Title :: Cherry Bomb
Rating :: FR13
Disclaimer :: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright Joss Whedon and ME. No infringement intended.
Note :: Part of the ‘Miles to Go’
’ series, but this series of ficlets will happen before
our Slayer makes it to Sunnydale.
Synopsis :: The love of a good woman won’t change a man, but the love of a smart-mouthed valley girl with control issues might. Cherry Bomb
His nose twitched as he turned another page and brought the scent of cedar and something oddly floral wafting up from the tome. Dark brows pulled low as Pike continued reading about Pope Sylvester II and his demise by dismemberment. Blue eyes left the musty book to land on the spiral bound notebook in his lap and the hearts Summers had doodled in the margin. His mouth curved upward even as he shook his head and read through his notes from his time spent at one of the numerous local libraries.
Oliver Pike, self-proclaimed badass, was in Las Vegas and had spent an entire day trapped in the air-conditioned comfort of Sahara West Library’s computer lab researching newspaper clippings. His eyes narrowed and he leaned forward, rereading the part where Sylvester had been missing his tongue, heart and eyes before he broke into a grin and glanced towards the closed bathroom door of their motel room.
“Summers?” He couldn’t help but add, “Jackpot!”
The muttered, “Really? Jackpot?” only had his smile stretching as he heard the disgruntled Slayer finish, “You’re lameness knows no bounds.”
He rose from the uncomfortable chair he’d been crouched in for the last three hours and winced as his lower back ached in protest. One hand held his notes and the other his spine as he bent slightly forward and sighed when the pressure eased up a bit. He straightened and grabbed the tome he’d been reading before making his way past their beds and to the bathroom door. “Meridiana.”
The knob rattled and the door opened only enough so that Summers’ face could be seen through the crack and her green eyes, outlined in black, narrowed on him as she questioned, “Mary-who’s-it?”
His brow rose and corrected, “Meridiana. She’s a succubus.”
“We knew that already.” Her bare mouth, which looked naked next to her done up eyes, turned down, “Or at least we’d better have known that or I got this job for nothing.”
“Not for nothing.” Pike countered, adding, “We knew the last three victims of this thing were customers of the Ch-Cherry Bomb.” He coughed to cover his stumble over the name of the establishment and Summers’ eyes narrowed further, so he could no longer discern their color, and she growled before slamming the door shut. “Hey now, Barbie, I offered to case this place—”
“It kills men,” she retorted in her best ‘duh’ voice, though the effect was muffled by the closed door, “And you’re a man,” there was a slight pause before she added, “mostly.”
He snapped the tome shut and promptly sneezed as the scent of cedar became overpowering. Rubbing his nose with his palm he asked, “Do you want to know what I learned or not?”
“Is not really an option?” His eyes closed and his head fell back as he silently counted in his head and by the time he got to twelve Summers questioned, voice hesitant, “Pike?” He didn’t reply, but his eyes opened to stare up at the watermarked ceiling and she explained, “That was a joke. I was making with the funny.” His head came up and his chin dropped as he shot a glare at the closed door and Buffy’s voice grew quieter as she finished, “Apparently not that funny.”
He ignored her pouting, it was easier when she wasn’t doing it to his face, and focused on the hunt and smiled because Summers hated calling these little trips that. “Meridiana offered Pope Sylvester II sex, magical knowledge and power if he remained faithful to her and according to all accounts he did up until his death when he repented his sins. Apparently that wasn’t part of the deal and she dismembered him, keeping parts as keepsakes.”
“Parts?” there was a pause, “Let me guess. The missing pieces from our murdered guys.”
“You got it in one.”
He muffled question he heard in his name had him frowning. “Yeah?”
“You figured all this out in like a day.” He nodded with her statement, even though she couldn’t see it and made his way towards the desk to drop off the book. The door to the bathroom opened behind him and Buffy’s voice was clear as she finished, “That’s kinda impressive.”
“Kinda?” Pike scoffed and turned around.
His mouth opened, ready to finish his thought, but all he could do was stare at all the tanned flesh exposed by Summers’ outfit for work. He blinked and swallowed, blue eyes widening as he took in the fishnet stockings covering her legs up to a pair of incredibly short shorts that were offset by a tank top that had the establishment’s name embossed across her breasts and the ‘o’ in bomb was shaped like a cherry with a lit fuse for a stem.
He swallowed again and simply stared, still unable to form a coherent thought, and Summers shifted on her heels, taking a small step back and into the bathroom as she offered, “If you think this is bad you should see what the other girls are wearing.”
He cleared his throat and ignored the fact that her lips were fire engine red and glossy and entirely too distracting to retort, “Summers, the other girls are strippers.”
Her tone grew defensive, “I know.”
“Right,” Pike focused on her face, and only her face, as he added, “So tonight is recon only. I’m still not sure how to kill this thing yet.”
She smiled and it turned her from ‘walking sex’ to ‘girl next door’ and Pike forced himself to sit in the uncomfortable chair or risk making his way across the motel room and ruining the hair and makeup that had taken her an hour to prepare.
“I won’t kill anything unless it tries to kill me first.” The solemn promise made him smile and that smile widened when she hastily added, “Or someone else.”
“You’ll do fine.”
“Of course I will.”
“Don’t jinx it.”
“I did not—”
He smirked. The end.
Note :: This series should probably be called ‘The Adventures of Buffy and Pike’ but I couldn’t ignore the nod to Hunter S. Thompson who strikes me as someone Pike would find interesting.