Title: Young Again
Email address: email@example.com
Pairings: Derek/Philip, Willow/Oz, Xander/Oz ship going stronger, 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 8: most of the house is young again and the rest have to deal with their own problems.
Warnings: M/M (not that this should have to be a warning)
Young Again by Voracity
Derek rubbed his eyes as he got out of bed. He grabbed his pajama bottoms as they started to fall, making him look down. His scream of outrage woke Philip, and most of the rest of the house.
"Wha'?" Philip asked sleepily. He looked over at his lover then down at himself. "She was right," he said softly. "Someone's gonna pay though." He lifted the sheet, looking down his youthened body. "I can' believe this."
Derek sat back down on the bed. "I'm sixteen." He looked down at his body. "I didn't like this age the first time."
"How do ya know how old ya are?" Philip moved closer. "Ya could be fifteen."
"I couldn't be. I hit the hormonal surge at sixteen and the growth spurt at seventeen." He stood back up again, letting his pants drop. "As you can tell, I'm deep within it." He smiled. "Maybe this age does have it's compensations."
Philip shook his head. "Ya woke them all up, better get dressed." He stood up, stretching. "I didn' grow an inch after sixteen." He smiled. "Race ya ta the shower." He wiggled his eyebrows but stopped teasing and grabbed the sheet when someone knocked on the door. "Told ya so." He headed for the bathroom.
"Come in," Derek yelled, hiding himself under the covers.
Alex stuck her head around the door. "Are you all right? Nick and I heard a yell." She smiled. "Oh, no." She pushed the door open farther, letting Nick and herself in. "It came true?"
Nick looked down at himself. "Glad it wasn't me." He looked around, smiling as the shower came on. "Him too?" Derek nodded. "Then let's go check on Rupert." He pulled her out of the room. "Want me to ask Xander for some clothes?" He ducked the pillow thrown at his head., closing the door, still smiling.
Derek pulled the covers over his head, groaning. "No, this must be a dream."
Derek knocked on Xander's door, tugging the cord on his now too large bathrobe tighter.
The younger man threw open the door, frowning. "Damn," he muttered. "I was even having a good dream." He let Derek walk in. "Raid all you want." He looked him over. "But some of Oz's stuff might fit you better." He walked across the hall, knowing he was sleeping alone, so walked in. "Oz, man, Derek's our age." He rubbed his eyes, wanting to wake up more, which meant that he didn't duck the pillow launched at him. "Oh, come on. He won't fit my shirts or boxers."
Oz sat up. "What time?" he muttered. He looked at the clock then back at the younger man standing at the foot of his bed. "Evil, getting me up this early after a gig."
"You have class in an hour, it's about time you got up."
"Nope, not me. Canceled." He rolled out of bed, stretching as he sat on the edge. "What's the big emergency this time," he asked through a yawn.
"Derek's our age." He grinned. "And he's about your size."
Oz shook his head, walking across the hall, looking over their Precept. "Hit your growth spurt late?" Derek frowned but nodded. "You can come raid my wardrobe and not look like velvet boy in there."
Xander snorted. "I'm not that bad." He pulled down a pair of jeans. "Try these. They're way small on me." He looked through the stuff, handing over the things that no longer fit after his last growth spurt. "Here." He handed over the whole pile. "Give Oz what doesn't fit. He likes big t-shirts."
Oz picked one up. "Doesn't fit?" Xander looked at it, shaking his head sadly. "Then I'll have to get you another one like it."
Xander smiled slowly. "Thanks man. I didn't want to mention it but that's one of my favs."
"I noticed," Derek said dryly. "I'm hoping this will be solved soon."
Oz shrugged. "If not, you're going shopping." He looked over at Xander. "Some of that stuff should fit Philip?" He nodded.
"Philip reached his growth at sixteen, which we appear to be now," Derek said. "Some of his things might still fit."
"He wasn't as muscular though," Oz said. "Makes a difference." He nodded back toward his room, heading Derek that way. "Go raid for boxers if you want." He waited until they were alone. "You really wear that?"
"Under my blue velvet shirt." He grinned. "You never noticed?" Oz shook his head. "I wear it all the time. It's well faded from all the washings." He yawned. "I didn't even think about that when I handed it over, I'm sorry."
Oz moved closer. "I'm just happy you liked it."
"Loved it. Want to go get another one today?"
"I think we'll be busy," Oz said. He looked around. "But you still owe me a ride in your car so we can go at the first possible moment." Xander nodded, happy. "Good, now let's get them settled before Ripper get's up."
Xander frowned. "Forgot about him." He looked at his closet. "I have a few black t-shirts and stuff." He grinned. "You think he'd mind?"
"Ripper? Not." He turned around, seeing Derek standing watching them. "Yeah, you and Ripper will get alone fine." He walked back to his room, tapping on Willow's and Buffy's as he went. "Go get dressed, we'll be down soon."
Derek nodded, heading back down to his room.
Xander pulled out a stylish but punk looking outfit, getting dressed himself so he could bring it down to Giles. He jogged down the stairs, hearing the snarling music coming from the clock radio. He tapped on the door, walking in at the very nasty sounding "What!"
"Brought you some fun stuff to wear." He handed it over. "Thought you wouldn't mind raiding my wardrobe much."
Rupert looked over the clothes. "Thanks."
"Hey, not a big." He grinned. "So, are you staying Ripper this time or are we going to see an angry sixteen year old Giles too?" He took a step back at the glare. "Hey, just askin', ya know. We gotta plan for this stuff."
Giles pulled on the clothes, unashamed as he did so. "Thank you." He smoothed his hands down the jeans, frowning at their non-tightness. "I didn't realize you wore such baggy clothes."
"Don't, I have bigger legs." He sat down on the desk chair. "Derek has some of my stuff too but most of it was too short for me. He hit a late growth spurt apparently." He grinned. "You need to go shopping my man."
"I know," Giles said, rubbing through his hair. "I'm without my most necessary things here."
"Decent music and leather?" Xander guessed.
"Definitely, but also my spell books to reverse this." He looked down at himself. "Although the thought of shopping does sound appealing right now for some reason."
Xander nodded. "They're going out later probably and we can call Buff's mom to get her to send the rest of your stuff." He looked over the outfit in question. "Not too bad, not really tight but not too uncool." He stood up. "You may *not* borrow my leather jacket though." Giles frowned. "Just making that clear." He walked out, meeting Oz on the stairs. "Breakfast then meeting?"
"No, we're going to call London as a group in a few. Alex sent me to get you." He looked around. "She's looking a little younger too. So's Nick."
"Why not us?"
"Wouldn't make much of difference at our ages." He patted Xander on the non-pained shoulder. "Go get ready."
William Sloan took one look at the cast of his problem house and started to laugh, ending up rolling around on the floor in his mirth.
"This is not funny, William!" Derek yelled.
William's head came back into view, still laughing. "Not for you maybe." He disappeared again, still laughing.
Alex looked in the mirror. "Is it me, or am I younger too?" Everyone nodded so she looked at Nick. "You too sport."
"I noticed." He grimaced. "But at least I'm not that much younger." He looked at Derek, Giles, and Philip. "Not like them."
"So, it was specific about who would age how," Willow suggested. "Do we have any idea where to find a counter spell?" Nick shook his head. "Well, I know some people to ask, so I'll do that today."
"I'm coming with you," Derek said, darkly. He frowned at her. "And I'm driving."
Xander jingled the keys he'd gotten the butler to steal. "That I doubt. Your license says your in your forties, not your teens. You can't, not until you're back at your right age." He looked at Nick. "I don't know how old you are either, but you look my age so maybe you shouldn't either. Alex seems pretty ageless though."
"Very true," she sighed, putting down the mirror. "But I'll be getting acne soon." She looked at the two older, now, women. "We should go do stuff together."
Buffy nodded. "Yeah, we should." She looked up at the screen, frowning. "William, we need some guidance here."
He crawled back into his seat. "I know," he said, wiping his eyes. "I just needed that laugh a lot." He looked over the group, smile coming back. "I can't help it, you're all just so cute and young." He smiled at Derek. "You know, my oldest is about your age."
"Don't even think about it," Derek said. "Tell Xander to give me the keys."
"No, I think he's right about that." He looked over the normally aged people. "Whoever did it must not know you're there." He frowned at Nick and Alex. "You both got hit too." He grimaced. "Well, at least you're all about the same age now." He shrugged. "Buffy, you four decide who's in charge until this is fixed. From everyone's behavior, they've reverted mentally too, at least to some degree," he frowned at Alex who was inspecting for spots again, "so we can't let them lead the house right now. I'll make an excuse to the college for you." He tapped his fingers rhythmically on the table. "Willow, look for a counter spell. Guys, deal with the house stuff, Buffy, take them shopping so whichever guy gave up part of his wardrobe can have it back." He looked over Rupert's attire then at Xander. "Never mind, I know who they went to." He shook his head. "I'll send money specifically for that since Derek can't cash a check."
"No, but he could write one to us and we could," Willow said. "I could also bring in paperwork to let Nick sign stuff."
"Already there," Nick said. "For both Alex and I, and Philip too, I think." The Priest nodded. "Philip, you can't go near the church. You might be recognized."
"I'm my nephew," he said. "We've already worked tha' part out." He shrugged. "We've been making these plans for a while now."
Nick nodded. "At least you were planning. Just forgot about the clothes?"
"Derek reached his growth at eighteen," William said. "I'm sure they weren't thinking this young." He smiled as he looked at the diminutive Precept. "Derek, I'll even be discrete and not tell all those people you pissed off." He hung up quickly.
Willow looked at the guys. "You two figure out who's running the show. Keys?" Xander checked then handed her the Range Rover's. "Not even, I can't drive that monster." He handed her the sedan's keys, handing those to Buffy. "Okay, I'm on my way to the herbalist I use, she'd know who to ask." She looked down at her wrist. "Not open for another hour. We should eat, it's gonna be a full day."
Ripper snarled at Buffy as she got closer. "Don't even." He turned to Xander. "You're going to let her take us shopping?"
"I'm not going to pick out the clothes for you, just drive and let you guys run loose and pay for stuff." She rolled her eyes. "I wouldn't even dream of trying to make you wear cute stuff."
Alex sighed. "Let Xander take the guys, you and I can go." She covered her mouth. "Forget I said that in that manner."
Buffy nodded. "Hey, he knows the best shops. So why doesn't he take Ripper since those two dress alike and I can take you guys to the regular mall."
"Use that place I showed you. It's got some places that are pretty guy but upper class stuff." He looked at Derek. "He looks like he's itching to get into a polo shirt and khakis."
"Believe it or not, some of us were rebellious in our youth," Derek said dryly, then he looked at Philip. "Or at least I was."
Philip shook his head, looking upwards. "I know I did wrong, bu' ta punish me like this?" He looked at Derek. "Ya don' wanna compare stuff. I can beat ya in under a minute." He gave him an appraising look. "An' ya forget I *know* wha' ya did." He grinned, looking at Xander. "I want to go with Willow to the spell shop, I think I could help."
She nodded. "Okay, Derek do you still want to go?" He nodded. "All right, that's our project then. Buffy and Alex, you do the mom stuff; Nick, you search in here for Victor or anyone else that might have done this. Xander, Oz, and Ripper, you take him shopping and do the security and house stuff. Any questions?" Everyone shook their head and Derek handed her the ring. "I don't want this, it's yours."
"You're doing the work, you wear it." He slid it onto her thumb, the only place it would fit. "There, now it's official until I'm back." He stepped back.
She looked down at the ring, mouth hanging open. "I feel so responsible now." She looked around at the group. "Go eat. I'm calling William," she said, mimicking Derek.
Everyone started to laugh, leaving her alone.
Oz picked up the t-shirt he wanted Xander to have and spotted another one so he bent over to look at it. He turned when he felt Ripper's new leather jacket brush against his back. "What?"
"Willow would look pukey in that color."
"Not for her." He picked it up, folding it over his arm. "Find anything?"
"Yeah, Xander knows the coolest spots," he said dryly, looking around. He spotted something so went over to look at it. "Oh, I like this."
Precious leaned around him, getting it down. "Here ya go." She stepped back as he leered at her. "Not for you kid, I don't like you species."
He grinned. "How would you know?"
"Because she happens to like the gentler sex," Xander said. He looked at the shirt in question. "That's nice." He smiled as he stepped back. "I have one of those, way comfy."
Oz shook his head, handing over the t-shirts. "Wanna play another round of t-shirt speech tag?"
Xander looked at his watch. "No, not really. It's almost two and I need to take some meds." He smiled at Precious. "You were right, it was infected." She shook her head sadly. "Had to get it removed."
She walked up behind him, pulling the jacket and shirt aside, looking at the newly healed spot. "Way bad man." She let them go, patting them back into place. "I'm sorry."
"Nope, don't be. The reason to get them may be getting cured soon." He looked over at Ripper. "Put it back." Giles put back the package of glow in the dark condoms. "Nephews," he said, rolling his eyes.
"He's cute. A little on the angry side for most anybody I know. How jailbait is he?"
"Sixteen," Oz said.
"Close enough for this state," she said. "I know a couple of girls that like them angry and young." She looked at Xander. "I could arrange a date."
"Yeah, but then I'd have to go too and I don't have one." She looked at Oz. "Nope, he's got someone that looks a lot like you."
Oz hit him on the arm. "I'd go out with you but she'd get jealous." He looked at Precious. "That's why he likes it here, you remind him of his best friend."
Precious smiled. "Really?" All three of the guys nodded. "That's so cool. Is she?"
"Actually, she's a little more shy and earthy, but you sound and look like her," Oz said. "Same everything else if you were Wiccan and shy."
She shook her head. "Protestant, sorry." She looked over at where Ripper was trying to not look obvious. "Do it and make me beat you." She put her hands on her hips, frowning at him.
"Oooooh," he said, shivering. "Are you sure?" She rolled her eyes, walking away. He looked at Xander. "We should go get me a great deal of cool clothes now."
Xander paid for their stuff, handing him the shirts he liked. They made it out to his car, but he stopped the youthened guy. "Listen, keep it up and I'm taking you to an S&M shop to get clothes." He looked interested. "If you'd like that though, I'd gladly take you." The young teen nodded. "Okay, get in." He slid in behind the wheel, pulling out into traffic. "Leather shopping," he told Oz.
"Again?" He looked over his shoulder. "You want to dress like Angel?" Giles' eyes lit up. "Okay, I know a great place." He pointed around a corner, showing Xander where to go.
Willow looked up as Giles walked in. "You just had to take him to get leather?" she asked her boyfriend, who walked in behind him.
"That's where he wanted to go." He shrugged, kissing her gently as he passed. "Now what?"
"Clothing accomplished," Xander said, handing her a bag as he walked in. "Found something for you."
She looked down inside it, blushing. "Xander, why buy me this?"
"I got stuck carrying the packages, just the messenger." He sat down at the computer, checking the status of his security tape search from earlier. "Got one." He pulled it up, watching the digitized image. "Not Arkadi."
Willow beeped the butler. "Could you have Derek and Nick come in here please?" She hung up. "Okay, so can you pull up an image?" He did so, setting it up onto the main screen.
Nick walked in. "Don't know him. Do you, Derek?"
The former Precept shook his head. "Never seen him before." He looked closer. "Bad imaging. Heads must need cleaned."
"I'll tell the security guys," Nick said. He sat down, running the imaging software. "Should be clean in a few hours." He looked at Ripper, who was watching Buffy walk in. "Leather?"
"What he wanted," Oz said. "We made him get normal stuff too." He turned to look at him. "So, how much did you shoplift?"
Giles raised an eyebrow in the classic ‘who me?' look. "Nothing. You wouldn't let me."
Xander turned, frowning. "A package of condoms, some lube, and at least two other things I counted." He smiled. "Precious said she caught a few others though." He had the grace to blush. "Thought so, but you're not leaving the castle tonight." He frowned at him. "And if you even *think* about hot-wiring my car, I'll let that nice guy you met earlier have you." He smiled, very nastily. "I mean that. I know where he hangs, we go to the same club."
Giles raised an eyebrow but nodded. "I won't. I know how much you love that car." He smirked at Derek. "Besides, it doesn't have the back seat his does. Your's was only a shelf."
Derek turned, punching him. "Not a chance," he said getting him down onto the ground.
Xander looked at Nick then at Buffy. "Hey, you guys are the strong ones." He grinned, watching them wade into the fight to separate the combatants. "That's it, school for everyone," he said once the noise had died down. "I'll make sure to pick one that sings Barney songs every day."
Philip snorted as he walked in. "We're no' tha' mean ta ya." He looked up at the picture on the screen. "Hey, I know him." He frowned. "I thought he was dead bu' he coulda done it."
Derek looked at his friend and lover. "When?"
"Brazil. He was tha' guy I told ya about." He reached around Xander, typing in a search string, coming up with a whole dossier. "I told ya we should be able ta search by picture." He walked out, heading back to his reading corner.
Derek and Ripper looked at each other, then ran after Philip, fighting to be first to get to him.
"Can we say ‘over competitive'?" Buffy said. She shook her head as she looked at the guys in her life. "Did you guys act like that too?"
Nick looked up, grinning. "Hormones? Teen guys? Nah." He went back to typing in his search for this new person. "Hey, got a hit." Buffy leaned over his shoulder, reading. He took a deep breath, inhaling her scent, closing his eyes.
Xander, thankfully, came to his rescue. "Buff, let the guy breathe."
She blushed as she stepped back. "Sorry."
"Not a problem," Nick said softly. He pushed the new information up to the main screen. "We have an old friend to fight this time." He strengthened his resolve to fight this thing he had for her. Even if they were the same age right now.
Xander interrupted Derek and Philip's stalking of Willow, watching her every movement. "And they say I'm a predator," he whispered as he sat down between them. "Don't screw with their relationship guys, she won't deal well." He looked at them. "Set your sights to someone attainable."
Derek looked at him. "Why? Wanting her too long yourself?"
Xander smiled. "That too, but she'd die for Oz. Nothing you could offer her would beat that. After all, she even picked Oz over me."
"You're going after her boyfriend," Derek pointed out.
"Not really. I'll tread that line but unless he comes to me, I'm not gonna cross it." He stood back up, finishing his soda. "Think with your heads not the little ones." He walked out of the kitchen, smiling at Willow as he walked out.
Derek shared a look with Philip. They'd talked about this proposition last night, arguing long and hard over the subject. Philip silently agreed now, nodding at her so his lover went back to his stalking their prey.
Buffy walked down the stairs, hearing a yell. She stopped on the main living quarters, listening. She was about to turn around when she heard it again, coming from Nick's room. She padded over to it, knocking quietly. "Nick?" It took a minute but he opened the door. "You okay? I heard you yelling upstairs." She smiled slightly at the dampness of his hair. "Nightmare?"
He nodded, opening the door a little more. "Yeah, thanks." He wiped off his forehead with the bottom of his shirt, not expecting her to hug him. He pulled himself out of her embrace before the nightgown on his bare skin drove him insane. "You should go back to bed, this is a common thing." He looked down at her, swallowing when he noticed she was only wearing a thin satin nightgown. "No robe?"
She looked down then at him, blushing. "Didn't think about grabbing it." She wiped off some sweat his missed. "You sure you're all right?" He nodded. "Then I'll go back to bed."
She stepped back, the light hitting her just right for her body to become shadowed underneath the thin silver satin. He groaned, no longer able to pull the amount of control he needed out to save him. He pulled her closer, taking possession of her mouth. One long, hard, passion filled kiss later, he stepped back, very ashamed that he hadn't been able to control himself.
"You, um," she cleared her throat, "you meant that?" She looked up into his eyes, seeing the conflict in them. "‘Cause I'm guessing we need to talk if you did." She frowned as he started to retreat, following him into his bedroom. "No, don't run away from me, I'm not that scary. I'm just thinking that this might be hormones or something." She looked at him sitting on the bed. "And what about when the spell's gone?" She put her hands on her hips. "I don't even know if one of us would be kicked out or sent away."
He got tired of the rationalizing very quickly, but then he'd never been one to think about a relationship. He stood back up, taking control of her mouth again. He backed up a step. "Doesn't matter to me."
She smiled sadly, rubbing his arms. "But it does to me. I can't do that casual thing."
He grinned, a sexy little look sent down to her. "Who said anything about casual?" He pulled her closer, letting her rest her head on his chest. "You think too much about this stuff."
She smiled from her protected position. "Nobody's ever accused me of that before." She looked up. "This is nice."
"Understatements? From you?" He tickled her lightly. "Let me kiss you again?"
"Oh, if you must," she said, grinning. She pulled his head down, showing him exactly what she was capable of. Nick walked them back to the bed, landing on it on his back. "Not ready for the other stuff yet," she mumbled against his lips. She pulled back. "I don't do the first date stuff either. Learned that lesson."
He nodded. "Okay, I just want to neck anyway." He rolled them over, landing on top of her. "All you ever have to do is tell me to stop. Even my hormones can understand that word." He leaned down, licking over her throat. "See?"
She shivered. "Sure." He kissed her again, starting one of the most passionate nights of her life.
Buffy sat down at the table, morning after glow lighting the room in her vicinity. "Hey guys," she said, smiling as the butler put a plate down in front of her. "Thanks." She watched Willow and Alex look at her, eating for a few minutes in quiet contemplation of the beauty of early morning mists. Finally, she could take the staring anymore. "What?"
"You're glowing," Willow said. "I'm guessing you quit fighting?"
Buffy frowned, looking around. "Yeah, but not here, okay?" Both the other women nodded. "Just kissing, ‘cause after that guy who shall remain nameless I'm not ready for more." She smiled as Nick walked in. "Good run?"
"Yeah," he said, sitting down beside her to steal a bite of potato. "You can tell them, I'm not ashamed of liking you." He kissed her cheek, getting up to get some food for himself.
Buffy blushed, watching him. Willow smiled at Alex. "Ah, that first month. How well I remember that." She caught the napkin Buffy launched at her. "What? Oz and I were like that too once. You made the same comment then too." She smirked slightly. "Can't I comment?"
"No!" She giggled as Nick tickled her.
"Comment all you want, I'm teaching her how to be less restrained."
"After you fought it for almost two months," Alex said. She grinned. "I know who's getting cute stuff on Valentines day next week." She got up, racing out of the kitchen, followed by Nick. "No, Nick, don't tickle me!"
Buffy looked over at Willow. "Maybe this is a good thing not to fight." She smiled. "I like him, lots. Tons even, I'm just not sure about that last part." She frowned down at her eggs. "It's not like there's not complications mucking up this whole thing."
Willow shook her head. "He felt the same way at thirty." She stood up, putting her dishes in the sink. "I'll see you for meeting later." She walked out, smiling at a panting Alex. "You okay?"
"Yeah, just got him in the closet." She stood up, undoing the lock and running away. "Later."
Willow opened the door. "She's gone."
He grinned, coming out. "She in the kitchen?" She nodded. "Cool, thanks." He jogged back into the kitchen, going to eat next to the like of his life.
Willow shook her head, reaching into the closet to straighten out the mess he'd left. She never expected to be pushed inside, someone joining her. Or even two someones. "Hey," she said, shaky at best at the moment. "What's up?"
Philip turned on the light, smiling in that gentle way of his. "Derek wanted ta talk ta ya." He crossed his arms, nudging his lover.
Derek stepped forward, leaning closer to her. "Do you know how much I admire you? How your gentle reserve matches that of my own?" He kissed her gently, frowning as she backed up. "I would never hurt you."
"Yeah, but Oz will you." She slid past him, leaving the closet. "Flattered, really guys," she said as she moved, "but I'm kinda taken and all." She escaped the closet, running up the stairs to go find Oz and be safe.
Philip looked at his friend. "He was right." He opened the door. "She won't."
Derek shook his head. "I just have to add the right inducement." He walked out of the closet, not even caring who saw him. Of course that was before Oz slammed him into a wall. "She deserves better," he snarled.
Oz stared at him. "Yeah, but you're not it." He let him go. "Touch her again and deal with me. Not this nice person she thinks I am, but the one that can kick you ass." He patted the side of Derek's face. "Father, I'd control your property here. He needs it." He walked away, heading up after Willow.
Philip smacked Derek across the back of the head. "Now ya made him mad."
Willow ran into Xander first. "Oh, God, safe." She hugged him tightly, needing his strength at the moment.
Xander patted her hair, wanting to soothe her. "What's wrong Will? What happened to Oz?"
She pulled back shaking her head. "Nothing." She swallowed. "I just needed a big hug."
"And I'm the Tooth Fairy, can't you see the dress?" He sat her down. "Now, spill before I go find the little hormonal guy myself." She frowned. "I warned him yesterday to leave you alone but apparently his ragingness is blinding him."
She nodded. "He kissed me. Pushed me into the closet with Philip and kissed me." She looked scared as Oz walked up the stairs, still very calm. "You... you heard huh?" He nodded. "I'm sorry, I didn't encourage...."
He laid a finger over her mouth. "I know." He sat down beside her. "He won't be doing it again or I'll beat him." He shrugged. "He knows it now." He pulled her close to him. "He won't dare assault your lips again." He kissed them himself, removing the memory of the recent kiss with one of his own. "Um, Xander," he said suddenly. "Voyeurism maybe acceptable sometimes but not now."
Xander ran down the stairs, leaving them in aloneness.
Ripper happened upon the other two youthened men arguing in the gazebo, so he walked up to them. "What? She spurned you?"
Derek spun, frowning at him. "Like you got so far."
"I didn't want to," Giles said, pulling himself to his full height. "I respect her, which is much more satisfying."
"Virgin," Derek accused.
Ripper smiled nastily. "I've had a woman more recently than you have."
"That's it!" Xander said, walking up behind them. "I've had enough, Willow's definitely had enough, and Buffy's actually worried enough to want to call her mother for advice." He stared down the three younger teens. "Act your actual ages, not this one. Your bodies may be sixteen but I know your minds are older and your hormones are settled." He put his hands on his hips. "‘Cause, so help me God, you assault her like that again, any of you, and you'll pay."
Derek swallowed hard, knowing that he'd come very close to provoking an attack by the predator. "Tell her I'm sorry."
"Not my job. You can apologize perfectly well." He looked at Philip. "I'm surprised you let him do that. You *seemed* to respect her." He frowned at Giles. "Don't provoke them. I know you might win, but I'm not cleaning up after you three." He turned, walking away. "Now go to your rooms. Separately!"
Derek looked at Philip and Giles. "That's so unfair."
"Let's go do some damage," Rupert suggested. He grinned. "I'm sure we can egg his car at least.
Buffy shook her head from across the reflecting pond, Nick beside her. "What do you want to bet he'd make you lick it clean?" She looked up at Nick. "Want to post odds?"
He shook his head. "Sucker bet." He looked at the three younger teen males. "He gave you an order guys." He wrapped his arm around Buffy's waist, propelling her further down the path. "So, what do you think of my car?" he asked with a grin.
"Very red and fast." She smiled, her voice fading out. "I'm not really a car person...."
Philip looked at Derek. "Tha's disgusting."
The former Precept nodded. "Yeah, it was." He looked at Rupert. "Want to go get into trouble?"
Nick and Oz walked into the Police station, frowning at the three boys sitting there. "What did they do?" Nick asked, sighing in frustration.
"Want the list or the highlights?" The officer said. He looked up, frowning as he looked over Nick. "Doing something different? You don't look as tense."
"Love," Oz said. "He's found a great one." He looked over at the boys. "Is someone pressing charges?" The officer shook his head. "So, we can take them home, right?"
He silently handed Nick the forms, watching him sign them. "All yours. Beat them soundly." He handed over a copy of the report and turned his back.
Nick frowned and pointed out the door. "Car, now." He walked behind them, making sure they couldn't do anything else while Oz read.
"Rupert, why did you hit on an older guy? Your tastes don't run that way?" Oz asked.
Ripper turned around, frowning. "Not me. Him." He pointed at the former couple.
"Not us," Derek and Philip said in unison.
Nick raised an eyebrow. "We'll discuss this at home." He pushed open the door, leading them outside and to the Range Rover. "Get in, buckle up, and be quiet the whole way home."
"Can we get something ta eat?" Philip asked.
"No," Oz said. He buckled up then turned to look at them. "I'd stay silent, he's not in a good mood."
Nick revved the engine as he started the SUV, smiling at the cops that frowned at him, waving. He pulled carefully out into traffic. "Yeah, William'll be here in a few minutes." He looked back to see Derek and Philip blanch. "Oz, think we oughta let him deal with this?"
"As opposed to Xander, who's looking for a suitable paddle?" He looked at the three boys again. "Maybe. He's a dad, he should know what to do."
Nick shook his head. "He has girls."
"Then he'll enjoy this for the chance it is." He pointed at Xander's car. "I thought he was at home." He watched Willow get in, rolling down his window as they pulled along side. "Hey."
"Hi!" she said cheerfully, getting out to give him a quick kiss. "Just running a girl type errand."
Oz looked at the drugstore they were in front of. "Okay. See you at home." He waved, rolling back up his window. "Thought so." He shook his head. "I was looking forward to cuddles tonight too."
Nick smiled. "I can get those now," he said happily.
"Disgusting," Philip said from the backseat. "Purely swee' and nauseating." He looked at Nick in the mirror. "Did ya jus' hear yourself?"
"Yeah, did you? You're the one that used to gush over a certain Valentine's tradition."
"We're no' speaking of tha'," Philip said firmly. "No' ever."
"So I noticed," Derek said. "Why don't you let me gloat like that?"
"Ya know why."
"No, I know the fear that prompts it." He frowned at his lover. "I want to be able to send you flowers when you're at home and do those sweet things."
Rupert made a face. "God, save me from mushy couples," he prayed.
Oz looked at him. "Don't even. I can tell them about your last one." Giles shook his head. "Didn't think so." He turned back around, watching as they boarded the ferry. "I'd get out to go grab a kiss but it won't set a good example."
"Yes it would," all three boys said in unison.
Nick unlocked the door for him. "Go for it. They can't get away here." He watched as Oz walked out, heading back to the small sports car two rows behind them. "Wonder if he knows she took it?"
Derek shook his head. "No."
"Willow! You *stole* my car!" Xander yelled down the stairs as they walked in. "There'd better not even be a *fleck* of dirt on it."
She smiled cutely. "Sorry, had to run out for female stuff."
He took his keys back. "No more. Ask next time and respect the no." He looked at the three delinquents. "Upstairs, library, now." He scowled. "Now!" he yelled.
They hurried up the stairs, running to do it instead of facing his wrath.
Willow pouted cutely. "I just borrowed it for an hour," she said softly.
"Willow," Xander said, then stopped, calming down. "If that was your car and I'd done the same, what would you be doing?"
"Yelling." She looked upset. "But you let Oz drive it."
"I know how he drives. I've never ridden with you."
"Girls insurance rates are lower ‘cause we're more careful."
"On average," he retorted. "You may not be average in this either."
She nodded. "I'll ask next time."
"Thank you, that's what I wanted." He looked at Nick. "William's upstairs and upset."
William looked up as the three delinquent teens walked in. "So I hear this house needs a strong parental force," he said dryly. He took the form Nick gave him, reading over it silently then looked at them, major frown coming out. "You'll hate yourselves when you reage." He set it down, staring at them. "Shoplifting? Vandalism? Solicitation?" His voice raised on the last word. "How could you disgrace the name of *either* organization with this petty crap!"
Derek flushed. "William...."
The London Precept's stare shut him up. "This will *not* happen again." He looked at Rupert. "I don't know how you did things at home, but here we do not do this!" He shook the charge sheet for emphasis.
"I didn't do it," the young man in question protested. "I pickpocketed, I'll even admit to shoplifting , but I did *not* solicit!" He stood defiant.
William leaned back. "It doesn't matter," he said quietly, rubbing his forehead. "It won't happen again." He looked up, smiling at the butler who had brought him coffee and aspirin. "Thank you." He sipped the soothing brew, looking at the boys. "Go to your rooms, get into bed. We'll discuss this tomorrow."
Xander walked in after they were gone. "I tried."
William nodded. "It's an age thing," he said quietly, then loosened his tie.
The younger man sat down next to him. "You don't look so hot."
"I'm sure but you're pale." He patted the firm hand twitching on the table. "You're not fine." He stood, loosening the older man's tie and shirt more. "Dominic!" The butler came running, followed by Nick. "Help me get him laying down."
They got the older man onto the floor, making him comfortable while Nick called for the paramedics. Xander sat beside him, comforting him by talking quietly of stuff while the butler went to get the other house members and let the paramedics in.
Derek looked truly repentant as he looked at his old friend laying on the hospital bed. "I'm sorry," he said softly, taking his hand. "We never meant to put you in here. We were proving how stupid we could be. The teen took over for a while."
William rolled his head, opening an eye to look at him. "Don't do it again."
Derek leaned over, kissing the older man's forehead. "Rest, let us handle it."
"How'd the Council take it?"
Derek smiled. "Would you believe none of them even blinked?" William smiled slightly. "They didn't believe Willow so I joined the discussion. New Delhi's Precept laughed but none of the others."
William nodded. "She hates you, watch out for her."
Derek ‘ssshhed' him. "Let me worry about vindictive people. Patricia will be here later."
Nick walked in, followed by Xander and Willow. "Two hours," he said, taking the other side of the bed. "Oz is going to get her, don't worry." He frowned. "We got a call from Toronto, they want to send an interim Precept." William frowned. "I told them it wasn't necessary but they didn't believe me, they're calling for a Precept teleconference."
William groaned, "Get me a phone."
Derek shook his head. "Not a chance. Patricia's going to kill me already, I don't want to be trapped on this plane too."
William smiled. "Yeah, she'd do that." His eyes fluttered closed, the medicine putting him back to sleep.
Xander looked at Nick. "My turn to deal?" Both of his housemates nodded. "Goodie," he said with a feral smile.
Xander faced the merged Council of Precepts. "To be truthful, William agreed to this. Willow's good but she's not going to deal with you over this stuff." He smiled slightly. "I know you're concerned about this house standing firm, but we're fully in control."
New Delhi's Precept snorted. "I know, young man, what happened in your house that sent him to the hospital." She smiled nastily. "I'm sure if they find out, then your house will be taken over."
Xander nodded. "Possibly, but I've been digging some in the personnel files. How did you get in dear?" He twirled the Precept's ring on his finger. "I'm sure there are things there, like the whole period of the seventies for example, that you don't want them to know." His hand floated over a keyboard. "I could always tell them though. I understand I'm not supposed to be keeping things like this to myself." He smiled sweetly as she snarled. "Ruthless enough for you?" Her picture went dead. "Anybody else?"
The Paris Precept smiled. "Thank you, some of us have been wanting to shut her up for a very long time." He looked at the other Precepts then nodded. "I see no problem at your house in this instance and I'm sure William will be home soon to back you up." His smile got wider. "Be well and we'll pray for smoother waters for both houses." He signed off, the others following after well wishes of their own.
The young man looked over his shoulder at the former and interim Precepts. "How was that?"
"Just enough," Derek said, walking further into the room, "to make me want to know what you found."
Xander called up his email, showing him the form. "I shouldn't," he said, finger poised to hit the enter key to send it. He looked up at Derek as his finger fell. "Oops."
"She's a decent woman," Derek said sadly.
"Then she shouldn't have dated a demon while she was an initiate. Or participated in selling her sister to someone in a supposed marriage or...."
Derek covered his mouth. "Don't, I don't need to know that much."
Xander got up, sitting him in the chair. "Yeah, you do. She's involved in this." He stepped back. "It went to five people: William, you, the Internal Affairs guy, William's s.o.c., and her." He grinned. "Not too extreme. Not what I wanted to do."
Derek shook his head. "You're playing a dangerous game." He turned back around, reading. "Although, some of this does warrant an investigation."
Willow wrapped an arm around her friend's waist. "Patricia just called while you were being so Alpha. William's latest check-up went well, he's doing fine."
Derek dialed the Internal Affairs officer, smiling as he answered. "Have you checked your mail?" he asked innocently. The man on the screen frowned. "I fully support this action," he said.
He reluctantly held it up. "Some of it was cultural."
Derek shook his head. "Not if you were high enough back then." He relaxed, letting his instincts flow now. "Some of it, like her sister, can be explained culturally, but if you read all of it, he was thorough in his research. She may well be behind this problem." He waved a hand at himself. "A subject dear to both my house and London."
The Internal Affairs Officer smiled. "Yes, we'd heard your problem was what caused William's heart attack. Tell me again what it was? Soliciting?"
Derek flushed. "We're wavering between our normal mental age and that of our bodies at present. Sometimes they want to get in trouble."
"Then it was you that tried to pick up a cop?" Derek shook his head hurriedly. "If you say so, Rayne, but I would be on my best behavior, my lad. I'm the one who will be sent to deal with your family if this persists."
Xander and Willow stepped forward. "We can handle it," he assured him. The man on the screen just nodded, severing their link. The older teen looked down at his former Precept. "Cause us problems like that again and I'll make sure you never see the light of day again."
Derek swallowed hard, nodding. "I'll try to fight it harder."
"Good," Xander said, grinning. "Let's go eat."
"The Boyle boys and their stomachs," Buffy said as she walked in. "Bottomless pits of steel."
Nick snuck up behind her, wrapping his arms around her. "Means you won't ever have to worry about cooking disasters." He nipped the back of her neck then smiled at the three teens. "Lunch?"
"Of the celebratory kind," Willow said. "Xander fought off the evil Precept and we're staying autonomous."
Nick shook his head but Derek nodded. "I'm afraid so, my friend. He turned one over to Internal Affairs."
Nick shuddered. "Then I hope they get what they deserve." He turned Buffy in his arms. "Want to learn how to make my famous oyster omelet?" She shook her head, making a face. "No?" he asked, hurt.
She patted his chest. "I don't like oysters. They're slimy."
He shrugged. "I can work around that. Just as long as you let me teach you how to cook."
She smiled. "Me, cook?" He nodded. "My, how traditional are we?" She raised an eyebrow then smiled. "Oh, if I must, I guess so."
He grinned and hugged her tightly. "Good. That's just a few of the things I want to teach you though," he whispered into her ear, making her shake. "Later though, when Derek's not frowning at us like we have two heads."
She backed up a step, separating them. "We shouldn't do this in here, that's private stuff." She looked at Derek. "See, some of us don't earn the frownies." She walked out, brushing Nick's hip with hers on the way.
Willow looked at Xander. "Was I like that?"
"In less of an aggressive way, yeah." He grinned. "Love must be like that." He walked out, heading for the kitchen.
Derek looked at her. "I know, it's nauseating when it's not you." He grinned, a hint of the mischievous teen coming out again. "Us older guys don't have public displays like that."
She shook her head. "Some guys do. Giles used to moon over Ms. Calendar the same way she does Nick." She walked out, heading for the more relative safety of people.
Derek shook his head. "One day, I'll make you see it." He turned back around, getting back into the email program to check his own. Maybe some of that other stuff he found online would be in today.
TO BE CONTINUED.