TITLE: MASQUERADE BALLS
DISCLAIMER: Sadly, the Bee still owns none of the characters used in this story.
The Bee does own the plot and story so please do not take or archive without asking.
WARNINGS: Adult language and M/M sexual situations.
SUMMARY: OCD Spike is back and he is forced to celebrate the one holiday he
finds very distasteful. Halloween. He may be doing it to please Xander but, as always,
Spike will do this on his own terms.
Written for the Eternal Spander Halloween Ho Down
Thanks to Petxnd for the lovely banner and to Naughty Fae for the encouragement to
contribute to the Eternal Spander Halloween challenge.
Spike sat ramrod straight at the head of the small breakfast table. His napkin was draped over his
right knee and his placemat was at a perfectly measured distance from the edge of the table. In the
center of the placemat was his bowl of high fiber bran flakes and to the side, a cup of Earl Grey tea.
It was a breakfast routine and menu that Spike replicated every single morning without deviation.
On a less regimented note, Xander breezed in through the kitchen door, snatched a Danish from
the platter on the table and poured a cup of coffee from the Mr. Coffee maker that Spike had
generously turned on fifteen minutes earlier. As Xander circled towards his designated chair, he
leaned down and planted a kiss on the top of Spike's slicked back curls. "Morning, sweetheart.
Spike snorted at the inane question. "No. There was a wrinkle in the center of the sheet that ran
from my left shoulder blade to the crack of my ass. No matter how I turned or rolled, that same
damn crease refused to straighten out. This is exactly the reason that I insist on the sheets being
steam pressed. You do know the other reason that I want the sheets pressed don't you?"
Xander rolled his eyes. "Yes, I do Spike. This is a subject we have visited often. You believe
that wrinkles are filth traps that contain massive amounts of dead skin cells and pubic hair. In
addition to that, after we have had sex, the sheets are smeared with various bodily fluids and when
you lie in all of that...."
Spike jerked forward and dry heaved at the uncalled-for explicit description. "Stop it! Stop it! What
the hell is wrong with you?"
Xander licked a blob of jelly from his fingers. "Nothing. Just wanted to make sure you were listening
to me. Sometimes in the morning you have a tendency to tune me out, and I wanted your full
attention because there is something we need to discuss."
Spike quickly recovered from his gastrointestinal difficulties as soon as the subject was shifted and
he returned to his bowl of morning fiber. "Talk? Oh yes. Of course. However, now that you mention
it and considering the very rambunctious activities we engaged in last night, I do think that we
should have the sheets stripped from the bed and clean, pressed ones put back on immediately."
Xander sighed. He knew they couldn't move on until the crisis of the wrinkled sheet was dealt with so
he tried a bit of pacification. "Oh, sure, Curtis will be here anytime now and he can do that."
When nothing more was said, Spike laid his spoon down. He paused. He listened to Xander slurp
his coffee and when he could stand it no longer, he huffed dramatically. "Xander Harris. Stop
making those cow eyes and just tell me what it is. Oh God, you don't want to hire someone else do
you? I was more than understanding when you wanted to bring this Curtis person into our home, but
that is all I will stand for. No more. No other strangers will traipse willy-nilly through my personal space."
Xander shoved the last bite of pastry into his mouth. "You were NOT understanding, Spike. Despite
the fact that Curtis came with superior references you still did a full background check, which
I supported, and I even helped you install the twelve nanny cams around the apartment so you could
sit at work and watch him clean. Besides that, much to Curtis' credit, he didn't even flinch when
you ordered the body-scan physical and the full range of blood tests. Now, I don't know how
we managed without him. He keeps the place spotless and cooks like a master chef. Curtis is a
godsend and you know it."
Spike shrugged. Although it was true, he would die before admitting it, but now with the wrinkle
matter somewhat resolved, he was again concerned with what other issue had his lover hemming
and hawing over his sugar-laden sweet roll. "Fine, as long as the sheets are changed today I'm
somewhat mollified. So, what is it that has you squirming and all but exploding in your seat, and
why do I think I'm not going to like it?"
Xander shoved aside his coffee cup and his face flushed with excitement. "Today is the fifteenth
of October. We are just two weeks away from Halloween. Two weeks!"
Spike waited but when no further explanation came he lifted one hand in the air. "So? I fail to see
how that calendar date is relative to my...."
Xander bounced in his chair like a little kid facing the prospect of an evening of trick or treat,
although what he had in mind was definitely the kind of trick that carried a very adult treat. "The
police department is having a huge blowout Halloween party down at the Eagles Lodge. You must
have heard the buzz. Everyone is talking about it."
Spike was blank. It was as if Xander were speaking Greek.
Recognizing the lack of commonality in language, Xander began speaking very slowly and
enunciating every word. "Spike. My love. You are the chief of police. There are large and
colorful postings all over the station house. You have to have noticed. These postings are
offering an evening of fun, frivolity and frolic. It... is... a... party."
Spike huffed at the implied insult to his intelligence. "I know what a party is, Xander, and while no
one enjoys a gala event more than I, I really don't see how any of this pertains to me."
Xander took a deep breath and dove in. "Sweetheart, everyone who is not on duty that night is
going. Even Penn is going to be there. It should be one hell of a stomp, Spike, and I want to go too."
Instantly Spike felt a familiar, internal flinch as that annoying green-eyed monster squirmed within
him. He and his lover had been together for over four years and although Xander had never faltered
in his love, devotion or faithfulness, even now Spike's insecurities sometimes bubbled to the surface
of his mind.
And why not? Xander's basic personality had never changed from the time they had first met. He
was smart, funny and very gregarious. He was clever and quick witted. He was handsome, trim
and muscular, and even now just the very sight of him caused Spike's OCD heart to flutter in his chest.
Spike couldn't imagine how anyone was able to be near his boy without falling instantly in love with
him, and Spike found that nerve wracking. Xander found it humorous. He was long past his days
of working the sex trade and he couldn't fathom being anywhere but right at Spike's side. Xander
was a grown man. He was a decorated detective and, most importantly, he was Spike's right hand.
While all of this simmered, Xander's comment continued to dangle in the air while Spike
carefully considered the wording of his answer. The fact was, Xander was not a child and he
wasn't asking permission, yet Spike knew that if he refused consent, Xander would not go.
As the silence dragged on, Spike used his spoon to arrange his bran flakes in the pool of soy milk so
that they didn't overlap each other in a horizontal rather than vertical position in his bowl before he
ate them. The action helped him think. He refused to look his boy in the eye as Xander waited
patiently for the issue of the objections.
Finally, with a dramatic sigh, Spike set down his spoon and he glanced up. "Oh, sure. Of course. If
you want to go out and attend a wild, drunken orgy of debauchery and germ-laden pleasures, far be
it from me to...."
Xander smirked evilly. "Oh no, Buddy. You misunderstood. I didn't mean me. I meant us. You
are going too."
Spike blinked. His skin jumped and rippled like a cat and he shuddered. "Are you insane? No
way. Halloween parties are pagan celebrations that include disgusting activities such as bobbing
in saliva-drenched, filthy barrels for fruit that has been licked and bitten by god knows who. Oh,
and I suppose there will be sweaty dancing and hot breathing as well as communal vats of food
and drink. No. No, I'm sorry Xander but I can't imagine anything you could say that would make
me attend such an outrageous activity as a Halloween soiree."
The corner of Xander's mouth twitched up in a half grin. "Have you ever, at any time in your life,
been to a Halloween party, Spike?"
"That is completely irrelevant, Xander. The answer is still an unequivocal NO. You cannot talk me
Xander stabbed another apricot Danish and he popped a chunk of it in his mouth. "That's where you
are wrong, my peach pit. I believe I can. Now, I want to go and you need an incentive, so here's
my thought. Masks and disguises are inherent in a Halloween party. The whole concept is to
conceal your identity, am I right?"
Spike shoved his bowl away, dabbed his napkin to his mouth and scowled as he crossed his arms over
his chest. This whole conversation did not bode well and he was getting a sinking feeling in the pit of
his stomach. "I concede that costumes and bizarre facades are generally incorporated to
masquerade one's true self, however that simply accentuates why I am unable to participate. I
could never place a piece of molded plastic over my face in an effort to make me appear to be
either Richard Nixon or Bozo the Clown."
Xander's dark eyes sparked mischievously. "I've already thought of that. You won't need a mask.
We are going to put you in a black, trim-cut suit with a bowler hat and a small moustache. We give you
a walking stick and, AHA!"
Spike's eyebrows shot upward, and this time he didn't immediately protest. If he were to attend
this disgusting gathering, which he still was not agreeable to, that would have been the
perfect pseudonym. Spike had always seen himself as a bit on the Poirot-ish side. "Poirot, huh?
Well, I must say, I do have a bow tie that would.... No, no, what am I thinking. Your
respectful recognition of my accurate depiction still does not offer me sufficient incentive...."
Xander leaned closer and his voice took on a quiet, suggestive tone. "I am proposing a simple
challenge to your detective skills, my love. You see, I would be in full costume but you wouldn't
know who I was. Mask, suit, possibly a wig. I would dress there and you wouldn't know which
person in the room was me. I could follow you around. I would watch you and watch out for you
to make sure no one touched you. It would be your job to use those superior detective skills of
yours to find me. Sort of a game. Just between us."
Spike's mouth dropped open and an involuntary shiver danced across his skin as he pictured the
whole impossible scene. While his basic instinct was to slam his fist on the table and shout out
his refusal, Spike's pecker elbowed his balls and made mention that possibly they might be up for
an evening on the town after all.
Besides that, Spike found a slight offense at the suggestion that he would not, under any
circumstances, immediately recognize his lover. "I would know you no matter what the disguise."
Xander winked. "I don't think so."
By now Spike was beginning to get irritated at Xander's implication that Spike was less than
Sherlock Holmes. "And if I do? If I am able to identify you? What do I win?"
Xander grinned evilly and waggled his eyebrows. "Me. You win me. I have reserved a small,
private meeting room upstairs and if you can pick me out of the crowd and unmask me before
the midnight witching hour, you can bend me over and Poirot the hell out of me right there and
then, but frankly, I don't believe you can do it." The tone of Xander's voice was low and husky
and the words slithered under Spike's skin like a hot snake.
Spike sat ramrod straight in his chair. He jerked the napkin from his lap and slammed it in a
rumpled heap on the table then quickly, as if his fingers were acting independently of his brain,
he snatched it back up. He quickly and efficiently folded it neatly and placed it beside his bowl.
"That is a disgusting proposal! That you would think I would engage in unrestrained coitus while
just a few feet away from the men and women who look to me with respect and admiration is
simply unconscionable! That is.... All right, yes, I admit it is intriguing strictly as a detective's
challenge but.... I won't do it. It is out of the question. Of course, no one is more sexually
adventurous that I but.... No."
Xander appeared totally nonplused as he shrugged and stretched while Spike babbled and
vacillated. "Okay. No problem, Spike. Forget I asked. Wow, look at the time. I need to get
dressed so we can head out to the station house. Can't be late. Wouldn't do for the chief of
police to set a bad example."
"I know sarcasm when I hear it, Xander. Was that sarcasm?" Spike's question went unanswered
as Xander disappeared out one door of the kitchen while, almost simultaneously, the other door
swung open and a slim, well-dressed young man glided in. He had green cloth grocery sacks in
each hand, which he set on the counter by the sink.
When the young man spotted Spike still sitting at the breakfast table, he scowled
disapprovingly. "Good morning, Chief Pratt. Shouldn't you have left by now?"
Spike's chin tipped upward in slight defiance of the implied eviction from his own house.
"Good morning, Curtis. Mr. Xander and I were just about to leave. We were detained by a
discussion of matters both personal and critical." For a brief moment, Spike thought he saw
something shift in Curtis' normally blank expression, but then before it could be identified, it
was gone and the haughty houseboy was back to his usual self.
Curtis was autonomous. He came in each morning dressed in a three-piece suit. After hanging
the suit jacket in the pantry cupboard, he tied on a white, crisp apron while beginning his rigid,
set morning routine. Like Spike, Curtis was a detail-driven perfectionist and suffered slightly
from a lesser form of Spike's own OCD. Because of this parallelism, Spike and Curtis often
butted heads. Politely. They also shared an unspoken affection and respect.
Although it was understood that Curtis was as gay as a Pittsburgh pride parade, the word was
never mentioned and everyone was comfortable with the unmentioned conclusion.
"By the way, Curtis, there is an unacceptable wrinkle in the bedsheets. They will need to be
changed first thing this morning, and please be certain that the fresh ones are adequately pressed."
Curtis' spine bristled and the muscle in his jaw twitched. "Of course, Chief Pratt. I always inspect
the condition of the sheets as well as both mattress covers before I place them on the bed. If there
was a wrinkle, it was NOT there yesterday."
Spike slowly rose to his feet. He was shocked and horrified by what he interpreted as an
accusation. "Are you suggesting that I wrinkled my own sheet?"
Curtis showed no emotion but held his ground on the critical issue. "All I am saying, SIR, is that I
am most diligent on the condition of your bed. I cannot be held responsible if you rolled over in
a manner that created a wrinkle...."
Spike was stunned at the outrageous charge. "Now see here!"
Before the issue could reach crisis status, Xander flew back in. He was fully dressed and had both
of their briefcases in hand. "That's enough. The wrinkle was my fault. I did it when I climbed onto
my hands and knees. Curtis will change it and the wrinkle will be history. So, problem solved.
Now, come on, Spike. Let's let Curtis do his job and we need to do ours."
Before Spike could form any objections, he was manhandled and hustled out of the apartment. When
the sound of the front door slamming echoed, Curtis gave a haughty sniff and began to collect
the breakfast dishes for the dishwasher. "I thought they would never leave. A wrinkle indeed!