PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT
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
Spike jumped up from his bar chair and put on a full kettle for tea.
He was only slightly able to suppress the urge to skip and shimmy
dance around the tiny kitchen as he retrieved his favorite
"Cops Do It With Handcuffs" coffee mug and the tin of good
Xander groaned, he knew from past experience that meant neither
of them would be getting any more sleep tonight. Only this time he
doubted the lack of sleep would include any marathon sucking sessions.
Quickly Spike rushed back to his lover, put his hands on Xander's
shoulders and turned him so that they were face to face, noses just
inches apart. He shook roughly and tried not to giggle as Xander's
head and hair flopped. He wanted to make sure the psychic was
He needn't have worried.
"Now, Love, look at the picture veeery carefully. Take your time.
Tell me what you see. What did dear, poor, sweet old Myrtle feel
at the end of her tragically short cut life?"
Xander frowned, wondering why Spike was talking to him in that slow,
clearly enunciated voice that insinuated that Xander was of limited mentality.
Xander was tempted to protest. He had heard the term idiot savant.
He was not one.
Xander sighed and picked up the two official photos of the victim.
He closed his eyes and cleared his mind, then opened them and focused
on the pictures in front of him. He silently ran his hand over them and
let the impressions infuse him.
He felt his body temperature rise and his flesh tingle.
Spike stood behind him. He was tempted to shove his cock in Xander's
ass, not in a sexual way, just as an attempt to connect. To see what
Xander was seeing.
He decided it might create a distraction.
He made tea instead.
"Not much I can tell you. She felt safe, tired, she had a stomach problem
and hadn't been able to eat that day. She was in pain. The hot water
helped. She looked forward to the bath.
She is confused and doesn't know what happened. She knows she
has passed but can't move on. She is at loose ends. She never saw it
coming. Whoever it was had sneaked up behind her and held her head under
water. She never had time to struggle. She was to weak to fight back."
Xander laid down the pictures. He drew in enough oxygen to fill his lungs
to capacity then slowly blew it out his mouth. He shook his hands and
flushed all thoughts and impressions from his mind.
Spike had seen Xander do this before and knew he wasn't finished.
As he always did when Xander gave a reading, Spike sat to the side
silently and wrote down everything Xander said. Like the placards in a
game of scrabble, Spike could sort through and rearrange them into
a workable solution later.
Picking up the pictures again, Xander tilted his head to the side, seemingly
listening to voices only he could hear.
"It was a man. He is comfortable here. He is someone that was known
Xander shook his head, confused, his brow wrinkled.
"I can't feel a motive. He isn't angry. He didn't steal anything from her.
He isn't someone who has ever done this type of thing before. I just
can't find a reason in him. He is.......blank. There is no anomosity,
no feeling for her one way or the other. The only other thing I am getting
that will be important is, and this is really strange, turtle. I get the word
Xander laid all the paperwork to the side and accepted the steamy
"Sorry, Spike. I know that doesn't help much. Maybe when you and Faith......"
"NO!. I mean, no, I don't think it is a good idea to talk to her just yet.
Besides, that asshole psychiatrist hasn't released me yet. If Giles thinks
this is a homicide he'll take it away. Fuck! He'll give it to Angel.
No, I think the best thing I can do is work this alone. Low key.
Undercover. Once I get close to solving it they will have to let me finish.
Hey, as a bonus it will prove that I'm fit to be back on the job. It's
Spike was now pacing, his bare feet slapping on the cold tile
of the kitchen floor, and mindlessly tapping his finger on his chin.
Xander didn't need his psychic abilities to see Spike's obsessive
personality begin to grow.
"You aren't going to help me pack today are you?"
"Pack? What the fuck are you.........oh, the house. Sorry, pet, would
love too, but poor Myrtle comes first."
Immediately Spike sat back down, sipped his tea and deleted his entire
report from the Jarte program on his laptop. He smiled happily and
began furiously tapping away. Most of what he put down was, at this
point, conjecture and innuendo, but it didn't bother Spike. He knew he
could prove it all later.
Xander eased up off his chair and backed away from the lion's head bar.
He had hoped, now that Spike's attention was diverted, to be able to
go back to bed. Slip in the nest of still warm blankets and let the sand
man be his companion tonight. It wasn't like cheating, he would gladly
have made it a threesome.
"Long as you're up, pet, do me a favor and put my cell on the charger.
Oh, and if your making breakfast I could go for an egg and toast.
Suddenly I'm hungry as.....um, Oh, hungry as.. you. Ha ha."
Xander scowled. How the hell could he be in love with someone like
Spike? It just didn't make sense. He was just so obsessive, so work
driven, so......everything Xander was not.
Xander wedged himself past Spike in the cramped little kitchen and
started breakfast. Suddenly it hit him.
"Hey, was that a crack about how much I eat?"
Spike was too far gone to respond.
"So since you are busy you won't mind if I have a friends over
to help with the house will you?'
Spike blinked. "Huh? Oh, yeah, good idea, that. You go right
Xander retrieved a carton of eggs from the fridge and set them by the stove.
"If we get a couple of the rooms done, we could move in tonight.
Spend our first night in the new place. Have supper in our own
dining room. What do you think."
Spike continued typing as rapidly as his fingers would go. He glanced
quickly at his notes from Xander's reading and added an extra paragraph,
"What? Sorry, Love. Supper? Sure, great, whatever you want to have is fine.
Xander briefly considered that this might be the perfect time to tell
Spike about the Circle. No, Spike couldn't possibly be that distracted.
Dr. Ahn arrived early in his office and was surprised to see he already had
three messages on his desk. He took his white lab coat off the hook and
slipped it on in exactly the same way he had every morning for the past
He was a man of routine. Routine and habit. Routine, habit and superstition.
He had learned years ago that diverting from his set pattern angered the
gods and caused their wrath to pour down on him in buckets of bad
luck and parking tickets.
Dr. Ahn did not tempt fate.
After taking the time to check and see if any new bodies had been delivered
during the night, he sat down at his desk and checked the post it's.
Message one was from Detective Pratt with a call back request.
Message two was from that annoying Mr.Jacobs about his Aunt.
Message three was from Chief Inspector Giles, ref: Mr. Jacobs.
The last two slips of paper immediately found their way into his
overflowing trash can. A destination the first message would have
also gone except for the fact that he liked the dedicated Detective.
He respected him and felt he was being treated unjustly in his delayed
return to duty.
Smiling at the thought that he could irritate Inspector Giles and help
William Pratt all at the same time, Dr. Ahn picked up his phone.