bmblbee (bmblbee) wrote in bloodclaim,

Period Of Adjustment

Author: BmblBee
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.

Announcement: I would like to thank whoever nominated my short story
"Legend Of The Cock-Ness Monster" for the Forbidden Awards.
That means more than you could know. THANKS!

Thanks to Petxnd for the lovely banner

Spike slowed at the caution light and stopped for the red.
Both partners had sunk into a comfortable silence as each
pondered the case and their next step.

"So what do you think?"

Spike looked over at the question and knew the next step was
up to him. He could go home to a warm bed, a new house,
and a willing, loving partner, or..................

"I say we head over to the nursing home. I think we need to
talk to Adam Kinsey before his has a chance to check in with
Mindy and compare notes. If we handle this just right we can
wrap it up fast and close it. What do you think?"

Faith smiled and nodded. It was great to be back on the same
page with an intelligent partner. She couldn't wait to see Angel's
face when he got the news.
More importantly, she wished she could see Kennedy's face.

Spike saw the dark cloud looming over Faith's head and he knew
she needed to talk about it whether she wanted to or not.

"So. You and Kennedy arguing?"

Faith eyes burned with anger at the intrusion, but it was a fury she
couldn't maintain. Truth was she needed to get it all out and who
better than the man she thought of as much brother as partner.

"Problems?" She barked out a harsh laugh. "I think you have to talk
to argue."
She shook her head and turned her face away.
"She left me. Walked out. Kapoot. I don't even know where she
is, Spike. I call her a dozen times a day and get nothing. Maybe
she's hurt. Maybe she's...."

The rest of her sentence was choked off as Spike reached over and
placed his hand over her's.

"O.k. stop that kind of thinking. Listen, Kennedy has been through
a lot. More than any of the rest of us. Besides the shock of Elvin's
crimes, I'm sure she is carrying a lot of guilt at not knowing it was him."

Feeling Faith tense up, he held tightly to her hand.
"I'm not saying the feeling is justified, but you have to agree, we
have a lot of our own guilt to deal with. Let's be honest, Faith,
keeping the rose a secret was a judgement call and we made the
wrong call."

Spike saw the anguish in Faith's eyes but went on.
"You know it's true, Faith, and it's time it was said. We screwed up.
It's something we will take to our graves with us but it isn't something
we can allow to paralyze us. We have to go on. We each have to
find a way inside ourselves to deal with it and I think that's what
Kennedy is doing. Whatever we are feeling, she must be carrying
100 times that. When she finds that path, that way to reconcile her
place in the whole scenario, then she will need you to help lead her
down it. You have to be strong and patient. She'll call. She'll come
back. I know because I very nearly threw it all away with Xander.
Luckily, he's a lot smarter than I am."

Spike smiled and gave her fingers one last squeeze as they pulled
into the parking lot of the Leesville Nursing Home.

"Now, you ready to do this?"

Faith dug a tissue from her bag, blew her nose, and took a deep
"Yeah, I'm ready. Oh, and just for future reference, Xander isn't
the only smart one. Thank's Spike."

"Anytime, Partner. Now let's go get 'em."

As they entered the home, Spike wasn't surprised to see new security
measures in place. Just inside the front door sat a small table, chair and
300 pound security guard with a name tag reading. "Orvill".

Spike and Faith immediately displayed their badges and signed the book
that was shoved in their direction.

Orvill removed the tooth pick from his mouth, clearly unimpressed
with their authority.
"Near on to five o'clock. All the big wigs in the main offices probably
already gone home for supper. Who you wantin' to see?"

Faith looked up as she leaned over the admissions book.
"We would like to speak with Mrs. Winters but if she is gone then we
just need to look over the personnel files. I'm sure someone here can
unlock those for us."

Orvill looked stunned. That was certainly nothing that was in his job
description of sign 'em in and sign 'em out. A fuck up in the wrong
direction could cost his the cushiest job he had ever had.
He stammered. He waivered. He sweated.

Luckily, just before the expected heart attack knocked him from his
padded swivel chair,

"Detective Pratt?"

Spike turned to see Joyce Winters enter the foyer. She had her
coat tossed over her arm and her briefcase in her hand hoping for
once to get out of work on time.

Spike stepped forward, hand extended, easy smile on his face.
"Mrs. Winters. This is my partner Faith St. John. I know you are
on your way out and we'll try not to keep you. If possible we
would like to see your personnel files and then maybe speak to
Adam Kinsey once more."

Joyce Winters weighed her options. She could demand a warrant
for the requested files. She could refuse to allow her employee to
be reinterviewed. She could spend all night here and in the end
she knew these detectives would get what they wanted and she
would have blown another night away from home.

'Home' Joyce huffed.
Unfortunatly there was nothing at home but a frozen dinner for one
and a 14 year old cat. Neither of which was all that appealing.
She also didn't want to do anything that may appear that she hindered
the investigation.

"Of course. Anything to cooperate in your investigation. We want this
solved as quickly and quietly as possible. Do you think Mr. Kinsey had
something to do with it?"

Spike and Faith followed her to her office and waited while she
unlocked the door, stepped inside and retrieved the requested file.
"We really aren't at liberty to say just yet."

Faith scanned the page and when she found what she was looking for her
blank face was the signal Spike had been waiting for. No tell was her tell.
A total lack of reaction was all he needed to see.

"Mrs. Winters, may we make a copy of this one page?"
Faith left no doubt that the request was not one that could be denied and
Joyce Winters pointed the way to the copy machine.

Faith handed the copied page to Spike and the original file back to the
"I think we are ready to see Mr. Kinsey."

Spike scanned the page. It was Adam Kinsy's original job application.
Half way down the page it requested references. Adam Kinsey had listed
two people. Mindy Greene, his sister, and Mark Jacobs, her employer.

He looked over and the electricity that shot between their eyes was a
familiar one. He and Faith had this pony corralled. All they needed to
do now was throw a saddle on it's back and ride it down town.

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