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Wesley considered Xander's refusal to allow anyone to
help him. In the week since the baby had been born...
hatched... he had tried to do it all himself. Today
Wesley was determined to make Xander accept some help
with the baby for his own good as well as the baby's.
Wesley walked up the stairs to Xander's room and could
hear the baby crying. The door was standing open so
Wesley walked in. "Alexander, the baby is crying, what
should I do?" he asked.
"How does the baby look? Human or demon?" Xander asked
tiredly from the bed where he had obviously been
"Human, but angry." Wesley answered.
"Check his diaper." Xander said from the bed.
"It's dry." Wesley yelled over the wailing of the
"Then we need to put a wet one on him. I'll take care of
it..." Xander said through his exhaustion.
"I can change a diaper." Wesley replied indignantly.
"Though this seems the reverse of the way I'm used
"I know. But Willie needs to stay wet. He's twice as
cranky when he's dry." Xander said in an exhausted
Wesley began changing the diaper and said, "Alexander,
you are going to make yourself sick if you don't let
someone help you. Would you allow me to take William for
the afternoon so you can get some sleep?"
"Okay Wesley, you win. Just remember to take a few bags
of blood with you. Warm the blood, not too hot, then put
a towel into a plastic bag and dump the blood into the
towel. Cut the corner out of the bag so that some of the
towel hangs out and Willie will do the rest. He drinks
about a bag at each feeding and feeds about every four
hours." Xander said tiredly.
"And he goes into his demon visage when he is ready to
feed?" Wesley inquired.
"Yes, and remember to keep away from his face about a
half an hour before his feeding time or he WILL try to
help himself. Fred probably should have gotten stitches
and I'm glad that I heal fast."
"I'll remember that, anything else I should know?" Wesley
asked, beginning to wonder if this was such a good idea.
But one look at Xander, laying exhausted on the bed and
he had no doubts.
"Yeah, it's natural to cradle a baby on your chest. Don't
do it, he'll go right for your throat. And when he goes
into game face, watch out for his dorsal fin. I think the
spines are poisonous." Xander nearly mumbled.
"When was the last time William was fed?" Wesley asked,
becoming more concerned at Xander's inability to stay
Xander looked at the clock. "It's been about two hours,
he should be okay for a while. If he starts getting
really fussy, sit him in the shower and rinse him off, he
loves that. The diaper bag is by the door and the blood
is in the refrigerator downstairs. Thank you for doing
this Wesley." Xander mumbled before falling asleep.
* * * * *
In the three days since Wesley had started taking care of
Willie in the afternoons, Xander began to feel like
himself again. He decided that today he was going to
fulfill a promise that he had made in New Mexico. He
walked up to Angel's open office door and asked, "Angel,
do you mind if I use the computer to send a few
As expected, Angel didn't even look up, he just mumbled
"Okay." And continued with his work.
Xander sat at the computer and signed in. As he was about
to hit 'compose' he noticed that he had 162 messages so
he went to his inbox to do some housekeeping. After
deleting some junk mail, he had a total of 37 that were
from actual people. Among those messages were some from
Willow and Faith and one from Buffy.
He considered the best way to proceed and decided to go
in the order that they were received. The story that he
pieced together from the combined emails was that
Cleveland was everything they expected it to be. Life on
the hellmouth of Cleveland was as fast and furious as
Sunnydale had ever been. Willow was mourning Kennedy's
death and Faith was busy nursing Robin back to health.
Buffy and Willow had both asked when he expected to
arrive in Cleveland.
Xander had no desire to go to Cleveland, even if he
weren't considering Willie's safety, it would feel like a
step back. He had been the slayer's sidekick for seven
years, and now he was done. This was a new chapter, and a
new Xander... Alexander. He was a father who had friends
that he respected and that respected him. Although he
hadn't talked to Lorn about getting a job yet, he knew
that he would.
He couldn't say that he had everything that he wanted in
his life, but he felt that he was where he was supposed
to be. So with that in mind he wrote his email. He had
nothing to hide so he carbon copied the message to Buffy,
Faith and Willow.
>I won't be joining you in Cleveland. I am now
>a father and I have to consider the safety of my
>child. See Buffy, I told you my stomach wasn't
>from twinkies. That's right. I gave birth.
>How? Think about all the things that happened
>to me in Sunnydale. Something changed me. It
>doesn't matter what. The child is mine and
>Spikes. No Buffy, he wasn't with you at the time.
>Yes Wil, you were right, I switched teams. And
>No Faith, no details.
>The baby's name is William Jesse Harris. He has
>Spike's eyes. And he is part demon. So I have a
>new way to fight the things that go bump in the
>night. I will raise my son to be a good person.
>He will know that Spike was his father and gave
>his (un)life to protect us all.
>Please be happy for me. My thoughts are with
Xander sent his email and shut down the computer as
Wesley walked in with Willie in tow.
"So how was he?" Alexander asked.
"A perfect gentleman, as always." Wesley said with a
Alexander couldn't understand why but Willie didn't seem
to give Wesley any problems. He thought that he might be
doing something wrong, and began to worry that maybe he
wasn't a good father.
"Alexander? What's wrong?" Wesley asked.
"Wesley, I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Willie always
behaves for you and always seems so happy..."
Wesley frowned at the statement and decided to tell
Alexander the truth. "I haven't been completely honest
with you. William screams and cries as much for me as he
does for you. I just make sure to wash him thoroughly and
put him in a fresh wet diaper before I bring him back to
you. That way when you see him, he's happy. I was only
trying to make it so you wouldn't be concerned about my
Alexander smiled and said, "Thank you Wesley, I was
worried that I wasn't being a good father. Willie is the
most important thing in my life right now."
"No worries there, you are a better father for William
than I could ever be. I wouldn't have thought of half the
things you do to make him happy. You have the instincts
of what's right to do for him as well as the will to keep
trying new things to improve what you can." Wesley said
as a statement of fact.
"Thank you Wesley. I can't even begin to tell you how
much all you've done has helped. I've been thinking about
something that I'd like to discuss with you while
"What would that be?" Wesley asked curiously.
"Well, since Willie was born here, he doesn't
'officially' exist. If something were to happen to me, I
don't know what would become of him, I mean legally. I've
fought demons, a god, and the source of all evil but I've
got to tell you... the California court system scares the
hell out of me. Somehow between the legal system and the
demon community I want to be sure that if something ever
happens to me that you would get custody of Willie... I
mean, if you would be willing to be his god-father... or
is it devil-father in this case... anyway, you know what
"Yes, I do. And yes, I would be honored to be his
guardian in the event that the unforeseen happens to you.
As to the legalities of this situation, I believe that we
should discuss this matter with Angel and Lorn. Amongst
all of us, we should be able to sort out the best way to
protect William's interests." Wesley said seriously.
"Good, I'll talk to Angel later and we can find a good
time for all of us to..." Alexander sniffed the air.
"Wesley, take Willie upstairs and keep him quiet. HIDE!"
Alexander screamed as he ran for the weapon cabinet.
Wesley was stunned for a moment then grabbed the stroller
and diaper bag and ran up the stairs, taking them two at
Alexander was facing the door with a battleaxe in his
hand as the front door opened.
A lone figure walked in and said, "Xander"
Without expression Alexander replied, "Riley."