Slight Issues Home and Abroad.

Xander had been hearing bad rumors about someone so he was tracking them down.  It was clearly a horrible thing in the making.  The guy was selling classified files.  Not Xander's directly but he had Steve's records and there was probably a link back thanks to the mission that had sent Steve's team after him.  So he was in a hotel he never visited - they were snotty bitches there - thinking seriously about setting off the panic switch Danny had gotten him through the Secret Service.  Something was telling him this was going to be bad. 

He glanced outside, seeing the 'cartel SUV' as he called the common ride.  He pushed it then waited a second and hit it twice in quick succession.  That would send the alert to his cousin and his former boyfriend in the ATF instead of to the Secret Service guys.  The single push or the third push right after that first push would've sent it to them too.  He rode up in the elevator.  He had a contact set up a meeting.  The room was on the end so he had a great view of the parking lot from the hallway windows.  "Cartel SUV times three," he muttered.  "Shit."  He knocked.  The man opened the door and he stepped in.


Danny's phone started to beep insistently.  He looked.  "That's Xander's alert.  Us and his ex."  Steve growled and they grabbed extra weapons.  It was a well known rule - Xander did not call for backup.  Ever.  Xander would rather take a sniper spot and take down a militia, possibly again because his dossier had gaps, than call for backup.  He had called for help twice before in Africa and both times it had required the real military to help him and the slayers.  So, yeah, it was probably a horrible thing.  The phone had a GPS code.  He showed Steve, who pulled out at a high rate of speed.  The sirens were going.

This wasn't going to be pretty by any means.


The Secret Service team that had helped guard Xander got the alert anyway.  They had rigged it so even if he only called in his cousin they'd know.  They had done a thorough look over the boy's background and realized that he had 'superhero' syndrome pretty badly.  They looked at each other and then rushed off to help.  They met up with the ex boyfriend in the ATF in the parking lot.  He climbed in with them since they were going in the same direction.  He told them Xander had asked him to look up someone and why.  The fact that the guy was selling classified files was bad.

The driving agent glanced back.  "Why would Harris be worried about that?"

"He said they had McGarrett's file and Steve was one of the SEALs sent to take him out on one of the two attempts."

"Shit," the lead agent muttered.  "That'll lead back and Harris' is super sealed."  They got to the hotel after the 5-0 team.  The lead agent looked.  "There's nine cars here belonging to cartel or other seriously bad people."  The ATF agent called that in to get them more backup.


Xander looked at the guy.  "I only want the one file."

The guy was holding a gun on him.  "Why?"

"Because it leads back to mine and it'll cause more problems if it gets out."  The guy sneered.  Xander loosened something and dropped the smoke canister.  The guy started to choke so Xander headed for the briefcase.  It was the most likely spot for them.  He found the file boxes in the bedroom about the same time that the door was kicked in by someone who started to  shoot.  Xander fired back from the safety of the bedroom.  He took out two and winged the guy he had been here to see so he couldn't escape.  More were rushing up the hallway sounding like a herd of elephants.  They nicely had automatic weapons so the weak and flimsy interior wall of the hotel room was going to be swiss cheese soon.  He sent up a quick prayer that Danny and them got there soon.

"HPD!" a voice yelled.  Then screamed.

Xander took a deep breath.  He hadn't recognized that voice.  It wasn't one of the family group.  He took aim and took down another one.  He reached over to punch the idiot on the ear.  "Jackass.  If you had just given it to me, none of this would be happening!"  He hit him again then pulled back behind the flimsy wall that was slowly being eaten away.

"Five fucking Oh, bitches, put it down!" a male voice shouted.  The people shooting at Xander and his problem meeting split their attention but kept firing at Xander.  Xander moved and then shot out at two of the people in the doorway.  Further up the hall, more gunfire erupted.  Xander took a calming breath and pulled something off his necklace.  "Fuck this shit."  He threw it and it splattered one of the guys in the doorway.  It was a short-distance, short explosion shrapnel grenade Hannibal had suggested for nest taking downs.  The shrapnel and the explosive force did indeed work on a human too. 

Xander glanced and missed getting shot at.  He glanced again, pulling back before they could shoot.  The person flicked the switch for continuous spraying of bullets so Xander rolled, fired, and then got out of harm's way again.  He looked.  The guy he had been here to coerce was injured.  Xander considered it then hauled him inside.  He had to be alive to stand trial.  He took out a few more and then Steve blessedly hit the doorway.  "Thank you, Goddess," he called.


"Slightly grazed.  This bad guy has a few better ones in his leg, one of them mine."

"What bad guy?" Steve called.

"He's selling classified files, including your military one and about ten other Special Ops people's files."

"Shit," Steve muttered.  The agents up the hallway captured or took out the others.  Steve stomped in.  Xander pointed at the bad guy, letting Steve cuff him and pat him down.  "Why didn't you tell us?" he demanded.

"I thought it was going to be a nice normal meeting.  Maybe with some knockout gas but mostly normal.  Then I saw a mob-style SUV pulling in.  I figured there were going to be more so I called you.  You told me to call you for backup.  Which I did," he said in a rush.

Steve nodded.  "You did.  Thank you."  He looked around, getting into the files boxes to find his.  "Yours is linked.  The file number's in here."  He closed it and put it back, looking over the other names.  "This is really bad."

"Yeah!" Xander agreed.  "Which is why I was going to get yours out of harm's way and then call in my ex."  He looked out at him.  "I didn't know he had picked today to auction things."

"Us either," his ex said.  He let one of the Secret Service guys look over the hostage.  "That's the one he had me do a check on."  He pulled Xander up to look him over but Danny pulled him over to do his own check.  "McGarrett?"

"Lots and lots of SEALs, Rangers, and Deltas, plus a few agents."  He looked at one.  "Yours is in here too."

"Why us?" he asked.

"They probably need to either turn them or take them out because they're too good," Xander said with a slight shrug.

"Could be," Steve admitted.  "Not the first time."  He walked over the body on the floor.  "Danno, he good?"

"He's fine."  He glared.  "Call *before* you go in."

"I did."

"I meant really call.  That way we were warned better!"

"Sorry!  He was opening the door when I saw them pull in."  He pointed at a few moaning people.  "I was only asking to get Steve's file.  Then you guys could handle it.  That way nothing of my file gets into any evidence room or anything."

"Because who knows who gets into those," Chin realized.  Xander nodded.  "Is it linked?"

"Yeah.  My team was sent to take out Xander once," Steve said.  "The higher ups thought he was a problem in the making because we didn't have him under control.  Two different missions."  He went to look again.  "The other team's geek is in here."  He checked his file.  "Linked back to your old file number," he said, tucking it back into place.  He looked at Xander.  "It's an excellent idea and plan.  I know you've done this sort of thing before.  Thank you for actually calling for help."

The lead Secret Service agent looked up from checking the boxes.  "I'll be *personally* taking these to DC, Harris.  They are not getting out of my hands and are going to my boss, who can either hand them back to the appropriate bosses or have them destroyed."  Xander nodded, relaxing some.  He sat on the edge of the bed, which collapsed from all the holes on it.  He could sit in the wreckage for now.  The paramedics were coming off the elevator to see to all the casualties.  "They're all prisoners," he noted.  "Unless you're treating grazes and they're wearing a badge."  One paramedic held one up.

"I heard an HPD yell before you guys got here," Xander said.

"Okay, good to know."  He told the paramedics that so he could be taken separately.  "This one goes in seclusion.  He's not to talk to anyone else.  At all."  The paramedics nodded and took him when it was his turn, with two agents accompanying.  The office had sent some extra agents to the ER to handle the new arrests.  That one they wanted specially.  He looked at Harris.  "Call *us* for classified things."

"I trust my ex to dig out my information and then hand it on.  That way there's very little chance of anything in mine coming to light.  I figured we were all pretty sick and tired of blood hunters."

"We are," he agreed then smiled.  "Good enough job, kid."  Xander nodded.  "What did that?" he asked, pointing at a mangled corpse.

"Shrapnel thing that Hannibal suggested and we developed together to take out nests."  He let him have his spare one.

He looked it over.  "Do you have plans?"

"No, I make by rote."

"Make McGarrett watch you make one."  He handed it to Steve and walked off.

"That does not go in my glovebox," Danny said, cracking Chin up.

"Yes, dear," Xander quipped back.  Kono started to laugh.

One of the paramedics looked in there.  "Sir, is he your spouse?  We can make room when we take you for those grazes."

"I'm fine," Xander said, smiling at him.  "And he's my cousin, not my boyfriend.  Though people have wondered in the past."

"You sure?  You're bleeding from a few spots."

"Mostly it's from the wall," Xander said with a point.  That got a nod and he'd be cleaned up with the agents and people.  The hotel staff was getting extremely irritated by someone official went to calm them down.  After all, the Secret Service was used to calming down bitchy, panicking people after things happened.  Xander looked at Steve.  "We can do that later if you want."

"Sure.  My house or yours?"

"Mine?  The boys are feeling tired all the time so it's a new growth spurt."

"Sure," Steve decided.  "Grill?"

"In the kitchen."

"I'll bring mine," he decided.


Xander hung up from the video chat with his family, looking at the boys.  "We should go see them."  Jensen grinned and giggled.  "I know, I'll change your wet diaper in a minute, Jake."  He got online to make some plans.  He couldn't go tomorrow but next Wednesday was nice and was far enough out for discount fares.  Plus mid-week travel bonus so maybe it wouldn't be such a packed flight.


Xander flipped open his phone to hit a contact number and put in his bluetooth piece.  "My, Xander.  I need a short favor."

"Why?" the smooth voice asked.  "It's not going to end the world or need me to transport weapons across country boundaries again is it?"

"No.  The airline won't let me fly with the boys.  Apparently single fathers aren't welcome so I'll be suing them.  Can I bum the plane?"

"Of course.  That's not even a huge favor.  Where are you going?"

"To visit Danny's folks back in Newark."

"Sir, is there a problem?" the head of the gate people for this airline asked.

Xander looked up.  "Yes, there is.  There's a huge damn problem.  Well, three really.  First, that your people don't believe that single fathers exist and can't fly with their kids.  The second is that this ...pathetic gate boy here just tried to tell me I could drive to New Jersey from Hawaii.  Apparently he didn't realize this is an *island* state.  And the third is that I want a refund right the hell now before I tell the guy on the phone to have his hackers get it back for me while I call the head of the airline.  We had to talk before over slayer weapons."

"There's no one on the phone," the gate boy said in his most perky voice.

Xander looked at it then took out the bluetooth and put it on speaker.  "Apparently you're invisible and mythical or the gate boy doesn't know how phones work, My."

"No, I'm still real.  I have detailed a letter to my assistant so she can politely chew on the head of the airline, as I see you're going with Virgin, which does make me happy."

"Business class even so the boys can sleep.  But apparently we can't do that because in case of an emergency I couldn't handle all my boys."

"I've seen you handle artillery, demons, apocalypse battles, and even worse, my brother in a snit.  I'm fairly certain that your boys would get proper oxygen as you have phenomenal breath holding capabilities."

"If you'd just fly with the mother," the gate boy sneered.

Xander looked at him.  "First, idiot, I adopted.  There's no mother.  Some of us are single parents by choice.  It was this or let them be raised by the slayers.  Secondly, yes, some fathers *do* take care of their responsibilities and there are some that are tragically left behind when their spouse dies, along with the children.  So who do you expect me to call up, pay for them to go to New Jersey with me, put them in their own hotel room, and then fly them back in a week?"

"Ummmm."  He looked at his boss.

"There's no reason to be hostile," the head person said.

Xander looked at him.  "Don't even try.  If you can't even hire people that don't realize you can't drive to New Jersey from Honolulu then clearly I made the mistake of thinking your company was better.  Now, I'd like a refund so I can pay for my friend's gas for the plane borrowing.  Now."

"Sir, we'll have...."  The security guy walking up on them held his earpiece.  He winced.  "Mr. Harris, the Secret Service wants to know where you're going?"

"To visit Danny's parents."

He repeated that and smiled.  "That's fine.  They were worried you were taking the boys to Qatar."

"No, we don't think the hellmouth there is going to open for a few weeks.  My, did you get that email?  I thought I sent it but I was half asleep."

"I did and had a charming bout of pepto for dinner for a few days.  I almost thought those rogue witches were punishing me."

"Funny you should mention them.  Remember the one that your brother called Griselda all the time?  She's still a bit pissed at him."

"Cite your source," the voice on the phone said firmly.

"I was dream walking.  I ran into her ranting on the astral plane about how he'd have to learn responsibility and how to name things properly."

"Oh, dear.  That's going to inconvenience that nice doctor a bit."

Xander snorted.  "John's no more nice than I am, My.  He may seem like it but if they're attacked, he's still been a soldier."

"Yes he was.  I appreciate that fact actually.  That and he tends to keep my brother out of trouble."

"Should I call Sher and tell him?"

"Um, no.  Not until I've told Mother.  She'll be over the moon you know.  She's wanted grandchildren."

"Like Hai and a few others, she can slightly adopt mine.  They could always use more cookies and biscuits."

My laughed.  "Yes, I believe they could since you'd probably steal half.  No daughter?"

"Doctor wouldn't let her fly.  Her ear's infected.  Linwood is pouting horribly about it but Faith has her.  She's being mass cuddled by the minis."

"Wonderful.  The plane is actually near there.  I had leant it to an annoying diplomatic mission.  Theirs is now fixed and I've emailed my brother to warn him, so you can borrow it in about an hour.  Do you know where the private terminals are?"  Xander looked at the manager, who wrote out directions.  "Wonderful.  Do have a good trip, boys.  I look forward to seeing your father at the summit."

"Buffy said I'm retired.  Threw it back in my face that I'm retired.  She said I'm not going."

"We'll see," My said happily.  "Oh, dear, my brother is in an epic snit.  But he has taken an EPT.  Which is thankfully still negative.  Are you sure she can do that?"

"Yes I am and she does hate your brother with a fiery passion.  It's about the only passion in her life.  She's the one that got that idiot drug cartel guy."

My burst out cackling.  "Oh, good show on her then.  Well, I suppose I'll vicariously live through my brother's impending pregnancy.  Do be safe.  Let me know when I can have it back."

"We're coming back in a week."

"Wonderful.  Don't let anyone else use it."

"I'd never do that."

"Even for an emergency."

"Yes, dear."

"Thank you, Xander."

"No, thank you, My."

"This is but a tiny favor to ask after what we've seen you handle for us and the Crown."  He hung up.

Xander smiled at the manager.  "There, now you can teach this one geography after you've given me my refund."  The manager started to pull out a coupon.  "No, I don't believe I'll be flying with you again.  Thank you anyway."  The manager grimaced but did issue him a refund check.  Xander smiled at the guard.  "Orders?  Suggestions?"

"No, sir.  The Secret Service said it was charming of you to visit your cousin's parents and left the two new drug dealers to them."

"You might warn them that the guy from Mexico is pregnant thanks to the Devon coven.  I don't think he was pleased, especially after the Church and all his people ran him off under threat of extinction."

The guard smiled.  "I doubt many of those sort would listen to women," he agreed.

"No, he's still a guy.  She got *really* pissed off at him."  The guard winced and held his stomach.  "Yeah.  That way?"  The guard got him a ride.  "Thank you for being nicer than the people at the desk here."  He got the boys onto the cart, got their baggage claim ticket, and rode off.  The nicer clerk there was more than happy to get his bags transferred over and said that the stewardess was probably going to be very helpful with the boys since it was a smaller private jet.  Xander thanked her and they settled in to read and wait on the plane to get there.  The boys were tired, which was great.  They might sleep all the way to the mainland.


Xander looked up as he was gathering the bags, the boys in a convenient cart so they couldn't wander.  He realized something was wrong and looked at his phone, turning it back on.  He read the new text message, realizing it was only a few minutes old.  "I'm going to paddle someone," he said, making Frank flinch.  "Let's go rescue your cousin, guys."  He walked that way, finding her at the guard station.  He looked at her.  "How did you get here?"

"They sent me to grandma," she said happily.

Xander signed the forms, showed his ID, then called Danny.  "I have your daughter in Newark with me.  Please tell the guard that I can pick her up for Grandma?"  He let the guard have his phone and gave her a telling look.  She looked down.  "Watch the boys to make sure Jensen doesn't escape."

"Poops," Jensen said with a happy grin.

"We'll change you in the rental car.  Give me five minutes."  Jensen nodded and hummed.  Grace hugged him and the other boys.  She looked at him.  "She's with Faith.  Her ear's swollen."  He took his phone back.  "Want me to call Grandma?"

"No, sir.  He's faxing over release forms.  Why didn't she take your plane?"

"I wasn't told she was coming.  I'll be asking her mother that later."

"Her father said he wasn't aware she was being sent either," he admitted.  "Bad divorce?"

"Definite lack of communication."  He shook his head.  Roque was making that same face.  "Five minutes."  They all settled down.  The carseats were on the luggage cart.  So were the shared bags.  Grace's was now on there too.  "Thank you for handling the weird thing better than Honolulu would.  I had a gate agent out there tell me I could drive here."  The guard snickered, walking off laughing.  "Yeah, it's been one of those days."  He walked the group off, taking them to the rental car desk.  He had preselected so the machine was handy and spit out his keys.  

Then he had to come back and point out he had rented something larger than a four-door sedan because he had so many kids.  They got him changed over and it was better.  Grace got into the front seat.  He changed everyone and they were put into their car seats.  Xander got in to drive once everyone was buckled down.  He looked at Grace.  "You're probably big enough not to need a booster."  He drove them off to the hotel.  "So, wanna level with me here?  How in the hell did you get to Newark, Gracie?"

"I had the driver drop me off.  Told him Mommy was sending me but she was too busy and forgot to drop me off."  She smiled.  "I rented through the place StepStan uses online."

"That's wonderful.  We'll be calling your mom in a bit."

"Can't you wait until I've seen Grandma?  I haven't seen her in forever."

Xander looked at her.  "If I don't, she can say I kidnaped your ass."


Xander plugged in his phone.  "Hit your mom's number for me please."  She dialed it.  "Okay, so we're out of the airport, your daughter is sneaky.  I've got her with me in the car and we're heading to the hotel."

"Why is my daughter with you?" Grace's mother demanded in that cold, British voice that only they could pull up.

"Because you said they'd always be my grandparents but I haven't been able to see them for a really long time," Grace told her back in that same tone.  "So therefore I'm going to visit my grandparents.  You and Danno both said that they were still my real family."  She started to sniffle.

Xander hung up and pulled over to hug her.  "They are.  They'll always be your family because Danno will always be your daddy."  She sniffled and nodded against his shoulder.  "We'll work it out, even if I do have to spank someone for being a dumbass."  She laughed and wiped off her cheeks.  "Good."  He called back.  "Okay, here's how it's going to go," he said since he had both parents.  "Stan, she used your online booking service."

"Did she at least use first class?" he asked blandly.

"What's first class?" she asked.

"Were the seats huge and the stewardesses really nice?" Xander asked.

"Not really huge but kinda nice."

"So probably business class.  Do not fire her driver for falling for the ruse."

"Xander, we're leaving for London in eight days," Rachel said firmly.

Xander looked up.  "I'll be back with the kids in six.  Do you want me to leave her with the grandparents here and let you pick her up on your way to London or fly back and then you guys fly to London together?"

"I really miss Grandma and Grandpa," Grace said quietly, holding Xander's hand.  "I haven't seen them in forever.  If they're still my family I should get to see them."

"Yes you should," Danny agreed.  "I wanted to take you recently but your Mom didn't want to let me.  Which is why you nearly didn't get to go to London.  If your grandparents out there weren't sick, you wouldn't be.  Though, you are grounded, young lady.  We will be talking about lying."

"Did you lie to the screeners at the airport?" Xander asked.  She nodded slowly, looking sheepish.  "Well, they're stupid enough to fall for it," he sighed.  "Even though that's a bad thing.  We'll figure this out.  Tonight, she'll get a cot in the room with me and the boys."

"She shouldn't be with all of you men," Rachel said.

Xander glared at the phone.  "Did you assume something was going to happen?" he asked coolly.

"No!  She might look or something!" Stan said.

"She's helped with how many diaper changes?" Danny countered.  "I'm pretty damn sure Xander's not going to be running around naked either."

"I didn't think.  This has been horribly stressful.  We were worried she had been kidnaped."

"I didn't realize it until she texted me from the guard shack," Xander said.  "I had to go private because apparently single parents aren't allowed on planes in the US with more than one kid."

"Then how did you get there?" Danny asked.

"I called up a friend that I met doing something that's not in any of the dossiers because it's highly classified.  He leant me his."

"There's parts not in there?" Danny demanded.

"Um, yeah.  Highly classified.  Even the guys who bug my phone don't know.  Oh, and that Mexican drug lord?  He's pregnant thanks to one of the witches at the coven so go easy on him."

"Thanks for the warning," Danny said dryly.

"Why don't you three talk tonight like *adults*," Xander ordered.  "Grace is half asleep.  We'll call tomorrow once we get to Grandma's so you can tell us what the plans are."

"I want her back tomorrow," Rachel said.

"Yeah, because I'm going to put her ass on a plane back to Hawaii by herself."

"You could come home," she said.

"Excuse your ass?" he demanded.  "These are my family, Rachel.  They have been wanting to see my boys, and your daughter, for quite a while now.  Even with a divorce it doesn't take out DNA.  Why don't you go take some midol and then talk like an adult for a change?"

"Xander," Stan complained.  So did Danny.

"Yay."  He hung up and called someone else, his bluetooth going back in his ear.  "Hey, Douggie, Xander.  My cousin's daughter snuck through the airport to get on a plane to visit her relations with me.  We're in New Jersey.  Yeah, that one.  I don't know.  Her mother might try to file charges out of being womanly.  No clue.  Yup, that was her.  They filed it?"  He laughed.  "That's great.  No, she wanted to visit grandma and grandpa.  Her mom hasn't let her.  Going to the hotel.  Give me a head's up if she tries to file a kidnaping warrant on me?  Thanks, man.  Yeah, all but Jo.  She's with Faith and an ear infection.  Thanks, man.  Exhausted."  He hung up and pulled back onto the interstate so they could go to the hotel.  They were very understanding about needing another cot.


In London, a loud voice was shouting back at his flatmate.  "It's not like I'd have a firm cycle to gauge things by," he complained.  "We really have to test every single day."

"You can test once a week and it won't matter," the flatmate said.  "Though I'm sure she won't.  It'd take a horrid amount of magic."

"I still say magic isn't real," the first one complained.

"Yes, you said that even when she was holding you in the air with it," the flatmate said blandly.  "And then dropped you about thirteen feet."

"Yes, I remember that part.  Perhaps I was drugged."

"Then you wouldn't need to pee in a cup once a week," the flatmate said.

His friend huffed and clearly stomped off.  "Pick up the big pack of them when you go out."



Xander knocked on the door the next morning, hearing a squeal.  "I think she's happy," he told the kids.  Danny's mother threw open the door.  "Hi, Grandma."

"Xander!"  She hugged him.  "Oh, and the boys!"  She hugged each one then noticed her granddaughter.  "Oh my God, Grace!"  She hugged her so hard Grace started to cry.  "What's wrong?"

"Her momma needs midol," Xander said bluntly, getting all the kids inside.  "C'mon.  Jensen, you were going to call Steve to remind him to water your vines."  Jensen grinned and plucked Xander's phone so he could call him.  He counted then closed the door.  "Jo couldn't come.  The doc said no flying."

"That's fine.  We'll see her soon I'm sure."  She sat down cuddling her granddaughter.  "I didn't expect you."

"I didn't expect her," Xander mouthed.  Grandma gave her another squeeze.  Jensen was babbling at Steve about his vines.  Pooch asked about Jo more than once by chanting her name.  The others were staring at them.  Xander leaned down next to the phone.  "Is Danny more sane and calm?" he asked.  A tiny 'no' came back.  "Okay.  Well, we're here.  The phone is charged.  Grandma has her held tightly enough that she's going to be orange juice.  Let us know?"

"Yup," came back from a tiny voice.  "And I'll go water the vines and check on Jo."  The kids laughed and Xander hung up, putting the phone in his pocket.  He flopped down.  "No tearing anything up, boys."  They all smiled at him.  "I mean it."

Grace laughed.  "They always tear things up, Xander."

"I know."  He gave her a hug.  "I think I hear Grandpa out back."  She ran out there to pounce him too.  Danny's mother pointed.  Xander pointed and nodded.  "Snuck.  Used Stan's card and online booking site."

"Oh, dear."

"Her mom's throwing a fit.  Danny's about lost his mind in worry.  They're going to London soon to visit relations over there."

"We'll have a good talk.  Is she staying the whole time?"

"Probably.  Not sure.  No one's told me that yet."

"Wonderful."  She smiled and got up to get everyone a snack.  Her husband had Grace cuddled tightly and was letting her cry on him.  She went out to help comfort her poor grandchild.  Divorces were tough when the parents acted more like the children.


Back at home, Danny was staring at his ex-wife and the judge.  "I talked to my mom just a minute ago," he said.  "They're there.  Grace is bound and determined ta stay since she hasn't seen them in a while and misses her grandparents."

"Is whoever got her out there a reliable adult?" the judge asked.

"Technically she got herself out there," Stan admitted.  He handed over the printout from the travel site.  "She met her cousin, who was also going to show off his boys to the same set of parents."

The judge looked it over.  "She's got a wily nature I see."  He considered it, looking at the mother.  "Is there some reason why she shouldn't know her paternal grandparents?  Are they bad people?"  He held up a hand and gave Danny a pointed look.  Then looked back at Rachel.

"It's never worked out."

"Well, she worked it out apparently.  To keep her mentally healthy there has to be contact with both sides of the family.  Or else you're being unfair to the child and to the other parent."  He stared her down.  "I believe a few days with them would do her good as you're about to take her from the country for a month."

"And that's where she gets her wily nature," Danny said dryly.  "Because she told me they were sick."  He looked at the judge.  "I trust my cousin with her life."

"Good.  Then she'll come back with them."  He banged his gavel.  "We'll be having a hearing when you get back to talk about the custody agreement again."  He walked off.  He hated being a divorce court judge sometimes.

Danny looked at Stan.  "I'll pay back what she took," he said quietly.

"No, she'll be doing chores for it," he said with a smile.  "That will be her allowance for the rest of this year I believe."

Danny smiled and nodded.  "That's a good plan, teaches her consequences without being too harsh.  We'll talk to her together?"

"That would be good," Stan agreed.  He shook his hand.  "I'm surprised she made it through security."

"Too many kids get dropped off and you know they won't let non-passengers that far in these days," he said dryly.  "All he had to do was walk her up to the desk and say her mother was sending her since the driver was clearly staff."  Rachel stomped off.  "Want to call Monkey with me?"

"Please."  They walked out together to the benches outside to call Xander's phone.  Rachel was crying in the car but she was hormonal.  She was upset.  They'd deal with that part later.  Hopefully.


Steve looked at the drug gang the team had just busted.  "Which one of you is the guy from Mexico?"  Most of the people nodded toward the unconscious guy.  "Thank you.  We were warned about special precautions."  He walked one of the paramedics over now that they were done fussing over Danny's arm.  "The Devon Coven made him pregnant."

"He's a guy?" the paramedic said.

"Supposedly."  He shrugged.  "Can you test for that?"

"We can have the ER test for that," he said, making a note on his form.  "Why?"

"They're witches in all manners of the word."  He walked off to oversee the prisoners being taken into custody.  He looked over when the paramedic shouted 'oh my God I can hear a heartbeat!'  "So we heard," Steve said.  The paramedic shuddered but they took the poor man to the hospital.

"Is it mean to wish the torturing science squad to get him?" Kono asked Steve.

"I don't know.  I don't want to let them have anyone, but him...."  He walked off considering that.  It probably wasn't ethical.  Or moral.  But it would prove a hell of a point.

"No," Danny called.  "That's a Xander idea."

"Never mind," Kono said.  "I don't want to turn into Xander.  Thank you anyway, brah."  She walked in the other direction.  "I can't use a sword, I don't look hot with artillery, having six kids would drive me nuts, so I can't be Xander."

Danny and Steve shared a grin and got back to work.  Danny's phone beeped the text message beep so he looked at it.  He looked confused and wrote back.  Xander expounded on 'had lunch with reality star who thought the boys were adorable'.  He asked a more pertinent question: was she an orange little person or one of the others and was she drunk?  He got back a yes and no.  Danny wrote back that at least they knew she was slightly dangerous now and put his phone up.  "One of the drunk people on that show thinks that my cousin is nice."

"Should we alert the FBI?" Steve asked, totally serious.

"I'm not sure," Danny admitted.  His phone beeped with a message so he looked again.  "Oh, the Secret Service guys are starting a file on her to make sure she doesn't suddenly drink with arms dealers or anything.  Wonderful!"  He sent back a polite thank you message and turned off his phone for a while.  "For some reason I have a headache, Steven.  Do you?"

"Yeah, I do.  Thankfully the boys can't warp Jo for a few more days."  They walked off so Steve could figure out who Danny was talking about and Danny could get some fresh air.  It had been one of those weeks all the way around and they were kind of happy it was nearly done.


In London a few days later.  "I was wrong for the first time in my life.  Magic is real."  Then he passed out.

His flatmate looked at the little stick in his hand then around.  "I have no idea what to do with that knowledge."  The phone rang so that was nice and distracting.  "Yes?" he answered.  His flatmate's brother gave him precise instructions on where to bring him for an exam.  "I can do that, yes.  Thank you for being calm when we're not."  He hung up and hauled his flatmate down to get a cab.  This was not going to make anyone any more sane or any more happy.  And he'd hate to see his flatmate with more intense hormone swings.  The bloke was already moody enough as is.


Xander took the time to call a few contacts he had in the Middle East.  This was his last warning for the day.  "Ria, it's Xander," he said in arabic.  "No, huge problems.  We've had multiple visions of the hellmouth over there acting up.  Like tentacles in the desert sort, yeah.  Well, the problem is that it takes magic to close the stupid holes," he said dryly.  "And I know there's a town about twenty miles away.  If it's left open for too long, that's like radiation.  Anyone with any sort of gifts would have them woken and demons would naturally be drawn to the area.  Sunnydale's refugees had about a two year life expectancy outside of the town due to all the demons eating them."  

He listened.  "We've recorded them, sent them up the chain so they could be passed on but you're going to be a very specific bit of help to handle it.  When those pretty red and pink flowers were blooming in the local town.  Yes, those.  Are they?  We were thinking spring.  Even Doyle had one.  I've had two of the six.  Exactly.  So we'll need someone nearby to keep out anything too huge, a way to hit it to kill anything coming out, and then someone to shut it.  Because you can't close it if there's a tentacle in the way. 

"Beyond the kraken's tentacles are numerous, powerful demons.  Each of which is picky to kill and usually huge.  If they're anything like the ancient demons they all look like demon snakes that're huge and you have to behead somehow.  Ria, none of you is Luke Skywalker.  None of you can hit a tiny hole from a jet.  The higher demons maybe but not the hole and it won't help very much anyway."  He smiled slightly.  "Sure.  I've sent it to someone and I'll see if they'll have it walked up to the embassy.  Better days, Ria."  He hung up and texted My so he could do that.  My knew Ria, he had introduced them.  Xander put his phone up and looked toward the kitchen.  His aunt was in there cooking something that smelled nice.

Someone tapped on the door so he went to get it for her.  "Yes, Officer?"

"Sir, are you Mr. Harris?"


"Sir, the domestic monitoring....."

Xander held up a hand.  "While I think that's a piece of shit program that tends to violate privacy, I'm a retired Watcher from the Council."

"Oh," he said flatly.

"I was just warning some people by the Qatar hellmouth that it's going to open because his higher ups don't seem to give a damn.  That way they can subtly put plans in place because the only time code we have is some flowers blooming."  The officer winced.  "And you can tell those nice people that I have a classified file for a reason.  Namely service to the world so they might want to leave my ass alone.  Have a better day."  He shut the door and went back to the boys shaking his head.  His aunt was looking at him oddly. 

"I was warning a friend that one of the other hellmouths is going to open."  His phone beeped so he looked.  //that was in no way subtle.//  He sent back a nice message that he wasn't subtle, hadn't learned what subtle was yet, and if someone was spying on him then they were probably a problem for everyone when something usual happened around him.  The message he got back agreed they probably would be and to turn on the tv.  Xander did.  They were covering an assassination attempt. 

Xander checked who had sent the message then shook his head.  "Wasn't me."  He sent that back as well.  Then there was Buffy helping take down the assassin.  "Awww, I trained her well in how shitbag humans could be."  He texted Buffy's phone.  It wasn't live.  She said she was fine, just vomiting up her toenails for hurting the guy.  Xander gave her better orders on how to do it next time so she'd inflict more harm without seeming to and save herself some energy.  She sent back an unhappy frown and a 'thx'.

His aunt shook her head, going back to the kitchen.  "Is that blonde slayer all right?"

"Puking a lot."  He followed since the boys were napping in a pile.  He grinned at Grace, who was hanging out in there.  "Buffy just had to take down Sayid."

"Is he an ex?" Grace asked.

"Yup."  Grace giggled, shaking her head.  "Not a good one though.  He was not a good boyfriend at all and he'd hate the boys."

"Pity for him," Grace quipped. "Clearly not worthy of one of the family."

"True."  He kissed her on the head.  "The boys are napping if you wanted to join them.  I saw the yawning."

"I'm good."

"Okay."  Grinned at his aunt and took a bite of potato she was chopping to nibble on.  His phone beeped so he looked at it.  //CNN.  Now.//   He found that channel and watched.  "Wonderful," he sighed.  Grace came out to look over his shoulder.  "That's called a kraken, Monkey.  It's the beast on top of the hellmouth that's keeping the hundreds of other huge things down there."  She hugged him around the middle.  He hugged her back and sent an email to Steve's phone and then to Buffy's phone.  Buffy's 'I'm fine' meant she didn't read it so he resent it.  This time she sent back a single 'fuck'.

Xander called Hannibal.  "Me.  CNN."  He hung up and considered his list.  He called someone.  "My, me.  Tell me someone has a plan and someone's evacuating the local villages?"  He listened.  "Thank you, Goddess.  Need anything I can get hold of?"  He smiled.  "Thanks.  No, still here.  If you need me to I can ask an ex for his plane to get back.  Wonderful.  Thanks, My."  He hung up and texted that ex.  "I need to use your plane to get back to Hawaii in four days.  The one I'm borrowing has to go to the UAE."

His ex sent back a 'I'll have it come get you.  Pay me gas money.'  Xander sent back his thanks and hugged Grace.  "We've been working on it.  They have a mutual aid pact that's ancient but not kept up."  She nodded, going back into the kitchen.  Xander sat down and watched.  This was not a good thing for the world.  But at least they had jets there to kill the tentacles so the bigger things could come up.


Steve got off the phone with his military bosses, looking at the tv again.  "They're not sending anyone to help.  The government of Qatar doesn't want help.  Slayer, military, or magical help."

"The people can run, right?" Chin asked.

"Yeah.  Xander got hold of his contacts over there too.  Someone in the domestic monitoring problem pinged him for calling Dubai."  That got a nod.  "And Xander basically told him to blow them."

"I do too," Danny agreed.  "I hate that thing."  They continued to watch.  Danny shuddered as something tried to force it's way out.  It looked like the invisible hole was trying to crap a really big worm demon.  "Damn."  Another jet strike took it out.  "How long can they keep that up?"

"Their national weapons stockpile isn't huge but it's reasonably sized," Steve admitted.  "The US's is huge by comparison to most country's."   That got a mass nod.  "They can't hope to hit that hole with a missile though."

Danny was staring at the tv.  "Xander always said that closing one of those took magic."

"Dawn?" Chin asked.

"Here," Danny said.  "She's not even been called."  They all nodded.  They were watching as a cloaked figure was led closer by a guy in a military uniform.  Not a US one but what looked like the people on the ground's uniforms or maybe an older Russian one.  Danny grimaced.  "Only so many strong witches who could do that," he muttered, texting his cousin.  Xander sent back that had to be Willow.  The other two witches who could were male and taller.  Dawn was more skinny and still there.  "That's Willow."  Steve shuddered. 

"He's sure it's Willow."  A piece of hair got free and it was indeed red looking hair.  She raised her arms and there was a glow.  Then the hellmouth shrank.  The military person was snapping orders on how to kill the tentacles and keep more from coming up.  They got it closed.  Then the military guy led the cloaked figure off.  They could barely see them giving her a shot of something.  "That's how they're keeping her in  line," he said quietly.

"An addict isn't predictable," Steve said.  "Can she do magic through it?"

Danny nodded.  "Very few street drugs affect magical levels.  Dawn did a kick-ass research paper that I read recently on it.  She's presenting it to her psych class."  They all nodded at that.  The scene shifted to show the local village, which was awfully quiet.  Clearly not evacuated, but everyone was inside.  Someone military was taking a reading on some sort of meter as he walked the town's streets.  "Do we got magical reading meters?"

"They can read energy output in the air.  It was developed so they could monitor the hellmouths themselves," Steve said.  "Though that's smaller than the last one I saw."

"Good to know," Chin said quietly, rubbing his arms.  He was chilled and there hadn't been any ice capsules used in Hawaii.  Kono gave him a hug.  "Can ours do that?"

"No.  Ours is about a quarter of an inch," Steve said with a smile.  "Those are about people width.  Ours also has a ring of void around it to protect it."

"So no getting in, no getting out," Kono said.  Steve smiled and nodded.  "Good!"

"It's also in the middle of nowhere," Chin reminded her.  "We can bomb that whole crop of rock and not harm anything else."  She nodded, leaning against his side.  He patted her on the hand.

"I say we're having beers," Danny decided.  They nodded and left early to celebrate the world surviving.


Dawn smiled at the reporter she liked.  "Okay, small difference in what the governor is complaining about.  The hellmouths like Cleveland and Qatar's are this big," she said, holding up a piece of roundish cardboard.  "The local one is this big," she said, holding up a pen point first.  "Ours is also surrounded by a tiny black hole.  Nothing's getting out of ours or into ours."

"So that's a huge difference.  Will ours grow?" the reporter asked.

"No.  Not unless someone forces it to.  Us doing that actually took a tiny bit of pressure off the other ones."  Dawn grinned.  "My sister said Cleveland is more normal and we've had dragons dying off here.  They need the magic to live."

"Which is wonderful.  Have any spread anywhere else?  Flown off past the boundaries on the mainland?"

"Lavelle took a few eggs that were Chinese dragon types back home with him.  I have no idea why, but I saw him take them.   Apparently he's going to have fun training them like our Xander is working on training his boys."

"Aww.  Okay, so are we on track with the lowering?"

Dawn smiled.  "We're a bit ahead.  It's went down thirty-three percent.  We estimated about twenty-eight to thirty."

"Wonderful news.  Thank you for that clarification.  That witch?"

"I'm not totally certain but I have my suspicions.  Though I'd never mention names because some nice people send us death threats for being able to float pencils and light candles with our minds."

"Hawaii doesn't have many of those."

"No, there's only two churches here.  Though I have gotten some as far away as Kansas.  Even when they didn't know anything more than I was Buffy's sister I was getting a barrage of hate mail.  I'd say something about their intelligence level being driven by a nether part of female anatomy but you can't put that on the air."  She grinned.  "I don't use that word very often but when I do I usually categorize them as dumber than earth worms."

The reporter stifled a giggle.  "You're right, we can't air that thought.  And some of them are that dumb, yes."  She shook her hand and the camera cut.  "You don't use less powerful terms?"

Dawn shook her head, still smiling.  "I admit I'm a bitch.  I'm a self-assured, forceful to make sure I get what I need, strong willed, educated woman with an opinion.  Some of those are just dumb cunts."  She handed over the cardboard.  "Thank you for helping us alleviate the on-coming panic again."  She left.

The reporter burst out laughing once Dawn was gone.  That was stress relieving and she's right, some of those sort were that bad.  She looked at her producer.  "That a story idea?"

"Yup.  Go for it."  She got up and went to change clothes.  She knew which churches it was and she could easily find the officers who took the death threats to handle.  They all liked her.


Xander stretched over to grab his phone off the hotel side table.  "What?" he mumbled.  He sat up, listening.  "She good, Hannibal?  Yeah, we're flying back tomorrow.  No, I'm borrowing a plane.  Need my help sooner?  I'll gladly be there.  Call Danny for today?"  He took a deep breath.  "Sure.  Thanks, man."  He hung up and called someone.  "I want to know who I have to hunt when I get back."  They started to babble and promise that they were handing the guy to Steve. 

"I'm flying back tomorrow," he said calmly.  "If he doesn't have them by then it's my turn."  He hung up.  The boys were all staring at him.  "Someone just shot at Dawn."  Roque whimpered, shaking his head.  "So when we get back, we've got something to do."  He laid down, texting a note to Hannibal that someone was going to try to get him to Steve.  If not, they'd hunt his ass down.  Hannibal agreed Xander could help him.  Xander sent back a virtual hug and texted Abby that Dawn had been hurt.  She could help calm Hannibal down.  The guy he was borrowing the plane from said they could fly him out overnight tomorrow.  Xander sent back his thanks.  That meant he'd be packing the boys and Grace up tomorrow.  They'd get back to Hawaii early in the morning.


Steve looked at Hannibal.  "I have him in custody."

"What's the chances someone will give him bail?"

"I don't know," he admitted.

"Then I'll be waiting."  He walked off.  It was time to visit with Dawn again.

"Sir, we should really only allow family," one of the nurses tried.  Hannibal growled and she scrambled out of his way.  "Okay, sure."  She called someone, who told her he was her boyfriend and to leave him alone.  And if the guy with all the kids showed up leave him alone too.  She went back to her desk to make notes on that.  She had just gotten back from a few days off, she hadn't heard this sort of information.


Xander walked into the hospital with the boys and Grace.  Danny was there.  Danny took Grace to cuddle.  "Stay, boys."  They mobbed Danny.  Xander walked in there, nodding at Abby.  "Hey."  He gave her a hug, then patted Hannibal on the shoulder.  "You calmer?"

"No.  He got bail."

Xander snorted.  "He's on Molokai."  Hannibal looked at him.  Xander smiled.  "I have directions."

"Good!  We can do that."

Xander leaned down to kiss Dawn on the forehead then concentrated.  He let Dawn have some of his extra energy, which boosted her natural healing.  She relaxed and it was nicer readings on her machines.  Xander looked at Abby.  "Are you joining us or would you like to maybe babysit for a few hours?" he asked with a grin.

"Your boys scare me," Abby said.  "I'll follow you."

Xander grinned.  "Cool!"  He walked out there, the other two following him.  "Let's get you guys to daycare so we can find that jackass."

Grace looked at him.  "Who got hurt?"



"Some idiot who hates witches," Hannibal said.  "We're going to let him talk to someone about his delusions."  He smiled.

She patted him on the cheek.  "You're not usually that scary so I'll forgive you this time since Dawn is your girlfriend.  It's good to go scowly and growl over your girlfriend having booboos."  She put her head back on her father's shoulder.  "Can we take the boys, Danno?"

"Nope.  Let them go to daycare for now.  You'll see them sometime soon."  She nodded, letting him walk her off.

"Let's go," Xander agreed.  The boys followed.  Abby got cuddled by Roque and Cougar.  She was blushing at their drooling adoration of her.  "You should see them around Kono, Danny's teammate."  Frank grinned and waved. "I know.  We'll have to have her make babies so you can have her daughter."  Frank laughed and nodded.  He put them all into their carseats and then Abby and Hannibal went to his car.  They followed him to the daycare, then to the hunting supplies.  A flight to the other island was easily gotten and pretty darn cheap.  Xander got them there and let Hannibal have about ten minutes alone with the guy while he and Abby chatted about stuff.

No one was ever going to hurt Dawn ever again in Hawaii.  Even if she and Hannibal split, no one was ever going to touch Dawn again.

The End.

back to index