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Walk Between the Raindrops

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Summary: Stop me if you've heard this one: Two strangers meet in a bar...

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Sports Night(Past Donor)NinaFR1321,394261,32411 Apr 0524 Aug 06No

Walk Between the Raindrops

Disclaimer: None of the characters or core concepts are mine… They all belong to Joss Whedon, Aaron Sorkin, Mutant Enemy, Century Fox, UPN, WB, et al. I'm just borrowing them. The lyrics are from "Earth Dies Screaming" as performed by Tom Waits. No infringement is intended and no profit is being made.

Summary: Your standard "Two strangers meet in a bar" scenario.

Dedication: This was written for Kyria, who adores Dan.

***

He sat down at the end of the bar and ordered another drink from the perturbed bartender as his selection began to play over the jukebox.

Rudy's on the midway

And Jacob's in the hole

The monkey's on the ladder

The devil shovels coal

With crows as big as airplanes

The lion has three heads


He took his first sip of the cool blue liquid the barkeep sat before him as the gravelly tenor poured forth from speakers. While Tom Waits ground out the lyrics of his favorite song, the blonde sitting beside him stirred her margarita halfheartedly, squinting at the sound system in consternation as she focused on the music.

And someone will eat the skin that he sheds

And the earth died screaming

The earth died screaming

While I lay dreaming of you


With an indelicate snort, she finished her drink before looking over at him and leaning in, as if to impart a great secret, "Some people? Have no taste in music. I mean, are you hearing this?" At the last, she jabbed her thumb in the air, indicating the jukebox in corner.

Umbrage warred with surprise. The last thing he'd expected to find in a dingy little bar in Rome was an American woman disparaging his tastes. He'd gotten plenty of that in New York, after all. In fact, that was precisely why he wasn't in New York any more. He'd left his life, or the shambles of it that remained, behind when things with Rebecca had gone sour again.

Shaking his head, he defended his choice weakly, "This is a classic!"

Well hell doesn't want you

And heaven is full


He saw her wince and wondered briefly about it before shrugging off his curiosity and returning his attentions to the monstrosity of a drink that sat before him.

Bring me some water

Put it in this skull

I walk between the raindrops

Wait in Bug House Square


"You picked this!" Her accusing voice and the accompanying poke to the ribs surprised him so much he bobbled his drink, nearly dropping it. Her hands covered his for a moment as they both hurried to steady his cocktail. Laughing green eyes looked into his and he was compelled to smile back.

"Thanks, I felt like Bill Buckner for a second there," he offered sheepishly, pushing back his glass and really studying the woman before him for a moment. Her green eyes were tinged with just enough brown that he wondered if they changed color and sat in a face framed by honey blonde hair, streaked with lighter highlights, which swept just past her shoulders in a loosely layered cut.

He saw a faint blush creep over her pale skin as his brown eyes swept over her form in a swift, frank appraisal.

And the army ants

They leave nothing' but the bones

And the earth died screaming

While I lay dreaming of you


"You're welcome. I was worried if you'd spilled that," she paused, as though searching for an elusive term, "bucket, we'd both have drowned. And drowning? Is overrated."

Grinning, he glanced at the drink he'd been nursing since he sat down, "It does seem like a lot to drink, doesn't it?"

"Not if you love Avalanches," she replied, gazing at the item in question before meeting his look again, "which you apparently do."

Laughing outright now, he confessed, "Actually, I'm more a fan of the color." At her confused look, he leaned in as he expounded, "There's this bar back home where you'd get a discount on giant blue margaritas if you wore something blue. The drinks were terrible, but I kept going back. I've been on a quest for a combination of blue and tasty ever since."

There was thunder

There was lightning

Then the stars went out

And the moon fell from the sky


"Is that what brought you to Rome? This quest for blue and tasty?" she asked teasingly.

"No. I just needed to get away. Get a fresh start."

It rained mackerel

It rained trout

And the great day of wrath has come

And here's mud in your big red eye


"Yeah. I know how that goes." She sipped her drink thoughtfully before nudging him, "So, you did, didn't you? "

"What did I do?"

"You picked this song!"

"Hey! You make it sound like a bad thing…"

The poker's in the fire

And the locusts take the sky

And the earth died screaming

While I lay dreaming of you


"Were you even paying attention to the words?" she joked. "So melodramatic. And, really… as if the world would actually end with locusts." Emphasizing the apparent absurdity of the idea with an expressive roll of her eyes, she added derisively, "Puh-leeze."

Nodding, he intoned seriously, "Ah, an expert on the apocalypse, I see."

"Well, I dabble," she replied with a nonchalant shrug.

Amused and intrigued, he extended a hand, "Hi, I'm Dan, by the way."

Taking his hand and giving it a firm shake, she grinned. "Nice to meet you, Dan of the horrible musical tastes. I'm Buffy."
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