Wacky, Chaotic Ideas.
Xander came out of his latest convention, looking around the house. No one. That was odd. Usually at least Coulson was waiting. He petted his robotic dogs Frodo and Samwise then went to make a snack while he thought. One of the other hims had complained about hippy living vampires. Maybe.... Well, it'd give him a good way to pay attention to the vampires around him. Maybe. He could do most of what they did. Including yoga because it did make sex great if you found someone good, which he was hoping to do soon.
So maybe it was a good idea. Or maybe he'd help some witchly sorts do the same thing. He could become a lifestyle guru. Or maybe just a lifestyle choice. "There really needs to be other GHS on this realm," he told his puppies, who barked and dropped toys for him to play with them with. Someone knocked on the door so he bounded over to answer it, staring at the guy standing there in the suit. "Yes, do I know you?" he asked.
"I'm moving into the neighborhood and wanted you to know that my security team could come help you and your family if you needed us to," he said with a smile.
"Great, sometimes I could use it, but I have a few agents recovering here from injuries." He grinned. "And I'm pretty handy with a few weapons myself." He pushed his hair over his shoulder and smiled. "But I'll keep your team in mind if something huge is going on. Oh! You probably haven't heard about the one neighbor." He stepped out and pointed. "That neighbor, she got arrested for harassing me because she decided I'm not her type of people. She tried to ram her car into my house, tried to have my friends' cars towed because they weren't up to her standards, and all sorts of stupid stuff with death threats. So just be careful of her. She's dangerously wacky in a few bad ways. By the way, I'm Xander." He held out a hand.
"Marcus," he said, shaking his hand. "I hadn't heard about her but I'll keep that in mind and have my team look her up." He looked through the door. "You own the whole thing?"
"It used to be two units but I got broken into by someone screwy who couldn't read the mailboxes so raided the neighbors by accident so I bought it and renovated so they wouldn't be hurt." He grimaced but let it clear up. "I'm actually a fantasy author." He grinned. "My first book just got published."
"Congratulations. I prefer mysteries but that's a great thing." He grinned. He looked down at the bark, staring at the sci-fi looking dogs. "Allergic?"
"Very good security team," Xander bragged. "They're very good. And my garden nymphs that help me with my garden stuff." He pointed at one. "They're very handy. And kinda spoily now and then when I need them to be." He patted that nymph on the arm and then picked up the smaller dog. "This is Samwise and the other is Frodo."
"That's cute." He gently patted Samwise on the head. "He's cute, Xander." He smiled. "Let me go introduce myself to others."
Xander pointed. "Across the street is an officer of some sort or another, works pretty long hours. The two at the end of the street, where they're doing work, are both accountants I think. They're having a lot of arguments about taxes recently as they hike to their cars. The ones above the store are musicians, and there's my buddy Clint. He's healing here."
"Pleasure. I'm moving into the neighborhood and came to introduce myself." He shook Clint's hand. "I'll let you two do dinner things. Have a good day, Xander." He smiled as he walked off to go talk to some of the other neighbors.
Xander let Clint walk past him while he was checking the mailbox, then closed the door and came in. "So what does he do? I saw the look at his back."
"I'm not certain. He looked familiar but no idea. What did he want?"
"He said if I needed it, I could ask his security team for help." Clint stared at him oddly. Xander shrugged. "He seemed nice. He didn't flirt with me. He petted Samwise."
"Cool. If something happens we'll watch his people." He watched him chat with a few other neighbors. "Did you warn him about crazy lady who just got out of the hospital?"
"Yup, and the accountants at the end of the block that're fighting about tax stuff." Clint gave him an odd look. "They sound like accountants, they're talking about tax brackets and categories."
"They could be."
"I also warned him that the one over there was an officer who worked long, odd hours, and the musicians live above the store on the corner."
"That's nice of you." He patted him on the wrist. "How was the convention?"
"It was pretty good." He bounced some, grinning at him. "I got a great idea. In one Xander's realm, they had a vampire group that was becoming self actualized and learning how to be more holistic. I can do that here. That way I know more about the vampires around here."
Clint was giving him the strangest look. "They're doing what?" Xander pulled up the files on his phone he had copied down. Clint watched, slowly shaking his head. "That's so weird."
"But I can do that."
"You probably could," he agreed, handing the phone back. "I'm pretty sure the witchly ones like your mom belongs to might like that."
"They're all uptight and bitchy."
"The ones locally probably aren't. It's being Americans instead of Brits."
"Could be. You really think I could?" Clint nodded. "Then maybe I'll try that if the writing thing starts to bore me. They even had seminars on how to pick out organic food sources that weren't in Whole Foods at the time. That's a hipster grocery store with really expensive organic foods. I had to ask one of them that had them there."
"We have a few stores like that," Clint said with a nod. "Manhattan is home of a lot of those sort of people."
"Theirs is a whole grocery chain on both coasts."
"Interesting. Well, maybe you can work on that." Xander grinned, wiggling some. "Want me to call out for pizza?"
"We have the pizza oven in one of the gardens," he said with a point and a pout. "We can make pizzas."
"Like a wood fired oven?" Clint asked to make sure. Xander nodded. "When did we get that?"
"When I put it in. It's part of the grill setup near the gazebo."
"Huh." He went to look, coming back nodding. "That's more than big enough to make real pizzas. Then we'd need stuff to make dough."
"We might need some of that. I don't have any more yeast."
"We can go get some. Put on clothes and shoes." Xander bounded off to do that while Clint looked up a good dough recipe. That and pizza topping ideas. He remembered to text Coulson that they were making pizzas tonight. The one he got back was confused but he sent him a picture of the oven. So Phil said he'd be on hand to order if they couldn't get it to work easily enough tonight. Xander came out pouting while looking at his wallet. "You broke already for the year?" he guessed.
"Someone took all the bills out. I need to check my cards and stuff too." He sat down to do that. Then he went to the portal in the basement to talk to his bank full of goblins. They had rearranged things for him and he appreciated that but they didn't leave him a note. So they got him some ready cash for the night and went over where things were. When Clint came down they told him as well since he was presently Xander's assistant. He may not be as dangerous as Wade was for one of them but he was a good assistant sort for this Xander.
Xander went over his idea with his personal banker to see if they'd need to help him set up anything with the lifestyle guru idea. They had some that did the same idea but more about becoming a warrior. Xander signed up for those classes so he could spar with someone. Goblins didn't react to his hormones so that was very handy. Clint could go with him if he wanted too. They thanked the banking beings and Xander bounded out with Clint patiently following him to the car.
The goblin told his cousin that he may have a few new students in his class, which delighted him. He had wanted to test himself against that unique dance style Xander used.
Phil came back that night and found Clint staring at his oddly shaped pizza but it was apparently good. Xander was nibbling on his. "Did it go well enough?" he asked as he shut the door.
"Pretty good," Clint admitted. "We had no idea what we were doing. The first bit of dough was too wet but the next was better and it went okay. A lot of work for just getting a pizza but it's good. Plus we get to pick our own toppings."
Phil nodded, getting handed the spare bit of dough that was left. He made his own and Xander took him to the oven. "Where did we get wood?"
"We ran out to buy some from the home improvement place while the second batch of dough rose." Xander grinned. "It helped and they agreed it was a good start so next time we can plan it better."
"That could help. Planning does save many problems." He carefully put his pizza into the oven and closed the door up again.
"The goblins have a 'become a warrior' program," Xander said with a bouncy grin. "I'm signed up to start with them at least once a week."
"That's great. You could use a lot of sparring practice to make sure you can help yourself if the worst keeps happening." He smelled burning and looked at his pizza, pulling it out. "That is much faster than a regular oven." He took it into the kitchen, not finding a pizza cutter. Clint pointed at a knife so he used that instead. He settled in the living room to eat and go over Xander's ideas. The 'become a holistic vampire' idea was weird but then again the original Xander was from near LA. That usually explained a lot of insane ideas.
Xander came back pouting from his first session with the goblin warriors. "I did okay," he said when Clint stared at him. "Not great but okay enough to be told I was trainable."
"That's actually a compliment to most trainers," Clint agreed. "I got told by one my archery skills were okay." Xander flopped down next to him and gave him a hug. Clint patted him on the back with a smirk. "Did you do the sword dancing stuff?"
"Yup and I beat him two out of three matches. The third one he had us interrupted to see what I'd do with that. Thankfully I'm not backed up." He grinned up at him. "One got a tiny bit of my hair but the rest were really impressed."
"That's good. Sit up, that spot's sore." Xander sat up, frowning at his arm. "Sparring with Tasha, Xander."
"Oh, okay. Is she coming back for more with us?"
"Tomorrow or she'll join you with the goblins if they'll allow female warriors."
"Yeah, all goblins have to learn how to use at least a dagger or a sword they said. Especially the females."
"Then she'll enjoy learning new things." Xander grinned. "Then practice with you."
"She has another half of the moves to learn but I started off with a few of the less sexual ones because you learn those first. It's taught to young teen boys," he said at Clint's look. "It's a teaching dance series."
"I get that and I can see how it'd hold the guy's attention. Has to help with sex too."
"Stamina definitely. I went to that brothel you found me last night and I wore out two people." He grimaced. "The madam was not amused."
"I guess that happens sometimes." He patted him on the arm. "Go shower and stuff."
"I did that before I left. I didn't want to smarm stinky sweat hormones on people."
"Good idea, yeah. I've got to do reports."
"Eww, paperwork," he said with a grin. "Wanna go play in the park instead?"
"Yeah, I do," he agreed, getting up. Xander went to change into something less nice and sneakers. Clint got his sneakers. And the dogs. They went out together, with Clint driving because Xander tended to swerve too much with the music. The park was nice enough and not too crowded today. The dogs got a lot of fun playing fetch. The guys got worn out playing fetch. When agents tried to surround them, Xander looked at the dogs, then nodded. The dogs both got the agents down with their ball cannons then barked and came over to get good dog treats. "Very cute," Clint said. He walked off. "C'mon, guys. Let's get some ice cream and you guys some new toys." They barked happily, rolling after him.
Xander grinned at the nearest groaning person. "I am paranoid thanks to the hormone stuff, dude," he said quietly then followed Clint. "Do you think they'd like chew toys like normal puppies?"
"I don't know," Clint admitted. "We can see. The pet warehouse isn't that hard to get to." He got in to drive while Xander opened the back door so the dogs could hop up into the back seat. They got buckled in and then Xander got in to drive off. Clint smiled as he drove them off. "Can you text Coulson?"
"Frodo, go ahead and send video from all that to Agent Phil please. He'd like to see you guys being so cute and then such good puppies."
Uptown, Phil Coulson's phone beeped in the middle of a meeting. He picked it up to glance at, frowning at the video of his housemates playing fetch in the park. He fast forwarded, sitting up to stare at the attack. "That's very interesting. Maria, you're missing some agents. They're semi-unconscious in the park." He let her see the video.
"What are they doing?" she demanded.
"Playing fetch. The dogs are excellent at fetch."
She looked at him. "They're robots, Phil."
"He still did a great job with their teaching modules. Plus fetch helps you think."
"Uh-huh." She scanned through the video until she got to the attack portion. "We knew about the ball cannon."
"I'll mention that Samwise's cannon is miscalibrated to the right," Phil said. "Why were they going to attack Clint and Xander?"
She handed back the phone. "That was not authorized. I'll find out tonight." She sent a message to a team to go pick that group up, hold them in medical pending being killed for doing that in public, and if some news program caught it to make up a nice excuse about them being a home security trial. She shook her head and got back to the meeting about Phil coming back to work.
Nick Fury walked in a few minutes later. "Why did Harris knock out ten of our agents?" he demanded. Phil got into the video to show him. He watched it, smirking at the game of fetch. And then the attack got a laugh. "I like those dogs. That's a good idea. They being picked up?" Hill nodded. "Good!" He handed back the phone and walked off snickering. Maybe robots weren't so bad after all. At least ones that weren't built by Stark.
Xander looked up from yoga when he spotted someone trying to break in. "I'm sorry, this residence is occupied," he quipped as he answered the door. "Did you need something?"
The vampire stared at him oddly. "I was sent here to warn you off."
"I don't take threats." He grinned. "I tend to make a mess at threats." He snapped his fingers and walked off, coming back handing over a glass. "Test this. Does it make you less hungry?"
"Does it have blood?"
"No. It'll help though. It has in the past." The vampire snorted but sipped when Xander continued to stare at him. "What the hell!" He looked at the glass again.
"Did it make you less hungry? Or more hungry? I got the recipe from an off-realm source."
"It actually took the edge off the blood need." He looked at and sniffed the stuff in the glass again. "What is that?"
"A few herbs, some juices." He took the glass back when the vampire had drained it. "In another realm, there's a vampire group working on being holistic vampires who only eat organic." He smiled. "This is their recipe."
"Um, yeah, that's weird."
"Well, yeah but fun." He smiled. "Besides, it's much nicer than me staking you for trying to threaten me. And who sent you to threaten me not to do whatever they think I'm doing?"
"You're an agent."
"No, I'm Xander. That's Clint and I'm pretty sure if other agents don't want him to be an agent they can talk to Nick Fury themselves." He grinned. "He's supposedly very tough."
"Then who're you?"
"Xander Harris. The Devon coven decided to have me be born so they had a protector since there's no slayers on this realm."
"Oh, I heard something about that." He vamped out. Xander just giggled at him. "Hey!" he complained.
"Dude, so not scary. I mean another me lived with a Scourge of Europe in his realm. That's why they called *me*." He shrugged but smiled. "If they hate Clint that much they should talk to Nick Fury. Because I'd just end them. Like if I push this button here, there's a stake shooter." He pointed at the button. "Right next to the tazer plate. And the auto sprayer of holy water. And a few other treats you don't need to know about yet." He winked. "I'm going back to my yoga practice. You have a great day telling the ones that sent you that."
He lost his vampire face. "Um, sure. You're still really weird."
"Thank you." He winked and smirked. "Weird is always nicer than mean. Right?"
"Yeah, it sure is. Can I get that recipe?" Xander nodded, copying it down for him and handing over the jug of juice he had. "Can humans drink it?"
"Yeah and it's a kick ass appetite suppressant."
"Huh. Thanks. I'll let them know." He left, holding onto the juice. The recipe was in his pocket. He found the ones that sent him watching and shrugged. "He's seriously weird but he cured the blood lust." He walked past them. "He said if you're that upset, talk to Nick Fury, whoever that is. Sounds like a comic book character to me." He went to tell his friends and sire about that weird guy and the juice stuff. They had heard rumors about the weird guy but him knowing how to cure blood lust was new. He was just a normal guy who did yoga.
The agents shared a look and waited on Clint to come home. When they saw him park, he got out of the sedan and headed inside with a real dog.
"Xander?" Clint called. Xander came out of his bedroom. "Will your two mind him? I had to rescue him."
"Awww, a furry puppy." He petted him once the dog had sniffed him. "Hey, Frodo, Samwise, come see Clint's other puppy." They rolled out and barked. The dog sniffed then nudged Samwise with his nose. He patted Frodo. They barked back and went into playing mode. The new dog was up with that and went to play with them in the garden area. "Okay. Do we need to get him toys and food?"
"I can get him food later. Who's the stooges in the car?"
"They sent a vampire to scare you out of being an agent. We talked and that juice stuff worked really well on his blood lust so he'll tell others." He grinned. "I told him to tell the guys in the car that sent him that they'd have to talk to Fury about you being an agent."
"I'm about to talk to Fury myself about that."
"You know if you need to, you can be my super assistant sort between Avenging and things, Clint. You handle the stupid stuff that goes on around me very well. Oh, and the guy that sent me the guts last week sent me a powdery thing this week but it's in the sealed case in the library."
Clint went to look then groaned and called that in to Hill. Hill, being a bitch, sent in the agents who were conveniently closest and hated Clint, to handle it. "Second nasty present they've sent the kid," he told the most senior agent of the group. "Last time it was guts. Just the small intestine but it was also rancid and gross. This time, it's some sort of powder on what looks like a liver maybe." His smaller dog came back and sniffed then barked and put up a reading of it. "Oh, that's cool. Thanks, Samwise. You're very good at that." He handed him an energy snack, making him give out a happy bark and go back to playing with the dog. Clint grinned. "So far they're getting along very well with my new dog too. I had to rescue him from the Russian mob."
The agents all glared at him. "Why are you here?" one demanded.
Xander let out some hormones, humming some. "He's here to protect my pretty ass from people like the one who sent me nasty things and would like to kidnap my pretty ass to own. Since I'm not a pet, he's rescued me a number of times. Now, do I have to ask nicely to get the stuff out of my house?" He smiled at them. "Or I can hormone you more and make myself minions." They fled, going to lock themselves in the car. The two with weapons dropped them before they ran. Xander leaned over to look then at Clint. "I don't think they're normal guns."
Clint looked and shook his head. "One was experimental the last I knew." He took a picture and then a picture of the gross stuff and sent it to Coulson with a report. "Go air that out before I end up doing nasty things with the dogs, Xander."
"Sorry, Clint. I'll go to the pool." He headed into the garden that didn't grow vegetables.
"We have a pool?" he demanded, watching Xander walk off. "Since when do we have a pool?"
"We have a regular pool with a board and a cenote like they have in Spain, which are swimming holes in caves and considered slightly holy areas according to the travel networks." He grinned. "It's spiritual."
"When did we get those?"
"Last week when I was bored. Bored is bad. I might have to expand the garden area or add more garden nymphs soon too." He strolled off. "I'm going to the regular pool."
"I've got to make a map," Clint muttered, shaking his head. "I should go find that pool." Someone in a hazmat suit knocked on the door so he opened it. "It's the same guy who sent him the small intestine last week. His note this time said it proved Xander wasn't safe unless he was his. I really need to go put a hole in that guy's head before I have to rescue Xander from him."
The geek stared at him. "I remember the one last week, Hawkeye. The agents Hill sent?"
"Cowering from Xander before he hormoned them into minions." He pointed at the weapons. "They were going to use those on me and Xander got a bit bitchy." He grinned. "They fled. They're in their SUV out there." He pointed. "There they are, glaring at us."
The agent looked and shook his head. "Idiots."
"Yes they are. Xander told them to go talk to Fury about me being an agent or not. They sent a threat at Xander too. They sent a vampire to threaten him."
The geek looked at him. "That's so weird."
"Yeah but it happens I guess." He shrugged, putting his hands in his pockets. "Do you need the whole case?"
"No. Probably not. Where did he open it?"
"The envelope's in there," he said with a point. He heard a bark and a splash, stepping back to look in there. "Xander, are the dogs okay?" he called.
"Yeah, yours decided to try the diving board. He's fine and happy barking at the other dogs. Pupkins, they're not waterproof yet. I have to work on that this week so they can join us. For now, go lounge a bit, okay?" He pointed. "Go play." The dog got out and shook off then went to play with the new dogs again. They enjoyed that more than watching them swim. Though Frodo kept looking over. "Frodo, babe, I'm a great swimmer. Don't worry about it. Go play with the new doggy." He got barked at and they went back to playing tug of war with a towel. Xander smiled, going back to his laps.
Clint looked at the geek again, shrugging at his odd look. "Xander's garden area. He's got a few neat plants in there too."
"It's very Xander," Clint quipped with a grin.
"That's a great way of putting it, Barton. He's becoming a myth." He gathered up the gross stuff and powder, having to take that containment box with him. "I'll have it cleaned and sent back."
"Sure. Mail runs at two tomorrow in case we need it again."
"I can do that." He carried it out to his van and got in to go back to the base. His supervisor was going to agree that Xander Harris was in his own category of weird. And somehow he had a huge garden in New York. With a pool.
Clint locked the door and put a note to Phil's phone about it being locked before he headed for the pool while taking off his shirt. "Hey, Xander, can I swim in my boxers?"
"Yeah. I don't mind. It's really clothing optional, Clint."
"Cool. Thanks." He put his stuff on a chair then dove in, moaning as he came up. A saltwater system so lower chlorine, warmed water just below body temperature, and enough room to hold an olympic meet. Yeah, this was a pool. He did some laps before lounging, watching the dogs play. They were so cute.
Phil Coulson got handed a few sheets of paper as Maria Hill walked past where he was waiting on the meeting with Nick Fury. He read it and sighed. Then he looked at his phone. No notes from Clint or Xander. He sent a message, getting one back from Xander saying that it was the same guy as last week and they were in the pool but Clint had locked the front door. Phil stared at it. "We have a pool?" he asked his phone. "Since when did we have a pool? That would've helped my physical therapy more." He sent that off and Xander told him he had made them last week and apologized for not thinking of that sooner. Phil said it was fine and he'd have to check it out later. He turned off his phone when he saw Fury watching him, handing over the reports from the science team.
Fury read them over, then nodded once. "Who?"
"Same as the one who sent the small intestines last week."
"Gross." He handed the reports back. "Why were you giving the phone that sort of look?"
"They're in the pool."
"Pools now," Fury said blandly. "Where did he put a pool?"
"Apparently by the gazebo he's had all along, which are by the tentacle plants."
"I remember seeing reports on those." He shook his head quickly. "The one you're guarding is weird."
"Yes but his uniqueness is a special thing to be guarded," Phil reminded him.
"Please do." He went back into his office. Phil followed. "Are you coming back to work?"
"I had thoughts of it but I do have to make sure that Xander's well guarded. Before we have to rescue people from him rescuing himself."
"We've already seen that once but I didn't care if they needed rescued or not with what they were into." He sat down behind his desk again. "Do you want to assign him a full time bodyguard from an agency that's less strict than SHIELD would be on him?"
"Actually, he's recently started a new set of lessons with the goblins who run his bank. Some of the younger ones have set up warrior practices and he's joined in." He smirked slightly. "Natasha's also joined him there and said they were quite rigorous. She was impressed that the trainer was amused at Xander's natural style and was able to incorporate more moves into his style."
"Are they filthy too?"
"I'll ask her to write a report in case we can send some of ours who need the training to them." He made himself a note then looked at Phil. "Are you sure you want to keep handling the stupid going on around the kid?"
"It's not his fault, Nick. Even when he's down they still come for him. I'd be happier if he was drawing people who wanted his money but they don't. The few that heard he has money were horrified that he's not a candy boy as one put it."
"He could probably make a good living that way," Hill said from the doorway.
"He'd be bored and backed up," Phil reminded her, making her shudder. "Did you get the agents that ran from him?"
"Yes, and they nicely confiscated the weapons that unofficial team brought with them. The problem I'm having is some of STRIKE is near there. I'm not sure if they're going after Barton or someone else."
Phil called, putting in the emergency code so Clint had to answer. He heard the bark and groaned. "I need Clint please, dog. Right now please. It's really important." He heard a gunshot. "I think they may be there. Someone just shot someone." She called that in so agents would go help the poor guy. The robotic dog barked and Clint was apparently fine enough to answer the barking. "What happened?" He listened. "That's...interesting. Disturbing but interesting. No, we know STRIKE is near there. Please do. We're not sure why. Neighbor? I'll look him up when I get back. Please do keep that idiot who tried to break in there, yes.
"In a few minutes hopefully. Hill sent someone. Thank you, Barton." He hung up and looked at Hill then at Fury. "That was a government official from the local neighborhood who wanted to demand favors of Xander. Or to be paid off. Apparently he heard the kid has money and decided to cultivate a new donor. Xander apparently told him he was still feeling his way around politics and he was probably going to end up being more liberal so people were protected and given opportunities they have the chance to take advantage of. The man was horrified and tried to have his guard arrest Xander for no reason. That is who got shot. Barton got in the guarding officer's way and he had to harm him by shooting him in the knee."
"Great. So more problems?"
"He was harassing a wealthy young man, Nick. Will that really look good on him?"
"Half of the sort that back those sort of politicians probably want a Xander of their own anyway," Hill agreed. "But they'd have to deny it in the press." She walked off to look up that politician. "Apparently he wanted to be a sixties-era Kennedy," she told Phil when he walked past her, handing over the news story she had been reading.
He skimmed it, grimacing. "Great. Involved in the possible death of two young women." He walked off with the story. Xander would be happy. Clint wasn't being arrested, though officers were very hostile toward him. He walked in and stared at them. "Are we both all right? I found out the same politician was involved in the disappearance of two young women last year."
Xander grimaced. "Great, a slavery expert or a serial rapist and killer. Can we find whatever draws people like that and turn it down? I don't mind the guy that wanted to spar, who I won the sword off of, but that bad? No. I'm not into evil." He hugged Clint. "Thank you for not making me handle him myself." He petted the three dogs. "You guys were very helpful too." He looked at the staring officers. "The two original dogs are great guard dogs." He grinned. "They're great playmates too."
The lead officer just nodded. "I have a wife for that."
"I've tried but I only draw deadly and dangerous ones usually."
"That figures," the other officer quipped. "If this one's an indication, then you do draw shitbags, sir." Xander smiled at him.
Clint spotted an agent and waved them in, nodding at the library. "In there," he told them. The agent went that way, unzipping his bulletproof jacket on the way. Xander followed the guy to talk to him about why he was there. "Thank you, guys." They smiled as they carried off the politician and dirty cop who had been making them all look bad. Clint shut the door and went to talk to the STRIKE team member. "Hey. Here for him or for another reason?" He looked out the window, then poked Xander on the arm. "The new neighbor?"
Xander looked and smiled and waved. "Yup." He grinned at the agent. "Hi, Xander Harris," he said, holding out a hand.
He shook it. "I've heard the rumors." He looked at Clint. "She sent me to get those agents who're hiding in their SUV." Clint pointed. "We'll get them to go home. Fury's disgusted."
"They ran from Xander like he was going to suddenly grow tentacles." Clint smirked a tiny bit. "They also sent a vampire to harass me, and got Xander."
"They wanted him to not be an agent. I told the vampire to tell them to go talk to Fury," Xander quipped. He frowned, going to look at the mailbox. "When did that get here? Clint, the idiot warlord wannabe sent me something again," he complained. The new neighbor gave him an odd look. Xander shrugged back. "He thinks I'm fun and great in bed, and I am, but I find him repulsive. He's insistent. Sorry if he shows up." He carried in the mail and the package he found on the porch. "Pull up another containment box?" Clint got the spare one for demonic artifacts and let Xander open both packages in there. One had jewelry, girlish jewelry fit for an Oscar red carpet. The other had...well death threats covered in blood splotches and a note saying that person was not going to bother him ever again. Xander looked at the new agent, smiling at him. "Here, the warlord's been convinced I'm not his apparently." He got out of the way.
The agent used the waldo gloves to flip through that box's contents, frowning. "That's some twisted shit, kid."
"Yeah, it is." He spotted a goblin and waved them in. "Hey. Did they complain I was too happy during training?" he asked quietly.
"No, he was most enthused that you were good enough for advanced training. We intercepted an attempt to get into your funds."
"Government, other government, or otherwise?" Clint asked. "This is one of the STRIKE members out of SHIELD. This is our local goblin clan's leader. He's also Xander's bank person." He grinned. "They have a very cute dragon."
The agent shook the goblin's hand with a nod. "Can't be any more weird than robotic dogs, sir."
"Hey!" Xander complained. "Frodo and Samwise are great pets. They're very protective and can tell Clint or someone when I need saving. They've even snuck into SHIELD a few times."
The agent looked at him. "Most agents would consider a robotic dog weird, Mr. Harris. Or a robotic dragon."
"No, we have a real dragon," the goblin said with a scary grin. "She's a very good dragon guard."
"A real...ohkay," he decided. "Mr. Harris, let me take these back to SHIELD with the failed agent whiny men out in the SUV?"
"Sure. Thank you." He grinned. "Let me know if I have to do anything about whoever sent that."
"I can do that. Pleasure, sir." He nodded before carrying the containment box out to his SUV, then going to capture the other agents so they could all be talked to.
Clint shut the door, looking at the goblin. "Our government?"
"A few tendrils of interest but he did file taxes for the first time this year. Since he wasn't known to be wealthy before, a few people are wondering. The main hacking attempt we stopped came from England. The Devon Coven." Xander growled. "I see you know of them?"
"One of them pulled my genetic material from another realm to have me," Xander said dryly. "So I could be their guardian sort. Thankfully the Xander that's the God Protector of Humanity felt me being born and came to save me after Loki blessed me to himself. He and Uncle Phil are really nice to accept prayers from me too."
"Coulson's a god on another realm?" Clint demanded.
"Uncle Phil's over heros." Xander grinned. "He and that Xander are really true mates. They even have elemental form screwing."
"Huh. Does he know that?"
"Yeah, they've talked during conventions."
"Wow," he said weakly. "Thankfully he's not one here. I'd never get to goof off." He walked off shaking his head. "Let me know if I need to help handle the hackers," he called back.
"Of course," the goblin elder agreed, smiling at Xander, who grinned back. "We can handle it but we thought you should hear they're trying something."
"Thank you. I don't want to think about them but I may have to talk to them sometime I guess." He shrugged. "Tell me what you figure out."
"I can do that." He went back to tell the others. Xander came in with a trunk of semi-opened packages, handing them over. "We can store them or sell them for you, Xander."
"Thank you. Not like I want girlish jewelry. I'm not a girl, even if I do pout to ice cream." He went back to work on a new story.
The STRIKE team member met with the others, staring at them after he had shut the door after himself. "Met Barton and Coulson's guardee," he said finally.
"Harris?" one guessed with a grin.
"Six lower level agents wanted to run Barton off. Tried to send a threat to Harris. Were stalking him." He rubbed his forehead. "I met his banking goblin too." A few burst out laughing. "Not kidding." A few grinned at him. "Yeah, like the books. Also, got to bring happy news to Hill about a warlord going down. He wanted Harris. Someone nicely sent his last few letters to the kid with his blood all over it and a note saying it was handled." He stared at them. "The goblins have a dragon. A real, non-robotic, dragon." A few nodded at that, still smirking at him. "Harris has two robotic dogs and a real one now." He rubbed his forehead again. "Also, one of our priority targets from a few years back's son is in that neighborhood now. Saw him when I was carting off the containment box. He had to have HAZMAT pick up one earlier." He stared at them. "How do you handle that?"
"Barton's cool enough, but he's still healing. He gets to rescue the kid all he wants and needs to for a new career at the moment. Coulson healed there. Harris is goofy but good enough," the head of the team told him. "During the invasion he helped hold a few hospitals steady and alien-free. His first battle. He's also the reason we had robotic fairies bringing reloads."
"How many of those do we get from him?"
"He's got a handler to handle the average threats," the head of the team said. "So if Barton can't go rescue him, he'll send an agent."
"Are we on for that?" the guy asked.
"Yup," another said with a nod. "Yes I did, by accident. My handler caught sight of him having a fit at someone who had kidnaped him and had me detour my own case to go extract him to the embassy. Hill threw a fit about the one who had kidnaped him that time." He grinned again. "Fury threw a fit about arms dealers wanting the kid."
"So it's not a constant thing, we'll be guarding him," the worried one asked.
"No. Not unless he and Stark get stolen together. Then maybe it'd be our job to go extract them. Oh, and that little problem that got HYDRA exposed and us merged? Harris was a link in that. There's rumors that old gods were involved and warned him."
"Great," the worried one said with a nod and a grimace. "Should we familiarize ourselves with his file?"
"Please do," another agreed. "The kid's nice enough but bouncy and kinda creepy with how happy he is. Though he does spar with Romanoff now and then. Some sort of sword work by the rumors."
The head one burst out laughing. "I saw when we tested his skills. That shit's certifiably nasty. Going to confession if you're not Catholic nasty. Even Fury got so hard he had to limp off. The kid's got a hormone condition that makes him smell like bad guy candy. Which is why Barton is like his favorite friend." He looked at his team then at the new guy. "Harris is a nice kid. By his file, he's gotten himself free before and nearly brought home some abused dogs. The bigger robotic dog snuck into the base to tell everyone that his human had been kidnaped by video message. Oh, and the dogs have ball cannons. When we were trying to figure him out, they knocked out a few agents and gave them concussions."
"By the rumors going around, he's been at least contacted by about thirty of our top fifty bad guys," another guy said. "Which is why no one minds that Barton lives with him. We have bi-weekly pick ups of those contacts. Including some jewelry, some biohazards, and some filthy letters. Some people imagine he's more bendable than a cat."
The team leader nodded. "He's a nice kid who has an unfortunate draw for those sort. The higher ups had wanted him to train to be Romanoff but he refused and Fury threw a fit about their plots."
Someone knocked and walked in, staring at them. "The goblins are actually very good at investments and they have a training program for those who need to learn sword work," Natasha said with a smirk for them. "The boy does very good with it. He will also teach the special sword work style he uses if one asks." She looked at the new one. "Xander is quite unique but very handy at a few things. And he cooks quite well."
He swallowed but nodded at her. "Should I worry about how often we'll be running into him in the field? Getting to know him just in case we do run into him in the field? Should I familiarize myself with his file?"
"Agent Crill is his handler for usual things. Barton and he are friends. Also, be aware he knows things about magic if it comes up. That's why he's put in two garden areas." They all grimaced but nodded at that. "Including a pool and about ten acres of growing area. They hold things like those grapes that we'd all like to cultivate." A few of the guys grinned. "Xander is very nice if you are not mean to him.
"Be honest if you have to deal with him, even if it is bad news. Though, if he ever tells you he's got to handle something, get out of the way. Barton had been told to leave him somewhere once to see what he would do to that wannabe girlfriend. Xander destroyed her whole empire." She smiled. "Barton said it was inspiring how a little chaos went such a long way. He is every bit the chaos knight that others have called him. Also, they hold yearly Xander conventions so sometimes you will see another of him there to talk and help that one."
"That's so weird," the head guy said.
She nodded. "Yes but handy. It's let him meet some very unusual but handy contacts. Including the realm where Coulson is a God over Heros." She smirked a tiny bit at the head agent, who shuddered. "Exactly. Be aware that if the Devon Coven of witches show up, they are a threat to him in many unusual ways. Our Xander was created by one of them to be their protector and he was raised off-realm. Technically he's only about three." She looked at the new one. "That warlord that got taken out?
"The one who did it is worse and has sent an ex-girlfriend a letter full of plague in the past for daring to go on without him. He's on Interpol's list and ours. Crill was not amused. He told Coulson, who was horrified that the idiot had heard about Xander. He is in London at the moment but will be in the US in a few weeks by his travel plans. We may need backup then. Though it is admirable that a few dictators think that Xander is a fitting mistress to be hidden because they can not admit to being gay." She left them to talk.
"Yeah, familiarize yourself with his file," the lead agent ordered. The others all nodded, pulling it up on their tablets. "We can ask Crill or Coulson for pointers about how to handle him if we have to in the field. Though we may bag a terrorist soon if that guy does come to the US, boys." A few grinned at him for that encouraging ending.
Xander came out of warrior practice and nodded at Hill since she was waiting against a car. "I have a driver," he told her, walking over.
"Fury wanted a word somewhere private," she said, nodding at the car. Xander nodded, getting in with him. Natasha came out blotting off her sweaty neck. "Is your sword work getting better?" she asked.
"Much," she agreed, smiling slightly at her. "Goblins are very strong warriors. Their whole culture is." She tucked her towel into her gym bag. "Fury?" Hill nodded. "Xander's other selves have warned about other incidences we must see if they'll happen here."
"How bad?" Hill asked.
"An invasion of LA."
Hill blinked a few times. "Excuse me?" she demanded. Xander got out pouty. "An invasion?"
"Wolfram and Hart has some guys involved in Black Thorn so they invaded LA to try to take over humanity." He looked at Natasha. "I'm told I need to hire a commando team or build a realistic robotic version to save me from now on."
Natasha grimaced. "No. It would be too dangerous to have them around you with your condition, Xander. We'll talk about how to protect you better later."
"He said Phil has to move back."
"And yet, Coulson has told him to screw himself over that thought," Natasha said with a smile for him. Xander relaxed. "We'll go talk about it as a group. That way others know that they're being ordered."
"He didn't order Clint. Or you if you wanted to bum my other spare room."
"I'll contemplate that. Living in Stark's tower would be annoying." She walked him off. "Let's get you home with a stop for that promised milkshake." He checked his wallet and nodded with a grin for her. "Then I'll help your goblin bankers stop the ones who are playing with your accounts. Before they do something to make you try to come beg them to leave you alone. That is probably their reasoning this time."
"It got noted when I filed my taxes," he told her.
"That is one thing that may get you attention but not someone probing your accounts." She got him into the car and climbed in with him. She had cabbed anyway.
Hill got into the car, looking at her boss. "Was Coulson polite enough to say screw yourself?" she asked.
"No, he told me to fuck an elephant in French," he said dryly, driving them off. "STRIKE has been looking into him."
"A few are...enamored in a better than usual way. They don't want to sleep with him but they like the ones that do so they can have something to do at the moment. They were most amused about that assassin who took out the warlord bothering him."
"So was I until he showed up in the US and my team went to handle it without telling me," he complained.
"I would've sent them anyway, Nick."
"True, but they could've waited."
"The guy tried to take out a family at the airport for being whiny, tired kids."
"I've seen some of those. Thankfully I don't fly commercial too often." He turned them around to head to the base. He noticed she rolled down the windows. "I took care of it earlier, Hill."
"Then you smell like brownies for some other reason?" she asked, looking at him. "He does have that room of hands that helps if you must, Nick."
"That's fine. I can find you someone who can be discretely hired. That way you get stress relief too." She looked out the window when he grunted in displeasure. He wasn't happy to have GHS hormone problems by any means.
Maybe she could talk to the same people about helping Xander before he got another wacky idea. She knew he was working on one somewhere.
Clint got there last and flopped down, petting his dog then the other two. His dog looked at what Clint was eating and made a tiny whining sound. He shared his hotdog with a grin but went back to eating his own dinner. "So what happened?" he asked. "I got a lot of bad looks."
"Fury wants me to hire a commando unit so your peoples don't have to help me again. He wanted Phil to move back. And Natasha." Xander looked at him. "He didn't mention much about you beyond figuring I'd warp you in new and unusual ways since you're already warped enough to use an archaic weapon. He also warned me that if I got his agents annoyed any he'd turn in my gardens to the tax people."
Clint shook his head. "I'm pretty sure they can't tax property that's not actually in the city." He looked at Coulson.
"I told him off the last time he suggested I move back to the base's housing," he admitted. "Apparently I needed to translate it for him." He looked at Xander. "Quit worrying. They won't be here just because of that."
"STRIKE took out that guy who took out the warlord," Clint said with a grin. "He was going to kill the annoying people in the airport."
"I hope he enjoys his jail term then. Annoying isn't a reason to take out people. Being a genocidal fuckhead is but not just being annoyed at the modern flight industry, which seems to be geared to piss you off. I hate flying."
Natasha smiled. "We hated the last time you flew too, Xander. You nearly hormoned the plane." He rolled his eyes but pouted some and nodded. "Clint, Stark has invited us to his tower once it's fixed." Clint nodded. "Or we can fully move things to some other off-base housing if we must."
"You're all welcome to stay here," Xander reminded her. "It's boring by myself. Who knows what I'll add onto the garden the next time."
Coulson smirked at him. "I saw the cenote." Xander grinned. "It's a good job of making that sacred space." Xander beamed at that. "The pool's very nice as well."
"And clothing optional," Xander told them. "Clint doesn't own a swimsuit and mine's a speedo. I'm sure Natasha has one somewhere but maybe not handy so that's up to her. I saw your board shorts earlier, Phil."
"They are handy to have," he agreed. He looked at Natasha, who was smirking at the boy. "I know you have at least one bikini."
"Yes and it's safer to wear here than to wear at the one in Stark tower." Clint nodded quickly. "You own one."
"It got ripped years ago and I never replaced it. The one I wore on that assignment was SHIELD's so they took it back afterward." Samwise hopped up next to him so he petted the small robotic dog. "They carried it off like it was toxic but that's costuming at SHIELD anyway."
Phil nodded. "They do treat anything worn as if they're disgusting," he agreed. Frodo hopped up next to him so he petted him. "You've been very good today, Frodo." The dog barked and wagged his tail. He petted him again. "Clint, have you named your furry friend?"
"I was thinking Lucky."
"That's a good dog name," Natasha agreed.
"Or something about his sincere love of pizza," Clint added with a grin for her.
"Only you," she sighed, shaking her head. Xander was giggling. "I see your neighbor is wandering again, though this time he has a bodyguard with him."
"What does he do?" Clint asked. "I recognized him but I couldn't place it."
"His father is in drugs, weapons, and art," she said. "I looked him up for the same reason."
"He said if we needed it, his security team could help," Xander told them, smiling and waving when the guy waved at him. "He seemed nice and he wasn't flirty at all."
"So maybe he's not in his father's business," she agreed. "Did the STRIKE team member flirt?"
"No. He was really confused," Clint told her. He shifted to grin at her. "He had no idea about Xander."
"Yes, he went back to ask the others on the new team about Xander. They've all agreed they'll ask Crill how to handle it if you're spotted on a mission, Xander. Just in case."
"That's probably why Fury wanted me to hire a commando team."
"Probably," she agreed. "But it's more handy if they understand and know. You and Fury can't be the only ones with that hormone condition in this realm."
"Actually, I'm not sure if the new neighbor doesn't," he admitted quietly. "Something felt familiar about him."
"Interesting. We'll have to monitor that. Clint?"
"When I'm here."
"Thank you," Coulson said. "Though you are on for missions again. I fixed that problem last night, Clint."
"Thanks, boss." He grinned at him. Then he got up to get the door with Samwise following him. "Hey. We're just talking before dinner."
The guy blinked at him. "You're an agent. I saw you on that invasion."
"I am," he agreed, looking smug. "I'm a SHIELD agent actually."
"Oh. Is he under investigation?" he asked quietly.
"No. I'm bumming a room. Our base was attacked and Xander's a great buddy. He lets me crash."
"Oh, that's fine then. I was hoping it wasn't a bad thing. I'm trying to lay a bit low."
"We recognized you," Clint admitted, grinning at him. "As long as your dad doesn't cause him any problems, or do something that would make me raid Xander's sword stash, you're just a neighbor, dude."
"My father said I'm weak," he admitted. "So I'm going to start my own business."
"Good luck. I hope you can," Coulson said as he came up behind Clint. "It's a good thing to get out of a deep shadow and make your own way." He smiled. "If you have problems with his sort of people, let us know. We're in and out depending on our work loads but Xander can easily call in for an emergency."
"Thanks. That's a great thing if I need it. Oh, this is my head of security, Bert."
Clint grinned and waved. "Barton, Coulson," he said with a point at Phil. "That's Samwise. Frodo's the bigger one and I just adopted Lucky the other day."
"That's good. I was wondering about the device on the mailbox."
"That's a scanner for explosive devices and chemical or radiation output and reads ID cards for anyone trying to access it," Phil said. "He had someone send him a bomb so he built it. Like he did Frodo."
"Huh," Bert said with a nod and a smile. "It's a bit weird looking but really handy probably. I have a guy who does that for us. I need to make sure we have good scanners, Barry."
"Please do. Just in case the girlfriend I walked away from is going to try something else."
Xander came over to hug him. "It's hard when they want you and you don't want them back. I have a few of those." He smiled up at him. "It'll be okay though." He got him a folder and came back. "I've got a huge hormone problem that draws bad guys. Does this look familiar?" He let Barry see it.
Barry winced. "We were wondering about that."
"Yeah, there's not many of us," Xander said. "I ended up talking to one of us who has that same problem somewhere else and that's what they've come up with on the allergies and stuff."
Barry read it over more carefully. "Yeah, that's a good thing to know. This group?"
"Another realm's version. Unfortunately I have bad guys like that sometimes," Xander quipped with a grimace. "And demons sometimes."
Barry shook his head quickly. "I saw one of those in the park a few weeks back."
"I've taken out a few," Xander said with a grin. "I also teach a dance style with swords and knives that can help wear that out but it's a bit sexual in nature. It's taught to teenage boys where they do it."
"Not really my thing."
"I also do yoga and putter in my garden if you need that sort of help."
"I'll keep that in mind. Can I..." He waved the folder. Xander smiled and nodded. "Thanks, Xander. That's actually really helpful."
"Watch out for some guy named Harold Heinersman. He wanted to own me last month and he's getting pushy." He looked at Clint. "I know he made you walk off shuddering but he sent me a post card with a picture of a torture victim with the saying 'we can do this together when I come get you'."
"That's disgusting. If he shows up, we'll help you handle him, Xander."
"Thanks, Clint." He bounced into him to hug him then grinned at Barry. "If you need an electronics store, I have one I use pretty often."
"We use a guy out of England that specialty builds," Barry said. "But thanks, Xander."
"You're welcome. Let me know if I can help at all. I'm usually pretty bored." Barry smiled and nodded, waving before he and Bert left to talk about things. He looked up at Clint. "That was helpful, right? Not pushy?"
"No, very helpful," he agreed. "And yeah, he does have a light version. Near Fury's level because he smelled nice and I was getting interested but not too much like when you're backed up." He shut the door.
"We should get an updated allergy list," Coulson said. "Just in case they've added to it."
"Greg hasn't as of when the latest convention," Xander quipped with a grin. "Though I did get some new ideas and we shared the robotic nymphs with a few of them. They thought it'd be really handy."
"Plans for what?" Natasha asked from her seat. "Barry probably rates just above Fury with how he was putting out. Fury's barely registers to me but Barry was able to be smelled from the doorway."
"We got a few different plans. Including plotting a house for one of us." He grinned. "And we had to help the unicorn get to a better realm because he was stuck and couldn't get home from Miami this time."
She shook her head quickly. "A unicorn?" she demanded.
"Yeah. It accidentally traveled to the Miami me's farm to hang out with his horses. Though it did show up at his house in Denver because it really liked someone out there and they had a girl's catholic school nearby. Plus the house in Denver has a half-pooka who likes to hang out to nibble on the fallen apples in his orchard."
"Xander, please," Clint begged. "No more weird stuff today?"
"Sure." He went to look in the kitchen. "Why did I pull down the uncured bacon stuff? I hardly ever use it."
"I used it," Phil said.
"Oh, okay." He nodded. "If you wanted to. I find it really weak in flavor." He shrugged and looked again. "What do we want for dinner? I seriously need to go buy meat apparently." He closed the freeze and opened up the chest freezer's door to look. "Wow. I'm even out of frozen burgers." He looked up. "I can buy some tomorrow if the bank stuff is still okay. What do we want for dinner?"
"We can figure it out later," Natasha said. "It's not time yet." Xander nodded, coming back out to sit down with some iced tea and energy treats for the dogs, plus a pig's ear for Clint's dog. They got happy with those and the petting people. "What else did you learn from the convention?"
"I learned how vampires on one realm are doing a holistic vampire thing. It sounds like a good idea I can start here to become a lifestyle guru." He grinned. "They have all sorts of programs to help those poor vampires be more whole goddess earth centered. Including how to spot organic food eaters."
She blinked a few times. "That sounds weird and we have plenty who live that life already, Xander."
"But they had other ideas about how to live holistically as a vampire. And speciality yoga classes to go with their extra muscles."
"Very weird," Phil agreed. "We'll have to see if you can gently nudge people like witches that way instead."
"That's what I was thinking because sometimes the vampires are weird so I have to stake them faster."
The three agents just nodded at that, because most vampires were more than weird to them.
Xander woke up from his last kidnaping already on a train with Natasha reading across from him. He groaned, holding his head as he sat up. "Who was it this time?" he complained.
"A problem that you've had in the past. Clint's behind us in the next compartment. He had to call in help because that one had hired idiots to help him." She looked up. "You were drugged but healed nicely." She smirked at him. "That healing gift is very handy."
"Thankfully," he agreed.
"He said he killed you."
"He's an idiot."
"Yes, he was." She went back to reading. "Clint had someone prove that you weren't dead so you're fine. He's also called Crill and Coulson to make sure it wasn't put anywhere." She looked up. "Though Coulson did have to let the tax assessor into the house." He winced. "He found the keys to lock the garden areas. Thankfully." Xander relaxed again. "The man was not appreciative but he scoffed at magic until he got into your library. Then he went outside to look then back in a few times. Then he swore at Phil for being a weirdo sort." She smiled slightly again. "Coulson pointed out he was borrowing a room while you were being rescued. So your property taxes may have went up. The tax assessor went to pray away the magic."
"I'm glad he didn't get into the garden area. He would've had a stroke." He curled up. "Jensen suggested I find a big house to wander around in."
"The one here?" Xander nodded. "It's good you two are talking."
"I saw him a few weeks back when they got me free of an idiot while Clint was on assignment." He frowned. "Clay was not amused."
"He seems to have that mood." She put her book aside, staring at him. "We have nothing on that kidnaping."
"I'm not really looking forward to remembering it. He was going to try to torture me to make me give in. He hated the healing gift." He shrugged slightly. "It freaked him out. He walked off calling for a priest until the team broke in and shot him a lot."
"It can bother those who are too stringent of thinkers I suppose." He grinned a tiny bit. "Did they find out?"
"Yup. Roque said he wanted that gift. I offered him the name of a being who could grant that wish for him and got swatted by Pooch for it. Roque said he'd ask for Clay to get it so they could get him a better class of crazy woman who wanted him. Or Jensen so he'd get a boyfriend that was handy. Jensen zapped him with something the bad guy was tinkering with." She laughed.
Clint opened the door and leaned in, grinning at them. "We're about to be stopped by the Germans. They want to search the train for someone who disturbed one of their royals." Xander groaned. "Not you this time. Though we're going near that prince's kingdom and they might try something." He looked at Natasha, who sighed but nodded she could disappear for a few. She took her book and purse with her, going to climb into the baggage compartment then up onto the roof when she had to hide further.
Xander looked at him. "Did Crill get any of the other notes I made?"
"Yup. And he was slightly amused until that one in Grenada with the team. Then he had heartburn and sent Clay flowers." He grinned again. "We know it's not your fault, Xander. Just relax. I'm just behind you." He went back to his own sleeping compartment, settling in to read for now. Even if the Germans spotted him he wasn't wanted for anything right now. Of course they tried to growl and take him in anyway.
Xander came out, scowling at them. "That is my bodyguard and assistant," he snarled. "Leave him alone unless you have a warrant!"
"Who're you?" one demanded.
Xander let his hormones out, making the agents back up quickly and shake their heads. "We know one of you," one said, shuddering.
"Clint protects me and rescues me. Plus helps me when I get too clouded. Is he in trouble still?"
"No," one said, shaking his head quickly. "If his partner were here she might be but he is not." They fled.
Xander opened the hallway windows and grinned at Clint, blowing a kiss. "You can make breakfast if you want."
"I can do that. Go rest." Xander went back to his couch to rest again. Clint flopped down with a sigh of relief. He heard the agents complaining that Natasha was on the roof of the now moving train as they pulled out of the station. She came in a few minutes later. "He told them I'm his assistant and helper."
"Some days. It's a great career for you." She smirked slightly. "You do look very nice while doing heroic rescues."
"Gee thanks, Nat."
She strolled back to the other compartment and let herself in after a quick knock. Xander was asleep so that was good. He could use more sleep. Though she did check for a pulse just in case.
A few months later, Xander strolled up to an American hero giving a press conference to evil things. He smiled as the guy caught sight of him, eyes going a bit wider. "Hey, Steve. I was going to invite you to dinner tonight. I'm pretty sure my present host wouldn't mind." He head nodded back at him.
Steve looked then smiled at Xander. "I can see that happening, Xander. Thanks."
"Welcome. Come to the car when you're done." He walked off again, shoving a camera out of his face. "Move it."
"He's a really interesting guy," he told the reporters. "He's a fantasy author. We talked about art because he wanted help picking out what to put in his library." He nearly fled to the car. The 'host' wasn't with them. "Need rescued?" he asked quietly once they were driving off. Xander pulled off a listening device and held it up. He winked. "That bad?" he mouthed. Xander pointed at a camera then he leaned over to hiss in his ear. This guy was a huge problem that Xander could end but it would cause no end of stink. So yeah, Steve could help get him out of there. Or get them both help if needed.
Coulson looked at the text message he got from a STRIKE team member. "What?" he demanded, typing that back. He got a photo sent that time. Xander and Steve. And Xander's 'host'/captor this time. Phil looked him up and told the team member who he was, what he was into, which was extremely nasty, and to see if Steve could get him and Xander out. Xander could probably contrive something but it would cause a mess and might get Steve too. The agent agreed and said he'd be watching and if they couldn't get out he'd extract them that night on his way to his vacation. Phil sent back a thank you and told him he'd file the report for him. To send him a voicemail with everything that had went on. He put down his phone and groaned, shaking his head.
Xander stopped the agent, pulling him into the shadows of the hallway with him. "He has something that's biological that's defeating the blood cell eating disease he has," he hissed. "And it's dangerous."
"Is he going to infect us?" he demanded.
"I've got a slight self healing gift." He stared at him. The agent winced but nodded. "You should go. That's why I invited Steve to dinner." The agent nodded and snuck back out. Xander went back to his trek for milk, frowning slightly. The guy had the house boobytrapped with biological diseases. He had two hostages in the basement he had taken from some Russian idiot who had claimed to be HYDRA, but Xander still didn't believe it. He hadn't seen the hostages. If he had he would've released them probably. He went to find Steve, handing him the milk after tasting it. Steve had agreed that it was too important to not handle. "I shooed off an agent," he said quietly. "Because I found the failsafe."
Steve winced but sipped the milk. "That's good to know. Anything else?"
"He's got a dog somewhere in the basement. I can hear it howling and I hate that he mistreats dogs."
Steve nodded. "You do take good care of yours, Xander."
"I nearly rescued some from others who thought I'd make a great concubine too." He looked over as their host walked in looking amused. "What?"
"It's not a dog. I can show you, Xander."
Xander grinned. "Sure. Let's see this not-a-dog." He followed with Steve and they found themselves in the basement. Xander sent a bit of magic at the failsafe, melting the activator switch part without being noticed. Steve had glanced at it then at him. They found the two doors and hostages being held. Steve stiffened at the sight of one so Xander kindly magiced their 'host' into being frozen for a bit. "Steve?" Nothing. "Steve? C'mon, need you here." He nudged him. Steve dropped the glass of milk, waking up a guard so Xander stole Steve's gun and shot the guy. Then their host. "Okay. Let's evacuate, Steve. I can go whammy the other device. Get the hostages." Steve blinked at him. "Get them out of here."
"What if he gave them something?"
"Get the STRIKE guy and get us quarantined. You and I both have healing things." Steve nodded, calling that in. Xander went to get the other bomb. The STRIKE team showed up together. All of them. Xander grinned and waved. "I melted this part on the one in the basement. Steve's with the two hostages he has. There's supposed to be at least ten guards but I think one's an agent."
"Got 'em," the head of the team said. "Biologicals?"
"Yeah, and the head guy's got a biological thing that's healing him really fast. I've got him magically frozen in the basement with Steve and the guy he recognized. I figured we'd all be in quarantine together."
"Okay," they decided. A few agents got the bombs undone. A few went with Xander. The rest searched the house but Xander stole from their 'host's' wallet when they ran into him. "Other bomb," he noted. That one got looked over and taken apart. The biologicals were put into containment chambers. They found Steve still staring at the one he recognized. The head guy frowned. "That's Barnes," he said. "How in the hell?"
Steve flinched. "No idea. We need quarantine just in case though. He's not waking up."
"You sure are," he agreed. "Just in case. The other hostage?" Xander pointed. "He's knocked cold."
"I heard him howling last night," Xander said. "No idea why. It wasn't the full moon so not a werewolf I guess."
The head of the team nodded. "We only have a few known cases of that here and we keep track of 'em, kid." He patted him on the shoulder. "Baker, evacuate the kid, Rogers, these two hostages, and put them into quarantine heading to Coulson."
"Got it, sir," he agreed, coming to help Xander move the hostages. Steve got his buddy. He looked at the one hostage then at Steve. "It'll be fine, Captain."
"I hope so."
"I hope so too," Xander agreed. "Are we going back near the house? I need to tell Frodo to protect the house again in about a day."
"Probably. SHIELD has a few places we can quarantine you guys." He took them to the copter and took off with them. Of course, he wasn't going to SHIELD. He had other bosses that were going to be very interested.
Steve knocked the guy out and took control of the copter. "I've only flown simulators of this type of vehicle," he said. "Xander, watch them."
"Land us wherever, Steve. This agent has a HYDRA tattoo on his neck."
"Hail HYDRA," was whispered from the back then Xander had to turn and magic the other guy again.
"FUCK!" Steve muttered loudly. He took a deep breath.
"Call Phil," Xander said. "We know he's not HYDRA and he really likes you."
"I can...yeah, that's not a bad idea. Do you have your phone?"
"Of course. It's down my pants just in case." He pulled it out to call. "Hey, Phil, it's Xander, Steve, Steve's friend, and another hostage plus a STRIKE team member that's got a HYDRA tattoo like the one you showed me. And Steve's friend said Hail HYDRA. No, we need quarantine. The last guy was a biological mess. Yeah, that's fine. Steve is. I'm going to hand him the phone." He handed it over and checked their hostages. Both still mostly conscious. Though he kept them under magical holding just in case. Someone shot at them and Xander sighed. "Of course. Are we out of Germany?"
"I hope so," Steve said. "We were in Switzerland before and we're headed west. We should be nearly in Spain." The radio came to life ordering them to land. Phil agreed and Steve landed under watch of two other helicopters. Steve got out and shut the door. "People, I was on a SHIELD mission and we're evacuating to a quarantine situation," he said in English.
Xander leaned his head out to repeat that in Spanish, getting a few nods. He added in that he had been taken hostage by a guy who liked biological weapons and they had an unconscious SHIELD agent with them who suddenly started to spout off about taking them hostage himself so they were sure he was compromised somehow. He pulled back to check their hostages again. Someone in a medic's uniform came to the doorway. "English?" Xander asked. "My Spanish is only first level classes sort."
The guy nodded. "I am. Who're you?"
"Xander Harris. The biological warfare guy had me hostage because he thought I was a good, cute concubine sort when I'm not. He's not the first," he said at the odd look he got. "I have these two frozen. They were hostages in the guy's basement and this one's just said Hail HYDRA so I'm keeping them knocked out if that's okay. Steve was evacuating us to quarantine."
"That's fine. How bad was it?"
"The guy had some sort of biological thing that was giving him self healing gifts because he had a blood cell eating problem of some sort or another. The agents who helped us get out of there were taking out his failsafes that had biological stuff in 'em."
"So it's probably safer if you're quarantined then," he agreed. "These two?"
"I head him howling," he said with a point. "This one, no idea. He seems comatose when I'm letting him move but he also swore allegiance to HYDRA." He shrugged. "No idea but safety at the moment."
"I get that," he agreed. They got them and Steve into an ambulance and taken to a hospital to be checked over. He looked at Xander's arm after pulling blood. "You...."
"No, mine's a gift from someone else who wanted me," Xander admitted. He shrugged. "I've had it since I was eighteen along with the hormone problem I have."
"It makes people think I'm candy." He let the guy sniff his wrist, making him moan. "Like I said earlier, that guy wasn't the first. I'd like to end that problem but that'd take finding a really good boyfriend sort to wear it out. I can't date between kidnapings." He blew air up to move his hair. "Is Steve all right?"
"So far he's fine. We'll run your blood in a moment to see if you're showing any signs."
"I need to call my security system." They let him use his phone while they listened. The dog barked at the end so that was good. He put the phone down. "That's my Samwise. He and Frodo are my pets." They just nodded and escorted them up to a ward room to rest in. The other two hostages were at the other end. Steve was staring at his buddy again. Xander unfroze them and settled in to wait. They wouldn't want to keep Steve here. Him...Fury might appreciate him being kept somewhere but he could get free. He just had to remember how to teleport.
Steve straightened up when he head someone walking up the hallway, looking out there. "Agent Esomer."
"Rogers." He looked over. "Harris. What the hell?"
"The STRIKE team member that was helping us escape has a HYDRA tattoo," Xander said with a point at the guy.
"What?" he demanded, going over to look. "That is a HYDRA tattoo."
"SHIELD had a real problem with them, that's one reason we had the realm merge," Steve said more quietly. "I thought we had rescued Bucky but he disappeared again when we unmerged. Now we found him with that guy." He stared at him. "Do you have orders?"
"To make sure you're good boys in quarantine. If you can rescue Barnes, do so. The other one we're looking up. Harris, try not to hormone them."
"I've got about a two day limit," he pointed out. "I can only hold it down for so long. I'll try to cure it myself when I can."
"They noted I have a healing gift," Xander said quietly, staring at him.
The agent nodded, typing that in. "We'll try, Harris. For now, just rest and make sure you don't get sick. Then we'll try to figure this out." He stared at Steve then at Xander again. "Can you help with that?"
"When I can. Of course I'll help. I'm a helpful sort of guy."
"They let me call Samwise so the house's protected."
"Even better. I'll let them know." He walked off calling that in to Coulson, who had sent him. Local agents came to talk to him so he Skyped Coulson instead. They all had a talk.
Xander looked at Steve, shrugging. "How can I help?"
"I don't know. For now, let's see if he'll wake up. Maybe he's not had a full mind whammy this time." He frowned, going back to staring at Bucky until he woke up again.
Xander watched the nurse come in to check them over, and her nagging Steve about being out of bed. Steve scowled and said they were best friends so he was going to fuss over Bucky himself if he could. She sighed but let it be for now. She reported about everyone's status to the agent and doctors.
Six days later, Natasha broke into the quarantine ward, nodding at Steve. "Roof. Now." He nodded, hauling Bucky up. She got the other guy, who had been identified as a German agent. She looked around. "Where's Xander?"
"They took him to scan his brain again I think. Or something. Last time he came back with stitches but said it wasn't a problem."
"Fine, we'll get him in a moment." She got them up to the quinjet and went back to find Xander. She found him in a more cell like room healing a few serious cuts. "Can you walk?"
"No but I'll damn sure try so they don't try to take out another organ again. Regrowing organs sucks ass," he mumbled, letting her help him up and out of the room. Two agents came rushing toward them but she got them down with a gas canister. Xander pulled up magic and hit the whole floor. They limped off together and it was better. He laid down in the quinjet, sighing in relief. Steve came to stare at him. "What?" he asked. "Is he okay?"
"I'll live, Steve. No one took off my head."
Steve blinked a few times. "What now?"
"Long, long, long story, Steve. I'll share it somewhere not on SHIELD property. Okay?" Steve nodded, going back to Bucky. Bruce came to check him over. "I'm regrowing part of my liver, part of my stomach, and a lot of stuff on my back I don't know how deep it went but it still hurts a day later," he said quietly. "But I'm no longer twitching every few minutes."
"Damn it," Bruce muttered. "Why?"
"They found out I healed, Doc." He grinned slightly. "And if they had me, they wouldn't test on Steve."
"That's noble, Xander." He checked him over, wincing at what he saw. "That's horrifying."
"Very. Thankfully I don't think they can clone me." Bruce snorted but looked amused at least. Xander let him handle it while he rested. It was a few hours back to New York. Were they got put into quarantine in Stark's building. Xander fell asleep since he was safe. When he woke up, he had two of his nymphs napping on his side and Frodo with him. Samwise was on Steve's bed getting petted. He petted his buddies, smiling at Steve. "You good?"
"Just mental at the moment. How injured were you?"
"If they had me, they wouldn't test on you or him, Steve."
"Don't even. We're both like that. I'm just cuter with the hormones." Steve snorted but at least he looked amused. "How did they get here?"
"Clint." Xander nodded, petting his buddies some more. "Bruce said you'll be fully healed by tomorrow probably."
"That'd be nice. Can I drink yet?"
"Later tonight. You're on an IV and stuff for now." Xander nodded, checking it. He went back to petting.
Steve sent a text up to Bruce, who came down to check them over. "Is Bucky awake?"
"He got a mild whammy again but not as badly and he's already remembering things. We have him in a padded room so he can't hurt himself and that's the first thing we told him when he woke up. That he was safe, that the room was so he couldn't hurt himself or others, and you were fine too. You had rescued him."
Steve nodded. "I'm just glad Xander got me. That guy had a lot of horrifying things."
"Which never got logged into SHIELD's system," Bruce said, staring at him.
"The STRIKE team member had a HYDRA tattoo," Xander said quietly, looking over. "That's why we knocked him out."
"Good thinking," Stark said as he came in. "By the way, neither of you are carrying anything. Your healing levels are enough that it weeded it out sooner."
"Did they capture the guy that had me?" Xander asked. "I'm hoping his bio-regeneration whatever might help others."
"Yeah, he was captured dead but the second team of agents got his safe when the STRIKE team didn't. Though they did take the bombs."
"Bio-bombs," Steve corrected.
Stark nodded. "It figures and we found the plans, Steve. We've already warned and shared." He looked at Xander then at Steve. "The other guy was German and Natasha's already handed him over to their embassy. He's fine and they're confused about when he got captured. He's supposedly retired as of last month." Xander shook his head with a sigh. "So they're looking. You two are okay."
"Can I drink?" Xander asked. "I've got horrible dry mouth."
"Rinse and spit. You don't have a full stomach yet," Bruce said, handing him a bottle of water and a cup so he could handle it. "It should be late tonight, maybe about ten or so."
"That sucks but at least I do have the healing gift," he sighed, rinsing and spitting a few times. He handed them back and relaxed again. "Is that the last to heal?" Bruce nodded. "That's fine. Thank you, Doc."
"Welcome," he said, smiling at him and then at Steve. They all heard Bucky throwing a tantrum up the hall. "I think he's fully awake again."
"Good." Steve got up and went up there, opening the view port in the doorway. "Are you mad or just really mad?" he asked dryly.
"Why am I in here?" he demanded.
"You said Hail HYDRA on the copter." He let him out, hugging him. "We needed to make sure you couldn't hurt yourself when you woke up." He led him back to the infirmary. "I can sneak out in a few hours."
"You can take him up to your suite," Stark said. "Harris gets to sneak out tomorrow." Steve nodded, pulling on Bucky so they could escape together. He looked at Bruce then at Xander. "Noble but dumb, kid."
"I could've gotten out and helped if I could've walked," he said. "That was the fourth time they took something. I'm just happy they can't clone me."
"That too but I meant at first."
"If it had been a normal agent I would've handled it myself," Xander said quietly, staring at him. "But Steve won't get sick from something like that, when you would've."
"I would've done the same thing," Stark agreed, grinning at him. "Relax. We'll do another ultrasound in a few hours on your stomach to make sure it's healing." He went up to go over the plans SHIELD had found. Coulson had sent him a copy, which Fury didn't like but Stark could figure out how to block it from going off. The notes about the melted spots helped him greatly. That would keep them from going off until someone replaced the switches. Hopefully whoever had the STRIKE team's allegiance wasn't stupid enough to want to bio bomb anywhere. He looked over as a virtual screen popped up the security camera in the infirmary. Xander was petting his nymphs and Clint was staring down at him in that irritated big brother way he had. But he wasn't yelling at the kid so maybe it'd be all right for now. He knew they were close.
Nick Fury stomped in a few hours later, Agent Hill behind him and to his right. He stared at Xander, who sneezed. "That's a weak ploy," he said firmly.
"He caught a cold," Bruce called from his desk. "Leave him alone please. He's still healing."
Fury glared at him. Bruce glared back. "We need to get a statement from him about how he attacked an agent."
"An agent who was wearing a HYDRA tattoo," Xander corrected then sneezed again. "Why can't I heal colds like I do cuts?" he complained when Bruce came out with the box of Puffs tissues again.
"Because viruses aren't healed the same way a cut is." He put the box down, glaring at Fury and Hill. "You're disturbing my patient."
"I still need a statement," Fury said.
"Fine, you want it, let's see what I can do," Xander said, casting a scrying spell on the window. He pointed. "There you go." He winced and held his stomach, wincing again when Bruce put meds into his IV. "Isn't it finished growing?"
"Not fully. You've got an open spot of about two inches. If it's not healed in another two hours, you're going to get it surgically closed." Xander hugged him. "We can go earlier if you want." Xander nodded. Bruce called in the other doctors who'd need to help him and they got Xander taken to the surgical suite. Hill followed but was grimacing in disgust. "The hospital decided they wanted samples. He said at least they couldn't clone him," Bruce said dryly as he walked past her.
"Any idea why he has the self healing gift? We knew he had somewhat of one."
"Not a clue. I think it's a Xander thing."
"Ask Natasha. She'd keep track of those things."
"Good idea. Thank you, Doctor Banner." She went to talk to Natasha, who was reading on the landing porch. "Do you know why he has the self healing gift?"
"It came from the type of Xander the wish that gave him the other gifts came from," she said without looking up. "They wished him to be like the strongest of the Xanders anywhere. The one that he got the hormones from has that gift thanks to something in his life so it crossed over." She glanced up then went back to reading. "He'll heal most everything eventually. Outside having his head taken off by something."
"It's good a severed head won't regrow or grow a new body for the head," Hill said dryly. "That movie that I borrowed by accident?" Natasha shrugged one-sidedly. "Interesting."
"It came from the original one."
"I suppose that's fine. Fury wanted to know."
Natasha smiled at him. "The original one was a high priest to various Greek gods, especially their chaos god Strife."
Hill shivered. "That makes a lot of sense. I saw the tattoos that one wears and thought they were just for prettiness." She walked off to tell her boss that. Fury was glaring at the surgical suite. "The wish that made him the sort of Xander he is came with that healing gift from the original holder. Who was apparently a devotee of the Greek gods."
Fury looked at her. "What?"
"Romanoff said that the wish that crafted his gifts from the other Xanders took that from the same one that he got the hormone curse from, sir. She mentioned beheading as a probable permanent death."
Fury blinked a few times. "Why would their religion of choice matter?"
"He was a follower of the Greek god of Strife."
"That would certainly cause some," he agreed blandly. He looked down there. "Then why didn't his stomach heal?"
"It probably would have given more time but that's a problem with the stomach acid leaking. Like with serious ulcers, it can cause a lot of other problems."
"Point." He looked down there again. "He's really not a bad kid."
"He does try to protect himself."
"He still had to run to Rogers."
"He said if it had been one of us that didn't have a healing gift of some kind he wouldn't have gotten help," Clint said as he walked behind them. He looked down there and sighed, letting the flying nymphs into the surgical area. "They're getting agitated and annoyed," he called. "Let them hover and pat him." One of the nurses waved. Clint went back to check on the robotic dogs. He smiled slightly when an alarm went off. The nymphs were protecting their human very well today.
"Come get these robots," Fury yelled from up the hallway.
"They're protecting Xander from people taking samples," Clint called back. "Like that hospital did."
"The doctors said they're in the way," Hill said from the doorway. "They're preventing the fixing that needs to happen, Barton."
Clint walked up there with the dogs, who barked at the flying nymphs. "Ladies, you know you're only to protect him and if he needs surgery they can do that." One held up a dish she had confiscated of tissue that had been cut off. "If that's going to be destroyed, that's fine. As long as they're not taking it to sample from." Bruce strolled in and gathered the samples, burning them in there. The nymphs landed beside Xander's head and petted his hair for him. Clint grinned at the docs. "He's in this bad of shape thanks to a hospital doing the same thing." He walked off with the dogs. He could let Bruce growl for him for now. Banner was getting scrubbed in now to help with things. Clint walked past Stark, who nodded and looked smug. "Did they do that to anyone else?"
"I think they tried but it didn't work because our system rejected the sample and burned it on them. I've coded it to not allow Xander's unless I authorize it personally." He manually reloaded the system attached to the surgical suite so it would update those permissions. Then he walked off humming. Samwise was following him so he smiled down at him, going to check his programming. Samwise showed him his ball cannon so he had to help him calibrate it. The dog barked for that help and rolled off to go tease Natasha into playing with him. She even had the glove that made it feel like he was really being petted like a real dog so that was sweet of her.
Xander finally got back home and collapsed onto his favorite couch, petting his dogs and nymphs, falling asleep there.
Clint came up from the basement archery range and Coulson came out of the garden with the gazebo with his book. They stared at Xander and one got him a blanket so he could sleep better. Natasha came in and paused then closed the door as quietly as she could. They needed to let Xander heal and rest. She looked at Coulson, who shrugged. She mouthed 'Spain' and he shook his head, tapping his ID bracelet. SHIELD had confiscated the samples. She winced. He shook his head with a smug look as he headed for the kitchen. She followed with Clint. "They're gone?" she asked quietly.
"Destroyed. Crill made sure."
"Hey," Xander moaned, pushing his hair back. "Are we all back?"
"You rest," Clint ordered. "We can make our own coffee and you need a nap." Xander snorted but relaxed again while petting his dogs. Lucky came over to get petted too, napping on Xander's side. The robotic dogs cuddled around him so he could hug them if he wanted to. He slowly drifted off again and the spies all watched until he was snoring this time. "Did we figure anything out?" Clint asked quietly.
"Not really," Coulson said. "The STRIKE team is all awol at the moment, even the few that were on vacation didn't answer a check-in call." He started to fill the coffee pot with water and then decided that Natasha could take it from him to warm water for tea instead when she stole the pot. "Fine." He found the spare pot, since Clint liked to drink out of the pot, and made coffee with it instead. Lucky barked toward the window so they all smirked and waved at the crazy neighbor who liked to plague Xander. She huffed off again. She had been taking pictures again but they could handle it. Not like half of the US didn't recognize Clint and Natasha after their battles. He was harder to figure out but that would probably change some day soon.
Xander woke up with a moan, holding his head. "Hey, Phil, if you hadn't healed here, you were going to be assigned a new team on a plane."
"I saw those plans. Is it a problem?"
"Something named Centipede and get Daisy out of there. She's a hacker but doesn't know who she is." He blinked toward the kitchen. "It's in LA right now."
"Okay, I can look into that. Who was going to make the team?"
"That one lady that likes to scowl at your back when you walk around her desk in the admin areas?"
"Melinda," he decided. "I'll go talk to her about that plot and see what she had been planning before I got kidnaped to heal." He walked off to grab his phone and call her.
"Save your geeks too," Xander called after him.
"I can definitely do that as well." He went into the gazebo to call her. "Melinda, it's Coulson. Something about yours and Fury's plot to get me on a team of my own to watch me is now being shown in visions. Yes as in prophetic and he's not been wrong that I'm aware of. Yes, Harris," he said patiently. "Something about a centipede, something going on in LA, save the geeks and Daisy, who doesn't know who she is." He sipped his coffee while she looked things up.
"That's good to know. Yes, we should stop centipede then. Which geeks were you going to coopt?" He hummed and nodded. "They're a good team. If not, you could get Fitz-Simmons." He smiled slightly. "I do favor them. They're fast thinking during problems. Plus I think the other two are in jail for being HYDRA." He took another sip. "Please do. Yes, we can do that.
"Thank you, Melinda. No, I'm healing at Harris' house. You may come over, yes. Clint and Natasha are both here sometimes. I'll see you then." He hung up. "Natasha, look up Centipede. It's HYDRA lite looking," he called. He put his feet up and went back to his book. The cat that had snuck in meowed so he petted her but she ran off again. "Sure, you do that."
Clint leaned in a minute later. "They want to make super soldiers by stealing mutant's gifts."
Coulson tipped his head to look at him. "That's nasty."
"Very. Daisy is apparently a hacker chick who is going by another name. Natasha said she's pretty decent but is something strange. All she knows about herself is her foster care profile and one letter from SHIELD she's been trying to track down." Coulson quirked up an eyebrow, grinning back slightly. "And when we went looking, Melinda was involved with that but her dad's a super bad guy that Stark spits about."
"We can inform her of that if she asks."
"Good. We're going to look at Centipede."
"Watch out for Steve and his buddy, they can take his blood to distill down," Xander called. "They've been doing it on a few different mutants out that way."
"I can watch out for that," Clint promised, grinning at him. "Can you watch Lucky?"
"Thanks, kiddo." He went to gear up and pack a bag, going with Natasha to join part of the team. They could definitely work against that plan going on. No one wanted another version of HYDRA around.
Xander wandered into the gazebo, staring at Phil. "The super yucky idiot who made Bucky shot the others and forgot that they had the same self healing skill. He left them all in Russia to heal together and figure shit out. They're not real happy but they're very confused."
"I'll bring Melinda and Bucky with me." He stared at him. "A second vision?" Xander nodded, pouting. "Go rest, Xander."
"I can do that and make sure Frodo or Samwise will call Crill immediately if I'm taken so Lucky isn't hurt." He went to bed with all his helpers. And the actual dog. Lucky was more than happy for sleepy cuddles and petting.
Coulson called that in and got Melinda in on that call as well. "Slight update, Melinda and others. Centipede is now an Avengers team problem. Melinda, you and I are going to Russia with Barnes to talk to the others that got made like he was. Thank you." He called over there. "Steve, Phil Coulson. I need Barnes to help me talk to the ones that were made like him. According to Xander's vision the super yucky evil one who made them all and shot the remaining ones forgot they had self healing gifts as well. Yes please. I think it could help them and they probably know to work with him due to their programming. Thank you. Two hours good?" He smiled. "Excellent." He hung up and went to get ready. He did send Crill a text message to make sure he knew that Xander was now home alone with Lucky so he could pay attention to the house. That way Lucky wasn't abandoned due to a kidnaping.
Steve hung up, looking at Bucky. "The ones that got made like you were and got shot? Xander had a vision that at least some of them have self healing gifts too." Bucky winced. "Coulson wants you to go with him to rescue them. He thinks they'd respond to you."
"Probably. They'd have to take orders in the field. I can raid those computers too."
"I can go with you instead of going with Stark," Steve offered, moving closer.
"No, I'm good. Coulson's a good guy. He led the team so I'll let him handle this one for now. Unless something really bad happens."
"Okay." He clapped him on the arm. "They're going in just about two hours." Bucky nodded, going to get what he needed and pack a backpack. Plus extra weapons. Never could be too careful.
Especially when Xander had a vision about it.
Wacky, Chaotic Ideas.