WARNING: m/m sexual activity. Adult language. Story is generally
SUMMARY: 10 Years after the fall of Sunnydale, Xander has
distanced himself from his past life until a demon forces him to look
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing including the characters and products
named in this story. I do, however own an unused treadmill. If you
want to sue for that, help yourself.
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Xander zipped through the back door and went directly to his office.
It was late in the day, much later than he usually came in and the
club had already opened for business.
Ever since oversleeping, everything about his internal timing was askew
today. He felt totally off kilter.
He took too long in the shower, he was out of eggs, and the dry cleaners
had lost his favorite suit, which, he realized after much haranguing, he had
forgotten to bring in.
Sitting behind his desk, Xander stared off into space. He didn't check
the mail and he didn't turn on the t.v. He knew he should be out in the
club and before the night was over, Xander knew he would be
advertising to hire a new dancer.
But right now he just needed some time. He felt overwhelmed and
choked. It was like the sky was falling and he had eaten chicken little
for a wing snack without heeding his warning.
"Hey, someone said they thought they saw you come in. Shit, Xan, you
still don't look like you feel good. Maybe you should see a doctor."
Kim stepped in and closed the door behind him. His concern for his
best friend was clear on his face and it only served to make Xander feel
worse. Forcing a smile, Xander chuckled.
"No, I think I just ate some bad sushi. One good shit and I'll be back on
top of the world."
Kim laughed but was not 100% convinced.
"Yeah? Well you're birthdays coming up, maybe I'll wrap up a box of
Ex-Lax and put a bow on it for ya."
Both men relaxed slightly and Kim figured it was a good time to bring
the boss up to speed.
"Hey, the reason I came in here was, remember me telling you about
that $500.00 customer from last night? Well he's back and he's asking
questions about those missing men. I'm sure it's just because they were
gay and this is a gay club. I mean there is no connection to us, but still,
I thought you better come out."
Xander's body flushed through with a tsunami wave of nausea.
"Is he a cop?"
Kim snorted with disgust.
"Not unless they are sending undercover cops in to fuck the dancers now.
No, if anything, I would say private detective or maybe reporter. Either
way, I'd be real careful what you say to him. Something about him just
Xander nodded and slowly rose from his chair. His brain wrestled with
thoughts of doom
'Can things possibly get any worse?'
If only he'd known.
Xander followed Kim out of the office and down the hallway toward the
main room of the club. Kim tipped his head silently in the direction of the
back of a white blond head that sat at the end of the bar.
The closer Xander got, the darker the storm cloud hanging over his
head felt. The small niggling feeling of recognition stirred inside him and
grew stronger with each step. Suddenly, he felt like he was dragging his
feet, in slow motion, through a tunnel of sludge.
He knew he should run in the other direction. His self preservation that
had served him so well over the past ten years, was now tugging at his
shirt sleeve bidding him to turn away.
He foolishly ignored it.
Kim, who was unaware of Xander's state, reached Spike first.
Swiveling on his bar stool, Spike turned, full faced, and slid to his feet.
Spike and Xander stood. Face to face. Past to present.
Spike's eyebrows shot skyward.
Xander's eyes locked on the eerily familiar blue ones and he forgot
how to breathe. His side vision and hearing shut down. Somewhere,
off in the distance, he thought he could hear a faint voice calling to
"Xander? Xan? Hey, you o.k?"
Xander's disconnected body stood, locked in a form of living rigor
mortis. He felt like the memories that had been cocooned in a web
of suspended animation were starting to sway and the silk cords
that constructed that web were beginning to snap, one by one,
His brain exploded into full color pictures of blood, death, monsters
and fear all running side by side with friends, comradery, victory
He was tumbling through all the images of his nightmares and he could
no longer differentiate what was true and what was not. Time and space
He had been thrown back to the before and he knew now he could
never again escape. The last ten years threatened to evaporate.
Xander blinked and slowly came back to himself to find Kim standing
directly in front of him shaking him by the shoulders. His friend's eyes
were filled with fear and concern for him. It was a base of normalcy
that gave him strength.
Xander took a deep breath. He was here. He was in his club, with his
friend and with........."Spike?"
The name flowed from the recesses of his brain directly to his tongue
with no stopping to check it's correctness in between.
Xander shoved Kim aside. He needed to know if it was real or if he
was finally loosing it. He didn't care that the bartender had been
wiping the same glass for several minutes, staring at the odd scene
playing out. He was unaware of the other customers talking, laughing,
drinking, spending money. He had to know.
Spike sat on the bar stool, patent smirk on his face, sipping an expensive
whisky. Like the barkeep, he was patient. The next act of this play
promised to be very entertaining.
It wasn't a question. It was an affirmation.
Spike chuckled. He couldn't have ask for a better reception than
shocking the pants off the slayer's cast off. Although to be honest,
Spike himself was a bit stunned at the sight of the grown, handsome
as hell, man.
Xander Harris had grown up VERY nicely, thank you.
"Well as I live and breathe, Xander Harris." Snort. "Course we both
know I don't do either."
Spike raised his glass in a salute and swallowed the golden brown
liquid in one gulp.
"Xander, what the hell is going on? Do you know this guy? Do you
want me to throw him out?"
Kim was already giving the heads up hand signal to the club bouncer
who began working his way through the crowd.
Xander ignored him, keeping his focus on the man he now clearly
"Also, unfortunately, still present and accounted for."
"Get out! Out of my life, out of my club, out of my town."
Xander took two steps back. He could feel the tears staring to sting
his eyes and he had to escape. He couldn't think rationally and the
realization that his nightmares and fears were real was more than his
repressed mind could take.
If it bent any further, it would absolutly snap.
Xander turned and was gone. He rushed back to his office and
slammed the door behind him, throwing the dead bolt lock and pulling
all the window shades.
He rushed to the furthest corner, wedged his back in and slid down the wall
When his butt hit the floor, he pulled his knees up to his chest, dropped his
face and let the tears fall.
Outside, he could hear Kim banging on the door.
"Xan. Please, Xan, let me in. God, Xan, please."
Xander squeezed his eyes shut and placed his hands over his ears.
He knew he had to keep Kim out. He would die before he allowed
his best friend to be part of his living nightmare.
Xander continued to sob as he rocked himself back and forth.
Kim's hand was getting sore from beating against the solid wood.
He could hear the muffled sobs from inside and it terrified him.
He had never seen Xander respond like that and he wondered just
who the fuck that guy was to illcit such a reaction.
After a few minutes he made a decision. If he couldn't get the
answers he needed from Xander, he knew where he could.
Kim turned and marched back toward the bar. This "Spike"
had some serious explaining to do.
When he got there, the barstool where he had been sitting now contained
a drag queen whe was doing her best to charm a free drink from the
"Where did he go?"
Kim slapped his hand down on the bar, getting the waiters attention.
"The blond? He left. He said when Mr. Harris was ready to talk, to give
Kim took the offered business card. One side had an odd doodle in the
shape of....possibly a moose, and contained the name and address of a
private detective agency. Angel Investigations. Kim snorted, he had been
right after all.
The other side listed a nearby motel and room number.
Kim dropped the card in his pocket.