bmblbee (bmblbee) wrote in bloodclaim,

Heart Strings

Title: Heart Strings 6/11
Author: BmblBee
Rating: Adult (Although more story than sex)
Paring: S/X
Disclaimer: The BmblBee makes no money off her
stories and owns nothing. Including the characters.

Summary: HAU This short story is a follow-up to
White Lightnin'. It takes place in the early 1940's
and is a quick peek to see how things are going for
our boys on their mountain home.

The back room he was staring into was pretty much
identical to those in any of the larger bars and taverns
in the county.

Not set up for luxury, it was a large open area.
The walls were plaster and whitewash, the floors bare
boards of hard wood. A large pot belly stove sitting
against the far wall warmed it comfortably with the acrid
sulfur smell of coal.

Set up near it was a table whose occupants played
checkers and enjoyed the activity in the center of the room.
At least a dozen other old men milled around easily
drinking beer and talking amongst themselves.

But the thing that held all his attention was what also
had everyone else's interest.
Standing in the center of the room were four men.
Two had fiddles tightly tucked under their chins.
One had an old five string and one a base.

The music that filled the room was amazing!

Pure Appalachian, it was the distinct sound of Blue Grass
that had every one smiling and tapping their feet.
One of the old men by the stove bounced and danced
slapping his knee in time to the beat.

Singing words that didn't match the tune with a
voice that was gravely from age and oddly lispy
from lack of teeth.
It was a sound of genuine joy. A joy that forgets the
pain and drudgery of life for a brief time.

The real shock, however, was the realization that the
man standing with his back to the door was Spike.

Spike, whose arm and bow flew expertly over the fiddle
that was tightly held between his chin and shoulder.
The only thing separating him from the others was the sheet
music set up before him.

Careful not to interrupt, Xander slipped in quietly and went
directly to the table by the stove. Pulling up a chair he sat
down beside the men at the checkers game.

"Xander! Where you been, Boy? Thought you said you
were gonna come see your old pal Joe."
Xander relaxed and allowed himself to be manhandled by
the old man.

"Hey, Joe. Really meant to but been kinda busy."
Xander's eyes settled on Spike and his face showed
everything his heart felt. Laughing, Joe slapped him on the back

"So that's him, huh? We all wondered who the new guy was
and where he came from. Looks like you took old Joe's advice
and pulled your head out of your ass."

Xander blushed and nodded.
"Yea, that's him. Least I think it is. I sure never knew he could
play like that. He's great, isn't he?"

Joe laughed at the pride that bubbled and burst in Xander' voice.
Leaning in close he whispered
"If your young man can diddle like he can fiddle it's no wonder
you ain't been around."

Xander choked and sputtered as his face went beat red.

Whooping out a belly laugh Joe pulled him close and
kissed him on the cheek. Scowling at the surprised faces
of the other men at the table, Joe shook his finger at them.

"Nothing wrong with a man givin' a peck on the cheek when
he wants too."

Before returning to his checkers game Joe patted Xander's
face affectionatly. "You're a good boy, Xander. You
deserve to be happy. You and you're fiddler."
Winking, he returned to his checkers.

Xander's heart warmed for this almost-a-grandpa
and he had to admit the shine had brought some wonderful
people into his life.

Xander turned his chair to face the band and cheerfully
tapped his feet to the strains of the most fantastic music he
had ever heard.
It was another hour before Spike's arm finally gave out and he
had to stop.

Lifting his attention from the worn sheets of music, Spike spotted
Xander and his face lit up.
"Hey, did you hear me? I love this." Spike waved the sheet
music in the air then folded it shut.

The other musicians came over and slapped Spike
roughly on the shoulder.

"This guy is a genius. We are always looking for someone to
play with us, but ain't never found no one good. Spike here
is better than good. He's real good."

Manny continued to smile and jostle Spike around.
Spike shrugged but couldn't minimize the pride he felt.
Xander laughed as the memory of Vivian's words came back
to him. Every word was true, just misunderstood.

"Xander, this is Manny, his brother Jake, and their cousin, Bushy."
All hands were shook around and Spike reluctantly handed
over the fiddle to Jake.

The three went about casing up their instruments and prepared
to leave.
"Don't forget what we said Spike. Keep us in mind. We would
love to have you join us."

Xander stood by questioningly, but Spike waved it off with
his hand.
"We can talk at lunch. I'm hungry enough to eat a horse."

By the time they had set foot back out on the street outside,
Spike was bouncing like a fart in a skillet and Xander wasn't
sure which question he wanted to ask first.

The diner was crowded. Teeming with young people scarfing
burgers and fries with milkshakes, they dropped endless
quarters into selections on the table top juke boxes.
One couple trying to jitterbug in a corner by the kitchen.

Business men devoured the blue plate special, and housewives
met to gossip and be free from their drudgery for an hour or so.
Gallons of coffee flowed for all.

Spotting an empty booth in the back, Xander led the way
and settled in. No longer able to contain himself,
Spike exploded like fire works on the forth of July.

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