Angel was keeping himself busy in the kitchen. Scrambled eggs to the rescue, again. He needed time to think, to process what Spike had told him. Xander hadn’t just come to him as an alpha. He’d come to him with pack, his daughter, and the knowledge that Xander trusted him that much floored Angel.
Spike had left him alone downstairs and gone back up to check on Xander and Becca. Becca. Xander’s baby. Xander was a father. And if Angel accepted Xander’s claim, acknowledged that he was indeed Xander’s alpha, he would in a way be a father as well. The thought was both terrifying and thrilling at once.
The question was, could he do it? Could Angel have a child in his life? Things were constantly dangerous and he had responsibilities to the Powers That Be to be a Champion. His redemption was at stake. But was his redemption the only thing worth fighting for?
Angel was drawn from his thoughts by the sound of crying and he hurriedly plated up the eggs and some toast and rushed up the stairs. He had a feeling is entire world was about to change. And suddenly, he didn’t mind at all.
When he entered the room, he was shocked to see Spike cradling the baby in his arms. She was cooing up at him and Angel felt a growl start deep in his chest. She was his. Xander as his. Spike was not going to take this from him.
Spike reacted to Angel’s growl with one of his own. There was no way in hell he was letting Angel push him aside in this. He’d gotten here first. He’d been accepted by Xander, and dammit, Becca liked him.
Angel took a step towards them before he was able to regain control of his demon. It probably would have taken longer if Becca hadn’t looked over at him with her big brown eyes that so resembled her father’s.
She wasn’t scared. Even though she was held in the arms of a demon while another growled nearby. She looked content and she grabbed a handful of Spike’s t-shirt and pulled, forcing his attention back to her.
Spike stepped back from Angel but turned his attention to the baby in his arms. Angel knew he was aware of everything in the room. He’d trained Spike to do just that, after all. Protect the family, at all costs.
Angel realized all at once that Spike was his family. Not acknowledged for nearly a century, but family just the same. And now so were Xander and Becca. His acceptance hit Angel so fast that he took a step back and he nearly turned and ran. But his eyes were caught by the sight of Xander, sleeping soundly in his bed, the lines of stress that had been on his face before eased as he rested.
Xander trusted them. Them. He and Spike. He trusted them, his pack, to protect him and his daughter. Angel’s knees nearly buckled and he turned back to Spike and their eyes locked.
“Get’s ya where it counts, don’t it?”
Angel smiled and stepped forward again, and this time Spike didn’t get defensive, he just let him approach and run a hand over soft brown curls. Becca’s hand moved fast and caught his finger in her grip and she held tight. Angel looked up at Spike in amazement and felt his tortured soul heal just a bit.
Spike had finally convinced Angel to put Becca down. Once he’d gotten her in his arms, he didn’t want to let go. She was sleeping now in the little portable crib that Xander had brought along. Both vampires were pacing the room.
They marched a trail to the crib, looked down at the sleeping infant, then marched to the bed and looked down on her sleeping father. Angel happened to be closest when Xander started to stir.
He quickly realized that Xander wasn’t waking when he whimpered and started struggling with the covers. Spike rushed to his side and gently ran his hand over Xander’s leg while Angel knelt near the bed, speaking reassuring words.
Xander opened his eyes and Angel and Spike could tell from his racing heart just how terrified he was. He looked at Angel, then Spike, then back again. Angel touched Xander’s hair and guided his head to the side. Xander sighed and arched his neck back, realizing that Angel was accepting him.
Angel bit down gently and drew Xander’s blood into his mouth, sealing the claim. He pulled away slowly and their eyes locked onto each other. “Mine.” Angel’s whispered word had immediate impact on Xander and he whispered “Yours” and leaned into Angel’s touch.
Spike joined them and ran his fingers over the bite mark he’d left earlier. “Mine.” Xander looked at him, then back at Angel, again seeing acceptance and again whispered “Yours”.
Angel slid into bed beside Xander and pulled him close. Spike slid in behind him and they all curled up together. “Becca?” Xander’s whispered inquiry was muffled into Angel’s shoulder and Angel hugged him tighter in response. “She’s fine, Xander. Sleeping. You want me to get her?”
“No, let her sleep. She’s okay?”
Spike chuckled. “Yeah, pet. She’s great. The poppet even likes Peaches here. Got ahold of his finger and wouldn’t let go. You shoulda seen him.”
“We can keep her safe?”
Angel tilted Xander’s chin back and looked into his eyes. “We’ll keep you both safe. You’re family.”
“Not to worry, luv. You and the little one are safe with us.”