It was an Accident, I Promise.
Xander woke up and found a rose tied above him, on the remains of a piece of dental floss that Spike had once hung something by. He reached up and touched the soft petals, smiling. "Why would Spike give me a rose?" he wondered.
"He didn't," Oz said from beside him. "I did." He leaned down to kiss his lover gently, just a light brush across his lips. "Morning."
"Hi." Xander grinned up at the rose. "What's this for? Did I forget our anniversary?"
"Oh, um, nope," Oz said, and Xander raised an eyebrow. "I did it just because. I guess I forgot."
"It's not for another four days," Xander told him, rolling to hug him. "Thank you for the rose. It's beautiful." He snuggled into Oz's chest. "Where did you get it?"
"Little flower shop out by the college." He saw Xander looking at the clock. "I told them last night and someone was there waiting on me," he explained. He pulled Xander closer, molding their bodies together. "I figured out that you were right, I have been keeping myself too far away from you. I'd like to fix that." Xander just looked up at him, looking shocked. "Really. I want to fix that."
"Okay," Xander whispered, stealing a kiss. "But I still have to get to class."
"I know. That's why I woke you up." Oz gave him a longer, harder kiss. "Think about that while you're at class today," he said then let his lover go, getting up to go fix the kids breakfast.
Xander rolled onto his back and sighed. "What is going on?" he asked himself, staring up at the flower. He decided to get up and cut it down so he could put it in a vase, or press it, he wasn't sure. This was the first flower anyone had given him and he wasn't quite sure what he was supposed to do with it.
Xander rubbed down his knee while the teacher was talking about what they were supposed to be doing today. Metal work bored him to tears, but this was part of the class. He filed out with the rest of them under his teacher's watchful gaze, heading out to the machine he had been told was going to be his for the semester. He carefully selected a piece of metal to begin cutting down and started to center it in the chuck. That's when the first, minor cramp started. He shifted some, letting his knee brace take most of the pressure of his weight. He had to shift back though, he couldn't mark the metal rod by standing so far back. He got his piece of metal adjusted and picked up the bit he had made in one of his last classes before his accident, inserting it into the holder. He had to readjust his stance again, but that was okay. He was used to it. Standing still bothered him but he could do it, especially with his new brace. He started his machine and carefully started the bit to trimming just a little bit of the metal, smiling as the perfect curls came off. He turned off his machine as the curls broke up, starting to balance it again. He raised his hand and his teacher came over. "My chuck won't stay tight," he complained, pointing at the shavings.
His teacher looked at them then nodded. "Okay, want to switch machines?" Xander shrugged. "I know, you want to get back to your projects." Xander smiled. "Okay, you can do this later. Go play with your doors."
"Which want to become napkin holders, I swear," Xander sighed. He started back toward the back where the projects were, but had to stop and rest against a pole when his knee started to twitch. His teacher looked at him but he shook his head and finished his trip. He managed to climb up onto the table to look at his cabinets and the doors he was trying to put on them, and that's when the first real pain hit. He grunted in annoyance and glared at his knee, but shook himself and went back to checking his framework. "Maybe some nice glass," he suggested to himself. "No more pane problems then." He put a little pressure on his knee when it started to ache again, forcing it back into a more normal position so the brace would work better. That was the last straw for his leg. He closed his eyes as another spasm started in his leg, gritting his teeth. "I will make it through today," he told himself, mentally swearing at the level of pain. When he opened his eyes, one of the few female students were standing in front of him.
"PMS?" she joked.
He nodded. "Basically. Cramps, just in my knee." He swung his feet around, looking down at the swelling in his ankle. "Huh. We haven't done that recently." He shrugged and handed her the framework. "Think this'll hold glass?"
"I think it should, as long as it's not too thick." She handed it back. "Giving up on the doors?"
"The panes for the center want to be napkin holders. I'm gonna give them their wish in a few minutes." She snickered. "Really, all wood wants to be something, those pieces do not want to be a door." He looked at the groove inside the frame and considered it. "I could put some pretty tinted glass in there, depending on what color I stain the rest of the piece."
"True. Or you could etch it. We've got an acid etching kit around here somewhere. That's basically a stencil and a paintbrush operation, with gear on."
"He'll want me to sandblast it instead," Xander reminded her. "He's been wanting me to work that machine for a while now."
"It happens," she said. "You can do it the same way, it's a reverse stencil in that case." She shrugged. "All up to you. You going to give it to your boyfriend?"
"Oz? Maybe. He's decided to go back into computers again, so maybe he'll use it to put all the law books into." He carefully slid down and walked the piece of frame over to his teacher. "Hey, I want to change my design and put glass in here instead."
"Still having problems with the panes?" he asked, not looking up.
"Yeah, they want to be something else." His teacher did look up at that. "Sometimes, the medium does decide what it wants to be," he reminded the older man with a grin. "That's why clay animals all look like hippos."
His teacher shook his head but he was smiling. "All right. You going to sand blast it?"
"I'm not sure. Leslie suggested I acid etch it. I was thinking a simple piece of tinted glass, coordinating with the color of the stain."
"Hmm, any of those would do," his teacher agreed, sitting back. "And you have shown that you know how to plane things down with the way you did the sides. I'll allow it." He pointed at Xander's knee. "That okay?"
"Twitchy, a little bit of pain and swelling. I'll live." Xander shrugged at his frown. "I do more standing than this at home chasing the kids around."
"If you want, I'll gladly let you stay home until next semester," his teacher offered.
"Mr. Kendricks, I can do it. If I can't, then I'll tell you. Really."
"Sure, kid. Get back to work. What color are you staining it?"
"Not sure yet," Xander told him, going back out to where his project was laid out. He stopped to consider the framework lying on the table, then the wood. "Maybe I'll paint it," he thought out loud.
"Pick an idea and stick with it," Mr. Kendricks yelled at him as he walked through the rows of wood working machines. "*One* idea, Harris. You can always build more."
"True," Xander said with a grin. "Okay, they're going to match what I have at home. I'll put smoky glass in it." He looked at his teacher. "Deal?"
"Sounds good to me. How are you going to tint it?"
"Well, there's the paint stuff that you can paint on glass. Or there's actually the stuff that they put on windows. I was thinking more about that sort. I was going to go to the glass shop tonight and check with them. Maybe they have some that's naturally smoke tinted." He hopped back up onto the table and worked on putting his frames on the front of the cabinets. His teacher tapped him and he looked at him. "Sorry, I needed the angle."
"Fine but no more sitting on the equipment. It's not good, you might break the table."
"I saw *Fred* sit on it last semester," Xander said, pointing out the biggest guy in the second year class - about four hundred pounds of muscle gone south. "It didn't break under him and his project."
"But when he did it, it could have weakened it. You never know where the breaking point is with wood. A weak seam in a perfectly good beam will make it break before it bends."
"Oh, I remember," Xander said dryly, sliding down onto the floor. "Help me tip this up and prop it?"
"Sure, kid," Mr. Kendricks said, realizing who he was preaching to about the breaking point of wood. "I'm sorry, Harris."
"Hey, it's good that you treat me like everyone else. Even if I do have to get that lecture." He put a triangular block behind the back on his side and handed another over. "Thanks."
"Welcome, kid. Remember, you have to have your tube carved by the end of the week." He walked away, going to monitor the people who were new to the class. They were all with the experienced people playing in the wood piles while they learned the basic types they'd be working with. He turned back as he heard a slap, flinching even before he saw what was going on. He turned to find Xander on the floor, lying unconscious.
"His knee went out," Leslie called as she ran over to him, trying to wake him up. She looked up at the cabinet, then at the teacher, who was walking over quickly. "His knee gave, really. He started to do that shifting thing earlier."
"Twitchy, huh?" Kendricks said in disgust. "Go call an ambulance. I'm not risking this." He looked down at Xander's ankle and frowned. "Get me some scissors," he called, getting down to look at it. "That's not right," he said, taking the first aid kit someone handed him. He cut up to where Xander's brace was, wincing when he saw the bleeding around the new stitches. "Tell the crew coming that he's bleeding around his incision!"
Leslie came running back a few minutes later with the paramedics. "Here they are," she said, getting out of their way. "Want me to call his house?"
"The hospital knows him," the lead paramedic said, looking at his ankle and knee. "Whoever did this should have told him to rest it."
"I was," Xander complained, coming back around. "Big, nasty, pain, guys," he complained. "Where I'm not supposed to have any feeling."
"It's okay, Mr. Harris. We're going to take you to the hospital."
"It looks like you've got some bleeding from your recent incision," the second one, who was taking his pulse, said. "When did you get surgery?"
"It dislocated a few weeks ago when my oldest daughter accidentally hopped on it." He sat up, looking down at his leg. "Gee, I thought I only had the normal standing-sort of swelling." He looked at the paramedic down by his leg. "Hi again," he said dryly.
The paramedic laughed. "It could be worse. You might need it replaced."
"Yay," Xander said dryly. "Cane's over there," he said, pointing. "Help up?"
"Nope. You get to be rolled out, just like everyone else," the lead paramedic said, sliding a balloon sleeve around his leg. "I'm doing this in case there's some bleeding inside your calf," he explained. "Ryan, go get the stretcher."
"What happened?" Oz asked, pushing through the crowd. He fell to his knees beside Xander, giving him a hug. "I was bringing you lunch."
"It broke something," the paramedic said. "Did you drive?" Oz nodded. "Good, start for the hospital and call his orthopedist. I think he'll want to know about this." Oz nodded, giving Xander another hug and a kiss before hopping up and running for his car and the cellphone it contained.
Xander looked at the paramedic. "That was smooth," he complimented. "A worried Oz is a terrible sight to behold."
"We saw him when we transferred you to LA," he reminded Xander, helping him up onto the low stretcher. He gathered everything and grabbed Xander's cane, following him out to the ambulance.
"I promise I wasn't doing anything bad," Xander told Dr. McGregor, who had put in his artificial knee after part of a ceiling had pulverized his original one. His doctor had insisted that he be brought to his orthopedic hospital instead of Sunnydale General as soon as Oz had called him. "I had my brace on. I was standing but resting against the table." Xander stared as hard as he could up at the ceiling, ignoring the funny twitches happening below the tented sheet.
"And how did you dislocate it a few weeks ago?" the doctor asked as he probed the open stitches.
"I was playing goal for the kids with their beach ball. Miri accidentally hopped on it. The nice guy at Sunnydale swore he called you and you said he could do what he did with the local anesthesia and the minor outpatient surgery."
"He's an idiot, I told him to go in and check the muscles around it first and then fix it while tightening the muscles." He touched another spot and watched as Xander nearly levitated off the table. "Well, you fucked it up," he said, standing up so he could look down at his patient.
"Will it have to be replaced?" His doctor nodded. "And the recovery time this time?"
"Less. Now that I know you have weak muscles around your knees, I'm going to do a few things differently." He walked up to look down at Xander. "And no walking around without the cane and brace, young man."
"Hey, not an issue," Xander said quickly. "I was only up to taking four or five braced steps without it anyway." He grinned. "So, how are you going to fix it this time?"
"I've got some material that will strengthen the muscles as we pull them around the new knee."
"Why does it need replaced?"
"Because this one has a large crack in the tibia portion. This time, I'm putting a titanium knee in for you. They're guaranteed for thirty years. Even with children."
"Will I be able to move it soon? Like so I can sit? Or make it up to my room with help?"
"That shouldn't be a problem. You've been there before. This time, you won't have the full recovery path though."
"True, no spinal injury. Though my head does hurt," Xander complained, rubbing the bump. "Overnight stay?"
"At least a day and a half," the doctor compromised. "Want me to tell Oz?"
Xander nodded. "Please. But expect him to go off about suing Sunnydale."
"Oh, I'd actually expect you to do that. Trust me, if it were me, I'd be suing to own the hospital right about now, and the doctor's license." He walked out and went to find Oz, who was trying to figure out what he wanted to drink. "Oz?" he called softly. The young man pushed a button and grabbed the can and the change before turning to look at him, popping the top to take a drink. "He's fine. We will have to replace it." Oz nodded. "And you should sue the idiot in Sunnydale. I told him to go full surgery and check the muscles. If he had, he would have seen the crack starting and fixed it then."
Oz took another sip. "Already got it planned and called someone about it. How's Xander?"
Doctor McGregor sat down, patting the seat beside him. "He's fine. How are you?"
"Ah. Not at Xander?" Oz shook his head. "Good. He'll be happy to know that. I will have to keep him for a few days, at the most. Will you be able to help him with his new therapy?" Oz nodded, looking a little more happy. "Good. I know how to fix his knee so it's a lot stronger as soon as he wakes up this time and I'm putting in a titanium joint. His present one has a large fracture down the tibia plate." Oz shuddered. "Which is why I told the doctor in Sunnydale to take him the full surgery route." He stood up. "I really do believe that sometimes lawsuits are the only way to cull the bad doctors from the herd." He walked away, after giving Oz a smile.
Oz finished his soda, needing it to calm his stomach. He got up to call home, not sure he really wanted to tell Spike about this. That vampire was very protective of his mate. Of course, it amused him, that's why Spike was still living.
Xander woke up in a room identical to the one he had been in last time, and he yawned and rolled into the soft body pillow some nice, thoughtful person had gotten for him. He stopped when he realized it was Oz, and he was asleep too. Xander snuggled into his body, taking comfort like he really wanted. "This feels really good," he told himself. "Let's not move an inch."
"Hey, I only move when you try to get away from me at night," Oz told him, reaching down to awkwardly brush back some of Xander's hair. "How long have you been up?"
"A minute or so. You?"
"About an hour, on and off." Oz pulled Xander up so their heads were closer. "How's the knee?"
"Nice. How did it go?"
"Much more interesting when Doctor Asclepal showed up with his gold stuff. Doctor McGregor said we should start praying to him because he was obviously a God."
Xander sighed. "I really looked for an office for him last time to send him a thank you note, but I couldn't find one."
"That's okay. I'm sure if you send it here, he'll get it." Oz pulled as much of Xander as he could on top of him, holding him in place. "Actually McGregor said something about Strife being involved or something. That was too quiet for me to overhear how."
Xander hummed, he was falling back asleep. "I'll go talk to the Strife horse's grave later," he whispered. "How's the babies?"
"Fine. Kaiya made sure everyone got home all right and Wes ran some extra lessons for all the kids after Miri got home."
"He would have been a good daddy," Xander agreed.
"Maybe we should name him if something happens to us," Oz whispered.
"Spike's named in mine. I figure they're a package deal right now." Xander opened an eye so he could look at his lover. "Something happen while I was under?"
"No, I've been in a planning mood recently. Rewrote my will and everything."
"Cut out Giles?"
"I should probably rewrite mine too." Xander closed his eye and scratched his cheek on Oz's shoulder. "After I get home, will you help me with the legalese?"
"Sure, babe." Oz held Xander while he went back to sleep, carefully cradling him so he wouldn't run into his brace again. He had many things he wanted to do with Xander when they got home, and even though updating his will wasn't one of them, he'd do it because Xander asked him. He fell back asleep, still holding Xander to his body.
Wesley walked into the kitchen and watched the girls build themselves sandwiches. "Where's William?" he asked, knowing that the girls never let him out of their sight, but he wasn't in the kitchen.
"He outside," Tigger said, glaring at her sister.
"I only let him onto porch. The Strife-horse whee wanted to play with him," Blair pouted back, she hated it when her twin was mad at her.
Miri dropped her knife. "He comed back?" she asked them. Tigger nodded. "Why?"
"He play with baby," Tigger told her, patting her on the arm. "He say he catch you next time."
"Oh, okay." Miri picked back up the dull knife and continued to spread jelly all over everything.
Wesley went running for the front door yelling, "Spike, the baby's outside playing with a ghost horse!" The older vampire was right behind him, down into the twilight of the early evening to search for the little boy.
"Next time, we tell Strifey horse not to take him off porch," Tigger said boldly.
"That's where he wanted to play with him at first," Blair told her sisters quietly. "They leave about an hour ago. Go play in field. Rose no like him."
"The whee or William?" Miri asked her.
"Both. She really no like William though. She walk away from him lots when he try to pet her."
Kaiya walked into the kitchen with the child, holding him away from her body. "Girls, from now on, William is only allowed out of the house with an adult sitting there. Do you understand?" They all nodded. "Good, I'm going to give your brother a bath. Wesley!" she snapped. The young vampire came running. "Do supper." She walked away, carrying the baby covered in stuff best not thought about up the stairs for the bath of his life.
Wesley looked at the sandwiches they were building and frowned. "I could cook you a real meal, girls."
"No thank you," Miri said politely. "We want to wait on daddies."
"Oh, dear," Wesley sighed. He walked over to where they were, taking their knives. "Girls, Xander had to go back to the hospital for two days." Everyone glared at Miri, who started to sniffle. "No, it's not your fault," Wesley assured her, reaching over to cup her cheek. "It happened at school, dear. Your father fell down at school and they had to take him back to LA to work on his knee. He's fine, we've gotten a call from your other father, but it's...." He stopped as someone tapped on the back door. He got up to see who it was, blinking a few times in shock. "Spike?" he called, bringing his new sire. "Maybe you should handle this. Girls, come, let's go find the number for the hospital so you can call them." He held out a hand and Blair took it, smiling up at him as he led them out of the room.
Spike waited until the girls were gone to open the door, snarling, "What?" at the man on the other side.
"I wanted to see if I could have supper with my family and talk to them," Giles said calmly. He glanced around the kitchen. "Where are Xander and Oz?"
"In the hospital. Xander's knee got buggered again." Spike blocked his view. "Come back in a few days when they're here."
"I just wanted to talk to the children," Giles said quietly. "May I? I promise not to harm them and I'll allow you to sit right there."
Spike shook his head. "Not until the boys are back. They left them in my care and I don't feel like soothing a cryin' jag tonight."
"Daddy?" Tigger asked, peeking around the corner of the kitchen. She squealed and ran out to him, giving him a hug. "Daddy, you comed back?" she asked, giving him the most loving look.
Spike glared at Giles. "No, Elizabeth," he said, getting down onto her level and pulling her away from her father. "He's come to see when your daddies get home so all three of them can sit down with you four together." She started to sniffle, looking lost, and grabbed Spike around the neck. "I know, but you'll get to have dinner with him in a few days," he told her, picking her up to hug her. "Go," he mouthed.
"Elizabeth," Giles said, reaching over to pat her back. "I came over to see when I could get visitation with you. To come have dinner with you. Unfortunately, I didn't know your father was in the hospital. But you will see me again, in two days."
"You no touch her," Miri said forcefully as she walked into the kitchen. "Me 'tect my sissies. You no steal them again."
Giles didn't even have the grace to look upset or flinch, he showed no reaction to the accusation. "I'm not here to harm her, or you," he told his oldest daughter. "I'm here to see when I can come visit with you four."
"You no like baby," Tigger told him tearfully.
"Maybe you should go," Wesley said as he walked back in. He held out the phone to Tigger, who took it. "Oz said to come back in five days, that will give them enough time to get settled again."
Giles nodded. "I will. Sunday, Miri and Elizabeth, I'll be back on Sunday."
"'Tay," Tigger said quietly, watching him go, clutching the phone to her. She heard a voice on the other end and put it up to her ear. "Daddies?" she asked, looking a little happier. "We having new baby?"
Wesley rolled his eyes. "No, Elizabeth, I've told you that already."
"Won't work," Spike told him. "She thinks all hospitals are about babies." He put her down, watching as she went back to the table and started to build her sandwich again. He patted Miri on the head. "You did very well, but let us protect you lot, all right?" She smiled up at him and nodded. "Good. Go eat."
Miri ran over to the table and started on her sandwich again. "Blair!" she shouted, bringing her quiet sister to come eat with them.
Spike and Wesley looked at each other and shook their heads, going back to the living room. The boys would make sure the phone got hung up from their end.
Oz helped Xander into the house, watching as he hopped around on crutches with his new knee brace, and dropped the bag of clothes he had bought for them in LA onto the floor. He got down to intercept the stampeding herd, giving them all hugs first so they wouldn't knock their other father over before he could sit down.
Miri was the first one free, wiggling away from him so she could walk over and hug her daddy's good leg. "You okay?" she asked.
"Yup, it's all okay again. I just have to be pretty careful of it for the next few weeks, okay?" She nodded, smiling up at him. "Okay, so let's go sit down so I can have proper cuddles from my babies." He hopped into the living room, and Spike jumped up to give him the comfy chair with the footstool. He smiled at his friend as he sat down, handing him the crutches. "Okay, who wants a real hug," he called, opening his arms. The three girls all squealed and ran for him, climbing up around his bad knee so they wouldn't hurt them.
"Oh, you're back," Kaiya said as she carried William down the stairs. She handed him off to Oz. "Here, you deal with 'I don't want to wear clothes' boy."
Oz hugged his son, then got a whiff of him. "Where were you playing?" he asked his son.
"Strife horsey take him to play with him," Tigger said helpfully.
"Excuse me?" Xander asked.
"The girls said it was his ghost coming back to play with him," Wesley said as he walked in off the front porch. "Apparently he appeared to Blair and asked to play with him. She let him out, but the girls saw him trotting after the horse to go play in the field."
"We've had six baths in the last two days," Kaiya said calmly. "The smell's much better now." She smiled at Xander. "I saw him last night when he came back to talk to Miri. He said he'd catch you tonight in a dream."
"Oh," Xander said, looking very shocked. "Okay." He nodded. "That's kinda cool," he said finally, looking at Oz. "He okay?"
"Not a single bruise," Kaiya said.
"He chase Strifey around the field," Tigger said helpfully. "Rose no liked him though."
"Ah." Oz sat down on the couch nearest Xander and held out William so he could get a hug from the baby too.
Blair looked around, then at her daddies. "Where new baby?"
"We didn't get one, we got a new knee," Oz told her. "Hospitals don't always mean a baby."
"Last time daddy in hospital, he have baby," Blair insisted. "Have to have baby this time too."
"Nope, no baby," Oz told her, reaching out. She carefully scooted over to give him a hug. "See, babies aren't born because of hospitals. They're born because two people want to have a baby. Hospitals are just where they can be delivered."
"Was yours late?" Miri asked.
"Huh?" Xander asked.
"Pizza always late when we get it delivered," she said reasonably. "Maybe you missed it."
Xander groaned. "No, we didn't miss it. There wasn't one there for us."
"Oh, okay. Maybe next time," Miri said with a shrug, curling into her father's chest. "We cuddle you still?"
"Sure," Xander said, looking over at his lover, who was trying so hard not to laugh. They both looked up as a flash went off, Xander snickering at Spike, who was taking the picture. "Hi to you too. Thanks for dealing with the ... other problem."
"He'll be back though," Spike pointed out, setting out the polaroid so it could dry. "How long before you get to quit hoppin'?"
"About a month. I have to wear the brace most of the time. I get to do most of my therapy at home this time because I know what I'm doing now. Oz even took the refresher course with me this morning. Oh, and we are getting a pool put in soon," he said, smiling at his lover. "And there's going to be a few new pieces of equipment downstairs too. Resistance machines for the legs."
"Very good idea," Wesley agreed. "When are you planning all this for?"
"Pool's been on the planning board," Oz said dryly. "Xander's a water baby."
"What about the bints?" Spike asked.
"Keypad lock on the door so little people can't pick them." Miri gave him a smile. "Like she used to do to my cage," Oz added.
"Good point," Spike said. "Where?"
"Out in that naturally hollow area in the trees," Xander told him. "Small, wooden building. Not a huge pool but one that's big enough to do laps in."
"I'd like to use it if I'm here still," Wesley said calmly. "I miss water."
"Hey, it'll even be heated," Xander offered. "We can race." Wesley smiled at that. "Cool. Oz is a floater."
"Hello?" someone yelled as they walked in the back door. Faith walked into the living room, holding up a hand. "Cordy made me come. She won't let Doyle near her son right now and he's still teething so she couldn't drive. Spike, a word?" she asked, nodding back at the hallway. Spike followed her, coming back after a few minutes.
Oz looked out the hallway as he heard the door close. "Important?"
"Yeah, kinda," Spike said grimly. "Someone's tryin' to get the office. I've got to go back." He pushed Wesley back down as he started to get up. "Cordelia said you aren't to come back until she's calm. You guard the family." He nodded at Xander. "Got 'em?"
"Yup. Thanks. If you need help, yell this way and I'll send Oz."
"Deal," Spike said, walking upstairs. He came back down with his car keys and his duster, heading out to where he had parked.
Wesley cleared his throat, feeling very awkward. "It's okay, Wes," Oz told him. "We could use an extra guardian anyway."
"Besides, Cordy won't be pissed at you forever, she'll eventually realize you might have went for the kids," Xander added.
Blair got down and walked over to him, climbing up into his lap for a hug. He looked shocked but he did hug her. "You stay," she demanded in her quiet, nice, reasonable little tone of voice.
"I guess it's settled," Wesley said, smiling at them. "I'll stay for as long as you'll have me."
"Hey, you're a good teacher," Kaiya said. She looked at Oz. "I noticed that the trailer was free. If I go out at night to play in the woods, should I sleep down there?"
"Miri gets out at night," Oz said, waving it off. "Don't worry about waking us up. Just watch out for her."
"All right." She got comfortable. "Wesley's a very good teacher," she noted. "He was running the girls through their paces today after school, but it was all a game."
"I always wanted to be a teacher," Wesley said fondly, kissing Blair on top of the head. "They're a delight to teach."
"Hey, if you want to, have at it," Xander agreed, smiling. "I got as far as they are now. Please, teach them."
Oz looked at Xander. "I want to put them in Doyle's school as soon as he has room for them."
"Hey, another good idea," Xander said, waving a hand at Oz. "Maybe Wes could volunteer to help him too."
"I hadn't thought of that," Wesley said, smiling at him. "But I shall ask. It shouldn't be that hard." He hugged Blair to him tightly. "And tomorrow, we'll work on your reading skills, dear one."
"Okay," she said happily, liking the cuddle.
Wesley picked up the phone and dialed it slowly, trying hard to keep his shaking down. "Spike?" he whispered, taking it out onto the porch. "No, I can't," he said. "I hunted. Yes, I *killed* someone. Because they were bothering the family!"