"Angel Investigations, we help the hopeless."
"Is...is Alexander Harris there?"
"It's Cordelia, I'm a friend of Xander's."
"Oh, yes of course. Is my son there?"
"I'll get him. Hang on."
Spike stood behind Xander, Angel held Doyle while he leaned against the wall, Cordelia sat on the desk, Giles and Ethan perched on the couch, and Xander sat in Cordy's chair. The boy had called them all into the office when he had been told who was on the phone. No one was sure why he wanted them there, but they were all willing to do whatever he needed. All eyes were fixed on the phone when Xander hit the speaker button.
"Xander? Honey is that you?"
"Yeah Mom, it's me. Are you okay?"
"Fine, Honey. Xander, that Summers girl came to the house today. She told your Father...she said you'd run off with some man, and that you were...gay?"
"Oh, Honey....I...are you...when did...Honey, did someone do something to you?"
"No. No one did anything to me. I'm okay Mom, I'm happy."
"Oh. Well, well good. That's, that's good. This man, he's nice, I mean is he..."
"His name is William, Mom. He's good to me."
"He's not like your Father?"
"No! No, he's nothing like Dad."
"Good. Honey, your Dad, he got real angry. Most of your stuff is gone. I think he took it to the dump, and he burned some in the back yard, but I saved a few things. I could send them to you, if you'd like?"
"No, Mom. I've got what I need. How did you know to call me here?"
"Well, I remembered when you took your trip, you mentioned your friend Cordelia was in Los Angeles. I called information. Her answering machine gave me this number. Was that alright?"
"It's fine Mom. Listen, if Buffy or Willow comes to the house don't let them in. Call the police, and hide from them in your place. Your place you go when Dad's drunk."
"I will. You be careful. And be a good boy Xander, don't make trouble."
"Mom, come out here."
"Come out here! I'll send you the money for a bus ticket, or a plane if you want. Leave your stuff and go to the airport right now. I'll get the money to you and meet you at the airport. You can stay with us, or will find you an apartment. Come out here! Come away from him!"
"Oh, Xander.....Honey, you....I want, I love you Honey. You'd better not call when your Father's home. Try when he's at work. Goodbye, my baby boy."
"Mom?! Mom, wait. Mom...?"
The dial tone echoed around the room. It was Spike who leaned forward and shut it off. It was Spike who took Xander in his arms while he cried. And it was Spike who vowed to make the Slayer pay.