Disclaimer: No infringement intended. Not affiliated in any way with anyone. My net worth is still a negative number. Nothing to sue here people, move along. I don't own anything here. I am not making any money on this.

Big THANK YOU to Maria for proofreading this.

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Peek-a-boo

Glimpse at the future, circa 2025. Logan has his money back, so after "Just Phil". Full Season Two denial. Almost called, "It's my birthday, I'll purr if I want to!"

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Three days ago …

"I told you going to the bakery was a bad idea," Max said.

"We discussed this. I don't have the time to bake a cake big enough to feed SIX X-5's and five children. Plus cakes need to bake at a certain temperature, if the power went out in the middle of baking .." Logan was trying to defend himself.

"We haven't had a brown out here in almost two years. Plus we installed that emergency generator when the Fed's tried to figure out where Eyes Only was coming from by browning out certain area's and noting when he could still broadcast. I could co-opt that for the oven in two minutes," Max wasn't giving in.

A loud "AWWW" from the other room heralds a wooden avalanche as a 42 level tower made from seven Jenga sets tumbled down, followed immediately by a "YAY!"

Logan let out a deep sigh, once again grateful he had been able to purchase the apartments immediately under his penthouse, and not just because it gave Zack somewhere else to stay whenever he was in town. "Plus," Logan continued calmly, "cakes will fall when there are loud noises."

Max tilted her head and stared at him trying to determine if he was pulling her leg again.

"It's true!" Logan replied in his defense, regretting he had ever even mentioned Santa Claws. "You know, if you really didn't want me to order a cake from the bakery, you could have baked it yourself."

"I'm not ready to put our children's fortitude to that much of a test yet. I'm grateful that they haven't got sick, but I'm not willing to risk subjecting them to my cooking." That's the story and I'm sticking to it!

Sure. "I could teach you to cook," Logan offered again half-heartedly. In truth he cherished the few ways that he could take care of Max when usually, it was her saving him.

Max feigned fear. "No!" she cried playfully and embraced her love. "I don't want to risk losing you. If anything happened to you I would never forgive myself!"

"I'll never leave you," Logan murmured huskily as he returned the embraced with interest. His arms encircled her, one hand in the small of her back, the other entwined in her hair, slowly guiding her lips to his. Not that Max needed the guidance, she knew the way. Max melted into his arms as always, her soft curves pressing into the warm comfort of his firm embrace. His kiss was slow, thoughtful, tender and, as always, sent shivers of desire racing through her.

Max wondered yet again what alchemy this one man had that set her blood on a fire that made her formerly cursed heat cycles pale in comparison, at his slightest touch … his merest whim … she was his.

Logan still marveled at how he and Max could still spontaneously combust like this after three years of wedded bliss and three children. He was always in awe that the desire between them only grew as the years passed. His lips parted hers in a soul-reaching massage. Max gazed up at him longingly, lovingly and Logan felt himself drowning in their warm, welcoming depths.

"MOM!" cried a slightly perturbed soon-to-be one year old standing with arms akimbo.

Max reluctantly untangled herself from the safe warmth of Logan's arms and straightened her shirt that had somehow become … crooked.

Logan turned to face his precious, precocious, daughter. "You know, most kids would be happy to see their parents," Logan paused, suddenly hesitant about broaching subjects he didn't feel any ready to discuss, " …happy, with each other."

"Most kids?" she asked and looked at him patiently. She wasn't quite sure what was going on, but every time Mommy said 'most kids?' to him in that questioning tone, Mommy won, so she was going to try it.

"Never mind!" Logan threw up his hands in surrender. He had to smile and remember to be grateful that, when push came to shove, all the genetically engineered and their prodigy were on his side even if they were not always polite about it.

Linda Cale grinned, so delighted to have new 'magic words', that her prior complaint about her brothers was forgotten, at least by her.

"Now, young lady, what is it you want? I thought you were watching Sesame Street?" Max asked as she scooped up her darling daughter. She knew that you were not supposed to have favorites, and she didn't, really. But sometimes it was hard. Linda looked so much like Logan, and it had been the cells from her umbilical cord that had permanently cured Logan's spinal cord injury.

"Jeff and Kyle are being too loud," Linda said for the hundredth time.

Logan shook his head in awe. He had expected his triplets to be a little advanced for their age, thanks to Max's DNA, but Linda's verbal progress far surpassed even Zaire, who was the child of two X5's. He knew that you were not supposed to have favorites, and he didn't, not really, but it was difficult at times. Linda was so precocious that he couldn't help but be proud. He couldn't help but be secretly pleased that the children that he had been able to give Max were just as capable as any that any X5 could have given her. Take that Zack! The boys, constantly sparring off each other, were more advanced physically, but Linda was special. She looked just like Logan's mother, for whom she was named.

"Boys!" said Max in her mock exasperated tone.

"Boys!" mimicked Linda, rolling her eyes.

"Hey!" said Logan. His girls giggled at him as he wrapped his arms around them both. "Hmmm, maybe I should have let you bake the cake?"

"Bi'thday cake?" asked Linda.

"Birthday cake," corrected Max gently.

"Birthday cake?" Linda repeated dutifully.

"Yes, you are going to have a birthday and we will have a cake," Max assured her daughter.

"Zion?" Linda asked.

"Yes, Zion will be there. And his brother … Zaire and his mommy Syl and his daddy Krit," Logan replied.

"And guess who else your father invited without asking?" Max asked with a far too wide, too forced grin.

Linda thought it over for a moment, "Unc' Zack?"

Sometimes it's so hard not to have a favorite, Logan thought. "No, that is who your Mommy invited without asking."

Max gave Logan a dirty look that lasted about .0003 of a second, and then relented. "UncLE Zack will be there, but you are going to get to meet your Uncle Bennett and Aunt Marianne and your cousin Bernard."

"Cousin!" Linda's eyes lit up. She loved playing with her cousins when they came.

The last of Max's anger at Logan's inviting his family over dissipated. Linda didn't really have any friends. There just wasn't anyone close to her size and stage, except her brothers and as identical twins the two had a bond that Linda couldn't quite get in to. "Yes, you have another cousin coming over for your birthday."

"Yay," Linda cheered happily. "Tell boys."

Max knew she wanted to go tell her brothers, and for once didn't correct her grammar. Max smiled and leaned into her husband as they watched their daughter toddle into the living room/padded cell to tell her bothers the joyous news.

"So, I am forgiven for breaking down and inviting Bennett and Marianne to the kids' first birthday party?" Logan asked.

"Even if Aunt Margo comes?" Max asked.

"Ummm, that would be pushing it, huh?"

"Don't you always?"

"Well, now that you mention it ..."

"Who'da thunk the great and powerful Eyes Only cannot handle a confrontation with his own family?"

I need to make sure the locket is the safe before the party. "How can I ever make it up to you?" Logan asked as he pulled Max back into his arms.

"I'm sure that … together … we can come … up … with something," Max quipped between breathless kisses.

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Cast:

Max and Logan Cale: Oh come on, you know who they are! Happily married for 3 years now.

Jefferson, Kyle, and Linda Cale: Their triplets. (Only Linda purrs like Mom, but she knows not to do it in front of anyone … usually.) They are one year old today.

Zack, Zane, Jondy, Syl, Krit: Max's siblings.

Zaire: Syl and Krit's 30 month old son.

Zion: Syl and Krit's 3 month old son.

Bennett Cale: The only cousin on Logan's father's side of the family that Logan likes.

Marianne Cale: Bennett's wife. Quit police force after birth of her child.

Bernard Cale: Bennett and Marianne's 14 month old son.

Margo Cale: Logan's snooty Aunt. She thinks that her grandchild is better than any that came out of that peasant Logan married, (for another 5 minutes or so, insert evil laugh here .).

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Author's note: I have not worked out exactly how everything at the party is going to go. I figure that the kids with an X5 parent are functioning at about twice their age. Any ideas/suggestions would be most welcome.