Sequel to Resolutions, in the 3 of a kind universe (meaning it's an AU). Also an xover with the
sentinel. Both are out of cannon season, and I'm ignoring the last episode of the Sentinel that we
were given. Set six years after this last season. I've ignored some cannon to do this, namely how
William Sloan died. See intro (part 0) for children.

As always this series carries a m/m/m/f warning and deals with the people in the San Francisco
house and their bond. Happy reading, I won't spoil it for you this time, even if this does start a
new story arc.

The More Things Change...
By Voracity

Doctor Blair Sandburg put his head down on the table, and sighed in relief at the cool touch of the

He and his lover/partner/husband Jim Ellison had been at the house now for a week. They had
shown up on the spur of the moment, not taking time to pack or to tell anyone where they were
going, due to a problem being delivered to them. Blair closed his eyes and thought back to
the other morning.

Someone had dropped the box off on their doorstep, not even taking time to ring the doorbell.
Jim had tripped over it on his way to work and brought it inside, setting it on the table and waking
up the peacefully slumbering Doctor of Anthropology who had had a free day and was sleeping

Jim jogged up the stairs, the noise itself waking the slumbering younger man up. "Hey, Chief, we
have a delivery from the doorstep."

"Tell UPS to go away," he had muttered and pulled the blankets back over himself. "Their
uniform's bother me."

Jim smiled at his precious lump of blanket and shook his head. Right before pulling the covers
back and kissing Blair awake. "Nope, not them. It's wooden, just like you kept yelling about the
other night."

Blair opened an eye and frowned. "My nightmare?" Jim nodded so he got up, padding
downstairs naked to sit at the table. He hissed as his tender flesh hit the cold wooden chair but
sat down and pulled the box toward him to look at it.

It was just like the one he had dreamed about the night before. The carvings were the same, the
color and size were right. He looked up in alarm at his husband. "We can't keep it. We have to
go to them to get rid of it. My dream was very specific about that."

Jim nodded and got the always packed bag from under the stairs. Sometimes it paid to be a little
paranoid. Blair ran upstairs to get dressed, hurrying back down and slipping into his boots.

They had left for the castle in San Francisco and the security it offered them from the box
and it's contents.

Blair pulled his head up when he felt small arms circle his thigh. He looked down at the small
female child and smiled. "Hi. Father leave you alone?" She nodded and he pulled her up into his
lap. "Would you like to stay with me for a while?" She smiled and wiggled down,
running/crawling up the stairs to get a book for him to read to her.

"Would you like me to read you that book, Amara?" he asked her.

The little girl smiled and climbed right into her new favorite person's lap.

Blair looked down at the book and frowned. "I'm not sure I'm supposed to be telling you about
Druid magic rituals. Why don't we go ask you father?" She frowned and started to sniffle, her
little nose wrinkling in distress. "Don't even. This book is a good one, but I don't think you're
ready to have it read to you." He stood up, placing her against his chest and laying the book on
the table, and went to find Philip.

He found the former priest in the work area, carefully examining the box that had brought them
there. "Hey, can I ask a question?"

The older man looked up and smiled. "Sure. And I see she foun' ya."

Blair smiled. "Yeah, she did. She wanted me to read to her, but she picked out a book on
Druidic ritual magic practices. I thought I should ask where the nice safe books are instead."

Philip frowned at his daughter. "We had thi' discussion las' night, didn' we?" The little girl
nodded and tried to hide her head in Blair's shoulder. "Why don't ya pick out a book you're
allowed ta read. Some nice fairy tales or somethin'." He stared at his daughter until she nodded
her compliance. "Good." He looked up at Blair. "Don't let her do tha' to ya. She knows better.
An' they're on the next shelf over."

Blair nodded and smiled, his grin getting just the slightest hint of mischief. "But wouldn't
you expect that?" His smile widened. "After all, she is your daughter ...." He stopped knowing
his comparison was well made.

"It's no' the thirst for knowledge I objec' to, it's her preferred subjects." He shook his head.
"My daughter has a knack for picking up books like tha'. She's drawn ta the subject. We've had
to put up quite a few to keep 'em away from her, Sydney, and Richard. You wouldn' believe the
trouble those three can get inta." Philip shook his head in disgust. "They attract it to 'em."

Blair's smile got a little soft, he was obviously thinking about what a child of his would be
like. "Yeah, but you can't change things like that." Philip's appraising look brought him back.
"Sorry, so Greek would be okay if she pushes it?"

"Just be choosy abou' which ones please. She still has nigh'mares." He grimaced in
remembrance of the one last night. "Interactive ones too. She was fightin' off the monsters again
las' nigh' and go' Nick good."

Blair patted Amara's hair and smiled at her father. "Well, you wanted a big family."

Nick walked in, laughing. "Yeah, and he's just so prolific too." They shared a smile.
"Now if only he had a son...."

"There's always the chance tha' Martin's mine," he objected.

"And have you looked at our newest son recently?" Nick smiled and patted Philip's, and
his by proxy as they had decided, daughter's hair. "He's got to be Derek's, even if you only go by
his nose."

Philip laughed, coming over and kissing Nick on the cheek. "True, he does have Winston's nose."
All three men shared a laugh and Amara joined in eventually because it seemed like the thing to
be doing.

Blair shifted her to his other shoulder and smiled at both of them. "Well, we're off to find
some nice fairytales or some other appropriate book for me to read to her." He turned her so she
could kiss the other men then left them alone to get back to work. "Come on sweetheart, let's go
get you a good book to read," he cooed as he walked out the door.

Nick and Philip watched them go, tolerant and fond expressions on their faces. Nick turned to
Philip and smiled at the mirrored look. "Now if only we could get him to stay. He'd be a great
help, even if all he did was watch the kids."

Philip nodded. "Or made out an educa'nal system for them." At Nick's shocked look he
quickly added, "Were we going to send them to a school outside? It didn' work so well for the
older ones if'n ya remember. Their teachers kep' callin' them delusional."

Nick sat down at the workbench and thought about that. Did they want to send their children out
to a normal school, one where everything they knew to be true would be contradicted? They had
been down that road before with almost disastrous results from their three older ones. But
shouldn't they be around other children, just so they learn how to get along with others? "I don't
know. Hadn't really thought about that." He put his chin on his chest and looked at the wooden
box on the table. "Let's bring it up with Derek and Alex tonight." Philip agreed and they went
back to work, trying to find out who had it in for Blair.


Blair watched at Amara and Richard carefully picked out a book and handed it over. For the third
time. He had vetoed the first two, knowing that their father's would object to them being read the
Egyptian Book of the Dead or The Illustrated History of Witchcraft. He looked at the third book,
one of Greek myths and decided it would be close enough, he could always not tell them certain
parts or skip whole stories all together so they wouldn't get too much violence and other bad

He gathered them up, letting Richard hold the book, and went into the sitting room, placing them
gently onto the couch before sitting between them. He opened the book and saw what the kids
had picked out. These were the original versions, not the sanitized versions the monks in the
early days of Christianity had released. These had all the violence and sex still in them, especially
the incestuous sex. He tried to close the book, but both of the children started to cry.

"Want story," they yelled at the top of their little lungs, making mommy and daddy Derek
come running.

"What's wrong?" she cooed, making them stop and look around for her. She came in and
sat down beside her daughter and stroked both of their heads. "Did mean old Uncle Blair refuse
to read to you some more?"

"No, he thought about going and getting a different version of the book they picked out
though." He showed it to her, making her grimace.

"Guys, we've had this talk before. That book is *way * to old for you two." Alex looked at
her son, who was now in Derek's arms. "You both know not to get books from that shelf."

Amara looked at her mother and stuck her tongue out. "Read me," she said.

"Oh, are you a book now?" Blair asked her, earning him a damp smile and a mostly dry

"Read us," Richard seconded.

Derek looked at the book before looking back to Blair. "Could you edit them?"

"Yeah, not a problem. I think I can paraphrase them well enough to suit these two
demanding ones." He ruffled Richard's hair. "It should be okay. If not, I'll tell them a story about
my travels."

"Story?" Amara asked, eyes lighting up. She quickly crawled off her mother and onto
Blair's lap. "Story please," she demanded.

Derek smiled and set his son in Blair's lap also. "I think you have them well in hand now.
We'll be in the library. Or rather I will, Alex is going to take a nap." The object of his scrutiny
mimicked her daughter and stuck her tongue out, making her oldest husband laugh. "And I'm
sure she'll appreciate it."

Alex sighed and got up, holding her stitches from her recent caesarian. "Oh, I would
appreciate it even more if someone would come and get those other four and take them to play."
She stretched slightly, grimacing in pain and earning a frown from Jim, who had just walked in.

"You know better," he said and wiggled his finger.

"Well, looks like you're nominated to go play with the quad," she said as she waddled past
him, smiling evilly. They all knew Jim might as well be allergic to children the way he avoided
them. "Just make sure they don't eat dirt or the puppy."

Blair smiled and shooed him off, smiling more when Jim's shoulders slumped and his
head fell.

"Yes, Alex," he said, following her.

Derek burst out laughing, earning him a chuckle from Blair. "You know," the Dutchman
said, "one of these days he's going to have to get over it."

Blair shook his head. "Nope, he's not ever going to change. Even if *we* had one he still
would be scared of it."

Derek 'hmmed' and gave Blair an appraising look. "So, why don't you have one?"

"Because with our lives being what they are it would affect the child." He sighed. "It's
not like we have time to take care of one or two and with our lifestyle as cops and me
working two jobs, none of it would help us any and might hurt the baby. It's hard to take care of
an infant when you're in the hospital from the most recent round of psychopathic terrorism. Or,
god forbid one of us gets shot again. How would we explain that, or Jim's abilities, or what I am
to him or...." He was cut off by strong hugs from three people. "Thanks." Blair looked down at
the two in his lap and smiled, stroking the back of their heads. "We've discussed it and argued
over it and had fights over it. Jim thinks I'd make a great dad and he should be sitting on the
sidelines as an 'uncle' and I think they'd get hurt by our lives. We've decided to disagree on it."
He gave Derek a weak smile. "It's not like we're going to have an accidental pregnancy."

Derek's smile broadened. "Well, true as that may be, I agree with Jim. You would make
a great father. I can tell by the way our kids have adopted you." He leaned closer. "Just between
us, they didn't like anyone except Kat as much as they do you two and it took them a few months
to get used to her. And Amara won't let anyone else hold her besides her father." Derek kissed
the kids and left Blair alone with them, knowing they were in the best possible care.

Once in the hall he heard the beginning of Blair's story. "So, would you like me to tell you
about the time I was in India, at this really ancient temple and got dancing lessons?" Both of the
babies squealed in delight as he went on to tell them about learning how to dance as a young teen.

Derek went away shaking his head at the life Blair must have led.


Nick settled down in the bed, pulling Alex over to lay on top of him. Derek and Philip
were downstairs getting the rest of the brood, or their horde as he called them, into bed and the
four newborns were actually sleeping for a change in their cradle beside the bed. He sighed as she
sunk down onto his chest and planted a kiss over his heart. "Bad day, dear?"

"Nick, you have no idea," she started, lifting her head. "My nap earlier was interrupted
because I had to save Jim from them," she waved a hand at the cradle, "and their diapers. Once
we finally got them all changed, a few of them three times thank you, and back into bed he was
upset because he thought I needed more sleep and he hadn't been able to handle them long
enough." She rolled her eyes. "He's *scared* of them, Nick, really terrified that he's going to
hurt them."

Nick smiled and rubbed her shoulders. "Well he's never been around infants before. He doesn't
understand the indestructibility of infants. That no matter what you do, they'll continue to cry and
eat and dirty diapers." That made Alex laugh and one of the quad started to sniffle. "Oh, no," he
groaned. Martin had kept all of them up last night because he didn't want to sleep. Fortunately
he settled back down, letting Alex and Nick exhale slowly in relief. "Good, we all could use some

Alex smiled in agreement, the little twinkle that meant she was going to make a suggestion
coming out. "I'm sure you'll get some sleep tonight. Eventually," she purred.

Nick buried his face under the pillow and groaned. "He's going to kill us."

"No Derek won't. You know how he gets after I've given birth though. It's like he
jumps into super-sexual hyperdrive or something." Nick laughed at that. "At least he didn't
jump you in the control room."

"Poor Philip," Nick said. "And just before a call came in too." They both laughed, letting
it die down as the other pairing came up the stairs. "All asleep?"

Philip shook his head. "Amara's wen' to fin' Blair to tuck her in and tell her a story." He
smiled. "He shoul' get them down without any trouble at all."

Derek sighed as he sunk down onto his edge of the bed. He gave Philip a sexy smile and
crooked a finger, motioning him over. "Come here precious."

"Nope, still sore," he pleaded and crawled into bed on the other side of Nick. "Save me
Nick?" he begged, planting a generous and hard kiss on his younger husband to encourage him.

Nick smiled and shifted his wife over onto her favorite body pillow and crawled across the
wide expanse of the bed to get to his oldest husband. "You're in for it now, love," he whispered,
stopping just out of reach, making Derek pout. "I'm gonna do you so well you scream."

"Please don't wake the little ones," Alex pleaded.

Nick turned to smile at her, making him miss Derek's lunge for him. By the time he
realized what had happened, he was under the Dutchman, his cock halfway down Derek's throat.
He murmured in appreciation and laid back to enjoy it. Derek always got extra horny just after
Alex had given birth and tonight he was going to be the lucky recipient. He moaned in pleasure
and wiggled some to get deeper without thrusting up, Derek hated that.

Derek pulled away and waggled a finger at him. He quickly stripped himself and Nick
before crawling up his body, dragging his cock to make a wet line all the way up.

Nick smiled and waited, knowing what Derek wanted. He would do his best, again, and
try to deep throat him; it didn't always work well, but they both enjoyed it. He opened his mouth
to suck in the finger tracing his lips, laving it with his tongue making Derek moan and move

Unfortunately they were interrupted by a three year old bundle of energy looking for her
human security blanket. Amara was jumping up and down beside the bed to be placed on it so
she could cuddle Philip.

Alex tossed the two men the throw they kept on the bed for just such instances and nodded
to Philip to pick her up. She looked over at her daughter, so much her father's child, and noticed
the scared expression. "What's wrong pumpkin." She got a dirty look for the pet name.

"Okay, Cubbling, wha's wrong?" Philip asked his little girl, brushing back the black ringlets
from her honey toned forehead. "Is somethin' wrong with Uncle Blair?"

She nodded and hid her head inside her father's pajama top, trying to button it over her

Philip looked over at Nick, who nodded that he would go. He toed over a robe, watching
the younger man fasten the just barely too tight garment before going back downstairs and into
the main part of the house. "Daddy went to go see," he said quietly rubbing her back to calm her

"Amara, what happened," Derek asked. He leaned across Alex's stomach and patted her
back too.

"U'cle Jim hurt him," she said, wiping her nose on her father's chest. "Sit on him."

//Bet it was sex,// Derek sent the other two, making Philip smile.

//She's never seen it,// the younger man sent back. //It could be.//

//Make that it was,// Nick sent them through their link. //Just ran into an almost clothed
Jim in the kitchen. He was following her, trying to calm her down. Blair is upstairs hiding in the

Derek sent a laughing face picture through the link and laid back. "Amara, he wasn't
trying to hurt Uncle Blair. They were cuddling."

The young girl pulled her head out and stared at him. "Hu-uh, sitting on him. That hurts."
She stuck her lip out but her eyes blazed at him to tell her she was wrong again.

//She's so like you,// Derek sent Philip, making him grin. //So stubborn and sure she's got
the only right answer in the world.// He grinned to take the sting out of the words. //Just like a
certain five year old lad I used to know.//

//Keep it up and I won't tell you about the great idea Nick and I came up with today.//

//Coming up,// Nick sent and walked up the stairs. "Everyone decent?" Amara screamed
and hid her head again, the noise waking up the newborns. Everyone groaned and Nick and Jim
handed the four over to the adults on the bed.

Philip scooted over to make room for Jim, who was holding Carin, and to get far enough
away that Amara would let go of the nipple she had grabbed with her little fist when Jim came
over the last stair.

Jim mouthed the word "sorry" and cuddled the smallest infant to his chest. He grimaced
when she immediately went for his exposed nipple.

Alex looked over and started to laugh. "Put a finger in her mouth and she'll stop," she
said between giggles.

Jim quickly switched the side she was laying on so he could put a *clean* finger in there
to stop her attempts to breast feed off him. Nick handed over the box of baby wipes so
Jim could clean his other hand and they all settled down for a while.


All six of the adults were laying on the bed, Blair having come up later and immediately
taken two of the babies to lay next to him. The infants were all asleep, Amara was back in bed,
her father having explained what was going on in terms she could understand, and the adults were
now talking.

"I was thinkin'," Philip started.

"Is this your idea from earlier?" Derek asked him over the mound that was Alex and the
infants suckling on her.

"Yeah." He cleared his throat and looked at Blair and Jim. "Since both o'ya are here now
maybe we shoul' get Blair to help us set up an educational system."

Derek closed his eyes and thought about it. "Well, I never thought about us doing
something like that."

"It woul' be a grea' cover when the Luna Foundation isn'; and the other houses could use it too."

"Both the cover and the system," Nick said. "The Bombay house has about sixteen kids
right now last I heard."

Philip whistled and Alex flinched. "Not here," she said with an air of finality.

"Alex," Philip said, laying an arm over her to give her a hug, "do ya remember the las' time ya
said you weren' gonna have any more?"

She paled and looked down at half of her most recent group of angels. "Yeah, vividly." She
blushed at Blair's quizzical look. "Well, almost."

Jim looked at Nick for information as he was the one he got along with best.

"The bond," Nick said to explain it. Jim's eyebrow went up. "Remember when we first
met you, how the bond acted at Tanya's?" Jim nodded. "Well, when it feels itself getting weak or
that something's in the way of it's proper functioning it calls us. Strongly."

Philip and Alex both blushed.

Blair cleared his throat. "Yeah, I heard something about your first few days or so." It was
Derek's turn to ask the silent question. "William," was all Blair answered, but everyone on the
bed nodded because they understood. Very well and highly did they understand.

Everyone also knew, with the exception of Jim, that Blair was being groomed, by William
Sloan personally, to take over the San Francisco house when something happened to the group.
The last time Nick had gotten shot had shown them that if something happened to one of them, all
could easily die. Philip and Derek had both ended up comatose beside the younger man and Alex
had miscarried and almost joined them. It was her strength that had brought them all back then,
but it might not work next time.

What Blair and Jim didn't know was that they and/or William were named guardians of
the children if something happened. That would one day come as a shock but hopefully it
wouldn't be for a long while yet.

Blair tossed the idea of the new educational system around in his head. He had been
having thoughts about how to teach younger children in a more productive way, especially special
ones like he had been, giving them a stable educational base for whatever they might do later.
"Well, I've had a few ideas about teaching gifted kids, like I and Philip were, so they don't end up
disillusioned with their education's." He smiled down at the infant trying to feed off him, gently
removing him. "One of the biggest problems they have it getting interested in what they're
learning, either because it just doesn't interest them like something else would or because they are
so far ahead and being held back to stay with the rest of the class. I was talking, oh about a
month ago, with another prodigy student, comparing backgrounds and stuff, and we both agreed
there's got to be a better way." He shifted on the bed, relaxing back into his mate's chest. "See,
he's an Artificial Intelligence specialist. He's working on a system that not only learns but grows
up. It starts out around the level of a three year old and gradually acquires a personality and
knowledge just like a real person. I've talked with his test model and it's fantastic, almost as good
as human. He gives it a definite image as a simulation and then treats it like it's real. That would
be so cool to incorporate as a teacher in a computerized system."

Jim looked down at his husband and smiled fondly. "Was that the computer you babysat
that day?" Blair nodded. "Yeah, I spent some time talking to it while you cooked. Supposing
Larry could design one that would grow up to become a teacher it would be perfect. Maybe hitch
it up to a LAN so you could have different stations for the kids and all."

Derek looked over at Nick, seeing what the super-computer literate member of his family

Nick had his eyes closed and was contemplating the idea. "You could use a laptop and a
modem to hook in for distant students." He opened his eyes. "I'd like to talk about this more,
with him maybe, tomorrow." He glanced over at the clock. "We gotta go to the lawyers

"Lawyer?" Blair asked.

"Yeah, remember the law only allows you up to two spouses, one of each sex." Blair and
Jim nodded. "Well it was decided long ago that it wasn't fair if we paired off like that
permanently so every two years we switch *legal* mates. This time I get Derek and Philip gets
Alex. Next time I'll get Philip and Derek will get Alex."

"It was sugges'ed by Rose when we were thinkin' about gettin' hitched," Philip said.

"Well that would uncomplicate matters," Jim said and yawned. "We were getting ready to
go back to bed anyway. Weren't we Blair?" The younger man smiled up at his husband and

Blair got up slowly, putting the two infants he had been holding back into their cradle. He
took Jim's hand and led him back down the stairs, with a wave over his shoulder.

Philip watched them disappear, smiling down at his precious daughter. "Yes, Uncle Blair
will fix everythin'. Yes he will," he said as he stroked the twin's hair and looked at his mates

Alex was just covering up again, letting them be taken by their fathers for a while. "He
certainly seems in tune with all things natural." At Nick's questioning tendril through the link she
added, "I read it somewhere a few months ago. People who are in tune with the natural world
seem to draw small children and animals like a magnet, as the fourteenth century French text

"Yeah, that does describe Blair very well. All the horde took to him immediately. Even
the puppy that refuses to leave Richard's side tried to follow him to his room last night. Jim had
to tell him to stay."

Philip looked over from his spot on Alex's shoulder. "And wha' about Amara? She's never lef'
my side since she could wal', but she searches him ou'. She actually *lef'* me today to go fin' him
and get a story." He smiled fondly at the memory of his daughter giving him back full circulation
in his leg and finding someone else she could trust enough to let him go. "It was a miracle, truly a

Nick smiled, sending a picture through the bond of him having to hold a screaming little girl so
his father could go to the bathroom by himself. After three days of trying to get her to leave on
her own. "Yeah, it's a good thing he's so good with kids."

"He'd make such a great father. Too bad Jim doesn't want any," Alex said and shifted so Philip
could lay across her a little more.

Derek shook his head. "Nope, Blair doesn't want any. Jim's willing to sit on the sidelines as an
uncle if he has to. Blair feels that, with their lives, that it would be harmful to raise one."

Philip groaned. "An' I though' the boy was bright."

They all agreed and settled down to get some sleep. Eventually.


Blair settled down into Derek's desk chair, leaning back while he talked with Larry.
"Man, how would you like to help me design a computerized educational system?"

(Blair, there is how much ed. software out in the market?)

"Not software. Using one of your AI's as a teacher in a fully computerized system. Maybe get
some real teachers to write a curriculum for the classes. Make it interactive but run by the AI as a
teacher. It's be there to answer questions and give help, maybe even guide the lessons."

(Hmm, sounds interesting and a lot of work.)

"Larry, be real here. What sort of future were you looking at for your AI's? The military?
Government service? This would be a great opportunity to get noticed and to help a lot of
students like we were."

There was a long pause on the other end. (Well, I guess that could work. We could even
make it individually paced for the most effectiveness.)

"That and we could make it fun. Kids could tear through it because it would be fun to
learn for a change."

(Blair, man, those are awfully high aspirations. I hope you're ready for the fall.)

Blair snorted. "Fall? From where? The top of the educational field? Give me a break."
He blew out a deep breath and turned to watch Jim play with the toddlers outside the window.
"Listen, I was thinking we could LAN it, get workstations. Someone here suggested a laptop
system so they could carry it around. We could issue in the next generation of education." He
was getting more and more excited by the minute. "Come on, just think about it. Please?"

Larry laughed on the other end (Blair.... that much I can promise. I'll think about it. In
the meantime you might want to, like, contact people here so they know you didn't really
disappear off the Earth or anything. Captain Banks was on the news and everything looking for
you two the other day. He actually swore that whatever terrorist group had you would pay dearly
for it.)

Blair sighed. "Yeah, I know. We talked to him yesterday. He was so pissed. One of the
other detectives had to come and take the phone from him before he stroked out." He giggled at
the kids on the lawn.


"Oh, the people I'm with, their kids are playing King of Jim right now outside the
window." He laughed again as Amara jumped up and down on Jim's chest, proclaiming her
victory. "They are so cute."

(Blair, are you feeling all right? Are you sure you've not been taken hostage by some cult?
Jim, your Jim, doesn't like children.)

"I know, but these ones like him and he's starting to relax from constant exposure."

(Cool. Desensitization rules the day again.) Larry laughed. (Okay, give me the number
where you are and we'll see what sort of work up I can give you. Give me the fax number and I'll
fax you the coherent idea later or tomorrow morning. Okay?)

"Man, Larry, that would be so great. I'm sure we could even get funding and everything
we need. These people fund Sociology and Anthropology studies all the time. I'm sure they
would know who to go to for grants and the like."

(Good, raising an AI is expensive.) Larry laughed and hung up.

"Yeah, but so is educating young children who could be doing so much more with what
they have," Blair said quietly and hung up the phone. He let his mood lighten and went to go play
with the kids and Jim.


Blair was checking his email a few days after talking with Larry when something funny started
to come through. Something big. He closed all the other windows and just left that one open,
letting it load. Eventually it got to be too big for his computer so he switched it over to the one in
the control room, setting it to go to a new directory in the non-compromiseable drive. "At least
Nick gave me the access code the other day," he muttered as he watched the file transfer. Once it
was safely done, he hurried into the control room, to be met with a pissed security chief. "Nick,
before you say a word it's from Larry and I think I know what it is."

Nick's mouth hung open, but he let Blair walk around him and sit down at the computer.
He stood behind the younger man as he pulled up the new files and scanned them for viruses and
the like. "So, is it?"

Blair unzipped the file and looked over the contents. "Oh, man, something bad must have
happened to him. He set this up as a default if he didn't check in every five days at the least." He
started to mutter things Nick couldn't hear under his breath and opened the email attached to the

Dear Blair,

As you know, this default comes to you when Larry doesn't check with me
at least every five days. This time something really bad happened.

Larry and I were playing with logic puzzles when there was a knock at the door.
He opened it and was taken from the room. Someone tried to take me too, but I
hid amongst the other computer stations. Now I'm yours. I answer the phone too
and got a call from Captain Banks saying someone needed to call him very badly in
relation to Larry.

So I'm executing my default and am now yours. I know something bad has
happened and know I can trust you. Protect me, please Blair?

Load me, please, and we'll talk

Millia, the now (according to Larry four days ago) approximately five year old AI.

Blair looked over his shoulder at Nick to see what he should do. Nick nodded so Blair
typed in his password and uploaded Millia onto the overly-protected hard drive. They waited,
almost patiently, while she uploaded and formed her image on the big main screen. Nick had
called in the others to come and see, stepping out of the way so Derek could input codes to let
her upload to the Legacy system.

After all, who better to protect a five year old sentient computer than them?

"Blair?" the image on the screen said. He waved and she reoriented on him. "Oh, thank
you. I was so worried that you wouldn't be able to get to me anytime soon. That zip package is a
little tight and confining."

Alex groaned and sat down. "So, you do have a sense of humor too?"

"Yep," Millia said. "Started out with knock-knock jokes and worked my way up." She
smiled. "You must be Alex. Larry showed me some of Blair's pictures and he identified you.
How are you?"

"I'm fine. Are you all right? I mean functioning properly?"

Millia laughed. "Oh yes. And you can treat me like a person, it's how I was raised." She,
the image, turned to identify all the others in the room it would know. "Oh, good. I know most
everyone present. Can I trust them Blair?" He nodded so she relaxed and posed the image as her
sitting down. "As I told you in the email, Larry was taken and I think he's dead. Those men were
right in my camera range and they were dressed horribly in these dark blue suits. Very plain, but
they looked really mean."

"I'll call Captain Banks in a few minutes. Tell me what's here. I don't know your system
that well."

She smiled. "Oh, I knew that. Or at least guessed it. Larry did like to keep things to himself.
But now I suppose he had a reason to." The image shrugged and made a face. "Okay, well, I
have all of this AI here, along with the skeletal outlines of six more he was working on and the
special one he was had just started working on for you. All my codes and the manual he wrote
for his diss committee is here along with the help manual he wrote to go along with us. The only
thing I'm missing is my image matrix because it was hard wired. But, if I need to I can use that
nice new forensic artist kit that came out recently or something like it."

"So then everything's here in case you need something?" Nick asked and the computer
image nodded. "Okay, we have that forensic package if you need it. Feel free to use it."

"Just don't let anyone know you're here," Derek said. "Some of the other members wouldn't like
it too much. They don't really even like computers."

"Gee, I remember," Alex started only to be quieted with a kiss.

"I can do that," Millia said. "The initial download may have been traceable but Blair transferred
me over in the way Larry showed him. No one should have been able to trace it when he
transferred me." She closed her eyes. "My you *do* do the most interesting work. May I read
the back files to learn something more?"

Derek held up a finger and pulled the other house members aside for a conference. They
talked quietly for a few seconds, then came back. "We would prefer if you could wait. We need
to get permission from our bosses for that."

Millia nodded. "Okay, that I can understand. Do you have a scanner?" Nick nodded.
"Could you, maybe, put some books on it so I could read? I was just in the middle of the
Milton collection when they came."

Derek looked at Nick, who nodded and pointed to the new system in the corner.

"We're putting a lot of books on our personal intranet. We might be able to find a way to
get you access to those but it might take a day," Nick said.

Millie's image clapped her hands. "Oh, goody. Are there many? What languages are
they in? I only know 248 languages so maybe I can learn a new one. Do you have any interesting
books? I love the Greek classics and philosophies; they're good thinks." She clapped her hands
again and sat back down. "Sorry, I'm at that awkward stage Larry said. He said it should be over
with in another few months or so though so don't worry."

The just barely legal Kat laughed. "Oh, don't worry. They're used to it. They saw me a
teenager and there are positively tons of kids in this house."

"Would you be willing to talk to me later?" Millia asked her and got an enthusiastic reply
in return. "Oh, good. I like to talk and debate about things."

Then, at the worst moment, the beep of an incoming call came through. Before Blair could
tell her to hide herself Millia was sharing the screen with the sour visage of William Sloan.

"Derek, who or what am I sharing the screen with?" he said very calmly.

"That would be my fault William," Blair said. "One of my friends is working on AI's and
he's disappeared. I'm the default in case something happens to him. When she came over my
email she was too big for my computer so I transferred her here." He swallowed. "I know it's a
breach of protocol and all but she needed to go somewhere that I could openher and findoutwhat
happened. Iputherinthe securedrivesoshecouldn'tgetout or hurtthesystem. Don'tbemadatNickfor

"Take a deep breath, Chief," Jim said and patted him on the shoulder. "I just talked to my
Captain. Seems someone did a number on her programmer and Blair was who she was supposed
to go to when something happened."

"James, I know you don't know about the protocol here but this is a major breach of security.
I'm coming out and we're going to talk about this." William hung up and Millia hung her virtual

"I'm sorry I got you into trouble. You seem like such nice people. I'll turn myself off and rezip so
I can be moved to another location."

"Millia, wait," Nick said before she could do anything. "We're not mad at you. Neither was Mr.
Sloan. He's just worried about you being traced or hurting the organization. Stay and we'll get
this all sorted out."

"He's right," Kat said. "Sloan's not mad, he's concerned. Just last year someone got into
the computer intranet and tried to hack it. They erased seven years worth of work that only had
spotty backups."

"So then he's not mad?" She looked to Blair, who shook his head. "And I should stay
running?" A nod. "Okay. And I have a multi-tasking feature that allows me to help with work.
All you need to do is to tell me what you're doing and I should be able to help."

"Let's wait in that," Derek said. "We want William to talk to you first." //And is he going
to be on this one. Hard.//

//Yeah, really,// Nick sent back. //He's not too computer literate either. And from what I
could tell over Blair's shoulder, she's well beyond anything I've even dreamed of.//

//Oh, goody,// Alex sent. //That means if something goes wrong, we have Blair and you
and the manuals. Right?// She got an affirmative response and closed her eyes, groaning mentally.
//And someone said today was going to be slow and routine. Would they like to justify this as

//Not me,// all the men sent.


Blair rolled over, not meeting the hard body he expected to. He opened his eyes and
looked around in the dim light. He could see the bedroom door open just slightly and figured
some noise must have gotten Jim up. He decided to close his eyes and wait patiently.

When Jim hadn't come back in a few minutes, Blair got up and put on his robe. He walked down
the stairs softly, coming to rest on the bottom step. He could just barely hear his husband in one
of the living rooms, talking to someone, so he went toward the noise. When he stuck his head
around the door frame, he saw another old friend. "Hey William," he said, padding in to sit next
to Jim and steal a kiss. "I missed you. The bed got cold."

Jim rolled his eyes and hugged the younger man to his side. "We've just got to get you a
heater for when I'm gone, don't we dear."

It was an old joke between them, but it still made Blair laugh. "Yeah, maybe. At least it
wouldn't pounce me in the middle of the night every time a siren goes past the window." He
grinned up at his mate. "Not that I mind or anything but...."

"You two," William groaned.

Jim just grinned and Blair shook his head. "What do you expect of us?" Blair asked, "We *are*
newlyweds still."

"Blair, that only lasts for two years," William reminded him.

"It's only been nineteen months since the wedding," Blair said, pouting.

"3 weeks, four days, sixteen hours, and four minutes," Jim added. "But who's counting."

William shook his head and wandered toward the control room, leaving the two men to greet each
other properly. When he came back a little over an hour later he covered them silently, and
smiled, before heading to bed. He could surprise the rest of the house at breakfast.


Philip looked down and grunted at Richard. "Mornin'," he whispered, looking around to see who
was already up. His wife and husbands were still in bed and the cradle was moving where
someone, most probably the little one begging to come up, had started it swinging. He made a
quick check to make sure everyone was dressed and picked his son up.

"Untl Willy here," the boy said quietly.

Philip nodded and sat up. "Figured as much. Is he at brea'fas'?"

The boy nodded. "Wiff babies. They no nap anymore."

Philip smiled. "Yeah, bu' ya did the same thing at tha' age, Richard," he said. He set the
youngster on the floor again, earning a pout, and got up. He stretched upwards, popping his back

Richard made a face. "Yucky Daddy," he squealed and ran down the stairs for the puppy that had
just started to whine.

Philip shook his head and grabbed his robe, heading into the bathroom to shower.

He had just got done washing his hair when he felt someone else in the shower with him. He
finished rinsing the soap out of his eyes and looked down, expecting to see his Nick.

Philip yell brought the others running.

Nick grabbed the now severely wet and crying child, handing her off to Mom and climbed in to
calm his husband down. He held the former priest as he swore in a variety of languages, only two
or three of which were currently spoken. He grabbed the hand held shower head, rinsing off the
remnants of shampoo gently, calming him further with his touch.

Philip finally calmed down, resting his head on Nick's shoulder as his back was washed. "Than'
ya," he said quietly. Nick nodded and moved the brush to another spot. "Why?"

"She wouldn't say," Nick said. He rinsed his husband's back off one last time and turned him
around to wash his front. "Alex thinks Mary was just curious." He scrubbed tenderly, soothing
as the brush moved.

"She wa' touchin' me," he said, closing his eyes and relaxing into the gentle hands working him.
"I though' it was you."

"Nope, when you yelled, I had just been pounced by Christan." Nick got this thoughtful look.
"You don't suppose..."

"Our kids, nah," Derek said, climbing in with them. "Why would our resident dark side Angels
do something like that." He looked over in apology. "I'm sorry, but I still hold to that theory."

Nick nodded. "I can see where you'd come by it, but I'm not sure it's right and I don't know how
to test it."

"The Lifestone," Philip said quietly, after taking a kiss in greeting from Derek. At Nick's confused
look, he elaborated. "It's a bloodstone, one of the legendary ones, but i''s not so legendary after
all. It is, or was, in the Cairo house a few years back."

Derek nodded and took the sprayer from Nick's hands, running the water over Philip's legs and
thighs, intentionally hitting his flaccid cock lightly. "It's in Amsterdam now, in the Archival

Philip nodded. "It's said tha' it can tell a dark one or no', jus' by their touchin' it. We could ge'
it and test 'em." He purred under the skillful use of the water jets.

"Later," Derek said, slipping to his knees and placing a soft kiss on Philip's stomach, just below
the navel. "We'll talk to William later. Let me give you a new memory to replace that one." He
lunged down, taking Philip down his throat slowly.

Nick moaned, "One of these days I'll be able to do that," as he watched one husband pleasure


The parents trooped down the stairs, the disobedient children in the middle of the group and held
very firmly, just in case. William grunted at them and spooned another bite of his oatmeal in as
he changed children around, picking up a different one to feed. He swallowed and nodded at the
kids Nick was strapping into their seats. "So, what happened this time?"

"One of them crawled into the shower with Philip," Derek said. He sat down and groaned. "We
believe we need to test them with the Lifestone." He held his hands out and received his son.
"Goot morning Martin," he said, sticking the bottle back in. "How's your bottled mother this
morning?" The baby waved his arms around in response. "Know what you mean. The bottle
tastes funny, doesn't it?"

Alex shook her head and sat down very delicately. "You need more sleep, dear," she told him,
patting his arm. She watched at the butler put food in front of the misbehaving children. "Ought
to make you guys eat oatmeal too," she muttered.

"Can'," Philip told her, sitting down and kissing her cheek, "Mary likes it and so does Christan."

//Damn,// she sent to them all. //Why are we blessed with them? What horrible thing did we do to
earn them doing that to Philip?//

//Heritage,// Derek sent back. //Look at ours. My father turned, Nick's father turned. Your
grandmother may be a misguided saint but her gifts that have been passed down through you
make them vulnerable. The only *normal* one of us is Philip and we can't be sure if he is or not

The man in question spit his coffee out, choking. //Me? I'm a former priest and apparently
number one on the dark's hit list, as the beloved one would say.// He snorted. //I'm no more
normal than the rest of you.//

Blair was led to the table by Amara, her pulling on his hand to make sure he was coming. She
stood beside her chair and pouted up at him until he pulled it out for her, helping her up into her
booster seat. "Good morning," he said, nodding at the others already there. "Jim's out for a run
with the puppy." He plucked the baby out of William's arms and sat down, cooing at her.

Derek smiled and Nick started to laugh. Mom just shook her head and went back to eating, that
fond and tolerant expression that only mothers could wear gracing her face.

Nick finished quickly and nodded at his son. "Want to go watch me do my morning exercises,"
he asked Sydney. The little boy nodded and stuffed the rest of his food into his mouth. "Slow
down, I'll wait." He swallowed and stood up, grinning a very familiar grin. "Come on," Nick
said, picking him up. "We're going to be outside Derek's office," he told them. He carried his
squealing and happy child out of the house, bouncing him along with the occasional tickle thrown

Derek smiled after his youngest husband. "And he thought he wasn't going to be a goot father,"
he said quietly.

"You're all good parents," William said. He leaned forward, resting against the table's edge. "I
want to talk to the computer today. Then we'll have a meeting and discuss it and what to do."
He looked directly at Blair. "Is she running?"

He swallowed his tea. "Yeah, she's always running, she just hides when she's pretending to sleep
or thinks she's done wrong." He shrugged. "Larry said she was the equivalent of a five year old."
He stuck a finger damp with tea into the baby's mouth, earning him a frown. "It's good for her,"
he said.

Alex shook her head and stood up. "Tyler's not ready for tea yet. Milk only for a few more
months," she reminded him. "Even you didn't drink tea that young."

Blair grinned and handed over his precious armload. "Wanna bet?"

Derek shook his head. "Not with your mother," he whispered to Philip, who started to laugh.

Blair almost pouted. "My mom's not *that* bad," he said.

Jim, who was coming back in through the back doors. "Yes she is," he said. He unleashed the
puppy and watched as he went to lay at Richard's feet. "We're back," he said, bending down to
kiss the top of his husband's head. "Where's Nick?"

"Outside," Philip said, pointing. "Morning Tai Chi." He finished off his coffee and set the baby
down in the carrier. "I'm goin' to the lab." He waved and left the room.

Amara whimpered and ran after him, launching herself at his leg and grabbing it as usual. She
rode in her customary position, wrapped around his leg, as they rounded the corner and left sight
of the kitchen.

Jim shook his head. "He's a stronger man than me," he said, sitting down and dishing himself
out some food. "That would kill my leg."

"He's had practice," Alex and Derek said together. They looked at each other and laughed.

William shook his head and looked down, tucking the blanket around the babies. "You two need
more sleep," he said.

Alex kissed his cheek. "Good, we've been looking for a good sitter." She pulled Derek out of the
kitchen and back to their suite.

Jim grinned over at his husband. "Do you think we'd be like that in a few years?"

"Still?" William asked, making Jim blush.

Blair grinned. "Oh, probably. It's not like I'm gonna get used to having all that muscle at my
disposal." He leaned over and kissed Jim's cheek, sneaking in a quick lick to his ear. "I'll be up
later," he whispered.

William groaned and picked up the basket that served as an infant carrier. "And at that remark,
I'm going to the computer. Blair?" he asked, waving.

Blair stole one last kiss and left with William and the quad to go talk to Millia.

Jim looked over at the ones strapped in. "Were you guys horrid this morning?" They nodded.
"Okay." He shrugged and went back to eating. "I'll call Kat in to come take care of you while I
help Nick."

They all pouted and started to cry. The young woman in question walked in and they all looked
at her, eyes glowing, and shut up. The butler handed her a plate and walked away to give them
some privacy. "So, in jail again?" she asked them.

"We cuddled daddy while he was in the shower," Mary said. "So, we're in trouble now."

Kat nodded. "Okay, sounds like someone's doing class work today then, huh." She stared at
them until they all looked away. She turned to Jim, looking like a normal late teen. "So, what are
you and Blair doing today?"

"I've got to take a shower as I took the puppy on a run. Then I figure I'm going to help Nick
some." His cell phone rang and he held up a finger while answering it. "Ellison."

[Since you're taking some time off right now,] Simon Banks, Jim and Blair's boss said in greeting,
[they decided that you're going to take the rest of the leave you've accumulated. They're tired of
carrying it over and having to give you days when your vacation is interrupted. Besides, the
Mayor wants a quiet city for a while.]

Jim choked and started to cough. "Damn, warn a man, sir." He coughed again and took a drink
of juice. "How long do we have accumulated?"

[Four months or so,] he said, smile evident in his voice. [We'll all have peace and quiet and San
Francisco can have the terrorists that follow you two around for a while.] He started to laugh.
[You should have heard the cheering when that was announced. Henry actually said he could get
a normal case again now that you were gone for a while.]

"That's mean sir," Jim said. He shook his head and smiled. "But I'll pass on the information.
How's Blair's friend Larry?"

[He's out of intensive care, his head injury's reading normal again. He still can't remember or
talk, but he's out of the woods. He doesn't even remember his project so you might want to wait
to send it back.] Simon hung up.

Jim put away his phone and frowned when the butler dished some more food out for him. "I can
do that."

The butler smiled at him. "That's my job sir, you just eat it." He took Kat's plate from her and
went over to the sink, grabbing a dish cloth and coming back to clean up after the departing
children. "You eat it *before* it gets cold, it tastes better," he reminded Jim when he hadn't taken
a bite.

Jim smiled and started to eat. "You got to give Blair this recipe," he said around a mouthful.

"I will before you go home. I've started a book of them for the ones he's already asked for." He
smiled and released the last clean child, watching as she followed Kat down the hall. "If I may
ask, sir, how long are you going to be here for?"

Jim smiled. "We got ordered to take our backed up vacation time. About four months worth in
all, but I'm not sure if we're going to spend it all here. Blair was talking about the Bahamas and
running around naked like a native in the warm sun." He shrugged and scraped his plate clean.
He stood up and was walking it over to the sink when it was taken out of his hands. "Oh, all
right, I'll go be good."

The butler smiled. "I'm sure both you and Blair will be, right after your shower."

Jim grinned and nodded. "Could be," he said softly and jogged out of the room and up the stairs.

"Newlyweds," the butler said, wiping off the table.


William set the babies' basket into the holder and sat down in Alex's chair as it was the most

Blair smiled and tapped in a command, bringing Millia up. She appeared to be peaking around
the edge of te screen at them. "Millia, this is William. He would like to talk to you."

"Is he the one Derek said was going to come and talk to me today?" Blair and William both
nodded. She came up fully and sat in the middle of the screen, pulling down her ‘skirt' as she sat
down cross-legged. "Okay." She smiled at him.

"Millia," William said, "I'd like to ask you a few questions to gauge what you know, if that's all

She stuck her bottom lip out for a second and then chewed on it. "I have my IQ test scores and I
can print them out, along with my last achievement test and those scores too. It would save you
some time."

William leaned back and thought. "Please, print all those." He waited while the pages printed.
"Okay, now Derek mentioned that you know some languages?" She nodded and he took the
papers Blair handed him. "How many?"

"248 or so."


"No, not all. Larry was a big fan of ancient languages. He had a minor in Egyptology." She
shrugged. "I know some of the more common, like Egyptian. Larry loved Egyptian, especially
hieroglyphs." It looked like she was ready to cry at her last statement, obviously thinking her
‘father' was gone.

"Millia, he's only in the hospital. They broke his jaw and the head injury he sustained made him
forget you for a while, but he's going to be fine," Blair assured her.

She smiled. "Yeah, I know, but it's still not sunk in yet. Your Jim called his boss from in here
yesterday so I could listen in." She turned back to where William was studying the scores and
tests she had printed out. Her eyes rolled back. "I got to disappear, there's an incoming call
coming to this screen." She shrunk until she was a dot then went ‘pop' and disappeared.

Blair leaned over. "Larry also sent her manuals and his dissertation if you want to look at it."

William nodded and activated the link when it rang. He looked up and frowned at his second in
command. "What's wrong?"

"Sir, I don't know how to tell you this, but there's a process server here for you." He visibly
swallowed. "Your wife's filing for divorce."

William scowled. "Go to my office and transfer the call to Derek's office. Let him in and I'll talk
to him so you can take it and mail it to me." The screen went blank and William hurried out.

Blair looked down at the babies and sighed. "That happens sometimes," he told them, "but I'm
sure you'll all find good mates that will make you happy." He picked up Martin, who had been
lying there looking up at him. "Yeah, I'm sure you'll find a good mate and be happy. Just like
Jim and I are." His eyes lit up and he took out his cell phone, speed-dialing Jim's. "Jim Puppy?"
he said. "I'm in the control room with the quad, want to come play computer games with me?"
Jim said something and Blair started to laugh. "Four whole months? Here? I'm sure we'd drive
Derek nuts by then. Maybe we could take the last little bit and go someplace warm and toasty
though." Jim's laugh could be heard over the phone and he hung up. "Wow Martin, that was
nice of Jim's boss, even though it was a move to get us out of the city so they could have some
peace and quiet." He hugged the baby to his chest and started to rock back and forth. "Yeah, the
Jim Puppy and I are happy and we'll be here often as you grow up to show you a nice, normal
relationship with only one other person." He dropped his voice down to a whisper. "I always
wondered how they solved their fights."

Nick came though the holographic door and laughed. "We take sides then tickle until I admit I'm
wrong." He dropped a kiss on the baby's head and walked over to his usual station. "You'd be
surprised how easy it is. If one of us is wrong, the others gang up on them to straighten me out."
He grinned. "So, Jim's boss called?"

Blair nodded. "Yeah, how did you know?"

"Butler told me." He got up and picked up the little one that had started to fuss. He sat back
down in his chair and leaned back, comforting the child with his body. "So, how long?"

"Four months. I'm trying to convince him to go someplace warm and toasty." They shared a
laugh. "Seriously though, we couldn't impose on you guys like that."

Nick waved a hand. "It's not. It's nice to have someone to talk to again about guy stuff. Philip
and Derek talk about books, Alex and Derek talk about art, Alex and Philip talk about most
everything else. Sometimes I feel left out. It's nice to have Jim here to talk to, you know."

Blair nodded. "Yeah, I know. We sometimes sit and talk for hours."

Jim came through the door and shook his head. "Nope. You talk and I listen and make short
comments." He smiled at Nick. "Sometimes it's just like attending class, that's why I *had* to
block the Discovery and Learning channels." He kissed the top of his husband's head. "But after
a while, you get used to the lectures on everything."

Blair pouted. "I do *not* do that. Take that back."

Jim pulled Blair's head up and nodded. "Yeah, you do, but I love learning stuff from you so it's
okay." He kissed his husband deeply, being careful not to jiggle the baby in his arms. He stepped
back, big smile plastered on his face. "So, you mentioned computer games?" He took a seat and

Nick shook his head and accessed his personal files. "This is what I have for when I want to goof
off some." He brought up the folder's content.

Jim smiled and picked one out that they could all play. "Okay, let's goof off."


Derek walked into his office, Nick having told him over their bond what was going on after Blair
had told him and Jim. He found William drinking straight from the brandy bottle, leaning back in
the desk chair and about to tip over. Derek calmly took the bottle out of his hand and set it back
into the bar, locking all the contents away.

William just grunted and stood up, following the Dutchman around until he saw the cabinet
locked. "Tha's mean Derek," he slurred.

Derek took his arm and gently led him to his room so he could sleep it off. By the time they made
it up all the stairs and down the hall, William was being dragged. He called for some help over
the bond, getting Philip up there to help him put the man to bed.

Philip walked in shaking his head sadly. //I don't know what happened, but maybe you should
talk to her.//

//I will after we put him to bed.// He sat the older man on the bed and pushed him until he was
lying down.

"Not now Patricia, tomorrow's our night for that," William said, still asleep. He reached up and
patted the side of Derek's face. "Later dear," he slurred and rolled over.

Philip took off his shoes while Derek took off his tie. They threw a blanket over him and exited
the room quietly. Derek bent and locked the door. //By the time he's able to get out, he'll be
sober,// he told his husband. Philip nodded and grabbed a kiss before going back to work.

Derek went to his office to see if he could try to put that marriage back together again.


Later that night, William locked himself in the control room so he could talk to Millia alone for a

"So, you like the Greek philosophies I hear," he said.

She nodded and shifted some on the screen. "Yeah, they're good thinks. Larry used them when I
got bored with the logic puzzles." She plucked at the edge of her skirt. "You know how you get
used to something and then it's not there for a while and you miss it?"

William nodded. "Yeah, I do. My marriage has just done that." He leaned back in the chair a
little more. "I know exactly how you feel." He started to swing the chair around. "Well, we
could play some logic games. I do that with my kids all the time."

She looked up and grinned. "You have kids?"

"Two. Want to see their pictures?" She nodded so he pulled out his wallet and held their latest
photos up to the camera. "One's eleven and the other's nine. They're great boys."

"I'm sure they are, you sound like a great father."

William smiled. "Flattery will get you everywhere my dear." She smiled too. "So, do you have
those files I asked for you to get from London?" She nodded and pointed a finger, a window
opening to show him the file icons. "Good, now then, open the one marked "inventory". We're
going to solve a spatial problem we've been having in our storage areas."

She clapped and pointed at the icon, opening it. "Okay." She lifted down a copy of the contents,
reading them from what looked like a book in her hands. "Oh, I get it. You only have so much
space and you have so many items and you want me to figure out how to place them best, right?"

William smiled. "You're going to be such an asset to our organization."


Blair and Derek snuck into the control room, bringing in a blanket. Millia had called them in
Derek's office and told them William had fallen asleep in a chair. They carefully covered the
older man and snuck back out, Derek thanking the AI quietly on the way.


The next morning Jim looked up, smelling the air around him for whatever was distracting him.
When he couldn't find anything out of the ordinary, he shrugged and went back to work.

Outside, Alex walked by the doorway to the lab and stopped, wondering if she should go in. She
shook her head and went to go find her youngest ones so they could eat. She could grab a kiss
later from Nick.

To Be Continued....


Children of the house:

four older: two five, two just over four: Christan (m. 5, twin to next one), Mary (f. 5, twin to
Christan) [both are suspected of being dark, fathered by Derek.], Saphia and Morgan (4, f,
fraternal twins, S by Derek and M by Philip)

Sydney, male, father: nick. Scared away a spirit by yelling at it. Age: approx. 18mths Gets
into the paranormal books with Amara and Richard.

Amara, female, father: philip. Sticks to his leg, is insecure, has gifts. Age: just over 3
years. Gets into the paranormal books with Richard and Sydney.

Richard, male, father: derek, twin to shelby. Age: 28 mnths (2 1/3 years). Has sight also. Gets
into the paranormal books with Sydney and Amara.

Shelby, female, father: derek, twin to Richard. Age: 28 months. Perfectly normal.

This set born early, 8 mths along: AKA as "The Quad"
Carin: female, father: philip, age: newborn by a few weeks. Twin to Tyler, Marin, and

Tyler, female, father: nick, age: newborn by a few weeks, twin to Carin, Marin, and Martin

Marin, female, father: derek, age: newborn by a few weeks, twin to Carin, Martin, and

Martin, male, father: unknown at time, age: newborn by a few weeks, twin to Carin,
Marin, and Tyler.