"I'm just going for the weekend," Charley complained, glaring at the three mice in front of her.  "You three can deal with everything this weekend.  Do not touch that muffler job.  You can figure out how to cook for the weekend too."  She grabbed her bag.  "I'll be back sometime Monday morning and you three can handle it.  Limburger's not even rebuilt yet.  We're in a lull.  I deserve a vacation."

"Are you sure you want to go alone?" Vinnie asked.  "I'll gladly go with you."

"If any of you try to follow me, I'm going to drown you in the pond.  Stay!"  She got onto her bike and headed out, waving as she took off.  Really, they acted like she couldn't take care of herself and that she didn't have any sense.  She knew where she was going, she'd been many times, and she had friends there.  She'd be fine and they'd figure out how to cook for themselves for the weekend.  Either that or they'd order dinner and lounge around watching her tv for the weekend, just in case something happened to the garage of course.  She got onto the interstate, speeding up as she merged with the pre-rush hour traffic heading out of the city.  It felt good to take a ride for no reason. She needed to do this more often.  She didn't do anything just for fun anymore.

Back at the garage, the three Martians looked at each other.  "She'll be fine," Modo agreed quietly.

"I still say there's some danger," Vinnie said, looking a bit petulant.  She had threatened him!

Throttle hit him on the arm.  "She's tired, Vinnie, she needed a few days off.  Just like you have in the past.  If something comes up, we have a number on the fridge. That's what she was doing with those number magnets.  We can always ride to the rescue."  He looked around.  "We need to make it less stressful on her, bros.  Got any ideas?"

"She ordered us not to touch the muffler job," Vinnie said, frowning around.  "I guess we *could* try to clean up a bit.  She left a few things out," he offered.  "That'll show her we're more than capable of handling a few days on our own without destruction and mayhem."  He beamed at his bros.  "Then we can watch tv for a few hours, right?"

"Sure, Vinnie," Throttle agreed patiently.  "You clean up in here.  Modo, do the living spaces, I'll deal with the kitchen."  They nodded and got to work.  If Charley had snapped at them, they were wearing on her nerves.  They wanted her to come back and be happy to see them.  What better way than to do a bit of sucking up to their favorite human?


Charley pulled up in front of an old cabin and smiled as she turned off her bike.  She had always liked this old place.  It was nice. It was quiet.  Usually.  Her quiet was shattered by a screaming young girl pelting toward her.

"Auntie 'Lene!" the girl shouted, running up and climbing up her to sit in her lap.  "You comed!"

"I did come, Tabby.  Where's your mother?"

"In the pond.  You coming?"  She gave her another hug, cutting off her airway.  "You need to swim.  You not tanned, you not happy, and you tired."

"Let me go inside to change and I'll join your mother," she promised with a smile.  Tabby ran off, leaving Charley to park her bike and grab her bag, then head inside to put on a bathing suit.  It had been a long time since she'd been up here but this pond was like home to her.  That's why she pulled out one of her thinner bikinis.  Something that none of the mice knew she had.  She'd prefer to skinnydip here, but not with Tabby hanging around trying to hug her to death.  She changed and checked herself over, then decided a quick shave was in order.  Not that she'd usually do it, but it felt right at this moment.  She plugged in her razor and went to work, hurrying so she could slip into the pond.


Throttle looked up as the door to the garage opened, admitting one of the locals that sometimes gave them a head's-up.  "Hey," he said, going back to shining his bike.  "What's going on?"

"Three dune buggies were headed out of town," he said in a raspy voice.  "With that big- headed guy you warned me about taking money from."  Throttle stared up at him so he nodded.  "They were.  That nasty one, that big-headed guy, and a few goons.  They headed north."


"I don't know, man," he admitted sheepishly.  "I thought it was important. Usually you can't find a dune buggy while they're rebuilding, but this time they looked like they were going to have fun.  That look of glee scared my daughter."

"We'll look into it.  Thank you."  He shook the guy's hand.  "Ride free."

"You too.  Isn't Miss Charley around?" he asked, glancing around.

"It's her weekend off.  We're garage sitting," Vinnie said as he walked in from the kitchen with a bottle of rootbeer for Throttle.  "What's up?"

"Some dune buggies heading north with Grease Pit, Karbunkle, and some goons."

"Wonderful.  Can we go ruin their day?"

"We'll see, Vinnie."  He smirked up at him.  "Go find that chick you like in that bar and ask if she knows why.  She's still dating one of them, right?"  Vinnie nodded, grabbing his bike to do that.  He looked up but their informant had disappeared.  "What now?" he complained, going back to his shining.  He wouldn't be too worried, yet.  He could always worry later, when he had a reason to worry.  It's not like Charley went North, right?  He paused at that thought and went to check on that.  If she had, he'd worry.  He'd worry a lot.  He might even go spy on her to make sure she'd be fine.  Not that she'd mind too much, but she needed it. It's not like she had a weapon on her or anything.


Charley nearly skipped down to the lake, running into the water and diving in with a groan of relief.  "Finally," she said happily.  She felt a tap on her back and looked over at one of her oldest friends.  "Hi, how's the godson?"

"Napping.  I've got the baby monitor on the beach and Tabby's in checking on him.  You all right? You look stressed."

"I'm surrounded by three macho guys who believe I'm helpless," she admitted.  "And I'm being chased by goons constantly because I know these three macho guys."

"Sounds like fun.  Getting any?" she asked with a grin.

Charley snorted.  "No, not even close, you know I'm not like that."

"Mommy, baby brother's cooing at his toes," Tabby called.  "He not wet or hungry though, he wouldn't even suck on my fingers."

"Thank you, Tabby.  I'll be right there.  Gather up everything and drag it home."  The little girl waved at them and grabbed the monitor and her towel, taking them back to their house.  "Sorry, but the baby's probably going to be wailing soon for food.  Come to dinner later."  She winked.  "We'll talk about your problem men.  Maybe there's a way to make them calm down and see the magnificent woman you are."  She swam to the shore and got out, heading over to pick up her towel and head home.  By the time she got up there, Tabby was singing to her baby brother and he was wailing pitifully, clearly hungry.  "I'm here.  Let me hose off and you can eat," she called.  Her son let out a renewed wail so she hurried up.   He was clearly not liking his big sister's rendition of 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star'.

Charley rolled back over, doing a few more laps before she went back to her floating.  She loved this place.  It was quiet.  There weren't any over-muscled men around.  It was quiet.  There weren't any goons.  It was really quiet, so quiet she could hear a bike coming up the road and winced because of it.  "If they followed me, I'll kill them," she muttered, but the bike missed the turn-off so it was probably the guy who lived up the road.  She'd have to pay a call on him later to talk to him about fixing his engine, it was spluttering.   She did a few more laps, then went back to floating in peace and quiet.  It was nice here.


Throttle looked up as Vinnie came back, hopping up.  "What's going on?"

"They've got a new project up that way," he said grimly.  "She said she's not sure where, but it sounds like about the same area."  He leaned on his handlebars, tapping the switch that removed his faceplate.  "What do you think we should do?"

"I tried to call her but there wasn't an answer," Throttle admitted.  He looked at the other two.  "I should go."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, I can go," Vinnie reminded him.

"This will take stealth, she's already promised to kill you twice this week," Throttle reminded him.  "Can you do it in stealth mode?  Without letting her know you're there?"  Vinnie groaned and shook his head, he knew he couldn't do that.  "Modo?"

"I'd draw more attention because of my size," he offered.  "Go ahead and go.  We'll watch the garage."

"Thanks, bros.  I've got to stop by the scoreboard to get something off the computer."

"What's on the computer?  I thought she didn't leave us directions," Vinnie complained.

"I put a new tracking device on her bike."

"When!" Vinnie demanded.  "We could have used that, Throttle!  She's always in trouble."

"Stoker brought it the last time he was down and the last time we could have used it she wasn't on her bike," he said soothingly, hoping to avoid a classic Vinnie tantrum.  "Now, let me go so I can get that and head up there."  Vinnie growled but got out of his way.  "You two be good.  I'll radio later, once I've checked on her."  He hopped onto his bike and headed back to the Scoreboard and their ship's computer.  He didn't use it often but it was handy this time.  He got the paper printed out within minutes of fussing with the cranky, old system, then hopped back on his bike, heading for the interstate.  He did turn off the tracking beacon on his own bike, knowing that Vinnie and Modo would try what he was doing once the idea hit them.  He got onto the on-ramp and sped up, zipping up between rush hour traffic.  One of the beauties of being on a bike, less space needed for quick travel.


Charley lifted her head as she heard a bike, groaning in complaint.  "What is going on now?" she complained as she swam back to the small beach area.  She saw one of her older friends and grinned, waving at her.  "Hi.  I'm back for the weekend."

"So I heard.  Well, get out so I can see you."  She looked the young woman over.  "You've lost more weight. You look tired, sweetie, you okay?  Not sick or anything?"

"No, I'm fine," she promised, giving the other woman a hug.  "Tabby's helping Liz feed Bryon."

"I figured my wife would be a cow by now," she teased, making Charley blush.  "Now, what's wrong, Charley girl?  You look too tired for this to be a normal vacation, especially since you're off schedule."  She crossed her arms, letting the leather covering them squeak a bit as she shifted.  "What's going on?"

"Three men who believe I'm a bimbo who can't help myself," she said dryly.  "It seems like each week there's a new danger and I'm the target most of the time.  I haven't had the time to relax recently."

"You know, they make stress relieving devices," the other woman said dryly. "They come in all price ranges and in many pleasing colors."

Charley blushed.  "Delilah, that would require me to have time to use them, or the energy to.  I'm barely making it to my bed most nights now.  I'm always struggling.  It's either a goon or a biker, or something even worse."  She shrugged. "I'm tired, but that's why I'm up here."

"You can't date and have a one-night thing?"

"That would require me to have the energy to tart up, go out, find one, and then have the money to afford a hotel room."  Delilah gave her a long stare.  "Let's just say that the same guys who believe I'm some helpless bimbo wouldn't approve.  It'd only cause a massive fight and I'd have to rebuild part of the garage.  Again."  She slid back into the water.  "It'll be fine.  I'll recharge and go home, and be the bimbo again."

"Maybe we should meet at least one of these guys," she suggested dryly.  "You do know you're a prune now, right?"  Charley grinned at her.  "Fine."  She paused and listened, then smirked.  She had known she was being followed by another bike and some guy with a very interesting shade of tan.  She shifted her stance, crossing her arms.  "What else has been going on?"

"You're better off out here and not knowing.  No one's trying to dig up the town and send it off in mass quantities."

"I thought they were putting up more parking lots."

Charley shook her head.  "Nope, not even.  I can't tell you though, because then you'd move back and treat me like my guys do," she said with a smirk.  "We're handling it, it's just been a bad year."  She glared as a familiar body came around a bush.  "What are you doing here!"

"Grease Pit was headed this way.  I came to warn you and then to follow them around," Throttle admitted.  She got out of the water and his mouth fell open.  "Charley girl?" he squeaked.

Delilah chuckled.  "I take it this is one of the guys who treats you like a bimbo?"  Charley glared as she stormed up onto the beach.  She caught her friend, giving her a hug.  "Relax.  He's being protective.  He'll leave again."

"He'll leave in a body bag once I drown him!"

Throttle blushed and the tips of his ears wiggled.   "Want my vest?" he asked finally, hoping his voice had gone back down again.  "You look cold."

She hit him on the arm, making him wince.  "Shut up and go away.  You warned me.  I can take care of myself."

"Okay."  He backed away slowly.  "We couldn't get you on the phone.  I'll..." he swallowed.  "I'll go follow the goons now."  Delilah chuckled and pulled a knife, slicing off Charley's straps on one side, making her squeak and run for the water to dive back in.  "Ma'am, please don't hurt her.  She'd get mad at me if I hurt you back.  I don't like hitting girls."

Delilah burst out in loud giggles, turning away and walking off.

"Delilah!  That was cruel!" Charley called after her.

"You know I'll fix it later, just like last time," she called between laughs, waving a hand.  "Have fun.  Nice meeting you, dude."

Charley glared at Throttle.  "She's an old friend."

"I gathered that."  He coughed and willed his blush to go away.  "Do you need anything, like a weapon, Charley girl?"  He blushed again and rubbed the side of his snout.  "I don't want you hurt."

"Go away, Throttle.  I've got a weapon in the cabin."

"You're sure?"  She nodded, giving him an impatient look.  "That's fine.  I'm going the goons down and follow them for a bit.  Call me when you're ready to go back and I'll tell you where they are so you don't have to worry."  He walked off, blushing as brightly as he could under his fur.  Even his ear tips were hot, he could feel them putting off steam.  "She's a woman," he muttered.  "A very well built woman."

"I heard that!"

"Sorry.  Truth, but sorry!"  He got onto his bike and kicked it to life, then it sputtered and quit.  "Oh, don't do this," he begged.  His bike beeped smugly.  "No, let's go.  There's tail to whip, bike.  We can't stay here.  We've got to go before Charley takes me apart like an engine."  He tried it again and the same thing happened.  He leaned on his arms, which were hanging on his handlebars.  "Cheese, why me," he moaned.  The picture of a very naked human woman popped back into his head.  "Go away."

"That's how I feel."  She came around the end of the path wearing her towel.  "What's going on? I heard you stall."

He sat up and tried it again, and the bike let out what sounded like a chuckle.  He looked at her and shrugged.  "I don't know.  I'm trying to go.  I'm more than willing to go whip tail at the moment.  I'd like to go.  Your towel's slipping.  Come on, bike."  He tried it again.  The same thing happened.

Charley patted the crank case.  "If he stays, I'm going to drown him and then you'll be my bike. Do you want that?"  The bike shook its front wheel.  "Then I'd go."  It started on its own and backed away, taking Throttle far away from the threat.  "Have fun whipping tail," she called, waving a hand.  "I'll see you Monday.  Not before!"  She went back to the pond, hoping for less distractions.  She laid her bikini out on the bushes to dry out and dove back in.  She loved to skinnydip here.  She saw her bikini moving and growled.  "Stop it, Paul!"  The fishing line and tip of the fishing rod disappeared and the sound of small feet running off was heard.  "Good!  I'm telling your mother!"

"I'm sorry, Auntie Charley!" the boy called back.  "I'm a teenager!"

"That doesn't excuse you!" she called after him.  Another female voice joined in.

"What are you doing!"

"Trying to steal my suit!"

"Get your ass in that house right now, son, before I tan your backside so red you'll look like a coke can!"  The boy let out an 'eep' and disappeared.  Soon a female head appeared around the edge of the bushes.  She looked at the suit, then at her.  "Delilah?" she asked with a grin.  Charley nodded.  "Wonderful.  She's in a playful mood.  Send Tabby down to torture him if you see her.  He's at that age where younger kids are a hassle."  She smirked and glanced around.  "So, who was the bear?"

"He's a mouse, and he's the reason I'm up here this weekend.  Well, one of the reasons anyway."

"I figured as much, but mice shouldn't be built that way," she said with a leer.  "He single?"

"Nope, but I've got two more at home who are.  Just as well built.  One's even got manners and likes kids.  The other's a perpetual teenager and adrenaline guy.  I'll gladly send them up here for a few weeks so I can have peace and quiet at home."

"Hmm, fun," she purred.  "Happy swimming.  Tabby should be down for a nap soon. Paul won't be doing it again."  She wiggled her fingers.  "Love you, Charley, come down for tea tomorrow."  She disappeared, going to remind her son he wasn't named Tom and he wasn't a peeper.  And if he was, he wasn't going to be for long or else he'd end up as part of a s'more as the marshmallow filling.

Charley sighed and relaxed again.  That's why she loved this place.  Everyone liked her, knew she was capable, and left her alone when she wanted it.


Throttle made the mistake of falling asleep after lunch.  It wasn't a bad thing, the goons were taking lunch and gambling.  Karbunkle was asleep in the back of a dune buggy.  Grease Pit was gambling with the guys.  Throttle was on his bike however and his bike had a mind of its own at times.  It liked Charley.  It adored her as a Goddess who gave it gentle touches and made it feel better.  That's why he woke up outside of her cabin again.  He groaned and glared at his bike.  "That's not nice," he complained.  He tried to kick it back to life but it wasn't going. "Oh, come on."

"Auntie Charley can fix any bike," a tiny male voice said weakly.  Throttle looked back at the boy.  "Hi.  Do you know Charley?"

"Yeah, we work with her in Chicago.  I'm trying to go."

"Maybe she should look at it."  He moved closer.  "You're a furry person.  Are you one of those bears that mommy and Auntie Delilah talk about?"

"No, not really," he admitted slowly, wondering where this was going and if he had been drugged while watching the goons.  Maybe that's why he was dreaming he was back in front of the cabin and talking to this strange little boy.  It was the only explanation that wasn't going to give him a headache.  "Why?"

"Never mind.  Oh, watch your tail.  Tabby loves tails."  He grinned and jogged off.  "Mommy!  You'll never guess what I just saw!" he yelled.

Throttle groaned and put his head down on his crankcase.  He tried to kick his bike to life again, and when that didn't work he got off and went up to the doorway. At the very least he could warn her that they were on the other side of the nearest town and she could threaten the bike again.  He paused when he heard the moan, his ears going taut and upright.  "No," he complained, reaching for his laser.  She moaned again and he kicked the door in, startling her.  This time, he knew he was blushing all over.  He turned and walked out, closing the door and sitting on the hammock, covering his face with his hands. "Sorry, the bike brought me back while I was napping," he called.  He heard the door slam and winced, letting out a bitter chuckle.  "Maybe I should have let Vinnie come."  He glared at his bike.  "You're in deep this time.  She's going to paint you pink for this."  He stretched out on the hammock, one muscled arm over his shades, and hoping to die quickly when she finally came out.

"Are you a bunny?" a little girl asked beside him.

He rolled his head to look at her and shook his head.  "No, I'm a mouse."

"Hmm.  Why?"

"That's just the way I'm made, miss."

"I'm a Tabby, not a miss.  But you can call me Liz since you probably don't like tabbies because you're a mouse.  I'm six.  Do you have a tail?"  He nodded, swishing it a bit.  "Wow, it's a very nice tail, Mr. Mouse.  Are you here to talk to Auntie Charley?  She's on vacation you know.  Did your bike break down?"

"Yeah, kinda.  I came to warn her about something and my bike's acting up."  He lowered his arm.  "Do you live around here?"  She nodded.  "Does she come up here often?"  Tabby grinned and nodded.  "That's good. This seems like a very nice place.  As soon as my bike cooperates, I'll let her get back to her vacation."  Charley came out onto the porch, wearing a pair of cutoff shorts and a tight t-shirt.  He handed over his gun.  "I'm sorry.  You can shoot me if you want."

"I don't want to upset Tabby.  Tabby, go home."

"Yes, Auntie Charley. Are you going to kiss him?  He's really cute and he's got a *tail*."

"I saw. Out."  Tabby beamed and ran off since she couldn't catch the tail to hug.  She glared at him.  "What did you think you were doing!" she yelled.

"I was watching the goons.  They were gambling, taking a nap, and having lunch.  I took a quick mousenap, and woke up at the bottom of the driveway."  He gave her a pitiful look over the top of his field specs.  "I didn't want to come back.  Please, yell at my bike after you shoot me."

"I should shoot you," she muttered.  "Bike!"  It beeped.  "That's not nice.  I'm taking a vacation, even if you don't like it."  It shook its front wheel.  "Oh, yes, I am, or you're going to be engineless for a week when I get back."  The bike turned and drove itself off.

"Get back here!"  The bike let out a series of laugh-sounding beeps.  He hopped off the porch to chase after it, but it headed down the road.  He groaned and fell to his knees, looking up.  "Why me?"

"I'm asking the same thing," she complained. She went back inside the cabin and slammed the door, locking it.

Throttle groaned as he went back the hammock.  At least it wasn't cold and raining.  He'd slept in worse places during the war.   Plus, none of his bros could see him at this low moment in his life.  Abandoned by his match-making bike.  Locked out of the only house by an irate woman.  Not exactly his best week ever.  Now all he needed was an attack with the only weapon being inside the cabin.  It came flying out and hit him on the head, then the door was slammed and locked again. "Maybe I should use it.  Before she tells Vinnie."

"If you do, I'm dragging your abused body into the woods and leaving it in the open!" Charley yelled.

"I wish I could leave," he called back.  "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to come back!"  Even though he had seen things he had never seen before, and he had an all new appreciation of Charley now.  She was pretty, even though she had no body fur anywhere. Didn't human women have any body fur?  He thought they had.

Charley came out onto the porch.  "I'm going to kill you," she said calmly.  He moaned and handed her back the gun.  "No, that's much too easy and nice.  It'll be over too quickly," she said sweetly.  He moaned and nodded.  "Where is she?"

"I don't know.  I can't hear her," he said miserably, giving her that same pathetic look again.  "I should have realized.  She did the same thing to Carbine once."

Charley crossed her arms, glaring at him.  "I'm not happy."

"Me either.  I'm sorry."  He got up and came over to give her a hug, which always worked on Carbine.  "I'm sorry."

"You're going to be, get off me."  He nodded, retreating quickly.  "I should drown you."

"I deserve it."

She glared at him.  "You're laying it on too thickly."

"It's shock!" he said quickly.  "Don't you women have body fur?"

She swatted at him.  "Do not even think about it."

"It's hard not to," he said, looking up into her eyes.  "You're very pretty," he said quietly. "I'm sorry."  She snorted and stomped off, heading to a nearby cabin.  He settled back in, putting his gun back into the holster.  Maybe he'd live after all.  Then again, that Delilah woman could probably take him apart at the seams too.  She'd probably help Charley if they were as close as they seemed.  He heard a squeal and looked over as the girl came back and ran up on the porch, ducking under the hammock to grab his tail and hug it.  "What are you doing?" he asked cautiously.

"Hugging you."  She gave his tail a squeeze.  "I like tails."

"Cool.  Tails are cool.  Go ahead.  You can hold me still while Charley hits me."

She cackled.  "No, Auntie Charley won't hit you.  Mommy will hit you.  Auntie Charley will laugh."

"Even better," he agreed, relaxing again.  At the very least nothing and no one was attacking.  None of his bros were here to see this.  Charley wouldn't be telling them because she wouldn't want them to know either.  "So, how often does she come up here?"

"She used to come up all the time but then she had stuff she had to do in the city.  So now she's only up about every two months."  She looked up at him.  "Do you work with her?"  He nodded.  "Doing what?"

"At the garage."

"Oh.  I've been there," she said happily.  "I liked the ladder in the garage."

"Yeah, it's pretty neat.  Vinnie likes to play on it too," he offered, relaxing against his will.

"Bro!" Vinnie's voice came over his helmet microphone.  He moaned.  "Bro?  Throttle?"

He tapped the button.  "What, Vinnie?" he asked tiredly.

"What's going on?"

"They came up for a picnic and a short game of dice.  They're a few miles away from where she is.  I've warned her."

"Who're you talking to?" Tabby asked.

"Vinnie."  He took off his helmet and handed it to her.  "Here, you talk to him."

"Hi," she said happily.  "Do you have a tail too?  This one's nice and furry and nice.  He's got a very nice tail and Auntie Charley said I could come play with it."

"Who're you, princess?" Vinnie asked with a smirk.

"My name's Tabby, but you can call me Liz because this one is a mouse and he might not like cats."

"Ooooookkkkkkkaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy," Vinnnie drawled. "Hi, Liz.  Is Throttle's bike there?"

"Nope.  It took off without him.  I guess it's like Paul's cars with the remote control, but it went zoom and ran off with a giggle."

"Wonderful.  Go ahead and hand the helmet back to him, Liz.  It was very nice meeting you."

"Okay."  She handed it back with a grin and went back to cuddling his tail.

"Yeah, it pulled a Desert Rose Inn maneuver," he said grimly.  "She's refused to shoot me yet."

"Okay," Vinnie said happily.  "We'll expect you back Monday, or a report of where your body is."  He let out a cackle.  "There's some other news.  Carbine's on her way down with Rimfire.  They should be back tonight."  Throttle let out another moan.  "Don't worry, I'll tell her your bike died and stranded you.  That Charley's working on it."  He let out another cackle.  "Wait until Modo hears about this!"  The microphone clicked off.

Throttle tossed his helmet down, covering his eyes again.  "I'm so dead.  I should go join a monastery."

"Are you a priest?  I know a few of those, they're Buddahs."

"Buddhists?" he suggested.

"Yeah, that word.  It's a big word.  I'm only six."

"That's a cool age," he offered.  He looked down at her.  "You're not upset that I'm a six foot mouse?"  She shook her head with a grin.  "Why not?"

"Because you're fuzzy and nice.  Auntie Charley would never hang out with bad guys since she got rid of Mr. Jack.  He was a meany when he babysat me.  He wouldn't read bedtime stories and he made me stay in my room all the time while he did stuff on his computer, he said he was doing evil stuff.  But I like you much better, even without the tail."

"Thanks, Liz."  He got comfortable.  "You could hug the rest of me if you wanted."

"Why?  I like tails."

"Oh.  Okay."  He nodded, letting it go.  She was a child and they were all odd.  He had never understood kids.  Charley came back and he shrugged.  "Carbine and Rimfire are on the way down," he said conversationally.  "Vinnie called.  I told him I'm stranded.  He said he'd ask for a map to find my mangled body."

"I'll make sure it's detailed enough for him.  Tabby, no sucking on his tail tip like you did to your raccoon."  Throttle moved his tail, and the little girl let out a squeal, grabbing it tighter.  "She used to have a stuffed raccoon that she carried around by hugging the tail all the time."  She smirked at him.  "She's done this before?"

"She stranded me and Carbine like this once before," he admitted quietly.  "It was a nice inn, we were on furlough, she came back after a few hours but we were too busy to notice."  He shrugged.  "My bike's a romantic.  I'm sorry."

"I'll make you pay later.  Around here, I'm a calm and nice person.  You'll pay when we get back."  She walked inside and closed the door again.  "Tabby, don't forget you've still got lessons this afternoon.  Your mom said so."

"Did you know he's a mousie?" she asked, not letting go of him as she headed inside, which made him topple off the hammock.  She nearly dragged him but he hopped up and took his tail back.  "Hey!"

"You can have it back when you come back out."  She beamed and ran inside, going to chat with Charley.  He sat down on the steps, shaking his head.  How did he get into these situations? This is the sort of thing Vinnie should be stuck in, or Modo, he liked kids.  "Why me?" he asked the porch roof.

Little arms went around his back, giving him a hug.  "Because a fuzzy thing is a terrible thing to not hug," Liz whispered in his ear.  "Besides, I needed a new friend."  She kissed him on the cheek.  "I'll see you later.  I've got to go learn how to read."

"Reading's a cool thing," he agreed, grinning at her.  She beamed and gave his tail one last stroke before skipping back home.  He looked behind him as Charley came out onto the porch.  "I'm sorry, Charley girl."

"So you've said."  She took a sip of her water.  "Anything else?"

"Not yet.  Vinnie knows my bike's not working."  He swallowed.  "He's cackling at home so I promised Tabby the next time she came in she could bug him."

She smirked.  "That should be in a few weeks. Delilah needs her bike fixed."  She took another sip.  "If you're staying, you're staying out here."  He nodded quickly.  "I'll let you in to use the bathroom a few times a day, but I'm going to relax and have fun with my friends."

"I understand," he agreed.  "If I had a tent, I'd go out in the woods."

"Why did you think I needed to be warned?"

"You don't have a weapon."

She went inside and came out with a shotgun.  "My father used to deer hunt now and then."  She stroked it.  "I'm not as helpless as I look, Throttle."

"I get that, Charley girl, but I don't want you hurt."  He stood up and looked down at her.  "We're used to protecting our women folk.  I'd do it to Carbine too," he said quietly when he saw the anger pop back up.  "I have in the past.  Modo would too.  Vinnie would have made some comments about lack of body fur."  He blushed.  "Sorry, I'm kinda stuck on that image."

"If you're that stuck on it, I can easily shave you bald," she said dryly.  "My razor should handle it."  He shuddered.  "Got it?"  He nodded quickly, looking down.  She slugged him on the arm again.  "You'd better hope she comes soon or you're going to get wet when the rain starts."  She went back into the house and shut the door more softly this time.

"Can I fill my canteen?" he called.  She opened the door again, letting him back inside.  "Thanks, Charley.  I'm sorry about this."

"Me too.  This means I'll get to come back up sooner though."  She went back to the bed and laid down with a book.  She watched him head for the bathroom while his canteen was filling, then came out and grabbed his canteen.  "There's no hotdogs up here.  There's salad.  There's some chicken pieces.  There's some diet soda."  He shuddered and shook his head.  "Then you can starve."

"I've got a few protein bars on my...."  He moaned and shook his head.  "She will be back soon," he promised.  "I'll get out of your hair.  You can whip my tail on Monday."

She nodded.  "I'm foreseeing a lot of tail whipping in your future, and a lot of messy cleaning jobs too.  Like that grease puddle under the lift."  He nodded, going back to the hammock.  She nearly felt sorry for him but then reminded herself why he was bothering her on her short vacation away from him and the other mice.  "At least it's not Vinnie.  I'd never get any rest then."  She yawned.  "Speaking of rest, maybe I'll take a nap."

Throttle settled in on the hammock again, listening to her as she muttered to herself, then fell asleep, a small grin hanging around his mouth.  She did need the rest.  It was a good thing.  He felt a poke and looked at the woman beside him.  He pointed inside.  "She's napping."

"Sure.  No bike?"

"It ran off."

"By itself?" she asked, sounding amused.  He nodded.  "Your bike has a remote?"

"No, it's alien."

"Ah.  Come on.  You've got some explaining to do.  Charley never said anything about handsome furry people with extra cans on their six pack abs."  He got up and followed her back to her cabin, and was promptly pounced by a book wielding Tabby, who only wanted his tail back.  "You've still got to read."

"Yes, mommy mommy."

"Thank you, dear."  She sat him down and put a soda in front of him.  "Root beer.  She's always complaining about having to go buy more and I'm assuming you're the reason?"

"Not the only one," he admitted sheepishly.  "How long have you known her?"

"Since she was about ten.  Her father bought that cabin and we've been friends and comrades for a very long time. Which is why I'm so surprised to hear about you this way."  She sat down across from him, hands clasped on the table.  "What goons?  What's wrong in Chi-town?  Why are you three treating her like some mindless movie bimbo who trips and runs in high heels?  For a start."  She looked him over.  "By the way, American?"

"Martian," he said quietly.

"Ah!  That explains why you're furry and you've got a tail."

"He's a mousie, mommy mommy," Tabby said patiently.  "I told you that already."

"I heard you, I was just making sure," she told her.  "Go back to your reading.  You're going to tell me what the book is about when you're done."

"Yes, mommy mommy."

She looked at him again.  "Okay, so you're Martian.  Not exactly what most people think Martians look like.  Do you have green people with slime too?  Do you eat brains?"

He shuddered.  "No, the slime things in the movies are Venutian.  They don't eat brains either, they're more, love beasts," he said, glancing at Tabby.  "Sorry."

"She's heard the word before and walked in once when she was three," she said dryly.  "That's a good start.  Why are you here?"

"We crashed.  Our people are at war with the Plutarkians.  I'm a Freedom Fighter with my bros."  She nodded, making a go-on motion with one hand.  "We escaped, crashed here, met Charley when we needed a repair job.  The Plutarkian down here is digging up Chicago, we stayed to help and they think Charley girl's a helpless creature so they come after her a lot.  We protect her."

"Which she probably doesn't need as much as you guys think," she noted dryly.

"I'm starting to see that," he sighed, shaking his head.  "This is so messed up.  Cheese, this is so messed up."

"You like cheese?" Tabby asked.  "We've got some American in the fridge, Mr. Mouse."

"My name's Throttle, Liz."

"Okay."  She beamed up at him.  "You're very nice."

"Thanks."  He looked at the mother again and shrugged.  "Actually, to us, cheese is a swear word."

"Better than some we've had to train her not to say," she said phlegmatically.  "So, you're *protecting* her today?"

"Some of the goons are up this way.  We didn't think she had a weapon and we worry about her.  She's like a bro."

"We feel about the same way," Delilah agreed, coming out of the bathroom in a blue satin robe.  "Where's your bike?"

"It took off," the other woman told her.  "Without a rider."

"Interesting.  I thought only that Vinnie guy's bike did that.  She was yelling at it to quit nudging her the last time we talked on the phone."  She sat down and looked at their daughter.  "Are you having fun?"  Tabby beamed and nodded.  "Did you ask if you could hug his tail?  There might be cultural ramifications.  He might try to keep you as a wife or something."

"Eww.  She's much too young and I've got a girl at home," he complained.  "No, our tails are like an extra hand."  He got it free and used it to pick up his soda can, grinning at them.  Tabby squealed and he gave it back.  Kids always threw fits.  She rubbed her cheek on it and stroked it.  "Sorry."

"That's okay.  It's a nice tail.  It should be petted," she said, glaring at him.  "Don't take it from me or I'll pout."

"If you do, you're going to take a long nap," Delilah said in the same tone of voice.  Tabby nodded, going back to her reading, still rubbing and stroking his tail.  "If she gets annoying, tell us."

"Sure.  I don't have any siblings and only had one smaller cousin," he said with a shrug.  "I don't know a thing about kids."

"Good to know," the other woman noted.  "So, why are these goons after her?"

"Their boss is a Plutarkian, he's digging up the city to send it back to his people."

"Ah, the potholes!" Delilah said happily.  "That's why they're there."  He nodded quickly. "And Charley's job is...?"

"Our wrench jockey and friend," he said simply.  "They seem to think she's a good hostage too."

"Which is why you overprotect her, which is driving her insane, and making her feel like a bimbo.  Got it," Delilah said with a grin.  "Bike?"

"As alien as I am and nearly as smart."

"Interesting.  Buyable models?" she asked hopefully.  He shook his head.  "Shoot.  Pity.  Tabby would look adorable on a bike like yours."

"If Charley girl kills me, she can have mine," he offered dryly.  He liked her.  She reminded him a lot of a few mice he had served with in the past.  And the other was staring him down like Carbine did when she thought he was lying.  He shrugged.  "She's threatened to take me apart or to drown me."

"She likes the lake too much to drown you," the other woman noted.  "What can we do to help?"

"We've got it.  We're pretty much keeping him at bay," he assured her.  "There's no need to worry, ma'am."

"I'm a Liz, not a ma'am," she said patiently.

"Sorry, I was raised with some manners."

She grinned.  "Good.  She needs someone who has some manners, but someone who takes her for wild rides and pushes her against the wall for hot and steamy lovin' now and then too."  He blushed all the way down onto his chest, making her laugh.

Delilah looked him over, glancing over the lip of the table.  "You're a compatible species.  She could use it.  She needs some better stress relief in the city."  She sat back, rearranging her robe.  "Do gay people bother you?"

He coughed as he shook his head.  "No, ma'am.  Some of my best friends are with mice of their own sex.  They seem very happy with it, like you two do."

"Good," Liz told him.  "That's very good."  She looked down at Tabby. Then back at him.  "She's their godmother and we'd like to keep her around for a longer time."

"I'd like to be a godmouse to her kids," he agreed, smiling at her.  They understood each other very well.

"Don't you mean daddy?" Delilah asked, smirking at him.  "It's rather obvious with the way you weren't staring at her naked body."

"Delilah, you didn't," Liz complained.

"I said I'd fix that suit and it needed it anyway," she reminded her.  She looked at Throttle again, noticing he was blushing and his ears were twitching.  "Uh-huh.  I'll take that as a yes."

"I've got a girl.  She's on her way down here.  I was stunned, ma'am.  She's a beautiful woman, but I thought you guys had body fur."  The women laughed at that.  "That's what I thought, which was why my mind got stuck."  He shook his head quickly.

"Do you think Auntie Charley's pretty?" Tabby asked.

"Yes, dear, I do.  I've still got a girl though so I'm not supposed to think those thoughts."  He looked down at her.  "It's not right for me to like my girl and her."

"Does Auntie Charley like her?"  He nodded.  "Does she know you're dating?"  Throttle nodded again.  "Then why did you look?"

"Your mother did something mean and I had to stare at her beauty.  She's a very pretty lady."

"Oh.  I'll tell her you said that," she said with a grin.

Delilah chuckled.  "She's my little girl," she said proudly.  Her wife kicked her under the table.  "She is."

"She's definitely as naughty as you are," Liz assured her.  "Tabby, finish the story."

"Yes, mommy mommy.  Mommy, can I have a soda too?" she asked Delilah.

"Hell no!  You'll bounce around for weeks.  You can have one tomorrow when your aunt watches you."

"Okay."  She beamed at Throttle.  "Can you help her babysit me?"

"If she'll let me.  As far as I know I'm supposed to be leashed to the hammock."

"No, she never keeps her men on a leash," Liz told him dryly.  "That's why we didn't like Jack, he tried to leash her."  She stared him down.  "Of course, you'd never do that. Would you?"

"I only protect her and pull rescues," he said honestly.  "I'd like to see her have more fun more often.  She's always working recently."  She nodded at that.  "If we had the money, we'd help her support the garage so she wouldn't have to work so hard or so she could hire on a young kid who wanted to learn the tricks she uses."  He heard a frantic beep and got up, taking Tabby with him to the door.  "Get your tail up here," he yelled at his bike.  It turned and drove off again.  He considered shooting at the tire but he didn't want to hurt her.

"Freeze!" Charley yelled.  "Get back here!"  The bike's handlebars slumped a bit and it slowly crept back to where she was standing.  "You're in so much trouble!  I don't think even Vinnie can get into that sort of trouble!"  She looked around.  "Where's your rider?"

"They've pulled me up here to be a reading aid for Tabby," he called from the doorway, glaring at his bike.  "I'm going to tell Modo on you, have his bike make fun of you again."

The bike backfired and sped off again.  This time he did fire at the back tire, deflating it.  He stomped down there and turned it around, pointing at the porch.  "There, now."  The bike crept back up there and parked itself, seeming to pout.  "I'll fix your tire later, but we're going to have a talk, girl.  That's not nice and Carbine would not be happy."  The bike beeped frantically.  "What do you mean you called Carbine?"  The bike beeped some more.  "Wonderful.  Where is she?"

"According to your helmet, she's hovering over the goons and sucking them up into a tractor beam then putting them in small glass cages," Charley said dryly.  "I'll fix it later."

"I can do it. I shot it out."  He gave her a look, then looked back at the person still clinging to his tail.  "Are you having fun?"  Tabby grinned and nodded.  He rolled his eyes and looked at Charley again, who was smirking.  "I'm helping her read while your friends ask questions."

"I figured as much."  She looked at the bike, who looked miserable.  "Nice try."  The bike straightened up.  "Call Carbine back, tell her to pick you both up so I can go back to my vacation."

"If you give me my helmet, I can probably do that," he offered.  She picked it up and tossed it over, heading over to pick up the young girl and make her let go of his tail.  "Later, Tabby.  Maybe she'll bring up Vinnie so you can torture him for a few hours, then we'll all leave her alone.  After we stock steaks in the freezer for her."  He walked off, putting on his helmet to talk to his bros.  "Vinnie?  Carbine?" he called.

"Muscle Mouse," Carbine said fondly.  "Where are you?"

"Bothering Charley girl.  My bike decided to pull a Desert Rose Inn," he said grimly.  "She just came back.  I've now got a flat tire, can you pick me up too?"

"Nope, sorry, we're full," Rimfire said happily.  "When are you coming back?"

"Once I've got my tire fixed.  Charley girl needs some time off."

"We all need some time off," Carbine said dryly.  "Give me ten and I'll drop down to help you, then you can leave her alone for the rest of the day.  If that's okay with her."

Throttle looked over.  "Can Carbine drop down, help me, and then we both leave?"

She shrugged, walking off with Tabby and her book.  "Fine.  Just give me time off."

"Thanks, Charley girl.  I'll make it up to you."

"Yeah, you will be," she agreed sarcastically.  "When you get back, deal with that muffler so I can stay longer."

Carbine coughed.  "Vinnie said to tell her that the shop she ordered from didn't get it in.  It'll be Wednesday.  He called the owner and he agreed."

He grinned at her back.  "Vinnie checked, the store that you ordered it from won't have it in until Wednesday.  The guys called the owner and he said that'd be fine," he offered.

"They did what!" she yelled.

"Vinnie was trying to give you a few extra days, Charley.  He's being sweet," he reminded her when he saw the anger.  "Besides, without the muffler, you can't fix it."

"Does that mean you can stay longer?" Tabby asked, grinning up at her.

Throttle stared at her, then at the woman beside her.  Those two looked so much alike just then.  The same happy grin.  That same hair color.  The same eye color.  He shivered and went back to Carbine.  "Can I tell them you'll be back late Tuesday?"  Charley sighed and nodded, waving a hand as she walked the girl off. He grinned at their back.  "Carbine, tell Vinnie that she'll be back late Tuesday.  She and her goddaughter are heading off to find a new book to read."

"That's fine, Muscle Mouse.  I'll be there in about five minutes.  Need anything?"

"Yeah, a new tire.  I blew hers when she tried to take off again and strand me here."  He clicked off and glared at his bike.  "You know very well we've got Carbine.  I can't be stranded here with Charley girl, it's not right and Carbine will throw a fit," he reminded his bike, sitting down in front of her front tire.  "I'm sorry I shot you but it doesn't hurt that bad and I'll fix it as soon as Carbine lands.  Okay?"  His bike let out a snort-like beep.  "I mean it.  We've got Carbine.  We can't have them both."  He stroked her fender.  "I wouldn't mind if we didn't have her, but we have Carbine."

"Trying to convince yourself?" Delilah asked from beside him.

"No.  She's on her way down," he admitted.  "She's got a spare tire to fix the damage I caused.  I'm going to be making up to all three of the women in my life for a very long time."

"Yeah, probably so," she agreed dryly, reaching over to stroke the arch of the front tire.  "You've a very pretty bike."  The bike turned to look at her.  "I'm Delilah, the one you were following earlier."  She stroked the front fender.  "You're very well built and maintained.  Charley does a good job with you."

"She does," Throttle agreed.  "She understands that my bike is like my woman, at least to me.  She's as much a bro as my bros are."  He patted the tire.  "I'm sorry, but I had to stop you.  At least I only popped your tire."  The bike nudged him and shook its front wheel.  "I know, I'm going to be sucking fur for a very long time with you.  Want a pretty wax job and some detailing when we get home?"  The bike beeped another snort.  "Fine, for a start.  Picky woman."  He grinned and cleaned off a spot of dust.  "Did you go back to watch the goons?"  The front wheel shook again, seeming to laugh.  "Went to watch nature?"

"Went to watch the kids?" Delilah offered.  The bike nodded.  "Good idea.  It's always good to watch out for those creatures who'd think your rider is a teddy bear."

"Actually, Tabby asked me if I was a bunny," he admitted with a smirk.  "She said I should call her Liz since I might not like cats because I'm a mouse."

She beamed at him.  "Definitely my little girl."  She glanced behind her as the girl in question snuck back in and grabbed Throttle's tail, making him squeak and jump.  That's also when Carbine showed up.  "Tabby, be nice.  Ask him."

"Can I cuddle your tail while you fix your tire, Throttle?" she asked sweetly.

Carbine pulled off her helmet and looked at the kid.  "Hi," she said carefully.  "Who are these nice humans, Throttle?"

"Charley girl's friends.  This is her goddaughter Tabby behind me.  She likes tails.  This is Delilah, she's a nice lady who understands both sides and why my bike stranded me here."  He stood up, taking Tabby with him.  "Tire?"  She handed one over.  "Thanks."  He knelt to change it as quickly as he could.  "Tabby, sweetheart, I can't move very well with you clinging like that.  Grab onto Carbine for a few minutes."

"I don't like kids," she said uneasily, noticing the look of unholy glee in the little human's eyes.  "Really, I don't understand kids.  Play with his ears instead."

"Why do you have hair and he doesn't?"

"Because I'm a girl.  He's not bald though, he's got that funny lock over his eyes.  Modo and Vinnie are bald."

"I've heard about Vinnie.  Auntie Charley said I could come in and play with him the next time you guys are bored," she said happily.  "Since I read so good."

"I'm sure he'll love to play with you," Throttle agreed.  He grinned at Carbine.  "Thanks for this."

"Not an issue.  I wanted to talk to you anyway."  She smiled at Charley as she came around the corner of the cabin.  "Thanks for not killing him for his bike stranding him."

"I'll make him pay when I get back," she promised dryly.  Carbine smirked at her.  "I've got tons of things that a big, strong mouse like him could do.  Including scrubbing the grease spots off the floor in the garage."

Carbine smirked at her.  "Definitely a suitable punishment.  This is a nice place."

"Thanks.  It's private though and I want you to erase his memory."

"Can't do that, Charley," she said fondly.  "Otherwise I'd have to make him forget you totally and then you'd be stuck with the hotshot all day every day."

"I can handle Vinnie."

"I stopped him from coming up," Throttle offered.  "I was planning on stealthily watching you if those goons were anywhere near here."  He looked up at her.  "I'm so sorry about this."

"Just go."  She walked Tabby off again.  "Come on.  You can't play with his tail but you can grab him all you want when your mom brings you up in a few weeks.  Once the latest plan is foiled."

"Okay.  Mommy, are you coming?"

"Later," she called back, smirking at Throttle.  "So, now that you've seen the family...."

"She's an adorable little girl, Delilah.  I hope she grows up happy and finds some great person to date," he said simply.  She stared him down so he gave a small shrug.  "I noticed," he said quietly.  "It's nothing to do with me."

"True," she agreed.  She stood up.  "You seem pretty cool.  I'd hate to see you die soon from this."

"Me too, ma'am.  This wasn't my intention and I'm forgetting where this place is unless she wants me to come back up."  He stood up once he was done, patting his bike.  "Are we ready, bike?"  The bike didn't move.  "What?  Did I put it on wrong?"  The bike shook its front wheel.  "Then let's go.  Carbine's waiting and she doesn't get leave very often.  Then you two can strand us together for a picnic or something," he offered.  Both bikes beeped at that.  He looked at Carbine, who sighed.  "What?"

"I think I'm going to let you two have that talk now," Delilah said, standing up and hurrying off.  "Slight problem, Charley.  That new woman's giving him 'I'm so sorry' look," she called as she headed for her house.

"Why are you sorry?" Throttle asked.

She sighed and leaned back against her bike.  "Throttle.  With you here and me there, I'm alone.  I'm tired of being alone.  I can't stay and you can't come back.  Unless you want to come back?  Rimfire can stay," she offered.  "That's one of the reasons he came down."

"I can't leave my bros here alone," he reminded her.  She frowned at him.  "I can't.  They need me here.  Mars has a lot of good fighters left, this planet's got us three and whoever comes down for a visit.  I can't leave yet, Carbine."

She nodded.  "Then we've got to have a long talk and a long think," she told him. He nodded, looking unhappy.  His ears were drooping. His tail was limp, but the tip was twitching some.   "Can we do that here?"

"No.  Charley girl needs her peace and quiet.  It's been too long since she's had any," he said tiredly.  He looked over as someone's footsteps sounded behind him.  "Hey, Charley girl.  Rimfire's down here too."

"I heard you say that earlier."  She looked at Carbine and groaned.  "One day," she warned.  "Only one day."  Carbine nodded and pulled Throttle up to the hammock.  "Thank you."  She looked at the bikes.  "Carbine, you've got a scratch."

"I've got some funny engine noises too but I can wait if you're busy once you get back" she promised.  "I understand about dumping these macho men and going somewhere they're not."

"Yeah, and then goons decided to picnic near here," she said dryly.  "I'm heading up there for dinner.  That way you two can talk."  She looked at Carbine, then at Throttle.  Then at Carbine again.  "No shouting."

"Not planned," Carbine assured her.  "This place is too peaceful for that sort of thing."  Charley nodded and went into the house, coming out in a new bikini and heading to the lake.  She had clothes over her shoulder with a towel, but she wasn't going to be self- conscious. At least until she heard Carbine ask 'don't humans have body fur' and then she blushed and hurried on.

"Don't get me started on that image," he complained quietly.  "I walked in on her earlier because she sounded like she was in pain."

"Was she?"

"She was moaning and holding herself," he said with a shrug.

She pinched him.  "I know it's been a while, Throttle, but women do that touching ourselves thing too," she said impatiently.  "I've done too much of it recently."  She curled up on his chest.  "I hate this, Throttle.  I don't like being a few light years away from you all the time."

"Me either," he admitted.  "You could come down here."

"Mars needs me.  I'm one of the last good commanders we've got."  She looked up into his eyes.  "I'm tired, Throttle."

"Me too," he admitted quietly, stroking her back.  "I don't want to be so far apart from you."  He kissed her on the tip of her nose.  "I wish we could work this out, I don't want to break up."

"Me either."  She stroked his chest, making him wiggle.  "Oooh, I forgot you're ticklish," she teased.

"Carbine, more talking, less sex," he complained.  "The kids might come back."


"Tabby, and there's a male around here too. He's a teenager."

"Yeah, he's watching from his house.  He whistled as I rode past.  His mother smacked him for it."  Throttle groaned.  "I'm sorry, but it was nice to be appreciated."

"I do appreciate you. You're a beautiful woman with a great mind."

"But I'm military and on Mars, and you're a Freedom Fighter and down here," she agreed quietly.  He nodded, letting out a tired sounding sigh.  "There's no way around this, Throttle."

"I agree," he said quietly.  "I still hate to break up."

"Me too."  She snuggled into his chest, going back to stroking his chest.  She teased him a few times with her nails, making him shiver.  "This isn't so far from that inn we got stranded at."  She looked out as some rain drops fell.  "It's even raining."  He wrapped her in his arms and pulled her closer to kiss her.  "Throttle," she moaned.

"Hush.  You'll need it to tide you over until you find someone else."  He grinned at her.  "Just don't think about my bros."

"Again, they're down here.  If that was solved, I'd keep you."  She tweaked his tail when it came over to tease hers.  "You're sure?"

"Yeah, I'm sure.  It's not fair to you."  He kissed her again, getting her out of her clothes quickly, and him out of his.  It was slow and gentle, not like their usual fast and hard sex.  He slowly touched her, gently stroked her, and even entered her slowly, setting them swinging in the small breeze.

"Whooo....!" Paul started but his mother slapped a hand over his mouth and his eyes, walking him on.

"Forgive him, he's going through puberty," she called, but she was smiling because they probably couldn't hear them.  No wonder Charley looked so miserable when he showed up.  "Hope you don't mind, but Paul's been peeping again," she offered as they walked in.  "They're having some fun in the hammock."

"Yeah, it's breakup sex," Charley told her.  "Throttle lives here and Carbine lives really far away," she sighed, going back to her chopping stuff for a salad.  "Paul, if you peep again, I'm going to make you come with me to the garage and apologize in front of Modo, who's about a half-foot taller and has a mechanical arm."  She glanced at him.  "Then I'm going to make him teach you manners.  He's got some very nice ones.  Remember, women hate men like you're becoming."

"That's why she broke up with Jack," Liz agreed, flipping a steak on the indoor grill.

"One of many reasons," Delilah agreed dryly.  "Any good?"

"She's on top, she's nearly crying in ecstasy.  Goodbye sex at its best," Paul's mother told her.

"Good.  Carbine looked like one of those who liked it hard, fast, and a bit rough."

"I said we're not doing a threesome," Liz said patiently.  "I've got one biker in my life, that's more than enough."  Charley snickered.  "So, what's up with your other two?"

"Vinnie and Modo?  Modo's a sweetheart.  Talks about his mother a lot.  Vinnie's a teenager in an adult body.  Adrenaline junkie and all that good stuff.  Thinks he's God's gift."

"Hmm, he any good?" Delilah asked. Charley threw the core of the tomato she was working with at her head.  "Sorry!"

"I'm not that sort of girl!" she complained.

"Obviously or you'd be unstressed more often," Paul's mother said with a wink.  "You could send that Vinnie up here if you want.  I'll make sure he's very nicely house broken."

"He only eats hotdogs and rootbeer," she said patiently.

"I'll make him eat better while I have him tied down," Paul's mother said with a bright grin and a wink at Delilah.  "I'm sure I can ...convince him."

"Mom, thinking about you and sex is icky," Paul complained.  "You're my mother."

"How do you think you came to be?" Liz teased, grinning at him.

"A long time ago, when Mom was nearly a baby and my daddy took total advantage of her in the backseat of a car while she protested about being a good girl," he said flatly.  "Otherwise I'll have nightmares."

"Well, partially correct," Delilah said with a chuckle, hugging the poor kid.  "It's all right. Some day you'll find a boy who makes you think those thoughts."

"I like girls, Aunt Delilah."

"Uh-huh.  You sure about that, Paul?" Liz asked.  "I saw you staring at the pool last week."

"He was?" his mother asked.

"Hottie in high school with nearly as good of muscles as that mouse, and blond hair," Liz informed her with a smirk.

"And a twink looking boy too," Delilah agreed smugly.  "So maybe he'll have a threesome with our darling one."

"Maybe," Paul's mother agreed.

"Mom, Tabby's annoying," Paul said patiently.  "Besides, she's six, I'm fourteen.  That's a huge age difference.  I'd be ancient by the time she was ready and out of school."  He went to wash up and help Liz with the steaks.  He liked to cook.  "Did you have to tell her that?" he hissed.  She grinned and nodded.  "You're mean."

She kissed him on the cheek.  "I've got a new playboy in my room," she whispered.  He beamed and went to find it.  She was one of the coolest aunts.

"Don't get that messy yet, I haven't gotten to do more than drool over the cover," Delilah called after him.

"Sure, auntie."

"You guys are so bad," Charley complained.  "He's just a little boy."

"He's fourteen.  His mind goes there without help," Liz said with a shrug.

His mother nodded, sitting down.  "I'm just lucky he's sticking with looking and not doing yet.  I'm not ready to be a grandmother."

Tabby coughed and looked at Charley.  "Auntie, are you my grandmommy?"

"No, honey, I'm your aunt," she said, glancing at the parents, who weren't looking happy.  "What makes you think I'm your grandmother?"

"I found my birth certificate and you were on it."  She blinked up at her.  "I don't understand."

"Why didn't you ask us?" Delilah asked, picking her up to hug.  "We would have talked to you about it."

"Because I wanted to talk to Auntie Charley."

Charley wiped off her hands and came over, squatting down in front of her.  "Tabitha, you know that you don't look like your mothers, right?"  She nodded, Delilah had dark hair and Liz had blonde.  "Well, that's because they adopted you.  That means another woman had you but couldn't raise you."

"You?" she asked quietly.  Charley nodded.  "Why?"

"Because I wasn't very old and it wouldn't have been a happy life for you," she said gently.  "I considered it for a long, long time, but I knew that your mothers would take better care of you than I ever could. They do it so much better than I ever could.  That's why I gave you to them.  Do you understand that?"

Tabby considered it.  "Would I have been worse off?"

"Yeah, sweetie.  The garage doesn't make much money and the city's a dangerous place, especially since Throttle and his friends came to town and started to help fix some things that were going wrong. I couldn't ever be *near* the mommy they are to you, so I let them have you to be their little girl instead.  That's why I'm an auntie."

Tabby nodded.  "I understand.  Thank you for being honest."  She hugged her.  "I'm not unhappy.  You chose well."

Charley gave her a hard squeeze.  "I agree. I chose well and you're happier here.  That's why I come up to play with you so often."

Tabby pulled back and grinned.  "Can you bring up Throttle and the others next time?  That way I can play with them too?"

"Sure.  That can be their torment for making me miss a day of my vacation."  Tabby laughed and grinned at her parents.  "Now, when you're old enough and if you want, after you graduate high school, I can teach you how to fix bikes, okay?"

"Sure, auntie Charley.  Should I still call you auntie?"

"I'd love for you to call me auntie," she assured her.

"Good.  Then I'll learn that once I'm out of school."  She looked at her parents, who were smiling at her.  "Can I have a new book?"

"The next time we go into town, sprout," Delilah promised, giving her a squeeze.  "Did you have any other questions?"  She shook her head.  "Then go get cleaned up and leave Paul alone."  She let her go, watching as she walked off.  "Nicely handled," she said quietly.

"I've thought about what to tell her a few times," she said with a small shrug and a wry grin.  "She's too smart not to figure it out.   I figured it'd be within a few years.  Unless Liz dyes her hair again."

"No, I like being a blonde," she said calmly.  "Thank you, Charley.  She's our joy."  The baby on her back let out a fart.  "And made us want this one," she said dryly, letting her wife take the baby.  "Your turn.  I only do input.  You take output."

"Sure, I'll change the diaper.  Come on, Bryon.  Let's go get that butt of yours clean again."  She walked him off, talking to him.

Liz hugged Charley.  "It was a good decision."

"Yeah, I don't have any problems with it," she said honestly.  "She's happier here than she could ever be getting in danger with me."  She went back to making the salad.

"We can hold off dinner," Paul's mother offered gently.

"No, I'm good.  I'll go swimming again later," she said with a grin for her.  "Paul, remember to wash your hands when you're done," she called.


The older women laughed.  Boys were so cute at that age.


Charley looked up from her swimming as Throttle flopped down at the edge of the pond.  "Did she leave?"  He nodded, staring up at the sky.  "I'm sorry, Throttle."

"I'm not.  It's the right decision, even though it's majorly sucking tail."  He looked at her.  "How was your night?"

"Tabby asked a few awkward questions.  Nothing too bad.  We understand each other very well.  We picked on Paul since he went to hide in a bathroom with a new playboy."  She shrugged and dove down to start swimming closer, coming up next to where he was sitting.  "You okay?"

"Yeah, I'll be fine.  I've been expecting it."  He gave her a small grin.  "It's kinda obvious, Charley girl, but she's happier here."

"I know, that's why I did it.  Did Carbine...."  He shook his head.  "Good.  She doesn't need those sort of ideas."

"No, Tabby's a pretty neat little girl.  Even though she did make me drag her around earlier because she wouldn't let go."  He reached over to move some of her hair out of her eyes.  "You need a trim."

"You're one to speak," she snorted.  "You need a coat trim."

"Yeah, I'll take the clippers to my chest later," he complained, laying back.  "This is a nice place.  Thank you for not killing me yet."

"Not an issue."  She swam backwards.  "You could come in.  The water's very nice."

"Nah.  I'm not in the mood for swimming."  He felt something creep behind him and flipped over, looking at the shadows.  "Do we have cats or anything?"

"No.  Why?"

"Because something furry just brushed past my arm."

"Liz said she's seen a swamp rat," she offered.  She felt something swim past her legs and decided she'd had enough for the night.  She coughed.  "Throttle, turn around."  He blushed and turned around, letting her run up to grab her towel and wrap it around her body.  "Thanks."  She grabbed her things and wandered off to the cabin quickly.  "Come on."

"Sure."  He kept his eyes on the surroundings instead of her barely covered butt.  It was a nice butt.  He didn't want to have those thoughts though.  He swung up onto the hammock, settling in for the night.  "Night, Charley."

"Night, Throttle."  She closed the door but didn't lock it.  She stuck her head out later.  "Don't come in if I groan."  She saw him blush and grinned. "Thanks."  She closed the door again and went to shower off the pond's water, then climbed into bed.  It was a great bed, one she'd love to have at the garage.  She picked up the novel she'd been reading earlier, going back to the smutty romance.  As she read, that old urge hit her.  She wasn't going to stop herself, just keep herself quiet.  It seemed more naughty with him on the other side of the wall.  Him and his big ears and his very sensitive nose.  That cooled her desires some but she went back to it a few minutes later when the graphic sex scene started her fantasizing.  As she got engrossed into it, the characters started to change. It was her being the big, badass pirate who was taking into custody the 'damsel' in distress, and she turned into the mouse on her porch, which bothered her for all of ten minutes, but then her mind took over and filled in some details that she had been avoiding.  Namely the fact that he was very well built and Delilah had pointed that out a few times that evening.  Even Paul had commented on it once.  Fortunately Tabby had only talked about his tail.

"Hmm, tail," she whispered, and the book fell from her hands.  The fantasy started taking on life of its own, going deeper than she cared to really examine at that time.  There he was, on his knees, serving her in return for his life and lack of punishment.  Suddenly, they were there and he was begging to let that be his punishment instead of cleaning the garage with a toothbrush, his toothbrush, and she was turning him down.  So he grabbed her, tossed her over his shoulder, and took her to the couch to prove how good he could be.  Oooh, that tongue was something else.  A lot longer than most men's.  Not that she had a lot of experience with that but it felt very nice in her mind.  One finger drifted to tease her flesh and it made her groan.  No one busted through the door, so she was safe to continue.  She let it all out.  All those nasty thoughts she couldn't have back at the garage. All those dirty things that had popped up in the past after a long day of looking at the shirtless bros.  All of it coming back now.  And it was good.

Outside, Throttle was shifting uncomfortably.  Since he realized what she was doing, and when Carbine told him, he couldn't get the image out of his mind.  Her furless body, spread out on the bed he had only seen for a moment.  Now he was listening to her moan and groan in there and reacting.  He couldn't help but react.  His mind was giving him all too graphic images of what she looked like and the sounds she was making meant she was enjoying it.  His ears twitched when he heard Vinnie's name, feeling a bit dirty for a moment, deciding to ignore it.  At least until she said his.  Then he was all ears and nose.  His tail was swishing under the hammock like a wild flag waving surrender.  His ears picked up the basic plot of her fantasy, him begging not to clean something, and he smirked.  He wouldn't mind....  No, he had just broken up with Carbine, it wasn't right.  She moaned his name and said something about his tongue and he nearly came from that, but he held it in check.  He flipped onto his side, holding onto the edge of the hammock so he wouldn't go in there and show her how good he could be.  He had just broken up with Carbine, but she was apparently very happy with him being her slave for a few days.

He stopped his hands from moving to touch himself, he wouldn't do that to her.  Besides, he didn't have a way to clean up.  He'd wait until she was fully asleep to deal with that issue.  He heard Modo's name but she was telling him not to interfere, that this was his punishment, and apparently the big guy only grinned and spanked him, making him arch into her body.  He let out a quiet moan at the thought of doing that to her.  He was definitely not against anything she was saying out loud.  He wondered if her mind was showing the same things his was, and decided it had to be.  In his, he took charge and licked her until she screamed and grabbed his ears, coming against his snout.  Then he took her - hard, fast, moving the couch sort of sex.  He had to bite his hand to keep himself from letting out a moan of pleasure at that thought.  She'd like that. They both liked that. She came and he let out a small whimper, holding it in.

He couldn't do that until she was asleep.  She couldn't hear him.  It would mess up things between them.  Girls were better at keeping things casual when they had the hots for someone.  He'd be gropey and touching her each and every minute of each day if he could.  If she'd be his.  He heard her flop onto her side, groaning in pleasure.  She was going to start off again.  She started out with Vinnie, making him nibble on his bottom lip, until she started to call his name.   He was apparently shoving his bro out of bed and taking his place as the studly lover he was.  It's good that she knew he was better.  Ooooh, she was back to him being oral, he loved that idea.  He shifted some, keeping himself from rubbing against anything.  She had to go to sleep so he wouldn't embarrass her.  Otherwise she would kill him and leave him in the woods for some wild animal to eat.  He moaned, then covered his mouth.  He heard her pause and shifted to face in the other direction, finding Paul standing there.  "Your mother's going to kill you, kid, and I will tell her."

"If you like her that much, go in there," he suggested.  "She wouldn't care with what she's saying."  Throttle growled and the boy ran off at a dead run, heading for somewhere safer.

Throttle glanced around the corner of the house, seeing a window opening.  "I sent him away," he said quietly.

"Thanks.  I'm going to talk to his mother in the morning."  She let the window slam down and went back to the bed, looking down at her body.  "Why can't he sleep?" she complained. "I know he was listening."  She opened the front door, leaning out.  "You weren't....listening, right?"  He shook his head quickly.  "You're sure?"

"Very.  I was thinking about how to make this up to you and to my bike."  He flipped over to look at her, realizing she could see all of him in the faint light coming from inside the cabin.  "I was thinking about a long wax job and maybe some flowers and nice bubble bath?" he suggested when she continued to stare at him.  "Or letting you demand things.  Then Paul broke into my thoughts of a long wax job."

"Wax job, right," she said impatiently, heading back inside with a slam of the door.

"Hmm, her leaning over the bike, moving back and forth as she rubbed against it," he said, shivering when he couldn't hold it in.  In that bathing suit from earlier.  Or the one she had cut off her.  He got up and headed for the bushes by the pond, that was private enough and she wouldn't hear him bringing himself off.   He heard a footstep behind him and ducked into the bushes.

"Waxjob?" she taunted quietly.  He let out a small moan , then she heard him shift and another sound, one of release.  "Huh.  You get off from that?"

"The bikini from earlier, kneeling beside the bike, stroking it," he complained.  "Do you mind?" he whined.

"Yeah, since you were listening to mine."

He came out of the bushes, glaring at her.  "I was not."

"Liar."  She grinned at him.  "I could tell you were."  He hung his head, shaking it.  She tipped his head up.  "It won't happen."

"I know.  That's why I came out here."  She nodded, giving him a fond smile.  "Thanks."

"Welcome."  She turned and went back into the house.

He woke up from his fantasy on the hammock, and realized he had made a big mess of himself.  He listened to the person inside, listening to her finish off for a second time.  Or maybe a third.  He snuck out of the hammock and headed down to the pond to clean up.  He'd have to do a bit of cleaning this time.  But he didn't care because it was good.


Charley came out the next morning, finding Throttle sleeping in his boxers and socks, and blushed when she realized her thoughts last night hadn't been close to being real.  He was much bigger.  She blinked a few times and went down to the pond to take a early morning swim.  It'd cool off those thoughts quickly.  She stripped off and dove in, then came out with a squeal of fright and headed back for the house with the small alligator chasing her.  She ran around Throttle, knowing who it was blocking her path from many times of seeing the same thing in the city.

He grabbed the creature and hung it by its tail, looking at it. "What are you?"

"An alligator," she panted.  "Delilah!"  She cane running down with her pistol, and Charley panted, pointing at the beast.  "It was in the pond, it tried to eat me!"  Paul came running and she swatted him. "I'm going to beat you senseless!" she shrieked.  He went pale and ran off.

"Listening at the windows?" Delilah asked dryly.  She took the alligator, taking it back to the pond.  "I'm calling Phil to come get them."

"I felt something furry creep past me last night," Throttle offered as he followed her.  He glanced around, noticing some tracks.  "There, that's probably what it was."

"That's a swamp rat," she said thoughtfully.  "Fine, Phil's going to have a long trek up here today.  Tabby's going to be very sorry for stealing the eggs too."  She looked him over, then smirked.  "You didn't quite rinse those out well enough, stud," she said quietly.  "Was it good?"

"I was on the porch all night," he said firmly. "I'll wash them later, when my jeans are dry," he admitted with a small blush when she continued to stare at him.  He covered himself by getting into the bushes when Liz and Tabby came down to see what was wrong.  "Morning, ladies."

"What's wrong?" Liz asked.

"Charley went for a swim and found an alligator who thought she was nummy," Delilah said, stopping Tabby from her intent to get a hug.  "He's nearly naked, you can't hug him until he's dressed."

"Fine.  Morning, Throttle.  Did you have happy dreams?"  He nodded, blushing some more.

"More than I wanted to know," Liz decided, taking their daughter back up to the house. "I'll call Phil.  How many do we have?"

"Two," Tabby said happily.  "They swim in the grassy part that you won't let me in because it's too deep."

"We've got some swamp rats too," Delilah noted.  She heard Throttle move quickly and turned, watching him fry two of the rats trying to eat him, then he spun and got another.  She blinked at him.  "Damn, stud, you're fast.  Are the others as good?"

"Modo's got one built in," he said grimly, tossing them into the water.  The alligators snapped at the meat, ripping the third one between them.  He shook his head as he walked off.  This was too much for him.  He slid past Charley, going to shower and rinse out his boxers, then put on his pants without them.  He came out more dressed, looking calm and composed now that he had some more solitary fun in the shower. "Are you okay, Charley girl?" he asked quietly from behind her.  She spun and looked up at him.  "Are you all right?"  She nodded.  "Then maybe you should get dressed before you drag Paul back to his mother?" he asked, glancing at her nudity.  She blushed and hurried inside.  He closed his eyes, forcing the naked, furless pictures of her out of his head again.  He felt someone lean on his arm, glancing at Liz, who barely came up to his armpit.  "It's not like that at the garage."

"It wouldn't be," she agreed with a grin.  "If you want the girl, you're going to have to make the first move.  She won't. She's one of those good girls.  Even if she dreams she's not."  She winked and headed down to check the edge of the pond, gathering up her daughter - who was trying to tempt the alligator with a long piece of grass.  "Let's get dressed," she ordered, picking her up and carrying her off.  She and Delilah shared a look.  "Very compatible species," she noted.

Delilah nodded, smirking behind her cup of coffee.  "Very compatible and very huge.  She'd walk funny for days afterward."

"Did she fall down?" Tabby asked.

"Yup, she sure did," Liz agreed happily, taking her in to help her shower.

Charley came out of the cabin, tucking in her t-shirt and heading off to Paul's house.  She ignored Throttle and his clearly underwear-less state.  She didn't want to consider it.  She really didn't.  She walked onto that family's porch and knocked on the door, getting the mother.  "Your son decided to hang out underneath my window last night while I was...reading."

"Oh, really?  Want to beat him for me?" she asked, letting her inside.  "What happened?"


"I'll make Phil some muffins.  That man never eats," she said happily, going to beat her son while Charley watched.  "Son!"  He locked his door.  "Not going to work, son."  Someone knocked on the door a few minutes later and Throttle handed over her son.  "You're very good at catching things."

"I've had some practice."  He nodded politely.  "Charley girl, should I put on some water for your coffee?"

"Please.  It'll be a few though."

"Sure."  He walked off, ignoring the fact that the women were probably staring at his tail.  You could tell in these jeans that he wasn't wearing any boxers.  He ignored how he was rubbing.  He had to ignore it or else he'd go nuts before he left.  Then again, he was supposed to do that today.  He looked around but his bike was missing.  "Bike?"

No answer.

Charley came up a few minutes later.  "Paul said your bike took off shortly after we woke up.  He said she's in the woods."

"Wonderful," he said bitterly.  "I'd leave if I could."  She hit him on the arm, making him wince and look confused.  "Huh?"

"Behave, Throttle.  We've got to talk."  He groaned but followed her back into the cabin.  He put on the water as promised, finding the instant coffee for her. He turned around and saw her sitting in one chair with her feet up on the chair next to hers.  He ignored what his mind was flashing at him, handing over the cup and sitting across from her.  "Thank you."

"Welcome, Charley girl.  I'm sorry."

"I'm not.  It's not your fault she took off again."  She shifted, now only one leg was on the chair, the other foot was on the floor. "What did you hear last night?"


"Nothing?" she asked dryly.

"Nothing.  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it," he said, glancing up at her, seeing the amused look she was giving him.  "What?" he asked cautiously.

"I know you heard.  Otherwise you wouldn't have changed."  She sipped her coffee.  "Can you ignore it?"  He nodded quickly, starting to blush again.  "You're sure?"

"I need to ignore it.  It'd make things awkward."  He swallowed and got up to get some water.  Then he sat down again.  "Besides, you like Vinnie."

"Vinnie's like my little brother, Throttle."  She finished her coffee and got comfortable again.  "It's not happening.  Really."  He nodded quickly and went back to drinking.  "Fine, you can stay on the porch until your bike comes back.  You won't get in the way."  He shook his head.  "Good.  Tabby will probably try to monopolize your time anyway so she can play with your tail."  He let out a small moan.  "Problems?"

"No," he said softly, shifting some.  "Maybe I should be in the pond for a bit."  He got up and headed out but she stopped him, making him blush again.  "Sorry."

"Not her?"

"No!  Cheese, that's nasty."

"Good," she said with a smirk.  "That's better."  He felt his ears twitch.  She leaned in to kiss him, making him wake up again.

He sat up in the hammock, looking around.  It was barely dawn. He listened for Charley to be in the cabin, but there wasn't anything.  He heard some lapping and got up, heading down to the pond to check on her.  "Charley girl, there's some odd things going on in there," he said quietly.  "Alligators?"

"We have a friend who runs an alligator refuge," she said, rolling onto her stomach.  She glanced at the grassed off area, then pointed.  "If we do, they're in there."

"Have you seen any?"

"No, not yet.  You can check if you want."  She looked over his body, then at him and blushed.  She flipped over and swam for the far side of the pond.

Throttle went to look at the grassy area, finding a small nest and a sleeping reptile thing.  He backed away, tripping over something.  He found another one standing there glaring at him.  "Yeah, you've got reptiles."  He ran for the porch, hoping to get away from it.  He felt something nip at his heels and jumped up over the railing, doing a tuck and roll, grabbing his laser on the way past.  He looked around but he couldn't see anything.

"Phil's on his way up," she called.  "Don't shoot it.  Tabby will get mad and cry."  She came up to the cabin, towel around her waist.  She heard his laser fire and looked behind her, watching the rat fall off her back.  "Never mind, shoot those if you want."  She hurried in to change before she got bitten by something dangerous.  Throttle came in, closing the door.  "Are you alright?"  She checked him over visually, then blushed and turned away.  "Throttle, um, you might want to adjust those," she said sheepishly.  He blushed and went into the bathroom.  He came out in his jeans and vest, but no boxers.  She gave him an odd look.   "Dirty?"

"A bit.  I'll rinse them out in a minute if I can."  He put some water on the stove.  "Need some coffee, Charley girl?"

"Please."  She tucked in her t-shirt and pulled on a pair of shorts before sitting down at the table.  "You okay?"

"Fine.  You?"

"I'm fine.  Thank you for keeping me from being bitten."  She accepted her cup, stirring around the coffee crystals.  She looked up at him, he was leaning against the sink drinking his own cup.  "You don't usually do coffee.  Have a long night?"

"Besides stopping Paul?"

"I'll get him later."  She sipped her coffee, grinning at him.  "Where did your bike go?"

"Not a clue," he admitted.  He glanced outside.  Only her bike was out there.  Even his helmet was missing from where he had put it last night.  "She'll be back."

"I hope so.  I'd miss having her around."  She took a long sip.  "Throttle.  Did you...hear anything last night?"

"Only Paul," he said quickly. "I was thinking about ways to make this up to you and my bike."  He took another, longer drink and nearly gagged.  Coffee was very strong stuff. He'd be bouncing around like Vinnie later if he didn't slow down. He put down his cup, then decided to pour the rest out and rinse it out.  She brought her cup over, watching as he ran water to do the few dishes.  "I can do this."

"It's a vacation, it can wait for a few days," she said, putting a hand on his arm.  She noticed him tense up and looked up at him.  "Presents?" she asked dryly.  He nodded.  "You're sure about that?"

"A few odd thoughts came last night after ...Carbine left."

"Oh," she said flatly.  "Are you okay with her leaving?  Really I mean."  He shook his head, turning to look at her.  She reached around him and turned off the water.  "Do you want to take my bike back so you can see her?"

"She may already be gone," he admitted.  "With the prisoners they picked up yesterday they wouldn't be able to wait."  He gave her a gentle hug.  "I'll be fine, Charley girl.  It's just a small pain at the moment."  She gave him a squeeze, making him moan.  "You're stronger than you look," he teased when she looked at him.  He chucked her on the chin. "I'll stay out of your way."

"You're probably the most restful person I could have up here, Throttle.  Even Modo would be bored with the quiet around here."  She grinned. "I can't imagine Vinnie dealing with it."

"No, he'd probably be insane by now or trying to pin you to the bed because of Delilah's teasing."

"Ooooh, I don't know, she's a good friend and has great taste.  She hated Jack on sight."

He nodded.  "Then she had good taste about him."  He stroked her cheek.  "You should go play with your friends."

"They're getting their kids ready for the day.  Paul's on his way to school.  His mother will have something very interesting waiting on him when he gets back."  She smirked at him.  "Wax job?"

"Um, yeah."  He blushed.  "Bikini, wax job, reaching and bending," he said sheepishly.  He glanced at her, seeing her stunned look.  "Sorry.  Didn't mean to share."

"No, it's an interesting image.  I'm not sure you could get Carbine into a bikini though."  He shook his head.  "No wonder you have to fantasize about those things."

"Yeah, you only fantasize about things you can't have," he agreed. He swallowed and looked outside as a truck came up.  "Friends?"

"Phil.  He runs an alligator refuge."  She walked out onto the porch.  "Hey, Phil," she said, giving him a smile and a hug when he got out.  "We've got two alligators and a nest, plus some swamp rats."

"Hmm, food source too," he said happily, looking at the toasted rat on the ground near the porch.  "Interesting.  That looks like a laser burn."

"It is, it's something new I picked up in the city."  He stared her down. "I can't tell you, Phil," she said quietly.

He kissed her gently.  "If I wasn't taken by my reptilian momma's, I'd tickle you until you told me what was going on and why you had sci-fi weapons."

"Ask Liz."  She winked at him.  "Go for it.  They're waiting for you."  He nodded, going to catch himself some new friends.  He loved his reptiles and they would love those rats if he could catch them.  He carefully scooped the alligators into nets and then dropped them into water-filled boxes.  The nest was carefully gathered and put into the back where they could see them so they would calm down.  He put padlocks on all the cages. Then he went to find the rats with a ground sensor unit, something that told him when there were burrows. He placed a few humane traps and patted himself down.  "Charley, do you have any matches?"

Throttle came out onto the porch, waving him aside.  He aimed and hit the small bit of kindling, creating a smoke fire to drive the rats into the trap.  "Need another?"

"No wonder there was a lasered rat," he said, staring at him in awe.  "You're a marsupial?"

"I'm a mouse."

"Wow."  He looked him over.  "Damn.  Are there females of your kind around here?"

"There's one visiting but she's a general in our army."

"Oooh, a tough woman," he said with a shiver.  "Maybe she'll take me."

"Our home doesn't have a lot of water.  Your friends would suffer."

"Point.  If you know one who likes reptiles, send her my way?  Charley's got my addy."

"Sure," he agreed happily.  "I'll pass that on."

Phil beamed and went to check the traps.  "I could use another one if you're up to it."  He pointed and got out of the way, watching as he hit the other target, which was just as tiny.  "You're great, man.  Nearly as good as Charley is with her Deer Smasher."  He went back to searching for hidden rats.  They'd only cause trouble if he didn't take them with him.

"Don't worry, Phil's first love is scaly and has a snout," Charley said as she leaned against his arm.  She grinned up at him. "I've often thought about giving him Limburger."

He chuckled.  "That'd serve him right but the poor guy would probably lose all his pets from the stench."  He tugged on her ponytail.  "You should go play.  It's your vacation.  I can stay here and read the book on the bed."  She blushed.  "I doubt it's that bad."

"It's a trashy romance I picked up a few years back.  Liz has real books if you'd ask her."  He shook his head. "You're sure?"

"Go, have fun. You need to have fun.  Go take a fun ride and revel in the wind playing against your skin, Charley girl.  That's the point of a vacation."  She nodded, going to do that, beaming brightly as she kicked her bike to life and sped off.  Throttle went back inside, going to sit down with that book.  At the very least he'd learn a bit about human's attitudes toward romance and sex. He saw a lot of women reading books like this so they must be fairly typical and decent to read.  His antennas twitched as he read about the poor girl taken hostage by pirates.  "They want what?" he muttered, continuing on.  By page thirty, there was a small fight, which cheered him up, and then some sex, which was odd.  "Women want to have strong men take care of them and ravish them?  They really are a lot different. Charley girl is definitely not like that."  He curled up, continuing to read.  One hand came down to unbutton his jeans, but left them zipped.  He needed the room, they were getting tight.  He'd have to start working out again.  Women apparently liked well-built guys.  Maybe he'd be able to find a new girl sometime in the future. He was stroking his stomach with his free hand while he read another sex scene, this guy got more than he did on a two week furlough after a month straight in battle, when Delilah walked in and smirked at him.

"Those are written by desperate men who want to hold women down and make them beg, not the best judge of what women want."  He jumped, falling onto the floor, which made her giggle.  "You are so cute," she cooed.

"I haven't been considered cute since I got my first set of leather pants," he said dryly, heaving himself back onto the couch.  "So women don't like that?"

"Some women.  There's no one right way.  Don't your women differ in what they like?"

"The only women I know are fellow bikers and Freedom Fighters, or those few in the military," he said dryly.  "I pretty much joined the Freedom Fighters straight out of school."  He looked at her.  "I can see a lot of women liking the feeling of being taken care of."

"Some women," she cautioned.  "A lot of women want to be equals."

"Which is always better," he agreed, "but I'm still one of those old fashioned guys.  I like doing the nice stuff for my girl."

"Good.  Then I like you more and more.  What would you do for Charley?"  He blushed, making her chuckle again.  "Seriously.  Her birthday's in two days, Throttle."

"She never told us."

"She wouldn't."

"Point."  He considered it.  "I'd like to do something sweet for her.  Maybe get her some candy?"

"Honey, the sort of candy she needs and craves isn't the sort you buy," she said semi- bluntly.  "The sort of candy she craves is already in your big, strong arms."

"She wanted to cuddle?"

"That's a start," she agreed dryly.  "Was that one girl your first relationship?"  He nodded.  "Hmm.  Then let me enlighten you on some women, dear."  She shut the door and came over to sit next to him, giving him the long talk about women and how to treat them.  He may blush but it was necessary.  He needed to know what to do with her alternate daughter Charley.  Especially since the girl needed some excitement and happiness in her life.


Charley came back and found the table set for lunch, and not a mouse in sight.  "Throttle?"

"In a minute, I'm in the bathroom doing a bit of laundry."  He came out a few minutes later, finding her nosing around the table.  "Delilah gave me a ride into town.  I thought you'd like to have some lunch."

"Did you read that romance novel all day?"

"No, Charley girl, I didn't.  Delilah came down and we talked about Carbine for a bit."  Not quite an untruth, they had talked about her, and what he did to her when they got together.  Apparently mice and humans weren't that different in the bedroom.  He pulled out her chair, sitting her down.  "There you go."

"Thank you.  This looks great."

"You're welcome. It's a nice change from hotdogs."  He sat down across from her, letting her pick up the chicken fajita makings first.  Then he took them from her to make his own lunch.  "Did you have a good ride?"

"I did and I think I saw your bike but it ran off."  She grinned at him.  "I chased her, yelled at her for you, and she's creeping this way."  She made her first fajita, then took a bite.  "This is really nice of you."

"It's not a problem. You deserve it for all the stuff you do for us.  You're forever doing stuff for us.  We should do more sweet things for you."  He glanced down at his plate until she kicked him on the leg. "Sorry."

"No, it's okay.  I don't mind you paying me back this way.  I don't *need* it though."

"I know, but you deserve it."

She let the point go.  He was in super-guilt mode and it was a good lunch.  "Then thank you."  He grinned at her, looking boyish.  "I called the garage on the way.  Vinnie hasn't destroyed anything yet.  Rimfire's still here, they lost Karbunkle so they're hunting to bring him back.  Vinnie said something about heat going on.  I think I need to look at the furnace when I get back."

"Carbine's in heat?" he asked, frowning.  "Why?"

"You guys go into heat?"

"Our women do.  It's like an urge to get, um, horizontal.  Is she okay?"

"Apparently, according to Vinnie, she's been doing a lot of things with Rimfire on the ship," she said lightly.  "I'm not sure if they're together or not.  Could he hold back?"

"Yeah, but he's the sort to tease her until she jumped him.  It's an internal thing, not like your neighbor's cat was."  He took a big bite, then mentally groaned.  "I hope she's okay and she's not hurting him."

"He's probably enjoying it.  He's a young guy and young guys get off on women doing that to them."  She shrugged and made another fajita.  "I'm sure she'll apologize later if she upsets him."

"Hopefully," he agreed.  Carbine had told him that Rimfire had been hinting about things, and that she had taken a new set of flu shots before coming down.  Apparently someone was hoping for things to happen while she was down here.  Hopefully she wouldn't attack Vinnie for making jokes about it.  He made himself a second one, leaving her the stuff to take the last for herself.  He ate slowly, looking outside.  "Pirates?" he asked finally, not able to hold it in any longer.

She blushed.  "It was the first one I came to that looked like it had a plot," she admitted.  "I'm not usually like that."

"I didn't figure you were some damsel in distress that fainted at the first sign of adversity, but fell with your thighs open."  He blushed and coughed.  "Sorry."

"No, that about describes her," she admitted with a grin, kicking him again.  "I know I'm not like that."

"I know you're not either.  We don't need to protect you the way we do sometimes.  You don't need us to hover over you."

"Thank you, Throttle," she said quietly, leaning over to kiss him on the cheek, which made his ears wiggle and him blush again.  She could feel the heat from across the table.  She grabbed the stuff for the third one, rolling her head around on her shoulders.  "Sorry, I took a curve too fast."

", want some help with that?"

"No, it'll pop soon," she promised.

"I could, um, work on it for you."

"Throttle, I don't need a body slave."

He looked at her, staring her down. "I know.  I'm bein' nice.  It's what bros do for each other.  For our friends too."

"If you want."  She ate the last fajita quickly.  "You didn't get more?"

"No, I thought you'd like a light lunch since Delilah said that you're having homemade Chinese tonight."

"Oh.  Wish they had told me."  He chuckled, grinning at her.  "I'm guessing it's a celebration of our kicking Paul's ass."

"Did you talk to his mother?"

"Yeah, on the way back.  She's waiting for him with a switch and a hockey mask.  It should scare him to celibacy for a good few months."  He chuckled, shaking his head.  "Done?"  He finished and gathered the dishes, putting them into the sink.  He led her to the bed, settling her on her stomach, with her chin on his crossed legs, and her shoulders easily within reach.  He started off gently, watching her toes twitch and curl now and then.  He concentrated on the spots that made her toes curl, making her moan.  He moved lower, having to bend a bit.  He felt her hair brush his stomach and sat up again, going back to her shoulders and the back of her neck.  She was moaning into his legs.  He worked on her upper arms, making her moan some more.  This was just as good for him as it was for her.  He was about to excuse himself when he heard her snore.  He smiled and slid out from under her head, covering her up gently before going to the bathroom to take care of himself.


Charley woke up alone and stretched.  She saw Throttle reading a different book on the couch and snorted.  "That's not much better."

"I know," he admitted.  "More plot, less bedroom scenes, and no pirates.  This time it's love in a computer lab."

She chuckled as she got out of the bed, coming over to look at the cover again.  "Wonderful.  Thank you for the neck rub."

"You're welcome."  He grinned up at her.  "Apparently you needed a long nap."  He put the book down, swinging his feet down so he could put on his boots.  "Liz said we're due up there as soon as you clean up and put on something slutty, her words."  She blushed and he realized that was another phrase women used to talk about sex.  "Did I get that wrong?" he asked cautiously.

"Knowing Liz, no."  She grabbed something from her bag and went into the bathroom to clean up and change, pulling her hair back up once she had brushed it.  She came out in the shorter shorts and the tighter t-shirt.  His jaw dropped open.  "Yeah, this is what she meant."

"You look like someone's backseat woman," he said in awe.  "Like you belong on the back of a bike."

"Gee, thanks."

He stood up. "I didn't mean to offend you, Charley girl.  It's just a drastic change.  Sorta like that time we saw you in an actual skirt."  She chuckled and hit him on the arm, walking past him in her bare feet.  "No shoes?"

"No, I know the path very well."  She walked outside and winced, yelping as she ran into a splinter. "Damn it, I need to sand this thing again."  He picked her up and sat her on the railing, taking the small piece of wood out for her.  "Thanks, Throttle.  Saving me from splinters is a good addition to your heros resume," she teased.

"It's what we hero studs do, Charley girl.  Can you walk?"

"It's just a splinter."  He got her some flip-flops, helping her into them.  She headed off first, limping a bit.  He picked her up and carried her.  "Put me down!"

"Hush.  Your foot needs time to recover."  He tapped on the door, letting Liz let them in.  "She stepped on a splinter," he said as he set her down.  "She was limping and being stubborn."

"Wow.  I haven't been carried like that since you kidnaped me for our wedding," Liz told Delilah, who smirked and wiggled her eyebrows. "Not until I get rid of the baby weight. I couldn't put up with you in bed from a thrown back."  She helped Charley into a seat.  "He's right, you sit.  You can make him ride behind you tomorrow."  She went back to the kitchen, then paused as the baby wailed.  "I'm coming," she called, wiping off her hands.  "Does anyone care that I bring him out?"  Delilah shook her head.  "Good."  She went to get the baby, bringing him out to feed him while she worked on dinner.

Throttle's eyes nearly came out of his head at the sight of her breastfeeding.  Charley pinched him so he looked down at her.  "Usually our mothers are a bit more discreet.  We don't usually do it in public," he explained when Delilah laughed.  "Then again, we're not a big species on PDA either."

Liz looked at Charley's outfit.  "I see he gave you my message.  Good.  You can burp him when he's full."  She went back to stirring.  "Delilah, come do this so I can sit down."

"Of course, dear."  She came in to take over while Liz sat down to breastfeed him.  Then she flinched as something came through the window.  Charley pulled Throttle's gun and shot it back outside, making it explode, which made some people cough. "Wow."

Charley ran outside, seeing two young boys running off, then taking off on some bicycles.  She walked inside and grabbed the phone, calling the local police.  "Sergeant," she said happily.  "Sorry, Captain.  Congratulations for the promotion.  We just had two boys, young boys about Paul's age, throw a gas canister through Liz and Delilah's window.  No, they took off before I could get them.  Yeah, young kids.  No, I shot it back outside and made it explode.  The main road, yeah.  Two of the punks.  Thanks."  She hung up.  "Rod's out on the main road, he'll get them."  She looked at Liz, who was pale. "You should go rest and look him over," she said quietly.  Delilah turned off the stove and came to gather her wife, taking her into the back room.  Charley stared out the window, handing the gun back when Throttle tapped her on the arm.  "Sorry."

"Not an issue.  It's a good thing.  You're faster than even Vinnie gives you credit for.  Good job."  He patted her on the back.  "We should make sure no one else can do that."

"They won't," she said smugly.  "Rod'll know who they are and will take them home to be beaten by their parents.  Then if they're charged, he'll drag them into the courthouse and stick them in a nice cell with someone very scary."  She looked up at him, smirking at him.  "I know the local guys.  Rod's a big defender of these two and all of us up this little road.  He won't put up with it."

"Good.  Are you okay?"  She nodded.  "You're sure?  No shaking or anything?"

"It's less than we usually get, Throttle," she said quietly, glancing behind them.  "That's why I want them to stay here."

"I agree."  He patted her on the back again.  "Let me look around outside.  Maybe they left more stuff."  She nodded, letting him go while she watched the house and its occupants. He needed the time to calm down.  She was damn fast and had grabbed his gun faster than he could.  When had she learned that?  If she was that good, he'd have to find her one of her own.  It'd make him feel better.


Later that night, Throttle settled himself on the hammock again, getting comfortable.  Charley came to the doorway, looking over at him.  "You could sleep in here on the couch.  It's supposed to get chilly tonight."

"Too much temptation," he said very quietly.


"I said I'll be fine," he said more loudly.

"I could have sworn I heard something about too much temptation," she said dryly, coming over to look down at him.  "I promise, you'll be fine.  I won't jump you at all, Throttle."

He looked up at her.  "Charley girl, I'm a young guy and you're a very pretty woman, as Delilah and my own stupidity showed me.  It's not right.  There's no chaperone and you're not my girl.  I don't want your friends to say anything."

"I'm not that easy, Throttle.  They know I'm not the sort of girl to go for a one night stand."

"I know," he said quietly, staring up at her.  "Which is why I'm staying out here."  She looked stunned, even backing up a few steps.  He pulled his gun and blasted the two rats trying to sneak up onto the porch.  He got up and headed inside to check for more of them, blasting that one too.  They got kicked off the porch and he picked her up, putting her onto the bed.  "It's not right in my mind for me to share a place like this with you when you're not my girl, Charley girl.  It's not the guy I am."  He tucked her in and grinned at her.  "Have happy dreams.  I'm going to hunt for more rats."  He walked out, closing the door behind her.

Charley sat up, staring at the doorway.  What was that about?  She saw another rat and yelled, bringing him back at a run to take care of it for her.  Those things were nasty and she didn't need to be bitten.  He came back holding his thumb so she got out of the bed and came over to check on him.  "We need to clean that and take that one to make sure it didn't have rabies."

"We're immune," he said gently.  "I can do this."

"Shut up, Throttle."  She drug him into the bathroom, running it under some cool water to clean it out.  She gathered what she'd need onto the back of the toilet, getting him seated once the bleeding was stopped.  She efficiently smeared it with neosporin and bandaged it, tying the small gauze bandage in a bow.  "There."  She leaned over to put the rest of it back, and heard him take a long sniff.  "What?  Do I smell?"

"No, just like a woman."  He stood up, looking down at her.  "I don't want to complicate your life and I don't want Vinnie mad at me," he said gently.  "That's why I'm going to sleep on the hammock.  If you want something like that, then you'll tell me.  I have implicit trust in women telling me things like who I'm dating," he added with a small grin.

"If you go out there, they'll probably attack.  They can smell bleeding," Charley warned.  He shrugged.  "Sit your ass on the couch, Throttle.  You're being insufferable.  Besides, more could have gotten in."  She closed the door and did a visual check, not finding any more furry, mean bodies ready to attack them.  She flipped off the lights and climbed back into the bed.  "Night."

"Night, Charley girl, thanks for the bandage job."

"You're welcome.  I'm getting better at it with how much practice I've had."  She shifted, rolling onto her side so she was facing him.  "I can't be the rebound person, Throttle."

"I don't need one of those.  I'm not that sorta guy, Charley.  We've both got some thinking to do.  When we get back will be soon enough.  I'm a patient mouse."

"I'm not," she muttered, wiggling deeper. "If you need a blanket, there's some in the chest in the corner.  My grandmother made them."

"Thanks."  He watched, hitting another rat in the head with his boot so he wouldn't wake her.  She needed her rest and he wanted to think for a bit longer.  That one got flushed and so did the last one when it showed up to pounce him.  He went back to the couch, finding her awake.  "Sleep.  I killed two more."  She nodded, going back to sleep, but she stayed facing him.  It was like she was studying him.  Which he didn't mind.  If they were going to take that next step, he wanted her to be sure.  Otherwise things would get really awkward and Vinnie would kill him for hurting her.  He laid down again, getting comfortable.  His boots were taken off as a nicety, but he left on his socks just in case the rats came back.  He fell asleep staring at the ceiling wondering what it'd be like.  He hadn't been on a real date in a very long time. Did humans kiss after the tenth date or later?  He'd have to ask Delilah, she liked to explain these things to him apparently and she was good at it.


Charley woke up and frowned at the odd sensation.  She was being held.  She could feel fur.  It took her a few moments to realize that she was at the cabin and must be in Throttle's arms.  She sat up, intending to yell at him until she realized she was on the couch.  He hadn't crawled in with her, she had crawled in with him.  She slid off the couch and hurried into the bathroom, going to shower so she could hide her blushing if he woke up.  Thankfully she had woken up first.

Throttle opened his eyes, then shook his head.  "Pity," he muttered, sitting up and stretching.  He saw another rat and shot it, then went to toss it outside, tossing it behind Tabby's head.  "Hey, Tabby.  She's in the shower."

"What about you?"

"I get to shower next."  He looked over, there was his bike, curled up next to Charley's.  "Can you get me a pair of jeans out of my saddlebag?" he asked.  She nodded, grinning at him.  He went to check for more rats, not finding any that he could get to.  Charley came out and he grinned.  "Tabby's back and so's my bike."  He ducked into the bathroom to take care of his raging morning erection.  It wasn't usually this bad but she had felt good nestled on his chest.  He heard a brief knock then his jeans were tossed inside and the door was slammed.  "Thanks," he called, heading into the shower.  He needed to be cleaner.  By the time he came out, Charley and Tabby were both gone, and so was his bike.  "Cheese!" he complained, staring at where it should be.  "What did you do?"  He heard Tabby laugh and headed that way, finding them searching around the pond for more rats.  "I can guard while you two go in," he offered quietly, making them both jump.  "Did you see where she went this time?"  Charley shook her head, checking the grassy areas for more signs of rats.  "Go ahead, I'll sit on the bank and watch out for you."  Tabby beamed and hugged him, getting in a stroke to his tail before heading off to tell her mother that he'd watch them.

"You don't have to."

"You're more interesting than any romance novel," he said with a small grin.  She blushed.  "Are you okay?"

"Fine.  You?"

"Fine.  Listen, I don't care if you had nightmares and climbed in with me," he offered, giving her an easy out as to why she had been on top of his chest.  She blushed brighter.  "Really."

"Thanks, Throttle.  Let me go change."  She went up to Tabby's place, taking back the bikini that Delilah had been fixing for her.  "Can I swim in this?"

"You sure can and it should fit you better too," she said smugly.  "Go change."

"Fine."  She went into the bathroom to change, coming out tugging at the top.  Instead of ties the top now had o-rings that the straps were hitched to.  The bottoms had some elastic instead of ties and her top now had a hitch in the front instead of the string merely passing between the breast cups. "I look like a tramp."

Liz looked at her and shook her head.  "Not totally, but you're damn hot.  If I didn't have Delilah, I'd gladly pounce you."  She beamed at the bright, hot blush her friend was doing.  "I would.  Remember to send Tabby back for lunch, or if you get involved."

"I should change."

"Throttle, she's being shy," Delilah called, waking the baby in her arms.  "Shh, Bryon, it's all right.  The auntie is being fussy.  Here, hold him," she ordered, handing him off to Charley.  Just in time for Throttle to show up.  "Isn't she pretty in how I fixed it?"

He swallowed and nodded.  "Very pretty, and the baby's a wonderful accessory.  Are we taking him in?"  She blushed and shook her head.  "You can.  I don't care.  Or I can sit and watch him for a few minutes."

"No, he's too young to go into the pond," Liz said patiently, taking the baby back from Charley, which made Throttle gasp at how the top now laid across her chest.  "Take her to the pond and make sure she's safe, Throttle, or else we'll get you."

"Sure.  Is Tabby coming?"

"She's feeding her snake a few feeder mice," Delilah admitted.  He shuddered.  "They're about four inches long and that is how the food chain works on this planet."  She looked him over.  "It'd take a bigger snake than our boa to take you, big guy."  He blushed and his antennas twitched.  "Take her and go have fun."

He nodded, walking her outside and down to the pond, trying hard not to stare.  Delilah had made this new version of her suit a bit tighter in all the right spots.  He saw a strap twisted and coughed before reaching out to fix it, giving her a bit of warning.  She still jumped a bit but then she shivered. "It was twisted," he said gently, sitting down on the bank by the bushes to watch out for her.  "I'll be right here.  Go swim."  She self consciously moved toward the water, which gave him an excellent view of her flat backside.  "Go ahead, dive in like usual.  Nothing else has changed, Charley girl."  She glanced back at him before diving in.  She came up and he could see why women wore white bathing suits.  Her nipples were just barely showing through.  Apparently the water was cold because they were hard too.  Tabby ran down to give him a hug and dive in, swimming around in circles for a few minutes.  Then she settled on floating and staring at him.  "Play, Tabby.  You've probably got stuff to do later."

She nodded, going back to her paddling.  Charley was swimming back and forth across the  width of the small pond.  She paused near the shore, looking at him.  "You could come in."

"Later.  I didn't bring a suit and I don't think I should swim in my boxers around Tabby," he said with a small grin.  "If you wouldn't mind."  She shook her head, diving off.  She bumped into Tabby, which pushed her under the water.  Tabby came up spluttering and crying.  "Are you all right?" he called.  "Come here.  I'll cuddle you for a minute."

"What happened?" Liz called from her doorway.

"Collision.  She's fine."  Tabby came out and settled in his lap for a cuddle.  "It's all right," he said gently.  She sucked her thumb, staring up at him.  "Do I look funny this morning?"

"Auntie Charley loves you," she said quietly.  "I love her."

"It's a good thing that you love her," he agreed, missing the point totally.  She gave him a look that made sure he knew he had missed the point.  He had wondered if that look was genetic or learned, now he knew. "I know," he said quietly, "we're figuring that stuff out, Tabby."  She nodded, letting him go so she could swim some more.  She waited until Charley was on the other end before jumping in again.  She swam toward the grassy area, hoping for a bit of room.  She felt something grab her around the waist and squealed as she was picked up, giving Throttle a look like he was God.  "Stay where we can see you, Tabby."

"Yes, sir.  I like your tail better than my raccoon's."

"Put her down, she'll be fine," Charley assured him.  He pointed at the grassy area.  "You know better, Tabby.  Swim on this side if you want."

She nodded so Throttle carefully put her back down, slowly letting her go so she knew to start swimming again.  She swam up to her aunt, leaning on her shoulder as she tread water.  "Can I marry a man like him?" she asked quietly.  Charley burst out laughing and patted her on the head.  "Can I?"

"We'll see about it when you get older," she said with a wink.  "There's not many men like him around."

"Do you love him?"  Charley groaned.  "Mommy mommy and mommy said that you did and that you needed pushed.  I asked if love was like a swing.  They said it was if it was good.  Do you feel like you're swinging?"

"I sure do, kiddo.  Go swim. You've got lessons later."  She nodded, heading to do that.  Charley looked up at the beach, finding Throttle staring at her.  She checked her suit, it was still on.  She shivered and dove off again, going back to her swimming.  That was an odd subject and she didn't want to think about it while he was staring at her.  He was making her feel odd. She felt something go past her thigh and yelped.  That had hurt!

"Tabby, out of the pond," he ordered, diving in to get Charley out.  He drug her back out, settling her on the bank to look at her thigh.  Her very smooth inner thigh.  "What happened?"

"I felt something scrape me.  I thought it was a fish."

"It may have been," Liz said as she joined them. "Tabby!"  Tabby came out of the water quickly at the sound of her mother's voice.  "Let me see, Charley."  She looked at the scratch.  "Yeah, it looks like one of the fish has sharp edges.  I'd go clean that off and put some cream on it.  It'll be fine in a few hours."

"Sure.  Thanks."  She started to stand but Throttle lifted her up.  "I can walk."

"You can limp, this way's faster," he pointed out gently.  "Besides, I'm getting in practice for the next rescue."  She hit him on the shoulder, making him sigh.  "Please quit?  Let me worry sometimes?" he asked quietly, carrying her up to the house.  He looked over as the door behind them opened and Liz tossed the laser pistol onto the couch.  "Thanks, Liz."

"Not an issue, Throttle.  You look good when you carry her around."  She shut the door and marched her daughter up to the house to tell Delilah, who liked to fish.

Charley got sat on the toilet and immediately hopped up and took off the bottoms, picking out the tiny fish that had gotten into them and was wiggling around.  It got handed to him and he went to toss it back in.  She checked herself over, then sat down to look at her thigh, not expecting Throttle to come back in and help.  Especially since she wasn't wearing any bottoms.  She grabbed a towel.  He blushed.  "Out!"

"You can't see most of it.  I'll be a gentleman.  As cool as Modo," he promised, grabbing the cream she had used on him last night.  He knelt in front of her.  "It'll just take a minute.  You can hide under the towel.  Not that I'm gonna look," he said with a small blush.

"I can do it."

"You can't reach part of it," he reminded her.  She glared at him.  "Okay."  He got up and backed off, heading out to check on his other clothes.  At least they were dry, if a bit dusty and dirty.  He was changing while she did that, pushing the images out of his mind. Humans and mice looked about the same there too.  He had slid his old jeans up his hips and was settling them in place when she came out.  He blinked and turned, blushing as he zipped them up.

She froze, having gotten an eyeful.  And then some.  She coughed.  "We need a drink."

"Want me to take your bike out to get some?" he asked, turning around once he was decent again.  "I will if you want."

"Quit being so nice, Throttle.  I haven't killed you yet, I might not."

"I'm not, Charley girl.  I'm trying to be thoughtful."

"Well don't!  Be yourself."

"I will if you will."  She looked stunned.  "You're different when you're up here.  Calmer, sweeter, more gentle.  Of course I'm reacting to it.  At the garage, you're this God of mechanics and you run the garage like an army when something happens.  Here, you're a lady."  He moved closer.  "Not that I mind."  She still looked stunned.  "I kinda like this other you.  I'd like to see her in the garage.  You used to laugh and joke around a lot more," he said quietly. She lost the grip on the towel and he groaned, using his tail to pick it up.  "Please don't do that," he whispered as he tucked it back around her hips.  "I can't take that."  He turned her around and gave her a small nudge.  He turned to face the door, pointedly not staring at her as she changed.

"I'm not really that different."

"You have been recently," he offered quietly.  "Up here you tease and you joke.  You don't do that at home, not even with Vinnie."

"At home, things are different."

"Not really.  You handled the crisis last night while joking."  He glanced back, finding her in only the top. He blushed and turned back around.  "Charley girl, we all know I'm not some hardened man.  I don't have the control to see you like that."

She slid into her shorts from the night before, coming over to talk with him.  "You really want me?"

"Yeah.  Why wouldn't I?  You're a wonderful woman.  You get me.  You feel comfortable enough to tease me now and then."  He smirked at her.  "Plus, you put up with my bike."  They both jumped at the sound of thunder, looking outside.  "Should I pull yours up onto the porch?"

"There's a small shelter on the other side of the house."  She ran out to put her bike under the shelter, then came back.

Throttle noticed how she jiggled in that top.  She never did that at home.  He held open the door, giving her back the towel.  "If we were at the garage, you'd never run around like that," he pointed out with a small grin.

"Vinnie would take it as a sign from heaven that I was now his."

"Yeah, but I think he's gonna back off soon," he promised gently.  He stroked her cheek with the back of his hand.  "Go finish changing.  I can watch the storm."

"No, I'm fine."


She looked up into his eyes, then shook her head.  "Take me as I am, Throttle."

"That's the problem, I want to take you," he said, moving closer to kiss her.  "More than most things at the moment."  She gasped so he kissed her gently, then released her and stepped back.  "Please put on a shirt?  I'm still a weak man."

"Fine."  She put on a tanktop over her bikini top, then sat down to watch him watch the storm.  "You could come sit too."  He shook his head.  "You won't do anything to me."

"I don't know.  I might."

"You won't."  He nodded, coming over to sit next to her.  "Why do I feel like you're some shy virgin suddenly?"

"I've only had a few women and only dated Carbine in the past," he said quietly, not looking at her.

"Then you're doing about as good as I am.  I've had a total of two boyfriends and one other guy."  He nodded, glancing at her.  "What do you want, Throttle?"

"I..."  He coughed.  "How about we start small?  A small picnic when we get back?"  She smiled at that.  "Anywhere you want."

"Ultimately what do you want?"

"I want..."  He let out a breath and drew another one in.  "I want a new girl, Charley girl."

"That's what I thought.  What about when you have to go back?"

He shrugged.  "I'm not sure that's going to be an option for a while."  He looked over at her, seeing the shock.  "We're holding things steady, not winning this battle.  There's a few others down here too. It's going to be a long fight against those three."  She nodded, closing her mouth.  "It may outlast us," he said honestly.  She shivered so he pulled her closer with his tail, holding her against his side.  "I'm not being morbid, I'm being realistic, Charley.  Think about it."

"What happens if it does outlast you?" she asked quietly.

"I'm hoping Rimfire takes up the slack," he said honestly.  "Of course, if he and Carbine are together, she'd kill him for that."  She snorted, leaning into his side. "I don't know.  I'm sure others will know by then."  She nodded, getting comfortable.  "I don't want to think about that at the moment," he decided.  He looked down at her.  "You look so delicate against me."

"I'm not."

"You're not," he agreed.  "It's a trick of your image."  He grinned at her.  "Of course, in that outfit you look more like a teenager than you do a garage monkey."

"I can't exactly work in the garage in this," she said dryly.

"You could.  We wouldn't mind."  He beamed at her.  "We wouldn't say a word and Vinnie would be keeping his snout shut too.  Modo might have to pounce him a few times but he'd make sure of it."

"You might but the customers wouldn't.

"Most of the time the customers only come in on Wednesday.  Besides, you don't keep the doors open all the time."  She nodded, that was true anymore.  "You could always hop into a jumpsuit or something."  He stroked her cheek.  "Not that I don't like your usual clothes, I do.  But you're stunning in that top.  That's why I couldn't stand to look at you.  I was struck stupid."

She pinched him.  "Be nice."

"I am.  You're a pretty woman."  He shifted some, and she lunged up, kissing him again.  He moaned into her mouth, one hand going into her hair.  He pulled back, looking her in the eyes.  "Are you sure?  I'm a possessive mouse, Charley girl."

"I've noticed that," she said dryly.  "I've seen it quite a few times."

He grinned.  "Just so you know that Vincent will be beaten if he tries anything if you let him see you in that top."  He kissed her again, leaning her back onto the couch.  He continued to kiss her, using his hands to take off his vest.  He pulled back and yanked off her tanktop, tossing it after his vest, then went back to kissing her.  It was enough for now.  He could run his hands along her sides and arms.  She arched up into his hands, moving them where she wanted them to go.  He chuckled. "Slow down.  I'm not rushing this for anything," he assured her.  He moved to nip her on the throat, then kissed her again.  "Nice and slow, Charley girl.  Nice and slow.  Like a good ride on a sunny Sunday afternoon."  She nodded, pulling him back down to kiss him again.  They both moaned as he flipped them onto his back, letting her get on top since she was smaller than he was.  She grinned down at him.  "Whatever you want."

She ran her hands over his chest, making him hiss in pleasure.  "Like that?"

"A lot.  Your hands are kinda cold."  She grinned and pinched him on a pec, making him shiver.  "Like I said, whatever you want."  She nodded, bending down to kiss him again.  His hands were put back onto her sides, letting him feel her up as he stroked her.  She wiggled at a few spots so he marked them as ticklish.  His hands moved down to her rear, gripping it and giving it a good squeeze.  Her butt wasn't as flat as it looked in those shorts.  He used his tail to unbutton his own jeans, leaving it there for now.  He continued to kiss her, making sure she was wanting the same thing.  Finally she pulled away and pulled him up to play with her chest.  He latched on like the baby did his mother.  She moaned and arched up into his muzzle, letting him have whatever he wanted.  She shifted and he switched sides, stroking up and down her back as he played and teased the little peaks with his mouth, tongue, and teeth.  She was wiggling by the time he was done.  He put her back onto her back and stood up, helping her out of her shorts.  He paused when he noticed she hadn't put anything on under them, then his control snapped and left him wanting what she obviously did.

He pulled her until she was sitting up, then knelt in front of her, pulling her hips forward so he was in the perfect spot.  She let out a soft moan, arching up into his careful sniffling and investigation.  His hands were on her rear, keeping her in place as he started to lick.  He could tell that she usually had hair here, she had shaved it recently.  He could feel a few pieces of stubble coming out.  That didn't bother him in the least.  It made him moan into her flesh in fact.  She was hairless and it was driving him insane.  He dove in, licking the area generously before he started to suck.  Her breath caught and he did that again, making her tense up.  He went back to what he liked doing, which was dive in as deep as his snout allowed.  Human women were a bit smaller than the martians he was used to down here but that was fine.  His snout still got into the tight spot and let his tongue get deeper.  She was wiggling in his hands now, clutching the back of the couch like it would save her from falling over.  He moved a hand so he could shift her hips a bit further apart and he could tease a few spots.  She wailed above him, getting very moist.

He liked that so he licked her and started to play with her.  He snouted her while licking her some more, getting deep enough that he knew he was hitting near her cervix.  He could almost feel it.  He pushed his nose in a bit further, getting it just barely to the point where he could touch it with the tip of his tongue.  Then he pulled back and went back to sucking for a few minutes.  She was shivering and wiggling in his hands, so he looked up at her.  "Want more?" he asked hoarsely.

"More!" she demanded, pushing at his head.  He grinned up at her then went back to teasing her.  He could feel her tensing up, and hoped he could get her to go over again.  She did and he cleaned her up before standing up, looking down at her.  He slowly unzipped his zipper and pushed down his jeans.  He hadn't thought about getting a spare pair of boxers so he was without underwear.  She gasped and reached out to touch him, earning a smile.  "That's for me?"

He nodded.  "All for you if you want it."  He skimmed his pants off and stepped out of them, then knelt between her knees again, going back to what he had been doing.  She grabbed him by the ears, which meant he had to move her hands, but she didn't seem to mind.  She pulled back her thighs, giving him the best view of the soft, warm area as he had gotten yet.  He dove back in.  This position let him get deep with his tongue again, which made her shake and shiver.  He felt her release and lapped everything, then looked up at her.  "What would you like me to do, Charley girl?" he asked gently, stroking that area with a gentle finger.

"More," she panted.  "Please, Throttle, more.  I never imagined it was like that."  He sat up and scooped her up, settling her in his lap as he sat down.  He let her sink down onto him, watching as she tightened around him momentarily.  "Oh, more," she pleaded.  He held her still while he worked his hips, making her arch into his hands.  That gave him the perfect access to her nipples.  The bikini top was removed and tossed aside, giving him total access to everything.  Charley decided she could die in this spot, happy with right now.  She came and he followed, spurting all over her insides, making her pause.  "Condom?"

"We're not that compatible," he promised, pulling her down to hold her.  He liked the cuddling afterwards. She settled in his lap, resting her head on his shoulder.  He heard the quiet chuckle and gave her a gentle poke on the side.  "What's so funny?"

"If my daddy saw us, he'd have spanked me.  He always said first times should be in beds, preferably wedding beds, but always a bed."

"Usually that's where I like to start things too but I was too desperate to carry you over there."  She lifted her head, giving him a long stare.  "I was."  He gave her a gentle kiss.  "I'll let you pounce me later on it."  She nodded, putting her head back down.  He yawned and held her tighter, not intending to let go for anything short of a firefight or Modo breaking him into little pieces.  He yawned again and let himself drift off, his hold not loosening any.

She looked up at him, grinning at him.   He looked so carefree when he slept.  She tried to move but his grip only tightened.  "Very possessive," she whispered, trying to wiggle free.  "Throttle, I need to go to the bathroom," she whispered in his ear.  His ear twitched and he shifted, rolling them onto their sides, wrapping her in his arms, tail, and one very strong leg.  She was done for, there wasn't any way she could move now.  Not even Modo could get her free from this grip.  She looked over as the door opened, blushing at Delilah.  "Help me," she mouthed.  Her friend smirked and shook her head.  She nodded at the bathroom.  Delilah snickered and shook her head again.  "Please?"

"Honey, no, let the big man cuddle. It's obvious he wants to.  They're gifts from the Gods, accept it."  She put down the basket of clothes with a wink.  "Have fun."  She slipped back out and headed back up to the house to gossip with the other two women.  She pounced her wife to kiss her.  "She's in his arms, naked, sweaty, dripping, and he won't let her go clean up because he's cuddlesome while he sleeps."  The other women giggled and snuck down there to take some memento pictures.  Charley deserved a man like him.


Throttle woke up when he heard a scuttling sound, reaching for his gun on instinct.

"Not shoot me!" Tabby yelled.

He stopped and opened his eyes, looking at her.  He dropped the gun and patted her on the top of the head.  "Sorry, Tabby.  Thought I heard another rat."

"No, they all gone.  Mommy and mommy mommy said they can't find any more."  She tipped her head to look at the sleeping Charley.  "Isn't she cold?"

"Why don't you get me a blanket and I'll wake her up?  What's going on?"

"Mommy mommy said to come up to dinner.  That she's making something special and that Auntie Charley will have a pillow for her butt.  I don't know why.  Did the fishy get her there too?"

"It's a long story but it's a grownup story.  Tell her thank you.  When is dinner?"

"In about an hour.  She said you'd probably need a shower."  She beamed.  "Since I've been so good, you get to babysit me tonight while they go to the movies."

"Sure.  Tell her we'd like that."  She nodded, skipping out and heading up to the house.  He searched around and found he could barely reach the towel with his tail, pulling it over to cover her.  "Charley girl," he whispered.  She pushed on his nose, making him smile and kiss the palm of her hand, giving it a sucking kiss.  That woke her, and she gave him a sleepy smile.  "Tabby just came down to wake us for dinner.  We're babysitting tonight?"

"Dinner?  What happened to lunch?"

"That nice licking thing," he said with a small grin.  She hummed and smiled back.  "Tabby said we've got about an hour."

"A whole hour?" she asked as she stretched and yawned.  "What should we do with a whole hour?"

"Shower?" he asked with a grin.  She stared up at him.  "Alone or not."

"Shower's a good idea," she agreed, getting up and hauling him with her.  She liked showers and he seemed to be willing to do most anything.  He let her set the temperature and get in first, then he got in and pushed her against the wall, kissing her hard.  She arched up into his large hands, so he let out a wicked chuckle, picking her up and planting her back on him, which meant her feet weren't touching the ground.  The friction kept her against the wall and off her feet, and he had a good, long time of making her howl in pleasure. She nearly fell asleep again but he got down to clean her up with the hand-held shower attachment while she leaned against the wall.  "God, Throttle, you're good."

"I'll give you another backrub before bed," he promised, coming up to kiss her.  He rinsed her off.  "Don't fall asleep.  You'll miss dinner and you'll need those calories."

She gave him a small grin.  "Bragging?"

"Plans," he said with a wink.  "After the babysitting.  What are you wearing tonight?  I'll grab us some clothes while you dry off."

"You need to dry off more.  Let me handle the clothes issues."  She turned off the water and stole another kiss before getting out.  She dried off casually while he watched, blushing a bit when she heard the small growl of lust.  She handed off the towel and went to find them something decent to wear from the basket that had been dropped off.  She found an outfit waiting on her and his jeans had been cleaned and dried, but not his boxers.  She untangled his vest and laid it out on the couch, watching as he came out.   He looked so unselfconscious about being six foot of muscles, fur, and more muscles.  She pointed at his favorite outfit.  "I asked Liz to do some of our laundry for me.  She dropped it off while we were napping."  She shimmied into her more formal shorts and a button-up shirt, even remembering the underwear.  She grinned at him since he was sitting down.  "Want me to run ahead?" she teased.

"You can if you want," he offered, watching her move.  "That's much more clothes than earlier."

"Yeah, but we're going to be up there.  Plus watching Tabby."  She blew a kiss and headed out, going up the small path in her bare feet.  She tapped before walking in.

"Does he give oral sex?" Delilah asked in greeting, making Charley blush.  "Well?  Give!  We want details, girl!"

"Oh, yeah, and he's got this very long tongue," Charley assured them with a grin.  "You're mean, Delilah. I needed to go to the bathroom and she wouldn't help me get free, Liz."

"Hell no.  A man who gives good oral sex and cuddles?  I'm not getting any woman free of his grip and if you dump him, we're stealing the big stud."  Liz beamed at her.  "We put a pillow down in your usual chair, just in case your butt was sore."

"We didn't do anything that way.  He's much too big," she said with a hot blush, but she did sit down.  She was a bit weak in the knees.  "We missed lunch."

"I figured as much," Delilah said happily. "You never made it to the pond either."  She grinned at Throttle when he came in.  "Do we have to threaten you to treat her right and continue with the oral sex and cuddling?"

"Delilah!" her own wife said, looking shocked.  "That's not nice!  We can only threaten him if he doesn't treat her well!  The other is between them.  Maybe she'll get tired of oral sex!"

"I hope not," he said with a blush of his own.  He looked at his girl, who shrugged.  "As long as you want it, I'm there.  Besides, I never treat you bad, we just coddle you too much now and then."  He kissed her gently, making the other women coo in pleasure. "Everything else is up to her."  He picked her up and sat down, casually sprawling out so she could have his lap.  "Much nicer than any pillow."

"Not nearly as soft with those muscles of yours, stud.  Can we have the other two for a few weeks?  I know some women who would *die* to have them."

"Modo's a very nice guy, ladies, he's very sweet," Throttle told them.  "He's also very shy.  He's a widow."  They sighed at that.  "Vinnie's all jump and excitement."

"He'd probably go for a few weeks in bed," Charley said, looking at him.  "I can sit."

"I'm comfy.  You're not?" he asked with a grin. He stroked up her back.  "I saw my bike slinking back again.  She's headed for the shelter next to yours."

"Good.  We've got to leave tomorrow night."

"Early Wednesday," he offered.

"I still need to do that muffler job."

"Modo pulled it off and all you'll have to do is put the new one on and reattach the pipes, Charley girl.  He got bored and arranged your toolbox by size again too."  She groaned and shook her head.  "He's being nice and keeping Vinnie out of trouble, or else we'd have seen him by now."

"Good point."  She kissed him again, making Tabby giggle from the hallway.  "I heard you."

"Good!"  She jogged out to hug Throttle's arm.  "Does this make you an uncle?"

"If you want," he said, grinning at her.  "Or you can wait for a bit if you want."

"Nope, you're an uncle with a very neat tail.  Mommy, did I tell you he picked me up with it?"

"Four or five times," she said dryly.  "Finish cleaning up, Tabby."

"Yes, mommy."  She ran back to her room.

Delilah grinned at him.  "Don't want to be an uncle?"

"I always let the kids make that decision," he said with a shrug.  "I know nothing about kids."

"Okay.  Then expect to see a lot of uncle stuff soon," she told him with a smirk.  "Charley, you look tired, dear.  Didn't nap enough?"

"Not yet."  She yawned.

"So, what's the best thing so far?" Liz teased.

"Thigh muscles.  Very strong thigh muscles," Charley said, making Throttle hide his face in her hair.  "Very, very strong thigh muscles."

The other women giggled and hugged them both.  After all, family got to embarrass you totally.  It's what family was for.


Throttle rolled out of the bed when he heard the door open, pulling his gun.

"Whoa, bro, not a target," Vinnie said, holding up his hands.  "You maybe wanna put that away?" he suggested.

"It had better be the fate of the entire world hanging in the balance," Charley muttered from the pile of blankets.  She lifted her head.  "Where's Modo?"

"On his way.  The goons came back.  We were chasing Karbunkle and saw your bike so we popped in to warn you."

"Hopefully your bikes don't take off like his did," she said, putting her head back down.  "Don't shoot him, Throttle.  I promise he's going to let you sleep in."

Vinnie nodded. "Sure, we'll let you sleep in.  Let us capture the others and then we'll head back to the city," he promised.  He heard a squeal right before Modo bellowed. "What the...?"

"Tabby, that's Modo, let him go," Throttle yelled.  "Come get Vinnie instead."  She squealed and ran in, grabbing Vinnie by the tail.

He turned, but she followed, clutching that tail as hard as she could.  "Are you some sort of tail monster?"

"I love tails!"

"I can see that.  You've got to let mine go.  We've got to use it to whip some tail on some bad guys.  I need that part to do that, sweetheart.  Throttle, who is this little bundle of fur?"

"Tabby, don't make him dizzy."  Charley smirked at him.  "Tabitha Eliza is my goddaughter.  Her parents live in the next cabin up the hill."

Delilah walked in, scowling.  "I heard a yelp of outrage."

"More like fear.  You could put the gun away," Throttle promised, putting his own away.  He watched as Vinnie kept turning around, trying to see the little girl.

Delilah plucked her errant child off.  "Don't pounce without warning, Tabby."  She kissed her on the cheek.  "Morning, Charley girl.  You up for lunch?" she asked with a teasing grin.

"It's lunch, already?" Throttle asked, looking at his watch.  "Huh.  It is.  Guys, did you need help whipping tail?"  Vinnie's mouth fell open.  "What?"

"You don't want to come?"

"That's why I asked if you needed help," Throttle said dryly.

"Go," Charley said quietly, scooting over to kiss him on the cheek.  "Have fun whipping tail.  Come back for dinner."  He nodded, grinning at her.  "Watch out for that one.  She'll follow if you try to take her tail from her."

"She knows my tail's now yours.  She hasn't reached for mine since yesterday," he pointed out, stealing a real kiss.  He stood up and put on his jeans, blushing since Delilah was covering Tabby's eyes.  "Sorry, forgot to put on clothes last night," he excused.

"Who'd wear clothes with her in bed with you?  That's only for when you're cold and she's not warmth enough.  I'd have been disappointed if I had seen you even wearing boxers."  She walked her daughter out, letting her pause to hug Modo.  "You can see him later, princess.  Have Throttle bring you guys back.  You guys can stay for dinner then head back tonight."  He nodded, patting the little girl on the head with his natural hand.

"Mr. Modo, what happened to your hand?" Tabby asked.  "Did a bad guy hurt you too bad?  I'm sure Uncle Throttle could kick their butts if they did."

"We all kicked their butts at the same time," he promised gently.  "I got the person who hurt him and he got the one who hurt me."  She nodded, that was a good thing in her book.  "You have a good day."

"You too.  Have fun," Delilah said with a grin for him.  "Come on, tail girl.  Let's go back to your books."

"Sure, mommy."  She waved at Vinnie.  "Bye, Mr. Vinnie.  Auntie said I could come play some time. You're very fun."

He waved, then looked over at Throttle, who was putting on his boots.  "Who was that?"

"My goddaughter," Charley said through a yawn.  "Tabby.  She's got a thing for tails."  She put her head back down.  "Be safe."

"You too."  He stole a kiss before standing up, walking past Vinnie and dragging him off by his arm.  He nodded at Modo.  "She's going back to sleep."

"We were invited back for dinner, then we can head home," Modo said, staring at him.  "Bro, is there something you wanted to mention?" he asked with a grin.

"Yeah, later."  He found his bike lurking.  "You done playing games now?  We're going to whip some tail."  It came out and leaned against him.  "Yeah, I still like you and it was a good idea.  Let's go."  He got on and sped down the driveway.

"What is going on here!" Vinnie shouted, hopping onto his bike to chase him, Modo chuckling and following him.  He pulled up next to Throttle.  "What's going on?" he yelled.

"With what?"

"You and Charley!" he yelled back.  Throttle smirked at him.  "Oh, no, you're not datin' her, bro!  You can't!  We'll have to leave some day!"

"Maybe.  If we win.  Right now, we're at a standstill.  Truck."  He sped off, letting Vinnie get in behind him before he was hit by that truck.  He found the goons in the same spot as the day before, sneaking up to watch them.  He heard the net launch and blew it out of the air, then got the goon who sent it.  The fight was on!


Charley swam leisurely around the pond, thankfully in a suit, watching and listening for the guys to come back.  She nearly jumped when she heard the bikes and nearly drowned when her feet didn't hit solid ground, but she did swim over to the edge and haul herself out, wrapping a towel around her waist to check on them.  She found Throttle getting off his bike and shaking his head.  "Bad fight?"

"No, not really.  One of them got me in the ear with a rock so I've got a bit of ringing. It's going away," he promised, smirking at her.  "No more pointy fish or swamp rats?"

"Nope, not a one.  And no fish that wanted to get too personal either."  She grinned at the other two, who were staring.  "What?  I was swimming."

"I can see that," Vinnie said, staring at her.  He shook his head and got off his bike.  "Wow, sweetheart.  That's a cute look."  Throttle hit him on the arm, making him howl.  "Hey!"

"Shut it, Vinnie.  It's not a peep show."  He pulled her over, giving her a gentle kiss.  "I kicked Grease Pit for you when he started to taunt me about stealing you again for his own personal mate."

"Thanks.  That's nearly a fate worse than death."  She grinned at him.  "Everything good?"

"Yup, everything's fine.  They picked up the goons and took them back to Mars.  They had the glass cells in a tractor beam."  She smirked at that.  "Carbine was in heat but Rimfire has managed to snag her attention in a more permanent way.  They're kinda happy at the moment."  He stole another kiss.  "When's dinner?"

"About four hours from now."  She looked around.  "Tabby?  I know you're lurking."  She came around the side of the cabin, looking hopeful.  "If you can talk one of them into helping you read," she offered.  The little girl came up and grabbed Vinnie, pulling him off.  "Be careful with him, sweetie, he's fragile."

"Sure, Auntie.  Besides, Auntie Pauline is up too.  She wanted to meet him too.  She said he can't be as well built as you said.  That it's just not possible."

"Bet me, I am the studliest mamajammer in the universe," he protested as she drug him off by his tail.  "I can walk," he offered.

"Why?  Tails are fun.  Uncle Throttle lets me hug his tail while I read."

"I'm guessing there's a few things Uncle Throttle is going to be explaining to the rest of us later," he said sweetly.  He saw the three women and smiled.  "Hi.  I'm Vinnie."

"Leave Throttle alone, kid.  We worked hard to set those two up," Delilah said smugly.  She leaned on her wife's shoulder.  "So, Pauline?"

"He's cute," she agreed, coming down to look him over.  "Very well built."  She poked him on the stomach.  "Very, very well built.  Not quite as strong looking as Throttle, but more than enough for me to paint.  Wanna be a model?" she asked with a smirk.  "I'm working on a series of nudes."

He blushed and his ears went rigid.  "Umm, ah, that is, ah....."

"That's a yes," Throttle said as he walked Charley up with Modo.  "He's a shy boy underneath it all."  Pauline squealed like Tabby and drug Vinnie off, making Tabby pout until she spotted Modo.  "Sorry about that.  He's confused."

"I'd say."  Liz let them into the house.  "Dinner's not for a while."

"I can sit out here with the darling little tail creature," Modo offered, grinning at the girl hanging onto his.  "Hi.  I'm Modo."

"I'm Tabby.  Tails are very special.  Can yours pick me up like Uncle Throttle's?"  He picked her up, making her giggle as it bounced her around.  "I like you!  You need to come up more often!"

"If Charley ma'am allows me to," he said humbly.  "This is her private spot."  He put her back down and she led him to a chair, sitting down beside him with her book in one hand and his tail curled up in the other.  "You gonna read to me?"

"Sure," she agreed happily.  "I'm working on my reading."

"Reading's a good thing.  It makes you smarter."  She beamed at him and opened the book. "What's the name of this one?"

"Fruit Loops."  She looked at the first page.  "Fruit Loops....are..."

Throttle led Charley inside and sat down, letting her sit in his lap again.  She gave him a long look.  "I won't get to do it at home," he reminded her.  She snuggled up against him, stroking the fur where his vest was open.   He caught her fingers, kissing them gently.  "Not unless you want them to know why you need the nap this time," he said quietly, making her grin.

"We've got a pretty good idea, studly," Delilah promised with a smirk.

"Really, would that be because you three peeped?" Charley asked dryly.

"We wanted to make sure he was good enough for you," Liz said with a smirk of her own.   "How else were we going to find that out?"

"You could have asked," Charley retorted.  She smirked at her.  "You just like to peep, like Paul does. Speaking of, someone might want to remind her that her son comes home early today since it's the last day of school."

"It's probably too late by now," Delilah said with a hand wave.  "He'll head up here.  It's not like his imminent voyeurism is going to work on his own mother.  He's too much of a teenager to see that and not shudder in revulsion."  She handed over the basket of berries.  "Here, neither of you ate yet."

"You didn't eat?" Throttle asked.

"I took a slow shower, and went to swim," she admitted.  She pulled out a few berries to nibble on, feeding him one.  "There, now you've eaten."

"I had one of my protein bars on the way back for energy."

"Oooh, a man with a plan," Liz teased.  "I'd offer our spare room but the snake's in there at the moment."

"Nah, we'd be noisy and then Vinnie would run up to save us, which would upset Pauline," he assured her with a grin of his own and a look over the top of his field specs.  "Love you anyway though."

Modo stuck his head in.  "Does she have other books?"

"Let me get you a whole stack," Liz offered, going to do that. Her daughter wasn't going to give him up for a *very* long time.  Besides, every woman deserved to have a man or a woman who paid absolute attention to what they wanted now and then.  Even one as young as her girl.  She handed over a foot-high stack of books with a grin. "There you go, Modo.  If you need to get up and use the bathroom, just ask her politely.  She shouldn't fuss too much."  He nodded, blushing a bit.  "We're a bit blunt around here, don't worry about it."  She heard a howl and giggled.  "Was that the bragging one?"  Modo groaned and nodded, sitting down with the little girl again.  "God, Delilah, I thought you were loud," she noted as she shut the door.

"Only after a long absence, like a few hours," she said sweetly.  "Which I'm sure I can prove later."  Their son let out a sniffle and they paused, but he didn't start to fuss so they left him where he was.  He wailed a few minutes later so she got up, bringing him out once he was changed and reclothed, handing him off to his aunt and uncle, who he liked more than enough to sleep on again.  "How did you get him to take the bottle last night?" she asked.  "He won't do it for me."

"He liked my fur," Throttle said quietly, staring down at the baby.  They still mystified him.  He noticed the silence so he looked up.  "I noticed Liz wears a lot of soft, furry textured clothes, so I figured he might take it easier from me.  He liked it more than my finger."  He shrugged, which made her shift, and the baby settled in against her chest, happily sucking on his first two fingers.  "He's cute but I'm so glad I don't have any of those."  He kissed the back of Charley's neck, making her shiver.  "Some year, if you want, we'll talk about you adopting one," he said quietly.  She nodded, giving him one of those soft looks.  "If you want," he repeated.  She nodded, curling against his chest.  One of his arms went around her stomach and he shifted his legs so one was crossed over the other's knee, giving her a more stable seat.  She was quickly as asleep as the baby.  He gave them a grin.

"Damn, you're good," Liz said in awe.  "We're shipping him to you when he gets colic."

He chuckled. "Don't do that.  She doesn't get enough rest at home as is."

"You can fix that," Delilah pointed out.

"I plan on it," he agreed happily.  He saw Paul stomping up the path.  "Paul's back."

Paul walked in and slammed the door.  "Who is that guy boinking my mom?" he demanded, glaring at Throttle.  "What are his intentions?"

"She jumped him, sport.  Not the other way around," Liz pointed out.  "Besides, he's a friend of theirs."

"Can't she keep you guys on leashes?" he complained.

Throttle reached over to swat him.  "Vinnie's not staying, my man.  Trust me.  Vinnie's not staying.  Your mom liked him and jumped him.  Besides, we're not dogs, we're mice.  We don't really do leashes.  We don't wear that sort of leather stuff."

"It doesn't really go with the outfit," Delilah agreed, opening her arms.  Paul came over to get a hug. "It's all right, kiddo.  She's still your mom, even if she's boinking the entire seventh fleet."

"That's an icky thought.  My mom's too old to have sex."

"I'm older than your mom is, Paul," Liz reminded him.  "People continue to have sexual urges even when they're old and in nursing homes."

"Eww."  He pouted.  "Can't you make him stop?"

"Nope, only she can do that, kiddo," Delilah reminded him.  "Besides, she'll be happy for a few days and might even forget that you're grounded until you're eighteen."

"He did more stuff?" Throttle asked.

"His mom found out he had used her credit card to log onto a nice webcam site," Delilah told him.  He grimaced.  "Hey, it's his kink.  Some day, he'll be part of a threesome and then he'll have all he wants to watch."

"Hopefully," he admitted, curling up in her lap since everyone else seemed to be doing the lap thing.  "Auntie, there's a really cute boy at school," he said quietly.  "And a really cute girl."

"That's my boy!" Delilah said, giving him a squeeze.  "I'm so proud!  A good threesome with cute people!"

"Can you tell me how to get them to date me?"

"Sure can, kiddo.  Not an issue," Liz promised.  "You've got time since you're still grounded."  He grumbled but he was smiling underneath it all.  "Now all we have to do is wait for Tabby to find a good woman."

"I promised the alligator guy I'd send someone down if I found one of us like him."

"He only likes girls, but if you can, he'd be much happier," Liz agreed.  "Send down one for Tabby too."

"The only thing she'd like more is to have cat-sorta person."

"There's one of those," he admitted.  "I'm not sure how many bike though."

"That's fine, we just want her to be happy.  She can bike without one," Delilah promised.  "After all, Liz is my bitch.  I don't think she'd even seen one before we started to date."

"I dated one guy before you who had a racing bike, but nothing I could really share with him."  She blushed and fixed some sandwiches to tide them all over.

"Maybe that's what I need," Paul said, looking up at his aunt.  "Do you think it'd work?"  She nodded.  "Really?"

"Maybe.  Kinda hard to ride three on a bike, but maybe."

"Cool.  Now all I gotta do is figure out which one I want to ask out first."

"The girl; it'll be easier if you seem het," she pointed out.  "Even around here, kiddo."

"Sure, auntie."  He snuggled in, liking this.  She was always comforting.  He smirked at his mother as she came back.  "I've found a guy and a girl I like, mom."

"Good, son!  I'm so happy!" she cooed, giving him a hug.

Throttle caught sight of something and pulled his gun, waving Vinnie out of the way.  His bro moved slightly and he shot the rat.  "There was another one. You guys need something to kill them when we're gone."

"Phil said he's got a baby bobcat who can do that but it's too domesticated already," Delilah said with a shrug.  "We're discussing it at the moment."  She glanced out the door, then at Vinnie.  "You okay?"

"Fine," he agreed quietly, continuing to stare at Charlie and the baby.  "She looks comfortable like that," he said finally.

"Bryon's a decent sort.  He likes fur," Throttle told him. "That's her godson."

"And she looks very comfy on your lap too.  Something you wanted to share perhaps?" he asked smugly.

"Yeah, you pick on her or pinch her again and I'm gonna knot your tail until it looks like a dreadlock," he said dryly.  He put back up his laser and shifted slightly, which made Charley nuzzle his chest.  He stroked her stomach with the hand around her and the baby yawned at him.  "Hey, Bryon.  You up again, little biker buddy?"

"If he is, he's probably hungry," Liz said, putting down the plate of sandwiches.  She picked up the baby and sat down, letting him latch on once she had freed a breast.

"Whoa, more than I needed to know," Vinnie said warmly, getting out of there before he had to witness more odd stuff.  "She just let one free and let the baby latch on," he said when Modo stared him down.

"That's how babies eat," Tabby told him.  "Don't mounsie babies do that?"

"Most of our women do that sorta stuff in private.  We're a bit more shy," Modo told her.

"Oh.  I guess that's okay but we're not shy around here.  Mommy mommy says we're very nosy and loud."

"I kinda like you like that, kid.  You're pretty neat," Modo said gently, grinning at her.  She beamed up at him.  "Now, what did that story mean?"

"It was how Fruit Loops were made?" she guessed.  He stared her down. "It's a tour of the plant and how they made Fruit Loops and the machines they used."

"Very good.  Let's go to the next one, kiddo."  He patted her on the head.  "Got another?"  She beamed and picked out the next book, opening it.  "What's the title?"

"I feel like I'm stuck in one of those TwiddleLight Episodes," Vinnie complained, heading back inside but not looking while she fed the baby.  "So, sweetheart, wanna tell us something?"

Charley yawned and shook her head.  "Should be pretty self-explanatory."  She yawned again and put her head back down.  "I need to quit doing that."

"You've got all day to nap," Throttle reminded her.  "I'll let you nap," he promised when she looked up at him.  "Then we'll ride back to the garage early tomorrow, I'll help with that muffler job.  You can nap some more once he's gone and paid, then we'll figure out everything else."

"Who gets to ride pillion?" Liz asked.

"I'm not sure.  We've both got bikes," Throttle told her.  "I'm secure enough to ride behind her if I have to.  That good with you? Whoever owns the bike unless it's necessary?"  She nodded, smirking up at him.  "What?"

"I'm not so sure your bike's back," she admitted. "I thought I heard a motor a few minutes ago."

"Modo, did my bike pull another stunt," he called.

"No, bro, that was out on the road," he called back. "I can see it peeking around the edge of the cabin with mine.  I think they're chatting about her devious plan."

"Hopefully Lil Hoss chews mine a new one," he complained lightly.  "She left for days this time," he told Vinnie.  "She came back for a few hours then disappeared again."

"Long enough for you to get some clean pants," Charley agreed.  She realized she was still in her bathing suit and towel.  "I should go change."  She was helped to her feet and blushed.  "I'll be right back."  She grabbed a sandwich and headed back down to her cabin. "You guys all need to stay around here. They'll be leaving tonight and Throttle and I are going in the morning."  She walked in and slammed the door, looking around at the mess.  She found an older pair of shorts she had left in the past, but they were fairly tight.  Nothing else was clean though.  Plus, she didn't have any underwear at all.  She groaned. "This is like some bad dream.  I can't go up there in these."

Someone knocked on the door so she walked over to answer it, giving Vinnie an odd look.  "I wanted to talk to you," he said.  "Can I?"  He waved inside.  She nodded, getting out of his way.  "Are you and Throttle serious?  Not that I'm gonna have a problem with it or anything, but I wanted to make sure," he said quickly.

"Vinnie, neither of us is the sort to play around," she reminded him.  He nodded, looking embarrassed. "I'll treat him right. You know I will."

"I know, but it's kinda different. You're not one of the bros, you're a girl.  I feel like I should treat you better or differently or something."

She pinched him on the arm, making him howl.  "You'd better behave and treat me like you do the rest of the time, Vincent, or else I'm gonna have to tie you down and put those ticklers on you again."  He blushed and nodded.  "Now, what's really eating you?"

"It's just odd.  I never thought of you and him.  I thought, you know, maybe you and me someday."

"That would require you to become a serious person," she reminded him gently, kissing him on the cheek.  "You'd never stand living in the garage all the time.  You'd be bored within a week and have to start a fight to get some action.  Besides, I don't think you could put up with being a full-time boyfriend.  Never being able to look at another woman.  Never being able to pant after one.  None of that stuff."

"Throttle still looks, sweetheart."

"Yeah, but his is one of those 'that's a nice set of tits' looks, not an 'I want that' with drool look," she said sarcastically.  "Unlike yours, Vinnie."

"Fine, I won't say anything but I reserve the right to protest if you hurt him or kick his tail if he hurts you.  Got me here, sweetheart?"

She gave him a hug.  "I'm sure you'll be fierce."  She gave him a pat on the back.  "Now out, so I can change."  He nodded, trudging out.  She shook her head, deciding to go with something a bit more demure than the old shorts that were about a size too small and worn soft with wearing.  Fortunately she had brought up a pair of casual shorts that were kinda trendy but fairly cool, and that same button up shirt. She walked out and found Throttle sitting on the steps.  "Did you bean Vinnie?"

"No, we heard him howl and came to make sure he was fine.  He didn't see us."  He looked up at her. "I was hoping for those shorts from yesterday," he teased, pulling her down to kiss her.  "I'm not going to get bored," he promised.

"I know.  Can you imagine him and me?" she asked quietly.  "He'd be jumpy by the end of a week having to live in the garage."

"Good point."  He gave her another kiss and stood them back up.  "Let's go back up there before Delilah teases Modo to death."

"She's good at sensing limits."

"Yeah, then why did she ask me if I had ever tried tail of a different sort?" he teased.

"She was making sure I wasn't going to do like Paul and need a threesome," she taunted with a grin.  He let out a small growl and pulled her closer to kiss.  "Throttle.  Kids," she moaned.

"Yay.  They've probably seen others kiss."  He kissed her again, dragging her down to the pond so they'd have some privacy.  They were a bit later than the others, but no one did more than grin.  Even when she fell asleep on his lap again.  They were handed back Bryon so he could sleep in his aunt's arms, which made Vinnie shudder.

"Kids are not what I want from life," he decided.  "They're neat to watch now and then, but I couldn't handle having a family full time."

"Yet, hopefully," Liz taunted with a small smirk.

"With his track record of speeding off to find something dangerous to do, I'm guessing ever," Modo teased, smirking at Vinnie.  Who stuck his tongue out at him.  "Keep it up.  They might think you're hinting, Vinnie."

"I don't do men.  I only like women who like studly mice with a great body," he proclaimed.

"Then please, make my mother forget me for a few more hours," Paul offered sweetly.  His mother swatted him.  "You did."

"You're still grounded, son."  She grabbed Vinnie and kissed him, making him turn a pretty shade of pink instead of white.  "I could use some more pictures for poses."  He grinned and let her lead him off by the wrist.  Not that he'd ever pull away from such an inventive and creative woman.  He was all

Throttle shook his head.  "I can see them in a few days, writing mushy letters back and forth."

"Mom's not like that," Paul promised.  "She's not the mushy sort.  She's more of an 'I like you, let's hit the closet' sort and then fond dreams for a few more months.  Unless he comes back then she'll probably pounce him again."

"We'll let him sneak up here when we're in a lull," Throttle promised.  "We'll alternate off or something so she still gets some time off."  They all beamed at that.  "Speaking of time off, Delilah, give us a few weeks to make sure we're back in a lull before you bring in your bike and bring Tabby to torment Vinnie and make him play.  Limburger's nearly done with his present rebuild so it may take us a few days to destroy it and set up a new lull."

"Sure, Throttle.  Tell me something, are those like use names?"

"No, they're our given names," he said fondly.  "We're just like that."

"Good to know.  Any others down here?"

"Not now that Modo's nephew Rimfire and Carbine are gone," he offered.  "That we know of."

"Stoker called.  He was picking up Diode.  He crashed in New York and kept saying he didn't want me to be told since I'd be pissed at him," Modo offered with a small grin for him.  "He's the one who told me that they had taken the prisoners off Carbine but had shot her engine so she's got to limp back to Mars.  Apparently they hit her with something before she came down as an inoculation and it sent her into heat.  So they're thinking that she and Rimfire are going to be having some pretty babies very soon."

"It'd serve the little punk right," Throttle said happily, smirking at his bro.  "They forced it on her?"  He nodded.  "Why?"

"Because she was a better battle planner before she miscarried and she's been needing a reason to go on.  Some of her friends and coworkers got together to hit her with it.  They knew she was going to pick Rimfire since he's been moved to her unit and they've been going out on patrols together.  It seems she realized it about ten minutes after she left.  She thought it was the normal one that happened when you broke up."

"Wow.  Remind me to send them a present.  He'll do right by her," he agreed.  For some reason it didn't hurt to think about.  Rimfire was a good kid and he'd give Carbine a reason to fight and go on.  Plus, he'd have kids to spoil rotten with his grandmother, Modo's mother.

"That's kinda cold, isn't it?" Delilah asked.

"We've been at war now for about two generations," Throttle told her.  "Carbine was one of our top planning people until she miscarried.  The fights must be picking up again."

"Besides, they were doing it on their own, just slower," Modo agreed.  "They only started off what was going to happen naturally because those two broke up."

"Carbine's more than smart enough to get them back for it," Throttle finished smugly.  "Those friends of hers are going to find themselves out in the desert for years for this."  The women nodded at that, understanding that very well.  "But he's right, it would have started off naturally.  I'm guessing that they were hoping we'd stay together and she'd have mine."  He looked at Modo, who shrugged.  "We should plan to go back and visit for the birth ceremonies."

"We should," he agreed smugly.  "Stoker would come pick us up for that."

Throttle kissed Charley's temple, waking her.  "Hold still, you've got the baby."  She nodded, looking down at the baby.  "They set Carbine up to go into heat before she came down.  She did pick Rimfire."

"That's cruel but I'm sure Carbine and Stoker will whip their tails and then some," she offered.  "Do you need to go help?"

"Nah, we're going to visit for the birth ceremonies, wanna join us?"  She smiled at him.  "You're sure?  She nodded.  "Cool."  He kissed her again.  The baby snuffled and rubbed against Throttle's chest.  "Don't get used to fur, little guy.  I can't stay for good, even if I wouldn't mind."

"Some year," she promised.  "If you don't want to go back."

"Sure, some year."  He kissed her again.  "When we win."  She smiled at him.  "Limburger's place is nearly up again.  We should check on it on our way back."

"After you drop me off," she reminded him.  "I've got to do that muffler job or I can't pay the mortgage this month."

"Sure, Charley girl.  Not an issue.  We'll take Vinnie scouting, it'll keep him from pouting," he said with a wink.  She grinned up at him.  The baby yawned and shifted, which made Charley look down and make sure she was holding him properly.

"You look good like that, Charley ma'am," Modo offered quietly.  "Really natural.  My gray momma woulda been more than happy to adopt any kids you two had."

"We're not that compatible," Throttle assured him.

"Yeah, we are," Vinnie said as he walked in.  "Stoker said so, bro.  You might want to call him about that misinformation."

"Carbine said Military Intelligence said we're barely compatible physically, not compatible enough to have babies.  There's a few humans up there helping in the fights and they had to check."

"Stoker said we were last year."

"I'll be calling Stoker later," Charley said firmly.  "I'm not taking that chance, guys."

They all nodded, they didn't want a kid around.  Even if it would be cute and great, it'd get in the way of whipping tail.

"Feel free to babysit ours any time," Delilah offered with a bright grin.  "I'll even let you guys take them around on the bikes as long as you're very careful about it."

"When you come in next time," Throttle promised.  She beamed.  "Then you two can spend the night in a hotel and do stuff that you won't have to clean up later."

"Hmm, I'm foreseeing some pudding wrestling in our future," Liz said happily.  "Chocolate, vanilla, or tapioca this time, love?"

"Tapioca.  I like those little nubs."  She leered at her wife, then pounced her to press her against the fridge and kiss her senseless.  "Someone take over dinner for ten minutes."  She drug her wife off, going to have her wicked way with her.

Vinnie looked at the kitchen.  "I want something like that far in the future," he admitted. Charley snorted.  "I said far in the future.  I'm too young to tie myself down and much too pretty and studly," he said happily.

"Well, we'll have to look for mates for a few of her friends anyway," Throttle offered.  "I guess we can help you pick one too, bro."

"For who?" Modo asked.

"Phil, who runs a refuge for alligators and things.  Plus for Tabby so she'll have a tail."

"You know, Stoker's got a nephew," Vinnie said thoughtfully.  "He's about ten.  Just about the right age?"

"She's six," Throttle told him.  "Not too bad of a match.  I haven't seen him in years.  What's he like?"

"Stoker said just like Vinnie," Modo told him.  "He was complaining about him over the call to tell us about Diode.  Said he wants a racing bike but Stoker wants him to have one more like mine."

"Hey, if it works," Charley said with a small shrug.  The baby woke up and blinked up at her.  "Hi, Bryon.  You all right, baby boy?" she asked, smiling at him.  He sniffled and she shifted carefully to stroke his hair.  "It's all right. Your mommies are having a moment.  I've got you.  Remember, I'm the nice auntie who'll help you find a bike of your own and fix it up."  The baby seemed to be concentrating very hard so she sighed and got up, heading into his room to change him once he was done.  "That's nasty, Bryon, eww," she said loudly enough for them to hear.

"Another good reason not to have a kid around, diapers," Vinnie said dryly.  "Where's the tail kid?"

"Napping," Modo told him.  "She'll be up soon.  Paul put her down a few minutes ago."

"Good."  He sat down, stealing one of the sandwiches.  "No hotdogs?"

"I haven't had any since I left," Throttle told him.  "They might have a rootbeer, they had some the other night."  He stretched out, then stretched up, popping his back with a moan of contentment.  "Oooh, that's better."

"Spent a lot of time bending over, bro?" Vinnie teased.

"Not really.  There's ways around having to bend over all the time."  He looked over as Pauline wandered up the pathway, getting up to open the door, handing her a sandwich.  She smiled and nibbled it as she laid down on a nearby couch, falling asleep as soon as she hit the soft surface.

"I'm good," Vinnie said smugly.  "So, bro, how's it going in the bedroom stuff?  Need any pointers yet?"

"I haven't failed to satisfy a woman since I figured out what they were for, Vinnie," he said dryly, frowning at him.  "I don't need the tips."

"No pouncing in here, go outside for that," Charley said as she came back out.  She looked at Pauline.  "That good?" she asked.  The woman let out a snore.  "Huh.  I did a lot of that yesterday."  She stole Throttle's seat when he got up to drag Vinnie outside, grinning at Modo.  "Did he ask what I thought he did?"  He nodded.  She handed over the baby and went out to pounce Vinnie herself this time.

"No fair double teaming me," he complained.

Modo looked down at the baby, shrugging. "I don't know, little guy. All I know is that Vinnie needed to be pounced for asking that.  They'll be right back."  He let the baby rest against his shoulder, which was furry, and the baby was happily sucking at his fur and napping when his mothers came back.  "They're pummeling Vinnie on the lawn."

Liz took her son back, looking at his mouth.  She removed a few pieces of fur.  "Let's hope he doesn't get furballs.  Next time, use a finger, Modo."  She kissed him on the cheek.  "Good job otherwise though."  She went to check him over and put him down, then came back to join Delilah watching Pauline nap.  "She looks worn out."

"She said Vinnie was Mr. Excitement," Delilah offered.  "Modo, do you think she's happy now that she did it again?"

"As far as I know.  We don't share details, ma'am. It's not polite."

Delilah looked at him.  "Do you like girls or guys?  I've got a phonebook's worth of people who would love to date you."

"My gray momma would be very upset if I didn't date a mouse.  She's kinda strict on that stuff," he offered sheepishly.  "Not that I wouldn't have stolen Charley ma'am, but she'd have been upset and whipped my tail for years.  She's been ranting recently that Mars is losing too many mice."

"Hmm.  Then I hope you find a good one, Modo."  She kissed him on the cheek, making his ears twitch.  "One should never argue with one's mother, unless she's totally wrong like mine was."

"Yours still needs to pull her panties from her butt," Liz muttered.

"She doesn't like you?"

"She doesn't like that we had kids," she corrected.  "Her mother's a big one on marrying the baby's daddy and since we adopted Tabby and we used a donated sample for Bryon, she's not real happy with us."

"I offered to make it a threesome to soothe those fears, but they ended up taking her away in an ambulance for some reason," Delilah said dryly.  "I don't know why."

"She's just too traditional for her own good," Liz reminded her.  She opened the door.  "No sex on the lawn unless we're having an orgy together, kids."

"I'd never sleep with him, Liz.  He wouldn't be there for my pleasure," Throttle called back.

"Throttle!" Vinnie complained in a shriek.

"I agree," Charley said smugly, grinning at Throttle. "Maybe you should teach him that tongue thing that seems to extend yours."  He blushed and shook his head, getting up to go inside.

Vinnie looked at her, then smirked.  "It's called snouting and I'm very good at it.  See what you missed by picking him?" he taunted.

She swatted at him.  "You'd never take me for rides."  She got up and headed inside.

"I would too!  We'd just have to stop to whip some tail sometimes," he called after her.

"You might as well give up.  She loves him enough to jump him in front of us," Paul offered.  "How's mom?"

"Napping," he said with a small shrug.  "Sorry, kiddo."

"Not an issue.  She needed it.  It makes her more creative.  Just don't let her get more creative in my punishments."  He smirked at him.  "You missed it.  They went down to peep in on them after their first time because Auntie Delilah reported that he was cuddly and liked giving oral sex.  Apparently he wouldn't let her up afterwards and was holding her hostage while he was sleeping.  She didn't make it to the pond all day and she's always in the pond."

"Thanks, Paul, I needed the blackmail material," he said happily, getting up to figure out when was the best time to use it.  He noticed they had snuck off and shook his head.  "Again?"

"Bathroom," Delilah said, pointing behind her.  "She spilled some soda on his fur so she's helping to clean it up."

"You should hear monas any minute now," Liz agreed.  "Two very oral people can be like that," she said with a wink toward her wife.

"I only jumped you at that one police convention," she protested.  "And the prom."

"True.  I had forgotten about the police convention.  I was thinking about the not-so-subtle sex on the beach in Miami that nearly got us arrested in the gay section of the city."

"It's not my fault they only liked gay boys and not gay girls," she said with a little pout.  Liz kissed her, making her smile.  "I'd ask you to go again but you'd have to eat more food first."  They broke out in applause when someone moaned from the bathroom.

"Perverts," Throttle called, his voice a bit deeper and more breathy than usual.  "She hit a sore spot."

"I'm sure she did.  Sore from overuse perhaps?" Liz called back.

Within a minute, Charley came out and she looked perfectly normal.  "No!  I had to get some out of his bellybutton because it had dripped.  It's sore because I kneed him in it last night to get free so I could go to the bathroom."

"Hmm, that's one cuddly man," Delilah said appreciatively.  "If you can find a guy just like you for Tabby, send him on, man.  Even if he's a bit older."

"Our mentor's got a nephew who's about ten," Modo offered.  "He's a lot like Throttle with a touch of Vinnie's wildness.  He was complaining about him on the way home when he called."

"That's a nice age gap," Delilah agreed.  "Maybe when she's fourteen or fifteen they can meet?"

"We'll talk to him about it," Vinnie promised, meaning Throttle would.  Throttle came out and for some reason he looked kinda tired.  "You all right, bro?  Catching a cold from being naked all the time?"

"Vincent, leave him alone.  Before I have to pounce you again," Charley warned.  "After all, I know where you hid those pictures."  He shut up and sat down like the good boy he pretended to be.

"Pictures?" Liz asked.  "Can we get copies?  I'm making a wall-sized collage."

"No, I promised they wouldn't get into the open," he said sheepishly.  "Sorry."

"That's okay, sweetheart, we'll accept a visual replay on tape," Delilah offered. "I'm sure Pauline would love that."

"If she's up to it, I wouldn't care, but I don't do very well on the stage," he said with a blush.  Throttle chuckled sleepily.  "Why don't you take a nap, old man?"

"Keep it up, Vinnie," Throttle warned.  "Remember, I can make sure you get a nice scouting mission somewhere there's no women."

"Fine.  Sorry."  He watched as Throttle yawned and picked Charley up, sitting her back in his lap, wrapping an arm around her waist again.  Then he fell asleep that way.  "Are you a teddy bear now?" he teased once Throttle was asleep.  Modo hit him on the arm this time.  "I'm trying to be good."

"Try harder, Vinnie, it's sweet," Modo complained.  "Very sweet.  Nearly diabetic sort of sweet."  She was trying to wiggle out.  "Bad idea, Charley ma'am."

Throttle pulled her closer, holding her tighter. "No moving."

"Fine," she sighed.  She looked at her friends, who were giggling and shaking their heads.  "He's possessive."

"I can see that," Liz teased.  "Are you a teddy bear?"

"If I could reach you, I'd pinch you," Charley warned.  "Paul, come pinch her."

Paul came in and stopped to look at them.  "Why did you bother to dress if you're going to have sex in the kitchen?  Who needs pinched?"

"Liz," Delilah said, grinning at him.  "That's a good question, Paul.  Why did you bother to get dressed, Charley?  You know we won't care."

"Because Vinnie would stare," she said flatly.  "Quit picking on me."

"Sorry," Delilah said with a smirk.  "We'll pick on you more when he wakes up again."

"Whatever did you do to encourage this nap, Charley?" Liz teased.

"Nothing you've done in the last ten years," she said dryly.  Both wives broke out laughing.

"You'd probably be surprised," Paul offered.

Both wives pinched him, making him howl. "Stay out of our drawers, nephew," they said in unison.

"Sorry," he complained, going back outside before he was punished more, but he stopped to glance around then cackle evilly.  That had been pretty good when Charley had given him that look.

"I heard that," Liz called.  "Keep it up, I'll find someone who'd love you and sell you to them."

"Yes, auntie.  Only if they're fun and I can be on top please."  He jogged off, going to see if his friends were ungrounded yet.  He saw one of them hiding in their tree fort.  "How stupid are you!"

"Man, my mother had to take the baseball bat from my dad's hand to make sure he wouldn't kill me. You never said that she was a good shot."

Paul punched him, knocking him out of the tree.  "That was dangerous, Ryan!  Bryon's not near old enough to live through that and you could have really hurt someone!  You're damn lucky Throttle didn't chase you down and rip your innards out!"  He jumped down to continue to kick his friend's ass.  He heard a heavier footstep and got in one good, last blow, making him groan and clutch his stomach.  Then he stepped back.  "You don't touch Liz and Delilah or their friends, man. That's tragically uncool.  As in you'll be tragic when I get finished with you and no one will ever think you're cool with the scars and deformities you'll have."

"What did he do?" Modo asked.

"He and one of our other friends put a gas canister into Liz's house.  Auntie Charley had to shoot it outside and make it explode."  He kicked him again, getting him in the nuts, making even Modo wince in sympathy.  "They could have killed the baby.  They could have killed Throttle since I'm not sure you guys can handle knock out gas.  It was tragic and uncool and I'm going to make him a lesson in tragic and uncool."

"It's all right, kid.  It was handled.  Let the law handle him this time. If not, I'm sure he's learned his lesson very well."  The boy was sobbing on the ground.  He nudged the boy with one of his large boots, staring down at him.  "You don't hurt women and kids, that's the mark of a rat.  Rats never get respect and often get hurt from their actions."

"Throttle's spent the last few days blowing a lot of them away," Paul agreed.  His friend nodded.  "Never do it again."  He looked up at Modo.  "Are you guys this open in Chicago?"  He shook his head.  "Yeah, that's probably better.  There'd probably be some people who'd start a funny cult or something."  He walked this new guy off.  He was pretty neat and he had neat parts, even if it wasn't for a good reason.  He doubted the guy had done it to himself with the scars they all carried.  "What else can your arm do?"

"I can open nearly any can and I've got a laser in it," he offered.  "I'd rather have the real one back."

"Yeah, but you've got to make the best of it sometimes.  I've got to make due being a pudgy guy no matter what I do at the moment and you've survived."  He looked up at him.  "That makes you a great guy, you survived."

"I know, kid.  I have to remind myself of that every now and then, but I did survive.  We all did."  He patted him on the back.  "You're pretty cool, even if you do blurt things out that embarrass your mother."

"I'm a teenager, it's fun.  I'm supposed to be saying awkward things that embarrass her."

"My mother would have soaped my mouth if I had said even one of the things you said today," he said wisely.  "Not that the others seem to mind, but Charley's one of those nice, sweet people."

Paul looked up at him. "You don't know her very well do you?" he asked dryly.  "We're talking about Aunty Charley, right?  The woman who went to the gay kiss-in at the state capitol a few years back with Liz since Aunt Delilah was out of the city?  The same woman who, when dabbling with women, dated a stripper?  A really pretty stripper, but still a stripper."  Modo gave him an odd look.  "There's a lot you don't know, man.  Charley's apparently very different back at the garage than she is here and in the rest of her life.   You have no idea," he said with a chuckle.  He rushed into the house.  "Modo thinks Auntie Charley's a nice, sweet person," he said with a giggle in his aunt Delilah's shoulder.  "I kicked Ryan's ass for what he and Fred did.  I'm sure Officer Rod got his own son very well."

She patted him on the back, looking over at Charley, who was bright red and seemed to be holding her breath.  "Never told them about Holly or the love in?"  She shook her head, burying it in Throttle's chest.  "You don't get to get into any trouble, do you?"

"I grew up," she muttered just loud enough to be heard.

"Love in?" Vinnie asked.  "Like an orgy?"  Charley?  At an orgy?  He couldn't imagine it.

"No, like a gay kiss-in at the capitol to protest the governor being a bigot," Liz told him.  "She went with me since Delilah was off on a job out of state."  She looked at Paul.  "Think about joining the intelligence community, kid. You eavesdrop very well."

"Thanks," he said proudly. "I try."

"Too much," Charley complained, looking up at Modo.  "I've settled down since I hit twenty-two."

"So we can tell, Charley ma'am," Modo said gently.  "I'm sure you've done a great many things that were fun at the time but would curl our tails if you did them now."

"Yeah, just a few," she said dryly, smirking at Delilah.  "How many now?  You were keeping the scrapbook so dad didn't know."

"Oh, honey, I buried that one long ago," she said dryly.  "Then again, that was volume two.  I think the prom clippings about filled the first book"

"It's not my fault that some idiot decided to play a prank and came to the prom dressed in a ski mask and carrying a shotgun.  Or that he decided to load the shotgun.  After all, I kept him from killing his girlfriend when he found her dancing with his best friend.  The only person who got hurt was the principal.  I thought I did very good stopping him.  Well, me and Holly and Peter.  How is he anyway?  I haven't heard from him in years."  A desperate change of subject.

"Neither have we.  He went into the Navy," Delilah said with a small shrug.  "I'll ask his mother."

"Thanks.  Let me know."  She nodded.

"You did high school up here instead of in the city?" Vinnie asked.

"Part of it, the last two years.  I was having a lot of trouble in Chicago with some thugs and my dad wanted me out of the way so he sent me up here. I saw him every weekend and everything but these two basically played nanny for the last two years."  She gave them a grin.  "I'm so glad dad never knew about some of that stuff."

"He had others bribed," Liz reminded her.  "You'd be surprised at what our new Captain told him.  They were drinking buddies and I'm sure he told him all sorts of stuff."

"Yeah, but he only knew about the stuff that I got caught for," she said sweetly.

"True.  There could be whole books written about the other stuff.  Plus, you know, I do still have that tape...."  She smirked.  "Can we use that on Tabby?"

"Sure, better she learn from my mistakes than make her own," she said wisely.

"Do we want to know?" Throttle asked quietly.  She looked up and shook her head, grinning at him.  "It's the past, right?"  She beamed at him.  "No more wild stunts?"

"I was never much of a stunt person, though I did try to skateboard for a few months," she admitted.  He stared down at her so she blinked and grinned.  "I was mostly a good girl, Throttle, but I wasn't exactly the poster child for sane parents.  I ran a bit wild now and then.  These two helped me calm down a lot.  I haven't done many wild things since I was twenty-two and that trip to Mexico that I got to go on as a babysitter."

"Are we talking drunken stupidity here?" Vinnie asked, smirking at her.  "I'm going to have blackmail material for years."

"Not from that you won't.  An artist captured most of it for his muse.  I've seen a few pictures floating around actually."  She glanced at the married couple, noticing that Delilah was blushing and that Liz was kinda pale.  "The midnight dancing at the temples mostly."

"It was kind fun," Liz admitted.  "Very naturey and that stuff.  Thankfully I'm too old for that now."

"Love, I was going to give you this as an anniversary present," she said, pulling something out of a nearby cabinet and handing it over.  "I can change it to a cruise if you want."

She opened the box and looked at it, then at her wife.  "We're going back to Mexico?  Didn't they ban us from a few towns?"

"Yeah, but their bureaucracy is so beshitted that we should have no problem sneaking back into the country."  She smiled sweetly.  "Besides, this time we'll be on the Texas side instead of the California side.  They don't know us there yet."

"Charley, can we count on you to babysit?" Liz asked.

"Sure.  Just bring me pictures and stuff.  When are you going so we can plan a lull around then?"

"June sixth."

"Done," Vinnie agreed.  "We can gladly create a lull.  It'll be our pleasure to send you on a pleasure trip."

Delilah smirked at him.  "You know, they'll need a honeymoon some day."

"Yeah, but we'll be coming back up here," Throttle told her.  "That way no one would dare bother us."

"I was thinking more Vegas," Charley told him.  "Lots of fun all together in one dry, hot spot that could possibly remind you of Mars."

He kissed her gently.  "We'll see.  I might get upset if you fall for one of those pretty people out there."  He kissed her again then looked down at the baby.  "Hi, Bryon.  Awake again?"  The baby sucked his fingers at him.  "Think we want to go to Vegas?  Lots of lights and loose people with a lot of liquor."

"Sure, mention the *bad* parts," Liz teased, taking their son.  "Come help me cook, son. It's a good thing to know and will attract you many lovers."

"Vegas is a nice city.  I lost a few years there," Delilah offered.

"You *lost* years?" Modo asked.  She nodded. "How?"

"Liquor.  Very nice stuff.  I lost about twenty months total counting all the individual days and so."  She looked at her wife.  "Did I ever remember to torch that company?"

"No, dear, but the FBI raided them," she said gently.  "They did it for you."

"Oh, cool.  I'll have to look that up to remember them unfondly."

Throttle kissed his girl again.  "Somewhere calm and peaceful," he said gently.

"San Francisco?"

"Not exactly quiet and peaceful, Charley."  He kissed her, making her moan.  "Watch out for the baby."

"Hmm.  Liz has him.  Go back to your nap."  He grinned and kissed her again.  "Throttle, we're in Liz's kitchen."

"Oops."  He yawned.  "Maybe I will go back to sleep."

"Should I mention that I found said journals in the yard?" Paul asked.

"What do you want for them?" Charley asked before anyone else could quit staring at him in awe and shock, or in Liz's case, horror.  "I'll give you my bike when you've got your license."

He considered it.  "You'd have to convince mom, she wanted me to get something safe."

"Kid, name it.  Just don't give those out."

"Oh, no, Auntie.  I'm learning a lot about subtlety from that."  She moaned but did manage to pounce Vinnie when he got up and started for the door.

"Shit!" Delilah said, hopping up and going to grab those before anyone else got them.  Charley raced past her.  "He's switched rooms, he's in the back now," she called after her.

"I've hidden them in my private spot," Paul called from the doorway, smirking after the running women.

"That's not nice, kid."

"If you knew what was in those, you'd bogart them too," he said cheerfully, taking the baby to sit down and read to.  "Let's read something to make you smarter, Bryon.  What will it be?  A manual of weapons or something on tactical persuasion?"

"We want him to be a hippie, no weapons," Liz said patiently.  "Read him smut if you must, but not weapons, Paul.  By the way, what do you want to keep those things to yourself?"

"I'll let you know," he said smugly.  He found a book and picked it up.  "Here, mild smut, Danielle Steele."  He opened it to the first page, murmuring in the baby's ear as he read to him.  It was how Bryon liked being read to best.

"Where did they go?" Throttle asked when he woke up again.

"They went to find the diaries I dug up without knowing what they were," Paul told him.  "It's from her wilder days.  They were keeping scrapbooks."

"She pounced me and ran out before I could get out the door," Vinnie told him.  "She and Delilah ran out after swearing."

"Wonderful."  He got up and went to the door.  "Paul, what's current blackmail price?"

"Whaddya got?"

"I know he's got some naked pictures of Carbine," Vinnie offered.  Throttle groaned and walked out.  "You'd take her bike?"

"Only if my mom agreed.  She really wants me to have a good car that won't stall on me.  Hey, Mom, we're discussion blackmail prices.  Need anything?"

"New vibrator so I can feel like this for the next few months," she said tiredly.  She looked up, noticing who was gone.  "What's going on?"

"Your son dug up some certain scrapbooks," Liz told her.  "All three, Paul?"  He nodded, smirking at her.  "I've got to find new hiding spots."  He nodded.  "Fine, I'll even let you help me as long as you promise not to get into them."

"Sure, auntie.  You're not nearly as fun to tease."

She kissed him on the top of the head.  "Try to skip any violent or overly smutty parts, dear."

"Sure.  So, mom, need anything since I get to set blackmail prices?"

Delilah stormed in.  "Where are they, Paul?  Before I kick your tiny butt into the pond and drown you."

"They're in my hidden spot," he told her again, smiling up at her.  "No one else can find them.  Not even Frank and Ryan."

Charley walked in.  "What do you want for them, Paul?  I've got a few grand saved at the moment in an emergency fund. You can have my bike when you're old enough and licensed."

"Hell no," Pauline protested.  "Safe car, yes, bike, no."

"Fine," Charley agreed, "when he's old enough."

"Not an issue, Auntie.  No one else can find them."

"I don't care!  I don't want you to see them!"

"Chill, Charley, it'll be fine.  He'll hand them over or else he's going to find himself bereft of certain things, like driving lessons from you and lessons on how to take care of his car."  He looked a the young man.  "It's not nice to torture your own family, kid."

"Yeah, but I can't torture others, I'm not allowed out near others."

"And you wonder why?" Vinnie asked dryly.

"Actually it's more because I don't trust other people," Pauline told him.  "He's normally not this annoying.  Son, go get them.  They will be in my hand within ten minutes or I will be taking everything you still hold dear away and you'll be living like a monk.  No games, no tv, no internet, really ugly clothes to go to school in, and bad fitting shoes."  He swallowed, she was serious and he could tell that.  "Now, time's ticking, son."  He handed off the baby and trooped outside, going to get them.  "God, you guys suck at dealing with the slightly naughty."

"He was blackmailing me," Charley complained.  "Me!  I'm the nice aunt who spoils him!"

"Calm down, he wouldn't have mentioned them if he wasn't willing to give them back," auline said patiently.

"Military school?" Modo offered.

"Is a thought but he made the last one cry."  She smiled at him.  "That poor general will probably never be the same."

"I was impressed that it only took him a month, but I'm the one who picked him up and let him hang at the garage until you were free," Charley complained.  "I'm a nice guy to him."

Paul came jogging back in.  "What's the nasty shit doing in the driveway looking around?"

The three mice looked up and out, then groaned.  "How did he get away?" Throttle demanded.

"He snuck off while Carbine was loading them," Modo offered grimly.

"You didn't point this out to me?"

"She said they can't charge him since he's a human and not part of our part of the war," Vinnie said bitterly.

"Oh, no, he's not staying," Charley said firmly.  She turned and glared, stomping out there.  "Get off this land, it's private property and I will kill you."  Grease Pit looked startled, wringing his hat in his dripping hands.  "Go away!" she yelled.

"I's just wanted ta talk to youse," he said miserably.  "Youse took all my bosses and I don't got nowhere to go."  He sniffled.  "I don't know what to do without the bosses."

"I don't care!" she said in a high, screechy voice.   He started to cry.  "Oh, no, you're not going to get off that easy.  You can hike your greasy butt off this property or I will hurt you, Grease Pit."

"Are youse having one of those women moments?  I've heard about them and what they're like."

She glared and clenched her first.  "I'd leave faster, Grease Pit. You just lost your safety margin."  He backed off.  Vinnie howled and jumped him, pummeling him into the ground.

"We should dump him into the pond," Modo said grimly.

"No don't. This is the only place I can skinnydip."  Even Vinnie stared at her for that.  "What!"  Vinnie smirked and went back to rolling and pummeling Grease Pit.

This time, Throttle managed to keep his own gun, barely, and she didn't set it off, which was another plus.  So far it had been a good day.  He walked over and pulled Grease Pit up, looking at him.  "She's going to kill you for coming onto the land," he said calmly.

"Youse mouses took all my bosses.  I don't have nowhere to go."

"The building's nearly finished, go live there," Modo suggested.  Grease Pit's face lit up and he glared at him.  "Just go before one of us make that a moot point."  He nodded, hurrying off, slipping and sliding down the lawn.

Paul nudged Modo's arm with a plastic container. "Put it on the puddles so we don't get cited for environmental pollution."  He looked at Charley, then at Modo.  "Why doesn't she have one?  She's a good shot and she taught me."

"Because they'd worry about me shooting Vinnie on his irritating days," she said grimly.  She glared at the retreating body until she couldn't see it any more.  "This sucks."

"It'll be fine," Throttle soothed.  "Let's go clean up."  They nodded, trooping to Charley's cabin to clean up.  Vinnie ended up in the shower, but he could borrow some of Throttle's clothes.  When they were done, he sat down with Charley, calming her down.  "You okay?"

"I'm fine.  I just hate that this place is becoming so well known."

"It'll be fine.  He won't be able to remember how to get here.  He'll never come back, even if he had a map.  We'll make sure of it, Charley girl."  He stroked her arm, pulling her closer to kiss her.  "It'll be fine."  He kissed her again.  "We'll be fine and he won't come back.  I won't even look in those scrapbooks unless they order me to," he offered with a small grin.

"That would probably be a good idea.  You might want to break up and run away screaming."

He shook his head.  "We weren't the most gentle people in our youth.  That's the reason for youth."  He kissed her again.  "How long until dinner?" he moaned as she crawled into his lap.

"Maybe an hour."  She kissed him again.  "We've got time."

"No you don't," Paul called.  "Auntie Liz said that she's serving dinner in about ten minutes, and if you're late you've got to feed the baby instead of her."

"If I was lactating, I'd do that," she called back. "Go away, Paul, I'm still upset with you."

"Fine.  Don't I get some credit for not spreading it around?"


"Fine."  He wandered back to dinner.

She looked down at him.  "Back to the fun house?" she asked quietly.

"I'm hoping Liz, Delilah, and Vinnie don't hook up to pick on us."  He stole another kiss and gave her a gentle butt squeeze.  "Later."

"A threat?" she teased.

"No, Charley, a promise," he assured her with a grin.  He stood up and let her slide down him until she could stand up.  "Let's go back."

"Sure."  She took his hand and walked out, running into Liz outside.  "You three aren't going to gang up on us are you?"

"No, honey, the fun house isn't like that today."

Throttle kissed her on the cheek.  "It's a bit surreal at times for those of us raised by gentle people.  I've never seen a mother feeding her young until I met you.  Or been so embarrassed from teasing."

She grinned and kissed him back.  "That's fine.  I understand.  Then again, she knows us better."

"You guys are in overdrive," Charley said dryly.  "You guys weren't even this bad to Jack."

"We had to make sure that he was good enough for you."  She looked at Charley. "I'll get Delilah to ease up on you."

"Thanks.  I'm not up to my usual teasing."

"Which worries us, sweetie," Delilah said from the porch.  "Usually you'd be giving it back and more."

"It's been a long few months," Throttle told her, putting an arm around Charley's shoulder.  "She's just tired."

"Uh-huh.  You're bringing her back here next weekend and then leaving her stranded until Sunday night, Throttle.  You'll take yourself back and come back for her.  That way you make sure you've got the route memorized."

"Yes, ma'am," he agreed gently.  She really could use it.  "I didn't want to intrude this time."

"We know, which is another good thing.  That's why you're going to bring her up and then pick her up.  You can wank off for a weekend."  He nodded.  "I will tone down the teasing since it's bothering her.  I'm sorry, Charley."

"It's all right, Delilah.  I know you were testing him but I'm on my last wit at the moment."

"I get it, Charley.  That's why you're coming back next weekend."  She nodded. "Are we in agreement?"  Everyone nodded.  "Good, then we'll keep the journals from Vinnie and the other furry men in your life.  Now come eat, dear."

"Yes, mom."  She walked inside, taking her usual seat at the table, which put her next to Modo, who smiled at her.  "I always sit here."

"That's what the nice ladies said," he agreed, patting her on the hand.  "I'd do that muffler job for you if I could, Charley ma'am."

"I know, Modo.  I'm coming back next weekend, alone."

"I'll give you one of my blasters," Throttle offered as he walked in and sat down in the other empty spot.  He looked at the ones around him, Paul and Tabby.  "Hey, kids."

"Hi, Uncle Throttle," Tabby said, hugging his arm.  "Did you have a good nap too?"

"Yeah, I did," he admitted, smiling at Charley.  "It was very restful."  She blushed.

"Hey, Paul, if you go to college, become a dorm monitor.  You've got a great case of bad timing, man," Vinnie said with a smirk.  "I'm thinking they wanted another twenty minutes."

"No, once you guys leave, it's going to be much longer than that," Throttle assured him.  The women at the head of the table snickered at that.  "She needs a rest."

"She does.  I'm sure you're a great sleep aid," Liz said happily.

"I try," he offered, still looking a bit embarrassed.  He glanced at Charley, who grinned at him.   Yeah, she'd be fine to do it by herself next weekend and the bros would want to pounce him for hours.


Charley walked up the path to Liz's place next Friday, nearly trudging.  She walked in and sat down, falling asleep right there. Throttle had kept his promise, only staying long enough to make sure she had made it inside.  He decided to do a bit of treat shopping, intending to have stuff sent up to her, or to deliver the presents when he picked her up.

Delilah came out of Tabby's room, giving her a long stare.  "Did he wear you out, sweetie?"  Charley let out a small whine and she shook her head, going to talk to her wife.  "Liz, she's napping at the table."

"We'll put her onto the couch," she offered, going to do that.  She sniffed the girl but nothing was out of the ordinary.  "She doesn't smell like she's been hurt or rutting."  Charley blinked up at her.  "Long week?"

"Seven cars," she complained. "But I'll make the mortgage this month."

"Good."  She stroked her forehead, soothing her back to a napping state.  "You rest, we'll have a late dinner."  She nodded, curling up on her side.  Liz looked back at her girlfriend.  "She said she's had seven cars."

"Wonderful.  In three days?"  Liz nodded.  "No wonder she's exhausted."  She came out to grab a bottle.  "Let's go down to the pond while she rests."  Liz smiled and went to gather the baby, bringing him down to sit with them.  Tabby was napping and she wouldn't wake Charley if she got up early. This was why they had chosen to build this set of cabins, so they could have quiet time to wander together and enjoy things.  It was Liz who noted the delivery car at the end of the driveway.  "Well," she said fondly.  She waved a hand and he pulled up slowly, getting out to hand over two small arrangements.  She smiled and looked at the cards, letting Delilah sign for them.  The guy handed over a small bag of candy too, smiling before leaving.  He apparently liked his job.  "From Throttle."

She opened their card, smiling at the message of thanks and the other list of what had went on that week.  "He said she's gotten seven cars from one guy and she's did six tuneups but the last one needed parts that won't be in until Tuesday.  He said to keep her until late Monday.  He also thanked us for our hospitality and for not killing him on sight."  They switched and she took the candy and flowers up to the house, putting them next to where Charley was sleeping so she'd see them when she woke up.  She snuck back out, going back to their cuddle by the pond.  Their flowers looked very pretty next to their son, who was lying on his back cooing at his toes while he tried to grab them.  "That's a very good skill, son.  Being able to grab your toes is a wonderful start."

Liz nudged her.  "Behave," she said with a small grin.  "He'll probably be straight."

"Yeah, but he'll be open minded no matter what."  She looked up toward the house.  "We'll have to ask if they got the baby compatibility straightened out."

"Probably not," Liz sighed, leaning against her shoulder.  "Then again, we won't be getting the next one.  He'll make sure he's a good daddy if I read him right."

"You did.  He won't know what to do with a baby, but he'll be a great daddy and Modo will help him a lot.  He seemed like the sort to like kids."  She stroked her back, smiling at her.  "I wonder how long she'll sleep."

"Probably until tomorrow.  She was exhausted and seven tune ups would be stressful.  I wonder if he's gotten more than cuddles recently."  She looked up and grinned.  "She'll be fine with some rest."

"Yeah, I guess."  She stroked her wife's back, smiling at the happy baby noises their son was making.   "My turn next, right?"  She nodded, giving her a squeeze.  "Can I be scared shitless?"

"Sure.  You can be scared, I'll understand perfectly.  I was after all."

"Mommy!  Can I have some of the candy!" Tabby yelled.

"No, go back to your nap!"

"Fine!"  The door slammed.

They groaned and shook their heads.


Throttle looked up as his bros came in, waving at them as he finished up something Charley had been working on.  It was simple math, he could do that much.  "What's up?" he asked when they loomed over him.

"So, where's she at?" Vinnie asked patiently.  "We were gonna go for a ride."

"She's back at Liz and Delilah's.  They wanted her up there this weekend to rest like she needed to last weekend," he reminded him.

"Really?  So we're all alone?" Modo asked.

Throttle put down the pen and looked up.  "Yeah, why?"

"Oh, we've got a small surprise.  Stoker!"  He rolled in, smirking at him.  "He came back with his nephew for you to talk some sense into him."

Throttle smirked at him.  "Kid, if you don't quit, I'm going to set you up with one of Charley's godchildren, who'll love you more for your tail than anything else."  The boy snorted sullenly.  "You think I'm kidding but she likes tails.  Ask my bros."

"Only the tails?" Stoker asked sarcastically.

"Well, she liked my furry chest to nap on, but she loves tails," he said smugly.  "They're her favorite thing."

"She's a trip," Vinnie told him, shaking his head.  "She pounced me and wouldn't let go.  She pounced Modo to hug his tail while she read."

"She got me a few times that first day," Throttle offered. "Mostly while sitting down to cuddle."

"Yeah, and then Charley got it instead," Vinnie taunted.  Throttle pounced him, knocking him onto the ground to pummel and roll around with him.  "She did!"

Modo shook his head.  "She's off resting."

"She's not feeling well?" the boy asked.

"No, it's more that she's tired.  She's had seven tune ups in the lat three days."  Stoker winced at that.  "She's a bit tired.  She was supposed to go up last weekend but goons went up by her so Throttle went up to warn her and his bike stranded him again."

"I remember when they did that to Carbine and him."  He got up and patted his nephew on the head.  "He wanted to know what the fighting was like.  He wouldn't listen to me so I figured you three could tell him about all the bad things that can happen while you whip tail."

"Sure, not a problem," Throttle said between blows to Vinnie's stomach.  "I'm sure this one can tell him all about being drug off his bike."

"Hey!  I got the idiot and got back up!" he complained.  He kicked Throttle off him and got up. "You're just touchy because the sweetheart's been too tired to do more than cuddle recently."

"You and Charley?" Stoker asked, looking shocked. "Since when, Throttle?  You didn't tell me?"

"I haven't talked to you since last weekend," he said dryly, getting up. "You might as well park.  We're watching the place this weekend.  Grease Pit keeps coming back to woo Charley now that he's supposedly free."

"Even her telling him no didn't get him to leave her alone," Vinnie said sarcastically.  "Not even him walking in and finding those two in the middle of a long kiss stopped him."  Throttle blushed at that.  "Or when we walked in on them either."

"Well," Stoker said, smirking at Throttle.  "Do tell.  Come on, it's only fair that you share since we didn't hear about you and Carbine for nearly a month."

"It's cute, she sits in his lap when they're up there," Modo said, smirking at Throttle.

"Oh, yeah, and we're gonna have to worry about compatibility issues too," Vinnie teased.  "Otherwise we'll have a ton of little Throttles running around."

"That's what I like about you three, you're always very interesting," Stoker said dryly, still smirking at Throttle.  "Well, give!"

"What?  There's nothing to tell.  Yeah, she's my girl.  I like her a lot."

"We can tell if you're having her in your lap at the table," Stoker said dryly.

"I don't *have* her in my lap, she's sitting on me," he corrected, still blushing.  "So, Titanium, what's going on?  Wanna see the new tower?  Since Limburger's still gone it's not fully completed but we can go watch Grease Pit to make sure he doesn't try to follow Charley up to her resting spot."

"Sure," he agreed, a bit more happily.  "Is fighting really as bad as they say?"

"Kid, take a good look at Vinnie and Modo.  You'll hopefully end up like them or me instead of dead," he said simply.  The boy gaped at him so he moved his field specs, showing the artificial eyes.  "See, fighting is a bad thing, but sometimes you've gotta do it.  Your uncle wants you to make a reasonable choice of fighting for a good reason or not.  That's why you're here."  He walked the boy back to their bikes, hopping on his when it rolled up to them.  "C'mon.  We'll head out.  Put on a helmet."  He put his on and roared out of the garage.  The boy put on his helmet and followed, glad to be away from his uncle, who was a bit too stringent for his tastes.

Stoker looked at the other two.  "So, give.  I want details!"

"So do we but they won't share," Vinnie snorted.  "Throttle won't do more than kiss and cuddle her in public.  Even when we push them together."

Modo swatted him gently.  "That's just the way Charley ma'am is, she's shy."  He looked at Stoker.  "Her friends aren't though."  Vinnie smirked at that.  "Did you know humans breastfeed in the open?"

Stoker shivered.  "Really?"

"Really," Vinnie agreed. "Just whip it out and stick the baby on it."  His eyes went wide.  "That and her friends are teases.  They're together and very open.  We got to see one of them feeling up the other's leg at dinner."

"They pounced each other for a few kisses then took it into their bedroom since there were kids and Vinnie around," Modo added.  "Plus they've got one friend's kid who's a bad snoop."

"Yeah, Paul likes to watch people go at it," Vinnie said dryly, shaking his head.

"Sounds like a wild weekend.  Either of you find girls?" Stoker asked, crossing his arms.

"Nope," Modo said, shaking his head.  "My gray momma would beat me if I didn't take up with a mouse."

"I found a bit of fun but she wasn't looking for a full-time guy," Vinnie complained.  "She's so sweet, Stoker, just the perfect woman.  Plus she's an artist so she's using me in some of her future works."

"You tried," Stoker soothed, patting him on the back.  "What about those two?"

"They're apparently very active," Modo said with a blush.  "They seem to need a lot of naps."

"Even at their friend's house," Vinnie agreed smugly.  "Modo got to miss the groaning in the bathroom thing."

"They did it at someone else's house?" Stoker asked.  "Throttle?  Well, he's certainly more wild than I thought.  Maybe I should go get my nephew from him."

"Why?  He's probably bragging on Tabby so those two'll hitch up," Modo said smugly.

"How old is this girl?"

"Six," Vinnie said smugly.  "She likes tails more than anything."

"Wonderful.  What about us being mice?"

"She loves Throttle like he's a special uncle already," Vinnie said with a shrug.  "She clutched both of us and cuddled up to Modo while she read to him."

"My tail was her cuddle toy while she sounded out words," he offered.

Stoker shook his head.  "No whipping tails?"

"Not until another goon patrol comes or until another fish face shows up," Vinnie offered.  "There's two more around here somewhere."  He smirked.  "We could go take down the tower but since only Grease Pit lives there, he might come back and try to shack up with us."

"Maybe Throttle shouldn't be with her, things got strange when they got together."

"Nah, we just helped capture some of those goons that Carbine and everyone brought back," Vinnie said proudly.  "That takes one out of the equation."

"And then some," Modo offered.  "Did he threaten to retire up there with her?"  Vinnie nodded.  "Interesting.  What about the garage?"

"Tabby hopefully," Vinnie said, glancing at him.  "It was kinda obvious that she's related somehow."

Modo nodded.  "True, but it was probably for the best."

"Huh?" Stoker asked.

"Tabby looks *exactly* like Charley," Vinnie said.  "And they don't know we've figured that out yet."

"Oh.  Okay.  Maybe she and the nephew will become friends."

"Are there going to be baby Throttles?" Modo asked.

"Only if that's when Carbine got pregnant."  They gaped so he smirked.  "I talked with Rimfire, he said he could explain it off as a quirk of the fur and that he didn't really care.  Then again, we all know mice are fertile twice during heat so it's likely that there'll be a little skunk-headed, striped brat some day to make more Freedom Fighters swear off having children."  Modo snickered and that and Vinnie winced.  "What?"

"We're more worried about little Throttles and Charley's, Stoker," he reminded him.

He considered it.  "In sixteen test cases, fourteen by Plutark and two the, um, natural way by others helping who've been captured in the past, it's doubtful.  The two ...natural cases were positive but very hard on the mother, who was a mouse.  The others their records state no success."

"What happens if she does get pregnant?"

"She's a woman, they know what to do," Stoker said immediately, not wanting to consider that.  "They're that serious?"

"Yeah, they're that serious," Modo assured him.  "They're also very cute together.  As you'll see Monday if you're still around."

"Fine.  I can stay," he said smugly.  "No binding yet?"

"He hasn't asked."

"She hasn't asked?" Stoker demanded.

"They're taking that part slowly," Modo said with a shrug.  "That's all I can think of.  He moved out when they got back, but he's over all the time anyway while she's working."

They all looked over as Throttle came back with the younger mouse.  "Problems?" Throttle asked.

"Wondering how you'd get an invitation to us for the binding," Stoker noted.

"Easy.  Whenever she's ready, we'll holler," he said dryly.  "I asked, she said she's satisfied and that's enough for me for the next six weeks or so."  Stoker shook his head, groaning.  "I'm like that, bros.  I let the women deal with the deep emotional stuff and let them tell me when things are getting serious."  He glanced at the nephew.  "Did you know he wanted to be a garage monkey?"

"No, I hadn't," Stoker admitted, looking at his nephew.  "We need more of those, it's an honorable profession, kid.  That's what you want?"  His nephew nodded silently.  "Then we'll deal and I'll support you for that."

"After all, for every Freedom Fighter there's got to be someone to patch up our bikes and our bodies," Vinnie joked.

"Punk, don't give him any ideas," Stoker warned. Vinnie just smirked at him so he pounced him, pummeling him while he laughed.  "I'm going to get you for that if he takes up being a nurse or something."

"Sure, you say that now," Vinnie laughed, getting free to land on top of Stoker and wrestle some more.

Throttle looked at the kid.  "I'll ask Charley to let you help when she gets back, kid.  It'll be a good start to see if you can handle the grease and dirt."  He grinned at him.  "Speaking of grease and dirt, bros, Grease Pit was headed out of town on his trike. He was even wearing real clothes and a tie."

"New fishface?" Vinnie asked hopefully.

"Only one way to find out.  Let's Rock."

"And Ride."

They hopped on their bikes, heading out to check on this new occurrence.  Either he had a date or they had a new enemy in town.


Charley wandered into the garage, smiling at everyone.  "Hi, guys.  Hi, Stoker.  Hi, Titanium."  She kissed him on the cheek.  "Give me a few hours and you can help me with a tune up, all right?"  He beamed and nodded.  "Good kid.  Tabby!"  She ran in and stopped to gape in awe at the extra mice.  "Sweetie, this is Titanium, he's Stoker's nephew.  He's going to help me around the garage for a few days.  Think you could help him settle in?"

"Yes!" she said happily, coming over to hug him. "I'm Tabby, I'm six," she said happily, grabbing his tail to hug.  "You're nice."

He gave her an odd look, then looked at his uncle.  "Are most humans like this?  Is this a standard greeting?"

"No, that's just her," Charley offered, patting him on the head.  "Sweetie, I can hear Vinnie in the kitchen."  She beamed and snuck that way, going to pounce him.  They heard Vinnie squeak and went in there to watch him trying to catch sight of her by spinning around and around.

"If you puke on the floor, you're cleaning it up," Throttle said tolerantly.  He glanced at the boy, who was shaking his head.  "Don't worry, you'll get used to it.  Tabby's only here for a few days.  Bryon, her baby brother, had to go see the doctor tomorrow so they'll pick her up the next day, after a night out and us watching the baby. You settled in?"  He nodded, beaming at him.  "Good kid."  He looked at Charley, then picked her up and carried her up the stairs.  "We'll be back."


"What?" he asked with a grin, walking into her bedroom and kicking the door shut.  He put her down, letting her see the stuff he had laid out for her.  "Titanium helped me pick them out."

"My own blaster!" she squealed, hugging him and planting a heavy kiss on him.  "I love you."

"Good.  Consider it a bonding gift," he said with a smirk.  "Just like the outfit when you want to be naughty."  She looked at the leather pants and jacket, then back at him.  He shrugged and grinned.  "It's traditional."

"Okay."  She carefully moved them aside, then pounced him, pulling him down onto the bed on top of her.  "I'll model it later."

"Hmm, not in front of the bros.  Stoker might drool and then I'd have to pounce and beat him senseless."  She giggled so he grinned and moved down to nip her neck.  Her shirt was quickly gotten rid of, as were the rest of their clothes.  He was just getting to the good part when someone knocked on the door.  "I wouldn't if you know what's good for you."

"I didn't even get to hug her," Stoker complained.

"Later, Stoker," she called.  "You can hug me in about an hour."

"Or so," Throttle said smugly.  "I might take a bit longer this time."  He dove in, moving to lick and suck on her.  They both liked it a lot and he was more than happy to please this way. She squealed and grabbed the blankets, arching up into his tongue.  He let out a small chuckle and dove in deeper, knowing she liked to be snouted.

Stoker looked at the door in shock.  "What is he doing to her," he muttered, heading back down the stairs.  "They're making a lot of noise.  He said it'd be about an hour."

"That'll be foreplay to them," Vinnie said dryly, still trying to catch the little girl who was on his tail.  "Help?"

Titanium gauged their movements and pounced the little girl, pulling her off and onto the floor to smirk at her.  "Don't do that to him, he'll puke and then he won't be able to play."

"Wanna play with me?" she asked, one hand reaching down to grab his tail to feel up.  His eyes went wide and she grinned.  "I like tails.  Tails are the neatest part of the body."

"I'll play but only if you let me go.  We can't play tag while you're got hold of me."  She let him go and beamed so he got up and helped her up, taking her into the more spacious garage area to play some tag.   "You're it," he shouted, tapping her and taking off.  She squealed and ran after him, hands ready to catch him.

Stoker watched the kids for a moment over the swinging doors, then shook his head and focused on the very dizzy mouse sitting down while Modo got him a root beer.  "You okay?"

"Fine," he complained.  He accepted the cold soda and gulped it.  Then he blushed when he heard a low, visceral moan from upstairs.

"You two are getting loud again," Modo yelled.

"I know it's been a few days, but really guys," Vinnie called.

Another moan was their answer and soon afterwards a 'ooh, Throttle!' followed it.  A few minutes later it was a 'more' and then a yelp of pleasure, followed by another few moans and finally a scream of pleasure from her and another moan from him.  Then there was blessed silence.

Stoker looked at the clock. "It's only been ten minutes."

"That's just round one," Vinnie said, handing over his soda.  "Give 'em ten minutes and they'll start again. Throttle's kept her up for a full night before he was done.  That's why she slept on the way up Friday. He had us belt her to him and then tie her hands around his stomach, just in case."

Stoker's eyes went wide.  "He did what?"

"Yeah, it was safer that way, so she wouldn't fall off," Modo offered.  "They looked cute like that though."  He looked at Vinnie.  "Did you see the big boxes they brought back last night with the groceries?"  Vinnie shook his head, but he was grinning.  "Two of 'em actually. Plus, one of the weapons is gone out of the extras pile Rimfire brought us."

"Really?" Vinnie said smugly.  "No boots?"

"Maybe he likes her barefoot," Stoker offered, sipping the drink.  "I had no idea he was that serious."

"Yeah, he's that serious."  Modo grinned at the screaming, then decided to check on them.  "What's going on?" he called.

"Something ran past her and she screamed," Titanium offered as he held the shaking little girl. "I think it was some sort of marsupial."

"Down here, they've got small mice and rats who're about as big as her foot," he explained.  "Where?"  He pointed so Modo went to search it out, finding a small cat hissing at him.  "Hi.  I won't hurt you."  He extended his natural hand slowly, letting it catch his scent.  "Vinnie."  He came to the doors.  "We've got a stray. Help me.  She's backed into the corner."

"Sure."  He came over and found a large dowel rod, using it to nudge the tip of the cat's tail.  The cat jumped and ran for Modo, who caught it and held it against his chest, making sure it couldn't scratch him.  "You're kinda pretty."  He moved closer, looking at the creature.  "Someone must be missing you. You've got a collar."

Modo made shushing and crooning noises as he soothed the frantic animal.  He could feel her heart beating too fast and he didn't want to alarm her any further.  "It's all right."  He sat down.  "Tabby, come help, carefully."

She came over and looked over the edge of his arm, then started to stroke the cat's back.  "It's okay, they're mousies but they're nice mousies.  They won't hurt you.  They like me and Mr. Modo helps me read a lot.  He's a very nice mousie with a very pretty tail."  The cat slowly calmed down.  "It's all right.  You're a good pussy cat.  Yes you are."  She continued to stroke it, smiling when she heard the purr.  "We should show you to Auntie Charley.  She'd love you too.  She loves furry things, that's why she loves Uncle Throttle so much."  The adults all burst out in giggles.  "She does," she said, stomping her foot.  "Otherwise she couldn't love anyone as furry as he is."  She looked at the cat again.  "You just come with me, furry one, and I'll show you to auntie."

"She's a bit busy," Vinnie offered, trying to stop her.

"She won't mind.  Mommy didn't when I brought in the snake.  Mommy mommy nearly died, but mommy just groaned and petted it."  She took the cat and walked her up the stairs, following the renewed groaning noises. She didn't even knock, just opened the door and let the cat down in there, patting it once last time before closing the door with it in there.  Then she skipped down the stairs and punched Titanium on the arm.  "You're it!" she shouted, running off.

He laughed and chased her.

The three adults waited at the bottom of the stairs, listening to hear what Throttle was going to do with this new interruption.

Throttle was having a lot of fun cleaning up the mess he had made earlier, kneeling in front of her and his tail waving off the end of the bed.  He never noticed the cat who was entranced by the moving tail tip.  He didn't notice it when she lowered herself and snuck closer, but he did notice it when she pounced it, making him shout and look back at her.  "When did we get a cat?"  He used his tail to pick up the orange and white ball of fur and bring it up to look at.  "Hi.  How are you?  How did you get in here?"  The cat batted at his nose so he put it down.

Charley patted the cat, making it purr and move up for more.  "It's a pretty cat.  I wonder whose she is.  She's got a collar."

"We'll figure it out later," he offered, going back to what he had been doing, which made Charley tense up and push back into his nose.  "Oooh, yeah," he whispered, digging into his lunch.  At least until the cat tried to pounce his tail again. This time he moved it and went back to what he had been doing.

The cat, being a reasonable creature, decided that she liked these two.  She got up and walked up the female's stomach, kneading it gently.  She was clearly in heat and not used to it, that's why she sounded like she was in pain.

Throttle looked up at the different sounding moan, staring at the cat, who was looking in his direction.  "I promise, it's not hurting her, she's enjoying it, but thanks anyway."  He got up and pulled on a pair of boxers, then grabbed the cat, going to hand her off.  He handed to her Vinnie.  "She likes to pounce tails and knead stomachs."  He walked back up the stairs, slamming and locking the door this time.  He found his girl teasing herself with a smile for him and let his boxers fall to the floor, watching her for a few minutes.  Then he dove in again, making her moan as his tongue helped her fingers.  So that's what that spot did.  He lapped her clean and dove back in the other way, thrusting into her so hard she moved on the bed.  He pulled her back and did it again, making her arch up into his body, meeting the thrusts with some of her own.  He worked up a good rhythm, then suddenly stopped and looked down at her.  "Charley?" he panted.  She blinked up at him, looking confused.  "Want me to find a condom?"

"You said we're not compatible."

"We're not but I wanted to make it good for you."  She pulled him down to kiss him, which made him slip back into her.  "You're sure?"

"I'm sure.  More, Throttle.  It won't happen this time."

He nodded, working back up to his usually hard and fast thrusts.  She came quickly, clawing up his arms for something to grip.  He grunted and picked her up, putting her into his lap to get deeper.  She let out a small whimper but he wasn't going to stop now.  He felt like he was in heat, but only women did that.  That was a fact of basic biology.  So it must be her.  He worked himself faster and harder, making her shake in his arms and clutch at his back, which meant he was going to be scratched back there too.  He used his thumbs to tease the undersides of her breasts, the rest of his hands were holding her upright.  He kissed her hard, making her pant and dive in again.  Their tongues battled, his loins were ready to explode, and he let them, shoving up a few centimeters deeper, letting it all go. He pulled back from the kiss to pant.  "You okay?" he whispered, kissing her again once he could speak.

She nodded, resting her head against his shoulder, liking that spot for an immediate nap.  "Fine.  Sore, but good.  You're huge, Throttle, and you seemed to grow an extra few inches."  He beamed, moving down to lick her neck.  She yawned against him.  "A short nap and then I'll make us lunch."

"You're all the lunch I need," he promised, shifting them so they were lying down.  She was still curled into his shoulder.  He put a thigh over her legs, making her let out a sleepy chuckle.  "I'm not gonna let you go, Charley girl.  You're mine now."

"Hmm.  Yours.  Good thing."  She wrapped an arm around his chest and he did the same to her, pulling her closer.  She wiggled a bit then settled in for a nap.  She needed a nap.

Throttle used his tail to pull the blankets up over them, not wanting to move.  He was very comfortable.  He kinda wished she had a tail so he could play tail games, but otherwise she was perfect for him.  Not even Carbine had been able to take it like that.  He grinned; if the woman could keep up with him then she was going to stay his, no matter what he had to do to make it so.  She bit him on the chest and he chuckled, kissing the top of her head.  "Sleep, Charley girl.  I'm here.  You're mine and I'm here.  No one's saying anything different."  She nodded, falling asleep again.  She even snored cutely.  It must be love.


Downstairs, Stoker was staring up the stairs, then shaking his head.  "Are they all right?  They're too quiet."

"She often needs a nap after partaking of him," Vinnie said dryly.  "They'll be down in a while."  He looked at the clock.  "Nearly an hour, he does time it well."

Modo kicked him, shaking his head.  "That's so bad, Vinnie."

"I know," he admitted with a grin.  "I love you too, Modo."

"If you two get together, I'll expect you to beat the punk, Modo."  Stoker came over to join in their card game.  The kids were reading now and she was curled back around his tail like it was hers to cuddle.  "They are cute together."

"They are," Vinnie agreed smugly.  "I'm sure Tabby and Titanium will take after Charley and Throttle.  She thinks she might want to be a mechanic too."

"Then they'd be great together," Stoker admitted.   He'd reserve full judgement until they were both grown up enough to play tail games.  He picked up his cards and nearly dropped them when he heard a moan from upstairs.

"Sounds like Charley ma'am had to knee him to get up and go to the bathroom again," Modo said dryly, putting down a few cards.  "Got any eights, Vinnie?"

"Nah, go fish."

"She had to *knee* him?" Stoker asked dryly.

"Yeah, he likes to wrap her in his arms, legs, and tail afterwards so if she wants up before he wakes up, she's got to get him to move and that's the best way.  Either that or he pouts because she tickled him," Vinnie said smugly.  "Got any tens, Stoker?"

Stoker looked at his hand, then put down his pairs.  "Go fish."  He waited until he heard the bedroom door close again then Throttle moaned in a totally different way and the bed creaked. The door opened.

"Go back to sleep, bro, we're playing cards," Modo called.  The door shut again and then the bed creaked and then Charley let out a small moan of Throttle's name.  "It'll be a while.  She needed the nap," he said with a smirk for Vinnie.  "And you wonder why she didn't pick you?"

"No!" he snorted.  "I see now that I couldn't have kept up with her.  I've got energy but apparently Throttle's been hoarding his for years for her."  He looked at Stoker.  "Your turn."

"Um, Modo, any fives?"  One was handed over.  "Thanks."  He put that set down.  Vinnie added to it, smugly of course.  "Punk," he sighed.

"I know, I know, but I'm too good looking not to win," he said happily, looking at Modo, who shook his head.

"Got any jacks, Stoker?"  Two were handed over. "Thanks."

Vinnie pouted.  He had wanted those.


When Throttle came down later, everyone, even the kids, stared at him.  "What?" he asked.  "I'm only getting a rootbeer."

"Where's the little woman?" Stoker joked.

"She'll be down in a minute, she's trying something on."  He sat down, smirking at Vinnie.

"You used my old shorts as a size," she called down the stairs.  "They're tight."

"That's fine.  We wanna see anyway," Throttle called back.  That had been his intention after all.  Show her off and make the other mice jealous at the girl he had.  She came down the stairs in the new pants, a soft, faded black t-shirt, and the new jacket, but without any shoes.  Titanium dropped his fork and stared in open-mouth shock.  "Mine, kid," Throttle said smugly.

"Damn," Vinnie whimpered in awe.

Modo managed to close his mouth, finally.  "You look good, Charley.  Really good in that."

Stoker just continued to stare in open-mouthed shock.  He hadn't imagined that she looked like *that*!

Tabby giggled.  "You should take pictures of that for mommy mommy and mommy," she said happily.  "That way they can drool on it.  So Uncle Throttle doesn't have to spank them for drooling on you."

She grinned.  "Sure, princess.  The camera's behind you.  Go ahead and pull it out and hand it over."  She looked down at herself.  "Should I put on the new holster too?"

"If you want," Throttle said, grinning at her.  He had good taste, his bros had proven it.

"Ma'am, if you ever leave Throttle, will you help me find a woman like you?" Titanium asked.

"I know a few," she admitted.  "I don't have to leave him to do that, dear.  He doesn't mind my friends."

Tabby finally found the camera and handed it over with a grin.  "No gun?"

"Later, sweetie."

"She'd look too dangerous with it on," Vinnie offered.

Stoker took a drink of his rootbeer, still staring at her.  "That's one hell of a bonding outfit," he said finally.  "Good job, Throttle."

"Thanks, Stoker, means a lot to me."  He looked at the camera, then focused on her, waving her back.  "Go back a bit farther, Charley.  Let's get the whole of you into the picture."  He took a few, that way they wouldn't have to pay for double prints.  "Should we send one to Jack too?"

"Nah, he'll pass through again sometime soon," she promised.   She looked down at herself.  "This is really the usual engagement gift?"

"Yeah, it's a male's privilege to dress up his woman however he wants," Stoker said weakly.  "Can you sit in those things?  They look tight."

"They are tight.  He used an old pair of shorts as a size guideline," she said, but she came over and carefully sat on Throttle's lap, making him smirk up at her.  "I do like it."

"I thought you might."  He gave her a gentle kiss.  "You wear those as often as you like, I even had them sprayed with a stain treater."  He stroked a hand under her jacket, making her shiver.  "Come eat, Charley girl.  You'll only get me yelled at if you don't."

"Sure."  She got up and took the empty seat, sitting down to pull over her own hotdog.  She smiled at Titanium, who was still staring in shock.  "I know.  It's not my usual look.'

"No, but you look scorching in it," he offered.

"My girl," Throttle reminded him again.

"I'm too young for her, but if you fall, I'll gladly watch out for her when I'm older," he promised, looking at his elder, who must be really cool to get a hottie like that one.  "If you fall and they fall, I'll protect her like she's my own, Throttle.  Otherwise someone would steal her."

"Thanks, kid."  He grinned at him.  "You'd better eat if you're serious.  You're gonna need ta be about as strong as Modo to keep her safe in that outfit."  The boy dug in again.

"Did he get you a shoulder, waist, or thigh holster?" Stoker asked.  In that outfit it should only be a shoulder holster, to hide it.

"A thigh holster.  It's black leather too, and the laser's one of those with the matte finish."  She got up and went to get it, putting it on and sliding the gun in before coming back down.  Vinnie snatched the camera and started to snap pictures, then handed it off to Modo and went to the bathroom on his own.

Stoker revised his opinion.  The holster only made her look dangerous and deadly.  He liked that in a woman.  He glanced at Throttle, who was smirking up at her while she blushed.  He hoped she had dusted herself with powder before putting those on, otherwise it was going to be torture to get her out of them later.  Even he could admit that he'd like to peel those leathers off her and have her.  God, he had underestimated that girl in the past.

Modo smiled at her.  "You still need to eat.  My gray furred Momma used to say that food made the body go on, especially when special occasions happen- otherwise you run out of energy too soon and it ends too soon.  So sit down and eat, Charley ma'am.  You can let him pounce you later."

"Sure."  She sat down, digging into her hotdog again.  "Anything happen while I was gone?"

"Grease Pit had a date," Throttle offered.  "We followed him when I saw him wearing real clothes and a tie out of the city."

"Good.  No news from the other stink fish?"

Everyone shook their heads.

"Is a stink fish something that could live in our pond?" Tabby asked.

"No, sweetheart, he would ruin that pond," Modo said gently, patting her on the back.  "He's a bad guy."

"Oh.  Do you kick his butt like they do on the movies I'm not supposed to watch?"

"We sure do," Throttle said happily, grinning at her.

"They do it very well," Stoker agreed.  "That's why I brought my nephew to them, so he could learn how to whip tail from the best I trained."

"Wow.  You don't look that old, Mr. Stoker.  You must have been Titey's age when you trained them."  The boy beside her winced at that nickname.

"I'm a lot older than I look, sweetness," Stoker offered gently.  "I'm an old warmouse now."

"Oh.  You still don't look that old.  Misses Carbine looked older when I saw her."

Throttle nodded.  "She did look kinda tired, but I'm sure Rimfire fixed that for her," he said laconically, grinning at Charley, who blushed.  "We've got to send Liz and Delilah a picture of you in that."

"They're in town tonight," she reminded him.  "They're dropping off Bryon tomorrow afternoon so they can have the night off, then they'll pick everyone up the next morning and head home."

"Is something wrong with the kid?" Modo asked.

"They think he may have a small hearing deficit.  Not totally deaf but not fully hearing on one side.  So they're bringing him in to a specialist."  She ate another bite of hotdog.  "He's perfectly healthy otherwise."

"At least he's healthy," Stoker said quietly.  "It hurts when it's your kid."  She gave him a squeeze to the arm, making her smile. "Sorry, seen a few recently."  He looked at Throttle.  "Vinnie asked me to check into the genetic compatibility issue."  Throttle went stiff and his ears and antenna stood up straight.  "In sixteen trials, two of them by natural choice, it's only happened two times.  Both times the mouse was the mother."  Throttle relaxed some but he could see that Charley was now tense.  So he looked at her.  "The stink fish tried it a few times," he said quietly.  "Their records didn't state the species of the mother."  She nodded at that.  "So I'm going to put it into the improbable but possible category."  She nodded again quickly.  "So take a bit of care, but don't get paranoid about it.  The world could use more like that punk," he said with a small grin for her.  "Especially if it has your hair."

"I wouldn't mind a daughter some day," Throttle said quietly, "but I'm not the pushy sort in that area either."

"If it does happen, we'll yell about it then," Charley agreed calmly.  He nodded at that, it was a good plan.  They could talk about this later.  "No other women are up there?"

"Yeah, but they've mostly taken to the other men.  Apparently they're uncomfortable with the mice being..." he cleared his throat, "bigger.  Some of the other species helping us are a bit closer to normal human size."

"He's not that much bigger," she said, looking confused.  "Unless I've had guys who were way out of proportion."  Throttle shrugged a bit but was blushing.  His antenna were nearly vibrating.

"Well, one of them was dating a guy named Jettison."  Modo moaned.  "The guy's huge. He's nearly a foot bigger than Modo when he stands fully upright, and he's built like that all over," Stoker shared.  "He's just in a different class of mouse.  Tender and sweet guy, but scary if you meet him in a dark alley."

"Which one?  Jettison or Marksman?" Vinnie asked as he came back and sat down again.

"Either.  They're brothers."  Stoker ate a bite of dinner.  "Jettison's a gray mouse, a bit darker than Modo, and Marksman is a tan one like Throttle," he shared before taking another bite.

"Wonderful.  Are we going to meet them at the birthing ceremonies for Rimfire and Carbine?" she asked.

"That's right, we wanted to come up," Throttle agreed, losing his blush and grinning at her.  It had been a compliment, of sorts.

Charley looked at Vinnie, who had been known to flirt with women of any species.  "Do you find women have a problem with mice because they're bigger?"

He blushed and shook his head.  "Not really, or at least not with me.  Why?" he asked, sounding a bit helpless and confused.

"The humans who're up there helping won't date mice, they're intimidated, or so Stoker said," Charley told him.  "We were talking about the slim possibility of kids happening."

He nodded once, then shook his head quickly.  "Their loss, sweetheart.  Their loss."  He stuffed his mouth and glanced at Tabby.  "Hey, baby doll, when's your usual bedtime?"

"Midnight," she said sweetly.

"More like eight," Throttle snorted.  "Don't even try that with him.  He's not the one to suck up to, that's Modo."  She batted her big, green eyes up at him instead, making him grin and pat her on the head.

"If you're really lucky, Stoker might tell you a bedtime story," Vinnie offered.  "He's got all sorts of stories about us whipping tail."

"And a few of you falling off your bike too," Stoker said sweetly.

"Hello!" a female voice called as a door slammed.  "I'm here to repossess my darling offspring."

"Kitchen, Delilah."  Charley beamed at Throttle.  "You tell her."

"Sure."  He looked out there, grinning as she walked around the mess the kids had made earlier.  "Come see the bonding outfit I got her."  She squealed and hurried in, stopping when she saw the leather jacket.  "Charley girl, stand up, let her see the whole thing," he said with a smirk, making her blush but stand up.

"Oh.  My.  God," she breathed.  She stared and then walked over to hug her.  "I'm so happy for you!"  She gave her another squeeze.  "A gun even, they're getting liberal."  She pulled out her cellphone and called the hotel.  "You've got to come see this.  Throttle bought her a bonding outfit. No, Liz, black leather.  Yeah, I said leather, on our little Charley girl.  Come quick.  Watch out for the mess that Tabby needs to clean up."  She hung up and stepped back, nodding in appreciation.  "Damn girl.  You  If he ever dumps you, you come running back to us.  If we can't have you, I'll *find* you someone to appreciate that body of yours."

Liz walked in a few minutes later and pulled Charley up after handing Bryon to Throttle.  She looked her over, then shook her head. "You're all grown up!" she said with a sniffle.  "You're going to be married in black leather and I'm so happy!"  She hugged her, patting her on the back.  "Oh, Gods, Charley, we love you like our own."

"Mommy mommy, hug me before you get her leather wet," Tabby said patiently.

"Sure, baby.  Some day we'll find you someone who'll get you a present like that too," she said, walking over to hug her daughter.  "We love you."

"Thank you, mommy mommy."  She beamed up at her. "This is Titey.  He's Mr. Stoker's nephew.  He wants to be a mechanic like Auntie Charley too."

"I'm sure he'll be a great one," she praised with a smile for him and a hair ruffle.  "Titey?"

"Titanium," he said sheepishly.  "She's gifted me with a nickname."

"So I can tell," she said with a wink.  "You're going to be around, right?"  He nodded.  "Good.  Then you can come play with Tabby when Charley comes up sometimes."  She looked at Charley again, then hit Throttle on his unoccupied shoulder.  "I want pictures."

"We've got ones with and without the blaster," he said quietly, looking up at him.  "We usually just declare ourselves bonded, no formal ceremony."

"You won't be getting away with that down here," Delilah said firmly.  "No way in hell, young man.  We'll plan it for you this coming summer."  Charley blushed.  "I promise, it won't be like ours and have a sexual rite in the center of it."

"An *unplanned* sexual rite," Charley taunted back with a grin.

"She was too beautiful to be left alone," she said with a small shrug and a grin for her wife.  "She still is.  Even when she's fat and round with the baby."  Her wife lunged over, catching her in a deep, banging-against-the-wall kiss.  "Hmm, baby.  Motel?"

"We can watch the kids," Throttle said, looking at Charley, who nodded.  "Go play, ladies."

Liz snickered.  "Ladies, us?" she asked impishly, dragging her wife off.  "Tabby, you've got to clean up the mess you made or you're going to be grounded," she called as she pulled Delilah out to their bike.

"This is Bryon, he's her godson," Throttle said conversationally, turning him to face the others.  Modo stole him, making everyone smile as he cradled the baby like he was used to doing it.  "We'll need diapers."

"I've got an emergency bag in my closet," she promised.  "I packed it for Tabby."  She stuffed her mouth quickly.  "We'll make him a bed beside us, pull up a chair or something."

"That's fine, Charley girl."  Throttle grinned at her, then at Tabby.  "She's right, you'll still have to clean up the mess, with Titanium's help."  Both kids nodded.  "Then you guys can get whip-tail bedtime stories from Stoker and us."  They beamed and finished up their milk and hotdogs, going out to clean up their mess.  "Stoker, you can take my bed since I don't need it and Titanium can sleep here.  One of the kids can take the spare cot and the other can have the couch."

Stoker nodded, putting his feet up on an empty chair.  "Sure, that's how we planned it anyway.  I'll even keep the punk from coming over at dawn again."

"He'd better not," Charley said sweetly, smirking at Vinnie, who blushed.  "Not before eight."  He nodded, digging in again.  She kissed him on the cheek, making him moan.  "You behave and I'll invite Pauline up," she said quietly.

He grinned and wiggled his eyebrows before finishing up and going to supervise the kids.  "Hurry up, you'll need to clean the dust off too, kids," he ordered.  "Throttle can deal with baths and stuff."

"Do I have to?" Tabby whined.  "I'm not dirty, just a little bit dusty."

"She even sounds like one of our kids," Stoker said dryly.

"If we could do a tail transplant she'd be the happiest kid on the face of this planet," Modo assured him with a grin down at the sleeping baby. "You're so tiny.  It's hard to believe I was your size once."

"You mean you didn't come out as a huge muscled mouse of destruction?" Charley teased, making him blush and shake his head.  "Are you sure?"

"My gray furred Momma didn't tell me I did," he said weakly.  "She has pictures of me being a little baby mouse."

She snickered and shook her head.  "No big muscles?"

"Not then.  Not until I was about five," he said with a grin, getting into the teasing.  "Like you humans, we've got to grow up some too."

"Yeah, we weren't all born as studly as I was," Vinnie said proudly.  "My momma has pictures of me being the cutest kid in any city on Mars."

"And one of you being nearly bald at birth," Throttle reminded him.  Vinnie went 'eep' and disappeared.  "As for me, I actually changed color.  I had been nearly white when I was born but I grew tan fur, much to my mother's pain.  She wanted me to match Vinnie when we were younger and playing."

Charley grinned at him.  "That must have been cute."

"Very," Modo agreed.  He looked down as he felt a wet finger stroke his fur.  "Hey, Bryon, are you awake, little guy?"  The baby yawned and snuggled in again, going back to sleep.  "Yeah, you do that," he said happily.  "Some day I'll see a few of you from my nephew.  Of course, they'll be more furry, but we won't mind," he shared quietly.

"Hopefully some of your own too, bro," Throttle said gently, patting him on the shoulder.  "Whenever you're ready to hand him off, just yell about the nasty diaper."

"Sure," he agreed with a grin for his bro.  "We do have bottles, right?"  Charley nodded.  "That's good.  I'm sure he'll need some soon."

"You're either going to have to get Charley girl shirtless or be down to bare fur to feed him anyway," Throttle pointed out.  "He's used to eating off mom, who wears a lot of furry feeling clothes."

"Sure, I can do that," Charley agreed. "Upstairs of course."  Everyone nodded at that, Throttle would kick someone's butt if they stared at her while she was less than dressed.

"Maybe one of those bikini tops?" Throttle teased.

"I'm wearing a bra, that should be good enough," she teased back.

"On that note, I'm going to help the kids," Stoker offered, getting up and heading into the garage before he had to embarrass himself totally. She wore bikinis?  Like they pictured in those magazines?  "Bikini?" he hissed at Vinnie.

"Only up there," he said, shaking his head.  "Very nice," he shared with a smirk.

"Do you think Auntie's pretty?" Tabby asked them, looking innocent.

"She's a very beautiful woman, sweetheart, but she's taken by Throttle.  We can only look and appreciate," Vinnie promised her.  "We'd never break him up.  Bros aren't like that."  He patted her on the hand, taking the refilled tool drawer from her and putting it away.  That left them one of the stuff they had been sorting out by the name on the drawers.  He leaned next to Stoker's ear.  "I heard Throttle whimpering about a wax job one night," he hissed.  Stoker shivered and headed for the bathroom to explore that image.  Vinnie smirked at his back and got down to help the kids sort things out.  He wasn't sure what a few of those were but they didn't look the like the wrenches that should be in that drawer.


Charley looked at the tiny baby in her bare arms, watching as he sucked from the bottle slowly, eyes half closed.  "I wonder what one of you feel like," she whispered.  She nearly jumped when she felt the bed dip as Throttle sat down, but he moved one of her arms slightly, latching on to suckle like the baby would.  It was still different. "You're not a baby."

"No but it probably feels about the same," he said with a grin.  He kissed her, then took the baby to the firmly padded chair they had found in the office.  It wasn't smooshy so the baby couldn't suffocate if he managed to flip over but it was big enough to make a temporary bed for him.  He covered him up with a sheet, checking the gaps again to make sure he couldn't get through them.  They were barely big enough for his finger so they'd be fine.  Besides, he wasn't flipping over yet.  He laid down with her on the bed, letting her watch the baby while he stroked her stomach.  "If you want, some day, we can do that," he promised quietly.  She looked at him and nodded, but her eyes were wet.  "You did the best you could for Tabby," he said quietly.  "Here she would have had a lot of hardship while you struggled to make the payments on the garage."  He kissed her.  "She's happier there and you can always see her.  It's not the same," he offered, "but she's loved more than anything."

"I know."  She snuggled into his arms.  "Some day?"

"Some day," he agreed, kissing her gently.   "When everything's secure," he promised.

She nodded, stroked the fur in front of her, making patterns in it.  "You trimmed yourself."

"I wanted to look my best when I came up to get you," he said with a sappy grin.  He kissed her on the forehead.  "You should sleep."

"Do I have to?" she asked with a small grin.

"Yup, sometime," he agreed, grinning back.  He opened the bra and tossed it off the side of the bed, then got her panties off.  His jeans and boxers came off nearly as easily, and then he pounced her, diving back into her body the old fashioned way.  She arched up into him as he thrust into her, making her moan and writhe underneath him.  She moaned and went with it.  She could only hope it was this good in a few years.


Charley got out of the truck and slammed the door, heading up to Delilah and Liz's house.  Her oldest friends were a bit more gray around the edges, but that was mostly from Tabby starting to run wild in her opinion.  She saw Tabby out by the pond, thinking heavily and smiled, not disturbing her yet.  She walked in and shut the door before Bryon could get out too.  "I'm so screwed," she announced, repeating something she had said sixteen years earlier, when she had found out she was carrying Tabby.  Both women smirked at her.  "Yes, it's for the same reason," she said grimly, sitting down.  The younger daughter stared at her in shock.  "Hi, Ronnie."  Ronnie grinned and held up her stuffed mouse.  "I see you've got a Throttle.  I can give you mine if you want."

"Why would you want to give him away?" Liz asked as she sat a soda in front of the poor dear.  "It's nothing strange, Charley.  It happens sometimes when you two go at it constantly like you two have."

She sipped her soda.  "Right before the final battle," she noted, shaking her head. "I can't tell him!"  She looked at Delilah.  "I didn't make it through telling Jack about Tabby, I sure as hell can't tell Throttle that he's going to be a daddy."

"What makes you think he doesn't know?" she asked smugly, nodding behind her.  Charley looked up and gaped but Throttle wiggled his fingers with a smirk.  "He was worried when he figured it out."

"We love playing counselor to you two, but you still can't have our bed," Liz told them.  "Go home.  Down to your own cabin so we can celebrate this when you two come out tomorrow."

"That's an excellent idea," Throttle agreed, walking over to pick up Charley and carry her off.  "We'll see you around breakfast or maybe lunch," he called back, waving a hand.  He walked into their cabin and spanked her. "I'm the guy, I'm supposed to be the scared one," he said, putting her down onto the bed.  He stripped off and got her out of her clothes, noticing she was wearing the comfortably worn bonding outfit he had gotten her so many years ago.  Almost nine of them.  "The baby should be around for our tenth anniversary," he realized.  She pinched him, making him focus on her again, so he kissed her.  "I'm scared, you're scared, we'll be scared together, Charley girl.  There's no other answer.  I'm not leaving you and if you run away from me, I'm going to have to hunt you down and let Modo lecture you again.  It'd be even worse than it was the last time you tried to run away."  He gripped her ass and gave them a squeeze, making her moan.  "You're my woman, Charley girl, get used to it."

"It's been nine years, I'm used to it, but this is scary, Throttle."

"Yeah, and?  We defeated seven Plutarkians, we can raise one little you or little me.  A little Vinnie might be harder, but a little you or me should be reasonable at least."  That got a small chuckle.  "And hey, Carbine said she'd be sending down a doctor since we've got a few others coming down here."  He kissed her again.  "Now, hush, and let me celebrate?" he pleaded.   She laid back, spreading herself out for his pleasure. He smirked and dove in, going to do whatever he wanted to her.  He loved this new taste of her, it was making him think wicked thoughts.  He'd be gentle when he rode her into unconsciousness this time, but that would only make the sweetness last longer.

Tabby walked in without knocking.  "Mom, we've got to talk," Tabby announced.

"Later, babe, we're celebrating having a baby," Throttle told her, knowing she'd understand.

"Um, you and me both," she admitted, making both her stepparents stare at her in shock.  "Yeah, Titey's gonna be really upset with me."

"We'll get everyone up here tomorrow," Throttle promised. "We can tell him then, you can sit between us so we can threaten him to do right by you.  Or you can talk to the other two."  She nodded and headed out, closing the door.  He looked down at her.  "Wow.  A grandmother and mother at the same time," he said in awe, earning a pinch to his side, but it only made him laugh and kiss her senseless so he could get back to his wicked plans for celebration.

Tabby walked into her house and slammed the door.  "Can I say I'm screwed here?  Please?" she asked.  Her mothers stared at her, Liz dropping the plate she had been wiping off.  "Yeah, Titey's gonna be really pissed and Uncle Throttle just promised to help me threaten him."   She sniffled. "I'm so screwed, moms."

"We know, honey," Liz promised, staring at her. "How far?"

"He went home about three months ago to take those tests.  Right after the victory celebration."

Delilah pulled her over to hold her.  "It's all right.  We'll call Stoker, get his ass down here again," she promised gently.  "He's still laid up from his injuries from the pre-final battle.  He'll know where to find his nephew."  She nodded, resting against her chest.  "It'll be all right, Tabby.  You and Charley can support each other for a bit.  Liz, apparently we'll need a lot of food for this weekend."

"I'll head to the store," she promised.  "You gonna call him?"  She nodded, grimacing.  "Call the garage first.  He might be back.  He was due back sometime this month."

"Maybe."  She grabbed the phone, not letting go of her daughter, who was crying again.  "Shh, it's all right," she soothed, listening to it ring.  Vinnie started to answer and paused, snapping out a question.  "It's not like that, Vinnie.  It's more a personal announcement and she's stressing.  It's normal.  Can you guys come up tomorrow?  No, give Throttle and Charley the night to celebrate.  Bring Stoker and Titanium if he's down too.  We *really* wanna see the boy," she said, looking at her wife, who was hugging their daughter.  "Yeah, well, we *really* wanna see the boy tomorrow.  Any chance?"  She beamed.  "Even better.  No, tomorrow.  Charley's got an announcement to make.  Sure.  Love you too, studly."  She hung up.  "Stoker is in orbit, he was due to land tomorrow night and he brought Titanium with him because the boy's been nothing but trouble worrying about this one."  She stroked Tabby's hair.  "Love, if he won't step up and help you, we'll help you after we turn him into bits and pieces," she promised.  "You and Charley both."  Tabby looked up at her and nodded.  "Now, go clean up and stuff.  It's not as bad as it could be.  We've heard they're fairly easy pregnancies."  She nodded, trudging back to her room.

Liz dialed the phone, calling their favorite nephew.  "Paul, it's Liz.  Expedite Stoker and Titanium getting down here, with a doctor.   Yeah, if he's on their ship, we wanna see all three of them tomorrow.  Please," she agreed with a smile.  "It's good that you're in charge of dealing with alien immigration once they were found out, baby boy.  No, Tabby and Charley both need to see the doc when he shows up.  Good job, my boy.  Sure, if you can get away."  She hung up.  "There is a doctor coming down in one of the ships heading this way.  As soon as he knows which ship, he'll call them.  He kinda guessed," she admitted with a grin.

"Hey, if anyone can handle panicking aliens, it's Paul."  Delilah put up her feet on a nearby chair.  "Go to the market, I'll handle things here."  She nodded, heading out to grab their car from the garage.  This was going to be a major stocking trip.

Bryon patted her on the side.  "Is sissy having a baby?" he asked bluntly.  She nodded, patting him on the back.  "Aunty Charley too?"  She nodded again, grinning at him.  "Cool.  More friends for Ronnie to play with, hopefully furry ones."  He went to check on the pond, just in case.  He thought he had seen a furry thing out here and he wanted to make sure what it was.  He screamed when something came out of the water to attack him but fortunately someone shot it through a window, barely searing some of his hair.  "Thank you, Uncle Throttle."

"Welcome, kiddo," Charley called back.

He shook his head.  She was so good some days. He wanted a woman just like her.


Vinnie put down the phone and took a few deep breaths.  "Modo!" he yelled.  "We're leaving tomorrow for the cabin!  Get your stuff together!"

"What's wrong?" Modo called from the office.

"Tabby's pregnant."  He looked at her. "She's crying on her mother's shoulder and they *really* wanted to talk to Titanium."

"Good thing he's in orbit," Modo said dryly.  "Otherwise she might go hunt him down."  He stood up and shivered, shaking his shirt into place.  "When are we going?"

"Tomorrow.  She said Charley and Throttle are up there too."

"So we should buy *two* baby presents?" Modo asked smugly.  Vinnie nodded quickly, going to find what he'd need to wash so they could go up in style.  "Blankets or clothes?"

"Clothes.  You can't find clothes down here with tail holes yet."

They both paused as the garage door opened, then smirked at the old mouse standing there.  "Stoker," Modo said fondly.  "Nephew?"

"Outside getting a smoke," he said with some disgust.  "I don't know where he picked it up but he won't stop."

Vinnie came to the laundry room door.  "He'll have to, he won't be able to smoke around Tabby or the baby soon."

Stoker paused, staring at them.  So they smirked and nodded in unison.  "NEPHEW!" he roared.  "Get your tail in here!"

"Yeah, Uncle?" Titanium asked, coming inside.  He had dyed his forelock to be as close to silver as he could, but the rest of him was a light gray in color.  "What's up?"

"Baby?" he demanded, glaring at his nephew.

"Baby?" he asked, looking confused.  "I don't know what that wrenchhead at that club said, Uncle Stoker, but I did not sleep with the slut of the universe or her gang of open holes!  I have better taste and a girlfriend!  You know that!"

"And that's who's pregnant," Vinnie said cheerfully.  "Congrats, kid, what did you want for a bonding present?"

It took him a few moments to process that statement, then he blinked a few times.  "Baby?" he squeaked.  Stoker nodded, still looking pissed.  "Shit"   He hopped up and grabbed his bike, taking off before anyone could stop him.  He needed to talk to his girl apparently. Fortunately he knew where she'd be.  By the time he got up there, it was after midnight, but he didn't care.  He snuck up to her house and opened her window, sliding inside and closing it behind him so no one would notice a draft.  He stood there, hands on hips, staring at his nearly naked girlfriend.   He couldn't see a real bump yet, but then she turned over, and it was barely showing.  His baby.  He was in awe.  He was going to be a daddy mouse.  He fell to his knees, kissing and nuzzling her stomach.  "You're a fricken miracle, kid. Love you already."

"I hate you," Tabby hissed.

He moved up, kissing her until she couldn't breathe and pushed him away.  "I love you. You're my girl.  That's my kid.  There's a priest coming down," he said firmly.  "Then we're taking over the garage for Auntie Charley."  He stroked her cheek, kissing her again and again.  "You're amazing and I'm not letting you out of my sight.  What color bonding outfit would you like?" he whispered, smiling at her.  "It's traditional to get you another one when you have our first child."

"First?" she asked, shaking her head. "Only!"

"If that's what you want," he vowed, kissing her again.  He kicked off his boots and climbed up next to her, kissing and touching her.  "Want another purple one?" he asked between kisses and licks to her neck.  She liked him to play with her neck.

"I...."  She moaned at what he was doing.  "Purple's fine," she agreed quietly.

"Good.  We'll find you one tomorrow and have it ordered.  I'll make sure it's got a spot for the baby."  He stroked her stomach. "My baby.  Think it's a son?"

"We won't know that for months," Delilah said from the doorway.  She put the safety back on her weapon and stared at him.  "You're going to make an honest girl of my daughter, yes?"

"Hell yes!" he said earnestly.  "She's my woman!  Nothing and no one is coming between us!  I don't care how scared she is, I'm gonna be there and chase her down if she tries to run away from me.  She's my woman, this is my kid, and I'm buying her the second traditional bonding outfit tomorrow.  We'll take over the garage."

Delilah smiled at how firm and intense he was about that.  "Fine. Just don't keep us up while celebrating.  Charley and Throttle are doing enough of that for six couples, kids."  She locked the door then shut it, going back to report to her wife, who was snickering and rolling around on their bed.  "He is a lot like a miniature Throttle with a bit of Vinnie mixed in," she agreed as she laid down, pulling her closer to celebrate together.  They'd be marrying that one off soon.  "Hold on, second outfit?"  Liz kissed her and that thought fell to the wayside of her mind.

Titanium went back to his licking and pleasing his mate.  They hadn't known he had bought her the first traditional bonding outfit when she had been fourteen, but he had.   Soon he'd have another.  If it was twins, he'd have to buy her two.  He rested his hand on her stomach.  "Maybe the doctor will be able to tell sooner," he mused, smiling up at her.

She pulled him down by his ears.  "Less touching the kid, more touching me."

He was only too happy to oblige.


Throttle rolled out of bed, grabbing a gun first thing.

"Nice action, Throttle, don't shoot me though," Vinnie complained lightly.  "I'm having a bout of deja vu."

"If you wouldn't bust in each time we were sleeping, it wouldn't happen," Charley said, glaring at him.  "What?"

"We're here for the second bonding ceremony," he said happily.  "Tabby and Titanium's is today. We found the priest."

"Good, we'll need one too," Throttle told him.  "I can get her the second outfit in a few days if she'll allow it."

"Second outfit?" she asked.

"It's traditional that I get you a new one when you first get pregnant," he said with a grin.  "After all, the old one won't be fitting soon."  He pulled her up and toward the shower.  "Come on, let's get my girls clean," he said, stroking her stomach.  "Then we can go pounce the others.  I want my girls to be radiant today."

"Girls?" she asked.

"I'm hoping for a girl," he said with a small pout.  "You're not?"

"I'm still in shock about being pregnant!" she complained as the door closed.

"Okay then," Vinnie said, heading out and up to the other cabin.  "Hey, ladies."

"We keep telling you, we're not ladies," Liz said dryly.  "Titanium's in her bed.  They celebrated for a few hours last night."

"That's okay, his bike's guarding her window," Vinnie said with a shrug.  "Modo and Stoker are on their way up with the priest.  That a problem for you?"  They shook their head.  "Good, then we've got to figure out what to get as baby presents.  Modo suggested clothes so we could get stuff with tail holes."

"You should probably wait a bit to make sure the baby will have a tail," Delilah advised, looking up at him.  "You're nearly gleaming, did you oil yourself again?"  He snorted and shook his head.  "Must have been a post-orgasm stroke then," she noted, going back to her coffee. Vinnie snickered and gave her a hug.  "Get off."

He let her go and hugged Liz.  "We'll have to help Throttle pick out her second bonding outfit."

"When did Tabby get her first one?" she asked patiently.

"You know that purple leather outfit?" Vinnie asked.  They both nodded calmly.  "That was it.  He had us hide it for him for a few weeks until her fourteenth birthday."

"Well, she didn't waste any time," Delilah said dryly.  "Daughter, your wedding visitors are starting to arrive.  Shouldn't you be getting up?" she called.  She heard someone go running to the bathroom and getting sick.  "She's up."  Heavier footsteps came out, showing that Titanium wasn't really dressed, he was wearing their sheet around his middle.  He poured her some soda and took it back to his new wife.  "We'll be talking, kid."

"Of course, mom.  Anytime you're ready to kick my ass, I'll stand there," he quipped back.  He closed the bathroom door behind him.

Modo came in a few minutes later with Stoker.  "Charley's getting sick.  What should we do about that?"  Liz handed over a can of soda.  "Thanks, Liz."  He went to hand it to Throttle, then came back up, dragging Stoker inside.  "The priest is down at the pond having a smoke."

"It's a disgusting habit that's sweeping our young but we can't stop them," Stoker complained, kissing each woman on the cheek.  "Where's my nephew?"

"Holding her head while she pukes," Liz told him.  "She's having morning sickness."

"Wonderful.  She okay?  He didn't get mean and snarl?"

"No, he said she's his and staying his," Delilah said dryly.  "Apparently he bought her a bonding outfit when she was fourteen."

"I wondered why he borrowed that money," he said grimly, looking back to where he could hear someone getting sick and his nephew saying sweet things.  He shook his head. "I can't believe he's so reckless."

"He's not," Liz said dryly.  "Charley told us that someone figured out Martian sperm eats condoms.  Apparently there's no way of guarding against it happening."

"Then it's amazing that Charley and Throttle have waited this long to have one," Vinnie said sarcastically.  "Sex at least once a day every day for nine years and this is the first one?  I'm impressed.  She must be taking the sperm some other way."

"I did not need that image, punk," Stoker said firmly.  "Tabby's how old?"

"Just barely sixteen," Liz said quietly.  "I agree, I didn't need that image, Vinnie."

"Studly, even if she is, she can't do that *every* time.  It gets boring to be so repetitive."  Delilah got up to get some more coffee, stealing a kiss at the same time.  "Should we be expecting leather maternity gear?"  Stoker nodded, smirking at her and shaking his head.  "Wonderful.  I'm sure it'll cradle the baby perfectly."  She sat down again, putting her feet back up.  She pointed at the door so Modo opened it for her.  "Throttle, bring her up here so she can eat something to settle her stomach," she shouted.  Her answer was a howl of pleasure through their open window.

"I don't think someone cares too much about food at the moment," Vinnie said, blushing a bit.  "What are they doing?"

"Trying to break the bed," Liz said dryly. They all flinched at the crashing noise, then she nodded. "Yup, he finally managed to break the bed.  Those are some really strong thigh muscles, just like Charley said."

"True," Delilah agreed.  "Everyone okay?" she yelled.

"Fine," floated back, plus some giggling.

Both couples had joined them within ten minutes and Vinnie slapped down a catalog between them, then walked off to examine the damage.  Maybe they could fix it.  It'd be a good bonding present.  He noticed the priest staring at the water.  "They're awake."

"That's fine, dude.  We've got time.  They're both healthy girls."  He went back to his mediation on the couples.  He had no problem marrying them from what he had 'seen' in the water.  "Hmm. They'll need bikes," he noted calmly.

Vinnie's ears perked up and he called Carbine, who was piloting some refugees.  She could pass the word back.  It would be great if they could do that.  She left him in stunned silence, then agreed to talk to someone a few minutes later.  He checked on the bed, the wooden frame was in splinters.  "Those are some powerful thigh muscles," he agreed, staring at the sight in awe.  "I don't think Modo could have done that to the poor bed."  He walked back out.  "We're making food."

"Dude, she'll need a warrior's bike," the priest said quietly. "One like his.  She'll need one like the big guy's ride.  They'll still have to swear on them and their health."  He stood up.  "Food sounds good though."  He followed him up to the house, smirking at the catalog. "I've been seeing a lot from someone named Princess.  She's working from one of the moons."  He accepted a soda with a smile for the wonderful woman.  "Peace and love, sister.  May your rider go straight while you tease her into going astray for picnics and the like."  She blushed, turning back to cook more food.

"Junior, that's my woman.  Only I get to make her blush like that," Delilah said blandly, smirking at him.  "So watch yourself or find yourself being used as the road."

"Of course.  Such greatness can't be mistaken for anything other than a rider," he said with a smirk.  "No bonding presents?"

"We only found out yesterday," Throttle said patiently.  He looked at him.  "I don't know you."

"I'm from one of the Mountain abbeys.  We're pretty cool on it all, but I'm good at the bonding ceremonies."  He looked over as Vinnie came in and nodded politely.  "When are we doing this?  I was contemplating my toe lint when I got told there was a breakfast and planning session going on."

"How about lunch time?" Tabby asked weakly. "I'm usually okay to eat by then."

"Me too," Charley admitted.  "Usually I'm only sick at night."  Throttle nuzzled her neck and stroked her stomach, so she pinched him on the thigh.  "Behave.  It's your fault I'm sick."

"I can't bring myself to regret it," he said with a grin, "but you can mess up my fur while you're getting sick if you want.  You can have anything you want," he promised, giving her another kiss.

"Including a new bed," Vinnie said to break them up before they forgot there were others around.  "I invited Carbine and Rimfire."

"We went to theirs, it's only fitting," Charley moaned, diving back in for another kiss.

"Tite, if you do that before I feel better, I'm going to brain you," Tabby warned.

"Sure, love.  Whatever you want and whenever you want.  Even in public if you want."  He kissed her throat, making her moan and tip her head back.

"Enough," Liz ordered patiently.  "Later, children."

"Yes, mom," both pregnant women said, sounding reluctant about it. Their men went back to looking at the catalogs, the priest had dropped another one while they hadn't been looking.  They decided they liked the newer styles better.  Neither one wanted their girls in a heavy robe.  It'd hide the baby from them.

"Here's one with the belly cut out," Titanium offered, showing his wife.  "It comes in purple."

She looked at it, then shook her head.  "Not that one."

Throttle looked at it and passed it by, finding a more classic look.  He stroked over it, grinning at his girl.  "That one?"

"I'll be too fat to fit into it within weeks," she complained.

"It's not leather, it's a stretchy stuff to make you look great.  Besides, any weight you gain, will be coming off after the baby.  I'll make sure you get plenty of exercise once you're ready," he said smugly.  She shivered and shook her head, taking the catalog to look through it.  She found something and showed it to him.  He pouted.  "That's not very showy.  I want to show my babes off."

"If we're having twins, you're gonna be sleeping back at the scoreboard," she said sweetly.

"I was talking about you and her," he said, kissing her again.  "You're a babe, Charley, my first babe. Please?"

"I'll look bad."

"You won't look bad," he promised.  He had a sudden thought and sat up.  "Calliope's down here," he noted.  Stoker snorted into his breakfast.  "She's the one who helped me pick out the first set."

"Do I know this tra...woman?" Charley asked.

"Yeah, she's the one with purple hair who always smiles when she sees you in your bonding outfit.  The one you thought was hitting on you."

"Oh, her," she said, calming down again.  "Sure.  She's usually wearing some pretty neat clothes."

The phone was tossed over by Liz, who was shaking her head.  "Is this really important?"

"Yeah, traditionally the brides were given bonding clothes to prove that their studs could take care of them," the priest offered.  He ate another bite of bacon.  "The second outfit used to be a massively heavy robe, which she wore when she was drug in for the official bonding. It concealed the baby and all that and showed everyone who she belonged to.  Recently, studs have been dressing their girls to show off their babies.  It gives them more access to pat, kiss, and stroke their future bikers.  In cases like these, we should usually wait but I think that the biker studs will try to hunt down and tie up their girls if we do.   Of course, they might like it," he added with a smirk to the married couple.

"Tabby's our girl, she certainly would," Delilah agreed dryly.  She rolled her eyes.  "So it's more than pretty clothes for the wedding?"

"Oh, yeah, traditionally, during the pregnancy and for one full moon cycle after the wedding, she could only wear what her stud picked out for her, which was usually clan marked clothing so the rest of his clan would start to recognize her as one of them."  He finished off that piece of bacon and snitched another with a grin for Liz, who patted him on the arm.  "Traditionally, he'd also take her to a totally neutral house for their first month. One inside the clan but not of their family.  That way the matrons of that line could tell the others what the new chick was like and befriend her without family pressure from the son."

"You still can't stay here," Liz said dryly.  "The kids would get upset."

"Not an issue.  We were thinking about slowing down anyway," Throttle assured her.

"I was thinking that maybe we'd like to take over the garage permanently," Titanium offered.

"We'll slowly switch out.  A lot of the old customers won't trust anyone new for a while," Charley told him.  "So I guess you two are fixing up the spare room and we'll work out shifts and stuff."  The younger couple smiled at her and nodded.  "What else do we need, traditionally?"

"Food, drink, and cheer," the priest told her. "It's always a clan party when it happens."

"We're our own clan," Throttle assured him.  "Some friends of the clan are more than welcome."  They all looked up as they heard a ship hover overhead, then the sound of someone appearing by transporter.  "We're in here," he called once the ship had departed.

Paul, Rimfire, and Carbine all walked in.  "That's good to know," Carbine said dryly.  She looked at Charley, then nodded.  "You look good like that."

"Thanks.  I'll feel miserable later."

"Try those Lotus root things that Rimfire was buying.  They work well," she said dryly, hitting her husband on the arm since he was smirking.  "Keep it up.  Sleep on the ship."

"If she does that to you, I'll introduce you to a few guys who won't kick you out of bed for being furry," Paul promised.  He hugged both women, then Liz and Delilah.  "I bring good news. The ship overhead is mine," he said smugly.  "It's landing in the woods on autopilot at the moment.  Did you know we had some extra bikes brought down and put into quarantine?"

"Yeah, they were there in case one of us lost our ride during the final few battles," Throttle told him.  "They were supposed to go back to Mars."

"They aren't.  They've got an overstock issue.  I called them about them last week, and then lovely Carbine called me about them today."  He stared down Throttle, who suddenly stood up, knocking over his chair.  He gave him his best politician's smile.  "So there are presently sixteen bikes in quarantine. Four of which are rather old and kinda dented.  Two of which are listed as having prior combat experience.  The rest don't have any notations so we assumed that they're new, or that they're veterans who volunteered for this final push."

"Most likely, the latter," Carbine admitted.  "What type?  She won't be able to ride one like Vinnie's."

"I want one like Uncle Modo's," Tabby said quietly, then she got up and ran to be sick, with her new husband following to soothe her.

"I've got a bike but it's human," Charley reminded him.

"Yeah, well, we'd rather that you have something a bit more muscled," Paul said dryly.  "There's some people who heard about that fight and are wondering how long it lasted."

"I don't know, when did Limburger tower first go up?" Vinnie asked.

"That's what I told them.  They decided that wasn't good enough, they wanted personal details.  I told them to take a flying screw on the Sear's tower for you by the way."  Throttle smirked at him, but he still was tapping his fingers on his hips.  "Three of the bikes are like yours, Throttle.  Four are like Modo's, and the rest are like Vinnie's.  Knowing those two like I do, I took their pictures in earlier this morning and told the bikes about them.  She won't get her wish, the one who liked her was a racing bike.  The one who liked Charley, interestingly enough, belonged to another Freedom Fighter.  It's one of the few we have any information on."  He clapped and two bikes roared up to the front door.  "I'm guessing there's some sort of way for the bikes to pick?"

"Yeah, there is," Modo said, looking pleased.  "Throttle, that low rider does suit her.  I remember her rider."

Throttle looked, then smirked and shook his head.  "Tabby's not quite that wild."  The bike beeped, sounding like it was snickering.  "Fine.  Charley girl?"  She walked out, looking at the bikes.  "If it likes you, I'm not gonna complain.  We'll keep your other one to teach the daughter on," he said happily once he had thought of it.  He got out of Tabby's way, watching as she pouted at the racing bike, but it moved up and rubbed against her, making her hug it.  "Her former rider was a bit more wild than you are, princess."

"I'm not going to be that wild anymore.  Not carrying a little mouse."  The bike revved, a happy sound.  "Yeah, I'm with mouse."  She stroked her stomach and the bike leaned against her.  Titanium caught her and helped them both stand upright.  "Thanks, love."

"Welcome, tail girl," he said with a grin.  He kissed her on the neck, then looked at the bike.  "I don't mind.  You're wonderful."  He kissed her again.

"No more until your honeymoon night," Delilah called.

Charley sniffled.  "I'm happy, I don't know why I'm crying."

"It's the baby, babe. They make you do funny things," he assured her, coming over to hold her.  "You like?"

"I do like. It's a perfect bike."  She turned to kiss him. "Thank you."

"Not my doing but I'm happy if you are."  He kissed her again.  "Go talk with my bike, kids."  All the bikes gathered together to beep and flash at each other, sharing cords and memories around.

"So all that leaves are clothes?" Vinnie asked.

"Yeah, clothes," Throttle agreed.  He tried to get hold of his friend again but she still wasn't answering.  "Charley girl, can you wait for a few days?"

She nodded. "I can wait.  It's not that important to me.  I'll look fat in leather while I'm pregnant.  Get some something to wear after I have the baby."

He beamed and kissed her again.  "It's traditional.  I'll get you both if you want."  He stroked her stomach again.  "I'm happy," he whispered.

"You're gettin' mushy," Carbine complained.  She was pulled down into Rimfire's lap and held.  "What are you doing?"

"Wondering when you're gonna realize you've been in heat for two days," he said smugly, stroking her thigh.  She swatted him so he kissed her, making her moan and arch into him.  "I love it when you're in heat."

"This is not the time for that," Liz noted calmly.

"Yeah, if you two conceive on that couch, we get to name the baby a human name, like Fred or Tiffany."

"You'd name the baby after a pop singer?" Carbine asked.

"If we had to.  Or maybe Buffy or Spike," Liz offered with a grin.


"Orlando," Vinnie offered.


"James," Modo offered.

"You're odd people," Carbine complained.  "*IF* the reckless one here manages the impossible it's got to be named after my mother."

"Loose nut?" Rimfire asked.  "Why?"  She pinched him, making him howl.  "Sorry!"

"I don't care if my mother is a little bit odd in the head, it's not her fault, Rimfire.  Even though she does think you're my brother and that I'm committing incest, and that she told all the generals that."

"Don't feel bad, she tried that with me.  She's faking," Throttle assured him.  Charley pinched him and he grinned at her.  "She told everyone I was her daddy and she was my special girl.  Fortunately she's older than I am," he said with a wink.

"Most of the generals are used to Carbine's mom," Modo agreed.  "Though my momma still gives her many funny looks."

"Your gray furred momma started the refugee push so you'd have someone to date," Carbine said flatly.  "She said so in open Council."

"You gotta love my gray furred grandmomma," Rimfire said in appreciation.  "She will see grandbabies one way or another. Even if she has to move Mars."

"Instead she just moved most of Mars down here," Paul said dryly.  "By the way, Modo, your mother sent down three with letters for you.  They're in my office with their contact information.  I didn't know if it was important or not, but now I see that it was probably another matchmaking attempt."  Paul saluted him with his coffee.  "Come down sometime this week so I don't have cute little mousettes running around my office in daisy dukes and crop tops.  My guys were a bit too impressed with their shapely forms."

"If they're doing that sort of stuff, my momma didn't send 'em," Modo said firmly.  "She only wants me to have a good girl."

"It took her six months to approve of Carbine, and she did that once she had the first grandchild in her arms."

"I can pick my own girls," Modo said firmly.

"Sure, Modo, just let us know when you start to date someone," Vinnie agreed.  "That way I can head to the garage to give you some privacy for a nice dinner and stuff."  He saluted him with his can of rootbeer.  "Anyone from my family coming down, Paul?"

"Interestingly enough, one cousin.  A female."  He pulled something out of his pocket to read from. "White, female, rides a touring bike?" he suggested.  He noticed Vinnie looked clueless so he handed the paper over, shrugging a bit. "It's a pre-manifest of visitors.  She's not coming down to immigrate as far as we know."

Vinnie looked at the details, combing his mind.  "Any idea what part of Mars she's from?" he asked finally. "The only cousins I can think of were all older and rode cruisers mostly."

"Oh, no, this one's young.  She's apparently passed her Prems?"  They all nodded at that so apparently it meant something to them.  "She rides an older touring bike, a generational thing."

"That's got to be Bilada," Throttle said, looking at Vinnie.  "You remember the bike, your uncle used to ride it."

"Yeah, but he didn't have any kids old."

"It's been thirteen years since you guys first got here," Paul said gently.

"Yeah, but you take Prems at the end of your education.  That's what I went up to take.  It's basically proof that you know your stuff in your field.  I took the mechanicals and electronics sections."

"Um, she had Prem-U?" Paul said.  "I think."

"U?  She's Military?" Carbine asked.  She suddenly sat up.  "Axle."  Vinnie still looked confused.  "Your Uncle had a daughter without his wife's authority," she said dryly.

"That's not really a shock," he admitted sarcastically.  "We'd still have known her."

"She's one of those tactical people, Vinnie.  She went through Mons Academy."  He did look impressed at that.  "She does ride an older touring bike, it's this green/gold color.  Looks kinda like a BMW touring bike down here."  He nodded, he knew that bike.  "She's a great little girl, but she's damn good at tactical strikes.  She's the one who planned the strike on Plutark."  That made all of them look very impressed.  "She's the one I got intel from suggesting that the ones down here had other sites hidden for emergency escape and defense measures.  She figured they must have.  She's coming down here to study Earth military tactics."

"Wonderful.  Is she wanting to meet me?"

"She wants to cut loose," Rimfire admitted.  "She's tired of being *the* genius tactician.  She's got brilliant kid syndrome.  She wants to stay close.  I asked her when I noticed she looks a lot like you.  I thought maybe a youthful indiscretion or something, but she laughed when she saw the look on my face and said she's your cousin.  It's like she reads minds."

"Whoa, interesting.  When is she coming?"

"Last week. She's getting settled in the embassy for now," Paul told him.  "I saw her and realized she kinda looked like you too, so I did some snooping.  She's the only white mouse at the embassy at the moment, as long as the General isn't there."

"Sure, I'll pop around next week," Vinnie offered.  "Maybe take her out to see some of the sights?"

"She needs to escape.  She's the good little girl, Vinnie," Carbine told her.  "She's been in Mons Academy since she was eight and they didn't want to let her go.  She's had *no* fun."

"Then I'll show her some fun," he said with a small grin.  "Thanks, Carbine.  How long have you known she was a relation?"

"About eight months now," she admitted.  "She didn't want us to tell you.  She wanted to introduce herself, but the General has kept her hopping recently by keeping her touring various military academies with some of his human counterparts."

"That's fine, I'll go steal her for a weekend," he promised, easing up some.  This wouldn't be too bad if she wanted to escape and have some fun.  Hopefully.  She might not know how to have fun. "How did my uncle have a smart kid?"

"Luck of the draw," Throttle assured him.  "Either that or her mother?"

"Was Crystal," Carbine said dryly.  Everyone winced, shaking their heads.  "Yeah, he was her last fling before she got taken.  She was protecting the girl."

"Who raised her between?" Modo asked.

"Your mother," she said honestly.  "The girl went running for her so she hid her until she was school age.  Then we found out how smart she was within weeks and took her.  Which is why your mother wants more grandkids.  We're presently escaping that fate."

"Maybe," Rimfire added with a wink for his uncle.  "When are we doing this stuff, people?"

"Soon," Tabby noted. "I'm nearly normal again."  She looked over her guy's shoulder, pointing at something.  "I like that but I won't be able to wear it for months."

"It's made for pregnant women," he promised, giving her a gentle kiss. "We'll see.  It looks like it'd ride down.  I'd rather give you something you'd like to wear than something ceremonial."

"I still say we should wait," Charley noted.  Throttle grabbed her and kissed her, making her give him a dazed, happy grin in return.  "Never mind."

"Thanks, dear."  He looked at the priest, who shrugged.  "We're ready?"

"We can.  Is everyone here?"  Liz nodded.  "Then let's do this, people.  Out by the water?" Everyone nodded so they trooped out there, the bikes coming over to sit beside their riders.  The priest looked at the two couples, picking Tabby and Titanium first.  He smiled reassuringly at them.  "Do you swear upon your bikes to treat each other well?"

"We do."

"Tabby, do you promise to ride behind him if the situation calls for it, to have his back, and to help him pump gas?"

She smiled and nodded.  "I will."

"Good. Now for the hard one.  Will you honor him by beating anyone who would dare touch you, even when things are going bad between you?  Do you swear to him that the child you carry is his?"

"I do so swear," she offered.

"Good."  He looked at the male.  "Titanium, do you promise to ride behind her, have her back, and to help her pump gas?  Will you honor her by beating away any girls who want you and helping her beat off any studs who want her tush?  Do you swear that child she's carrying is yours?"

"It had better be."  Delilah poked him and he grinned at her for a moment.  "I do swear.  No one had better touch what's mine and riding behind her will be kinda fun."  She pinched him, making him chuckle.  "It will be."

"Then kiss your mate and, well, since she's not wearing her bonding gear you don't have to make sure she's marked as your clan."  He put his bandana around her wrist, making everyone smile.  "Close enough until you can buy her a bonding outfit."  He looked at the other couple, noticing how deeply they felt about each other.  About tonsil deep at the moment.  He coughed, making the others laugh.  "How long have you two been a couple?"

"Nine years.  Ten this summer," Charley said with a small blush.  "He jumped me, really."

"Doesn't really matter, you were happy with it," the priest offered.  "Do you promise to ride behind him and no one else?  To have his back and to honor him beyond all other bikers?"  He glanced over Throttle.  "To make him your personal dashboard icon?  Also, do you swear that child you carry is his and you'll only bear fruit for him?"

"It's the only one and yes, he'd make a wonderful dashboard icon," she agreed happily.

Throttle blushed and shook his head.  "You need a nap, Charley," he said quietly.

"Yeah, but we broke the bed," she reminded him.

"I'll pull the mattress into a clear spot," he promised, kissing her.  "Go ahead," he prompted.

"Waiting for you two to finish," the priest said with a big smile.  "Throttle, do you promise to ride behind only her, to guard her back, to beat off the slime who'd want her as theirs, and swear that the child she carries is yours?  That any future children will be hers?"

"Yeah, I swear."

"Good. Mark her as your clan."  Throttle patted himself down so Vinnie sighed and handed something over, making Throttle blush.  "I don't think he needed that sort of marking, Vincent."  Even he blushed.  Why was he carrying around handcuffs?

Throttle took off his bandana and tied it around her wrist, grinning at her.  "There, you're mine now.  No more letting Vinnie save you."

"If it's necessary for someone to save her, whoever gets there first should be allowed," Modo said reasonably.  "Not that it should be necessary.  We haven't had anything in three months."

"Hopefully never again," Throttle agreed, staring into her eyes.  "If I can't get there first, I'll let them save you but I'll expect the hero's welcome," he offered quietly.  She pinched him but she was smiling.  "Thanks."  He kissed her gently.  "Good with you?"

She nodded, but got free and ran for the bathroom.  She hated this part of it.

Liz coughed and handed over an unopened can of soda.  "Go for it, stud."

"Always."  He headed into the house, going to help her.  Maybe he'd wait before talking about having a second one some year.

The End.