Rating: Adult for language and sexual content
Disclaimer: The Bee owns none of the characters or products named
in this story, however the plot and words are her own.
Warning: Violence (nongraphic) and strong M/M sexual content.
Summary: OCD Spike is back! It has been a year since Xander and
Spike met in Rough Diamond and they have been living and working
together ever since. As an anniversary present, Xander takes a reluctant
Spike on a gay ocean cruise and everything, including murder, goes with
Appreciation to: Petxnd for her wonderful banner and patient preread
and to Silk_ Labyrinth for her beta. Any remaining boo-boos are the
result of the Bee's stubbornness.
NOTICE: The Bee has been nominated over at the Sunnydale Memorial Awards.
I would be honored if anyone who reads and enjoys the Bee would take the time
to vote. Thanks!
Thanks to Petxnd for the wonderful banner and the faithful friendship.
Spike frowned as he stared through the milling crowd of men wearing flowers
behind their ears and beaded necklaces circling their necks. He ignored his
inner counter that wanted to calculate the number of passengers that had
disembarked onto the island, and he scratched the underarm itch that always
arose when that little cop inside him smelled an impropriety.
And he continued to stare at Teddy.
The young man from the cabin next door seemed to be at loose ends. He was
alone and showed no response when any of the other passengers spoke or tried
to engage him. He looked like a small child who had been separated from his
mother in the produce department of the grocer and he waited forlornly till she
Watching Teddy stirred something hinky inside Spike.
Like there was something he had forgotten, and he strained to remember.
Squeezing the wine-soaked sponge in his brain caused the memories of last night
to dribble slowly out until they formed a puddle of clear recollections. He
remembered being awakened by a series of loud noises. There were angry voices.
Two men shouting and the distinct sound of a physical struggle. There was a
slamming door and finally a crying boy. It was random pieces of a puzzle that
formed an obvious picture.
Spike leaned over to Xander who was still speaking animatedly with Chad
about the possibilities of island living. Scintillating conversation.
"Xan, hey, I need to go shake a coconut from the palm tree. You wait here
and I'll be right back."
Without even turning in Spike's direction, Xander reached into one of the baggy
kangaroo pouches on the side of his shorts. Automatically, he pulled out a pair
of rubber gloves and he handed them over his shoulder to his partner. Spike
took them and hopped down off the stool.
With his eye on his target, Spike dodged and sidestepped his way around a
moving mob of male flower fairies. When he got near, he put his hands in his
pockets and casually strolled by.
Spike stopped and appeared totally surprised as he looked in all directions to
find who had called his name. When he noticed Teddy, he smiled.
"Oh, Teddy. I didn't see you there. Are you enjoying the island?"
Teddy's fingertips unconsciously brushed over his bandaged injury.
"Not really. I should have stayed on board the ship. I'm beginning to think it
was a mistake coming on this cruise. It isn't working out the way I had hoped.
I wish I could just go home."
Spike would liked to have put his arm around the boy. If Xander were here, he
would have instructed his assistant to do that for him. As is was, he decided that
perhaps a bit of heart-to-heart might do as well.
"What's wrong, Teddy? Is this about Juan, your ex?"
Teddy hung his head. He looked liked a kicked puppy left at the pound. He
was embarrassed by the series of events but relieved to unburden himself.
"Yeah, let's just say last night was not a night of romance and love. The whole
fiasco started in the disco. Juan didn't know I had come on this cruise and when
he saw me, he accused me of stalking him. I told him that wasn't true but maybe
it is. I know he loves to dance and that's why I went there. I said I didn't want to
argue and that I just wanted to talk. I said I was in room #503 and I asked him
to please come and see me. To talk. That's all I wanted to do. Just talk. When
I begged him, he got furious. He screamed at me and called me terrible names.
When he said I was a pathetic bitch, I slapped him. I know that was wrong but
I just couldn't help it. He broke my heart, Spike."
Spike gave no indication that he had witnessed the altercation in the disco. He
wanted the facts from Teddy's point of view to compare to his own without the
coloration of coordinating details.
"But he did come to your cabin didn't he? Later. Around 3 in the morning?"
Teddy sniffled. Spike stepped back and cringed as the boy lifted the tail of his
shirt and swiped it over his runny nose. Then he nodded his agreement.
"Yeah. I had already gone to bed when he knocked. As soon as I opened the
door I could smell the gin. He was really wasted and I tried to shut the door in
his face but he forced it open and he came in. He is really scary when he is drunk.
I told him I was sorry for slapping him but he was too furious to be pacified.
He screamed at me. He told me he hated me and he wished...he said he
wished I would die. He said he could come back, sneak into my room when
I was sleeping and throw my body overboard where they would never find me."
Spike was aghast. His hand opened and closed as it itched to grip his taser.
He had run up against men like Juan before, and Spike took enormous pleasure
in cutting them down to size. Outwardly, he remained stoic and calm.
"How did your arm get hurt?"
Teddy glanced down at his injury.
"He shoved me. I tripped and fell into the bedstand. It toppled over the table
lamp and when it broke, a piece of glass cut a gash across my arm. It wasn't
really his fault. I'm always so clumsy."
Spike studied the poorly wrapped bandage and thanked God there was no sign
of seeping blood to make him nauseous. Just the thought of the oozing, bloody
wound made him lightheaded and twitchy. He forced his eyes away.
"Did you go to the ship's doctor? You might have needed stitches. If it isn't
cleaned properly you could get an infection. Can you imagine how many millions
of germs live on the surface of those lamps?"
Teddy snorted and shook his head sadly as he cradled his infirmity.
"No. I didn't want any record of it. It will be fine. It's already stopped bleeding.
When we get back to the mainland, I'll have my own doctor look at it. I think
the best thing I can do now is just stay in my cabin for the next five days and
then put this whole ugly thing behind me."
The muscles in Spike's jaw were rigid as he tried to conceal his fury. As a boy,
he had been the subject of taunting and abuse by bigger, straighter teens who
made his life hell as they sought to deal with their own insecurities and sexual
One thing he learned was, a bully was just a bitch with a dick. You had to face
them down and if Teddy wasn't strong enough to do that, then Spike would do
it for him. Spike intended to confront Juan the first chance he got and let the
oily Latino hooker know that Spike was aware of what was going on. In the
meantime, Teddy had every right to enjoy this cruise.
"Bullshit. If you hide in your cabin, he wins. Swim in the pool. Walk on the
deck. You paid for this week, you should relax and enjoy it. However, maybe
it would be best to avoid any more confrontations with Juan. Give it some time."
Spike stopped short of mentioning that he and Xander were law enforcement
and that they would offer Teddy a measure of protection. It would have been
a suggestion that would rankle Xander and it was pointless, as their jurisdiction
was centered a thousand miles away.
"I know you're right but I still love him."
Teddy's eyes rimmed red with unshed tears. It was a sight made even more
pathetic considering the atmosphere of music and tropical gaiety that surrounded
them. Glancing back, Spike realized it was time to go. Xander would soon
come looking for him if he didn't return.
"Well, I hate to leave you like this, but I need to see a man about a crumpet
then get back before my partner sends the hounds out to search. Do you
know where they keep the privy?"
Teddy snuffled. He swiped his forearm under his nose and he pointed to a
couple of ramshackle shacks with a long line of men outside. Spike groaned
and snapped his gloves in place.