A/N: Wow. It's been a while. Meh meh meh. I also almost had this entire chapter written out tonight before my computer died suddenly and I lost all of it. I hate you Microsoft Works. I was inspired. Let's see how well memory does me.

-Narrows eyes- That will teach me to save. Again. I know better. I swear I do. Maybe it's just because it's unlucky number 13. It hates me.

Chapter Thirteen

At the end of the night Quinn lost quite a bit of money, but then again so did Cameron. Jo hustled them for everything they were worth, and enjoyed it. Of course the fund, that they'd rightly labeled, "Death by Castration" had only gone to by the boys another round, and then another. Oddly enough Jo found that men seemed to be a little looser once they had a few good drinks put into them. Who'd have guessed? "I'll be back don't break anything." She muttered, setting her cue stick up though she hadn't been playing for the last twenty minutes, just familiar for her to hold it. With that Cameron dumped himself into the stool besides Quinn, attempting at first something of a fight, but he was just too damned drunk.

"She's something huh?" he told the other, last longneck in hand, the tender refusing to give him any more he took another swig, swishing it into his mouth to savor the last bits. He'd only spoken when Jo was out of earshot, weaving back through the bar.

She narrowly missed a bad aiming of darts, but the movement was familiar, as this place was. From it's thick cigar smoke that became as rich as the oxygen it overtook, to the ceiling stained with yellowed nicotine. There was a highly possible chance, that as she passed her hand lightly over the split leather of one of the booths all sorts of ash clung to her fingertips. It was an odd realization though as she walked into the bathroom wouldn't even have noticed the expression was it not caught out of the corner of her eye. She halted her strides, quick glance to the mirror assured her fears well enough.

She wore a smile over her lips, feline-like in all the queerest ways. It hadn't been a bad night, though with both men oddly possessive until she'd pumped them with beer….she'd been irritated, even steamed. It bothered her to be seen as such, but of course it was because of it's parallel to that feeling of being subordinate. That, Jo just couldn't handle. Shifting around now, fully, curious as to why it was there, why it had creeped across her face, changing her appearance so dramatically so. Leaning down against the sink she watched her feature, ones she'd once wished were different.

She'd hated herself for them, the guilt that had been placed there because of those things that had separated her from the other little girls. Oh what she'd have given just to have the fine, pale locks, or how many times she'd cursed her skin for turning copper with the sun. There had been a need then to be the same, to fit among them. She figured out rather quickly that even if she'd been identical to each and every one there would never be a place for her there.

It was a quiet revelation, knowing that you could walk forever among them but feel no true connection. It hadn't been until Cameron that she'd known that something deeper existed, and still slowly she was finding that something even further could be brought up. She was just digging herself a deeper and deeper hole. She stared now, as she had so many times before, questioning if she really fit her own skin. She'd found the answer to it, and now as it crept over her face she knew why it was there.

"Ayep." Quinn said to Cameron's mutter, only could guess it was aimed towards Jo as she'd been the only woman there that night, at least the only one he'd really been able to see. While the bitter taste of beer had clogged his logic, scrambled it he'd had some thoughts before his final state of drunkard ness. She was something alright, though that meant trouble on his part, the likes of which he wasn't sure he was celebrating, or mourning. "You know…Imma have one hell'uva headache tomorrow."

Now the last few men started to trickle out, last call was given, and Quinn decided that everyone should be celebrating. As Cameron finished off his Coors, set it on the counter to be swept away he looked towards the other man, frowned at him. The pressing of brows did well to attempt and disguise the blatant lack of balance. "I betcha….a million dollars. Wait, you got a million yet Russy?" The shortening of the name would have been enough to make a sober man wince.

"Ayep. A couple, what we bettin?" He rubbed a hand against his face, pleasantly odd to find it quite numb.

"I betcha, one million smackaroos that my headaches worse than yers." Cameron gave a lop-sided grin now, oddly foolish in that way. It was a challenge of course, the best one could sum up at the bottom of the ale barrel, but hell it was one million after all.

"You got it." Quinn muttered, and now with an attempt to shake his hand, only ended up slouching, in an odd half hug. Both men though, were oddly content just to lie there to set their heads down and take some down time, a cat nap if you would. They certainly would have if Jo hadn't materialized from the back, pausing she lifted a brow, lips pursed but the smile just kept sneaking back up.

"Alright lovebirds," She urged already, taking the last bottle from Quinn's hand, setting it on the counter. "No more hand holdin or tongue swallowin tonight." She was already lifting her eyes towards Mac. He'd had a few fingers of Whiskey, but for the man that was hardly enough to get the blood moving. He rose now, with grunts and mutterings, didn't like being moved so much. He moved though, and already separating the tow men, who had just hours before been shooting daggers at each other, slid an arm around Cameron's waist and began to haul him to the door.

Jo wasn't far behind him, shifting now to gather Quinn up from his rather melted state, arm banded, his pulled over her shoulder. It was like a three-legged race gone wrong, and could only hope the bastard wouldn't put all of his weight on her or she wouldn't have been a happy camper. "But you like my tongue." Quinn said now, cockily as he did so, with a priceless expression that saved him the jab to the ribs he most definitely deserved.

Jo just rolled her eyes, lifted them to the tender now, "Thanks Scull, see ya around." The owner offered her a smile as he began the tedious task of rousing his own corner drunkards, to get them home to their wives and girlfriends, hopefully in one piece. Now as she hobbled out the door humored the grown man attached to her hip with a pat on the head. By the time she reached he door, Mac had already poured Cameron into his truck, walked towards her, his hands in his back pockets.

"Quite a catch you got there." He said, now obviously meaning her new fur coat, lashed around her neck for all he was worth or else to end up at her feet a puddle.

"Seems that way." She murmured though already from the light in his eyes Jo knew well enough that Mac had some idea about a certain attraction that went on between her and Quinn. Too bad it wasn't the fatal kind though, that would have been easier to deal with. "You alright to drive?"

"Girl, I've been drinking since you were old enough to tiptoe around in those big boots you wear. I'm fine, 'sides, it's just down the road."

Oh she knew it well enough, but that didn't mean she liked the idea. One or ten, but she trusted him, didn't feel like getting into that argument. "Can you recite the ABC's backwards while hopping around on one foot?" She mocked, now but would pay for it in a moment, as Quinn became more and more of a dead weight.

"I'm lucky if I can do that sober."

She grinned, "Well I'm going to drive this buffoon home so that I'm not the one that has to clean up the pool of puke he'll wake up in." There was a catch between the both of them, an understanding, and it pleased Jo, who would watch until Mac got in the truck and drove away to hobble towards her own.

When she got their her muscles strained, didn't think that he'd be so much damned work. Now, attempting to lean him up against the bed of the truck like a weighty scarecrow she fidgeted with the handle. He started to slump now, surely would have fallen over if she wasn't there to grab him, an intent to steady only ended up with the breath being knocked out of her. It was a literal fight now to get him up into the cab, shoving and pulling every which way. "Jesus Christ Russell, give me just a bit of help eh?"

He grunted, managed to swing his legs up and in, enough for her to close the door. She'd frown now, wiping an arm against her brow, half tempted to lean over, hands on her knees and wheeze. That was it, later she had just one word for him.


Sliding into the drivers seat now she paused and let her eyes skim over to him ad they held. Even drunk and passed out, smelling of Coors and cigarettes, an acquired bar scent she couldn't help but stare for a moment. She was glad he slept though, as her mind finally allowed her to form words. "Why the hell do you have to be so God damned beautiful?" It was an odd thing to say about a man, but there was no other word for him. Even there, in the dull light of the truck overhead that had just begun to dim features were divine to her. She sighed, jerked her truck into gear, "It'd be a hell of a lot easier if you were ugly."

She drove now, ran a hand over her hair, though wasn't prepared for him to slump now, against her none the less. The truck jerked just a bit, veered and her eyes narrowed on him. Now he slept…correction, he passed out on her shoulder and she was oddly amused. Though she allowed herself a moment, while she was alone, and there were no witnesses to give her grief she turned her head, and pressed her cheek lightly against his hair, ignoring the want to nuzzle, and kept driving, soft hum to the song that played over the radio, tracing the horizon. It painted it now, as beautifully as any masterpiece, bleeding colors into the landscape, erasing the stars.