Authors: cordelianne and reremouse
Warnings: A tuk-tuk, an evil brotherhood, champagne and a brain.
Summary: In a post-Chosen, post-NFA, non-comic canon compliant world, Xander's working with the Council and Spike's working with Angel. Somehow they keep running into each other.
Chapters live here.
A tuk-tuk pulls up to another tuk-tuk on a street in Bangkok.
It's nothing so mundane as a stoplight up there but Xander's pretty sure his tuk-tuk hasn't moved in at least five minutes.
So of course the guy in the other tuk-tuk is Spike.
"Look alive, Harris." He throws a wrapped bundle through the window into Xander's lap.
And his tuk-tuk speeds away defying all laws of physics and three dimensional geometry while Xander's continues to sit there mired in traffic. It kind of figures Spike would find the one magical tuk-tuk in Ratchaprasong.
It also figures it's one of two and the other's carrying two little blue guys in sarongs with pointy hats and pointier swords.
He doesn't know what they're saying and doesn't want to and sits there like any other ignorant tourist in a tuk-tuk with a strange and squishy bundle of cloth in his lap.
It also figures Spike would know where he's staying so when there's a knock on his door, Xander's not that surprised to find Spike on the other side. What he is surprised to find is the room service kid standing behind Spike with a loaded cart.
Apparently, Spike can do considerate.
So Xander can do polite. "Come on in, Spike."
"Cheers, pet." Spike sheds his duster and boots and slouches into the only slouchable chair in the room and waves an imperial hand to the bus boy. "Leave it anywhere."
He doesn't tip.
But Xander does. One of them has to leave laundry outside his door in the morning and would kind of like to get it back.
Spike's continued shedding while Xander was seeing the well-tipped hotel employee out the door and he's down to half buttoned jeans and pouring champagne by the time Xander turns around. "What's the occasion?"
"There has to be an occasion?" Spike passes him a flute, licks spilled champagne off his thumb.
"I think it's in the official champagne rulebook. If you make under a hundred thou a year, there has to be an occasion for champagne."
"Rules." Spike's tone says it all. Somewhere, the rulebook smolders and self-immolates at a slow burn.
Xander concedes the point. "So what's in the package?"
Spike's methodically uncovering dishes Xander doesn't recognize and probably doesn't want to because his stomach's sitting up and begging. And food usually tastes better when Xander doesn't know what's in it. He pauses long enough to ask: "You didn't look?"
The bundle was really squishy in an instinctively disturbing way.
Xander's a guy who goes with his instincts.
He's also a guy who telegraphs everything via facial expression if the look of sympathy on Spike's face is anything to go by. "Probably for the best." Spike passes him a bowl and a spoon. There've been a lot of funny bundles of cloth around Spike and Xander's pretty sure he's glad he hasn't looked in any of them.
Xander slurps soup. It's hot. It's good. He's not thinking about what's floating in it. "So who were the blue guys?"
"Quadrangle of the Red Branch."
Xander's not certain but he's pretty sure his face is telegraphing 'excuse me - but what the hell?'
Spike shrugs. His expression says clearly: 'I didn't name them, did I?'
"Evil Inc. was kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel the day they came up with that one, huh?"
"Sounds more sinister in Romanian," Spike assures him.
They've moved on to charred meaty things on sticks when Xander gets around to asking: "End of the world?"
Spike tears a piece of meat off the stick with his teeth, shrugs. "Not if I can help it."