To distract myself from the craptasticularness of this day . . . I'm posting fic.
Whoot! And it's not mine!!! Even better!
Remember when entrenous88 and I created into_trouble? An AU/slash world with Angel, Lindsey, Spike and Xander in a boy!band named Trouble. OMG! It'sthebestideaever!!!11!!! Really! Giles is the spooky, twisted, manipulative manager. Wesley is the sexy, very, um, flexible choreographer. And we trade off stories . . . well, it's my turn now because entrenous88 has posted her lastest.
Count of Four
And if you haven't joined the community . . . what are you waiting for? A personal invite? Here it is. You're invited. Now get over there and read!!
Next up! New Bakery!Slash from tesla321!!
If you missed any . . .
Clare was at the BBQ joint with Chris, when the PennySavers crews began drifting in.
"Clare!" Jules said to James. "This isn't good."
"No," he said, neatly avoiding Michelle waving to get his attention. A sulking Vinnie was slouched beside her.
"Oh, yeah?" Eliza said with bright-eyed interest. Snow had threatened to beat the shit out of her if she told anyone at all how "goood" she felt. Eliza had her Palm Pilot and was entering calculations in a frighteningly efficient manner.
Snow was sitting between the wine guy, Seth, and Nicky.
"What the hell are the wholesale guys doing here?" James asked.
Eliza shrugged. Then she delicately picked her way through the crowd to sit beside Nicky.
Michelle began whispering furiously in Vinnie's ear; they were both glaring at Eliza. Then, both of them turned to look at James. He threw Jules a look of appeal. She rolled her eyes.
"Come on, I'll protect you. But don't touch me, because our money is better for next week." She returned his stare limpidly. "It was Eliza's idea."
Eliza was leaning over Nicky to show something to Snow. "The big money is on fights, now," she said. "I'm going to bet on Chris and David socking each other."
"Is that what you kids call it now, socking?" Nicky asked. "Is that a euphemism for---"
Clare stood up by the bar. "Now, you've all heard about the possibility of a buy-out," she said. "Chris asked me to come and tell you what happened in Fresno. Nick, here, just came from Fresno and can back me up. Our benefits shouldn't be affected, but one thing this company does is to fire the management. Not just salaried management, but---"
"Bakery," Snow said, her face going ashen. Chris nodded at her from his crossed-arm stance beside Clare.
"Larry. Emma. Alexis," Eliza murmured.
"Big Dave," Jules said, aghast. "We can't run the store without Dave."
"So," Chris said. "What are you pussies gonna do about it?" His voice only carried to the chairs immediately in front of him.
"Hey," James said, uncrossing his legs. Jules gripped his arm, hard.
"I was including you," Chris said. He picked up his bottle from the bar. James sat back.
James said, in a voice also pitched to go only to the man in front of him, "Try me any time, redneck, when there's no one else around to get hurt. I'm tired of your shit."
"Right," Chris nodded. "After the meeting."
"We walk out," Clare said. "We make continuation of our managers part of our agreement to the new contract, or all of our department managers and the salaried managers will be gone. Any questions?" She made a palm-wiping gesture. "Well, that's the idea. You have a week to decide."
"I thought salaried management weren't union," objected Amber.
"They're part of the contract," Chris said.
"If you take the store out for this," Eliza said dreamily, " Dave'll really owe you."
"It hasn't escaped me," Chris acknowledged. He grinned. "Ain't irony just a fuckin' bitch?" He held up a hand. "Okay. Everybody think about it. Ballots will be sent to you Tuesday."
James didn't wait for Chris to get to his truck. He hit him hard and low, knocking him off his feet, and punching him in the gut, hard. Chris got on one knee, but James got him again in the gut.
Chris threw up the beer he'd drunk on the asphalt of the parking lot.
"Okay," Jules said, her voice cold, "I think we can say James won."
"Not yet," Chris said, getting up.
Snow put both hands in his belt and yanked him back. "It's over," she snarled.
Chris turned his head, "Who are you, my mom?"
"If that's your kink," Snow said. Jules dragged James off to his car, and James didn't resist. Snow didn't let go.
"Maybe it is my kink," Chris said.
Snow let go of his belt, and patted him on the back. "I know who your kink is," she said.
He glared at her. She glared back.
He sighed, and slung his arm around her shoulders. "I'd kiss ya, but I just puked."
Snow grimaced. "That's how my luck runs." She squeezed his waist. "C'mon. I'll buy you another beer."
Clare got stinking drunk, and insisted on hanging on Chris; Eliza took some money on it, but with an "okay, it's your funeral" tolerance that put off all but the most dedicated gamblers.
Seth, the wine guy, who was redhaired and exactly Snow's height, started following her around, to her confusion and interest; Vinnie and Michelle started playing pool and vanished into the restroom.
"This picnic thing," Eliza said, yelling at Snow from her perch on Nicky's knee, "is either going to be a blast or we're going to get arrested for lewd and indecent public behavior." The music was blaring and Clare was trying to give Chris a table dance, and he was too drunk to stop her. He was holding an unopened beer can to his cheekbone. Sarah Michelle was in a booth with Freddie, and arguing with the waitress about their tab; Jonathan was dancing with Andy and Mark.
Snow couldn't really answer, because Seth was reading her palm. "Your love line's been broken at least three times," he told her.
"Oh, honey, you don't know," she said. He was kind of sexy, in a way that just sneaked up on you. She looked up, and stiffened. "Nicky, Eliza----danger at three o'clock."
Nicky and Eliza stared at her. "Three o'clock at your clock or our clock?" Nicky demanded. "Because there's just a juke box at yours, but ours has---"
"Hi, Dave," Snow croaked.
He nodded at her. "I see someone hit your union rep," he said. "And it wasn't me. Gosh, I feel---ignored."
Chris backed into them, peeling Clare off. "Yeah, honey, that's fine. Call me." He turned to Snow and Eliza. "Would it be too much for a little----" he trailed off, staring at Dave.
Nicky broke the strangled grip Eliza had around his neck, and stood up. "Guys," he said, warningly. Both heads swivelled to face him. "Okay, fine. Act like assholes." He sat down and waved his hand at them. "Feel free."
"Later, Kane," Dave said, and turned and made his way through the crowd.
"You heard him," Chris said. He leaned on the back of Nicky's chair. "Hell, he doesn't call, he doesn't write, then of all the bars in all the world---"
Nicky reached back and patted his hand. "Dear lord, he's shitfaced."He looked over at Snow and Seth. "Please don't let him yak down my back."
Chris got to a chair, stumbling no more than was perfectly natural. "Not gonna yak." He sat down and pulled out his cigarettes.
Eliza's hand slid into her pocket and got out the Palm Pilot. "Chris, I'm gonna let you in on something big. If you could manage to keep from fighting with Dave until the picnic, we could frickin' clean up!"
"How about just a little hair-pulling and name-calling?" Seth said.
Chris shook his head. "Can't guarantee it, Eliza."
"How about you forgetting the odds for a minute and dancing with me?" Nicky asked, and stood up.
Eliza put the stylus in the PDA and closed it. "Okay, but you won't laugh when 'm right."
"I never laugh at you, baby," Nicky said smoothly, and took her off to dance.
Seth looked at Snow. "So. Want to dance?"
Snow gave him a nervous look. "I don't really dance."
"So. Want to go out to my truck and make out?"
"Okay!" Snow said.
All I can say is I finally get someone to ask me to dance and I turn them down? Am I fucking insane? Um . . .wait. Don't answer that.
::hugs you all tightly::