Impression Management

Xander looked at her might-as-well-be oldest son and sighed.  "Okay, I've had enough of the sulking," she announced.  Ishi frowned at her.  "Yes, you.  No more sulking.  We are going to do something to cheer your gloomy ass up.  Up!  Right now!"  She went to find Lupin in his office, leaning down to give him a hug, and stealing his wallet at the same time.  "I'm taking Ishi out for the night.  Don't wait up.  It's already gonna be dinner by the time we get in."  She strolled out, gathering her cloak from the front closet and her keys from Jigen's hand, then drug the poor young man out.  She knew he was sulking because his cheek still hurt from where it had been split open and that the small burn pits were making him pout because he had been quite handsome before.  Now his first instinct was to hide and it was understandable, but he couldn't be allowed to turn into a shy wallflower.  It wasn't who Ishi was.  You couldn't be a shy little guy and a samurai; it wasn't natural.

So he drug his victim out of the house and out to the garage, taking Lupin's car since hers was now gone back to the rental place again.  They sped off with a beep for the house and hurried on before anyone could say anything.  "Here, hold this," she ordered, handing over the wallet.  "Le's see.  First we need to do something about your hair.  If we're growing it out, it'll come out a mop in the shape it's in.  Then we're going to get you some clothes, and a nice, quiet trip to the eye doctor should round it out."  The young man shifted in his seat.  "Yes, I saw you squinting at your math book last night.  Tough, deal with it and move on.  If you can't see, you can't fight as well, and then you'll just have to settle down to have kids.  Just don't have them with Arsene, please."  Ishi shuddered and slunk down a bit more.  "Good boy.  We'll do the eye exam first if possible.  If not, we'll do dinner and a quick round of a certain shopping area Ethan showed me," she noted smugly, shifting gears up as they hit the main road.  She didn't care if there was a cop car across from them and every law enforcement agency in the galaxy had the make, model, and plate on this car.  She clearly wasn't Lupin.  Ishi clearly wasn't his father either so it'd be fine.  She tooted at one familiar car as she sped past them, chuckling as Vecchio turned his car around and tried to give chase, but she knew these roads better than he ever could.  Jigen had retaught her how to drive on them and they had gotten waylaid in many...interesting places.


Xander drug Ishi into the eye doctor's the next morning.  They hadn't been open last night but this morning they not only had an opening but the specialist was in and for a nice 'tip' he had agreed to look at her son's eyes.  "Hi, Ishi Harris?" she told the receptionist.

"I'm fine!" Ishi whined.  She cuffed him across the back of the head.  "Yes, Xander."

"Thanks."  She smiled at the receptionist again.  "Should I pay up front?"  The woman nodded so she handed over the unlimited credit card she had stolen, getting an awed look for the pure black American Express.  "It's a family thing," she said with a wink.  She looked over as a lab-coated man walked out of the back with a folder.  "Hopefully his records from the ER?" she asked.  The doctor started, then looked at them and nodded.  "Thank you.  I'm Xander, we talked on the phone," she said, holding out a hand with a subtle smile.  "The moving target is my stepson, Ishi.  Son!"  He slunk back.  "He thinks they'll make him look geeky," she confided, "but he needs them.  He's squinting and he wasn't before the explosion."

"That's fine.  Let's start with the basic tests.  Then we'll move onto the camera and the physical exam."

"The air in the eye, match the boxes, and the light?" Xander asked.  The doctor nodded.  "Cool.  Should I come back, just to restrain him?"

"No, I think he'll be fine," the doctor promised with a smile. "Going blind is a fate worse than death for someone in the more...dubious fields."  He smiled at Xander and she shrugged, smiling back.  "He is?"

"Goemon's son."

"Ah.  Then you are Lupin the Fourth's mother?"  She nodded.  "Very well.  Come along, Ishi.  Let's start the basic tests.  The sooner we're done, the sooner you'll be released."  He led the young man back there, closing the door to the exam area behind them.

Xander sighed and sat down, then got up to look at frames.  She was sure Ishi was going to need something to correct whatever was going on and she wanted the baby to be hot and feel better about everything.  The receptionist came over to help, pointing out a group of frames that were basically arms and nose pieces.  "I like that," she admitted.  "He'll need to look better than cute, but not nerdy.  He said he's pretending to not be smart," she shared with a small shrug.  "The boy's odd.  He's also into his physical training.  Can we make sure he gets something that'll work for that?  There's not always time to change glasses when you're attacked."

"Then I would suggest these," she offered, pointing at a pair of frames that were twisting on a pedestal.  "These are titanium but they're memory metal as well."  She heard Ishi yell.

"Do not hurt him, Goemon Ishikawa the Fourteenth," Xander yelled.  "That's necessary!"  She smiled at the receptionist.  "It's a statement to his really good training that it wasn't the doctor yelling."

The receptionist looked impressed.  "Then he's got to be one of the great ones.  If you don't like those, how about these?  I noticed his skin's not very yellow in cast, but it's got some underhints of the color.  If you pick something like this, which is a tawny tortoiseshell then it could suit his skintone very nicely."

Xander held them up to the light.  "I'm not too sure of the shape but I like the color.  We'll see how they look on him."  She handed them back and they went into the pile with a silver pair of the titanium ones and a pair of the frameless ones.  She found a set on the back wall and looked at them, then grinned.  "How about these?"  She held them out.

"Those I like," she admitted, looking at them.  "These look nice, they'd be rather obvious instead of blending in, but he might look good in them.  What does he wear the most?"

"Blue, black, and grey."

"Then those blue and gold mottled might be for the best."

"Plus they've got a matte finish.  Very important when you're in the shadows."  She looked over as the doctor came out frowning.  "Did he hit you?"

"No, but I found some debris."  She slumped a bit and he nodded.  "We can do a new eye rinse, but it may not take care of the problem.  I found a few micro cuts on his left eye and it looks like a pressure injury to both eyes.  We'll need to do this soon."

"Hey, I have authority to treat.  Do you need me to come knock him out or do we have to go somewhere else?"

"I can do the eyewash here.  The pressure injury will have to heal and a lot don't.   He was lucky he had his head turned or his eyes would be pulp."

"Then you do whatever you have to do and we'll deal and amend his training to doing it sightless if we must," she promised gruffly.  She waited until he was gone to sniffle.  "Oh, Gods, I had no idea or I would have drug him in sooner."

"Shh, it's all right.  Some things take special tests to find.  Pressure injuries aren't that uncommon in explosions."  She patted her on the arm.  "He would have said if your stepson was going fully blind, really."

Xander strengthened her resolve and nodded.  "Good.  I knew I picked right.  Thank you.  We need to make him look hot and so he can wear them without being bothered by them."

"After a few weeks, he won't notice them as much," she promised.  "Or maybe there's contacts."  Xander nodded, taking a look around the store to pick out a new set of frames to add to the pile.  She handed Xander a pamphlet on contacts and found another set.  By the time Ishi was done, there were twelve frames waiting on him and a few more out in backup.  She took the chart from the doctor and looked inside.  "Okay.  We can do that by tomorrow since we have our own lab.  Let's start with color and then we'll go for shape."

"I can't wear contacts for a few more years," Ishi said quietly, looking at Xander. "My eyes are still changing as I grow and the injuries won't let me."

"That's okay.  We can deal with glasses.  They make unbreakable lenses and we can tint them and get you clip-ons as sunglasses."  She gave him a hug.  "You'll be fine. I'll make sure of it."

"Yes, mom," he agreed, hugging her.  "What torture devices did you find?"

"Try these on," the receptionist suggested, handing over a pair that came with clip-ons.

Xander considered it.  "It's the wrong color but the right shape," she decided, letting him see himself in the mirror.

"I look like a dork."

"It's this or being blind, son, and we can always adjust your image," Xander reminded him gently.

"If you pick out something you like, it can be the building block to your image," the receptionist offered.  "Maybe a longer curtain of hair so you can hide that cheek if you want, or to hide where you're watching?  Maybe a set of leather pants?"

"I see him more in rock star stuff," Xander offered.  "Jeans, t-shirts, hair that likes to tease the girls to play with it."  Ishi looked at her like she was insane.  "I do!"

"Uncles Lupin and Jigen would be very upset if I didn't get suits like they wear."

"Sweetie, you live in both worlds, and I'm getting you ones that are comfy and hot.  Pick out a set of frames and we'll deal with tinting and a set of sunglasses.  Then we'll work on clothes, including getting you your first official, original kimono."

Ishi nodded and looked at the others, finding another set that were in the same shape but slightly different colored.  He put them on and examined his face.  "I might be able to stand these, but they're tight."

The receptionist checked them and took them to find a more comfortable pair for him.  These two would not be asking for a discount, nor would they be getting them at normal retail price.  She found a pair in a drawer and looked at them.  They were older but they were the right shape.  They didn't have screws in the arm hinges, they were actual hinges. A novel design that had fallen out of favor a few years earlier.  She brought them back, letting him try them on.  The metal was very thin, the frames were tawny/gold/brown tortoiseshell.  He tried them on and his mother sighed.  "I think we've found an excellent pair.  A bit thin but fairly sturdy really.  I remember when we got those in.  I thought we had sent them all back.  Let me see if we can find a spare pair as well?"

"Yeah, he'll do the mottled blue ones," Xander ordered.  "And the silver pair in case he has to play geeky."  She looked at the clip-on sunglasses, which were mirrored.  "Not the best fashion statement but no one will be able to see your eyes," she offered.  "Plus, we can get the lenses in that 'changing tint' tint so you can wear them to shoot outside too without having to find the clip-ons."  She checked the other pairs, making sure they fit right.  The blue ones weren't the right size so another pair was found.  This one was smoky purple/greys/blues and had a matte finish as well.  "Yeah, I like those."  She let Ishi look in the mirror and he nodded that they were good enough. "What are we going to do until they're done?" she mused.

"As long as I don't have to read too much, I'll be fine," Ishi promised, kissing her on the cheek.  "We could do my hair tomorrow."

"Nope, we've got an appointment in two hours," she promised, handing back the card to the receptionist.  "Normal scratch proofing and extra heavy if possible. Anti-glare for outside and computers. Light tint and those progressive lenses."

"We can do either or," she offered.

"Get the blue lightly tinted with the progressive grey tint," Ishi ordered, pointing at the lense that started out dark on top and finished up clear on the bottom.  "Do it about half that strength in case I end up wearing them inside.  The gold set with the progressive ones that darken as it gets more bright.  The silver do a light grey or blue tint?"

"Get the light blue on those.  Light grey on the silver may look odd against all the blue you wear," Xander offered.

The receptionist wrote the order up and put the frames into a tray, then took the card to charge it for the new accessories.  "There we are," she said, presenting the slip, watching as Xander sighed.  "I'm assuming that you're authorized?"

"Oh, yeah," Xander said with a smug smirk.  "He'd better not change it either."  She winked and put an arm around Ishi's shoulders to lead him out of the store.  "Let's see, I said hair, right?"  Ishi nodded.  "Cool.  Come on, I'll treat you to a cappuccino before then.  I was mean and got you up really early."

"Thanks, mom."

"Hey, not an issue.  Stuff like this has to be done by me or you'd end up looking geeky.  Okay, it's going to be this way today.  Hair, clothes, suits, kimonos tomorrow morning then we'll drive back.  Got it?"  He nodded quickly, putting his head down.  "Ishi, it's not that bad.  I've seen worse, I really have."  He grimaced and touched his cheek.  "Hey, trust me, I saw it before they fixed it, it was a lot worse.  The remaining scars can be bleached or lasered off.  By the time you graduate to your final training you're gonna be fully healed, or as much as we can.  Right now though we've got to endure a few scars.  It doesn't mar you, baby boy.  It makes you look like a veteran in the field but it doesn't make you scary.  We'll even prove it to you tomorrow night if you want."  The son gave her a sideways look as they walked.  "Trust me I can prove to you that you're hot.  Your uncle had to do it to me enough times so I do know how to do that."

"Thanks, mom."  He gave her a hug then got free of her arm.  "Sorry, it's not cool to be cuddled and people will think we're together."

"People already think we're together, Ishi.  I look like I'm twelve.  I may be nineteen but I look like I'm twelve in this outfit, playing dress up.   Did you want to pop in on Murami?"

"No, that's okay.  Auntie Allowance is taking a few days off from what I heard."

"Good point."  She winked and opened a door, making him walk inside.  "Good boy.  Get a muffin too. You probably need it by now.  I remember what a bottomless pit I was at that age."  The girl behind the bakery counter gave her an odd look and she shrugged, grinning.  "I was."  She looked up at the board as Ishi picked out what he wanted.  "I want a cappuccino and one of those mint chocolate chip muffins."  She pulled out her wallet and handed over a smallish bill, taking the change and her breakfast to a table.  "Sit, eat, son."

"Yes, mom."  He sat down to nibble, head still tilted to the side slightly to hide that scar.

"Dear, doing that will hurt your neck, you'll end up like Quaismodo.  Besides, it draws attention to the area.  Sit up straight."  Ishi shifted and quit hunching down.  "Much better.  Thank you.  Eat."  Ishi dug in again, staring out the window as the pretty schoolgirls wandered past on their way to classes.  "Hmm, and another schoolgirl raises the skirt by a good foot.  I would not do that when I had thighs that looked that horrible."  Ishi gave her a shocked look.  "I wouldn't."

He chuckled. "You're so bad.  Are we getting you anything?"

"Not really.  Though we do need to go to the fabric shop later," she offered. Ishi looked at her but she didn't elaborate.   "Eat.  I shouldn't have to keep reminding you at your age."  He scarfed the rest and stole half her muffin since she was eating so slowly.  "Good boy."  She winked at him.  "You're gonna love this place, Ishi, I promise.  He's the guy who fixed my hair so I didn't have to have it cut for six months."  She smirked at his confused look. "You'll see."  She winked.  "Finish up so we can be on time. You don't have men like that waiting on you."  He nodded, finishing his coffee fairly quickly now that it had cooled off.  She finished hers as well and tossed out the trash before leading him out and to the car.  They were due a few miles away.  She walked Ishi into her favorite hairdresser's, sniffing the herbs floating in the air.  "Hmm, someone had to banish something.  Did you need help?" she asked her favorite hairdresser.

"No, we managed it," he said with a smirk, looking at her hair.  "You're starting to grow again."

"Yeah, but we're here for Ishi.  We're working on his look.  He'll be wearing glasses as of tomorrow.  The injuries are recent and his first instinct is to hide them. He needs your special help to start a new look."

"Hmm."  The hairdresser pulled the boy closer, into the good light, to look him over.  "Your hair's growing out now."

"My father wanted me to get a haircut, which is odd considering his is a shoulder-length bob."

"None of that for you.  I can do princely hair, like out of a fairytale."

"Um, he's still straight, not a flaming drag queen in a wig," Xander said tactfully, grimacing.  The hairdresser laughed.  "Make him beautiful, Henri.  He needs to be pretty for his girlfriend and for jobs.  People are going to underestimate him a lot already."

"Hmm."  He felt a few strands of hair. "Limp and fine.  Not coarse in the least.  Since I know I smell Xander's special shampoo I'll make sure you get your own supply.  How about this?" he suggested, whispering in Ishi's ear.

"Extensions?" he asked.

Henri snorted.  "No.  Not in this shop," he noted smugly.  "How is Ethan, pet?"

"Tired.  Ripper turned it around on him and now he's relearning his place under Janus' cock."

"Ah!"  He smirked.  "Even better.  Come into the back, young man.  I can do wonderful things for your hair."  He drug the boy with him, shutting the door behind them.  Xander didn't even worry, he wouldn't touch her son or he'd be dead.  But then she'd have to find a new hairdresser.  Oh, well, Ishi could hurt him if necessary.  She sat down to wait, using the nearby mirror to check her own hair.  It wasn't that bad yet.  It could use a trim though.


Xander walked Ishi into the exclusive clothier's and handed the toady salivating over Ishi's newly lengthened hair his special credit card.  It was now just about down to his shoulders, but it was very soft and it slightly covered his cheek.  It looked like something a top fashion model would have as hair.  "My son requires clothes to join the family business.  I want him to look suave, adorable, and sexy.  He'll need to be able to move since he does Kendo and other martial arts.  He'll be coming to the office with us now and then and he'll have to fit into the highest of the high circles.  Start with suits and work out from there.  We'll be doing casual clothes next."  The salivating toady took them back to a private room and brought out models wearing some of their most trendy suits for their inspection.   "No, we'll need hot, not trendy.  He'll need to look like he's drawing everyone within a ten mile radius," she ordered after a few duds.  Long coats on her baby?  Not!

Ishi shifted as one came in, pointing at it.  "What about that one?"

"Not bad," she noted, hauling him up to stand him next to the model.  "That might do," she admitted.

"What is the family business?" the toady asked.


"Ah!  So he needs to fit in with royalty?"

"Yes, but I want him to look better than any mere royal brat.  He has both breeding and intelligence.  Some of the Saudi princes I've met in the past didn't quite have both."

He nodded and put that model aside, getting another set of clothes out of the back to look over.  He glanced at the card, then paused and shook his head.  Acquisitions.  Lupin.  He got it now.   That must make her....  He got the best of the best, knowing what she wanted now.  Acquisitions indeed.  Her son would be hotter than any model and any star, because otherwise she might take it out on him.


Xander brought the sleepy samurai into her favorite kimono shop the next morning, planting him in front of the proprietor.   "My stepson is a samurai in training.  He needs suitable attire as he is about to graduate to his higher levels of specialist training.  He likes to wear blue and we need suitable themes."

"What family is he from?" the old man asked.


The man arched up an eyebrow.  "Indeed?"  Ishi nodded, stifling a yawn.  He cracked a smile.  "Ah, still young."

"Just tired.  We did this sort of thing with Western clothes yesterday," Ishi said dryly, smirking at him.   "Do you have anything?  I know my father only has three."

"One which is mine and I gave him," Xander added.  "Plus his is getting thin so if we find anything in the casual sense I'll get him a new one too."

"Lupin's going to kill you for running up his credit card," Ishi noted, smirking at her.

"Not unless he never wants laid again, kid."  She smirked and winked.  "Trust me, when you have a man by the balls and moaning, he'll do anything.  Including adding you to his cards and giving you all the jewelry he's got stashed around the house.  Jigen gets some of the same perks as me because he's his second."

"More than I wanted to know," Ishi pointed out, turning to the older man again.  "Sorry.  She's not had her caffeine this morning."

"Oh, we've dealt with her before, in both forms," he said wisely.  "Thinking over my stock, I do have a few that would suit you, both causal and formal.  Plus one for your father almost exactly like his present one.  When is your sister coming in?"

"Next year, after she starts her cycle," Xander said firmly.

"Very good then.  Come into the back, let us look at what I have on hand."  He led Ishi into the back, letting him look over the drawers he was pulling out.  "That second one is one I'm not sure of.  It's a death theme really.  Not exactly what I would put you in, but you seem like you could carry it off."

"I have had to kill in the past," Ishi offered quietly, looking at them.  "I like that one just on the colors."  He pushed in the drawers he didn't like, leaving six open and the one that was clearly for his father.  "These?"

"Good choices.  Strong patterns and in colors that accent your skin.  Very traditional but still modern.  Ah, here's one I have been meaning to give to her.  Alexandra?"  She came back and he pointed at the last drawer.  "For you."  He looked at the others, pointing at one of the selections.  "I'm still not sure about that one.  It is a very mature theme."

Xander looked at it, then at him.  "Isn't that for geisha's?"

"No," he snorted.  "It is for males.  Just sexually excited males."

"I think he's a bit young for that one.  Maybe for his coming of age ceremony."  She kissed Ishi on the cheek.  "Other than that, I like them.  Even the one with the death written in the pattern.  How did they weave a cloud that ate things?  Gaki?"  The shop owner nodded.  "Isn't that odd?"

"Very.  Then again, it can suit one whose business is death."

"I'll still take it," Ishi offered.  He bowed to the man.  "We thank you for your help."

"Not a problem.  In this, your aunt comes to me with clear challenges.  Hold on."  He wandered into the back, coming out with a few robes. "I had no idea why this was sent to me, but here."  He handed over the stack of robes.

"Ninja gear," Xander said in awe.  "Authentic.  Who?"

"An associate who said I should pass it onto you and your family," he said smugly.   "He did say that you could probably test out of the training requirements."

She sniffled.  "Wow.  That's just"  She hugged her son, it wouldn't be proper to hug the older guy.  "Thank you."

"You're welcome.  Now, let me package these.  Wait out front for me."  She nodded, letting him have back the stack of dark grey clothes.  He waited until they were gone to smile at their choices.  She had wonderful taste and they were both well enough trained for is brother's tastes and skill levels.  He carefully wrapped each kimono separately then bundled all the packages together, walking out the stack to them.  He took the card, running it for them.  "Very well.  Do say hello to your father and bring him in sometime."

"I try," Xander sighed, rolling her eyes.  "He's being a moron again."  She wiggled her fingers.  "Thanks."  The card went back into her purse and Ishi got to carry out the heavy stack of cloth.  "C'mon, kid.  One last stop then to pick up your glasses.  Then we'll have lunch, go to the fabric shop, then out tonight."

"Why are we going to the fabric shop?"

"Because I need to pick up something," she said with a smirk and a wink.  She popped the back of the trunk and let him carefully pile the package into the back.  "Good job.  Get in."  He closed the trunk and got in to drive, which she didn't mind.  She handed over the keys.  He was very good at it, for only being thirteen, nearly fourteen.


Ishi looked at the fabrics she was considering, noticing she was looking at him each time she picked a new one.  "Hopefully that's not for me."

"No, sweetie, your father challenged me again.  He said I'd never be as great a thief as Lupin.  So I'm going to prove him wrong by taking the one thing that's always with him."  Then she smiled sweetly.  "What do you think?  Hot pink with the big purple polkadots or should we go with crimson and threads of silver?  The purple is soft and the dots are fuzzy but the crimson looks better."

"I'd go with the lurid pink one, just for shock value," he suggested, still not understanding.  "What are you doing to my father?"

"Don't worry, I'll have you and Lotus watching so you can tell him I didn't do anything like floating him or knocking him out."  She smirked at him.  "It'll be fun," she said with a wink.  She pulled the bolt of fabric with her and found one of the 'test' pieces at the end of a row.  It was purple, it was a stretch knit strapless top with a peplum, and Goemon would look horrible in it.  She took that too, smiling at the register worker.  "Can I buy this?  It's for a prank for a friend.  He's in for it this time."

"Sure," she agreed, nodding.  "How much of the fabric?"

"Um, about four feet if I remember right.  If not, it'll be kinda tight."  She shrugged and winked at Ishi.  "Next we'll go get your glasses and have them fitted, then we'll drop everything at the hotel, get dinner, and go out tonight."

"Do I have to?"

"Yes, dear."

"Fine," he grumbled, pouting at her.  She kissed him on the cheek, making him sigh and wander out to the car.  Why wasn't he allowed to hide?

Xander took the bag and paid cash, then skipped out after her son, happily lost in her thoughts of what she was going to be doing to his father in a few nights.


Xander watched as Ishi came out, still fussing with his glasses.  "Leave them alone, dear," she ordered gently.  His hand dropped and he held out his arms so she could look him over.  "Very well done.  You look hot.  Let me find my shoes."  She stood up, letting her dress flow around her thighs while she walked.  She had a definite like for silk and this small dress had been wonderful.  She found her heels and slid into them, bending to buckle the ankle straps.  Then she looked at her son, who was still fidgeting.   "Stop that.  Are they uncomfortable?"

"No," he said quietly.  "I look dumb."

"You don't look dumb.  Come on."  She took his arm and the keys, leading him out of the room and down to have a cab called for them.  She had a quiet word with the doorman, getting him to bring the car to whichever club they were heading to.  She noticed the appreciative looks but Ishi was still staring at his feet.  "We need to go somewhere that the hot and pretty people go," she told he driver in flawless french.  "Somewhere he can be admired."

"He is pretty," the driver noted, heading off.  "You got cash?"  She pulled out a few bills from her bra and handed them through the slot.  "Thanks.  That should cover it."  He drove them to a club, watching as they got out.  She flashed something and the guards undid the rope like she was a Goddess.

The boy following her listened to those around him, as he had been taught, and nearly smirked at the girls who were wondering if he was one of the new American movie stars who was up and coming.  He followed her into the loud club, looking around for a moment until she took his hand and pulled him out onto the floor.  He was lost for a moment, but he could feel the music and that's what she was doing.  He had rhythm issues, but he could move somewhat.  Lupin had seen to that because she had wanted to take dance lessons as an elective and had needed a partner.  He soon found himself culled from his stepmother's side by a group of girls, all smiles and lusty scents.  He considered dumping them, but it was a heady experience.  Even the guys were hitting on him.  He could feel one behind him brushing up against his butt now and then.  The dance floor wasn't that crowded.  He danced with the girls, seeing the point now.  These girls liked how he looked.  He apparently wasn't geeky, stuffy, or ugly.  Even when he pushed some of his hair back behind his ear they only kissed his injured cheek and danced closer.  Wow!  Being offered a blow in the bathroom by a stewardess was *nothing* compared to this!  He could get used to this!  This must be how his uncle Lupin felt when he was in a social setting.  He smiled at them and one of them moved closer, latching onto his mouth.  He pulled back and smiled at her, but continued to dance with all of them.  He wasn't picking a specific partner.  He had a girlfriend.  He would have to keep that thought in mind or Amanda would kill him when he finally got back to school and she found out about this.

Xander grinned as she watched her baby be courted by six girls and a couple of guys.  The guy dancing in front of her wasn't bothered that she was looking, he was giving her a smug look.  "He's my stepson."  She winked and turned, moving to find someone else.  She glanced around and spotted a familiar head, making her grin.  "Oh, perfect," she noted, strolling that way to steal Ray K on his way past.  Who cared that he was supposed to be staking out the club with Ray V?  Ray V could find them later or watch Ishi.  That way he wasn't...distracted by anybody else.  Ray gave her a startled look but danced with her.  "Ishi needed his eyes checked and some new clothes.  Is that really this worthy?"

"Lupin the Fourth snuck into town too."

"Huh.  We'll have to pick her up later.  Where is she?"

"Probably the Louvre.  You know how she is about art," he noted between songs, looking at Ishi with her.  "He's hot."

"Tell me about it.  I did good," she said smugly.  "I'm also going to be jumped by some of the men in here if I don't have a big protector.  Would you like to be a big protector, Ray?" she asked in her best sultry tone of voice, making him swallow.  Someone rudely pulled him away and she smirked at him.  "Any idea where the daughter is?"

"Fun trip?"


"I noticed the glasses and hair.  Nice job," Ray said dryly.  The music started again, the DJ change had gone well.  He noticed she was moving.  "Oh, no, I don't dance."

"Then let the other Ray come protect me from the leeches who I'll have to kill for trying to get into my panties."  She strolled off, heading back into the middle of the floor.

The two cops glared at each other, then Ray K shrugged and went to watch out for Ishi.  He had a better chance of stopping the kid if he was heading for the bathroom to get some.   Ray V threaded his way through the floor to Xander's side, grabbing onto her arm.  She spun and slapped him lightly, then smirked and started to dance with him.  It was hypnotizing in a way, the way she moved.  It was like she was oozing sex appeal and wantonness.  Now he knew why it took both Lupin and Jigen to keep her settled and calm.  Not that he wouldn't take advantage of that later.  These two were 'do not touch unless in the middle of a job' according to their boss's orders.  But they could be used against Jigen and Lupin he was sure.

He danced with the sexy little woman, moaning when she got close enough to rub against him.  That was enough to have him shivering and begging in the bathroom but he would hold on this time.  If they were lucky they could follow them home when they went and find out their main lair.   He knew it was somewhere in the country by Zenigata's relative's home.  It had to be, he had been up to meet them when he had found them headed this way.  The road she had come off of had about seven possibilities.  If he had to he'd search each and every single one.  She caught his gaze and smirked, it was like she could read his mind.  He shivered in fear and backed off but she kissed him on the cheek and his mind went blank.  Totally blank.  Then the music caught him and he was dancing again, this time with a stunning young man, who he felt he should recognize for some reason.  Maybe she was a movie star?


Xander pulled up outside the Louvre, looking at the building.  "Hmm.  Arsene!" she yelled.  The girl came jogging out the front door.  "What are you doing?"

"Visiting.  I'm making sure my skills keep sharp," she defended as she climbed in between them.  She looked at her cohort and swallowed hard.  "Ishi?" she asked.  He nodded, putting an arm around her shoulders.  "Oh, man.  What happened?  Did some of your sister's magic leak out and make you hot?"

"No, sweetie, that was me," Xander said dryly.  "Come on.  You might as well go clubbing with us.  Even though you look like you're needing a babysitter."

"Mom, thanks for stopping that one guy," Ishi said as they sped off.  "I had no idea he was connected."

"Even if he wasn't, following him for a...private chat in the bathroom wasn't exactly the right thing to do," she reminded him firmly.  "The fact that he was a hitter who knew who you are and wanted to take out the competition was irrelevant.  No more taking the people out to have chats, Ishi."

"Yes, mom."  He looked at Arsene.  "You didn't steal a thing?"

"You can frisk me if you want.  I was only visiting."

"Breaking and entering is still against the law," the stereo said in Zenigata's voice.  "Pull over."

Xander looked at the kids, then flipped the radio off.  "Did you hear anything?"  She took them back toward the shopping areas.  "Arsene, what are you wearing?"

"A unitard."

"Fine.  Go get a skirt and some shoes to wear with it.  We're going to a different club."  She nodded, hopping out of the car once it had stopped and inside the mall.  She looked at Ishi, then at the cops stalking the little girl and the one strolling up beside them.  "Ishi needed convinced that he's hot," she said with a smirk.  "She was just visiting.  She didn't have her backpack with her."

Zenigata's eyes narrowed, scanning the car between those two and what he could see of it.   "Fine.  Keep her out of trouble and out of my city."

"Hey, we're going clubbing then back tomorrow."  She smiled sweetly as her daughter came out in a mini-skirt that was in a contrasting color to her black unitard, and low heels.  "Good enough.   We'll go somewhere less sex driven."  Arsene hopped back in over Ishi's lap, snuggling back into his side.  "Anything else, Inspector?" she asked in her best purr kitty voice.  "We really do need to be off.  Ishi needs more admirers and I need to let loose and be free before going back to being the mommy again."  She blinked her big brown eyes at him and saw him melt.  "Thank you, Inspector."  She blew a kiss and headed off at top speed for the roadster, hoping to lose them in the maze of streets and alleys.

She took them to an underground rave she had heard of at the last place and paid their cover.  "That's my baby, she's doing her first one tonight," she called over the loud, thumping music.  "Just hit puberty."  The doorman grimaced but her 'tip' let Arsene in as well.  She walked in and paused, looking at the stage.  She grabbed the kids.  "That's an Oz," she told them, pointing at him.  "I know him."  They nodded and went to their own sides of the building while she took the middle of the floor.  This was the nightlife she loved.  When she got close to the stage she winked at Oz, then flipped back her hair to show off a scar that had stayed and that he had seen before.  He shivered and went into the next song.


Lupin looked up as Xander led Arsene and Ishi in, being handed his favorite credit card on their way past.  "Xander?"

She paused, then smiled at him and nodded.  "Ishi?"  He backtracked, letting Lupin see him.  "See?  I do good work. Then we went clubbing after we picked up the daughter, who was visiting in the Louvre.  Where's Goemon?"

"Out back."

"Cool.  C'mon, Ishi."  She put her arm around his and led him that way, coughing when they got closer since Goemon was meditating with Melissa.  He looked up, then sighed and stood up.  "It was necessary, big guy.  He had a few pressure injuries and a few micro cuts on one eye.  They cleaned them again and these'll do for the next six months, then he's due back.  He's got three sets, they're scratch-proofed.  I also helped him with his image."

"It was great, dad.  She took me and Arsene out last night to the club and girls panted and asked if I was a movie star or a rock star."  He beamed at his father.  "And I can still kick ass in it, she made sure of it."

"Yes, I did," she agreed dryly.  "Oh, get the stuff out of the back of the car, Ishi," she said, giving him a pat on the back.  He nodded and went to do that.  "The kimono shop sent you a new one since yours has holes.  I got him his first official one, and one you may not approve of but he picked out his own with the shopkeeper's help.  Also, interestingly enough, the shopkeeper got sent ninja gear for me and him."  Goemon nodded quickly so she smirked.  "It's all in the trunk.  I outfitted him for the next year.  He'll be fine, we've just got to make sure he goes back to the right eye doctor.  He's already adjusting well to seeing again."

"Thank you.  How bad is his eyesight?"

"Bad enough to need glasses and continual checkups.  He said he shouldn't get worse and it may heal, but he can't promise it."

"Fine.  I will start working on the sightless work as well, in case he loses his glasses in a fight.  Thank you."

"Welcome, big guy.  But you're still going to be eating your words."  She strolled off, going to find Jigen and get a kiss.  She found him in the kitchen and leaned him against the counter to make him moan.  "Mm, missed that.  The Rays were not the partner you are in the clubs."  She winked and wandered off, going to get her few items out of the new bundles and bags, taking them to her room.

Jigen wiped off the back of his neck.  She was good and horny.  He'd have to help her with that later.   He looked over as Lupin walked in, smirking at him. "Didn't get a kiss?"

"No, but I did get a call from the guy who ran the rave the kids went to last night.  He said Arsene is very good on a dance floor and successfully protected her virginity each and every time it was threatened.  Ishi as well.  They thought he was royalty slumming."

"He kinda looked like it," Jigen agreed.  "She made him look hotter than you ever were."

Lupin snorted.  "Not hardly."  He looked at Ishi as he walked back through the kitchen.  "You satisfied with that look, kid?"

"I can kick ass, I can make love, and I can look hot and smart in it.  I'm good with it now that I'm used to the glasses," he quipped with a grin.  "Why?  Do you have a problem with me being this hot?"

"Son, your ego is starting to squeak as it swells," Goemon called from the backyard.

"It's better than not having any at all," Ishi called back.  He grinned at Jigen, then at Lupin.  "I made her go easy on your card, Uncle."  He strolled out and looked at Melissa, who smirked and got out of the way, so he attacked his father, making him drop his sword so he wouldn't hurt him, but Ishi was still being sneaky and attacking in ways his father would not appreciate usually.  He managed to duck one wild swing from Arsene and kicked back at her, making her grunt and back out of the fight.  He and his father moved around for a few more minutes, then Ishi grinned at him.  "Convinced?"

"Fine, you can fight in those and your glasses will not get in the way."  Goemon backed off and bowed to him.  "Very well done, but I will get you back for that kick to my balls, son."

Ishi grinned.  "Who would expect it from a guy?"

"Fine, but I will still get you back for it," Goemon said patiently.  He looked his son over.  "I do not like your hair that long."

"Father, whine.  I like my hair.  I liked it a lot when the wizard lengthened it for me and I almost let him make it longer.  Get off the subject of my hair.  No one expects someone as pretty as I am to be able to kill them or kick their asses manually."  He bowed and headed back inside to get a snack.  It had been hours since he had eaten, nearly two of them.  It sucked being his age at the moment.  He was going to eat them out of house and home.  Jigen handed over his extra sandwich when he saw the look in his eyes.   So apparently he remembered what it was like to be a young teenage guy.  That was fine though, even though it had mayo, he didn't care.  It was food.  It was filling.  He would be eating soon.  He sat down next to him, taking a large bite.  "Thanks."

"Welcome."  Jigen gave him a long look.  "Yeah, you're a teenager now.  Remember, there's more things that you'll have to watch out for now."

"You mean like the hitter that tried to have his way with me in the bathroom?"

"Yeah, that too," Jigen agreed.   "It taken care of?"

"Yeah, mom saw him and realized he wanted more than to blow my hot ass.  So she took him out and chained him to the pipes with his pants down.  She did the same to the guy who wanted to have Arsene on the floor.  He's probably not enjoying himself at the moment.  His dad was a cop.  Not that he's so much older but she was fierce in defending Arsene again."

"As she should be.  She's a good mother," Jigen pointed out.

"Hey, I'm not arguing that point," Ishi agreed with a grin between bites.   "She's very good.  She bribed the eye doctor to get me in.  She picked out my frames while I was in there after hearing I had pressure injuries and a few micro cuts.  She made sure I looked hot.  She wanted me to look better than royalty.  She told the guy outfitting me that I was to look hot, sexy, and fit in at the highest levels.  She said we're in acquisitions."

Jigen snickered.  "Definitely.  Just from other people."

"She also managed to memory charm both Ray's at the first club we went to.  They were following us around.  They caught us going into town.  She fixed it though."  He finished off the sandwich and got up to search for more food.

"Eat fruit."

"Sure, Uncle Jigen.  Arsene was visiting the Louvre. She was keeping in practice but didn't take anything."

"Huh.  Restraint.  Must be from her mother."  He watched as Ishi cut up some fruit and brought a plate over for them both, hopefully with how much was on the plate.  "She didn't let you eat breakfast?"

"No, I had breakfast, it was just two hours ago."

"Yup, you're a teenager," Jigen said dryly, smirking at him.  He took a strawberry, knowing the kid wouldn't say anything.  "What did she get?"

"For some reason she got some odd fabric and a shirt at the fabric store.  Then she got a new kimono the guy was holding for her.  She got the dress she wore last night.  Which, by the way, made her look hot.  She got nearly as many propositions as I did.  She had to latch onto one of the cops to get away from a few of them.  They seriously wanted her ass," he shared with a catty smirk.  "I was thinking a chastity belt would be necessary."

"We're not like that, kid."

"No, but it'd be the only thing that might stop them from taking her there on the floor.  I know at least one tried for a hand up her skirt.  She broke his wrist."  He ate a bite of banana.  "I nearly made it there to kill him but she got him."  He ate another bite of fruit.  "Arsene nearly went with one of them until I kicked his ass and reminded her of her age."

"Then I'm sure she'll be getting a talk," Jigen promised.  "What was she wearing?"

"A unitard and a skirt.  She's been doing that a lot at school too.  They're comfy, she can move in it, and she dresses them up with heels and skirts."

"Ah.  I'm leaving that to her father."

"Which father?" Goemon asked as he walked Melissa in.


"Ah.  Arsene?"

"Yuppers," Ishi agreed with a grin for his father.  "Want a few bites before I finish stuffing myself?"

"Why is it that boys turn into bottomless pits and girls turn into cheerleaders on crack or acid?" Melissa complained.

"It's nature's way of giving girls a reason to try and mother the boys they like," Goemon told her.  "Don't try that yet."

She snorted.  "As if!"  She walked off, heading for her room.  "Lupin, did you get anything cute for me?"

"No, I only got a new skirt and a new pair of shoes," she called from her room.  "Sorry, we forgot you.  Otherwise I would have stolen something from the Louvre for you."

"Fine.  Next time, at least bring me candy."  Arsene's door opened and she tossed something at Melissa without having to look. "Thanks."  She picked up the honey treat and took it to her room to nibble after her shower.

The elder Lupin stomped up the stairs and walked into his daughter's room, looking at her outfit.  "That's underwear."

"It's not, it's workout clothes, father."

"Stand up."  She stood up, balancing easily on her small heels.  "You look like some cheap whore.  Put on some clothes."

"Father, fuck yourself," she said sweetly, smirking at him.  "I'm fully covered, even if this does show off my burgeoning assets."

He grabbed her by the ear and drug her to her closet, pulling out her robe and forcing it onto her body.  Then he picked her up and tossed her on the bed, taking the heels off her and tossing them into the closet.  "You may not come out until you're fully dressed.  No more wearing trashy shit around as clothes.  It's been remarked on."

"Really?  'Cause no one says anything to me."

"Daughter," he warned.  "I wouldn't even let Xander wear that around!  Change into real clothes before leaving this room."  He stomped off, slamming the door so hard it bounced open again.  He opened Xander's bedroom door, then headed down to her usual hiding spot to find her reading on the couch in there.  "What is she wearing!  You let her out in that!  To a Rave!  She nearly got raped!"

"One, she was already wearing the unitard, I made her put on a skirt," she said without looking up from her book, actually turning the page.  "Two, she wasn't nearly raped.  She nearly followed a guy into the bathroom of her own free will and I nearly killed the guy, even though he was only sixteen.  Three, it's not baring anything even if they're shown off very well.  Four, the more you complain the more she'll love the look."  She glanced up and then went back to her reading.  "Five, the Rave was so the kids would stay out of trouble and so Ishi and I could go clubbing.  I kept people from taking them both into the bathroom to pop their cherries.  Including the hitter that almost killed Ishi because he wanted more than blown."  She crossed her feet and curled up some.  "Your daughter is exactly like you, Lupin.  Think about how you react the next time.  She'll do what you did."

Lupin snatched the book and tossed it across the room.  "My daughter, my first born heir and near-clone, is wearing trashy shit out in public."

"Dancers wear those to work out in."

"She's not a dancer."

"No, but she does look okay in it.  She could be wearing some of Fujiko's castoffs."  Lupin shuddered at that.  "Choose.  Something that's not nearly that bad or something that's fucking horrible and slutty."

"She looks like a slut in those."

"Then make her put on a skirt over it," she said patiently.   "And make her wear an overshirt if you can.  The more you fight this, the worse it'll get.  'Cause trust me, she nearly went to the bathroom with a few guys on herself.  She thinks she's ready and you're her daddy, so you might want to have that special talk with her."

"You're the mother!"  She gave him a long look.  "Fine," he sighed, heading back up to his daughter's room.  He knocked this time before barging in.   "Daughter, we've got to have a talk about sex."

"Father, I've read the Joy of Sex.  I've surfed a lot of porn.  The quack at the school is very happy that I'm probably het, even though he thinks I'm bad for being a strong-willed woman with opinions and more future than a maternity ward.  What can you possibly add to that?"

"I'm going to teach you the good things, like ethics and waiting to at least make it special.  The bathroom at a rave isn't special."

"I was only going to figure out if I could deep throat."

Lupin let out a subvocal whimper.  His daughter had just mentioned that!  "Daughter, we've got to talk," he told her.  "First, you're too young.  Second, you're *really* too young.  Thinking about you having sex at your age, it's going to make me physically ill.  No going out with other things ... I mean people until you learn that you've got to wait for at least a few more years."  He looked in her eyes.  "And if you tell me it's too late, I'm going to kill you," he promised, vowing it to himself.  She shook her head, giving him an amused look.  "I knew this was something Xander should have done for you."

"Dad, I understand what you're saying.  I know it's not time to go all the way but I only wanted to find out some things."

"Daughter, no.  I will kill whichever boy touches you that way.  I swear to you that they will be horribly tortured if they so much as kiss you.  If they grope I'm going to slice them into little, tiny pieces with a rusty, dull blade.  I'll laugh as they beg and plead.  I'll piss on their dead bodies, then I'll find the next one and find something more horrible to do to them."

She shivered, she could see he meant it.  It was in his eyes.  She hadn't seen her dad as that scary before, but now she knew why Gramps was so scared of him.  "Sure, dad.  I won't do more than experiment with myself for a few more years.  I'd better have myself down pat before I let someone else learn me, right?" she asked with a nervous chuckle.

He kissed her on the head.  "I did not need to know that.  I do not want to know that.  I will not know that in the future, daughter."  He stood up.  "Now, put on at least a skirt over that, if not a shirt as well.  Then you may come downstairs."  He walked off, going to tell Jigen that they'd have to watch for the boys coming.  He was sure Jigen would help him, and so would Goemon.  After all, they had daughters too.

Upstairs, the kids were having a quick conference on their cells about their fathers going insane and losing it on their future dates.   This was something that they'd have to nip in the butt before they were all sent to a convent school with real nuns and chastity belts.

The person listening outside grimaced at Arsene's recital, shaking his head.  "That was heavy handed," he complained.  He looked up at the tap to his door, flinching when he saw Goemon out there.  "Hey!"

"I've had enough," he noted quietly, then he nerve pinched Ray V and took his receiver, then turned on his car and moved his foot onto the gas pedal.  He waved as the car sped off, heading over a small bank and into a tree.  "I feel better now."  He went back into the house and went to threaten his daughter as well.  It was time for them to have this talk too.


Later that night, Xander gathered the older kids together. "Guys, I know your fathers all turned into scary bastards earlier, so let me make it clearer and more simple.  There will be no sex with anyone until you're sixteen.  At least sixteen," she ordered calmly.  "There will be no dating until you're at least fifteen.  Ishi, I know you are dating, and I'm trusting you to respect the rules. Or else I will find out and you will be toasty by the time your fathers finish paddling your ass.  Got me here?"  He nodded quickly.  "Thank you.  If, and this is a big if, you show real maturity by the time you're fourteen we may start agreeing to group dates.  That means you take everyone in this room on a date with you and an adult chaperone."

"That means we'd get to date too?" Melissa asked.

"If you want, or you could hang out with the adult at that time.  I won't force you to go on dates if you don't want to.  As a matter of fact, that would make your fathers really happy if you didn't," she reminded them with a smirk.  "As for the threats, they meant them, guys.  Especially Lupin.  He will torture any boy, or girl, touching any of you before you're sixteen.  Then he'll find a chastity belt, ask Ethan or Dawn to stick it to you in a permanent fashion, and send you to a convent or a monastery."  She looked at them all.  "The rules are thus: no sex until sixteen, no dating until fifteen, we had better be meeting any and all sex partners and they had better be more than one night stands, there will be no sneaking off to have sex in cars, sleazy motels, better motels or hotels, alleys, bathrooms, or anything that is away from us, there will be condoms used no matter what, and there will be no sharing information with the fathers unless it's necessary.  And it had better not be.  We want to know if you're hurt from things like restraints, but those had better not be used until you're eighteen.  No kinky sex until you're eighteen actually, list that with the other rules.  Girls, you will be on birth control by then.   You will be on a sort that is long lasting, effective, and something we don't have to worry about if we're on a job when you need more.  So shot, pills if you can remember to take them, or those rod thingies that go in your arm.  Because you don't want to know what would happen if you got pregnant."

The girls all shuddered.  "Now, for all of you who need technical details, you come to me.  Do not go to your fathers or they'll throw another fit.  I can't imagine Lupin needing a drink more than earlier when Lupin said the words 'deep throat' in front of him.  We want you safe, guys, and I'll give you any information you want and need.  Especially if you're thinking about trying things that are on the kinky side.  If I don't know it, I'll find it out for you.  Just do not ask over dinner!  Trust me, not something any of you want to do.   Now, if we find out that you're having sex once you're allowed to date, you will find yourself married to that person before the day is out and you will be staying with them until the end of their lives.  If they die early on, then you'll be given to someone in a political marriage.  Trust me, there's people who would be panting at all your father's feet for one of you.  Even you, Ishi.  There's plenty of mobsters who would *love* to have you bend over and take it to get in good with your dad and Lupin.  So don't fuck up.  Got it?"  They all nodded.  "Good.  You won't like being in a political marriage and lust and love are different.  Ishi, due to the fact that you are dating, you may continue dating Amanda.  If you two break up, you're shit out of luck.  The rules apply to all of you and you had better not move beyond kissing and the occasional brush of a hand."  The boy blushed and ducked his head.  "Oooh, do not tell me it's too late."

"No!" he assured her quickly, shaking his head.  He pushed his glasses back into place.  "Nope, it's not too late yet.  She said she's not ready yet."

"Good.  Now you can't be ready until at least a day after your sixteenth."  He nodded, accepting that.  "Good.  Because I can't make your fathers change their minds to a lesser fate.  You will end up married to them.  You will end up being given to a political match after that one breaks up.  I'll try to get someone who'll treat you nice, but I can't guarantee that and we all know that."  They nodded.  "Lotus, I know there are rites that you could do to use your virginity.  If you *ever* tell your father about them, we'll be visiting him in the hospital and you in the cemetery probably.  He is not ready for the nature of the darker rites and we will be watching to make sure you don't walk that path at all.  The void thingy?  Not happening ever again, young lady.  Got me here?"  Lotus nodded, looking calm.  "Someone got word back to Lupin that she just disappeared after Jigen handed her the cigs.  He asked me and I told him what *might* have done it.  Dawn told him exactly what happened when she was brought in to check.  You're in deep shit if he tells your father."  She shuddered and Ishi put an arm around her shoulders.  "Good.  That's what I wanted to see.  Girls, we'll start working on impression management as you attain the last bit of puberty.  Lotus, unfortunately you will have to go traditional for a moment when you've finally evened out your cycles."  She shrugged.  "Cool.  I'll be going with you to get your first official adult kimono.  You'll wear it to be presented to the order that watches over you."

"That's fine, mom," she said quietly.

"Good. Arsene, I don't mind the outfits, just make them non-trashy and make them look cute. You can't wear just a unitard out in public unless you're on a job.  There's got to be a skirt, a dress like a jumper, or something over it to cover up part of you.  You may not wear them in Islamic countries without a lot more covering up.  We don't want you stoned to death."   Arsene lifted her chin as she nodded.  "Good girl.  Now, who's next on the shopping thing?"

"I think I'd like to wait until I do finish my changing, mother," Melissa said calmly.  "Are the others getting the same rules?  Because I do know Sierra has a boyfriend already."

"I'm heading there next," she said dryly.  "Sierra and Savannah are going to get a rude shock in a few moments.  They've both got boyfriends and they've been caught doing some groping.  They're going to be dead if they do it again.  Not that Sierra isn't a Lupin, it shows in her lusty nature."  She rolled her eyes.  "Do we understand the rules?  Any remaining questions?"

"Do we buy our own condoms?" Arsene asked.

"We'll buy you a case, like the big boxes that they get for porn shops.  You will always have at least one on you.  You may let some other kids have some if you need to.  I'd rather have them be safe and buy you more than to see another parent have to cry over a dead child from a bad disease.   After that case, we'll negotiate whether you buy them or we do."  The kids nodded.  "Any other questions?"

"When do we get put on the pill?" Arsene asked.

"Dear, you're not going on the pill.  You won't remember to take your pill.  You're going on the shot or on those neat rods they stick in your forearm."  She ruffled her hair.  "You need more gel, right?"  She nodded.  "Cool.  I've got some in my cabinets you can have."  She waved at them.  "Go back to your regularly scheduled stuff."  She walked out and headed for the room Sierra and Savannah were sharing, listening outside since she heard a boy's name giggled.  She groaned and sighed, walking inside, making them squeal.  "You're in deep shit if that wasn't a lie, girls."  She slammed the doors.  "There's to be no sex until you're sixteen.  No dating until you're fifteen.  Before you ask, if Ishi and Amanda break up he can't date either.  If you break those rules, then you will be marrying whoever it is, and if they die an early death you're going to be given in a political marriage.  Now, do we have to take either of you to the doctors to get checked out?"

"We haven't gone that far yet!" Sierra defended.

"Daughter, that wasn't the question."

"No, mother," they sighed in unison, looking put upon.

"This will wreck our reputations," Savannah complained.  "We're popular!"

"You're sluts.  Of course you're popular.  The boys like easy girls. And if you don't quit your easy ways, your futures are going to be mafia wives."  They shuddered.  "Got me here?"  The girls nodded, looking down.  "Good!  I'm making an appointment to take both of you to put on birth control tomorrow.  Just in case you both prove that you have no self control."  Someone knocked so she opened the door, looking at Lupin, who was smirking at her.  "I gave the rules to the others, I'm explaining them to these kids.  Who are not only dating, but groping."

"The boys will die.  Horribly."  She whispered in his ear and he nodded.  "Even better, then they can die afterwards, once we make sure there's no grandkids on the way.  It'll make it better."  He glared at them. "You're in deep shit, girls."

"But, daddy!" Sierra whined.

"Shut it, now," he warned coldly.  She shivered and curled up against her sister's side.  "Thank you.  What rules, Xander?"

"No sex until sixteen, group dating is allowed after fifteen as long as they take all the older kids and an adult.  No sex anywhere but at home, that way there's no sex in cars, sleazy motels, or anywhere that condoms might not be.  They'll have condoms and use them each and every time.  The girls will be on birth control for at least six months by then.  I'm not putting Arsene on the pill because she'll get involved in something and forget to take them.   We will be meeting all boyfriends or girlfriends and there will be no one night stands.  There will be no kinky sex until they're eighteen.  They come to *me* to get information on sex if they have questions.   Then I told them that if they broke the rules, they'd be married to whoever they broke the rules with, and when that one was broken however they'd be offered up in a political marriage, even Ishi."

Lupin nodded.  "Sounds good.  I don't want to answer questions on kinky sex."

"I did say that they could come to us if they got hurt, and that they had better not need to because they would be coming to us first."

Lupin kissed her gently.  "Fine with me.  Jigen won't mind.  Goemon will make sure Lotus will be sent to a convent."  He looked at two 'popular' kids.  "You two are in deep shit if you're already breaking those."

"We've only groped!" Savannah protested.

"And it'll stop," Xander reminded her.  "I won't have daughters who're sluts.  The boys will be horribly tortured and killed and you'll be married off."

"But, mom!" Sierra complained.

"No!" Lupin snapped.  "There will be no more. No groping, no kissing, no snogging, no shagging, nothing sexual!" he growled.  She shrank back more and he sneered.  "Do we have a *clear* understanding, daughter?  Even I waited some."

"Yes, father," she agreed quietly, staring at him.  "You'd really hurt us?"

"We might be able to keep him from killing you, or your future husband might," Xander noted.  "I can't promise that, girls.  So amend your ways before they get out of hand."  She walked Lupin out, taking him back to their bedroom.  "Bad news, Jigen.  Savannah's got a boy she's letting cop feels."  He let out a low growl and stomped out to yell at his baby girl.  She wasn't sure which daddy was going to be the worst about this, but those two needed to be scared straight.  She went to knock on Goemon's door.  "I set down the rules for sex."  He grunted.  "Responsibility, sixteen, fifteen for group dating with a chaperone and all the older kids.  We'll be putting them on birth control just in case.  It'll be something that won't take a lot of fuss to find and get for them.  They can come ask me questions if they want.  They can only have sex at the house so there's no sex in places without condoms.  We meet all the guys or girls.  They apply to Ishi as well, though he can continue to date Amanda."

"That is technically my job."

"Goemon, could you even get the word sex out around your kids?"  He blushed and shook his head.  "This way all the kids have the same rules.  No whining.  Lotus may or may not wait.  Virginity is a powerful thing in some traditions."  She shrugged.  "You'll have to ask her sponsors about that.  Also, they wrote me, they want her presented to the coven when she's gotten her cycle and they've settled down.  I figured we'd be getting her her first formal kimono at that time too.  That good with you?"

"It is," he agreed calmly.

"Cool.  The present standing is, if they break it, they're going to be married to whoever they break it with, and if they die due to fatherly torture or from the girls' own hands, then they're being given in a political marriage.  Again, even Ishi."  He nodded, looking smug at that.  "Good.  I told them to come to me so you don't have to answer questions about sex."

"That's fine," he agreed.  "Anything else?"

"No, not yet.  I told Ishi he could continue to date Amanda, but he would follow the other rules, and if they broke up he'd have to wait to date."

"That is reasonable.  Thank you."

"It was better than Lupin's 'I'll torture him horribly' speech to Arsene earlier.  This way he can torture them after they're married, then give them away."  She smirked.  "Are you ready to eat your words?"

"You are never going to be a thief like Lupin," he said with a shrug.  "It is fact."

"We'll see how you feel about that tomorrow, Goemon."  She strolled off, going to find the two older Goemon's to tell them that they were being monitors when she broke into their father's room later to steal from the light-sleeping samurai.


Goemon woke up with a groan, sitting up to rub his eyes.  He frowned, feeling something was off.  He looked down at himself and found his normal white loincloth was now bright pink silk with fuzzy purple polkadots.  He snorted.  He'd have a talk with the brat later.  He stood up and went to his closet to find clothes, wincing as the slightly silky, slightly scratchy fabric rubbed his cock and the crack of his ass.  "Xander," he groaned.  He shifted himself some and decided to ignored it.  He opened his closet and glared at the only thing in it.  He pulled out the purple shirt with a snatch, glaring at it.  It was purple, matching the dots on his new loincloth and it was stretchy, plus it had some sort of funny hanging part off the bottom.  He decided to leave it there, stomping down the stairs.  "Xander!"

Xander smiled from her usual seat at the far end of the dining table.  "Yes, Goemon?"  He stormed in, steam starting to come from his nose.  "You don't like your present?  I had the kids there to make sure I didn't use any magic at all."

"Bull, you used magic, you had to have!"

"No, she didn't," Lotus noted.  "Not a bit of it."  She looked at her father. "That lipstick is a good match to the fabric, mom.  Good job."

"And it's one of those permanent ones that either has to be worn off or cleaned off with special cleaning solutions.  There's stories of them lasting for up to a month."  She smiled at Goemon.  "Not only am I a great thief to be able to take off your old loincloth, which is in the wash because it was nasty, but I also redressed you, stole your sword, your clothes, and your money pouch.   If I had wanted to use magic, I would have done your hair too."  She muttered something she had gotten off Ethan and Marcus, waving a hand at him, turning his hair bright pink as well.  "Like that," she said smugly.

Upstairs, Lupin and Jigen were woken by Goemon's bellow, both of them rushing down the stairs to see what was wrong.   Lupin paused, frowning and rubbing his eyes.  "What happened to you?  Magical accident?"

"No, he told Mother that she would never be the thief you are," Ishi said dryly.  "She did all of it non magically except for his hair, which she just did."

"We watched to make sure of it," Lotus added, smiling at them.  "That is an ugly loincloth, mom."

The other two older thieves couldn't help it, they had to look after she said that.  Jigen burst out in giggles, turning away and walking off before Goemon could kill him.

Lupin looked at it, then at Xander.  "I gave you better taste than that."

"That was the point," she said sweetly, blowing him a kiss.  "I've also hidden his clothes, his sword, and his money pouch.  Do you like the lipstick?  It's that permanent one you got me."

"So I can see," he agreed dryly, shaking his head.

"I will kill you," Goemon hissed.

Xander snickered and blew a kiss, then got up and raced away, making him chase her outside, where the kids who weren't at the table were waiting with cameras.  He screamed and ran back inside.  "Hey, I left you a shirt, it'll match," she called to his retreating back.  "Anyone get one?"

"I did," Sierra offered, letting her see the picture screen.  "If I can keep my boyfriend and not grope I'll let you have it."

Arsene took it and handed it off, along with Savannah's camera.  "Your boyfriends are trash and not worth burning."  She took off her button camera and handed it over.  "However, I was using digital video so you can probably get a good few stills off it," she said smugly.  "Let's eat, guys."

"Before Ishi eats it all," Savannah complained.

"Teenage boys are like that," Jigen said from the doorway.  "Did you get a picture?"  She held up Arsene's button camera.  "Give," he said smugly, taking it inside.  He went into the office and within minutes had a few very good stills of Goemon.  He brought them out to Lupin, who started to laugh again.  "Where is our pink punk rock samurai?"

"Upstairs hiding.  Marcus changed his hair back for him, but he only has a stretchy shirt in purple to wear.  Xander, where's his clothes?"

"If he's a better thief than me, he should be able to find them," she said smugly.  "I didn't use magic when I hid them."

"What did he say?" Jigen asked.

"He said I'd never be a great thief like Lupin is."

"Ah," Lupin said wisely.  "Yet I know what you've done on your own.  You're damn good, Xander.  Very, very good.  I appreciate the hell out of having you here, even though you can't pick locks worth a damn."  She blew a kiss as she took her usual seat, taking some of the food.  "When does he get them back?"

"When he finds them."

"Are they in the house?"

She nodded.  "Inside even."

"Is that why I heard you...." Arsene started.  Xander nodded.  "Cool.  I'll help him if he hasn't found it by tomorrow."

"We should probably do a bug check today, guys," Lupin said dryly.  "Someone found Ray crashed against a tree outside the gates."

"I'll do the stuff we just brought in," Xander promised.  "I'm sorry, I should have done it before we came back."

"Not an issue.  It happens sometimes."  He smirked at her.  "Good job."

"Thanks, means a lot to me.  Speaking of, did you ever get the cleaner to take that permanent lipstick off?"

"Um, nope," he admitted, then he burst out in giggles.  "I guess it's gonna wear off!"  Even Jigen snickered at that.

"My father looks odd in lipstick," Ishi pointed out.

"Yes, but Father brought it on himself.  He should know how good Xander is," Lotus defended.  Her father walked back in, still only in the bright loincloth.  "Father, your regular loincloth will be cleaned in another thirty minutes, then it'll be dried."

"Thank you, daughter."  He sat down stiffly, glaring at Xander.  "I loathe you."

She snickered.  "Yeah, well.  You asked for it," she pointed out.  "Do you believe now that I'm a good thief, and probably one of the great ones?" she asked sweetly, giving him a long look.

"Will it get me back my clothes and my sword?"

"No.  If you're a great thief, then you should be able to find them.  They're in the house, inside somewhere.  I didn't use magic to hide them."

"Fine," he ground out.  "I will get you back for this."

She chuckled, smirking at him.  "And do what, Goemon?  Trim my hair?"  He grunted, snatching a roll to eat.  His son took it back since it had been on his plate and handed over the plate of them with a scowl.  "You, quit, apologize," Xander warned.

"Sorry, father.  My teenage stomach is making me unreasonable this morning," Ishi apologized.  "Would you like the eggs as well?"

"He's got to get clothes on to eat," Jigen reminded him.  "That is a rule for the table."

"She...!"  He took a deep breath.  "Fine, I will go find something to attire myself with," he said with deadly calm.

"Want a hint?" Xander asked, feeling a pang of guilt.

"No!"  He stomped off, heading to find something to wear.  He passed Bix, who was blushing.  "It is Xander's fault."

"I heard her upstairs last night, Goemon, but I'm not sure if that's where she hid your things."

"Thank you."  He headed for the back stairs, hoping to find the things.  Xander was sneaky, she had proven that much.  She was also going to get her ass kicked during her next sparring match.  He would not put up with such things from his students.

Marcus appeared, leaning in a doorway.  "She's not a student, Master Goemon.  Remember, you graduated her."  He pointed at the room behind him.  "Your sword's in here.  The other things may not be, but I did put a tracking charm on your sword."  He got a grunt of thanks as the older man walked past him.  He winced once his master's back was turned; that loincloth was horrible.  He opened a trunk in the corner, finding the sword and a single, formal, kimono.  "Here's some of it, master."

"Thank you, Marcus."  He sighed at the sight of the kimono.  "No others?"

"Not yet, Master."

Ishi walked in with a donut hanging from his teeth and drug his father to the smallest attic in the corner, grunting as he kicked open a trunk, showing off the new robe.  Then he pulled the donut out after taking a bite.  "Your old one had holes," he said at the shocked look.  "Even the shop's owner said so.  We got it for you.  Mother relented.  Your old one is hanging in Lupin's closet and your other non-formal one is in the nursery under one of the mattresses.  She did it without waking the baby too."  He took another bite, then grinned.  "She said she didn't mean to piss you off, but you did challenge her and piss her off."  He wandered off, heading down to eat some more.  He was still hungry.  He'd have to do a harder workout later.

Goemon put on the new robe, then headed down to breakfast.  He frowned at Xander.  "Fine, you will be great if you lose your impertinence and impatience."  He sat down and let his daughter hand him a filled plate.  "Thank you, daughter."

"You're welcome, father."  She smiled at him.  "That looks nice on you."

"The shopkeeper noticed his usual one had holes," Xander told her.

"I will still be paying you back later for this stunt, Xander."

"Sure, Goemon.  I'll kick your ass in practice too."  She gave him a sweet smile. "Or don't you think I can do that either?"

He pressed his lips together before he made her truly mad at him.

"Um, mom, are we of the 'needing midol' variety of woman today?" Arsene asked.  "If so, I'm sure we can find you some."

"No, dear, I haven't started a cycle yet.  Thank you for asking though."

"It was on my mind too," Lupin offered with a shit-eating grin.  "You sure you're okay, Xander?"

"No, but I'm only kicking my own mental ass for not checking us for bugs.  I know that they didn't follow us home."

"It happens, Xan.  They won't be coming back," Marcus assured her.  "I made sure of it earlier."  He took his usual seat.  "By the way, Janus was quite pleased with your naughtiness last night, and Ethan got to be the recipient of it."

"Eh, that's his thing.  I don't have sex for Janus' pleasure.  I have it for mine.  Speaking of, perhaps we should schedule a nap time today."  She looked at her lovers.  "Please?"

"Sure, brat," Jigen agreed with a smirk.  "Later."

"There may be a hitch with that," Marcus noted.  "I was called by those people who watch over children being home schooled.  They've apparently had a problem with some of the things the children have been taught."

"Why?" Xander demanded.

"Because you won't let us take out our headmistress," Melissa noted.  "She's the most likely suspect."

"Her or the school shrink," Arsene offered.

"You just hate him because he keeps trying to turn you into a girly-girl."

"Well, yeah!" she snorted.  "What a big, fucking shock!"

"Enough, we'll deal with it," Lupin said calmly.  "Marcus, are you leaving again?"

"Not for another month.  After all, I am listed as being in charge of their education."

"Hopefully it won't matter," Jigen noted.  "Can we head this off?"

"I've tried," Marcus promised.  "I pointed out that I was more than qualified, being a mere few months away from my History Ph. D.   They were not very impressed until I pointed out that the children had entered school a year higher than they should have at their ages due to their exceptional education.  I also pointed out that we do travel most of the year so therefore we can't really have them in a more standardized education.  They said they'd be looking over the records we've filed to make sure they've gotten at least the basics down.  Since they're in formal school now they're also looking at their records."

"Let's hope that the problems with the teachers haven't been noted," Jigen said.

"They're not in those records, just their grades."

"Thankfully," Arsene complained.  "Can't we *please* cap the Headmistress and that shrink?  Before he decides to try and reprogram me again?  He keeps saying I'm like a cult member and I only need to be fixed, but that would require me to sleep with his skanky ass."

"We'll deal with him," Lupin assured his favorite daughter.  "The headmistress....."  He looked at Jigen, then at Goemon.  Who both shrugged.  He looked at his daughter.  "Try driving her off first."

"Finally!" Melissa said, looking up and saying a silent prayer.  "Thank you!"

"You've had problems?" Jigen asked.

"She calls me a smart-ass, know-it-all who can't deal with real human beings because I'm not a slut and because I don't want to be part of some happy, cheerful group of mother- fucking imbeciles who have nothing more important in their lives than their hair.   She told me last week that the fact I got an A in science, math, and all three languages means that I'm never going to be anything but some ungodly little nerd who will never be loved, always be a virgin, and should probably be put out of my misery."

Arsene was the first to do anything in the silence that followed.  "When?" she demanded quietly.

"Last week. After grades came in."

"Then you leave her to us, 'Lis," Ishi reminded her.  "She'll be one sorry bitch."

"The language needs to be modulated," Goemon ordered.  "Though I do agree with the sentiment.  Do you need help?"

Arsene gave him an evil smirk.  "Oh, I have just the idea in mind.  Dad, I'll need you to help me make a call later."

"Of course."  He patted her on the head.  "You guys know we didn't want that level of shit, right?"  They nodded.  "Good.  We expected some hindrance, not that level of crap from the teachers and headmistress."

"She was in the year behind you, father," Sierra told him.   "I take serious insult to that crack about my friends."

"She wasn't talking about you."

"I was talking about that roving band of bitches who keep trying to pick on me," Melissa told her.

"Oh, them.  Well, yeah, that fits," she said haughtily.

"They're so toast anyway," Savannah assured her twin.  "I'm sick and tired of that group.  Just because you're smart doesn't mean you can't be fashionable and like boys."

"We'll be dealing with them, 'Lis.  Just you wait," Arsene promised.  "They've been bothering Amanda and I as well.  I slugged one of them recently.  That was a very pretty black eye."

"Girls, we wanted to know about those things," Xander pointed out.  "I was an outcast too, and I wanted to spare you that."

"It's cool, we've got it," Arsene promised.  "If not, we'll be calling for someone to go visiting."   She smirked at her.  "I needed a challenge anyway."

"Lupin, we are looking at the Assassin's Academy for next year, right?" Jigen asked.

"We are, they've already been accepted," Lupin agreed.  "We've gotten Amanda an 'in' with a local school down there, Ishi."

"Thanks, Uncle Lupin."

"I'm worried that they won't have the education that they'll need," Xander put in.  "I've looked over their school and they don't exactly have an emphasis on traditional subjects.  Plus, most of our kids are better than those down there.  The shooting instructor asked which kids had already been taught gun safety lessons.  I had Fred with me and let him clean his gun for him since it was filthy from his recent practice.  Needless to say, he nearly had a heart attack."

"So those of us who are already near marksmen will be excused from those lessons?" Ishi asked.   Lupin nodded.  "Is there anything they can teach us?"

"Your advanced martial arts, or another form.  It's a lot more about making connections than it is about traditional education."

"I still want to graduate with some sort of real education," Sierra pointed out.  "I'll need it to get into college."

"Only if you're not married off by then," Lupin reminded her.  She rolled her eyes.  "As for the graduating from college thing, you've got to bring your grades up if you want to go to school, daughter.  Colleges are competitive and your 'average' rating won't be getting you in."

"I do great in science!"

"Yeah, but that means that your other grades are crap," Jigen told her.  "You've got to do better."

"Plus, isn't there a test that you have to pass to qualify to get into the college prep classes, which means that you're allowed to take the college entrance test?" Xander asked.

"Just one for college entrance," Lupin assured her.  "Though in my day you had to have decent grades to be admitted into the test.  Right now, neither one would fit in that category."

"Then we'll just have to work harder," Sierra assured him.

"That would be a nice change," Goemon agreed.  "You two have never really liked your homework.  You must try harder to get into the fields you've expressed interest in.  The Academy takes a degree to get into now."

"I know," they sighed in unison.

"We'll try harder, Uncle Goemon," Savannah promised.  "This year has been odd, that's all this was."  She looked at her fellow wanna-be good guy.  "Study group this semester?"

"If you go back there," Lupin said dryly.  "I'm going to be doing some in-depth checking of this school later today."  He saw Xander's look.  "After nap time," he promised with a smirk for her.  "If not there, then we'll figure something out."

"That'd be fine," Jigen agreed.   "What's next, Xander?"

"Well, the girls are all going on birth control so that means a check-up.  I'm not sure if I want to do it all at once or not yet.  After that, then we'll figure out what to do next.  Speaking of, I need to call the doctor that delivered Fred and Sarah."

"After breakfast," Lupin agreed.   "Clothing wise, who's next?"

"Hmm.  I was thinking Melissa and Arsene, but that's still a while off.  I wanted to let them finish hitting puberty first.  Right now, a t-shirt is the height of fashion for them.  After they get breasts that may change."

"Sure," Lupin agreed, grinning at her.  "Just let me know what you need."
"My cards out of the safe," she said dryly.  "Unless I'm taking your daughter bra shopping on yours."

Lupin winced.  "I'll get Murami to get you a new card, Xan.  Yours was snapped in half the last I knew.  You sat on it funny."

"Fine," she sighed.  "Then I'll just have to take yours."  He groaned and she smirked.  "They're your heirs."

"Fine," he whimpered.  "Nothing too extravagant."

"No diamond encrusted bra from Viccie's Secret, got it," Arsene agreed with a cheeky smirk for her father.  "Dad, we've got to start working on my balance again.  Or else my tit's'll throw me off kilter again.  Can we do that later?"

"Sure," he agreed weakly, wincing at the very thought of his baby growing tits, especially tits like those he liked on her mother.

Jigen nudged him. "It'll be okay. She's your daughter, Lupin."

"That's what I'm afraid of," he moaned, getting up to get something for his new headache.

"What did I say?" Arsene asked, looking confused.  "I wasn't even being naughty.  Daddy!"  She got up to follow him, going to give him a hug.  He obviously needed a hug.

The others shook their heads and tried very hard to ignore the thought of their children being grown up now.  They didn't want them to grow up and date; that brought icky thoughts to their heads of all the bad adult things they could do.  They might even have sex if they grew up.


To Part 42
To Index