Dealing With the Future.
Xander wandered into the common of UCSunnydale, sitting beside his lover and Willow at the table they were studying on. Oz grunted at him and Willow leaned her head on his shoulder. "Would you like me to cook tonight?" he asked, grinning at Oz when he held up his milkshake. "I think you need real food."
"Have a final at seven," Oz muttered. "No time for supper."
"But Giles demanded I come pull you home for a few hours," he said quietly, glancing around. Oz leaned over, blindly giving him a kiss while he continued to read. "Gee, no more closets?"
"Not for me. I'm bi and proud," Oz said, glancing up. He shot his lover a small smile before going back to his book. "What else is going on?"
"Miri wants a puppy again, and one followed her home." Willow snickered. "No, really followed her home. We were at the park and when I walked in the door, he walked in behind us." She giggled. "And she's named it Spike too."
Willow put her head down, giggling. "Oh, poor Spike. Is he downstairs?"
"No," Xander said. "Isn't he doing the househusband thing at your place?"
"No," she said, sobering up quickly and looking at him. "He hasn't been home in days." Oz looked up at her. "I'll call Angel tonight," she said calmly. "He's his sire, he'd know."
"Maybe he's visiting," Xander agreed. He tweaked her ear. "Did you want to come over for dinner tonight?" She shook her head. "Okay. Why don't I bring you two food then? Maybe meet you somewhere in a while?"
"No thanks," Oz told him, rubbing his now-bare foot over the jeans clad leg of the younger man. "I'll eat when I get home tonight. Put something into the fridge for me." He removed his foot.
Xander nodded, swallowing. "Okay. I've got a meeting with someone. I'll make pork chops or something." He got up, heading back to his car. Giles' car was back at the store so he was using his old beater again, wincing as it backfired as it started. He pulled out of the parking lot, heading toward the cafe he had suggested for the meeting earlier. He pulled up in front of it, parking, wincing as the car backfired again, but got out. He resisted the urge to kick it before walking inside, giving an apologetic nod to the waitress who was dabbing spilled coffee from her apron as he went to the back corner table he preferred. The man who had called him was already there. "Hey," he said, shaking his hand. "Todd, right?"
The man, blonde, tanned, smiling, shook his hand back. "Todd Ryman. You were two years behind me in school." He waited until the younger man was seated before saying anything else, pushing some papers over to him. "I've prepared some sales and account information."
Xander waved it off. "I have no idea what any of this means," he said, "my money's all from unlucky incidents." He got a sympathetic nod. "I want to know a few things. What are you planning on doing if I invest with you? What sort of business is it? How likely is it that I'm going to lose it all, that sort of stuff."
"Well," Todd said, pushing his bangs back into the rest of his hair. "I actually am owner of two businesses. One, the car dealership I inherited, and the small group of programmers I work with was recently formally incorporated." Xander nodded. "While I need help with both, we're getting a grant to write some educational software for the second business. The car dealership needs to be expanded. My father owed some mortgage payments when he died so the bank took part of the inventory in exchange. It left us with ...." He stopped as the waitress put down their coffee and a plate of croissants. "Thanks," he told her with a winning smile, waiting until she was gone to start again. "What I really need is an investor to expand the inventory of the car dealership to give us a better chance of selling the inventory we have so we can make back the money you invested and pay you back with interest."
"Okay, I can understand that. It sounds reasonable, but how much do you need?"
"Um, a hundred grand at least." He saw the wince. "You're not the only investor I'm propositioning, as a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I have another on tap to help me too, but I really could use the extra investors. For your money, you'd become a shareholder. The contract would give you limited liability in case something unforseen happens, and I could allow for some wiggling of the contract for reasonable demands. Like, say, a new car for you. I heard yours come in."
Xander grinned, just a little embarrassed. "It's the one I got in high school." He picked up the forms. "Can I take this home and talk to my lovers about it? Giles is more the business person than I am." He got a nod. "Okay, so I have your number and I know where the car lot is if I've lost it. I'll give you an answer in two days," he said, standing. He pulled out his wallet. "Let me get the bill and I'll see you then."
He didn't see the smile as he left, he was trying to make sense of the paperwork.
Giles put down the paperwork. "I don't think it's a sound investment," he said finally. "Their books don't look that solid and something seems wrong to me."
"So, I tell him no?"
"Yes, Xander, please tell him no." He smiled at his lover. "I'd be glad to help you invest some of your money safely if you wish, but I'd not go for this one."
"Well, I do have the few stocks I've been doing online." He saw the wince. "But lots of people do that."
"And many of them end up in the poorhouse because of it," Giles said gently, taking his hand to hold. "Allow me to look over those too?"
"Okay," Xander said, nodding slowly. "I can do that. I guess you would have more experience than I do here."
"Yes, I do, but I would include you and ask for your opinions. This would just be a glance through your choices to identify things that didn't look like healthy investments." He squeezed the hand he held. "Would you like to do that now?"
"Yup, please." Xander led him over to Oz's computer, logging on with the username Oz had created for him and getting into his stock account. He got out of Giles' way, leaning over his shoulder to look at it. "See, I haven't gotten burned too bad."
Giles kept calm as he looked over the account summary. "Xander, do you have any of either settlement left still?"
"Yeah, that was all interest." He pointed the mouse at another button, clicking on it. "See, this is my actual account summary," he said, pulling it up. Giles looked from the screen to him and back. "What? I've been living on the interest mostly."
"Xander, you've spent a good deal in the last year." He highlighted a few checks. "What are these?"
"The ten thousand one was for Miri's appendix." That got a nod. "The two thousand dollar one was to fix the nursery and paint my apartment. The six hundred dollar one was to paint Oz's apartment and to fix the damage done from Miri's kidnapping, we split that one. What else was there?" One other was noted for him. "Hmm, don't remember writing that one, let me get my checkbook." He walked back to the table, coming back with it. "What's the number?"
"Five hundred sixteen." Giles looked at the check register, shaking his head. "You don't record ATM transactions?"
"No, I do, I just do it on another form." He found the check stub, frowning. "I didn't fill it out?" He handed it over. "I don't know what it went to, I always fill that out first."
Giles looked at the stub then at computer screen. "That day you were in LA but it was done here. Did you take out money before you left?"
"No, my insurance deductible's been covered already," Xander said, sitting next to him. "So, who took it?"
"I have no idea," Giles said, picking up the phone. "Your bank has a twenty-four hour help line, we'll call and ask." He dialed the number on the screen, smiling as he was connect to an actual person. "Yes, hello, I'm calling about my mate's checking account, he has a questionable withdrawal that he didn't make?" He nodded, hitting a button. "There, did you get it?" His smile fell away. "Can you tell who? He says he didn't cash that big of a check." He pulled out some paper, writing something down. "You wouldn't happen to be able to check the tapes and make note of who did it... Oh, could you? Yes, thank you, it would be most welcome." He hung up, looking at Xander. "She said they didn't want to cash it because you hadn't signed it, they signed your name at the counter. There's a note on your file. Also, they had your driver's license."
The younger man frowned. "Do they know who?"
"No, just that it was a she with a male."
"Huh," Oz said as he walked in. "I had one of those too." He kissed each of their heads, standing behind Giles to look at the monitor. "Looks like you got hit worse though. I reported mine already and I asked them to check Rupe's but they said they couldn't without his knowledge."
Giles hit redial on the phone. "Yes, hello again, I was wondering if you could check my account also?" He rattled off the number then went stiff. "They did? Is it the same sort of transaction?" He nodded and looked at Oz. "Yes, and Mr. Osbourne said he had one too. Can you check the store's account? No, thank you." He hung up. "They didn't get the store's at all."
"We can't draw on the store's," Xander pointed out. "Only the accountant can do that." He looked up at Oz. "What do we do?"
"First of all," Giles said, changing windows. "We fix your horrid investments. You're losing money every day that we leave it." He clicked a few buttons. "There, all set to cash out in the morning. We'll get you a reasonable portfolio in the morning."
"But I liked some of those," Xander said, pointing at a few. "Those are usually good and they've been growing slowly."
Giles sighed and unchecked the sell order for shares of those few stocks, still not sending it in. "There, how's that?" He got a smile and a hug. "Good, now we should all look at our fiscal situation before we do anything else."
Oz nodded, leaning down to hit print on one of the screens and Xander got out of his way. A few more minutes and he had printouts of everyone's account and all their investments. "Done," he said, handing them over to Giles.
They walked out to the couch, the oldest man stopping to get a highlighter as he looked over the printed forms. He shot Oz a dirty look at one point, but simply marked a few more things out to be looked at. "All right," he said finally, setting the papers out. "This is where we're all being unconservative. Some of the investments are decidedly long term in nature, and I can understand that, though why you two have retirement accounts is beyond me."
"Because they say that if you save five dollars a day from the age of twenty-five on for retirement, you'll have a million dollars."
"Or two thousand a year," Oz noted. He pointed at his. "Mine's actually an equity account, I can borrow from it if I need to but I can't withdraw from it."
"A lot of mine is in CD's," Xander told him, "meaning I can't touch it and it just makes baby money." Oz patted his hand. "Well it does. It makes lots of little baby money and I live off the baby money usually." He turned back to Giles. "Is that bad?"
"No, actually, the method of investment that you're preferring is very safe. It's guaranteed if the bank has problems. Oz's is also insured I think." He looked down at his forms. "I had no idea I was so negligent about that fact though."
"We'll support you," Oz said gently. Giles shot him a smile. "We will."
"I don't think I'd make a very good kept man," Giles told him with a smile, "but we'll see what happens." He tapped the back of the highlighter on the papers. "There is a lot of unnecessary spending going on, by all of us, but it's well within our present paychecks from the store. Miri's account is certainly set into a safe place, insured and untouchable trust at the moment, so we shouldn't worry about that."
"We're doing okay then?" Xander asked, looking very confused. "Are we having problems?"
"A few," Giles said, pointing them out. "Some of us are making bad investments then following them up by investing more into the area." He looked up. "If you want to invest in small businesses, Xander, there are whole mutual funds that would help you there. They're a safer and more diverse bet than you're making with your online options trading."
Oz flushed some. "I've been doing some of that too, mostly into technology stocks."
"But those are really risky I thought," Xander said. "That's what the professional sounding guys on MSNBC said."
Oz shrugged. "But I like these places."
"Yes, well, maybe we should lay off the big investments for now," Giles said gently. "Buy five shares instead of five hundred."
"Or five hundred instead of five thousand," Xander added. Giles gave him a small smile. "But I'm like the main investor in that company."
"And we bought back most of your shares. You might send them an email and tell them," Giles told him. "Though that one was doing the best of all of them." Xander nodded, heading into the computer room. Giles leaned closer to Oz. "He's doing better than we are."
"He's been living mostly on his paycheck except for big things and he's pretty careful about where he invests. He may not know why but he does what he feels is best." The forms from the youngest man's meeting earlier were pushed over. "Well, it looks decent but I have a bad feeling about that," Oz said eventually, putting it down.
"I wasn't thinking that hard about it," Xander called. "He asked me not the other way around." He walked out. "Okay, we talked, he's giving me the benefit of the doubt and sucking up those other stocks himself. I told him to put them out there but he said they weren't being picked up."
"What sort of business is this?" Oz asked, looking up at him.
"Um, computer repair. He's expanding through a few colleges on this coast. Seemed to know what he was talking about, I asked Willow to listen in while we chatted online to make sure he was really a computer person." Xander sat back down. "I met him while I was roadtripping. He's a pretty nice guy."
Giles shrugged. "What did you feel about the car dealer today?"
"I didn't want to sit with him any longer than I had to, he seemed oily. His other work sounded more interesting to me, he's part of a programmer's group that's getting funding to write educational software." Oz shuddered. "Big probs?"
"Yeah, I know who this is now. Guy named Todd? Slimy? Dad had the car lot?" Xander nodded. "He's so bad of a hacker the FBI's tracking him. You're not investing with him."
"Okay," Xander said with a shrug. "What do I need to do to stay on good footing then?"
"You're doing fine," Giles assured him. "The risks you're taking are manageable and relatively small." The computer beeped. "Go answer it, it's probably for you anyway."
Oz got up, heading in. "Xander," he called, "for you." He walked out. "Stock guy."
Xander walked back in, smiling as he read the message. He whooped. "They were bought!" he called. He ran out, running into Oz and hugging him. "The company was bought!" He danced him around for a few seconds, switching to Giles when he got up. "I canceled the order with my broker." He grinned up at his lover.
"I have no problem with that," Giles told him, smiling too. "I'm considering that to be a mistake."
"Maybe we should let him handle it," Oz said, hugging Giles in apology at the frown.
"No, that's way too much responsibility," Xander said, shaking his head. "But I deserve kisses and a long hot bath with my men for it." Oz nodded, waving at the door. "Cool, I'll go start the water."
Oz waited until he was gone to go look at the message, snorting at the details. He walked back out, shaking his head. "Was bought well, and the people who bought it were basing it on the options three days ago." He wrapped his arm around Giles' waist. "He's fine. Even if you did try to manage his finances."
Giles shook his head. "I should learn to keep my opinions out of his head, he's much too innocent to be corrupted by the sliminess of big business." They headed for the other apartment. "Let's hope that they don't bother him about the attempted sell-off."
Oz heard the beep so headed back to the computer. "Huh," he said, printing the message out. "From his stock guy online." He handed over the paper. "Seems our Xander's really careful."
"Yes, I am, and I'm also wet and naked and waiting," Xander called.
Giles smiled as he walked into the bathroom, letting him read the message. "It seems your broker knows you too well." He put down the paper, stripping himself. "Oz," he called, "do bring your computer in here. I'm sure Willow can manage Miri quite well for a while longer."
"Yup," he said, walking in with the requested computer. "I just called, she's fine. Miri's making her feel better about no Spike for days." He and Xander shared a look. "I'm sure it wasn't him," he said finally. "If Spike did that, Will would kill him. Slowly." He plugged the computer back up, hooking it up to the phone jack in Miri's bedroom, and making sure they could see it. He logged in under Xander's name, bringing the phone from his house over to use if they needed it. "Okay, done," he said, stripping and climbing in, straddling Xander to kiss him. "Hmm, always like bathing with you."
"I missed this too," Xander said with a grin as he ran his wet hands down the firm back. "I really did miss doing things with you."
"Hey, I'm here now. No more running or hiding." He looked at Giles. "From any of us."
"None at all," the oldest man assured them. He reached over to play with Oz's back also. "I would like to lay here and watch you two pleasure each other."
"We need stuff," Xander reminded him. "Otherwise I'm going to be pleasuring Oz." The slightly older man looked down at him then kissed his nose. "Hey, I'm not taking chances. No way I want that to happen."
"No cute phrases," Giles reminded him.
"I don't want to be preggy, ever," Xander said, sticking his tongue out at Giles, who laughed. "Never. I don't want to be tabloid boy."
Oz leaned down, stopping the babbling lips by kissing them. "So don't be." He slid down the legs, looking at the body under him. "I'd like you to pleasure me, I've not been jumped recently by you." That got a small frown. "You do. Every time you want me, you hop up to grab me."
"Do not," Xander said, letting one hand fall to the stomach near his lap. "I don't jump you at all. I'm a *good* boy. Very innocent."
Oz sucked in a breath. "Oh, a fantasy." He looked over his shoulder at Giles. "He's a virginal Xander."
Giles bit his lip. "Oh, God," he ended up moaning. "Yes, he is." He got to his knees, coming over to kiss their lover. "May we play with your virginal body?" Xander nodded, eyes really wide. "May we show you what you really want?" he asked, letting a hand stroke down the chest. He could see the indecision so leaned a little closer. "Xander, relax, it's a fantasy. No harm is going to be done unless you want there to be some."
"Nope, no pain. But I wouldn't mind being virginal for you two again. I kinda feel robbed because you didn't get to do the whole virgin thing when I was opened." He blushed. "I thought, you know, that there would be something more there."
Oz nodded. "I was looking forward to breaking that cherry too, but he didn't give you one." He leaned in, getting a kiss. "Will you be our little virgin tonight?"
"Of course I will," Xander said, shyly turning his head off to the side before he could be kissed again. "Oz," he moaned. "Be gentle?"
"Always gentle." Oz moved through the warm water, cupping some in his hand to send cascading over the firm body as he leaned in for a kiss. "So shy," he whispered, "such a hard catch."
"Me?" Xander chuckled and kissed him back. "How far did you want to go?" he asked, blinking his big eyes at him. "I've never gotten *all* the way."
Oz groaned. "I know," he whispered, leaning in for another kiss, getting out the way of the hand he could feel moving toward Xander's groin. "Such a good boy," he said, pulling back to watch their older lover tease the hard flesh of Xander's lower stomach.
"Me? No I'm not, I just try really hard to be one, but I keep messing it up." Xander got to his knees, pulling Oz's head in for a kiss. "If I was a good boy, I'd be reading right now, not here in this sinful tub with *two* men."
Giles laughed lightly, moving to surround Xander from the other side, his hand sliding lower until he could grasp the hardness straining to rub against something. "I'm sure you're a good boy, we just seduced you in here with us," he assured him.
"So then I'm still a good boy, you two are just naughty?" Oz nodded so he grinned. "That's okay then, as long as I'm still going to be a good boy." He helped Oz up onto the edge of the tub, kissing his stomach. "You'll have to show me how to do this, Oz, I'm not real sure what you want me to do."
"DADDIES!" Miri yelled as she pounded on the door. "Want nap."
Oz groaned, hiding his face against Xander's head. "Okay," he called. "In a second." He looked down at Xander. "Can we finish this later?" he whispered.
"Only if you teach the virginal little me not to squeal," Xander agreed with a mischievous grin. He got off his knees, standing up and getting out. "Get stuff on so we can put our baby to bed." They dried off quickly, giving each other a little help every now and then in the form of pats, and let the water out of the tub. Xander opened up the door, watching as his pajama-clad daughter ran for her bedroom followed by her puppy. "Careful," he called after her.
"Nighties," she called, crawling up into the lowered side. She blew kisses before helping her puppy up with her, both physically and not.
"Not," Oz said, pulling the little beagle looking dog out of the crib and putting up the side. "No dogs in bed." She pouted at him. "No."
"Puppy?" she asked pitifully, pointing at him. "Me puppy," she said, adding a nod and turning up the level of her pout.
"Your Spike can sleep beside the bed," Xander said from the doorway. "No dogs in bed with you." She snuggled down under her blanket, blinking at them. "Night," he said gently, walking over to brush down her damp hair. "Auntie Will gave you a bath?"
Miri nodded. "Me nap, Auntie say." She grinned at them. "Nighties."
"Good night, Miri-love," Giles said as he bent down to kiss her. "Behave tonight, we'll be just in the livingroom. He stepped back, all three of them watching her slowly fall asleep.
"Willow," Oz groaned quietly, heading for the bathroom. "Infinite bad timing," he told her as he sat next to her on the couch.
"Sorry, but she was yawning and stuff." Willow smiled at the other two men as they walked out. "I wanted her to wait too, to give you guys a little time and stuff, but she wanted to go to bed now. She demanded her bath and bedtime." The puppy yipped, making Willow smile. "Sounds like her Spike is now in bed with her."
"Probably," Xander said. "We'll take him back out in a minute. How're you feeling?" He shifted so he was curled up in the chair, unconsciously giving everyone a very good view of what he had since he was wearing very loose boxers. He saw Giles staring so shifted a little to let him see.
"Xan," Oz said quietly. "If I can see, you're flashing us all." The younger man blushed, righting himself in the chair. "You can do that later," he promised.
Willow stood up. "I'll let you guys play alone. Who's going with me to LA tomorrow?"
"I am," Giles said, shaking himself free of the vision of his youngest lover. "We'll go see your doctor together."
"I have an appointment in two weeks," Xander said. "Maybe we should synchronize it somehow."
"That'd be cool, then Oz wouldn't have to take so much time off of class." She blew kisses and walked out, whistling happily.
"She's very good at being pregnant," Xander said. "It fits her."
"She does seem to enjoy it most of the time," Giles remarked. "Though her first bout of morning sickness did get to her a bit. She called us in a blind panic the day you went in last." He looked at Oz. "Are you concerned at all?"
"Nope, she's pretty like this but it's not mine." He slid to his knees, crawling over to where Xander sat. "You are in trouble, flashing her like that." He nipped the firm stomach, making it ripple with laughter. "I thought you were a good boy."
Spike, the puppy, yipped again and Oz groaned. Xander got up, heading into the bedroom to get him. "I bet you need walked," he said quietly, snapping on it's leash and grabbing his jacket. "We'll be back."
"Pants," Oz suggested. "Before you draw more things here to come for you?"
Giles got up, stretching. "I'll go with him just so he'll be protected." He went into the bedroom and both he and Xander walked out dressed in pants and t-shirts, but not much else. "Give us a moment, we'll be back." They walked out together, the puppy's backside wiggling as it led the way.
"Why?" Oz asked, looking up at the ceiling. He pulled himself up off the floor, heading in to check on his daughter. "No puppies in bed," he whispered, putting back up her cribrail.
Oz looked over at the report the doctor gave him. "So," he said, taking Giles' usual place since he had had an emergency school board meeting. "What's this mean?"
Willow snickered. "It means the baby's healthy and so am I." She came out from behind the changing screen. "Right, Doctor Adams?"
"Very true, Willow, you're both very healthy. Very much so." He smiled at her. "Why don't you go plan your celebratory lunch? I need to ask Oz something." He waited until they were alone. "How's Xander doing?" he asked casually.
"Fine, as far as we can tell. We've gotten over the panic but our daughter keeps interrupting anything." He grunted as the door opened. "What's wrong, Willow?"
"I just didn't want to sit out there alone. All the women were giving me dirty looks." She patted the small bulge on her stomach. "I feel so bad because I had it easy."
"No big," Oz said, pulling her in for a hug. He looked at the doctor. "Any reason why?"
"Not really, just curious." He smiled and stood up. "Remember to take those vitamins, young lady, and we'll see you in another month." He stopped Oz before he could leave. "Is he panicking still?" he asked quietly.
"Not really. At least not that I know of." The doctor nodded and let him go. "Later. I'll try to be in with him in a few weeks."
"He's just coming in for bloodwork," the doctor assured.
Oz waited until they got in the car to look at Willow. "Was it your spell that did that to Xan?"
"Probably," she admitted. "My friend, the one I helped get pregnant before I did, she was infertile too. She's having twins now." She shrugged. "I'm sure it'll grow back or something."
"We can only hope," Oz muttered, starting the car.
Xander looked around as he picked up the pregnancy kit, a double box, and headed for the register. "For a girlfriend of my best friend," he explained when the woman rang him up. She just nodded and took his money. "They're trying hard." He grabbed the bag and ran out to his car, sliding in and heading home. He made it up the stairs without being stopped, going to hide in his bathroom while he did the test. He kept tapping his foot and looking at his watch as the little dipstick soaked, then pulled it out to look at it. "Phew," he whispered, leaning against the wall. "Not. Still." He cleaned up after himself, making sure he hid all the evidence and there was no sign of what he had done. "Thank you," he whispered, looking up. "Whichever one you are."
Giles smiled across the table at Xander and Oz, holding up his glass of wine. "Here's to babysitters," he said, snorting at Oz's small nod. "May they continue to be around."
Xander grinned at his men. "Does this mean I can have cuddles without little bodies interrupting?"
"Of course," Oz said, pulling Xander closer to hug him. "Want anything else?"
"Yes," Xander said, rolling his eyes. "You both and the bed, now."
"Let us finish eating first please," Giles said, "I for one will need my strength to deal with you." He quickly tore back into his steak, watching as his lovers did the same.
Pretty soon, they were on the bed, a naked Xander between them and waiting. "She's fine," he said. "I'm sure she's fine."
Oz put down the phone, turning to nuzzle Xander's chest. "Just checking before anything happens. You know how Wes can be." He licked down the bare chest, one of his fingers going down to play with the hardness sticking up. "Want you," he murmured into a nipple as he licked over it. "Lots."
"That's what I'm here for," Xander said, arching up under the talented lips. "Anything I can do to help, just tell me."
Giles snorted, walking in. "I see you two started without me," he said as he got in beside them. "Buffy's suitably delayed doing real work for a bit. We should have at least a few hours together."
Xander nodded, his breath catching as Oz licked over his cock. "Okay," he said, nodding as he was swallowed. "Good."
Giles smiled, kissing him hard. "Such a good boy," he whispered, taking Oz's former place on the firm chest to nibble and lick over it. "Too bad I have to be careful with you now." He scratched the light hair trail over the jumping stomach. "Oh, my, does that feel nice?" he asked.
Xander nodded. "More!" he demanded, holding Oz's head in place. "Please?" he begged as the tongue came back to tease him. "Pretty please?"
"Shh," Oz whispered, looking up. "We have it, you'll be fine and happy." He used his thumb to play with the entrances to the younger man's body, teasing him. "We'll make you feel great."
"You're ours," Giles assured him. "You're not leaving and neither are we." He unwrapped one of the contraceptive sponges, smiling at Xander as he inserted it into the young man's extra hole then gave him a kiss. "There, all set for whatever we may want."
Xander shook his head. "Not stretched," he reminded. "Want both of you."
Oz looked up from his nibbling on the soft balls. "Of course you're getting both of us." He licked up the head of Xander's cock, making him whine. "See?"
"Not yet, love," Giles said gently. "I don't want him to go off until we're in him, it'll last longer." Oz nodded, nipping the hard cock, hard, making Xander jump and yelp. "Thank you, Oz, I do believe that was most effective." They shared a kiss.
"Bit harsh," Xander complained, pulling Oz off Giles to kiss him, starting by nipping his lip. "Bad you, no biting in bed and none down there at all."
Oz licked over Xander's lips. "Worked."
"We need to get him something to make him last," Giles said, rubbing down the smooth chest. He could feel the almost invisible hairs against his fingertips, smiling at the feel of them. "Xander, what would you like since this is your time?"
"More," he suggested, wiggling his lower body. "From both of you?"
"That goes without saying, but did you have a particular act or way in mind?"
"Nope," Xander said, getting up onto his knees. "Surprise me," he whispered as he kissed Giles hard. He closed his eyes as he felt a finger enter him, pushing back against it. They opened again as he felt Oz take his ass, just like that, slowly opening him as he inserted himself. "Oz," he moaned, sitting down on him, allowing himself to be wrapped in the strong arms. "So nice."
"Very tight," Oz told him, "like you like this." He pulled out and pushed back inside. "Beg," he ordered.
"Please make love to me," Xander said, getting onto his knees and wiggling his now empty hole at them. "Pretty please, Oz? Giles?"
"I think that can be arranged," Giles said, pulling Oz up to kiss him, then he looked at his lover. "Oz, do be gentle with him. He likes it gentle."
Xander got tired of being ignored so he pulled Oz out of Giles' arms, pushing him back onto the pile of pillows, taking long licks down his chest. "My turn," he said simply, going after Oz's navel. He felt Giles lay beside them, kissing Oz while he pleasured him at the other end, and got jealous. "Oz," he said, licking over the head of his cock. "What do you want?"
"I want you to beg," Oz said simply, looking down at him. He pushed up against the tongue, nodding as he was allowed into the warm mouth. "Thanks."
Giles laid back on the pillows with a sigh. "Does anyone else feel this is too forced?"
"Yes," both younger men said together.
Xander fell to his stomach between Oz's legs, looking at them. "I don't know what's wrong, but it doesn't feel like this is us."
"What would make it us?" Giles asked.
"We never had to ask or work for it," Oz reminded them. He held out a hand. "Xander?" The younger man wiggled up to lay on his chest. "We're trying too hard."
"Same as in the bathtub?" Xander asked quietly, tracing the edge of Oz's aureole with his fingertip.
"Yes," Giles said, "exactly like that. We shouldn't be having these problems yet."
"We're not, we just want it *so* much that we're forcing the issue," Xander said, not looking up from his finger and the firm, pale chest he was playing with. "We usually just start out with a kiss and if it happens it does. If not then it doesn't." He bent his head down, licking over the cinnamon colored bud, making the man under him shiver. "We just need to quit thinking."
"Not thinking would be good," Oz noted. He stroked over Xander's head. "I like your hair, it's soft."
"I'm using a new conditioner." Oz nodded. "I feel like those old married couples, the ones who are so used to each other that they don't talk or even cuddle."
Oz sighed, shifting to hug Xander tighter to him. "Me too. I hate this feeling."
"How do we fix it?" Xander asked, looking up, putting the hand back in his hair.
"Maybe we should do something different," Giles suggested. Both younger men looked at him. "That's what the experts tell women when they complain that they're not having fun making love. To try new positions or locations."
"Oh, yeah, I can see us on the dining room table," Oz scoffed. "Just as the baby walks in."
"Or Spike," Oz added, earning shudders. Oz looked at the older man. "Remember when we used to have non-sexual fun with the porn? We'd all lay on your bed and watch it together, not touching each other, just being together?" Giles nodded. "I miss that most. Now I *have* to perform and I hate it."
"You never have to perform," Xander told him. "I'm not a meany. I can understand headaches, bad days, and just not wanting me."
"I always want you, sometimes I don't want to pleasure you," Oz corrected. "I love cuddling with you after a hard day."
"Then we should do more of that," Giles told them, lying down with them and pulling his men against his body. "I could relearn to appreciate this."
"Me too," Xander said with a small yawn. "Sorry, Miri's been keeping me up."
"You know, she's like half the problems I have too. Every time we try something, she interrupts. She's got to go to bed, Willow brings her back early. She starts to cry because her puppy won't come when she tries to call him. I think we need to have a talk with her."
"I think maybe she's a little insecure herself," Xander offered. "I mean, a new baby coming and we're not paying as much attention to her. Maybe we need to take a day off and just spend some time playing and talking with her. Boosting her self-confidence and knowledge that we love her."
"Sounds good to me," Oz said. "Just taking a day off and going for it?"
"Well, we do have the helpers in the store now," Giles reasoned. "We could schedule them together and get a day off that way. Though we've been doing a lot of that."
Xander nodded. "Mary's been really good about it, but he's been rotten." He grimaced then sat up. "You don't think...." He looked down at them. "The missing checks?"
"Maybe," Oz reasoned. "I'm not always careful to lock my apartment if I'm just going downstairs for a while. I've left it open overnight when I've been down here too." He scratched his forehead. "Don't know how to prove it though."
"Bank security footage?" Giles suggested. "Surely they caught the people on tape."
"They said they were looking for it," Oz reminded them. "We'll check it and make sure." Everyone nodded. "So, we're going to check with the accountant tomorrow? Make sure the register comes up even with the deposit?"
"If they're stealing from the drawer, it'd be easier to do it throughout the day," Xander told him, staring at the wall as he thought. "Maybe steal a few bills when you're making change or when you go on break. Maybe taking some and walking back to the research room and putting it away in your pocket in there." He looked back at Oz. "We need to watch them without being seen."
"We could always set up a little camera that we'll take down later and set up in the research room to catch them," Oz suggested. "Same as we did when Miri was first born so we could check on her when she was too quiet." Xander and Giles nodded. "I'll get it set up tomorrow. It'll take me a second to put it in place then we'll be able to sit in the research room or up here and watch."
"That sounds reasonable," Giles said, "and a decent precaution, but what do we do if they are stealing?"
"We fire them," Xander said. "I would have gotten fired from my menial jobs for it. And we need to redo an inventory too, just in case."
"We'll need another helper," Oz told them. "We going to look at the college?"
"We could. It's not horribly busy when they're not in session." Giles reached over to rub Xander's back. "You've had some excellent ideas tonight, love. Thank you."
"Welcome." Xander preened under the praise, lying back down to cuddle his men. "This'll put off our day with Miri."
"No it won't. We'll do that Saturday afternoon. She's glued to cartoons anyway during the morning. Whichever of us that aren't working can pack a picnic lunch and stuff and we'll go to the park."
"Cool," Xander said. "I'm not working. I'll do the lunch stuff."
"I'll watch Miri and pack the things we'll need besides," Giles offered.
Oz groaned. "We're all scheduled off, aren't we?" Giles and Xander nodded. "I'll work Saturday morning then. We'll have to rework the schedule soon too."
"They may be innocent," Xander reminded them.
Oz took the cash from their female worker's hand, tugging her into the inventory room and slamming the door. "How long?" he asked. She just crossed her arms, looking at him. "You're fired. We're checking your bag on the way out." She walked out, snorting as she walked past him. Oz followed her out, watching as the other worker walked out behind her, Xander watching them gather their things. "We'll cut your final checks next week at the regular time. They'll be here." The male worker flipped him off as they walked out of the door. "Huh, not friendly." He looked at Xander. "I have class in an hour, can you deal?"
"Sure. Go have class." He took his place behind the register. "Get Miri for me," he called after his lover. "She's in my apartment." He looked around the store and the lack of customers, heading over to the display window to play with it, hoping to draw more people in. After a few minutes he had a little helper, who handed him things that were 'pretty', or so she said. He smiled at his daughter, arranging the items as best he could. He smiled at Giles when he picked her up to kiss her, backing out of the window. "I think we need new stuff. None of this has sold in a while now."
"Yes, we could use some more variety." Giles put Miri down, watching her run after her beagle- mix puppy, considering her little body. "We could use some advertising too. Both for the normal content and for the other content."
"You know, the other occult store is doing great."
"She may well be harming our business," Giles said after a second. "I'll go see what's going on over there later today."
"Hi," Willow said as she walked in, swinging a bag from the other occult store. "Did you know they were having a massive sale?" She picked up a candle holder, checking the price. "This is way cheaper over there."
Giles sighed, patting her back. "I'm sure but they can't run the sale forever."
"True, she's going out of business." She walked over to the chair behind the register. "I thought you guys were all off today."
"Caught the workers stealing," Xander told her with a small shrug. "How's baby Giles?"
"Fine. She's not much of a baby yet but she's fine." She rubbed her still flat stomach. "I'm only about a month and a half, babies aren't much at this stage."
Giles smiled. "So I've read." He walked over to rub her back. "How are you?"
"Fine. No gross cravings or anything."
"Good," Xander said, coming over to sit on the counter. "I'd like to wait on those."
She nodded. "Me too." Willow looked around. "Where's the munchkin?"
"Miri," Xander called, bringing her from the extra storeroom that they had converted into a play area for her when she was in the store with them, followed faithfully by her dog. "There she is. Willow's here."
"Park?" Miri said with a small, cute smile, petting her dog. "Spike play?"
"Later," Willow said, getting up. "Let's go watch Sesame Street for now and we'll go to the park later. Okay?" Miri nodded, grabbing her hand and pulling her up the stairs.
"At least something's going right today," Xander muttered. "You want to go over there and see what we can't get for us?"
"I should," Giles said, looking around at the mostly full shelves. "We'll look through the catalogs later tonight and see what else we can't offer to add some variety." He kissed Xander's cheek, walking out of the store.
Xander sat in the chair behind the register, opening it to count and see how short they were from their former workers.
Giles looked around at his business partners, and the actual owner of the store who was sitting in her high chair snacking on apple pieces. "It seems," he said, clearing his throat and taking a drink of water, "that one of the more major stores from the east coast is moving out here. They've got an excellent reputation and a rabid group of followers."
"Problems for us besides the store?" Oz asked.
"Not actually. They're known not to choose sides but also not to cater to those that they think are going to cause trouble. Their motto is to lay low but supply the demand." Xander raised a hand. "Yes?"
"Are they running her out of business or just offering?"
"They're offering for her. And she introduced me to a representative from them when I walked over there. He's going to try and make an offer for ours too."
Oz frowned. "What'll happen?" He looked around Giles' apartment. "I mean, this is kinda our home too."
"Miri owns the building," Xander reminded him. "And the store."
"Good point, but they could bother us to the point where we shut down," Giles commented. "They're coming in with a ready, and larger, client base."
Xander shook his head. "Her main thing's occult, ours is a sideline. It shouldn't hurt us that much."
"Good point," Oz said, looking at Giles, "and we're not really selling anything. We're more offering research and selling some herbs when they're needed."
"We're more a library," Xander said, "only we don't loan the books."
Giles smiled at him. "That's a very good point, boys, both of yours. Theoretically we could stay in business easily but we'd have less need of the back room."
Xander shrugged. "It's not like the activity's going to stop in the town. Even if they come in, how many new magic-users are they bringing with them? And how many of them are going to screw up because they don't understand the Hellmouth?" Giles looked thoughtful. "I say we invite him over, explain some real life to him then tell him to go away."
Oz nodded. "Could be easily done. We're not competition."
"True," Giles said, "but we're going to cut into their market a bit because people can copy from our books without buying them."
"And that'll cost them what? A few hundred dollars a quarter?" Oz suggested. "We're too small for them to worry about. If they're that hostile towards us, then there's something wrong."
Xander nodded. "We can't hurt them so if they get really pushy we need to look for motives."
Giles nodded, smiling at his lovers. "Agreed." He patted the table. "Now then, when should we invite them over?"
"A few days? Allow us some time to unpack some new stuff?" Oz suggested.
"I'll have a few new books, from them actually, coming in about the same time." He checked the date on his watch. "That'll be about the same time we have a meeting with our accountant over the taxes."
Xander shuddered. "I had no idea we were supposed to pay that much." Giles nodded. "At least we're getting out of Social Security and stuff since only we work there now."
"We need to pay that ourselves," Oz told him, taking his hand to squeeze. "We'll pay it at the same time as we pay the store's contribution."
Giles nodded. "That seems reasonable. We'll invite them over next week then?"
Oz and Xander both nodded. "Sure," they said together. Miri clapped and they smiled at her.
"Thank you, sweetness," Xander said, kissing her since he was closer. "How's your apple?"
"Tweet." She held up a piece. "You?"
"No thank you," he said, kissing the back of her hand. "You can have it." She nodded, eating the slice of fruit. "We'll have to make sure Miri isn't around when they come, just in case."
"Does anyone else feel like they're sitting in some boardroom talking about us?" Oz asked.
Xander snorted then started giggling. "Well sir," he said, raising his voice up a half octave, "we have a file on Rupert Giles, but not on either Harris or Osbourne, not in our usual files. Mr. Giles does order from us occasionally and it's noted here that he's a former Watcher, also a formidable magic-user in his own right. We know that he's stopped many things from taking over Sunnydale previously when nothing else would. We found some evidence of prior court actions on the part of Mr. Harris, and a few Social Services records, but nothing really on Mr. Osbourne. Until we asked our staff Hunter. He said he's a werewolf, but that's he's not to be touched because he's protected by the Slayer. That's all we've found and it's not real helpful in our plan to run them out of business. There's no way Mr. Harris will sell, it's in his daughter's, and Mr. Osbourne and Mr. Giles are both co-parents with him." He giggled again, trying to get away from Oz's fingers. "Oh, but there is a note here on the little girl," he continued, "she's obviously not one we want to fuck with, she's the daughter of a former Slayer herself and has an army of protectors that include FBI agents and a souled vampire, and a few others."
Giles shook his head, laughing. "So bad, Xander," he said in between chuckles.
"Me!" Miri yelled, grabbing the attention. "Me?"
"Yes, dear, you're very funny too," Oz said, getting up to kiss the top of her head. "How would you like to take a day with us? Maybe play with us and talk with us?" She smiled up at him, showing off the apple piece in her mouth. "Thanks." He wiped her chin. "You eat first then we'll go take the day off."
"Cool," Xander said, hopping up. "I have all the stuff for a great picnic upstairs." He jogged out the door, heading up the stairs.
Oz looked at the woman sitting in the car across the street from the park, considering it. "Think the Council has sent someone new?" he asked, pointing it out. Giles looked and shook his head. "You sure?"
"It's not one that I know of. And she's old enough to have been one while I was still there."
Xander stood up, brushing himself off. "I think I'm going to go ask why she's staring at our child. 'Scuse me." He headed for the car, smiling his best smile. "Excuse me, is there a problem? You seem to be staring at my child and I was wondering why?"
She pulled out her ID which said Child Protective Services. "I'm doing a routine check on your child."
He leaned against the car. "I didn't know there was an open file. We've never been approached before." She nodded. "Care to tell me when and why? The last one I knew of was my mother making false claims."
She pulled out a folder looking at the information but not letting him see it. "There's no name given, just that your child was badly mistreated and had no steady care."
"Actually, we have some friends who help us and always have. A few that are 'Uncles' and one 'Aunt'," he did the finger quotes, "that sometimes babysit, and the people I live in the same building with since we own a store together." She wrote something down. "That's a good thing, right?"
"Yes, it is. It explains a lot. Who has primary caregiver responsibilities?"
"We three share it," Oz said as he walked over, "depending on my class schedule and their work schedules and medical appointments." He looked at Xander. "Who reported us?"
"She didn't say." They both looked at the woman. "Is there anything else?"
"No, that answers most of our questions." She closed the folder. "I'll submit this later today but I'm not seeing a problem. We all do what we have to do where childcare is concerned." Xander got off her car as she started it and rolled away.
Xander looked at Oz. "Thinking bad thoughts?"
"Oh, yeah." He nodded, heading back to where Giles was sitting with Miri, trying to keep her from bringing a bird down to play with. "Someone reported us to CPS for too many parents," he told the older man. Giles frowned, hugging Miri tightly to him. "She said she didn't see a problem when we explained it."
Giles snorted. "I'm sure." He looked at Xander. "Would you like to take her home for a bit while we talk to the store's lawyer?"
"He's a business lawyer, he doesn't handle civil matters," Xander reminded them. "And I don't think we'll have to work that hard to keep her." He smiled as a familiar man walked towards them, dark haired, tallish, mid-thirties. "Hi, Council guy. Did you call CPS on us?"
He sat down, shaking his head. "No, but we are trying to block their actions. I'm here on a different matter actually. About the store and the proposed buyout by the East Coast place."
Giles shrugged. "We're not taking it. We really don't do much occult business." The Council's watcher nodded solemnly. "Why is the Council involved? A problem or a warning?"
"A warning actually. The people behind the buyout aren't the actual owners, it's a franchise." He rolled the word off his tongue. "And we do wish you to stay in business. We see the benefit of the work you do daily." He smiled at Miri, wiggling his fingers. "Oh, and that thing with getting the Slayers together to talk, it was perfect genius according to them. We figure it'll give them Ms. Summer's edge without the problems Faith or she had." He looked up at Xander. "Also, I was told to come and commend you on your rescue of your daughter. It seems it turned many heads on the actual Council when you did so. We weren't surprised that you did so, just what you did to Faith." He stood up, brushing himself off. "Have no fear about that woman, they'll not take Miri from any of you. And if they tried, I'm sure you could handle it."
Giles nodded and the other man left, leaving them alone. "I do believe they just told us to do what was necessary to keep her." He looked at Xander, who was hugging their daughter. "I had no idea they thought that way about us." He reached over to brush a piece of Xander's hair of his head. "Shall we go prepare things to stop them from coming?"
Xander nodded. "Just in case would be a good idea." He kissed the top of Miri's head, then passed her to Oz. "You're way quiet. Problem with the plan?"
"I don't like the thought of hurting them, but a simple forget her spell wouldn't be all bad." Everyone else nodded. "Good." He stood up. "Get the picnic stuff." He looked down at Miri. "Call your Spike. We'll go play at home where there's air conditioning."
"SPIKE!" Miri screamed, bringing her puppy running. She leaned down trying to pet him but Oz wouldn't let her go. She looked up at him and pouted. "Me play?"
"Later," Xander told her, tweaking her nose. "We'll finish the picnic on the carpet where Daddy Oz can't complain about the food I packed."
"I'm sorry, I just don't think that olives and ham sandwiches go together in the same lunch."
Giles rolled his eyes. "We'll go fix you a chicken and ranch dressing sandwich then," he soothed, taking Miri back and putting the leash on the dog. He put them both into the stroller, heading toward the sidewalk. "Come on, I'd like to get away from the bugs also."
Angel looked up as the store's owners walked in, nodding at Giles to join him. "I had to come, what's wrong?"
"Wrong?" Giles asked. "Angel, we never called you."
Willow, who was sitting behind the register reading a book cleared her throat. "We found a prophecy last week about a young woman to be sacrificed tonight, a child of the moon and stars who was giving birth to the sun." Giles frowned. "*You* found it and Xander called me."
"No, I didn't," Giles said patiently. "We've not called either of you recently." He looked at Xander and Oz, both of who were standing there watching. "Was it one of you two?"
"Nope," Xander said. "I don't touch those books without your permission because you yelled last time." Giles shook his head. "Yes you have, two days from now." Everyone looked at him and he shrugged. "Sorry!"
"No, Xander, you said two days *from now*." Xander nodded, putting Miri down. "You're seeing the future?"
Angel smacked himself on the forehead. "That call." He looked at Willow. "The prophecy?"
"Was a call in while I was gone at class. It's on my machine. Or at least it was until I accidentally erased it." She yawned. "Sorry. The little guy is sleepy."
Xander shook his head. "Thought it was a girl?"
"I'm vacillating back and forth over it's sex but it's not decided itself yet so we're okay."
Oz shook his head. "Apparently I'm out of the loop again, what's going on?"
"It seems, by some form of intervention, we've placed calls from sometime in the future to stop an event from happening. And it seems to be Willow's sacrifice." He looked at Xander. "Which books did I yell at you for touching?"
"Um, you called and yelled at me at the new house. I was reading through one of your spell books and you said no one was ever going to touch them again because you weren't smart enough to know that 'e's aren't 'p's or something that sounded a lot like that. You were kinda drunk." He scratched his head. "How do I know that?"
"You're obviously the pathway of the event," Giles said happily, leading Xander over to the stairs. "I want you to go upstairs and get my spellbooks. Whichever ones you're not supposed to touch." He got a nod and let Xander go. He glanced at Oz. "Take Miri up to your apartment and stay there."
"Spike!" Miri called, clapping and laughing. Everyone but Angel looked at her, he just looked at the floor.
Willow glared at Angel. "You know where he is, don't you?" She got a nod in response. "You let me suffer and worry so much that I..." She choked up and started to cry, grabbing Oz to do it on.
Miri looked up at her auntie then at Angel and frowned at him. "Meany." She toddled over to pat her leg, making small bird chirp-like noises. "Shhh, pretty."
Willow giggled and picked her up to hug. "Thank you, so are you." She looked at Angel. "It's been making me sick and you've been hiding him every time I called."
Angel backed away from her. "He's back in town, but he can't see you because of the baby."
"The extra blood screwing with him?" Oz suggested.
Angel nodded. "For some reason the scent of a pregnant woman is like an aphrodisiac to some of us. Spike's never shown that sort of problem before but he came *begging* to be taken in because he knew he was going to hurt her, chip or not."
"He can't," Willow said, sniffling and wiping her eyes. "I've spelled him away from hurting anyone."
"It won't hold against this," Giles assured her. "We'll find a cure so you can have him back." He looked at his daughter, who was watching her dog and looking very sad. "What's wrong, Miri- love?"
"Me Spike," she said, pointing. She looked at Willow, pouting. "Spike?"
Willow hugged her. "Thank you but I don't think it'd be the same if I shared your Spike. He's not really a whole lot like mine. Mine's bigger and stronger, and he gives killer backrubs." Miri brightened at that. "Thank you though," she finished, giving her a kiss on the cheek.
Someone cleared their throat from the doorway. "Hello, I need to speak to a Mr. Harris?" she said.
"He's upstairs," Oz said. "Can we help?"
"I'm here from Child Protective Services. I can really only talk to the father." She smiled at Willow. "You're not the mother, correct?"
"No, she's in prison for trying to kidnap her and kill her." The woman looked concerned. "Xander saved her."
"Spike," Miri said, pointing at her dog. "Me."
"Yes, Miri, just relax and enjoy your cuddle." Giles looked at Angel, who nodded slightly, and they both looked at Willow, who looked determined.
Xander came back down the stairs, handing Giles his books. "Here. All but one I couldn't find but I think it's under the couch somewhere." He noticed everyone was quiet. "What?"
"Mr. Harris?" the woman said, stepping forward. "I need to speak with you."
Xander looked her over and shook his head. "No you don't, not unless you came to say that you've laughed that complaint out of your files." He patted Miri's head. "Otherwise you can get out before I rip you apart."
She looked distressed. "I could come back with the police."
"And I could hurt them too," he told her calmly. "There's nothing wrong with my daughter and the way we're raising her together. Everyone in this room has helped me when I needed it most. You're not taking her from us."
"I see," she said, biting her lip. "I'll be back soon, I suggest you pack her a bag. We can't allow a child to live in this sort of environment."
"What sort of environment?" Angel asked.
"We feel that for a child such as Miri being passed back and forth as she is can be harmful to her. I'm sure she has problems distinguishing her father."
"Miri," Giles said. "Let her go, Willow. I want you to go hug your father." Miri nodded and headed over to Xander, who she hugged. "Now hug Daddy Oz." She did. "And Auntie Willow?" She smiled and waved at Willow, who waved back. "And who am I?" he asked her, getting down on her level.
"Daddy," she said, hugging him. "Me daddy." She looked at the woman and frowned. "Me!"
Everyone watched as the woman started to float a little, but it was Xander who saw how much pain his daughter was in. "Put her down," Xander said gently, picking her up. "You don't need the headache." He rubbed her back gently, looking at Willow. "Go get her tylenol drops and a glass of juice for her, Will, she's going to be in some massive pain in a second." He waited until she was gone to look at the Social Worker. "Anything else?" She shook her head, turning and running out of the store. "Think she's coming back?"
"No," Giles said, smirking. "I think Miri truly scared her." He reached over to pat the back of her head. "How do you feel, Miri?"
"Owwies," she whispered, rubbing her forehead.
Xander nodded, kissing the top of her hair. "We'll give you something for that as soon as Willow comes back down." He looked at Giles again. "The other book was your leather covered one that I used to joke about being hide covered."
Giles smiled at him. "I know where that is, it's in the bedroom, I'll go look it up right now." He patted Xander's shoulder. "What was I looking for?"
"Um, something that changed from an e to a p when translated." He looked confused. "Or maybe the other way around. I'm not sure. All I know was that it was about a knife and a stone altar, like the one that lion gave himself up on to save everyone in Narnia."
Oz shivered. "Okay. Giles, want help?"
"No, stay and watch over them for me. I'm not sure what to look up or if I may need to tap into Xander again." Oz nodded and he headed up the stairs.
Xander looked at Oz. "Are we okay now? You kinda left us in the middle of the night after it happened."
"What happened?" Oz asked him.
"After the stone and the sacrifice thing happened."
Oz nodded, pulling Xander in for a hug. "We're fine and we're going to stop the sacrifice." Xander nodded, relaxing into his body. "What house?"
"We bought a house with the insurance money from when the store was burned down by the town." Angel grunted. "Yes, it was. They got scared and decided to run us off."
Oz looked at Angel. "Grab everything you can of importance and go load it in the cars," he said quietly. "We're moving things tonight. Before they get here." He looked at Willow as she came back down the stairs. "What was the rest of the prophecy? Was it a sacrifice to save others? Or to calm people?"
"Um, sounded like the latter. Why?"
Oz took the cup of juice and tylenol. "Go tell Giles we've got to leave now. The townspeople are coming."
"I can start a spell..." She started.
"No, that's how you were sacrificed." She nodded and jogged away. Oz gave Miri some of the medicine and then the cup, kissing Xander on the side of the head. "Go pack her a big bag, we're leaving tonight." He let the younger man go, heading out to the car himself.
The group watched as the first towns person stood in front of the store, waiting for the others to show up, their hopes dropping as each second passed. Soon there were five, then thirty, then quite a few people they knew and had previously liked. Someone threw a rock through the front window. A cheer went up and the door was rushed, everyone heading inside. Through the front window you could clearly see one person starting a fire in the store, and they all turned away, looking at the things piled in the various cars, unable to watch almost everything they had known together burn and everything they couldn't pack in under an hour be destroyed.
Xander put down his video camera, looking at the others. "It's good that you fixed this," he told Giles, hugging him. "Now what?"
"Now we go to somewhere safe," Giles said. "We'll do something about this tomorrow." He patted Miri's head, sliding in beside her carseat. "I'm sure the Council has somewhere safe set up for us by now. They used to have a safehouse ready for Buffy."