Alexander and Willie were on their way home from a pleasant day of shopping and looking around. Since Willie had been growing so quickly, they hadn't bothered to get him more than one change of clothes at a time because it was likely that he would outgrow them in a day or two.
Willie had enjoyed his day, his memories from his father made him realize how lucky he was to be able to go out in the sun. Willie had had half a corn dog for lunch and then they went to the park where Alexander watched as Willie played in a fountain.
Tired and happy they made their way into the hotel. Immediately after they entered Alexander said, "Wesley's here. Let's go see if we can find him."
"How'd ya know that Pop?" Willie asked, a little puzzled.
"I have hyena senses, I was possessed a few years back and when the hyena was removed, her senses and instincts remained... kind of the way Spike left his memories with you." Alexander said calmly as they made their way up the stairs.
They stopped off at the bedroom to drop off their packages and went in search of Wesley. A few minutes later they found him in Drucilla's room.
Willie barreled in the door and yelled, "Daddy! We had the best day, I got to go out in the sun and play, and I got to eat human food, and I got to play in a fountain, and..."
"It's good to see you too William." Wesley said with a smile, while hugging William close to himself.
"Poppa's got something to ask you, please say yes, please?" Willie said with imploring eyes.
Wesley turned his gaze from Willie to Alexander giving a questioning look.
"I wondered if you had time to go with us up the coast tomorrow. I'd like to introduce Willie to his grandparents... the Harris ones." Alexander said in a hopeful voice.
"As a matter of fact, I do have time and I would be delighted to travel with you and William." Wesley said formally but a glimpse of tenderness could be seen in his eyes.
"Great, I bought Willie some new clothes for the trip. And some swimming trunks for all three of us." Alexander said then realized that he might have been too forward.
"I don't know how you knew that I didn't own any, but be that as it may, thank you Alexander." Wesley said in his British watcher way.
"Sure Wesley, I didn't even think, you're just part of the family, so if I was buying for us, I was buying for you too... I hope I got the right size." Alexander said with a little concern.
"I'm sure they'll be fine." Wesley said with a small smile.
"Hi Great-Grandpa Angel. Hi Grammy Dru." Willie said with a wicked little smile as he took in Angel's flustered reaction.
"Good Afternoon Willie, are you excited about your trip?" Angel asked, getting over the Great-Grandpa comment.
"I'm excited about going on a trip with Poppa, and Daddy, and I'm excited about going to the ocean. We have to visit the wankers he calls parents while we're there." Willie said with a little sneer.
"They're your grandparents, and if we do this right, you'll never have to see them again after this." Alexander said hopefully.
"Why is that?" Wesley asked, puzzled.
"Because Willie's right, they're wankers. Even so, I think it's important that he get to meet them... they're family. But we have to be careful to not tell them where we live. You can say Los Angeles but that's all."
"Why not?" Angel asked.
"Because if they know where I live, they'll probably show up on the doorstep wanting to move in." Alexander said with dread.
Angel gave a shudder. He had seen Xander's parents a few times. Given the choice, he wouldn't want to be in the same city with them, much less the same building.
"Daddy and the Wicked Knight were talking with me.' Drucilla said happily.
Everyone turned their attention to Drucilla who was looking strangely at Willie.
"Wicked Knight?" Alexander asked Wesley with a note of teasing in his voice.
"Dark Kitten?" Wesley asked in return, effectively ending the teasing.
Willie crawled up on the bed and sat beside Drucilla. "Wanna hear about my day out in the sunshine?" he asked happily.
"Yes, tell granMummy all about your day." She said with enthusiasm.
Alexander took a seat and listened to the events of the day from Willie's point of view. Wesley and Angel walked out of the room to talk.
* * * * *
Wesley stopped into Drucilla's room later to say goodbye and arrange a time to pick them up. Alexander and Willie said their good-byes, then went back to visiting with Drucilla. There was no doubt she was stark raving mad, but she could tell an entertaining story.
Later that evening Willie and Alexander established that brussels sprouts and blood was not a viable combination and that Mac & Cheese goes with just about anything. Willie had only had a little more than two mugs of blood all day.
As they lay down to sleep, Willie whispered, "Poppa?"
"Yes Willie?" Alexander asked sleepily.
"Do you know what Willie means in England?" he asked with a chuckle.
Alexander thought for a moment then blushed. "I'm sorry Wil... what do you want me to call you?"
"I dunno. Willie didn't bother me until tonight when I remembered that it's about the same as being named 'Dick' or 'Pecker'." Willie said shyly.
"Fine, let's look at the possibilities." Alexander said in his fatherly way. "William?" He asked without hinting whether he approved or not.
Willie thought about it for a moment and said, "That's Daddy's name for me, an besides, that's what you call me when you scold me. If you called me that all the time I'd feel like I was always in trouble."
Alexander couldn't argue with that logic and asked, "Billy?"
"I don't know, I don't feel much like a Billy. I mean Billy the demon... It doesn't really sound right." Willie said with a smile.
"Jesse?" Alexander asked, trying not to sound sad.
"Hmmm. Jesse the demon... Jesse the seamonster... " He cleared his throat and mock screamed, "Ahhh! Jesse is coming!"
Alexander was laying back laughing by this time.
"That one is on the list of maybe. I like it, but I don't know." Willie said seriously.
"I've got it... Will." Alexander said excitedly.
"Will... Will the demon... Will the seamonster... Ahhh! Will is coming!" Willie stared at the ceiling, apparently searching for inspiration.
"That goes on the list with Jesse." Willie said with certainty.
"How about we decide this tomorrow. I'll introduce you to everyone as William and let them decide what to call you." Alexander said, very ready to be asleep.
"Poppa?" Willie asked quietly.
"Hmmm?" Alexander responded.
"Who was Jesse? Spike didn't know him, I don't think." Willie said sleepily.
Alexander thought that this might serve two purposes. Let Willie know who Jesse was, and give him a bedtime story to put him to sleep.
"Jesse was my best friend when I was growing up. We went to kindergarten together and became friends." Alexander said in a relaxing tone and turned on his side to watch Willie.
"He and I would build forts and treehouses, we did everything together. We played with little green army men in the dirt and made fantastic battlefields." He glanced at Willie's eyes to see them getting heavy.
"Willow was there too, the three of us were together in school, after school, on the weekends..." He dropped his voice to be softer, Willie's eyes were half closed. "Sometimes I would sleep over at Jesse's house and we would stay up real late watching movies."
"When we were 15 a new girl showed up at school. She was really pretty. There were stories going around that she burnt down her last school." Willie's eyes were little more than slits.
In a near whisper Alexander said, "Her name was Buffy. Spike knew her. She was... is the vampire slayer. She saved Willow from being bitten by a vampire. Jesse wasn't so lucky. Jesse was turned into a vamp about a week later."
Willie was asleep, but Alexander had to finish the story. In a whisper he sadly said, "I put a wooden stake through my best friend's heart and he turned to dust." Then he laid back to try and sleep.
* * * * *
They were on the road, T minus three hours and counting. Alexander thought back on the morning. He and Willie had woken up and taken a leisurely bath. After that he had prepared eggs and hashed browns for the both of them. Covered in blood for Willie with a mug and Wheat-a-bix on the side.
They had hurridly packed up their clothes for the trip and were waiting when Wesley arrived. Exactly on time, as usual.
Now they were cruising along the coast highway, Willie was in the back drawing and the adults were in the front, enjoying the scenery.
"Wesley, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to do this for us." Alexander said with genuine thanks in his voice.
"Alexander, I don't know if you understand what it means to me for you to include me in your family. I am far from my home, and not on good terms with my own family. For you to make me a part of your family means more to me than I can say." Wesley said, on the verge of letting his emotions show themselves.
"There isn't anyone else that I can think of that I would rather have as part of my family. You're my friend and Willie's Daddy and you always will be." Alexander said with a lump in his throat.
"Daddy. I gotta go." Willie said from the back seat.
Wesley said, "We haven't been on the road for half an hour..."
"He's only been on human food for two days. His body is still trying to figure out what to do with it." Alexander interrupted as gently as he could.
Wesley considered Alexander's words and began looking for the next restroom.
* * * * *
Four bathroom breaks later they arrived at the beach house. The adults got slowly out of the car and stretched their stiff bodies as Willie jumped out and started running around, exploring the area.
"Ah youth, I would stop him, but his childhood is flying by so fast..." Alexander said with a sad look in his eyes as he watched his son playing.
"He'll be fine. Every moment of his childhood is filled with love and joy. How many people do you know that can say that?" Wesley said with his own sad look.
"Willie, come on, let's meet your grandparents." Alexander said loud enough to be heard over the running child.
The group of three went up to the door of the large, majestic, albeit run-down building. It was the only structure as far as the eye could see in any direction.
Alexander knocked on the door. The knock sounded like it echoed into forever. After a moment, the door slowly began to open.
"Come in, come in." Said a woman's voice from behind the door.
The three went inside the house and saw the delicate pale woman pushing the giant door closed. Alexander made a move to help her, but before he could, she was done.
"Aunt Lily?" Alexander asked in an incredulous voice.
"Yes?" Lily answered.
"I'm Alexander, Henry and Marilyn's son. I heard that they were staying here after Sunnydale was evacuated.." he said excitedly.
"You can't be, the last time I saw you, you were... that big." She said looking at Willie.
With a swell of pride in his voice he said, "I'd like to introduce my son, William Jesse Harris"
"Aren't you just the cutest thing, I could eat you up." Lily said while pinching one of Willie's cheeks.
Willie looked up at Aunt Lily surprised then turned and put his arms up signaling for his Poppa to pick him up.
"Are my parents here?" Alexander asked casually.
"No, they went out to the store... for beer no doubt." She said with obvious disapproval.
"No doubt." Alexander said before noticing Wesley standing beside him.
"Oh, Aunt Lily, this is my friend Wesley." Alexander said quickly. "This is Lily..."
"Call me Aunt Lily, everyone does." Lily interrupted with grace.
Willie pulled himself close to his Poppa's ear and whispered, "I think she's a vampire."