NC-17, m/m/m, m/f

Together Again.

Lupin smiled as Xander walked in with his princess on his arm.  He bowed to their host, letting him past with a hissed word at Melissa about her hair.  His daughter snuck in after her with Lotus, and he noticed Lotus had changed clothes and his daughter's hair was out of place, plus she had decided to wear gloves.  He raised an eyebrow and smoothed out his, prompting them to do their own.  As soon a he could, he made his way casually over to her.  "What happened?"

"Lotus got paint on her.  We did the Commissioner's house for him for sending such a moron after us."  She grinned up at him.  "Don't worry, daddy, he's just fine."  She kissed him on the cheek, then blotted her lipstick.  "Give us a moment."  They headed for the bathroom to make sure they were fine, then came back.  Xander was introducing Melissa to some of the top people and they were all watching for him an announcement.  "Hmm, she does look good in that dress."

"I thought that one was yours," Jigen said from behind them.

"It is, but it fits her and Melissa got some paint on her as well.  Mom scared us while we were redecorating."   She sipped the champagne she had gotten off a waiter.  "Ooh, he's going to make a speech."

Xander stepped up on a chair and grinned at his people.  "Hi, guys."

"Hi, Lavelle."

"Gee, this is just like a convention, only without the costumes."  That got some laughs.  "So, you all know why we're here.  I'm stepping back into the shadows a bit so Melissa can start to take over.  Sweetheart?"  She pulled over another chair and was helped up onto it by Hal, a big, Norwegian who reminded you a lot of Vikings and who ran the thieve's maze.  "This is my precious firstborn, Melissa Jigen.  Just so you all know, I have warped her to be a lot like me.  She does the electronics, the planning, and is cute as well."

"Mother, I'm beautiful, not cute," she said, smirking at him.

"Well, yes, you are, but I'm not supposed to say that about my own kids."

"Fine."  She grinned at the crowd.  "Quite a few of you already know me from the bulletin board and from helping Mom work.  Some of you don't.  If you don't, I'm Melissa.  I'm Second to Lupin the Fourth, who I dragged along so I'd have someone my own age here," she admitted with a grin for her crew.  She smiled at the rest of them again.  "I look forward to learning from all of you about your specific areas and to..."  She looked up as the door slammed open.  "Look, it's Paulo.  Hi, Paulo."

"Melissa.  Sorry I'm late but there's an idiot who painted 'I love sheep' on himself a few times, taped stuffed sheep to himself, then tied himself to a pole on the main bridge.  It's backing up traffic horribly."

"Sorry to hear that," Melissa said with a smile for him.  "For those of you who don't know, Paulo runs the house in Madrid.  He's known me now for a few years."  He nodded, smiling and holding out a hand.  "Thank you, dear.  Please, people, let's cut the stuffiness and get down to have some fun.  It's not often you get all of us in one room," she offered as she stepped down.  "Hi."

"Good job on the idiot.  Who was he?"

"Suoh something or other.  He's the one Interpol thought would get us.  Was he crying?"

"Very muchly."  He smiled at the band, who started up, and led her out to dance with her.  He was excellent, she was stunning.  "I like that dress, but isn't it Arsene's?"

"Yeah, but I got paint on myself while we were redoing the Commissioner's house.  Did it get it all off?"

"You've got a few flecks on your shoulders," he admitted, picking them off for her.  "There, perfect again.  Though your hairpin does need to go back in."  She reached up to do that, smiling up at him.  "There, the perfect Goddess your mother knew you'd be."  The band struck up a tango and he winked at her.  "Do you remember your teachings?"

"Yeah," she said slowly, but she was smiling a bit.  "Sure, why not.  I'm only young once, unless Janus gets to me too."  That got a snort from her crew so she grinned at them as he started off, making her smile at him and move with him.  He was her dance teacher after all.

Jigen watched and sighed.  His baby was doing the Tango with a dark and dangerous crook from Spain.  Lupin nudged him so he took the glass of champagne.  "I thought I had a few more years for this," he sighed.

"You do. He's the one who taught us," Lotus said with a smirk. "Next song's mine, Uncle Jigen."

"Sure, Lotus.  You look wonderful in that outfit.  Especially since you found that shawl so your dad could close his mouth again."  She giggled and took him out then and there, dancing with him.  "The sheep thing yours?"

"Then we went to fix the commissioner's house since he sent such an idiot to us.  Did you know that there's a loophole in the graffiti laws?  If you make it artistic, it's not considered graffiti.  So now he's got polka dots and stripes."  He snickered.  "He deserved it.  Trying to remove that guy from Interpol by making him chase us and fail."

"Remember, you'll want someone like Pops," he warned.  "Someone with some faults and with some ways to get around."

"Arsene's picked who she wants.  She's waiting for him to notice the message on the back of his house.  Suharto Majakalin."  He whistled.  "He is very good, but he's nearsighted in the extreme.  Very methodical.  Very good, just like Gramps, but very easy to distract and to play with."

"Did she paint that somewhere?"

"On his windshield."

"Good."  He dipped her, making her giggle and come back up without the shawl.  She snatched it and grinned at him.  "Sorry, thought it'd been pinned on."

"No, not really.  Mom couldn't find a way."  She smiled and continued to dance with him, until her Uncle Lupin took her.  "Hi, Uncle Lupin.  Thank you, Uncle Jigen."

"You're welcome, Lotus."  He left to find Arsene, who was chatting with Melissa as they danced together.  "That's not right and you know it, brats.  Let Melissa meet the others."  He took Arsene and danced her off.  "Brat," he said fondly.

"Ehh, we were talking about the guy on the bridge.  If he wasn't crying he might not quit."

"No, he will, I'm sure of it," Jigen promised, patting her on the back.  "How many do you think it'll take?"

"Three or four more.  Enough to get a good rep going so that he asks."  She smirked up at him.  "Next time, I'm going to have him in upside down frog position over the river, hands around himself as a boat goes past.  Painted green."

"Good job, Ar."  He smirked down at her.  "You've got a spot of paint in your hairline."  She reached up to rub it off.  "That's got it.  What's with the gloves?"


"Ah."  He surrendered her to Xander, going to find someone else to dance with.  His daughter got free at the next dance and grabbed him for a round, grinning up at him.  "I'm proud of you."

"Thanks, daddy."  She gave him a squeeze.  "I'm happy."

"Hopefully not with Paulo?"

"No, daddy, he was our dance instructor and he's got a girlfriend."  He smiled at that.  She pinched him.  "Don't worry, daddy, I will introduce you to any real possibilities like I did Brad.  Speaking of, graduation's in a few days.  I promised him I'd go."

"Fine," he agreed.  "Wyatt ran back to your aunt's side after giving information to Dawn."

"Ehh, we knew about that.  Then her computer got a mysterious virus call frogs."  She smiled.  "Ar is still quite mad at her for hurting Mom in the past."

"Fine."  He smiled as her hair came down, letting her pick up the broken pins.  "Didn't hold up?"

"They're very thin, daddy."  She bowed and excused herself to go fix her hair again.  Now it draped over her shoulders in a gentle curl because she had put it up wet.  She came back with it straightened out and smoothed down, then found a new dance partner among her mother's empire.

Jigen joined Lupin by the bar, smirking at him.  "Damn they're grown up."

"They are," Lupin agreed.  "Xander's being a hyperactive puppy again.  Where's Marcus?"

"Probably in the back room.  I haven't seen him yet.  Either that or he's stuck in traffic."

"Probably," Lupin agreed.  He walked out onto the floor, tapping Xander on the shoulder.  "May I?"  The girl with him giggled and surrendered her uncle, letting him have him.  "Deep breath," he said quietly.  "It's going wonderfully."  Xander nodded.  "Now let it out."  He let it out.  "Good boy, Xander," he whispered in his ear, making him shiver.  "This is a very nice event.  You should be proud of Melissa."

"I am," he agreed with a small smile.  They looked at their children, who were the envy of some of the older women in the room.  Xander grinned up at him. "It's not going badly, is it?"

"Not in the least," he agreed, smiling at him.  Xander was calming down now.  "Relax, it'll be fine.  I know you're wearing a gun in case something stupid happens."  He nodded, resting his head for a moment on Lupin's shoulder, then his back stiffened and he put it back up.  "I didn't mind, Xander," he said gently.  "I didn't in the past and I don't now.  You can snuggle up to me without any strings anytime you want."  The song ended so he stepped back and grinned.  "Wanna go again?"

"Actually, I believe it's my turn?" a young woman said from behind him.  "Xander, your daughter is adorable," Spider, the head of London's portion of Xander's empire, offered as she danced him off.  "She's grown up a lot since the last time I saw her."

He grinned.  "They do that, no matter how much you don't want them to.  It seems like only yesterday I was taking them to be fitted for their first bras," he sighed.  She chuckled and danced him toward the edge of the crowd.  "What's up?"

"Are you announcing a formal alliance with the Lupin Empire tonight, Xander?" she asked quietly.

"We all know I work with Lupin, that Melissa works with Lupin the fourth."

"Yeah, but they're all here.  I can see Lupin and Jigen, but Fujiko and Goemon are here too."

"She finally got rid of his headache?"  She gave him a long look.  "The way we've got it figured is that we're a hidden part under his umbrella because he still has no idea what I do."  She chuckled at that.  "So, while I'm one of his, I'm yours as well."

"So it's a partnership?" she pressed.  "Like an alliance marriage?"  He blanched.  "Not saying that you'd do that again or anything," she offered quickly.

"I don't know.  I have no idea, Spider.  I like things the way that they are," he decided.

"Yeah, but you're miserable, mate.  You've got to be happy, Xander, otherwise you make the rest of us miserable by pouting."

"Yeah, but now Melissa can take over when I have those days," he said with a wry grin for her.

"Fine.  Can I tell people that we're still in waiting for that alliance marriage?"


Bastian came over and stole Xander, with a wink for Spider.  "Thanks, love, needed my very own plush Xander toy."  She laughed but went to dance with Jigen since he was free.  "Xander, not to press, are we creating an alliance between us and Lupin?  We might as well already have one."

"I thought everyone knew I worked for Lupin."

"We do, that's why we might as well already have one," he said with a smirk.  "It would make some things simpler and would probably make their lives simpler if they didn't have to track you all over the globe for jobs.  Most of us think an unofficial one already exists."

"Most of you thought I was married to them until I dumped them too," he said dryly.

"Yeah, well, Alan made you happy but his career had to come first.  I get why he broke up with you."

"Other way around, but for the right reason," he admitted.  "I don't know, Bastian, they're sweet and nice, but I can't stand another bout of history replaying itself.  The way they ignored me, the way they treated me like I was an ornament.  It was killing me, Bastian."

"I get it, Xander.  I was married for a few weeks and she did the same thing."  He smirked at him. "Yes, me."

"I don't doubt it.  I figured you'd have a few more hidden in the past."  He shrugged and stepped back as the song ended.  "I'm still considering."

"Xan, wanna take a turn?" Jigen asked.

"Sure, Jigen."  Xander grinned at Bastian, knowing he could tell he was uptight at the moment.  Xander switched partners, dancing off with the man who had taught him how to dance.  "What's up?"

"Trying to find Lotus."

"Goemon pulled her over to dance with her," he said, nodding in that direction.  "Fujiko's sniffling about it."

"Oh."  He glanced and then shook his head.  "She is very pretty."

"She is," he agreed, wiggling his back some.  Jigen fixed his shoulder strap for him with a small wink.  "Thanks."  He glanced around.  "There's still some wallflowers."

"I doubt you're going to get many of the fences to dance, even with the kids looking for one.  Hmm, Arsene's with Heinrich though so maybe."

"No, one of the kids at school stole his statue again so she got given it to hand back to him.  She's like the retriever of it anymore."  He looked at Jigen.  "You've heard people asking me about an alliance?"  He nodded.  "What did Lupin say?"

"He said that if you took us back, then it was going to happen.  If you only took him back, he'd adore it.  If you only took me back, he'd be fine with it.  If you didn't take us back, I think he's going to pout at everyone in here until they tie you up and present you to him."  Xander made a face at that.  "He's right, Xander. It's only natural that we combine empires if we get back together.  Don't hide stuff from us.  The more we know, the more fascinating we think you are and the more we want to have you help us with the daily stuff."  He stole a kiss, making Xander moan as the music stopped.  "Think about it."  He let him go to the next female, a Russian if he remembered right, and went back to the bar.  On the way, he was stopped by Bastian and shook his head.  "For Xander maybe, maybe for Ishi, but not you, man."

Bastian smiled. "That's fine, I understand fully.  I liked girls more when I first met Xander too."  He gave his sleeve a short caress.  "Where is Ishi?"

"Um," he said, glancing around. "Hiding in the corner from the girl trying to devour him."  He pointed him out.  "You can go save him if you want, but he's very straight too."

"That's fine, I've got someone I want him to meet."  He strolled over there, making the girl walk off pouting.  "Ishi," he said fondly, smiling at him.  "A dance while we chat?"

"Do I have to?  I suck at that."

Bastian laughed. "It's not that hard.  I'll lead.  I've got someone who wanted to meet you, my boy."  He held a hand out and Ishi took it, letting him pull him up.  "My, you've grown again."  He led him onto the edge of the floor, dancing slowly with him.  "There's an acquaintance of mine who'd like to meet you.  He is American but he's not a spy," he said before Ishi could complain. "He's also not military.   He's an information broker.  He didn't say why he wanted to talk to you, just that he did.  It may be that he wants to see if you know where something is or possibly to get something off you."  Ishi nodded.  "Can I set up a phone interview?"

"Sure," he agreed.  "Do you have my cell?"

"I got it off Melissa.  I told her I was going to call to ask you out," he said with a wink.  Ishi blushed, making him chuckle.  "It's good that you know what you want, Ishi.  Keep that in mind, okay?"  Ishi nodded.  "Good boy.  Now, how long is the line to dance with your sister and are you going to kill me?"

"No, I know you'd never hurt her or touch her inappropriately because Mom would kill you," he said honestly, smirking at him.  He looked around.  "She's not looking happy so I'll let you have her.  Move us that way."  They moved that way and Bastian left Ishi there, cutting into Lotus' partner's spiel about his bank.  Ishi was tapped on the shoulder and taken over by Melissa.  "Hi.  I've got a phone interview.  You gave him my cell so he could hit on me?" he asked as they danced off.

"No, he said it was business and not pleasure," she promised, grinning up at him.  "How did you manage not to get nasty?"

"I only refilled the rollers and crawled along the roof with the multiple brush holder."

"Good point."  She smirked as she dipped him, making him blush.  "What's wrong?" she teased.  "Afraid of me?"

"Yes, you're one of those scary girls," he reminded her with a grin.  Someone coughed and he looked back then sighed.  "What?" he demanded.

"May I?" Fujiko asked.  "To speak?"

"We can sit down and speak," he offered, letting Melissa go with a nod.  She was snatched by someone else immediately so he didn't have to worry about her.  He went back to his former spot and sat down, looking at his mother.  "What did you wish to speak of, Fujiko?"

"I am still your mother."

"To us, you're a shade."

"I"ve changed, kid.  I'm trying, okay?  You guys made me see you're not babies, you're not following in my footsteps, and that you're good enough to already be on your own.  All I'm asking is for a quiet conversation."

"That's all you're getting," he assured her.  He pointed at a chair.  "Sit if you want."

"Thank you."  She sat down and smoothed out her skirt.  "It's all my fault.  I know I was wrong and I'm sorry as hell about what I did to you and Lotus, Ishi.  I want to make things right with you two.  I want to be there for your father.  I realize I'm in a very dark pit with you without a ladder."  He nodded, shifting some to cross his legs.  "I want a ladder.  That's all I want is a chance.  Your dad's given me another one.  I've changed. You can ask him, you can ask Lupin, hell you can even ask Xander.  He's been giving me these wary looks recently.  I've changed, Ishi. I want to be there for you."

"Why the sudden change?"

"What you did made me think.  Then you guys broke all my illusions about you guys needing me for anything.  I realized I was alone. I realized that I was about to be put to death by you or Lotus.  And I realized I didn't want that.  I want to be with your dad.  I want to be there for and with him.  I want to be the best mother I can to the younger kids.  I know it's too late for that with us, but can we maybe treat me like a stepmom at least?"

"We'll see.  Basing it on your behavior and such.  That is all we will allow.  Do not upset Lotus ever again however.  I will make my father a widow if you ever make her cry again."

"Agreed, Ishi, I don't want to make her cry.  She's nothing at all like me or the girls I grew up with.  Xander deserves a lot of credit for making you guys into great thieves and humans.  I'm happy that you guys had him when I was too dumb to be there for you.  All I'm asking for is a chance.  Speak to me when I talk to you, that's all I really want."

"We'll see. We decide such things as a group."

"Ishi, would you dance with me?" Lotus asked as she joined them.

"She wanted to ask for another chance."

"I'm basing it on what Mother says.  If Xander says that there's a shade worthy of being spoken to, I will."  She held out a hand, which he took.  "Thank you.  I just got pinched by that older guy."  She walked him out and let him dance her off.  "What did she say?" she asked once they were more or less alone.

"That she had changed, she's seen the error of her former ways, that she'd let me kill her if she made you cry, that she wants to be there for us kids, and can we please consider her a stepmother and at least give her a ladder out of the dark pit she's in with us."

"We'll see what Mom says," she agreed, putting her head on his shoulder.  "I'm tired."

"So am I.  We've only got a few more hours of this."  She nodded, smiling against his chest.  "What?"

"You're comfy.  You always were comfy to nap on."

"Don't you dare," he teased.

"It'd keep the older women from pinching you.  It'd also keep the older men from pinching you."  She coughed lightly.  "Ick."

"It's nothing.  Father's sitting down, I'll put you with him."  She nodded, letting him walk her off.  "Father, she's feeling a bit ill," he offered quietly as he handed his sister over.

Goemon got her sitting down and checked her forehead. "She's warm.  Where are our rooms for the night?"

"Upstairs."   Ishi looked up as the door opened, then pulled his gun on instinct, making sure he cleared enough space for his silencer.  He shot the person walking in wearing a police uniform, then trotted over to drag him off.  "Only sedative bullets," he offered when someone gasped.  He set him in a chair and looked him over.  "Uh-huh.  And who are you?" he asked, patting him down.  He found his ID case and snorted.  "Fine.  Whatever.  Stay out here, young man."  He put the ID case back and went back inside, shaking his head at the worried looks.  "Lupin the Fourth, your second one was just defeated.  It's just sedative bullets.  Piercing, from Scotland Yard."

"Wonderful," she agreed happily.  "We should go introduce ourselves when he wakes up."

"Sure."  He bowed to her and put up his gun, then danced her off, making her smile and giggle at the joke he told.

"Hey, I trained him, what else do we expect?" Xander called.  The musicians started up again and everyone shrugged it off and went back to their fun times.  Somehow Xander ended up in Lupin's arms again, which was making him uncomfortable.  "Hi."

"Hi."  He stole a quick kiss.  "Since Jigen stole one," he said with a grin, dancing him off.  "Have people been asking you if we're setting up an alliance?"  He nodded.  "Are we?"

Xander shrugged.  "I don't know."

"It would be helpful.  Besides, how else can I worship you if I don't know all you can do," he offered more gently.  He stole another kiss and put Xander's head on his shoulder.  "You rest and think, Xander.  It's important that you think."

"I don't want to get too comfy."

"Me either," Lupin admitted.  "You've always been comfortable for me, Xander."  He smiled at someone as they came over, shaking his head at them.  They shrugged and smiled, heading off for another partner, Jigen.  "You know, if I wanted to, I could be sneaky and ask you to marry me here, make it a real alliance marriage.  You'd have a hard time saying no in front of everyone."  Xander groaned.  "Fortunately I like you more than that."

Xander lifted his head.  "Who was talking about a marriage?"

"I was."  Xander stopped dancing to stare at him.  "I am.  Here, now.  Mine."  He pulled something out of his jacket and handed it over.  "I found that earlier," he admitted with a small smile.  "If you take us back, it's yours.  Jigen liked it too."

Xander felt someone come up behind him and glanced back, noticing it was Jigen.  "Um..."

"Open it, Xan, don't keep us waiting," Jigen prompted.  He saw the scared look.  "You can say no, or not yet."

Xander nodded, opening the box.  Inside was a small ring with three inset diamonds.  He looked at Lupin, who shrugged and grinned. "It's beautiful."

"It's us," he corrected, "which is very pretty," he agreed at the odd look Jigen gave him.

"Be ours, Xander?  Please?" Jigen asked.  "All of you, all of us.  No more hiding, no more ignoring from our side."

"That also comes with a yearly hit upside the head if we start again," Lupin offered.  "Plus, I'd do a prenup so you'd get half of what's mine and I'd get a third of yours."

Xander swallowed, staring at them. "Guys."

"Oh, say yes already," Arsene called.  "We all know it's what you need and want."   He shot a glare at her so she smirked at him.  "Really, mother.  We all know this.  Even the shade does."

"I, ah," Xander swallowed.  "Am..."

Lupin kissed him gently and closed the box.  "Think about it tonight, Xander.  Answer me at breakfast.  That way you don't have to do it with everyone he knows watching," he said, glaring around. "Don't pressure him."  He looked at Xander again, tipping up his chin, seeing the wet eyes.  "No, don't cry, Xander.  It was my fault, I'm the dumbass.  Now I'm trying to make it right."  He pulled him in for a hug.  "Please, just think about it and tell me."  Xander nodded.  "Thank you."  He let Jigen steal him.  "I want him back, I wasn't finished dancing with him yet."

"Yeah, yeah, after I'm done with him," Jigen said, walking Xander off to a corner.  He sat him down and kissed him gently.  "Just think about it for now."

Xander looked up at him.  "Yes."  Jigen's mouth opened.  "If you guys can keep your promises this time."  He let out a nervous chuckle.  "I figure if Lupin's changed enough not to pressure me in public for this then he must have changed a bit more too."

Jigen smiled and kissed him, one hand tangling in Xander's hair to keep him closer.  "Thank you," he said when he pulled back.


"Yeah, I haven't had one of those in a while."  He stroked the damp lips.  "I may only be able to top for a bit, Xander."

"That's fine, Jigen. I like being on the bottom most of the time."

"Good.  Then we'll pounce Lupin together."

"I heard pouncing being mentioned," Lupin said as he brought them glasses of champagne.  "When is it my turn for a kiss?"

"When you put this thing on me," Xander said, taking his glass.

Lupin grinned and kissed him, making Xander drop his glass and moan into his mouth.  He pulled back and took the ring, sliding it on the correct finger.  "There, mine."

"Yours," he panted.

"Both of ours," Jigen reminded Lupin.

"Of course."  Lupin looked around.  "We can't make it official but we do have a few people here who are notaries."  He looked at Xander.  "Did you want something quiet or something where everyone knew?  Or would you rather hold another of these?"

"I hate formal events."  He stood up and whistled, pointing at someone, who came over to them.  "Hey, Hal, I know you can bind couples."

"I can and I have," he offered, pulling a chair over.  "Let him sit, Lupin."  Lupin sat down on Xander's other side.  "Did you want this to be quiet or not?"

"I...."  He looked at them.  "Well?"

"Quiet," Jigen ordered.  "We can announce it later."

"Sure," Lupin agreed.  "That okay with you, Xander?"

"It's got to be love, they asked your opinion," Bastian said as he walked Melissa over.  "We'll be the witnesses."

"Sure," he agreed weakly.  "Quiet's fine."  He looked at his ring, then held it up.  "It's very pretty."

"We helped him pick it out, mom.  Of course it is.  Arsene found it and drug her father into the right store to see it."  She grinned at him.  "Now you can't leave us again."

Xander nodded and took their hands.  "Now, Hal?  Before I get too nervous."

"Of course, Xander.  Xander, do you love them?"  Xander looked at them, then nodded. "Do you have a proclamation of it?" he pressed.

"They changed for me.  They're not going to ignore me.  I loved 'em before but they changed the things that were wrong. They're mine again," Xander said in a rush, blushing.


"I've always been his.  Xander's a stunning thief who didn't even realize he stole me after I got over the shock of meeting him."  He kissed the back of the hand he held.  "Love you, Xander."

"I knew there was something special about him when I met him," Jigen offered.  "That's why I took him with me instead of dropping him off somewhere.  Best decision in my life and it's made it crazier, but a lot more sane too."  He grinned at him.  "Sorry, as mushy as I get."

"That's okay, we don't expect mush from you, Jigen," Xander offered, grinning at him.  "I think that's as mushy as you've ever gotten."

"Since he's wearing the ring, I will pronounce you three a trio, bonded and mated.  Let nothing and no one come between you again.  Or else this time the children might retaliate," he said wisely.  He stood up and waved a waiter over, handing over glasses of champagne to them.  "Drink to celebrate."

"To the trio," Melissa offered.

"To the trio," Bastian and Hal agreed.  Xander blushed and sipped his, Lupin grinned and drank his, and Jigen just drank.

"Now, how are we integrating the two empires?" Bastian asked.

"I'll work on that with Melissa, Arsene, and you two," Lupin promised.  "Give us a few days."

"That's fine," he agreed happily.  "What's wrong with Lotus?"

"She's got a slight case of the sniffles and doesn't really drink," Melissa told him. "I'm guessing it's a combination of the two."  She led him off, going to dance with him again. Since he was her cohort in her mother's empire.  "You know, Daddy and Daddy Lupin are going to be really stunned when they figure out how massive Mom's empire is.  He gave them the quick list but I don't think they realize how massive it is yet."

"Probably not. I know I didn't until Xander told me and Homer.  Speaking of, do you know where he is?"

"He's in Japan.  We'll be seeing him when we bring Lotus to be presented to her Order."

"Ah.  Good.  Should I come to that?"

"Nah, I can handle Homer, he's a big pussycat," she teased, grinning up at him.

"Ducks, I've got to remember how old you are, or you'd be in trouble right now," he offered, shifting a bit as the music stopped.  "You look much too old to be sixteen."

"Fifteen for a few more months," she corrected gently.  He swallowed.  "But I know I'm hot so you can lust after me if you want.  Daddy just warned me not to date Paulo."

He chuckled and hugged her, starting off again on another dance.  "Fine.  I'll hold it in check for a few more years at least.  We'll need a new symbol of course."

"Entwined L's?"

"I like that.  Maybe old script style or something."  He shrugged it off.  "It'll happen and we'll tell the others."  He nodded at Spider as she danced past.  "The answer was yes."

"Really?" she asked with a smirk, winking at Melissa.  "Can only help some of us."  She grinned up at the fence she was dancing with.  "So, do you work for Lupin, Lavelle, or yourself?"

"I work for Lavelle mostly.  He keeps me pretty busy. I also seem to work for the kids since the last one they went to was arrested before he got to them."

Arsene looked up at the fence she was dancing with.  "I've got something for you from the school," she admitted.

"I knew someone had stolen my statue."

"Not me, I'm only delivering.  The Headmistress figured I'd be seeing you here."  She pulled the small statue out of her top, along with the letter.  "Yours I believe."

Heinrich opened the letter, scanning it.  "Do I know this Shannon?"

"Trim, redhead, daughter of your last mistress."

"Ah, her.  She was quite good.  They did say that you didn't steal it, that you were kind enough to bring it back to me."

"Daddy told me to never piss a fence off, otherwise you might as well retire and raise the next generation and hope that they don't get blacklisted for your stupidity," she quoted, grinning up at him.  "Speaking of work, I still have some of that treasure to go.  That guy in Italy couldn't take all of it and Melissa's holding a few pieces for retirement and emergencies."

"I'll look at them sometime this week, Lupin.  When are you leaving for Japan?"

"Two days.  The kids have eye exams tomorrow.  We girls have to go for our exams tomorrow.  Lotus has to get her kimono from the house if no one thought to bring it.  Then we're going over to the training camp since it's closer.  We'll be there for a few days, then come back for the actual holiday celebration, and then ...."  She trailed off, looking at the trio in the corner.  "They're kissing."

"I'm guessing the empires are to be merged," he said fondly, smiling at her.  "You do very well, Arsene.  Have you ever thought about being a fence?"

"Yeah, but I'd miss breaking into places.  Part of the good stuff of being a thief is the getting in and taking it part."

"True.  If you change your mind, I could probably find a place for you in the lower ranks, let you work your way up."

"You might want to suggest that to Fred. He's not too keen on doing his own plans."

"I've been watching him.  He'll be a gunman," he said wisely.  "A miniature Lavelle."

She nodded.  "That'd be nice," she agreed, smiling up at him.  "You really are nicer than most people say.  You don't have an alligator at all."

He chuckled.  "I do, it's at home, dear one.  Ah, there's Fujiko.  I need to speak to her.  If I may be excused?"

"Sure," she agreed, letting him go.  She watched him walk off then went to talk to her parents.  She noticed Ishi converging on the same spot and grinned at him.  "Hi, studly.  Find anyone yet?"

"Stop it," he warned.  "I'm not like that."  They stopped in front of the trio.  "I take it it's official?"  Lupin nodded, grinning at them.  "Good, then we need to talk about my mother."

"That's okay, I just figured out the swamp comment from Cairo.  It was Heinrich," Lupin noted calmly, sipping her champagne.  Lupin the Third nodded.  "You knew?"

"I figured it out a few days after you started school.  I also warned him off."  He held up a hand.  "Do you mind, Empress?"

"No, daddy.  I don't want to be a solitary empress.  I'd rather be a dual empress with Melissa."  She grinned at the other two.  "I'm happy, but remember, we get to react if you two break up this time."

"You can," Jigen promised, stroking Xander's shoulders. "What about your mom, Ishi?"

"She asked me for another chance."

"She did stop plotting against you," Lupin admitted.  "Goemon said she's stopped plotting as well.  That she's thinking a lot and she's very sorry."

"She wanted a ladder out of her grave?" Melissa asked as she joined them.

"Yeah, and to be treated like a stepmother."  Ishi shrugged.  "I'm waiting on information about her changing.  Mom?"

"She has, or she's trying really hard to," Xander admitted quietly.  "I'm still very wary, but I've noticed she is giving the boys these long, sad stares.  She even let Yu suck in his sleep the other day from what I heard."

"She did what?" Ishi asked.

"Yu's still sucking in his sleep if there's anyone nearby," Lupin reminded him.  "Goemon brought him into their bed after finding him in Xander's.  They all fell asleep again and Yu woke her up by trying for a snack.  She didn't scream, didn't cry, didn't rant, and let him continue when he snuck back for a second round."

"Goemon's been having empty nest thoughts since Lotus is so grown up," Jigen offered.

"Oh, please, not another one," Xander begged.  "Bix will never get to retire and Ray will be pissed at me."

"Nah, we can handle one baby, Xander. We all kinda miss having a baby around.  Even you.  I've seen you giving Yu those same sad looks."  He nodded, that was true and he couldn't deny it.

"We're letting them play it by ear, guys," Lupin told the kids.  "They're fully back together.  She put the moves on Goemon and he accepted it.  He's a lot happier too."

"Then we'll watch and wait," Ishi noted.  "I'll talk to Lotus."

"Goemon did that earlier," Jigen admitted.  "I think that's what gave her the headache."

"No, she doesn't drink and she had the sniffles," Ishi told him.

"Okay then," Jigen agreed easily enough.  "We've got to fix that for her."

"She'll start to build an immunity soon enough," Lupin reminded him, sipping her fifth glass of wine that night.  "We all did."  She looked up at Ishi, then at her father.  "Daddy, I want to go professional for my first time.  Would that bother you?"

"Daughter, I don't want to know anything about your sex life," Lupin said calmly.  "I want to meet the guys I can threaten to kill if they mistreat you.  I want to meet anyone you're serious about.  I don't want to know otherwise.  Just as long as you're careful!"

"Yes, daddy.  Thank you, daddy."  She walked off, pulling out her phone to call a number she had looked up at the Academy.  "Is the Countessa in?" she asked quietly.  "Lupin the Fourth."  She smiled at the waiter, taking a refill.  "Countessa, it's Lupin the Fourth.  No, I wanted to speak to you about a delicate matter.  No, my father has said that he wanted me to be...pure until I was sixteen and that time is coming up soon.  I was hoping you had a recommendation of somewhere I could go to find someone to teach me that art."  She listened and nodded.  "Thank you.  Of course.  I can come over in about an hour.  We're still at Lavelle's event."  She smiled.  "Thank you, Countessa."  She hung up and went back to dancing, finding Ishi all alone.  "I'm going to be ducking out for a bit.  I'll be back tonight if anyone asks."  He nodded.  "It's not a job, I promise."  She kissed him on the cheek then left, heading out to get one of the cabs outside.  The doorman opened the door and she handed over a twenty.  "To 2312 Rue St. Marie."  He nodded, taking off with her.  "Don't take the main bridge if there's still that traffic jam."  The driver nodded again and took her through the tunnel instead.


Countessa Domini was an elegant older woman, she was the top courtesan in Europe and she trained the mistresses of a great many world leaders.  She personally let Lupin the Fourth into her home and into her drawing room.  She was wearing a print silk dressing robe and had her hair still perfectly in place.  "My dear, you look quite stunning in that."

"Thank you.  Lavelle helped me pick it out."  She sat down and smiled at her.  "I know this is an odd request and not something you usually handle, but it is necessary."

"I agree.  Especially with your nature.  Your father always had girls around him who were more than willing to aid his education."  She sat down and curled up on her couch.  "Would you like some tea?"

"No thank you.  It'd go against the champagne we've had all night," she admitted.  She played with the bracelet over her glove.  "I'm going to be sixteen this June.  Dad made us swear off anything until then.  I've been curious for years, but I've held to my promise because I knew that daddy would be upset and I'd end up like my sister, married."  She shot her a nervous glance, then went back to playing with her bracelet.  "But the time has finally come and there's no one at the school that I'd consider even a cheap one-night stand with."

"It is correct, your first time should be important and special.  Are you sure you want to do it this way?"

Lupin leaned back, crossing her legs.  "My first time I almost broke down was in a club when I was ten, Countessa.  I'm going to go nuts if I have to wait much longer.  The Lupin heritage is very strong within me.  By family standards back sixteen generations or so, I'm a prude and an old maid."

She nodded.  "True. The last three were broken in much younger than you are.  What do you want for your first time?"

"Someone to teach me.  Someone to let me sate my insane curiosity on.  Someone to teach me the right way to do it because I know I suck at some things.  I've tried with a few toys and I can't get the hang of oral sex at all."  The older woman chuckled at that.  "I want to be a good lover.  I want it to be spectacular.  Also, there's the complication that the rules state that we're supposed to only be having sex at the house, that way the parents make sure that we're doing so safely.  I won't demand it this first time," she promised.

"That's very wise.  There is a place I know who does have males," she admitted.  "She's in Berlin.  It's a very nice house.  Very clean and the like.  Everyone is tested.  She has catered to many young woman with odd tastes, I'm sure she could cater to your special occasion.  Are you sure you wouldn't rather have it be something special to you?"

"I'm realistic.  I'm not going to be settling down for a very long time. If I have my way, there will be no Lupin heir until I'm at least thirty. Of course, since Daddy's only twenty- five at the moment, he'll probably be a doting grandfather," she admitted with a small grin.

"How did he do that?"

"We know an alchemist.  He made a potion.  Lavelle runs a small plastic surgery office in LA and they're selling it out of there."  She nodded, accepting that reason.  "It's very good but you can only use it once and it only takes off about ten years."

"That's fine.  I know of many who would pay dearly for such.  Let me get her address for you, Lupin."

"You've earned the right to call me by my first name, Countessa.  You're one of the most important women in Europe.  I'd take no insult from it."

She smiled.  "Thank you, Arsene.  By the way, you would make a charming addition to my family, but do not use me for a job again."

"I didn't want to at that time, it was a matter of distraction so we could get some schoolmates out.  I did send her back that waistchain personally.  The Greek Ambassador's lady told me to say I was yours."

"Then I will not bother myself about it again," she promised.  She went to her desk and found the address, copying it down for her.  "Here you are, Arsene.  I thank you for coming to me for this most special occasion."

"Thank you for your time, Countessa."  She slid it into the pocket inside her top.  "I had to have an ID pocket put in," she explained.  "I can't get the hang of carrying little girly purses.  It's just not me."

The Countessa smiled at her.  "No, it is not you.  The gloves aren't your usual statement either."

"I got paint on me earlier while I was torturing the commissioner's house.  I couldn't get it all off."

"Ah.  Very well hidden then, child.  Are the empires merging?"  She nodded.  "Hmm, perhaps I will see Melissa some day?"

"Maybe, but Melissa's the sort to take on a permanent person.  Her guy had to go to Interpol to save himself because they wanted him to kill us.   She's still lusting over him.  She's also very bi, but she goes for personality.  If so, I'm sure you could find her someone who I could get along with too."  She grinned.  "Or maybe me some day."

"Hopefully.  How about that nice young man?"

"Ishi?  I'm sure his dad's hoping he settles down with a nice girl someday to raise a Fifteenth. I'm sure he's hoping for a nice one, but hopefully Asian of some sort.  Lotus would be the harder one really."  She nodded at that.  "Then of course there's Fred, who's eight.  Thank you, Countessa.  I'll let you get back to your evening."  She bowed again and left.

The older woman leaned back, considering who she knew.  She did know a few very nice girls that Goemon the Fourteenth would adore hopefully.  She also had one man who might work very well with Melissa.  She'd have to keep an eye on them.  Maybe one of her newer students would be of more help to them.  Or possibly Lavelle if he didn't take back Lupin and Jigen.  It was an interesting dynamic.  She got up and went back up to her partner, sliding back into bed with him.  "She is gone," she whispered in the Commissioner's ear.  "You can come out now.  You will be missing an inspector I think."

"I figured as much."  He smiled before kissing her. "How long before I said I have to go home?"

"Four more hours, love."

"That's fine.  More than enough time to make you happy."  He kissed her again, one hand moving down to tease a peaked nipple.


Lotus woke up alone in the suite, looking around in confusion.  What had woken her?  She heard her name whispered again and shuddered.  "I'm not yours, snake demon," she muttered.  She heard a laugh and turned on the light, finding a demon at the foot of her bed. "Who are you and what do you want?"

"I want to give you what you want, Lady Lotus.  I live to serve you."

"Then you die," she noted calmly, tucking the sheets more firmly around her.  "Begone."

"But Lady Lotus, I can bring your greatest pleasures to the forefront.  I can give you anything you desire."  He stepped closer.  "I can be anyone you want.  No matter how famous, how odd you think it is.  Your brother, your father, someone famous like your favorite actor.  Anyone you desire I can be.  All you have to do is accept me."

Lotus took something off her dresser and opened it, then tossed it on him.  "I said, begone!  I have no desire for temptatious and freaky demon sluts.  By the way, my brother is not someone I would desire, neither are my father or my uncles.  Now, begone, before Xander gets up here and I have him kill you."

"I will be back."

"No, you won't.  Next time, I'm killing you."  He glared at her so she sent him the icy look of death that she had gotten off her father, making him back up.  "Begone, Incubus, before I get upset and decide to turn my powers back onto Hell for your approaching me.  I know I can get Xander to help me."  He swirled up in a puff of smoke and disappeared.  "I hate sexual demons.  Why can't they leave me alone?"

"What's wrong?" Goemon asked as he walked in.  He sniffed.  "What is that stink?"

"The incubus I just drove off."


She nodded. "He tried to tempt me by saying he could become you or Ishi, or a famous actor."

He glared at the spot the stench was coming from.  "I will speak to your uncle about making him sorry."

"Sure, I was going to so I could learn how to banish them."  She shrugged.  "Daddy, do we have any cold medicine?"

"Yes, but you may not have any. They said so."

"Damn."  She let him tuck her back in.  "Thank you, daddy.  How was the party?"

"Your uncles are now remarried.  Everyone was happy when that was announced.  Arsene snuck off to do something. Your mother approached your brother about what we spoke of."

"We'll see, father."

"That is fine, just consider it, Lotus.  It would make me happy if we were a true family again."

"We'll see," she repeated.  He nodded, leaving her alone but the door open. "He's not coming back."

"I'm not taking that chance," he replied from the front room.   Goemon got out of his formal kimono and sat down with his sword to check it over.  When Xander came in he stood up.  "I do not wish to break the happy mood, but an incubus just tempted Lotus."

"I'll teach her how to banish them in the morning," Xander promised, grinning at him. "She's powerful, Goemon.  I have no doubt we'll be going through the same thing with Alex.  She's powerful, she's pure, and she fights against demons.  Of course they want to turn her.  She's a threat.  The same as I am.  I'll teach her how to banish them tomorrow."

"Thank you, Xander.  Can we find some way of making sure he doesn't come back."

Xander winked and went into Lotus' room, where something shrieked and exploded quietly.  He came out buttoning back up his shirt.  "Done.  One less sex demon in the world."

"Don't bother buttoning back up," Lupin said smoothly, stealing Xander into their bedroom.

Jigen looked at Goemon. "It'll be fine, Goemon.  She's smart and strong, she can resist and banish them."  He looked over as Arsene walked in and closed the door.  "Where did you go?"

"To talk to Countessa Domini about my first time. Stuff Daddy said he didn't want to know about."

"Fine," Jigen agreed.  "Me either."  He waved and went into their bedroom, closing the door behind him.  He watched as those two writhed against each other, merely kissing for now.  Lupin's hands were in Xander's hair and Xander's hands were teasing and stroking Lupin's back.  He undid his bowtie and tossed it into the chair, then sat down to take off his shoes, his socks, and his jacket.  "Can I interrupt?" he suggested.

Xander pulled back to pant.  "Of course," he offered.  "Come on in."

Jigen stood up and stripped off, knowing they were watching him.  This time it didn't bother him.  He walked over and climbed in behind Xander, working on his buttons one- handed.  "You're overdressed.  We should do this before things get too desperate."  Xander stood up by rolling over Jigen and stealing a kiss, then stood up beside the bed to strip off.  He noticed Lupin staring and nudged him.  "You too."

Lupin stripped off and laid back down, patting the bed between them.  "Right here, Xander, where you belong."  Xander crawled over Jigen's legs, grinning at them.  "Kiss him, Xander, make him brainless."

Xander complied, facing Jigen and pulling him closer to kiss him.  Jigen was hesitant but he went with it for now.  During the kiss, he put one leg over Jigen's thighs so they could rub against each other.  Jigen pulled back to moan so Xander moved lower, laying teasing bites on his adam's apple and on the pulse point.  He shifted backward, teasing and playing with the firm chest. He noticed Jigen was sweating so he looked up at him.  "Tell me if it get to be too much," he said quietly.  Jigen nodded, pushing his head back down.  Xander went back to his playing with the tight nipples.  He could feel Jigen pressing against his stomach and smiled, shifting so his body was rubbing against the length.  Jigen arched up, starting to pant.  Xander nodded Lupin over to kiss him and went back to pleasuring his new husband.  He loved this man, phobias and all.  He made it down to the where Jigen's tip was resting and gave it a gentle lick.  "What do you want me to do, Jigen?"

"Suck!" he panted between breath-stealing kisses from Lupin.  "Please."

"Of course.  I love to suck you." Xander started by sucking the tip in, playing with it gently, making Jigen grip the sheets.  Then he moved lower and let it be thrust in deeper, adding suction on the way up.  He dove down again, making Jigen moan, then came up to play with the tip again.  One hand came up to tease the soft sack, making Jigen shift and open his legs wider.  Xander let his pinky finger tease the sensitive spot behind them, making Jigen arch up into his mouth.  He paid attention to what he was doing, making him howl in pleasure as he came.  Xander came up to kiss him.  "You taste good, you always have," he whispered.

"Xander," Jigen moaned.  "I..."

"Shh, that's all you, Jigen.  Not me.  I'm not that flexible.  Now, if Lupin would do me the same way, you could taste me on his lips."  Lupin took the hint, going down to tease and play with him.  Xander grabbed the headboard, holding on for dear life.  He had straddled Jigen's lap to kiss him and Lupin was teasing him, letting his hair tease Jigen's cock back into service.  "Ooh, yeah," he moaned, getting into it.  "He's fantastic at this.  Nearly as good as I am."  He pulled Jigen's head up so he could kiss him.  "Want me to get off you?"

"No, stay," he offered, stroking up Xander' stomach to play with his nipples.  With how muscular he was, his pectorals could almost be taken for breasts.  He loved Xander enough to try this for him.  He played with the peaked buds, making Xander arch up into his fingers, he knew how sensitive they were.  Lupin pulled off to pant, giving him a kiss.  A darker, salty taste was in his mouth.  Was that Xander?  It was almost something he could get to like.  He kissed him again, letting Xander move his hands down to touch him.  He was stroking his lover before he knew what was going on.  He looked up and found Xander's eyes closed.  He put a little more pressure on him and Xander came with a moan.  Lupin took his hand to lick, then cleaned up Jigen's chest for him, making him happy and start to get hard again.  "What about you?" he asked Lupin.

"I'm going to have the ass I missed," he said with a grin.  "Xander, that okay with you?  That I invade you and make you go off again?"

Xander grinned at him and shifted so his thighs were outside of Jigen's.  "You go ahead, I'll stay here and rub against him for now."  He kissed Jigen, making him moan. "Give him a moment to find some lube, Jigen.  Then it'll be good again."

"I know it will. You always make it nice."  He gripped the firm ass, smiling at the purr he heard from Lupin for it.  He felt a damp finger brush past his hands and pulled them farther apart while kissing his husband.  It was something he hadn't thought of before, but he loved Xander and what Xander did to him was better than any woman in the past.  He felt Xander shift, rubbing his harder cock against his boy's stomach and Xander's limper one against his pubic mound.  Xander moaned in the kiss, arching back some.  Lupin let out an evil chuckle and Jigen felt the fingers switch. Now it was a thumb and Lupin was leaning down to lick up Xander's spine, making him howl in pleasure.

"Now, Lupin, please?" Xander panted.

"Just a bit more, Xander.  I don't want to hurt you."

"Fuck hurting me!  Now!"

"Shh, give him a minute," Jigen soothed, kissing him again.  He let one hand come off the firm buns and run through the silver hair, making Xander kiss him again.  Xander panted as he felt something start, and Jigen watched over his shoulder, one hand still holding a cheek open for Lupin's pleasure.  The hard cock pushed past his hand as it slowly sunk into Xander's body.  "Bare?" he asked.

"Yeah, I'm clean, he's clean.  I want him naked," Lupin panted, resting against Xander's back.  "You ready?" he asked, looking at Jigen.  Who nodded.  Lupin moved, which made Xander shift, which rubbed their cocks together.  Lupin pulled out, which made Xander shift to follow him, and Jigen rubbed against a different part of Xander's stomach.  Lupin sped up, setting a good, hard, fast rhythm that wouldn't last long but that would drive them all insane by then.  Hopefully.  He was working himself hard, making Xander grip the sheets and suck on Jigen's neck so he wouldn't hurt him. It didn't take long, he'd been wanting it too long for that, but when he came, he shoved in as far as he could, making Xander scream in pleasure.  Then he pulled out and went limp on the bed beside them.  "You okay?" he asked as he stroked Xander's back.

"Fine," he said, still rocking his hips.  "I need more though."  He looked up at Jigen.  "Do you think you could do that much?"

"Probably," he agreed, more than ready to slam in there.  He hadn't been this hard in a while.  Xander was taken by Lupin, who curled up around him, letting Jigen spoon behind him.  He looked down at his slid in, liking this sight.  He slid back out and went back in again, slowly, torturously moving back into the warm, wet cavity.  It wasn't much different than he had with a woman.  He pulled back and pushed back in further.  He could tell he wasn't going to slam into someone's cervix so he didn't have to worry about going too deep.

"More," Xander moaned, arching back. "Please, Jigen?  More!  All of it!"

Jigen slid in all the way, moving to hold him, driving himself into the warmth.  "My bitch?" he hissed.

"Yours.  Please!"  Jigen sped up, making Xander scream in pleasure and clutch at Lupin, who was working his front for him.  "Please, more, now!" he pleaded.

Jigen reached around, wanting to touch him.  He found a hand there and batted it away, doing it himself.  It wasn't much different.  It was like he was stroking a clit instead of just teasing it with a finger.  Xander arched back and rocked his hips, trying to get more and get it deeper.  "You're takin' all I got," he assured him.

"Harder!"  Jigen went harder, realizing that he could slam into Xander, he could take him going as hard and as fast as he wanted.

"You can put him onto his back if you want," Lupin suggested.  "It'll be fine."  Jigen nodded, letting Lupin help Xander rearrange himself, legs over Jigen's shoulders.  He watched as Jigen slammed back in and Xander arched up to meet him.  He decided to lend a helping mouth and licked at the hard cock Xander had, catching Jigen's eyes.  They shared a kiss.  "Slip upwards at the end," he encouraged.  "Just like a g-spot."  Jigen did it and Xander's moans changed pitch, going higher.  Lupin smirked and went back to pleasing his new man, allowing him to grab his head and hold it down.  He finally got to come up for air and let some saliva trail down onto the dripping cock.  "Damn, Xander, tomorrow it's my turn," he promised.  Jigen growled and went harder, one hand coming down to play with the hard cock.  "Just let it go, Jigen.  We can soothe him if we need to."

Jigen shook his head.  "On me," he panted.  He managed to go faster, making Xander's breath catch and him shake, then go limp.  Jigen looked down at the come that had fallen over the back of his hand, pulling out to wipe it on himself, then going back to what he had been doing.  He came a few moments later, making Xander sigh in pleasure.  Lupin helped him into the middle, even going to get a washcloth to clean them up.  He pulled Xander closer to kiss him.  "Thank you," he whispered.

"My pleasure, really," Xander assured him with a bright grin.  "You gonna lick that off?" he asked, nodding at the damp hand.  He watched as Jigen slowly tasted some of the spilled come, smiling at him.  "It's an acquired taste," he promised at the odd look on Jigen's face.

"It's not that bad."

"No, it's not," Lupin promised, putting the washcloth aside.  He licked Jigen's hand clean, then used a clean spot on the washcloth to clean it of.  "There.  Now we need to rest."

"Hmm, nap," Xander agreed.  "Get you tomorrow, Lupin."

"Sure, Xander. Just warn me first."

Jigen drifted off while they were chatting, content to be in the center for now.


Fujiko smirked at Goemon once they were alone in their room.  "Sounds like they're happy."

"It sounds more like they're exhausted and one of them won't make it to breakfast," he countered, pulling her closer.  He kissed her gently, working on the zipper of her dress.  "Let me help."

"Sure, Goemon."  She turned, letting him unzip her and smooth the dress off her body.  She turned around, seeing his admiring look for her bra and panty set, but she didn't expect him to pick her up and toss her onto the bed.  He took off her shoes and thigh holster, then slid the stockings down slowly, tossing them over his shoulder.  He stood up, taking off his remaining clothes, leaving the loincloth on after a hesitation.  "Off, Goemon.  Take it off." He blushed but did take it off, putting it aside.  She got her bra undone but he swatted at her fingers, doing it for her.  That too went over his shoulder then he stood up to get her panties off, tossing them onto the floor.  She lay there as he had tossed her, legs spread, on her back, open to his gaze, and saw the desire flame up in him.  She shifted her knees outward, giving him a better view.  He moaned and she saw him start to react. "Mine?" she asked, holding up a hand.

"Of course."  He slid back overtop of her, slowly kissing up her stomach to get to her lips, avoiding her nipples.  She arched up against his body when their lips touched, making him smile before diving back in.  He felt a hand come around to tease his neck, not minding the nails a bit.  She liked to scratch, it was something he had never minded.  He got the first good one when he let his hands come up to play with her breasts, making her moan and arch up again.  "Not yet, wife," he whispered.  "It's not time for that yet."  He moved down to tease what he was playing with, making her happy and wiggle. He let one hand move lower, teasing the sensitive spots on her stomach.  She swatted at him but he continued until she moved one of his hands lower, impatient for him to move on.  Instead of his hand, he went down there to worship it, making her grab onto the sheets as she moaned.  "Patience.  I'm not near ready to have you yet."  He slowly licked and tasted, teasing and tempting her until she went over on his tongue.  He cleaned her up and went back to teasing her.  "What do you wish, wife?"  He didn't get an answer so he looked up at her.  "Tell me or I'll stop."

"In me, please, Goemon."  He used a finger to enter her, teasing her some more.  "Not that way!"  She grabbed him and tossed him onto his back, climbing on top of him.  "You tease."

"I like to tease you, you react very well," he assured her, holding her hips still as he ground up into her, forcing her clit into contact with his pubic mound.  "What would you like tonight?"

"You, just you," she panted.  He put her back onto her back and slid back home, making them both moan.  She arched up and he gently thrust.  "More, please?"

"Shh, have patience, Fujiko.  I am not looking for something fast tonight.  I wish to pleasure you in many ways."  He went back to pleasuring her, tasting her nipples, using her body's weapons against itself.   By the time he was ready, she was making pleading, babbling noises.  He liked that.  He sped up and she shouted, so he sped up further, making her go back to her babbling at him.  One phrase caught his ear.  "Daughter?" he asked.  "You wish a daughter?"

"Yes, god, anything for you!  Please!"

He smiled and went for his own pleasure, sure she would get her own one way or another.  When he shot into her, he used his thumb to finish her off, making her claw up his back and bite him on the shoulder, which was also fine with him.  He laid down on top of her to hold her. "Shh, I am here," he said as she started to calm down.  "Are you back on the pill?" he asked.  She shook her head.  "Then, if you were only speaking in the heat of passion, perhaps you should find a pill pack in the morning."

She put her arms around him and kissed him.  "I'll think about it."  She kissed him again. "Aren't you tired?"

"Exhausted but I wish to watch you sleep."  She smiled and closed her eyes while he stroked her stomach, putting her to sleep.  He withdrew from her body and laid beside her, still stroking her.  She was wonderful and suited him now that she had fixed herself.  He touched the bitemark on his shoulder and let out a grin.  Yes, she was perfect for him.  He yawned and laid down on her shoulder, one leg thrown over hers, his arm around her stomach. That's how he fell asleep.


Xander woke up to a missed feeling, someone stroking him.  He opened his eyes and smiled at Jigen, who was doing the stroking.  "Morning."

"Morning.  Can I try that again?"

"Whatever you want, Jigen."  He arched up to give him a kiss.  "Just don't call it a clit out loud again."

"I'm sorry, Xander."

"It's all right.  Quite a few guys who cross over call it a pussy for a few months."

"No, it's not a pussy.  I can tell it's not one of those," he promised, kissing him again.  "Can I try that licking thing?"  Xander slid onto his back and stretched out for him.  "Thanks."

"Welcome.  Just tease it for now, until you get ready."

Jigen nodded, taking that advice.  He started out licking, making Xander happier.  Then he slowly licked across the head, earning a shiver for his efforts.  He let the head slide into his mouth, sucking gently on it, like he would a nipple.  He felt the small arch upward and let Xander have more of his mouth.  Then he felt hands on his shoulders and pulled back to look at Lupin.

"I'm helping," he promised gently, smiling at him.  "Next time, go down and keep going, then hold it for three counts, then come up and breathe.  I'll help if you need me too."  Jigen shook his head, doing as ordered.  "Deeper, Jigen, it's the best feeling when it's done to you."  He tried it again, earning a moan and Xander helping by pushing up a bit.  Jigen came up spluttering.  "Breathe, it's all right," he soothed, stroking his back.  "Try it again.  Breathe in as you go down, breathe out as you come back up."  Jigen tried it again, going all the way down again, taking the advice.  He came up and went back down.  He could like this he guessed.  He came up to suck on the head again, making Xander whimper and arch up.

"Play with whatever's not in your mouth.  He likes that."  Lupin got the lube out and put a dab on his fingertip.  "I'm going to do just one finger, Jigen."  He slid it inside so he could head for the other man's prostate.  Jigen nearly choked this time when he found it but came back up so he could breathe.  Lupin continued to gently flick across it.  "Go back to it if you want, or just play with your hands and kiss him.  Whatever's good for you."

"What about you?"

Lupin grinned.  "I can always get Xander to blow me."  Xander nodded.  "See?  Want to do this to him?"  He gave a harder rub across the small organ, making Jigen moan.  Jigen held up his left hand so Lupin lubed up the first finger.  "Slide it in, on the top there's a little nub."  Jigen did so, finding it easily enough.  He also went back to playing with the hard cock in front of him.  "Good boy, Jigen.  Should I go faster?"  He gave it another harder rub, making Jigen involuntarily move.  "Yeah, let's go faster."  He moved the finger faster, switching out with flicks and rubs and thrusting the finger a few times.  Jigen was moaning now, and he was all the way down on his own and liking it.  "So good," Lupin moaned.  Xander was whimpering in need.  "Let go if you want, Xander.  You can let go."

"Coming!" he warned.  Jigen pulled back some but Lupin got him again and he went back down, accepting it all. Xander panted, looking up at his husbands.  "Wow.  He's damn good at that."  His head flopped back onto the pillows.  "I'm gonna die now."

Jigen pulled off and licked his lips.  "Wow."

"You're very good at that, that's high praise from the Love God there," Lupin teased, smiling at him before stealing a kiss.  "Your first one too."  He pulled Jigen to a clear space. "I want you."

"What do you want?"

"What you were doing to Xander, only more.  I want what he had last night, Jigen."


"Just try. I can stick with fingers if you can't. I swear."

Jigen nodded, accepting the tube of slippery stuff.  He slid some out on his fingers. "How do you want to do this?"

"However is best for you, Jigen.  On my knees, on my back, on my side?"

"Back," he decided.  "I'd better get used ta looking at you two."  He looked down at the hole he could see.  "Where do I start?"

"Like you were doing to him, then slowly move up.  Just like I did to you."

"Yeah, but I was full with one."

"It'll take time to work your way up.  Some people never do.  We don't mind," he promised. He arched up into the invading finger.  "Yeah, like that, Jigen."  He wiggled some.  "Find the spot."  Jigen found it, making him hiss.   "Been a while since I did this," he panted.  "More?  Move up."  Jigen nodded, pulling out to slide in two fingers.  Lupin pushed up, panting harder.  "C'mon, you're more talented than that."  Jigen spanked him on the thigh.  "Ow!"

"Hush."  He moved to three fingers, slowly moving them so he could open the spot.  He hoped it was enough.  He wanted to watch himself sink into Lupin's body.  He pulled out and slicked himself up, then slowly slid inside, earning an 'oh, yeah' moan.  He pulled back, watching himself slide in again.  Lupin was liking this.  He looked up, Lupin looked like he wanted to be fucked to death, he was already panting and moaning.  Xander wasn't helping, he was only watching, so it was all him.  He slammed in, making Lupin swear and arch up, begging noises starting now.  He did it again, and again, and again, making Lupin writhe.  He adjusted the ankles over his shoulders, pulling his hips further off the bed.  Lupin babbled at that so he went back to plumbing his depths.  By the time he was done, Lupin wasn't going to be able to sit.  He knew he couldn't if he had something as big as him going this hard.  He slowed down but Lupin grabbed him and kissed him, making him slide back in all the way.  "What?"

"Harder, Jigen. I like harder. Ride me so hard I can't sit for a week.  Please?"

"If you're sure."  He dove in, slamming back into him.  Lupin arched up and came, shooting all over his chest.  "Wow."

"Very wow.  I don't usually do that to him," Xander said with a grin, stealing a kiss.  "You going to finish off in him?"

Jigen shrugged, slowly lowering Lupin to the bed.  "What're my options?"

"Kissing me and taking my ass.  Giving him a moment to recover and starting him off again.  Working yourself off over his come."  He stole another kiss.  "All up to you.  He's a great piece of real estate."

"Xander," Lupin moaned.

"What do you want, Xan?"

Xander grinned and pulled Jigen onto his back, stealing a kiss as he straddled him and moved down his hard cock.  "This," he moaned, slowly, ever so slowly riding him.  He teased himself, grinning down at Jigen as he worked himself.  He moaned and licked his lips, letting Jigen's finger in when he scooped up some of Lupin's come for him to lick off.  He moaned again and went faster, rolling his hips to get the right spot at the right time.

Jigen watched as Xander used his body as his personal pleasure toy, unable to do anything but watch.  Xander was magnificent.  He was hard, he was cut, he was sweaty and moaning his name.  Xander was speeding up again so he grabbed the tense hips, trying to slow him down.

"Put him onto his back or stomach," Lupin advised.

"No, wanna be on top!" Xander shouted.  He shivered as a finger came back to tease his open hole while he worked. "Lupin!"

"Shh, go on your stomach, Xander.  Get in that nice position on your stomach."  Xander let out another whimper and pulled off, moving to a position on his stomach, but with his rear raised.  Lupin stroked the firm globes, smiling at Jigen.  "There, try that."  Jigen shifted, getting behind him, and took what was now his.  He started out gently but he could hear the kitten noises.  So he went a bit harder, watching as Xander shivered and shifted his hips more open.  Jigen smirked at Lupin as he pushed apart the firm buttcheeks.  He could see himself better now.  Lupin propped Xander's hips on a pillow but Jigen shook his head.  So he added a second one, easing the angle a bit more.  That was better.  Xander was completely limp across the pillows.  He was open, begging him for more.  Just like Sylvia had a few times.  He plunged in, making him howl into the mattress.  "Is he okay?"

"That was pleasure, Jigen.  Do it again."  He did it again, watching as Xander's butt jiggled a bit and Xander shouted again.  He did it again, leaning down to get a bit deeper.  This was nice.  He could get to like this.  Lupin pushed him down a bit more and he felt the finger coming back.  "Shh, let me tempt you.  It'll make it better," he promised, whispering in his ear.  "I promise, no more than a finger's width up there."  Jigen nodded, leaning down again to let Lupin play.  He was going harder now. Xander was wiggling and whimpering under him, making him harder if it was possible.  He felt the warm tongue come up to play with his sack but ignored it.  It did feel good.  He felt his balls start to move but Lupin caught them and pulled them back down, making Jigen moan and shift his hips out more.  "Let me, Jigen," Lupin reminded him.  He went back to sucking on them while Jigen worked himself in and out of Xander's limp body, the finger still playing. Then he moved up, moving his fingers so his tongue could have that spot instead.

"Jesus fricken' God, Lupin!" he shouted.  He was enjoying it though.  He was lost.  He knew he was lost.  He was pounding into Xander's ass, Lupin was french kissing his hole.  He loved it.  He wanted more.  He needed more.  He came with a near-scream into Xander's body, then went limp across his back.  "Lupin," he moaned.  "More?"

"Sure, buddy.  Get off Xander, let him breathe, then I'll do whatever you want."  He got Jigen on his stomach, propped across those same pillows, and went back to work on his hole.  "When you want to try taking it, I'm so there," he whispered into it.  "You're so responsive.  I like that about you."  He dove in again, going back to tonguing him until Jigen started to get hard again.  He could feel it happening, he could see it happening.  He picked up his speed, knowing that Jigen was so sensitive that he could get off from this alone.  He felt himself be slid into and glanced back, smirking at Xander, who was winking at him.  He went back to what he had been doing, letting Xander pound into him.  It only made him more desperate for Jigen to get off.  He pulled the hips up further, diving in as deeply as he could, making Jigen shiver.  His hands were holding up his hips, his tongue was like some drill into him, and his cock was starting to turn red.  Lupin pulled back to pant, lowering his head as Xander cackled and sped up.  "Go, Xander, please," he pleaded, moving down to suck on Jigen's cock, not wanting to waste a drop.  Jigen flipped over, giving him better access, letting one of his hands go back to teasing his hole, this time with two fingers.  It was nice and slick, it was opening very nicely.  Lupin felt Xander pull out and glared at him.  "Dick tease."

"Not really."  Xander slid into bed next to Jigen, taking off the condom he had been using.  "How would you like to finish off, Jigen?"

"More," he ground out, clutching at Lupin's hair. "Please, more!"

"You can have him do what he's doing, or he's still needy.  It's up to you, Jigen.  Do you want him fully?"  Jigen arched up as Lupin hit that spot inside him again.  "All you have to do is say yes, and I'll get him the lube," he offered.  "If not, I'm going to take that this time."

"No, want him," he panted, arching up at the loss of contact.  Lupin was pushing inside him before he could protest.  "Damn!  Too much!"

"Shh," Xander whispered, stroking his stomach.  "Relax.  Push out.  Just relax.  It won't hurt for more than a second."  Lupin finally popped inside and Jigen gasped at the first thrust into his virgin body.  "Shh, relax.  It's going to get much better, Jigen, and you don't ever have to do it again if you don't want to."  Jigen nodded so Lupin pushed in deeper, going gently even though he was ready to come.  Xander moved down to lick and tease Jigen's cock, earning a moan.  He felt his own be touched.  "You can do whatever you want with it, Jigen.  Touch, suck, play with, whatever you want."  Jigen swallowed him and Xander smiled before doing the same, matching what Jigen was doing so he'd know what it felt like.  Lupin was slowly building up steam.  Jigen had to pull off to breathe, grabbing him like he was a lifeline as Lupin started off at a hard, fast ride.  It wasn't going to take long.  Jigen was ready to go now.  Lupin was still desperate.  Xander was happy sucking Jigen off while Lupin worked.  Lupin came with a shout, which made Jigen realize he was bare with him too.  He could feel the added wetness into his body.  He came from that odd, tickling feeling, flooding Xander's mouth.

Lupin pulled out slowly, smiling at the lack of anything but come on him.  He laid down on Jigen's right, looking at Xander.  "Mark him, Xander.  He's ours."  Xander stroked himself a few times and got off on his chest, then wrote their initials in it.  He took Jigen's left, snuggling up on him.  "So, Jigen, it's up to you.  Now that you know what it's like, you can choose to never do it again, or to do it as often as you want and we're able."

"Hush, sleep," he said, his voice rough sounding.  He dozed off, at least until Fujiko shouted, then he glared at the wall.  "Do you mind!  Some of us need to sleep!"

Fujiko shouted again and a third time, then it was silent from in there.

Xander grinned up at him.  "I love you for trying it out."

Jigen kissed him.  "Love you too, Xan.  I'm not doing anything else today though."

"Not an issue. I'm sore so I know you are.  We'll bathe later while the kids are at the doctors."  He nodded, closing his eyes again.

"Goemon!" Fujiko shouted again, this time her voice going up an octave or so.  "Oh!  Yes!  Yes!  Aahhhhhhh!"   Then more silence.

"Sounds like we're not the only ones who're having a honeymoon night," Lupin said quietly, making the others chuckle.  "Wonder if he's working on his new daughter."

"Probably," Jigen agreed.  "She's not on the pill."

"Twins next time," Xander said with a yawn.  "He deserves 'em."  He closed his eyes, falling asleep on Jigen's messy stomach.

"Then we could spoil them without having to have any more of our own," Lupin said dryly.

"And hand 'em back for the nasty stuff," Jigen agreed.

"I'm going to the eye doctors and those of us who were traumatized by all the noise the trio and the couple made are going to the doctor's then to lunch.  You've got four hours!  We'll expect you at dinner!" Melissa shouted, then the suite's door closed.

"Have to spank her later," Jigen said fondly, smirking at the ceiling.


"What do you mean I'm pregnant?  How can my virginal ass be pregnant?  My God Janus doesn't believe in immaculate conception!" Arsene complained.  "I haven't even touched a boy yet, I know I won't stop!"

"Calm down.  We can rerun the test," the nurse offered.  Arsene nodded, making her smile.  "Fine. We'll get new samples from the three of you and do it again.  Let's do this part first however.  That way you have time to make more urine."

"Sure, whatever, just get the bunny test done again."  She laid back on the table, letting the nurse get the doctor and tell her what was going on.  She went to the other girls and got new samples from them, marking each one with their first initial, then the tests.  She did them again, looking up when the girls walked in together.  "It'll be a few moments."

"That's fine," Arsene agreed.  "I know damn well I'm not pregnant."  She sat down, letting Melissa sit on her thigh and Lotus lean against her side.

The nurse checked the timer, then the tests, frowning.  "No, you're not, Arsene.  Neither are you, Melissa.  Lotus, I believe that we may have switched tests."

"I'm a virgin too!  I've never even kissed or groped a guy!"

"Her faith's not one of those that believes in immaculate conception either," Arsene said dryly.  She looked at Lotus.  "What else can make them go off?"

"Have you been taking steroids?"  Lotus shook her head.  "Have you come into contact with any sperm?  Any way at all?"

"No.  Ishi washes his hands.  Our parents weren't having sex until last night for the longest time.  We were in a school but I'm not one of those who touches a doorknob and then my genitals," Lotus said calmly.  "What's the other reason and can we do a different sort of test?"

"We can.  There's a blood test, Lotus.  We can send you over for that.  The other reason is a tumor or other growth being in there.  That can start off the same symptoms and fool your body occasionally."

"Then let's do my test, send me for the bloodwork today.  If we need to, we can do an ultrasound later."  The nurse nodded, taking her back to do her exam.

Lupin looked at Melissa.  "Are you wanting a damn big bunker when Uncle G hears?"  Melissa nodded, wincing a bit.  "You done?"

"Yeah, I'm done.  I'm on the patch, the same as you are.  We're both going on the patch that'll keep us from having it for four months at a time.  We're getting a year's supply, just in case."  Arsene grinned up at her.  "It's better I plan this too, before one of us gets lost in a job."  She got up and pulled Arsene with her, going to wait for Lotus to come out.  Melissa took their prescription, their bags with condoms, and left, letting Lotus stalk out.  "I'm sure it's curable," she offered as she walked behind her.

"Yeah, we know you're not one to naturally fail the bunny test," Lupin offered. "This has got to be some freak occurrence."  She got into the back, letting Melissa get shotgun this time. "Which hospital, 'Lis?"

"Hospital?" Ishi asked as he put up his book.  "What's wrong?"

"Odd test results, they want to do bloodwork," Melissa told him. She pointed up the street.  "That one."  He nodded, driving that way.  He parked and picked up his book again.  "It's gonna be a while, wanna come in with us?"

"If you want.  I don't have to listen to you guys complain about your exams, right?"  They shook their heads so he brought his book with him, turning on the security system once Lupin was out. "So, what funny test results?"

"Somehow I managed to flunk the pregnancy test without ever having come into contact with sperm," Lotus said grimly.  "That means either God moves in mysterious ways or there's a lump most likely."  Ishi gave her a hug.  "Thanks.  Can you tell daddy?"

"Sure," he offered, kissing her on the side of the head.  "You're a good little sister, I'll gladly shield you from dad."  He knew she wasn't pregnant.  He'd have known if she had so much as kissed a boy.  He followed them up to get checked into the lab, then sat down to read, letting Lotus snuggle up beside him.  He put an arm around her shoulders, comforting her.


Lupin walked back into the suite, noticing all the parents were dressed, awake, and doing things quietly on their own.  She cleared her throat.  "Lotus and 'Lis decided to start dinner early tonight with a sundae.  If you'd like to join us, we can do that."

"Why?" Lupin asked.  "Did something go wrong?"

"Well."  She closed the door and came in to sit on the arm of her mother's chair.  "Lotus failed the bunny test," the parents all gaped, "but it was an error.  Apparently it was a contaminated batch or something at the doctor's office.  So we went for blood work.  They did the blood bunny test three times.  All negative.  They did a quick ultrasound, just in case.  Negative.  So they're calming down at the moment with a sundae.  Lotus claims she's having dessert for dinner tonight.  I agree, it was kinda tense there for a few moments.  Especially when the nurse got them mixed up and said I was."  She grinned at her father, who moaned and grabbed his head.  "Like I said, it was the pee cups, they were contaminated with something.  That's why we got false negatives.  We're all on the patch.  We called Bix.  They're all at supper and Kenji is pouting because he can't have a sundae yet.  So let's go."  They got up and grabbed jackets, heading out with her.  The restaurant downstairs was very nice. The waiter led them right back to a private room.  "Thanks," she said, tipping him.  She walked in.  "I explained it.  They're in shock."

"Thanks," Lotus said, shrugging when her father hugged her.  "Not my fault. Thankfully."

"Hopefully we don't have to hear that phrase for a few years," Xander offered as he took his spot between Lupin and Jigen.  Then got moved by Jigen so he was only beside him, making him grin.  "Feeling possessive?"

"I figure I slept here last night, I can eat here today," he said smugly.

"Eww," Fujiko noted. "More than I needed to know."

"Hush," Ishi ordered.  "It's nice that they're back together again.  That way there's no more moping and no more random quotes on love floating around the house."

"The fact that there was enough noise coming from your room to make me want to find a boytoy for the night is an additional factor in that," Arsene said dryly, staring her down.  She blushed and looked away.  "Lotus, dear, do you know any soundproofing spells?"

"No, but I'm sure I can ask Marcus if he does," Xander said smartly.  "Behave.  So we're celebrating a false test?"  Everyone nodded.  "Good deal.  What're we eating?"

"I'm having a brownie after this," Lotus told him.  "Everyone else can decide on their own."

"It's understandable, daughter.  I would be eating ice cream as well," Goemon offered.

"That's fine, daddy.  When my new sister or twins comes along, I'll have ice cream with you," she offered.  He blushed and cleared his throat.  "You do need twins, daddy, it's tradition, look at the rest of the kids in the family."

"I want sissy Sarah," Fred pouted.

"You can see her in a few days," Jigen offered gently.  "We're going to Japan after this.  Lotus, did we remember your kimono?"

"No," she moaned, holding her head.  "Damn it.  I'll have to go back to get it."

"You could always get a new one," Melissa offered.  "I know the other's pretty and now an heirloom, but would you mind, Mom?"  He shook his head.  "You're sure?"

"Yeah, that's fine.  We can see whether or not the old guy's open tonight.  If not, we can get one in the city.  We're landing in Sapporo."  Everyone nodded at that.  "I'm sure they've got a shop there."

"Thanks, Mom," Lotus said, digging back into her ice cream.  "I'd order soon, before I have to have pie and a brownie."

Everyone opened their menus to see what they wanted.  It was a good suggestion.


Lotus looked up at the old man who Xander bought kimonos from locally, smiling at him.  "We forgot mine at home."

"Ah.  Why did you need one, young lady?"

"I'm being presented to the people who have helped teach me."

"Hmm. Then you're Lotus?"  She nodded.  "Where is Xander?  Usually I see him with you children."

"He had to run next door for some powder for Ishi.  The boys keep trying to spike it with silica powder.  So I need something special for a special ceremony in the woods."

"Interesting."  He went to the back, looking at all the ones he had.  He finally came to the front and showed her one.  "I have this one but it is birds," he offered.  "I do not have many tree and flower ones."

She shook her head.  "No, I don't like birds.  I don't even like doing flying moves in my chosen artform."  He chuckled at that.  "Sorry.  Nothing with hills even?"

"No, nothing with earth scenes either.  Which city are you landing in?"


"There is a small shop there.  I will call ahead for you; if they cannot find something they will check around and get it for you."  She nodded, bowing to him.  "Thank you for your understanding," he said, bowing back.

"Not an issue. These are like artwork, I don't expect you to carry everything."  She smiled and headed back to the car.  "All he had were birds."

"Probably not what you need," Xander agreed as he put the powder into the back seat.  "Let's go.  Is he calling someone?"

"Yeah, he said there's a store in Sapporo and we can get it there.  If they don't have something they can call around and find it."

"That's fine."  He pulled out.  "Watch the powder."  She nodded, turning and grabbing it to put in her lap.  Behind them lights went on.  "What the hell?" he muttered, pulling over.  It was too crowded to do a high speed chase and he wasn't going to endanger Lotus in this car.  He rolled down his windows.  "Yes, officer?"

"Sir, you were reported carrying a large block of white substance from a suspicious store."  He caught sight of it. "Step out of the car please?"  He stepped back so Xander could.

"It's the powder you put on swords after you sharpen them," he complained, taking it and handing it over as he got out.  "Here, check if it you want, just don't spill it all and don't put other stuff into it."

The cop sniffed it, then looked at him. "Are you sure that's what it is?"

"I didn't taste it or anything but it's supposed to be a talcum powder mix that we use after we sharpen our swords.  We dot it on with this little cloth ball."

"You use a sword, sir?"

"I do, she does, her brother does, her father does, another of her uncles does," he said tiredly, leaning against the back of the car.  "If they were drugs, I wouldn't have them.  I don't do drugs.  The kids don't do drugs.  We may drink on occasion but I haven't done drugs since the late nineties."

The cop looked at him again then went to radio for another officer, this one with a drug sniffing dog.  When he pulled up, he put it down and moved away, letting the other officer handle his dog to sniff it.  The dog didn't even twitch.  "Not drugs?"

"Not drugs."  He looked at it.  "Looks like powder."

"It's to put on our swords after we sharpen them," Lotus told him.  "As we explained to the first guy.  We don't use drugs.  Drugs are bad.  Drugs make you feel bad.  They give you a headache."

"How would you know?" Xander snorted.

"Someone slid their acid into the water tank so he wouldn't be caught by the range teacher.  We all got a bit off at dinner that night," she said dryly. "He was expelled after someone kicked his ass and made him beg."


"No, me."

"Cool.  Congrats."  He grinned at her.  "You're such a good samurai."

"Thanks, Mom, really."

The cop with the dog pulled his gun.  "Hold it."  They smirked at him, making his hand shake. "Who are you?  What is this really?"

"It's powder to sharpen our swords," Lotus told him.  "I do carry a sword, officer."  She smiled and hopped up onto the trunk. "As for who I am, my name is Lotus."  He swallowed.  "Lotus Goemon.  That's for me, my brother, the Fourteenth, and dad, the Thirteenth."  Xander snickered, shaking his head.  "You, behave, mom."

"Sure, Lotus."  He grinned at them.  "As for me, I'm Lavelle."  The guy without the dog passed out.  The other's hand was shaking so hard he couldn't possibly do more than hurt himself or his dog with the gun.  "Put it down, before you hurt your friend there," he said, nodding at the dog.  "We're heading out of town in the morning."  The cop backed up, opening the door and whistling.  The dog jumped in and he closed the door.  "Dude, I don't hurt dogs.  I like dogs.  They're nice creatures.  Very friendly.  Now, get your buddy into his car, you get into yours.  Give us back our powder, and we can forget this ever happened."  The cop nodded, nudging the powder over with a foot.  "Thanks."  He grabbed it then got back in, waiting for Lotus to close her door before taking off again.  "Sometimes, that's really amusing."

"It was," she agreed happily.  She used the carphone to dial Melissa's cellphone.  "We just got stopped for having talcum powder. The guy with the dog nearly wet himself and the other guy passed out."  She chuckled. "Yeah, we're on our way back.  Nope, couldn't find one.  Sure thing, brat.  Meet you there."  She hung up.  "Head for the airport."  He nodded, heading out that way.


In the room, Melissa burst out in giggles, nudging Arsene with her elbow then making 'flying' motions with her hand.  Arsene nodded and contacted their pilot.  "Why?" she laughed.  "Never mind.  Did you find something?  Sure.  Meet us at the airport."  She hung up.  "They got stopped for having talcum powder.  We should probably leave."  They all nodded, going to pack and head out.

"Did she find something?" Goemon asked as he walked out after them.

"Nope," Melissa told him.  "I'm assuming he's calling someone there and we'll have to check in there.  Since we're going to be a day early we'll have the time."  She got into the passenger side of the car she chose, letting Arsene drive this time.  That meant that Arsene had to get out to let Ishi into the back seat along with Goemon.  She was back on her laptop, expanding their reservations by an extra day.  She got a confirmation back from the hotel and sent back a 'thank you' as they got to the airport.  Their plane was ready and waiting for them, everything but the pilot.  "Could we not find Cecilia?"

"She's off today.  I called her, she said she'd meet us in Japan.  It's her sister's wedding," she reminded everyone as they piled on.  "I call it."

"I got it," Jigen offered.

"Who's got the most experience?" Xander asked as he loaded himself.

"I do," Ishi admitted.  "Arsene second."

"Then I'll fly with you and she can be our com guy," Jigen offered, heading up front.  He waited until Lupin had yelled that everyone was on, since Bix and the kids were staying in town for a few days, then started the engines.  Ishi reached over to cut them off with a groan.  "What?  Problems?"

"Person, standing right under the wing," he noted, looking at the camera.  "We've got company."

"Fuck me," Melissa complained, opening the door so she could lean out and shoot the person.  "Who're you?"

"Who're you?"

"The owner of the Goddamn plane.  Now, the question stands?"

"I'm here to arrest you."

"Yay."  She pulled her gun and shot him in the thigh, making him fall down howling in pain.  "There, I feel better now.  Clear!"  A runway worker ran off so she closed the door again, sealing it shut and going back to her seat.  "That makes three. Think he's gotten the point yet, Ar?"

"No. It's still overeager puppies.  We'll need the big mutt."  She opened her book and flipped on the light as the engines started again, and this time they taxi'd off.


Lotus walked out among her teachers, bowing to one of them, smiling slightly.  "Am I ready?"

"Are you?"

Lotus shrugged. "I feel so."

"Then you are ready."  She walked the girl out into the circle the others had formed, leaving her there.  "This is Lotus.  She asks for admission."

"She is not pure."

"Not totally, but then again I am a member of my clan," Lotus offered.

"The power is strong, but the line is not clear."

"Bloodlines tell but not always the whole story."  Lotus looked at the one who spoke.  "Let's just go on the assumption that I've been over this already, okay?  I have PMS.  I don't feel good.  I was haunted all night by another incubus."

"Yes, the power tells the story.  She is a fighter for us, even though she walks the fine line," the person who had brought her out noted.  "As for the incubus, after this they should either go wild or calm down completely."

"I'm learning how to banish them."

"Let the tainted one do so."

"I'm not always in Lavelle's presence.  School's like that.  I'd rather learn on my own."

"Very well.  Learn you shall, Lotus Goemon.  Learn you shall," one of the witches said calmly.  Two younger girls brought out a book and handed it to Lotus.  "In that is what you are to study and learn.  Even though you walk a dark path, there is much you can do for the light."

"As Lavelle says, sometimes the light needs a Dark Knight."

"True, it does," her sponsor agreed gently. "Are you offering yourself as one?"

"I do the job, why not."

"Good point."  She smiled at her. "Then you shall learn.  Not always with your group.  Not always with yourself.  Not always with the demons and not always alone.  Is she accepted in that position?"  The other women made assenting noises.  "Very well then.  Would you pray with us, Lotus?"

"If you so desire."  She walked off with them.  "Would it help if I got a marking like what Lavelle has?"

"It could but others would be quite upset with you for it," she offered.  "It's best to wait and see if it is necessary.  Tattoos are forever you know."

"Good point."  They got the point where the bonfire had been built and sat down around it to pray silently. Lotus felt something brush her cheek and grabbed it before it could move, startling the kitsune standing there.  "Hello, Kori.  Would you like to sit and pray with us?"

"No.  He say I come see you now."  He sat down, resting against her side, smiling up at her.  "Hi."

"Hi.  Shh.  We'll talk in a bit," she promised.  He nodded, curling up trustingly against her side.  Lotus finished her prayer and looked at the book, reading the words on the cover.  She opened it to the first page to read, closing it when someone cleared their throat.

"I see we have grown by a tailed one, a male tailed one," one of the older woman said, smiling at the child.  "Do you have a name, child?"

"He's Kori.  He's been around my family for years.  He's one of Sarah's friends."  She stroked over his fur.  "He was sent to see me."

"Very well.  As long as he can stay quiet, Lotus."  She nodded, so she looked at the fox spirit.  "Can you stay quiet, Kori?"  He nodded, grinning at her.  "Thank you, young one."  She raised her arms.  "Tonight we greet a new sister, one who is a Knight!"  The other women cheered.  "Tonight we bring a new one across!  Let her be among us and one of us!"  They cheered again.  "Goddess praise this one for her work in your name!"  That got a third cheer, then the group broke up.  The older woman walked over to where Lotus was sitting, pulling her up.  "Dust off, dear, that's very pretty to be dirty."

Lotus dusted herself off.  "Thank you."

"You are welcome.  Take the book and the baby and go back to your family.  They will tell you how best to merge the two worlds.  You have two uncles who do already."  She handed over the book, watching as Lotus wrapped it in her sash.  The kimono was taken off and folded around the book, Lotus was wearing a pair of leather pants and a silk top underneath.  They ran for the others, heading into the dark woods, merging with them.  "Yes, you will make a good knight, Lotus Goemon.  May you have the strength you need."

Lotus got to the others, smiling at them as Kori plowed into Xander to hug him.  "I'm done.  I need to ask about certain markings."

"If you do so, then you would never be allowed back on our plane again," the Lord of the Kistune said behind her.  "I hope you will make a distinction?"

"Of course."  She punched him on the arm.  "Bastard."

He smirked at her.  "Thank you, Lotus.  It's traditional to eat."

"Food?" Kori asked, his ears perking up and his tail waving.  "We can eat?"

"Yes, we can eat," Goemon said patiently.  "The training camp is nearby."

"We need to reblindfold the cops," Arsene said patiently.

"No need," Lotus pointed out.  "We don't live there.  They'll never find it again.  Even Dad gets lost on his way up to it sometimes.  Even with the wolf they couldn't find their way back."   Goemon snorted but he nodded to show that was fine with him.  "C'mon, let's go."

"Race you!" Kori shouted, taking off.

"No fair, you run faster than the wind," Lotus shouted, taking off after him.  She knew there were other things in this forest and they would be coming for the small fox spirit.  He was still an innocent.  She heard a scream and paused to see which direction it came from, then took off after the baby kitsune again, her sword coming free easily.  She saw the demon.  The demon saw her.  The demon saw her sword.  The demon saw her sword as it took its head off and sliced it into ribbons.

Kori saw the sword and all he could say was, "ooooooohhhhhhhh."

Lotus panted and hugged the baby to her.  "You okay?"

"I fine. You killed it. It try to eat me and you killed it."

"That's what I do, Kori."  She kissed him on the head.  "Okay, let's wait right here for the others, then we can run the rest of the way home, okay?"  He nodded, resting against her chest. "Don't get too used to those, they're being cut down to normal people size soon."

"Why?  They comfy and smooshy and comfy.  You feel like a mommy fox."

"Thank you, but I'm not ready to be a mommy yet.  Nor a fox."  They shared a grin as Goemon came up to where they were. "It's dead.  Anything else ran off."

"Fine.  Continue on to the camp," he agreed, looking at the beast.  He almost wondered what it had been but decided that it was better off dead anyway.  The others caught up, Jigen with her robe and book in the bag he carried. "It's dead.  She got it."

"Good," Xander agreed, pulling out his lighter to light the remains on fire.  "This thing will regroup and recover if you don't."  He walked on once it was burning brightly, heading after the kids.  "I'll work on the demon classifications with her tomorrow, Goemon."

"Fine, Xander.  Please include Marcus."

"Of course."  He jogged after the other two, going to protect them.

Goemon shook his head, but hugged his son instead.  "It is fine.  She will come and go as I have for years."

"Yes, but I'm still there," he said with a smirk.  "So, I hear a lot of noise, father.  Does it have a purpose beyond robbing us of our sleep?"  His father blushed.  "Ah, you miss having a cuddlesome little bundle of fluff.  You could adopt Kori."

"Son," he warned, frowning at him.  "Some day you will find that you are taken with someone and that they are your world and must be given everything.  At that time, I will not laugh, only remind you of this conversation."

"Father, if I do decide to date for real, which I have no intention of doing for years yet, I will pick a woman who will gladly wait at home for me while having a son.   I will not marry one I work with.  Nor will I marry one like my sister."

"Did you know that the incubus who bothered her the night of the party said he'd become you or your dad if she wanted?" Jigen taunted.  "That alone made her banish it."

"I'd have ripped it to shreds if it had offered me something like that. My sister is pretty, but she is annoying.  She is also a smartass and a pain in my ass.  Besides, that would be as nasty as me marrying Melissa or Arsene."  He shuddered at the very thought. "I'll find a traditional wife who wants nothing more than to have a son and for me to go away again.  I find those are the best and you get the most of out of it on both sides.  I'll have sex whenever she allows me to, and then I'll go on jobs, which she'll be happy about."

"Son, you're being a smartass and dumb," Goemon assured him.  "Women are not like that.  Trust me."

"Father, I've had two women like that offered to me.  Speaking of which, why would the Fuma's daughter come onto me and then say I was forbidden but cute because of that?"

"Old clan war, my son.  Do not touch that temptation.  Their women are deadly and like being so."

"Hmm.  Melissa came in and kissed me, which drove her off crying.  I was thankful for it at the time."

"Son, I do not wish to see such interactions.  That is an image that will haunt my dreams for hours.  You and one of those two together and the thought of grandchildren."

"Ick, father."

"I agree, ick, Daddy Goemon," Lupin said dryly.  "If he and Arsene get together and have kids, I'm sending them to live with you."

"Fat chance," Goemon said dryly.  "Those children would be nearly demonic."

"Oh, I don't know," Melissa said dryly, smirking at Arsene, who was giggling madly.  "Her brains, his beauty, and his skills?  Sorry, Ar, but he is prettier."

"Especially in the leather pants," she agreed happily.  "Whaddya say, Ishi, wanna help me on my sixteenth?"

"I will be running for my life when you've done that," he noted.  "Far, far away from your family when the parents hear about it."

"Oh, come on, I'll be *nice* to him."

"Arsene, enough, before the rest of us can't eat," Lupin said bitterly.  "And no sex for another year."

"That wasn't the rule, daddy."

"Damn," he muttered, walking on.  "Hey, go live with Vecchio.  He'd appreciate such a strong, talented young woman."

"If she does, I'm killing you," Vecchio called back.  "Even though she did get that assassin in the nuts for me.   I'd kill her before she could open her mouth again."

"Fine," she pouted. "Who's next that they're going to try?  I ask to see if I need to devise something sneaky and mean.  We've just shot the last two."

"We noticed.  Thank you for leaving them alive, girls."

"Welcome," Melissa offered. "The sedative one was Ishi though."

"He was staring at my sister's chest, of course I shot him.  He's not fit to touch her hem, much less her breasts," he complained.  "Who is this mutt you actually want, Arsene?"

"You'd like him," she offered.  "I've got the file on my laptop.  I'll hand it over later."

"Sure."  He leaned against his father's side.  "How many more do you think?"

"The betting pool from Paris's don says another three at most," Jigen offered.  "It's up to about a million at the moment."

"We wrote the guy's name on his windshield. Can he not read?" Melissa asked dryly.  "I mean, seriously. We wrote it in fuschia colored paint."

"I like his house, it's cute," Lupin offered, grinning back at their kids.  "How many more dots does he get?"

"He gets more dots each time they send another idiot.  I'm going to have to start doing smaller ones soon.  I'm running out of room."

"I'm sure it'll be fine, girls," Jigen offered.  "Give him some more time to stew.  After all, it's amusing to the rest of us."  He lit a cigarette and took a deep breath.  "There, I feel better now."

"That's good," Lupin agreed, grinning at him.  "Hey, Goemon, where are we sleeping tonight?"

"The barn.  That way you don't keep us all up," Ishi noted sarcastically.  "Mom's loud.  Buy the poor guy a gag."

Jigen snorted.  "He's been louder in the past.  Trust me."

"He about deafened me a few times," Lupin agreed.  "Goemon?"

"The back bedroom would be fine. It's got a larger mat.  We'll take the wife's room," he told him.  "Then the children can get the other hall since you won't be keeping us up."

"If you have another boy, I liked that one guy's name," Arsene offered.  "Suoh.  It means dragon."

"I think he's hoping for a little girl," Melissa reminded her.  "Something little and cuddly for the boys to torture and love on."

"I've always liked the name Aiko for a girl," Ishi offered.  "It means little loved one.  That would fit."

"Kaida, little dragon," Arsene offered.  "Because her sister is one, her daddy is one, her brothers are all dragons..."  She smirked at him.  "Speaking of which, the next time you spit fire at me, do it after I have coffee or I'll slug you one."

"Sure, Lupin."

"I like Kimi," Melissa offered.  "I think it means she who is without equal or something like that."

"I like Sachi," Jigen offered.  "Girl child of bliss."

"Toki, time of opportunity?" Lupin suggested with a grin for Jigen.

"Yachi, it means eight thousand, because there's so many of us already," Fujiko complained.  Goemon looked back at her, raising an eyebrow.  "I don't mind the thought of another one, but I'm not letting those ones name it."

"I like those suggestions," Goemon offered gently, pulling her closer to hold.  His son moved but he would talk to him later.  They came to the camp and let the children jog ahead.  "Inspectors, would you care to dine with us tonight?"

"Sure, I'm hungry," Ray Kowalski said with a grin. "As long as we don't have to eat Ramen."

"No, no Pop's food," Jigen assured him.  "Goemon can cook, Lupin can cook."

"Vecchio can cook," Ray said dryly.

"Yeah, but you're a guest, you don't have to cook," Lupin promised.  He opened the back door.  "Whatever you're doing, stop it.  We're back."  They walked inside and Xander walked Lotus out of the back room.  "What were you three doing?"

"We were teaching Kori how to play the game with the sticks," Lotus told him.  "I'll start learning how to do what Mom does tomorrow.  I deserve one night off this holiday season."

"Yes, you do," Goemon agreed, giving her a kiss on the cheek.  "Come help me cook.  It's time you learned this art as well.  Before you starve to death on fast food."  She sighed but followed him to the kitchen.

Xander walked in there and clapped three times, and food appeared.  "Courtesy of Kori's uncle," he said with a smirk.  "Now no one has to cook."

"We promised Ray no ramen."

"And there's not any."  Xander tipped his head up.  "Food from the kitsune!"  Everyone rushed in to grab a seat or a pillow.  Xander grinned at Lotus.  "You never told me, what did you want for the holidays?"


"Can't give you that," he said, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "I can give you neat weapons, nifty stuff to help you be one of the few female samurai, or even driving lessons so you too can drive."

"Uncle Jigen gives driving lessons, not you, mom," Arsene said firmly.  "I agree, Lotus, what did you want for your Solstice gift?"

"Stuff?  I don't know!  I'm not picky."

"Yes, but we want to avoid another incident like when you were seven and we got you books and you glared at us for weeks, dear," Lupin said with a smirk.  "Clothes?"

"Clothes are nice.  Gift certificates?" she suggested.  She shrugged.  "It happens but I don't have a clue."

"Fine, we'll get you gift certificates.  That way you can get that one dress cleaned and so you can get other stuff you'll want," Jigen promised.  "Eat."  Everyone dug in, stealing food shamelessly from each other's plates.  All but the cops.  Ray grinned and took one roll from Xander's plate, earning a grin for it.  "We like you anyway, Kowalski."

"Thanks.  Think Bix would like us to get a puppy?" Ray asked.

"Great, just when we finally get rid of all the wolf hair, now we'll have a dog," Ray Vecchio sighed.  He shook his head.  "How long before I have to find a roommate?"

"Maybe another couple of years," Ray admitted.  "You could come with us though.  We love you."  He smirked at him.  "You are more than welcome to live with us, Vecchio.  We won't even make you cook all the time."

"Bix is a great cook," Arsene offered. "She's good in a few different nationalities of food.  She's the other one who makes us eat *real* food now and then."

"I do too," Lupin defended.

"Not you," Melissa said dryly.  "It's Mom who can live on fast food forever and not get sick.  Trust me, training with him was a lot like an endurance test

"I sent you guys out with money, you guys decided you wanted fast food.  Your own fault, kids," Xander said smugly, taking a bite of his dinner.  "You know, this summer we should use the ship.  We can safely plan on it without threat of listening bodies, we can tan, swim, and other stuff, and it'd keep the girls away from the boys."

"I like that idea," Lupin agreed happily.  "Jigen?"

"Not to butt in or anything, but the ship's mine," Arsene noted dryly, smirking at the adults.  "But you can use it."

"There's no chance we're leaving you alone in the house ever again," Xander said, smirking at her.  "No way in hell.  We'd come back to future grandchildren."  She rolled her eyes and sighed.  "You would.  You know you would."

"While I might...entertain, I do know my precautions and how to be careful, people.  I'm still on the patch.  I like condoms, they're great inventions of the twentieth century.  I plan on going through a case or so in the next ten years.  But I'm not that indiscriminate."

Lupin looked at his daughter.  "Thou shalt not hire a male hooker and bring him home.  Grandfather wouldn't let me bring mine in, you can't bring yours."

"Fine," she sighed.  "I can always go to them."

"That defeats the rules saying we have to have sex at home so the parents are sure we're not being loose and are using condoms," Lotus noted.  Everyone stared at her.  "Those were the rules that were set down with the age limit."  Everyone stared at Xander.

"I was trying to make sure they weren't going to end up loose little creatures who slept around like I did, and that they used condoms.  No other reason."

"So, stealing a cruise ship?" Jigen asked Lupin.

"Sounds ideal," Lupin agreed.  "We'll need a crew as well."

"Let me check with a few people," Xander offered.

"Oh, really?" Lupin asked, grinning at him.  "For how long?"

"I saw the kids and I got boat envy, sorry," he teased.  "That's why I sold the other boat.  Plus, mine was fully renovated and everything.  Do you know how expensive those things are to get and to renovate?  It's almost as bad as buying a new one.  Well, maybe it was a tenth," he admitted after a moment's thought.

"How much are new ones?"

"The one I looked at, which was top of the line in the size I wanted, was about 450 million.  The older one I bought at auction was about thirty plus renovations."  They all shuddered.  "Yeah, I had to work my ass off for that one," he sighed.  "But it's nice."

"Is it running as a cruise ship?" Lupin asked.

"It's presently running for weddings in the Bay area," he said with a small smirk.  I'll have to check the bookings this summer.  That's who I need to check with."

"You bought your own because we did?" Melissa asked.  Xander nodded.  "Is it as nice as ours once Arsene got it refinished?"

"Yeah, and prettier even.  It's also a bit larger.  There's another one coming up but that would tie up about all my assets to buy it."

"We could put some of the cars on there," Lupin said thoughtfully.  "Is it making good money?"  Xander wiggled his hand in the air.  "Willing to give up that good of money?"

"Sure," he admitted.

"Why was your so much?  Ours was only six," Arsene asked.  "I brokered the deal myself."

"Mine has a helicopter and it was excellent condition.  It was also a tax sale."  She nodded, knowing what those were.  "If I had went for the other one that was up, it would have been less, but smaller."

"Mom, are you sure you did that in *this* timeline?" Melissa asked.  "I don't remember seeing anything about a ship."

"It's run by the same people who run the restaurant."  He pulled out his cell so he could call Murami.  "Hey, it's me.  You busy?"  He grinned.  "Sorry.  I can call back.  No, just a quick thing.  I do have a cruise ship with the restaurant right?"  He grinned.  "Thanks.  No, Lupin wants to take it around this summer to keep the girls away from boys.  Love you, have a happy event."  He hung up.  "Yes, I do, she let out this very patient sigh when she remembered the fit she threw after I bought it.  She said she'd call someone tomorrow about the bookings on it."

"Fine," Lupin agreed happily.

"We need to go over those records in detail, don't we?" Melissa asked tolerantly.  He beamed and nodded. "Fine, after the cops leave."

"We're not allowed to chase any of you anyway," Vecchio reminded them. "Zenigata won't want to hear about that, he'll start to cry again."

"He's still having visions of sharks," Ray agreed.

"Sharks?" Lotus inquired.

"Long story, don't ask," Jigen offered.   She nodded, that was fine with her.

"Poor Pops keeps ending up in the water, it's a good thing he knows how to swim," Lupin pointed out to the rest of them.  "That job, after the island a few times, it's like every sixth job or so he ends up soaking wet."

"At least he makes sure he gets a bath that way," Goemon offered.  "I'm surprised he didn't end up in the water when we did that one with the dragon," he said mildly.  His son hugged his arm.  "Thank you, son."  He kissed Kenji on the top of the head.  "Eat please."

"Yes, daddy."

"You're a good father, Goemon," Vecchio said quietly.  "Hopefully you'll be able to give Stan some pointers on how to do it when the time comes."

"Bix is an experienced nanny, she should not need any, but I will gladly share wisdom I gained from my own children.  Remember, the sole purpose in a father's life is to be peed on by his son. It brings enlightenment about your place in the universe."

Xander giggled, and so did Ishi.  "You are so bad," Ishi said, shaking his head.

"It's the truth, I felt the same way when Fred did it to me," Lupin agreed.

"Daughters elevate your position in the universe," Jigen offered smugly.  "They can't aim for your hat or your hair."

"Oh, I don't know about that.  Alex managed it a few times," Xander reminded him with a grin.

"Alex is not the usual girl child," Lupin said gently.  "She's a little monster when it comes to it, and was when she had the colic.  Other than that, she's very sweet and nice, but she can turn into a wolf in a moment's notice, Xander."

"She is also destined to be the bearer of one of the chokers," Goemon pointed out.  Xander nodded, looking sad at that.  "Hopefully after her first child."

"Hopefully," he agreed sadly.

"Guys, happier discussions," Ray ordered.  "Raycon, Xander?"

Xander beamed at him.  "A tease, I know, but cute.  And it fits."

"It does, but still!"  He shook his head.  "You're odd."

"Yeah, and?" he taunted back, smirking at him.  "I could be worse.  I used to be worse."   Ray shivered and nodded.  "See?  I'm better now," he purred.

"In many ways," Goemon said dryly.  "Eat.  Do not dishonor this happy time with chatter."

"Fine, daddy."  He dug back in, stealing from Arsene's plate, making her frown at him.  "You stole mine, it's only fair."

"Meany.  Stealing food from a starving child."

"Bet me," Jigen countered.  "You've barely touched anything."  She dug in, eating faster before anyone else could steal her food.  Her father did manage to get a shrimp away from her but that was it.  She got him with her chopstick, then licked it off before going back to inhaling her food.

"Were you bitten?" Xander asked dryly.

"Sorry, I'm a bit anemic at the moment. Blame it on girl problems," she shot back.

"Those things always leave a mark," he muttered.  Lotus looked at him.  "Wanna find out how to find them?"  She grinned and nodded, hurrying up so they could take Arsene back into a back room and examine her.

"Get off me!" she shrieked.  "I'll gut you!"

Lotus came out a few minutes later.  "Two bite marks," she noted as she sat down.  "One human, one not human.  The fangs are being bathed at the moment and he's asking her if she remembers anything.  Apparently someone needed a snack."

"Xander, which suicidal vampire bit my daughter?" Lupin yelled.



"Again."  He came out with Arsene, who sat down and pouted.  "It was only a small one.  I'll call Ethan to warn him and Marcus that he's back, then deal with him once the kids are back in school."  Everyone nodded, that seemed reasonable.

"I still say that was unnecessary," Lupin pouted.  "It's not like I'd let some undead freak nibble anything under my shirt."

"If you didn't invite him over to nibble you, you probably couldn't have controlled him anyway," Ishi noted calmly.  "When?"

"The last time she was in London."

"So, about five days ago?" Melissa asked.  Everyone stared at their children.  "What?  We made a pitstop on the way to Paris.  We told you we were getting out early."

"No more without warning us," Lupin ordered calmly.

"Get anything?" Jigen asked.

"No, we were casing and doing plans," Lotus admitted.  "Someone wanted Melissa to tell them how to get inside the Natural History museum."

"Do you get paid for those?" Jigen asked.  She nodded.  "Well?"

"Ten grand each.  That's my current firm price.  Unless it's for a damn good cause, like returning stolen artwork or stolen people."  She scratched the back of her neck.  "Where would he have gotten her?"

"Inside the museum," Xander said dryly.  "It's dark in there, he likes it."  She nodded at that wisdom.  "Eat, guys.  Arsene, eat more meat, you'll want it soon."  She nodded, pulling over the beef.  Goemon handed over his too, making her grin at him.

"Were you ever bitten?" Kenji asked.  He had snuck out a while ago and was sitting quietly so no one was upset about him being there.

"No, son, I was not," Goemon promised.

"What about you, mommy?" Kenji asked Xander.

"Six or seven times, that's how I know that they bruise."  Xander grinned at him.  "When you're older, I'll teach you how to slay vampires, okay?"  He nodded, grinning at that.  "Good boy, Kenji.  Aren't you supposed to be in bed?"

"I not sleepy, Yu wake me up again."  He wiggled into his father's side, grinning up at him.  "I get cuddles?"

"If you'd like," he promised, giving him a pat then leaving the arm around him.  His son beamed and settled in to watch the adults.  Within moments he was asleep.

"Want me to put him back in bed?" Fujiko asked quietly.

"No, I'll do so in a moment.  It is nice to be held."  He smiled at her.  "You could check on the others if you wanted."  She nodded, getting up to do so.  "Twins?" he asked Xander once she was out of hearing.

He nodded.  "You need twins.  I had how many sets?" he said with a grin for him.  "Maybe one of each?"

"Two girls so he doesn't have to worry about finding them swords," Jigen countered.  Goemon smirked at that.  "So, are we on for cruising this summer?"  Everyone nodded.  "Good.  I need to find some new trunks."

"And some shorts," Lupin teased.  "Even though you have bony knees."

"Which ocean will we be on?" Lotus asked.

"Pacific," everyone decided after looking at each other.


Ray Kowalski woke up with a moan in his hotel room bed, pushing himself up until he was sitting.  "I had the worst dream about cruise ships. Must have been the chinese food last night," he complained, holding his stomach.  It was empty and ready to eat him.  He looked around, finding Vecchio in the bathroom by the sounds in there.  He got out of bed and stretched, then shook his head.  Cruise ships?  Why?  Must have been a Lupin the Fourth nightmare again.  Something about that rescue.  He tapped on the door, walking in at the grunt.  "Do you wonder which port they went to since we never caught up with them?" he asked, moving to the toilet room.

"No."  Ray looked at him. "You okay? You look miserable."

"I am, I'm starved.  Let's try to find something more filling than noodles and meat today, 'kay?"  He closed the door on the small closet area with the toilet to us it.  "I had odd dreams about cruise ships last night.  Must have been a holdover nightmare from that rescue."

"I had one about Arsene being bitten by a vampire," Vecchio said with a small shrug, going back to shaving.

"Yeah, that's just what we need, Vecchio, an undead, vampire, Lupin.  Then we'd never catch that group."  He came out after flushing and checked the shower.  "Yours?"  He nodded.  "Can I barge in?"

"Go for it, leave me some hot water."  Ray stripped down and climbed in, making his partner shake his head.  That kid was just odd.  Cruise ships?

The End.

To Part 56

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