Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Miles To Go Before I Sleep

Chapter Title:



Stuck in the Middle With You


Chapter Summary:


Spike and Xander continue on their mission to find Dawn in the OrphanedKey Universe.


Time line:

September 2011


Click here to view history timeline and key dates.



Music Referenced:  Stuck in the Middle With You by Stealers Wheel


Some Screencaps courtesy of Broken Innocence (others from ScreenCap Paradise which is, sadly, no more). and also from

Thanks: Thanks to YOU for reading! Without you none of this would mean anything! Giant thanks also to Anona for betaing this chapter, including her grammatical and punctuation corrections, wonderful commentary, and final review. Also thanks to Capella42 for her insightful suggestions that made the whole story better. All mistakes are mine because I simply cannot stop fiddling right up to the very last moment.
Rating / Warnings:

NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes, and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY.

Reminder: The OrphanedKey Universe would’ve changed from canon/Whedon-verse with neither Buffy nor Spike in it, so what has happened to Dawn in that universe will not mirror the comics. (I actually have not read the comics, but have a general idea of things that have happened in them.)


Saturday, September 3rd, 2011, OrphanKey Universe:


Xander was still glowering at Spike as the blond vamp paid for their hotel room an hour or so later.  Of course, Xander’s dander had been riled again by Spike signing them in as ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’, which garnered a curious, and slightly disdainful, look from the elderly man behind the counter.


Spike had picked an older, smaller motel to serve as their base of operations, rather than one of the large chains. The newer hotels would’ve wanted a credit card as a deposit; a mom & pop place probably wouldn’t. Not that the men didn’t have credit cards, but the likelihood that they would work in this dimension was slim. He did choose a motel that had a new sign promising ‘free wi-fi’ right under the faded letters that announced that their rooms were ‘air conditioned’, had ‘private phones’ and ‘color TVs’.


Spike paid in cash for the room and got the key from the old man as Xander stood behind him and waited angrily. Xander thought about protesting the way Spike had signed them in, but decided that would just draw more attention, and settled for shooting daggers at Spike’s back with his eyes.


Spike made sure to further take the piss out of Xander by giving him a smoldering look and whispering loud enough for the old man to hear, “C’mon, pet. Our love nest awaits.” Then, as he walked towards the door of the lobby, in an even louder voice Spike said, “Wonder if they got them Magic Fingers on the bed. That’d be bloody brilliant, wouldn’ it, sweets?”


“I know one vampire that’s gonna be introduced to a magic wooden stake if he doesn’t shut up,” Xander growled under his breath as he followed Spike out.


“Oooo0, sounds bloody kinky. Can’t wait, you bad boy,” Spike teased as he climbed into the pickup. He’d requested a room on the back side of the motel, out of sight of the road, just in case anyone had missed the pickup at the construction company. He didn’t want to make it easy for the police to spot it, especially since there was a donut shop just across the street that seemed to be a magnet for the local LEOs.


“Will you stop it!?” Xander rasped as he got in the truck and slammed the door. “I swear I don’t know what Buffy sees in you sometimes. You’re insufferable!”


Spike began to laugh as he started the truck. Taking the piss outta Xander was almost too easy. “Oooo … such a big word! And I always thought Anya only loved ya’ for your penis.”




They had their pick of parking places around the back of the old motel. There was only one other car there, and it looked like it’d been there since 1972. Spike parked right in front of their room’s window. He backed into the spot, just in case they needed to make a hasty exit.  Xander grabbed the two backpacks and followed Spike to their room.


Spike had to jiggle the key in the lock a bit to get it to unlock and shove his shoulder against the door to get it to open.  The inside of the room looked pretty much like the outside of the motel: like time had forgotten it. It was like stepping into a time warp. All the furnishings looked to be circa 1950 – and they weren’t reproductions.


Everything was well-worn, slightly tattered, and definitely faded.  To be honest, the fact that everything was more than a little faded was a relief. The carpet was sculpted, or had been at one time. Now, however, the long shag parts were pressed almost as flat as the looped bits. Unfortunately, the way they could tell that there used to be different textures was the dizzying pattern of mauve, puce, and light pink that wove its way across the floor. 


And the pink didn’t end on the floor. The large bouquets of pink, lavender, and mauve flowers that adorned the once white, but now yellowed, background of the draperies matched the carpet nicely, as did the pink bedspread. One wall was a lovely, contrasting teal, which matched the two vinyl-covered, utilitarian armchairs in the room. The other walls were covered with wallpaper with an outer-space motif. There were little spacemen in brightly colored spacesuits milling about on the walls. While some took photographs, others were presumably looking at a map of the universe as they stood outside their nice, pink spaceship on what might’ve been the surface of the moon or perhaps Mars.


At the back of the room, the door to the bathroom stood open. The pink and teal color-scheme was repeated in there, with some nice ebony added in for kicks. Shiny, Pepto-Bismol-colored ceramic tiles lined the walls of the bath. Every couple of feet, there was a diamond made of several smaller teal tiles interspersed in the field of nauseating pink. The whole effect was trimmed with lovely, black, bull-nosed tiles. It was a striking effect – very postmodern … for 1950.


The television in the room had, thankfully, been updated, possibly as recently as 1980, and was, indeed, color. Spike half-expected to see a rotary-dial phone, but that had also been updated to a large, office-type push-button – thoughtfully also pink. The room was, as advertised, also air conditioned. There was a small, window-type air conditioner sticking out of the wall next to the door.  Xander clicked it on as he stepped in, since it was about a hundred and ten inside the room. It clattered loudly, protesting the intrusion into what should’ve been its golden, retirement years, but finally whirled to life and began blowing a stale stream of barely-cool air from its vents.

“Very posh,” Spike asserted as he walked in and looked around.


“You really know how to woo a guy,” Xander muttered as he followed.


Spike had started to move the plethora of take-out menus, tourist-trap advertisements, and a bible off the small, faux-woodgrain Formica dining table in the room. At that comment, he had to stop and turn around to look at his traveling companion. Was Xander actually loosening up? That wouldn’t do. Oh no, that wouldn’t do at all.


With a flirty smirk on his face, Spike produced a handful of quarters from his pocket and tossed them onto the ragged, cotton-candy-pink bedspread.  “Never let it be said ole Spike don’t show ‘is date a good time. I’ll spring for the Magic Fingers … getcha in the mood, luv,” he offered, waving a hand at the head of the bed and the little machine there. The well-worn, peeling label next to the slot for the quarters promised to ‘quickly carry you into the land of tingling relaxation and ease.’


For the first time Xander realized that there was only one bed in the room. “Wha … Why … Where’s the other bed?” he finally stammered out.


“It’s a bloody king, how much bed ya need, dough-boy?” Spike wondered as he turned back to his task of clearing the table.


Xander’s mouth moved but little more than gasps of indignation came out. “I’m not sharing a bed with you!” he finally asserted.


Spike shrugged. “Suit yourself, reckon you can ‘ave the floor, but ya don’t know what you’re missing. Magic fingers,” he asserted, holding up a hand and wriggling his fingers.


“Spike! I’m serious!” Xander protested as he sat one backpack down on the bed and laid the other one on the table. “Why didn’t you get a double?”


“Didn’ ‘ave any honeymoon suites back ‘ere away from the road with doubles, nimrod.”


“You are in need of some serious drugs if you think I’m sleeping in the same bed with you,” Xander continued to object.


“Right, then,” Spike agreed as he pulled a laptop out of the pack Xander had put on the table. “But I sprang for the vibrator – you’ll ‘ave t’ get the drugs. What say we go for some Mauwie Wauwie t’ start? Get yourself some o’ those little blue pills too, reckon you’ll need ‘em t’ keep up.”


“How does she do it?” Xander asked in utter disbelief. “Buffy must be a saint – that’s the only explanation. Saint Buffy, patron saint of insane vampires.”


Spike snickered as he booted the computer up and sat down in front of it in one of the uncomfortable, teal chairs. To his utter amazement, it did actually find a wi-fi signal.


“Right, then,” he said more to himself than Xander. “Dawn Summers,” Spike spoke aloud as he typed the name in the search box on the Google page and clicked the little magnifying glass.


Spike sat forward in the chair as results came up on the screen. Even Xander quit seething quite so much and walked up behind him to look.


“Dawn Summers, Linkedin,” Spike read as he clicked on it. “San Francisco Bay area. Instructor at Downward Dog Yoga Institute.


“’Ow’s your downward dog, Harris?” Spike asked with a smirk as he clicked the back button. It wasn’t the Dawn they were looking for.


“Bite me,” Xander growled at him.


“Now you’re gettin’ in the spirit! Thought you’d never ask,” Spike continued to taunt as he clicked on the next Dawn Summers in the list.


“Dawn Summers,” Spike continued reading the next result. “Writing and editing professional, London. Educated London College of Fashion.


“That could be ‘er,” Spike suggested.


“Yeah … maybe,” Xander agreed. “Bookmark that one and keep looking.”


Spike did and kept going down the list. “Look ‘ere: ‘Celtic Whispers’ by Dawn Summers. It’s a book. Reckon she wrote a book?” Spike wondered aloud.


He began reading the description of the book, “'When Sheri Malone agrees to look after her aunt’s guesthouse, Ballyheights, in Ireland, she was not expecting the team of archaeologists waiting for her on her arrival. Neither would she have imagined herself falling for their handsome leader, Professor Liam Brennan...'”


“Hey! Liam! Isn’t that Angel’s name?” Xander asked. “And isn’t he from Ireland?”


Spike scowled. “Yeah, he’s a bloody Fenian a’right.”


“You don’t think she ... That can’t be her, right?” Xander asked hopefully. “I mean … did she like Angel? Please tell me she didn’t like Dead Boy,” Xander begged.


Spike frowned. “Probably just a coincidence. Liam’s a right common name, I reckon,” Spike offered hopefully. “Probably not even ‘er, yeah?”


“Probably not… definitely not. Can’t be her …” Xander agreed. “Keep looking.”






The men looked through blogs, Facebook pages, LinkedIn contacts, and lots of other types of websites that were by, or about, Dawn Summers for a good while. After an hour, they didn’t seem any closer to finding the Dawn Summers they were looking for, however.


“There’s just too many of them,” Xander sighed, sitting back in his chair and rubbing his tired eyes.


Spike sat back too and took his hands away from the computer, dropping them into his lap. He continued to frown at the list of women named Dawn Summers that mocked him from the computer screen. “Couldn’t a’ been named Esmeralda,” he groused in agreement with Xander’s assessment.


Suddenly, Xander sat up and slid the laptop away from Spike and over in front of him. “Ok, too many Dawn Summerses,” he began in explanation as he typed. “I wonder how many Rupert Edmond Gileses there are in the world?  If we can find Giles, he’d have ta know where Dawn is, right?”


Spike sat forward and leaned over so he could see the screen as Xander hit ‘search’ on the Google page. Within a few seconds a very short list of Rupert Edmond Gileses came up. Xander pumped his fist and cried, “Yes!” in victory.


“Who’s the man?!” he asked rhetorically, giving Spike a haughty look.


“My ‘ero,” Spike’s voice fluttered, high and full of mock adoration. He clasped his hands under his chin, scrunched his shoulders up slightly, and raised his eyes to the ceiling like a helpless girl from a silent movie.


Xander rolled his eyes and shook his head. He grabbed a pen and a pad of paper from the stack of things Spike had moved off the table, began scribbling down some numbers, and reached for the phone.


“Now, I just have to hope that I’m still alive in this world,” he muttered to himself as he waited for a dial tone. A pained expression washed over his face. “That’s really kind of a creepy thought.”


“Yes?” came an old man’s voice through the phone, making Xander jump.


“Uhhhh …” Xander stuttered. “I was trying to make a call.”


“What is the number please? I’ll connect you,” the old man said.


Xander furrowed his brow but read off the international number to the man. 


After a moment of silent confusion, the man said, “That’s too many numbers.”


“No – it’s international. It’s in England,” Xander explained.


“England!?” the man exclaimed, as if he’d never heard of such a place. “I don’t think … uhhh … local calls only,” he stammered back to Xander.


Xander sighed and hung up. “We need to get a cell phone,” he told Spike in exasperation.


Spike nodded, stood up, and picked up the keys to the truck and the room. “Right. Need some other supplies too, some groceries and whatnot … and better find a butcher shop.”


Spike started moving towards the door, but stopped and looked back over his shoulder at Xander, who had stood up and started to follow him. “Unless you’re donatin’?” He gave Xander’s neck a hungry, lustful leer for good measure.


Xander barked out a harsh laugh. “In your dreams, bleach boy.”


Spike shrugged, turned around, and started walking again. “Dunno what you’re missin’, you don’t. I’d make it good for ya.”


“Just keep walking,” Xander growled at Spike’s back. “I like all my bodily fluids right where they are – inside my own body.”


Spike yanked hard on the doorknob to get the ill-used, aged door to open, and he stepped aside to let Xander exit in front of him. “Not what I ‘ere from demon-girl,” Spike informed Xander as he passed. “Says you’re big on the sharing of all sorts a’ fluids, she does.”


A slight blush rose up Xander’s neck and tinged his cheeks as he stepped out into the late-afternoon sun. “That’s not what I was … we were talking about blood! How can you take everything I say and turn it around? Just ‘cos I came with you instead of Buffy doesn’t mean I’m taking over any of her other … responsibilities,” Xander snarled at Spike.


Spike laughed as he pulled the door closed and locked it. “Suit yerself. Still say ya don’t know what you’re missin’.”


“Yeah? Well, you can just forget it. I’m not sharing any of my fluids with you,” Xander retorted as he headed for the driver’s door of the pickup truck.


“Gotta say, that really hurts,” Spike moaned as if devastated, laying his hand over his heart. Spike went to the passenger’s side of the truck and opened the door with the key, which also unlocked the driver’s door. Before Xander could even get the driver’s door open, Spike had gotten in, slid all the way over, and was sitting behind the wheel.


Xander stood gape-mouthed looking at Spike, his hand still on the handle of the open driver’s door. “What the hell?” he finally choked out in disbelief.  Composing himself, he demanded, “Move over! It’s my turn to drive.”


Spike smirked, shoved the key in the ignition, and cranked the engine. “Reckon not. You don’t wanna share your toys, can’t expect others t’ share theirs.”


“Insufferable,” Xander groaned as he slammed the door shut, hoping one of Spike’s ‘magic’ fingers would be caught in it, and stormed over to the other side of the truck.




It was almost three hours later when they got back to the room. They now both had disposable cell phones with plenty of minutes loaded on them. In addition, there was a cooler full of pig’s blood, cold cuts, Cokes, beer, and ice, and a box of other necessities like Twinkies, Sweet Sixteen powdered donuts, Ding-Dongs, a giant bag of Lays Potato Chips, and a loaf of Wonderbread.  


Xander began to dial the number for Rupert Edmund Giles in London.


“Wait,” Spike said, reaching a hand out to stop him. “Dial star sixty-seven first,” he advised Xander.


Xander cleared what he’d done and started over. “What does that do?” he asked as he continued punching in numbers.


“Hides yer number from the caller ID. Don’t want ‘im seeing you’ve got a California area code. Don’t know where you’re supposed t’ be in this world,” Spike explained.


Xander nodded as the phone began to ring. He could almost hear the expensive international minutes start clicking off the phone when it was answered on the other end. “Yes, hello. Rupert Giles, please,” Xander replied to the stiff-sounding woman that answered.


For once, Spike was keeping quiet and just listening as Xander waited. For a few moments, the only sound that could be heard was the strained whirl of the over-worked air conditioner as it continued to dutifully blow lukewarm air into the room, which was only a slight improvement over the still-warm air outside.


“This is Rupert Giles,” came across the line, jarring Xander’s mind away from thoughts centered on trying to remember why he’d volunteered for this mission with Spike, who was obviously off his meds.


“Hey, Giles!” Xander replied, trying to sound casual. “It’s Xander. I was wondering … I, uhhh … lost my phone and all my numbers were on it. Could you give me Dawn’s number?”


“Xander?” Giles questioned from across the pond, sounding a bit dubious. “You say you’ve lost your phone?”


“Yeah,” Xander agreed. “Just got a new one and I’m trying to…”


“Honestly!” Giles exclaimed into the phone. “I don’t know what kind of fool you believe me to be!”


Xander faltered, unsure what to say for a moment. “Giles … I …”


“Please, let’s do stop pretending, shall we? I’m not as far out of the loop as you may imagine. Just because Dawn’s in Rome and I’m in London doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s been happening. I’m well aware of the circumstances of your breakup with Dawn. I’m quite certain that if she wanted you to have her new number, she’d ring you herself. Now, I have work that I need to attend to, as I’m certain you do. Good day.”


Xander pulled the phone away from his ear and looked at it with an expression of shock.


“You and Dawn?” Spike croaked incredulously, having heard the conversation easily with his vampire senses.


Xander lifted wide eyes up to Spike’s and shook his head. “Isn’t she like … my niece?”


“Well … yeah! Bloody hell, Harris! What were ya thinkin’? Takin’ advantage of a bloody orphan like that!


“Turn m’ back for one bleedin’ decade an’ look what ‘appens! Thought the girl ‘ad more sense than t’ get mixed up with the likes of a wanker like you,” Spike snapped at him, standing up from where he’d been sitting on the end of the bed.


Suddenly Xander shook himself out of the shock. “Hey! I didn’t do it! I can’t be responsible for every Xander in every dimension! I can’t help it if they aren’t all as honorable and … loyal and … trustworthy as me!”


“Oh, a right Boy Scout you are!” Spike scoffed as he began pacing in the small, pink room. “You and Dawn?! Bloody hell,” he moaned again, shaking his head. “What the bloody hell was she thinkin’?”


Despite being freaked out, since he equated Dawn with Annie, Xander started to feel insulted. “Hey! She could do worse, ya know!” he defended, standing up himself. “I’m a pretty darn good catch – just ask Anya!”


Then he thought about Annie and quailed a bit. “Just how much younger is she?” he asked Spike, looking a bit concerned. “I mean … are we talking ‘jailbait’ here or …?”


Spike stopped pacing and ran a hand through his hair as he tried to pull out the old memories of Dawn. She was older than Annie, of course. He did some quick calculations in his mind and finally sighed. “Reckon she’s … ‘bout twenty-four or twenty-five,” he told Xander at last.


Xander frowned. “I’m only thirty… that’s only five years. So … I was dating my best friend’s … sister – not her daughter. That’s not like Annie at all,” he reasoned quickly. “What the fuck’s your problem, Spike?” he demanded angrily as that realization hit him.


Spike sighed and dropped into one of the uncomfortable, teal chairs, shaking his head. “Reckon she’ll always be Buffy’s brat little sister. Always be fourteen. Always be sneaking over t’ m’ crypt for a Spike ghost story or whatnot. Said I was the only one that ever took her serious – ever treated ‘er like a person.”


Xander stared at him blankly, taking this in. “You’re jealous!” he accused after a few moments, pointing a finger down at Spike.


“I am not!” Spike retorted, jumping back up. “Jealous o’ a pratt like you!? P-lease!”


Xander began to laugh. “That’s exactly what you are: jealous! She liked me better than you!


“Na, na, na, na na,na,” he sing-songed, grinning triumphantly at Spike, “Spii-ke’s jealous!”


“I’m soddin’ dead, you berk! O’ course she’d like you better ‘an a big pile o’ dust!”


Xander laughed harder as Spike continued to deny any jealousy. Finally, Xander had collapsed onto the bed, unable to stand up any longer, as Spike growled and snarled his contention that there was nothing for him to be jealous of.


Finally, Spike gave up and got a beer out of the cooler. He twisted the top off and threw the little metal disk at Xander, who was still on the bed laughing. Spike sank down in the chair and took a long drink, glowering at his traveling companion. Jealous my soddin’ arse.


Xander’s mirth finally waned, and he got up and grabbed a beer from the cooler, as well. Dropping down into the chair next to Spike, who was on his second beer, he said, “Ya know, it sounds like she’s not gonna talk to me, even if we do get her phone number or find her.”


“Yeah, sussed that out all on m’ own,” Spike confirmed, studying the water droplets that were forming and running down the side of the beer bottle in his hand.


“Sooo…” Xander continued. “You better figure out what it was she liked about you, whip it out, and polish it up.  You’re gonna have to get her to listen.”


Spike leveled a steady gaze at Xander but didn’t say anything.


“What? Nothing?” Xander asked after a few moments, taken aback. “I left that there for you like a gift at Christmas and nothing? Not one lewd remark? C’mon, Spike! You’re slipping!”


“Too bloody easy. I may be cheap, but I ain’t easy,” Spike retorted dryly.


Xander smiled a bit, shrugged, and took another drink. “Soooo … whatever vampire charms you used …”


“Don’t need t’ bring anythin’ out and polish it up, do I? Just gotta be me, is all,” Spike interrupted him sharply.


Xander laughed scornfully. “What is it about Summers women and insane vampires?”


“Got bloody good taste, they do,” Spike contended as he pulled the computer back over to him and scooted his chair up nearer.


“Whatcha doin’ now?” Xander wondered, leaning forward to see.


“Well, got another clue, don’t we? Rome … reckon I’ll look again,” Spike explained and Xander nodded.




After looking for another hour or so, they still hadn’t found the right Dawn Summers – not one they could be sure of, anyway.  By now it was getting late; they’d both had some dinner and a few beers and decided to start again in the morning. Perhaps some inspiration would hit them overnight.


While Spike was getting his shower, Xander took the bedspread off the bed, rolled it up, and laid it down the center of the mattress, making a long, soft barrier between the two sides.


Spike emerged from the bathroom still wiping water from his hair, shoulders, and chest. Another towel was wrapped around his waist. Xander was laying on the right side of the bed watching the ‘color TV’. Unfortunately, it was so old and worn out that the main colors on it were red and green – sometimes a bit of yellow would sneak in on the corners.


When he saw Spike in nothing but a towel he nearly choked. “Oh no!” he exclaimed, wide eyes. “You’re not wearing that to bed!”


Spike grinned at him and dropped a hand as if to pull the towel around his waist off. “Whatever you say, pet,” he teased. “Got the quarters ready, then, do ya?”


“Spike! I’m warning you! I’ll dust you – Gem or no, I will find a way to dust you,” Xander yelled at him, standing up. He was dressed in a pair of pull-on shorts and a t-shirt.


Spike shrugged and left the towel around his waist as he draped the other one around his neck. Water still dripped from his curls and landed on the towel now over his shoulders. His hair was so thick it usually took two towels to get it to stop dripping, and Xander had only left him two dry towels, one of which he’d used for the rest of him.  It took forever to get all the water out of his hair with the ‘drip dry’ method, but that was the only other choice.


“Yer on the wrong side o’ the bed,” Spike informed him, changing the subject.


Xander looked at the bed and back at Spike. “No – I sleep on the right,” he informed the vamp.


“Not t’night,” Spike retorted.


Every night,” Xander insisted.


“Right then, didn’t think ya wanted t’ share … but, if you insist. Dibs on being on top,” Spike announced smirking, waving a hand at Xander and inviting him to lie back down.


Xander snorted out a derisive laugh. “Like hell! That’s your side,” he replied, pointing to the left side of the bed. “It’s not my fault you didn’t get a double like any sane person would’ve!”


Spike pursed his lips and started moving to the left side of the bed, once again reaching a hand down to remove the towel from around his waist.


“Oh no! You put something on first!” Xander insisted again.


Spike stopped and smirked at him. “You expect me t’ sleep in m’ clothes and on the wrong side o’ the soddin’ bed? Bollocks! Ya get one or t’ other – you pick.”


When Xander just stood there, lost in utter consternation, Spike shrugged, pulled the towel off, dropped it on the floor, and started to climb into the bed.


“Wait! Fine! Have the right … b-but… Put. Something. On,” Xander growled at him, picking up the pillow he’d been using and backing up away from the bed.


Spike smirked, got back up, picked the towel up, and held it up in front of his groin. He tossed the pillow from the left to the right side of the bed, then headed for his backpack, which was sitting on the dresser.  He pulled out a pair of light-weight PJ bottoms, which Buffy had insisted he pack, turned his back on Xander, dropped the towel again, and pulled them on. 


“You giant ass,” Xander hissed at him. “You were gonna put those on all along,” he accused.


Spike turned around and smirked at Xander. He walked past him, heading towards the right side of the bed, and gave the younger man a wink as he passed. Xander’s face turned pink with frustration as he realized he’d let Spike dupe him out of the right side.


Spike propped the pillow against the headboard and climbed into the bed. Sitting up in the bed and leaning back against the pillow, he reached for the remote control that was lying on the bed.


“Don’t you dare!” Xander growled at him, stomping over to the other side of the bed, still clutching his pillow. “I was watching that!”


Spike looked at the TV, tilting his head slightly to try and actually make out what was on the screen. The limited color selection was making it difficult to suss out. The speakers, however, were working well enough, “Pos-T-Vac is pleased to offer you and your partner a safe, effective, and affordable treatment for a frustrating problem. A solution in seconds not hours! Don’t let ED slow you down! Pos-T-Vac is a safe and 100% natural solution that works even when drug therapies have failed …”


Spike looked at Xander, cocking a brow at him. Xander had just gotten back in bed and covered up with the sheet. He hadn’t really been paying attention to the TV. “What?” he asked when he saw Spike’s expression.


Spike looked back at the TV. “Now I understand. Ya know, it’s nothing t’ be ashamed of; happens t’ the best o’ us. ‘Course, ain’t ever happened to me, but … I hear tell…”


“What are you talking about?” Xander asked, finally focusing on the TV again.


“The Pos-T-Vac system really works, and fast, I mean, within minutes!” the green man on the screen was saying.


“So we can be spontaneous again. We can relax because we know Pos-T-Vac’s gonna work whenever we’re in the mood! It makes life exciting again!” a woman’s voice came through the scratchy speakers.


“T-that’s not what I was watching!” Xander blubbered out. “It was John Wayne! ‘The Alamo!’” he insisted as he quickly changed the channel.


“Nothing ‘t be embarrassed about. Won’t tell a bloody soul ‘bout your little problem. No worries,” Spike assured him in a tone that was far from reassuring.


“I don’t have a problem!” Xander insisted as he flipped the channels looking for the movie. “The time must’ve changed – the movie must’ve ended and that crap came on after it,” he surmised, pointing at the clock.


“Right. Got it,” Spike nodded, giving Xander a ‘your secret’s safe with me’ look.


“I’m telling ya,” Xander continued to object, but then just sighed and clicked the TV off.  “Whatever,” he muttered as he slid down in the bed, fluffed his pillow savagely, and turned on his side, facing away from Spike. Baker Beach was starting to sound like a really good time compared to traveling with Captain Peroxide.




“Ya ready for the Magic Fingers, then?” Spike asked Xander the next morning.


“Hmmm…” Xander replied in a sleepy voice, cuddling closer to the cool pillow he was hugging. It seemed like the only cool thing in the whole room. The air conditioner was still running and making lots of noise, but the effort it was expending was not equal to the cool air it was generating by a long shot.


“Woulda stayed starkers if I’d a’ known,” Spike continued speaking in a low, slow drawl.


“Hot in here,” Xander complained groggily as he pressed his cheek against the smooth, cool pillow.


“Getting’ that way, yeah,” Spike agreed as he tried to pry Xander’s arm away from his waist.


“C’mon, Ahn … we can afford it … just turn it down a couple of degrees,” Xander continued sleepily, never opening his eyes.


"Role-playing, is it?” Spike questioned, wriggling back against Xander, who was spooning against Spike's back.


"Too hot, Ahn ..." Xander objected when Spike's ass pressed against the younger man's crotch. "Turn the air down first..." he continued to mutter in half-sleep.


Spike smirked as he wriggled around and finally got turned in Xander's embrace so he was facing Xander, who was fully on Spike’s side of the thick, pink demarcation line down the center of the bed. “Right then, you be the Slayer and I’ll be demon-girl. What do ya reckon she’d do first?


“Don’t see ‘er as one for whispering sweet nothings. Reckon she’d get right to it, then, eh?” Spike continued, his face only a couple of inches away from Xander’s. "So, what'll it be, luv? Hand job? Blow job? A bit o' the rough and tumble? Didn't bring any lube, did you?"


"Mmmm ... you know I love your blow jobs, baby," Xander moaned, cuddling closer to Spike.


"Do ya, now? Were you at Woodstock, then? Don't reckon I remember everything that happened there. Three blurry days o' sex and drugs. Good bloody time that was."


Xander finally blinked his eyes open. For a moment he stared blankly and uncomprehending at Spike. Then he screamed and flailed backwards, flopping across the bed and onto the floor like a fish trying to escape a fisherman.


“What the hell!?” Xander managed, finally jumping back up to his feet.


Spike shrugged. “You suggested role-playing. Was just pondering what your lovely wife would do first. You suggested a blow job,” Spike explained, smirking.


“I … what?!? I’m very sure I didn’t … what were you doing over the line?” Xander demanded.


Spike waved his hand at the open bed between himself and where Xander now stood. He was, in fact, just barely on the edge of his side of the bed, well away from the pink, fluffy demilitarized zone. “You came t’ me,” Spike explained easily.


“I … that’s … ridiculous! I was just …” Xander stammered, unable to controvert what Spike was showing him. “It’s only because you were on my side! I was just trying to get back to my side of the bed!”


“Whatever you say, big boy,” Spike taunted him. “Reckon ya don’t have that little problem all the time, then, eh?” he asked, lowering his eyes to Xander’s bulging shorts.


Xander looked down in shock. Embarrassment crept up his neck and flushed his face with even more heat as he realized what Spike was looking at. He quickly grabbed the pillow off the bed and held it in front of his crotch. “It’s just morning,” he explained quickly as he turned around and headed for the bathroom. “It has absolutely nothing to do with you!” he called over his shoulder as he slammed the bathroom door behind him.


Spike flopped over onto his back and laughed. This mission was turning out to be more fun than he’d thought.  He wondered how long it would take Xander to catch on and figure out if he just went along with Spike’s ‘advances’ and called his bluff, that it would completely ruin Spike’s fun.




“And what did you say your name was?” Giles’ voice came through Spike’s cell phone an hour or so later. Spike had, indeed, gotten an idea overnight.


“Rodney. Call me Big Rod, all m’ mates do,” Spike replied, thickening his accent to a very strong Cockney. “Sure she’ll remember. I know I won’t be fergettin’ ‘er name anytime soon. Them long legs o’ hers reach all the way t’ heaven, they do.”


“Indeed. And, errrr… Rodney … how did you say you got this number?” Giles asked with confusion and more than a little unease.


“Rocked t’ bird’s world so ‘ard las’ night tha’ this mornin’ she fergot ‘er bag ‘ere at m’ flat.


“‘In case of emergency contact Rupert Giles,’” Spike said, as if reading off a card. “Tha’s you, innit?”


“Well, yes …”


“Right then. Jus’ tell ‘er I got ‘er bag and these black lace knickers she ‘ad on. Reckon she’ll want ‘em back – fancy they are. Only a bit torn – reckon they can be mended. Musta paid twenty quid for ‘em. Highway robbery, if ya ask me. Ain’t enough lace ‘ere t’ cover…”


“Indeed,” Giles interrupted him. “Rodney … errr … perhaps it would be best if you took this up directly with Dawn.”


“Wha’ever you think’s best, Rupes,” Spike replied casually, picking up a pen.




Spike hung up with a victorious smirk, Dawn’s phone number in hand.


“Big Rod? Seriously?” Xander asked disdainfully.


“All part o’ the psychology, mate,” Spike explained. “Dawn’s like ‘is daughter. Trust me, no father wants t’ think about ‘is daughter datin’ someone named Rodney ... and definitely no wanker goin' by 'Big Rod'. Rodney’s a bloody ruffian tha’ plays prop in rugby, gets in pub brawls, an’ has a different bird every night o’ the week.”


Xander raised his brows. “Wow – wish I’d known that before! I would’ve changed my name to Rodney in high school.” 


“’Course, there’s exceptions to every rule,” Spike maintained. “You an’ Rodney Dangerfield come ‘t mind.”




“Hello?” a female voice came through the phone a few minutes later.


“Uhhh … Dawn?” Spike asked, not sure if it was her or not. It had been ten years and the memories were more like wispy dreams than solid recollections.


“Yeah. Who’s this?” she asked.


Spike took a deep, calming breath before he spoke again. “Dawn, this is gonna sound a bit buggered, but don’t hang up, just ‘ear me out, ok?” Spike began.


“Oookay,” Dawn dragged the word over her tongue slowly. “Who is this?” she asked again.


“It’s Spike.”


There was a long pause on the line before Dawn asked, “Spike who?”


“How many bloody Spikes d’ ya know?!” he asked indignantly.


There was another moment of silence before Dawn’s voice came back on the line sounding confused and suspicious. “Spike … from Sunnydale?”


“Well, not originally, o’ course,” Spike replied. “But, yeah.”


“Spike?” she asked again in disbelief. “B-but …” she stammered before another pause. Then she demanded, “Who is this? You know, this really isn’t funny.”


“Dawn, I know what yer thinkin’, but it’s really Spike, from Sunnydale. I know I burnt up in the Hellmouth, but … I kinda got another chance, yeah? And … well, it’s a long story, I was hoping we could talk – in person.”


“Spike?” she asked again, her mind whirling between wanting to believe him and thinking that someone was playing a joke on her. A cruel, heartless joke.


Spike sighed. “What can I do t’ convince you it’s really me?” he asked.


Dawn went silent and Spike waited. After a minute he pulled the phone away to look at it, thinking the call dropped, but it hadn’t. “Niblett?” he prodded.


“I’m still here,” she replied. “Ok, if you’re Spike, then tell me about the family with the little girl in the coal bin. What did Spike do with the little girl in the coal bin?”


Spike closed his eyes and concentrated, trying to pull that memory out. He knew what family she was talking about, he’d killed them all, but something told him that wasn’t what she wanted to hear. That wouldn’t be much of a test, a vampire saying he’d killed people … then it hit him.


“Right, there was a family … wife invited me in. Had ‘er husband by the neck – had no choice,  did she? Killed the whole lot right quick, but there was someone missin’, yeah? Supposed t’ be a little girl. So … I get real quiet, and I hear this tiny noise coming from the coal bin. This little sigh. So I listened harder, it's very, very quiet... Knew the bit was in the coal bin, yeah? Go over to it all silent-like, lean down and put m’ hand on the top. I could nearabouts feel ‘er heartbeat through the metal o’ the bin.”


Spike paused for dramatic effect before continuing the story, just as he told it to her so many years ago in his crypt, with big sis listening to the last part. “So, I rip it open, very violent, haul her out of there ... and then I give her to a good family in a nice home, where they're never ever mean to her, and didn't lock her in the coal bin.”


The line went silent again for a few short moments. Spike held his breath and waited.


“Oh. My. God!” Dawn exclaimed at last. “Spike!? How!? Is Buffy with you? Where are you?”


Spike let out a relieved breath. “Buffy’s not ‘ere, but … yeah, she … same thing happened t’ her. I can take you to ‘er. That’s what I wanted t’ talk to you about. Can we … can you come t’ California or … I can come t’ you.”


“I’ll come there. Can you get to San Francisco?” Dawn asked excitedly.


“Yeah, no worries.”


“Great! Ok, meet me at the Peace Pagoda in Golden Gate Park … Oh no, that won’t work! Are you still a vampire?”


“Sun’s not a problem,” Spike assured her, not actually answering her question.


“Oh! Great! Ok, can you meet me there? I can be there in about … three hours,” Dawn told him.


Spike furrowed his brow. “Aren’t you in … Rome?”


“Actually, I’m in London right now. I was just heading back to Italy when you called.”


Spike’s brow furrowed further. “How are you gonna get to California in three hours, pet?”


Dawn took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Things have changed … I’ve changed. I’ll explain when I see you. Can you make it?”


“Uhhh … it’ll take me ‘bout six hours.”


“Ok, let’s say eight hours from now, then … will that work?” Dawn suggested.


“Yeah, brilliant. Eight hours, Peace Pagoda, Golden Gate Park. Got it.”




“Yeah, pet?”


“I … I really missed you … you and Buffy. I don’t know how you’re back but … I’m so glad,” Dawn told him, her voice full of emotion.


“Sorry it took so long, pet.”


“It’s ok ... I’ll see you soon.”


“Yeah, brilliant.”




Spike and Xander packed their things quickly, checked out, and left the pink room that time forgot behind. Despite Xander’s objections that he should drive, Spike once again was behind the wheel of the borrowed pickup truck. He headed for Interstate 5. Although not as scenic, it was faster than taking US 1 along the coast.


They were to meet Dawn at six p.m. at the Peace Pagoda in Golden Gate Park. Spike wasn’t 100% sure where that was in the park. He knew the park was large, like Central Park large – hundreds of acres; he’d been there in the late sixties. In fact, it was from there that he’d hitched a cross-country ride with a friendly group of flower children in a VW bus. They’d ended up at Woodstock for ‘Three Days of Peace and Music’ … and some really wild acid trips.


Before they left the hotel, Xander had quickly downloaded and saved information about the park, including maps, onto the hard drive of their laptop. Xander been looking at these pages and making notes about what entrance to take into the park, while Spike drove. 


Xander suddenly closed the lid of the laptop and rolled his window down. He leaned his head against the door and let the air wash in over his face.


“Sumthin’ the matter?” Spike asked, stealing a glance at Xander.


“Just … car sick,” Xander choked out, laying a hand over his stomach.


“Oh, bloody hell,” Spike moaned. “Don’t you dare barf in this bloody truck. Nothing I hate worse than the smell o’ barfed up ham sandwiches, beer, and powdered donuts.”


“Thank you for your concern,” Xander retorted, keeping his face in the breeze. “Someone should nominate you for the Florence Nightingale Medal.


“I told you I should drive. I don’t get sick if I’m driving,” Xander told Spike.


“Ohhhh … shit! You might wanna pull over,” Xander moaned, leaning his head further out the window and bringing a hand up to cover his mouth.


“Bugger,” Spike growled as he put his four-way flashers on and pulled off into the emergency lane.


Xander jumped out of the truck before it had even come to a complete stop and ran a few feet away. He ducked behind a bush just off the right-of-way and leaned on a nearby tree, bent over at the waist. After a few minutes, he came back, wiping at his mouth with the back of his hand. 


“Ya know,” Xander said as he approached. “If you don’t want to make these pit stops every few minutes, you might want to just let me drive.”


Spike sighed and rolled his eyes. “You’re a bloody pain in the ass, Harris,” he told him harshly as he unbuckled his seatbelt and got out of the truck.


Xander smirked as he climbed behind the wheel, adjusted all the mirrors and buckled up.  “Oh! Could you grab me a Coke out of the cooler?” Xander asked Spike just as the vamp was about to get in the truck.


Spike blew out a frustrated breath, but got a Coke out of the cooler in the bed of the truck. He handed it to Xander as he got in the passenger seat, then buckled up himself.  Xander pulled back onto the highway and started fiddling with the radio, humming lightly as he drove.  After finding a station he liked, he opened the Coke and took a long drink of the fizzy liquid.


“You seem t’ have gotten over being car sick awful quick like,” Spike observed, narrowing his eyes at Xander.


Xander shot Spike a triumphant look and took another long drink of his Coke. “Must just be the healing power of your aura, Spike. You have a completely different vibe there in the passenger seat … it really suits you.  You might qualify for some kind of humanitarian medal, after all.”


“You pratt!” Spike snarled. “You weren’t sick at all!”


“I was too! Sick and tired of your driving!” Xander laughed in victory. 




End Notes:


Never experienced Magic Fingers? Then you haven't lived!

The book, 'Celtic Whispers', is a real book by an author named Dawn Summers:

Never seen that naked butt shot of Spike before? It's not a manip, it's from the Wrecked dailies, thus the poor quality, but still ... yum.

More of Spike and Xander's mission to come. What has happened to Dawn over the last ten years? What's changed? How can she get from the UK to California so quickly?



Stuck in the Middle With You by Stealers Wheel



Well, I don’t know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain’t right.
I’m so scared in case I'll fall off my chair,
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs.
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

Yes, I’m stuck in the middle with you,
And I’m wondering what it is I should do.
It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face,
Losing control, yeah, I’m all over the place.
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

Well, you started off with nothing,
And you’re proud that you’re a self-made man.
And your family comes a-callin',
Slap you on the back and say, “Please, please.”

Trying to make some sense of it all,
But I can see it makes no sense at all.
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor?
Well, I don't think I can take anymore.
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

Well, you started out with nothing,
And you’re proud that you’re a self-made man.
And your family comes a-callin',
Slap you on the back and say, “Please, please.”

Yeah, I don’t know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain’t right,
I’m so scared in case I'll fall off my chair,
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

Yes I’m, stuck in the middle with you,
Stuck in the middle with you,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.




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