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.
Decision made, Spike wasted no more time. He
collected the money owed him and walked off the job.
It didn't really matter.
It wasn't the type of career that required a skill beyond
a strong back and the need for a regular paycheck.
For every man working, there were a hundred more waiting
on a chance to step in.
Returning to his room, Spike packed his few belongings
back into the same case he had arrived with.
He headed straight for the bus depot and bought a ticket.
A one way ticket.
He was prepared to offer any apologies, begging included,
that it took for Xander to accept him back.
Pride was a much overrated virtue.
He had lost to much time already.
He wouldn't lose any more.
Xander hated to give up. He had come so far, driven for two
days and had such high hopes. He couldn't quit. Not yet.
Not without trying again.
Driving to the nearest gas station, he used the men's room,
washed up, changed his clothes and brushed his teeth.
All things that made him feel 100% better.
It bolstered his confidence and gave him the encouragement to
try once more.
The diner opened early for breakfast so the dock workers
would have a place to congregate before the sun came up.
Bullshit, complain, and talk of current events.
Dropping back into the same booth, Xander waved at the
dark haired girl that had waited on him yesterday.
"Hi sugar. Y'all find your friend? Or ya just come back
to see me? Names Fred, by the way"
Xander blinked. Fred?
Oh well, the flirty waitress was so low on his list of
priorities, she wasn't even a blip on his radar.
"Nope, still looking, but after a big breakfast I'm headed
Xander smiled and tucked the napkin in under his chin.
He placed his order and drank his coffee.
The diner filled with an eclectic mix of business men, dock
worker, vagrants, and working girls.
Xander scanned each man that entered carefully. Watching
closely as each turned to face him or removed his hat.
None was the one he wanted. None could have come close.
He ate quickly and before leaving thanked Fred and left
her two bits as a tip. She waved, wished him luck, then returned
to her conversation with a dark skinned man at the counter.
"Who was that?" He pushed his cup forward.
Fred poured him more coffee.
"Another snoop sent by O'Connor's goons. Still looking
for Spike. Don't worry, I didn't tell him anything. So, you
want the pancakes?"
Xander returned to the shipping docks. His luck seemed to have
At least today people were more willing to talk to him.
One of the bosses even offered him a job. Seemed a worker had
just up and quit in the middle of the day.
Huh, city folk.
There were also several false leads. Men who met the
description, but upon hunting them down didn't even appear
close to resembling Spike.
By evening the workers here tired, hungry, and heading for
Xander decided it was time for him to do the same.
Returning to his car, he slid in and rested his head on the
He was torn.
He knew he couldn't stay here and just wander the
docks every day, Hell, Spike might not even be here.
That fuckin' O'Connor could have lied to him. Maybe
Spike was never here.
On the other hand, going home alone was depressing
He had let himself get too hopeful. Let his heart make
plans reality couldn't see through. Xander sighed.
It was late and he was tired.
He thought about eating, but just couldn't make himself move.
Curling up on the seat, he wiped the tears from his eyes and
made the decision to leave first thing in the morning.
The bus driver took his ticket and threw his bag into the
cubby hole in the bottom of the bus.
"Just made it, son. We're pulling out in ten minutes.
Grab a seat and settle in."
Spike had picked up a card with the travel schedules on.
According to this they made only a few regular stops for
bathroom, food, and to switch drivers.
He should be on the mountain in less than 30 hours.
With his head down studying the time table, and his heart
high, Spike felt the bus pull out and start down the highway.
He knew he was too charged to sleep. He checked his
watch, 29 hours, 50 minutes.
The warmth of the spring time sun disappeared at dusk
and the car turned cold. Xander shivered and pulled his
jacket tighter around his body.
He refused to spend the exorbitant fee of $2.00 just to
rent a room at a motel. How did decent people have the
nerve to charge so much just for a place to sleep.
It wasn't like he wanted to buy the damn thing.
Trying his best to get comfortable, Xander looked up at
the rumble of a huge engine and watched a giant
Greyhound bus chug past.
It was the last thing he saw before dozing off to sleep.