Willy's Bar & Grill: Drunken Fork Guys Are No Fun by Philip S.

Summary: The peace at Willy's Bar & Grill is disturbed by a rather depressed and drunk guy with a fork for a hand.

Spoilers: Teacher's Pet

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: The characters appearing herein are (mostly) original creations, but everything is based on Joss Whedon's work. Characters from BtVS are mentioned and may appear now and then.

Title Picture: http://www.shadow-dancing.com/Pics/Willys_Bar_and_Grill.jpg

#

"You know, a Slayer might actually be good for this town," Willy said, polishing the surface of his bar.

"Are you insane?" Daniel asked. He had a theory that pretty much every vampire and associated creature in this town had been infected by some kind of viral insanity. It was the only explanation he could come up with regarding the completely blasé attitude most of them seemed to have regarding a girl who had the power to kill them all.

Well, maybe not Willy, seeing as he was human, but still ... at the very least he would lose all his patrons and he could not be looking forward to that.

"It's a balance thing, you know?" Willy told him. "Like ... when there's too many vampires and too few humans around, things go bad."

"That's kind of the point," Daniel reminded him. "Demons ... things going bad ..."

"I mean bad for the bad! It's unhealthy to get too ambitious in this whole good vs. evil thing, kid. I mean, look at me! I try and make the best of the situation as is. You got good guys, you got bad guys, and both of them need a drink now and then."

"Isn't the Slayer underage?"

Willy looked thoughtful for a moment. "Probably," he admitted. "Still, you understand what I'm saying?"

"Not really, no! I still think we should get some guys together and kill her."

"Kill her," someone mumbled from the far corner of the bar.

"Who is that?" Daniel asked, looking at the figure that was hunched over the table. It was a vampire, that much he could smell. He could also smell the huge amounts of booze the guy must have consumed very recently.

"Oh, him? He came in around dawn and hasn't left since. Throws back his beers like crazy." Willy leaned forward. "Listen, don't go too close to him, okay? He's got this ... really nasty hand thing."

"Really nasty hand thing?"

"Kill the bitch," the drunken vampire mumbled, taking his anger out on an innocent beer bottle. Daniel saw a brief flash of what looked like steel blades and the bottle shattered.

"That really nasty hand thing!"

"I see!"

"I really hope he intends to pay for all of that. Shaggy does not come in until later and ... well ... he looks rather pissed."

The door opened and Daniel looked up to see Harvey and Viktor stroll inside, deep in some kind of conversation he only caught the tail of.

"...it's an embarrassment, that's what it is."

"Oh, come on! It happens to everyone once in a while. Or so I hear."

"Hey guys," Daniel greeted them. "What's up?"

Viktor did not look at him, just mumbled something about daylight and how vampires were creatures of the night, not the day. Daniel looked at Harvey, but the older vampire did not look inclined to let him in on things. Sometimes Daniel got the impression that Harvey did not like him much, but he wrote that off to Slayer-induced paranoia.

"Give us two cold ones, Willy," Harvey said, sitting down at the bar. "No, forget that. Viktor needs something stronger."

"Oh Pos on the rocks?"

"Make it a double!"

"Bitch," the drunk vampire in the corner uttered again, smashing another empty beer bottle.

Harvey gave him a look, then made a face.

"Norman have a bad day?" he asked Willy.

"You know this guy?"

"What's with the really nasty hand thing?" Daniel inquired.

Harvey shrugged, taking the offered beer from Willy and pushing the glass of Oh Pos in front of a grumbling Viktor. The German vampire looked extremely grim and muttered words like 'daylight' and 'better at night'.

"Something or other about doing penance for an offence against ol'Nest."

Daniel looked back at the drunk, his eyes widening in awe. "He works for the Master? That is so cool."

"Yeah, cool," Harvey agreed sarcastically. "Cool that you have to chop off your own hand for penance."

"He must have failed him or something," Daniel said thoughtfully.

"Kid, don't get any ideas about throwing your lot in with Nest, okay? Trust me on this one! Any vampire who gets his butt imprisoned inside a buried church for coming up to seventy years now is definitely not the brightest fellow around."

"I almost hic had her," Norman said, staggering to his feet. Daniel finally got a closer look at his hand, or lack thereof. Where his right hand should have been there were two ragged steel claws, fastened to his wrist somehow. He waved them around precariously, making Daniel glad he was on the other side of the room. Those things looked really sharp.

"Had who?" Harvey asked Willy.

"I don't know," the bartender shrugged. "The guy's been here all day and keeps mumbling about some kind of bitch or other. That and he has thrown back enough beers to pay the rent for this place for the next two months. If he pays, that is."

"Stupid Mantis," Norman mumbled, staggering towards the bar. "Would've had the hic Slayer if not for the hic stupid Mantis."

"The Slayer?" Daniel immediately perked up, causing Harvey to sigh. Somehow the kid simply could not get the idea of the Slayer out of his head, it seemed. He resolved to stop trying to knock sense into him. He knew a lost cause when he saw one.

"You knock heads with the Slayer, Norman?" he asked the drunk vampire.

"Wouldda had hic her, too," he repeated. "Stupid Mantis!"

"A mantis?" Daniel looked at Harvey and Viktor in confusion. The latter was still grumbling over his glass of Oh Pos, though, paying no attention to anything that went on around him.

"Aren't they, like, this tall?" Daniel put his forefinger and his thumb close together, indicating something rather small.

"I don't think he's talking about a bug."

Norman opened his mouth as if to explain, but then simply keeled over and remained face down on the dirty floor of the bar. The three vampires and one human gave him a short look each, then went back to contemplating other things.

"I should take my money out of his wallet," Willy mused. "I doubt he'll remember how much he owes me after he wakes up."

"I wouldn't, if I were you. He might trash around with those claws. Best to let him sleep it off."

"Sleep," Viktor mumbled. "Vampires are supposed to sleep during the day. I'm not at my best during the day."

"What's with him?" Daniel asked again.

Harvey shrugged. "He'll tell you if he wants to. Bad day, that's all I'm saying."

"Guys," Willy addressed the other three, "could you do me a favour and get him out of here?" He motioned toward the unconscious Norman. "No one's gonna come in here with him lying there in the middle of the floor."

"Isn't that what you pay Shags for?"

"He won't be coming in for another two hours."

"He's not gonna scare anyone away, Willy," Harvey said. "You do know who your clientele is, right?"

"Please, guys? The next round will be on the house if you do me that favour."

Harvey and Viktor shared a look, then sighed. "Okay, fine! We'll dump him down the nearest sewer entrance."

The two vampires rose, each of them grabbing one of Norman's arms and hoisting him up. The drunk groaned a little, but otherwise remained motionless.

"Come on, Norm," Harvey encouraged him as they dragged him toward the door. "You can kill the bitch, the mantis, and the Slayer after you've slept it off."

"Slayer's the bitch," Norman muttered. "Mantis's a bitch, too. All hic women're bitches."

"I hear you, man," Viktor grumbled darkly.

"Let it go, will you?"

Neither of them saw the black-clad figure coming in and moments later they collided. Harvey and Viktor lost their grip on Norman and the vampire slid to the floor, his clawed hand swiping painfully across the newcomer's arm.

"Oh, that's gotta hurt," Daniel commented, seeing two bloody cuts on the stranger's biceps.

"Sorry, man," Harvey told him. "Didn't see you there."

"It's okay," he just said, inspecting the wound. "I've done worse."

Harvey gave him a long look, taking in his strange hair, the black leather jacket, and the brooding look on his face. He was a vampire, but a vampire in a grumpier mood than Viktor even. Well, not his business. He was doing more than his share to help out today already.

"Up and at'em, Norman!" They hoisted the drunk up again. "A nice sewer is waiting for you."

They carried him out the door, the last thing they heard was Willy's voice, nervously talking about angels or something.

#

The following night Harvey and Viktor were sitting at their usual table, nursing their beers, when Shaggy came by to greet them.

"Hey, guys," the demon wolf growled. "Heard there was some trouble here last night before I came in."

"Nothing serious, Shags! Some guys just can't hold their liquor, you know?"

"I didn't have a drink," Viktor grumbled. "It was the stupid daylight."

"Will you let it go? I wasn't talking about you."

"What's with him?" Shaggy asked.

"Daylight," Harvey just said. "Vampires don't do well when it's daylight outside. Make your own picture!"

Shaggy took in the grumpy vampire, then nodded understandingly.

"A bitch, that."

"Damn right!"

Shaggy turned away to head to his usual place at the door when Harvey spotted something dangling from his belt.

"What you got there, Shags?"

"Hm? Oh, that! Not sure what it is. Found it in a front yard on my way here. Looks cool, doesn't it?"

Harvey took in the two ragged looking steel claws Shaggy showed them.

"In a front yard, you said?"

"Yeah, right next to one of those little picket fences, you know?"

Viktor and Harvey shared a long look.

"Tell Willy to break out the big beer glasses, Shaggy," Harvey finally said. "We got another wake on our hand."

"Alas, poor Norm," Viktor grumbled. "A bitch, really."

"Just let it go and enjoy the big beers!"

THE END