Xander looked up as a beam came down in his front yard, frowning and walking out to the stairs. "Who the hell are you?" he asked the woman coming out of the moving, flying rings. "You don't look like a Willow or a Buffy."
"I've come to examine the children," she said firmly.
He snorted. "And monkeys fly out of my ass, lady. Not happening. Even if you brought O'Neill with you you're not getting near my kids."
"I will. There's something wrong with them."
He shook his head. "No there's not. There hasn't been and they're perfectly healthy. Their doctor said so."
She snorted. "You're Tauri, how would you know?"
Xander smirked. That was enough for his opinion to be carved in cement. "And here I thought the rumors of Sunnydale were spread throughout the galaxy. My contacts assured me they told others." She glared. He gave her a smug look. "There's no way in hell you're getting near my children so you can traumatize them with your bad boob job, lady. I don't care who you think you are."
"I will and you will not stop me," she said, stepping forward.
"If you think you're that tough, bring it on," he offered, coming off the porch. "You're still not getting near the kids." She snarled and came for him. Unfortunately she was a scientist, didn't have a weapon, and Xander had years of combat in hand-to-hand areas. He finally got her down, staring at her bleeding, moaning body. "Told you so," he said smugly. He looked inside, using that small touch of magic he had to summon the phone. "Sheriff," he asked once he dialed. "I've got a small situation. Someone's coming up to deal with the kids for a few days but I've got to remove this person who just showed up to hurt the kids. No, you can't have this one. She's a governmental problem. Yup, coming for the kids. Can I get you to come out and watch them for maybe an hour?" He smiled. "Thanks. No, Tony's back in DC by now. Eric's should be up within an hour. Thank you." He hung up and went to find some ropes, coming out to tie her up. Then he went to pack baby pictures and a bag of stuff he might need. "CORDELIA!" he shouted. She appeared, giving him a horrified look. He pointed at his prisoner. "Came for the kids. Can we do the blipping thing?"
"I got into major trouble for that, Xander."
Xander grinned at her. "So don't send me somewhere they'd see me. I know Willow's coming in soon. She came to try to hurt the kids."
She blinked then at the woman. "Wow. The other aliens are *smart*." She considered it. "Who's going to watch the tiny terrors?"
"Eric's on his way up but they're napping right now." He called him. "It's me. Someone just came to hurt the kids. I'm going to give her back to her people. The sheriff is on his way out until you can get here. That'll work. Thanks." He hung up and grinned at her. "I'll beg and you can blame me."
"I do it anyway." She shrugged and came closer. "Take her and my hand." He put the bag over his shoulder and put a foot on the woman's stomach, taking her hand. "Breaking major rules here, but here we go." She concentrated and the thing Angel had given her was activated, letting her bring him to where she could be put to good use.
Buffy frowned, looking over as someone sparkly appeared in the mess hall. "XANDER!" she shouted, bouncing up to grab him for a hug. "How did you get here!"
He pointed at the thing under his feet. "The bad alien boob job came for the kids." He looked around and grinned. "Just ignore me. I'm a figment."
"Bloody unlikely," someone called.
"Oh, shut up, Doc," Buffy shouted back. "This is Xander, the one who gives nice presents. You better have brought baby pictures too, Mister."
"I did," he sighed, handing over the bag and hauling the woman up. "Does anyone here know what to do with the bad alien boob job? Before I toss her somewhere liquidy to see if she really is an uncomfortable looking flotation device?" A few of the guys laughed.
Willow stomped in. She paused. "XANDER!" she squealed loudly enough to have it echo, coming over to pounce him. "Who's the horror story of plastic surgery?"
"She came for the kids. You know, you'd figure that aliens would be able to do a better boob job by now. Especially if they're supposedly superior. After all, she gave me the 'you're only a tauri' speech. I'm guessing that's the same one the vamps used to use." She nodded at that, giving him an extra squeeze. "So who wants her?"
"I'll take her. She's technically an ally," a young, dark haired guy said.
Xander shrugged, handing her over. "Then she shouldn't have tried to hurt my kids. Really, really stupid. Is she from the stupid aliens?"
"She's a scientist," he offered. "The same sort that made the kids."
"Ah. That explains that." Xander turned and laid a vicious kick to her side, cracking something very loudly. "Don't come near my kids again. The others might be nice. I'm not known for it. Next time, check the rumors." She whimpered and passed out. "Good. Can we toss her in the water to see if they float? I've always wondered if bad implants float."
"Probably not," he said, handing her off. "To the infirmary, keep her locked to the bed until someone can come get her." He nodded, walking off. "So, you're their friend Xander?" Xander grinned and nodded. "Not to be rude, but how did you get here?"
"Cordy," Buffy said happily, pointing at the glowing being. "She's being a glowy squid girl. Is there any new news?"
"Yeah, Angel's going insane thanks to Wes. Not that we didn't expect it but Wes is picking on him and he's been messing up his hair again."
"That's mean of Wes," Buffy pouted.
Cordy looked at her. "Get over it, Buffy. Please. Do the Powers a huge ass favor and quit lusting after the undead hotty with the bad hair."
"And forehead ridge," Xander added dryly. He grinned. "Angel got pictures last month and sent back a groan. He told me I'm going to warp the rest of the warriors for the Powers by being a happy guy with kids. So I told Spike where he was and where the rest of the toys are." He grinned. "All the annoyance stuff we stole off Jonathan and them were in there." Willow burst out in evil cackles. "He made the same sound for some reason," he said dryly. He looked around then at Buffy. "You can think of Angel with all the hotties here? Are you sick?"
"Tired. Colonel Sheppard makes me train every day. I'm too tired to drool and stare in awe."
Xander gave her a hug. "It's all right. I brought you chocolate cookies." She dug into the bag to get the treats, going back to her seat. He smiled at the waiting young guy. "Let me guess, you're her temporary watcher, Sheppard?" He nodded with a small smirk. "Sorry to barge in but I wanted her *far* away from my kids. I figured you guys would have something that could eat her before she actually got within ten thousand feet of my kids or the other kids they made. It's a flashback to saving the world." He shrugged. He looked around. "Cordy?" he said, frowning.
"She orbed out a minute ago," Willow told him. "She'll probably be back soon."
"Okay. I can sit somewhere and not look at anything." He looked at the Colonel. "Sorry."
"How did the ascended being bring you both?" he asked.
Xander shrugged. "How would I know? I'm a former construction worker and the gear guy from Sunnydale. I know how to cause chaos, not how it works," he offered with a small grin.
"You certainly do. You do realize you're nowhere near home?"
Xander nodded. "Yup. I also know I'm not going to be stuck here." He looked at Willow, who snickered. "Are we using chaos magic?" She quit laughing and slowly shook her head. "Then why is it floating around *everywhere* and infecting even you?"
"Um...." She gave him a horrified look. "How would you know?"
"Ethan sent stuff for Rachel and I've been reading over it. After all, someone's got to teach her how not to blow up the world somehow."
"Poopie." She walked off, dragging him with her.
"Miss Rosenburg, he is not rated to be here," Sheppard yelled, following.
She gave him a look. "If he can fix it, we won't sink again." She looked at Xander. "I'm taking you to meet the guy that Buffy said is like a kid between us. That talk gave me nightmares so fair warning."
"That's cool. Always happy to make new friends. Buffy had baby pictures too."
"I'll get 'em later."
"That's fine. I brought up the small thermo-psychic bomb someone gave me too." Sheppard went running back to the mess. He grinned. "He's a bit paranoid."
"We have evil space vampires."
"Wow. A whole race of Angel and Spike? Do they use too much gel too?" Xander asked as he got drug into a lab. He waved. "Cordy brought me." Someone let out a swear and threw something at him. He caught it and looked at it, picking up a tiny set of screwdrivers and tweezers to fix it. Then he tossed it back. "Push the purplie thing inside it to arm it then run like hell. They're nice. I used one to make the pond." He let her lead him to the panel she wanted. He laid a hand on it then at her. "You can't feel that?"
"I've been doing sciency stuff." She opened the panel. "See, crystals."
Xander looked, then shrugged. "It's humming more off-key than I sing." She grimaced. "You can't..?"
"What is that humming?" Sheppard yelled.
"Okay, answers that question," Xander said, reaching inside to tap the crystal. It was warm. "It's overheating too. Do we have a replacement?" She got up and got one, letting him have it. He slowly shifted, looking at it. Then he tapped the top of the crystal. Somewhere something ground together in a bad mechanical sound. "Huh. We've got bad wires too." He looked at the new crystal. "It won't fit, Wills. This one has a screw bottom." He pointed, fiddling with it until it hummed better. The grinding happened again. He got up and traced it, finding a maintenance shaft to crawl up. "Lights please?" he requested. Willow created a small glowing ball for him to use. He carried it up with him, looking at the wiring. Then he came back down and got what was obviously a weapon. "It work?" Everyone shook their heads, giving him worried looks. He sighed and took the scientist's sidearm, making him shriek. "Not like I'm fucking you, dude. You have something chewing on the wires." He got back up there and three shots later it was dead. He kicked it back down. "It might even be edible." He made room as the very upset scientist came up the ladder. "Hey." He pointed. "It was nibbling on this. That looks like an electrical line to me. The pale white one is clearly higher energy. It feels like chaos magic to me." He handed back the gun. "Here, before you turn any more red in the face and pass out. I'm not carrying you around. Someone would say something, namely Willow."
"Who are you?" he demanded.
Xander grinned. "Xander. I'm the one who sent Willow and Buffy presents." He gaped. "I had to bring up the bad flotation device alien who was trying to hurt my kids. I had Cordy bring me. I don't know why she brought me here. Going to Danny or Jack would've been closer. But I guess she would've gotten in trouble again. She said she did the last time she helped me when I had to help rescue the director of NCIS." He looked at that line, putting a hand on it. He heard the purr around him and looked. "She's alive?" He nodded. "Have we had a doctor look at her?"
"She's not that sort of alive."
Xander looked at him then took his hand and put it onto the same line. "It's a pulse." He grinned. "She's alive and like a cyborg but she's alive. She's putting off and using chaos energy too." He moved on, snapping his fingers. "Any wires? You've got a major break here."
"I can fix those in a few minutes. Get back here. I don't have a light." Xander rolled it back and moved on. "You can't see!" he said angrily.
Xander glanced back. "I'm still a night person and I still hunted with those two hot girls downstairs." He kept moving. "Besides, I hear something moving up here." He kept going, finding the thing hiding in the shadows. "Huh, what are you? Yo, angry one? What's with the dark, scowly thing in the cloak?"
"Get away from that!" he shouted. "John, Wraith!" he yelled, backing out. "It'll kill you."
"Everything I date wants to kill me. You notice I'm single but still here?" He looked at it then did the simple thing, knocking it out. It was too hungry to do much anyway. He drug it back and tossed it down the ladder too. "There you go, Willow. It was resting against some of the power lines."
"Thanks. Really." The sound of a plasma shot. "Ah! Better. Any more, Xander?" She crawled up, looking around. "Wow." She laid a hand on the same place. "This is kinda like the Buffy bot, huh?" Xander grinned and nodded. She closed her eyes and chanted something, lighting up the walls. You could see a scratched in diagram. "Would that help?"
"How did you do that?"
"It's using chaos magic. She's using chaos powers. It feels like family to her." Xander came back to look, pointing at something. "Grinding probably. I heard it earlier." The purr came back. "Good girl." He stroked the wall. "Let us know if you need more repairs, girl. I don't think they're psychic." A few of the scratched spots lit up more. "There ya go."
"I cast a checking charm. That's where the bad spots in the wiring are," Willow told him. "Oh, Doctor McKay, this is Xander. Xander, this is Doctor McKay. Buffy says he's like the kid between us."
"That's kinda cool." He shook his hand. "I should probably go beat Cordelia until she comes back. I left Eric with the kids."
"You know you can't...."
"Dude, the only ones I talk to are the local sheriff, the guys who have other kids in the group, and myself. Who else would believe me? The Sheriff thinks I should be on disability after I blew a hole for a pond." The other guy let out a small moan. He grinned. "I'm like that. That's why Horatio made me send Willow and Buffy the toys." He looked at her. "You're taking good care of them, right?"
"There's a whole lot of Marines who worship your name because you sent them your toys," she promised.
Xander grinned. "They don't have to *worship* me but it's nice to hear someone's taking good care of my former babies." He looked at the confused scientist. "I'm the Xander that used to hunt with them. I was in charge of our weapons cache because Giles doesn't like higher than crossbows and Buffy sometimes needed things." He grinned then looked around. "At least you guys don't have any of the worm things. They've been bad about spreading rumors about Danny and Jack again."
Willow gaped. "The little subsonic worm thingies that're like you found in the Xanth books?" Xander nodded. "Oh, shit."
He laughed. "They're in any solid rock surface, Willow. Of course I knew who Danny was. I nearly bowed to him for causing the same sort of trouble I can." He grinned at the amused looking scientist. "In a more mundane way. Who else could have a love spell backfire and turn every woman in town but the one he wanted into a raving, chasing, drooling pack of women after me to either sleep with them or kill me if I wouldn't?"
"I hope no one else," Willow said grimly.
Xander shrugged. "I haven't done it since then. I do learn."
"Good. That's very good." She looked at the pulse tube. "It's slowing down." Alarms started.
"That's a combat reaction. Your pulse slows as you take the deep breaths preparing for battle." Xander shooed. "Let's go. I don't want to be in a tiny tube if we're under attack, people." They nodded and he slid down first, looking at the Marines gearing up. "Geeze, you guys act like you're us." He looked at Buffy. "What can I do?"
He snickered. "Remember the last time you told me that?"
"Yeah. You stopped the person who was going to blow up the school while we were working on closing the hellmouth. How are you doing chaos magic?"
"Ethan sent a primer for Rachel. I've been reading it over so I can teach it to her when she's older. Since then I've been more able to tell what sort of magic is going on." He shrugged. "It helps. There's a demon commune in the next county but they're all comfy and peaceful sorts. The one time someone came who wasn't the Sheriff called and I staked. It was nice." He looked at the screen showing the flying things. "Is that a neutron engine or sonics?"
"Not really sure," Willow admitted. "Why?"
"Pull a Noriega?" Xander suggested. "Counter their waves to knock them out."
"That's evil," she said grimly.
Xander gave her an odd look. "I'm not evil. Today. I got to sleep last night. Even Catty got to sleep last night." She laughed. "They're teething!" He walked out to grab something and worked on it on the way. One of them flew overhead, letting him stare. Then he went back to fiddling with it. The next pass of one of them he tossed it up and watched it stick. "I love magnets." The thing started to rock, then plummeted. He jogged over to get the thing and handed it to Buffy. Then a crossbow someone had dropped. "Get it close. It's got magnets."
She attached it to a bolt and shot it at the next flying craft. It too crashed. She grinned. "This is more fun than target practice." She ran to get it and did it to the last one, watching as it crashed too. "Thanks, Xander."
"Welcome, dear." He grinned at the staring people. "Not like I had the money to buy the neat toys. Half the time I had to take them off the things we were hunting or from Jonathan and their evil troop of wannabe dark lords." He grinned at Willow. "I put in the last Harry Potter book." She squealed and ran for the bag to find it and the cookies. He grinned at the menacing military guys. "Don't look at me. I expected Cordy to take me and the bad boob job alien to Danny or someone." He shrugged. "CORDELIA!" She reappeared, looking sheepish. "Potty break?"
"I can't interfere in attacks." Xander pointed. "I saw. Cool work, Xan." Xander just grinned. "Ready?" Xander nodded, taking her hand and they disappeared. She landed them back in the base in Colorado. "Oma said so."
Xander shrugged and looked at the confused, staring people. "Hi. Had to deliver the bad boob job, flotation device alien who came to hurt the kids to Willow and Buffy since Cordry was driving. Otherwise I would've given her to you guys." He waved. "Next time she shows up, I'm going to put my considerable skills at causing hell, chaos, and destruction onto her people." He grinned at them then at Cordy. "Report done."
"Okay." She took him back home. The soldiers were screaming to find out what was going on. "They needed another drill anyway. We were so much tighter at times." She let him down in the living room. "There you go!" She beamed at the kids. "Hi, cuties!" They all stared. "I'm Auntie Cordy. I work for the growly, hair gel king." Catty grinned at her. "You're so cute!" she said, pinching her on the ear. "They're cute, Xander." She beamed. "Have fun." She disappeared. Someone was yelling for her. "What, oh, cranky loud one?" she demanded as she appeared. "I took Xander home. Oma said I couldn't bring him here so I didn't. I was following the rules."
"Not even Xander is allowed on a classified military base, Cordelia," Giles said impatiently, glaring at her.
She shrugged. "Not like we don't all know, Giles. Geez, get with the program. The little worm thingies are all happy with how Jack and Daniel look cute together this week."
"That's still not right."
She beamed. "I'm a glowy squid girl, what do I care about military regs? Besides, no one listens to Xander anyway. You know that. You didn't. I didn't. Buffy and Willow didn't. Who else is going to, even if he wanted to talk? We all know he won't and the blow up doll needed to get away from the kids. So hey, I did the nice thing and brought her where she could get medical attention and not bust everything wide open too. Xander was vicious when she came to grab the kids. Pity but she should've known better. How stupid are her people?" She grinned at Jack as he stormed in. "Hi again. The worms are very happy and one won a good portion of the underground since he bet the right time for you and Danny to look so cute together." He gaped, then slowly shook his head. She nodded. "He did. He was crowing about how cute you two were." She beamed. "So, I took the bad floatation device alien, aka the blow up doll, and got her to someone who could help her since Xander had to injure her severely when she came for the kids. I got Willow a new present so she's not pouting. I got Atlantis help since Xander found out that it runs on chaos energy. Now they appreciate and like the Xander too so maybe his kids can join that project later if they turn out really smart or something. And hey, I didn't break any of the rules Oma put down." She beamed. "I deserve chocolate brownies, if I could eat them." She faded out again.
Jack looked at Rupert. "Is that normal?"
"For Cordelia? Yes, it's either like that or snide."
"Willow said that one guy on Atlantis was like a cross between her and Xander," Cordy called back. "Check the embryos, make sure he isn't one that got sent back."
"Who?" Tara asked from her corner.
"Has to be McKay," Jack said, hurrying down to the infirmary. "Doc." She looked over. "An ascended just said that McKay is like a cross between Harris and Rosenburg. She said to make sure he wasn't one really. Like in storage."
"I'll look on the list, Jack. Why?"
"Doc, McKay?" he said grimly. She shuddered and went to check then. "We can't remove it, right?"
"No, it'd warp history if he is." She heard laughter. "Is he?" she asked quietly.
Cordy appeared. "Don't know. The Powers think he's like that kid too and they're still playing what-if for the next generation's warriors." She grinned at Jack then at her. "One of the worm thingies won a major portion of the underground when he bet when him and Danny were going to get cute together." She faded out.
"That's not right!" Jack called. "We're not like that! I'm only friends with him!"
"Then why do you coo over him holding the baby?" Cordy called back. "Mr. Lust-a-lot, get a clue before I have to drive the clue bus. I can do that after passing driver's ed the fourth time I took it."
Janet went back to her checking, finding that there were three embryos that were listed as Xander and Willow cross-breeds. "The only ones I have listed are female, Jack."
"Test him when we get him back, make sure," he ordered, stomping off to report and start calming people down. What a bad day for Danny to be off and Hammond to be fishing!
Xander grinned at the Sheriff, who looked very confused. "I used to date her. That was Cordy."
"How did she do that?"
"The Powers That Be. She's their messenger."
"Oh. One of those freaky things?" Xander nodded. "Okay. The person from earlier?"
"Not an issue, boy. I'm gonna go take a nap. That Eric boy's in the kitchen calming down. The kids were good for us." Xander beamed and gave him a hug then went to hug Eric too. He walked off shaking his head. Now he knew why the boy wasn't right. "I can't let him date, he'll get more warped. I've gotta warn that one girl off again. Next time he might blow the town."
Xander grinned at Eric. "Sorry."
"Someone wanted to take the kids to experiment on. I kicked their ass. I had Cordy help me deliver them to someone who could kill her for trying to touch the kids. Then I came back via the other stop so we could make a report about what happened. It was Danny's folks."
"Oh." He nodded, handing over a soda. "I'm doing dinner."
"Thank you." He walked off with his soda. "Did you see, I have the trailer done. All you'll have to do is turn on the water and power."
"Thanks, Xander." He looked at the pan he was working on. "Momma will make sure Catty's normal like me," he muttered. "If not, Horatio will." He kept working on dinner. The kids were hungry and so was Xander probably. He smelled like burning air so there had been weapons involved. He'd have to make sure he had sent them all off again to wherever Willow was. In fact, he decided to call Jethro Gibbs now to make sure he did that. He reached for the phone.
"I just gave it to Willow," Xander called from the living room. "Quit stressing, Eric."
"Yeah, sure I will." He decided he'd call him later, from the trailer. It could only help to get Xander more company. He couldn't do things like that if there were people around. Could he?
Daniel walked into the farmhouse a few days later. "Xander, I have a message," he called. Xander came halfway down the stairs only wearing a towel. "If you *ever* show up on another classified base again, especially like that, expect to be handed a uniform, a gun, and then be enlisted for the rest of your very long life. You broke so many laws the president was swearing."
"He did that when I took the director of NCIS back from his assistant-slash-concubine too," he said grimly. But he did grin. "I wasn't driving."
"It doesn't matter. You still can't do that. Even if you can't control her."
"Then how did you want to get the bad boob job alien back?"
"You could've called."
"Then I would've had to kept her hostage for a few days."
"You couldn't bring her directly?"
"Cordy said she got in trouble."
"So you went to *Atlantis*?"
"I was?" Daniel nodded. "Huh. That probably explains why it uses chaos energy and it's alive."
"We knew about the alive part. Thank you for showing them that area with the super rat chewing on the cables too." Xander shrugged, leaning on the railing. "Just don't do it again, all right?"
"I didn't mean to do it then, but Cordy was driving."
"Next time, call us. We'll speed out to pick her up within a few hours, Xander."
"Fine. What if you're not there?"
Daniel considered it. "Then send Cordy with a message."
"She said she's not allowed near you anymore. Oma or someone got pissed."
Daniel grimaced. "Knew I shouldn't have descended," he muttered. "Call first. If she still won't, then try calling again. If not, call the nearest military base, tell them that she's a runaway and she told you she had deserted or something. They'll pick her up and hold her until we get here. Okay?" Xander nodded. "Thank you. Just don't do it again."
"Yes, Danny. I'm sorry."
"That's all right. Hammond took a lot of pepto the next day but all the reports were done. It only left calling the president and having him swear."
"Is he still swearing over me taking out his concubine?"
"Yeah, he mentioned something about you getting in the way too many times." He looked outside at the pickup truck pulling in. "There's a truck."
Xander looked. "That's Sheriff Dinwitty." He opened the door. "Danny got me out of the shower, what's up?" he called.
"Haven't heard from you in a few days. We were worried you were going more insane or blowing another pond, something like that."
Xander shook his head. "No, not really. I've done a bit more decorating out at the trailer. Thinking about putting up a second one." He looked at Danny. "There's a trailer over there for visitation or vacations with the kids." Danny smiled. He grinned at the Sheriff coming up the stairs. "Doctor Jackson, this is Sheriff Dinwitty. He got his son the same time I did."
"Welcome to Georgia, Doctor Jackson." He shook his hand. "Any of the ones here yours?"
"No, mine's in Chicago with his other father. He's a detective up there."
"Ah. That's good I guess." He looked at Xander. "The woman's league at the church wants to know if they can have the kids again so they can try to keep them straight and normal."
"I'm perfectly normal," Xander pouted.
"Son, don't make me mention the pond again," he sighed, giving him a look. Daniel laughed. "That nice Gibbs boy did the same thing." He looked at Xander again. "They sleeping in?"
"Yes," Xander said with a bright, happy grin. "They didn't want to sleep last night. Catty wouldn't sleep until three. They're horrible. So yeah, if I can afford it, they can go to daycare today."
"Thanks for that. Thinking about school yet?"
"I sucked in school," Xander said gently. "I'm hoping they got their other fathers' brains."
"Uh-huh." He looked at Danny. "Staying for a few days?"
"Maybe. I came to yell at Xander for the day you had to babysit."
"That's a good thing. Was that woman a demon? I've seen some ugly ones with bad cosmetic surgery before but really."
"Um, no, she's not demonic."
"Pity. Then it could be excused. She really should get them fixed. One looked lopsided." He shrugged, looking at Xander. "How much do you pay to put them in daycare a day?"
"Twenty a day."
"If I have to, I'll spot it to you so you can mow. I saw snakes again."
"I can do that too. I probably have it, I just have to dig out the checkbook and write the water bill out first." That got a nod. "Thank you for checking."
"We love that you bring new and exciting things to the town, boy, but you're still strange." He left, going to tell the ladies they'd probably get their wish. Someone had to make those kids normal.
Danny looked at him. "You're living on the pension check?"
Xander nodded. "For the moment. I'll start working in the spring when they're a bit older, there's construction jobs again, and everything around here is fixed."
"I guess I can understand that. Let me call home to tell Jack I got here. By the way, the worms are wrong. He coos over Wyatt but we're not together." Xander shrugged. "Fine. Just so you know."
"Not like I care if you're dating aliens," Xander said dryly. "Though I would see if you needed help if it was *that* alien in particular. Oh, and Buffy said she's too tired to scope all the hotties. That Colonel Sheppard guy keeps her in training most of the time."
"It's probably good for her since she didn't have the traditional boot camp as a foundation. Is she going on missions?"
"You know, we didn't get to talk that much. I figured out it was using chaos magic, Willow drug me to look at something. I played with a crystal that was humming off-key, then I found the rat nibbling the wires and shot it. Found something hiding in the same tube and let Willow or someone shoot it. Showed the guy that Willow said was like a son between me and her that it had a pulse and it was chaos energy, then there was an attack so I Noriega'd something to make them crash."
"Noriega... you use sound waves?" he guessed.
"Yeah, countered their engine and made 'em crash." He heard a giggle. "That's Liam. I've got to go save my shower. Be right back." He hurried up the stairs to get the kids out of the bathtub and finish his shower. Even if Liam did sneak back in and climbed in with him to get his own bath. "Sure, you can shower today, Liam." He cleaned him up too and got them both out and dressed, sending them down to deal with Danny. He cleaned up the mess where Rebecca stripped her dirty diaper off and walked around without it on for a bit, then headed down. "Sorry, Rebecca decided she didn't like her dirty diaper so she took it off and decided the walls would clean her butt for her." Danny grinned. "Thinking about Wyatt and all your books?"
"Probably," he agreed, cuddling the kids. It was nearly as good as his own. "Can Jack come down?"
Xander shrugged. "What do I care? It's nice. He can help mow or something. Want coffee?"
"Please." Xander went to start some for them while he distracted the kids. He came out a few minutes later with two mugs and a large bowl. "Microwave?"
"Cooked while I made the coffee." He waved a fork. "Eggies." They let Danny and his coffee commune while they came to snatch bites of breakfast. Catty swatted at Liam when he reached in at the same time but a scowl stopped that and they all ate, even Rachel, who was younger. He saw Rebecca reaching for her diaper. "Don't you even think about it, Bec. Daddy Tony would scowl and have Uncle Gibbs scowl too." She pouted but quit trying to get her diaper off. "We'll work on potty training soon, guys." They didn't care, they grabbed more eggs and went to play with Danny. They hadn't gotten to play with him in a while. Xander finished off the eggs, picking up Rebecca when she came over. "What is with your diaper? Are you suddenly a naked girl?" She pouted at him. "Want me to call Daddy?" She beamed and patted him. He picked up the phone and dialed. "Here."
"Dada!" she squealed when she heard his voice. He sounded tired. "Sweepy?" She giggled. "Loves! Dada! Pony!" She beamed at Danny. "Pretty, dada, eggies, loves." She giggled again. "Loves." She handed the phone to her other father and wiggled down to pet Liam again.
"She was pouting when I mentioned you as a reason why she shouldn't take off her diaper again," Xander said in greeting. "Danny's here. Why?" He listened. "Tell him I wasn't driving, it was Cordy. She was following her orders. So no nagging. Oh, and tell him the Sheriff wants to have the kids in daycare today so the women there can make them normal instead of my kids." He grinned. "What? Well, I took your boss back from his concubine. Tony, until this spring all I have is the farmhouse and the kids. If he wants me to be unbored, tell him to send me something to do." He laughed at the suggestion. "Well, I have had someone who left shoes on my porch," he admitted. "And someone left towels too for some reason. I'm thinking it's the same one who left me the dead squirrel. This time she's suggesting we go swimming in the pond I guess. Oh, trailer's done. So come on down." He hung up and got down to play with the kids.
"Want me to drive them down?" Danny asked.
"No, I need to switch to something bigger than my car," he sighed. "I can barely fit them all in the car at the moment." He went to get the bills to make out, checking his balance. He had some money but not a lot. It was getting very thin and it was only the middle of the month. He decided to put off the electric bill until the new check came and the kids could go to daycare as often as he needed at the moment. He looked at the son helping him. "Liam, someday you'll have one of these too. Just remember not to overspend and don't date a girl like Anya." He grinned at his father. "Speaking of, I'm going to check my balance when I get downtown, just in case. There's no telling what Anya did and the stuff from Sunnydale should finally be in, maybe. Come on, guys. Daycare!" They all ran for the door, Rachel dragging Catty.
"Let me drive half of them, Xander," Daniel offered gently. Xander grinned and nodded so they went together. The church was old and seemed pretty nice. The workers came out to help and they all patted Xander and kissed him on the cheek so apparently they did like the kids. Xander nodded at the bank. "I can go with you. Not an issue."
"I've only got to do a balance check. Then I was going to head home."
"No bigger car looking?"
"Not this month." He walked that way with Daniel following, shrugging it off mentally. He walked in and saw the scowls. "What? Did I overdraw?" One of the tellers nodded. "How? I haven't done the bills this month and I haven't used my checkbook in a week."
"You had an online purchase," the teller told him. Xander shook his head. "Yes you did." Xander shook his head. She pulled up the records.
Xander pointed at something. "I don't have the internet at home anymore. How would I have done a 'net transaction at two in the morning, and why would I be doing it at a lingerie shop my ex used to shop at?"
She gaped. "Oh, no." He nodded. "Okay, let's go over it with the manager." Xander grinned. "Your friend could go to the bakery to get something to snack on if you wanted."
"I could do breakfast," he agreed. "I hope you get it straightened out, Xander." He left him to deal with that and call his boss to talk to him. Someone had to do something. "General, Danny. At Xander's. I did give him that message. Did you know that he's only getting *one* check for all five kids?" He frowned. "Yeah, and then someone broke into his account. He's getting that straightened out at the moment. That's what I was thinking, plus winter's coming. Not that it's going to get really cold down here but the kids will be needing clothes and things. Well, he did hand over a few hundred thousand dollars of things he found lying around LA and Sunnydale," he said dryly. "No, I think they screwed him and they know it too. Well, he did rescue her, sir." He smiled at the young woman behind the counter. "Can I have a blueberry muffin and a coffee, black please?"
"The wildberry ones were just taken out of the oven," she offered. "Still warm. The blueberry are a few hours old, sir."
He grinned. "Then I'll take a wildberry," he agreed, putting down a five dollar bill. He went back to listening. "Let's face it, General. Xander just solved a very big problem for us. His stuff to his friends solved others."
"Are the people who created the boys coming after them again?" she demanded. He gave her an odd look. "How else would they have two fathers? I may've flunked biology but I have two of my own, mister."
He nodded. "Negotiating on Xander's behalf with some of them. They're only paying him one check for all five kids." She scowled. "That's what I'm working on with my boss. I'm Wyatt's daddy if he ever talked about the others."
She smiled. "He showed me a picture one day when he was pouting. Your boy is adorable!" She got him an extra pad of butter and handed over the creamer to him with a wink. "There you go, sir." She gave him his change then went to make more coffee.
Danny sat down at his table, nibbling on his muffin. It was a very good muffin. "Hmm?" he asked since his mouth was full. "That isn't fair. Stan gets two for Wyatt because I forward mine to him. Sir, I know it's been a while but how much did your wife spend on the girls in a year?" He smirked. "Exactly. Plus he's not working until spring when there's new construction jobs open." He ate another bite. "Bank," he mumbled. "Suspicious activity." He nodded. "Probably. He said it was the same shop his ex used to shop at." He smiled. "You might want to get Rupert to yell at her, yes. It could help. Thank you." He hung up and went back to his breakfast. "These are really good. You make great muffins."
"Thank you." She smiled. "You're military?"
"Special consultant. I'm a languages expert and an anthropologist."
"So you can translate for nearly everyone?"
He smiled and nodded. "About half." She beamed. "I can even understand Xander and his friends when they babble."
"That's a skill. Can you understand Liam when he's babbling?"
"He hasn't babbled at me yet but maybe. He'll grow into his father's babbling style." She laughed and went back to the kitchen while he finished up. By the time he got back Xander was nearly finished with the forms. "That bad?"
"Over two thousand dollars," Xander said grimly. He looked at the manager. Then at Danny. "Did you tell Giles?"
"I suggested that he yell at your ex."
"He enjoyed it sometimes." He finished the forms and sighed, looking at him. "How soon?"
"A week for this part. To finish fixing it, probably within a month." Xander nodded and shook his hand. "Relax, Xander. We've locked it so you have to write a check. No more debit card access."
"Thanks. Does it look like she's been checking the balance?"
"No, there's a denied sale." He grimaced. "Did you dump her?"
"Willow said the words 'I'm a daddy' and she went on a wailing rip about me not supporting her any longer. However could I do that to her? Because I had obviously planned it." That got a grimace and a nod. "So I left her back in Cali when I moved. It was kinder. Of course, if she shows up, I'll make sure no one finds her." He walked off looking at Danny. "Sorry. Anya's in deep crap when I get my hands on her."
"You'll manage it, Xander. They can get your money back for you since you didn't consent."
"Her name's not on the account, it's not anywhere near the account. I don't even have her new address at the house."
"Hell," he muttered. "Well, I can tell you I talked to General Hammond. He agreed that you getting one check for five kids is wrong." Xander grimaced and shrugged. "You could use it."
"I could win the lottery too and I have a better chance of doing that then making NCIS pay me better."
"We'll see. Remember, the general is probably above her and can put some pressure on her."
Xander looked at him. "Then they'll call wanting bloodwork again, Danny. They've already done that once. Not that I don't like Abby and all that, but they're not getting bloodwork."
"There might have been a reason," Danny said calmly. "We think we've found evidence the kids were tampered with a bit." Xander stopped and glared at him. "Remember the day Rebecca fussed and Tony got hurt?" Xander nodded slowly. "She's not the only one who's done something like that. Our people are looking at Wyatt's blood to see where it came from with Rupert's help in case it can be identified as a type."
Xander took a deep breath. "Do you need to take more samples?"
"I'm not here for that, Xander. I'm here to chew you a new one for popping onto the base that way." Xander relaxed and nodded. "I'll see if Janet needs it. She might not." Xander nodded, relaxing fully. "Now what?"
"Now, I've put in for a loan. Now I get to call someone in LA and politely ask them to smack the shit out of my ex-girlfriend, and then I take her to the same court that I heard she got support out of illegally by lying. That'll be tonight when everyone's in bed though." That got a nod. "She's about to be very unhappy." He grinned. "How was the talk with your general otherwise?"
"He said he wants you to calm down and fully retire. Plus, Willow and Buffy will be out here in about two days." Xander grinned. "Buffy wanted to go home for a few days but her whole team there has two weeks of vacation. They've earned it." He pinched Xander on the arm. "Now what?"
"Now, let's go home. I know I have groceries." That got a nod and they went home to mow and finish cleaning the house for once that week. It was hard to clean the house with five kids. Even if Xander did find another pair of girl shoes on his porch. Even Danny gave them odd looks.
Xander looked at the judge. "But we did break up," he said impatiently. "She went on a wailing spree."
"You agreed to take care of her."
"Until the agreement ended. That's why we broke up. That and she cheated on me. I do have the right to terminate any relationship, including the one with her."
"Still, you made her human. You are responsible for her."
"A, that was an accident. B, she could've went back and hasn't."
"D'Hoffryn won't let me," she sneered from across the room.
Xander looked at her. "Guess he knows what sort of woman you really are, Ahn." She glared. "I'm not supporting you. I don't care what court says it. I'm not. I'm sorry, my kids have to come first."
"You didn't have to take them."
"I'm not letting someone else raise my children, no matter how they came to be," Xander told her firmly. "I haven't even been dating thanks to the kids, Anya."
"We're still together."
"Could've sworn I broke up with you while you were wailing about me having kids."
"It doesn't matter. The judge said so."
Xander looked at the judge then at the herald who announced the case. "Say my actual name please. It's illegal not to."
He shook his head. "It's not allowed."
"Willow's going to be back in town in two or three days. Your choice."
"Alexander Lavelle Harris." The doors on the courtroom burst in and a very large demon stormed in.
"You didn't have to bring a thug," the judge said grimly. This would mean the demon's testimony would have to be considered too, not just the two arguing ones.
Xander looked at the demon. "Problems? I saw you waiting outside and walked around you."
"You work with Buffy," it sneered.
Xander nodded. "I did. I retired. I'm a father now." The demon stopped and gave him a curious look. "It happens. She'll be back in a few days. She's planning on heading home during that two weeks off."
The demon sniffed him. "You had a child with a breeder demon," it sneered.
"No, the military used breeder demons to give me my children. Used a scientist too." The demon looked confused. "The Initiative." The demon stepped back. "Buffy's working with the military but she's not with *them*. She's with good people who also save the earth. Is there a problem?"
"Yes. We need her."
"Get the worms to give a message to their family in Colorado. She's at Cheyenne Mountain." The demon gave him a horrified look. "They can pass the message back to her new people and if she can she'll help."
The demon bowed. "Thank you, Lord Xander, Loud One." He backed out and ran off.
Xander looked the judge. "Technically, since that's out of the way and it was worrying me, I never said I'd support her. She started on the 'girlfriend' things after she moved into my apartment without permission. She came in, dropped her clothes, climbed on top, and decided sex equaled a relationship."
"She said you proclaimed her your girlfriend in front of others," the judge said.
"After she did. I went along so we wouldn't have another fight. The same as I was thinking about proposing to her because she was getting pushy. I may've felt it was my responsibility to help her but that ended years ago. Especially when she started to take the money for bills, forcing me to work overtime, and now is taking money from my children. She didn't want my children. She didn't want to live with me and my children. That was her choice. Otherwise she wouldn't have wailed and went on a crying spree. Technically her wailing spree was her breaking up with me."
The judge looked at the papers then at him again. "She said you allowed her access to your funds before."
"She says a lot of things that aren't fully true. At one point in time I gave her my debit card so she could get something to eat. She never gave it back, even when I asked. Even when I had that account canceled. She assumed. It was not my intention to do that. She works, she can support herself."
"I can't afford to live in a good place," she sneered.
"Not my fault, get a roommate." He looked at her. "I make just under a grand a month, Anya. My bills with the kids come up to about seven hundred. I can't afford to keep you. You're more expensive than my pony is." She gave him a horrified look. "Hell, you're more expensive than diapers." He looked at the judge. "I have never had the intention of taking care of her financially. That was her getting pushy again. She should've been paying all her own bills. Before I moved I warned her she'd have to start paying her own bills. She didn't. That's not my fault and I shouldn't be punished. I'm sorry, but that was my children's money and should be going to them. She can kiss my ass. I want it back, I want it back tomorrow, all of it that she took from the beginning of our relationship. I want her to not be able to come near my family, no matter what generation it is."
The judge grimaced. "I can not make her do that."
"Yet you magically got her into my bank account," Xander said dryly. "She gives it back or I'll expect her to work it off helping me with the kids. Her choice, or yours."
The judge grimaced. "Which would you prefer, Anyanka?"
"I'll never be around those brats of his," she sneered.
"Your loss. Even Cordelia and Angel think they're sweet." He looked at the judge again. "By tomorrow or I'll expect her in a control device at my place at dawn making breakfast and coffee. Good breakfast and coffee since I have a guest from the program where Buffy's working."
"You have a guest?"
"He's babysitting tonight," Xander agreed. "Doctor Jackson is a new friend. Someone made him a son too."
The judge shuddered. "Fine, Loud One. She will pay it all back."
"You can't do that!" she shrieked.
"If he has the authority to take it, he has the authority to give it back," Xander sneered back. "You said he had authority in this matter. You lied to him. Do you guys have penalties for perjury?" The judge nodded. "Are you going to punish her?"
"If you can prove she lied."
"Can someone other than her and whoever's sitting next to her show what happened the day she found out I have children? That way it's not edited."
The judge called in someone to do that, watching the scene. He looked at Anya. "It does appear she lied. It also appears she'll be giving it all back and paying a penalty for using the court in this manner." He looked at Xander. "By thursday."
"As long as it all comes back. From the moment she became human."
The judge nodded. "That is vindictive but reasonable." He waved a hand. "Go. Leave this realm before you taint it with the chaos that flows around you." Xander nodded and left. He looked at her lawyer. "That would include your fees. If you hold her liable for it that's after the court gets their punishment. Pay the man, do it by thursday in human weeks, and I do mean this one." He banged his gavel and the courtroom faded out, leaving them stranded. Anya could rant and rave all she wanted. She was stuck. They could sell her to pay Xander back if she didn't. She burst out crying and huffed off. The lawyer tagged her so he could find her later. She was human so she had a soul again. He could use that in payment. Or something because he was sure she was...creative being a former demon.
Xander groaned, waking up on the couch. Danny handed him a cup of coffee. "Thanks. Problems?"
"No. They were good. It settled?"
"Yeah but you might want to warn Buffy she's going to get a request as soon as she hits Sunnydale again. There was a demon looking for her on the demonic court realm." He sat up, sipping his coffee. "She's got to pay me back for every single cent she ever took from me by thursday. Which means I'll probably get it next month." Danny smiled. "I know, success is very sweet in this case. You sure they were good?"
"They were excellent, Xander. They're still asleep. All but Liam, who went to play with the pony again." He sat down across from him. "Tony went to talk to someone about the payment thing. He thought you were getting a check for each kid." Xander gave him an odd look. "You did save her."
"She hates me. The demon used worshiping me to torture her." He took another drink. "As long as I get one I'll be fine, Danny. Really."
"Xander, shut up," he told him. "You complain more than Jack does." He sipped his coffee, smiling when a naked Rebecca snuck down the stairs. "Where is your diaper?"
"Room!" she said proudly. "Clean!"
"Does that mean I have to wipe off your walls or do laundry again?" Xander asked, picking her up to cuddle. He could wash if she was still dirty. He got up to check her old diaper and room, finding the diaper mostly dry. He looked at her. "Did you go potty?" She squealed and pointed so he looked. "Well, someone went potty. Good girl. We'll go make toasties for breakfast as a treat." She squealed again and let herself be put into pull- ups for the day and then a jumpsuit looking outfit. She loved it and it was easy to get her out of. "Now, next time you have to go potty, tell me so I can make sure you're doing it right, okay?" She beamed and nodded, holding up her arms so she could be carried back downstairs to help with breakfast. It was a great treat to help Daddy cook. She pointed and grunted at the phone. "Sure, we'll call Daddy." He picked it up and dialed on his way into the kitchen, handing it to her. She squealed and babbled. "She went potty without prompting and had a nearly dry diaper when she woke up," he called over her babble. He looked back at Danny. "So, anything odd happen?"
"Would that be like the girls shoes that ended up on the porch?" Xander sighed but nodded. "An admirer?" Xander grimaced but nodded. "Well, you do make a good mother, Xander." Xander swatted at him but shook his head and went back to making breakfast.
In DC, Tony smiled at that news. "That's a good job, Becca. Daddy's very proud of you. He'll get you a present as soon as he's not locked to his desk anymore. Yes I will. I'll even try to come down soon. Such a good girl. Even better than Liam is because you did it first. Good girl." He smiled. "Hand the phone back to Daddy. Xander, I promised her a present and a visit soon." Xander quipped and said that'd be fine. "Thanks for the happy news, man. Miss you guys. Oh, Danny's down? That's good. Sure. Tell him I said hi." He hung up and looked at the man who had handcuffed him to his desk. "Rebecca is potty training herself," he announced. "She woke up dry this morning and went potty before presenting her naked butt to her father. The other morning she took off her diaper and cleaned her butt on the wall but she's learning."
McGee smiled. "Good. It's good for her. A very important step." The agent who was holding them hostage glared at him. "He's one of the ones we had to give the daddy calls to."
The agent looked at Tony, who used his free hand to hold up the pictures. "Poor man."
"One's Xander's," he said happily. "The one who rescued the director."
The agent shuddered. "I've heard about him." He looked around then up. Then the elevator dinged and he went to check, screaming when he was pulled in and eaten.
Tony looked that way. "What are you?" he called. He dialed when the panting, hairy thing came out of the elevator. "Xander, four feet, hairy, dark red, panting, drooling, ate the guy holding us hostage?" He listened then nodded. "How do I subdue it? Thanks." He hung up and got to work on the handcuffs.
Willow appeared and kicked it in the side. "Bad! Bad, demon dog! Sit down!" It whimpered and sat, giving her a begging look. "Bad puppy! Go home!" She pointed and it disappeared. "I mean it, I can still feel you and this is the father of Xander's baby!" It disappeared and she came over to pick the handcuff locks. "Thankfully I was checking to see if I could come see you," she said happily. She got him undone, going to get McGee. "There we go." She smiled. "Now, what else is going on?"
"I need to talk to the director because she only gave Xander one check for five kids," Tony told her. "Xander recently saved her."
"I heard about that. Let's go." She beamed. "I can go back to my debriefing in a few." She called Jack's phone number. "It's me. There was a demon puppy at NCIS so I came to take care of it. Going to talk to the director about Xander. Thanks." She hung up and walked him up there. "Did you get to hear about the bimbo flotation device lady who came after the kids?"
"I heard the swearing," he said dryly, giving her a look.
"Cordelia gave him a ride," she said happily. It wasn't her fault. She beamed at the director. "Hi, Willow Rosenburg." The woman whimpered, staring at her in horror. "Did you realize that they're only giving Xander one check for all five kids? Even though he's adopted one that wasn't his?" The director slowly shook her head, looking at Tony. One of her hands was covering her stomach but neither one paid any attention to it.
"He is," he agreed. "Mac gets four for his three. I give him mine for Craig. Don gets one for Selene and Emily. Mac gets one for Craig and one for Emily. It's not really fair. Especially not with him having adopted Rachel."
"Not to mention Xander being a big help to the project I'm working with. He's sent me all sorts of stuff thanks to Gibbs helping him see that it's not good around the kids. He even showed up once."
"I heard the swearing," she said calmly. "You're right, that isn't right; I'll talk with someone."
"Thank you, Director. That's what I wanted," Tony said happily. "The guy holding us hostage got eaten but Willow drove the demon dog off." He walked her off, finding Kate spraying perfume around. "She banished it, boss."
"I made it go home. It was a bad puppy. Even if he was probably following the guy. Guys like that taste really sweet to their kind. They like to find Xander to get petted too." Gibbs gave her a horrified look. "They hate kids. They'll never go near the kids." Tony's desk phone rang. "They won't nibble on the good guys or the pure or the innocent. Though Tara said one's come to visit her a few times. Apparently she pets like Xander does."
"DiNozzo," he answered. "Sure, I can send her back. Demon dog she banished. Thanks for the lending, O'Neill." He hung up. "They need you back, Willow." She waved and disappeared. He handed Kate the lysol. "Here, then we'll get some holy water." That got a nod and she went to work with that instead of the perfume. "Slight holdup in getting that information to you, boss. Probie?"
"Going to be sick," he noted.
"Do that, come back and see if you have anything on the case," Gibbs told him. He nodded, jogging off to get sick in the bathroom. "DiNozzo?"
"It was in the elevator. The elevator dinged, the agent went to check, the dog ate him, boss. Willow said guys like that smell like wet alpo to them. She called it a bad dog and made it go away."
"Fine. Take a walk, come back in twenty after you're calm." Tony nodded, going to do that while he got Ducky to clean up the remains of the body. That was all he needed to know about those things. He'd have to ask Xander how to keep them away from his team and out of the office.
Buffy got out of the car, looking around. "Wow, the natives of that place with the hellmouth were right. Less people equals a steadier hellmouth because it can't feed off them." She smiled. "It's probably safe." The guys got out and she pointed. "That way used to be the college and the Initiative's base. Xander got to blow the base up and it collapsed part of the college." She turned and smiled at the young girl standing there. She felt familiar. "Faith went?"
"We heard you did," she said dryly. "How did you make another one, Buffy? The Watchers will want to know."
"It must be where we went through the modem wormhole thingy," Buffy said quietly, thinking about it. That's how Willow had explained it to her.
McKay looked at her and nodded. "That would reorganize your molecules. It could make you read as dead if that was important to the process of calling another one." Sometimes he wondered if even *he* could teach the girl anything.
"What he said," Buffy told her. "So, how's my town and my mom?"
"Your mother's fine. My Watcher introduced us and I've been going to her for mom-type advice. She told me to dump my boyfriend last week." She grinned. "Hi, I'm Tamara. I'm the slayer called after Faith." She shook their hands. "Is Buffy being good? The Watchers will want to know."
"Most of the time," Sheppard agreed. "It looks like the town mostly died when the college fell in."
"Thankfully. We went from a twenty-eight percent homicide and missing persons rate to under three." She beamed. "Oh, the demon who was looking for you came here and explained it to me. I sent him to Angel and he's handling it since it's in LA. He's been a big help too but I can see why you had the lusties after him." She took the senior slayer's arm and walked her on. "Come on, guys. It's still not totally safe around here."
"They're okay with the stakage stuff," Buffy assured her. "Heading to Mom's, guys." They followed, just in case. She beamed at the junior slayer. "Did they reopen the high school?"
"It's on the edge of town. Someone decided having them rebuild it on top of the old one would lead to problems and possessions. Some Hindu priest guy got called in and he said so. Since he's my Watcher...." She smiled at her, getting a laugh back. "Anyway, we're doing pretty okay. Most of the stores are still open. Especially the bakery. Anya's still running the Magic Box but she's been Queen Cranky for the last few days. We heard she tried to get the demon courts to steal money from your buddy Xander. Xander fought back and won. Anya's been pouting about her upcoming fee payment because she shopped all the money away. Took nearly two grand from him." Buffy winced at that. "Yeah. Not a happy daddy guy." She paused to look at her. "My watcher thinks that one's a slayer in the making."
"If so, Xander can train her," she said firmly. "He knows the drills very well."
"I pointed that out. The Watchers don't want to bother him all that much. They think he'll do to them what the demon worms said he did to the bad alien bimbo who was dumber than Anya."
Buffy nodded. "He did kick her ass very prettily for coming after his kids." She shrugged and they walked on. "The demon worms heard about that?"
"Yup, heard the gossip and you *know* the chaos beings love to hear about what Xander's doing most of the time."
"Good point. I never did figure out why they liked him." She shrugged. Then she pointed. "Guys, that's where the only non-demon bar in town is. That's the Bronze. We spent many nights there before and after slaying." She grinned back at them. "They've got pool tables too."
"They just bought a new one," Tamara agreed happily. She waved at someone. "My watcher." Buffy grinned and waved too. The man nearly dropped his cup. "Ask Rupert what happened," she called. They kept walking, taking her to her mother's house. "Here you are. I didn't even call ahead so you can squeal and pounce," she said with a wink.
Buffy hugged her. "Come get me tomorrow, Tamara. We'll see how things have been." That got a nod and she skipped off. "Guys, come on. They wouldn't dare touch my porch." She snuck up the stairs and inside, hearing her mother in the kitchen. She snuck that way and pounced, making her mother scream. "Hi, Mommy."
Joyce turned around, beaming. "Buffy!" She hugged her. "Oooh, are you back for a long visit?"
"Probably just a few days and I brought half my team with me, but not Willow. She's doing something on base with the magic stuff and Giles." She led her out. "Colonel Sheppard, Doctor McKay, this is my Mom, Joyce Summers. Mom, this is my team's leader and uber-geek that even Willow has to bow at the feet of for his geekiness."
"Charmed to meet you, boys." She gave them each a hug. "Come into the kitchen. I'm making dinner."
"We had a late lunch, you don't have to go to any trouble for us," Sheppard said with a little boy's grin.
She swatted him on the arm. "Hush, now! I never get to fuss and Xander's kids are too far away to fuss over them." She drug them into the kitchen, adding more food to dinner. "So, you do what, Doctor McKay?"
"I'm an astrophysicist. Lead one on our project."
She smiled. "Then Willow's probably in awe. She's been the top genius around here for a lot of years. It'll do her good to learn from you."
"Mom, he said that Willow-babble was a new language and he'd have to learn it."
She looked at her daughter. "It is, dear. It took me a while too. Hers and Xander's." She looked around. "There's the new baby pictures on the counter, Buffy."
She looked then pouted. "You have more current ones."
"It's hard to get them to you."
"I saw him recently thanks to Cordy and he still had earlier ones than those."
"Those only came last week, Buffy. They're from a birthday party." She smiled. "You're not allergic to anything, right?"
"No, ma'am, not me," Sheppard said. "We spend a lot of time eating MRE's. Doctor Mckay is allergic to citrus."
"Mom, they're *so* gross. I mean, the toilet paper was better than one of them's dinner once."
"They're not meant for taste, but for nutrition, like tofu," Joyce said gently. She smiled at the men and got back to work. She almost felt sorry for them because they were putting up with her very mercurial and odd daughter. She made sure they had a good dinner and places to sleep for taking care of her baby too. It was the least she could do.
Jack walked into the office Wyatt was sitting in, wailing. "Fercryin'outloud, can't we pick him up or something!" he shouted. "Don't let him lay there and scream." He picked Wyatt up. "What's wrong, little guy?" he soothed. The baby continued to scream. "Okay, someone find Danny, now." They ran to do that while he sat down in the desk chair to hold him. He called Stan while he waited. "It's Jack. Wyatt's having another of those screaming fits. You okay?" He listened to him say he was and be put on hold so he could call where Richard was. Danny came jogging in. "I'm on with Stan, he's checking on Rich. He still won't quit."
"That's not colic crying," Danny agreed, taking his son to hold and putting the phone on speaker. The music ended. "Any idea what's going on, Stan?"
"No, not yet. Let me try DiNozzo. He's got contacts to find the rest of us." He hung up and dialed there.
Tony answered the phone, looking concerned. "DiNozzo. Hey, Stan. Let me guess, both babies are wailing in misery?" He nodded slowly. "Yeah, I talked with Mac and Don, they're all okay up there too. I can't get Xander but I got Graham. He and Riley are fine. Yeah, exactly. Let me try to call down there again. Hold on." He put him on hold and used his cellphone to call. He let it ring until the machine picked up. "Xander, Tony. Call us. The kids are all throwing a simultaneous fit. We don't know why." He hung up and got back with Stan. "Still no answer at the farm. I don't know what to do. I'm about to fly down there. That's not a bad idea. Thanks, man." He hung up and began looking for the card. "Boss, where did I put Dinwitty's number?" he called when he saw him.
Gibbs gave him an odd look. "Are the kids all right?"
Tony looked at him. "No. They're *all* screaming at once." Gibbs frowned. "Like Rebecca did when I had my last concussion, boss. Only all of them. There's no answer at Xander's and we've talked with everyone else. Stan just called." He went back to searching. "Do you have it?"
"Let me check." He hoped it was nothing. He really hoped it was just a mass case of colic.
Jack looked over at a movement in the corner. "Tara!" he yelped, getting away from the beast standing there, Danny and the baby behind him. "GILES! TARA!"
Tara came jogging in and paused, looking at the dog. "Hellhound." She knelt in front of it, letting it sniff her. It was still a young one and she wasn't prey. She was too pure to be prey. "What's wrong?" It let out a baying howl. "Hey!" she snapped. "Tell me what's wrong!" She stared at it until he growled and came over, staring into her eyes. She blinked at it, then at Jack. "It's Xander." Wyatt let out his own howl of misery. "Oh, damn." She grabbed the phone and dialed the number she had memorized, in case of emergency. "Sheriff, this is Tara Maclay, a friend of Xander's. We think he's in trouble. All the kids are howling?" she asked. "They're not in daycare today? No, all the *other* kids are howling and there's a hellhound here that likes Xander who's also howling. We need someone to check him if you haven't seen him in a bit. Please?" She smiled. "I'm with Danny Jackson. I can call the house in about twenty minutes. Thank you." She hung up, looking at the dog. "Go protect the children," she said firmly. "Xander needs them protected. Don't touch the sheriff." The dog disappeared in a cloud of foul smoke. "Cordelia!" she bellowed, standing up.
Cordy phased in. "What?"
"Xander's having an issue?"
"Yeah, of the kidnaped variety. The kids are fine. Only Liam's awake. Willow's on his couch."
"She didn't wake up when we called," Danny told her.
Cordelia nodded. "Gas can be that way."
"Who has him?" Jack asked.
She shrugged. "Not a clue, man. I wasn't watching then. I got a hint of problem when Angel's new seer freaked out about Liam being the only one awake. I've gotta get back there."
Tara moved closer. "Buffy's in Sunnydale. Get her if Willow's unconscious. Can you?"
She considered it then nodded. "The Powers like the kids. Sure." She left, heading to where Buffy was working out with Tamara. "Yo," she called.
Sheppard looked back at her. "Now I know why we got sent these two."
Cordelia smiled. "They're born and bred for slaying and combat. Buffy, major probs! Someone took Xander, left the kids with a knocked out Willow. No one can get her up."
She ducked a blow and tossed Tamara on her back. "Can you get me there?"
"I can do that this time."
"No, we're all going," Sheppard told her.
"No, you travel the normal way," Buffy said. "I can handle it for a few hours."
"We have no idea where we're going," McKay complained.
"Rural Georgia. Mom has the address." She grabbed her overshirt. "I'll try to be back in a few, Tamara. Warn Mom." She took Cordelia's held-out hand and they disappeared. Unfortunately with McKay since he had been within touching range. "Huh," she said, looking at him. "Okay, welcome to Xander's farm." She saw the man on the porch. "You are?"
"Sheriff Dinwitty. I've seen the boy do that. You a friend?"
"I'm Buffy; this is one of my coworkers, Doctor McKay. What's going on?"
"Boy's missing. The house smelled like knockout gas. I've got a call in to the Feds. We can't wake the other one up."
"I can handle that," McKay said, going to check her over. He wasn't that sort of doctor but he could annoy anyone until they woke up. He looked at the young boy staring at him from Willow's chest. "Is she going to be all right?" The baby sniffled and shook his head. "Perhaps we should have an ambulance for her," he called, moving the baby to another seat.
Buffy came in. "Hi, Liam." She picked him up to cuddle. "We'll find the daddy. Don't you worry." She grabbed the phone when it rang. "It's Buffy." She listened. "Not here, the house smelled like knockout gas. Sheppard's swearing up and down he's on his way here. McKay came with Cordy and I. Willow won't wake up and the kids are still here, or at least Liam is," she reported. Rodney gave her an odd look. "Danny and Tara." She listened. "The Sheriff's called. Here, Sheriff." She handed over the phone and Liam. "Hold him, don't play with his hair. Xander said he hates it." She headed up the stairs once he was uncomfortably holding the baby, checking on them. "Sheriff, Catty and Rachel are here too and won't wake up either," she yelled.
He nodded then hung up, going out to his truck. "I'm at the Ferguson farm. Someone's kidnaped the Harris boy. His female friend and three of the kids are here. Only Liam's awake. Smells like knockout gas. Get here now." He hung up his radio and came back. "Let's move him to the trailer, son. It's safe, he's gotten rid of the snakes. The pony'll follow, it loves him and guards him. Throw the switches to have power and water." He nodded, heading that way. An ambulance followed by two official SUV's pulled in.
Buffy came jogging down. "The two babies are upstairs. Catty's allergic to oranges if it matters. Rachel doesn't have any allergies. Willow's the one on the couch. Rachel's the younger baby." The paramedics ran inside to check on them. She looked at the Sheriff. "Has anyone called anyone like Tony?"
"They're FBI. Kidnaping is their thing," he told her. He got her out of the way. "I got called because someone thought something might've happened. His kids wail when he gets so much as a papercut."
"That's fine," one agent said. "Who else was in here?"
"Me, Doctor McKay, the Sheriff," Buffy told him. She got sneered at. "Not like I'm going to leave the kids in here, dumbass." He glared. "Rodney!" He came jogging over. "Insult them for me. You're *so* much better at it and I only want to kill at the moment." He started on the agent for her. One of the paramedics was bringing down Rachel. "That's Rachel. She's...just over a year if I remember right." That got a nod. "The sheriff said he smelled knockout gas."
"He told us, ma'am."
"I'm a Buffy. I'm an aunt. I'll be calling daddies later." That got a smile and a nod. "She only has Xander so I'll handle her."
"That's fine, if that's what he'd want."
"Probably. I'll look for official paperwork later on." She got out of the way of the one carrying Willow then looked around the living room. "What's with the ho shoes?" she asked. Everyone stared at her so she pointed. "Willow doesn't wear ho shoes. Xander doesn't wear girl shoes. So what's with the clubbing ho, platform shoes? There's eight or nine pairs in there."
"He said he'd been having things left recently," the Sheriff admitted. "We thought it was a girl in the next town who was sweet on him. She left him a dead squirrel once." That got a nod from one agent. The other was still cowering away from the doctor guy. "Hey, Doc, what's your field?"
"Physics. I work with the military. By the way, they'll be called in soon since the young man, who is the father of those children, is under their oversight. Someone can call Gibbs or DiNozzo now or I can let Miss Summers do it quickly. Any questions?" They shook their head. "Good!"
Buffy smiled. "I'll go watch Liam. Did the pony follow you?"
"I haven't seen a pony," he admitted.
"I'll look," the Sheriff promised. He went jogging out to check. That pony was *always* near the boy when he was awake. He came back in, leaning in the doorway. "The pony bit someone and kicked 'em too. There's blood on her hooves." They came out to check and gather samples. He looked at the doctor. "Second button on the phone is NCIS. Call. Now." He went to help with the baby. The girl didn't look too sure about what to do with them. "He's not potty trained yet, Buffy. Only Rebecca is."
"That's fine. I'm sure we can work on that." She smiled and walked out with the baby. "How soon before I can get him in there and cleaned up."
"It's a crime scene," one agent sneered.
She kicked him in the back, sending him flying. "I know that, dumbass. It's also their home. We're staying here in case whoever it is calls. Now, how fucking long!"
"Bad," Liam said with a scowl. "Bad bad!" His father would be so proud of his scowl and making her not swear. He knew he would. He could scowl at the bad things just like his daddy did.
"I know it's a bad word but your daddy has me worried, Liam. Otherwise I wouldn't say bad words. I don't even when bad guys attack me." The agents all stared at her. "I help on the same military project Doctor McKay does. I'm in security." They got back to work and she looked at the Sheriff. "He's calling someone?"
"He's calling DiNozzo. You should call his daddy too."
"I can do that." She went to take the phone from her coworker, listening to the fit on the other side. "Shut up!" she finally yelled back. "You're keeping us from notifying fathers and if there's a ransom demand being called you're keeping that off too! Do shit and quit arguing with me."
"Bad!" Liam yelled louder.
"I know. It's a bad word too," she sighed. She hung up and called another number. "Horatio, Buffy. Xander's house smells like knockout gas. The only one up is Liam and Xander's missing. Catty and Rachel went to the hospital with Willow. Yeah, there's stupid people here. Thanks." She hung up. "Xander said the pony doesn't live in the barn! She won't go in so when you're done turn her loose!" She took the baby back from McKay. "Thanks." She smiled and walked out. "I'm not used to serious apocalypses anymore. We never have these at the base." She walked him back to the trailer, finding the switches on. "Okay, Liam. Can you play in here and be a good boy for me for one half hour? One cartoon?" He beamed and nodded. "That's my good nephew. We'll get daddy back very shortly. Otherwise Auntie Willow can try to destroy the world or something." She shut him inside and went to look over their shoulders. "Would Horatio approve of that?" she asked. The agents all sneered at her. "Liam's other daddy is Horatio Caine, out of Miami. I know he does that sort of stuff too." They gaped. "He's under oversight because someone with a microscope and a grant made the babies. Now, would he approve?"
"No," the Sheriff said. "How soon?"
"He said he's getting someone to fly him and Eric up. He was talking within two hours."
"That'll work. Boys, let's do this for real. I doubt the boy walked himself off." She shook her head. "We may be a small town but Harris has weapons experience. He blew the land to make the pond."
"He's *that* Harris," McKay told them. "Formerly of Sunnydale." He had seen that reaction around the base from some of the people who had heard of their former town. Especially the Initiative people. The agents all backed away from Buffy. "Yes, she is too. We're all impressed with her Cro-Magnon strength and skills. Let's not piss her off further, all right? I've already had to deal with her menstrual cycle madness once this month. It was more than enough." He walked off to call someone else. "It's me. We're fine. He's been taken. Only one of the children is awake. Buffy's threatening federal agents."
"Can the Colonel come help me threaten?" Buffy called after him. "You and he threaten *so* much better and I'm sure he outranks these dweebs."
Cordelia faded in with John and their bags. "Your mother said to find whoever took Xander and to kick their asses plentifully. The Powers are *pissed* and ranting. Nearly as bad as that Gibbs guy. Anyone else I can help with?"
"Get Horatio," the Sheriff ordered. "And Gibbs if you can."
"Can and will," she agreed happily. "The Powers want this stopped before Xander pulls his usual thing. He might end humanity this time so they don't want that." She disappeared, landing in between the shouting people. "SHUT UP!" she bellowed. They all stared at her. "Horatio, I'm here to pick you up. Get shit. Now. Chop-chop!" He grabbed Eric's scene kit, checking it and his gun. "Good enough. Let's go. Hotty one, Catty's in the ER. She wouldn't wake up according to Buffy. She's at the farm. There's idiots in charge, and no, I don't mean the nice local sheriff who thinks Xander's a bit demented." She disappeared with Horatio and the scene kit. They landed in DC. "One other stop."
"Coming," Tony ordered.
"Buffy said Gibbs. There's idiots in charge. Plus, don't you have Rebecca?"
Tony scowled. "I have a sitter at the moment. Boss!" He came out with two kits. "Let's go, Cordelia. Unless we're over the max weight."
"Please, not even close to Xander and the alien bimbo to another galaxy thing." She faded off, taking them with her. "Here ya go," she said proudly. "The Powers are hopping up and down pissed. Fix it before Xander has to rescue himself. If he does he might end humanity and that'd be bad."
"Gentlemen," Horatio said firmly, heading that way. "Move, now." They all glared. He glared back. "None of you are qualified to gather evidence. Get out of my way."
"You're related. The blonde, yappy one said so."
Gibbs strolled over, talking on his phone. "Thank you." He hung up. "DiNozzo, arrest them for pretending to be agents. They were fired last night when they let someone break into a classified weapons storage area for gas grenades. Question them, no bruises."
"Oooh, let me," Buffy said, letting Tony help her walk them off.
Gibbs looked at Horatio. "Do what you do best. I'll back you up." He nodded, getting to work on the pony since it was clear they had been working on her. "Sheriff."
"Gibbs. The house smelled like knockout gas." Buffy let out a shriek and one of the guys yelled. "That didn't sound good."
"That's a 'my ex did something stupid' scream," Horatio said grimly. "Calleigh does that now and then."
"Kate too," Gibbs admitted. He looked the other guys watching. "Well?"
"We're not going near her until she's calm," Sheppard assured him.
"Even he's not that dumb," McKay agreed, walking off. "Liam's in the trailer by himself."
"Good, keep him out of trouble, Doctor McKay." He got odd looks. Gibbs smirked. "I'm the one who had to gather fathers. Did you know you had one, McKay?" He shuddered and hurried off.
"Please tell me it's in cold storage?" Sheppard asked. Gibbs nodded, looking smug. "I'll let him tell Janet to kill it off if possible. Before that kid smugs us all to death." He went to check on Buffy and Tony, who was holding Buffy back. "What happened?" he asked calmly.
"Riley Finn took him," Tony said, handing her over. "Here, you hold her."
"He's cute but not deadly enough for me," she said grimly, getting free. "Thanks anyway."
"You know, Ronon is single," Sheppard joked.
She grinned. "No he's not." She strolled off, going to tell them. "Gibbs, it's Riley. He's been sending the ho shoes too."
"Crap," he muttered. "Any idea where he is?" She shook her head. "Then we can use that to find him. These shoes?"
"In the house, in the living room, by the fireplace." He nodded, going to look at them. She took the pony once Horatio had let it out of the stall, walking her off. "Come on, Liam's in the other house." She walked her over there, letting the pony see the boy through the doorway of the trailer. "Xander always said you're a good guard pony for Liam." She gave her a pat and left her there. "Hey, Doc, it's my ex. He was sending the ho shoes too."
"So he thinks your friend is a girl?" he asked. "Was he born that inferior or was it the meddling of that group he was part of?"
She grimaced. "Not likely. I've seen them both naked." She went to help again but Tony made her help him so she'd be out of the way. "Yes, Tony."
"Thanks, Buffy. Carry them to the Sheriff's truck please?" She nodded, picking them up one at a time to do that.
Sheppard came out with their bags, putting them in the trailer too. "We can share out here for now. At least until they release the house or we know something." McKay just nodded at that, going to look in the kitchen cabinets. Liam walked over and stared at him. "What's wrong, little guy?" He bent down when the baby made grunting and pointing noises, letting him feel his hair. Then the baby walked off shaking his head. "You have very pretty hair too, kiddo."
"His name's Liam and all the girls love to play with his hair. He scowls and swats when they try," Tony told him as he walked over. The pony got in his way. "You know me. Rebecca's mine." She sniffed him then let him pass. "Good girl. Thank you." He patted her on the neck and came in, making Liam squeal. "Hi, Liam!" He gave him a hug. "Did the paramedics look you over too?"
"He was up and wandering when we got here," McKay told him.
"He hates it when people do things without him watching," Tony said with a grin. "It'll be fine, guys. Xander fought with Buffy since he was sixteen or so. He can survive a kidnaping." He handed Liam to Sheppard. "He can follow the pony around if he wants. He often does." He left to get back to work. "Boss, checked on Liam. He's awake and trying to see what's going on with the one guy's hair." Buffy snickered at that. "I warned them he scowled when you played with his back. It'll be fine. Can you get him some clothes and diapers just in case, Buffy? His room has ponies."
"Sure." She went to do that, coming down with a small basket. "Here we are. His teddy, a few toys, a few diapers and diapery things, and some clothes." She brought it out there once Tony had checked it. "Here, baby stuff." Liam grabbed his bear and settled in to cuddle it. "It'll be okay, Liam. I promise it will be. Nasty Riley is having a stupid-head day and we'll beat him until it's fixed." She smiled and walked off again to bug them for information or to give information on what Riley was trained to do.
"I almost pity her ex when she finds him," Sheppard said, sitting down next to the baby. "That's why I'm staying in here."
"You're clearly not as stupid as your hair makes you look then," McKay said dryly. "I have a lot of staples but nothing to go with them."
"Raid the kitchen," Gibbs called. "We can clear it." He did that and some of the food came out to the trailer so they could eat with the baby. Because he was a little begging monster once he saw the potato chips. McKay could appreciate the way the boy stocked his cabinets when he found the locked one with the cookies, candy, and hostess products lining the shelves, stealing some of those for himself. His blood sugar did tend to plummet.
Xander blinked at the man who came in with the gun. "Who're you?" he asked hoarsely.
"I'm with the FBI, sir. What's your name?"
"Xander Harris. I'm from Georgia. I was kidnaped by an idiot Riley Finn who wanted me to be a girl so he could have babies the normal way." He blinked hard again. "I'm tired."
"I know you are. Let me get the cuffs off you and we'll get paramedics here." Xander shook his head slowly. "No?"
"Concussion, thirsty, hungry. He left yesterday." That got a nod and the cuffs were sawed open. "Thank you." He was helped into a sitting position. "I need to call home. Someone's got to be with my kids."
"We can do that from the office, Mr. Harris. Don't worry about it," he said calmly. He helped him up and outside. Xander looked up and swore. "What?"
"I'm in LA?"
"You are. Are you from near here?"
"I'm originally from Sunnydale, about three hours away." He looked at the paramedics. "Water?" A bottle was handed over. "I have a concussion. I've got bruises on my side of my abdomen." He finally got the water open. "Haven't drank since yesterday."
"Are you a doctor, sir?"
Xander looked at him. "I'm from Sunnydale." He took another drink and watched one of them shudder. "I'm fine."
"Are you sure?" that paramedic asked.
"I've got kids in Georgia. I have to get back there. Besides, not much the hospital can do for a concussion that an alarm clock can't tonight." That got a nod and they finished checking him over, leaving without him. He looked at the agent. "Did you catch Finn?"
"No, we got an anonymous tip that there was a kidnaping victim inside." He nodded at the truck. "We need to get a statement, Mr. Harris."
"Sure." He got off the tailgate and walked around to get in, letting him shut it so he didn't touch something he shouldn't. He climbed in slowly so he didn't aggravate his side, then buckled up. "How long has it been?"
"Three weeks. You have some fairly frantic friends."
"That's probably why Riley took off. Buffy's going to kick his ass if she heard. She's his ex." That got a nod and they headed off. He glanced back at the building then around. "LA's actually quiet tonight. Angel must be happy."
"A friend who helps those who need it."
The agent glanced at him. "Okay." He kept going. He wasn't going to try to decode this one's issues. He needed to get him to the office so they could take a statement and then send him home. He saw him shift. "You sure you don't want the ER?"
"No, I'm fine. I have bruises on my side. They'll heal and there's nothing they can do for them either."
"Sure." He sped up when they hit traffic, going for his lights so they could get back to the building faster. He grinned at him. "We'll never get there if I don't."
"I don't mind. I do the expedient thing when I'm in trouble usually." He shrugged a bit. That got a small smile and the guy sped up more once they hit a side street. Xander leaned his head back and relaxed. "Any news from my house?"
"We weren't even sure who you are. I can check the file when we get to the office, kid."
"Thanks." He blinked a few times at the flashing lights going overhead. He looked back then at him. "Why are they going out?"
"No one's sure. They've been doing it for a few days."
"Huh." He considered it but Angel would have it if it was a demon. They got back to the building, the lights and siren being turned off the block before, and he got Xander up to his office area. "Hmm, pods," Xander said dryly. The agent laughed at that. "You can't tell me half of them aren't."
"No, can't do that. Sit, Mr. Harris. Let me look up the file." Xander sat in his spare chair and let him get into the file. He found it listed. "Hmm, two metropolitan police departments, one rural one, and NCIS are in the reports." He looked it over. "It says your pony kicked someone. There was blood on her hooves."
Xander looked at his side then at him. "She might've gotten me. If there's blood it's probably what happened to Riley's left thigh. He was majorly bruised and aching. I'm just glad he changed out what he had me in before he left." He got an odd look. "He was sending me ho shoes for the last month," he said dryly. "Leaving them on the porch."
"I'll make sure no one but the prosecutor sees that part of the file."
Xander grinned. "Thanks. I doubt my kids need to hear that some day. Who's with my kids?"
He went back to the file. "It says that the children are being taken care of on-site by a semi-relative and most are with other parents?" He looked at him.
Xander grimaced. "No one around here got calls from NCIS about embryos someone with mental issues created?" he asked quietly. That got a slow head shake. "I have five from them. One adopted, four mine." The agent shuddered. He nodded. "That's why I retired from Sunnydale and moved to Georgia. By the way, Riley's a commando from the same project. Team leader."
"I'll put that into the report so we can hopefully find him."
Xander dialed a number he remembered. "They found me." He listened to the excited babble. "McGee, head hurts. Slow down. I know Riley had me. He left yesterday after giving up. I'm in LA. Here, talk to the nice agent." He handed it over. "He can brief you on Riley."
The agent took the phone. "This is Agent Epps." He dug out the bottle of tylenol and handed it over. "Here, kid. Coffee's in the break room. Make more if you take the last of the pot."
Xander grinned. "Thanks." He found the break room with a bit of wandering, walking in with a nod for the female agent in there. He found the pot empty. "Agent Epps said I could make some to take the tylenol with. Where's the coffee stuff?"
"Cabinet above it. Are you an agent?"
Xander gave her a weak smile. "He just found me." He poured out the old filter and its contents then pulled down the new filter and bag of coffee, filling it. Then he blinked. When he opened his eyes she was next to him looking worried. "I'm fine. Concussion."
"You should be in the hospital. You blacked out."
He looked at her. "What're they going to do that an alarm clock can't?"
"They'll have actual people who can check on you." She got him some of the brewing coffee, letting him take the pain killers. "Come on, let's talk to Don." She walked him out by force. "Don, he blacked out while making coffee."
"The smell was great," Xander quipped. "I'm fine. I need to get home to Georgia. I can't leave Buffy with my kids, they'll talk like LA princesses. Even my son."
"They might not let you fly with a concussion," she said patiently.
Xander looked at her. "Who said I'd tell them?" He went back to his coffee, staring at the agent. "McGee calm down?"
"Yeah, he did. Embryos?"
Xander grinned. "They got you too? Baseline or special brains part? My fellow fathers figure the special brains are the mothers."
Epps choked and shook his head. "Special brains. My brother's a math genius." He could like this guy, even though he was a bit strange and young.
Xander nodded. "My best friend's probably lusted over his brains then. She's a compu- geek and other sorts of brains." He sipped some of the coffee. "What do you need to know?"
"Let's go over how this started."
"This special program he was part of."
"It's closed, classified, and I'm told I don't have that good of a security rating yet," he said bluntly. "McGee does, he can tell you what you need to know." He stared at him. "I'm not going to prison for busting that info out. I love my kids."
"Fine. He's a soldier?" Xander nodded. "Infantry?"
"I guess. I don't know what he was before they got him. Now he's got two kids from the same people. He's a hunter too. He hunted with us in Sunnydale." Megan stepped back giving him a horrified look. He grinned. "I'm *that* Xander Harris, yes. Buffy's apparently watching my kids for me at the moment. Riley's her ex."
"From the Initiative?" Xander nodded. "Damn it, I saw something on them. A few teams are with the UN."
"Riley's not because they gave him the daddy call too." He finished his coffee and put the paper cup down. "Thanks for that. Needed the caffeine. Now I can think again. Oh, watch for panicking, babbling people. I know a few locally too."
"Sure, kid." She went to call someone to get that file opened for them. The ACIS person she talked to was not pleasant but oh well. "Hollis, it's Megan ... yes, with the Epps brothers. We just found Mr. Harris after a Riley Finn kidnaped him from his home in Georgia. That's what we need, yes. Oh, and he said something about daddy calls and someone named McGee said something about embryos? We're in the office. Thanks. Just his file if you want and that information. Thank you." She hung up and leaned back in her desk chair. "Don, incoming fax of Finn's military file and enough on whatever they got from Charlie." She smiled at Xander. "You have how many?"
"Four born. One I adopted. A lot more in storage," he admitted. She smirked at that. "They thought I was a good baseline set of skills. They also hated me." He shrugged and winced. "Sorry, bruises." He looked at the fax machine when it started. "That was fast even for Gibbs team."
"I've heard of his team," Epps admitted, getting up to get the information. He came back with the formal report and a list of his brother's name with a few other names beside it. "His file is still coming. What's this?"
Xander looked. "Stored embryos." He pointed. "Special brains, baseline, sex. They're all with a program in Colorado and he can tell Gibbs to tell the people storing it to destroy them if he'd rather. As long as both parents agree it'll be done. The program that's holding them is very good, we all trust them and I don't trust many of you guys."
Epps nodded at that, putting it aside. "I'll have him talk to you later."
"I was grunt, baseline used, Agent Epps. I'm not a science sort. That's why McGee was doing the notifications. So he could explain all that stuff."
That got a single nod and they went over the report of what happened, adding the new information to it. He saw Xander fade again and looked over. "We're going to the ER. Even if he doesn't like it. Don't tell Charlie, I'll do that later."
"Sure. Are we sending him back?"
"We probably should as soon as he's cleared." He got up and his touch on the boy's arm made him flinch and wake up. "Come on, you're going to the ER. That's the second time you blacked out."
"I'm just really tired, Agent Epps."
"Tough, kid. Even I have to go. Besides, you don't want to be sick when you get home. You won't be able to play with your kids." He walked him off, taking him to the closest ER. He walked the boy inside. "This is a kidnaping victim, Mr. Harris. He said he's got a concussion and dehydration. We've fed him a bottle of water and some coffee and tylenol. He's got a few bruises as well. He's been blacking out."
"Sure," the nurse agreed, putting him down. "It's going to be a short wait this time of night, Agent Epps."
"I understand that," he assured her. He led the boy to the waiting area.
Xander stared at the people across the room. "Fred." She turned and looked at him, squealing and coming over to hug him. "Easy! Riley kidnaped me." He hugged her back, looking at her. "Who got hurt this time?"
"Wesley. It's a long, complicated thing but Angel has his own son now. Wolfram and Hart brought him into being."
"Better than the military," he quipped. He nodded at the others. Cordelia and Gun were sitting over there. "Hey."
"Hey," Gunn said with a smile. "We heard you got taken. We'll call Buffy when we get back. English has his throat nearly slit to the bone."
"Ow. Willow should be with Buffy if he needs a healing spell or something."
"I'll ask him when we get to see him." He nudged Cordelia. "You're not going to say hi to your ex?"
"She's not Cordelia," Xander said bluntly. They both gaped at him and so did the agent. "I know Cordelia. Even when she's pissed at me she would've recognized my existence somehow. That's not her."
"She got deascended," Fred told him. "She might not remember."
Xander looked at her. "I know others. They still know their friends. She'd still know what she had done as an ascended one too," he said quietly. He stared at Cordelia again. "Are you?"
"No," she sneered, standing up. "Worthless mortal. How dare you question me."
Xander stood up. "Come on, bitch. You don't take what was mine." She sneered and rushed at him, making a nurse shriek. "Calm down, stay out of the way," he ordered, taking her on and getting her down. "Damn, thingie, Cordy fights *better* than that. Even if she doesn't like to mess up her hair." She struggled and he let her free, watching her next move. She manifested some energy in her hand. "Uh-huh. With the way that stuff goes around me and you're gonna try it?" he joked.
"I know of you, Loud One," she sneered. "I see why you got your name." She threw the spell at him but it bounced off the floor and back at her, making her shriek and burn up in the span of a breath.
Xander looked at the ashes, then at Gunn, then at Fred. "Told you it wasn't Cordy. She didn't make any alien boob job jokes." They gaped. "Now, let's figure out where she really is. Cordelia?" he called plaintively. She phased in, giving him a clueless look. "You couldn't stop the not-you?"
"Oma's laws." She shrugged. "Fred, Wes could *really* use a healing spell." She smiled at Xander. "You looked so cute in the shoes."
"If you ever mention that or manifest pictures, I'm going to hunt you down and kill you," he said with a sweet smile. "The kids don't need that and Riley was confused."
"Very confused. Having you be the mommy for his next kid would've made you destroy the universes." She kissed him on the forehead. "Go see Wes for me please?" She smiled at the agent. "Yes, we're all very used to the strange. That's why you should ignore me." She looked at Fred again. "Go. Shoo! He's got to get back before Buffy finishes teaching that grumpy scientist guy and Catty what flirty skirts are for." Xander whimpered, walking off shaking his head, Fred, Gunn, and the agent trailing him. She beamed at the nurse. "Sorry the not-me caused a mess, but hey, not vampires." She faded out again. She had to go torment Angel, he was being a prick.
Xander found Wesley's room, walking in to look at him. "Damn, you look like my head feels." He got a small smirk in return. "They found me, finally." He gave him a gentle hug. "Willow's at my place. Want a consult on a healing spell?"
"I'll heal," he said quietly. "It's my own fault."
"Wes, you did what you thought was right. I've done the same thing. Who said that it's not the right thing in the long run?"
"He handed Angel's baby son to someone," Gunn told him.
Xander looked at him. "Can you see Angel walking a colicky baby? Changing diapers at two in the afternoon?" They all shook their heads. "Where's the other one?"
"With a good foster mother for us," Fred agreed. "It was dangerous to have him there."
"And it wasn't for Angel's son?"
"He has the slayer's mark," Wesley said weakly. They both stared at him. He nodded slightly. "They'd come for him. I kept him from the enemy. Barely."
"Hey, it's a good thing," Xander told him. "Who has him?"
Wesley smiled. "Joyce will have him by in the morning." He looked at Gunn. "He'll be raised a normal, loving child."
"Good," Gunn agreed. "Angel's still not going to let it go. What happens if that Holden guy gets him?"
Xander blinked hard then shook his head. "Then you explain it to him. He'll be back in a few weeks." He looked at Fred. "The Variex prophecy song is about the kid?" She gaped but shook her head. He nodded. "Yeah, it is. He'll be back in a few weeks. As soon as he shows up you've got to *show* him what he needs to know. Including that he wasn't to go to Holden. He's the next generation of warrior, Fred. When you're all gone he'll be left standing." He held his forehead. "I hate those. Thanks, Cordy, still have a concussion," he said dryly, looking up with a frown. He looked at Wesley again. "At least you'll have scars that'll be a good pickup line," he said with a grin.
"Indeed. You should probably sit. You're extremely pale." Xander snorted and dialed the phone next to Wesley's bed, handing to him. "Buffy? Wesley. No, injured. Could we borrow Miss Rosenburg?" He watched as Xander passed out. "Someone really should put Xander into a bed. This is a hospital."
"He's waiting to be treated," the agent said, looking confused. "Nurse?" She came hurrying in. "He passed out."
"I'm not surprised!" She helped him carry the boy into an empty room, checking him over. "Do we know what's wrong?"
"He said concussion, bruises, dehydration."
"Uh-huh. They can have adjoining rooms then. That way their friends don't have to change floors." She got to work fussing over him and laying in an IV after drawing some blood. "I'll have the doctor in here within a few minutes, Agent Epps." She hurried off to make that report and let the doctor know he was going to be admitting this one. He was too stubborn for his own good.
Willow strolled in a few minutes later, looking at Xander. "Too bad I can't heal concussions." She stroked over his head, making him moan. "Hey, wakey wakey time, Xan." He blinked at her. "You took a total header at Fred's feet, my man."
"They're fine. We've been countering Buffy's bad habits a lot. McKay keeps sending her out to do something like chop wood when she gets annoying." She grinned. "He'll get to come home when?"
"Probably within a few days," Epps said. "Who're you?"
"Willow Rosenburg." She shook his hand. "His medical power of attorney when he takes headers into the floor." She grinned. "Not that I'm usually around at the moment." She looked at Xander again. "You need a nap." He shook his head. She nodded. "The only way to heal, Xander. I can't heal concussions like I could partially close Wes's throat." She kissed him on the forehead. "Good job with the not-Cordy." She smiled and left, going back to the other room before disappearing.
"I have some very strange friends," Xander said, trying to sit up.
"You move and I'm handcuffing you," Epps promised, giving him a look. The nurse came back in with a doctor. "He's stubborn."
"They usually are," he agreed. "Mr...."
"Harris. Xander Harris." The doctor gave him a horrified look. "Retired, doc. I need to get back to my kids. Buffy's watching them."
He shuddered. "Let us keep you overnight and we can release you back to Sunnydale."
"Georgia. I moved when I retired. Didn't want the kids to be on the slaying society's rosters too."
"Good." He stared at him. "Before you ask, I know Rupert."
"Gee, so do I. He's in Colorado."
"I'll tell the others. You did see the mark on Selene?"
"And I told the idiot who showed up to bugger off since he'd probably understand that better than the less polite version. I pointed out I could easily train her if she got called." That got a nod and he got to work on him. "Will I live?"
"For a very long time, Harris. Only the good die young." Xander gave him a hurt look. "You blew up the Initiative's base, kid. I wouldn't call that good."
"Buffy said it was the right thing to do. The death rate's down too from what I've heard."
"Rosenburg said she found evidence of others and there being less people around them helps keep them closed." He finished his exam. "You're right."
"Duh," Xander said dryly, giving him a look. "An alarm clock every few hours?"
"Fat chance. It's a severe concussion. You're staying overnight, Harris. Then the nice agents can get you back home to your family. By the way, what is Buffy doing?"
"Ask Giles. She's working at the same place as him, Willow, and Tara."
"Aw, crap," he muttered, walking off making notes.
"I love brightening people's days by showing up," he quipped to the nurse.
She smiled back, shaking her head. "Haven't heard him that upset since he saw the British guy earlier."
"They're from the same people."
"Oh. That explains that. You're even going on the same floor as him."
"That's fine." He waved a hand. "Can I nap?"
"Go ahead. We'll wake you up in a while, Mr. Harris." He yawned and nodded, letting himself drift off. She looked at the agent. "Should we worry?"
"The guy who did it fled, you shouldn't."
"Good." She smiled and left. "We'll be moving him in a bit. You can come back in the morning for a statement or whatever." He nodded at that, sitting down beside the bed for now. That Fred girl came in. "He's napping."
"That's a good thing to do." She smiled. "We can watch him, Agent Epps. Don't worry about Xander."
"I'm sure. We'll be watching over him and Wes both." That got a nod and he left. "Good luck catching Riley. See if his kids are local." He looked at her. She smiled. "He'd want to see them."
"Thanks for the info." He went to check on that. He found his brother scowling at the list. "Some crackpot with a grant and a petri dish. I'm told they're in storage with a military group in Colorado and we can call a certain team out of NCIS to talk to them about it."
"Uh-huh. When was this done? I never donated."
"I don't know, call them." He pointed at the number on the bottom. "There." He looked at the new information he had and smiled. "Megan, gear up. Mr. Finn is local with his kids." She grabbed her gun and they headed out with the rest of their team.
Charlie Epps sat down at his brother's desk to make that call. "Hi, this is Charlie Epps. Agent Gibbs, I've heard of you. I did get the list. I never donated sperm." He listened to him tell him about the project and how it got some of their samples, groaning at some of it. "All right, now what?" he listened to his options. "I'll consider it. Thank you for letting me know. Does my brother have any?" He nodded once "Thank you, Agent Gibbs. You have a better night. No, Don and his team just went after a Riley Finn. Yes, I believe I see the report on him." He looked at it, then smiled. "Megan made a note, he's in the hospital with a concussion." He nodded. "Thank you, sir." He hung up and went to get some coffee. He could talk to his family about this later. His dad was going to rant for weeks about this.
Xander woke up and looked at the man beside him. "Back again?" he asked.
"We have Mr. Finn in custody."
"I hope you keep him. Was Graham with him?"
"He was and very shocked when we said what was going on. He beat him for us," he admitted. He leaned on the bed's railing. "You more coherent?"
"More so than normal? Last night was pretty normal, Agent Epps."
"That's fine. Let's get the statement done. You'll be released tonight, staying in town and flying out in the morning." He smiled at that. "Thank you for letting us do what we needed to."
"Better you than me. My kids would miss me."
"I've heard that they do and they're all fussy until you get back."
"Can I go back today? My son scowls when he's fussy and he pouts when you giggle at it. He'll have one of those issues that means he'll end up on a talk show if he's not handled right."
"We've talked with a Miss Summers down there. She said he's been doing that for days but he found someone other than his father to follow around babbling at." He grinned. "It seems the, as she put it, grumpy scientist type does it for him. He's ignoring his new hero's odd looks at him for following him around like he did the pony."
Xander giggled, nodding. "Figures. His daddy's a CSI." That got a smirk. "Got more knowledge?"
"A lot more. DiNozzo came out."
"She's playing with my brother in the hallway while he checks in." Xander beamed. "Hey, Charlie, bring in the baby please?" His brother brought in the little girl with a bright smile. "See, one of your brood."
Xander grabbed her to cuddle. "Becca. Daddy's okay." He got lots of cuddles from his daughter, who even cooed and patted his cheek for him. "Thank you. You make Daddy feel a lot better. Where's Daddy Tony?"
"DADA!" she yelled. He came strolling in. "Wake, dada!" she said proudly.
"I can see he's awake. You do that very well, Becca." He kissed her on the head and gave Xander a pat. "From Liam since you do it to him." Xander grinned at that. "Now, let's finish this sad chapter of Riley's history so we can get you home." Xander nodded, shifting so he could look at everyone else and talk to them. Tony got them all chairs and looked at Charlie. "You don't have to worry about the ones who have the embryos. They're good folks who'll only do inventories to make sure they're all there."
That got a nod. "Thank you. I'm not really ready for kids."
Xander waved a hand. "Neither was I but I have five." Charlie gave him a horrified look. "And about sixty more in storage."
"Ow," he said, shaking his head. "I'm thinking about keeping them but that's a lot."
"They hated that he was so good," Tony said with a grin. "Did the same thing to me."
Charlie walked off shaking his head so he could go back to thinking. This was not a position he had expected himself to be in. He had seven children stored somewhere in Colorado. He called his father to meet him at his office, along with his girlfriend and best friend. He walked in and shut his office door, locking it and pulling down the shade. "I got information last night and today I have to share. It's going to get loud. Dad, please don't scream?"
"Why would I?" he looked concerned. "Tell me the NSA isn't taking you for a few months again so you can make some idiotic project finally work."
"No. Nothing like that." He put the paper down in front of his best friend. "There was apparently a group in a small, local town called Sunnydale who was doing experiments with genetics."
"Among other things," Larry said, looking at the papers. He blinked then at him. "They did what!"
"They were busy creating the next race of geniuses and super soldiers." He looked at his girlfriend then his father. "I found out that somehow they turned a blood sample taken by the NSA into a set of embryos. I have seven stored in a secure facility in Colorado, not run by the same folks. I'm told that they're good people, the ones holding them, and that they're not going to do more than do an inventory. I have the right to ask them to be destroyed and as long as both parents agree they will be. Any that there's a split decision on I'm told I can talk to the other parent about it." He sat down. "Don's last kidnaping, the one he got the tip on, has full kids from them. Living, cuddling, cute little things. I was just playing with his daughter in the hallway outside his hospital room." He looked around again. "So apparently I have to make a decision and I wanted you guys to know first." He noticed his fathers' face was turning red. "Dad, they've been working to notify us all. It simply hadn't happened yet. Cases got in the way. NCIS took over the case since one of their agents got hit as well. It was his daughter I was playing with."
"Don's last rescue was a male," Amita said.
Charlie nodded. "As are most of the embryos' parents from what I was told. It was a military project that the NSA and others took over. There's a few last mop up trials going on but otherwise they're all in jail." His father got up and started to pace. "Dad, calm down."
"How long have they known?"
"They've had the second list for a few months. They're still working on the inventory, dad. They're doing normal cases as well. Calm down. They would've told me and they're in storage. It's not like I can walk up to them and take them back."
"This project that has them?" Larry asked.
"Somewhere in Colorado. Don said they've got some serious science people there. They're not going to do more than checking inventories. He said they're very good people. Mr. Harris said the same." Larry gave him an odd look. He smirked. "Yes, he's from Sunnydale too. We heard the person who took them used to be of the same project and snapped. He's got four and one he's adopted, plus a lot more embryos in storage. They liked him as a genetic base."
"It's still wrong," his father noted.
"Alan, I doubt Mr. Harris had anything to do with it," Larry said calmly. "Especially if he got used as well."
"I asked Agent DiNozzo this morning. He said someone told Xander, who told him, and got them involved. Then NCIS took the case over. He said they're slowly getting into the inventory and notes that had to be translated. Mr. Harris retired from Sunnydale and moved to Georgia to be with the kids."
"That's good," Alan agreed. "You hear some strange things from that town. For some reason they hired a firm we used to work with locally to put in underground condos." He sat down again. "Son, what are we going to do?"
"I don't know, Dad. That's why I'm asking for suggestions. I'm not against anything either way. I don't know if any of them were already a split decision or not. I know Don wanted to look up the other names so we had an idea of who they were. The only names on the list I know are McKay and Jackson. One's a physicist I met at a convention and one's a linguist I met at a different convention."
His father took the list to look at, then at him. "Harris' name is on here."
"He's apparently what they were considering baseline appropriate," Charlie told him. "He said he had sixty in storage or so."
His father shook his head. "Are you going to use them, Charlie? Really?"
"If my wife can't have children, I would," he said. "When I'm ready to be a father. Not this moment."
He nodded slowly and handed the list over to Amita, the girlfriend. "What do you think?"
"I think keeping them in storage isn't a bad idea. If they're there and something happens they can be pulled out. If not, they can be destroyed at a later date or left in storage or donated to science I guess." She shrugged. "I don't know what you do with stored embryos."
"Then you think I should leave them there?" Charlie asked. She nodded. "Larry?"
"I think it's the more rational decision. The absence of a decision in this case is the most logical one. It gives you further options for later use." Someone knocked on the door. "Not now!" he yelled. He looked at his best friend. "What did Don say?"
"Someday he'd get to be an uncle and take down that kid's ego so it wasn't as high as mine when I started college," he said with a grin. "Dad?"
"It's your kids, Charlie."
"I know that, Dad. Do you want me to keep them in storage for now or not?"
He looked at him. "I'd rather we were having this talk about future grandchildren that were going to be born."
Charlie nodded. "If I keep them in storage that is an option to consider." That got a nod. "Not this year, but it's something to consider."
His father grimaced. "Then I guess keeping them in storage is fine. Are they going to make you sign a hush agreement?"
"They did for the ones that're born. For me, they said not to talk about it to the press. The unit was stopped. The people arrested and put in jail. The people holding them are secure and top secret. They're not going to use them so unless someone breaks in they're not a problem."
His father nodded. "Then the reasonable thing to do is to secure your future," he said. "In case you never marry."
Charlie grinned. "Aren't you so glad this isn't Don throwing a fit?"
"Very. Though I have the feeling if I saw them I'd be throwing one too. If there were actual kids born your brother and I would go shoot people to get them back."
Charlie grinned. "Go ahead, dad. I wanted to last night. That's why I came home and went right to the garage to work on stuff." That got a nod and his father got up, going to open the door. He looked at his chairperson. "Hey, Millie. Talking about something personal."
"You ever hear of a project called the Initiative?" Larry asked.
She nodded slowly. "Unfortunately I was doing some NSA work and I did. Why?"
"They had a breeding program," Amita told her. "Charlie has some embryos in storage."
"Oh, my." She looked at him. "Are you okay with that?"
"They don't have them, they're mostly in jail, and I have the right to decide if they're staying or not."
She nodded, relaxing. "That's good then. Any we'll be seeing here in the future?"
He smiled. "There's the possibility if I use them." He folded up the paper and ran it through the shredder. "Thanks, guys. Dad, want lunch?"
"Please. I could use something to chew on since none of them are available." He smiled at Millie. "Want to join us?"
"No, I think this is a family discussion." She left, going back to her office to wonder. Did they use her too?
Larry leaned in. "They mostly used males, Millie." She smiled at that. "Fortunately I don't think I'm on the list either. That's not a call I want to make." He left, going to tag along to lunch. He was hungry and thinking about him having kids far in the future. He wasn't sure it was a good idea or not.
Xander got out of the car and ran for the house, bursting in to grab his kids and hug. "Daddy loves you," he cooed, cuddling them all.
Becca got brought in. "Me too, Daddy!" she pouted. He pulled her in too, letting her cuddle the others with him. She smiled at the nice people. "Hi hi."
"Hi," Buffy said, patting her on the head. "Hi, Xander."
"Hi, Buffy. Thank you."
"Welcome. Oh, he's out. His former teammates got him out and he's in South America."
"I heard." He gave them another squeeze. "He comes back and we'll be pretty at the funeral."
"Sure." She smiled and took Liam from him, getting scowled at. She grinned back. "I wanted one. We'll have to go home soon."
"Daddy," he said with the same scowl.
"Wow, Liam, if it wasn't for the hair, you could be a son of Gibbs," Tony teased, tickling him. "He scowls nearly as well as you do." Liam gave him a shy smile and wiggled down, going back to hugging his father and sisters. He grinned. "Thanks for watching them, guys. I know it's not easy."
"I probably won't have any for a long time," Buffy told him. The two guys on her team nodded at that. "See?" She grinned at her boss. Then at McKay. "Aren't you happy he's back?"
"Very. The children show disturbing tendencies already."
Xander looked at him. "They're kids. Of course they crawl in with you and try to sit on your head. They follow you around to learn what you're doing and then they tell *everyone*. Kids are the best parrots and spies in the world. It's why all the ladies who run the daycare look at me and giggle or blush."
"Eww. TMI, Xan," Buffy complained. "Going to wash my brain now."
"Wax it, maybe it'll work faster," McKay said.
Rachel looked at him and growled. "Mean! Bad mean!"
"Hey, he's only teasing her," Xander said, calming her down. "Aren't we?" he asked, looking at him. The scientist only gave him a smug look. "Remember what I've sent so far."
"Oh, that reminds me. Storage area, Xander?" Tony asked. "Rebecca and Liam both showed us the root cellar."
"Given, not bought, and I was going to give it to Buffy when she went back," he defended.
"Please do," Tony said dryly. "How did you get that stuff?"
He shrugged. "The other chaos creatures think I'm some sort of higher being by the problems I solve and cause." He grinned. "Look how much insanity I brought to your life, Tony."
"She definitely is," he agreed dryly. "At least she's good insanity." He sat on the couch, looking at the kids. "You guys let Daddy rest too. He's got a boo-boo on his head."
Liam patted his daddy's hair with a smile. "Kay?" he asked.
"I'm going to be just fine, Liam. I'll be taking naps with you guys instead of staying up." Liam smiled and nodded, going back to his petting, only scowling when Rachel reached for his hair. Xander did it back to her and she purred, getting comfortable. "She'll grow out of it, Liam. I promise she will."
He smiled. "Sissy silly. Not pet Willow." She looked at Willow and got up to toddle over to her, playing with the longer red hair that she could wrap in her fist. "See?" he asked with a grin.
"You're a very smart little boy. You get that from Daddy Horatio." Liam beamed at his father, waving at him. "Hi, Horatio."
"Xander. Guys, let's let Daddy sit on the couch, all right?" They pried the kids off while Tony helped Xander up onto the couch, then the kids were allowed to pile back on. He looked at Tony. "Just a concussion?"
"He was a bit dehydrated. Riley left the day before and no one went in until the next night. Oh, there's a Cordelia issue," he said, looking at Willow.
"I heard. She said Oma's keeping her on a very tight leash at the moment. Something about LA going to hell for real and she's not allowed to fight."
Buffy looked at her. "Are they going to need help?"
"They have Spike," Willow told her. "Plus they have Giles close enough if something happens. There's Tarama in Sunnydale and she's got it calmed down enough to rush down with her Watcher too. Wes'll be back in a few weeks even though Angel's pissed at him. They know when Connor's coming back so they can talk to him and settle that issue too. Basically Angel needs to be less stubborn and settle things. I warned him he was starting to sound like us when the Initiative was around. He gave me a horrified look and walked off mumbling. So I'm guessing he'll fix it relatively soon. Even without it being fixed he'll let Wes and the others help."
"Angel and his broomstick need to part ways before it makes him play quidditch," Xander said dryly. He went back to cuddling his kids. Liam was sitting on the back of the couch petting his hair. "Thank you, Liam. It's helping my headache a lot more than tylenol is." His son beamed at his other father.
"You're a good boy, Liam." Horatio took him for a cuddle. "Do you want to stay with Daddy Xander or would you like to come with me for a few days while he finishes healing?" Liam shook his head. "No what?"
"No, you don't want to see Yelina?" he asked with a small smile. He shook his head. "Catty's coming back with us. You can see her and her grandmother, plus Ray Junior."
Horatio sat down, still smiling. "I know they can visit up here. Yelina won't let Ray Junior go that far yet. Otherwise he'd be up here too."
Liam pouted. "Catty go bye-bye?"
"Catty's going back to her daddy's house for a while. That way Xander can nap."
"No nap!" he said firmly. "Me!"
"No you don't have to nap yet," Horatio promised, getting a beaming smile. "Would you like to nap with Daddy Xander later when he takes a nap? That way you can pet him some more?" Liam nodded, wiggling to get down and climb up to pet his daddy again.
"He's very focused," Sheppard teased.
"He gets it from Xander when he's hunting for a twinkie," Buffy teased.
"Hey, I stock twinkies now, thank you," Xander said dryly.
"Yes and they were very nice," McKay told him. "I get low blood sugar."
Xander shrugged. "Twinkies are easy enough to find." He looked back at Liam. "Were you a good boy for Auntie Buffy and her friends?" He nodded, smiling proudly. "Good boy." He gave him a hug and whispered something in his ear, letting him down. He looked at the girls. "We were good girls for Auntie Buffy too?" They all smiled and nodded. "Good girls! Daddy's very proud you didn't gang up to terrorize them like you do the daycare people now and then." Tony laughed. "They do. They team up to drive the daycare worker nuts when they don't want to nap." Willow squealed and glared at Liam, who only giggled. "Good sneaking, son." He whispered in Catty's ear, making her giggle and go attack Horatio to tickle him. The others went to attack McKay, making him run away. "He doesn't like kids?" Xander asked innocently.
"To him everyone not him is beneath him sometimes," Willow admitted. "It's why I chase him around with something heavy to beat him with it now and then." She beamed at Sheppard. "I nearly got him last time. Buffy had to save him. Ronon didn't manage it in time."
"You were freaky that time, Willow. You had the guys tied to stakes and were going to do something to them magically," Buffy complained. "No more evil alcohol for you, missy. We don't want you to go into cave-witch mode ever again."
"Cave-witch?" Tony asked.
"Buffy's first semester in college she found beer," Xander explained. Tony whimpered. "The place I was working had a sorcerer that was putting magic herbs into the beer on tap." Horatio whimpered and Buffy moaned, covering her face and leaning over in embarrassment. "Buffy ...reverted. Brow ridge like Angel, grunting and pointing, matted hair. Going 'fire pretty' when the place she was in got set on fire. Nearly didn't escape because the fire was so pretty. We got a lot of 'boy smells good' and her pouncing some of them. She nearly beat me over the head to drag me off." He smirked at Sheppard, who was giggling. "She swore up and down she's never drinking beer again."
"You're right, she's not," he agreed dryly, smirking at his coworker. "I wonder if they still have any. There's a few planets were you'd fit in very well while under it."
She glared at him. "Do it and I'm wearing that pink skirt on the next mission. I'm sure we'll go to the land of Amazons."
"Ronon would get very upset," Willow said dryly. "I think he was talking about some bandages being bigger than that skirt. Something about spanking too if he saw you in it." She beamed at her friend. "But I might've translated it wrong."
"I was flirting with him."
"He's more direct than that, Buffy," Sheppard reminded her. "Grunt, point, and say let's go. He's there." He shrugged at the laughter. "You'd have to meet him."
Someone came up to the door, tapping before walking in. "I'm here," he called.
"In the living room, Danny," Xander called. "Hi, Wyatt!" He kissed him and gave him a cuddle then handed him back. "Such a good boy to tell your father I was in trouble." Wyatt beamed at him. "What's up? It's not like I went back to a base."
"No you didn't and we're very happy about that, Xander." He handed Sheppard a note. "From Jack." He sat down on the floor, letting Wyatt go play with the other kids who were chasing the scientist back. "McKay, watch out."
"Another one?" he demanded.
"That's Wyatt, my son," he said dryly.
Rodney looked at the baby. "I'm sorry you live in the insanity he brings. Maybe we could bring you with us so Doctor Beckett would have someone to fuss over instead of Captain Kirk over here."
"Actually, we're going back with you for two weeks to help with something," Danny said smugly. "I'm bringing Wyatt and Richard, his half brother." Willow gave him an odd look. "They're wonderful at first contact situations. Make even hostile aliens coo over their cuteness and decide we can't be *all* bad if we're maternal sorts." He grinned at the grunt Sheppard let out. "Not happy with the extra week?"
"No, I'm perfectly happy. Kids, we've got an extra week before we have to report back to Cheyenne Mountain."
"Doctor McKay, due to the inventory, we have to inform you that you have *three* embryos in custody." Daniel handed over the list with an evil smirk. "That we've found. A few aren't labeled."
"As long as it's not a daughter between Xander and Gibbs," Tony said firmly. Horatio gave him a horrified look. "There was one. We were going to send her to Willow and Buffy if she was ever born. That way she got good training in how to be like her daddy and military training from those yahoos for her other father's side."
Sheppard looked at him. "I've met Gibbs in the past. Fat chance." He looked over Rodney's shoulder. "Who's Charlie Epps?"
"The math genius brother of the agent who rescued me," Xander told him. "Works at Cal-Sci."
Rodney gave him a horrified look. "Curly hair, always doing something with math that shouldn't be probable?" Xander grinned and nodded. "I can't believe they did that." He looked at it. "You and I would create a genius to take over the world, even if she was a girl, Jackson."
"Hmm," Danny agreed dryly. "I was thinking that might be dangerous."
"Ya think?" Buffy asked. "General Jack told us *allllll* about what you two had done as preparation before we went."
Willow nodded, smirking some. "He did. We got all sorts of stories about aliens who wanted to keep you and aliens who wanted to shoot you and things." She got an odd look. "They knew."
"We heard about the alien boob job," Tony assured him. "From Cordelia." They all groaned. "Horatio?"
"Doesn't really surprise me since I saw her the other morning when they managed to capture her this time."
"Yeah, I got a bit pissed with her," Willow said dryly.
"You know, Xander has the ATA gene," Danny said innocently with an evil smirk.
"You can't bring the kids there. It's very hard for the other parents to get visitation," Xander said dryly. "Plus I doubt they have a daycare, Danny."
"Good point." He grinned at him. "If they turn out good enough can we recruit?"
"Sure, go ahead. Once they're of age." That got a nod. "Do they all have it?"
"Liam doesn't and Rachel doesn't of course. Of the ones in storage, three out of the sixty- seven don't." Xander gaped. "You're a good carrier."
"No! The Powers said Xander is not allowed to take over the universe; even his kids are going to be too horrible at that!" Cordelia yelled. "No army of Xanders!"
Buffy shuddered suddenly. "Oh, God, the Amazon tribes would freak."
Willow grimaced but nodded. "They so would. But hey, can you see Weir dealing with Xander, or even a bunch of little Xanders? The all-female races would have to put up with bad pick up lines forever and the military would have to quit adding anything chocolate to any project he was on."
John looked at her. "Do we need to see Heightmyer?" he asked calmly. "We can arrange it."
"You do that and I'm going to turn her into a bunny rabbit so the others have something to pet," she said bluntly. McKay laughed. "I can do it to you too. Remember that."
"Don't make *me* spank," Sheppard told her.
Willow gave him a look. "You don't come in my configuration, John. Until you're a girl, don't make offers you won't do." He blushed and walked off. She grinned at McKay. "You either. Though you might be more tolerable as a girl..... If you want." He took the kids with him out to the porch. "Shoot. I need a new girlfriend since Tara and I broke up." Horatio gave her an odd look. "I never get to see her. I'm too far away. You can't date *that* long distance."
"Unless you have whatever blippy thing Angel found for Cordy," Buffy added.
"True, if I had that I could do that." She smiled at Daniel. "Did you have a blippy thingy?"
"No, I didn't. Sorry."
"You could ask Angel. It'd be of strategic use."
Buffy went to do that. "Angel, it's Buffy. What blippy thing did you give Cordy and can we get one for our use? Willow's missing her snugglies since there's really no one where we are for her to date." She smiled. "It is a good reason. Otherwise no one can check on how Xander's doing with the kids and they'll all turn into little Xanders with huge brains. His son already came over to try to breastfeed on Willow a minute ago." She listened to him tell her what it was and wrote it down. "How easy is it to get?" She nodded. "I can have her look. Thanks, Angel. Need us for whatever apocalypse is going on?"
"Ask him if the lights going out on the highway are part of that," Xander called.
"Xander wanted to know if the lights suddenly going out on the highway were part of that." She nodded. "It's a good place to start. Sure. Laters." She hung up. "He said probably so he'll go check," she told him, coming back out. She handed the note to Willow. "Not the grocery stuff."
She looked at it then nodded. "We may be able to do that." She beamed at McKay when he peeked in. "We need to go looking for alternative power sources. It'll take about a day or a day and a half. You want to go now or later?"
"What alternatives?" he demanded.
She smiled. "You'll see." She got up with a grunt. "Let's do it now in case we have to order something." She took him off and used the rental car John had gotten them. She had called around to find places in Atlanta and it was only a few more hours drive to New Orleans really. "You want to hit Atlanta or New Orleans?" she asked as she started the car.
"I have no idea what you're looking for," he reminded her.
She considered it. "Then we'll road trip." She backed down the driveway and headed for New Orleans. It was a mother-country area and would have what she needed.
Horatio came back ten days after leaving, looking at Xander. "Can I stay?"
"Quit. My department didn't like that I have a son and Speed said he's not coming back. Eric and Calleigh quit as well. Alexx too."
"Interesting. Going to apply with the sheriff?"
"There's a local college, I can teach," he said with a small smile. Xander shrugged. "You're sure?"
"Yup." He handed him the sleeping Liam. "He's been down for about an hour."
"Thank you." He nuzzled his son's hair, waking him up. "Good afternoon."
"Daddy!" he squealed, hugging him. "Visit?"
"No, I'm moving back this way."
"Add another trailer, Horatio. We can easily run lines," Xander assured him. "Though I should probably make the pond deeper. It's only four feet in the center."
"It's deep enough, Xander. Didn't you send all that back with Buffy?"
"Yeah, but I can make another depth charge." He grinned. "I'm good at it."
"No, Xander." He hugged his son again. "You're sure?"
"I have four acres, Horatio. If you want privacy, put it in the orchard area or renovate the barn."
"Thank you." He smiled at his son. "Would you like me to live closer?" Liam beamed and nodded, hugging him around the throat. "How's Tony?"
"He's doing okay. The director is back to driving him insane." He yawned. "He said if he walks off he'll be coming down here too. The Sheriff could use the help according to him."
"I think he only has the part-time deputy."
"Yup." He grinned. "Deputy Mayberry and all the kids teased him about that I'm sure." He saw the minivan coming up the driveway. "There's Eric, Liam. Can you go wake up Catty *nicely* this time?" He wiggled down and headed up the stairs. A minute later Catty yelled. "I said nicely, son! Quit picking on your sister! Catty, your dad and grandma are here!" She came pelting out of the house and ran down to bounce around her daddy until he picked her up.
Liam walked out with the other kids, pointing at them. "Thank you for that," Horatio said, picking him up to cuddle him again.
Xander grinned when Grandma stole Catty to cuddle. "Anxious?" he teased as they walked up to the porch.
"Long drive," Eric said, patting Liam on the head, getting a scowl for messing with his hair. "Behave or I'll tickle and then you'll be sweaty again," he teased. Liam scowled worse and put his head down on his father's shoulder, sure he was going to protect him. "You have a very serious son, Horatio."
"Only about his hair and his clothes," Horatio said dryly, letting Rachel in his lap too. She beamed at him. "Hi, Rachel."
"No, I'm not the mommy."
She looked at her other father. "Mommy?"
He gave her a confused look then sighed. "Sweetie, you don't have a mommy. All you have is me and the rest of the kids' daddies. I wish you had a mommy but you don't." She pouted. "Even if that one girl did offer, you don't have a mommy yet." She pouted at Horatio.
"You can consider me another father if you want," he offered. "But Mommies are girls. Like you're a girl so some day you'll be a mommy."
Xander gave him an odd look. "Don't wish grandkids on me anytime soon, please?"
"I'm not," Horatio promised with a small smile. Another car was coming up the road. "That's Calleigh. She followed you, Eric?"
"Couldn't shake her. She made bad jokes about this town becoming CSIland like some places are coplands." He took his daughter back. "Mine, Momma. Greedy." Catty giggled and kissed him then snuggled in. "No Tony? I know he said he was about to walk off."
"He said if he stomped off he'd come renovate the barn for his own use," Xander said with a grin. "Either that or he'd go to New York and make Mac start another communal area. Did you guys hear that Stan's moving to Colorado Springs and going to work there?" They all nodded. "I think that's pretty cool. That way Danny and Jack can fuss over the kids easier." He picked up Selene. "I'm sure your daddy will be calling soon."
She beamed. "Dada?"
"Sure. Get the phone without the cord." She ran inside to get it. Eric's cellphone rang and Xander tensed up. "Eric, no cellphones," he growled. Eric's mother looked confused.
"Riley inserted a small, vibrating device when he had him," Horatio offered. "It reacts to a cellphone ring." Eric shut his cellphone off. "Calleigh, cellphone off please. Before we hurt Xander." She turned hers off. "Thanks. Timothy!" he bellowed. Tim came to the door of the trailer, shaking his head. But he and his son came up to the house. "Hiding?"
"Definitely. Helping the local Sheriff. Helping the local high school's chemistry teacher. She's been sick." Rebecca made begging noises and held up her arms. "Let me put down Dougie." He put him down and picked her up to hold her. "There, better?"
She beamed and kissed him then wiggled to get down, going to help her sister find the phone since they had hid it again. It was a good toy that talked back to them sometimes. She found it and bopped her sister on the head. "Dada!"
She ran outside waving it, letting Xander dial it for her. "Dada!" she squealed, hearing a familiar voice. "Danny? Ooooh! Daddy?" She sat down and got comfortable like Auntie Stella did. "'Tana?" she asked when he said her name. She didn't care if her daddies were being silly and taking pictures. "Daddies here. Lots and lots." She beamed. "Pony too." She held up the phone. "Danny!"
Horatio reached over and grabbed it, listening to the other end. "It's very cute. She sat down just like Stella does. The same head cocked to the side while she listens, and nods along with what you're saying until you get to a word she can say. No, we're here because Miami pissed us off in a permanent fashion." Speed gave him a horrified look. "I know at least *I* am moving here onto the edge of the farm."
Speed gave his son a look then at Xander. "Does that mean we can add on?"
"I can't figure out how but sure," he said dryly, shrugging a bit. "As long as you guys try to help with the bills." They both nodded. "You can too, Eric."
"I might take over the little trailer once Speed gets somewhere bigger," he offered, cuddling his daughter. He smiled at Rachel when she came over. "Want a hug too?" She nodded so he squatted down to cuddle her. "Such a good girl today." She shook her head with a shiteating grin. "No?"
"No, they decided to help the daycare people paint. Just don't ask," Xander said. Horatio gave him a horrified look before looking at Liam. "It took me *three hours* to get them paint free. But hey, the daycare area has polka dots and splatter dots."
"Paint," Liam cooed with an evil grin.
"Tell Uncle Danny that, son."
Liam stole the phone. "Paint," he said with same evil grin and coo. Danny asked something. "Daycare," he said happily.
Horatio took the phone back. "Xander said he was helping the daycare paint today. Took three hours to get them clean. I'm here. None of us have cellphones. Xander's banned them so call the house." He smiled. "Even Calleigh's here." He nodded. "Sure. We're here." He hung up, looking at Selene, who was pouting. "Your father will call once he's out of court. It'll be about an hour." She pouted worse. "When he's done, Selene."
"Selene, baby, daddy's busy and he'll call once he's done," Xander told her. Rebecca pouted and poked. "Sure, you can try too." She beamed and pushed the button for her daddy, babbling at him, walking over to sit next to Selene and let her help so she'd quit pouting.
"They can't remove whatever he put in?" Eric asked. Xander shook his head. "Why not?"
"Because I'd be off my feet for weeks, they're not sure they can do it without causing me to need a colostomy bag for life, and it's not worth it. I simply banned cellphones at the house." He grinned. "Out of the house we deal with it. Willow created some sort of blocking thing with the hotty scientist she works with. He felt very sorry for my butt." Eric snickered at that. "He did." He cuddled the baby next to him. "You are very special."
She shook her head. "Nope." She beamed at Eric, letting him cuddle her again. "Liam too?"
"Want me to cuddle Liam too?" he asked. Liam spit at them. "No spitting. Grandma told you that."
"I did try," she agreed. "Horatio, what about your nephew?"
"He'll be fine and he can move up here if he wants," he said calmly. "We've already talked about that option. He said it'd be nice to be the hottest guy in town for a change." Xander snickered. "So we'll see." He looked at Liam. "Don't want to cuddle your sisters or Uncle Eric?"
Liam shook his head. "You, Daddy." He snuggled in again, perfectly content.
"Sure, we'll cuddle," Horatio agreed, very happy with that idea.
Xander looked around. "If you guys want more than cheetos for dinner, someone needs to go grocery shopping." Eric nodded, taking Rebecca and Catty to do that with his mother. "Speed, you good out there?"
"We're fine, Xander. We can even come up for dinner." Another car pulled in and he looked. "Sheriff Dinwitty's wife," he said quietly.
"I like her. She helped get the paint off the kids this morning." He smiled and waved. "Some of them are moving here."
"I heard." She came over to smile at the picture of Horatio and Liam both nearly asleep. "I was wondering if they'd need help finding places."
"I was thinking about getting a bigger trailer and having it moved out here," Speed told her. "Horatio might do the same."
She beamed. "In that case there's a few going to auction next month for back taxes, kids. They'd do wonderfully if Xander can hook up the water and electric."
"I did the other one," Xander offered. "It'll be a lot of digging if they put it on the other side of the orchard. I might ask one over there to get their own water account." She nodded at that. "What place lost theirs?"
"The small trailer park out on tenth was all owned by one guy but he refused to pay taxes so the city seized them. Some of them are in good shape."
"We'll have to look, see what they want for bidding prices. We might be able to fix some of them up too. Not like there's a lot else to do out here." She giggled and nodded. "More of the daddies might be coming up too. We're not sure yet. Oh, preschool for the older crew?"
"Starts in late August," she reminded him. "I'll have Linda come out. She runs the head start. That way you can figure out if they're going or not." She patted Rachel on the head since she was closest. "I see you managed to stay clean."
"They came home, had lunch, and then thankfully a nap," Xander said with a maniacal grin. She walked off laughing. "Thank you."
"Welcome. I'll tell my husband they're up so he can come bother 'em." She got back into her car, backing out and heading to her husband's office. "Dear, more of the fathers are moving out at the farm." He beamed at that. "We've got to tell Linda to go nag about preschool for the older ones, and it'll be good." She kissed him. "Are you going to make it home tonight?"
"On time even," he teased. "You tell them about the tax sale?" She nodded. "That'll be good for out there. Each little family can have their own home and the boy can have some peace and quiet back. Plus it'll make the check he's getting stretch farther."
"At least he's only using the state's health care. He could bet getting other checks, food stamps, all that stuff."
"He's a good kid," he agreed. He saw the Delko family walk past with Rebecca singing and dancing with Catty behind them. "That's a good move for them. I heard DiNozzo say he might come too."
"That'll help you a lot." She pinched his cheek. "Pork roast for dinner, dear." She headed home, going to cook. He loved her roast.
Tony hung up with Eric. "Well, we've got a mini commune started in Georgia and another one started in New York around the kids Taylor and Flack have. Plus Eric heard that Stan's moving to Colorado Springs."
"So, Xander's town is going to be filled with CSI," Gibbs said dryly, looking at him. "And you're going to be bringing Selene and Craig around?"
"It'll be easier if I do. They still didn't give Xander more than one check." He looked up and sighed when the director shrieked something. She had never fully recovered from her last capture. Gibbs sighed as well. "Does anyone else know?"
"Everyone knows," McGee assured him. "I got an email from the SecNav's secretary asking how she was doing because some paperwork hadn't come in yet. They sent it to me because they knew the boss hardly ever checks his emails." Gibbs nodded at that. "I left it on your desk."
"I saw. I passed it onto Cynthia." He looked at Tony. "New York or Georgia, DiNozzo?"
He considered it. "It depends on who's down in Georgia. Four acres can only support so many people. Plus I'd probably be living in a small trailer."
"You can get a bigger one," Kate reminded him quietly, glancing over at him. "They make new ones with every convenience and up to four bedrooms." He smiled at that and nodded. "In New York you'd have to find your own place in the same neighborhood to be of help. Like Stella did." She liked Stella, they were now gal pals and she had kept them informed of what was going on. "What about Stan?"
"Colorado Springs to be closer to the base and Danny." Tony looked at Gibbs. "I'll probably switch back and forth now and then, boss, but Georgia is sounding like it's cheaper. Plus, Craig doesn't know me as well as Rebecca does. He gives me that confused 'who are you' look all the time. He considers Don his other father."
"You're almost never up there," Gibbs agreed. "It was bound to happen, DiNozzo."
"I know. But if I'm in Georgia I'll have to bring him and Selene down with me. I'll have to get a minivan or something."
"Or a sedan that seats at least four," Kate said patiently. "Not like you're going to be Xander and putting all five kids in the same car. By the way, how did he do that?"
"Bench seats," Tony said dryly. "Two in front, three in back. He said he barely had a place to sit the last time." He looked upstairs at the scream of frustration. "Do we think someone's going to step in?"
"I think she shot at the last one," Gibbs told him quietly. "That's why Ziva's out on medical leave." Tony just nodded. "Today?"
"I can hold out for a while longer, boss. I'll use the current paychecks to afford the place I'll put down on Xander's land until I get fed up. Oh, who am I going to see above her about the checks for Xander?"
"I talked to them. They're supposed to start next week, when the new ones come out." He went back to work. "You're not allowed to leave with a full desk."
"Yes, boss." He got to work, on another screen he was looking up trailer sale places down by Xander's house and typing him an email saying he wanted to put his own up on the land. He'd be down a lot more often sometime in the near future if things didn't get better. He got back a link from Horatio and smiled at it. "Those are really nice. Fireplaces, full kitchen, spa tubs. Three bedrooms and you can pick your choice of colors and things. Not that expensive either. Less than a new car's going to be." He read over the options and considered what he had in his retirement funds. Well, he had always planned on getting a little place on a beach somewhere. He guessed a pond would do. He sent them an email asking some specific questions about models and what they had nearly available, telling him that he was putting one on the same land as his friend and co-father had. He got one back within an hour with model examples, links to pages for choices of appliances and colors, and one asking what sort of setup they'd need for utility lines. For that he sent them Xander's phone number. He got back a suggestion an hour later, looking at it. "They have a used one that's near what I want but it's a bit larger. A triple wide instead of a double. A few features I wasn't planning on having and I'll have to do some free- standing cabinets for storage in the kitchen because this one doesn't have a pantry. Only thirty thou." He looked it over, frowning at a few things. "I'll have to change the rug."
"Or buy some throw rugs." McGee smiled. "Even cheaper."
"True. I can change the carpet sometime later." He found an email from Xander asking where he wanted it. He sent back he'd let him decide with Rebecca, earning a smiley face back and a suggestion. "Speedle's getting a new one, he was living in the visitor's quarters. Horatio's getting one from the upcoming tax auction and Xander's buying another two if he can afford them to put out for Don, Eric, and/or Mac and for everyone else when they come in."
"Did the whole lab quit?" McGee asked.
"Yup, they pushed their luck twice too many times in the same day and got pushy with Horatio about his son. They told him he had to quit seeing his son, it was distracting him at work. Then they tried to screw with the lab. All the scene techs but one quit and even their ME quit. That last scene tech said he'll be quitting in two weeks. He wanted to give ample notice and clear up his last case because the victim deserved better than some green person who didn't have a clue," Tony explained with a small grin. "Boss, I would suggest you recruit Ryan Wolfe. His OCD will drive you insane, he's got some ambition to move higher, but he's good at what he does once he's finished proving he belongs there and he's got a clue. Horatio's lab was his first spot out of patrol and he had a few wobbles but he did good work."
"I'll talk to Caine then see him," he agreed, looking a bit smug. "Think he'd get along with Ziva?"
"I think he's practiced annoying others on Delko, boss. They'll either get along *very* well or he'll wear her out and make her like him."
"Good to know. How soon?"
Tony shrugged. Another scream happened and he sighed, heading up there. She had screamed his name. He waved at the horrified looking secretary. He walked into the office and shut the door. "Director, I do answer the phone and emails," he told her calmly. "You didn't have to scream for me." He stared her down, watching as she turned her monitor around to show what he had been doing. "I know. I'm putting a place down on Xander's farm so I have better access to my daughter. There's a futon in her room but I'd rather have my own place so I can keep her out of Xander's junk food habit. I even found it used. Much cheaper." She growled. He stared at her. "What?"
"You're leaving NCIS?"
"That depends on how things go over the next few months," he said honestly.
"Nothing's changed," she sneered.
"Director, a year ago you'd never have screamed for anyone, even in an actual emergency. You've changed since Xander rescued you. Everyone's noticed it. Even Ziva. Even Gibbs."
"They're trying to get me out of here."
Tony nodded. "There's people who always want to play hardball, Director. You lived the political life for a very long time. Now you're doing it for your job. I could suggest a vacation might ease some of the worries. Give yourself time to rest since you didn't afterward."
"If you say so, ma'am. Now, anything else? I'm down to my last few reports on the last case and Gibbs will want them by the end of the day."
"I don't like you moving down there, even part time."
"Ma'am, you can't tell me where to live outside of being in call-in radius. You also can't tell me I can't see my children or make myself a spot down there to make it easier on all of us to see our kids. I'm not the only one moving a trailer onto the farm. Mine's simply coming from the store instead of the tax auction coming up." She growled again. "Ma'am, need some Pepto? I'm sure Ducky or someone would donate some."
Xander appeared behind him, leaning his head on his shoulder. "Cordelia sent me. Snatched me out of the kitchen making cookies with Liam and Rebecca." Tony grinned at him. "I don't know why." He looked at her, then tipped his head to the side. "Morning, growling one."
"Not funny, Harris," she sneered.
He walked over, taking off his crucifix. He put it on her forehead, making her shriek and wail, even batting at him. He looked at Tony. "She needs a priest."
"I'll get one. She's pregnant."
"This isn't pregnant. Most babies don't do this." He nodded, hurrying off to have Gibbs find one. He found her handcuffs and cuffed her to her desk chair, smiling at the woman leaning in. "Hi, Xander Harris."
"I've heard you're the other father of Tony's daughter," she said calmly.
He smiled and nodded. "I am. I'm also here about an exorcism. She needs one." The secretary let out a nervous chuckle so he put the cross back. She tried to get away from it.
"I know a good priest if Tony doesn't." She went to tell him. "Tony, try the base Chaplain. He was with the Initiative before. He's also a full priest."
"That'll work. Call him up," he ordered. "Let's clear the building for the night as well, just in case? She doesn't need this." She nodded, going to send out an immediate memo saying that they were going to be spraying for rats starting in an hour and needed the building cleared. Tony walked back in. "We have one coming, he's former Initiative, Xander." Xander shrugged. "At least we won't have to explain it."
"True, and if he doesn't know anyone I'll call Giles to get a recommendation." A man came running in. "Father."
"Oh, shit," he said, staring at him. "Why are you here!"
"I'm the other father of Tony's daughter and she's possessed. Sounds like a lower level hell hound. Also, she's pregnant according to Tony."
"Interesting." He came over to check her, and a communion wafer made her shriek and flail. "I've only done one of these."
"I've helped Willow do a few of the banishings" Xander offered. "I can't do more than that."
"No, that's fine," he promised, getting to work.
An hour later he was sweaty and panting and she was still possessed. Xander looked at him. "Do we have another option?"
"I don't know of one personally."
"We need someone with a strong faith," Xander said. "Someone who God would actually talk to if he were there." That got a small nod. "The only one I know retired from the church."
"Does he have to be a priest or just strong in the faith?" Tony asked.
"Both," they said in unison.
"Unless we want to go with a simple banishing and then we'll have to save the kid."
Tony looked at him, then went to call someone he had met on a case a long time ago. "Father, it's Officer DiNozzo. No, I'm in a bit of trouble, Father. Actually, I'm now an agent with NCIS and my director is possessed. We have a priest here who can't save her. We also have a resident of Sunnydale here to help and he can't help her. He said we need someone strong in their faith. DC. I wouldn't know who'd know and neither do they. I figured you might know. No, we're at the office and I can have the guards let anyone in. Please. Thank you. Growling, sweating, no voice changing, but growling, swearing, screaming, pregnant, and reacting to anything holy like it's a bonfire she's being put into. Thanks, Father." He hung up and looked at Gibbs, who was still at his desk. "We're calling in a higher authority."
"Good to know. Is she going to be all right?"
"She should be fine," Tony said calmly. "If they can get it out of her they won't have to repeat it with the baby." That got a shudder. He called the guards. "It's DiNozzo. There's a priest coming. Let him in. I know we're supposed to be cleared out. He's here to give rites to someone. Let him in. I'll escort him personally. No, call Gibbs' desk or the director's office. No cellphones. Thanks." He hung up and looked at Gibbs. "They couldn't remove the thing Riley put in Xander's rear." He hurried up there. "One's on the way, should be at least a half hour," he reported.
Xander nodded. "Sometimes it takes longer than that."
"The Church doesn't like those who can do this," the priest admitted. "It takes away the power of the rest of us. Makes us seem unclean and less powerful."
"It's all a matter of faith," Xander quipped. "Oh, Tony, do you want by the pond or not?"
"Pond," he decided. "The other side, away from the old visitor's area is good if no one's claiming it."
"Horatio wants in the trees. Eric's claiming the old one. Speed wants to live a bit closer to the trees too. So that'll be fine. Some digging but good."
"No using explosives to blow the canal for the pipe and wire, Xander," Tony ordered.
"I'm not! It's too close to the current one. I'll have the water company come lay it or something." He answered the phone when it rang. "Director's office. Sure, I can send him down." He hung up. "Earlier than you thought." Tony rushed off to get the priest. He grinned at the current one. "Could be worse."
"True, it could be a higher minion of Satan."
Tony walked in with the priest and he grinned and waved. "Hi."
"Move," the priest said, getting in there to save at least the infant he could see sprouting up. The mother too if he could.
Xander came off the plane with Tony, smiling at the person there to meet him. "Hi. Look who Cordy dropped me off with."
"Why?" Eric asked patiently.
"My director was possessed and growling and screaming," Tony told him. "That was after the third priest got there. Before then she was even worse."
Eric sighed and shook his head. "We figured it had to be important."
Tony nodded. "By the way, the newest baby Gibbs is now born healthy, happy, and with a pissed off father." Eric gaped. "She found one of Gibbs' kids. That was her payment for sticking up for them and trying to regain control of the embryos and kids."
"Shit," Eric muttered, walking them off. "Liam did not want to sleep without you. Rebecca's got a new favorite word: eww. The new trailers are in and someone came out to dig things for you. We don't think it'll be extra but we've all got some handywork to get to. Dougie's decided the pony can live with them. Tried to get her inside his new trailer last night. Since it's a three bedroom his father should share," he said at the amused looks. Xander snickered and nodded. "Horatio caught the girl leaving you things, Xander. She's very sorry. Horatio told her you were only allowed to date one of the fathers of your children. That's why they were all moving there. She walked off crying that you had a harem already and wouldn't include her. The sheriff was not amused when he came out the next day but Horatio excused it as it being four in the morning and he wasn't thinking straight. The sheriff decided you should still be on a disability check and maybe one of us should date you. That way you'd settle down and be content on the farm. Maybe get some chickens or something since the kids like chicken so much."
Xander shook his head. "One garden is more than enough."
"That's what Horatio said." He smirked at him. "What's his kid?"
"Little girl. Abby's going to email me who the other parent is." He grabbed his two bags and Xander got the other two for him. They had used Xander to get him more bags and less stuff shipped. "Okay, we're done." Eric nodded, walking out with him. "So, is my place up?"
"It's delivered. They're hooking up all the utilities today. The rest of us bought one from the tax auction and they're bringing them tomorrow. Speed said he can wait to redecorate. He's still arguing with Miami about not being dead and how he wants his insurance stuff. They think they gave it to his parents and he pointed out he wasn't dead so therefore they should be giving him his pension at least since he was shot in the line of duty but they saved him. Apparently the whole shooting thing was a setup to get him." Xander just nodded once at that. "Graham called." Tony gave him an odd look. "He apologized for Riley going insane. He said he wasn't aware he was going off the deep end and he wasn't sure why he went off the deep end but he was very sorry he snapped and decided you were actually a mother, Xander."
"Gee, thanks," he said dryly. "Any other cheery news?"
"Those kids are moving to South America so he can beat the crap out of Riley himself." Eric grinned. "He said Riley will be paying and he'll probably be in the ho shoes instead." He saw Xander wince and tighten up, grabbing Tony's arm. "You okay?"
"Cellphone. Can we hurry up?"
"We can," Tony agreed, getting a nod from Eric. They got on one of the people movers. "No blocking thingy?"
"No, I wasn't wearing it when I got snatched by Cordy to come help you." They all saw the guards massing at the end of the people moving strip. "Hi, guys."
"Guys, I'm a newly retired Fed," Tony said, pulling out his old ID. "Let me explain."
Tony pulled them off to the side. "Xander was recently kidnaped by a friend's ex- boyfriend. Her ex implanted a small, vibrating device in Xander's body, near his prostate gland. It's set to the same frequency as a cellpone's ring." They all winced. "Yeah. He got brought up to help me quit and move down here. So all we need is to get him away from the cellphones quickly. He has a blocking device but it's at home. The person who brought him didn't give him time to grab it."
"Okay," one guard said. "Can we scan him anyway? We have one of those full-body scanners."
Xander shrugged. "If it makes you happy, guys." They nodded, taking him to do that. "You should've seen the security guys in DC when I presented the medical card I carry. To say they weren't happy was amusing. As was the fit."
"It took the FBI coming in to let him get on the plane," Tony told them. "They brought in the file from his kidnaping. Are they sure they can't remove it, Xander?"
"Nope. Not without the possibility of losing function there." They made it to the security section and Xander smiled. "I have an implanted device and they wanted to scan it again," he told the one on the machine. He showed him the card he carried, getting a horrified look. "A kidnaper did it."
"They can't remove it!"
"Nope. Can we?"
"Sure. Give us ten to clear the backlog. They're all getting on flights soon." He got them through and Eric got Tony some coffee and himself a cookie while they waited. Then Xander stepped into the machine, letting them see the x-ray image of the machine and the rest of his body. "Screws in your foot, sir?"
"I might've stepped on some when I was working construction. Not that I know of. Do I?"
"Maybe they're in your shoes," Eric said. Xander stepped out of them. "Yup, in your shoes."
Xander picked them up to look at. "Yeah, I stepped on some, they're in the tread, sorry." He pried them out and put them in the little pan someone was holding out. "Thanks," he offered with a small grin. "We good?"
"Sir, that's got to be uncomfortable," one of the guards watching said.
Xander looked at him. "Only around cellphones. Fortunately they don't work near my farm very often. Only one company and satellite phones."
The guards nodded. "That's reasonable then," the guard said, nodding at them to release him. "Come on, I'll get you guys out the faster way." He summoned a cart and gave them a ride, letting Eric jog off to the get the car while Tony waited. "So, former Fed?"
"Former Fed. Fed up with my former director so I quit," Tony admitted, grinning some. "Then again I have a daughter who lives with Xander. So I'm moving out to his farm."
"That's cool. How old?"
He pulled out pictures and Xander pulled out a more current one. "Where's mine?"
"In the letter she was making for you to be mailed in a few days." He showed him. "That was at her brother's third birthday," he said proudly. "Her name's Rebecca."
"She's a beautiful girl, sir." They both smiled and put away the pictures. Eric drove up. "Sir, next time you have to come up, warn us beforehand and make sure you bring the card."
"I hardly ever leave the farm unless someone snatches me or takes me to help someone, but I will." He grinned and shook his hand, then helped Tony carry stuff off to the trunk. He climbed in the back, getting comfy. "Wow, no car seats. It's been forever since I've been in a car without a car seat."
Tony laughed. "I'm getting a sedan, Xander. That way I can bring the kids around with me sometimes too."
"That's fine. Thank you." They pulled away from the curb, all waving at the nice guard. "He was nice even if that was fairly embarrassing."
"Sorry," Tony offered.
"Not your fault but for every one of those I'm going to break one of Riley's bones. I'm up to fifty now. Thankfully Buffy saw the first one and figured out what was going on. I was lucky in LAX. I was in the secured section the whole time."
"Very lucky," Tony agreed. He looked at Eric. "How's my girl doing? Xander said he was making cookies with her and Liam."
"Then Liam yelled 'glowy one did it again, daddy!' and went running repeating it until someone came in to make cookies with him. My mother was very happy to help make cookies." He grinned back at Xander. "How was DC?"
"Didn't get to do much sightseeing this time either," he said blandly. "Tony, are you bringing down the Mustang too? If so I can probably put a carport onto the back of the barn."
"No, I love my mustang but she's going to be garaged. I'll get something hip and sedanish for now."
"Sure. Oh, Buffy sent back that you're a very nice agent, who's only a bit scary. But she did like Gibbs. Thought his growl was sexy and giggle-worthy."
"I'll tell him that, let him go there to spank her."
"She's back at her home base."
"Doesn't matter, he'll go there to spank her."
"Sheppard threatened to," Xander offered smugly. "Apparently both ladies had PMS recently."
"Those poor military guys," Tony and Eric sighed in unison, shaking their heads.
Eric glanced at him. "Calleigh loves her guns even more while she's got hers."
"Kate makes Gibbs look like Rebecca," Tony countered. "On a happy, singing, dancing day."
"For some reason I can't see Gibbs being a singing, dancing sort," Xander said dryly. Tony reached back to smack him on the head. "Hey!"
"Tough. Bad thought, Xander. I'll have to tell him that."
"As long as he doesn't fly down to spank me."
"You'd enjoy it," Eric teased.
"I doubt it. He might like the handcuffs I'd put on him but I doubt it too," he said with a sweet, gentle smile. Both other guys laughed.
Xander came out a few days later with his morning coffee, looking around. All the trailers were up. All the utilities were running. There was a water company guy coming out. "Something else break?" he called.
"My boss sent me out. He said your water usage had went up three hundred percent in the last week." Xander waved a hand. He looked then at him. "We'd expect triple at that many new homes, but this is from the leak, sir. Can we check?"
"Go ahead. Let me know. Are we going to be responsible for that since you guys put it in?"
"I'll have to ask the boss that, sir. We'll see." He went to look, finding it under Speed's new trailer. He tapped on the door. "Sir, I've got to turn off your water. You have a leak."
"I saw the mud last night and was going to tell Xander today." He shrugged. "Go ahead. We're both up and bathed."
"Thanks." He headed back to the meter. "Sir, where's the shut off?"
"Someone yell when their water goes off!" Xander shouted, coming down to show the three of them. He shut off one and Tony complained. He turned that one on again. The next one got a glare from Horatio. "Must go to his and the spare trailer." He turned off the third emergency shutoff valve and looked at Speed, who nodded. "There you go. Let me know."
"I'll call now, sir." He went to do that. Since they had put in the lines he wasn't sure if they were going to be responsible for the usual fifty-dollars-an-hour fee for fixing it. His boss was usually reasonable about those things. He saw a young naked boy go running by and laughed at his blue tinted rear end. That's when his boss answered. "Sorry, one of the kids painted his rear. Found the leak, boss. It's in a pipe we put in. Harris wanted to know if he was responsible for the repair fees." He leaned out. "Mr. Harris, he said you'd be responsible for half but he'd knock some off the water usage for it." Xander nodded. "He said that's fine, boss. Thanks. Speedle's trailer. It's his son that just went streaking past with a blue butt. Sure." He hung up and looked out at the kid. "That's not a blood flow issue, right?"
"No, that's paint," Speed said grimly. "He decided to paint with it last night. He was pressing his butt against the walls to make pretty patterns that looked like butterflies." Xander snickered at that. "He's very creative."
"Yes he is," Xander agreed, giving him a hug. "Go ahead and snatch food if you need to, Speed. It shouldn't take too long to fix."
"Sure. Thanks." He carried his son inside to get him something to nibble on, then took him to the pond to swim. He had promised and his son wouldn't put on clothes until they went swimming. He carried him and his poptarts back out to the pond, helping him eat them before they waded in. His son paddled around while the water line was being fixed, then ran inside once it was turned on to take a shower and get dressed. "Good timing," he told the amused repair guy.
"Liam up, Daddy. I go play!" he shouted, heading that way.
"Put on pants!" he shouted after him. His son trudged back to the house. "My t-shirt is fine, son. The underwear is good, thank you for remembering them this time. Pants have to go on too. Shoes too." His son pouted but did as ordered then went running back over to Horatio's new place to play with Liam.
Horatio came out to sip his coffee on his new porch. "Thanks, Speed."
"We've been up for hours getting the water fixed."
"I noticed. That all of them?" he asked the water company worker. He shrugged and went to check the others. He came back nodding. "Thank you for noticing that."
"You're welcome, sir." He smiled at Harris, having him sign the slip saying what he had repaired and how long it had taken. Then he went back to the office, smiling and sharing the story with his boss. It was very cute of the kid.
"The guys in town are going to think I'm really strange," Xander said as he walked over to Horatio's. "Morning, Liam." He got a pounced hug then the boys ran back to play in Liam's new room. "Dougie, no painting," he called. Horatio hurried inside. He had some paint to do his living room. After last night... Dougie was no longer allowed near any paint. Eric came out of his trailer yawning. Xander waved so he came over. "Speed's son decided to paint butt butterflies on his walls."
Eric burst out giggling, going to see. Speed was painting the centers and antennas between the buttcheek prints. "Cute."
"Very. I couldn't get his butt clean. He was doing it for nearly thirty minutes before I caught him," he said. "I'm sending pictures to Alexx. Plus ones of his butt." He smirked at him. "The boys painting at Horatio's?"
"I heard Xander say they couldn't and then Horatio ran inside. I came out to wake up." He came in to help decorate the butterflies with dots and things. Speed smirked at him. "My niece tried it once. Momma caught her and threw a fit."
"Majorly spanked. Then taken to the priest so she could swear at her in front of him. The priest got her calmed down." Speed snickered. Eric's mother was very loud when she wanted to be. He added another dot and Horatio carried both boys in. "We're finishing off the butt-erflies."
"I heard." He looked then looked at Liam. "You may not do that to your room. It'll mess up your hair." Liam scowled and shook his head. "Thank you. We're going to help Xander clean up the barn, finally."
"Sure. Have fun with that," Speed said with a wave. "We'll be there in a while." That got a nod. "Tony and Rebecca back from his jog yet?"
"Just now. It was his idea." He walked the boys out, going to help them with the clean up while the boys got to work with the carrying small stuff and helping stack it neatly. Rebecca was helping sweep because she was having a 'cleaning day' according to Xander.
Xander walked into the local DEA office a few hours later with a large box, handing it to the receptionist. "The agents who were searching my farm for the last owner's stuff forgot some." He walked out shaking his head.
One of the agents leaned out of his pod. "That was Harris. Smug asshole." He came over to get the box and put it into evidence, groaning. "They found drugs we didn't," he said, going to find his boss. "Harris just brought in a box of stuff we didn't find during that two-day search."
"Should I start on the claim form?" the secretary asked.
"No, he's living somewhere we sold after we snatched it," the boss said. "No one searched it very well so we had to go out. Now Harris found more. It happens now and then." She nodded at that, going back to her desk to get the agent labels and the proper forms.
"Gee, thanks." He went to do that. It was a good haul. He came out. "Boss, heard rumors that some of the Miami people moved out there," he called.
"If so maybe we can recruit some of them part time for lab work," he said, calling out there. "DiNozzo?" He smiled. "I heard some of the fathers moved down. Well, we do need lab people now and then. Think we could count on some of them? True, wouldn't hurt to ask. Who's there?" He smiled at the list. "Sure, let me know if you get bored. We can use you part-time or something. Thanks, DiNozzo." He hung up and called Gibbs. "Thanks for sending DiNozzo down so I can use him part-time once he gets bored, Gibbs. By the way, did you want to be noted as being part of the search that missed more drugs? Harris just brought some in and dropped them on the secretary's desk." He listened to the screaming in the background. "Your director?" He snickered. "Shoot her, Gibbs. If she's in your house, she's trespassing. I know, don't tempt you. Sure. Yeah, just talked to him. He said he'd do it if he was bored. How long should that be?" He smiled. He could wait a month. "Thanks. Good luck." He hung up and went back to work, making notes in the case file. He knew it wasn't the Harris boy's drugs. He wasn't like that. Weapons yes, drugs no.
Xander came out of his house one day to screaming, glaring at the kids. "What is going on?"
"Rachel does too have a mommy!" Liam shouted.
"Son, no she doesn't," Xander said, sitting on the stairs. "Unless you guys consider me the mommy, no she doesn't. None of you do. Remember, mommies are girls. You have two daddies, not a daddy and a mommy."
"Why?" Liam asked, looking miserable.
"Because the people who gave you to us, the ones who made you be born, decided to do it that way. Now, come here." He trudged over. "Who's been talking to you guys about mommies anyway? That's come up before and no one's mentioned it to me."
"Reverend's sister said we had to have a mommy."
"You know what? You like the reverend, right?" He nodded, looking very serious. "Then let's go talk to the reverend and maybe he can explain to both of you so you both understand." His son smiled, he knew his daddy had the answer. "Go put on shoes. Guys, go find the other daddies, Rachel, play with someone." She ran off. He went to put on his own shoes and a better t-shirt. He had been doing laundry, so anything was fine. Going to church wasn't like that, even for a social call. He came out to find Horatio putting on Liam's shoes. "We're going to talk to the reverend so he can explain to both Liam and the reverend's sister about why they don't have mommies."
"Uh-huh." He looked at him. "Does he know?"
"He was an advanced scout for the Initiative, Horatio. He already knew, just not the actual facts." That got a nod and he walked the boy down to his car, taking him to town. They pulled up in front of the church about twenty minutes later, letting him look around. "Looks like he's not here. Let me run inside to see where he is. Okay?" Liam nodded so he did that. He walked inside more calmly than running. "Where's Reverend Finet?" he asked the first person he saw.
"He's... With his sister at home. It's the last day of her visit I think," the older woman said. "Is it a problem?"
"Yeah, his sister's been talking about how Liam should have a mother." He gave her a look and she shuddered. "We're going to talk to the reverend."
She patted him on the arm. "Go with God, son. You might need it."
Xander grinned. "But I'm charming and nice." He walked back out, driving out to the reverend's house. He lived on the edge of town, next to the sheriff's place actually. He got Liam out and they walked up the front porch stairs, not even having to knock. "Reverend Finet."
"Xander, what's wrong?" he asked, looking confused. Usually the boy didn't come to him with problems and with his son especially.
Xander nudged Liam. "Ask him."
"Your sisser said I should have a mommy. Daddy said you get to explain to both of us why I don't."
"Oh." He winced. "I can do that."
Xander grinned. "I can't. Hush agreement."
"Good point." He let them inside. "It is a troubling matter," he admitted. "I had no idea, Xander."
"It's been causing some problems, especially with Rachel," he said quietly. "All I want is it fixed. Please?"
"Of course." He walked them into the parlor. "Emma, you remember Liam and his father Xander, correct?" She nodded, looking less than pleased to see them. He sat down and pulled Liam into his lap. "Liam has asked a very important question." Liam smiled at that. "He said you've mentioned he should have a mother somewhere." He looked at his sister. "Due to the government program that had him be born being shut down, the same one I signed the hush agreement with when I retired, Liam came into being."
Xander nodded, sitting down across from her, closer to the Reverend. "The same people he used to work for decided I needed to be a father multiple times."
"But someone had to have given birth to him," she said firmly. "You can't just create them in a neutral, non womb environment."
"Have you noticed that Rachel blinks a bit funny?" Xander asked. She nodded slowly. "Have you ever seen the commune in the next county?" She shuddered but nodded. "Her mother's people are out there. They're breeders. That's their main purpose in life. The Initiative found that out." Her face fell. "They weren't made with a mother in mind. Those of us who got used decided that the special ones they crossed the baseline guys like me with were the mommy. Therefore Liam and all the rest of them only have *fathers*. I'd appreciate you not making my children cry or fight over that fact the next time you see them. Please."
She swallowed some of her iced tea. "What if the ...maternal beings want them back?" Xander shook his head. "They can't?"
"We don't even know if they're alive," he said quietly, glancing at his son, who was playing with the reverend's cross. He looked at her again. "They've got nothing of their maternal womb's being in them, except for Rachel."
She frowned. "Still, even with that, they should still have a mother."
"The last woman I dated broke into my bank account after we broke up because she believed I should be paying her palimony for dating her for a year and living with her for two months, ma'am. She's the only one so far that hasn't tried to kill me. Literally kill me." She went pale at that. "Your brother knew about me before he retired. I'm from the town he was stationed in and he used to watch my group now and then. That was part of his assignment. We're going to be really lucky if any of us fathers settle down anytime soon."
She swallowed another swallow. "That's the wrong way of thinking, Mr. Harris. It's not right in God's eyes."
"The Gods I believe in don't care. My children won't care about that particular god's problems either. They're being raised tolerant. Even if they do decide to join your brother's church, I haven't heard him preach against gay people yet." She glared at her brother.
"I can not and will not believe that God made them that way without a reason," he told her firmly. "He's right. Even if they do join the church when they're older, they're not going to hear me preach against it."
"Do your parishioners know this?"
He nodded. "The Church's board asked me when they hired me. With all I've seen and done, Emma, there's no such thing as a bad love unless it hurts someone else." Liam tugged on his necklace so he smiled at him. "Yes, Liam?"
"What about mommies?"
"Well, most people do have mothers as well as fathers. But your family is so very special because someone decided you only needed fathers. That your fathers were as good as any mommy." Liam beamed at his father for that. "Does he cook and take care of you?"
Liam nodded. "Both do. Daddy Xanner even bakes cookies," he said happily.
"Well, that's what Mommies do so both your daddies are doing Mommy things. That's why they were chosen to be your parents. The same as the rest of them knew that they wouldn't need a mommy with the parents that were chosen."
Xander leaned forward. "Liam, remember how we talked about the people who gave you to me?" He nodded, looking serious. "Well, they're the ones who decided who would be your parents. They decided in our family's case that two daddies were for the best because they knew that we could be excellent daddies. Even if we never married and gave you stepmommies we'd be excellent daddies and you'd be raised very well." Liam beamed at that. "So, even though you don't have a mommy, it only makes you more special to us, okay?" He nodded. "Then can you please quit fighting with the girls? Maybe help me explain it to Rebecca later?" He nodded. "Good. Any more questions?"
"Daddy, why you 'dopt Rachel?"
He thought for a second. "Because the same people who gave you to me made her but her daddies couldn't take care of her," he said gently. "She needed a daddy and I'm a very good daddy. I could love her just the same as the others could, but I was going to have all you so one more of you wasn't a problem." Liam smiled at that. "Since her daddies couldn't, they said I could adopt her so she'd have parents who loved her. Even though she's not mine by birth, she's still my little girl, the same as you're my son. All right? No picking on Rachel because of that."
"Yes, daddy." He hopped down and came over to hug him. "I love you even if you're not a mommy."
Xander grinned. "Thank you, son. Thank you as well, Reverend."
"Not a problem, Xander. It's an important question that had to be settled. Are we getting them again soon?"
"It depends. With the other fathers moved out to the farm for the most part, they've been doing the cooperative babysitting thing. Though about half of them are thinking about taking part-time jobs so you might." That got a smile and a nod. "Plus, hey, all the new trailers means less to mow." He beamed at that and cackled. His son did too. "Ooh, we have to pick stuff from the garden and the orchard soon, huh?" He picked Liam up. "We'll probably let you have them again soon. Have a good afternoon, both of you." He walked Liam out to the car, talking about the orchard and what to do with all the fruit.
The Reverend looked at his sister. "Even if I believed as you do I could never preach against them, Emma. They never asked to be fathers. They got told they were and then handed their children after being allowed to decide which one would have custody. I don't know details and they can't tell me. Not that I haven't figured some out."
"It's still wrong."
"The same people who used my skills used their seed, Emma. They had no say in it."
She grimaced. "They should still be encouraged to marry."
"One of them is forty-five, Emma. If he hasn't married yet, he's probably not going to anytime soon. Some people don't do well in married life. Hell, Xander's never dated a good girl in his life."
"He's very young."
"But he's an excellent father to those kids. I agree with him, you shouldn't have said that around them, Emma."
She sighed and shook her head. "We'll have to agree to disagree."
"Next time you come in for a visit, don't say anything either," he said firmly. "They've got enough problems as is." She nodded, taking another drink of her tea. "Before you think about spreading it around, some newspapers did when the program was found out about. Xander left Sunnydale to come down here because it's a safe and tolerant area. The other fathers recently moved onto the same farm in their own trailers because they wanted to be closer to their children. They've got a good commune out there at the moment."
She nodded and sighed, then shook her head. "Still seems a waste of good men going to hell."
"That's your opinion," he reminded her.
"Fine. Whatever. Can we get back to mother's new quilt?"
"I'd love to see it sometime soon," he agreed happily. She smiled back and they went back to their common, sibling banter and discussions.
Xander drove back onto the farm, getting out once they had parked. "Go grab the others and we'll explain to them together. The daddies too." He nodded, running off to do that since he saw most of them were at Tony's house. Tony had video games so the kids loved to spend the hot afternoons at his place. Xander went into the house, turning on the air conditioner and settling in the living room. Horatio came in. "We talked about how the people who made him didn't want mommies."
"Good. Did we disclose more things?"
"The reverend said it was the same people he used to work with, not me."
"That'll save it."
Xander grinned. "Didn't you get the email saying that everyone knew?"
"Well, yes, but they can still get vindictive."
"The director of NCIS is presently in a mental institution," Tony said as he joined them with the rest of the kids. "Did you want Speed too?"
"Depends, is Dougie asking about his mother?" Tony nodded. "Then we can explain it to him too." They called him over and the other fathers came too. "We've been having a lot of talk about mothers thanks to Reverend Finet's sister Emma. Who thinks we're all gay and going to hell," he said dryly, giving them looks. "So today, Liam and I went to talk to the Reverend so he could explain to her and Liam about why he didn't have a mommy."
"Because we're *SO* special that they decided that daddies were going to be good enough for us," Liam said happily, beaming at the others. Dougie smiled back. Rebecca pouted. "The people who gave us to the daddies decided that they were special too, that they could do mommy and daddy things because they're so great."
Xander nodded. "They did."
Tony grinned back. "I do make a mean batch of brownies. Speed does do the kissing boo- boos very well too."
"I learned from Alexx," he said dryly. "Speaking of, she's coming up soon." Everyone shrugged at that. "Okay, fair warning about the fussing one." He looked at Liam. "What else did he tell you?"
"That usually people do have mommies but that Daddies might give us step... what's a stepmommy, daddy?" He looked at Horatio.
"That is when your father marries someone other than your birth mother," he said calmly. "And he's right, some day some of you might have stepmothers if any of us marry someone."
Liam pouted. "You not marry Daddy?"
Horatio smiled. "That's something we'd have to work out in the future, Liam. Not right now."
"Okay. Maybe later? Like bedtime?"
"Maybe later, like when you're ten or so," Xander corrected. "Far later, not tonight later." Liam sighed but nodded, grimacing some. "So we thought you should all know what the Reverend said so there's no more fights about mothers. Am I clear?" They all nodded. "Does anyone have any more questions?"
Rebecca hopped up. "Nice lady at church say we have to have mommies somewhere, or else we couldn't be borned."
"Someone did give birth to you," Tony agreed, picking her up to cuddle her. "The people... How do I explain this to you?"
Speed cleared his throat. "Rebecca, the people who gave you to us decided who was going to be your parents. They're the ones who made you be born." She nodded slowly at that. "They put... Did you watch the show with the horses the other night? How they were putting one horse into another mother?" She beamed and nodded. "Well, they did that to you."
"In a horsie? Like pony?" Liam asked, looking confused. He loved his pony friend but was she his mother?
"No, he put you into a female person but they're still not considered your mother. Like the horse that gave birth to the other horse, it wasn't his mother, it was a surrogate. That's someone who has a baby for someone else. I know it's a big word but it's someone who gave birth to you guys so we could have you."
"Oh," the kids said, staring at each other. "We meet them?" Rachel asked.
Xander shook his head. "We've never found records of who did that, Rachel. If we had, we might've talked to them for you." She pouted. "Not just for you, but all of you."
She nodded. Liam pounced her. "Daddy said he loved you so much he 'dopted you because he knew your daddies couldn't take care of you. That you needed love and he had lots of love to give so he 'dopted you so you're my sisser. No matter what you're just like Becca and all the others."
She beamed. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," he agreed happily. He smiled at his father. "Right?"
"I did." He gave them both a hug. "When you're teenagers and you're able to understand the science stuff that's in the notes, we'll explain it better, okay, guys? Can this hold you that far?" They all nodded. "Thank you. Any other questions?" They all shook their heads. "Then why don't we take a nap?"
The kids cackled and ran back outside, heading back to Tony's. Tony took off at a run to protect his things from the horde.
"Good job," Speed said with a grin. "The reverend's sister?"
"He told her not to say things like that around the kids. Even though she believes we're all gay and going to hell for having kids together she'll lay off the kids. He's also very tolerant. His thoughts of gay people were 'he couldn't believe God would make them that way without a reason' and left it there. His sister wasn't pleased but oh well."
"So we'll be fine if the daddies do get together," Eric decided.
Xander grinned. "The Sheriff keeps hinting too."
"Only in your case; he wants me to meet his sister," Horatio said with a smile. "He thinks you should settle down before you make another pond."
"Lay off the pond. It's pretty and necessary." He frowned at him. "A thought came to me. We have a whole orchard that's going to need to be picked bare in a few weeks." They all groaned. "Anyone have any ideas what the hell we're doing with them?"
"You could send them to Buffy," Eric offered dryly.
"I could but then we wouldn't have any."
"True." He shrugged. "I don't know. We can see. How much is there?"
"One acre of the lands is the orchard," Xander told him. They all gaped. "Mostly apples and citrus stuff, Eric. A few nut trees."
"Well, we can keep the apples but please remember Catty's got a citrus allergy?" Eric asked. Everyone nodded. "Thanks, guys. Can we go look?" Xander nodded. "Would you want to send some to Buffy?" Xander shrugged. "Okay. Then we'll figure that out. Take what we want and then deal with the rest." They all nodded and went to look together since Tony had the kids and Xander wanted a nap.
Far, far away, Buffy got a delivery notice a few weeks later. She beamed and bounced down to where the ship offloaded, looking at the guys unloading. "Did Xander send me more guns and stuff?" she asked happily.
"No, yours is fragile but there's a lot. You should probably get Doctor McKay since you're part of SGA-1 now, Miss Summers."
"Okay." She bounced back to the labs to get him. "The delivery crew guy said to come get you because Xander sent fragile stuff this time. He wouldn't tell me what but he said since I'm on your team you should look at it."
He let out a sigh. Must everything be dramatic with this one? "Fine," he said, following her back there. He took the manifest, staring at it. "He sent her what?"
The captain smirked at him. "He sent her what. Plus a few more grenades and something he was working on." He nodded. "Want to scan it? He said it's from his orchard."
"All citrus I'm sure," he said grimly.
"Nope, there's a box here with just your name on it, Doctor McKay." He handed over the larger than average box. "The rest?"
"I'll alert Doctor Weir," he said, walking off. "Stay, Buffy." He went up to her office with his box. "Buffy and Willow's friend Xander sent more things."
"How does he get so many weapons?" she demanded.
"No one's sure but this time it's the extra fruit from his orchard in Georgia." She ran off to look. He took the box back to his quarters to open it in private. He found a few gizmos on top, pausing to look at one. "That's.... That's a plasma bomb?" He looked at the tag on it and nodded. "Someone gave him a prototype plasma bomb. Interesting." He found a layer of ice packs and a note taped to the top of one, opening it. //I know what food allergies are like. Catty has a citrus allergy too. We didn't want you to be bummed because the others got fresh fruit and you couldn't, since we sent most of the citrus stuff - don't want anyone to get scurvy or anything, right - so I thought you'd like these instead. Xander and the kids who'll someday terrorize your universe too.// He smiled at the thoughtful gesture and moved the very useful refreezable cold packs. Then he gaped. He laughed. He had a good bushel of apples and nuts. That's why the box had been so heavy. He smiled and grabbed one to look at. "Homegrown, no preservatives, no chemicals because the boy doesn't know about them." He washed it then bit into it, moaning in pleasure. They didn't often get fresh fruit on Atlantis and it was very sweet of him. He went back to his lab with his apple, making sure to lock his door. John Sheppard gave him a pitiful look. "Buffy got sent some from Xander." He ran that way. "Thank you for letting me get back to work," he called after him.
John peeked into the delivery area. "How much stuff, Buffy?"
"A good six or seven cases of citrus stuff," she said happily. "What did Rodney get?"
She smiled at that. "Catty has a citrus allergy too." She looked at Doctor Weir. "You can have most of them but I get some. We can maybe even plant some?"
"I can see us doing that," she agreed happily. She gave her the smallest box, one that said it only went to Buffy and her team. The rest got taken to the mess hall so the cooks could bow at her feet graciously and thank her for it. They all stared at first. "Buffy's friend Xander has an orchard on his farm. He sent us what they couldn't use because he has a daughter with a citrus allergy." They fell over each other getting into the crates. "Save some for the botanists to start cultivating our own," she ordered. They nodded and paged them to come up and get them. She walked off smiling, finding McKay in a good mood with his apple. "He sent you special stuff?"
"Non-citrus products since he knows I'm allergic. Very thoughtful. Plus some reusable cold packs." She smirked at that. "Packed around the fruit so it wouldn't spoil. I'll hand those to Doctor Cranky up the hall."
"I'll let him know." She went to do that, finding John was delivering some of those. "Buffy's was packed in it too?"
"It was. Thank you."
"Welcome. McKay got apples."
He smiled. "That means he won't fuss," he said quietly. He walked off happier. "McKay, want me to get the cold packs for Beckett?"
"I've got my quarters locked." He went with him to get them, and bring the weapons back to look over. John gave few an odd look. "Someone gave him prototypes."
"Maybe we should recruit them."
"Depends on if they work or not." He gave him a look. "I'll save some of the seeds for cultivation."
"Thanks." He walked the new pile of cold packs off to the medical bay. "Here's the ones from McKay's present pack, Carson."
"Thank you," he said in his Scottish accent. "Put them in the freezer please." John did that. "They'll come in handy around here."
"They usually do," he agreed happily. A very useful present for everyone, nearly as good as the fruit was. "Did you hear? Xander sent Buffy a lot of his orchard's output." The doctor's head popped up from looking in his microscope. He smirked. "Some citrus stuff. McKay got apples and it looked like some nuts."
"Good! That's a thoughtful man, that one." He went to get his own before they had to make it spread out to feed so many people. The botanists were already picking over some of them to get good specimens. "Any grapefruit?" Three were handed over. "Thank ya." He walked off with them and an orange he had snatched from someone's pile. A very good present for everyone. They could use the fruit and the rind would flavor things for a good, long time. It'd be good for them.
Buffy skipped in wearing a new outfit. "What do we think, Doc?"
He looked then nearly choked on his next breath. "I think yer gonna be spanked, young lady."
She grinned. "Flirting, doc. Flirting." She went to find her boyfriend, earning a dirty look. "Xander sent it."
"He misjudged your size."
"He said it's good for making you growl." She beamed. "Which you are." He picked her up and walked her off to make her change, which usually evolved into hot sex. Which was her intention. Xander knew *just* the right present to get a girl.
McKay saw them go past, shaking his head. Someone was going to get spanked. Ronon was the jealous sort. Very, very jealous sort. He dug into his second apple, letting the botanist who came in looking pitiful have the first one's core. "Seeds?"
He nodded and took them to start the cultivating. They could use fresh fruit more often. Apples generally did very well no matter where they were planted. The citrus would have be grown in a hothouse, but that was fine. They had one. A good, large one so they'd have plenty over the years they'd be there. It was a great gift. Especially when Buffy dug into her box and found seed packets underneath with a big 'I don't know if you can use it, but maybe you can since you guys complained about the food' sign on it. She went to hand it to the botanists once she was redressed in something more decent, leaving a sleeping boyfriend in her bed. Then she skipped back, stripped, and crawled back in. It was a great day off. Even if Willow would pout at her to get some of her treats. Xander's note said she had to share.
The rest of the people on Atlantis were happy that night when they came in to dinner and found fresh fruit cobbler for dessert. It was a rare treat.
Xander looked around the farm, smiling in contentment. Everyone was still asleep. Even Liam, which was amazing. It was a beautiful morning. Nothing bad was going on. Even thinking that nothing bad was going on wasn't bringing something bad. It was the perfect start to a beautiful day and he was going to enjoy it. The kids were going to daycare again today. Eric had wanted to mow for him. The barn was cleaned out and the pony was actually sleeping in her open stall. The pond looked good today on water levels. No one had a leak anywhere, no one was setting off their smoke detectors. He smiled when he saw the sheriff's truck pull up from the road, waving at him, walking down to meet him before he could get out. "Not even Liam's up yet," he said happily.
"I'm surprised." He grinned back. "Happy today?"
"Eric's going to mow, the kids are going to daycare. For some reason I got a check for each kid this month. I got paid back for my ex's stunts finally. I'm having a very happy day."
The Sheriff grinned and nodded. "Good. Think I could borrow someone?"
"Ask. You need them now?"
"Later. Mayberry's out with his son's teething." Xander nodded, understanding why. "For probably the rest of the week."
"Hey, ask. See who'll go. I know we have a mini-think tank out here of CSI and science stuff." That got a nod and another smirk. "Anything else?"
"Not yet. Any new presents?" Xander walked into the barn and came out with the bound young woman. "Why didn't you call?"
"We decided menial labor would cure her. Horatio spotted her when Liam got him up. Unfortunately no one snuck off their handcuffs." He winked and headed back to his porch swing, smiling when no one pounced him. Not even Liam. He waved as the older man took the annoyance off. The pony came out to graze, giving him a gentle snort. "Liam's with his father," he said quietly when she walked closer. She let him pet her then went to graze by Horatio's trailer. She did love the boy. Maybe Liam would be a vet some day. He looked down at the hellhound puppy that appeared next to him, giving her a head scratch. "Bored?" She laid down next to him, getting comfy for a nap in the shade. "You know, you could go guard the Buffy and her team. They could use you. They have evil space vampires," he said quietly. The hellhound stared at him. He nodded. "Even worse than Angel." The dog growled and disappeared. He smiled. It was another thoughtful gift. She'd keep Buffy out of trouble and help McKay when he got into it. Or maybe they'd send her to help Danny for a while. Either was possible. He took another sip of his coffee and enjoyed the early morning. It was very nice. A good new life.
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