“He said what?” Spike could only stare at the slayer in shock, though he wasn’t sure the exact trigger. It could be what she was saying, and it could be that she brought the matter to him.
“His mother said he looked like someone named Marcelle, that she’d had a fling… and well, pretty much implied Xander wasn’t Tony’s son.” Buffy spat out “Tony” as if she were saying “that mother-fucking bastard” or “the Master”. Actually, Spike could understand the relation.
“Congrats for the boy. So I need to know this why?” Spike pulled out a cigarette and lit up, slouching on the coffin top of his crypt as if the slayer hadn’t caught him napping. In the middle of the day. What the hell was with the scooby gang right now. First Xander came asking him for company. Now Buffy was bringing gossip around. What next? Willow brining cookies? Rupert offering to share books?
“I want a DNA sample.”
“From me?” A collection of muscles in his back twitched. The Initiative might have been intrigued by studying vampire DNA. He didn’t remember much that had happened in that hell hole thankfully, but that seemed their line. And anything the Initiative wanted wasn’t something he had any urge to support.
“No.” Buffy wrinkled her face in a purely valley girl look. “Tony’s.” She held out a toothbrush in a plastic bag. “I got Xander’s. I figured his grandfather might want to have a test run. For the divorce paperwork if nothing else.”
“How do you know he’s got that kind of cash? Or even is going to push for a divorce?” Though he at least put up a good front as a loving grandfather that morning at the hospital. Except if he was so loving, why had Xander grown up in that pit?
“He’s already pushed the Sunnydale PD into arresting Tony for attempted murder. And he’s working on a case for long term abuse. Lawyers came by the house earlier to interview all of us. Expensive lawyers, shipped in from LA.”
“Works fast,” Spike said, sucking on his cigarette thoughtfully. Things were changing. This William Clark could be trouble. “Can’t help if the bastard’s already in a cell.”
“But you can probably ID something in the house that is his.”
Spike raised an eyebrow. Buffy tapped her nose.
“I know about vampire noses. Angel did admit a few things. And you’ve spent enough time in that house to identify the residents.”
“Spent my time in the basement.”
Buffy crossed her arms and ‘looked’ at him. “Mom’s driving, and the car’s by the gate. You have ten minutes.”
As she flounced out, Spike sighed and stubbed out the cigarette. Fine, but he was going to get something out of helping out. If this William Clark was throwing money around, Spike wanted his share.
Getting into the hospital during daylight hours was tricky for a vampire. Someone had done their homework in the design. Fortunately, Spike and Joyce and Buffy Summers on his side, and a lack of fear of the sun. So he was only smoking slightly as he slunk in the front door between the girls, Joyce folding the blanket over her arm as soon as they were in the shade, Buffy talking loudly and attracting most of the attention.
Spike left them both in the waiting room, having made his pitch for his right to make the approach while hunting down a good DNA sample. Alone, he sauntered into Jessica Harris’ hospital room, and found her father sitting by her unconscious side.
“How is she?” Spike asked softly as soon as William’s head turned his way.
“Stable. The doctors seem confident, though she hasn’t woken up yet.” The words were good, but his expression showed discomfort.
“The local doctors aren’t anything special, but they do well with impact and penetrating injuries.” Or Cordelia wouldn’t be alive. Spike had gotten an earful from Xander about how his last visit to town had turned out so badly, more than once. Usually while he was tied to that crap chair.
“Hmmm. I hope so. They won’t appreciate the lawsuit I’d level if anything happens.”
“Well, that’d be a new situation for them, but I’m sure they’ve done their best.”
William shot a questioning look.
“Sunnydale isn’t much for litigation. The locals are too busy surviving.” Or trying to destroy the world, but he didn’t need to mention that part.
“I see. Well, what brings you by, William? Is Xander up already?”
Spike shook his head. Buffy had assured him she’d left Xander passed out with at least two of the other girls keeping him company at all times. She had the same edgy look in her eyes when she mentioned the company that Xander had shown last night when asking Spike to come over. Made Spike quite curious what had happened when Adam was taken out.
“Sir, Xander mentioned something his mother said to the girls, and we thought we should bring it to you.”
William leaned back in his chair, his expression pure business.
“Jessica implied that Xander’s father may not be Tony Harris.”
William leaned forward with an eager expression. “Are you certain?”
Spike shrugged. “Everyone is very tired, and she was on pain killers when she spoke. We can wait until she wakes up and ask. Or….”
Holding out a toothbrush in a plastic bag in one hand, and a beer bottle that reeked of Tony in the other, Spike stepped forward. “A DNA test would settle things.”
“You’re certain of the source of these?” William stood and took the items, eyeing them uncertainly.
“Yes, sir.” Spike had double checked the toothbrush when Buffy wasn’t looking. “We could wait and get formal samples. Might open a can of worms early though.”
William studied him a moment before smiling, a dark smile of a powerful man getting his way. “No, let’s get this started. I spoke with Mr. Giles about you. It seems you’re a better friend to Xander than he’d realized.”
Spike couldn’t resist a smirk. It would be interesting to find out just what Rupert said. But, yeah, a lot had changed recently. “Rupert doesn’t know everything, not matter how much he likes to think so. Xander’s special… and deserves a lot better than he’s had.” And he was starting to think he should develop some plans on that front.
“True. Very true.”
“And so does your daughter.”
This time William smirked a little. “I’m working on that.”
“Glad to hear it, sir.”
“I’ve a phone call or two to make. Would you mind staying with Jessica until I get back.”
“Of course.” Spike stepped closer to Jessica’s bed. “She shouldn’t wake up alone.”