Tearing his gaze away from the man in the bed before him, Spike continued through the album. He noticed the way Xander subtly changed in the photos. Gone was the boy who had gotten soft and flabby with the undemanding desk job. He was replaced by a sleek, trim man with a wide smile and roguish good looks. The long, curling sable-colored hair paired well with the dark patch and tan skin. Hard-earned muscles stood out from beneath tight t-shirts, slick with sweat.
Spike looked up, sneaking a glimpse of the hint of muscles under the hospital clothes. Xander had grown up and done it well.
If the pictures were any indication, Spike wasn't the only one who'd noticed either.
There were both men and women hanging onto the young man, all obviously wanting his attention, even if the human remained oblivious.
Then Spike spotted it — the indication that Xander had noticed someone. A very male someone — dark skin, long arms, and a wide smile that mirrored Xander's own. There were several pictures of them together in different places. They'd clearly been together for some time and something rose up in the vampire.
Not knowing if it was anger or jealousy or maybe both, Spike slammed the book closed for a moment before throwing it open once again. When the pages flew apart, several pieces of paper fluttered to the floor. When he bent down to pick them up to shove them back inside, Spike noticed the first headline:
GIRL, 4, BREAKS SISTER'S ARM IN ARGUMENT, MOTHER SAYS
Shocked, Spike skimmed through the article, discovering that the four-year-old in question had apparently gotten mad at her sister when her favorite doll had gone missing. The small girl twisted her eight-year-old sister's arm behind her back until it broke in three places. Authorities considered taking the girls out of the home until the four-year-old broke her bedroom door off during a fit.
Confused, Spike looked at the next article.
REPORTED GIRL SQUAD TAKING REVENGE ON BULLIES, CAUSING FEAR IN SCHOOL
Three girls in a New York school got together and decided to take on bullies themselves after they discovered they had developed "superpowers". The problem was they didn't just stop at bullies. They had turned their wrath on anyone that they deemed wrong including boys who made passes at them, girls they considered competition or too “skanky”.
Now Spike was starting to get worried. Article after article told the same tale. Girls with power — too much power, power they didn't understand — were in trouble, causing trouble.
A ten-year-old girl died when she jumped off her roof, thinking she could fly.
A five-year-old killed a classmate when she threw a ball in gym class and knocked him over so hard that his head was split open.
"See?” Spike heard the whisper and looked up to see Xander watching him, tears forming in his eye. "Now do you see?"
"It’s still a bit higgly-piggly, Pet."
"We made them. Now we have to unmake them."