Legacy Pack + 7, the first story in the Wolf Pack Series.
Voice Over: When we last saw our happy families, the Legacy Pack was changing rapidly. The quad was five and Xandra was four. Junior was a happy, burbling baby toddling around after his Strife cat. The Legacy itself was in a state of change to a more modern system to run the Houses. Derek finally had found his family and had admitted to them that he was going to work this all out, one way or another. The boys were happily graduated and snuggling together. Now, seven years later, we bring you the further adventures of the Legacy Pack and the House that surrounds it.
Legacy Pack + 7
Xandra looked at her school uniform in horror. She had recently gotten to the point where her clothes mattered, and this uniform sucked. She shuddered and tossed it aside, pulling a velvet jacket out of her closet. Little did her father know, but she had been raiding his old hyena clothing for good things to wear. She laid the two jackets together, considering the similar cuts. Then she smiled, turning to grab her sewing scissors. Just a little work and she'd be ready for school in no time. Now if only she could do something about the plaid skirt....
Across the common area, in another of the pie-shaped rooms, Precious was fluffing out her curly hair. She smirked at the image in the mirror, turning to check on how her skirt looked in the back. She tugged it down a little, checking to make sure the front was still short enough. She counted the number of times she had rolled it as she undid it, more than prepared to face school that day. After all, she was one of the more popular girls in the small, exclusive school. She had to look her best, even in these uniforms. She jumped as someone knocked on her door and opened it with a thought; she'd been telekinetic since before she had been a year old, opening a door was child's play. She smiled at her brother, looking over his outfit. "No fair, you guys don't have to wear plaid," she pouted at Brandon.
"No, we have to wear wool," he said with great distaste. "How do you and Xanny get away with fixing your uniforms?"
"I do it after we leave the house. No one bothers *her* as long as it's acceptable to the school." She blew a curl out of her face. "Which is so totally unfair it's not even in the same dimension as right."
He nodded, leaning against the doorframe. "Truly. Think Grandpa would take us out shopping tonight? He's been looking bored."
"Nah, he's really pissed at Nick." She rolled her eyes. "Those three got into it over Nick's former girlfriend showing up again." She grinned at him. "We might ask Philip though. He's pretty good about giving us our heads."
"Philip's leaving for Ireland tonight," Brandon said darkly. He hated it when his mentor left for long periods of time, and this time it was going to be for two weeks. "He's going to visit his sisters."
"Sorry, bro. Maybe we'll take one of the Dads." She shrugged and went back to trying to figure out how to do her hair. Her brother walked in and pulled it up, fastening it with a long barrette for her, and she smiled at him in the mirror. "I get in trouble when I do that, my hair tends to come down."
"Hey, it's the only thing you have out," he reminded her. "Besides, it goes with your outfit." This was their usual morning ritual. Precious could never figure out how to do her hair and he seemed to have skills in that area, so he did it for her.
She smirked and reached into her desk drawer, pulling out a beaded ponytail holder. "How about this?"
"That's way illegal," he sighed, taking it and redoing her hair into a loose ponytail at the base of her skull, leaving plenty of wispy pieces for her to play with.
She turned and gave him a dramatic hug. "Thanks, Bran. Where's dark and deadly anyway?"
"Haven't seen her yet. She's probably getting all goth for school." He shrugged and got free, going out to the common area to watch some cartoons while they waited on the perpetually tardy Timmy and Serena to get ready.
"Junior's so lucky," Xandra said as she walked out of her room, pulling on her new jacket. "He's still allowed to home school." She looked at the screen as she grabbed an apple and bit into it. "Pokemon, the fifth generation?"
"Yeah, they're rerunning it before they go to the sixth." He held up a hand and she tossed him a banana. "Thanks. Cute jacket. Dad's?"
"Yup. Daddy was just so me when he was younger." She smiled at her sister. "You gonna go all 'ho' again today? I heard one of the nuns talking about the good old days, when she could have beaten God into you." She took another bite, looking at her rival for pack leadership. She and Precious had been sniping at each other since she had been born, but it was Xandra that headed the pack of the children. Only Precious wasn't a fixed were of them all, and it showed.
"Did not," Precious said, glaring at her outfit. "I see you're going Beetlejuice again." Xandra had tested into the quad's grade when they had started formal schooling, so she was Precious' constant torment.
"Not quite," she said, pulling up her sleeves to show the wrist scabbard for her knife. "Yell if you need me later. I refuse to allow Football Boy to fuck with anyone."
"Language," Brandon sighed. He hated being the behavior monitor. Especially between these two. "Girls, shouldn't you be scaring the other two into getting ready?"
"Serena," Xandra called. "Hustle or I'm going to come dress you. It's not like you have a choice in what to wear."
She stuck her head out. "My skirts are all dirty. I'm picking out something clean."
Precious stormed into her twin's room, immediately pulling down a dark red skirt for her. "You're allowed to wear these if you want," she reminded her sister, taking the time to pick out the rest of her outfit. Serena had gotten to skip a grade when they had gone into the school, which was so unfair to the rest of them, so she got a different color uniform this year. She handed it over and pointed at a pair of low heeled shoes. "There, that's what you're wearing. Maybe you should get Brandon to trim your hair," she commented, touching the wispy, fly-away strands.
"I'll ask him to do it later," Serena said with a smile. Her sister left her alone to get dressed, so she did, making sure she had on her perfume first; it needed time to die before she walked out.
Precious pounded on Timmy's door as she walked past it. "Get moving or I'm coming in there to dress you too," she warned. She flopped down on the couch, watching her half-asleep brother walk out to start his shower. "You've got ten minutes," she warned.
Timmy flipped her off. He was *not* a morning person.
Brandon snorted. "It's going to be one of those days," he said with good humor. He looked at his alpha, who was staring out the window. "Probs, sis?"
"Dad's on the back porch," she said, walking over to the window. "They're having brunch outside." She looked at the other kids. "We almost ready?"
"Got your bag packed?" Precious asked.
"I didn't have any homework that I wanted to do," Xandra said with an indifferent shrug. "The sisters will have to deal." She smiled at Brandon. "Do I have to check yours?"
"Nope, I got Ser to do it last night," he said. He watched as his naked brother trudged back to his room. "Get clothes on," he shouted at him. "That's just *wrong*!"
Timmy stopped and looked down at himself, then he flipped his brother off again. "You got one too, get over it," he said, walking in and slamming his door.
Jon, the kids' nanny, walked into the common area with a tray of glasses. "Your fathers have relented, you're allowed to have cold coffee again," he said happily. He had just put it down when Timmy ran out and grabbed one of the glasses and drained it, taking another back to his room. He never noticed he still wasn't dressed.
Jon shook his head. "That boy," he sighed. He looked at Xandra. "Well, it's a good substitute," he noted, shaking his head. "Does this mean I'm taking you guys shopping again tonight?"
Precious grinned at him, her brightest smile. "If you wouldn't mind. I could use some new clothes too. But can we leave Junior? He's a pain!"
"No," Xandra said quietly. Precious lost her smile as she looked at her younger sister. "We were pains at that age too. He's normal."
Precious bowed her head. "Yes, Xandra," she said quietly, her face scrunched up in anger.
Brandon patted Precious on the arm. "It's okay. He'll head for the toy store and bring Jon with him while we shop."
She pulled herself back together emotionally and nodded, looking up. "Okay, he can come with us." Xandra smiled at her. "As long as I don't have to try on clothes with him around. He keeps trying to crawl under the doors."
"That's fine," Xandra agreed. "And if he does it again, tell me." She finished her apple and took one of the glasses, draining it. "Timmy, you'd better be ready," she called once she was done.
Timmy came out of his room, dragging his backpack. His shirt was untucked and his jacket was a lot looser than anyone else's, but he was smiling again. "Thanks for the pick-me-up," he told Jon, patting him as he walked past him. "Van?" he asked the assembled people.
"SERENA!" Precious yelled as she ran to get her backpack. She followed her twin out of the common room and out to their special van. She deftly avoided Junior in his hunt for a hug from his favorite sister, not wanting jelly on her at all. She climbed into the rear seat and looked at the brood. She didn't want to lead them anyway, not anymore. Especially not after seeing what they were growing up like.
Jon got in and started the engine, starting the long trek to school.
Xander and Oz watched their children leave, then Oz looked over at his husband. "Did Xandra's jacket seem familiar?" he asked his mate.
"Yeah, but she's been getting more and more goth recently," Xander said with a shrug. He wrapped an arm around Oz's neck. "Come on, we have to go deal with our houses." He grabbed his glass of iced tea and walked up to the big house, where the rest of the Legacy was at. Theirs was the lead house and it fell onto the shoulders of the members to manage the rest of the Houses. It had actually been their idea to start managing the houses this way, each member of the Lead House getting a few houses of their own to overlook, and it had worked for the last seven years. Derek was trusting Oz more every day, treating him like a future Precept. Xander was already a Precept, he led over the Archival and Specialty houses, which wasn't much work at all since those houses were very self-contained. They broke apart as they walked into the Control Room, that special work room behind a hologram in the library, and went to their work stations.
"Hey," Xander said to Philip, who was doing a last check of his email. "I'm covering your houses, right?" Philip nodded, chewing on his bottom lip. "Did you send me an FYI bulletin?"
"Yeah, it's in there," Philip said, pointing at Xander's computer. "One'a your houses found another Spirit Tome."
Xander sighed. He hated those books. They had dangerous spirits trapped in the pages and no one had ever thought to put a warning on them. "Are they okay?"
"Vatican City's fine," he said with a smile. "They sent the book down to the catacombs to be interred." Philip stood up. "I got a heads-up because I'm supposed to head down there before I come back." He patted Xander on the head. "Have fun. Tell Derek I said goodbye when he gets up." He hurried from the room, not wanting to risk running into his lover before he left. He hated saying goodbye, and Derek had always drugged easily.
Derek walked in a few minutes later and looked around. "He snuck off already?" he asked, smiling at his son and son-in-law.
"Yup, he was checking his mail when we came in," Oz told him. "Derek, what is this?" he asked, waving him over to show him the message he had gotten from Kyoto's House.
"That is a coded message for Precepts," Derek said, patting him on the shoulder. "Send it to me, Oz."
"Done," Oz said after a few clicks. "Kids are going shopping tonight," he warned as the older man walked away.
Derek laughed. "I'm sure I can find the time to go with them." He looked at the house's two female members. "And how are we this morning?" he asked, knowing that those two were fighting again. It was amusing to watch their on-again/off-again relationship.
Alex frowned at him. "I've been better," she said quietly. "Want me to do something nice today?" He shrugged. "I could take the kids shopping."
Xander looked up at his co-worker. "Alex, we've got it. We're very good at talking to our daughters."
Buffy snorted. "Gee, that's why they come to us for translation, right?" she asked.
"Yup," Oz told her. "It usually is." He looked at his husband. "Relax. If Alex wants to tell them about sex and periods, let her. I don't want that part of being a father."
Xander grimaced. "But I was going to do that tonight," he pouted. "I've been practicing for weeks."
"Then you do it and they'll come figure it out with us, as usual," Buffy said.
Xander threw a Nerf ball at her, one he kept just for that purpose. "My children."
"Ours," Oz sighed. Xander was *too* possessive of their children some days. He caught the ball and threw it at his husband. "Fix the book problem, Xan."
"Okay." He went back to checking his mail, frowning when nothing came up from the Vatican City House. "Huh, gonna have to say something," he muttered as he typed out an email message to their Precept, Sister Mary Catherine. "There, that should do it."
"Remember to use tact," Derek told him before disappearing and heading for his office.
"I am tactful," Xander snorted. He looked up to see the amused look Oz was giving him. "I am," he told him firmly. "And it was a nice 'what's going on in your house' sorta note."
Oz nodded. "I saw." He gave his husband a slight smile. "I've got a problem in one of my houses if you want to come solve it for me. A little psi kid was dropped off on their doorstep."
"Aren't all those going to London?" Buffy asked. "London set up a house for them."
"Yup, but this is from Paris."
Alex shuddered. "Better you than me," she mumbled. She had given up on the Paris House a few years back, when most of the house had arranged to murder one of their own people.
"You could make it a strongly worded suggestion," Xander offered. "A reminder of what usually happens to those kids."
"Which is why Paris wants to keep him." Oz forwarded the message. "There, all yours."
Xander opened the new message and grinned. "Ah, no wonder." He typed out a reply, making sure it went to Oz too. "There, not even close to my usual *tactful* self, but it'll get the point across."
Buffy groaned. "Xander, you're not as smooth as you think."
"He sent the Vatican City House an e-mail card with flowers and a note," Oz told her.
Buffy's mouth fell open and Alex laughed. "Okay, that was smooth," Alex agreed, getting up to give him a hug. "I never thought about that."
"Hey, Sister Mary Catherine could use some flowers. I doubt she gets too many," Xander said with a grin. "And I sent a pretty wildflowers one."
"Which she would like, it'd remind her of home," Oz agreed, giving his mate a grin. "Good job."
"Xander," Derek's voice came over the intercom. "Sister Mary Catherine said it's taken care of and thank you for the flowers, but she's not interested in you that way."
Xander snorted. "I can give a friend flowers," he countered. "It's not like I'm trying to court her or something. I just thought she could use the pick-me-up after the night she'd had, which I don't have a notation for."
Derek laughed. "She said that was good, as long as you realized you belonged to Oz." The intercom went silent.
Xander gave Oz his most innocent look. "Gee, do I belong to you?"
Oz got up and dragged Xander from the room, going to show him who he belonged to in the closest linen closet.
Alex shook her head. "That's sweet," Buffy countered. "Nauseating, but nice. Especially after nine years or so."
"Definitely too sweet for my tastes," Alex countered, going back to work.
Buffy and Alex looked at each other over the lunch that was spread across the bar, then shook their heads. They had been talking earlier about going to spy on the children at school, but the boys didn't want them to interfere. Buffy nodded the next time Alex looked at her, giving her a hopeful look. She knew what trouble girls in high school could get into, and if anyone would be able to get into more than she had, it would be Precious.
Alex sighed and nodded, quickly finishing what was left on her plate. "Derek, we're going for a drive," she told him as she stood up and went to put her plate into the dishwasher.
"Yup," Buffy agreed, taking hers over too. They walked out together, ignoring the hard looks they were getting from Xander.
The girls drove out toward the children's school, stopping outside of the low stone walls. Alex pulled out her binoculars and grimaced, handing them over to Buffy after only a second. "I'm going to go in and get them," she said as she got out. "You stay."
"Yup, staying," Buffy agreed, watching as a boy went up to bully Serena. Fortunately for this boy, her sisters weren't around. Unfortunately, Serena looked up at him and said something that made him cringe and run away nearly crying. Buffy shook her head. "Girl, you gotta be more subtle in your brush-offs," she muttered, watching Serena ignore another boy all together. Her eyes narrowed as Buffy watched this boy studying Serena with more intensity than most boys his age could work up for anything besides food, shaking her head as Serena looked up at him and glared. "Way to go, girl," she noted. She watched as her Goddaughter was called inside and then the three girls were led out to the car. "Hey, what'd you say to that first one?" she asked Serena.
"I told him that I wasn't into his kind, that I more than likely was into women and that he would make a nice treat for someone else to break in." She smiled at Buffy. "It was crueler than I intended, but he's been bugging me for weeks." She flopped backwards as Xandra got in beside her. "Hey." She looked at Precious, who looked...like a ho if she was being honest about it.
Alex leaned into the car and grabbed her camera to take a picture of Precious. "I think we need to have a talk, girls," she said as she slid into the driver's seat. She waited until Precious got in then drove off, heading for a nearby restaurant.
"Eww!" Xandra complained, dropping her burger. "That's *way* gross, Auntie Alex." She looked at her Godmother. "Is she right?" she asked Buffy.
"Yup, 'fraid so. Men can be like that sometimes." She shrugged as she dipped a fry into some ketchup. "Not all men are like that, but at your age, all boys are like that."
Precious snorted. "How long ago were you our age?" she asked. She yelped as she felt the telekinetic slap across the butt. "Hey! I haven't hit you recently, Xandra."
"Yay," Xandra said coldly. "They were there and men *don't* change." She looked at Buffy again. "When do they change?"
"Sometime during college, after they almost flunk out their first semester," Alex told her, glaring at Precious. "You have no room to talk, young lady. Your outfits are drawing only the worst of them to your side."
"Alex, we've been having a problem with a football player," Xandra told her quietly. "He's been really too friendly and stuff, and it's getting creepy."
"Have you reported him?" Buffy asked. "You school has a no harassment policy."
"Brandon and I both tried," Xandra admitted, "but it wasn't taken very seriously." She pulled out her knife and dropped it on the table. "I hated to do it, but I was willing to stick up for Precious before he hurt her."
"Good," Alex said, looking at the knife, "but a bad plan, dear." She looked at the three girls. "Listen, you three are very special, all right? You three have gifts that no one else at your school has."
Buffy cleared her throat. "That may not be true," she said quietly, glancing around at the close patrons. "I saw a boy trying to stare Serena down."
"That would be Football Boy's stupid human pet," Serena noted. "I know what he is, it won't come down to a dominance fight between us. He'd lose." Buffy nodded, giving her an encouraging smile. "He knows, Auntie, drop it."
"Okay, as long as you're aware that he may be trying to build his pack a little," she agreed.
Alex shook her head. "The point is, girls, that you don't need a boy right now. Being popular may be an emotional temptation right now, but it's not the sort of attention you want."
Precious shook her head, moving one of the wispy strands out of her mouth. "I like being popular and I don't have to give out."
"That's because you look like you're selling it," Buffy pointed out.
"It's true," Alex agreed. "Though I would have put it a little more delicately. There's a difference between looking trashy and being suggestive, Precious, and you've went *way* past trashy this time." She looked the girl over again. "I know a few pros who have better clothing sense."
Xandra snorted into her soda, putting it back down before she could drink anything she might have to spit out. "I told you you looked like a ho," she said, giving her older sister a smile.
"Yes, but we can fix that for her," Buffy said, giving Precious a smile. "Trust me, there's a *billion* ways to look more suggestive than trashy, we can fix this for you."
"I like my look," Precious pouted.
"I'm giving the picture I took to your fathers," Alex warned.
Precious went pale and swallowed, looking at Buffy. "Can you take us shopping with Jon?"
"Sure," Buffy said with a smile. "It'll be my pleasure. I could use some new clothes. Alex?"
"Oh, you can do this part. There's a few things I need to talk about with these two." Buffy looked confused. "Periods and other womanly stuff."
Buffy shuddered. "I am so glad I'm on the shot. I don't have to worry about that."
"What about me?" Precious asked.
"You we will have that talk with too," Alex told her. "It's a different talk though, because of your magic."
"Especially since your mother used to have funky periods that only Xander used to understand."
"Eww," the three girls said together.
"It was a matter of sanity on his part," Buffy assured them with a smile. "Ready?" she asked.
"Sure. Let me call Jon and we'll head to the mall," Alex agreed, getting up to pay their check while she did that.
Buffy pointed at the last few fries sitting in the middle of the table. "Want those?"
The girls dived for the greasy treat.
"Backless is *so* nineties," Precious complained to her Aunt Buffy. "No one would wear that now."
"Gee, but I saw it in a club just the other night," Jon whined back at her. She glared but he grinned. "I remember when you first made that noise, Precious, let's break that habit, 'kay?" He walked over to help Serena, whom Xandra was bullying into some new clothes too.
Buffy handed over a top. "If it was so over, then it wouldn't be here, right? Besides, you can always say it's retro. That you borrowed it off an older clubbing friend to go out this weekend and you were trying out the look."
Precious relented and took the shirt into the changing room. She shrieked and her youngest brother came flying out, quickly finding Xandra to hide behind.
"Nope," Xandra said, pulling him around so she could look at him. "You know better."
He looked down, looking hurt. "I'm sorry."
"Then apologize to Precious when she comes out." She let him go and handed him a shirt. "Go try that on."
He took it and went into the dressing room to change.
Jon looked at her, one eyebrow going up. "Smooth," he complimented finally.
"Thanks." She held up a narrow velvet dress. "You think?" she asked.
"I think it's too old for you," he told her, pulling out something in a deep, wine red. "Try this one on. It's more your age."
She took it and went to change, taking the changing room next to Junior's.
Buffy and Jon shared a smile and went back to finding Precious decent clothing.
Xander watched his children troop into their house, smiling at the faithful guardians of the pre- teens. "How bad was it?" he asked, reaching for his checkbook.
"Way bad," Buffy said, flopping down beside him and handing over the receipts.
"You might want to have a small talk with Precious tonight," Jon added as he joined them at the table on the porch. "She's wanting makeup and I'm not sure what to tell her."
"Ah." Jon nodded. "She's gonna whine."
"Let her," Xander said simply. "She can wear makeup the same year she can start going out on group dates with a chaperone. Until she reaches that magical age, she's still a girl and girls don't get to wear makeup."
Jon sighed. "Got it."
"What about the perfume issue?" Buffy asked. "Serena's wearing it."
"And has been since she was five," Xander reminded her. Buffy had bought her the first bottle. He smiled at her. "She needs to learn a little moderation, or she needs to find a softer scent, but otherwise perfume isn't makeup. Neither is nail polish."
Buffy nodded. "Good deal," she said in admiration. The guys had gotten together and negotiated with their children over certain things; bedtimes, tv watching, and the not-makeup list being a few of them. She guess it paid to be a psych major sometimes. She looked over at Jon, who subtly shook his head. "Okay, I guess I just need a check and then I can go find Alex. I found her the cutest sweater."
Xander handed over a check, after totaling up the receipts Buffy had handed him. "There you go. Thanks for taking the little people with you."
"Anytime," she said as she stood up and jogged off the porch to her car.
Xander took Jon's receipts and looked them over. "Who needed stuff from the bath shop?"
"Oops, that's mine," he said, taking it back, and one for the leather shop too. "Sorry."
"No big," Xander told him with a grin. "We've reimbursed you for personal stuff before. We consider it a bonus for putting up with them." He handed over a check, still smiling. "So, who needed the new wardrobe?" he asked, leaning back in his chair.
Jon shook his head. "Man, you wouldn't believe what Precious *wanted* and couldn't get." He stood up. "Oh, and Xandra got a dress for the pictures. As long as blue or red are okay?"
"Fine with us," Xander agreed. "Thanks, man. What about Junior?"
"We got him a new pair of sneakers and some new jeans. He's the easiest one to shop for, just let Xandra look through the racks." He shrugged one shoulder and walked into the house, going back to his room, which was across the hall from the kids'.
Xander sighed and looked at the receipts, trying to figure out who got what. "Backless top?" he asked, shaking his head. "Must have been Buffy." He tossed them down and got up to get himself another glass of iced tea.
Xandra stood in Precious' doorway, watching her pack her new purchases away. "Just don't get caught," she warned quietly, making her older sister spin around and glare at her. "I'm not covering for you over makeup. We agreed, as a group, to hold off on the war paint." She walked in and closed the door, leaning against it. "I need to know, Precious, is Football Boy someone you want to deal with?"
Precious tossed her hair back over her shoulder and sat down at her desk, considering it. "I'd rather I put him off instead of you," she said finally. "That would really ruin my rep, having a psycho sister."
Xandra snorted. "True, but I don't worry about my rep. I'm more worried about Football Boy trying things that he shouldn't be and you having to smoosh him." Her sister looked startled. "Like I said, I don't have to worry about my rep."
Precious swallowed. "If it comes to that, I'll let you handle it." She looked her sister over. "Manually. No knives. No outing our powers."
"Deal," Xandra agreed, opening the door. "Just yell if you need me." She walked out, leaving the door open.
Precious walked over and closed it so she could change for her daily workout with Adam, their former teacher and present trainer.
Precious fell down onto the mat, looking up at her teacher. "You're mean today," she accused, not getting up. She curled up and stared at him until he sat down. "Are all boys pushy assholes?"
He laughed. "Yes, at your age we all were." He nodded at the bottles of water and their towels. "Bring those over if we're taking a break." She brought them over with her abilities, gently placing everything between them. "Thank you. Is there a specific boy or just in general?"
"No, there's an asshole in our class and Xandra's been trying to warn me off him."
"She does understand people a bit better than you do," he reminded the girl.
"Point, but I don't think he'd try anything...bad." She glanced up. "She said she'd take care of him if he did though."
"Ah." Adam gave her a hug. "Dear, you may be a future Slayer, but you can't take on humans. If you do, your powers will warp and you'll go bad. Like the one Buffy told you about, Faith. She killed a human by accident and it changed her drastically."
Precious laid back, staring at the ceiling. "I know, which is why I'm letting Xandra handle it. But I've never heard anything bad about him."
"There's always a first time," Adam reminded her. "Ask some of the more popular older girls about him if you're that unsure. Talk to a few in Serena's class and get their opinions."
"They hate us, a real class warfare situation," Precious pointed out.
"Not everyone, surely," he said with a faint smile. "Get one of the outsiders. Someone who watches everyone."
Precious sat up, looking at him. "Yeah, I know someone like that. She just left the school." She stood up and grabbed her towel and bottle. "Later. Thanks."
"You still have practice," Adam reminded her, catching her before she could leave. "You can call her later."
"Yeah, but later her parents will be home and she doesn't have a separate line. I'll practice extra hard tomorrow," she promised as she got free and ran back to her room.
Adam shook his head. "Teenagers," he sighed, cleaning up their mess.
Xandra looked around the room, noticing that everyone was staring at her. "I don't want any of you to take on Football Boy," she said quietly. "That's my job." Brandon looked startled. "He's been taking young girls and *showing them the ropes*," she said snidely, "then dumping them harshly. Ignore him or let me deal with him."
"He's a problem the pack should handle," Brandon counseled. That was his job in the pack, he was second in command to his younger sister.
"Then you can back me up," she agreed, giving him a smile, "but he isn't allowed near us. Got it, Serena?"
Serena looked up from her book. "I never see the idiot anyway," she reminded them. She put down her book. "We do have a problem though." She glanced at the boys. "We've got another were at school. He's been staring at me." Xandra's gaze hardened. "I'm not sure if it's a challenge thing or not," she said to calm her sister down. A pissed Xandra was a whirlwind of flying stuff. "I can handle him, but I thought you should know."
Xandra nodded. "Yeah, I should know. Any way I can see him myself?" Serena shrugged. "Okay, try and set it up so I can check him out after school," she decided, looking at Brandon. "Him or I, either one."
Serena nodded and relaxed. "All right. He might be trying to build his pack."
"Yeah, but we're all too young to leave our home pack," Brandon reminded her.
"He'd be too young too," Timmy pointed out. "Maybe he belongs to the pack on the mainland. They're not a family, so they've got much looser rules."
"Maybe," Xandra agreed, giving him a smile. "If so, we have to let the dads handle it."
The boys shifted uncomfortably. "Do we have to?" Timmy asked. "We can handle our own selves."
"We're still cubs," Serena reminded them calmly. "It's their job to protect us from other packs." She stood up. "Was there anything else up for discussion?"
"Just to be careful. The Aunts are watching us *very* closely," Xandra reminded her, staring at Precious, who snorted and got up to go to her room.
Serena giggled. "At least I won't be the one they'll pull out of school next time." She took her things back into her room, going to study in quiet.
The boys looked at their younger sister, then at each other. "Is there anything we can do about this idiot were?" Timmy asked.
"Not yet," Xandra said with a smile. "But give it time, I'm sure he'll do something to piss off the Legacy Pack." She got up. "We should all be studying, we have tests tomorrow." She went to her room to study too.
Brandon looked at Timmy. "Just watch for right now," he advised, standing up. "We'll get our chance."
"Yes, Bran," Timmy said, getting up to go take a nap before getting online to play with his friends. Maybe that strange girl in England would be on again tonight.
Precious snorted in disgust as she wiped off her makeup to try and apply it again. One of the older girls next to her started to laugh. "Hey, you try doing this without knowing what you're doing," she sighed, tossing down the lipstick pencil. "That thing drags."
"True," the older girl said, picking it up. "But you can use this instead of lipstick and not get caught." She held it out. "Try it again, kid. You'll get it next time. Just color it in like you used to do your coloring books." She watched as Precious started over again, nodding. "Good. Now, take the green one and do your eyes. It'll match them and open them a little." She turned and fluffed out her hair. "Not too heavy on the lines. Use your fingers to smudge them and make them thin." She nodded. "Good. Now try the purple...no, better yet, the tan and the pink eye shadows. It'll look more natural and that means less chance of getting caught."
Precious applied what she had been told to, then looked at the older girl. "Thanks," she said, giving her a brilliant smile. "My father's are just *so* untrendy. They said I had to wait until I was fourteen."
The older girl smiled. "I know that feeling. My mother said sixteen." She patted Precious on the head. "You're not too bad for your grade."
"Thanks." She chuckled. "Actually, Serena's my twin sister."
"Ah, I thought so." She turned to lean against the sink. "I'd put that stuff up." She watched as the supplies were quickly stuffed into a small bag and then into the larger purse. "So, I hear you were asking about Brad?"
"Football Boy?" Precious said. The older girl smiled. "He's been hitting on me and I wanted the 411 before I decided to shove him off or not."
The older girl patted her on the shoulder. "Stay away from Brad, he's *bad* news, girl. Trust me on this." She wiped off a line of lipstick and smiled. "There. Much better. You'd better go, your class lines up first."
Precious grabbed her books and ran out of the bathroom.
The older girl smiled and turned to check her own makeup then went out to line up with her class, a totally heinous exercise in control by the nuns.
Precious sat down next to her male pack members on the playground, looking around. "Okay, I'm here," she said, handing Brandon back his note. "What's up?"
"Precious, have you looked in a mirror yet?" Timmy asked. "You look more like a ho today than you did yesterday."
Precious glared at him. "One of the older girls helped me put it on," she defended.
Brandon handed her a mirror. "Look at it now," he suggested lightly.
She did and shrieked, reaching into her bag to fix the problems she was seeing. "Thank you, boys," she said, quickly dusting her shiny nose with powder before she took out her lip pencil.
"Don't," Timmy said, watching the nun come towards them.
"Precious, are you applying makeup?" the nun asked coldly. "It is not allowed for your age group."
"Sister, I have powder which has sunscreen, which is allowed in our age group," she countered, holding up her compact. "I don't need to burn today."
The nun 'hump'ed and handed it back. "I had better not see you wearing makeup, young lady, you're already too close to being a harlot."
Brandon growled, making the nun back up. "You have no right to say that to *any* girl," he said quietly, standing up. "Either you apologize or I'm going to the Headmistress."
The nun laughed. "Go right ahead, Brandon. She thinks the same thing I do."
"Fine," Brandon said, gathering his books. "Timmy?"
"Coming," he said, helping Precious gather her belongings together. "Come on."
They walked off together, giving the nun one last heated look.
Timmy smiled at the Headmistress. He was the best at dealing with outsiders. "Yes, ma'am, it was Sister Crabby, I mean Sister Christina."
The Headmistress frowned at the commonly used nick-name for the harsh nun. "I have to admit, that was an inappropriate name to call a young lady," she said, looking at Precious, "but that one shouldn't be wearing makeup."
"I was applying my powder with sunscreen," Precious told her, holding it up so she could see it. "I do have very light skin and I need to protect it. After all, I was the one that got sent to the hospital within five days of getting here for sun poisoning during gym class."
The Headmistress hummed and swung around in her chair. "You all heard this?"
"Yes, ma'am," Brandon said, nodding. "She called my sister a harlot. My pure, *innocent* sister."
"Whose skirt was four inches above the minimum length yesterday," the Headmistress reminded them.
"Which was fixed by my relatives," Precious pointed out. "I got a long lecture yesterday by an aunt about how to dress reasonably."
"I see." The Headmistress nodded. "I'll have a talk with Sister Christina. As I said, it was an inappropriate comment. You, Precious, shall go wash your face and reapply *only* that powder."
Precious nodded. "Yes, ma'am," she said, gathering her things.
"Thank you, that is all," the Headmistress said, waving them out. She frowned at the door, and Timmy's back. "You deserved it," she muttered, going back to her paperwork. "Maybe that nun will be able to keep you in check long enough for you to make a political marriage. Maybe your fathers will even pick a husband that will give you a tight leash instead of giving you your head for a while."
Precious, who hadn't heard it, looked at Timmy, who stiffened. "What?" she whispered, walking beside him.
"Go wash yourself and I'll call Grandpa," Timmy told her, pushing her towards the girl's bathroom. "Do it now." He jogged to catch up to Brandon, stopping him. "The Headmistress won't do anything," he said quietly. "She said that Sister Christina's keeping her in check until she can be in a political marriage with a leash."
Brandon frowned, glaring at the office door. "Oh, did she?" he asked.
"Yeah, I told Precious to go clean up while I called Grandpa."
Brandon dug out some change. "Here, go call. You've got about ten minutes before classes start." He watched his brother run off, intercepting his sister as she came out of the bathroom with Precious. "You okay?" he asked her.
"Yeah, I heard," Xandra said, running her fingers through her hair. "I want her," she whispered. "Badly."
"We deal as a pack," Brandon reminded her.
"We deal as a pack," Xandra agreed with a smile. "We deal best that way." She looked at her older sister. "You okay?" she asked Precious.
"I'm fine," Precious sighed. "I told you that a minute ago. What's going on?"
"Nothing you need concern yourself with. Let us handle it," Brandon told her. "Go find your friends and bitch about the Sister."
"Language," a nun said from behind them. "Two demerits."
Xandra looked at her. "Yay," she said coldly. "We have a right to complain about a nun who called my sister a disgusting name. And if you demerit me, we can go argue over it with my parents."
The nun smiled. "That is a very good reason, but I doubt that any nun here would do that."
"Sister Christina called me a harlot," Precious said coldly. "The Headmistress won't do a thing about her, I believe it's within my rights to say the word 'bitch' about her." She stared at her for a second longer then stormed off to go find her friends.
The nun shook her head. "I have no idea what's gotten into Sister Christina, she's been acting funny all day long." She shook her robes as she looked at the two remaining children. "Get ready for class," she ordered gently, walking towards the office.
Brandon looked at Xandra and shrugged. "I always thought Sister Christina needed drugs." She giggled and wandered off to find her friends. He went to follow Timmy to talk to Grandpa too.
Derek sat down across from the Headmistress, giving her a cold, dispassionate look. "I got the most disturbing call from my grandchildren today," he started out. "Something about a nun calling one of them a horrid name and you not doing anything about it."
"I said I would," she said warily. *Everyone* knew who Doctor Derek Rayne was, and no one wanted to be on his bad side, especially if they lived on donations. "Didn't the children tell you that?"
"Yes, but then one of them overheard a comment you made as they were leaving about Precious and a political marriage." He shot his cuffs, then went back to staring at her. "That was highly inappropriate of you to say such things, especially where the children might hear. I personally have never cared for your attitude toward these children that you hold sway over, nor have I cared for your callus disregard of the rules your predecessor set down about harassment. I expect you to make an apology to Precious and I will be watching for any further problems to come from this school." He stood up. "Goot day." He turned and found Xandra standing behind him. "Shouldn't you be in class?"
"Yes, but I saw you pull up and there's something I needed you to hear in front of her." She walked in and stared down the Headmistress. "You're allowing a boy that's as close to a rapist as you can be without actually being one attend this school and not warning the other girls. Presently, he's trying to attack my sister, and I really do not care for the way you've treated the girls who have complained about him." She looked up at her grandfather. "They've been *asked* to attend other schools," she said coldly. "That's this school's way of dealing with this boy."
Derek looked at the Headmistress. "Is this true?"
She smiled at Xandra. "I don't know where your grandchildren get their information from...."
"From the family that's filing the lawsuit," Xandra said, giving her a chilling smile. She looked back up at Derek. "I saw it in the papers this morning during the library hour. I called them over lunch as the school was mentioned and asked if it was about this particular boy, then told her mother to ask a few of the older girl's mothers about him, same as Precious did their daughters."
Derek patted her on the cheek. "Thank you, Xandra. I believe your fathers and I will be discussing your schooling as soon as I get home. Go back to class." She nodded and left, and he turned to look at the administrator. "If I find out this is true, I will help that family," he warned. "And my granddaughter had better not be harmed by anyone or anything in this school ever again." He walked out, taking his briefcase with him.
The Headmistress shuddered and dialed a number quickly. "Mark, did that lawsuit leak already?" she asked coldly.
Derek set his briefcase down on his desk and looked at the two men he had called in. "I know you checked that school very carefully, boys," he said as he sat down. "Unfortunately, there's been a few problems today between your children and that school."
Xander sighed. "Timmy e-mailed us during his computer lesson."
"He was thorough," Oz added.
"Well, I went to talk to the Headmistress but she doesn't seem to care, not even about the pending lawsuit Xandra found and informed me of."
Xander looked grim. "The only other option was public school or splitting them up."
"We'll check the other schools again," Oz said, putting a hand on his mate's leg.
"We could ask Adam," Xander suggested.
"I'll ask him," Derek agreed. "Even if he agrees only for a short time, it might be better than letting them stay there."
"Except for Precious," Oz noted. "She's a popular kid and she craves that spotlight."
"We'll give her a choice," Xander decided. "Anything else?"
"No," Derek said, smiling at them. "How is the workload?" Xander had been a Precept for only a few short months and he worried what the extra stress was going to do to his son.
"Fine," Xander said, twirling his Precept's ring. "Not any great increase."
Oz nudged him. "Don't brag," he admonished quietly.
"According to Sister Mary Catherine, they're pursuing their normal isolationist policy so I don't have to deal with them and they can ignore that I exist."
Derek laughed. "Yes, that does sound usual."
"On a brighter note," Oz said, "we decided to name the house. What we're not sure of, but it will be named."
"I still like Precept's Hall," Xander pouted at his mate.
"You can't do that," Oz told him. "Not everyone knows what a Precept is."
"I think it would be fine, as long as you came up with a name for the general public," Derek said gently. "Though, that house isn't really big enough to be a 'hall'." He relaxed; he always enjoyed listening to the boys' problems. It brought his own back into perspective. "Maybe something like Leader House?"
"We could go cute," Oz suggested. "Rayne Manor?" Xander pinched him. "Hey!"
"It's only fair, you bit me," Xander complained. "Rayne-Harris-Osbourne House?"
"No," Derek negated gently. "You don't have to include my name."
"Then how about Eclipse House?" Oz suggested. "It's a take on the whole Luna Foundation thing for the public and it's more about us being a pack to those who know."
Xander and Derek both nodded, smiling at him. "I'll call and have a plaque made," Derek told him. He checked his calendar. "I see we have a Precept's meeting tonight. Xander, you are to be in on this one as it's Legacy Policy that's being discussed." His son nodded. "Was there anything else?"
"Just one thing," Xander said, giving him a smile. "I fixed Paris. Oz let me tell them off and no one's had a complaint about them all day."
Derek smiled. "Goot. Thank you, I've been dreading my next trip over there."
"You're still taking Nick," Oz said quietly. "I doubt you're going to be alone in a house with an assassin."
"Marcelle has been reformed," Derek reminded him gently. "He wouldn't harm me."
"Paris has him so twisted around their finger that he might," Oz countered. "You're taking Nick."
"And Philip if he's available," Xander put in.
"Yes, sons," Derek said, giving in. He didn't want to argue with them, especially not right now. "Boys, have you thought about what you're going to tell the children about life? They are getting old enough to know more now."
"Yeah, we have," Oz told him. "And I think Alex and Buffy took over the whole 'you don't need a man yet' speech the other day." His mate looked at him. "They pulled them out of school due to clothing issues and had a discussion with them."
Xander frowned. "I said I'd handle it."
Derek shook his head. "That's not important boys, and Alex will need to at least tell Precious as they share the bond of magic. At their age, their powers are going to start slipping out of their control, and the onset of womanhood can be the most difficult time for everyone around them. Especially for Precious."
"It's not time for that yet," Oz told him. "They're in the last stages of pre-puberty." He looked at Xander. "We okay with this subject?"
"Yup. I don't know what to tell Precious about how her abilities are going to be changing because she's getting a period." He shifted uncomfortably. "I can let Alex or Buffy do that talk with them."
"Goot," Derek said, giving him a smile. "I'll talk with the girls tonight and have them talk to your girls." He looked around the office. "Anything else?" Oz shook his head and stood up, pulling Xander up with him. "Be back here by seven or have your computer on if you choose to do it at home, son," he reminded Xander, watching as they left together. "Adolescence is a trying time for everyone, boys, not just your children," he mumbled as he pulled some paperwork over.
Xander leaned back in his desk chair, watching the arguing on the screen. "Why shouldn't we allow prodigy's in?" he asked during a lull. "Especially in the Archival Houses? For that matter, if they've got a degree at the age of fifteen, then I'm not seeing much of a problem. As long as we evaluated them for emotional growth and judged it case by case."
One of the Precepts on the screen, London's, turned to look at him. "That's very wise, Xander," James sighed, "but judging it case by case isn't always practical."
"It is," Xander pointed out. "That's how we do membership anyway."
The London Precept looked thoughtful. "Yes, that is how we do that, isn't it?" He looked to the side, saying a quiet word with someone off-camera. "Is there a test for emotional growth? Many child prodigy's show signs of instability around the age of sixteen."
"That's because they get burnt out," Xander pointed out. "As to the question, yeah, there are psychological ways of telling how emotionally developed someone is. It's not that hard. I could find one of my textbooks and send it to you." Oz put it on the desk beside him, so he smiled up at his mate. "Thanks, babe."
"Any time. Mary Catherine just sent you an email."
"Cool." Xander stood up. "Give me a sec, guys. Let Oz explain the testing." He walked over to where Oz had set up his computer and opened the email, smiling at the note at the top. His smile fell away and he started to frown the further down he got. By the end, he was ready to swear. "Oz, I need to talk to Derek," he said, printing it out. "Tell him to meet me in the kitchen."
Xander took the printout and jogged out of their house and over to the big one, meeting Derek and Nick in the kitchen. "Out, Nick. Derek can tell you why you're both going to Rome." He waited until his brother left before handing over the depressing handout. "Philip was in the tunnels," he said quietly.
Derek went white and leaned against the counter, reading faster. He tossed the first page down and stopped when he got to the second one. "Who would do such a thing?" he whispered, looking up at his son.
"There's artifacts down there," Xander reminded him. "Including the place where the Church used to train magic users. At least he's living, but they need someone who can handle magic. And you've got to go because of Philip."
"I'll take this case from you."
"No, dad, you're not," Xander said firmly. "You're going over to help Philip and to be Brandon's backup. She asked for him," he said at the surprised look. "And he's been packed since this morning for something that his messenger buddies told him to go do."
Derek swallowed. "Of course. He can't deal with magic though."
"Yeah, he can," Oz said as he walked in. "The meeting was adjourned. Someone else saw the news broadcast. Was Philip hurt?"
"Not very badly, but he's in the hospital," Xander told him, wrapping an arm around his husband's waist. "They asked for Brandon to help them."
"Good deal," Oz agreed. "He can go and keep Derek out of trouble too." He looked at the hallway, sniffing. "Nick, he's fine," he called out.
Derek looked over his shoulder. "Go pack for the both of us, Nick, we're on our way to Rome. And pack something for Philip too, just in case." He looked back at the boys. "Thank you," he said, giving them both a hug. "I wanted to hear this sort of news this way. I'll call the plane and we'll pick up Brandon on the way out."
"He's waiting in the foyer," Oz told him dryly.
Derek shook his head and took the papers with him to go explain the situation to Nick. "I'm leaving the house in Alex's hands," he called out.
"Stop in Paris on the way back," Xander called. "I want to know why they've been so quiet. They even missed the chance to complain at the meeting tonight."
"We'll have to stop there on the way up," Derek called back. "Marcelle is the only one with tunnel experience in the Legacy outside of Nick."
Xander looked at his husband, giving him a grim smile. "I didn't want him to learn it from another Precept."
"Which was appreciated by all. Oh, James wants the textbook so I'm sending it to him tomorrow. He'll talk with a shrink they work with over there to check and see what he thinks of the idea."
"Cool." Xander walked them out of the house and back over to their's.
"Daddies, where's Brandon," Junior asked as he joined them at the table. It was neat, he got his parents all to himself for part of the day.
"He's in Rome. Someone over there asked to see him," Oz told him gently. "Why?"
"Because Strife said he was sent on a mission."
Xander coughed. "Kinda, but it's not something we can tell you about, okay?"
Junior nodded. "Okay. Can I know when I'm older?"
"Maybe," Oz told him. "It depends on what you end up doing." He reached over to pat the top of his son's head. "How is Strife?"
"He's good. The vet said he was healthy when we had to get that cut stitched up." He frowned momentarily. "I still want to find that deer."
"Don't worry about it," Xander advised. "I'm sure that if the deer comes near him again, you'll get him."
Junior smiled. "Cool. Daddies, why are my powers getting stronger? I can float more stuff now. I can even float Precious." He rubbed the center of his forehead. "And whose voice is it that I hear every now and then?"
"Well, the first is because you're getting older," Oz explained.
"The second may be part of a long story that we'll tell you in a few years, or it could be something else entirely." He smiled reassuringly at his son. "I wouldn't worry about it, Junior, everything's going to be just fine."
Junior shrugged. "Okay, Dads. How long before Brandon gets back? Xandra's going to need him today."
"Why?" Oz asked.
"Football Boy, as they call him." He shrugged. "Strife told me."
"Ah." Oz stood up. "I think I'm going to talk to the Headmistress today," he told his husband.
"Oh, let me," Xander said coldly. "I know *just* what to say to that woman." He smiled at Junior again. "Why don't you run up to the house and tell Alex we've got to go to the school today?"
"Because she knows. Strife had me call her before I came in for breakfast." He grinned as he slid out of his seat with an apple and ran out of the house, heading for their schooling and training building.
Oz looked at Xander, who nodded. "Then we'll go," he agreed. He looked at the rest of breakfast. "Now?"
"Nope, give me a few." Xander shoveled the rest of his breakfast into his mouth then stood up and carried his plates over to their dishwasher. "Okay, now we get dressed," Xander reminded him, heading up to go put on something to make him look like his father's son.
Oz followed along behind him. He really was more of a 'tear a chunk out of you' sort of father, but sometimes Xander's devious side had a better way.
Xander smiled cruelly at the woman coming down to meet them at their car, leaning against it's side and crossing his arms over his chest. "I've heard some very bad things about your relationship with my children," he said as soon as she got close enough to hear his quiet, cold tone of voice. "I've heard things about you threatening my children with an abusive or political marriage, and I've heard that you don't have any respect at all for my children's well being."
The Headmistress swallowed. "I never said those things," she protested.
Oz snorted. "I bet."
Xander held up a hand. "Let me." He got off the side of the car, glaring down at her. "You will *never* threaten my children again, and if you think about harming them in another way, then we'll have to see what can be done about you."
She went a little more pale. "I fully understand, Mr. Harris-Osbourne, but..."
"No buts," Xander interrupted. "I am going to see my children and talk to them. You will have them brought to either an empty office or the library so I may do so. They will be there within five minutes or I will go looking for them." She nodded and turned around, quickly walking away. "Come on," Xander said, following her at a more sedate pace. He was sure she needed to tell someone to hide something before they got up into the building.
"Do you feel that?" Oz asked his husband, who was usually more sensitive to strange energy fluctuations than he was.
"Yup, Chaos sorcerer and another were." Xander took Oz's hand as they walked into the school, following the Headmistress towards her office.
"Mr. Harris-Osbourne?" Serena's home room teacher asked quietly from the doorway. Xander waved her in. "This is a bit strange, but what did you need to know about your child's progress?"
Xander smiled at her. "We've had an alarming report from our children about things that have been said and done to them. I actually expected them to leave you out of it." He waved a hand at the chair in front of him and Oz. "Sit, please. Tell me how my daughter's doing?"
She glanced nervously at the door. "Sir, I hate to mention this, but something strange is going on with your daughter. She's gotten very...distracted recently. All of a sudden she'll start to scratch her arms, and there's nothing there. She's also been daydreaming a lot recently." She handed over an envelope she had been carrying. "I was going to send you this tonight. Serena was most cruel to a boy a few days back. He has been following her around a lot, but she was cutting to the point of being cruel, and I think you need to have a discussion with her."
Oz nodded. "Of course we will," he said, taking the letter. "Is this the boy the children have been calling Football Boy?"
She went pale and leaned closer. "Sir, there's nothing we can do about him or his group of friends. They've been after your children recently, but Serena's incident wasn't with any of them."
Xander nodded. "I'll have a talk with her tonight. Tell me more about this group. I've heard of this Football Boy, and I've been told that he should have been expelled many times over for his harassment of the other students."
She nodded. "Yes," she said, getting even more quiet, "he should have. All of them should have. No one's willing to stand up to them though." She glanced at the door again. "There's even a lawsuit against the school because of him," she whispered. "He won't ever be expelled though, his *mother's* too powerful in this school for it to happen."
Xander gave her the same smile he would one of his children when they were nervous. "That's what we've heard. We've also heard that one of our children may have to take care of that problem as he's been bothering our daughter, Precious."
She shuddered. "Sir, trust me, no child can stand up to them."
Oz smiled. "They're not normal children."
She smiled gently. "I know. You might also want to talk to Serena about some strange growths of hair that occasionally appear when she's stressed out or frustrated." She stood up and hurried from the room, leaving them looking at each other.
"Huh," Oz said, shrugging. "I want to talk to Xandra."
"Me too," Xander said, standing up. "Let's go find them since the Headmistress hasn't been able to locate them yet."
"And where's your brother?" the big, blond boy said snidely in Xandra's ear as he walked around where he had her tied up next to her other sisters and brother. "Is he off playing *fairy* games?"
"No, he's in Rome, talking to the Pope," Precious said snidely, concentrating on the locks of the handcuffs. Adam had taught her how to do this, if only she had paid attention.
Xandra was the first one free and her dagger slipped easily down into her hand. She growled as another of the boys came closer, looking him over. "You're supposed to be with your pack, not bothering ours," she reminded him coldly. She side-stepped his lazy punch and swung her knife backhanded toward his stomach, cutting his shirt. "Oooh, gotta ache a little," she said in a condescending tone of voice.
"This is *my* land," the were said.
Precious got free and looked him over. "No, it's neutral lands. We have our lands, your pack has your lands. This is a neutral space so that we don't have to fight."
He sneered. "There is no such space. And you're not a were."
She fluffed out her hair. "No, I'm a Slayer in training," she said coldly. The boys backed away from her, their faces showing horror and fear. "The rest of them are the pack, I'm the bitch."
The blond boy laughed. "Yeah, you are," he said coldly, raising a hand.
Precious smiled coldly, looking very much like a pissed-off version of her mother. "Oh, let's," she said, waving a hand at an open area. "There?"
He nodded and they moved their fight away so the others could do their thing and not interrupt their concentration. "You're strong," he purred. "I'll enjoy taking your powers from you."
"As if," she said, looking him over. "I'm going to enjoy stomping you into the ground." She raised her hands and let fly with a spell she had seen in her mother's notebooks, which she had found in the attic. The other boy looked stunned. "My name is Precious Rosenburg-Harris- Osbourne," she said coldly. "Get it now?"
His eyes got big. "I know about your mother. She's one of the bigger sorcerers now, one of the most dangerous ones too," he said in awe. "Join me and we can have fun."
She laughed. "Why would I want to do that when I can stomp you and sleep at night?" She used her telekinetic gift to shove him back into a pole holding up the ceiling. "Get it now?" she asked again.
He went white and pointed at a cat that had just appeared. "I can see that!" he shouted.
Everyone looked at the cat and Timmy laughed, bending down to pet Strife. "Hey, you, where's the bro?" he asked it.
The other boys, with the exception of the were Xandra was fighting with, ran up the cellar stairs.
Everyone stopped and looked as Xandra shrieked in outrage and changed, jumping on the boy to rip him apart for the insult he had just given her.
Timmy shook his head. "Whoa," he whispered, backing away from her. "Serena?" he called, bringing his sister back down from her chase of the other kids. "This is your area, not mine!"
She stopped on the bottom step and gave her sister a disgusted look. "Let him go," she ordered quietly, coming down to pull her sister off the poor boy. "He doesn't deserve that. It's not honorable."
Xandra changed back quickly, staring at her in shock. "Honorable? He just called me a bastard!"
"You are," Oz said as he walked down the stairs. "I and your mother were together at the time and she did cheat on me to have you." He held out his arms at her open mouth shock. "We still love you and have claimed you for our daughter," he said quietly.
She ran over and gave him a hug, starting to cry. "I really am?"
"Yup," Xander said as he walked down, giving them both a hug. "You really are. We thought for the longest time that you were mine, but your mother proved otherwise."
"Then whose kid am I?" she wailed.
"Dad's," Xander said with a shrug. Oz looked at him in shock. "I did the bloodwork." He took her to give her a hug. "It changes nothing," he reminded her. "This is your pack and you are their sister. Same as Junior is still their brother. Same as you will always be our daughter, no matter *how* many assholes there are in the world." He tipped her face up. "Got it?"
"I'm really Grandpa's?" she whispered, calming down now that she knew she was still loved.
"I'm pretty sure of it," Xander agreed, giving her a smile. "I've been trying to forget that for a few years now, but he doesn't know. Willow never told him."
Xandra wiped her face off. "Yes, sir." She turned in his arms, feeling safe. "I'm letting you live," she told the other boy.
"You're getting him an ambulance," Oz corrected her. "Then he's going to go to the hospital and get cleaned up while you go home." He kissed her on top of the head. "Go get your things and make sure everyone's all right."
She nodded and walked up the stairs, with Serena next to her.
Timmy stopped long enough to look at his fathers. "We knew, but it didn't matter to us either." He shrugged and followed his sisters up.
Precious glared at them. "Mommy did *that*? With Grandpa?"
"She was drunk," Oz explained. "She did a lot of that back then. That's why we have Junior too." He held open his arms, letting her get a hug. "Nice usage," he whispered. "Staying calm is the most important thing." He patted her on the back as he kissed her on the forehead. He and Precious had always gotten along better than she and Xander had. "Go back to class or go find the car."
She nodded and got free, jogging up the stairs.
Xander walked over to where the were was lying on the floor, squatting down next to him. "Which pack do you belong to?" he asked quietly, checking his injuries. "You'll get to go home tonight. You'll need a few stitches, but you'll be fine."
The boy looked at him. "I didn't want to hurt her," he whined. "All I wanted was somewhere of my own."
"Do you belong to a pack?" Oz asked as he came over. The boy shook his head. "There's one on the mainland, or there's ours."
"I'll see if I can't get hold of the mainland's pack leader this afternoon," Xander said, helping him up so he could wrap the wounds. "Come on, let's get you out of here so you can get stitches." He nodded at the knife lying on the floor. "Get that for Xandra," he said quietly, recognizing the knife Adam had gifted Xandra with on her last birthday. He led the boy up the stairs and into the arms of the local police. "A few of the kids decided to take my children downstairs and chain them up while yelling at them," he explained to the one in front of them. "One of my daughter's objected. He'll need a few stitches." He handed the boy over, watching as he was led away. He accepted Xandra into his arms as she ran over, giving her a hug. "You okay?" he asked.
"I'm fine, daddy, is he?" she whispered.
"He'll be fine," he assured her. He looked over at Oz. "You deal with this. We're going to go find somewhere safe." He walked her out, leading her out to the car, where Precious was leaning. "You coming with us?" he asked as he got into the front.
"No, I'm going to stay with Daddy if he's not going. After all, I have to get the *right* version of the story out." She patted her sister on the shoulder. "Don't worry, you're still partially one of us." She stepped back at her father's growl. "Sorry," she sighed, walking back into the school.
Xander got Xandra settled into the front seat and walked around to get in. He kinda knew where San Francisco's pack leader should be, he just hoped it wasn't going to be a long search. He started the engine and drove away, calling the house to tell Jon to come pick up the other kids and Oz.
Oz settled himself across the desk from their children's Headmistress, giving her a dry look as he used his guesses to manipulate and get his way. "I will have you fired," he told her calmly. "You can't keep enough control over *your* son to keep him from harming people and I will see you banned from teaching in this state." He watched as she went totally white. "That's what I thought," he muttered. Xander may like to do this part, but Oz did have some skills with overpowering people he wanted gone. "We won't sue the school for allowing our children to be taken hostage, if you leave *today*." He stood up. "Good day," he said, walking out. He found their nanny in the hallway, herding the kids out to the van. "Precious?"
"Is staying. I gave her cab fare back to the ferry dock and my extra pass." Jon shrugged. "Timmy said Xandra was crying."
"The boy taunted her about her lineage and we told her the truth," Oz told him. "She's fine, she's with Xander." He put his arm around Timmy's neck, giving him a hug. "How about you? You okay?"
"Yup, fine, Dad," he said, grinning up at him. "Where's Strife?"
Jon sighed, "That's where he's supposed to be, guys, cats don't teleport."
Oz smiled at his son, who grinned back, turning to grin at Serena, who gave them a calm, placid smile. "Yeah, cats don't teleport," he agreed.
Xander looked at the men he was sitting across from, giving them a brilliant smile. "Great, guys, that's good." He glanced around the leather club, then back at the two men. "This kid's in ninth grade, are you sure you can handle him?"
The pack leader smiled around the man sitting on his lap. "Sure. Is he okay?"
"He's at the hospital getting stitches probably," Xander told him with a slight shrug. "He insulted Xandra and she got him." He pointed at his daughter, who was sipping a soda at the bar and not looking at anyone.
"Ah." The leader nodded. "Thank you for bringing him to our attention. Has he caused a lot of trouble?"
Xandra came over and sat next to her father, curling up under his arm. "He was hooked in with a bad kid, who was trying to control him by promising to fix him," she said quietly. "I'm really sorry I tore into him that way, but he upset me." She looked up at her father. "Can I hide in the bathroom tonight?"
"Sure. You can have the guest room bathroom so your brothers don't bother you while you soak." He gave her a squeeze. "She's had a lot of shocks today. First she was kidnapped by a young chaos sorcerer, and then she was fighting with him and the were, and then she found out something more personal." He gave her another squeeze. "We'll leave in a few minutes, I promise."
The pack leader smiled at Xander. "You do a good job out there, especially with the fixed ones." He held a hand across the table. "Thank you for bringing him to our attention. We'll help him."
Xander shook it. "I have no problems with you or your pack. Come to us if you need us." He stood up, taking his daughter home.
The pack leader looked at the man sitting on his lap. "Go find this boy, before he's found by someone worse." He patted the firm butt as it got up. "And wear normal clothes."
"Yes, sir," the young man said, jogging to one of the back rooms to find his clothes.
Oz looked across the table at Derek, who had just gotten back from Rome, then over at his husband, who was staring at his plate.
Xandra wiped her mouth off and put down her napkin, looking at her father. "Grandpa, can I talk to you later?"
Nick frowned at her. "Now's not the best time," he suggested lightly.
"It has to be now," she said firmly. "Grandpa, I need to know. Did you sleep with Mommy?"
Derek hung his head as everyone turned to look at him.
TO BE CONTINUED...