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Alexander sat anxiously waiting to hear the words.
Yesterday it would have mattered what the words would be...
Now he just wanted to know. He had had enough time to
decide that whatever The Shamenka said, he would love
Willie just the same.
But for now, all he could do was wait.
Finally The Shamenka shifted Willie in her arms and opened
her eyes. When her gaze met the worried eyes of Alexander,
they softened. "Worry not child, your son is as he was
meant to be. He has inherited a talent from you, the
ability to attract spirits and demons."
"So does this mean that Willie is possessed by Spike?"
Alexander asked in nervous anticipation.
"No, he now carries his father in the same way that you
carry the hyena and the soldier, are you possessed by
them?" she asked calmly.
"I'm not now, but I was. Now I have their memories and
their instincts, but their... consciousness isn't with me."
he said, searching for the words.
"That's exactly what happened to the young one. He, like
you, has a spirit that calls out to displaced spirits and
demons, when the child's father died his final death, he
must have had a soul, because it came into contact with
your child and imprinted itself on him. I can imagine that
the combined pull of you and the child you were carrying,
would have been quite irresistible." The Shamenka said as
she began to refill the teacups on the coffee table.
"So let me get this straight, Willie is a seamonster,
human, vampire, demon-magnet?" Alexander asked
"No, not exactly. To become a true vampire he would have to
have been made a vampire in the traditional fashion. The
child is part sea creature, which he inherits exclusively
from you, part human, which he inherits from you and his
other father, and part demon which he inherits exclusively
from his other father. And by that I mean to say that he is
the spawn of a demon, not possessed by a demon." The
Shamenka said sagely.
Alexander needed a few minutes to process all that, finally
he had it all in place in his mind and asked his next
question. "What about his growing? He's not even three
weeks old and he's walking."
"I suspect that your friend Wesley is correct in his
assessment. He will most probably have growth spurts for a
while. He will grow quickly through his childhood years and
probably slow to a more normal growth rate at the onset of
puberty. After that the growth rate should slow to a near
stop when he reaches adulthood." She said
"Um... isn't there some way to speed him through the
puberty too? I mean, that's the one phase of his life that
I'm really worried about. What with rebellion, hormones and
stuff." Alexander asked, worried.
"No, the child will need those formative experiences to
make him into whatever type of adult he will be. And you
need to go through those experiences with him." The
Shamenka said with absolute certainty, then took a sip of
"Why do I have to go through it with him?" Alexander asked,
even more worried.
"Because puberty is natures way of making parents let go of
their young when the time comes... Believe me, it works."
The Shamenka said with a wide eyed, distant gaze.
After a moment of thought Alexander asked, "Since his adult
growth rate slows down so much, does that mean he's
"From a human perspective, I suppose you could say that.
Assuming that he lives to the end of his natural
lifespan... I can only say that it would be inconvenient to
measure in units less than centuries." The Shamenka said,
trying to find the correct words.
"Okay... seamonster, human, demon-spawn, immortal,
demon-magnet... anything else I should know?" Alexander
"Just some small matters. It is time that he be introduced
to solid food. Basically you need to wean him off the
blood, and when you are finished he should only need blood
once a week to meet his demonic nutritional needs." The
Shamenka said professionally.
"Good, I was hoping he wouldn't feed exclusively on blood,
that would get expensive quick." Alexander said
"Quite. Are you still living with Liam?" The Shamenka asked
"Yes, I have a room in his hotel. Why?" Alexander asked,
"The child needs examples of demons in his life, especially
vampires, to give him a sense of normalcy. This is a
concern for most children of mixed heritage who don't live
with both parents. They need to be exposed to both
cultures." The Shamenka said in a lecturing tone.
"We live with Angel... I mean, Liam. So that shouldn't be a
problem." Alexander said dismissively.
"But what the child needs is to see him in his demon form.
If he becomes used to seeing Liam in human form, he may
feel that he should be ashamed of his demon heritage, and
thereby deny his other father's legacy." she said while
offering chocolate chip cookies on a plate.
"I would never want him to be ashamed of Spike. I don't
think Angel will mind, and I'll ask Lorn if he would visit
with Willie. Lorn is a good guy." Alexander said, going
into deep thought.
The Shamenka nodded with agreement.
"I guess that's all I wanted to ask, I'll take Willie home
now and tomorrow we'll start him on human food." Alexander
said as he stood to go.
"Try starting him with chunks of raw meat at body
temperature, soaked in blood. He has the teeth to handle it
and it should make the transition a little easier. Just a
few bites to begin with and his usual blood after he's
eaten his solids. He may decide that he likes it and ask
for more sooner. He may not and you'll have to push it on
him. Either way, over the course of the next few weeks,
increase the solids and decrease the blood and slowly
introduce a variety of foods. He may get fussy about it,
but be persistant. Know that you are doing it for his own
good." The Shamenka said, handing Willie to Alexander and
walking with him out of the living room.
* * * * *
In the kitchen Angel, Wesley, Gunn, Fred and Lorn waited
nervously. Alexander entered the kitchen carrying a
sleeping Willie, he was followed by The Shamenka.
"So how is he?" Gunn asked before anyone else could think
of what to say.
"He's fine. He just has Spike's memories, he's not
possessed. Since he's able to talk, he'll probably remember
other things that Spike knew and it'll be easier to raise
him." Alexander said cheerily. The Shamenka stood aside and
got an 'I wouldn't bet on it' look on her face.
Angel noticed the look and shuddered. [Adult Spike was a
challenge to control, baby Spike... did I remember to pay
the insurance premium on the hotel?] Angel thought to
himself as the group prepared to leave.
"Liam, a moment of your time." The Shamenka said in her
motherly 'do it now' tone.
"Of course." he said to The Shamenka before turning and
saying, "I'll be out in a minute." to the group going out
the kitchen door.
"I am aware of some of your history with Spike, you need to
know that this child is not Spike, he just holds his
memories. He will say and do things that will try to...
'push your buttons'." She said in a tone that made it
apparent she didn't like using such a contemporary
"So I should ignore him when he does?" Angel asked,
"Hells below us! no. Never ignore his misbehaving, punish
incorrect behavior and reward correct behavior. Just don't
react to him as Spike... perhaps you could look at this as
your chance to get it right?" she finished, tidying up the
coffee cups in the kitchen.
Angel, realizing that he had been dismissed, made his way
out of the kitchen and out to the car, deep in thought.
* * * * *
Wesley had arrived on his motorcycle, so he went home from
The Shamenka's house. Angel dropped Gunn and Fred off at
their apartment building. As he was making the turn to
Lorn's, Alexander spoke, "Lorn, The Shamenka suggested that
it might be a good idea for Willie to be around some
demons, because I'm human... looking... and she thought he
needed to be comfortable around non-human people."
Lorn looked at him with caution and said, "No insult meant
to you or your kid, baby cakes, but I don't do well around
children. I mean, I'm just not emotionally equipped to deal
Angel looked at Lorn and remembered things that only he
knew. Angel's undead heart broke as he thought of Connor
and remembered how Lorn had taken care of him as a
"Lorn, would you please try, for the baby's sake. We won't
leave you alone with him or anything. He just needs to get
to know you." Angel said with uncharacteristic pleading. He
would never tell anyone his motives, but he couldn't deny
Lorn this experience; it had made Lorn so happy before.
Lorn had such a wealth of paternal instinct that it would
be a crime to waste it.
Lorn looked with surprise at Angel's request. He didn't
know that old dark and dangerous had it in him to care
about a child. "Fine, I'll stop by now and then, but
remember that you promised that I don't get left alone with
him." Lorn said as they pulled up in front of his
"Thank you Lorn, I really appreciate your help." Alexander
* * * * *
Angel and Alexander arrived back at the hotel as Willie was
"Bloody 'ell, where'm I?" Willie asked from his Poppa's
"We're back at the hotel. We went for a drive and you fell
asleep." Alexander said soothingly.
"Bloody starving, give us a mug, would'ja pop?" Willie
asked with a very Spike-like smile.
Alexander and Angel stared at each other in astonishment.
Willie had only been able to say a few words before he went
to sleep. Now he sounded like Spike... same accent, same
inflection, same vocabulary...
"Sure... Angel, would you mind heating some blood while I
bring in Willie's things?" Alexander asked in a daze.
"Yeah." Angel answered in his own daze.
"Why'm I feelin all soggy down below?" Willie asked as
Alexander juggled Willie with one arm and the diaper bag
with the other.
"If your skin dries out you'll get sick. So we've been
putting wet diapers on you." Alexander said as he struggled
to get child and diaper bag into the hotel.
"I can bloody well walk if ya let me down, pop." Willie
said in a voice that was too Spike.
Alexander let Willie down and said, "You couldn't have told
me that out at the car?"
Willie just responded with a mischievous grin and ran to
Alexander dropped the diaper bag and went to follow
"I'm too short ta git inta the fuckin chair." Willie
screamed in frustration, trying to get up to the table.
"Willie! Watch your language." Alexander said as he walked
into the room. Angel was just watching silently as the
"Or you'll do what?" Willie said defiantly.
Alexander thought for a moment then got an evil smile.
"Barney, Teletubbies, Blue's Clues..."
"Bloody 'ell! Alright. I'll keep me a civil tongue, just
don't do that ta me. That... that's like abuse." Willie
Angel placed the mug of blood on the table and looked
questioningly at Alexander.
Alexander lifted Willie to stand in the chair and asked,
"Do you think you can handle a mug, or do I need to put it
in a bag for you?"
"Let me try the mug, pop." Willie mumbled as he picked it
up with both hands and carefully tipped the mug to his
He quickly put the mug back down on the table, spilling a
little and with a glare at Angel said, "You got it too hot,
ya bloody wanker."
Angel was far beyond speech at this point. He just stood
and stared at the miniature Spike. Alexander however was
very much able to talk. "Willie, you apologize this minute.
Angel was kind enough to heat the blood for you and this is
his house. You will not disrespect him."
Willie considered for a moment and shyly said, "Sorry."
Alexander looked at Angel, signaling him not to talk then
asked, "What are you sorry for Willie?"
"I'm sorry I called you a wanker, thank you for heating the
blood for me. That was nice." Willie said, near tears.
Alexander nodded, then Angel said, "It's okay Willie, I'm
not angry. If you'll be nice to me, I'll be nice to you.
"Okay." Willie mumbled.
"You're blood should be cool enough to drink now, give it a
try." Angel said quietly.
Willie carefully lifted the mug and took a drink while
Alexander went to get a towel to clean up the spilled
"Do ya 'ave sumthin I could put in this? It's awfully...
liquid." Willie said with a crinkled nose.
"I know just the thing." Alexander said happily as he went
to the cupboard and got out the tin of wheat-a-bix that he
had bought... Just in case.
Willie's eyes got big when he saw the tin and he said,
"Definitely Spike's son." Angel said with a smile as he
walked to the sink to rinse out his mug.
"Yeah, he is." Alexander said happily.
* * * * *
In the darkness outside the Hyperion Hotel a figure lurked.
She had been keeping watch and had seen Alexander carrying
the child, and heard the child's words.
She mumbled to herself, "Don't worry baby, GranMum's here