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
Spike was enormously grateful that it had been a relatively slow day and he
had been able to leave the station house early. Although to be honest, he
suspected that the real reason that he had been given the whole afternoon
off work was because Giles himself was on the list of invitees
for what had quickly turned into the housewarming party of the year.
The last two weeks had been hectic with the work he and Faith
were still doing on the Miller murder as well as the other cases
she had been working while he was off. They had secured an arrest
warrant on Mindy Greene and were confident of a conviction.
When he had agreed to Xander's idea of the house warming party
he had originally thought it would be just his circle of friends and
maybe one or two from the station for a quiet evening round the
He still had trouble remembering where they went wrong.
Spike stood in the kitchen where he had gone to retrieve another
bottle of scotch and a tray of shrimp and wondered how much luck
he would have trying to locate his lover. Last time he had seen him
he was laughing at some inane joke Heinrich Hiney was sharing by the
"Hey, Spike, let me squeak by you, k? I need to take another tray of
clean glasses out to the bar. Hey, your partner, Faith is a hoot. She's
out there telling everyone about that case you guys had where you
thought the bones were human and they turned out to be a monkey that
escaped from the circus. Ha ha!"
Spike cringed as Willow gathered up what she needed and left the room.
Still, he couldn't find it in his heart to get mad at her. She and Tara
had been here every day, cleaning, scrubbing and had the entire house
glowing like the day it was new.
Spike shook his head. Xander was lucky to have friends like these.
Those girls worked like they were cleaning their own home.
Working his way back through to the dinning room he stopped and
refilled Dr. Ahn's glass, not wanting to interrupt the deep conversation
he seemed to be enjoying with Joyce Winters.
She hung on every word as he regaled her with his exploits as the
undercover partner of the Lead Detective on Homicide. He had even
confided in her that his code name was Turtle. Something she found
most endearing and insisted on calling him, much to his delight.
As usual, the police officers had grouped up in a back library and
shared limitless war stories of the cases they had worked and the
suspects pursued. The cigar smoke fogged the room and the
beer bottles moved in an unending rotation of empty, full, empty.
Moving fluidly from one room to the next, Spike stopped to chat with
different groups and individuals, but kept rolling to assure himself that
everyone had what they needed.
"I can't believe how wonderful the house looks. Xander, you
have done an amazing job. And still completed all your projects."
Patrick had wandered through the whole house when he first
arrived then sought out his favorite employee.
Xander refilled his own glass of wine and then handed one to
Patrick. "This house is incredible, Patrick. We are so grateful
for the chance to live here. The energy is so positive that the
vibration of the Circle has never been stronger. Willow and
Tara seem to have taken a real liking to the place. They have
been here almost every day getting the upstairs in order. I told
them it wasn't necessary, but......."
Whatever else he was going to say was cut off by another knock on
the door. After excusing himself he watched as Patrick was joined by
Giles who ask about the history of the mansion.
Smiling, Xander opened the door and was both shocked and pleased
to see Kennedy standing sheepishly on the threshold clutching a bottle
"I know I wasn't exactly invited, but can I come in?"
Xander immediately grabbed her by the arm to assure himself that she
couldn't run away and he pulled her inside.
"Oh, God, Kennedy. We have all been so worried about you. How
"I'm better. I really am better. Doctor Hiney has been a saint. I don't
think I could have made it without him. In fact, I hope you don't
mind but he's the one who invited me tonight."
Kennedy peered around Xander, looking in both directions.
"Is, um, Faith here? Do you think she still wants to see me? Maybe
I shouldn't have come."
Xander grabbed her hand as she took a step backward to the door.
"Don't you even think about leaving. She will be thrilled to see you.
Come on, let's see if we can't find her."
Xander noticed Spike standing in the dining room with Daniel Osborn
and gave Spike's surprised look a thumbs up as he steered Kennedy towards
the last spot he had seen Faith as she listened to Angel brag about Max's
When she glanced up and saw Kennedy, Faith turned her back on the
man and conversation she had already blocked out and cautiously
"Hi, Faith. Hope you don't mind me coming here tonight. I thought
maybe we could talk about.............."
The rest of her practiced speech was cut off by the kiss that sealed her
lips to Faith's. The other guests in the crowded room paid them no
attention as they continued milling about, eating, drinking, visiting and
paying no interest in the two women kissing, embracing, and whispering
in the center of the room.
Unfortunatly, that left Angel standing awkwardly alone. As one of the guests,
though Spike couldn't imagine why Xander had invited him, Spike felt he
should at least speak to Angel.
"And where is the famous Max Webster tonight?"
Angel's face lit up with pride.
"Max went on ahead to Washington. He started last week on the
evening news show and is supposed to go to the middle east next
week for a story."
Spike nodded, trying to feign interest.
"So are you moving to Washington with him?"
"Oh, well, yeah, of course. He just thinks that now is not a good time.
You know with him just getting settled and then being sent all over
the world on assignments. He says we should wait till we see what's
going to happen. I guess he's right. I'm sure he misses me. I'll be
moving soon I'm sure."
Spike nodded as one word screamed in his head. 'DUMPED'
"Yeah, sure, he probably doesn't have a second to spare. Say, whatever
happened to Buffy Summers. Didn't you two have a thing?"
Angel wrinkled his face in embarrassed disgust as he took a big swig of
jack and coke.
"Yeah, well, I heard the station had her on a six week suspension and was
making her do community service type shit. You know serve meals to the
homeless, clean cages at the cat shelter, donate stilettos and designer,
sequined jeans to the Salvation Army. She'll be back on the air. You
can't keep Buffy down."
Before Xander had the chance to rescue Spike from Angel, another
knock sounded and he again acted as door man.
"Hi, Xan. This is Jake."
Xander stood back as Andrew stepped in, a taller boy with a distinctive
jock look about him was plastered to his side. Jake gave Xander the
slow, piercing once over.
"So you're Xander, huh? Well it's only fair to tell you that Andrew is with
me now. Just so there's no misunderstanding."
Xander tried not to show his amusement.
"Oh, I understand. I appreciate you honesty. Please, come in. Punch and
food's in the kitchen. Help yourselves."
As they walked off Xander heard Jake ask "That's Xander? Hrumph, he's
not so much. Don't know what you saw in him."
Xander chuckled and was glad Hiney had had the safe sex talk with
Andrew. It looked like he was going to need it.
By midnight, the alcohol had taken it's toll and the house was getting
rowdy. Turtle Ahn and Joyce Winters were making out like teenagers
on the sofa. Faith and Kennedy had disappeared upstairs. Gunilla was
heard to be loudly challenging Ham Nichols to an arm wrestling contest
while half the detectives in Vice were chanting encouragement and
Angel had completed a crying jag by falling asleep on the kitchen floor
and Oz was slow dancing with Dawn Summers in the library.
Spike wandered lazily through the house, his house, till he located his
better half. Xander turned to him and smiled.
"There you are. What do you say we start to toss these bums all
out on their ears and I give you a proper house warming gift?"
Spike kissed Xander lightly on the lips.
"Sounds great. Hey, Xan, I went out back a while ago to get some air
and there's a big stack of boxes on the back porch. They are marked
"kitchen", "bedroom" "personals". They yours? I thought we had
everything all unpacked. You know what they are?"
Xander shook his head.
"Nope, but it can't be anything important. Nothing can interfere with our
happiness now. It's just you and me, Babe. Just you and me."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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