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
It was just like old times. Spike at the wheel of the Corvette,
arm resting outside the window and the police scanner turned
down on low. Faith, settled in comfortably in the passengers seat
beside him, and the two of them discussing their current case.
Their pattern of sharing information, formulating ideas and plans
seemed to fall into place so effortlessly it was as if Elvin Masters
had never happened.
But, he had, and neither of them would ever be the same again.
It was always there in the backs of their minds and although not
discussed, each knew the other was still suffering.
Still, they had each other and they had a job to do.
"So is this all you have?"
Faith held up the thin folder that it had just taken her all of five
minutes to review.
"Well, that's all I have on paper, but I do have other, um, speculations."
"And would those "speculations" have come from a certain......."
Faith wiggled her fingers over her head and whistled the theme from
The Twilight Zone.
"Xander, the magnificent, Harris?"
Spike had already decided now was not the time to mention the Circle.
"Ha ha, Smart Arse. Yes, as a matter of fact they do. You want to
question his validity?"
Faith threw up her palms.
"Nope. No doubts or questions in my mind. So what does he think
and where are we going?"
Spike quickly filled her in on the name and she agreed that the best
place to start was with Miss Greene herself. Suddenly his confidence
on solving this case was boosted ten fold as they sped through the
late afternoon California streets.
"Um, say, Spike?"
"Hey, just hypothetically, do you think Xander could use his interesting
little talents to, um, say, find a missing person?"
Spike took his attention off the double yellow lines of the pavement and
looked into the face of his friend. He suddenly became aware of the dark
circles under her eyes and the bony, sunken look to her already
"You got a missing person? A case Giles put you on, or is it something
more personal? How's Kennedy these days, Faith?"
Faith turned her body as far as the small bucket seat would allow
and stared silently out the window. Spike drove on but promised
himself to talk to Xander this evening.
Within minutes they pulled in to the visitors parking area of Jacobs
Financial Investment building and immediately headed for the office
of Mr. Jacobs himself.
As they approached the receptionist they were delighted when her
welcoming smile fell and was replaced by a scowl as she recognized
"Oh, Detective, ah, Pit?"
"Pratt. William Pratt. I'm surprised you remembered me since we didn't
get a chance to speak the last time I was here. It's Miss Greene isn't it?"
The buxomly blonde did her best to look aloof and she flipped her hair
in a move that reminded both detectives of a certain weather girl on
"It's MRS. Greene. Although I'm divorced. Look, Mr. Jacobs is
tied up in meetings all afternoon and can't see you today. Maybe
if you leave and then call me on the phone I can set up an appointment
"Oh, that won't be necessary. We actually came to speak to you. Is
there some place we can go for a bit of privacy?"
A look of stunned shock drained the blood from Mindy Greene's
face and it was all Faith could do to suppress a gleeful giggle.
Doing her best to compose herself, Mindy showed the two detectives
to a back room that was obviously set up as a break and lunch room.
It had a coffee machine, a small refrigerator and an older model
microwave sat on the crumb covered counter. apparently a cleaning
lady was not in the budget. They all settled in, getting reasonably
comfortable in the hard plastic chairs that sat around the square
Neither Spike nor Faith spoke for a few minutes. They always liked
to give their suspects a moment or two to sweat and fidget before
It gave them an edge going in.
"So, Mrs. Greene, how long have you been schtuping the boss?"
Mindy Greene leaped to her feet. Her face was no longer pale as the
blood rushed to it and her temper flared. Instantly, Faith put a gentle
reassuring hand on Mindy's arm.
"Sit down, Dear. You must excuse my partner. He has no manners.
Now I think what he was asking is, what IS your relationship with
Glaring daggers at Spike's smirk, Mindy slowly lowered herself back
"We are friends and he is my boss. That's all. Besides, he's married.
Faith flipped open the file and appeared to scan the reports. Reports
she already knew by heart.
"Well, it says here that on the day Miss Miller died you and Mr. Jacobs
were having lunch together. Is that right?"
Spike crossed his legs and chuckled.
"Is that what you call it now days? Lunch?"
Mindy Greene blew up. She jumped to her feet and screeched, her fists
balled up at her sides.
"You're an asshole. I won't talk to you. You can't just come in here
and treat me like this!"
Faith stood up beside her and faced off with her obnoxious partner.
"She's right, Spike. That was uncalled for. If you can't treat her with
the dignity and respect she deserves then I think you need to leave
and let me talk to her alone."
Spike shrugged and stood, seemingly unconcerned.
"Yeah, well, hurry up. I have other things to do today."
He then turned and left the room, closing the door behind him quickly
to conceal the huge grin on his lips.
Faith laid a hand over one of Mindy's, patting her sympathetically.
"I'm sorry, Hon. You know how awful men can be. Just between
the two of us I got a boyfriend at home that acts like a jerk too.
In fact, sometimes I don't know why I stay with him."
Mindy instantly felt a kinship with this woman detective. After all
they certainly were fighting the same fight. Her life had been one failed
relationship after another and now, thank God, she had someone who
Faith ran her hand up and down Mindy's arm soothingly.
"So. MEN! What kind of man is Mark Jacobs? Is he an ass like all
the rest of them?"
Mindy immediately lit up. Her eyes shone like the star at the top of a
Christmas tree and her whole body vibrated.
"NO! He's wonderful." She sighed, dreamy eyed. "He gave me this job.
I used to sell shoes at the Toe Tapper down at the mall but he said he
wanted me near him."
Faith leaned in, whispering conspiratorially like a 13 year old.
"Are you and him..........you know?"
Mindy slapped her hand over her mouth, nodded and giggled.
Immediately her demeanor turned serious.
"Yes. But it isn't something cheap like your partner said. We're in
love. He wants to get a divorce and marry me. He promised."
Faith appeared totally concerned for her newest best friend's welfare.
"Then why doesn't he? It isn't fair for him to string you along like this."
Mindy sat back in her chair. Her eyes dropped to her lap and her
fingers fumbled with the bottom button on her tight blouse.
"He couldn't cause that bitch of a wife of his ran up a whole lot of
bills. You know, credit cards and stuff. If he tried to leave her
she would have ruined him. He promised as soon as he could
find a way to pay everything off he would file for divorce."
Faith painfully gripped her own knees to keep from squealing.