Title: Oh, Yeah, Not a Good
Email address: email@example.com
Pairings: Derek/Philip, Willow/Oz/Xander, Nick/Buffy
Fandom: P:TL/BTVS xover
Status: new; complete
Archive: Sure, if you really want to.
Archive author: Voracity
Archive email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Or above
Other website: (being worked on)
Disclaimers: Not mine (sigh). I gain nothing but pleasure from writing. No copyright infringment intended. Yes, writing is therapy for me.
Summary: Part 14. Let's see: Willow gives birth, Xander gets a head injury.
Warnings: M/M (not that this should have to be a warning), ANGST!
Buffy ran into her mother's arms, hugging her tightly. Joyce just smiled at Nick, patting the younger woman's back. "How are you dear?" She pulled back some. "Another bad fight?"
Buffy shook her head. "Nope, that was days ago." She pulled her down onto the sofa. "What're you doing here?" She smiled as Dominick laid a tea tray next to her. "Thanks. Oh, and Will and the guys will be up soon." He nodded, leaving them alone, closing the door after him.
Joyce poured them some tea, handing her daughter's cup over. "So they're still here?" Buffy nodded, sipping at the moment so she smiled. "That's good. You always do better when they're here."
Buffy grinned. "Will's preggers and we do some really cool stuff and we finally got Spike," she said happily. "Oh, and Giles is here too."
Joyce shook her head. "Dear, slow down." She waited for the deep breath to happen. "Willow's pregnant and Rupert's here?" She nodded, still almost ready to bounce off the couch. The mother in her was pleased that her daughter was happy, but the mother of the Slayer worried. "What do they do here?"
"Research," Buffy said quickly. "Matter of fact, Derek, the boss, gave me a great opportunity to take a research semester, which looks really good on me." She sipped more of the tea. "How's home?"
"Boring," Joyce said with a small smile. "Thankfully. There's only been one vampire related death in the last few months and it was taken care of quickly by some guy."
Buffy nodded. "Yeah, I'd heard about that." She scooted closer. "How's the gallery?" She set down the cup, taking her mother's free hand. "We should do some mom/kid stuff while you're here."
Derek walked into the room, smiling. "Ms. Summers? Derek Rayne." He shook her hand, then took the chair on the other side of her. "Buffy is quite an asset to our organization." He smiled at her daughter. "She's like my own some days."
Joyce laughed lightly. "Finding out what a handful she is?" She turned to face him. "What sort of research does she do? She never tells me anything about what she does."
"Well, right now, I'm doing mythology and a painting." She gave Derek a 'make up an excuse look'. "Derek, mom knows about my calling," she said softly. "I'm sure that's what she's concerned about."
Derek nodded regally. "One of our other members is a former Seal and he has taken over her training after Rupert disappeared and they came to us." He frowned slightly as William walked in. "My colleague, William Sloan. He works out of the London office."
William kissed the back of her hand instead of shaking it. "You must be a very special woman to have raised Buffy." He took the other chair. "As a matter of fact, we were just discussing your daughter's accomplishments. We both feel she's gotten much stronger willed since she got here."
Derek's pleasant smile turned just a little snide. "She was protecting them," he said quietly, "and this is not the forum for that discussion." He returned his attention to Joyce. "Your daughter's done some very goot work while here. She's quite an asset to us."
"All of us," William said. He looked at Buffy. "I do believe I just ran into Xander and Willow coming down for breakfast, why don't you go get them."
"It can wait, I'm sure," Joyce said. "I'll be in town for a few days. I'm here for that auction." She glanced at her daughter, who looked embarrassed. "I noticed all the artwork. Do you collect also?" She turned to face Derek again.
"Actually, the Luna Foundation does artifact research. We're committed to learning from the past and showing how important it really is to know." He waved at Buffy. "I'm sure she could take you through the house to look and I can arrange a tour of the hall if you'd want."
She smiled. "I'd heard of the Winston Rayne Hall of Antiquities, I just never connected the two." She smiled slightly. "I'd like that. Could Buffy take me?"
The young woman shook her head. "Never been there. I spend most of my time in a lab or the library, sorry Mom." She hugged her briefly. "But maybe Will or Derek could. Or Philip, he looked like he could use some exercise."
Derek shook his head. "Philip's not ready to leave the house yet." He looked up as his lover walked in. "Ms. Summers, may I introduce Father Philip Callahan. He's our local languages expert."
"Hello," he said softly. "I'd love ta take ya with me. I could use the ou'in'." He looked directly at Derek. "Don' worry so much, I'm fine."
The Precept nodded, barely visible unless you were looking for it. "If you think that's wise then I'll call down to arrange it." He smiled as Nick walked in. "Ah, Nick, this is Buffy's mother. This is Nick Boyle, he's taken over your daughter's training."
Nick rested his hands on his girlfriend's shoulder's rubbing them with little micro movements of his fingers. "Hi. She's one special girl," he said. He looked down at her. "They want you in the kitchen. Willow needs to have a word with you."
Buffy got up, grateful for the excuse. "I'll be back in a few mom," she said, hurrying out.
Derek cleared his throat, bringing her attention back to him. "A very special young woman."
Joyce nodded, slightly confused look on her face. "Let's not play word games since she's not here," she said. She smiled sweetly. "What's she done this time?"
Philip smiled. "Nothin'. She's been goo' as gold." He looked up at Nick, who nodded. "She jus' didn' wan' ya ta worry abou' her."
Joyce smiled. "Father, don't lie. I understand confession happens when you do." She looked around the gathered men. "So, who was it?"
Nick held up a hand. "Me. She was going to tell you the next time she talked to you." He sat down beside her. "I'm sorry for the tension but we weren't sure how you'd react to me."
Joyce patted his hand. "Oh, dear, I don't mind, but I expect to have a long talk with you." She smiled at him then at Derek. "So, Spike was here?"
William coughed. "The other night but he was... taken care of." He saw the slight movement from Philip but didn't call attention to it by looking at him. "Unfortunately, two of her friends were injured in the attack."
"Rupert," Derek reminded him. "Three. Spike attacked Rupert so Xander and Oz took care of him."
Joyce nodded. "I figured this had to do with her calling." She took a sip of tea. "Never underestimate my daughter, Doctor Rayne, she'll prove you wrong and then some." She smiled sweetly, looking him over. "But I'm sure you realize this by now."
He nodded. "Very well I'm afraid." He smiled back. "She's shown us repeatedly how very resourceful she could be."
Buffy walked into the kitchen, stealing a cookie from the rack as she walked by. "My mom's here," she said as she sat down across from the trio. "She knows something's not the whole truth too."
Xander grimaced. "Hey, at least she cares enough to check up on you." He sighed as Willow absently patted his hand. "I'm not still upset about it, just stating a fact."
Willow smiled at him, calming him down with that one action. "I know. It's just frustrating." She looked at Buffy. "Would you like to be a godmother?" The blonde nodded, happy. "Okay, but you're helping Xander coach and he's going to be alternate catcher." She smiled over her friend's shoulder. "Hi Mrs. Summers." She stood up carefully, braced by the men on either side of her, walking over to grab a hug. "How's the town?"
"Quiet." She sat down at the table, watching as Willow got back into her seat. "How far along are you dear?"
"Um, about seven months from the ultrasound I got yesterday." She took Oz's hand. "I'm having it here." She blushed when Derek choked on his coffee. "Sorry, can I have it here? Like a tub birth sorta thing?"
Derek looked shocked but nodded. "Of course. Are you wanting the pool or a bath?"
She grinned. "I like his tub," she said, hugging Xander to her. "I'm using it if that's okay."
"That would be fine dear. Should we meet with your midwife?" She looked surprised. "I will *not* allow you to do this unaided." He frowned until she nodded.
Oz kissed her cheek. "I've been trying to convince her to have someone here in case there's a problem. Even if I do get to catch her."
"Him," Xander said.
"Her," Oz said, a little more forcefully.
Joyce smiled. "I'm sure it'll be healthy and that's the important thing," she said, breaking up their arguement. "Have you told your mother yet dear?"
Willow nodded. "Called her from London." She glanced at William. "One of his main people was on maternity leave."
Joyce looked delighted. "Must be in the water." She patted the younger woman's hand. "I'm glad. You look happy here."
"Very," she said, glowing. "I live in my fondest dream, a library."
Derek frowned and shook his head. "You do live in there," he admitted. "But I believe Oz will soon stop that." He smiled around his coffee cup.
Oz nodded. "Oh, yeah. Can't be good for the baby to be falling asleep on top of a book." He brushed a lock of hair away from her face. "But that's another matter for another time."
Buffy nodded. "Yup." She looked at Xander, trying to get an idea of what to talk about. "Hey, um, Oz, how's the band?"
He nodded, swallowing quickly. "Okay. The transfer back to me as lead guitarist went well. We even helped the temp get a new band." He looked at Xander. "Think we could name the baby Dingoes?"
The younger man snorted. "No, I think she'd kill you."
Willow shook her head, taking both of their hands. "We're naming it a very traditional name." She smiled. "Something in line with my heritage."
"Precious," Oz suggested, seeing Xander blush.
"She's a nice lady," Willow said. "Nice middle name too." She looked at her boyfriend. "Don't upset him, he'll have to go back to bed if his head starts hurting again."
Oz nodded. "Sorry."
"Not a big." Xander grinned. "Can I dress her in pink?"
Willow spit out her juice. "Pink and blue on babies are for average people with conventional attitudes. No baby of mine will be dressed in either." She frowned at him. "My baby's not average and I refuse to conform to such a stupid norm."
Derek smiled, looking at William. "I believe we've corrupted her nicely," he said quietly.
"Quite." He looked at the people at the table. "Teal?" he suggested.
"Purple?" Buffy suggested. "For a boy of course."
"Dear," her mother said, "just because this is San Francisco doesn't mean that the baby will be that alternative." She glanced at Xander. "But I do believe someone has thrived here."
He choked on his juice, looking at her. "How...?" He coughed some more. "How'd you know?"
"Dear, I've known for years, you just look so much happier here that I thought you had finally figured out what we'd known for years." She patted his hand. "I'm sorry if I upset you."
Xander shook his head. "No, just a shock." He looked at her, seeing her differently. "How did you know?"
"It was obvious to anyone that had ever watched anybody some one start to come out to themselves." She smiled reassuringly at him. "You've been struggling for a few years now, even if you didn't admit it."
He nodded. "Yeah, with a few things." He sipped his juice then looked at his watch. "Hmm, gotta go to the lab soon."
Derek shook his head. "I want you to rest today. You only got home last night." He looked around at the other people in the kitchen. "As a matter of fact, I'm declaring a free day." He smiled. "I'm sure we could all use one."
Buffy looked over her shoulder. "Pay us?"
He nodded. "Let me finish this dear." He put the cup down after one last swallow, heading toward his office. "I'll bring yours up to your rooms," he called back.
Buffy jumped up. "Mom, come see my room?"
Joyce smiled, standing up. "Father, when would be a good time for you to take me on that tour?" She stopped her daughter.
"Anytime today or tomorrow." He smiled at the overly eager young woman. "I believe she's missed ya."
Joyce smiled. "A truly compassionate member of the church." She walked out after her daughter, following her up the stairs.
Xander waited until she was gone. "She's way stressed, what did you guys say to her?"
Nick grinned, leaning on the island. "Buffy got too excited and told her about Spike but she knew that something else was going on so I admitted to dating her daughter." Willow winced. "What?" he asked, upset. "Too much info?"
She shook her head, looking down. "Nope." She sighed as the sound of water hit the floor. "My water just broke."
Oz looked down then blanched. "Upstairs, now." He helped her up, pulling on Xander's sleeve. "Go get your tub ready."
"Easy guys, this part could take hours."
"Yeah, and I'm the tooth fairy," Nick said.
Willow looked at him, smiling. "You know, your brother once said the same thing to me." She bent over as another contraction hit her. "Damn, those hurt."
Xander looked down at his watch. "Will? Two minutes?" he asked as he passed her. "I'm going, warm body temp or just a little warmer, right?" She nodded.
Philip came over to take her other side. "Shh, it'll be all righ'. You'll have a swee' one an' it'll be fine." He helped get Oz get her upstairs.
Nick ran into Derek's office. "Willow's in labor."
The Precepts blanched, standing at the same time.
"She's what?" Derek said slowly. He shook his head. "Never mind, I should have figured this would be the next emergency. Go get the car."
"They're headed up to the tub of her choice." He looked at his watch, then back up "About two minutes apart at that."
Derek fell back into his seat. "What?" He looked at William. "Aren't there supposed to be preliminaries?"
The London Precept nodded. "Many hours of them but some women drop fast. Took Patricia less than two hours start to finish on my second." He stood up. "Come on, we should be up there." Derek started to look very green. "Don't tell me you can face down demons on a daily basis but you can't handle a little childbirth? It's about as slimey and messy." He grinned. "Gee, Derek, maybe we should put them in charge again."
Derek stood up, frowning at him. "We should leave her alone." Willow's scream echoed through the house. "But then again," he said hurrying out past Nick.
Buffy looked out of her room as she heard some noise, seeing everyone grouped around Willow. "Will? It's time? I thought you had a few months left." She came out to take Oz's side, letting him go get ready. "Go get into a swim suit or something. I'm sure she'll want you in there with her." He hurried into his room so Buffy steered the group into Xander's. "Xan, tub ready?"
He opened the door. "Almost, cleaning it with sage." He waved it around some more, smiling at her. "Okay, come on." He set it on the sink. "Philip, go get some candles, the papers said it should be darker in here." He held Willow while she stripped down to a t-shirt of his. "Easy there, we'll get through this together." He helped her down into the large, antique claw footed tub, helping her sit up as Oz walked back in. "Hey," he said. "Let her rest on your chest." He looked at the clearance around the tub. "Buffy, take the other side."
"I <pant> <pant> <deep sigh> want Oz to catch it." She looked over her shoulder. "Want to get at the other end?" He nodded and she sat up, clutching her stomach as another one hit. "Damn, I thought those were gas pains," she screamed as it hit it's peak.
Xander stripped down to his boxers, getting in behind her to let her rest against him. "Shh, it's all right. I know it hurts," he said quietly, taking her hand. "Sshh, just let us deal, okay?" She nodded, biting her lip. "No, let it out." He looked around. "Lower the lights, light the candles, and give her some space. Someone get the baby a towel and stuff too." He turned his attention back to her as she tried to break his hand. "It's all right, Will, it's supposed to feel like that."
Joyce knelt beside the tub. "I know it hurts, Willow, but you've got to go with it. This is natural, your body will tell you when it's time." She took one of the younger woman's hands in hers. "Trust them, they love you."
Willow nodded, grunting. "I gotta push," she yelled, doing so.
Oz looked mystified, then started to smile really big. "It's coming, babe, just a little more." He looked around as the lights were lowered. "Come on, one more good one and the head'll be out."
She screamed as she pushed again, sitting up some, Xander coming up behind her to support her. "Damn!" she screamed.
Oz was still smiling as he laid the baby on her chest. "A little girl," he said. She moved her shirt, doing the natural thing and letting it nurse for the first time.
Willow took possession of her hands again, touching the little tufts of red hair. "Oh, you're so pretty." She smiled at her mate, wiping her tears. "She's beautiful." Her face scrunched up in pain. "Um, Oz, is that afterbirth?"
He shook his head, mouth open. "Um, no." He reached down, catching the other one. "Hey, um, Will, how many did the doctor say again?"
"One and a shadow." She grinned. "Good to know that they can be wrong too." She reached down to touch this one's head, feeling it kick her. "Yeah, we're a soccer player, aren't we?" She pushed again, grunting easily now that she was well stretched. She started to cry as her son was put on her other nipple by her boyfriend.
Oz was still smiling, sitting on the edge of the tub. "Twins are cool."
Willow smiled up at him, not minding in the least that everyone in the house was watching her nurse. "Yeah, they are." She looked over her shoulder. "More pack members," she whispered.
"I'll protect them like my own," he said, hugging her head with his as he touched his new godson's head. "Don't name him after me."
"I like your name," Oz said. "It's a solid name that won't get you picked on." He smiled as he looked down at his children, then looked up at his mate. "Oh, no, not another."
Willow grunted, panting. "You'd better hope not or you're gonna learn how to breast feed too."
Joyce smiled. "It can happen, there are drugs," she assured. "Or it could be the after birth. I didn't feel much difference."
Derek burst into the room, stopping when he saw the two children happily nursing. "You already had them?" he asked in shock.
Oz looked at him and nodded. "Oh, yeah." He tipped his head as he looked down, seeing a most unwelcome sight. "Will, push," he said softly.
"Can't," she said through a yawn, "too tired."
Xander nudged her. "I think it's another one," he said in her ear. "I'm sure you don't want it to stay there."
She pushed some more, aided by a few hands on her stomach. She smiled down at her newest child, very happy at the moment. "Okay, that's enough," she said, making everyone laugh.
Buffy picked that one up, washing it off too and soothing it. "Yeah, you're a special little one," she cooed to it."
Willow smiled at her. "Want to help me feed 'em? I don't have enough breasts." She yawned again and everyone started to back out of the room. "Philip?" she called. He turned around, looking at her. "Is it okay to doubly bless the kids in two faiths?"
He smiled, coming back over to her. "I know jus' the person ta do it," he said gently. "I'll call him if ya wan'." She nodded. "Ya res' now, momma, ya earned it."
Willow grinned. "Yeah, they are a little big." She was still smiling as she fell asleep.
Derek looked at Nick, pulling him aside. "I want Marcus up here now." The younger man walked out, heading for the nearest phone that he remembered.
Philip led his lover to the bed, sitting him on it. "Res', ya look like ya could use it." He smiled, kneeling in front of him. "Three new members," he said softly, tipping his head to listen to the noises coming from the bahtroom..
William grunted as he sat down beside Derek. "And we'll take better care of them too."
Derek looked at his boss and old friend. "Go home," he said. He pulled Philip up, hugging him tightly. "We will protect them," he vowed. "I'll make sure of it."
Nick walked back in but stopped to smile. He cleared his throat to get their attention. "Next ferry. He said as long as they were all out and she was trying to get the afterbirth out she was probably fine and we had to note the time of birth." He leaned against the door frame as Joyce Summers walked out. "It's not like this everyday," he assured her.
Buffy's mother smiled. "I'd hope not." She walked past him, pulling him with her. "Come with me, let's talk, shall we?"
Derek smiled, letting Philip go. "Now I know where her daughter get's it from."
"Hey, wasn't my dad," Buffy said, standing in the bathroom doorway. "Four," she mouthed, making William and Derek both pass out. She grinned. "She'll love that when she wakes up again," she said, turning to go back in.
Philip picked up the phone, smiling as he dialed. "Is the Rabbi in?" he asked the woman that answered.
Oz held the door to Giles' hospital room open, letting Willow walk in with the basket she insisted on carrying. She grunted as she put it down on his bed, tilting it up so they could seem him. "And this is Uncle Giles. He can tell you lot's of stories about what I was like as a teenager."
Giles removed his glasses, sure he hadn't been seeing correctly. "Good heavens, girl, a litter?" He looked up at her, smiling slightly. "You don't do anything by halves do you?"
She sat the basket on the floor, picking up the awake one to feed while she sat next to him. "Nope, why should I? And the birth was pretty nice once I had passed out during the last one's coming out."
Oz watched in fascination as his child ate, again, not caring that the sick man on the bed was blushing the same color as a coke can. "She's so cute when she's like that."
Willow checked down his diaper to make sure but she smiled up at him. "He. You're looking at the basket backward."
Oz looked down at it then turned around, looking again. "Yeah, I guess." He looked at her again, sitting down on the occupied chair, right on top of Buffy. "He's still pretty cute though."
"Every parent thinks so," the nurse said as she walked in to check on him. "We were wondering why your heart monitor started to look funny Mr. Giles." She handed Willow a hand towel. "Looks like you forgot one." She smiled as she walked back out, sure he wasn't in danger.
Oz looked around then got off her lap. "Thanks, you're not that light." Buffy crossed her legs. "Why don't you go sit on Xander or somebody strong like that."
Xander stood up, offering him the chair. "Here, you were up all night." He sat on the foot of the bed. "So, how ya feeling? Over Dru?"
Giles frowned at the younger man. "Quite. I'm not sure what or who possessed me in the first place." He cleaned his glasses, putting them back on but still avoiding looking at his favorite student. "When did all this happen?"
"Two days ago," Willow said. "In Xander's bathtub." She smiled, taking the child off to burp him. "Yeah, no more nasty gas monsters," she told him, patting his back.
Buffy reached over, taking him to do it. "Here, let me, fussy number two just started to wiggle." She watched as Willow picked up the other one, starting to nurse that one. "They're really healthy Marcus said. Not a big premie problem." She smiled at Willow, who winced. "You know, you could pump and use a bottle occasionally."
The younger woman nodded. "Might be a good idea. Two days of this and I'm already sore." She smiled at Oz. "We're waiting on the next one."
He nodded. "If there is another one," he said. He looked at Xander. "We were talking about getting me fixed."
Giles started to splutter. "Can we please not discuss this around me?" Buffy handed him the little boy she'd just been burping, stopping all arguments. "Oh, my, he's so small." He looked over at Willow. "Hopefully, I'm a godfather at least."
"Me and you," Xander said. He got up to get the basket, picking up the one that was starting to fuss. "Oh, you're fine now, yeah, you are." He smiled down at her. "Yeah, you're pretty and cute." He looked up. "She's gonna be my favorite. She likes me."
Willow reached over, pinching his arm. "We won't pick favorites," she reminded him. "They're all equal."
"Yeah," he said, sitting back down, "but she likes me. The others don't."
"It's the fuzzy clothes," Buffy said. "Feels funny to them." She looked over at Oz. "Have you checked?"
He nodded, crossing his feet. "That one and the one she's feeding are both. The other two are carriers." He shook his head at Giles frown. "We knew it was a possibility. One we know will definitely change, the one Xan's holding. The other might not for a while, the thing wasn't too prevalent in his blood stream."
Giles nodded. "I'm truly sorry Oz, I know you had hoped to not pass it on." He glanced at Willow. "Will you continue to breast feed?"
"Until they get's teeth then they'll get breast milk in a bottle." She looked down. "Hi, yeah, you. We'll work it out so you'll be safe." She pulled him off, kissing his head, then put him on the other side. "Give that nipple a break for a while. Drink this side."
Xander wiped off a bit of baby spit with the tail of his shirt. "We'll all be fine and we'll cope. I'm sure daddy would love to cuddle you then too."
"Not really. You don't bite me 'cause I'm a member of your pack." He looked at the older man. "I'll sit down with you this month and we'll work on introducing the wolf to the babies." Oz nodded. "That's so cool."
Willow pouted. "I'd do it too but I can't be down there when I'm bleeding."
Buffy shook her head. "Don't look at me, I'm usually fertile then. It was bad enough when Xan went for me, he wasn't really fuzzy." She looked over at Oz. "No offense, but I don't like you that much."
He nodded. "None taken, although I usually ignore you when I'm down and you're like that. I'm just not interested." He nodded at the younger man cooing at his daughter. "That's him."
Giles leaned back, letting the baby rest on his chest. "It looks like you've got it all worked out," he said quietly. "What else happened while I've been in here?"
"Philip left for a retreat to think," Xander said. "William's gone home."
Willow smiled. "He and Derek passed out when they learned there were four of them."
Oz laughed lightly. "Yeah, to say the least. She didn't realize that her gas pains were labor pains until her water broke at the table." He blew a kiss across the room at her. "Forty minutes later, the first one came out. Derek almost passed out when he walked in and there were just the first two. Oh, and Marcus said he thinks you set some sort of record for time and ease."
Xander nodded. "It was so cool, Giles. Derek just stopped in the doorway, mouth hanging *way* open, watching her nurse the first ones, then Oz tipped his head to look down and gave Willow this look." He grinned at his friends. "Nobody was expecting more than one."
Giles laughed softly, not wanting to wake the baby. "I bet." He looked over at her, thankful that she was covered now. "You're going to be quite a mother I believe."
She beamed. "I'd better be, otherwise you guys have got to fill in." She frowned as the baby spit back up all it had just eaten. "That was mean, I don't taste that bad." She wiped off his mouth, laying him across her lap, soothing him as he cried. "I think he's lactose intolerant."
Oz looked down at himself. "Not me, I drink tons of milk." He shrugged. "Pediatrician's in a few days. Ask then." He held his arms out for that one. "I'll change, you rest."
She gratefully passed him over, watching as Oz got up to change him in the bathroom. She smiled as he came back, wrinkled nose and all. "Bad?"
"Very." He handed him to Buffy then picked up his other daughter. "Hey, Precious, how are we?" He cuddled her close to his chest, looking down at her. "Are we doing okay? Did you have a nice nap?"
Willow smiled. "He was smiling during the birth as he caught them." She looked down at the son Giles was holding. "He kicked me during it." She frowned down at him. "You're taking martial arts, son, you'll belong." She looked up to grin at Oz. "What instruments are they playing again?"
He looked down at her. "She's gonna get mine. The rest can pick their own." He looked up at her. "Derek can teach them piano."
Willow shook her head. "Big heavy things that don't fit in cars."
"I always wanted to play a violin," Xander said, blushing slightly as everyone looked at him. "Well, after a guitar."
Oz nodded. "I could see that. You have the hands for it." He leaned over to look at his other daughter. "Maybe you shouldn't let her suck on your shirt. She'll start coughing up fuzzy balls."
Xander moved her away, wiping out her mouth to make sure then putting her against his t-shirt. "Sorry, man, didn't think about that."
Oz nodded. "S'okay." He looked at his watch. "We should be going. Visiting hours are almost over."
Giles handed back the little boy he was holding. "I'll be home soon and I'll read to you," he promised him.
Willow grinned. "That's the spirit." She gathered up the rest of her children, saving Oz's for last. "Come on, we can drop you at the club."
Xander grinned. "I'm going out tonight so I'll pick you up and make sure you get home in time to watch Derek come grumbling up the stairs again." He looked at Giles. "His sight's been going off, showing him all sorts of their lives, at exactly ten minutes after nine each night."
Oz nodded. "Very creepy." He handed over his daughter, watching as she was buckled into the basket. "Let me get them." Willow didn't even protest as he picked them up. "We gotta go in and show Dev and the guys," he reminded her.
She smiled. "Sure, we can do that." She leaned over, kissing the sick man's cheek. "Come home soon so they can drive you nuts too." He nodded and they left.
Oz rushed inside the club, actually grinning again. "Devon, you gotta come out to the car."
The lead singer nodded, giving him a strange look. "You sick again man?" he asked as they walked out. "Hey, nice ride." He waited while Oz opened the door, wondering what the big surprise was. "Whoa," he said, backing up. "You had *kids*?" He looked at Oz. "Man, are you sure you're not sick?" He felt along the other man's forehead. "No fever." He looked down again. "You had *four* kids?" He looked at Oz. "Are they all gonna be in a band together?" He stepped back, closing the door gently so as to not wake them up. "Man, you're gonna be such a grown up soon." He led him back into the club, not saying a word as he went back to kiss them and Willow. "When was she pregnant? She never looked it."
Oz let the club's door close behind him, shaking his head. "Man, I got to *catch* them as they came out."
In the Range Rover, Willow smiled fondly at his back. "Yeah, he's hyped." She watched as Xander put it in gear. "Wanna stop and show Precious her namesake?" He nodded, pulling carefully out into traffic.
Precious hopped down off the counter, smiling as Xander came in, then her mouth dropped open. "I didn't know you were that far along," she cried, walking over to the basket. "Here, put them down, they must be heavy."
Willow unbuckled one, handing her over. "We decided unanimously to name her after you."
Precious said, "Whoa," as she took her namesake, smiling down at her. She just looked around then started to cry softly, holding the baby to her chest. Xander took her from the older woman's arms, handing off the baby to mom as he held his new friend while she cried.
Pretty soon, she stepped back, wiping her eyes. "That is so cool," she said, reaching over to touch the red hair sprouting up at odd angles. "She's so pretty."
Willow smiled. "Just like us." She hugged her with one arm. "Wanna talk?" Precious nodded and pulled her to the back of the store.
Buffy looked around, seeing a very familiar t-shirt hanging up. "So this is where you get those," she said, hitting Xander where he was leaning over to coo at the babies. "I didn't know that."
He turned his head to look at her. "Yeah, this is where Oz and I get the shirts," he said softly. He looked out on the street. "And about three doors down is where I go to be myself." He smiled at her. "No women."
Buffy held up a hand. "Don't need to know." She walked around the store, stopping at all the various racks to look at the clothes. "Hey, Xan, found a shirt for you." She held it up.
"Had one," he said. "Was lost to the little silver things." He looked toward the back as his two friend's and Precious' girlfriend walked out. "Hey," he said softly, taking the baby back. "Napping, every one of them." He buckled her in, easy from much experience then handed Buffy the basket.
Precious hugged him from behind. "You'll make a good dad," she said.
Xander shook his head. "I don't have the best model to go on." He turned to look at her. "Be safe, I have a bad feeling about tonight, okay?" She nodded. "Good, now we gotta get the kids home but I'll be at the club tonight." He made her look him in the eyes. "I mean it, I have a really bad feeling about tonight."
She stepped away from him. "Got it covered," she said. "I'm cool." She wiped off the last tear track. "You be safe then." She patted his arm. "All of them." She gave him a look. "Guard them, I'll be most upset if she's ever hurt."
Xander grinned, the predator coming out just a bit. "Not while I'm around," he said. He waited until the girls were out of the store. "Go home, dear, I don't know what it is, but I don't want you here tonight." He looked down at his watch. "I'll be down the street later." He walked out, getting in to drive.
Derek looked up as the group of late teens walked into the house, smiling at them. "Have a goot outing?" he called.
Willow put down the basket with a sigh. "Yeah, but one woulda been much easier to cart around." She looked down at her kids. "But I wouldn't trade them for just one."
Derek smiled. "I've heard multiples are tough to deal with." He handed over the card Rachel had sent earlier. "Rachel."
Willow opened it, looking down at the gift certificate with a smile. "Yup, a real mother." She looked over her shoulder as Alex walked in. "Hey, you've not been home for a while."
Alex looked down at the kids. "Yeah, Kat's been having major problems." She sat down beside her, looking at the obviously tired young woman. "Four?"she asked in amazement.
Willow smiled. "As Giles said earlier, I don't do anything by halves." She popped her neck, making everyone wince. "Sorry, napped funny in the car."
Alex patted her leg. "I'm sure you needed it," she said with a smile. "Let me take them upstairs so I can fuss for a few minutes."
"Oh, no, Alex, you can fuss for as long as you want," Willow said. "I could use another few fussers."
Alex and Derek started to laugh, unfortunately waking up the kids. "Oops," Alex said, standing up. "Time to go be rocked to sleep," she said, picking them up. She smiled at Xander as she passed him on the stairs. "Be careful tonight," she called after him.
The younger man stopped in to toss Derek's keys back to him. "Later, I'll pick up Oz on the way home," he said, jogging out the door.
Derek's sight went off and Buffy went running after him, not able to stop him. She walked back in to see Willow comforting Derek so went to check on Alex and the kids.
Derek looked around as he came back up, needing to find him very badly. He stood up, but was pushed back down. "No, I have to stop him."
Willow patted his hand. "What's going to happen," she said softly, trying to calm him.
He looked at her. "Quake. Not a big one but enough of one." He stood back up, heading for his office. "Go check on Alex and make sure they're all downstairs later tonight."
Willow ran up the stairs, knowing that if Derek 'saw' then Alex would have too. She found them sitting on the second flight of stairs, the older woman panting, the babies still in the basket, being looked at by Buffy. "They okay?" she said, sitting between the two women. Buffy nodded, letting her focus on Alex. "What was it? All Derek said was a quake."
Alex caught her breath. "Yeah, a small one. It's under where he goes. I saw both him and Oz there."
Willow raced for the nearest phone, calling the club where Oz was. "Hi, I need to speak to my boyfriend right now." Pause. "No, he's Oz, with Dingoes. They should be about ready to go on." She tapped his foot. "Oz, me, no Derek and Alex both saw a small quake for later tonight. You were with Xan." Pause. "No, that means you both have to come back as soon as you get done." Frown at the phone. "Oz, listen, that whole street's gonna go down. Nether of you can stay tonight." She hung up. "Damn men and their heads," she said, going back to where Alex was. "He won't listen. He said it would happen when he went to get Xander even if it was only for a second."
Alex shook her head. "No, they were dancing. I only saw Xander being trapped though." She shook her head to clear it. "We've got to warn the fire chief. That whole street is gas lined." She hurried downstairs, going to join Derek in his office.
Willow looked at Buffy. "Go get the cradle and some clothes and stuff for tonight. For all of us." She looked down, touching her son's head. "Bring it downstairs and meet me in the living room. That's where Dominick said was the safest place." Buffy nodded, hurrying up the stairs. Willow picked up the basket, carrying them back downstairs. "Dominick," she called.
He came down the hall, taking the basket from her and putting it on the couch. "You shouldn't be over doing it, Miss Willow." He frowned at her.
She nodded. "Yeah but not important right now. Alex and Derek both saw a quake tonight. Small, centered where Xan and Oz are." She took a deep breath. "Can you get stuff ready?" He nodded, heading back to the kitchen.
Derek walked in a few minutes later. "We'll be fine," he said, sitting next to her, patting the top of her hair. "We'll only get minor aftershocks and the house was ugraded after the last large one."
"Derek," she said, turning her head to look at him. "If you were me, would you be taking that risk?" He smiled, shaking his head. "End of discussion then. If it doesn't happen then Buffy can carry it all back upstairs." She wiped over her brow. "Oz, I talked to him earlier. He said he'd tell Xander to come home as soon as he got done since they weren't supposed to be together for a few hours." She smiled weakly. "Not my favorite option but he was about to go on."
He nodded. "But at least you warned him. I've been trying to get the club where he goes on the phone but nobody answers." He checked her forehead. "You don't look so goot."
She waved him away. "I'm fine, go fuss over Alex and Buffy."
He frowned at her. "I'll ask Marcus to look at you once he gets here." He walked out, sidestepping Buffy. "You won't need it," he told her.
"Hey, I don't to upset her or have them upstairs if a shock hits the castle." She put the cradle in a corner, looking up to remember what was above them.
"It's a storage room," he said, helping her set it up. He grabbed the basket off the couch, helping her put them in. "There, now relax and keep her sitting down."
"Gotta go to the bathroom," Willow said, falling over.
Buffy shook her head. "Yeah, I'm sure." She looked at the growing stain. "Um, Derek, that's not normal, right?"
He shook his head, grabbing the phone. "Nick, go start the chopper, Willow's starting to bleed very heavily." He hung up. "Help me get her out there."
Buffy looked at him but picked her up. "No disasters for her, right?" Derek nodded, getting her feet. "Dominick," she called. "We're leaving. The kids are in there."
He walked out, wiping off his hands. "I'll go watch them." He shook his head. "I told her not to overdue it." He headed for the room with the babies.
Oz walked off the stage and started to look around. Something didn't feel right to him. He let Devon take his guitar, not knowing why, and walked out to start the two block trek to where Xander was. The closer he got the more the 'wrong' feeling grew. He hurried inside, smiling at the bouncer. "Just need to find him," he said. He was nodded at so he walked into the dance room. He spotted Xander, pulling him out of the center of the crowd. "We gotta go, Derek had a major vision earlier." The younger man nodded, following him out. They made it all the way to the car, then he turned to go back. "Xander," he warned. "Don't."
"Left my jacket, be right back."
"Leave it," Oz said, pulling him toward the car. He knew if he walked back in then something would happen.
"Can't, it's got the car keys in it." He headed back inside.
Oz waited, pacing beside the car, patting his own pockets to make sure he didn't have his keys. When the younger man still hadn't come out, he started back toward the club. He heard a tearing sound, stopping to see what it was, but didn't see anything so continued.
Xander smiled at the bouncer. "Forgot my jacket." He was waved toward the bar. "Hey," he said. "My jacket?" It was handed to him so he checked the pockets. "My keys?" The bartender shrugged, so he went back that way, putting it on as he went. He bent over, smiling as he picked them up off the floor.
He didn't really hear the sound that said that the floor was giving way, all he knew was that his head suddenly started to hurt. He stood back up, looking around, then started back for the door. He made it all the way into the front room when the small quake hit, falling to the floor as it bounced around. He didn't see the beam that came down, hitting the back of his head.
Oz felt the quake start and hurried inside, only to be stopped at the door. "I've got to get to him," he told the bouncer, dodging around him. He fell down beside his friend, trying to lift the beam.
"Let it go man, nobody survives that," the bouncer said.
Oz looked up at him. "We've lived through worse, help me," he growled. They got the beam off after about half an hour, Oz pushing away the fireman that tried to pull him away. He checked his friend over, patting him down for injuries, making sure he was still living. "Come on, you gotta wake up," he muttered, lifting one eye lid to look down in it. "Xander," he called.
The paramedic pulled him away, taking his place. "We'll take care of him." He took the keys from his hand, tossing them to Oz. "We'll be taking him down the street. Meet us there." He looked at him. "Allergies?"
"None that I know of," Oz said, going out. He hit the wall of the club, feeling very helpless but knew he needed to be at the hospital more right now. Here he could only be in the way.
Derek paced the waiting room of the hospital, waiting for her doctor to come out and talk to them. When she finally did, he frowned at the amount of blood on her. "What happened?"
"A slight tear," she said, pointing him to a chair. "Most of this was from the examination." She frowned at Buffy. "You're not Oz are you?" She shook her head. "Didn't think so." She turned back to Derek. "I'm admitting her, she needs the rest."
He nodded. "We tried to make her rest but there's no reason for her to listen to us." He looked up as Rupert was wheeled past. "What happened to him?"
"He's been having screaming hallucinations so we're taking him to do a CAT," she said. She looked at Derek. "What quake?"
"Small one," Alex said, "centered in the club district to the east." She gripped Buffy's arm as her sight went off again. "Stop him," she muttered.
The doctor hurried after Giles, bringing him back. By the time she got back, Alex was back to normal. "That's a neat trick," she said, sitting down again. She frowned at Derek, her old boss. "Another one?" He nodded. "All right, I'll put them both in a pretty quake proof area." She stood up. "I'll also have the nurse help her express so the kids don't die from starvation. I know she's only nursing them all." She walked out, still frowning.
Buffy looked at Derek. "How much longer?"
He looked at his watch. "About twenty minutes." He looked at her, seeing her worry. "Go call home, remind him." She nodded, bouncing up and doing so at the nearby payphone. He looked at Giles, who was frowning. "We both had a quake vision. Xander will be hurt but Oz will be there."
The other man drew in a gasp. "Oh, no, that's what I've been seeing." He shook his head. "Big beam?" Derek nodded. "Oh, bloody hell." He stood up, going over to the nurse and grabbing forms. "If something happened in the club district would they be coming here?" She checked a book but shook her head. "Where then?" She let him go through the book, knowing by who he was with that something strange was going on. "Thank you," he said. He walked back over to his colleagues. "Not here, they'll go to Mercy."
Derek paled. "One of us should stay."
"I'm going," Buffy said. "You and me Boss, these two can stay here." She checked Giles over. "Sit and behave." She put him back into the chair. Then she started jingling the keys. "Come on, we don't have much time." She started to walk out, Derek right behind her.
Alex looked at Rupert, smiling slightly. "So, are you sorry you joined them yet?"
He shook his head. "I can't say that. It's had many moments."
Her smile got brighter. "Yeah, with them around it's never boring." She wheeled him back toward where Willow was.
They'd had to stop on the way over because of the shaking but the emergency room was still gearing up for the first casualty when they pulled in. Derek walked quickly up to the desk. "One of my associates was down there, will they be coming here?" She handed him a form and pointed out the waiting room.
Buffy started to fill it out for him, sitting down, needing the thing to do. They both watched as the first ambulance pulled in, watching the victims for people they knew.
It was almost an hour later when Oz walked in, followed soon after by a very familiar body on a gurney. He started to walk past Derek and Buffy but he was grabbed by her. He looked at them, not coming out of his mind enough to recognize them for a second, then he hugged her tightly. "He was hit by a beam, the back of his head." He looked around, sure someone else would be here. "Where's..."
Derek turned him around, hugging him also then pulling him to a chair. "Oz, sit. We need to talk."
Buffy knelt in front of him. "Will's in the hospital too." His mouth hung open and he started to look very pained. "The other one, where Giles is. She overdid it today and she started to bleed." She took his hands in her's. "She's okay, the doctor said a small tear and that they would keep her for a few days to make her rest."
He nodded, still too stunned by all that had happened to say anything. When he could finally say something again, he hugged her to him. "Is she really okay or are you trying to make me feel better?"
She smiled, brushing over his cheek. "She's fine, well mostly. She's had some major blood loss and that stuff. Other than that, Giles and Alex are with her."
He nodded, then turned to look at Derek. "Why didn't you call him? I know she called me."
"I tried, nobody would answer the phone."
The younger man nodded again then stood, heading for the desk, taking the forms Derek had handed him. "Hi, my best friend was just carried in. Xander Harris. About five-eleven, dark hair?"
She nodded, taking the forms. "They've just taken him down for x-rays. I'll send the doctor out when she's done." She turned to answer the phone so he walked back to the waiting area.
"He's in x-ray," he said, squeezing in beside Buffy.
Derek patted his hand. "I wouldn't worry. He's been through too much to give up now." He looked up as Rachel walked out. "Rachel?" he asked.
She walked over to them, pulling all three of them aside. "I got called down from upstairs, I'm over his case." She cleared her throat. "He's got a major fracture, he might need surgery." She looked at Oz. "By the time they get done, it might have been kinder to leave him."
Oz walked out, clenching his fists to keep from hitting her.
Buffy did it for him, slapping her. "You don't touch him," she said. She looked at Derek. "I want him to have better care, like a specialist."
He nodded. "I agree, Rachel, that was uncalled for." He turned away from her, pulling aside a doctor he knew.
Buffy went after Oz, leaning on the Jaguar next to him. "She's wrong," she said quietly. "She's a shrink, not a doctor."
"Technically both but yeah." He looked at her. "Thanks for hitting her. I wouldn't have stopped." She nodded, rubbing her hand. "Is Derek arranging for someone better?" She nodded again, wiping off her cheeks. He sat up, pulling her into a hug. "She was wrong, he'll be fine," he soothed, rubbing her back to calm her back down.
Nick dropped the phone, running out of the London house.
William Sloan picked it up, listening to the quiet words on the other end. He hung up, calling the airport then Nick's cellphone.
Nick slammed into the hospital room, not caring if the slamming door might bother someone. He stopped beside the bed, watching as his brother's two best friends laid on either side of him. He pulled over the chair, sitting behind Willow. "How's he doing," he asked softly.
Oz stuck his head up, looking at Nick. "Three days. No change." He put his head back down, rubbing over her side, murmuring soft words of comfort to both of them.
Nick looked around then grabbed his chart, reading it from much practice with his own. "Who's bright idea was it to give him a paralytic?" he asked, looking up.
"Rachel's," Willow said, turning to frown at him. "I'm supposed to be resting, can we not mention her name?" She put her head back down, whispering in the unconscious man's ear.
Oz got up, motioning Nick out to the hall. "She was the first one on his case and she ordered it. Marcus is out of town and Curt's been taking over for him. Each time the neurologist stops that order, he restarts it." He wiped his brow, grimacing at the grunge on it. "We should go home to shower but she won't leave him. Not that I'm very inclined."
Nick pulled out his cell phone. "Call the house, have Alex or Buffy bring us some clothes. We can use the one in his room." He carried the chart over to the nurse. "I'm Alexander Harris' next of kin, I would like to speak to his doctor."
"His parents have already been here sir." She looked him over. "They left two days ago though."
Nick tapped his fingers, then smiled. "They don't have power of attorney, Derek and I do. Their orders are worthless." She picked up the phone, calling both doctors and her supervisor and he called the house to tell Derek that fact.
Pretty soon, Xander's medications were straightened out, Marcus' partner having almost taken an unexpected flight out the window when he faced off against the determined man. The nurse came in to change his IV, smiling at them.
"He'll be fine now, his brother got it straightened out." She winked at Nick, mouthing 'thank you' as she turned to leave.
Nick put his feet up on the bed, watching his little brother until they could get back.
TO BE CONTINUED.