Copyright © 2002-2015 MultiMapper
All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved
Xander watched as The Shamenka left the lobby. He turned to go back to his room when a quiet voice came from his left.
"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 seriously.
"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 exasperated.
"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 the egg.
"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 little frustrated.
"Yes, you are. So... where do we go from here?" Angel asked hesitantly.
"With an understanding, I think." Xander said unsurely.
Angel prompted Xander to continue with a speculative look.
"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 us."
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 smile.
"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 sadly.
"I think we'll be okay. Did you mend a bridge with Wesley too?" Angel asked, remembering the phone conversation earlier.
"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 voice.
"But things are better between you? I mean, I heard you on the phone, and you called him your friend." Angel asked.
"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 shell.
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 Angel's face.
"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 the room.
"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 steadily.
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 let up.
"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 said comfortingly.
"Would someone call Wesley and let him know?" Xander said excitedly.
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 smile.
"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 enthusiasm.
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 bathroom.
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 baby.
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.
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 amazed.
"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, as always.
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 smile.
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 comment.
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 navel.
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 Harris."