A/N: I blame this one on te classic rock album I've been playing in the car for the past week. Cheers, folks, and don't try to find meaning in this one. I don't think there is any.
Add-on Disclaimer: Hotel California
belongs to the Eagles. Yeah.
It was a nice and quiet night on the town. Dean was happily hustling drunken bikers out of their probably not so hard earned cash, Buffy was dancing absentmindedly and Sam was sitting at the bar, making small talk with random people.
Of course it didn’t last.
The bikers Dean was playing pool with were apparently not drunk enough to be useless but drunk enough to be rowdy and Dean was just cocky enough over his wins to grate on their nerves. Dangerous mixture. The kind that ended with people throwing beer bottles and breaking chairs over other people’s heads.
It happened while Hotel California
was quietly playing in the background, Buffy swaying her hips to guitar riffs, eyes closed, arms raised above her head, ignoring all looks in her direction, just relaxing. This could be Heaven or this could be Hell
“Gimme my money back, you lil’ shit!”
She opened her eyes just in time to see a burly guy in a baseball cap and greasy jeans try to shove Dean off the dais the pool tables were situated on. He ducked to one side - Dean be nimble, Dean be quick
- his maniac grin fully in place. “Dude, it’s my cash now!”
Way to go.
She met Sam’s gaze across the rapidly quieting crowd and they both rolled their eyes. Looked like they were going to get their workout for the day after all. And to think, they’d almost made it a full twenty-four hours without anyone getting thrown into a wall.
Sometimes Buffy missed Sunnydale. At least back then, she’d known where the fights were and if she decided to take the night off, she knew how to avoid them. But then, these weren’t monsters but people. Pissed off people.
Who were closing rank around Dean, jostling and shoving at him. He kept twisting away, kept dancing on his toes, but there were a dozen of them and only one of him. She liked that song, damn it.
She started making her way over to the pool tables, mirroring Sam from the other side of the room. They both stopped at the edge of the gathering crowd, ready to interfere. The brother’s locked eyes for a moment, doing that silent communication thing they had going for them as the first guy picked up a beer bottle in a way that didn’t mean he was going to drink from it.
Most of the people that had nothing to do with the thing – locals mostly – were pulling back, putting space between them and the potential warzone. A few guys, drunk and spoiling for a fight, lingered at the edges. There was no telling which side of the fence they’d come down on when the fight broke out and Buffy didn’t like it. Oh, they could deal with it, but fighting humans wasn’t like fighting monsters. No kill and move on. She had to be careful with them, so fragile, so breakable. Welcome to the Hotel California
Looking around, she found an empty chair and dragged it closer before jumping on it and whistling sharply with her fingers between her teeth. The shrill noise brought the aggression in the room down a notch as a lot of booze-glazed eyes turned to her.
“Come on, people,” she called, trying to sound peace-y, “Can we not fight? There’s gonna be broken bones and broken pride and a load of broken furniture, which, let’s face it, the guy who owns the place really doesn’t deserve. He’s been giving us all beer all night long, yeah?”
There were rumbles of agreement, especially from the people at the far end of the room who were not involved and one loud shout of ‘Yes’ from the barkeeper, who apparently was also the owner.
The guy that had made the first move against Dean shrugged his massive shoulders, but Dean didn’t relax. His gaze was roaming over the circle of men around him, trying to find a weakness. “Sure. If that lil’ punk gives me my money back.”
More agreement from the circle of tough-as-nails bicycle boys.
“I won,” Dean protested, sounding more indignant than he probably felt. The guy made his living my hustling other people. He was used to this crap.
“You cheated!” And just like that the fire in the room stirred again. Gotta love mob mentality.
“Dude, I didn’t cheat. I played ya, yeah, but if you’re dumb enough to fall for it…”
He trailed off and Buffy groaned loudly. “You’re not helping
”, she sing-songed.
He flashed her his best playboy grin. “Sorry, princess.”
“You callin’ me dumb, boy?”
Hands up, palms out, aw-shucks, who me? Five minutes too late, though. “Sorry, pal,” the Winchester apologized. “Let’s not make the lady up there cranky, huh? She’s gonna make me sleep on the couch tonight.”
“Oh,” another guy crowed, “She can sleep on my couch.”
“Careful,” Dean threatened. Always trying to protect her virtue, even if it was pretty well defended without outside help, thanks a lot. She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friend
Motion through the crowd, angry hisses, rising anger and testosterone. “Boys,” Buffy called their attention again. “Come on. It’s three against a dozen. That’s no fair fight. Just let it go.”
She didn’t mention that it wasn’t fair for them
“Not without my money!” And that was the start signal for one giant-ass bar fight.
Buffy groaned and jumped off her chair. And it had started as such a nice night.Welcome to the Hotel California
She reached over a guy’s shoulder to pull the bottle he was about to throw out of his hand and then hit him in the neck, knocking him out immediately. One down, a dozen to go. Sam was wading into the fight from the other end, mostly using his height to grab people by their collars and fling them away from where they were trying to pile on his brother like they were playing football.
Dean, who had a bit of a hard time, kept swinging and kicking rather aimlessly to keep the attacking bikers at arm’s length until Sam reached him and they got back to back. Once those two were together, the slayer could stop worrying about them – they were
only human – and get down to the business of trying to keep the fight short and clean. Which mostly meant plucking bottles, chairs and glasses out of people’s hands and knocking them out. Some dance to remember, some dance to forget
She smiled at the lyrics, a bit grimly maybe. Dancing. Yeah. They were dancing and between the three of them, a dozen humans didn’t stand a chance. That was probably a bad thing because one person should not be a fighting machine good enough to beat such superior numbers.
But then people also shouldn’t be raised as weapons from the day they could walk on. But hey, shit happened she figured, and she had to admit, watching those boys fight? Not the worst thing she’d seen by far. Actually, they were awfully pretty.
The last biker went down under Sam’s big fist and silence reigned in the bar, except for the Eagles, still happily oblivious.She said, we are all just prisoners here, of our own device
If it weren’t for the music, you could have heard a pin drop. They had scared everyone. Again. No more friendly games for Dean, no more nice conversation for Sam. They’d be lucky if people hadn’t run them out of town by sunrise. Because they were freaks.
The fact that Dean was grinning like a loon with a bloody nose and a busted lip wasn’t helping. He itched for these fights, Buffy knew that even after only a few weeks with the brothers. Itched for the adrenaline and the elation of feeling alive. Itched to stuff as much feeling
as he possibly could into the ten months he had left.
Couldn’t be mad at him for that, but damn if his razorblade grin didn’t freak people out at least once a week. Sam’s giant, looming frame only added to the serial killer impression.
It was left to her, the cute, little, harmless girl, to try and fix things before they had to scrap the hunt to run for their lives. Or at least their freedom, if Henriksen got wind of this.
“Alright,” she demanded, using her best Queen Slayer voice. “Who broke those pool cues? Because I warned you and now you’re totally paying for them.”
Chuckles from the spectators, groans from the bikers, sheepish looks from the brothers. Some days the human fuglies were a lot more complicated than the real monsters.You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave