Six Months Later…..

"What's up with you?" Maverick looked at his tense bleary eyed partner as he helped himself to his morning cup of coffee.

"I need to get laid," Lee muttered crankily poking through a cupboard for something to eat.

Maverick laughed, "Ah yes, sexual frustration has finally kicked in."

"Something like that. Doesn't your wife do any shopping these days?"

"It's a bit hard with six kids, work and you two in and out of here at all hours for god knows how long. Good morning gorgeous, how long do you think you'll be here for this time?" Maddie appeared and gave her husband a loving kiss.

The boys had arrived home at two thirty that morning after a five day deployment god knew where. "Here eat that!" Maddie shoved a box of cereal the kids had wanted but not liked into Lee's hands. It'd been sitting on the shelf for at least three weeks.

"Thanks," Lee muttered and carried his breakfast stuff over to the table.

"Normal off call for one week," Maverick replied getting a bowl and pinching some of the breakfast cereal off Lee. His partner was eating it so it must have been alright.

"Oh good, you two can pick the kids up from school, deal with the principal when they're in trouble, do the shopping and clean the house."

"What did your last slave die of?" Lee grumbled and Maverick laughed at the murderous look Maddie gave him.

"What?" Lee looked at him annoyed.

"Just laughing at the look Maddie gave you given your present state of mind."

"Oh," Lee went back to eating his breakfast.

Suddenly a shriek of joy echoed through the house and Krystal's voice rang out loud and clear. "Dad's home!"

"How do you know?" Rachael retorted.

"His bed's all messy! Come on!" Two sets of footsteps clattered down the stairs and the two miniature whirlwinds hurled themselves straight into their father's arms. "Daddy!"

Lee hugged them tightly and let them shower his face with kisses of glee. Both girls talked at once bringing him up to date on pre-school and everything else they could think of.

"Your son turns two tomorrow, by the way," Maddie advised over the commotion.

"Yeah and we're having a party and Maddie said Krystal and I can invite a friend each too," Rachael informed him.

"Did she? Well aren't you two lucky. Now, don't you two have pre-school today?"

"Yeap, come on Rachael let's go watch TV!" Krystal jumped down off her father's knee and the two identical pyjama clad girls ran off into the living room.

"Hey! What about getting dressed first?" Lee called after them.

"Later Dad!"

Maddie pulled a face and joined the men at the table with her cup of coffee.

Fifteen minutes later there was an almighty shriek of anger through the house just as Darry walked into the kitchen dressed ready for school. "Hi Dad, when did you get home?" He asked sitting down at the table and waiting for his Mum to give him breakfast.

"Where's Eli?" Maddie asked.

"He's coming. We got that speech thingy today and he's practicing." Darry rolled his eyes and picked up the box of cereal off the breakfast table. It was empty. "Ohhh who ate all the cereal? I like this one."

"Yeah right, that's why it's been sitting on the shelf for the last three weeks after you took one bite and told me it was yucky." Maddie put a plate of toast down in front of him. "What did you to do Chels this time?"

"Darry Mitchell you are dead!" An angry looking Chelsea walked in the kitchen with a sopping wet school bag in hand.

"That!" Darry grinned unafraid of his mother's wrath.

"Darry," Maddie groaned and resisted the urge to give her son a good smack over the ear.

Maverick and Lee looked Chelsea waiting to see what she was going to do next. "Hello Honey, miss me?" Lee asked.

"Later Dad, I have more important things to do." She flipped her long hair back over her shoulder the exact same way her mother used too and Lee sighed at the memory.

"Not my fault you left your bag outside," Darry muttered shoveling in his toast.

"I did not leave it outside you Ignoramus! You stole it and put it in the shower again now my homework's ruined!"

"Oh no, Miss Straight A's might have to fail. Ha ha!"

"Darry," Maddie warned again while both boys looked on at the growing war in amusement.

"Maddie can I have some cereal?" Chelsea turned her back on Darry and set about getting something to eat.

"Sure you can." Maddie got up and got a bowl of cereal ready for her. "There you go."

"Thanks Maddie." Chelsea ate a couple of bites and pulled a face, "I think the milk's off."

"I don't think so, I only bought it yesterday. Besides your father and Maverick haven't dropped dead yet and they've been drinking it all morning." Maddie winked at her husband.

Chelsea took another bite and chewed thoughtfully, "No I definitely think it's off. I don't like it." Chelsea got up and walked past the small bench that held their school bags. "Oh look a new bin," She chortled with glee and tipped her bowl straight into Darry's schoolbag. The smile of satisfaction was huge.

Darry leapt to his feet with a yell of anger while Chelsea took off running laughing. They shot straight out the back door and Maddie rolled her eyes letting them go.

Lee shook his head watching his daughter taunt his partner's son. "You want me to do something about that?"

Maddie shook her head, "No, if it's not something now it'll be something else later. It's pretty normal for those two. I only step in if it gets dangerous or way out of control. Chelsea's so much like her mother it's not funny and Darry's, well, Darry's Darry so go figure."

Lee laughed and looked slyly at his partner, "Yeah go figure." He shared a conspiratal wink with her. "I guess I'd better get birthday boy up and moving?"

"Yes he's probably raising holy hell in his cot right about now."


"Honey, why don't you take a break while Lee and I sort this school bag mess out?" Maverick stood up and guided his wife back to the table handing her some toast. Maddie smiled gratefully at him.

"Thanks Mav."

"You got court today?"

"Yeah why?"

"Eat that and go get ready, take your time. We'll take care of the kids."

"Now why does that sound really really scary?"