Xander looked up at the really ancient farmhouse, staring at it. The kids in the car were fussing but oh well. He looked at Giles. "It's safe to walk in, right?"
"The listing said it was. I'll watch the children while you check."
Xander nodded, heading inside carefully. He found a huge, gaping hole in the floor in the living room. He found a weak spot in the hallway to the kitchen when he fell through it. The rest felt more sound. He checked each of the rooms, using the tape and chalk in his back pocket to mark off a few rooms. Then he came out. "The downstairs bathroom is iffy. It's got a chalk question mark in front of it. It feels creaky but I need to get under the floor to see. The living room and the hallway both have a good sized weak spot. I can fix those." Giles sighed in relief. "Also, one of the rooms upstairs is haunted and has blood all over it."
"Willow and I can deal with that, Xander." He carried one of the girls inside, letting Xander get the other two. They were set into one of the safer rooms and he went to help Xander look at the floors. He stared down at the new hole. "Is that fixable?" he called when he saw the flashlight from the other side.
"There's no subfloor," Xander called. "It's floor joists and then the really old pine flooring." He looked up through the hole. "I can fix this. I'm going to have to reinforce the joists and then pull up the floor to put down subflooring. Some of it has it, the living room and the hallway doesn't to a point." He came back up and marked a line after tapping. He also erased the question mark. "They have the joists two inches apart under it. It won't fall in." He walked out to meet the u-haul Willow was driving with Buffy and Tara. He had blown the base and most of the campus had fallen in. Then a week later, the hellmouth had basically emptied in the usual summer rush to get somewhere cooler. So they had the time to do this with him. "Watch out for the living room and the hallway to the yellow chalk mark. There's a lot of weakness. They didn't put anything under the floor. Willow, there's a room upstairs sprayed with blood and a ghost." She nodded, going to take care of that. Tara went with Giles to watch the kids. Xander checked the garage. "We can put anything for the living room in there, Buffy."
"That'll work," she agreed happily. "It's nice here."
"It is." He grinned. "I'm going back down into the basement to see how much plywood and stuff I'll need." He went to measure and calculate things, coming back up to make notes on the first paper he found. He looked at Giles. "It'll take me a few days to fix that once I've got the plywood. I'll have to pry up the floor but I should be able to reuse it. It looks like it's tongue and groove, not nailed." Giles nodded, walking off to make a call. "Thank you."
"Not a problem. I'd rather see them live somewhere decent and safe, Xander. There's no reason for my nieces and nephew to be living somewhere unsound." He smiled at him and got back to his ordering.
Xander came out when the truck came, shaking their hands. "Hi, guys. Thanks for this." He took the first piece of wood off to go measure. By the time he came up the driver was looking a little impatient. "Sorry. Let's put it in the garage for now. There's room for that and the couch." That got a nod and the guy helped him unload it. He shook his hand at the end. "Did Giles pay you?"
"Credit card over the phone, sir."
"Xander." He smiled at the toddler wandering his way. "What are you doing, Rebecca?" He picked her up. The delivery guy patted her on the arm. "She's mine. I've got a few others coming."
"Too much liquor?" he teased.
Xander shook his head. "Nope, did it without my being in the room." The guy gaped. "Sperm donation and then the state found me."
"Wow. Freak luck."
"For some reason it happens to me." The guy laughed. "Thanks, man. Where are you in case I need more nails or stuff?"
"We're by the grocery, just up the road. There's only one in town." He got back into his truck and headed back to start spreading the rumors. Which was the kid's intention probably.
Xander looked at his daughter. "Did you sneak past Auntie Tara?" She beamed at him and kissed him on the cheek. He kissed her on the forehead. "Love you too, 'Bec." He carried her back inside, being careful around the hole. "Auntie?" She came out of the kitchen and gave him a sheepish look. "She came to help."
"It happens." She took her back. "I'm making you pood, sweetie," she said, carrying her with her. "Come on, we'll go eat."
Xander grabbed Willow. "I think the DEA left some stuff in the basement. Can I get you to remove it to the back porch and figure out what it is?"
She nodded, going down with him to grab the big sheaves of leaves. "It looks like tobacco."
"That's fine, I don't need that either. We can burn it or sell it later," he said happily. She nodded, carrying it outside while he got to work putting up extra joists around the weak areas.
Willow saw a minivan pulling in and paused on her latest trek, Buffy with her. "Hi, are you locals?" Willow asked.
Eric grinned at her. "I'm Catty's other father, Eric Delko. This is my mother."
"Oh, hey, I'm Willow. This is Buffy. Xander's in the basement working on the floor that caved when he stepped on it. Xander, Eric's here!"
Xander came out of the basement, coming over to shake his hand and smile at his mother. "Hi, I'm Xander."
"What's wrong with the floors?" his mother demanded.
"Two rooms and part of the hall don't have a subfloor." She moaned, shaking her head. "I'm working on fixing it right now. Come on in, we just got here ourselves." He walked them inside. "Past the yellow chalkline is safe and so is upstairs. Giles, this is Eric, the father of Catty, and his mom. Eric, his mom, this is Rupert Giles, and Tara, Willow's girlfriend."
"Hi," Eric said, shaking their hands. "Has Catty been good?"
"S...she's...been...been very good," Tara stuttered, looking down.
Eric looked at her. "Don't do that, she'll set you up with someone because she thinks they think you're cute." She blushed. He grinned at Rebecca, tweaking her ear. "Hi, Becca." Becca smiled and waved. "Where's Catty?" She squealed and pointed. "Is she sleeping?" Tara nodded. "That's fine. Come on, Momma." She followed him into the room the kids were using, smiling at all the babies. "That's Selene. He's the father with Don Flack. There's Catty," he said, pointing at his twenty-month-old daughter with dark hair and his skin tone. "That's Rachel in the carrier. Her daddy couldn't handle her and they can't find her mother so Xander's doing daddy duty so she didn't end up in the system. And you saw Liam with Horatio at home."
She cooed and Catty stared at her. "Such a pretty baby." They only had her for a few hours before they found out her other grandchild had chicken pox and had to evacuate her.
Catty shook her head. "No!"
"No you're not?" she teased. "What are you then?"
Catty beamed. "Grr!"
"No, you're not Uncle Spike," Willow called as she walked past the doorway. "We left Uncle Spike back in Sunnydale." She noticed Eric's mother crossing herself and smiled. "Xander retired, that's why he moved here." She went back to helping him, finding Buffy holding and pounding in nails when necessary. "She's cooing."
"The kids are adorable. Of course she is," Buffy told her. "We did and I'm still scared of them." Xander snickered and hit his thumb. "See, less laughy time, more pounding." She took the hammer to get that nail and moved on when he pointed at the next spot for it. "What're we doing after this?"
"Prying up the floor so we can put down the plywood. That gives the floor a more stable base so it won't fall in." Eric came down the stairs. "Watch out."
"My dad's in construction, Xander." He came to help him. "Momma's cooing and helping Tara make lunch."
"That's fine. They're adorable, people should coo." Xander grinned. "Taking Catty home?"
"Yup. Did Horatio really fly all the way out there to get Liam?"
"Yup, sure did," Willow agreed, finding some last leaves. She got the broom out of the truck and came to clean it up then started in on the bedrooms upstairs. Eric's mother came up. "Hi, Mrs. Delko."
"He's letting you clean?"
"He's a guy, he can't do more than clean up a construction site. I'm a bit anal about clean stuff so I get to do that while Buffy and he haul and tote later tonight." She smiled and got back to work. "Did they tell you Catty doesn't like oranges? They make her break out in a rash and make her fuss."
"I hadn't heard that yet but I can be careful of it." She looked around. "Are you and Xander together, dear?"
"No, I'm with Tara," she said happily. "Neither's Buffy before you ask. Xander's last girlfriend heard he was a daddy and went on a wail fest about not having him spoil her anymore. We left her back in Sunnydale too."
Mrs. Delko nodded at that. "So he's not dating?"
"Not at the moment. Unless he's dating one of the other daddies. He would've shared that and he hasn't though."
"I see. Who does he plan to raise the children?"
Willow quit sweeping and looked at her. "Xander's more than capable of raising those babies to be good and happy people. He's going to be the most protective daddy on the face of the earth. Otherwise we would've complained and taken them from him." She got back to work, smiling at the disgruntled mother. "Not every child needs two parents. Sometimes one is better than two if there's no love."
"True. You think he'll be able to handle it?"
"He has so far while we were hovering protectively in case."
She shook her head with a small moan. "Horatio started off by pissing Xander off. He did it again when he flew up to get Liam and nearly sneered at us. He's apparently having a bad incarnation and is taking it out on others this month." She stared her down. "We really do want him to stop doing that. After all, Xander's not the mean one, I am."
"Fair enough," she agreed. "Usually Horatio's very nice. He's very good with the victims."
"Now he's one so he's not so nice?" Willow suggested.
"It could be. This has thrown how he views his life out of order."
"Yeah, well, he's at the right age to start thinking about settling down." They shared a look. "I'm sure we'll like Horatio just fine when he calms down. Until then, Mr. Growly can stay away from upsetting Xander before I have to upset him back."
"No threatening the mothers of my children," Xander yelled from downstairs. "Even Horatio."
Mrs. Delko smirked at her. "I'll talk with him."
"Please do. Xander could use more friends who appreciate and like him." She went back to work. "I've got this room. Go help Tara or something." She nodded, going to look around the house to make sure it was fit for her grandchild.
Xander finished with the hallway floor, looking at it. Then around. "Willow, did you see anything like flooring in the barn when you went out there?" he asked, heading for the kitchen. "The hallway's fixed by the way. I'll remove the chalk in a few."
"I only glanced inside. We can go look." He nodded and they went out to look in the barn, him with the flashlight since there wasn't electric out there yet. She gasped, finding an older looking pony in a stall. "Ooh, you poor thing! Some meany left you." She opened the stall door, leading her outside. The pony immediately started to nibble the grass. "Good girl." She patted her on the side. "Let me get you some water." She went to find a bucket, grimacing at it. "Eww."
"Here," Xander said, handing another one over. "Try that one." She went to the old pump in the yard to clean it off. He watched her, looking confused. "Do we have water?"
"You do have water and you have a well, Xander. This goes to the well." She rinsed out the bucket a few times, still grimacing. "Looks like crap or mud." Xander brought out another dusty bucket. That one got cleaned and it was cleaner so she put it with the horse. The horse looked at her. "It's water, sweetheart. Come on, let's move where there's more grass." The pony balked. "Come on, sweetheart."
Xander looked out at the grass. "I think we have snakes."
"You definitely need a mower," Eric said from the porch. "How much land do you have?"
"Four acres." He looked at him. "Okay. Giles?" he called. He came out. "We have snakes and a pony."
"I can see the pony." He came down to look at her. "You're not that old but you need some more food, love." He tried to move her and she wouldn't budge. "What's wrong?"
"Xander thinks we have snakes."
"We might." He looked around. "Plus a lawnmower."
"A riding one please?" Xander begged from the barn. He came out. "We have some more flooring pieces in here." He grinned at Giles. "There's four acres," he said at the frown. "You can't expect me to push mow it, Giles. Plus, hey, snakes." He leaned down to catch one, holding it up. "There's probably some that aren't harmless."
"I'll get you something for the snakes and look at riding lawnmowers."
"We can look online and have one delivered if it's cheaper," Willow said happily, walking him inside to do that while Giles called the hardware store again. "We have snakes," she announced.
"Thankfully we're not on a plane," Buffy called back. "Even if the one guy was a hotty."
Willow shook her head. "No he wasn't!"
"Yes he was."
"He was old!" she complained.
"Still a hotty," Buffy told her. "Like the guy who came to recruit. He could be cute if he wasn't so tired looking."
Willow sighed, shaking her head. "You only want to go so you can see if there's hotty aliens."
"Well, yeah, and lots of cute guys like I want to date," Buffy reminded her. "I could replace Riley and Spike."
"Probably with someone better," Xander quipped as he walked in. "Really." She stuck her tongue out. "It's not that bad of work either. Plus, hey, saving more than one town and the world. Free food, pay, and clothes. Lots and lots of weapons and hotty guys with muscles standing around looking awed while you do stuff."
"You should go," Xander told her. "That way you can get old somewhere safer than Sunnydale and not die from a vampy spree night. Plus, Denver's supposed to have a major shoe outlet mall."
"Ooh, I could like that." She considered it. "I'll talk to him again."
"I've got Daniel's number, you can call and talk to him. He knows them."
"That'll be good," she decided. "I'll do that tonight." She smiled at Willow. "If I go you have to go. Who else'll help me quip and slay?"
Willow shook her head. "I'm not sure magic works off world."
Eric leaned in. "Don't say that around my mother. She's very Catholic."
"Yes, dear. Now hush and be eye candy again." Eric went back to playing with the kids on the porch. She looked at Buffy. "Fine, if they can find a place for me."
"They were offering you major money to come work for them and not tell everyone what we were doing, Willow. I think we can do that."
She nodded. "Fine." They walked off to take Buffy's cellphone out back to talk to the guy who had come to recruit her. "Hi, is this Jack? It's Willow and Buffy." She smiled. "We wanted to talk some more. Georgia actually. We're helping Xander with the first few days of the move." She beamed. "That's what we were thinking. Sure! We're here and so are the little ones. Thanks." She hung up. "He'll be down tomorrow. He said it'll get him out of paperwork."
"Coolness." They went back inside to get a drink and then go back to helping Xander scrounge and fix things. The house has to meet up to their higher standards so their nieces and nephew could live here. By that night at dinner, everything was inside but the living room. That was going to take a few days. The lawnmower was on the way and the snakes had bait waiting on them. The pony was free roaming at the moment, nibbling happily. The babies went into their new cribs very happily and settled in to sleep that night. Eric and his mother had to share a room but that was fine with them. They had Catty with them and it was a happy moment.
Jack watched the girls. He had gotten them back to Sunnydale so they could talk seriously. He had almost recruited that Giles guy for the linguistics corps. He had insisted if he left, Tara had to come with him as his assistant and the General had been accommodating after seeing his work history and credentials. All that was left was talking these two into it so he'd finally sign the papers. He had no idea why Willow had wanted him to come with them tonight. Why did he need to help them hunt cute guys? He didn't think they were hunting deer or other game in downtown Sunnydale. He wondered all the way to the point where they were jumped in front of the local club. Then he saw why Willow had wanted him to see her in action. "What're these?" he called. The one that he hit was not going down like a normal human should.
"Vampires," Willow said, handing him a stake. "In the heart, Colonel." She staked one and then floated a stake off toward one of the ones in the back, making him shriek and run. Fortunately he was still in range. She finished and staked the one Jack hadn't gotten to yet, then leaned against his arm, pointing. "That's why she's a benefit to the program. Especially that far-flung one." She smiled at him. "And why I am."
"How did you hear about that?"
"The underground knows about it." She grinned. "Xander heard and we all cackled madly over the idea of vampires from space. Started making bad Muppets from Space jokes and things."
"Fercryin'outloud," he muttered. "So you know?"
"Quite a lot but not everything." She smiled when Buffy came back. "He didn't know."
"The underground doesn't work both ways?" Jack shook his head. "Huh. Then Giles should probably explain things to you for a bit. He'll go into geek babble about destinies and all that stuff." She led him back to the Magic Box, leading the way. "Giles, Jack doesn't know what a slayer is."
"Why should he?" he asked dryly.
"Because they seem to know all about us," Jack said sarcastically, giving him a look.
"Yes, there's a rampant underground about the Area 51 people and others so the demons can protect themselves. Especially since the Initiative." He smiled, pulling down a book. "As the story goes, in every generation a single girl is born to protect humanity from the demons and vampires. She's known as the slayer."
"Only Xander did CPR when I died and now there's two but the other's kinda bad girl and in jail," Buffy told him.
"Indeed," Giles agreed. "It comes with the benefits of quicker healing, super strength, extended stamina, and knowledge of fighting styles. Buffy is the oldest slayer in history because her friends jumped in to help her. We've fought more major demons than any other time in history so I'm a bit happy about that." He smiled. "Where there's slayers, there's Watchers."
"You?" Jack guessed.
Giles nodded, smiling some. "It was my job to protect her, teach her, train her correctly, and keep her alive as long as possible. Then I got fired for giving a damn."
"The Watchers are idiots anyway, Giles," Willow reminded him. She grinned at Jack. "I can do the Watchery stuff off-world for her and make sure she keeps training but with Sunnydale slowing down she's not really needed here. Faith gets out soon I think and if the Council doesn't kill her she'll probably come back here. With Giles being with you guys Buffy and I could go protect the others in the space vampire thingies. Not like we don't both have a high slay count already. She's been doing it since fifteen and Xander and I both jumped in during tenth grade. Tara joins us now and then so Giles won't be totally alone. Plus, hey, Spike can get word to us, or Angel can I guess, if something major is coming that they can't handle."
Jack considered it then nodded. He looked at Buffy. "I can guarantee that even half the scientists on the other project are cute. Not all firmly muscled but there's a whole platoon of Marines and a few other Air Force guys there. You could stare to your heart's content. You can eat with them, train with them, and all that good stuff. Help us and we'll make sure Sunnydale stays calm with you. We have monitors that can pick up the hellmouth's energy so we know when it's going to spike. NID and Area 51 both still have little projects in the state so they can monitor it without doing the damage they were before."
"You heard about the Initiative?"
"A few got transferred in for their experience," he admitted. "We sent them off pretty quickly because their people experimented on them. Think you could handle a six-month trial?"
Buffy looked at Willow then nodded, then she grinned at Jack. "We can do that. What should I bring? I usually hunt in clothes like this."
He looked at her present outfit of backless top and short skirt, plus go-go boots. "No," he said, shaking his head. "You'll both need more practical clothes. We can make sure they're cute. I can have Sam help you. She's got level five training in hand-to-hand so she'd know. It'd do her good and she's bored this week anyway."
"She's blonde too," Jack assured her.
"Then I guess that's fine." She beamed. "Where do I do the signy thing?"
"I can get papers to you tomorrow with Sam." He patted them both on the back. "Now, let's get me to a motel."
"There's a room upstairs, Jack, you can use it," Giles offered.
"No offense but with my luck something will wake up and eat me."
Willow looked at one thing, walking over to stare down in it. "No, it's still asleep. No worries." She put it back and grinned at him. "The other things are mostly harmless around here."
"Then I wouldn't mind. The General can't complain about the expense." He got his bag from the car and put it upstairs, coming down to go over what the girls would be doing and what Giles would be doing so the girls wouldn't worry. They really did worry about the normal guys around them.
Horatio looked up as Eric walked in with Catty, smiling at him. "Stole her back?"
"Yup. Xander's finished fixing up the farmhouse so it's safe. There were a few weak spots on the floors." He patted Liam on the head since he was in the office. "Paperwork?"
"The Chief grounded me to my desk for the next week." He grimaced. "You?"
"Heading home to finish setting up the crib and stuff. She's mad that Xander's single but otherwise she likes him. Called him neat." He grinned. "Can you and Xander get along, Horatio?"
"I'm trying, Eric. He seems... frivolous."
"H, he's helped save the world a few times. He's not frivolous. It's where he's retired." Horatio shrugged a bit. "You know, he could be mean and not let you have Liam as often." Horatio gave him a dirty look. "He could've been an asshole to all of us, H. This is his only family too. He's already lost a lot of it. He could've been a hardass about visitation, about custody, all of it. Maybe you should talk to Xander more often. It might make things easier. Xander's a nice guy to everyone but you because you came out with 'do you work' and other putdowns. You put his back up."
"I'm sorry about that. He's a bit touchy."
"H, if someone asked you that, you'd rip their head off. You're lucky he went to the gym."
Horatio nodded. "I know. Thank you, Eric. I'll work on it. Is the farmhouse safe?"
"Very. Plus they found someone had left them a pony after the last owner had left. They've even begun to kill off all the snakes. Even Don Flack said it was a nice farm house and would be better once it was painted." That got a nod. "So try, please? I want us to not have to referee when I bring Catty up there." He walked off with the baby, showing her off. "Calleigh." She came out of ballistics with Ryan following her. "This is Catty. I just got her back."
"Aww, who's precious?"
"No!" Catty said happily.
Ryan smiled. "You're adorable." He patted her on the head. "Very cute. Even cuter than your daddy." He looked at Eric. "She's healthy and all that?" Eric nodded. "Good. How's the other father?"
"He's fine. He's working on the finishing touches to the farmhouse. Mowing, finishing the weak spot in the living room floor. Killing the snakes. Looking at the orchard." He shrugged. "Someone didn't put in a subfloor in a few rooms. It needs painted, they need to mow. There's an old pony." Calleigh smiled. "He said we could come up and play even when I didn't have her with me."
"Thank you." She handed her back, but the baby wanted to keep her hair. "Hey, I need that," she said with a smile, poking her on the stomach. "Can I have my hair back?" Catty shook her head. "Please?"
"No!" she said happily.
Eric pried her fingers off, earning a pout. "You can play with Abuela's hair later. Be good, Catty." He looked at Ryan. "She's not evidence."
"I know that. I was wondering about the mark on her neck."
"It's a birthmark. It seems to swell when she's getting too warm." He put her onto the floor, then worked his wrists. "She's heavy too." She got up and leaned against his leg. "Stay with me," he ordered with a grin. She beamed and looked into a nearby lab, cooing and waving at the person, who smiled and waved back.
Eric smiled at the squeal. "Hi, Maxine!" he called back. She came out to hug him then the baby, dancing around with her. "No bouncing."
"I'm not." She beamed at the baby. "Hi, Catty. Are you here?" The baby beamed at her. "Such a happy girl." She smiled at the others. "I saw Liam but he's scowling at everyone."
"Like father, like son," Ryan quipped, walking off. "Congrats, Eric."
"Thanks, Wolfe." He took his daughter back, earning dual pouts. "Quit, now. Momma said we can have a cookout this weekend."
"I'll make sure she can get there," Calleigh said, smiling at them. "Go home. You're on leave. You shouldn't be here."
"Thanks. Later, Max."
"Bye, Catty. Bye, Eric." She waved and the baby waved back. She beamed. "She's so smart."
"She is. She's adorable too. We've got to get her better clothes though."
"My mother picked it out," Eric called.
Calleigh and Maxine shared a look. "I am a Valera, I can find cute clothes for anyone," Max said, heading back to her lab, leaving Calleigh giggling. She decided to go upstairs, finding the Lord of the Pout and his son in the office. "Aww, are you missing Catty already?" she asked Liam, making him smile. "Such a pretty boy to pout like the daddy is." She picked him up and walked him off. "Come on, we'll get you some juice or something to drink so Daddy can take a break."
Horatio smiled but shook his head. It was good the team loved his son so much. Fortunately he'd be on leave again once he finished all this paperwork. His son came back with a bottle of orange juice. "Don't give that to Catty. She's allergic to oranges."
"I can remember that," Maxine said happily. She put Liam on the couch and the baby smiled, sipping his juice. "Such a good boy." She went back to work.
Horatio smiled at his son. "Don't suck up too much, son. She's got to work sometimes."
Xander looked around the stores, then at the kids in the back. He pulled out the stroller he had cobbled together by putting two twin strollers back to back. Then he stuck the kids in, smiling at them. "Come on, guys!" He had Rachel, Rebecca, and Liam at the moment. Horatio had pulled up a Federal case and it was getting messy so he had to pick up Liam suddenly. Not that he minded. He walked the stroller into the store, smiling at the shopkeeper. "Hi."
"Hi. You must've been the one who bought the Ferguson farm." Xander nodded. "They're adorable."
"They are and there's two more who'll visit now and then," he told him. The older man gaped. "Sperm donation." He looked at the small store and parked the stroller, picking up a basket. "Stay, you little thieves you." He walked off, going to pick up what he needed. Then he put the basket on the counter and drug the stroller over. "There. That should last us at least two days."
"Hopefully. You lost their bear." Xander groaned and walked out to the car to pick it up off the sidewalk, and the other two things the kids had thrown. He smiled at Liam, who was sucking on another toy. "Was that yours, son?"
Xander looked then sighed. "I guess it is now." The bear got thrown again. "Auntie Buffy's going to be upset that you threw her bear." He put it into the diaper bag but Rebecca fussed so he handed it back. "Hold onto it. We're nearly done. Then we're going to the hardware store. Really." He opened his new checkbook. "From the one in town."
"That's fine, son." He watched him try to remove the top check. "Void that one and go down one. Fold it first." Xander grinned and did that. "First checking account?"
"Not really. Last time I lived off my debit card." He handed over the check and took the bags. "Thank you for watching them for me." He made sure they only had their own toys, putting back the box of muffin mix. "I swear you're worse than dragons at finding treasure and hoarding it, guys." The shopkeeper laughed, watching him move the stroller back onto the sidewalk. The food went into the car and he went to the hardware store up the street. A few people stared. "Sperm donation," he quipped. "I'm Xander. I moved out to the Ferguson farm so they'd have room to roam."
One mother stopped to pet them on the head. "You're obviously very smart," she said happily, picking up the bear. "New in town?"
"I just moved onto the Ferguson farm. I'm Xander. That's Rebecca, Rachel, and Liam. Selene and Catty are with their other parents." She gaped. "Sperm donation. Then the state found me."
"Ah." She pinched him on the cheek. "Need something?"
"Fans. It's like there's no breeze near the house." She laughed and nodded. He scooped up a toy and put it into the diaper bag. Liam fussed for it since he had seen it. "Behave," he ordered. "We'll be home to play soon, son." He smiled again. "They're grabby."
"They can be." She smiled. "Have fun and put some sunscreen on them."
"I did earlier today. They were on the porch then." He grinned and walked off, taking them to the hardware store. They all sighed when they hit the air conditioning. "I thought near the desert was hot." The delivery guy from last week laughed. "It was!"
"I'm sure. You're from near the desert?"
"Three hours from LA," Xander told him. "Fans? Please?"
"You sure you don't want to fix the air conditioner on the furnace?"
"The furnace fell into a pile of rust yesterday when I tapped the gauge." That got a head shake. "I'll stick with fans and maybe a few window A/C's for now. Then we'll worry about the furnace closer to winter. Do we have winter?"
"It's fairly mild. Maybe gets down to the fifties, sometimes the forties."
"We can handle that with room heaters. Much cheaper than redoing the furnace." That got a smile. "What do you think about me planting a garden?"
"It's June, a bit late to start, Mr. Harris."
"Do we have a longer growing season?"
"You would," he agreed. "What were you thinking?"
"Table veggies. Something to save on the groceries. I have *no* idea how to do it but they're in the veggie stage."
He nodded, leading them back to the vegetables. "Here, we've got some young seedlings still left in cukes, tomatoes, and squash."
"What's a squash?" A picture was held up. "I've never had those."
"Your parents didn't make you eat squash?" another guy asked.
"My mother wasn't much for cooking or taking care of things." He looked. "They're edible?" The delivery guy nodded. "What do you do with them?"
"Some get mashed, some you fry."
"Okay." He nodded. "We can do that." They gathered some plants and they got put next to the register, then they looked at fans and air conditioners. "That's good." He patted one. "That'll do the whole upstairs." That got a smile and a nod. "Cool." He tapped it. "Two of those please." That got a nod and they went to check him out. Xander grinned. "I was secondary lead on my construction crew before I moved."
"I saw the nice work on the floors when we brought the lawnmower for you," the delivery guy told him. "You going to go back to work?"
"Sometime soon. Once we're settled and they're settled. Probably by spring. I can live all winter on what I have left." That got a nod and Xander wrote out the check for that too. "Can you...." He pointed at the kids, getting a nod. "Thanks." Xander jogged out to get his car, driving it up so they could load things into the trunk with the groceries. Then he got the kids into the backseat again. "There we are!" he said happily. "Our first real outing together." The hardware store guys smiled. "It is. It's a big thing for them. Moving was a bit easier than this I think. It's like moving a military unit to get them together." He got into the car. "Thanks." He went home, settling the kids into the new play room so he could unload the trunk and install the air conditioners. One of them blew a fuse so he had to replace it. He had done that once already so he moved up to a higher grade of fuse. This time it held. He closed the doors and windows, letting the cool air flow out. The plants went into the kitchen and so did he with the pamphlet on how to plant a garden. He watered them, moving them onto the back porch for tonight. He'd do the rest in the morning. He came back to find Liam staring at the fan he was using to direct the cool air. "Don't touch that. It'll bite you." He heard a knock and went to the front door, smiling at the person standing there. "Reverend."
"Mr. Harris wasn't it?" He walked in when it was offered. "New air conditioners?"
"Just got home with them," he agreed happily. "Please, let's sit. Guys, I'm in here," he called. The one napping stayed, the other two came in to sit with them. "What can I do for you, Reverend?"
"I came to see if you'd like to come to our church, son."
"I'm not of any particular denomination." The reverend gave a pointed look at the children. "This one's father and another of my daughter's other father are Catholic."
"You have more than the three?"
Xander smiled and nodded. "I do. Sperm donation."
"I thought you could only do that three times. Bent the system?"
Xander looked at him. "Reverend, I'm not allowed to tell you. I signed a non-disclosure statement."
The older man stared at him. "I see. Two fathers?" Xander nodded. "Crackpot with a petri dish?" Xander nodded. "I was military, son." He stared at him for a minute. "You look familiar."
Xander grinned. "I'm from Sunnydale. I'm where Father Leardth is if you know him."
The reverend nodded, fingering his cross. "I do know him. The same as I know what he used to do. I used to be military, son."
"The military found my kids for me. I used to be in the same field he was. I'm retired."
"Good." He smiled. "You're not that unusual here."
"I heard it was a Wiccan safe area."
"My best friends are."
"Ah." He nodded. "They're welcome in our town as well, my son."
"Xander then. I do know you."
Xander grinned. "Initiative?" He nodded once. "Forward scout?"
"Until I found God. Your town made me go looking."
"Which is why I'm retired."
"Good idea." He stood up. "If you wouldn't object, we do run a daycare from the Church."
"That's great," Xander said happily. "The next time I have a day when I can't have them around, I'll bring them over." That got a smile. "They'll make their own decisions when they're older. I know that. Until then, I'm keeping it neutral and understood." That got a nod. "Where's the local demon area? Rachel's father knew of them and worked with them."
"There's a commune of peaceful ones up the road in the next county. That's why we're so tolerant." Xander smiled and nodded. "Good. I hope to see them soon."
"Oh, it'll probably happen on the next fussy day so they have something to do." He heard a fuss from Rachel, getting up to get her. "Rachel, this is Father...."
"Father Finet." Rachel blinked then sucked her fingers. "She's a good girl."
"She looks like it." He patted her on the head, smiling when she chewed on his fingers. "Thank you."
"Welcome. You can come to me if you need to but I'm still retired."
"Good. I'll do that. Thank you, Mr. Harris." He patted him on the shoulder and showed himself out, going to tell the old ladies that ran the daycare the kids were cute and would be coming in now and then when the father needed a day off.
Xander looked at the kids. "Come on, let's get dinner." They followed him to the kitchen, watching him cook once they were in their high chairs.
Mac walked back into his office with all three kids in a twin's stroller. He flopped down, looking at them. "Can we not fuss for ten minutes? If so, I'll let Stella coo over you guys." They didn't fuss so he got into his email to fill out the paper his boss had demanded he do today. He heard the first fuss and groaned. "Craig, son. Please? Five more minutes?"
Danny leaned in. "Hey, team." The kids all squealed. "Come on, let's go with Uncle Danny so your daddy can do that." He came in to get them and walk them out. "Look, it's Auntie Stella," he said happily.
"Wa!" Emily squealed and waved her hand.
"Hi, guys," she said, bending down to kiss them all on the head. "Did the meany boss make the daddy come in to do paperwork?" Danny nodded. "He in his office?"
"Yup. They wanted to fuss."
"They're small, they do that. Get 'em some water or something, Danny." He nodded, wheeling them that way. She went to the office. "You're going to hate me."
"Only if you make Don cook tonight."
"Hopefully not that much." She handed him a file. "Hillbourne."
"Why?" he moaned, looking at her.
"You're getting secret payments?"
"Part of the hush agreement." He dialed the number on the notice, putting it on speaker.
"It's Taylor. That payment is part of the hush agreement and non-disclosure form I had to sign to get my kids." He hung up and got back to work. "Let's hope that solves it. If not, tell him to ask the Director of NCIS. She brokered it."
"I'll do that." She smiled. "Danny's getting them some water. How's living with Don going?"
"It's not bad. Don's fussy about some things. All the kids love his miniature fish tank. We'll work it out. Danny's been over a few times to help."
"I would've but you told me I can't spoil them." She smiled as Danny wheeled them back in. "I said water, Danny, not flavored sugar water."
"It's all the machine had, Stel. Ease off." He sat down on the couch with them, making them all happy kids. "Tell her one every now and then won't hurt you. It's not like you guys drink them all the time."
"No but they did try for my coffee this morning. Emily's very good at grabbing," Mac told him.
"I know. She got my necklace the last time." He smiled at Sheldon when he came on. "Hey, Doc."
"Hi. Hi, guys." They all beamed at him and Emily waved. "Good kids. Very good kids." He gave them all hugs. "Mac, I solved your last case. Paperwork's on your desk somewhere."
"Thank you, Sheldon." He found it and glanced over it. Then he signed it handed it to Stella. He finished up the dreaded form and handed that over too. "There." He got up and took back the stroller. "Come on, let's head home, guys." Danny and Stella both pouted at him. "They just had the morning in the park. We're all tired." He headed out, going to put them back into the car and take them home. He really was tired. If they wanted to play more, they could play with Don. Selene fussed. "You're fine, Selene. We're going to see your daddy right now." He closed the door, turning to find Gerrard and a few guys standing there. "The one on this side is Don's daughter Selene."
"I saw her the last time she was in. Where's Flack?"
"Home resting and making sure Emily didn't kill his fish." He walked around to get in. "We're having an open house and welcoming party this weekend. You can come." He waved and closed his door, heading off to go home. He needed a nap as much as the kids did.
Stella ran into Hillbourne stomping in. "You just missed him. He filled out the form the Chief wanted and left again." That got a scowl. "Don't blame me. He's on leave."
"The source of that payment?"
"He signed a non-disclosure agreement. It was part of that. He said if you needed to know more, call the director of NCIS since she brokered it." She walked off. "Have a better day."
"Uh-huh." He went to look up the number in the Chief's office. That's who wanted to know about the payments and these new children. "This is Chief Hillbourne, NYPD Internal Affairs. I need to speak to the director please." He was put through to a cellphone. "This is... good, your secretary can pass on information. There's been a note that you're paying two of our people for some reason. We need a reason." He listened to her ramble. "That's not good enough, ma'am. I don't care what NCIS does. That's not good enough for the NYPD. Yes, myself and his bosses would like to know." He looked at the phone then hung up. "She said she'll send someone up to tell us more information as long as it doesn't get out."
"That's fine," the Chief agreed. "I think it's odd Taylor moved in with Flack."
"Rumors have them sharing one of the children," Hillbourne said dryly.
"That's not possible."
"We'll see." He went back to his office. Later that night, someone knocked on his door and sprayed something in his face before walking in to talk to him. In the morning he found the Chief of Detectives had the same thing happen to him. They decided questions weren't in order anymore. At least not until the bruises and cuts healed.
Xander looked up from painting the porch as an SUV pulled in. "Hmm. Official vehicles." He put the brush back into the paint so it wouldn't dry out, carefully moving closer. "You're with?" he asked.
"Mr. Alexander Harris?"
"Yes. You're with which department?"
"DEA, sir. We were told you might have found something in the barn?"
"Basement." He led them out back, showing it to them. "That's what we found. I haven't been through the barn for more than pieces of the flooring. Go ahead if you want but if you try to confiscate the property I'm going to throw a fit in the press since we bought it off you." He went back to his painting. "And don't tear anything up, I'm just now getting it the way I want it."
"Yes, Mr. Harris," one said, coming back around the house. He saw the curious looks from the kids. "You have children?" Xander nodded. "They're adorable."
"Thank you." He looked at him. "Why didn't you guys search it earlier?"
"We thought we had. We had a tip there was more stuff out here than we thought."
"Ah. The barn's fairly obvious. You still can't have it back."
"It's not a problem. We've found things in other seizure property in the past, sir." He went to look in the barn, seeing the mess. The directions were fairly explicit so he walked over to the wall with the barrels and moved one to open a hidden area. What he found made him blink. "Um, Mr. Harris, are you a hunter?" he called.
Xander strolled in and looked. "Yes and I have better stuff than that. Get the crap off my property." He looked at him. "Where's the switch?" It was pointed at. "I'll remember that when I move half of this out of the way." He walked off. "Yo, other Fed dude, he found stuff." The other guy went jogging back there. Xander went back to his painting, looking over as a hummer pulled in. Horatio got out. "DEA forgot to search the barn," he told him. "They found crappy machine guns."
Horatio went to look. "Gentlemen." They all flinched and turned to look at him. "This won't cause Mr. Harris problems, correct?" They both shook their heads. "Thank you." He looked then found another opening, opening it for them. "There you go. Do you need help notating and tagging?" They shook their heads and got to work carrying stuff to the SUV. Horatio walked out, going back to the house. "It's looking nice."
"Thank you." He grinned at him. "Liam just toddled after the pony." He pointed at him. "He's being good today but he loves to pet her. He'll throw a fit if you try to make him come in."
"Apparently he has your temper." He went to find his son. "Liam?" he called quietly, making his son stare at him then beam. "Hi, want a hug?" Liam ran over and pounced. "That's a good pounce, son." He picked him up and walked him back to the shade with the others. "How did you get down?"
"Two of the uprights holding up the top rail are loose. He crawled through the gap while I was pouring paint. He's being a good boy and we've gotten rid of most of the snakes." He looked at him. "Taking him back again?"
"Up for a visit. We should learn how to get along."
"Could be nice, yeah." One of the agents coughed so he looked back. "Problems?"
"Wondering something, sir. How did you buy this place? It's in your name but you didn't purchase it."
"My mentor bought it for us when I came home with my kids. I retired from Sunnydale."
The other agent came out of the barn with wide eyes and panting. "Sunnydale?" Xander waved a hand and nodded. "Um... The same Harris that works with Buffy?"
"Yuppers. Rupert Giles bought this place for me." He looked over. "Like I said, go ahead and get the crappy guns off my property."
"Sir, we need to talk to you about a certain rocket launcher that got used in a mall," the one next to him said calmly.
Xander stared at him. "Wanted the world to end that day?" They shook their heads slowly. "Then it was necessary. The base concluded the same thing after seeing what that thing it was used on would do." He went back to his painting. "I'm retired, people. My kids are more important. Unless I have to step in, I'm staying retired." He looked at them. "Was there another hidden area?"
"Yes, sir, with more drugs."
"That's fine. Take it and go. What's the stuff out back?"
"Can I sell it?"
"I don't know where but I can ask someone," one of the agents said. "Fully retired?"
"Yup and Willow just took on a limited contract with a special group out of Cheyenne Mountain, boys. Buffy too." That got a shudder. "Anything else?" he asked, adding another careful stroke of paint.
"No, sir. We'll take the drugs and the guns for you. Do have a happy retirement."
"Thanks." He smiled. "I plan on being a very good father." That got a nod and they ran off to deal with things so they could leave before the bad luck that followed the boy around came after them. They'd heard *rumors*.
Horatio smirked. "You're so bad."
"I know," Xander grinned. "It's fun." He tapped the fingers reaching for the brush. "You still can't help me paint yet. When you're older we'll do your rooms." The baby pouted. "Tough. Suck up to Liam's daddy." They turned to play with Horatio. "I painted their rooms this morning. We're waiting on the fumes to dry."
"That's fine, Xander. It's a nice day and they're in the shade." He found a book and settled in to read to the kids, making them all cuddle into his side and legs. "What's after the painting?"
"That's going to take me all month. I've got a garden going. I'm not sure how I'll know what's weeds and what's plants."
"You'll see them come up. Remember or mark where they are. Pull everything else."
"I guess I can do that." He went back to painting, watching what they were carrying out. "Huh. I had better." He shifted down, doing another section of the railing. Rachel let out a wail. "That's a 'drink please' wail." Horatio found the bottle of ice water and gave her some. She quieted down once the others got some too. "She's good."
"She is. How's Catty?"
"She's fine. Grandma Delko is loving on her until she crawls off to get away. She's been hiding under the sink to get away from Grandma now and then. Dad's amused."
"Eric didn't say that." Horatio looked out toward the field. "Snakes?"
"We had nearly waist-high grass, Horatio. We had snakes, rabbits, a mother dog that had recently given birth and been bitten to death, along with the puppies, all sorts of animals out there. The pony wouldn't even go near the field until we cleaned out the snakes and cut the grass for her." He shifted to do another upright on the porch. "How long are you up for?"
"Probably just overnight. Have you seen Speed?"
Xander looked at him. "He's still in DC. They wanted to go over what happened to him." That got a simple nod. "He'll be down soon I think. Last time I talked to Tony he said he'd be done in about two more weeks." He went back to painting. He heard a crash and sighed, going to see what it was. "Did the floor fall in?"
"No, a stack of milk urns, Mr. Harris."
"Huh. Making wine?" Xander asked.
"Possibly." He came out of the pile. "Looking for more secret places." Xander pointed up. "Huh?"
"Hayloft, dude. It's hidden and no one goes up there. Watch out for snakes. Lantern's on the wall behind you." He walked off again. "Milk urns." He knelt to go back to his painting. "Rebecca, no helping," he said more firmly. Horatio pulled her back, using his handkerchief to wipe her hand off. "Thank you. They've got a playroom set up if the fumes are dead."
Horatio opened the door and sniffed then nodded. "Should be." He walked them inside, flipping on the air conditioner on his way past. He came to get the rest of the children and closed the door again. The playroom was nice. It had a washable throw rug over the wood floor and lots of toys, plus a few new looking toy boxes that needed to be stained. "You guys are very lucky to have such a good daddy as Xander is." He sat down to play with them, making them happy babies. Xander came in an hour later. "Done?"
"I got to switch to the power painter once they were inside. It went a lot faster." He got them both something to drink - Horatio's glass larger so the kids could beg him. Then he went out to watch the agents heft and tote. He waved when they finally closed the gate. "Am I getting more?"
"No, sir. We have it all," one of them assured him. That got a nod. "We won't have to bother you again."
"Thanks." He watched them pull off, sipping his water. He went to look in the barn again, finding the other hidden areas. No drugs. More weapons. He came in to get Horatio to show him, letting him call them back in the morning for him. It'd only look better on him than the DEA. He went inside to start on dinner, smiling when Horatio came in. "They coming back tomorrow?"
"Later tonight with a second SUV. I rescued the hayloft since he left the lantern on."
"Of course he did," Xander sighed, shaking his head. "Common sense is apparently dead."
"It's the type of people they get for agents," Horatio soothed. "They still can't confiscate it again, Xander. They seized it once. They didn't search it very well." Xander nodded. "I'll stay long enough to make sure. If not, call me."
"I can do that," he agreed, watching himself chop. "Liam's wandering." He went to stop the baby while Xander got back to work on dinner, not watching him. They'd work this stuff out so it wasn't so tense. Someone pounded on the door. "The barn is the big building off to the side!" he shouted. "We called your asses!" The pounding continued so he walked that way, finding Gibbs on his doorstep with an official piece of paper. "The last owners?"
"Yup." He handed it over. "Just in case we need it, kid."
"I don't care if you take the crappy guns and drugs, Gibbs. They're in the barn. Horatio can show you." That got a nod and Horatio went out there carrying Liam. "See if you can get the pony inside and give her some oats and water," he called. He went back to cooking once the door was closed. The babies all came to watch him so he smiled. "You guys will enjoy cooking some year." He got back to work, tossing down pieces for them to gnaw on for now. Horatio came back with the baby. "Did the pony go in?"
"No. Wouldn't come near me after I tried to take his halter." He handed over Liam, taking over dinner preparations. "It was nice of Gibbs to bring a warrant."
Xander looked it over. "Ah, the last person stole them." He shrugged and let Liam have a piece of green pepper then went out there, handing Gibbs the lantern. "Hopefully you're smart enough not to leave it lit in dry hay?"
"I'd hope so." He glared at one of the DEA agents, who slunk off to the other storage area. He looked around then at him. "This is nice."
"Thank you. It was DEA seizure property," he said with a grin.
Gibbs just nodded. "They can't take it back, kid. It's their own fault." He looked at the house. "You're doing okay?"
"We're doing fine. How's the ones in New York and Stan doing?"
"They're doing good," he assured him with a small smirk. "The checks start next month."
"I figured it'd be then or the month after. I have a bank account." Gibbs nodded. "Do I need to fill out a direct deposit form?"
"They won't want to do it." He stepped closer. "Someone in New York was asking more questions. She sent NID after them."
Xander shuddered. "Are Mac and Don all right?"
"They're fine. Their bosses aren't."
"Damn. Poor men. I don't hate anyone that much." He looked around then sighed and went to open it. "It's fairly obvious. It's a different color, guys." He opened another one and looked then shrugged. "Artillery but older." He walked back around the milk urns. "Come up for dinner once you're done, Gibbs. We'll save you some or let you make a sandwich."
"Thanks, kid." He watched him go and looked at them. Then at the head of the local DEA office. "You guys didn't search the barn?"
"A cursory one. It was pouring and dripping in here. He gave us a tip when he bragged we hadn't found half of his stuff. Don't worry, the kid can keep it." Gibbs nodded. "Is he one of the ones you had to call up?" Gibbs nodded again. "Damn. Poor guy."
"He got four and adopted one that didn't have parents," he said quietly.
"He's also *Harris* from *Sunnydale*," another agent said, glaring at his boss.
Gibbs looked at him, nodding a bit. "I knew that. He helped take down the people that were that problematic case of ours." He looked at the boss again. "Your bosses won't cause problems?"
"Nope. We've had it happen before. We can prove that the agents didn't search due to current conditions. It's a bad situation but we've had plenty that've been sold with drugs in the side panel of the car or under the seats. We really do have to search better sometimes." He smirked. "So I heard you ran into Jackson and O'Neill."
"Jackson yes. O'Neill no. Jackson got the special call." That earned him a horrified look. "He's sweet and in Chicago."
"Oh, damn. The poor world. Harris is spawning. Jackson is spawning. Damn!" He shook his head. "We'll live I guess."
"I stopped it the last time!" Xander called from the porch. "I'm retired, start doing it on your own! Gibbs, phone! It's Tony. Yours is dead!"
Gibbs walked up to the porch, taking the phone. "Yeah, DiNozzo." He listened then nodded. "That's fine. No, we're finding all sorts of stuff in the barn. DEA's local chief is here. He's not amused that his agents didn't search either. What did she want this time?" Xander walked off shaking his head. He looked at the baby. "Hey, Rebecca," he said when he saw her in the shadows. "Did you sneak?" He rolled his eyes. "She looks fine, DiNozzo. Come down on the case." He hung up and put the phone back inside, grabbing the children too since he found Liam heading for the pony. He set up an unholy fit of noise. "No, stay in here. We don't want to step on you."
"He wants to pet the pony, Gibbs," Horatio told him. "Thank you." That got a nod. "Tony?"
"On his way down." He left, closing the door and checking the porch, just in case. "DiNozzo found a buyer that he was working with. He's on his way down."
"That's fine," the head of the DEA said. "The more the merrier. Less stuff my guys need to carry. Someone left a lantern in the hayloft?" Gibbs nodded. The other agent in charge shook his head with a sigh. "I'll go over fire safety and how pretty the exploding artillery would be."
"Welcome." He looked at him. "Did DiNozzo keep his?"
"One's here, one's in New York with Taylor. He's visiting."
"Taylor?" the mouthed. Gibbs smirked and nodded. "I guess they wanted stubborn." He went to help. He wanted his people away from Xander and the stuff that happened around him before anything happened to his boys. Because his kids had to draw it worse.
Xander smiled when Tony opened his bedroom door. "He said you were coming down. Rebecca's room is two up."
"Thanks. I came to tell you they're done with the cleaning."
"Cool. They find many more hidden spots? I ask because I could use them for my collection later."
"Don't tell me that." Xander just grinned. "Do you know you have a rep as trouble incarnate?"
"Only if you piss me off," Xander said smugly. "The Initiative started it when bad things started to happen to Riley." Tony smirked back. "Go cuddle the baby. I doubt she's asleep. She never is at this time of night. Stay over if you want. There's spare rooms."
"Thanks. Can Gibbs?" Xander nodded. "Thank you, Xander." He went to check on his daughter, finding her staring out the window. "There's my precious one. Happy birthday, baby girl." He picked her up, sitting in the rocking chair to cuddle her. "That's my precious one. Daddy loves you," he whispered. She played with his hair, resting her head on his shoulder. He calmed himself and it was good. It was better than a vacation. He looked around then at her. "Your daddy decorated in whales? That's interesting." He smiled. She must like it. He rocked them slowly, enjoying this quiet time with the baby. He could sleep tomorrow sometime.
Gibbs came up at dawn, finding Tony and the baby asleep together in the rocking chair, taking a picture. "DiNozzo," he said quietly. "Don't flinch." Tony blinked at him then smiled. "Put her down."
"Can't, she'll fuss, boss. Time to go?"
"Later today. I need to see the attic and basement. Xander said he left some boxes. We'll look them over." That got a nod. "Don't tell the director."
"Hell no, boss." He went back to cuddling his little one. It was a generous gesture. "Kate and the new girl the director gave you are on the buyer. McGee's hopping around on his broken foot complaining."
"That's fine." He went to check in, finding Kate already at the office. "Buyer?" He listened to the report, nodding slowly. He sighed at part. "She's a field agent, not an investigator, Kate. Use those skills she has and work on the ones she doesn't. Yes, those. Let her be menacing. If he doesn't think women can be, let her prove it. No, Tony's got Rebecca at the moment. The old owner left stuff so we're going to go through it to see if there's more of a paper trail. I don't care what you tell her, Kate. Thanks." He hung up and turned to find Xander there with Liam. "He's another dawn baby?"
"He hates to think people are doing things without him watching them." He handed him over. "Here. He was trying to wake his daddy and it wasn't working." He headed into the kitchen. "Want me to start some coffee?"
"Please." He looked at the baby. "Morning, Liam." The baby beamed at him. "Let's go see if we can wake Dad up." He went up to Horatio's room, finding him grumbling. He dropped the baby onto the bed, watching him crawl up his father to sit on his head. "That'll work too," he decided, heading back downstairs. Xander handed him a cup of coffee. "His dad's up." Xander smirked evilly and went outside. "What's with the pony?"
"Someone kindly dropped her off a few days before I moved in. We found her in the barn. She's a good finder of snakes. Keeps Liam away from them. Liam follows her around like she's God at the moment." He sipped his own coffee, settling in on the old porch swing. "I planted a small garden."
"I saw. Nice going." Xander beamed at the praise. "How long before it starts to show food?" Xander shrugged. Gibbs smirked. "You'll figure it out, kid."
"I hope so." Tony came down with Rebecca. "Nope, she's a morning bath baby, Tony."
"I'll do it in a few. Cups?"
"Cabinet beside the sink."
Tony went to get some, taking it and her back upstairs to give her a bath. Her squealing woke everyone up. Horatio walked in with Liam. "Sorry, she's happy."
"He was sitting on my head." He put his son in the tub too, watching as Rebecca patted him and helped by trying to steal the washcloth he was using. "Thank you, Rebecca." She beamed and then at her father.
"You're very helpful," Tony said happily. She went back to helping them bath. He looked at Horatio. "How does Xander deal with four or five of them at once?"
"I think the most he's had so far is four. I suppose he does them in shifts."
"Hopefully. Maybe that's why she's a morning bath baby as he put it." He got back to work. She was more than happy to let him wash her hair. She loved the water enough to giggle and bat at it when he poured it over her head. "You're such a good girl." So of course she peed in the water. They removed the kids and dried them off once the plug was out, taking them back to their rooms to get them dressed. "What does he have on his walls?" Tony called.
"Whales." Horatio laughed, he could hear it. He smiled at his girl. "Come on, we'll go pounce the daddy." He carried her downstairs with his coffee, going back to the porch. "There. All clean." He closed the gate in front of the stairs before letting her down. She crawled back into his lap and grinned. "Sure, we can cuddle some more." He drank his coffee and held her, watching the world light up around them. "It's pretty here."
"I have four acres, Tony. If you want to put a small cabin on the other side, go ahead," Xander said quietly.
"Thanks, Xander. I'll think about it." He watched the pony stomp. "Is she all right?"
"She probably found another snake. She does like to stomp on them." The horse wandered off, eating some more grass. "She's a good lawnmower." Gibbs smacked him on the head. "Hey!"
"Goats are lawnmowers. She's a beast of burden."
"Not really. She eats the grass." He climbed over the railing to check her water pail, getting her more. She came over to drink then wandered off again. He found the remains of the snake and tossed it into the compost pile Tara had set up, then went back to his seat, now beside Horatio. "Morning."
"Morning." Liam reached for Xander so he let him have him. "He was on my head."
"He does that. He thinks he's a pony hat some days." He gave him a cuddle then his son went back to his other father for a few more minutes. "How's Catty?"
"I haven't seen her in a few days."
"Eric sounded like he had a hangover the last time I called."
"Flu," Horatio told him. "Gibbs, how's Speed?"
"He's fine, Horatio. He's thinking he'll be back in Miami in a few days." He finished his coffee. "I haven't heard from Jackson or Kowalski."
"Me either," Xander admitted. "But I could call Willow. She and Buffy went to work on one of their farther flung projects once they get there in a few weeks." Gibbs and Tony both gave him odd looks. He grinned. "Danny's Jack came to recruit them. Talked up all the hotty guys and stuff. They liked that idea. They're in pre-training time now."
"Uh-huh," Tony said, shaking his head quickly. The very idea that Buffy was making first contact with alien species was a horrifying one. They'd all think they were Valley Girl princesses.
Xander leaned over to look at him. "Apparently that project has luck like ours was and they keep running into things that we understand very well. Willow said her magic works very well and the people she works with only give her horrified looks every few days. Apparently she stopped a food fight last time and they were not amused." He leaned back again, content with the new horrified look Tony had.
Tony looked at his boss. "Can we tell them why that's a bad idea, boss?" Gibbs shook his head. "Why not?"
"Can't reach 'em by phone and I'm sure they know by now, DiNozzo." Tony whimpered but cuddled his daughter tighter.
"Maybe whoever Danny was talking about invading us will quit when they meet Buffy," Horatio offered. Gibbs smacked him on the head, earning a glare. "I'm not yours."
"That was still a bad thought that needs to be erased."
"Tell Calleigh on him. That's what Eric said he was going to do," Xander told him. Gibbs got him too. "Yes, Gibbs."
"Thank you. Everyone get more coffee and get me some too." Xander got him some more when he refilled his cup. The other two went to get theirs and the rest of the kids. They were happy to be in the cool morning air. Even when more official vehicles pulled up. Gibbs waved at one coming toward them. "You already seized it from the person who used to have it. Don't try it again because your agents were incompetent."
"I'm not. We need to search the rest of the house. Mr. Harris is known to have weapons."
"They're not here yet. Willow wouldn't let me pack them until we found a good hiding spot," Xander told him. "All the old owner's stuff is in the attic."
"Thank you, Mr. Harris." They went to do that, going over everything in the house. Though they didn't bother things that were clearly the children's. Even a child of Harris couldn't hide a weapon at a year or two old.
Mac looked up as someone walked into his office. "Morning." It was his first day back. The kids were in daycare. All the little quirks he and Don had were worked out. Don had a bigger fish tank now so the kids could stare at it. "What's wrong?" he asked Chief Hillbourne.
"Who were they?"
"From what I heard, NID." He handed over his copy of the non-disclosure agreement. "If you need it, that's what I signed." He looked it over then handed it back. "Why are we worried?"
"You suddenly show up with children that you claim have two fathers. We know you're not gay, Taylor."
"Not my fault. Someone found them and told me."
"Scientist?" he asked. Mac nodded. "Sperm donation?"
"Not that I remember but my DNA has been on file since I was in the military. Wouldn't be that hard to find a current example of it. Like that one movie said, it only takes one cell and we shed thousands a day."
Hillbourne shook his head. "The mother?"
"Scientist," Mac told him.
"Who gave birth to them?"
Mac shrugged. "They said the birthing beings weren't found." He didn't want to think about demons giving birth to his son. He might start to get mad again. "Why?"
"Because one of us did some research and a name came up in common." He handed over the sheet of paper. "If you knew them I thought we should talk to them about it."
Mac looked at it then at him. "I wasn't in on the research part, Hillbourn, but I'll pass it on. Thank you."
"Welcome. I don't want any more visits like that."
Mac nodded. "She overreacted. She tried to muscle us to not say anything and not admit we had the children even to our bosses and friends."
"That's why we don't let women in charge."
"I heard that," Stella said as she walked past the doorway. "Some of us aren't that stupid or over-compensating."
Mac smiled. "What she said. I don't argue with Stella." That got another displeased grunt. "I'll pass this onto the people who did the investigation. Make sure he's not trying it again." That got a nod and Hillbourne left. Mac looked at the paper again before digging out the number for Gibbs' phone. It came up out of service area. He frowned and tried DiNozzo's. Same thing. So he settled for calling McGee. "It's Mac Taylor. Someone up here found a name in common with the Initiative's files. Our IAB people, McGee. A Henderson, doctor of genetics and obstetrics. Specialist in fertility and birth defects." He nodded. "I can fax it to you. Did you find the missing embryos?" Stella walked in and gave him a horrified look. He held up a hand. "He might know. I tried Gibbs' phone. He's out of range. Oh, he's at Xander's. Yeah, I doubt he has good cell service in the middle of rural Georgia. Thanks, McGee. Give me the fax number?" He wrote it down and punched it in then faxed it down to him. "Okay, it's heading now. Thanks. Let us know." He hung up. "Hillbourne found a name in common."
"Xander and Gibbs both think there's probably more embryos. We're not certain. If so, it'll be up to the parents to decide what we're doing with them."
She shuddered. "Mac, three's enough."
"I know, Stella." He smiled. "I might keep them on ice to use at a later date." She walked off shaking her head. He back back to work on what Stella had left for him to deal with. It wasn't a great thought but one he hadn't wanted to contemplate yet.
Xander grabbed the house phone. "Xander." He listened. "Hi, McGee. What's up? GIBBS!" he bellowed. He came jogging down the stairs. "McGee. Mac's people found the doctor they think." He handed over the phone.
Gibbs walked inside with the cordless phone. "What's going on?" He listened to the name. "Was he in the files? Paid consultant. So he might know where they are. That's fine. Follow it. If she nags, tell her why. Find out how many more there are and where. Bring Kate, leave Ziva out of it. I doubt she'd have opportunity to do more than threaten anyone. Thank you. Keep me informed." He hung up and went to hand the phone back. "They're going to question him."
"Thanks. Let's hope he knows where they are."
"If so, I might end up giving them to Danny's people. They can hide them or destroy them." Xander nodded, looking at what he was painting. "Isn't four enough?" he asked quietly.
Xander looked at him. "Wouldn't that depend on if Horatio takes Liam from me?"
Gibbs sighed, nodding. "It could but for now, don't do anything rash, Harris." He went to check on the others. "Horatio, DiNozzo, they think they found the doctor."
"Please destroy mine, boss," Tony begged. "Two's plenty."
"I think handing them to Jackson's people would be best."
"Could be," Horatio agreed calmly. "I'd rather have mine saved. Just in case I want another one."
"Xander said the same." He went to get more coffee and check on the other agents. They were still going through the stored boxes. "We find anything?"
"Who gives Harris C-4. Otherwise no," the local DEA chief told him. "I'm not sure if we should bust that one or not."
"I'd say not, just in case we need him again," Xander said, coming up the stairs with the phone. "Director." He walked off again.
"What?" Gibbs asked, listening to her complain. He looked up, silently praying for patience. "DEA came back this morning with a warrant to go through anything else the former owner had left here, Director. Of course we're hoping for another buyer." He listened to her complain about McGee. "Someone found the fertility doctor that was a consultant to the Initiative," he said more quietly. "I gave him permission to talk to him and figure out if there's extra embryos. No, frankly, I'm handing them to Jackson's people. That way I know no one's going to use them. Anything else? Because Ziva's going to be a liability in talking to him. That's why I had her stay behind. No, by the time she gets here, we'll be on a flight back, Director. Why? So we can see if Harris can get along with Mossad agents?"
"Willow was Jewish before she was Wiccan," Xander called from downstairs. "New pot of coffee made." A few agents went to get refills, one taking the cup Gibbs thrust at him to get him some too.
Gibbs listened to a few more minutes of complaint. "Director, I'm still over that investigation and we do not have the final information on any remaining embryos. That's why they're going to Jackson's people. That way if they do want to use them, someone decent and who has sense knows where they are. If not I'm sure they have ways of destroying them so no one else can use them. No, leaving the embryos in military custody was not part of the non-disclosure agreement. I'd read it over." He hung up on her and looked at Horatio. "She's trying."
"My patience," Horatio agreed.
Xander came up the stairs with cups for Gibbs and Tony, plus a bottle for Horatio. He got a smile for it. "If the doctor isn't forthcoming, can I help?"
"If he was Initiative, he'd know me or Finn, Gibbs. One of us is going to go up there."
"Would you mind if Jackson's people had them?"
"Please do." That got a nod and he sipped, wincing. "Sorry, bottom of the pot. You said you liked strong coffee." He grinned and walked off again. He had Riley's phone number and he was sure he had McGee's. He called him. "Riley, Xander. They found the consultant who was a fertility expert. McGee is. That's what I was thinking. Feel free to use me if you need to." He hung up and went back to his painting for the kids' amusement. He was on the front of the house now and they were all happy with the sprayer because it made pretty noises. He heard the phone ring and went to get it with a sigh. "House of Highway." He smiled. "Hi, Eric. Horatio's still here. Why? Horatio! It's Eric!" He came down the stairs with Liam and his bottle. "Is it good?" he asked, taking him outside to help him paint too. Rebecca made begging noises so he went to get them each one, plugging the begging noises up for now. Then he went back to painting. "Someone else can be the secretary for now," he said when Horatio hung up. "I'm busy."
"You know C-4?" Horatio asked from the doorway. Xander just smirked. "Xander?"
"Yup. Pretty well too." He stopped the sprayer, earning pouting noises from behind nipples. He looked down. "Let me talk then we'll paint some more." He looked at Horatio again. "Giles taught me. Then I learned more. You'd be amazed what's on the internet that Willow can find when you ask her." Horatio walked off shaking his head. "Tell them half of my collection went with Willow to whatever flying horse place she was talking about. It'll make them feel *so* much better."
"I doubt it," Tony called from the attic. His daughter squealed. "Hi, Becca. Daddy will be down in a minute." He came jogging down and picked them up, taking them with him. Even the sneaky Liam who was trying to go pet the pony again. Xander had apparently fixed the loose spots on the porch.
Xander went back to painting. It was a lot faster when he wasn't amusing the kids. Babysitters were *very* nice. He'd have to remember that.
Daniel looked up when his name went over the loudspeaker, frowning. "What now?" He went to the front gate, finding Riley Finn there with a small delivery truck. "What's this?"
"Half the embryos. Gibbs said your people could hide them. We're tracking the others. They had a whole 'nother set of people that weren't on our lists."
"Crap," Daniel muttered. "Okay, are they properly stored?"
"We took them directly from the storage facility to here, Doctor Jackson. Gibbs said to please hide them. Some of us want them saved. Some of us don't know yet. A few don't. We need to take inventory anyway. Can your people?"
"Let me get my general and doctor up here." He made the call from the desk. "General, Daniel. They found some of the embryos. We've been asked to hold them in storage. That's why Riley Finn's here. Please. With Janet, sir." He hung up. "Five minute elevator ride."
"That's fine. They'll keep this way forever if they have to," Riley told him, getting a smile back. "The other facility is being raided by the FBI with McGee leading a team since half his team is at Xander's dealing with the former owner of his farmhouse. Apparently he collected guns and drugs."
"Xander said it was seizure property."
"DEA didn't search very well. Oh, Xander said something about Willow taking half his collection wherever the winged horse place she was going to was." Daniel moaned, covering his face. "I'm not pretending to understand but you might want to warn them she has weapons. Some archaic. Some that're probably artillery. Some are definitely explosives. Harris' collection made the general who took over after Walsh cry when we stole his inventory file."
"I'll send that message." Jack made it up first. "Some of the rest of the embryos."
"Why have us store them?"
"The Director of NCIS wanted them in *her* control, sir," Riley told him. Jack gave him an odd look. "She's the one who brokered the hush deal. On the third attempt since Xander ran her off the first two times."
"Also, we just heard from Xander that Willow brought half of his collection with her wherever the winged horse place she was going was," Daniel told him.
"Charming. Does Harris have a security rating?"
"We were too annoyed by him to do one," Riley admitted. "But he is one of those people who fought with Buffy all too often. They were his plans at their graduation. He redid them on Giles." Jack simply nodded at that. "Don't ask me how he does that, got codes to the Reserve base near Sunnydale, any of it. Xander just is and does. He's always there at the right moment with some sort of weapon and it's usually a good solution even if it's not perfect. We always considered him a jinx, sir. Every time we ran into him on patrol something bad happened. The least of which was two sprained ankles from tripping into open graves."
Jack simply nodded. He had reported on what the girls had said about the underground gossip network. Now they were seeing it closer. "Does he talk to others?"
"Only those of us in the group," Daniel told him. "We took most of his friends. Giles is working downstairs in linguistics." The doctor and the general came out. "Him, sir."
"Agent Finn. Why are you asking us to hold them?" the General asked.
"Special Agent Gibbs is asking, sir. His director wanted control of them and she brokered the hush agreement." That got a wince from Jack. "After being scared off by Xander twice." He smiled. "This is one half of them. The other half are embryos that're off the lists we already had and we're working on tracking them down. Agent McGee would be here but he's raiding another facility to see if he can find them there with the FBI."
"Where is Jethro?" he asked calmly.
"Georgia with Mr. Harris. The farm Harris bought was DEA seizure and the agents didn't check it very well."
"Oh. Interesting. Are we storing them or destroying them?"
"Gibbs left it up to the donors, sir. McGee did suggest we'd need an inventory sometime but otherwise they're good to stick in a corner for eternity."
"Good enough. How many units?" the redheaded doctor asked. "I'll need destroy or keep orders from each of you."
"McGee said he'd do that, ma'am." He handed over the clipboard from his back waistband. "That's what we confiscated and counted on-site. Special Agent McGee or Todd will be out if there's more."
"Why you?" Jack asked.
"I was an Initiative team leader until I found out how bad we were, then I turned. Walsh liked me as a test subject as well, sir."
"How many do you have?" Janet asked. Riley showed her pictures, making her smile. "They're cute, soldier."
"Thank you, Doctor Frasier." He handed her the keys. "If you need grunt labor, I can do that. Graham doesn't expect me back until tonight."
"I think we have plenty on the shit list," Jack told him. "Figure out a security rating on Harris. Please?"
"Sir, with all due respect, I don't like Xander. I don't want to be around Xander. The man makes me think inappropriate thoughts while hating him, even though there's times I like the little goofball with explosives experience and knowledge. Harris scares the crap out of me. Especially when he gives me inappropriate thoughts. I'd rather let him stay in Georgia and ignore the rest of us. He doesn't talk to others."
"I'll talk with him," Daniel promised. "He's a nice guy, Jack. A goofball."
"Who blew up his high school," Jack pointed out.
"To save the world. We've done worse," Daniel countered. "Or should I start naming them?"
"No, we've done worse," Jack admitted. "Who did he tell that message in front of?"
"Gibbs, Caine, whoever was DEA in the house at the time. DiNozzo."
"Could've been the press," the general complained. "All right. Doctor Frasier, please stick them somewhere out of the way. Do an inventory. Let me know so I can let Gibbs know." That got a nod and she got some Airmen to get the containers for her. He looked at Finn. "Where are you going now, son?"
"Home, sir. I'm assigned to DC until all the trials are done with. Then we'll see." That got a nod. He saluted him. "With all due respect, it's nap time, General."
"Go, son. Have a better life." That got a nod and he left. He looked at Daniel. "Harris said what?"
"Willow brought half of his weapons collection with her to whatever winged horse place she was going to," Jack reported.
The General nodded. "At least it was in code."
"Knowing Harris, no, that was a figure of speech," Daniel said dryly.
"Hey, she's there, not here," Jack said happily. "Using all that strange stuff over there. Where the other strange stuff happens. They should mesh pretty well." The magically stopped food fight had seriously creeped him out, especially seeing it all floating in midair while she calmly ate her cereal.
"I'm sure Sheppard will be very happy with you for saying that, Jack. Should I tell him?" Danny offered with a grin.
"No. I'll hear it soon enough I'm sure." He went to check on the current reports. Willow and Buffy had left on the ship before the one that had just came back.
Somewhere in a galaxy slightly far away Willow was looking at the panicking military personnel. They had only been there for two days. "What? We don't have anything to blow things up? Shoot, people, we made fertilizer bombs to blow up our high school when we had an Ascension. Ooh!" she squealed. "A thought. Buffy, the stuff."
"Oooh, pretty going away presents. Xander will be proud." She went to Willow's room with a hotty Marine she drug behind her. "Here, be a pack mule person." She handed him two of the bags and got the other three. "If I can do it and I'm five-four and you're over six foot of muscles, you can keep up," she said when she outdistanced him. "Geeze, need boot camp again much?" She put the bags down, smiling at Willow. "Xander-style parting gifts." She took the other two. "I think these are the sharp and pointy collection."
"Hmm." Willow dug into the magically enhanced bags, tossing out a few things.
"That was thermite," the leader of SGA-1, Colonel John Sheppard said calmly. He had to be calm otherwise others would start screaming. Him panicking often got others to do it worse. Then again, with those weapons being pulled out.... Who were these two? O'Neill hadn't said they were nutjobs about weapons.
"Xander always said thermite was just as good of a toy as a slinky. Even changed the slinky song so it went 'thermite, thermite, it's a fun toy, it's fun for a girl and a boy," Willow said happily. "He had it on a t-shirt too but Faith took it from him when she tried to kill him the last time." She came up with something.
"Here, 'splody," Buffy said proudly.
"We might need more range," one of the Marines said. He looked a bit nervous. These two...girls were pulling out weapons? They were delicate little girly girls who wore fashionable, or in Willow's case geeky, clothes.
Willow looked at it. "It's got a mile range." She handed it over anyway and dug in again. "Would a missile help?" The Marines all moaned. She handed over the missile. "I don't think I have the launcher in here." She got into another bag and shrugged. "I don't see it. It must still be back in Xander's stuff."
"Can ... we see those?" Sheppard asked with a smile. He didn't want to scare them or tip them off that he was thinking about sedation and restraints for them. He wasn't sure why he had been sent this pair in the first place and now he was starting to see why. They'd have to have a talk later about what they used to do at home that got them recruited. Beyond Rosenburg's computer stuff. That way he knew what jobs to give them and what to keep them away from. He could see his team's second and head of the scientists getting ready to go on a rant. He caught his eye and shook his head subtly. McKay got the hint but you could see he'd be screaming and ranting about this incident later.
"No, they've still got unmentionables in them," Willow said with a blush. "You can play with the toys after I unpack."
"Sure," he agreed. "Can we do that tonight? I'm sure Buffy can help you unpack."
"I'm already unpacked. Jack made me bring practical clothes instead of what I used to wear hunting vampires," Buffy told him. They all gaped. She smiled and wiggled her fingers. "I'm from Sunnydale." A few went pale. "I'm *that* Buffy. By the way, the Initiative did other bad things so if you were part of them be thankful you didn't get the daddy call Riley and Graham got."
They all backed away from them.
"What? Xander has, like, four kids," Willow told them happily. "I even have pictures." She pulled them out too. She pointed out the window. "Isn't that the 'splody, panicky creating thing, guys?"
Buffy looked at the missile then the other one, shrugging and taking it out onto one of the neat little terrace places. "Let's see. It's this end that fires, right?"
"Other end!" someone shouted.
She turned it around. "Last time Xander handed it to me. All I had to do was aim and shoot." She pointed it at the thing. "Hmm. That's a good target." She shot it off and the ship exploded. "That one, right?" she called.
Doctor McKay looked at his team leader. "You're going to bring us all to the brink of insanity, aren't you?" he asked.
He smiled and nodded. "O'Neill sent them. The rest of their team is in Linguistics on base."
"Xander retired and moved to Georgia to be a daddy," Buffy agreed. She put down the used launcher. "Can we use that again?"
"If not, we can recycle it," McKay said, taking it and walking off. "Willow, you have hacking skills?" he asked. "I'll see you tonight to see if you can get into the native computer systems for more information."
"Sure. Do you want my little electronic imp too? It's good at going out to check systems for me."
"We'll see," he said with a fake smile, going to kick a wall in his lab and vent before he screamed at the young ladies. There weren't many women on Atlantis and the other men would beat his ass if he drove the two new, pretty ones off. He'd have to wait a week until all the horny Marines and scientists decided they were too strange to lust over, like he had.
Sheppard picked up some of the stuff she had tossed out of a bag. "Let's get you two settled so we can assign you to duties and a boot camp class, ladies. It's mandatory for all personnel before you ask."
"Does that mean I can watch the sweaty, hotty guys?" Buffy asked.
"Sure," he agreed. "And they can watch you being sweaty too."
"That's fine." They carried the stuff back together. He was even nice enough to wait outside while Willow put up her things. Then they brought the bags back out so they could empty them for the amusement of the Marines. The movies O'Neill had suggested were snatched as soon as they appeared. The weapons got some funny looks. Especially the crossbows. "Did you use these?" Sheppard asked.
"All the time. It's easier than a stake and they can't mess up my clothes."
"Good to know. Maybe we can modify them with explosive tips?" Willow handed over a box marked 'hazardous'. "Thermite?" he asked.
"No, he did something funky he found online. It's a chemical thing. Eats vamps from the inside out. Makes them scream. We use it when we're in a bad mood."
"Makes PMS so much better, even better than chocolate," Buffy agreed happily. "It's for those really bad months."
He nodded. "I'll keep that in mind and make sure the Marines are able to handle a crossbow just in case." The stakes got put into the bucket Willow had pulled out. The other arms got looked over and put into the armory for later use and training. Some of it was very nice. Some of it was very naughty. Some of it made people confused but they all figured they could give the two slaying people a wide berth until boot camp could make them normal. Sheppard caught the last thing being pulled out, looking at the case. "How did he get this? It's in current testing. It's not even been issued to combat testing troops. SGC couldn't even get it yet!"
Willow shrugged. "It's Xander. No one's really sure where Xander gets his weapons from but it's only half his collection. The rest is going to Georgia."
"Think he'd share?"
"You'd have to ask. He pets them like they're his babies," Buffy said from her seat. "He's also a big fan of guns."
"Guns are bad around the kids though so you might be able to talk him into it," Willow offered.
"We could use them," Sheppard agreed. "I'll have O'Neill ask him."
"Danny knew him," Willow told him. "He got the same daddy call Xander did."
"Daddy call?" Jackson, their often-dead language and trouble specialist was a father and the world hadn't ended? "Huh?" John asked.
"The Initiative did it," Buffy said cheerfully. "They decided to do the blender thing with DNA in a dish. Made two-daddy babies. They're all so cute! Even though I think they're a disease that's more contagious than chicken pox, they're still adorable. Willow, show him the pictures."
"Sure." She dug them out to show him. "That's Xander's brood. That one's not his but he adopted her because her father's a poopy head and couldn't take care of her because she's half demon. That's Selene. Her other daddy is a New York cop. That's Liam. His other daddy's this hotty, sullen redheaded guy from Miami named Horatio. This is Rebecca. Her other daddy is Tony. He's on Gibbs' team. That's how everyone got the daddy call. Gibbs found all the kids when Xander got a hint from our friend Cordy. Who recently turned into an ascended glowly squid girl." She turned the picture. "That's Rachel again, his adopted one. Ooh, there's Catty. Her daddy is a Latin honey that works with the sulky Horatio in the lab."
He looked at her. "They mixed DNA in a dish?"
"Must have. They made two-daddy babies and used demons to have them," Buffy told him. "They were all about experimenting on their people. I used to date Riley and he ended up with two from his buddy Graham. So now he's a daddy too. Though I did handle it much better than Anya did. I did not go on a wailing and moaning fit. I'm very proud of myself. I only had ice cream."
"So am I," Willow told her with a grin. She looked at Sheppard again. "Danny got the same daddy call as Xander did but I think he said he only had one."
"Interesting. Does Jack know?" Both women nodded. "Did you see the baby?"
Buffy beamed and nodded. "Wyatt's so cute! His daddy's a cop out of Chicago. Jack was making gooey faces at him but denied it when Danny caught him."
"I'm so going to get pictures." He walked off. "Willow, you should go see Rodney. Buffy, come with me and we'll get you signed up for a boot camp session."
"Sure. Can't be any harder than slaying after an all-dayer and finals." She followed him out while Willow got her computer gear and went to help the strange, disturbed Doctor McKay. "Is that Doctor guy okay? He looks like he's about three corks short of a breakdown at the moment."
"You just surprised him by pulling out weapons that way."
Buffy grinned. "But it's fun. So was firing off one of those in the mall to keep the thing that was going to eat all humanity from doing it." He gave her an odd look. "Sunnydale was just like that. You should ask Jack to get you the Initiative's files. They're kinda interesting even if they are ewwish and full of torture. Plus they got stuff wrong. Werewolves do turn on the moon cycle. All but Oz."
"Willow's former honey. He went to Tibet to control the wolfie and she got a Tara snuggly witch."
"Okay. Is Tara coming?"
"Tara's kinda shy and doesn't like to be around new people. She's staying with Giles to help him on the base. How did they dig a base under a mountain? Wouldn't the shovels break?"
He nodded. "They make equipment for that."
"Xander did construction. I only worked there for a week. The guys got scared of the super strength."
"I'd like to test that."
She beamed. "Sure. Arm wrestling?"
"Sure, we'll do it with Ronon." He called him over and let him test her. He was one of their best physical fighters. Let's see what Buffy could do. Two hours later, the medics were not amused when Ronon was brought in.
Daniel showed up at Xander's about a week later, smiling at him. "I've heard back from Buffy and Willow. They got there just fine. Their first full day they showed off what you sent with them as a greeting present." Xander grinned. "You know you can't tell anyone, right?"
"Only those who already know."
"No one really knows, Xander."
"Really? There's all sorts of stories in Sunnydale about you guys. I nearly bowed to you. You cause more trouble than I do, even hyped on chocolate. Liam, the pony is not a chew toy," he called without having to look.
Danny looked then smiled. "Hi, Liam." He came running over to hug him. "Aww. Thank you. Nearly as good as Wyatt does." He put him back down with a smile. "Be a good boy." He beamed and went to bother the pony some more. "Is it safe?"
"He looks at her like she's god," Xander told him. "She's safe around him. He grinned at him. "You mean other agents don't know?" Danny shook his head. "Oops. Sorry."
"That's okay." He patted him on the arm. "Jack wanted to know if Willow could have the rest of your collection. What you sent came in very handy." Xander pouted. "Remember, guns are bad around babies."
"You probably should. That way they can't find them and get hurt."
Xander considered it then nodded, writing down something and taking off his necklace. "Here, to my storage area in LA. The ATF guys broke in and got part of it but not all of it. I was borrowing someone else's stuff and they don't like demon arms dealers. If you look in the blue desk that's hidden really well you'll find my address book and in it's my other storage areas and my contacts. They can probably help. After all, there's demon things that'll eat vampires."
"I'll do that," he agreed happily. "Thank you." He sat down beside him. "How are you doing?"
"We're getting into a routine. It's working out okay. Horatio and I are even at peace at the moment." He looked at him. "Are you here because I had the verbal oops?"
"No, I'm here because we really need to do a security clearance on you. Just in case it comes up. Plus to ask you about the embryos that were found."
"I want mine in case I want more kids."
Danny nodded. "I'll tell Janet that." He gave him a squeeze to the arm. "So, let's go over what you've done and what you know. That way we have a comprehensive background to work from and we know where to sit your security clearance."
"Sure. Want the air conditioning? We'll have to pry Liam off the pony. He'll fuss."
"Liam, I'm going to tell the others a story!" Danny called. The baby came running back to pounce him. He smiled. "They all like stories. Tara showed me that the last time I had Wyatt. She's helping Giles on our base." He helped him carry the kids inside to the cooler air and sat down to tell them a story so they could take a nap. Then he and Xander sat in there to do a comprehensive interview. It didn't make him happy but it was necessary.
Daniel came back to the base three days later with a delivery truck. "Someone call Jack, this stuff is going to Rosenburg and Summers."
"Their wardrobes?" the airman at the gate snorted.
Danny popped him upside the head. "No! Weapons." He smirked at the pouting. "Learned that from Gibbs."
"That's fine. I'll go down there in a minute. Get grunts." That got a nod and the people on the present shit list came to haul and tote down to a storage room he wanted them in. He walked into the office with a smile for the general once one of them had the keys to return the truck. "I'm back. Xander gave up the rest of his collection to help Rosenburg and Summers." Jack handed him a note. He laughed at the 'Rosenburg and Summers are insane but thank you for the weapons. We won't sacrifice them to anyone if you give us more toys' message. "They're not insane. That's how they were trained, Jack." He put down the interview cassettes. "A thorough interview and background on Harris." Gibbs snatched it to listen to. "He's going to be rated fairly highly. Oh, he said his underground heard of us. He nearly bowed to me for causing the same sort of trouble he does. The stuff for Atlantis is in a storage closet." He smirked at Jack. "He knew a lot of people who volunteered when I told them who I was. Especially that Angel guy when Xander's ex Cordelia came down to chat in her Ascended form." Jack moaned and shook his head. He grinned at the general. "Xander's a mini me without the education. My nature and Jack's attitude combined, sir."
"Too bad he's got four kids. We could pair him with a few sane people and make a full team," Hammond said dryly.
"The day we go to Atlantis, sir," Jack told him. "Go right ahead."
"I could make you train him," Hammond taunted.
Gibbs looked at him. "He insists he's retired unless it's a problem, General."
"Besides, he and Danny would get together and the rest of the universe would end, again," Jack quipped.
Gibbs nodded. "There is that." He went back to listening, then pulled the headphones, letting them all hear about the possession. "That's how he got the base's codes."
"It explains how he hunts so well now," Daniel said.
"It explains how he knows explosives and weapons," Jack said.
"That's not the only one. He had an animal one too. A hyena." That got a groan. "It's nice that four teenagers and a librarian helped save the world nearly as many times as we have."
"Bad thought," Jack said firmly.
"No, bad thought is wondering if their hellmouth is like a natural stargate only it goes to other realms. I've got to ask Rupert that." He called down to the languages lab. "Rupert, technical question. Is the hellmouth like a stargate only it goes to realms instead of other planets?" He listened, nodding slowly. "Interesting. Thank you. Tell Sam, maybe she can find some way to lock it down." He hung up. "It is but it's got guardians and they're not happy if they have to come out to eat us all."
Hammond blinked a few times. "They will?" Danny nodded. "He's sure?"
"Apparently they've seen and stopped them a few times."
"Oh." He just sighed and nodded. "I don't want to deal with that stuff."
"Rosenburg said her magic worked in the Pegasus Galaxy," Jack said cheerfully. "They introduced her to a nature religion race and she was babbling happily at them. They were scared of Buffy at first but Willow spoke their language and got them all calmed down about her so they were greeted warmly and they're babbling and dancing around with each other." That got another nod then Hammond took some advil. "Could be worse, Danny could still be there."
"Stop, Colonel. Before I take a vacation and leave you in charge," he ordered. Jack shuddered but pipped down. "Thank you!" He looked at Gibbs. "Can we use that to set his security clearance?" Gibbs nodded. "Did you find out where our leak was, Doctor Jackson?"
"Yup. They're in the walls." He looked around, finding the dents Xander had told him about. He walked over and tapped until something came to the surface. He pulled it out carefully and walked it over. "They're sentient. They talk to other worms. Other species talk to those worms. We haven't been fully secure since the moment we walked upright thanks to them."
Jack whimpered. "Elimination?"
"If you do the rock could fall apart. They have something to do with the covalent bonding principles. I don't know what." He put the worm back in the spot, letting it crawl off. "It's like they're phasing through the rock just out of our temporal stream unless they hit fresh air."
Jack muttered something, getting up and walking out. Danny gave the general a smug look. "Go away," the general ordered.
"Yes, sir." He walked out, getting back to his lab and work. He had a new language he needed to learn. He could learn a lot from the worms and they might find some off-world from a building or a monument that got stolen.
Gibbs looked at the General. "We get the same thing from Harris."
"He'll rank high then," he agreed. They listened to the rest of the interview so they could set his ranking. Before things got out of hand. Or there was an emergency and they resorted to calling in Harris to help fix it. No one wanted to ship the guy to the Pegasus Galaxy to save his friends if they could help it. After they had decided where he should be, Gibbs went to look at the stored weapons collection. Someone had to stop the kid. Looks like it fell on his shoulders.
Xander looked up as Horatio walked into the farmhouse, waving from the table. "Have a good trip?"
"No." He sat down across from him. "Gibbs saw your collection."
"Should I 'eep'?"
"You should probably run. He said if he ever sees classified weapons in civilian hands again, especially yours, no one will need to worry about custody issues." Xander stared at him. "He was serious, Xander. You broke a good portion of the laws in the US with some of those."
"How would I know if they're classified? It's not like they're stamped 'classified, do not give out like candy' on 'em." He went back to feeding Liam his breakfast. "All I know is it was offered. I thought it might be needed. Giles put me in charge of our weapons store because he doesn't like guns." He fed Liam another bite, then Rebecca made begging noises. "Feed her please? Hers is in the bowl warming." Horatio got up to get her food and the spoon, sitting down to feed her. "I'll call him in a bit," he mumbled, going back to the feeding, muttering under his breath about paranoid people. Not like he was going to use it to deal with normal threats. When Liam was done he fed Rachel then he went to email Gibbs. Well, email Tony and he could pass it on.
Tony looked at the new email message, clicking on it since it said 'hand to Gibbs'. He read it then snickered. "Boss, Xander said until they stamp the weapons with 'classified, don't hand out the toys like candy' how was he supposed to know it was classified. Also, he was offered it, no one said anything about whichever it was being classified, and Giles put him in charge of the weapons because his highest weapon was a crossbow." He looked at him. "He also said next time don't let them fall into the wrong demonic hands and it's not like he was going to use them on anything less than world ending emergencies anyway. He likes weapons, they're neater than pets. He's not going to use them on others, it kills them." Gibbs moaned, putting his head down. Tony printed it and handed it over as requested. "They really should stamp the classified things classified and a date." He sat down again. "What did he have?"
"Don't ask, I can't tell you," Gibbs said, calling down there. "No more buying weapons, Xander. I don't care if they are nice. I don't care if they are like pets to you. They're dangerous for the babies. Yes, I know that's why you gave the rest to Daniel. Don't buy any more. No, you can buy a hunting rifle," he sighed, making Tony snicker. "I don't expect for you to hunt for the kids with a sword or a crossbow. Though I think Danny took those too since they were in the closet. No, Giles is working with Danny. If it's that sort of emergency he'll call I'm sure." He rubbed his forehead. "No, we don't stamp it because it makes the bad guys want it more, Xander. I don't care. Just don't." Xander asked a pitiful question. "No, no explosives either, Xander. They're bad and can hurt the babies and you. If you don't believe me, ask Horatio." He hung up and went to get some more coffee and calm himself down before he flew to Georgia, head smacked the boy, then flew home. He had only gotten home from Colorado last night.
Tony and McGee both snickered. When Kate came back before Gibbs, Tony pointed at the note. "From Xander. The boss apparently told him he can't have more weapons because he found something classified."
She read it then burst out giggling too. "Yeah, that'll work." She sat down. "What did he get?"
"Gibbs won't tell us," McGee told her
"That boy had WHAT!" the director demanded from the walkway next to MTAC.
"Ask Gibbs," Tony called back. "It went to Jackson."
Gibbs came out of the break room, staring at her. "No comment." He went back to making new coffee, muttering under his breath. He would not call Xander. He wouldn't. He walked out and glared at Tony. "No emailing him either."
"Fine," he muttered, canceling his email. "I was only going to tell him the director wanted to have an inventory list." Gibbs smacked him on the head then went to shoo people away from his coffee. They saw the scowl, they ran, it was a good thing. Tony did it anyway, then smiled and cleared his browser history. He heard the stomping and smiled. "Most of it went with Doctor Jackson, Director. Though Xander did just say he was going to keep a hunting rifle in case he needed to hunt for the table." She growled at him and kept going. He waved and smiled at her back, stopping when Gibbs caught him. "What?" he said at the dirty look.
"All done, boss," he said cheerfully. "Since I couldn't sleep on the flight back I did it then. How is Cheyenne Mountain?"
"Freaky, same as always," Kate quipped. "McGee, how many embryos are missing?"
"Half and almost none of the parents are on the list we have." He put it up on the main monitor. "The doctor the NYPD Internal Affairs department found for Taylor admitted to having three helpers. All three are in their own practices. Raiding their offices with warrants looking for information on this subject led to one storage area, which was handed to those in Cheyenne Mountain. The rest of the records are in code. Abby's trying to decode them. I've asked Finn and Miller, neither one get it."
"Just a thought, have we asked Rupert Giles?" Tony asked. "It looks like a language in a book he had in his shop. I was flipping through a thesaurus of multiple languages and that looks like some of the chicken scrawl language I found."
"I hadn't," McGee admitted. "I can fax it over to him. I have a direct line to Jackson's office now. If we can find the others and they don't correspond to people on the list...."
"We contact them, let them know there are embryos with their names on them, let them decide," Gibbs told him. "It's the right thing to do. I'd be hellishly pissed if mine was one and it was destroyed without me knowing."
"Funny you should mention that, boss," McGee said, getting up and walking a paper over. "Someone wanted to cross you with Xander and you with Taylor." He fled back to his seat at the growl.
"Those would be some stubborn kids," Tony said dryly. Kate nodded at that, looking a bit scared. Gibbs glared at him. "Consider it, boss. Xander's stubborn enough that people beg him to go away. He nearly out-stubborned you and Caine about Liam. His stubborn plus your stubborn has got to be exponential on the stubborn scale."
Kate shuddered. "Please don't give me more mental images I don't want."
Tony grinned. "Apologizing is a sign of weakness, Kate."
The director came back. "What is going on?"
"Apparently one of the embryos that was found was mine and Harris' together," Gibbs told her. She gave him a horrified look, taking a step away from him. "Still want the regular military to have them?"
"They'd be great soldiers, boss," Tony offered.
"With smartass genes," Kate added. "No Drill Instructor would *ever* get through to that kid. He'd be a boot camp nightmare."
"We could let O'Neill train him," Tony offered with a grin. "He's said to get some very tough recruits to the point of fearing him so they do what they're told."
"With Xander's luck, he'd take over somewhere," Gibbs told him. "Stop it. Now." He looked at McGee. "Finn delivered him?"
"Her and yes."
"A female Gibbs and Xander," Tony said, wincing. "Ow. The poor boys of the future."
"Send those notes to Giles," Gibbs ordered patiently. "DiNozzo, go to the gym. Work all the bad thoughts out before I box them out." Tony fled. "And don't tell Abby!" he yelled after him. "McGee," he said more calmly. "How many more do we think there are?"
"As many as a thousand, boss."
"Find them. Hand them over. Tell the parents." McGee nodded, faxing that information over, along with a note about that one embryo. A female Xander/Gibbs would definitely take over a world in hail of gunfire and explosions and then rule it with a light touch. They hoped.
Daniel looked at the fax, then around. "Rupert!" he bellowed. He came jogging in. "From McGee at NCIS. These are the notes they found about the other embryos."
He looked at it. "I need a better copy than this. Surely they can get a better one?"
"Call. What's that written at the bottom?"
He squinted to read the messy handwriting. "Oh, dear. One of the embryos is Jethro Gibbs' and Xander's together. It's a female one. They want to make sure if she's born, she's trained here."
"Jack?" Daniel called, sounding to himself like he was whining. Jack came rushing in. "Tell him, Rupert."
He handed over the paper. "The note at the bottom. I'll call to get a better copy of that."
Jack read the note. "Does that say one of the future people we have in storage is Gibbs' and Harris' daughter?" Daniel nodded. "Alrighty then." He got into Daniel's desk, finding the tylenol and walking off with the bottle to tell Hammond. "The note at the bottom, sir," he said as he passed both off. "If she's born, I'm not training her. I'll shoot myself first. Or I'll go beg Hathor to keep me this time. Whatever." He kept walking.
Hammond read it then went to call Jethro. "Gibbs, we can destroy the one that mixes you and Harris, right?" He nodded. "Thank you for your permission." He called the number Daniel had left for Xander. "Mr. Harris, this is General Hammond. I'm over Daniel's project, yes. No, we needed to talk about one of the embryos, son. One's a daughter between you and Jethro Gibbs." The boy burst out cackling and he could hear worried adults in the background. "By your laughter I can see you foresee the problem if she ever gets born. Can we have your permission to destroy just that one?" He nodded. "Thank you. Yes, we're all afraid of her coming into being and then taking over the world, or something equally bad. No, if they're still there when she's old enough we could gladly ship her off to your friend Willow." Giles gave him an odd look when he walked past the door. "Mr. Giles is outside. Do you need to talk to him?" He smiled. "I'll tell him that, son. Thank you." He hung up and called the infirmary. "Doctor Frasier, it's Hammond. One of the embryos needs to be destroyed. Yes, just one. It's listed as Gibbs/Harris and it's a female. That one, yes. That would be the parents." She cackled. "He suggested if she does get born we send her to Atlantis and his friends there if they're still there. That she could take over that galaxy." He nodded. "That's why. Both parents agreed. Thank you." He hung up. "He said he's fine, the babies are happy and fine, and he'll email Tara later so you can get it off her."
"I'll do so. That truly is a horrible child from what I've heard about Jethro Gibbs. Xander's enough to make a system lord beg. Those two together would be hell on the universe." He walked off shaking his head. He ran into Daniel and Jack. "Xander suggested if it wasn't destroyed and came into being, we send her to Willow and Buffy."
Jack looked at him. "John Sheppard would kill you, Rupert. Even the hint of that mixing would make him fly back here and kill you. Did they okay the destruction?" Rupert nodded with a smile. "Good. Before I have to babysit the kid. Danny's is bad enough on the stubborn scale and he's only five and a half months now." He walked off holding his head, going to the infirmary for pain killers since he had given the bottle away. "Doc?" he called as he walked in. "I have a headache."
"Did they tell you about that embryo too?"
He whimpered. "They said if she came to be, they'd send her to Xander's friends in Atlantis."
She burst out in cackles again, shaking her head and dispensing pain medicine. "I'll destroy it tonight, Jack."
"Thank you. And don't let Loki or Thor near it either."
"You know, sir, Thor said he'd heard of Xander somehow," Sam said from where she was getting some blood drawn. Jack gave her a horrified look. She smirked. "Gotcha."
"Don't even joke about it. He might like Harris." He walked off after getting a second dose of pain killer, going to tell Hammond that too. "Sir, Carter needs a real vacation. She just joked that Thor said he'd heard of Harris."
"Now, that's a network I want to belong to," Daniel joked.
Giles looked at him. "It's not that improbable with some of Xander's demonic connections. Thor asked me how Angel was the last time he popped in." He went back to the lab to gather the newly sent copies of those files so he could decode them. What he saw made him whimper in horror, but he sent it back to McGee.
Tara looked over his shoulder then gave him a hug. "Xander won't be taking over the universe and there's not going to be a race of Xanders in the future either," she promised quietly in his ear. He nodded, hugging her back. Daniel leaned in so she handed over the translations.
Daniel looked at them then went to find Jack, handing it to him. "I want to Ascend again so I can watch it but be safely out of the way."
"Hasn't helped me yet," a female voice said, turning into a ghostly looking version of Cordelia. "Someone *really* wanted Xander to take over the universe. I say we send them all to Willow so she can make them all proper Xanders. After all, she made the first one."
"How did you get in here?" Jack asked.
"Glowy squid girl now," she said in a mocking tone. "How do you think? One always calls to another."
Jack looked at Daniel. "You're not allowed to die or Ascend ever again, Danny. I mean it." He stomped off.
Danny looked at her. "So you dated Xander?"
She snorted. "Dated, snogged, and other things." Tara came out and poured something on her, making her fade and disappear. "Hey!" she called right before her pop of displaced air happened.
"We don't need those rumors either," she said quietly, going back to work.
"Thank you, Tara. Also thank you for the brownies this morning. They were great." He went back to his office to find his other bottle of pain killer. He always kept at least two.
In a not so far away galaxy Willow looked up from her work, thinking about something. "Cordy, is that you?" she called, startling Doctor McKay next to her. Cordy appeared. "What's up?"
"News. Always with the news since I'm now a messenger for the Powers." She smiled. "Being a glowy squid girl is pretty cool. I get to watch the Xander babies and the multi billion Xander embryos that they've got stored. One was going to be a daughter of Xander and Jethro Gibbs." Willow gaped at that, then slowly shook her head. She had met Tony's boss. "They all suggested you get her but I think they're going to remove that threat from the shelf. Also, a lot of the embryos are going to turn out to be baby Xanders, Flacks, Taylors, or Tonys. They're all really cute guys." She smiled. "Tara made me go away when I said that a race of Xanders wouldn't take over the universe. The Powers said so. They're playing what-if at the moment."
Willow stared at her. "Go destroy them."
"I can't. Not allowed," she said with a cheeky grin then she disappeared.
Doctor McKay stared at her for a moment. "How long have you known an ascended one?"
"That was Cordy. She dated Xander in high school. We used to be friends until she got popular. The Powers gave her horrible visions and she changed so they wouldn't kill her. You could've brought baby pictures," she called.
"Why?" John Sheppard asked from the doorway.
"Cordy was here."
"Who?" he asked. "And how did she get onto a top secret base in a galaxy far away from home?"
"She's ascended," McKay told him dryly. These two got stranger and stranger. Soon they were all going to be like them and he'd be fully insane.
"She called herself a glowy squid girl."
"Uh-huh," John said, nodding. "And...."
"News on the embryos that the Initiative left lying around. A lot of them are Xander's. Some are the other guys they were using for baseline skills. She said the Powers are playing what-if and if they're too evil they'll be sent here so I can make them into good little future Xander's."
Cordy reappeared. "But they won't create a whole race of them because that's just evil and the Powers are on the side of good. They wanted to make sure you remembered that when Buffy bit the wraith back." She disappeared again.
John Sheppard walked off. "I think I need something for my headache."
Buffy spotted him. "How did you get the Xander'd look when he's on earth?"
"Do you know a Cordy?"
"Yeah. Xander dated her. Ever met Anyanka? Xander dated her too." A few of the Marines in hearing shuddered at that name. She smiled. "Why?"
"She was just here."
"Did she bring new baby pictures?"
"No," Willow called. "She brought news on the embryos. If they're pulled out of storage there'll be a lot of Xanders."
"The Powers aren't that evil, Willow. They won't allow that to happen," she said firmly, believing it. The people who were over her and Angel couldn't be *that* evil.
"No, if they're that bad, we'll get to turn them into proper Xander's." Buffy smiled at that. "She said one was a cross between that Gibbs guy and Xander. A girl one."
John and every Marine who'd ever met Gibbs shook their heads and they all went to get something for their headaches.
"Wow, lots of Xander'd looks and he's still on earth. That's cool," Buffy told her.
"It is," Willow agreed happily. "Oh, she's a happy glowy squid girl she said."
"That's always good."
"You know an ascended one?" Ronon asked when he came in at the end of the conversation.
Willow smiled and nodded. "She used to date Xander."
"He sounds like a strong warrior. We should meet this Xander and bring him here."
"Don't you dare!" Sheppard yelled.
Buffy grinned. "He's got kids now. He's retired."
"Pity. Are his children going to be good warriors?"
"Three girls, one boy, and one adopted so probably," Buffy said happily.
"Good. Then hopefully we'll see them taking some of our places some day. The worlds could use more good warriors."
John Sheppard walked out. "I had better be dead. O'Neill had better be dead. We'd better both be staying dead and you'd better hope they don't team up with Jackson's son." Ronon gave him a horrified look. "The same people who gave that Xander guy kids gave Jackson a son."
"Well, then the universe will warp but strong warriors are still needed to replace us." Sheppard walked off moaning.
"Someone club me in the head?" McKay yelled. "Please? Those bad ideas are trying to stick and then I'll have to dwell on them instead of getting something useful done."
"Sure, I can do that," Willow said cheerfully, picking up something solid to chase him around with. His problems were irking her and she had PMS anyway.
"Willow, use the mean arrows," Buffy called. "It's a good month for it." She looked outside. "Ooh, wraiths!" she squealed, getting weapons to go slay. It was sad but it was going to make her afternoon. None of the guys would work out with her anymore. She had to pout.
Ten weeks after the last talk with Xander, Tony decided he was fed up with the Director. He looked at the director, then at Gibbs, then back at the director. "Effective immediately I'm taking a leave of absence before I commit mass homicide. Does anyone mind?" he asked with his sweetest smile. McGee and Ziva both gave him scared looks.
Kate stared for a second then backed her chair up slowly. "Go. Now. Right the hell now. Before we end up having to handcuff you or find a straight jacket or something. Now! Have fun in Georgia, Tony."
"Going to New York to see the other one," he said, getting up and walking off. He came back two minutes later with the proper form filled out in triplicate like the director wanted. She gave him a glare. He pulled out his knife and stuck it to her desk with it. She backed up and grabbed a pen for show. He growled. She signed. "Thank you. I'll be back in a week." He walked off, going home to pack a bag, calling on the way. "Flack, Tony. I'm coming your way. Can I have the baby? Thanks," he said without waiting for an answer. He hung up and hit the freeway.
Gibbs glared at the director. "I will not have you messing with my team any more, Director. This is my team. Not yours." He walked off. "Kate! You're temporarily lead agent. You have paperwork to do!"
"Yes, Gibbs," she said, shooting a glare at the director before hurrying after him. Ziva, knowing what was good for her followed.
McGee looked at her. "Feel very lucky he didn't call Xander instead." He walked out too, going to help Kate since he did most of Tony's paperwork anyway.
Ziva stopped him at the bottom of the stairs. "What's going on?"
"Well...." He looked at Gibbs, who shrugged. He pulled her into the elevator and pulled a Gibbs by shutting it off for some privacy. "About two years ago there was a group called the Initiative. Well, a little over two. Some of them are now two so I'm guessing maybe three years now. They were out in Sunnydale in California."
"I've heard rumors about that town being evil. So?"
"They were there to harness the evil as grunt support for the military. To do that they tortured them, all sorts of stuff. The psycho scientist in charge also had some pet projects." He leaned against the side of the elevator. "One of them was to create children out of certain bloodlines who'd make excellent soldiers probably." She nodded slowly at that. "Tony's DNA got used." She whimpered. "Twice. He's got one of each. A daughter with a guy named Xander Harris down in Georgia now and a son with a CSI in New York named Mac Taylor. He's went to see the son."
"But why is the director picking on this?"
"The director stuck up for the higher ups who wanted to conceal the project and keep the kids," he said bluntly. "Xander came to us when he got wind of the kids. He found the first few files, sent his and Tony's to Tony, and Gibbs sent him to Sunnydale while the rest of us tracked them down. We grabbed the kids, told the parents, handed them back."
"But that's good."
The elevator lights came on and power was restored. "I want to know how they did that," McGee said. He looked at her when they landed in the lobby with the head of security and the Director standing there. "Gibbs told me to explain something to her, Paul. Oh, Tony's on vacation, heading for New York and his son." He pushed the 'door closed' button and flipped off the power again with a grin once they had moved. "They won't bother us this time." He got comfortable again. "The director was sent in with the hush agreement."
"Oh yes. She tried to tell them that they weren't even allowed to tell their bosses and friends that they had children. Mr. Harris scared the crap out of her. Twice."
"Is he a sociopath?"
"Xander? No, he used to be on the Sunnydale Protection patrol." She gaped. He grinned. "He was their weapons person. He's in Georgia now with his five kids. Four are his, he adopted one that didn't have parents we could find."
"That was nice of him."
"He's a nice guy, but if you screw with him, pray and hope he's feeling merciful. As we were told by some Initiative staff that survived and got messed with by this same program, he's an end game fighter. You put his back to the wall and he'll beat you every time. He's the sort to show up at the right moment with the right weapon and the right plan but at the last moment because most everyone ignores the nice, goofy, sweet guy until they get in his face."
She nodded. "One of Tony's children is with him?"
"One of Tony's children is partially his. They did the DNA mixing thing as Xander puts it." She gaped. He nodded. "All males. They used some people as baseline and added different bloodlines to them to see what would happen if you mixed someone like Xander or Tony, who really are a lot alike, to say someone like CSI Taylor or CSI Caine down in Miami. Xander's only son is shared between them." She slumped against the other wall, staring at him. "The director was baiting Tony about not getting to see his kids very often. Tony gave the other fathers custody because we work terrible hours."
"It's a reasonable and good thing to do in that case," she said quietly.
"We think so and the other fathers agreed it's a good idea. Xander's always happy to babysit any of the brood if we need him too. He's got visitation with the ones he doesn't have full custody of. It's nice. He's a nice guy. If Tony had went to him, Xander would've had the director eaten. Or something."
Ziva swore in Hebrew. "What else do I need to know?"
"The director didn't want us to hand over the embryos we have found to one of the groups out in Colorado for safekeeping. We knew that group was long-term, wasn't going to use it, and if something happened they had a geneticist on staff. There's some people in charge who want the embryos to stay in military control. They're pulling her strings. That's what set Tony off. That's what set Gibbs off. Gibbs was the one who told the other parents. He was the push to get the other parents told. The day the information started to come in the director tried to interfere and Gibbs handcuffed her to a filing cabinet. Then he went to stop a base from moving the children deeper into hiding." She swallowed but nodded. "So if we suddenly need a new director, I'm not sure of the cause. One of the fathers is out in that group in Cheyenne Mountain. There's a number of officers, two soldiers, and Xander among the others. If something happens, I doubt we'll have word. Though if you ever hear Xander calling panicking about a problem, no matter how strange it sounds, listen to him, make notes, tell Gibbs. Gibbs is the only one who can get him calmed down if he panics. He usually has good reason."
"I'll remember that. Anything else I should know?"
"We're still looking for the rest of the embryos. There's up to a thousand missing and half of those are from people who aren't on our prior list. We'll have to tell them, let them decide to have them destroyed or not, and then make sure it does happen. Gibbs is in charge of that last part." She nodded. "If that's going to bother you, you can do the normal stuff. Kate and I are working on that after hours and when we're not doing another case."
"I can help but I won't help exterminate them."
"That's fine. Not asking you to," he assured her. "Now, do you think you can help us this upcoming week? It's going to be a long one without Tony there to pull his own weight and some of ours."
She nodded. "I can help. I'm still learning but I can help."
"Good." He turned on the elevator and hit the button for their floor. They walked off hearing the director screeching about how the elevator was not a personal conference room and Gibbs was corrupting others. "If we had a private area that didn't have cameras, we wouldn't use it," McGee told her. "Since some of the tech division had to come disable the ones in the men's room last month so you'd quit watching us pee, that's our only option." He stared at her. "By the way, I'm deeply offending that you were watching my private areas, Director, and I'm seriously thinking that that's harassment. You're making for a very sexually charged and uncomfortable workplace." She gaped then stomped off. "Thank you for not staring at my ass any more." He sat down, looking at Gibbs. "She said she can help us search, boss, but she doesn't want in on the notification or afterwards."
"That's fine," Gibbs agreed. "Don't swear at the director. She can write you up or fire you for that, McGee."
"Yay," he said dryly. "Do we know how Xander finds out what he finds out?" Gibbs gave him a horrified look. So McGee smiled. "Danny found out." He found the email and brought it over to hand to him. "He found a good few out there. They talk to their relatives. Their relatives talk to other types. They talk to each other, then some of those talk to Xander. Danny's trying to learn their language so we can be hooked into that network as well, boss. That way we can check on Xander in a more subtle manner." He looked at him.
"We'll keep an eye on her," he said quietly. "Thank you for the warning about the cameras."
"Not a problem, boss." He went back to his seat and got back to work. "Kate, Rupert resent those translated files." He sent them to her and Ziva, who looked at it then got to work searching. "Take the third one down, Ziva. I've got the first, Kate can get the second. That one's a lab and it's supposed to be secret."
"I'll ask around," she promised, looking at it then calling a friend. "It's Ziva," she said quietly. "Looking for a lab for NCIS." She smiled. "Yes, I just was told and asked to see if anyone I knew had any idea about where they're stored." She made a note. "Are you sure?" She nodded. "Thank you." She hung up and walked it over to Gibbs. "They moved it when you found the children. They're all there. All eight-hundred and twelve that're left."
Gibbs smiled. "Thank you. McGee...."
"Already doing the warrant application, boss." He sent it. "Electronically faxed to the judge's office." That got a nod. "Where?"
"Up the road. Alexandria." McGee added that to the second form and faxed it as well. Ten minutes later they had a faxed copy of the warrant back. The judge over the Initiative hearings was only doing those until they were done. They headed out to confiscate the rest of them. Gibbs could fly them to Colorado later that night.
Tony walked into a precinct, looking around. Gibbs had faxed him a list at his hotel. He walked up the stairs to the detective's squad, smiling at them. "Where's the Captain's office please?"
"New officer?" one of the older guys said.
"NCIS. Fed." They all stared. He grinned. "Some of you will be seeing me in a few minutes. It's about some information we just found out, guys. We're sharing. I'm a messenger of doom." One hand pointed so he knocked on the door before sticking his head in. "Do you have about three hours to talk to a Federal agent?"
"Not really. I'm due at a budget meeting in two. Why?"
Tony walked in and shut the door. "I'm Special Agent Tony DiNozzo, NCIS."
"I've heard your name in rumors recently attached to Taylor's lab."
"I'm the other father of Taylor's son Craig." The captain gaped. Tony nodded. "I'm here to brief people who also have embryos in storage. We found more but no more kids thankfully."
"Oh, damn. Tell me it's not Munch."
He looked at his list. "Munch and Stabler. One listed as Tuttola? I was told they're all here."
"They are. No women?"
"They were military funded. Even though they were headed by a woman she only went for the men."
"I'm not on there, right?"
"Nope." He let him see the list. "We've found over a thousand stored embryos. I'm on notification duties because I stomped off to take a vacation."
"Want them all at once?"
"Up to you, Captain."
"Let's do this all at once. Want to use in here?"
"Again, up to you. Wherever they'll feel comfortable." That got a nod and he went to gather them, taking them and Tony up to a room upstairs that had a couch and a few chairs. Tony closed and locked the doors. "Guys, I'm Special Agent Tony DiNozzo, NCIS."
"You're somehow part of Taylor's son's family," one said wisely.
Tony nodded. "I'm his other father thanks to a special military research project that did it against our wills. Not that Craig and my daughter aren't the best things ever to come out of a lab, but I wish I had known before hand." He sat down facing them. "I'm sure you can guess why I'm here?"
"To share baby pictures?" the African-American man asked.
Tony grinned. "Don't you wish." That got a groan from the older man. He grinned. "I got to homicide right after you left, Munch." That got an evil smirk. "Then Gibbs stole me." He handed over the list. "During the tracking down of the kids and the embryos this same insane group created, we found a secondary group. They were going to breed the kids of my group with the kids of your group to get a second generation of great soldiers for the military. We found your group in the last week." He looked at each of them. "On the list is how many you have, who you were mixed with, and what sex they are. They are in cold storage in Colorado, safely in the hands of a special project that *we* trust. One of their people got hit in the first round." That got a slow nod from the guy who hadn't spoken yet. "That group has very high oversight. People get very upset when you piss off that group. Including the people who wanted to keep control of the embryos. So they have them in cold storage. You have the right to decide if they stay there or not or if you want them destroyed. Like I said, I'm a messenger of doom."
"If we want to keep them?" that guy asked quietly.
"They can stay there. If you want to use them, you can tell one of us and we'll get in contact with them so you can have it as long as the other parent agrees. It will not be destroyed unless both parents agree. If one parent wants to destroy it and one doesn't, they'll be notified by someone and they can talk it out to come to an agreement." He grinned. "Like I said, I love my kids but I'm keeping my other seventeen in cold storage in case I want one later. It's the man I am. I'm not going to make a judgement call. I'm not here to pressure you. That is my director." They all nodded at that. "Which is why we have Presidential permission to come tell you this even though the project has been closed and the people are presently going through various trials and going to jail slowly but in a quick manner." He handed over three forms. "On the top is the direct fax number to my boss. He'll send them to that other group so they have it on file and can do whatever."
Munch looked at the list. "I have four listed." He looked at them. "Harris?"
"Xander Harris, formerly of Sunnydale. The group hated him but considered him a stable base to test other personalities against. They mixed him with CSI, scientists, and a few uber geeks to see what would come out best for them. Right now he's got four and another he adopted because the parents couldn't take care of her from the primary group."
"This is a joke right," Fin asked.
Tony shook his head. "Nope. Wish it was even though I love my kids. I adore my kids, but I wish I'd had some say in it."
"What group?" John asked.
"They were called the Initiative. They were out in Sunnydale too. Mr. Harris and his friends took them down twice. The first time they had a friend."
"I heard of them."
Tony smiled. "Then you probably heard about Buffy?" John shuddered but nodded. "Xander was her gear guy."
"He moved to Georgia after retiring. His people are working out of Cheyenne with that special program and Doctor Jackson. His people have the embryos."
"'Nuff said," Munch told him. "Guys, I've heard of that other group. They're good guys. They're the sort to stand up to NID and others."
"They have in the past," Tony agreed. "They probably will be again."
"So what do you want from us?" Elliot Stabler asked.
"I'm here to notify you, let you make your own decision, and to play with my son. I walked off to take a vacation and got assigned this task. This is all I have to do unless you have questions."
Elliot took the list, looking it over. He looked at him. "This is real?" Tony pulled out his wallet and handed over pictures. Including one of him and Xander with their daughter. "She's cute."
"She is, but she's greedy and begs," Tony said with a small grin. "Always wants to be the center of attention." He put his wallet back. "It's up to you. I can answer any questions you want. I can put you in touch with Gibbs. No one's asking you to make a decision today. They're frozen. They'll stay good for eternity at this point."
"Will the military be wanting them back?"
"That's why we set them with this group. They're not getting them back, even those who want to use them or see this as a positive."
"Like the Nazi's doing most of the foundation for organ transplants. Evil men doing evil things that had some good."
"I loathe them just as much as you do, John. I'm working with someone from the Mossad at the moment." That got a small smirk. "The director assigned her."
"Do you want to get rid of her?" John asked.
"Don't tempt me."
John smirked and looked at the list again. "I don't really want kids."
"I don't make that decision for anyone, guys." He stood up. "If you have questions I'm at the Ramada in lower Manhattan. If not, then I'm still there for the rest of the week."
"Just like that?" Stabler asked.
Tony looked at him. "I'm not going to rush you. You have all the time you need to think, find me, and talk. Our number's on there too. Gibbs' personal number that he forwards to his cellphone. He handled finding the kids and getting the parents last time."
"We can talk about this?" the captain asked.
"Not outside. Within the group yes. To the general public, no. They made us sign hush agreements. The director brokered it." They shared a look. "They're on the fast track to jail. There's one judge handling all of the cases so they don't have to get others too deeply involved in the covert actions of this one group. Most of them took deals to turn on the higher ups. Their trials are taking longer. We've already got almost half in jail. The rest are waiting for their moments."
"Then what?" Elliot asked.
"Depends on what you decide," Tony told him. "If you decide to have them destroyed, that's all there is. If not, then you have time to think, make later choices, all that stuff." That got a nod. "That's your copy of the list since I only put your names on it. Talk if you need to. Call us if you need to. Take as much time as you want." They all nodded. "Sorry to have ruined your day, guys." He left them alone, going to bug Mac and Don for his son again.
Elliot looked at Munch. "You knew about this?"
"Not about *this*. This was probably a hobby of the person in charge. Their main focus was to torture strange beings so they'd be military cannon fodder." That got a sigh. "Sorry but it was. I can find video files if you want." He looked at the names then picked up the paper to make his own choice. He knew what he wanted. He got up. "If you need me to find information, let me know, guys. Or come talk to me if you need to." He left them alone.
"I've got to tell the wife," Elliot told his boss.
"You probably shouldn't tell her the details if there's a hush agreement and secret trials. Someone might show up."
"We heard rumors someone came to beat up on the Chief of Detectives and IAB because someone asked Taylor where his son came from," Fin reminded them. "Looks like we know why." He took the list back, looking at the listing under his name. He knew the guy and signed his over immediately. Him and Munch would make a horrible child who'd be warped and couldn't dance. He looked at Elliot. "If you need to talk, yell my way, man." He left.
"What am I supposed to tell her?"
"If you have to, let Tony explain," the captain suggested, standing up. "Like he said, you don't have to decide today, Elliot." He left him alone to think.
Elliot looked at the list again then went to find his wife and talk to her. She smiled from behind her desk. "You done for the day?"
"We have to talk."
"A bad talk?"
He put down the list, glancing around her classroom. Then back at her. "Someone decided to do genetic experiments," he said quietly. "They found my name on the embryo list." She gaped. "They're giving me the choice to keep them in storage or have them destroyed. They're already putting the people who did it in jail. I thought we should talk."
She grimaced but nodded. "We should."
He relaxed. "There's a guy in town who came to let us know. If we need to he said we could interrupt his visitation with his son to ask him questions." She looked at the list, then stared at him. "I don't know."
"Then we'll see him," she agreed calmly. "What do they want you to do?"
"Make up my mind sometime soon. They're not pushing either way. Someone higher up is but not them. He was honest about who it was too."
"Who has them?"
"A different military group that John's heard of and swore is straight and honest. They won't use them if I tell them not to." She smiled and nodded at that. "I wanted you to know, even though we're having problems."
"Thank you, Elliot." She patted his hand. "Call him?"
"He's at the Ramada Lower Manhattan. He's got visitation with his own son who came from these same people. His boss is the one who found them and told the first run of the group."
She patted his hand again. "We'll go talk to him tonight." He smiled and nodded. "Let me
finish this up and we'll go." She got back to grading papers for the next day.
Tony walked back into work, seeing the uneasy looks aimed his way. "Boss, did I get fired?" he asked when he made it to his desk.
"No, DiNozzo. The director's missing."
"Yeah, got a call about that." He handed over the message. "Xander said it wasn't him, he didn't ask, he didn't suggest, he didn't even talk to that one. That one likes him because she's dangerous and wants to mate with and then kill him but she's scared of his kids." He sat down behind his desk. "He has no idea if she's alive or not. He's trying to figure that out."
"Interesting." He looked over the message then at him. "How did he hear?"
"One of his contacts called him and told him that it was done to awe and inspire him toward lust for her." He grinned. "Xander said he groaned, said thank you for the warning, and then went to bang his head against the wall until Catty stopped him. She called him mean."
Gibbs smiled a bit and nodded. "He was being mean to himself. You did tell him he's not allowed to date her?"
"He said he was in hiding in case she showed up. It proved his former dating streak hadn't ended yet." Ziva gave him a confused look. "The only ones attracted to Xander are deadly in some way. This proves it."
"The being who took the director?"
Tony shrugged. "He's trying to find out. If he can, he'll tell us. If he can't he'll tell us." He got onto his computer, finding an anonymous thank you card. He sent the link to Gibbs, who groaned and went to beat whoever had sent it to thank Tony for knocking up Xander and making some thing so jealous that it had to take out the reason he had been able to be knocked up. To him it sounded like Abby babble but you never knew. It could've been Palmer.
"Thank you card?" Kate asked. Tony sent her the link, making her smile and laugh. "Cute card. Do it again?"
"Do we really want me to have *another* child, Kate?"
"No, two's enough," she said quickly. "Please?"
"Fine. Even though the evil psycho bitch apparently wanted Xander to rule the world for some reason."
"Proves she was dangerous if she liked him," McGee quipped.
Tony smirked. "I didn't think of that. Thank you, Probie. You can tell him that."
"I already emailed it to him, Tony."
Gibbs came stomping back. "Abby swore she didn't do it."
"Palmer, boss?" McGee asked.
Gibbs looked at him. "He's not that bad. Ducky would stop him."
"Ducky's off yesterday and today, boss," McGee said.
Gibbs went to see if it was him and the rest of them got back to work.
Xander smiled at Eric when he showed up. "Can you watch them overnight? I have to go rescue Tony's director from a demon."
"Can't your friends?"
"They're in a classified location working with the military on something important. Besides, this one did it because she wanted to impress me enough that I'd sleep with her."
"So she's dangerous?"
"Yup and she's already had the director for a full two days."
"Sure, I can stay overnight," he agreed with a smile. "Anything I should know?" Xander handed over the schedule he worked from. "Thanks. Go."
"Thank you." He grabbed two bags and a backpack, looking up. "Hey, Cordy, can you get the thingy to work yet?" he called. He disappeared in a fizzle of light.
"That's cool," Eric said. "Even if it was created by an unholy thing." He went to check on the napping kids, finding Liam up and staring at his ponies on his walls. "Hi, Liam." The baby looked at him and smiled. "I'm here all night to babysit with Catty. Want to come sit with us?" The baby got out of bed and let him pick him up so they could play together. He was very gentle with his sisters. "Maybe we'll call Daddy later. He could use cheered up this week."
"Dada?" Liam asked, poking him until he got another smile. "Dada?"
"Sure, we'll call Daddy." He dialed his cellphone, letting him have it.
"Dada!" Liam squealed, babbling noise at him. Down in Miami Horatio smiled and walked away from the press conference the Mayor was holding, now in a much better mood.
"Welcome," Eric called loudly enough to be heard.
Xander walked the crying, clutching woman into the NCIS building, looking at a guard. "I found her. I think she belongs to someone here. Can you call him so he can repossess his bitch?"
The guard gaped. "Who're you!"
"I'm the one who rescued her from the person who took her, dipshit. Call Gibbs. Now." He added a small growl at the end and the guard dove to do that. Gibbs could handle him. Gibbs and Kate came off the elevator a minute later. "I believe you lost your puppy. She needs better location tags." He handed her over, having to pry her hands off his arm.
"The...person who had her?" Gibbs asked.
"Paid off. I needed it anyway. It was ...decent. Better than Faith and Cordy, worse than Anya." He shrugged. "She doesn't want me anymore. I'm out of her system." He waved at the director. "Go take a nap," he said, talking to her like he would his kids. She nodded and clutched Gibbs' arm. "Sorry but I wasn't about to inflict her on Tony." He walked off.
"Xander, what's in the bags?" Kate asked. He now had three bags and a backpack.
Xander grinned. "I'm not commenting on the bags because I don't want to hear the lectures, but they will be hidden by the time any of you could get to Georgia." He waved and disappeared in the same fizzle of light.
"How did he do that?" Kate asked.
"I don't want to know," Gibbs told her. "Come on, Jen. We'll go see Ducky." She burst out in a wail about not being dead. "No, you're not dead, but he'll call the paramedics and do any triage until they get here." They ended up carrying her to the elevator and to the morgue. "Ducky, she's out of it."
"Come into my office, Director. I have some lovely tea." He walked her that way, getting her some tea and checking her over for obvious injuries. Gibbs called the paramedics while he and Kate worked to get her calmed down. It didn't work and the paramedics got another wail of crying.
"Quit!" Gibbs snapped. She got down to sniffling, staring at him. "You were kidnaped, we're taking you to be checked over, Jen. Calm down. You're home now. Xander found you and rescued you."
"Did you know he was a good guy?" she asked in a childish voice.
He nodded. "I did." He helped get her onto the gurney, following them. "Come on, I'll go with you so you're not alone at the hospital." She nodded, clutching his hand.
"Other side please, Agent Gibbs," the lead paramedic said. "That way she doesn't have to drop it once you're inside the ambulance." Gibbs nodded, switching sides. She kept staring at him. "Here we go, ma'am." They got her loaded and off.
Kate went upstairs. "What did he do to her?"
"The demon was a Xander worshiper. She was singing songs to him, had a shrine. There's no telling what the thing that had her did to her according to Xander. He said he didn't see anything that directly spoke of torture but the demon did have the ability to read minds. I've already called Gibbs to tell him that. She all right? That's too evil for my tastes."
"She's clinging to Gibbs and sounding like she's five, Tony. She might not be okay."
Tony nodded, heading up the stairs to the director's office. "Cynthia?" The secretary's head popped up. "Xander just found her, he brought her back. Gibbs is with her at the hospital but she's sounding like she's gone a bit mental at the moment. Xander said he didn't see any signs of overt torture so it would've been all mental screwing."
She nodded. "Think she'll be okay?"
"Kate said she was clinging to Gibbs and talking like she was five."
"I'll tell the other directors she's been found and is in the hospital, we suspect mental torture attempts then. Thank you for letting me know."
"Least I could do."
"The person who had her?"
"I don't know what Xander did to rescue her."
"Who's Xander? Is he in another office?"
Tony grinned. "He's the other father of my daughter in Georgia."
"Oooh, him. I heard about him and how he renegotiated the hush agreement." Tony nodded. "Thanks, Tony. Let me know if you need help."
"We have Ziva, we can shift jobs on our current case." He smiled and left again. He stood on the walkway. "People!" he yelled. Everyone on the floor looked at him. "The director has been found. She was just taken to the ER." He saw money being handed over. "She's with Gibbs. We'll pass out updates as we have them." That got a nod. "Go back to business as usual." He walked back down to his desk, sitting down again. "Okay. Kate, what do you have?"
"Still nada. You?"
"I have a tenuous connection. They went to the same dance club twice. Probie?"
"Not a thing, Tony," he admitted. "Ziva?"
"How did Xander find her when my contacts couldn't?"
"Xander has a lot of underground contacts," Tony told her. "He used some." He smiled. "Do you have anything on the case?"
"No, I can't find either of them. They could be unrelated."
"All but the fact they were seen driving off in the same car," Tony told her. "So unless one kidnaped the other for whatever reason they're connected somehow. What about their jobs?"
"It's departments that talk often but both bosses said they weren't the ones talking," Kate told him.
Tony sighed and nodded. "We'll find it and them. Anything on the BOLO, Probie?"
"Nope. Not yet."
"Damn it, where are they?" They got back to work. Someone brought Tony a small stack of money, earning a smile. "Thanks."
"Welcome. How did you know whoever Xander is was going to find her?"
"The person who took the director wanted his attention and body." He grinned. "Xander got tired of it and snapped." She looked confused. "Xander's the other father of my daughter Rebecca." He tapped the top of her picture.
"Oh!" she said, nodding. "Inside information?"
"I wasn't sure if he'd call it in or not. That's why I placed both bets," he said with a grin. She walked off shaking her head. He counted the money and put it into his wallet. "I've got to send my kids presents." He got back to work.
"Shameless," Kate muttered. She looked over. "He said she doesn't want him after *having* him. She was worse than someone named Anya and better than someone named Cordy and someone named Faith."
Tony shrugged. "He hasn't had any in a while. Not like he's dating, Kate."
"That doesn't bother you?"
"It's not like I physically knocked him up." Ziva choked. "Sorry." He grinned at Kate again. "If it made him feel better and kept him from being killed, I'm not going to comment. I'm sure he didn't bring the kids since Eric sent out an email that he was babysitting for Xander last night."
She shook her head, getting back to work.
Stan drove up to the gate and got out, looking at the silent guard there. "Is Doctor Jackson around?"
"Not at the moment, sir. Why?"
"I'm his baby's other daddy. I'm here to hand off the kids for a few days."
"Oh. Um." He considered what had been sent up earlier in gossip. "I think Doctor Carter is in."
Stan grinned. "She's the really smart blonde lady, right?" The guard smirked and nodded. "Can you call her for us?"
"Sure. Go ahead and park, sir. It'll take a few." Stan nodded and did that while he called downstairs. "Doctor Carter, sir, there's a man here who says he's the other father of Doctor Jackson's baby and he's here to hand him off for a few days?" He listened to her confused noises. "That's what he said, sir. At the gate, yes, sir." He nodded. "That might be best. I didn't think he was here." He hung up when Stan came back. "Colonel O'Neill is here, sir."
"Oh, cool. Jack knows." He smiled and relaxed. "I'm getting death threats." The guard gave him a horrified look. "I'm a cop."
"I'm so sorry."
"Me too so it's better if Wyatt's with his daddy." Jack came trotting out. "Seen the news recently?"
"About your bomber, yeah. What's up?"
"They're targeting me. Got my former apartment since I haven't changed my address on the forms. Got my former station. Nearly got the car. Nearly got Vecchio and his car. Vecchio's out for blood and so are *both* Mounties since the guy made a feint toward the boys. So think I could drop 'em off for a bit?"
"Sure. Got a stroller or somethin'?"
"Yup, in the trunk." He let him unhitch the boys while he pulled out the stroller, diaper bag, and suitcase. "Thanks, Jack."
"Not an issue, Stan. We want the boys to be safe and you can't catch the idiot while you're worrying about them." He let him hug them both. "Come on, guys. Let's go bug the daddy." Richard sniffled. "No, don't do that," Jack sighed, giving Stan a look. Richard got another hug and his favorite bear was found. "Thank you." He waved. "Say bye. Let's let daddy watch you guys." Wyatt beamed and waved. "Good boy, Wyatt, showing your daddy's brains already." He grinned at Stan. "Be safe."
"I'm tryin'. Thanks, Jack. Don't do anything bad around 'em, okay? I know you and Danny get inta trouble. Xander's friends locally said you guys get nearly as much action as he used ta. Just not around them?"
"Not around them. Not this week anyway." He grinned. "Don't worry. I'll make Sam attack anyone who comes near 'em."
"Thanks." He shook his hand and got back into the car, letting Jack head back inside the base.
The airman guarding the elevator scowled. "They do not belong here."
"One's Doctor Jackson's son. Shut up." He signed them both in, even though it seemed silly someone would complain if he didn't, then he got them onto the elevator to go downstairs. He came off and found the General waiting on him. "That bomber's after Wyatt's other father."
"How did he know to come here?
"Danny told him he's working with a language and decoding group that works out of one of the sub-basements around here."
"I guess that's plausible and nearly the truth without getting into classified territory." He smiled at the boys. "Who's the other one?"
"Richard. Stan's with some other guy who ran off really quickly according to Danny. Sam!" She looked over. "Find Danny."
"He's with Teal'c across the gate." Wyatt let out a wail. "He'll be right back, Wyatt." She went to check on them and send a message through to Daniel. They came running back with people shooting at them and then Wyatt quit screaming. "The boys are here. That bomber is apparently after Stanley."
"Charming," Daniel said. "By the way, they think blond men are unholy and blonde women are only for sex slaves."
"We'll make sure only dark haired ones go there," the general said over the intercom.
"They consider them general purpose slaves. Only redheads, sir." He came out, smiling at the boys. "Hi, Rich, hi, Wyatt." They both smiled so he gave them a hug. "Ooh, Daddy's missed you both. Come on, we'll go gum on an artifact or two while Daddy writes a report." He walked the stroller that way.
"Please tell me you didn't adopt off-world," someone joked.
"Nah, the military decided I needed a family so someone made me one," Daniel joked back. "The other's my stepson with his other daddy." That got a few gapes from the people in the hall. He grinned. "Like I'd ever have kids the normal way." They all shuddered and left him alone with the kids, his artifacts, the books that Richard wanted read to him, and Giles when he came in. "Rupert, this is Richard, the older one, and Wyatt."
"Charmed, boys," he said with a smile, patting them on the head. "Have we heard anything from Xander?"
"I got an email with pictures the other day. I passed them onto Tara." He grinned at him. "Can you read Richard something so I can write this report?"
"Of course." He picked a book in Ancient and sat down in front of the stroller, getting instant attention and affection from the boys. Daniel smiled and got to work on his report, only correcting Giles on a word now and then. He was still learning Ancient and it was a hard language. "We should send Buffy and Willow pictures of you two as well as Xander's new ones."
Daniel grinned at him. "They think the world's going to end because I have a son. One joked it must be the end of days this time for real because Stan's a trouble magnet, I seem to draw a bit too, so he'll be worse."
"If he ever turns out as bad as you do, Danny, I'm sending him to Atlantis so Sheppard can straighten him out. Because I'll be in the ground by then. Permanently." Jack walked off again.
"Drama queen," Danny muttered, going back to his report, making Giles laugh and nod. "He's worse than I am."
"Yes, but he has his clone."
Danny grinned. "Who's even worse than he is. I caught him hitting on girls the other day."
"I heard that. He'd better not have!" Jack yelled.
"Then you need to talk to him about that stuff, Jack. He scored too."
Jack simply moaned and went to find his young clone. Though he did warn everyone to warn him if any aliens showed up, even the friendly ones, because they'd want to take Danny's boys too. He knew they would. Even Sam got gooey over the boys. It was a clear sign they were going to continue Daniel's fine tradition of being kidnaped.
Xander walked up the porch stairs, finding Horatio there too. "Hi."
"Where did you go?"
"To save Tony's director. The demon who had her wanted my body." He shrugged. "She's not in great mental shape but she's alive." That got a nod. "Was Liam a problem?"
"Miami's been a problem," Horatio admitted.
Xander nodded. "You know, I told you guys you could build a cabin on the other side of the property and stay there, Horatio. That goes for vacations too." That got a smile and a small nod. "The kids do okay for Eric?"
"They were fine," Eric said from the living room. "You've done great fixing this place up, Xander." Xander beamed and nodded. "Good job." He gave him a short hug. "Catty's decided Liam's hair is her new favorite toy. I don't know why since she used to hate red hair."
"If he doesn't mind. He scowls at Rebecca when she tries it."
"So do I when women play with mine," Horatio joked. Xander grinned at him and went into the kitchen. "We went grocery shopping at the bigger store."
"That's fine. I usually try to stay in town." He looked out the window. "Whoo-hoo! The tomatoes are nearly ready to pick!"
Eric smiled but shook his head. "Few more weeks, Xander." He smiled at the kids playing in front of him. "Want to hug the other daddy?"
"Dada!" Liam yelled. Xander came back to hug them all, earning smiles. Liam kissed him too. "Wuv!"
"I love you guys too, Liam." He kissed him on the head. "Be good for two more minutes so I can unload the bag, okay?" The babies all cuddled in together again and Xander drug his bags upstairs before coming back down. Then he got down onto the rug with the kids to play and cuddle with them. "It was a long night without you guys sneaking into bed with me. I was almost surprised when I got to roll over." Rachel beamed and waved, patting him. "Love you too, Rachel." She giggled and patted Liam's hair, earning a scowl. She did it anyway, she wasn't scared of her brother. He could only pout at her. Daddy would stop him if he hit her. He swatted her and daddy swatted him so it was good and she got to play with his hair again. Even though the other daddies took her hand out of his hair. "It's an ongoing war about messing up Liam's hair," Xander told them. He heard a car and looked out the window. "That's Don and Selene." He waved and went back to cuddling. "Look, guys, we're all here!" They all beamed when Selene came toddling through the door. "Oooh, you're walking!" he cooed, picking her up to cuddle her. "Daddy missed you."
Selene beamed then sucked on his nose. "She's been good too," Don promised. "Just learned the other day." He smiled at Horatio and Eric. "Here to give back or repossess?"
"Vacation," Horatio told him.
"Bringing Catty back," Eric said.
"Horatio, if you wanted to bring Liam back you could," Xander reminded him. "I don't want to be sworn at by your sister-in-law again about you having a baby but you can take him back to Miami if you wanted to."
"If I'm in Miami they'll try to get me back to work," Horatio said grimly. "She called to swear at you?"
"That you had a son."
Eric coughed. "Frank heard her. It was taking away from you helping her and her son. It was a burden on you that you didn't need. How dare Xander say the baby was yours, it couldn't be because he was a man also, and on and on."
"I got most of that straightened out, Xander." Xander pointed at the answering machine so he went to listen, growling at it. "I'll straighten her out again." Xander grinned and nodded. "Thank you for letting me know."
"Welcome. Like I said, build a cabin off by the trees or put a used trailer out there. Come sit and cuddle in, Don." He got down to play with the kids. "Were they okay, Eric?"
"They were fine. They pouted about bath time last night. They went down after a few stories and kept staring out the window to find you earlier. They didn't cry because you left."
"The last time I had to mow I put them in daycare for the day. They wailed all day until the church's nice older grandma ladies stepped in. They like daycare every now and then now." They all smiled at that. "How's Stan? I haven't heard from him in the last few days."
"Not a clue. The city's had a problem recently and it looked like it was going to make him do more work," Eric told him. Xander nodded at that. "You could call."
"I don't want to interrupt him if he's working and I don't want to wake Wyatt or Richard up after hours either."
"Call, it'll probably make him feel better if he knows he can come visit for stress relief," Horatio told him. He called on his cellphone. "Stanley, Horatio Caine. We were wondering how you and the boys were." He smiled, nodding. "We'd heard and Xander was a bit worried. No, he's still here in Georgia. He said you could come down with the boys if you wanted to. Daniel does? What happened?" He listened then nodded slowly. "Can you catch them?" He nodded faster. "Whatever your people think is best but he does have a nice farmhouse to relax at. Of course. He can come down, right, Xander?"
"Yup, bring the boys," Xander called.
Horatio smiled back. "He said he'll do that once they catch the bomber who wants to blow him up." He walked outside to talk to him about the case. He came in twenty minutes later. "I think I sparked a lead for him to track down. He said after this he's bringing both boys down once he gets them back from Daniel." He settled in to play with the kids, smiling when Liam came over to be protected. "I won't let the girls play with your hair, son. It's all right." He smiled at Selene, who reached for Liam's hair. He played with hers back and she pouted. "He doesn't like it either, Selene." She pounced Catty and cuddled in to hug her and nap on her.
"That's fine, we can nap. Napping is good for babies," Xander promised, patting backs. He smiled at them. "I'll get to work on cabin plans." That got a nod. "What do you guys think about putting in a pond?"
"It's a lot of digging," Eric told him. "Plus how would you fill it?"
"We have city water and a well," Xander told him. That got a nod. "So I could."
"Remember to call the utility companies before you dig, Xander," Horatio warned. "We don't want to see you electrocuted." He nodded at that, still smiling. "Can we stay?"
"There's three spare bedrooms and futons in each of the kids' rooms for you guys. Watch out, they will sneak out of bed and come visit. Especially Liam and Rebecca." That got another nod and Don went to bring his stuff inside. He got up and headed for the kitchen. "What am I making for lunch?"
"I can do that," Don offered. "My fair share of the chores," he said with a grin. Xander shrugged and let him do it. It was comfortable here. No stresses other than the kids.
Stan parked and got out, walking over to the gate. "Hi, I'm Detective Stanley Kowalski," he said, holding up his ID. He got given an odd look. "I'm Wyatt's other daddy. Is Daniel here? Doctor Jackson?" It'd taken a few weeks but they had caught the bomber, finally. Now he could have the boys back. He didn't sleep well with them out of his sight.
"Yeah. Are you related to the guy who works here, sir?"
"Don't know." He shrugged. "Never met 'im probably."
"Just wondering, we have a Kowalski on staff." He called downstairs. "O'Neill, there's a Detective Kowalski here for his son Wyatt?" He listened then hung up. "He said Wyatt's busy with the doc at the moment but if you wanted to go to your hotel they'd bring him to you in about an hour."
"That's fine. I didn't expect to be let onto a classified base." He grinned at the guy coming out. "Hey, Jack."
"Stan." He shook his hand. "Danny's getting them examined by our docs. Wyatt's had a bit of a sniffle."
"That's fine. I didn't expect to go down and get them." That got a smirk. "I'm vacationing away from the bomber who we finally caught. I'm tired of Chicago."
"You could switch to Boulder or Denver's department," Jack pointed out. "That way you're closer to him. Danny could use more visitation."
Stan looked at him. "Danny said he hardly ever makes it off base."
"He does when he's got Wyatt, we make sure of it most of the time," Jack told him.
Stan nodded. "I'm thinking about it. That and heading down to work where Xander is because he said it's nice, small, no mad bombing cops, nothing like that."
"Mad, bombing cops?" Jack asked. Stan nodded. "The same reason you gave him Wyatt and Rich?"
"Yeah. I'm at the Motor Lodge. Bring 'em home for me please?"
"We can do that. Give us about an hour," Jack said. Stan nodded and headed back to his car. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine. Just tired." He slid in to drive, heading back to his room and the cribs.
Jack hurried back down there and back through the gate to the new planet. "Danny! Stan just showed up!" he called.
"I heard. I'm getting Rich cleaned up now," he promised, smiling at the native woman helping him. Then he put on the double backpack carrier and his pack, heading back through the gate. "Heading to hand back the kids," he announced.
"He's at the Motor Lodge," Hammond told him, patting both boys on the head. "Thank you for letting the natives gush, boys. It made things nicer this time."
Danny smiled and headed off, dropping his bag in his office. The doctor looked them over quickly then he headed out. Stan came out to meet him, picking up Richard to cuddle, getting hugged back. "He was good as gold, Stan. He was very helpful."
"What's with the sniffles and why do you smell like rose oil?"
"One of the people I work with was cuddling him and she was wearing it."
"Ah." He switched off, taking Wyatt to cuddle. "My boys." Wyatt kissed him on the cheek and snuggled in. "C'mon in."
"You could stay at my place, Stan."
"You're a busy guy doing whatever with the stars, Danny." He led them back into his hotel room, letting the boys down. They both pounced him to cuddle. "Awww, you're crawling, Wyatt. I'm so proud! Ma'll give you so many cookies for that." He gave them both another cuddle now that he could hold them both. "Thanks."
"Not a problem. Did you get the bomber?"
"Another cop," Stan said quietly.
"S'm I. He wanted Wyatt for himself." He looked at him. "We found 'im. We had a screaming match. Benny pulled me off when I hit 'im. It felt good but I'm on two week suspension."
"It's a good time for a vacation," Daniel agreed. "I should probably get back. Have dinner tomorrow night if I can?" Stan beamed and nodded. "I'll see you then. You have clothes and things, right? I didn't stop at the house."
"Yeah, I got stuff. Don't worry 'bout it." Danny smiled and got up, leaving him with the boys. He smiled at them. "I'm so proud. You were good boys for Daddy Danny." He turned on cartoons and let them cuddle for now. It was comforting after the week he'd had. Maybe he'd take Xander up on his offer of a vacation down there too. They'd like to play with the other kids he was sure.
Once everyone was home again, Xander got to looking at some of his pasture land. Then at the poor pony who still wouldn't go back into the barn. Then back at the pasture land. She was always running out of water. A pond would be nice. He might get to swim in it. He considered it then decided to take the kids to daycare. Two hours later he called the local town cops. "Hi, it's Harris out at the Ferguson farm. If you get reports of a bang, don't worry, it's just me and everything's all right." He grinned at the confused noise he got. "No, I'm doing something and one of the neighbors might complain. Fair warning that it's all right and all good." He hung up and went back to his plotting.
Two hours later, the local Sheriff got a call. "Sheriff Di..... Explosion? Was it at the Ferguson place?" He nodded. "No, he called, said he was doing something. He said not to worry about it but I'll go check on the boy." He hung up and got up, grabbing his hat on the way out to his truck. That boy was just strange. He made it there about twenty minutes later, finding the boy looking at a slowly filling crater. "Boy, what did you do?" he called as he walked over.
Xander grinned. "We needed a pond."
The sheriff looked at him. "Son, I know you're a bit strange...." He looked at the hole. "You blew a hole in the pasture to make a pond?" Xander beamed and nodded. "That Gibbs boy said you knew weapons but really, boy."
"Gibbs is, like, in his forties," Xander said, looking a bit confused.
The Sheriff looked at him. "I'm old enough to be his daddy, son. I can call him and you both a boy." He looked out there then at him. "Looks like you got down to the water table at least."
"Yeah and I have a well too," Xander said happily. The Sheriff sighed and shook his head. "I needed a pond. The pony needs the water and won't go into the barn. Half the time I can't find her to give her buckets of water. Besides, the kids'll like it."
"Where are your little heathens?"
"The church's daycare," he said with a bright grin. "Plus hey, less to mow."
"Uh-huh." He watched pond half-fill with water. "It's a bit low."
"It'll get topped off with the rain that's coming."
"It's not supposed to rain."
"My arms hurt, it's going to rain," Xander assured him. He grinned again. "I was very careful. I called the utility people so I could mark where things were back when I first got the place. I thought about building a vacation cabin for the kids' other fathers on the other side of the property. What do you think?"
"I think it'd be better if you marry and settle down so you have someone to watch over you, boy. You're clearly dangerous." He looked at him. "Do you have more explosives?" Xander just grinned. "How did you make enough for this?"
"I'm very experienced in explosives but not the small applications. I do big applications very well."
"Uh-huh. I can see that." He walked off shaking his head. "You know, the grocer's daughter Mary is single."
"Only deadly women like me," Xander called after him. "Then they try to kill me. I can't let them around the kids. But thanks anyway."
"I'll watch out for that then," he muttered.
"Oh, Sheriff?" The older man turned to look at him. "I've been being stalked by Rachel what's-her-name from the next town over. You might want to check on her. She left me a dead squirrel the other day as a present. I wasn't sure if she meant it to be part of a romantic dinner or as a warning that she liked me."
"Knowing that girl, it's possible," he sighed. Now he knew what the boy meant by deadly women liking him. On his way back to the office he stopped at the local church to talk to the reverend. She went there. "The Harris boy just made himself a pond with explosives." The boy's son cackled and beamed at him. "Like that idea, Liam?" The baby nodded. "You're just as strange as your daddy is." He looked at the horrified looking pastor again. "Also, he said Rachel's been courting him. Left him a dead squirrel last time. He wasn't sure if she meant it as a romantic dinner or not. Claims only deadly women like him."
"I'll talk with her," he promised.
"Good, I'm gonna call that Gibbs boy. Maybe he can make Harris calm down before he adds more depth to his new pond. He hit into his well." He walked off shaking his head. The kid and his kids were seriously wrong in the head. He wondered why he wasn't drawing a check yet. He found the card that nice DiNozzo boy had left him for emergencies with the boy or the farm, calling it. "DiNozzo, let me talk to that nice Gibbs boy please. Sheriff Dinwitty." He waited.
Tony held out his phone. "Gibbs, it's the sheriff where Xander lives. He wants to talk to that nice Gibbs boy. I'm assuming that's you," he said with a smirk. He got a smack for it and the phone being taken so he could get back to work.
"Gibbs," he said, walking off for privacy. "I remember you, Sheriff Dinwitty. What's wrong?" He listened to the whole story, fighting the urge to rub his forehead. "I'll talk to Xander. No, he's not drawing that sort of check. He's drawing one for the kids from the people who made them for him. Yeah, them. I figured someone had noticed it was a military pension check. I'll talk to him about going on disability for mental issues after I'm done yelling. He hurt anyone? That's good at least. Thank you for letting me know." He hung up and handed back the phone then went to the truck to call Horatio from his phone first. "We have got to go over Xander's house again, Caine. Because the boy just created a pond with explosives." Horatio paused for a second then burst out laughing. "The local Sheriff called. The kids were in daycare, the house is still standing and looked fine, but he's got a good sized pond that broke into his well. No, I want to beat the boy. I think between us we can clean the house of further weapons and send them to Rosenburg since apparently she needs them. Meet you there in two days, yeah. Thanks. In the middle of one. That's fine. Thank you." He hung up. "DiNozzo, we're going to Georgia. You're to keep Xander occupied and contained while we search the house for weapons."
"Sure, boss, why?" he called back, still working.
"He just used explosives to create a pond."
Tony stood up, turning to stare at him. "He did what!"
"Rebecca and the others were in daycare. He wanted a pond. He blew a pond. It's deep enough it hit his well. Caine and I are going to clean the house of weapons in two days. You're to keep the boy with you."
"He was talking about needing a pond for the pony and to swim in," Tony said, slowly shaking his head. "Huh?" Gibbs nodded. "Is that why the Sheriff called?" Gibbs nodded again. "Is the house standing?"
"He said the house was perfectly fine. He did it out in one of the further pastures."
Tony sighed and nodded, coming over to bang his head on the side of the van. "Should I maybe bring Rebecca home for a bit?"
"He said the boy's fine and happy. The kids were in daycare. He wanted to know why Xander wasn't on a disability check yet. Oh, he did warn us that there's been a woman down there to get his attention. She left him a dead squirrel." He stood up. "Back to work."
"Let me have a few more minutes, boss." He went back to banging his head against the van again. Ziva came over to lead him off before he dented the van or got another concussion. Gibbs went to take Tony's job for now. Xander always did bring amusement to their lives.
Daniel came to the gate to meet the person waiting on him a week later. "Horatio, what's wrong?" he asked.
"Xander's begun collecting again and we decided that wherever Willow might be, she could probably use it more."
"Xander decided to use explosives to make himself a pond."
"Excuse me? Can you repeat that?" Daniel asked, then glared at the snickering guard. He looked at Horatio. "Xander. Nice, friendly Xander. Used explosives to blow up his land to make a pond?"
Horatio nodded. "He did it in one of the farther pastures. The house is fine. The kids were in daycare. He said he only knocked a picture off the wall in the secondary explosion to remove the loose dirt." Daniel let out a quiet whimper. "Which is why Jethro and I decided that perhaps Miss Rosenburg or your people could use the rest of his new collection. He swears he didn't buy them, they were presents or traded for."
"Sure, we can send them to Buffy and Willow," he agreed, nodding at that. "Let me call Jack so we can get an inventory." One was handed over. He looked at it then at the gate guard. "Can you get Jack up here?" He looked at him. "Xander?"
"Jethro and I. I'm formerly bomb squad and Jethro's a Marine too, Daniel."
"I forget that sometimes. Thank you. We'll put them to good use."
"You're welcome." He patted him on the arm. "Did the other shipment of embryos get here?"
"Yes and we've heard from a lot of the new fathers via the fax number we set up. A lot of them were not happy campers. Especially a former mercenary who's now a police hacker in a Chinatown somewhere. He told us we could hold them but no one else in the rest of the military." Horatio nodded at that. "Did you hear that they made a daughter of Jethro and Xander?" Horatio's eyes went wide behind his sunglasses. "Still an embryo but we destroyed that one when we realized how bad that child would be on the worlds."
"That's a horrible thought," Horatio told him. Jack jogged out. "O'Neill."
"Caine. What's up?"
"Xander used some of his new collection to make himself a pond at the farm so they think Willow could use it better. Jethro Gibbs and Horatio went to gather it from Xander." He handed over the list.
Jack looked at the list then at Horatio. "How does he do that?"
"Gibbs went with him. One of them that was classified was given to him by something that admired him and wanted to see what sort of chaos he would cause now. Apparently the chaos creatures love him. Should we plan on babysitting so you can use that skill as well now and then?"
"He'd take over someplace," Jack said grimly. "Start a whole new religion. They'll invade us to get him back. Nope, no thanks. Get enough of that already," he decided.
Horatio nodded, pointing at the truck. "I brought it since it's mostly explosives and I'm former bomb squad. Have fun sending it to Willow."
"Yeah, sure, you betcha," Jack agreed, nodding. "Buffy will appreciate it." Horatio smirked at him and walked off to get a ride back to town. "Someone drive the truck in so it can be sent off." He looked at Daniel. "We should really plug into Xander's network better."
"I've been doing that when I'm here, Jack. We're never on this planet anymore." He walked back inside to take something for his new headache. Hammond stopped him. "Jethro Gibbs and Horatio Caine went to confiscate Xander's new collection after he used explosives to make himself a pond."
The General blinked. "He did what?"
"Made himself a pond with explosives. They gave it to us so we could send it to Summers and Sheppard in Atlantis."
The general walked off looking confused. Sometimes he didn't want to know because some things were too strange even for Stargate Command.
A week later in a galaxy not so far away, Willow looked at the people offloading crates. "I have something? I didn't know Xander was sending me a birthday present." She got handed a clipboard with an envelope. "Ooh." She opened it and read the note, then burst out laughing. "Let me get Colonel Sheppard to take control of it." The crew member smiled and nodded. She signed her name and walked off with the note, running into Buffy and Sheppard. He was watching her train. He was *so* much worse than Giles about training times and Buffy doing them daily. Then again, the training she was doing was making her hotter and getting her a lot of admiration from the other guys on base. Plus it was keeping Buffy from being bored. She almost suspected Sheppard and Giles of talking about her training but he was still back on earth or else he'd have magiced McKay into a toad or something too. The time she'd accidentally turned him into a kitten so she'd have something to pet had been cathartic. "Xander sent us a present," she called as she walked in.
"Birthday prezzies?" Buffy asked, stopping her boxing with the heavy bag.
"No. Remember Horatio and Jethro?"
"Yeah. Why?" She came over, wiping off the sweat.
"Xander decided the farm needed a pond. He blew a hole in the ground to get one. Jethro and Horatio took the rest of his toys and sent them to us."
John Sheppard smiled at that. "I'm beginning to like your friend sending you two presents. Any movies?"
"Don't know. They're in sealed crates," Willow said, handing over the note.
He read it. //Keep these. Xander's not allowed to have more weapons or explosives since he blew a pond in a pasture on the farm. Consider them a present from him, Jethro, and Horatio. Daniel.// He laughed. "Some day I'd like to meet this friend." He walked them back there to see what had come. They could always use more weapons. He found a whole stack of crates just for him. "Guys, let's move these to the armory," he told his Marines. "Willow and Buffy's friend Xander sent them more presents." That got some evil looks but they did move the weapons and stayed to watch them being unpacked. One crate had something for Willow from Jethro's team. One had a bag for Buffy. There were two wrapped packages with their names on them. Both girls squealed at the new presents and pictures of the kids. Willow's present from Jethro was a few new computer programs and the new versions of stuff McGee knew she had on her laptop. Including the games. It was a thoughtful present they could all use. Buffy's new clothes would get her leered at and she didn't mind so it gave some of the Marines happy thoughts for weeks too. He was a very thoughtful gift giver when you were in a galaxy far away fighting extra-terrestrial vampires. One of the administrators came in to give him an odd look. "Their friend Xander blew a pond onto his new farm so some people told him to send Willow and Buffy the rest of his collection."
Willow sat down with the letter in her present, giggling. "He's got a new admirer too. I hope he kept at least a stake and a gun. Buffy, the new admirer left him a dead squirrel. He said he wasn't sure if it was meant to be a hint for dinner or not."
Buffy grimaced. "I wouldn't consider it a *present*," she said. "Girls in Georgia must be stranger than girls in California. What happened to sending candy or flowers or nice things? Squirrels are cute and cuddly creatures. Except for on that one planet where they tried to eat us, but usually they're cute and cuddly creatures."
Sheppard looked at her. "Some people do eat squirrels."
"Eww," she assured him dryly. "Nastiness. Squirrels are not cheeseburgers! Squirrels are furry things that you watch forage and coo at because of the big, fluffy tail. Not things that you turn into a casserole."
"We've eaten worse," Sheppard told her.
She held up a hand. "I *so* do not need grossed out by the rest of that thought. It's even worse than the thought someone had about you doing the weird woman who's in charge." Doctor Weir gave her a horrified look. "I didn't have it," she defended. "They were taking bets. I thought it was just nasty. You're not the beddy bye type really. Cute and all but not even non-stick driving Willow's type."
Willow looked at her then snapped her fingers, knocking her out. "Sorry, the Colonel made her work out all morning. It was affecting her brain. Low blood sugar."
"We have candy again for the moment. We can fix that and then make her go back to training when she wakes up," John assured her. "Guys, I need an inventory of the new toys. That way we know how much explosives we have." One was found and handed over with a note from O'Neill. He read it and snickered. "Hammond doesn't want to hear about Xander any more. He said he's stranger than even us and it's giving him a headache. To use the weapons in a way Xander would appreciate."
"No fishing with it," Doctor Weir ordered. "And make Summers nap somewhere off the grenade tubes before someone gets a dirty thought about her cuddling and stroking them in her sleep. Please?"
Willow floated Buffy up and to her room to let her lay down. She put up both their presents too. Then she came back to see what Xander had collected this time. She loved Xander presents. Sheppard was slowly being corrupted into seeing what a nice guy Xander was too. Maybe some day Xander could take a week or so off from the kids and come help them with something. It'd be a happy vacation for him. He'd enjoy dealing with the wraiths too.
Xander smiled at the Sheriff when he came out a few days later. "Did I cause problems?"
"Checking to make sure you didn't blow anything else up." He looked around then at him. "Xander, have you ever thought about disability?"
"Yeah but I'm a father, not disabled. I can work. I have worked. Working is nice and I plan on starting to work again this spring." The sheriff just nodded. "Why? Who said I can't work?"
"Son, we've all noticed you're a bit...odd now and then. Plus you've got some bad reflexes when that one girl pounced you from behind. By the way, thank you for not staking her."
"I'm kinda from a very violent town and I was helping bring the death level to a more reasonable level." The sheriff gave him an odd look. "I retired the day they told me I had kids."
"Which is good, son, but you show a lot of bad reflexes even after a few months. I didn't know California was that dangerous."
"I'm originally from Sunnydale. You know that commune next county over?" He nodded slowly. "We had a lot of bad of their sort there. They kept snacking on the population."
"Were you with those British idiots who come to monitor the commune now and then?"
"Well, their girl was there. One was working there, but he got fired for giving a damn about his slayer, and I worked with her and another friend mostly." He grinned a goofy grin. "I started in tenth grade. I come by those instincts naturally."
"Ever think about getting help to calm down from them? Before one of the kids pounces you?"
"I know the kids, Sheriff. I won't hurt the kids."
"Good. That's not what I'm worried about. I'm worried about another teenage girl who thinks they're cute pouncing you to get permission to babysit again." He gave him a look. "Reverend Finet used to be military, he could help."
"We've talked a few times. He knew about my town personally. That's where he found God." The Sheriff went pale and nodded, fussing with his hat. "I'm working on it, Sheriff. Really, I am. I'll be okay. I won't hurt anyone who's not hurting others. I haven't yet. Especially not the kids. I saw enough of that at home."
The sheriff sighed and nodded. "If you're sure. If not, talk to someone before someone gets hurt real bad. All right?"
"I will. I won't even buy or collect more explosives. Horatio would get really mad and he said he'd take Liam from me if I did anything like that again." He looked around then at him. "I'm thinking about adding somewhere for the other daddies to stay when they come down. What do you think about a cabin?"
"I think it'd take you a long time to build one yourself and be more expensive than you think," he offered. "I also think that the trailer place in the next town probably has some smaller, used ones that could be put out on the other side of the pond and hooked to the water lines and such." He gave him a look. "They'd even move it for you."
"That could be really nice. You think it'd be really cheap?"
"Depends. You'd have to check." He saw the water company's truck pull in. "Forgot to pay the bill?"
"Water meter blew last night. One of the pipes broke." The sheriff winced. "I saw the geyser, the kids were oohing over it, so I came out to shut it off." He smiled at the worker. "I shut it off at the emergency handle."
"That'll work. Let me see what happened." Xander pointed so he went to look, wincing a bit. "Ow. That's going be a big fix."
"As long as I don't have to pay for the geyser."
"Nah, boss said that's not right." He grinned. "Thanks for finding it."
"Not an issue. Didn't need the kids to play with that." The guy gave him a look. "I've got all five at the house right now."
"Wow." He looked at the pipe again, the Sheriff coming over too. "Let me call my boss. This is going to take some serious work. It looks like it blew from the coupling into the meter."
"Sure," Xander agreed. He looked at the Sheriff again. "You can get one room trailers?"
"You can, or one bedroom ones. It's out by the Krogers, kid." He clapped him on the back. "You gonna need the motel?"
"Nah, we've got the well pump and the pond," he said with a grin. "The kids loved to swim for their baths today." That got a nod and the older man left. Xander sat down to watch the workers pile into his front yard to dig up the main water line and replace it.
Xander looked up as someone drove up to the farmhouse, jogging back over there. He smiled at Horatio when he figured out who it was. "The kids are at daycare and I'm over here," he yelled, waving a hand. Horatio nodded, walking that way, the pony following him. "Hi. Another vacation?"
"I came to get Liam for a few days," he admitted. "Is that a trailer?"
"I figure it'll give you guys who can only show up for a few days some more privacy with the kids. Plus it'll be good if Danny or someone has to come down and stay. Or even Buffy and Willow when they take vacation time."
Horatio smiled. "Spending yourself poor?"
"No, it was pretty cheap because it's used and so small. It's a one bedroom but I fixed up the living room so it's the main bedroom, then the kids get the regular one." That got a smile and a nod. "Come look. I'm almost done hooking up the water line." He led the way back there. "It needs to be painted and I found some cheap carpet remnants to put down too. That way it's nicer in here."
"Doing this instead of a cabin?"
"Yup." He grinned. "Liam got pouty this morning playing inside while I was hooking things up so I took them to daycare today. The old ladies love them and he walked in and sucked up to one who was eating." Horatio shook his head but he was smiling. "Catty did the same thing. She's a bit fussy. I didn't realize a sauce I was using had some citrus juice in it so she's got a small rash on her back. We've been treating it but she was cranky and Liam didn't want to be her teddybear today."
"She does that when they're both in Miami too," he assured him, looking around. "I'll help if you want."
"Okay. The carpet pieces are back in the bedroom area." He nodded, going to get that so he fix up the living room area. He was the most likely to show up for a weekend so he should make it comfortable. Xander got back to the water pipe. Then he checked the electric. It was hooked up. He double-checked, frowning at it. Then he figured out what was wrong and fixed it. They didn't need a fire out here some night. When he was done he turned on both services and came in to check things. A small leak in a pipe was easily fixed as well. Then he shut off the water at the pipe. "I figure we can turn it on each time it's in use."
"That's a good idea and it'll save you money," Horatio agreed.
"The local Sheriff thinks I should be on disability."
"That's because you do things like blow a big hole in the ground for a pond, Xander."
"It helped when the water meter sprung a leak," he said with a grin. "Besides, I can actually live on the pension at the moment. It's enough to cover all the bills and this stuff."
"Giles paid this year's already and I checked, it's not that high. I'm putting a bit aside each month for that."
"Good." He finished putting down the carpet and Xander helped him move the bed into place. Then the side tables, the tv, and the other things that'd make the living room a combination room. Then the baby stuff had to be brought out from the barn. A small twin-sized bed. A few tables, a dresser. A fan or two. They pulled them in to make sure the electric would hold. Xander turned on every single thing in the place and watched them all. Nothing blew a fuse. Nothing was too heavy draw for the line he had put out. "Fire marshal?"
"Is coming out tomorrow," Xander told him, turning everything off. They came outside and he threw the switch on the electric line, shutting it off. "There." He grinned. "Think that'll do?"
"I think I'll go out there after he checks it out."
"Sure." He nodded. "Let's get the groceries and then the kids. That way we don't have to worry about the food thieves."
Horatio laughed and nodded, following him. "Can we fit everyone in the car?"
"Well, I fit everyone in the car but I barely had room to sit."
"We'll take both cars and split them on the way back." Xander nodded, heading to get his t-shirt so they could go. Horatio watched him jog. He was in a hyper, fussing mood. It was good to see. He got into the hummer and they headed out together. A long stop at the grocery store - because the kids ate more than both of them combined in a week. Then they switched the carseats around so Liam was with him and so was Catty. They pulled into the church's parking lot, letting Horatio smile at the old clapboard building. They walked in and he took off his sunglasses. His son squealed and came pelting over to hug his legs. "I've missed you too, Liam." He picked him up to hold. "Were you a good boy for daddy and the nice ladies?"
Liam beamed and pointed. "Veggie!" he said proudly.
"Very good. You learned a new word." He kissed him on the head, weathering the odd looks. "I'm Liam's other father."
"Oh," one said, looking at Xander.
Xander looked at them. "The Reverend told you I couldn't tell you."
"Mad idiot with a microscope?" one of the older ladies asked.
"One who's fortunately in jail," Horatio told her. They all just nodded at that. "The other fathers haven't been in?"
"Eric's been in once to pick up Catty," Xander told him. "They switched out for that week, two of these nice women were on vacation." He grinned. "Were they good?"
"Fairly so. Rebecca's been a holy terror all day. Wouldn't quit fussing."
"Hmm. We'll call her daddy tonight, see what's going on." He groaned as he picked up Rachel and Catty. "Come on, guys, to the car!" They headed out. Horatio took Catty and put her onto the hummer's back seat until he could hitch her in. Xander got the other three and it was good. He had room to sit again! He waved. "Do I owe you ladies more for today?"
"No, son. You've already paid for the month by fixing that pipe," one of the ladies told him, waving a hand. "Be good kids."
"They try so very hard," Xander said with an impish, wicked grin, earning a laugh. "See you guys in a few days probably. It's about time to mow." He climbed in and headed home. "So, guys, are we happy babies?" he asked. He turned on the radio to the classic rock station, the only one he could get in the car, and the babies squealed and bounced with the music. He smiled, honking at the sheriff as he went past him.
The Sheriff watched the hummer go past. "Huh. Liam's father's up again. Must be having a bad week in Miami." He finished his cigarette and went back into the air conditioned office, calling the local fire marshal. "The Harris boy was just picking up his kids. Guess he's got the trailer hooked up. No, the boy's dad's in. Yeah, that boy, not the Harris boy. I'm not sure if he's got parents or not." He smirked. "Yup, hummer and all. You can ask, he'll probably brag. Miami's awfully proud of their hummers. Sure. Just headed back to the farm. Had to get the kids from daycare. Sucked up to the ladies all day probably. Let me know if he needs help." He hung up and went back to the few pieces of work he had to deal with.
An older man stomped in. "Was that hummer the Harris boy?"
"That was the son's other father." The man gave him a horrified look. "He's not gay, Pete. It's classified but someone decided the boy needed kids and made him some." The other man gave him an even more horrified look. He nodded. "It's sad but they're nice kids and the Harris boy lets the other fathers have them whenever they want. He's been arranging for a spot for them to stay a while when they wanted to keep them up here."
"He's not gay?"
"Probably not. He's a bit confused, thinks the kids means he can't date. He told me about a few of his exes the last time I went out to talk about your niece leaving him more presents. His last one likes to torture men who cheat. Named Anyanka." Pete took a step back. "Reverend Finet knew the boy from before he retired. Thankfully those kids keep him out of trouble most of the time. Except for the pond thing."
Pete shook his head. "Those kids are going to be odd."
"Their daddy's already odd. Their other fathers are nice. Mostly officer types. The one in the hummer is a crime scene guy, like the State Police that come out when there's a homicide. He's the boss in one of the labs in Miami."
"Damn. Well, he'll have brains. They're how old?"
"The oldest are just over two years," the Sheriff said with a grin. "The youngest's almost a year if I remember right. He's only known for a few months. Not too many young boys age twenty-two can handle five kids. He's doing good and the nosy ladies' society at the church is watching over his shoulder to make sure they're all right."
"Fine. Still say the boy's got to be gay."
"Even if he was, it's none of our business, Pete. Maybe he'll settle down with someone nice and they'll have a permanent mommy sort." Pete stomped off shaking his head. The Sheriff grinned and got back to the last few pieces of paper, finding one on his desk. He frowned and called the Harris boy. "It's me. Can I have Liam's father for a few minutes? Thanks, kid." He hung up and grabbed his hat, taking the note with him to talk to him. He didn't know anything about ancient skeletons. Figured a CSI would.
Tony groaned, lifting his head from the bed when his cellphone rang. "Nurse?" he called pitifully. She came in. "Can I please have my cell? I have a feeling it's my daughter."
She grimaced but handed it over. "No more than ten minutes, DiNozzo."
"Yup." He opened it. "Hey, it's me," he said weakly. "Banged on the head, Xander. I'm fine." He smiled. "Rebecca's been fussy all day? Is she all right? Oh, you think she was fussy because she was worried about me. Maybe. Stranger things and all that," he said tiredly. Xander put the baby on. "Hi, Becca." He smiled at her happy babble. "Are you feeling better? Daddy's just fine and everything will be all right, princess. You know what? I'll have some leave time so I can come down to play with you in a few days if you want." He smiled at her continual babble. Especially the word red. "Is Horatio down there?" She squealed and he heard her walking the phone over. "Hey, Horatio. Tell Xander I'll be down for some vacation and recuperation time soon?" He nodded. "She said that. She kept talking about red." He laughed. "That's fine. Banged on the head again. Feel miserable." He yawned. "I'm fine. Really. That'll be nice sure. Thanks, man. See you in a few." He hung up and put his head back down. "My daughter was fussy all day because she worried about me."
"She live with her mother?"
Tony smiled. "Xander might say otherwise but other father." He turned carefully onto his side, seeing Kate in the doorway. "Hey."
"Hey. You okay?"
"I'm fine. Talked to Rebecca. She's been fussing all day since about ten."
"Interesting." She came in to look at him. "Gibbs booked you tomorrow night. Give you time to rest before flying out." He grinned at that. "He also called Taylor. They're sending Craig down too. He'll pick him up from the airport for you and hand him over in the morning."
"That'll be cool. Xander just put up a trailer on the other side of the new pond for visiting parents." She smiled at that. "So I'll be there."
She nodded. "We know." She patted him on the shoulder. "The director tried to come back today."
"Did she see Gibbs and burst out crying again?"
"Charming." He yawned again. "I think I'll nap."
"Sure, you nap, Tony. I'll stand guard." He nodded at that, letting himself drift off. She looked at the nurse. "Any reason he shouldn't fly?"
"I'll ask the doctor. I'm not sure if you shouldn't fly with a concussion." She went to make that note to ask him when he showed up for rounds. If so, he could probably drive.
Kate sat down in the chair, calling their boss. "Gibbs, me. I'm sitting guard on Tony. He talked to Becca. She's been fussy since ten this morning." She nodded. "That's what he was thinking I think. The nurse is going to check, make sure he can fly down. He's fine. Sleeping. Sure. If you need me, I'm here." She hung up, getting comfortable. She even had a book in her purse for when she got bored with Tony's tv.
Tony drove up the driveway at the farm, smiling at the boy and pony who came out to meet him. "Hi, Liam. Hold still," he called. He parked and got out, pulling Craig out. "Here we go." He watched him toddle over to Liam to hug him and play with his hair. Tony smiled. "Looks like you've got another admirer, Liam."
"They all want his hair," Horatio said from the porch. "Head injury?"
"God, yes," he moaned, heading up there. "We're here, Xander." He flopped down on the swing next to Horatio. Liam walked Craig up and gave him a nudge toward his father then ran off again. Tony smiled, picking Craig up to cuddle him. "Did he want his hair back?" He smiled when he saw who was peeking out. "Hi, Becca. Come cuddle me and Craig?" She came out and crawled up with some help from Horatio, sinking into his side to hug him. "I missed you too, princess." He smiled and slowly fell asleep there.
Horatio snuck inside, smiling at Xander. "They're napping on the porch swing."
"I have some days too," he admitted with a grin. "They'll be fine." He gave him a pat on the arm. "What did your boss say when you called?"
"I had better bring the hummer back in a few days." He gave him a look. "Can I bring Liam back?"
"Sure. Not an issue. I'm sure he'd like different people playing with his hair."
Horatio smiled. "Quite possibly. Then we'll leave in the morning and let Tony have the trailer." He smiled and went to find his son's friend. He'd find his son with the pony and the pony was easier to find. He came back in. "Xander, when are you going to clean out the barn?"
"This weekend since Tony's here to watch the toddlers."
"Thanks. Liam's trying to crawl inside one of the milk urns." He went to stop him, picking him up and walking him off. The pony followed them to the pond, making him smile. "You're a very good guard pony," he told her. They sat down beside the pond, watching the water for now. His son snuggled in and got comfortable, falling asleep that way. "You're going to have to see Auntie Yelina again, son. We'll get her over her fussing. Maybe you'll get to see Madison too." He kissed him on the head and his son let out a fuss. "It's me, son. No one's going to play with your hair." He shifted and went back to sleep. Horatio smiled. His son was going to be so vain about his hair when he was older.
Jack O'Neill came up to the gate when summoned, smiling at the man standing there. "DiNozzo, what's up?"
"Nothing much. Came to get Wyatt for Stan since he's in court today. Plus we needed to ask Danny a few questions." Jack frowned. "About two weeks ago I got hit on the head, again."
Jack nodded. "Had that happen. And?"
"Rebecca, my daughter with Xander, screamed and fussed all day until she talked to me. She started about thirty minutes after I got hurt. About when I woke up."
"Ooookay," Jack said slowly. "That's strange."
"I talked to Stan, he said Wyatt did the same thing the last time Daniel got hurt. He called to see if something was wrong since Richard and Wyatt were both fussing and chanting his name. Richard picked it up from Wyatt from what he said. You told him Danny had gotten hurt falling down some stairs or something."
Jack frowned. "That's odd."
"That's not the only time. Don said Selene fussed when Xander was blowing up the pasture to make a pond. She stopped a few minutes after he did. The last time Mac got hurt Craig fussed even though it was just a scratch."
"So we're thinking that the people who made the babies did something, made 'em a bit psychic with their parents?"
"I'm hoping it's something like that," Tony agreed. "Or maybe some funky baby power they all have."
"I can talk to Danny."
"Thanks, man. Anyway, we're staying overnight so I can bring Wyatt home on my way to give Craig back to Mac and Don."
"Sure. Motor lodge?"
"Yeah, how'd you know?"
"It's closest and where Stan stays when he's here." He grinned. "I'll ask Danny and our docs to pull some more blood from Wyatt. He's presently glaring at someone who was bothering his father."
"Sure. I'll be there. Let me know if you need some of mine or Craig's." That got a nod and he left, heading back to the hotel. "Well, let's see what comes up," Tony told Craig, who smiled behind his popsicle. His son was a mess but he was a kid so it was all right.
Jack walked off the elevator and heard the screaming, the alarm, and people running, following the sounds to where Daniel was being held away from a Tok'ra named Anise. "Let me guess, she tried to touch the baby?" he called.
"He is unnatural," she hissed.
"Who asked you?" Jack told her. She glared. "Get out!" He looked at Daniel. "DiNozzo was here." He joined in the holding back and pushing Daniel away from Anise by standing in front of him.
"About?" he growled.
"He said Rebecca fussed from the time he woke up after getting hit on the head last time until he talked to her."
Danny stopped struggling and stared at him. "What?"
"The same as Stan called you because Wyatt was fussing when you got hurt last time."
"I'll have to look into that," he muttered. "Get her out of here before I kill her and her whole planet!" he shouted. "No one touches my son!"
The General had the airmen lead Anise away, sending her back home and went with her to talk to their other contact - Sam's father was one of them. "Jacob?" He looked over and smiled. "Don't. Daniel's pissed."
"Anise tried to hurt his kid, called him unnatural."
"He said if she comes back he's going to destroy everyone."
"I'll talk with the council, have her apologize and stay here for a while. How is Wyatt?"
"He's good. He glared at Anise all day then screamed when she came near him with a needle. Empty, she wanted to take blood."
"I'll deal with her."
"Thank you. Speaking of, can we talk to just you for a bit? Or you and your passenger."
"Jack mentioned some strange things about the kids knowing when their fathers were hurt," he said quietly.
"Interesting. I can come help Janet." He went to talk to someone about Anise then followed him back through the gate. "Daniel," he said, smiling at him and Wyatt. "Is he all right? The Council is appalled."
"I'm glad someone's smart enough to keep the bad scientist device over there," Sam said dryly. "She was going to draw blood, dad."
"I heard. Hammond told me." He kissed his daughter on the forehead. "How are you?"
"I'm good. How are you and Selmak?"
"We're good." He smiled. "Hammond said someone noticed something about Wyatt and his fellow kids?"
"Tony DiNozzo did," Jack said from his seat. "Sit, Danny." He looked at the former general again. "The last time Danny got hurt, Wyatt threw up a fit and got Richard into it. Stan called." That got a slow nod. "DiNozzo got hit on the head."
"He has that reputation," the Tok'ra inside Jacob said dryly.
"His daughter with Mr. Harris threw up a fit when he woke up until she called," Jack told him. "He said he's got other times with Craig and his other father as well."
"Interesting." He looked at Wyatt. "May I hold you?" the Tok'ra asked. Wyatt smiled and went to him, cuddling in. "You're a very good boy, Wyatt." He 'felt' him, making the baby stare at him. "You seem fully human but they were dealing with demons."
"I asked Rupert to come in, he's off-base today with Tara doing some clothes shopping," Sam told him. "I was wondering if it might be from the demon they had incubating the kids."
"I don't know." He sat down with Wyatt, smiling at the boy. "Sam used to be your size too. She did the same thing."
"Dad," she complained lightly. Tara walked in and she smiled. "We have a question about the demons who gave birth to the kids."
Tara nodded, clearing her throat. Being around Daniel had made her learn a lot more self-confidence. Especially when Daniel had nearly went across the desk to grab her stepmother to beat her to death when she showed up and then he went on a four hour rant in three different languages about bad parents. "They're not psychic. We've noticed Wyatt doing it too." Danny gaped. She smiled. "Giles thought someone might've noticed that even a papercut gets a fussy baby Wyatt. On Danny or Jack." She smiled at Jack. "He loves you."
"I love the little guy too," he promised. "He's a good kid. Loving and cuddly."
"So it couldn't have come from the, for lack of a better word, mother?" Daniel asked. She shook her head. "Are there demons who can do that?" She nodded. "Could we get a list, some way to test for them?"
"The main three are all subspecies of one type and it's evil to them. Even drugged Giles said they would've killed themselves. Even strapped down."
"So they can't be, but what about even a single gene?" Sam asked.
She shook her head. "He said they'd know. Even the scent of one of them on another being is enough for them to attack it." They all nodded. "Now, he did say there's one other option and knowing the Initiative it's possible. He's calling someone who might know and he did suggest a full workup just in case. Because the Watchers don't know everything, no matter how much they think so."
"So we can do that," Jack agreed. "Danny, bloodwork?"
"I can agree to that and a DNA swab. What about what you and Willow do?"
She blushed. "I can't do it down here. The gate messes with things. Willow could but she's off on Atlantis."
"They're coming in a week," Danny reminded her. "All of SGA-1 for that update meeting. I can have them bring Willow back too."
"Buffy too? She'll pout. Then they'll have to distract her and whole planets might have to go boom."
"Buffy too," Jack agreed. "As long as she doesn't pinch me this time." He stood up. "Also, DiNozzo's here to take Wyatt back to Stan. He's at the usual spot, Danny."
"We can have Janet draw blood," Sam told him. That got a nod and they headed out. "Dad? Have you ever heard of that?"
"Now and then, Selmak has, but nothing concrete, only rumors."
"Is it possible the Initiative got some alien DNA?" Tara asked quietly.
He looked at her. "Anything's possible when you're talking about the demented, Tara." He smiled at his daughter. "I'm going to beat Anise. Let me know how this turns out." She nodded so he left after getting a few pictures of the baby for those who'd demand one. He walked back through the gate, smiling when it closed behind him. Selmak came out and headed right to the Council, who were most of the ones who wanted pictures. "Danny's handing Wyatt off to his other father today. After some new bloodwork."
"He's unnatural," Anise said from her seat.
"So're we," Jacob said in his normal voice. He looked at the Council. "Jackson was very concerned. She nearly died. He was very serious about destroying all of us if she tries to hurt his son again. O'Neill suggested we keep her over here until she can apologize and mean it."
"I would agree," one of the counselors agreed.
"They are consorting with unnatural things," Anise shouted, standing up. "We should not be allies."
Jacob looked at her. "Since when have you considered them allies? The last time I saw you considered them experiments." She stomped off. He looked at the council again. "New pictures of Wyatt as well." He smiled and walked off. It was handled. She wouldn't get near Wyatt again.
The council members passed around the pictures, smiling. They didn't have children and it was something they all missed about their people.
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