AN: the Illyria ark on Angel didn’t happen. I like Fred.
They dropped all the bags except for the diaper bag and headed down to the cafeteria.
Just before the group entered the cafeteria, Dawn asked, “How’d you get babies anyways?”
“I’ll tell everyone after food. Please just let me eat first. Airplane food sucks and that was about six hours ago. The girls had some protein bars earlier but they’re slayers and always hungry anyways,” answered Xander as his stomach growled loudly. Dean’s stomach growled in agreement.
“Okay for now Mister but this had better be good!” exclaimed Willow giving Xander her famous Resolve face.
“I promise just give me food first so my stomach stops trying to eat itself,” replied Xander as he entered the cafeteria and headed in.
Dean and Xander headed straight to the food without looking around. The girls trailing after them like ducklings had Faith and Dawn laughing. Faith and Dawn still carrying the twins headed to the Scooby table that had been combined with two other tables.
The table was already half full with Cordelia, Angel, Fred, Gun, Wesley, Lorne, Connor, Sam Winchester, Bobby Singer, Robin, Andrew, Kennedy, Spike, Rona, Vi, and Caridad.
Cordelia looked up at the approaching duo and said, “Finally!” she continued in a gentler tone, “There’s my beautiful babies.”
“You knew?” asked Dawn as she absently handed JD to a very confused and slightly terrified Sam. He had no idea what to do with a baby.
“Yeah, got a problem with that?” responded Cordelia.
“Why didn’t you warn me?” asked Dawn.
“He made me swear on their lives, and he wasn’t ready to tell yet. He’s spent the last eight months preparing himself for today. You ever try breaking a promise you made to him? Every time I even thought about it I kept seeing his kicked puppy face in my head and I couldn’t,” replied Cordelia.
“Whose babies are these?” asked Angel.
“Ed oy,” shouted JD as he clapped his hands.
Between laughs Spike managed to say, “The whelp reproduced.”
Angel aimed a glare at Xander’s back before sighing, “Of course he did.”
“Give me Mary so you can get food,” offered Cordelia.
Faith handed her over, grabbed Dawn’s arm and dragged her toward the food saying, “The faster we eat the sooner Boytoy makes with the splainny.”
“So who’s this little guy?” asked Sam still holding JD as if he would break.
Rona snorted, reached over, rearranged the baby so he was sitting in Sam’s lap with his back against Sam’s chest with Sam’s hand on his tummy to keep him in place and answered, “His name is JD.”
“Ro Na,” babbled JD happily as he patted her check.
“Smart kid,” said Bobby. Bobby was well aware of the fact that Dean was in a committed relationship with a guy even if Sam wasn’t k. He’d known that Dean batted for both teams since he was sixteen. Dean may have kept quiet but he never out right hid it. Dean had always flirted with everyone, male, female and in between. If John had ever paid even a tenth of the attention to Dean as he had to Sam he’d have noticed. On the other hand, Dean had been more discrete around Sam. Dean had wanted Sam to form his own opinions on sex and relationships without Dean’s admittedly whorish example. He also hadn’t wanted Sam to psychoanalyze every one night stand he ever had. Bobby figured that the girl at least was Dean’s kid. She looked like Dean and was named after his mother.
“Don’t know where he got his brains from because their parents are both idiots,” offered Cordelia. Bobby nodded his head in agreement.
“Don’t say that around Niaira she’s liable to take a swing at you for insulting her Daddy,” warned Caridad.
Cordy rolled her eyes and said, “Ex-girlfriend privileges.”
“Re Da,” babbled Mary waving her hand in Caridad’s direction.
“Hey princess, I missed you,” said Caridad as she made funny faces at MJ.
“Can I ask whose kids they are again because I’m thinking I’m the only one still in the dark here?” reiterated Sam. Angel and Spike had figured it out from JD’s babbling and everyone else got it from Spike’s comment. Even Bobby seemed to know, though Sam had to admit Bobby seemed to know a lot of the people that lived here.
Bobby looked Sam in the eyes before saying, “Talk to your brother.”
“Huh? What’s he got to do with anything?” asked Sam in confusion. Dawn hadn’t told him that Dean was going to be here nor had she mentioned the fact that she knew his brother. She hadn’t lied; she’d just omitted a lot and was hoping it wasn’t going to bite her in the ass. She hadn’t meant to propagate the lies that Buffy and co had told Sam her first day at Stanford but she hadn’t known how to tell him the truth without him thinking Dean had set her up to keep tabs on him. Dean wasn’t even aware of the fact that they were dating.
Bobby pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed in exasperation. He didn’t understand how someone smart enough to get a full ride to Stanford could be so oblivious.
Angel seeing the start of a full blown Cordy smack down, quickly took MJ out of her arms. Rona and Caridad frowned in Sam’s direction, they’d gotten close to Dean in Africa and Sam’s confusion about Dean’s presence wasn’t sitting right with them.
“You mean you really didn’t notice everyone talking about Xander and Dean coming home today? Are you deaf, super oblivious or just that self-centered? I know Dawnie likes you but I really don’t see why unless you’re just having a really extended blonde moment today, this week or even the last year and a half,” snarked Cordelia in anger. Dean had grown on her. She was even willing to admit he was her friend not just her friend’s boyfriend. He made Xander happy which made everyone else happy. He deserved better that a brother that couldn’t be bothered. She had been trying to be nice to Sam for Dawn, Dean and even Connor’s sake but she was pissed at the fact that he’d cut Dean out of his life without a moments hesitation. Dean wouldn’t admit it out loud but Cordelia knew Sam’s complete dismissal of him had cut deep. The flash of pain and sadness in Dean’s eyes every time he mentioned his little brother had added fuel to the fire of Cordelia’s dislike.
While Cordelia was winding up to a full blown ‘you’ll wish you were dead before I’m done with you’ tongue lashing Xander placed his tray on the table next to her and hugged her from behind.
“You are a goddess Cordy, thank you. Niaira and Johanna love their room and the twin’s room is perfect. Thanks for making it a home,” said Xander.
Cordelia closed her eyes, relaxed into Xander and said, “Of course I am and you’re welcome. It’s not like I can let my nieces and nephew live in whatever monstrosity you and Dean come up with.”
Xander pouted for a moment before brightening and saying, “I love you.”
“Of course you do you still love everyone,” teased Cordelia.
Xander finally released her and sat down saying, “I still don’t love Deadboy but I do appreciate the drawings you did for the twins’ room. They’re beautiful. Thank you.”
Angel didn’t bother glaring at Xander because he was entertaining MJ and said, “Beautiful pictures for beautiful babies. You’re welcome but did you really have to teach them that stupid nickname?”
“Yep, it’s pay back from the stupid White Knight moniker you stuck me with during high school that everyone seems to know. I mean everyone, we went to places that hadn’t been visited by white people before but they still knew me as the White Knight,” answered Xander.
Angel shrugged and said, “It an appropriate name for you. You’re the only human to have ever backed down Angelus without a weapon in sight. I don’t understand why you hate it so much.”
“Mostly because Angelus came up with it. Just like I hate being called the One Who Sees because psycho preacher said it first before he poked my eye out,” explained Xander.
“About that where’d you get the new eye?” asked Spike as Dean sat next to his brother without actually noticing it was his brother because he was too focused on the cheeseburger and the entire pie on his tray. Johanna sat next to Dean while Niaira sat next to Xander. The rest of the Scoobies had seated themselves as well with Dawn squeezing in on the other side of Sam.
“Unintentional side effect,” answered Xander before taking another bite of his cheeseburger.
“You mean it’s real?” asked Buffy.
Xander nodded but didn’t verbally answer as he enjoyed his first American style meal in a year and a half.
“So this really isn’t a boarding school for gifted students is it?” asked Sam getting over his shock.
“It actually is, it’s just that the Gifted part is more literal. Most of the girls are slayers, the rest of the students are a mix of magic user, seers, part demons, full demons, friendly weres’ and kids that have been touched by the supernatural and have nowhere else to go,” answered Dawn with a hesitant smile.
Sam wasn’t sure how to feel about that so he asked, “They don’t have to Hunt do they?”
“No! The non-slayers aren’t even allowed to go on patrols until they turn sixteen and it’s always voluntary and there’s a lot of training beforehand. The school is a fully accredited institute of learning so everyone here finishes high school at the very lease. After graduation those that want to go to college can apply to whatever school they want. Me and Vi actually graduated from here before we got into Stanford. Most of the ones that graduated with us go to the local junior college because they don’t know what they want to do yet not because they have to stay here and Hunt,” explained Dawn.
“What about the slayers?” asked Sam.
“They aren’t allowed to patrol alone but there isn’t an age limit with them. You have to understand that no matter how young they are they’re still slayers. Demons are drawn to them and when they don’t have a demon induced outlet for their slayerness, it comes out in everyday things. They break doors, they bounce off/through walls and they get into stupid but vicious fights with each other. Niaira, here, is the youngest Slayer in history at six years old but we can’t stop her from fighting. Her senses, weapon skills and strength are all enhanced. We try to protect her as best we can but she still fights when necessary. She saved the twins from a yellow eyed possessing demon two months ago,” explained Xander.
“I kicked his ass,” added Niaira proudly.
“Language!” scolded Athena.
“Sorry Grandmother, I shall endeavor to censor myself in the future,” apologized Niaira in a passable British accent with a contrite expression on her face.
“I would have believed you if it hadn’t been quite so over the top. You two are terrible influences on your children,” teased Athena.
“We practiced lots,” added Niaira with a disarming smile that could convince you that the world was flat.
Xander looked sheepish while Dean smirked, high fived Niaira and said, “That’s my girl.”
“Wait until she turns that on you when she gets older,” countered Athena.
“Eh, we’ll deal with it later,” offered Dean unrepentantly.
“Da Da De,” called JD drawing Dean’s attention to his right for the first time since he sat down.
“Yeah…” Dean’s voice trailed off as he took in the sight of his little brother holding his son. “How ya been Sammy?”
“Good, you?” replied Sam.
“Good…How’s school?” asked Dean struggling with himself. He was happy to see Sam but also a bit angry at him for never picking up his calls. So as of right now he was kinda lost on what to do.
“Good…so kids?” asked Sam.
“Wow, it’s like watching a car crash. It’s horrible but you can’t look away either,” stated Faith. Everyone but Dean and Sam nodded their heads in agreement.
JD pulled on a lock of Dawn’s hair to get her attention then reached for her with both arms. She pulled him onto her lap and he happily waved across the table at his twin.
Dean glared at Faith for a moment before he focused back on his brother. He took a deep breath and said, “Fuck it. I missed you bitch.”
“I missed you too Jerk,” responded Sam. And just like that the awkwardness between the brothers was gone.
“Fuck!” shouted Mary Joyce happily.
Everyone at the table besides Xander laughed. Xander reached across the table and smacked Dean upside the head.
Dean looked sheepishly at Xander and said, “Sorry.”
Xander narrowed his eyes and said, “I kinda hate you right now.”
“No you don’t,” stated Dean.
“Yes I do,” said Xander.
“No you don’t.”
“Yes I do.”
“Stop it you idjits!” ordered Bobby. “I’m starting to hate both of you.”
Xander turned toward Bobby, gave him the saddest most heart breaking kicked puppy eyes in his vast arsenal, threw in a lip tremble and asked, “Why?”
Bobby had never been on the receiving end of one of Xander’s kicked puppy eyes before and found himself at a loss of what to do now. He knew Xander was playing him but that face was a weapon he didn’t have a counter for. He looked around the table for some help but found none. There were a few sympathetic faces but most were barely holding back laughter. Faith was red faced from hold in her laughs. Buffy and Willow were clutching their sides in silent laughter. Dean was sticking his tongue out at Bobby. Sam looked as helpless as Bobby felt. Dawn had her face buried in JD’s brown curls and her entire body was trembling in laughter. Spike was openly laughing. Andrew had fallen off his chair. Angel was smirking at the fact that someone else was Xander’s target at the moment.
“Da DA Da DA,” called MJ distracting Xander from his current victim. The ‘face’ was put away as Xander looked at his baby girl.
Dean picked up the diaper bag that had been dropped next to his seat and went about making two bottles for the twins. When he finished making the bottles he tossed one to Xander and placed the other on the table. He looked at Dawn and said, “Give me him.”
He arranged JD so he was laying across his lap with his head resting in the crook of Dean’s left arm. Dean held onto the bottle with his left hand easily feeding the baby. He then proceeded to eat his pie with his free hand. Across the table Xander had done the same thing with MJ. The females at the table had cooed at the display of parenting prowess before resuming their conversations.
Sam watched his big brother feed his son and it finally hit him that Dean was a daddy and happy about it. Dean looked more content during this little domestic display then he had ever been during their childhood. Then again if he thought about it Dean hadn’t ever really had a childhood after their mom died. Sam knew Dean had pretty much raised him but he never thought about how hard that must have been on Dean and for that he was feeling mighty guilty. Dean was only four years older than him; he should have had to raise him but at least he had practice. Sam gently nudged Dean with his shoulder being careful of the baby.
“What?” asked Dean as he looked at his brother.
“You’re a good dad,” replied Sam.
Dean grinned and said, “Thanks.”
“So tell me about my niece and nephew,” inquired Sam.
Dean’s face lit up as he got a chance to talk about his favorite subject. He was the type of dad that loved talking about his kids but he hadn’t got a lot of chances in the past. He loved his kids. “Nieces. We adopted Niaira and we would have officially adopted Johanna if we could have so while she’s not ours legally she’s still ours. The twins were born on May 12th. Jesse is twelve minutes older than Mary. Both of their first actual word have been swears words. Jesse is the more vocal one. Mary has Xan wrapped around her little finger. Xander actually stumbled over Niaira while we were setting up camp one night. She took one look at him and latched on. She wouldn’t have anything to do with me or the others for about two months. She latched on to me when Xander couldn’t carry her anymore. She’s a feisty little thing. You have to watch her and Johanna spar at some point. It’s amazing like poetry in motion. Johanna’s the sweet one though. She wants to be a nurse when she gets older.”
The table had grown quiet as everyone stopped talking to listen as Dean spoke about their kids. Xander watched Dean with a sappy grin on his face. Listening to Dean talk about their kids made him fall just that much more in love with him.
~~reviews are appreciated~~