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Rumor Has It

Title: Rumor Has It
Author: kerrykhat
Fandom: Mercedes Thompson series
Rating: PG-13
Summary: While Warren Smith was her closest friend, he wasn’t the sort Buffy did girl-talk with.
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; Patricia Briggs owns "The Mercedes Thompson Series" and related characters; I own nothing.
Word Count: 840
Author's Note: Part of the Breathe Again verse.

“How long do you think he’s going to stay in there?” Buffy asked Warren. They were sitting in Warren’s beat-up truck, across the street from the office of the guy Warren was currently trailing. Buffy leaned back in the seat with her bare feet crossed on the dashboard. A slight breeze came in through the open window and played with the tendrils of hair that’d escaped her improvised bun. It tickled her neck, but she didn’t feel like brushing them away. They’d just fall down again and it wasn’t worth the effort.

“No idea,” Warren drawled from the driver’s seat. “Doesn’t seem to have any set schedule of when he leaves work.”

Despite his relaxed posture, Buffy could tell by the look in his eyes that he was on the hunt. He hadn’t given her much in the way of explain-y, but she knew he was doing some PI stuff for a law firm his “It’s complicated, Buffy, just drop it” relationship worked at. He liked it more than his real job of working at a Stop and Rob, even if he didn’t say as much. She’d known him long enough to be able to read the small twitches in his face.

She and Warren had traveled throughout the Southwest for the better part of a decade over a century before. She’d been fighting off a group of highwayman who thought that a woman alone was easy pickings. Warren had been in the area herding cattle and decided to lend a hand. She still wasn’t quite sure how, but that initial partnership had lead to the single-most constant relationship in her time here. Even when they were both just drifting from place to place, they somehow managed to remain in touch, however tenuously, minus the time during her involuntary stay with Blackwood.

“Samuel thought I was going to go after Mercy,” she finally said, her quiet voice sounding a little too loud in the confined space. “He felt the need to follow me and warn me off her.”

Warren had mentioned a mechanic named Mercy in passing during some of their late night phone calls, so that’s who Buffy looked up when her car started to make with not so good sounding noises. Of course, all he’d mentioned was that Mercy was a mechanic and a damned good one, not that she had a bit of supernatural about her. Nor did he mention that she appeared to be on good terms with Buffy’s ex. But then, that was her fault for being vague-ish with the details other than, “He found out that I was the Slayer, it didn’t end well, end of story.”

While Warren was her closest friend, he wasn’t the sort she did girl-talk with.

He reached over and gave her hand a squeeze before replying, “He obviously doesn’t know you that well, darlin’, if he thinks you’re a threat to Mercy.

She gave a bitter laugh. “I don’t know. I haven’t been keeping up with all the stories you wolf-y folks tell about the big bad Slayer to scare each other at night.”

“They haven’t changed much in the last couple decades or so,” Warren commented blandly, before sighing. “You and I both fucked up in the same way: we got too close while keeping too many secrets and lying about them, only to have it explode in the worst way.”

“Except you’re still talking to Kyle in a civilized way. Me and Samuel…” Buffy’s voice trailed off and she drummed her fingers against the side of the truck through the open window. “When I say things ended nuclear badly, it’s a major understatement.”

“If I’d known that’s who you meant when you said you were dating a werewolf, I would’ve warned you.”

“It’s OK,” Buffy reassured him quietly. “I wasn’t really advertising the continued misadventures of my eternally doomed love life, and I’m a big girl. I can handle a run-in with an ex. I did like Mercy, though,” she added. “For all that I spent about maybe ten minutes with her before things went pear shaped.”

“I thought you might. She’s a little bit like you.”

She sat up and gave him a mock offended look. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Warren gave her a slow smirk. “If you were going after that bandit camp again with only a handful of shotgun rounds and a knife because one of them tried to make off with a town’s girls, she’d be right next you.”

“It was only that one time,” Buffy huffed indignantly over Warren’s laughter. “And you were beside me during that whole mess!”

“Only to make sure you didn’t firebomb their hideout like you did to that seethe back in Oklahoma.”

“Please, they could’ve used some burns to remember not to take what’s not theirs. And fire’s pretty.”

Warren shook his head and was opening his mouth to respond when the light in the office flicked off. “We’ll finish this later,” he warned her, slouching down in his seat.

“Oh trust me, we will.”

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
avamclean
Aug. 1st, 2013 11:36 pm (UTC)
Day One - Accepted!

Please, they could’ve used some burns to remember not to take what’s not theirs. And fire’s pretty. - That line was so perfectly Buffy. Fantastic!

I like that she and Warren have a constant friendship. I think they both could use it and he's such a strong, solid character for her to have in her corner.
azraelz_angel
Aug. 2nd, 2013 01:28 am (UTC)
I haven't had a chance to catch up on the beginning of this series, but will do so tomorrow/this weekend, and then I look forward to reading this!
polgara_5
Aug. 2nd, 2013 03:31 am (UTC)
Took some time to read the whole series before reading this part. Love everything you've got going on, and especially that Buffy and Warren are such long-time friends. Warren is seriously one of my favorite characters in the series and the fact that he and Buffy are close makes me happy.

I look forward to where you take this series - whether forward or backward in the timeline. :D
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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