Summary: A realm without slayers still has some of the Devon coven, and they have plans to get their own protective warrior. It also has a SHIELD. The two don't always match up that well.
Categories: Buffy Stories & Crossovers > Avengers Characters: None
Series: Chaos GHS
Chapters: 2 Completed: Yes
Word count: 24300 Read: 38734
Published: 01/17/2014 Updated: 01/18/2014
1. Part 1 by Voracity2
2. Part 2 by Voracity2
See What A Little Chaos Can Do.
Xander smiled at the editor he had hired. Writer Xander had taught him a lot about how to be a professional writer, including how much an editor had helped him. "Hi, I'm Xander." He grinned as he shook his hand.
"I'm Todd." He sat down, looking over the young guy. He had seen a lot of young wannabe writers over the years. Some were as good, or better, than this one but this one seemed to exude 'you like me' vibes. "I read over your submission. It had some flaws."
"My education wasn't exactly...standard." He grimaced some. Explaining this was a bit hard. "I got raised by some relatives in the middle of nowhere and home schooled. One of them by a writer, who thought I had a good hand with some things. He admitted he had an editor to polish his works too because he had a bad habit of typing so fast he forgot to put in some words and he had a description problem."
"You have the description problem but that's something you can work on. What genre do you see yourself in?"
"He wrote in fantasy mostly. I've tried some of that. He had me try some action stuff, some true crime stuff because his mentor did true crime. Um...he had me try some smutty stuff to see how my hand went with it," he admitted more quietly, glancing around then at him. "I'll gladly let you see whatever you need to."
"It's good that you can work with someone." He smiled. "We can go over that later. What are you doing in the meantime?"
"The family set me up for a year and I've got all I should need but I'm also looking at options for classes and other things. I'm actually pretty good at a few things thanks to other members of the family. One of them makes jewelry and he taught me. Well, two really. A few were researcher sorts so I got part of that. I got some languages. I got some other varied skills that may not be totally useful in the real world but I can bend them if I try."
"I don't have certificates from the home schooling."
"That makes some sense. Community college might work."
"I also have a slight hormone condition that means I'm a bit scattered now and then," he admitted with a shy grin. "I do try to keep it down."
"That's a very good idea." He looked at the young kid. He looked so unsure. "How old are you?"
"Nineteen last week."
"No family around here?"
"No, they're from farther away. They gave me the choice of here or LA and here had more things like museums and more varied groups of people to watch. Plus more to do when I'm bored. Before I start making swords again." The editor smiled but shook his head. "I can. I'm really pretty good with them. I made the daggers I carry and a lot of the ones on my walls. Including my own battle axe that I've blessed to the Old Ones." He grinned. "I'm pretty good at it really."
"That's excellent. It's probably a hard skill to learn but it must keep you in shape banging things out."
"It does. Folding metal is a pain if you're doing it by hand. It can take *forever* without a pneumatic hammer. Thankfully I learned how to build one of those too. Very handy thing."
The editor smiled and nodded. "I can see how it would be. How many things have you written?"
"Six things under their watching and I'm working on one now that's action-y and kinda spy stuff based kinda on an uncle's former life. He married an uncle and he was a spy."
"Wow, very interesting family. I'd like to look at that. It's easier to help you while you're working on stuff plus it'll give me a view of what your style is really like." Xander nodded. "Do you have it here?"
"I have my backup drive but not my laptop. I'm afraid I'll break it and I can't fix those."
"That's a good reason. I have mine with me. What do you write in?"
"I can translate that. Some writers do prefer it." He took the drive to hook into his laptop to look over the work in progress. The kid had a good hand. "I think you've found a good genre to sit in. Is that a romance trial?" That's what it was labeled.
"My uncle wanted me to try it to see if I liked it. I do sappy stuff. You can look, I don't mind."
Todd downloaded that to look over as well. He had a good hand. Xander ordered a salad for himself and some more water. Todd looked up and smiled, ordering something light and a glass of sweet tea. He let Xander see what he was reading, showing him where there were some easy mistakes. "For a first draft it's not bad."
"He taught me to reread the last twenty pages I wrote to get back into it and edit those as I go."
"That's not a bad idea if you're writing about that much at a time."
"He was sometimes writing up to a hundred pages a day."
"Ow, his poor carpal tunnel."
Xander nodded. "Sometimes. He got forearm cramps that did the same thing. Thankfully his husband was fantastic at working on them while complaining that uncle gave him his muses."
"That is a good husbandly thing to do." He got back to it, making some notes within the story. "This character you haven't named, with the name in parenthesis?"
"I haven't decided yet. I was going to name him something easy like Bob and then maybe rename but I wasn't sure because there's probably going to be a Bob later."
"We can work on that. It's not that hard, but make sure you use different ways of noting those so you don't accidentally change others as well." Xander nodded, grinning and sipping his water. "It's useable. It's saleable, which is more important. Do you have a literary agent yet?"
"No. I was going to get something ready, have my editor help me polish it, and then take their recommendation on who to submit to. I figure guys like you know who's legit and decent within the business, where I'd have to do research and probably pick the wrong one who'd only like me for bad reasons."
"I know a few who'd like that. It's always better for the agent to see something that's mostly done. You know the book company will change things, right?"
"Yes. Though I'm fairly wary that they might change things too much. In that one, Gary, or whatever his name ends up being, will probably be bi. I don't want them to take that out. I'm kinda used to bi and gay uncles. Though I never see them get busy or kiss or anything, but I'm used to being around them all the time."
"That's a reasonable worry. Some publishers will, some won't. Most usually they'll want you to keep that tamed down." Xander nodded. "Is it going to be blatant?"
"Probably in the dating sense. Maybe on the job sense."
"That's a good bit. Are you interested in making it graphic? Sometimes it sells and sometimes it won't."
"I'm more comfortable writing fade-to-black scenes but I don't know. If I need to I might be able to. I'm not *great* at it. That kinda goes along with not hanging out with people who are making out in front of me. Though I do have a few books for inspiration when I need it."
"That's something we can work on if your literary agent wants you to. It's hot right now to write smutty things."
Xander grinned. "I'm a very smutty thing but I like privacy about that stuff. That's why I usually use a fade-to-black or not-very descriptive stuff."
"That's reasonable. We can figure that out." Xander nodded. "You know my rates?" Xander nodded. "You actually have money?"
"Yeah. They set me up with a living expenses account and that was included. One of my uncles had the same hormone problem and some guy who wanted him left him jewels in his will, which he didn't want and he didn't want the guy but ya know how that goes I guess. So I have some set up."
"That's excellent, though a bit weird. Is it always like that?"
Xander blushed, ducking his head some. "It kinda makes us like candy at times if it's not handled. I try to keep it handled."
"That's good to know. I've never heard of that problem."
"It's not real common. There's a few cases in Europe." He shrugged. "It happens in our family every now and then." Which was as close as he could come to explaining that particular problem.
"I guess it can happen to anyone. That's not a problem." Xander grinned and relaxed again, digging into the salad that was brought. Todd did the same as he read over those samples. The kid had a good hand. Finally he was done and handed back the drive, packing his laptop again. "You do good work." Xander grinned and nodded. "You do need some polishing. We can work on that. We'll do a contract next week? You bring me another two or three chapters of that one story?"
"I can try for two. I'm a bit...the name thing's getting to me."
"Look at online naming sites."
"I do but they all seem to come out with the same starting letter. I think it looks weird and it's throwing me off."
"We can work on that. For now, just name them anything and you can change them later as long as they're not named the same name." Xander nodded. "Do you know many twins that have the 'one and two' thing going? I noticed that had started."
"Yes. They're the ones that taught me how to build guns. You can tell One because he's got an eyepatch. His parents were drunk and named them the same thing."
"Those poor kids." Todd shook his head quickly. "Okay, call me next week to set up a contract appointment in my office and bring me at least another chapter." Xander nodded, paying for lunch. It declined but ran through the second time the waiter tried. "New card?" Todd guessed.
"Yeah. Foreign bank they used." He gave him a sheepish look.
"That's fine. It happens." Xander relaxed again. "Get back to writing." He shook his hand and walked off happier. This one was worth his time and talents.
Xander finished his salad and left, going back to the apartment by way of the flower shop. Original GHS Xander had taught him how to arrange them and he wanted something pretty today since it was a good day. Thanks to the flirty guy at the flower shop it was a *very* good day today.
Xander smiled at his new editor. "Sorry I'm ten minutes late. I didn't get a cab for almost thirty."
"That happens sometimes. Did you call or flag one down?"
"Flagged one down. There's a club in my neighborhood so there's usually one there. The last one I called tried to take me somewhere in New Jersey I think, across the bridge."
"I don't know. I was trying to get to this little metal-working shop down by FAO Schwartz." He shrugged but handed over the printed out copy. "One and a half chapters. I got hit with a muse strike last night for that last half."
"That's fine. What were you doing instead of writing?"
"I made two new presents for the family on the forge. I designed something for one of them to check over to see if I learned the right things." He grinned. "They deal in electrical systems for robots and stuff. I was doing that when I got hit with that part, but I think it's for later on in the story."
He glanced through it, nodding. "There's a lot that has to be filled in before then. Like how he knew them, how he got to their warehouse, all that. Including why he went to their warehouse." Todd looked up. "Any idea on that?"
"Some. I think I know."
"Have you worked from an outline?"
"We tried that. I kept going off on tangents to the side. It was supposed to be a short story, maybe fifteen pages at the most. It turned into a forty page monstrosity of going on the trip."
"I think I glanced through that." He went back to reading, nodding. "We can definitely work on that." He pulled out the contract to go over it. Xander wanted a penname to protect himself, which he understood. His family sounded like paranoid people so he probably was too. Todd looked at him. "If you get famous, even slightly famous, people are going to wonder about your family. Do you know what you can and can't say?"
"Mostly. They took me from my mom because...well, she had me because of a plot. Which is why all the uncles raised me." He shrugged on one side. "They found out during a family reunion so one of them saved me and brought me to the rest of them, who helped raise me."
"That's good. Is your mother going to show up?"
"Probably not since she tried to file a birth certificate that said I was born sixteen days ago," Xander said with a slight smirk. "She's back in England with the mentors who encouraged her to have me as a plot."
"What sort of plot?"
"She wanted to train me to be their warrior protector."
Todd groaned, shaking his head. "I hate that sort."
Xander smiled. "I did learn how to protect myself from my uncles. One had taken a lot of martial arts work with people from Japan. One had a special martial arts style that I learned that's also a dance. The twin uncles that work on robots taught me how to shoot. That was refined by the uncles who went to Africa to help with some problems down there. They taught me all sorts of stuff."
"Anything controversial we'll have to hide?"
"I'm kinda bi. Is that going to matter?"
"A few authors are and that shouldn't. We won't openly state it unless you're caught dating someone serious."
"One of the uncles suggested I get a bodyguard sort in case the hormone problems get worse. That one uncle, the one that got the jewels, he got kidnaped a few times because of his but he was also a lot more openly gay. He had waist-length hair because it let him hide minor sharp and pointy things in it as backup weapons. Those sort never expected him to hurt people with hairpins but he's deadly with his."
"That's...." Todd paused then nodded. "I can see how that's a great idea," he admitted. "If you do get a bodyguard sort, we'll talk about it with them if you have to travel." Xander smiled and nodded. "Anything else people might not like?"
"My mom's a witch."
"She sounded like it, yes," Todd said dryly.
"No, I mean part of a coven in England witch."
"Oh, that sort. Alternate religions are fine these days." Xander nodded. Todd went back to the contract. Xander signed it and let him have everything he had worked up so far. Todd looked at one. "Who's Alexian...."
"Oops. That's Uncle's."
"I can delete that." He did that and handed the drive back. Xander tucked it into his bag. "Let me go over things and we'll see what we can work up. Try to write at least a chapter every week or so?"
"I can do that." He shook his hand and bounced off to go back home.
Todd settled in to read. He compared it to that uncle's work, and it was definitely different. The uncle had a nice touch with high fantasy with elves, though it had some risque jokes his editor must hate. The kid was doing his own work so that was good. It even read well. He had a few literary agents he could recommend the boy go to. At least Xander was mostly realistic about making it as a writer.
Xander smiled at the person who came into the electronics shop while he was shopping. "Hi." He went back to looking at wires and circuit boards, picking up the ones he wanted.
The sales guy smiled at the new person, who headed right to his needs. "What are you working on? Radios?" he asked the young guy.
Xander smiled. "One of my uncles built a little robotic home defense ELF he called Pippen so I'm going to build my own. He gave me the plans." He held up some wire. "I need about ten feet of this kind."
"I can do that." He measured it out and coiled it then taped it shut. The kid nicely paid and then left. He looked at the other guy, who shrugged. "Never seen one of those."
"Me either but it could be some mad genius thing that he keeps around the house. As long as it doesn't attack the city." He paid for his own purchases and left. Something about that guy set off a small warning bell in his head. Maybe he'd do some subtle checking into him. When he got home, he hacked to find the security footage from the electronics store, finding the guy easily enough. He ran an image search and came up with nothing. So not well known. The name on the debit card receipt only led to a birth certificate for a newborn. No death certificate so he's not using an identity from someone else. It took him nearly an hour to find the listing for the birth on an odd site, and it only listed that he was born then, nothing further. There was nothing else listed about the guy. No education records, no graduation announcements, nothing. So who was that guy that apparently knew how to build robotic things?
Six weeks later, the electronics genius walked into an office. "I've found...something really weird."
Nick Fury looked at him. "What sort of weird? Coming from you that's not real descriptive, Stark."
"Okay. How's this. I found a person that only has a birth certificate, no other known information that's findable online. He's building electronic guard pets, because one was with him at the electronics store the other day so he could pick out the color LED diodes he wanted for his eyes. It's fully responsive, acts like a dog, can follow simple commands like 'bring me coffee' by making it apparently, and it's got three small cannons to help defend the guy: ball, laser, and air.
"He's never went to any known school anywhere in the world. Has never shown up at a single robotics convention. Never shown up in a single classroom. He's also an aspiring writer; I chatted with him while he picked blue eyes and put them in. Something about him is...it's like you want to be his friend but you don't know why. Really, I wanted to inhale his scent and mark myself with it." Nick Fury was staring at him oddly. "He's also learned how to forge swords by hand thanks to some of his family."
"That's a really weird mix of skills. Could he be someone's son? Someone in the life and this is his new identity so he's not identified?"
"Not by your files." He tossed down the hacked footage picture. "That's the kid. And he is a kid. He's nineteen."
Fury looked the file over. "Nothing else?"
"Not anywhere. He's got assets because he uses a foreign based debit card but none are listed. There's a hint of a private bank out of England that's not on any grid. Not even people like Doom would use it." He stared at him. "He said his uncles taught him how to do that crafting, plural. Are there families of guys like that I haven't met?"
"Not that I'm aware of." He leaned back. "That is strange. Laser cannon any good?"
"The guy at the supply store I use asked to see how well it did. It's accurate but pinpoint."
"Like could do locks?"
"Or other things. The ball cannon was for deterrence. He said it's for home protection." Tony Stark crossed his arms over his chest, looking smug. "He's not on anyone's radar outside his editor because he's trying to be a published author. He owns a nice large condo downtown. It's actually a duplex. He owns one side. He doesn't have a license but I'm pretty sure he knows how to drive because he was teaching his Hobbit-named little mechanical helper how to get around the shelves blindly while they were talking about LED's. My supply guy called me when he came in. He thinks he's nice but a bit weird and is a tiny bit worried about where he came from."
"Any chance that he's using a fake ID?"
"Birth certificate filed with Cleveland for his birth. Only other one with that exact name is just about three months old. He's also not in the US. His mother's back in England, in Devon, supposedly with some coven members."
"Them I've heard of," Fury said. "They're paranormal cranks who try to protect people from higher level demons."
"Demons?" Stark snorted. "Really?"
"That's how we all feel too. We tend to walk the other way." He stared at him. "What's setting you off?"
"The skills without anything else."
"You think he's someone's hidden kid?"
"No. He's happy. Like goofy happy. If he was some overlord wannabe's kid, he'd be a lot less happy."
Fury considered it. "I can assign someone to look into him. Maybe chat him up in the bookstore or something."
"Thanks." He walked off.
Fury called up an agent. "Look into this guy," he said, handing over the folder. "He gave Stark the wrong vibes and he's not sure why. We don't think he's on the wrong side, but we're not sure."
"I can do that, sir." He left, reading over the file. There was almost nothing there.
Xander smiled at the guy who was in the park in his usual reading spot. "Hi," he chirped, sitting down in the grass to write. His little 'pet' was with him and guarding him very well. Xander threw out a ball and Frodo rolled after it, bringing it back. They played fetch while Xander wrote. If Xander forgot about the game for a few minutes while involved, Frodo didn't mind and only nudged him whenever someone got too close to him. Which worked real well for him. He finally got done with that chapter and sent it to Todd, then put up his netbook and played with Frodo some more. The netbook had been a splurge but a good one. It was cheap at the pawn shop too. When he got tired of the sun, he and Frodo went to catch the bus home. The other passengers gave Frodo a strange look but he put him in his lap so they didn't really care.
The agent that had been in the park talked to his handler over his earpiece. "Did you get anything from the quick hack? He is said to be trying to get published," he said at their notes. "Really? I might try it when it comes out if he does get it done." He listened. "No joy on the robot? Huh. That's interesting. Yeah, I'll try to run into him later this week." He hung up and packed up, heading back to the van. He had taken film of the little robot for the director. Who was amused but it was cutesy. It looked like what a fifties robotic dog would be. The fact it played fetch was thought to be cute by everyone who watched. The fact it was actually protecting the guy was weird.
Xander smiled at the guy who was in his usual fruit place. It was the same guy from the park. Which set off a few warning sounds in his head; that could mean he was a stalker. He had been warned about those. He reached around the guy. "'Scuse me, have to get some apples." He grinned and bagged them up then walked off.
The guy smiled back and followed. "I'm Ben."
Xander grinned. "Xander." He shook his hand. "Do you live around here? I've never seen you at the local stores."
"I'm moving this way but I'm on a friend's couch while I look for a nice apartment."
"I live in a duplex, sorry." He smiled. "There's that new building going up closer to downtown."
"I looked, it's a lot of modern trash." He grimaced. "Nothing that has character."
"There's two buildings with 'for rent' signs in the windows over two blocks," he said with a point. "They're both older converted buildings."
"I can look at those. Thanks, Xander." He smiled. "What do you do?"
"I want to be a writer."
"That's a hard field."
"But I'm pretty good at it. And I kinda like it. It's interesting crafting the tales and stuff." He grabbed two leeks and then put them back with a grimace. "Eww, damp." He found the ones he wanted and put them into his basket. "You were at the park the other day."
"I was. Your little friend was cute."
Xander smiled. "His name's Frodo."
"Frodo was sweet. Who built him?"
"I did off one of my uncle's plans." He walked around him with a grin. "I love my little protective Hobbit friend."
"He seemed like he was very protective. He kept nudging you whenever a jogger came near."
"Sometimes people try stuff, ya know?"
"I do. There's a lot of those in the city."
"I'm told there's a lot of them in Central Park. I'd hate to be mugged." He shrugged. "I'll see you around sometime maybe?"
"Can I take you to dinner?"
Xander shook his head. "I might accept coffee but I'm a bit cautious about real dates. I've had some horrifying stories told to me by my uncles about kidnapers."
"I've never kidnaped anyone," Ben teased with a grin. "But I can go for brownies and coffee."
"I *adore* chocolate. That's why I eat so much healthy stuff. So I can splurge." He grinned. "Tomorrow good?"
"Tomorrow's fine. Two?"
"That'd be a good thing. There's a great tiny bakery up the street by the dog park."
"I can meet you there at two." He shook his hand and walked off. Xander grinned, picking out a few more things then paying and going home to make dinner and get back to his story. Todd had said it was getting a lot more interesting. That plus a date made Xander a happy, happy boy that went to work on the forge. He had a sword he had been working on for a few weeks. Thankfully his neighbors didn't seem to care about how much he pounded in his basement.
Xander came home from his date to find two people on the floor being guarded by Frodo. "Shit. Good job, Frodo. Go get a treat while I call for help." He pulled over his phone to call. "I'm at...." He read off his address. "There's two people here unconscious on my floor that have apparently broken in. My security system knocked them out. Please. I'm not sure but I can see one's gun holster and I'm not seeing a badge. They're not in suits so not agents. The system's trained to alert me if people with badges show up. Thank you."
He hung up and sat down, staring at them until someone knocked. He hopped up to get them, walking around Frodo. The little robot dog scanned their uniform badges and let them in. "Thank you, Frodo. He's my security system," he said at the odd look the little robot was getting. "The two guys he knocked out are in the living room." He led them to them. "I have no idea who they are. I didn't search them. I don't want my fingerprints on them."
"They're dressed too nicely for most break-in artists," one of the officers said. "How did it knock them out?"
"Frodo, what did you use?" Xander asked. It shot a ball at the couch. "Oh, okay. Good job, Frodo." He petted it. Then he grabbed a toy to throw. "Fetch." It rolled off to get it but stayed there facing the officers while it sucked off the energy stored in the toy. "One of my uncles created him. I built Frodo off his design."
"That's a nice system," the lead officer agreed. "Probably gave them a concussion."
"If I had been home, you'd be picking up chopped up pieces of bad guy," Xander said. "I'm not nice and one of my uncles keeps getting kidnaped for a hormone problem he has."
"Never heard of that."
"It's not real common. Few cases in England." Xander held out a hand. "Sniff. I'm not backed up or anything today." The officer did and moaned. Xander nodded. "That's why he got taken. A lot."
"We can note that. It's a good reason to have Frodo," the other officer said. Paramedics got there and loaded the two people. The officers had Xander look around for anything missing or moved. Apparently the guys hadn't gotten farther than the hall. Though they found the forge a bit weird. Xander gushed about the sword he was working on, showing them his last one. They decided he was a goofy geek sort and left with that impression.
Xander flopped down on his couch, looking at his security robot. "So, who were they?" It lit up a hologram of their faces and ID's. "SHIELD? Really?" he complained. "I'm not evil or a bad guy." He pouted. "That's sucky." Frodo beeped and brought the toy over. Xander cuddled him and petted him. It was nice to have friends.
Nick Fury walked down to his infirmary, looking at the two agents his people had carried out of the kid's house. "What happened?"
"We heard a beep, saw a light, and then woke up here with a huge headache, sir," one reported, holding his head. "I was wearing a tactical camera for the handlers."
"Looks like his little robotic friend got you," Fury said. Both agents glared at him. "Tennis balls to the head, boys." They grumbled something impolite. "Did you manage to find anything?"
"His floors are pretty clean. We're not dusty," the other agent said dryly. "Otherwise, no. Did the extraction team?"
"They went in as paramedics. The report from the officers was more informative."
"Great." The head agent sat up, still holding his head. "This sucks."
"You have a good concussion." Fury stared at him. "Do you think you were made?"
"No idea, sir. Like I said, I was unconscious."
"Then we'll have to see." He left them to their headaches and dizziness. Not much anyone could do for a concussion.
Xander smiled at his editor Todd when he ran into him at the park. "Fancy meeting you here."
"What is that?" he asked, pointing at Frodo.
"That's Frodo. He's my robotic security guard." He sat down beside him. "He's very protective. We're out for our weekly writing in the park time."
"That's good I guess. What can he do?"
"He knocked out two guys breaking in last week," Xander quipped.
"Even better." He looked at Xander. "You're missing pages on what you sent me."
"Oops. Was that where I skipped ahead again?"
"I've filled most of that in but I'm missing the link to that and that'll link in a few pages to that first part I skipped ahead for."
"Good. Get that to me soon?"
"Within days. I only need about a page of linking."
"Send me the whole file next time, Xander."
"I can do that." He shook his hand. "Let us go find our spot in the park."
"Do you have it with you?"
"No, I only brought the netbook. It doesn't have anything but the page I'm presently working on." Xander pulled it out to let him see.
"Hmm. That's fine. Send me all that you have later tonight."
"I can do that, Todd. Thank you." He smiled and walked off with Frodo rolling beside him. They settled into their normal area to play fetch and write. Ben wasn't there today so no distractions from the butt appreciation society. When he got home, he merged the two files and sent it all to Todd. Frodo was nudging something so Xander got up to look. "Who put it there, Frodo?" Another projection hologram was put up and a bar that said 'searching' over the picture of a fingerprint. The picture that popped up didn't make him happy.
"That's so gotta stop," he decided, taking the device to retune so he could use it later. It got put into a steel box in the basement and he went back up to search around. The other bugs weren't as obvious but he had a spell to find them. Including the one on his computer system. He warned Todd someone had tried to hack him then removed it and broke it. He looked at Frodo, who barked. "Yeah, we need ice cream." He got it and settled in to watch some anime for a while. He was too mad to write. He and 'Ben' really had to have a talk.
Xander found Ben at the dinner they had planned, sitting down and dropping the broken hack integrator onto his plate. "Thank you for the new toy to play with, Agent Stel." He sat down, staring at him. "You could've just asked."
Xander held up a hand. "I hate liars. I hate people who use me. Frankly, if you had been honest I would've talked to you anyway." He stared at him. "As is, I'm pretty sure that your whole group has the wrong idea about me."
"We think that uncle of yours is in our files."
"I think you're full of shit since he's not on this realm," Xander said quietly, staring at him. "And never would be. Beyond that, he's not a bad guy." He leaned his elbows on the table. "If you had *asked*, I might have told you. Because there's probably going to be times I might need the contacts to save my own ass. I'm sure by now you've realized the hormone condition?"
"Then you're not a very good agent, are you?" He stared at him, seeing the anger in his eyes. "Really, within ten feet of me and can't tell? That's strange. Usually by now there would've been signs of it bothering you. Like weird dreams. Special times in the showers....." 'Ben' winced but sucked in a breath and nodded. "With that hormone condition from hell, there's going to be times I might need rescued. Frankly, I've been thinking about how to do that but we'll have to see how that goes. I certainly wouldn't take your recommendation for a bodyguard sort after all this. Some of us you don't have to sneak up on." He got up and walked out.
Ben paid his tab for his drink and left, going to talk to his handler. "What hormone condition?"
"No clue," he admitted. He took the device to look at. "He broke it well." He tossed it onto the dashboard. "We can set up a new agent."
"He's going to be looking for it. Send in someone who can ask?"
His handler grimaced. "Not many are that non-threatening."
"We can try."
"We might." He drove off, taking the surveillance van back to SHIELD's headquarters building. He'd report that to the director, who wouldn't be happy.
Xander grinned when he got home, pouncing Lavelle to hug. "Hi."
"My date was an agent."
"Two of them tried to break in here. Frodo stopped them."
"Frodo teased me with the toy." He cuddled him. "You okay?"
"SHIELD of all stupid things."
"Why?" Lavelle asked, looking confused.
"No idea. Since I had a date with him tonight I told him he should've asked because I might need them to rescue me some day."
"You'll do okay." He gave him the cuddle he wanted and needed. That Xander was so young and a bit more innocent than most of them. He was also snuggly and adorable. Some Xander to Xander special snuggly times were just a great thing for them. Frodo plugged himself in and got happy with a stuffed animal he had found somewhere.
Someone knocked on the door the next morning. Lavelle walked out to get it, letting Frodo scan them. The little robot popped up his ID. "Agent Forescythe, what did you want?"
"Who are you? You're not the kid."
"I'm his Uncle Lavelle." He stared at him. "And yes, I'm the mean guy you guys expected this one to be."
"Are you the one who taught him robots?"
"No. On my realm I'm a dark knight." The agent swallowed hard. "Unless you're evil and in my way, I don't care. I'm calming him down." The agent touched his earpiece. "You know what, I'm a big fan of comics. You guys are comics in my world. Why don't you send one of the better agents to talk to us today? One who won't piss himself at my adorableness?" He closed the door and walked off. "Frodo, tell me if a better agent shows up please." It barked. "Good boy." He gave it an energy treat from the charging station and went back to making breakfast. The kid was writing for his editor, which was a good thing to see. It took just less than an hour for a new agent to appear. Lavelle opened the door, staring at Frodo until his ID popped up. "Agent Philips. Are you an idiot?"
"Then we can chat." He let him into the house then shut the door. "You really did upset him by breaking his solitude and protections." He walked off. "Hey, little me, agent's here to talk." Xander waved a hand. "Okay, I'll talk to him first." He sat down. "Sit, please."
"Who are you?"
"Um...." He stared at the kid then at him. "You're obviously related."
Xander smiled. "Bit more complicated. I'm actually from another reality. I'm their Xander."
"Okay." He sat down. "We're worried because someone with electronics experience to build that little robot thing could pose a danger."
"I'm only a danger if you make me be," Xander quipped from where he was typing. "Until then I'm looking for a career, hopefully writing, a decent boyfriend to take care of the hormone problem, and possibly a bodyguard sort at some future time when things start to get backed up since those of us with the hormones can't always be fixed by just one lover."
Lavelle nodded. "All true. We taught him everything we know."
"You know robots?"
"No, but a set of us who are twins on another reality are CSI and own a weapons design firm. Frodo is off their security and helper robot's plans." He smiled. "We're a wacky, diverse bunch."
"If you're not from this reality, wouldn't that cause problems?"
"No. Especially not for some of us. I have ...issues that aren't hormones that mean I'm not biologically close enough to this one to matter. Then again, this one doesn't have a lot of the problems most of us have."
"How did you know about him?"
"We hold a convention yearly. It's like a family reunion only better." Lavelle grinned. "We found out his mom had him as a plan to take the place of the slayers that were never created here. They stole one of our DNA from another world and were going to warp him. So we raised him."
"There's over three hundred of us at the convention," Xander quipped, smiling at him as he typed blindly. "It's really great. We have a few feasts, we chat, we learn from each other, we share stories." He went back to his story. "One of them taught me to write."
"That's... that's good," Agent Philips said. "This is a bit weird even for SHIELD."
Lavelle smirked. "Then again, SHIELD does a lot of shit that no one wants to talk about."
"My clearance isn't that high."
"In my realm, you're a comic book. I already know." Philips slumped some. "Is your Fury black or white?"
"The original comics had him being a white guy." Lavelle shrugged. "That means you're about two off from where I thought but that's cool." He smiled. "What did your dickheaded director want to know?"
"We think he might turn dangerous."
Xander saved his present section and turned to look at him. "If I have to take myself back from someone, yup. I'll do my best to destroy them to the molecular level without doing damage to anyone else. Just generally around town? Probably not. Though it was a bit evil having Agent Stel date me." He stared at him. "I'm a fairly open guy if you're the right sort. Like I told him, ask. Even your boss can ask."
"That's why I'm here. What hormone condition is this?" Xander started to get up but Lavelle waved him back down. "We can put it into the database to make sure we can find him."
Lavelle stared at him. "It's a very high output of pheromones and other hormones that make him like candy for certain people and beings. The ones that he inherited that from, thanks to his birth mother's wish, are so bad that they've had to fight off demon realms. They've destroyed everyone on a few demon realms." Xander nodded. "They're kidnaped and all that."
"Wearing it out," Lavelle said dryly. "Which takes someone to have fun with."
Philips nodded once. "Okay. Can we take a sample?" Xander got his workout t-shirt and tossed it at him. Philips bundled it into his bag and looked at them again. "Are you presently planning on endangering anyone?"
"No. I'm presently setting myself up to hopefully have a career as a writer and then do neat things like travel."
"Traveling can be good for a guy," Philips agreed.
"The problem is that only the deadly tend to like us," Lavelle said dryly. "The one he got the hormones from, he knows more arms dealers than he does anyone else. He was dating two cops, knows a great number of them in Miami, but he also plays poker with the underground to keep himself from being bored and as a protective measure." Philips moaned. "Frankly, most of us dated people that most normal people would stare at in horrified awe. We're hoping this one doesn't have that gift but we're not sure if he does or not. So we may someday need you to help him rescue himself."
"We can see that need," Philips agreed. "What about weapons?"
Xander grinned. "I'm really good at forging swords."
"Not that sort." He stared at him. "You play stupid very well."
"It's a defense mechanism. Yes, I do know a bit about weapons. Some of us had went to Africa to work with the slayers on their worlds. They taught the rest of us who only had minor knowledge of guns. If I have to, yeah I can blow the fuck out of somewhere. If I don't have to, then I can pet them like the rest of us do."
Philips grimaced. "We'd rather you not have them."
"If I appear weak, then the ones who want us want us harder," Xander quipped. "One of me had to get out of a slave market with only a sword. He made a mess that made FBI guys vow to be better humans when they found God after their puking and then hangovers."
Philips winced. "Can anything lower that problem?"
"Lots and lots of wearing sex hormones out. I liked Stel until I found out he was lying to me. He had good game."
"I'll see if any agents want to visit you for stress relief," Philips said. Xander smiled at him. "Um..." He stood up. "Let me take this back and if we need to come back and talk some more we can?"
"I'm open to decent people," Xander agreed. "I'm sorry I scared the guy at the electronics store."
"Stark," Philips said when Lavelle stared at his younger counterpart.
"That figures. You weren't a known robotics person," Lavelle said. "It happens and we can handle that." Xander relaxed again. "If I could somehow manage to build a syndicate that took over my world without realizing it, you can be a great author who travels and sometimes has bad guy boyfriends." Xander bounded over to hug him then went back to work. Lavelle smirked at Philips. "We're good boys most of the time."
"I'll be sure to note that, sir." He let himself out, heading back to the office. He dropped the t-shirt in the lab. "The guy who owns that has a high pheromone hormone problem." The lab assistant nodded. "We need to know what, how, and how bad please." He walked upstairs to the director's office, nodding at him. "He's nineteen."
"I heard. Other reality?"
"Apparently, sir. They're identical only the other one has white, shoulder length hair and calluses like he's used to weapons."
"Good to know." Nick Fury let the agent report, watching him sweat. "You hit with that hormone thing?"
"I think I am because I don't usually find you attractive, sir. Let me go handle that."
"Get blood drawn first. I want to know what that's about."
"The shirt he gave me is in the lab."
"Even better. Dismissed." Agent Philips hurried down to the lab to get blood drawn then to his bunk to handle himself. Fury considered things, calling Stark to ask him about other realities. It wasn't a subject he knew anything about.
Two days later, another agent, this time in a nicer suit, was on Xander's doorstep. Lavelle was back home but Frodo let him in and scanned him then got out of the way. The agent stared at the little robot then followed him to the kitchen area. "He's neat," he said in greeting. The little robot put up a picture of him and his official ID, with fingerprints underneath. "I was not the one that planted the bugs."
"We know," Xander said. "Thank you, Frodo. Want a treat?" He threw down a battery. The robot rolled it off with his nose and munched on it to drain it then plugged himself in. Xander looked at the agent. "What's up, Agent...."
"Agent Sitwell." Bald guy, mediocre suit, manners so far, and uptight. Yup, he was a managing agent.
"I'm a senior handler."
"Okay, so I moved up from the scared guy to you. So what's up? Did I scare someone else?"
"No. We have the results from your sweat analysis and wanted to go over what you knew about this condition."
"There's been a lot of work done in a few realms that have more people affected. One of them has a Society chemist and a research panel. We have a whole sheet of allergies that make it go off like a nuke and some stuff that can briefly lower it but it's dangerous to use more than every few months in emergencies." He got that sheet to show him. He also got the booklet. "That's what they hand newbies who are found."
Sitwell sat down to read it over, taking pictures of the allergy sheet on his phone. "So we can perhaps find something safer." He handed them back, looking at Xander. "How are you handling it right now?"
"A few easy dates, some vibrating friends. My hand."
"At least you can do that."
"It's not usually enough but I can make do." He stared at him. "I'm really not the dangerous sort."
"I figured you weren't since you let the robot answer the door."
Xander smirked a tiny bit. "Don't underestimate the nice ones, Agent Sitwell. I'm very deadly and so is Frodo when we need to be. Right now, we're not needing to be."
"That's how a lot of us are, Mr. Harris." He stared at him. "Alternate realities?"
"Yup." He grinned. "We hold conventions."
"Doesn't that run into problems?"
"No. We have a little realm that's not attached to anything. We go there, shut off all access points, and hang out. They were doing that when I was born."
"So, all your education was done by other yous."
"Yes, though I tend to call them uncles."
"I guess that's easier to explain than a lot of siblings." Xander smiled and nodded. "As a matter of listing things, do you have any skills not noted that could be dangerous if you fell into enemy hands?"
"Probably, but if I told you someone could hack you and find out." He stared at him. "I'm the nicer fairy of all of us but I'm not naive. As I said, if I need to be deadly I can be, Agent Sitwell. Until that day comes, I'm a nice guy who wants to be a writer and who could really use some better dates. And occasionally saved from those dates."
"I can understand that worry though we're not easily hacked."
Xander shrugged. "And yet, you are." He smiled. "Or so I've heard."
"You told Agent Philips one of the other yours was a weapons designer?"
"And ballistics CSI. A few of them were CSI."
"Is your robotic friend able to do that?"
"Yes, Frodo can read fingerprints."
"Are they legitimate weapons designers?"
"They run a purely design firm and sell designs to DoD whitelisted companies."
"That's wonderful news." He stared at him. "We're worried that someone may want you for what they know."
"They'd want me for my hormones, Agent Sitwell. They'd learn that I knew weapons when I'd blow them the fuck up." Sitwell blinked at him. Xander smiled. "I learned from the best. The one that got used by the wish to give me the hormone problem destroyed 47 demon realms at the last count for them wanting him. Plus a whole lot of bigger names in the underground in his world. He plays poker with the rest of the underground to keep himself safer, plus has a commando as an assistant. Then again, he is backed up all the time."
"Do we know who that commando is?"
"I know his name's Wade. He never mentioned if that was his first or last name. I know he's Canadian. I know he's somehow run into the Delta team they have there as a retrieval team for Miami, who go by the name Losers."
"I've heard of them."
Xander grinned. "They're the ones that go rescuing members who are from Miami or in Miami."
"That's a good idea." He made that note into his phone, showing him a picture that was linked to that team's file. Xander nodded. "That's a mean assistant to have."
"He keeps Xander safe. Xander even found him a girlfriend he could like because she likes to torture guys."
"Yeah, that sounds...happy for him."
"That Xander had dated her when she first lost her vengeance demon job. She and Wade worked better though."
Sitwell looked at him. "Vengeance demon?"
"She was over women scorned for over eleven hundred years."
"Oh. Oh, dear."
"Yeah, kinda. We dated when she got fired." He shrugged. "It happens to us. They love us."
"I can see why he has an assistant like that."
"Kinda." He grinned slightly. "Which is why I'm being so open with you guys. Because some day, people like that may come for me."
"Which we don't want but we have to be able to calculate how dangerous this could be for others."
"I'm not into collateral damage."
"Sometimes it's unavoidable."
"Not if you can destroy the building instead of the people."
Sitwell blinked again. "An interesting strategy. Can you build weapons?"
"No comment." He stared at him. "Do I have plans? No."
"Did they teach you to create weapons?"
"Yup, to keep me safer."
"What else did they teach you?"
"Martial arts. Lavelle studied with a samurai. The others with the hormone problem learned a martial arts dance series that leads to a fighting style. And belly dancing. President Xander helped with my gunmanship with Lavelle."
"They elected him even when he begged for them to leave him alone."
Sitwell took off his glasses to clean. "Why?"
"He was the third in that line of 'they'll protect us'."
"Interesting. I'm sure they, and you, would."
"That's why my mother got talked into carrying me."
"I heard about that." He cleared his throat and put his glasses back on. "Were there any other notable ones?"
"There was one of me that owned a comic shop. The one that came to save me somehow got old gods involved."
"Apparently one of the chaos gods thinks I'm a battery."
"It does seem to be chaotic for a lot of them." He looked at the staring robot then at the young man. "We can give you a contact number you can call if you run into someone too bad. Someone like an arms dealer or the like. That way we can send someone to help you before they kidnap you."
"That could be nice. Thank you. Hopefully I'll have book tours in the future." He grinned.
"I hope you do make it as a writer. That would be safer for you and others." He stood up. "Let me leave you my card. For now, if you run into one of them, call me and I'll at least look into who they are and what they're into. If you need more help than that, we can figure that out then?" Xander nodded, taking the card he pulled out. "I'll get that allergy list back to the lab to see if they can find anything easier to help you handle that before it gets out of hand. I'll check on you in a few weeks, Mr. Harris." He left.
Xander looked at Frodo. "He's kind of uptight but at least he's not mean to me." Frodo barked and nudged him so he went back to his cooking. He was hungry. He had missed breakfast to write. Those muses he had inherited were mean.
Xander had to call that nice, uptight agent not three weeks later when his date decided to be 'commanding' in a bad way by taking a restaurant hostage to keep him. Of course the guy was out on a mission so he delegated. The agent he delegated to didn't see any need to be quick. Xander had to get himself free at the airport. He was standing over the idiot with a knife in his hand when the cops got there. Xander looked at one. "He tried to kidnap me to own me. Pity." He handed over the knife before they could ask. "I made that. There's a cache in the handle that has emergency supplies because stuff like this happens to me." He shrugged and walked over the guy's bleeding body toward the cop cars with the cops guiding him. He looked over when a sedan pulled up and an agent got out. "I don't know you," he called. "Did that uptight, bald guy with the glasses send you?"
"No, the junior agent who just lost his job for being an idiot did," he admitted, walking over. "Mr. Harris, I'm Agent Coulson." He showed them his ID. "Thank you for handling this threat yourself since we were inefficient. We don't think it will happen again." Xander smirked at him, crossing his arms over his chest. "What happened?" Xander told him all about the blind date someone in the park had set up. She had seemed nice when they had talked after she had tripped over him playing fetch with Frodo.
She had claimed the guy was a friend of hers who was looking for an interesting boyfriend, liked artistic sorts, and he was a decent guy. Their first meeting at a coffee shop by the park had went well. Their next one of a walk in the park had went nicely. Then the dinner that got the whole place taken hostage had happened. The cops were making notes and calling in about that. Agent Coulson stared at him. "How did you extract yourself from the restaurant?"
"When I got blown off by Sitwell, I had a slight headache and let my hormones creep up enough to emote. Which made everyone very cuddly but not enough to cause an orgy or anything like that. I left while they were fighting it. He found me about a block later when I was ducking into somewhere else. The gun to the back of my neck was a bit of a pointed hint he wanted a longer talk. He drove us here and when I saw where we were, and heard him talking about Morocco, I decided I should probably save myself right about then. Thankfully I love making knives on my forge," he finished dryly, staring at him. "Pity about his designer suit he was so proud of."
Coulson looked over then at him. "It's not that expensive or special. Barely above off the rack." Xander smirked a tiny bit, looking pleased. "The knife you used?" It was handed over by the officer. Coulson looked it over, nodding. "Nice work. Very pretty design." He opened the bag and handed it back. "SHIELD is going to be taking the victim. He's wanted on white slavery charges in a few countries." Xander shuddered. "Hormones?"
"Probably," Xander agreed. "Plus I'm young. I seem soft." He waved a hand. "The hormones just make me a yummy target."
"We're still working to see if we have a method to make them lower."
"They've been working on it for centuries and haven't found anything. You guys can if you want. Let me know if you find more allergies or anything like that so I can pass it on please."
"I can tell them that." He helped him off the police car hood. "Let's get you home."
"I'm not fragile."
Coulson stared at him. "This is probably your first self defense struggle." Xander shrugged. "It's normal to be a bit uneasy, feel off centered, or worried afterward."
"I'm not. There's worse than this that's happened to others with that hormone thing. We had a lot of talks about those sort of people."
"That's good." He walked him over to his car, letting him inside. "Calm down. Let me do the papers, and I'll debrief you once we take you home. That way your little Frodo helper can make sure you're safe. Sitwell's notes about Frodo were very complimentary." He walked back to do the paperwork and call in to get someone for the idiot removal. Once he was done he got into the car. "We wanted to do a more in depth hormone study," he said, starting the car and driving off. "The sweat sample you submitted was light, barely had any registering. We'd like to see the range from normal time to backed up to when you're ...emoting you called it?"
"Or broadcasting. Basically thinking happy thoughts to up them and consciously using it offensively to smarm everyone in range so they get confused minded."
"That's a good last ditch method before physical confrontation. The rest of the people in the restaurant?"
"They didn't get much. A few were kissing but nothing too big and I told the waiter to air them out as I slid past him."
"That's a good thing. We can test that?"
"Maybe. Wouldn't that mean me being in the lab for days on end?"
"It's lowered my slightly backed up state by broadcasting."
"We can maybe do it over a few hours tomorrow night?"
"We can probably do that. Will it be safe for the lab geeks?"
"We can make sure. If we have to we have quarantine suites and can take readings in there so you can't affect anyone without intent." Xander nodded. He found Xander's apartment and parked, walking around to let him out. "Agency cars have safety locks," he admitted. Xander grinned, walking up the stairs to open the door. He petted Frodo, who scanned the agent and popped up his ID. Coulson stared at him. "It's adorable." It had field applications. That was charming and cutesy, the junior agents would love it on missions.
"Thank you." He smiled. "Frodo's a great friend to have." He got some water, handing over a bottle to the agent. "Do you need this shirt? I kinda like it."
"No, we can take wipes of your sweat. I was told how do that if you have some gauze? If not, I can dig out the car's first aid kit."
"I do." He got it and let the agent take swipes of his sides and armpit, giggling some when he hit a ticklish spot. "Sorry."
"Most people are ticklish somewhere." He bagged them and looked at him. "Can you describe the woman that set you up with him? We'd like to stop all their empire."
"I hate people sellers. They really do suck for everyone." He sat down and thought back. "We were in the park. She's a jogger there but I didn't see her the last time I went. Frodo, did you take a picture of the nice lady?" He got a negative buzz. "Show me the park the last time we played?" Frodo replayed the security tape he had. He tapped the picture so it froze. "Her." He zoomed in. It was a bit grainy. "It looks like her but she had brown hair, not red, and her nose was a bit smaller, and her chest was strapped down better instead of being shown off." He looked at the agent. "But she was about her measurements and height."
"Okay." He made a note and tried to take a picture of the image. No luck. It printed though so he made notes on it and got into the files to see if he could find them. He showed one picture, getting a headshake. The next one the young man nodded at. "That's not good. She's an agent from the local FBI office." He made that note and looked at him. "If it's not her I'll search for similar looking females." Xander nodded. "How is the book coming?"
"It's going longer than I expected and sometimes the muses are mean. I keep missing meals." He grimaced. "But they want me to write right then."
"You can't put it off?"
"Hmm. I don't know many who write but if I get a chance I'll ask them." He made that note as well. "Are you more comfortable and out of warrior mode?" Xander nodded. "We'd like to test your martial arts skills."
"I think that might make it more dangerous for me."
"We think it could allow us to send you agents who could keep up with you if necessary to rescue you."
"Usually I'd take any sort of help, Agent Coulson."
"Yes, but some agents would be able to do things that you can do. We don't want to overlap skills."
Xander nodded. "Then you can't send anyone who can shoot."
"Good point. What sort of martial arts were you trained in?"
"Lavelle trained with Goemon, who is a samurai of an old line. He trained him and he learned some off anime and from another style. The dancing style that leads to self-defense work is the life story of a warrior and all his struggles. It's a bit...erotic in places but it does lead to better sword work and self defense moves."
"I'd like to see that."
"It tends to wear out the hormones."
"We can watch you do that with sample pads on so we can do a good sweat sample comparison after the one the lab techs want." He made that note. "How long is the dance?"
"There's over eighty hours." He smiled. "I can do about forty to fifty minutes at a time right now."
"That'll probably be more than enough." He made that note as well. "Will you need anything special?"
"No. I do it most days in the basement so no one can spy on me."
"That's handy and practical." He stared at him. "What's your schedule like the rest of the week?"
"Mostly just writing. I'm hoping I'm nearly done with this one story." He grimaced at his computer then at him. "I'm hoping it'll tell me when it's done."
"Sometimes they can write the whole trilogy. A few fantasy writers have and then split it up."
"I can ask my editor about that." He grinned. "Thank you for not being as uptight as Sitwell was. He acted like I was contagious."
"He is a bit uptight." He made a few more notes. "How often does this sort of incident happen to that other Xander?"
"He plays poker with thugs and the underground in Miami to keep himself safer. He also keeps a large arms closet and apocalypse vault to make him seem less weak. He fights off a few attempts every few weeks." Phil grimaced slightly, making note of that. "I'm not as backed up as he is. He has years of being backed up from his old boyfriends never helping him and now being single."
"That's good to know. If it's handled then it's not as bad?"
"It's a lot less noticeable if the hormones are cured. Very few things cure the hormones."
"I'm guessing that a live-in lover would be preferable?"
"Very. I'm still looking."
"That's a normal thing to go through. Many people search for years, but I think you'll find one sooner." Xander smiled. "Are there complications to that?"
"I'd like someone nice. Usually only the dangerous sort like me though. All of us really. It's a shared trait."
"Interesting. Because of the hormones?"
"No, all the Xanders."
"Very interesting. I can have that noted. That way we look at anyone who does date you. Just in case they have bad plans for the world."
Xander giggled, shaking his head. "Most of us dated Anyanka on our worlds."
Phil considered it. "I don't know them."
"The vengeance demon over women scorned. She lost her job and we took her to the prom and most of them nearly married her."
Phil blinked at him. "So dangerous is not just in a likes weapons sense. That's good to know." He made that note as well. He looked at him. "Would you agree to spar with someone while you're there?"
"If I must."
"We just want to gauge a few things. We're not going to push you hard but a lot of agents don't have the sort of training you have. You can try to take it easy on them to protect your true skills but if we know how you react to things we can prep the agents who might need to help you so they're warned."
"I guess I can see that point. President Xander taught me a lot. He was one of us that went to Africa to work with the newly called slayers. He was there for years."
"So...hold on, President?" Xander smiled and nodded. "Why?"
"They had a 'he'll protect us' thing going on for two military guys before him and then him. He begged them to leave him alone and they wouldn't. He even had the big gay wedding of the century in the white house. They still wanted him back until he finally told them they drove him nuts and he wanted to go hide from humanity instead of protecting it in the next apocalypse battle." He got up to get a picture and pointed. "That's President Xander."
"Huh." He made that note off to the side then looked. "Lavelle is the one with white hair. Philips took a picture." Xander nodded with a grin. "Which one is the one with the hormones?"
"The ones with the longer hair."
"Okay. Three?" Xander nodded, sitting down. "What did most of you do?"
"We hunted with slayers. We took out the demons that were bothering people. Which is why the witches wanted one of me here since there's no slayers. There's probably a prophecy or a foreseen thing."
"If you hear, tell me?"
"We're pretty good at getting around prophecies from what the others said but I can do that, Agent Coulson."
"Thank you." He leaned over to put the picture onto the coffee table then sat up. "How did that one lose his eye?" There was probably a similar story behind so many of them missing the same eye.
"Minion of the First Evil. They called him the Unseen Seer. That was before the battle of Sunnydale that ended the town."
"They didn't have much of a town after it got sucked into the hellmouth."
"Portal to multiple hell dimensions?"
"Is it possible that others know about those realms?"
"Yes. I noticed that someone did see over there somehow. I shared the show with Lavelle and he giggled a lot. But that's cool. Lavelle needs more happies."
"Do you intend to see them often?"
Xander smiled. "We hold a yearly convention."
Phil nodded. "Here?"
"A special realm."
"That's good to know. Having a few dozen of you together might be a bit weird."
"There's over three hundred of us." He grinned. The agent wasn't freaking out so that was a great indication that he was all right and might be a nice guy to know.
Phil nodded. "That's a lot and would probably worry a convention center." Xander smirked a tiny bit. "All right, let me get this report back to the director. I'll come pick you up late tomorrow night? We can do it after dinner? By the time we're done with the sparring you'll be tired."
"The next day I meet with my editor at ten."
"I'll keep that in mind." He shook his hand and let himself out. Xander locked the door behind him. Phil took a clearing breath of the semi-fresh air before getting into the car and heading back to the base. He walked in and the Director sniffed then stared at him. He put down the notes he had made, and the tape. "Sitwell underestimated how bad it could be, sir."
"Good news," he said blandly, looking things over. "He sure about her?"
"He said it looked like her."
"We can check. The kid didn't hurt him too much. Lots of stitches, deep stab wound, but nowhere near fatal."
"I don't think he wanted to kill him."
"Probably." Fury rubbed around his eyepatch then looked at him. "Did he smarm you with his hormone problem?"
"I have sweat samples on me, sir."
"Go drop them off, take a shower, change clothes, and come back."
"Sorry." He walked off to do that. When he came back the director was looking less flushed and a bit less pleased. "I've gotten him to agree to a sweat testing, to show off some of that unique dancing self defense style, and to spar a bit. I did tell him he didn't have to show his actual true talents. We'll do that after dinner so he can go home and rest, then meet with his editor the next morning."
"I guess that'll be fine. He probably won't last too long sparring."
"I don't know, sir."
Fury looked up. "You still stink like you've been at a whorehouse," he said bluntly.
"I showered twice, sir."
"Uh-huh. Go...take care of that or whatever you do, Coulson. I'll talk with Sitwell when he gets back." Coulson nodded and left. Fury sprayed air freshener and went back to the new notes now that he could concentrate. Those damn hormones would drive him nuts.
Xander smiled at the lab geeks the next evening, shaking one's hand since he was closer. "I haven't taken care of it all day. I was writing and got distracted a few times but I'm at a good level of on the higher side of normal."
"That'll be helpful. Can you replicate what you did to the restaurant?"
"Yes. That was barely anything. I was taught to use that offensively if I had to get away."
"That's a good thing to do in a compound full of guards," Coulson agreed. Xander smiled at him for understanding when to use it. "A lot easier than fighting them physically." He watched while the geeks got Xander into the quarantine room then set up the sensor pads and the sweat pads. When Xander was comfortable Phil smiled. "All right, how do you raise those?"
"Happy making thoughts."
Coulson looked at the geek, who nodded everything was working. "We need you to slowly raise it if possible." Xander nodded. "When we tell you, try to start releasing some of it. Say up to the level you used yesterday."
"I can do that."
"You can wear the rest out when you do the dance thing?" Xander nodded. "Even better." He left the room, letting the door be shut. He watched the machines as Xander made himself...happy. It was purely mental since his heart rate didn't climb that much. Or his breathing. "Those monitoring pads are wireless?" he asked quietly. One of the lab geeks nodded. "Then lets leave them on when he does that self-defense dance." They nodded again and made notes. He motioned and Xander let the hormones out, moaning a tiny bit. He waved when he was there. Phil cracked open the door and stood back. That was strong. The scent in the room was making him want to get happy in a manly way. But it wasn't the time for it right now. "Let's change the sweat pads so we can do the dance, Xander. Do you need a rest?"
"No, I'm okay. Thank you." He got up, letting the lab techs take the pads off and tape on new ones. He touched one. "Do we need that one? It itches." They shifted it. Xander took a towel to wipe off his face, taking it with him. He looked at Phil as they walked to the gym. "I decided on one of the war stories. When he was still young but before he got captured by their enemies."
"I'd like to hear the full story sometime." Xander nodded with a grin. "Is this good? Need anything?"
Xander looked. "I don't really need the pads. I might trip." They got moved. "I figure you wanted it taped?" Phil pointed behind him. "I can use that as the audience." Phil nodded and got out of the way. Xander stretched a bit then moved into the first position and moved. Phil stared, licking his lips a few times. When Xander was done, Phil was trying not to react. Xander looked at him. "There's purely sexual parts," he said with a smile. "When he got captured and a few others. Including his wedding night when he finally gets free and goes back home."
Phil cleared his throat. "That's probably a natural progression. Let's get you set up for sparring. We can use another gym."
"You sure?" He wiped off his face, chest, and lower back with the same towel.
"I am. The hormones are a bit strong in here." He walked him up the hall. The director was in there with two agents. "I don't think either of you can be a challenge to him," he told the agents. "Get someone better." They nodded, calling up their self defense trainer. He came in and bowed. Xander bowed back. "This is Mr. Harris. He's trained in styles we do not know but we may have to rescue him now and then."
"I can test his skills."
"I told him he can hide some from us," Phil warned.
"That's usual." He looked the guy over. "Go ahead and wipe down." Xander let the lab techs that had followed them take the sweat pads and put on new ones. "Unarmed or armed?"
"I can do unarmed, but it's not my favorite. I'm good with staffs, swords, battle axes, daggers."
"Let's start with staffs then," the trainer said, getting them from the weapons case on the wall. Xander checked his and nodded, moving into a ready stance the trainer wasn't familiar with but it looked fine to him, still steady and able to be moved from. The boy was a bit awkward but he was vicious. The trainer stepped up his game. That got better and the boy was clearly slightly tired. He stopped it and nodded, getting bowed at. "Martial arts?"
"Some of my uncles." He smiled. "One studied with a samurai."
"That's wonderful." He got them fake daggers. "Let's try this. It's more common than swords." Xander nodded, checking them over then attacked first this time. The trainer smiled. "That's good, boy."
"Thank you." He shifted to the side with a dance move and got him then shifted out of the way.
"Came from a dance," Xander said with a grin. "It teaches sword work."
"Interesting." He pressed the kid but he was decent enough. He backed off and nodded. "Not bad, not formal style but not bad." Xander smiled, bouncing some. "Go get unsweaty, kid."
"Yes, sir. Thank you." He bowed again and handed back the practice blades. He looked at the geeks, who took all the pads. "Agent Coulson?"
"That was good. Longer than we'd expect trainees to go," he said with a smile. "It's an interesting style and it seems to fit your body very well." He nodded. "Let's get you home so you can rest." He took him to the car lot to drive him home. He had enough self control to not pounce Xander. Most of the agents, he wasn't sure they could hold off.
The director looked at the trainer. "Where on the trainee scale?"
"Eighty-five to ninety percent of what we'd expect. That unique style would get him points but he looked tired."
"He's not bad."
"If we have to rescue him?"
"Send someone with more physical stamina. He'll probably be tired. Whatever thing that made him smell like a fun date's aftermath will probably affect them but they can fight that off. We teach ours that." The director nodded. "He can probably usually get himself free from what I've seen tonight. We'd need more of an extraction than a going in to defeat the enemy encampment, but they might need a plan for that in case he's down."
"Okay," Fury agreed. "Thank you." He looked at the staring trainees. "He's got a hormone problem."
"We smelled, sir," one said. "How do you avoid getting hit by that?"
"You don't," Fury admitted. "Even I did and I've got a sinus headache." They nodded, talking to the trainer about that as they walked off. Fury looked at his second-in-command, who shrugged. "He's not bad."
"He's not. He can probably hold on long enough to get rescued if he has to. I'm more interested in the hormone condition and if we can harness it for later use without having to put him into those situations."
"We'll see once the lab techs are done," Fury said, standing up and walking off. "I'll see you in the morning." He went to his rooms to calm himself down again. If he wasn't straight, that kid would've been bent over by now with how hard it hit him.
Agent Hill looked at the lab tech still there taking air readings. "Make sure it's all aired out so helpless people don't get hit." He nodded so she left him to his readings.
Two days later, Phil Coulson went to the lab. "Am I showing enhanced hormones thanks to his?"
They took a sweat sample, a saliva sample, and had him sit down to wait. They finally shook their heads. The head geek looked at him. "It looks like it got your nose up but you're not showing anything other than primal responses, Agent Coulson. You're not the only one however. The director has as well. The techs you worked with are still sequestered to make sure they come down from it."
"That's good to know. How long before it ends?"
"No idea. You got a lot. Are we sharing this with anyone?"
"I haven't been told. I'll ask the director. Thank you." He walked off, going up there. "Sir?" Fury looked up. "I was in the lab to make sure I wasn't showing a sympathetic elevated response to that and they wanted to know if we're sharing that information with anyone."
"We'll see." He rubbed his writing hand. "He's a mess."
"He's an unfortunate survivor of the issue," Coulson corrected.
"Any ID on that woman?"
"It was her. She's in custody spilling her guts when we told her Xander had rescued himself." Fury nodded once, smiling slightly. "Do we want to ask him to record all the dances? He said there's eighty hours."
Fury looked at him. "I have never gotten hot watching battles until that, Coulson. Do we really need the fighting porn?"
"I'd like to see what the dances taught him in self defense."
"If you do, make sure some of us can fight off the urges it gives," he said sarcastically, staring at him.
"He could be much worse. He said the one he got the problem from is constantly backed up."
Fury shuddered. "Hold on, he got it from one of them?"
Phil crossed his arms over his chest. "Apparently the mother made a wish after the one that rescued him did so. She wanted him to be as strong as any of the many Xanders across the universe. That Xander is very strong and stubborn. He's defeated 47 demon realms protecting himself." Fury slumped, shaking his head. "So that wish translated that over. I know he got one from one who is a writer in his world, and yet still backs up the slayers there. There's a few others that probably influenced him. Especially the one that was president."
"That's just screwy," Fury said.
"Perhaps but if you want protected, he's very good at it. It'd be like naming you, sir."
"I'd run the fuck away."
"That one tried. He had to beg to only serve one term. Xander said even after the big gay wedding of the century in the white house he had to beg to be left alone." Fury shuddered. "I'm going to dig into how that happened, just in case. I can understand why they wanted military people to protect them, but why a demon hunter?" He stared at his boss. "Anything else you want me to ask him about?"
"Fine, sir." He walked off. He went to impose on Xander. "How would we tell if exposure to your hormones had started off someone else's?"
"We have a blood test to tell levels." He stared at him. "Is someone?"
"Possibly. I'm still seeming to radiate your scent so I wanted to make sure."
"I can pull out the test kit." He walked off to get it and put gauze on the table. "Few drops please." Phil pulled out his knife to prick his thumb. Xander added the liquid from the three bottles. Xander grinned. "Not at all. I'm sorry I smarmed you so hard."
"That's all right. We needed to test it and no one's hit on me so it's fine." Xander smirked a tiny bit, tossing out the gauze. "Can I ask you about a few of the other Xander's?"
"Sure. Can I ask you to see if someone's real here?"
"You may. Who?"
"Writer Xander's husband was a Russian spy." He pulled out a different picture to point. "Him. That's Peter." He looked at him. "They called him Shank."
"I can look him up." He took a picture of that picture and put his phone up. "President Xander. How did that happen?" Xander sat down and told him how that had come about. Coulson was a bit horrified. "Do we have those here?"
"A few. They're hiding in Asia from what I've heard."
"How would we know if they wanted to do that here?"
"Their cult would be a bit more visible."
"We can watch for that." He made that note into his phone. Then he looked at him. "What happens if we have a demon event here?"
"If I'm nearby I'd probably try to jump in."
"You need to block who you are. That way no one realizes. We have the same sort of press that drove the other Xander's to hide."
"I know. I'm figuring that out. I don't want to do the cheezy costume thing."
"That would draw some attention, yes. Do you have magic?"
"Can you do illusions that won't be seen through?"
"I don't know. I haven't learned that yet. Dumass didn't teach me those."
"If you can, look them up. It may be a good solution. If not, you can figure that out. How did the meeting go?"
"Todd was frustrated that I was still writing on the book he considered overly done. I told him why and he agreed we could chop it into a few books later on. If Peter's here I might have to change some details. Part of it was based off a story he told me."
"I can check tonight and email you." Xander got up to get the small thing and handed it over. "That's ours. Any idea?" Frodo popped up a picture. "I don't know why he's bothering you. We'll make sure later, Xander." Xander grinned. "Can you tape the dances for me? I'd like to know that style."
"Usually only GHS can do them."
"Not to do them myself, just to be able to counter some of them. It can only help with my own training."
"I can do that or ask Miami GHS Xander if he has a set."
"Thank you." He patted him on the hand. "You should go play outside. You're pale."
"I'm tired. The muses got me up."
"Maybe they'll let you nap later." He stood up. "Eat something. You look skinny." Xander nodded, letting him out so he could go back to the office. Xander did get up to get something to eat and then went back to his computer. Phil went to share that information with the director. He was not pleased at how that kid had become president in another world. It would not happen here, even if they had to eliminate that cult completely.
Three days later, Agent Coulson was back. "Teach me how to use the testing kit?" he asked as he was let in.
"My editor's here but sure." He got it and brought it out. "I need it back."
"Of course." He watched as Xander tested his own blood then looked at the back of the bottles. That gave him what he needed to know. "I'll bring it back later." He left.
Xander went back to the living room. "One of the agents that helped me the other night needed something." He sat down. "So I've caught up and the story's actually ended." He smiled. "Is it that bad?"
"No. It's not that bad. You have a few spots where I want you to make major changes. There's a few areas I want you to polish. I've marked them so let's go over the major changes first." Xander shifted closer to go over the sections. He could make some of the changes while Todd watched so he could correct flaws. That went well and the other changes were smaller but necessary for sellability. Todd would recommend him to a literary editor after dropping a word in her ear. She'd think Xander was an adorable bit of prey to coddle and nag. The boy could use it. Maybe she'd be able to introduce him to some nice guys too. Xander needed someone nice to calm down whatever was making Todd want to cuddle him.
Coulson walked into the office, blatantly breaking into the meeting between Fury and his second, Agent Hill. He put down the gauze, then pricked the director's finger and dropped it on the gauze. He dropped the stuff in the bottles on, then looked at the back of the bottle with the scale on it. He held it up. "Their testing kit, sir."
Fury snatched that bottle to look at. He looked at the gauze then at the scale again. "How...."
"I don't know. He's meeting with his editor." He stared at him. "Three's not bad," he said quietly.
"A lot better than ten, yes." He stared at him. "You could've done it in private."
"Agent Hill would've realized anyway, sir. You two are known to closely work together. I'm bringing that to the lab so they can replicate the testing kit." He left Fury to complain in peace.
Agent Hill looked at him. "The testing brought yours out?"
"I don't know," Fury admitted. "I'll talk to him later." He huffed. "Back to missions."
"At least it's easy to hold down," she offered. "It's got to be easier for you to do it than for the kid."
"I'd hope so," he said dryly. "Missions?" She laid down the next mission profile they had to go over.
Xander was dancing as he called the nice agent. "I'm getting published!" he squealed. "Well, yes, beyond that happy news, I do have a reason to call. Because my newest friend is presently trying to make a sub-nuclear device in Manhattan and he's not getting grants from any organization he can explain." That got an 'interesting' from Coulson so Xander gave him his name. Frodo barked and put a light on something. "Huh. He's put listening devices in my house but the blocker should work. Frodo, is it blocked off?"
The dog barked a positive sound. "He said it's blocked. Thanks. Sure! I'm in a happy mood. I'm having brownies for dinner if you want some!" He hung up and hugged his pet as he danced around. Since a lot of the changing the publishers would want was done, he wasn't nervous about the edits. The new literary agent was nice and understood his few concerns. She was mean too, and thought he was a pet by the way she patted him on the head. He kissed Frodo on the head then put him down and fed him two energy snacks while he made brownies that would kill his diet for the next week. Sometimes you had to have the great things though.
Agent Coulson knocked and Frodo rolled over to let him in. "Thank you, Frodo." He walked in with Sitwell behind him. "Bug?" Xander pointed. Frodo put a light on it. "Thank you again, Frodo." He plucked it off to look at it. "Yes, that is a camera device but I think it's disconnected right now."
"So not on constant monitoring or my jammer worked?" Xander asked, licking some batter from the second batch of brownies. He looked at the ones he pulled out, cutting off some to taste test. "Hmm. I need to put peppermint on it," he mused. "Guys, want a brownie?"
"Sure," Coulson agreed. He took one tiny piece to nibble and nodded. "Those are good."
Xander grinned. "They're special reward brownies."
"I can tell." He handed Sitwell one too and they went over the house with Frodo to find any other bugs. Another one from SHIELD that had the same agent's fingerprints according to the little robot. They came back with that in a bag. "Both books or just one?"
"Both." He smiled. "We've already done a lot of the changing they would want according to my literary agent. She's *very* happy and petted me like I'm the puppy." He tossed down another energy snack. Frodo took it to play with in the corner. "So.... How bad?"
"Very," Phil admitted. "Probably not what your agent wants you to be known for, Xander."
"Pity. He's a nice guy. Treats me very well and agrees I shouldn't have to live off my pretty body for life." Sitwell cleared his throat, shaking his head. "Sometimes they're like that." He shrugged and pointed. "The two mash notes I haven't mentioned because they're only arms dealers and one tacky present?" They looked and Coulson took the present with a headshake after scanning it. "I have no idea. It came yesterday and I'm still trying to figure out how to find out who sent it." He nibbled on a brownie, smiling at them. "Thanks, guys. Saves me from rescuing myself."
"In this case, it saves the city from being rescued. He's not nice. He's a bit of an insane genius sort."
Xander nodded. "I know a few of those." Coulson laughed, smirking slightly at him. Xander grinned back. "Want another brownie to go?" Coulson got them both some and left with them. Xander grinned at Frodo. "We need to go to the electronics store to make something for the mailbox. Wanna come?" He barked and rolled over. Xander remembered to save the brownies since they were starting to burn when he came out from getting dressed. Then he and his little friend called a cab so they could go to the parts store they liked. Frodo really loved the parts store and kept trying to adopt the clerk's laptop on him. Xander walked in and grinned. "I'm being published."
"Congratulations, Xander. That's great news. Let me know when it comes out." Xander nodded. "What're we building this time?" He moved the laptop so Frodo would quit sniffing at it. "Why does he like it?" Frodo pointed a light at the USB hotspot device. "You like wifi that much, little guy?" Frodo barked a negative sound and zapped it with his laser. Which made his computer quit being hacked. "That's sweet of you, dude. Thanks."
"I'll get you a new one," Xander mouthed, getting a grin back. "Were you being hacked?"
He looked and nodded. "Apparently. That's great." He patted Frodo. "What're we making today?"
"Something to guard my mailbox since my neighbors got into it. They think it's weird that I have agents who come to visit now and then. They even called the FBI to ask if I was a bad guy." The salesguy shook his head. Xander bounded over to look at card readers. "They have barcode or something scannable on their ID's, right?"
"No clue," he admitted. He let Frodo sniff at a new box of stuff that had come in, letting him pick out the device that shouldn't be in there. "His programming is fantastic."
"I had to program him to search out listening devices. I had a boyfriend who was like that." Xander grimaced. "He's very good at it."
"I'm sure he is." His regular customer came in. "Morning."
Xander bounded over to hug him. "I'm sorry I made you paranoid by making Frodo to protect myself. You don't have to worry, I'm not the evil genius sort, but it's very great that I got to meet some nice agents thanks to that. They're really helpful when I have boyfriends who want to do bad things to me." He bounded back to what he was looking at. There was a publically available system and it could do with some fixing up. He got what he needed and let the salesguy get him wire, and diodes that Frodo picked out. Then they went home together.
Tony Stark shook his head. "He's weird. He's very weird."
"Frodo can search out listening devices because he had a boyfriend who was like that," the salesguy said dryly. "He figured out my hotspot card was being hacked and fried it with his laser."
Stark nodded. "I really want to look at the little guy's programming sometime."
"I'll ask. Or have the SHIELD guys ask him maybe? The last time he was in, he complained he had to build a taser so the SHIELD agents wouldn't have to work as hard."
"Great. I can do that." He got what he needed and bought it, going to SHIELD for now. He ran into his handler. "Who is overseeing Harris?"
"I am. Why?"
"He bounded into me and hugged me. Frodo found the salesclerk at the component store being hacked so he fried his wifi with a laser. I'd like to look at Frodo's programs."
"I'll see if he'll let you but it was designed by someone who isn't on your radar."
"If they can do that they are someone I'd like to hire."
"They're on another realm, Stark. No, they're not."
"They run a design firm and are ballistic CSI," Coulson said dryly. "They sell to whitelisted DoD companies."
"That's a good policy to have," he agreed. "We did until Obadiah got involved." He shifted. "Talk him into it? It could be useful in other areas. We might be able to sell the program here to others who could use it for good things. Including maybe Stark International." He walked off after stealing a bite of brownie. "Hmm. I need to know the name of this bakery too," he called back.
"Same source," Coulson said dryly. Now that he'd had his moment of surreal hurricane....
Xander bounded out to answer the door, grinning at the guy there. "I don't know you."
"I'm with SHIELD, Mr. Harris." He let the little robot scan his ID then showed it to him. "Agent Coulson wanted me to drop by this file." He held it up.
"Thank you." He hugged him and took it, bounding off. "Have a great day."
"Are you all right, sir? You seem a bit...off."
"I'm fine." Frodo barked a negative sound, staring at him. "I am. It's the hormones, Frodo." Frodo barked again and looked at the agent then pointed a light at the brownies. "What?" Xander asked. "Someone dosed them while we were out?"
The agent came in to sniff one, nodding. "This one was. You can smell the chemicals, sir. Let me take this in to make sure it's not a poison."
Xander grinned and waved a hand. "I'm immune to a lot of them. We made sure."
"That's good to know. I'll make sure Agent Coulson knows that as well." He bundled it up and let the little robot close and lock the door after him. He called that in on his way back. Coulson was waiting in the lab with a sample of his brownies being tested. "These ones smell like chemicals."
Phil looked. "That has to be the second batch. The first weren't burned around the edges." The techs took samples to run.
"Mr. Harris said he's immune to most poisons?"
"I did not know that," Coulson said. "I'll ask him. Did you give him the folder on his current boyfriend?"
"I did. He's a bit...goofy, sir. He bounded into me to hug me and all that. The robot realized it was drugs."
"That's even better."
"Is the thing normal?"
"It's protecting him."
"It's a bit...weird."
"It's handy. He plays fetch with it in the park."
The lower agent nodded. "That makes sense." He walked off shaking his head.
Coulson got the report and went to Xander's. Frodo stared at him through the door. "I know what they gave him, Frodo. Please let me in." Frodo opened the door. He walked in and heard the noisy sex going on. "His boyfriend?" he asked quietly. Frodo barked a negative sound. Coulson walked that way cautiously. "Xander? I've got the report on what drugs they tried to give you," he called.
"God, ninja skills," he moaned, sounding pleased. Then two guys ran out to try to escape. Phil got them both in the back with a bullet. Xander wobbled out naked. "Hey," he pouted. "They were nice ninjas."
"Who probably were the ones that gave you drugs," he said, letting him see the results. "At the very least ecstasy and an amphetamine."
"Oooh." Xander pouted at the two injured ninjas. "Were you that mean?" They groaned back. One nodded slightly. "Why were you that mean?"
"Our boss wanted you," the nodding one complained. It might get him mercy. Or laid again, one of the two.
"I'll just have to ruin him," Xander decided. He looked at Phil. "Who owns those two ninja puppies with frankly nice dicks?"
"I'll find out while you get dressed," he offered. Xander hugged him and went to his bedroom to do that. He looked down. "Who do you work for?" One crunched something so he made him vomit it up. Which Frodo sprayed with a biological spill foam. "Thank you, Frodo. Very helpful." The other whimpered and tried to move. Phil called that in so they could be picked up. Fury himself showed up. "Sir. These two ninjas drugged Mr. Harris' brownies while he was at the electronics store. They were apparently supposed to take him to their boss but Xander waylaid them by being...happy with them. Which I walked into and injured them before they could get away."
"They're nicely dicked ninjas but they were already getting tired after a few minutes," Xander said, coming out of the bedroom with a yawn. He was wearing shorts but nothing else. "That sucks. I didn't know coming down was that tiring. I didn't even get off so I'd need a nap." He yawned again and kicked one of them over, staring down at him. Then he walked off and came back with something, pointing it down at him. "Who do I want to ruin for making my brownies unholy?" The guy shook his head. Xander pushed the button on the end of the pen-like thing. The guy screamed.
"I take my safety *very* seriously. Who is it?" The guy babbled because the tiny laser was moving down toward his dick. Most men were very worried about the state of their dicks and would do anything to keep them in one piece. Xander leaned down to kiss him again then fired off the laser. "There, use it to pierce yourself with something fun to remember me by." He looked at the other one. Who babbled at the paramedics and tried to clutch Fury to save him. "Good boy." He walked over to his system, logging on and finding what he needed. "Let's see.... He has to have bank accounts."
"Let us," Fury said with a smirk. "Can you even hack?"
Xander smiled. "I have software that can do it for me. They made sure since I don't have an assistant like Wade here to help me figure out who sent me things."
"Stark would like to look at that and some of Frodo's programming," Coulson said. "He stole some of my brownie while asking if I'd ask you."
"That's mean of him. He might ruin my Frodo friend so no. Because he's a mean jackass sort."
"I know an agent who is very good at hacking. Can I have her look at that software? She won't disable it. She'll understand why you need it and she knows a lot of people that she could introduce you to."
"Really? Is she dangerous? They seem to like me a lot." He grinned.
"She's very dangerous. She's an assassin." Xander squealed and hugged him. Coulson patted him a bit awkwardly but Xander let him go to pick up Frodo to cuddle. "Xander, why did you give him such a big case instead of something sleeker?" Coulson asked. "I'd figure you'd want him to look like a guard dog."
"I would but he needed the inside space to carry stuff. Pippen's actually a little mini tank. I added Frodo's features and head to it."
"That's interesting. What else does he carry?"
Xander grinned and wagged a finger at him. "Ah-ah-ah! Nope. Xander secrets. Sorry." He bounded off again. "C'mon, Frodo. We can work on the mailbox sensor. Do mailmen have ID's that have a scannable bar?"
"I believe they do, yes," Coulson said, looking that up. "Yes, they do. Why?"
"Because my neighbors got into my mail due to all the agents that I see and even asked the FBI if I was on a watch list. I'm going to put a sign up that tells them they have to scan a Postal ID or it'll give them a mild electrical zap that gets worse each time they try." He bounded off to his workshop in the basement.
Fury looked at Coulson. "What was he given?" Coulson handed over the results. "No wonder he's bouncy and happy." Their removal team knocked and were let in. "Them, and one's got laser based injuries."
"Yes, sir," they agreed.
Fury picked up that laser to look at. The pinpoint burn was nicely compact when he tried it on a wall. "Coulson, get us the plans for this too. We can use that." He handed it over and followed the ninjas.
"I'll try, sir." He turned and found another Xander looking amused. "I'm Agent Coulson with SHIELD."
"Hi. I'm Alex Dumass. What's happened?"
"Ninjas broke in to drug him so they could drag him to their boss."
"Ah. The curse of the hormones?"
"I'm not certain yet. He's in some workshop." He pointed. "Down there."
"Great. Xander?" he called.
"Alex!" he squealed, running up the stairs while still cuddling Frodo to pounce him to cuddle. Frodo got free and came over to nudge Phil toward the door. "Problems, Agent Coulson?"
"No, just making sure you're going to be safe. I was going to make sure you knew where the surveillance team would be tonight."
"We can handle it but thank you," Dumass said with a slightly evil smirk.
"Are you an assassin?" he asked.
"Wonderful. Is that magical?" Dumass smirked and pulled his wand. "Then I'll talk to you both in the morning, once he's down and you're both relaxed." He nodded and left them to do whatever Xanders did when they got together. He didn't want that mental image. He got plenty whenever he got near Xander's hormones. He went back to the office to find his agent, smiling at her. She straightened in her seat, staring back. "We are trying to talk someone into letting you look at some software that was written for them," he said quietly.
"The interesting topic that is being gossiped about?"
"Why does he need such things?"
"Because people send him things. Right now we're tracking who bought him the pretty diamond choker." She winced. "Clearly ownership quality." He sat down next to her. "He has said that only dangerous sorts like him. So far we've had one people seller, one who is currently making nuclear weapons without a grant of any kind, and today two ninjas who broke in to drug him and then take him to their boss but he waylaid them for sexual gratification." She cracked a smile. "Seriously. They're in the infirmary. He questioned one by use of a pinpoint laser."
"Interesting." She considered it. "I could use such software in the field."
"If you can talk him into letting you copy it we would probably not mind. We do need him to have it so he can find these people to send back gifts."
"I can see that need. I would not disable it on him unless he was being a pain for SHIELD."
"He's not. He's very crafty about saving himself." She nodded. "We know he has some training from someone who has some design experience."
"Perhaps but definitely weapons. They built the plans that he added onto for his little pet Frodo."
"Frodo is what?"
"A little dog-like robot. It's very protective. Agent Stel took pictures of him when he was assigned to get to know him. When he found out, he told Agent Stel to simply ask. Sitwell and I have both had charming talks with him. Though he considers Sitwell uptight."
"As do most people," she agreed. "Do we know anything else about him?"
"Not much. He was raised off realm. He freaks Stark out." She smiled at that. They had both been stationed at Stark a few months back. "Stark would like to look at the programming for Frodo but Mr. Harris has said no at this point."
"I would like to see this as well." He pulled up the footage they had in the files. She smiled. "It is...very weird."
"It's highly protective. It can also find listening devices."
"Interesting." She took the phone to look at better. "Hmm. I would like to meet with him tomorrow."
"He's got another version of himself in right now. I'm not sure if he'll be there tomorrow or not."
"I can work around that. Introduce me properly?"
"I can and will. I also noted that you knew people who might like to date him."
"I may if his type is dangerous."
"Then I know a few who might like his number." She got up. "Thank you. Should I be impressive?"
"No. Just be yourself. We work with him to protect himself." She nodded, walking off.
Coulson relaxed and checked on the agents he had in the field. They had all sent in reports as ordered. That was one less thing he had to worry about.
At a decent hour the next morning, he and his favorite assassin walked up to Xander's door. He knocked. Frodo opened the door and scanned them. It beeped at him. "This is Agent Romanoff. He can scan your ID," he told her quietly.
She let the robot do that. It flashed her ID and fingerprints from her file. "That's very interesting. May we enter?" she asked it.
Frodo turned back then got out of the way. "Thank you, Frodo," Phil said. He walked out of the entry hall, looking at the kitchen. "Mr. Dumass, this is Agent Romanoff. She's the one I mentioned yesterday."
"Xander, like all the others like him, is sleeping in because I'm fantastic and so is my Draco snuggly." He smirked as he sipped his tea. "What did you need to see?" A small, floppy eared creature in a uniform appeared, handing him a plate and mug of something. "Thank you, Moppy." She nodded and left. "Tea's always better with unicorn cream." He added some to his next cup and came over. "Xander, you have visitors," he called.
"He's in the shower," another male called, coming to the doorway of the bedroom. He stared at them. "He groaned when he heard you talking to them." He nodded at the couple then looked at his spouse. "We do have all those things in that cubbyhole, as you called it. You could let him have them once you've finally uncursed them."
"I may," he agreed. "Or we could add that to the next auction."
"Let the goblins that migrated here do it, Alex." He smirked slightly. "He did get two wrong last night when you were taunting him with the gem identification game. Thankfully you never did that to me. Or the Weasel." He walked back in there, coming out with nice over-robes and Xander wearing clothes. "Here, one tired young Xander."
Alex pulled Xander down beside him, giving him a cuddle. "You have visitors."
"I do." He grinned. "Hi, Agent Coulson. Who's this?"
"This is Agent Romanoff, the one I told you about, to look at that software to see if we could get a copy."
"I guess that's fine." He looked at her. "Don't disable it on me."
"I can see how you'd need such things," she said. "You don't have an agency behind you to find who gives you tasteless gifts to try to own you." Xander smiled and nodded. Alex just grinned. "Are you two related?"
"Somewhat." Xander and Alex shared a look. Alex shrugged. "You said they already partially knew."
Phil cleared his throat. "Mr. Dumass and his husband are from another reality. He's what's known as a curse breaker."
"Is that like being an exorcist?" she asked.
"I remove curses from items but I also break the curses on archeological digs to protect the people." Draco snorted. "Especially when we find libraries with magical information."
"Interesting. Magic isn't highly studied here."
"We have a whole hidden society within yours," Draco quipped.
"Here you have some goblins that accidentally migrated during a clan fight," Alex said. "They still do banking and other stuff." He petted over Xander's hair, making him moan and lean on his shoulder. "Sorry, someone mailed him some herbs that cause surges."
"Were they in the drugs on the brownies?" Phil asked.
"No. They came in the mail last night. He opened an envelope, sneezed, and then surged hard." Xander grinned at him. "But we handled that."
"That's good," Agent Romanoff said. "So you're actually him from another realm." Alex nodded. "Does that mean this one has magic?"
"Very, very tiny," Xander said quietly. "I can light a candle." Which was a slight lie but protective.
"That's good to know," Phil said. "Frodo, can Agent Romanoff look at your ball cannon?" It looked at Xander then popped it up when he nodded. "That is one of the three protective devices it has."
"It's very compact."
"It was on the original tank," Xander said. "I didn't upgrade that." Frodo nudged him with a bark. Xander leaned over to pet him. "Are the two sneaking agents he got okay?"
"Concussions. They're out of the infirmary and back at duties," Phil said with a slight smile. Xander grinned back. "I have talked to Agent Stel and his handler, who ordered the new bugs. He was not amused and gave up when the director told him to stop it."
"Great. Then who's trying to put hacking stuff on my computer?"
"That I don't know," Phil admitted. He and Natasha got up to look. "That's not our switch," he said, letting her disconnect it properly. "FBI?"
She shook her head. "No. It's not an agency's that I recognize. I'll search it for fingerprints." Frodo scanned it and put up a display showing 'searching'. Hers came up and so did another set that were muted. "Hmm. Gloves. So no match." She reached down to pet him. "Thank you, Frodo. That was quite helpful." She was starting to really like this little robot. So much more useful than Stark's lab robots were.
"Pippen's daddies are CSI," Alex said with a smile. "And one's a profiler. Their Pippen tank can deliver things, make coffee, and do all sorts of helping around their design or ballistics labs."
"Do you like weapons as well?" she asked Xander. Who smiled and nodded. "That's good. It can help protect yourself."
"They all like weapons. I haven't met a Xander yet who doesn't like weapons," Draco said dryly. "Even the miniature ones like weapons."
"The Ders are so cool," Xander said with a smile for him. "I would've gladly taken the Ders they were talking about."
"Ders?" Phil asked. Xander got up to get a picture and brought it back, pointing at the tiny Xanders. And a tiny Draco. "Interesting. Are they robotic?"
"No. They're created beings," Alex said with a smile. "I could use a few Ders to help me in tombs."
"Just shrink the two idiots," Draco snorted. "They can regrow later. That way you don't have to train new simaculums."
"They're more alive than golems, Draco," Alex said, looking back at him. "They're fully alive, just miniature ones."
"So the me that did those actually created new life forms?" Alex smiled and nodded. Frodo barked and shook suddenly. "Xander, what is he doing?"
"Someone's trying to hack him again." He checked something and unplugged him from the outlet then got into his insides to do something. "There. That stop it, Frodo?" He barked, sounding tired. "Draco, give him an energy snack?" He tossed one of them over from the charging station. Frodo plugged himself back in and it started again. No matter which outlet. "I'm going to destroy something," Xander decided. He looked up. "If you're demonic and you're hurting my Frodo, I did learn how to destroy you. If they're more mundane, well, I'm creative, bitch, and really mad now." The hacking stopped. He looked at Alex.
"I can't tell demonic like that."
"Hmm." Xander got up to look and fixed the rune that was somehow burned. "That should help. Try it now, Frodo." He plugged in and it was better. "Good." He grinned. "Who burned my wall?"
"I think the director might've to test that laser you used last night. I'll tell him not to." Xander hugged him and went to the kitchen to make breakfast. Or maybe brunch. "Xander, can she look over Frodo?"
"I guess. As long as she doesn't hurt him and doesn't try to hack him or anything."
"I will not," Natasha assured him. "He seems very sweet and a good helper for you." She sat down beside the little robot to look over his outsides first. "What are the other cannons?"
"Laser and air," Xander said.
"Good choices." She looked at his boards inside, plus the two bags. She tried to touch one but Frodo growled so she didn't. "I will not touch if you do not want me to," she told it. She would foster good will and not get hurt by being nice to the little robotic dog. Frodo barked and nudged her but let her check other things. Even his tail had other uses since it hid two lockpicks. She patted it on the head. "Very useful and yet pretty and intelligent. He did a good job with you." Frodo nuzzled her and went back to charging while chewing on a toy that had a power chip in it. She got up and smiled at Xander. "I like the alternative uses, like the lockpicks. Very useful." Xander grinned. "May I look at that software?"
"I guess," Xander said. He walked over to turn on his computer. It was clearly compromised so he had to sigh and reboot it from the backup and restore point. "Thankfully I have everything backed up." He reloaded all that and let her have it. She settled into the chair to look over the software he had. "Oh, I need the new registry key to start the hacking stuff." He put that in and let her have the laptop back. He checked his netbook. It was fine. He finished brunch and came out to hand over plates. "Draco, you can eat with us."
"I will. I'm making more tea for my cranky mate."
"I'm not cranky. I had a great wake up from you two," Alex quipped with a grin. Draco smirked back, licking some cream off his thumb. "Want some unicorn cream in your tea, guys? If you're tended towards chaos it can be a bit bitter but otherwise it's quite sweet."
"Just a few drops then please," Natasha said. She blinked at the plate. "Thank you, Xander."
"You're welcome. I like to cook. I hardly get to do it for anyone." He looked at Alex. "How do the CSI Xanders who can't cook eat?"
"A lot of takeout and spouses that can cook. Or didn't you hear how David's Xander actually got banned by law from cooking while in Chicago?"
"They have a stack of takeout menus. Most of them call it 'Mom'."
"That's bad. Next convention maybe we can make them leftovers to take home?"
"You guys are good at that." He gave him a squeeze. Xander grinned. "Our entering and leaving feasts usually leave me full for days." Xander beamed.
"How many are CSI?" Phil asked.
"Seven," Alex said.
"All ballistics techs."
"That can be an interesting field. Plus less personally disturbing like DNA work would be."
Xander nodded. "They're all really neat." He smiled. "They helped me learn how to shoot better with President Xander."
Natasha nearly squeaked. "President of what?"
"The US. The people wanted him to protect them," Phil said. "It would be like them electing the director for the same reason."
She nodded once. "He would kill other world leaders." She got back to looking it over. She attempted to use it on someone who annoyed her. Stark wouldn't mind being the test subject. She found it was highly useful and backed out, letting it be shut down and she shut down the computer for him. "That is very useful." She came over to finish her lunch and talk with them. "Xander, what else do you do most of the time? I know Agent Coulson told me you were about to be published."
"The muses are really strong but I practice the self-defense dances and I work on my forge. I made presents," he told Alex.
"They'll love that." He smiled. "You don't have to but it's sweet."
"I know but it's nice of me." He smirked back. "I haven't run into Anya."
Alex pulled his wand and muttered a spell while waving it in the air. "No vengeance demons on this realm. They have to be specially called." He put his wand back. "Sorry."
"It's okay. It wouldn't be the same anyway." He leaned over to cuddle Draco. "You were being left out."
"I was but that's very good cuddling." He let him cuddle, looking at the agents. "My own heritage gives me extra cuddling needs as well."
Alex smirked. "Thankfully you got me as a spouse."
"Yes, though I would like you to need less sex," Draco said dryly. "You wore me out yet again, Alex."
"Sorry," he quipped. He clearly wasn't.
Xander looked at Draco. "You should use the toys on him more often to save your back."
"I should. Especially since people are expecting us to have children," he said with a grimace. "Again." He shuddered. Xander gave him a squeeze. "Thankfully the aunts raise the other one so I don't have to learn how to change them or do other nasty things."
"Even if we were willing, they'd never allow it so the baby didn't follow me into the field," Alex said dryly. "One of them thought we'd be bringing the baby on digs in a backpack device." Draco shook his head while Xander giggled. "They can be raised around the unicorns like I was, only without the slightly demonic siblings. Thankfully they will never have Justinius on their arses like I did."
He looked at the agents then at Draco. "Did I ever tell you that Justy killed a rejected foal I was hand-raising in my room one night? He tried to kill me too. Thankfully they sent him away finally." Xander hugged him. "It's fine. We all have some handicaps in life. Mine was him and the deaging curse. But if we overcome them, we do get great rewards. I have the castles, a lot of the aunts, my work." Draco hit him on the arm. "Him." He smirked at his mate. Who evilly smirked back. "I wasn't going to forget you, Draco. How could I?" He smiled. "You know, if we have to go to that diplomatic affair they wanted us at, you'll have to wear the family crown."
"I hate that thing. It's girly," Draco complained. Alex nodded. "Can't I wear another one?"
"Shite," he muttered.
"Can you switch it around to wear as a necklace?" Xander asked.
"No, there's one of those as well," Draco admitted. "It's slightly less girly. It was meant for the head wife of the patriarch." Xander grinned. "He's the wife, not me."
"Uh-huh. Said the partial veela," Alex quipped dryly. "Who lands on his back much more than I do."
"Can I pass that on to Dawn?"
"Not until Harry takes over the line. Tony and Sev are before him."
"Point. At least Sev's future wife will look smashing in it."
"She will. Until then...." He smiled. "You can graciously loan them to her for the wedding and then loan it for other diplomatic events."
"I'll nag her about doing that soon. She'll be a wonderful bride. At the castle?"
"Or the manor house. She might not like it there because the unicorns would want to help. Especially the foals. They love parties and events." He shook his head. Draco laughed but shook his head as well.
"How many unicorns are there?" Natasha asked.
"We have a herd. They come and go as they want but we keep an open barn. The last count we had sixty-one I think and four pregnant mares." He grinned. "When I was little I used to sneak out to lay with the foals and help them suck on the mares whenever the aunts lost track of me. The first time I walked was to chase after the foals and the first time I cast a spell it was to protect the unicorns from my siblings." Draco reached over to pat him on the arm. "It was good. I ran and played all over the farm for the most part. I learned a lot from helping take care of the unicorns. Including how to be nice to them so they'd let me brush them." He looked at his spouse. "I talk to you in the same voice I used to talk to them in." Draco swatted him again. Xander was giggling quietly into Alex's arm.
Agent Coulson looked at them. "How much work would a curse breaker have here?"
"A lot probably since there's none of us. There have been other magic users and they're probably paranoid sorts. The ones who curse their burial homes that holds certain magical artifacts. Especially the ancient ones. They have physical and magical traps, sometimes combined. Of course, the archeologists who want to look in there don't realize it usually," he said dryly. Draco moaned, shaking his head. "It's our job to get there, rescue them, make sure any magical artifacts are stripped so the muggles don't realize it, then make them forget we were there."
"That's ...you're wizards like in the books that just came out," Natasha said.
"We are," Draco agreed. "We've seen them in another realm we happened to connect with."
"The Buffy stuff is a tv show here," Xander quipped.
"Great. We can make sure it doesn't connect to us," Alex said.
"I suggested he ask you about illusions in case it became handy," Phil said.
"They're good but if you lost concentration you'd lose it. Unless it's on something like a ring," Draco said.
"Could it be embedded on something like a tracking chip?" Natasha asked. "That may be a practical solution he could look into."
"Magic and tech hardly ever work together unless they're specially built that way," Alex said. "I don't know anyone who crafts them together but I can ask the twins. They might be able to come up with something we could put such a spell on."
"It could be handy," Draco agreed. "Our soldiers would like it a lot." He looked at the agents. "We've just been forced to integrate the wizarding world's forces with the British military. They were not amused and neither was the Minister. Which is why there's recently been diplomatic events." He looked at his spouse. "With my own lineage from an Old Line, and his from an even more ancient one, we've been called upon to do them with the diplomats."
"I just nod politely at all the people I slept with," Alex quipped. Draco swatted him again. "I do. I am not the social butterfly sort."
"We noticed when you sneak away from the events the goblins hold. We should ask the local goblins if they'd like to auction off some of the caverns."
Alex shot him a dirty look. "No, they probably won't. Nor will they get a chance to. Maybe some of the cursed books that are disgusting romances."
Xander patted him. "I know they're not your usual research sources but Godly Xander said that his people used to read porn to discover what new peoples were like way back when." Alex stared at him. "Wouldn't it give some of the same societal clues?"
"Probably," he agreed. "Thankfully, I'm not into social stuff. I'll give them to Blair, that's his field." Draco smirked at that. "He could learn to like reading them too."
"As long as you remove the curses," Draco reminded him.
"I will." He looked at him. "Keep nagging. Watch me bring in the charmed and cursed sex toys we found at the last library into the house."
"Why?" Xander asked.
"They're so a wife could get pregnant even if the husband was halfway around the world," Draco said dryly. "That way if your husband was off adventuring or at sea you could have a proper heir ready for when he died."
"So Wizarding IVF," Xander quipped with a grin.
"Yup," Alex agreed, nodding some. "The aunts were more straightforward and asked us for genetic material. Then again, if they had tried to use them, one of us probably would've gotten pregnant instead." He shook his head.
"Yes, with your luck, it'd be you," Draco quipped.
"I'd look smashing," Alex quipped back.
"You could get tips from Lavelle," Xander said with a grin for him.
"I wonder if it'd be any different than the ones he had with that choker," Draco said, considering it. "Remember, you need to find if there's one here," he told Xander. "Just in case."
"The goblins did and it's in my vault." He looked at the confused agents. "It has a blessing by Janus so he could have kids. The choker changes your identity and gender if you want it to, all based on what you were thinking when you put it on."
"The Deermere choker is *fantastic* work," Alex agreed with a smile. "Created by two chaos gods. It's something curse breakers study. I let them study the one in our realm when I found it and bought it to keep it out of the wrong hands. Because some day, those spells will hit one of ours as well."
"Which chaos gods?" Natasha asked.
"Loki and Janus. The fertility spell was added later on his version thanks to what happened to him. It was in reparation." She nodded but shuddered delicately. "He had two sets of twins and a single."
"His kids are kick ass," Xander agreed.
"They came to a realm like ours once and managed to steal from Gringotts," Draco said. "First time in six or seven centuries there. In ours it would've been longer."
"Lavelle told us that the kids nearly managed to shoplift a whale from Sea World. They had it all set up but Lavelle had to end it because the pool on the other end wasn't really big enough and the neighbors would notice."
"Why?" Natasha asked.
"To prove they could. They were the kids of great thieves and gunmen, and girls so they had to prove themselves more than the boys did."
"I know that problem," she said, then shook her head again. She looked at her handler. "Someone with their training would probably make fantastic agents." He nodded.
"Two of the girls did go straight and married cops in Interpol," Alex said. "They might like that instead of chasing their siblings. Fred's about to drive his big sister nuts."
"Fred is a lot like his father," Draco said dryly. "Lupin has the same appreciation his son does for breasts and shiny things. Personally I think Fred intentionally lets her catch him with prostitutes so she's outraged and disgusted."
"If they'd like to switch realms for good and become legitimate, we'd love to see if they'd like to train as SHIELD agents," Coulson said.
Xander grinned. "I'll tell Lavelle the next time I run into him." Coulson nodded. He looked at Natasha. "Did you find what you needed?"
"I did. There's a few features that would be useful for what you need, which I can do on my own as a slight hacker, but for now it should do well enough to find out who sent you tasteless presents."
"It was pretty but not my style," Xander said. "I don't like kitty cat collars."
"It did have an emerald-encrusted bell," Coulson agreed. Natasha shook her head. "Anything new coming out of your forge soon, Xander?"
"I'm still folding that last sword. It'll take at least another month to do all the folding."
"You hand-make swords?" Natasha asked. Xander smiled and nodded. "Do you use the European or the Asian style forge?"
"One of us was taught off-realm and taught the rest of us. From what I've looked up, it's closer to the Asian one." He hopped up and held out a hand. "Come see my workshop?" She smiled and nodded, letting him help her up and walk her down there. He pointed. "The forge is in there. It's got special vents but out here is all my other workshop areas." He let her look around.
"This is very nicely done, Xander." She smiled. "Space creating magic?" He grinned and nodded. "Very handy. Your weapons working lab?" He pointed at the table. She looked then at him. "You can barely work on guns there."
"I don't have to build my own guns right now. I can, I learned how, but I'm not." She smirked a tiny bit. "Beyond that, it's sealed for a reason. It'll set off an alarm if I open it while others are here."
"That's reasonable." She walked back upstairs with him. "It's a compact but very useable workshop area." She sat back down. "The other knives on his wall were beautifully made."
"I only made the three in that one section," Xander said with a slight blush and a grin. "The other Xanders made those and I'm slowly replacing them."
"They're gorgeous work." Xander pulled out his to let her see it. "Nicely compact and sharpened." She balanced it and nodded. "Nice for hand-fighting but not throwing. The handle has a useful cache spot." She handed it back handle first. "I'd like to see them when you get a few done that are more fancy for special carry purposes." He nodded, settling down once the knife was back in place. "We will go report about what has happened this time and we'll see if anyone more suitable to flirt with you is found. There's agents who would like to meet someone nice who wasn't on our caseload." She smiled and shook their hands, leaving with her handler. "He is very nice."
"He is. He's nineteen."
"That's a good age to find a good lover and a career." She got into the car and let him get in to drive. "I cannot see him and Sitwell getting along."
"Me either. He doesn't understand Xander's challenges. The hormones make him confused and huffy." He started the car and drove them off. "He'll learn better sometime. Though I'm glad that Xander's able to handle it himself most of the time."
"What happened to Agent Stel?"
"He was ordered to chat Xander up. Xander found out who he was and got onto him for lying, which sent Philips and then Sitwell to him instead. Stel and his handler are both thinking there's something wrong with him so they were trying to keep their surveillance work going. They were finally ordered to desist by the Director the other day."
"What happened to the Director? He's been avoiding people. Is he injured again?"
"No. Xander's hormone testing was done in the lab and somehow it set off a sympathetic response in the Director," he admitted quietly. "At a much lower level."
"It's good it's a lower level. I'm sure he can wear his own out?"
"He is but he's still cautious. Some of us seem to soak it up more. The first time I met Xander I had three showers and a day before I finished releasing his scent and I had only shaken his hand and sat on the chair while he was on that same couch."
"He was... whatever they call the emoting state?"
"Backed up, yes. Slightly. Emoting is another topic. He can release some of that defensively so he can distract people. He did that in a restaurant thanks to the person that Sitwell didn't help with fast enough."
"He was in the field."
"Within an hour Xander had to stab the same person to keep himself from being taken from the country."
"Ah." She nodded once. "That would be bad." He nodded. "I'll talk to some of the more subtle agents to see if they'd like introduced. He could use someone who was a bit protective."
"He does have muses that sometimes wake him up or make him miss meals," Phil said.
"I'm sure a lover would help release those urges in other ways." Phil shrugged. "We'll see." They got out and went inside, going up to report. "Frodo is more than a protective pet, he also carries a first aid kit, a few spare guns, and can read fingerprints at the very least."
The Director stared at her then at Coulson, who nodded. "That's handy."
"That's how he knew who planted the bugs," Coulson said, handing over that one that had been found earlier. "Someone was trying to hack him."
"Good." He put it aside. "What else did we find out?"
"His workshop area is a nice little compact space but him opening the real storage area sets off an alarm if he's not alone," she said. "There's a nicely vented forging area for him working on swords and knives. I would like to buy one if he makes one a bit fancier for special events."
Coulson smiled at her. "They are beautiful as well as practical. I asked about the one he carries. It was one of the first he made and it's folded sixty times by hand."
She nodded. "That takes a lot of work."
Fury cleared his throat, staring at them. "What else did we learn?"
"He's got a good hand with most spices but the cinnamon was a bit heavy in the casserole he put together," she said. She looked at Coulson.
"There's a world where those books with the wizards is real. One of them was here. He's a curse breaker version of Xander and married to a young man I think was Draco Malfoy."
Nick Fury blinked. "There is?" They both nodded. "Huh."
"His job is to go to various digs, remove any magical traps and artifacts then let the archeologists handle it. Though he did say he likes library jobs."
Fury just nodded. "Are there any here?"
"He thinks there's probably a few tombs of ancient magic users but he's not sure. Wizards, no. Though apparently we do have goblins. Which may lead back to the bank that Xander uses that's not on the grid."
"That would figure. He probably helped Xander set things up. I wonder if he gets good interest," Natasha said.
"Ask next time you see him," Coulson said.
Fury shook his head. "Anything new on the tacky collar he got sent?"
"Slightly," she admitted. "We know he's not happy and Xander has rebuffed him but it is not the same person as the ninjas lead back to." Fury nodded once.
"That one is a known problem and we've alerted the office near their camp to handle them so they don't send any more ninjas he'll have to deal with one way or another."
"One of the ones in the infirmary wanted to know if he could visit Xander after he escaped," Agent Hill said from the doorway. "I told him no and we've told Xander he has to kill him. He's pouting."
"He is probably very good to his lovers," Coulson said. "He made us breakfast."
Hill shook her head. "That's good I suppose. Did you learn anything else?"
"Frodo is more than he seems. He's got an additional security system in his workshop area. The hacking software isn't all he'll need but it's a good start. He makes beautiful knives." Agent Hill walked off shaking her head.
"We'll keep an agent on hand to help him if he gets into trouble and you two are on assignments," Fury said, handing over files. "I'll have someone drop a contact number card on him tomorrow."
"I can do that, sir," Phil said. "That way he won't worry we're changing again, and that the agent won't stall like the last time."
"Good. Brief him." He handed over that personnel file. "That way he's aware."
"I'll bring him to meet Xander." He walked off reading it. He'd have to talk to him about his homophobic leanings but he could beat them out of him if he had to. He walked into the lower agent's office, staring at him and his office-mate. "You've got a new person to watch over."
"Who, Agent Coulson?" He leaned back in his desk chair.
"Do you remember the young man with the hormones we had in testing the other day?"
"Yes. Unfortunately I was nearby and I had dreams that were legitimately nasty enough to need confession."
"You're the one he'll be calling for help if that gets him the wrong sort of notice. I would suggest you lose the anti-gay bias before you meet him in an hour."
"If it helps stop that, I don't care what he screws as long as it's not kids," he said bluntly, standing up and grabbing his jacket. "What causes that?" he asked as he followed him out to the hallway.
"It's a hormone condition. It's not very easily controlled. It has a lot of herbal allergies that can make it surge and become overwhelming to the point where he can't help anything at all." He looked at him. "He's nineteen. He's a nice young man. He writes novels. He can use a forge to make knives that made Agent Romanoff happy to stare at. He has a robotic pet named Frodo who helps protect him." That got a nod. "That he built. He's not helpless but some of the people who want him are less than decent. So far he's had three on our watch lists. One that wasn't yet on our lists but is now." He opened the door when they came to it. "He is not helpless."
"I can work with that. Are we training him in how to defend himself?"
"He's got some self defense training already. Some we have no version of here. He was raised off realm."
"Off...realm," he said then nodded.
"By a number of versions of himself from other realms. They were having a convention when they found him."
"He also has to sometimes deal with paranormal BS that we don't like to admit. They're the ones that made sure he was born here."
"Okay," the lower agent said then nodded. "I can ignore that until it happens around me."
"Good." Coulson called up his files and let him see it when they got into the car to take him over there. When they got there, Coulson knocked and nodded at Frodo. "Is your human busy, Frodo? This is Agent Crill. He'll be Xander's contact while I'm on a mission. Let him scan your ID." Agent Crill did that. Frodo let them in. Draco came out of the bedroom. "I'm being sent into the field. This is Agent Crill and he'll be Xander's call-in agent."
"Xander." He leaned out and grinned, waving at them.
"I'm going to be off-site for months. I've introduced Agent Crill to your files. Agent Romanoff is also going to be off-site for at least weeks."
"Sir," Agent Crill said, handing over a card. "This is my direct number. I've been made aware of the hormone problem and why you may need me to do sudden looking up of people or sending in a rescue team. If you need me, call."
"I can do that. Thank you, Agent Crill."
"You're welcome, sir. Let me know if you need my help. I'm never sent on assignments due to my efficiency in making agents do their work around the office." He smirked slightly. "If you'd like further training time with our trainers, let me know and I'll try to arrange any sparring time or if there's a lesson you could use I'll try to set that up."
Xander smiled. "That'd be nice. Thank you."
"Welcome, sir. Have a good day. We'll quit interrupting things." He left with Agent Coulson, pausing to pet Frodo. "It's a nice pet."
"Frodo's a great pet. Very handy and quite protective," he agreed, getting them into the car. He looked at the lower agent. "Tactful. Thank you."
"Welcome, sir." They drove off. "Who was the other guy?"
"He's the husband of another Xander from another realm that's visiting."
"Oh. Okay. If that works for him and keeps him safer, that's fine." Coulson nodded, staying happier with this young pup taking part of his job. He could do that easily.
Xander looked at Draco and shrugged. "I don't know. I know they have to go out of town sometimes." He grinned. "Aren't you coming back?"
"I'm getting you some juice. You've been sweating a lot while you two played video games." He handed it over and followed him back in there. The better tv was in there.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. Any original characters or plot are the property of the author. No claims are being made as to the actions or orientation of the actual actors, and none of this is meant to say anything about them. No copyright infringement is intended. No money is being made from this work.