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
This evening was very important and Xander wanted no
glitches, arguments or misunderstandings. He and Spike
had had enough of those to last a life time.
The Hiney's had left around 5 and taken Andrew with them.
Willow and Tara stayed behind to help clean up. It was
just like old times and Xander had to admit to himself that
as much as he loved Spike, he needed his friends too.
The whole day had been fantastic. He and Spike were back together.
Spike and his friends, his family, were on at least speaking terms
and the bedroom was finally on the verge of being properly christened.
Nothing else could possibly go wrong.
Tara filled the sink to the rim with hot bubbly water and
quickly loaded the dishes in while Willow prepared to dry.
"Xan, Sweety, why don't you check the living room and the dining
room to make sure we got all the wine glasses."
Whistling happily, Xander floated happily from the kitchen to do
as he was told.
Tara smiled innocently as she watched him go. The minute he
was out of ear shot she shook the soapy foam off her hands
and grabbed Willow's arm, getting her attention.
"Did you ask him? Did you? You said you were going to. We
don't have much time, Willow."
Willow avoided her gaze, shaking out her dish towel and fussing with
the stack of food crusted pots.
"Well, no, not exactly. The opportunity just didn't seem to come up.
But I will. I said I would and I will. Anyway, there won't be any problem.
Just look at this place. It's huge. Xander would be thrilled to have us move in
with them. It'll be great. You just wait and see."
The last part was said with much less enthusiasm than Willow had tried to
Tara seemed unconvinced.
"What about Spike? I don't think he hates us any more, but I'm not sure
he would be excited to have us chanting and raising the dead at midnight
in the middle of his sitting room while he is trying to watch the Lakers game."
Willow flinched. Spike was going to be their biggest obstacle.
"Don't be silly. Spike is crazy about us. Any way, he needs us, especially
now that the Circle will be helping him solve all his cases. I just know
he will be tickled pink over us moving in. It's gonna be great."
"What's gonna be great?"
Both girls looked up as Xander breezed back into the kitchen with three
more wine glasses to wash.
Tara turned her back to him, resuming her cleaning and concealing the
worried look on her face. This was a job for Willow. The same Willow
who was now shrugging and smiling easily.
"Oh, we just meant you and Spike together tonight. It's going to be great.
I mean how could it not? This is such a great place and you guys are
really great together. It's just great. Really great. What time will he be
Xander looked at his best friend and somewhere in the back of his
mind red flags and warning bells were screaming, unfortunately before
he had the chance to ask, the cell phone he had dropped in his
pants pocket vibrated and jangled loudly.
"Xan. love, 's me. Faith and I think we can start to wrap this case up
tonight if we just stick with it for a while. Do you mind? If it's going
to be past midnight I'll call back. Will you still wait up?"
Xander smiled. The warm tingle that just hearing Spike's voice always
caused spread through his body and settled equally in his chest and pants.
Turning away from his girls, Xander wandered out of the kitchen into
the privacy of the hallway.
"I'll wait all night for you if you want me too. Besides, when you get home
I don't want you to have anything else on your mind besides what I'm going
to do to you. I'm gonna put my lips on every inch of your body. Your
mouth, your chest, your cock and all the way down to those long slim
sweet little bony toes."
"Don't do this, Xan. Not now. Please, not now."
Faith immediately snatched the phone from Spike's white knuckled fingers.
"Xander! I don't know what you just said to him but I can imagine.
Shame on you. We're in an old folks home, you perv. Do you want
to scare the residents?"
"Hi Faith. O.k. Take care of him and don't keep him out too late.
We have plans. Hey, remind him............."
Suddenly whatever Xander was going to say died in his throat as the image of
Kennedy sitting alone, crying, in a motel room flooded his senses.
Her loneliness, guilt, and sorrow overwhelmed him.
"Remind him of what? Xander?"
Xander tried to pull himself together hoped the tone of his voice didn't
reveal the change of mood.
"Oh, um, nothing. Never mind. Tell Spike I love him and I'll see him
when he gets home. Bye."
Faith blinked at the quick cut off as she handed her partner his phone back.
"He says hurry up, he loves you and don't forget.........something."
Spike smiled. He didn't forget. He knew what Xander expected, but that
was for later. Right now they had a suspect to interview.
Xander closed the phone and returned to the kitchen where the girls were
finishing the clean up and exchanging curious looks.
Finally, in response to Tara's head tipping and eye rolling, Willow
decided to breach the subject.
"Say, Xan, Honey, do you remember me telling you that the lease is almost
up on that dinky little apartment Tara and I are living in?"
Xander wondered how he could have been so negligent to not even consider
what Kennedy and Faith must be going through.
"Huh? Oh, lease, yeah?"
"Yeah, well you know what a shit hole it is any way. Small, dingy, shoot,
we even had a mouse last spring, remember?"
If the emotions Xander had picked up were any indication, Kennedy was
alone. That meant she and Faith were not together. Xander wondered if
Spike knew and if he did, why he hadn't said anything.
"What? What mouse?"
Xander jumped back and looked all around the floor waiting for a flash of
brown fur to zip by as the offending creature made an appearance.
Willow laughed nervously and swatted his arm.
"Not here silly. At our place. You know the cramped little hovel that we are being
thrown out of because we can't make the rent increase. Cause let's face it, I'm
on minimum wage at the Magic Box and Tara doesn't make much more working
over at the book store at the mall. And who the hell has the nerve to charge
that kind of money anyway for a one bedroom walk up with no air conditioning
and a hot water heater that only holds enough hot water for one shower a day?"
Willow's voice had settled into a low hum in the back of his mind. Like
a radio left on for background noise the words were indistinguishable.
Xander made up his mind right there and then to speak to Spike about trying to get
Faith and Kennedy together and work things out. They were so good together
and there was no way Elvin was going to screw with her life one last time.
Not if Xander could help it.
Willow took the damp dish rag and wiped off the counters as she muttered
almost under her breath.
"So we're going to be out on the street with no place to live unless a really
good friend with a huge house invites us to move in. Course we won't expect to
stay for free. We can help with utilities and groceries and the price of seance
candles has really gotten exorbitant."
Now that Xander had made the decision and knew what he and Spike would do,
he felt 100% better.
"I'm sorry, Willow, what were you saying?"
Willow took a deep breath and crossed her fingers.
"I said, you're that good friend that is always there for us, aren't you?"
Xander's face beamed with a smile that reached from his heart to the corner
of his eyes. He threw and arm around Willow's shoulders and the other around Tara's
He pulled both his girls in close and kissed the tops of their heads.
"I sure am. I will always be there for my bestest girls."
Willow and Tara took that as a YES.