Stopping Over

By Saber ShadowKitten
And Now For Something Completely Different 10

August 15, 2000

"So, are you going to help him?"

Xander looked at Spike with a surprised arch to his dark brow. "Do you want me to?"

Spike shrugged as if he didn't care, but his expression was tense.

Xander returned his attention to the vicious fight taking place a hundred feet from where he and Spike were standing. Xander could see the dark shape of a vampire battling a checkerboard-like black and white demon. Angel versus a Peti, according to Spike. And Angel was getting thoroughly trounced.

They had stumbled onto the fight accidentally. At first, Spike had been all for watching Angel getting his ass kicked. But as the fight became more brutal, Spike had grown still and silent.

Xander winced at a particularly hard hit and decided enough was enough. Reaching out with his mind, he drained most of the molecular electricity from the demon. He could have killed the Peti outright, but then Angel would have been suspicious and Xander didn't want a confrontation in an alley.

Spike and Xander watched as Angel finished off the Peti, then limped away. Xander heard Spike let out a quick breath -- almost like a sigh of relief -- and again Xander arched a surprised brow.

But instead of quizzing Spike on his apparent worry for Angel, Xander said, "Follow him. I'll get the Hawk and wait for you to call."

"Right." Spike immediately started after Angel, stepping over the dead demon without a second glance at it.

Xander shook his head, wondering what the hell was going on in his companion's brain. Neither of them had a real fondness for the dark-haired, ensouled vampire. Perhaps Xander'd cut one too many wires in Spike's head.

Xander headed back to where they'd left the motorcycle. He quickly checked over their gear, making sure the two satchels, two thin bedrolls, and small lean-to case were still tied to the back of the bike. Spike had the messenger bag containing the first aid kit, a few weapons, and storm paraphernalia with him.

Xander slid his sunglasses on his nose, leaned against the bike, closed his eyes, and waited. It hadn't been planned that they would look up Angel on their way through Los Angeles, but Xander wasn't against the idea. He and Spike had been on the road for four days and the break would be a relief to his saddle-sore behind.

They wouldn't stay long, however. Xander avoided stopping over in large cities for lengthy periods of time. In fact, he didn't like stopping in any one place for more than a week.

Because when he did he tended to cause mass power-outages.

Normally, he and Spike would rent a cheap motel room for a day or two before moving on. Spike grumbled a lot about sharing a room with Xander because, after about four hours, the television and clock-radio would cease to work. After Xander was in the room for ten continuous hours, the lights would go out.

That was one of reasons Xander liked camping outside. He didn't have to worry about draining nature's electricity. He did find, though, that as long as he didn't continuously occupy a room, his effects on the electrical power were reduced. On the down side, he'd also found that the length of continual time was shortening with every storm he suffered through.

Besides, Spike snored. Or, at least, that's what it sounded like. And sharing a lumpy double bed with Spike in a motel room was not Xander's idea of a good time. Unless, of course, said blonde was on his hands and knees with his naked ass in the air.

The corner of Xander's mouth twitched at the image painted behind his closed eyes. It wasn't difficult to picture Spike in the buff. He'd seen Spike sans clothing many times over the months they'd traveled together. Hell, he'd caught Spike spankin' the monkey on a couple of occasions. What vision-altered, quasi-normal, twenty-year old bisexual male wouldn't be attracted to Spike's lean, hard body?

Not that Xander actually wanted to do anything with Spike. It could ruin the relationship they currently had and Xander definitely didn't want that to happen. The first few months after his accident had been unbelievably lonely and he was never one to like being completely by himself.

When he'd stumbled upon Spike munching on someone in an alley, Xander hadn't hesitated in his decision to acquire Spike as his aide-de-camp. Spike was someone who knew about the Slayer and Slayerettes, could handle the strangeness that had become Xander's life, and could take care of himself.

It was as if fate was lending a helping hand when Xander tweaked Spike's brain. All of Xander's previous experiments in altering vampire behavior had ended up as piles of dust. Spike, however, turned out just as Xander had wanted -- an Angel without the whole brooding, "I-may-kill-you-if-I-get-laid" thing.

The cell phone in Xander's pocket trilled. He answered it with his usual weather report, "No storm."

"Good," Spike said over the line. "Eight north, three west."

"On my way."

Driving eight blocks north and three blocks west from where he'd parked, Xander pulled the bike to the curb, shut off the engine, and joined Spike on the sidewalk. Spike flicked his cigarette bud away and gestured towards the building.

"In front of us are the beautiful offices of Angel Investigations," Spike said in a mocking tour-guide tone of voice. "Inside, you will find a vampire who wants to change his name to Bruce, but lacks the knackers to do it."

Xander rolled his eyes and went back to studying the building. It wasn't much of anything, really. Just another average building in a large city, with, according to Spike, the words "Angel Investigations" stenciled on the window beside the door.

"Well, shall we?" Xander said.

"Let me go in first, pet." Spike rubbed his hands together, a mischievous smile curving his lips. "Count to thirty or so, then follow, eh?"

Xander groaned. "What are you going to do? And should I alert the medics now or wait?"

"You'll see." Spike winked, then dashed into the building.

Xander sighed. "I hate it when he says that."