Demons, Kids, And Other Terrors
In case it isn't obvious, this is an alternate universe where Cordelia is Connor's mother. How? Poetic license. :-)
"Are you sure you know how to use that thing?" Wesley asked worriedly, examining the wickedly sharp – and bespelled with over a dozen protective charms – blade in his wife's slim hands.
Fred blinked at her husband. "Yeah. The pointy end goes into the demon. Just like with stakes and vampires?" It wasn't a question, but she added an inquiring lift to the end of the sentence to showcase how inane his question was.
Wesley flushed and dithered with his axe. He knew he was being unreasonably overprotective of her. But to his mind, he had just cause! She was pregnant, for Christ's sake! "I'm sorry, I just don't want you to hurt yourself…or the baby." He laid one hand protectively on the slight mound of her stomach.
Fred smiled softly. "Wesley, you don't need to worry so much," she reassured him in the soothing cadence she used whenever Connor couldn't sleep. "I'm not going to be fighting. This is just to protect myself, in case any of the Grubbor demons get past you guys."
"And that's not going to happen," Angel reassured them. "I won't let them." Connor, from his position hanging over Angel's shoulder, burped his agreement. Angel grimaced slightly. "He always manages to miss the cloth." He sighed, going to the bathroom to clean up. "He's definitely got his mother's antagonistic temperament," he grumbled under his breath.
"I resemble that remark!" Cordelia complained from her position on the nearby couch. At seven months pregnant – with twins, this time, though considering the fact, she looked almost svelte, a diet of nutritional food and experience (both administered by her doting mother hen of a husband) doing wonders for both her figure and her emotional state – she was forced to use her strident voice to defend herself, instead of her newfound demi-demon strength, which could knock even Angel on his ass when she was feeling frisky.
"Yeah, but considering how…passive…you've been these past couple of months, I have a feelin' those twins are gonna be makin' up for it for years to come," Gunn put in.
Angel groaned as he – and Connor – reentered the room just in time to hear the other man's pronouncement. "Don't give them any ideas, Gunn," he chided.
Snorting, Gunn said, "It's not like the little rugrats can hear me or anythin'."
"Just in case, try not to swear around the womenfolk, eh, Gunn?" Angel gave a lopsided smile.
Gunn snorted. "Sure, boss."
"You never know, Charles," Fred put in. "Every day that goes by, it becomes more and more evident that Connor's most likely precognizant; who knows, maybe the twins can hear you."
Gunn shrugged. "Well, maybe. But they're fetuses; even if their ears have formed by now, they won't be able to understand me anyway."
"Good point," Angel said, settling his eighteen-month-old son in his crib.
"Almost as good as the one on this knife," Fred joked, twirling the dagger between her fingers.
Wesley winced at the action. "Love, would you please not do that? That dagger is rather sharp, and I wouldn't want you to cut yourself."
Fred pouted a bit, but placed the knife back in its sheath around her waist. "Okaaay."
"Do you have your protection amulet?" Angel asked his wife, settling another one on Connor's crib.
"Yup," Cordelia confirmed. "And my own knife. And if worse comes to worse, I float us up out of range. You're sure the Grubbor demons are afraid of heights?" She raised one perfectly-plucked eyebrow in inquiry.
"If they weren't, I wouldn't let either of you stay here," Wesley said frankly. "You're on the top floor of a high-rise building, and that's about as safe as you can be from Grubbor demons."
"Aside from on an airplane," Angel added.
"Speaking of flying, we need to jet," Gunn broke in. He had his hubcap axe strapped to his back, several stakes and knives of various shapes and sizes stuck through a modified tool belt along with his walkie-talkie, and was generally loaded for bear – or, in this case, Grubbor demons and the odd vampire. Wesley and Angel were attired similarly, though Wesley's axe was smaller and lighter for his leaner build, and Angel was carrying a broadsword.
Pressing a quick kiss to Connor's forehead, and longer and less chaste one to Cordelia's lips, Angel turned towards the other man. "I'm ready."
Wesley, who was in the midst of giving his own wife a goodbye hug, mumbled, "Same here," into Fred's shoulder, before reluctantly turning her loose and tuning to face the other two men.
"Be safe," Fred called as they exited the building.
"You know it, gorgeous," Gunn joked as he headed down the stairs.
"Hey, that's my wife you're talking about, Gunn," Wesley griped.
"Guys, we have demons to fight. Can you two stop the infighting long enough for us to kill the damn things?" Angel broke in, voice echoing off the stairwell. "Please?"
"Well, if English would just…" The sound of their husbands and Gunn arguing died down as the three men descended towards the lobby.
Exchanging disbelieving looks, Cordelia and Fred burst out laughing, careful to keep their giggles low so as not to disturb Connor's nap. They all knew that the Grubbor demons weren't very dangerous at all – they were no more than a minor annoyance, even, compared to an Apocalypse – but even when the male contingent of their team was only going out to buy takeout, they still acted as if it was the end of the world.
"They're a real bunch of worrywarts," Fred pronounced once their laughter had died down.
"Yeah, but they're our worrywarts," Cordelia said fondly. "Especially Gunn."
Fred snorted uncharacteristically. "Just think how much worse he'd be if Willow were here this weekend? It's only because she's supervising the lock-in at Dawn's school tonight – Dawn's school that is all the way across town, thus safe from the Grubbor demons – that Gunn's turned all his worrying onto us."
"True." Cordelia wrinkled her nose into a frown. "Just think how much worse he's gonna get when he finds out she's expecting, too. She just got the word yesterday and hasn't had a chance to tell him yet, but she's almost three months along."
Fred grinned and giggled. "I know! It'll be chaos around here. All three of us, pregnant at the same time."
"No, the chaos will come once all the kids are born," Cordelia said bluntly. "And we're spaced out into two month intervals for that – I'm seven months along, I'll deliver in two months; you're five months along, so you'll deliver two months after that…"
"…and Willow's not yet into her second trimester, so she should deliver two months after I do," Fred finished. "Oh, dear! Four infants in the hotel at the same time. Chaos is a mild word."
"And don't forget about Connor," Cordelia put in. "Four infants and a toddler."
"I dread having to leave them all alone with the guys," Fred confessed. "Just the three of them, trying to take care of five kids under the age of two." She gave a mock shudder and smiled sickly.
"Let's jump off that bridge when we come to it," Cordelia advised her.
"Personally, I dread the birth," Cordelia continued. "I remember giving birth to Connor–" she glanced over at the crib, specifically the brown-haired baby sleeping deceptively like a cherub within, "–I was lucky that I went into labor at night so Angel could sneak into the hospital with me; I might not be that lucky this time."
Snorting softly, Fred said, "I thought for sure Gunn was going to have to knock Wesley out. He spent the whole twelve hours you were in labor pacing back and forth in the waiting room. He only stopped three times – twice for bathroom breaks, and once when your doctor needed some information about your medical allergies."
"Why was Wesley so worried?" Cordelia asked, forehead scrunching up in a frown.
"He said it was practice for when I got pregnant," Fred said gloomily.
"Ooh." Cordelia winced.
"Yeah," Fred agreed. "Pregnancy isn't really all that bad in and of itself – it's putting up with my husband that's so irritating."
"Yeah, Angel's been frustrating me to no end since he found out we're having twins," Cordelia replied. "I shudder to think what Gunn's gonna be like with Willow."
"We should start a club," Fred proposed.
Looking askance at her friend, Cordelia said, "Oh?"
"Yeah. Wives of Overprotective Men with Superhero Complexes."
Cordelia snorted. "Let's see how tough they are when we leave them alone with the kids that first time – three men and five babies. They'll be begging for mercy after an hour."
"I'd like to see that," Fred snickered.
A glazed look came over Cordelia's face – the same one she got whenever she received a vision from the Powers That Be– and she smiled enigmatically. "Oh, you will," Cordelia promised her friend. "You will."