Paring: What else? S/X of course.
Rating: Adult for language and M/M activity.
Disclaimer: None of the characters in this story belong to the Bee.
and she makes no money off them, or anything else. The Bee is broke.
Summary: The Rosebud Murders took an emotional toll on
everyone involved. Is love enough for a happily ever after or does
it take a hell of a lot of work and compromise to build a life together?
Spike and Xander struggle to find out.
Xander scowled as he picked up the three wet, smelly
towels off the bathroom floor where Spike had dropped
them. He was certain he had mentioned to his messy
lover that he only owned five towels, but it obviously
wasn't registering in that sexy blond head.
Xander realized the truth to the statement that you never
really know a person till you live with them. Well, now,
after living together for less than two months, Xander knew one
thing for certain. Spike was a slob.
Weaving his way back through the bedroom into the tiny
living room/kitchen, Xander picked up the trail of dirty socks,
cold coffee mugs and empty chip bags.
The hand carved lions head bar top was cluttered with tins of
gun cleaning wadding, oil rags and the latest copy of Smith &
Xander sighed and sat at the bar, shoving everything to the side to
make way for a cup of coffee and a large bowl of oatmeal.
'Maybe Spike was right' He thought. 'Maybe a bigger place would help.'
He wondered what the chances were of Patrick letting him out early
this afternoon to go looking for a new apartment.
Xander knew living with someone required compromise he just didn't
know how much compromise. Apparently true love didn't solve all
and he and Spike must not be the fairies in the happily ever after tales.
Lately they had been arguing. A lot. And Xander hated the negative
energy it caused.
Stacking all the dirty dishes in the small sink, Xander sniffed in disgust
and headed for the shower.
Spike zipped into his parking space and shut down the Corvette. Instead
of heading up to his office he sat there, just for a minute, just for the blessed
He had only been back to work one week since the arrest of the Rosebud Murderer
and the injury he sustained. Sadly, his return wasn't all sugar plums and open
arms that he led Xander to believe. While some accepted him and a few others
simply didn't care, there was still a lot of suspicion and open hostility from the
other officers. Despite his facade of not giving a shit, it was proving to be
very stressful and shamefully, Spike was taking the stress out on Xander.
Now to cap everything off he had been ordered to meet with the department
psychologist and this morning was his first appointment. Just what he fucking
needed. 'Well," He snorted, "At least the tension of everything at work kinda
blocks out the stress of Mother Hen Xander at home."
He loved Xander, he really did, but happily ever after was only in children's
stories. Reality was tripping over each other in the bathroom in the morning,
listening to a daily towel count, and watching the love of his life inhale a
half a fucking chicken without seeming to need to breath.
"fucker must be a vampire." He mumbled.
Almost made him long for the uncomplicated days of fuck and flee
with Angel. Spike shook his head. No, he wouldn't do it. He
wouldn't cheat on Xander. Not even for the relief of commitment free
release. Besides, Spike thought, Angel probably wouldn't be interested
not while he was so in luuuurve with Max.
Gripping the steering wheel tightly in his fingers, Spike leaned forward and
allowing the frustrations of his life to take over, smacked his forehead against
the leather covered wheel, chanting a mantra on each whack.
"Damn. Damn. Damn."
Finally, deciding that it would not be good to face the shrink with a red crease
across his face Spike slumped back in his seat and sighed. He checked his
watch and knowing the garage was covered by security cameras decided he
Grabbing his briefcase and slamming the car door, he headed inside.
"You're late. You are way behind on your work and Mr. Hamilton is
screaming for his gun cabinet."
Xander cringed. It had taken him longer than he thought to clean up the mess
in the tiny apartment and by the time he dressed and slipped downstairs to
his cubicle in the wood shop a good two hours had passed.
Between all the time he had taken off to nurse Spike back to health and
then the vacation time Patrick had reluctantly given him, Xander knew
he had been woefully negligent on his wood working projects.
It was just one more aggravation in his already tense life.
"I know. I'm sorry Patrick. I just can't seem to get back in the swing of things,
but I promise I will do better. I can stay late today and get the cabinet finished
and come in early tomorrow to start on the china cupboard for Mrs. Winters."
The old man's annoyance melted at the sound of defeat in the boy's voice.
Xander was like a son to him and he worried about him. Patrick knew
Xander was special, he had seen what he could do and while Xander
viewed his gift as a blessing, Patrick sometimes thought it more of a curse.
Having him live in the upstairs apartment fed Patrick's need to protect
the boy. Keep an eye on him. Keep him safe.
He was also not very happy with Xander's choice of partner. It didn't
bother him in the least that this Spike character was a man, but it bothered
him immensely that he was a cop.
He had known enough cops in his lifetime to know they lived a dangerous,
usually self destructive life style and from what he'd seen so far, Spike
did not look like the exception to the rule.
Patrick eased in and after wiping the saw dust off the little red stool,
sat down in the corner of Xander's cubicle.
"Forget about all that for a minute, Xander. You talk to me first, yes?
What is happening up there? You two fighting? Is he treating you o.k?
You need Patrick to go up there and toss him out on his fat policeman's
Xander chuckled and wiped the walnut stain off his hands. He turned to face
the caring old man and rested his elbows on his knees.
"No. We aren't fighting, exactly. He's a good man, Patrick, and I do
love him, it's just that it's harder to live with someone than I thought.
He says the apartment is too small for two people and he wants to move."
Patrick shook his head. Even though he dreaded it, he knew this day
would come. He knew it was probably past time for the bird to leave the nest.
He just wished it wasn't to fly off with a vulture like Spike.
"What do you want, Xander? You know you are welcome to stay here as long
as you want. Where you gonna go? You not quitting on me are you? You
the best wood carver I got. Besides, you like my own boy."
Patrick reached over and ruffled the thick hair on the top of Xander's head
affectionately causing it to flop down over his eyes wildly.
Then, just as he was about to make another subtly insulting comment about
the police detective, Patrick's eyes lit up.
"Hey, I gotta idea that just might solve your problem. Grab your jacket and
come with me."
Xander watched, he was always amazed at how quickly those stubby little
arthritic legs could move when they wanted to. Leaping to his feet, Xander
snatched his wind breaker off the coat hook by the door and hustled after him.
Spike straightened his back and wiped all expression off his face as he entered
the back door of the station house. He had been told to report directly to the
fourth floor and the office of the department psychologist.
Dispatch officer Tim Taylor saw him coming and sneered in disgust.
"Ah Ah Ah fagchoo!"
He then sniffed and snuffed as if recovering from the huge sneeze.
Despite his earlier resolve, Spike stopped and purposefully turned to face him.
"You got something you want to say?"
Taylor just chuckled.
"Nope. Guess I'm just allergic. Must be something nasty floating around here."
The acid bubbled around in the pit of Spike's stomach and he wanted nothing
more than to slap that snotty smile off Taylor's face but knew it would only
make things worse. No, right now he had bigger problems.
It pissed him off to no end that Faith had already been cleared by IDC and
the psychologist and was back on duty, while Spike, just because he had been
stabbed, had to go through an undetermined number of counseling sessions
before he could return to regular duty.
Shifting his briefcase to his other hand, Spike flexed his shoulders and
turned to walk away, tossing back one last reply.
"Better take care of that cold. You never know when something as simple
as a bug can grab hold of you and end up killing your arse."