Disclaimer: See Chapter One
Beta: Queen Sereya
Chapter 7: Decisions Made,
Danny paced the floor impatiently. Greg had been in there for fifteen minutes. True, Grissom was in there too, but when Mac was on a rip, no one was safe. Granted, Mac wasn’t the type to go off at the littlest thing. But then this was no little thing. Mac had a son! A son he knew nothing about. A son who had another father. And how weird was that? To top it off, the other father lived all the way on the other side of the country. Who would get custody? They couldn’t share it. They lived too far apart. From what Greg had told him, Grissom was a good man. But then, Danny couldn’t see Mac just letting his flesh and blood son go, never to see him grow up.
Leaning against the wall, Don watched his friend walk back and forth, glancing at the doorway every few minutes. Finally, he sighed. “Danny, would you sit down. You’d think it was your son the way you’re pacing.”
Danny whirled around to confront his friend. “Flack! We don’t know what’s going on in there! What’s Mac Gonna do? Will he even believe Greg? You know how Mac is. He can be very stubborn until presented with hard evidence. And if he does, what’s he gonna do? If the kid’s his, he’ll want to spend time with him. Mac might leave to be closer to the kid!”
Don placed his hands on Danny’s shoulders, stilling the perpetual bouncing. “I know that Messer, but they will work it out between them. It doesn’t concern us.”
“Don’s right, Danny,” Stella spoke up, “Worrying about it will do nothing. Once Mac and Grissom figure it out, they’ll tell us. And as for Greg’s results, you and I both know how thorough Greg is. I’m sure he checked the results multiple times. Besides, it’s not as if Mac doesn’t have a lab available to him. If he wants, he can just ask Sid or Haw-“
“Hawkes! Get in here!” Mac’s voice yelled out.
Hawkes turned startled eyes toward the open door. Glancing at the others, he slowly made his way to Mac’s office.
Xander stared at the smiling man in front of him. He looked at the new sticker on his arm.
“Now, that wasn’t so bad,” Hawkes said. Xander smiled at him. Standing up, he looked at Mac while shaking the vials of blood. “I’ll get these run right away.”
Mac nodded as he rolled down his shirtsleeve. As Hawkes left, Mac turned his seat to face his guests. He looked at Greg. “How could this happen?”
Greg gulped. “Well, they could have taken an egg—“
Mac frowned. “Not that. How would someone have gotten our DNA to make Xander?”
They all looked at Xander, who was sitting on Mac’s lap, as he had refused to be any where else, drawing on a blank sheet in front of him. Noticing the attention, Xander smiled at the adults. He bent down to scribble a little more and then twisted around and shoved the paper in Mac’s face. Mac took the paper from Xander’s small hands and brought it down so he could see it. It was mostly an indistinct scribble, but there appeared to be a pair of big round eyes in the mess.
Xander looked up at Mac shyly. Mac looked at it, trying to determine what it was. Finally, giving up, he looked down into Xander’s anxious eyes and smiled softly. “Good job, Xander.”
Xander beamed at him. Mac looked at his desk. Grabbing another sheet, he placed it in front of the boy. Xander looked at Mac questioningly. Mac smiled. “Why don’t you draw another picture for Daddy Gil?”
Xander frowned. “No!”
Mac head jerked back in surprise. “But don’t you think Daddy Gil would like a picture too?”
“No!” Xander glared at the confused man.
Grissom coughed. “He insists on calling me Papa.”
“Oh.” Mac turned from looking at Grissom to look down at Xander. “Well do you think you could do a drawing for Papa Gil?”
Xander tilted his head for a moment and then nodded his head enthusiastically. He grabbed the pen sitting beside the blank page and started scribbling away. They all watched Xander for a few moments before Mac looked at Greg expectantly.
Greg looked blankly back. He shook his head, remembering Mac’s earlier question. “Oh. . . Uhm. . . Well, I guess a thief could have stolen your sperm from a sperm bank. . .”
Mac glared. “Not. An. Option.”
Grissom nodded in agreement.
“Well. Uh. . .Maybe some creep took it from your trash?” Greg offered hesitantly.
They both just stared at him stonily. He quailed under their combined gaze. Taking a deep breath, he defended himself. “Well I can’t think of any other way for it to happen. And whoever created Xander had to get your DNA somehow.”
Mac rubbed the bridge of his nose and sighed. Xander tilted his head up so that he could see his Daddy. Reaching up, he patted at Mac’s chin. Mac looked down to see Xander’s upturned face. “Are you finished?”
Xander blinked and shook his head. Mac gave him a light hug before drawing his attention back to the masterpiece. Looking up at the others he said, “Thank you, Mr. Sanders.”
Greg looked at him, glancing questioningly at his boss, until Grissom said, “You can go, Greg. Thanks.”
Greg nodded and stood up. He looked at Xander and gestured. “Did you want me to . . .?”
Mac shook his head. “He’s fine where he is.”
Greg nodded and quickly left, glad to be out of that room.
Mac turned to Grissom. “If we don’t know exactly how our DNA was obtained, do we have any speculation as to who would want a child with our genes?”
Grissom grimly shook his head. “I’ve put my team on pulling past cases looking for any criminal that would want revenge on myself and had the knowledge or the capabilities to see this happen. They found nothing.”
Mac frowned. “I can’t think of any criminals on my end. But I'll check to make sure. So, if no suspects are found, do we rule this as unsolved?”
Grissom sighed. “Unless we get more evidence. There’s no other option.” Grissom paused, looking at his son as he continued to draw. “We have to discuss custody.”
Mac looked down at Xander. “Las Vegas to New York is not a simple commute.”
“No. It’s not.” Grissom hesitated before continuing, “Xander’s spent the last two weeks with me.”
Mac’s eyebrows furrowed, as he understood what Grissom was saying. “You want custody.”
Grissom nodded. “I’m not saying you won’t be a part of his life. But we have to think of what’s best for Xander.”
“New York has some of the best private schools in the country,” Mac pointed out.
“Yes, but Las Vegas has an excellent school system,” Grissom shot back. “And I have the added support of both Catherine Willows and Greg Sanders. Catherine is a mother and Greg seems to be a natural with parenting.”
Mac looked surprised. He couldn’t believe that boy was any good at taking care of kids. He was almost a child himself.
Grissom explained, “He’s been a great help since I got Xander. He informed me of what I needed in supplies and helped show me how to set things up.”
Mac nodded. There was a long pause as they stared at each other, waiting for the other to give in. Finally, one of them sighed.
“I want more than a stray weekend.” Mac relented.
“And you’ll have that,” Grissom soothed. “How about a week in December. Maybe a couple of months in the summer? That way it won’t disrupt his education when he goes in a few years.”
Mac nodded. “And some long weekends here and there as well.”
Grissom agreed. “I’m sure we can work something out.”
“Eww!” Buffy cried. “There’s slime all over me! I thought you said these Snooty demons were almost never seen, Giles. That’s, like, the third one this week!”
Giles sighed. “That’s Sn--. Oh, never mind, Buffy. I have no idea why they keep appearing. It is unprecedented.
“Here, Buffy,” the equally covered Willow said while handing her a towel, “try to wipe it off. Then we can take a shower.”
“But my shirt is ruined!” Buffy whined as she wiped off a large piece of green gunk.
“Yes, well, if you girls wouldn’t mind moving to the bathroom. Before you ruin my kitchen floor.” Giles looked pointedly at the tiled floor. The green slime was dripping all over it, staining the normally white tiles green. The others stared at Willow and Buffy who were the only ones that had been hit by the green slime.
“Sorry, Giles.” The girls said as they quickly left to get cleaned in the bathroom.
Once they were relatively clean, they all gathered in the living room.
“So, why are all the demons coming out like it’s some sort of party?” Buffy, whose skin was tinged green, asked. “There’s no new apocalypse, is there?”
“I haven’t seen anything, but I can look again. This is just too strange,” Willow offered as she rubbed absently at her green colored hand. “There must be some hellmouthy explanation for the increase in demons.”
“I don’t know what you mean,” Dawn piped up from the couch. “I haven’t noticed any more demons than usual.”
Tara nodded, agreeing with Dawn.
“That’s because they’re all jumping me and Willow,” Buffy said.
“Oh. I know,” Willow looked up, her eyes bright and eager, “I read this spell the other day. I can do it to find the reason for the demon explosion.”
Dawn frowned. “After your last spell debacle? No thanks.”
Willow pouted until her girlfriend spoke up. “Uhm. . . I . . . I’ve seen the spell Willow’s talking about. It could work. . . . I . . . I could help.”
Buffy grinned. “Good, then maybe I won’t lose so many shirts.”
Willow beamed. Then she frowned as she thought of something she had found and wanted to show to Buffy without the others knowing. “Oh, Buffy . . . I needed to talk to you about that History exam we have.”
Buffy looked confused. “History?”
“Remember, you asked me about that ‘History’ question earlier? For the exam,” Willow hinted.
Buffy blinked, then her eyes widened. “Oh! The ‘History’ exam. Right. Let’s go.”
The others watched, wide-eyed, as Buffy pushed her friend out the door.
A few days had passed and Grissom had to go back to work. But, it had been decided that while Greg was in New York, Xander would stay with Mac. Mac had taken the rest of the week off, to spend time with his son. Unfortunately, he had been called into the lab over some sort of paperwork confusion that needed to be answered right away. It would only take a few hours and then he could pick up Xander from Greg, Danny, and Don. The three had been planning on going to the park and had offered to take Xander with them.
At the park, Xander was happily playing in the sand box, when a voice called out. “Danny!”
Xander looked up to see that nice man who had given him the arm sticker.
“Hey, Hawkes. What are you doing here?” Danny asked.
“I jog in this park, every Saturday,” Hawkes said. Nodding toward Xander, he asked, “So, how are things going with the kid? I know the tests confirmed he’s Mac’s. But after that I got bogged down by other cases.”
“Grissom and Mac worked out custody between themselves,” Danny said.
Looking at the happy toddler, Hawkes asked. “So, Mac has custody?”
“Nope,” Flack said. “Mac’s got visitation rights though. And the little guy is staying for the week before going home to his papa.”
Xander crawled over, his hand tightly fisted around his small prize. Greg looked down as Xander pulled on his pant leg. Bending down, he quickly picked the child up to see what he had. Greg looked at the pretty black rock that Xander held. “That’s pretty. Do you want to give it to Daddy?”
Xander nodded, his smile spreading across his face.
“Well then, let’s just make sure we keep it safe,” Greg said as he tucked the rock in his pocket. He patted the pocket and smiled down at Xander who beamed back at him.
“Is there any leads on the case?” The others stared at Hawkes. “What? It’s not like he was born naturally.”
Greg shook his head. “No. No leads. No suspects. And the only trace disappeared.”
“Disappeared? Like poof?” Flack asked.
“Yeah,” Greg explained, “When Gris first got Xander he was covered in this silvery glitter. It was very strange too. You could transfer the stuff, but you didn’t feel anything. The mass spec couldn’t even identify it. Wouldn’t even acknowledge it was on the slide.”
As Hawkes listened, his eyes grew wide.
“After about three hours, the glitter just vanished from the slides.”
The others turned to Hawkes in surprise.
“You okay, Hawkes? You don’t normally swear,” Danny asked in concern.
“I think I now how Xander was born,” Hawkes said quietly.
After a moment, Danny prompted, “Well?”
Hawkes looked at his friends. “You know Oak Avenue?”
“Yeah. Every cop knows that area,” Flack said, “Lots of weird shit down there. Witches, pagans, ‘mystic’ voodoo crap. You name it, if it has some sorta hokey pokey magic to it, you can find it on Oak Ave. The beat cops hate patrolling that area with all the freaks. Why?”
Hawkes sighed. “Well those freaks know more than you think. Things like magic really exist. And big magic can leave a residue of silvery glitter. A glitter that is untraceable and our machines can’t analyze.”
“You’re saying the kid was made from magic?” Flack scoffed. “What next? You gonna tell me Mac wished him up?”
“There are creatures out there that can do that, but I doubt it was Mac.”
“But the glitter disappeared,” Greg said. “Wouldn’t it have stayed?”
Hawkes shook his head. “No, the residue fades. In fact, the longer it stays the more powerful the magic. For it to be there for hours, it had to be some pretty powerful magic.”
“How do you know all this?” Danny asked.
“I used to date this girl who was heavy into wicca arts,” Hawkes explained.
“I can’t believe you guys are buying this!” Flack complained. “Magic! Hmph. You gonna go tell Mac his kid was made from a magic wish? ‘Cuz I’d love to see that.”
The others looked at each other. None of them really wanted to go to Taylor with the idea of magic. He wouldn’t believe them. Not without proof and that was hard to come by.
Hawkes chewed his bottom lip. “Let me ask my old girlfriend. Maybe she can tell me something first.”
Danny nodded and gestured at Xander. “And we got to get this guy over here back to his daddy.”
Xander pouted. He wanted to stay in the park. It was fun.
“Ready to go kiddo?” Greg asked.
Xander frowned. “Shit!”
Everyone stared at Xander.
“No, Xander. That’s a bad word. We don’t say that,” Greg said.
Xander looked at Hawkes who gasped.
Danny chuckled. “I wanna be there for your funeral Hawkes.”
Hawkes looked at Danny questioningly. “After Mac finds out you taught his kid a bad word, he’s gonna kill ya.”
The others laughed as Hawkes moaned. Xander seeing everyone happy joined in the laughter.
Next time: Families Created,