Don't Do Me Any Favors

Author's Note: This story was inspired by Kielle, whose Subreality Café concept sparked some ideas that I hadn't known I had. Thanks oodles. =) What's the Subreality Café? Go here - after you've read the story.

Feedback: to hutch @

"I'm telling you, 'Lex, I'm getting really tired of this," spouted the red-headed woman who had been taking up a table in the middle of the Café for most of the day. "She keeps SAYING she's going to do something with me, but when it comes down to it, I'm always back here, keeping myself company." The table before her was littered with empty beer bottles, mugs, and a couple of shot glasses. Despite this disarray, however, the woman seemed fairly sober. Her companion, a younger woman with dark hair pulled back into a ponytail, was looking slightly agitated.

"I know," Alexi murmured sympathetically. "Calm down, Lee, willya?"

Ignoring her, Lee continued blithely. "It's not as if she's forgotten me. But at least you got a costume change when she got back into this AoA crap. Me? I'm lucky to get a cameo in some bizarre vampire erotica thing." The redhead grabbed the nearest bottle of Killian's Red, took a swig from it, and set it back down on the table, hard enough to make the rest of the bottles shiver. "It's ridiculous, I'm telling you."

"Take it easy," her companion said, sounding a little disgusted. "I know you're upset. I am too, I mean--"

"Upset?!" Lee's green eyes flared dangerously. "Upset! I'll give you upset! I..." But just as Alexi started to fear she might have to call the Bouncer, the woman suddenly let out a sigh and fell back into her seat. "What's the point?"

"Look, Lee, I'm sorry." The voice came from behind her. Recognizing it, Lee Holland didn't bother to look up.

"Hell of a way to start a conversation," the redhead muttered, swigging from the bottle again.

The writer flinched, but otherwise didn't move from where she was standing. "Can I have a seat?"

"Sure," Lee shrugged. "Suit yourself."

The woman opted for a seat across the small, square table. Folding her hands on one clean spot, she gave Lee a straightforward look. "I had to bribe a few people to get in here. I'd appreciate your attention, if that's all right."

Sullenly, the redhead regarded the writer. The physical differences between them were immediately apparent, and striking. One was tall, slender, with a vibrant mane of bright, wavy auburn hair. Her skin was clear and fine, her facial features even, her eyes a glittering shade of green. The other was short, somewhat overweight, dressed in dark clothes designed not to attract attention. Her hair was long, dark brown, and very straight, with bangs that hung somewhat listlessly over her eyes. Yet there was something about them, nothing specific enough to put a finger on, that somehow gave the impression that they could be related. Even as they stared each other down, Alexi quietly slipped away to give the pair some privacy.

"So," Lee stated finally. "What? Don't keep me in suspense."

The writer exhaled sharply. "No need to be nasty," she said, "although I don't blame you. I'm here to apologize. It's hard for me to do this - to see you this way. You're one of my longest-running characters, and one of my favorites as well."

"Does that explain why I'm stuck here?"

The writer arched an eyebrow at Lee, who shook her head. "I'm sorry. Go on."

"Thank you. Anyway - and this is an explanation, not an excuse - I'm an artist more than I am a writer. You know that." The writer (or erhaps 'creator' would be a better term) paused to order a Woodchuck Cider (Amber) from the waitress before continuing. "Yes, I started out writing you. Then there was the stint as the RPG character. But lately, I do a lot more drawing than writing. I don't like it anymore than you do."

She took a deep breath, fiddled with a shot glass. "I could go on about how I express myself better through drawing than writing. And how I beat myself up over trying to get stories written. But you know all that already. So why am I here?"

"That's what I've been wondering," Lee muttered.

"I wanted to let you know that I've been brewing story ideas for a new fanfic. I'm hoping to get started on it tonight, after work. I already have the plotline thought out, and..."

"Don't do me any favors," the redhead said suddenly, pushing up from her seat. Clearly, her patience had reached its limit, and as she stomped off, she could be heard muttering, "...even in that damn StarForce story of Brian's, I had a plotline..."

Deflated, the writer stared at the bottle of hard cider that had been placed before her. She had hoped it would go somewhat better than that, but in truth, she had expected no less.

"She's got a point," Alexi Collins stated softly as she settled into the chair next to the writer.

"I know," the writer sighed. "And she's perfectly justified to feel the way she does. Hell, lately I don't have any faith in myself. Still... I just wanted her to understand, I guess."

"She does," the young woman replied, giving the writer a sincere look. "Just write the thing. That's the best way to bring her around."

"I know." The writer smiled wryly at Alexi and raised her bottle in a salute. Alexi lifted her own mug, clinking it against the proffered bottle.

"To possibilities."

-StarForce belongs to Brian, a/k/a "Knight" (as does Brian, logically enough).
-Lee and Alexi belong to me. I'm the writer, so I do too.
-The Subreality Cafe belongs to Kielle. Mucho gracias, again, for the inspiration.
-The Bouncer belongs to himself, though he was created by Falstaff.

Back to the X-Fic.

this page last updated on 22 may 2006