Fandom: BtVS/X-Men crossover. Gen, humor.
Characters: Scott, Buffy. References canonical relationships (Scott/Jean, Scott/Emma, Buffy/Angel, Buffy/Spike)
Rating: T for some violence/adult themes
Summary: You meet the strangest people in bars.
AN: I blame this entirely on likeadeuce, who mentioned the possibility of this cross-over in LJ comments earlier today. Thanks to eldee and carlos_thedwarf for reading this over!
It’s a smoky bar, the kind you don’t go to when you’re up to anything good. This is probably because everyone in it is either a demon or a mutant with a chip on their shoulder. It’s also sort of like a porn store, though, because no one looks anyone else in the eyes. Regardless of where said eyes happen to be located.
The man sitting at the table in the very back is about as out of place here as you get, except for the girl from whom he’s sitting across. Usually they’re the kind of people throwing patrons through the windows, or staking them through the chest, or sending them off to the Triskelion.
Right now, all they’re doing is having a drink and some casual conversation. Later they’ll probably have to tussle with one or more of the patrons, but it’s like that moment in a hurricane where the eye moves over the city and everyone goes outside to have a look around. It won’t last, but it’s nice to have a break.
“But what do you do when they get all huffy? When they won’t listen when you tell them what to do?” He’s stacking little packets of sugar up on the ashtray for no discernable reason.
She’s watching him shrewdly, as if any moment now, she’s going to offer advice on how to stack them more efficiently. “Are you allowed to hit them?”
“Yeah, but I don’t.” He stops with the sugar and slides his beer back and forth in the condensation on the table, making rings on the pitted wood. “Do you?”
The girl shrugs. “Maybe. I would, if I really had to.” She sounds defensive, like he’s going to call her on that and offer an example of when she could have but didn’t. She’s not drinking anything but water, because she said she didn’t trust the liquor. He asked her why she’d not ordered a beer, and she said one time it turned her into a primate.
He hadn't argued. Maybe it was just some weird slang. He’ll ask one of the kids about it when he goes home.
“Do you ever get tired of them asking you for advice on everything all the time?” She’s young, this one, but something about her voice sounds tired, like she’s seen it all before and nothing was really all that impressive.
“You know what’s worse than that, though?” Behind him, two men (at least, he thinks they’re men) are fighting, yelling at each other in a language comprised entirely of tongue-clicks and loud otherworldly shrieks. He just raises his voice and talks louder, over the din. “When they offer you advice.”
She ducks just as heavy beer glass comes flying her way, then turns a glare on the fighting duo. They slink off back into the shadows. He has a feeling things do that a lot around her. Something about the way she glares, the shadows that swim in her eyes. “Yeah. Seriously. Like especially on your love life.”
“Yes!” He nods emphatically. It’s nice that someone understands. “I had this girlfriend everyone loved…”
“Don’t tell me,” she says, laughing in a way that makes her eyes narrow so he’s not sure it’s because she thinks it’s funny. “You had to end it because she ended up evil?”
“Well…yeah, actually.” He swallows a sip of beer and then asks hesitantly, “That happen to you, too?”
“Yup.” She plays with her glass for a moment before looking up at him almost hesitantly. “Say…did you end up sleeping with a soul-sucking vampire with no morals afterwards, when you realized you just couldn’t have relationships with normal people?”
He’s beginning to get a little freaked out by how astute she is, or more importantly, how similar their lives seem to be. “Some people might call my current girlfriend that, yeah.”
The girl shakes her head and reaches a hand out to grab the throat of some being that’s suddenly looming over her, opening a mouth to display an impressive row of teeth. He’s a little repulsed by it. Giant robots are suddenly looking better and better the longer he’s in here. “Slayer’s taking five, pal. Get out of my face.”
The thing—does it have tentacles?—leaves by sliding down through the floor and leaving a wet, sticky mess in its wake. He makes a mental note not to step on it on his way out.
“Why do we do this?” he asks, grasping at her hands, as if she somehow knows the answer, as if he could turn into his teammate and suddenly suck forth from her all the wisdom the world is keeping hidden.
“Because we’re chosen,” she says with her nose scrunched up, and it’s in the sort of voice you used to taunt dorky kids on the playground.
Or, if you were him, got taunted with on the playground.
“Yeah? It sucks. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to be, because it sure seems like everyone else gets the luxury of making mistakes, you know?” He leans forward conspiratorially, like he’s sharing some very important secret. “Do you have that guy on your team, the one that can just go off and do his own thing and no one cares? And they’re always glad to see him when he finally comes back?”
“Yeah, but it’s a she. And sometimes when she comes back, we have to fight it out.” The girl raises her hands, mimicking a boxer, and he nods along, well-aware of what she’s saying. “Then she steals my body, and nearly sends me to jail. Bitch.” She shakes her head as if clearing an unhappy memory. “Does yours come back and take over your team?”
In the distance, he thinks he hears thunder. It’s probably only his imagination. “No, but I know all about that, too.”
Someone’s started to play a song on the jukebox. He’s pretty sure it’s some rendition of Stormy Weather. If he were inclined to appreciate irony at the moment, he’d laugh. Instead, he wishes his uniform had pockets in which he may find a dollar to change the song.
“Yeah, well. This guy, on my team? He’s always after my girl. Or was, since the one he wanted died.” If the jukebox starts playing Burning Ring of Fire, he’s outta there. “Of course, she always comes back. I’m expecting her literally any day now.”
The girl nods wisely. “Yeah. They always do come back, don’t they? Hey, how many times have you bought it?” She cocks her head, and her loose blonde hair falls over her shoulders.
He shrugs. “Just once. Well, wait. That’s not true…you got alternate universes?”
She laughs. “Lousy with ‘em.”
“Yeah. Us too. I’ve died a few times there.”
She nods like she understands, and since it’s her, maybe she does. “I’ve died twice, but not in any universes that I know of but this one. Stopped the apocalypse a time or two, though,” she says, as if there’s a score-sheet somewhere where they’re accumulating points.
He raises his glass in a mock salute. “Been there, done that.”
Across the bar there’s low-pitched murmuring, and someone that looks vaguely familiar is shooting him death glances across the table. He thinks it may be Omega Red, which isn’t very good news. “I didn’t even know mutants knew about this place,” he mutters, pushing his beer away for good.
She stands up, swings her arms around to stretch them out, then rolls her eyes and delivers a round-house kick to a threatening look creature in a black hooded robe. “All right! God, can’t a slayer get a moment’s peace?” She sighs. “Thanks for the conversation, Mr…?”
“Summers,” he says, holding out a hand. “I didn’t catch your name, Miss…?”
She smiles at him and shakes her head. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Hey, good luck. See you around.”
“Yeah,” Scott says, vaulting over the table towards Omega Red, thankful he avoided the sticky mess on the floor. The fight doesn’t last long, but when it’s over, she’s nowhere to be found.