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In This Life

Let me show you what I’m made of
Good intentions are not enough
To get me through today and this life

You’re in the basement watching the tv
I’m on the second floor watching the ceiling
We sleep underneath the same big sky at night
And dream the same dream we can fly

You can run from me
You can hide from me
But I am right beside you
In this life

~ Lyrics by Chantal Kreviazuk

Spike was flipping through the yellow pages, idly stroking Xander’s hand with his thumb as their fingers remained entwined in his lap. Xander was resting his head on Spike’s shoulder as they sat at the table, flipping the pages lazily.

“Spike? How much are we looking to spend on this therapy thing?” Xander asked suddenly.

“We’ve got to get a good one, or it ain’t worth it. Why?”

“Well, I mean, I’ve got a lot saved up, from work, but…I’m not sure if it’s gonna be enough for someone expensive.”

Spike snorted. “No worries, luv. Dangermousse is gonna pick up the tab.”

“We can’t ask him to…”

“Bull. We ain’t asking.” Spike grinned. “I think I like having a rich daddy.”

“Spike, we shouldn’t...”

“Quiet,” Spike interrupted him. “Hey! Batman! Pop your head in here a mo!” He yelled out into the hotel, even though he knew Angel was just on the other side of a closed door, in his office doing some paper work.

Angel popped his head out the door, looking slightly annoyed at Spike’s nickname.

“What do you want?” he asked.

“You got lots of cash stored away somewhere, dontcha, peaches?” Spike asked with a cocky grin on his face.

Angel growled quietly at the ribbing, but sighed. “Yes. I do. You’re not buying Disneyland.”

Spike made a point of looking affronted. “Oh, please! If I was gonna buy something that big I’d at least buy Vegas. Besides, they don’t let you snog enough in Disneyland.” Xander couldn’t help snickering.

Angel rolled his eyes. “You’re not buying Vegas, either. Now what do you want?”

“Well, seein’ as you’re all atoning and whatnot, thought maybe you’d like to help out your fellow man, you know, seein’ as you’re all rich, and pay for Xan’s therapy. Just so we can get the best, you know.” Spike grinned again. He wasn’t entirely sure this was going to work, but it was worth a shot. They didn’t really need to borrow money from Angel. Spike had learned to invest in his very long life, and Xander had earned a pretty penny working in construction. He just liked to annoy Angel. A lot.

“Oh. Well, sure, I mean, if you guys need it.” Xander blushed, and got ready to speak, but Spike’s tightened grip on his hand silenced him, so he just looked at the floor. “Yeah, that’s fine. Let me know when you guys decide on a therapist, and I’ll give y...I’ll give Xander my credit card to pay for it.”

“What, now you don’t trust me with your bloody credit card?” Spike asked, doing his best to sound devastated. Xander snickered again. Angel simply gave him a dark look and went back into his office, closing the door with a snick behind him.

“That wasn’t very nice, making him feel all guilty. We don’t need the money,” Xander said as soon as the door was closed. Spike rolled his eyes.

“No, but it sure is fun to con him out of it.”

“You mean mooch?”

Spike leaned forward and kissed him. “Shut up,” he pouted. “I’m the Big Bad. I don’t mooch.”

Xander snorted. “Right. And you don’t pout, either.”

“I don’t!”

“Or sulk,” Xander added, prompting Spike to kiss him again, if only to shut him up. The ends were more important than the means, however, and Xander was being kissed.

Spike pulled away with a sigh. “We should keep looking.”

Xander sighed, looking back to the book. He looked at the ads on the page, not impressed with any of them. “What about this one?” he asked, pointing one out at random. Spike looked at it critically.

“Nope. They only offer daytime hours. I want to find one that I can come with you.”

“In the…um, in the session?”

Spike smiled gently. “No, luv, that’s just for you. But I can wait in the waiting room and annoy the secretary.”

“They call ‘em receptionists now, Spike.”

“Whatever. I can still annoy her.” Xander smiled back at his lover, the smile even reaching his eyes. Spike’s smile was brighter than it had been in days, just seeing the lightness in Xander’s eyes. He kissed the human again, then turned back to the book.

“This guy’s open till 10. I say we call him,” Spike said, pointing to a large, garish ad. “And he looks costly. Must be good.”

“Okay,” Xander agreed, kissing Spike’s cheek. “Can you call, and make the appointment?”

They shared a warm glance, and Spike nodded. “Sure, pet.”

Xander smiled, and Spike reached for the phone, dialing the number listed in the book.

“Yeah. I wanna make an appointment with Dr. Nasser. Yeah, for Alexander Harris. No, I ain’t him, I’m just calling for him. Yeah, he knows the appointment’s bein’ made, he’s standing right beside me.” Spike rolled his eyes and sighed. Bleedin’ moron. Bet you’re blonde. “Yeah, for today, how ‘bout? Eight’s good.” He hung up the phone and grasped Xander’s wrist to look at his watch. “Okay, love, we got about 8 hours to kill. What do you wanna do?”

Xander thought for a moment. “Honestly? I think I wanna go take a nap.” Spike smiled.

“Okay.” Spike kissed Xander on the forehead, then took his hand and led him upstairs. “Love you.”

“Love you back,” Xander replied.

Spike kissed him again before Xander crawled into bed, then kissed him again after tucking him in.

“Gonna go downstairs, watch telly. I’m here, though.”

“I know.”

“Right beside you.”

“I’m glad,” Xander answered. A final kiss preceded Spike’s exit, and he headed downstairs.

Spike flipped through the channels on the big screen television that Gunn had convinced Angel to buy, set up in the den off the lobby on the ground floor, not really seeing what was on, until he came upon a football game. He sat and watched Manchester United battle the field against Liverpool.

Xander lay awake for a long time. He was worn out, despite the fact that it was only noon. The day had already been too long, and he was fairly apprehensive about his appointment this evening. He lay awake, wondering what it would be like, how much he would be expected to speak. He was afraid that the doctor would tell him that everything his father had done to him was his own fault. He didn’t want to share these fears with Spike, for some reason. He was well aware that he should, that by not talking about it, he was only making it worse, but he didn’t know just what to say. He sighed and rolled over onto his back, staring at the ceiling.

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