Three by Five
a Las Vegas story
by dirty diana
written for Yahtzee in the Yuletide New Year's Resolutions Challenge 2004. She requested Danny/any. I came pretty close to writing femslash instead. Oops.
"Fuck." Sam collapses into the worn sofa in the employee lounge. She kicks three inch spike heels onto the floor, and rubs sore feet. "I hate Valentine's Day."
"Sure." Mary makes a non-committal noise. She suspects that Sam hates most holidays, Christmas, New Years, the Fourth of July. "Big plans?"
"With half of my clients counting on me to make this day an unforgettable celebration of their love? I don't think so."
"No midnight rendezvous with Danny?" Mary asks, and then almost covers her mouth, because that came out bitchier than she intended. "Or, um, anybody?"
Sam gives her a funny look, from underneath grey eyeshadow. "Danny and I are just friends. You know that, right?"
Mary shrugs, and just forks another mouthful of the dinner that she's eating, leftover takeout.
"What about you?" Sam asks her, from defense to offense in two seconds flat. "Why don't you have a hot Valentine's Day date with Mr. McCoy?"
Mary shrugs again. She's remembering the last Valentine's Day she spent with Danny. They were both 18 and single, each other's permanent backup date.
"It's just a stupid made-up holiday anyway," Danny said.
"Yeah," Mary agreed. "Totally stupid."
Danny believed her, when she said that. He let her pick the movies, Breakfast at Tiffany's and An Affair to Remember. Then let her burst into wet sobbing tears on his shoulder, on his parent's couch.
Happy endings make her cry.
Sam is looking at her funny, as she pulls her PDA out of her purse. "Okay, I tell you what. After I've made sure that the Coopers got their tickets to the Celine show and their white limousine, and once the twenty dozen roses and the ridiculously over-priced champagne that Frank Cohen asked me to have sent to his room have arrived, I'll meet you in Mystique. We can have an old-fashioned single girls pity party. Sound like a plan?"
"Frank got Connie twenty dozen roses?" Mary asks. "That's so romantic."
Sam makes a face, pink pursed lips. "Yeah, whatever. Eleven sound good to you?"
"See you then."
They sit at the bar, ordering sticky fried foods off the appetizer menu. They are already each two martinis deep, when an overflowing pitcher appears at their side.
"It's kinda busy in here, so how about you girls serve yourself? You can just holler when this one's empty."
"Aw, Greg." Sam stands up and leans over the bar, reaching to give the bartender a kiss on the cheek. "I love you."
"Sure." Greg grins at Mary. "Maybe you should save all the pretty words for your date, Samantha Jane." He kisses her in return and disappears, back to work.
Sam sits down, laughing as she pours another drink. "Date. Greg thinks he's so funny."
"Well." Mary shrugs, inhaling the good mood that is spreading from her belly upwards. "You did ask me out."
Sam giggles merrily, refilling Mary's empty glass. "I did."
"And you're paying."
"It only makes sense," Mary points out. "You make more then me."
"That's the rumour that I heard."
"Rumour?" Sam repeats. "Wait, who's talking about how much I make?"
Mary just sips her martini. She doesn't tell Sam that everyone talks about her, the mysterious new girl on the block.
"You know what?" Sam says suddenly. "Why not? This is on me. Happy Valentine's Day."
"Sure. I've been wanting to say, you know, that I really appreciate how nice you've been to me since I got here."
Mary frowns. "I, uh, don't really know if I've been that nice..."
"Well, nicer than I'm really used to people being. So I just wanted you to know that I really didn't hit on Danny, I mean, I guess I kind of did. But I was drunk. Except for the second time, but really we didn't do anything, because we just, didn't. And it's not like we didn't think about it, but..."
"Sam," Mary interrupts.
"What I'm trying to say is, I wouldn't want you to think that I was repaying your niceness by moving in on your territory."
"Oh." Mary pauses, not quite sure what to say. "Thank you?"
Sam smiles brightly in response. "Even though I'm not sure why he's your territory."
"Well, I don't know if territory is the right..."
"No, seriously," Sam interrupts, as she sucks at her olive. "Why Danny?"
Mary shrugs. She doesn't really know how to explain her and Danny, beyond the history lesson, dates and three by five photographs that she knows by heart. They've just always been them, dannyandmary, one word. "I've known him for a really long time."
"Okay." Sam licks stray drops of gin off her perfectly manicured fingers. "And?"
"He's just always been there for me. You know?"
"No." Sam shakes her head. "I live in a hotel room, remember?"
They have just about polished off the pitcher when Danny walks in. It takes him nearly twenty minutes to cross the room to the bar, stopping at nearly every table to say hello. Mary watches his every step. It's an old habit.
Sam slides unsteadily off the barstool, the moment that he arrives at their side. "I...ladies room," she says. She vanishes.
"Hey, Danny." Mary smiles, because everything is beautiful right now. Danny is beautiful.
"Hey, Mar." Danny cocks his head to one side, looking at her. "Having a good night?"
"Mmmnhmmn." Mary smiles, and drains the last of her drink. Then she stands up, only the floor is moving sideways suddenly, and she starts to fall down.
Danny catches her. "Maybe a little too good?" he asks her. His hands are warm, strong around her waist where the fabric of her shirt pushes up and he's touching skin.
"Maybe," Mary mumbles. She's trying hard to stand on her own, but she knows that she's swaying, side to side.
Danny's hazel eyes where they crinkle at the sides are showing a mix of amusement and concern. "I haven't seen you this drunk in a really long time, Mar."
She doesn't know why Danny wants to talk about that tonight, about high school and dry Nevada nights when she had to go out because she couldn't go home. "Sam...bought me a martini," she tells him. Then she has to hold on to the bar with tight fingers, because the floor is fading away again.
Danny's hand grabs hold of her around her wrist. "Mary. Baby."
She hates it when he calls her that, hates it because she's so used to it. Danny's voice is slick and slippery in her dizzy ears.
"I'm going to take you home, okay?"
She nods. She leans into him where he's warm, and she doesn't fall down. "Okay," she whispers.