Cross posted to spuffyness and my regular journal.
Innocence Found – Chapter 5 – Let the Chips Fall Where They May
It wasn’t until several hours later, that Spike finally awoke – with a vertebrae-cracking, all over body stretch – much like a kitten after a long nap in the summer sun. He opened his eyes, looked directly into another, hazel eye… no, that’s not right; he thought… and backed away a little bit.
Buffy’s face came into focus then, smiling as she turned and shouted “Be right back!” over her shoulder. She stood at the top of the stairs and screamed, “He’s awake, he’s awake.”
She ran right back to Spike’s bedside, followed immediately by Giles and Angel. The sense of relief on everyone’s face was so palpable, Spike was overwhelmed. He’d never had so many smiles directed his way in his life.
“Why are you all staring at me?” The little boy was confused, and the back of his head throbbed. “And why does my head hurt?”
Buffy looked worried. “Don’t you ‘member?” She crawled closer, to whisper in his ear. “You fell down from the monkeybars and hitted your head. You’ve been sleeping since then.” The little girl smiled then, bouncing on her knees. “And your grandpa fixed you up!”
“My…Grandfather is here?” Spike looked at the door, where Buffy was pointing her finger at Angel. “But he’s not… I don’t think…”
Frustrated almost beyond his endurance at his inability to recognize the man as his grandfather, Spike balled up his little fists and slammed them into the mattress, crying, “Why can’t I remember?”
That’s enough, William.” Angel walked over to the bed, sitting next to the boy. “Do you have control of your demon?”
“Can you bring on the change? Your other face?”
The connection was made and Spike brightened. “Oh! You mean my mad face. With the sharp teeth?”
Angel nodded. “Just close your eyes and concentrate. It will come if you want it to.”
Spike closed his eyes tightly, a look of fierce determination on his face, but produced no bumpies or fangs.
Silently, Angel shooed Buffy off of the bed, indicating the girl should stand by Giles. Vamping out, he pricked one of his own fingers… a small drop of blood beading up on the tip… and held it under the little vampire’s nose. “Keep your eyes closed and tell me, boy. Tell me what you smell.”
Spike’s nostrils flared as soon as the blood scented the air, and he slipped immediately into gameface. The boy struggled to sit still, his whole body leaning towards Angel’s finger. Swallowing hard, he gathered himself enough to speak. “It-it smells delicious – sweet.” Eyes still closed, he cocked his head, obviously deep in thought. Opening his eyes, he saw what it was and said, baffled, “How can it be? It smells safe and warm. It smells like… home.”
“You are a vampire, William, as I am,” Angel said, wiping the bloody fingertip across the boy’s lips. “We’re different from humans. We can smell and taste feelings in blood.” As the elder vampire watched the boy lick his blood stained lips, he continued. “You will always feel safe with me, boy. We’re family. My blood will always mean home to you.”
Spike struggled to come to terms with all of this. He remembered that his father’s father had died before he was born, and he’d only seen his mum’s father once – when he was three years old. The man had been old, with a grey beard. “You’re not really my grandfather, are you?” he whispered, his human mask slipping back into place.
Following suit, Angel also dropped his gameface, his soft brown eyes staring directly into brilliant blue. “No, son. Not in the human sense. But in vampire families, I am your grandsire. I made the vampire that made you, and I taught you like you were my own.”
Buffy had hopped up on the bed, unnoticed. She flung her little arms around Angel’s neck, and kissed him on the cheek. “Then you made him very good, Mister Grandpa Angel.”
Startled by the little girl’s affectionate enthusiasm, Angel had to school his emotions. After all, he knew exactly what he’d made William into during his fledgling years. He almost - almost wished these two could stay young forever. Both innocent, with no history of horror, betrayal, abandonment, or death. All he could say was, “Thank you, Buffy.”
“I think it’s past time we get everyone out of the bedroom,” Giles said, anxious to get some help in the house so he could attempt preliminary research on the demon that had started the whole debacle in the first place. “Spike… can you walk or do you need your grandsire to carry you down for breakfast?”
The boy wriggled off the bed feet first, wincing slightly as his feet hit the floor. He slowly pushed away to stand on his own. Spike looked over his shoulder at Buffy, still kneeling on the bed… and ran quickly out of the room. He was sitting at the table by the time the rest of them made it downstairs.
Giles and Angel both were more than familiar with the little smirk they found gracing the boy’s lips.
Who knew Angel was a whiz in the kitchen? Once again there were fluffy omelets for all, as well as pancakes, bacon, and toast.
Half an hour later, Giles managed to beg and plead well enough that Tara agreed to come by and babysit again. At least this time, she knew what she was in for, and when she showed up at the door, she’d brought reinforcements… Anya.
“Okay, where are the little monkeys?” The ex-demon was looking forward to meeting the two little beasts who’d managed to unsettle Tara enough to ask for her help. All she’d told her were they were visiting family… a boy and a girl.
Giles firm tones were overheard from the diningroom area, followed shortly by two very contrite children, who recited in tandem: “We’re sorry for being so bad, Miss Tara. We’ll try and be better.”
“Oh my God!” Anya practically shrieked. “They’re so cute!” Her eyes narrowed for a moment, before she asked Tara: “Did Willow have anything to do with changing Buffy and Spike into kids?”
“Actually, not this time,” Giles said, walking into the livingroom with Angel. They took seats on the couch. “Today we begin the research into what demon’s blood was responsible for their transformation. Anya, would you be able to narrow down the field for us? Do you know which demons have the ability to transform beings into children through blood contact?”
The ex-demon frowned. “Well, there aren’t too many demons with that particular ability. Transformations of that sort take an awful lot of fluid absorption, probably resulting from the creature’s own messy death. I can’t think of any off hand, but I’ll be glad to lend you a hand with the books.” Anya brightened considerably. “It’s quite nice not to have an apocalypse looming over our heads for a change.”
Of course, Angel had to be the voice of gloom. “I’d suggest we solve this problem and get them turned back into their normal selves as soon as possible. The demon population will notice the lack of the Slayer patrolling after a few days.”
Giles’ grim expression corroborated the elder vampire’s statement. We’ll do what we can to patrol in Buffy’s absence. Usually Spike would pick up the slack, but obviously he’s not available at this time, either. That means Sunnydale’s safety will be in the hands of Xander, Willow, Anya, Tara and myself.”
“I’ll do a patrol this evening before I head back to Los Angeles,” Angel offered. “I just have too many responsibilities back home to stay and see this through, but I’d like to be kept informed, if you don’t mind.”
“Of course, Angel. Perhaps you’d be willing to do a little research on this demon, yourself?” The Watcher was hopeful that there would be other resources to delve through, besides his own.
“I’ll spare whatever time I have,” Angel agreed. “And I’d like to have Spike feed once more before I leave. He wasn’t exactly at his best when he got out of bed, and…”
“And you feel like a mother hen looking after her chick,” Tara concluded, her whole face lit by her smile.
“Yeah, well… sue me. The little brat brought out the father in me.” Angel grinned unapologetically. “Besides, I’m sure little Buffy would have my hide if I didn’t do everything I could to keep Spike healthy.”
Anya sniffed, making a rather disgusted face. “You could do all of us a favor, big fella. Take the little guy into the bathroom and see to it that he gets familiar with a washcloth and soap. Between all that playing and the accident, he’s covered with dirt and blood. I’m sure the big bad vampire can handle a little bubble bath.”
As Angel climbed the stairs, hand in hand with Spike, Tara called up after him: “If you need anything, just give a yell and we’ll come rescue you.” The elder vampire heard her laughter long after he had turned on the water in the tub.
He spied a plastic bottle of bubble bath and added a few capfuls into the mostly hot running water, knowing Spike would enjoy soaking up the heat.
The boy stripped off his clothes quickly, and climbed into the tub, absolutely relishing the warmth. Angel rolled up his sleeves and knelt on the floor, preparing to shampoo Spike’s hair, as well as check on the incisions he had made, earlier.
Mid-lather, he heard a knock on the door. “Let me in, Mister Grandpa Angel. I wanna bath, too.”
“Sorry, Buffy… it’s boys only bath time. When Spike is finished, I’m sure Tara or Anya will be happy to give you a bath of your own.”
There were sounds of a scuffle, and then the door opened; a very naked little Slayer ran past Angel and climbed into the tub with a splash, much to Spike’s delight.
Angel was flustered. Here he was, a Champion of the Powers That Be, down on his knees, elbows deep in bubbles and water with two wet, squirmy naked children… both of whom he’d slept with once upon a time. Unlife just couldn’t get any weirder than this.
In fact, it was too much for him. Standing by the door he yelled downstairs: “I can’t take it. Buffy stripped off her clothes and jumped in the tub. I can’t handle two kids and the water and the bubbles and I surrender! I’m not a mother or a nanny. Someone help me, please!!”
Ten minutes later they were playing dive bomber in the tub; water splashing everywhere, and still nobody had come to help.
Getting rather desperate, the harried and very wet vampire bellowed for someone to come up and take over the supervisory and washing chores.
His received a very curt reply from Anya. “Angel, you’re such a wuss. I mean, you were the damned Scourge of Europe. You plundered and raped and ransacked around the countryside for more than a hundred and fifty years, and can't deal with a simple thing like giving a couple of five year olds a bubble bath? You should be ashamed to call yourself a demon.”
Tara’s response was far more succinct. “Deal with it, Angel.”
So much for help and commiseration from the female quarter.
Angel walked back into the bathroom, staring at the water on the floor. He wasn’t going to bother cleaning this up until they were out of the tub. It would only happen again.
Running fresh water into the tub, the elder vampire used the sprayer attachment to hose the bubbles off the children and out of the tub, refilling it with clean, warm water. Buffy settled back down in the tub, but was staring at Spike, who had remained standing.
He didn’t panic until he followed her line of vision. She was staring at… oh no. No, no, no, no. This was so not going to happen while he was in the room.
“Spike, what’s that?” Buffy asked, pointing at his genitals.
Spike grabbed his penis, looking at it for a moment. “This?”
The little girl nodded.
“It’s my willy,” he said, wiggling it about.
Buffy stood up, looking at her groin. She pouted. “Mister Grandpa Angel, how come I don’t have a willy?”
Angel opened his mouth as if to speak, shut it again, and walked out of the bathroom.
The little girl turned to Spike, laughing. “I think I broke your grandpa. I know girls have baginas – they don’t have willies” Buffy tilted her head, looking at Spike’s body. “Can I touch it?”
He stuck his little hips out, not seeing any problems with her request. “Can I touch yours?”
At that moment, Tara burst into the bathroom, followed by Anya, waving a stern finger at the two children.
“Oh no you don’t, you two. No playing doctor on my watch.” Anya’s tone wasn’t angry, just matter-of-fact. “Buffy... you know you don't have a penis. Girls are made all neat and tidy with everything on the inside. Boys are made with everything on the outside. That’s just the way it is. And now that you’ve seen it, it’s time to dry off and get dressed.”
One child to a caretaker and they were dried and dressed quickly, and sent downstairs in search of a cowering Angel.
“So, did you sense any difference in Spike without the chip?” Anya was curt and to the point, as always.”
Tara shook her head. “No difference, whatsoever. He seems to be a happy and well adjusted little boy with a touch of vampirism. It’s rather amazing how human he is… even given what we know of him as an adult.”
“You know, they act oddly alike – sort of like the kids in one of Xander’s movies. The Children of the Damned. Then again, most children have a hive mind mentality. What one does, the other follows.”
“It’s like they know each other so well, even after so little time together. Just a single day.” Tara looked thoughtfully at the ex-demon. “Do you think it’s possible…?”
“That they’re meant to be together in some way?” Anya asked. “It’s possible. They compliment each other very nicely.”
“Well, it’s something worth keeping an eye on, anyway.” Tara smiled, her imagination running wild for a moment. “Anyway, let’s get downstairs, and see if they’ve managed to catch up with Angel.”
The children in question were sitting calmly and happily at the table, snacking on chocolate chip cookies, along with a glass of cold milk to wash them down.
Both women snickered at the sight of the great Angelus cowering in the kitchen, refusing to face the mini-mites.