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
Despite the feeling of relaxation and after glow from the amazing
foot sex, the trip back to their small upstairs apartment was one of
negotiation and diplomacy. Give and take. Offer and counter offer.
No used car salesman could have done better.
Spike was stubborn and didn't like the feeling that he was being
manipulated, his future decided for him. He was torn between his
love and desire to make Xander happy and his reluctance to
make such a drastic change in lifestyle.
Xander operated less on reasoning than on emotional response.
He knew how he felt in the house. He could see them living
together there and couldn't understand Spike's resistance to the
Finally by the time the small red Corvette reached the parking space
outside the Divine Creations wood shop, both men felt as though
they had won several points and compromised on a few others
in their agreement.
Spike had agreed, as they both knew he would, to move into the
mansion on the other side of town. However it would be on a
30 day trial period with the understanding that if it just wasn't working
out Xander would find an apartment for them to move to.
After expressing concerns about the amount of over growth around the house,
Xander agreed to hire someone to come in and initially get the front
yard mowed, weeded and the porch fixed. Spike had been thrown
off guard when Xander casually told him he had a friend that did yard
work and would be glad to help out, probably for nothing.
It wasn't as though Spike thought Xander had lived in a cocoon before they met.
Of course the boy had friends. Immediately Spike's suspicious nature
kicked in and his thoughts wandered off topic. Curious as to who these
friends were and why he had never met any of them, Spike's eyes
shifted to the young man sitting next to him. The handsome psychic who
was still mindlessly babbling along.
"We can sit down together and make out a list of the other things that need
to be done, you know, by priority. Patrick doesn't expect everything to be done
over night. He's just glad to have us here. It'll be great, you'll see."
Spike squinted and scowled at Xander's confidence.
"Just who the fuck is this grand gardener? This wizard of weeds. This
master of the mower that will come running at your beck and call?"
Xander chuckled. He was getting used to Spike's jealousy and let it
pass like a fart in the wind. Annoying at first, he knew his lover's suspicions,
like an eye watering odor, would fade quickly. Glancing up, he grinned
as Raymond's spirit took an open handed swipe at the back of
"Just a friend. A young man that has a lawn care service. His name is
Andrew and actually now that you mention it, I've been wanting you to
meet some of my friends. Maybe after we get all settled in we can have
a few people over. Nothing big just a few of us. Some of your friends
at the station and the, um, Circle."
"Oh, ha ha, that's just what we call ourselves. Silly isn't it? Oh, look,
we're home. Come on, we have plans to make, boxes to pack, lists to
Xander kicked his door open and was out of the car before Spike had even
shut off the engine. He watched as his boy disappeared up the side steps and
"The circle? What the fuck?"
Dr. Ahn, the county ME looked up from his laptop and stared at the phone
that sat ringing on his desk, mentally willing it to stop. When it appeared
the caller would not give up he removed the small round reading glasses
from their perch on the end of his nose and he stood up.
Stretching the kinks out of his back he straightened himself to his full height
of 5'4" and waddled over to the cluttered desk where he fished around till
he located the offending instrument..
"Hello? Yes? This is the office of the ME. What can I do for you?"
"Hello, Doctor Ahn? This is Mark Jacobs. I believe you have the body of my
aunt Myrtle. She was the victim of an accidental drowning in the nursing home
where she was a resident?"
Dr. Ah frowned. It was very unconventional for a family member to call
him personally. He did not like people who did not follow the rules.
He was not a fan of spontaneity.
"Yes, I have the body. What is it that you want to know Mr. Jacobs?"
"Well, the fact is, Doctor, as you know I am Aunt Myrtle's only living
relative and unfortunately she has outlive all of her friends as well. Because
of that as well as the fact that I travel a lot for business, I was hoping I could
get you to release the body immediately for cremation. I have already
spoken to the funeral home and they are prepared to collect the remains
this evening and we can handle the, ah, situation, tomorrow."
Dr. Ahn riffled through the mountain of organized disorganization on his desk
and was unable to locate what was needed.
"No. I don't have the final report from the Detective assigned to your
Aunt's case. I cannot sign off on the death certificate till I read his
report and I make sure it collaborates with my findings. I'm sure that was
all explained to you. This is the law Mr. Jacobs. These things must
be done properly. By the book, as they say."
Mark Jacobs tolerance for presumptuous and uppity foreigners was
short fused with lowly clerks and civil service people, but it took real
restraint to keep it from exploding when he was confronted by one in
authority. He wanted nothing more than to build a huge boat, shove them
all on it and set it to sea. Then blow it out of the fucking water.
"Doctor! Maybe you don't understand English well enough to comprendo
what I am saying. I. Am. A. Very. Busy. Man. It was a simple,
stupid accident. Now I am due to be in Atlanta in two days and I need
to put this tragic and unfortunate incident behind me."
Dr. Ahn's nose wrinkled in distaste and he resolved to lose the Detectives
report, when it did arrive, for at least an extra day or two.
"I understand that you are grief stricken and not thinking clearly Mr. Jacobs
so I will not assume your statements were meant to be disrespectful
or intimidating. However, if you give me your name and number, I will
contact the Detective, collect his report as soon as it is complete and call
you immediately after. That is the best I can do for you."
Mark Jacobs rolled his eyes and choked back the screams of frustration.
Gritting his teeth, he took a deep breath and gave the doctor his name
and address, careful to spell out each word. He then gave his phone
number, twice, and elicited a promise that, yes, the ME's office would
be in touch.
Dr. Ahn hung up, ending the unpleasant conversation, and returned to
his computer. He had already disregarded the caller but did resolve to
locate a pencil and pad of paper to keep by the phone. Not that he
actually would have written down the man's name and number even if
he had them, it was just that he thought it was probably a good idea.