Angelus wakes up to the familiar feeling of a sturdy two-year-old sitting in the middle of his chest. Opening his eyes, he sees Alex staring at him.
"You awake, Da?" he asks in the typical two year old 'quiet voice' that's slightly less noisy than a jet engine.
"I am now, Alex. Why aren't you still in bed?" Angelus asks, wiggling a finger in the ear Alex had just yelled into in an attempt to restore his hearing.
"Me not tired, why me supposed to be in bed?" Alex asks, kicking his heels into his father's side.
"Go wake your brother Spike," Angelus orders, dumping the boy onto his sleeping Childe's body. The sound of a sturdy body hitting the younger bacchii's chest and the muffled 'wa the 'ell?' from Spike cause him to chuckle.
Spike looks over at his laughing Sire, flipping him off before moving the bouncing child onto the bed.
"Wake up Spike, me want to play."
" 'M awake pet. What about getting you some breakfast first, hmm? Then you can play."
"Me no hungry, Auntie 'Dite feed me and Bliss already."
Just then the Goddess of Love comes into the room, looking slightly less than perfect. Her
pink dress is decorated by globs of oatmeal, her hair is straggling down her back, and she seems to have lost a shoe somewhere. The sight of Angelus' lips twitching as he tries not to laugh and Spike rolling on the floor howling with laughter doesn't help her composure.
"Alex, I thought we agreed to let your Dad and brother sleep in for a while, remember?"
"Why?" Alex asks in the simple logic of a two year old.
"Because they're tired, remember? Your Uncle Ares had them working after you went to sleep last night."
"Because he couldn't do it himself."
"People don't believe in the gods anymore, not like they used to. He has others who do his work on earth for him."
"Because he's not as strong as he used to be, none of us are."
"Because not enough people worship us anymore. That's going to change, but it's going to take a while."
"Now I remember why they call them the terrible twos." 'Dite says, planting a kiss on Alex's forehead, growling at the smirking bacchii, and heads back to her temple for a much needed bath, and a lot of pampering from her husband.
Bliss is talking with his grandfathers Ares and Joxer when Angelus, Spike, and Alex come into the room. Joxer holds out his arms and Alex leaps into 'Gwampa Jox's arms.
"Have you been a good boy, Alex?"
"Grandma might not agree with you there," Bliss says, looking like a blond haired version of his father Strife as he smirks at his grandparents, "She seems to have forgotten how much a handful a two year old can be."
"I'll bet. It's been 3000 years since Cupid was that age, and she never had you on a day to day basis when you were that age."
"I was a perfect angel." Bliss says, hands over his heart and looking completely innocent.
"Drop the other one kid, it's got bells on." Strife says, popping in behind his stepson. "I remember all those times 'Dite would load you up with sugar and send you home. You could climb the walls without using your wings. You two," he says, looking at the older gods, "Would at least wear him out before you sent him home. Bacchus wants to see you Angelus," he says, popping out again.
"Thank you, Lord Strife. I'll be right there after I dress." Angelus says, heading for the bathing room as Spike pulls the robes befitting Bacchus' High Priest out of the closet where they stay most of the time.
Angelus heads out the door of the temple the others had built for him when he accepted the position of Bacchus' High Priest. He passes Dionysus vineyard, stopping to look over the crop of grapes growing for the blood wine he, Spike, and Lord Bacchus drink.
"They're looking good," Angelus says in his soft Irish brogue, smiling at the god who's the twin of his own beloved god. "How long before the grapes are ready for picking?"
"About a month, Angelus. How is the supply of bloodwine holding out? The wine is ready to drink now, even if it's not quite the flavor I want it to be before I give it to you."
"We're fine, Lord Dionysus. I was wondering who would be willing to watch Alex for me while we were picking the grapes."
"Bring him with you, he won't be any trouble."
"Lady Aphrodite might not agree with you there, Lord Dionysus, especially after watching Alex this morning." Angelus says, snickering as he remembers her bedraggled condition.
Bacchus looks up from the petition in his lap when the door to his temple opens and his
High Priest enters the room.
"Good Day, Angelus, did you have a restful sleep?"
"Yes, my Lord Bacchus."
"Are you ready for some work? I have a number of petitions to go through today." The dark-haired man says, the breeze made by his slowly moving black wings causing the papers on the desk across the room to rustle.
"Have you fed this morning?"
"No, my Lord Bacchus, my Childe and I had just woken when I got the message you needed to see me."
Bacchus beckons his favorite Childe across the room, holding out his arm.
"Drink." He says, hissing in pleasure as fangs bite into the skin of his wrist. He tangles his fingers into Angelus' hair as he feeds, pulling the younger bacchii into a kiss once the younger man has drunk his fill.
Alex looks up from the blocks he's playing with as his Da comes back into the house. Spike helps him get the formal robes off, now suspiciously rumpled and stained before heading for the bathroom. Spike smirks at the robes and hands them off to one of the cherubim for cleaning and pressing until they're needed again before grabbing Alex around the waist and boosting him onto his hip.
"Come on whelp, time for your bath."
"Noooooooooooo, no baf." Alex yells, his wings flapping trying to get away but Spike's got a secure grip on his waist.
"Yes, bath." Angelus says from the sunken tub, holding his arms out for Alex. "Good little boys get a bath without any complaints."
"Me not a good little boy, me a horrible demon brat in human form. Strife say so."
"Yes, well coming from Strife that would be a compliment, but you still need to get a bath." Spike says, dropping Alex into Angelus' waiting arms before stripping off his own clothes and diving into the water.
"Dammit Spike, what have I told you about that?" Angelus yells at his Childe.
"Why, weren't you listening either?" Spike says, standing up and shaking water out of his eyes. His hair has grown out from the last dye job and it's his normal light brown color, now long enough to reach the middle of his back. He grabs the soap from the niche on the side of the tub and begins to scrub himself.
"The water is too shallow for you to dive into it." Angelus says through clenched teeth, "You could have broken your damn fool neck."
"We're already dead, remember?"
"Alex does everything you do, do you really want him getting hurt because you're an idiot?"
"Good point. Alex love, don't dive into any water until somebody tells you it's deep enough. We don't want you getting hurt, 'kay?" Spike says, dabbing a bit of soap on Alex's button nose and dodging a wing.
"No, no splashing." Angelus says, taking Alex's diaper off him and throwing it towards the pile of dirty clothes. "I will be so glad when you are potty trained." He mumbles under his breath. "Hold your breath, I'm going to duck you under the water." Alex nods and holds his breath as Angelus ducks him under the water falling from the stone dolphin
carved into the side of the tub.
Spike grabs another handful of soap flakes and begins to clean Alex as his father holds him. The mop of light brown hair is the last thing to get washed and Alex trustingly closes his eyes so they don't get soap in them. They rinse him again under the dolphin and wrapping him in a towel that covers everything get out of the tub.
"Angelus, Spike. Ares has called an emergency meeting." Bliss calls from the outer room. "I'm here to watch Alex until you get back."
"He wants both of us there?" Spike asks, handing over the towel wrapped toddler.
"Yep, he said it was important." Bliss says, drying off Alex, dressing him in a clean diaper, and helping him preen his feathers. "Do you know what the meeting is about?"
"No idea, he was too busy swearing."
"Must not be too important than, Ares wouldn't be swearing if he was really mad." Spike says, coming out of the bedroom dressed in a pair of faded blue jeans, a black t-shirt, and his duster.
Alex yawns as his father and Spike kiss him goodnight, allowing Bliss' quiet humming to
sooth him to sleep.
"Night Da, night Spike." He mumbles in Bliss shoulder. He's asleep between one breath and the next. Bliss smiles and lays him down in his bed, the light breeze from the open window ruffling his feathers. He smiles as his fathers pop in behind him, all three standing there watching the child sleep.
"Reminds me of when you were that age," Cupid says, "only you never went to bed that easily."
"Spike and Angelus wore him out in the tub."
"Oh yes, the 'let's wear the baby out playing in the water so all three of us can sleep through the night' routine. Wonder if it will work any better for them than it did for us with you?"
Two hours later, Alex opens his eyes and crawls over the side of his crib. He's halfway across the room when Strife picks him up.
"Where are we going?"
"Bafroom." Alex says firmly, "I gotta go peepee."
"Why not go in your diaper?"
"Me hate diapers, they for babies. Da said if me go one week without needing a clean diaper at night, me get a pair of big boy underwear."
Strife snickers, remembering Bliss at that age. He hadn't liked diapers any more than Alex did, tearing them off as quickly as they were put on and running around nude. He takes Alex to the bathroom, congratulates him for being a good boy and using the toilet instead of his diaper, and puts the yawning boy back to bed as Angelus and Spike return from the meeting.
Angelus looks in on the sleeping baby, smiles as Strife told him about Alex using the bathroom instead of his diaper, and crawls into bed beside Spike who's already sound asleep.
Alex looks up, up, and up some more at the man who's sitting at the table when he comes into the kitchen the next morning rubbing his eyes.
"Hewwo, unca 'des, Stwife."
"Hey Squirt." Strife says, conjuring a bowl of oatmeal and glass of juice for Alex as he climbs up into the booster seat that had replaced the highchair a couple months ago.
"Tank you, Stwife." Alex says, picking up his double-handed sippy cup and beginning to drink.
"Looking good there kid, you should be getting big enough to drink from a grown up cup pretty soon. Speaking of grown-up, how'd you like Bliss and Cupid teach you how to fly?"
"Angelus is going to shit bricks." Spike says, rubbing his eyes as he bounces off the doorway. "He's real protective of him. Good morning, Lord Hades, Lord Strife."
"Angelus yelled at you again for diving into the sunken tub, right?" Strife smirks.
"He seems to think I'm a bad influence," Spike smirks, dropping down into a chair beside Alex and drinking a glass of bloodwine.
"Alex is big enough to begin to learn." Bliss says, "I was already flying when I was his age."
"Yeah, but you're a full god, Alex isn't, and he can get hurt. Personally, I say go for it, but then I'd love to see the look on Angelus' face when he sees Alex flying for the first time."
"Dad and I would be with him at all times, and we can put a damper on his powers so he isn't flying on his own until he's a little older."
"Guys, look at it this way. Alex is a handful now, how is anybody going to keep up with him when he's flying?"
"Actually, he already is. I've noticed him hovering a couple of times when he's playing."
"Well then, I guess you guys are going to have to teach him then. But you're going to tell Angelus."
"Tell Angelus what?" Angelus asks from the doorway. His eyes widen as Alex leaps from the chair, actually hover in mid-air for a few seconds as his wings flap furiously, then begins to fall until Strife grabs him out of midair.
"Well, I'd say the cat is out of the bag now. Angelus, do Dad and I have your permission
to start teaching Alex how to fly?"
"I knew Alex was moving his wings more often," Angelus says, dropping down in a chair. "But I didn't think they were strong enough yet to actually allow him to fly. Alex?"
"Would you like to learn to fly like Cupid and Bliss?"
"Yes Da, yes." Alex says, bouncing in Strife's arms.
"Okay then, I guess that's settled." Bliss says. "Dad will probably be over later today when he finds out Alex is hovering already. He'll be fine, Angelus." Bliss says, trying to reassure the Bacchii, who looks like he's been hit in the back of the head with a board. Angelus gives himself a good shake, much like a dog shaking off water, and comes out of
wherever his mind had been hiding.
"I trust you and your father, Lord Bliss. I was just thinking that Lady Aphrodite is never going to agree to babysit Alex when she finds out he's flying now."
The sound of Strife's hysterical laughter brings Cupid, Joxer, and Ares to the house. They're greeted by the sight of Strife, Spike, and Bliss rolling on the floor in hysterics, while Hades and Angelus look on in amusement.
Well, what do you think? Would you like to see more little Alex stories?