(Sequel to 'Anything For You')
I'd Still Do Anything For You
Dawn ushered three muddy, laughing Garkreshin kids into the Summers' house. Giles had volunteered to tutor them, since they couldn't safely attend regular school, and since the lessons were held after school was out, Dawn had permanent recess detail. She didn't really mind since the little demons had quickly endeared themselves to her and all of the scoobies. But when it had been raining out and they decided they wanted to have a mud war she tended to get a little testy. "Giles!"
"Dawn what. . . oh dear lord." He stared at the muddy mess on kids and floor. "We will continue your lesson after Dawn hoses you down. I will get some towels from upstairs and don't you even think about stepping onto the carpets with those muddy feat."
Essej giggled and Ssol and Yrral looked suitably chastised. . . if you didn't know them or dote upon them.
"That look will not work on me." Giles scolded them, "I am not your fathers I am your teacher. Outside. Now. Dawn, man the hose if you please."
After a short period of screeching giggles and a quick game of water tag, the children were clean, dry, and sitting down to lessons. They would go on until Xander got off work. At that time there would be a scooby meeting at the apartment since Spike was confined there until sunset, and then patrol while Dawn watched the children. It had only been a couple weeks since Xander and Spike became a full fledged 'married couple' and life had finally settled back to normal. Hellmouth type normal any way.
This day would be different though because at the very moment that the children were settling down to their second half of lessons, Xander was on his break and on his cell phone to Willow.
"So did you find anything?" He asked hopefully.
"I might have. It's a good spell for men but I don't know about vampires."
"Maybe if you put more oomph behind it?"
"I can try. But Xander, when will you two be able to. . . I mean. . ." He could hear her blushing over the phone, "It's hard to be . . . that intimate, with kids around. And don't they even sleep in the bed with you? That's. . . um. . ."
Xander laughed. "Don't worry Wills, I'm gonna ask Buffy to take the kids for a week. Already arranged for a weeks vacation too. I mean we never got much of a honeymoon or anything and the boys kind of snuff out any sex life we might have outside of a quicky on patrol or in the shower and you probably didn't want to hear that and Buffy so does not need to know about the patrol thing, it was just a couple times a swear I mean we're newlyweds and. . ."
"Xander! Babble is only good when it doesn't make pictures of you and Spike naked dance through my brain okay?"
"So you're asking Buffy to watch the kids. Is there anything else that should be included in the spell? I mean do you guys want certain features from each of you or. . ."
"Uh, let nature take it's course on that note but. . ."
"We kind of want to have a little girl." He blushed this time, just imagining the look on Willow's face.
"Oh she would be adorable!" The witch squealed, "I'll have the spell ready by tonight. You ingest it so no problem there, and all the chanting and incense and such will be done before I bring it over. I know Spike and the boys can't stand incense."
"Okay, I'll see you tonight Wills, hey if you see Buffy for me could you drop some hints about taking the boys?"
"Got it. Oh, and Xan?"
"Spikes a lucky vamp."
Xander smiled, "I'm the lucky one." He hung up and turned to realize most of his shift workers were standing behind him. "Uh. . . ever heard of privacy guys?"
"Xan! You got married and didn't tell us?!"
"Well it was kind of a small thing, just the two of us and the kids. . ."
"Were the kids a problem, I mean you told us they're kind of special. And that you had them so young. Did she resent that?"
"There's no problem." Xander smiled wistfully, "The kids really brought us together in the first place."
"And now you're trying for another! You always brag about the boys, now you want a daughter? Are you ready to raise a girl?"
Another man elbowed the one who'd spoken, "Come on Bill, there's a woman in the house now. She'll know how to raise a girl. Women know that shit."
Xander blushed. Lying by omission was still lying. He hated lying to his coworkers. They were as close to non-scooby friends as he got.
"So what's she like? Why haven't you brought her by?"
"Spike has. . ."
"Ooh her nic name is Spike? Kinky! Where'd you find her?"
"Shut up Ron." Another man complained. "What's she like Xan?"
He smiled, eyes far away. "Spike is amazing. Hair as blond as sand is on a night time beach and eyes so blue they're like crystals. Moon beam skin and cheekbones so sharp you could cut yourself on them. . ." He snapped out of it at Bill's snickering. "Well you asked."
"Why haven't you brought her by?!"
"Spike has a bad reaction to UV rays." Yeah, he bursts into flame..
The whistle blew signaling the end of break and they all got back to work. By the end of the day the whole crew was slapping his back, congradulating him, and offering lewd suggestions for the coming 'honeymoon'. Tony had even volunteered to watch the kids if Buffy declined. Xander just smiled, knowing Buffy would do it and that if Tony ever saw his 'kids', the poor guy would faint. Muscled male of 6'5" or not.
When Xander got home he was greeted at the door by a barreling blonde and knocked back into the hall where Spike pounced on him and proceeded to kiss him silly. "Welcome home" *kiss Kiss KISS* "No more going to work." *kiss lick nibble* "Gonna tie you to the bed I am." *pet kiss RUB*
Xander groaned and leaned into the touched until a shiver crawled up his back, "Uh. . . Hi Mrs. D'laney, Mr. Morris."
Spike froze and glanced up from his position straddled over his lovers legs to see the neighbors from next door and across the hall staring at them. "'ello. Fine day i'nit?" He grinned and dragged Xander quickly into their apartment. Where they both broke down into helpless giggles.
Once they had calmed down enough to allow their lips to touch without breaking into laughter again, they fell into each other and landed on the couch with a muffled thud and began to rip at annoying clothing. Clothing covered skin, and the only thought in human or vampire mind at the moment was 'skin is good. we want skin.'
Buttons ricocheted of off furniture and walls and in moments cool and welcome hands were touching him and Xander sighed in bliss. "Ahhh. Need you. Love you. Missed you."
Spike laughed, "Clever luv, you down to two word sentances already?"
That made Xander growl. "Fuck me."
"Suddenly I really like two word sentances. Bloody briliant use of language." He smirked as he freed his lover from his confining and dirt covered work jeans and began to stretch him carefully. The small cloud of dust reminded Xander of just how dirty he was.
"Spike. . . Spike wait." He groaned as those talented hands moved further down him body. "I'm filthy. All sweat and dirt and dust. . . oooh God that's. . . no!. . . Spike I have to. . ."
"Like your smell I do. Don't mind a little dirt. Ah Xan you're so bloody sexy luv. So hot. Take me out mine. I want to be inside you."
"Spike." His voice cracked with need as his hands raced to do as he was bid.
"Thats a love." Spike kissed every inch of his face, licking and nipping the smooth skin and lapping up beads of sweat before flipping them over so Xander was on top. "Come on pet, ride me luv." He gasped as Xander lowered himself onto Spike's iron hard cock. "God! Ooh! Oh God! Oh precious! My beautiful precious pet. Wait! Don't move or this'll be over way too soon."
Xander bit his lip and moaned, "Need to move Spike. Need to move. Oh Gods so full. I'm so full Spike please!"
"'kay luv. Okay, I can. . . ooooh! Like that! that's a love." He groaned when Xander began to rock up and down and back and forth, undulating in little sexy circles and driving Spike to distraction. They had been without for so long. And it felt so very, very good! "Can't take much more mine. Need you too much. faster luv, harder. Fuck yourself on me, let us cum."
Xander sped up at the sound of Spike's voice, pushing them both higher and higher until they were right on the edge of completion. "I love you!" They screamed together as Xander rammed himself down hard once more and came with hard shuddering jets, the feeling of Spike's essence flooding his insides forcing him even further into bliss.
They collapsed on top of each other, breathing heavily even though one of them didn't need to. "Was so good luv. So good."
"Mmm." Xander agreed sleepily, "Need to come home early more often."
Spike shot up almost knocking Xander to the floor. "Shit! What time is it?!"
"Oh Damn it! The kids'll be here any second!" Xander cursed his overactive hormones and he and Spike jumped into a quick, shared shower, with no time to do anything but wash the evidence off each other and giggle together over their horrible timing.
"Price of having kids i'nit." Spike smirked as he dried his lover with a fluffy bath towel.
"Yeah." Xander smirked, "Would you have it any other way?"
Spike smiled back while Xander returned the favor. "Can't imagine unlife without all of you anymore. Turned me into a right sodden poof you 'ave."
Xander smiled and kissed him as they walked out of the bathroom together. "Good."
When Giles and Dawn arrived with the kids, Giles wrinkled his nose in distaste at the smell of sex that filled the living room. "Please tell me where it is still sanitary to sit down."
Spike sauntered out of the bedroom toweling his hair dry, "No worries watcher, we cleaned up after ourselves. Jus' hard ta get air circulating in 'ere without openin' the drapes."
Xander took pity on the man and pointed to the chair. "That one's safe."
Spike got a gleam in his eyes. That would be the next place he'd mark with his boy.
Giles nodded and sat down carefully.
Dawn herded the kids through the door and Xander and Spike found themselves with arms full of little, squirming demons who wanted to tell their daddies about their day.
"We had a mud fight!" Essej giggled.
Ssol nodded sagely, "And Giles-teacher made Daw'han squirt us with a hose!"
"And and and. . ." Yrral bounced on Spike's hip. "We learned about how to hide if we're in trouble and how to camelflog ourself."
Spike smiled, "You mean Camoflague." He corrected.
Xander smiled, "How do you camoflague yourselves?"
"Like this." Xander almost dropped Essej when the little demon glowed slightly and melted into a very human looking child. He looked like a perfect mix of Xander and Spike with dark brown hair and bright blue eyes, sharp cheekbones and a very Xander-like smile. His brothers wore similar features. Yrral's face looked like a young Xander but his hair was bright blond and his eyes were ice blue looking out from a pale face. Ssol had taken on a facial structure somewhere between the two of them. His cheek bones not quite as prominent as Essej's but with Spike's nose. His hair was blond but his eyes were a deep, full brown, like chocolate and whiskey.
Xander's whole face lit up, "You look like us."
Yrral gave them a silly-grownups look and smirked. "Duh!"
Xander glared at Dawn, "We'll talk about what you teach our kids later." He warned, then turned to Giles.
Giles nodded, "They would normally have learned to shift very early in life but since there was no reason for them to have to learn it, their instinct didn't take over until I coaxed them into it. Once they were ready though they learned very quickly."
Spike pressed his nose against each of the boy's noses and smiled, "Proud of you."
Xander's smile was blinding. "This means you guys can come out with me at day time! I can show you to the guys at work and we can go to the park and . . ." He looked up and noticed Spike's smile turning a little bittersweet. ". . . and all we have to do now if find a way to let Wil-daddy come out with us."
Spike crushed his family to him. He kissed Xander lightly on the lips and whispered, "luv you."
Giles cleared his throat, "As to that. . . I meant to give this to you as a . . . wedding gift of sorts." He handed a small box to Spike and Xander. "I suppose I cannot trust you will use it responsibly."
Spike looked at Xander in question but the boy just shrugged and offered it to Spike to open. He tore away the paper and found a jewelry case inside. The kind a ring would come in.
"You plannin' on one upin' yer boy?" Spike leered and then snorted, "Cause it ain't happenin'."
"I might have persuaded Angel before you arrived there to . . . ah. . . stage, the ring's destruction if he had to." He admitted. Then quickly added, "Although I had meant to offer it for his benefit after I'd studied it. . . it would be more useful now upon the hand of a. . . ah. . . family member."
Spike opened the box and stared. "The gem of Amara." He was shocked.
Xander was not. He lifted his boyfriend up and swung him around whooping with joy, "Spike! You can walk in the sun again!"
Spike was still too shocked to respond. He snapped out of it when Xander slipped the ring onto the middle finger of Spike's hand. "Pet, why not the ring finger?"
The human blushed a bit. "Well if I put it there, where would your wedding ring go?"
"Wha. . ." Spike blinked at Xander in suprise.
"I was going to take you to pick our rings out on our honeymoon."
Spike kissed him longer this time earning them a round of 'ewwwww's ' from the boys and initiating another group hug. Xander's face was streaked with tears. "Why'r ya crying luv?"
Xander looked at the boys in their various human disguises and then at Spike, "We look like a family."
"Were a family before." Spike grinned, understanding Xander's wonder but unwilling to show it in front of the watcher.
"Okay sap levels are now officially through the roof." Dawn grinned and shook her head.
Spike gave her the two finger salute behind the kids' back and got smacked upside the head for his troubles. He glared playfully at Xander but the smile ruined the effect. Realizing it was a lost cause he helped Xander settle the kids with them on the couch and turned to Giles, "So, Watcher, this mean I have your blessin' ta date yer kid?"
Giles snorted. "Not when you butcher the English language to ask."
The vampire sighed and rolled his eyes, getting giggles from all four of his boys. "Fine. Mister Giles?" He asked with a mockingly innocent expression and perfect educated accent. "May I have the honor of your blessing for my courtship of your son?"
Xander shivered at the sound of his mate's voice lilting so musically.
Giles groaned. "Fine. Yes Spike, the ring of Amara is my way of welcoming you to the family. And if you ever hurt any of them I will . . . how does Willow put it? I will beat you over the head repeatedly with a shovel and then use the same spade to dig your final grave."
Now it was Spike's turn to shiver. He leaned over to Xander and whispered. "'s'a lot scarier when the Watcher says it."
"Speaking of Willow. . ." Xander looked toward the door. "Where is she?"
"She told us that she and Buffy were going to be late. But they are bringing pizza to compensate for their tardiness."
"Daddy?" Essej asked quietly catching both of his daddies' attention.
"What is that scent from?"
"It smells warm and kind of sweet, and like a mix of you and daddy."
Xander's face went from blank to blushing. "Does he mean. . . I mean, they can smell. . ."
Spike smirked. "Tell ya when yer older bite sized." He ruffled his son's hair.
"Oh God." Xander's face resembled a cherry. "That's it. Spike, we are never having s. . . uh. . ." He looked at the boys curious faces. "We are never doing 'that' again."
The vampire's eyes were a mix of disbelief and once again, shock.
Dawn began to snicker. "Guess the honeymoon's over."
Buffy and Willow arrived soon with the pizzas they promised and the boys all dug in happily, topping it off with a drink from Spike's arms. They stretched out on the fluffy rug and played with their toys while the grown-ups researched until Xander looked at the clock.
Spike caught the look and nodded. "Okay li'l bits. Bedtime."
"But Daddy!" They all wailed as one, "I dont wanna go to bed!"
Spike stood and scooped up Yrral and Ssol while Xander lifted Essej and they carried their bundles into the master bedroom and dropped them playfully on the bed. Xander sang softly as he and Spike tucked the covers close to them. "I don't wanna go to bed, one two. I don't wanna go to bed, take off your shoes. Lets stay up and take a walk, three four. Let's sit up a while and talk. We'll talk no more. five six Don't you think perhaps I aught'a, now none of your tricks. Have another glass of water. seven eight. I left my dolly in the hall, nine ten. I'm not sleepy at all."
His vampire smiled at his from the other side of the bed looking over the soundly sleeping boys. They kissed each one on the forehead then shared their own kiss before slipping quietly back toward the living room. Spike kissed him again before they got there and smirked, "I'm about to be a complete poof."
"s'okay." Xander breathed happily.
"Yer an amazin' human Xan." He touched their lips together lightly. "So much more th'n I deserve. But I'm glad to 'ave you.Yer mine. Bound wit' you f'ever."
"I'm yours." Xander agreed and then snickered, "Now enough sappy goshy love stuff. Okay? We still have to ask Buffy to watch the boys."
"You want me to watch the boys?" Buffy asked from the doorway, making both men jump.
"Ah. . . Bufster!" Xander blushed, "How. . . uh. . . how long were you standing there?"
She smirked, "Enough to hear Spike make a 'poof' of himself."
Spike growled and Xander quickly stepped between them, "Spike! No killing the potential babysitter."
They went back to the living room and relaxed into the plush furniture Xander'd saved all year to afford. (The kids loved the soft, fuzzy feel of it. And it was a nice feeling to have against his back while Spike was. . . ) Bad sex thoughts! Father figure is in the room!
"So, Buffy, could you watch the boys for the week? Spike and I wanted to take our honeymoon, you know? Maybe try to make the boys a little sister?"
The slayer nodded. "I could watch them but Xander, they need fresh blood. I can't afford to be weak when I'm slaying. . ."
The soft brown eyes saddened and Xander's shoulder slumped a little as he nodded, "I guess that wouldn't work would it. Spike and I can . . . we can just stay here."
Willow frowned, "Xander, you already took your vacation time." She thought a moment. "Angel!"
"Angel could watch them with Buffy. That way you have Buffy, who you guys trust right?"
Spike nodded, wary of letting the gelled wonder anywhere near his family.
"And you can also have Angel. Easily replenished food source!"
Xander's smile was huge. "Using Angel as a food source for our little demons doesn't sound so bad."
Spike still wasn't smiling, "But that means he'll have to know about us."
"You would have to tell him eventually." Giles reasoned. "After all, Spike being of his line I'm sure he has already felt the bond taking place."
Xander blushed, "He FELT that?!"
Spike smirked and hugged his husband against his side with one arm. "'ope 'e got a bloody good thrill."
All of them jumped and stared at the closed door.
"uh. . . Spike? You said Angel could feel us?"
"When did the bond take hold?"
"Seventh shag." He answered without taking his eyes off the door.
"Which was. . ."
"On the couch this evening."
Buffy jumped up off the couch and wrinkled her nose. "Ewww!"
Giles jumped and dropped his book when the door rattled with the force of Angel's knocking.
"WILLIAM! GET OUT HERE! NOW!!!"
"Daddy?" Eesej came out of the bedroom rubbing sleepy eyes and flanked by his brothers. "What's going on?"
Spike scooped him up and Xander cuddled the other two. "It's nothing luvs. Come on, back ta bed wit' ya."
"Who's yelling, daddy?" Ssol asked, looking at the door fearfully.
"That's Spike's daddy." Xander shushed him. "He's just being grumpy."
"Is Spike-daddy in trouble?" Yrral looked petrified. "Is his daddy gonna take him away?"
The other two began crying and panicking, "No!"
"Spike-daddy can't leave!"
"Don't go away again daddy!"
Spike swore under his breath and cuddled all of them close, "'m not going anywhere. Hush now." He looked up at Buffy, "Open the door."
"But. . ."
"If you don't 'e'll keep pounding. The kids 're scared."
She nodded and opened the door revealing a livid Angel in all his glory. An Angel who's face went from anger to surprise when he saw Spike and Xander comforting their boys and glaring at him. The surprise didn't last long. "Spike! What do you think you're doing?!"
"'m takin' care of m' little ones, bloody poof. Y' scared 'em 'alf ta death!"
"Invite me in." His voice was calm death.
"Don't think so deadboy." Xander growled.
Realization swept over the stormy features. "It's you! Spike! You took Xander Harris as a bond mate?! Are you insane?!"
Xander scowled, "well I'm not too fond of you either."
"If you are invited inside," Giles bargained, "You must swear that no one in this family will be hurt."
Angel nodded reluctantly, wanting nothing more than to ring Spike's stupid little neck.
"Come in Angel."
Xander snickered as the loss of the magical shield caused Angel to stumble a bit. His smile vanished when the larger vampire went straight for his Childe's throat. "No!" He quickly pushed the children away from Spike and to the safety of Giles' care. Then the zeppo hauled back his fist and delivered an uppercut to the charging vampire that made his jaw crack!
Angel fell to his ass stunned.
"Uh. . ." The dark haired boy looked at his fist, unsure of what to do. It took a while for him to realize he was the big bad protector of his family this time. "Stay away from my family deadboy." He hissed, unable to get his human throat to make an appropriate growling sound.
Giles frowned at Angel. "You swore you would not hurt any member of this family. Spike is most definitly part of it."
The older vampire stood unsteadily and snarled, "Spike you great idiot. You are of my line! Anyone you take as mate has to be able to uphold that line! When I felt you bond with a human I knew you were being stupid but this human?! Are you a complete moron? Have I taught you nothing?!"
"Uh. Hey! Still in the room here." Xander snarked.
Spike slipped back toward Giles as the two brunets faced off. He gathered the kids to him and hurried them out the door silently.
"Wil-daddy where are we going?" Essej asked, peaking back through the open door of their flat to make sure their daddy was in one piece.
"Grandad won' 'urt Xan-dad. 'E doesn't 'urt humans."
Spike snorted, "Somethin' like that. Now remember what the Watcher taught you? Keep up the human bit, right luvs." He knocked on a nearby door and a tired, middle-aged woman answered sleepily.
"Huh. . . William hun do you know what time it is? What are those children doing awake at this hour?!"
"Sorry ta bother ya Mrs. D'laney, but me pop dropped in all unexpected an' 'e didn' know 'bout Xan and I. 'Specially didn' know abou' the kids. . ."
"Oh you poor dears! What a horrible experience!"
"'e scared the little 'uns right outta their beds. Need ta stash 'em someplace safe 'till Xan get's rid of 'im or talks 'im down."
"Of course!" She ushered the children inside with promises of hot cocoa and cookies whispered below human hearing.
"an' no cookies." Spike warned.
"Just like a mother." She smiled and the vamp blushed. "You realize this is the first time I've even seen the boys up close? You should bring them by more often."
Spike nodded, silently thanking the Watcher's excellent timing. "Uh. . . will do that mum."
"Whenever you an the mister need some time?" She snickered.
Spike found himself blushing. Imagin! Blushing at his age! "Yes'um."
"William. . ." She asked softly once the kids were all settled, "Is your father abusive? Are you in danger?"
He tried not to snort and it ended up sounding like a sniffle and earning him a hug. erk!
"Oh you poor dear!"
"Uh. . . I 'ave ta get back an 'elp Xan. . ."
"Daddy don't go!" The three boys were back into the room in an instant.
"Oh it's so cute when triplets do that!"
Spike held back a comment and knelt down before the boys. "Now you be good fer Mrs. D'laney ya 'ear?"
"Wil-dad don't leave us!" Yrral begged and leaned closer, "She's human!"
"Not all human's are a bad lot." He promised.
Ssol grabbed his arm, "You'll get hurt!"
"You know yer daddy'll protect me." He assured them and gave them each hugs. "Grandda' Angel is a . . . nice guy. . . when ya get ta know 'im. This is jus' a big shock. 'E prob'ley thinks 'e's too young ta be a grandda'"
"Then why can't we go back with you?!"
Spike shushed them, "Because."
"'s'not a reason." Ssol pout.
Spike smiled, "ya said snot." He teased.
The little one smiled a little, "Daddy does it better."
"Ya well yer daddy's special tha' way." He stood and tipped an imaginary hat to Mrs. D'Laney. "Thank ya kindly missus. Glad ta 'ave so fine a neigbor as yerself."
She smirked, "With all the free shows you and your hubby end up giving, I may be your only neighbor soon."
"Ya say it like tha's a bad thin'." He teased and slipped outside, only to be caught in large hands and thrown against the wall. "Peaches! Nice ta see you 'aven't changed. 'Ow'r the minions?"
"Spike." Angel growled dangerously, "I want an explanation and I want it now."
"Mind settin' me on me own two feet then?"
"No until you tell me why I just had to knock Xander. . . " He growled and said the name again with emphasis, "Alexander Harris unconcious to keep him from ripping my throat out."
Spike's game face slammed into being and he tore into Angel like a wild animal until the larger man had to let go of him. The moment he was on his feet, Spike was across the hall and in their apartment, cradling his mate close. "Bloody Effin' poof!" He smoothed Xander's hair and looked up at the Watcher and minions. "What'd 'e do?"
"Wow." Willow shook her head, "Oh my Goddess. Spike, you should have seen him. Angel tried to follow you and the kids out and Xander just jumped at him! He was going to kill him!"
"Uhnnnn. . ." Xander groaned and opened his eyes "The kids. . .?"
"At the neighbors gettin' spoiled."
"Oh. . .Did someone see the demon that ran me over?"
Spike smirked, "Poofter of a vamp pet. S'all."
Xander nodded a little dizzily and tried to get up.
Giles looked from the pair of them to the very battered vampire in the doorway. "Dear lord! Angel what. . ."
"Spike found out I hit the boy."
"Hey! Full grown man here!" Xander complained and was ignored.
"Something is wrong here." Buffy confirmed with Giles while carefully watching to make sure the fighting didn't begin again. "Angel, how did Xander knock you flat? I mean I know he was doing the worried mother-strength of ten men type thing but you're . . . you!"
"That is why I came to Sunnydale. Spike was never supposed to take a mate."
Giles frowned, "But because his sire released him from their bond when she. . ."
"No. Not because of Drusilla. There was a very old chronical. A sort of vampire bible."
Xander looked skeptical, "Spike's in the vamp bible." He looked up his lover, who was still holding him while they sat on the floor. "I hate to tell you this, but Spike's no saint."
"You both are." He growled and sat down as if he were suddenly feeling very, very old.
"What? Saints?" Xander grinned and his body shook with silent laughter at the irony of Angel saying that while he was lowering himself onto the couch he and Spike had. . . broken in. . . a few hours back.
Angel glared at the human his childe was cradling to his chest and give a large sigh, "You are both in the chronicles. I didn't know it was you until I arrived, but now it all fits."
"What all fits?" Willow asked worried, "Is the world ending again?"
"Maybe." He glared at his Childe. "Didn't you listen to anything I taught you as a fledgeling?! I pounded that book into your skull literally and figuratively!"
Xander began to hiss again and Spike held him tight. "Yeah, so what? I never listened to you."
The dark vampire closed his eyes in annoyance. "There's a passage in the book that reads,
In the time of man there will be born a childe
twice born man and never monster
In the mouth of Hell there will be born a child
a mother of monsters who leads into light
Two and three and friends and foe
meet and break the line of Angels
And enter the world into a new age
In the world of demons a human family born
The clan of clans
To destory all others."
Buffy frowned, "Destroy all other clans or all other life or monsters or what?"
"It's a prophesy, I don't know. When I was Angelus I was worried that it meant an end to vampires, and the line of Angels could be my clan which is broken. But when I regained my soul another idea came to mind. What if the line of Angels is a connection to the powers? It could mean the end of the human world."
Xander refused to let it lay like that. "How do you know it's Spike? Or me! I get the childe part but Spike was a vampire, that's a monster." He finished then paused. . . "Isn't it?"
"Actually, William never fully turned." Angel admitted and then let the silence soak that in before continuing. "Spike, you are a vampire, but you still love purely. You still have human habits and mannerisms. You are still very much human. You merged with your demon and became something new. I moulded you into evil. I made you something to be feared, but on your own you never would have. . ."
"And I'm the mother of monsters?" Xander guessed, not wanting to let Angel slip into full brooding mode.
"I didn't realise until I saw the children. . ."
"But I'm a guy."
"Who still has traces of a female hyena spirit inside of him." Angel noted and Xander bit his lip. "And you lead demons to the side of light. Anya. Spike. Those children. . ."
"Leave our kids out of this." Xander ordered.
"I can't! Are you being thick on purpose or do you truely not get it?! By mating himself to you Spike's set off the prophesy and you are all a part of it now."
That wasn't good enough for Xander. "You don't even know if it's good or bad."
"It was in the vampire bible!"
"So maybe it's bad for vamps!" Xander was toe to toe with Angel and glaring at him with steel eyes.
"And what about what's happening to you?" He asked calmly and backed down.
"What do you mean?!"
"Xander, you hit me strong enough to knock me off of my feet. You've been trying to growl at me all night. You're barely controlling your temper."
"I just don't like you."
"The hyena is merging with you just like Spike's demon merged with him. You're a new breed of demon Xander."
Giles broke in before Xander could respond to that. "So we know who but we don't know why."
Angel nodded, "The rest is too vague."
"I suggest we all go home and sleep on it. Tomorrow we can gather and try to find any further references to this prophesy."
Willow bounced suddenly, "Oh! Wait! What about your honeymoon?"
Angel looked at her like she was insane, "Don't you think this is a little more important?"
The look she gave him could have burned the sun into ash. "You have no idea what those guys have gone through." She frowned, "And now there's going to be more."
The large vampire backed up from the little redhead and raised his hands in truce. "It's just, we might need them here. . ."
Giles cleared his throat, "Actually, research tends to go faster when they are away." He stopped then added, "Far away."
Spike grinned proudly and Xander blushed.
"But. . ."
"Oh!" Buffy joined Willow's bouncing, excited now, "Since Angel's here he can feed the kids for me!"
"Kids?! Wait I. . ."
Xander's smile was growing with each helpless step Angel tried to take toward the door. He quickly stood in front of the exit, Spike beside him, and spoke up. "You owe us deadboy."
"For what? You two set off the prophesy!"
"Ya scared th' li'l bits." Spike glared. "Owe them as well, don't ya."
"But if we need. . ."
"We aren't going far." Xander assured him. "Just out to a beachhouse for a while."
"But they don't know m. . ."
"Buffy'll be there too, all ya need ta do is feed 'em."
He had been expertly boxed in on all sides. "How do you two have kids at all?" He sighed, giving up.
"Long story, slayer can fill ya in can't she." Spike grabbed Xander's hand and pulled him into the hall to collect the kids, leaving Angel staring at the smiling faces of the scoobies.
"What did I just agree to?"
Xander knelt by his boys and pulled them all into a tight hug. His bag sat near the door and Spike stood behind him, waiting patiently. Angel was staring at the blond as if he'd grown a halo all of a sudden. Spike was never patient, or caring, or loving, in fact the older vampire was seriously wondering if there was a spell involved. His eyes were drawn back to the cuddly goup hug on the floor. "Guys, will you be okay without Wil-dad and me for a little while?"
Essej sniffled a little bit, "You are coming home soon. Promise?"
The boy smiled, "Yes, we'll only be gone for a week, and maybe when we get back, we'll have a surprise for you."
Ssol nodded sagely and asked, "Who's gonna be the mommy?"
Spike chuckled and Xander blushed a deep red. The vampire took pity on his boy and ruffled Ssol's hair, "Now what'd we tell you 'bout readin' o'r minds, bit?"
Yrral smiled and hugged his Xan daddy. Then he whispered softly, "Bring back 'real' pressies too okay?"
That made Xander laugh, "So what would you like?"
"Slippery stuff like in daddies pocket!" He smiled brightly, "It makes our cars go faster!"
Spike noticed Xander's confused look and slipped a tube of lubricant out of his duster, only now noticing it was a bit emptier than when he put it there. "uh. . ."
"Oh God." Xander burried his face in the kids' hair, not knowing whether to laugh or blush again.
"Tell ya what nibblet, we'll bring ya a sand dollar an' some real grease 'kay? But ya c'n only use it outside, an'ya gotta promise ta stay out o' daddy's pockets. There's stuff in there you bits don' need ta see yet." The vampire lifted his boys up into his arms for a hug. "Deal?"
They quickly agreed and Spike squeezed them once more for good measure and set them down again, then turned to his Sire.
"You better take good care o' them."
Angel nodded, unsure of what Spike wanted to hear.
"Right then, let's shove off." He grabbed their bags in one hand and Xander's arm with the other. "C'm on. Buffy'll keep the brooding one in line."
"My little boys used KY to grease their hotwheels!" Xander moaned.
"You still on that?" The vampire's voice echo'd up the stairwell as they slipped out of sight. "It could have been worst. Could'a found the chocolate flavored stuff. . ."
Angel closed the door and turned to the three little demons in front of him. The vampire stared at them. The boys stared back. Essej was finally the one to break the silence. "Mister Angelus man?"
The master vampire almost jumped at the sound of the little voice. "What?"
"You don't wear hats in the house. Daddy says so."
"Hats?" He reached up to pat his head, he wasn't wearing a hat.
"Essej!" Yrral cut in quickly to cover up his brother's slip. "That's not a hat! It's a wig!"
Ssol nodded wisely, "That's why daddy only lets us play with glue at the table."
Things went downhill from there.
When Buffy stopped in after her classes, she found Angel crouched up on the top of the entertainment system staring down at the boys sitting below him. Watching TV. And each holding a pair of scissors. And a bottle of glue remover. "What is going on here?!"
Essej smiled at her and ran for a hug. "Slayer lady! Can you tell him we're just gonna get the glue out of his hair for him?"
"Glue?" She looked up at Angel in question.
"I do not have glue in my hair! It is not a wig! They don't have to cut it off! Spike gells his hair!"
Ssol nodded, "But we've seen Wil-daddy with his hair all curly pretty an' no one would do that," He pointed to Angel's hair, "on purpose."
Buffy snickered and gathered up the scissors and bottles surrounding the boys. "Maybe you guys should go to your room for a little okay? Hey I know! Why don't you get your outside clothes on and we'll go to the park. There's an ice cream bribe involved."
Yrral thought a moment. "And quarters for the video games?"
She mock frowned, "You're pushing it."
"We'll be really good!" Essej promised.
Ssol nodded and Buffy gave in, "Alright, one game each."
"Yeah!" They all yelled together and ran into their room, slamming the door in their hurry to get ready.
Angel slipped to the ground and cleared his throat, unable to meet Buffy's eyes. "Thank you."
"Don't thank me yet." She grinned, "Have you ever seen kids eat ice cream?"
"I'm being punished aren't I."
"Yes. Yes you are." She agreed and sat on the floor while Angel slid onto the couch.
"Buffy? Why are you sitting on the floor?" He asked softly, "Come sit by me? We haven't just talked in a long time."
She wrinkled her nose, "Ewww! Do you know what Xander and Spike DO on that couch?!"
Even with heightened vampiric speed, Angel had never moved that fast. He jumped up and glared at the family picture of Spike, Xander, and the kids, that hung on the living room wall. "I'm in Hell again."
Buffy patted his shoulder and smiled.
Essej looked at his brothers hesitantly, "Are you sure we should do it?" He spoke in such a soft voice, not even vampire hearing could pick it up through the door.
Ssol was sure.
Yrral agreed in the same soft whisper. "He hit daddy! An' he scared Wil-dad."
"But we already teased him." Essej hedged, "What if daddy gets mad at us?"
"Daddy doesn't like him either. An; Wil-dad calls him the P word." Ssol pointed out.
"An' the W word, an' the B word, an' the T word, an' the BFW word."
"That's three words."
"So? You know what I mean."
The littlest one nodded slightly. "I guess. . ."
"Sides, it's fun!"
"o. . . okay." He picked up his squirt gun. "What's in here?"
"Ink and garlic oil."
"Does garlic really hurt vampires?"
"Nah, it's just to prove a point."
"Hold on then." Ssol opened one of his drawers and pulled out a plastic bottle, putting little drops of liquid in each gun.
"What is that?" Yrral asked after corking his.
"Ssol! That could hurt him!"
"Shhh!" Ssol covered his brother's mouth. "It's only enough to make him all itchy."
"Like the pizza guys with all those red dots on their faces."
"Oh!" The little one giggled a bit then stopped, "But we'll be bad then, and slayer lady won't give us quarters."
"So we do it on the way home."
"Are you done in there?" Angel's deep voice came through the door a couple minutes later. The way they all began to giggle at the question made Angel very nervous.
It took about a half an hour to reach the small beach house Xander had rented for them. Spike stepped out into the sun and smiled a real smile. It was beautiful. The ocean was sparkling and caught the colors from the sun set turning the waves red and gold. He turned to Xander and watched those same colors reflecting in his eyes. "It's perfect, luv."
His human smiled and turned to look at him, then froze.
"What? Wha's wrong?"
"I've never seen you in the daylight before." Xander breathed. "Never like this."
Spike blinked and fidgeted a bit, unsure of where this was going.
"You look so beautiful."
That made the vampire grin and Xander let out a shriek as his husband scooped him up into his arms and carried him toward the house.
"Spike! Wait! We need to get . . ."
"Let it wait." The blond smiled. "I wan' ta carry you ova' the threshold."
"Closet romantic." Xan accused playfully.
"Only fo' you."
"Sweet talk will get you everything." Xander kissed him and giggled against his lips as Spike stumbled and stopped, unable to walk when he was concentrating so hard on his lover's mouth. "Mmm." His boy teased, "What about carrying me over the threshold?"
"Damn the threshold." Spike snarled and lowered the squirming human to the sand.
"Ah Xan. . . love you to. More'n I evah knew I could."
"Bet you say that to all the humans."
Spike grinned, 'Nah, only the ones wit' their hands in me knickers."
"Mine better be the only hands you allow in your 'knickers' buddy." Xander teased and nipped Spike's ear, making him groan.
"Well, there was this one bloke. . ." Tickling fingers cut of the comment and Spike writhed and barked out laugher while he tried to get away and closer all at once, "You! Only you!" He finally gave in and captured a kiss for his good behavior.
"Mmmm." Xander sighed and moved his hands to push Spike's duster off of the vampire's shoulders before breaking the kiss and lifting the black T-shirt over his head. "More skin, less denim."
"Thought you liked the jeans." Spike pouted playfully.
"Like them in public, like you better without them." Xander emphasized his point by pushing them down his lover's slim white hips. "Liar."
"Wha. . .?"
"You said you only said 'I love you' to guys with their hands in your knickers."
"You aren't wearing any."
"Silly me." Spike whispered and pressed forward.
"Nnn. Sexy you."
"You're over dressed."
"So fix it." Xander smiled and Spike bit his neck sharply. "Vampire."
"No. Really?" Spike smirked and began undressing his lover.
"Let me see your real face?"
He stared down at his human. "Xan?"
"I love all of you. Spike. William. Wil-dad. Please give me all of you."
Spike sucked in his breath as his true face melted into being, "Have I ever told you how lucky I was to find you?"
"Only once or twice a day." Xander shimmied out of his boxers and lay naked under his husband. "Have I ever told you how much I love you?"
"Only once or twice an hour."
"I'll have to work on that." He hummed and leaned in closer. "Make love to me? Here in the sand, in the sunset?"
"Planned on it didn't I."
"Well what's keeping ya? Get in me." Xander giggled when Spike slapped his ass.
"Bossy li'l human ain't ya."
Spike smirked, "Good answer."
"If you don't fuck me right now, I will stake you."
"SPIKE!" Xander whined and the vampire took pity on his young mate. One carefully lubed finger slid inside and Xander arched into the contact. "Hey! When did you lube that?"
"While I was teasing you."
"Way ta multi-task."
"Why thank you mister Harris."
"You're welcome mister Harris."
Spike stopped moving.
"Spike, why'd you stop?"
"Ya know, we kinda did this backwards pet."
"Shouldn't there have been a wedding ceremony a'fore the honeymoon?"
"Picky, picky. Spike?"
"I do not want to talk to you when you have your finger up my ass." Xander clentched down when Spike made to pull out. "And if you try to take that out there will be dire consequences."
"How about ta put another one in?"
Xander's smile lit up his face, "In that case. . ."
"You love me for it." Xander countered, "You know you do."
"Among other things." Spike set to stretching his lover in earnst then. Their bantering foreplay had gotten him so hard that if he didn't take his lover soon, he was afraid he would embarrass himself.
"Spike!" Xander gasped at the third finger's entrance and sobbed, "Please! In me!"
"Calm down love. We have a whole week."
"If it takes you a whole week to fuck me. . ."
Spike chuckled and slid into his human's warm sheath. "Ah!"
"Ah! So good Xan-pet! So hot!"
"Spike! Please! Ooh Spike! I can't. . . Gods!"
"Look at me love." Spike cradled Xander's head in his strong hands as he rocked in and out of the tight and willing body. "I want ta see you shatter for me. Wanna see you fly out of yer body and touch my soul. Wanna see you."
"Spike." Xander shuddered and pushed back, driving Spike deeper. "Too much! Ooh! Won't last long if you. . . SPIKE!"
The vampire howled and pounded harder into his mate. The soft words were drowned out by animalistic noises and he rode his boy so hard the human began to howl right along with him. Blunt human teeth clamped onto his neck and Spike's world burst and fell away leaving nothing there but the human beneath him, the warm seed shooting onto his stomach, and the warm body accepting his own cool offering.
Both of them collapsed to the sand, breathing heavy, bodies sticky, and utterly content.
"Love you too." Xander whispered. ". . . Spike?"
"Still gonna carry me over the threshold?"
Spike snorted into his mate's shoulder, "We're nevah gonna get inta th' 'ouse."
"That a bad thing?"
He smiled and kissed the sweat covered skin nearest to his mouth. "Nah."
"See Angel? They're just kids." Willow smiled at the tense vampire who watched the children playing from a spot safely in the shadows and out of the deadly sunlight.
Buffy nodded, "They really thought they were helping you with that whole hair thing."
Angel shook his head. "Those little monsters are plotting against me. I know it!"
"Angel you're being paraniod." Buffy groaned. "They're kids."
"Oh please do not start that again." Giles groaned from his place happily reading upon a park bench. "They are overly active, they get into things, they are children. Any child, human or demon, gets into a bit of mischief." The watcher snerked, "I think personally, you are still overwrought about the close call they had with your hair."
"But. . ." The vampire froze. "What was that?"
Willow and Giles both stopped to listen and Buffy ran to the kids and gathered them together.
A soft rumbling sound was coming from the ground beneath them. Essej began to cry and Yrral held on to his little brother and started shaking. Ssol grabbed their arms and pushed them up into a nearby tree. He pressed until they were as high as the three of them could climb together and then sat with them on a thick branch and watched the ground below.
Buffy smiled at the boys and gave them a thumbs up. "Good idea." She praised Ssol softly. "You boys stay up there okay?"
"Buffy?" Willow said softly. "I don't think this is an earthquake. It's centralized and moving toward. . ."
The ground split open and a giant worm-like creature devored the sand box that the boys had been in just moments before.
"Let me guess." The slayer grinned sarcastically, "The sandbox."
The witch nodded and Giles rubbed his glasses, "I. . . I do beleive that was an Ekrect. They shouldn't be on this plane of existence much less near a Hellmouth. Ekrects prefer places of low spiritual power of either side."
"Do they prey on Garkreshin?" Buffy asked, "Because that one was after something specific."
"I. . . I think we need to do some research. To see if it is possible for an outside force to control those things." Willow whispered. "It went for the boys visual location, not their scent."
"This is not good. Angel, take the children to the mansion. I do not think they'll be safe at home. Buffy, Willow and I will gather all of the research material we can and meet you there."
Angel nodded and led the boys to Spike's DeSoto parked nearby and accesable to the vampire in the shade. The vampire'd had no great desire to drive Spike's deathtrap of an automobile but in this case it seemed the only way to move both him and the children during the day. Once in the car and buckled in, they were on their way.
"Nancy vamp man?"
"My name is Angel."
"Spike would not like to hear you using those words."
"Mister vampire guy?" Essej asked softly, "Why did that thing want to make us dead?"
Angel growled, "I have no idea. Personally I think you would have given it indigestion."
Essej began to cry again and Ssol growled back at the vampire, "You're mean!" He yelled.
Angel pulled into the mansion drive and turned off the car then turned around and grabbed Ssol by the arm. "Now you listen to me. For some reason my childe thinks he wants to live with you little monsters and your idiodic father but I don't. You are purposely aggravating me and I am telling you right now I will beat your bottoms until you cannot sit for a week if you do not start behaving right now!"
"No!" Yrral kicked the vampire in the chin and the three poured out of the car and into the mansion. On the way inside, Essj reached in and pulled the engine clean out of the car, leaving Angel stranded in it until the sun went down, since he had parked it in direct sunlight to yell at them.
"I thought Yrral and Ssol were being too mean to you, but they were right. You're a bad man." Essej frowned at him through the window. "You hit daddy and you scared us and you're mean."
Angel's face went blank as he realised what he'd been doing. "Oh God. Over two hundred years and I'm acting like my father. Boys, boys come back here. I am so sorry."
"Yeah you are." Ssol agreed, He yanked open the door and blasted Angel with the ink, garlic and holy water mix they'd made earlier. "You stay away from my brothers. We don't want you to be our grandad. Watcher Giles is our Grandad. You're just a mean man trying to hide behind guilt."
The vampire stared at the child who was glaring at him and grit his teeth as the holy water pox marked his white skin. "I'm sorry."
"Of course you are." Yrral snorted. "You have to be."
Essej nodded, "You don't have a soul, you have guilt. Spike daddy doesn't have a whole soul, but he has love. That's why you hate him so much."
"Not because he's a bad man."
"Because you are."
The children began speaking in tandem, "Because you are cursed to be. You have a dark mind. You hate. Stay away from us. We want our daddies."
"Your daddies are on their honeymoon."
"We know. We read it from your mind."
Angel's mouth fell open, "My mind. . ."
"We are going to find our daddies!"
"Wait!" The vampire moved foreward and then fell back hissing as his bare skin caught fire in the sun. "Wait! Boys! I'm sorry! Come back! Boys! Those things are still out there! BOYS!!!"
It took the boys hours to reach the beach where their fathers were staying. They were exhausted and
hungry, and all they wanted was for their daddies to hug them and tell them that Mr. Angel had been
wrong and that their Wil-dad loved them and that daddy was not an idiot for loving them. They were a
family. Family meant safe and love and all kinds of good words and feelings. Family meant hugs. They
"Ssol! Ssol how much farther?" Essej asked softly.
"Only a little. See? It's right over there." Ssol pointed the house out to his littlest brother. "You need a ride?"
"No, I just want daddy."
"Ssol." Yrral looked around and began to run faster, "Something isn't right."
A tremor in the ground caused the boys to all cry out. They looked around but there were no trees on the wide expanse of sand.
"There! We can climb those!" Yrral pointed to a large cluster of rocks. They weren't very high up but they were very wide around, too big for the thing from the park to get it's mouth around.
"But they saw us before when we were in the sandbox. It had a wooden bottom." Ssol jumped when the ground began to shake harder. The thing was getting closer.
"But rocks are harder than wood. Maybe it can't break through them."
Ssol scooped Essej up and he and Yrral began to run as fast as they could for the rocks.
"The stars are singing so loudly. The little lizards have left their trees and will soon have no more tails."
Ethan looked at the mad vampiress and nodded. With a quick handful of herbs he focused his scrying bowl, "Ah yes. There they are." He let the mad woman see their location then watched her begin to sing. "Remember." He warned, "You are not to kill them. Not yet."
"Slipping slidding in the ground, teeth go spinning round and round, look and see them, swallow and bring them, go deeper now they are found." She crooned and danced.
The sorcerer watched the children in the bespelled water while he listened. He had been fortunate to find the vampiress when he did. After his last disaster with Giles and his brats, Ethan had thought he was finished. Until a simple trip into South America had led him to Drusilla. She had been wailing about her little boy and being betraid by her lovely, and she had been writhing between two very large Ekrect. At first he had wanted to leave her, then she saw him and began crooning the words to an old prophesy of power. Ethan was never one to turn down oppourtunity.
The fact that it had brought him back to Ripper's domain had just been a bonus.
"They see them, they feel them, look at the little lizards run!"
His eyes snapped back into focus just in time to see the boys scrambling up the side of a very unstable rock pile."We have them."
Xander sat straight up and pulled Spike away from his groin making the vampire moan in frustration. "Xan. . ."
"Shh! Did you hear that?"
"Essej!" The brunet shot out the door followed and passed quickly by his mate."Essej! Ssol! Yrral! Where are you?"
"Daddy! Wil-dad! Help!"
Xander turned toward the sound just in time to see his naked lover latch on tight to what looked like a giant worm. The vampire had dug his teeth and claws in and he was not letting go. Xander took the oppourtunity to climb up the rocks and gather their boys to him. "What are you doing out here! Where is Buffy?"
"We're sorry! we're sorrywe'resorryweresorry."
"Shhh. . . it's okay." Xander gathered their children together and hugged them tight. "Now here's what we're gonna do. While Spike is distracting it, we're gonna make a run for the house okay? Then you guys are going to stay inside while I help Spike."
They sniffled and nodded.
"Alright." Xander smiled reasuringly. "One. . . Two. . ."
The second Ekrect burst through the rocks beneath them and swallowed them whole.
Rayne watched as the largest Ekrect came up from under the little demons and Ripper's boy to collect them into it's gullet. "Perfect. Now lets call them home shall we?"
"And my Spikey will come back to his mommy."
"Yes, of course he will." Ethan smiled.
"And the bad puppy will be drowned." She giggled and spun in circles, "Home to mommy, come to mommy."
Ethan kept a watchful eye on her. The demoness was easily controled, but only as long as she was happy. It was obvious that whoever the 'puppy' was, she was not happy with that person at all.
Spike killed the worm creature as quickly as he could. Just to be safe , he set fire to the thing and then left it on the sand to burn while he snatched up his clothing and gunned his car back toward Sunnydale. He wasn't thinking about how the kids had gotten away. He wasn't even thinking about killing Angel for letting it happen. The only thoughts running through his mind were, That thing has my family. and Gods, dust me if you have to, just let them be okay.
He slammed on the brakes in front of Gile's magic shop and barged inside, "They're gone!"
Buffy dropped the stake she'd been poised to throw, "Spike?"
"What's wrong?" Willow looked behind him, waiting. Her face got pale when no one followed him. "Where's Xander?"
"Worm type thin' swallowed 'im an' the kids. Don't know where it took 'em."
"The Ekrect." Giles shook his head, "They have to be under the thrall of something."
"I don't care what's makin' 'em tick! That thin' has my family!"
Buffy's mind finally caught up to the conversation. "Wait! The boys? Angel had the boys. Where's Angel?"
Spike's growling got louder, "Good question."
"He was taking the children to the mansion." Giles offered. "Perhaps they were attacked there?"
The blond vampire was out the door in a non existant heart beat.
"Spike! Wait!" Buffy snatched up her stake and axe and followed him.
"Giles, what do we do?" Willow asked softly, scared for her friends.
"We need to do a location spell." The watcher began gathering iteams up and placing the on the counter, "If Xander was swallowed with the children we should be able to track him using a personal affect."
She set her jaw and nodded. "Okay."
"Keep up slayer!"
"Then slow down!" Buffy huffed, "You're not hauling around the weapons!"
Spike didn't answer, Angel's car was up ahead, and parked in the sun. "Shit."
"Well at least we know why he didn't follow them." Buffy looked around and then dropped the axe to catch up. If anything had attacked here, it was gone.
"Angelus!" Spike howled and tore the door off of the car sending little metal shards flying at Buffy who just happened to be behind him.
"Watch it!" She jumped out of the way when the door followed the shards and then dove to push Spike into the car before he dragged the older vampire out into the sun! "Spike!"
"What happened?!" The blond snarled and Angel flinched back a bit when his childe touched his red, pox marked and peeling face. "This didn't come from the thing, it would have used it on me. What happened?!"
"On y. . . the boys! Where are the boys?!"
"That's my line." Spke slammed him into the window hard enough to crack the glass. "Now I'm goin' ta ask again an' then I'm pushing you right through here ta meet th' sun. What happened?"
"The kids were annoying me, I stopped the car so that I could turn around and make them stop. . ."
Spike's hands were immediately on the master vampire's throat. "What did you do? If you so much as touched one of my boys I'll. . ."
"N. . . no. . ."
"Spike, let go of his throat, how can he talk when you're crushing his voice box?!"
Angel coughed as the hand retreated, Spike had been about to tear his head off of his neck! "I yelled at them." He flinched when Spike's clawed nails tore into his flesh. "I. . . yelled and threatened to spank them."
"We don't spank our kids." Spike ripped a bit of the other vamps shoulder out. "They will never be taught with violence. You showed me just how effective violence was at promoting love and hate."
"Spike. . ."
"What did you say to them? They didn't leave 'cause you threatened ta hit 'em."
Buffy watched the two vampires, this wasn't her fight, but she could stop them from dusting one another.
"I. . . I told them I didn't know why you chose them and Xander over. . ."
"Over you." Spike hissed and slipped out of the car, standing in the light of the sun, "Is tha' whot this is all about? Yer mad at me kids because I stayed wit' them instead o' runnin' off ta cry on yer shoulder? My babies and my MATE are Gods know where, being taken ta whoever's controlling tha' thing, because yer jealous?!" He spit on his Sire and turned away in revulsion. Yer pathetic. You know that?" He picked up the axe Buffy had dropped and tossed it to her. "get 'im out o' the sun of ya want. I'm goin' ta Giles and see if they c'n find 'em."
"Spike, Angel could help. . ."
"No." The toneless command was more effective than any screamed or growled threat he could have made. "Keep 'im away from me. Next time I see him I'll kill 'im."
But he was already gone.
Buffy looked at Angel and then back toward where Spike had gone. "Angel. . ."
"I didn't mean it Buffy. I was angry. My father used to lash out when he was angry with my brothers and I. . . it's how I learned to take care of children. I realized after they ran but, I couldn't. . ."
"You've had hundreds of years to get over whatever your father did Angel. You've done worst."
"Maybe you should go back to LA." She looked away from him and bit her lip to keep the tears from coming. "You need to go home." She sniffled silently. "wash your face."
"Sun set is in an hour." She began to leave.
"Buffy wait! I want to help! I'm sorry!"
"Me too. You know, if they die. . . none of us will be able to forgive you."
The large man nodded silently at that. It was a threat, but also a promise. As long as they didn't die, he might be forgiven. There was an hour left until he could leave the confined shadows of his car. Then I can find them. I can fix what I've done.
"There was a boy, a puppy boy, who barked and bit and still was loved and the pretty kitten who only
purred was given fire to drink and die."
Ethan watched the vampiress rant and rave about things that only she could understand. She had been getting worse and worse and soon the Ekrect would be delivering the boy and children to their hiding place. It has something to do with one of them. Something about them is aggitating her.
A rumbling traveled through the building and he took the opportunity to slip out and down to collect their prisoners. "You brought them. Perfect. Now spit them out." He waited but the worm-like demon just wriggled on the dirt floor of the old saw mill. "Drusilla, if you would. . ."
The dark beauty danced into sight and began cooing over the demon, "My good boy, my pretty pet, give mommy the nasty little puppy and his litter."
Ethan almost swore out loud. Alexander Harris was the puppy. Harris was also a key figure in the prophesy. If he didn't do something then the boy would be dead before he could come to be of any use. "Remember my dear, if he is dead, Spike won't come."
Drusilla pouted, it turned quickly into a growl as the brown haired boy was expelled in a glump of liquid and goo.
The children were next, all of them unconscious and covered in bile and slime and other undesirable substances. Ethan watched the vampiress closely. "Dru, darling. I have a wonderful idea. Why don't you extend an invitation to Spike, to come and fetch his . . . puppy."
She giggled and clapped her hands, running off into the night, her love struck Ekrect following her. The warlock shivered with disgust at that worm. Some species were just not meant to mix, and if they did, he really wished he didn't have to witness or hear about it.
His eyes moved to the four curled up on the floor and he gave an agitated sigh. He toweled the slime from them and moved them to sit against the wall. Cold iron chains were clamped on the wrists of the children, cancelling out their powers and binding them to the old concrete, but Harris was no threat to Ethan or to Drusilla, and so he was left unchained at his children's feat.
Looking at the lot of them, Ethan felt very old and alone. He growled at his own stupidity for thinking such a thing and got to work on the spell components that they would need. To bind the human puppy to the darkness instead of the light. To insure that the power he and his controled would go directly to the warlock who bound him. The prophesy would be fullfilled, the link to the powers severed, and Ethan Rayne would be the most powerful magic user in all the history of all the world. He smiled coldly. And then Ripper and I will be joined again. He will sit beside me as I lead the world into glorious chaos.
Xander moaned a bit and the dark man smiled again. "Soon."
"Down down down down singing nonny nonny nooooooonny."
Spike's ears perked up and he stopped his forward rush toward the Magic Box. Instead turning to face the woman who'd given him unlife, his pillar, his reason for living for over a hundred years. "Dru."
"Spikey's been a busy boy, my poor boy with his booboo."
"Princess, what are you doin' here?"
"I can help my baby. Miss Edith showed me how. The stars sing of such pretty things, of blood and hunger and a dead puppy."
"Puppy?" Spike shook his head in confusion. On one hand he wanted to run, wanted to get to the magic box and see if the watcher could find his family with magic. On the other. . . his sire's song called to him, and Spike longed so much to be hers again. His body stepped forward before he could stop himself. His demon's face rippled to the fore and he smiled a wide and fang filled smile.
"My beautiful boy. You dare not go a hunting for fear of little men, but we will change that. Miss Edith with make you whole and you will bathe in their blood," she chirped happily and touched Spike's head.
Lightning danced through him and he fell to one knee as she chanted and crooned. The pain made him want to curl up on himself and at the same time stopped him from moving. He was in agony like he'd never known and then. . .
"Pretty Spikey time to play." Dru grinned and spun under the moonlight. "Now will Spikey help me kill the puppy?"
"Don'. . ." Spike grit his teeth as the pain began to receed. "Don' know a puppy, luv." A sick feeling started in his gut and Spike became very aware that he was very familiar with a boy who had puppy brown eyes, the loyalty of a canine, and a hyena's canine spirit trapped inside him.
"He smells so sweet, like my Spikey and sunshine." Dru smiled, "He will taste like candy and fire, the stars said so."
"Xan." Spike's unnecessary breath caught and he stared at the beautiful demoness in front of him. His dark princess, his sire. . . and the one who had stolen his family from him. She's makin' me choose. How can I choose? His eyes locked onto hers and a million moments flashed through his head. A thousand different beds and ten thousand kisses. Innumerable hunts and shared kills. Moments of joy and pain as Dru and he lived out the better part of a century in each other's arms. Furious passion and power. His chest ached with the fullness of it and he could feel tears of blood slipping over his sharp cheeks.
He clenched his fists and forced his mind from Dru to Xander. 'fangless' 'lick me to death?' 'hate him' 'vampire' 'I'm moist and delicious.' 'bloody cookies, Spike would like those.' 'you made him cry.' 'Spike is with the one he loves now, he's happy, and that's what love is about, wanting the one you love to be happy.' 'Even if my heart is broken.' 'we look like a family.' 'never seen you like this before.' 'beautiful.' He remembered all of the pain Xander had taken for him, those days with the chip, after the other's were sure he was harmless, when Xander was the only one who still treated him as a real threat. The patrols when the kid would throw himself into the fray to 'save' Spike. The nights he'd find blood outside his crypt, in a cooler that smelled like Xander's basement. Then the kiss and then the kids. Their precarious family existence before Buffy's return and his moment of clarity as he realized his unlife would be empty without his family. Just one bed. Their bed. Untouched by sex and shared with three blanket hogging children. Stolen kisses and quick shags before the children got home. Lots of hugs. Snuggling. Love without pain. Home.
He stood, finally understanding where he really belonged. "Where is this puppy, Princess? You play with him yet? Or did you save some for me?"
"We're playing hide and seek. Find the puppy puppy puppy pretty puppy full of blood and power and light and soon so dark."
"Dark? Princess what're you on about? Is somone else playing with us?"
"Chaos' child, dark mage, so much fun, his blood is like lightning, he will bring our puppy to us and then we can play all the time. Won't that be fun Spikey? We can play and feed and I get a pretty crown and dance and swing and sing and kill."
"Dru. . ."
"Find the puppy Spike. It's a game." She smiled a hard and evil smile and slipped out of sight, leaving Spike standing alone and more desperate than ever to find his family. "WATCHER!!!"
Xander didn't come out of it right away. First he became aware that he hurt. An all over hurt that was not making him want to get up. Patrol must have kicked my ass again. Man I hope Spike isn't too worried, he'll get the kids all worked up. Damn it, I need to get up. That was when he became aware that he was laying stretched out on a hard and cold floor. Wait a minute. . . this isn't home. Memories jolted through him and he sat up quickly then fell back to his hands and knees with a groan, pressing his aching head against the cold cement.
"Ah, you are awake I see."
His unfocused eyes found a blurry shape that began to fit together and look familiar. "Oh shit."
Ethan Rayne inclined his head regally and smirked, "Language. There are children present."
The human spun around and his eyes widened when they fell on his boys.
"D. . . daddy?" Essej asked softly.
Ssol met his eyes squarly, always trying to be the big brother. "Daddy are you okay?"
Yrral didn't say anything, he looked like he was trying not to cry.
"I'm fine guys." He scooted over to them and opened his arms wide, managing to hug all of them despite the chais that separated them. "Are you okay?"
"We can't feel you daddy." The all sobbed and yanked at their bonds.
"Cold iron." Xander sqeezed his eyes shut as pain laced through his abdomen, like something was churning inside it. "It's okay guys, we'll get out of here. Wil-dad is coming for us." He tried to stand up again and swayed dizzily. Ethan dodged forward and caught him before he fell.
"Are you ill?' The warlock asked cooly. It wouldn't do for the power conduit to die before the ceremony could be performed.
"No. I'm just. . . ooooooh man." He sat down and forced his body to calm down. In doing so he also realized something else. "Uh. . . could I get some clothes or something?"
Ethan snorted and tossed a pair of ratty jeans at him.
"Gee, thanks." He bit out sarcastically but put them on anyway.
"What is it Ssol?"
Xander nodded and looked at their captor with barely hidden contempt. "You wouldn't happen to have any juice and bread around would you? So I don't faint when they eat from me?"
Ethan was taken aback. He'd assumed that only the vampire would feed the children, since the human could die from such a feeding. After a moment's thought he realized that if the children died, they would loose their leverage against the boy. "I'll get some." He locked Xander's wrists in shackles and chained them to a tether stuck deep in the floor. "Don't go anywhere." He teased and Xander bit back a growl.
The moment the door was shut he turned to the kids, "You've eaten already. Daddy Spike fed you before we took off. What's going on?"
"Does your tummy hurt?"
"I thought you couldn't feel me."
"You look like it hurt." Essej pointed out.
"For a second it did, but I'm okay."
"Did you take Willow lady's spell?"
Xander blushed, "Yeah, course I did, that was one of the reasons daddy and I went. . . the spell!" His eyes widened and he pressed a hand to his abdomen and spoke the word Willow had taught him. "Sessisdoten." His skin glowed a faint pink for a moment and then went back to normal. "Oh Gods." He panted harshly, forcing himself not to panic. "I'm pregnant."
Ethan frowned when he returned to find Ripper's boy doubled over on the floor. He looked around to
see if Drusilla had come back before him but no one else was there. Something is happening.
Something that was not planned. The mage stayed hidden and listened to the four prisoners, hoping
to find out what was happening but they weren't talking. The kids were all staring at their father with a
mix of fear and excitement, and the boy himself. . . He looked like he was trying not to cry.
After a few minutes of silence he stepped into the room and tossed the plastic juice bottle and bag of wheat roles at his unchained prisoner. "Well? Feed them."
Xander nodded and moved as if he were in a daze, eating automatically. Ethan could tell the minute he came out of it because he froze with food half way to his mouth. His eyes widened and his hand brushed lightly over his stomach.
"Are you going to be sick?" Ethan kicked a bucket over to him, "I suggest you use that."
The boy mouthed something to the children and they all shook their heads.
The Chaos mage's eyes narrowed and his voice was low and cold. "I also suggest that you never try to speak below my hearing level again."
"I. . ." Xander bent over the bucket and quickly lost all he'd just eaten and more. By the time he was done retching, his face was shaken and pale.
"You aren't ill." Ethan flushed the contents of the bucket and glared. "You were fine a moment ago."
Xander sat back, swaying a bit and mumbled something.
"I didn't hear that." He stood and slapped the boy across the face. He just fell over, unconcious. "What's wrong with him?"
"Daddy needs his shot." Essej whined.
Ethan swore to himself and stood up, looking down at the motley bunch below him. "He's diabetic?"
He swore again and left the room. The children froze with fear until they heard the front door slam. "He's gone to get daddy his shot?"
Xander smiled and sat up, "Yeah. He went to get my shot." He jumped up and searched as much of the room as he could. Rayne must have measured the chain he'd secured him with perfectly because it was just short of anything useful. In the end he came up with nothing within the reach of his tether but a couple loose bricks. he brought one back to where his kids were chained, and set to work pounding on the iron that was drilled into the wall. "Don't worry. My cousin is diabetic, you have to wait hours to get the stuff even with a prescription."
"Daddy it's metal, how're you gonna break it?"
"Angel said I was turning into a new kind of demon. I was strong enough to knock him down when I hit him, I can break these chains."
"Daddy I'm scared." Essej's big tear filled eyes stared up at him.
"Shhh, It's okay," he promised, "Daddy Spike will find us even if this doesn't work."
"What about the baby?" Ssol jumped as one of his hands was suddenly free. "Daddy! it's worki. . ."
Xander was snatched away from the kids and slammed hard onto his back, the tie for the tether bruising him painfully as he fell on it. "Did you think I was stupid?"
He looked up at the angered wizard and shrugged, "Yeah, pretty much."
Ethan snarled and chained Xander tightly to the floor at his children's feet before securing Ssol's arm again. "The question is then, why did you vomit."
"I can make myself."
"And you just answered far to quickly for that to be the truth."
"I answered quick because it was an easy question."
"You expect me to believe that you would just offer me information, no matter how small it is? No. I don't think so."
Xander frowned and kept his mouth shut.
"Fine, I will simply use a spell then. . ."
"No!" Essej screamed, "It might hurt the baby!"
"Essej!" Xander barked out, but it was too late.
No one said a word, but the children's eyes slipped to Xander's abdomin.
"Even if it were true you wouldn't be vomiting this soon. You aren't even showing."
Xander didn't answer.
Ethan swore and whispered a swift, unobtrusive chant. He swore again when he saw the little womb and it's occupant tucked snuggly in the boy's body. Then again, when the womb is close enough to the other organs to cause discomfort, it would be very much a normal reaction to vomit. Gods.
He moved away from the four and sat down, dismayed and intrigued by this new turn of events. A child born of a vampire and a human/hyena could be facinating. On the other hand doing the spell to switch the boy to the other side would definatly kill the baby in him. He rubbed his chin in thought. Ripper would never stand by him, no matter how powerfull he was, if he killed one of the man's protected, which the baby must be.. Rupert Giles was always very serious about protecting those he loved. Even when Ethan was one of them.
He grit his teeth. If Drusilla finds out about this she'll kill the boy, the children, and most likely me as well. I can't hope to sneak them out of here though, even if I gave up my plan and tried to run with them she has to be nearly back by now. If she saw us the Ekrect could. . . Ripper would know what to do. Ripper always knew what to do. "Damn it ! How do I get myself into these situations?!"
He spun in his chair and turned to the young man chained and half concious on the floor. "What?"
"You worship Chaos don't you?"
"Of course. Why do you think I brought you here?"
"Chaos is things always in motion, unpredictable, right?" He frowned and winced a bit in pain, but continued, "Giles told me once that it's like watching a mirror break and form in different ways forever, nothing ever the same until you believe that it's never the same, and then it will be until you believe something else. Never really at rest, always something you couldn't have suspected at all."
"Yes, as always Ripper is a wonderful teacher. What is your point?"
"With all that motion and change, and second guessing and never understanding, you can never have peace."
"And you do?"
"Sometimes." He smiled a pained smile. "Peace all the time would be boring, and chaos all the time would be exhausting. There has to be a balance between them. That's why Giles stopped being Ripper. He realized that. Now he's happy, with the occasional moment of rest and a lot of surprises, but sometimes good ones."
"I thought you were an idiot."
"I had a good teacher." Xander breathed and closed his eyes. "You okay for a little bit guys? Daddy needs to sleep."
The children mumbled their consent in unsteady and scared voices and Xander was asleep the moment he knew they would be okay.
Ethan turned around again and flinched when he heard Drusilla enter the building. "Ripper always knows what to do."
Giles didn't know what to do. The locator spell was being blocked by powerful magic and Buffy and Spike hadn't returned with Angel yet. Part of his family was in danger and Giles could do nothing to help them. He was ready to go out on foot when the door burst open and Spike tore into the room. "Dru's back."
"She's got Xan an' th' kids. Said so 'erself." He puched the wall so hard his hand went through it, "Fuck! Bloody. fucking. HELL! What the hell 're we gonna do Rupert? She has my family!"
"We will get them back Spike."
"Wot about yer spell? Ya find anything?"
"We're being blocked by a very powerful magic."
"Chaos child. Dark mage. Dru said 'e wos gonna turn Xan's light ta dark and then we wou'd all play."
"The only Chaos Mage I know of in existance now is. . ." Giles drew in a hard breath and closed his eyes, "It's Ethan."
"Ethan Rayne? We stopped him once before." Willow reminded him.
"Yes, we did." Giles' face hardened against the man he'd once loved above all others. "Spike, can you track Drusilla's scent?"
"Tried to di'n't I? Th' damn worm 's coverin' 'er up."
"I will try to track Ethan himself, perhaps the spell he used on them is personal and won't cover him. If he doesn't think we realize that he's here, perhaps he's been sloppy."
"Chaos is a dangerous thing to follow. Whatever we do could backfire on us in a moment." Spike reminded him after Willow left the room to gather supplies.
"I know." Giles admitted. "I know."
"So wot c'n I do then?"
The watcher knew Spike wouldn't like his answer but it was all he could think of. "Play her game." He finally spoke up, "Look for them."
Spike growled, "Tha's all you've got?!"
His shoulders dropped and he shrugged on his duster to cover his distress, "Fine!"
Giles placed a hand on his shoulder. "We will get them back."
Spike let a tear run down his cheek. "Countin' on you Rupert."
The watcher watched Spike slip into the first rays of dawn and sighed, "I know you are Spike. I wish I knew with as much certainty that everything would be okay." He opened a large tome to find the proper spell to track Ethan or Drusilla and cursed to himself. "Ethan always knew what to do."
"My good boy is coming home to play." Drusilla sang softly, playing with her latest doll in the corner. "He will play hide and seek and find something new and he will love it and keep it close to his heart, but it will be mine, so I will keep them both."
Ethan looked at the unconcious human and then the kids. Xander hadn't moved in the last four hours, not even a twitch. He was growing more and more concerned over the cause of his slumber. The vampiress' mad ravings weren't helping his mood at all. Neither were the hopeful looks the children kept sending him. He had it all planed out. He would hold the power of the man child and with it he would have the world as his playground. He would hold Ripper to him, by force if needed! He would be the most powerful being on the world and he. . . He glanced at the boy once again. I would be a sad and lonely man forcing the world to want me. He hid a sigh with a yawn and stood, "Drusilla, darling, when will your good boy come?"
"When the moon is smiling all the way and the stars sing to him."
So not until the full moon tomorrow. "Well in that case, I am going out. Can you watch the puppy and his pack? Remember if you kill him your boy won't play anymore."
She pouted but nodded, "I remember."
He nodded back to her and stepped out into the night, walking calmly for a few blocks before taking off at a quick sprint. He had to get to Ripper quickly. And he didn't trust Drusilla for any longer than it took for her dolly to lose her interest.
At the speed he was moving it took him ten minutes to reach the magic box. Half way there he realized that he had a pursuer, but he didn't have time to worry about it. If it was Drusilla then she was away from the four back at the warehouse, if it was something else, he'd probably be safe once he got into Ripper's shop anyroad. Still the sight of the shop was a welcome one. He slammed the door open and fell to his knees. Not as young as I used to be. "Ripper!"
"Ethan!" Giles eyes darted to the door just as Spike sped through it, intent on his prey. "Wait! Spike!" He caught Spike before the vampire had a chance to tear the man apart, then turned to Ethan while he struggled with the blond demon. "What are you doing here?"
"Boy. . . warehouse. . . pregnant. . ." He weezed, "Dru. . . insane. . . trouble. . . shit. . ."
Spike snarled and jerked himelf from the watcher's grasp, snatching the panting man off of the floor. "Where are they ya fuckin' bastard!"
"Warehouse. . . Porter road. . . careful. . . Ekrect. . ."
"No worries." Spike's voice was dead and angry at once. Scarey. Giles blocked the door before he could leave. "He's our friend too. Tell Buffy and Willow to gather their weapons of choice. We will go as a family."
The vampire looked anxious but did as Giles asked, knowing that if one of them left to get Xan and the kids without him, he would never forgive them. Hangin' with humans to much. Startin' ta think like 'em.
When Spike had left the room Giles helped Ethan to a chair and sat across from him. "Why the change of heart?"
The Chaos Mage breathed deeply a few more times, catching his breath, then looked up through mussed and sweat dampened hair, "Could use a little peace." He offered.
"You kidnapped them."
The watcher closed his eyes, "I've missed you Ethan."
"If you're leading us into a trap, I will kill you slowly and painfully."
"I simply wanted to make sure."
Ethan smiled, then it fell, "The boy's been out for a while you might need to bring some herbs and spell components."
"Not in this place." Ethan stood and moved to the shelves, picking jars of what they might need. "Where is the other vampire? The souled one? My sources told me he was here."
"You aren't our friend yet." Giles took the herbs from him and forced him back into the chair. "One right doesn't make up for all of your wrongs."
"What are you going to do? Tie me up?"
The watcher looped the rope around the startled man and replied, "Yes, I am."
"Mmmm. . . we haven't done this in a while. But we're both overdressed."
"Do be kind and shut up."
Seeing the angry fire burning in the usually calm man's eyes, Ethan, for the first time in twenty five years or so, did what he was told.
"Rupert." Spike slid into the room, a great axe slung over his shoulder and a holly wood stake tucked in his belt. "We're ready." His game face refused to be fought back and his teeth were bared in challenge, "Th' girls 're out fron'. Move it."
He stood and nodded, "Let's go."
Xander looked around him but nothing was visible but a fine, grey mist. The sky was black, no stars in
sight, he was completely lost, but oddly at ease. A soft glow in the distance had him moving forward,
careful not to trip over anything. He stumbled through the rough ground and some kind of rocky
debris, and followed the light as it got closer and closer. It was him! Well, it looked like him. He was
chained up on top of a pile of bones and rubble. This was way too wierd. "Uh. . . Hello?"
The chained him turned wih a sharp motion, like a snake striking. His eyes were glowing green. "Set me free."
"I'm thinking no."
"Your pups, your mate, are in danger. Set me free."
"Spike? The boys? Where are they? What did you do?!"
The man snarled, a deep snarl that bled into a high pitched yipping laugh. A very familiar laugh, "I wouldn't hurt my family."
"Simple little boy." It accused, "I am you. I am you unfettered by the restraints you've placed on yourself all your life."
"Uh. . . not making me want to free you here. . ."
"If you let me out, we could merge, we would join, and you could save your family, and I could be free again."
Xander circled around the thing, watching it from a safe distance, "We saw how well the split personality, demon/soul thing worked for Angel."
"But I am not a demon. I'm your . . . your Id."
"None college guy."
"Your unrestrained primal essence."
"So you're cave guy."
"Damnit! We don't have time for this! Spike is on his way here. NOW. To fight and kill Drusilla to save you."
"But Drusilla. . ."
"He loves you more. And if you aren't awake when he gets here he'll be distracted and will lose. And your kids are scared. They've been trying to wake you up for hours now. They think you're dying."
That thought hadn't occurred to him. Xander's whisky eyes widened with fear and uncertainty, "Am I?"
"You are being reborn." It promised and reached for him.
Without thinking, Xander reached back.
The factory was just as Ethan had told them. That made things easier. The Scoobies moved together, slipping behind the building to avoid the last Ecrect which, according to the Chaos Mage, was asleep under the front door. If he had told them the complete truth, there would be a window they could climb to which led right into where Xander and the kids were being held.
"Guys, does anyone else get wigged by the thought of following directions from Ethan Rayne?" Buffy asked as she ducked under the branches of a very dead tree.
Willow shook her head, "If it gets them back, not so much." She bit her lip and followed closer, "I mean, bad magic people can go back to being good magic people, I mean. . ."
"This isn't about good or bad an' it definitely isn't about you, bloody bint." Spike snarled.
"Alright, that is quite enough!"
Buffy blinked once then nodded, "Sorry Giles, banter not helping the tension this time."
They moved forward carefully, and a shadow moved with them. Willow saw it first and nudged Buffy, who nodded and mouthed, 'vampire'.
Spike froze and turned to the dark shape, "Angel. I told you next time I saw you, you would die." He vamped out and waited as the souled vampire stepped into the light.
"Spike, I'm here to help."
"No! It's your fault my family is in there!" He dove for the older vamp but was caught and held by all of the other scoobies, "He's mine!" He snarled, his voice still a low whisper, "It's my right to kill him fer wot he did ta my kids."
"Spike, use your head!" Giles pleaded, "We are about to face a very large demon, any number of minions, and Drusilla herself. We need all of the help we can get."
Angel bared his neck to Spike in suplication, "I have disgraced the order of Aurelius, once this battle is over, I will step down as master of the order. I will be under your comand."
"And if I tell you to walk into the sun?" His eyes had never been so cold.
"It will be done."
The girl's watched the vampires carefully, unaware of what was transpiring, only Giles realised what had happened. He would ask his questions later though. "If you are both done posturing like a couple of fighting cocks, I can see the window from here."
Spike's eyes blazed vampiric gold and he whipped his head to the spot of artificial light shining from the building, "Xander."
"Wot you gonna do wif a bad bad puppy, wot you gonna do wif a bad bad puppy? Wot you gonna do wif a badbad puppy, when he steals your Spikey?" Drusilla crooned to her captive audience, stroking the children's scales almost lovingly while they cowered in fear. "Beat 'im till he's bloody then you eat 'im, Beat 'im till he's bloody then you eat 'im. Beat 'im till he's bloody then you eat him, what a lovely brekkie."
"Ssol, that lady is crazy." Essej whispered with wide, scared eyes.
The older brothers embraced the youngest and curled against their daddy's unmoving form, "Don't worry Essej, Wil-dad will save us." Ssol promised.
Yrral nodded, "Yeah, and he's gonna bring buffy-lady and Red and Teacher and when it's done, Daw'han will make us hot cocoa and Daddy and Daddy will give us cuddles."
"But daddy is hurting."
"Wil-daddy will fix him." Yrral spoke with a certainty only children could have in their parents. Daddy could fix everything. That was what daddy was there for, to know what to do.
A low groan drew their attention to the Daddy who was chained with them and Ssol clamped his hands tightly over his brother's mouths to keep them from yelling out and drawing the crazy lady's attention again. He snuggled closer and waited for them to do the same, then whispered, "Daddy?"
Closed eyes fluttered and slowly began to open, and chocolate brown irises suddenly glowed green in the darkness. "Boys?"
"Daddy, the crazy lady is talking about eating us." Essej whined.
Xander shook his head sharply, forcing himself to wake up, "No one is going to eat you," he swore, "Spike is on his way."
"How do you know for sure Daddy?"
He smiled at the little one and ruffled his hair, "Daddy just knows."
"Daddy, why are your eyes glowing? And why is your hair longer?" Yrral asked, running his hands over the now wild mane, "Did the bad man do something?"
He hugged his boys and did his best to reasure them, all the while never taking his eyes from the vampiress who paced and danced on the other side of the room. Where is Rayne? What are they planning? His thoughts spun rapidly over the situation, the room, trying to dredge up anything useful from his days as a soldier. Enemies, big worm thing, nutty vamp princess, evil mojo guy. Anyway he looked at it there was no way he could get the kids out of there alone. Not now that Dru was back, probably not before either, but before he couldn't smell the worm thing out front. Smell. He lifted his head and began sniffing the air, Drusilla, Worm dude, no minons at all. . . smoke and leather, Spike! He glanced at the window, where the scent was strongest.
"Daddy? Daddy, what's going on?"
He tried to move, but found he was barely able to crawl, whatever had happened with the Id-Xander had taken a lot out of him. "Guys, cuddle together." He ordered.
They stared at him with hopeful and worried eyes, but did as he asked, and Xander covered them with his own body, his back facing the window, in case any glass shards headed their way. Anytime now guys.
Xander was awake and talking and backing the kids away from the window, covering them with his broad shoulders. Spike broke through the glass the moment the kids and his boy were safely away, he hit the ground rolling and surged to his feet just in time to see Angel following, the tall, dark master facing off with his errant child.
Drusilla snarled, "You aren't Daddy."
"No Dru, I'm not."
"You want to take my boy away from me too. You and the bad puppy! You can't have him! Bad puppies don't get treats!" It only took moments for the room to fall into chaos Ethan Rayne wold have been proud of. The remaining Ekrect charged at the vampire who was threatening his mistress and Drusilla turned her attention to the Slayer and her group who were climbing through the window. "Like creepy crawlies. You can't be in the house." Dru admonished.
Buffy blinked, "Did she just call us bugs?"
"Oh, it is ON." The slayer and vampiress moved almost too quickly to be seen as they each fought for their lives. Willow tried to back Angel up with fire spells and sheilding charms when it became apparent that he was slowly loosing ground, and Giles and Spike rushed toward where Xander still croutched curled around the children protectively.
"Xan? Look at me pet, are you all right?"
Those tired chocolate eyes opened slowly and Xander let out a strange yipping giggle, "What took you so long?"
"Had ta see a man 'bout a demon, luv. Here now." Spike smiled, unwilling to acknowledge the tears in his eyes. He ran his hand quickly over each child while Giles worked on opening the locks that held them. "Everyone safe?"
The moment he was free Essej threw her hands around Spike's waist and began to cry, "Will-da! We were so scared, and daddy wouldn't wake up and that lady is mean and she's crazy daddy! She was gonna eat us!"
"No one gets to eat my kids." Spike soothed and petted the shivering little one, "'Sides you'd probably put her right off, not very digestable I'm thinkin'."
"Daddy!" But the little one was smiling again.
Each child latched onto their Daddies as they were freed and finally Giles had moved to Xander's lock.
"Leave it." He mumbled, still fighting the need to pass out and heal after the merging. "Get the kids out of here Giles."
"But Xander. . ."
"You're non-combat guy. We need you safe, and I need the boys safe. Get them back to the magic box."
"Daddy! We can't leave you!" Yrral cried.
Xander ruffled his son's curly hair, "Yeah, you can. You have to. Spike-daddy can't do his best if he's worried about you. Go on, Dawn is there and we'll be home soon."
"And you'll tell us a bedtime story?"
"About when you knew you loved Will-daddy." Essej asked.
Ssol chimed in, "And how you saved us?"
Xander laughed softly, "You guys know those stories by heart, maybe you should tell them to me this time."
The three boys all smiled and nodded bravely, tears coursing down their faces, "But that means you have to come home."
"I will." Xander hugged them all once more and then nudged them into Giles' arms, "Go."
Spike guarded their retreat and was on his way back to his mate when Buffy went sailing by him and slumped against the wall, unconscious. His bright blue eyes went gold and he spun to find Drusilla, fangs bared, making her way toward his Xan! The Ekrect had Angel and Willow backed into a corner even as it was on it's last legs, no one saw the vampiress lunging but him! "Dru!"
She twisted toward him, mad eyes gold and face ridged. She would kill the puppy and then Spikey would be hers again, just like before. She'd be the Mummy and he'd be the baby and Angelous would be the Daddy and they'd all live happily ever after! They would!
A sharp pain in her hand stopped her from grabbing the puppy's throat. The puppy bit her! He was backed against the wall, the chain stopping him from going further, and his eyes were glowing green but he was a tired puppy. "Puppy played too hard today, now puppy has no strength left, and the litter will leave him when he rots away to bones and breaks."
Xander glared at her. "At least I'll leave something behind. You'll be dust on the wind."
"Silly puppy, you have no stake." She lunged but stopped short, beautiful wide eyes staring at Spike as her body crumbled, skin muscle and bone, all to dust. She last words broken and confused, "My William?"
Spike was standing as he had been, stake still in his hand, gulping in large lungfulls of unneeded air.
The soft word broke him and he fell to his knees, holding his head and screaming. His Sire! His dark princess! His Dru!
Warm hands encircled his shoulders and he was pulled back against a strong chest that burned like a furnace. He let himself be held and rocked as he screamed into his hands. His dark beauty, nearly a century of smiles and kisses and love and joy, even demonic joy, and he'd destroyed it! He'd plunged in the stake that took his Sire from the world. He'd killed his Sire. Blood tears were falling over his hands and pooling on the pale jeans of the man who'd wrapped himself tight around the vampire.
"For me. You killed Drusilla for me. I'm sorry Spike, I'm so sorry. You shouldn't have had to. . . why did you . . . I'm not worth it Spike. How could I be worth it? Love you so much. Saved our baby, you saved me and our baby. Oh I'm so sorry Spike. All my fault."
And just like that, he was whole again. The vampire gathered Xander to him, twisting around again so that they were tangled so tightly together it was hard to tell who was who. "No, not your fault. You're worth it. You're mine. I chose you Xan, you an' our kids. Our boys are waiting for us Xan. Gather the minions yeah? Home is waitin' for us. Take you home. Wash you up an' take you ta bed."
"Oy, Why not?"
"Promised the boys a story." Xander reminded him, and promtly passed out.
"William, he's just sleeping." Angel lifted Buffy from the floor and left the Ekrect carcass to Willow who quickly incinerated the thing. "Let's get them home."
Spike glared at his sire, who still was not forgiven in his opinion, but lifted Xander and slipped out the broken window. His family had been through a lot in the past days and all he wanted to do was curl up in their big bed surrounded by blanket hogging demon brats, and rest and heal, cocooned with his family.
Feed the Author