Title: A Goddess of Daycare
Author/pseudonym: Voracity and Josette
Pairings: see notes
Fandom: yes, many.
Disclaimers: the only one we own is Greta and Josette owns her. The rest a bunch of stiff people in boring looking suits own and if they come after us, they're going to be sorely disappointed by our poor, pitiful states. If we can't afford to get our pets new toys, it's surely a waste of your energy to sue us for having some fun.
Summary: a birthday present for Josette from me and she got to fill in some of the Greta parts. Warnings: multi crossover!
Notes: Shadow started this idea on the Imaginings list, then it was added to by Josette and Evelynz1. They asked for a multi-Xander crossover and a daycare story. They meant seperately.... What can I say, I take requests now and then. Besides, the multiverse xovers are always cute. -- vo
a primer just in case you forgot who was who:
Miami Childhood - Xander Caine - raised by Horatio from a few weeks old, delivered to him by Willow after a wish from the Powers. Horatio/Speed. A bit sarcastic, a bit devious. Protective of Ray Junior and those he considers his. (Horatio/Speed)
childhood - Xander Gibbs - youthened by an oops, given to new biological father Jethro Gibbs thanks to Dawn's wish. Tony was nanny. Smartmouthed, but a bit damaged now and then about pets thanks to a bad babysitter. Loves Tony more than anything. (Tony/Gibbs close but not sexual most of it.)
M childhood au - Xander Caine. Xander is Speed and Aiden's son, raised by Horatio and Speed. Aiden died in it but the NY lab is like family to him.
The Sons of Geeks - Timothy Harley Harris, Greg Olaf Harris, and Raymond James Caine the Third. Speed, Greg Sanders, and Ray Junior given a second chance. Greg very inquisitive, loves all blondes. Likes to grab their hair to compare to his. Timmy only has one favorite blonde, Tara. That's his blonde auntie. He loves to be read to. Has nearly pulled bookshelves down onto his head in the past. Ray's attracted to shiny objects to grab. The three terrors grab people and things in the stores if not kept an eye on. (Horatio/Xander)
Miami Connections - Eric - son of Xander. Likes breasts. Thomas - Speed and Calleigh's son. Toddy and Elizabeth - Willow and Ryan's son and daughter, in biological order. He likes to take apart electronics. Tia - Horatio and Marisol's child. (Horatio/Xander, Don Flack/Marisol Delko, Speed/Calleigh, Ryan/Willow)
NY Connections - Mahsa - daughter of Xander from an Egyptian mother, sperm donation used. Ian - Ryan and Willow's first child. Jesse Johan Ignatius Scuito - Abby and Xander's son. (Xander/Horatio/Greg, Ryan/Willow, Speed/Calleigh, Don Flack/Tara, Patrick/his sire Raphael.)
Xander, grandson of Ares, God of War. (Ares daughter/omc warrior she was married to.)
Greta as a daycare provider, called to take care of Xander, Grandson of Ares. Courtesy of Josette. She is her original character and this is a belated birthday present for her.
NY Family's Xander Flack. (Danny/Flack but not sexual in story)
A closer to cannon CSI:Miami team.
The invitations had been sent out. The children were there. Things were going very well. All but one child. It was a desperate situation they were in. They hadn't had the time to see what sort of help their Goddess had helped them find. That's why they had a three-year-old godling with active powers because the things blocking him quit working when they brought him across realms. He was going to realize this soon and then he was going to start using them to show off and probably damage the other kids. The daycare workers sent up a desperate plea for help. The answer came in the form of a sleeping woman snoring loudly in midair. They sent up their thanks and one went to find her some caffeine. There was a sign above her head saying to give her caffeine when she woke up. The 'or else' was left blank but they knew it was going to be bad. Desperate times called for desperate measures.
One brave woman walked closer to the slumbering woman, looking her over. She looked to be about sixteen but they knew she was older. Her hair was braided down her back and floating well past her waist. She poked her gently on the arm, making her flinch and yell. The kids giggled. "Please don't kill us, Goddess Greta," she said quietly, handing her the cup of coffee. "Our Goddess bid us to come to you."
She blinked at her. "Way too early," she said finally.
"There's a bathroom this way," another woman said, leading her to one once she had hit the floor. She went to make more coffee. Their ownGoddess would be cranky if woken up that way, this one was surely the same.
Inside the bathroom, Greta blinks as she splashes cold water in her face, looking up in the mirror. A quick mental check reveals that she's still in the nightgown she went to sleep in back on Olympus. Shrugging, she finishes off the coffee in one quick swallow, feeling it wipe away a layer of the cobwebs from waking up in what she swears is the middle of the night. A quick pat on her back reveals the welcoming weight of her sword; symbol of her godhood, touching her neck Greta felt the welcoming weight of the crystal necklace that's actually her TARDIS. Whoever had brought her here, they hadn't taken any measures to prevent her from leaving, so she'd listen. . . for now. Idly, she wonders if anybody had noticed her disappearance yet.
Greta came out in a pair of jeans and a loose t-shirt, her hair now wound around a platinum crown hidden inside her white-blonde hair. She even had sneakers on. She was handed a refill and drank it with a grunt of thanks, staring at the one who had woken her up. She was at least waiting respectfully until she finished waking up. After the third cup she was feeling closer to sentient. "What?" she asked finally.
The lead woman led her to a room overlooking the play area. "Our Goddess sent you to us in our hour of need," she said gently.
"Okay," she said, thinking hard. Her father Joxer called her and she assured him she was fine, that it was someone needing her help who had somehow gotten her from home. Which meant it had to be desperate. "Let's start with the basics. What can I, Vengeance, do for you ladies and all those kids.... who mostly kinda look alike," she noticed. She looked at the woman. "Tell me we're not dealing with a realm breach?" she begged. "I do computers, I only play with realities for fun."
She held up a hand. "An intentional one. There's a rogue hellmouth about to go off. We needed to gather as much positive energy in one place to counter it," she said gently. Greta gave her a horrified look. "Our Goddess assured us it was the only way."
"What about a warrior or something there to fix it?"
"The witch who could was killed in this realm, Goddess. In others, one of her male friends was taken instead of her. In this one she was taken out and there's no witch there who can handle it. We have warriors there to fight what comes out but if we can't provide a counter balance it won't be closed when they're able."
Greta gave her a confused look. "I'm Vengeance. Why call me?"
"Because you're what we need. Our Goddess called you." She turned her around to point at one child. "Look at that one."
She studied the child and her chest tightened. "Do you know how many laws of nature, the Gods, and the universe you've broken?" she demanded.
The woman smacked her on the back of the head. "He's a child of Ares. He's wearing blocking things that were put on him in his own realm and they don't work here." Greta moaned, shaking her head. "Our Goddess sent you when we pleaded for an answer of how to help him. We know we can't change their timeline. We can't keep him here to save him or protect him. We can call Welfare on him," she offered. "We can give him nurturing love in bushels and baskets to help him. He'll need it. He's already showing signs of abuse," she said at Greta's glare. "We're bound by some of the laws but this is the only way my whole race of people, this whole plane, will survive. Most of them are the younger version of one of the Knights out there. The rest are children of his. That's as much white power as we can gather. We looked high and low for others. Right now, we need you to help us with the child of Ares. As you're one you'd understand better."
She growled. "I'm not a mother!"
"So? You know what love is. You have it from your family," she pressed at the head shake. "He doesn't. I don't know his story. As soon as we can we will be calling the proper people for him. That shouldn't affect their Fated path."
"It can," she countered.
She smirked. "I asked the boy, he knows what a social worker is already."
"Probably with good reason." She looked down there, waving a hand to block the ball of light he cast. The boy pouted and glared at the spot, then stamped a foot. She blocked the next one too. "Who is raising him!"
"Someone by the name of Harris. His name, and the others like him, are Xander Harris." She whimpered. "Some have been youthened by some magical means. Usually by the hand of the witch that we're missing in this realm." She looked at her. "All I ask is that you take care of that one, Goddess Greta. I know you're Vengeance but I have been told that you can switch and call upon your brother's gifts as Justice. This one needs it more than most and he is kin of yours."
Greta quietly sighs, the call of blood is the one that has to be obeyed by every god.
She nodded. "How long? My fathers are going to throw a fit."
"You should be able to sense it when it finally closes. We're a week before it opens and then however long it takes to close it," she explained at the look she got. "Also, you might want to change your hair color."
She smiled and pointed at the blond boy down there. "That is Greggy. He loves blondes. He's already grabbed Ian's and Toddy's hairs to compare to his. He loves all blondes." That got a small smile. "All I know is that this is his second chance and he's very stuck on blondes. The one sitting in the bookcase is Timmy, he's being raised with him. This is his second go-round and a second chance for him." She pointed at the other one. "That's Ray. He's their third." She sighed and nodded. "That one is.... Xander Gibbs I think. The one with the bear is Xander Caine. The one about to throw fits we should probably stop." They jogged down there and everyone smiled when she walked in. "Now, what's that fit for, Xander?" She picked him up to give him a hug."This is Greta, she's going to help us watch you guys. Would that be all right?"
Godling Xander stared at her then smiled. "You feel like me."
"I do." She smiled and took him to hold, enforcing some shields on him. He scowled and she smirked. "Your grandfather does that so much better."
"I have a grandfather?"
She kissed him on the cheek. "You'll be seeing him someday soon. I promise." He nodded, wiggling to get down. She felt a tug and looked behind her, turning slightly. The tugging followed so she ended up turning around to try to find out which one it was. The kids giggled at her silliness. "Which one are you?"
"That's Greg," the lead woman said, picking him up. "Say hi, Greggy."
"Blonde, lots of blonde," he said, sounding awestruck. She laughed and gave him a hug. He wiggled over until he was in her arms, staring at her hair, pulling it around to look at it. He compared it to his hair. She was much more blonde than he was. "Wow. Timmy! Blonde!" he shouted, getting a giggle from some of the other ones.
"You'll be pounced soon, dear. Sit." She helped her sit down, watching as the triplets came over to play with her hair. Greg managed to uncover a round of the tiara she wore to wrap her hair around and Ray tried to grab it. "Boys, be nice to her," she ordered. "Let me get you guys some juice." She went to do that, leaving theother women in there.
Xander Gibbs gave her a wary look. "I don't eat or hurt babies. Or else I'd spank the one pulling my hair. Ray, do you mind?" She unwound her hair and handed him the crown, smiling when it was put on his head and he beamed. "You look very pretty." The other kids came over to mob her and play with the hair or the crown. Xander Gibbs was still giving her worried looks so she gave him a hug. "I'm a nice person," she promised. "I won't hurt you at all. Or anything you love," she said, hearing his thoughts about his rabbit and his daddy Tony. She kissed him on the head. "It'll be okay, Xander." He smiled and went to get a book, holding it up shyly. "I like that idea. Let's read." One of the Xander's and Timmy made it into her lap before she could open the cover. She smiled at them. "Do we like to be read to?" They beamed at her so she sighed mentally and started to read.
"Show them the pictures," one of the women suggested.
After the first page Greta showed them the pictures, making them all happy toddlers and babies. She kept an eye on the other women around them. One was taking the diaper off a baby's head. One was scrubbing up some sort of colored mess. She kept reading and the kids oohed and clapped at the end. She smiled and put the book down. The two in her lap stared at her. "I only had the one book, guys." Timmy got up and headed to the bookcase, climbing up it to bring back another one. "Ooh, greedy," she teased, poking him on the stomach. She did it anyway. Greg was still in her hair. It was going to be *so* knotted by the time she got him untangled.
Xander Caine was leaning on one of the younger kids then finally pulled them into his lap to cuddle, earning a smile. "Comfy?" He nodded, thumb in his mouth, watching her read. "Okay." She went back to it, letting the kids clap at the end of that one. The two in her lap gave her another expectant look. "Get some juice then I'll think about reading more." The head woman came in with juice. Greg crawled off with some of her hair in his mouth but she could only wince and pull it back. "You can have that back in a few minutes. Let me braid it." He pouted. She gave him a look and he pouted worse, giving her the puppy eyed look. "Don't do that," she complained.
//Greta, where are you?// her father Hades asked.
//Um, long story short? There's an inter-dimensional daycare that's creating a counterpoint to a hellmouth going rogue because they don't have a witch to counter it. Their Goddess told them who to bring in and then me. So I'm here watching a grandson of Daddy Ares and a lot of other kids. All of who want me to read to them, but one is trying to wrap himself in my hair again.// She used her powers to untangle Greg and braid her hair, getting pouted at. "Tough, I need to keep you from hurting yourself, dear." She kissed him and he beamed proudly,grinning at his brothers. Ray pouted so she gave him one and gave Timmy a hug and cuddle, making him happy again. "Good boys. Go finish your snack while I do a few things." They went back to it and she went back to her conversation. //Dad, the first thing I knew I was here when I woke up in midair. She's right, I can feel the contamination from here and we're in Miami. It's the Sunnydale hellmouth. Which I guess is why I have a bunch of Xanders here with me. Plus some of his kids. Not too many girls though.// She looked at the head keeper. "No other daughters?"
"Three but they're out of age for us," she admitted. "We'll offer a spot to another one if she's found."
"That's fine. My father wants to know where I am." She went back to her telepathic conversation. //Is Janus or Chaos rolling around on the floor?//
//Janus is,// Joxer sent back. //That's why we were wondering what you were doing, dear.//
//I'm letting you get payback for having toddlers,// she sent grimly. "Greg, please leave my hair braided?" she said, scowling at him. He giggled and hugged her but went back to winding himself in her hair. She groaned, leaning forward to cover her face with her hands. "Fine. Whatever. Now I know why my fathers were looking forward to me having kids." The closest worker giggled. She looked at her. "They are. You do know Janus is laughing his butt off?"
"We figured as much but it's still positive energy, which we need."
"You do. I can feel it." That got a nod. Greta talked to her fathers again. //Daddies, I'm going to be here for a while. There's a grandson of Ares here and he's got blocking stuff out the tail all over him. Someone truly bound him and his powers. Him being here let him slip some of that and that's why they called me. They thought I could help him.//
//That's against Hera's laws,// Hades said grimly.
//I'm not sure what we can do without affecting their timeline. The kid already knows what a social worker is and they've promised they're going to call them again on his parents. I'm seeing dual sets of blocking armor and bands.// That got a mass moan. //If you can track me, find him and check on his realm? See if we can do more?//
//I can do that,// Ares agreed. He looked through her eyes and laughed. //Yes, he's one of mine,// he said proudly. //Are you all right? Is Purlina playing with your hair?//
//No, that's Greg. He likes blondes.//
//Him and Apollo both,// Hades joked. //Anything else we can do?//
//Help this hellmouth. If I can feel it in Miami it's far gone, Dads.//
//On it,// Joxer promised. //Anything else?//
//I could use some things so I can stay here. The more traveling back and forth I have to do the more likely the temporary rips will become permanent. Then Grandma Hera will *really* have a fit.//
//You should hear the one she's throwing now,// Ares assured her. //I'll send it with Purlina. Be safe, guard those kids. They're almost all marked for a second chance.// They faded out of her mind and she came back to find everyone staring at her.
"Headache?" Timmy asked, patting her on the hand. "I have those. Daddy too. Did you bang your head too?"
"No, sweetie, I don't have a headache yet. I'm just not used to being around so many kids like you guys. I only have two younger sisters around your age, all my cousins are a lot older." He smiled at that. "I'll be fine."
"Good. Read more?" he asked hopefully, handing her five books in a stack.
"Sure, I can read more. Let me get some juice." A glass with a lid and a straw was handed over. "Thanks. Can you maybe check Greg to make sure he's still breathing? He hasn't wiggled in a few seconds."
She looked and smiled, showing her a mirror of what was going on. "He's asleep."
"Awww. We need a picture of that." The workers did that for her, taking two. That way his father could have one too. She settled in to read to those who wanted it while the others went to play and destroy the room. That's what toddlers did. "We do have anti-contamination fields set up?"
"Each one has their own door," the worker helping her promised. "We've also got a spare room upstairs if you'd like to borrow it."
"I probably should." She went back to reading when Timmy poked her. "Sorry, pouty." She kissed him on the head. "No pouting at me. I'll do it back." Her hellcat Purlina showed up in her smaller black Persian kitten form. "Hey, Purlina." The kids stared at her and the kitten "Gently, Xander. She's used to gentle petting." He pulled her into his lap to cuddle and pet, and he was very gentle. She smiled at him. "Someone trained you well, young Padawan." She went back to reading, mentally cursing whoever had eaten that one witch. Maybe they could find one from another realm to help them out there. This wasn't going to be enough. She started to fill her own powers in to help push it back and the darkness retreated with the storm it was brining into the area. She calmed herself and went back to reading.
She needed help.
Back in Greta's home realm, Ares called for an emergency meeting. Everyone came running. "We have a small situation. Greta was stolen from us, but it was for a good reason. One of the Gods on the realm she's currently on decided to stop the hellmouth going rogue by creating a counterpoint of positive energy. So they've created temporary rips in the fabric of space and time to bring a bunch of innocent, children white lighters to them for that purpose. It's a daycare before anyone asks."
"So Greta's understanding why you're going to be smug when she finally has kids?" Strife asked with an evil smirk.
"She said so. There's one there who likes blondes more than anything," Joxer said with a grin. "He's wrapped himself in her hair and fallen asleep." That got some laughs. "What do they need, Ares?"
"More positive power. She confirmed they don't have enough yet. Hera?"
She considered it. "We could either find more to put there or we could help by sending more warriors to battle it."
"Greta said that their witch is gone," Hades told her. "They definitely need one of those to close the thing."
"When I hung up with her I did some expanded checking. They've got an adult Xander, his friend Jesse, the slayers Buffy and Kendra, and the Watcher Giles of their realm there. So far they've kept it down to a near emergency level." Hades shuddered. "I hate to say this but even one witch won't help unless it's a post apocalypse, blown open, nearly as strong as Hecate herself witch. Aunt Hecate?"
"I'll find you a Willow like that," she promised. "Should I look for more children white lighters?"
"Or the children of them," Ares agreed. She smiled and nodded, going to do that. "My daughter has *no* idea what to do with twenty toddlers so if she calls for help, someone please give her more ideas than to read to them." He looked at his mother again. "They called her specifically because one of the children is a grandson of mine in his realm." She went pale. "He's bound, doubly bound, by someone. The slip makes him a bit more able to use them. He's three." She went more pale and Hades had to help her sit down. "Greta needs to know what she can and cannot do to get the boy free." She nodded, flashing out to talk to the Fates so they could find the boy. "Hades?"
"I'll be listening, so will Joxer I'm sure."
"I was going to go help," he said with a smile. "Kids love me and I can teach them all sorts of silly songs."
"If you teach them Joxer the Mighty, the parents will kill you, love," Ares said dryly.
"I'll only teach them the clean verses," he said smugly, disappearing before anyone could stop him. Popping into Strife's temple, he quickly finds the list of songs that kids love but drive their parents insane by the third time they've heard them before creating a batch of cds and popping away.
"Someone pick up Chaos and Janus," Ares ordered. "Do what you can to help. Before the rips they created end up causing ripples of disaster through all the realms."
"Especially since we have one here now," Athena said dryly.
"You wanted a mortal to deal with one of us?" he countered. "Whoever called her knew that they're of the same line so the powers would come out in the same ways. Especially since Xander's a smartass too."
She nodded, walking off shaking her head. "I'll help Hecate."
"Thank you. Everyone else do that and listen for more problems to come through wherever the rip is." They left, going to wonder how Greta got into these situations. Her brother Garfield didn't. The other children of the Gods didn't. Only Greta for some reason. It had to be something that Joxer had brought with him since Hades and Ares weren't trouble prone in the least. Joxer, well there was an ongoing debate about how he should have been named God of Trouble instead. Ares slumped and sent silent prayers at Gaea to please make more headache tonics. They'd need them.
Greta stands up and sighs when the last of the kids have been picked up by their parents, dropping onto the couch with a sigh while the others start putting everything back where it belongs and waving the others off to their own homes. One of them had went to a grocery store that afternoon and returned with a batch of groceries for her, putting them away in the new refrigerator and chest freezer Greta had created for her use. Sighing, she pushes herself up from the couch and heads into the kitchen.
Purlina, back in her Panther/Hellcat form, looks over at her as she comes down the stairs. "I'd wondered where you'd gotten to, the kids finally run you off?" Greta asks, opening the refrigerator door and pulling out fixings for dinner. A steak is set grilling, and a salad thrown together before she sits down at the table, eating the food as she listens to the news on the small television on the counter. Wiping off the table, she heads upstairs and drops exhausted onto the bed she widens with a thought before falling asleep. Who knew kids could be so tiring? Purlina wraps herself around her charge, protecting her from the children plaguing her dreams. She'd wake her in the morning so she could shower and eat before the others arrived.
The next morning Greta was up and awake when most of the kids came in. She started by putting on unbreakable ID's, coded to their original dimension. The parents all smiled. "We have two with the same name. It's easier." That got a nod and each set of parents left, separated out by a few minutes in the local time so they wouldn't run into each other. She felt that one Xander come in and looked for his parents. "Who dropped you off?"
"Social worker. She's looking over the house," he said with a pout. She put on a bracelet, reinforcing the shields she put on him. He pouted worse. "Please?"
"Not while you're here. We don't want to hurt anyone," she said quietly. He nodded and went into the play area. They were having some fruit and he dove in because he was hungry. She searched for the social worker, popping her tires so she had to come in. She smirked at her when she came in. "You dropped off little Xander?"
"I did. Is he a problem?"
"No, but I was wondering if he hadn't gotten to eat this morning. He's starved." The social worker went pale. "Also..." One of the workers hurried out. "This is the social worker who dropped off my cuddlesome Xander."
"Hi," she said, shaking her hand and leading her off to talk to her about the problems they were noting about the boy. Including the bruises they found on his back and thighs.
Greta finished greeting the rest of the kids and walked them into the room, letting them dive into the fruit too. She came back at the bell, finding another scowling parent. "Yes? A new daycare boy?" she teased, picking him up to hold. "Hi, I'm Greta."
"He's Harry. He's a bit of a bother but the social worker suggested he come here," the fat man said with a British accent. "She said they'd pay for it for a week."
"That's fine. Every child needs a time to play with other kids. Socialization is important." She recognized this man and she wanted to beat him already. It was nearly a record. "Come on, Harry. We're having some fruit this morning if you'd like some." He smiled and nodded. "Good boy." She put on an ID bracelet and put him in there, turning to find the uncle gone. She can't resist the impulse that causes a flat with no spare in the trunk a few miles from the day care center, and she puts the malfunctioning horn that loudly beeps every five seconds firmly on Strife's shoulders. "Asshat," she muttered, earning a few giggles from the triplets coming in. "Oh, no, it's the hair monsters," she said. The redheaded man coming in smiled at her. "Hi, I'm Greta. Greggy wrapped himself in my hair yesterday."
"We got a copy of the picture. Behave today, boys. Let Daddy sleep." He watched while the boys were given their ID bracelets, getting a nod from him. "Call us if you have any problems."
"We will. They were excellent for me yesterday." He nodded, sliding back into his sunglasses before leaving. "We're having fruit, go play." They ran that way, going to talk to the new boy when they found him greedily gobbling food. Her father Joxer walked in. "Dad."
"I'm good with toddlers," he said with a wink.
"Good, go let the kids who need it eat." He nodded, going to do that and introduce himself to the kids.
Greta checked the sheet. Only one kid wasn't in yet. "We're missing the Gibbs son."
"His father has court today so he'll be with him," the head worker said. "Who's the man?"
"My father Joxer."
"Oh!" She beamed and nodded. "Thank you." She went to talk to him, finding him already reading toTimmy and Xander Caine. Greta came in and they found her hair in little braids all hitched together at the back of her neck. So Greg got to play with lots of little braids like he did unbound hair and he couldn't hurt himself with it this time. She settled in to steal some grapes from the mixed fruit but help the boys finish eating and clean up their hands and faces. It was going to be another long day with the kids. She did try to give Harry some positive attention. She knew it had to last him for a few years. The godly Xander got the same sort of attention because he needed it too. Ares had told her it'd be a few years before they got things fixed for him and he was found. She wondered why but she knew she couldn't tamper with that. She could ease some of the restrictions on his powers so he wasn't getting sick from them however, and she did because how they were set now was cruel. Harry felt her working and she smiled, winking at him. "Don't worry about it, Harry." He nodded and went back to coloring. "You do that very well."
"You do. At your age I was still coloring outside the lines," Joxer said with a grin. Harry smiled back and let him see the picture he was working on. It was a cat. Joxer looked around. "Purlina?" Her head popped over Toddy's shoulder. "Just wondering." He pointed. "That's Purlina, Harry." The boy's 'awww' made him grin. "We'll show her how well you're doing in a bit. All right?" He nodded and went back to coloring very carefully.
Greta looked at him. "If and when I have kids, you can come babysit all you want, Dad."
He laughed. "The best part of being a grandparent is being able to hand them off when you're tired."
She pouted but Greg nearly pulled her onto her back so she had to catch herself. "Gee, Greg," she said dryly. "Trying to drag me?"
"Potty," he said quietly.
"You can go potty without my hair and it'll be here when you get back." She smiled at him, giving him a hug. "Go potty, come back to get another cuddle." He beamed and went to do that, letting Joxer come clean him up when he was done. "Good job," Greta told him, letting him dive back into her hair. She smiled. "Are you going to do anything else today?"
"No. My blonde."
"Sure, I'll be your blonde today," she said, smiling but mentally shaking her head. The kid was strange. She looked at the godly Xander, who was scowling at Xander Caine. "What's up?" she asked, crawling closer to tickle him. "Why're you scowling this time?"
"Share," he whined, pointing at him. "Please?"
"Xander, is that your personal bear or one of ours?" Joxer asked.
"Mine," he said with a scowl of his own.
"Can you and that Xander both hug him?" Greta suggested. He shook his head, hugging it closer. "Okay." She looked at the left-out Xander. "Why don't you find one?" He burst out crying. "Hey!" She gave him a hug, reading his chaotic little mind. She frowned. "What happened to your bear?"
He whimpered, hiding his face. "It's not for babies," he defended.
"No, it's not," she agreed, mentally swearing at the boy's parents. "Having a bear is a good thing for you even at my age sometimes." He looked up and she nodded. "It is." She created another one, one that looked like his former bear. "Here, you can have this one. Just hide him really well, okay? Somewhere they won't look." He nodded, snuggling in to hold the bear with her. He fell asleep against her chest so she looked at Joxer. "They decided it wasn't for a boy his age," she said coolly.
"We cannot intervene," he reminded her. "Yet." She smirked at that. "We'll find a way so he's protected as much as we can." She nodded, going back to cuddling him, letting Joxer check on Greg since he was snoring into her back. "You're a bit strange," he teased.
"Dad, pot, kettle," Greta assured him dryly. One of the workers came in. "Hey."
"His parents decided his bear was something for younger children."
"Ah," she said, nodding a bit. "Figures. Not the first time we've seen it either. Xander, would you like to nap in the cot?" He clutched her and mumbled something.
Greta smiled at him. "I like you too. Want to nap in the comfy sleeping spot so I can untangle Greg?" He pouted but let the daycare worker move him and put him down in the pile of pillows that was a nice nesting area. She carefully moved, looking at Greg and his nest. She sighed, picking him out and putting him down with Xander. Greg snuggled in and held the boy and the bear, earning a happy noise from Xander. "Good boys." She went back to the others. It was apparently a sleepy day and only Harry was really active. Purlina had escaped the clutches of the tinkering Toddy when he started to drift off and was watching Harry color. She laid on her stomach on the other side of his picture, picking up a green one to draw a bow on the top of the cat's head. "The color of your eyes," she said, making him grin and go back to drawing a collar for the kitty. "You know, Harry, even in the bad things, there's things that'll make it seem better," she said quietly. He looked at her. She smiled and ruffled his hair. "Even when things get bad, there's things to make it all better. Remember that, all right, little guy?" He beamed and nodded. "And don't let Dudley get to you. He's not as bright as you are. I doubt he can stay inside the lines when he colors. Or draw a collar."
"He tries to eat crayons," he said quietly, looking around.
She kissed him on the head. "Dudley will never be the colorer you are, Harry. Wanting to be good at something means making you do things so you get better. Dudley doesn't want to be good at anything. I know you do."
He stared at her. Then nodded. "I'd like to be good at something."
"I think you're very good at coloring." He beamed. "As you age, you'll find more things that you're good at. Remember those when things get bad. You're already better than Dudley at something."
"I don't think he should blurt that out," the worker said gently.
Greta shook her head. "No, but it's something for him to remember when he's having a bad day." Harry beamed at that and nodded, going back to his picture. He carefully wrote his name underneath it and showed her. "Good job!" He beamed. "We'll fold that up for you so you can put it in your room later. That way no one else can see it." He nodded and did that, putting it with his jacket. Then he got a book and Joxer settled in to read to him and Timmy when he woke up. That one had book sensing radar.
It only took six days for the daycare workers' plans to unravel and it was because the triplets were having to be untangled from Greta's hair again. Two Xanders ended up in the same waiting area staring at each other. One opened his mouth and she flashed in, holding up a hand, handing Timmy to his father. "Don't."
"I'm sensing the subtle hand of Hellmouth events," the other one said, canting his weight off to the side while he stared at her.
She nodded. "You'd be right." She led them to where they could see the kids. "In this realm, Willow died. Their Hellmouth is going to go active. Their Gods decided that holding a white light shield would help counter it. Hence all the little baby Xanders and their kids in there." She looked at them. "Somehow a few of you got deaged and some of you from your actual childhood are in there," she explained at their frowns. "It's enough to counterbalance it and we're working on it. There's not the you from my realm there but my father and I are here and my people are working on helping the ones here."
The triplets' father sighed. "How bad?"
"No Willow to close it," she said bluntly.
"Giles can use magic."
"Apparently he's not. It was nearly wide open when I got here, guys." They both groaned. "So we're all here in this realm. We've been keeping you apart but getting Greg out of my hair is hard some days. Today he tried to braid it into a swing." The other Xander snickered. "You'd be surprised. Oh, Toddy took apart a clock radio."
"He has many times," he sighed, rubbing a hand over his face. "What can we do to help?"
"You're doing it."
"Beyond that?" the other Xander asked.
"You're doing it." She manifested in her goddess persona, getting amused looks. "I'm over Vengeance."
"Huh. Are you the reason I dated Anya?" one asked.
She snorted. "No, sweetie, I'm not from your world. Besides, that was her fault, not ours." She went back to human looking. "Sorry. Had to flex." She felt fingers come over and smiled. "Hi, Greg." He smiled at his daddy and the other Xander, holding up her hair. "Yes, they saw I was a blonde and you knotted it for me today." He beamed and hugged her around the thigh. "He's a good boy most of the time. Timmy has book sensing radar. He'll wake up from a nap if you start to read." His father snickered but nodded. The other one gave him a confused look. "You two can talk about it some other time." Joxer came strolling in with the others. "There we are. Ready to go home?"
"Everyone but their kids and Harry are home," he told her.
She looked at him then gave him a hopeful look. "Really?"
"We're not sure if that's in his line or not," he warned.
"I'll damn well check," she assured him. He smiled and nodded. She smiled at the fathers. "Don't worry about it."
"Harry, as in from some books?" Eric's father and Toddy's uncle Xander asked.
"Yuppers," she said dryly, giving him a look then pointing. "Harry."
They smiled and nodded. The triplet's father gathered his problematic son. "We'll want a full briefing tomorrow. If his people are anything like mine we can handle some things. Including possibly helping the us here. I know we have a Willow that's blown open."
"Mine's passed hers onto her daughter but I've got access to Ethan and a few others," the other Xander agreed. "Plus my Horatio does know."
"You too?" the other Xander asked, grinning. "Wow. I do have good taste. He's very hot."
The other smirked. "Very." He picked up Toddy. "Come on, little man, let's get you home so you can tell your Daddy and Uncle Timmy how you tore apart a radio and hopefully put it back together correctly this time." He noticed the other Tim gave him a startled look. He frowned at his other self. "Tim? As in Timmy Speedle?"
"Yeah, this is his second chance," he said quietly. "This is Timmy, Ray, and Greggy."
Xander looked at the boys and smiled. "Hi, boys. You're very handsome and smart." They all beamed back. "Good boys. Let's go home." They headed, having to switch doors when they walked out the wrong ones. His Horatio had been waiting in the hummer and gave him an odd look. "What?"
"That was another you," he said quietly once he got in.
"Long story, we'll go over it after dinner."
"No, not totally. Necessary, but not totally bad. Just slightly Hellmouthy really." Horatio grunted in displeasure. "They lost their Willow before she could seal the Hellmouth." He moaned, shaking his head. "I'll explain it after dinner. The kids have been safe and helping by playing with other kids. They've even found a blonde lady who lets them play with her seven-foot-long hair."
"How?" Horatio asked.
"Fine. After dinner." He backed out, heading home so they could call the family together for a cookout and talk about the new problem and how they could help. Though Speed did flinch at the news that his second chance there was as a toddler. Horatio flinched at Ray being there but Xander soothed it because he said it was clearly Ray Junior, not his brother. Xander makes an extra plate of food, putting it on the table. Everybody looks at him strangely, until a blonde woman and dark haired man pop into view. Xander smiles and hands over the plate, starting another one.
"Bless you," Greta says with a sigh, digging into the plate Joxer pushes in front of her. "I don't know how parents take care of kids all day and still manage to eat during the day. They run me ragged."
"And that's saying something." Joxer snickers, not even bothering to duck the half-hearted swat in his direction. "You wanted some more information?" He asks calmly, smiling as Xander hands him a plate and mentally creating more food.
"Are any of the children in danger?"
"None at all, they're just playing with some new friends while their parents work. If some of them realize that a lot of them look alike, well, as kids they won't think anything of it. That's why we're trying to keep the parents apart, you would realize that something was up like you did earlier."
Greta sighs, rubbing her head. "I got brought into the situation because one of the Xander's at daycare is the grandson of my father Ares in his world. His powers have been bound, but crossing realms released the bindings a little. The ladies at the daycare prayed to their Goddess for a solution, since I'm of the blood I was brought from my world to block his powers so he couldn't hurt himself or anybody else."
Xander looks horrified. "Please tell me he has a better home life than I did growing up? Please?" Speed and Horatio wrap their arms around him.
"Unfortunately no," Joxer says sadly. "We're giving him and Harry a lot of positive reinforcement and praise, that should help until Xander is found by his real family and Harry gets to Hogwarts." Joxer nods, looking at his daughter. "I felt you do something when Harry was brought in, what?"
Greta gives an evil kitty smirk, "Oh, I just caused him to have a flat tire a couple of miles from the daycare center, with no spare tire. And the beeping horn probably got a police officer after him for disturbing the peace." Joxer sighs, shaking his head.
"How many are there of me who. . ."
"Are on their second go-round?" Joxer finishes. "Let's see, there's the two Xander Caines. . ."
"Caine?" Horatio asks. "As in a son of mine?"
"Yup, well technically one is actually Speed's son but you adopted him legally since you're together, both boys have been with you since they were around six weeks old."
"Willow," Greta says, seeing that she's not there. "One realm, you were badly injured in an attack and Willow made a wish that you get a new chance at life. She showed up on Horatio's doorstep while he was still living in New York with the news that he was a father. She was killed three days later."
"Is that the one who was using the other baby for a teddy bear?" her father asks.
"Yeah, the other baby was Ray jr." Greta hands over a picture of the two babies, causing everybody to make 'aww' sounds. "The other Xander Caine? Well, Willow had an 'oops' moment with her magic and you were deaged. A wish by Dawn gave you new parents who would love you so you'd have a good childhood this time around. In that world, you're Speed and Aiden's biological son." Speed blinks. "Aiden was not pleased to hear she was a mommy when you two hadn't even met yet. She died when Xander was about a year old, now she's a vengeance demon over abused children."
Xander and Speed nod, "Yeah, I can see her doing that."
"There's a you there who's the son of Jethro Gibbs..."
Horatio blinks, "Gibbs, a father?"
"He was before, his wife and young daughter were killed." Joxer says sadly. "He married his ex's afterwards, trying to get back what he lost."
"And the last one?" Xander finally asks.
"Xander Flack, the son of Don Flack and Danny Messer." Xander spits his water across the table. Greta calmly wipes it up. "He was left outside Don's door as an eight month old baby, with a note from his 'mother' Dawn saying that she was in trouble. Tests found out that the baby had had all his shots up to 18 years and had 20 year old white blood cells, it was 'revealed'" Greta holds her fingers up in a quotation mark, "that the baby was the result of in vitro fertilization by the Initiative. They'd combined Don and Danny's sperm in a donor egg and inserted it into a host mother, Dawn. The Initiative tried getting the baby back. .." she smirks, "They were not successful."
"I bet," Horatio says dryly. "The triplets?"
"I was wondering when somebody was going to bring them up." Joxer says with a smile. "In their world, Yelina and Ray jr went to Brazil with Ray Sr. They were attacked by a man named Riaz, his parents were tortured before Ray jr.s eyes. Xander got to to him, but it was too late to save Ray and Yelina. Hallie and Xander had Ray jr make a wish, he was turned into a four month old so he wouldn't have to remember watching his parents be tortured and killed in front of him. When Xander brought Ray back, he was told by Hallie he'd have two more babies who needed a second chance at life. The night of the funeral, Xander came back to find the twins on his couch, Greggy and Timmy. The you there showed up a couple of hours later and immediately recognized Timmy when he scowled in his sleep."
The others snicker at the look on Speed's face. "I do not scowl that much."
"Hon? Yes you do," Calleigh says calmly. "Thomas does the same thing, his face scrunches up when he's falling asleep or he's suddenly woken up."
"Greggy?" Horatio asks.
"Sanders out of Las Vegas, he wasn't happy. . ." Greta says calmly. "He made a wish for somebody who would love him for him. . . so now he's a slightly weird toddler with a thing for blondes. The boys are being raised as their sons, so Greg is Greg Olaf Harris, Timmy is Timothy Harley Harris," The others snicker at that, "And Ray is Raymond James Caine the third."
Greta suddenly blinks. "Dad, remind me to try to keep the triplets apart from Ian's uncle Xander, okay? He, Greg, and Horatio are a trio in that world. He'll recognize Greggy immediately, and I don't know how he'd react to finding out that Greg had been that unhappy." Joxer looks startled for a second, then nods. "In his world, Aiden won the coin toss." she smirks at Speed.
"Coin toss?" Horatio and Xander ask.
"To see where we were going to send you. If Aiden won, you were going to New York, if I won you were coming to Miami. I doubt he became a stripper." He smirks at his son.
Greta snorts, amused. "Nope, he became a Dom named Master Tim, ended up drunk in Vegas marrying a world famous assassin who killed herself an hour later along with her student who had married Greg."
Speed moans, shaking his head. "No matter what world, you can't stay out of trouble?" he asks his son, his smile taking the sting out of his words. Xander merely shrugs.
"Thanks for the dinner guys."
"Do we need to do anything?" Xander asks as the two Gods stand up to leave.
"Just keep doing what you're doing. We're hunting for a Witch strong enough to close the Hellmouth, in the meantime your kids are providing a pool of positive energy to counteract the Hellmouth's influence."
"The others?" Joxer asks as they pop out back to the Day care center.
"Yeah," Greta says with a sigh. "The sooner we do this, the sooner they'll relax. Maybe I'll suggest they have a cookout this weekend for those parents who have realized what's happening, this way they can get together and talk." Walking out the door to the triplets realm, they teleport to where they can feel their Xander and Horatio talking to the others.
The doorbell rings and Xander stands up, walking down the stairs. He comes back up upstairs with the young woman and older gentlemen from the day care center, waving them towards seats on the couch.
"You've probably got quite a few questions." Joxer says, sitting down next to his daughter. A small face peers around the side of a door and Greta immediately has Greg in her hair. "Shouldn't you be asleep?" she asks calmly, wincing slightly as he tugs at her hair, tangling it around the thumb in his mouth. Everybody watching goes 'Aww' and a picture is taken.
"Are the kids in any danger?" is the first question, asked by everybody in the room nearly at the same time.
Joxer smiles. "No, all they know is they're playing with some new friends."
"Speedy?" a older black woman asks. "The other Xander said something about an 'Uncle Timmy'"
Greta nods, quietly putting a picture of the cookout they'd left earlier in the air. The others gasp as they see Speed walking around alive and well. "In that world, the shooting happened as well. In New York, a former CSI named Aiden Burns was hired by Sunnydale to try to fix the Department. She quickly found out what was really happening in Sunnydale and prayed for help. Speed was brought back as that help, he and Aiden ran your parents out of Sunnydale," Greta looks at Xander, "and they quickly became your parents. Speed gets visions from the PTB, in one of them he found out you had to leave Sunnydale otherwise you'd be dead by twenty-three. So he wrote a letter to Horatio and sent you down here. . ."
"I bet that over well." Calleigh sighs.
Greta snickers. "To quote a friend of my brother's 'yasureyoubetcha'. Xander tried settling in Miami, Speed had filled out an application for him so he'd been accepted to college. . ."
Xander blinks, "Excuse me, me school?"
Greta snorts. "Yeah. Anyway, you got called back to Sunnydale because Buffy was pissed Tim had sent you away."
"Like she had any use for me while I was there?" Xander snorts.
"Again, Yeah." Greta says as Horatio tries to untangle the now sleeping Greggy from her hair. "All of you went to Sunnydale, and you ended up going soldier on Angel and kicking his ass. While the guys were making sure Speed was okay, you slipped away and went to Canada where you became a stripper. Calleigh and Ryan blink while Xander moans, holding his head in his hands.
"Something you've been wanting to tell me?" Horatio asks, coming out of the triplets bedroom.
"Nope." Xander says. "I take it they finally tracked me down?"
"Yup, H and Speed were not happy. They packed up your apartment, brought you back to Miami, and you started working for a strip club down here, ending up with a huge following as a stripper called Darkness. You had a few stalkers, including some people who would send you extravagant gifts and ended up killing themselves when they couldn't have you, leaving you everything. You were not happy about it."
"I bet," Xander says. "So what happened, he doesn't seem like a stripper."
"One of your fans turned out to be your grandfather, your father's father. He'd left the family when your Grandfather became a priest after your grandmother died, realizing he wasn't going to get the inheritance he'd been looking forward to."
"That sounds like him." Xander mutters under his breath. Horatio wraps an arm around his shoulders. "You were saying he was my grandfather."
"Yes, but he was also a vampire. I don't know if you ever heard of him, Father Benis?"
Xander shakes his head. "No, the name doesn't sound familiar. So he was a vamp? And a Priest?"
"Yes, like I said he entered the priesthood after your grandmother died. He was sick, he'd had cancer when he was turned and it continued growing slowly. Your grandfather was very active in the gay community, and when he died he left you a foundation to help gay men. Speed is back working at the lab, he and Calleigh are together, and they have a baby named Thomas."
"I got a grandbaby?" Alexx asks. Eric looks at Calleigh who's stunned and snickers before she elbows him in the ribs. "Aww, that would be cute, a scruffy little Speedle baby." Joxer pops a picture of Thomas from the daycare center in midair and Alexx coos, "Ohh, he looks just like Timmy at that age. I bet he's already got him a little motorcycle helmet and leather jacket."
Greta snorts, "No that's one of the Xander Caines."
"Excuse me," Horatio says, spluttering on a mouthful of coffee. "Did you say Xander Caine?"
"Yeah, there's about four of you there who have been deaged in their worlds, so they're on their second childhoods. One of them is the biological son of Speed and Aiden, who had became your foster parents, even though at that time they'd never even met. Speed and his Horatio are together. Xander arrived just before the shooting, H and Speed were in NY visiting Aiden and her friends at the NY crime lab when it happened."
"How?" Xander and Horatio ask.
"Usually, it's an oops moment by Willow. She has an accident and you're deaged, and a wish is made to give you a second chance with parents who actually give a damn about you. In two worlds, you're H's son, the other world you're his son as a result of a wish Willow made during a battle. She showed up on his doorstep while H was living in New York and she was killed three days later, in one world you're the son of a NCIS agent named Leroy Jethro Gibbs, and in the last world you're the son of Don Flack and Danny Messer, the 'result'," Greta holds two fingers up, "of in-vitro fertilization by the Initiative."
"There's one Xander there who's actually on his original childhood, he's the grandson of my Dad Ares and his powers have been blocked. Moving him to the realm released the bindings a little so his powers are active, the women at the daycare prayed for help and I got yanked out of my bed in the middle of the night to help. Since we're of the same blood, I can block his powers while he's there."
"Please tell me he's having a better childhood than I did." Xander asks. Greta doesn't answer, telling him what he needs to know. He sighs, dropping his head into his hands. "Damn it!"
"Yeah, I know it's not fair. We're helping him all we can while he's in daycare, giving him the support he needs until his family can find him. We're doing the same for Harry."
"Harry, as in the books? Last name of Potter?" Ryan asks, spluttering on his coffee.
"Yup, his uncle hadn't picked him up by the time we left, the ladies at daycare was calling his social worker when we left. The rest of the kids there are your children, the kids of the other Xander you met earlier, and a sidebranch off the other Xander's realm, where he'd been sent to New York by Aiden instead of Miami by Speed. He's got three children there, two are his one is his Willow's." Greta begins yawning, leaning against Joxer's side.
Joxer chuckles quietly. "Come on Greta, I think it's time that you went to bed."
* * *
Greta looked up the next morning when her father came in. "They never showed up. His line?"
"It was intentional."
"Fair game?" she asked.
"Gladly. Call someone in their realm."
She smirked evilly. "I think I can do one better than that." She walked off to concentrate and use her Godhood as a force of positive change... for some. The Dursleys probably wouldn't be seeing it as a *positive* anything. She felt his realm respond to her power and smiled. Hera appeared so she gave her a look. "They abandoned him," she said quietly, staring at her Queen. "They earned it and made themselves legal targets."
"True and you didn't warp his line. Do be careful."
"I'm using what would be natural to his timeline." She stood up and gave her a pat on the arm. "He'll be a happy boy soon enough." Hera nodded. "Two of the fathers appeared at the same time last night."
"I've been monitoring it. They're going to come to you tonight to see what they can do." She disappeared, going to check on the boy's line again. It hadn't been warped any by Greta. It had actually cleared it up some. The boy would have a few unhappy months when they fought over who would claim him but otherwise he'd be a happy and well-rounded boy by the time he started school at eleven.
Greta looked over as two Xander's came in at the same time again. One of them wasn't the set that had done it yesterday. They stared at each other then at her. "Not my doing, boys. They're doing it for a good reason, so this realm doesn't get eaten."
The new Xander just nodded. "Okay, and we do what?"
The Xander who had caught her yesterday smiled as another one came in with his Horatio and crew. "I think we have a clue."
That new Xander smiled and waved. "Hi." They all gave him horrified looks. "What?" he asked innocently.
"Too many Xanders is a bad thing," Greta told him.
"Well, probably," the new one offered with a grin. "But I'm a special Xander and you needed a special Xander."
"Why are you a special Xander?"
"Because I'm actually a magic using Xander. One strong enough to close the hellmouth."
Greta hugged him. "Thank you!"
"Welcome." He got free. "So, who're you?"
"Greta. The boys have been good today, guys. Go ahead and grab them. Leave Harry alone. His folks are trying to figure out who's taking him home since his aunt abandoned him." Two of the Xanders gave her odd looks. "Yes, from the books."
"Uh-huh," the magic using Xander said. He smiled at the triplets one redheaded father brought out. "Awww, I have triplets."
"Who like blondes," Greta joked, patting Greg on the head when he stopped to cuddle her thigh. "Love you too, little man. Go be a terror at home for me, okay?" He beamed and nodded, letting his Daddy Horatio take him out. She heard the beep. "Tim, the books stay here," she called.
"You have that one at home, Tim," Horatio assured him. Tim held it up with a begging look.
She shrugged. "Go ahead. Bring it back in the morning." He nodded, doing that. She snapped her fingers and made another copy in the play area. The magic-using Xander gave her a look. "What? I'm just as special as you are."
"Obviously." He looked at the other kids trooping out to be with their parents. The triplet's father came in with the boys and out another door. Another Horatio came in that door. "Don't worry about it. It's a small breech situation and we've got it covered." The man stared at him. "Ever watch _Sliders_?"
"Not my sort of tv really," he said, looking at Greta.
She shrugged. "Don't ask me, I got pulled here too, Horatio. It's so this world doesn't end. They've been good all day long, I make sure they're okay for all the parents." That got a single nod. "Xander, your daddy's here," she called. He squealed and came out to pounce him, cuddling and babbling at him, beaming at him and using his bear as a second person in his conversation. "See?"
"I do. What are we doing?" he asked himself.
"We're seeing that now. This is dealing with strange things you'd hate."
"I would suppose you do."
That Horatio pointed. "I married one of him."
"Never mind." He walked out with his son, going home to check him over.
Greta smiled at that Xander. "Shoo." He nodded and headed to where he needed to go with her father Joxer's help. She looked at the others. "Really, they've got it handled now that they have a magical person. They hadn't had one of those."
"So it's fully handled?" the new Horatio asked.
Greta smiled. "They had the kids here because they provided a shield of innocence to protect Miami," she explained. "Strong enough to keep the bad power from the city."
"Because so many of them were Xanders themselves," the older Horatio said. Greta nodded.
Horatio looked at him. "So's my son."
"I married one," that one said. "He's an interesting man."
"In some he was given a chance at a a good life, in some he's making his own," Greta said, breaking up the coming argument. "So quit." They quit. "Good. I have protected the kids very well from everything. All right?" They all nodded. "Thank you. Go home. Please. I've spent all day with thirteen toddlers." They headed off, going home to think. She checked the room. Harry had went with Joxer earlier so they could get him home. Her father was going to stay there to make sure he didn't go back to the Dursley's too. Everyone was home and she picked up Purlina, taking her home for a *real* bath in a tub that was big enough to hold her and her hair. The daycare workers smiled as they tidied up everything. Hopefully the emergency was over.
Greta presented herself to Hera ten days later. "I'm free," she said happily. "No more toddlers!" She nearly kicked her heels in glee.
Hera gave her an amused look. "Now you know how we felt when you were at that age."
Greta smirked. "I'm much worse than a roomful of Xander's, Grandma Hera." She walked off, going to her own rooms so she could play and relax. The kids had driven her nuts. She stopped her father Hades. "I am *never* giving you grandchildren. Don't expect it, don't whine about it, don't demand or beg for it. If I do, it'll be a Xander. One of the kids there gave my stomach a hug and said some day I'd have a baby just like him. I'm saving Olympus from that fate." She walked off, happy with his horrified look.
"Thank you, dear. I'll get Apollo onto the birth control for you."
"Virgin Goddess, dad," she called back. "When I'm not, I'll call!" She waved but kept walking.
Hades went to find his mates, Ares and Joxer. Joxer wasn't back yet but Ares was more than happy to be pounced so he could take that image out of his head. Before it got stuck and someone decided it was a *good* idea.
"Not even I'm that mean to us," Strife's voice floated up the hallway. "Don't worry 'bout it, Hades."
"Thank you," he called. "Go away!" He pounced Ares again, getting a warm chuckle and a willing spouse.