Title: Stray

Author: Forsaken2003

Pairing: S/X

Rating: G

Disclaimer: I own none, all belong to Joss Whedon
Comments: Always welcomed!

Summary: Xander is a vet and Spike brings in a sick stray cat.

Bunny Plot by Lady Q: Same as the summary

Warnings/Spoilers: Human Verse

Standing at the front desk in his veterinarian office, Xander looked at the chart of his last patient of the day. Shaking his head, he wondered to himself what kind of parent let their child have a squirrel as a pet. The creature had ended up swallowing one of the little boy's Lego pieces and upsetting its stomach. The child was so upset that the only thing the mother could do was to bring it in, hoping maybe Xander would say there was nothing he could do. Unfortunately for her he could open him up and remove the object, since it was much too big for the animal to pass naturally. Xander felt badly for her and told her it would only cost two hundred dollars when in reality it would have cost her double.

Xander's attention shifted when the door chime rang. He watched as a man with bleached blond hair walked in cuddling a dirty, battered creature, which he was pretty sure was a cat. "God, what happened?" Xander exclaimed as he rushed forward and gently took the bundle from the man's arms.

"I found some kids terrorizing the poor bugger," he explained as he followed Xander into the back. "I couldn't leave the thing after taking a beating like that and you were the first vet I found."

"That's very humane of you Mr…?" Xander inquired as he ran careful fingers over the dirty fur, wanting the animal to know it was safe.

"Pratt, but you can call me Spike," Spike replied.

Xander noticed the left hind leg was bent at a strange angle, meaning it had probably been broken. What kind of person could do this to a defenceless creature? "Well Spike," Xander informed the kind stranger. "I can tell you that his hind leg his broken and I'm going to have to reset it. I'll have to take some x-rays, but I think that's the worst of the damage. He definitely needs a bath and a decent meal but I'm sure he'll recover."

"So he'll be alright then?" Spike asked with concern.

"She actually, and yes she'll be fine. I wouldn't suggest putting her back on the streets though, or it will be a waste to fix her up. We have a few options."

Xander saw dread wash over the blonde, "What would those be?"

"I could put her down or you could take her to an animal shelter once her leg is all healed. Maybe a family will take her in. Or you could take her in yourself and give her a nice warm home." Xander answered, wanting to make sure Spike knew all his options.

"The shelter would only keep her a couple weeks and put her down if no one wanted her."

Spike stood there thinking about the other two options "Wouldn't hurt to have a cat around. Keep me company and I wouldn't feel insane if I talked her instead of myself."

"Alright, so we'll fix her up," Xander smiled, happy to hear that Spike wasn't about to write her off. "It shouldn't take too long to fix up the leg and I'll get you some antibiotic and pain killers for her." Xander set off to work, first putting the cat under, not wanting her to suffer more then she already had.

Spike watched with fascination as the doctor took special care with the creature even though it was asleep and couldn't feel anything. He had honestly believed that Xander would have decided the animal was a lost cause and just put it down. "So you own this place?" he asked casually.

"Yeah, I've been here about a year," Xander replied. "When I finished with school I looked at working at another veterinary but the other doctors didn't seem to care much for the animals that came in. Don't get me wrong, they looked after them and did everything they could, but they didn't seem to want to comfort them even when they were scared witless. I couldn't work in that kind of environment."

It didn't seem to take long for the X-rays to be done and show that Xander had been right about only the back leg being broken. Even though he winced as Xander corrected the bone's alignment, Spike watched as Xander cooed to the animal whispering apologies for any pain. "Do you always do that? Talk to the animals?" he asked curiously

He did a quick wipe down of the leg before setting to work, "Yeah, I believe they understand what we're talking about," A blush covered Xander's face as he wrapped plaster around the injured appendage. "While we let this dry I'll get those pills I was telling you about. You should probably also fill out some forms, name, address and phone number. I can call you and just check up on our patient. Have you thought of a name yet?" he inquired.

"Peaches," Spike replied. It had been the first thing to come to his mind.

"Peaches Pratt," Xander smiled. "Has a nice ring too it." He handed over the papers, "I'll give her a wash down get all the dirt and any other stuff from her body."

Spike watched from hooded eyelids; there was just something about this man that attracted him. To start off with he was handsome, gorgeous hazel eyes with a shy crooked smile. Then there was the kindness he showed Peaches. Unfortunately he very much doubted that the other man was gay.

"Spike. Earth to Spike," Xander waved a hand in front of Spike's face.

"Huh?" Blue eyes connected with hazel. "Sorry pet, I must have zoned for a minute. Is she all set?"

A smile played over Xander's face, "Yup she's good to go."

"Great, so how much is the bill?" Spike asked pulling out his Visa.

"Tell you what," Xander started. "You take me to dinner and we'll call it even."

"Dinner?" Spike's blue eyes widened in surprise. Could Xander really be gay?

Xander became flustered, "Oh god. I'm so sorry that was probably inappropriate. Just forget I said anything." He fiddled with the forms Spike had just finished filling out.

"No. No that's fine. I'd love to take you out to dinner," Spike accepted the invitation. "How does tomorrow night sound?"

"Really? I don't want you to feel obligated to," Xander was sure the man was just accepting out of pity.

Spike grabbed Xander's hand giving it an affectionate squeeze, "I'm not accepting it out of pity or obligation. I would truly be honoured to take you out."

"Great!" Xander beamed with excitement.

"But maybe we should order in." Spike suggested. "I don't think it is a good idea to be leaving Peaches alone this early on."

"Right, I'd like to check on her anyways," Xander pulled out a kennel before lifting the semi-conscious cat and placing her in.

Peaches meowed pitifully and lightly nipped at Xander's finger. "It's alright little one. Spike's going to take good care of you." Xander comforted Peaches before handing over the kennel.

"Thank you," Spike expressed his gratitude. "I should be off, get her some cat food and what not. You have my phone number and address. Let's say dinner around seven?"

"Sounds great," A shy smile played over Xander's lips. "I'll see you both then." He watched as Spike walked out of the office and get into his car after securing the kennel and drove away.

The End