary watched Dawn jog down the street.
“Ah, the novelty is wearing off is it?” Giles commented.
“She’s a teenager, what else would you expect? I’ll give her a bit of wiggle room but if her grades start to slip I’ll be firm, don’t worry,”
“On a somewhat related note, what are you planning to do?”
“What do you mean, like today?” asked Mary genuinely confused.
“I meant with your life,”
“Ah,” said Mary heaving a heavy sigh, “Honestly, I don’t know, if I didn’t have Dawn it would be different, I’d sell the house and rent a cheap apartment and eat only mac’n’cheese until I finished college and then I’d look at a career. As it stands, my plans consist of make money to pay the bills,”
“My dear if you’re set on going back to school…”
“Don’t!” Mary warned him.
Giles halted mid-sentence and regarded her with something approaching bewildered astonishment.
“Don’t you dare offer me money, I can do this on my own merits and until that statement is no longer true I don’t want you to coddle me!” hissed the blond woman annoyed.
Unable to stay still she paced the breadth of the living room like a caged animal.
“I’m not going to take the easy way out. This is my life and I am going to live it, not you,” she declared firmly.
“Of course, I was merely letting you know that you have my help if you need it,” said Giles warmly.
“I know, the fact that you’re here is proof enough of that,” Mary said settling down a bit.
“Proof of what?” asked Xander leaning through her front door.
He was dressed for work in a pair of grubby jeans, work boots, a threadbare blue t-shirt and a tool belt.
“Proof that you’re nosey,” Mary retorted.
“What can I say my Dad’s mom was an elephant,” shrugged Xander comically.
“Oh god, that was horrible,” chuckled Mary
“Yeah, well it was the best I could do on such short notice,”
“What’re you doing here Xan? Don’t you have work?”
“Yeah, um, I know you need the money and you haven’t exactly got a day job yet so, do you want to do some heavy lifting around the job site? We could use the extra hand,”
“Yeah, that would be great, um…just let me get changed,” Mary said dashing upstairs.
She dug around her new closet for a bit before she found something suitable. Shaking her head at the closet full of useless and kind of trashy clothing she made a mental note to get some stuff together for a yard sale. She pulled on a pair of old jeans and a grey t-shirt she had from the set Merrick had given Buffy when she first started training and showed up in a jean miniskirt. She then braided her hair away from her face and laced up the black work boots Buffy had worn for a few weeks when they were in style.
“Ready,” she announced.
“I, ah, took the liberty of making you lunch, peanut butter and jelly,” Giles said handing her a brown paper bag of her own.
“Not at all,”
“Come on Buff, let’s explore the wacky world of construction,” Xander said grinning and slinging an arm around her shoulders.
“You’re loving this whole manual labor thing aren’t you boss man?”
“It does have a certain appeal,” Xander admitted.
“Get your mind out of the gutter Harris,” she drawled sliding into his passenger seat.
The drive to the construction site was fairly short, even with Xander’s driving, and Mary and Xander traded corny jokes the whole way. Mary liked Xander; he was kind of like a younger version of her old boss.
The construction site was exactly what anyone could expect. It was large, dusty, and garbage, tools, nails, dirt, and men with arms the size of tree trunks were spaced at even intervals. Now Mary freely admitted that she didn’t know the first thing about construction or house repair or anything like that but this looked like exactly her kind of party and John hadn’t known anything about cars either and now…or then maybe, he was a brilliant mechanic. If he could do it so could she, plus now she had the super power advantage, that had to count for something.
“Alright here we are,” Xander said as she grabbed her brown bag and a spare hard hat and tool belt off the back seat, “Now try not to call to much attention to yourself Buff, since you’re not union I had to call in a few favors to get you on a crew,”
“Thanks Xan, and don’t worry, I’m much better at being secret identity gal than I used to be,” Mary said wryly.
“I hope so, cause blowing your cover the first day is kind of weak,”
“Shut up!” she laughed giving him a harmless slug to the shoulder.
“Hey Tony!” Xander called.
Tony as it turns out was a tall guy, about John’s age with thick black eyebrows, a permanent glower and a relatively new looking beer gut. The guys on his crew were mostly young muscle with one Hispanic looking guy whose beer gut was much further advanced.
“This is that friend I was telling you about, Buffy, Buff this is Tony the Foreman,”
“Nice to meetcha Tony,” drawled Mary giving him a smile but keeping her hands in her back pockets, he wouldn’t want to shake them anyway, “Hello boys,” she added with a nod for the rest of the crew letting a bit of her old accent creep in.
Rednecks were always easier around other rednecks and claiming time in a small town Kansas would put them more at ease with her, even if they themselves didn’t realize it.
“You gotta be kiddin’ me,” scoffed Tony, “We’re a week behind, I got two men out on a DL and now you want us to babysit some little girl?”
“Excuse me?” said Mary cocking a hip and raising an eyebrow, a clear challenge.
She was spared a “Hang on, midget,” and then ignored.
Mary rolled her eyes, typical male.
“Harris, what the hell am I supposed to do with her?”
“Give her a chance; she’s stronger than she looks,”
Tony scoffed and turned his back.
“That’s the spirit,” Xander said cheerfully sarcastic, “Don’t mind him; he may seem pig ignorant, rude and a little hostile but…well his is all those things. Good Luck! I’ll be back to check on you later,”
Xander patted her on the shoulder and left her to Tony’s tender mercies. As soon as Xan was out of sight Tony began issuing orders.
“Okay, Danny, finish putting in those j-boxes, Vince, Marco, I need you to haul the steel inside,”
“Gee, I don’ know Tone, I don’ wanna get in trouble with one of those Affirmative Action Lawyers, you know what I’m sayin’?” said the Hispanic guy with the pot belly, “Why don’t you put lil’ Brittney here on hauling duty,”
Mary just smirked.
“Okay Princess, you’re on it, try not to break a nail,” mocked Tony jabbing his thumb in the direction of the steel.
“Don’t worry about it. And don’t let them hassle you into doing something stupid and hurting yourself. These beams weigh quite a few hundred pounds,” said another guy falling into step with her.
“Alright, gimme a hand, on three,”
“I’m so sure, I practically deodorant,” Mary said getting a good grip on one of the reddish colored steel beams.
“You gonna keep asking questions I’ve already answered or are you gonna help me lift this goddam piece of metal?” asked Mary cocking a brow.
“What’s your name?” he asked incredulously.
“Mary Elizabeth Anne Nicole Campbell Winchester Summers, Xan calls me Buffy, pick one or make another one up,” Mary shrugged.
“I’m Vincenzo Paolitti, Vince,”
Mary grinned and shook his proffered hand.
“Come on Vince; let’s get this bitch done,”
“Sure thing Princess,”
They hauled the steel beams together and Mary proved that she was strong enough to handle the heavy lifting. By the end of the day she and the guys had gotten pretty friendly and she had an invite to go drinking with Vince and Danny.
“Hey Buff you ready to go?” asked Xander.
“Nah, I’m gonna go drinking with the guys, y’know bond over alcohol and loose women,” Mary said grinning as Vince slung an arm around her shoulders.
“What about Dawnie?” asked Xander, “And need I remind you about the incident with Parker and the Beer Bad Cave-Buffy?”
“Cave-Buffy? Whatcha been up to Princess?”
“Tell ya later,” Mary said patting his large hairy knuckled hand, “Dawn’s at Janice’s for dinner because I planned on doing a quick sweep before heading down to the Coin Laundry. And besides this is hard liquor not beer,”
“You’re going to show up to work smashed?”
“I’ve got a great metabolism Xan, relax, I’m a big girl, I can handle myself,” Mary admonished him gently.
“Okay, I’ll let Wills and Tara know where you are then,”
“I should be in by five, five thirty,”
“Better you than me,”
“Don’t wait up,” laughed Mary.
Tonight she was going to have a bit of fun. It had been too long since she’d gone to a bar just for fun. Actually the last time had been the night Sammy was conceived.
“Come on boys; let’s get out of here,”
“Amen to that!”
AN: Sorry there's not much action going on. Disclaimer: the line about sure = deodorant is from Stick It and I don't own that. No offence is meant to midgets and rednecks. Next Chapter, we get to see why the Coin Laundry loses so many employees, plus drinking and kitten poker with Spike! Please Review!