Danny walked into the room where Xander was working on some new beer. "What's that?"
"Ancient Chinese secret," Xander said, grimacing some.
"If you don't wanna share," Danny complained. Xander handed over the scroll he was working from. "It is in Chinese."
"Yes it is. That is not my best language and I cannot get the proportions right. It always comes out way too strong. Then I dilute it with the herbs and use it for coughs and colds." He handed Danny a bottle. "For your allergy problem."
"Will it help or will it knock me out?" He looked at the tiny glass bottle in his hand. It looked like it should hold perfume. "Was it cleaned before you put it in here?"
"Yup." Xander grinned at him. "I cold filtered the alcohol but it'll still taste like it. The herbs are good for coughs and stuff. I wouldn't want to take a breathalyzer the first time you use it, but a single sip isn't that strong."
"I'll try that. Better than the beasty parts that Steve usually gets from the Chinese herbalists."
"That's who I need to translate this part," Xander decided. He stood up. "By the way, your next batch of beer tastes like butter rum lifesavers." He grinned and handed him a bottle. "Try it later."
"I can do that." He followed Xander out. "Kids at daycare?"
Xander nodded. "Pooch insisted he wanted to go to daycare instead of playing down here in the storm shelter with me. So I kindly dropped them off and ran off cackling before they changed their minds." He gave his cousin an insane grin and got a snickering laugh back. "So yeah. You driving?"
"I'm just checking on you. You've been too damn quiet recently."
"I've been a good boy and there hasn't been any problems that would make me quit hiding. Though it was nice that Buffy decided I should not have contacts anymore because it upset hers."
"She did have your phone hacked?" Danny demanded. "I know you sent one asking for another number."
"She did. And I had someone hack hers and then had the IRS arrest her boyfriend because he's not been paying *anything*." Danny snorted, but walked him out to the cars. "Wanna go with me? You can stay for dinner."
"I'm meeting with Rachel and Stan tonight over Gracie's stunt."
Xander looked at him. "Are they calmer now that they're back from his and her parents?"
"Maybe. Stan said Gracie acted up." That got a nod from his cousin. "So anyway, I'll see you probably after dinner. That way I can cheer myself up with your six hellions."
"Sure, if you want." Xander gave him a quick hug. "Let me go get this one section translated." He got into his van and drove off.
Danny took his beer home to put in the fridge so he could taste test it later. Xander's brews tended to be highly alcoholic at times so he would do it after dinner and calming down time, so he could fall into bed if it was that strong.
Xander walked into the herbalist's shop Steve had recommended. "Hello?" he called in Chinese. An older woman leaned around a shelf. "I need something translated. It's in Ancient Chinese and I can't get it right." She shrugged so he brought it to the counter for her to look at. He pointed. "I think I'm supposed to measure two drams, then heat? Then add the herbs?"
She looked. "Where did you get this?"
"At a temple I helped save from a demon." He grinned. "I home brew my own beer and sometimes a cough medicine. Since I can't get this one right, I freeze filter it and it becomes a great cough medicine."
She nodded. "Worse than that green stuff that knocks you out probably."
"That's why I ice filter it, to remove half the alcohol. Am I measuring wrong?" She nodded, making notes. "Oh! That's... that's like a thimble, right?" She nodded. She also copied down the recipe. He grinned. "I've got a few more but it's for things like rice wine and other spirits to put medicines in."
She shuddered. "Some of those cover the herbs' taste but it might kill you."
"The red syrupy stuff definitely will." He wrote down that recipe and she moaned. He grinned. "It's very strong even without the herbs. I rubbed some on one of my son's chest and put a warm towel over it. He did not cough a single time afterward."
"That would eat all the nastiness." She smiled and patted his hand. "I would like to see the others."
"I'll try to bring them down later this week, depending on what the kids are doing. They *really* wanted daycare today." He grinned. She laughed and nodded. "Thank you." He bowed and left. That made so much more sense about why it was too strong!
She went into the back to talk to her father, handing him the recipes. She told him about the nice white boy that had gotten them at a temple. He looked at the syrup and nodded it was strong.
Steve woke up with a cold a few weeks later and he was miserable. He almost called off work. Of course, he couldn't do that and wasn't that sort of soldier so he went in to be miserable there. Which made everyone else miserable. Danny walked in last, having to drop his daughter off at school that morning. Steve glared at him.
Danny stared back. "Want Xander's herbal remedy? He's got a cough medicine that's kinda strong and he was talking about some syrup thing that cleared Frank's chest right up."
Steve blew his nose. "I'll try it. It might help." Danny called Xander, who brought down both bottles. He looked at them. "Which is which?"
"Very ancient Chinese meds, Steve. The red stuff you put on your chest. The other stuff you take a sip of." Steve took a sip and then spluttered. Xander smiled. "I did filter it. It left some taste."
"Bullshit. That's ninety proof if anything," he gasped. Xander shook the red bottle and put some on his chest. "Ow, warm."
"Yeah, put a warm towel on it." Steve got one handed to him by Chin and went to lay on the office couch. Xander tucked him in and waved. "Going grocery shopping. We're going to try something new this time. The kids are hating veggies again." He headed out.
Danny looked in there. "He uses the red stuff on the kids when they get colds."
"It's better than that vapo-rub stuff," Steve said, sounding a bit tipsy and happier. He fell asleep a few minutes later and it was nicer. By the time he woke up, no more cold. No more chest hair but no more cold. Steve went to shower it off before it ate his skin. Danny and Chin were laughing about it but it worked very well.
Steve looked around the shelter portion of the underground bunker. "If you blow up this house because of your still, we're going to kick your ass," he said bluntly. "House hunting is a pain."
"I'm not. I don't even have it set up right now. You don't need one to brew beer." He grinned. "But thanks for worrying. I should probably set it up. I haven't made anything in it since the first house."
"Hannibal warned us that just the fumes were intoxicating," Steve said, staring at him. Xander just grinned and walked off. "Did you give Danno anything?"
"Few bottles to try for taste." He handed him a plastic bag that clinked. "Reusable bottles so wash them and give them back."
"I can do that." He walked off shaking his head. They went into his fridge and he noticed one already in there. It was unlabeled. He took it out to pour half a glass for tasting, slowly taking a sip. "Butter rum beer?" he asked the glass, staring in it. "What the hell?"
Danny laughed from the back porch. "He was experimenting." He took the bottle to finish, nodding. "Bit strong but smooth. Different flavor definitely." He finished it and put it aside. Steve finished his glass and got them real beers. Real, less alcohol beers. Xander really needed to learn how to pare down the alcohol content of his mixes.
Xander sat down at Kono's blanket on the beach. "The boys are insane."
"Are they hiding from you again?" she taunted with an evil smirk.
"No, Jake called Dawn to tell her to come sit so I could date." She laughed, swatting at him. "So I guess I'm off trolling for decent bad girls or bad boys again."
She shook her head. "I'd introduce you but they might get ideas."
"I think Jake wanted them to have ideas." He smiled at someone walking past. "Beyond that, did you want to join in on Danny's great beer taste testing experiment for me?"
"He told me that the beers were way too strong, brah."
Xander shrugged. "Only way I know how to make 'em. I don't think they're *that* strong. Less strong than the homebrew I can make. I've got to find something new to flavor that with too," he said, considering it. "Pineapple tasted funny in it. So did the last citrus I tried."
She looked at him. "Roses? Edible flowers? How strong is it?"
He got up and went to his car, coming back with a small bottle. "I always put it into single night bottles. That way no one's tempted to drink too much. That's unflavored. It's been capped for almost a year now."
She poured out a tiny bit into her empty water bottle then recapped the alcohol and handed it back. She sipped. She choked. "Damn that's strong." He shrugged. "Where did you get this recipe?"
"Egypt. At one of the digs I was handling a demon at. The guys there were brewing so we talked about home brewing and beer brewing and all that."
She took another sip and nodded. "It's really strong. Try something like edible flowers. It might cut the alcohol taste and make it sweeter."
"I used to mix it half and half with vodka," he said. She shivered. "Yeah, but it covered up that strong taste."
"You'd die from alcohol poisoning after a few shots," she complained.
"That's why I put it into the tiny bottles." He grinned.
"Good idea." She finished it and tossed her bottle back into her bag. "Have you tried berries?" He shook his head. "Try for some sweeter berries. Sweeter should help."
"I can adjust the recipe so there's less sugar for the alcohol if they're really sweet. Thanks, Kono." He gave her a hug and headed off to find a new bad girl.
She was nearly swaying. Her head was swimming. Damn that was too strong. One of the other surfers she knew looked at her. "Xander let me test a small bit of his homebrew. *Way* too strong."
He nodded. "You look wasted. Want a cab?"
She pouted but nodded. "It's probably safer if I do, yeah. I definitely can't drive on this." He helped her up and called her one, making sure her car was locked on their hike up there. She went home and collapsed. He went back to share that Xander made some really strong homebrew. The others might like to try some of that.
Kono walked her headache, the first hangover she'd had since she had started working with the team, into the office and about fell into her seat. She put her head down on her desk and let it rest there, hoping something would behead her.
Danny looked over and grinned. "Homebrew?"
"Small, two shot drink of it," she muttered. "He's evil."
"Yeah, he can be. He made butter rum flavored beer too." She lifted her head long enough to glare at him. Then it thumped down again.
"Morning," Steve said as he walked in. He was having a great day. He felt great, his cold was gone. He looked at Kono. "Too much partying?" he teased loudly. She lifted a finger to salute him. He laughed. "How many did you have?"
"Two shots of Xander's homebrew," Danny said with a grin.
"That does it to even me," Steve said, patting her on the head. "I sent some to a SEAL buddy who was on detached duty in the Middle East. He made great friends with some Para and some Aussies there with that little bottle. Then they all got written up for the hangovers." He went into his office to drop stuff on his desk then came back out. "Kono, want some aspirin?" She flipped him off again. "We're about to get another case. It's been two days."
She lifted her head to stare at him. "There is *nothing* that helps this one. I've tried all the cures I know."
"Tried the raw egg and cayenne one?" Danny asked. She nodded but grimaced. "Keep it down?"
"No. Or the near quart of water I drank afterward." She put her head back down.
Chin looked at her, grinning meanly at his cousin. "Are you sure you're not up the duff?" he teased.
"If I got pregnant from drinking Xander's homebrew then he's not making it right."
"Good point," Danny agreed. "Though it's a really bad thought." He sent it to Hannibal to pick on Xander about. Hannibal sent back a quip about how that was why he was gaining a pudgy gut instead of Dawn's cooking. He thought it had been too many cookies. Danny put his phone up. "Hannibal said if it was, then that's why he's been gaining so much weight instead of Dawn's cookie habit during tests."
"I don't want that thought any more than I want the thought of our Xander having wings," Chin said firmly.
Danny smirked. "They actually figured out a spell for that." Chin got up and went for coffee. "Bring me back one."
Steve waited until he was gone to snicker. "Thankfully I know it can't happen since I accidentally drank one of the beers he sent over. Cherry flavored. It tasted better than cherry cough syrup but more like a popsicle."
Danny shook his head. "I'm not even going there."
Kono lifted her head to look at them. "Is that like the cough syrup he gave you?"
"Less potent. That stuff was evil but it worked really well."
"The hair starting to grow back on your chest?" Danny teased.
"Not yet." He went back to his office to pretend to do paperwork.
Danny and Kono shared a smirk then Danny went to do the real paperwork while she tried to rest off the rest of the hangover. Her paperwork was all done.
Xander walked into the bar he liked to hang out at, with all his ex's protectively in there hovering over the boys, and smiled at the bartender. "Why did you want to try my homebrew?"
"I heard you made some."
"Yeah, and beer. I've been working on beer recently." He opened the cooler on the back of the stroller to hand him things. "This is from the last batch of homebrew. Been capped just over a year. I'm told it's real strong. These are the beers I've been working on. I've been trying to figure out flavors. Kono suggested edible flowers or berries for the homebrew."
Franklin got a few guys up to taste test. He had heard they were strong and he had to work for the next ten hours.
One of the ex's tasted some of the homebrew and looked at Xander. "You cut the alcohol by half. Thank you."
Xander smirked. "I had to. It was a bit strong that last batch you tasted."
Another one tasting that one swayed a bit. "That's weaker?"
"Yeah, it was nearly all alcohol last time," the ex said. He helped that one onto a stool but he fell off it. "Still a bit strong." He tasted the beers. "Butter rum lifesavers?"
"I thought it'd be neat." Xander shrugged. "I made some more cold medicines too."
"I could use that," one of the few women in there moaned. Xander handed them over. "How?"
"Spread the red one." She did that and moaned, wiping some of it back off. She sipped the other one and spluttered but she had a good nap. When she woke up, she was much better. Even if she was still a bit tipsy.
Franklin looked at Xander. "If you ever get it down to a low alcohol version I might let you slide me a few special bottles, but it has to be under 13 percent alcohol by volume."
Xander nodded. "I could try to cold filter them like I do the cough syrups." An officer walked in. "They wanted to know how my beer brewing experiments were going," he said with a grin.
The officer nodded. "You know you need a permit, right?"
"I do? I never heard that. I can get one today. Sorry."
"That's all right. Make sure they're all gone, sir."
"I can do that." He pointed at Franklin, who grinned and waved. The officer went to call that in and his boss was giddy with happiness that Harris was doing something bad. Of course, they couldn't raid his house for that reason but that would let them watch him.
"Homebrew might be totally illegal," Franklin said quietly, "but I didn't know that either."
Someone took the rest of the homebrew to pour over some berries and capped them to put them in the fridge. "That'll help." He smiled at Xander. "Filtering."
"I'll adjust the recipes." He smiled. "Thanks, guys. Glad you liked them." He went to City Hall to ask about that permit. It wasn't that expensive. He wouldn't hear that most of the bar had fallen down and napped it off but it had been a quiet day for Franklin anyway.
Danny walked into Xander's house. "You need a license to homebrew?"
"Apparently. It wasn't that bad." He pointed at it. "I did ask and I'm not supposed to make any more homebrew. I asked about brewing cough syrup potions that had some alcohol content and they said that's morally gray and I can't sell it. So it's family and ex's only."
"That's fine. Steve's still waiting on his chest hair to grow back." He leaned his hip against the counter, watching the kids sit on the patio to watch the birds that had taken over the lawn. Even Jo was outside in a carseat. "Are they being punished?"
"No. Jensen squealed about the birds so I let them all go sit out there. They can't get into the pool and I can see them." They shared a grin. Happy, quiet babies were a blessing that didn't rip up the house.
Danny walked up to one of the officers who was watching Xander. "Why are you sitting surveillance?"
"He's making illegal things."
"No, he's making beers. He makes some kick ass cough syrups that work well on family members." They stared at him. He smirked. "By the way, do you have a warrant?"
"Sir, we're HPD," he said. Danny held up his badge. "Oh. Which unit?"
"5-0," he said smugly. They groaned. "McGarrett has direct oversight of his weapons stash because we have borrowing rights, people. So unless you have a warrant....." He waved a hand. "Have a pretty night."
"Sir, he knows weapons dealers," one said.
"Yeah, they like to date him. Only those sort are drawn to date my fairly tired cousin. We've known this since he got sent out here by the president. Some of his ex's are *real* helpful at times. Like the one in the ATF he turns over rescued guns to when he raids some of his other ex's." They groaned. "Tell whoever started this fit to call McGarrett tomorrow. They can settle this pissing contest then."
"Did you know one of the children wanders at night?"
"Yup. Jake never sleeps. He goes out to play with the vine plant most of the time or he sits in the house and colors. Then again, Xander hardly ever sleeps so he's aware of it."
They slumped but called that in. They were ordered to return to the office and did so. Danny smiled and waved. They'd figure it out someday too.
Xander showed up at the office to talk to Steve about the guys that were haunting him. He wasn't sure why the local PD was haunting him but it was getting a bit creepy. Pooch somehow knew the usual officer's names. Frank was flirting with one that was female and had tried to flirt with Xander in the grocery store.
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