Characters: Xander, Spike Warnings: Pre-slash Disclaimer: Joss and Mutant Enemy et al, own everything. I own nothing. Summary: Xander takes a vacation – sort of... *g* Comments and feedback are cuddled and called George Beta extraordinaire: thismaz Written for 2012 fall_for_sx. Huge thanks to skargasm and theladymerlin for their hard work keeping the community going.
Note to the unwary - this fic is pure fluff. In fact it is so fluffy that bags of cotton wool will be banding together to form a union and will be marching up and down waving placards because they think their fluffiness is under threat...
Xander turned over and tried to pound his pillow into submission. The pillow refused to be pounded, mainly because it wasn’t there. He shifted half on to his side and opened his eye. He closed it again, counted to ten, then opened it. Those weren’t his curtains. That wasn’t his paintwork and the ugly vase on the small table under the window definitely wasn’t his vase. He didn’t actually own a vase, but if he ever bought one, he was pretty sure it wouldn’t look like that. He sat up cautiously and looked around, his fuzzy brain catching up to what his brief visual inspection had already suggested. This wasn’t his apartment.
“See you’re awake, then,” a voice said from a shadowy corner on the other side of the room. “About bloody time.”
“Who else you expecting? The tooth fairy?”
Xander rubbed the sleep out of his eye, straightened his eye patch out of habit and blinked slowly. “Well, let’s see. I don’t know. Waking up in a strange room and not remembering how I got here makes me a little freaked and a lot confused.” He paused. “I’m sensitive like that.”
“You weren’t freaked last night,” Spike replied. “Sensitive maybe, but not freaked.” He chuckled, a low, dirty sound. “Really, really sensitive.”
“What? What do you mean sensitive? What do you mean last night?” Xander flopped back down onto the bed and covered his face with his forearm. “Oh god, don’t tell me. No. No way.”
“Oh Xander, baby, don’t you love me anymore?” Spike sing songed.
“Oh god...” Xander repeated.
Spike chuckled. “Relax. I’m just kidding. Had you going for a sec though.”
Xander bit his tongue to stop himself rising to Spike’s bait, breathed deeply and took his arm away from his face, letting it dangle over the side of the bed. “So why am I in a room that’s definitely not mine?” he asked, staring at the ceiling. He decided it was better than staring at Spike. “More to the point, why am in a room that’s not mine, with you?”
“’Cause I kidnapped you.”
Suddenly the ceiling didn’t seem quite so riveting. Xander sat up again. “Because you kidnapped me?” he repeated. “Ask a silly question, get a-”
“It’s not silly,” Spike interrupted. “Evil, remember? Kidnapping’s in the handbook.”
“Yeah right,” Xander drawled. “Under the ‘K’s, next to kitten poker and, and other evil things beginning with K. So I guess my next question is, why am I kidnapped?”
Spike lit a cigarette and sauntered into the centre of the room. “You don’t expect me to tell you that, do you? You’re supposed to cower in a corner. Beg for mercy. Offer me shed loads of cash and sexual favours to let you go.”
“Right,” Xander said slowly. “Let’s look at that, shall we? One, every corner has a piece of furniture in it, so cowering is kind of out. I could perch in the corner, but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Two, if you’ve gone evil again, begging for mercy is probably not going to cut it. Three, you know I haven’t got any money to speak of. And as for sexual favours... just no.”
Spike took a draw of his cigarette and moved one step closer to the bed. Xander fought the urge to scoot back. “I think I need to get you the kidnappee’s handbook,” Spike said with a grin. “It’s got handy tear off 6x4 cards, like those little recipe cards you get in food magazines. You can keep them in your pocket and take out the right one when you need to. Tells you how to react to a whole range of scenarios.”
“Okay, I’ll remember to put it on my Christmas list – the handbook, not the food magazine. With my luck I’m likely to get some use out of it. But in the meantime, are you going to tell me where we are – LA, Las Vegas, Bumfuck, Arizona?”
“Canada.” Spike waved his cigarette like he was producing a rabbit out of a hat.
“You heard me. We’re in Canada.”
“Canada,” Xander repeated blankly. “What the fuck are we doing in Canada?”
“Now you’re freaked? You take being kidnapped in your stride, but you’re freaking out about bloody Canada?”
“But, but,” Xander bolted out of bed and dived over to the window, pulling the curtains that weren’t his to one side.
Spike jumped back. “Hey, watch the sun, mate.”
Xander stared out of the window. This time he closed his eye and counted to twenty in Sumerian and, for luck, added another twenty in Swahili. He opened his eye and turned. “Spike, it looks about 100 degrees out there and it’s all dry and deserty.”
“So what? And while you’re having your crisis, can you close the curtains?”
Xander ground his teeth, but he did let the curtain fall back into place. “So, it’s all hot and deserty... so we can’t be in Canada. Has Andrew been mucking with the GPS in my car again?”
Spike sighed and opened the drawer of the table under the window. He pulled out the yellow pages and threw it onto the bed. “What does that say?”
“What does it say on the front cover?”
Xander picked up the book and peered at the cover. “Can Pages.”
“So...” Spike said.
“So these are pages that ‘can’?” Xander said hopefully. “You know, like the little engine that could, only different.”
“Git. It says Can Pages because it’s the local Canadian yellow pages, you moron.”
“Canadian yellow pages?” Xander replied blankly.
Xander flicked through the pages before throwing it back down on the table. “Do you think they have an entry for freaked out kidnap victims?”
“Hey, no need to be so personal. I’m just going through a bit of a dry patch. And with all that desert out there, it looks like it’s going to get worse.”
Spike raised an eyebrow.
“And that’s neither here nor there,” Xander said quickly. “We’ve established that I’m kidnapped and you are the kidnapper and there may or may not be a handbook, depending on whether you’re just screwing with me.”
The eybrow got even higher. “We’ll get to that later," Spike said. "For now, ten out of ten. Good job. Got the situation nicely summarised.” He put both thumbs up in approval.
“Um, Spike.” Xander paused and pulled back the very edge of the curtain again, to peer outside. "I know I probably shouldn’t show my hand at this point, but given that my kidnapper is a vampire with a severe sun allergy and it really does look like it’s 100 plus degrees out there, wherever there actually is, and I’m still not convinced about the Canada part, what’s to stop me making a break for it, since you won’t be able to follow me?”
“You’ve got a fair point, mate.” Spike chuckled. “Well, you would have, apart from the small fact that you’re only wearing your drawers.”
Spike pointed with his cigarette and Xander looked down and yelped. He dropped the edge of the curtain, grabbed the sheet off the bed and wrapped it around himself like a toga. “You stole my clothes?”
“Yep,” Spike replied. “Your clothes, your wallet, your ID.”
“You’re back to freaking again, aren’t you?” Spike sighed.
“Am not,” Xander said sulkily.
“Are –” Spike stopped and glared.
Xander snickered. “Almost had you,” he said. “Since we’re handing out marks, the Russian judge gives you 9.8 on the stealing my clothes, but Canada, seriously?”
“You’re not getting over that any time soon are you?”
“Observant, aren’t you?” Xander folded his arms, then unfolded them when his improvised toga began to slip.
“It’s just one of my many talents.”
“Along with kidnapping people and being evil?”
“Now you’re getting it.”
“So why Canada?”
“Why not?” Spike shrugged. “If you’re going to kidnap someone, you might as well take them somewhere nobody is going to look.”
“And that meant the great white north? Only less with the white and more with the heat wave and the desert?”
Spike closed his eyes and took a long draw on his cigarette. “God save us from an American public school education. Not all of Canada is covered in snow, you berk.”
“Obviously not,” Xander replied, with another quick peer out of the edge of the curtain. “So where exactly are we?”
“Osoyoos. British Columbia. It’s only a few miles from the US border. It’s Canada minus the snow and plus a big lake, lots of vineyards, orchards, the odd wildfire and some sort of western theme park next door. It’s got a plastic vulture on a wire circling the entrance. Very fetching. It’s the main reason I stopped at this hotel. Seemed like my kind of place."
“Okay,” Xander said slowly.
"I thought it might be nice for a change. Less of a cliché than hauling you off to some crypt somewhere.”
“Thoughtful, thank you. I’ll put a good review on trip advisor, recommending it to your next kidnap victim. Maybe do one of those bits of blurb on the book jacket of the handbook. ”
“So you keep saying.” Xander wandered back over to the bed and plopped down, leaning his back against the wall. “Spike, was there a reason you kidnapped me? I mean, I know we’ve got form in that area, but taking me out of the country seems a little bit excessive.”
“Thought it was time I reminded you lot that I was evil.”
“So you’ve sent a ransom note?”
“Not as such.”
“Don’t tell me you’re doing the dismembering and posting body parts schtick, because I can’t really afford to lose any more body parts.”
“I’m not going to chop off any fingers, toes, ears or anything else, alright?” Spike snapped. “Although if you don’t stop asking me stupid questions, I might think about ripping out your tongue.”
“Always a classic,” Xander replied, with a nod of approval. “Though if you do that, I can’t wail down the phone when you call Buffy to make whatever evil demands you’re got planned.”
“For the love of...I’m not going to phone the Slayer. I’m not even going to rip out your tongue. Satisfied?”
“Absolutely.” Xander nodded. “Now we’ve established that you’re being an evil, but not psychotic kidnapper. I appreciate that. Can we get back to my other question? Why Canada?”
“Fancied a change of scenery,’ Spike muttered.
“And what else? You’re got to have a better reason than that?”
Spike lit another cigarette and clicked his Zippo on and off, an irritating number of times.
“No I’m not.” Spike snapped his Zippo shut and leaned back against the wall, cigarette in hand.
“Yes you are. What’s going on?”
Spike lifted one hand and started examining his nails. “Needed to get out of town for a while.”
“None of your bloody business.”
“It is my business. Kidnapped, remember. Anyway, you know I’m just going to keep asking until you cave.”
“Fuck,” Spike muttered. He took a drag of his cigarette and blew out a long puff of smoke. “Dawn.”
“What about Dawn?” Xander prompted. “Is she alright?”
“She’s fine. She’s more than bloody fine. She’s also bloody terrifying.” Xander opened his mouth to ask another question, but Spike ploughed on. “She wanted me to go shopping with her. Can you believe it? Wanted to drag me around a sodding mall. Go into dress shops and shoe shops and,” he shuddered. “And lingerie shops.”
“Hang on, let me catch up. Dawn wanted to take you shopping, so you did a bunk?”
Spike stabbed his cigarette in Xander’s direction. ‘Not just shopping. She’d booked a spa, as well. Said that she hadn’t seen me in ages. Well not since I came back from the dead and went back to being just undead. She wanted to bond. She had this grand scheme. Shopping, then lunch, then a spa. She had facials and mud baths and pedicures booked. Can you imagine it? Bloody pedicures.”
“Wow, that’s, that’s...” Xander ground to a halt.
“Exactly. Now do you understand why I had to do a runner?”
“I’m beginning to get the picture, yeah. Dawn in full girly mode is pretty scary, I grant you, so keeping a low profile I get. Although I could point out that manicures – not such a big deal considering you already paint your nails. Mudpacks and pedicures are another matter, so getting out of town I also get. But I’m still not clear where me being kidnapped factors into the equation.”
“Knew I’d be bored on my own,” Spike said, picking a bit of black varnish off his thumbnail.
“You kidnapped me, to keep you company?”
“Did you ever think of just asking me to go with you?”
Spike rolled his eyes. “Where would be the fun in that? You’d just have come up with half a dozen excuses why you couldn’t go. Then, when you finally caved, you’d have had to check in with the whole bloody gang so they wouldn't worry. By the time you’d done all that, the moment would have past and I’d be up to my neck in shoe shops and mudpacks. Kidnapping seemed quicker.”
Xander considered the logic for a minute, then nodded. “Disturbingly enough, that makes a kind of sense. And the Canada part?”
“Little bit can’t get anyone to use their mojo to track me up here. Canadians have got a whole mystical border patrol thing going on. A tracking spell can’t sneak across without the proper paperwork. Very big on the right paperwork, the Canadians."
“Perfect,” Xander groaned. “We’re magically untraceable. We’re in a country with an admin fetish. You’re a dead guy who doesn’t officially exist. You’ve hidden my ID and I’m guessing you didn’t bring my passport? I don’t suppose the handbook has a handy chapter on what to do if we get a knock on the door from the border patrol?”
“I think that one’s in one of the appendices. You have to buy them separately.”
“Oh god, I’m in hell.” Xander banged his head slowly against the wall. But it hurt, so after a moment he stopped. “What are we going to do while we’re up here? Assuming you ever give me my clothes back.”
“I don’t know, I think I like you like that. Just your skivvies and a sheet. It’s very...Roman.”
“Terrific, now I look like an extra from Caligula. My cup runneth over.”
“Stop your bitching and have some coffee.”
Xander sat up straight. “You have coffee? You’ve been holding out on me?”
“Yeah, well, withholding food and drink is part of the whole breaking down the kidnap victim ‘til he complies with my nefarious plans.”
“Yeah, whatever, just give me the coffee.”
Spike sighed. “No respect,” he muttered, as he wandered to the other end of the room. “I used to be part of the bloody Scourge of Europe, and now I’m running from teenage girls and getting ordered around by my kidnappee.”
“Coffee, Spike, focus.”
“Right, here you go.” He waved a large thermos and a mug. “Got this filled up this morning, before it got light. Knew you’d be cranky when you woke up.”
Xander grabbed the thermos, unscrewed the top and poured coffee into the mug. He took a long, luxurious sniff. “God, that smells good.” He took one sip, then another, before sitting back cradling the mug to his chest. “Okay,” he said. “My opinion of your kidnapping skills has just gone up a couple of points on the scale.”
“Just a couple of points?” Spike pursed his lips. “What’s a guy got to do to get some proper respect around here?”
“Pizza would be nice. Or donuts.” Xander paused and took another meditative sip of his coffee. “Or, maybe pizza and donuts? You know, the whole main course and dessert combo.”
“Christ,” Spike muttered and strode back across the room to a bag sitting by the bathroom door. He rummaged for a moment, then turned and stalked back across to Xander. “Your wish is my bleedin’ command.” He threw a small brown, cardboard box with a sloping lid that came together to make a carrying handle, down onto the bed.
Xander looked at it dubiously. “It must be a very small pizza,” he said.
“Just open it,” Spike grumbled.
Putting his coffee down on the bedside cabinet, Xander grabbed the box, pulled apart the carrying handles and peered inside. He looked up. “Mini deep fried goodness,” he said with a smile.
“They’re called Timbits,” Spike replied.
“Bits from Tims, a bit like your stupid pages that can, only not. Tim Hortons; it’s a thing up here, apparently.”
“And they do mini donuts? That’s cool.”
“It’s the donut hole. You know what the Canadians are like - it’s all about the environment and recycling everything. They even recycle the donut hole. So, you get Timbits.”
“Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.” Xander shrugged. “Are they all one flavour, or did you get a selection?”
“Knowing you’d be an annoying git if you were bored, I got the girl to give me a selection. I think there’s chocolate, raspberry, lemon, plain and apple fritter. Bound to be something there you like.”
Xander pulled one out at random, popped it in his mouth and started to chew. “There’s blueberry as well,” he said with a mouthful of Timbit.
“Don’t talk with your gob full,” Spike said sharply. He ran his tongue along his top lip. “You can always hum if you’ve a mind to?”
Xander swallowed and looked at him incredulously. “Okay, this has officially gone from the bizarre to the completely surreal.” He shook his head and decided that eating was preferable to argument. For now. “Oh, there’s a chocolate one,” he said, waving it at Spike before taking a bite.
By the time he’d munched his way through the box and drunk two cups of coffee, Spike had smoked four cigarettes and amused himself by ripping the yellow pages to shreds. It lay scattered across the floor of the room like confetti.
Xander put the empty box on the side table and eyed Spike curiously. “So, what now?”
“What do you mean, what now?”
“What’s the next step in the plan? I mean, I’m fed and watered and now I’m bored.” He eyed the strips of paper littering the floor. “And you are too, by the looks of it.”
“We could go to the theme park. It’d be worth it, just to see the plastic vulture.”
“Will it be open after dark?” Xander asked.
“Bugger.” Spike paused. “Could do some wine tasting? There’s a place just up the road.”
“Will they be open after dark?”
“Oh god, you’ve got a one track mind, haven’t you?”
Spike perked up. “You’re the one that made the connection. And it is in the handbook,” he said.
“Well if it’s in the handbook...” Xander said, adjusting his toga. “Tell you what? Get me another box of Timbits and I’ll think about it.”
Spike rushed across the room, grabbed his bag and rushed back to put it down on the table under the window. He fished out a second box and threw it at Xander. Turning back to the bag he pulled out a third and then a fourth.
“Wow! When you go for it, you really go for it, don’t you?”
Spike plonked himself down at the head of the bed and shoved Xander’s shoulder. “Shove over,” he said. “I’m just prepared, like the scouts. They’ve got a handbook, too, you know?”
“Right,” Xander drawled. “And you’re just working on your kidnap merit badge?”
“Something like that,” Spike replied with a smirk. He lit another cigarette and took a long, lascivious drag. “If you’re a good boy, I’ll even let you play with my woggle.”
Xander rolled his eye and took another bite of his Timbit. Apple Fritter this time. He took stock of his situation. Decent coffee, donut holes, the possibility of a trashy theme park goodness down the road, if he ever got his pants back, and a psychotic, sexually frustrated vampire who was terrified of an 18 year old girl. Life as a Scooby was never dull and sometimes it was downright entertaining.
He licked some sugar off his fingers, wriggling happily at the taste. Spike cleared his throat and took another long drag on his cigarette. Oh yeah, Xander thought, he might be the kidnappee and Spike might think he was in charge, but Xander knew he didn’t need a handbook to have the upper hand. He selected another Timbit, stuffed it in his mouth and swallowed it whole.
For anyone interested, click right here to find out more about the delights of Timbits.