Xander’s eye was gritty and his limbs were dead weight. A horrible caterwauling was coming from across the room, the sound shredding his brain like Ginsu knives. He shoved the pillow over his head but that didn’t help, so instead he kicked the still form beside him. The evil fiend pretended to be dead asleep—or maybe just dead.

“You get it,” Xander moaned into the pillowcase. Spike didn’t respond, so Xander kicked him harder.

“Oi! ‘S your turn.”

“Is not. Besides, he’s your Sire, not mine.”

“But I’m your alpha, and I say you get it.”

They were at an impasse and the horrible noise grew louder.

Finally, with a growl that was more wolf than human, Xander threw his pillow across the room and glared at Spike. “Fine, alpha. See how long it is before you get lucky.”

Spike smirked and ran his hands down his own chest. “As if you could resist this for long, pup.”

“Can. Will. I’ll…I’ll stay furry.” Neither of them had any desire whatsoever to have sex while Xander was in wolf form. It was one of the few things that squicked them both.

Spike narrowed his eyes for a moment and then sighed in resignation. “Fine. I’ll sort him this time.” He stood and shuffled over to the cardboard box that was emitting all the horrible noise. He bent over the box, naked, his hair standing up in all directions and a big sheet crease on his right ass cheek. He looked sort of lost and pathetic, so Xander relented too and got out of bed to shamble to Spike’s side.

Angel looked up at them, his eyes all teary and his face bright red. He didn’t stop screaming—if anything, his cries increased in volume.

“How come we couldn’t go suck up to the vengeance demons?” Xander whined. “I know vengeance demons. We’re practically family.”

“Yeah, but you’re not the one who made the sodding wish, are you? So you can’t unwish it either.”

Xander scowled. He knew that. Still—not fair. “Why the hell did Kyna wish for a baby anyway?” he asked, bending to pick Angel up. Angel was wearing a pair of fuzzy pajamas with little blue puppies all over them. As soon as he was in Xander’s arms he grabbed hold of Xander’s hair with his chubby little fists and held on tight, but he didn’t stop crying. He was kind of adorable, Xander had to admit, with his hair sticking up in soft little tufts and cheeks all dimpled. But he was so goddamn loud and Xander had just fed him less than two hours ago and…and he reeked.

“Uh-oh,” Xander said.


“Don’t tell me your vamp senses aren’t picking this up, Fangface. Angel needs a change.”

Spike looked horrified. “He’s been changed enough already, hasn’t he? Why couldn’t the bloody demons at least have made him into a vampire infant?”

“I’m guessing because Kyna was wishing for a little human bundle of joy. And this one needs a new diaper.”

Spike backed up a few steps. “Erm…I’ll just go put on some water. Some tea sounds lovely, yeah?”

“Uh-uh. No way. I’m not doing this by myself.”

“But you did such a brilliant job of it last time he needed a new nappy,” Spike wheedled.

“I didn’t. He pissed in my face, Spike, and then I stuck myself in the thumb with the goddamn pin and you got to have a nice little snack of Xanderjuice. Besides, that was number one. This is definitely number two. And possibly three and four.”

“But…that’s human shite. Erm, literally. That’s your territory—you’re much more human than me, love.”

“Yet still with the canine sense of smell. Spike—” Angel squirmed and yanked on Xander’s hair and wailed even louder. He looked so sad and pathetic, and it occurred to Xander that while Angel probably didn’t have a clue what had happened to him, he was probably scared and certainly uncomfortable and for the moment he was just a helpless baby.

Making a sound of resignation deep in his throat, Xander carried Angel out of the bedroom and into their suite’s main room. Kyna had set up a makeshift changing area before she left, spreading a couple of thick towels on their kitchen table and piling diapers and wipes beside them. Xander set Angel down on the towels, managing to extricate his hair from Angel’s grip with some difficulty.

Angel lay there, kicking his bowed legs and waving his arms and screaming. Fat tears slipped from the corners of his eyes and down the sides of his face.

“It’s okay,” Xander said softly. “I’ll get you cleaned up and you’ll feel all better and Kyna will get you revamped and you are both so gonna owe me.” He began to undo the zillion snaps on Angel’s jammies. “We’re talking all-expense-paid vacation in Hawaii—or, um, somewhere less sunny, I guess. We’re talking a cow’s worth of beef. We’re talking a set of wheels way snazzier than the van. I want a convertible.” Xander realized with considerable dismay that even if the diaper change was successful, in his exhausted state he was never going to be able to snap the jammies up correctly. Why did they need to snap down the front and inside both legs?

Getting the clothing off Angel wasn’t much easier, actually. It was like trying to peel a leotard off an octopus, only noisier. But finally the pajamas were off and all that was left was the diaper.

Xander tried to breathe only through his mouth.

As he tried to steel himself for the next step, Spike glided up almost silently behind him and placed a cold hand on Xander’s shoulder. “Do you reckon he looked like that when he really was young?”

“I guess so.”

“He makes a bonny baby.”

“Hmm. I bet you were a cute kid.”

Spike kissed Xander’s shoulder. “Nah. Never could tame my hair and I was a bit sickly. Everyone said I took after my Grand Aunt Ernestine and she was a horror.”

Xander set a hand on Angel’s round tummy and leaned his head back to conk it gently against Spike’s. “Well, you grew up nicely. I was a funny-looking kid. My ears stuck out.”

Spike kissed one of those ears. “Still do, love,” he teased.


Spike wrapped his arms around Xander’s middle and rested a sharp chin on Xander’s shoulder. “Going to do something about this mess, then?”

“Yeah. I guess so. But you have to go warm up a bottle. And you’re so getting the better end of the deal.”

Spike snickered and unwound himself.

Xander gave the squalling infant a stern look. “I’ve handled zillions of demons and alternate dimensions and curses and evil lawyers. I can handle one little diaper change.”

Except by the time he was finished, Xander was pretty much yearning for demons.

Angel was more or less clean and dry, and the jammies were sort of back on him, and the crying had even decreased a bit. But Xander felt like soaking in bleach for a year or two. He’d only barely kept himself from retching, he had three fresh pinpricks in his fingers, and his knees felt weak with exhaustion. But hey, on the upside he’d learned that poop came in colors and textures he’d never before imagined.

Spike scooped Angel into his arm and held him surprisingly tenderly. Angel shut up the second the nipple entered his mouth, and was soon sucking busily away on formula, staring sleepily into Spike’s face. They both looked adorable like that, Xander thought. Sweet and innocent. He wondered whether he could find Kyna’s camera.

“Go back to bed, Xan. I’ll join you as soon as he’s out.”

Xander yawned so hugely that he almost disconnected his jaw. “Okay. Don’t forget to burp him. And Spike?”

Spike was looking down at Angel fondly. “Yeah?”

“It might take Kyna a while to persuade the demons to undo the wish. They can be pretty stubborn about stuff like that.”


“So if we're going to get any sleep, I’m thinking maybe we need some backup babysitters.”

Spike looked up at him, one eyebrow raised questioningly.

Xander grinned wolfishly. “I’m gonna go give Giles and Lindsey a call.”


The End