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"Wesley, have you noticed how big Willie is getting? I
mean, he's not even two weeks old and he's almost two feet
long." Xander said with concern.
"Yes, he is growing at an alarming rate, but while I know
little about such things, I believe his mental development
is progressing with his physical growth. He has started
scooting himself and I dare say, he will be crawling by the
end of the week." Wesley said in a comforting tone.
Then Wesley continued, "Since you are obviously concerned,
you should ask the doctor if this is normal for him. But
until then, consider that since he has inherited some of
your more... aquatic... traits. Reptilian and Amphibian
young tend to mature quickly from hatchlings to adults and
then enjoy long adulthoods. It is possible that this is the
case for William."
Alexander looked at Willie with a frown and said, "I
Wesley squatted in front of Willie and said, "Say Poppa...
Willie, happy to be receiving attention said, "Da da."
Alexander watched, transfixed. Then he squatted next to
Wesley and said to Willie, "Say Poppa... Poppa."
Willie turned his attention to his poppa and happily said,
Then he turned and looked at Wesley and said, "Da da."
Wesley and Alexander sat in shock as they realized what was
happening. To prove the theory, Wesley moved behind the
stroller, out of Willie's sight. "Pa pa pa pa pa."
At a look from Alexander, they traded places and Willie
said, "Da da da da."
The two men were about to explode into cheers of happiness
when movement caught their attention.
Cordelia's body began to tremble. Alexander and Wesley
moved to either side of her reclining form. They held on to
her as the trembling became a full fledged seizure. They
both laid hands on her and tried to restrict her movement
without hurting her.
"What else can happen?" Alexander asked, then received an
'I can't believe you said that' look from Wesley.
Before Alexander could say anything in his defense,
Cordelia's back arched, her head tilted back, and a bluish
black shadow flew out of her mouth as she hoarsely
Finally, after agonizing moments her body relaxed.
Wesley noticed that she wasn't breathing. Without
hesitation Wesley began to perform CPR.
After three rounds of chest compressions and breathing into
her mouth, she gasped for air.
Wesley could feel her heart beating under his hand.
Then, with eyes still closed she said in a raspy voice,
Then she licked her dry lips, furrowed her brow in
concentration and said questioningly, "Wesley?" and opened
"Cordelia?" Wesley asked breathlessly.
"You can take your hand off my boob now." She said with a
* * * * *
After a few minutes of trying to make Cordelia comfortable
and a bottle of water, the question and answer session
"Why am I so weak? And what happened to Doyle?" She asked
weakly but with intensity.
Wesley and Alexander looked at each other then down at
Alexander was finally composed enough to ask, "What is the
last thing you remember Cordy?"
"We were on this ship, trying to help a bunch of
half-demons escape from some crazy nazi type demons that
wanted to kill anyone with even a drop of human blood.
Doyle was going to try to destroy this human killing thing
they had. He kissed me for luck and then I was here."
Cordelia said tiredly.
Wesley felt that he had to tell her the truth, "Ms. Chase,
the events you are speaking of occurred nearly four years
"Oh my God, I can't believe this." Cordelia sat in stunned
disbelief, then said, "What happened to my hair?"
* * * * *
Gunn led Angel and Lorn toward the room where the others
were waiting. He stopped to survey the situation and heard
what was being said.
"Buffy the Vampire Layer can do Angel AND Spike and no one
cares. I have a couple nights with Spike and I'm a whore?"
Xander huffed indignantly.
Then they heard a female voice say, "Yep."
Gunn entered the room and stood in shock at the sight of
Cordelia laying awake and aware on the floor.
Angel and Lorn walked in next, Lorn was frozen, much the
same as Gunn but Angel ran to Cordelia and gathered her
into his arms.
"Uh, Angel? I don't know what our relationship was like in
the last four years but as far as I remember, this wasn't
in the job description." She said with as much menace as
she could muster.
There was a quick recap from Wesley of how Cordelia had
regained consciousness followed by an equally quick recap
from Angel of what Riley wanted.
"Why do you think he was trying to convince me of that
rediculous story?" Angel asked in genuine puzzlement.
"Probably because he believes it, he's unusually stupid,
even for a human." Alexander said with a grin.
Wesley, Gunn and Cordelia gave an indignant "Hey!" as
"I was just kidding guys." Alexander said with a smile.
Then he remembered the other major event of the day.
He squatted in front of Willie and said, "Say Poppa."
And Willie obliged with a "Pa pa."
Then Wesley moved beside Alexander, Willie saw him and
said, "Da da."
Angel moved to Alexander's other side and Willie noticed,
he looked up at Angel with an angry expression and said,
* * * * *
Lorn led the group through tunnels, back alleys and finally
into a seedy looking neighborhood. There weren't any
problems traveling except trying to keep Cordelia quiet
about where Angel's hands were while he was carrying
As the group walked inside a ratty looking little home they
were amazed at the beauty inside the house. The place was
comfortable and welcoming. A familiar voice came out of the
back of the house. "There you are! Oh my, let me see the
little one. Isn't he precious, what did you name him?" The
Shamenka asked in a rush.
"William Jesse Harris, Ma'am." Alexander said with a
"Liam, you're looking much better than when last I saw
you." She said with a knowing smile.
Angel just answered with a sheepish, "Yes ma'am."
"Please, put the young lady down on the sofa, I suppose you
boys have important things to discuss. Why don't you go on
out to the kitchen while I talk with the young lady and
tend to the child?" The Shamenka said in a tone that meant
'do it now'.
* * * * *
The men-folk met in the kitchen, talking and arguing, as
men do, until they came up with a plan. Lorn, Gunn and
Angel each left the house to gather trusted men to aid
them. The first stage of the plan was simple. Recon, follow
the men guarding the Hyperion and find out how many there
are, where they stay, what routes they take, and the
Gunn arrived back at the house first, he had four men and a
woman with him, all obviously skilled fighters. They were
gathered in the kitchen, drinking coffee and leaning on
counters when Angel arrived with six stout vampires. The
vampires and the homies stared each other down for a moment
until Lorn walked in leading six of the biggest, ugliest
demons that anyone had ever seen.
After some uncomfortable introductions, everyone was told
what was going on and sent to do their reconnaissance. They
were going to watch the soldier boys, and as long as the
soldiers stayed put, nothing would happen, but the minute
they made a move to take the hotel... Let's just say there
would be some fat and happy demons and vampires if the
soldiers made that move.
* * * * *
Angel, Xander, Gunn and Lorn made their way back into the
Hyperion via the tunnels. The Shamenka had agreed to care
for Cordy and Willie with Wesley's help until the Riley
problem had been resolved.
Angel began making telephone calls to various vampires, all
of whom said the same things to him. Demons were leaving
L.A. and heading for Ohio. If any demons were arriving
here, they weren't staying.
When Angel had completed his last call he summoned Gunn to
the phone to make his series of calls. And all the calls
had the same result. Next Xander made a series of calls,
then came a series of calls made by Lorn, although no one
but Lorn knew what he was saying, for authenticity's sake,
he made the calls.
Before Xander got on the phone to make the final call he
asked, "Isn't this plan kind of obvious? I mean, it just
stinks of a setup."
Angel considered Xander's words and asked, "Do you remember
how you first described Riley to me?"
"Yeah, I said he was dumb as a sack of doorknobs."
"Have you changed your mind?" Angel asked with a smile.
"Then why don't you make the call that will remove all his
doubts?" Angel said happily.
Xander picked up the phone and dialed, a moment later he
"Xander? Oh God! It's great to hear from you. How are you?
I got your email, how's William? You should have called
sooner, we've been so worried!" She rambled.
"Woah Buff, before we catch up, I have a business question
for you. How are things going with your hellmouth?..."
And as they had planned, Buffy told Xander how the
Cleveland hellmouth was busier than Sunnydale ever was and
how the demon population was nearly as big as the human
About an hour later Xander finally hung up the phone and
rubbed his ear. "If that didn't do it, I don't know what
will." He commented as he walked around the lobby.
"All we can do now is sleep and wait for the call." Angel
said, and the group of men went their separate ways to get
The next morning Angel put the icing on the cake by calling
Riley and telling him that he couldn't find any evidence of
a demon underground but he had heard from reliable sources
that Cleveland was nearly overrun.
Within an hour of Angel's call to Riley, there was a call
from one of Gunn's scouts saying that the soldier boys were
packing up and heading out.
* * * * *
Two days later in the lounge of the Hyperion hotel, Willie
crawled across the floor at full speed and grabbed onto
Angel's pants leg trying to pull himself to stand. When he
lost his grip he yelled, "Blah!"
Angel just smiled indulgently as the frustrated Willie
scooted across the floor and tried the same technique with
Wesley's pant leg. When he lost his grip this time, he got
an angry look and screamed, "Blah!"
The entire group of adults was now watching the child try
to stand. Willie went to his poppa's leg and strained and
pulled until he managed to pull himself fully to standing.
He looked around the happy faces of the adults who were
clapping and cheering.
When Willie looked into his Poppa's eyes he said, "Blah!
Blah! Bloody 'ell"
AN: I know, I know. You wanted me to turn Riley inside out over a long period of time. Sorry, my guys are just too nice to do that. But if it helps you to know, I actually gave him a fate worse than death. (I'll let you decide whether I'm talking about Buffy or Cleveland.)