Back at home, Abby is inundated by gifts and cards from the Magical community at large. When one gift is more of a surprise than anticipated, the occupants of Oak Point are going to have their hands full finding the first kidnapped Nexus in history. Abby fights for freedom in her own small way, while Xander goes out of his mind to find her. Join the new creatures, new characters and new villains as they try to help, commiserate and destroy Abby in turn.
With the camaraderie having run its course, the ladies left Abby alone with her thoughts as she closed her door. Well, she tried to close it, but a frantic flapping of wings stalled her. Buffy struck her squarely in the chest, squeaking in distress.
"What is it honey?" Abby tried to calm the clinging gargoyle, but it was difficult with her wings still flapping and her claws digging into Abby's skin.
"Calm down, are you hurt?" Abby carefully used her inner eye to assess Buffy's condition. Her basic energy was stable, her body was not damaged and nothing was off.
"Holy heck." Nothing except for the small, bright spot of life blooming in the gargoyle's belly.
"Where are the boys?" Carrying the little creature, she held her tightly to her chest as she went to look for the other two gargoyles in the backyard. They were up in the trees, hanging baseball caps that they had stolen from unsuspecting men the previous autumn.
"Okay, Buffy. Who is the father?" She pried her creature off her and lured her onto the kitchen counter with a cookie. "Is it Angel?" No response in the aura.
"Not Firefly?" No reaction and the little gargoyle looked away.
What did that leave? "Is it a gnome?" The flare brightened into a hot, red pulse in Buffy's aura.
"Thank goodness. I was afraid it would have been an elf. That was a close one." She held her breath for her next round of questions. "Harby? No. Good. That would have been one ugly little bugger. Skint? No. Splint? No, good that would have been tricky. Oh, lord. That leaves Bitsy."
The flaring of her aura was telling the tale. It was Bitsy.
Abby sighed. It did make a certain amount of sense. Those two had always been drawn together. But a gnome-gargoyle baby? That was a little much to take in.
"Sweetie. When did it happen?" She held onto Buffy's little hand and smiled as the fingers gripped her.
Buffy waved her hand and squeaked again. This time it sounded more like a word. "Today."
"Wow. The little one seems to draw your magic a little."
"Oh. That was why you crashed into me. I think I can give you some supplements to help with that. But this will be your private stash. Don't let the boys into them or they will eat them all." Abby took a cookie and poured the power of the surprise she had felt when she realized she was about to be a grandmother to a flying gnome.
"One cookie a day until the baby gets bigger and then up to three. I will put them in a special spot and get the elves to guard it for you."
Buffy's cute little face with its wild mane of fluffy hair looked happy and hopeful as the cookie replaced some of the magic she had been missing.
"There. Better?" When her little one smiled and nodded, she said, "Good. Now you can tell Bitsy if you wish to, but if you want to keep the secret from your other companions, that is your choice. Come to me once a day for a check-up and I will try to compensate for any changes in the baby's growth cycle with extra boosts. At this point, it is all I can do. I think I may give the cookies to Laura. The gnomes won't dare break in to her yard…again."
That had been a funny afternoon. The gnomes wanted to know if they could swim and had jumped into Laura's pool, promptly sinking to the bottom and making mermaid retrieval imperative. Fortunately, what they did learn was that while they could not swim, they could not drown. It was a bright side.
However, after that escapade, Laura banned them from her yard unless Abby was there to babysit. It was a nice, safe place for power cookies.
She made the call and pressed one of her five cookie jars into service. She would leave it in the backyard in one of the small alcoves that was built into the reed hut that acted as a cabana.
Seesee had left her plenty of cookies, so she charged up a dozen and put them in the jar. Now, the only problem was sneaking over to Laura's without the gnomes seeing her.
A thought broke over her and she smiled at the simplicity. Laura was currently alone, so Abby had a few minutes until Verne came over for their date.
She knocked on the door, cookie jar in hand and simply gave it to Laura with instructions on where to put it. Buffy was sitting comfortably on Abby's shoulder and smiled brilliantly at the mermaid as she greeted her.
"Do you have the goods?" The dark and spooky voice Laura was using belied her bright grin.
In her own version of spy talk she whispered, "I've got the jar. Stash the goodies and all will be well."
A canny look came to the mermaid's eyes. "What will I get in return?"
Abby drew herself up straight. "I will order the gnomes to stop putting fish food in your tea and your juice and your salad." She had gotten enough amusement out of it anyway. Having minions had its good points.
"Deal." Laura extended her hands and took the cookie jar, not commenting on the teddy bear holding an Eat Me sign. "I look forward to doing business with you again, Nexus. Buffy, congratulations."
The little gargoyle extended her wings, stood up on Abby's shoulder and bowed. She squeaked her thanks and then settled back into her perching position.
The two bipedals shook hands and with a jaunty wave, Abby left her friend's yard just as Verne was making his way to his lady's sidewalk.
"Good evening, Verne."
"Evening, Nexus. Taking the gargoyle out for a walk?"
His question was just silly. "Of course I am. I can't ride her, now can I?"