Rating: Adult for language and sexual content
Disclaimer: The Bee owns none of the characters or products named
in this story, however the plot and words are her own.
Warning: Violence (nongraphic) and strong M/M sexual content.
Summary: OCD Spike is back! It has been a year since Xander and
Spike met in Rough Diamond and they have been living and working
together ever since. As an anniversary present, Xander takes a reluctant
Spike on a gay ocean cruise and everything, including murder, goes with
Appreciation to: Petxnd for her wonderful banner and patient preread
and to Silk_ Labyrinth for her beta. Any remaining boo-boos are the
result of the Bee's stubbornness.
Spike used the time that it took Xander to shower to change from his running
clothes to a more respectable pair of long trousers and an Izod. Orange, because
it was Thursday. As soon as Xander returned to the main room fully dressed,
Spike opened their cabin door to await the captain's arrival.
It didn't take long. Within 30 minutes, Captain Marvin Marks arrived, all
but running down the carpeted hallway followed closely behind by a short
uniformed man that Spike recalled from their day of sailing. He was the
first mate, Carlton Bellows.
As soon as he saw them hurrying towards them, Spike and Xander stepped
out to meet them. The Captain was a tall, thin man of respectable appearance.
He had short-cropped grey hair and glasses and he wore his uniform in a
manner that told Spike he had been in authority for some time.
This was not a social call and none of the men made a move to offer or encourage
a hand shake. Instead, the first mate took the lead. His critical eye scanned both
the blond and the young man who stood with him as he endeavored to ascertain
the validity of their situation.
"I'm going to tell you two up front that if this is some sort of attempt at humor...."
Spike cast a look of steel in his eyes that left no doubt that this was not a prank.
"I can assure you, gentlemen, that I have no interest in playing games with you
and I find nothing humorous in the subject of homicide."
With a quick nod of his head that said he was satisfied with Spike's sincerity, the
Captain stepped forward, literally pushing Bellows aside.
"Fine. Now tell me again what you found. You say there has been a murder?"
Spike took the lead and stepped to the next cabin door. With fresh gloves snapped
on, he removed the 'Do Not Disturb' sign that he had placed there and he opened the
door. Captain Marks stood at Spike's right while Xander and First Mate Bellows
stood directly behind. They all peered into the room but made no attempt to enter.
Finally, Spike rolled his eyes in disgust and led the way. He stepped in, careful
not to interfere with any of the objects that had fallen or been tossed to the floor.
It was much easier to see now that the sun had crested over the horizon and the
first light of day illuminated the cabin. Capt. Marks eased in. He wrung his hands
as his eyes darted all around in search of something he knew he did not want to see.
Finally, a shrug of confusion lifted his shoulders and his hands.
"Where is it? Isn't there a body? I think if someone is murdered there has to be
Spike moved further into the room and, like a tour director, began pointing out
areas of interest.
"Usually, but in this case I believe there is ample evidence to indicate a high level
of violence has occurred. If you notice the disarray, also here...and here...there
are blood drops. The bathroom has more evidence of injury and...."
"That's it? The room is trashed and there are a few spots of blood? Shit! This
is a gay cruise, Mr. Bradshaw. My people have cleaned up a whole lot worse
Captain Marks was too relieved to even be pissed off. This skinny, twitchy
blond man with the comical sprouts sticking up on the sides of his head had
simply overreacted and assumed the worst from a dubious situation. With a
shake of his head and a snort, he was all but ready to send his first mate back
to his other duties when Spike crossed his arms over his chest.
"I think before you dismiss this as a flight of fancy, you need to take a look out
the window over there."
Captain Marks felt a rock land in his stomach and he knew with absolute certainty
that looking out that open window was the last thing he wanted to do on this
bright, warm tropical morning. He heard a small whimper escape Bellows' lips
and Marks stepped forward. He stopped at the window and he looked at the
other men in the room who all waited with bated breath.
Finally, he squared his shoulders and assumed a captain's demeanor of staunch
fearlessness. He turned his body and before he could wimp out, he looked
Blood. Pooled blood. Drying, congealing, massive amounts of dark red blood
that rolled directly off the side and into the....
He then staggered back, turned quickly to the side and vomited on the polished
hardwood floor. Just one more thing for the poor chambermaids to have to
Immediately, Xander and Bellows rushed over and stuck their heads out the
window to see what could have triggered such a reaction. Xander nodded.
He was well familiar with the disgust of crime scenes and actually, as they go,
this one wasn't bad. Xander could see though, that while Bellows didn't lose his
breakfast, he would not have agreed with Xander's evaluation.
When the Captain seemed empty, Spike went into professional mode. He knew
time was of the utmost importance.
"OK, here's what I think. I'm sure as a cruise ship you have a policy in place for
searching the ship for missing passengers. Am I right?"
Spike watched as the captain wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and
he nodded his agreement, so Spike continued.
"Fine. So I suggest you have an entire ship check done to make sure that Teddy
Ashton isn't somewhere injured or lost. You should also post someone outside
this door to preserve the integrity of the evidence and as soon as we arrive in
Samana tomorrow, the local police can...."
Darting forward, Capt. Marks unexpectedly grabbed Spike by the arm which
caused an immediate reaction by Xander, who forcefully shoved the captain away
as he stuck a stern, threatening finger in the captain's face, angrily shouting,
"Don't you touch him!"
In reaction, Bellows jumped in to the impending fracas. He positioned himself
between his captain and the angry, red-faced man who was shouting threats
while the blond with the grasshopper feelers on his head tried to calm him.
Bellows grabbed Xander's wrist to remove the forefinger from Marks nose.
Captain Marks stood shocked and immobile while Bellows took up his defense.
"Watch who the fuck you're threatening! That's the ship's captain! We can have
you two thrown off and...."
"STOP IT! Stop it. Both of you."
Xander and Bellows fell silent at Spike's command but they remained face to face,
breathing hard and still furious. It was the break that Marks needed to regain a
sliver of composure and he jumped in hoping to explain. He threw his hands up
in lieu of a white flag.
"Wait. Wait, I'm sorry. Please. Look, Mr. Bradshaw, you said you were a
police officer and I can see that you and your...partner have some experience
in this awkward field. Tomorrow we dock on the island of Samana. It is the
Dominican Republic for God's sake. Do you know what will happen if they take
over the investigation? Nothing. That's what. These are Island people. Their
motto is, 'If it fucks with the tourist dollar, sweep it under the rug.' Please.
Please. You need to look into this. Do your, um, police thing. As captain of
this ship, I give you full authority."
Spike frowned. He had only 24 hours and a huge ship of possible suspects. Or
maybe not. If he agreed to take this on, Spike had a pretty good idea where to
start. He looked into the hopeful face of the ship's captain. He turned to the
angry, mistrustful expression of First Mate Bellows and lastly he scrutinized
Xander's face for an indication of his opinion.
When he caught the small, almost indiscernible nod of his assistant's head, Spike
took a deep breath and blew it back out slowly as his thoughts began to organize
"OK, fine. We will see what we can come up with in the next 24 hours. I want
the ship searched. You are looking for Teddy but you're also looking for anything
that might indicate a connection to the crime. For that you will need a trained
officer to assist your search teams. Contact passenger Mickey Cook and explain
the situation. He will head up the search and everything should be reported directly
to him. In return, he will report to Xander and me."
The captain nodded his understanding and agreement to all points. When Spike
was sure his instructions would be respected and followed, he gave a list of things
he would need.
"We need a stack of unopened newspapers, a box of unopened plastic storage
bags, and get a stack of sterile Q-tips from medical. We also need someone
expert with a camera."
The captain frowned.
"I can have everything sent down immediately but as for the photographer, all
we have is Tookie. He poses passengers and sells the snapshots to them. Is
that all right?"
"I guess if that is all you have, Tookie will have to do."