Title: skinny love
Word Count: 1245
Prompt: #353 in flagrante
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright of Joss Whedon and ME. The Walking Dead and all related characters are copyright of Robert Kirkman, Image Comics and AMC. No infringement intended.
Synopsis: Buffy’s mouth quirked, her head shaking at the oddity of what would’ve once been a normal interaction between two consenting adults.
Grey clouds hung low in the sky, blocking the sun and bringing with them a gentle breeze to help cut through the humidity thickening the air. Buffy worked at freeing the laundry from the clothes lines stretched between their group’s vehicles while keeping a close eye on a chattering Emma. The little girl was currently regaling her with tales of those who protected the base and Buffy blamed her dad, Hank Summers, for the presence of ninjas in that tale. Last night beside the campfire he’d spun his own fairytale that had basically been a hodgepodge of a bunch of Bruce Lee’s films and while entertaining it seemed to have brought on a new and violent flare to Emma’s imagination.
She watched her mime chopping an opponent as she explained, “Walter made them dead,” blue eyes were turned on Buffy and widened for dramatic effect as she emphasized, “More dead.”
She freed her dad’s boxers from the line and draped them over her arm, with only a slight mental wince, as she nodded her head in understanding of Emma’s explanation and agreed, “I think Walter is a fine name for a ninja.”
“Yep!” Her excitement popped the ‘p’ and had her bouncing on the toes of her sneakers as Buffy moved to the back of the SUV and dropped off her dad’s unmentionables on the backseat. “I can help!”
Buffy turned to find Emma directly behind her, not entirely clean hands reaching upward and quickly countered, “But you are helping!”
Her head cocked, brow wrinkling in a way that made Buffy’s mouth quirk as she nodded her agreement. “You are. You’re keeping me company and that is the most important job of all.”
“Oh,” she was quiet a moment, as if processing Buffy’s assessment of their tasks, before she nodded, “Okay,” and followed Buffy back towards the clothes line. “We gonna be safe here?”
Her hands stilled while freeing her tank top from the line and Buffy frowned at the striped cotton before she finished taking it down and turned to see Emma staring up at her. Those blue eyes were narrowed in concentration and while random shifts in topics were par for the course when dealing with children the worry she heard in Emma’s voice gave her pause. Buffy squatted down, draping the tank top across one of her thighs and placed herself at eye level with her as she questioned, “Why do you ask?”
“There are ninjas,” Emma stated as fact before continuing, “what if they not strong enough?”
Buffy reached out, settling her hands on Emma’s shoulders and she met her gaze, kept it as she explained, “I think we’re as safe as we can be.” She gave a gentle squeeze of those so thin shoulders and added, “You know who’s strong?”
“Buffany!” Emma exclaimed readily enough.
“I am,” Buffy agreed with a laugh before adding, “And so is your Uncle Grayson.”
“And Mr. Hank!”
Buffy’s smile stretched with the prefix before her dad’s first name as she nodded. “That’s right, but you know who else is strong?”
Her brow furrowed before she questioned, “Ninjas?”
Buffy shook her head. “Emma.”
Blue eyes widened even as her shoulders lifted and a small smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. “I can be ah
“Can be?” Buffy questioned with exaggerated confusion, “You mean you aren’t already?”
Emma’s smile grew wider still, “I’m yellow!” She stepped back and Buffy’s hands slipped away as she watched the now excited four year old perform random kicks and jumps between the two vehicles with a few, “Hi-yah!” peppered in for good measure.
Buffy rose, snagging the tank top before it could tumble to the dirt and returned to the task at hand as the clouds shifted, allowing through the first few rays of sunlight she’d seen that day. The breeze stirred between the cars as she finished another line and deposited the clothing on the backseat of the SUV to be sorted later as Emma darted past her, aiming a high kick at the tire closet to her. She bounced off it and nearly stumbled, but quickly regained her footing and was already scrambling across the dying grass towards the ambulance. Those little sneakers kicking up dirt and dust as Buffy made her way over to Emma and Grayson’s laundry and began to collect it as well smiling at how very tiny Emma’s socks were.
An uncomfortable laugh inclined her head and Emma’s chatter quieted as she made her way to Buffy’s side, small hands grabbing her nylon encased thigh. Buffy placed a comforting hand in her damp head, mock karate kicks apparently took a lot out of her, knowing strangers tended to frighten the child. Her own head turned, gaze narrowing behind her sunglasses as she caught sight of Grayson, the owner of that particular laugh, and her brows rose at the sight of his companion.
She was pretty, barely wearing any clothing, but still extremely pretty and from what Buffy could tell she was making a very obvious play for her traveling companion. Thumbs hooked into the belt loops of what had once been a pair of jeans, that had been cut short enough to show the white cloth that made up the pockets, and she pushed them down slightly with the movement of those hands. Drawing attention to the tautness of her stomach and the fact that she only wore a bikini top helped emphasize just how taunt other aspects of her physique were as well.
The whole outfit was a little desperate and, hello, not the best attire for an apocalypse—especially the lack of weapons. Buffy might’ve been more accepting of her attire, it really was uncomfortably hot in Florida most of the time, if she could have seen a weapon somewhere on her person. Buffy might’ve also been more forgiving if she wasn’t just a smidgen jealous of the way the brunette filled out that triangle top since there’d been a time, not so long ago, when she’d have been able to do the same, but that had been before the world she knew went away and she lost fifteen pounds with it.
Unflattering thoughts aside Buffy would’ve assumed she’d caught Grayson red-handed in the flirtation, but by the way he was scratching the back at the back of his head and inching backwards—it was a sedative inching, but inching nonetheless—he was as uncomfortable in
the situation as she was watching it. Her mouth quirked, her head shaking at the oddity of what would’ve once been a normal interaction between two consenting adults, well almost consenting, and her amusement allowed, “Grayson, you hussy, you,” to tumbled past her lips.
“Hussy?” Emma parroted and green eyes widened as Buffy flinched, glancing down at Emma, who looked up at her and repeated, voice louder, “Hussy!”
The brunette caught sight of them and a frown made itself known between a pair of incredibly maintain eyebrows and Buffy suppressed the urge to barter for a pair of tweezers as she scooped up the four year old and hushed her as her cheeks burned with embarrassment.
Hoping to distract both Emma and herself Buffy questioned, “Still want to help me with laundry?” as she maneuvered them away from an amused Grayson and annoyed brunette.
The slight twang, which was reminiscent of Bradley had Buffy’s smile widening as she brought Emma before a shirt and ordered, “You pull and I hold.”