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Manhattan, N. Y.
The next day saw a very crowded Avengers Tower. Buffy and Giles flew in from Cleveland. Scott, Alex and a few X-Men drove into the city early. Willow and Kennedy teleported over from England last night.
"I can't believe that of the three of us; you became 'Family man' first."
"Yeah go figger. I didn't think I'd make it out of Sunnydale alive, but look at me now. I've exceeded my life expectancy by thirty years, and over twenty of them were pure wedded bliss..."
"...What?" Willow nudged Xander with her elbow, "You can't leave me hanging like that. Inquiring minds want to know." she nudged again for emphasis.
'At least she isn't using, resolve face or the dreaded puppy eyes attack.' He smirked at her, leaned in and gave her a gentle kiss on her right cheek. "I have long ago learned my lesson. Not only do you 'Not', that is 'Not!' Taunt Mrs. Murphy's favourite boy, you do not even give him any ideas."
Willow looked at Xander in awe. "You, you've matured. To think I've lived to see the day. C'mere..." She gave him a hug and returned the kiss on his left cheek.
Kennedy was not jealous, she kept watch from across the room talking with the Julie, and Bobbi. Willow and Xander were a dangerous mix at the best of times. She trusted Willow. She really did, it was that bastard Xander she had trouble with.
"She's watching us you know." Xander whispered in his best bud's ear.
"How can you tell?" She whispered back.
"It's a thing." He shrugged.
"Okay, okay. I get the no taunting. So just give it me dry in point form. Like, like a report for Giles." She beamed at him.
Xander sighed, ' Why'd she have to beam.' He looked at her expectant face and was about to start, but held off as Buffy walked behind him. He reached out and grabbed her. He gave her a brotherly hug and Buffy melted into his embrace. Willow gave him a sad look and he opened an arm to admit one more. 'Again with the blinding headlight smile. The things I do for my girls, and the things they do for me. At least Faith is giving us some space. If I know my wife she'll want her share in about forty seven seconds, give or take four seconds.' He melted into the hug and sent both girls all his love through the Pack's emphatic connection. It was even stronger when they touched. The three melted into each other, each feeling he live they held for one another.
Buffy wiped the open tears from her eyes, "Thank you for the gift if family." She spoke from underneath his shoulder.
"Any time...granny." he expected the hit, but she took it easy on him. She squeezed him even harder to let him know how she felt about that. The thing with Sharon didn't make too much sense, it wasn't real for her. Not like this. She had come to terms with her little sister being her genetic daughter. And now there were three more members of the Summers clan, four if her uncle Chris turned out legit. The jury was still out on that.
"Uh hmm..." Xander had his arm out to let her in before she even fished with the hm. "Yay." She said quietly. Buffy and Willow looked at each other and then at Faith. She shrugged. "Try being a mother for a while and then we'll talk." She squeezed her husband even harder. She liked the fact he was more durable and she didn't have to worry about hurting him when she gave it her all. No true hug felt complete if you had to hold back. Her hugs were no longer desperate. Twenty years of constant hugs with Xander and Dawn had cured a lot of hurt.
"I am glad to see that you efforts have borne fruit. You are all grown up."
"C'mere Giles." Buffy demanded.
Giles reluctant to show emotion in front of strangers had his choice taken away when Buffy snagged a protesting arm and roughly pulled him into the growing group hug. He tried to fight it, but their link to each other overcame his stiff upper lip. He relaxed as his family made it known to one and all that they were indeed a family.
"See that's just what we need. More hugging. C'mere you..." She snagged Kennedy and Bobbi. At first it was like hugging a bunch of cats. All claws, but when Julie snagged Peter and Clint as well, and things calmed down a bit when she told Kennedy she could grope her.
Kennedy laughed, but Peter almost jumped out of his skin as Julie's wondering hands became far too intimate in a public group hug. He knew it had to be her. He didn't think Clint swung that way and his wife looked happy with her husband. Kennedy swung for the other team, so that pretty much left the little oversexed pain groping his butt and doing with the wondering hands.
Tony gave Pepper a one armed hug and a quick kiss on the lips. Her smile was his reward, that and the kiss. He looked at Rhodey.
"Oh hell no! Do not even think about kissing and you can forget the hug."
"What? Not in the mood?" Tony raised his eyebrow.
"Don't you look at me like that Stark!" Rhodes snarled.
"We've lost him to the dark side Pepper. What will we do?" Tony mock moaned.
Pepper whispered into his ear.
"That'll work." He said as they rushed back to their bedroom.