“Well!” Cordelia pressed insistently, she wanted to know where babies came from and if her daddy wasn’t going to tell her then she was sure Angel would. “Where do babies come from?” she asked again, Tammy had told her that her parents had sex but that didn’t sound right. Besides, what was sex?!
“Spike. Cigarette. Now!” Angelus snapped his hand out in demand, how was he expected to answer this? How could he answer this? No-way on God’s green Earth was he going to answer this! The baby talk would lead to talks about other, more serious conversations like sex, drugs, rock and roll. It would be a damn cold day in hell if she was ever going to learn about sex. Because sex meant some ugly, pimple-faced teenage boy was trying to get into her panties. Not gonna happen. Ever. Cordelia was not going to date and she was not going have friends of the male variety if he had anything to do about it!
“I’m waiting” Cordelia interrupted his nightmarish thoughts with her little inquisitive voice as she peered up at him with those large eyes. “Babies Angel, I wanna know about babies”
Angelus smoked the cigarette given to him in one impressive inhalation, exhaling sharply as he thought about the best way to handle this situation.
Spike took the opportunity to pass the whole thing onto his grandsire, basking in the strained look on his face. “Yeah mate, you’re older than me so you should know more about kids than me!” he spoke innocently, ignoring the promise of vengeance written on Angelus’ face when he glared at the blonde.
“Right. Babies” Angelus began, his voice going up a couple of octaves as his brain went into overtime. “Babies come from… Restaurants!” well, it was half true. That’s where Spike and Drusilla had gotten her from.
Spike looked at Angelus as though he were God!
Cordelia frowned in confusion, that didn’t sound right either. “Restaurants?” she asked as she tried to process the idea of baby restaurants. “That can’t be right”
“He’s tellin’ the truth Pix” Spike quickly quashed the thought of the lie they were spinning on the little girl. “That’s where me an your mum got you from. Remember?” his blue eyes bore into hers, forcing the little white half truth not to show in the oceanic gaze.
“I remember daddy, but I was a baby before you got me from the restaurant. How do babies get made before they go to restaurants? They have to be made somewhere right? They don’t just appear when somebody wants one… Do they?” Cordelia chewed thoughtfully on her lower lip.
“They get made in the kitchens at the restaurants” Angelus shot at her quickly, halting her thoughts when she started to get on the right track somewhat.
“That’s right” the blonde vampire joined in as he nodded wildly to his grandsire, “They make babies in the kitchens, like they make bread or cakes… We have some of your favourite chocolate cake Pix, how’s about the whole lot?!” Spike offered, thinking chocolate would take her mind off this conversation.
“Your daddy’s right Cordelia, they use baby shaped jello moulds to pour the, uh, special baby making mixture then they cook it in a special baby cooking oven” Angelus nodded down at her, a smile filled with hope on his face and his eyes clearly panicking that she wouldn’t believe a word they were saying.
“That’s just stupid” she didn’t believe a word of it, “Tammy told me her parents had sex to make a baby. That sounds more right than cooking baby powder in the oven… What’s sex and how does that make babies?!”
“DRU!” both Spike and Angelus bellowed.
Cordelia sat on her bed, a look of deep thought wrinkling her forehead as her mommy explained to her about babies and sex. Was that really how babies were made? She had been a baby once, was that how she was made?
Drusilla combed the brush through Cordelia’s long, chestnut hair as she continued to talk in her special way. “See? It’s oh so special my sweet” the vampiress purred softly.
What was so special about wriggly worms digging tunnels in the dirt? Cordelia had this image of a little boy’s wriggly thing trying to worm its way into the little girl’s tunnel. That didn’t sound so special, it sounded yuck if you asked her. “So little boys have worms and little girls have tunnels?” she asked trying to straighten everything out in her head. “And the little boy’s worm goes into the little girl’s tunnel? Then the worm makes the baby, am I right mommy?”
“Yes you are my lovely” Drusilla cooed sweetly, replacing the brush with her fingers and smoothing Cordelia’s hair down her back. “Such a clever big girl you are. But you mustn’t let the worms touch you Princess; the worms are dirty from dancing in the ground”
Cordelia nodded solemnly, no little boy’s worm would ever dig through her tunnel to make a baby. “Thank you mommy, daddy and Angel told me babies came from restaurants. I knew they weren’t right, I’ll go tell them the truth for you mommy. Can we have a tea party later please? Cus daddy said you had some chocolate cake and can we play in the garden after?”
“Mummy likes tea parties Princess, I shall like to have a tea party with daddy and my Spike” Drusilla’s eyes twinkled as she wrapped her slender arms around the little girl, purring sweetly. “My little girl all grown up now, not a little girl no more. Whatever shall mummy do?”
“Aw mommy” Cordelia scrunched up her face and tried to dodge her mommy’s kisses. “Okay, I’m gonna tell daddy and Angel the truth now, then we can some tea and cake right? Promise?”
“Cross my heart, sweet”
“YAY!” the nine-year-old shot off the bed and hurtled back down stairs where Spike and Angelus had been sat in silence for the last two hours. Identical unreadable expressions were on their stony faces, lips set into tight thin lines and the empty cigarette packet lay crumpled on the floor with a another packet verging on half empty.
Both vampires turned slowly to set their stare upon the little brunette looking at them as though she had a big secret to tell them. Her face was set firmly, her too large eyes blinked owlishly and her lips wriggling from side to side in deep contemplation.
Angelus was the first one to make a move to speak when Cordelia opened her mouth and beat him to it.
“I have something to tell you. Babies aren’t made in restaurants, they’re made when little boy’s worms dig through little girl’s tunnels. But don’t worry daddy” Cordelia assured Spike, missing the look of horror on his face. “No little boy’s worm will dig through my tunnel cus I’m a princess”
Cordelia looked from her dad to the white bag, her heart-shaped face showing deep thought and concentration. “Go on then Pix, hit the damn thing” Spike urged, not having a clue how to teach a 9-year-old self defence. He just figured he’d see how hard she could hit and go from there.
A tiny pop sounded as Cordelia hit the bag as hard as she could and looked back at Spike eagerly awaiting his praise. “Well? Did I do good daddy?” she asked hopefully.
If he hadn’t been a vampire, he would never have known she’d hit the punch bag. “Course you did good pet, princesses always do good” Spike indulged her hoping with a proud voice while mentally berating himself for being weak where she was concerned! “Now copy me” he inched her back a little bit and took a good, hard swing at the bag and smashed his fist into it making it swing wildly on the hook.
Cordelia moved back to her original position and tried her best to copy Spike’s move, the punch bag didn’t budge when her tiny fist connected with the canvas. “Ow daddy! That hurt” she complained, shaking the small sting in her hand. “Can we play with my sword now? That won’t hurt as much”
“No can do Pix, you’re not old enough to play with your sword” Spike told her seriously, “Try again” he encouraged.
Angelus stood at the top of the stairs, watching his grandchilde try to teach Cordelia some self defence moves and a smirk crossed his face every time she hit the bag. He didn’t think he’d ever live to see the day Spike, William the Bloody, would ever teach a nine-year-old girl how to punch. Then again, he didn’t think he’d ever live to see the day he checked up on that same nine-year-old every night before going to bed.
“But daddy” Cordelia whined, “I wouldn’t be playing with it, you would I would just be watching see? You got it for me to play with for my birthday remember? And I haven’t played with it yet”
Spike looked down at her, contemplating her words and seeing the logic behind them, but she was still too young to use the sword. “I said no Pixie” his voice firm and unwavering as he answered her, “Not until you’re 13 like mummy said”
“If I’m nine now then that’s only…” she quickly counted on her fingers “Four years away and that’s forever! Please daddy I won’t touch it I promise and I’ll do all my homework before I play with my toys. Pleeeaaassseee…!” large hazel eyes blinked up at him, full of hope and childish love for her father shining through the orbs.
Angelus’ smirk got larger as he watched Spike’s firm and unwavering resolve waver until defeat was the expression on his chiselled face.
Mentally berating himself for weakening at the first sign of her wheedling, Spike let out a deep breath through clenched teeth and gave in to her. “Alright, but don’t tell mummy. She’ll have my balloons on a platter” leaving Cordelia smiling happily, he walked off to get her sword from the locked weapons chest.
The elder vampire scowled a little as he watched Spike return with the sword and show Cordelia how to hold it correctly. Angelus’ eyes widened in horror as the blonde swung the sword round in a graceful arc, barely missing the girl’s head. “Hey!” he growled and walked down the steps quickly, “What’s going on?” he looked to Spike for answers.
“Daddy was just showing me how to play with my sword” Cordelia replied, looking up at Angelus with a huge smile. “It’s so cool isn’t it? Can you play with swords too Angel?”
“Yes and daddy shouldn’t be showing you how to play with swords” he glared at Spike and got a helpless shrug in return. Turning his softened glare down to the girl still looking up at him with a pretty smile, he took a firm stand there and then. “You’re not old or big enough to play with your sword yet” for God’s sake, the handle was bigger than her head!
A pout immediately formed on her lips and Cordelia began to twist her shoulders back and forth. “But see Angel, I’m not touching my sword daddy is and I’m just watching. Aren’t I allowed to watch?”
Damn the brat! “Yes, you are allowed to watch but that doesn’t mean anything” Angelus replied through gritted teeth. “You shouldn’t be standing so close, you could have been hurt” another glare was turned Spike’s way and yet again he got a helpless shrug in response.
“Daddy said it was okay as long as I didn’t touch it and I promised not to do that” she pointed out. “And I wasn’t standing really close” a pleading smile got turned on him as she held none of her charms back, blinking softly and shrugging her shoulders.
A slow smirk began to curl at the corners of Spike’s mouth as he watched his grandsire visibly fold under the pressure of her pleading. Angelus bit his tongue and dug his fingers hard into his sides trying to hold onto his resolve. Cordelia saw he was caving, her pleading smile grew into a cheeky grin as she bit her lip.
“Alright!” Angelus growled, “You can stay and watch but if, and only if, you be a good girl and stay out of the way so you don’t get hurt”
“Thank you Angel” she piped up happily and threw her arms around his waist, hugging him. While Angelus looked very uncomfortable at her show of affection, Spike couldn’t help but notice how tall she was getting. Her head was resting on Angelus’ lower abdomen and he cursed himself yet again for just how much of a father he had turned into!
“I love you Angel” Cordelia peeked up at the vampire she was hugging and spoke in her tiny voice she knew would help get her way.
Angelus instantly looked down at the young girl, seeing the adoration shining through the large hazel eyes that blinked up at him and felt a smile start to flicker at his mouth. At the sound of an innocent and knowing cough, his smile turned into a scowl directed to Spike.
Cordelia’s face lit up happily as she unwrapped a pair of personalised blue boxing gloves, her name was inscribed in silver along the wrist bands, setting off the darker shade of blue with glittering curly letters. As soon as she tore the last piece of paper from her present, she shoved them on and hit her hands together rapidly. “Wow! Thanks Angel” the eleven year old beamed at the dark haired vampire, not being able to wipe the grin from her face. “Can we go train? I wanna use them” she pleaded with both Spike and Angelus.
It had been Angelus idea to start her on kickboxing and it had proved to be a great idea seeing how she loved it immensely. The vampire carefully kept his elated smile hidden under his usual stony expression, determined not to let any of them see he was pleased with himself at getting her something she loved.
“Not tonight Pix” Spike denied with a shake of his head, “Your mum’s taking you shopping to get some new clothes for when you start school after the holidays” he told her. “Sides, you haven’t opened any of my presents yet” he nudged his head in the direction of her other wrapped gifts.
Once again, her face lit up brightly “New clothes?” her hazel eyes went wide at the thought, maybe her mom would get her a skirt now that she was older than she was last year! “Really mom? We’re going shopping tonight?” she asked excitedly, almost immediately discarding her boxing gloves so she could unwrap another present.
“Yes sweet” Drusilla cooed to her lovingly, her slender fingers running through the hair of Miss. Edith softly. “Make you look pretty for your teachers”
Neither Spike nor Angelus liked to think Cordelia would be looking pretty for anyone never mind her teachers. “But not for your teachers” Angelus and Spike muttered simultaneously.
“Can I have a skirt mom?” the eleven-year-old asked hopefully, she hadn’t been allowed one last year because she hadn’t been old enough according to her dad and Angel. They’d strictly told her no skirts until they thought she was old enough, dresses were okay as long as she had worn some shorts underneath and as long as the hem reached her knees. “You said last year I could have one when I got older and I’m older this year than last year” the young girl pointed out making Angelus and Spike curse their words last year. They didn’t want her in skirts yet, if at all, they attracted male attention and they knew what males thought of when they saw girls in skirts.
“Why not wait until next year Princess?” Spike suggested hopefully, garnering an agreeing nod from Angelus. “You’d be older than and you’d look much more…” his next words came out choked “Pretty” he wished he had the guts to stake himself.
A determined look crossed the increasingly maturing features of Cordelia as she huffed away his words with a quick puff of air. “That’s just silly daddy” she said with a laugh to her voice, “I’ll no prettier than what I do now, mom says I’m already the prettiest girl around so I’d look real pretty in a skirt now. Plus, there’s this really, really nice denim skirt in my magazine that I would love to have. Every other girl at school wants one”
Denim wasn’t a sexy material for a young girl to wear, Spike considered her words when Angelus slammed his elbow into his ribs. “Oy! What the bloody hell did you do that for?” the blonde yelped out in annoyance, rubbing the part of his ribcage.
“Don’t go there” his grandsire hissed warningly, “She gets a skirt, she’ll want a top to go with it, she gets a top she’ll want heels. And we both know what that’ll mean”
Blue eyes widened with the realisation of what Angelus said, Spike instantly went back on his words. “Sorry Pix, no skirts until you’re 13. That’s only two years away” that would give him two years to think of a way to talk her out of wearing skirts, fancy tops and high heels.
“Oooh!” Drusilla piped up, her red lips fluttering at the corners in a sly smile as her fingers stilled in the strands of Miss. Edith’s hair. “Daddy doesn’t want his Princess to grow up he doesn’t. All little girls grow up, my Spike, into sweet ladies who wear the loveliest clothes in all colours”
Triumphantly, Cordelia beamed at her father and Angelus “See? Mom says I can have a skirt and I’m gonna get that denim one with the butterflies on and the little flowers at the bottom. Can I have a top to go with it mom? Please? I’ll be a really good girl and clean my room”
“Told you,” Angelus snarked to Spike as he crossed his arms petulantly, now the kid was going to start wearing skirts and tops. The next they knew she would be asking for a car and bribing them to let her have a party at the weekend. He knew what parties these days consisted of having crashed a few of them himself, there was alcohol and boys and games like Spin the Bottle and Truth or Dare. Games like that would mean Cordelia had a boyfriend so games like that would never be played by her. Simple as that. He knew his thoughts were getting to be insane but he couldn’t help it. The thought of her with a boyfriend drove him nuts because boys were bad and only thought of one thing where girls were concerned!
“We shall see my sweet” Drusilla smiled at her little girl, soon she would be a little lady.
Twirling happily in front of the mirror, Cordelia admired her new skirt and top; the light blue denim had wide dark blue streaks and a matching dark blue thick belt. The top was designed with a Gypsy feel to it, mid blue with white swirling patterns and flaring sleeves which flopped down from her wrists. “I look way cool” she said excitedly, jumping up and down in the cubicle.
Glancing at the other outfits she had chosen, Cordelia beamed at her clever intuition at what would look great and what wouldn’t. Everything looked so nice, tops matched the chosen skirts and pants and she just knew Angel and her father would say she looked like a real princess when she showed them later.
“Mummy has a very special present for her big girl” her mother’s voice floated into the cubicle, announcing she had another present for her. Opening the door, Drusilla glided inside and closed the door softly behind her, in one hand she held her doll and the other was behind her back. “Close your eyes sweet, it’s a secret” she hushed out with a smile.
“Mmm… Okay” Cordelia covered her eyes with her hands, slyly peeking through her fingers and hoping she could see what her present was.
“Bad Princess” Drusilla scolded playfully when she caught the young girl peeking, “Now I sharn’t give you your present, you were a bad girl” the smile on her mother’s face was a symbol of the game and Cordelia giggled happily.
“Okay! Okay!” the girl gave in, squeezing her eyes tight shut and humming impatiently, “I’m not peeking anymore mom, can I have my present now please? I’m being good”
The vampire held up the bra, studying it carefully and making she sure it was as pretty as her little girl; made of soft, white cotton the bra had a tiny little bow set between the cups and just right for her little girl. Now that her little girl was growing up, there was a lot she needed know about being a lady, she had always been taught to wear underclothes as that was what a lady did. “Open your eyes my Princess” Drusilla cooed, holding the bra out to Cordelia.
Taking it off her mother, Cordelia looked at it and then down to her chest which, in her eyes, was still completely flat. “I have nothing to put in it mom so why do I need one of them?” she asked in her innocence.
“Ladies must always wear these under their clothes my sweet, you’re getting to be ever so big now and you must act like a lady” her mother replied, not countering the girl’s words about her lack of development. It was getting quite clear to her that Cordelia was indeed starting to develop and it pleased her greatly, her sweet baby girl was all grown up!
“Okay then, I’ll try it on while you wait outside” the young brunette told her mother insistently, how proud was Angel and daddy gonna be when she told them she was a lady now?!
When Drusilla and Cordelia finally exited the store, Spike was found to be waiting for them with an unimpressed expression on his face. “Where on Earth have you two been? I’ve been waiting here for over a bloody hour” he grumbled, chucking his cigarette on the floor and stomping on it with his boot.
“We’ve been shopping daddy” Cordelia told him in her most grown up voice, she wondered if she should tell him about her new bra and how it fit her just right. “I got some new skirts and tops and some really cool jeans. I’ll show them to you when we get home okay?” it wasn’t so much a question as it was a statement. If she waited until they got home, she could both her daddy and Angel about her special present.
“I can see that Pix” Spike acknowledged the few shopping bags the young brunette was carrying with some difficulty. “Want some help there pet?” he asked when he saw trying to adjust the bags awkwardly.
“No cus you might peek at my new clothes and I don’t you want to see them until we get home where Angel can see them too” Cordelia told him matter of fact. “Mom, are we still going to get me some heels to go with my skirts? Because sneakers won’t make me look like a lady”
Angelus had been right much to Spike’s disgruntlement and horror, she wanted heels to go with her skirts… Skirts? She was only supposed to get one!
Both vampires had a lucky escape from the fashion show, by the time they had gotten back to their mansion, Cordelia was worn out. While Spike had taken the clothes and shoes upstairs to her room, Angelus had carried her up. Looking down at the sleeping girl he held, he couldn’t help but notice how her face was maturing and growing into her soft features.
Though her eyes were still slightly too large for her face and her cheeks still resembled little apples, she was growing up into a very beautiful young girl. Her legs were coltish, long and still sort of skinny, she was getting taller and she was also putting on some weight. Angelus nodded his head in satisfaction; she had needed to put on some weight to save her from being skin and bones for the rest of her life.
“There ya go” he muttered softly, putting her down on her bed and manoeuvring her so he could pull the bed covers back. “Your mother can come up to take your clothes off” that was something he could never bring himself to do, it made him shudder after living with her like family for so long. Not that he felt like part of her family of course, they just lived in the same house!
Standing back to look at her, Angelus watched for a few silent moments as she slept soundly in her bed. Though she wasn’t his as such, he now found his life wouldn’t be quite the same without her; it would be too quiet and clean! There would be hell to pay if anyone tried to take her away from him… Spike and Drusilla, yes, he meant there would be hell to pay if anyone tried to take her away from Spike and Drusilla…
“Night Princess, sweet dreams” he said quietly before backing out of her room slowly and closing the door with a gentle click. He didn’t miss the responding ‘Night night Angel’ come from her. That was another thing, why the hell didn’t she ever call him Angelus? That was his name right? Well it was the last time he checked anyway, if anyone else called him Angel he was sure he’d be pissed!
“Twinkle twinkle little star” Drusilla’s cooing voice stopped him from entering his own rooms. “How I wonder what you are, up above in the sky they sparkle down shining sweetly into my eyes” she sang to him. “Mummy’s little Princess is growing up into such a little lady”
He didn’t need to be reminded of that little fact! “Go tuck her in Dru or read her a bedtime story or… Something” Angelus uttered uncomfortably.
“I don’t need to be tucked in!” came a sleepy little voice from just behind them, both vampires turned round to see Cordelia rubbing the back of her hand across her eyes. “I’m not tired yet and besides, I didn’t get to show Angel and daddy my new skirts, heels and bra!”