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 Appalachian mountains to search for
and destroy illegal alcohol when he has an accident.
Xander is a moonshiner who takes him in.
Lying on the floor, Spike watched as Xander carried in the
copper tub and started hauling buckets of water to heat.
"Huh?" Xander paused in his task.
"Don't you ever want to comforts of life? An indoor toilet,
electric lights, running water? Or have you just always lived
Spike was propped up on one elbow.
Xander was now stoking the fire and hustling about to collect the
soap and some clean clothes for them both.
Thinking back on his years at college, he had thought it
such a luxury.
The lights, the showers, the plumbing, the heat.
Xander concentrated on the water in the pot.
"I know most people have those things, but it didn't seem worth
it just for me. Now if I had somebody else here I would make
it nicer. At least pipe in water from a well or the spring."
Xander shrugged and resumed tending to the details of his task.
Letting his mind continue on that path, Xander thought of all the
things he would do if someone like Spike were to live here with him.
He would make a real home.
Maybe add a room, a second fireplace.
A kitchen of sorts. Someone like Spike, but not Spike.
Xander knew if Spike found out that he was nothing
like the man he pretended to be, Spike would hate him
He would know how dishonest Xander was.
Being a moonshiner was one thing.
Being a liar was unforgivable.
"After we both wash I'll heat more water and wash all the clothes.
I usually take them to the creek to rinse then hang them out.
While I am doing that I will also check my garden and chop
some kindling for the fire. Also been neglecting my traps.
You relax here and I'll be back in a few hours."
Xander glanced at Spike sideways to see if he would accept
Truth was, all that did need seeing too, but mostly he had to
get the car ready for tonights run.
He wasn't sure how he was going to manage it, but would think
of something later.
He also needed to make some decisions about starting the next
batch of shine.
Tonight would deplete all his reserves in the cave and
the copper lines had gone cold.
He was a business man with a business that could slip away.
His customers were loyal, but that loyalty only extended to
whomever was running the shine, and a lot of good ole boys
round here wouldn't mind taking over his route.
Selling their own more inferior lightnin'.
Not caring who they blinded or poisoned with it.
Buyers knew that was the risk.
Spike was also lost in his own thoughts.
"What? Oh, sure. That's fine."
Something Xander had mentioned off handedly had bothered him
very much. The thought that Xander would make the cabin
more comfortable for...who?
Make it a cozy home for ..what?
Some slutty tart from the nearest town?
Or worse, an ignorant hillbilly from down the way?
A man who would not have the sensitivity to understand
someone like Xander?
No! Xander was so much more than that.
He deserved the best.
He deserved the world.
Silently he watched his mountain man fuss around for
him and it touched his heart.
If only he wasn't a government agent.
Not that Xander had anything to fear.
Xander was the type to live his whole life and never
break a law. Xander was an innocent, but how could Spike
tell him that he was a lie.
He was not a book salesman. He was a revenuer.
A fuckin' g-man sent to snoop around and destroy the way
these simple people lived.
Probably people Xander knew.
Maybe one of them was the bastard Xander wanted to make
a home for.
Well that much he didn't care about.
He only cared that Xander would see him as a liar.
Finally ready, Xander helped Spike sit down on the floor with
him and they took turns with the soap and rag, washing, rinsing
and playfully touching.
Both men forgot their earlier thoughts and fears and relaxed in the
company of the other. After drying them, Xander helped Spike
dress and sit back in the rocker.
He threw all the dirty clothes in a pile and fetched clean water.
Xander had a cup of soap shavings he used and proceeded to
scrub each of their belongings.
He and Spike chatted easily while he worked and they spoke on
Comparing backgrounds and families, they found they had a
lot in common.
Xander was enjoying the companionship more than he could have
imagined. He had always been very content by himself, but now
after just a few days here with Spike he dreaded the thought to
facing a solitary life again.
It had fallen into place so naturally. Seemed like Spike had been
here for months instead of just days.
Finally washed, Xander tossed all the soapy items back in the tub
and hoisted it onto his shoulder.
"Well, I'm headed out. You need anything before I go?"
Spike rocked back and forth in the chair rhythmically, eyes closed
and a big smile on his lips.
"No, I'm very content, thank you. I may just take a short nap while
you are gone. Seems something has worn me out."
Chuckling, Xander turned to go. "Yea, a nap would be good cause
that something will hurry back as quick as he can."
Xander headed straight for the creek and dumped the clothes in
the water. After rinsing them as well as he could, he wrung the
water and hung them to dry.
In this foggy mountain air Xander knew it may take a day or
two to completely dry.
On the way back, Xander checked where his traps were stored.
He hadn't reset them in almost a week and knew he was missing
out on some very valuable pelts.
Coons were a regular, but beavers were more plentiful this
time of year as they built their dams thick for winter.
Soon as Spike was gone he would get himself back on track
Looking at all the empty traps and knowing his nearly abandoned
still was sitting cold in the woods, Xander started to get pissed off.
"God damnit, Xander you are going to lose everything you have
spent a life time building. And for what? Someone that will be
gone in a day or two. Get your fuckin' head out of your
britches and do what you need to do to protect yourself.
Winter is coming and you need all the money you can put back
to see you through to spring."
Stomping and mumbling, Xander headed up the path to collect
the last of the stored jugs and load them in the car.
He had made his decision and just wanted done with the liquor.
He wanted to focus on the trapping.
He wanted to be the man Spike thought he was.
The time for cocking off was over.