Joe sat at the kitchen table with the contractor and an interior designer. They were going over the plans for the remodel.

"The first things I want done are the master bathroom and the elevator installed," said Joe. "Those are necessities. Then you can work on the other bathrooms and the kitchen and lastly the conversion of the attic into a library slash office."

The contractor nodded his head, "It would be easier to add the elevator to the back of the house in a small edition. It will take about a week to get all the permits and an additional week to get all the equipment. I've installed chairlifts but never a full elevator into a home but I don't see a problem."

They continued talking over plans when Adam came in cussing.

Joe raised an eyebrow, "What's wrong?"

Adam took a deep breath, "Our neighbor is a bigoted asshole with delusions of grandeur," growly he stomped from the room.

"Ow, my," gasped the designer, "is your son always like that."

Joe straightened in his chair, "My partner does get upset when warranted. Will this be a problem?"

The contractor smiled, "Mr. Dawson, I don't rightly think it will. Will it Emma?"

Emma, the designer shook her head, "No, Phil it won't. I'm sorry for making assumptions Mr. Dawson."

Joe smiled, "Everybody does, its fine. Lets finish getting this planned so the actual work can begin."


Adam made his way from the kitchen to the living room. He looked out the picture window. One of the things that he had hoped wouldn't happen had. Dealing with a bigot was one thing but having one live next door was another. He just knew that asshole was going to cause trouble. It was a good thing that they hadn't bought a house in a closed subdivision. They couldn't be forced to move. But that wouldn't prevent that bigot from making them wish they'd never moved in.

Xander was settling into his new school and making friends. Joe was redesigning the house into his dream home. There was no way in Hade's was anyone going to harm his family.

Adam was Death, a soldier and a general. That idiot might have started this war but by the gods he was going to win it.


Xander pulled himself from the water grinning. He loved swimming. Thanks to talking to his pop and papa, not to mention the new memory's with his new team mates, he was finally getting over what his last swim coach had done and was regaining the joy of being in the water.

He stood up and walked to his stuff grabbing it and heading for the showers. As he got ready he thought about how his week had gone.

He'd made a friend in gym. A guy friend, he hadn't had one since Jessie died. Albert O'Brien had drew Xander to him from the moment they met. Bertie, as Xander called him, had a sad and grey aura around him. Xander being Xander, just had to cheer him up. A few bad jokes and a discovery of an equal love of comics and b movies created a growing friendship between the two.

It didn't take long for Xander to weasel out of Bertie that he was smart. Jumped two grades smart which meant that Xander was biologically four years older but legally two years older than him. But Xander didn't care.

A couple of girls from the swim team had befriended Xander. So, he dragged Bertie with him when the girls wanted to talk and hang out. Xander beamed as his new friends aura began to heal.

Xander's abilities also helped Bertie to heal along with having three new friends. But Xander noticed that the healing could barely keep up with the damage being afflicted. It was Xander's intention to kidnap Bertie for the weekend, (well he asked the parental units and informed Bertie he was taking him home with him). He was not going to lose his new best friend to a bad home life.


Adam began working on reconnaissance. Information was key in any war. The enemy was their direct neighbor to the right of the house, they shared a fence. The neighbor on the left undoubtedly had information and was a potential ally.

Adam walked over to the house on the neighbor and knocked with an easy going smile on his face. The door opened on a smiling little old lady. She had to be seventy, at least.

"Morning, Ma'am. I'm Adam from next door. My partner, our son, and I just moved in. I'd thought I'd stop by and introduce myself."

The woman laughed, "I'm Edith O'Hare, young man. Do come in," she waved him into the living room and closed the door. "Can I get you something to drink or are you here for the gossip?"

Adam placed his hands over his heart with a wounded expression, "Madam, you wound me. Here I am, attempting to be neighborly and you accuse me of having a nefarious agenda."

Edith giggled, "Gossip it is then, take a seat Adam No sire name given. And I'll start off with the man you cussed out not an hour ago."

Adam winced, "You heard that. I hadn't realized I had been so loud. And its Pierson, Adam Pierson, my partner is Joe Dawson and our son is Xander."

Edith nodded, "I think the mountain heard you this morning. Is Xander short for Alexander? and is it Dawson or Pierson?"

Adam sat across from Edith, "Yes, but he prefers Xander and its Dawson. Joe was widowed when we met."

Edith smiled, "Well, to start off most of your neighbors won't care a hill of beans about you and your partner being, well partners. Most will care about you living in sin but considering the political atmosphere it's not like you can get married. So they won't mention it. The man you cussed out is Henry Peterson. A man not much liked around these parts but he does have some influence in the Methodist church and in the business community. He just moved in a year ago after a rather harsh divorce. His wife ran off with her yoga instructor, who was a woman by the way. In all honesty I think that his divorce has made him bitter and unlikable."

Adam nodded, "So, the bigoted asshole might not be a permanent problem. I wonder if he'd go to therapy."

Edith laughed, they gossiped for another hour before Adam left.


Adam left Edith's house and crossed the yard to his when he was stopped by the neighbor across the street calling to him.

Adam crossed the street and shook the hand offered to him by a man with a military bearing.

The man introduced himself, "I'm Jack O'Neil, I just wanted you to know that we're not all like Peterson."

Adam gave off a short laugh, "When Edith said she thought the mountain could hear me I didn't really believe her. I'm Adam Pierson by the way."

Jack smiled, "You're not from around here."

"What gave it away, the nose or the accent?" asked Adam with a smile.

"The accent, the reason I ask is that Ms. Edith was undoubtedly talking about the complex in the mountain."

Adam showed a perplexed expression.

"NORAD, North American Aerospace Defense is located at Cheyenne mountain." explained Jack.

"I take it there are many references to the Mountain by the locals." said Adam.

Jack laughed, "Ya sure you betcha, I saw your son catching the bus. How is he settling in?"

"He's adapting, he's already having a friend stay over this weekend." said Adam.

They spoke for a few more minutes before Adam headed back into the house.


By Christmas the renovations were complete, Adam hired a wizard to ward the property and to reinforce the library shelves. He paid extra to have the shelves be expandable where the books rotated so you could find a book quickly and when a book was added to a shelve it was automatically added to the catalogue.

Adam and Joe's business was slowly growing which was just fine with them.

Xander's friend Bertie practically lived at the house so for Christmas they were going to give him his own room there.

Edith was adopted by Xander as the Grandmother of the family. She was happy to oblige.

Mr. Peterson got off of his high horse and apologized to Adam. (There may or may not have been a 'ghost" haunting him) He also started therapy.

Jack O'Neil went from a very straight and narrow military man to a very happy and outgoing retiree. (This may have been brought about by hanging out with Xander teaching him and Bertie how to play baseball.)

All in all everything was going great, that is until school started again.