Small Troubles off the Interstate

By Ironbear

This story is No. 2 in the Roadverse series, aka "Oh, the people she knows...".

Summary: Just a brief encounter on the highway...

Disclaimer: Buffy-verse characters and backgrounds belong to Joss Whedon and their associated studio owners: Mutant Enemy, Fox, and etcetera. Jack Burton and the Porkchop Express belong to 20th Century Fox. Other characters belong to their creators and corporate masters. All of the stories in this series are fan-fics, and not done for profit, only for my own amusement and the entertainment of mythical readers.

Author's Note: This story is a short (860 or so word) vignette set within the immediate time frame of my previous fic, "Anything for Love". It takes place roughly a week after the battle of The Pit. It would probably help to have read Anything for Love to be able to place this into context, but this one does more or less stand on its own.

Small Troubles Off the Interstate...

A rig eased past her in the center lane as she tooled along southwards on the far left. Pushing it, she thought - she was going seventy. Course, barring a speed trap, he could... the two of them were the only idiots on this stretch highway at midnightish almost. He gave her and the bike a look over from the cab as he went past, and she waved. He gave her a blast on the air horn and waved back as he sailed on by.

'Pork-chop Express, huh?' She snickered. Smart assery or serendipity? Life does imitate fiction, as she well knew... Either way, a trucker with a sense of humour. That had been a favorite movie of hers. She watched the taillights recede in the distance ahead, laughing inside her helmet.

Tank could stand a topping off, she noticed as the lights and signs of a big truck stop came up a number of miles later. And she could maybe stand a snack and some hot coffee to cut the road chill. Coffee anyway, snack maybe if there was anything edible in this place. Never could tell with truck stops, and she wasn't so hungry that she couldn't wait til she hit the edges of Philadelphia and found an all night restaurant or diner.

While she was filling the tank she noticed Mr. Porkchop's rig in a slot among the other semis, with an empty space between it and the next rig over from the drivers side. On an impulse, she turned the bike that direction before heading for a parking spot closer to the main buildings. She saw him checking the undercarriage alongside the trailer as she came tooling through just above walking speed and stopped as he straighted up to look over at the bike sounds. Nice looking guy, she noted. Tall, and a suggestion of burly under the jacket. Didn't look a thing like Kurt Russel, either.

"Hey there, Porkchop," she gave him an amiable nod. "Heading for big trouble in Little Philly?" Figured he'd probably heard all the variations on that one, but what the hell.

"For chrissakes." He thew his hands up and rolled his eyes. "Has everyone and their dog seen that damned movie?"

She threw back her head and laughed. He had heard them all. "Don't know 'bout everone, but I sure did."

"Hey lady - I was dead drunk when I told that screenwriter that yarn," he shook his head disgustedly. "Son of a bitch never paid me a dime off of it, either."

"Way it goes," she agreed, nodding. "Yarn, eh? Any of that really happen?"

"Oh hell. Sumbitch screwed the whole damn thing all to hell. Left out half of what I told him," he dropped his smoke onto the ground and stepped on it. "Hollywood for you."

"Got that right," she said, then stilled suddenly inside. Something... there. Looked like a lot lizard, but the slayer sense kicked in before she even came into view. Vampire, and hungry, with a perfect camoflage for this feeding ground. Another one behind, by the tingle in her gut. She hit the kill switch on the BMW and put down the kickstand.

He caught her eyes narrowing looking past his shoulder and turned lazily in that direction, eying the lot walker casually. "Move on now, girl. You got nuthin' I need there, honey."

"Oh, but baby. You got everything I need," the lot lizard shifted into game face as she eased up, then lunging fast. Not quite as demonic as usual, hrmm...

Faith put her arm out where her instincts told her to as she swung her leg over the saddle as she stood, extending the wrist blade from her left bracer with a 'snickt'. The second one froze and arched as she ran onto the silvered, wood inlaid steel, then crumbled into flaming ash as she brought her arm back. 'Draaken,' she thought. 'Blade was right: whole damn' east coast is infested with the bastards.'

She heard a whang! and a snarl as she spun in the direction of the trucker and the first one, to see the vampire staggering back, face contorted and fangs gleaming, and the burly driver cocking back a wrench in his right hand. Her arm blurred and a silvered spike stood out of that one's chest followed by it bursting into flames and falling into ash a few moments later.

"Oh for fuck's sake. Can't even find an honest hooker around these places any more," the trucker spat on the ash heap.

Faith laughed, "You seem to be taking this rather well."

"Hey - you know what old Jack Burton always says," he looked at her, nodding. "Universe is a damned big place, and anyone who doesn't think it's full of flaming assholes just ain't paid their dues yet."

Snicker. "C'mon," she said, hooking her arm through his. "If this place has anything worth eating, I'll buy you a burger and you can tell me the half the screenwriter left out... "

The End

After Word: Main storyline continues in "Life is a Road", the sequel/next installment to Anything for Love, coming up soon.