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
Xander arrived only minutes before the others. He knew they
wouldn't be long so he left the front door stand open while he
proceeded to pull the dusty sheets off the furniture in the sitting
room. He had a lot to do today and couldn't wait to get started.
"Xan? Xander? You here?"
The hesitant voice echoed from the front hallway.
"Come on in. I'm in here."
Xander stepped over the growing pile of old covers he had tossed on
the floor and headed for the foyer. Before he had made three steps,
two bright, beaming smiles greeted him from the doorway and
both women leaped into his arms, squealing in his ears.
He caught them and pulled them in tight, their tiny twin frames
fit snuggly against him.
"Oh, Xander, it's magnificent! Isn't it hun?"
The quiet blond disengaged herself first and nodded.
Despite her usual shyness her face glowed at the electricity in the
air around them.
"It..It's wonderful. I...I can feel the vibration of the energy."
"Oh, Xander, she's right. Just feel it. It's all around us, and it buzzes
with residuals. This is perfect for us. This is perfect for the circle."
Xander was thrilled to share this with the other important people in
his life. He knew he was right about the mansion but hearing his girls
cosign with him just solidified his resolve.
He kissed the red hair that was tickling his nose and give her an extra hug
before setting her down.
Willow, his Willow, she had been his best friend since grade school.
Isolated from the other kids because of their strangeness they had formed
a bond that strengthened over time as their talents and abilities grew.
For years it had been just the two of them. Seeking a larger truth
in themselves and the world around them.
Tara had come into their lives one night when they had attended an
advertised seance on the college campus. Despite the spirits and medium
proving to be a fake the experience nonetheless enriched all their lives
Xander and Willow had been drawn to the feel of power from the blond.
Tara, a natural medium, the three of them had been together ever since.
Willow and Tara were drawn to each instantly, but that was more than
all right with him too. He knew their love and bond was like a shot of
plutonium to their power. It fed and charged it. It was an energy they
all derived strength from.
The others, like strays had gravitated to the magnetic pull of the three psychics,
and one by one became part of the group. Part of the circle. Equal, but
not, they all recognized Xander as the strength, the leader.
"Did you girls get hold of the others? Willow?"
Willow was walking around the sitting room running her hands over the
backs of the red velvet saddle back chairs. Pausing to stare at the
oil portrait that hung over the massive stone fireplace.
It was hard to sort through all the spirits that filled the house as
they came and went. Visiting, passing through, they inhabited but
were not trapped here as they stayed by choice.
He knew what she was feeling. It was a warmth, a welcome that was
distracting, inviting and called to them. It pulled them into the next
world and confused them.
"Huh? Oh, sorry, wow, Xan I've never felt anything like this. It's as if the
house itself is alive."
Tara chuckled and joined her girlfriend, taking her hand and tugging her
"Yes, we called them. Andrew will be here as soon as he can, of course.
You really do need to speak to him you know. His unrequited crush
is starting to cause a negative flow to the group. Gunilla has garden club,
I think she just heard the word 'scrubbing' and figured she'd pass, although
she did say she would drop off a crock pot of kraut and sausages later.
Her husband has appointments all morning. So anyway, I guess it's
just us four. Where do you want to start?"
Xander quickly outlined his plan to the girls. He thought it best to start
with four rooms. The sitting room, the dining room, the kitchen and
the bedroom. He had other plans for Andrew, who, right on schedule,
charged in through the front door and glued himself to Xander's side.
Andrew's chest heaved and moved as he gasp for breath. Having parked
his moped on the curb, he ran as fast as his bean pole legs would carry him.
It was rule #1 in his life. Xander called, he came.
"I'm here, Xan. Willow said you needed me."
Xander smiled and shook his head. The boy was like a puppy. Eager,
willing to please, and unfortunately totally hormonal as a, well, the 17 year
old he was.
Xander knew he needed to sit down with Andrew but he just couldn't
bring himself to do it. Hurting anyone's feeling was something Xander
hated to do. He still clung to the hope that discouraging the boy's
advancements would soon see him giving up in favor of someone
his own age.
Xander recognized the untamed psychic ability Andrew possessed and was
doing his best to help the boy direct and develop it. Xander knew that,
in time, Andrew's natural talents and abilities could far exceed his own.
Xander had often wondered if that wasn't his bigger purpose in life. Not
to use his own talents, but to lead by example. Encourage the pursuit of
spirituality and advance the understanding of our place in both this world
and the next. In Spike's case, Xander felt like he was failing.
"Catch your breath, Andrew, and what did I tell you about riding that thing
without a helmet? You want to crack that skull before I have the chance to
mold it into something workable?"
Xander tapped his knuckles on the grinning boy's forehead and smiled
warmly at his exuberance.
"I'm sorry, Xan. I forgot but when Willow called......."
"I do need you. I need you to show me some of those gardening talents
you are always bragging about. We are want to start with the front
of the house today. We need the grass cut, the shrubs trimmed and the
weeds pulled. Do you think you can do all that? The carriage house out
back has everything you should need."
Andrew's face exploded in excitement. It was a chance to spend the day with
the man of his dreams and give him what he wanted, even if that was just a
"I can do that. I can make it great. You just wait and see. Hey! Hi Willow!
Andrew waved at the women and dashed out the way he had come, leaping
down the front steps two at a time and darting around the side of the mansion
toward the small detached building in the rear. See could easily imagine living
here. He and Xander, together, doing grown up things like drinking coffee
and buying a dog. No, dogs made him sneeze. Maybe a bird, no maybe...
suddenly "turtle" popped into his mind.
Andrew stopped and shook his head. Why on earth he thought Xander
would want a turtle confused him, but, hell, whatever Xander wanted,
Andrew wanted to give.