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Getting On


by
Tisienne Blue



Part Thirty-Three



He was reluctant to let his bloke go, regardless of the fact that Xander was clearly trying to pull away. William wasn’t sure of why his beloved brunette would be doing that unless it was to let him down easy now that he had a child and a…

But Xander didn’t have a woman, Will reminded himself.

He didn’t even have what anyone would refer to as a girlfriend unless it was Will, and though he caught more often than he pitched, he definitely didn’t count himself as a girl.

“Stop it,” William nearly growled as he tightened his hold on his love’s tense and shaking form. “Said we need to talk, Xan… not that we need to be miles apart while we’re doing it.”

It was the carefully guarded tone of Will’s voice that had Xander shaking even more.

They’d been moments away from declaring themselves together—in words and with symbols and everything—and then this had happened, and…

And God!

What the fuck was he supposed to do?

What the fuck was he supposed to feel?

He might have a kid!

He—Xander Harris, or Alexander Summers-Giles… whichever, because that was the last thing he was worried about right then—might be a father!

Xander had never even considered that such a thing was possible.

He’d never even asked himself whether he wanted children, simply because his own desires had seemed to preclude such a thing from happening… and the thought that the one night he’d been so out of it and had spent himself inside a woman might have resulted in something he’d never even considered left him… breathless.

“W-william,” he stuttered, doing his best to sound calm, “I… you know I didn’t know… don’t you? I w-would have told you if I’d even thought it was p-p-possible. I… please don’t... hate me…”

And suddenly William found himself imagining a future that included himself, his love, and a child they would raise together.

He envisioned picnics… PTA meetings… coaching numberless football—or soccer, since he was in America—games.

He pictured Xander’s child crawling into bed with them whenever he was frightened by a bad dream or even wanted just a bit of extra attention.

He did his best to imagine what it might be like to see the child grow and blossom with two parents—male as they might both be—and suddenly he understood something about himself that he’d never even considered before.

He wanted to be a parent.

He wanted that.

He wanted to look into his son’s or daughter’s face and smile. Laugh. Twist his lips and cheeks into contortions that would pull peals of innocent giggles from someone who looked to him for happiness, stability and guidance.

And that being so, William couldn’t do anything but release his love’s still-twitchy body and step back.

“Know this is as much a shock to you as it is to me, Xander,” William allowed, his eyes finding deeply frightened brown in less than a heartbeat. “No way you could have known, is there?”

Xander’s throat convulsed, though he wasn’t sure of whether he was trying to swallow or keep himself from puking. “I… Jesus, Will. How is this even happening? And tonight of all nights? I mean…” He blushed. “Like… forty minutes ago I wasn’t thinking about anything but getting our rings on each other and now I might be a father? I’m twenty-six, William! How can I be anything like…”

He sighed. “I’ll never be as good a Dad as mine is. And you never signed on to get all married up with a guy with a kid, and… we should cancel tonight, right? Because it’s not fair to you, either. And if it is my kid, I… how can I choose? I love you, William… I do! But if that guy is right, I…”

He didn’t know how to say it; didn’t know how to make Will understand.

Fortunately, William thought, he was a good few steps ahead of his bloke, now that he’d had time to think.


*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*



Gunn’s head was spinning with all the questions Xander and William’s family were throwing at him.

He’d been answering as best he could, but then the little redheaded Giles had snuck up behind him and demanded that he tell everyone ‘the real truth’… and he’d snapped.

“Fine, Mrs. Osborne! As soon as you do!”

Unfortunately for Willow Osborne, her father and her Uncle Ethan heard, and while nobody was truly derailed from the ‘Xander has a kid?’ train, attention was diverted for a while.

Long enough, Gunn hoped, for the two men still out on the balcony to come to some sort of an understanding.


*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*



“If this wee one is yours, Xander,” William said softly as he moved closer to his love, “we’ll do exactly what we should. We’ll love him and raise him right and never let him think there’s anything wrong with being different. Because all children feel different from their peers.”

“Besides,” Will went on with a hopeful smile, “this is Texas. Any child with two fathers is obviously going to feel a bit… ooomph…”

His eyes closed as Xander’s lips closed over his own, the strong, flexible tongue he loved so much delving deep and hard into his willing mouth.

“The amazing thing,” William said minutes later, “is that with as many women as I slept with during my ‘Spike’ years, you’re the one who may have a child, luv.”

Even with all that William had said, Xander needed to be certain.

“I… if the kid is mine, I…what does that… mean. For us, Will. For tonight.”

It was as close as he was going to get to asking whether his lover wanted to postpone things… or even call a complete halt to them.

As much as he wanted to play it all off as cool, Will couldn’t.

In fact, all he could do was smile at his bloke and pull full red lips to his own, nibbling at them tauntingly for a few moments before forcing himself to draw back.

“Means we go back inside, pet… say the words we’ve prepared… exchange those bloody perfect rings… and duck out as soon as we can. Reserved us a suite at the Ritz, I did.” William smirked. “I can’t wait to sink into you in the bath tub. Checked it out ahead of time, luv, and… bigger than the one here, that tub is.”

“Jesus…” Xander moaned, his brain not even close to assimilating the fact that Will didn’t seem bothered by him maybe having a kid, “Baby… please. Don’t say things like that when we’re hours away from achieving it!”

Blue eyes sparkles wickedly, even as William glanced through the glass door… and when he saw that his bedroom was empty, he dropped to his knees right there on the hard cement of the balcony…

Only to be dragged up again after less than a moment of fumbling at his bloke’s pants.

“Not letting you hurt yourself, Will. We’ve had this talk.” Xander’s eyes narrowed, spearing into William’s wide blue. “I love you. And even with your bad leg being so much better, you are not gonna be kneeling on concrete. Not even to please me.”

William sighed but finally let his love pull him upright.

“Guess we should head inside and do our thing, then…”

Xander frowned, entirely sure that his lover should be far more concerned about the possible child than he seemed to be. He’d accepted the notion much too easily, to Xander’s way of thinking, and… William would likely change his mind about that later. His spur of the moment reaction was nice, but once he’d had a chance to really think about it, Xander was pretty sure his tune would change.

Still, they could deal with that later. Not much later, but just… not right then.

Right then, Xander was going to be selfish and get himself hitched, however symbolically.

“Oh, hell,” he groaned as he and William stepped back into their bedroom and closed the glass door behind them, “Willow was right. We are getting married.”

The blond laughed softly and gave his bloke a swift glance from the corner of his eye. “Just figuring that out, pet? Now, come along. We’ve friends and family waiting.”


*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*



As ceremonies went, it had been short but sweet.

Not too sweet, of course, because they were both men, after all, and neither of them was what could be called particularly ‘swish’.

Still, it had been… just right, Xander thought with a smile, and so had the arrangements William had made with the Ritz downtown.

He’d never really been a champagne kind of guy, not even with having grown up appreciating fine wines, but in this case? He figured it was appropriate.

So champagne… and a good cigar… and a naked William beside him in the big, soft hotel bed, and… oh, yeah. Xander was definitely one happy camper. When he wasn’t worrying about whether Drusilla’s kid was really his, too, anyway… or wondering just how William would react if it were true.

It was one thing to shrug off a possibility, but a fact? Well, that might be a very different story.

Added to that concern was the realization that… he and his love were planning to start a new business. They were both almost frighteningly busy with school and work on both their parts. Or would be when William started his courses in a couple weeks while still working at the theater, and… how would either of them have the time to spend with a child? Assuming the kid really was his and what if Will freaked and suddenly realized that he didn’t want or need a guy with a kid, and…

And he was going around in circles, Xander finally noticed with a sigh.

William frowned slightly and set his own champagne flute on the bedside table before liberating Xander’s glass and the rather smelly cigar from him and doing the same with them, putting the burning bundle of tobacco out in the liquid.

“Right, then,” he grumbled as he sat up and gave his bloke a stern stare. “You’re supposed to be thinking only with that lovely cock of yours for the next few days, luv, so whatever it is that’s preying on your mind? You might want to consider just coming out with it before you drive me ‘round the bend, yes?”

Dark eyes crinkled slightly at the corners as Xander fought the smile that wanted to form in response to William’s irritated tone. It wasn’t a laughing matter, after all.

“I just…” he bit his lip softly and shook his head. “I don’t get it,” he finally said a moment later. “I… we just found out like a few hours ago that I might… I mean, I could have a kid, Will! And we never talked… never even thought about… and how can you be taking this so damned calmly! You seem all… fine with it and I’m not even sure that I’M okay with the idea, and what’s gonna happen if it’s true? I… God! How can I choose?”

“Xander…” William started, only to be spoken over as what was clearly an enormous amount of emotional upheaval spilled from his love’s lips.

“I love you, William! I don’t want to lose you, but if it is my kid, I have to do what’s right by him, don’t I? I mean, I can’t just… ship him off somewhere and not be a Dad, right? But I’d be so fucking miserable without you and I just know I’d end up resenting the hell out of him for making me lose you and I don’t want that either and it’s all just so… fucked! I don’t know what I’m doing, Will, and… maybe we should have cancelled the ceremony until we figured all of this out but we didn’t and now I’m just…” Well, nearly sobbing, Xander admitted, his breaths coming in large gasps as he tried to keep himself from doing just that.

For his part, William was torn between comforting Xander and smacking him repeatedly, so instead of doing either, he simply clenched his hands into fists on his thighs and gave the brunette a hard glare.

“You. Bloody. Prat.” He nearly snarled the words, his eyes flashing in the gentle light surrounding them. “You honestly think… well, clearly you do because you just bloody well said so!”

It took less than a moment’s effort to fling himself across his bloke’s lap and settle there, staring into those wide, deeply confused brown eyes, his hands still fisted but against Xander’s chest now as he straddled him.

“Think this is a game, luv? That I’m some fickle little shit who’d leave you over something you didn’t ever know about?” He bared his teeth, hoping it looked fierce rather than pathetic. “Think I’m a fair-weather-William, going to run off the minute something doesn’t go according to plan?”

Xander blinked and shook his head, both alarmed and aroused by the sharp gaze and intractable expression on his lover’s pale face. “No, I…”

“Shut it,” Will snapped. “My turn to talk now, isn’t it?”

“You’re right, Xander,” he agreed harshly, “We didn’t talk about kids. No reason we should have, yes? But shit obviously bloody well happens and I’d thought that we meant enough to each other that we’d figure this out. Together, you daft git! And if I didn’t bloody well leave you when you thought that fucker Larry’d given you the bloody plague, why do you think I’d cut and run over this?”

William’s glare sharpened further still and his hands opened to grasp hard at tight shoulders, shaking his bloke hard.

“I love you, you great, sodding pillock! And if the worst thing we ever have to deal with is an unexpected child, then we’ll be bloody fucking blessed, won’t we? Thought I made that clear on the balcony before, but apparently not. So here it is, luv. In words of very few syllables so you’ll have no chance of misunderstanding.”

He took a deep breath and released it, then took one more. “It’s like this, Xan. Love you. Need you. Won’t let you go. Told you ages back that I’m keeping you. And if this kid is yours, we’ll figure it out. Without sending the poor wee bloke off somewhere.”

William nodded sharply as Xander’s eyes started to lose the bare edge of panic. “It’s not as though we don’t have family, yes? Your father and Ethan are sure to be able to help with ideas and such for how to make this work. Smart couple of gents they are… and I don’t think they’re likely to turn their noses up at a grandchild, no matter the origin. So you need to bloody well stop making yourself miserable, pet.” A soft sigh. “Told you, Xan. For better or worse, right? We just seem to have different opinions on which one this is.”

And the thing that shouldn’t have surprised Xander, but still somehow did, was that he was still underestimating his lover. He couldn’t be entirely sure, but he somehow thought that if their positions had been reversed, he wouldn’t have reacted anything like as well as William had. And maybe that was why he was surprised, he suddenly realized.

William was the better man. It was obvious. And Will deserved so much more than just… him.

Even so, Xander was for damned sure going to do everything in his power to make sure William never found that out.

He bit his lip again then nodded slowly, relaxing just a bit when those intense blue eyes softened into the loving gentleness he was used to. “I… I guess I’m just… scared,” Xander whispered. “I don’t know how to do this, baby. I just…”

A smug smile crossed Will’s lips then and his hands slid slowly down from his bloke’s shoulders, fingertips tracing slow, random circles around small male nipples. “We’ll figure it out together, luv,” he answered just as softly, reminding the bloke, “but not now, alright? I seem to recall telling you that we have a bathtub to… christen, after all.”

His own hands gripped lightly at William’s thighs and Xander groaned as the slightly smaller man rocked just a bit on him. “Fuck, baby,” he muttered tightly, “you and your mood swings just get me every time…”

“And always will, pet. Like I said… keeping you, yes?”

“Oh… fuck, yeah…”


*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*



In the scant moments of lucidity Xander experienced, he had to admit that Will had been right about the tub. It was bigger than the one at their place. Hell, it was more of an indoor jacuzzi than anything else.

Of course, those rational moments were few and far between because William had somehow stumbled upon the perfect combination of driving and being ridden, aided by the low plastic-and-metal stool he’d managed to fit on the floor of the tub… the stool Will was currently sitting on, both legs extended before him and slightly parted while Xander slowly lowered himself onto his long, ready shaft.

“G-god,” Xander moaned, his head falling back as he slid low and fully down on hot flesh in the warm, bubbling water. His hands gripped tightly at the rim of porcelain behind William’s head, even as his ankles crossed on the slick bottom of it, legs wrapped around Will and the stool. “Jesus, baby…”

Pale, elegant fingers grasped tightly at darker hips, dragging the perfect sheath of his bloke’s body down the last inch or so, his own hips rocking up into that slippery bliss. “Bloody fucking hell,” Will groaned in return, holding his love still while he shifted back and forth, his cock tapping lightly at the small node inside Xander then receding just enough to deny too much pressure. “Think we need to move, Xan…”

The brunette gasped his agreement, trying to raise himself and frowning when the hands on his hips clenched tighter. “Baby… can’t move if…”

William’s chuckle came out shakier than he’d planned, but that was fine. He was inside his love, after all. “Meant… God, pet. Feels so good…” He shook his head, finding his trail of thought again. “Meant we need to move. Get a place with a tub just… like… this…” And with that, he let his grip relax, guiding his bloke up a good four inches or so, then hauling him back down. “Ah….”

“Unnnngh… y-yeah… fuck, b-baby, d-do that again…”

It was the give and take of their motions that had Xander keening, the sound rising nearly to a wail as William lifted and shifted him, pulling and tugging his water-lightened body as he chose… and Xander loved it; loved that they were both in control, both nearly lost in the sensations, even while they did everything they knew of to drive each other to that sharp and blurred line of completion and then over it into pleasure so strong it became painful and needed and the best sort of torment there was.

One hand released a strong, flexing hip and William grit his teeth, trying desperately to hold on for long enough to… there!

His fingers wrapped firmly around his love’s throbbing shaft, his own cock pulsing in time as Xander lifted himself nearly off of him then pressed down roughly. “Luv…!” Will cried, his fist moving wildly under the water, stroking and pulling, the small bit of friction doing just what he’d wanted it to.

“G-god! Will!” His back bowed, body heaving wickedly as the truly enormous knot of coiled tension that had been building in the pit of Xander’s stomach unfurled with an unexpected speed and violence, sending harsh, rough pulses of seed from his tight, hard sac through his throbbing shaft and out into the freedom of the water.

He howled again, body clenching into one long, vibrating, needy thing when he felt William shake and shudder and spill deep and hard into his willing body, the sensation filling him from head to toe as he held himself impaled, unwilling to lose even a moment of that perfect feeling.

William wasn’t sure but he thought he might have blacked out for a moment; simply because he had no recollection of when exactly Xander’s body had relaxed, but… as his bloke was still there on him, and as he was still buried deep inside his love’s form, he didn’t much care if he had.

His hands moved slowly, finding the long, corded muscles at either side of his love’s spine and he stroked slowly, simply, while he caught his breath.

“So. What do you say, Xander?” he murmured a good few minutes later, lips brushing one tanned ear lightly. “Think we should get a bathtub like this for home?”

His answering groan was weak, Xander knew, but he was still caught up in the small echoes of pleasure. “God,” he managed to mumble against William’s shoulder, “yeah. It’ll be the death of me, but… what a way to go. That was… inspired.”

“We’ll do it again in a little while, luv,” Will whispered with a smirk. “Switch it up, yes? Been wanting to ride you for a good long while, Xan. Think this’ll work, what with the stool and all…”

And oh, God. “Definitely gonna be the death of me, baby.” A slow, wet kiss to Will’s neck and Xander was smirking, too. “Can hardly wait…”

He’d worry about everything else later… like when there was an actual reason to worry. Until then, though, he was just going to enjoy the moment. The many moments he was likely to share with his lover… for the rest of their lives.





Epilogue



By the time Lindsey had found out where everyone was that day a few months earlier, it had been too late.

He was still kind of pissed off that everybody but he had apparently been invited to watch William marry the construction worker he’d been so hot for… and the fact that Xander Harris had turned out to be a Giles—and even more importantly, a Summers-Giles—had just added insult to injury.

Not that he could have done anything to break up the ceremony even if he’d wanted to, because Anya would definitely have had a problem with that, but… it would have been nice to be invited.

Or at least to have known where everyone was so he would have had a decent excuse when his wife had asked him what he’d done that day and night.

That was then, though, and he supposed it didn’t really matter anymore. His friends all knew now exactly what Lindsey had become, and while they obviously thought it was funny, there was nothing he could do about it.

Anya was in charge and Lindsey would never have another lover… not that he necessarily wanted one, of course, but he was fairly certain that his little blonde wife had ruined him for all other women and men.

Some days, he resented the hell out of that, but mostly… he figured he deserved everything she did to him. He must, because he was actually starting to like it.

He was pulled from his reverie by the sharp tap of manicured nails against his chin.

“Lindsey,” the blonde said insistently, “unless you really want to pay another visit to the proctologist, you’ll focus. We’re in the middle of something here and you’re not paying attention. I don’t particularly enjoy hurting you, you know, but I will. It’s very important that you know your place.”

Lindsey winced, well aware of the fact that his wife was more than capable of doing just that. It wasn’t a threat, after all. It was fair warning.

“Yes, Anya. I… I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”

One sculpted brow rose. “See that it doesn’t,” the woman said before going back to her work, which was—of course—training her husband to obey.


*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*



Oz wasn’t really comfortable yet with the Gileses now that they knew.

In fact, he didn’t think he ever really would be.

Slipping off to Maryland with Willow had seemed like a good idea at the time; especially because she’d been ‘late’ then, but it had—thank God—been a false alarm, which didn’t change the fact that they’d gotten married without even telling her father or Uncle—or even Xander—that they were dating.

Of course, Willow’s brother had figured out the sleeping together aspect, but… not the rest, and even so…

They’d discussed all the options before they’d taken that step because Willow did still have a lot of school to go before she achieved her goals, but neither of them had really been comfortable with the idea of adoption and frankly, while it would have been inconvenient to have a baby right then, she hadn’t wanted an abortion and on reflection, neither had he.

That it had turned out to be an entirely unnecessary marriage didn’t really matter, though, because he did love her and they were good together, and now…

Well, the cat was out of the bag, so to speak, thanks to Xander and Will’s friend Charles, and…

In the three months since then, he’d been talked at more often than he would have believed, by everyone from Buffy to Giles—he still couldn’t quite bring himself to call the man ‘Dad’—to Ethan Rayne, and hadn’t that been frightening each and every time?

The entire family—even Xander—seemed to be okay with the marriage, now that some time had gone by and Willow was letting them see her and Oz as a couple, but he still felt… wrong. Guilty, even.

Fortunately, he thought he had a way around that thanks to Cordelia Chase, of all people.

He’d talked it over with Willow and they agreed, so all that was left was to… beard the lion in its own den, as William would likely have phrased it.

He felt kind of stupid, but if it worked it was worth it.

Oz straightened his tie and squared his shoulders before knocking on Giles’s office door and walking in.

“Mister Giles,” he said simply, because he really wasn’t one for many words, “I’d like your permission to marry your daughter. Publicly.”

Giles had been deprived of throwing a big shindig for Buffy when she’d eloped, after all, and… even though Oz was already married to Willow, maybe Giles would see just how much he truly respected him.

Giles blinked once before hiding a grin behind one hand as he gazed consideringly at the young man standing so stiffly before him. Yes, he’d been rather shocked to see the two young people together at Xander’s ceremony, but he would have gotten used to the idea in time. Daniel Osborne was a good young man, after all, and Willow could have done much worse. Of course, then he’d learned that they were not only involved but had been so for long enough that they’d somehow gotten married without his knowledge—or Ethan’s—and he had possibly reacted less than well.

Now, though… the young man was standing by Willow, even in the face of Ethan’s less than subtle warnings, and just as that same sort of steadfastness had impressed him when it had been William standing by Xander, he found that he approved.

He almost wanted to ring Ethan to come and give the boy a bit more grief, because… well, as his lover had put it, it just wasn’t on to sneak about and marry one’s employer’s youngest child without even a by your leave. But no… Daniel had clearly suffered enough if the steadily growing worry in the young man’s eyes was any indication.

“Why?” he finally demanded, his voice simply curious. “You’ve already married her. Why do you want to do it again?”

Oz sighed softly and met the older man’s gaze sincerely. “I love her. And so do you. We didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. We just weren’t thinking about it like that. But she’s your daughter and she’d feel better if we got married with you there. I’d feel better if I knew you thought I might be good enough for her someday. And…” he paused and sighed again. “I don’t think we really feel married since you weren’t there.”

In the end, all Giles could do was nod. “Alright, then. I suppose… you may marry Willow, Daniel. However, I do expect her to complete her education. Make no mistake about that. And I suppose I shall have to give you a raise so that you are able to keep her in the manner to which I’d like her to remain accustomed.”

And it all came down to negotiating, which Rupert Giles was very good at. It had taken him less than a week to solve Xander’s little… problem, after all. And if he managed to negotiate Daniel into accepting everything he thought his youngest child should have, then who could blame him?

Certainly not the rather dazed-looking redheaded young man who suddenly seemed unable to do anything but blink and nod at him.

Ethan was going to be bloody well annoyed at having been left out of this, of course, but… that had its benefits too, Giles reminded himself smugly.


*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*



Jenny Callendar smiled and nodded quickly as she accepted her dropped book from the tall young man who’d retrieved it for her. “Thanks,” she said, still amazed by how her life had changed in just a few months.

Dru’s child really was Xander Harris’s… and Xander Harris was really Alexander Summers-Giles, and that had led to all sorts of new things for both her and her sister’s kid.

She hadn’t known what to expect when Charles had sat her down and told her the results of the DNA test… and Xander had been ‘away’ for a few days after. But Charles had told her who the young man was, which had seemed hopeful… and then that he was gay and had a ‘permanent companion’.

It had worried her at first; even more so when she wondered what a gay man would want with a kid, but then… well, then she’d actually met Xander and he hadn’t been anything like what she’d feared and neither had his boyfriend. In fact, if Charles hadn’t told her they were together, she never would have guessed.

Well, aside from the small touches and matching rings, anyway.

Still, they’d seemed like good men when she’d first met them. She’d never known anyone who was gay before. Not that she knew of, anyway, although the behavior of some of her friends and classmates back in El Paso seemed a good bit similar to the way Xander and Will were, so maybe she’d just been blind.

She’d barely had a chance to get somewhat comfortable with the two men when Xander’s father had appeared and somehow taken over everything and that was when Jenny had found herself agreeing to all manner of things she’d never even considered.

‘You are the Aunt of a Summers-Giles now, young lady,’ Rupert—call me Uncle, dear. It’ll be easier for all of us—Giles had announced, ‘and as such, you must expect to be held up to a certain level of scrutiny. I’m afraid that your little community college in El Paso is simply not acceptable, no matte how much you might wish it to be. I’ll have my people arrange to transfer you to a good school locally. Now, as for your living situation…’

It had only been the fact that Xander was clearly laughing silently as his father reordered her life that convinced Jenny to go along with things… and that was how she’d found herself in a stunning two bedroom apartment not far from the campus of the Art Institute of Dallas where she’d been accepted mid-term in the media arts program.

She’d tried to put her foot down when the older Englishman had informed her that she would be receiving a car and an allowance while studying, but he was damned hard to refuse and… Drusilla’s long-ago words came back to her again.

‘Xander Harris… he will carry you into the world, just as what I carry will someday take me from it’, she’d said… and maybe her sister hadn’t been quite as crazy as she’d thought, but that was neither here nor there at the moment.

“Thanks,” she said again, settling the book precariously on top of the stack she already held.

“You’re welcome,” the young guy said, looking at her appreciatively. “Uh, wait… I’m Graham. Graham Miller. Fashion Design. My brother Riley’s in the business. Well, half-brother, since he’s a Finn, but I’ve, uh… seen you around.”

“Jenny,” she answered, trying not to blush. The guy was tall and looked way more built—and straight—than what she’d have expected from his major. “Jenny Callendar.”

A wide smile lit up the young man’s face and he fell into step beside her. “So, Jenny Callendar, can I interest you in an incredibly crappy cup of coffee? Joe’s is right around the corner and they have what might just be the worst coffee on Earth. And don’t worry… it’s incredibly overpriced, too.”

Well, if nothing else, at least the guy was honest… and kind of funny, too. At least, he had her wanting to laugh, anyway.

“Sure… that would be nice. Graham.”

Yeah, things were definitely different, but Jenny thought she could deal with that.


*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*



Oddly enough, Cordelia wasn’t nervous. Not even with her new Clinic opening up.

It didn’t hurt that Xander and William had introduced her to a friend of Angel’s by the name of Allen Francis Doyle… or that ‘Doyle’, as the blue-eyed brunette liked to be called, was quite possibly the best medical administrator in all of Dallas.

So he said, anyway, and she hadn’t had any reason to doubt him so far.

She stood in the lobby of her new offices and gazed possessively around her.

Everything was ready. The new machines were humming along merrily, the lights weren’t flickering even a little and… and she so owed the Aurelius family for this.

Even after she paid off the personal loan Buffy and Angel had given her, she’d still owe them.

After all, it was William’s old Coach who had commented on how much better the blond’s leg was when they’d run into each other shortly after he and Xander had rejoined the world, and William had given Cordelia all the credit.

Now she was booked solid for the next four months, just from the word of mouth advertising to coaches in other sports, as well as his own.

She bit her lip slightly, brow furrowing as she wondered what else she could do to make her first day in the new place just perfect, only to smile hugely when an extra grande super-skinny mocha-soy latte appeared in front of her, held by a strong, untanned hand.

“Thanks, Doyle,” she almost purred, silently admitting that while the young man wasn’t her usual type, there was a certain… depth to him that she appreciated. Not to mention, he wasn’t exactly hard on the eyes.

“Anytime, Princess,” the man murmured, the lilting tones of his accent making the words sound like a caress.

Yeah… things were going pretty well for one Cordelia Chase… and she was going to make damned sure they kept going that way. Starting with…

“So what are you doing for dinner tonight, Doyle?”

After all, she’d been alone for far too long, and… unless she was deeply mistaken, the man was just as intrigued by her as she was rapidly becoming with him.

Doyle looked surprised for just a moment but then he gave Cordelia that little half-smile that had always served him well. He shrugged slightly, not bothering to even pretend to be anything but hopeful.

“I’m guessin’ that’s up to you, isn’t it?” he answered plainly.

“Oh, good. Xander says there’s a really good Tex-Mex-ish kinda place maybe twenty minutes from here. Mamacita’s. That’s not too much of a drive, right?”

Doyle nodded, sighing silently. “Tell me what you want and I’ll go pick it up later.”

Cordelia’s eyes rolled exaggeratedly. “Fine, if that’s what you want. I was kind of hoping we could go there together, though. Once my appointments are done.”

She grinned hugely at the stunned expression on the man’s face. “Unless you have other plans?”

“No, I…” Doyle forced himself to breathe. “Nothin’ I can’t get out of…”

“Good. Then it’s a date.”

Oh, yeah… life was good.


*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*`*



William chuckled as he watched the little brunette fly around the playground, pausing here and there to pick up and fling a rock, a piece of bark, a frog… whatever.

“Definitely your child, luv,” he murmured to the much larger brunette beside him on the bench when the little one tripped and fell against a tree then got up and glared at the trunk as though it had done it on purpose.

“Hey! I am so more coordinated than that!” Xander answered, pretending to be offended.

“Well, yes. Of course, you’ve had a good many years more practice, haven’t you?” Will teased, his fingers squeezing his love’s lightly.

A loud laugh sprang from Xander’s lips and had the immediate effect of drawing the child in question to the men. “Daddy! Will-pop! What’s funny?”

Christ. The child had Xander’s pouty grin down pat and as always, it melted William into a large puddle of goo. “I was just making fun of your Dad, pet. You know, you remind me of him in so many ways. Still, guess it’s that apple and tree thing Cordelia’s always talking about, yes?”

Big brown eyes in a tiny face looked confused for a moment before going back to the important part of what the men had said. “Like Aunt Cordy! Is she comin’ over soon?” There was virtually no pause as those eyes moved on, looking past them and seeing another young family arriving. “Ricky’s here!”

Xander and William watched with amusement as their little one ran off to play with a lighter brunette.

“What’s that look for?” Xander pried, shifting closer to press one slow kiss to Will’s cotton-clad shoulder.

The blond grinned and shrugged just a bit. “Just thinking… how old were you when you started liking boys, luv? Because it seems that’s another thing you two have in common.” He winked.

Xander shivered slightly. “Okay, that is not funny, Will! It’s not funny now and it definitely won’t be funny in ten years when we’re trying to beat them off with a stick… and not like that, you big perv! God, you so need to stop talking to Uncle Ethan!”

William just chuckled and stood, pulling his love to his feet, as well. “I like your Uncle, pet. Besides, he helped Rupert raise Buffy and Willow and I’m rather fond of how they turned out, so… I figure there are worse people to advise us regarding our little princess, right?”

A deep sigh left him, but Xander knew when he was beat. “Yeah, yeah,” he murmured, smiling as he easily dragged Will into a tight hug. “You know, I was somehow expecting a boy, but… God, I love that little hellion.”

Blue eyes smiled just as Will’s lips did. “She’s going to put us through it, our Faith is, luv… but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“I’m just glad she’s not more screwed up from what happened with Drusilla,” Xander admitted. “And that Jenny agreed to stick around. It might be a whole other story if things hadn’t turned out the way they did.”

“True enough, luv,” William said with a smile. “Our little girl’s got more family now than she’ll know what to do with… and there isn’t a one of us who’ll ever let her get hurt again. She’s… special, yes?”

“Definitely, baby… and don’t forget, she’s staying with Jenny this weekend.”

And while they did love their girl more than just about anything except each other, grown-up-time was always a good thing.

“Right, then,” William said, teasing with his serious voice. “We’ll go by the site and check on the renovations. Dangerous to do that with the wee chit. And we can pick up those books for the on-line classes you’re going to be taking while I’m working at the cinema…”

Xander snorted, not at all fooled. “Yeah, we could do that… or we could stay in and shag each other unconscious, baby…”

William laughed and leaned against his bloke again. “You know, I don’t get the chance to say this as often as I’d like, but… I love the way your mind works, pet.”

“Hey!” And then Xander’s eyes were drawn to a furtive motion under the slide across the park. “Oh, God… not again. Faith! Don’t you dare…”

One pale hand clapped over wide red lips, stopping the words, and William laughed as the tiny brunette leaped out from behind the slope of metal, shouting ‘boo’ at the young boy she’d been playing with. He laughed more when the little boy looked like he was going to yell at her… and finally he lost it completely when he heard Faith’s high, sweet voice telling the boy not to be such a git.

“What?” he answered the accusing look on Xander’s face. “Better than calling him a… what was it you said the other night about that new bloke at the construction site? Cocklicking fucktard, wasn’t it?”

And sadly, Xander couldn’t argue with that.

Yeah, the rest of their lives were gonna be interesting, but he could handle it.

They could handle it.

And to think that it had all begun with a long, hot, kinda crappy day…

“You know… I really do love you, Will.”

A small, completely besotted smile as William wrapped himself around Xander’s larger frame made the answering words clearly true.

“For all time, luv… we’re a matched set, you and I.”

And as he was entirely sure that his love’s words were factually true, Xander could do nothing but hold his blond close and smile.





The End



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