Xander walked into his usual physical therapy room and looked around. "Mary?" he called. He walked toward the open closet in the back of the room and stopped, staring at the woman on the floor. He got to the panic button as fast as he could then tried to run over to where she was, ending up twisting his knee on the way, but he made it before anyone else did. He checked for a pulse as he rolled her over, then checked for breathing. He looked up and saw another panic button above him so pushed it again, pounding on it when he didn't hear anything out of the speakers in the room. "Help!" he yelled. "She's down!"

A woman in white came running in and stopped, staring at them. "What happened?"

"I just got here, she's barely breathing. She's getting over pneumonia. Get someone!" he ordered when she continued to stand there. She finally shook herself and ran out, coming back with a doctor in scrubs and a gurney. "I found her, she was on her stomach, one arm above her." He got out of their way with help from the woman, leaning against the wall. "I pushed the buttons."

"They're disconnected right now," she told him, leading him over to a bench. "They've been down for the last month because there's a short in the system and they go off at odd moments for no reason." She patted his head as she went back over to help.

Xander watched as she was taken out of the room, then took a deep breath. Then his breakfast came up.

Someone pushed through the doors, making one of them slam into the wall. "Well, who are you?" he asked.

"Mary's last patient," he said quietly, trying to calm his stomach and shaking down. "She was found passed out."

"I know, I'm here to do your therapy."

Xander looked up at him but he didn't like the look of glee in his eyes. "No," he said quietly. "I want Mary. Or someone a lot like her." He stood up, wobbling slightly. "I need a cheerleader, not a pusher or a drill sargent. Unless you're one of those, I can't work with you."

"Ohhh, too good for me?" he said, putting his hands on his hips and looking Xander over. "What is it with you young boys."

Xander grimaced. "Leave me alone," he said, walking away. He got about four steps before he was grabbed and pushed onto the mat, his cane being thrown away. "Damn you!" he yelled, kicking the guy with his good leg. "You stupid, offensive, dirty son of a bitch!" He got to his feet, still wobbling, and glared at this new man. "I told you I didn't want to work with you and I won't, especially not now. I don't need this." He slowly made his way over to his cane and picked it up, examining it before he used it to walk out. He stopped at the main desk. "I know Mary's going to be down for a while," he told the receptionist, "so can I make an appointment with someone who believes like she does?"

She pointed behind him. "The only one we have is him."

Xander turned and glared at the man behind him. "I doubt we'd be able to work together." He looked back at her. "No one who could pinch hit for her?"

"Mr. Harris, I was trying to make you angry, trying to get some of the nervous tension out of your system." He rubbed his stomach. "You're very strong for a man in your position."

Xander continued to glare at him. "Was that why you pushed me down and took away my cane?"

The man shrugged. "It worked." He looked at the receptionist. "Please schedule Mr. Harris for my next available appointment, and make a note that it's to be with his family. I think he'll want them there." He turned back to Xander. "Kid, you've got the will, you just need the practice. You don't need that cane. You walked without it."

"I walked without it and it's killing my knee. That place where I don't have any feeling is aching so bad right now that I'm going to go home and take my pain meds. I *need* my cane. You have no right to tell me anything about *my* condition until you've read all of my file. Which you don't need to do."

"Then I'll read it before you come in next week on...." He looked at the receptionist.

"Tuesday at eleven?" she asked Xander.

He shook his head. "I don't want to see him. I refuse to see anyone who'd pull that crap on me. He obviously doesn't know a thing about me and I refuse to work with anyone who could treat a patient like that." He looked at the therapist again. "For your *information*," he spat, "I just put an addition onto my house with very little help. I know what I need and what I'm capable of. I've dealt very well with what life's dealt me and I don't need some hotshot young idiot to tell me what I can and can't do!"

"Good for you," Oz said as he walked in. "Am I in that category?" He gave Xander a hug and looked at the other man. "Who're you? I know you're not Mary, we had a nice talk one day."

Xander gave him a squeeze. "I found Mary unconscious on the floor," he said quietly.

"Ah." Oz looked at the man again. "So you are?"

"I'm Philip, the one Mary asked to start taking on a few of Mr. Harris' therapy sessions. Mary, she's a great therapist, but she's too nice on occasion. She let's her patients run over her when they want something." He looked at Xander. "Like someone did about a funeral."

"I had promised. I don't go back on promises," Xander said cooly. "If I have to go to LA to find someone I can work with, then I will. At least until she's better."

Philip shook his head. "I know we got off to a bad start, but let's do that one session and see if we can't work together. Mary did ask me to work with you while she was sick." He looked at Oz. "You can even bring your cheerleader with you."

"I'm his lover," Oz told him. "I'm often there. When is it?"

"Tuesday at eleven," the receptionist said.

"Can't," Oz said, looking at Xander. "Court date. The Judge is handing down a continue or not ruling."

"He has an open spot on Friday," she offered quickly. "Two hours worth."

Oz looked at Xander, who didn't look happy. "One session won't hurt," he said quietly. "I'll be there with you the whole time."

Xander nodded, staring at Oz. "You'd better be."

"I will," he promised.

The receptionist wrote out the appointment card and handed it over. "Here you go, Mr. Harris. Is he driving you or do you need a cab?"

"No, I came with him," Oz said, leading Xander away, not breaking eye contact with the new therapist until he had to.

Philip shuddered. "That's one very intense man," he told her, leaning on the desk. "Can I have his file?"

"Which one? Or both?"

"Both. What happened to him?"

"He's the one the roof fell on in that construction site almost a year ago," she said, turning to pull the file out of the cabinets behind her. "Here you go, ignore the strange notations. They don't really concern his case right now."

Philip opened the first one and read the first page, whistling. "Yeah, he's lucky to just be with the cane."

She patted him on the hand. "He's got the will, and the desire, but he'll never be off it. Mary said so too often. He wants nothing more than to be free of it because of the way his life is, but you've got to be gentle with him. He's been screwed too many times by this town already." She went back to reading her book. "That's why he went to Mary. Oh, do you like horses?"

"Not particularly. Why?"

"He has six. And four children."

Philip groaned. "This is not going to be an easy one."

"And you already messed up. That boy doesn't trust easily." She wiggled her fingers at him. "Have fun."

"Yeah, maybe." He took the folders and went back to his office to read them privately.


Oz led Xander to the couch and handed him a bottle of juice he had picked up on their way through the house. "You okay?" he asked quietly, sitting next to him.

"He pushed me down and he tossed away my cane." Xander handed it over. "Do you see the crack too?"

Oz examined the weak spot then nodded. "It can be fixed, I think. We could ask someone to take a look at it if we have to."

Xander popped the juice open and nodded. "Yeah. I'll do that tomorrow." He took a long drink. "Oz, I walked on my own today and my knee throbbed."

"You've gotten some pain signals from that area before," he reminded him. "It's usually a bad sign. They said that your nerves were shot there."

"Yeah. I didn't get anything else from the rest of my leg, but I did get pain from the dead spots." He looked down at his knee, which Oz had put up on a pillow. "I'm not sure this is such a good idea."

"Me either, that's why I'm going to be there with you. What else did he do? You wouldn't have been that upset over simple bullying." Xander didn't say anything, just kept staring at his knee. "Xander?" His lover looked up at him. "Did he say something? Was it finding Mary like that?"

"Probably a combination, but he did taunt me," Xander admitted. He dropped his juice as he grabbed his knee, trying to keep it from twitching. "Oh, no, not this again," he moaned.

"Want to go back to the hospital?" Oz asked, trying to keep the bottom of Xander's leg still while it jumped around. "Bad nerve reactions," he noted once the seizures were done. "Xander, hospital?"

"Please," Xander whispered, still rubbing down his leg. "Help me up?"

"Of course." Oz stood up and walked out onto the porch. "Miri, where's Chloe?" he yelled after spotting their eldest daughter in the paddock giving Caliber a bath.

"She on the porch," Miri called back. "Why?"

"We're going to take daddy to the hospital."

"Coming," Chloe called, jogging down the stairs, buttoning up a pair of cutoff shorts. "What's up?" She looked at Xander's knee, which had started moving again. "Whoa, it's not supposed to do that."

"No, it's not," Xander gasped. "Up?" She walked over and helped him up, letting him lean on her. "Oz!" He started to crumple as his leg went out under him.

Oz hurried over and rescued Chloe. "Watch the kids. I'm taking him to the hospital." He took the cane she handed over. "Be good, give them lunch, give them hugs." He picked Xander up and carried him out, having to lean him beside the car to get him into it. "There," he soothed before closing the door. He ran around and got in, pulling out as soon as the engine started.


Oz walked into the Physical Therapy center and nodded at the receptionist. "I need to talk to the idiot," he said calmly, taping a chart on his leg.

"He's in his office," she said, pointing down the hall to her left. "Room one fifty-three."

"Thanks." He walked down there and tapped almost politely before he barged in. He tossed over the folder and leaned down over the seated man. "We will get this straight now," he growled. "Xander does not need hurt any more than he already is, especially not by a macho excuse for a gay man in denial. Touch him like that again and you'll deal with me." He turned and walked out, going to take the drugged up and air casted Xander home.

Chloe met the guys at the door, getting everyone out of Oz's way so he wouldn't trip while carrying Xander. She saw the air cast and frowned. "It's that bad?"

"It's that bad. He only gets those when the muscles start to tear. Because of the surgery, they're too thin in a few spots." He carried Xander out to the couch and laid him down, making sure his head was elevated so he wouldn't have a problem breathing. "We've got to be careful with him. Working on the house killed his knee, today was the final straw." He looked down at the people clinging to his legs. "It's okay, guys, daddy's got drugs to make him feel better and we'll be fine." He looked at Chloe. "Would you please go get the bag of medicine from the car, and his canes. I couldn't carry him and them."

"Sure." She jogged out and came back a few minutes later, handing them all over. "What happened to his last cane?"

"It got thrown and it has a small crack," Oz told her quietly, sitting down in a chair to watch Xander sleep. He let everyone crawl up into his lap and hugged them as a group. "Where's William? He wanted him while he was sedated and getting scanned."

"He's in the office," she said, going to bring his cradle out. "Here we are," she said as she set him up near the window. He started to cry and that woke Xander up.

"Shh," he said, reaching out for his son. "Shh, William. Daddy's here. It's okay," he crooned.

Chloe looked at Oz, who nodded, then handed him to his father. "Here you go, Xander. He's fine. I woke him up when I moved him."

Xander cradled the baby to his chest, falling back to sleep.

Miri looked up at her father. "Is daddy okay?" she whispered.

"Yeah, he's mostly fine," Oz told her, kissing her on the top of the head. "He has to be careful for a few days and he'll be fine again."

Xander opened his eyes again. "Can I have other baby cuddles?" he asked in a pitiful voice.

Miri slid off her daddy's lap to go climb up and cuddle with the other one. Once she was settled, she waved the twins over and they came running over to cuddle too. "We're right here too, daddy. It's okay." She rubbed the side of his face. "You're fine," she said, mimicking his way of dealing with a fussy baby.

He smiled and fell back to sleep.

Oz looked over at Chloe. "I'm really not in the mood for people, but you're fine," he told her when she looked scared. "Anyone else comes up here and they should probably leave."

She nodded. "Sure. I can run interference for you." She glanced over at Xander. "Should I take the kids to go play?"

"No, he takes a lot of comfort from them," Oz said, moving over to sit at Xander's feet. "I really wish Mary hadn't gotten sick," he told his sleeping lover. "She was good for you."

"I can call the hospital in LA and ask for another recommendation," Chloe suggested. "They should have a list."

"I did that on the way home. The center is the only place in town." He grimaced as he looked out the window. "Miri, what's up with Strife? He's got his bridle on."

"I go check," she said, slipping out of the tight hold her father had her in. She ran outside and talked to her horse, then came running back inside. "He say he needs to be ridden. You go with him instead." She nodded when he shook his head. "He say you have to go. It's about store."

Oz groaned. "Tell him to go by himself and tell them to come up another day. Today's not a good day to do this." She ran back outside and gave her horse a hug, coming back slowly. "He talk to them later," she told him, crawling back into his lap. "Daddy's chest crowded," she told him at his surprised look. "I still touchy daddy and you give good hugs too, daddy."

He squeezed her as hard as he dared. "I love you too, Miri." He pointed at the phone. "Can I have that?" She brought it over with her ability, the telekinesis she had shown since she had been four months old. "Thanks." He dialed Blair's number. "Hey, me. No, she's fine. She's sitting right here biting her lip as she watches Xander sleep the sleep of the drugged. Is Rupert there?" He hummed. "Okay. Tell him we found a group that we'd like to sell the building to. A very nice group of pagans. Tell him they're Strife endorsed but that they're good. Yeah, I checked." He looked over at Xander. "No, he tore a muscle in his knee, one of the thin ones. Yeah, he had a problem. No, he'll probably call and talk to you about it." He grunted. "If you say so. We wouldn't mind if you wanted to come out tonight. You could see our new porch and the additions too." He nodded and hung up. "Your dad'll be out here tonight. He thinks Xander will need a more neutral shoulder." He shrugged at her shocked look. "He said LA's gotten a bit on the nerve wracking side so he needed a place to veg too. He'll be here tonight." Miri tugged on his shirt. "Yes, dear?"

"Unclie Blair?" He nodded. "Okay. Where he sleep?"

"Where he usually does. Next to you." She nodded and looked at Chloe. "Oh, did you take that room? I thought you were down in the one across from Sileya and Homer."

"I am. I think she was thinking about having to make up the bed."

"Put sheets out, he can do that himself. He's a big boy, Chloe," he reminded her with a faint smile. He waved a hand at her outfit. "Go finish your tanning. I'll yell before he gets here."

She smiled. "Thanks, Oz. You two are great parents and really cool guardians." She got up and jogged up the stairs, going to work on her tan some more.

"And use the oil," he called after her.

Xander shifted and Tigger rolled off onto the floor. She huffed up at him. "Daddy," she said loudly.

Oz patted the space between him and Xander's feet. "Come sit here, Elizabeth. You'll be okay." He lunged up and grabbed William before Xander could roll over and drop him. Just in time.


Blair tapped on the back door before walking in, and grabbed the twins running toward him. "Hi, girls," he said, kissing each one. "How's your daddies?"

"Nap," Elizabeth said happily. "Up?" She pointed upstairs.

"Hey, dad," Chloe called from the living room. "In here."

He carried them down the hall and into the living room, smiling at his daughter. "Where's the boys?"

"In bed. Oz carried Xander up there a few minutes ago." She looked up at him. "It happened in therapy today," she said quietly.

He frowned. "It did? I thought Mary was very nice when I met her for the conference."

"It wasn't her," Oz said as he walked down the stairs. "Xand found her unconscious in the room. This was some hotshot named Philip, who was trying to calm Xander back down by picking on him so he'd get mad."

"Ah. That doesn't work very well with Xander."

"He hadn't read his file yet," Oz noted. He waved a hand at the couch and sat down. "Your daughter's a gem to have, even if we can't break Miri of thinking about her as the butler."

Blair snorted. "I'm sure. But she's been good?" He saw the eye roll and shrugged. "Your mother's still concerned about your behavior."

"Dad," she complained, "I'm here with two gay guys. There's not a straight guy around for *miles* and I don't get to go into town because you told them not to let me." She looked at Oz. "I go out on one blind date and mom overreacts."

"With her past, I'd overreact too," Oz told her. "You never know who this person is. Remember, all she sees are people who have problems relating to living people, or ones who have other problems. She doesn't hang with too many normal people."

"Point," she sighed. "At least you made it sound almost reasonable." She glared at Blair. "He made it sound like someone was going to jump out and kidnap me again."

"With their lives, it's always possible," Oz reminded her. "Blair, want to see the additions?"

"I can do it," Chloe told him gently. "Go sleep next to Xander. I'm sure he'll be up and wandering around before too long."

Oz listened and nodded when he heard muted swearing in a deep voice. "Yup. William is up." He got up and walked up the stairs. "Xander, bed," he yelled from the top. "Or else you have to have more surgery."

Chloe shook her head. "It was bad today. He started to do that seizure thing in his knee muscles and he cried because it hurt. Oz had to carry him to the car and back inside. Oh, and he had to get another cane. That one was almost broken."

"Hmm, that's really not good," he said, getting comfortable. "How are you doing up here?"

"I'm okay, dad. Really. I've been good. I've been doing a lot of playing with the kids, especially when Xander worked on the addition to the house. Oh, and it's a killer porch. He did a great job up there."

"Good." He stood up. "Come on, let's go look." He looked her over. "You spent some time in the sun."

"All day," she said proudly. She led the way into the library, letting him get a peek into the dining room first.


Xander woke up to feel a cool hand rubbing his forehead. "Oz?" he mumbled, trying to sit up.

"He's downstairs eating," Blair told him quietly. He got a groan in response. "Hey, I've seen you in worse conditions," he reminded him, giving him a smile when the young man opened his eyes. "How's your leg?"

"I'm back to the point of not feeling it," Xander told him. "What happened?"

"What do you remember of your therapy session today?"

"Just that the guy is an ass and he pushed me onto the floor while taunting me." Xander pulled himself up. "How's my knee? They had me drugged well before they figured it out."

"Oz said you tore a muscle. He said you didn't need surgery yet, but that if you kept using it, you'd end up back in the hospital for another few weeks."

Xander removed the hand from his forehead. "I don't have a fever, I promise," he said with a small grin. "So, how do you like my porch?"

"I like it quite a lot. Was that part of why you hurt your knee?"

"I hurt it the first day I worked on the addition. I went to the hospital because my pain killers were too strong for me. They looked at my knee because I was having cramps but they didn't say I had done more than strain it. I've been good since then though." He frowned, making his brow scrunch up. "I've been really good since that day. I've taken breaks whenever I got tired and I've been being good about stretching out every morning to take the place of my therapy." He looked at the window. "Did Oz tell you about Philip, the new guy?" Blair nodded. "I can't believe he did that and tried to justify it as trying to wear out my stress."

"Maybe he's an ass. Or he could have been doing what he said. For some people that works. And that sort of person believes everyone thrives on stress."

Xander nodded, but when he looked at Blair, his eyes were wet. "He tried to taunt me by saying that I didn't want to walk. That I didn't need the cane."

"Then he hadn't read your file at all," Blair soothed, pulling him in for a hug.

Someone tapped on the door. "May I come in?" Giles asked from the doorway.

"Whatever," Xander said, leaning back against his pillows. "I screwed my knee and it wasn't even my fault." He smiled as he saw who was standing out in the hall. "Spike!" He held out his arms and the vampire glared at him. "Oh, come on, it'll be just like it was back in the hospital."

Spike walked in and gave him a perfunctory hug. "There, better?" Xander nodded. "How's your knee this time?"

"Damaged," Blair told him, giving him a smile. "How was your trip? I lost you there for a few minutes."

"Longer'n it seemed," Spike muttered, looking at the new door. "What's that to?"

"To the new sunporch," Xander said proudly. "I did a lot of the work on the addition myself. Oh, ask Oz to show you the neat option we put in the playroom. It's vampire safe during the day!"

Spike patted him on the head like he would one of the kids. "I'm sure it is." He glanced around. "Where's your cane?"

"Oz is taking it to someone to check it out," Blair told him. "The guy who pushed him down today cracked it when he tossed it aside." He didn't even flinch at the deep growl coming from the non-moving chest; it wasn't aimed at him so he wasn't worried. "It was the therapist Mary wanted to take over for her while she's sick."

"No bloody way," Spike said, looking at Xander. "Did you yell at him?"

"No, I hissed. But I think Oz might have yelled. I think we went back there after coming back from the hospital but I was kinda drugged and almost asleep in the backseat."

Giles looked around the room. "Xander, do you need any help right now?" He got a head shake. "Then may I go move back into the trailer for a few days?"

"Ask Oz. I'm grounded to the bed. Oh, hand me William, okay? It's about time for him to wake up and eat." He checked the bottle warming pouch and came up with a bottle, which he sniffed. "Eww. Bad."

Blair took it. "I'll go fix him a new one."

"We have ready-made formula now. All you have to do is open the can and pour. We found it the other day at the supermarket and he likes it."

Blair nodded. "It's a good product. Mixing formula is not an exact science." He walked out, taking Giles with him.

Spike sat on the edge of the bed, poised to jump up and walk away. "You're really okay?"

"Yeah," Xander sighed, fluffing his blankets. "The taunting hurt." He looked up. "The guy actually told me I didn't need my cane, all but said I wasn't wanting it hard enough."

Spike snorted. "I've never seen anyone who wanted it more'n you." He punched Xander on the good leg. "Where's this playroom?"

"Downstairs. Off the landing of the stairs or through the library. But you can have a room up here. We do have a vamp-ready room up here."

"I know, but I wanted to go see."

Xander smiled. "It took the twins all of ten minutes to pull almost every toy they owned down to that room. It gives them an almost outside experience without having to deal with the weather." He reached over and touched Spike's shoulder. "I made the eaves bigger so they overhang and add some shadow space, and the blinds are sandwiched between the panes of the windows so the kids can't wreck them at a bad time."

Spike grinned. "Best go see the tots then, shouldn't I?" He stood up. "Get you anything?"

"Bathroom?" Xander asked sheepishly. "I can make it back." He accepted his new cane and the help up, walking over there by himself. "Come back after your tour?"

"Sure. As long as you don't need a story." Spike jogged out, going to find the kids. For some reason he liked these kids; he usually couldn't stand children, but he liked Xander's children for some reason.


Spike looked at Oz, who was almost vibrating in the chair. "He's asleep," he said quietly.

"I'm two days pre-change, I'm supposed to be wired." He looked at Spike. "You're not going to try and take him, right?"

Spike snorted. "I doubt he'd take that very well." He lost his humor when he saw actual worry. "You're good for the boy, much better'n I could ever be," he reminded the werewolf quietly. "Never doubt I'm taking him. He wouldn't thrive."

"Point," Oz sighed, relaxing. "I like Xander having friends, but I get to worry too." He jumped as a door upstairs slammed. "Hey!"

"Torry," Miri called. "It was the Arwynn."

"I bet," Oz muttered, looking over at Spike again. "Did I ever thank you for taking care of him for me?" Spike looked shocked. "Let's face it, Spike, if you hadn't been there with him, it would have taken him longer to come home. He needed you as a friend, he still does. He doesn't have too many right now."

Spike nodded. "I like the whelp. We get on." He relaxed into the comfortable chair. "Always liked what he did with this place. Every chair is a nap waitin' to happen."

Oz nodded. "Usually." He stood up and headed for the kitchen. "Want a snack? Of the food kind?"

"Sure." Spike got up and strolled after him, looking down at the cat that tried to trip him up. "What are you?" he asked, picking her up. She hissed at him.

"That's an Arwynn," Oz said from the kitchen's doorway. "Miri got her when we got visitors instead of her traveling." He disappeared and the microwave came on a few seconds later. "I'm making fries. What do you want?"

Spike walked into the kitchen, without the Arwynn, and looked at the open cabinets. "Popcorn. Been a bit since I had any." He pulled down a package and handed it over.

"Get the margarine and a coffee cup." He took out his fries and put in Spike's popcorn, tapping his foot impatiently while he waited.

Spike nudged him. "You could go cuddle him, I'm sure he wouldn't mind too much."

"Nah, he's in the tub."


"Yeah, point," Oz said, taking his fries and walking out. "Thanks, Spike. Make yourself comfy but keep the TV down this time." He jogged up the stairs, going to share his treat with his lover.

Spike shook his head, putting some of the margarine into the coffee cup to melt to put over the popcorn so it tasted real.


Xander looked up as Oz burst into the bathroom and smiled weakly at him. "Give up on the talking thing again?"

"I wanted to share my fries with you," Oz said, sitting down beside the tub. He picked up one and nibbled on it, just to make sure they were fully done. The next went to Xander. "How's your knee?"

"Okay enough. How long do I have to wear the cast?"

"A few weeks then they want to check it again." He kissed Xander's wrinkly fingers. "And no getting up and wandering. Otherwise the tear will get worse and you'll need surgery."

"I'll be good if you tell me why Giles came back."

"He came in after Blair did. They drove separately." He shrugged. "You'd have to ask Blair about that, I don't have a clue." He fed his lover another fry. "It could be that he wants to do the therapy thing again."

"Then why did Spike come?"

"To support you," Blair said from the bedroom. "Can I come in?"

"Sure," Oz called. He shifted over so their counselor could sit on the floor, and so he wouldn't be able to look down at the naked Xander. "Why Spike?"

"Because you three have got to work this out, and if it happens that you've got to side against Xander on an issue, then he's still got someone to support him."

"Ah," Xander said, looking over his shoulder. "Thanks."

"Welcome." Blair ran his fingers through Xander's hair. "Just remember, I'm still not taking sides. I want what's best for all of you."

"Oh, great," Oz sighed. "That means Giles is making unreasonable demands again." He looked at Xander. "Please don't change anymore. I like this happy guy."

"I won't," Xander told him, then looked at Blair again. "Is he?"

"A few. I think he's going to get over most of them though." He looked around the bathroom. "Where's William?"

"He's started sleeping through the night," Oz told him. "He's still in the cradle in the old closet." He gauged the older man's mood. "Does part of this have to do with William?"

"One or two things do," Blair admitted, "but I'd rather you asked Giles directly."

"We'll do that tomorrow," Xander told Oz, reaching over to touch his face to calm him down. "Blair, should we expect Sam too?"

"No. She's got patients all week. I'll only have one to go see later this week so she said it was okay if I came up and did an intense time with you guys." He smiled. "You relax, Xander, I'm sure you could use it after the day you've had." He stood up. "Oz, I left the palimony agreement sitting on the dresser." He walked out, going to his own room.

Xander looked over at Oz. "Gee, this is going to be fun," he noted dryly.

"Let's hope not," Oz told him, eating a fry. "Oh, cold one."


Spike watched as a shadowed figure walked around the side of the house and headed down to where the cars were parked. He silently followed, leaving his popcorn sitting on the table, and hotwired Oz's car to follow him. He was amazed at who he saw getting out at the bar, but he knew he had a moment on his hands. One of those times when everything fell into place for you, one that would never happen again. He got out and walked inside, paying the small cover fee. He found a table in an out of the way corner and proceeded to watch Giles get drunk.