Throttle looked up as the ship landed, and Thruster got out.  "You're taking us home?"

"Sure am," he agreed happily.  "It's on my way after all," he teased.  "I bet you three are happy to be going home for a bit, huh?"  He opened the door wider, letting them walk their bikes up.  Then he went to check the instrumentation.  "Um, guys, hate to say this, but the bikes are too heavy."

"We have to have our bikes," Vinnie complained.  "How else are we getting around?"

"I'm pretty sure you guys'll be in a command post for most of your trip."

"It's a vacation, kid, not a working vacation," Throttle said plainly.  "Who wants to stay?"

"I will," Rimfire offered, leading his bike and Dawn back down the ramp.  He gave Xander a shrug.  "Too heavy.  It's either we stay or all the bikes stay."

"That's fine, that means I don't have to be hyper vigilant on my own."  He grinned.  "Forgetting someone?" he called.

"I thought you were staying," Vinnie called back.

"I'm talking little people, big brother.  Ones their parents might like to see again?"

"Spike, Anya," Modo called and they ran for him, her carrying their new little suitcase.  "Go sit by Lil' Hoss and wait for us.  Got it?"  They nodded, going to pet his bike.  They loved the bikes already and loved to help wash them because of the bubbles and the water fights.  Modo looked out the door.  "You three sure you can handle it?"

"We'll be fine," Xander sighed, waving at him.  "Go, please your niece before she comes down and tries to hit on me."

"She's not evil enough for you," Modo teased back, smirking at him.  "Staff?"

"Coming."  She hopped on and waved, then shut the door.  "We're all on?" Vinnie nodded. "You can bring Vic next time."

"I'll have to, my family will howl for days."

"If we had a working transporter, I'd let you do it that way, bro, but space isn't that safe for kids according to Enamel and Shell."

"Yeah, Switch got her tail reamed by the docs left on Mars," Staff agreed.

"Fine," he agreed.  "I understand, but it still bites."

"And blows," Throttle agreed.  "Next time.  Next summer probably.  Get away from some of the heat and stuff."

"Sure.  Too bad Xander had that building opening thing," he complained.  "It woulda been neat to show him Mars."

"Yeah, well, things happen sometimes," Throttle pointed out calmly.  "Again, next year."

Everyone nodded and Thruster took off, gently rocking them off the landing pad and into the air.  They all waved out the ports, then they were off into orbit and zipping toward home.

"These drives work so much better than our last one did," Vinnie complained.  "The moms make it in about a day and a half."

"But that's good in case something happens," Throttle reminded him.  "Then we can get back up there quicker and they can get down to us."

Modo leaned back, getting comfortable.  "It'll be nice to see the family again.  Where you two headed?"

"Mom's probably," Throttle admitted.  "Vinnie?"

"Probably toward home, see how many cousins I've got left.  I'm sure I can use someone's couch. If not, there's got to be a base somewhere nearby."  They nodded at that.

"You could come stay with us if you don't got nowhere," Modo offered quietly.

"Nah, she'll have a loud house fulla people and kids, bro.  Not what I need."  He grinned at Throttle.  "You planning on going out?"

"Probably.  Carbine says there's a few clubs and things open again."  He shrugged.  "I'll play it by ear mostly.  I may even stop in on Willow and tell her to quit bugging Xander because he's having nightmares again."

"Sure, I can see that," Vinnie agreed.  "Need help having fun, call my way."

"Sure."  They made it into true orbit and looked out at the stars, grinning at the pretty picture they made.


Xander came back from his black tie building opening and tossed his tie down, flopping down on the couch to stare at Dawn.  "I just got offered my old job back, the one with Merle, but I'd be doing roving interior chief for vacations."

"Well, you're bored, are you that bored?" Dawn asked, going back to her book.

"Not really, but I do need something to do and I don't want to make that decision without Throttle's help.  That'll cut down on the time I'm available to babysit," he defended when she looked at him.

"You've got it bad," she teased, grinning back.  "Does he have to give you permission to go to the bathroom too?"

"No!  He's not like that, Dawn!"

"I know, just teasing," she sighed.  "Go soak in the mineral spring or something. You're way too tense and uptight.  There's not even an emergency being thought of at the moment."

"I know, that's what sucks," he said, going to soak in the bathtub downstairs instead.  The mineral spring was a special thing with Vinnie, he wasn't going to pout in there alone and ruin it for himself.

Dawn shook her head.  "Too pitiful for words," she sighed, going back to her reading.


It had been two days of the probable two week vacation and Xander was now officially so bored he was ready to get into trouble.  Charley had refused to let him sit Vic because he was so antsy.  If Vinnie were there, they could find some fun stuff to do.  There were all sorts of festivals and stuff around but Dawn was grounded and he didn't feel like going with one of them.  They'd never go on the good rides with him, or go bungee jumping with him, or anything fun like that.  He needed something to do, something to take his attention, or else he'd be pitiful for weeks after they got back.  Provided he didn't die of boredom first.  He headed down into the garage, going to see if anything down there needed fixing.  He had already spackled and repainted the entire lair, including the library.  Fixed all the holes in the garage's walls in a more permanent manner and painted over there.  He was almost considering wallpaper but that would drive him insane in this heat.  He saw the covered lump in the corner and frowned, walking over to it.  "What are you?" he asked, staring at it.  He tipped his head in the other direction, then did what he usually did when he couldn't figure out a techie toy, he called his ex girlfriend.  "Meg, what's in my corner under the sheet?"

He listened, then grinned.  "Really?  That would make a good welcome home present, don't you think?"  He grinned.  "Cool.  How do I run it?  There's only one lever."  He nodded, going to hook up the cable Oz had used to the laptop since it was on the bench and set up to do the internet stuff.  "Okay.  Got that.  Now what?"  He looked at the wires behind it.  "There's three of them.  There's four plugs."  He smirked.  "You want *me* to play around with the summoning techie toy?" he asked dryly, bursting out laughing at Oz's 'no!' in the background.  "Tell him I won't if he'll quit panicking.  Sure.  Maybe Fred'll know.  Thanks."  He hung up and called Boris's house, getting Megan's wife.  "Hey, sweet childe, I need Fred to help with a Limburger techie toy.  Is he able to walk and talk?"  He sighed.  "Not at all? No, I just need to know where plugs go.  Otherwise I've got to experiment with Limburger toys."  He sighed again.  "Sure, I understand.  If you broke him that badly he'll have to heal in a bed for a few days.  Thanks, dear."  He hung up and went to talk to Charley.  "I found a transporter."

"Someone left a transporter?" she asked, glancing back at him then going back to her overhaul.  "Where?"

"In the garage.  Under that sheet and blanket in the corner.  It's got three cords and four plugs.  Meg said to hook it up to the computer to summon people."

"The thick one only has one spot that I know of, the other two should be marked in the right spot.  Call Micah, he had one."

"Point.  Are you sure I can't babysit?"

"No, Xander.  You're about to explode into little bored pieces.  My son doesn't need to see that."

"Fine," he complained, going to call someone at ECHO to see if they had instructions.  "Hi, Max, it's Xander.  I just found a transporter in our garage.  Do you have a techie manual?"  He listened to her search then her 'nope, sorry', then sighed again.  "Damn it.  It sounds like I'm going to have to experiment then.  Is yours working?  All I think I need are which plugs go where."  She told him about their last problem and he shook his head.  "Okay, so I won't use that plug," he admitted, making her laugh.  "Thanks.  Tell Micah I'm bored if it matters.  No, tell him I'm not bored enough to write reports for Dawn.  I'm not sure what she's doing at the moment, she's not here.  Thanks."  He hung up and went to look at the cords again.  One had a blue band behind the plug.  One had a red band behind the plug.  One was the thick plug and it could only go one spot.  He moved it out some to look it over, noticing that the holes had colors too.  Two had blue markings though and one was the plug that Max had said led to another dimension from Ghostbusters, the movie.  "I so don't need Gozer today," he decided, using the plugs that were there, but avoiding that one.  He stepped back, looking it over, and grinned as the computer registered a target in range.

"Who is it?"  He walked over and flipped the switch, finding it was his mate.  "Cool!  This'll be a great surprise!"  He followed Meg's instructions, keying in the codes to snatch him and then bring him, then went over to pull the handle since it hadn't worked yet.  That got it moving and Throttle stepped out.  "Hey, babe."

"Do I know you?"

"Ah, shit, I hooked it up wrong," he complained, pouting.  "I'm sorry!  I'm trying to get the stupid thing working as a surprise for my Throttle, who's on Mars at the moment, and I'm bored, so I'm trying really hard to be good and get this thing hooked up and I did it like Max said but it's apparently not right.  Do you know how to fix this stupid thing so I can give it to him as an anniversary present?"

Throttle, who clearly wasn't playing, took a few minutes to shake his head and figure out what he had just babbled.  "Anniversary?" he asked finally.  Xander showed him his ear.  "Okay.  So I'm taking it you're...what?  A relation to Vinnie?"

"Kinda adopted by him.  We joke he's like my big brother."

"Oh, all right."  He looked at the setup, walking out to look at the computer.  "Okay, kid.  Come here."  Xander moved over to look around his arm.  "See this mark?"  Xander nodded quickly.  "That's a realm marking.  I came from Realm G, string F.  This is probably a B realm.  Give me a minute."  He typed in something and it came up.  "See, this is where you are.  You need to make sure you always pull from your own realm and look first."  He typed in that command, using the mouse to click on it even.  "Like that.  Got it?"  Xander beamed and nodded.  "Good kid."


"Xander?"  Xander nodded.  "Are you naturally a mouse?"  He shook his head, smirking again.  "Okay.  Karbunkle?"

"Magic.  She wanted me to be happy.  We're torturing him here."

"Ah."  He nodded once.  He didn't want to think about that stuff. "Okay.  Let's look at the cords.  This is what usually happens."  He got down to look at them.  "Ah.  The red cord goes in the first blue one and the blue cord goes in second blue one.  That's why they're different colors."  He pointed at each of them.  "You can switch them back when you send me back.  I've got to go beat some Torians over the head."

"We've got wooden bullets."


"I deal in vampires actually but they're allergic to wood in this realm, or so Dawn said."


"Our adopted daughter.  She's nearly fully grown but she's the kid sister of a friend of mine.  Long story.  Wanna see?"

"You're really bored, aren't you?" he asked.  Xander nodded, giving him that same pitiful look.  "Sure, let's see."  Xander leaned down, letting him see into his mind.  Throttle pulled back and swatted him.  "Tell the me here to look at the Mekonis books to help you."

"Sure," he agreed, bouncing a bit.  "Will that give me a headache too?"

"Quite possibly."  He stood up.  "You're sure that they work?"

"Dawn's report said so.  I can pull it up if you want."  He went back to the laptop, pulling up that report to let him read it.  "There you go."

He skimmed it, coming back to the important parts.  "Cool.  Can we borrow a few of those bullets?"

"Sure!  Let's hit the equipment locker."  He led the way to their gun locker, that he was working on expanding again, and let him inside the bunker portion.  He tossed him two assault rifles, pre loaded, and a few extra clips of bullets.  Then he held out a grenade launcher.  "A transporter warming present."

"I like it," he said, looking down it.  "Single use?"  Xander nodded.  "Which way to fire?"

"Like this," he said, opening it up and putting it on his shoulder to show him.  "That's the little targeting thing."

"Cool.  Thanks, man."

"You're welcome," he said happily.  "Always happy to help.  Need more bullets?"

"We might.  Vinnie's not that great of a shot sometimes."

"I know.  He's not here either.  At least not with human guns."  He pulled down a box and let him have those too, then got him a bag to carry everything in, but the launcher.  It was too big for anything but a carrying case of its own.  "Here you go."

"Thanks, Xander.  You're an okay mouse.  Now, let's get me back home," he said patiently, "and then you can switch the cords."

"Sure."  He followed him back out to the garage.  "You like?  I designed it."

"It's really nice.  Nicer than the scoreboard.  Did we finally blow it up?"

"No, the field got bought so you had to move."

"Oh, we'll be watching for that then."  He got back into the transporter, watching as Xander checked the cords, and sent him home using the computer and the lever.

Xander got down to switch the cords where they should go, then got up to check the computer, seeing the scene as the local realm.  He typed in Vinnie's name, figuring he was doing something he could at least watch, and found them all in the Council chamber, looking like they were getting an award.  Vinnie was fidgeting and antsy so he called Max back.  "The red plug goes in the blue cord spot on the end.  The blue cord goes in the other blue spot, next to last from the left.  The big one only fits in one spot and you leave the red marked hole alone," he told her, then hung up.  He grinned as Vinnie started to whine, hitting the button to steal him.  Then he walked over and pulled the lever, grinning at him.  "Hi!  I called a Throttle from another dimension and he helped me.  Charley's busy but Vic's fussy and she won't let me watch him but you looked kinda bored so I thought I'd help and hey, you can bring the baby and her now if you want and come back sooner.  You can come back sooner right?  It'd be pretty neat if you came back sooner."

Vinnie reached over and clapped a hand over his mouth.  "Don't babble, Xander, those things give me a headache."  He let his mouth go and stepped down, looking at the machine.  Then at Xander.  "Where did this come from?"  Xander shrugged.  "Another present?"

"It was here when we got back from Sturgis.  I'm not sure who delivered it but now Micah has a working one too."

"Okay," he decided.  "We can go get Micah's and take it to Mars, which'll mean getting back here sooner," he noted, grinning at him.  "This'll be so cool.  Go get Vic.  Tell her I said it was okay, you called me."  Xander grinned and bounced off, literally looking like Tigger.  Vinnie shook his head.  "Too long without Throttle makes that boy strange."  He called his bike down and sat down, letting Xander carry the baby and the diaper bag on the back, then he set it to return them.  "Did you tell them you'd be back?"

"Yeah, she just snorted and went back to her overhaul."  He climbed on, carefully cradling the baby against his chest.  "It won't hurt him, right?"

"No, it won't hurt him," he promised, setting it to send them back.  He got in and felt it take hold, riding back into the Council Chamber.  "Did you know we had a transporter in the garage?" he asked Throttle.  "He got bored.  He called an alternate you by accident and he helped him fix it."

Throttle groaned.  "Xander?"

"Hmm?"  He grinned at him.  "Baby."

"I can see that," Stoker said dryly.  "It works suddenly?"

"Yeah, Meg hooked it up to the laptop, but I did the cords today, and then I tried to get Throttle to ask him something about going back to work or not, but I got the not-Throttle instead who helped me figure out what I had done wrong and fix it, so I sent him back with wooden bullets and a grenade launcher, plus a few assault rifles since he was going against Torians.  I let him read Dawn's report too."

Throttle reached over to cover his mouth. "No babbling," he said firmly.  A few of the watching people laughed at that.  He gave him a look and Xander calmed down, grinning behind his hand.  "Two days?  You couldn't stay out of trouble for two days?"

"There's nothing going on," he complained.  "No bad guys.  No Dawn and Rimfire, who're off at the college I'm pretty sure.  The club's closed for repairs and I promised to pay for doing that to that guy who tried to suck my tail.  Charley won't let me babysit so I was only going to call."  He gave him his best pitiful look.  "I'm sorry."

"No, we could use a few of these, Xander," Stoker assured him.  "Are there any others around?"

"Micah has one but they set up wrong and it went to Gozer's dimension."

"Gozer?" Vinnie asked.

"Remember Ghostbusters?"  He nodded.  "Gozer."

"Oh.  Ewwwww, major slimage," Vinnie agreed.  Xander nodded, grinning at him.  The baby let out a quiet snuffle so Vinnie took him back.  "Let me.  He's probably hungry."

"I brought two canisters of formula, all the bottles I could find in our house, and the diapers too.  I can mix some."

"That's okay," he offered, letting his baby suck on his finger.  "Let me get this other medal."

"But it's shiny and nice," he offered, grinning at him. "It'll make your girl coo."

"If we wear all of ours, we'll be too weighted down to move," Modo told him.  "Want me to hold him?"

"I've got him.  He's my son," Vinnie defended.  "I can hold my own son sometimes."

"Sure, hand him over when he gets too fussy."  Throttle stroked over Xander's hair.  "You're on the wrong bike."

"I know, but he gave me a ride."  He stood up and moved over to where the other two were, getting nudges and beeped at.  "Hi, ladies."  He stroked them both, then grinned at Carbine. "I was a bored Xander mouse," he mouthed, going back to his petting.

Vinnie took his medal, cutting off the speech, and hung it on his son's outfit.  "There, you look better in it than I will.  Wanna go see some cousins?"

"I take it we're going out tonight?" Throttle asked.

"Sure!"  He looked over at Xander.  "Hey, Modo, he's going to steal your bike."

"She won't let 'im," he promised.  "Not this time."

Throttle sighed and went to put Xander on the back of his bike.  "You belong here," he reminded him.

"I know, I was just petting her.  She needed petted, she had some dust."

"It's Mars, it's a giant desert in places, Xander."

"That's why I was dusting her."

"Fine.  We done?" he asked Stoker, who groaned and shook his head.  "If not, come find us later."  He got on and put on his helmet, catching Xander's from Vinnie's toss over his shoulder to hand back. Then they all rode out of there as fast as they could, before someone tried to sucker them into staying.   He rode out to his mother's house, which wasn't that far away, but he could feel Xander's awe so he slowed down, letting him see the sights.


"Yeah, but mostly normal stuff, Xander."

"It's still amazing."

"It is," he agreed, glancing back to see the other two with him.  "Coming home with us?" he called back to them.

"Yeah, sure am," Vinnie called. "He's definitely hungry."

"I packed three big bottles of water in the diaper bag," Xander offered.

"Thanks, Xander.  You spoil my son very well.  Especially when you're bored," Vinnie sent back, sounding pleased and tolerant.

Modo cut in.  "Bros, aren't we on the general channel?  Again?  Stoker's going to yell again."

"Yes, he is," Stoker called.

"Nibble me, Stoker," Throttle sent back.  "Station J, bros.  Stoker, call Charley girl so she doesn't worry."  He switched over before their mentor could possibly respond, doing it for Xander too.  "There, better?" he called.

"Much," a female voice called.  "This is the medical station, boys.  Switch to either Q, R, or P depending on the city."

"Sorry, ma'am.  Main city?"

"Q, dear."

"Thank you, ma'am."  He switched them over again.  "Bros?"

"Here," Vinnie agreed.

"Me too," Modo agreed.  "I see Primer and the twins.  I'll see you guys later."  He peeled off to go check on his niece and spend some time with her.

Throttle kept going, letting Xander look around while he headed for his mother's house on the edge of the city.  At least she'd have room to put them up too. "Momma," he called as he parked.  "Visitors."

"I can see that," she called from inside the house.  "Get in here, Xander, and give me a hug."  He rushed in and hugged her, getting squeezed for all she could.  "Such a good boy.  How did you figure it out?  An alternate Throttle?  Was my baby boy nice to you?"

"Kinda confused but fairly nice.  He kept calling me a kid.  I told him my name and he asked if I was a natural mouse."

"I think you're named perfectly.  You're a stunning leader when it counts."  She smiled as Vinnie and Vic came in.  "Ooh, the cute one has arrived too."

"Yes, I have," Vinnie said proudly, giving her a hug.  "My son will someday be as cute as I am."

"Let me fix him a bottle," Xander said, taking the diaper bag and sitting down to mix and measure.

"That's handy stuff," Throttle's mother said, watching him.  "All it takes is water?"  He nodded, letting her have the bottle.  "What now, dear?"

"Cap and shake," Vinnie said, doing so and shaking it to make sure it was fully mixed.  He let his son have it, it was warm enough and so was the water in the water bottles.  Vic sucked hard, seeming to grin at him.  "Yeah, welcome home, little mouse.  This is Throttle's momma's house.  You'll always be welcome here when we're on Mars."

"Sit!" she ordered, sitting him down and taking the child to feed herself.  She was the mother after all.  "Boys, are you hungry?"

"Not really.  I have problems eating in the heat," Xander admitted.  "Which is another issue in Chicago.  It's presently nearly a hundred plus humidity."

Vinnie looked at him.  "So you haven't eaten the whole time we've been gone either?"

"I've drank," he defended.

"Uh-huh," Throttle said, staring at him.  "You're going to eat or we can't go out tonight."

Vinnie put his feet up and got comfortable. "What happened at the club?"

"Some guy decided to play with my tail and even though I took it away from him, he still decided to suck on it."  He blushed.  "He didn't like it when I jumped and slugged him through a wall.  Or the bar."

"You put him through the wall behind the bar?" Vinnie asked, smirking at him.  "Naughty Xander."

"Bored Xander," Throttle's mother corrected.  "I was warned about one of those."  She pinched his cheek.  "What's this about a job?"

"I got offered the job of roving crew chief for interior stuff by Boris at the building opening."

"No," Throttle said.  "You need a real, permanent job, not an excuse for Boris to try to steal you from me."  He got comfortable too.  "Let me, momma."

"Hush, son.  I can feed the baby!"

"Charley wouldn't even let me babysit," Xander complained.

"Gee, I wonder why?" Vinnie asked dryly.  "Little brother, you're horrible like this."

"Yeah, well, hey, I got it working and it's a neat anniversary present."  Throttle moaned.  "I said I didn't need anything and I meant it."

"Shut up, Xander.  The more you protest the more you want something."

"I do not!"

"You do, bro," Vinnie said with a grin.  "What did you want?"

"Just some time together?" he suggested.  He shrugged. "I didn't have any plans anyway."

"It's this week?" Momma asked.

"No, it's yesterday," Throttle sighed. "I forgot.  I'm sorry."

"Which is such an automatic response from a guy," Xander teased.  "I said I'm not upset."


"Throttle, I should know if I'm upset or not."

"Fine. You're not upset.  Then why were you playing around?"

"I was bored."

"Bored?" he asked, staring him down.  "There wasn't anything to do?"  Xander shook his head.  "Nothing at all, like our season passes?"

"It's no fun to go by myself and Charley shooed me off last night.  She promised to gut me if I came back to bug her today.  I only got her dinner last night," he pouted.

"When was the last time you were this bored, son?" Momma asked.

"The day Sunnydale broke out in its last problems," he offered quietly.

Throttle leaned over and pulled his boy over to his seat, settling him in his lap.  "We'll go out tonight so I can show you off and Vinnie can show Vic off, then we'll head home soon."

"You're not cutting your vacation short," Xander said firmly. "I can head home tomorrow.  I'm sorry I interrupted."

"Saved me from punching him," Vinnie admitted.

"Me too," Throttle agreed.  "I hate military stuff."  Vinnie nodded his agreement of that.  "I can go back with you."

"If you do, I'm handcuffing your ass and sending you back," Xander said firmly.  "I can head home tomorrow."

"I'm seeing pouty lips," Vinnie teased.

"Vincent, go get your wife and bring her back here, now," Momma ordered. "Xander, honey, you're staying.  You're too dangerous to leave alone on Earth.  You might destroy the world and then we'd have to fix that one too."

He shook his head.  "I'm a good protector."

"So's Rimfire and he needs something to take his attention other than Dawn," Throttle reminded him. "Otherwise we'll have another baby soon."

"They promised," Xander said firmly.

"I know, but they'll still sneak off and have sex."  He stroked down Xander's back.  "You're staying.  We need to liven Mars up, make everyone have some fun for a few days."  He gave him a gentle kiss.  "Go brush your teeth.  You smell like grapefruits."

"I had grapefruit juice for lunch."

"Uh-huh.  Momma, do we have anything soothing and cooling for dinner?" Vinnie asked.  "Before he wastes away and we're forced to tie him to the bed to baby him?"

"I think we can manage that."  She headed into the kitchen but Vinnie came to repossess his son, bringing him back to nap in his lap.  "I could have handled him."

"This way you've got two free hands," Vinnie called.  "Besides, he's half asleep anyway.  You can cuddle him later."

"Fine, I'll sit him tonight.  Go call your girl."

"She'll be fine for tonight," Vinnie called back.  "I'm sure Xander told her he was taking him."  Xander nodded.  "To Mars?"

"To be with his daddy."

Carbine knocked and stuck her head in.  "There's a power outage."

"I caused a power outage?" Xander asked.

Carbine looked at him and shook her head.  "Probably not.  It was most likely a storm."

"We weren't due for rain for days," Xander told her.  "It was hot and nasty and muggy."

"Then it was probably all the air conditioners," Throttle offered, patting him on the back.  "Couldn't reach her?"

"Not really, only for two minutes.  I suspect she'll be finding a way though.  She did not look too pleased when Stoker called from his seat. Something about dangerous white mice who needed to be shot?"  Xander 'eeped' and hid his face in Throttle's vest. "Uh-huh.  What happened?"

"He was bored and alone," Throttle told her.  "A bored white mouse is a dangerous white mouse as Modo's gray furred momma says," he joked with a grin.

Carbine shook her head.  "You're so bad some days," she said, looking at Vinnie.  "How is he?"

"Tired.  Just ate.  Wanna change him?  He could use it."  She shuddered and backed off in a hurry, going back to the command center.  "Pity.  He really could use it."  He got up and grabbed a diaper, going to change his poor son.  "Have Charley bring up more diapers and clothes," he called out the window at her retreating back.  "He'll need 'em."  She waved so he brought Vic back downstairs, sitting down with him, watching as Xander slowly drifted off.  "Not been sleeping either I guess."

"Probably not," Throttle agreed.  "He's pitiful when he's alone, but it's kinda nice to be needed that way.  I'm wondering why Dawn didn't stop this boredom though."

"She probably had plans with Rimfire."  He got comfortable again, letting his son nap on his shoulder. "Either that or they didn't see each other."  He patted his son's back, making him belch.  "Scuse you, son.  Always use manners so you'll grow up like Modo and get sweet girls."

Throttle's mother laughed from the kitchen.  "Then how did you get Charley?"

"Persistence," he called back.  "Lots and lots of trying."  Throttle snickered, nodding.  "So, how long do you think it'll take?"

"Maybe two hours for her to catch a flight to DC and to badger Micah into using his," Throttle said dryly.  "She'd never leave him alone with just us for more than a few hours."

"She could use a vacation too," Vinnie pointed out.

"She could," Momma agreed as she came out, putting a bowl in front of Xander, which woke him up.  "Eat."

"Yes, ma'am."  He reached over to take a piece of fruit, nibbling it slowly.  "This is really sweet."

"It is," she agreed with a grin and a wink.  "Used to be my son's favorite too."

"It still is but we don't have anything comparable on Earth," Throttle said, taking one for himself and tossing one to Vinnie.  "Crops were good this year?"

"More so than last year," she admitted.  "Things get a bit better each year."

"Good."  Vinnie finished bruising his and ate his first bite, chewing slowly.  "Willow's doing?"

"No, not really.  As far as we can tell, it's more a freak storm system than anything."  She went back to the kitchen.  "Eat it all, boys."

Xander looked at Throttle.  "They're on rationing, aren't they?"  He nodded.  "Can we help?"

"Not unless you can suddenly go make trees grow," Throttle offered.

"Willow said Mars is being low-magic at the moment, but I could try."

"No, that's okay. We'll make sure Momma has some money when we go so she doesn't starve," he whispered, kissing him.  "Thank you, Xander."

"You're welcome."  He finished his fruit and licked his fingers, then leaned over to get Throttle's fingers for him.  He got handed another piece of fruit by Vinnie, who was shaking his head but grinning.  "Sorry."

"Not a problem," he assured him.  "Wait until Charley comes up for that."

"Or until we're in the club," Throttle agreed.

"You know, I brought home a lot of stuff from the open house.  Boris ordered me to stock our bar better."

"None of us drink," Vinnie complained.

"I told him that.  I still have six cases of beer and two of scotch in my trunk."

"Mars doesn't really need liquor," Throttle pointed out.  "There's too many here who'd use it as a crutch."

Momma stuck her head out.  "There is, but there's also a black market for the stuff.  Some of the healers are using it too."  She went back to her fussing in the kitchen.  "Eat another one, Xander."

"This is my second."

"Good boy. Eat a third.  You're going to lose your fur if you don't take care of yourself."

"Yes, momma."  He finished off that one and licked off his fingers, but gave Throttle a look, getting a headshake.  So he settled in against his mate's side, getting comfortable.  And fell back asleep again.

"He's still just like a little kid with that," Vinnie said, helping his son go back to sleep since he had shifted and woken him up.

"It's cute," Throttle agreed.  "You're sure, momma?"

"Oh, yes, dear.  We could use it."

"Then we'll send it up on the way home."

"That's fine, dear.  I'm coming back with you for a few days anyway."

"Sure."  He shrugged.  He didn't care if his mother came down to visit them.  She calmed Xander down.

Vinnie smirked and finished his second one, then got up to put the bowl back in the cool, dark spot.  "You need a fridge and a generator too."

"Dear, those are for rich folk."  She patted him on the cheek.  "I'm not one of those."

"Yeah, but we've got extras," he said, kissing her on the cheek.  "Thanks, momma.  He's napping."

"As do most mice in the heat," she said gently, smiling at him.  "Go do so with your son until your lady arrives, Vinnie."

"Yes, momma."  He went back to his chair, going to nap for a bit.  It was kinda hot outside.

Throttle shook his head but settled in as well.  It was just a napping day.


Charley looked at the transporter, then around the dimly lit garage.  "We need a power source."

"Like the generator needs to be going?" Dawn asked as she joined her.  "Or like a battery from Sears?"

"A battery should work. I can't promise it though."  Dawn got the one off her bike and handed it over. "You shouldn't do that."

"Mine doesn't have an electronic brain and I can always replace a battery.  Hook that up and I'll go start the generator."  She headed to the small room on the other side of the mineral spring, walking into the closet-sized space.  Fortunately Xander hadn't chosen a hard-pull system.  She started it and the lights came back on.  She checked the gas gauge.  "We've got about an hour of power," she called. It spluttered and died.  So she backed out.  "Did you need to run and get anything before you go, Charley?  Now's the time to do it."

"Yeah, I do," she admitted.  She got on her bike and headed out, coming back with a few shopping bags of stuff that she knew Mars could usually use, plus more diapers and some clothes for their son.  She packed their stuff in a duffel bag, impulsively packing a dress in case Vinnie wanted to do something nice, then grabbed some dried fruit and stuff in case she landed in the wrong spot.  Dawn loaded the back of her bike with a case of water, cleverly concealed as beer.  "Where did you get the beer box?"

"From the back of Xander's car.  Boris called and said he had made Xander bring home the remaining liquor and stuff.  Want one of the bottles of scotch too?"  She nodded, it'd be a useful bribe in case she needed it.  The lights flickered and Charley rushed to input the coordinates, smiling when she saw where Stoker was right then.  She got on her bike and rode into the machine. "Pull the lever."

"Sure."  Dawn looked at the coordinates, then at her.  "We're in a B realm?"  She nodded. "Cool."  She pulled the lever and Charley was off.  Dawn watched on the computer as she landed, making Stoker chuckle, then shut that transport down and closed the connection for now.  "She's got it.  Hey, we're all alone.  Let's order pizza, Rimfire!"

"Sure!  Get some tacos too!" he called back.  "I'll do a movie run!"

"Get Brooks!"

"Yes, dear."


Charley landed, looking less than happy.  "Where is my man?"

"At Thorttle's momma's house," he admitted, taking the bags she was holding.  "You okay?"

"Yeah, barely.  Power outage due to the heat.  It blew up a transformer somewhere in the city and created a cascade of failures.  We're not due to have power again for about a week."

"Ooohh," he winced, shaking his head.  "Poor thing.  Need an escort?"

"Please.  Before the white mice turn my son into one of them."

Someone behind them snickered.  "I take it you know Vinnie and that one he brought up?"

Charley took off her helmet.  "Kinda, I'm the baby's mother."  She grinned back at the woman standing there. "Hi, I'm Charley."

"Ah, he never said you were so pretty," she said, shaking her hand.  "Welcome to Mars.  First trip?"

"Second actually," Stoker told her.  "I'll show you out there. Let me find Spike."

"Spike, I know where Xander's hiding," she called.  Spike appeared and latched onto her leg with an inquisitive growl.  "Yeah, he's up here.  You should see him tomorrow or the next day."  That got a satisfied purr/growl from the baby mouse.

"You growl more than any mouse ever born," Stoker teased, picking his son up.  "Fortunately Anya had an appointment earlier," he said happily.  "Let's go, since you've got your bike and all.  Diapers?"

"Yeah, I know we needed more.  Never let Xander pack you for a trip."  He laughed, letting her follow him out to his bike and out onto the main street.  "This is nice," she called.

"It is.  We're doing a good job of rebuilding," he called back.  "We're headed for the Western border of town."

"That's fine.  It's a pretty afternoon for a ride."

He grinned and nodded, leading her the simple way out to the house, not having to take the scenic path with her.  He pointed at one house. "Mine and Switch's."

"Sure.  Tomorrow or the next day."

"Deal."  They made it to Momma's house a few minutes later and he waved a hand.  "There you go.  It's the red one," he joked.

"Thanks, Stoker.  See you soon."

"Of course. Behave and make them behave.  Xander was in full-babble mode earlier."

"Sure."  She grinned and headed up to the door, parking between the other bikes.  "Watch her for me, girls.  Vincent, come carry this stuff!"

"Yes, dear," he called, coming out to grin and kiss her, but carry in the water.  It was a precious resource on Mars and Momma would appreciate it.  She'd probably give half to Modo's momma too.  She came in with the diapers and her own bag, handing Momma the scotch.  "A bribe?"

"I didn't know where I was going to land."

"Good point."  He took the foldup playpen from her.  "We dropped this?"

"Yes, Stoker put it on the back of my bike," she said patiently. "I promised Spike he could pounce Xander tomorrow or the day after."

"Sure," Throttle agreed sleepily.  He yawned and looked over at her.  "Hey."

"Hey.  I see he's finally calmed down."

"I've got that magic touch."

Charley snorted and shook her head.  "So I can see.  Don't leave me alone with him again.  Not when he's bored.  It's a horrible thing."  Momma laughed.  "It was!  He nearly painted over me when he was painting the garage the night before last.  I didn't move out of his way so he was going to paint me as part of the wall."  She pulled out the dried fruit and handed it over.  "Here, survival supplies."

"Thank you, child. I can make something wonderful with these," she promised, going to store them.  That was so thoughtful.  And that scotch would let her trade for a great deal of stuff in the market.   She did call Modo's mother to tell her that Charley was here and had brought some bottles of water and stuff so they could share.  They were nearly family after all.  All she heard was a squeal when she announced Charley was up so she hung up and waited.  They'd be over soon.

Modo pulled up and smiled at the bikes, then at his niece and her two.  "Looks like Momma was right."  He parked and got off, walking in to give Throttle's momma a hug.  "I hope you don't mind, I brought Primer along too."

Primer walked in with the babies strapped to her chest and back, stopping to look at the mice sleeping on the couch.  "He's cute.  I've never met him before.  Is he another refugee from earth?"

"That's Throttle's boy," Charley told her.  "Don't try to touch, he'll get mean."

"Xander punched some guy through a wall for trying to play with his tail," Vinnie said proudly.  "That's why the club is closed."

"He should go do the work and fix it," Charley said dryly.  "Then he wouldn't be bored."

"That's Xander?" she asked, grinning at him.  She grinned at Momma and hugged her.  "He's cute."

"He is, but he's very taken.  He was getting into trouble because my boy wasn't there."  She patted the babies on the head. "Tell your momma to come over too, we'll have a picnic tonight."

"Sure."  She went to call her mother, then realized the dust trail in the distance was probably her anyway.  She liked this Xander mouse so she'd give him a good try at being friends.  And hey, if Throttle fell, he was a nice looking mouse. She walked back inside when she saw her mother's bike.  "Momma's nearly here.  Where's Rimfire?"

"Holding the fort with Dawn," Charley said dryly, sitting down on Xander's other side.  She poked him and he grunted, wrapping his tail around her waist and snuggling into Throttle's side more, wrapping his arms around him.  "Awwww," she sighed.

"He is a cute one," Primer agreed.  Modo pinched her and got the babies down, letting them play in the playpen with Vic once he got it set up.  She got down to look at the new baby.  "Hi.  I'm your auntie Primer.  What's your name, cutie?"

"Victor," Vinnie said proudly.  "He's got his momma's fur color."

"I can see that.  It's a good thing you won't taint my daughters with white mice traits.  They'd never quit bouncing if you did, Victor.  My momma would be unhappy if they couldn't sleep."  Vic batted at her voice, then sucked his thumb, staring at the new furry lumps in there with him.  "That's Detail and Shot.  You three will be pretty close buddies when you come back to live."  She stroked his fur, then stood up and went to help in the kitchen.

Modo's momma rushed in and hugged Vinnie, then went to coo at the baby.  "You've finally got fur!  I'm so proud of you!" she cooed, picking him up to cuddle.  "Yes, the grandmomma is very proud of you, Victor.  Yes, she is.  You've got fur and your uncle's not bouncing any more."

"It's on the 'net?" Modo asked.  She smirked and nodded, making Modo and Vinnie groan.  Throttle just let out a snore and shifted, pulling Xander tighter against him.  Modo looked at them and shook his head.  "At least he's not babbling."

"A lot of mice I know think that's cute," Momma offered from the kitchen.  She came out, smiling at them.  "You three are adorable."

"She's still mine," Vinnie insisted.  "He can't steal her."

"I'd never put up with him in bed," Charley reminded him.  "I don't need or want to do anything that'll make me hiss and have trouble sitting like Throttle does some days."

"As long as it's fun and consenting," Modo's mother offered.  She put Vic back down and gave her own grandchildren a pet, going to the kitchen to help.  "Son."

"Coming, momma."  He went in there to help too.  He was okay in the kitchen but he didn't understand Earth foods at all.  "Momma, where's Staff?"

"She went to see a doctor about something," she said, giving him a hug.  "What's wrong with her?"

"Her stitches need pulled soon," he offered.

"It wasn't that sort of doctor, son."

He blushed.  "She said she thinks she's infertile," he admitted quietly.  His mother and Throttle's mother both hugged him.  "I told her it don't matter to me."

"I know, son, and so does she.  I'm sure she's making sure one way or another and seeing if there's anything we can do.   I left her a note and called her bike, telling her to come here."

"She has a bike?" Primer asked.

"She's borrowing her sister's," Modo told her. "Staff's such a sensitive mechanic that she thought bonding to one would mean the others wouldn't get as good of care.  She loves mine though," he said proudly.  "Speaking of," he said, looking at his mother.  "Rimfire's has the worst jealousy of any one we've ever seen.  His girl rammed Dawn's bike repeatedly then shot at it."

Modo's momma hissed and winced.  "Can they fix it?"

"Yeah, Charley's working on it, but she's still jealous of Dawn riding any other bike or in Xander's car.  His bike shot at hers, momma.  Insisted that they could share her."  Momma smiled at that, but she was still shaking her head.  "Took us all day to straighten his bike out."

"At least she still loves him," Primer offered, picking up a trailing end of a pepper to eat.   "When do I get to threaten this girl?"

"Since we have a working transporter, not long," Momma offered. She patted her on the cheek.  "Go watch the babies so Vinnie can nap, granddaughter."

"Yes, grandmomma."  She went to sit with the guys.  They were more fun anyway, even though they were asleep and cuddling. Vinnie was now cuddled between his girl and Xander so she took his seat and watched the babies stare at each other with the other mother.  "How was your birth?" she asked finally.

"At home.  Not enough pain killers. Not very long though.  Vinnie set off my labor."

Primer grinned.  "Did he bounce you to death too?"

"No, sex in our hot spring."

"Man!  How did you get a hot spring of your own?"

"Xander had one put in.  It's artificial but it's very nice.  He gave it to Vinnie and only he can say who uses it."

"If those two break up, can I get called first so I can come soothe him?" she asked, very serious.

Charley laughed.  "Sure, but it'll be a long wait," she joked.

"Not an issue.  I'm patient for some things."

"Granddaughter," Momma snapped.

"Sorry, grandmomma."  She grinned at them.  Vinnie was curled up so his head was in his girl's lap but his feet and tail were around Xander and Throttle.  "You four are adorable together."

"We hear that a lot," Charley admitted.  "I don't know why.  Though we do hear more that Vinnie and Xander together are very cute and nearly a matched set."

"All he needs is a mask," she agreed.  "How did he change?  Grandmomma never said."


"A tree?  That's a tree, right?"

"Yeah, it's a type of tree.  It's also that spirit who's in that temple that the M'dreth built."

"Oh, her," she said, nodding.  "Seen her floating around being bored, babbling just like he did.  Gotcha.  She used the seal?"

"She was a witch then she turned to a nature spirit.  She said she just wanted him to be happy.  He is, but he's one loud mouse at times.  Took Vinnie bungee jumping already."

"Bungee jumping.  Momma mentioned pictures of that stuff.  Said they're on Stoker's board.  I'll have to go see."  She put her feet up, and of course one of her twins fussed.  "Oh, hush, it's not time to eat yet.  Suck on your sister, Shot."  She settled down, sucking on her sister's ear for a bit.  "Thank you."  She shook her head.  "In some ways twins are easier, but in some ways I'd never wish them on anyone."

Charley snickered.  "I don't do much with Vic most days.  Vinnie has him, Dawn has him, Xander has him.  Modo and Staff have him sometimes when they can pry or steal him from Vinnie, Xander, or Dawn.  Usually, Throttle comes to hand him back so he can have his own husband."

Primer giggled.  "You lucky woman you.  How about Rimfire?"

"He likes to watch him, but mostly he lets Dawn coo at him while he holds her."

"He's got it bad then.  Are they cute?"

Charley wiggled until she could pull out her wallet, opening it and showing her the Dawn/Rimfire pictures she had.  "That's Dawn."

"She's cute," she said, nodding.  "Very cute.  Adorable in that long dress too.  What was that?"

"Her prom.  It's an American thing at the end of your schooling."

"Ah."  She took the wallet to look at them closer, smiling at the bellybutton Rimfire seemed to be staring at.  "Does she always wear clothes that don't fit?"

"No, those fit her," she admitted.  "That's the current style."

"Okay.  Humans are strange."  She handed it back, still smiling.  "She treats my brother well?"

"She spoils him just as much as Xander does us.  He wanted to buy her a human style engagement ring.  He didn't have the money at that time so she bought it and picked it out and he paid her back."  Primer nodded at that.  "They're very cute.  Nearly as cute as Xander and Throttle are.  He'll sit her in his lap and hold her there.  They're always off having sex.  They're the most cuddlesome couple I've ever seen.  To the point of being distracting and nauseating some days, but very cute."

She smirked and nodded.  "Sounds good for him then.  He needs someone to lavish all his attention on.   I heard she's doing languages and being a spy?"

 "Yeah.  She's studying languages and works with our spy group that does paranormal and alien stuff.  She's one of their better agents from what the boss says."

"Good!  Rimfire could use that too!"

Charley nodded. "Definitely.  There's nothing going on in Chicago right now, but I'm sure Micah will have something for them to do soon enough."

"Hopefully he won't bounce like Xander."

"No, Dawn'll have sex with him and he'll nap too," Charley quipped, cracking Primer up. "That's the only grounding that works with them.  No sex.  No cuddling.  No riding behind him.  Your brother's insane."

"Yes, he is," she agreed happily.  "But I think he gets it from our Momma.  Who's somewhere at the moment doing stuff with her Freedom Fighter unit."

"That's fine.  I'm sure she'll get to see Modo or he'll go there to see her."  She nodded wisely.  "What were they doing earlier that everyone saw Xander babbling?"

"The military were giving them medals for all the work they did helping Mars and Earth get free of the Plutarkians.  Complete with speeches and all that good stuff.  So of course, they were bored senseless and fidgeting anyway.  Then Vinnie disappeared and everyone just stared for a minute before the good General cleared his throat and said, "there must be a Plutarkian remaining.  I'm sure he'll kill him."  About two minutes later, Vinnie comes back with the baby and the other mouse and the General was about to say something about his heroic rescue, I'm sure, when Throttle stepped in to try to take the baby and Xander.  Told him he was on the wrong bike too.  Made quite a few girls where I was coo and sigh in pleasure," she finished with a grin.

Charley laughed.  "Xander loves his dramatics.  He spoils these guys rotten all the time.  For Modo's first date, he won a contest, tried all month to get him these tickets to a major festival of heavy metal music."  Primer chuckled at that.  "Got the last set hours before the festival started.  Impressed the DJ by saying they were for Modo's first date.  Got Modo showered, dressed, picked out his clothes too, and on their way to pick up the tickets without telling him why.  Now, this DJ is a hero the guys look up to.  Modo's met him a few times at other things, Georgie's a sweet guy to the bros.  Xander hands over the tickets like they're sacred objects.  Tells Modo that he had to have a special first date with his lady, nothing less would do, and sends him off to get Staff and take her with him.  Then he filled out the forms, asked for a special song the next day for Vic's first week birthday party, and went to rent Modo a suite at a nice hotel for the weekend with money on the tab for room service so he, quote, wouldn't starve by living off staring at her."  Primer burst out in loud giggles.  "We heard from him each night but he came back so mellow and blissed out and she was clinging to his arm like he was her personal God."

"That's so cute!"

"It is.  But not as cute as what he did for me," Throttle said, shifting some.  "Flew us out to the west coast.  Got us a nice hotel room.  Took me on a tour of a hotdog factory our first night in."  He gave her a sleepy grin.  "He made it so that we were doing stuff but never felt rushed.  We rode back the nearly two thousand miles, stopping at the biggest and most sacred of Harley rallies on earth.  He had it all planned so all I had to do was relax and bliss out.  That week at Sturgis was spiritual for me and he just supported me and made sure I floated to bed at night, then pounded me into the mattress so I'd sleep.  That way I could get up and do it again the next morning."  Primer grinned at that.  "Nearly two weeks on the bike, but all of it so special.   Must have cost a fortune but he wouldn't let me see how much even the plane tickets cost.  He's one special mouse."

"So I'm learning.  If you ever get rid of him, I'm first in line, Throttle."

"You've got to push ahead of his former coworker, his former boss, our doc, and a few others," he said dryly.  "Including Vinnie and Charley there."

"Only if you fall," she said firmly.  "Not if you two break up."

"Sure."  He reached over to pat her, then stroked over Vinnie's head.  "Your boots are heavy and dirty, bro."

"Take 'em off," he muttered, flipping over to bury his nose in his girl's stomach and crotch.

"That would stink up the house again," Xander muttered, pushing at the legs over him.  "Meany, no straps!  Not in the mood for it!"  He pushed at him again, sending Vinnie to the floor so he could have Throttle's lap for a napping spot.  He snuggled in on his thigh, hands under his cheek, feet against Charley's thigh, and started to snore again.

Primer grinned at them, watching as Vinnie got up and glared sleepily at Xander, then sighed and made him lay on his back, then laid on top of him.  "Is he comfy?" she teased.

"Very.  Needs more muscles," he mumbled, going back to sleep, but his tail pulled Charley on top of him.

"Smooshing me," Xander complained.  "Air!"

Throttle pushed Charley toward the back of the couch, then shoved Vinnie off again.  "My mouse."

Vinnie growled and pulled Xander down so he could sleep.  He needed a good pillow.  Xander was suitably comfy, so therefore he got to be on the bottom again.  He snuggled in and there they stayed.

Both mothers came out to see what the fighting was about, and stopped to stare at the two white mice on the floor.

"Throttle, take him up to your room, babe," Modo's mother ordered.  "Take Vinnie with you since he'll whine otherwise."

"We've only got the one spare room," Throttle's mother told him.  "You four can share it somehow.  Charley, tease the white mouse and drag him up there, Xander will follow him I'm sure."  Charley wiggled off the couch and yanked on Vinnie's tail, getting it caught around her wrist.  She poked him a few times, then walked off, letting his tail drag him until he got up and followed, resting on her back.  It's how she moved him at home too.

Xander growled, patting around for his comfy sleeping buddy.  He crawled after him until he came to the stairs, then got up to go pounce whoever stole him.  Charley shrieked when he pounced her and pinned her to the bed, but he was comfy now and so was Vinnie so it was all good with them.  He let out a content sigh and went back to his comfy nap.

Throttle shook his head.  "We'll have to go free her soon," he noted, putting his feet up again.  "Can I help with dinner, momma?"

"No, dear.  You stay out here and make sure the babies don't mutate into Xander," she ordered, going back to the kitchen, where Modo was chuckling against the wall.  "They could," she defended with a grin.  "He does watch them an awful lot."

"Yeah, but we watch them too, we'll make sure he doesn't warp 'em too bad."  He hugged both mothers.  "We needed you recently.  Xander's turned slightly evil on occasion.  Giles came back after trying to kill us.  He planted the guy on a stake in the yard up to his neck and said he'd come back to him later."

"Better than he deserves from what I heard," his mother said firmly.

"Yeah, but he was going to torture him first," Modo said quietly.  "He tried to beg the cops to leave him for an hour."

"Only an hour?  Then I'm impressed with his skills," Throttle's momma told him.

"Momma," Modo sighed.  "It's not right to torture, even him.  Or Karbunkle; he had him turned into a girl and let some vampires get him pregnant from what we've heard."

The mothers looked at each other.  "We should ask Stoker if he can come up and have babies for those he made sure can't," Throttle's mom noted.  Modo's mom nodded her agreement and they smiled at him, very sweetly.

"Now I know where he's getting it from.  We thought it was Spike," Throttle said from the doorway.

"I said I didn't need help," his mother told him.

"I came to get a drink."

Modo's mother opened one of the sodas Charley had packed and handed it to him.  "There you go, dear.  Why don't you go nap with the others?"

"Because they're scary when it's Vinnie and Xander working together," he noted dryly, heading back to the couch.  He sat down and looked at the kids, noticing Vic was up.  "Hey, little guy.  Want out?"  Vic sniffled so he got back up and lifted him out, letting him settle on his chest while he finished off his rootbeer. "There, how's that?"  Vic snuggled in, content at the moment.  At least until he heard him pee.  "Yeah, you do that too," he agreed dryly.  "We'll give it ten minutes, make sure that's all of it."

"I heard boys aim it at you," Primer teased.  "Momma said Rimfire always did."

"You can change this one and find out," he offered with a sweet grin.

"No thanks, I do enough of that already."

"I bet.  Twins have got to be worse."  He looked down, seeing the red face starting. "Gee, thanks, Vic.  You know I love you too, right?"  He wrinkled his nose, then got up to find the diaper bag and take the kid outside.  It'd be kinder with how bad he smelled.  He came back a few minutes later.  "What do I do with the dirty diaper?"

"Recycler," Primer said, pointing at it on the corner of the kitchen.

"It's got plastic."

"So?"  He shrugged and dropped it in there, then shut it again before the stench could get out.  He sat down with the baby again and she took him to hold, looking at him.  "You're cute."

"His daddy would say some day he'll match his cuteness."

"No, Vinnie's a different sort of cute. This one is an innocent sort of cute."  She nuzzled noses with him, and he grabbed her short whiskers.  "Ow."  She unpried the little hand then kissed him.  "There you go."  She settled him against his lap, and him being a breastfed baby, felt a nice set next to his head.  So he tried to latch on, making her yelp and hand him off quickly.  Throttle smirked at her.  "That's not nice, kid."

"He usually eats off mom," Throttle offered, still smirking.  "Don't feel bad, he did it to Vinnie once too.  Xander teased him for days about having breasts."

"Usually we call those enlarged things you guys cart around muscles, but I can see him having tits," Primer agreed.

"Niece!" Modo said, sounding shocked.

"What?" she asked.  "He was telling me how the little mouse there tried to eat off his daddy once.  I can see him with tits."

"Granddaughter," her grandmother said patiently.

"Sorry."  She got comfortable again.  "I'll try to take him back but I think he's hungry."

"Yeah, well, mom's upstairs," he said fondly, taking him up there so Mom could have him.  He found her trapped under the white mice and handed her the baby.  "He tried to eat off Primer."

"I wonder why she let out a yelp," she said, yawning a bit.  "I'm trapped by the two big, white arms of death.  Think you can move 'em?"

"Sure.  Just roll towards Vinnie and he'll cuddle you.  Then Xander will have your back for a while."

She carefully rolled and sure enough, Vinnie grabbed her and pulled her closer, but let her go some since he felt the baby in her arms.  She got down to her bra and let him latch on once she had one side freed, which was when Throttle disappeared.  "Typical.  At least he changed you," she said, kissing her son's head.  "You eat.  No more eating off strange women, son.  It's not good for you.  You'll never find a good girl that way."

Xander lifted his head, trying to figure out who she was talking to, and caught sight of what she was doing so he blushed and hid his head against her back.  "Sorry, won't look," he whispered.

"That's fine, Xander.  You're a good boy."  She reached back a hand and patted him but he squeaked more so she let it go.  Who knew his thigh was so sensitive.


Vinnie walked his son and girl into a club, with Throttle and Xander behind them.  He found a table fairly quickly.  It was busy but not too busy in there.  He sat down, scanning the crowd.  In any group this size, one of his cousins should be there.  They all liked a good party after all.  He didn't see one but that didn't mean one wouldn't be showing up.  "Dance?" he asked his girl, grinning at her.

"Sure.  Baby?"

"Me."  Xander took him and settled in against the wall, watching the crowd.  It wasn't that much different.  He could dance like he normally did and fit in probably.  It was decent music, just a bit heavier than he liked.  He felt a little body slither against his legs and looked down, then grabbed Throttle's arm and squeezed the hell out of it.  "Thing!" he said, pointing.

Throttle looked and kicked the creature, pulling his blaster to shoot it.  He took it up to the bar, where the guy tossed it in a pail with other ones.  "They're spreading faster?"

"Yeah.  Without anything to keep 'em back, it's horrible.  They're growing too."

"Yeah, that one was bigger than our cats could take," he agreed, getting them a soda.  His mother had traded them some cash for the supplies Charley had brought up so they were okay for now.  Not too much, but then again no one had a lot of cash these days.  He went back to share it with him, getting a grin in return.  "You shoot those," he told him.

"I could see that but I don't have a blaster with me.  You don't let me have one most of the time."  Vinnie and Charley came back and shared their soda with them, and Xander handed off the baby, taking Throttle out there.  His boy could teach him what to do, and if not, he could go steal Vinnie. Which he ended up doing after a few minutes since Throttle looked pretty helpless.  Vinnie smiled and danced out with him, showing him the usual moves and how they do it locally.  They danced to another song, then a third, then Xander went to steal Charley for him and take the baby back so he could enjoy his wife.  He noticed a few people by the bar were staring from Vinnie to him and back.

Vinnie noticed them too and ran over to hug and pummel them, laughing the whole time. "Guys!  About time some of us showed up!"

"I thought Aunt Celestial said she was only having one after having you," one of them asked, dodging a blow to get Vinnie in the stomach, which made him wince.  "Getting soft on Earth, cousin?"

"No," he snorted.  "Just ate."  He hit him with an uppercut, which sent him flying, but he came back laughing and hugged him.  "Come see.  My girl and my kid's up.  Plus you'll like Xander.  I adopted him.  He's my little brother."

"You *adopted* him?" one of them teased.  "Looked more like you bedded him, cousin,' she called.

"Nah, he's not cute enough for that."  He led them to the table, where Xander was blushing against Throttle's arm.  "I told you, get more definition and you'll be more than cute enough for me, Xander," he teased, getting swatted with an evil glare for it.  "These are three of my cousins.  That's Starlight, the girl's Chassis, and the ugly one is Bullet."

"Hey," Xander said, grinning and waving.  "I'm Xander."

"Ahhh, then you're the mysterious white mouse he brought back," Chassis said, settling in next to Charley.  She grinned at her.  "Yours?"

"No, Vinnie and the baby are."

"Cool."  She kissed her, then took the baby to look over. "You're not a white mouse?"

"He's got his momma's fur color," Xander said, taking the baby back.  "He's also got an upset tummy and diarrhea.  Don't wanna mess up your outfit."  She laughed at that and batted him on the arm.

"Mine," Throttle said plainly, putting an arm around his shoulders.  "All mine."

"Sure, studly."  She smirked at him, then at her cousins.  "Can we borrow him to the dance floor?"

"Only if I come back unpinched.  Someone just did," Xander complained.  "I don't need more bruises."

"Sure," Bullet agreed, helping him over the back of the booth and out to the floor, where the three of them gathered around him and pumped him for information on Vinnie and on himself.  Someone did try to pinch Xander and Xander unselfconsciously grabbed the man's wrist and broke it, then grinned sweetly at him.  "He's already taken," Bullet called.

"I can see that," he said grimly.  "Who do you think you are?"

Xander looked at him.  "I'm a Xander mouse," he said sweetly with the sweetest grin.  "Do not touch.  I'm not yours.  I have a man and he's more than enough for me.  If I needed more thrills, I can find some on roller coasters."  He looked him over.  "You're well outta my league.  Now, please don't assault my posterior again."  He went back to his dancing with Starlight, letting Bullet get behind him for a while.  The guy tried to push his way through and Xander turned suddenly and hit him, sending him flying into a wall.  "I said no, dude.  Get it right.  Learn that word, it's an important one," he said facetiously.

Throttle got up and came out to join them.  "Problems?" he asked quietly.

"No, not any more," Xander assured him, kissing him so hotly that even the trio of white mice sweated for them.  "You?"

"No, not a bit," he agreed, taking him for a dance of his own.  "Do it like you do at home," he ordered.  Xander moved into his usual movements and Throttle smirked, moving closer to enjoy him all to himself.  It was clear whose mouse he was if anyone was smart enough to look.

"Hey, how much he charge?" a drunken woman asked.  "He's cute."

"He's taken.  That's his husband," Chassis informed her coolly.  "He's our cousin, cadet, I'd go home now.  You've had enough."  The woman glared at her so she and her cousins glared back.  Even the drunken woman didn't want those odds so she stumbled off.

"Yeah, he's a VanWham," Bullet agreed.  "Chaos, mayhem, and trouble follow his tail."

Chassis punched him on the arm, getting a wince.  "I'm sure he doesn't get into that sort of trouble on earth."

"Yeah, he does," Vinnie called.  "And more."  He smirked at them.  "That's why we don't let him out alone."  He looked at the newly gotten up person and handed over the baby with a smile before shrieking "Aoow," and pouncing him to beat the snot out of him for glaring at his little brother.  "My little brother," he sang as he hit him.  "Not your toy.  Throttle's toy.  My toy on occasion, but not your toy!"  The man groaned and started to burble blood so he got off him and went back to claim his girl and baby for a dance, taking them both out together.  After all, Vic had to learn how to party.  He was a VanWham mouse, even if he wasn't white.

His cousins stared then looked at each other.  "Wait until the others hear about this," Starlight said finally.

"Hey, family reunion," Bullet agreed happily.

"Cool.  Maybe I can get Stupid this time."

"Don't call your sister Stupid," Bullet chastised.  "She's all you got left, even if she is a wrenchhead."  He took them out onto the floor, making a very pretty trio if he did say so himself.


Throttle walked Xander back into the house, weathering his mother's odd looks.  "Someone wanted him too much," he said, wiping the blood off his split lip.  "We'll be fine."  He led him up to their room.  Xander had defended him and his claim in front of others.  It made him hot.  He didn't care if Charley and Vinnie came in while they were going at it, he was going to pound Xander into the bed like they didn't have to wake up tomorrow.   Which they didn't really.  He could be lazy tomorrow and let Xander have his lap alllll day.  He got them stripped, nearly ripping Xander's clothes off him while he was kissing his poor abused mouse.  Then he pushed him backwards, watching as he landed on the bed and bounced.  "Good, it's got springs," he said with a smirk, grabbing him to pull him closer.  "Lube?"

"I did," he said, wiggling.  "I promised I would and I did."

"Good," he said smoothly, leaning down to kiss him.  One hand teased the hard, dripping cock his mate was sporting, then it moved to check him.  A bit tight but slippery in there.  That's all he needed.  He pushed in, going slowly this time, and listened to Xander let out one long, drawn out moan of pleasure.  He didn't wait, pulling back almost immediately to slam in harder this time.  "Whose mouse?"

"Yours," he panted, hanging on for dear life.  Throttle's hips were slamming him and it was great.  He was nearly as hard as when they had apocalypse sex but that was fine, he couldn't sit the next day anyway.  He arched up and wiggled closer, and Throttle pulled out, flipping him over to slam back into his body.

Throttle shifted closer, needing the leverage.  Xander was howling and panting and clawing at anything he could grab.  "I'm not nearly there yet," he promised, finding a bit of extra muscle in his thighs, going harder now.  He had to grab onto his lover's hips to hold him still, a wiggling target didn't get deep enough for him.  He was slamming him as hard as he could, making him whimper and moan, making him grab the other side of the bed to hold onto, when the door slammed open and Vinnie carried Charley in, putting her on the free spot on the bed.  He gave Vinnie a look but Vinnie grinned and threw off his clothes, ripping Charley's dress off her to toss over his shoulder and have her.  She had quit bleeding.  She wasn't complaining about being sore.  She was howling as much as Xander was about needing it.  Throttle worked faster, then suddenly slowed down and eased up on him, making him whimper and beg, letting him wiggle a bit.  "Whose are you?" he demanded again.

"Yours," Xander pleaded.  "Please, Throttle, please!" he shouted.  Throttle gave one slow, hard shove into him and Xander moaned, pushing back.  So he did it again, slowly building back up to his punishing, hard, knocking rhythm.  He saw Xander grab Vinnie's thigh and hold on and smirked at Vinnie, who shrugged and reached over to spank his boy for him.  Xander howled into the bed but continued to hold on, arching back into the cock slamming him, his face buried in the bed so he wouldn't wake the whole town.  Throttle got onto the bed, on his knees, and leaned down, getting a better grip on his boy.  Xander screamed and came but it wasn't enough for either of them and he kept going.

"You're going to have a mouse-sized indent tomorrow," he vowed.  "The only comfortable seat is going to be my lap."  He put on more speed, spurred on by the noises Xander and Charley were making; the fact that Vinnie was watching him and grinning at him for his style was just an extra bonus in his book.  Xander was screaming into the bed about being his and needing more, he could clearly hear it.  If he had something to plug his mouth with, he would, but he couldn't ask Vinnie to do that, not with Charley needing him.  Xander finally grabbed Charley's leg instead and muffled himself by sucking on the top of it and her ankle, making her shriek and wiggle and flail, which brought her hand in contact with his tail and she gripped it in a death grip as Vinnie worked her for all he was worth.

"My tail, only my tail," Vinnie panted, pulling his tail around for her to play with.  "Let go of Throttle's tail, babe, or I'll have to stop."  She let it go and grabbed onto his, sucking it to quiet herself down.  She didn't want to wake the neighborhood either.   Vinnie spanked Xander again and Throttle moaned as the firm cheeks wiggled for him, shoving in and pushing up at the end of his thrust that time.  Xander's pleasured yell came through the ankle he was sucking on so Vinnie did it again.  Throttle retaliated by teasing Charley's ear with his tail.  He knew she had a sensitive ear, Vinnie was always teasing it by nibbling it.  She thrashed a bit more and went stiff, then went limp.

Vinnie yelled and came, panting as he leaned down to kiss her, swatting at Xander to get him off her leg so he could have it.  He didn't remove himself because he was still hard and she could still use more.  He pulled back to tease her again, playing with that little hard nub and the inside of her fleshy lips down there, making her wiggle and kick at him but he did it anyway until she was moaning and arching up into his fingers, then he started to work again.  He flipped her onto her stomach, taking her that way.  "You need antennas," he panted, leaning down to nibble on her ear, moving Throttle's wildly waving tail away from it.  "I want to give you what I have," he said in her ear, making her wiggle more.  He teased her sensitive breasts, letting a bit of milk leak out so he could taste it, then let her taste it from his fingers.  She moaned and pushed back, nearly shoving him off the bed, but he had plans for her.  He used his tail on her backside, making her grab Throttle's thigh and hold on, while Xander had his again.  Throttle had managed to make him howl into it and it was a great feeling.  Xander had his teeth sunk in at the moment but he was whimpering and screaming into his leg and it was turning him on.  He did spank him so he'd quit biting but otherwise it was fine with him.

Throttle spanked Xander himself.  "No biting," he ordered.  "You know better."

"Need, please," Xander begged, incoherent now.  "Please, Throttle!"

"I'm doing it," he panted, reaching around to help him come.  If Xander could come, then he could and then they'd be able to rest. His thighs were burning now and it didn't help that Charley's nails were digging into the back of his.  He spanked her to make her let go and Vinnie howled, going faster and harder because of it.  She was still digging into his thigh though.  "Bro, nails," he ground out, spanking his own mate when he reached for Vinnie again. "Not yours."

Xander pushed back, trying to get deeper.  "Please!"

"Sure."  He spanked him again then worked faster and harder, he had been starting to slow down from the pain.  But no pain, no gain.  He slammed himself all the way in and saw Charley gag from it, then looked at Vinnie.  He hadn't been aware they were locked in again.  He got a smirk though so he leaned over to nip at one of Vinnie's antennas, making him howl and slam her deep enough to make her come again.  That gave him an idea.  He pulled Xander up to get his antennas too, making him let out one last ear-splitting scream of pleasure before he came and went limp.  That released the vise-like grip on his cock and he managed to finally come and followed Xander down onto the bed.  He rolled them onto their sides, not pulling out for now.  Just holding him.  "Xander?"  He heard a small moan and tail-whipped Vinnie, making him come too.  Vinnie fell down, sweat dripping from his fur, and rolled them to face the other couple.  "You okay?" he panted.

"Fine," Vinnie panted.  "She asleep?"  Throttle nodded.  "Yours too," he offered.  He finally caught his breath and wiped his face off.  "Damn."

"Yeah," Throttle agreed, stroking Xander's stomach.  He saw Vinnie wiggle.  "Again?"

"It was off there for a few minutes," he admitted.  "Don't start him off.  You'll die.  I'll die," he offered, kissing the back of her sweaty neck.  "We'll need a bath tomorrow."

"Mom's got one of those communal baths set up," he offered quietly, kissing the back of Xander's head.  His boy moaned and stretched, then fell into a real sleep.  Throttle grinned as Charley basically did the same, leaving them to look at each other.  "You okay?  Really?" he asked a few minutes later.

"Yeah, I'm good," Vinnie admitted.  "It was kinda weird having him biting me."

"Her hair was brushing my balls."

"Which feels incredible," Vinnie agreed with a tired grin.  "I'm hoping no one called the cops."

"Momma wouldn't and her nearest neighbor is nearly a block away."

Momma tapped on the door and walked in with a sheet.  "I didn't figure you four made it under the covers," she offered as she covered them.  "I'll make sure you've got a bath when you get up.  I've already told the neighbors you were claiming your mates."  She smiled and put down some juice then left, closing the door firmly behind her.

"Give," Throttle ordered, pointing at the juice.  Vinnie drank some and handed it over, letting him have the rest.  "Cheese," he said in awe, grinning at Vinnie.

"Yeah," he grinned back.  They shared a short laugh then snuggled in.  They had needed this.


Modo looked at Stoker as he walked in early the next morning, grinning at him. "Momma making you breakfast too?"

"No, I came to tell you that your bros probably aren't going to be up for a few hours and probably won't be able to sit then.  There was a noise report from Throttle's momma's house.  She claims they were claiming their mates."

"How many reports?" Primer asked.  "I know some neighbors are jumpy about that."


"Six?  No one lives that close to her," Modo's momma said as she joined them.  "They were that loud?"

"Yeah, they were that loud for over an hour," Stoker said, handing over the report.  She read it over and sent it to Throttle's momma before handing it back.  "So you probably have all morning with them and if you want, the kids could use someone to beat up on."

"Go ahead.  Well, sit down and let me finish breakfast, Stoker.  Then you can take Modo with you.  He's good with those kids of yours.  Teach 'em manners and the like."

"Anya could use it.  I certainly can't and her mother just giggles."  He knew he couldn't refuse to eat, she'd whip his tail and forcefeed him if he refused.  So he'd nibble on a roll or something while Modo and Primer ate.

"It's a wise man who knows not to argue with my grandmomma," Primer whispered in his ear.

"The last time I did, she whipped my tail and forcefed me. Said I was too skinny," he said with a grin.

"Ah, so you learned by experience.  The same way Modo learned to take a bath when grandmomma said so."

Modo nodded.  "Basically," he agreed lightly.  "Momma's not one you argue with about anything.  She's always right."

Stoker nodded.  "True, which is why I want her to run the daycare system and she keeps saying no."  He looked over as Racer came running down the stairs.  "Hey, little man.  What's up?"  He gave him a hug.  "Having a good day?"

"Yup," he agreed happily, going to hug Modo.  "Will you play with me today?"

"Sure, little guy.  Then I'll go visit with Stoker's kids later.  Or you could come with us and we'll play afterwards."

"Okay, but I get to pounce Anya if she pinches me again."

"Sure," he agreed with a grin, turning it on Stoker.

"She could use it."  He accepted his juice and full plate. "Momma, I don't need that much," he said, handing it to Modo, who pushed it back.  "Switch managed to cook this morning."

"Eat, Stoker, don't make me whip your tail again.  You're much too skinny.  Skin and bones and tail, that's all you are."

"Yes, momma," he sighed, letting Racer into his lap so he could help him eat.  Kids his age were always hungry, right?  "You two will come play with my two terrors while I'm at the Council and Switch is off at the doctor's with the newest one, then I'll come back, we'll play together, and then you and Modo can come back here to play before he goes to play with his bros, how about that?" he asked Racer, who beamed and ate another bite for him.

"Racer, you're getting your own plate," Momma said firmly, setting one down.  "Sit there, young man, and eat.  You're a growing boy."  He wiggled down and over to his seat, getting up to inhale his own breakfast, and part of Primer's since apparently she wasn't that hungry either.  Momma stared at her granddaughter.  "Who was he?" she demanded.

"Grandmomma, who was he who?"

"The father of this one," she said firmly, crossing her arms over her chest.  Modo choked and Stoker pounded him on the back.  "Well?"

"Um, I'm not pregnant, Grandmomma."

"Yes, you are, child. I can tell it already.  Who was he?"  She walked over to sniff her, then snorted.  "That stupid boy on the racing bike, wasn't it?  The purple one?  With the stupid hair?"

Stoker considered it.  "Plumb?"  Momma nodded grimly.  "Well, he's one of Vinnie's cousins; he's a good fighter, but a bit unimaginative in battle.  He's always singing and playing his guitar.  He's not married either."

"That's a nice change," Momma agreed.  "You'll be sending him up once I drag her to see someone."

"Sure, momma," he agreed, not going to argue with a mad mother.  He wasn't that dumb.  He looked at Modo.  "Guess you're bringing the twins too.  That'll give Spike someone to hug to death and growl at."

"Your son is odd," Primer told him.

"Xander does call him a vampire mouse," Modo offered with a grin for her.  New nephews or nieces, all right!  He got up and hugged her as hard as he could.  "I'm so happy!"

"Oooh, get off, Uncle Modo.  I'm not pregnant!" she complained, swatting at him.  "Grandmomma's lost her sense of smell."  Her grandmother swatted her.  "Ow!"

"You hush, you finish your breakfast, and then we'll go."   She patted Modo on the cheek.  "You too, son. You're still a growing boy and need to eat."

Modo grinned and dug in, taking half of Stoker's when her back was turned so he didn't have to pretend to eat and upset her more.  He was hungry anyway.  He smiled as Staff came down the stairs.  "We're heading to Stoker's with the kids, then we'll be back.  Wanna come with us?"

"Sure," she agreed quietly, settling into her new seat next to him.  "Modo?"  He grinned down at her, then kissed her and she sighed.  "I can't."

"I don't care," he reminded her.  "I really don't care.  I'd rather take in every orphan on Mars than lose you."  She gave him a small grin and a blush.  "You're my lady and it doesn't matter.  Besides, Momma thinks Primer's having another one."

"Congratulations," she said happily enough, faking it mostly.

"Yeah, want it?" she offered. "I'll have someone switch it over.  Owww!" she yelped when her grandmother got her again, this time across the ears.  "Sorry."

"Staff, did they say there was medicine for it?" Momma asked.  She nodded.  "Where?"

"We don't have it.  I have the name and what it's made of in case Enamel knows about it on Earth but I'm not sure.  It's precious and hard to make up here."

"What's in it?" Stoker asked.  He looked it over, then frowned and got up, going to flip through his new PDA Micah had given him.  "Oh, the humans have tons of this," he assured her.  "It's the main ingredient in Viagra."

"That stuff they advertise on TV to make men go sproing?" Racer asked.  Momma gave him a gentler swat.  "Sorry, momma.  Didn't mean to be rude."

"That was just a crude way of putting it," she assured him with a small smile.  "But yes, dear, that's what it was advertised for."  She patted him on the head.  "Eat.  You're a growing boy and you need to eat before you become skin and bones and tail like Stoker."

"I ate, momma," he protested, sitting down again.  "He can get it," he said, handing back the prescription paper.  "I've got to talk to the Medical Board, see what else they need.  Maybe it'll all be that easy."

"What does that cure in mice since Uncle Modo doesn't need stuff like that?" Racer asked.

Modo blushed and so did Staff. "You're right, he doesn't," she squeaked.  "It, um, cures nubby little growths in the wrong spot."  She ducked her head and dug into her breakfast, glancing at Modo.

Stoker chuckled.  "There were six reports of noise from Throttle's momma's house last night," he told her.  "She had to shoo off the cops."

"They've only got the one guest room so I'm wondering which couple it was," Primer said.

"That much noise, had to be Vinnie," Modo assured her.

"Xander's pretty noisy at times too," Staff reminded him.  "Remember, we couldn't sleep that one night."

"True," he agreed, grinning at her.

"When are they going to announce the foursome?" Stoker asked.

"They're not," Staff squeaked.

"At least Throttle and Xander could have their own kids that way," Primer offered.

"We have birth control now," Modo said proudly.

"Yes, we do," Stoker agreed happily.  "Switch had hers put in the other day and I was so happy I tried for number four, and it didn't happen."  Modo punched him on the arm, making him laugh.  "Hey, I'm very happy.  This new one's horrible, still!"

"Nothing could be worse than Anya and her refusal to give up Xander," Modo teased.

"This one won't give up momma.  Not even for me to cuddle.  She kicks me when I try.  I named her right, she is a cranky little monster at times."

"Crankshaft will be fine soon.  That's Switch's thing about not giving up her last baby," Momma said wisely.  "I did the same thing with Modo when he came."  She patted him on the back.  "Give her reason to let go more often and it'll be fine, Stoker.  Now finish up."

"I'm home!" someone yelled as the front door slammed.  "I'm dirty and I'm nasty too, so please let me bathe before you hug me, Racer, or we'll both need a bath."

"Me too?" Modo asked, getting up to hug her.  "Missed you," he said, giving her a tight squeeze.

"Me too, little brother," she agreed, pounding him on the back.  She pulled back to look at him.  "Well, you look the same.  You back to stay?"  He shook his head. "Pity, my unit could use Throttle's foot up their tails."  She looked at the mice at the table. "Stoker, I'm not going back out there."

"I came to steal your brother to play with my spoiled ones."

"Fine.  And you are, dear?" she asked the new mouse.

"That's Staff, she's my lady," Modo said firmly.

His sister squealed like Anya on a candy high and hugged her until the poor girl begged to breathe.  "Oooh!  Finally!  Someone who can put up with my little brother!"

"Aww, shucks," Modo said, blushing a bit.  "She's a sweet lady."

"She must be," she agreed, grinning at her.  "You stay while the big lugnut goes to play with the kiddies.  We'll talk."  Staff blushed and nodded.  "I'm not mean, sweetheart, just playful," she promised, accepting her plate from Momma.  "Bath?"

"Drawn," she admitted. "Go.  Recycle it when you're done."  She nodded, taking her plate that way .  "Two weeks in the badlands is more than enough," she told Stoker.

"It's not my fault the Sand Raiders are still out there."

"Point, but two weeks is still too long."

"Momma, quit, we caught some of the bastards trying to steal a few orphans," Modo's sister called.  "If it was shorter we never would have caught them at it."

"Fine, Cell, clean up," she called back, still glaring at Stoker.

"She's right," he offered quietly.  "Scabbard wanted a month each unit."

Momma shook her head.  "I'd have skinned his tail," she assured him.

"Me too."  Stoker grinned.  "A month in the wastelands is more than too much.  Cell, you sure you don't want Modo too?"

"No, I want to get to know his girl without him around.  That way he can't cover up any glaring faults, like the fact that she's more mannered than Vinnie is."

"I like that about her," Modo called.

"I'm sure you do," she teased.  She came out dressed in a towel.  "Mannerly girls are wonderful, but can they fight?"  Staff nodded.  "You did?"

"I was rescuing some kids and had to protect some when we got captured," she said, nodding at Racer.  "I'm a mechanic."

"Oh. Then you're *her*," she said, smirking at her. "I've heard good things about you around the bases.  Welcome to the family, Staff. You hurt him and I'm going to rip your tail off and feed it to you, but you'll do fine otherwise."

"Hey, not hurt her, she's nice," Racer defended.  "She made sure Kartbuckle couldn't hurt me.  She got real badly hurt too."

"I'm sorry, precious," Cell cooed, hugging him.  "I'll be nicer.  It's tradition to warn her though."  She kissed him on the antennas.  Then she grinned at Staff. "Higher and higher praise.  I'm going to like having you around."

"And the new grandchild?" Modo teased.

Cell looked at her daughter, then swatted her hard, making her yelp in pain.  "Who was it?"

"Momma thought it was Plumb," Modo offered.

"The stupid boy with stupid hair?" she asked her daughter.  "You have better taste than that."  Her mother swatted her.  "Ow!  Momma!  She does.  Or at least she should!"

"She should but we don't pick who we love, Cell.  Or else Throttle's boy would be a girl mouse."

"Throttle's and his boy are up here?" she asked. "Really?  I've heard about him from Thruster."

"Thruster doesn't know much about him," Modo snorted.  "I live with the guy and I don't know a lot about him."

Cell smirked.  "We can change that.  Let's have a family picnic, momma."

"We did last night, dear."

"We can have another before they go," Stoker agreed.  "That way Staff can try to calm Anya down again."

Staff chuckled. "It's not hard.  I bribe her."

Stoker beamed.  "Thank you, sweetheart, that's the clue I needed to help my poor, demented daughter become a good girl like you."  He got up.  "Modo, still coming?"

"Sure, let me finish up."  He looked at Staff, then glanced at his sister and back to her.  She shrugged and kissed him on the cheek, making Racer go 'awww' and hurry up so he could go too.

"Chew, Racer, or you'll choke," Cell reminded him.  He chewed, following Modo out the door to ride with him.  She sat down in Stoker's place, then got up to get the rest of her plate and bring it back.  "So, Staff.  I've heard why you were on the transport.  You really okay?"  She nodded. "You sure?  We've got a good company medic and he lives up the road."

"I could use my stitches being pulled in a few days but not yet.  Enamel cleaned 'em again so they're not infected."

"He's on earth?" she asked flatly.  She nodded.  "You're sure?"

"He's under a life sentence to help us," she admitted.  "He's a nice guy.  He told me what he did first thing."

"Oh."  She considered it.  "He used to be an arrogant bastard."

"Cell," Momma warned.

"He was!"

"He may have been but he's changed from all this.  He's fairly nice now and Shell adores him."

"Shell?  The military shrink?" she asked, dropping her fork.  Momma nodded.  "When?"

"When she crashed he babied her," Staff said with a small grin.  "They fell in love during that."

"I'm going to gag, I swear," Cell said, shaking her head.  "He's a bad guy who finds love.  Why can't I?"

"Because you never look," Primer reminded her.  "You could *date*, momma."

"Hush, child."

"Fine, but it's the truth," Primer defended.  "Rimfire's got a girl too."

"I heard about her from Thruster too," she said, looking at Staff.  "Well?  Anything on her?"

"Lots and she makes him be naughty and clingy," she offered with a grin and a small chuckle.  "They're so cute together."  She shared the images she had with her.

Cell took another bite then sighed.  "Well, my boy has taste, even if she is human.   I hear Vinnie's kid is mostly mouse too so maybe it'll be fine."

"I like Dawn.  She's got her head on right, even though she does let her tail lead her now and then," Momma assured her.  "There's a transporter now."

"I saw that," she said smugly.  "Was that Throttle's boy?"  She grinned and nodded.  "He's cute."

"He's skilled and he likes to spoil them," Staff agreed.  "I've never met a more possessive mouse than Rimfire."

"My boy, possessive?" she asked.  Staff nodded.  "Badly?"

"His bike rammed hers so bad it had to be rebuilt and it shot at it," Staff told her.

"Sounds like he's got his daddy's nature to me," Cell said dryly. Primer pushed back some of her blonde hair.  "We'll be seeing about that birth control stuff they brought up from earth, daughter.  If you're not, you'll be on it today.  If you are, we'll deal and you can have this one for good."

"I like Plumb, momma."

"I noticed. He likes you too with the way he stammered how pretty you were."  She finished off her breakfast and took the rest of her daughter's to eat.  "Let me finish and we'll all go to the clinic."  Primer sighed but nodded.  "Where's the others of his bros?"

"Sleeping in," Momma said with a bright grin.  "There was a noise complaint by six of Throttle's momma's neighbors."

"She lives nearly a click from everyone else," Cell said.  Momma beamed brighter.  "I guess Vinnie got happy with his girl then."

"Probably both couples.  They said it was about an hour long," Staff offered quietly, blushing hard.

"Honey, the women in this family are blunt and wise. You've got to quit blushing," Primer told her.  The others beamed and nodded. "It's the boys who blush."

"Oh, he does," Staff agreed, still blushing.  "Very well sometimes."

"If you need naughty ideas to make him blush, you ask my son.  I'm sure he's got some," Cell offered.

"I have enough of my own.  He blushed so hard when he asked if I wanted him to wash my back one day."

"Uncle Modo's a lot like granddaddy then," Primer said dryly. "The only thing my daddy considered too naughty and blushed at was bondage."

"Not really," Cell said dryly.  "That was more him tying me down.  He didn't mind a bit of tying down now and then.  Said it let me free myself to be wicked on his bod."  Staff was now bright red.  "Vinnie?" she asked.

"Xander and Throttle," she squeaked.

Cell nodded.  "I knew I liked that boy for some reason."  She stood up and walked off, holding her towel.  "Let me get dressed and we'll go."

Primer groaned.  "You don't have to come if you don't want to, Staff.  You could go play with Uncle Modo for a bit and spare the embarrassment of my mother pouncing my new man and dragging him off by his tail."

"That's okay, I'll watch the twins," she offered.

"Sure, dear.  Always happy to let others change and feed them," Primer agreed with a grin. "I'll express some milk for you soon."  She got up and headed up to check on the twins and do that for her.  It's not like the poor girl could feed them herself.


To Part 39

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