Same Old Dance, Different Venue.
Xander looked around the battle, shaking his head. "This totally sucks worse than most everything in the universe but that situation in Ghana," he decided. He looked up then at the demonic army. And no human army, very few agents, half the slayers in the US, and a few mutants against them. "Humans really have to start saving themselves," he told the slayer staring at him. She nodded, giving him a panicked look. He held up a hand.
"Ladies, let's fall back," he yelled in Latin. "Now!" They moved backwards. The ones helping them followed when they saw the girls pulling back. Xander pulled up magic and did something he wanted to do during a battle in Africa. Then what he did in Ghana when the spell he cast only ate half the army. He had thought it'd be stronger.
He cut his arm and looked up. "I'm calling in that damn debt you owe me," he yelled. "Right the hell now!" Buffy spun to stare at him, mouth opening to scream at him. Then suddenly there were weapons. "Thanks, sweetie!" He smiled and waved. "If there's anything left after the next battle you can have it for an off world war." He looked then walked over to one, the demons all looking at him like he was stupid.
Xander pulled out something and armed it then threw it at the mass of demons. They at least screamed when they blew up. He grinned at Buffy. "Stripping debt. He used a fake poker debt to make me dance at his bachelor party." She was choking and shaking her head. He grinned at Faith. "She's going to need a nap." He got out of grabbing range and picked up a few more things. Some of the girls rushed over to grab weapons with him to throw or use on the demons.
Logan looked over, shaking his head. "You're so weird," he complained but he took some too. His claws didn't even dent the few he tried to cut. Some of the demons tried to attack back but the slayers handled them first. He looked over at humming. "Harris, humming," he complained.
"Oops, sorry." Buffy was making squeaky noises. The other slayers were decimating the demonic army. "Save a few, ladies. We might need them if they regain sense. Or for later on when it gets worse in another month." The girls nodded. Buffy finally took something to fire on the generals behind the army. That sent up a wailing call and the army shook themselves loose to attack them. Only now their mages were gone so they weren't impermeable. That let Logan and some of the slayers cut the demons down. Plus Xander with his special axe. Buffy shot off another weapon and then dove back in with the slayer scythe. "I've got to make you a replacement one so that one can't be lost or broken," he said to her when she ducked a blow at her head.
"Please do," she agreed. "Because that would suck huge."
"Gladly. Take my sword," he said with a point at it. She took it from the injured slayer and dove back in. "Sylvia, go to the healers," he ordered. Andrew rushed in to help her back there. More mutants showed up. "Thanks, guys," he called with a wave. "They can be cut now." That got a nod from a few and they joined the fight.
"Freeze by order of the US government!" someone on a loudspeaker yelled.
"Shut the fuck up!" Xander called back. "Unless you want to be eaten by these suckers, go home! Because you're a useless being who gives soldiers a bad name!" A few of the girls laughed. "If they touch you, break it off," he ordered them. They all nodded. "And if they touch the weapons, break their hands. We'll need it next month." Another higher demon showed up and ate one of the army of demons then smirked at the slayers as he chewed. "Oh, no. No, no no no no!" He pointed. "Go home!"
"But, Xander, they're beautiful."
"Yeah and you're toxic to humans," he said sarcastically, then took a swing at the demon. "Go home or deal with the army." He pointed behind him. They got back into the fight and the demon did go to talk to the boring humans.
"Brian!" one of the girls yelled. "No! Damn you bastards!" She rushed in until Faith stopped her and motioned to Andrew, who floated her boyfriend out of the way. She ran off to be with him. "I'm going to kill them all!"
"Yup, we can help you," Xander called. "Take him to an ER, Bri!"
He glanced back. "Now!"
She nodded, letting one of the agents lead her off to the paramedics so they could go to the ER. He was alive and she wanted to keep him that way. She was sniffling. "I'm going to tie him down and propose to him later," she told the agent, looking at him.
"He should be able to live, miss. Let the doctors work." She nodded, going with him. The agent looked at the others. "How many others have boyfriends or girlfriends?" he asked quietly.
"Six that we spotted. One's a mutant." He pointed at where one of the local girls was beating the living crap out of a few demons for denting and cutting her boyfriend on the bicep. "A few others too." He pointed them out. That agent went over to help Kara and her boyfriend out of harm's way. "We have healers and paramedics, Slayer Kara."
She pushed her hair back, glaring at him. "I know about the local ER's and half the healers," she sneered. "Xander does great stitches."
"He'll be doing some on himself. We have demonic healers here too for you ladies," he offered. Colossus scowled at him. "They can heal injuries."
Kara picked him up and carried her boyfriend off to the healers. "He got cut. I need to go avenge that."
He pulled her closer to hug. "I'm fine. I have been hurt worse in other battles, Kara. Calm down." She sniffled and cuddled him while a healer closed the cut on his arm. The other army shouted cheers. He looked out there. "Oh, dear. Xander's down on one knee. Buffy's unconscious. Faith's backing away."
She looked. "Oh, shit. Xander's going to lose it." She ran out there to help. "Xander, let us help! Don't you dare go off!"
He looked back at her and smirked then picked up something from a case he had kicked out of the way. He bled onto it then walked over to hand it to one of the demons. "May you and yours have fun with the wanted blood," he said in a demon trade tongue. Then he ran off. The bomb went off. The demons who wanted Xander showed up to gather the blood, and the demons it was on. They all screamed and ran from that demon group. Xander flung more blood on them so they got eaten, laughing as he did it.
Faith looked at Xander. "Don't make me knock you out, boytoy."
Logan came over to grab Xander's arm, hauling him off to the healers. "Fix that. Before it tries for you."
"It can't eat me. It wants me hugely but it can't get my mortal form," he said with an insane grin. "But anyone with my blood will get their attention." Logan groaned. The healers grabbed Xander to fix his arm. His axe got handed to Colossus to hold while they worked on him. Buffy got carried in. The US army tried to gather the weapons, the slayers, and the mutants. At least until they all got glassy eyed and wandered off toward the harbor so they could jump in. That let the girls gather the extra weapons and take them to hide for the next battle with the agents' help.
A young brunette woman strolled into the healer's tent, looking at Xander. "Wow. I thought it wanted me."
Xander grinned. "It can't eat my human form." He smirked. "But it sure wants my blood."
"Hey, works for us," one of the slayers quipped from where she was being cleaned up. "Why did you show up, Dawn?"
"To help close the portal. The coven summoned," she said with a shrug. "I'm thinking they're tired."
"Don't you dare let them expose you," Xander warned.
"Not a chance." She went to talk to the coven. "Okay, you guys summoned me for some reason. Let's get on with it before someone notes me and my mundane lifestyle is ended by idiots." They nodded, moving to work on the portal. She took Tara's hand with a grin. Tara smiled back. "My sister will probably hate that they cut her hair."
"So would I," Tara agreed. They closed the portal for once and forever. They sent Dawn home and Tara went to help the healers. "What can I do to help?" she asked, taking a bottle of water from one of the agents.
"Miss, are you with the Council?" an agent asked.
She smiled. "I'm from the Sunnydale team and I'm with the Coven."
"Oh!" He smiled and nodded. "That's great. What happened to the army people?"
She shrugged. "No clue. Wasn't the coven. I'm guessing a compulsion though." She took a sip. "That had to come from one of the local mages."
"Not a mutant?"
"No, not a mutant at all. I felt the magic. There's fifteen mages in the city that I know of. It was one of them wanting to keep down the hell. Because if they had taken the slayers hostage we would've had to throw down for real." She smiled slightly. "I would've even changed Rosenburg back for that." She walked off. "Let me help, Healer."
"Please, Lady Tara. The Goddess smiles on you. We could all use some of that." She lent energy and hands to help with the injuries. She had learned a lot because it was almost a necessity around the slayers. "We have heard there's an upcoming one?"
"In about a month something will attack some of the mutants on the darker side and make them run for help," she said. "There's been visions." He winced but nodded with a moan of pain. "We know it'll be demonic in nature but not what yet."
"That will be bad. Will they summon it?"
Xander blinked then shook his head. "No. It'll be trying to prove it's the bigger, badder bad guy by taking them out. It hates mutants. It looks like a monk only he's green."
"That's probably a bad thing then. I know of myths of a blue one," the healer said, looking at him.
Xander shook his head. "I checked against those. He comes some year soon but not yet. This one's green and I think he's from one of the other nine realms or space."
"Ah. Then we will figure it out."
"You'll be needed to guard the community," Xander said, staring at him. "It won't like the demonic any more than the mutant community. You're all in danger and we're all boned because his buddies will be attacking a few places at once." The healer nodded but sighed. "I've let the local overlord have copies of the visions."
"We will get them from him," another healer agreed. They got back to work.
Xander got off the bed, taking his axe back. "Let me hide before Buffy wakes up to scream and rant." The girls all laughed. "Meet us back there sometime, ladies, unless you're camping with the girls in the motels." He walked off to make sure everything was cleaned up. The demons who wanted his blood were licking it off the ground. All the weapons had disappeared. Xander looked at a SHIELD agent, who nodded behind him. "The weapons?"
"In hiding for your girls."
"Thanks. See you guys in a month."
"We'll be seeing you in a week for the debrief, Harris." He grinned.
"Sure, if you want. Talk to Hannah. She does all ours." He walked off using his t-shirt to clean off his axe. A police officer glared at him. "What? I was just in a battle! I'm going home."
"No battle axes in the open please, sir."
"Sure. I'll figure out how to cover it if it'll let me."
"Thank you." He watched him walk off shaking his head. The Council people were all weird. The slayers were cute but they were just as weird.
Hannah the slayer walked up to the SHIELD desk, smiling at the agent there. "I'm Slayer Hannah and I'm here for the debrief Director Fury called for."
"I'll let him know you're here, Slayer Hannah." He called up there. "Sir, Slayer Hannah here for the post-battle debrief." He looked at her. "He expected Harris, miss."
"Yeah but Xander's got a headache and we tied him to the bed so we could fuss over his injuries." She smiled. "He wasn't going to let us fuss. So Kara's in charge the local house and I'm the one that does all the debriefs anyway."
He listened. "Go ahead up to the seventh floor, Slayer Hannah." He set the elevator for her and got her signed in. She headed up after being hand wanded by security. Once she was safely off he shook his head quickly. "The world is relying on a bunch of happy young women," he muttered. He nodded at an agent strolling in. "They're starting the post-battle debrief, Hawkeye."
"That's fine." He headed up to the office, tossing in his report. "On our parts, Director." He smiled at the slayer. "Did Xander get to escape yet?"
"Nope." She beamed at him. "Because we're really good at making sure he knows he's our normal guy so we get to fuss. Kara's doing a lot too. Ooooh, she's the head slayer in charge now. Kennedy's now formally taking over the house in London for good and Penny's retiring to non-patrol status because she had an oops and a flight to Vegas right before the battle. He wouldn't let her join in."
Clint Barton smiled and nodded. "I hope Penelope's happy being a mom and wife, Hannah. Good job during the battle. Your team didn't have a lot of problems."
"We were off to the side because we're not the higher end fighters." She shrugged. "Which is why we're the ones to debrief with, because we saw it and helped but we're probably not the sort to be injured." She smiled. "Will you be there for the one in a month?"
"If at all humanly possible." She hugged him with a squeal. He patted her on the back. "Just let me know at least a day before if you can." She nodded. "That's our report. Half of my team is kicking themselves over being out of town again." He strolled off grinning. He had some agents he wanted to talk to about why they weren't at the battle. His phone beeped with a message. "Watch out for octopuses," he read, then frowned. "Huh?" Then someone attacked him so he fought back. He stared at the junior agent. "You really need to work on that." Someone shot at him. "And so do you." They went down to a taser in the neck. "Nat." He grinned. "You're back?"
"I was here for the battle but I was in the left side battle unit." She stared at the agent she had tazed. "What is their damage this time?" He held up his phone. "Interesting. We should really talk to the others. I just figured out what Harris was talking about when he met Grant Ward and had a flash of a vision." Clint smirked at her. Another few agents tried to attack them.
Hannah walked out, smiling but clearing her throat. "Why are you doing this around slayers? Really? You *do* know that we have a last breath spell to summon a demon to avenge us? Or it might just summon Xander to avenge us?" She stared at the agents. "Y'all have fun now, ya hear, but not around me. Even if you get me before I can say the three words, it'll still happen with my last heartbeat. Xander made sure of it." She smiled. The agents ran off.
Natasha looked at her. "Do you really like the Beverly Hillbillies?" Clint asked.
She smiled and nodded. "I always wanted to be Ellie May. Who doesn't like critters?" She waved a hand. "My mother was shortsighted when she named me Hannah. I asked her once why she didn't name me Ellie after my grandmother but she said she hates that show. Pity but I still think she's weird anyway." She went back into the office.
Clint and Natasha shared a look before going to hunt down those agents. They really did have to make sure those sort didn't come near nice young women like Hannah. Or get warped by Xander like Hannah clearly had been.
Kara opened the door, staring at the tall, bald, one-eyed man standing there in a leather trenchcoat and all black. "Xander's still tied to the bed. We're not going to let him up until he's healed this time." She smiled. "That way he can't go out with a bad girl who wants to bruise him more."
Director Fury handed over Hannah. "Someone tried to attack her at the SHIELD office. HYDRA has become a pain. You should let someone with less perky times do the debrief, Slayer Kara. She's young and bouncy and other directors wouldn't understand."
Kara grinned. "That's why we send Hannah, Director Fury. Because if those other sorts bother her, we'll just send Xander to save her." He snorted but looked amused. "Hannah, you good?"
"I'm fine. Is Xander still tied up? I got a text message saying he was missing but it was someone who wanted him because of how he found things in Africa."
"I haven't checked in the last half-hour. Someone check on Xander," she called.
"He's gone," was called a minute later. "Someone cut the ropes and snuck him out the fire escape because we had him knocked out for the cleaning of the gross eye thing and the wound on his back."
"I can put out feelers to see if he needs saved," the director said, walking off shaking his head. He called in that warning on his way back to the office to continue working on the clean up of his dirty people. He really had to end HYDRA soon. Before they tried to grab a slayer. No one wanted to see what Harris would pull out of his ass to save them.
Hannah smiled at Kara. "I'm going to the demon bar to pet things. Need me to pick up anything when I come back by curfew?"
"No, we're good. We just went shopping last night. Have fun. Tell Mo I said hi." Hannah smiled and nodded, bouncing off to take a cab to the demon bar where she could pet things.
Kara shut the door, going up to tidy up Xander's room. The people who kidnaped him really had to start cleaning up their own messes. She also let his axe out of the closet so it could fly off to find her mated human. It was a great friend to have and pet but it did like Xander above all others.
Xander woke up, blinking at the man in the hooded robe above his head. "Wow, this is not what I expected to do today," he said dryly. He sat up. At least he wasn't tied down, no one had a knife, and he was still alive as far as he could tell.
"Mr. Harris, we need you to look for an artifact for us," the robed man said, not lifting his head so Xander couldn't see his face.
"I have no idea how I do anything but find metal," he said dryly. "I just fall into artifacts."
"The one we need is made of metal," he said, sounding happy. "It's a statue of Apollo."
"I'm assuming that it's possessed," Xander said, swinging his feet around. "It's probably not on the underground or in legal hands. Was it stolen from you?"
"Many years ago by heretics."
"So I'm guessing that it was one of the ones grabbed during World War II?" The man nodded. "Interesting. It's in the museum." He pointed. "Or at least one of the two is."
The man's head lifted and you could just barely tell he was a white guy with a scarce beard by his chin. "Two?"
"Table sized metallic statues of Apollo with things trapped inside? Two. One's in a museum about five miles that way," he said with another point. That gave him an idea of where he was in the city. "The other's somewhere really green. It's showing me a field and a tiny little cottage."
"Any idea where the cottage is?"
"Nope. Just a really green field with little white flowers here and there in the grass." He shrugged. "I've barely been anywhere in England."
"How do you know you're in England?" the man asked.
"Because you're British, the ones whispering in the dark corners are speaking British, and this is clearly outside of London. The energy in London feels weird to me and it's not that far away from it." The man fully stared at him, letting him see his face. "The statue's in one of the national museums. I visited it after the convergence event." He stared at him. "Beyond that, the group in England that wasn't the Council who was stealing or confiscating artifacts is seriously on everyone's hit list for being dickheads. Even if some of them are official."
He stared at one of the people in a corner then looked at him again. "Dude, your keys are in your pocket. Quit prompting it before I start finding the other things around here." That one quit thinking about anything metal. Xander looked at the robed guy again. "I'm pretty sure that you're going to have to steal it from the museum. They're not going to put mystical artifacts on display." He grimaced. "Which I can't and am not going to do. You might ask Giles if he can intercede."
"I can do that. The other one?"
"All I see is a little cottage in a field." He shrugged. "No idea where it is or if it was related to that group that was created to go against the Council."
"All right. We can look into that. Thank you for your help, Mr. Harris." He waved a hand and a dart hit Xander to knock him out.
Xander plucked out the dart and sniffed it then looked at that same corner. "Dude, I got exposed to mermaid taint in high school and nothing works like it should on me." He yawned. "Though it's nice it's time for painkillers." Someone cast a quiet spell to knock him out before they rushed in to arrest all the cultists.
"I'm glad we kept the old bastards at the Council from acting on their death wish for the boy," one of them said. "Deliver him to his girls. We'll handle this mess." His people nodded, two of them carrying Xander out to deliver to the local slayer house.
Kennedy poked Xander, staring down at him. "Why can't I get away from you?" she asked sarcastically.
"Because someone kidnaped me from New York to ask me about their possessed statue." He sat up with a groan, holding his side. "Did someone stab me?"
"No, some of your stitches broke," she said, staring down at him. "Who were they?"
"I'm guessing it was the group that formed between the two world wars to go against the Council by confiscating mystical things," he said. "And the group that had me is probably a small group that wanted whatever was trapped inside the statue of Apollo." He stretched. "But hey, nice nap they gave me."
She nodded, walking off shaking her head. "The US embassy is still telling Giles you don't actually exist."
"Great. I'll see if the coven can move me or look up the teleporting spell for myself." She looked back at him. He grinned. "I got magic now, Kennedy."
"Ewww. That's going to be a problem."
"No, I know what self control is. It's why I didn't smite some bitches when I was younger." She laughed but nodded, going to the kitchen. He followed. "Coffee?" She handed him a mug and pointed. He poured himself some and sipped with a sigh of pleasure. "Nice choice, whoever bought it."
"I'll tell Andi that when she gets back from school." She walked off texting Buffy and Faith. She laughed. "Buffy said you'd better hide from her, mister, or else she was going to beat you to death."
Xander snorted but sipped more coffee. "Did one of the girls stake her date again?"
"No. She's pouting about Penny's boyfriend. She's on no battle status?" she asked, heading back to the kitchen.
He grinned. "Two days before the battle she found out she had an oops with her bc and they had a quick flight to Vegas." He finished that cup and got more.
"Huh. That's sweet. I hope her kid's healthy and a good kid instead of a brat." She walked off again. "She's jealous of Penny's boyfriend."
"She knows where guys like Penny's boyfriend hang out. Have her go back to the mercenary bar," Xander quipped. "They'll probably gladly flirt with her."
"Better than a vampire any day," she said, typing that in. "She huffed back."
"Of course she did." He patted himself down. "Call my phone? See who has it?"
She grunted but did that and walked off talking to Kara. "Guess who got kidnaped to find an artifact and got dropped off on my doorstep?" she said in greeting. "Yeah, him. Slurping coffee. He swore up and down he could find the teleporting spell and use it. Your wand's back there, Xander."
"I can do wandless magic, Kennedy. I just have to unfuzzy my mind so I can remember it." He frowned. "I hate flashes of visions," he said, pouring more coffee and strolling off. He walked off sipping and ignored Kennedy following him. He stopped one guy by spinning him around and grinning. Then he punched someone. "You're a demon in disguise. Change the fuck back, asshole. I may hate being in London, but still. You just set off a vision." He grinned and sipped the rest of his coffee. The demon changed back.
Xander handed the mousy looking guy he had moved his cup. "Hold that for me please so I don't have to replace it for the slayers." The guy was spluttering but oh well. He could have an Englishman's fit if he wanted. He dove at the demon, beating the crap out of him. "Hmm, nearly as good as coffee this morning." He got off the groaning body, wiping his hands off on his t-shirt. "So, you chose to do something that set off my vision and I usually only see battles. Are you happy with that decision?" he asked blandly, staring at it.
"We'll get you, Knight," the demon groaned. "I vow it on my heart's blood."
Xander leaned down. "The line starts behind D'Hoffryn," he said dryly, smirking at him. "Have fun waiting your turn." The demon whined. "Shoo."
"I cannot. You broke my teleportation crystal."
"Awww, poor thing. Either you go or I'm going to make you go in a messy spot." He smiled then looked around, whistling loudly. His axe came flying to his hand. "Awww, baby, you didn't lose me. The cultists kidnaped me. I'm sorry I worried you."
"Yeah, Kara, his axe just found him," Kennedy said. "Xander, he takes fire to end."
"I know that, Kennedy. I taught many girls about them." He stomped on the demon again then muttered something, lighting it on fire and beheading it. He put the head respectfully on the chest then walked off petting his axe. He grinned and took his cup back. "Thanks for the holding, dude. Their kind are kinda evil, they take human slaves for sex and eating." He walked off ignoring the huffy guy. "Tentacle friends of theirs usually get to have fun too and a lot of people really don't want to think about tentacle sex."
"Eww," Kennedy complained. "Yes, them," she complained to Kara. "Xander, clean your mind up. It's filthy in there and full of weird, bad things. I'm going to tell Faith."
"Tell my ex," he said with a point at someone. "Maybe I'll get a date tonight before I find the teleporting spell and head back to New York." He blew a kiss and waved, making the guy groan. "Howdy. I got taken by cultists looking for an artifact in a local museum."
The guy trotted over to hug him. "It's all right. We can get you home, Xander. We won't even charge you sex for the rescue." He walked him off. "That's a pretty axe."
"It came down from Asgard to be petted by me." He let his lover pet it with him. This one did like weapons too.
Kennedy muttered something. "He found a happy date night, Kara. Have fun when he gets back." She took the cup back to the house, closing and locking the door. The guy Xander had saved had tried to follow but oh well. He could go be a normal guy somewhere else. She did not have the patience or time to break a new normal guy in. Plus he had looked boring so not good for sex either.
The 'normal guy' walked back to where his car was waiting, calling his roommate. "I met one of those Council people. No, not misguided, Sherlock. Beat the living crap out of the demon who was pretending to be that substitute detective. Ended up beheading him and setting him on fire after he had changed into a six-foot-three green thing with a few minor tentacles around his neck. No, I'm not hallucinating. The fire's being put out right now." He looked at the officer staring at it. "He was a demon."
"We noticed," one of the officers said, looking at him. "You don't look too horrified."
"I work with Inspector Lestrade," he said dryly. "With Holmes."
"No wonder it didn't horrify you. What happened?"
"The guy showed up with a woman chatting on the phone behind him. He spun me away from what I thought was a DI from upcountry who came in to substitute for one on leave. Handed me his coffee cup, insulted the guy, who then changed so the guy pounced him."
"American. Dark hair, one eye looked like it wasn't working."
"Must be their hunter guy. He was here a few times, including during that convergence," her partner said.
"He had an axe that flew over to be petted by him," John Watson said.
"Yup, that's him." They all shrugged and let him sign the statement. John went home to be questioned by Sherlock for hours on end. The officers made a report to their boss, who complained up the chain a bit but at least they didn't have a harmful sort in their department any longer.
Xander decided to see why London had that funny energy thing that drew him. New York had something similar but it felt dirtier to him. So maybe he'd find a clue so he could figure out if it was a real problem or not. He found his way into the Underground, heading uptown on the train until the power felt very strong. Then he got off and found a maintenance doorway. That way was blocked so he headed for another one. He grinned at the staring subway officer. "Council. I feel mystical energy so I'm figuring out why."
The officer pointed up the tunnel. "Next stop, sir. Nice hospital up there too."
Xander grinned. "That'll probably help later. Thanks." He traced the magic, getting on the subway train again to go up a stop. Yup, it was there. It was a blank spot in the center of the power. He found a blocked doorway, frowning as he chanted the small spell to open it for him. He slid inside and looked around. He blew on a lamp and then plugged it in. Light was good and he was in some sort of small sitting room. This wasn't more than an interesting area though the books looked like they could be useful. He picked a few to take with him. He needed something to read in bed anyway.
He found two other rooms linked. One was a bathroom with a closet that held ritual robes. The other was a bedroom. Xander looked up then went through the bathroom. Behind the ritual robes was a small door for him to look through. He walked in and stared at the temple. "Wow," he said. "Huh." Lanterns around the area lit and he looked up at the head statue. "Dionysus," he said with a head nod. "Just making sure this wasn't something I had to handle for the slayers." He heard a quiet laugh but it was amused so not a problem.
He looked around, finding something that looked like pictures of Hermes' staff. He held it up, then put it onto the main altar. "Please don't let that out into the world, Lord Dionysus. I don't need that sort of stress." He looked around some more, finding a few other shrines in the corners. Not one to Bacchus though, which was weird. That one was probably somewhere closer to the demon areas. He walked out, taking the books with him. The temple felt pouty but he wasn't going to vow himself to any god or goddess unless they were great in bed.
Xander reappeared in New York the next morning, sighing as he looked up. "Hi, Honey, I'm home." He hit the guy trying to lift his wallet then looked back at him. "Don't touch. You're not my type." He walked off, putting his t-shirt over the head of his axe before some officer complained about it. He got funny looks for walking around without a shirt on instead. He shrugged at one officer's dirty look. "I got kidnaped to England by cultists looking for mystical things. Feel lucky I was wearing pants in bed."
The officer walked off muttering. So another happy day in New York for him. A car sped up to him and spun out to face him. "Officer, can you please stop the bad agents?" he called loudly. The officer came back to see what was going on. One of the agents pulled a rifle and then had to fall down because his head was split by a thrown axe. The axe flew back to Xander, letting him pet it. "That's a good boy axe. A very good boy axe. Wanna go let Kara and them pet you? I heard Penny's back." The axe hummed happily. Xander grinned at the officer. "I'm going back to the slayer house."
"Please do," the officer ordered. "And cover the head again, sir."
"Yup." He did that with his t-shirt as he walked off. The agents were detained by the officer and the friendly ones he called to help him. Some day soon he'd really have to send the NYPD a thank you note, but note that his axe wasn't all that dangerous when it was naked; it was a naked boy axe, not a naked girl. He walked into the house, handing the axe to Penny, who cooed and petted it. "The cultists wanted a mystical artifact that was in a museum."
She shook her head. "Only you, Xander. Giles wanted a call."
"Sure." He went to find his phone and called him. "I'm back in New York finally. No, cultists and I ran into that group that was confiscating mystical things before the Council got to them. They knocked me out and dropped me on Kennedy. Yes, Giles, it's Xander. Hmm, memory spells again? I didn't do it." Giles muttered something and then groaned. "No more memory spells, Giles? Do I have to fix it again? And is it the same cat-shaped witch?" He grinned, looking up. He found his wand and cast something around Giles to protect him and then at the witch who had spelled him he sent it back at her. Tara complained by text but it didn't hit her, it just glanced back on her.
Xander grinned. "So, Giles, you wanted a call about my kidnaping to England? No clue. The group that rescued me from the cultists did a sleep spell but they were looking for a possessed statue of Apollo. I found two. One's in a museum and the other showed me a picture of a tiny cottage in a really green field. Yeah, looked like that. Oh, that's what that is. Cool. No, I was near London but away from that funny feeling spot. No, it didn't feel like a catacomb. Yup, the axe wanted to be petted by Penny.
"Thanks, man. Let me know if I have to do more protections." He hung up and went to save his axe from the petting girls. It struggled to get back to them so it was a good thing. So when the spell hit the house, the girls in contact were safe. Xander protected the rest. Then he hit back at whoever had done that. Poor witches. Poor, misguided witches. Pity. Xander grinned at the girls. "Giles wanted to know if I could start finding mystical artifacts around here."
Penny looked at him. "That's mean, Xander."
He smiled. "Thank you." They groaned but Kara knocked him out and put him onto the couch so they could all play with the weapons without his bad idea generator putting up ideas.
Xander was humming a song he had heard on Bugs Bunny during a chase scene that he had watched that morning as he broke into the safe area under New York. That energy leak was getting louder and more annoying. So he was going to figure out what it was and shut it up if he could. He walked into the safe, shrugging when the door slammed shut behind him. He headed for the power signature he could feel, and his axe was reacting to by wiggling. He walked into a lab. Oops. And a few mystical artifacts were there too. Double oops. Okay. He could handle this.
He pulled his axe and got three of the scientists then the guard before he could hit the emergency switch. He reached over the end of the table, touching the staff. "Baby, c'mon. Let's get you somewhere safer. I felt your call." He gathered it and the other things, including one of the scientists' protection amulets. Those could be precious things. The staff moved and the safe door blew out. "Sure, we can do that." He juggled things then bundled them up into his shirt he took off.
He walked out into the semi-fresh air, coughing a bit. "Wow, nasty today in the city." He looked at the staff then at his axe. "Can you go find some other Asgardian down here?" he asked it. It flew off and headed uptown. "Cool. I'm going to the bar," he called after it. He headed down there, putting two things in front of a pair of glaring mercenaries as he walked in. They were slowly drawn to kiss each other so the statues could kiss. He grinned at the bartender. "My axe is getting someone to help the poor babies." He grinned.
"It's mean to make them go gay, Xander," the bartender complained but he was smiling. The kissing turned into beating on each other. Which the statues stopped by making them kiss again. "At least it's mystical gayness." He looked at the staff he held. "Isn't that what that guy in green used to invade the city?"
"I was in Africa then," Xander said dryly. "How would I know? I know it's Asgardian so my axe is getting another one of them down here to take it."
"Sure, that's cool. They're gross together. Not even porn worthy. Can you stop them?"
"Yeah, if I can summon Buffy." He grinned and did that. "Buffster, the mystical artifacts are making them make out. Can you get them free?" he asked.
She huffed and pushed back her hair but moved the statues. They stared at her before pulling her down to make sure they were still het with her.
Xander grinned at his favorite bartender. "Slayers do good breaking mystical things."
"I'm sure they do," the bartender said dryly.
"She needed a new boyfriend anyway," he quipped. His axe flew back into his hand, feeling very happy. Xander walked the stuff out there, handing them to the big, blond guy and his girlfriend. "Hi. I was tracking the unhappy mystical thing there and found them in a lab under the city. I didn't want unhappy mystical things to draw problems onto the city so I rescued it." He grinned. "It's pretty muchly Asgardian stuff so I sent my axe to find you. Thanks." He cuddled his axe on his way back inside.
Thor looked at the artifacts then at the doorway. Then at his girlfriend. "That one is very strange even for a warrior."
"Yes, he is," she agreed. "Let's get these back somewhere safer."
"Please. Before my brother's staff tries to adopt someone else." He got them back to the car and back to the tower. "The warrior who fights with the Battle Maidens found them in a lab under the city. He said they were unhappy and he didn't want them to draw anything to the city." He put them all carefully on the meeting table. He made sure the statues weren't close together when he saw them trying to move closer to people and each other.
Tony Stark looked at them then at Thor. "Isn't that your brother's staff?"
"SHIELD had it," Steve Rogers realized. He groaned. "Great, so we have HYDRA with mystical weapons."
"Probably not many," Jane, Thor's girlfriend, said. "It seems like the guy saved them."
The heros all nodded. "That guy's a bit weird anyway," Stark said.
Clint Barton shook his head. "He's not. He's real protective over the slayers. He's their big brother. They all consider him normal." Stark snorted, shaking his head. "They seem to think so. We know he's got a metal finding talent."
"Metal finding guy?" Steve asked. "I've heard rumors about him."
"That's him," Natasha said, pulling up the file she had on him. "He's very interesting but a bit warping. The girls all get weapons petting time. Including of his axe, which came down during the convergence."
"I remember. It came right for him and he accepted it," Thor agreed. "Told me it wanted cuddled."
"I'm sure many mystical things want to cuddle him," Stark said dryly. "Guys like him are probably followed by them."
"There's others like him?" Jane asked. "Where? So I don't have to deal with mystical things?"
"Well, the rest of the Council is in Cleveland," Clint said dryly. "But the old guys down there are mostly leftover from the old Council so they want the girls to go back to being warriors slaves they raised from birth if they could." Natasha grimaced, shaking her head. "Thankfully they rebuilt it so it's better for the girls. Some are even moms and have real lives if they want. Penelope, the former head of the local house, she just got married in a hurry."
"In a hurry?" Jane asked with a smile.
"Yeah, right before that battle she popped up on the test so they ran to Vegas. Xander was smiling when he shared that news."
"Wow," Stark said, nodding slightly. "At least she'll be happy with her boyfriend, I hope."
"He's a merc. He knows what her life was like before and can back her up if something happens," Natasha said. Stark grinned at that. "He's trying to set Buffy up with someone sane and alive," she told Clint.
"Might be a good thing for the younger girls to see," Clint agreed. "Her last one was one of Harris' exes. They were casual but he's gone now thanks to HYDRA. Speaking of, we need to make sure that anything he left the slayers gets to them," he told Natasha. "It's just like some of those other agents to try to stop it, which would probably mean they would need more weapons sometime soon."
She nodded. "They're still ignoring that Harris is a US citizen. A few still think they can deport him back to Egypt but the Egyptian government has told them off a few times."
"Murphy's second law," Steve said dryly. "People in governments and agencies rise to their level of stupidity."
"Definitely when you're talking about most agencies, including SHIELD," Stark agreed. He shook his head. "Do we have a place to store them safely before they get destroyed or whatever?"
"We can't destroy most of them," Thor said. "They would cause more problems. Possibly even releasing something larger that we would have to battle for the slayers."
Stark nodded. "I've got a safe for them then."
"Thank thee." Thor looked at his girlfriend. "Let us put them up safely before they draw inquisitive sorts." They carried them down to the safe area so they could make sure it was all put away for a long, hidden nap.
Xander walked into the store that was run by former Watchers, looking at one of them. "I heard you went to visit one of the minis," he said dryly. The man winced. "Yeah, her mother taped it, Drews. Really?" He stared at him. "The glorious old days of dying young and in a messy manner?" The guy huffed off. "At least you told her the truth, not like your partner, he who complains," he called after him. "Because she told me." That one slunk down some.
"Now then," he said with a smile and a clap of his hands. "We have two weeks until a huge battle coming up with a green skinned mutant who'll hate us, hate them, hate demons, and hates humans just as much. He's coming from somewhere else in space or one of the nine realms. It's going to be in multiple places." Both former watchers groaned. "And we've got visions about four battles." He stared at them. "The girls will need shit and the minis are going to be evacuated before then by the coven. Can I trust you two not to screw them up?" They nodded.
"We'd never harm them, Harris. You know that the watcher's life is in his girl."
"Yeah but the old ways are no more outside of us supporting them. I don't want them propaganda'd to brainwashing."
"No, we won't," the other one said. "Are we helping remove them?"
"You sure are." He grinned. "I didn't figure either of you were front line fighting guys." They shook their heads. "All right." He handed over two envelopes. "One has a charm by the coven. Tara made sure it'll work. Activate it when you've got all the minis together in a safe area. Could take up to a half-hour to move them. She said first activated, first served. The other one has a list and a copy of the visions." They looked them over, both grimacing. "I'm hoping like hell we'll be able to handle all of the idiot's minions."
"We can ship some weapons to some of the other teams," one of them said.
Xander grinned. "That'd be great, thank you. We've got some leftover from me calling in that debt but not a whole lot. I'm not sure what'll work against them." They nodded, making plans with their inventory list. "Faith has New York with me. Buffy has LA's portal area, which is a backup one just in case. She's also got a broken foot." They grimaced but nodded. "Kennedy's in charge of the London house and has their protection. The main guy in Italy is going to be handled by Marty if she can't make him go home. The other one in Australia is going to be handled by their house and the military that backs them up because they're *real* certain the girls shouldn't have to save their asses on their own. Which I do like. They're great big brothers to that whole house." He grinned. "Just like I am."
"That's good for the girls," one of them agreed. "They could use the backing up more often."
"The current watchers are all in the field anymore. A few research guys are still hovering in the library like ghosts but the rest of everyone's out in the field."
"We'd hate that," one said dryly. "We'd never be able to handle that." The other nodded. "We'll do what we can. Let us know if things change, Harris."
"Of course. I want those minis protected and safe." They nodded. "Good. Have a happier day." He went to hand over the copies of the visions to SHIELD people. He ran into Avengers tower first and considered it then went inside. "Hi, I'm Watcher Xander Harris. I have information on an upcoming battle for one of the agents in the tower," he told the receptionist quietly. He held up the envelope. "Can you make sure it gets to one?"
"I can put it into the inter-office mail."
Xander wrote on the envelope and handed it over after letting her check it to make sure it was only paper. "Thanks. Two weeks to four battles." He left, going back to the house. The receptionist gave that envelope to one of the guards, who grimaced but stuck it into the mail for the office. They could handle that stuff. The rest of them weren't heroic by any means.
The mercenary opened the note that had been left for him at the bar. //Sorry, I didn't think that weapons stash had a living owner. One of my poker debts told me about it. But I did put it to good use saving everyone's ass. Thanks for the lending.// He looked up, holding up the note. "Who?"
"Harris," he said with a grin.
"Who?" he asked, looking even more confused.
"The guy who changed Deadpool into Bearpool." Still the confused look. "Metal finding guy."
"Oh!" He nodded once. "Does he work for someone?"
"Oh, them. Yeah, he can bum sometimes." He nodded, walking off after getting a beer.
"That reminds me," the bartender said, looking around. He used his air horn. "Guys, Harris, metal finding guy, told me the slayers are having multiple battles in about a week. One here, one in London, one in Australia, and possibly one in LA. There's a chance of one in Italy as well. He said he'd kiss you guys if you fell in. They don't have enough slayers or fighters. Especially with what the Army pulled last time." A few grimaced but nodded. "Seriously, this is something that's going to be starting with some of the darker mutants and coming for the rest of us because it doesn't like us normal people any more than it does them. Oh, and it's green skinned, possibly an alien, and hates living life forms."
A few more nodded. "Guns work?"
"No clue yet. He said he can't find much on it. It's shown up once before and got sidetracked by a baby that decided he was special. So he took it to raise. His minions went with him to celebrate the newest kid in the family."
"Great," one of the guys in the back complained. "Will we be seeing them too?"
"Even better," another agreed. "Sure, if we see it, we'll gladly jump in if it'll help." The others nodded. That was partially their lines of work as mercenaries. A few called or texted their former military buddies to come help. With the way the Army had acted after that last battle, they might have to move all the slayers out of the US and then the city was boned in the bad way.
Xander met up with Logan that night, looking at him. "Has anyone talked to that other group?"
"We've tried. They're not listening."
Xander nodded. "Can I do that instead?"
"They won't listen to you either. Even though you have that tiny gift, you're not on their side."
"No, I'm on the side protecting the little kids they forgot. And hey, we have an in." He whistled and waved. The girl trotted over. "Bethy, this is Logan."
"I saw you helping the big slayers during that last battle, Logan," she said with a smile, holding out a hand. "I'm mini Slayer Bethy."
"You look a lot like that one guy," Logan said dryly, shaking her hand.
She grinned. "I do look a lot like my dad," she agreed. She grinned at Xander then at him. "But I'm only evil part of the time. Mostly by getting the picking slayers back."
Xander nodded. "Made two hellhound puppies adopt the slayers having their cycles to protect them from boys because they teased her about hers starting."
Logan winced. "That's really mean."
Bethy grinned. "Thank you!" she chirped. She looked at Xander. "Can we find my dad so he knows that whatever condom brand he was using sucks?"
"Yeah, we can do that, probably." He grinned at Logan.
"Yeah, I can figure that out by tomorrow. Let me call some people to warn them. There's a few who'll hurt her for that." He knew the kid's parent was basically gathering intelligence on that other group so he was on both sides.
"No, they won't," she said with an evil smirk. "Because I'm just that good." Xander swatted her on the head. "And I kinda break the slayer rules since I've got both types of gifts." She smirked. "But I'm not all that unhappy with the extra training."
"Training's always helpful," Xander agreed. "I train daily too."
"Yup, so do I. Still sucks I can't join the track team to rub some noses in their inadequacies of stupidity." Xander glared at her. "They are!"
"They're teenage girls. Most of you are full of stupid at least half the time," he said dryly. "Trust me, I deal with a lot of it daily. Showing them up just makes them mad. Look at Kennedy, who should've grown out of that by now."
"I guess. Still sucks."
"Yeah but yay."
Logan smiled. "She's mouthy like her aunt."
"I've seen my aunt but she just looked so confused," Bethy said. "But she had a neat jacket."
"Maybe she'll give you fashion tips so you don't follow Buffy's idea of patrol clothes," Xander said dryly. He looked up then at Logan, who sniffed and groaned. "Well, that's not what I wanted but it'll work."
"No it won't," Logan warned. "He won't like that."
Xander pulled his wand and stunned the guy. "Yeah, like I care." He walked over, staring at the guy. "Hi, I'm Xander. I work with the slayers. One of the slayers is related to one of your people and she'd like to tell her dad she exists. Can you maybe get one of them here?" He smiled and pointed. "That's Bethy there."
He looked then groaned. "I recognize the hair," the guy growled.
Xander grinned. "If I call her over she'll try to pet you. All the minis are like that." The man stared at him. "No, she's got her daddy's gifts too. She's going to be our go-between for the upcoming battle in a week that's going to start off by attacking you guys and then everyone else. Because that way someone can talk to her dad for a few days without anyone nagging her about it. Buffy can be like that ya know." He freed him. The guy lunged at him so Xander stunned him again. "Do you want to end up as a poodle?" He grinned. "I can do that."
"No," he growled. "Let me go and I'll call."
"Cool. Thanks." Xander unstunned his upper half. "That enough?" The guy muttered but did call in. "Her grandad can come talk too as long as he's peaceful. Because I'll send him into heat near the Rosenburg Kitty so she takes care of it." The guy shuddered. "The slayers are staying the hell out of both sides, but this time we're warning you before we all have a huge apocalypse battle that starts with your team. Personally, my side is protecting the kids that neither side wants to protect. They only care if they can do battle things." The guy stared at him. Xander stared back. "There's plenty of kids like me who have no tactical use but could grow up to be good people. Unfortunately both sides treat them like they're a burden."
"Some of us don't."
"No, some of you attack orphanages because half of them are normal kids." He stared at him. The guy growled. "Bethy, he's got puppy growling problems," he called. She squealed and came over to meet him and possibly pet him. The guy swatted at her but she pinned him and petted him anyway. She even got knots out of his mane for him. Logan walked off shuddering because girls were just wrong at that age. He didn't want to see her killed.
Xander looked over as a breeze went past. "Hey, Dad, can you stop that zipping around for a minute?" Bethy called. "Because we gotta talk about you and condom failures. I've met my other four half-siblings." She went back to the knots, smiling at the growling guy. "He really needs better condoms. Especially since I met most of my half-siblings in the ER because something happened around them. We seem to draw probability problems." Xander nodded quickly, catching the guy speeding around them with a spell net. She giggled. "We need that in high school."
"You'd use it to embarrass the idiot girls. Not a chance because that's not ethical. You have a mind, think your way out of it."
"Yes, Xander," she sighed. She walked over to the guy, staring at him. "Your condoms sucked, Dad. I've met my four other half-siblings and they all agreed your condoms sucked. Even if two of their mothers slept with you because they're superhero groupies, yay. Better condoms before I get like twenty more half-siblings. Please?" She grinned.
He spluttered. "What?" he demanded. "How are you doing this?"
"I'm not. Xander is. He's our normal guy but someone gave him magic recently." She pointed. "I'm Bethy, one of the mini slayers. And I inherited some of the speediness. Not as fast but still pretty darn fast. And somehow all of us inherited our aunt's probability problems too." She scowled but cleared it up. "She got so confused when she saw me but didn't even say hi."
"I...." He shook his head quickly. "Can I be let go of?" he called.
"Yeah, in a minute." Xander looked at the guy. "Grandad can come too as long as he's peaceful and nice. I don't want to have to make more pets tonight. I've still got sword katas to do." He walked over there. "Two things, you were going to meet her this summer but she decided to move it up so she could meet you before the green skinned guy took out all your team. He's going to start with the bad guys and move over to the rest of humanity. She decided she'd get to talk to you by being the information go-between. I decided she's going to Canada at the first sign of trouble." He grinned at her. She huffed and rolled her eyes. "You're too young to do anything but protect yourself."
"I know," she sighed, looking up. "Hey, a flying guy."
Xander looked up and waved. "Hey." He looked at her. "Second, she's got both sides and she could use some advice on training that I can't give her and the slayer essence can't give her. There's two other slayers with mutant gifts that we're working on integrating things so they're safer. Like the rest of the Council, we're on the side of the kids that're getting picked on for being born and not needed for combat." He stared at him. "You make her cry and I'm going to let her beat you to death," he muttered. "Then make you her pet." He unfroze the guy. He walked off. "So," he said with a grin. "Green skinned guy." He pulled an envelope out to let the growling one see that.
"That's all we've found on him. He should be showing up next week and going for someone powerful on your side. He's technically a chaos being from, we think, another planet. Not totally sure if he's not from one of the other nine realms. All we know is he'll find a powerful guy, he'll try to take them out, and then he'll go after everyone else. Last time he got stopped by a kid that decided to idolize him and clung to his leg while he was walking through a carnage he had caused. He took the kid home to train." He shrugged. "Now he's back."
"Is that Apocalypse?" the growling one asked.
"No, he's blue skinned. We have a prophecy of him coming but it looks like in about two years unless he's sidetracked somehow." He felt the breeze before the hit but then again he could teleport. He stared at the speedy one with a grin. "Don't try me. You won't like it. Considering what I did to full blown invasions in Africa, I'm not the nice fairy. The only ones I'm nice to are the slayers." He stared at him. "Are you throwing away your chance at being a dad?"
"No, Xander. He's just mad." She shrugged. "I'd be mad too if I just found out I had five kids. Thankfully we got them away from both sides so they're safer. That way we're not pawns." She smirked at her father's glare. "Someone tried. And oh my god did they pay too."
Xander grinned and nodded. "Yes, they did." The growling one shuddered. He looked and waved Bethy over. "Incoming someone. I can hear them." She jogged over and pounced her father with a 'ha' of pleasure. "They're girls, they do that. Even to me," Xander quipped with a hand wave. "Slayers are to be normal girls as much as possible."
"Can you tell me where my auntie got that really neat jacket, Dad?" Bethy asked. "It looked kinda cool."
"Hot Topic probably," he said, looking confused. "I don't remember your mom."
"She remembered you. Something about measles."
"Oh, damn," he moaned, shaking his head. "Okay." He looked at her. "Get off."
"Nope. I'm protecting you."
"You're a kid," Xander and her dad said together. "That's my job." He glared at Xander.
Xander stared back. "I'm the protector of all the slayers, Speedy. Even that one. If you wanna help, the girls wouldn't mind having other guys to ask questions about guy things to. I sure can't answer about punk little bastards who think making out in a car is all that." He shrugged and looked at the guy who landed. "Yup, what's wrong?" he called.
"What are you doing?" the man demanded.
"Letting her talk to her dad. She's just introduced herself." He shrugged. "She was going to meet him this summer but she thought he might be dying soon with the guy who's coming to attack so...." He waved a hand. "I'm protecting her from others hurting her."
"I'd make ogre pretzels," Bethy said, glaring at him. "You're interrupting my touching family moment, dude. Do you mind?"
"I left the same information at Avengers tower with a receptionist," Xander said. "She said she'd send it up to the office."
"Damn it," he muttered. "Is this really wise?"
"It'll hit them first," Xander said. "She wanted to meet her father and decided she'd be the one to tell them about it. I'm only here to protect her tiny, stubborn ass. She's a girl and has girl plans but that doesn't cover everything."
"Great. Thanks." He flew off, going back to the tower.
"Who was that?" Bethy asked.
"The flying guy is one of the side-Avengers," Xander told her. "He's kinda there sometimes."
"He seems to be an okay guy, works with soldiers who're coming back from wars, but I have no idea how he'd react to you girls and your duty."
"I can handle that if he butts in again," she decided, cuddling her father. "The others wanted to know if you wanted to meet them too. We talk on a mailing list when we're not grounded. Diana is grounded a lot because that probability thing keeps getting her in trouble. We think she should get a letter to Hogwarts." Xander snickered, shaking his head. "No magic?"
"In Diana? No. We had her tested when her mom brought her to the local house. Kennedy said she's not a slayer or a witch but she does show a weird gift that she's not sure about. So I'm guessing she only inherited the mutant side."
She nodded. "That's cool. But magic is still really cool too."
He grinned. "Sucking up to me won't get you ice cream later. I doubt we'll be back in time for curfew so you'll have to beg for ice cream tomorrow."
"Fine. He's so uptight," she sighed to her father. "We have curfew, he checks our homework even if he doesn't understand it. He doesn't let us dress like Slayer Buffy. Mom was right, he's a big brother and dad figure."
"She's at the house right now because her mom broke her leg in three places," Xander said. "She's in traction in the hospital."
"Yeah, that car crash was so sucky," she sighed. "But I got to stomp on the drunk guy before the cops pulled me off him. He deserved it for hitting us."
"Yeah, you, don't brag about going to jump up and down on the unharmed drunk guy when you had two broken bones and a broken rib!" Xander told her, staring at her. "Not cool. He could've really hurt you because you're barely in self defense classes. For that, you call and I come stomp his ass because he damn sure wouldn't have hurt me like he could've you."
"I broke his hand when he tried to pat my ass," she defended.
"Yay," Xander shot back with a look. "You're too damn young. Call me, it's my job to stomp on assholes like that."
"Fine," she sighed, looking at her father. "He's so fussy sometimes."
"I would've taken the guy out for trying to touch you," he said.
"Real men hate guys like that," the growly one said. "Can I be let free?"
Xander stared at him. "You try me or her and I'm turning you into a chihuahua. Got it?" He nodded with a grimace. Xander let him go free. They felt the air change and he looked up. "Get the fuck down here," he called. "You're keeping her up past her bedtime." The guy glared. Xander stared back. "Don't even. I heard what you did to that camp of mutant kids the other damn night. Thankfully the peaceful demon community saved them." The guy glared as he landed. Xander pointed. "Your granddaughter I do believe."
"Yeah, she is," Bethy quipped. "Hi, Grandad. I decided to meet you now instead of going on a summer trip to meet you just in case the upcoming battle kills you." She grinned. "There's a few of us. We use a mailing list to talk to each other."
"What?" he demanded, taking off his helmet.
"His condoms sucked," she said dryly. "There's five of us that we know of. We all met in the ER because of that strange probability thing we inherited."
"You're a mutant?"
"And a mini slayer," she said dryly. "I inherited some of Dad's speed." She shrugged. "It means more training time." Xander nodded. "That way I don't have it used against me and I know how to use it to save my own butt." Xander nodded again with a grin. "Though I don't start real training in more than self defense for another six years."
"You bet. No training in anything but self defense until you're sixteen. That's the slayer rules," Xander said dryly. "It's for all of you. Learn them, live by them, and survive by them."
"Fine," she sighed, flapping a hand. "Does that mean that the slayer spirit prompts us to have horrible boyfriends?"
"I have no idea if Buffy's spirit in the slayer essence prompts that or not. Penny's is good. Kara's is good. Kennedy's a miserable cunt so she dates other ones." She giggled. "She is." He rolled his eyes. "At least Willow's no longer hitting her with lightening each time she goes outside."
"Can she do that as the Willow kitty?"
"You know, I don't know," he said dryly. "No clue. If so she'll be like Salem some year."
"A talking cat that helps a witch by offering bad advice?" she guessed.
"Yeah, kinda. She's still mad I caught her plan to have me declared dead so she could get Anya's old spell books."
"What is going on here?" the grandfather yelled.
She looked at him. "I'm your granddaughter. Can't you keep up?" He glared at her.
"Don't bait him. He'll be mean," her father said. He looked at Xander. "Are you a mutant?"
"I can find metal things." He shrugged. "I'm the slayer's protector. I argued with her about this idea for six days." He laughed but nodded. "She inherited some stubborn somewhere."
She hopped down and walked over to stare up at her grandfather. "It's not your fault he didn't use good condoms. Yelling at us kids for existing isn't exactly a good thing either. Unless you want to make an arch enemy?" She stared up at him. "Some day I'll be fighting for this whole world. Including you and my half-siblings. Wouldn't you really rather I knew what good families were like?"
"He's not the guy who raised me," her father said.
She shrugged, looking back at him. "That's okay. He's still alive so he can fix that if he wants." The guy grabbed her and picked her up. Xander winced but before he could move she kicked him in the head and flipped when he dropped her. She stared at him. "I am in self defense because things come for mini slayers, Granddad. I may not have the full download yet, but I've got enough to handle myself if something evil comes for me. Unlike you, who have a huge target painted on your back by the evil guy coming next week." She walked off. "I'll give him time to process before I talk to him. That way he gets the wall kicking and all that out of the way. You could come stay with me so you don't get growled at." She grinned. "The others really would like to meet you and auntie." She gave him a hopeful look.
"I have no idea how to do that."
She grinned. "We have playtimes sometimes. You can show up." She hugged him around the waist. "We'd like that. Even if you can't be a really close dad sort, we'd like to get to know you anyway. You're half of what made us, we should get to know how weird we're going to end up."
He laughed but nodded. "I can see that."
She grinned. "Before the battle so you don't die during it?"
"I'm not going to die," he said, looking at Xander.
"None of the visions have shown a definitive death count." He shrugged. "I'm hoping some other kid takes his worshiping up and he takes them to raise instead of kicking asses. His minions and friends are going to be hard enough to battle without him."
He took that information to look over, grimacing. "That's going to suck."
"Yup," Xander agreed. "Especially since the Powers That Be prompted a few of the old liners to take out a few of the slayers." He sighed. "I so took them out if they weren't under arrest." Bethy hugged him. "I know they tried with you but you managed to get away. That's a great thing. I'm glad he didn't get any of you minis." He gave her a hug.
"We'll make it through. Even if only one slayer remains we'll handle it like we used to when there was only one called and the Council were bad guys. Besides, Miss Cordelia and Whistler both said the PTB would send you back to one of us to help us with vision things like Mr. Doyle used to have."
Xander smirked. "The Powers hate me, Bethy. I screwed up their prophecies by making them work. That'd be a reward. They're more likely to have me fall during a battle where I'm ripped into pieces in front of you girls."
"Hey!" her father complained.
"They tried that already and you beat it," she said with a grin for him. "They're not that predictable. The Powers are stupid like teenage girls. They're still pouting about zits and shoes." She hugged her father. "They sugar coat things for us but some of us minis got into the field report folder by accident one day."
"Willow put it up as accessible accidentally on purpose," Xander said. "For which Giles sent her back to the coven to deal with. Again."
"They need to spank more often," Bethy said. "It'd help."
Xander nodded. "Often. But some of them are real nice."
"I know. Miss Tara's a great witch. We adore Miss Tara." Xander nodded. "She's a role model we should look up to according to Slayer Faith."
"Faith had her problems but she rebuilt herself after facing them," Xander said. "I don't want you to look up to her for the bad things that she went through but for the strength she showed for handling the problems she created and others that were forced on her."
"I can do that," she agreed. She looked up at her father. "You'd like Faith. She's really practical. Kinda smartassed too." She grinned. "She's a great auntie sort that told us to not wear skirts like Buffy."
"That's always a good idea," Xander agreed. "Including not wearing heels on patrol."
"That's dumb," Bethy complained. "Who would want to wear the pretty shoes on a cemetery patrol? They'd get messy!" She hugged her father again, reaching over to the growling one. "I missed a knot," she said with a grin.
"Stop it," he ordered. "I'm not a pet."
"You'd make a nice one." She grinned. "I wouldn't let the other minis or full slayers put bows on you or anything." Xander walked off giggling. "They're mean that way but I'd stop them."
"Not my thing," he said, straightening up. "Thanks anyway."
"Pity. If you want petted, just let us know. We could all use some stress petting because kids in school are stupid and mean sometimes."
"You're being bullied?" her father asked.
"Hell no. They don't wanna try me. I took the commandment that my mind is my best weapon to heart and I made them sorry the last time they tried me or one of my friends. She was horribly embarrassed when her private emails to her boyfriend ended up on her facebook page." She grinned. "One of my buddies can do that."
"That's good to know," he said, staring down at her but smiling slightly. "Your mind is your best weapon?"
"Yeah. It's a slayer rule. Our mind is our best weapon because thinking through problems will help us not die, which is the first rule. There is no dying for slayers without permission and it's never a good day to die. We're not Klingons."
He hugged her. "I like how warped you are, Bethy." She grinned and kissed him on the cheek. "We'll work on getting to know each other, and the other four."
"Cool!" She hugged him around the neck then grinned at her grandfather. "You can get to know me too if you want," she offered with a shy grin. "I'm not a mean girl."
"I..." He cleared his throat. "This is not the time nor the place for this discussion."
"It is because bad guys are coming to kill you," she said dryly. "We're all hoping that the battles in a week are less than the visions said. I don't want to go into hiding."
"Tough," Xander called.
"Fine. Be that way then."
"Yup, I sure am too," her father quipped with a smile. "Pity."
"You're a dad. You can do that. He's our big brother and normal guy." Xander stared back at her. "You are."
"I'm going to paddle you for picking up Buffy's normal guy thing."
"Oops. Well, you're not a slayer."
"And yet I've been in all the bigger battles that even slayers couldn't get to," he shot back with a smirk. "Including fighting right beside a lot of the slayers. Normal is relative to training and desire to be there. Being normal isn't lesser. Being born with a gift doesn't make you that special. There's *thousands* of mutants on this plane, Bethy."
"I know," she sighed. "I'm not getting the ego problem Buffy and Willow have, Xander. I promise I'm not."
"I'm sorry." She ran over to hug him then came back to her father to hug him. "They were teenage girls around him and really mean. So he went to Africa and handled a whole bunch of huge stuff that the slayers couldn't. He even got bad guys like pirates into a few battles."
"Wow," he said, looking at Xander, who shrugged.
"Had to happen if the world was going to keep going on."
"We are superior, boy," her grandfather complained.
She looked at him. "If that's true them I'm a whole lot more special than all of you for being a mutant and a slayer." She stared him down. "Everyone has gifts, even if they don't realize it. Some are more powerful but if they're not protecting the ones who need it then they're misusing them. That's the point of having the power, to use it to help people who need it. Like the little mutant kids do. I go down to the local orphanage for them to help with homework and stuff. I'm a good role model and a great big sister to a lot of them because they need it. They don't get it from you." She stared at him then at her father. "Do you do that?"
"I haven't but I've thought about it." She scowled. "I ...maybe I can start doing that. I don't want to go to the school though."
She snorted and flapped a hand. "Less than one percent of all of us go to that school or any other one. Those of us without combat skills aren't picked up for that. They're left to flounder and be picked on by bigots. Or used as cannon fodder by some others. I'd hate that."
"I'd hate that too," he said. "You're really socially responsible."
"Slayers are role models." She shrugged. "Mom said so."
"She's right," he agreed. "You are." She grinned and cuddled in again. "Yeah, we need to protect the little ones from all that stuff. They should be able to grow up as normal as they can."
Xander nodded. "I've pointed that out to the high and mighty mind fucker too." The grandfather gave him a horrified look. "I talked to a few of the demon community too." He shrugged. "The girls have to be socially responsible."
"Yeah, I can see that." He looked at his daughter, who had just yawned. "How about you go to bed for the night and I'll see you after that battle?"
"You're going to come find me in hiding in Canada?"
"I can do that, or I can see you when you get back."
She stared at him. "You can't do that if you get dead so live by the slayer rules, Dad."
"I always try. Getting dead would suck." He hugged her. "Go sleep. You did good, kiddo."
She grinned, tucking a card into his shirt. "That's my email." She winked and hopped down, hugging the growling one. "Remember, little girls are cute to make life look prettier, even if you're stuck in the dark. We're like nightlights." She smiled up at him. "You can come visit too. Slayers see all sorts of mean, nasty things and some we pet." She ran over to Xander, hopping onto his back. "This way I'm not in the way if someone tries to mug you again."
"That's fine. Later, guys. See you after the battle." He nodded and walked off with her. He let her babble about her half-siblings.
Pietro looked at his biological father then at Sabertooth. "Thanks for not hurting her."
"She was being cutesy, not threatening. That guy, he's dangerous, he even smells dangerous, but she's just a little girl with a smart mouth. She gets it naturally."
Pietro smiled and nodded. "She did. How are we handling that threat?"
"We'll warn the others," Sabertooth said, looking at Magneto. "Won't we?"
"Fine. I want to know more of this young man. He is not in my plans."
Logan cleared his throat from a bit away. "He looked at Chuck and ripped him a new one for not doing anything to help the more helpless young mutants, like group homes and orphanages being set up so they're not in the regular system. He's real firm on how he's protecting the girls and then the rest of us. He's handled things that we all think he should've probably called in help for but none was there." He shifted his stance. "Harris is a good guy, a strong guy with strong ideal. Bethy will be safe if he can make sure of it."
"He's the guy with the battle axe at the last battle," Pietro said. Logan smirked and nodded. "Wow."
"He's got some skills. He trained with axes. He spent five years in Africa handling things for the slayers while training them. I called one of the other slayers. Bethy came up with this idea when no one could find you guys. She was going to go on a train trip this summer and suddenly find you and kidnap you onto the train so you had to talk to her. She had it all plotted out. Used it for her lesson in tactics for escaping."
"Who's training her?"
"She goes to the same gym that Castle goes to." Logan smirked. "I found out and called him. Punisher called her a mouthy, smart little girl with a sucky future of being a slayer but he expects her to live a long time."
"Thanks," Pietro said. "Her mom?"
"Car crash with the drunk? She broke that guy in ways that the crash didn't. He's still in the hospital too, just on the prison ward." He grinned. "She's a strong little girl but if you break her heart she'll cry on Xander and he'll summon something to eat you." He walked off. "Watch out for his poker debts too. They're mostly peaceful but they can do things like give him paralyzing snot." He lit a cigar.
"Why do we suddenly associate?" Magneto sneered. "They have an appointed duty."
"She's got both," Pietro reminded him. "And if it'll save us, I'm going to listen to some information on this battle. Even though she could've found me without it." He walked off, then sped off to follow them back to the slayer house. He wanted to watch over them for a bit. Plus find his sister to talk to her. She would probably be happy to be an aunt. She'd help him get his mind around having five kids too because that was freaking him out.
She was apparently on the couch to sleep but Harris went to the connected building to do some updating work. So the slayer house was expanding somewhat.
Xander cackled in glee. "Pay up, babies, pay up." He swept the winnings toward him then grinned at the demons he was playing with. "Thanks, guys. The girls took my bank card to find ice cream last night." They all groaned but nodded they knew how that happened. Xander looked at the woman staring at him from a nearby bench. "You can join in, Miss."
"I wanted to talk to you," she said quietly with a soft, accented voice.
He winked at his tablemates before getting up and taking his soda with him to the bench. "Bethy kinda looks like you too."
She stared at him. "She is his? She was tested?"
He nodded. "Her mom asked us to. Tara scried him and stole some hair for the test." He settled in beside her. "She's a good girl. Bit mouthy, has a slight ego problem, but she's usually a very good girl."
"Why is she not with her mother?"
"Her mom was in a car crash. She's in traction."
"Oh. That's reasonable. I'm worried about the way the girls used to be raised."
"I'm one of the ones helping make sure those old ways don't come back." She nodded, relaxing some. "We do have some orphans thanks to the apocalypse that got them all activated. They're still supposed to mostly be normal little girls. They can't even start training about demons until they're sixteen. The only thing they're allowed before then is self defense training and that's good for any girl." She smiled and nodded. "You can meet her. She'd adore it. She wanted to know where you got that jacket."
"I borrowed it," she admitted. She pushed her hair back. "She has good things?"
"Yeah. Her mom's great," Xander said with a grin. "She's real supporting. She lets her play with the other mini slayers in the area when they want to get together to complain about the big slayers not telling them things. She plays with her five half-siblings."
"Five?" she squeaked, staring at him. "I thought four."
"We found another one last night in the ER after patrol." He shrugged. "For guys, it only takes a few minutes." She blushed but nodded. He grinned. "You're safe with me. I'm not that sort of guy. I'm a real protective one. Especially over the slayers. I'm the guy who threatens boyfriends too."
She nodded. "Sometimes that's a good idea." She looked around then at him. "You play with them?"
"The Council, the *new* Council, appreciates and likes the peaceful community. They handle themselves, they don't cause problems, and they tell us if they find problems. As long as they're peaceful there's no problem with any of the girls. Well, a few of the girls are a bit warped and mean but I've kicked them around about that and we tell the peaceful communities about them just in case." She nodded. He pointed. "That's Jorge, he's one of the area leaders to keep parts of the community safe." He grinned. "They've helped the younger mutant kids too."
"That's good," she agreed. "They could use it."
"They could. I've pointed that out to a few people." A few of the demons nodded. "They're helpless little kids who had no more choice in that than the slayers did of being chosen. No one deserves the sort of hell those kids go through."
"You're one," she said, looking at him.
He grinned. "I am and I had a whole other type of hell. Mine had nothing to do with my mutation."
She nodded. "I've heard of parents like that." She cleared her throat. "Did she sneak out?"
"Yeah but she went with two of the girls to the mercenary bar to talk up one of the older slayers to a few of the guys. She's being cranky so the minis went to find her a boyfriend." She burst out laughing. "The minis are a bit mouthy but they're generally good girls."
"He mentioned probabilities?"
"Yeah, a few of the siblings are real probability generators. Even worse than I am." She stared at him. "I'm told I'm like the butterfly in the chaos theory."
"Oh. I can change them."
"You might want to talk to Diana then. She could really use that. Last night she had a young warrior from Asgard fall into her lap, literally, from a misprimed portal. He's thirteen and a dick, especially to her, but she beat him up and sneered about him being a boy thing. If it could happen to anyone, it'd happen to Diana or me. I had her paternity run just in case she was mine." She giggled but patted him on the wrist. "If you want to talk to Bethy, I'll gladly arrange it. She could use good family. Her mom's great but she's going to be in the physical rehab hospital for another month at the least. Plus it'll help give her something to focus on before this huge battle."
"I've seen that information sheet."
"I left it with them so they could pass it around. She was going to meet her father this summer by kidnaping him onto a train but the battle made her worry."
"I can see why. She'll be safe?"
"All the local minis are being evacuated to Canada."
"That's good." She looked around then at him. "There's two others in here."
He looked and nodded. "That's Kara, and that's Bethy next to her. Short thing, aren't you too young?" he called.
"I'm not drinking," Kara called. "And she wanted to do some tracking exercises." She grinned at him. "She did good."
"That's great." He waved her over. Bethy bounded over, standing in front of her aunt bouncing on the balls of her feet. "I don't think I need to introduce her."
"Hi," Bethy said, sticking out a hand. "I'm Bethy, your niece. You're kinda pretty. Where did you get that cool jacket?"
Wanda smiled, shaking her hand. "I'm Wanda and I borrowed it. I'll ask to see where she got it."
"Cool!" She gave her a hug. "The other half-siblings and I have a mailing list we chat on and we get together for playtimes if you'd like to join us."
"I can do that," she agreed, brushing some of the salt-and-pepper hair off the girl's cheek. "You have your dad's hair."
"Half and half. It's mixed in," she said with a grin. "But it's pretty cool. Even if some other girls are stupid about it. Then they get picked back at." She smirked. "I don't let bullies work on me."
"Good," Xander agreed. He stood up. "I'm going to talk to Kara." She nodded, taking his seat to talk to her aunt. He walked over to the bar, nodding at the bartender. "She wanted to do some tracking?" he asked quietly.
"She was bored," Kara said quietly. "She trained with Colossus earlier. Piotr was sweet to help her." She sipped her coffee. "Someone spotted the green skinned guy earlier. He showed up in Italy."
"Did you put that out there?"
"Yup, and called Penny so she could tell her man too. We're pulling together for that. The girls over there are watching since they don't think they could handle taking him on."
"I don't think many could," Xander agreed. "We're going to need all the artillery we can get for his buddies, beyond even him." He finished his soda. "Meeting?"
"Tomorrow. With SHIELD dudes."
"Well, if HYDRA wants to fall in, they can come save themselves too then disappear." She grinned but nodded. "Anyone else know?"
"No. Not yet."
Xander cleared his throat. "Guys, the green skinned guy was spotted earlier," he announced. "So the battle's in five days." They all nodded and got back to their poker hands.
"I'm not ready to go yet," Bethy called.
"That's in two days," he called back.
"Okay. Thanks, Xander." She looked at her aunt. "I know I'm not big enough for the battle but it sucks I have to go hide that way."
"It's safer," she said. "So it does not come for you." She patted her on the knee. "We would hate to lose you after just meeting you."
"I'm not worried about me but Dad's in a shitload of a bad spot," Bethy complained.
"Sometimes that happens but he is very skilled at getting out of the way." Bethy grinned and nodded, relaxing again. She could like this aunt thing going on. It was pretty neat. And she didn't mention the homework she hadn't done yet.
Same Old Dance, Different Venue.