A/N: I have an obsession. It's called Billy Joel. The setting of this is based off his song 'Piano Man'.

"John, I need a scotch, on the rocks for the guy in booth ten," the pretty waitress said with a smile to the bartender. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a messy bun, but her striking blue eyes contained a beauty nothing could hide.

"Sure, Sammie," John said, getting the requested drink for the pretty waitress. He passed it to her with a smile, his brown eyes looking at her caringly.

"Thanks, John," Sammie whispered, blushing at his intense gaze. She went to give the drink to the man still in a suit from his day's work before going back up to the bar to talk with John. "Did you hear what's on the playing schedule for tonight, John?"

John shrugged, "Bill wouldn't tell me. Said it was something special. Some sort of surprise, I guess."

Sammie smiled slyly at the bartender, "Well, you do know that it's George's birthday today, right?"

John raised his eyebrows: he hadn't known that, "It is? Ol' George never said anything to me about that!"

Sammie smiled, "Maybe if you stopped calling him 'Ol' George' you'd find out stuff like this. Man, John! I thought you used to be in the military."

At the look of pain that flashed across John's face, Sammie immediately felt horrible for her words, "I'm sorry, John. I didn't mean to say that."

John shrugged her off, "It's okay, Sammie." He attempted a grin, "Hey, I can't exactly change what's happened, can I?"

Sammie smiled warmly at him, "I guess you can't. Look, Bill's here."

Bill came up to the bar and sat down on a stool with a sigh, "Hey, John. Sammie."

Sammie was like a sister to all the men who worked at George's The Hideout. She was just so sweet (not to mention the only girl on the staff full of retired military officers). When she got the job two years before, she had been barely twenty-one and working her way through college, now she was almost done and adamant that she would stay in the town just to keep in touch with the 'boys'.

She frowned at the older man, "What's wrong, Bill?"

Bill shook his head, "Amelia left me."

"Oh, Bill," Sammie gave him a hug and for a brief second John was jealous of the other man. "I'm sorry."

"For an accountant named Paula."

John and Sammie shared a confused look before turning back to Bill and saying in unison, "Paula?"

Bill nodded, "Who knew, right? For the past twelve years I've been married to a lesbian! What a joke!"

Sammie gave him another hug while John poured him a shot of vodka.

"What is this, a get-together or a bar?" a voice asked from the doorway.

Sammie broke away from the group, going over to the man walking toward them, "Hey, George. Happy birthday," she gave him a peck on the cheek as she hugged him.

John grinned at George's grimace, "Don't remind me, Sammie. I'm an old man now."

Sammie just laughed, "Then I'm in trouble. The only girl working in a bar full of old men? What was I thinking?"

Just then a group of Air Force officers walked in and sat down around their usual big table. Sammie grimaced at the three men before taking her notepad and going to take their order.

George walked over to John as Bill went to start being the main attraction of the night other than the liquor: a live piano man. "John, keep an eye on Sammie, that crowd looks rough," George said, eyeing the group with suspicion.

Jack could recognize a few faces in the group as his old teammates and subordinates, "No problem, George."

Sammie tried to ignore the suggestive glances the group of ten gave her as she approached to take their order, "What can I get you guys?"

"You're phone number!" on shouted, only to be laughed at by his friends.

Sammie did her best to be civil by smiling slightly in reply, "No chance of that, … Lieutenant, I only date men who're at least a Lieutenant Colonel. Now, what would you guys like?"

"You!" another officer said suggestively.

John noted the rude nature of the group, having heard the whole conversation, and was rather interested when Sammie did what she did next.

Sammie eyed the man who'd made the comment and thought of doing something that would shut them up once and for all. She noted that he was a Captain, and briefly she recognized the possibility that he might know more hand to hand than her father and brother had taught her … but the possibility was slim.

With a sly smirk she said, "All right, Captain. Front and center. You want my number, you gotta fight for it."

The cocky young captain got up from his seat with a grin in response to the egging from his friends, "What? You want me to fight you?"

John watched in fascination as Sammie's face bore a cute little pout that was all lip. "What's the matter, Captain? Afraid to hit a girl?"

The smirk widened, "No, only scar your pretty little face."

Sammie took off her apron and put it on a nearby table. She knew that her actions were causing the men in the bar, both working and drinking, to pay attention – but she also knew that this was a fight she had to take care of herself. Sammie Carter was never one to take anything lying down.

"If you win, Captain," she began as she rolled up her sleeves. Out of the corner of her eye she saw John step out to the front of the bar, ready to defend her. That's why she loved working here: so much protection, but not a one of them would step into it if she didn't tell them to do so. "I'll give you my number and set up a date for next week."

That sounded reasonable to the men at the table, but the unnamed Captain wasn't satisfied, "And if you win?"

There was a flash of something in Sammie's eyes that no one could really identify, but those who worked at the bar knew well – anger. "If I win … you and your buddies have to stop harassing me, forever."


A/N: Wanna find out what happens next? Please tell me what you think.