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.
Both men stayed where they were for most of the morning.
The warmth of Xander's body helped relieve some of the chills,
and slowly the heaving, subsided.
By early afternoon they had dozed off. Hoping the worst was
over, Xander rose only long enough to take care of the cabin
and his nature's needs.
He then allowed himself to relax and pull Spike's body
back against him.
Surprisingly Xander received as much comfort from the
closeness as Spike did.
The relief, however was short lived.
Before the sun had a chance to set Xander was awakened by
Spike again screaming and wildly flailing his arms.
"Xander! Oh God Xander get them off me!"
Looking around frantically, Xander couldn't find the sources of
"What? What is it?"
Slapping and scratching at himself, Spike was shrieking in pain
and fear as he tried to free himself from Xander and the confines
of the bed covers.
"The bugs. The bugs are crawling all over me, God Xander get
them off. They're biting me! Help me, please Xander, help me."
Terrified that Spike was going to cause himself serious damage,
Xander immediately rolled him to lie flat on his back.
Straddling his hips, Xander grabbed his arms and held them
tight against his body.
"Stop it Spike. There aren't any bugs. You're o.k."
Sobbing wildly, Spike continued to struggle.
"I can feel them, Xander. Please God I need a drink. Please
The sobs and begging were heart wrenching.
Xander hated himself for what he was doing. 'How could I have
ever taken any satisfaction in this?'
Xander was so overwhelmed with self loathing he dropped his
forehead down till it touched Spike's
The strain and shame was finally too much and Xander collapsed
So caught up in his own pain it took a few minutes before the sound
of the soft voice crept through.
"Shhh. It's all right Xander. It will be all right."
Calming himself and lifting his eyes, Xander looked into the clear
blue one that had now regained their sanity.
Leaning down again, Xander lightly placed his lips over Spike's
Not a real kiss, it was something less and something more.
Pulling back abruptly, Xander was shocked at what he had
allowed himself to do.
"I'm sorry, Spike. I don't know why I did that."
Yawning, Spike smiled weakly, "I don't know either, but I
would like very much if you would do it again. Then I could
do with a drink of water, a piss, and another nap."
Gladly, Xander complied with all his requests, starting with
another very soft, closed mouth press of warm lips against cool,
A little water coming and a little more going, and Xander reclaimed
his spot behind Spike on the bed.
"Would you rub my back again?"
Smiling broadly, Xander again positioned Spike on his side
and resumed the deep muscle massage till the even breathing
signaled Spike had drifted off.
Xander followed him into sleep minutes later.
Waking up first, Xander watched Spike sleep.
His sleep was still restless, but not violently.
Slipping out of bed, Xander went outside to piss and collect
some fire wood.
Taking advantage of the time alone he hustled back the path to
check his much neglected still.
The fire was out, but luckily the coils were still warm. Xander
drained off what was settled in the tub and put the full crocks
into storage. He still had a few days till delivery and enough
in the cave to fill all his orders so he could now let it cool and set.
Even though Spike was unable to get out of bed, Xander could
not risk discovery.
A lot of questions about Spike still lingered in Xander's mind.
Whatever happened last night would not over ride his common sense.
Returning to the cabin with his arms full of wood, Xander was
pleased to see that Spike was not only awake, but seemed a
whole lot stronger.
"Hey, look at you. How do you feel?'
Spike smiled weakly, but his eyes were clear.
"Do you want me to say I'm all better or tell you the truth? Cause
fact is I feel like shit.
My head, stomach and back still hurt, and if I could get out of
this bed I'd knock you in the head with one of those logs and walk
to the nearest town for a bottle of booze."
Xander broke into a full on smile. "So you're better?"
"Well, I'm still alive." Spike chuckled.
"Great. Today is a big day. First you are going to eat something
and drink some coffee.
Then we are going to wash you up some cause gotta tell you Buddy,
whew! After that we will do another back rub. I figure a couple
times a day should go a long way to ease the muscles and bring
down the swelling."
By now Xander had turned his back and was busily preparing
the coffee and cracking some eggs.
Frowning, Spike stared at his back. With all the pain and sickness
he hadn't noticed, but now his brain was clearer and something
had become blaringly apparent.
Xander's whole hoopy accent was gone.
He no longer sounded like an ignorant hillbilly.
Somewhere between yesterday and this morning he had adopted
an intelligent manner to his speech.
This realization made Spike very uncomfortable.
Watching Xander's movement, Spike's thoughts absorbed him
'Why would a man pretend to be something he wasn't. There was
only two reasons for that. Either he was ashamed of who he
was or he is hiding something.'
Spike knew how that applied to him, but,
'Which one of those are you, Xander?'
Deciding to try and get some answers, Spike casually laid back
on the bed.
"Why are you doing this, Xander? Why are you being so
good to me?"
Straightening up, Xander turned to face him.
"I don't know Spike. I know I couldn't just leave you out there
in the woods to die.
It just isn't the way people live up here. We look out for each other."
"But I'm not one of you am I?" Spike watched his face closely.
"No, you aren't. Why are you up here? Who are you and
what are you looking for, Spike?"
Seems like Xander had questions of his own.
"What make's you think I am looking for something? I am
just a plain book salesman trying to make a sale."
Spike noted that rather than get answers, he was defending himself.
He was not going to let that happen.
"Who are you Xander? What do you do up here?"
Both men stared suspiciously and silently into the eyes of the other.
Finally breaking the spell, Xander laughed and turned back to his cooking.
"I ain't nobody, Spike. Just an ole mountain man tryin' to git by in life."
Spike's forehead wrinkled down.
That was the worst answer Xander could have given.