Rating: PG-13

Genre: AU season 6, Humor, General

Summary: When a spell of Willow and Dawn’s goes wrong, Spike is the one who ends up having to take care of the result.

Disclaimer: Well, they’re definitely not mine, sad to say. But if they were, I’d be having all sorts of fun!

Feedback: Always welcome.

Author’s Note: Okay, this takes place after Tabula Rasa. The difference is that Anya left with Giles when he went back toEngland and Spike and Buffy never kissed. As a matter of fact, Spike got over those feelings. Oh, and as a result of all this, Spike and Xander have started to become friends. Also, I don’t remember if Xander said he and Willow met because of the yellow crayon incident or if they already knew each other and that was just a nice memory for them. In my story, they already knew each other before kindergarten.





There's Always Consequences


by
Blue Icy Rose



Part One

“Okay, Dawnie, did you add everything?” Willow asked as she looked over the list of herbs that had to be mixed together in order for the spell to work.

“Easier than baking a cake.” Dawn paused. “Only not because this is more complicated.” She took the book from Willow and skimmed over the page once more.

“I still say that this is a monumentally bad idea. Even more than Batman and Robin was,” Xander broke in.

Dawn shook her head, snapping the book shut and placing it on top of a few others. “The movie wasn’t that bad.”

“Please. Arnold as Dr. Freeze? I don’t think so.”

“It had Batgirl.”

Xander pointed a finger at her. “Don’t even get me started on that.” He shook his head in disgust as he picked up the books. “Batgirl as Alfred’s niece. Ha. If they’d actually read the comic, they’d know she’s actually Gordon’s daughter.”

Dawn’s eyebrows knit together in confusion. “She is?”

Xander raised his eyes to the ceiling and sighed. “Kids these days. They’re so uneducated,” he told Willow as he headed towards the bookcases of the Magic Box. Dawn stared after him, her mouth hanging slightly open, before turning back to Willow.

“Batgirl’s really not Alfred’s niece?”


~*~*~*~*~


Spike frowned as he walked into the Magic Box, only to be assaulted by the smell of smoke. He waved a hand in front of his face to clear away the smoke and scowled at the sight that met him. He shook his head.

Standing at the research table was Willow and Dawn. This wasn’t what made him frown. Spread out in front of them was a book, a plant, and some smelly herbs, which could only mean one thing. Willow had been fooling around with magic again.

Clearly, she hadn’t learned her lesson last time.

“What the bloody hell is going on here?” he demanded, staring at the two of them. The tone of his voice was one that Dawn had grown very familiar with. It meant that Spike wanted answers and he wanted them now. Not even Willow could stand up to it.

“It was no big deal.” Willow defended. “Dawn just wants to be able to help out more and since Buffy won’t let her fight, I thought I’d just teach her a few simple spells to start out with.”

“What kind of soddin’ spell causes an explosion like that?”

She gestured to the table. “There wasn’t supposed to be an explosion. I’m not sure what went wrong actually. I was trying to teach her how to change the plant back into a little sprout.”

When he heard this, Spike raised an eyebrow. “What, you’re going to start turning all the demons in town into mini-demons?”

Willow crossed her arms over her chest. “She needs to start out with something simple before learning anything that could harm a demon.”

Spike turned to look at Dawn and kept his eyes on her. “Does big sis know what you’re up to?” The brief flash of guilt and panic that went over Dawn’s face was answer enough. He shook his head again. “Are you daft? Haven’t you learned that magic isn’t something you mess around with?” Dawn flushed, indicating that she may have given that some thought while Willow merely got defensive.

“Hey, nobody got hurt or lost their memories this time. So it’s okay.”

Spike stared at her as if she’d gone crazy. What he couldn’t believe is that she really meant that. He could’ve sworn that Tara leaving would cause her to slow down when it came to magic. But instead, she just seemed to be having more fun teaching it to Dawn. And Dawn should have known better. He shook his head and glanced around the store. He could hear only one other heartbeat in the room and since the Slayer didn’t know about Dawn’s little forage into magic that left only one other person. “So, where is he?”

Willow looked at him blankly. “Who?”

Spike barely refrained from rolling his eyes. There was no way he was going to be caught doing that. It’d be a definite sign that he was hanging around the boy too long. “Xander.” He glanced towards the shelves. “He back there?”

Understanding dawned on Willow’s face and she nodded. “Yeah. He was going to put some books away. He thought this was a really bad idea.”

“At least one of you has some sense,” Spike muttered as he turned towards the shelves. Grinning he began to walk silently between two bookcases, planning to sneak up on Xander. It was always fun and, well, he was still evil after all. Sort of.

Spike frowned as he got closer and realized that the heartbeat he was hearing was beating too fast. He swung around the corner, preparing for the worst, and froze.

Standing there and looking around in confusion was a little boy of about four. His hair was black, Spike noted as the boy turned to look up at him with big brown eyes.

He only knew one person with eyes like that. “Bloody hell.” The little boy smiled.

“What’s that?” he asked.

Spike’s frown returned at the question. “What’s what?”

“Bloody hell.”

“Something you shouldn’t be saying.” Spike crouched down so that he was eye level with the boy. He had a very bad feeling that he already knew who this was but he had to be sure. He took a deep breath and inhaled the scent that was unmistakably Xander.

Damn. Better ask anyway. “What’s your name, pet?”

Xander frowned a bit. “I’m not a pet,” he said.

Spike let out a bit of a laugh. “No, you’re not. That doesn’t tell me your name though does it?”

The little boy studied him for a moment before he spoke. “Xander.”

Spike smiled though inside he was cursing the witch. What the bloody hell were she and Dawn thinking? “Name’s Spike.”

Xander wrinkled his nose. “How come your mom named you after a dog?” he asked in a completely serious voice. Spike’s lips twitched at the question as amusement shot through him.

“She didn’t. It’s a nickname.”

“Oh.” Xander nodded. Nicknames were something that he definitely understood. “Like my name. ‘Cause Xander’s not my real name. My real name is Alexander but Jesse said Xander is easier to say.” He paused. “What’s your real name?”

Spike held back a smile at the familiar babble. He was the Big Bad; he couldn’t be seen smiling too much. No matter who it was. “It’s William.”

Xander thought about it for a minute, biting his lip as he considered this. Then he smiled. “Spike’s easier.”

Now Spike let out a laugh. It just didn’t surprise him that Xander would choose the less orthodox name simply because it was easier to pronounce.

“Where am I?” Xander asked, interrupting Spike’s thoughts.

Spike raised an eyebrow at the question. He’d thought that he’d be asked that question a lot sooner than he had been. The Xander he knew would have been demanding to know where he was the minute he saw someone. Apparently, this child version of Xander was more easygoing about those things and Spike supposed that made sense since he hadn’t to deal with any of the horrors of the Hellmouth just yet. “You’re at a store called The Magic Box.”

Xander’s eyes widened. “Magic?”

“That’s right. Magic.” Which was exactly what had gotten them into this mess in the first place. “Come on, let’s go out there and I’ll introduce you to the others.” And hope you’re not traumatized by Red’s stupidity.

He stood and turned to walk back into the main area when he realized that Xander wasn’t following him. He looked back at him. “There a reason you’re not coming, pet?”

Xander just stared at him as if waiting for something. When nothing happened, he lifted his arms. “Up,” was all he said.

Spike’s eyes widened. Oh, bloody hell. Xander wanted him to carry him? He considered saying no. He really did. But as he looked down into Xander’s hopeful eyes, he found he couldn’t.

Spike held back a sigh, watching as his reputation as evil flew out the window.

“Okay. Come here.” Spike leaned over, picking Xander up. He was startled for a moment as Xander’s arms and legs wrapped around him and he laid his head down on his shoulder. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d actually held a child. “Oi, Red. Nibblet. Something went a bit wonky with your spell.”

Willow looked up as Spike reappeared, confusion on her face at these words. She glanced at Dawn, who shrugged. “What do you mean?” Almost as if she knew it had something to do with the child in Spike’s arms, she looked at him curiously.

Instead of answering, Spike nudged Xander, who yawned. “Why don’t you tell them your name?” Xander looked up at him, waiting until Spike nodded, before lifting his head and turning towards Willow and Dawn.

“My name’s Xander.”

Willow gasped and Dawn’s eyes widened as they realized who the little boy was. Dawn looked up at Spike while Willow couldn’t seem to tear her eyes away from Xander. Finally, it was Dawn who managed to speak.

“Oops.”





Part Two

“Oops?” Spike looked at Dawn as if she’d gone insane. “Is that all you have to say? Bloody hell, this is why you shouldn’t mess with magic.”

Xander grinned. “Bloody hell,” he repeated.

Willow’s eyes widened and Dawn slapped a hand over her mouth to stifle the laughter that threatened to escape as Spike frowned. He looked down at Xander. “Didn’t I tell you that was something you shouldn’t be saying?”

Xander nodded, though the grin didn’t leave his face. “Yup.”

“There a reason you said it then?” Xander nodded again. “Yup.”

Spike nearly growled in frustration. He’d just bet that Xander was doing this on purpose. He took a moment before he spoke, ignoring the way Dawn was giggling and the smile that had appeared on Willow’s face. “Well, what is it then?”

Xander looked at him as if the answer was obvious. Spike supposed to a four-year-old it was. “Because you said it.” Dawn, who had finally managed to slow down her giggling, snorted at that answer.
Spike turned and glared at her, causing her to try to look serious. She didn’t do a very good job of it, he decided as he turned back to Xander. “Yeah, well, I’m older than you, Xander, which means that I get to say words you don’t.”

Xander thought about this for a minute. “When do I get to say them?”

“When you’re bigger.”

“Oh.” The look on Xander’s face clearly said that he thought that was a bit of a stupid rule, but he kept the thought to himself.

Spike looked back over at Dawn. “Quit your laughing over there.” He scowled at her and gave his best ‘If-you-don’t-do-what-I-say-I’m-going-to-rip-your-throat-out’ look.

It didn’t work, which just annoyed Spike further, because that look always worked on people. Hell, it worked on other vampires and demons but it didn’t work on a teenage girl? He let out a slight growl as he set Xander down in a chair. “Stay there,” he told him before he rounded on Willow. “Well? Why are you just standing there, Red? Fix it.”

“Calm down. I’m sure I can undo this.” Willow turned back to the book, flipping through the pages. “It’s probably in here somewhere. Most likely near the spell we used.” She paused and began to scan the pages before looking up. She bit her lip. “We have a problem.”

“What sort of problem?” Dawn’s voice was filled with apprehension and Spike had to stop himself from smirking. Good. He would have thought that Dawn of all people would know better than to mess with magic. That lesson was finally starting to sink in from the looks of it.

“We can’t undo the spell-”

“What the bloody hell do you mean you can’t undo it?” Spike exploded. Behind them, Xander’s eyes widened at the sudden noise.

“Yet! We can’t undo it yet,” Willow added in a rush. “We, um, we have to wait a few weeks. It’s actually pretty easy to make something, or someone, younger than they were. But it takes more to return them to their original age.”

Spike took a moment to make sure he didn’t yell again. “Takes a bit more what?”

He sounded more calm but somehow, to Dawn, that really wasn’t much better. She turned to see Xander staring at Spike with wide eyes and she moved to crouch down in front of him. “Hey. Don’t worry. He’s not mad,” Dawn told him. She paused. “At you.” She smiled and Xander turned towards her.

“What’s he mad for?” he whispered.

“Well, Wi-um, my friend over there…the one with the red hair? She and I did something that we weren’t supposed to and now we’re getting in trouble.” Xander thought about it and then nodded.

“We need a few more ingredients. Plus, there’s the moon,” Willow was telling Spike. Spike snorted, shaking his head.

“The moon. Why is the moon always involved?” he muttered.

Willow looked back at him. “It’s really a great source of power.”

Spike gave in and rolled his eyes, muttering about moons and spells. He glanced over at where Dawn was entertaining Xander by making faces at him and softened a bit, hearing the laughter coming from the two. He turned back to Willow to say something when he felt a tug on his duster.

“Spike? Am I going home now?” Xander asked.

Spike froze and glanced up at Dawn and then over at Willow. It looked like neither of them was going to be much help at the moment. “Not exactly, pet. One of us is going to watch you for awhile.” Normally, Spike would have said that Red would be the best bet since she’d known him the longest and was still living with Buffy and Dawn. But considering it was Red who had gotten them into this in the first place, he wasn’t so sure it was a good idea. Before he could think of anything else, Xander spoke up, interrupting his thoughts.

“I want to stay with you.” It was said with a bit of hope that Spike wouldn’t say no. Spike looked at Xander blankly, sure he had heard wrong.

“What?”

“I want to stay with you,” he repeated. Spike couldn’t stop the flash of panic. With him? Where? They couldn’t stay in the crypt. He thought about it for a bit, then grinned as it came to him as if a switch had been flicked.

They could stay at Xander’s apartment.

“And you’re sure you don’t want to stay with them?” Spike gestured towards Willow and Dawn. Xander made a face and he shook his head.

“Nuh-uh. They’re girls. And all girls have cooties. ‘Cept for Willow,” Xander said as if he was letting Spike in on a big secret.

Spike nodded, looking up to see Willow watching them with a sad smile on her face. “Okay then. Sure, you can stay with me.”

“What?” Willow blurted. Spike turned and raised an eyebrow. “I mean, he can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Spike, he can’t stay in your-”

“Apartment? Sure he can. May not be as big as the house all you girls are living in, but I think it’ll work just fine,” Spike interrupted. Dawn nodded as she realized what Spike was saying.

“Yeah. That would totally work,” she said. They both stared at Willow as the information of where Spike wanted to stay sunk in.

Finally, she nodded. “Yeah. The apartment would probably work really well.” She looked over at Spike and he understood that while she’d rather be the one staying with him she wasn’t going to force Xander to stay with someone he didn’t want to. Spike reached over and picked up Xander again, taking the keys out of the pocket of his jacket as he did. He smirked as he put them in his own pocket. He still had it.

“Spike?” Dawn called. He turned.

“What is it, Bit?”

“Um, do you want me to come over tomorrow after school so you can go pick up some of your clothes from your…dry cleaners?”

Spike nodded, glad that Dawn had suggested it. He really didn’t want to have to explain to Xander why all his clothes weren’t at the apartment. “Stop by whenever. Not like I’ll be going anywhere.”

“Oh, and we can get some toys or something,” Willow added.

“Alright. Then I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye Dawn. Red,” Spike told them, nodding at Willow.

Xander looked up at him as they left the store. “Why’d you call her Red? She’s not red.”

Spike laughed. It looked like Xander took whatever he said literally. “It’s another nickname, pet.”

“Oh.” He paused. “Where’s your ‘partment?”

“It’s…a bit of a ways. That’s why I’m carrying you there.” Or that’s what he was going to tell himself, Spike decided.

He was still the Big Bad.


~*~*~*~*~


By the time they had reached the apartment, Xander was practically asleep in Spike’s arms. He shifted his grip a bit as he took out the keys and pushed open the door. As he walked in, Spike couldn’t help but be grateful that Xander had invited him into his apartment a few weeks ago when they’d decided watching soccer and drinking would be a more fun way to spend the night. He would have had a hard time explaining to Xander why he thought Xander should go in first and invite him in.

Of course, he could have always said it was a game. Assuming that it would even work while Xander was…miniature size, which he supposed it would since it was still Xander.

Still, this was just easier for everyone.

Xander stirred, slowly blinking, as Spike closed the door behind them. “Are we there yet?” he asked, rubbing his eye with the back of his hand.

Spike looked down at him and smiled. “Yeah. What do you say we put you to bed?”

Xander yawned. “’Kay.”

Spike glanced around, noting that the curtains had been left open. He’d have to come back and fix that once he got Xander to bed. He looked down to see that Xander was well on his way to once again falling asleep. Definitely time to put him to bed. He paused as he realized something.

Pajamas. Kids needed pajamas because it seemed to be a requirement. A requirement to wear them and to call them something silly like ‘footies.’ The thought alone was enough to make Spike cringe.

Still, he needed to find something for Xander.

“How about we go find you something to sleep in, pet?” Xander nodded sleepily, but didn’t respond. Spike glanced around before heading into the bedroom and setting Xander down on the bed. “Stay here while I find something okay?” He didn’t get a response as Xander curled up on his side, which was good enough for Spike. He turned and began opening drawers, searching until he found shirts. He rifled through before he found one that made him pause as he pulled it out.

Scooby-Doo.

Spike shook his head.

“I don’t even want to know,” he muttered. He turned back around to find that Xander was asleep on the bed. He paused and then, placing the shirt near Xander, gently lifted him up, supporting him the whole time. He carefully pulled off the outer jacket that Xander seemed so fond of before maneuvering Xander’s arms so that he could pull the shirt off and pull the Scooby-Doo shirt on.

Xander didn’t stir throughout any of it and Spike marveled at the fact that even as a child, Xander could sleep through anything.

Carefully, Spike pulled down the covers before picking up Xander and moving him up to the pillow and pulling the covers back up over him. He stared down at Xander a moment before nodding to himself and heading back into the living room. It pretty much looked the same as last time except for one thing. Spike quickly moved to the curtains and pulled them closed.

Much better.

He dropped down on the couch, turning on the TV and grinned. He didn’t see why so many people thought baby-sitting was so hard. He was doing just fine.

Spike nodded again. He could definitely do this.





Part Three

“You did what?”

Dawn flinched as Buffy’s exclamation rang throughout the room. They had just explained the entire situation with Xander to her and she really wasn’t taking it too well.

“I knew we should have waited until this afternoon to tell her. At least then we could have given her cookies,” Dawn muttered. Willow bit her lip as she worked to hold back a laugh. Now really wasn’t the time. Who knew what Buffy would do if she started laughing in the middle of this conversation?

“Dawn.” Buffy’s tone held a world of warning in it as she spoke, causing Dawn to sigh. Buffy raised an eyebrow at her, giving her a look that said this conversation was definitely going to continue later. Dawn nodded.

“It was a complete accident, Buffy. And we’re going to be able to turn him back to his normal self so there’s really no reason to freak out,” Willow said. What amazed Buffy the most was that she seemed to actually believe what she was saying. “Besides, Spike already yelled at us last night.” Buffy looked from one to the other.

“Good.” She nodded. “He was right. I can’t believe that you two would be so irresponsible after everything that’s happened. Haven’t you learned by now?” Buffy didn’t give them the chance to answer as she turned away from them, placing her hands on the counter and taking a deep breath. “Where’s Xander now?”

“Spike is staying with him,” Dawn told her. “At his apartment. We thought that would be the best place for them to stay.” Buffy nodded, pausing before she turned back to face them. There was a hint of a smile on her face that hid any other thoughts from them.

“Has Spike ever done any baby-sitting before?” she asked. Dawn grinned.

“For a four year old or just in general?”

“Either.”

“Nope.” Dawn giggled as the smile on Buffy’s face grew into a full-blown grin.

“Well, then he must be having an interesting morning.”

“He might surprise us. After all, he seemed to be doing okay last night.” Even as she said it, she was fighting back a laugh. Buffy began to laugh.

“Oh, I would pay money to see how Spike’s morning has gone so far.”


~*~*~*~*~


Spike was going insane. He didn’t know what he’d been thinking or why he’d ever agreed to stay with Xander. It was like being in the presence of a tornado. A small, energetic, laughing tornado.

It had all started when Spike had been jerked awake by a small bundle of energy, commonly known as Xander, launching himself onto Spike’s chest. That had been followed by a bright smile and Xander asking all sorts of questions. What was for breakfast? Could he eat in the living room so he could watch cartoons while he ate? Why were the curtains closed? Could they open them?

Then had come the conversation where Spike had to explain to Xander that no, they couldn’t open the curtains. He’d hoped to leave it at that but Xander was the type of child who wanted to know the reason why he couldn’t do something. And from there, he’d had to make up some story about how the sun made him very sick when it touched his skin.

Where the bloody hell was Dawn when he needed her?

“Spike?”

Spike looked over to see Xander standing to the side of him, biting his lip as if he were nervous about something. “Yeah?” he asked, already imagining all the things that could have gone wrong. He hadn’t heard a crash so he doubted that anything was broken, but he wasn’t going to rule anything out.

Xander shifted. “I gotta go.”

Spike frowned. Go? Where the hell did a four-year-old have to go? He looked down at Xander and took in the way he kept shifting and something inside clicked as he realized what Xander was talking about. His eyes widened. Oh hell. He swallowed, hoping he was wrong. “You have to go?” he repeated. Xander nodded and looked in the direction of the bathroom. Spike felt a flash of panic. How was he supposed to deal with that? It wasn’t as if he was used to helping Xander go to the bathroom. And more importantly, why was Xander telling him that he had to go? What was it about children that compelled them to go around telling people when they had to go to the bathroom? A small hand tugging on his jeans interrupted his thoughts.

“Spike,” Xander said, stretching out his name a bit. “I gotta go.”

“Oh bloody hell,” Spike muttered, motioning to the bathroom. “Let’s go.” He held open the door as Xander dashed inside then stopped and looked up at Spike. Spike frowned. “What’s wrong?”

“There’s supposed to be a stool ‘cause I’m not big enough yet,” he explained. Spike glanced around, silently cursing Xander for not having something for him to use.

“Hold it for a few more seconds, pet,” he told Xander. Xander nodded as he started to bounce in place. Spike turned and headed into the living room, hoping that he wouldn’t have to clean up a puddle when he got back to the bathroom. He glanced around the room, then smiled in triumph when he saw what he’d been looking for resting on a table near the kitchen. He grabbed them, heading back into the bathroom and stacking a few phone books in front of the toilet. “There you go.” Spike watched Xander climb on top of them to be sure he didn’t slip and fall, then raised an eyebrow when Xander looked over at him.

“Can you turn around?” he asked. Before Spike could answer, he continued, “I promise I won’t make a mess ‘cause my daddy says only babies make messes and I’m not a baby ‘cause I’m almost five.”

Spike nodded, holding back a smile. “Yeah? Then why don’t I give you some privacy?” He turned around, thinking about what Xander had said. Almost five–which meant that his birthday was coming up. Unless Xander was the type who would turn a certain age and then declare that he was almost another year older. He doubted it though.

“Done!” Xander jumped down to the floor just as Spike turned around. Xander stared up at the sink and it was clear to Spike that he was trying to figure out a way to get up there to wash his hands.

“Face the sink, Xander,” Spike said. Xander looked up at Spike then did as he was told. Spike moved behind him and lifted him up to the sink, smirking when Xander let out a surprised laugh. “Now wash your hands.” Once Xander had done that, Spike turned and continued to hold him up as he dried his hands. Xander grinned as Spike put him down.

“That was fun,” was all he said. One corner of Spike’s mouth lifted in a half smile.

“We’ll just have to do it again then, won’t we?”

Xander tilted his head, looking up at Spike. He had a considering look on his face as he studied Spike. Spike raised an eyebrow, waiting for whatever question he just knew Xander was going to ask. He leaned back against the sink.

“Spike?”

“Yeah?”

Xander frowned. “How come you’re not in the mirror?”




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