Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; Eric Kripke owns "Supernatural" and related characters; I own nothing.Author's Notes:
Written for musesinspire for the 2011 wishlist_fic challenge on LJ. She wanted something with Buffy, Dawn, Dean, and Sam, and gave me the prompts of "Baby Got Back" and “Be careful. Don’t drive if your body turns into a caterpillar again.” ~*~*~
“What do you say, a six?”
“Nah, a five. You’re being too generous.”
“You really think a six is generous?” Buffy asked Dawn as they scanned the dimly lit bar from the shelter of their corner table where they were celebrating Dawn’s 21st birthday while they were on the road. Buffy was planning a bigger party for her sister when they got back (after all, it wasn’t Dawn’s
birthdays that were doomed to death and destruction), but since they were looking for some special artifact for Giles, this was the best she could do in a small backwater part of Northern California.
“Is the sky blue?” Dawn replied. “Is the grass green? If the answer is yes to both of those questions, you’re inflating the scores.”
Buffy studied the object of their attention, the ass of the latest man to walk up to the bar, one more time before shaking her head with a sigh. “I don’t see it, but I’ll give it to you. It’s your birthday, after all.”
“I feel so well gifted by my older sister,” Dawn said, sticking her tongue out. Grading guys on their asses had been Dawn’s idea, although Buffy had agreed rather quickly. She’d put it up to the amount of time they’d spent with Faith in the last few years helping establish the new Council. It was easy to blame somebody who wasn’t around to defend herself, even if she counted Faith among her closest friends now.
They lapsed into an easy silence, albeit a hard earned one. After Sunnydale, after everything that had happened, she hadn’t been sure how to fix what had been broken between her and the rest of the Scoobies. Dawn had made the first awkward overtures that first night as they took over a motel on the way to Cleveland, and at first Buffy hadn’t been sure how to react, still hurting from all that had happened those last few days. Only through a combination of Dawn’s inherent stubbornness in not giving up and the fact that, despite everything, she was still Buffy’s little sister allowed both of them to take the tentative steps in repairing their relationship. It had been hard, however, and there were times when the fragile peace between them collapsed and they needed to start over once again.
But, in the end, they had somehow made it through. While their relationship certainly bore scars that would never truly fade, Buffy would go out on a limb and say that it was stronger than it had been before all the shit had gone down.
“Why, hello, hotties.”
Dawn’s muttered comment snapped Buffy out of her self-reflective mode. Following Dawn’s gaze through the dim and slightly smoky light, she made out four people clustered around a pool table tucked in the corner. Two she immediately ruled out as objects of Dawn’s attention. Unless her sister was into beer bellies and trucker caps and she missed the memo, it definitely wasn’t them.
The other two, however…
“The shorter one is definitely a ten,” she told Dawn, eyeing them both appreciatively. They were definitely a cut above what they had been seeing for most of the night. “I’d give the taller one an eight.”
“OK, first you were inflating and now you’re deflating scores,” Dawn complained, signaling the waiter over to give them fresh beers. “Tall one is definitely a nine.”
“The shorter one knows how to better show off in those jeans of his,” Buffy countered, snagging the last part of the onion blossom they had ordered earlier, ignoring Dawn’s exclamation of protest. She snoozed, she losed.
They watched the pair of salty goodness, sipping their beers, when they spotted it at the exact same time.
“They’re hustling,” Dawn whispered, as the men, who had been doing so-so only seconds before, began clearing out against their opponents. From the unhappy looks their opponents were giving the hotties, they had figured it out at roughly the same time.
Looking over at her sister, Buffy stifled a groan when she saw the expression on Dawn’s face. She knew that look all too well. It was the look Dawn got when she was planning something particularly on the mischievous side of things.
“Oh, no,” Buffy pleaded. “Please tell me you aren’t going to do what I think you’re going to do.”
“Come on, it’ll be fun!” Dawn said, a slight smirk coming to her face. “You know you want to.” Before Buffy could answer, Dawn was already out of her chair and tugging on Buffy’s arm. “It’s my birthday,” she added with a pout when Buffy made no move to leave her seat.
“Fine,” Buffy sighed after a moment’s pause, just to make it seem like she wasn’t completely doing the caving act to her little sister.
Just for the record, again, she was completely placing most of the blame on Faith for what they were going to do next. It was totally Faith’s influence that had them start to walk in the swaying steps of somebody who’d had too much to drink and start giggling like crazy.
“Be careful,” Dawn called out after the losing team of men stalked past them.
“Don’t drive if your body turns into a caterpillar again!” Buffy added with a combination of a giggle and a snort. Ignoring the looks that the other patrons were giving them, they stumbled towards the pool table where the two men were racking the balls. Up close, the fronts definitely matched the backs, although the taller one’s hair was starting to get a little ridiculous looking.
It was all Buffy could do to keep from rolling her eyes and blowing the whole thing when she saw the brief appraising look the short one gave her and Dawn before a smirk came to his face.
“Hello, ladies.” The fact that his companion rolled his eyes at the slightly sleezy voice made Buffy feel slightly better about not making with the character breaking.
“That’s pool, right?” Dawn asked, leaning on Buffy. “I totally kick ass at pool.”
“I bet you do,” the shorter one agreed, wincing when the taller one elbowed him.
“Bet we could beat you,” Buffy challenged, picking up the thread that Dawn had left her. “Like, a hundred dollars,” she added, pulling the bills out of her purse.
She knew how they must look to the guys: drunk hot girls with too much money on their hands, easy targets for hustlers. The Summers sisters had started doing this while road tripping with Faith and Robin, and according to the couple, had it down to an art.
After all, who would suspect two drunk young women of being expert hustlers?
“I bet you could,” the shorter man said in the same tone of voice, gesturing them closer.
“I’m Sam and this is my brother Dean,” gigantor introduced himself with a sheepish smile as he handed Dawn the pool cue in his hand. He blushed when Dawn took it with a giggle.
“I’m Dawn,” she replied. “And this is my sister, Buffy.”
“Don’t,” Buffy started before adding a hiccup. “Don’t laugh.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it, sweetheart,” Dean said with a look on his face that suggested he found the name thing hilarious. He gestured at the pool table. “Ladies first.”
Dawn took the opening shot. Although she could break fairly well, Buffy could tell that her sister was holding back. Some of the balls barely moved, and it was completely by accident that the 10 ball went in.
“That makes us stripes, right?” Buffy asked, watching as Dawn tried and failed to get another ball in with a fairly awful shot.
“Sure does,” he answered, brushing up behind Buffy while walking to the table to take his turn. “So what are a couple of nice girls doing in a bar like this?” he asked as he neatly put away one of the solids in the hole.
Buffy and Dawn gave their normal lie about making with the sisterly bonding while road tripping, which got a similar response from the brothers. There was something more there that they weren’t saying, but she didn’t push it. After all, hypocrisy much when she and Dawn were basically doing the same thing?
Dean managed to another solid in before he missed, making it Buffy’s turn. She deliberately messed up her stance, facing the table squarely and held the cue in completely the wrong place as she bent over in front of Dean. Her shot went wild, as expected, the cue ball barely grazing the striped ball she was aiming at.
“You’re doing it all wrong,” Dean commented behind her as Sam lined up his shot and sank another solid in the corner pocket.
“Why don’t you show me, then?” she suggested with a sly look, turning around to face him. “Give me some pointers.”
In her peripheral vision, she could see Dawn getting her flirt on with Sam, doing her best to distract him while he went for another ball.
“I can do more than that,” Dean murmured in her ear. “Give you some hands on instruction.”
Buffy studied him closely. He definitely fell into the salty goodness category long ago defined by Cordelia, with his bad boy good looks. His low voice sent shivers in all the right places, and from the expression in his eyes, he was having similar lusty thoughts. Maybe it was the alcohol talking, but she wouldn’t mind relieving one of the h’s with him. Shame that once the hustle was over, hooking up would probably be the last thing on his mind.
“I look forward to it,” she purred back at him as Dawn loudly cleared her throat behind them, signaling that she’d already gone and that it was Dean’s turn.
While Dean lined up his shot, Buffy and Dawn exchanged a look before Dawn flashed two fingers on the hand that was tapping the edge of the table. Buffy nodded and waited for her turn.
The brothers were good, she’d give them that, even though she was sure Dean had deliberately scratched his last shot, leaving the 2 ball the only solid still remaining.
Buffy took the cue from Dawn and raised an eyebrow at Dean. “You mentioned something about hands on instruction?” she asked, fishing out the cue ball and placing it on the table.
“Let’s start with your stance, Buffy,” he began, coming up behind her and placing his hands on her hips. His touch was firm, but not overbearing as he shifted her body to an angle. “Just like that.” His hands shifted to her arms as he helped her adjust her grip on the cue. She could feel rough calluses on her arms and solid muscle behind her while he guided her into position. For a few seconds, she allowed herself to get caught up in the charade and enjoy the shivers his touch was causing.
“Now, focus on where you want the cue ball to go,” he continued, his voice heavy in her ear as he leaned over her.
Lining up the shot, she let it go. The strike went true, so to speak, and the ball she was aiming for went into the side pocket.
“I did it!” she exclaimed, giving Dean a bright smile. He returned it with an encouraging smile of his own while she tried and failed to get another ball in.
“Can we get you two some more to drink?” Sam offered after quickly finishing the game. “Our treat,” he added hastily after Dawn gave him a sad, wide-eyed look.
“Only if you promise a rematch,” Buffy replied with a pout. “Double or nothing?”
Sam and Dean exchanged the look that siblings share when talking without words. Buffy almost burst out laughing at their expressions. Dean looked eager, like he wanted to take up the challenge Buffy had thrown down. Sam looked more hesitant, but had a resigned air about it. He knew that Dean had won this round.
This time, Sam made the first shot while Dean went to the bar. The boys were stripes this time, Sam having sunk a ball before missing.
“Oh, yay! My turn!” Dawn exclaimed. Giving Buffy a sly look, she quickly took the correct stance and in a quick succession, nailed four solids. By the time she finally missed, both Sam and Dean, who had since returned with the drinks, stared at her in amazement.
“I think you broke them, Dawnie,” Buffy commented, trying her best to stifle her burst of laughter at the sight of the brothers processing the sight before them. Dawn smiled back at her and nudged Dean to get him to go.
Silently, Dean took his turn, knocking in two stripes before he scratched. Buffy bit back another smile at his muffled cursing, eyeing the table for the best spot to place the cue ball.
“I guess you didn’t need my help after all,” Dean commented in a grumpy voice after she finished off the remaining solids fairly quicly.
Buffy looked up and winked at him from where she was eyeing the eight ball. “No,” she admitted. “But the hands on instruction was much appreciated. Eight ball, side left pocket.”
The “crack” of the cue ball hitting the eight was muffled by the general noise of the bar, but Buffy’s call was true. Sam and Dean let out identical sighs as it rolled into the pocket, ending the game.
“So you two were just hustling us the entire time?” Sam asked in an amused, yet resigned tone of voice. He fished out the money and handed it to Buffy, who then handed it to Dawn.
“Don’t say I never get you anything for your birthday,” she told her sister.
“And we weren’t just hustling you,” Dawn added, sticking the money in her pocket. “You two were the closest we’ve seen to perfect tens all night.” Winking at Sam, she turned around and pulled Buffy along with her.
“Shame we hustled them before hooking up with them,” Dawn lamented when they finally left the stuffy atmosphere of the bar and were standing by their rented SUV. “They look like they’d be good in bed.”
“I’m never leaving you alone with Faith again,” Buffy muttered. “So what do you plan to do with your ill-gotten gains? Use it to lure in another set of hustlers? Somehow I doubt the next pair we run into will look like that.”
“Nah, I saw a women’s center down the road,” Dawn answered, backing out before turning onto the main road. “Figure we can drop it off there in the morning before turning into artifact hunters.”
“Works for me,” Buffy said. Glancing back at the bar one last time, she put the brothers out of her mind. She needed to focus on the artifact retrieval, and besides, it wasn’t like they were going to meet them again.