“Have you thought of kids?” Herc leans over.

Newt grins. “I don’t know, maybe. I mean, when we get used to this.” he squeeze Hermann’s hand, Hermann smiles happily.

Maybe it’s seeing his adopted son getting married, but it does make Stacker feel a little wistful. Mako has moved away too, and he misses having children in the house. He wishes-

Why not?

The thought hits Stacker suddenly, makes him start a little.

Mako had fallen into his hands without warning, Hermann had followed. Maybe he had started to think children would just- happen. He hadn’t considered other options.

He smiles.


“So- this isn’t some kid you’ve adopted from your shed or something?” Herc says carefully. “Or rescued them from- a lion pit, or fuck knows what?”

Stacker smiles. “You’re enjoying this.”

“I dealt with you adopting everything that got in your way.” Herc smiles, “I can have a bit of fun.”

“Would you want to do this?” Stacker says finally, “Have another child?”

Herc sighs, looks out of the window for a long moment. “I haven’t got the best track record, just ask Chuck.”

“I’d get a different story from Newt.” Stacker says gently.

Herc smiles, shakes his head. “That’s still a 50% success rate But then, maybe with you, it could work.”

Stacker doesn’t say anything, lets him think.

“Oh, all right.” Herc smiles. “We’ll give it a go, give some poor kid a home.”


He was expecting- well, a child. After Mako, and Hermann, he had just… assumed.

Which was why he looks down in a panic as the supervisor handed him a tiny, sleeping baby, skin dusky brown, tiny hairs curling around his head. Stacker clutches at him desperately, terrified of waking him but with no idea who to do this.

“Here.” Herc says softly, and adjusts his grip until the child is cradled in his arms, sturdy and safe.

Stacker looks down at him. Little Daniel, who’s family had died in a fire only weeks ago, his only surviving relative an aunt who wanted nothing to do with him. He looks and feels that hot, fierce protective flame lick up his throat. As it had when he had seen Mako. As it haad when he had seen Hermann.

“He’s in love.” Herc sighs. “We’re moving forward with the adoption.”

At least, so young, he wouldn’t remember the pain of losing his parents and being abandoned both. Stacker only hopes he can give the child the life he so clearly deserves.

Herc leans forward, smiles at the tiny, sleeping face. “Wanna come home with us, Duke?”



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