Title: It's All In The Reflexes
Author: Jedi Buttercup
Summary: So Jack finally took his girl back to meet Wang Chi and family- though, of course, there's more to the story than that. 1700 words.
Prompt: 24 Days of Ficmas, Day 5: For Speakertocustomers. Brought to you by wishlist_fic. Prompt B:tVS/BTiLC, in the "Big Trouble, Little Slayer" 'verse. Movie-verse in both cases, with a few series details for flavor.
Jack Burton slowly eased the Porkchop Express to a halt across the street from the Dragon of the Black Pool, and shifted the truck into park. He took a long look at the sign, then glanced up and down the street, half expecting to see another Chinese gang war in progress or another rakshasa creeping up on his truck. Nothing showed itself, though, and after a moment he relaxed, turned the key in the ignition, and glanced over at his passenger.
"Well, here we are," he said.
Buffy yawned a little; they'd driven straight through that day and it was nearly time for supper. Then she stretched enticingly in her seat and pushed a few loose strands of blonde hair out of her eyes.
"Well, it's about time," she replied.
Her eyes: dragon green, like Gracie Law's, like Miao Yin's. He smiled at her crankiness, and leaned over to start the visit off right: with a greeting kiss.
"You know, Egg Shen said last time I saw him in person that China is in the heart, and she was with him wherever he went," he mused aloud. "I think he was right: I've been carrying a piece of Chinatown with me ever since I left."
She leaned into the kiss, then rolled her eyes at him and tucked the stuffed animal she'd been using as a pillow behind her seat. Jack found the thing hilarious- her high school mascot had been the Hemery Hogs, and some lame-ass boyfriend had thought a little pink pig would be an appropriate gift for a cheerleader- but she cherished it as one of the few mementos she had of her life in Los Angeles.
"Why'd you wait so long to come back, then?" she asked. "We've been travelling together a year, and you last visited here six years before that, but you've said these guys are the closest thing to family you've got. Didn't they invite you before?"
He gave her a sheepish grin. "Well, I was kind of wanted for questioning there for awhile, after half a block went up in green flames right after I reported my truck stolen and the authorities got an eyeful of me driving away."
She gave him a skeptical look at that.
"Okay, okay, and I was a little spooked. Wouldn't you be? Wait, don't answer that." He'd already heard her story about how she'd discovered the supernatural world, and while his encounter with Lo Pan and company won on crazy points, she'd been just as upset. More, even; she'd been a senior in high school at the time, and ol' Jack had at least had a few decades of life experience to work from.
He sighed, and shrugged. "Call it denial if you want, but I spent the first few months after that nowhere near this place- and once I gave in and started writing Egg Shen about the things that go bump in the night, I didn't want to drag them back into it. They were safe, and talking about starting a family; they could go back to being normal. But I couldn't. Didn't think I ever would again."
"And what, I make you more normal?" She laughed.
"What? No," he objected. "You know what Jack Burton says about normal-"
"It's just a difficulty setting in a video game," she finished the sentence, rolling her eyes again with a smile, "and life ain't no game."
That was the problem with travelling with the same person long-term: they learned all his favorite lines and jokes and repeated them back to him. Good thing he found it cute when Buffy did it.
He laughed and shook his head. "You're about as normal as I am- and I like that about you, Buffy. It's more like- I feel like if they've known me this long, and know what I'm up to, and still want me, who am I to deny them the pleasure of Jack Burton's company? And if I do bring trouble knocking, now I have you to help me take care of it."
Her smile brightened visibly at that, and she leaned into him for another lingering kiss. Then she bent over to pick her purse up off the floorboards, and laid her fingers on the door handle. "Good answer," she said. "So, like, do I get to meet them now or are we going to sit here all night?"
Teenager, he thought fondly. Yeah, and that was another reason he'd waited a year after he'd met her: to make sure she'd stick around. No way did he want to face the jokes from everyone about dating a kid half his age unless he was sure he'd be keeping her. "Yeah, let's go," he said, and got out of the truck.
He tucked her under his arm as they walked to the door, then went inside, shucking their jean jackets in the warm air. Wang and Miao Yin were seated at a table with their two little ones- a boy who looked just like Wang, and a girl with Miao Yin's eyes. He sure hoped they had a protective eye on her future. With them were Margo and Eddie Lee- they must be 'on again'- and Uncle Chu; but he didn't see Egg. The old sorcerer must not be back in town yet. He introduced Buffy to all of them- then shook his head as one more person made her way back from the restrooms.
"Still sticking your nose in where it doesn't belong?" he addressed the lawyer with a smile as she approached the table.
She raised her eyebrows at him, and tilted up her chin as she replied. "Just wanted to see what kind of girl you would kiss goodbye," she said airily.
Seven years, and she was still harping on that? Jack grinned at her. "Still mad about that? I'd've thought you'd have found some other guy to set you up in a house trailer by now. But I guess ol' Jack Burton is just too irresistible- ow!" He winced and looked down to meet Buffy's disapproving frown, and gave her a sheepish look as he rubbed the spot where she'd pinched him with her superstrong fingers.
He cleared his throat over the sound of Wang's chuckles. "Anyway- Gracie Law, this is Buffy Summers; don't make fun of her name, she's a hell of a lot deadlier than she looks. And Buffy, this is Gracie Law, the lawyer who started that whole mess I got caught up in."
The two women eyed each other, then simultaneously stuck their hands out to shake. "Nice to meet you, Ms. Summers," Gracie said, breaking out into an approving smile.
"I'm pleased to meet you too, Ms. Law," Buffy replied, in her best rich man's daughter manners. "And I'm looking forward to hearing your stories about Jack's first visit."
Jack backed away from that conversation while the getting was good, and took a seat next to Wang, where he could watch his girl shine without catching the rough edge of either woman's tongue.
"So, how you been, Wang?" he asked, shaking his friend's hand.
"Pretty good, Jack, pretty good," Wang answered, grinning. "Deadlier than she looks, huh? I guess this means you've finally found someone else to play sidekick to?"
"Sidekick?" Jack objected, taking the jab with good-natured humor. He had knocked himself out while Wang was dancing around in the air crossing swords with Rain, after all. "I'll have you know I spent six years kicking ass alone before I met her."
"Sure, sure, Jack," Wang teased again, then turned to lift his son into his lap to introduce him.
Before they could get very far into the conversation, though, another person walked in the door to the Black Pool; Jack looked up, expecting Egg Shen, but caught sight of an older white guy wearing tweed, of all things, instead.
"I'm sorry, this is a family party," Uncle Chu stepped forward to block his path. "Did you not see the sign on the door?"
The dude cast his eye over the table, lingering first on Jack, then Miao Yin. "I have come seeking the Slayer," he said, in a lofty British accent.
Jack stood up, glowering at the guy. Whoever he was, if he knew about Buffy's title he was one of two things: a bad guy looking to hunt her, or a demon fighter looking to use her. "Look, there's no one here by that name," he said, indignantly, hoping Buffy would take the hint and stay out of sight.
"I beg to differ," the man said, lifting his nose in a condescending sniff and turning away from Jack. "You may not wish to take up your destiny, Ms. Summers, but it will most certainly find you, and the next visitor may not be benevolent." With that, he pulled a knife from his pocket and threw it directly at Miao Yin- from an angle that sent the knife winging by Jack's face.
Jack reached out, felt the blade snap into his palm, and flung it back, pinning the intruder's jacket to the wall. "It's all in the reflexes," he crowed at the guy's surprised look, then pointed to Buffy, emerging like an avenging angel from the nook where she'd been talking to Gracie. "She's the Slayer, and we're not interested in whatever the fuck you're selling if you can't even recognize which girl to throw the knife at. So why don't you get out of here before we giftwrap you for the hell of the upside-down sinners?" He'd been there; and he'd bet it still wasn't a very pleasant place to be.
The guy swallowed, then started into some spiel about Watcher's Council authority.
And that's the story of how Jack and Buffy found out there were more of the suckers than just Merrick- and inadvertently got Jack himself added to their rolls. Without remuneration, of course- a fancy way of saying 'not paying you jack squat'. Not that he minded. They didn't need them; Jack had his own funds, and Egg Shen for information.
And so they went on shaking the pillars of heaven Jack Burton-style.
Stuck-up know-it-alls most definitely not invited along.