Aftermath of Secrets
Lupin looked up as a DVD was dropped onto his plate, picking it up to make sure it wasn't damaged. "What's this?" he asked the minor thief in Paris' network.
"Your girls last night," he said snidely. "My boss said it'd be illuminating." He strolled off again.
Lupin pulled up his portable DVD player, loading the disc into it. He sat back to watch, finding his daughters playing with Vecchio. Then he disappeared, heading for the bathroom, where the security footage changed to a view in there, showing him masturbating to their pictures. The video flipped back to the dance floor, where their babies were driving men insane. Then it jumped ahead after a blur of static, showing Zenigata walking in. The girls teased him, his daughter *kissed* him, *twice*, which made him shudder, then they went to tease the poor boys some more while the cops were brain damaged from coming in their pants again. He shut it down and stored the DVD player again, picking up his coffee to take a calming sip. Before he went to kill his daughter. She was going to steal his fun. He saw someone's shadow approaching and looked up, finding Xander walking up with a grin. "Weren't you supposed to go out *with* the girls last night?" he asked coolly.
"I did. I was at the end of the bar all night, Lupin. They were teasing. Gramps is jumping up and down in his office shrieking about 'fricken women crooks' and 'fricken breast jobs' and also 'fricken Lupins who do mean things to him'." He grinned. "Dawn smelled her perfume on him and made him sleep on the couch last night."
"Wonderful," Lupin said bitterly. "Was that your idea?"
"The girls decided that they needed a distraction while Ishi was doing something. The idea to tempt Vecchio was Jigen's from what I understand." He batted his big, brown eyes at Lupin, making him melt. "It'll be fine."
"It won't be, he'll start chasing her instead of us."
"Lupin, if you wanted his ass that badly, you should have gone for him sooner," Xander said impatiently, leaning back again. Lupin scowled at him. "That's what it sounds like."
"It's nothing like that," he protested.
"Sure, Lupin." He looked up as Goemon joined them. "The girls went flirting last night."
"Why?" he asked calmly.
"To tempt Vecchio and then Zenigata while Ishi pulled something."
"I see. Were they successful?" Lupin nodded, still scowling at Xander. "What happened to make him scowl?"
"Arsene kissed Gramps and made him come in his pants."
"Ah." Goemon looked at Lupin. "Are you jealous? Did you perhaps want that honor for yourself?"
"No! She's my daughter! She's getting her own Inspector!"
"I'm sure she will. Zenigata is more likely now to get the one she wants so he's not forced to deal with her again," Goemon offered. "Why Vecchio?"
"What was my idea?" Jigen asked as he walked up with Alex, Kenji, and Yu in tow. Fred was off with one of their people at the moment, getting something to present to them over breakfast. He'd be back in a few minutes.
"To tease Vecchio. Something about happy dreams?" Xander asked smugly.
"I told the girls to give him some of the vacation photos so he could have some," he admitted. "He hasn't had a girl in a long time."
"So you sent pictures of your nearly naked daughter to him so he could masturbate in the club last night?" Lupin asked bitterly. "Mine kissed Gramps, *twice*!"
"Calm down, Lupin. They were only teasing. They do it very well when they want to. Ishi needed an hour's worth of distraction from Interpol. He did what he needed to do. Lotus got over some of her issues with flirting and noticed how a great many boys still stared at her in awe and admiration last night. Arsene got her naughtiness fix for the week without having to hire a pro again. It was a successful night. Melissa wanted to go clubbing, she got to." Xander shrugged. "It was a good night all the way around for them. I'm not upset at what they did. Arsene said he didn't kiss her back, he was too stunned."
"Do we have footage of them doing that last night?" Jigen asked.
"I have some from a camera I had hidden," Xander offered.
"I got handed a copy of the security DVD," Lupin said dryly. "They thought Arsene went too far too." He pulled out the player and handed it over so the others could see.
When it was done, Jigen leaned back, lighting a cigarette. Alex glared at him. "You, stop it," he ordered. "I don't care if you don't like me smoking." He looked at Xander. "That was way out of their usual style."
"Ishi needed a distraction, Lotus needed to get over what her mother did to her, and Melissa needed to go clubbing. It achieved all objectives. If you don't like it, it was the girls' idea. I only followed along as a chaperone in case someone tried to snatch them, like the person who's been following Melissa around pleading for her to build things for them. That's my next target, no matter what the group is doing by the way."
"No, we're all going," Lupin promised him, glaring at him now. "You can't take jobs by yourself anymore, Xander."
"Bet me," he snorted. "I'm an active guy, I need more activity in my life. Otherwise I'll have to take up jogging again." He closed the portable DVD player and nudged Goemon, who shook himself free of the image of his daughter dressed like that. "She's over it now. No nightmares last night. She did meditate and work it out in her head that her womanly assets weren't evil and wouldn't turn her into her mother if she enjoyed being a girl sometimes."
"Thank you. That dress is still quite tight on her."
"Yeah, we'll, she's still got a good rack," Jigen reminded him. "She's the same size as Melissa is."
"So they'll share clothes on jobs," Lupin said dryly. "Where are these people, Xander?"
"In China. It's a new arms group."
"I've heard rumors," Lupin admitted, considering it. "Should we include the kids?"
"Their official debut is next month," Jigen reminded him.
"If we don't do this soon, then they'll be missing Melissa," Xander told him. "They think she can figure out some very cryptic plans they stole and build the next super weapon for them. They're probably wrong, from what I heard it's in one of the more obscure demon languages, but they'll kill her if she can't."
"Which sucks," Jigen agreed. "Can we stop them?"
"We can easily go hunt them down and kill them," Arsene said as she joined them, stealing a chair as someone was about to sit down. She smiled at him, making him sweat. "Thank you kindly." He blushed and stammered, stealing another one. She sat down next to her father.
"I didn't know you were Canadian," Xander said dryly, smirking at her. "Someone sent footage."
"Wonderful. It worked," she said sweetly, smiling at her father. "He never kissed back, but I'm sure he had a happy night."
"Not really, his wife kicked him to the couch," Lupin said bitterly. "Don't do things like that, it's mean!"
"You're just worried that he'll chase us instead of you guys," she pointed out gently. "Trust me, I don't think he's up to chasing us, daddy. He'd give up in a few weeks. Now, how are we going to kill the people who stole Melissa from her bed?"
"What?" Jigen asked flatly.
"She's gone. No note, nothing. Her window was broken open however. I'm assuming it was them. Lotus didn't hear anything and Ishi's already tracking them. He did leave a note," she offered, putting it onto the table. It said he was following the people who had taken Melissa. "So, how are we chasing them?"
"Marcus can watch the kids," Lupin decided.
"We go!" Kenji said coldly. "We go now!"
Everyone stared at him, and his father blinked a few times. "Son, you cannot demand such things. It is not time for field lectures yet."
"I'm going," he said firmly, scowling at his father. "Sissy in trouble, we go!"
"We go," Fred agreed quietly. He had snuck in after his big sister. "Sissy needs us, daddy. We stay in hotel but we go to help."
"Sure," Arsene agreed. She looked at the assorted parents. "Need I remind you that by the time we were Kenji's age, we were already doing our own jobs?" she asked patiently. "They can stay in the hotel. We were following you guys around all the time."
"Fine," Xander agreed. He pulled out his phone and pushed a few buttons. "Lotus, are we packed? Fine. No, the kids are coming too. Sure, who?" He hummed. "Fine. Have her meet us with the limo. Did you want to go?" He smirked. "Of course I know you can. We won't even make you stay in the hotel with the kids. Fine. Call Marcus, have him meet us, and call your plane since time is of the essence. Thanks, kiddo." He hung up. "Lupin, put your car in a garage, meet us back here. Some of my people were tracking the group while they tracked Melissa and they're already here and helping pack."
"Fine," he agreed, going to do that. His car had a special hidden parking spot here in the city not far away from where they were. He took a cab back, barely in time to get into the limo. He got in and closed the door, then opened it at the pounding, tossing money at the cabbie. "Let's go. We have everyone?"
"We do," Xander agreed. "Spider, babe, intel?"
"Fairly sketchy still," she offered, handing over the file she had on her lap. "Pictures of the people who came in. Pictures of Ishi loading himself as cargo. He may or may not have been caught by them. I'm not sure. Your plane is gassed up and their pilot is still down," she offered, nodding politely at Lupin. "Bastian sends his love and that no one knows anything about these people. They're too underground so far. They're looking for a project to come out with. He did get a picture of the head of the people. He's not that pretty to look at." Xander flipped through the pictures, handing them off. "I think I know him but I don't know from where."
"Melissa's coming out party," he said dryly. "The one for the manor. He was there. He was claiming lineage and military consulting status." He passed it on, watching as Jigen glared at it. "How long before we catch up with them?"
"They'll be landing in a few hours. We have people on the ground to follow them, based on their filed flight pattern. If they veer off, we'll track from there. The tracer Melissa and Ishi both wear will help us there." He nodded. "Also, they're in a shielded plane. We can barely get Melissa's signal and we can't get Ishi's at the moment. So they're not stupid."
"I never expected stupidity, just arrogance," he replied calmly. "Anything else of interest?" She shook her head so he leaned over to kiss her gently. "Good girl, Spider. What about on that artifact?"
"The researcher you put into the Watchers is happily reporting that he's found mention of it, both before and after, but it's a sticky situation. He'll have a report to Marcus once you're back. I've called Marcus. He's got the flu but he'll be there to watch the kids at the very least. He sounded miserable, Xander."
"Fine. Good even. How's Homer?"
"Pissed." She smirked at Jigen. "Homer has a bit of a crush on your daughter. She's smart and he's always liked smart women. He's being respectful and trying to clear his mind of such desires however. He said he doesn't want someone to kill him." Jigen nodded silently. "So he's having a fit. You may have him helping without seeing him." She looked at Xander again. "The whole network was alerted and the specialist in Russia said she'll come if you need her."
"That's cool, if we need to burn them out we will," Xander agreed smugly. "Thanks, love. You're still my most amazing capture and helper." She blushed slightly, but was smiling at him. "You behave while we're gone. Listen for problems for me and let Bastian know how to reach us." They pulled up at the airport, pulling around to the back area. He saw a few cops standing around his plane. "Who're they?"
"Someone very stupid," she noted quietly. "I have not an idea." The limo stopped and she got out first. "Who're you?"
"We're checking for contraband," one of them called. "Are you the owner?"
"No, I'm his secretary." She stomped over there. "What contraband would they have?"
"Drugs, weapons? Things of that nature?" one of the cops suggested. He gaped when he saw who was getting out of the limo. "He's your boss!"
She glanced back, then shook her head, looking at them again. "I work for Lavelle, mates. They're chasing the arms dealer who stole his elder daughter." They shuddered and backed away. "The only weapons going with us are ours."
"Fine," the first one offered, taking the others back with him. "Happy hunts. They're not in Europe, correct?" She shook her head. "Decent. Thank you. Some special boxes were loaded, ma'am."
She smirked. "I'm Spider, I run London's syndicate." They all nodded, turning and running away, which made her chuckle. "I like doing that to them. It's fun." She stole Xander for one last kiss. "They loaded the boxes and Lotus should be on there."
"Thanks, Spider. Have a happy meeting next week and tell me how he was," he said with a wink and a grin. He climbed up the steps. "Hey, Lotus. They all here?"
"All six boxes, Uncle Xander," she said calmly, staring at the others. "The auxiliary room has seats for the children."
"Thanks, dear." The kids were hiked into the back room and strapped in, while the adults and the teenagers got the front. The door was closed and locked by Arsene, then the engines started. "Buckle up. This is a very good plane and we'll be at cruising soon." He looked out the window as they took off. "Interpol!" he yelled.
"We've got clearance," the pilot called back. They moved out to a runway to taxi and the engines sped up, then they were rolling. They took off before the sirens could clear the hanger. Once they had steadied out, she turned off the seatbelt sign. "You're released. I've notified the tower this was an emergency business trip, subject to final destination change at the last moment. They cleared it anyway since it wasn't going to be much different," she called back. "I had food stocked last week so it should be good. There's stuff for the kids too, just in case. The bed's still back there, Xander."
"Thanks, dear. We can serve ourselves. Just give us updates if anything comes through." He stood up. "Any satellite equipment is doable, anything else can't be used while we're in flight. Lupin, my spare laptop and the satellite link is in the desk behind where the kids are."
"How did you buy an older 747 and rearrange it?" Jigen asked.
"Easily. It was on sale," he said dryly, smirking at him. "It was also able to be reconfigured easily enough. It's not like everything was bolted down. The walls are standard, so's the meeting area and the kids' room is just a bedroom area with comfy seats." He went up to the galley, pulling out something and putting it into the microwave. "Should I start you some coffee?"
"Sure," the pilot called back. "I haven't gotten breakfast yet either."
"Done." He got some of the pastries and coffee, handing it over to her. "There you go, dear. Ignore any yelling." He winked and got his own breakfast, going back to his seat, turning it so he could watch Lupin typing. "Any news from the bulletin boards?"
"No, not from either of them. Yours is silent."
"They know not to distract me in emergencies," he said with a small shrug before biting into his breakfast pastry. "There's food up there too."
"Sure, thanks," Arsene agreed, heading up there. "Lotus?"
"Soda and something if you can find something," she suggested. She looked at her father. "Are you upset about last night?"
He considered it. "I am quite glad that you managed to get past that phobia, daughter, but it is wrong to tease men that way. That is something that is not honorable."
"I wasn't promising anything, father, merely enjoying my body."
"Agreeable," he noted. "Still, you must be careful because someone may have taken it as a promise."
"Then I can kick his ass, father. We both know that."
"True," he agreed lightly, smiling at her. "I have no problems with you having fun as long as you do not."
"I didn't. I worked through a lot of stuff last night," she offered.
"Good," Jigen told her. He accepted his cup of coffee from Arsene. "Did you enjoy yourself?"
"Yup, sure did. I needed that dose of naughtiness to get it out of my system. Otherwise I would have had another redecorating fit. By the way, I'm told our ship is truly finished finally." Lotus smiled at her. "So we can use it for our first year if we want." They clinked cans of soda. "Daddy, go eat."
"I already had breakfast," Lupin said as he read something in his email. "Pops just popped up an email ranting about the kissing. He said it was mean and cruel."
"Hey, he's the one who reacted. It's not like I got wet panties kissing him," she offered when her father looked at her. "I'd expect him to be hell in bed, daddy, just because he can please that demanding bitch of his, but it's not what I want at this moment." She sipped her soda and put it down on the table next to her. "Guys, did you want sodas?" she called.
Kenji came to the door. "They nap on the bed," he said quietly. "We nap?"
"Go ahead, son. You probably need the rest," Goemon said with a fond smile for him. "Marcus will be meeting us to watch over you."
"Thank you, daddy." He gave him a hug then went to curl up behind Fred. Fred was his buddy and a very good pillow as well.
Goemon closed the door so no one would wake up the children. "In the future, warn us when you go out to do such things."
"Of course, father. As long as we're together at the time," Lotus agreed.
"Otherwise we'd have to call you before we went clubbing from wherever we were in the world," Arsene agreed with a smirk for him.
"Thank you." He sat down again, looking at the map that had popped up. "What is that?"
"A new message for Xander from Bastian," Lupin said, looking at Xander. He turned the computer. "Mean anything to you?"
"Very much," he admitted, hitting the print button. He looked it over, then went to take it to the pilot. "There's where they landed."
"That's a private airstrip but we can get you close," she promised, smiling up at him. "Thank you, Xander."
"Welcome, love." He patted her on the shoulder and went back to sit down again. "That's a private airstrip. She'll get us as close as she can and we can travel overland from there."
"Should I tell Bastian that?"
"No, give it here," Xander ordered. The laptop was handed over. Xander typed in a coded message and sent it to let him know what was going on. He got back a confirmation immediately. "They're still fine. They did find Ishi. They're being held together. He doesn't have his sword on him but they are carrying a heavy metal box as well. He's guessing it's in there since he can find the muted signal on it. Melissa doesn't look scared, she looks like she wants to pull a me and destroy something." He paged down. "Ishi doesn't look that scared, but he does look worried. They're heading to a compound inside the nearest mountain. He'll write later about the security features. He's painting landscapes today." He cleared the message and checked for a new one. Nothing from her panic button. He handed it back. "They're still fine. Melissa has her panic button, which will send a signal to the satellite for us. Nothing blocks it at that frequency, but some local radio stations will get fuzz for a few seconds."
"We can handle that," Lupin agreed. He got comfortable, looking at Xander. "Where did this one come from?"
"Lease," he said fondly.
"Uh-huh. And I believe that too," Lupin said smartly.
"Well, the same company that owns the ship also customizes planes so I lease it from my own company," he admitted. "We do leased flights for executives and the like."
"You can live without this life, can't you?" Lupin asked finally. Xander grinned and nodded. "So you took some profits and invested wisely?"
"Hell yeah! Do you think I want to do this when I'm eighty? I want to be retired on a beach somewhere playing with the grandkids. When I start aching like I was before, I'm retiring, Lupin. No ifs, ands, or begging is going to stop me. I'm going to retire to live out the rest of my life in quiet peace and play with the future grandkids."
"That's probably another thirty years," Jigen reminded him. Xander shrugged. "You're going to do this that long?"
"Some. I do some of that stuff now and then too," he reminded him. "Melissa's only taking over the non-legit stuff. The legit stuff I have someone else running for me and I'm the evil mastermind behind the plans." They all chuckled at that, Xander could be like that at times. "By the way, Arsene, you left some underwear on the ship. It was sent back to the house."
"Welcome, dear. Remember, I'm only going to be playing with the grandchildren, you guys get to raise them."
"Of course, mom," she said patiently. "Then again, that presumes I'm having children."
"You will some day, there's got to be a Fifth," Lupin the Third reminded her.
"Fine. I'll push out one. Only one. You'd better hope it's a good thief." She got up to grab a magazine off a nearby table. "This is pretty nice. Ours is smaller and more functional."
"You didn't need something this size, but the company has hosted top-secret product meetings with some toy and computer companies in mid-air. That way no one can spy on their ideas."
"They're fairly paranoid," Lotus complained.
"Very, but they paid the company a half million for two hours for that meeting. Plus any food they wanted stocked." Everyone stared in shock. "For just a ferrying job like this one we get six grand an hour."
"That's an eighty percent profit over the cost of the pilot and the gas," Jigen said in awe. Xander nodded, grinning smugly at him. "Wow."
"Very wow. We get a reduced rate for the syndicate. We only pay about two, which covers everything nicely."
"Wow," Lupin said in awe. "That's expensive."
"Yeah, but there's no screaming kids, no cramped seats, no talkative seat mates. No seat mates period. You can stretch out and work during the flight. You can figure things out in peace. We've had people who designed their presentations on the way to their next job. We've had one guy who bought one of the planes after leasing it for six rides over six months. There's a bed, a meeting area, and very comfortable seats. Then again, we also take some stars around, but mostly still business clients. We do a lot of work out of JFK airport in New York."
Lupin had his mouth closed by his daughter pushing on his chin. "Wow," he breathed. "We can backdate the prenup if you want, Xander."
Xander pulled one out of his briefcase. "I took what you said and had Murami have someone draw it up." He presented it to him. "This isn't for you, Jigen. That's his empire against mine stuff."
Jigen nodded. "That's fine. Do I have one?"
Xander grinned at him. "Do you need one?"
"No," he admitted with a small smirk. "You naughty thing."
"Very." He looked at Lupin. "That's what you said, right?" Lupin nodded, glancing at him. "That's considered a palimony agreement so it can be signed after the wedding."
"Sure, Xander. Does it need notarized?"
"It already has been."
"Cool." Lupin went back to reading, Murami was watching out for him in this thing. There were stipulations if he did Xander wrong and tighter ones for Xander if he cheated and broke them back up. "There's a clause in here saying any kids are joint property and to be shared? You really want that?"
"Hell yes. That solves problems in case some odd occurrence happens and you get pregnant thanks to those stupid chokers. That way the kid is already mine, registered as mine, and I have full authority to treat and all that without extra paperwork. That would put my name on the birth certificate as the father. That would also allow me to take custody of the child in case something happened to the birth parent. Or if it's yours and Jigen's, allow me to get partial custody in case something happens. It's a formality of what we knows going to happen anyway, Lupin."
"You do know this doesn't include all your assets and therefor is challengeable?"
"Yup, but there's a clause in there stating that you're not due anything but presents from the assets from the legit side of the business since having yours or my name attached to them would make them flounder and fail. It'd be bad for business and you agree that it's bad for business."
Lupin nodded. "Seems reasonable enough, but I will expect presents," he said with a grin. Xander pulled something out of his briefcase and tossed it to Jigen, who smiled at the limited edition Zippo lighter. "That's nice. Where's mine?"
Xander smirked at him. "He earned his last night, Lupin. You haven't yet."
Lupin's eyes narrowed. "On the plane, in front of everybody?"
"There's a meeting area." He winked. "Later. Finish reading."
"Fine." Lupin went back to reading, shifting so his hardon wouldn't rub against the zipper of his pants. It was distracting.
"What did Daddy Jigen do last night?" Arsene asked with a smirk.
"Something Thomas taught you," Xander shot back, smirking back. She blushed. "Nothing you need to know about, it's commemorating another milestone reached."
"It's pretty, Xander, thank you," Jigen said, using it to light his next cigarette.
"We're in a closed environment and some of us don't smoke," Lotus complained.
"Tough. You'll be smoking in a few years."
"I doubt it, I have more respect for my body than to pollute it," Lotus complained. She heard a fan go on overhead. "Filtering?" she asked hopefully. Xander nodded. "Cool."
"We've had them installed on all the planes. The major airlines could but they'd also have to put up an extra wall or curtain for them to work most effectively and won't spend the extra money to do that. Sixty grand each times the whole flight line of United is a lot of money."
"It is," Lupin agreed, coming to the last page. He picked up a pen and signed his name. "There." Xander took the pen and signed his. "We're official?"
"We're official," Xander agreed.
"Good, then I believe you challenged me, Xander." He got up and pulled his husband into the back room, pausing to make sure the kids were asleep before closing themselves in the meeting room. "Someone left a briefcase."
"He was looking for that too. I'll give it to the pilot in a few minutes," he promised. Someone should have checked back here so he'd be yelling at someone too. Lupin took his mind off that by unzipping his pants, making him moan. "Oh, yeah," he sighed. Lupin chuckled and went to work on him, fully expecting Xander to reciprocate. It would relieve some tension and stress before they landed. They'd pounce Jigen in a few minutes to make him relax too.
Melissa looked at the plans she had been presented with, then up at the people watching her. "Which language is this in? It's more obscure than the six I've studied."
"We think it's in Abacus."
"I know that one," she snorted, bending back over the plans again. She took out a magnifying glass so she could look at the small characters easier. "It's not in Abacus. It's in Thrist. And it's in code. There's a key," she noted calmly.
"Can you read it?"
"If we can break the code. Unfortunately I'm not the one who's the best at that. Ishi is." Not quite a lie, but useful.
"Fine, we'll bring your fiance back," the head thug said, snapping his fingers. "Bring his sword too, he won't be getting out of here unless he wants to cut through the whole mountain. It'll make him feel better." Ishi was walked in and handed his things. "Help her. There's a code."
"You'll let us go?"
"We'll see," the head thug offered, walking his people off. Two of them stayed at the entrance to the room, on the inside.
Ishi sat down beside Melissa, giving her a long look. She had lied and said he was her fiance when they had found him. That's why he was still living. "Code?"
"Yeah, code," she offered. "It's in grunt and point too." Code for can we escape.
"Pleasure to read," he offered dryly. Code for not yet, too many of them. He took the plans, lifting them to the light. "There's watermarks I don't understand."
"That's from the demonic library," she said after looking. This was something they'd be taking with them when they left. No one deserved one of these things to make an instant Hellmouth to suck the city down into. "Daddy would be throwing a fit."
"True," Ishi agreed, glancing at her and grinning. "Could be worse, we could be under a mountain and have thousands of people surrounding us." Their guards looked confused but shook it off quickly.
"True," she agreed, leaning against his side for comfort. It was time to engage her planning skills. She did not want to be here. "I wonder what happened to the original maker?"
Ishi glanced at her. "It's probably dead. I'm sure someone in hell is not a happy camper at the moment."
"I'm sure Mom'll get a head's up."
"Your mother can't get in here either," one of the guards sneered.
"You'd be surprised where Sylvia can get," Melissa sneered back. "After all, she got into many places where she shouldn't have." The guard looked nonplused. "I'm sure you'll be finding out soon enough." She went back to pointing at the key. "That's the key from what I can tell. This isn't my best language."
"Azural is Ka is Bah or Kay?" he translated. "It goes into hieroglyphs?" He looked at Melissa. "If so, we're *way* out of our league here. We'll have to do a search for hieroglyphs to get a translation, then translate it into a phonetic key."
"Shit," she sighed. "This could take months. Which one is Azural?" Ishi pointed at the mark. "Okay....that's not a widely used one."
"No, but from five random points within a code like this you can find the others out," he noted dryly, leaning back and putting an arm around her shoulders. "Tell your boss what we found out. We'll either need a linguist who knows hieroglyphs or internet access."
"I need to check in with the empire anyway, they've got to be in a panic since we disappeared." Code for someone will see us once we're on there.
"Good point." He gave her a gentle squeeze. "It's interesting since this grunt and point language has over six thousand letters and hieroglyphs are more limited."
"Six thousand letters?" one of the guards asked. "Why?"
"Because they're demons and they have a wider vocal and sound range," Melissa chastised. "You can't expect every intelligent species to speak Human! How arrogant are you?"
"Watch it, girly, we can find someone else now that you've gotten that far."
"I doubt it. Even a true linguist wouldn't recognize this language. There's sixteen people in the world who can read Thrist. Me, somewhat, my mother, and ten Watchers, plus a few ambassadorial demons." She smiled sweetly at him. "Did you really want to meet Mom or Lavelle?"
"Who's he?" the other guard asked.
"Lupin's other gunman."
"He was kinda tortured by someone who spoke this language natively," Ishi explained. "He speaks it, reads it, and can think in it. And you're fucked if he comes for us. He's like our second mother." They shook their heads but one went to report that new information. It was more than they had before. "You know, you could *offer* Lavelle a chance to come do this for you. He understands the Hellmouth that it's trying to create. He worked on one for years."
"Huh?" the guard asked.
"This device will open a portal to Hell to suck in a town. Lavelle is one of the reasons why this happened in Sunnydale."
"Oh." He shrugged. "We can suggest it but I doubt it'll happen. After all, we don't want anyone more dangerous than a few kids who're still in training."
Melissa started to retort but Ishi stroked up her arm, telling her to keep quiet. She looked at him. Then at the guard. "This hampers another point, oh great brilliant one. I'm two days before my next cycle and you guys didn't steal my birth control pills, which help control the hormone swings."
"You can get pregnant," the guard said with a shrug. "We don't care. We'll be done with you long before you get a chance to feel it kick."
"So not the point," Ishi sighed. "Melissa becomes slightly...homicidal when she has PMS. She's killed people in the past and you haven't exactly given her things to control the flow of the blood."
The guard shrugged again. "If you two would get to work, she wouldn't have to worry about it."
She snorted. "Fat chance. You kill me, you bring Hell down on your shoulders. You kill him and Daddy'll be on your ass like white on rice."
"Too true," Ishi agreed dryly. The head thug walked back in. "You picked up someone who can do the work, but only with a lot of help from the internet. Neither of us is more than passingly familiar with hieroglyphs, plus you're about to be PMS'd to death by her in about two days." He crossed his arms then put his feet up on the table. "While I wouldn't mind the challenge, it'll take a bit more than two days."
"We can get her pads."
"I still need my birth control pills," Melissa said dryly. "They control the hormone swings when I turn homicidal."
"You're a little girl," he snorted. Before he knew it she had his gun and had blown four of his guards away, leaving him and one of them. "Already having mood swings?"
"I was due for my pill a few hours ago," she noted. "Besides I am the daughter of two marksmen." He nodded at that. "Now, if you want us to translate this piece of crap to bring Hell onto earth, we can do that. But only if you make some concessions." The other guard started to sneer so she shot him in the balls, making him scream in agony as he fell to the floor. "Pity, but your country is already overpopulated. One less child." She looked at the head thug again. "Your choice. There's sixteen people on this planet who can read the original language and only one knows what it means. The others only theorize it." The head thug looked speculative. "It's a formal language used by the Holy Fallen Ones."
"Fine," he agreed. "Who?"
"Ten Watchers who think they know, four ambassadors to Hell who may know enough for simple requests, me somewhat, and Lavelle or my mother. He can actually speak in it. Either we need Lavelle or we need a Fallen One. I can't call them though. That would be Lotus' job in the group."
"How would we find this Lavelle?"
"I can send out a coded message for him to come here. Of course, he will kill you."
"I'm sure he'll try," the head thug said smugly.
"He's the one who trained me to shoot." She pointed the gun at him again. "There's two bullets left by weight. Your choice."
"You kill me, you'll die in here."
"It'd be better than being at the mercy of your stupidity."
He considered it. They could become hostages instead. If they screwed up, they were both very pretty. "Fine, I will let you call this Lavelle and allow you some limited internet usage to research the hieroglyphs. Why did they translate it that way?"
"Six thousand letters and sounds."
"Oh. That's fine." He walked out, leaving her with the gun. She couldn't take them all down with two or three bullets.
Melissa flopped back down. "I don't want to watch the dead bodies mildew either," she called after him.
"Isn't that my job in the group?" Ishi asked, taking the gun from her. She nodded, leaning against his side again. "Then you did a pretty mean impersonation, 'Lis. I'm impressed." They shared a grin. If they could get them to bring in Lavelle, the others could follow him in and rescue them. Melissa sent up a muttered prayer. "To Janus?"
"To one of the Fallen Ones. This is going to get out of hand quickly and they deserve the right to punish their own," she said grimly. "If Satan knew someone was planning this, he'd be pissed."
"You never know, he might want to take over."
"I doubt it. Then he'd have to deal with mom and you know how much he hates to."
"Good point," Ishi agreed, cuddling her closer. They could wait until they could send the message. It was a great tradition to stall.
Xander heard the quiet beep of his laptop and got up to answer it. "Hmm." He opened it and read the message, then choked. "They're what?" he asked. Arsene took the laptop so he snatched it back. "Stop that."
The bigger Arsene took the laptop to look over, then sighed. "Fine. We can play it that way. At least then we'd know where they are and that they're safe." He looked at Xander. "Can you play that part?"
"I'm not playing Sylvia for anyone."
"No, but they said you could read it as well."
"Good point." He sat down again, considering it. "You could follow my signal inside. That would give you a method of getting inside. Plus we do have cameras that they can't stop the transmission of." He tapped his fingers on the table. "We've got to stop it anyway. A Hellmouth machine would drive me insane trying to stop it." Jigen woke up and looked at them. "They took those two, and Melissa is saying that Ishi is her fiance to keep him nearby and untortured, to translate something in Thrist so they can build a Hellmouth making machine."
"We've got to stop them," Jigen agreed. "How did they get out a message?"
"The plans have a key, but it goes to hieroglyphs. There's only so many people on this planet who can read Thrist or speak it. Sixteen of them." Jigen shuddered. "Ten of those are Watchers. A few are ambassadors from other demon clans. Her. And me."
"So they want to bring you to where they are?" Jigen asked. Xander nodded. "Can we do that?"
"We can." Xander got up and headed into the back, popping a panel so he could get into the storage area. He found the metal cases and hefted two of them out, closing the door again after retrieving Fred. "You don't need Hell's weapons, little man." He locked it again and walked the cases up to the front. "We can do that. There'll have to be some monitoring. We have a camera they can't trace or block. No matter how far under a mountain they are. I got into Cheyenne Mountain in the US with it and got clear pictures all the way down to the 52nd sub-basement and the aliens they're fighting down there." He looked at the boxes. "Let me gear up. Can you, Lupin?"
"If you show me how to monitor them."
"They're already built into the laptops. The cameras fire back on an oscillating frequency that mimics subsonic hearing. The tracers I have on me worked in Cheyenne Mountain as well. They didn't pick it up and they were using alien technology."
"That was dangerous," Arsene offered. "Can we do Area 51?"
"No, dear, NID has taken it over and you don't want to run into the psycho freaks who believe in torture being scientific. They'd try something and then I'd have to take out the base. Besides, the alien I saw wasn't like the Roswell Grays." He looked at the boxes again. "Fine, I can do this. Lupin, the camera is already hidden on me. The toggle to record is F8 and to switch views is F12. To get into that screen, it's under accessories in the directory." Lupin nodded, going searching for it. "That's it," he agreed when he found it. Lupin nodded, filing that away mentally for future reference. "Now, we send them back a message that I'm coming, with luggage, and that it has to come with me. I'll travel to a rendevous spot and meet them. Oh, the mapping feature is F11. Forgot that one," he added with a grin. "It's always handy when you're underground." He patted the top of the box and something inside shifted. "Shut up, before I douse you in holy water again." The shifting quit.
"Is something living in there?" Lotus asked.
"Yes, and you're never to touch these boxes, Lotus. Only someone unholy can. So swat Marcus if he wants the others." He got up to break into the ammo box, taking his usual compliment of weapons and spare clips, plus boxes for them. He created a hidden spot using some demonic skills and put all that into there. The boxes wouldn't fit but no one was going to find them. Even if they were demonic. None of them would dare question him. He took off his jacket and handed it to Lupin, then got down to his t-shirt and pants. His casual shoes were changed for boots. He put on underwear as well. In short, he went from casual businessman to deadly mercenary-looking man in about six minutes. The addition of his jacket was just practical. It was winter in those mountains. He checked the pocket and shored it back up, drawing the weapons back to him. He'd need those and no one in Hell was getting in his way. No way in hell.
Lupin looked at the camera feed as Xander was met by the thugs, wincing as Xander struck one who touched the boxes. "It's in his eye," he told Jigen.
"Well, the glass eye doesn't do much else," he complained from their hotel room. Someone knocked and Arsene checked before letting Bastian in. "He's being taken inside now."
"Good." He handed over his sketchbook and sat down beside Lupin to watch the video. "Oh, damn, he's got the boxes."
"He had Spider load them onto the plane," Lupin said absently. "What's in that one?"
"Part of a demon." He squinted. "He needs to clean that eye again. It's always getting nasty." He saw the blink and smiled. "Much better, Xander."
"He said it wasn't doing much else. He's also got something in the camera to tell him distance and wind speed."
Jigen gave him a long stare. "For targets from a roof?" Bastian grinned and nodded, brushing back some of his dark hair. "I'll remember that. How long?"
"Two years. Someone finally got it to work without zapping him with the battery."
Lupin frowned, engaging the mapping feature as Xander was led inside the mountain. He was already taping it. Someone else knocked so he waved at his daughter.
"Big probs," she announced.
"Plan twelve 'em," Jigen told her.
"Sure." She opened the door and backhanded Zenigata, then glared at Vecchio. "Carry him inside, you're going to be in a chair again."
"We're here to help."
"I doubt it. Can you speak demon or stop the people trying to make a Hellmouth machine?"
"Hellmouth machine?" Zenigata asked, rubbing his jaw. "You're mean today."
"I'm getting bleed off from Melissa. She's got PMS by now," she said dryly. "Inside." They walked inside and she looked in the hallway. "Who did you tell you were coming this way?"
"We're chasing Lavelle," Vecchio snorted. "Everyone knows that."
"They know you're not on his case, Vecchio. *Everyone* knows that," Bastian told him. "Who did you tell?"
"The travel office in Interpol. No one else," Zenigata admitted. "I told them it was another Lupin gang siting."
"Fine. Sit, shut up," Lupin ordered. "The sound is crappy on this thing unless he yawns." He swatted at the hands moving toward the keyboard, but Bastian turned up the sound, so they could listen to him breathe. "Thanks."
"Welcome, Lupin. How long before we move in?"
"As soon as we see everyone's safe," Lupin offered. "I only need the map." That got a round of nods. "Everyone arm up. It shouldn't be too much longer."
"We already are, daddy. Should we arm the cops?" Arsene asked.
"I've got mine," Ray pointed out. She tossed over a box of bullets. "That'll come in handy," he admitted. He shared them with his boss, who took some for his pocket as well. "How many are we looking at?"
"Thousand, maybe a few handful more," Lupin said as he watched. "Full munitions plant. Shit! There's a reactor."
"I'm sure we can figure it out," Jigen said calmly. "Xander won't let the kids be harmed."
Lupin sat up as the camera was led to a door and it was opened. The kids jumped up to hug him. "They're fine." Jigen and Goemon both looked over his shoulder to check on their kids. "Unharmed. Ishi's got a small bruise but it's faded. Hmm, the boxes. Shit!" The camera had went dead. He looked up, seeing the determined faces. "We go."
Bastian looked at his phone, then shook his head. "No, Xander's not sending out an 'I'm ready' code yet. We can't go until he shields the kids."
"But they're distracted."
"No, they're watching for you," Bastian corrected. "They're not stupid, they're arrogant." He looked at Goemon. "There's three things he can do. He can read the scrolls, which would give them a clue. He can loose the demon, which will kill everything in there, but can be killed by slicing it into tiny pieces. Or he can do a combination and take the kids into hell to protect them in case that reactor goes too."
"I'd rather my son not visit hell," Goemon said quietly. "If necessary, we can always help him recover."
"It'd be the waiting areas. Xander would be able to protect them. He's got something on him to open a Hellmouth or to summon a Higher One."
"Since when?" Lupin asked.
"Since he figured out what a few more of them were, Lupin. The hellmouth one is on his thigh. The one to summon a higher one is on his back in the center of it. He'd have to have someone else do it. Melissa could, they share blood."
"It's a bad choice."
"With a munitions plant, an enclosed area, and a reactor, it may be the choice," Bastian reminded him. He looked at his phone as it vibrated. "We've got a stay put code from Xander and Melissa. Xander took the eye out." He tossed it to Jigen, frowning at him. "It's going to hit the fan. Xander can't let them get away with this." The camera came back, showing a beautiful creature on the screen.
"Hmm, that is an interesting accessory, Consort."
"Just get on with it, Arazul."
"Why should I?"
Xander held the scroll up in front of his face. Then turned it around so the demon could see it. The Fallen One went pale. "Better reasons found yet?"
"That is obscene and would tip the balance more than you," the demon snarled, snatching it to look over. "This is obscene."
"They stole us to translate it," Melissa said smartly. "We'd like to stop them too if we can help."
"Honey, calm down, there's a candy bar in my pocket," Xander offered gently, patting her since they could see his arm moving in the corner of the video. "Now, you can help or not."
"Fine, I will help. This is something that could get me back in Grace."
"Fine for you, man. I don't care what either side wants at the moment. I just want my kids safe. There's a munitions plant and a nuclear reactor out there." The demon groaned. "So, we want safe passage through your section to come out in either Sunnydale or Cleveland."
"Sunnydale would be easier, someone's uncovered the seal again. Fine, you have my word and safe conduct with my Consort." He snapped his fingers and a tired looking woman fell at his feet, bowing her head. "Escort them to the Sunnydale portal. All of them and that stupid set of boxes. When are you going to release him?"
"When I'm finished torturing him."
"Fine, Consort. Thank you for this opportunity to ascend again." He reopened the portal and the woman stood up, showing her gravid stomach. "After you are done, go bathe and rest," he ordered. She nodded. "If I do ascend, you shall not be harmed."
"If you do ascend, I'll make sure she gets out," Xander offered. The Fallen One nodded at that and shook hands with him, then Xander let the kids walk between them. The portal closed, leaving the boxes there. That was the last image.
Lupin looked at Marcus. "Get us someone in Sunnydale. Now. I don't care how."
"My ship's in LA, his is in San Fran," Arsene reminded him.
"Good idea. They can have nightmares in peace and none of the demon hunters can go on water," Bastian agreed. "Yours or his?"
"Mine, it's smaller and unknown," Lupin offered. "Besides, mine's barely fixed, I'd like to enjoy it for a bit." Everyone nodded so she made a call, scrambling her Captain. It was only a few hours drive so it'd be almost as fast by ship. They rushed out, going to help and get out of the way. If that reactor blew, they wanted to be in another country. A different plane was waiting on them but the same pilot. She had already gotten the engines started and they were off before that mountain caved in and a burst of sunlight came down on it. Or came up from it, no one could tell from the plane.
Xander walked out of the Hellmouth and made sure the kids were out before moving further. "Kids, up on the regular ground," he ordered. They nodded, shaking as they climbed up out of the hole. He looked at the consort. "You can feel him?"
"He has ascended," she said quietly, looking down at her stomach.
"Fine." Xander hauled her up and out of the hole, then turned and tossed the non-moving box down into it, firing at the locks to open them. Inside something screamed as it was released but the moment it reentered the portal it closed it. He looked at the kids. "Ten more minutes," he promised. "There's cabins."
Melissa nearly jumped as her phone rang, starting to cry. She opened it, seeing the text message. "Our ship is in the harbor."
"Fine. Let's head. I remember the way and it's not like there's much here," Xander offered gently. She nodded. "Are you all right?"
"It was horrible, mom. How did you stand that?"
"I survived, baby girl. That's what was important." He noticed Ishi was being stoic again and gave him a hug too. "You okay?"
"I'll break down on the ship," he said quietly. "Please."
"Sure. It's about a mile off. Head for the water," he said, pointing. They headed at a quick jog, pulling the other woman with them. They found a boat waiting on them and got them all into it, watching the land as they pulled away and headed back to the former cruise ship. Once on board, Xander pulled the other woman down to the infirmary, trusting his daughter to know that someone was going to be needed. The man in there snapped a salute. "Doctor or medic?"
"Doctor, sir. Graduated from Harvard, lost my license due to drugs."
"You high now?"
"No, sir, completely cleaned up and using a Mexican license."
"Good. She was impregnated and tortured by something demonic and Fallen. She's pregnant. She'll need a lot of fluids and treated for shock. She may have tattoos or other carved symbols on her, if so they may need to be removed." The doctor nodded, taking the woman to put her onto the bed so he could check her over. "She's tired, man. Treat her like a victim of kidnaping and horrible torture who was found after a few years. That's what she is."
"Thank you, sir. Are you all right? Our mistress briefed us that you may have been injured further."
"No, I'm fine. I got into a fight but nothing major. The kids are shaken. You might want to send a light sedative up to our room." He looked at the consort. "Did you want me here?"
"No. Watch for the hunters."
"They can't get to you on water," he reminded her. "Nor will they get to you in LA. Take us to LA, she's got to go to someone there. I don't trust most people but I would trust them." He turned and walked off, going to check on the kids. They were in the showers so he waited to hug them. He went into a clean room to change clothes, finding a t-shirt and a pair of jeans in there. He paused when he heard a shower stop. "Are these clothes for me or Ishi?"
"You," Ishi called. "I've got my own."
Xander got dressed, leaving his feet bare. He walked out, going to hug his son. "Are you really all right?"
"That thing shot horrible visions into our minds."
"They're nightmares, Ishi, nothing more. They didn't happen to you and they won't happen to you," he promised as he rocked him.
"Did they happen to you?" he asked quietly, not letting go.
"Ishi, most of those were pretty mild compared to what I went through," he admitted after a moment's silence. "I survived, that's all that needs to be said," he repeated. "Just think of them as nightmares. They didn't happen to you. It was like watching a really sickening movie."
"Hollywood wouldn't let that out," he said, pulling back to look at his uncle. "Are you all right?"
"I'll be fine," he promised. "I can sleep knowing we saved that other woman from them. You?"
"I'll be fine. I must push them out of my head since they're not mine. They will never happen to me."
"They won't. If someone tries then I get to beat the shit out of them," he promised. He had done that to the demon who had tried to do those things to them, after blocking it so it was only nightmares. The kids didn't need to be tortured and nothing was touching them from that plane ever again. He'd have them marked in their sleep to protect them if he had to. Ishi nodded, hugging him again. "There's a doc on board. He can give you a light sedative if you want."
"Please. I know I won't sleep without one."
"Then I'll go get you one after I check on Melissa."
"I will. She's still in the shower."
"I'm her daddy, Ishi, I can do that." He stroked his cheek. "Go watch the sunset." Ishi nodded, going to do that. Xander went to his daughter's room, tapping gently before walking into the bathroom. He found her curled up in the shower crying and pulled her up to hold her, turning off the shower. "It's all right. They were only nightmares."
She nodded against his chest. "I know, mommy." She looked up at him. "It's just reaction," she promised. "It's over with, I'll never have to see anything that gruesome again." He gave her a gentle smile. "I've got to finish cleaning up. I started my cycle down there."
He kissed her on the forehead. "That's fine, princess. I'll get you a mild sedative, the same as I'm doing for Ishi, and you can both sleep on the couch while I sit up for a while longer."
"Thank you, mommy." She gave him another hug then got back into the shower to finish cleaning herself up.
Xander went down to the infirmary again, tapping before he walked in. "How is she?"
"She's fine," the doctor assured him. "I sedated her. I've checked her over and done an ultrasound of the child. It has wings."
"It should, it's father did," he admitted. "Face me please." The doctor faced him and he could see the creature possessing him. Apparently a hunter had been stuck on her before she had left. "Out of him. She'll need him."
"She is ours, Consort, as you are."
"Hunter, you're on open water. Out of his body, before I have to destroy you. It could harm him too much and I don't feel like destroying an innocent today." The demon sneered so he took him and pushed him into the water, making the demon scream and leave him. He sent out a line, waiting for the doctor to climb up since they were moving so slowly. "You better now?"
"I thought you were kidding."
"I'm not. The kids need a mild sedative and I need to call someone in LA."
"Thank you, sir." He hurried back to his infirmary, going to pray in there over the woman's body. He wasn't faithful before but now he was. With that evidence he was going to be the most devout person on the face of the earth. He put out the bottle of sedatives, trusting him to find them. The woman was moaning so he checked her over again, but she would be fine.
Xander grabbed the bottle off the counter and took it back to the room, going to call LA. He found the number online from Arsene's computer and dialed it on the speaker.
"Angel Investigations," a familiar and much loved voice said.
"Cordy? Aren't you ascended?" he asked quietly.
"Yeah, but I got sent back to help you this time. What's going on?"
"Some kook in China had a plan to make a Hellmouth machine written in Thrist. They took my daughter to read it. I showed up, I called one of the Fallen Ones to deal with it since there was a reactor as well as a munitions factory there. We ended up going through Hell to get out of there in a timely and efficient manner. The Fallen One gave me his consort and she's out with us. She's pregnant, the baby's got wings. He ascended."
"Wow, you don't come with easy problems, do you, Xander?" Fred's voice asked, sounding like she was smiling. "Is she worse than you or better?"
"She's sensate, but presently knocked out. She's pregnant, she's got a few marks but nothing much, but the Hunters have her scent. Another one wanted her child. I took out another link in the hierarchy to get us all free."
"Done. We'll meet you at the docks tonight," Cordy said. "You and your kids all right?"
"They're having nightmares. We ran into the another fighter and he sent out some...graphic images of what he could be doing to them. Fairly light considering. He clearly underestimated them and me. So they're going to be sleeping curled up on a couch under light sedation. I'll be up. We're on our way back from Sunnydale to LA by ship."
"Where are you now?" Fred asked.
Xander looked out the window. "Just passing out of the Sunnydale harbor and heading to the open water. Hunters can't cross or live in water."
"Fine, we'll take that into account," Cordy offered. "There's a holy island further up the coast. She can go there."
"Thanks, Cordy. See you in a few hours." He closed the connection and watched the kids curl up together, then sighed and stared outside. He repressed the memories again, making sure he would be able to sleep too. The phone beside him rang so he answered it. "Lupin the Fourth's desk." He smiled at the tired voice on the other side. "Thanks, princess. No, they're fine. They're lightly sedated and sleeping. The Consort I pulled up is being treated for her injuries." He sat up as a flashed happened. "Hold on." He called the LA number again. "Cordy? No, it's Xander, Connor. We're just leaving Sunnydale and there was a flash up here. I'm not sure what it was. No, center of town, not near the Hellmouth. That was on the western edge. Yeah, pass that on."
He hung up and switched back to the other line. "Sorry for that. Suspicious flash. No, I'm fine, Bastian. They're fine. There's a consort I pulled out. No, I released one of the boxes to close it and let the other be buried there." He let out a goofy sounding chuckle. "Thanks, man. No, we're heading for LA to drop off the poor woman we rescued, then we're heading South. Yeah, South. That's fine. You can't park the boat by house in Mexico, but there's a port about two hours away." He grinned. "Sure. No, I'm fine. The kids have a small sedative. No, I'm good. Yeah, I'm sure. Yeah, that might be a nice thing," he admitted. "No, I left mine there. Thanks, Bastian. Sure, love. Thank you for protecting my treasures." He hung up and looked down at the kids again, rubbing the empty socket before finding something to cover it with until he could get another glass eye to put in it.
Xander looked over as they got off the boat, nodding politely at Connor. "Just you?"
"I'm usually more than enough on my own, but David's got the car running and Cordy's heading to Sunnydale with Fred to check out the suspicious light." He looked at the woman. "Are you all right?" he asked patiently.
"I'll be fine once the child is born," she said, looking down at her feet. "Thank you for trying to protect me."
Xander tipped up her chin. "These guys do this all the time. That's their job, dear. They're subjects of the Powers. I used to be one of them." She nodded, then looked down again. "Okay, Connor be very gentle with her and watch out for the hunters. They had one placed on her and he tried to possess the doctor, but the doctor ended up in the harbor for a few minutes." He stopped her, taking something out of his pocket to draw on her neck, making her hiss. "This will keep the vampires from you. Around here, it's the most usual," he said quietly. "Go in peace and heal." She nodded, taking Connor's hand and letting him lead her off. "Watch her, Connor, or else I'm coming back with Ishi this time."
"That's fine, Xander. Get going. They'll be searching for you again," he called back.
Xander got back onto the ship. "Unless we need more stuff, we can go," he told the captain.
"Our mistress is coming. She called an hour ago. They're landing in the city in ten minutes."
"It's an hour drive from the airport," Xander said, thinking about it. "Fine, leave a launch here and back us into better waters." The captain looked at him. "The same thing that inhabited the doctor and that one poor guy can come back if they can cross from the land. They can't live on open water, they can't cross open water, but if there's a gangplank or a distance they can jump, like under ten feet, they can make it onto the ship."
"As you wish, sir," he agreed. He looked at his First Mate. "Set two launches here for the other members of the party. We'll pulling out into the water." The First Mate saluted and walked off. "Are you sure?"
"Very. I'm not up to slaying at the moment. I'm damn tired after our bout in hell." He walked off, heading down to the cabin to check on the kids. Arsene's ship was smaller, she hadn't really left any floors alone. There were a few suites that had been converted into a videogame room with a wall of screen from a projection tv. Another set of rooms on another floor was a practice and workout space. Everything was set up so the younger kids, plus Goemon's next two, could live on the ship for a very long time if necessary. The main cabin led to lavish rooms on different floors for each kid. The guest rooms were very nice as well. The bathing facilities had been upped on the old ship as well. Everyone had multi-head showers and jacuzzis waiting on them. The smallest cabin was the size of an efficiency apartment and had a microwave, hot plate, coffee maker, refrigerator, and mini- bar installed. The crew's cabins were nice as well. They each had individual rooms, with a few exceptions of double rooms for a couple of sets of twins. They had their own entertainment system, including a satellite system of their own. He'd have to check on his own crew's cabins on his ship. He wasn't sure if they were as nice. He walked into their main area and sat down to watch over the kids. They were still curled up together and napping so it was fine for now. At least until the others got there.
Arsene walked onto her ship last, saluting the captain back. "Thanks for the launch."
"Your...mother suggested it, ma'am."
"He's smart about those things," she agreed. "It was probably safer." She glanced around. "Anything I need to deal with?"
"No, ma'am. We're at full compliment and fully stocked for the next month. Where is our next destination?"
"Daddy, are we heading to Mexico for a few days?"
"Yes," he called as he walked off. "Then we'll have to pull the formal debut job right after that so probably Europe, unless you saw something in Hong Kong."
"Thanks, daddy." She looked at him. "The house in Mexico. As near as you can anyway. We'll be there for about a week, then we'll be heading. We'll tell you which way at that point."
"Yes, ma'am," he agreed. "Thank you, ma'am." He saluted her again, getting one in return before walking off.
Arsene strolled down to their main area, clearing her throat. "Guest rooms are the next floor down. You've all got suites there with your name on them. But go ahead and check on the others first," she agreed at Jigen's hostile look. "That's where I'm heading too." She got past them to open the door, smiling at the pretty picture they all made sleeping. "Awww." The adults pushed past her to hug the others, leaving her and Lotus to smirk at each other and wrangle the kids down to their rooms. They met Marcus in the hall on the way back. "Down a flight, and turn toward the front of the ship," Arsene told him. "Their names are on the doors."
"Thank you, Arsene." He gave her a gentle hug, gave one to Lotus, then sneezed and went down the stairs.
Lotus wiped off her cheek, making a grossed out face. "Eww." They headed back to the suite, smiling at the parents huddled around the kids, and Lupin now sitting with Xander in his lap, still sleeping. "The kids are settled in and Marcus is headed that way as well."
"That's fine," Goemon agreed. "Thank you, girls."
"Not an issue, father. I know you want to hold him for a few more hours. Do you want to know which is his room?" He nodded, picking up his son to follow her. He looked impressed at the nice suite his son had so she grinned. "He picked out most everything but I got final say on the bed since he was indecisive. There's a trundle as well since we figured the little kids wouldn't want to sleep downstairs sometimes." His father nodded, putting his son onto his bed and pulling out the lower trundle bed. "Have a good night, father. I'm upstairs above you. Melissa and Arsene share the other side in the same manner." She smoothed out her brother's blankets. "You rest. You're in bed now, Ishi," she said quietly, then she left, going up to her room. Lupin was carrying Xander out and Jigen was taking his daughter to her room. "Where are we heading next, Ar?"
"Okay. Then where?"
"Formal debut job."
"I don't know. Hong Kong or Europe? We'll meet tomorrow to narrow down the list then present it to Daddy." She grinned from her door. "Sleep well, Lotus."
"You too, Ar." She closed her door and took off her shirt so she could lie down as well. It was probably going to be a fairly long night. She heard Arsene cackle and shook her head. "Must have been in her email. Either that or her toychest was added to." She finished stripping off and got under her covers. She could check her email in the morning.
Lupin looked around the trio's suite, smiling at the prettiness of the design. Fairly simple and clean. Lots of pale creams and light blues. It looked a lot like a good hotel room. He settled Xander on the bed, stripping him down so they could cuddle together. He dove out of his clothes, burrowing into the warm chest. "Xander," he called softly.
"Hmm? What's wrong?"
"It's just me, Xander."
Xander kissed him. "Love you too, Alan."
Lupin swatted him. "Xander!" Xander frowned, blinking and squinting at him. "I'm not Alan!"
"Sorry, Arsene. Forgive me?" he asked sleepily, putting an arm around him to give him a gentle kiss. "Love you."
"I love you too, goof ball. Did you need to talk to or to do more than cuddle?"
"No, I'm good," Xander said with another yawn. "They only shot nightmares at us. Where's Bastian?"
"Gone to find a pretty woman for the night. He said he's going back on vacation and that he'll email you in a few days. He'll also check on Homer to make sure he's not in a snit."
"Cool. Homer's a nice guy, if big and broad and sweet." He yawned again. "Sleep, Lupin. Need sleep."
"Of course you do, Xander. Use me as a pillow and I'll make sure you don't have any bad dreams." Xander nodded, curling up on Lupin's chest, one arm thrown across him. One leg moved over Lupin's thigh, making Lupin smile. It wasn't often Xander wrapped him up but when he did it was usually a long night of being held, which was okay with him because Xander would probably want more in the morning.
Jigen woke up when his daughter stepped on the bed beside him, watching as she wandered out to the bathroom. He got up to follow her, not minding when she slammed the door in his face. "You all right?" he called quietly.
"Fine. Having my fucking cycle. Go back to bed, daddy."
"Sure, princess. If you want to talk, I'm here."
"Let me change my tampon first. I doubt you want to hear me do that."
He shuddered and went back to his trundle bed, tipping his hat back some. His daughter ran some water, then came back drying her hands off on her shirt. "Your towel's on the back of the door." She nodded, smirking at him. "You okay?"
"Daddy said it was trying to intimidate us by throwing nightmares at us," she admitted, curling up beside him so she could get a cuddle. "This is a lot more comfortable than a Japanese mat," she said in appreciation, making him chuckle. "Ishi has one too. Lotus picked out the beds." She put her head on his shoulder, one arm going over his chest. "I'm fine, daddy, they were just nightmares and I'll be okay. They were scary and creepy, but I can get over the nastiness."
"That's my girl," he said proudly. "Remember, if you need help, I'm here."
"Of course. Where else would you be?" She grinned up at him. "You gave up a king sized bed with Daddy Lupin and Mom for me?"
"You're my daughter, of course I did," he reminded her. "Just like when you were younger and needed to crawl in beside me. I can always go cuddle them, but you needed me more." He ran a finger down the tip of her nose. "You sure you're okay?"
"I'm fine, daddy. It was just nightmares." She snuggled in again. "Night, daddy."
"Night, baby girl. You rest. I'll shoot the nightmares if they come back."
"Just don't hit my head," she agreed with a grin against his shoulder. "I'm sorry if I overbleed and make you nasty tonight. We've got a laundry."
"Sure, kiddo." He stroked her back, letting her drift off in his arms. It was nice, she wasn't a greedy cuddler like Xander was. Xander would wrap you up under him and hold you there, no matter what, and pout and make whimpering noises if you needed to get free while he was asleep. Plus, his daughter wasn't going to be in a horny mood in the morning and use that cuddling as a point to jump him from, it'd be a very nice change.
Lupin looked up as Jigen joined them, looking him over. "You need to change, man, she got you nasty."
"I noticed." He went into the bathroom to shower and change, coming out in a towel a few minutes later. "My bag?"
"In the closet."
"Thanks." He got his clothes and put some on, shoving his old suit in the bin marked laundry. "There, I'm done." Lupin smirked at him. "What?"
"You're so transparent," he said with a smirk. "How is she?"
"Cuddlesome but fine. A few nightmares, nothing more. She said the demon only shot nightmares at them. Seen Goemon yet?"
"Not yet," he admitted. "I got a note saying we're due up there for breakfast when we get up." Jigen nodded, lighting a cigarette before coming over to sit on his other side. "Xander's mostly fine but he refused sex to go back to sleep."
"He'll be fine, Lupin. He survived before, a few more nightmares aren't going to drive him over the edge," he said quietly. "We'll be there to help him and the kids."
"True." Lupin sat up to get a kiss, and to steal the cigarette before laying back down. "There, I feel better now," he said smugly.
"Asshole," Jigen said fondly. "Where are we headed?"
"Mexico to Xander's house. Then to the debut job."
"That's fine. Heard the kids yet?"
"Yup, sure have. I also heard Marcus chasing after them calling for them to slow down. Apparently Alex wanted to find a dolphin to pet." They shared a grin for the antics of their daughter. "Goemon?"
"He's up and with the kids. Ishi and Melissa both have trundle feather beds under theirs. I'm betting Ishi rolled off to stop him from snoring a few times."
Lupin grinned at that. Goemon did snore sometimes and it was really loud. "I can see that. We should get up."
"Wanna let Xander sleep?"
"We probably should. He's exhausted." He grunted as a big arm flopped over his chest, wincing as the air was allowed back in. "Fine, I won't move yet, Xander." Xander mumbled against his neck, then licked it.
Jigen laughed. "You're in such trouble now," he taunted. He stood up and tipped his hat back down. "See you two up there for food." He headed back, going to check on the kids. The little ones had Marcus in the practice room while they crawled over the three-story setup and courses. He whistled. That was a pretty ropes and balance course they had set up. "Guys, food," he called. They scrambled down and ran over to hug him, patting him as they walked him back up to the other kids' suite. "Marcus," he called as he was led out. "C'mon."
"Coming," he said in his stuffed-up voice. He sneezed a few more times then followed blowing his nose. "I can't believe I caught a cold off Kowalski," he complained as he walked into the upper suite.
"Were you two kissing?" Ishi asked dryly. "I'm not sure Bix would like that."
"I was helping them arrange for some baby furniture to be moved from storage," he chastised, still sounding stuffed up. He sneezed again. "He sneezed on me so I caught his cold right after I had the flu." He sat down with an orange and peeled it, eating it slowly. He needed more fruit anyway. "These are nice."
"They're from an orchard the local Don in LA owns," Arsene told him, grinning at him. "Tissues are in the pop-up stand under the ottoman's top." He smiled as he pushed the button, taking the open box out, and the other one just in case. "Trash can is beside you by the way."
"Thank you, Arsene."
"You're welcome, Uncle Marcus." She looked at her cohorts. "Okay, we've got it narrowed down to two targets. Hong Kong, or Istanbul."
"Where in Istanbul?"
"There's two palaces, a few museums," Melissa offered, before eating a bite of fried eggs. "I figure we can pick two targets."
"True," Goemon agreed. "What about Hong Kong?"
"There''s a few museums," Lotus told him.
"I want to visit the headquarters of the bank and the stock exchange to get back the money they took from us," Melissa said bitterly.
"Or there's the police museum," Arsene offered with a smirk.
"There's a police museum?" Jigen asked. "Where?"
"The old Wanchai Gap Police Station," she said smugly. "We saw it on a map in the mall." The other kids nodded. "So you guys could do that while we went to get the filthy crooks who devalued our investments back."
"What did they do?" Goemon asked patiently.
"Oh, they blatantly stole a mutual fund we all had a bit invested in. Nothing too serious, but we can't let corporations take advantage of us."
"They'll get theirs, that's more for the computer crooks," Jigen reminded her. He picked up a muffin. "Your cook doesn't do a morning spread?"
"No, we eat in here, the staff gets their own all-hours buffet. We are nowhere near as chummy as mom is with his staff. Mine salute me," Arsene said dryly. "They know who signs the paychecks and they act like it."
Melissa nudged her. "I sign the paychecks, they still salute you."
"Good point. Then again, you've got your own empire," she pointed out dryly.
"True," she offered with a grin. "I still like how mom can do that with his captain. It's like the man listens because he's so wise."
"He's lived an awful lot," Ishi pointed out. "The captain can't probably hope to match his experience in more than seamanship." He bit into his own eggs. "They overcooked mine again."
"I'll remind 'em you don't like your eggs to be crunchy," Lotus offered. "We're setting menus tonight anyway."
"Welcome, Ishi. Are you all right?" She stroked his arm. "I know it had to be scary."
"We weren't near the scary parts. We were in the residential section," he said grimly. "Someone wanted the woman who was escorting us so mom had to fight. He only sent nightmares at us." She gave him a hug. "Thanks, Lotus."
"You're welcome, Ishi." She kissed him on the cheek. "You need a girlfriend to cuddle when you have bad nights."
"I'm not ready to settle down yet," he complained, wiping off his cheek. "Eat, sister. You'll never get a proper husband if you waste away from starvation."
"Yes, dear. Not that I'm looking or anything," she sighed, digging back in. She changed plates with her brother, making him smile. "They gave me yours."
"They do that sometimes," Arsene reminded her. She looked at the uncles. "We're good with whichever site you want. We were going to be staying on the ship for a bit after this to plan a few more. Since no one knows what ours looks like at the moment."
"That's an interesting idea," Goemon agreed. "Would you like to do Europe or Asia?"
"Actually, we want to do South America for a few hits, then do some in Africa, then head back up to Europe. It saves plane wear and tear since we're now looking for a new pilot. Ours apparently had a bout of conscience and fired herself." She sipped her juice, smiling as her father came in. "Morning, daddy. Hi, mom." Xander grunted and headed for a couch to lay down. "Did he take a sedative?"
"Yeah, I gave him some when he woke up screaming last night," Lupin offered, coming up to take a place at the table. "This is nice. No buffet?"
"No, daddy, we have a business and professional relationship with our staff on here. The crew gets their all-hours buffet for nibbling and to compensate for shifts, but we have set meals. Eat, Ishi. You've got to watch the kids play today."
"Sure," he agreed with a grin for the kids. Marcus sneezed. "You should probably go back to bed, Uncle Marcus. I've got the three of them today."
"Thank you, Ishi. You're a very kind child," he said, getting up and heading down to bed with the two boxes of tissues.
Lupin got up and tossed the one that had missed the trashcan away, going to wash his hands in the kitchen area before coming back. "What have we got figured out?"
"Do you want Hong Kong or Istanbul?"
"Two palaces and museums in Istanbul, plus a few rich people's houses. In Hong Kong, there's a few museums, and there's the police museum."
"We're heading to Japan after this," Lupin said patiently. "Hong Kong, guys?" Goemon and Jigen shrugged. "Xander? Hong Kong for a destination?" Xander waved a hand. "Does that fit with your plans, kids?"
"That's fine with us. We can visit Cali after that," Lotus offered.
"No going near the cartels," all the fathers said in unison.
"You don't wanna tangle with the drug cartels," Jigen added, staring at his usually sensible daughter. "That's like doing a job in Sicily and having to deal with the Three Old Men."
"Fine," she agreed. "So Ecuador or Chile?"
"Or Peru," Ishi reminded her. "Not much there however and it's a very poor country."
"Most of that area is," Lupin agreed. "What did you want in Cali?"
"There's a neat little statue down there," Arsene explained. "It's an ancient artifact of a woman. It's beautiful, daddy."
"It's probably a holy artifact and we taught you better than that," Lupin reminded her. "No going near the cartels."
"Fine, what about Iquique, Chile?" Lotus asked. "There's a nasty little man down there who deserves to be tortured but we could settle for simply stripping him of everything he holds dear."
"He's done what to the group?" Goemon asked his daughter.
"Nothing much, he only dumped his last wife while she was dying and pregnant in the middle of the street and had her shot because it was a female child," Melissa told him. "He's fairly rich, owns a lot of ranches and things in the area. One of the local big wigs."
"Some pretty jewels from his former wife's collection," Arsene agreed. "Nothing too great though, just a minor annoyance on the butt of feminism, daddy." She smiled sweetly. "Can we?"
"We'll see." He stared at his daughter, then shook his head. "As long as you're careful."
"Thank you, daddy." She hugged him with a grin. "Then we'll be on to move to Africa and get a few of the idiots over there, then come back for Carnival in Brazil and some of the massive things there that aren't the costumes. Then we'll hit Europe again to pick up you guys for a short R&R."
"That sounds like a good first year," Jigen agreed. "Goemon?"
"That does sound very well thought out. Are any of them good targets or ones like the one in Chile?"
"Some are like that. Some are necessary to help some poor people. There's a dictator in Africa who said women should have their mouths sewn shut so the men could eat. But of course not other parts so they can have sons," she said bitterly. "That one's going to be a redistribution job. We plan on at least one of those a year."
"Good," Lupin agreed. "We've done some of that in the past."
"No joining some revolutionary party," Jigen warned his daughter. "Support the cause on the outside, not from the inside."
"Of course, daddy. I don't want to join a revolutionary army. I'd look sucky in a uniform." The adults smiled at that so she grinned back. "So we're on for Hong Kong then, right?" They all nodded. "Cool. Museums or private citizens?"
"Citizens. There's a few things I'd *love* to have," Arsene purred.
"Remember, you're not a collector like your mother," Lupin reminded her.
"Yeah, I know. I know how to be careful. Even he does, even though he's been caught in the past."
"Good girl," Lupin said, hugging her again. "I'm so proud!"
"Daddy, if you start crying on me, I'll have to get snarky. It's a genetic thing with teenagers," she reminded him as she patted him on the back. He pulled back laughing. "Thanks, dad. Mom?" He grunted from the couch. "Hungry?" Xander flipped her off. "I'll take that as a no." She dug back into her breakfast. "Eat!" They all ate. "We'll work on the targets and the letters later, once we're free of the house in Mexico."
"Can we see his storehouse?" Jigen asked.
"Ask him, we can't get into it unless he authorizes it," Melissa said patiently. "Not even me."
"Fine," Lupin sighed. "We'll see then. Xander, babe, want a chocolate muffin?" Xander lifted his head with a glare so Lupin held up muffin his with a grin. "C'mon, you can't resist chocolate."
Xander stumbled over and sat down, snatching the muffin to bite into. He looked around the table then pulled up the bug in the middle of the flower arrangement. "My people wouldn't dream of screwing me over. They respect instead of fear me," he told Arsene, then took another bite of the muffin. "I'd find out who."
"Oh, I *so* am not putting up with that shit going on in my private little kingdom," she vowed. "Thanks, mom."
"Thank you, mom," Melissa said with a grin. "Can you maybe be a bit less smug?" Xander grinned at her. "Otherwise I'll tell them what we moved down to Mexico."
Xander ate another bite of muffin, taking the piece of paper out of his mouth so he could chew it. "Fine. I won't be smug. The house has to be cleaned first though."
"Definitely," Arsene sighed. She got up and went to the door. "Whoever's bugging our suite had better jump overboard! Lavelle is not a happy camper and he's more than happy to shoot people for us! If not, Ishi will!" She listened and a few people went 'splash'. "I'd better not find another one either!" She checked the hall then slammed the door. "There, I feel better now."
"Thanks for using me as a secondary threat," Ishi said, letting out a yawn. "I think I'm still slightly under the sedative."
"How many times did you pounce your dad for snoring?" Melissa asked.
"Four times," Goemon said dryly. "My son did cuddle after the last one."
"It made you quit, of course I did, father," he said patiently. "Can we swing through Cairo to pick up that pretty sapphire and ruby since we didn't get a chance because of the maternal unit?"
"Sure, on the way to Europe," Arsene agreed with a small grin.
"Welcome, Ishi. Maybe we can find you a woman too."
"I don't need a girlfriend. I'm more than happy to just let it out now and then."
"How did you keep him with you the whole time?" Lotus asked Melissa.
She blushed. "I told a whopping lie and said he was my fiance."
Ishi giggled. "Because they didn't know us very well," he agreed. "They thought we were still back in the basics of training, even when she shot five people." He grinned at Jigen. "Your daughter does a mean impersonation of me."
"Good to know. We'll start fitting her for a costume," Lupin said dryly, smirking at him. "If you two go at it for real, we want to know so we can stock up the armageddon cellar. We'll make sure we've got plenty of liquor as well."
Xander looked at the two in question. "You'd make many pretty babies, just like her daddy and I did, but they'd be just like me," he assured them with a smirk.
"That would be a good reason to never get pregnant," Arsene assured him, patting him on the hand. "You were probably scary as a child."
Goemon got up and took the muffin, then picked up Xander and tossed him into the water, staring down at him.
"That was mean, you obviously need to calm yourself. Take a cold bath." He walked back inside and sat down again. "If you do have children, one of them will have to be the Fifteenth. I'll expect him to be raised properly. The rest can be like the mother."
"That's a scary thought, daddy, Melissa raising the next great samurai?" Goemon shuddered when she put it that way. "So maybe you should go clean that thought now, before it takes root and gives us all nightmares."
Xander got the grappling hook onto the railing and climbed up it, then growled and pounced Goemon, picking him up and tossing him at the water. "Grumpy shit!" He shook himself before sitting down again. "I feel better now. So, should I watch out for loincloth wearing little kids who pout and wear a hat?" he asked Melissa.
"Nooooo, I'd never let my kids wear a loincloth. It hampers fertility."
"Not in some," Jigen joked. "Or else there wouldn't be quite so many Goemons."
"And possibly another on the way," Ishi reminded them. He looked over as his father climbed back up the side of the boat. "Father, you can use my shower if you wish."
"Thank you, son." He dropped the fish from inside his robe into the tank next to his son's room before going in to shower and dry off.
"And I thought this was going to be a *boring* trip," Arsene said dryly. The others laughed.
"Go dry off, Xander. You need it," Jigen prompted. Xander took his muffin with him. He shook his head. "That's going to get Goemon dressed in a pink loincloth again, I know it will."
They all heard Xander's cackle from the hallway and shuddered. That was a very bad sign, but it boded well for future amusement.
Xander dove off the ship, swimming for his cove under his house since the doors were open. He heard a splash behind him so put on a burst of speed, hoping to get the doors closed before Lupin could catch him. He 'ah-ha'd as he got inside the cove and hit the switch to shut the doors, pulling himself out and to the secret passageway to his treasure room. The dampness on the floor reminded him to fix the water seals on the doors, but it would be fine. He had drainage around the raised area with his stuff. He also apparently had a shark in here because it swam for him when he tried to cross the water. "Fine," he complained, popping across. He stuck his tongue out. "Can't eat me!" He walked over to look at his horde of stuff, noticing a sliver of light from the other hidden entry. "That brat," he said in disgust. "She got the cops told where I live." He grabbed a gun from the worktable down there, making sure it was loaded before going up the stairs. He popped open the door and pointed the gun at the man standing there. "HOMER! You stupid shit! I nearly shot you!"
"I'm sorry to upset you, Xander. Perhaps it is better if you do shoot me because I come to ask Melissa out for a night at dinner and a walk in the park." He looked down. "I'm ashamed but she is beautiful and smart and what I had in my last mate." He looked up at his friend. "She reminds me so much of my last mate, Xander."
"I understand, big guy," he promised, giving him a gentle hug. His arms wouldn't go around the guy's chest but that was okay. "You'd better ask her, not me. If she says it's okay, I can't say anything about it." He patted his friend on the face. "Anything else of interest?"
"I found Kowalski here. He's tied up. He seems to enjoy being tied up with how often he gets into situations involving it." Xander cackled, shaking his head. "How did he find out?"
"Arsene was being bugged on her ship by a few people who were reporting to Pops for tip money. She had already given them the coordinates of the house when that happened. So we've got to move this house's stores to another site. Anywhere you want to go in particular?"
"I've always liked the house in Japan, in the islands."
"Eehh, it's conflicted territory. I don't want my stuff in the middle of that." He heard a crash and winced. "Lupin managed to open the gate. I hope I remembered to close the passageway."
The back door slammed open. "Xander!" Lupin yelled. "Come show me this storehouse! You're not getting away from me this time!" He looked at the big man in front of him. "Hi, Homer."
"Hello, Lupin. Is Melissa on her way up?"
"Yup, in a real boat." He grinned. "Still hot for her?"
"She is a stunning woman and reminds me of my last mate, who I lost much too early. I wish to take her to dinner and for a walk."
"Hey, ask away. We'll keep Jigen occupied for a bit," Lupin promised. "He can help Xander show me around the storehouse."
"He can also help you deal with Kowalski," he said, pointing at a closet. "He was apparently missing being tied up because he put himself somewhere he was sure to be tied up again."
"Hmm, I wonder if Bix knows about that kink," Xander said dryly, going to open the door to the closet. "Hi, Ray. Happy in there?" A warrant was held up. "What's that?" He took it and looked it over, then snorted. "That wasn't me, Ray. Sorry." He handed it back. "It's also not this house, and it's also not going to get you into the storehouse. Of course, if you keep showing up, we might have to keep you some day." He frowned at him. "I should call Bix and tell her that you enjoy being tied up and spanked." Ray blushed. "Never mind," he sighed, slamming the door again. Ray kicked at it so he opened it. "What?" Ray mumbled something. "Oh, sorry, forgot." He pulled him up. "Toss him in the living room, Homer. Please?" Homer nodded, picking the tinier cop up and carrying him into the living room. "Anyone hungry? I can see what's in the kitchen."
Lupin pounced Xander, pushing him against the wall to kiss him. "I want to see what's in your collections here, Xander, and I want to help you move them. If you argue, I'm going to have to withhold sex and pout." He kissed him again, making Xander moan but not give in. So he let his hands wander. "Please? I'll be very sweet to you tonight. I'll even let you pound me into the mattress like you did when you were under the incubus spell. Please?" he pleaded, moving to rub against his mate's cock with his. "I love you and I want to share this with you." He heard Homer come back, then turn around and head back outside. "It's all right, we do this all the time," he called fondly, then grinned at Xander. "You share your anime and your conventions with me, Xander, this will only make me hotter to blow you. You can even put on that Obi Wan costume and have me do it," he said with a leer.
"I can't really imagine him being blown by anyone but his master," Xander said dryly, pushing him off. "You're laying it on too thickly, Lupin."
Lupin kissed him again. "Please, Xander? I'll give you anything you want in return," he whispered against his lips. "Anything at all."
"We have to move it since Ray found this place," he admitted.
"I can help you pack," Lupin offered.
"Then he can show us another house," Ishi offered as he walked in. "Why is Homer dancing around out there while my father's speaking to him?"
"He's wanting to ask Melissa on a date because she reminds him of his former wife."
"Ah. Good. She could use an admirer. And Ray?"
"He was apparently itching to be tied up," Lupin said with a grin, then nipped Xander's neck in a way that usually got him pounced. "Please, Xander?"
"Lupin!" he moaned.
"Are you two wrestling again?" Kenji asked as he walked inside. "Can we play this time?"
"They're having sex," Fred snorted. "Not wrestling."
"Why? They can't have babies."
"Ask Arsene," Xander panted. "She deserves it for getting my house raided." He looked at Lupin. "I'll let you help me pack but you can't open anything that's already packed."
"That's no fair," Lupin pouted. Xander kissed him, making him go limp against him. "Will you show me someday?"
"Maybe," he said with a grin.
"Oh, Lords Below! Not again!" Arsene complained as she walked in. "Can't you two lock yourselves in a room? At least I close my door."
"You're so loud it comes through clearly anyway," Ishi assured her.
"Why are they having sex if they can't have babies?" Kenji asked her. Arsene stared down at him. "Mommy said you'd explain it since you got his house raided."
"Gee, thanks," she said dryly, glancing in the living room. "Hi, Uncle Ray. Does Bix know that you like to be tied up?" She picked up Kenji to look him in the eyes. "Adults have sex because it's fun and pleasurable. Babies don't come from every time or else you'd be having a great many new sisters someday very soon."
"Because your daddy and mommy have been going at it like bunnies on crack."
"Na-uh. Mommy only sleeps with Daddy Lupin and Daddy Jigen," he said, smirking at her.
"The birth mother, not the other mother, little guy." She gave him a kiss on the cheek. "For further sex stuff, ask your daddy." She put him down. "Got it?" He nodded, going to talk to his father because he still didn't understand. "That was mean, mom," she said, pinching him on the bare part of his arm. "I should do something to make Daddy have a migraine later."
"Then he won't be able to see the warehouse until he's better. Because he's got to make good on all those promises *long* before I'm letting him down there."
"ARSENE!" Goemon shouted.
"Mom said to tell him!" she shouted back. Goemon came in with flaring nostrils so she ran out of the house before he could catch her.
"Why was she telling my son about sex."
"She had the house raided, so therefore she got to answer the awkward question," Xander said with a shrug. "Fred told him we weren't wrestling, we were going to have sex, so he wanted to know why we were going to have sex if we couldn't have babies. I told him to ask Arsene since she gave the coordinates to the cops."
Goemon moaned, one hand drifting up to hold his forehead. "Not yet. I had a bad enough time with the first son."
"And the daughter," Jigen reminded him. Goemon let out another moan, walking off to find the liquor and some hot water to make tea. He'd need it soon enough.
"Daddy, do I get to have sisters soon?" Yu yelled.
"Ask your mother."
"Mommy, can I have a baby sisser?" Yu asked cutely, grinning up at Xander.
"That would require me to sleep with your daddy and one of us to be in one of those chokers, little guy. Ask him if he wants it like that and we'll see." Yu wandered that way and Goemon's groan floated back out to him. "Hey, he asked me."
Lupin shut him up with another kiss, doing his best to molest Xander right then and there. Jigen finally stole Xander and took him into the living room, but Lupin pounced him with a chuckle and they put on a floor show for Ray, who was blushing bright red *long* before they were done.
Goemon looked at the people around the table with him. "I called the house. Fujiko hung up on me."
"Congratulations," Xander said happily. "Apparently that bikini of Melissa's paid off."
"Indeed, but she's quite upset with me. Again."
"Is she coming with us to Hong Kong?" Arsene asked.
"If you'd like," he offered. "She wasn't sure you'd accept her being there."
"She can watch the kids," Melissa offered dryly. "We're all gonna be kinda busy, Uncle G. So, are we hoping for twin girls?" Goemon blushed. "Hey, with as good as you two have had.... It's a possibility."
"Enough," he chided gently. "When is your date?"
"Tomorrow night. He needed someone to talk to about his former wife. How did she die?"
"His father hated her so he had her blown up. He killed his father for it," Xander told her. "He loved her quite a lot."
"Then I'll be very gentle with him tomorrow night while I listen," Melissa agreed. "He's a very sweet guy, even though he's just as deadly as Uncle Goemon is." Goemon smirked at her for that. "He is!"
"He is, he's a big teddy bear inside," Xander assured her.
"And outside. The man is *huge*," Arsene added with a grin for her parents. "How tall is he?"
"He's only six-four, Ar," Ishi pointed out. "It's his depth. His inside nature matches his chest, which is bigger around than some trees they use for furniture these days."
"Enough, guys, he's not a piece of meat on the market. He's a nice guy."
"Sure," Jigen agreed. "I'll expect you to be nice to him too."
"Of course, daddy," she sighed, rolling her eyes. "I'm not the mean one in the family. That was my twin."
"Who's still happily boinking the cop to an early retirement," Arsene said happily. "I'm sure Daddy Zenny prays each and every night to his ancestors not to be a grandfather any time in the near future."
"True, and remember, those kids could end up being true Lupin and Jigen heirs," Lotus pointed out with a smirk for her uncles. "Then what would he do?"
"Cry," Lupin and Jigen said in unison, cracking Xander up.
"How's the house hunting going, Xander?"
"Murami's mad at all of us for having another of these days."
"Hmm. Why?" Goemon asked once he had swallowed. "She's usually much more calm."
"Because she's got a man in her life that may actually rival her dead husband," Xander said with a fond grin for Goemon. "She said she swears he's him reincarnated he's so similar in most things. She's presently beating herself up for falling in love again."
"That is honorable. So is finding a new love after a suitable period of grief," Goemon promised. "I shall write her tonight."
"Thanks, big guy. It might help her some. By the way, he's a math major."
"Interesting. In what field?"
"Theoretical physics. He basically told her how the office in LA was doing it." They all gaped so he smirked at them. "Yup, he did. You know she doesn't like the strange stuff either."
"Very interesting. I'll call her later to tell her the good news," Goemon assured them. "Arsene, did you write her back to apologize?"
"I did, Uncle G," she sighed. "Later that night. She said it was because I was too stressed about sex. That I should meditate on the urge to get it under control."
"A Lupin? Under control?" Jigen snorted. "Yeah, right. We'll both talk to her later, kiddo."
"Thanks, Uncle Jigen." She dug back in again. "Why is there a shark downstairs?"
"It was in the hidden area but we managed to move it so it could go free," Lotus told her. "I don't know how it got in there."
"There's a small gap so a very small baby shark could get through it. So do some fish now and then," Xander told her.
"How did you know about the shark?" Lupin asked her.
"Mom needed help moving him," she said with a shrug. Lupin glared at Xander. "You couldn't have helped, it would have bitten things that were sticking up, Uncle Lupin," she said patiently. "It nearly tried to take off one of my fingers."
"I can only imagine what it would bite on him," Melissa said dryly. Her father gave her an odd look. "With the show earlier? I'm quite sure what would have been sticking up and at what height you'd have to carry the shark safely." Jigen shuddered. "Exactly."
"If it had, mom would have gotten very mad and we'd be eating shark tonight," Ishi reminded them. "Fortunately we're having pig." He dug back into his pork. "Eat. Please. We'll need it since we've now to go move everything downstairs."
"We could put it on the ship," Arsene offered.
"What happens if it sinks?" Xander retorted. "Some of that isn't impervious to water."
"Fine. Where are you looking? Maybe we can help."
"Nope. This is going to be a super-secret Xander place."
"A Dr. Evil place inside a volcano?" Lupin suggested with a grin.
"That still risks the stuff, Lupin. These are just as precious as my comic library, which now owns its own house." He grinned at everyone. "The librarian closed the deal this morning to put them into the stone house. They're being moved next week."
"Congrats," Arsene agreed. "I'm sorry, mom. I had no idea that they were listening."
"Did you do background checks?" Lupin asked patiently. She sighed and shook her head. "How did you get them?"
"The Don in Paris talked to the Don in LA for me. I've already sent him a letter about what happened so they can deal with their own people." She dropped her fork. "By the way, someone is saying they stole something off you, mom. Something from your safehouse in Paris. Something minor but they still stole off you late last year and you haven't done anything to them yet."
"Yet," he said dryly. "Don't worry, I heard the same thing. They're going to be sorry. Very, very sorry," he assured her smugly. He looked down at Goemon, who was still looking happy. "Wanna help me with that, Goemon?"
"No. Anytime we go out together odd things happen, Xander. I'd rather not visit with my ancestors this week. Or next week."
"Sure, fine, be that way," he sighed, shaking his head. "Anyone else wanna have fun with me?"
"I've got it," Jigen offered. "We can go together. We probably won't end up visiting Goemon's ancestors."
Xander beamed. "Sure, Jigen."
"Just tell me when and where, Xander."
"Sure. We'll go over that later. Once I've found a house."
"Where are you looking?" Melissa asked. Xander grinned at her. "In other words, I'm not getting control of that?"
"Nope, sorry, sweetie." He blew a kiss. "That's probably going to be on the other side of the empire."
"But, Xander," Lupin complained. "You can't hide hauls there."
"I can so, I just have to be very sneaky," Xander assured him. He finished his dinner. "I'll be in the office, do not disturb me." He headed that way, locking the door behind him so he could sit down behind his desk and pull out some nuts. He called Murami first. "Morning, lovely." Her voice came out as a warm chuckle from the speaker. "My stepdaughter has done the unthinkable and revealed the location of the house in Mexico while her ship was being bugged." She moaned. "Are you busy?"
"No, Xander. I take it you're buying somewhere new?"
"Yup, sure am," he sighed. "So I need the *other* accounts sent to Mexico so I can deal with them. Please?" he asked in a higher-pitched begging noise, just like a kid. "I promise I'll be expanding the empire in a good way."
"Fine, Xander," she agreed patiently. "Is anything else going on?"
"Tell Bix that Ray's down here but we've got him tied up since apparently he came down here to be tied up." She choked. "Sorry, are you alone?"
"No, and I'm thankfully not on speaker phone either this time." You could hear her moving and a few clicks from a keyboard. "Fine, they're authorized. Anything else tonight?"
"Murami, have I told you that seeing you happy with him makes my life complete?" he asked gently. "He makes you happy and your husband would want you to be happy. Please, be happy? For me?"
"I'm considering it, Xander. I know I've acted oddly a few times.... No, you can't talk to him, Dawn. Thank you, Xander."
"You're welcome. Expect a call from Goemon with some news too. His wife isn't speaking to him again. She hung up on him earlier." She groaned. "I'm thinking he's getting his wish. He saw Lotus for the big girl she is now and is having 'but she used to curl up in my robe to nap' flashbacks."
"I see. I'll be waiting on him. Have him call me at home, I'm leaving in about an hour."
"Sure, babe. Have a happy night." He blew a kiss and hung up, turning on his computer so he could access those funds. He saw a note from Bastian and giggled, clicking on the title 'dirty pictures of Homer'. The picture inside made him laugh so hard he fell out of his desk chair. He printed the picture of the man in the mud puddle looking so heartbroken and pouting, taking it out to his daughter. "Here, Bastian sent it for you. Goemon, call her at home, she's leaving the office in about an hour."
"I shall. Thank you, Xander."
"Welcome." He looked around, then smirked. "Lupin, out of my office!" he yelled as he walked. "Before I have Dawn decide it's a good thing to try to come onto you again." Lupin came out of his office with a sheepish look. "Thank you." He closed and locked the door again, going back to his computer. He noticed a message had been sent so he hit the back button on the computer, frowning at the simple message pouting at Bastian because he wouldn't let Lupin into the storehouse. He shook his head and closed that, getting into his address book instead. He made another call. "Henri, my man," he said happily, kicking back in his chair. "What's going on up there?"
"Nothing. Are you coming back this way? I have a few new fabulous recipes that I got inspiration from your beautiful daughters for. You should come back soon."
"Soon, my man, but not right now. The cops broke into my house here in Mexico so I'm looking for somewhere new to put my evil genius lab that I've got stashed down here. I was thinking that I could do something good for you at the same time." Henri let out an interested sounding grunt. "Do we know anyplace, like say a farm or something, where I could buy it, put up a small building underground, and let someone else run it?"
"You absolute angel!" Henri declared, his french accent thickening. "I do, I know of two such places. That place that makes the cheese you had me specially order is no longer taking them. The death taxes are taking the farm but there's family left. There's also a vineyard. Ooh, you wonderful man! Please! I will beg!"
"You already are, but I'm enjoying it," Xander offered with a grin. "Send me the addies in my email and I'll see what I can do. Any family to run the vineyard? I know nothing about wine except what to eat with Chinese takeout." No answer. "Henri?"
"Oui. Sorry, someone just dropped a pan of mushrooms and I had to swat at him. That apprentice chef you sent me is good, but a bit clumsy now and then, Xander. Let me send you those right away. Perhaps you can deal with it tonight? I would love more of that cheese."
"Sure, Henri. Send 'em along and I'll see what I can do. Which would you rather have if it comes down to it?"
"Either is fine, they've both got excellent products and it's stunning how good they are! Thank you, Xander! I also know an orchard or six if you're in the mood...."
"We'll see, my financial manager is going to have kittens if it's too expensive."
"Non. These are not in high-rent areas. The vineyard I know is less than a million for over a hundred acres. It's not like the old family vineyards in Europe that go for your first born, six pints of blood, and your best seed for their future use in cloning."
"Hmm. That might be helpful. Send 'em on and I'll see what I can do. Thanks, Henri. Kiss the babe for me."
"Of course. He sends his love, as does Jacques, who still wants to kiss your beautiful daughter."
"I'll tell Melissa you said that, but she's got a date with Homer tomorrow."
"Non, he is a big man, Jacques could never compete with that big teddy bear. If they are here, I will make sure they get a private table."
"Thanks, Henri. Happy swatting."
"Oui. To you too, mon ami." He hung up suddenly.
Xander chuckled and clicked on his email, reading the rest while he waited for his very hyperactive chef to send him those sales. It would only help his businesses after all. He saw it pop up and clicked on it, smiling at the description of the vineyard. It had a contact number and it wasn't too late so he called it. "Hi, I'm the owner of a restaurant in the Bay Area, and my chef wanted to talk about buying this vineyard you have so we can supply the restaurant." He smiled at the woman on the other side of his handset. "Yes, that one. No, I own Perigee. I also own a cruise ship that does weddings and a company that leases private planes. No, he said he loves the wines there and he was upset that they had to sell the place. Is there anyone there who can run it?" He listened to the woman go on about the vinter she knew who needed a place to run.
The details made him nod, it was a good pick. It even had a small following already. "He'll be keeping the place running like it had been? Clean and all that?" He nodded slowly as she told him about the man's training, he was her cousin and his father owned a very large vineyard but had six sons so this one wanted to do things on his own. "Ideal really," he agreed. "Sure. Can you conference him in? And is there a house nearby so my chef can come up to inspect the new lots?" He grinned. "Even better. Sure. Hey, I can pay you cash right this moment," he promised. "Not an issue. I was looking to expand anyway and this is a mostly painless version. Thanks." He made notes on his computer while he waited for her to talk to her cousin, then got back to the negotiations. It was what he did in this persona.
Lupin looked up as Xander came out of the office, looking hopeful. "Can I give you what I promised earlier so I can see what you've got down there?" he asked hopefully.
"We'll see," he said with a wink. Lupin snatched him and kissed him, making him go gooey inside. "Lupin," he moaned.
"Get a room," Arsene sighed. "You don't want to see it when I finally bring home a guy, I don't want to see you two attempt to get mom pregnant in this form." She continued on to the living room to turn on the tv, waking Ray. "They're at it again. Should I have them come back in here to traumatize you more?" He whimpered and shook his head, curling up on himself. "Good boy," she said, patting him on the head. "You keep that attitude and we might let you walk out of here on your own instead of giving you to Bastian to play with first." She grinned. "I hear he loves virgins."
Jigen tossed a nerf ball at her head. "Quit, brat. We don't rape and torture people. Do you need Midol?"
"Well, yeah," she admitted sheepishly. "Sorry. I'm having a bad day. Mom just had to spend major money because of my mouth and stupidity." Ray said something. "What?" He mumbled it again so she removed the gag. "What?"
"I said we had figured out it was around here, just not which place it was," he said. "Can I not be gagged again? It's hard to breathe, I got Marcus' flu."
"Fine. Just behave."
"Can I see the costumes?" he asked hopefully.
"That's up to mom. He's presently trying very hard to keep daddy out of them so they can be moved." Ray pouted. "You being here means he had to move it."
"Good point." He curled up on his side. "Hey, old Laugh In reruns." Jigen nodded and turned it up, disgusting Arsene. She hated anything like that. She huffed all the way up to her room, slamming the door.
"Did you get the pictures they gave Vecchio?" Jigen asked. Ray smirked and nodded. "You know that one kissed Pops to stun him, right?"
"Oh, I heard alllll about it," Ray promised with a mean smirk. "From both of them." Jigen snickered at that. "Dawnie was not a happy spouse. She thinks he led her on."
"No, thankfully. She's heading for the change so she's scary at the moment."
"Better her than me," Jigen vowed. Ray nodded. "Speaking of, we could be really mean and put you into one of those chokers. One more time and we've got to adopt you into the clan and teach you how to be a thief or make you work for Xander."
"That's okay, the Commissioner at Interpol thinks I get captured like this to have a vacation with my buddy. He asked me if I was sleeping with Lavelle, I had to remind him I was straight, had a baby on the way, and that I'd never sleep with Xander because he was too bouncy to be stood in bed and he wore some people to death in the past. The commissioner was not happy to hear about that but he did decide it's just a jinx on me and told Dawn to remove it. Then he sent me down here."
Jigen snorted, shaking his head. "You just get all the luck. Don't worry, we'll make you work for Lavelle when you retire. You can help his librarian. The comics just got their own building."
"I heard. I also saw," he admitted with a grin. Jigen stared at him. "Vecchio found the address so we went to search the warehouse. We only found the comics and we couldn't prove how he bought them since he's got so many legit businesses."
"Six?" Ray nodded. "Okay, I know the restaurant company owns the ships and the planes. The electronics. The security. The comic and anime one. What else?"
"A vineyard that's going to start producing after a fifty year hiatus. A phil... philantro...those places that give out money place to help those who were crooks and want to go straight. They lent money to a few crooks who wanted to go straight. A moving company. A few clubs. A trendy restaurant in Paris. There's a few places in Germany too all from that same place."
"Wow. Well, we've always said we uphold a standard for crime," he said sarcastically.
"He's got guys who're just outta jail and the like. He also makes sure they have a counselor to speak with to deal with what happened in tha joint. A few of 'em went in big, tough guys and came out cowering big guys."
"Prison can do that to you," Jigen agreed. "Good for him," he decided. "It's obviously helping. Which vineyard?" Ray shrugged. "You don't know?"
"Vecchio found 'em. He said he was impressed, but I'm not sure why. Seems he found out the land was good again and imported all new grapes and stuff. I have no idea about wine so I left it at that while he complained."
Jigen smirked. "Good idea probably. I think I'm gonna jump him about that later. We never heard anything about those. Then again, we only heard about the planes on the way to China."
"Yeah, they've been doing that now for about two years." He shrugged as much as he could. "Can I go to the can?"
"Sure," Jigen agreed, getting up to help him to his feet and walk him in there. He undid a knot, retying his hands in front. "Homer did a good job on these."
"Nearly as good as Melissa."
"Well, he does admire my princess," he agreed smugly, leaving him alone. "Don't be too long."
"No, sir." He pulled down his zipper and pulled out his emergency beacon, but it wasn't going to work. He tucked it up his shirt and got down to business before Jigen came back to help.
Xander looked up and grinned as Jigen came in that night. "Did you take that transmitter from him?"
"Yup, I did that when he came out. Good idea to block signals from the bathroom, Xander. Now, about that new vineyard in the old country?"
Xander beamed. "Vecchio is so getting it when I see him again," he said sweetly.
"Why?" Lupin asked casually from behind his book.
"Xander's legit side is a bit bigger than we thought. He's got a business which gives money to crooks who want to start out straight and just recently bought a new vineyard that's about to put out their first vintage."
"They just introduced it, it got very good reviews, and there's a case sitting in the basement in France." He went back to his book. "Besides, it keeps those crooks from robbing little old ladies or bothering the shit out of me in the supermarket when they try to hold that up."
Lupin kissed him on the cheek. "I love your nice guy streak too, Xander," he promised. "It's very sweet." Xander grinned but continued to read. "When can we go downstairs?"
"They're being moved tomorrow," he said patiently.
"So can we look tonight?" Jigen asked. "Please? Ray wanted to look at the costumes."
"Fine," he sighed, putting down the books. "Let's go. Get kinky-cop-boy and follow to the elevator. There's only two passages down there and the doors are open in the cove." He put on shoes, but nothing else to cover his nudity, and headed down the stairs to open the panel to get into the elevator. His guys brought a salivating Ray so he got them in there and down to the lab, which made Ray moan in longing. "Keep it up, Ray, and I'm going to have to keep you someday. We'll just reprogram you to work for me. Maybe in the robotics company that I invest in." He walked over to a bare wall and touched a small dot, opening a hand scanner. He put his hand on it and it opened another door. "Lights," he sighed. It lit six of the twenty light bulbs. "Full set of lights?" Nothing else came on. "I guess they're burnt out. Should we bring Goemon too?"
"He might tell Fujiko then she'll do to you what she did to us so many times," Jigen told him.
"Fine." He led the way down the stairs. "Hmm." He lifted a hand and created a small ball of light, sticking it on the wall. "There, that fixes that spot," he decided. "Stair's chipped."
"I can see that now," Lupin agreed. He noticed a wall ahead but Xander walked through it. He walked into it. "Xander!" He felt something move and walked through the opening, letting the others come behind him. He smiled at the costumes set up on dummies, watching as Ray went over to drool next to them - he'd never drool on them, he respected them too much. "Are those tithes?" Xander nodded. "They're legit, Ray."
Ray moaned and came, falling down in front of a few of them to sniff.
"That's worse than most of the fancon whores we've seen," Jigen decided. He looked around. "Not that much stuff?" he asked. Xander snorted and pointed at the walls, making them look. "I see shadows."
"Each of those shadows is another alcove," Xander told him. "Computer, end hiding program alpha." The shadows were lit and Jigen's eyes bulged at the sight of a few things. "Now end program Lupin Bravo Two." The lights went out around the ring they were on. There was a bridge to the platform Ray was on. They could leave him there.
Jigen walked up to one that had a statue he had always liked, looking behind it. "That's not an alcove, that's a fricken cave," he complained. He heard Lupin moan and walked to the next lit spot to see what he was moaning at. He let out his own moan. Xander was leaning on a pile of jewelry, looking at some of them. Lupin walked in there to pounce him on top of the gems, so Jigen went to look at the others. Some of them had cash. Some of them had a few select pieces of artwork. Most of them were artistically placed instead of stuffed full like the first two. He came to a set of stairs. "Xander? Stairs?"
"Lower level!" came out in a moan. "Tithes."
Jigen walked down there, moving by feel. "Lights?" he suggested. Two lights came on, letting him not fall on the missing stair right below him. They moved as he did, finding another smaller cave. This one had six files under bulletproof glass and a few piles of cash. He didn't touch them, expecting something like Xander's security system on the Fiats. He did look at the titles though and gulped at the files' contents. He hurried back up there. "Lights off," he muttered. He went back to his circuit of this outer ring, finding a few more artistic places. There was another staircase but this one led down to a tunnel so he didn't want to explore that. He did hear footsteps and paused, but it was only Homer. "Back again?" He held up something. "What's that?"
"Tithes from someone in LA. He said he's very sorry that Xander is so inconvenienced and if there's anything he can do, just tell him." He handed over the bag with a shrug. "It happens. Did all the lights burn out?"
"He ended a program called Lupin Bravo Two?"
"Hmm. Computer, open program Lupin Program Zebra. Initiate and illuminate, changing the burnt out fixtures if possible." All around them the alcoves were put back in darkness but the ring and the stairs were lit. "There you go," he said smugly. "Anything else?" He heard a moan and looked at Ray, snickering. "Poor man."
"No, that was probably Lupin and Xander. Xander was reclining on some jewelry and Lupin went in there to take him."
"Figures. That's his retirement and 'oh shit' fund, his phrasing of course," he said dryly, heading that way. "Xander, you scared the Don in LA again. He wants to offer his first born to service you this time."
"Pity, but I'm kinda booked now," he called. "Is Ray okay?"
"Yeah, he's fine." He grinned back at Jigen. "Toss it into the other room with the cash. It's what the rest of us do." He headed up the stairs, going out the other way.
"This is gonna be a pain to move," Jigen said, looking at the pile of cash. He tossed that bag into there, then went to see why Xander was moaning that way. Lupin was stroking him with a diamond necklace, the gem side, and sucking him at the same time. "That's kinky," he said dryly, leaning on the wall of the doorway.
"Shh," Xander told him. "He's proving to me that diamonds are a sex toy and an aphrodisiac." He put his head back down, going back to his moaning and stupid grinning. Lupin chuckled as he licked up the hard cock. "Oh, more, baby. Please."
"Should I put this nice, big, pear shaped diamond into you to prepare you for me?" he teased.
"Lupin!" Xander shouted, coming on his face. "Oh, Gods!"
Lupin licked him clean, then let Xander taste himself and help him clean himself up.
"Got something for you to do him in," Jigen offered, nodding toward the one with the cash.
"I would, but there's two framed paintings under there that I like," Xander offered. He rolled Lupin over and went to check on those. He found the pile of cash smaller than it should be and sighed, going to reverse the portal in the painting that he had removed before someone else got wise and used it. Once it was hung on the wall again, it coughed out the cash it had sucked in, letting it stream out like a fountain. It also kicked out a panting person and a few other things. "Huh. Homer?" Homer came back. "He came out of the painting."
"I still say Goemon should cut that thing to shreds," he complained, taking the mortal with him to leave him on the beach so someone else would find him. He came back a few minutes later, looking at the pile. "Did it eat half of it?" Xander sighed and nodded. "Well, at least you can get it back with Lotus' help."
"True. Can you get her so she can figure out how to do that while I dig out the other painting?"
"Sure, Xander. Which room is she in?"
"Hers. Top of the stairs, first room."
"Cool beans." He walked up there to find the young witch.
Xander dug around in the cash, putting the mirror portrait on the other wall, watching as it too started to spit money. "I hate voids," he said bitterly. "They always try to fill themselves." He looked at Lupin, who was staring in awe. "Jigen thought you should take me in here."
"Gods, Xander," he breathed, pouncing him. "Bricks of cash aren't comfortable but I'll make due!"
"Lube!" Xander said anxiously.
"Oh, yeah. Jigen, come here and come into his ass to lube it for me."
"What?" Jigen asked. "That stuff's sticky, not slick."
"Yeah, but it works in a pinch and I want to save mine. Just put it against there so it goes inside." Jigen shook his head and walked off. "Fine, be that way then! I'm going to keep him all to myself tonight!" He patted himself down, finding his lotion in his pocket. He held it up. "Okay?" Xander looked at it, then shrugged. Lupin slicked his fingers up and went to work on Xander's hole, then himself, before diving in. He felt more cash hit his back as he was working, but he didn't care if it buried him! It would be a great death to be buried by cash like this. Xander came again and Lupin moaned into his shoulder, coming inside him. He gave him a gentle kiss and they cuddled while more cash piled on top of them.
Lotus came down and headed for the magic she could feel, stopping to look inside. She sighed and walked over the big lump, squealing as it wiggled. "Shit!"
"It's probably Lupin and Xander," Homer said from the doorway. "Give them an airway please? Melissa isn't ready to take over everything yet."
"Sure," she agreed, kicking some of the cash aside until she saw hair, then moving more until she had uncovered both of their sleeping faces. "Did you have sex in there?" she asked with disgust. "Eww! That'll make the money sticky!" Homer chuckled at that, as did Jigen from behind him. "It will! He can't spend sticky cash."
"You can wash it," Jigen promised. "We have in the past. Xander said there's supposed to be a lot more in here."
"So I can feel." She worked on a spell to help the suction going on, making it land in bigger clumps. The other one, the one she hadn't seen in the past, was blocked by something bigger so she had to reach inside to pull it out, falling backwards as the body came out on top of her. "Huh." She got up, checking the woman over. "She's chilled but living."
"Give her here, I'll bring her upstairs," Homer said gently.
"Thanks, Homer." She handed her over, getting out of the way of the cascading and shooting money. "Should we get them out of here too? Before they're crushed?"
"Yo, Lupin, Xander? We've got a naked girl here. Wanna come out and help?" Xander let out a moan. "You go with her, I'll get them out," he complained. He and Lotus got to work uncovering the couple, pulling them out by their feet. A few bills hit the walls and were vaporized, making Jigen looked at them. "Security system off, computer. We're moving everything down here."
"Program Beta move initiate," Lotus ordered.
"You are not authorized," the computer retorted.
"Computer, program beta move initiate," Jigen ordered.
"You are not authorized," the computer repeated.
"Xander?" Jigen said patiently. "Tell the computer to quit eating the money."
"Computer, stand down, beta move run," he yawned, "authorization Nighthawk 25769."
"Cops. Do not alert other houses yet. Only alert those who have been raided."
"Comic warehouse and house in Paris were raided," computer told him.
"Really? By?" Jigen asked.
"You are not authorized."
"Authorize him as Jigen, Diasuke," Xander said tiredly, closing his eyes again. "Husband."
"Please speak your name," computer requested.
"Who broke into the other two buildings?" he asked patiently, knowing it was only following orders.
"Inspector Vecchio. Inspector Kowalski has also helped as has Inspector Zenigata, who broke down in tears at the comic collection. It was stated within hearing that they could not confiscate it since it could not be proven to have come from the commission of a crime."
"And the Paris apartment?"
"The house in Paris was raided by those same inspectors. Vecchio swore, Kowalski cried, and Zenigata walked out kicking and swearing."
"Why?" Lotus asked.
"Security updates were active. Emotional broadcasters were working at 100 percent efficiency. Test listed as successful and information erased from Interpol on both residences."
"Thank you," Jigen agreed. "We're moving all this stuff in two days. Is there anything else we have to do?"
"You must open the back doors," Homer assured him. "We can do that however. Where are we moving them?"
"This cash is going somewhere else," Jigen decided. "This is too much."
"Xander was not paying attention and it continued to grow," Homer assured him. "Other parts of his empire are zealous."
Melissa came down the stairs, glancing around. "Where's Mom?" Everyone pointed. "Mom, did you turn off the security system?"
"Only down here," he mumbled. "Moving it all."
"Fine, I'll take the lab with me to the other house where we do the electronics stuff."
"Paris?" Jigen asked hopefully. She nodded. "Good. Then you can help us do a rough count of the money in here." He pointed at the pile of money, now that it had stopped.
She looked, then frowned at Homer. "Did no one think to consolidate it into bigger bills?" He shook his head. "Why me?" she asked the ceiling. She looked at him, noticing he was smiling. "Fine. Where did Mom buy to move it?"
"We're not sure yet," Jigen admitted. "But he's got a vineyard in Europe somewhere."
"It's by Mont Blanc, which is basically on the borders of France, Switzerland, and Italy. It's got satellite vineyards in a few other regions," she admitted. "That's mostly the storehouse and winery, plus some experimental grapes. There's a case in the cellar. He's been doing some classics at the satellite vineyards, then taking a few casks to mix with the new experiments to see what comes of it. He hired some mad genius vinter to deal with it."
Lupin looked at Xander. "Have I told you that I admire your business sense?" he asked. Xander shook his head. "I do. I admire your business sense, Xander. You make a hell of a lot of money off things that you don't do with us, which makes me jealous, but also makes me want to tie you to the bed so you can't ever leave us."
Xander kissed him. "If you're a good boy and we're together when I retire, we can all retire to Mont Blanc together," he offered with a sweet smile. "It's a very nice house. It's got great views."
Lupin kissed him. "I'll hold you to that." He stood up and helped Xander up, picking off a few sticky bills. "Someone paid you in ones?"
"Someone broke a dollar slot machine and decided he could use that for his tithe that month," Homer told him. "Bastian was very displeased with his performance on the machine."
Melissa snickered. "Bastian ripped up a dollar slot machine because it pissed him off?" Homer smiled at her and nodded. "Wow. He always seems so self-controlled."
"He was fairly drunk at the time," Homer allowed. They looked over as Goemon came down the stairs. "Greetings."
"Greetings. What is this?"
"The massive storehouse of tithes to our emperor and empress," Homer told him. "Do you like it?"
Goemon looked around, then into a few of the alcoves, ending with the one with the money. "I see what we are doing tomorrow."
"To say the least. Xander, you've got to consolidate that," Jigen complained. "It's got to be portable."
"That was my thought the last time I was here," Xander agreed. "I don't know how."
"Hey, I could use a raise in my allowance," Melissa offered with a grin. "Or hey, I could do a sham marriage with Ishi so we can share half of that as my dowry." She noticed the look on Homer's face and gave him a hug around one massive arm. "Ishi and I could never really be together. He used to pick on me about being ugly when I was a baby."
"You were never an ugly baby," he protested, smiling down at her. "Even when you crawled over me to pee on me, I did not mind because you were so adorable." She grinned up at him. "Shall we help them carry this upstairs and put it into the living room to be sorted?"
"Sure. Lotus, can't you do a floating spell or something? Like Mickey Mouse with the buckets?"
"Sure, I can animate those costumes and have them carry it up," she said dryly. "Doesn't quite work that way, sweetheart. Daddy, do we have some bags we can use?"
"I'll find some," he promised. "With wheels if possible."
"The alcove directly across from this one has a few pieces of luggage," Jigen offered.
"They're um, full of stuff," Xander admitted sheepishly. "We'd have to empty them and then I'd get my ass jumped again."
"So that's how you moved those gemstone dildos," Melissa said dryly. He nodded, grinning at her. "What did Customs say?"
"That he didn't want to know," he said wisely. "He was sure it was a security precaution to move them that way instead of through the traditional channels." He smirked at Homer. "Didn't he ask you if you had created them, saying that they were very imaginative?"
Homer blushed and nodded. "Quite." He looked down at Melissa. "He embarrasses me horribly whenever we travel together."
"Every time I travel with him odd things happen and we somehow end up talking to my ancestors," Goemon offered.
"That's probably worse," Homer agreed. "Where is the rest of that luggage, Xander?"
"Probably upstairs, but those shouldn't be full. We only had that one suitcase full of them."
Lupin pulled Jigen and Goemon with him to check these out. Even he came out blushing at some of those toys in there. He found a few bags that were empty and brought them back, still blushing. "You can't use those on humans," he complained.
"Bet me, I've got someone I've used them on in the past. Don't believe me, take that blue one and hold it up in front of Marcus. See how he stutters."
"That's unkind," Homer chastised gently.
"Yay," he said dryly, grinning at him. "Hey, Marcus, we need help moving and counting the money, come sneeze on them!"
Marcus came down the stairs, frowning at him. "You're mean to me."
"Well, yeah, but I love you because you're a good source of inspiration," he said with a grin.
"Fine. What are we....." He looked at where everyone was pointing, then groaned. "Did you not *ever* do anything about those tithes?" he demanded.
"No more nyquil or liquor for you," Lupin said dryly. "Let's load up the bags and take them upstairs so we can do it again. Maybe if we're really lucky it'll only take a few trips with all of us."
"Get pillowcases," Melissa suggested. "Just one trip with all of us."
"Good idea," Xander agreed, grinning at her. "Computer, location of pillowcases?"
"Pillowcases, sheets, and towels are in the second floor hall closet, where they should be."
"Thank you." Xander concentrated and a stack of pillowcases flew down to hit him in the face. "There," he said happily, handing them over. "Let's do this." He dove back into the money.
"Mom, I did not need to know what your butt looks like after sex," Melissa said patiently. She got onto the side of the room, piling money into her pillowcase. Everyone else piled in to get their own stack, taking them upstairs. A few had to come back for the rest of the pile, but that was okay since it was the naked Xander and Goemon.
Arsene wandered down the stairs with a yawn, stopping when she saw the pile of cash and no one nearby. "Is it Christmas?" she asked herself, looking around. No one. So she dove into the pile with a wicked cackle.
Lupin misted up, wiping off a tear. "She's my clone," he told Homer. "Just like I would have done, and what I did to Xander."
Homer patted him on the back. "I'm happy if you are, Lupin."
Lupin hugged him. "Damn, you're massive." The man blushed prettily. "Sorry. It's the sight of all the money and my daughter being my clone." He dove in to start piling the blocks of cash away from the stuff that was loose. He uncovered his daughter, who had the most blissed-out, content, post-orgasmic look on her face. "We've got to move some of that, empress."
"That's okay," she said in a happy, sated voice. "Can I lay in the loose pile so I can go off again?"
Xander looked at Goemon, grinning at him. "She is his clone."
"Indeed." He walked in and picked the limp girl up, tossing her over his shoulder. He went to put her back in bed.
"Gee, Uncle Goemon, you have a nice ass," Arsene said in that same happy voice. "Maybe I was wrong when I was younger." He spanked her, making her howl, which woke up everyone else. He handed her to his son. "Hi, Ishi. There's whole *piles* of cash down there. I dove into it," she said with a goofy grin. "It was *gooooood*."
"So I can tell. Let me slide you back into bed so you can be more happy." He tossed her onto her bed, then left, going down the stairs to help with the family project. "What was she doing.....whoa," he breathed. "Ancestors be praised. It's like a bank." His father patted him on the back. "Daddy, is it ours?"
"It is Xander's, son."
"Mom, can I borrow some to take a bath in? I don't care about paper cuts in uncomfortable places, I just want to rub it all over myself."
"Lupin, quit warping my son," Goemon complained, settling in to help sort out the blocks of pre-banded cash from the loose stuff. "Son, do not think about doing that in front of others," he said without looking, knowing his son was about to come from the sight of all that cash.
Xander leaned on his son's shoulder, grinning at him. "There's a pile of jewelry downstairs, son. It's another great spot." Ishi moaned and wandered off to the bathroom. Xander sat down across from Lupin, grinning at him. "Hi."
"Um, mom, we can see way more than we wanted to know about the male body post sexual relations," Melissa offered, shifting away from her uncle's side. Which got her closer to Homer. Xander started to pile money in his lap. "Thanks, really."
"Welcome. Sorry, didn't mean to show that off." He grinned at her and went back to sorting. "Ishi, come help us!"
"In a minute!"
"My poor son," Goemon sighed, shaking his head. "Lotus, are you all right?"
"Fine, daddy. I don't get off at the sight of so much cash. It's pretty, but you'd get paper cuts in uncomfortable places that you can't put neosporin on. Now that pile of gems...." She grinned at her mother. "Can I play in it for a few minutes?"
"If and when you get married, your dowry will be your own pile so you can have your wedding night in one," Xander said patiently. "Only I get to have sex in my diamonds."
"That's another thing I did not need to know," Goemon complained as he continued to sort. Xander grinned at him so he threw a block of cash at him. "Behave, Xander, or I'll tie both of your husbands up so you cannot molest them all day tomorrow while we move your enormous retirement fund downstairs."
"Who said we were moving it?" Xander asked. Homer snickered. "Homer, have you *ever* seen me move anything by hand? Since I came out of Stockholm?"
"No, not at all, Xander. I've never seen you move anything heavy."
"Who moves your stuff, mom? Do we have house-elves?" Melissa asked with a grin.
"No, honey, we've got imps."
Lupin and Jigen looked at him. "Imps?" they asked together.
"Imps. It'll be moved in a bit. While you two sleep it off. Now, let's finish sorting this out so I can get to the jewels."
"Are you keeping them?" Lupin asked plainly.
"Most of them." He grinned. "I like my retirement fund." He heard someone in the hall so leaned backwards. "We're in here sorting tithes."
"I'm tired now," Ray said, falling down on his stomach to nap right there. "Night night. Love you."
"You too, Ray. Sleep sweet."
"We've got to do something about him," Goemon said patiently.
"We're going to adopt him if we catch him one more time. He can work for Xander," Lupin said with a grin for him. Goemon threw a block of cash at him, making him laugh. "He can. He'll work in the collections with the librarian."
"Fine. You tell Zenigata," Goemon told him. "I want to see his expression." Xander giggled, swatting him on the arm. "You, behave and sort since this is yours."
"Yes, it is," he agreed smugly. "Mine." He stroked the pile in his lap. "All mine."
"Xander, don't do what his son and my daughter did," Lupin complained. "We've already had sex in the money."
"Ick, uncle," Melissa said patiently. She threw some money at him. "Behave. Please? Let's just do this and then go back to bed. Ishi!" He walked in and flopped down on Homer's other side, leaning against his arm with a yawn. "Help or go back to sleep."
"M'kay. Napping now." He was snoring within seconds.
Xander grinned. "That's so cute! We need pictures!"
"No. That one earlier was bad enough."
"I thought it was cute," Melissa offered.
"Thank you. It has been a great while since I was considered cute." He smiled down at her, making her blush. "Thank you, Melissa."
Xander grinned at Lupin then winked at Jigen before going back to sorting.
"What did you buy to store all this, Xander?" Jigen asked.
"Something for the legit side of things. Henri was upset because one of his favorite suppliers was being shut down."
"Who?" Jigen asked, looking confused.
"That chef, daddy," Melissa told him. "Did you seal the records again in the office?" Xander shook his head. Lupin jumped up and ran to the office, closing himself inside before anyone could even move. "I guess he really wanted to know."
"I guess so. Goemon, did you remember to call Murami? It's been a few hours."
"I did, she was having dinner with someone who made her happy so I told her I was happy she was happy and that we should talk in a few days about a possible new daughter. She laughed as she hung up at something he said."
"Good. I like her being happy. She's been a widow for too long and she's much too young to be that serious." Xander got down to the loose cash and started to push it into a new pile. He came down to a few more blocks and handed them over to Jigen, who was now stacking them all in front of the tv. Then they got down to sort the loose cash into denominations and stacks for bundling. It was tedious work, but filled with laughter from the office as Lupin read over his finances. Finally, Xander had to go stop his giggling and drag him back, which got him kissed and pounced on his desk.
Xander woke up when someone poked him, opening an eye to look at the cop glaring down at him. "What?" he asked tiredly.
"Why are you on our couch?" Zenigata asked.
"To make sure your wife couldn't make you sleep down here again. Besides, I found some stuff for Dawn and dropped it off, but I'm really damn tired. Magical exhaustion sucks." He yawned again and closed his eyes. "If we have to capture Ray again, we're hiring him," he said sleepily. "We'll even teach Bix how to tie him up like we do."
"What!" he asked, looking both stunned and amused. Vecchio came in and stared at him. "What is he talking about?"
"Kowalski had that damn warrant you got to go to Mexico," he reminded him.
"He just said that if they catch Ray again, they're hiring him and they'll teach Bix how to tie him up like they do."
"With as often as they do it to us, I'm not surprised," Vecchio said grimly. "Same go for me, Xander?" Xander mumbled something and grinned. "Was that something dirty?" he asked with a scowl. "I don't do men, Harris."
"No, he said you hate being tied up so they'd torture you by making you watch them have sex," he said dryly. "Dawn!" She came running down the stairs. "Your former running partner said he left you something before he collapsed from magical exhaustion. Smells more like he rutted himself to death to me, but that's what he mumbled."
She looked down at Xander. "What did you have of mine, Xander?" she asked impatiently. He mumbled something. "Excuse me? Didn't quite understand you."
"Something about baby pictures and files," Zenigata said, staring her down.
She went totally pale and ran off to her office to make sure no one else saw those. Her husband was chasing her so she barely got the door closed, leaning against it before he kicked it in, sending her flying into her couch. "Hey! No abusing the spouse!"
"What was he talking about, Dawn?" he asked, slamming the door so no one else had to hear.
"My baby pictures and some files he had on me," she said impatiently.
"Then you would have calmly walked off," he said dryly, staring her down. "Is it your record of warrants?" She shook her head slowly. "Where are they?" She shrugged. "Dawn!" He grabbed her. "I don't care but if they're in the open, you could be in dangerous trouble with the Commissioner."
"They're not," she said quietly. "It's not that sort of file." She looked around but they weren't in here. She walked out, heading for the kitchen, then the dining room. She found them in Vecchio's hand, snatching them from him. "You don't need to read my diary."
"I wasn't, I was reading the sexual comments file," he said smartly, smirking at her. "Are you still claiming to be a non-kinky person?" Zenigata took them to flip through, pausing and blushing at that one. "Why sir," he said fondly, smirking at him. "Are you shocked? Considering Xander broke her in first?"
"As far as I'm concerned she was returned to virginity when I got her," he muttered, taking those files up to his personal safe. There was no way anyone else was going to see any of those. Especially not the file she used to keep on what she had tried and how she had liked it. He'd have blackmail material for ages on her now; no more sleeping on the couch for him! He walked out to deal with the crook on his couch, but found Vecchio knocked out and on it now. "Where's the crook?"
"Uncle Xander grinned and blew a kiss at him, then disappeared in a small flash of light before Uncle Ray falled down," his youngest son reported proudly. "Mommy's hiding in the bathroom and said you'd fix us breakfast since she's never coming out."
"Fine. We'll go out for breakfast," he agreed. "Go put on real clothes. Pajama tops do not count, neither do shirts with more than four holes for body parts." He pouted, that took away all his favorite clothes. "Yay, son. Do it now."
"Yes, daddy." He went back up the stairs to find clothes his daddy liked to see him in. He liked to make his daddy happy. Then daddy would tell grandmommy that he was good and she would coo and praise him again, saying he was just like his daddy.
Arsene finished her letter and let her father read it, grinning at him. "How's that?"
"I like it, empress," he agreed, handing it back with his. She grinned as she read it, then they smirked at each other. "Okay, let's send them. They'll never know what hit 'em."
"That's right. Now there's two Lupin crews working the world into a frenzy." She sealed hers into an envelope and licked it closed, putting a stamp on it. He stuck his envelope with hers, then they handed them to Xander, who summoned an imp.
"Here, send these to Hong Kong. They must get to a post box there within a day."
The imp bowed and nodded, going to do this for the Great One. Anyone who could take out two of the Fallen Ones and then spit on them was too great to be worried about whether or not he was a delivery person. You did not disappoint that Great One. Now he knew who he had been doing research for and it was only making his status higher each time he helped him. Maybe he'd even get a permanent position. He didn't abuse his imps.
"Okay, let's go back to the ship," Xander announced. Everyone grabbed their bags, Xander taking the extra two cases that were his so no one else would have to deal with it. Maybe Lupin would take him again on the diamonds and Jigen would help them play.
To Part 58