Summary: Very AU. Everyone is human. Every town has a house with a story, with a past. Sunnydale was no different. But Crawford Manor was much more than just a house. It's alive and events that were set in motion over a decade ago are finally come to ahead. And it's all because of one platinum blonde bad boy, William Giles.
Pairings: Buffy/Angel, Willow/Tara, Wes/Fred, Cordelia/Riley with hints of past Darla/Angel, and future Buffy/Spike. It will be a Spuffy story eventually, just fair warning to all those that aren't Spuffy fans.
Author's Notes: Wow, it's a Turkey Day miracle. I, , have finally finished a story I should have been done with a year ago. Huzzah! If there is anyone out there that is even still remotely interested in this story, I hope this ending does it justice. And if there is anyone that just happened to stumble across this because they thought it was the next chapter of Different World, sorry but fear not, I'm dusting that one off too. I'm trying not to go another two years with that one. But enough about that enjoy this, the very last chapter of Cursed!
So Much For My Happy Ending...
He was looking into the eyes and face of a dead woman. A woman that had left him too long ago to raise a child that looked like her more and more everyday. It had been ten years since he last saw that smile and she still looked the same.
"Well, aren't you going to say something?"
Rebecca cocked her head to the side and smiled wider. "You. Well, you and the children, of course. You broke the connection between the Crawford's and this house. It set the souls that were trapped here free. You did good."
"Good?" Giles snapped, standing up fully. "You call letting our son jump to his death a good thing? I let him die, Rebecca. William is gone."
Her smile melted into a small frown and she stood up as well. "Oh, Rupert, you can't see the good you've done because you're too busy mourning something you had no control over. I know you want to think otherwise but there was no other way to end this. William needed to die in order for the Hellmouth to be closed. He was the last of the Crawford's and there was no other way. I am truly sorry for that."
"You're telling me that I should just accept this? That I should accept that he's gone. He was all I had left. First you, and now him. I have nothing left."
"You will always have me, Rupert," Rebecca corrected him gently. "I live on in your heart. And as for our son, well, he is exactly where he needs to be right now. I want you to accept that as a fact. He is where he can be happy and at peace."
Giles opened his mouth to say something but the words died on his lips. "He's happy?"
"He's exactly where he belongs," she repeated. "Go home, Rupert. You're tired and you need your rest." She smiled again and he felt his heart beat faster. "I will always love you. And one day, you, I and William will be a family again. But for now I want you to live. Not just for William but for yourself. Why not give that computer teacher a call?"
Behind him, he heard Tara and Wesley snickering and he couldn't help the small smile that formed on his lips as well. Leave it to Rebecca to completely ruin what should be a tragic moment. Spike had definitely inherited that trait from his mother. He looked back to his wife to notice her eyes were pinned on something just beyond him. He glanced over his shoulder to see Buffy looking like a deer caught in the headlights.
"So this is Buffy," Rebecca said, walking over to her. She cocked her head to the side and smiled wider. "Yes, I can definitely see what all the fuss was about now." She nodded her head as if she were stating a common fact. Her eyes drifted over to her second favorite blonde. "My, Tara, you've grown up to be quite the looker."
Tara tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and ducked her head so that her aunt wouldn't see the red staining her cheeks or the tears glistening in her eyes. It was for nothing as she felt a ghosted touch on her cheek. "You helped him more than you'll ever know, sweetheart. You saved him when it counted the most."
The young witch arched an eyebrow before a single moment passed through her mind. She remembered it was less than two years ago, right before he had come to Sunnydale. She had had a horrible feeling in her stomach the whole day, like something was terribly wrong. So acting on her gut instincts, she called her younger cousin. He had sounded weird, strained almost, and kept trying to push her off the phone. But she wouldn't let him go. After awhile he started to sound like himself again and the feeling had faded away. She hadn't given the situation much more thought after that but now as she stood in front of her aunt she started to understand the truth about that day.
"It wasn't his time," Rebecca murmured. "He was so lost but you pulled him back." She smiled at her again causing a pang of longing for the one that resembled that smile. "You didn't fail him either, my heart. You did good." She brushed her lips against her niece's forehead before stepping away from her.
"I have to go now," she said, finally after looking them all over. "It's finally time for me to leave this place. But before I go, I do have one message to pass onto you, Liam." Angel stood up straight, looking more than a little confused. "From your sister, Faith. She wants you to know that she loves you. And that she will see you again."
He smiled a little and nodded his head. "I know she will."
Rebecca smirked slightly. She closed her eyes as if listening to something and when she finally opened her eyes again, they could feel the peace radiating from the brown orbs. It was a peace that was felt throughout the entire house. Though it had returned to its original state of decay, it was obvious that the souls of all those trapped there had been set free. They were at peace. And that was all thanks to Spike. It was a little hard to be depressed when faced with that thought. He sacrificed himself for what he knew was the right thing.
"Go home, Rupert," Rebecca repeated her earlier words. "That is where you belong." She paused once more. "By the way, he was right, you know? You did do a really good job. I'm proud of him. I even like the name, I think it builds character."
Giles didn't bother trying to hold back the laugh this time. Satisfied with this result, his wife graced him with a final smile before disappearing in a column of light. Giles watched her go with peace in his heart. At least this time he knew without a doubt that she would be going to a better place. She would be at peace now after so long. It was easier to part with her the second time. It was the other parting that he would have to learn how to deal with. But for now, she was right. He needed to go home. He turned to look at the group of teens his son called friends.
Wesley was quiet as usual with his arms wrapped tightly around a very groggy Fred. Cordelia and Angel were holding onto one another so tightly, it was difficult to tell where one of them began and the other ended. Willow had her hand on Tara's shoulder, silently offering comfort to the Wiccan who was lost in her own world. Buffy was chewing on her lip wondering just how to feel. They were all feeling the loss heavily. They were all grieving. But the one that caught him the most off guard was Xander. Although he wasn't sure why it did catch him off guard. He knew that the boy and his son were close. They were practically brothers.
He gently put an arm around the teen's shoulder, hiding his amusement at the look of shock plastered across Xander's face and sighed. "Let's go home."
Giles numbly listened as Wesley explained that he would be back later after dropping Fred off at home. He glanced at Xander and Tara who were sitting in the living room staring off into space. He wanted to say something to them, anything, but there was nothing he could say. He felt it too. It felt wrong to be here. The atmosphere hadn't changed. It was as if the house hadn't registered that Spike was gone. Everything felt the same when it never would be again. Giles stood abruptly, drawing attention from the two teens.
"I'm going to try and get some sleep. I suggest you two try as well."
"We'll wait for Wes," Tara replied, quietly. She drew her legs up to her chest and rested her head on her knees. "Get some sleep, Uncle Giles." Xander remained eerily quiet.
With that said, he walked out the room and quickly up the stairs where he was faced with a new problem. To get to his room at the end of the hall, he would have to face the last thing in the world he wanted to be confronted with at the moment. He would have to face Spike's room. And suddenly he got why neither of the two teenagers downstairs were making a move towards the bedrooms. If they passed the room, it would be empty and just further serve the point that Spike was gone and he wasn't coming back.
He's where he belongs, Giles thought, somewhat mockingly. He belongs with me. But clearly he doesn't because he's not here. Giles glowered at the betraying thought before sighing deeply. He was losing it. His son had been gone less than two hours and he was already going insane. Just as he was contemplating giving up all pretenses of sleeping in a bed and returning downstairs, he noticed that the door to Spike's room was slightly ajar.
Xander was the last one to leave the room and he had been in a hurry. He wouldn't have taken the time to close the door. So that meant that for some reason, someone had gone up to the room after that and closed the door. He couldn't recall anyone doing that and then he was struck with a horrible (not to mention slightly irrational) thought. What if someone had broken into the house? What if someone had taken something from his son's room?
Faced with these thoughts, Giles entered the room slowly. He found that the light was off as well. Now he knew that someone had been in there. When he left, the light on the desk had been on. He flipped the switch for the overheard lamp on, flooding the room with light. It took him a moment to adjust his eyes. And even longer than that to register the soft grunt that came from somewhere the in the room.
"Turn the bloody light off!" a voice mumbled sleepily.
Giles' blood ran cold as his eyes landed on the bed. More appropriately on the balled up figure that rested on the bed. On shaky legs, Giles shuffled over to get a good glance at the blanket covered lump. He drew the covers back slight to reveal mussed up blonde hair sticking up at crazy angles. Giles felt his knees get weak and he sat on the edge of the bed to keep from falling completely.
The sleeping teen turned slightly in his direction, cracking his eyes open blearily. It was a pair of tired blue orbs that peered up at Giles, not really seeing him. "Just five more minutes, dad. You work at the school I can afford to be late."
Giles barked out a laugh at the totally Spike statement. This really was his little boy. He brushed a hand over his son's face and smiled as the teen sank deeper into his much needed sleep. He hadn't been sleeping well before this whole ordeal and it was obvious that he needed this rest. And that's why Giles decided to hold off on the questions. He would let his son sleep for now. Because he had tomorrow and all the rest of their lives to ask all the questions in the world. With a significantly lightened heart, Giles made his way downstairs to deliver the good news, pausing only to turn off the light on his way out the door.
Light, he decided, was the enemy. It was currently streaming in through his window and directly into his eyes. He attempted to turn over onto the side of the bed that would block the annoying streams of light but he found there was something already occupying that spot. Something female, blonde and breathing. What the hell did I do last night?
He opened his eyes and found that what he had originally thought of as a pillow was, in all actuality, Tara. The Wiccan was sleeping on her side facing him almost as if she had fallen asleep that watching him. At some point, he had rolled over so that his head was resting against her shoulder. Smiling slightly, he didn't bother to question why she was in his bed. He merely closed his eyes and tried to ignore the light that had driven him from sleep in the first place.
That is until the sound of snoring dragged him away from his light doze. He arched an eyebrow at the sound, knowing for a fact that it wasn't coming from Tara. Without really moving, he craned his neck to see that the source for the snoring was none other than his beloved best friend, Xander. The whelp was sitting against the bed with his head resting on the mattress. Before he could even begin to think about why Xander was in his bedroom sleeping, he noticed that Wesley was also there, propped up in a chair, also dead to the world.
"What the hell is going on?" Spike muttered to himself. He slowly extricated himself from Tara and attempted to sit up. That's when his vision dimmed somewhat as pain made itself known in almost every inch of his body. And with the pain, came the memories of the previous night. He remembered going to the Crawford house. He remembered accepting that he was William Crawford. And then he remembered jumping into the Hellmouth. He was falling and as he fell there were things... feelings, beings that were reaching out to him to keep him with them forever. He shivered at the thoughts.
"Spike?" a quiet voice managed to cut through his impending panic attack. "You're awake." Spike's eyes landed on Xander and he managed a weak smile. "I'd ask how you're feeling but the fact that your face is kinda green answered that question."
"Yeah," Spike said, releasing a breath. He scooted closer to the edge of the mattress so that his head was rested beside Xander's. "So..."
"So...." They paused before laughing quietly. "Who knew that you jumping into the mouth of hell would make things awkward?"
"Sorry about that, you know? It's just that...."
"It was the only way," Xander nodded. "I know. I get that. I'm just glad that you're not dead. Because that would have really sucked."
"Understatement," Tara chimed in. The two boys peered over at the blonde to see her sitting up slightly in bed. "You being dead would have done more than just really sucked. Glad you're okay, brat."
"I'm alive," he corrected. "Okay is open for interpretation. Every single bone in my body hurts."
"Let me go get your dad," Xander offered. "He'll probably want to know you're awake."
"He already knows," Wesley reported, yawning as he pointed to the doorframe Giles was casually leaning against. "See and I didn't tell him."
"You're still not off the hook for ratting us out in the first place," Tara chided with a slight smirk.
"Well I don't think it's fair that I'm getting hounded for that when Spike broke Rule Number One."
Spike's already pale face went dramatically white at the off hand comment. Wesley saw this and immediately started rambling about with an apology. Tara slipped an arm around her cousin while simultaneously bopping Wesley over the head.
"That broken rule is null and void as of this morning," Tara declared simply. "However your violation is not."
"Yeah," Spike retorted, clearly over whatever emotional damage Wesley's comment had caused. "You're still a snitch."
"I am not a snitch!"
"Technically, you are," Xander chimed in, earning twin looks of approval and a dark glare from Wesley.
Giles rolled his eyes at the inane conversation although internally he was happy to hear their random comments. It meant that things were somewhat back to normal. He watched amused as his son continued to bicker with his friends and cousin. A small smile played across his lips as Rebecca's words came back to him. Spike was where he belonged. Not with the Crawford's but here with his father, cousin, friends and...
The doorbell ringing downstairs cut through the small argument that had now somehow shifted to what was Spike's natural hair color. Giles' brow furrowed as he tried to think of who it would be. Everything about last night was becoming a distant blur now that his son was safe and somewhat sound. But he did remember the other teens mentioning that they would be stopping by this afternoon. And that's when it hit him.
"I never told them about Spike," Giles muttered, loud enough for the assembled teens to hear. He glanced up just in time to see a familiar smirk spreading across his son's face. The pain he had been complaining about minutes before seemed to vanish as he sprung out of bed and raced downstairs eager to apparently scare the crap out of his mourning friends and girlfriend.
"Looks like even death can't change him," Tara said, lying back on the bed. She counted down in her head, ending just as a scream that sounded oddly like Angel rang out. "That boy will never change."
"And I hope he never does," Giles smiled as he headed downstairs to join his son.
Angel shifted nervously on the doorstep to Giles' home. It seemed almost surreal that less than twelve hours ago they were all here trying to find a way to save Spike. And now here they were trying to find a way to move on without him. Heaviness settled in his chest. This was all his fault. He was the one who forced Spike into this mess. The blonde had been trying to ignore it all but Angel and his need to find answers for Faith pushed him back in. And what had it gotten them? Nowhere. Faith was still gone and now Spike was....
Standing at the front door with that damn loveable smirk plastered across his very much alive face. The five teenagers standing opposite from him could only blink in surprise at the boy who should have been dead before Angel let out a very undignified (not to mention unmanly) scream.
"Spike?!" Cordelia gasped, trying desperately to ignore Angel's moment of uncool (although filing it in her mental cabinet of Angel's most embarrassing moments).
"But we saw you," Buffy protested. His smirk melted into a look of softness as he held a hand out to her. She latched onto it, reveling in the warmth. Her eyes met his and she knew it was really him. Somehow or another, Spike had survived jumping into the mouth of hell and he was really here. She narrowed her eyes as she slapped him across the face.
"What the hell did you do that for?"
"That was for dying!" she hissed, before pulling him into a deep kiss. "And that was for coming back." With that said, she patted him on the chest before sauntering into the house. Spike's jaw dropped slightly as he watched her go.
"Damn crazy bint," he muttered. He glanced back at the now four shocked teens. "Come on you lot are making me nervous here. It's really me. I swear. I'm all Spike."
Fred and Willow didn't bother saying anything more. They just hugged him tightly before heading into the house as well. He didn't need to stick his head in the house to hear the two chewing out their respective partners for not informing them of Spike's return from the dead. He smirked and turned back to the pair still lingering on the doorway.
"Well, princess, nothing to say?" Cordelia merely shook her head and gave him a slight peck on the cheek. He cocked his head looking at Angel.
"You coming in or have you decided to take up a job as a really bad lawn gnome?"
Angel smiled faintly and shrugged. "It's my fault."
"No, its not," Spike replied, seriously. "None of this was your fault, no matter what you think. I was meant to do this and I would have done it one day or another. If it wasn't for you all, I probably would have opened the hellmouth and killed everyone. It was you and the others that kept me grounded."
Angel's smile grew a bit more genuine. "It would have sucked if you were really dead, you know?"
Spike smirked and rolled his eyes slightly. "Well yeah, I know. I'm glad you finally realize, silly poof."
"How long until you stop calling me that?"
"Ask me again after your girly screams stops echoing in my head."
"Jerk," Angel muttered under his breath, following the blonde into the house at last. As he closed the door behind them he noticed Tara was sitting at the foot of the stairs waiting for them. The two cousins stared at each other silently for a few moments. Just as Angel was beginning to wonder what they were up to, Spike shrugged.
Apparently this was the reaction Tara was waiting for as she rose to stand beside him. Side by side they walked into the living room with a confused, yet amused Angel trailing after them.
"So now that you've had your fun," Giles smiled somewhat once Spike had taken his place beside Xander. "You want to explain what happened last night?"
"What happened?" Spike repeated blankly. "Well, I don't really remember too much. It's all kind of a blur."
"A blur?" came the surprised roar from all assembled save for one.
"A blur like your first night in Crawford?" a certain redhead asked, eyebrow arched gracefully. The blank look faded as his face twisted into one of amusement almost immediately.
"Will you stop playing around?" Tara hissed. "This is serious. And despite what I told Wesley, you're not completely off the hook for breaking Rule #1."
Spike huffed but didn't bother refuting that claim. "Fine, fine, I guess you lot want to know how I'm still alive, huh? Well, it's because of my mother."
"Your mother? Rebecca?" Giles' brow furrowed. Whatever answer he was expecting it definitely wasn't that one. "What does your mother have to do with this?"
"Everything. She came to me last night and told me that in order to distance myself from the Crawford's I had to accept them. The only way to end the curse once and for all would be for William Crawford to die in the house. And for that...."
"You had to become William Crawford," Wesley finished. "But that still doesn't explain how you're alive."
"I told you," Spike replied, semi-patiently. "My mom. As I jumped into the Hellmouth, she grabbed me. She saved me before I fell with Elizabeth and took me back home... I guess."
"All I can really remember is seeing you lot, and then I was falling..." he trailed off, remembering the feeling of falling. The heat rising from the pit he was plummeting to. The hands that were reaching towards him. The fear, the heat, the pain, the isolation....
"Will?" Xander's voice reached him again. He met his best friend's steady gaze and had to nod. Somehow or another, Xander always understood hm. For better or for worse Xander would always be there. "So what happened after you fell? I mean got pulled out of the pit."
"The next thing I know, I felt safe and warm, like I was... home."
Giles rubbed his glasses on his shirt, discreetly wiping away any signs of tears.
"I'm still confused. If you became William Crawford how come you were still able to go through with the plan you and Aunt Rebecca came up with?"
Spike chewed on his lips thoughtfully. "It didn't make much sense to me either when mom suggested it. I just knew to trust her. And when I did surrender control to William, I understood. William wanted it to end too. He wanted to destroy the curse and the house."
The center of attention could only smirk at the confusion written across the faces of his friends and family. "William was the sent away Crawford, correct? Well when he heard from his long lost sister he was immediately down for the plan. Until he started getting visions of what hell on earth would look like. Naturally he had second thoughts."
"William was trying to end it too?" Buffy repeated in slight disbelief. "Because from where we standing it didn't look that way."
"It's called acting, love. You should look into it." Spike ducked as a pillow went sailing his way. He chuckled and looked around the room. Despite everything that had occurred over the past few days he wouldn't change a thing. He had the woman he wanted to be with for the rest of his life. He had his best mate. He had his beloved cousin and father. He had his friends. Hell, he even had Cordelia and Angel. The only thing missing was....
"So by the way, poof, where's Faith?"
The newfound relief at seeing Spike alive and well dimmed as they remembered Angel's fallen sister. It also served as a reminder of just how much they almost lost. Faith had been the initial reason for Angel's wanting to go into the house and in the end, he had lost her and almost Spike. He cleared his throat realizing that Spike was waiting for an answer.
"She didn't make it. Riley attacked us and she took the hit that was meant for me."
Spike blinked before his mouth twisted into a thoughtful frown. "Well, I know that. And by the way sorry about that. I didn't know Elizabeth was going to send the zombie duo after you. But don't worry. I took care of them too."
"Are they....?" Cordelia trailed, not entirely sure what she wanted for her ex-boyfriend and her... Darla.
Spike rolled his eyes. "They're fine. Well as fine as those two can be. They won't remember a thing. The only thing they know is that they went into the house, got caught by Cordelia, and then everything else is a blank. I figured it would be better that way." He turned his attention back to Angel. "So now that we're clear on the morons, where is Faith?"
"She's dead, Spike," Angel ground out, a little annoyed that Spike was still pressing such a sensitive issue. "You don't live through something like that."
"But," Spike protested before seemingly thinking of something. He closed his eyes in thought, ignoring the tension that ran through the room at the simple gesture. "Of course, that makes more sense. Right."
The assembled group exchanged wary glances. "Uh, Spike, who are you talking to?"
"Answer the phone," was the only reply they received. He opened his eyes once more to look pointedly at Angel. "Answer the phone, poof."
"But it's not..." Ring. Ring. "Ringing. Right." He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket frowning at the unknown number. "Hello?" his eyes widened somewhat. "Dad, I can totally explain why I'm not at school right now.... Wait, you didn't know I wasn't at school. Ignore that then. Where are you?"
The assembled group waited patiently as Angel listened to his father. Whatever the elder O'Connor had to say was causing a myriad of emotions to flit across the quarterback's face. Finally he flipped his phone shut and looked at a far too enlightened Spike.
"What did your dad want?" Cordelia asked, quietly as if she were afraid to shake him from his stupor. "Angel?"
He sat forward, his gaze still locked on Spike. "My dad called to tell me that he and mom got a call last night. That's why they weren't home when I got there. There was a Jane Doe brought to a hospital in LA. They said she fit Faith's description, so they went. It was her. It was Faith."
"You're leaving out the best part, poof," Spike chided him gently.
Angel's lips twitched before a brilliant smile spread across them. "She was alive. Faith is alive. Dad said that they're going to transfer her to a hospital in Sunnydale until she's deemed ready to go home. Apparently she was abducted by some cult and that's where she's been for the last few years."
"A cult? What's next? Kids on PCP? Just goes to show the depths that the residents of Sunnydale will take so they don't have to acknowledge that there are things that go bump in the night," Xander mused with a grin. And then a thought occurred to him. He turned to his best friend. "You knew that already, didn't you? That's why you were surprised that we thought Faith was dead."
"I didn't think about how difficult it would be to explain where she was if she suddenly went home with you. So I guess this way made more sense," Spike shrugged. He could feel the unspoken question in the gaze of everyone in the room. "I protected her. When you lot were casting the spell, I reached out somehow and shielded her from it. It wasn't hard since she was a part of the house, a part of me. I guess mom took care of the rest."
He shifted a little, highly aware of all the looks being thrown his way. "What? The way I figure it is we got the bloody happy ending you all kept harping on about. The poof has his sister. I'm not dead. I got the girl," at this Buffy rolled her eyes but didn't correct him. Inwardly he was beaming like an idiot. Outwardly, he shrugged again. "And the Hellmouth is forever sealed away. Everything is nice and neat."
"There is one thing that is bothering me though," Giles said, leaning forward. Spike rolled his eyes but inclined his head indicating that his father should speak. "What exactly is rule number one?"
Spike's eyes widened slightly before his gaze flickered first to Wesley and then to Tara. The older of them shrugged. "Rule number one is the most important rule. The other ones are easily forgiven but number one is the most important."
"And that is?"
"No dying," Spike replied simply, looking down at his socks.
And at that moment, Giles understood his son, niece and the boy who was as a good as his relative clearer than he had their entire lives. The silly rules were built to protect a group of kids who had lost all semblance of stability. It was created to protect their world and each other. He glanced at the three rule makers and couldn't help but smile.
"Alright, who wants lunch? My treat."
"Oh, I want Doublemeat Palace!" Fred blurted out, earning a dark glare from Buffy. "What?"
The teens all set into motion all declaring what they wanted. Spike took the opportunity to slide over to where his father was standing. He nudged him with his shoulder prompting Giles to wrap an arm around his shoulder. Sensing that father and son needed a moment, the others left the room to debate about their food options in the kitchen.
"So you're alright?" Giles asked, looking him over. "No lasting effects from William?"
"No," Spike smiled again. "You know he wasn't that bad in the end. William. He wanted to end it too, but he just never had the courage. He didn't have the strength. That's what I got from you, dad. It was your strength that let me do the right thing."
Giles coughed and looked down trying to hide the suspicious shininess in his eyes. "Yes, well, I'm glad you're alright. So you're back to being just a normal teenage boy again?"
"As normal as I was before," he replied with a smirk. Just then the raised voices from the kitchen reached his ears. He frowned and glared uselessly at the still opened door. That is until the door suddenly slammed shut startling the kitchen's occupants into silence. Spike's eyes widened and he turned to his father. "Ok, so maybe I'm a little bit more than what I was before."
Giles opened his mouth to say something more but decided it wasn't worth it at the moment. He had everything he wanted, no that he needed. His son was home. His son was healthy, happy and back to his smirking, sarcastic self. He'd get used to the added weirdness in time. He'd get used to having more than the Scoobies around as well. Because his son was home. And that was all that mattered.
Almost as if he sensed his father's shift in mood, Spike started shuffling towards the kitchen. They were half the way there when Giles spoke again.
"Oh, and son."