Rating Adult overall
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters in this story and make
no profit from them
Summary: Set in the early 1940's, Spike is a G-man sent on
a mission in the Applachian mountains to search for
and destroy illegal alcohol when he has an accident.
Xander is a moonshiner who takes him in.
The screaming, crying, begging and demanding kept up for an
impressive amount of time
All without response from Xander.
He sat quietly watching and wondering.
How does a man come to this. He knew in his own father's
case it was a way to die along with his wife.
Unfortunately it took him nearly 12 years to do it.
Shame the needs of a young son weren't enough to give him
something to live for.
What was the unhappiness in Spike's life that drove him to drown
himself in a bottle?
Xander saw the strain of the pain and anger play over the
features of the beautiful face.
The amazing blue eyes would alternate between squeezed
shut and flaring with fury.
Xander knew Spike was in agony from his back and head injures
and considered maybe the body flush might be more than he
Mentally checking himself, Xander knew he couldn't waiver now.
No, Spike was weak enough for both of them.
'Just a sniveling drunk' He tried to remind himself.
Rising from his chair, Xander walked to Spike who had, by
now slowed down to a quiet whimpering.
Still not speaking, Xander brushed the hair out of Spike's damp face.
"Get the fuck off of me."
The words were spoken low, with a sadness and resignation.
Spike turned his face toward the wall and weakly slapped weakly at
"I need to go out and tend my garden and check my traps, Spike.
I want you to drink some water and take a pack of headache
powder. I won't be long."
It was now Spike's turn to be silent.
Returning to the sideboard Xander brought him a cup of water
with the powder dissolved inside.
With no further complaint Spike drank it all.
He refused to admit that soothing his raw throat, it felt wonderful.
"I need to piss."
Xander set the cup down and went to retrieve the bucket.
Neither spoke as Spike freed his cock and emptied his full bladder.
Taking the bucket to the door, Xander turned to his patient.
"I'll be back as soon as I can. When you're all done with your
tantrum I can rub them tight muscles. Might help the swelling
'long your backbone."
The response was murmured but heard.
Xander walked out, closing the door behind him. When he was
well away from the cabin, his own tears fell.
The memories and emotions of his own past were jumbled up
together with the pain of the man who was a literal prisoner
in his home.
Hurrying back the lane, Xander didn't stop till he reached the still.
He stoked the hot coals and drained off four crocks for storage
in the cave.
It would help some with next weeks delivery.
One he had no time to think about now.
Forcing all his concentration on the contraption in front of him,
Xander tried everything he could to clear the thoughts of Spike
from his head.
His brain kept returning to the suffering of the stranger.
Xander was torn.
He knew he possessed the very elixir needed to stop
the agony Spike was going through.
All he had to do was take him a bottle.
The part of him that enjoyed watching a worthless drunk beg
for a drink was quickly fading away in the face of the reality.
Suddenly he realized he was finding no joy at all in what was
happening. Xander still was not satisfied that there wasn't
something suspicious about Spike and what he was doing
here on Xander's mountain, but what ever it was, it had nothing
to do with the consequences of the wreck and the alcoholism.
He finished up and circled around to the clearing. Fall was
coming on fast and the vegetables in his garden would soon
be ready for canning.
He walked the rows and was pleased to see everything had
done really well.
It had been a long growing season and he should have plenty to
hold him till spring.
The winters were snowy and isolating up here.
A man had to be prepared.
Meat he could catch at any time, but a man needed fruit and
vegetables to stay strong.
Finally wandering to the creek, he checked his traps. Two were
empty, the other had caught a beaver.
Good money in beaver fur. Someday he hoped to get better
traps and make a full living off them. City women couldn't
get enough of them fur hats and coats. Silly creatures.
Taking the carcass, he reset the trap and headed back home.
It was still early enough he could get it gutted and skinned and
the fur hung before dark.
It was all so simple.
He knew exactly what to do with an ear of corn or a dead critter.
Wish it was that uncomplicated with people.
Maybe he read the sign wrong.
Maybe he was hurting this man in a way he had no right to.
He had to give this some serious thought.
Coming back home, Xander found his walk slowing.
He hated opening the door and facing the agony inside.
Placing his ear against the closed door, he heard no sound.
No screaming, no crying.
Easing it open, he stepped in.
Bracing himself for the worst.
What he found was not what he expected.
Spike had apparently worn himself out and was sleeping fitfully.
Watching the face of the man on the bed, Xander felt something
tugging at his heart.
Spike looked so young.
Xander had assumed he was in his late thirties, but now
realized he could be at least ten years younger.
Crouching down, Xander leaned in as close as he dared.
"What happened to you Spike? Who are you and what
do you want here?"
Xander's only answer was another moan. Spike's eyes darted
wildly behind the closed lids. Xander stayed where he was till
his knees shook from the strain of the position he held himself in.
Standing back up, he figured it was best to go ahead and prepare
the cabin for the night.
That way all would be done when Spike woke later.
He knew the worst was still to come.
Slipping back out he took the water jugs to the spring house
and filled both of them.
Tending to the beaver was quick and efficient.
He then went to the hen house collecting eggs for breakfast,
mentally reminding himself of some repairs he needed to do on
the coup before winter.
Returning, he put the kettle on the fire for some coffee, and
settled in to wait.