Million Dollar Bachelor

by
Forsaken2003



Part Sixteen

 

“Xander!” William yelled, startling everyone including Sparky, who had been taking a short snooze. “What the bloody hell are you doing?”

“Will...I...” Xander was at a loss of words. He’d never actually hit anyone before. He never wanted to be like his father. “I’m sorry.”

William scowled as he walked further into the room. “This is my home and I don’t condone that sort of behavior!” He sat down beside Lindsey, who was holding his nose. “I know you’ve had your problems but...” William clamped his mouth shut as soon as he realized what he had said.

“What the fuck are you talking about? How did you...did you...did you do a background check on me?” Xander paled, afraid of what William knew about his past.

“Well...” William was so caught off by the turn of events that his gaze fell on Lindsey.

Xander’s eyes followed. Lindsey had wide eyes and he lowered his hands from his face. “Hee hee...well, you know. I just thought it would be good if William knew the type of people he was allowing into his home.” Lindsey chuckled nervously.

“Really?” Gunn asked as he walked down the stairs. He had been heading to the bathroom when he heard the commotion. “And just what exactly did you find out about me?”

“Gunn, you should be in bed,” William said and went to stand but Lindsey gripped his hand as if he were afraid to be left.

Gunn turned his dark eyes to William. “What did he say about me? I’m guessing this is what we were going to talk about tomorrow, right? Why not get everything out in the open now?”

Lindsey started to look very uncomfortable and began to sweat. “I think I need some ice. Will, could you get it for me?”

“No,” Xander said and crossed his arms. “What exactly did Lindsey tell you about us?”

“You’re right, I should have talked to you about this,” William said. “Lindsey told me that you had a juvenile record, Gunn.”

Gunn’s mouth dropped open. “And did he tell you why?”

“Your records were sealed,” William replied. “I know it is none of my business but I think I also deserve to know the truth, don’t I?”

“Yeah, you deserve to know the truth but wouldn’t it have been better to have asked me than to ask ratboy to sneak behind our backs to do it?” Gunn said angrily.

William stood, trying to figure where everything had gone so wrong. “I didn’t!”

“I’m pretty sure I’d be right if I said Lindsey did it out of the goodness of his heart,” Xander said sarcastically.

Lindsey stood defensively. “I did! I think William could do way better than a criminal and some abused victim!”

“EVERYONE STOP!” William yelled.

Sparky whimpered and hid behind the couch.

Part of William wanted to call the whole thing off. This had become much too complicated. “Everyone just stop.” Everyone had the decency to look guilty, even Lindsey. “You are acting like children! I invited you all here and I want you to act like adults.”

“I get that Will,” Xander said and fell to the couch. “But Lindsey had no right to go digging for dirt on Gunn and me.”

“No, he didn’t,” William agreed. Lindsey pouted. “But we can’t change what’s been done. I hope that both you and Gunn will feel comfortable enough to talk to me about what Lindsey has discovered.”

Lindsey leaned forward. He’d been dying to know what Gunn did. “Let’s start with Gunn!”

“I’m not telling you anything you rat bastard,” Gunn replied furiously. “If William wants to know then we will discuss it tomorrow on our date.”

“But...” Lindsey said about to protest.

“That is fine. Lindsey, you will not be part of this. It has nothing to do with you,” William stated sternly.

Lindsey huffed and slumped back. “Fine.”

William looked at Xander who still looked upset. “Xander?”

“Huh?” Xander asked. He had zoned out, thinking about his father.

“When our date comes will you be comfortable enough to discuss what has been brought out?” William asked with concern. Who had abused Xander? Was it his parents? Or maybe an ex-boyfriend?

“Yeah, fine, but alone,” Xander replied and glared at Lindsey.

With that decided William tried to change the subject. “I don’t know if anyone is really up for a movie now?”

Lindsey waved his hand in dismissal. “Doesn’t matter to me. But my nose still hurts,” he replied rubbing his nose. It actually didn’t hurt that much but he needed some damage control and what was better than sympathy?

“I’ll get you some ice. Why don’t you all get comfortable if you want to watch a movie?” William asked.

Gunn decided to pass; his stomach was still upset and he honestly didn’t feel like being in the room with Lindsey. “I’m going to head back up to my room. You guys enjoy the movie,” he said and smiled at William. “We’ll talk tomorrow. I promise.”

William smiled back; he was feeling a little more secure about the situation. “Feel better. We’ll head out about ten?”

“Great,” Gunn replied. He waved and headed back upstairs, suddenly exhausted. Tomorrow’s conversation was going to be awkward to say the least. Hopefully William would understand.

  ***

Half way through Spaceballs the tension seemed to have faded. After all who couldn’t help but laugh at Rick Moranis’s antics? Even Sparky came out and sprawled out on the rug in front of William and Xander. He cursed that he couldn’t see color, but his tail did wag when he saw Dot. She was like a giant walking fire hydrant in his eye.

Xander, as much as he loved this movie, was growing tired. His eyes became heavy and he was having trouble keeping them open. Eventually he laid his head on William’s shoulder. It was actually quite comfortable.

William looked over to see Xander’s eyes closed and his breathing even. He was asleep. It gave William the chance to really look at him. The TV gave off a bright light so he didn’t have to squint. For the first time since Xander had gotten there William noticed a faint scar above his left eye and underneath it. The scar was so faint that only if you were looking hard enough you would see it. He couldn’t help but be curious as to how Xander got it. Hopefully he’d find out on their date. It wasn’t that he wanted to know the gory details but Xander was so interesting and he wanted to know everything about him. Good or bad. William placed a soft kiss on Xander’s head before going back to the movie.

William missed the soft smile on Xander’s face before he was lulled into a deep sleep.





Part Seventeen

 

When Xander woke up, Gunn and William were already gone for their date. He realized that he had slept on the couch. Either William decided to just let him sleep or Xander had been dead to the world. It didn’t matter; he’d had a good night sleep. He sat up and stretched and saw Sparky staring at him. “Morning walk?” Xander asked. Sparky’s wagged his tail. “Okay.” Xander stood and went to get changed. Maybe he’d take Sparky to the dog park today.

  ***

The tension between William and Gunn was so thick that you could have cut it with a knife. They sat awkwardly in a small café as they drank coffee. The batting cages weren’t open yet and William thought that maybe it would be a good idea to get everything out before their date officially started.

“So...” William said uneasily.

“I’m not some gangbanger,” Gunn said straight out. “I’ve never been in one.”

William blinked at Gunn’s bluntness. He was actually thankful for it because he didn’t want to have to ask. “That’s good to know.”

“I told you how my dad left us when I was a kid,” Gunn said and William nodded. “My mom worked in a diner thirty-eight hours a week, so she wasn’t entitled to benefits. We weren’t extremely poor but there were weeks when food was limited. We had been living on peanut butter and jam sandwiches for about a week and we ran out of jam. My sister won’t eat just peanut butter sandwiches and my mom was working a nightshift. We didn’t have any cash in the house so I did what I thought I had to do.”

“You stole jam?” William said clearly shocked. That was the big crime?

Gunn shrugged. “I ended up getting caught before I even got to the doors. I was let off easy because of the circumstances but if it happened again they wouldn’t be as easy. After that I was able to find a job during the weekends and I was able to help pull in some money.”

“And now you’re a successful man who owns his own store,” William said with a smile.

“I don’t know about successful, but I am doing pretty well,” Gunn said. Sure, his business wasn’t booming but he had worked hard to get to where he was. He was lucky to be where he was today. “Maybe you could check it out. Never know what treasures you’ll find.”

William nodded eagerly. “I’d like that.” He finished his coffee and stood. “Do you think the batting cages will be open?”

“Should be close enough,” Gunn said and stood as well. “Let’s get cracking.”

  ***

William had no fucking idea what he was doing. He was given a batting helmet. It was uncomfortable and he was sure by the time he took it off, his hair would be a mess. Gunn handed him a bat, saying that it was the lightest and would be the best for him. William took his word on that.

“Some people hold it at the base but I think since you’re new to this you should hold it a couple inches up,” Gunn said and helped William get his hands in position. He noticed William seemed to be anxious about this. “Don’t worry, the ball won’t come back and hit you.”

“Obviously you’ve never seen America’s Funniest Home Videos,” William muttered to himself. He wondered if it was too late to ask for some sort of cup.

Gunn grinned at William’s statement. “Now stand on the plate. Your hands should touch. Hold the bat up, no, not on your shoulder. Good. Spread your legs roughly shoulder-width apart. Don't stand straight up; just bend your knees a little so you don't feel stiff.” He watched as William seemed to relax a little bit. “Now keep both eyes on the ball. Keep your weight on your back foot. If you're right-handed, take your left leg and pick it up slightly as the pitch is released.” Gunn nodded as William gave it a try. “As the pitch comes toward you, stride forward just a little, not too much.”

There seemed a lot of movement for such a simple task. William didn’t understand why there were so many instructions but he trusted that Gunn knew what he was talking about. Gunn also didn’t seem as aggravated as Lindsey had been when showing him how to shoot. Lindsey had tried to hide it but failed.

“Now keep your elbows toward your body so the bat goes in a tight circle when you swing. You want to hit the ball before it goes over the plate. When you swing you want to keep the bat leveled.” Gunn stood behind William and took hold of the bat as well. He had them do an example swing that kept it level. “If you swing low then end with the bat high you’ll risk missing the ball. If you don't follow through, you won't generate much power because your swing might actually be slowing down before you make contact, so the follow through is very important.”

“Right,” William nodded and gripped the bat a little tighter.

“You ready to give it a try?” Gunn asked. “Do you want to go through it again?”

William shook his and with a determined face he said, “I’m ready.”

Gunn patted him on the shoulder and jogged over to the baseball fly ball machine. He turned it on low before turning it on. “Incoming!”

“O-okay!” William called back before gulping. He heard the machine warm up and a kurchunk and then a white ball whirled at him. His grip loosened as his palms began to sweat. Eyes clenched shut, William swung hard. He missed the ball and the bat flew out from his hands. Luckily he hadn’t put much strength into the hit and it only flew a couple feet. “Bloody hell!”

Gunn couldn’t help but burst out laughing. Not at the action but at the horrific look on William’s face. It was priceless! “I guess I forgot to tell you to make sure you don’t let go, huh?”

William scowled and marched over to the bat and picked it up. “Yes, I think you did fail to mention that.” He wiped his sweaty hands on his pants.

“Let’s give it another try. Now remember, hold the bat tight and keep your eyes open!” Gunn said and pointed an accusing finger at William.

“All right, let do this again,” William said and this time he was ready to not let go of the bat.

  ***

Gunn was fussing over William. The second try had been worse than the first. William had held onto the bat just like he was instructed but his swing was apparently too hard and he wrenched his shoulder. So now they were in the locker room with an icepack on William’s shoulder. “Fuck Will, I’m so sorry!”

William groaned as he moved his shoulder. “It’s fine, Gunn. I guess I’m just not baseball player material, huh?”

“No,” Gunn agreed. “Look maybe we should call today a bust and head back to your place.”

“What?” William looked absolutely dismayed at the suggestion. “We will not! All we have to do is change the plans a little bit.”

Gunn didn’t look so sure. “Do we have a backup plan?”

“Ever get a professional massage before?” William asked.

“I can honestly say I haven’t,” Gunn replied getting excited. “Can we get in without an appointment?”

William whipped out his cellphone. “I know a girl that can get us in.”

Twenty minutes later they walked into a magnificent spa. A beautiful brunette came over to them with a pretty smile. “Will, I haven’t seen you in months. I was starting to think you didn’t like my services anymore,” she scolded him.

“How could that happen?” William asked and gave her a peck on the cheek. “I’ve just been busy. Can you fit me and my friend in?”

Gunn poked William on his good shoulder. “Wouldn’t it be polite to introduce me to this pretty girl first?”

“Oh, I like him!”

William looked ashamed. “Yes, I’m sorry. Charles Gunn this is Cordelia Chase.”

Gunn smiled and shook Cordelia’s outstretched hand. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“You too,” Cordelia said, smiling. “Wait, are you two here on a date?”

“Yes,” William said with a roll of the eyes.

Cordelia huffed. “Don’t you have any straight friends? Not all of us are as lucky you know!”

William grinned at her rant. “You don’t need my help, darling. You’re a gorgeous creature.”

“Go on,” Cordelia said with a big smile.

“Really you are beautiful. Any man would be lucky to be with you,” Gunn said truthfully.

William was a little confused. Gunn sounded like he might actually... like Cordelia?





Part Eighteen

After their massages William and Gunn decided to sit in the sauna. William’s shoulder was feeling much better and he was sure that after a good night sleep he’d be back to his old self. But his attention wasn’t on his pain, it was on Gunn. He couldn’t get the look on Gunn’s face when he met Cordelia out of his mind.

“Are you straight?” William blurted it out without meaning to.

Gunn’s eyes almost popped out of his head. “What?!”

“That’s not what I meant. What I mean is...” William stopped to think about what he actually meant. “No, that’s what I meant.”

“Will, I am not straight,” Gunn said, moving closer to William.

William didn’t look so sure. “So you don’t think Cordelia is pretty?”

“Of course she is,” Gunn replied. He looked at William. “I didn’t mention I was bisexual, did I?”

“Bisexual?” William asked. “No, you failed to mention that.”

“You’re not jealous, are you?” Gunn asked and locked eyes with William.

William leaned forward and kissed Gunn. He wrapped his arms around Gunn and pulled him closer, their bare chests pressed up together. They pulled back at the same time, both frowning. “That was...”

“Yeah,” Gunn agreed. “Wanna try again?”

“Good idea,” William said and kissed Gunn again. He opened his eyes as they kissed, waiting for a spark to flicker. There was nothing. William pulled away and wiped his lips. Gunn did the same thing. “Anything?”

Gunn sat there thinking about it even though he knew the answer too. Finally he sighed. “Not a damn thing.”

They sat there awkwardly. William looked upset. “You are bloody gorgeous, you speak your mind and I love that. But...”

“We’ve got nothing,” Gunn finished. “We can’t force it, Will. As much as I like you I don’t want to waste time trying to make something work that just isn’t there.”

William sighed. Of course Gunn was right, that didn’t make it any less upsetting though. “You’re right, I know. It doesn’t make me like it any.”

“You’ll get over it. I mean you do still have Xander,” Gunn replied.

“And Lindsey,” William added.

Gunn shook his head. “William you're a good guy and I hope what I have to say won’t affect any potential friendship we may have in the future but Lindsey is bad news.”

“Lindsey may be a little...” William tried to find the right word.

“Controlling comes to mind. Come on Will. You have to see it! Besides I know you like Xander, more than both me and Lindsey,” Gunn said. “When you were with me your mind was on him whether you realize it or not. And I’d put money that he was on your mind when you were with lawyer boy.”

“I do feel stronger feelings toward Xander,” William confessed looking frazzled. “And it makes me feel guilty.”

Gunn shook his head. “You have no fucking reason to feel guilty man. This is why you brought us here, remember? To find that special someone and Xander is obviously the one! We all knew two of us would be leaving empty handed. We took the chance to come here. Just because you feel guilty doesn’t mean you have to push down your feelings for the sake of possibly hurting Lindsey.”

“We still have the group date tomorrow,” William said.

“Man, screw the group date! Tell Xander you’ve decided to have your solo date tomorrow and after that you're making your choice. This is your thing, your rules. If someone doesn’t like it fuck them!”

William snorted. “And by that you mean Lindsey.”

“You can’t make everyone happy, Will. You can’t have two lovers, I don’t think Xander would be happy with that just because you don’t want to hurt someone else.”

“You’re right,” William admitted. “You’re a good friend, you know?”

“Damn straight,” Gunn said. “Now how about we get out of here and head back to your place? I should really be getting back to the real world now.”

A frown marred William’s face. “You won’t stay the rest of the time?”

“It’s a nice offer but you don’t need me in the way. Besides I need my store open,” Gunn said and he stood. “Damn, I don’t understand how people can sit in here. It’s too damn hot!”

William laughed. “It’s kind of the point.” Gunn turned to William looking like he wanted to ask something but felt too uncomfortable too. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. I was just wondering and this is probably a jerky thing to do and feel free to punch me or something. Do you think I could ask Cordelia out?” Gunn asked looking worried and hopeful at the same time.

Trying and failing to look mad William nodded his head. “Just treat her well or I will punch you,” William said seriously.

***

Xander was swimming laps in the pool while Sparky ran back and forth keeping him company. After all he couldn’t leave Xander alone could he?

Lindsey was on one of the lawn chairs in his swimming trunks and expensive looking sunglasses, working on his tan. He was thinking about Gunn and William’s date. Did Gunn confess his crimes? What did William think? Did he find it sexy or disgusting? Lindsey wanted to know damn it! The only thing he could do was wait and see if William would confide in him.

Speaking of the devils, William and Gunn walked out onto the patio. It was only shortly after two. Obviously their date didn’t go well. Lindsey smirked. “You two are back soon,” he commented.

“Yes, we have an announcement,” William said. He couldn’t help but watch as Xander climbed out of the pool, shook his hair free of water and came over to them. Sparky followed.

“Is everything okay?” Xander asked worriedly. He shivered slightly as the wind picked up.

William smiled. “Everything is fine. Gunn has decided to leave.”

“Why?” Xander asked with a frown. He really liked Gunn and was hoping they could hang out some more. Their best talk was naming everything they liked about William. That had been fun.

“We’ve discovered that we just don’t have a connection,” William explained. “But we are going to stay in contact.”

Gunn nudged William. “We better. Remember, I know where you live.” He looked at Xander who looked truly upset. “It’s cool, Xan. Besides that means one less guy to fight over this stud remember?”

“I know. It’s just... can’t you stay?” Xander asked. His gaze shot to Lindsey and Gunn realized what he was not saying: Don’t leave me with him.

“You’ll be spending too much time with Will to even miss me,” Gunn assured him. He walked over to Xander and pulled him into a hug ignoring the fact that his clothes were getting wet. “After all this look me up, I’m in the book. We’ll have coffee and talk about the yumminess of William again,” he joked.

William blushed.

Gunn pulled away and knelt beside Sparky and petted him. “You be good.” He then whispered, “Feel free to piss on Lindsey’s expensive shoes.”

“I’m going to walk Gunn out and then I think we should have a meeting. I’ve decided that there are going to be some changes,” William announced.

Both Xander and Lindsey worried. Sparky scratched his ear. He hoped he didn’t get fleas from Lindsey.





Part Nineteen

Gunn tossed his suitcase into the back of his truck and turned to look at William. “We might not have that spark but you are still one sexy guy,” he said with a grin.

A blush covered William’s pale cheeks. “I can’t deny that I’ll miss your... physique.”

“You remember what I said,” Gunn said, turning serious. “In the end I want to you to be happy and it's your choice but if you make the wrong one you might not be able to fix it.” He pulled William in for a hug before he climbed into his truck. With one final wave he started it up and headed out. Back to the real world.

  ***

While William saw Gunn off, Xander dried off and got dressed. He hoped there wasn’t more to Gunn leaving than no chemistry. On the other hand Xander was kind of glad Gunn was gone; it meant that maybe he and William really did have something special. He would just have preferred if it was Lindsey that had left. With a sigh he sat down at the table away from Lindsey.

“Do you really think Gunn’s leaving because they have nothing in common?” Lindsey asked. “I bet that’s not it. I bet it wasn’t stealing that got him into trouble either.”

“And what do you think it was?” Xander asked with a roll of his eyes.

Lindsey moved from his chair over to the table. “It’s obvious; any idiot could figure it out.” He ignored Xander’s scowl. “Whatever Gunn did in his past William can’t accept. It must have been bad.”

“Oh yeah so bad that he didn’t get jail time?” Xander shot back. “Now who’s the idiot?”

“How do you know he didn’t get jail time?” Lindsey asked suspiciously.

Xander rolled his eyes. “Last night you told us his file was closed.”

“Oh,” Lindsey had forgotten about that. “Well anyway maybe it wasn’t extremely bad but still bad enough to get community service. Maybe he was some freak peeping tom.”

Xander opened his mouth to defend Gunn but William had beaten him, surprising them both. “Lindsey, you don’t know a bloody thing about Gunn. He is a good and honest man and I will not have you bad-mouthing him.”

“Oh...Will,” Lindsey chuckled nervously. “We were just, you know, guy talking is all. I didn’t mean anything by it.”

“You wanted to talk to us, Will?” Xander asked. “Is everything okay?”

William sat down beside Xander away from Lindsey. Lindsey mentally cursed. Stupid Xander for being such a fucking goody two shoe. “Yes, Gunn and I were talking and I’ve decided to change the plans a bit. Tomorrow will not be a ‘group’ date. Instead it will be Xander’s and my date.”

“What?” Lindsey yelled. “William, that’s not fair!”

“I think you’re wrong,” William replied. “I’ll phone Clem, a friend of mine who owns his own pizzeria, and ask him if we can use it in the morning.”

Xander smiled brightly. It had been years since he'd worked in a pizzeria. “Great. We can make our grocery list tonight.”

“What about me?” Lindsey whined. “You're making the rest of today about Xander!”

William scrunched up his nose at Lindsey’s whining. “I’m sure the list will only take a few minutes.”

“Cool,” Xander said, looking very excited about their date being moved up a day.

Lindsey decided to compose himself. Even he noticed how annoying he was being. He’d just get some alone time with William... after they went to bed. “I understand. This is your thing.”

Xander looked surprised at Lindsey’s new attitude. No doubt it was some scheme. “Do we have any plans for tonight?”

“Actually I was thinking, I’ve lived here for years and I have never done the touristy thing. You know, the Hollywood walk of fame or Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum,” William confessed.

Xander’s mouth fell open. “That’s kind of sad.”

Lindsey grunted in response. William was dull. Tourist crap? Hell, he could phone up Brad and Angelina and see if they wanted to ditch the kids and go to the Cabana Club.

William looked embarrassed. “Well I figure it would be fun. The wax museum is always open late.”

“I’m in!” Xander said excitedly. He loved Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. There were always new figurines. “Can we go to a diner I know near there?”

“A diner? What about AGO?” Lindsey suggested hopefully. If he was going to do something boring he should at least get an expensive meal out of the deal.

William seemed to consider it but ended up shaking his head. “I don’t think a lot of tourists go to bloody expensive restaurants. I think the full tourist experience is in order,” he said and turned to Xander who looked as excited as he felt. “What diner did you have in mind?”

“Mel’s? Great food and you never know who might come in,” Xander explained with a big grin. “I swear Ashton Kutcher come in one day. I didn’t like him. I left a bigger tip than he did.”

“He does seem like a snob doesn’t he?” William asked. “I was at a premiere of one of his movies and he didn’t interact with any of his fans.”

Lindsey couldn’t argue that. The only thing the guy had going for him was his money. How the hell Ashton actually got any jobs Lindsey would never know. With a sigh he finally agreed that Mel’s Diner was fine. The things he had to do to make William happy and him closer to William’s money.

Sparky came over looking sad. They were leaving him again? Didn’t Xander like spending time with him anymore? He let out a loud whimper.

Xander looked down at Sparky and patted his lap. Awkwardly Sparky jumped up. He was too big to be a lap dog but that didn’t mean he didn’t like it. “What’s wrong, bud?”

“I think he’s feeling neglected,” William said, feeling guilty. Xander had told him Sparky didn’t like being without Xander. “We’re leaving him out again.” He petted Sparky’s back.

“You’re still my bud,” Xander told Sparky. Lindsey had to bite his tongue and stop from saying Sparky was a dog and that he didn’t understand what Xander was saying.

“How about since I'm stealing you away from him, I’ll let him sleep on the bed for the remainder of your stay?” William offered.

Sparky’s attention left Xander and went to William. His tail was wagging. He then surprised both Xander and William by jumping onto William’s lap. He almost fell but was caught and pulled safely back onto William’s lap.

“I think he likes that idea,” Xander said with a laugh. He ignored the slight twinge of jealousy of the affection that was saved for him only. But if he did get involved with William he wanted the two to get along.

William looked up at Xander with a big smile. Sparky really liked him. His fur was so soft and William couldn’t stop petting.

Xander and William looked like they would be a good couple. Lindsey was fucked.

Note: I have never met Ashton before but I don’t care for him and I am still upset about the whole Two and a Half Men thing. Sorry to any fans!



Part Twenty

In Lindsey’s opinion he was in hell. For the last two hours they had walked around taking pictures on the Hollywood walk of fame looking like stupid tourists. They had been stopped multiple times by real tourists asking if they would mind taking pictures of them. Lindsey wanted to break their cameras. Did he look like some photographer? What did he care about their vacation and where they came from? Plus why were there so many people coming up to William, interested in his books? Vampires were overrated.

William was having a blast taking pictures of all the stars and talking to some of the tourists. Some of them knew who he was and would stop and tell him what they thought of his books while others begged for another book. They needed to know what would happen to Drusilla. It was fun.

There was a smile on Xander’s face as he watched William interact with people who came up to him to talk about his book. William was great with them. He didn’t look annoyed or flustered like a lot of people would. Even though a couple of the people were criticizing some of William’s work he took it in stride, first thanking them for reading his book and then saying that he was sorry that they didn’t enjoy it and if they read the next of Spike’s adventures that he hoped they enjoyed it. In the end William was amazing.

Finally the last group dispersed and William came over to Xander and Lindsey. Lindsey looked annoyed and had no problem showing it. “Sorry,” William said, looking somewhat embarrassed.

“No.” Xander shook his head. “It was cool.”

“Cool?” Lindsey said, taken aback. “It wasn’t cool. They basically badgered William.” He wrapped his arms around William. “Are you all right?”

Xander rolled his eyes. “If you thought he was in trouble why didn’t you do anything to help him?” Xander had decided that he wasn’t going to play nice with Lindsey anymore. Gunn had the right idea about telling it as it was.

Lindsey didn’t answer but just glared.

“Why don’t we go to the diner?” William asked. He wasn’t blind to the fact that Lindsey and Xander didn’t like each other. Hated each other even, but that didn’t mean he was going to let that ruin what was supposed to be a good time.

Xander’s stomach suddenly grumbled loudly. Food sounded good.

It only took a few minutes to reach Mel’s. It wasn’t that busy which meant it wasn’t too loud. They found a corner booth. Both Xander and Lindsey sat on opposite sides leaving William to decide who he would sit next to. After a few minutes of debating a waitress came over and he just dropped down beside Lindsey.

They ordered their food and Xander tried to hide his disappointment at William picking Lindsey. Did it mean something? Maybe he just panicked and sat down because the waitress came over? He mentally shook his head, he couldn’t let William see it bothered him too much or it would upset him. So he plastered what he hoped looked like a real smile on his face.

William looked around the restaurant. He’d never been there before. It was nice. Each table had its own personal little jukebox machine. He wondered if they worked or they were just for show.

“This place is... nice,” Lindsey lied not fooling anyone. “It’s not like the places I go to. I’m sure Will knows what I mean.”

Xander frowned. “What the hell does that mean?”

“I just mean that William and I are sort of in another category than you are, is all,” Lindsey explained. “It’s nothing personal.”

William shot Lindsey a look, knowing exactly what he was saying and not liking it. “I like this place. It has personality I think.”

Xander smiled. “This is my favorite restaurant. Sparky loves the Rimmy Cajun cheeseburger.”

“Is that healthy for him?” William asked with concern.

“Oh yeah. One day I brought it home, when I went to get a beer I came back and he ate the whole thing. I was so freaked out I phoned the vet and got him in the next day. The doctor was amazed to see that it didn’t upset his stomach at all,” Xander explained. “He only gets it a couple times a year. I don’t want to chance him eating too many you know?”

William sagged in relief. When the waitress came back with their food he ordered a Rimmy Cajun Cheeseburger in a doggy bag. Xander and William both sniggered at that.

They ate dinner in silence, the only noises coming from their table were moaning. The food was delicious. That made Lindsey hate Xander even more. His Marilyn’s Checker Cheeseburger may have been the best burger he’d ever had. How could he show up here? What if one of his colleagues saw him? What would they think of him?

Bad Boy’s Beef Liver and Onions was the best liver and onions William had ever had. William loved liver and onions and was ecstatic that it was on the menu. He was surprised to see Xander and Lindsey both agree that liver and onions was disgusting with a shudder.

William also had noticed the almost distressed look on Xander’s face before Xander had plastered on the fakest looking smile he had ever seen. There wasn’t a doubt in his mind it was because he'd sat beside Lindsey and not Xander but he'd had to make a quick decision. In fact if he was being truthful he was glad he'd sat beside Lindsey. That way he could look at Xander without having to crane his neck. He was actually staring at Xander. Xander was a magnificent creature; how could he not? If that was against the law he was guilty, lock him up and throw away the key.

Xander stole glances at William, instantly realizing he was being watched. Was William upset that he was upset? Could William tell? Xander didn’t want to upset William but he wanted to sit by William, was that so bad? He bit into his Elvis Country Club sandwich. He paused in mid chew. What just touched his leg? Xander first looked over at Lindsey who was scarfing down his chili cheese fries. Couldn’t be him. He turned his focus to William who was smiling shyly at him.

William was playing footsies with him. It was nice. Weird but nice. There was no way Lindsey was getting the same treatment. Xander smiled back and continued to eat, rubbing his own sneaker against William’s.

                                                                       ***

William took tons of pictures of them together hanging off the wax statues of some of the most famous celebrities in the world. They clung to the hot guys of the movie industry like Matthew McConaughey, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Ryan Reynolds. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum was absolutely incredible. The statues were so life-like it felt like they were actually watching William.

“Do you think they are really this hot?” Xander asked as he walked around a model of Hugh Jackman. “They seem so perfect,” he commented.

“No one is perfect,” Lindsey said with a snort. He eyed Ryan Gosling. He was definitely fuckable.

Xander looked over at William. Lindsey was wrong. William was perfect. “I don’t know about that,” he said.

William looked up and saw it was Xander’s turn to stare at him. Wait. Was Xander implying that he was perfect? No one had ever thought of him as perfect before. Well, not that he ever knew about anyway.

“Excuse me.” A woman in her mid-fifties came over to them. “I’m sorry but it’s closing time.”

“Oh,” William said somewhat disappointedly. They hadn’t finished looking at all of the statues.

Xander took hold of William’s hand. “We can come back again. They're always adding new ones to the collection.”

“Right,” William said with a smile. Hopefully he could come back with Xander. Lindsey didn’t seem to enjoy it all that much. In fact he didn’t seem to do anything that could be considered childish. That would be something William had to take into consideration. He looked over at Lindsey. He still wasn’t happy about Lindsey’s bad-mouthing Gunn when he didn’t know the situation. William didn’t like Lindsey bad-mouthing Gunn period. Now the only thing he needed to know was how to actually deal with that situation.