There wasn't any particular effect of stepping through the vortex. One moment they were in a park on Fandom Island, and the next, they were right outside the light house at sunset. The Light was flashing, indicating it was safe to return. Good timing.
Inside, they found Daddy and Grandpa drinking coffee and waiting for them. With pictures that Daddy had never shown them before. They looked like they'd been taken with a camera phone.
There was a picture of Ana standing in Stuff for Sale clutching the giant stufed Otter that she'd had ever since being rescued from the lab.
Tommy and Ana sparring in the gym, Tommy and Akira giggling, Tommy and Ana on stage at Caritas, and Ana dancing in the lounge.
The kids and Willow, and finally, the two of them standing before the vortex that had brought them back home.
"Is this one of those predestination things?" Grandpa asked. He'd obviously taken his evening medication. Which reminded them:
"Daddy," Ana said. "Are the bad people gone?"
Bill smirked. "Yes as a matter of fact your Grandfather scared them off. He can still be quite intimidating when he's lucid." Bill secretely thanked the advancements in medicine that meant that not only did the meds tone down his father's senility, it also curbed his megalomaniacal psychopathic tendencies.
Over dinner, Tommy, ever the storyteller told his father and Grandfather all about their adventures. Their exploring of the preserve, his educating a certain tv junkie about real ninjas, and meeting Aunt Annie, 'cept he didn't know it was her because she used her full name and had different hair.
At that point Ana chimed in with her side of that adventure, meeting the Pippi girl Bill had talked about, and having to search for Tommy, and how she totally was not panicking or crying the whole time. Tommy looked sheepish, just like he had when Ana had found him.
They both talked over each other, which resulted in loud children, as they tried to tell them about meeting the scary candy lady, and Miss Lana, and of course, young Daddy. Which was weird.
After this story, Grandpa pushed his coffee aside. "And you thought your childhood was weird." he said to Bill.
Bill laughed, and hugged his kids as if he hadn't seen them in years. Because today had reminded him of how he'd felt, sending them home so many years ago.
"Daddy do ninjas cry?" Tommy asked him.
"Hey what did I say last time you asked that question?"
"They do but they're sneaky about it."
Ana and Tommy were exhausted by this time, and Billy and Grandpa tucked them into bed, Ana thanking Daddy again for saving the Otter for her.
And Grandpa called Tommy Billy. Which was weirder than the entire time traveling weekend had been.