Authors: cordelianne, reremouse, savoytruffle
Warnings: Seduction, stealth, and other more desperate tactics
Summary: Xander's got places to be, things to do. Giles wishes Xander had given the Council a heads up. Spike figures, what the hell, the pay's good and it's not like he's got other plans at the moment.
THANK YOU: And a special thank you to katekat1010 for making two fabulous movie posters for this fic!! You will find one below the cut. Both can be seen here.
Previous parts here.
Whatever it is, Harris wants to tell him.
Spike can read the signs.
Like the way Harris barely gives himself a head start anymore, lounging around the hotel room for most of the day, dozing and watching cable, only buggering off maybe an hour or two before sunset and not even being all that quiet about it.
The way he doesn’t even bother to get his own hotel room anymore, just waits until Spike’s checked in and shows up to order room service.
The way he’s left his precious sock unattended during more than one trip to the hotel vending machine and stayed away too long, like he’s just begging Spike to snoop.
Which Spike has.
Or the way Harris tenses up sometimes when they’re lying next to each other after – takes a deep breath and holds it for a minute, then lets it out before turning over and going to sleep.
Forget signs – they’re fucking billboards.
Bloody useless fucking billboards that tell Spike Harris wants to say something, but don’t bother to tell him what he’s supposed to say to Harris to get Harris to blurt it out already.
And Spike’s tried everything.
He’s tried seduction.
Which isn’t so much saying to Harris as it is doing to Harris, but he’s done pretty much everything he can think of to Harris that doesn’t require a safeword or charging to the Council credit card a genre of “interrogation tools” he’s pretty sure have never appeared on one of their itemized expense reports. All his best tricks, and still not a peep.
And he’s tried stealth.
Which gave him is a shrunken head and a laundry list of slayers, but never got him close enough to actually hear what Harris says to these slayers, and which is whole lot less fun now that Harris is hardly even bothering to sneak around anymore.
In Tupelo, he tried a warning.
“You know, you can’t keep this up forever…”
A shrug. “Suppose I can’t.”
And, in Decatur, a threat.
“You know, Giles has been keeping this from the girls, but I could call them…”
Another shrug. “Suppose you could.”
And, somewhere outside Savannah, manipulation.
“Some white hat you are, running off like this. You may not have a sacred duty, but people count on you, you know…”
A sigh this time. “Oh, I know.” A shake of the head. “But, believe me, you have no idea.”
He even tried sympathy once, after their one night in Orlando, which was one night too many as far as Spike was concerned.
“I could help you, you know. Whatever harebrained scheme you’ve tangled yourself up in…”
(Sympathy may not be Spike’s forte.)
A smile. “You do help me, Spike.”
“No, I don’t.” Which denial doesn’t go well with the sympathy plan, but Spike thinks he’d know if he was helping and he’s pretty sure he isn’t.
“If I didn’t need you here more than I needed you not here, you wouldn’t be here.” Stated simply like it’s supposed to make perfect sense and the topic is closed.
And Spike might have tried to keep the topic open, but he’s not even sure what the topic is anymore.
Hell, one night, while admiring the view of the ocean from their hotel balcony in Myrtle Beach, Spike actually tried word association.
“So, shrunken heads and slayers…”
“Sauce pans and salamanders.”
Spike shoots him a glare.
Another of those irritating shrugs. “Um, what are two things you don’t want to run into in an alley at night?”
Spike gives up.
Of course he could try calling Giles. If anyone besides Harris knows what a shrunken head has to do with a scattering of slayers, it’s probably the man who could catalog the British Museum from memory.
But somehow Spike’s not ready to do that just yet.
Maybe he hasn’t given up after all.