Buffista Fic 2: They Said It Couldn't Be Done.
[NAFDA] Where the Buffistas let their fanfic creative juices flow. May contain erotica.
I started my present-day "Grosse Pointe" fic.
Martin found Grosse Pointe weird and soulless on its best day, but it was just eerie holed up in his in-laws' house with no people on the streets. He was pretending to work(Marcella had turned out to have a real flair for investing, and had given him some great tips, but the unrest was threatening to affect everything.
He swore, but he wouldn't even be alive right now if he couldn't keep his cool. He wondered if it was the ghost of an old instinct that made him tense when a nondescript sedan turned around in the cul-de-sac and hoped he'd not succumbed to some suburban prejudice by tensing up while watching the black driver.
(He was pretty sure that downloading NextDoor had been a miscalculation, but he had enjoyed still feeling like he was in the mix.) he flicked channels on the television, watching briefly, but nothing really captured his attention for more than a moment.
Besides, Debi was pretty much the main breadwinner, both from her successful eighties-nostalgia podcast and because she sold a carefully-elided memoir of their relationship to a women's cable channel. She came out of the guest bedroom, laptop in hand, with that glow that he loved when she thought she did something great.
"Hey, babe," she said. " Did you call and check on Dad today? What bad luck for him to tear a ligament just when nobody can visit." She blew him a kiss.(Neither of them was sick, but somehow touching didn't seem appetizing. Still, when he "caught" her kiss, her heart still beat a little faster at his quick action.
"I'll take care of it."
"Do I want to know what that means?" Debi asked.
"Don't worry…I have my binoculars."
"Very reassuring, like a thing that's not."
Martin's laptop made a noise so he turned away from the movie he was half-heartedly watching. He didn't know why he tortured himself watching hired-killer movies..the inaccuracies got to him.
"Hi, Uncle Marty!" Marcella's energetic tween daughter Katrina said. (The uncle title was purely ceremonial, although at times Marcella had been like a nagging little sister…Marty was their private joke.)
"How are you holding up, Peanut?" The visual on the screen moved around and Martin could see that she was wearing a gi as if she were still going to her suspended karate lesson and that her feet were bare and a few of her toes were painted pink He was grateful for her overflow of energy because even that little sign of womanhood from someone he'd known since she was a curly-haired toddler made him uncomfortably aware of the passage of time.
"kind of going crazy without my classes!" Still, Katrina found a way to flash a dimpled smile amidst her nervous energy.
"maybe when you're older we'll talk about kickboxing…when I was young it was the sport of the future. Katrina moved again and Martin's screen filled with their ocean view…unexpectedly, hard-coreMartin Blank felt himself getting a lump in his throat. Here, in the flat Midwest of his birth, he longed for ocean breezes and the scene of his reinvention. He married Debi on the beach as she insisted, and it took years for her father to forgive.
The idea of Martin calling anyone "Peanut" make me break out in grins.
I guess I just thought of me and my uncle when we were kids.
More "Grosse Pointe"
Martin Blank stood outside for a moment after retrieving Debi's "Free Press"(In keeping with her retro podcast, his wife preferred a folding paper that left ink on her hands, though they shared reading The Nation on Martin's tablet.)
He retrieved the paper and pretended he wanted a breath of spring air, but the truth was he was girding his loins to face Debi's father, whom, he already knew from much briefer bouts, made an awful patient. That same car drove through the cul-de-sac and made the hair Martin's neck rise…this time, he got a look at the driver, whose familiar profile and snow-on-the-roof hairstyle kind of reminded him of Obama.(
He had criticized Obama in the past, as well as working for years outside the law, but he felt fairly confident that the former President would not come out in a luxury car to settle the score personally. Wasn't he?) He stood there for a moment, feeling foolish, wondering if the seldom- remitting whiteness of the suburbs made his intuition misfire, squashing Deb's paper…. Suddenly, he heard the zip of a power window going down and a voice calling "Martin? It's been a long time."
"That it has," Martin bluffed." Since Prague, right?" There was another more vivid memory scratching at Martin's consciousness, but he could not retrieve it. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath as he'd learned in therapy, and remembered Debi's parents' hallway as a crime scene. Suddenly, the man in the car didn't look like the 44th President anymore, as he watched Martin impassively. "I thought you were dead,"
"I came close enough," he shuddered. He reached in his pocket and, for an instant, Martin was disappointed that the life that flashed before his eyes looked like the picture in the wrong end of a telescope. Instead of the Glock or Sig Sauer Martin might have expected, the black man pulled out a chip.
" Before we get down to why I've come here, is it wrong to say I'm kinda geeked that you remember me from Prague."
"If people don't," Martin advised. "I wouldn't take it personally…it was kind of a wild scene when we were there. You know?"
"Yeah, I'm hip. I always liked that you never cared what folks think."
Martin stepped out further onto the empty street. He wasn't the type to still seek forbidden thrills, but the space felt nice. He scanned the front page of the newspaper before the black man spoke again. "This is hard to say,"
"You could just shoot me an e-mail," Martin offered kindly. He tore of f a bit of the newspaper's margins and wrote an alternate account on it.
"That wasn't pathology…that was business. Though I won't lie and say there's no overlap. Also, if you ever met my father-in-law…." Martin couldn't bring himself to finish the joke.
"No..I should say it in person." The other assassin touched the plastic chip in his pocket."I owe you an amends. I should never have tried to kill you or your now father-in-law."
"A voice that was a blast in from the past cut through the silence. "I heard you were back."Paul Sperwicki thundered, seemingly unable to keep social distance in mind as he hugged Martin almost violently. "At the risk of blasphemy…thank God."
Paul dusted himself off and handed the black man his card. "Paul Sperwicki, realtor. My card. We have some lovely lofts available."
Martin laughed. "You still have cards?"
"Yes…I'm fifty and I don't mess with what works…I still have cards. But my Instagram is listed on them, fuck you very much."
"Sounds super hip, man.I wouldn't want everyone to see my picture, though. Old Habits die hard."
"Not my picture," Sperwicki corrected. "My properties' pictures.
"Is this gentleman bothering you?"Paul asked.
"Which one of us are you talking to?"
"Much like Jack Benny, I'm still thinking."
"One second," Martin told the other hired gun. "We just have something to talk about for a moment." Martin walked off with Paul while his guest smiled tentatively.
"Well, it's been years, but I guess the amends will keep for a hot minute."
"I'm sorry," Martin replied, "but Paul here's an old friend and stuff comes up from time to time."
"Make new friends/ but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold."
"Right, unless it gets tarnished." Martin said.
"So he don't really sell houses?"
"Oh, I absolutely do…why don't you look at the virtual-property tours on the website…even though I say it myself, these recent additions are off the chain!" Paul pitched.
When they were out of earshot of even murder-for-hire trained ears, Martin turned to his friend. "What the hell are you doing?"
"Well, I'm not sure you know how it is since you hit the connubial lottery."
"The connubial lottery," Martin repeated.
"It's a word…it means 'marital', I think. I heard about Deb's deal…it's awesome. But I'm dying out here, man. Nobody wants to buy a house while they're worried they might, you know, choke to death. In a literal way, I mean,Not the John Cougar Mellencamp way from when we were kids…that sells tons of cable channels….barbecues, internet radio, you name it. Actual respiratory distress just sells face masks(Which I totally know I'm cheating on…don't tell my mom…she makes 'em. And absolutely noxious green-apple hand sanitizer that I'm convinced she also drinks.) Paul made a face, waited a moment for the impact to sink in and pulled a mask over his face. Martin thought he looked like a doctor with a caffeine problem…it perversely suited him.
"So you sell an assassin real estate? Even if he does seem as though he's going through some kind of transition right now…"
"Is it sexist if, since he's gonna be a chick, I pitch her on a galley kitchen? Cause I kinda think it is, but I wouldn't want to miss the opportunity if it's there."
"Uh, I don't think it's that kind of transition," Martin said. "Kenneth said he wants to apologize for trying to whack my father-in-law." Martin moved backâ€”Paul always wanted to be too close, even from the time they'd been boys together and Martin had saved him from a seventh-grade ass-kicking.(This was also where Martin found the scary part of himself, besides the guy that wrote song lyrics on his notebooks. So he guessed he owed Paul too.)
"So it's Kenneth now?"
"Yeah, sure…he texted me. Don't tell him, but I *was* having some trouble putting his name with a face."
"Is that safe?" Paul said, fidgeting a little as he always did during emotional conversations. "A guy like that having your number, I mean."
"Paul," Martin reminded him. "I'm a guy like that. Leaving that aside, though…I have a special line for…compatriots. Besides, you were going to sell him a trendy loft."
" I would have sold you your house," Sperwicki said. "Taken a hit on the commission, too, had you not forsaken us for the fickle charms of the Golden State….You know one thing, though."
" If he is apologizing for an attempt on your father-in-law, he never met him."
They both laughed, and it felt good, even though the joke wasn't that funny.
"I gotta go…I've taken so long picking up this paper, Deb will expect me to be in the next edition."
"I wasn't kidding that much… your FIL is a scary dude. Still looks at me as a bed-wetter. If business doesn't pick up, maybe I can take over for Kenneth."
"Don't even joke about that!"