A/N: Congratulations! You are one of the lucky readers who has made it to the end of this story!
"CARTER JONSON O'NEILL!" the shout rang through the near empty bar cacophonously. The Monday night patrons all looked out from their booths and tables to see why Sammie was yelling for her son this time.
Carter Jonson (or CJ as he was called by the patrons who had grown to know and love him in his ten years of life) came slowly and timidly out of his hiding space behind the bar where his Uncle Bobby was pouring drinks.
"Yes, Mommy?" he said with a glow of innocence that he'd learned from his father.
Sammie O'Neill put her hands on her hips as she glared at her son, "Carter, I told you to watch your sisters and brother. Can you explain to me why they're in the storage room where I left all four of you, and why when I went in to check on you all you weren't there with them?"
Carter looked down at his feet, putting his hands into his pockets in an act so like his father he knew his mother couldn't stay mad at him for long. "Sorry?"
Sammie felt her resolve crumble. Suddenly an idea for a punishment came to mind and she crossed her arms over her chest and slight bulge beneath her apron. "Okay, you're sorry. That doesn't mean that you're not going to be punished. Now, Daddy has to work here tomorrow and since it's summer time I was going to let you wait here with him until Grandpa Jacob and Cassie's plane gets in tomorrow afternoon." The boy's eyes lit up at the mention of his sister and grandpa's arrival for his eleventh birthday.
Sammie put a hand up to stop his excitement, "Now, you get to come to work with me and listen to me drone on and on about theoretical astrophysics."
CJ groaned – he was more like his father when it came to science: astronomy all the way and no long and 'boring' explanations with a whole bunch of words he didn't know, please. What had he done to deserve this?
Sammie smiled slightly as she saw the contrite look on her oldest boy's face, "Now go watch you siblings."
Sammie's smile grew into a full-fledged grin as her son trotted back to the storage room to watch his seven-year-old twin sisters Mia and Mae O'Neill and their five-year-old brother, Jacob Marcus O'Neill.
Bobby grinned at her as he slid a drink down to a patron at the end of the bar, "You know, Sammie, you don't have to be so hard on him. I mean, I've listened to you just studying for that damned class – he's going to be asleep within ten minutes."
Sammie sat down across from Bobby, "Well, that's his fault. I know he likes listening to your stories, Bobby, but he's got to learn to take his responsibility seriously. It's hard enough for me right now with John going to Colorado Springs as an advisor once a month, but Carter has to learn. I need his help with the other kids."
Before the conversation could continue, John O'Neill came back from his impromptu food run with five bags of what could only be classified as stuff.
He kissed his wife's cheek before he said, "Okay, I've got three double cheeseburgers with loads of pickles and that caramel sauce you like so much; four kid's meals with chicken pieces and juice; one very large burrito stuffed with everything under the sun for Bobby; and food for me. How'd I do?"
Sammie looked through the bags her husband had brought with him. It was a common occurrence for the patrons of The Hideout to find John sent on endless food runs to sate his pregnant wife's hunger. She looked at him with confusion, "Where are the whipped cream and the poppers?"
John groaned – he knew he'd forgotten something! "I'll be right back and go get them."
Sammie grinned, "No, that's okay, I'll go. You go and make sure our son knows how serious I am about making him sit through my lecture tomorrow."
"What'd he do this time?" John asked, already knowing what son she was talking about.
"Ditched baby sitting duty to listen to Bobby tell about the time he saved the ambassador's life in Russia."
John could barely contain his laughter as his wife fetched her purse and left in pursuit of the evasive whipped cream. John turned to Bobby as the other bartender took the bags off his newly cleaned counter and proceeded to clean it again. "There's never a dull day here, is there?"
Bobby raised an eyebrow at the other man, "Would you prefer chasing aliens and getting shot at on a regular basis?"
John shivered; if only Bobby knew what he did when he was 'advising' in Colorado Springs. "I'd most definitely prefer the bar to anything of the sort."
Fin - I mean it this time!
A/N: Was my epilogue up to par? If you thought so, please send me a review - I'd really like to hear your thoughts about the story overall.