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darkhavens
24 June 2005 @ 12:48 pm
Playing Pool, by request *g*
Squee! txrabbit has asked me to post this on my LJ so she can submit it to club_joss for discussion. She would have linked to my website, but my host appears to have disappeared up it's own arse this past week or so, so I am currently without website.
::kicks oxhosting::
Hey, tx, they're based in Texas. Maybe you could go over and kick some ass for me? *g*

Anyway, colour me rosy cheeked and giggly - this is my first ever completed piece, my first ever challenge piece, written for the apparently defunct AAAFQF, and it's going to be discussed!


Author: darkhavens
Title: Playing Pool
Pairing: Spike/Xander
Rating: PG
Feedback: darkhavens @ slashverse.com
Concrit: by email, please
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Summary: Someone watches Spike and Xander play pool.
AN1: This is the first completed piece, the first challenge piece I ever wrote, and was for the AAAFQF.
AN2: The challenge chosen was to write my pairing as seen through the eyes of an OC, and the random line I was assigned was "chivalry is not only dead, it's decomposed." The random fairies must have been smiling on me that day to give a quote about chivalry when I'm writing about a white knight. *g*


Playing Pool

Abi looked up when she heard the distinctive London accent, and watched as the couple entered the bar, immediately laying claim to a pool table.

Her boys had been doing the same thing for the last three years, at least once a week, usually twice. Not that they were really hers, or boys, for that matter, but she'd been watching them now for three years and she felt rather proprietary towards them.

With a fond smile she remembered the first time she had seen them come into the Bronze together.

They had stalked through the door, hip to hip, spitting and snarling insults at each other almost without pausing for breath, and Abi had taken one look and decided they were perfect together.

It had taken a while longer for them to figure it out for themselves, and she had enjoyed every minute of watching their relationship grow and change, blooming into the rock solid bond that was now so obvious.

The pale, blue-eyed blond was the one who caught the eye first. A few inches shorter than his sable-haired mate, his attitude screamed 'look at me and WANT'. His bleached, almost white, hair was always slicked back and spiked with gel, and his attire was always basically the same: long leather duster draped over blood red silk shirt over black tee, impossibly tight black jeans, and a pair of well-loved classic Doc Martens. The scar bisecting his left eyebrow completed The Look, and Abi had a feeling that the slender blond knew it.

The taller, darker man had matured a lot since they had first started their regular games. Back then he had been trying to hide in plain sight. Loud shirts, baggy pants, and a perpetually embarrassed, self-effacing 'ignore-me' expression on his youthful face. Of course, that hadn't stopped him trading insults with the blond as they played pool and drank their beers, British import for the Londoner, and a cheaper, domestic brand for the local, who always paid.

He'd filled out nicely in the last couple of years, Abi noted absently, and she would put money on him working construction. Her second husband had been in that job, and she knew the look of a body honed by real physical work, as opposed to the perfect abs and pecs sculpted by hours in an air-conditioned gym. Plus, she'd noticed the calluses on his hands when he paid his tab at the end of the night, and the faint crows feet at the corners of his eyes that came from working out in the sun for hours on end without fancy sunglasses.

Pausing to study the oblivious pool player she nodded slowly. Oh yeah. Muscles had become well defined, and slowly the garish wardrobe had altered to show off the physical changes.

Abi had been witness to his first pair of indecently tight jeans and clinging tee-shirt, and grinned in remembrance of how embarrassed and self-conscious he had been, tugging at hems and seams almost constantly for the first hour before he'd finally settled down enough to concentrate on the game. He'd either lost a bet or been badgered into wearing the outfit, and Abi had no doubts as to who had been responsible. Ice-blue eyes had been practically glued to the muscular swell of that firm ass in skin-hugging, stonewashed denim, and more than once she'd seen pale fingers reach out to touch, only to pull back at the last possible second. And then one day those fingers had reached their target: brushed, caressed, cupped, and the total lack of any shocked reaction had told her that her boys had finally *finally!* acted on their mutual attraction.

Oh, they'd still been discreet, and the insults had still flown between them, but these were tempered with affection, and occasional exasperation, and so it had continued for several months, until a misguided group of college boys had seen the subtle interaction between the two and somehow managed to jump to the correct conclusion.

Fueled by alcohol, and a mob mentality, they had started a loud discussion about how 'fags' should stay out of 'regular' bars so decent folk didn't have to see them pawing at each other.

The brunette had spun around, not towards the idiots at the bar, but towards his partner, one hand reaching out as if to clamp over the blond's mouth, and Abi had had barely a second to wonder at the reaction before the reason became obvious to everyone within earshot.

She had never heard anyone curse that fluently, that constantly; as if the blond didn't find it necessary to pause for breath. The verbal assault had the college boys up off their seats in seconds, though Abi would have bet her months tips that they hadn't understood a fraction of the insults being heaped on them. Lord only knew she didn't have a clue about what *language* half the epithets had been snarled in.

Apologetic brown eyes had locked onto hers for a moment before sweeping back over the blond to land on the furiously approaching half dozen frat boys. A pool cue had appeared in one callused hand and was twirled impressively.

Had the troublemakers been slightly less inebriated, the obvious skills displayed in the movement might have made them think twice, but they were tanked up and looking for trouble, and they got it, in spades.

While the blond bounced and snarled and continued to spew taunts and insults, the brunette concentrated on defending them both, managing to keep the howling pack of drunks at bay without actually inflicting any real damage, and Abi realised he was trying to wear them out instead of beating them down. But then one of the students got lucky and managed to slip around the defensive moves to attack what he obviously saw as a weak target, the blond.

What happened next still puzzled Abi. The youth had managed to land two solid blows to that slender torso draped in red silk, but it was only when his own pale fist connected in a single knockout blow to his attacker's jaw that the blond crumpled to the floor in obvious agony, clutching his head and letting out a horrendous keening wail.

His mate froze for a fraction of a second and then exploded in a frenzy of flying limbs. The pool cue was broken over someone's head and tossed aside and in less than two minutes it was over. No-one was dead, but Abi had the feeling that that was just a matter of Lady Luck smiling down on the dumb students.

Everything else was ignored by the victor as he swooped down and carefully lifted the fallen blond into his arms. The wail had faded to a dull moan, broken by growls and incomprehensible mutterings, and, now that he had breath to spare, the darker man joined in with the muttering, adding soothing croons and promises of revenge to the constant rumble of sound.

The bouncers, seeing that the fight was over before they had had time to intervene, moved in to clear away the debris, and would have forcefully ejected the 'winning team' along with the losers if Abi hadn't caught their attention and shaken her head.

Then that distinctive accent drew her attention back to her boys.

"My knight in shining armour. Chivalry's all well and good, Pet, but can you put me down now so's I can find me beer?"

The tone was long-suffering, but Abi noticed the blond had both arms wrapped around his 'knight's neck and was making no effort to dislodge the arms that held him to that broad chest. She grinned at the response she almost had to strain to hear.

"Spike, chivalry is not only dead, it's decomposed. The only reason I'm still holding you is to stop myself from beating you black and blue. Dammit, when are you gonna learn to stop picking fights you can't hope to win?!"

But even as he said it, he was lowering the man in his arms to his feet and then pale hands were clutching at stonewashed denim-clad buttocks, and tan, callused hands were buried knuckle-deep in white blond hair, and two pairs of lips were crushed together in barely restrained passion.

They were back three days later, acting as if nothing had happened. Or almost. Discretion had obviously been cast aside, because now hands lingered, cupped, stroked, and Abi realised that the couple had perfected pool as a form of foreplay. Usually by the end of the evening the shared glances were hot enough to melt steel, and the lingering caresses had become claiming touches, proprietary handholds, and a more than occasional grope.

But it was still early tonight, so Abi diligently worked the bar, poured drinks, handed out snacks, and watched her boys play pool.

 
Lalkhamsin-khamsolal: sluggirl - headtiltpiratepurple on June 24th, 2005 12:30 pm (UTC)
I love this:) The outside view of the boys is great.
darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:36 am (UTC)
Thanks. I keep going back to read it, over and over again and it still makes me grin. :D
PL: PL daffodilsponders_life on June 24th, 2005 01:13 pm (UTC)
Ahhhh... ::sigh of satisfaction:: DH, this was the story that made me friend you -- it is such a pleasure to read it again!
darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:38 am (UTC)
Thank you! *hugs*

Every time I reread it I find a line or phrase I'd forgotten about and it makes me smile all over again.
nasty_shrewnasty_shrew on June 24th, 2005 01:17 pm (UTC)
You can hit my 'aww' kink like nobody else can :) Oh, what I would give to be Abi. Lovely, and She had never heard anyone curse that fluently, that constantly made me giggle. I love how there's a little flash of William's verbose personality flashing through the Menace of Pissed Off Spike.
darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:39 am (UTC)
Oh, Spike can swear at you for nearly two hours without repeating himself, though a lot of it tends to be in ancient or demonic or even ancient demonic languages. *g*

Thanks!
imaginaryimagesimaginaryimages on June 24th, 2005 01:32 pm (UTC)
ooh. Love that it's from someone else's point of view, someone who doesn't "know" the story of the chip or anything. Very cool take.
darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:42 am (UTC)
Thanks. I chose that challenge because I wanted to see what everyone else might see, without the knowledge of their history and the chip getting in the way. :D
VF: Spander (truly tazi)vampirefever on June 24th, 2005 01:34 pm (UTC)
What a fab story *hugs you*
But tell that Abi woman that they're not her boys they're mine :-)
*giggles and runs away*
darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:43 am (UTC)
Thanks!

I'll wrestle you for 'em. ;)
true to herself: Alpha Sexytruly_tazi on June 24th, 2005 01:49 pm (UTC)
Great piece of writing, hun. I love the outside POV.
darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:46 am (UTC)
Thanks. :D
realtsunamigirlrealtsunamigirl on June 24th, 2005 02:24 pm (UTC)
I remember tripping over this one on the Excessant site and adoring it. It's so sweet.

I like how you don't skate around the whole homophobia thing. Also, I always thought that Xander might not be Mr Powerhouse with demons but for God sakes after a couple of years with the Slayer, he must have been able to kick some human ass!
darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:50 am (UTC)
Thanks!

I figured Spike would make sure Xander could defend himself (and Spike too) once they were actually together, and having Spike mouth off at the homophobes was a fun way to show that Xander could fight back, that Spike had faith in Xander's ability to fight back, and also show how odd the chip firing must look to an outsider.

I went with homophobia as the jumping off point for all of that because it's sadly dstill prevalent in life, and it saved me creating some other reason for the drunk college boys to start mouthing off. *g*
Kristin: My Kink by Spuzztxrabbit on June 24th, 2005 03:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for posting this, love! You know that this has always been one of my absolute favorite fics. I was so disappointed when I couldn't get to your site! Thank you, thank you. *smootch*
darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:51 am (UTC)
*snogs you back*

Thank you for wanting to offer it up for discussion. :D

::kicks oxhosting some more::
lds: Lost 4 by susie aka mediocrechicklazigyrl on June 24th, 2005 03:36 pm (UTC)
That was wonderful. Beautifully written. Had to add it to my memories.

lds

darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:52 am (UTC)
Thank you! I love hearing that something of mine has been added to someone's memories. :D
Kristin: Alwaysbeenbad by Monkeybottomstxrabbit on June 24th, 2005 03:37 pm (UTC)
How weird is it that your host is in Texas, and mine is in England? Very odd.
darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:53 am (UTC)
very odd indeed. Especially seeing as I co-own the site with... an Australian. LOL!
Tam 'O Bedlamangstpuppy on June 24th, 2005 05:16 pm (UTC)
God, I love this story. I too first read it on Excessant and damn, it just gets better with more reading. Love the realization of the forming relationship from another's eyes. "Her boys." Uh-huh. There's a line, girlfriend. Any type of service job--bartending, cocktail waitressing, waitressing--are great for people watching/researching, I've taken advatage of that shamelessly during my life. I loved making up stories abou the people I saw.
darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:54 am (UTC)
Thanks! :D

People-watching is so much fun!
outsideth3box: Baby Devil Duckoutsideth3box on June 24th, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC)
I love this story.

It has been one of my favorites for ages. Glad to see it getting some well-deserved recognition.
darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:54 am (UTC)
Thank you! :D
Nebula: xanderauthoressnebula on June 24th, 2005 08:09 pm (UTC)
This was the first story of yours I think I ever read, and it got me hooked on your writings. I read it again, and now I know why. It's perfect Spander. Mwah to you and your excellent writings.

~Nebula
darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:55 am (UTC)
Thank you! :D

*smooch*
hush, brilliance working: spander fisifrk_werewolf on June 24th, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC)
oh, yeah, baby. that's what i'm talking about. *humm of satisfaction* wonderful. simply wonderful.
darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:55 am (UTC)
Hee! Thankee. :D
(Anonymous) on June 24th, 2005 11:31 pm (UTC)
*claps*
love it! The descritpions of their interactions were fantastic. It was a true blast to read it.

Thanks so much for sharing!!

Kat Coll
darkhavensdarkhavens on June 25th, 2005 01:56 am (UTC)
Re: *claps*
Thank you! :D