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Xander watched as The Shamenka left the lobby. He turned
to go back to his room when a quiet voice came from his
"Hi, Charles told me that he met you a couple days ago
you must be Xander you're from Sunnydale aren't you I
heard about Sunnydale on the news I think Cordelia
mentioned that you dated her in high school you knew
Angel back then didn't you and you're one of the Scoobies
from Sunnydale I'd really like to hear the inside story
of what happened there because the news just said
something like a gas main exploded and I know there has
to be more to it than that to blow up most of a town are
you staying here or just stopping for a visit you'll have
to forgive me I talk a little too much when I'm nervous
and it makes me nervous to meet new people and you're
new... to me anyway."
::Blink:: ::Blink:: Xander had to take a few seconds to
process the chatter. It would have taken two espressos
and half a pound of chocolate to get Willow to babble
full-on like that. Finally he answered.
"Uh, Hi. Yes I met Gunn three days ago. I am from
Sunnydale. I did date Cordelia in high school. I knew
Angel, but we didn't get along, my fault. I was a Scooby.
I'll tell you the story of Sunnydale sometime if you'd
like. I'll be staying until I can get my own place. I get
nervous around new people too. I think Wesley mentioned
you, are you Fred?"
Fred just nodded her head shyly.
Xander smiled, feast or famine, she seemed to save all
her speech up for a verbal explosion. After all the
seriousness of Wesley and Angel she was refreshing.
"It's a pleasure to meet you." Xander said sincerely.
"Maybe you could help me, I'd like to call Wesley, do you
have his number?"
Fred nodded and led him to the check-in desk.
Angel had been watching Xander and Fred's conversation
with fond amusement from the doorway of the lounge.
Angel listened as Xander dialed the phone and said,
"Wesley? I hope I'm not bothering you..."
"No, no emergency, I was hoping that you'd visit then
realized that I never invited you, So that's why I'm
calling. Please consider yourself invited." Xander said
"No, just a visit... Wesley my friend, I promise that I
have no motive for asking you over but for the pleasure
of your company..." Xander said, a little
"Good, I'm glad that's settled. Whenever you want to
visit is fine, I just wanted you to know that you are
welcomed..." Xander continued.
"No, we haven't talked about you at all... we've had
other things to discuss. Things were a little tense for a
while but I think we're good now."
"Tomorrow? That would be great, I'll see you then. Good
night." And Xander hung up the phone.
Angel realized from what he heard that Xander truly
didn't harbor any ill will toward him. Angel walked into
the lobby and locked eyes with Xander.
"Do you have time for another talk?" Angel asked, trying
to be friendly.
"Sure, do you mind if we talk in my room, I need to..."
Xander said looking down at the egg.
In response Angel extended his arm toward the staircase
to prompt Xander to lead the way.
* * * * *
Once inside the room, Xander took a few minutes to wet
some towels and settled on the bed, stroking the shell of
"Xander, I wanted to apologize for the way..." Angel
began but was interrupted.
"Angel, I already said that I understand. Do you know why
I told you about what I did?" Xander said seriously.
"Not really." Angel said quietly.
"If there is ever going to be any peace between us, then
we need to be honest with each other. Now that my secret
has been brought out, there is at least the hope of
building something on the honest foundation. Even if you
feel nothing but hate toward me, at least it's honest. I
don't know if I'm making any sense." Xander finished, a
"Yes, you are. So... where do we go from here?" Angel
"With an understanding, I think." Xander said
Angel prompted Xander to continue with a speculative
"I've known you for about seven years, but I don't really
know you at all. So if you'd be willing, I'd like to get
to know you. I'll try to set all my past feelings aside
and get to know the person that you are here, now,
today." Xander said quietly.
Angel nodded and said, "I don't know if this makes sense
but I can't give up my feelings toward the boy who
insulted me and caused me to be sent to hell. But I can
try to get to know the man that you've become. Maybe
looking at it that way, I can let go of the past between
Xander's face lit up with a smile. "I think that would be
a great place to start."
"So what changed you? I mean, did you just wake up one
day with a new attitude?" Angel asked hesitantly, so as
not to offend.
"I wish, but no. Spike happened. He stayed in my
apartment for a while. He got the idea that I needed to
understand something and took the next two days to hound
me constantly until he finally got it through my thick
head and made me listen." Xander said with a fond
"What did he want you to understand?"
"That it isn't about me." Xander said absently.
"What isn't about you?" Angel prompted.
"About 99% of the things that happen around me have
nothing to do with me personally. Like your relationship
with Buffy for example. You didn't fall in love with her
to hurt me or make me mad, it had nothing to do with me.
But I acted like it did. I took it personally and
attacked you because I felt like you were attacking me by
being with her." Xander said with eyes that were looking
into the past.
Angel sat stunned for a moment. That actually explained a
lot. Finally he asked, "How long did it take you to
reconcile your past with this new philosophy?"
"I'm still working on it, I've treated a lot of people
really badly over the years. I can't fix everything, I
mean some bridges can be mended, others are broken beyond
repair." Xander said sadly.
"Bridges?" Angel asked, confused.
"Relationships, I can try to make amends with some of the
people that I've treated thoughtlessly, but there are
others that have written me off as a smart ass, and will
never give me the opportunity to hurt them again. Anyway,
I can't live my life trying to make up for the past, I
can only face the present and if I have an opportunity to
make things right with someone, I'll take it."
"Like with me..." Angel said quietly.
"Yeah, our bridge was broken up pretty bad." Xander said
"I think we'll be okay. Did you mend a bridge with Wesley
too?" Angel asked, remembering the phone conversation
"I suppose, I don't know if we ever had a bridge. I
attacked him the moment I met him. He was there to
replace Giles, who was my father figure. So I took it
personally and made every effort to make him feel
unwelcomed and unwanted." Xander said with shame in his
"But things are better between you? I mean, I heard you
on the phone, and you called him your friend." Angel
"Yes, Wesley is an amazing man. All I had to do was show
him that I was serious about wanting to be his friend and
he was willing to let go of the past. Not too many people
would be able to let go of old hurts like that." Xander
said with a note of wonder.
"I suppose he is amazing. I think I have a little bridge
mending to do with him myself." Angel said sadly.
"A piece of advice. He has to know that you are serious,
until he is sure that you are, he won't make any move
toward reconciliation." Xander said thinking of the long
trip from New Mexico.
"I'll keep that in mind. You look like you could use some
sleep, so I'll be going." Angel said, noticing the tired
look on Xander's face.
"Thanks, I am tired, and thanks for the talk." Xander
said as he got up from the bed.
Angel left the room, deep in contemplation.
* * * * *
The egg had been agitated all morning. Xander had kept it
moist, and had been holding it and stroking it constantly
for hours. He had been speaking soothing words and even
tried singing for a while but the egg wouldn't be
quieted. Over the past week, the shell of the egg had
stretched, so now it's size was that of a half deflated
beach ball and the shell of the egg had become thinner.
The baby had been getting heavier, too.
All of a sudden there was something pushing from within
the egg making the flexible shell of the egg taut. Xander
looked closely and could recognize the bump as the baby's
foot. With excitement he ran to the door and called out,
"ANGEL! COME HERE, QUICK!"
Xander went back to the bed and watched as the baby
alternated pushing one foot, then the other against it's
Angel rushed into the room his hair was a mess and he was
wearing only his pants. Xander would have laughed himself
silly if not for the expression of absolute panic on
"Come look at the baby, you've got to see this!" Xander
said from beside the egg.
Angel flashed angry look #7 at Xander, the one usually
reserved for vampires who were soon to be dust, then
walked over to the bed.
As he saw the baby feet alternately pressing against the
leathery shell of the egg, a look of tenderness replaced
the look of anger on his face.
A moment later Fred and Gunn were at the door, looking in
curiously. Xander noticed and motioned them to come into
"What the hell is that?" Gunn asked when he saw the beige
amoeba looking thing thrashing on the bed.
"It's my baby..." Xander said tenderly.
Gunn could tell by Xander's response that he loved the
little... thing. So he turned his attention to Angel.
"A baby what?" He asked Angel reasonably.
"We'll know when it hatches." Angel said absently,
enthralled by the sight.
"So this is an egg... Where's the chicken that laid it?"
Gunn asked with concern.
That got Xander's attention. He stiffened and looked to
Angel, asking with his eyes for Angel to handle this.
"This is Xander's egg. He delivered it about a week ago.
His child is inside so please be kind." Angel said
Gunn just stood there stunned. Fred, however, jumped on
the bed beside Xander and gave him a big hug.
"Oh, this is so exciting why didn't you tell us that you
were going to be a father I mean mother when do you
expect the baby to hatch do you have all the baby things
you need I mean like clothes and diapers and a crib..."
and she broke off as she looked around the room.
"I don't have anything. I really don't know what the baby
is going to be like when it's born... er... hatched. So I
don't know if I need a crib or if the baby would need to
stay in the bathtub. Until just a few minutes ago I
didn't know if the baby had feet. It could have had a
tail." Xander answered seriously.
Gunn, Fred and Angel gaped. The enormity of this was
hitting all of them, they had no idea what the baby was
going to be and what needs it would have.
Xander took the silence as confusion and continued,
"What's the use of getting the baby diapers if it doesn't
have legs? Or a crib if it breathes water?"
"Don't worry Xander, the baby will have whatever it
needs..." Angel began.
A sharp movement from the egg drew everyone's attention.
The outline of a little foot could be seen, more clearly
than before. Then the shell of the egg began to split
around the heel of the foot. After a moment the pressure
"I think it's hatching. It's too soon. The Shamenka said
that it would be seven days and it's only been four."
Xander said in a panic. The fear could clearly be heard
in his voice.
"Don't worry Xander, these things happen when they're
ready to. The Shamenka was giving an estimate." Angel
"Would someone call Wesley and let him know?" Xander said
Fred got up from the bed and ran out the room. Xander
flashed a questioning glance at Gunn.
"Yeah, that means that she'll call him." Gunn said with a
"Angel, remember what The Shamenka said? Would you please
go get some blood for the baby?" Xander asked with
pleading in his voice.
Angel quickly left the room. The egg thrashed again and
the little foot shaped bump pressed at the split in the
shell again. Xander couldn't think of what to do next so
he sat, nearly vibrating with tension, watching the baby
fight against the shell.
About a minute later Angel and Fred ran back into the
room. Angel was carrying a coffee mug full of blood.
Xander looked at Angel and asked, "The baby won't be able
to drink from that, how are we going to...?"
The four of them looked at each other then with a squeak
Fred got up and ran from the room. Xander and Angel both
looked at Gunn inquiringly.
"That means she has an idea." Gunn said casually.
Wesley ran into the room asking, "Am I too late?"
"No, but it could happen any minute. Come over here where
you can see." Xander said with barely held
About five minutes later Fred ran back into the room,
gasping for breath, and holding a plastic shopping bag.
She sat on the edge of the bed and fumbled with the bag
until she produced a baby bottle.
Angel took the bottle and was about to pour the blood
into it when Wesley stopped him. "I think this needs to
be washed first, I'll take care of it." Wesley said,
taking the bottle from Angel and going into the
The little footshaped lump began making short sharp jabs
against the breach in the shell. "Wesley, hurry or you'll
miss it!" Xander called out.
Just as Wesley made his way back into the room, the
baby's foot pushed it's way through the shell. Xander
immediately began pulling at the opening in the shell and
within minutes, the egg was torn open to reveal the
The baby was covered with a reddish black goo. Fred
immediately ran to the bathroom and came back with a
stack of towels. Xander started using the damp towels
that he had used to wrap the egg to clean the gunk off
The baby let loose a lusty cry as Xander, Fred and Angel
were all cleaning it. Once clean, the baby quieted as
Xander laid the baby out on a towel in the middle of the
bed and looked him over. A boy. He and Spike had made a
son. The baby looked entirely human.
"He's beautiful." Fred said in wonder.
"He don't have a belly button." Said Gunn as he watched
the little squirming boy.
"He has Spike's blue eyes." Angel commented in awe.
Then the baby began to cry. His cry began to deepen into
a snarl and worked into a full fledged growl as he
shifted into demon form.
"I'm guessing the horns come from Spike's side of the
family." Xander said in amazement.
"He has Spike's gold eyes too." Angel said, just as
"What's that on his side?" Fred asked in worry.
"Those would be gills." Xander said with shock.
"He may be hungry." Wesley said, being the practical one,
Between Wesley, Xander and Angel, they managed to get the
warm blood mostly into the baby bottle.
Xander lowered the bottle to the baby's mouth and dropped
the bottle as the baby lunged onto the nipple. In two
seconds flat, the nipple was no more and blood was
drenching baby and towel alike.
The adults looked at each other with looks between
confusion and horror when the baby turned itself half
over and started sucking the blood out of the towel. "I
guess that's one way to do it." Said Xander as he used
another towel to clean the baby.
"I guess nursing's outta the question." Said Gunn with a
Wesley, Angel and Xander turned as one at the comment as
Gunn realized that he said that outloud.
"Look he has webbed fingers and toes. They're sooooo
cuuuuute." Fred said, as if she hadn't heard Gunn's
After about three minutes of vigorous sucking on the
bloody towel, the baby shifted back into human form and
went to sleep. His little fingers and toes became
completely normal just as his little horns, teeth and
gills went away. In his human form he looked like a
normal 4 or 5 month old baby, except for the absence of a
His little tuft of wheat-blonde hair and blue eyes made
him look like a chubby little miniature version of Spike.
But he DID have the Harris nose.
"Have you thought of a name?" Wesley asked as he helped
Xander remove the bloody bedclothes without disturbing
the sleeping baby.
Xander thought a moment and said, "William Jesse