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 Challenge
Thanks to Petxnd for the lovely banner and to Naughty Fae for the encouragement to
contribute to the Eternal Spander Halloween challenge.
Almost immediately, Xander came to realize the strategical error of his move. It had been an
incredibly long and nerve-wracking two weeks since he had made the suggestive party proposal
to his neurotic partner at the breakfast table, and every hour of every day since had been near torture.
At any given moment, Spike would toss out a random question or comment that led Xander to
believe that not only was Spike thinking about the upcoming celebration, as Xander had hoped,
but in fact the chief of police was becoming overwhelmed and obsessed. So much so that it
was beginning to create a pattern in their home that would begin at their early rising when Spike
would ask, "Pirate?" to which Xander would respond, "Can't say."
"Mythical character? Storybook animal? Superhero?"
"Haven't decided. Not likely. Already am."
It was a verbal tit for tat that would follow them as they showered, dressed, ate and even
continued through the course of their pre-dawn blow-jobs. "Alien? Clown? Farm animal?"
To which Xander would reply, "Mufle dub. Buffer mum. Huh?"
Afterwards, when they were clean and professionally crisp, the topic of discussion would follow
them into the station house and accompany the two through the course of their day. Not only was
Xander gritting his teeth and biting his tongue but the rest of the employees of the Sunnydale
Police Department were also feeling the sting of Spike's paranoia.
The chief would, at the drop of a hat, randomly summon an employee into his office and he would
all but accuse that person of being in cahoots with Xander. Despite the protests and promises of
no deep conspiracy brewing, Spike simply could not let it go.
Every hour of every day saw the doubt and skepticism on his face as he silently accused every officer
he came in contact with. No one would enter and be trapped in an elevator with him and the lunch
room would instantly clear when he stepped in. Spike's inference of mass collusion had the entire
station house on high alert.
Xander had to take it upon himself to personally write a letter of apology to the mayor of the
city for Spike's e-mail to the head administrator that included words like 'bunco artist' and
'double-crossing snake in the grass.' Luckily, the mayor was well acquainted with Spike's
eccentricities and balanced that against the police chief's abilities and talents as an asset to Sunnydale.
The final straw came on the afternoon of October thirtieth when the phone rang in Xander's office
and Detective Penndleton barked, "Interrogation room one! Get down here now!" and slammed
the receiver down before Xander could ask for the facts. In truth, Xander didn't need any
other information and the details were moot.
The only sure fact that mattered was that, somehow, Spike was involved. Xander wasted no time.
His coat tails flapped and his spit and polish shoes glistened in the fluorescent overheads as he
darted down the tiled, institutional hallways towards the holding and incarceration rooms. When
he arrived, he skidded to a stop.
The sign hung on the closed door read, INTERROGATION ROOM 1. LIE DETECTOR TEST
BEING ADMINISTERED. DO NOT ENTER.
Without hesitation, Xander charged in. What he found was a very frustrated officer Matt
Stevens wearing an ugly scowl on his face as he sat in the operator's chair monitoring the strip of
paper that was being pumped from the whirling, smoking polygraph machine.
Strapped in the chair and looking as if he was about to be whooped with a rubber hose, was Sully
the Snitch. He was a well-known local low-life that lived on the streets and had his ear to the
underbelly of Sunnydale's criminal activity. His main source of income, other than the food stamps
he traded for liquor, was the sale of that suspect information to anyone willing to buy.
Directly behind Sully stood Spike. His spine was rigid and straight and his shoulders were squared.
His hands were clasped behind his back and a look of determination flashed in his steel blue eyes
as he barked out one question after another. "What have you heard about this upcoming
Halloween party? Who in town is selling bootleg costumes? How many people are involved
in this conspiracy? What do you know about the disguises? What is the name of the fourth man?"
The last question made no sense even to Spike but in respect to Sherlock Holmes, he tossed it in for
Sully squirmed. The leather straps that held him in place gave the illusion that he was on the final
table waiting for the Big Shot that would end his life and career. The sweat stains under his armpits
grew larger by the second and his upper lip was dappled with perspiration while the machine he
was connected to beeped wildly with each word of protest and denial that was stuttered from his
lips. "What party? Costumes? Conspiracy? Wait... wait... I confess. It was me. I'm the one
who knocked off that wine shop on Fifth and Main. Please. Lock me up. Make him stop. Make
Xander was aghast. "Oh, for the love of God! Spike! Stop it!" With a huff of disgust, Xander
grabbed Spike by the hand and jerked him from the room, slamming the door behind them as a
delighted Stevens began jotting down Sully's B&E confession. Like corralling a naughty child,
Xander tugged and pulled Spike through the station house, up the stairs, past the averted eyes of
the other detectives, down the hallway and into the office of the Chief of Police where he
finally unclasped their hands and pointed to Spike's chair. "SIT!" Which, reluctantly, Spike did.
With his feet planted in a wide stance, Xander folded his arms across himself and he took a moment
to cool down. He wanted to be angry at his lover, but he just couldn't. The blame for this debacle
rested squarely on Xander's own shoulders and he recognized his miscalculation. He knew it in
part because Spike had not been sleeping well. He tossed and turned in bed like a fish out of water
and he had taken to sleepwalking.
Xander also knew that he bore the blame for the tensions at work and was not deaf to the
murmured threats that simmered throughout the department. Although the specific details were
not known, everyone who counted on Xander to be the buffer and go-between now blamed him
for the erratic, bristly behavior of the obsessive Chief. Mention was made of meter maids being
coerced into hiding in the cruiser parking lot, where they would leap out to tar and feather Xander
as he left work in the evening.
Of course that was all in good fun and not to be taken seriously. Sort of.
Regardless of the validity of the personal intimidation, the fact was it was up to Xander to correct
and salvage this mess before it could adversely affect not only the Sunnydale Police Department
but ultimately the entire safety and security of the city.
Kneeling down in front of his lover, Xander took both Spike's hands in his and he made sure that he
had the Chief's full attention. "Spike. Sweetheart. You are overreacting as usual. This whole party
idea was just so that we could enjoy a fun night out combined with a bit of sexual pleasure for us,
but you are making everyone around here crazy. You are making our personal business a public
problem. Now, I really want to go to this party but if you continue to act like a spastic pain in the
ass, they will post officer Biltman at the door of the Eagles as a bouncer and not let us in."
Spike blinked as he imagined the three hundred pound, black patrol officer standing guard at the
lodge's entrance, and the very image gave him a moment of mental clarity as he answered in
an unconvincing tone. "I'm not afraid of him."
Xander countered with the ultimate threat. "Biltman has the flu. He has been coughing up a storm
and I heard he has a touch of ringworm on his arm."
Spike felt woozy. He immediately jerked open his desk drawer and pulled out a pack of
disinfectant wipes which he used to frantically scrub his hands and wrists as he rocked back and
forth in his chair and whimpered, which only added to Xander's feeling of guilt.
"Spike. Quit. You are all right. You haven't touched anything that he came in contact with.
Listen darlin', this whole party idea has gotten out of hand. If you want to forget it, we will.
It is your choice."
This was exactly the conflict that had spun like a firestorm in Spike's brain for the past thirteen days.
To go and suffer the slings and arrows of a packed, sweaty mass of hot writhing bodies, knowing
what sort of amazing things Xander could do to him, or call a halt to all of this and return to the planet
of peace of mind. "I'm sorry, Xan. I guess I got a little carried away. I want to do this. I do. It's
Xander nodded his head and he rose to his feet. "It's all right, Spike. No problem. We can have
dinner in and watch some television. It's only Halloween. It's only my very favorite holiday of the
whole year." Xander dropped his head and batted his eyes as his body slumped in defeat.
Spike snorted and felt the turmoil within him shift again. "Fuck. You can be a real bastard
sometimes." Even as he cursed his lover, Spike's body relaxed fractionally and a small smile
crept over his lips. "Fine. We will go to this damn party, but I'm not promising to stay!"
Xander leaned down and planted a kiss on the chief's mouth. "Fair enough, but I'm betting that you
will have a good time despite yourself. Now, we have just one more day. You are forbidden from
asking any of these officers any more questions. They have a job to do and you are not to
interfere. Besides, no one but me knows what my costume will be and they have more important
things on their minds. So, you leave them be! You hear me?"
Xander sternly waggled his finger in Spike's face and Spike considered biting that annoying
digit playfully. Except he wasn't sure when Xander had last washed his hands and Spike didn't
know who or what Xander had touched this morning. Spike settled for sticking his tongue out.
"Fine. Not another word. I will sit here in my office and work on the budget reports. I will
isolate myself in solitary confinement. Is that all right with you?"
Xander grinned and headed for the door. Unlike Spike, Xander had plenty of work to keep him
busy. Mostly fence mending and anger soothing with the other officers and detectives in order
to ensure that he and Spike would still even be welcome at the party. "That's a great idea. You
stay here in your office. I'll be back for you at quitting time."
Before Xander could step out of the room, Spike called to him one last time. "Xander. Wait."
"Bumblebee? Kermit the Frog? A giant sock monkey?"
Xander's face screwed up in disbelief at the bizarre depths of Spike's musing and wasted no effort
on denials. Instead, Xander just shook his head and walked away.
"Get up off that bed, Chief Pratt. Mr. Xander told me to assist you with your costume and have
you dressed and personally delivered to the festivities by ten PM. Punctuality, Chief Pratt. Punctuality."
Spike sat in his white silk boxers on the side of his bed and stared as Curtis waited nearby with the
black suit-costume draped over his arm. Spike noted how rigid, meticulous and unyielding the
young houseboy was. Curtis was obsessively neat and had never had so much as a lint fuzzy on
him at any time. Spike liked that. He was comfortable with that. He was not, however,
particularly anxious to cooperate with the young man.
"I do not need your assistance in order to dress, Curtis. I am a competent, grown man."
Curtis did not flinch nor waver. "Of course you are, sir. Does Mr. Xander assist you?"
Spike rose to his feet and glared as he stuck out his arms while he waited for Curtis to slip the
starched white shirt on him. He then twisted and turned as the houseboy applied the suit piece
by piece until Spike was fully decked out.
At that time, Curtis produced a clothing brush, seemingly from thin air and he briskly swiped it over
the back and sides of the suit coat to ensure that it was impeccable. "You look the perfect part, sir.
Miss Agatha Christy herself would be impressed at the flawlessness with which you are portraying
her legendary detective."
Spike's chin tipped upward. "Yes. She would, wouldn't she?" Then a new thought crept in and
Spike glanced over. "Say, Curtis, did you happen to assist Mr. Xander with his costume?"
Curtis snorted derisively as if he could be tricked by such an elementary ruse. "No sir, I did not, but
he told me that when you asked, I should reminded you of what he told you before he left." With
that, Curtis spun on his heel and strutted away.
Spike waggled the point of his walking stick towards the closed bedroom door. "Sarcastic upstart!"
Xander had left the house a few minutes earlier, after the repeated promise and review of the
night's expectations. "I promise you that I will be there when you arrive, Spike. Pay attention to
what is going on around you. You won't get overwhelmed by the social interaction if you look at
the whole party as if it were the scene of a crime. Focus and concentrate on the evidence. You
have just two hours to identify me. If you do, you win and we will go upstairs where I will give
you a blow job that will curl your toes. On the other hand, if I can evade your discovery until the
chime of midnight, then I get to bend you over the desk and plow the fuck out of your field."
Spike had been dazzled by the promise of a win-win. While he was still hesitant in regard to the press
of a large group of people in a small confined space, he had agreed with the premise. After all,
Spike was a brilliant detective. Possibly the best on earth. He had no doubt that this charade would
last less than fifteen minutes before he unmasked his lover and was well on his way to an
With that confidence in mind, Spike had kissed his boy goodbye and hurried off to the shower. Where
he had time to think.
Which caused Curtis to find it challenging to fulfill his obligation of prep and delivery. Luckily,
Curtis had never been one to fail in the execution of a task and this would not be his first shortfall.
When Spike emerged from his bedroom, Curtis was standing near the front door, waiting patiently
with Spike's round felt hat in his hands. "You are stunning, sir."
Spike accepted the hat and took a last glance in the mirror at the false moustache that tickled his upper
lip like a caterpillar. It still smelled slightly of the alcohol he had soaked it in and the scent gave him
a measure of reassurance. "Thank you, Curtis. Say, I have a sterling idea. Why don't you join me?
You would enjoy a rousing evening of jubilation wouldn't you?"
Curtis shuddered. "I think not, sir."
Spike slapped the bowler hat on his head. "Be very cautious, Curtis. Your job requires respect of
your employers at all times and sarcasm could very well be grounds for dismissal."
Curtis sniffed and held the front door open for Spike to step through. "I doubt that I could be so