“You did what?”
Dawn flinched as Buffy’s exclamation rang throughout the room. They had just explained the entire situation with Xander to her and she really wasn’t taking it too well.
“I knew we should have waited until this afternoon to tell her. At least then we could have given her cookies,” Dawn muttered. Willow bit her lip as she worked to hold back a laugh. Now really wasn’t the time. Who knew what Buffy would do if she started laughing in the middle of this conversation?
“Dawn.” Buffy’s tone held a world of warning in it as she spoke, causing Dawn to sigh. Buffy raised an eyebrow at her, giving her a look that said this conversation was definitely going to continue later. Dawn nodded.
“It was a complete accident, Buffy. And we’re going to be able to turn him back to his normal self so there’s really no reason to freak out,” Willow said. What amazed Buffy the most was that she seemed to actually believe what she was saying. “Besides, Spike already yelled at us last night.” Buffy looked from one to the other.
“Good.” She nodded. “He was right. I can’t believe that you two would be so irresponsible after everything’s that happened. Haven’t you learned by now?” Buffy didn’t give them the chance to answer as she turned away from them, placing her hands on the counter and taking a deep breath. “Where’s Xander now?”
“Spike is staying with him,” Dawn told her. “At his apartment. We thought that would be the best place for them to stay.” Buffy nodded, pausing before she turned back to face them. There was a hint of a smile on her face that hid any other thoughts from them.
“Has Spike ever done any baby-sitting before?” she asked. Dawn grinned.
“For a four year old or just in general?”
“Nope.” Dawn giggled as the smile on Buffy’s face grew into a full-blown grin.
“Well, then he must be having an interesting morning.”
“He might surprise us. After all, he seemed to be doing okay last night.” Even as she said it, she was fighting back a laugh. Buffy began to laugh.
“Oh, I would pay money to see how Spike’s morning has gone so far.”~*~*~
Spike was going insane. He didn’t know what he’d been thinking or why he’d ever agreed to stay with Xander. It was like being in the presence of a tornado. A small, energetic, laughing tornado.
It had all started when Spike had been jerked awake by a small bundle of energy, commonly known as Xander, launching himself onto Spike’s chest. That had been followed by a bright smile and Xander asking all sorts of questions. What was for breakfast? Could he eat in the living room so he could watch cartoons while he ate? Why were the curtains closed? Could they open them?
Then had come the conversation where Spike had to explain to Xander that no, they couldn’t open the curtains. He’d hoped to leave it at that but Xander was the type of child who wanted to know the reason why he couldn’t do something. And from there, he’d had to make up some story about how the sun made him very sick when it touched his skin.
Where the bloody hell was Dawn when he needed her?
Spike looked over to see Xander standing to the side of him, biting his lip as if he were nervous about something. “Yeah?” he asked, already imagining all the things that could have gone wrong. He hadn’t heard a crash so he doubted that anything was broken, but he wasn’t going to rule anything out.
Xander shifted. “I gotta go.”
Spike frowned. Go? Where the hell did a four-year-old have to go? He looked down at Xander and took in the way he kept shifting and something inside clicked as he realized what Xander was talking about. His eyes widened. Oh hell. He swallowed, hoping he was wrong. “You have to go?” he repeated. Xander nodded and looked in the direction of the bathroom. Spike felt a flash of panic. How was he supposed to deal with that? It wasn’t as if he was used to helping Xander go to the bathroom. And more importantly, why was Xander telling him that he had to go? What was it about children that compelled them to go around telling people when they had to go to the bathroom? A small hand tugging on his jeans interrupted his thoughts.
“Spike,” Xander said, stretching out his name a bit. “I gotta go
“Oh bloody hell,” Spike muttered, motioning to the bathroom. “Let’s go.” He held open the door as Xander dashed inside then stopped and looked up at Spike. Spike frowned. “What’s wrong?”
“There’s supposed to be a stool ‘cause I’m not big enough yet,” he explained. Spike glanced around, silently cursing Xander for not having something for him to use.
“Hold it for a few more seconds, pet,” he told Xander. Xander nodded as he started to bounce in place. Spike turned and headed into the living room, hoping that he wouldn’t have to clean up a puddle when he got back to the bathroom. He glanced around the room, then smiled in triumph when he saw what he’d been looking for resting on a table near the kitchen. He grabbed them, heading back into the bathroom and stacking a few phone books in front of the toilet. “There you go.” Spike watched Xander climb on top of them to be sure he didn’t slip and fall, then raised an eyebrow when Xander looked over at him.
“Can you turn around?” he asked. Before Spike could answer, he continued, “I promise I won’t make a mess ‘cause my daddy says only babies make messes and I’m not a baby ‘cause I’m almost five.”
Spike nodded, holding back a smile. “Yeah? Then why don’t I give you some privacy?” He turned around, thinking about what Xander had said. Almost five–which meant that his birthday was coming up. Unless Xander was the type who would turn a certain age and then declare that he was almost another year older. He doubted it though.
“Done!” Xander jumped down to the floor just as Spike turned around. Xander stared up at the sink and it was clear to Spike that he was trying to figure out a way to get up there to wash his hands.
“Face the sink, Xander,” Spike said. Xander looked up at Spike then did as he was told. Spike moved behind him and lifted him up to the sink, smirking when Xander let out a surprised laugh. “Now wash your hands.” Once Xander had done that, Spike turned and continued to hold him up as he dried his hands. Xander grinned as Spike put him down.
“That was fun,” was all he said. One corner of Spike’s mouth lifted in a half smile.
“We’ll just have to do it again then, won’t we?”
Xander tilted his head, looking up at Spike. He had a considering look on his face as he studied Spike. Spike raised an eyebrow, waiting for whatever question he just knew Xander was going to ask. He leaned back against the sink.
Xander frowned. “How come you’re not in the mirror?”