Paring: Spander (of course)
Warnings: Bad language and explicit sexual m/m activity.
Summary: Xander is wrongly convicted of murder and sent
to Riverview Correctional Institution where Spike is a guard.
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or products named in
this story and sadly, make no profit.
Thanks to the amazing Petxnd for the banner.
Xander sat patiently for nearly a minute before deciding he couldn't
stand the suspense any longer.
"Who did you say hired you? I mean I hate to ask, but I gotta be honest,
Mr. Pryce, I don't have any money. That's why I had a public defender
at the trial."
Wesley stopped writing and folded his hands on the paper.
"Yes, I read the transcripts and I must say, if nothing else, we can immediately
file an appeal on the grounds of ineffective council. To put it quite bluntly,
your solicitor was a moron. Never the less, I believe I would like to try this
other angle first. As to the financial arrangements, I had assumed you
would have spoken to William. He is the one who hired me."
Xander shook his head in confusion. He didn't know any William, did he?
Well, there was William Vickers in the fifth grade that liked to eat boogers,
but somehow Xander didn't think Booger Vickers had hired him a high
class lawyer just for old times sake.
Part of him wanted to stand up and tell this man that he had apparently
asked for the wrong convict. The bigger part told him to shut the hell
up and take what was being offered. The decision was an easy one.
"William? I'm sorry, I don't know who that is. I think you have the wrong....."
"C.O. Pratt. William Pratt. William is my cousin and he called me asking
if I would take on this case. After looking into the particulars of it, I do
believe you were wrongly convicted."
"You believe me? You think I'm innocent?"
Xander was so thrilled to finally be believed, he could have dove across
the table and kissed the stuffy British man dead on the mouth. A second
look at the C.O. standing guard at the door told him that move would
probably land him back on cell restriction, and this time it would be a
lot more than 5 days so he settled for,
"Thank you. Thank you".
"No, Mr. Harris, I didn't say that. I said that there was not enough evidence
to have convicted you. The attorney that was assigned you did not give you
an adequate defense."
Xander was only slightly disappointed. Fact was, whether this man believed
him or not didn't mean squat. If he could get him out, that was all he cared
about. That and the fact that Spike......no, that was a matter for later
"Fine. You said you wanted to look into the other matter. What other matter?"
"William says you received a correspondence from out of state that you
believe relates to your case. Do you have that with you?"
Xander nodded and reached into his pocket. He had studied the letter
a million times and kept it close, hoping the next time he looked at it, he
would see something he missed. Carefully, he unfolded it and handed it over.
Like everyone else, Wesley turned it over in his hand, disappointed that it
was really nothing to go on. The post mark, however, may be a lead.
"You say you don't know anyone in Noco, Arizona?"
"No, hell, I never even heard of Noco before. To be honest, I would
have trouble finding Arizona on a map. Geography was never big on my
list of priorities. Do you really think you can help? Do you believe you
can find the real killer?"
Wesley pulled out another paper from his brief case and pushed it over in
front of where Xander sat.
"I won't make any promises, Mr. Harris, but I will do what I can. First I
need you to sign this paper so I can file it with the court. It states that you
wish to fire your present attorney and retain me as council. When that is
done, I will get started on your appeal, a request for a new trial, and
possible civil action against the idiot who handled your original defense."
Xander had never written his name faster before shoving it back. He held
Wesley's pen like a sword of vengeance waiting to sign anything else the man
asked of him. Wesley handed another over.
"This one requests that my fee be covered by the state of California as
I am taking the case pro bono. William has, as I'm sure you know,
offered to reimburse all expenses and costs not covered by the court."
Xander was shocked and hardly knew how to respond.
"No, I didn't know. He...I....I didn't know."
"Our time today is limited Mr. Harris. I read your statement, but I would
appreciate you telling me now, exactly what happened that night."
Xander nodded and took a deep breath, allowing his mind to go back. It
was a night he wanted desperately to forget, but he knew till all this was put
right it was a memory that could not rest.
"Jesse and I had been lovers. We met on a construction job we both worked
and dated less than a month before moving in together. For two years
everything had been nearly perfect. We had some minor arguments, and
I knew he was not always faithful, but hey, no one's perfect. I really
thought I was falling in love with him."
Wesley had stopped writing and gave Xander his full attention as the inmate
continued a story he had told a thousand times.
"So, anyway, I thought we were happy. Then, a few months ago, he started
to change. He stayed out late, sometimes not coming home at all. He was
a mess. He lost weight, his eyes were always bloodshot. I thought he was
on a drunk. I thought he had found someone else. When he stopped
going to work, they fired him and I had had enough. I asked him if he
was fucking around on me and he laughed. He said yeah, he was having
an affair with crystal. I didn't understand at first that he meant crystal meth.
Jesse had turned into a first class junkie but the worst was yet to come.
He started stealing from me. Money, my bank card, I came home one
night and found he had pawned my television and computer. That was it.
I tossed his sorry ass out."
Wesley watched the emotions in Xander's face as he recounted his
"Was that when it happened? Was that the day he died?"
Xander shook his head.
"No, I didn't see him for nearly two weeks after that, then one night I was
at a bar down by the beach and he came in. Christ, he was so trashed,
I swear, I almost didn't know him. He sat down across the table from me
and I knew he wanted to talk. I bought him a beer that he drank in one gulp.
His hands were shaking so bad he nearly spilled it. When he sat the glass
down, he kept looking all around, then he asked me for money. I gave him
$20. but he threw it back at me and said he meant REAL money. Said he
owed almost three grand to a dealer and if he didn't pay, his ass was grass."
Wesley briefly interrupted.
"You said in your deposition that he gave you the dealer's name?"
"Not really. Said his name was Warren. People like that don't use last
names. I told him I didn't have that kind of money and even if I did I wouldn't
dump it down the same shit hole as my tv and computer. He screamed at me.
Called me a fucking selfish fag. I yelled back and the argument got ugly.
Everyone in the bar heard it before the bartender threw us out. I remember
it was dark out. I tried to ignore him but he followed me. We walked along
the beach and continued to argue. Next thing I know, he pulled out a knife.
And it wasn't just a small pen knife, I mean a big ass, double edged, serrated,
O.J. fucking Simpson knife. I about shit!"
"Did you try to call for help?"
Xander spread his hands out on the table and Wesley could see him
reliving the terror in his mind.
"I did, but we were at the water's edge and there was no one around. When
I yelled, it was like the sound was sucked up by the roar of the crashing waves
and the night. He started waving it around and lunging at me. Finally I grabbed
his arm, we struggled and the knife cut my hand and him on the side of his leg.
I think the shock of the pain brought him back to himself and he started to cry
and apologize. I offered to take him to the hospital but he refused. I know
I was wrong to leave him there like that but I just wanted to get away. I swear,
I didn't think he was cut that bad. I don't know what happened after I left.
He either passed out and drowned or someone else came along and finished
"Did the police ever look for this Warren?"
Xander shook his head.
"They said they did, but I think after they got me in their radar, it was
bombs on target, fire away. Do you think you can find him?"
"I don't know, Mr. Harris, but I do believe I have a few places to start.
It is too late today, but first thing Monday morning, I will go to the
courthouse and begin filing the writs. I promise I will keep you informed."