Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy. I do own Sophie, Lily, Jesse and Echo :)
While his Girlfriend and best friends desperately searched The Mall for the missing children, Xander was still laying on the couch in front of the TV, moping. But then, the opening titles of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' flashed onto the screen. Xander bolted upright, eyes brightening.
"Anya!" He called, "Ahn, go get Jesse, 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' is.." Then he remembered. Anya and Jesse weren't there. They'd gone to the Mall with the other Scoobies. Xander sighed, suddenly realising what an idiot he'd been. The reason he'd needed 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' as a child was as an escape, from his Parents who were always too busy fighting to spend a proper Christmas with him. But he had his own family now, he had Anya and there beautiful little boy. An old Christmas Special, great as it was, meant nothing if he couldn't share it with them.
So, for the first time in Days, Xander stood up, intending to go out and retrieve his Family right away, and apologize for his behavior .. Until he sniffed himself and realised he'd better have a shower first.
Meanwhile, now safe under Cordelia's watchful eye, Lily and Jesse followed the trail of 'Sparklies' she was making for them. It lead them through The Mall to the one DVD store that The Scoobies hadn't been able to search before they'd pulled off their little jailbreak from their strollers, and then, eventually to a shelf, upon which a lone copy of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' sat, surrounded by a multitude of other Christmas Specials.
"Dada Moobee!" cried Jesse excitedly, reaching up on his little tippy-toes to grab it from the shelf. Luckily it wasn't too high for him.
"Yay!" Lily cheered. "We gots it!"
"Now Mama?" Jesse asked, looking around.
"Um.." Lily's face fell as she realized she had absolutely no idea how to get back to their Mothers. Jesse noticed.
"I wan' Mama!" He wailed.
Okay, Cordy thought as she watched, Time to step in. She looked around, hoping none of the other customers would notice, before making herself visible.
"Cordy!" Lily cried, running to hug her leg.
"Co-dee!" Jesse cooed, mirroring his best friend's actions.
"Hey there, Munchkins" Cordelia grinned, scooping up a toddler in each arm. "You shouldn't have wandered off like that, your Mommies are very worried about you."
"We're sowwy" said Lily, wearing her most adorable guilty expression. Jesse just nodded solemnly in agreement.
"Sure you are" Cordy chuckled. "Well, come on, let's pay for that DVD and then we'll go find them.."
After spending what felt like hours driving around the Mall Parking Lot in search of a space, Xander finally found one. He leapt out of the car and rushed towards the entrance, dialling Anya's cell as he went. No reply. He tried Willow instead. Still no luck. Buffy, Faith, Tara.. Nope. Why weren't they picking up their damn phones?
Because they were too busy calling each other every few minutes, that's why. Xander had just been unlucky enough to call each of them at the exact moment they were talking to another member of the group.
"Still nothing?" Willow asked her Wife down the phone, feeling her heart drop.
"Nothing" Tara confirmed, not feeling any better herself. "We'll just have to keep looking."
"Yeah, us too" Willow sighed. "Bye.."
"It's hopeless!" Anya shrieked. "They're gone! I'm never going to see my tiny human again! I didn't even get to teach him about the joys of money!"
"Anya, calm down!" yelled Willow, grabbing her friend and shaking her slightly. "We will find Lily and Jesse. We have to.."
At that moment, a voice rang out over the Mall's loudspeakers.
"Attention Rosenberg and Harris families, Your missing children have been located. You can retrieve them at the Service desk, located on Level 2. Thank you."
Willow and Anya shared a look, then rushed for the nearest elevator.
"Oh, Thank God" Buffy breathed a sigh of relief, before sending a text to Dawn to tell her not to worry, she and Connor didn't have to rush over and join the search anymore.
"Yay!" Sophie cheered. "They found them!"
"Great" said Faith, scooping her niece up and taking off at a run. "Now let's go grab them before Lilypad decides to pull another jailbreak."
"Definitely" Tara agreed.
"Missing children?!" Xander yelped when he heard the announcement, having been searching the Mall for his Wife and friends. He sped off, wondering about the quickest way to get to Level 2.
"Mama?" Jesse asked, looking up at Cordelia while they waited by the desk.
"Don't worry kiddo, your Mom should be arriving in about, oh.. Now" Cordy grinned as a nearby set of elevator doors opened, and Willow and Anya came speeding out.
"Mommy Willow!" cried Lily happily, running off towards her."
"Lily!" cried Willow, relieved, scooping the two-year old into her arms. "Don't you ever run off like that again, You hear me?"
"Jesse!" Anya yelled.
"Mama!" Jesse grinned, toddling towards her.
"Oh, my Tiny Human!" She swept him up, showering his little face with kisses. "I thought I'd never see you again!"
Faith, Tara, and Sophie came speeding around one corner, Buffy from another.
"Thank God!" cried Tara, hugging Willow and Lily.
"I'm technically not a God, but you know, whatever.." Cordelia smirked.
"Queen C?" Faith frowned, letting Sophie down from her place atop her shoulders, "What the hell are you doing here?"
"I promised that one's Daddy I'd keep a special eye on him" Cordy nodded at Jesse. "And speaking of that ones Daddy, he should be arriving right about.." The elevator opened again, letting Xander rush through the doors. "..Now."
He breathed a massive sigh of relief once he noted that all Scooby children were present and accounted for.
"Anya!" He called as he sprinted over to them. "Oh Ahn, I am so sorry."
"Xander?" She frowned. "What are you doing here?"
"Dada.." Jesse tried to present him with the DVD, which had gone unnoticed in the commotion.
"I needed to apologize, to all of you" He continued, looking around at his friends.
"I lost track of what's really important.."
"..I almost ruined our Christmas over a dumb old movie, and I am so sorry."
"Dada!" Jesse tugged on Xander's sleeve, finally getting his attention.
"For me?" He gasped taking the DVD
"We founded it" said Lily proudly.
"Thank you, Buddy" Xander smiled, ruffling his son's hair. "You too, Lily. Uh, not that I didn't mean everything I just said, but what's say we all head back to my place and watch this?"
Everyone murmured in agreement, and headed off.
"Are you coming, Cordy?" asked Sophie, offering the Power her hand.
"Why not?" she shrugged. "They won't miss me yet."
The two fell behind a little.
"This was all 'sposed to happen like this, wasn't it?" Sophie asked.
"Cheeky. You know I can't tell you that."
"You don't need to."