Sam smiled at his brother about three weeks later, right about at the six or seven month mark. "Did you need changed again?" he teased. He undid the diaper, blinking when the bright fountain of pee arced out to hit him.
"Momma," Dean said happily.
"I know, you've been waiting this whole time to do that, haven't you?" he joked. Dean smirked a bit, waving one hand. "Fine." He finished changing him and put on a new outfit since some had dribbled. "Your aim sucked. You got it on your jeans." He tossed that and his t-shirt into the wash. "There, better." He leaned down to look at his brother. "Do it again, watch me do it back," he said, making Dean cackle. "That's my Dean." He patted him on the head. "What're we doing today since it's my day off?"
"Dada?" he asked.
"You wanted to go watch Xander?" Dean scowled. "Ah. Figured that would come up sometime." He leaned down again. "You're still you and we know that but you're still being raised as my son, Dean. That means a few things will change. Including that Xander can teach you stuff too. Xander knows electronics and he can help you learn more in that. He knows more languages we don't so we can help you with that. It'll be kinda neat if you learn how to swear in Sumerian or something." Dean gave him an odd look. Sam just smirked. "Well, you're the one who keeps me up and keeps me from getting the sleep I need to be sane. What did you expect, Dean?"
"Dada!" he said more firmly.
"Fine," he sighed. "Let me shower. We'll see if the witches can do a seance tonight." He put Dean into his walker and went to take a shower, letting him wander around. Nothing was down that could hurt him. He heard him follow and grinned. "Wanted to help?" He started the water, then climbed in, taking a quick shower. The look on Dean's face said he wasn't going to be put off any longer than necessary and any slowing down of his agenda would create a fit. He came out and dried off, wrapping a towel around his hips. "You know, we could go see Grandma Joyce." Dean gave him a look like he was insane. He sat down on the toilet, looking at him.
"They're new family, Dean; they love us both. They spoil you rotten, er, and they love Xander and me together. I'm not going to hurt them because you're freaked out. It's bad enough you give Xander those looks that make him feel like he's less than useful or loved. I do love him. You can consider him a stepmother if you want. After all, he did give birth to you." Dean reached up so he let him check his forehead, weathering the scowl. "That's what the rite was for, Dean. So you could do this again." He patted him on the head. "Let me get dressed. We'll talk on the drive over." He went upstairs to dress and came back down to put on his shoes. A quick grab of the diaper bag, their father's journal, and the car keys, and they were out the door. Dean squealed when he saw his car. "I know, no drives recently," he agreed. "We've been too busy with work." He moved the carseat up to the front, letting him look out the window for now.
"How's that?" Dean smirked. "Better?" He got a nod. "Good." Sam slipped in a tape, having to flip it over because it was done. "By the way, the CD player you listen to now and then has a cassette adapter so we can bring it along later on." Dean stared at him. "Okay, from the top then." He put the car into reverse to back out of their parking spot then into drive so he could drive them around for a while. "The rite that Annabelle and I did was to let you be reborn. Only there was a slight goof thanks to the demon over that rite. Instead of you being put into me, you got put into Xander. He used it to stop a major bad thing out this way. By the way, this is the hellmouth." Dean shook his head. "I know it's supposed to be mythical but the aunt named Buffy, the blonde you don't suck on and like to make dirty, she's the slayer. Even more mythical. Bobby nearly bowed to her when he came out." Dean gave him a horrified look. "Yeah, he decided you were cute. Took home pictures."
He changed the song and watched the road again. "Anyway, you were put into Xander. I had to search for five months to find Xander since we thought this place was mythical and when I did find you, he was having a mood swing. We talked. We worked things out. We slowly moved closer because I did agree with the demon, you deserved two parents this time." He reached over to smooth down some of his hair. "About time for a trim, Dean." He turned onto another road, parking on an overlook to the beach so he could look at his brother. "Anyway, we did the whole pregnancy thing and we got closer together. I love Xander. He still won't accept a proposal because he thinks you hate him and he can't teach you anything, so he's in the way, but I love him enough to offer it to him. You depressed him horribly when you were first born and you didn't seem to like him. I know he's not our Mom and he's definitely not Dad, but he's a hunter too and he's a really special, neat guy. I'd like Xander even if it wasn't for you. I can't seem to get that through his skull but I do."
"Dada?" Dean asked.
"Yeah, I know Dad would freak out. Yay him. He'd definitely hate the team here since we've got two witches, including the one who took guardianship when Annabelle died. That's your Aunt Tara, the one you try to feed off of? Her. The redhead is Willow. That's her girlfriend. She's... well, she did something totally stupid and Xander's still ready to rip her head off. She's been begging to make cookies and apologize. I agree with Xander, what she did was unforgivable, but I don't hate her enough to carry the grudge when we could die any day. Any of us. Dad would really hate Spike the most though." He grinned. "That would be the blond, British guy who smokes? Spike's a vampire." Dean gave him a look like he was insane again. "Not my fault. The army chipped him so he helps Buffy, the slayer." He shrugged. "It happens I guess. She's lived an incredibly long time thanks to her team, especially Xander since he brought her back to life."
He smoothed down that hair again. "If you let yourself, you might find that you really like Xander too, Dean. He's a special guy and he's a lot like you. He reads multiple languages to help with the research thanks to a spell but he says he's dumb all the time. Calls himself grunt support. Now and then I want to spank him and make him see how special he really is. He's helped Buffy defend this town tons of times. Hell, he was going on patrol while pregnant with you. We almost had to handcuff him when he got too big to safely escape if something happened. He pouted for weeks because he feels that it is his duty. He helped take down some bad people in the military; the ones who chipped Spike so he can't hunt or hurt humans. He's a special guy. Even if you did kick him every time the girls started in on girl stuff or he had a mood swing. I spent a lot of time rubbing your back because of that, Dean, and it was really unfair to him. Not like he could help the cooing girls." He smirked. "Who did buy most of the clothes that you're now wearing." Dean grimaced. "Anyway, do you think you could give Xander a chance? I think you'll see him like I do when you do finally forgive him for not being Mom."
"No," he said, shaking his head.
"Fa..." He groaned. This was frustrating in the extreme.
"He's not family? Dean, if I'm going to marry him, that makes him your brother-in-law and therefore family. Even if Dad wouldn't like it. He's mine. I'm keeping him. He's the best thing that's happened to me in a very long time. He helped me work out a lot of the grief and anger I still had over Jess dying."
"De?" Dean asked.
"The family demon? It's gone." He gave him a sad smile. "You must not remember it yet but it's gone. You're safe." Dean nodded, yawning some. "If you really want to do a seance to talk to Dad from hell, we can do that. If he starts to yell at Xander and me, I'm walking away after banishing him. You're as much hell as either of us need." Dean smirked at that. "Agreed?" He nodded. "Then we'll go see if they can do that." He started the car. "I introduced Xander to Annabelle's series and he giggled his way through the first two books already. He nearly went into early labor with the first one."
"How did you get out?" Dean nodded. He lifted his shirt and shifted his pants down a bit. "See the strange line? In those that do the spell or attempt the spell that leads back to where the demon created a safe area. Xander's is fully open because he had you. Mine's still closed because the demon took you from me. Like I said, I was going to do it, but the demon intervened."
"Dada no," he said quietly.
"I know he'll scream at me. I think he'd rather have you here than in hell with him though. Right?" Dean nodded. "Then he can yell."
"Dada?" he asked, nodding at his stomach.
He smirked, shaking his head. "If we had known about it, maybe. We would've needed some of his soul that was held pure. We would've had to take him right before the demon's deal came due. The same way I did yours. Willow might be able to resurrect him. She's that strong. She's not a guardian witch either. She's just really, really strong, even with being impure she's strong. She's kinda scary she's so strong." Dean gave him a look. "I know but she's still working with the slayer and she's usually a good girl. Now and then she annoys the crap out of me and I've thought about burning her at the stake for what she did to Xander by telling officers that we shouldn't have you but he won't let me." He looked at him. "Xander's got a good soul, Dean. Just try, please?"
"Yeah, you can call him that. It'd probably make his year, Dean." He leaned over to kiss him on the head. "Thank you." Dean grunted. "What?"
"Xander's family? No, you don't have any grandparents or aunts and uncles on that side other than the slayer's team. His parents are worse than demons as far as I've heard. Xander hasn't said any differently when people tell me those things. Which is why you hurt him so much. He wasn't going to have kids until this accident happened. He didn't want a chance to screw up like they did. Though he's not an alcoholic and he's not sneering at you so he can't possibly do that but he's trying to put that behind him. The same as Willow's family abandoned her because she was smart and could handle some time on her own, nearly ten months out of the year all together." Dean shuddered. "Yup. They don't know what a good family is but they've managed to make one without realizing it. It's what makes them so special and your aunts. Oh, if Anya comes near you, scream. She's a former demon she's got a very skewed sense of the world. She's not allowed to watch you until you're older."
He put the car in reverse. "She one said she'd go buy a crack ho's baby so it'd have lower expectations if she couldn't pay enough attention to it. She left you alone your third day in this world to go get coffee. She's not allowed to babysit unless the world is ending and then she's to take you to Cordelia, who's slightly nicer than wolves from what I understand but she'll coo and fuss over your clothes too." He backed off their spot, glaring at the person who was sitting in the bushes watching them. "I have no idea who they are." He used his phone to take a picture and kept going. "We'll see. Xander has a pretty good handle on all the bad guys around here. Oh, hey, remember us laughing at the movies of vampires where you stake them and they turn into dust? Around here they do."
Dean burst out cackling at that. It was the funniest joke he'd ever heard. At least until Sam parked in a cemetery and took him over to a crypt to show him. Then Dean gave him a horrified look. "Dada!" he shouted.
"I know, we're going. Just proving it. Buffy said you can't patrol until you're sixteen but you can learn all you want until then. She can even help. So can Mr. Giles." He got him back into his car seat then walked around to drive them to the Magic Box.
Spike shook his head from his crypt. "Bloody stupid big brother," he muttered, going back to bed. "Slayer'll kick his arse for that and make sure her nummy toy's fine."
Sam walked them into the Magic Box, waving at Anya behind the register. He handed Dean to Tara since she was pouting. "There you go, Auntie Tara, one baby. Who wants to talk to our father, who is in hell."
"We can do a seance," Anya said happily. "I know how to do that."
Sam grinned at her. "Thanks, Anya."
"Not a problem. Can Xander come play?"
"Anya, if he tried to play with you I'd have to kill you both," he said bluntly. She pouted. "What's mine is mine. Xander feels the same way. No playing around on each other, ever." She pouted worse. "Tough."
"Fine, be that way then. Who'll I get orgasms with now?"
"I don't know. Go find an incubus?" he suggested. She beamed and nodded, going to call a few old friends to see if they were busy. He sat down beside Tara on the couch, looking at Dean then at her. "We had to have a talk earlier."
"Did you spank him for the trying to puke on Buffy incident?"
"No, that was pretty funny," he admitted with a grin. "Besides, he couldn't control it."
"She said she was going to because it finished ruining that outfit."
"We got her a new one," he reminded her, taking the baby back. She stole him and cuddled him, making Dean hum into her breasts. "Dean, she's not food. Don't even think about it."
She smiled down at him. "I love you but you're not my gender, dear." Dean pouted at her, batting his big, green eyes. "I love you even though you do have a dirty mind, Dean." She kissed him on the forehead and turned him so he could watch the store. "Just a seance?"
"Yup. With banishing things handy just in case he starts to yell. Dad could be a bit of a hardass now and then." She nodded, understanding that. "If he yells, feel free to let Willow and Buffy yell back at him before you banish him." Dean gave him a look over her arm. He grinned. "He hurts Xander and I'm going to kick his ass."
Dean put his head back down, batting his lashes at her again. She smiled, handing him something. He looked then beamed at her, gumming on the cookie. "All boys love cookies," she said, teasing his belly. "I think Auntie Anya bought you that outfit." Dean shuddered so she cuddled him. "She's only a bit strange, Dean. It's things like that which let us not freak out when Xander showed up pregnant with you. Even if he did have to fix a few things at Buffy's house from his early panic attacks." She looked over as Willow walked in with Buffy. "Look who loves my cookies."
"Awww," Buffy said, taking him to cuddle. "Hi, Dean." He grinned at her, still sucking on the cookie. "Such a good boy today. You haven't tried to puke or poo on me yet. I'm so proud." She kissed him on the head, then let Willow hold him. "I'm getting out of range before you change your mind. Where's Anya?"
"I suggested she look up an incubus or two when she asked who she could have fun with."
"We don't need more sex demons in town, Sam. They'll be drawn to Xander again. You know that."
"I banished the last four that came for him, I can do these too, Buffy." He grinned. "Didn't you tease one?"
"Well, yeah. I was missing having snuggles too; until Anya knew him he was cute." She beamed and went to the kitchen to get a drink. "So why bring the adorable growing one there out today?"
"He wanted to do a seance with our dad."
"Ah," she said, nodding a bit. "You let him suck up to Anya already?"
"No, he went to Auntie Tara because she was pouting." Tara gave him a look and took the baby back. "Plus she steals him."
"I guess she would get favored auntie status since she's his official babysitter," she decided. "Mom wanted to know if she could watch him during patrol tonight."
"Sure. I don't mind. I know Xander doesn't. When did Grandma want him?"
"Anytime after dinner she said."
"That's cool with us." She bounced off to call her mom. He looked at Dean. "Grandma Joyce is the one who reads you the mysteries." Dean snuggled in again, yawning a bit. "Can we set that up after Xander gets off work?"
"Sure, I can start laying it out now," Willow promised, going to do that.
"Is this a good idea?" Tara asked quietly.
"It's not my favorite one but we can banish him if he turns into the uber asshole." He gave her a hug. "Thank you for taking such good care of us, Tara." She smiled and gave him a cookie too. "You know, if we ever want to have more kids, we're going to come to you for eggs." She squealed, giving him a real hug around the baby. Dean gave him a look. "Yes, Xander could have another one if he wanted a normal kid that he had to love and raise and cuddle all the time. The same way he had you, Dean." He grinned at her. "I left it up to him."
She kissed him on the cheek. "You don't want them that close together anyway, Sam. You're going to have your hands full with Dean for the next two years."
"I know but maybe a little brother or sister would be nice. We're already missing sitting down to cuddle with him after a bad patrol or a long day." He smoothed down that hair again. "It's definitely time for a haircut."
"Mine," Dean ordered.
"Yeah, yours. Mine got cut last week when the vampire grabbed it and did it for me. Of course the same one tried to rip Xander's clothes off him." He shrugged. "He went poof too."
"Buffy was happy with his plans," she reminded him.
"I know, I've heard about it since then," he said dryly. He checked his watch then called Xander since they should be on break. "We're at the Magic Box. Dean wanted to talk to our dad so we're doing a seance later on then Grandma's watching him during patrol. Sure. Please? Of course I want you here, Xander. If he says shit about you then I'm banishing him back to hell and letting something else have him too." Tara cooed at that. Dean just stared at him. He stared back. "No, we'll do dinner before patrol. Pizza?" He grinned. "That's great. I'll see you in a few hours. No, we had a short drive and it was good. Love you." He hung up, getting a hug from Tara. "I know, we're cute together," he teased her. "Nearly as cute as you and Dean are."
She swatted him gently. "I still don't like boy parts that way."
Sam beamed at Dean. "There's more gay people in Sunnydale if you by portion of the population than there is anywhere but South Beach in Florida. We even beat San Francisco."
Dean patted Tara's pocket down for another cookie, getting one with a smile and a kiss on the forehead. He and his brother would be talking when he was older. It'd only be a few months until he could scream at him again.
Willow bounced out. "We need something of your dad's for the calling."
"It won't be hurt, right?"
"No, just as a focus," she said. Sam pulled out the old journal, handing it over. She beamed. "Perfect." She went to put it into place. "We can go whenever you want to, Sam."
"I said Xander could be here."
"Are you sure that's wise?" Tara asked quietly. "Let him rant first for a bit?"
Sam nodded, taking Dean back to the work area. "Okay, let's go now." He settled in a space in front of the journal but out of the way. She lit the candles magically and did the short chant, calling up the spirit. John slowly faded into view, staring at him. "Hi, Dad. Say hi, Dean."
"Da!" he said, waving with a shit-eating grin.
"Son, what did you do?" he asked.
"I saved Dean from following you into hell for saving me."
John sighed. Sam realized that's where he got the parental sigh from. "By?"
"Having him reborn. Annabelle started it, I finished it. Though there was a slight change by the one over the rite. It sent Dean into another vessel. I was fully prepared to have and raise him but it decided he needed two parents this time."
"It's scary because Xander's uber father," Willow assured him.
"You would be?"
"Dean's Auntie Willow," she said happily. "White witch to the slayer." The ghost backed away from her. "The oops from the demon brought Dean to Sunnydale so Sam came. He and Xander are so cute together," she said, pinching Sam's cheek. He gave her a look so she backed down. "You are. Especially when Dean used to kick him so you hovered and stroked his belly until Dean calmed down."
John shook his head quickly, looking at his son again. "Now what's going to happen?"
"We found out early on that he's going to have an accelerated growth now that he's born," Willow told him. "A year a month until he's his old age." John looked at her again. "The demon over the rite said so."
"It also said sending him to Xander cured a lot of higher problems and made him very amused, Dad," Sam said, looking down at Dean. "Want me to change that now or later?" Dean patted Sam's hands on his stomach. "Sure. If you're okay I'm good for a little while." He looked at his father again. "Dean wanted to call."
"I see." He floated down. "Dean is going to be reraised like I would want?"
"Xander and I are going to be working with him to make sure his body's at least as good as it was before he died. We're starting self-defense when he's five. Latin and Spanish when he's four. He can learn any martial arts he wants from anyone around here. Including Buffy and Mr. Giles." Buffy bounced in with a soda. "Buffy, this is our father, John Winchester."
"Hi, Buffy Summers." She waved and sat down, stealing the baby. "Here, you can cuddle me for a bit, Dean." She looked at him then at Sam. "We have to change him right away when he does it to us."
Sam stood up, taking Dean to change him. "He wanted to wait so we didn't tire Willow out," he complained on the way out.
Buffy smiled at John. "I'll make sure Dean's up to my best-slayer-ever standards, Mr. Winchester. When he's sixteen we'll let him start to patrol to make sure he can. Plus Xander knows explosives and electronics stuff so he can teach him that too."
"Xander is a guy?"
"Yeah. The spell called for a male to be the vessel to give birth," Willow told him. "They're very cute." She grinned at Buffy then at him again. "Tara and I don't mind them at all before you ask. Sunnydale has a large gay population so they're safe here while Dean's growing up again. The only thing they have to worry about is vampires and demons, well and Anya and Dru."
"Dru said she'd leave the baby alone," Buffy reminded her. "That way we didn't have to make Angel go insane and try to kill us all. I don't think I could send him to hell again." She sipped her water, taking the baby back when he was brought back in. "There, be an auntie cuddle toy since I nearly flunked a test earlier." Dean sighed but settled in comfortably. "Good boy. You know who loves you," she cooed.
Sam sat down again. "They claimed auntie rights when Xander ended up pregnant. They've been very good to us, Dad. Including buying Dean a lot of clothes."
"Shopping's good stress relief since I don't have a snuggly of my own," Buffy quipped.
John looked at his son. "Something you forgot to mention, Sammy?"
"About?" he asked.
"He's a very nice guy," he agreed. "Even if I hadn't done this I probably would've fallen hard for him, Dad. He understands. He's been hunting with Buffy since they were both sixteen. He's twenty-one before you ask. We have good jobs on the local construction crew. We've been keeping in touch with Bobby while we've been here. He's already came out once to see me and Dean." Dean gave him a dirty look. "Dean doesn't like that there's new baby pictures of him but oh well." He looked at his father again, grinning some. "I don't care if you can't accept Xander and I, Dad. Xander gave birth to Dean. If it had been anything other than the magical accident it was I would've been there with a preacher and a ring, as you taught us. As is, he's worried about Dean and what Dean thinks so he won't accept my proposal."
Willow nodded. "Tara said he did the first night."
"And about four times since then," Xander agreed as he walked in. He sat down beside Sam, giving him a hug. "From the boss. I've got tomorrow off to watch him while you run the gas lines." Sam nodded at that. "He said you're getting really good at plumbing with all the practice he's given you recently." He looked over at Buffy. "Give me back my son, woman."
She pouted. "I nearly flunked a test."
"I nearly fell off a scaffold. Get Willow to hack your grades. Not like you're going for a degree." She pouted but handed him down. "Thank you. Hi, Dean. Did you and Sam have a good drive?" The baby smiled at him. "That's good. We like it when you're happy. Then you sleep at night so you don't drive me nuts. We'll even get to do laundry tomorrow if Sam didn't." Sam groaned, shaking his head. "That's fine. Dean likes to go ride around in the laundry baskets at the laundromat." He looked at the guy's spirit hanging there. "I'm going to assume here, but you're their dad John?" He nodded. "Hi, Xander." He waved and turned Dean around, looking at him. "Good enough or do you want dinner before going to see Grandma Joyce?"
"Dada," he said, pointing.
Xander beamed. "Brilliant of you, Dean. You must've sucked up some of Sam's brains before the demon transferred you to me." He kissed him on the forehead and turned him back around, straightening out his shirt. "There, talk to him. He could probably use the happies of talking to you."
Dean looked at his dad. "Good?"
"I'm fine, son. Are you okay?" Dean beamed and licked the last bit of chocolate from his hand.
"I think he means beyond Tara's cookies," Buffy told him.
"Momma," Dean said, waving a hand at Sam, getting a snicker from Sam. "Momma too," he said, waving at Xander. "Good."
"At least you're doing all right so far." He looked at Xander. "I set high standards for my boys, Xander."
"I've hunted with the slayer since I was sixteen, John. He'll be more than trained to defend himself and we'll let him learn whatever he wants to. Sam's going to work on that since you trained him and I trained myself. I'm going to be working with them but Sam said he can handle that part if I do a lot of the other stuff." Dean stared up at him. "What?" Dean spit. "That's not polite and you don't do that around girls. Willow turns you into a salamander for that." Dean gave him a look like he was insane.
"He's too young to transform," Willow told him. "I'd only correct him this time." She stared at the baby. The baby spit at her. She swatted him gently. Xander smacked her back. "Hey!"
"My son," he said patiently. He turned Dean around to look at him. "There are other ways of getting your point across, Dean. Spitting is for bullies, stupid kids, and those who have brain damage. You're not stupid, you had better not end up a bully, and you don't have brain damage. Am I clear?" Dean nodded. "Good." He kissed him on the head. "Now, you wanted to talk to him?" He turned him back around, letting him look at his father again.
"I would've smacked him on the mouth," John said.
Xander looked at him. "If we start hitting him he'll turn out like me. Then when he's twenty-one you can be a great-grandfather." John gave him a horrified look. He looked at Sam, leaning over to kiss him, handing him the baby. "I think this should be between you two for now."
"If you're sure."
"I am. Let me clean up from work." He took another kiss before leaving.
Sam looked at his father. "Don't upset Xander, Dad. Please? We've had a lot of struggles over the last few months. Beyond what normal babies give." Dean looked up at him. "Yes, that stuff we talked about." Dean shrugged, snuggling back into his stomach. Willow inched over. "No." She pouted but moved back. Buffy gave him a hopeful look. "I can hold him, guys, really." Dean laughed. He looked at his father again. "He'll have all his old memories, Dad. We'll make sure he can use his body just as well as he used to. You don't have to worry that Dean won't be able to hunt. When he's ready he'll be able to hunt and track just as well. Actually, Xander might know how to track in the woods so he can up that skill too." Dean gave him a look. "He might."
"He does," Buffy assured him. "The halloween stuff gave it to him." She stole the baby back, smiling at him. "My turn!"
Dean patted her on the nose. "Momma," he said, pointing at Sam.
"No, my turn." She snuggled him. "I still need love and it's you or Spike, kid. Suck up the cuddles. They're good for you. My mother said so. She did it to me and look at me now. I survived *way* past when they thought I shouldn't."
He gave Sam a look but let her cuddle him. "Dada?" he said, looking at John.
"She looks cuddly and your mother did cuddle you a lot, son." He looked at Sam. "I'm not happy you did this rite."
"You'd rather have him beside you on the wall in hell?"
"No, and you knew that. There wasn't another way?"
"Not that I found. Annabelle started it. I had to finish it after she passed on."
John sighed. "I knew she'd save him some day. Not like that but I knew she'd save him."
Sam stood up to get closer to him. "She gave up her life to save Dean, Dad. Do not make light of that. She did it because she grew to love him enough to do that. I'm not going to let you make fun of it."
"I'm not. That was her decision. I'm glad she did it. I still don't like that you went to a higher demon."
"The choices were him or death, Dad. I'd rather have Dean here, even if I do have to change his diapers for a few months."
"What about when you go back on the road?"
"Xander and I are together whether or not you like it. He's damn special to me. Special enough that I would've been with him even without this rite. Even if he doesn't want to see it because he's been so traumatized by others in his life, I'm still keeping him. He's mine."
"I didn't raise you this way," he said coolly.
"You didn't raise me. You trained us." John glared. "I'm not letting you hurt my family, Father. That does include Dean."
Dean tried to whistle but it wasn't working. He poked Buffy and made tweeting noises. She whistled for him. "No!" he shouted.
Sam smiled. "That's right, we shouldn't fight this time, Dean. Thank you for reminding me." He took him to cuddle, calming himself down. "He wanted to talk to you and check on you. He can do it again in a few months when he's older and can talk better. Willow?"
"Sam, you've already kicked over a candle," Buffy pointed out. "If it didn't break...." She looked down at Willow. "Did we goof?"
"No." She sulked. "I'm sure we can banish him, Sam."
He walked off, getting some salt, coming back to toss it into the summoning circle. His father faded. "See you around the holidays, Dad." He picked up Dean, looking at him. "We should find the other mommy, huh?" He walked off with him.
Willow looked over at Buffy. "I didn't think Sam had a temper."
"Everyone has a temper for some things," Buffy said. "Some things are less important though." She stood up and dusted herself off. "Want help cleaning up?"
"No, I can do an air sweep." She nodded, leaving her to it. Willow blew out the candles and looked at the salt. "Salt? I never heard about that one." She gathered up everything without doing the banishing rite. She came back to clean up the area and found him back. "Ooooh. The salt didn't banish you?"
"It breaks up the spirit for a bit," he said dryly. "You don't work with spirits?"
"No. We have more vampires than anything. That's why we have a slayer here. Buffy's very good at it. We've been helping her since tenth grade." She sat down again. "So, how was Sam growing up?"
"Mouthy and smart."
She beamed. "Like me then. That's kinda cool." She looked outside then at him. "Sam and Xander are very good to Dean. Xander's got the scary protective thing going. He nearly killed me because I said something I shouldn't and a cop showed up. He nearly killed Anya when she left the baby alone for a few minutes to get coffee and an insane vampiress showed up to play with him. He nearly killed the vampiress too but that would've caused some deep kimchee with some of our allies. He got to hit her before Spike and Buffy walked her out." Buffy leaned in. "Salt makes them incorporeal for a few minutes."
"Wow. Think we should do a banishing before Sam or Xander lose it this time?"
"I will soon. I'm telling him what a good daddy Xander is."
"Okay." She went back to the front of the shop. "Sam, he's still here." Sam groaned. "Willow's assuring him you're both great parents."
"Willow, banish him," he called. "Please?"
"I will in a minute," she called. She smiled at John. "He's picky and fussy sometimes but he hovered protectively over Xander while he was pregnant. He let Xander set any boundaries he wanted. They took the 'ship stuff very slowly so Xander could make sure Sam wasn't just there for the baby."
"That's how I raised my boys. Family above everything else."
"Well, Sam certainly proved that," she said dryly. "I mean, he was going to let his brother be born from his body to save him. If that doesn't scream 'protecting my family' I don't know what does."
"Xander's a hunter?"
"He's our backup, weapons, and planning support," she said happily. "My witch Tara and I are, of course, magic support. We'll be going on patrol later if you wanted to follow subtly. I think you deserve the right to get to know your son-in-law but if they find out I didn't banish you I'll be in deeper with Xander and Sam. No amount of cookies will be able to fix that. Agreed?" He nodded. "Thanks." She stood up and dusted herself off again. "Anyway, we're going to have a small research party with pizza and then go on patrol while Grandma Joyce watches Dean."
She snorted. "No! I wouldn't give her anything to watch. Not even something like Pinhead, or something really nasty that would kill her. I certainly wouldn't give her a baby. Joyce is Buffy's mom. She's been very good and supportive since she found out Buffy's a slayer. She's helped a lot and she let Xander have a lot of mood swings around her to calm him down again. He had a bad habit of throwing things and slamming doors. He had to fix Joyce's front door four times before Sam showed up but only once afterward."
"Then my boy did right by the baby at least."
She stared at him. "Sam loves Xander enough to be miserable when they fight. They had a bad one right after the baby was born and Xander went to sleep on Joyce's couch. Sam looked a lot worse than Xander." John gave her a long look. "Xander didn't feel like there was much he could teach him, that he was just a womb. He's not right, because Sam loves him, but he thought that. He was being a poopie head but it was also the last of the hormones going off." She shrugged. "As we found out, hormones make you do strange stuff. I learned all I ever wanted to know about pregnancy watching his. I don't need to have any now." She beamed. "Then again, Xander is the uber daddy too. Him and Tara are great with Dean. Sam's good too but Xander doesn't flinch at diapers or midnight feedings. He reads to the baby. Even before he was born he read to the baby. Tara got him a music set to keep him calm so he wouldn't kick the snot out of Xander when we got fussy around him. We spoil Dean rotten."
"He won't be a sorcerer," he told her.
She shrugged. "Magic's not for everyone. It's especially not for Xander." She beamed. "Xander has a habit of making spells go odd."
"Willow," Xander called. "Send him home to his mommy and come research."
"Coming." She gave John a look, getting a nod that he'd be subtle. She leaned closer. "Xander's got possession issues," she said quietly. "So don't get too close. He might be able to feel you." She skipped out while John figured out how to hide himself better.
John listened to the young people out front. Dean was helping research by helping Sam eat his pizza for now. It still wasn't right. Only a Winchester should raise another Winchester and Dean was his son, not that guy's and Sam's. Sam wasn't him and clearly he had went wrong somewhere with him if he thought he'd accept this situation. When they went out on patrol he checked the woman who was watching Dean for a few minutes. She was nice. A motherly sort telling Dean how her daughter had been his size once. Even showing him pictures. Dean was laughing at a few so he peeked too. There were a few cute ones.
"Having a slayer for a daughter does mean that she's told me when spirits are around," Joyce said calmly, turning the page on the photo album.
John faded in. "I met your daughter earlier. She's a what?"
She looked at him. "Vampire Slayer. According to the histories the line was started back in caveman days to defeat the demons running the world back then." She looked at Dean, who patted the princess picture. "That's true, Sam did say that your group thought the town and her were mythical." She looked at him. "I'm Joyce Summers. You?"
"John Winchester. Sam and Dean's father."
"You did a nice job on Sam. He's a polite, loving young man. I only wish Buffy had taste like Xander does instead of going after dangerous men." She smiled at Dean. "Then again you two could hang out when you're older. Maybe you can introduce her to someone nice?" He grinned at her. She tweaked his nose. "You're being a good boy tonight, Dean. Thank you." He nuzzled his cheek on her shoulder, making her laugh. "You suckup you," she teased. She pointed at a picture. "That was her first ten minutes on skates. She does okay now but then she kept falling down as soon as she stood up." Dean giggled. "Her dad got her the ballerina outfit to wear out on the ice. Sometimes I don't know what was wrong with that man. It's clear he didn't appreciate classical beauty and brains." She stroked over his hair. "Nearly time for that first haircut. We'll make sure Sam takes you to someone nicer than whoever does his mop." She went back to the pictures. "That's Buffy's tenth birthday party. She had the flu but she was determined to have a party anyway. She even kept herself from being sick during it. Mostly by going outside to get away from some people drenched in perfume." She turned the page. "That's her twelfth birthday. Her father has the only copy of her eleventh and I couldn't get it back or make a copy because he's an asshole." He patted her hand. "I know. I'll find a nice man again someday. One who appreciates me and Buffy both."
Dean grinned. "Dada?"
"No, I don't like dangerous men and Sam's much too young for me." He giggled. "Did anyone tell you about the love spell that went horribly wrong?" Dean shook his head. "Hmm. You should ask about that when you're older. It was a bit fun hitting on Xander when he was a teenager because of the spell." She turned the page again. "There's a picture you can use to taunt her into not dressing you cutely. Her last halloween trick-or- treating. Her best friends challenged her to go as a nurse. They even got her the costume. I threw a very loud fit. Three of the neighbors called the cops and she managed to sneak out while I was screaming at them too." Dean stared at the slutty nurse outfit then at her. "Oh, she got grounded and their parents got calls too. They got grounded too. One even lost her trust fund shopping trip that year. Her mother was not pleased since all the girls were going out in stuff that was equally slutty. She didn't want to be a grandmother." She smirked. "She claimed she was too young and pretty. That's why she paid the plastic surgeon fifteen thousand a year to keep her that way." Dean gave her an odd look. She nodded. "Buffy grew up around them."
"No," he said, shaking his head.
"I know. I should've had more sense but Hank had my nose up and I was stupid back then too. Thankfully we have much better taste now. Or she would if she quit dating commandos and vampires and ... well, I think that's all she has dated. One commando and two vampires." She shrugged, going back to the pictures. She giggled when she found one. "This is the halloween the chaos sorcerer hit. Buffy got the gown at his shop and he turned all the costumes from his shop into something that would turn you into them. So she turned into an airhead lady from the seventeenth century. Thankfully Xander went as a soldier and saved her butt. Willow was a ghost but Buffy had been trying to dress her up like a prostitute so she could get Oz. She was mortally embarrassed to be running around in Buffy's skirt and slutty top. But Xander saved the day," she sighed, smiling at him. "He even kept Spike from eating her that night." She looked out at the hallway. "No good fights tonight, Spike?"
"Dru's back. I'm hiding and making sure she doesn't come for the baby again. Before his da's hear and come to beat me bloody."
"Why is she back?"
He shrugged. "Likes that one." He came in to look, snickering. "I remember Her Airheadedness that night. Needed a bloody crown, woman."
She swatted him. "No swearing in front of the baby, Spike."
"Fine." He looked down at the boy then vamped out at the ghost. "Who're you, pillock?"
"Dada," Dean said. He ran a hand over Spike's duster. "Oooh."
Spike smirked at him. "I know, it's good leather. Had it for a few decades now. Broken in just right." He looked at the ghost again. "Whelp know you're bothering his boy? He's got fierce tempers about that subject. Nearly killed my dark princess because she was bouncing him on her knee."
"Dru actually *touched* Dean and she's living?" Joyce asked, looking horrified. "Did you knock Xander out?"
"He hit her, luv." He smirked. "Punched her nicely. We drug her out. He knows it'll cause more problems to stake 'er. Left it to Her Blondeness and me." He picked up the baby, looking at him. "You bein' naughty?" He sniffed him. "Yeah, guess you are." He handed him back. "Dru's out by the college for some reason."
"I'll warn them while I'm changing him, Spike. Thank you for the guarding. Want some cocoa? I know she depresses you."
"Nah, I'm good this time," he promised with a grin. "Stinky butt there needs you more before his arse brings a demon that things it's a relative." She laughed, heading up the stairs. He stared at the ghost. "Go bother the boys. She's safe enough. Raised Buffy to be one of the best ever."
"Only one of us should raise a Winchester, whoever you are."
"Spike, mate. Killed two slayers in the past. Unfortunately the government wanted me to take your jobs." The ghost sneered at him. "Guard them now." He called them. "Think Sam's not enough? He is your son." He smirked at the angry sounding voice. "Dru's by the college. Yeah, I'm here. Should ease up on it. Changing him. Made some demons smell pleasant again. Of course. Oh, tell Sam his relative's got a scowl like a Pokemon. I've seen better scowls on minions." He hung up and went to have a smoke on the front porch.
John glared at his back. "This is not the right place for my firstborn son to be reraised."
Buffy hung up. "Xander, Sam, stay really calm but Dru's back in town by the college. Spike's guarding my mom and the baby. Oh, and Sam, she never banished him. Spike said he scowled like a Pokemon and he'd seen scarier minions."
"Harmony comes to mind," Xander said dryly. "He's not bothering your mom, right?"
"No, she can send him back to hell with his butt blistered if she needs to. Remember, she raised me, Xander."
"She was probably showing him the embarrassing baby pictures too. She's had baby envy." She shrugged. "Want to hit the other side of town, far, far away from the college while I go drive her off again?"
"We saw the Angel mobile by the Bronze," Xander said dryly.
She squealed, calling him. Sam took her phone once she got to the babbling stage. "Angel, Sam Winchester. Should your batty little daughter come near my son again I will be staking her. I suggest you take her with you when you leave, once whatever is done with." He handed it back and walked Xander off again. "What do you think about learning a martial arts style then street brawling?"
Xander considered it. "It'd help with his balance and the tripping stuff as he grew."
"It would, that's what I was thinking," he agreed, putting an arm around his boyfriend's shoulders. "I'm sorry about Dad."
"I'm sorry if I have to kill his stupid ass." Xander looked at him, getting a nod of understanding. Xander was going to protect his baby, even from his grandfather. "Should we warn others that he's back?"
"Probably not. If he's a ghost they'll banish him. Bobby might know where he's buried so we can go salt and burn his corpse." Xander grinned. "I love my dad but he's a stubborn bastard, especially about Dean, Xander."
"I guess that's why Dean wanted to call him?"
"Yeah. Dean's like a miniature version of Dad now and then. Though he did play peacemaker when Dad and I fought. He protected me even from that temper coming out." He took a kiss before moving to stake the vampire rushing at them. Xander got a few on his side and it was good. He grinned, dusting his face off for him then kissing him again.
"Awww, I'm gonna retch," a female voice said.
"Shut up, Cordelia," Xander said, taking another kiss. He grinned. "My ex heathen bitch, Cordy. She's a seer too. Maybe you two should talk about the vision stuff?"
"Maybe. If I don't stake her for being a mean bitch to you." He looked over Xander's shoulder. "You mind? He's barely able to have cuddles after having the baby." She gave him a horrified look. He smirked at her. "Hi, I'm Sam."
"I thought Sam was a girl!" she shouted.
"Harris isn't gay," Angel called as he walked off to find Buffy. "Of course she is."
"No, I'm not. Thank you anyway. Do I need to moon you to prove it?" Sam called, making Xander cackle. "Come on. Buffy, incoming non-dangerous sorts, probably!"
"No probably about it. No leather pants so he hasn't slipped his soul this time." He looked at Cordelia, who was still giving him a horrified look. "Yes, he's better at cuddling than you ever were and he gives fantastic head but doesn't have the practiced ease of some girls. Anything else you wanna know?"
She squeaked. "Angel!" He came jogging over. She pointed. "Wrong! So very, very wrong! Fix it!" she babbled.
Buffy strolled over with Willow and Tara. "Ah, you met Sam. Sam, this is Angel, my former snuggly and the present Champion for the Powers That Be in LA. The other is Cordelia, a former slayerette and now a seer for Angel."
"Xander told me about her." He held out a hand with a smile. "I won't beat you if you don't hurt him."
"Well, at least you're evil and slightly scary, his type," she said dryly. Xander growled. She sneered at him. "You hush before I have to watch him give you belly scratches too." She shook his hand. "Cordelia Chase, the classy one among the slayerettes."
"Cordelia, let's not make enemies," Angel ordered. He nodded at Sam. "Sorry, Harris kept saying he wasn't gay."
"I knocked him up so of course we're together now." He walked Xander off. "We're heading back to pick up the baby, Buffy."
"Sure. We're heading that way too. That way Angel can tell my mom what sort of slime she's helping me wash out of clothes this time." She walked them off, smiling at them. "Xander's a very good daddy to little Dean, who used to be Sam's big brother but Dean sold his soul to save Sam's life so Sam had to do this spell thingy that would've let him carry Dean, but the demon stepped in and moved him to Xander so Xander became a mommy."
"Wow with the Willow babble, Buff," Cordelia said dryly.
"Tara's not letting me babble today," Willow told her. Tara pinched her. "You're not."
"B...banish him?" she said quietly.
"Oops. I'll do it later. Maybe he can see how good we really are so he won't worry about us teaching Dean to hunt." Sam shot a look back at her, getting a smile and a wave back. "What?"
"Banish him, Willow. Before he makes us lose our tempers."
"Fine. When we get to Joyce's." They hung back some. "I didn't think Sam had a temper."
"Only over Xander and the baby," Tara said quietly, looking at her.
"Dean wanted to talk to him," she protested.
"Fine," she muttered. "Let me get stuff from the Magic Box." She went to do that. She ran into Giles. "Angel and Cordy are up. Sam's already promised to stake Cordy unless she had a leash. Angel apologized for thinking Sam was a girl. I've got to banish their daddy's ghost before Xander finds a way to do it." She found what she needed, paid the reduced 'scoobie' rate, then headed to Joyce's. She walked in a few minutes later. "I told Giles," she announced. She mixed what she needed and tossed it onto the ghost, watching him fade out. "Better." She smiled at them. "See, good me."
"Thank you," Xander said from the couch, looking at the baby. "You can call him back when you can hold a full conversation, Dean. That good enough?" The baby nodded, yawning and snuggling in. "Sure, I'm still comfy to nap on. You rest, Dean." He stroked his back until he fell asleep, then looked at the staring people. "What? He's my son. I should cuddle and love him. I'm told that's what good parents do."
"Um, yeah," Cordelia said. "How did you get pregnant?"
"Spell," Sam said, handing Xander a soda before sitting down next to him. "Hey, napping. I'm happy." He grinned at the others. "So what sort of problem was it?"
"Cordelia had a vision," Angel said.
"Major stakeage, Buffy. Lots and lots of vampires all running here to get away from something."
Buffy grimaced. "Interesting. Any idea when?"
"There was a small thing in the blue prophecy book about a demon that hunts vampires," Sam offered. "I wasn't sure if it was another sort of hunter or maybe a slayer, but it said a demon was hunting vampires and they were going to be running for their bastian of strength if I remember how they worded it."
"Their what of strength?" Buffy asked.
"Bastian, it's like a home or a castle. The place that you hole up in when you're being attacked," Sam told her.
"Oh! Okay." She nodded. She looked at Angel. "The Bronze?"
He shrugged. "It could be. It could be the Master's lair too."
"At least we know where they are," Buffy decided. "What's hunting them?" she asked Cordelia.
She shrugged. "I haven't seen that. All I saw was a biblical exodus of vampires."
"We might even get to pull out the flamethrowers for that," Xander said happily, grinning at Sam. "You think?"
"Maybe," he agreed. He grinned at him. "Want to help me clean the guns later?"
"Sure." He snuck a kiss then checked the baby before looking at them. Angel was giving them a strange look. "He was taught military style."
"Ah." He nodded and left it there.
Cordelia, of course, couldn't. "You two are so cute it's gagging." Xander flipped her off. "And what's with the cuddling?"
"He's a baby, he needs cuddles to feel safe and loved," Xander told her.
"Not him, the bigger baby!"
"Only I get to call Sam baby, Cordy. Get over it already. It was better sex when I was pregnant than Anya was giving me. He's cute, smart, he nearly went to law school, and he's mine now. Suck it up. I bagged one of the prizes in the man hunting olympics." Sam blushed at that. "If you don't like it, don't watch it when I get cuddly and cute with him. Not like I'm gonna jump him in public like you nearly did to me a few times." He gave her an arch look. "Anything else?"
"Stop!" Dean shouted, rubbing his forehead.
"Sorry, kiddo. For her that's foreplay but we won't fight anymore," Xander soothed, stroking his back. "Go back to your nap. We'll go home soon." Dean looked at him. "We will. We're hearing about the big problem, which we'll talk about for a bit, then we'll head home." Dean frowned but put his head back down, staring at the others. He pointed. "The big, dark one is Angel. The other one is Cordelia. I used to date her." Dean gave him a look then looked at Sam with a 'save me' look.
"He has much better taste now, huh?" he teased, taking the baby to cuddle. "You go back to sleep. We'll head home soon." Dean grumbled but put his head back down. His tiny body was still tired a lot. It would be for months yet. Sam grinned when he heard the first huff of a snore. "There we go, Dean. It's all good again," he said quietly. He shifted, letting Xander support him a bit while he got something from his back pocket. "There, now I'm not sitting on the bolts."
"You don't stake?" Cordelia asked. "Even *I* staked vampires."
He looked at her, giving her that bored look. "I was trained to shoot them." She snorted. "Usually with a shotgun. I can get some so you can look at the shells. That way you don't mess up your nails or overly expensive outfit."
"Enough," Xander said. "I agree with the son. No more fighting. It's not we're going to bring you into our bedroom, Cordy. Enough with the high school style foreplay." He glared at her.
"Don't make him growl again, please," Buffy said quickly. "There's been a few threats to Dean that've made Xander growl and go all hyena over his family. Leave the cuteness alone because Sam makes Xander see sense even when he's mid-mood swing and throwing stuff at us." She shook her head quickly but her mother patted her on the arm. "Thanks, Mom. Were you that bad?"
"Worse. Your father had to go to the ER four times during my second trimester. If you get pregnant, we'll...."
"Give them a stun gun so they can knock you out before you rip their heads off," Xander assured her, making Joyce laugh. "Do I still need to fix the door, Joyce?"
"No, you fixed it after the last one, Xander. Thank you for that." He beamed. "Now, is there more to talk about tonight? Do we know when they're coming?"
"It was fairly soon," Cordelia offered. "Not fall. Willow wasn't wearing sweaters yet. She was wearing a green t-shirt."
Willow checked her present outfit then sighed in relief. "Not tonight but soon I guess. It's starting to get chilly."
"Hopefully they won't be hairdressing and clothing ripping vampires," Buffy teased. Both guys shrugged. "Tell me that wasn't funny."
"We're comfy, what do we care if the vamps don't like his hair or my shirts," Xander told her. He stood up. "Let me know when we need a plan, people. I've got to get the son to bed." He took the baby from Sam, putting on the baby backpack system. "Okay, are we driving?"
"We walked from the store and walked to work this morning," Sam reminded him.
"Oh, yeah. I'm out of gas." He waved. "Later, peoples." They walked out together, Sam reloading his crossbow just in case.
"Okay, that is freakier than anything on this hellmouth," Cordelia announced. "He was pregnant?" Joyce found the baby book she had started for Xander, letting her have it. She squeaked and Angel had to help her sit down. "No, wrong! Very wrong! Even worse wrong than Xander hooking up with a smart guy!"
"We like them together," Buffy said impatiently. "Blow it out your butt, Cordelia." She gave her a look. "He makes Xander happy. Happy enough that Xander let Sam fuss over him. True mother henning, stomach petting, let us coo over him too fussing. Even if Dean did kick at the first sign of cooing Sam helped us fuss so well that Xander didn't realize we were keeping him from eating some things, keeping him from the dangerous parts of patrol, all that. Before then, we had a lot of problems. Heck, he even handled the mood swings so we could quit hiding when Xander had one." Willow and Tara nodded at that. "So what if they're gay? So are Willow and Tara. I'm sure they're just as comfy as the witchy lovin' those two get."
"Only in their case it'd be hunter lovin' since they're both hunters," Willow added. Cordelia and Angel both stared at her. "Sam's dad and big brother were hunters too. Sam was raised to be a hunter from when he was Dean's age." Angel stared, mouth slightly open. "Yeah, John was a fierce bitch about Dean earlier too. Had the whole 'only a Winchester can raise one of us' thing going and all that. He even made Sam lose his temper. It was not pretty. Though, Xander's temper, have we noticed it's got a focus now? Only on things that hurt Sam and Dean?" Buffy nodded. "No more getting mad at Spike, no more getting mad at the other vamps or at work. It's nice. Even if he back to growling and being Scary Xander over them."
"It is," Joyce agreed. "You should protect your family that way. It's especially good that Sam's just as protective as Xander is."
"Yeah, Sam went really scary when Dru showed up the first time. Even tried to fight with us about why we didn't stake her for daring to bounce the baby on her knee. Dean's never going to get into trouble with those parents."
"You still managed it," Joyce reminded her.
"But I had my reasons," Buffy pointed out.
"You did and we'll know his before then," she assured her, patting her on the wrist. "Any other good news, guys?"
"Not yet," Angel said. "Where was Dru?"
"Spike said by the college," Buffy said. "I don't know. Spike!" He came out of the basement and gave her a look. "I know you've been listening. Where is she now? Before Sam stakes her this time."
"Probably headed for their house. She likes the baby. Wants him when he's older." He walked off shaking his head again.
Buffy grabbed the phone to call Sam's cellphone. "Its me. Dru might be near your place or at your place. Sure, let me come fetch." She hung up and ran out, going to grab her before Sam made good on his promise to stake her. She found her inside humming and folding laundry. "Is this on the approved occupation list for evil vamps?" she asked. "He's got plenty of aunts, Dru."
Dru smiled at her, swaying closer. "The bad man comes," she said, staring into her eyes. "My kitten is very precious but his claws are very sharp. He'll prove it if the nicer cub doesn't stop him." She stepped closer to her. "The stars say that the little one is very special."
Sam walked in, looking at her. "Dru, I'm the one the demon took," he said dryly. "Dean doesn't have he visions or things I do."
"You gave him one. All it takes is once."
He leaned down to get into her face. "That was cured with his rebirth and the innocence of his soul," he said slowly and clearly. "And yes, if Xander has to kill someone I'm going to help him. We'll have fun and let you party in the blood for us. Anything else?"
She giggled, stroking his cheek. "You would make such a pretty lion cub for my kitten. Very nasty while playing."
"Which I can't do while you're here," he said bluntly. "Now shoo and don't bother Dean until he's an adult." She hummed, moving closer, trying to take a kiss. He backhanded her, knocking her down, staring down at her. "Anything else?" She giggled, getting up to rush him.
Xander handed over the baby, dragging her off by her hair to the balcony. He gave her a shove with his foot, still holding onto her hair until it had to slip through his fingers from her weight so she fell to the ground two stories below. He looked down at the pouting vampiress. "Come near my fucking son again, Dru. Watch me unleash things that another universe's had when he was the Master's favorite child. Am I clear?" he asked coldly. She cooed at him. "Am I clear?" he asked again. She nodded. "You do not come near my son until he's an adult, past the innocence barrier, Druscilla, or we will go round. You haven't begun to see me when I'm fighting for a *good* reason." She got up and pouted all the way back to wherever Spike was. Xander grabbed the railing, squeezing it while he tried to calm down.
Sam came out to cuddle him. "Can we torture her before we stake her?" he whispered in his ear.
"Don't tempt me." He turned to look at him. "Can we put him down and cuddle?"
"Sure." They went to repossess the baby from his aunt, letting her go catch the insane vampire to make sure she left town again. They put Dean down, smiling at him. "You rest, Dean. We're going to be upstairs making comforting noises." Dean yawned, waving a hand. "Good boy. Don't wake us up too early and we'll take tomorrow off," Sam promised. Xander gave him a look. "What? The boss said we could if we couldn't get to sleep for some reason." He smirked.
"Rent payments, Sam."
Sam kissed him. "It'll still go, Xander." He walked him off, taking him upstairs to cuddle with him. He wanted more. He needed to blow off the stress. Xander was still being a bit shy. So Sam pounced. Xander made a startled noise as he was drug under Sam's body and kissed. He looked down at him. "I've let you set all the boundaries but I could use some stress relief and so could you, Xander. Please?" He nibbled on his throat in that spot that made him purr. "Pretty please?"
"Please," he agreed, arching into his hands. "Been a while."
"It has. Too long." He moved to rip his shirt off him, grinning at him. "Didn't like that one. Not tight enough." He moved to tease his chest, playing with his nipples before moving down to play with the slit. Xander tensed but he still licked around it, teasing it with his tongue. "You taste good here too," he moaned, diving in to play with it like he would a woman's body. Xander was keening, arching, stretching, and begging all at once, trying to make him do more. He held it slightly open so he could get deeper, making Xander whimper. "If you want, Xander. Only if you want."
"Oh, God," he moaned. "Sam!"
Sam undid his belt and shoved off his jeans and briefs, getting back to his fun, letting Xander thrust against his chest for now. "Do you want that some year, Xander?"
"Maybe," he panted. "Sam! Torture bad!" he shouted.
Sam laughed into the wet spot. "I know it is, Xander. Want me here or back where I usually am?" Xander gave him a horrified look. "Tell me or I'm having you here. It's very kinky of me."
Xander wiggled. "Sam!"
Sam laughed again, moving back to tease his cock so he could think again. Xander came with a yelp and he moved to prepare his ass. "I'll have that hole whenever you're ready." He slid into him, leaning down to look at him. "You'll tell me and I'll get you hot and ready for it. Then I'll slide in gently and slowly make love to that spot, Xander." Xander pulled him down to kiss him, making him moan. "Babe, you have no idea what sort of plans I have for us."
"Plans?" he panted.
"Plans," he agreed, grinning at him. "We'll talk about plans tomorrow." He pulled out, flipping Xander over so he could take him harder. "I wanted to do it this way but Dean got in the way," he said in his ear. Xander whimpered, grabbing onto the bed. "Mine, Xander?"
"Yours," he moaned. He was holding on for dear life. "Sam, please?" he begged.
"Please what, baby? Tell me and if I can it's yours." He leaned down to lick over the back of Xander's neck, earning a shiver. He smiled, doing it again. He got another shiver. "Please what, Xander?"
"More?" He sped up, going harder, making himself get closer. He was so close. He checked, Xander was nearly ready to come. He stroked him and came once the tight muscles started to clench and twitch around him. "I love that feeling," he said, collapsing off to the side, pulling Xander back against his chest. "Xander?" He got a slight hum. He smiled. "You rest, babe. I'm here. I'll protect us tonight," he soothed, stroking over Xander's arm and thigh. Xander wiggled until Sam was out of him then flipped over to cuddle. Sam kissed him on the head. "That's my boy. That's your spot," he promised, stroking his back. He yawned and turned on the baby monitor, listening to Dean make complaining noises. He grinned. "Now you know how I felt when you did it to me," he whispered. "Maybe you can go see Tara tomorrow anyway. I need to have some time alone with your other dad." He yawned again, smiling down when he noticed Xander staring at him. "What?"
"That wasn't payback, right?"
"Nope. That was pleasure and good. That's all I wanted from it." He grinned. "Payback will be when he's older and we're in the same motel room so we can make *him* go sleep in the car." Xander shook his head. "Yeah, we can."
"We'll talk about that tomorrow. While he's with Tara." Xander nodded, putting his head back down. "If you don't want to, we'll work it out," he promised. Xander looked at him again. "What? We will. You're mine. I'm possessive and there's no way I want you sitting at home pouting. It's my job to pout in this relationship." Xander giggled and nodded. "Therefore you can't sit home and pout. Maybe we'll pick a territory and stay within it instead. That'll lead to some trips but not as much?"
"I like to travel but I'm not sure I can handle it all the time."
"We'll figure it out, Xander. Then we'll teach you how to salt and burn corpses and all that stuff." Xander nodded, putting his head back down. He stroked over his back, making plans for however they'd be doing it.
"Momma?" Dean called through the baby monitor.
"What?" he called back. "Need changed or fed?"
"Food? Give me a sec, Dean." He wiggled out from under Xander, giving him a kiss when he partially woke up. "The walking stomach needs something to eat. I'll be back in a minute." He went down to grab his son, looking at him. "Hungry?" Dean smirked and nodded. "Okay, let's see what we got you." He walked him out to the cabinets, looking at them. "We have.... Peas, carrots, looks like meat and peas, and oatmeal." He looked at him. Dean was giving the cabinet a horrified look. "Aunt Tara's a vegetarian, Dean. She said you had to eat some veggies sometime when you're this age. Even our mom would've agreed. Even Xander's mom probably." He found one in the back. "Meat and potatoes?" Dean nodded, putting his head down. He warmed it up for him then carried him, it, and the spoon up to the bed, settling in with him sitting up, resting against Xander's side. "There we go." He spooned out some, letting him taste it. Dean grimaced. "It's baby food. You can have burgers again in a few months. You have to eat this now because your stomach won't tolerate real steak."
Xander looked down at him. "Feel lucky I got you ones with meat, Dean. Tara was not happy with me until I pointed out all the growing you're doing." Dean ate another bite. "When you're older, Sam can make the special spaghetti and meatballs that hooked me. Even with the funny pasta if you want." Sam grinned at him. He grinned back. "One of us still has to hit work tomorrow."
"This paycheck's going to be weak, Sam. We'll end up owing on the rent because of the days off last week from the hunting injuries."
"Then I'll talk to him, Xander."
"If he shows up. He wasn't there today."
"I'm sure he'll show up for payday." He kissed him then went back to feeding Dean. The baby soaked up all the food and then made begging noises while patting his belly. "Still hungry?" He grinned and nodded. "Okay, want peas, carrots, or the other jar of meat and peas?"
Dean sniffled, giving him the pitiful look.
Xander looked at him. "No fair guilt tripping him, Dean." He kissed him on the head. "Let me see what's in the freezer." He went down to look, finding a few things in there. "Sam, did you bring home bunnies to freeze?" he called.
"No. Why?" He came bouncing down the stairs to look over his shoulder. "Are they whole?" He looked then nodded. Six whole rabbits, with fur on, were in their freezer. They found a few other suspicious packages so they looked in the fridge. In there was a new gallon of milk, which hadn't been there earlier. Plus a few other things. "Huh. Anya? She hates bunnies," he said at Xander's look.
"That's not an Anya present, Sam." He pulled one out, moving the neck fur to show the bite marks. Sam moaned. "Dru loves me. She really loves me. Apparently in that special way." He called Spike since he knew he'd be up. "Why did your loony girlfriend and sire leave us six full rabbits with fur on in the freezer, two other packages of meat we can't identify, and a new gallon of milk?"
"And cheese," Sam said, waving it." He heard Dean laugh and went to save him before he fell off the bed. "Having fun?"
"Come see what the insane vampire left you as a baby warming present." He carried him down so he could look. Dean gave him a horrified look. "Yeah. He have a clue?"
Xander hung up and looked at him. "Rabbit pie was her favorite dish growing up. It's made with potatoes," he said, pointing at a cabinet they never got into. "Rabbits, beans if you want," he pointed at another cabinet, "and a cheesy, milk sauce on top under a pie crust." He found a few boxes of pie crust mix, bags of beans he *knew* they hadn't had. A fifty pound bag of potatoes, plus the stuff in the freezer. "He said one's probably fatback, which is a type of really fatty bacon used to make cooking grease since rabbits are a bit gamey but dry meat. You brown it in that first. The other, he's not sure if it's insides from the rabbits or not."
Sam just nodded. "We could make one hell of a lot of it."
"She thought he'd enjoy it." He leaned down, thumping his head on the counter, shaking it slightly. "Why does she like us?"
"You're strange," Sam said dryly. Xander shot him a low powered glare. "She's liked you for how long?"
"Since Angel had to pretend to use me as a mutual snack and gave me to her and Spike during a parent/teacher thing that they attacked."
Sam handed off the baby, moving to look at the book on vampires Giles had leant him. He found what he wanted and looked at it then at Xander. "That's because Angel giving them you meant that they could keep you as a toy and a pet. They could play with you, turn you, whatever. A sire giving a childe a pet basically." Xander whimpered and slumped. "He should've known better."
"Angel hated my ass back then. Still probably does. I'll call and make his sleeping miserable tomorrow."
Sam smirked. "Oh, let me, Xander." He went to find someone to give Angel the message he wrote out. He was sure the vampire wanted a 'get out of Sunnydale free and whole' card. He got an idea and while he was out he made a long distance call. "I know it's late, Nanny Gramley. It's Sam. I was wondering if any of the kittens were still around." He grinned at the 'there's three left' response. "I'm with Dean and his new mother. I think Xander would love a kitten. He plays with Tara's cat all the time. Xander. Yeah, the demon changed it. I'm in Sunnydale. Harris, why?" She burst out laughing and said something. "He did? Wow. That's something Dean would appreciate." He grinned. "Do you think she'd mind if Dean and Xander had one of the kittens? No, he doesn't use magic but he manages to screw up some of Willow's spells on her." He staked the vampire trying to sneak up behind him, grinning at her. "Thanks. Sorry to wake you. No, it just hit me. Thank you!" He hung up and went jogging back to the house. Xander gave him a worried look. "I sent a very nice message to Angel." He kissed him and laid down to cuddle his boys. Dean gave him a look. "Did you know your new mother blew up the high school to save everyone from a huge, seventy-or-so foot demon?"
Dean looked at Xander like he was God. "Ooooh."
Xander grinned. "Buffy played bait. I also planned the assault since he called up some vamps and demons to help him herd the food sources that were trying to run away."
Dean hugged him. "Cool."
"Thanks, Dean." He grinned at Sam. "You've got that naughty boy look again."
"I'm going to get you another book tomorrow in the series you like." He kissed him and snuggled in better to hold both his boys. "Poke us if you're too smooshed or the sheet's too heavy, Dean." He felt the nod. He took another kiss and Xander grinned back. "You could marry me now."
"Not until he's an adult, Sam."
He stroked over his cheek. "I'd be with you even if it wasn't for Dean."
"Yeah but Dean will want to go back to your old life once he's himself again. I won't stop you from going with him. It'd be wrong of me. I'll enjoy you while I have you. Then we'll talk about it." Sam nodded, understanding that. "Ask me again before you get ready to leave, okay?"
"I can do that." He kissed him. "Now nap. I have wicked plans for you tomorrow while Tara's watching our heathen." He watched him fall asleep, looking down at Dean. "I'm trying. He's more stubborn than I am." Dean patted him on the chest, then snuggled in to sleep. He was comfortable and warm. Now all he needed was that teddy bear he had noticed earlier.
John finally got out of his grave, grimacing at it. "They couldn't burn me?"
"No one knew where you were," a male voice said from behind him. "You died in the middle of nowhere so the county had to bury you, John."
John turned to look at him. "Bobby?" He got sprayed with a bottle of holy water. He wiped it off slowly. "I guess I deserve that. Did I pass?"
"Not yet." He stared at him. "How are you back?"
"I think that little redheaded witch messed up the banishing," he said dryly. "Did you know about Sammy's plan?"
"After the witch died." He moved closer, pressing a cross against his forehead. "Damn it."
"Hoping I was a demon?"
"Then I could kick your ass like you deserve." He stared at his old friend. "Before you ask, one of the other residents out here rose earlier. I heard you coming up, figured you might be a vampire."
"Not really," he said, checking himself over. He looked at Bobby again. "Now what? Do you know where my truck is?"
"Back of the salvage yard." He stared at him. "Leave Sammy alone, John. He did what he had to so his brother would be saved. The same as Dean did what he had to to save Sammy and you did the stupid thing you did to save Dean. It's full circle now."
"Did you know my son's gay?"
"I met Xander. He's a nice, goofy boy with a good heart. Not always a lot of brains. He jumped into the fight when his best friend was taken from him by a vamp." He moved closer, staring into his eyes. "Dean's happy, John. Sam's raising him to be a good man as well as Winchester. Dean'll have all his memories intact. All he has to do is retrain his body and learn whatever new stuff he wants to. He'll be his own age again in another two years and a bit."
"I heard that part." He stared at him. "Sam can't be teaching him the same things. Sam never learned and never wanted to learn."
"Dean still knows it from before, John. Now Xander's making him feel a mother's love too. The boys missed that. Besides, what do you care if Sammy's taking it up the ass?" He gave him a pointed look. "Not like he'd be the first Winchester to bend over and take it."
"No, it wouldn't be. That would've been Dean," he said dryly.
"Well, now he's got a set of lesbians for aunts and that Buffy girl who's straight, plus his two dads. He'll be fine even if he does want to dabble again. Then again, Dean was a tit hound. Kept trying to eat off the one who followed Annabelle as a guardian."
"The blonde witch?" Bobby nodded. "She's shy and stutters."
"She's powerful too. Pure, powerful, and a beautiful girl. Nanny Gramley told me to take her the books the next time I go out." He turned and walked off. "You coming or not?" when John didn't follow him.
"Got any spare clothes? Them burying me in a pair of paper panties isn't exactly comfortable."
"Thought the Marines taught you to fight naked," he taunted.
"Then they taught us to wear boxers, a tank top, and socks just in case so we wouldn't have to." Bobby laughed at that.
Willow looked around. She could feel someone watching her. She stepped back to a large gravestone, keeping her back against it. "I can feel you. You might as well come out before I turn you into a flaming bunny rabbit."
John stepped out of the shadows. "Not bad but I've been trailing you for the last two blocks, miss."
"Aw, shit," she muttered. "How did I do that?"
"You sent me back to my body instead of back to my rest," he said dryly, studying her. "Since a demon took me it wasn't a fair death and that got me free of it. If you had sent me back to where I belonged I'd still be dead."
"I can do that," she promised pulling up power. His shotgun cleared the holster. She snickered, melting it. He gaped. "I'm not the puniest of witches."
"You're not a guardian."
"Pure witches who guard the earth's powers from those that try to use it for the wrong purposes."
"Huh, never heard of 'em. No, I'm trained to help Buffy with her slaying duties. Fire spells are *very* handy."
Buffy came jogging over, stopping when she saw the guy. "Didn't you banish him, Willow?"
"Yeah. Back to his body. Since his soul was taken by the demon without killing him, it woke him up," she said grimly.
"Oh, shit, I'm going to have to hide you from Sam and Xander, aren't I?" she said, looking at John. "Well, you're here. Sam's on patrol with us tonight since Dean's running a small fever from teething so quickly. SAM!" He came running over. She saw the second he recognized the back in front of him and stepped in front of Willow. "She said she banished him back to his body instead of back to whatever version of the afterlife he was in. It was an accident."
"Willow, run and pack," he ordered. She squeaked and ran off. He glared at her. "Go. I'll kick his ass myself," he mouthed. She nodded, following Willow. "Sir."
He turned to look at him. "You're scaring lesbians now?"
"Only that one." He looked at his father. "You look good for being dead over a year. Should I find the holy water squirt gun?"
"Bobby tested me already."
"Ah." He was going to be yelling at Bobby later. "Why are you here, Dad?"
"I want Dean."
"No. Dean's Xander's and my son until he's grown up again. If we have any future kids you can't have them either." He turned and walked off, keeping his temper in check. "Have a good night. Don't get dead. It's the motto around here. Watch out for the vampires, you can stake this sort." He waved as he walked. He also called Xander and Giles to warn them. "It's me. She brought him back instead of banishing him. Yeah, she should probably go find the same hole Cordelia dug herself and cover them both in it." He hung up, going back to the apartment for now. He smiled at the young woman waiting on him. "Melinda." He let her inside. "Hi. You brought it?"
"I did." She handed over the small softsided bag. "This is Bastest. She's the last of Fussy's litter. Fussy was a full familiar. We think the daddy was a normal cat." She gave him a hug. "No baby?"
"At the shop." He called. "Giles, send Xander and Dean home please? I'm here and I have a present for Xander." He hung up, grinning at her. "They'll be so stoked. Thank you. Want some tea or something? We have a whole section of the fridge for our friend Tara."
She giggled. "I should meet Tara. We don't know much about her." He texted her to come over too.
Sam heard Xander coming up the stairs so he opened the door. He kissed him with a smile. "I know it's a bad thing but I got you a present. I had to talk to someone about a witch named Annabelle's kittens." Dean stiffened.
Xander gave him a confused look. "The one you said died to help you help Dean?"
"Yeah, her. She was Dean's legal wife thanks to Dad pulling a dirty trick." He walked him inside. He had to make him look at the bag. "I didn't think you'd mind." Tara knocked then came in. "Melinda, this is our friend Tara. Tara, Melinda is Nanny Gramley's granddaughter and part of her coven." Tara smiled, walking her out to the balcony to talk to her. It was relatively safe out there. "Xander?"
"You got me a kitty?" he asked, giving Sam a look he couldn't decipher. "No one lets me have pets."
"Don't you want a pet?"
"Well, yeah, but I wasn't allowed to have one."
Sam smiled. "I'm spoiling you rotten, remember? You can have a kitty. Her name is Bastest. She's the last kitten of Annabelle's younger familiar."
Xander stepped forward, gently and carefully opening the bag. He smiled when the cat woke up to stare at him. "You're alive."
"I'd never give you a dead cat, Xander," Sam said, looking a bit confused. Xander pounced him to hug hard enough to bruise him then pulled out the cat, sitting down on the floor with her. "Let Dean down too. He won't hurt her." He got Dean out of the backpack carrier system and let him sit next to him. Dean hugged his leg, smiling at him. They both petted the kitty.
"Good," Dean told it. "Good good." The cat sniffed him then Xander, standing up to sniff his face. She wandered off to look around her new home, apparently approving of the couch. Dean laughed at the way she draped herself over the back. "Fussy," he told Xander, pointing.
"The last time I saw her mother she was in that same position," Sam agreed, helping Xander up to she could go over to pet and watch the cat. The cat watched him back. Then she yawned and decided a nap was in order. Dean walked over to climb up and help him pet her, smiling at Xander. "Want me to get some food and litter for her, Xander?"
"Please," he said, sounding awed. He hugged Dean. "He got me a kitty."
Dean looked at him. Then he grinned and hugged him. His mother clearly needed it. He looked over at Sam, who smiled, going out to the local convenience store to find something. Dean went back to petting her. He knew the difference between a familiar and a regular house cat. This one was a familiar. The same as Tara's Miss Kitty was. "Kitty?" he asked Xander.
"You think we should introduce her to Miss Kitty?" Dean nodded. "We'll ask Tara if they can play together. Tara?" She came in. "Dean wanted to know if Bastest can play with Miss Kitty soon."
"As long as they get along." She came in to stroke down the cat's side, earning a subtle purr. "You're very pretty and clearly an aspect of the Goddess you were named after, precious." She went back outside. She didn't get a chance to talk to many witches.
Xander grinned. "I like making her happy too." He cuddled his son, letting them both pet the cat trying to sleep. When she'd had enough she got up to go find another place to nap but otherwise that was fine. Dean could stalk her around if he wanted to. When Sam got back he got pounced against a wall, kissed until he begged for Xander to do more. They ran upstairs to be happy together.
Dean shook his head and went out to sit with his aunt. She'd put him down in a bit. She smiled at him. "Mommy happy growl."
"He does that now and then," she teased. She cuddled him, smiling at Melinda. "We've loved Dean since the first time he moved inside Xander. Even if he did fuss at us for it."
"Some boys can't take the fussing," she assured her. She stroked over Dean's cheek then Tara's. "The goddess has special plans for the both of you, Tara. My grandmother would feed you both up but she's got special plans for you two."
"So the vampire that keeps showing up says," Sam called.
Melinda gave her an odd look. "Vampire?"
"Druscilla. She's a seer but kinda goofy and insane. Thinks Xander's a kitty."
Dean looked at her, shaking his head. "No."
"I know, but Dru thinks he is." She kissed him on the head. "We'll teach you all about those things when you're seven or eight, okay?" He nodded, settling in to snuggle against her chest. She grinned. "Are you being a pervert again?" He smirked at her. The cat came out and climbed into her lap to stare at her. "Hello, Bastest." She petted her gently. "Come to play with Dean?" The cat sniffed Dean then her. It meowed. "Want food?" The cat meowed again so she went inside to set up the stuff Sam had bought. Xander had been too happy to let him put down food. She smiled, tucking some of her hair behind her ear before bending down to pet the cat. Someone knocked on the door. "They're in bed." They knocked again so she went to see who it was, letting Buffy inside with the bigger bag. "What's that?"
"Kitty litter. Sam said he gave Xander a kitty." She put it down in the corner, staring at the cat. "She's beautiful and goes with half my outfits," she joked. "She's even that nice, neutral tan that'll go well with anything Xander wears, no matter how ungodly looking it is." Tara laughed. "Want me to take the sprout home to Mom? She's been looking at the fertility clinics and that experiment in Israel with the women having kids in their sixties."
"She's not that old."
"No but she figures if they can do them they can do her."
"Boys, should Buffy take Dean home with her?" she called.
"No, Willow brought my father back, I want him here," Sam called.
"Excuse me?" Tara demanded.
"Apparently when the demon took his soul he didn't quit kill him so when Willow banished him back to his body....." Tara said something impolite, something that even bad girls didn't say, but she was nice enough to say it in French so Dean didn't understand it. "Wow, I'm guessing that was a bad thing?" Buffy asked. "I learned to seize the fish."
Tara hugged her. "We'll figure out how to guard Dean tomorrow." Buffy nodded. "Thank you."
"Welcome. Let mom have some time soon please? That way I don't get a baby brother too?" Tara nodded, letting her out and relocking the doors.
Dean looked at the door then at her. "Salt?"
She frowned. "Salt? I know Sam uses it for stuff." He pointed at the doorway. "Oh! Like a warding line?" He beamed and nodded. "There's not many spirits here, Dean, and it won't keep out vampires."
"Oh." He considered it. "Shells?"
"Or those. Those are for scrying." She brought him back out, taking the cat off the railing and putting her back inside. "Go play with the humans." She ran off to find a good napping spot away from them. She sat down with Dean again. "He's very special. He even makes me want to have one of him." Dean beamed at her for that. "Still don't like boys, Dean." He shrugged and snuggled in again.
"You could go to the doctor and let them do it," Melinda suggested.
Tara blushed. "I need to get Willow straightened out first. I thought we lost our power when we lost our purity."
"There's some that don't," she admitted. "They're not firmly earth witches though. They don't always serve the Goddess."
"Willow does," she said.
She patted her on the cheek. "I'll talk to Willow tomorrow, sweetie. How about that?" She nodded and smiled. "Think I could bum their couch?"
"I don't think they're going to hear you if you did," she admitted. "That's Xander snoring." She giggled, going to get her bag with Tara's protection, then they came back upstairs to let her have the couch while Dean got put down in his crib.
Sam and Xander ran into their boss the next night. "Hey, boss."
"Hey, boss," Xander said, smiling at him. "Say hi, Dean? He's the guy who pays us so we can buy you food and diapers." Dean waved with a shiteating grin.
"He's cute." He looked at them. "Boys, I've got to leave town for a while."
Xander looked at him. "I can guess why, Boss. You haven't been in for four days and you didn't quite get all the dirt out of your hair." His boss backed off. He waved a hand. "Unless you're attacking, I don't give a damn at the moment. I've got the baby on me. If you're a threat Sam can stake you."
"Thanks, Harris." He looked around then at them. "Things will keep going as normal. My son can take over. I'll say I'm out of town looking for new contracts."
"Can we have a rent reduction for a few months if we drive you out of town?" Sam asked. "Dean's really expensive to feed. He's a hoover."
Their boss nodded. "Fine."
"Half?" Xander asked hopefully. "That way we can afford to save up some too? We'll need roadtrip money when he's the right age," he said at Sam's odd look.
"He's how old?" the boss joked.
"Aging a year a month," Xander told him.
"Oh." He nodded. No wonder the kid was a hoover. "Fine. You guys can have half rent until he's twenty-one. How about that?" They both beamed and smiled. "Let me catch that ride?" Xander handed Sam his keys. "Thanks, Harris. Have more, you're a good father." He let Sam drive him off, giving him paper to write notes to his son as well.
Xander smiled at Dean. "It's because we're so darn cute together." Dean cackled and nodded. "Glad you agree." He kissed him on the head. "We should head to Joyce's so we can go on patrol."
"Dad!" he shouted. Xander spun, grabbing the stake off the back of his belt. "Hi!"
"Hi, Dean. You need a trim."
"He just had one last week," Xander told him. "With the way he's growing it's about every week or he starts to look like a girl. Sam'll be right back."
"You can't stake me, son."
"I can and a stake to a human heart will still kill someone. Faith proved that when she did it by accident." John gave him an odd look. "Another slayer."
"So we've been told. Yay us. We're so good we're mythical." He walked around him. "We're heading to Joyce's so she can love him while we're on patrol."
"You let a lot of others watch him," John told him.
Xander stopped and turned to look at him. "Unfortunately both of us working is unavoidable if we want to be able to pay rent and feed him, plus ourselves. As for patrol, usually only one of us go a night but once a week or during emergencies we both go. Since we're expecting an overload situation starting tonight with an influx of foreign vampires, Joyce is going to get to watch him for a few hours. She demanded the right to. I love her like my own mother."
"Are yours living?" he asked.
"I don't care if they are or not," he said bluntly. John gaped at him. "Why would I care about the drunken bastards who never wanted me, John?" He stepped closer. "I could care less if they're living, dead, or turned. If they're turned Willow will stake them so I don't have to. The police will tell me if and when they die so I can clean up any messes they left. The same as Willow will hear from them about hers. Anything else?"
Sam parked and got out. "Dad, leave Xander alone," he ordered. He slammed the door.
"Sam, you hate it when I do it to your car, don't do it to mine," Xander said.
"Sorry." He walked over, coming to put a hand on Xander's back. "What did you want, Dad?"
"I think I should be raising Dean."
"And I said no. Since biologically he's now my son and Xander's son, bite me." He stared at him. He saw the twitch. "Try it, Dad. You and I can fight this time. I'm a man now. I'm going to protect Dean the same way he protected me all these years. When he's old enough to hang out with others and start his training you can help Xander and I teach him."
"I saw him on patrol. He still trips."
"Well, some of us did train ourselves the hard way after we jumped in," Xander said dryly. "Some of us weren't forced to do PT as toddlers instead of playing in the park." He walked off. "Heading to Joyce's, Sam. Then we'll be heading to the Bronze to check there first. The Master's Lair is on the other side of it. Call if you're lost."
"Sure, Xander." Sam got in his father's way. "Dad, do not piss him off."
"Is he unstable?"
"He was possessed by a hyena in tenth grade," he said blandly. "He's still got the instincts." His father sneered at that. "They tried really hard to remove it and couldn't. Now, leave Dean's new mother alone."
"There's no way that's possible."
"Bet me," he snorted. "I was there during the birth." He lifted his shirt, pointing at his flap. "If the demon had let me, mine'd be open from the birth still." He put his shirt down at the horrified look. "I don't care if you don't like that Xander's a guy. I don't care if you don't like the way that Annabelle saved his life and got me involved after her death. I don't care if you don't like Xander and I together. Xander understands me. All the hunting, the bad days, all of it. He's been here for a few years too, Dad. He didn't even have the benefit of someone standing over him to drill him. He's done amazing training himself to help Buffy. If you don't like that, yay. I saved Dean this way and now he's my son and he's staying my son."
"You can't change DNA that way and make him still be Dean."
"Dad, this was magically done. I don't care. The demon decided that Xander and I needed to be his parents. That it would make him stronger in the long run. We're doing a damn good job with him. You can visit but so help me God if you try to hurt us over this I will find the worst thing on this hellmouth and have it eat you for coming near *my* son. My family's just as important to me as it is to you. Accept it. Xander's part of it and Dean's mine now." He walked off, going to huff in peace for a bit. Xander would understand.
"The courts would agree with me," he called.
"If you use the system, Dad, it can be used against you. After all, you're still dead." Sam waved. "You can follow us again tonight if you want."
"You didn't know the last time I did."
"Bet me. I had more important matters on my mind." He walked around a corner and disappeared, muttering to himself the whole way. He ran into Tara and Willow. "Do you think Spike would eat my father if I cut him for him?"
"Probably," Willow agreed. "He's trying again?"
"My patience," Sam promised. He huffed then pouted, walking on. "I'm not happy."
"I can see it. You have the pouty face," Willow assured him. Sam glared at her. "You did."
"I don't pout, Willow."
"Fine, you don't pout. The same as Xander doesn't and Dean doesn't. It must be macho skills that give it another name when your bottom lip hangs out." He walked off shaking his head. "Left, Sam."
"Fine." He went that way, finding the rest of them at the Bronze. Xander gave him a look. "I left him there after he threatened to use the system against us," he said quietly.
Xander growled, standing up. "You want to be an orphan?"
"Ask me when I'm calmer," he said, kissing him. "Please?"
"Sure. After we hunt some bad things and make them sorry for running this way." They turned to look at the first few that ran in. It'd be a full night of slaying.
Xander looked at the judge John had went to two days later. "What makes you think he was better than my parents were?"
"Young man, I do not know about your parents."
"Really? Yet you've suspended my uncle's license seven times in the last four years and sent my dad to jail six times for being drunk in public and annoying." The judge gaped. "Yeah, I'm one of those Harris'. Thankfully I'm better than all of them because Willow raised me."
"Just because you do what you do does not give you the right to warp that child," he said.
"And yet, his father trained him that way the first time. He trained Sam that way as soon as he could walk. Hmm. At least with mine he'll still get fun time and love on top of the renewal of his old training."
"I do not believe how he came to be." Xander tossed down a packet of information in front of him. "What's this?"
"Birth and gestation records," he said coolly. "From my OB's hand. He's my son. I gave birth to him. Even in this town that's better than a grandfather's claim unless there's a damn good reason. If the grandfather's going to do the same thing, that means there's not a good reason."
The judge looked at the records. "It's impossible." Xander showed him his stomach flap. "It's not closed?"
"Won't be for a while." He put it back down. "Why is his son not here?"
"Because it's you who is the biological parent," he said dryly. Xander pointed at the birth certificate. "That cannot be real."
"If I gave birth to him then my name and his father's name should be on there. No matter what thing put the embryo into the small pouch it happened. I gave birth to Dean. He's my son. I will protect my son with the last breath of my body, even if it is from his grandfather."
"Dean loved what I taught him."
"He'll still have it," Xander reminded him coolly. "The same as now I'll get to teach him some of what I know and Sam'll up his research and Latin skills. Plus we can teach him other languages if he wants to learn. Sam's already planned on how to get him into a martial arts after his next birthday. Giles and Buffy both know multiple styles and have agreed to work with him on that. Then he'll refine some street brawling techniques with Spike when he's older."
"You're letting that *thing* near him?"
"He's chipped so he can't hurt people. Unlike you." He stood up. "Is there even cause to send CPS out? If not there's no cause for his complaint. The court can't take a child without CPS getting involved. I know very well that's the law."
"I can send them out," the judge said. "Sit down."
"No." He stared at him. "Send 'em out. They'll see we love him, we take good care of him. Freaky aging beside the point we're still helping him do everything we can and he's learning stuff from me. Good things. Dean's never going to be a bully with me. Nor will he be one of those slimy assholes who goes out to hit on twelve-year-olds, unlike his claim because I happen to be with his father."
"The state does support gay families when one parent is the natural parent," the judge admitted. "You are still a violent young man."
"Hello! He's been hunting longer than I've been alive! What do you call him!"
"An experienced parent."
Xander stared at him. "Really? Does he know what Dean wants for his next birthday? The actual one?" John shook his head. "He told you." He looked at the judge again. "He has no right to come near my kid. If he tries I'm going to protect *my* son, the one I gave birth to, beyond any doubt in any court of law."
"I'd never hurt the boy," he sneered. "You're the one who gives him baths."
Xander turned and hit him, getting hit back. The brawl was becoming uneven but Xander slammed his head against the table and John went down. Xander pulled his gun, pointing it at him, point blank at his chest, staring down at him. "Dean's my son now," he said calmly, just staring. "I protect my *full* family, John. Every last one of them. Sam, Dean, the girls, Joyce, and Giles. You're trying to take my kid away from me. There's no way you can win."
"How did you get that in here!" the judge shouted.
"The same way you got to work this morning," he said dryly, giving him a look. John shifted so he cocked it without looking. John laid back down. "No demon is going to decide the fate of a hunter turned into a child." He stared at the judge. "The same as nothing and no one is going to touch my child."
The judge hit buttons on his phone until someone came in. "Stop him! He's delusional!"
"Xander!" Sam shouted, moving past the guards, knocking one out. "Give me the gun."
"He's going to hurt him." He was back to watching John again. "If you hurt my son it will be the last thing I do to take you out and send you back to hell."
"Xander," Sam said, shifting closer, running a hand down his arm with the gun. "Please give me the gun? Before someone shoots you or something?" Xander shook his head. "Please? I don't want to lose you either. Dean and I would be miserable. I'd be ripped to shreds if I lost you like I lost Jess; I can't handle another personal death like that." Xander looked at him. "I can't. Dean would be lost while I was grieving. We can't lose you. Please give me the gun?" Xander slumped, but still shook his head. "Please, Xander? I promise Dad's not going to do something this stupid ever again. I'll take him out myself if he does. I promise on my family honor I will take him out if he tries for Dean again." Xander stared at him. "Please?" Xander handed him the gun and stomped off. Sam put back on the safety and uncocked it then ran after Xander, stopping him to pull him into the bathroom to hold him while he broke down. "Shh, I'm here. It's all right. The judge is going to hate Dad by the time I get done with him if he tries this shit again." A guard came in. "Go the fuck away. Now," he snarled. He backed out and ran off. "Shh, I have you. It's all right."
John came in twenty minutes later, ignoring Xander. "The judge wants him to prove he gave birth to Xander. He's called in an OB. Is he stable enough to go back in there?"
"Don't make me hurt you, Dad," Sam said calmly. He tipped Xander's face up. "Can you?" He shrugged. "It'll help." Xander nodded, walking that way. He stopped his father. "Don't think I was saying it to calm him down. Dean protected me and now I protect him." He walked off after his man. The judge shut him out. "No way in hell," he said, kicking it in so he could walk inside. "I was there at his OB appointments, I know how the spell was cast since I'm the one who did it originally. I'm staying."
"Spells aren't real," the doctor sneered. Xander muttered something and he sprouted whiskers. "What did you do!" he shouted.
"Magic," he said dryly. "Picked it up here and there." The doctor gave him a horrified look, backing off. He handed him the file on what his OB had found. "That's the file from when I was pregnant." He took off his shirt, pointing at his stomach. "That's where he came from. It opened with the birth and now it won't shut. I'm told if I want another one I can have eggs implanted and have Sam do me there or simply plant another embryo back in there and do it again. You want to look, get it done with. I'm tired and very cranky right now."
"If your... boyfriend will leave," he said.
"What makes you think I want left alone in a room with you two?" he said coldly.
"I'm a doctor. Not one of the ones that came with that group."
Xander stared at him. "I don't care. I saw what they did and you guys haven't always been that nice to me either."
"I will not harm you if I can help it, young man. It can be just us if you want or us and a guard. That would be acceptable to me. Even a female one if you'd feel more comfortable."
"I'm not a girl."
"I noticed that. Your Honor? If you'll leave us alone?" He stomped off. He looked at Sam. "I'm not going to hurt him." Sam looked at Xander, getting a nod. The door was slammed by him. "He's got a slight temper."
"His father's being a dick and trying to take our son because we're together. I nearly shot him earlier. Mine's worse. And do not *mention* hormones."
"I can tell that. Can you sit on the table, young man?" Xander sat down and he pulled on a pair of gloves. "Is it self-lubricating or anything?"
"No." The doctor got some KY and slid it onto his finger, probing gently. Xander gripped the table. "That kinda hurts."
"Sorry." He shifted his stance some and gentled, finding what he wanted. "The internal structure?"
"Don't know. The OB said there was a small portal to link the flap and the womb or whatever together." He nodded at the file. "It's in there."
The Doctor looked at it again, reading more carefully.
Sam looked at his father. They were sitting on a bench outside the judge's office while they waited. "Why even try, Dad? You know damn well I can raise him just as well as you did. With a lot more love on top of what he had before."
"Dean's my son. He has been my son."
"He's still got all those memories," Sam reminded him. "We're only adding to them and helping him train his body this time."
John considered it. "He's a bit scary."
"You're trying to take his only child, Dad. You nearly shot a CPS worker for calling you a bastard. Put yourself in his side."
"Point." He considered it a bit deeper. "You really like him?"
"Dad, what would you do if you found someone who understood every little bit of your life because they'd been there and they love you in spite of it?"
"Propose," he admitted. He looked at his son. "Which you should have. That showed me he had something wrong with him."
"I've tried. He started out scared that I was only using him as a womb and was going to walk away with Dean as soon as he was born. I had to work damn hard to get over that one. You're lucky he didn't shoot you instead of hesitating."
"It shows his soul's still got some light."
"Xander's the soul's light for a lot of people," he said quietly. He looked at the door. Then back at his father. "Now I know how Dean felt when we used to fight."
John nodded. "I'm starting to see the man I hoped for in you, son."
"Gee, thanks. Only took you this long?" he asked dryly.
"The blonde, mouthy thing. What is she?"
"Buffy? Ask Mr. Giles. He gives that lecture since his people created her line."
"No. Doesn't go directly. Skips around the world too. They've hidden it very well. Even Bobby thought this town was mythical."
"No, it's not. I was here when I was about your age once. I made myself forget after the week I spent healing in the hospital." Sam gave him an odd look. "That's why I wasn't too freaked out when I got told it was a demon who killed your mother." He shrugged. "I buried it."
"Most of the town does." He leaned down, cupping his face, elbows on his knees. "What's taking so long?"
"Female exams take about a half hour," John said, leaning back with his head against the wall, watching those around them. "He's not bad. He snuck in the blow that stunned me so he could bang my head on the table."
Sam looked at him. "He had to train himself. Mr. Giles was forbidden from training anyone because no one's supposed to jump into her battles. He jumped in, brought Willow, and then later Cordelia."
"That was one mouthy woman," he admitted.
"They used to date back in high school," he said dryly.
"Then you've got to be like a God to him. You're honorable, sweet, and nice."
"He's not used to nice. Hell, his last one was a former vengeance demon." His father gave him a horrified look. "He was dating Anyanka because she was turned human again." His father shuddered. They'd dealt with some of her curses in the past. "That on top of his parents? I gave him a cat. He made sure it was alive."
"I watched his parents for a day. They're the sort the circle would've turned in and had put down."
"Xander honestly doesn't care as long as they don't go anywhere near us. He's just as protective of me as he is of Dean. And of the girls." The door opened and he hopped up, staring at the doctor until he swallowed. "Well?"
He nodded. "You can come in." He got out of their way. Once the judge was back in his seat and the recorder was back on he started his report. "By the records and my examination, Mr. Harris is capable of bearing children. Should he be given eggs by someone he could have others if he wanted. That means he could have the child in question, his body does show signs of recent birth, and he should be on the birth certificate with his boyfriend."
"Fiancee," Sam told him. Xander gave him a look. "You are. You're mine. It's not legal yet but when it is or whenever you're ready we're going before a preacher."
"Ask me again when he's twenty-six," Xander said quietly. He glared at John then at the judge. "Should we expect a visit from CPS soon?"
The judge glared at him. "There is still the weapons charge, Ms. Harris."
"I'm not female. Doctor?"
"He is fully male. No female genitalia. The flap on his stomach leads back to a rudimentary womb. By the way, young man, antibiotics would be good. There's a small infection."
"Was it hurt or was it scratched or something like that the problem?" Sam asked.
"No, it looks like some debris. Dust perhaps." Sam nodded at that. Vampire dust had gotten in there during a fight. "Is that a hard spell?" Sam nodded. "Can it be done by anyone?"
"No, it has to be done for a good reason, there's a sacrifice of someone who does it to themselves first, and then the person has to be killed to save what's left of them."
"Interesting. What about other methods?"
"Ask my OB," Xander told him. "She'd know." He nodded and left. "For the record, the doctor left you a note on your desk calendar, judge." He looked at Sam. "Can you order dinner tonight?"
"Yeah, I can do that." He stroked his cheek with a finger. "You okay?"
"I'm staying calm. It's a struggle but I'm staying calm."
"Good." He smiled at him. "We'll handle it, Xander."
John leaned on the table. "What are you going to do when Dean's natural instincts to hunt come out, Xander?"
"The local rule is sixteen for hunting," he said dryly. "That's only a few months after he's ten." That got a nod. "Until then he's more than welcome to train in anything he wants to learn. Including weapons once he's at least eight. Before then he'll be reminded of gun safety. At that age we'll take him out to shoot targets."
"I taught him at six. He's a crack shot," he offered.
"I'm not a bad one myself," Xander admitted. "The local gun range won't take anyone below the age of ten. We'll do crossbows before then in the woods."
"Okay, I can understand that. What about shotguns in the woods?"
"We're not sure the crackpots in the military didn't leave sensors and stuff out there. We've been working on clearing sections but we haven't been able to clear the whole area yet. Gunshots would tip them off. Crossbows might not and we do have targets inside the store if necessary."
"Giles has the file. Get it from him. I'm grunt support not the head researcher. Sam's his assistant."
"Wanted demons to hunt for the military. Torture, hunting squads, Spike's chip, all that comes from them."
John shuddered. "That's just wrong."
"Yeah," Xander agreed. "That's why Buffy dated one." He shrugged at his horrified look. "He was trying to recruit."
"Never mind. That's nearly as bad as Sam said yours was." He stared at him. "What about your training?"
"I'm doing damn good for training myself. I know there's things I could learn and I have learned a bit off Sam. I'll learn more as we retrain Dean."
"If you keep him," the judge said.
Xander looked at him then reached over to snatch his watch off, putting it onto the floor so he could stand up and stomp on it. The demon in the chair screamed. "I don't accept any demon making a decision about a hunter's child."
The demon glared at him. "You won't last ten minutes once that information gets out, Harris," he sneered.
"Half of everyone already knows," he said dryly. "All the cops do. Most of the demons do. They learned to get out of my way when I had a mood swing. Pity you didn't get the memo." The demon huffed off. "Sam does that better!" he shouted after him. Sam shook his head. "Sorry, dear, but now and then you do. The same as now and then you get this look that's probably your version of Willow's resolve face but she's calling it your bitchy, SamMS face." Sam pulled him back down to kiss him.
John snickered quietly. "He got that one from his mother." Sam gave him a look and a head shake, kissing him again. "Must you do that?"
"Dad, you had sex at least twice," Sam said dryly. "I'm sure you kissed Mom plenty of times. I'm kissing my own lover." He gave him a look. "Get over it. Dean hoots when I kiss him most of the time." He kissed Xander again, making him finish relaxing. "Would you let Dad visit at first? Not take control, not take Dean anywhere, but visit a few times? It could help him a bit."
"You would've made a fantastic lawyer, Sam. Don't use it on me."
"Xander," he said, giving him a look.
"As long as it's supervised by someone and he doesn't take Dean from the Magic Box, Joyce's house or our place."
"I can agree to that for now," John said. "I want to help with his training."
"I think we've got it covered, Dad."
"It's Dean, Sam. He's got to live up to a higher level. Demons will want him because of the team you two were and how good he was alone."
"You can help when he's older. After he's started his first few months of training," Xander said. Sam gave him a look. "I want him in martial arts first. It'll help with the rapid growth and the balance issues he'll have. I want him to get to a suitable level before we start adding in brawling or anything."
"That's reasonable with the way he's growing," John said. "Was that part of the spell?" Sam nodded. "I don't want Spike to babysit him. Or your ex, Anyanka. I've dealt with some of her work."
"Anya only watches him when there's others there. She's decided she's not ready yet to pay attention to anything but herself. Spike will protect Dean. Dru told him he'd better or else. So did Buffy. His ass was going to be killed if he wasn't and his nookie was quickly disappearing so he agreed. As long as he's got the chip he can't hurt Dean. If he does he gets brain ripping pain."
"The military finally perfected that chip?" John asked. Sam nodded. "Huh. I thought they scrapped it."
"Apparently vamps were easier to test on," Xander said. He leaned on the table. "I want your word, sworn and vowed, that you will not harm my son, John. I will not have my son turned into me."
"I don't want anyone to have the damage you have, kid. You ever seek therapy?"
"Sam and I talk all the time. The girls say it's what makes a good relationship." Sam moaned. "They do."
"Xander, quit trying to go back to your goofy persona," he said dryly.
"This is me, Sam."
"I know." He stroked his back. "Dad?"
"You want it in blood?" he asked Xander.
"Verbal is enough." He pointed behind him at the flag. "You hold that sacred enough for me."
"You have service?"
"Possession by a PFC."
"Interesting. I vow it, upon my oaths, that I will not harm Dean. I have no intention of letting Dean get as hurt as you have been. I'm not a bad parent, just a firm one."
"Spanking Dean means he could turn into me."
"Spanking for big things, like running into the street?" Sam asked.
"That I can see a swat for," Xander agreed.
"Good, I can see that," John agreed. "I assigned extra PT for the little things. KP now and then too, but Dean wasn't the greatest of great cooks. Not poisonous but nothing harder than baking, grilling, or boiling."
"That's about where I am," Xander admitted. "Sam makes really good meatballs though. It's what made me decide to move in with him."
Sam smiled but shook his head. "I'm sure it was more than meatballs, Xander."
"You kiss really well?"
Sam grinned at Xander's goofy grin. "I still love you. I'm not mad. Dad pushed you and you were in a corner. Of course you reacted." He stroked his cheek again. "Dad, that good with you?"
"That's fine with me," he said, standing up. "Now, who's got the boy today?"
"Tara gets him when we're at work. Joyce only gets him when we're both on patrol at the same time," Xander said, standing up. He checked his watch. "It's nearly four, she's at the Magic Box so Giles can get his cooing in without Buffy making fun of him."
"Babies can turn a grown man stupid and Dean always was the cutest of kids," John assured him. "He flirted both boys into candy and treats all the time." He waved. "Shall we?"
"Fine," Xander agreed, walking out first. The guards gave him a wary look. "I only hurt hunters that're hurting people. We all know that." The guard nodded, watching him walk out. Xander stopped in front of the cop outside. "The judge trying to have me arrested?"
"No, but the Fed in town is. You planned graduation?"
"Someone had to. Giles didn't take the parents and others into account. We all would've died."
The officer shuddered. "Better than I could've done, Harris. There's a Fed who's been investigating things. You and the Initiative, you and the high school. Seeing the pattern?"
Sam pulled out his phone, showing him the picture he had taken. "Him?"
The cop nodded. "Him. Why?"
"He was probably following us. We're hunters too, sometimes things aren't always legal to do."
"I don't need to know," he sighed. "Have the Fed eaten or something."
"Tell Buffy," Xander said dryly. "She's at class. Tell her and let her babble at him. She can turn his mind to mush." He walked off shaking his head. "Sam, car?"
"East parking lot, Xander." He grinned at the officer. "Her or Willow."
"I'll tell Rosenburg. Summers is a bit mean when someone threatens you guys. Plus it's time for her to have PMS."
"You guys keep track of that?" John asked.
"Hell yes! Worse things come! We all stay inside those days."
"We tell her the vamps have chocolate and Willow plants some," Xander called with an evil smirk. The officer gaped in horror at him. "What? It's fun." He walked off shuddering. Xander reached in to unlock the car then slid into the passenger's seat, closing the door as gently as he could.
"You don't let him drive her?" John asked Sam.
"I didn't think Dean would like that but I'll check when he's a bit older. Did you look in the mirror and wonder why the Impala looked odd with a carseat?"
"Yeah, a few times. Especially when you started to hum. I nearly dropped you off beside the road a few times from the humming." He walked over to his truck. "I'll meet you there. Dinner?"
"Last of the vamps, Dad." He went to get behind the wheel and drive them to the Magic Box, managing to put them in the alley instead. He turned to look at Xander. "Are you all right?"
"I'm still pissed."
"I love you."
Xander looked at him. "That helps some."
"Did someone really give you a dead pet?"
"Willow tried to give me some of her fish once. She wrapped them very prettily for my birthday."
"I'm sorry." He took a kiss. "I'll keep him in check if he steps out of line. I won't let him hurt Dean, okay?" Xander nodded. "That's my boy." He took a longer kiss, undoing the seatbelts so they could shift closer. "For some reason that turned me on." Xander laughed. "Dean would yell if we had sex in the car."
"It's his car?"
"Has been since the minute he got his license. Dad handed it to him."
Xander smiled. "We have the work room at the store, Sam."
"I'm sure. Or the basement. Anya and I headed down there a few times."
"Good enough for me." He slid back over, backing them out so he could carefully park at the Magic Box, walking Xander inside and right down to the basement.
"Sam always found strange things a turn-on," John sighed, shaking his head. Tara was still protecting the boy from him. "I promised Xander on my oaths that I would not hurt him, Tara."
"I didn't give you that permission."
"I'm sorry," he said, backing off. He knew a guardian when he saw one. The redhead still confused him but he knew what this one could do if she was pushed. "I'm not going to hurt him. Dean knows that."
"Fine. Can I sit here and hold him? I'll sit in plain sight the whole time." He sat down slowly and carefully. She was going to rip his insides to shreds then watch him bleed to death if he made the wrong move. "I'll stay right here and tell you if I need to change him." She stared at him then let him have the baby. He smiled down at his sleeping son. "I used to enjoy him napping. He was a bit hyper when he was this young the last time." He stroked over his forehead, easing the wrinkle. "No nightmares, Dean," he said quietly, holding him carefully. He wasn't used to holding babies anymore and he had thought it'd be years before he held his first grandchild. Dean shifted and let out a snore, using his foot to push against his chest. "Hey, no wiggling away," he ordered. He put him against his shoulder. Dean settled in to nap on him, smiling in his sleep.
"He's grinning," Tara said.
"He just wet his diaper," John said dryly. "It can wait a bit. Him napping is better than changing him because he's a bit damp." He heard the thump from downstairs and shook his head. "Maybe I'll get another grandchild soon."
"Not until he's grown," she said quietly. He looked at her. "Sam wanted to know if I'd be the literal mommy."
"I'm sure they'll be beautiful children, miss."
She smiled. "You two worked it out?"
"After he nearly shot me, outed the judge as a demon, and had a doctor examine him, yeah. Sam mediates very well. Nearly as well as Dean used to when Sam and I fought." He stroked his back because he was shifting. "No, sleep, son. It'll be fine. Sammy's downstairs with the new mommy." Dean sighed and shifted his butt out, getting a look. "Gee, thanks, son."
"He did it to Buffy too," she said. "It's like a rite of passage around here."
"It couldn't be worse than the first few weeks' diapers, miss. They're the grossest of everything ever seen. I've seen demons that were cleaner than the first week's diaper. May I?" She nodded, pointing at the bathroom. "Supplies?"
"Under the sink. Use the blue bag." He nodded, going to change him. She looked at the stairs when she heard footsteps. "Dean dirtied his diaper on him."
"He does it to me plenty of times," Sam said dryly, flopping down on the couch. He pulled Xander onto his lap. "Cuddle, Xander."
"The area's not that liberal," he said dryly, wiggling until he was between him and the arm of the chair so he could cuddle him that way. Sam pulled him back onto his lap and shifted so Xander could lean on the arm of the couch anyway. "Okay but if we get attacked...."
"I'll handle it and shoot them." He stroked his back. "Patrol, Giles?"
Giles looked over at him. "You did work things out?"
"Otherwise he'd be dead," Sam told him, looking serious. "Patrol tonight?"
"We have one planned for the mop-up effort."
"Need us both?" Xander asked with a yawn.
"If you can stay awake," Giles said dryly. "Do not make a mess down there, boys. Anya does enough of that."
"No mess to make," Sam said smugly. Giles gave him a look. "Want details too? Anya's asked plenty of times."
"No, thank you anyway, Samuel. You might ask if he needs help."
"Dad, you okay?" he called.
He came out with a wide awake Dean. "Took me some time to clean under the foreskin. We didn't have him cut?" Sam pointed at Xander behind his back. "Was there a religious reason?"
"He doesn't want to rob him of future sensation or use."
John shook his head. "It doesn't do that."
"There's contradictory information," Xander said tiredly from Sam's shoulder. "Plenty of them said that you do go missing a lot of sensation, like women do when evil people circumcise them. I don't want to maim my son therefore he's staying uncut. End of discussion."
"It's easier on the parents."
Xander blinked up at him. "I don't have a problem cleaning it. Sam didn't after that one time. Joyce, Willow, and Tara thought it was good to leave him natural. Buffy freaked out at the discussion and Giles simply moaned and said it was done no matter what in his day unless it was held off for religious reasons. That was way back in my fourth month and they decided me. He's staying uncut. You'll get used to it."
"I'm sure I will." He sat down, letting Dean sit in his lap. He grinned at him. "Morning."
"Cookie?" he asked, blinking his big green eyes at Tara.
She laughed. "You are such a flirt," she teased, coming over to give him a hug. "Such a good boy too." She handed him a cookie. "Because you were a good boy all day for me and you petted Miss Kitty very nicely this time." Dean grinned at her then beamed at his father. "I should let you guys rest. I'll see you after patrol?"
"You're not coming?" Sam asked.
"I have that test tomorrow."
"I'm off work anyway," Xander said with a wave of his hand. "I figured I'd have a CPS worker on the doorstep at dawn so I took it off. Don't worry about him. Thank you, Tara." He pulled her down to hug her. He even kissed her on the cheek. "No spoiling him."
She swatted him with a giggle. "Behave, Xander. We'd spoil you if Sam would let us." She grabbed her bookbag and headed out.
"She's one hell of a guardian witch," John said.
Giles stiffened. "You know about them?"
"Yeah, I had one protecting Dean. We've helped a few of them in our circle. You guys don't? What path does the redhead follow?"
"She's a Wiccan, we think, but one of the ones who the Goddess is all of them no matter what the name," Xander said tiredly. He fell asleep a minute later with Sam patting and stroking his back.
John looked down at Dean, who was basically in the same position. "I see a resemblance," he joked.
"Even stranger, Giles, did you find that recipe for the rabbit thing Dru left us supplies for?" Giles nodded and handed it over. He looked at it then handed it to his father. "I think I remember eating that a few times."
His father looked then nodded. "You did. Your grandmother, my mom, fixed it a few times. I got it off her and fixed it for you boys when I caught a rabbit." He handed it back. "Who's Dru?"
"The insane vampire who loves Dean like her future kitten. She left us fatback, beans, cheese, new milk, and six whole, furred, drained rabbits the night she snuck in somehow."
"Salt wards?" he asked patiently.
"Don't work against vampires," he said dryly. "Not too many ghosts and spirits around here, which is surprising with the amount of death, but we've went with wards Tara constructed."
"Did you ever figure out how she got in?" Giles asked.
"The balcony. She must've came in from the roof. I found marks from where she jimmied the lock. Her wards covered that area minimally since we thought it was safe. Unless this sort can fly?"
"No, though I'm not too sure about Dracula when he showed up," Giles said dryly. He went back to his book. "Are you going to make it for the boy?"
"Dean used to like it," John admitted. "He always wanted more cheese than I put in but he liked it when I made it for them. Six rabbits?"
"Six whole rabbits. Fifty pounds of potatoes. Ten pounds of beans. A few pounds of government cheese. I have no idea where they found it since they don't give it out anymore. It was still good though." He shrugged. "We tested the milk, she put plasma into it, but otherwise it's all edible. She even gave us pie crust mix for the crust."
John shook his head. "I'll fix it later on if you want."
"This weekend?" Sam suggested.
"Sure, I can do that." He looked down at Dean, smiling at him. "I used to love him napping at this age. You too, Sammy."
"Hell, I love him napping," Sam said dryly. "Last night he and Xander bounced around the house together giggling madly because *someone* gave Xander and Dean ten pounds of chocolate chip cookies."
"She's still at the college," Giles said patiently. "Did he finally forgive her?"
"Nope," Sam said dryly. He got sniffed so he went back to stroking Xander's back, making him fall back asleep until the nightmare started. He whispered in his ear until he calmed down and got comfortable again. "So, Giles, think Joyce would help Dad babysit the little monster tonight?"
Giles gave him a look. "You told us you weren't evil or tainted, Samuel."
Sam smirked. "I had to pass her test when I showed up."
"I'm not scared of the group's mother," John said dryly. "Even if she does take a frying pan to me. I got past your mother's mother and hers was cast iron." Sam gave him a horrified look. "They thought I was beneath their precious only child."
"I've had that feeling but I want Dean to be happy, even if he is still a slut."
"Are you thinking about having more?"
"I don't know. He said we're waiting until Dean's older. I left that up to him. I'd love any kids he wanted to have. I think Dean would go nuts if we gave him a little sister." John gave him a horrified look. "What?" He grinned his best innocent grin.
"I saw Dean teaching you that look," he said dryly. "He'd go insane and be one of those big brothers that would never let his sister date, hunt, or get into trouble."
Dean looked at him, then at Sam. "Sister?"
"Maybe in the future."
Dean spit then cackled. "'Lec!"
Sam poked Xander until he woke up. "What's he saying?"
"'Lec!" Dean cooed happily. "Sister."
Xander grinned, leaning over to kiss him on the forehead. "Sure, if you have a sister she can be like Electra. We'll make her the most kick ass girl ever and she'll be better than Buffy because she won't wear the slutty heels hunting." Dean cackled at that. "She won't. Even if she'll die a virgin." Dean nodded at that, beaming at Sam. He looked at the two men. "How did we get on this subject?"
"I asked Sammy if he wanted more kids in the future."
"Well, if we can get his stomach flap to open and he wants, Tara did volunteer to donate a few eggs," Xander said. "Since it's now three months since the birth and my stomach muscles are still protesting, let's not even mention me falling out of shape for patrol, I think I'm gonna wait for a while."
"I said it was up to you," Sam reminded him, stroking over his stomach. "You weren't that heavy." He smiled, teasing the area over the flap. "All up to you." Xander swatted his hand. "What?" he asked with the innocent grin.
"No claiming in the store please," Giles called over, cracking Dean up. "I don't care what sort of animal spirit you have, Samuel, the hyena stays in the closet unless Xander has to protect the family." He turned the page. "Plus you two would make a mess downstairs, one I would fear to clean up." He went back to reading.
"You need more after earlier?" John asked, looking serious.
"Do you remember being in love at my age?" Sam countered.
"I wasn't with your mom then," he admitted.
"I remember being with someone who wasn't very good for me. Kept getting me back late from weekends off base. Mostly because we were destroying her walls with sex," he admitted.
Sam grinned. "We fixed the one we dented." Xander moaned, hiding his face in Sam's shoulder. "Sorry, babe."
"Ooh, does this mean I finally get to watch?" Anya called, bouncing in from the kitchen. "Who's he? You added onto the bedroom and didn't tell me? I wanted to help, Sam! I make a good third for a trio!"
"Anya, that's my dad," Sam said, nodding at him.
"Oh, him," she said, scowling at him. "You're right behind Rosenburg on my future shit list, Mister. I'd behave."
"I am," he promised. "I've dealt with some of your handiwork before, Anyanka. You were very fierce. I know to be scared of you." She sniffled and gave him a hug then walked off wiping off her cheeks. "Is she...."
"You gave her a great compliment," Xander said quietly. "Even if she does want Sam to spank her."
"I'd never do it for the reason she wants," Sam quipped, making Dean cackle. "Just think, you used to date girls like her," he told his brother. Dean cackled louder.
"Dean's lucky she never visited him in a professional capacity," John said dryly. Dean cackled again. "Yeah, you, son." He stroked his back. "Want to go back to sleep?" Dean shook his head. "Want read to?" He shook his head.
Xander looked at him. "If you don't behave you can't go see Grandma Joyce later. I'll let Sam stay home while I go on patrol."
Dean pouted. "Me go?"
"No you can't go until you're sixteen," Xander told him. "That's the local rule, Dean. No slaying and patrols until you're old enough to drive yourself to the ER when you stake yourself. Or you can drive yourself out of town away from Aunt Buffy if you fall."
Dean nodded. "Okay." He looked at Sam. "Train?"
"Next month," he promised. Dean smirked. "With Aunt Buffy." Dean shrugged.
"She can really fight?" John asked quietly.
"She's a lot better than I am," Sam told him. "You should watch her some night."
"I saw her in boots like Nancy Sinatra sung about the last time," he said dryly.
"Usually," Giles agreed. "I tried to stop it but she proved that she can fight in them. I had to let her." He turned the page again. "Dean, there's juice in the ice box if you want some." Dean wiggled until his father put him down and let him get some juice. Giles looked over then casually waved a hand, pinning John to the ceiling. "Should you hurt that sweet young man, I will make Willow and Tara's punishments look like cotton candy. Are we agreed?" he asked patiently.
"Yeah, you're scarier than the redhead," he agreed. "They can rip me apart and you'll have my remains eaten."
"Who said you wouldn't be alive?" Dean came back and looked up then sniffled. "I'm not hurting him, Dean. Simply making myself clear to him." He floated him back down and back to the couch, staring at him. John nodded. "Good. I'm glad we could come to this genteel understanding."
"Where did you train?" John asked.
"London." He gave him a look. "Back in the bad old days."
Xander looked over. "Feeling the need to put on jeans again? Maybe a t-shirt and flannel? Find the old punk records Spike and Oz tried to steal?"
Giles gave him a look. "Not at the moment, though I wouldn't mind a replay of what Joyce and I did. She is a wonderful woman who could more than adequately fire my heart."
"I'll let her know you're interested," Sam said.
"Oh, she knows," Xander said. "When Ethan gave us band candy that had a youthening curse on it, mental only, they ... the british way of saying it is having at it, on the hood of a police car."
"It was locked," Giles said.
Dean gave him a look of awe. "Grammy?"
Giles smiled. "I wasn't always this stuffy person I am now, Dean." Dean walked over to give him a hug then came back to hug Xander.
"Thanks, kiddo. What did I get that for?"
"Ah. So I'm up there on your cool meter still?" Dean smirked and nodded. "Oh, Giles, I told the cop who told me about the Fed who came to try to drive me insane and then arrest me to tell Buffy." He pulled Dean into his lap while Giles choked, opening the bottle of juice for him. "There you go. Cranberry." Dean smiled, wiggling over between the two sets of parents so he could drink it. "Good boy. I'm very proud of that choice."
"He had ten UTI's at this age the last time. He got very sick of cranberry juice and sauce," John told him.
"We've only had the one in his first month. Then Sam got used to cleaning him." Sam nodded at that. "But we had a nice, warm bath and cuddled together. It made him feel better." He smoothed down his hair, getting a grin. "Be a good boy tonight for Joyce?" Dean nodded. "Good boy. You can even ask Spike to tell you about another demon later on if you want." Dean beamed at him and finished his juice, handing it to his father to toss out. John drained the last few drops before doing that. "He does that to you too? He gives milk back to me half-full."
"He didn't get a good taste for milk until he was nearly six," John told him. He patted down the same stubborn hairs. "Isn't that why you started to use gel?" Dean glared at him. "Sorry," he said with a smirk.
Dean groaned, climbing between his new parents to hide and nap again. They'd keep his dad from picking on him.
Sam pinned Xander against the crypt and kissed him again. "We are lost."
"We aren't lost," Xander said dryly. "Sunnydale's not that big."
"We're lost, Xander. There is no hope of anyone saving you from me." He moved closer to nibble on his throat.
"Did the incubus that came to hit on me get you too?"
"No," he said, biting harder. Xander yelped then groaned, tipping his head back more. "That's my boy."
"It's inevitable that you'll give in. I got Dean to listen to newer stuff, I can wear you down until you agree to marry my cute ass." He nibbled some more, making Xander groan. He smiled. "I want to suck you here," he whispered. Xander whimpered. "Want to clean out the vamps?" He nodded at the crypt. Xander grabbed his stake and they went to clean out the crypt so they could use it. Once it was gone Sam went down to move the small pad of bandage they had covered the flap with so no more dirt could get in there. Then he made sure with his tongue. Xander's shriek echoed off the marble.
Up the cemetery Buffy looked around. "Hold up, guys. I heard Xander shrieking?" They heard another one and she groaned. "Never mind, he's not in trouble. Unless Sam's really evil." She walked off shaking her head. "I need one of those."
"I know a few younger hunters," John offered. Joyce had shoved him out of the house and said she'd talk to him tomorrow at the gallery. She beamed at him. "A few were even cute the last time I knew. I can ask around for you, Buffy."
"Please. I need a guy who can keep up with me."
"You probably do," he agreed. He looked back at the shrieking. "What are they doing?" A demon came running and shrieking, covering his eyes. "Never mind, they scared him. Beheading work?"
Buffy stopped the demon, looking at him. "What was that bad?"
"He's tonguing the birthing flap," he said in his language, rubbing his eyes. "That's sacred and he's using it like a woman's unholy hole!" He burst out crying, stomping off.
"Sam discovered that the flap is a lot like oral sex with a girl," Buffy translated. "So the shrieking probably had a good reason. I used to when Riley tried, even though he was pitiful at it. Not even I could've taught that boy how to do it better. Not even Sam could." She walked off shaking her head again.
"Um, the demon?" John asked, pointing after him.
"Harmless," Willow told him. "He's a water filtration sort of demon. He's helpful. We get a lot of them around here too because the hellmouth ignores everything strange. Even us." She smirked at him. "Everyone decided Giles was right when he said Xander getting fat was a medical problem instead of the obvious answer since the baby was kicking and moving."
"A lot," Buffy agreed. "Sam was so *cute*," she squealed. "Dean would kick and Sam would bend over to talk to him or give Xander belly loves like he was a puppy. They were adorable together. Xander needs to have another so we can squeal over another baby."
"When Dean's an adult again," Willow said, patting her on the arm. She looked at John. "That's a good thing, right?"
"Yeah it could be," he agreed. "Dean would go insane to be a big brother again. He's highly protective of his little brother. A new little brother or sister would be protected and loved until they screamed at him then he'd just grin and make them take it anyway. Like he did to Sammy."
Buffy went 'awww' with Willow. "I want to see that."
"Talk Xander into it."
"He's still wary about Dean wanting to go back to traveling when he's older," Willow said. "He knows Sam would go with him because that's their life. He doesn't want to hold him back and make him miserable."
"That's why the older hunters settle somewhere and cover an area. Not as much traveling. Dean might still go cover some things on his own but Sam and Xander could settle down a bit more and give him a steady base to come back to."
"Suggest it to them," Willow said. She linked arms with Buffy and they walked off again. "What're you taking next semester?"
"Um... We have to pick already? Again?"
"Yes, Buffy," she said dryly. "You could take French or Latin to do the language credits we need to have." Buffy whined at that thought. "You already know it."
"Maybe." She grimaced. "Eww. Can't I not go to school next semester?"
"Only if you're moving."
"Never mind. Fine, I'll pick them later tonight." She trudged on. She hated making these decisions. It was like trying to figure out what she'd do when she graduated.
John snickered. "Buffy, you can't do much with it but there is a PE degree. You can take that and a few teaching classes then teach PE or open an aerobics place."
"That might be okay," she said, looking at Willow. "Then you could do the books or Xander could with a calculator since he and math aren't friends."
"You could," Willow agreed. "And hey, you could teach a special class with the slayer training and be a *great* success since it does keep you fit. Better than pilates."
"I could," she agreed happily. "I wonder if Mom would like that."
"We can ask later or tomorrow."
Buffy beamed and nodded, going back to the hunting. She looked around, frowning. "Oh, poop. Willow, major issues. Text Sam, get John out of here, now!" she ordered, giving her a nudge out of the way as the charging demon got close enough to hit.
Willow texted the SOS to Sam while pulling John behind some headstones. "You don't want to get closer. That thing hates her and has tried to kill her a few times. He sent his whole clan after her the last time but she beat their butts." She called Giles. "It's me, it's back. Now, right now. Um, Golden Slumbers." She hung up then pointed. "That's why Buffy's a slayer," she said.
John watched, giving her an awed look. "She's more than good enough to train my sons," he whispered. Sam and Xander ran up to help. Xander had his belt undone. "Aw, crap. No."
"No, that's fine," she said, stopping him. "It's not harmed by magic or anything like that but I can help. Sam, boost?"
"Me," Xander shouted. She boosted him up so he could pounce it on the head and shoulders while Sam got the back of the demon. His was the less vulnerable spot even if the demon could reach him. He stabbed. "Crap, Willow, silver! All I have is steel tonight!" John stood up and tossed a dagger at Sam, who tossed it up to Xander, still distracting the demon while Xander found the spot and stabbed it. Sam and Buffy caught Xander when the demon screamed and flailed, knocking him off. They landed in a tangle on the ground but the demon was thrashing and trying to get the dagger out.
Willow growled and pushed on the dagger magically, keeping it in place. The demon saw her and stumbled toward her. Sam shouted and tried to knock it down but Willow got her and John out of the way.
Buffy got back up and went back to handling it while it died. He was weaker now but still had wicked claws. She got one cut on her arm but she kicked the dagger in deeper and it finally fell face down and died. She panted, bending over, hands on her knees. "I hate those things. They take forever and cut down my time in the Bronze." She pulled out the dagger, shaking it off carefully so nothing got onto her, handing it back to John. "Thanks for the lending. Usually Xander would have one on him."
Xander shrugged. "My dagger's handle is loose. It's at home so I can get a new screw for it tomorrow. If I had my axe I would've done it."
"Fine," she said. "Sam, you good?"
"A bit sore where you landed on me but I'm good," he said, checking Xander over by skimming his hands over his arms and down his chest. "No new pains?"
"Not even a head injury," he said with a grin. Sam gave him a look so he took a kiss. "I'm good, Sam. I promise."
"I'll check for bruises later." He tugged on the belt, making Xander blush but hitch it up.
"Oh, we already knew," Buffy assured them. "A demon came running and crying because you were treating the holy flap like an unholy woman's opening. That and that crypt echoes, Sam. Pick a better one. I do." She shrugged and moved off with Willow giggling. "You wait on Giles so he can have the liver or whatever he wanted?"
"Sure," she agreed. "Have a good time at the Bronze. I'll be there soon." She nodded, heading that way. Sam and Xander followed. "You can go too, John. The Bronze is usually good hunting. It's the only club in town."
"I can wait so you're not alone."
"I can handle most things," she said dryly. "I started out on normal patrols." Xander came jogging back their way, jumping over the body on his way past. The demon following him didn't and tripped so she staked it. It groaned but died on top of him. "Thanks, Xander. Needed it."
"Joyce called, Dean's got that fever again," he said, still running off.
"Okay." She watched him go for as long as she could. "He's a good daddy." Giles came panting up with Spike behind him. "I staked the other one because it was chasing Xander. Buffy's headed for the Bronze with Sam."
"That's excellent, Willow." He looked at them. "Spike, I believe some of your sources would like one on top?" Spike nodded, hauling it off to another cemetery. "Float it to my car please, Willow?"
"Is it one with useful parts?" John asked.
"Very expensive parts," Giles assured him. "One part that can help in healing and I need some around, just in case. Is she all right?"
"Small slice on her arm. It pissed her off; you know what hurting her clothes does to her temper," Willow assured him. He nodded, leaving it there and heading off with him and the demon. John followed then walked her to the Bronze so they could get a drink, have a break, stake some vampires out for an easy meal apparently, plus talk some more.
John looked around. He shook his head. "Did they set this up?"
"The whole town was set up by a demon," Willow told him. "He tried to ascend for our graduation. He built the town as a farm to draw other demons, which would make him stronger and give him more power. Though he was a germphobic demon. Really ugly when he made it to pure demon status too." She sipped her drink, nodding behind him. "See the blonde, yappy thing? That's Harmony. Someone turned her in Paris right after graduation. She was one of Cordelia's sheep. Spike tried to date her for a bit to take the place of Dru but it wasn't happening. He got so pissed at her stupidity." She pasted on a fake smile. "Hi, Harmony."
"Who's the hotty with Buffy?" she demanded.
"This is John, his father. Sam's the father of Xander's son, Dean."
"Oh." She sneered at John. "At least your gay son is cute." She walked off.
Willow staked her. "He's more than cute but he's been nice, polite, and sweet to Xander so none of us try except for Anya and some sex demons now and then." Her phone buzzed so she pulled it out, waving at Buffy so she drug Sam over. "Xander's got Dean in the ER. There was a slight attack there and Spike saved him and your mom." She let her see the message. "Head." She nodded, heading back to her house, Sam splitting off to hit the ER. Willow looked then followed Sam with John. "C'mon. I can get us there faster even if he is driving." John nodded, letting her take the shortcuts without fear of the vampires tonight. He got a few more on the way up there but they got there about the same time Sam did. "Hey." Sam gave her an odd look. "Buffy's going to be mother-fussing her mother. You need me to control Xander if he's in a panic."
"Maybe." He walked up to the desk. "Dean Winchester?"
"Is that the patient's name?"
"Xander Harris is the other parent."
"Oh. Xander's back in bay six." She looked at Willow. "I don't know why but he's being *very* calm. That scary calm, Willow."
"Again? Damn it." They walked back there, her dragging Sam. "Xander." He came out of that area and let them inside. "What's going on?"
"They're saying it's not his appendix even though it's where the pain is." He looked at her. "The new doc just walked off crying. I'm going to beat someone." He walked out, going to find a nurse. He found one who knew him from all his visits. "Can I please get a *real* doctor to come look at my son's appendix since I'm pretty sure it just burst?" She nodded, hurrying off. He stomped back there. He growled at the crying one, making her run off. "Not her." She went to find someone else. He walked back into the cubicle to pace. "Willow?"
"Yeah, if it didn't burst it's damn close," she admitted. "I'd rather have him in a better hospital, Xander. They nearly botched yours."
"I know." He looked over as one of the senior, oldest doctors came in. "Doctor Phipps," he sighed in relief. "He has a fever, his side hurts right over his appendix. He said it's not hurting as much now. I think his may've popped."
"Let me check, Xander. Move please, Willow. You still do not have a medical degree and will not be allowed to operate this time either." He smiled at the baby. "Who's the mother?"
"Actually, I had him," Xander said. The old doctor gave him a look. Xander nodded. "Spell."
"Never mind." He looked him over then nodded. "We can do an ultrasound down here, Xander. It's not popped yet but the pains are a reason to look." The nurse went to get one. "Did you hit the other doctor?" he asked patiently.
"No, I screamed at her for being stupid," Xander said honestly. "I refuse to let my son die at the hands of the bad docs that seem to live up on the third floor."
"Good point." He took the machine from the nurse, looking at it. "Is he under any spells?"
"Quick aging due to how he was born," Sam said. "One year a month."
"All right. Let's go ahead and remove it anyway, boys. I'll be very gentle, Xander, and you can watch from the observation room. All right?" Xander nodded. Dean pouted at him. "I know, young man, but better to be safe than sorry. With the way you're aging you could die before they could get you in here if it did rupture this time. I'll make them very small scars if I can." He signed orders for the nurse, letting her get the orderlies and the room ready. "Xander, do you need a sedative?"
"With my kid in the operating room?" he asked with a slightly hysterical laugh. "Fat chance!"
"You'll stay calm and not pounce this time?" he asked patiently.
"I'll help him stay calm," Sam promised. That got a nod and they let them follow them all the way to the doors to the operating room. "We'll be watching, Dean. Don't you worry about a thing, all right?"
"Shiny," he said, pointing up.
Xander looked then at him, smiling at him. "It won't hurt you. I promise it won't. I will bust in and kill it if it comes for you," he said in his ear. He looked at the doctor. "Can I come in with him?"
"The operating room is blessed, Mr. Harris," the doctor said patiently. "You don't need to. Whatever he saw can't get in." Xander nodded, looking at Dean, who nodded and let them all hug him before he went in. "Thank you, boys." He pointed. "The observation area." Xander walked over there and planted himself. John and Sam followed. "He's certainly a fussy father," he told the nurse as he went in to scrub.
"Not that I blame him. The other doctor told him it was gas pains."
"Ah. Another one. Have her transferred up to three as well."
"They claim they're full."
"Then have them start firing the stupid ones," he suggested. "Or let whatever eats patients eat them." He started the scrubbing ritual, muttering to himself while he worked. He always prayed for help while he did surgeries because even the least little thing could cause a problem.
Dean woke up and blinked at the hovering person. "Hi."
"Hi," Xander said softly, stroking through his hair. "How you feelin'?"
"I know. I had mine out when I was eight. Doctor Phipps was the guy who saved me after the first guy nearly killed me. That's why I trusted him with you." He smiled. "Want some water? It's all you can have until he gets in here to look you over." Dean nodded, sipping the water from the bottle he held. "That's my boy." He sat next to him on the bed, pushing the nurse's button. "He's up, had some water."
"You make a good father, Mr. Harris. Let me tell the doctor that. With any luck he should be able to go home tomorrow." She went to page the doctor to tell him that.
Xander grinned. "No one's yelled about me making the first one cry yet. I'm kinda happy this time. That and Buffy got the thing that ate sick kids a few years back." Dean gave him a look. He nodded. "There was a demon here called Kinderstad. It attacked sick kids. We had a run of a really bad flu and Buffy caught it so she was on the ward with them. She was fevered and delusional but she fought the demon in the basement. Then she passed out, but she killed it." He stroked through his hair again. "You can have a bath in a while. We're really good with injuries around here." Dean looked under the sheet then at him. "They did it with the new stuff. Only three small holes, Dean." Dean grinned. "I know, scars aren't good for the ladies when you're old enough to pick them up." He smiled at the doctor coming in. "You are?"
"Doctor Phipps said to check his incision for infection." She gave him a look. "Would you get off the bed please, sir?"
"I'm not moving from my son's side, lady. I don't care who you are." She gaped. He moved the sheet and checked the bandage, then looked at her. "Not bad. He going home with an antibiotic?" he asked the new nurse coming in.
"Probably, Mr. Harris. He's your son?" Xander nodded. "How did that happen?"
"Ask Giles. He's got the full thingy that happened." He smiled at his son. "Maybe we'll even get to go home tonight. The cable in here kinda sucks and there's a Doctor Who marathon on tonight." Dean gave him a look then snickered. "I know, I'm a geek but Sam and I were going to watch it together. You can play with the cat or whatever. Or you could watch it with us. It'll give you a good way to know some of the geekier side of Sam." Dean grinned at that. He looked at the doctor. "They're a bit red, not particularly sore, and no puss came out. I can even do his bandage changes. Really. You can quit staring any time now."
The nurse grimaced. "Mr. Harris, we know very well you could've have had the child." An officer came in. "Him."
Xander waved. "Hi, Dave."
"Xander. How is he?"
"Appendix issues. You wanna smack them for me?"
He looked at the nurse. "The OB the judge called in said he did give birth." She gasped. "So leave him alone. Now." She huffed off and so did the doctor. "You gonna check him out?"
"I'm waiting on Phipps. If they come back I'm going to smack one," Xander told him. "Dean, this is Dave. He's just started on the PD's team. He was at graduation with me. He did a great job of helping get parents out of the way. He used to be on the football team." Dean waved and smiled, getting a grin back. "Sam at work?"
"Popped into work then went to restock your first aid kit with Willow. I saw him in the pharmacy."
"That's normal. I restocked it when I was pregnant." He shrugged, smiling when the proper doctor came in with the first one. "Just a bit red, Doc."
He checked, pressing quietly. "Then I think this young one could go home. Xander. Let me get him some antibiotics?"
"Sure, I can handle that." He smiled and went to get the paperwork. Xander grinned at Dave. "They confiscated my phone for texting Buffy last night. Can you get it for me?"
"I'll drive you home, Xander." He nodded his thanks. "I won't even fuss about safety seats this time."
"It's in the Impala."
The doctor came back with the instruction sheet, a prescription, and a small bag. "His clothes?"
"Your phone and knife as well," he agreed, giving him a look.
"I was on patrol. Feel lucky it was only a knife."
"Good point. Sign." Xander signed while he disconnected Dean's IV, smiling at him. "You'll be a good boy and take your pills or you have to come back," he said quietly. Dean gave him a solemn nod. "Good boy." He patted him on the head once he had redone his bandages. "Thank you, Xander. Remember the usual stitches precautions and he should be fine. If not, call your normal pediatrician."
"Yes, sir." He picked Dean up with a groan. "Come on, Dean." He grabbed the rest of the stuff, walking out with it. He kissed him on the side of the head. "You scared the crap out of us," he said once they were in the elevator. Dean gave his neck a squeeze. "Thanks." He smiled at Dave, coming out to find John parking. "Looks like we won't need it." He gave his former comrade a nudge with his shoulder. "Thanks, Dave. That's Grandpa."
"Sure, Xander. Last night?"
"The floating body."
"Giles wanted a liver or something." He shrugged. "Who knows. It's for the shop. It stupidly attacked Buffy. That makes it only good for parts." He walked off snickering at that. "Did you get his seat?"
"I did." He came over to take Dean, sniffing his hair. "You could probably use a bath."
"Let's get him home and we can do that." He got Dean hitched into his seat then climbed in, checking the prescription papers. "Huh. A warning that some of the docs in town want to cut me open." He put that into his pocket. "Antibiotics."
"Of course he does. We can run out to get it in a few."
Xander shook his head. "The pharmacy is really fast." He pointed at the drive thru when they got near it. John drove then through and he rolled down the window. "Hey, Beth, antibiotics please?" he said, handing her the slip. "My son had his appendix out."
She looked. "Give me two minutes, Xander. Insurance?" He handed over his card and wallet. She smiled, going to run it for him. She came back two minutes later with the bag and his wallet. "There you go. I put it into the back. It was eighteen." She waved at the baby. "I gave him a baby sucker too."
"Thanks, Beth. Have a good night." He put the bag beside him and rolled up the window before they drove on, getting an odd look from John. "There's not much call for them around here except around the first of the month or the fifteenth when people get their pills. The rest of the time they're usually very speedy. That's also the fastest way to see if someone's dead, have Willow hack their system to see who hasn't filled their pills recently."
"Interesting. I hadn't thought of that idea." He drove them back to Xander and Sam's apartment, getting out and carrying Dean upstairs while Xander got the rest of the stuff. Dean grabbed the bag to get his treat. "Bath and drugs first, son."
"I agree," Xander said when Dean looked at him. "Otherwise you'll get the lollipop nasty." Dean nodded, letting Xander cover it with a waterproof bandage so he could have a shower. "There you go. Want me or him?" Dean pointed at his father. "Sure. I can let him have that. Let me check on the cat." Dean walked his first father in there while Xander checked the bowls and petted the cat, earning a silent meow. "He'll be fine," he promised, smiling at her. "Did you protect Sam for me?" She purred, nudging against his hand so he scratched where she wanted. "That's my good girl, Bastest."
John came to the bathroom door. "What's her name?"
"Bastest. Sam got her for me. Her mommy was a familiar for the witch who loved Dean," he said quietly. "She's my first pet." He smiled at him. "He's going to play in the bubbles."
"I'm letting him, it's making him feel better." He went to check. "Do your hair too, Dean." Dean grumbled but let him do his hair for him then went back to playing with the water and the bubbles. The cat came in and stared at the curtain. "What's wrong? He not okay?" She looked up at him then hopped up onto the sink to look in the shower. Dean giggled, reaching up to pet her. She sniffed then meowed to him before scampering off to clean the water off her. "I guess she was making sure you were okay."
"That's because that hospital sucks," Xander told him, coming in with a mug of coffee. "Dean, what did you want for breakfast? Oatmeal or scrambled eggs and toast?"
"Sure. Want peanut butter toast?" Dean beamed and nodded. "Cool with me, kiddo." He went to cook for him, smiling at the cat when she came to help. She liked peanut butter and he would indulge her all she wanted. Dean came streaking past a few minutes later, making him laugh. "Clothes, young man. You're potty trained now."
"Yes, Mom." His father gave him a look but he ignored it. He'd understand why soon enough.
"Thank you." He finished the food by the time Dean had managed to pull on his socks and came out to sit at the small table they had. He put down a plate in front of him, giving him a look. "Say it." Dean mumbled a blessing over his food and he handed John a plate, letting him say his own grace. "Tara says he has to say blessings over his food. We decided we didn't mind." He came out with juice for Dean, sitting down next to him to take a piece of his toast. The cat leapt onto his shoulder, getting some of the peanut butter from his finger. "There you go, sweetheart." She nuzzled him then went to lay in the sun. "We'll let the balcony doors stay open for a while," he promised. "As long as you don't sneak out to give us kittens."
"She's not fixed?"
"Tara and Melinda are talking about fixing her. We're not sure." He nibbled on the toast and cleaned up what Dean couldn't. He handed over the treat, getting a grin back. "Juice." Dean finished it and went to open the balcony doors so he could sit in the sun for a while. "Books today or what, Dean?"
"Books," he called. Might as well get them out of the way so he could play later.
Xander went to get the stack of workbooks, coming back to work with him on his spanish skills. John gave him a confused look. "We're in California, John. It's a handy language. Especially if they have to work anywhere in lower Texas later on." He went back to it. After Dean had gotten a few pages right he went over the Willow-created language workbooks. "What's that word?" he asked, pointing.
"Fire," Dean said proudly.
"Good job. What do we use fire for in Latin?"
"Depends on the translation of the exorcism spell because a few say something about God's fire coming to cleanse them. Otherwise Willow uses it a lot in the cemeteries and so can we if either of us had magic?"
"And?" Xander prompted.
"A lot of the prophecies have fire talking about the hell-born demons instead of those born on hell dimensions or other planes. That's how they tell the difference." Xander beamed and nodded. "I got it right?"
"Nearly perfect." He kissed him on the head and turned the page after finishing writing down his answer for him. "Next month we can work on handwriting. When your fine motor controls come back." Dean nodded. "What's this word?"
"Water. It's a good word. It helps in exorcisms and it helps with classifications. Plus it's a helpful word on maps sometimes when they're really old." Xander nodded, writing that down for him. He leaned over to look at him. "Can you speak Latin?"
"I only read Latin. I read a few languages thanks to Giles, but I haven't had to speak them. Most of the Watchery books are in ancient, dead languages."
"I think there's sixteen major, four of those demonic, and then another thirty or so minor ones. Giles reads twelve of the major and two of the minor. Wes, in LA with Angel, he reads one of the two that we don't plus however many others and Spike reads the one neither Watcher or Willow does. Plus Anya reads Norse since those were her people when she was your age. She and Spike speak most of the demonic languages and Buffy's gifted to understand most of them too." He smirked. "I can kinda speak one of the more common demon languages."
"Wow. Can I learn that one to swear in?"
"Sure, but if you say the right swear in it, it lights things on fire. I do that sometimes with Latin too. That's why Giles forbid me to read from the books in Latin. It's why I only read it."
Dean laughed. "You did it on accident?"
"Yup. All I did was read a section." He shrugged. "It happens I guess. Willow said that's another sign that I mess up magic stuff."
"Maybe you should take some training in it?" John suggested.
"I've taken enough to summon the remote," Xander said with a smart grin. "I don't need magic, John. I'm perfectly content the way I am." He went back to Dean's lessons, not minding at all when the cat came over to lay on top of the workbook. "Want us to move to Egyptian instead?" he teased. Dean laughed, petting her gently. "Good boy. Grab your pills." He went to grab the bag, letting him read the dosing instructions. He pulled up a dropper and took it. Then he finished his lollipop. "Good boy." He kissed him on the head. "After you're done with her, we'll check on Sam. Did he go to work?"
"Helping Auntie Willow."
"Still? What are they getting for the first aid kit?" John shrugged. Xander sighed, shaking his head. "Fine. We'll go to the Magic Box so you can run around in the back room today. Spike's over there probably and he can work on that movement style so you're more in balance." Dean beamed and nodded, going back to his page of workbook so he could finish up. Xander got the backpack system and Dean climbed in from the couch once he had it on. "Good job. Keys, wallet?" John handed it over. "We'll walk this time. It's my day off PT."
"You don't jog?" he teased.
"I work construction. I do plenty of exercise every day," he said dryly. "So does Sam." He locked the door behind them and headed out to the Magic Box. It was a nice walk, a few blocks. "Gotta love the small towns. It's easier to find your way. Even at a dead run." He walked in and took off the backpack, letting Dean wiggle out and go downstairs to hunt Spike. "He has antibiotics."
"As long as he's all right," Giles said happily. "How are his workbooks going?"
"I left them in front of the balcony with Bastest sleeping on them. She decided he needed to play today."
He smiled as the child drug Spike upstairs and into the back room. "That's fine, Dean. You work back there."
"I told him about Buffy having the flu that time," Xander said, leaning on the counter. "What else is up today and what are they stocking for the first aid kit?"
"I do believe Willow was also going to handle the agent issue you were having," he said.
"Ah." He grinned at Anya when she came out of the kitchen. "You hate peanut butter."
"I don't know why but I wanted it today."
Xander gave her a cautious look. "Anya, birth control pills?" he suggested.
"I take them every day like I'm supposed to. I hardly ever forget."
"There's a test in the bathroom from when Buffy was having sympathy cravings, go use it," Giles ordered. She huffed but went to do that. He looked up. "Please?"
"She hasn't been sick, that would've come first," Xander said. She came out shaking her head. He looked at it. "Nope, negative."
"See, I wanted peanut butter. Probably one of those girl things Buffy talks about."
"Perhaps," Giles agreed. "We'll find out." He went to call the other girls to make sure. "Xander, you as well."
"That was the only one in there."
"Go get another one," he ordered. Xander huffed but went to get another pregnancy test so he could take one too. John shook his head, going to watch Dean and the vampire to make sure the vampire wasn't hurting him. Dean was giggling about whatever Spike was telling him. "John?" Giles called. He came back out. "Was he alone at the hospital?"
"Yup. That nice doctor passed him a note warning him a few of the others wanted to experiment on him."
"Yes, there's a few who would. That's what worries me." Xander came back with the bag and went to take one, coming out to show him the negative reading five minutes later. "Are you feeling all right?"
"I'm fine. There's plenty of demons that want to tear me apart, Giles. Having humans want to isn't much different. What do I care about them until they attack?" He went to help Spike with his son. "What are you telling him this time?" he demanded.
"Cave slayer," Dean said with an evil grin.
"That was definitely not the highlight of her freshman year. Of course, if I catch you drinking underage I know what he used," he said with an evil smirk. "Clear?"
"Crystal," he agreed. "Twenty-one?"
"If you must," he sighed. Dean nodded. "Fine. No being an alchie, Dean. I won't put up with that."
"As long as it doesn't go that way this time either."
Dean nodded, giving him a short hug then going back to what Spike was teaching him. Xander was in the corner watching how he moved. He was moving better now. It was easier to learn this stuff at a younger age. Buffy bounced back and got to work on his other lesson, which was a lot easier and helped with the balance and growth stuff. "Mom, crib?" he asked.
"We can get you a real bed this weekend and let Grandma Joyce have her crib back," he agreed. "Plus take your old stuff to the consignment or thrift store." Dean gave him a look. "Yes, we do give back in this town. I shop there a lot."
"No, sweetie, we aunties bought all your clothes so Xander couldn't give you ugly shirts," Buffy promised, cracking Spike up. "We did!" Xander nodded she was right. "We bought him all his clothes so he wouldn't have to suffer through a Xanderish wardrobe." She showed Dean another move, letting him practice it. "We need a tape."
"Have two at home, was waiting for next month," Xander admitted. She beamed at him. "Find us a bed sale?"
"Of course!" She bounced out to do that. She was the queen of sales.
Xander grinned. "She likes to shop, it makes her happy."
"She needs a new boyfriend," Spike said.
"Last I heard that was your job," Xander shot back, giving him a look. Spike only glared then walked off. "Guess he's not stud enough." Spike growled from the kitchen. "Maybe Riley *was* better for her." Spike broke something and went to drag Buffy back down to the basement to help cure her bounciness problem. "And that's how you make Spike do stuff, Dean." Dean cackled, coming over to hug him. "What should we do for the rest of the day?"
"Lunch?" he asked hopefully.
"Sure, we can do lunch." He stood up with a groan. "Getting ancient again." He walked him out. "This one wants lunch. We're hitting the deli. What am I picking up for others?" Giles handed him money. "The usual?" Giles nodded. "Pickles on the side, right?" Giles smiled and nodded. "John?"
"Not hungry yet, kids." He watched them go. "He's not a bad guy," he said.
"Xander has this way of making you like him," Giles agreed dryly. "Even Spike. Do shut the bloody hell up, Spike! There's customers in the store!" he shouted at a loud moan. He shook his head. "Sorry."
"Xander taunted him into it."
"He has a few times." He shook his head, ringing up the next customer. "Sorry about him."
She giggled. "Young love is so cute." She walked out with her bags.
"Unless you're sickened by mush," John added, cracking Giles up. "I'm surprised Dean hasn't said something about Sam and Xander."
"He used to kick the snot out of him when the girls got mushy."
"I heard that from Willow." He went to browse the shelves. The store was set up for hunters and magic users of all types to get what they needed. He looked at one thing, walking it out held up. "You can find this?"
"I know a procurer in LA. Angel found them for me." He smirked a bit. "It pays to know what you're doing in that field." John just nodded and went to put it back.
Spike came to the top of the stairs. "Slayer dream," he announced. "She'll wake soon." Giles nodded, getting what he needed to record it. He went back down, helping her up the stairs when she woke up panting and sweating. "Hey. He heard."
She ran up the stairs, making sure she was dressed before reappearing through the doorway. "It's apocalypse time." Xander came back with the stuff from the deli. "Mine?" she asked hopefully. Xander gave her his spare sandwich. "It's another one."
"Big menace, little menace growing up, or otherwise?" Xander asked, staring at her.
"I saw Lothos. He's dead though. He killed my first Watcher and I got him."
Xander considered it then looked at the books. "Sam said something about nightmares." He found the book he had been worrying about, sitting down to read it with Giles hovering. "Here, nightmares but not a nightmare demon." He let them have it, settling Dean on his lap to make him eat. "You eat and let us worry about that stuff."
"Patrol?" Dean asked.
"Yeah, we'll have to step up patrol, Dean." He stroked over his hair. "Don't you worry. We handle one of these every few years." He texted Sam's phone with the word apocalypse. He got back a cute answer. "Sam said it can't be, he's having a good day."
The store's phone rang and Giles answered it. "Mag... Willow, yes, a slayer dream. She saw Lothos. We're looking it up now, Willow. It might be a good idea. By tonight." He hung up and came back to look over the prophecy then went to find more resources, handing one to Xander. "Don't get dressing on it please. That one's actually for sale. It's worth a lot less used."
Xander handed John Dean and his food, going to wash his hands and find the special gloves. Giles smiled at him for that kindness. "I remember the yelling from the last time I got something on a book." He sat down to read it over, shaking his head. "No, this is a nightmare demon, Giles. Just a higher one." Buffy looked and grimaced, shaking her head. "No?"
"No, not right." He closed it and put it back then put the gloves back into the bag they were stored in, coming back to help. They weeded down all the nightmare sources in the store, leaving them with the prophecy. Buffy finally looked around then called Anya. "It's me. Have you heard anything about nightmare and a new apocalypse?" She nodded at what she heard. "No, we don't have anything on them. Thanks." She hung up. "Fricasee demons?"
"Fricanses?" Giles suggested. She nodded and smiled. "You ruled them out earlier. That was the book Xander had."
"Shoot." She pouted as Sam and Willow came in. "We have a prophecy, a slayer dream, and no sources."
Sam and Willow sat down with their laptops to look it up. "What are we looking for?"
"Nightmare demons we don't have sources on or things that can bring back nightmare or slayer dreams," Xander said, handing her the prophecy. "We've eliminated everything in here so far."
Sam nodded, typing into a site he liked to research on, finding what he needed fairly easily. "That leaves another twelve." Buffy came over to read over his shoulder, selecting a few that looked right to her. He let her read more in-depth with them. Tara came over to help later on, bringing dinner that Xander had called in the order for. Buffy finally narrowed it down to two.
Willow looked one up while Sam got the other one. "I think his is more likely. This one's been assumed dead for over two hundred years. Anya?" She came out of the stock area to look. "Fact or fiction?"
She read over her shoulder. "Fact. He died of old age about two hundred and thirty years ago. There was someone who tried to take over his reputation but he died fairly quickly when he told that lie to the wrong demon." She went back to her counting pretty gold things.
Sam brought in his laptop, letting her see it. "Likely?"
She looked then nodded. "Here? Yeah."
"Can I have Xander back as a reward? Even for one night? Apocalypse sex is always good."
"No." He gave her a look. "I don't share."
"You could put me between you."
"That would still be sharing." He walked back out, handing it to Buffy. She read and nodded, pointing at it. "Anya said it's likely to happen."
Xander took it to look over. "How do we kill it or drive it off?" He found that section. "No killing but we can drive it off and knock it back into a nap," he said. He let Willow have it since it was a spell. He looked at Dean then at Sam. "The day before, you're taking the sprout and heading off to Disney or something."
"Ask me if I give a shit, Sam," he said bluntly. "We handle these things about twice a year. We're very experienced in the end-of-the-world stuff and we don't want the baby around. These sort of nightmares can only hurt him."
"He can go with Dad. I can stay and help. We've covered most of mine."
Xander stood up and drug him outside, looking at him. "The other night you were having one about Jess," he said quietly. "Burning with her." Sam groaned, nodding that he remembered. "You can still be hurt by them. Dean can be killed by his. You and your daddy are taking Dean and heading. End of discussion. He'll need at least one of his legal parents there in case something happens and you're going to need to have him guarded since you've been here and Giles and Spike both said the energy here can draw demons if you carry any of it off the hellmouth. You've been here long enough to get infected with the energy and so has he."
"Did one happen before I got here?" he asked, staring at Xander.
"I was about three months along the last time."
"You risked yourself that way!" he shouted.
"I wasn't in any danger. Buffy was in a lot of danger. I planned, I shot long-distance weapons, I made fun of the Watchers who showed up." He stepped closer. "That's a second very good reason to have two fighters guarding him, Sam. They'll want to look him over too. They'd do anything to hurt us because Buffy's not their slave and I warped the old order."
"Are they back?"
"Why do you think the agent just happened to show up? Even if there was an open investigation on you guys, it was probably focused on Dean since he was more visible and you're a bit too nice and sweet to do whatever it was suspected of being done."
"We were both being looked at," he admitted.
"Yeah, but I'm guessing they started with him?" Sam nodded. "So they didn't just happen to come here after five months of you running around the country and then another six months here. The people here never would've said anything."
"Point," he said, considering it. "Can they do that?"
"Yeah; I've got to tell Willow that they're back." Sam pulled him closer to kiss. "So you and the sprout are heading, Sam. I'm not going to lose him and most of my nightmares are from here and patrol anyway. I'm not suddenly going to conjure a flame demon or something."
"Good point," he said quietly. He looked at him. "You could come with me, let Dad help her."
"She doesn't trust him yet, Sam. Maybe in a few years. Right now she needs me to plan for her."
"Dad was a Marine."
"And I'm the local tactician."
"Good point." They walked back inside. "Willow, is it possible that the Fed was sent by the Watchers Council?" Giles stiffened and stared at him. "Xander's heard rumors of a bounty on his head for warping Buffy."
"Um, there is?" Buffy asked.
"Yeah, but it's not a huge one," Willow admitted.
"It got upped again but it's still only twelve grand," Xander told her, flopping down. "John, the day before the badness starts or at the first hint we have, you and Sam are taking Dean to do something fun. His nightmares could get him or Dean killed. I want them both safe and that is *your* job. Am I clear?" he said, looking at him.
"You could go, I can stay," he offered.
"Xander's my planner," Buffy told him, looking at Xander. "Are you sure?"
"Yeah. I'm sure. Hit disney or something, guys. Universal Studios to do the monster tour since that'll be... Halloween?" he asked.
Willow nodded. "Looks like it." She grinned at John. "Universal Studios puts on a *great* halloween show every year and there's a huge coven Samhain circle up by San Fran. Go to that for us? Tara's going to that one."
"I can help," Tara said quietly.
Xander stared at her. "Tara, it's calling up nightmares. Buffy's is going to bring back a very old, very powerful master vampire. One who ate her first watcher and made her burn down a school gym. Mine's going to bring up hunting stuff and possibly my family. Willow's is going to be just as bad as mine probably. You're going to the coven thing. You had planned on meeting Melinda there anyway. She'll help the guys and you can protect Dean for me. That's more important."
"But..." she started.
"Tara, the demon that killed their mom set fire to the house," Xander told her calmly. "We can fight a master vamp, we don't have time to research that one to kill it too." She nodded, stiffening up. "Therefore, you're going with them. Hit Universal Studios, have some fun. Go to the coven picnic and circle that night. It'll be good for Dean to know some good witches and you too. Understood?" She nodded. He looked at John, who shifted but nodded. "Good. Buffy, pick a location. We can draw Lothos to you and kill him. You're better than you were then," he said when she opened her mouth. "You can kill him easier this time. It's been years of training."
"Good point," she said, smiling at his confidence. "Plus I'll have you and Willow." Willow nodded. "Where should we pick, Giles?"
"Will the demon want the hellmouth, Samuel?"
"No, it's a sideline to the vengeance demons." He read it over. "Anywhere should be good."
"Then we'll pick a good spot and draw them," Buffy agreed. "Should we maybe warn Angel?"
"I'm not sure if it could make him Angelus or not," Giles admitted. "Or if it might manifest an illusion of him."
Xander smirked at Buffy. "Wanna press your luck?" She gave him a look. "Take it in the happy place, Buffy."
She snickered. "The park?"
"The small grove. It's consecrated ground for Willow. It's easily defended." Willow nodded at that. "We can clear the vamps out with a word to Willie. They don't want their nightmares exposed either. Warn Angel just in case but we'll make a stand there. We can even swing while we wait."
She nodded. "The positive kid energy will help," Willow agreed. "I can get started on the potion tonight since we only have about two weeks." She got up to get things and took Tara to help her since Tara had a more precise hand than she did. "Sam, I need that in hardcopy."
"Sure," he agreed, plugging into Giles' printer so he could print it off for her. He got a proprietary information warning instead. He did something else and smiled when that worked better. The spell cut off but he copied it by hand. She nodded her thanks. "I'll check the spell with a few other sources. Give me about an hour?" She smiled and nodded. "Thanks." He went back to check the spell, finding it mentioned a few other places. One of them was a site he hadn't worked with before but it had the same information with a bit more. "It needs to go back to sleep. If we can make it nap we can trap it and entomb it." He printed that one off too.
Xander looked then nodded. "There's a crypt nearby. We can clear it and seal it in there until it wakes up cranky again. Etch a warning on it or something." Giles nodded that was doable. "Giles, no word from Ethan recently? It's about time for him to strike too."
"He's in England bothering the main Council."
"Charming. Hey, Willow, check to see if the bounty went up again? Ethan's bothering the main Council."
She looked. "Its up to fifteen grand now, five paid by E. Rayne for the medium's living body. Working mind not needed."
"I'll deal with him later," Giles muttered. "Thank you, Willow."
John looked at Xander. "What did you do to piss them off?"
Buffy snickered. "It's supposed to be one watcher/one slayer until the girl dies, John. Xander jumped in and brought Willow. Xander's also a medium because he draws bad things to him and some of them try to possess him. Some of the others try to sleep with him." Xander stuck his tongue out at her. "It screwed with the way the Council wanted things to go. He brought me back to life, creating a two-slayer situation. He helped me stand up to them each and every time they've shown up. He's my normal guy support even when I don't appreciate him that moment and only want donuts."
"He helped you get Oz free of the Initiative and then helped you remove their threat," Giles said. Xander nodded at that. "He housed Spike for us for a while." He smirked at John. "They can see Willow. They've had witches helping in the past. They've had slayers that have fallen in love with the vampires they were hunting in the past, though they usually died by their lover's hand. Buffy would not be half as effective without her support system: Willow, Joyce, and Xander."
"And no way they're going to mess with Willow," Xander said with a mean smirk. "She's too powerful and she'll turn them all into furry things. She did the last time they showed up and then mailed them back properly."
"No gift wrapping?" Sam asked quietly.
Xander snickered. "No, she learned her lesson when she tried to give me some of her fish for my birthday. She even hacked the money for the transport from the Council."
"So," John said, thinking about it, "they really hate you both but they're scared of her and what she can do. You're a normal guy so they've decided you're fair game?" he said. "They're bullies."
"In many ways," Buffy said dryly. Xander nodded to show he agreed. "Then again, I told them to do the pole/butt dance a few times and kept Giles even when they fired him for giving a damn."
"Can we talk to them?" Sam asked.
"They're by that big rock thingy in England, Stone Hinges or whatever," Buffy said with a flick of her hand. "I don't care if they do blow up."
"I might miss some of them but not for a very long time," Giles added.
"You know, this is the hellmouth," Xander said firmly. "Wishing others ill here often has strange side effects. Or wish demons."
"Oops," Buffy said. She smiled at Sam. "If you decide to go over there, don't bring the baby. They'll be mean and won't coo at his cuteness like we do. He'll have to pout. Then he'd learn to destroy things and people way too early."
"Sure, we can do that," Sam promised. He looked at Dean. "Universal Studios then taking Tara to the coven thing?"
Dean shrugged. "I guess."
"Good." Xander clapped his hands. "Then we should all get our rest because I'm sure we're not going to be sleeping for a bit." They nodded, breaking up everything to go have some fun. Buffy went to the Bronze. Tara and Willow went to do witchly thing or snuggle. Sam finished his research for Willow then walked them home. Xander smiled at him. "Do you feel better now?"
"No. I'd rather you came with us or I sent Dad and Willow."
"We need the witch, he doesn't have the authority to treat him if he gets sick, Sam, plus a really good reason is I don't want you guys here to get hurt."
"Tough, we're hunters, we're used to it," John said from behind them. "I'm sure you've gotten hurt in the past, kid."
"I've nearly died a number of times. Doesn't mean I want that for my boyfriend and my son. Normal hunts are good. Sunnydale apocalypses are strange and often twist in the center. We had to learn that the hard way. I don't want to end up having him die and Dean losing him." He turned back around, finding a vampire in front of them. "Angel. Here about the nightmare thingy?"
"No. You. You do know that there's demons who think you profaned the gift you were given?"
"Is this because that one demon cried when he saw us making out?" Xander asked.
Angel nodded. "Yup. One of them came to cry on Wes."
"If I want to play with him and he doesn't mind, it's none of their business," Sam told him simply. "Besides, is it going to be worse than the Council wanting him, whoever that Ethan guy is wanting him, or the next apocalypse?"
"There's one coming?" he asked Xander. "Stupid question, there's always one coming."
"Nightmare demon that's related to Anya's people are going to be bringing back nightmares. They're going to Universal Studios and then a coven thing with Tara."
"Good. That'll keep the baby out of harm's way." He shook his head. "The Council?"
"For my stunning warping abilities," Xander said dryly, giving him a look. "The bounty's still pretty small. Only fifteen grand."
Angel moaned, shaking his head. "Can't we make them forget you?"
"Sure, you find a handy wish demon to do that and at the same time I'd like a few mil to outfit my baby in bling, Angel."
Angel walked off shaking his head, rubbing his forehead a bit. "Buffy is where?"
"Bronze. Having fun. It'll be like tenth grade all over again," he called after him.
Sam looked at him. "Tenth grade?"
"He used to come up to Buffy to say cryptic stuff so she'd get hot and bothered."
"Ah." He nodded. "That's kinda...."
"Pathetic," John said. "He's how old?"
"Few centuries. He's got a soul, she's his true love, he loses his soul with the happies. Not a fun story, one Buffy might tell you but I'm not sharing." He took his son back. "Come on, let Daddy stake the two demons who're following us home like stray kitties." Sam and John both attacked the demons, making Dean cheer. He grinned. "Some year soon, Dean. Give it a while longer, little guy. Then you can be the macho super stud hunter like Sam is." He kissed him on the head. "Then we'll see what happens."
"You can come," he said quietly.
Xander gave him a sad smile. "I'd never keep you and Sam from having your own life. I can't make anyone hurt that way. Life's too precious for that. We'll work that out when it's time." Dean shook his head. "No?"
He leaned closer. "No one hurts Sammy but me," he told him.
Xander grinned. "You sound like my dark side, kiddo. I love you for that much alone." He gave him a hug. "I'm never going to do it on purpose. That's why I won't stop him from having his own life back." He patted him on the back. "C'mon, I'm starved and I know you are. We'll go make dinner unless we can talk Sam into it."
"Sure," Dean agreed. They walked back to the house once John was finished with his demon. He looked at him. "Eww, Dad."
"Sorry, son. It was nasty." He looked at himself. "Can I borrow the shower?"
"Yup," Sam told him. "The goo remover is the blue box of stuff."
"Only works on slime. It'll turn acidic if you use it on that stuff," Xander called back. "Use the red box of stuff since that's blood."
"Okay, use the red box of stuff," Sam said, cracking his father up. He kept him back until they were out of hearing range. "Is it me or is Xander preparing for me to leave him?"
"It's not just you. They were just talking about how he'd let you go back to having your own life because life was too precious to lose."
"But I want him."
John gave him a look. "You sure he feels the same way?"
"Yes, Dad," he said impatiently. "This has been an ongoing problem. He had himself convinced I was going to take Dean and leave after he was born. The fight right after he was born was the same stuff, how he was *Dean* and wouldn't have many things he could learn from either of us. This is the newest one. It's been there all along. I'm going to rip his parents to shreds for doing that to him."
John smiled. "A Winchester in love is a scary thing, Sam. Remember not to let the cops hear you say that in case they end up dead."
Sam smiled at him. "You got this way over Mom?"
"I only had to get stubborn over your mother, Sammy. Her parents didn't like me that much. Considered me beneath their hardwood floors."
"I don't remember them."
"That's because they tried to have you taken away the same day as the funeral and I got a restraining order," John said dryly. "My parents were the ones who got scary over each other. Dad told some fantastic stories about having to get scary and pushy so he could have my mom. Do they know?"
"I met his uncle while we were out right after the birth."
"Hmm. They might know. We'll have to see what happens." They walked after the mother and son, watching their Dean giggle madly at something Xander was telling him. Sam had to turn to stake a vampire but that was fine with him. He was good at it. "You know, Dean might be content to settle down and pick an area to protect," he said calmly.
"You think he would?"
"I think it'd still let him travel now and then but it might be the best idea yet," he admitted. He held open the door to let him go up the stairs first, making sure it was closed behind him. "They don't lock this?"
"The owner's our former boss at the construction site. He was vamped last month." He walked in and sniffed. "Hmm, what's cooking and where's the cat?"
"Cat's on our bed, I checked that first," Xander said. "Cooking, I'm not really sure. I didn't want to check, just in case."
Sam looked then at him. "Dru's back." He called Buffy. "Dru's back." She screamed something. "Yeah, I'm sure. Who else would break into our place and put a whole turkey in the oven, Buffy? Yup, a whole one, with stuffing inside even. Looks like some blood in the pan but I'm not sure yet. Nearly done too. Maybe she came up with Angel since we ran into him on the way home. We told him you were at the Bronze." He grinned. "Thanks." He hung up. "We'll check to make sure it's not infected, tainted, or blood ridden," he told Xander, who nodded. "If not, should we try it?"
"As long as we don't get sick. I don't want to end up in the ER tonight." He gave Dean his antibiotics, getting a pout. "Tough." He checked his stitches, they looked healed. "Hey, wonder healing!" he said happily. "Sam, get me stuff to pull these?" Sam got him some thin scissors and a pair of tweezers, letting him pull the stitches their son had.
"No more antibiotics?"
"Fat chance. You never know what you'll pick up on patrol, or that we could've brought home, Dean." He patted him on the head. "Go get a story." Dean ran over to John for a story so he went to help Sam check the turkey. It was done, the pop up thing had come up. It was pretty and golden brown. It smelled good. Xander called Spike over, letting him sniff it from the doorway. "Blood?"
"A bit from the drippings. Her special stuffing recipe is usually good."
"Anything we should worry about with the baby?" Sam asked over Xander's shoulder.
"Shouldn't be unless he hates onions. She uses a lot."
"No, he likes onions. Want some?"
Spike snickered. "Got one waiting on me. Mine's even got blood pudding with it." Xander put down the turkey and went to check, bringing the pudding from the fridge. Spike took that and walked off happier.
"Thanks, Spike. Tell her no more breaking in please?" Xander called after him. He shut the door. "Didn't we fix the weak spot in the wards on the balcony?"
"Yeah, we had Tara and Willow redo them all and put extra there." They went to find out how she got in this time, not finding any easy answers.
"She must really like you guys," John said dryly.
"She calls Xander her dark kitten, me her little lion cub, and him her future kitten," Sam told him. "Why can't we stake her again?" he asked Xander, taking the carving knives.
"Because Angel will go spastic and we'd have to kill him too. Then the Powers will jump down my ass to make me miserable before we die in a fiery and flashy way that makes national news and leaves Dean either dead too or an orphan."
"Oh, yeah," he sighed. "I hate them." He carved into it, putting a good sized piece aside. Xander gave him an odd look. "Joyce's."
"Sure." He shrugged. He could treat Joyce. He loved her like a mom. "John, did you talk to Joyce yet?"
"She ripped me a new one while he was in the hospital. That's one strong woman."
Xander grinned. "She raised Buffy. Of course she is." He brought out plates, looking at them. "Clean up." They went to clean up and came out. Dean mumbled Tara's blessing over the food, watching his plate glow. Xander looked at it then at him. Then at Sam. Sam mumbled his own. His glowed. "Potion?"
Sam tasted a small bite then kissed Xander, nearly knocking him out of his seat. "I love you."
"Potion," John said, getting Dean normal food, putting the plates into the fridge with the rest of the turkey. Dean was snickering. "Guys, I doubt the baby or I need to see that," he said dryly. Sam drug Xander upstairs to tease and play with his lover. He shook his head. "I was never that insane for your mom, Dean. Your brother has it bad."
"They're cute. I'll have ammunition for years."
John went to look at the stuffing, then snickered. "I think she wanted you two to have another kid," he called. "It's oyster and onion stuffing."
"That's okay. We're waiting until Dean's his proper age," Sam called back.
"That's mean. I want a sister to nag and pick on," Dean said, coming halfway up the stairs. "How else am I going to be a great big brother again? If I pick on Sammy he'll talk about changing my diapers to the girls I'm hitting on." He went back down to his room. "We need to switch out the crib."
"Buffy said this weekend," he reminded him.
"I know." He took his sandwich to the couch. "She wouldn't have hit me."
"No, she probably wouldn't have," he agreed. "I wonder why it's so strong."
"Xander," Sam moaned. "Recovery time?"
"Is unnecessary at our age," Xander assured him.
John walked up and closed their bedroom door then came back down to eat his sandwich and watch tv with his son. "Are you creeped out by this?" he asked quietly.
"A bit but I know he did it because he loved me and would've died without having me around to pick on him." He ate a bite, looking at his father. "I'm mad at Annabelle for not telling me she had a plan and dying while we were having sex."
"She had to, son. I looked at the rite and it said it had to be a self-sacrifice. She had to start it off and Sammy had to finish it. Without telling you."
"I didn't know a thing about it until he walked me to the altar in the woods and had me strip naked. I caught some of the Latin he was chanting over the dagger but before I could argue with him I was gone. I did realize where I was for a second, I think."
John smiled. "You can get him back for that."
"Oh, I have plans," Dean assured him smugly. "I've already peed on him."
"That's a good start, son. Did Xander yell at him?"
"You know, I don't remember too much until the growth charm kicked in. I remember being held and rocked. I remember they had a huge fight because Xander wasn't home for four days." He finished his dinner and leaned against his side. "I know Xander's pretty worried that he has nothing he can teach me but he's been great to me. That's why I want him to have another one. That way Sammy can have his normal life and I can be a great uncle, or big brother. Something like that." He looked at him. "I'm told I used to fuss unless I had my sort of music and the girls weren't cooing at me inside him."
"Sam said anything mushy around you got Xander kicked. He's not a bad mother. A bit bouncy and hyper. Still could use the training you're getting. Are you doing okay?"
"What Buffy's teaching me is good for me," Dean said. "It's helping my balance issues and stuff."
"Good." He stroked over his hair. "Have you seen his parents hanging around?"
"Redirected Sammy. They were watching him and me in the park a few times. I think he caught them once."
"We really should sit down and start to talk about the secrets we're hiding from each other," John decided. Dean looked at him. "Xander's got another threat he's not telling Sammy from those doctors."
"Can't we take some of them out? The demons maybe?"
John shrugged. "I'm not sure that's the best thing. That can start a vendetta war and they'd never have peace or be able to keep you safe."
Dean pouted. "Maybe." He changed the channel to the racing network, smiling at the show on engines. "Better."
"Doctor Who marathon starts in an hour," Xander called. "Don't get that comfy."
"Yes, Mom," Dean called. He rolled his eyes. "Geek." John laughed. "He had a point. I could learn to appreciate their geek sides. Think Willow and Tara are staying together?"
"I think Willow might need her as a leash," he admitted. "She's pulling some impressive skills that would usually get a guardian in her face. Tara isn't."
"Tara nagged her a few times. She was using magic to change her clothes the other day before class."
John looked at him. "That's overboard."
"Yeah, but Tara's worried." He looked up at the bedroom. "Family meeting," he called. Sam groaned. "After that. Please. I don't need to see it." They came down dressed in sweats a few minutes later. "Tara's been fussing at Willow over her magic."
"I've fussed at her, Giles has fussed at her," Xander agreed, changing the channel to SciFi. He sat on the other end of the couch, pulling his son over. "Tara only has to ask to get help with an intervention, Dean. If she pulls something too bad, Giles might ask Ethan to come see her to talk up Janus."
"You guys know someone who does that sort of chaos magic?" John asked, looking worried.
"Halloween. Band candy," Xander said dryly. "Yeah, we know him."
"Why does he like bothering you guys so much?" Sam asked, snuggling in on Dean's other side. "Hey, the new one and Torchwood eps. Thanks, Xander."
"Welcome." He grinned. "It's my version of geek." Dean poked him. "Ethan was part of Giles' rebellion against the Council's ways that his father told him he was going to follow. Ethan went too far so Giles walked away to go back to stuffier British things instead. I still don't like that Giles gave him to the Initiative the last time he showed up." Sam gave him a horrified look. "We knew by then what they were doing. That's why I slipped him a message before we went in for that last assault, so he could get himself free. No one deserves that, even my worst enemy. Even Spike and he was annoying and a pain in our ass long before they got him. I wouldn't let anyone stay there. That's why I let the other demons loose when we were done."
"Half of them were harmless sorts anyway," Dean said. Sam looked at him. "I asked and Tara explained it to me."
Xander nodded. "They didn't care what you were as long as you were born funny," Xander agreed. "They took Oz even though he had control of his werewolf and only lost it when he found out Willow had lied to him. They didn't care if they were kids, harmless, harmful, human most of the time. Then again, most werewolf hunters don't care that they're human most of the time from the ones we've seen." He shrugged. "It seems to be a common problem."
"I didn't know there were harmless demons like those," John said.
"Sam said the same thing," Xander assured him. "Sam, popcorn?" Sam grinned, going to make some. He looked at Dean. "Why did you ask her?"
"You'd sugarcoat it."
Xander considered it. "I'd prefer to wait until the higher brain functions came back for the more gory details," he admitted finally. Dean nodded. "About the same time you're ready to start hunting we'll give you those things if you still want to know."
"I can agree to that," John said. Dean looked at him. "Seven was too young. Even Pastor Jim thumped my ass over that one, Dean."
"It was necessary. It was attacking Sammy." He looked at Xander. "He draws demons like you do."
Xander grinned. "Then it's a good thing we block each other's summoning waves, huh?"
"Very." He settled in to watch this, frowning. "Huh? Phone booth?"
"The phone booth is called a Tardis. Inside it's infinitely large." He looked at Dean. "The doctor is a time lord who goes back and forth through time to fix mistakes and things." Dean gave him a look. "It's funny and odd and has some action. You'll like it." He took his bag of popcorn when Sam came back, sharing it with his son. Dean still watched it, he'd give it a try. If only so he could understand his little brother when he went geek the next time.
Sam snickered at a few things, leaning his head on Xander's shoulder to get comfortable. "The old series was less detailed and less open about things," he told Dean quietly. "I heard Torchwood even has gay characters."
"Hmm," Xander agreed since his mouth was full.
Dean shook his head. "I still like girls."
"Good. Pick nice ones," Sam told him. "Learn how from Buffy and Tara."
Dean smirked. "I can do that."
"Then it'll make you a better boyfriend someday." He patted his hair. "Need another haircut."
"When the sun comes out tomorrow," Xander said.
Sam popped him lightly on the top of the head. "No channeling Annie."
"Dean, poke him for abusing me?"
Dean moved to tickle Sam, making him wiggle and shriek. "No abusing the Mommy." He smirked at him. "I'm so going to pay you back. Xander, do you know what Sam used to go as on Halloween?"
"Me?" he asked with a grin.
Dean snickered. "That would've been cute. No, he went as a sheet ghost one year."
"Pissed me off to no end," John agreed. "I hate that holiday. Why is Tara going to the coven thing?"
"Because she's a witch and they do those things?" Xander suggested. "There's a good reason behind the holiday, and the Day of the Dead stuff that other places do, John. Some people use it for their own ends and some don't."
He shook his head. "If you say so."
"I went down for the local Day of the Dead celebration at Stanford my freshman year," Sam admitted, climbing back onto the couch with Dean in his lap. "A lot of the families used it to get over the grief of losing someone. They take propitiating their relatives very seriously."
Xander poked him on the arm. "I hate it when Willow and you talk over my head."
"They use it to soothe the ghosts and to make them pass on, let them know everything's all right," Sam told him with a small grin. "They have a lot less hauntings too."
"Interesting. I didn't think there was a reason for that celebration," John admitted.
"The Pagan holiday is the same way," Xander told him, looking over. "Celebrating with those who have passed on but come back for the night because the barrier is thinnest. That's why there's a rite, a meal, all that stuff." Sam gave him a look. "Willow explained it to me back in high school."
"We should trick or treat this year," Dean decided.
"We'll be having an apocalypse and even though it's supposed to be a night of rest for the slayer we never get it off; we have double patrols starting on trick-or-treat night until the night afterward."
"Shoot," Dean said. "No candy?"
"We can buy you candy," Sam promised. "Apparently we'll be up by San Francisco for it."
"Yup," Xander agreed happily. "So I don't have to worry." Dean poked him. He looked at him. "We're having our next apocalypse, Dean. I don't want you to be affected, I don't want Sam's nightmares to come out and hurt either of you, and with the Council's threat it's better if the three of you head off and take Tara with you."
"Are they being dumb, like the doctors?"
"Doctors?" Sam asked, looking at Xander.
"The one I made cry didn't like me," Xander said, looking at Dean. Dean smirked back. "She didn't."
"Uh-huh," Sam said. "Is this going to be worse than your parents showing up, the demons Angel warned us about, or the apocalypse?"
"They want to do an autopsy to see how he did it," John told him.
"Charming. Can't we just bomb the town?"
"Don't tempt me," Xander said quietly. Dean gaped. He looked at him. "Yes, I do believe in practicalities. Sometimes they create really pretty explosions."
"You're teaching me that, right?" Dean asked.
"Yeah, I'll even teach you do it with dynamite and a cigarillo like Clint did." He winked at him. "Now, watch the show. Learn stuff. This is how I learned a lot of history."
"It's not really accurate, Xander," Sam said quietly.
"That's probably why I flunked but this is more amusing than wars, massacres, cheating and lying on treaties, and the backstabbing politics we have as US history."
"Good point," Sam decided.
John shook his head. His son-in-law was very...unique sometimes. Though he'd help him blow up the town if it got all of them out of there alive. He didn't want vampire sons.
Sam walked into the Magic Box the next morning and smiled. "Spike, Dru's turkey had some sort of potion in it. She really wants Xander to have another kid." He looked at Buffy, who was giving him a horrified look. "It was good turkey though."
"It was in the stuffing," Spike said from the basement doorway. "She said so later. Figured it was too late."
"It was good sex. We'd still need eggs to let him get pregnant and magic to get the eggs past the barrier." He shrugged and headed back to the construction site now that his break was over with. One of the guys gave him an odd look. "What? I'm not allowed to be happy?"
"Have a fun night?" he taunted.
"Great sex then a Doctor Who marathon with Torchwood eps in-between. It was pretty great actually," he said with a grin. He went back to his spot to get back to work. "Warned Buffy, Spike said it was in the stuffing so we can eat the rest later as long as we don't eat where it touched the stuffing," he told Xander when he walked past him.
"Sure, I'm all for that," Xander agreed.
"Can't you two be less gay at work?" that same guy complained.
"No." Xander looked at him. "Deal with it and move on, Joe. I don't care what your opinion is."
"I think you're a fucking disgrace to men," he said, sneering at him.
Xander took off his toolbelt. "Come on."
"What, walking off? Too sissy to fight?"
"The boss didn't want fights on the work site, Joe. You want me, you take it off property with me. This is your only shot so I'd take it now if you're not scared." He got off the grounds and looked at him. "Well? I'm waiting. You wanna try it because you think gay men are punching bags or toys, you come try me now. This is your only chance and if you don't, I don't wanna hear another word out of your mouth."
"You're not crew lead now," he sneered. "Too bad your kid will grow up like you."
"Actually, Dean has a fine appreciation for the female form. You want it, come get it," Xander said, waving him on. "Do it now or shut the fuck up."
Joe sneered, dropping his tool belt. "You're not that good."
"Forgot how I beat your cousin for trying to ticket my car?" he shot back. Joe growled and tried to hit him. Xander got in a few blows then knocked him down. He squatted down next to him, staring at him. "You done yet? Because we're wasting work hours and I really do need my paycheck to pay the rent, even if you don't. Should I have to deal with this issue again, I'll go to the boss and file paperwork to have your ass fired for trying to start shit. It's in the contract you signed when you got hired." He stood up. "Any other comments?" He paused. Nothing was said. "Good, then get back to work, Joe. The house isn't building itself." He walked back on-site, taking his toolbelt back. "Sorry," he told the guy in charge, their boss's son. "He started it. I took it off the site."
"I'm appreciative of that, Harris. You okay?"
"He didn't lay a hand on me after trying that one punch," he said dryly.
"I saw that too." He looked at him. "Where is my father?"
"Hiding so the town's problems don't suck him in," he said quietly. "Why?"
"I figured you'd know since he admitted he got a ride out of town with Winchester and we all know you're together raising your kid."
"The local nightlife got him," Xander told him. His son groaned. "So he took the sensible path. He moved away from the temptation to do stupid stuff or to hunt, where we'd have to cross paths with him."
"I guess that's reasonable. That's why he cut your rent?"
"For us helping him leave," Sam said as he came over. "Is Xander in trouble?"
"No. Joe is for starting that. I told him two weeks ago to lay off the anti-gay stuff. Joe, my office. Now." He looked at them. "How long was it for?"
"He wrote it out," Sam said. "We only asked for a few months so we can afford the baby's food. With the way he's growing he eats like a horse."
The son nodded. "Most kids do. Mine does."
"Dean's doing a year a month," Xander said quietly.
"Then you guys are probably buying out the Sam's club," he decided. "That's fine. Anything else I should know about?"
"Halloween this year is going to be bad and probably bloody," Xander warned. "You might want to set a guard. Sam's going to be out of town protecting the son."
"I saw the leave papers. Sure. Not like I don't know what you two do. The same as Dad did."
"You know, he's the one who told me I was pregnant," Xander said dryly.
"Doesn't really surprise me. You should have another, normal one."
"Maybe some year," Xander said.
"Dean wants a little sister to torment," Sam said with an evil smirk. The boss walked off laughing. "I could use some help with the cabinets."
"Sure, I'm good with helping heft." He followed him inside, nodding at a few of the older guys who gave him wary looks. "I don't care what you think about me and Sam being together. As long as you don't get pushy I could care less. He got pushy. I pushed back."
"You knocked up again?" one guy asked.
"The son wants but no, not at the moment," Xander quipped with a grin. "As soon as I am, you guys will hear second." They smiled and nodded. Sam gave him a look. "I'm sure Buffy and you will hear me screaming first, like the last time."
"You really broke Joyce's door?" Sam asked.
"Four times before you showed up, including the day I found out. I went over to get Buffy to help me kill some witches."
"Thank you for calming that down a little bit before I got here, Xander." He grinned and shifted so Xander could hold the cabinet while he screwed it in.
John drove outside Sunnydale city limits then parked and shifted around until he was stretched out across his truck's seat while he called his friend. "My son is insanely in love and so cute he's gagging Dean," he said in greeting. "Yeah, that one. I'm coming to appreciate Xander's mind. Still want to take the boy and train him but I'm starting to appreciate him. He drives Sam insane trying to protect him. Sam does it back to him. They're both rabid over Dean. Did I tell you yet that the boy nearly shot me when I challenged him having custody?" Bobby laughed. "In the judge's chambers. We brawled, he got my head with the table, then he stood over me with the gun cocked. He hesitated, so I'm happy, but damn he's a strong soul." Bobby said something and he smiled. "They're going to San Francisco for the holiday. We're all going since we're coming on an apocalypse and Xander wanted Dean evacuated for it. Universal Studios before then. I don't know. Do we need me out hunting? He's nearly overrun. It's a nightly war here."
Someone tapped on the window. John rolled it down. "Sir, are you in distress?" the officer asked.
"No, I'm on the phone and I know better than to talk and drive, Officer. I'm bragging on my grandson."
"Oh, that's good. Visiting? I noticed the tags."
"I'm trying to figure that out now. There any good places to get jobs?"
"There's the construction crew."
"I hadn't thought about that. My son-in-law works there. Thanks." The officer nodded and headed off. John rolled up the window and put the phone back to his ear. "They're really nice around here." He watched him drive off. "Clueless but nice." He smiled. "Dean's fine. His appendix nearly burst so the boy had to get mean with a doctor who thought it was gas pains. No, he's under a few different death threats at the moment. With the apocalypse he said we had to take Dean and Sam both out of town just in case. We're good so far. Not too many fights. While we were waiting at the courthouse Sam realized that him standing between me and the kid was how Dean felt standing between me and him. We worked it out a few minutes later. Xander laid down the law, he had some good points, and I'm still training him. Watching them train him and stepping in to help now and then," he told him.
"Buffy's working on some skills right now so he doesn't stumble as often from the rapid growth. Xander's working on Latin and Spanish. Sam's doing a lot of work with his training too. Ten. The local gun range won't let anyone below that out there. We already checked. He's been good to my boy so far. He's scary when he's in protective mode over him. Oh, get this. There's an insane vampiress who wants the whole family to be turned. Broke in last night to bake a turkey with a lust and fertility potion in the stuffing she baked inside it. Honestly. We came home from patrol and found it baking, Bobby." Bobby snickered something. "Sam tested a bite and pounced Xander. Then Xander made us watch Doctor Who with him when they were done." He laughed. "Druscilla." He sat up at the mention of what he knew on her. "She is in our books? I didn't think we kept anything on their kind. Oh, you went looking. That's fine. Got anything on Angel? He's a bit creepy but somehow a good guy even though he's a vampire." He listened to him run down all of them. Spike and Angel were horrifying. "Any idea on the sire's location?" He nodded. "I'll ask then. Yeah, Spike's still here. He's helping Dean with a few moves too. Still chipped. He considers him a good distraction I guess."
He listened to more information. "I'll be damned. That's what the kid meant with 'he lost his soul when he got the happies'." He smirked. "I guess they did sometime. He said that Buffy girl is the love of his life. Do we have anything on the Initiative bastards? I want to make sure they're fully gone. The ones who chipped Spike. Yeah, they were military. Torturing, killing, mind control agents, all that. In my military! I should go kick some ass higher up. No, they stopped it here and drove them off. I want to make sure they're gone so they can't come for the boys again. Thanks." He grinned. "Dean's been asking for a little sister." Bobby laughed so hard he dropped the phone so he grinned and waited. "He's promised to spoil her rotten too," he said when he said something again.
"I don't know. Xander still thinks that Sam's going to take off with Dean to hunt again. He's been telling him he has to wait for anything until Dean's his proper age. Which is cautious of him and probably a good idea in case things change. I really don't want to see the kid hurt but I know I raised Sam better than that. I've suggested them picking an area to settle in and protect a few times. Both boys. I'll get Xander later. Yeah, I could like the kid. Even if is trying to psych himself up to losing Sam. I'm here. My phone's dying," he said at the beep. "But I'm here and you can find me on Sam's phone too, Bobby. Thanks for doing that digging for me. I don't want to worry Sammy. Later. Be safe." He hung up and turned back around, driving back into town. "Giles," he said, walking into the store a few minutes later. Giles looked up at him. "I'm staying."
"The job base around here isn't perfect but there's usually openings. I know where the local job service office is. Or, actually." He got today's paper and held it out. "They were looking for someone to help with the morgue if you wanted to do that. Perhaps salting and implanting tiny stakes before they're sent to the funeral home?"
"That's a bit creepy but it might be okay." He sat down to read it over. "Casket company?" Giles nodded. "How nice?"
"Xander's father works there," he warned.
"Dean said he's seen at least one of the boy's relatives watching him and Sammy in the park."
Giles stiffened, staring at him. "Repeat that please?" John nodded. "He's sure?"
"He thinks so. He thinks Sam saw one but he never told Xander."
"No it's best they not tell him. He would go into a rage and go deal with them." He considered it. "Let me inform Willow. She'll want to handle this." He went to the office to do that.
John went back to the want ads. There was plenty of physical labor jobs around if you wanted to do grunt work. It didn't bother him and it'd be steady until Dean finished growing up.
John sat down across from Sam at lunch, handing him a bottle of juice. "I can't find Tara."
He checked his watch. "She's probably in science class so Willow should have him."
"No, Willow's at the shop."
"Haven't seen her yet but maybe."
Xander sat down next to Sam. "Joyce has him. Tara texted me."
"Oh good," John said. He looked at Xander. "I'm staying until he's normal."
"As long as it's not on the couch," Xander said dryly.
"I'll be starting work by the docks on the tenth. Sooner if I get back sooner."
Xander shrugged. "Hard labor."
"Very but it's good for me."
"If that's what you want." John nodded. "Okay. They do check references."
"I had Bobby go over things. You went there?"
"They fired my father for lying on his ap two years ago."
"Oh." He leaned on the table. "When I swung by the house, someone was there taking pictures."
"Social worker?" he asked, looking concerned.
Xander pulled out his wallet, showing him the pictures. "Anyone in there."
He pointed. "I saw him in the car."
Xander nodded, looking up the table. "Boss, my parents are trying something. They were taking pictures of my house. If you hear I've been arrested give me a few days to get out on bail please?"
The crew lead gave Xander a horrified look. "I remember your father, Harris."
"So do I. Pity." He gave him a look. "I should go talk to my Uncle Rory too." He stood up. "Boss?"
"Go. Be pissed out there. See what you can do to stop them."
"Oh, I plan on it."
Sam coughed. "Dean's caught someone watching him in the park a few times but we could never associate them with anything," he admitted. Xander gave him a look. "That's why he makes you take him to the other park."
"Who?" he asked.
"He thought the lady looked like you," Sam said.
"That would be my mother. I look a lot like her." He put his wallet back into his pocket and finished his soda on his way to the car. He calmly drove home, finding someone sitting across the street. He got out and slammed the door, walking over there. "You're watching my building why?" he asked.
"I'm here to give you this, Mr. Harris." He handed over the paper. "From your parents."
"My parents are scum sucking maggots. They're paying you? Has it bounced yet?"
"No, sir, others are paying me." He drove off. Xander shot out his tire, making him hop out to yell at him. "Who the hell do you think you are! I'm calling the cops!"
Xander pointed at the one up the street, who parked and got out. He looked at the papers, then giggled and let the officer have it. "He's been following my son around, taking pictures of the house. He handed me that then drove off after telling me he's working for people other than my parents."
The cop looked at it then at him. "Same judge too. You're blessed."
"No, not yet." He looked at the guy. "Who's paying you?"
"A few groups who don't want gay people to raise kids," he sneered. "We're very religious."
Xander took out a small vial and snapped it in front of him, watching him dance away from the vapors. "If you were religious you wouldn't care about holy water." He stepped closer. "Who did she hire?"
"Find out yourself," he sneered.
"Oh, I plan on it." He looked at the officer. "Can you arrest him for following my son around?"
"I can bring him downtown on that." Xander grinned. "Where is he?"
"Joyce had him the last I knew. Tara has science class."
"No, I've seen her."
"Hmm." He nodded, walking off. "Please take him before my temper comes out." He got into his car, heading for his old place. "Joyce, who has my son?" he asked when she answered the gallery's phone. "I see. Anyone we know?" He nodded. "Did we tell anyone? That's good. Thank you." He hung up and called 911. "This is Alexander Harris. Someone broke into the Summers Art Gallery at gunpoint and stole my son." He parked so he could look at the house. "I do know who did it, Joyce Summers identified him to me as my Uncle, Rory Harris. Whose car is at my parents' house. Yes, that house, ma'am. I'm there and either armed officers come get them and keep me from killing them or I'm going to get my son back myself. Please. I'm here and someone was just arrested by my apartment because he's been taking pictures of him and my building. He admitted to stalking my son. You might tell the officer about the kidnaping earlier. No, Joyce was watching him while our sitter was in class. Thank you, yes, I'm here." He hung up and waited. Ten minutes later two patrol cars pulled in. He got out and walked over there. "Joyce said she's all right?"
"She's got a black eye," one of them admitted. "She didn't tell me it was your uncle, Harris."
Xander grinned. "She wanted me to hear first." He pointed at the house when his son screamed. It was in frustration, not pain thankfully. Or else the cops would've been stopping him by now. "You have seconds before I make a mess." They went over and knocked on the door, one of them kicking it in at the next scream. Xander followed calmly, scooping up his son to look at him. "You yelled?"
"Who are these people!"
Xander looked around. "Well, that one's the one who gave sperm to have me. The one drinking in the kitchen is the one who gave birth to me. Of course, Aunt Willow raised me." He pointed. "That's a Ganflenick demon. They're stupid and usually just muscle. The other two appear to be ministers."
"They were trying cast out spirits," Dean said dryly, giving him a look. "I already had a bath today."
"Hmm." Xander grinned. "Don't you worry." He handed the officer his son. "Can I talk to them for a minute?"
"We can't let you hurt them, Harris. You know that."
"Shoot. Not even the strangers who helped kidnap the child I gave birth to?"
"Well...." He looked at the guy stomping in. "Sir," he said, snapping to attention.
"No, you can't hurt them, Harris." He handed him the papers. "You forgot those."
"I don't want those. Nowhere in there does it give them the right to kidnap my son at gunpoint."
"No, none of those are custody forms," he said, seeing the higher temper. "Your kid all right?"
"One was trying to cast out demons," Dean sneered. "I'm not happy."
Xander took him back. "Let's be not happy together. Oh, people, he'll be out of town on that date. It's been planned ahead of time. Sorry but we've been told there's going to be a violence upswing that week and I didn't want him exposed. He'll be with his father, grandfather, and aunt until the eighth." He looked at the officer. "Put them in jail or I'm putting them away myself," he said quietly. The higher officer nodded. "Thank you." He walked off, looking at Dean once he was outside. "Need a shower, the ER, or just a hug?"
"Hug's nice," Dean decided. Xander clearly needed a hug to calm down and Sammy wasn't there. He had been worried about him, like a real parent. "It was better that Auntie Willow raised you." He gave him a hug all the way back to the car. Xander smiled before getting him into his booster seat and getting in to drive. "Where are we heading?"
"The site. Joyce said she wasn't telling anyone until after I got there." He grinned back at him. "I wouldn't worry about it, son." He started the car and drove off, heading back to work. It was still lunch so he walked Dean over, sitting down after shoving the guy next to Sam. He handed over the paperwork. "My parents had a Ganflenick, two ministers, and whatever the guy who was waiting and lurking to serve those with them was. Someone's paying for the lawyer. Uncle Rory walked into the gallery with a gun and hit Joyce to get him. The cops said I can't put them under the ground so they're taking them away now."
"They were mean, stupid, and still drunk," Dean said.
"They're never not drunk," Xander said. "I used to think they put it in their toothpaste in the morning."
"Eww." Dean looked at Sam. "They said Xander couldn't hit them. I wanted to see him break bad."
John looked at the seething parents. "Want me to watch him with Tara, boys? That way someone armed is around in case they try again?"
"No, I don't think it's going to be a problem except for the religious nuts after tonight. I'm pretty sure one was Reverend Jones. He's the guy on the edge of town that's always running the tent revivals and supposedly heals people. I've never been but it looked like his picture that you see in the paper now and then. The other guy I'm not really sure but he was a Catholic priest, or wearing their uniform."
"We have one of those," Dean said dryly. Sam nodded at that.
"Do we think it was just anti-gay people?" Sam asked calmly.
"I doubt they'd be associating with a Ganflenick."
"Good point. Then who?"
"There's someone we should go talk to later," Xander decided. "Oh, same judge. Might be a problem there." He got up. "Wave bye and we'll go to the Magic Box." Dean waved, stealing Sam's snack cake. "Later, family." He walked off, taking half of the cake for himself. "We have box in the car," he said when Dean made protesting noises. He got him into his booster seat and got him another twinkie then headed to the Magic Box. He walked in with the baby, nearly getting pounced by Tara. "You okay?"
"I didn't think they were going to hurt her. Someone was following me around this morning while I went grocery shopping. That's why I let Joyce have him."
Xander kissed her on the forehead. "It's not your fault. They even had ministers, Tara." She growled. "I know. You know. I'm calling Cordy so she knows." She snickered. "We need to see if this is demon related. You know what? You guys call Cordy, I'm going to Willie's. Be back soon." He walked off, heading for the demon bar. He walked inside and everyone stared. "She's in English class. It's just me." He walked over to one of the demons in the back, hauling him up. "Why are your kind working with my parents?" The demon gave him a horrified look. "Tell me now or tell me after I break your jaw." The demon laughed so he hit him and kicked him into the wall, then kicked his jaw to break it. "Well?" It mumbled something. Xander stared. "And?"
"You profaned the gift," he slurred.
"No I haven't. Sam and I have been talking about a second child." The demons all gave him horrified looks. "Once Dean's his normal age. Dean wants a sister," he said with a grin. "Now, who's paying for them? Wolfram and Hart? The Council? Religious nuts?" The demon nodded at that one. "Only them? With a demon involved?"
"The Council put them onto your case," it admitted. "Paid them to pay the others from what the clan heard."
Xander leaned down. "Coming near my son is suicide. Are you getting the same 'can you hear me now' I am?" The demon nodded quickly. "You're going to tell the clan leaders? Because they *kidnaped* my son from *Buffy's mother* earlier at *gunpoint*," he said slowly and clearly. "Buffy's mom has a black eye from my uncle." The demon started to cry. "You had better stop this shit before we stop this shit. Because Buffy and I can do a mean impersonation of a tornado through a closed cave system like your clan lives in." The demon nodded. Xander hauled him up. "Anything else I should know?"
"No," he said weakly. "Are you getting married?"
"I told Sam he can't ask until Dean's his right age. Then we can make those decisions since they used to travel all the time." He stared at him. "Not that it's anyone else's business."
"Yes, Harris," he said, backing away. "Where is Buffy?"
He checked his watch. "She gets out of English in five minutes. It's a ten minute jog from the campus..... You've got maybe ten of that to get the person who did it and hand them to her because her phone's off in class." The demon nodded and ran from the bar. He looked at Willie, then around. "For future reference, yes, Sam does like playing with my stomach. He thinks it's cute. We are talking about a second child but no concrete plans have been made yet and we'll be asking Tara for eggs if we do decide to do it. It's not profaning it, otherwise the thing would close. He's even offered to carry the next one since he's the one who cast the rite for Dean's conception. Any other concerns about my body?"
"He was touching it," one said miserably.
"Yeah, and it felt good. Sam likes to touch it. I don't mind if it touches it. It's my body! Humans are like that!" he snapped. "Hell, look at the porn we've created. If some, but not all of us, just a small percentage, humans like to screw dogs, horses, and sheep, then some of us would play with the new sex organ. Logical, right?" They all nodded, especially that one. "If I hear one more *hint* of someone coming after me for him playing with it and us thinking about a second child, Buffy won't need to hear. Remember, I'm the explosives expert on the team. Can we all get this same signal?" They nodded quickly. "Good. Then I'm going to assume this matter has ended. Any other questions?"
"He didn't propose?"
"He did the day he showed up and five other times. I'm still not doing anything until I know what the son wants to do when he's his right age since he and Sam used to travel all the time. It's not fair to tie them *here* with all the demons here since they mostly did ghosts and poltergeists and things." He walked off, finding Buffy stomping his way. "The demon's going to give the one who did it to you."
"That's good! Where is it?"
"Telling his clan leader. You got out early?"
"Couple minutes early." She looked around, noticing the one coming. "That one?" Xander looked then nodded. "Hmm. Anything else I should know?"
"That'll be announced tonight," he said, waving at the demon. "Good timing."
The demon dropped the other's corpse. "He's the one who went with Harris' uncle to hurt your mother and steal his child. He was very sorry first. It was not a clean death. The clan does not honor these issues, no matter who pays us. It was wrong and stupid. My clan leader sends his apologies, Slayer."
Buffy looked at the mangled corpse then at him. "It had better never happen again."
"Who was following Tara around?" Xander asked. The body was pointed at. "No others involved?" He shook his head quickly. Xander patted her purse down, coming up with a vial, which he poured over the body, making it steam, smoke, and dissolve. "Buffy?"
"If they didn't do it I'm not going to bother them. It had *better* not happen again." He shook his head quickly, looking down. "Thank you." She took Xander's arm. "Your uncle?"
"In jail. I let the cops go in first instead of breaking down the door and killing. I didn't want to take another shower today and since I got handed forms for a custody hearing, again, I decided it'd be better to have some official paperwork." They walked back to the Magic Box, and inside. "Joyce, the demon who was there suffered greatly before his clan killed him for such stupidity." She smiled at that. "My family's been arrested and so have the two ministers they had there." She gave him a look. He looked around. "Sam, work? Rent, dear?"
"We can still cover it. We've been saving," he reminded him. "And?"
"The council paid the ministers to give a damn." Giles broke something. "Anyone mind if I blow their asses up since they're funding the legal whatever-it-was?"
"Not anymore," Willow said happily. "Let me see what I can do, Xander."
Xander grinned at Giles, then at Sam. "I also had a talk with one of the demons who thought you were profaning the sacred spot the other night. He understands better now. I had to put it in terms of 'if there's humans who do sheep, of course there's humans who play with the new hole' but he got the point and asked when we're marrying."
"As soon as you let me," Sam told him. "You know that."
"When Dean's his proper age," Xander said slowly and clearly.
Willow got her laptop out and got to work on something. "Xander, sweetie, you need money, right?"
"We all could use some money. I could use some new shoes," Buffy said happily.
"I can do that," Willow said cheerfully. She got to work hacking the system over there. Not like it wasn't pitiful. When she was in she removed the bounty on Xander and her, plus the new one on Giles. She adjusted Xander's file but printed down the old one. She even made a note on the bottom that there had been inaccuracies so she wikki'd it for them. She did include a mention of Xander's temper and how much he liked fireworks, especially when people were the fireworks. Then she got into the other files. She found the money accounts and wiped them bare. She found the hidden accounts and wiped them bare. Sam whispered in her ear and she smiled a mean, evil kitty smirk at him and changed the names of things so that those who had access to the files were basically the two cats in the family and the password would take months for them to crack since it was a mathematical formula plus answer. From the Harry Potter books; which they loathed. The last part of the formula was another formula itself and only she knew the answer it came out as since it was her magical math. Then she sealed her hole and logged in under that ID to crash their system. From Traver's office. She giggled at them and moved the money to American banks in their names. The wire transfer got some attention from the Feds but she had covered it as 'shopping trip in LA for young, rich lady' under a reason. "We can hit LA tomorrow," she announced.
"We have to work," Xander said dryly. "Give us our cut."
She beamed. "I can do that. Buffy?"
"Better shoes that way. Mom?"
"I have a client tomorrow. Don't buy anything trashy, dear."
"Yes, Mom." Xander gave her an evil smirk and handed over a baby picture of Dean, making her snicker. "Sure, I'll make Cordy yell again. She's not used to having her blood pressure raised anymore."
"Of course not, we broke up," Xander said. He smiled as he took his son back. "Want to hit the park?"
"Is it safe?"
"They're in jail, son. Uncle Rory was on probation for DUI." He gave him a smug look. "Let's see how much he likes the gang members this time." He walked off with him, going to play and swing in the park for a while. It was good for them to play.
John relaxed. "Sam, your boy's temper...."
"I know, Dad. Trust me I know."
"I haven't seen him that pissed in ... ever," Buffy said. "Even when he found out Anya had left the baby alone for a few minutes and Dru was bouncing him on his knee. I'm really sorry for the destruction now but I had nothing to do with it. He even made the demons apologize and drag the corpse to me."
Giles' phone rang. "Magic Box, how may I help you?" He smiled. "Quentin. How nice to hear from you. Yes, she's here. Willow?" He handed over the phone.
She took the phone. "Yes?" She listened to him complain. "Then next time don't come near Sunnydale or our kids, Travers. Pity." She hung up. She went back to their system and snickered, doing something very mean to it. She put it online. Sam gave her a horrified look. She then sent a link to the FBI because they had weapons. She knew they had weapons. The inventory of weapons were some of the internal files she had put online. She was even nice enough to give them a link directly to it.
"Ooooh," Buffy said, wincing some. "That's mean."
"Yup," Willow said happily. "I'm having fun now." Tara handed her one of the cookies she had made last night. "Aww, I earned Dean bribery cookies?"
"You need the chocolate," she said quietly.
"I haven't even done anything magically."
Tara kissed her on the cheek. "Do that later if they try again." The phone rang and Buffy got it this time.
"Magic Box," she said happily. "I don't know where they disappeared to, Travers. Maybe next time you shouldn't try to take Xander's bellybutton baby. Oh, people are putting in their votes for the next one. Dean wants a little sister, you want him to have a boy or a girl from his bellybutton this time?" She listened to him make horrified noises. "Twins? Really? Sure, I can see that happening. Sam, twins?"
"I'd love any that came to be," he said, getting up to take the phone. "Travers, Sam Winchester. Really?" he said with a snicker. "Because our whole family aren't hunters? Yeah, that sort. Xander's mine now. I did the rite, Travers, not him. The demon decided to put him into Xander. No, that's my brother, Dean. I'm sure you'll be seeing him in a few more months too." He smirked. "Oh, I'm very certain of it. Really, want to ask my dad?" He snickered. "No, Willow brought him back. Yeah, all three Winchesters are back together and we're all looking forward to more bellybutton babies from Xander. Especially when we marry next year sometime. Buffy's going to make a very good attendant on my side." Buffy hugged him. "That's all right though because now that we know here isn't mythical, a few of us are going to be settling locally to help her even more." Travers choked and started to splutter. "Anything else you wanted to know?" The wheezed bribe made him laugh. "Oh, that's so pitiful even if you could do that. No, I'm fairly certain you don't have the funds for that, Travers. Thank you for joking though. Now, anything else? Willow has a witch thing to do tonight." Travers moaned and the phone fell from his hands. "Hmm, sounds like he passed out." He hung up. "He offered me half a mil for Xander's body so they could examine it. Mindless but living was fine or dead."
"Interesting," Willow said, going to look at Travers' funds. "No, he's in debt so high he's been sponging off the Council."
"Dad, he really hated the idea of hunters showing up here."
"As long as they don't get in my way," Buffy told him.
"It'll probably cut down on the problems you have," John said, pulling out his cellphone to dial a number. "Jo? It's John. Yes, I'm back from Hell. Like they'd keep me. Get your mom for me please?" He smirked at the complaint. "Because I think she can steer some of the younger bucks this way and let them get some good training. Sunnydale, the hellmouth. I know it's mythical to us but it's not. Sam found it. He found a slayer too." Buffy grinned. "She's a nice girl. Petite, blonde."
"Former cheerleader," Willow said loud enough to be heard on the other side.
"What Rosenburg said. Yeah, that's her. Sitting here next to her. Waiting on Dean and his new mommy to get back. Yeah, that's what Sammy did. He's cute." He grinned. "Well, Buffy needs to date better and she'll have to have someone who understands. She likes 'em slightly older too. They've got vampires and multiple classes of demons we've never seen, including some harmless ones. Then again they've got ones that're so harmful they're kill on sight. We're doing a nightly patrol, Jo. They could use the backup. Yeah, that's us. We can swing that way on the way to Universal Studios with Dean next week. That'll work. Thanks, Jo. Yeah, I'm at this number from now on or you can find me on Sammy's cell. Thanks." He hung up. "She'll tell Ellen and see if anyone wants to come out this way to settle down with you, Sammy."
Sammy gave him a look. "You want us to pick this area instead of near home?"
"I think it'd be okay. Or at least nearby. No one's been doing ghosts around here. There's a huge haunting population up north by about an hour."
"I was up there looking for Xander," he admitted.
"You and Dean would have plenty of work to do. Xander could come back or live here whatever you guys decided. It'd be good for you two to settle down, especially if you're going to give Dean a little sister." He grinned at his son. "I doubt Dean could take a babyseat in the Impala and Xander."
"I know. We're still talking, Dad. How do I convince him I'm not leaving when Dean's of the right age?"
"Have Dean do it," Willow said. Buffy nodded. "Even then, it'll only help a bit."
Sam sighed, rubbing his eyes. "Good to know. I'm trying."
"We know you're not playing with him," Buffy promised. "Xander's stubborn and now you know why he doesn't believe in people wanting more than sex and snuggles from him." Anya walked in. "We're having fun destroying the Council."
Anya blinked. "Why?"
"They paid some ministers, who paid some people to help Xander's parents get custody of Dean," Sam told her.
"Are they living?"
"The parents were arrested," Joyce said. "The judge is out of town so they're staying in jail at least for tonight."
"Were at the house according to Xander," Sam said with a grin.
"Are we bombing the Council?"
Willow smirked meanly. "No, I had an idea."
"Oooh," she said weakly. "Well, I suppose the remains can reform. Maybe Giles can head it. Or Xander. At least then the girls would get to laugh and stuff." She kept hold of the doorknob. "Should I worry about invasions?"
"That's Halloween this year," Buffy told her.
"I'll be out of town then," she decided. "Should I call some of my former coworkers for Xander?"
"Dean's fine, he sneered at them," John assured her.
Anya just nodded. "Uh-huh. Where is he?"
"Playground with Dean," Sam said with a grin. Anya whimpered again. "It'll be fine."
"He's creating an alibi."
"That's fine," Sam promised. An officer walked in. "Yes, sir?"
"Guys, let us handle the Harris issue, please?"
"Sure, go right ahead and handle the Harris'," Willow agreed cheerfully. "We're going to handle the people who paid the ministers. They're in England."
"Sure," he decided. "That's fine. Um, Winchester, we have them in the car. Xander was teaching your boy about explosives. We didn't think that was a good idea in a public park. Can you maybe do whatever you did to make the demons run off crying? Now?"
"Sure, I'll try to calm him down," he promised with a grin. "Thanks."
"Not an issue. Oh, thank him for beating my cousin. He deserved it." He went to get Xander and the baby, giving them a nudge inside. "Your boy's still here." He got in and drove off.
Xander stomped inside. "They decided I'm turning Dean into a terrorist."
"He'll be a hunter with a very broad education," John promised, taking Dean from him. Xander scowled. "I get to hug him too. The officer wanted Sam to do some tension breaking so go have some fun together. We'll watch 'em and I'm armed, like usual." Xander pouted. "Go. Now. Sammy?" Sam drug Xander off to have some fun since they had a lot of babysitters at the moment. He looked at Dean. "He any good with them?"
Dean nodded. "He even told me how to combine a few demons' blood and one part to make a timed explosion. It was neat." He grinned. "I'll have to try that sometime."
"We don't carry the part here," Giles said dryly. "Because I know Xander learned how to do that."
"Xander pointed one out to me," Dean said with a grin. "He said that they're harmful because they eat laundry and got some of Aunt Buffy's panties once."
"Oh, them," Buffy said, grimacing. "Yeah, I was about to beat them all to death for that." Her mother gave her that look that said she needed spanked. "It was my Victoria's Secrets panties, Mom."
She shook her head. "Only destroy the ones who did it, Buffy, not all of them for that."
"They ate the green skirt too."
"I wondered why I hadn't seen that recently." She stood up. "I should get back to work."
"I'll come watch over you," Willow said cheerfully. "I can count it in art class." She walked Joyce back there, chattering about Dean's next stage and how they had to make it more special.
Xander finished the bed and smiled. It was a good size and Dean would grow into it. He heard his kid come in and waved him that way. "Come on."
Dean grinned at his bed. "Thanks, Xander." He gave him a hug around the waist. "It's even big enough for when I'm older."
"That way we won't have to change it again," Sam joked.
Xander grinned. "Yes, you have to put up with the goofy sheets. That's all I got you."
"That's fine." He smiled at the scoobie sheets he had. "Dinner?"
"In an hour, when I order it," Sam said, walking off. "Maybe you should take a nap, Dean?"
"I'm not tired." He went to bounce on it. He was still young enough to get away with that. "This is a good bed." He sat down, seeing the look on Xander's face. He hated the mushy moments! "Maybe I could nap, if I had a story?" he offered hesitantly. He was not used to handling these things but Xander looked so depressed.
"You don't have to do that, Dean," he promised, coming over to give him a hug.
Dean pulled him down. "So? You do the voices better than Sammy does. I'll nap if you'll read." Xander grinned and went to get the book they were working on, settling in with him against his side to read to him. Dean decided he really did need more siblings, or nephews, whatever, because Xander was making one hell of a parent and deserved a bit of normal. He was too strange and stressing him out. He yawned, letting himself fall asleep. Xander was a good mommy.
Xander smiled at the tiny mumble he had heard. "Thanks, Dean. I needed to hear that." He put the bookmark into place and kissed him on the head before carefully getting off the bed and tucking him in. Then he went to sit with Sam on the balcony, snuggling into his side. "He said I'm a good mommy."
"You're a great mommy to him," Sam said, smiling at him. He gave him a kiss. "I'm sure our original one would've loved how you've been handling it." Xander grinned back and relaxed against his side. "We've got to leave in two days."
"He'll have a lot of fun at Universal Studios and you guys might even have fun too. You and your dad are both uptight, you could use the fun."
"Dad will be a bit more tense in the crowd but I'll have fun." He kissed him on the head. "You sure you don't want me to stay? Most of the threats are gone."
Xander shook his head. "No, your nightmares are more dangerous than mine, Sam. Yours have fire and things that could get the rest of us."
"I know." He gave him a cuddle. "It's only for a week and a few days." He felt Xander grin. "I'm being mushy but I'll miss sleeping next to you. You're like a furnace at night that kicks me when I don't cuddle." Xander snickered. "He down?"
"I read him another chapter and he went down."
"Good job." He took a kiss, looking back as the door opened. "Hey, Dad. Let Dean sleep." He went back to kissing Xander. It was one of his favorite things to do.
John let them go at it for a few minutes, looking in the cabinets. The boys ordered out too often. They needed to cook more. He found what he needed and started on dinner, smiling at Dean when he came sneaking out. "Nearly managed it. Good job."
"As good as the first time?"
"Yup." He nodded outside. Dean shook his head, staying with him to help him cook. "You sure?"
"They need time alone. Sam's got separation anxiety or whatever it is when you miss your boyfriend."
"I heard that," Xander called. "No more napping?"
"I'll go back to it later, Mom." He laughed at his dad's look. "He lets me and he did push me out."
"Fine. She wouldn't mind. She would've expected Sam to knock him out and drag him in front of a minister by now, but she wouldn't have minded."
"Mom did that to you?"
"No, we were married before you came to be, son. Not by many weeks but we were." Dean laughed. "She nearly beat me when she found out she was."
"Sammy said Xander threw an urn at his head."
"Doesn't really surprise me. A few of the demons have made sure he's not still having mood swings." Someone pounded on the door. "Who is it?"
Xander got up and opened it, looking at the man on the other side. "You would be?"
"Are you Alexander Harris?"
"Today. Why?" The man scowled at him. "Speak it or I'm closing the door. I don't have the energy for this."
"Are you or aren't you?"
"Depends on who sent you," Sam said, coming up behind him. "You are?" The man's badge came out. "ATF. Interesting. Xander?"
"Not a clue." He let him inside, nodding at the quiet man that had been in the hallway. "What?" He slammed the door, looking at them, arms crossed over his chest.
"Sir, there was a tip handed to us by the FBI about a terrorist group in England and they claim you're one of them?"
"No. I work with someone they fired to keep the town safe but no."
"Um, safe?" the quiet guy asked.
Xander grinned. "Call up Sunnydale in the yearly stats, guys. Or hey, paper?" Sam found it and handed it over. He found the obit's page and held it up. "It was a slow day." They gaped at the ten entries on it. "We usually get six to twelve a night. I'm on the local protection society with one of their former people. Do I know weapons, yeah. I'm a very good shot. Do I have artillery? No, I used the last piece I had to solve an issue that was going to kill a lot of people."
"Would that be the blonde girl in the mall?" the quiet one asked.
Xander nodded. "The blue thing was going to kill others."
"I see." They looked at each other.
The first agent cleared his throat. "Sir, I spent two weeks on the Initiative base." Xander slammed him against the wall, getting into his face. "I never hunted," he squeaked. "I was guarding the scientists when they were taken to trial!" Xander let him go, giving him a cold look. "Who are the ones in England?"
"The ones over slayers who kidnap or buy the future ones so that they don't know anything but them. Including family." The agents moaned. "Not to mention the ones who put a contract out on myself and my son, plus Miss Rosenburg. They paid people to help my parents try to get my son away from me. One of them offered my boyfriend half a mil if he'd hand over my dead body to them."
The first agent shuddered. "Do we know of any in the US?"
Xander shrugged. "Ask Giles if he'll talk. They fired him for giving a damn. The reason behind them is all right but the way they're working sucks. Especially to me."
"I can see why, sir. What sort of weapons do you have?"
"A few shotguns that belong to my boyfriend. Mostly swords, crossbows, and my battle axe."
"That's one impractical weapon," John complained quietly.
Xander glared at him. "I've killed more demons with it than I have with a sword." He looked at the agents again. "Any other questions?"
"Sir, the high school?" the second one asked.
"Necessary. The thing attacking us that killed all those people was killed by it. It's the only way we had. Otherwise we would've done it differently." He shifted his stance. "I led that battle. Why is it a concern now?"
"It's not but they did say that they assigned you to do that."
"No, they kept information from us that made that the only action we had," Xander assured them. "They're worse at sharing than a room full of toddlers." The second agent shuddered and so did Dean. "So, no. That was partially their fault. The only method we had was that one."
"Sir, since you do know, we could offer you a nice job," the first agent offered.
Xander smiled. "I'm a construction guy. I like what I do. I channel most of the urges and knowledge very socially and helpfully."
"I understand, sir. Any weapons around here that you don't know about?"
"You mean like do the demons have stuff? I'm sure they do. I know now and then I manage to get some off the ones we kill." He shrugged. "If they've got something that harmful we usually hear about it and handle it as soon as we hear."
"Thank you for saving our asses, sir," the first agent said. "You sure about the job? We need agents who know what they're doing."
Xander grinned. "I'm not going to college; my military and combat history is not acceptable to the government since one's from a possession and the other's from here. I'm on the same blacklist as the Initiative guys usually are."
"Good to know, sir. How do you know?"
"Can we come to you if we find there's something local that should be turned over?" Xander nodded, grinning some. "Thank you, sir. Have a better night and we're sorry to interrupt."
"Please tell me you got whatever Watcher who told that lie in custody?" Sam asked.
"Oh, yes, sir. The British government raided them earlier for the weapons and tax fraud." He grinned. "Any idea where the money went?"
"Shoe shopping," Xander said dryly. The agents left. Xander closed and locked the door. Then he leaned against it. "That was strange even for Sunnydale. I should tell Cordy, watch her shriek." He grabbed the phone and dialed. "Hey, Cordy. Checking in. The nice ATF agents who just offered me a job said that the Watchers tried to turn me in as a member of their terrorist organization after the British government raided them earlier. Yeah, they wanted me to join the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Nah, I'm still on the Initiative blacklist so I can't become a Fed," he said when she shrieked at him. "Are the girls there yet? Shoe shopping. No, funded. Not by Buffy's mom, Cordy. The Watchers got raided earlier." He snickered at her new rant. "Yeah, tell Angel that. Maybe he and Giles can buy their books or something." She started on another rant. "They offered Sam a half mil for my dead body and were paying people to help my parents take custody of Dean, Cordy. Tax fraud and weapons. Tell Wes if they contact him to remind them that fucking with us is a *bad* thing. Called to make you happy!" He hung up on new screaming, rubbing his ear. "I feel better now."
"Are you the evil Xander?" Dean asked. Willow had told him there was an evil Xander somewhere but he had been half asleep so he wasn't really sure where he was.
"Anya told me once that torture shows love." He grinned at him.
"Thankfully you love me differently," Sam said, giving him a kiss. "Way too mean, Xander."
"Oops, but it's good for her to get excited." He gave him a quick kiss. "You only have to worry if you're using me and then dump me because your friends don't like me."
"Son, take him and make him calm down," John ordered.
"Dinner?" Dean asked.
"Forty minutes, Sammy."
"Yes, sir." He picked Xander up and carried him upstairs to make him sane again the easier way, driving his mind out of his head with sex.
Dean walked up to close the bedroom door then came back down. "That long?"
"He needs more time," he said, handing him his dinner. "They can warm it up. I doubt it won't take longer, Dean." Dean smirked, going over to watch tv while he ate. He only got to do that with his dad. Xander insisted on the table, Willow said it was better for them.
John brought out his own plate, settling in next to him. "Horror movie?" he asked.
"Show coming on after it is pretty cool and the chick's hot," Dean said, eating a bite. "Weapons, guns, and mystical shit."
"That's fine. We'll give it a try." The phone rang so he grabbed it. "What?" He smiled. "It is me, Willow. Cordelia called screaming? Huh. The ATF agents that got told Xander was a part of their terrorist network by the Watchers offered him a job." She shuddered and whimpered, hanging up. "She didn't like that idea either." He ate a bite, agreeing that the girl for the next show was pretty when the preview blurb came on. After a few minutes he smirked. "I wouldn't mind a girl like her."
"She's much too young for me," John said dryly. "Plus way too fashionable, Dean. I like the girl. I respect her, but I could never date her."
Dean sighed. "Pity. She'd be cute and quit fussing so much if she got more sex." Xander squealed. "Like him." John snickered quietly, nodding. "He's been good to us."
"He has. He clearly loves you even knowing all this." He patted him on the head. "We'll be fine, Dean." Dean nodded, going back to his dinner while they watched the show. It was good and she did kick ass nearly as well as Buffy did.
to part 3: