Rating: NC17 overall.
Disclaimer: The Bee owns nothing. Certainly not the characters or products
mentioned in this story and unfortunately, the Bee makes no profit from it.
Summary: This story is a light hearted comedy/mystery.
It is based slightly (very slightly) on the plot of the old movie
"House Of Long Shadows". It is an HUA that tells the story of a very successful
mystery writer, Alexander Harris, who is suffering from a severe case of writer's
block. Against his better judgement, he accepts a $10,000.00 bet with his
publisher after claiming he can crank out a full manuscript in a 24 hour period. This
short story is his struggle to do that and the bizarre obstacles that pop up.
Warnings: Sexual dialogue and M/M slashy acts.
As always, special thanks to the amazing Petxnd for her wonderful banners.
It was now 4 AM. A good three hours away from dawn and the mansion was
still cloaked in a dismal gloom. The few lights and appliances that were serviced
by the generator did very little to light the vast rooms and areas of the house
and now, as though staged by a Hollywood production, a storm was moving in.
The deep rumbling of thunder, followed by the shocking flashes of lightning, only
added to the terrifying effect the situation was having on the occupants of the house.
Spike, Xander, Angel and Buffy all stood at the foot of the massive, sweeping
staircase and they stared up into the inky black unknown. Willow looked back
at them in sympathy and relief that it wasn't her before she darted out the front
"I'll wait by his car. If Andrew shows up there, I'll come right back in and yell
Not waiting for a response, she quickly disappeared, closing the heavy door behind
her and all of the others wished they were with her. Bracing themselves, the
members of the pizza boy expedition tried to look casual and nonchalant as they
each held a pitiful little candle.
"You sure you're up to this, Love?"
Xander gave Spike his best, weak smile of determination.
"Absolutely. Ready when you are."
Spike glanced over and saw Angel whisper something in Buffy's ear. She responded
with a slight nod of the head and he couldn't help but wonder what that was all
about. But first, they had a pimply faced purveyor of pepperoni to pursue. So,
with no further ado, Spike whipped out his trusty Bic lighter and he lit all their
"All right. So the boy and I go to the hallway on the left and you two go to the
rooms on the right. If we find Andrew or any evidence that Andrew was up there,
we call for the others. Agreed?"
Every one murmured that they concurred. As Xander placed his foot on the first step,
a loud crash of thunder split the air and a blinding flash of lightning lit the stairway ahead.
Xander immediately grabbed for Spike's hand and he squeezed. Peeking over, he
noticed that Buffy had done the same with Angel.
So, hand in hand, the four searchers took their first tenuous steps. The old wooden
stairs was covered in a frayed archaic oriental carpet that must have been very impressive
for it's time. Faded reds and golds that were thread bare and torn in the center where
thousands of feet had happily traipsed up and down. Now it moaned and groaned,
creaking under the weight of the four as they eased their way up.
Xander held his candle far out in front hoping to illuminate the path, but as they moved
deeper and deeper into the musty, heavy blackness, the very air around them seemed
to absorb what little bit of light the flames provided. By the time they had reached
the top and the split off, the candles were virtually useless, yet Xander held on, more
fore the security it offered than for the incandescence.
The four paused at the landing at the top of the stairs. The back wall contained a
massive painting of what must have been the original master of the estate. He stared
and glared at the intruders and the sudden clap of lightning that lit up his face all but
sent Xander barreling back down the steps. Spike felt his companion's need to bolt
and he gripped the boy's hand firmly. Buffy squeaked and buried her face in Angel's
"Shhhh. It's nothing, Love. Look. It's just an ugly old picture. It's nothing that can
Xander tried to chuckle.
"Yeah, just a picture. Of an old ugly guy. Ha ha."
Somehow, the voice did not match the words and Spike knew his boy was terrified.
If they were going to do this, they needed to get moving. Too much time would only
allow the fear and hesitation to strangle them.
"O.k. Let's do this and when we find that little pip squeak, I intend to kick his arse."
Angel straightened his spine and he held firmly to Buffy's hand. He was better
than the others and he refused to show fear. He would, with his dying breath deny
that the whimper came from him and, he told himself, that his heart was only slamming
against his chest because he hadn't eaten in the last couple hours. Was it his fault that
he had a wonky blood sugar?
There was nothing else to discuss so Buffy pulled Angel in one direction and Spike
tugged Xander in the other. At the last second, another flash of lightning lit the top
of the stairway and when Xander glanced back, he could have sworn the eyes in the
picture had turned in his direction.
The hallway ahead of them was wide, at least ten feet and contained random tables,
chairs, and vases. All lined up to stand against the walls, causing an unsuspecting
explorer to crack his shins and stub his toes.
"Son of a bitch!"
Spike snickered. He had been up here before in the daylight and had a fair estimation
of where the obstacles were, unfortunately he wasn't having a lot of luck steering his
companion around them.
"Stay closer to the center of the hall, Pet. Look, there's the first door. We'll pop it
open, call for the little twit then pull it closed, sound good?"
Xander whined. No, it did NOT sound good.
Without waiting to discuss it, Spike reached over, twisted the door knob and he
pushed the door inward. Xander jumped back as the smell of the musty, moldy
air whooshed out into their faces. The area was pitch black till another lightning
strike gave shape and form to the furniture in the room.
A massive four poster bed and a free standing clothes closet dominated most of the space.
There seemed to be no sign of the boy, but just to be certain, Spike stuck his head in.
"Andrew? Andrew, you little prick, you in here?"
"Close the door Spike, close the door. He's not in there."
The frantic tone to Xander's voice caused Spike to pull back and shut the first door.
It was also the perfect opportunity to change the subject and distract the boy before he
passed out from fear.
"So, Xan, you liked the blow job earlier?"