He’d been watching her since she sat down and ordered a bottle of tequila. She was young, but there was a weary air about her that made her seem older. She wasn’t a drinker, which was obvious after she took the first shot. The revulsion on her face was unmistakable, but she seemed determined to drown whatever demons had driven her to this hole in the wall cantina on the outskirts of Guadalajara.
A few of the braver, or maybe drunker, patrons approached her, but after the first few glares they’d left her alone.
It wasn’t safe for her to be by herself and he didn’t have it in him anymore to watch an innocent suffer if there was something he could do to help. So he picked up his beer, crossed the smoky room, and sat down across from her.
“Not interested,” she mumbled as she stared at her glass.
“That’s pretty obvious,” he said quietly. She didn’t look at him, but he didn’t let that stop him. “A pretty girl like you shouldn’t be drinking alone, especially here. Just thought you might like some company to keep the vultures away.”
She snorted delicately and glanced at him from under her lashes. “How chivalrous. I thought chivalry was dead.”
He gave her a lopsided grin. “I was tossed by the throne a long time ago. Never been much for white horses or hats anyway. Gray’s more my color.”
She shrugged and downed the liquor, but didn’t ask him to leave. He took a swallow of his Corona as he studied her. After a minute he said, “You know that’s not going to help in the long run, right? It never does.”
She looked at him then and he sucked in a breath at the depth of pain in her green eyes. She studied him then asked, “Speaking from experience?”
He nodded. “Yep. Trust me, whatever you forget now will come back with a vengeance tomorrow, along with one hell of a hangover.”
She sat back in her chair, her eyes flitting between his face and the bottle. “I doubt that it could feel much worse than I already do. Maybe it’d be an improvement.”
He sat back and took another drink. She sounded completely defeated and it seemed wrong somehow. He didn’t know this girl from Adam, but he had a feeling that she was usually a pretty happy person. “Whoever he is, he’s not worth getting this torn up over.”
Her eyes flashed and she nearly snarled, “What would you know about it?” before the fight went out of her and she poured another drink. He laid his hand over hers and she started at the touch and met his eyes. Her lower lip trembled, but she didn’t cry. She said, “They promised me the fairy tale, but they lied. My prince turned into a frog, well, a wolf, and my princess turned out to be the gnarly old wicked witch.” She moved her hand out from under his and took a sip. Then she sat the glass down and let his hand cover hers again. “Love sucks and fairy tales are for losers.”
He licked his lips quickly and said, “I’ve got my rusty steed outside. If you think you can handle a tarnished knight in tin can armor then come with me. We’ll drive until you can forget.”
She looked at his hand covering hers. His thumb was brushing along her wrist and if felt good. “Just drive?” she asked.
“Whatever you want.”
She let go of the glass and turned her hand over to cradle his. She studied their clasped hands. “Don’t talk about tomorrow or what the future might bring. Just…just keep me in the here and now.”
He stood and drew her up with him. His blue eyes glittered as he brought her hand to his lips and he laid a kiss on the back of it. “I can do that.”
He led her out of the bar and into the night. As she got into his truck, she said, “I’m Willow.”
He grinned at her as he pulled out of the parking lot. “Lindsey.”
A new chapter of a fractured fairy tale started that night and neither of the writers knew how it would end.
Warnings/Spoilers: Post Dead End (and completely disregards anything for season 5) for AtS and nebulous AU for BtVS.
Inspired by Christian Kane’s song ‘Different Kind of Knight’. That song is so Lindsey post Dead End. You can listen to it here. Just scroll down to the end of the play list and click on the title. Thanks be to Elisabeth for the beta.