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.
Thanks to Petxnd for the lovely banner
The trip across town was quick but gave him time to slip comforably
into his professional mode. He didn't expect much on this preliminary
walk through, but it would help set a foundation for the rest of his
He entered the building and was met by an orderly who, reluctantly,
agreed to show him around.
First stop, the late Miss Miller's apartment.
The suite of rooms was small. A living room/ kitchen area
and a separate bedroom/ bathroom. Although painted an
institutional white, Spike could see that Myrtle had taken great
pains to make this her home.
Old, out dated black and white pictures sat around and showed
the smiling faces of a young couple very much in love. Others
chronicled the life of a small child as he grew into a young man.
A crocheted doily covered her toaster and a dish towel was folded
neatly on the side bar of the sink. Beside a padded rocking chair
he saw a pair of thick reading glasses that lay atop an open copy of
Readers Digest. Large print edition.
Spike continued to look around picking up different nick knacks in an
effort to get to know the deceased. He suddenly wished Xander was
here. He would love to know what psychic impressions the young
wood carver would receive.
Spike wondered, not for the first time, what it would be like to be able
to read people, dead and alive, the way Xander did. The whole
concept of it was entirely foreign to Spike. It wasn't anything he could
touch or see and because of that his brain couldn't grasp it.
Still, like the air he breaths, he trusts it to be real.
Xander, and everything about him, has shaken Spike down to the core.
Sometimes it overwhelmed him and, despite himself, Spike considered
running. Backing away and moving on.
Adam, the heavy set nurse's aid shuffled his feet nervously in the doorway.
The fierce expression in the police Detective's face made him uncomfortable
as hell. The department had never sent a full detective before. They always
sent a line officer. Everything was cut and dried, this case, although
unfortunate was certainly nothing special.
'Why the fuck send the big gun?' Adam chuckled at his own mental joke,
a pun he knew better than to share with the dour faced lawman.
"We feel real bad about what happened. You think you're gonna be much
longer? I got a couple a baths to give. You know sponge them sagin' sacks."
Adam laughed weakly. The detective clearly did not share in the humor.
Spike paused in his inspection and glanced at the fat man sweating in the
doorway. He suddenly wanted nothing more than to go over and slap the
face off the bastard. Poor people like Myrtle worked their whole lives
just to end up in a place like this. At the mercy of uncaring people looking
for a paycheck. Disrespected and disregarded by a shithead like him.
"I'll be finished when I'm finished." Spike snorted and turned his attention
back to the room in question. "You say the last time someone spoke to
her was in the dining room at supper? No one checked on her after that?"
Adam bristled. He wanted to tell that arrogant English ass hole detective
just what he thought of him. Give him a good what for. Remind him that this
is Adam's world and he can just fuckin' piss off.
"That's right, sir. Myrtle was one of our ambulatory residents. She was
able to do for herself so no one would have checked on her till bedtime.
The patients like that are required to call the main nurses desk before
they go to bed. If they don't call by 9:00 then we come look in on them.
That's when we found her."
Spike nodded. He turned and wandered over to the bedroom area. The
bed had been turned down but not laid on so she must have been preparing
to turn in for the night.
"Did she have any regular visitors that you know of?"
Adam thought for a moment, twisting his thumb ring nervously as he spoke..
"Sometimes the pastor from her old church drops in. She only had one son
and he died. I think Viet Nam maybe. Oh, yeah, her nephew sometimes
came by, but not often. Weren't nobody else."
Spike retrieved his camera from his briefcase and took a few pictures.
There really wasn't much here. No story, no crime, no point and to be
honest he knew he had dragged this out as long as possible.
"So what do you do now? With her things?"
Adam relaxed sensing an end to this "under the microscope" situation
"We toss everything in a box. Whatever her nephew wants he takes.
We donate all the usable clothes to charity and shit can the rest."
Spike again felt his palm itch for that slap, imagining how good the red
outline of his hand would look on Adam's puffy, bloated cheek.
Quickly collecting together all the tools of his trade, Spike snapped
shut his briefcase and headed for the door.
"I'll complete my report shortly. Till then I want her room left as it is.
You understand? No one goes in and takes things till I say so."
Adam shook his head and scratched his ass, the implied insult sailed
over his head.
"Better be quick. Administration has a waiting list for these assisted living
units. They will want it filled by the week end. Ain't no money in an empty room."
Spike elbowed him roughly as he passed, heading directly for the parking lot.
Today had given him a new respect for the line officers who handled this type
of assignment on a daily basis. 'How fucking depressing.' He thought.
Checking his watch he saw that he had taken longer than he intended and
would have to fly in order to make it to Momma Mabel's by the agreed
upon time with Xander. He snorted, knowing Xander would wait on him
like one hog waits on another.
"Spike! Over here!"
Spike looked around and saw his lover in the back booth waving his fork
in the air. Xander's smiling face seemed to melt away the tensions of the
day and he hurried to him.
"Hey, hope you don't mind, I started without you."
Spike laughed and signaled to the waitress.
"I would have been shocked if you hadn't."
The rest of the meal went quickly with Xander shoveling as much food in his
mouth in a short amount of time as possible. Spike was unable to get much
more than "just wait and see" out of him regarding the new apartment but
Spike could tell he was excited.
"Can you at least tell me where we are going? How big it is? How much
the rent is?"
"Nope. Oh, turn here. If I tell you, you might form an opinion and I want
you to have a completely open mind. Well, as open minded as you can be."
Spike rolled his eyes. One of their points of contention was that Xander
was so uncomfortably spontaneous and Spike was, well, not.
Watching the area, he knew they were headed to the older part of town.
A part where most of the large mansions had been bought up and converted into
condos. Other's were chopped into small apartments. Either way the
area was experiencing somewhat of a resurgence. Yuppies pumping big
dollars into living spaces creating chic, high end units.
Spike was actually getting a bit excited. Maybe, for once, he and Xander were
on the same page.
"Here! Stop here. Look isn't it great!"
Spike looked past his lover who was bouncing like a five year old badly in
need of a loo, and let his eyes reach the mansion behind him.
Apparently the owner of this dump hadn't gotten the memo yet.
Shabby chic was out.
Xander instantly slapped his hand over Spike's mouth.
"No. Wait. I know it's a bit rough, but wait till you see the inside. Come on
just promise not to be negative till you see it all. Promise?"
Spike nodded. He could wait. He could be negative later. He could be
very negative later. There had better be a hell of a flat in there.