by RainbowGroupie (( Renny Wallace ))
Rating : PG13, for language befitting a belligerent sailor on Mardi
Spoilers : S3.22, "Resurrection"
Paring : Sweiss, and a pinch of Sarkney (bad pun, keep reading, bad pun...)
Summary : Sydney tries to prove she can be goofy. Weiss offers commentary.
Takes place sometime after the events of S3.22 "Resurrection", though completely ignoring the final scene. If your into plot consistency, we'll just say the document Sydney was never supposed to find was Jack's secret fruitcake recipe. I mean, she cried over less last season, didn't she?
1.: Saint of Circumstance
He was reciting the Guitar Groupie story again. She'd heard it before, he'd told it before, but it made little difference. This was rehab.
"So this girl, right, April. She only dated guitar players," he said patiently.
"Do you play?" she demanded.
"No, but that wasn't going to -"
"How about a kazoo? Kazoo's can be sexy," she observed, throwing back another shot.
"Kazoo? No, no, forget it, I'm not going to ask. Guitar. So I went up on stage, couldn't play a single note -"
"Was it a snafu?" she put in.
"What? Yeah. Yeah, fine, it was a snafu. So anyway, I got up there, sucked, got booed, couple'a beers thrown at me..." he continued, vision blurrying.
"I don't suppose you were in Kalamazoo at the time?" she asked hopefully.
"Shut up, OK? I'm trying to say this."
"You've already said it."
"So I was walking away in shame, right, in the parking lot. Biege Honda. I remember she drove a Honda. Out came April. She was late. Didn't hear me suck onstage -"
"Ooh, kinky! And you and Vaughn were roomies?"
"Sick, Agent Bristow. Anyway - didn't hear my failure at playing, only saw the guitar. We dated for almost a month," he finished, gesturing grandly with his tequila glass.
"You should have tried kazoo," she insisted. "It could have been a Kalamazoo Kazoo Snafu."
He stared at her until she shrieked with laughter.
"Uh! Oh, nice! You just sprayed tequila in my face."
"Then I guess I shouldn't tell you it went out my nose."
"No, Syd, no. You really shouldn't."
She dabbed a napkin at his head, caught his expression, and tumbled off the couch laughing.
"You just can't hold you're liquor, babe," he commented.
"Says the guy slumped over me."
He blinked at her. "Hey, how'd I get down here?"
"Through use of your magnificent hand-feet coordination."
"The elephant told me to."
"Were you awed by its pink majesty?"
"Trust you to be a coherent drunk."
"I prefer 'loquacious'."
Together they crawled back onto the couch.
"Weiss," he said.
"Bristow," she answered.
"No. Weiss. You always call me Weiss. How for?"
"It upholds an air of professional distance. It's - excuse me - it doesn't mean anything. I mean, I always call Vaughn Vaughn."
He nodded, then frowned. "Hey, by chance does this Vaughn Vaughn shake?"
"Mental pictures!" she howled.
After a moment's deliberation, he put away the tequila. When he sat down again, with her head resting against his shoulder, she barely noticed her shotglass being replaced with a mug of coffee.
He was drifting off to sleep when her eyes snapped open.
"I get silly when I'm drunk, don't I?"
"Yes. Very adorable. Quite a 180 from your normal self. Very endearing. Head splintering now. Please sleep," he muttered rapidly.
"A 180? Hello, NASCAR Dad."
"Hello, Mary Jane."
"No. Wait. I was indignant about the wrong thing. I meant, what do you mean, 180? I'm normally stoic and predictable?"
"Sometimes you cry. Or shoot people in the kneecaps. But generally, yeah. You contain your emotions until they explode. You lack sentiment ventilation," he said sagely.
"Forget NASCAR Dad. Heya, Dr. Ruth," she snorted.
"Oh, OK, then. Screw everything that moves. Get it out of your system. Feel the feminine power!" he exclaimed.
"Seriously, Weiss. Daytime television? Just say No," she cautioned.
He sputtered into laughter, collapsing against her.
Professional distance, said the break-dancing Loch Ness dodo.
"But I am, though. I'm completely predictable. Boring. In a rut," she listed.
"Good thing Barnett's back in town, then," he said sarcastically.
"I heard she was counselling Sloane before his arrest."
"For 2 weeks? Faith and begorrah, Syd, you know I have a gift for construing innuendos! Think of the children!"
Her head hurt too badly to laugh.
"Computable. Altruistic. Loyal. Apathetic. Prosaic. Dare I say, unequivocal!" she droned mournfully.
"Yes, Merriam. You can be a tad -"
"Law-abiding and self-debasing," he added. "But then you, say, hold the NSC ransom to bust your dad out of jail, or, more recently, break into a CIA holding facility and swipe a Rambaldi artifact that you've already swiped for the CIA, only to hand it over to Sark, whom you originally swope - sorry, swiped it from, in exchange for the child of your boss. That pretty well blows your Teacher's Pet rep to hell."
"Ooh, I have street cred'?" she quizzed sardonically.
He forced his eyes to focus, and held her gaze carefully.
"Dependable," he announced with finality. "You're dependable. Here endeth the lesson."
"I sent Vaughn to the hospital. That mean you'll send me to the morgue?"
"Remind me to have a chat with Blockbuster about revoking your membership."
They were nearing the 4th hour of their binge. Heavy night had fallen and a fire, if not crackling, was at least Snap and Popping before them. Weiss was meditating a stagger across the street to his house when Sydney jerked to attention beside him.
"Dependable, my ass, Mr. 10-hour-workday!" she snapped.
"And we're back," he groaned.
"I'm fun! I'm spontaneous! Those matching zebra stripes we wore on that mission to get intel from Cummings? Completely my idea!"
"Whoa, down thar, cowgirl. I'll have you know I looked damn good in that necktie."
"Stow it, Posh. I'm serious. I'm extremely erratic!"
"Double negative, Syd."
Without warning, she grabbed the empty tequila bottle, smashed the end against the end table, and brandished the jagged weapon at Weiss's torso.
Then began giggling furiously.
Then toppled onto the floor. Again.
"Cannot. Hold. My liquor," she grunted.
He stared down at her with a indescipherable expression on his face. Indescipherable, perhaps, because she was drunk out of her freakin' mind. Sober Sydney would have known that look instantly; Amusement, curiousity, affection.
"Alright, then," he said, prodding her lightly in the rips with his toe.
"'Say what'," he corrected.
"Say what?" she conceded.
"Alright. You'll be spontaneous, then. Tomorrow morning. After the daily briefing. I want you to march up to Marshall and tell him he's a 'little, hunksome slab of pure animal, you foxy Inspector Gidget, you'. Think you can handle that," he said, "or are you to... Dependable?"
They glared at eachother in challenge. Before Sydney erupted into another onslaught of giggles.
"I don't think you're using the word 'spontaneous' correctly," she pointed out. "And isn't Gidget a 50s teenager with the hots for a surfer dude named Moondoggie? I think you meant Inspector Gadget, as portrayed by Matthew Broderick in the 1999 film version."
"Really! Blockbuster : Stop The Violence Now!" he shouted.
She was blushing. And, holy hell, did she look beautiful.
The terms 'drinking buddy' and 'best-friend figure' buzzed in his ears. Screw the Judith Martin rules of ettiquet, he thought. Who wouldn't want to perform a modified Heimlich on this woman?
"You're on," she said.
"Say who?" he stuttered.
"'Say what'," she corrected.
"Moving onward, ever onward..."
"I said, you're on. I'll do it. Anything else you'd have me say to prove my untethered free spirit?"
He leaned back, stroking his chin comically.
"Quit grinning at me and tell me the plan, fatboy," she declared.
"Three challenges," he decided. "You will fulfill three vaguely humiliating and possibly manic tasks, whenever applicable, which I will instruct by whim. Should you fail to comply with my instructions, you lose the bet."
"Oh, now it's a bet? I just figured it was an ill-conceived scheme of two people experiencing an early mid-life crisis," she said wryly.
"No, it has to be a bet. It sounds more like a teen dramedy that way."
"As I said, mid-life crisis."
"You lose, you have to invite Mike, Sloane, and your Dad over to dinner on a Friday night," he announced. "And if you win?"
Sydney smiled, cat-like. He waited apprehensively.
"If I win," she said, "You have to wear the spandex on our next mission."