Lorne Cash carried the envelope to the doorway, pressing the buzzer to
get some attention. No answer. He huffed and checked the GPS
chip that he had subtly stuck Harris with so he could rush in and
protect his buddy Peter when the inevitable happened and they got
attacked. They were both at a television studio. "Must be
interviews for their new books," he muttered, getting back into his car
and heading there. No Xander there. He had left the little
chip there though. He went back to the house and buzzed again,
getting John Winchester this time. "It's Lorne Cash. Where
are they this time?"
"Driving range," John said then hung up.
"Great," Lorne said with another huff. He drove over there and
found them practicing. Xander clearly needed some help with his
putts. He cleared his throat.
"We were warned you were looking for us," Xander quipped with a grin.
"I'm going to replace that GPS chip too," he said, looking at his former
nemesis and now friend. "You got the wrong sort of thing rubbed
off from your husband, Shank."
"Why?" he asked, staring at him.
Lorne handed over the envelope. "From Visiliy's will."
"How did he die?" Peter asked, opening the envelope to look at the
papers inside. He grimaced. "He left me his local
"Apparently," Lorne said, smirking at Xander. "I saw that 'vacation home'."
Xander smirked. "One of the Xander's during the convention of us
had it. He really liked it. It housed a lot of his fandom
Peter looked at him. "We own another house where?"
"We own a condo in Rio and one cliff-top house with extra hidden areas
in Mexico on the west coast." He took a kiss and grinned.
"Lavelle really liked that house."
"I look forward to seeing that one then." He looked at the forms again. "Why leave me this?"
"He did do a lot of your training," Lorne said dryly. Peter glared
at him. "It also has a lot of extras he thought you might
enjoy. Including a driving range somewhere. It doesn't show
up on satellite pictures. It's probably underground like half the
extras that's listed."
Peter put the envelope into his back pocket and looked at his spouse. "We will have to visit soon."
Xander grinned. "We can do that. Maybe hit the other one during the signing trip?"
"Perhaps," he agreed, smiling back. "Close to LA?"
"Nope. Few hours."
"When did you buy that?" Peter asked.
"I had a note in to the local realtor that I wanted it if they ever sold
it. The drug dealer finally put it up for sale last year."
Lorne made a whining noise and shook his head. "Does that mean it's safe or not, kid?"
Xander smirked. "I'm not a child and no, he never discovered the
underground." He looked at Peter. "It even has a hidden door
that opens to let in some of the sea during high tide. Lavelle
said they had seen a few dolphins in there."
Peter nodded, looking confused. "I have not heard of such a house."
"I think I have but I thought it was further down the coast," Lorne
said. He looked at Xander. "Any other surprises?"
"Someone in your area took note of the goat shipment method and liked it?" Xander offered with a grin.
Lorne shook his head. "I heard. People screamed for *days*." He walked off shaking his head.
Peter shook his head. "His partner is making him a drama queen,"
he said in Russian, cracking his husband up. "We will work on your
putt." He moved to help him. They had the whole driving
range to themselves today.
Xander handed Peter the folder on the houses on his way to get a snack. "Who has Olivia?"
"John." He opened it to look over the house. "I do know of
this house. I thought it was lower in the peninsula." He
looked over the plans and moaned. "Has whole underground cavern
"And pools from the sea that fill during high tide. Some that get
fish. Some that get a few dolphins. Once a small shark."
Peter smiled. "Easy fish dinner then. Is there an easy access port?"
"Almost. Right now there's stairs but Lavelle told me how he got
an elevator in there. We'd have to knock through one wall and a
ceiling in the middle level of cavern." He came out to sit and
nibble next to him. He pointed. "Lavelle had his fandom
collections there and some tithes some people gave him. He had a
workshop there for when he was tinkering with stuff."
"Sometimes. He learned how to build most anything from
plans. He and his daughter with Jigen built a lot of stuff
together." He sipped his coffee.
"Was not Jigen a male thief?" Peter asked. Xander got up to get a
book, flipping through it as he sat down. He handed it over when
he got to that part. Peter read the short note on the
artifact. Inside, his muscles were clenching. That sounded
very evil. "Is it in existence here?"
"Yes. In my safety deposit box." Peter stared at him.
He grinned. "Janus made it so he could have his own kids when he
got put into it. It was reparation for what he went through."
Peter closed the book and kissed him. "Can we destroy that?"
"Nope. It's an important chaos artifact and it might be very handy
at times." He stole another kiss and let Peter steal some of his
vegetables. "It's very handy. During the next convention, I
want to bring you. Last time Olivia got brought with me. She
had tons of fun playing with all the Xanders."
Peter nodded. "It would be interesting to see what else you had become."
Xander smirked. "Rick met one of them and Lavelle."
"Huh." He texted him. What he got back made him grimace and
share that with Lorne to give him a headache. He got back a 'prove it'
and told him who to ask. Then he put his phone aside and pulled
Xander closer to rid his mind of the bad mental places it had
went. Xander let out a warm, deep chuckle and let him do whatever
Dean came off the elevator. "Jeez, guys," he complained, heading
upstairs. His cat jumped off the top of the cabinet and followed
him with a loud meow. "Sure, kitty wife. We'll hide from the
Xander cackled, letting Peter distract him some more. He adored being married.
Lorne Cash hung up and walked off to bang his head on a wall. His
boss walked past him shaking his head. "There's been another
Xander that visited here by accident," he complained when he heard the
"No, or else we'd have problems since he was the President of his US."
His boss, Micah Simms, considered that. "No one would screw with
us ever again." He walked off shaking his own head. "He
could hoard all the weapons he wanted too."
Lorne thumped his head a few more times to get the new bad images out of
his head. He had to make sure it wasn't going to happen
here. It'd destroy all the parts of the US that people would
complain about if Xander became president here. Or worse, he'd be
asked to be their bodyguard. He'd never get any peace and quiet if
they asked him to do that.
His partner, Max London, walked over to lead him off to a place where he
could rest. He let her because his mind wasn't going to quit
working over the bad ideas that could happen.
Rick's phone rang and he grimaced but answered it, putting it on
speaker. "What's wrong?" He went back to his currently
boring scene. He really had to do it better.
"Some woman in James' house said to quit bothering him while he's
writing. That you're becoming an obsessive and clingy frienemy who
thinks he can keep up with him, and she said if you make him break his
stream right now she knows some people with whips, chains, and she'd ask
them to borrow one of my swords," Xander's voice said.
Rick stared at his phone, stopping his typing. "James' wife?"
"Yes, I'd guess. I've never met the woman," Xander said dryly. "Why are you competing with him this time?"
"He has a game."
Xander huffed. "Rick, have you ever played the games? It's a
bit boring. You're finding a lot of stuff that's not even related
to the storyline. If you want your own hidden object game, make
it more like the Dark Parables series."
He got into his browser to look those up. "Huh," he said, reading
over them. "Maybe I can do that." He looked at the phone
again. "Why did she call you?"
"She said it was mean if she swore at you herself. She didn't want to make you cry."
"I don't cry. And I'm writing too."
"Uh-huh. Want to try my genre for a while?" Xander quipped.
Xander cackled. "Oh, come on, you got me writing a few light mysteries."
"I'd miss all the good stuff about mine."
"You can write supernatural mysteries. There's a heavy genre for it. You can even put some smutty parts in it."
"No, I'll stick with mine, thanks." Rick shook his head quickly.
"You sure? Because I'll let you have my recent 'who killed the
knight' idea about the knight that wasn't all that holy or nice."
Rick glared at the phone. "Keep your muses to yourself, Xander, or
I'm going to send Mother over to spank you." He could hear Peter
cackling at that idea. "It's bad enough Alexis brought back that
*bunny*." Now he could hear louder cackling from Peter.
"I think she bought you your own when you got stuck," Xander
quipped. "Mine's still here. He's encouraging Brad to babble
ideas at him."
Rick moaned. "Don't give me ideas!"
Xander cackled and blew a kiss. "Shannon said you need kisses because you have a bad head." He hung up.
Rick hung up on his end and got up to get a beer. He really needed
a beer now. That was such a bad idea. Though he did write
James' wife an apology email for nearly interrupting his flow. Now
he had all sorts of bad ideas thanks to Xander. It was almost
evil of him. He sent Peter an email to please splash Xander with
holy water to make sure he wasn't possessed again and then to cure his
mind if he wasn't. Before he warped Rick into writing elves or
anything like that. Though that knight idea was starting to speak
to him.... No, he shoved it aside and went back to his boring,
normal storyline. Though, one of the visiting detectives seemed to
become a bit more knight-like, but that was probably his imagination.
Paula looked at her three best authors a few days before Christmas and
shook her head. "I don't know what happened recently but stop it,
boys." They all gave her odd looks. "Peter, did your
protagonist really have to go to the goats?"
"Yes, he did. Many times," Peter said.
She moaned and shook her head. "Make it more subtle and hint that
it's not a normal human. That way they can think it might be a
trannie, it might be a ghost, it might even be a goat but don't outright
say it's a goat." He nodded at that. "And fix chapter
three, this week please." He pouted but nodded. "Thank
you." She looked at Rick. "Since when did you write fantasy
novels?" He groaned and glared at Xander. Xander shrugged
but grinned. "That explains that."
She sighed. "Your visiting detective only needs the ears," she
said, handing back a bunch of papers. "Tone him down so we don't
get questions about if Alexian wrote with you again." Rick nodded,
taking them to see which ones they were. She looked at
Xander. "Once again you tried to travel into another genre without
success." Xander grimaced. "What were you thinking?"
"I was mostly typing to the history channel and helping the kids with their stuff."
"I saw 'Brad, don't pat the cats that hard please' a few times," she
admitted. "And 'Shannon, quit tormenting your siblings, now' as
well." He nodded, looking at the table. "If you're going to
write action scenes, have Peter proofread them."
"He was busy. I can see it in my head, I can act it out, I can't write it though."
"So stick to fantasy."
"Sword fights," he countered.
"Good point but yay." She handed him back the shredded mass.
"If you can turn that into the three or four books it really is, I
might be happy with two of them. Though I have no idea why your
CSI elves are presently stockpiling weapons."
"Because they're like that?"
"Uh-huh. Is it going to cross over into the hunter universe?"
"Maybe? Maybe a small magical apocalypse?"
"Maybe but stereotypical for you," she countered. "Do something
unusual for a chance. Shock the hell out of your readers,
Xander." He handed over a few pages. She read them and her
eyebrows went up. She looked at him then shuddered. "Keep it
on the light side. Nothing you'd have to check and clear with me
first." He nodded and grinned. She put it into her
purse. "How much do you have done?"
"I want to see the rest later." He nodded. "Thank you.
And get Peter to help you since you go mightily overboard about the
smut." He nodded and grinned at his husband. She looked at
Rick. "Why are you talking to game people without telling me?"
"I want something better than James' newest one. Xander gave me a good model to look at for it."
"Uh-huh," she said, staring at him. "Must you compete with him?"
"It's royalties and if they do a good job, people will want to play it which might bring in new readers."
"That could be nice, yes. There's a lot of hidden object games out there though."
"Yes, but mine isn't going to be searching for things that are unrelated
and just lying around in a scene. Each of the things you hunt in
mine will be relevant and useful."
"That might help." She tapped her fingers a few times. "I
want to see it when it's at the prototype stage." He nodded with a
smile. "Good. If you want to write a fantasy novel we'll
figure out how to market it."
"It's his fault. Him and that plot bunny. It spawned and showed up in my study."
"I told you Alexis bought it for you," Xander quipped with an evil
smirk. "She thought you might get stuck without her prompting an
idea now and then."
Rick glared at him. "The thing is going with her to college to help her write research papers."
"I've already gotten her one." Xander pulled out his phone to show him. "See, a research topic octopus."
Rick whined and shook his head. "You're going to drive me nuts."
"The guy who did the Star Trek one did another one but I'm Tigger's twin." He smirked at Paula.
"I saw that." She shook her head quickly. "Peter, no more candy before meetings please?"
"I needed it. I missed breakfast trying to catch Brad so he would eat."
"Not you. Your spouse."
"I haven't had candy in days," he complained. "The kids stole all
of mine." Peter patted him on the arm with a smile. "Did you
teach them where it was?"
"Olivia showed them and taught them how to sneak into your office to get them."
"Is there any word on Daniel?" Paula asked more calmly. "With the
signing trip, the three kids are going to have some problems."
"Sam snuck over to talk to him in a dream walk. He's getting
counseled by his wife so he gets back to the guy he was. Or so he
told Sam. He said he'd be back soon, he just had to get right in
his own mind." She grimaced. "But John's watching
them." He grinned. "Even if Daniel shows back up, the judge
wants him to get some counseling before he takes over full custody of
the kids. John's going to be watching the warehouse for us while
we're gone and he promised he'd stay with the kids and Daniel if he's
back by then."
"I don't understand why he went," Rick said.
"He went to talk to Willow about how to be the guy he was before they
were taken and things went wrong. He had adjustment shock and was
turning into his mother, without the gay phobia problems. He hated
that about himself and decided it was easier to retreat than to fight
it." Rick nodded once at that. "Which sucks a lot," he
assured him. "The kids are asking for him nearly daily now.
Especially with the holidays coming."
"We took them to visit him at the clinic but that made Shannon cry," Peter said more quietly, glancing around.
Xander looked back at the person staring at them. "Yes?"
"He's in deep meditation talking with his wife since she's still trapped. It was over three years there."
"That's going to change how you see things," she agreed. "Does he need a good recommendation, Alexian?"
"No, we have one that's working with the kids." He grinned. "Thanks anyway."
"You're welcome. Are you going to come in to interview about your
newest book soon? I know we're not a huge newspaper like the Times
but you hardly ever show up for us."
"We schedule appointments when people call in and ask for them," he told
her with a smile. "You never call and ask. We're not going
to call around and beg for interviews. That makes me look
desperate and like a media ho."
She grinned. "I'll have my editor call soon." She winked and went back to her lunch.
Paula made a note for herself about that. "Okay," she said,
looking at Peter. "Fix those few things and give them to me by the
end of the month?" He smiled and nodded. "Good
boy." Xander barked. "Not you." She stared at
him. "What was it that Olivia called it? Fixity fix fix
fixing?" He groaned but nodded. She smirked. "You too,
"I will." His phone went off. "That's Beckett." He
answered and got up to walk off. "New body?" he guessed. He
listened. "I can do that. Yes, I do own a tie," he
complained. "I'll be there to meet with him in an hour." He
hung up. "I'm being called to testify in a case," he said as he
walked back. "Let me go change." He put down money for his
part of the tab and left.
Paula shook her head. "Now if only it wasn't going to ruin him or kill him," she muttered.
"You have to take happiness where you can," Xander reminded her
gently. "He hasn't been this excited in years, right?" She
nodded that was true, sipping her wine. "He knows he's doing
dangerous things. I'm pretty sure Martha and Alexis both reamed
him pretty good about it."
"They did," she agreed. Then she sighed. "I wish it
...." Xander reached over to cover her mouth, glaring at
"Thank you. I don't need to see another wishverse," he said then
shuddered. Peter stroked over Xander's knee subtly and he
calmed himself down. "We'd all like it if people didn't want to
hit Rick on the head, but that can happen even with a mugging and that
is fairly common in this city."
"True." She finished her wine. "Xander, I'm having a tiny
bit of trouble shopping that smutty piece to a bigger publisher so it
gets wider acclaim."
He shrugged. "As long as it sells enough to break even people will
start to talk about it sometime. I do okay in sales in my
traditional fantasy stuff. The paranormal fantasy genre is pretty
packed and some of it's going downhill in quality. That's why I
did a few things in other genres for a while. That way I'd get new
readers and they'd go 'that's not like that series at all'."
"And nothing sparkles," Peter said.
Xander and Paula both shuddered. "I write better than that even
without an editor," he assured his husband. "Nothing of mine sparkles
"That is very nice thing," Peter agreed. "CSI Elves would be funny
looking if they sparkled." Xander whimpered, giving him a dirty
look. "You can write later, after kids are back." Xander
pulled out his phone to make notes on it. Peter grinned at Paula,
who rolled her eyes.
Xander leaned over to whisper in Peter's ear, getting that same
horrified look back that he had just given Peter. Xander
smirked. "Happy writing, dear."
"I hope so." He made his own notes and put them into his
pocket. Xander put his phone up and they went back to very nice
Paula shook her head. "You two are very suited to each other,
boys." Xander beamed at her for that complement. "I'm
guessing the kids are at daycare?" Xander smirked and
nodded. "Good. That way you can have a few hours of peace
and quiet to vacuum."
"They can complain that I didn't let anyone near the tree if they want
to. The offer to rebuy all the kids' presents still stands."
He and Paula shared a look. "I think it was nice that Marigold
said it was a darling tree with the presents for the kids underneath and
how I had covered their art area so nicely by tenting it and putting
ornaments so it looked decorative."
"It was nice looking," she agreed. "Some people are nosy."
Xander nodded. "I caught one in our bedroom looking in our bedside
drawers, which they had to pick open with the nailfile I found on
"I wondered what he had done to be handed to Esposito."
"Same guy that was publishing things about married gay people things?" the reporter asked, looking back at them.
"No, that's his boyfriend," Xander said dryly. "To counter the idiot Rylin."
"Oh, him," she sighed and nodded. "His editor was not pleased that
he was arrested." She grinned. "Do you like Rory's column?"
"I've read it a few times and it's nicely factual but a bit
snarky." He shrugged. "Whatever works to make your marriage
or relationship a happy and content one in that area, as long as there's
consent and no one's getting hurt against their will."
She smiled. "You two are obviously very much still in your
honeymoon phase, Alexian. It's adorable." She put down money
Xander grinned at Peter. "That's because you're much prettier than I am."
Peter smirked. "Is why I was chosen as spy but you would make a good one." Xander beamed at that complement.
Paula groaned. "You two make me have cavities."
"For your Yule present, would you like a gift certificate for something
to help that?" Xander offered with a grin. She swatted him.
"I'm not offering a gigolo certificate or something."
"I don't need not-real semi-boyfriends either," she said dryly.
"Okay. Then I guess we're letting Olivia pick it out."
She smiled. "Your niece has great taste. I've done a good
job helping her learn what girls consider nice." She put down
money. They did the same and left. She put down the tip too
because she could write it off as a business expense. She had been
meeting with her authors and the IRS said that was all right.
Xander walked into the daycare and grabbed Shannon since she was pouting
at one of the workers, throwing her into the air and catching her.
She scowled. "No sneak!" she ordered.
He grinned. "I can sneak all I want to. That's why I'm the unclie."
She pouted and pointed. "Lolli?"
"When we get home you can have a candy cane." She beamed at the
worker and stuck her tongue out. Peter tapped it with a finger so
she pulled it back in. "Thank you, much more polite," Xander told
her. "Auntie Tara will be proud of that." She snuggled
in. "Want to get Olivia and Brad for us?"
"'Liv?" Xander called. She came squealing out and pounced Peter since his hands were free. "Long day?" he teased.
She nodded. "The fish are having their water changed so we're in
the lunch room." She went to get Brad, who came out pouting.
"We go home now," she reminded him.
He brightened up. "Caca?"
"You can have a candy cane when we get home too," Xander said with a
smile and a pat on the head for him. "Go get your things."
Olivia ran to do that. "Brad, get your bag for us." He
beamed and went to get it with the room monitor's help. Xander
grinned at her for it. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." She patted Shannon on the back. "You have a
good day, Shannon." Shannon smiled shyly then hid her face.
They signed out and went home. The workers decided to talk about
how to keep the begging things from wanting things they couldn't
have. Brad had a pout like his uncle's. Shannon's was so
pathetic at times that they had to give in. At least Olivia asked
instead of pouted at them now. Tara had done a good job on her
Xander was staring around the house Christmas Eve, grimacing. The
kids were moping over Daniel. They were enjoying things that the
rest of the family came up with but they still wanted their dad, which
Xander could never be. So he was up, pacing, worrying about the
kids. Peter came down the stairs and stopped him, staring at him
until he talked. "Daniel."
"If we could wake him up, we would."
"I probably could but there's no guarantee that he'd stay," Xander said quietly.
"He has pouted enough. If he is not better by now, then we have many therapists in this city."
Xander nodded. "We do, yeah." He grabbed his jacket.
Peter gave him a pointed look then his pajama bottoms. Xander
shrugged. "I can be jammie boy tonight." He smiled and took a
kiss. "I'll be back soon." He went down to grab the car and
drive to the demon council's building. The guard there gave him a
very strange look. "Daniel."
The guard nodded. "The kids would probably like him back."
"Yeah, they would." He walked in and headed up to the
clinic. The night shift nurse glared at him and he flipped her
off. He had taken out her sister while she was high and trying to
kill a college dorm a few years back. He found Daniel's bed and
stared then punched him in the stomach. Daniel gasped and woke up,
glaring at him. The nurse came in and removed his breathing
tube. "Now that you've caused irreparable harm to all three of
your children, would you maybe like to show up for Christmas morning?"
he asked politely, staring at him.
Daniel rubbed his stomach, moaning some. "We were talking."
"It's been four months," Xander said. "We have plenty of
therapists on this realm, Daniel. Including the one your eldest
sees because you're freaking her mind out. It's Christmas.
Get your ass up and let's go make the kids happy. Okay?"
Daniel nodded. "They need me."
"They need you to be better," Xander corrected. "But today they
need your presence. Then you can go talk to Willow, go to an
in-patient therapy center, whatever, just as long as you *explain* it
Daniel swallowed and nodded. "I can do that." The nurse checked him over and he scowled. "I'll be fine."
"You've been down for a long time." She glared at Xander. "I'll have you banned!"
Xander stared at her. "Yay?" She huffed and went to call the
guards. Xander pulled Daniel's IV himself and handed him a
bandage for the spot. Daniel put it on and got up, finding his
clothes on the shelf at the foot of his bed. He sat down to put
them on slowly, then his shoes. By then the guards were
there. Xander looked at them. "The kids are miserable since
it's the holidays."
"Sometimes they are. Did you have to upset her? She shrieks, Harris."
"I'm surprised she's done shrieking at her daughter," he quipped.
He walked Daniel out and down to the car. "Get in." Daniel
did silently. Xander drove them home and let them inside, letting
Daniel sleep on the couch since all the rooms were full of Winchesters
again. Brad had begged 'grandpa' to stay to make sure Santa wasn't
a scary, bad, drooling guy. Clearly Olivia had been telling him
stories. Xander went up to bed and stripped, climbing in next to
Peter, who felt chilled. He covered them and Peter moaned, rolling
to cuddle him back. "Thank you," he whispered.
Peter took a kiss. "Will be better tomorrow and he can tell them
himself." Xander nodded, letting himself be soothed. They
slept as long as they could, knowing that the kids would get them up
early. The scream did it better than any alarm clock. Xander
hopped up and Peter was in front of him down the stairs. "What
Olivia pointed. "Someone took Daddy from the hospital!" she
shouted and pointed. "He's going to have booboos for this!"
Xander looked at the sleeping person then poked him hard, making Daniel
wake up with a snort and a yawn. "You slept through a scream that
loud?" He went to make coffee. "Brad, get out of the
presents," he called without having to look. Brad had snuck down
each night since they appeared to sleep under the tree with them and one
of the cats. "You're not a gift, you're a little boy." Brad
yawned and crawled out, making Peter smile when he got a hug.
"Good morning," Peter said, pointing at Daniel.
Brad stared then looked at Olivia. "Bad magic!" he shouted, scowling at her.
"It wasn't me, it was Uncle Xander!"
"He wanted to spend Christmas with you guys and you guys wanted him to
be here," Xander said. He sipped his coffee, making some for John,
Dean, and Sam, who were all staring from the stairs. "Shannon,
it's Christmas morning," he called. She nearly knocked John and
Dean over to get down to the tree. Xander pointed while
sipping. She let out an awesome squeal and pounced her
father. Xander smiled at Daniel and Olivia. "If he needs to
talk to your mommy some more, he can do it from a hospital or something
after we celebrate the Orthodox Christmas," he said quietly, staring her
She sniffled and hugged him. "Thank you, Uncle Xander. Not even Santa could bring him home."
He picked her up to hug her. "I knew you wanted him,
princess. It's all right. It's going to be a long, confusing
day." She nodded, wiggling down and going to hug Daniel
too. She had to shove Shannon over some but Shannon never
minded. Daniel gave her a look but hugged her too.
Daniel looked over. "I know I missed the hearing. I'll get better and then we'll talk."
Xander nodded. "You missed it by a lot. The judge moved it
up when he heard you were protecting the youngest one." He sipped
his coffee. "Today is not the time to talk about that. That
talk comes when you're ready to handle things again." Daniel
nodded, cuddling the kids. Peter smiled at him for that non-ass
chewing. "Someone help me make breakfast so we can open
presents." John came over to do that, giving him a few pointed
looks. Xander nodded he was fine and it was going to be
okay. Sam and Dean helped by setting things out for
breakfast. Brad grunted and pointed at the tree.
"Use your words," Sam said gently, staring at him. "What do you want?"
"Prez!" he crowed and grinned, still pointing.
"Eat first," Dean ordered. Brad hopped up and went to get
breakfast. Olivia had shown him how good fruit was so he wanted
some of that. It made his sister squealy happy and proud of him.
Xander hugged him. "Give us ten minutes and you can have breakfast
and then presents." Brad pouted. Xander stared at
him. "It has to cook. Then you can have fruit syrup."
"Oooh?" he asked. Xander smiled and nodded. "Ooh!" He went to babble baby noise at his sisters.
Olivia pulled him back up to cuddle him. "We like fruit
syrup. That's the sweet, sticky stuff we put on the thingies you
put in the toaster." Shannon grinned about that, it was one of her
favorite things. "Uncle Xander, what's for breakfast?"
"It's like the stuff in the toaster only it's homemade and it's soft, gooey, and good," Dean said with a grin.
"Okay." She settled in to hug her siblings and her daddy.
This was her Christmas wish. She decided Santa must've had to
delegate this time. Like he did to the ones in the stores that
took in wish lists and passed them on to the head Santa. She'd
thank one of them later for letting her Uncle Xander handle it. He
did great with the big things they needed.
Xander and Peter shared a look, Xander getting a kiss for the first
plate of french toast that came out of the pan. He cut it up and
added butter. "Blue syrup or red?" he asked.
"Bwoo!" Brad shouted, hopping down to run over. Dean took it and
helped him put it on the coffee table, letting him eat it with his
fingers. Shannon got hers next because she was going to try to
steal Brad's. Then Olivia and Daniel got theirs. The other
adults sat down to eat and relax. The kids would drive them nuts
later. Olivia had gotten a bike from Dean.
Olivia and Xander carried the basket into the police station. She
grinned at the staring officers. "Uncle Xander helped me make the
detective uncles and aunties lunchies." She grinned. "And we
paid the local pizza place so you guys can have lunchies too."
They smiled and thanked them. Olivia got the elevator buttons for
them and then ran off to pounce her auntie. "We made you
lunchies!" she crowed.
Beckett smiled. "That's very sweet of you, Olivia." She gave her a hug. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." She helped Xander hand out the lunch plates. "I made the salad and the toasty bits on it."
"You make a great salad," Rick promised, smiling at her.
She stared at him. "You left Alexis all alone on Santa day?" she demanded, starting to tap a foot.
"She's with her grandmother and she told me to come in and help," he
assured her, giving her a hug. "She wanted to go back to bed since
she was up all night."
"Alexis waited for Santa?"
"I don't know, you'd have to ask her." She beamed and leaned
closer, whispering in his ear. He hugged her. "That's a
great present and I'm sure Santa knew he could let your Uncle handle
that present for you." She smiled and nodded. "What did you
get?" She babbled about her presents and learning how to ride a
bike in the warehouse with her uncle Dean. "That's very
cool." She smiled and hugged everyone then they left. Rick
relaxed. "Xander got deputized by Santa to fulfill the wish to
have Daniel home and awake for today."
Beckett nodded. "He's a good deputy for those sort of
things." She looked at her plate. "Fried ham." They
dug in while they worked on the case. It was sweet of the
family. Xander texted something to Rick and he went to tell the
dispatch sergeant so he could call over there. Then he came back
up to finish his own lunch.
Sometimes, you made a really good family to add onto your natal one. He clearly had.
The day after Christmas, Daniel hung up with the therapist he had seen
and Olivia was seeing. She had arranged for him to go into an
in-patient facility for a few weeks. He sat the kids down and
looked at them. "Guys, I'm going to go back to the hospital but
I'll be awake this time." They all stared at him, Brad sucking on
his fingers. He gently removed them from his mouth. "You
guys can come visit each week. That way I make sure everything's
all right." They pouted. He hugged them all. "I need
to, guys. I've got to get used to being back here too and I need
Olivia stared at him. "No nap this time?"
"No, I won't be napping this time." She relaxed and nodded.
"The talking doctor you see is sending me to someone she knows so we can
work all this stuff out."
Olivia nodded. "She's good at helping you talk about stuff."
"Which is what I'm going to be doing." They all nodded and he hugged them again before going to pack and head over there.
Xander leaned in the doorway, watching him pack. "The kids will be
fine. We'll visit each week," he said quietly. "Get your
head on straight this time."
"I'll try my best, Xander." He looked at him. "Thank you for taking care of 'em for me."
"I'd never let those kids go anywhere else." He walked off. "Am I driving?"
"I will," John said.
"Okay," Daniel agreed quietly. He finished his packing and went to
hug the kids. "Grandpa John is going to drop me off so he knows
where to bring you three to visit." They smiled and hugged him
again then let him go. He heard one of them start crying and
nearly hit the button but John did it for him. He changed keys
with Xander to get the sedan and they brought the kids with them.
The hospital might frown on it but yay. It'd make the kids calm
They all hated it when the kids cried or sobbed about really big things.
Daniel shook hands with the doctor he was there to meet. "I'm Daniel."
"She described you well." He looked back. "Your family?"
"John Winchester and my three kids." He hugged them. "We promised they could visit."
"Of course they can." He led them to the office to talk to
Daniel. John waited outside. The kids piled on Daniel and
the doctor understood why when Daniel told him what had been going
on. He talked to the kids, letting them see the room Daniel would
be in and look at one of the 'talking doctor' rooms too. Olivia
chatted about hers and he smiled, agreeing she was a very good talking
doctor. They got Daniel settled in.
Olivia patted John's pockets until she found his wallet and ran
off. John scowled as he followed her. She made it onto an
elevator first and it shut before John caught her so she made it to the
hospital gift shop and bought some candy. "For Daddy," she said
when he glared at her. "He needs candy to be happy sometimes."
"That's not a bad idea," he promised, getting a few other things. She relaxed and smiled. "Next time, ask."
"Yes, Grandpa." They went back up there and Daniel grinned,
cuddling her. Just her. It was a great thing and she had
missed it. She looked at him. "Don't turn into your mommy?"
she asked quietly.
"I'd never do that, Olivia." He kissed her on the forehead.
"I'll never be that mean." She nodded and cuddled in again,
letting Brad come up since he was pouty. Then Shannon climbed up
to get her own cuddles. John took Olivia so he could have each of
them separately. That helped and she was happier. Daniel got
settled in and they went home.
Xander looked at the kids that night. "We called the doctors
there. We can visit each and every single Sunday afternoon for
three hours," he told them. They all stared at him. "That
means you all get a good long time with your dad without us having to
rush. So the day without cartoons, we go see your dad right after
lunch. Okay?" They all nodded. Shannon and Brad might
not understand but Olivia had and she had nodded so they had agreed
too. "Good kids." He hugged each one and looked at
Olivia. "If he's still there when it gets warmer and less snowy,
you can take your bike sometimes."
She grinned. "I'd like that."
"Good girl." He looked at them. "For today, clean up the
living room's mess." They squealed and went to rescue their toys
from the floor. Before the floor ate them. Grandpa had said
the floor ate toys and burped them into the toybox. They didn't
want floor drool on their new toys.
John smiled at Xander. "Good job," he said quietly.
"A schedule seems to help with these sort of things." John
nodded. Xander's phone beeped and he looked then sighed walking
off talking to Paula.
"Some day you guys will have bosses that call to nag too," Dean quipped
from his seat. Brad ran over to pounce him, holding up his book
with a grin. "Sure, I'll read to you since you did such a good
tackle, Brad." He settled him into his lap and opened the book to
read to him.
"That's my book," Olivia complained.
Dean looked at her. "Does that mean he can't have it read to him?"
"You have to read it to all of us," she said firmly. "I didn't read it yet."
Dean let the kids climb on him so they could all be read to. At
least until Xander let out a belch and then the kids screamed 'toys are
being eaten' and scrambled to save them from the floor drool. Dean
winced and rubbed his new bruises from tiny feet but that was what
being an uncle was all about.
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