No! But? Bollocks!
Part One ~ A Routine Patrol
They were making a final circuit when a cry pierced the silence. At
first, Xander wasn't sure what direction the sound was coming from,
but when Spike broke into a run he followed without question. They
barreled through the cemetery, jumping the waist high, ivy covered
wall without breaking stride, and came upon a gruesome sight.
Before he could stop himself Xander was bent over and heaving, the
contents of his stomach roiling and pitching until they were freed. In a
nauseous haze he heard his mate roar and enter the fray. Unwilling
to let Spike fight without backup, Xander pulled himself together and
moved forward, his right hand bringing up the axe he habitually
He tried not to look at the remains, tried not to hear the cries from the
huddled mass to his left. They were safe enough for now, the car
doors once again shut tight, the locks engaged. Although he made
sure to station himself close enough to the automobile to render
assistance if necessary.
Xander hovered anxiously on the sides watching for any break in the
fight. Any help his lover might need. There were two demons circling
Spike. They were of a kind Xander didn't recognize; large, red, and
glistening with some type of ichor that coated their skins, but no
horns, or tails, or other otherworldly appendages. But their eyes were
completely black, all pupil, and their faces were elongated, as if
someone had pinched the tops of their heads and then pulled their
chins down as far as they could go.
"Don't let them touch you, luv!" Spike shouted a warning. "That
slime's like acid. It'll burn right through you."
Xander made an 'ewww' face but nodded. "Be careful!" Xander held
his breath as he watched Spike dance around the demons, his long
black duster flapping behind him.
Then suddenly one of the demons charged straight at Spike, the
other came from the left. Xander knew Spike couldn't escape both
demon attacks at once, so he made his own move. Rushing forward,
he came from the demon's blind side. His axe high, he let it slice
through the air, the demon's own momentum eased the blade's entry
and Xander was splattered with black ooze as the demon's head fell
to the ground.
Ignoring the dripping fluid, Xander glanced up quickly to see Spike
kick the other demon in the face. The monster fell backwards, but
quickly came back up on his knees. Unfortunately for him, Spike had
already maneuvered himself behind the unlucky demon, his arms
encircling the impossibly shaped head and twisting. Xander heard
the snap as its neck broke, and he watched with satisfaction as Spike
dropped the demon back to the ground.
It was only then that the cries from the car broke through his battle
haze. Spike was by his side before Xander could stand and make his
way back toward the vehicle. "Are you okay, luv? Did you get any of
the red ichor on you?" Spike was checking his mate for injuries as he
"Nah. Just blood, I think. It's blood right? Tell me it's blood," Xander
babbled, not wanting to think about what else the black, viscous fluid
"Yeah, luv. Just blood." Spike leaned down and gave Xander's
mouth a quick kiss. "We'll get you cleaned up as soon as we get
"Ewww!" Xander tried to fend off Spike's kiss. "I just barfed all over
the place." Xander gestured around them, though it was difficult to
tell what was vomit and what was debris from the battle.
Spike let Xander push him away, but gave him a leering look. "Fine,
but let's head home. Patrol's over and I'm horny."
Xander rolled his eyes at his husband. "You're always horny."
"So, we have to go check on the people in the car." Xander headed
over toward the old, beat-up Buick station wagon. He turned to find
Spike pouting, but following him nonetheless. "They could be hurt,
and they're probably scared."
"Yeah, all right. I'm followin' you ain't I?" Spike grumbled back, but
he hastened his steps a bit.
Spike arrived at the car first, reaching out to grasp the door handle.
Busting the lock as he pulled the handle up with a hard jerk, Spike
peered inside. Before Xander could get close enough to check the
occupants, Spike's expression tumbled from surprise to sadness to
consternation, all within the space of a few seconds. "Bugger!"
"What's going - " Xander's sentence stuck in his throat when he
looked into the interior of the car and saw two tiny bodies huddled
together toward the other end of the bench seat. They were crying
and sniffling, and Xander's heart immediately went out to them.
One of them was still in a car seat, the other had obviously
unfastened their seat belts and pushed them as far away from the
side the fight had occurred on as possible. The one in the seat
couldn't have been much more than 2 years old, the older no more
than 5, maybe 6. Xander felt tears well in his eyes as he realized that
the remains he'd seen when they'd first arrived on the scene must
have been those of their parents.
"Hey there." Xander slowly entered the car emitting soothing words
and sounds the entire way. "Shhh…Everything's going to be all right.
My name's Xander, and that's Spike. We'll take care of you. Shhhh."
Xander now cradled the older child in his arms, rocking her gently
back and forth. She was crying softly and asking for her momma,
making Xander's tears fall even faster.
Slowly the girl began to drift into an exhausted sleep. When she'd
finally succumbed, Xander lay her back down on the seat, checking
on the boy in the car seat to make sure that he, too, had calmed
enough to fall asleep. Slowly he climbed out of the car, making sure
not to rock the vehicle and wake the children.
Spike was standing just a few feet away waiting for his lover to
"They're asleep. We have to take them to social services or
something." Xander's voice was agitated and he paced the sidewalk.
"What do we do? What do we tell them?"
"Shhh, luv." Spike came up beside him, his arms entrapping
Xander's warm body, his voice soothing. "We'll figure it all out. But
there is something you should know." Xander's head came up and
his eyebrow quirked. "They're not human. Not entirely, anyway."
"What? How do you know? They look human."
"I know that, luv. But I can smell them, and the blood that was spilt
earlier. Only one was human, the other - I'm not sure." Spike turned
to look at the car, his expression one of quiet contemplation.
"That means…that means we can't take them to social services."
"What will they do? We can't just leave them here. We have to take
them home. We'll take care of them."
"No!" Spike ran his hands up and down Xander's arms. "How can
we, luv? We don't know anything about children. We don’t even
know what species they are!"
"I promised we'd take care of them." Xander's voice was determined
while he looked at Spike in entreaty. "They don't have anyone else."
"But…" Xander's eyes widened as he focused tear filled chocolate
orbs on his lover's face. His bottom lip came out in a quivering pout,
and Spike was lost.
Part Two ~ Home
They arrived home with very little fuss. Since they had walked to the
cemetery for patrol Spike hopped into the driver's seat of the station
wagon. There were no keys in evidence so Spike hot-wired the
vehicle with ease, but not without grousing about having to drive such
a nancy boy car. Xander just patted his arm affectionately and turned
back to check on the kids.
They were both sleeping peacefully, not having woken while Xander
had maneuvered them back into their safety belts. He sighed slightly,
wondering how he was going to explain to the two innocents about
their parents. Would they even understand that mom and dad weren't
When they reached the apartment, Xander indicated silently for Spike
to grab the girl. In the meantime, Xander unfastened the car seat and
carted the sleeping boy up the front steps. Looking behind to check
on Spike, his heart gave a little flutter at the tender look Spike was
giving the sleeping child. He smiled to himself, knowing that Spike
didn't even realize that he was gently caressing the child's face as he
carried her gingerly up the steps.
Once inside the apartment, they placed the two children on the bed.
Xander made sure to surround them with pillows in case one or both
of them decided to do a little over zealous rolling. Then they slowly
backed out of the room, keeping the door slightly ajar so that they
would hear if either child awoke prematurely.
They adjourned to the living room and collapsed on the sofa. Xander
immediately snuggled close to Spike, sighing heavily when the cool
arm went around his shoulders to hold him close. After a few
moments of quiet contemplation, Xander broke the silence.
"We should call Wills and Tara."
Spike's brow quirked. "You think they'd take the bits?"
"No!" Xander pushed away from Spike to look up into his eyes. "I
promised them that we'd take care of them, Spike!" His eyes were
pleading for understanding.
"I know, luv," Spike assured Xander. "But don't you think it might be
better for the chits to take them?"
"Why? You think Wills has anymore idea of how to take care of kids
than we do?" Xander shook his head. "They already know us. It
would just confuse them more to send them off with the girls."
"Okay then," Spike sighed resignedly. "So what do we need the
"Well, besides the fact that I think they'd like to know that we're now
dads," Xander stood, making his way over to the phone, "we need
someone to watch the kids while we go out and buy supplies."
"Xan." Spike waited until his lover turned to face him, then he stood
and walked toward the boy, his arms automatically surrounding the
muscled torso. "Don't get too attached, yeah? They may have
relatives, or summat." Spike nuzzled Xander's neck as he spoke,
trying to lessen the reprimand in his voice. "Wouldn't exactly call us
"I know, Spike." Xander answered, although there was a small lump
in his throat. He already felt responsible for the kids, and he wanted
nothing more than to protect them from anything else that might come
their way. "But I won't let them go unless they have someone to love
and care for them. They can't go to social services, and I don't think
they have a demon equivalent."
"'Course you wouldn't, luv." Spike acknowledged. "That's one of the
reasons I love you." He placed a swift kiss on Xander's pulse point.
"My very own white hat."
Xander smiled and nuzzled him back, breathing in Spike's unique
scent. He let himself indulge in his lover for a moment before turning
and heading towards the phone.
"Oh my gosh!" Willow whispered quietly as she looked in on the two
new residents of Xander's household. "They're so sweet!"
Xander peeked around her shoulder to find that the two children were
huddled together, their arms wrapped around one another. The
youngest had one thumb in his mouth and suckled quietly, while the
oldest had her arms flung over her brother in what looked like a
Tara smiled and nodded at Willow's exclamation, while Dawn tried to
nudge her way in so that she could see as well. Finally they all left to
congregate back in the living room.
"What are you gonna do with them?" Dawn asked as soon as they
were outside of earshot of the children.
"We're going to keep them," Xander answered without hesitation.
"What? You can't keep them," Willow replied with surprise.
"Of course we can. They don't have anywhere else to go," Xander
answered defensively. Spike came to stand beside him, lending
"Look, we're going to try to find some relatives," Spike assured the
wicca. "But until then, they stay put." He wasn't oblivious to the
tension his words caused Xander. He knew his love didn't want to
part with the kids. He'd fallen in love with them practically the
moment he'd set eyes on them.
Willow was still looking at them with concern, when the tiny voice
called out tentatively, "X-xander?"
"Hey, sweetie," Xander answered softly as he scooped up the sleepy
child. "What're you doing up already? Hungry?"
"No. Where's mommy?"
Xander had to clear the lump in his throat before answering. From
the sorrowful looks the girls sported, he could tell he wasn't the only
one affected. "She's…she's not here right now, honey." He sat
down, pulling the girl into his lap. He cradled her there, keeping her
warm in his embrace. "Can you tell me your name, sweetie?"
"Lonnie," she sniffled. "Where did mommy go? Is she with daddy?"
Xander bit back tears not wanting to alarm Lonnie. His throat
constricted, making it impossible for him to speak. Spike came to his
rescue, kneeling down next to them and placing his hand on Lonnie's
back. "Yeah, she's with your daddy, little bit. They had to go 'way for
awhile. Xan and I are gonna take care of you. Okay?"
Tears started to fall from Lonnie's eyes, "We're sniffle not 'opposed
sniffle to go wif sniffle strangers!" she cried softly. "Mommy's
gonna be mad when she comes for us."
"She won't be mad, sweet bit," Spike reassured her. Just then they
heard a loud wail come from the bedroom.
"Dor's crying," Lonnie offered.
Spike strode quickly to the bedroom and returned with Dor in his
arms. He comforted the boy with soft words and a gentle rocking
Lonnie watched him carefully, relaxing when she saw that Dor was no
longer crying. "So, we're gonna stay with you?" she asked, her
"Yeah, does that sound okay?" Xander asked anxiously.
Lonnie looked around a bit, and Xander grew even more nervous.
But before he could repeat his question, she turned her gaze back on
him. "Okay. Do you have any ice cream?"
A burst of laughter escaped Xander's throat, as he hugged the girl to
him. "Yeah. Yeah, we've got ice cream." He put the girl down and
stood. "How about Aunt Willow gets you some, okay? Spike and I
are just going to head to the store to get you some clothes and stuff."
When he looked down again, Lonnie's lips were quivering. "You're
going away, too?" she asked, her voice a whisper.
Xander's heart wrenched in his chest. "No, honey!" He knelt down
beside her, his hands coming up to rub up and down her arms.
"We're only going to the store. We'll be right back." She looked at
him with big, watery eyes. "I promise." He kissed her on the cheek to
emphasize his sincerity. She nodded, but didn't say anything else.
Spike put Dor down, then directed Xander back into their bedroom.
"Maybe we should take them with us, Spike?" Xander asked. "No,
luv. We can't be with them every second. It'll be better if we leave
them here. Once they see we'll come back, they won't be so afraid
for us to leave every time."
Xander knew Spike was right, but he still felt horrible leaving the kids
behind. If they didn't desperately need things like food, and diapers
for Dor, he wouldn't have left at all. In the car, Spike leaned over and
gave Xander a deep kiss. "Don't worry, Xan." He leaned in and
suckled on the mark that graced Xander's neck, knowing that it would
give his lover comfort. "They'll be fine." When they finally drove
away, Spike was holding Xander's hand, while he leaned his head on
the vampire's sturdy shoulder.
Part Three ~ Supplies and Nightmares
"I hate bloody Walmart!" Spike groused. "And how are we supposed
to know what size to buy?" Spike muttered while they walked down
the baby aisle together. There were several different sizes of diapers
that came in several different quantities. How were they supposed to
know what size the little bugger wore?
"Well, he looks like he's close to two, all the diapers are marked with
ages. Probably this one will work." Xander offered a bag of diapers to
Spike to put in the cart. "There wasn't any formula or bottles in the
diaper bag, so he probably doesn't need them anymore. He might
need some baby food though. Probably these ones will do." Xander
grabbed a few bottles of food and threw them in the cart.
"Maybe we should buy a book on parenting?" Xander wondered
"I don't know, luv," Spike answered warily. "We may not have them
that long." Spike really didn't want Xander getting hurt if they had to
give the kids up, but he knew it was probably already too late for that.
"Spike!" Xander rounded on his husband. "Stop reminding me of that
already! I know there's a chance they might have relatives, or
somewhere else to go, but what if there isn't? Then they're ours! I
don't need you to remind me every five seconds that we might be
losing them!" Xander's face was hot with anger.
Spike stepped up and tried to wrap his arms around Xander, but the
boy pulled away. Hurt, Spike replied quietly, "I'm sorry, Xan. I just
don't want to see you get hurt, luv." Spike turned and grabbed the
cart, pushing it down the aisle. "I won't mention it again, Xan. Let's
just get the rest of the stuff so we can get back."
Xander felt like a heel. He hurried to catch up to the vamp, stopping
his progress and sweeping him into his arms. "No, I'm sorry, Spike. I
didn't mean to yell, I know you're just trying to protect me." He pulled
away from Spike, pausing to place a swift kiss on his lips. "But I know
what might happen. It doesn't stop me from caring about the kids.
And believe me, you don't have to remind me that we might not get to
keep them." The last was whispered in a rush of breath.
"Oh, luv." Spike returned the kiss with one of his own. "Let's not talk
about it now, yeah? We'll worry about it if it happens."
Xander smiled up at his love, gratitude shining in his eyes. "Thanks,
Spike," he said, before grabbing the cart himself and continuing their
"We're home!" Xander sing-songed as he unlocked the door. "Are
the kids asleep?" he asked when he spied the girls sitting on the
couch, watching an old movie.
"Geez! Did you guys buy the whole store?" Dawn sprang up to
divest Xander of some bags. "What the heck did you get?"
"Just some supplies. You know diapers, food for Dor, food for
Lonnie. Some clothes for them, an air mattress, some toys, some
books, toothbrushes…you know. The essentials," Xander replied
before going back for more bags.
Willow and Tara came over to help unpack the bags. "Essentials?"
Willow questioned with a quirked brow as she pulled out the latest
Spiderman comic book.
"Sure! Uhm...bed time stories." He grinned triumphantly, stopping
briefly to give Spike a peck on the cheek as they passed each other.
Spike rolled his eyes indulgently. "Xanpet's right though. The kids
will probably love those. Along with the thousand other things he
"Oh, like you didn't buy anything, mister!" Xander admonished while
poking an accusing finger at his chest.
"Hey, I only bought them what they needed!" Spike answered.
"Oh, like Dor really needs a tiny Manchester United jersey!" Xander
"Hey, the little bit needs clothes, don't he?" Spike answered, looking
"And the little soccer ball you bought?"
"All bits need to work on hand eye coordination. That's just a tool,"
Spike answered smartly. "'And Lonnie can use it, too."
The girls just smiled at the interplay between the guys. After almost
four years as a couple, they were used to it by now. Once all the
groceries were put away, Dawn took the air mattress and inflated it in
the spare bedroom. She made up the bed before re-entering the
living room. "You sure you guys want to sleep on an air mattress?"
"It's just temporary, Dawn, until we buy the bunk beds. We don't want
the kids having to sleep on the air mattress so they can stay in our
room. It'll just be for a few days," Xander answered.
Exhausted after the supply run Xander and Spike thanked the girls
and showed them out. "We'll see you tomorrow. Thanks again, Wills,
Tara, Dawn," Xander nodded at each in turn as they stepped out into
the hall. "Yeah, thanks, ducks," Spike followed up.
Once the girls had left the boys checked on Dor and Lonnie, finding
them both fast asleep. They quietly shut the door. Xander was glad
that they'd gotten the baby monitors so that they would know if either
of the kids woke in the middle of the night.
After triple checking that the monitor was on, Xander joined Spike on
the couch. "You know, we don't need that bleedin' monitor. I can
hear everything that goes on in that room."
"Yeah, but what if you aren't here? I need to be able to hear, too."
Spike conceded, leaning his head on Xander's shoulder. They sat
together for a few moments, until Spike gave in to his desire to taste
his nummy treat. The vampire trailed kisses all along Xander's
collarbone, reveling in the soft murmurs that escaped Xan's lips.
After a while, Spike took Xander's face in his hands and pulled him
down for a long, wet smooch. While they were snogging, Spike
crawled into his lover's lap, straddling him and allowing their groins to
come in contact.
"Ungh! Spike!" Xander thrust up against the contact. "Wait, we
can't," he tried to protest in between kisses. "The kids…"
"They're asleep, Xan. And I'll hear them before they can get out of
that room." Spike countered his protests.
Xander was finding it difficult to concentrate with Spike's tongue
swirling delicious patterns on his skin, and Spike's hips thrusting
down towards his own. "Wait! At least let's go into the spare room
and lock the door!" Xander tried once more.
"Okay, luv. If that's the only way to get you to let us shag, then let's
go!" Spike pulled on Xander's arm and practically flung him into their
temporary bedroom. Once there, he pushed Xander down onto the
air mattress, pulling and tugging at his clothes as they went. "I've
been horny ever since the fight in the cemetery, luv." Kiss. Kiss.
Kiss. "Want you." Kiss. Lick. Kiss. "Now." Kiss. Nibble. Kiss.
Within a matter of moments, they were both naked and hard. Xander
was panting and begging Spike to hurry. Spike's fingers were in
Xander's hole, stretching and lubing in preparation. "Are you ready
for me, Xan?" His fingers continued to piston in and out slowly.
Xander moaned and thrust back onto the intrusion. "Want more?
Want my cock in you?"
"Yessss," Xander hissed out. His eyes opened and he focused them
on Spike's blue gaze. "Spike, please. I'm so hard, I need to cum."
"Don't worry, Xanpet." Spike leaned down and gave him a relatively
chaste kiss on the lips. "I won't leave you wanting, luv." Spike
smirked down at his dazed lover, maneuvering them both so that the
head of his cock was just brushing against Xan's puckered hole.
Spike pushed in slowly, the head just breaching Xander's tight ring of
muscle. He paused there for a moment, just savoring being inside his
Xanpet. Spike looked down at his lover's face, urging Xander to open
his eyes. He would have balked to know the look he sported when
Xander finally focused enough to see him. Xander's mouth turned up
into a silly grin, seeing the look of love on his husband's features.
Before moving any further forward, Spike brought his hand up to play
with the silver chain shining against Xander's bronzed skin. He
leaned forward and placed a reverent kiss on the intricate design
lying on Xan's chest. After Xander had donned the necklace on their
wedding night, he'd never taken it off. And that thought was what had
brought the look of absolute love to Spike's face.
Xander leaned forward and pressed his lips to Spike's whispering, "I
love you." He lay back onto the pillows and hitched his legs further
up onto Spike's shoulders. Without saying a word he urged Spike to
push further in, hands on the slim, pale hips, pulling him forward.
"Love you too, Xan," Spike answered before thrusting all the way in,
his balls slapping up against Xander's ass cheeks. They both
groaned at the sound of naked flesh hitting naked flesh. Spike
allowed Xander just a moment before beginning a slow but steady
They made love, slow and sweet. Xander's whole body broke out in a
light sheen of sweat that Spike loved. The vampire leaned in to lick
the salty liquid off his lover's skin, until Xander was begging
incoherently. "Spike! Ungh! Faster! I need…ungh! Please…God,
Spurred on, Spike increased his rhythm. His hand shot down to
grasp Xander around the base of his penis, jacking him fast and hard.
"Come on, Xan. Cum with me," Spike whispered as his other hand
came forward to massage Xander's sac.
He was rewarded with a
whimper from his mate. "That's it, luv." Spike's breath tickled the
hairs on Xander's neck, just beneath his ear. "Want to see you cum.
You're bleedin' beautiful when you cum, luv. Yeah. Fuck!"
own orgasm was building up fast. The vamp cried out with relief
when he felt Xander's anal walls contract around him, his cum
splattering onto Spike's cool skin. Spike let himself go, his orgasm
thundering through him.
They lay sated for a few moments before Xander insisted they get up
and shower. Afterwards, he forced Spike to wear pajama bottoms,
just in case one of the kids woke up looking for them. He'd just have
to learn not to sleep starkers with the kids around.
Before they could
fall fully asleep Xander heard a light knock on their door. He jumped
up quickly and opened it to find Dor standing there, looking
frightened, with Lonnie just behind him.
"What's wrong?" he asked, quickly crouching down to their eye level.
Spike was now standing beside him, checking the kids for injuries and
the hall for intruders. "Did you guys have a nightmare?"
Dor nodded and Lonnie sniffled. "Did you want to sleep with us?"
"Please?" Lonnie's small voice echoed in the empty hall.
Spike felt something tug at his heart as he scooped up the small girl.
"Sure, luv." He motioned to Xander to get Dor. "'Course you can
sleep with us." Spike laid Lonnie down in the center of the air bed,
while Xander laid Dor beside her. Then they each got in beside them.
"Do you wanna talk about it?" Xander asked them. He was surprised
when it was Dor that answered.
"Was scary. Dark. Momma and Daddy wouldn't come." Dor turned
and snuggled into Xander.
"They left us alone. We called and they wouldn't answer." Lonnie
continued for Dor. She too turned to snuggle up, burrowing into
"You two shared the same dream?" Spike asked, perplexed to hear
them both describe the same thing.
"Yeah. Not always, but sometimes. Usually the scary ones, though,"
Lonnie answered. "I like it that way. So's I'm not alone."
Spike kissed the top of Lonnie's head, his hand rubbing soothing
circles on her back. "I'm glad, luv. It's good you and Dor have each
other," Spike reassured her.
"And now you have us, too," Xander replied.
As the kids drifted off to sleep, Xander and Spike glanced at each
other. They'd have to do some research soon. They needed to figure
out exactly what Dor and Lonnie were, especially if they were going to
try to take care of them. Shared dreams? At least it was a clue. And
then they, too, drifted off into slumber.
Part Four ~ Getting to Know You
The next morning Xander woke, snuggled between one warm body
and one cool. Dor was cuddled comfortably on his left side, while
Spike was wedged on his right between Lonnie and himself.
smiled at the low purring sound Spike was emitting.
He knew from
previous experience that the sound was Spike’s way of comforting
those around him. Xander supposed that Angel and Dru must have
done the same for Spike when he was first turned.
grew wider when he realized that the purring must have begun last
night after the kids had joined them in bed.
Slowly, Xander extricated himself from the pile of bodies, making sure
not to jostle anyone awake. He made his way to the kitchen and put
on a pot of coffee, then rummaged through the cupboards to see
what suitable fare they had for breakfast. He pulled out the new box
of Quaker Oats they had bought at Walmart the other day and poured
it into the pot of boiling milk he had on the stove.
Xander was humming when Lonnie walked into the kitchen. She
looked adorably sleep rumpled, her hair a mass of riotous curls, her
jaw slack in a wide open yawn, and her tiny hands rubbing circles
over dazed eyes.
“Morning sweetheart.” Xander greeted her as he continued to stir the
pot. “Breakfast is almost ready. Did you want some hot chocolate?”
Lonnie sat at the table, still trying to yawn away the morning. Finally
she looked up at Xander to answer his question. “Yes, please.” She
looked eagerly around the kitchen. “Do you have those little
“You're a woman after me own heart, luv,” Spike chuckled as he
walked into the kitchen, chest bare, pajama bottoms clinging
precariously low on his hips as he carried Dor to the table.
Xander laughed too, leaning his cheek out for his morning kiss as
Spike passed him on the way to the cupboard with the marshmallows.
“Good morning, Spike.”
Xander poured the oatmeal into two different bowls for the kids. Then
grabbed the carton of eggs from the fridge. He scrambled them
together, throwing in a couple of chunks of ham as he went. He
poured them into the frying pan before sprinkling some shredded
cheese on top.
The kids were busily scarfing down their oats when Spike pulled out
his mug of blood from the microwave. He and Xander both sat at the
same time. Xander divided the eggs onto two plates, one for Spike
and one for himself. Without thought they both started eating, until
Dor’s small voice broke the silence.
“Is that blood?”
Xander threw Spike a worried look, panic in his eyes.
“What makes you ask that, Dor?” Spike asked warily.
“Smells like it. Kinda looks like it, too,” the little boy mumbled
between spoonfuls of oatmeal. “Can I have more ‘mallows please?”
“Sure, sweetie,” Xander answered, glad for the change of subject.
He grabbed the bag and was pouring in a few more treats, when Dor
“Are you a vampire?” Dor asked, raising one eyebrow at Spike. “Like
“Dracula?” Xander asked, voice squeaking. “Did you know him?”
“We had dinner at his house once.” Lonnie wrinkled her nose. “He
wasn’t very nice.”
Spike’s brow crinkled in curiosity and a bit of worry. “Did he hurt you,
“No.” Lonnie put her spoon down and stared at the table. “But I
heard daddy tell mommy that Dracula made him feel small. He
sounded kinda sad when he said it.”
Spike’s hand reached out to cup Lonnie’s. “Drac’s not a very nice
bloke. So no, I’m not like Dracula.” He directed his response to Dor.
“But I am a vampire.” Spike stole a quick glance at Xander, wishing
he could ease the tension he saw in his lover’s broad shoulders.
“Oh.” Dor turned to face Xander, tilting his head in thought. “Are you
a vampire, too?”
Xander let out a tension filled chuckle. “Nope, not me. Just your
regular average Joe human.”
“Oh,” Dor shrugged, as if he didn’t know or maybe didn’t care what
the differences between a human and a vampire were. “'kay.”
Spike and Xander locked gazes for a silent moment waiting for more
from the tiny duo, but no further questions were asked. Xander
breathed a sigh of relief before shooing both kids off to the sofa to
watch morning cartoons while he and Spike cleared the table.
"What do you think?"
"I think Drac may be able to answer a few questions for us," Spike
answered, rinsing off the bowls before placing them in the
"But Dracula's dead, Spike. Buffy dusted him," Xander reminded his
Spike gave Xander an exasperated look. "Do you think that after all
these centuries, Dracula was going to let Buffy dust him? With all
the gypsy tricks that silly sod knows, he'll unlive forever."
"O-k-a-y." Xander dragged the word out. "How do we find him?"
"It'll take a bit. I know some demons, who know some demons. I'll
start askin' around." Spike finished rinsing the silverware before
dropping them into the washer cage.
Xander's expression turned pensive as he thought about the fact that
they might actually know who and what the kids are sometime in the
near future. That meant that they might actually discover some living
relatives. Some people who might take the kids away from them.
Xander was feeling really torn. On the one hand, he knew that having
relatives that loved them would probably be good for Dor and Lonnie.
But on the other, Xander dreaded having to give them up. He knew
that he and Spike would love and take care of them better than
almost anybody else in the world. He already loved them! Xander
swallowed back the lump in his throat. It was going to be really hard
to give them up.
Before Xander knew what was happening, strong arms surrounded
his torso and pulled him close to a cool body. "None of that now, luv."
Spike squeezed him in a tight embrace. "Thought we decided not to
worry 'bout that 'til we had to."
Xander hugged Spike back, wondering how it was that the vampire
always knew what he was thinking. Always knew when he needed
comfort and exactly how to provide it.
"You're right," Xander answered, giving Spike a quick peck on the
lips. "So...what should we do today?"
"Maybe we should ask the little blighters what they want to do?"
"Good idea, sweetie."
They went out into the living room together, a small smile curving
Xander's lips at the picture the two kids made on the couch. They
were curled up together under a worn blanket that Xander kept for
those late night movie sessions he and Spike usually had. Xander
really loved the fact that the kids were so affectionate towards each
other. They really seemed to want to take care of and protect the
"Hey, kids!" Xander addressed them cheerfully. "What do you want
to do today?"
"Can we go to the zoo?" "Can we go to the movies?"
Both children spoke at once. They turned and gave each other
"Let's go to the movies." "Let's go to the zoo."
They said in unison again, each suggesting the other's activity.
Xander laughed. "Why don't we do both? We can go to the zoo, and
then catch one of those IMAX movies, okay?"
"Yeah!" Dor answered happily. He was in the process of jumping off
the couch to go get dressed when Lonnie spoke again.
"Wait. What about Spike? He can't come out to the zoo with us, can
he?" Lonnie asked. Dor stopped and turned to stare at the vampire.
"No, luv. 'Fraid I won't be able to go out with you during the day,"
Spike answered. "No worries, though. I'll just see you when you get
"No." Lonnie shook her head. "We should all stay together. Why
don't we do something Spike can do, too?" She turned an inquiring
look at Xander.
"Well, sweetheart." Xander was touched that Lonnie wanted to
include Spike, but wondered whether this still had something to do
with her phobia about being separated from the two of them. "That
would mean we'd all have to stay indoors. Probably here in the
"That's okay," Lonnie turned toward Dor, "right?"
Dor hesitated a tiny moment before nodding his head. "Can we still
watch a movie?"
"Are you sure you want to do that, luv? I don't mind, really," Spike
"We want to stay with you." Lonnie turned her pleading look toward
"Of course, sweetheart," Xander answered, hugging her and sending
both she and Dor back to their bedroom to get dressed for the day.
"Sorry, luv." Spike apologized as soon as they were out of earshot.
"For ruining your plans," Spike answered dejectedly. He hated it when
his undead state got in the way of Xander's life. It was one of his
deepest fears that Xander would one day realize what a hassle it was
being with a vampire.
And now that there were kids in the picture, and Spike had no doubts
that Xander would keep them in the picture for as long as possible, he
worried about it even more. What would they do if there was an
emergency during the day? Spike couldn't go, couldn't help. What if
one of the kids needed a ride to or from school? They would have to
call Xander. How could he be a parent to any child, let alone two,
when he was so hampered?
Xander watched as Spike's expression turned from dejected to
worrisome. He knew what his lover was thinking; it was a
conversation they'd had more than once during their relationship.
Xander wouldn't trade Spike for anything in the world, and he never
saw Spike's sun allergy as anything more than a small hiccup in their
But Xander knew that it was just another thing that made Spike feel
like less of a man, at least in their relationship. As a vampire he was
never bothered by the fact that he could only carouse during the
night. But after the chip, it was just another thing he couldn't do.
the chip in his head he couldn't hunt, and when he started to hang out
with the Scoobies he couldn't do anything but wave goodbye to them
during the day.
The chip wouldn't allow him to be a vampire, and he
couldn't be a man.
"Hey," Xander called softly, breaking Spike out of his funk. He
stepped closer bringing Spike into his embrace, and pressing a rough
kiss against his forehead. "You didn't ruin anything. I love that the
kids want to spend time with you. And even though I'm a little bit
wigged, I'm glad that they know you're a vamp." Xander kissed him,
pressing gently then sweeping his tongue across Spike's pouty
bottom lip. "My vamp." Xander nibbled, grazing his teeth against
said lip, until it was red and swollen from his kisses.
"Now, what kind of movie do you want?" Xander pulled away to grab
his coat. "The kids and I will go pick it out, and grab some movie
"No monster flicks, yeah? 'Cept maybe that one with the giant man
eating plant and the transvestite, bloody brilliant that!" Spike grinned
"I think the kids are a little too young for the Rocky Horror Picture
Show, Spike," Xander admonished, though he was grinning at his
"Fine." Spike pretended to pout. "But you better get the popcorn with
the extra butter. And some of those chocolate covered peanut
things." Spike added.
"Not you, you doof." Xander laughed. "The chocolate covered
peanuts. They're called Goobers."
"Oh, yeah, knew that," Spike mumbled and was happy to be saved by
the kids rushing back into the room.
Spike grabbed the coats they'd bought the other day and made sure
each of them was wearing one.
"But 's not even cold outside!" Dor whined.
"Doesn't matter. You keep this coat on, unless Xander says it's
okay." Spike gave Dor his best 'Master' look.
"Yes, Spike," Dor agreed grudgingly.
"Can't you come with us?" Lonnie asked as Spike bundled her in her
"Sorry, luv. But you'll only be gone for a few and then we'll all squat
out in the living room with the snacks and movies, okay?" Spike
asked, kissing her on the cheek.
"Okay," Lonnie agreed reluctantly.
Xander observed the byplay with concern. Lonnie really was afraid to
be separated from either of them. He supposed it was only natural,
but Xander wished he knew what he could do to help.
Xander watched as Spike turned to give Dor a goodbye kiss as well.
The boy made an 'ick' face, but he turned his cheek up anyway,
waiting for the peck. Xander sighed. How could Spike think he
wouldn't make a good dad?
When it was his turn for a goodbye kiss, Xander eagerly leaned
forward. Before pulling away completely he pressed his lips to
Spike's ear and whispered. "I think you'd make a bloody brilliant
dad." Xander tried for the accent, but it came out wonky and ended
up making Spike laugh. Which was his goal anyway, so score!
They kissed again, and only stopped when Dor tugged on Xander's
coat urging them to leave. "Better go." Xander grinned, taking both
kids' hands in his. "Be back in a jiffy." Then they were out the door,
and Spike was left alone.
Spike sat down on the couch and considered Xander's words. What
kind of da would he make? It wasn't as if he had any real examples,
his father having died when Spike was barely twelve. And he
definitely wasn't going to use Angelus as a role model. So how did
he know what kind of da he would be? How did Xander know?
Well, maybe now wasn't the time to think about it. Maybe he could
just shove it aside the way he and Xander were shoving aside their
worry over losing the kids. He was a one day at a time kind of vamp.
So that's how he'd handle this. One day at a time. So far, so good.
Part Five ~ The Hard Questions
When Xander and the kids returned home they did indeed have
several good movies, Goobers, and extra-buttery popcorn.
"Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Please? Please? Please?" Dor was
begging for his choice of first movie.
Xander laughed and sorted through the pile of DVDs they'd brought
home. "Which one?" They'd gotten both The Sorcerer's Stone and
the Chamber of Secrets, at Dor's insistence, of course.
"Stone! Stone!" Dor was clapping in between grabbing handfuls of
Xander looked at Spike who was grinning foolishly at Dor's antics and
then at Lonnie. Both shrugged their acceptance and seated
themselves comfortably on the living room floor, where they had piled
all the snacky goodness.
Before joining them, Xander made sure to turn off all the lights. With
the curtains firmly shut, the room was almost completely dark. "Wow,
it's almost like actually being at the movie theater," Lonnie
"Yeah, luv, but this way we don't have to worry about any other
wankers ruining the movie for us." Spike ducked Xander's balled fist.
"Spike, language!" Xander admonished him.
"Sorry, pet." He pecked Xan on the cheek in apology, although in
truth he never actually considered 'wanker' to be a 'bad' word. But he
supposed he'd have a devil of time explaining if one of the kids asked
what it meant.
They spent the afternoon sprawled on the floor, eating junk food and
watching Harry Potter battle all sorts of nefarious villains. By the time
they made it through the second movie, Dor was yawning widely.
"Time for your nap, pet." Spike scooped him up from the floor and
carried him back to the bedroom. Xander gave Lonnie a look and she
followed, also yawning sporadically.
They climbed into bed together, Xander and Spike tucking them in on
each side. As they were straightening the covers, Dor blinked at
them sleepily. "Poor Harry," he whispered, drifting closer and closer
"Why's that, luv?" Spike asked, as he finished tugging the wrinkles
out of the coverlet.
"He had to live with the mean old Dursleys. He didn't have a mom
and dad to love him," Dor answered before closing his eyes and
falling into a light slumber.
Xander's eyes filled with tears. He blinked them back not wanting to
alert the kids to the reason why Dor's statement had caused him so
much pain. He looked up to find Spike watching him, the vampire's
own eyes wetter than normal.
Xander leant down to kiss Lonnie on the cheek. She had been silent
the entire time, making no comment on Dor's remark or its effect on
Xander. "Get some rest, sweetheart." Both Xander and Spike quickly
escaped the room before anything more could be said.
"Oh, Spike." Xander breathed a sad sigh. "How are we going to tell
They were cuddled on the couch together, the Die Hard DVD playing
in the background. Xander hadn't wanted to talk about Dor's
comments when they'd first come out to the living room so he'd put
the movie on. But after a few minutes Xander found that he couldn't
stop the worry and had to voice his concerns.
"Maybe it's time to have a sit down with them and explain," Spike
"Explain what? That their parents are never coming for them? That
they're gone for good?" Xander couldn't keep the anger from his
voice. He didn't know where the feeling had come from, but the fact
that these two little kids were left all alone made his blood boil. He
wasn't angry with their parents, of course, just at the situation itself.
"Calm down, Xanpet," Spike soothed, running his hands up and
down Xander's arm. "They're not alone, yeah? Even if we never find
any relatives, they'll always have us."
"How do you always know what I'm thinking?" Xander gave Spike a
"Years of study, luv." Spike returned Xander's smile with one of his
own. He reached up to run a finger along Xander's jaw line before
leaning toward his mate for a comforting kiss. "So, what shall we tell
"Well, you're right that no matter what happens they'll always have
us." Xander's smile became more genuine. "Thank you, Spike."
"For what, Xan?"
"For being you. For being the kind of man that wouldn't think twice
about taking in two kids who need a home," Xander answered.
"Don't you mean the kind of vamp?" Spike smirked.
Xander just continued to smile taking Spike's hand in his and rubbing
circles on Spike's palm with his thumb. "Nope. Man," Xander
rebuked. "You know you're not just a monster to me, Spike."
"I know, luv." Spike's heart contracted. Xander was right, Spike
knew how his mate felt about him. But it always made his undead
heart beat in his chest whenever Xander said the words aloud.
"Anyway, maybe we should just start by making them understand that
they won't ever have to worry about being alone. Worry about not
having a family." Xander got the conversation back on track.
"Why would we have to worry about that?" A small voice interrupted
Xander's head whipped around to find Lonnie standing in the
doorway. Her eyes were huge in her face as she stood staring at
them, chewing hard on her bottom lip.
Xander's voice got stuck in his throat and he found himself unable to
speak. His heart was hammering in his chest and he could feel his
eyes begin to water. How much had she heard?
"Luv..." Spike began but the word trailed off into nothing when he
realized he didn't know what to say.
"They're not coming back are they?" Lonnie whispered, her eyes on
the ground, her big toe drawing circles in the carpet. "They...they
went to heaven, didn't they?" Her eyes came up to meet Xander's in
time to see the first of his tears fall.
And then Lonnie was running. She raced across the room and
launched herself into Xander's arms, sobbing all the way.
held her close as she cried, giving Spike a pleading look. Spike
wished he could give Xander what he wanted. But there was no
getting around death. And Lonnie's grief would only wane over time.
So Spike did the only thing he could do, he wrapped his arms
around Xander and purred softly. They stayed like that, huddled
together on the couch for what seemed like hours.
Finally, Lonnie's sobs died down, and she pulled away from Xander's
chest to wipe at her wet cheeks. "Are we going to stay with you
"Oh, sweetie." Xander kissed her softly on the crown of her head.
"You can always stay with us. But we're going to try to find some
relatives. They might want to take care of you. And they would want
to know about your mom and dad, too," he answered truthfully.
"Relatives?" Lonnie asked, confused at the big word.
"Like aunts and uncles and cousins," Xander explained. "Do you
know any of your relatives names?"
"Nuh uh." Lonnie shook her head. "We just had mommy and daddy."
"You've never met anyone else in your family, luv?" Spike asked,
"No." Lonnie shook her head again.
"Okay, well we'll just have to find them the hard way," Xander
"But you said you'd take care of us! Why do you have to find
someone else? Don't you want us?" Lonnie was almost in tears
"Oh, God!" Xander exclaimed. "Of course we do! We just want to do
what's best for you, sweetheart." Xander swept Lonnie back into his
arms and hugged her close.
"Does Dor know, as well?" Spike asked after a bit.
"No," Lonnie answered. "I didn't tell him what I thought. I didn't want
to scare him."
"How did you know?" Xander asked, turning Lonnie's face up so he
could see into her eyes.
"They sniffle told me to wait in the car, but I looked out and saw the
big monster." Lonnie wiped at the fresh tears. "I heard yelling. And
sniffle I unbuckled Dor and pushed him to the other side."
Spike nodded, remembering how they'd found the children huddled
on the far side of the bench seat. "That was right smart of you, luv,"
Spike praised her. "And very brave to try and keep your brother
"We should tell Dor." Lonnie suddenly stood straighter. "He's waking
Spike's brow furrowed at Lonnie's comment. "You know Dor's
"It tickles." Lonnie shrugged.
"What tickles, luv?"
"My head." She pointed to the back of her head.
"Your head tickles when Dor's around?" Xander asked.
"Only sometimes. But I can tell when he's awake and when he's
sleeping," Lonnie told them.
"Maybe we can wait a little while before we tell him?" Xander
suggested, wanting to put off the unpleasant task.
"He'll know something's wrong," Lonnie said.
"Because I'm sad."
Xander was done trying to figure out the mental link that existed
between the two siblings. His head hurt and he was exhausted from
the emotional embrace they'd all just shared. It was something that
could wait for another day. Besides, from the look on Spike's face
Xander had a feeling that the vampire was thinking about the
implications of Lonnie's statements enough for the both of them.
They all untangled themselves from the couch, each man dipping
down to kiss Lonnie on the cheek before heading back toward the
bedroom. Lonnie ran ahead, wanting to be there before Dor was fully
awake and wondering where she was.
"You ready for this, luv?" Spike asked, his hand clasping Xander's as
they made their way through the apartment.
"No," Xander answered truthfully.
Spike's only response was to squeeze his lover's hand as they
walked into the bedroom together.
T B C
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