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
"What the Fuck?"
Spike could feel his blood boil. He instantly had a mental picture
of the old tv cartoons where steam rolled out a characters ears and
the top of his head exploded. He briefly wondered if his hair gel
Still, as prevalent as the anger was, the sense of betrayal was what
cut the most.
Xander had sided with the enemy!
Xander could feel the emotions flow from Spike and he wasn't sure
at first where they were coming from. All he knew was that Spike
remained firmly frozen on the outside of the door way and if Xander
didn't do something quickly, Spike might walk away, for good.
"Wait, Spike. I'm not sure why you're so mad but can't we just talk?
Please. Just come in."
Spike refused to budge. He glared at Xander and then in the
direction of the vile voice. His heart screamed at him to shut up and
go to the man he loved but his brain was in control of his feet.
"Why is he here Xander? Were you talking about me? Were you
checking up on me? You knew how I felt about him. You knew
having to go to those sessions was hell on earth for me."
Instantly the light bulb over Xander's head switched on and he knew.
He saw the whole picture and this time he had to side with Spike
and against himself. It seemed like their relationship was mired in
"Shit. Spike. I didn't know Heinrich was the psych you were seeing.
You never used his actual name. It was always Dr. Dick, Professor
Prick, or The Asshole. Although to be fair, I should have guess when
you called him The Brain Nazi. Anyway, we never talked about you.
Heinrich is very professional, he wouldn't have broken your confidence
like that. He's part of the Circle, Spike. He is Gunilla Hiney's husband.
Spike could feel himself slowly defuse as Xander spoke. It did make
sense. It did sound right. He might not like it, but he had promised
himself that he would be more open minded and apologize for his earlier
outburst, now here he was with another one under his belt.
He was beginning to think today was a mistake. Maybe he should wait,
give them more time apart,
"Look, Xan, maybe we just aren't................"
"That is enough! You have upset our Xander! You have upset our
circle and contaminated the vibration. Well do not like dat. You will
get yourself in here right now and you will make this right."
Spike jumped a foot straight into the air as the front door was jerked
out of Xander's hand and the short, stocky, stern looking woman from
before stood beside him. Her demeanor left no room for argument.
Spike hurried to comply.
Quickly, Xander took Spike's hand and led him into the dining room
full of people. Gunilla slammed the door behind him and called out
as they walked away.
"He is very handsome, Xander. Is he still da anal virgin?"
Spike choked. Xander snickered. Andrew's eyes lit up.
The rest of the room remained silent, waiting to see which way this
would play out and hoping for the best.
"Spike, I'd like you to meet my friends. This is Tara, Willow and
Andrew. I guess you already know Heinrich."
With a welcoming smile, Willow got up and approached cautiously.
She took Spike by the arm and led him to the table. At the same
time Gunilla marched in from the direction of the kitchen and slammed
a clean plate down.
Willow thanked her and encouraged Spike to sit with them.
"Come on in. Sit down and have something to eat. We don't stand
on formality. In fact, you can call me Bozo if you want."
Spike flinched at the reminder of his atrocious fit but the others,
even the Hiney's laughed so easily that he felt himself relax. He
had resolved earlier to give them a chance, to apologize for his childish
behavior and that seemed like the perfect segue.
"Um, I think we all got off on the wrong foot. I jumped to some
ugly conclusions and I said some, ah, well, I'd like to apologize to all
Instantly the tension broke and everyone spoke at once. The girls
cooed over him, Heinrich shoved the pot of food towards him and
Andrew scooted his chair close enough that their knees bumped.
Spike was starting to feel down right encouraged. He felt like the
weight of the world had lifted off his back and he stole a glance at
Xander whose face beemed with pride and love.
Gunilla slapped a huge ladle full of wiener schnitzel on his platter and
a small bubble of stomach acid in Spike's gut sent him a premonition
of his own.
With no hesitation, he dug in. It was small penance for his earlier sins.
Immediately, as if there had been no interruption, the rest of the group
resumed their discussion, now centering it on Spike.
Xander shoved the yellow pad in front of Spike and tried to catch him
up as quickly as possible.
"So during our calming chant, Gunilla went into a trance and began
writing. As you can see it says "Greene turtle" over and over again.
Generally what we have found is that the importance of the message is
magnified by the number of times it is written."
Spike looked around at everyone sitting staring at him.
He knew if he was to spend much time with the Circle he would have
to seriously alter his perception of "normal".
Spike swallowed, feeling the sharp spices and vinegar hit bottom.
It was going to be a contest to see if the food burned more going
in or coming out. He wiped his mouth with a paper napkin and
looked at the chaotic scribbling on the pad.
"O.k. so, green turtle. What....um.....what?"
Xander was thrilled. Not only has Spike not left, screamed, insulted
or mocked, he was actually interested and accepting.
"Two things. First, remember when I read the crime scene photo?
I kept getting the word turtle so I think Gunilla's reading has something
to do with your case. Usually a word or a sign is sent just as verification.
It doesn't mean there are any turtles in the case, it is just something the
spirits send as a way to let us know that we are on the right path. In this
case the code word "turtle" just lets tells us that whatever we are given
is tied to that. Second if you look at the spelling, it isn't green, like the
color, it's greene like a name."
Spike dropped his fork. It hit his plate with a greasy backsplash that
stained his best work shirt. He couldn't have cared less.
Tara crouched beside him and poured him a glass of wine.
'Does that mean something? Does that help?"
The rest of the group waited expectantly. They could see the wheels
spinning in Spike's head.
Shoving his plate aside, Spike jumped to his feet. For a minute
Xander feared it was an overload and Spike would run away again.
His fears were way laid when Spike held up both palms.
"Wait here! Don't move! I've got my file on the Myrtle Miller case in
Spike took off running, his feet trying their best to keep up with
his brain as his intestines gurgled with a premonition of their own.