Summary: Family will help you do things, even if you didn't think they realized they had been virtually adopted. The nice ones will even nag on your behalf. They'll even follow you back to the mouth of hell to help you clean stuff out when things need to be stomped on.
Categories: Buffy Stories & Crossovers > Avengers Characters: None
Series: Congrats Series
Chapters: 2 Completed: Yes
Word count: 22481 Read: 19840
Published: 09/10/2014 Updated: 09/10/2014
1. Part 1 by Voracity2
2. Part 2 by Voracity2
Congrats On The Family You Built.
The trio of guys came off the elevator at the tower but Bucky caught Suzette before she could pounce Xander. "He's got stitches, he can't be pounced yet."
"I'm really good at bandaging so I can help." She shifted over and Xander took her to cuddle. She smiled at her dad, waving. "Hi, Dad. Are you okay?"
"I'm good, Suzette." He took her to hug. "How was school?" She giggled and cuddled him all the way back to the table. Bucky sat Xander down and then sat next to him.
Stark looked at them. "If you eat like Steve does, I'll go put on more food."
"We had a snack on the way, Stark. We'd never show up starving without an invitation."
"Thanks." He looked at Xander. "Injured?"
"Some stitches that're healing."
"A higher power decided to shoot bowling balls at him," Bucky said. Stark stared at him. Steve nodded.
"She's my ex and she didn't know I was injured or it probably would've been something sharper."
"That's mean," Suzette said.
"Yeah but you'd have to meet Cordelia," Xander said. "Hopefully you won't have to since she's the messenger for the Powers That Be. Seeing her or Whistler is always a bad indication of something wrong."
She nodded at that wisdom. "What does Whistler look like?"
"He wears a really wrinkled suit and a fedora." He pointed at him. "I don't care what they want."
"They want you to quit."
"Over their dead bodies," Xander said in Latin. He grinned. "I'm not the nice one. I'll use one of the things owed to me."
Whistler stared at him. "You don't have any."
Xander laughed. "I inherited three from Anya, and I'm owed another six from poker debts. I just usually use them for weapons."
"Oh, dear," Whistler said. "Could you maybe at least go on long vacation? Take one of your girlfriends or whoever?"
"As long as they didn't want my blood to end parts of humanity they didn't like," Xander quipped. "Giles is able to get back to his own paperwork. Of course, if that changes, I'm his heir too. Though Ethan's trying to claim me as their psychically made kid."
"Yeah, we've seen that, Harris." He looked up then at him. "They're really not happy." Xander shrugged with a smile. "They're very not happy."
"I'm coming up there."
"Your afterlife isn't going to be with us."
"It might be with Alara," he said.
Whistler's eyes went wide. "When did you meet her?"
"When I was in Oxnard and fell into one of their doorways by accident."
"Oh, shit." He disappeared. He came back a minute later. "Okay, you're going on vacation while you heal. Giles is going to be fully healed. We're going to leave you alone and if you go with Alara, you're not allowed to be reborn. If you chose another one you can be reborn but the Powers are going to hate you then too."
Xander held up a finger and texted something to Andrew, who sighed as he appeared with the box off his dresser. Xander got up and hugged him then handed the box to Whistler so he could open it. Whistler stared then at him. "They might want to quit. Today."
"Yeah. The things you find when you fall into sacrificial chambers." He stared at him. "I'll be passing it on to either Kate or Dawn since it's supposed to be held by a female. The hyena's close enough because they purr at each other."
Whistler swallowed, closing the lid of the box gently. "Got it." He handed it back to Andrew, who grinned at him. "Want a new boyfriend?"
"I'd love a new boyfriend. They're so neat but I hate that so many of them want the price on my blood that they prompted Willow to put out there. Makes it really hard for me to date when I'm paranoid."
Whistler looked up then nodded. "We'll have that ended. Just...don't break that. Let the cute Key have it."
"Dawn wanted a normal life."
"Yeah, she can dust it weekly and pass it on if she has kids."
"They didn't get that good."
"Crap. Okay, well, she'll find a holder." He disappeared.
Xander handed Andrew the box. "What is that?" Stark demanded. He took the box to look at.
Natasha took it from him. "Since it's supposed to be in female hands. Not you, Suzette."
"It shouldn't hurt or activate her." He nodded so Natasha lifted the orb out to look at it. "That is a saved miniature clone of an ancient demon city," he said with a smile. "Held in trust by female guardians until the day they can take back over their real home. Which incidentally is in Beruit." He sat down. Natasha was staring at the tiny buildings and beings walking around. "For them, time's in a loop." She stared at him. "There was the human/demon war. They were trying to escape. They got a bunch of like minded pacifists and created the clone bubble."
She put it back into the box and carefully closed it again. "How many of those are there?" Steve asked.
"Two. That one and one that's supposed to be held by males."
Andrew smiled. "It was my present last year when Xander found them again in his storage area while looking for something else."
"I needed that bomb manual," he agreed.
Stark stared at him. "How do you do that?"
"I fell into a sacrificial chamber in Oxnard."
Steve nodded. "Are there other places like that chamber that might have things?"
"Yes. Andrew, how is our small team of a slayer that went into Anthropology doing with those?"
"She's having a ton of fun. She's working on the two in Canada to ancient pagan gods who are sleeping." Andrew took the box back. "It's on my dresser." He disappeared after patting Suzette on the head.
"Uncle Xander, can you teach me to find things like that?" Suzette asked.
"No," Steve said. His daughter pouted. "It's a lot of dirty, sweaty work. You have to dig a lot of holes. You have to study old languages no one else speaks."
"Oh, never mind. That's like history only worse."
"It is," Xander agreed. "You can ask the big slayers who have jobs what they do to figure out if you'd like to study something like that."
"I didn't think about that. I'm supposed to do a report on what my parents do for a living." She looked at her father. "She gave me a funny look and said to do more than bring in a poster."
"I do many things," he said. "We can help with that." She hugged his arm. He dished her up some more veggies. She dug in, eating happily.
"Dad, can I have a dragon?"
"Nope. They're mythical and dangerous if they're real." He shot Xander a glare when he opened his mouth.
"None on this realm," he told her with a grin. "There's some on a nearby realm but they're really grumpy and like to eat people."
"Shoot." She ate another bite. "The teacher got mad because we were pretending to be centaurs and stuff, Dad. She said it was silly and taking our minds from our studies."
"Don't give me that look, Steve," Xander said. "They live in a communal enclave in the not really well populated area between Russia and China. They're not really happy with normal humans but one slayer came from near there and they did teach her how to hunt. That would be Cassara."
"I can ask her about that."
"She can't give pictures in proof."
"That's okay. It's still neat." She dug back in, humming some.
Bucky looked at him. "How do you know that?"
"I has to go talk to Cassara about her newly activated gifts. They gave me the dirty looks and I told them why so they relaxed. We assured them the new Council had no problem with them living their lives unless they started to eat people or take down people without reason. Cassara's really happy guarding their enclave from everyone. Including the Chinese army recently. They were going to have a joint exercise so Cassara called up a huge, nasty looking demon that eats flowers to scare them."
Stark thumped his head on the table. He looked up at Xander. "Any other mythological creatures? Amazons?" Xander pointed at Suzette. "They are?"
"Yup. Some of the first amazons in history were slayers. They raised others to hunt among them. The Council wasn't as firmly in control back then so that's how a lot of the girls got trained. They got taken in by tribes and trained as hunters."
"Huh," Steve said. "That's not in the history book."
"That freaked out a few people. The full history book is about six thousand pages and it's not really happy. It includes some watchers that decided a village spotting a demon meant it had to go. The amazons. The downfall of a civilization no one has heard of." Steve stared at him. Xander nodded. "We showed that to our little one on the anthropology team and she went into glee. She's still trying to find proof they existed. Pre-Hittite and pre Egypt merging into one kingdom." Steve stared. "I can get you a copy of the full thing."
"It's a great weapon to hit someone with. I hit one of the research council with it twice," Bucky said. "He gave up on nagging me about not helping the girls hunt." He sipped his water. "They really don't want to make more of Xander but too late." Xander nodded. Suzette giggled. "By the time you're big enough to be a slayer, hopefully there'll be a lot more helpers." She smiled and got up to hug him then ran back to her seat to finish dinner.
"I'd like to see that history book," Natasha said.
"I'll get you a copy. I know the abridged version is in a special collection locally that got donated. It's only two thousand pages and we used that one to cut down for the given to parents copy."
Steve nodded. "Even that's kind of messy."
"We did the best we could," Xander said.
"Sure, we'd like to borrow that," Steve agreed. Xander nodded, making a note to Giles. Who said he'd send one the next day. Xander showed him and sipped his water.
Stark looked at them. "You two eat."
"I'm good," Xander said. "Thanks though."
"If you're chewing you can't say stuff that gives headaches," Stark said.
Xander smiled. "You'd be shocked."
"Do not remind me of the almost incident that nearly got that village invaded because you said the wrong thing during the peace negotiations," Bucky warned. "Thankfully you covered it well."
"It's not my fault he smelled like a goat! It stunk and I could barely eat."
Bucky stared at him. "I agreed with the sentiment but you're horrible when you have to talk to officials."
"Usually I tell them to f-off," he said dryly. "I don't deal with that and now that Giles is starting to get better, he can go back to doing it." He smiled. "Even if he tries to retire to the Carribean. He can do paperwork long distance. I can go visit when I get the urge to go look for buried treasure or something."
Bucky stared at him. "Shut up." Xander smiled. "I do not want to remember them either."
"I'm sensing a story," Natasha said.
"He broke up a ring of demons who were trying to kidnap young women to sell," Bucky said, looking at her, scowling some. "They were terrified of him so they broke up, he didn't have to do anything really weird. They offered to give back their present stock and then to tithe him so they'd be allowed to switch realms peacefully. I thought it was a good idea. Less problems you have to fight and they wanted to be peaceful. So they brought their 'treasures' as a tithe. It included ...." He looked at Suzette and went to Chinese instead. "It included the heart of a formerly powerful demon who had died of old age," he said.
"Was it one of the Higher ones?" Suzette asked in Chinese.
He had forgotten she knew more than English. "Shoot. What languages do you know?"
"Some of a few of them. Why?" She grinned. "Were there naughty things I shouldn't hear?"
"Yup," Xander said. She put her father's hands over her ears and squeezed her eyes shut. "There were also a few...appendages that the demons would probably miss if they were still alive. War trophies." Natasha gaped. "Not to mention three eggs that are really valuable. I could sell one and be set like a lotto winner. Any of them. Though I might just keep the phoenix one to see if it'll hatch. That was on top of the 'we killed the human slavers and took their stuff' cache and the stuff they'd been storing for generations. Because you don't use cash on off-realm markets. Especially not for big stuff. They'd been in the area since the twelve hundreds."
Natasha moaned. "Where is it?"
"Storage area." He grinned. "Which does have security."
Whistler showed up, shaking his head frantically. "You may not hatch that phoenix egg, Harris. It's dangerous and probably tainted. It'll go on a strike against humans. Even if it loves you. Please? Can you sell it to an off-realm group where it'd be in a great preserve? That way it was around its own kind?"
"Sure. What about the other two?"
"What other two?" he demanded. "We didn't know you had that one!"
Xander grinned because seeing higher powers panicking was a great thing to him. It may even be one of his favorite things in the universe next to chocolate and sex. "The slaver group that we ran into had it in their cache. They gave it to me in tithe so I'd let them leave the realm in single, living, body pieces."
Whistler stared at him. "What are the other two?"
"One's robin egg blue and it's got silver speckles." Whistler slumped. "The other's gold, no that's the phoenix egg. The other's white. Pure, glowing white."
"We'll find someone to bring them to somewhere safe if you'll take a lowball offer."
"Sure." He grinned. "I can use the room I've got them set up in for other stuff, like the enchanted rug I found. It won't come off the ceiling. I've got to figure out the commands."
Bucky looked at Steve. "Do you see now why I worry about him?"
"Yeah, I do."
"I got that in Sunnydale, guys. Anya found it and bought it." He shrugged. "It only really loves her. It was her favorite sex perch in the living room instead of the couch."
Whistler disappeared. A few minutes later Xander disappeared. He came back twenty minutes later looking happy. Bucky knocked him out before he could share a single thing. "I do not want to know," Bucky decided.
Natasha nodded. "I can't imagine sex on a flying carpet."
Stark looked at her. "Flimsy. Might fall on you. Might lose support."
"If he still has it, I'll talk him into letting you have it, Natasha. That way it has a new woman to adore," Bucky said. He picked Xander up and put him onto the couch then came back to the table.
Suzette grinned. "That means we can use Uncle Xander as a pillow during movie night."
"You can," he agreed. Darcy came off the elevator and stomped to her room. "Bad date?" he called after her.
"All men should be castrated so they think with the bigger head." Her room door slammed.
"I'm guessing it was," Clint said. Stark nodded. They finished dinner and got stuff for movie night. Suzette curled up against Xander's chest to use him as a pillow. Bucky helped arrange him for her. Clint looked at him.
"He does it for the bigger slayers too. Including during Game of Thrones." Steve gave him an odd look. "It was...interesting, but then there was a battle and blood and..." He waved his metal hand in the air. "I went to the armory for a bit. I came out to find he had kidnaped Sam."
Steve reached over to rub his normal shoulder. "It'll be okay. I have those too," he said quietly. Bucky nodded, relaxing again. "Why were they watching that?"
"Swords," Bucky quipped. Darcy came back out, still pouty, and headed for the kitchen. She came back to curl up in a chair but didn't have a good view thanks to Stark's head. "Darcy, there's a spot here that Suzette didn't take," he offered.
"I'll share my Uncle Xander pillow," Suzette offered, looking back at her. She smiled. "He won't mind. He lets the bigger slayers cuddle."
"I'm not a slayer and I don't cuddle without permission. Guys can get freaky about that, baby. I'm good, guys. Thanks." They nodded and got back into the movie. She ate ice cream and sulked about asshole men. Some day Suzette would find them too. Darcy just hoped it wasn't like the ones she kept finding.
Bucky woke up to the sound of Xander running to get sick. He followed him into the bathroom, yawning. "I didn't knock you out that hard."
"Necklaces. You took 'em," he said between heaves.
"Crap." He hadn't but he knew who had to have taken them. He went down to the labs, going in to grab them from Stark. "You took the wrong ones." He looked. "His shielding one isn't in here."
"It keeps the hellmouth taint inside." Stark found it on the scanner and handed it over. Bucky took them upstairs. Xander put them back on and the heaving stopped. "Was it the hellmouth or the witch? Because if it's her, I'm not going to be stopped this time like I was in Italy."
Xander snorted, looking up at him as he flushed the toilet and moved to rinse out his mouth. "No, it was magic of some sort. Sorry." He sprayed air freshener, making Bucky back out of the bathroom. "I'm okay."
"Didn't I say that after half that building collapsed on me in Italy?" he joked.
"I don't know, you spoke Italian for a week and I only speak Greek." He gave him a look. "Thank you," he said quietly, going back to the couch. "With my luck it's Willow trying to knock me up." He laid back down.
"That's a bad image and I'd deal with her for you, then we'd find it a sane parent so you didn't have to carry the kid in a backpack across Africa." Xander gave him a weak smile. "Try to rest." Xander nodded, flipping onto his side. Bucky handed him back the blanket that had fallen and went back to Steve's room. They had been talking and apparently he had fallen asleep in there. Steve looked at him. "He's okay. His shielding necklaces were taken off."
"You spoke Italian for a week thanks to a concussion?"
"Half a building fell on me. Yes I did. A lot of the local women he left me with while he finished hunting that demon down thought I was too cute to want to tie him down and do nasty things to him too. A lot of them had very dirty ideas of me chaining him on the bed and pouncing." He sat on the foot of the bed. Steve hauled him up next to him. "Steve," he said.
"Just nap. It's not the first time we shared a cot." Bucky grimaced but nodded that was true. "I'm not going to pounce or anything."
"Good. That might be weird."
"For both of us."
He looked toward Suzette's room, listening. "We didn't wake her up."
"Some days she never wakes for anything. Sometimes she's the lightest sleeper ever." Steve shrugged. "I'm not sure if that's her past, the slayer stuff, or what."
"I had some of that then I got used to a lot of noise. Then I never woke up." Steve grinned. Bucky shrugged back. He heard someone up and tipped his head that direction to listen. Xander was up getting some water from the fridge and sending a text message. He got up and went to the doorway. "Problems?"
"Not sure yet." He read the one that came in and nodded, putting his glass down. "Not for here. I need to go help."
"No," Bucky said, snatching the phone when Xander came closer to look at the messages. "I think that's a good, legal thing." Xander flipped back two messages. "Do we know him?"
"He's not an agent. Never has been." He stared at him. "Which means we're on the side of a small move making thing."
"I doubt they'll come after you." He looked at him. "Beyond that, you're not going to hide. You're going to draw them off instead." Xander nodded, taking his phone back. He sent out a mass text message to his lovers list. And Kate just in case. He got back a groan from her but oh well. He knew it was early. Bucky pointed at the couch when multiple 'stay there' messages came in, grinning at him. "They're not coming here."
"I'd still rather go somewhere to make sure she's safe."
"No. Lay down." He took the phone too. "I'll tell you if it's an emergency."
"Since when are you my boyfriend?" he asked, taking his phone back. "Or my keeper?"
"Since you're injured and you need sense." He took the phone back then dragged Xander in with him. "Lay down."
"Um, no," Xander said. "Not really a great idea." He went back to the couch.
Bucky grinned because he had kept the phone. He sent out a mass message to the same people and they all said that Xander was safe and he was safe so to stay out of the way and they'd fix the uppity idiot soon. Plus a lot of them had left stuff to the slayers for Xander to use. They all loved him with artillery. He looked out there. "Looks like their plan?"
"Maybe. If so that sucks since one of them protects three orphanages in some of the worst areas." He looked over at him. Bucky texted that and another one said he'd protect them. Bucky shook his head. Xander sighed in relief. "Thank you."
"Welcome. Sleep. Before you wake up the kid."
"Probably. Kids do that." He went back to Steve's bed, putting the phone down beside his side of the bed. "Maybe fixed. A couple of new idiots are trying to muscle in on things." Steve nodded. "Xander's going to protect his ex's, and contacts, but the fact that three protect orphanages in areas where there's civil wars is important."
"I'd guess it is. What happens if one of the girls is orphaned?"
"They have a whole wing of the house for the minis that need housing and about seven that are presently in state custody. They have standing offers or whatever to take them in if they need to. I'm guessing it's going through the courts." He relaxed back onto the pillows. "Faith used to be a street kid in Boston. All the kids coming in from anything like that work with her because they tend to be a bit more jumpy and wary."
"We were," Steve agreed. Bucky nodded. Steve sighed, curling up some. "Are you happy with that job?"
"I'm stopping the end of the world by making sure a bunch of teenage girls don't have to fight as hard."
"I get that. I'd do the same thing."
"You can jump in whenever you want. The girls could use more males in their lives. Maybe then they'd quit picking on Xander about getting injured and stuff."
"I've heard and answered as a male parent of a slayer," he said with a smirk. "The bulletin board got real quiet for a while but Buffy quit complaining about normal guys getting hurt."
"He heard. She apologized and then huffed. He said that's great and let her rant while he did other things. His phone was on speaker a bit away. I finally took it and walked off talking to her about her delusions. I couldn't take the nagging anymore." He smirked back. Steve grinned. "I've helped both Andrew and Xander get free of the nagging." Xander came in and got his phone, walking off texting someone. "What now?"
"Slight flash of a vision. Visily's involved in something that's going to be a problem. The Powers didn't hate that lab." He sent two other texts, putting the phone down then laying on the couch. He didn't get an answer before he fell asleep.
The guys shook their heads. They had no idea. They talked until Bucky fell asleep again. Steve grinned, falling asleep smiling at the peaceful look Bucky had on his face. He slept until Suzette pounced. He caught her in midair. Bucky had flinched and fallen off the bed. "Morning," Steve said, smiling at her. "Nice try. Don't do that to Bucky."
Bucky looked over the edge of the bed. "Some of us are a bit jumpy, Suzette. Especially after we had a few animals try to pounce us."
She pouted. "Were they mean?" He nodded. "That sucks. Did you beat their ass?"
"Language," Steve ordered. He rolled his eyes. "You're in a bad mood this morning."
She shrugged and he let her cuddle. Bucky stood up. She leaned over to grab his arm and tried to pull him back down. "Lay down. Uncle Xander's not up yet. My alarm's not going off yet. Lay down and cuddle me." Bucky sighed but did lay down and she did get cuddled. She fell back asleep.
Steve shrugged. He had no idea why she was so cranky except lack of sleep.
Bucky shrugged back. It was probably a girlish thing.
Xander looked at the kid that had just pounced him. He scowled. She smiled back. "It's not polite to pounce before coffee. Even Buffy learned that." She giggled and hugged him. He hugged her back. "Go do girl stuff for school." She ran off to do that. He yawned, sitting up. A cup of coffee appeared in front of him from Steve's hand. "Thank you." He sniffed then tilted his head back to look in it and sniffed again. "Who defiled coffee with knockout drops?" Bucky choked, coming to sniff his coffee. Xander sighed and laid back down. "Sure." He closed his eyes and went back to sleep.
Bucky tasted it and nodded. "Someone did." He went to find them. The guy in the kitchen screamed before trying to climb the wall to get away from him. He smirked coldly. "Good morning, Erik." The guy tried to get away from him. "Why did you try to drug Xander?"
"We want him safe!"
"And here isn't? I'll have to tell the others," he said dryly.
"No, it is, but he'll try to get away from you to help the one he's going to be missing." Bucky stared at him. "I'm just trying to protect Xander! And myself because the same Russian mob guys are coming for me and we think they're in bed with the demonic mafia." Bucky nodded. "They are?" That got another nod. "Shit."
"No swearing around the kid," Steve said, joining them. "Why are you defiling our kitchen?"
"I was making Xander breakfast for when he wakes up." He stared at him. "We'd miss Xander so we're going to protect him."
"Breaking in here isn't protecting him," Bucky said. Stark stormed off the elevator. "Just ask the landlord." He pointed.
Tony glared. "I know you."
"I'm here to protect Xander."
"I'm sure you are," he said dryly. "JARVIS, call Hill. I do not need an arms dealer in my kitchen."
"I already have, sir, and she said that's not a fashionable accessory she expected you to have around the tower."
Xander strolled out, staring at his soon to be ex-boyfriend. "Do you really think I need protection?" he asked quietly.
"Yes! They're going to be evil and try to take you out! One of them sniped my cousin."
"Your cousin was sniped because he's a moron. One who was trying to switch fields into the Yakuza's stuff in their territory." The guy flinched. Xander stared at him. "Just...don't. What started this off?"
"Mary Elice died last night with six of the racist bastards when a third party interrupted her going to suicide kill them."
Xander sighed. "The third party?"
"No idea. No one's sure but the Russian mob and the demonic mob are both upset."
"I can go talk to the local ones." The guy stared. Xander smirked. "One of them owes my ass *huge*. Is this the same thing that got a few agents?" Erik nodded. "Great. Let me go shower and change clothes." He stalked off. "No, Bucky. Stay."
"Like hell. I don't take orders unless your name's Captain." Steve patted him on the shoulder. He looked at Steve. "He's worse than you are."
"I figure he is. Have fun." Bucky grimaced but followed Xander. Who had escaped down the emergency stairs. Bucky grabbed his jacket and a few things to go with him. Steve looked at the guy, who looked smug. "If you had asked him, he would've handled it anyway."
"That ex will protect both of them from everything, including girls."
"I doubt that'll work," Stark said dryly. The guy sneered at him. Stark punched him and knocked him out. "Better." He walked over him. "JARVIS, are there any others?"
"Agent Hill and two agents are coming up the elevator, sir."
"Even better. She can take that waffle batter too."
"Make a new pot, Tony. Xander found knockout drops in his coffee." Stark sighed and poured it out, kicking the arms dealer on the floor for defiling coffee.
Agent Hill stepped off the elevator first. She stared at the arms dealer then waved. "Get him up and down to the SUV." She looked at Steve. "Two new punks are trying to take over the hard way and not succeeding very well today. I had no idea Harris had contacts like that."
"Erik said he was going to see an ex."
"I'm sure he was." She followed the agents. "Let Suzette skip today or send her to the SHIELD school, Steve. Larissa is changing over too. The teacher had an absolute fit on her last night on facebook."
"Me?" Suzette asked.
She smiled. "Larissa will see you soon."
"I was wondering why I got an email telling me to never come back to her class," she said, handing her father his phone. "So free day until lessons, Dad?" she asked with a grin.
"Apparently. We'll figure it out." He walked off calling the principal. "Tony, can you start some pancakes since it's a long morning in the making?"
"Yup," he agreed, pulling down stuff to do that. Suzette came in to watch and help.
Bucky blatantly walked into the building Xander had disappeared into, nodding at someone in his way. "Move."
"The boss wanted to talk to Xander alone."
"I don't care." The guy was still in his way so Bucky moved him then walked over his unconscious body. He walked into the room he could hear Xander complaining in and slammed the door. "Sorry, he's too valuable to risk."
"We heard you two were together," the guy behind the desk said.
"No. Just friends."
Xander looked at him. "I'm probably safe in here."
"Yay. It's this or I'm telling the slayers." The man behind the desk shuddered. "Exactly." He smirked at Xander. "What did we teach you about doing stupidly heroic things?"
"I needed spandex was the most common thing you've said about that." The man behind the desk laughed. "I'm safe, Bucky."
"Shut up, Xander."
Xander huffed. "It's okay. Really."
"So?" He smiled like Steve did at politicians. Xander groaned, he knew that look. He looked at the guy behind the desk again. "So what's going on?"
"A few rogue punks. Others have decided they're going to get some other things out of the way at the same time." He shrugged then smiled. "He is safe here."
"He was supposedly safe in Avengers Tower but Erik broke in to dose his coffee with sleeping drops."
"I do not like Erik DeFranc. Do not mention him to me."
"Agent Hill has him."
"Then I'm sure she'll be very pleased."
"Who started all this off?" Xander asked. "Really."
"Rosenburg from what I heard. She made a wish that you'd only have good lovers." Xander growled. He shrugged again. "You're still safe here."
Xander stared at him. "I doubt she'd consider you good."
"I do have protections and I did commission an even better set than you sell." Xander smiled. "What is she going to do?"
"Probably have something huge that owes her a poker debt show up. Or one of Buffy's few poker debts. You know how Willow is."
"That's a good point. It'd have to appear outside too. If so, I'll let you have the pretty sword I got you for your birthday." He got up to open that box from his closet and pulled it out. Xander squealed and hugged him, petting his new baby. "I got you another two swords too. I know you like them." Xander kissed him, making him moan. Bucky huffed but turned around. "Your friend is uptight."
"Sometimes." He shrugged and kissed him again. "I hate missing my ex's," he said quietly.
"Most of them are safely hiding. Erik chose to make his own bed so he'd be safely in SHIELD's company since the agents that got taken down were looking at him. Including two you worked with." Xander groaned. "They're still living but are injured. Their people have them safe." He took another kiss. "Let us have breakfast. It's always a good way to start a day," he said in Russian.
Bucky looked back at him. "The best breakfasts are always the blood of your enemies," he said in Russian, smirking evilly. The man gaped then burst out laughing. Bucky turned back around. "Xander is never to be harmed because the slayers will not have anyone to look up to without him. There's many that would start a war to avenge him."
"True," he agreed in Russian, smiling at him. "You are him."
"Depends on which him you're talking about," he said in English.
"The Soldier that was fighting with the good Captain in DC." Bucky nodded. "Excellent. Are you two...." He waved a hand. Both of them shook their heads. "Pity. Xander is an exciting lover."
"I've had it suggested a number of times. Including by little old Italian women with bondage fetishes." The man burst out laughing as he led them to the dining room. When the demons showed up, Xander got up and went outside with his pretty new sword. Bucky got one of the others and followed to go kill a good number of demons.
It was going to be one of those days apparently. Then they'd finish breakfast and let Xander check on his various former lovers and contacts. Bucky had no idea Xander had so many contacts.
Steve met with the principal of the school the SHIELD agents sent their kids to. "Thank you for seeing me on short notice."
"Captain, I dare say that your daughter needs us more than most of the children here." He smiled. "Maria Hill shared with me and I heard about her from Larissa. I've also been thoroughly threatened by Mr. Wells and given the standards for their chosen school for high school." He waved a hand and sat in his own chair. "How is she doing in her classes?"
"Mostly okay though she does hate history and math."
"Many children do." He smiled. "We're mostly project based but we do conform with most of the current standards set. We don't do all the testing her old school did." Steve nodded. "We also have two PE's, and a better lunch program."
"She likes to pick out her own lunch. She eats pretty much on the slayer diet."
"I've been given that as well by Mr. Wells."
"Andrew?" The principal nodded. "We never hear him called anything but Andrew."
"He's a wonderful house mother for the girls." Someone tapped and Coulson walked in, handing over two files. "Ah, my future minions were born."
Coulson smiled. "The mess that got started by the Powers That Be to rob Xander of some of his contacts and go-to people for weapons has been stopped. The two idiots they picked to do it gave up earlier when they were shot by the demonic mafia. The ones we have in custody all winced at what they did afterward and Rosenburg is very sorry she sicced them on the group. I can't find him."
"He went to see someone who was Russian mob this morning."
"Oh, him. That's fine. We can set up a watch near there."
"Bucky followed him."
"Even better. I like my nephew but he has little sense and even Kate Bishop thought he should have a uniform soon." He handed over something. "The bank that she has her account in is shut down today due to Treasury exams." He left.
"He seems to appear to handle things at times," Steve said, looking out there then at the principal.
"He's still trying to get back to his old ways from what we know." He shrugged. "We all like Agent Coulson and feel really sorry he nearly died." He stood up. "Come see our school, Captain. It'll make it harder on him to find you." Steve laughed, shaking his head but they went to take the tour. They found Larissa's group in the gym. She squealed and ran over to climb Steve to get a hug.
"Hey, Larissa." He hugged her. "Are you okay?"
"I'm really good and the last teacher's mean poop moment meant Andrew got to complain about her. Hopefully they fired her and got the kids a teacher like Mrs. Toliver." She cuddled him, grinning at the principal. "We like Mr. Steve."
"We like you too. You should get back to the class though," Steve said. "We're taking the tour so I can make sure Suzette will like it here." She giggled and hopped off him, running back to her group. Steve waved at the agent doing the PE stuff.
"It's good she can climb already," the teacher said, smiling at her.
"Suzette taught me. She climbs Thor sometimes."
"Yes she does and she's not really supposed to," Steve admitted. He grinned at her. "Sometimes it's okay though." She wiggled and hugged the pouty boy next to her, who fussed and pushed at her.
"Happy makes you feel better," she said, nuzzling him. "There, kitty nuzzles too." He pouted at her. She smiled. "We like happy."
"You're a weird girl."
"Everyone's weird. That's why we're not clones," she quipped with a smile.
"Very true but let him go please. There's no cuddling that tightly in this school unless someone's crying," the teacher said patiently. She huffed but let him go.
"She ties really great knots too," Steve warned as they moved on with the tour. He smiled. "She and Suzette tied Andrew up for six days. Clint for four of them and Bruce for the last two. Clint said whoever teaches the slayers knots does a really good job. They're better than Natasha's. Then the girls decided to make them happy to cure Andrew's evil mood and Clint's graze. Including a lot of anime and My Little Pony." The principal stopped to laugh, leaning against a wall shaking his head. "The girls are sometimes real unique about things. It worked, and the guys didn't even complain so they wouldn't make them pout. I couldn't even get her to see reason or logic. I couldn't figure out if I was proud or just confused of my little hellion."
The principal smiled at him. "We'll adore having Suzette here, Captain. We really will." He walked him off to fill out the paperwork for him and the city school board. The two little slayers would definitely be hell on some of his students but they'd be encouraging for others. Plus adorable.
Steve got back and found two agents standing watch outside the tower. "Guys," he said with a nod. "Huge problems?"
"No, Captain. The Vice President is in to talk to Mr. Stark," one reported. He touched his earbud. "Sir, Captain Rogers is back." He nodded. "Go ahead up, sir. They're in the office level and won't bother you."
"Thank you." He went up there, coming off the elevator on the living level. Suzette looked over her book at him, looking hopeful. "You'll really like it there. Larissa seems to." She beamed and got up to dance around. "You have a slight uniform." He showed her the paper. "So we need to get you some different pants today."
"Sure," she chirped, smiling at him. "Can Uncle Bucky come? He needs some happy times and me being cute will make him less grumpy."
"Is he back? The last I knew he was following Xander around."
"I don't know. JARVIS, is Uncle Bucky back yet?"
"He and Xander are presently handling a second attempted takedown of the building they're in by demonic entities," the AI said. "Not as many this time but they're making quite a mess."
"Eww," Suzette said. "Does he need help? Daddy can go help him."
"I don't think they'll need it," the AI admitted. "There's only three left and Xander's just taken down one. Ah, there, Mr. Barnes got the other two. They're down so they can be beheaded. The NYPD carrion eater has also appeared. Charming."
"Cool!" She smiled. "Can they go shopping with us?" She took her father's phone to text Xander's phone. She pouted. "Uncle Xander said he does not shop. The big slayers made him horrified of malls."
"Bucky said they made him shop once too," Steve said. Darcy came off the elevator and smiled at them. "Hey, Darcy. She's starting a new school tomorrow."
"Uniforms? I know half the city's school kids wear them."
"Nothing too drastic. Mostly just specific colors and no logos or pictures on t-shirts."
"That's good." She hugged Suzette. "You'll do great there."
"Thank you, Darcy. We have to shop. Wanna come?" she asked.
"I can if your dad doesn't mind. Jane's taking a nap. Science overwhelmed her before lunch by making all her machines pop fuses."
"Sure," Steve agreed. "Let me go check out a car. Get your cards, Suzette." She ran to get them from his dresser. He handed her the uniform list before going down to get a car out of the garage. Tony let them borrow a few of them.
Darcy and Suzette came down together, Suzette getting into the back. She was just barely big enough to not need a booster seat. Steve drove them off to the nearest store that'd have what she needed. She bounded inside as soon as he opened the door and Darcy followed. Steve locked the car, paid the meter, and followed smiling at his girl's energy. They really had to find something to let her wear some of that out.
Suzette climbed into her father's bed once he had finally laid down. He blinked at her. She snuggled in next to him. "Someone online caught a picture of me."
"I figured someone would. Did they know who you were?" She shook her head. "Then why do you look worried?"
"They thought you were taking your new girlfriend and her daughter shopping for me."
"Ah." He nodded. "Darcy's sweet."
"Do you like her like that?"
"I might. I haven't really considered it. Right now we're more friendly."
"Oh. Do you think you and she might date?" She picked up his hand to play with his fingers. "I really like Darcy, Dad." She glanced up at him then went back to playing with his fingers. "I don't want her to get upset."
"I think we'll stay friends no matter what and I doubt she'd be mean to you even if we tried to date and couldn't make it work."
"Oh. You're sure?"
"I'm pretty sure." He stopped her from moving. "It's something Darcy and I have to talk about, not you." She huffed. "You can show her the picture tomorrow before school." She nodded, snuggling into his shoulder. She yawned and drifted off. He laid there and thought about Darcy. He thought she was swell, but swell enough to date? He wasn't sure. Though he thought Bucky had flirted with her earlier. He'd have to talk to her. Maybe she thought of him like a silly brother sort. Jane did. Bucky and Xander came in, Xander wearing a suit. "You shopped?" he called quietly.
Bucky came to the doorway. "The lawyer made him put on a suit because he had to meet with the head of the law firm. Who Xander stabbed in the heart for being behind the invasion in LA." He tipped his head, smiling at the cuteness. "Want help?"
"Nah. She's good for now. Someone online caught a picture of her when we were shopping for new school clothes earlier. We went with Darcy and they guessed she was hers."
"She could do a lot worse than Darcy," Bucky said. He nodded and Steve nodded. He took Suzette's bed and Xander changed into sweats and climbed back onto the couch. Steve barely noticed it when she got up and went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and decided to nap on Xander instead since her bed was full of a guy who was way too big for her full size bed full of stuffed friends and ponies. Xander hugged her to his chest and she snuggled in. He was nicely warm and cuddly. Almost as good as he dad was.
Suzette climbed up onto the counter the next morning next to where Darcy was fixing coffee. Darcy gave her a look. "We have to have a grown up talk," she said, staring back.
"Okay, about what?" She quit trying to force the coffee maker's basket back into place. "Girl questions? I can do that."
"Yesterday someone caught a picture of us." She had stolen her father's phone and hit 'ignore' for the call coming in. She found it and showed her. "What are your intentions toward my daddy?"
Darcy looked at the picture and moaned. "That's going to be really bad when the press get hold of the real truth." She looked at the staring kid. "Your dad and I are friends, Suzette. You don't have to worry."
"I wouldn't care if you did the stuff the big slayers use code words around us about. As long as he's happy and you don't turn mean if you two break up."
She hugged her. "I'd never be mean to you unless I'm having a really grumpy day then you can call me on it and I'll apologize." She looked at her. "Your dad and I are still just friends."
Suzette gave her a version of her father's dumbass look. "You're pretty, you think Dad's pretty, go have grown up people things that no one talks about around me." She hopped down. "You should try to put the coffee basket in the right way."
Darcy looked at the basket and put it in then looked at her. "I'll talk to your dad about it, see if he wants to go to the movies with me." Suzette hugged her around the waist and ran off. "Go brush your hair and then well get breakfast."
"Okay. Thanks, Darcy."
Darcy smiled, watching the hyper little one get happy. The phone rang again. She picked it up to answer it. "Steve's phone he left on the counter. It'll be about ten minutes so please call back if possible. If this is an emergency, scream and I'll hand you to the next Avenger through the doorway." They choked and hung up. She put the phone down, noticing who had called. Bucky stormed in looking pissed off. "Not have a good night?" He grunted something in Russian. She got out of the way of the coffee pot. He grunted thanks in Italian and poured out the biggest cup he could to drink.
He poured a second so she changed the filter basket to the second one and took the last of the pot so the new pot could brew. He got more and walked off sipping it instead of gulping it. Darcy smiled. Water went on for Bruce when he appeared. Pepper liked tea, so did Natasha. Natasha was probably already up and stalking someone somewhere. Tony stumbled out, glaring at her. She pointed at the coffee maker. He poured a cup and gulped, then the rest of the pot. At least he made another pot before walking off.
Clint walked in next, nodding at her in a sleepy way. He took the coffee pot to drink out of on his to a shower. "Morning, Darcy."
Darcy made both baskets up for the coffee maker and put the spare pot they had bought into place so another pot could be started. Stark hated to hunt down the coffee pot in Clint's room to get more so he had bought two backup pots while yelling at him about his lack of manners for drinking straight out of the pot. By then, Bruce's tea water was done. He and Pepper got some and he started toast. Pepper stole some of Thor's poptarts. "Pepper, when you wake up, tell me?" she said. Pepper looked at her, part of a poptart in her mouth. She showed her the picture Suzette had showed her. "She asked my intentions and I assured her I'd still like her, no matter what."
Pepper winced as she finished her easy breakfast. "I'll get with Steve later to see what he wants to do about it." The phone in her hand rang so she answered it. "Steve's still in bed, Fury. Suzette stole his phone." She listened, stirring her tea gently with the spoon. "I'll go wake him up. Yes, she showed Darcy. I have no idea but I know he's got to get up soon to get her to school."
She hung up and got up, going toward Steve's suite. She knocked on the door, getting Bucky. He was shirtless, in jeans, wearing a gun holster on his hip, had wet hair and socks on. She swallowed and made herself quit staring at his abs and chest. He was giving her this irritating little smirk she liked to swat off Tony's face. She handed over the phone. "Fury called. He wants to know what Steve's going to do about the picture of them shopping yesterday for Suzette, and she's got to be at school in thirty minutes in Queens."
"I can bring her," he said. "Thanks, Miss Potts." He closed the door gently, looking in on Steve. He was still asleep. It was nearly a miracle with how loudly Suzette was singing. So was Xander, but he was snoring so he was coming down with a cold again. He got a t-shirt, his jacket, and boots. He leaned into the kid's bedroom. "We've got to hustle, kiddo."
She grinned. "I have no idea where I meet the bus."
"I don't think you do meet the bus. Where's your dad's car keys?"
"Daddy only borrows cars and he has the bike." She pointed at that set of keys. "He said some day he'll teach me to ride it too."
"Sure. We can do that. Grab everything." She finished packing her backpack. He took it from her to repack so it wasn't a lumpy mess. "Gotta teach you and Xander both that." He grabbed Steve's helmet, his keys, and the kid, taking her down to the garage. He knew where the school was. They would be going against the flow of traffic so they'd barely make it if he sped up a bit. He let her climb in front of him, definitely safer for her so she didn't have to try to hang on, and put on the helmet. With it on, no one had to know he wasn't Steve. He started the bike and walked it out of the parking spot, then took off. She squealed and hung on, making him grin. He even sped up a bit to get around some traffic.
He was careful with her, Steve would kill him if he wasn't, but she was having a lot of fun. She pointed at her school so he pulled up to the door and let her down, accepting his hug. "Be good today. Learn stuff and let the teachers get used to you." She nodded and ran inside. A bell rang as he sped off. It was a pretty morning for a ride and there was a Starbucks somewhere between this school and the tower. He got back with his large coffee, parking the bike and getting off. He went back up to Steve's room, finding him awake and just out of the shower. He hung up the keys and the helmet. Steve stared at him. "She loves your bike."
"She's a miniature thrill junkie," Steve agreed. He walked off shaking his head. "Thank you for taking her."
"Welcome." He checked Xander, then waved the coffee next to his head but just out of reach. Xander mumbled something that sounded like 'fuck off' in a demon language. "Get up or I'm drinking this coffee myself." Xander mumbled it again and flipped to face the back of the couch. "Not anatomically possible, Xander. C'mon, we'll get you some cold meds."
Xander blinked at him. "Shut up." Bucky smirked at him, sipping the coffee. "Eww, food." He put his head back down.
"When did you have the vision and did you write it down or something?" Xander pointed at the paper on the coffee table. Bucky tipped his head to read it and nodded, sending that to Buffy via email. "It's nice her taste in men is still compromised. At least he's better than Spike; he's living."
"Spike loved her enough to have a soul implanted," Xander said into the couch. "It's nearly as romance novel as you two." He sat up with a moan and took the rest of the coffee on his way to the bathroom. It made him sick but oh well. One sure way to wake up.
Steve came out, looking toward the bathroom then at Bucky. "He okay?"
"Post vision headache."
"Oh. Okay. Vision?" Bucky let him have it to read. "Eww. She dated who?"
"She dated Spike at one point in time. Xander said he was better than this one because he loved her enough to have a soul stuck back into him."
Steve shuddered, heading out to the main kitchen. Darcy looked at him, giving him a slightly scared look. "She told you?"
"She asked me my intentions."
"She's definitely opinionated," he quipped.
"I said we'd talk and maybe see about a date to the movies sometime if we both wanted to," she babbled. "I didn't promise or make it mandatory or anything just said we'd talk like grown ups."
He grinned. "There's that new period piece starting next weekend." She grinned and nodded. "Anything else happen?"
"You heard Fury called?"
"Nope. Bucky?" he called.
"Sorry, forgot and you were still asleep then." He and Xander came out, Xander going green at the smells from the kitchen before hiding in a bathroom again. "Morning sickness," he said with an evil grin for Darcy.
"It doesn't surprise me any with some of the things Rosenburg has done by reports," she quipped back.
"Post vision headache," Steve corrected, sighing and shaking his head but grinning at Bucky.
Xander leaned in. "I'm going to collapse on the porch."
"Sure," Bucky agreed. "Don't get stepped or jumped on by Sam, who's coming up later, or by Barton or Natasha if they're on the roof."
"I'll curl up in a corner," he said, going out there. He barely woke up when Sam landed on the porch. He only really noticed Sam because he pried his good eye open. "Vision," he mumbled.
"Sure. You nap, Xander." He walked inside, taking off his wing pack. "The kid okay?"
"He should be fine," Bucky said. "Just one of those that's making him nauseous." He heard Barton outside and texted him to leave Xander alone, he'd bite and throw someone off the porch with the headache he had. Clint walked in shaking his head. "He bite?" he asked, sipping his coffee.
"Yup. At Nat. She's not pleased. I showed her the text message and she's still not happy." He stared at him. "Hill wanted to see if you'd allow yourself to be tested by sparring."
"Count me out," Sam said dryly. "I'm a smart man who knows my limits." He smiled at Natasha. "He gets growly when he's had a vision. It's like a migraine."
"He nearly bit me."
"That's the hyena. She'll go back in when he's more awake," Bucky sighed. "Or I'll do the proper exorcism to lock her back in his head again." He finished his coffee, looking at Steve. Who shrugged. "Sure, I guess. I can handle sparring with the slayers and pulling my punches. I guess I can do it against you, Barton. You can't be any worse than a few of them are."
"I'll go clean the gym," Natasha said. She set up the recording equipment as well.
"Does Xander spar?" Steve asked.
Bucky considered it then shook his head. "No. The last time something showed up and he had to go totally evil to solve it. He spars against the girls now and then but not outside that. I asked him once after that if he wanted to try again. He said he gets plenty of sparring practice during battles."
"I guess I can understand that," Sam agreed. "Not sure how that happened though." He shrugged. "I'll ask him later." He looked at Bucky. "Go spar. I'll be here." Bucky nodded, going down there with Clint. He looked at Steve. "You good? I saw that picture."
"I didn't figure it wasn't someone in the group, Steve. If you were seriously dating I probably would've heard that from you." He grinned. "How did the sprout take it?"
"She asked Darcy her intentions and she was a bit worried that Darcy might not like her as much. I said we'd talk and Darcy promised we'd talk like grown ups."
"That's a good way to handle it. Little sprout'll be fine."
"Bucky used my motorcycle to take her to school today."
Sam grinned. "She's a little hellion and some day she'll try to claim it on you."
"Maybe," he agreed. "I'm still working on her riding a regular bike though." He made more coffee and drank some, letting Sam get some water. Stark stomped in. "Bad day?"
Stark stared at him. "Harris nearly bit Romanoff?"
"He had a vision last night. He's got a headache," Sam said.
"Isn't there drugs for that?" Stark demanded.
"No," Sam said. "Nothing works. We're all pretty worried about that since his ex died of her visions." He sipped his water. Stark quit moving, staring at him. He nodded. "Chase's brain got ripped by hers. Not sure how that happened but it did. He handles it better or just doesn't admit it hurts that much. His post-vision pack for the bad ones has stuff from some of the shaman he met in Africa and a few other choice things to stop the pain."
Stark shook his head. "Can't he turn them off?"
"Nope," Sam said. "Doesn't work that way and no other seers presently with the Council."
"Fuck," Tony said. "Fine. He can be growly. At least he's outside."
"He threw up a few times earlier," Steve said. "Don't those drugs for migraines work?"
"No. He's tried them all," Sam said. "Including some experimental stuff out of Europe. Not a bit of help and one actually set off a run of less important visions when he was touching stuff."
Steve shook his head. "That really does suck for him." Sam nodded. He sipped his coffee, letting Tony have the coffee pot. "What happens if he has one out on his own."
"That's called normal Xander mode," Sam said. "Everyone decided him training Bucky was a sign he'd be retiring from field work. Hasn't happened yet and a few are pouting that Xander's still in the field. Mostly from the girls who think he's really normal and gets hurt easily. Xander's had plenty of visions without anyone there to help. He manages it and moves on to handle stuff. I know he's seen a battle, went to help handle it while under the migraine, and then went to hide in a hotel for a few days to heal without letting anyone know he was injured."
"Sam!" Xander complained. "I'm not that good or that heroic. Quit before someone else suggests I need spandex." He looked around then at Steve, eye squinting some. "Bucky's having problems." Steve jogged off, taking the stairs because it'd be faster. Sam followed. Xander went back out to the lounger in the corner of the porch. He got another flash of Bucky losing it and went down to help. You could see he was lost in the memories again. Xander pointed Sam to head one way. Steve was down and trying to get up but Bucky wasn't letting him. Xander boldly stepped into view. "Try me." Bucky stared at him. "C'mon. You want to beat someone, beat me."
"You're not him."
"No, I'm not." Bucky lunged. Xander fought back. Sam couldn't get a good grip on Bucky to stop them. Xander wasn't anywhere near his best but he could still handle emergencies. Until he had another vision and fell to his knees holding his head. Bucky stopped then groaned and knelt him to help him. "Battle. Huge gateway," he said, gulping air. "Uptown. Times Square I think. All the billboards at that triangle street." Bucky was rubbing his back. "Huge problems but only three. Immortal. Need to be blown to bits and kept apart like the Judge was." He blinked, letting it clear up. "Fuck." He patted his necklaces, finding one and handing it over. "The mythical closet. Use it well. Sam, help him."
"After we get you laying down," Sam said quietly, helping him up. Then Bucky. "You better?"
"I'm sorry. I got lost," he said, looking at Steve. "I flashed back to our battle. Is Barton all right?"
"Not that injured, just bent some," Clint said from where he was out of the way. Steve walked over to help him up. "Thanks. The infirmary's up the hall, Wilson."
"Xander doesn't do doctors," Bucky and Sam said. They got him back onto the porch with stuff for the bloody nose and a bucket in case he got sick again.
Bucky checked his eye. "Got any vision?" he asked quietly. Xander shook his head. "Lights?" That got a nod and Xander changed the tissues to block up the bleeding. "Want an ER?"
"Not like they can do anything," he mumbled. "It'll come back in a few hours."
"Okay. Stay here. Do not move. I'll be back in a while." He stood up and walked off, getting his new battle uniform out to put on. Steve was putting on his. "Not sure how much you can help, Steve. If we've got to blow them apart, it'll mean firing artillery until we can manage it."
"I can help fire off stuff at the least." He followed him out and downstairs to get a car out of the garage. Once there, they found Coulson waiting with agents. "It's a blow apart like the judge was," Steve said as he walked around him.
"We can help with that. Barnes?"
He opened the mythical weapons closet in the back of the SUV. The tiny door appeared as soon as the key was placed in the air in the right direction. He started to pull stuff out. "Someone tell 'Drew I'm in these." Steve did that. Stark was showing up with equipment to test for the gateway. The weapons were piled in the SUV for now. He looked over at the subtle pressure against his arm. "You shouldn't be here, Kate."
"Shut up." She smirked. "I can help."
"It's a blow apart."
"I have explosive arrows too."
"Might help," he admitted. "If not, we may need to hack them apart."
"I'm great with a sword. Xander made sure. How is he?"
"His eye looks like a mess," he said quietly. "Again." She nodded. "If he shows up for some reason, you handle him."
"Agreed." They got the rest of the weapons they hopefully wouldn't need out and waiting.
Stark landed and pointed. "It's there," he said with a point.
Steve looked up and around. "This is where I ran when I woke up in SHIELD's custody." He shook his head. "I guess it's fitting." He looked at Coulson. "We might want to evacuate them."
"As soon as the gateway is confirmed, we're doing that, Captain. We have teams at the ready to evacuate the people and turn off all the electronics." Steve nodded. "What happened to Xander?"
"He had a vision," Steve said. "Fell to his knees, eye's bloody, nose bleed." Coulson grimaced. "There's really nothing to help?"
"I haven't looked into it. I'll see what he's tried later. When we get a debrief about the vision for the report." Steve nodded. Stark yelled 'portal' so he called in the evacuation order. The demons stepped out once it was large enough. Coulson stared at them. Power started to go off in a wave as buildings were evacuated. "You do not belong in this place. Leave before you cause an incident to happen."
One of them stared at him. "You are nothing, mortal." He looked at everyone, focusing on Kate and Bucky, who had the weapons. "We wish to swear allegiance to the one who stole the High One's rank."
"Xander took out the demon who was part of the invasion in LA," Bucky said. "He works with slayers."
One of the other two sneered. "We can cure him of that affliction."
"Bet me," Kate said dryly. "Not likely." The demons growled and started to grow larger. They fired on them. Andrew showed up with a wooden box, making her hug him. "Thanks, 'Drew."
"Welcome. We knew we saved them for a reason." He let the agents take control of the bombs to use against the demons. Two got blown apart. The other was injured and they were running out of artillery. Bucky grabbed his sword. Kate got hers. Steve bummed one. Then they lunged in to fight the last one and chop it into pieces. It was messy but had to be done. He kept trying to regrow the stuff they were cutting apart. Bucky got his head off. Kate hacked off the last limb from behind, and Steve got his torso with a few chops. Andrew cheerleaded and sent over a fire potion. That lit them up nicely and the NYPD carrion dog just huffed but he had a few parts for himself. His handler clipped on his leash and walked him off with a finger he was chewing on, making him a happy dog. Andrew cooed and petted him, getting a bark back. "You're such a good dog." It barked again, picked up his finger, and trotted off with his human.
Bucky stared at the dog then shook his head. "That's gross," he muttered.
Kate nodded. "Yup, but helpful I guess. It can search out dead bodies better than a regular dog."
"Yes, it can," one of the officers agreed. "People..." He looked around then at them. "You're Council?" Bucky smirked and nodded. "Why all the weapons?"
"Xander trained him," Kate said with a smile. "And me. I back up the local slayer team."
"Oh, okay. That makes more sense. Thank you for your help and the warning, people." He walked off to make that report. Bucky strolled off. Kate watched him walk, head tipped. "Wow." Bucky stopped to stare at her. "Sorry, watching you stalk off in that 'going to find some prey I like' way," she quipped then ran off.
Bucky shook his head, looking at Steve. "You do," he agreed. He smiled, punching him on the metal arm. "You good?"
"Like usual. Coulson," he said with a nod before walking around him. Andrew had put most everything back and handed him the key. "Thanks, 'Drew."
"Welcome. Have Xander call when he can do paperwork."
"It'll be a few hours. It popped a blood vessel in his eye again."
"Figures." He disappeared.
Bucky got in to drive. Steve climbed in with him and they left before Coulson could start to demand they do paperwork.
Coulson watched them go then shrugged. "I'll have them do reports later. Make sure it's all cleaned up, check the buildings in case anything else came through, then let people back once the power is on," he ordered. "Post incident clean up as normal." The agents waiting nodded and went to do that. He shook hands with the incident captain for the NYPD. "I'm glad it was an easier one."
"Me as well. Harris?"
"Had a vision so he's resting."
"Even better. The guy gets freaky when he's in pain." He walked off. "Help them clear buildings, like normal." They ran off to clear the ones the agents hadn't gotten to yet.
Bruce looked up from his sprawl on the couch. "The two demons that showed up to beat Xander to death are both dead. He threw one off the balcony before I realized then I went to help but he gutted the other with his boot knife." Bucky went to check on him. "He's in the infirmary. I realized his vision was compromised."
"Not the first time," Bucky said, heading down there. "Visions are hell." He got onto the elevator.
Steve shook his head. "Any idea of something that could help him?"
"No. Not really. I'm hoping the blood clot in his eye breaks easily. I did treat the symptoms for him but he's not in the greatest of shape."
"Post battle injuries?" Tony asked as he came off the elevator from his workshop.
"No. Post vision injuries definitely." Stark grimaced. "I did a CT. They do horrible things to brains. I sent an email to Andrew to see if anything helped. He sent back a simple 'not really, we just treat the symptoms'."
"Figures. The higher beings punish those they pick to do their favorite jobs," Stark said dryly. He glared up for a second then looked at Steve. "Slayers don't get visions," he said.
Steve relaxed. "I'm so damn glad," he muttered, rubbing his face. "I'd hate for her to have to do that."
"I took a scan of her brain after one of those dream ones. Almost no changes and basically what we'd see with a pretty good headache, Steve," Bruce said. He got a nod and Steve went to change. Bruce looked at Tony. "If you're looking for something to create...."
"I know people who are. I talked to them earlier." He sat down with a sigh. His phone beeped so he looked at it. "Huh. Steve, they let Suzette watch the battle," he called.
"Like hell." He walked off grabbing his keys for his bike and his helmet, heading out. He and the principal had to get on the same page for that matter. Now. Before his daughter worried.
Stark smiled at Bruce, answering the kid back that they were fine. "I don't think that'll happen again."
"They probably consider it conditioning for the kids to see them."
"Maybe. I wonder if Hill feels the same way." He texted her about it. She said she'd look into it. "Maybe not."
Bruce shook his head but relaxed. "Bucky's new uniform makes him look even more dangerous. How many knives and guns is he carrying?"
"Seven guns total and about eighty knives it looks like." Tony sipped his coffee. "Xander designed it off his old one."
"Ah." Bruce nodded. "It looks comfortable."
"It does. It's kevlar and leather."
Bruce shook his head. "I didn't need the mental image of him being a dom. Thanks, Tony."
"Welcome," he quipped back with a grin. Darcy and Jane walked out arguing over something trivial, heading for the elevator. Both guys waved and only Darcy waved back. Jane was back in science mode and nothing really distracted from that except Thor. The ladies both blinked at Bucky as he came off the elevator carrying Xander over his shoulder. They turned to watch him carry Xander outside to the porch lounger and put him onto it. Darcy blinked a few times but that was okay. Jane shook her head and walked into the elevator door. She hit the button to call it back up for them before they got caught staring. Bucky walked back in and sat down, sprawling in his chair. The ladies left.
Stark watched them go then looked at him. "Pants too tight?"
"Nah. Could use some mesh cooling spots though." He opened those and sighed. "Xander planned a good battle outfit."
"That's tighter than Coulson would've made you," Stark agreed.
"He okay?" Bruce asked.
"Open air helps. He gets a bit paranoid when he's closed in on days like this." Bruce nodded it was fine. "This has happened before. It usually comes back between a few hours and a few days."
"What if he's alone and this sort of thing happens?" Bruce asked.
Bucky stared at him for a minute. "Why would that be different than usual?"
"Xander doesn't like to admit he's hurt. If he's this bad he'll hole up somewhere and rest but he won't let anyone baby him for it. The girls all nag heavily." He heard Xander's phone ring. "Don't you dare answer her," he called.
"Too late," he sighed. "I'm resting from a vision." He hung up. He stumbled in and tossed Bucky his phone then went back to the lounger.
"I taught him how to navigate when it's out," Bucky said quietly, calling the last number. "What's wrong, Faith? No, he had the vision. He's sitting on the porch with the headache and blood clot in his eye. We had it, we didn't need the backup or I would've called the local slayers." He listened. "Faith, I was trained to be the ultimate warrior by a lot of evil fucks. I'm better than all of you combined most of the time. Don't start that shit, I don't put up with it like Xander does." He smirked. "Exactly. You have a better day." He hung up. "There, that takes care of that nagging. I'm not going to put up with it like Xander does."
"Wasn't the Ultimate Warrior some wrestler guy?" Xander called.
"Shut up. Take a nap, Xander. Your warped brain is showing." He rolled his eyes and shook his head. Bruce and Tony both smirked at him. "It happens. I've learned a lot about popular culture for the last few decades from him and the girls."
"I'm sure you did," Bruce agreed. "Go get comfortable."
"I am comfortable. He did good making sure I felt good in these."
Kate strolled off the elevator, handing him something. "I had bummed a knife."
"I remember." He checked it then slid it into the holster. He pointed. She went to fuss at Xander. Which made him curl up in a tiny ball but she got him comfortable and fussed over properly. Bucky looked up. "The more visions you send him, the more she's going to fuss over him. Way to go setting them up, PTB."
Kate walked in and swatted him then walked out there. "I'll only fuss over him if he's got the extreme reactions. Like the huge headaches and stuff like this eye problem."
Cordelia appeared, without a bowling ball this time. "At least you're dangerous enough to be his." She looked at Xander. "Fine, you're only having the really important ones. You know they hate the thought of you dating." She smirked at Kate. "They get worse than this."
"I heard about yours. Is he?"
"They won't let him die of that. That'll bring him honor and martyr status. The Powers *loathe* Xander." She smirked evilly. "He'll probably die an old guy in a nursing home wearing depends and babbling at the lights because his mind is gone." She disappeared.
"I guess that means all those ladies that wanted me to do bondage with Xander won't get their wish," Bucky said dryly, smirking at the guys. Stark moaned, getting up and walking off shaking his head.
Bruce shook his head. "That's so bad, Barnes." He went to meditate to get that thought out of his head.
Bucky got up to go out there. "He better?"
"They fixed the blood clot but I don't think his vision's back online yet."
Bucky swatted him on the head. "Loose connection like the last time?" Xander glared at him. He grinned. "It was."
"It was this time too. I need to quit getting head injuries." He curled up. "Thanks, Kate. I'm okay now."
"Sure you are." She smiled. "I'm fussing like a slayer."
"Let me go take a shower and go out for the day before they decide you're a worthy date after all." He escaped them and went to shower.
Kate and Bucky shook hands then she checked his weapons out. "I need a few knife harnesses."
"It'll show on that outfit," he said, looking her new black battle uniform over. "Maybe a hip or back of the waist one?"
She turned to let him see. "That's my smaller hand weapons."
"Hmm. Thigh one." She nodded, looking at it then smiled and took his to test. She could work with that. He took his holster and knife back, going to change. She left now that her good work of getting them both out of battle mode was fixed. Bucky came out wearing older jeans that were tight enough to be showy but comfortable and a t-shirt that hung a bit on him. She whistled then escaped to the elevator when he glared.
Xander came out toweling off his hair. "Let me do our laundry. We used all his towels."
"It's in Steve's hall closet. A combination machine that does both." Xander went to do that. They went into the washer and Xander took the rest of their stuff to a laundromat. Bucky shook his head but that's just how Xander thought sometimes. Bucky went to sit on the porch and enjoy the city getting back to normal.
Steve came back with Suzette that night, and Larissa. The girls spotted Bucky and ran out to talk to him. They knew he was with the Council and Suzette had explained that he was her 'uncle' so that was cool to Larissa.
Bucky looked over at the bouncy girls. "Don't try to tie me up." They giggled and hugged him. Then Larissa bounced off to chat with Darcy. Darcy did neat things her mommy didn't. Darcy could even make real mini slayer food. He stared at her. "Bad day at school?" he asked quietly, smiling some.
"Everyone thought it was really cool you dropped me off on the motorcycle." She grinned and hugged his arm again. "Even though Daddy nearly creamed the principal for letting us watch the fight, and then Miss Maria yelled at him too, it was cool. You did a great job. The shiny, pretty things were wonderful," she cooed.
"Xander said all you girls loved artillery." She nodded with a smile. "If I had some more I'd teach you about it."
"Teach me about swords? Daddy won't let me touch my training sword."
"I can teach you about knives."
"Okay." She looked back in there. "Larissa, he's going to teach about knives." She ran out squealing with smoothies for them. Darcy brought Bucky one and left with a smile. She looked at Bucky. "Do you think Daddy likes her enough to date?"
"I don't know. We didn't talk about the pretty one in there." The girls giggled. He got down on the floor with them to show them about knives. He had a few types on him so they could learn more and how to sharpen them. By the time Larissa's mom showed up to pick her up, the girls were up to sharpening under his watch.
Larissa's mom sighed from the doorway. "That's very good, dear. Some day you're going to do that very well." Larissa smiled and hugged them before bounding over to her mom. Bucky didn't get to claim his pocket knife back but it wasn't special to him. Suzette had one of his survival knives to coo over and play with. Steve came out to get them for dinner, making Bucky take his knife back and carrying her off talking to her about knives. She had a few of her own already. He had gotten them for her. She squealed and hugged him, babbling about her pretty weapons with the family at the table.
"Where did Xander go?" Stark asked, handing Suzette the vegetables first. She liked them more than anyone else at the table. Bucky took a lot too.
"Probably crashed on the couch," Steve said with a smile. "I tried to wake him but he didn't."
"Sometimes Uncle Xander has to nap a lot. Especially after visions," Suzette said. "I guess he had one earlier because he wasn't at the battle. Otherwise he would've been there." She got some fish too. Natasha took it from her and handed her fish sticks. "Thank you, Natasha."
"You're welcome. The big fish might have bones." She hummed and ate, taking the other stuff that got passed around.
Bucky watched her inhale food. "Did you skip lunch?"
"You're eating like a big slayer."
"Lunch was fast and I wore out a lot of energy in gym class."
"We'll pack you a snack tomorrow," Steve promised. She grinned and nodded. "Did Larissa get one?"
"She buys lunch, Daddy. Her mommy doesn't cook."
"There's a lot of parents that don't have time to cook today," Pepper said. Suzette grinned at her. "What did you learn today?" She went over all her schoolwork and the knife lessons. Pepper looked at Bucky then at her. "He's probably the best person to teach you about knives. He has a lot of them." Bucky ducked his head but he was smirking a tiny bit. "We can go over how to do a project. It's like a report I'd have to do for the board meetings." Suzette nodded, smiling at her and stuffing her mouth again. "Eat more slowly before you choke." She nodded and did that.
Suzette looked at her teacher. "What?"
"Give an oral report on someone in your family that we don't know about."
"Why? They might not like that."
He stared back. "Nothing critical but just so we know about them. Here, Bradley, tell us about your aunt." He got up and told them about his aunt, who was in the Air Force as a pilot. He smiled at Suzette. "I'm sure you've got people like that in your family."
"That depends on how you define family since Dad's an orphan."
"I forgot," he sighed. "That's fine, someone in your made family then."
She walked up there thinking about it. "I'll tell you about Auntie Darcy. She's really neat. She cooks a lot of stuff and she teaches me how to cook. And Larissa when she's there." She considered it. "I think her only job is to fuss over Miss Jane to make sure she eats. Miss Jane gets all tied up in the lab and forgets about stuff like eating and sleeping sometimes so Auntie Darcy helps her. She's an intern." She looked at the teacher. "She's really nice and she helps with girl stuff like Auntie Pepper does."
"That's interesting. The dark haired woman you went shopping with?"
She smiled and nodded. "Yup, that's Auntie Darcy. She sometimes gets with Andrew over new recipes. She does a really nice job and she can fix a whole lot of stuff because her mom and grandma taught her, like she's teaching me. That way I don't starve when I'm grown up."
"That's a great idea," he agreed. "Next school year you'll get a small class on food and cooking things then later on in high school."
"I'm going to be doing some of my high school in Cleveland."
"We heard, dear. Go sit down. That was a good job." He looked at his class. "Now, give me in context what information she told you."
"Her aunt cooks a lot," one of the other girls said. "She's pretty but probably not trained for self defense unless she's using a kitchen utensil."
The teacher shook his head. "She didn't say anything about that. That would be an assumption but not a likely one. Anyone around her father would need to be able to defend themselves at least somewhat." He looked around. "Any other conclusions?"
One of the boys raised his hand. "We knew she was pretty from the pictures but by the picture she was wearing a holster." He looked around someone at Darcy. "Taser?" She nodded. "That's a good weapon." He looked at the teacher again. "Miss Jane is Thor's sweetie from what my dad told mom. So I don't think she'll need to protect herself too much unless he's distracted."
Suzette snorted. "I don't think someone's going to distract him from attacking Miss Jane. Uncle Thor is really upset with people like that. He nearly destroyed one who slapped her on the butt at the movies to flirt with her. The guy really hated that he went to the ER for the broken arm instead of watching the movie." She smiled. "Beyond that, no one raids the tower that way. Uncle Tony makes sure of it. And if he can't I'm sure others could."
"Probably," the teacher agreed. "It's probably one of the safer buildings in the city if you're not someone like Loki."
"Uncle Thor told me his brother died."
"Oh, I'm sorry," he said. She shrugged. "Let's get into how you profile someone you've just met." He went over the criteria he used to mentally sort people so he'd remember who they were. That helped and the agents he brought in as an exercise got talked to by all the kids.
Suzette and Larissa hung back, leaning against each other. "You have to too," one of the girls ordered.
"We don't take orders from you," Larissa said. "And I don't have to sort people. I sort mine into bad, good, or bad demon." The girl glared at them. She stared back.
The teacher came back. "You still have to do the exercise, even though it's not something you're really going to need when you're older." He looked at the other girl. "That is my job." She huffed off.
Suzette stared at him. "What if the kids don't want to be agents?"
"Most of these lessons are things that can still help them in other fields, like business stuff. You meet a lot of people there and you have to be able to remember them and their needs so you can form a good working relationship. Doctors or nurses have to categorize differently, based on what they're seeing and what the patient says happened. Then they make decisions about treating them." The girls nodded. "Your personal sorting criteria is a lot less stringent and forceful."
Larissa pointed. "Bad, evil, good boy, good girl, good girl but nasty if necessary, half demon who is from a peaceful species, and two more bad ones." She looked at the teacher. "We can tell. It's a gift."
Suzette nodded. "The evil one is one that Dad said to never get near. Uncle Xander did too."
"Why?" he asked, frowning. "Did he tell you what they had done?"
"They're bad, that's all I know. Can I call and ask?"
"I can call and ask." He stood up and walked toward his desk. The agent in question hopped up to take him out. Two of the kids tried to stop him but Suzette pounced him and tackled him into the wall. The teacher hit the alarm, bringing the principal and guards. "Suzette and Larissa realized he was someone her father said was evil. I went to check and he tried to assault me. Children, you are not old enough to help in that event," he said. "But thank you for trying to help. Let the guards take you to the infirmary."
Suzette shook her head. "I'm fine." She looked at him. "Why doesn't my daddy like you?" The guy grunted. "I can call Uncle Xander to come ask you himself."
Xander appeared, looking over her shoulder. "I'd say I didn't like him because he's Initiative. Did they take you off the hunting squad and give you to SHIELD?" he demanded.
"Transferred." He tried to move. Larissa was there to jump on his head. He avoided it barely but she kicked him and Suzette punched him in the balls. "Ow," he moaned.
"Ladies, let me handle it. If I'm here, you never need to hit anyone yourself," he reminded them. "Until you're bigger girls." They got off the guy. "Thank you though. Suzette, go call your dad to make sure he knows this was tried and so he doesn't worry." She ran to get her phone and do that. Larissa cuddled with her so they could both chat. He smirked. "Aren't you so glad it's me?"
"No, we wanted the other one," he sneered, setting something off. Xander broke it by stomping on it and then hauled him up to handle him in the hallway.
"We have an interrogation room," the principal said, opening that door. "For training exercises. You may use it." Xander slung the guy in there and shut the door after himself. "Oh, damn," he muttered, calling Hill. "Harris is here in full White Knight mode. I let him use the interrogation training room. Someone tried to get Suzette's teacher down to get her."
Suzette looked out at him. "Why just me?"
"We're worried it's about your father," he said.
"Oh. It sounds more like it's against the Council. So it could've been about Larissa."
"It may be," he agreed. "Did you call your father?"
"He's off talking to someone important. I talked to Uncle Tony. Uncle Tony's livid and said it was good Uncle Xander got here first." Xander came out of that room wiping his hands off. "Why did they want us?"
"For the same reason we found you in a lab. They wanted to restart what they did to Bucky."
"They're dumbasses. I'd never work for them," she said bluntly. "Larissa either. We're not like that." She pulled back in to call her uncle back and let him know.
Xander grinned at the principal. "Quit trying to turn the girls into agents. They should be kids." The principal sighed but nodded. "Is that Fury or Hill?"
"Senior Agent Hill."
Xander took the phone. "Hill, me. The remaining Initiative guys are banding together to restart what HYDRA wanted with Bucky." He listened. "No, the girls keyed their emergency codes. I'm just glad I got it instead of 'Drew." He opened the door to look in there then shook his head. "No, he could use a stretcher actually. I broke one of his legs. I was not happy at the guy I shot at first." He slammed the door. "Oh, it's not going to be a problem, Maria. Really, it won't."
"They're agents," the principal said.
Xander stared at him. "Really?" he asked with a smile.
"Uh-oh," Suzette said, heading back to their classroom with Larissa. "The bigger girls described that look." She found her phone. "Katie, it's us. Uncle Xander has *that* look. No, not that one! Someone just told him he can't handle the agents who want to make Uncle Bucky be mean again. Yes, that look!" she said frantically.
"Quit worrying Kate. It'll be fine," Xander called.
Kate gave her clear instructions. "We can do that." She hung up and hissed at Larissa, both of them going out there to pounce him. Xander sighed but she looked up at him. "We don't want to have to miss you. Therefore you're not moving. Kate said so. She said that you've got a backup now and they're on their way." She only hoped it was her dad instead of Uncle Bucky or Uncle Tony or even Uncle Clint. Nope, it was Uncle Clint who came jogging up the hall. "Did Katie call you?" she asked.
"Yup." He looked in there. "That's our job, Xander."
"The Initiative people are our job, Clint. Not yours."
"You can't claim rights to a problem and only when they're dealing with demons. This time they're being a human problem so therefore they're ours. Natasha said she *really* wanted to talk to them." Xander glared at him. "Yay. I can't argue with her."
"It's possible. I argue with scary, dangerous women every day," Xander quipped. "Girls, get down."
"No," Larissa said, smiling up at him. "We're going to make you feel better." Xander let out a sigh. "See, already less angry. It's deflating." She grinned.
Xander stared at her. "Your power of smartass is nearly as great as Buffy's."
Clint was trying not to smile. The girls were good. "How are you sure he was Initiative?"
"He's the first guy I ever shot. You remember that one," Xander said bluntly. "Got him in the thigh."
Clint nodded. "Yeah, you do remember if you're looking at them." He looked in there and nodded. "Efficient. Classical. Just beating?"
"I broke his leg. Possibly his pelvic bone too."
"Cool." He went in to check on him, coming back out. "Yeah, you did." Natasha walked up the hallway. "He's begging for mercy. He only really wants their own special soldier unit."
"They are not HYDRA?" she asked.
"No," Xander said. "HYDRA wouldn't take these douches."
"Hmm." She looked in there and nodded. "I can work with that." She went in to finish his questioning. He saw her and screamed like a girl at a spider. "Good morning," she said smugly. "We will talk." Clint closed the door for her and guarded it. He tried to scoot away from her. "That will not be working."
Outside, Clint shook his head. "You two go back to your classroom."
"Katie said to cling to him to make him feel better," Larissa said. "Besides I don't want to talk to those other agents he had in so we could learn how to classify people. A few of them were bad guys. That's how we spotted that one."
Suzette nodded. "Larissa spotted three bad and one evil one."
The teacher nodded. "They said it was a gift."
Xander nodded. "From what her mommy does and taught her. Fully called girls can tell demons." One leaned out. "You let the Initiative weenie near you?"
"Not my choice," he said. "I was ordered to quit trying to rip his head off or I'd end up in jail." Xander grinned. "Ladies, come back in here so if we have to evacuate we know where you are." They glared. He stared back. "Please?"
"Go ahead," Clint said. "I'll stop Xander from taking all your dad's fun."
"Fine," Suzette sighed. She saw Bucky stomping up the hall and squealed, running over to hug him. "You can stop Uncle Xander from destroying everyone without help, right?"
"Oh, he'll have help." The girls hugged him then ran into their room. "Any new sit rep, Barton?"
"You're the one who was in DC," the principal said, staring at him. "Oh, dear."
"Leave him alone," Xander said. "He's one of my two lieutenants until he decides to do other things."
The principal nodded quickly. "Okay. Sure." Steve stomped in from the other direction. "Captain Rogers."
"Clint, anything new yet?" he asked. "Bucky?"
"I'm fine. The girls were crawling all over Xander."
"Kate told them to so he wouldn't go find them on his own," Clint said. "Natasha has him. They wanted more of you," he told Bucky. "They're changing their methods."
"Probably just considered it moving to phase two," Xander said. Natasha came out. "You better?"
"I'm perfectly fine. They have three volunteers who are more than willing to let them inject them with something they created from various demon ...skills." Xander stared at her. "They went with ones who have deformities and they volunteered to be normal and even possibly special."
"Most likely they'll end up dead from rejection or even in piles of sludge," Xander quipped. "There's very few species that overwrite your DNA. Mermaids aren't one of them naturally but the way they did it or something he added to it was the important part of mine. Did they mix it with werewolf DNA or something?"
"He did not know. He was to gather Suzette, he did not know about Larissa, and was to bring her there so they could do an updated version on her once they perfected it. Until that time they would train her to be the sort of woman a slayer should be." Xander snorted, staring at her. "They do know who her father is." Steve grimaced. "Because they hacked someone who is not us or the old school."
"Her birth certificate was filed in Albania," Xander said. "That's where we found it anyway."
"So it's possible they did the same," she agreed. "This one tried to say Andrew had helped but I pointed out he would not harm the slayers."
"And no one hacks Andrew. Stark tried and his AI started to sing show tunes," Clint said. Andrew appeared, already glaring. "They're trying to blame you."
"No, they have two things I created that we didn't get to evacuate from Sunnydale because they were too big." He looked at Xander. "There's movement at the old base. Willow hacked back into them for SHIELD and caught movement. They're using part of the old testing levels."
Xander nodded. "How much other stuff did you leave?"
"I couldn't get all of Warren's or Jonathan's stuff out." He shrugged. "I didn't have the time or the energy by then."
"That's okay. We expected no one to come back," Xander reminded him. "Or for the town to suck that far. Jonathan's house is now on the inner ring. Warren's...." He considered it. "I think it was in the last ring of those that were knocked down by the sucking."
"He had a huge basement that went under the garage. That's where his spare robots were and stuff. Plus his former girlfriend too I think."
"Okay," Xander agreed. "We can go see what you've got left. Send it to you so you can make it safe." Andrew nodded, biting his lip. "Get Willow to map the base for me. I don't have one anymore."
"I can do that. Need any of the girls?"
"Any active demons?"
"No, just some parts."
Xander shook his head. "No, we won't."
"You handle the clean up since it's human things," Steve said. Xander stared at him. "We can handle the human things."
"I could just ask the two families of vampires that're living underground there to eat them," Xander said.
"I'd rather see them in jail," Steve said. "Suffering for years for this."
"Good point." He considered it. "If you're there after dark, you're going to need help getting out. Even Spike won't take on those ones. They're partially insane from the power leaking out and the lack of steady food."
"Then you clean out that stuff, we'll clean the base, and we'll make sure we either leave before dark or we join up to get out," Clint said.
Bucky nodded. "Best plan we've got," he agreed, staring at Xander.
Xander nodded, looking at Andrew. "I'll need you on vid link in case Warren's girlfriend is active."
"Why is there a human living there?" Natasha asked.
Andrew grinned. "She's really metallic and hard to tell from human but she's not." He looked at Xander. "We're going to need some heavy trucks."
"Arrange it, Drew. If we have to, we can split the street or something." He nodded. "Let's plan to clear the whole town."
"I'll call that in." He walked off calling someone. "Bob? Andrew Wells of the Council. We just found out some idiots have taken over the old Initiative base to restart some of their old work. We found out because they seem to have taken some stuff that some of my cohorts left behind. No, like a matter generator sort of stuff. So Xander's going to need to clear that out while the Avengers take down the base. Bob, the matter generator could conceivably open portals as well," he said. "Not to mention one of my former cohorts was an engineering genius with mental issues. No, Bob, he created his own girlfriend. She's really hard to tell. He created one of Buffy and almost no one could tell. Spike had him do it for him."
"We used her on patrol when Buffy was dead," Xander said. "And no, I couldn't tell unless they were together."
"So yeah, we've got to do that. I don't know. Well, really, we should clear out the rest of the town of all the weapons and the paranoid arsenal. Xander can put it into ours."
"I'll burn the Montgomery's pot stash," Xander said.
"And he'll burn the pot stash," Andrew said. "Yeah, we'll probably need some heavier trucks and crates. Thanks." He hung up. "You can start cleaning it tomorrow. After they probably get done with stuff."
"Who's Bob?" Natasha asked.
"The National Parks agent in charge of Sunnydale," Andrew said.
"Ah." She nodded. "Interesting. How many weapons are there?"
Xander considered it, then looked at Bucky. "How good of shape was the warehouses on sixteenth?"
"They looked whole."
"Then probably nearly a shit ton of them, including the mayor's old self destruct that I shut off by accident by tripping into it. He left the key in it when he changed."
Natasha blinked at him. "What sort of self destruct?"
"It's tied to the main gas line into town. That plus the methane tanks he has around the old sewer system that was only used for transport. He could probably take down most everything and crack the old base under the college. You'd have to bring it down to bring down the college or some of the woods up there."
"I'd like a map," Steve said, looking at Andrew. He called them up for him. Willow was sending them. He pointed. "Where's this stash?"
Xander pulled up a file he transferred each time he got a new phone, showing him. "These are the known stashes we used to have. I've bummed out of this one in recent memory," he said with a point. "That's how we started our arsenal for the Council." Steve stared at all the dots. He added a new one for Warren's house, one for Jonathan's house, then looked at Andrew.
"I got most of mine out. Search it anyway just in case. I'm missing pictures." Xander nodded, hitting that one and one for Buffy's house. It was in the fallen in section.
"Why were they building paranoid arsenals if they didn't really notice the vampires?" Natasha asked.
"Because the old mayor was totally dirty and these were his people," Xander said. "Six of the ten were his top officers. Another two were off-world demon arms dealers. These three grouped marks were the Mayor's stash of things. Including his anti-germ warfare one." He moved the map. "That's the stash that the cops got from confiscated sources, because they didn't want the general people armed. These two were our paranoid yahoos," he said with a point. "That was our local pot dealer. The cops considered him a necessary evil. They harassed him but bought from him."
"What are the silver markers?" Bucky asked.
"Stashes from vampires, magical or mystical artifacts, or things like the occult library up at the college that never got moved," Xander said. He looked at Andrew. "I'm so damn glad they got the zoo moved."
Andrew nodded. "Me too. Otherwise we would've had a huge outcry. Thankfully the LA zoos could take them in or move them around."
"You guys had a zoo?" Clint asked.
Xander grinned and nodded. "That's where I got possessed by the hyena." He went back over things. Spike sent in an updated report on where things were according to the poker circuit. Including two stashes Xander hadn't noted that were silver. And one gold. "The former gem of amara's stash."
"Former?" Natasha asked.
"It let a vampire do things in the sun. Angel crushed it so he wasn't tempted, the idiot," Xander said. Andrew nodded at that. "I have the Madison's house marked, or Willow did. So I'm guessing Amy's magical stuff is still there but her house was in the fallen in rings." He considered it. "That's a lot of work."
"We can lend you a few agents," Hill said. "To help you remove all the weapons." He stared at her. "You're getting all the weapons that are working for the slayer arsenal, Xander." He grinned. "People, go do that." She looked at Barnes. "Can you work with Steve's team?" He nodded. "Good. Then fall back to your other job of helping Xander move weapons."
"I can do that."
"Good. Go today, people. I'm going to talk to some people about their educational goals." They left. She got the victim of stupid to their jail. Where Rosenburg was nicely waiting on him. She had magicked everyone else into a nap so she could meet this guy and talk to him without interference. And so dinner could be something better than slop. Fury was watching her do it, acting like it was a movie. He even had popcorn. Hill looked at the teacher then at the principal. "You're teaching the very young the things you should be teaching the teenagers who want to be agents."
"Things like being able to categorize people is helpful in most walks of life," the teacher said.
Hill looked at him. "Not really. Even if it is, they're too young. Right now they need a standard education."
"And recess because we're little kids," Larissa called.
"And possibly some play time," Hill agreed with a sigh. "Girls, take your class to the gym." They all ran to go play in there. Hill got a few hugs from the other kids then they ran off too. Hill took them into the classroom to go over suitable levels to be teaching the younger students. They wanted them out of their primary educations by the age of fifteen so they could do specialist training if they wanted it. Or college prep work if not.
"What's your priority list?" Natasha asked Xander once they were outside Sunnydale.
"Warren's, Jonathan's, Andrew's. Then the mayor's. The others after that working my way outward until we can clear the occult library for our team to get them out of there." She nodded once. "The pot dealer, we can probably just burn his house down. It's surrounded by vacant lots. He didn't have guns that I knew about."
"Is that because they were friends?"
"No, it's more because magic and tech doesn't merge very well. They've been hellmouth taint radiated for a long time and there's no telling how it may have warped something like a semi-sentient being," he said, looking at her. "If Warren's girlfriend is there, I can have her help lifting stuff." She walked off shaking her head. She'd learn. Tech around her was not usual.
"Is that why your DVD player bit someone?" Bucky asked, cleaning his rifle in a corner of the tent.
"Yup. It's gotten me a few times too. Thankfully I finally killed the VCR for eating a priceless Star Trek tape."
Stark looked at them. "It *ate* it?"
Xander straightened up to look at him, nodding. "Yeah. My VCR used to try to eat Spike's hands too. The damn thing's teeth were way too sharp."
Stark laughed. "Teeth?"
"Yeah." Xander nodded. "Go look at one of the houses near the tree. I'm pretty sure you don't want to touch anything like an electronic device."
Stark walked off shaking his head. "Focus, Stark, you can do that later," Steve said, sighing a bit.
Xander grinned at Bucky. "Go help."
"They'll give me the map. You need help planning." Xander pointed. "Leaving this ring for last?"
"I figure most of these are just guns. Probably a few grenades. The others have a higher chance of more dangerous stuff." Bucky nodded. "That way we get the dangerous things out first, then the semi-dangerous, then down the dangerous scale to the point of moving the occult stuff that shouldn't be here. The Council teams will adore that."
"Sure," Bucky agreed. "What about any other drugs?"
"I'm going to have it piled somewhere and we'll burn it. I know Mayor Wilkins had a ton of them. He was a bit germphobic. Willow sneezed near him once during a school trip and he had an absolute fit until she apologized for her allergies. He went to have a total wipe down with lysol and take a decontam shower. Jesse and I followed to see what he was doing." He grinned. "The man was kinda evil but really scared of germs."
"Sure," Bucky said. "He turned into a giant demon and he was scared of germs?"
"We all have our fears," Xander said. "Anya had a fear of bunnies. Willow has one of frogs."
"What was yours?" Natasha asked.
"Clowns. I saw one scare my grandmother to death. Now fought off."
Bucky just nodded. "Wow." Xander hit him on the regular shoulder. "Hey."
"Shut up. You have your fears. I have mine. Willow's is why she changes people to iguanas or something instead of toads." He got back to planning. He had to get a heavy truck around a broken road. Bucky reassembled his rifle and looked at Steve, who was trying not to smile.
Xander walked into Warren's house. "Hey, Natalie?" he called. She came up the stairs with a broom. "I'm Xander."
"I know. He has the yearbooks."
"Had, Natalie. Warren died a few years ago. Before the town fell in. The year before actually." He helped her into a seat. "Andrew thought someone had told you."
"No. No one told me." She sniffled, staring up at him. "Was it the vampires? I'm not supposed to know about them but I saw them."
"No. He killed someone and that person's significant other got him."
"Oh," she said quietly. "When he lost his grip on which reality he was in?" she asked, looking up at him again. He nodded. "Then he was the skinned body."
"Oh." She sniffled and started to cry. "I don't know what to do."
"Well, for right now, Andrew's the only one left." She blinked up at him. "He's with me in Cleveland. He's being the housemother for a large group of special young women. Ones like Buffy was. He sent me to make sure the soldiers hadn't gotten into anything he couldn't evacuate."
"They tried but I fought them off. Two things are missing but they were minor things." She got up. "Are we evacuating them now?" He nodded, calling Andrew in. She hugged him. "I'm sorry, Andrew. If I had known I would have helped."
"I'm sorry we didn't get to tell you, Natalie. I thought he had you turned off. If I had known you were operational I would've been here soon. Snuck in to see you."
She smiled. "You were always the nicer one of the group." She looked at Xander. "You're arranging things?" He nodded. "Okay. We can clean things out." She led them down to the workshop area and packed her clothes and a few other necessary things. Andrew got things boxed up and onto the trucks then they raided the other houses on their list for today. They found the Mayor's stash still partially there. It had been looted partially. Or fallen in. The floor was caved in but they couldn't see the cash down there. When the vampires came up, Xander shot them with the wooden bullet Bucky helped him create. No more vampires.
Xander and Andrew shared a look and Xander nodded. Andrew got things removed. Xander got the money removed. Then they went searching for the nest. They found it and the cash, plus all the other pretty mystical things already gathered. They got them outside to be gathered then moved to the other warehouses the Mayor had. The drugs got tossed into a field to be burned or whatever by DEA agents. The rest got moved with them. Though Xander did stare at the self destruct. It was growling and had grown a very vicious mouth.
Andrew looked down then at Xander. "We can't kill it, it might set it off."
"If we muzzle it, we can't disarm it. The trigger's underneath the mouth. I'll let the guys like Stark figure that out since the timer has months left. He thought it was cute my VCR ate things."
Andrew grinned. "Mine tried to eat my brother. I was so proud I fed it two comedy tapes from the rental place." Xander grinned back and they got back to work.
Stark stomped in three hours later, looking pissed off. "Boys, you needed help?" he demanded.
Andrew pointed down at the self destruct. "The trigger's under the mouth and we can't shoot it or it'll go off."
Stark looked, staring at the growling, biting bomb. "What the fuck?" he demanded.
"That's his self destruct," Xander quipped. "It's a bit mean." He yelped and moved from something. "Sorry!" he told the demonic rat. He shot it and tossed it down into the sewer. Another vampire came sniffing and ate it. Natalie came over to check him over. "Thanks, Natalie."
Stark looked at her. "Hi, I don't know you. A former resident like the boys?"
"Natalie, this is Tony Stark," Andrew said. "This is Warren's former girlfriend."
"It's a pleasure, Mr. Stark. My Warren was always so amused at what you put out. He thought you could've done great things with robotics some year when you got the weapons out of your system." She smiled. "I know he was going to apply for an internship but he never got around to it." She walked off. Andrew hugged her. "I need to initiate self repair functions tonight."
Xander pointed. "Take anything of the scrap pile for it, Natalie."
"Of course. I shouldn't need more than some oil and perhaps a few screws from my diagnostics."
Stark stared, mouth open. He looked at Andrew, who smiled and nodded. "I can help you with that if you'll let me see how he created you," Stark offered.
She squealed and clapped, grinning at him. "That'd be great. Thank you, Mr. Stark."
"Sure, Natalie. Let me handle this biting thing." He stared at the bomb. "I recognize it. I have to see what else he bought off us."
"He probably bought it off a weapons dealer," Xander said. "Not directly." He got down through the pile of bandaids to find gold. "Wow. 'Drew, more for the chamber." He got the chamber open so they could toss through the gold bricks. Natalie went over to straighten them out and stack them properly on them. The guys shared a grin. "She's going to be Giles' assistant if she wants," Xander said. "He could use one."
"He could and she likes to clean and cook. That'll help." She leaned out to look at them. "If you want a new job?"
"I would. That would please me greatly." She got back to it, bringing in whole cases of the gold bricks. They got the rest of the stuff they were taking in there, outside the private plane. That she hauled outside for them to decide about or take away. Then they went to Willie's. She looked around. "I've never been in a bar."
"This used to be the demon bar," Xander said.
"Demons?" she laughed. "Silly."
Stark, still back at the warehouse, called in for some help. Natasha walked in and stared at the bomb, which was sniffing her boots. "The trigger's underneath the mouth. The disconnect port's under the right eye," he said quietly.
"I did not believe that electrical things became sentient here."
"I just met Warren's girlfriend, who was robotic," Tony said.
"Ah." She nodded. "I wondered who she was."
"Natalie. They decided she can help Mr. Giles." They shared a look and she smirked at that meanness. "Want to hold the head?"
"I can do that. Clint, I need your empty quiver," she called over the comms. "The self destruct has bigger teeth than I can block."
He brought it in, handing it over. "I looked in one of the houses. The tv tried to flirt with me." He walked off again. "The SHIELD geeks look scared, Nat," he called in a minute later.
"I'm scared," Tony quipped. "I only live a good hundred miles from here."
Natasha looked at him. "I don't think the radiation spread that far."
"Good! I'd hate to see JARVIS if he turned carnivorous." He hopped down to get to work on the bomb. Natasha hopped down to block the teeth and cover the eyes for him. He was sorry to kill the unique life form but it was better if it didn't try to breed or get angry.
Bucky found Xander that night. He was at the mansion they had lived in for the last few months of the hellmouth drinking a beer. "You good?" he asked, sitting beside him on the roof.
"Not really. We're nearly done. The vamps had gathered a bunch of the artifacts for us. The DEA got mad that we confiscated the money. Even when Andrew pointed out the mayor didn't need it because he had died at graduation. Then one of the nymphs from the tree led him on until it ate him. They fled after burning the pot stash and the drugs the mayor had been holding onto in case of bio warfare." He took another drink. "I'm pretty sure the Treasury is going to show up next and horrify Giles."
"Probably." He watched the vampires get up to run around. Some were playing tag with the hellmouth tree. A few were sniffing at the places where humans had been. "We taking them out?"
"They're Dru's line. That's why they're like dangerous hippies." He looked at him then back at her. "Hi." Bucky rolled to his feet, stake in his hand. "We're cleaning out things so they can turn it into a memorial area."
Dru sighed. "It is suitable that the pretties are gone. It makes it much nicer. No more biting things that we can't bite back. Such silly inventions." She smiled at him then at Bucky. "He is very pretty, Kitten."
"He's not mine. He's a friend, Dru."
"Pity. You two would look so nice hissing at each other." She sniffed at his arm. "A gift from the Gods but you are more than worthy of being a master vampire."
"No thanks. Steve would hate that."
"Spike's in Cleveland," Xander told her.
"I cannot go. The pretty tree gave me a gift I cannot exchange." She sniffed Xander. "You know how to exchange it."
"I do," he said with a smile. "I'll ask Spike if he wants me to make you a shielding necklace."
She laughed. "Spike has many panties on his mind. He has forgotten his mummy's panties and shift. Some day he'll remember." She sniffed them again. "It's rare we get living ones."
"I can kill you," Bucky said.
"Where's the fun in that?" She smiled. "Tea time is always meant for fun and games among the children." She stood up, going to game face. "You would make an excellent childe for me."
"Not into that. The dead don't amuse me."
"It's a pity." She tried to stroke his cheek but he blocked her hand. She giggled and pounced him, making Xander haul her off him and toss her off the roof. She wandered off giggling. "We will see how the two kittens hiss at each other soon. Some day it may mean the world will stop if not."
Bucky stared at Xander. "What the fuck?" he demanded.
"Dru. Spike's sire and mate." He grinned. "She's a seer. Angelus drove her batty. Spike took care of her for over a century."
"I don't care!" he demanded. "C'mon, we're getting out of here."
"Hellmouth taint. The protections mean I can't get out even with my shielding necklace until dawn." Bucky growled. "I didn't know either. Willow set it up that way. At least I can get out *sometime*. She could've set it differently so I'm trapped here."
"Point, I guess," he complained. They settled in to protect themselves while watching the vampires play. Including having a tea party of one of the Council researchers that hadn't wanted to leave. Xander shook his head with a sigh. "He knew better," Bucky complained.
"Yup. All we can do is implant a stake so he doesn't rise." Bucky shot the guy with a wooden bullet, making sure he wouldn't come back. Xander handed over a bottle of beer. "Sorry, warm."
"It's fine." They sat there and watched things. The team was outside the town so they were probably watching them. "Any other bombs like the one in that warehouse that nearly bit Nat?"
"Not that I'm aware of. It's possible. Or the base might have one."
"Maybe." They got up at sunrise and Bucky sent Xander outside the town by force. The Council team finished up with the library's collection then ran with it. Bucky made sure the rest of them made it out and then followed. He felt different, like he was covered in oil, once he stepped outside the boundary. "We need to find a way to weed this out," Bucky complained.
"Andrew's got a taint weeding crystal. It's how he keeps his down instead of succuba," Xander quipped from the rental car's hood.
"Succuba can be fun but they're dangerous," he complained. He tried the crystal, no help. He let the succuba that showed up eat the hellmouth energy he had sucked up, making her moan and get happy. He stared at her. "I'm not feeding you more than this."
"This is like E to us, dear. It's more than enough." She patted his cheek, stole a kiss, then danced off.
Bucky felt himself. Now the crystal took the rest. "Xander down?"
"Two succuba," Andrew said. "Both bloated and they were going to call in another tonight."
"We still don't know why I suck up hellmouth taint but I do," Xander quipped. "Thankfully she made it so I'm not permanently stuck in there." He slid off the hood. "We good?" he asked his people, who all nodded. "Then let's head home." He looked at Bucky. "Have fun in New York."
"I'm still going with you. That way I can see the look on people's faces." Xander smirked but allowed it. They all went back together thanks to magical moving. The rental cars got taken back by the SHIELD agents watching over things once they shook themselves free of the horrified awe of Sunnydale. He and Xander walked around Coulson, one on each side. Bucky nodded. Xander got coffee and went to the armory's extended portion to sort things.
Coulson followed. "We had our people make sure everything was in working order, guys," he said. Xander grinned at him. "Why did you want that self destruct?"
"I'm going to send it to a hell realm." Bucky shook his head with a sigh. He grinned. "They tried the slayers. They can pay for it."
"We already destroyed them, Xander."
"Point. Maybe the next one then." He got back to look tagging things by their strength scale.
"We wondered about those marks," Coulson said.
"Relative strength rating," Bucky said. "So the girls don't grab something to take down a helicarrier when they only need something to kill Godzilla."
"A good idea." He came in to help by sorting them. The boys let him. It was helping. Natalie rushed in to fuss over them and make them lunch then she went back to the office to help with things.
"Hey, less paperwork," Xander said happily. Bucky patted him on the back.
Giles walked in. "Why did I have to be shocked by the Treasury agents knowing we had gold?"
"It was the Mayor's old stash," Xander said. "I claimed it in the name of the Council since we scavenged the wreckage." He looked over. "They can exchange it if they want."
Giles stared at him. "Xander," he complained. "That's not legal."
Xander shrugged. "If you find a shipwreck you get to claim the stuff."
"Yes, with taxes paid."
"We'll give them a few of the bricks for that. The rest is an operational, shopping, and food fund for the girls."
Bucky laughed. "The girls could use a good shopping fund but they might abuse it."
"Probably," Xander agreed. "We'll be slammed by the wall of shoes and panties." He looked at Giles, grinning again. "You know half the girls don't wear bras," he said at his confused look.
"I was trying to ignore that," he complained. Bucky laughed, shaking his head. "Fine. I'll work that out with them."
"Promise if not, you can exchange it with off-world sources that would love gold. There's a huge wedding coming up on one of them that's closer to Hindu wedding traditions. They've already bought over six mil in gold jewelry that we've heard."
Giles stared at him. "That's slightly mean." He smiled. "Though I think we should send a present."
"We can send a gold bar. It's a kind gift."
Giles nodded, walking off to look that up. It was an acceptable gift so he may do that. The Treasury agents came back to talk to Xander, who baffled their minds with bullshit, as he tended to do with agents. Coulson got them out of danger and sorted out. So they could change out most of the gold. Coulson put on his sunglasses while looking at the bricks. Giles nodded. "We could build a burial pyramid."
"Don't tempt me," Xander called. "Anya would've appreciated that."
Giles sighed, shaking his head. "He's goofy from the succuba feeding on him to get the taint." He walked off to sign paperwork. He went back to the boys. "What about the cash he had on hand?"
"The vampires tried to confiscate most of it. They were paying for stuff around town with it and monopoly money mixed together," Bucky said. "The clothing store had a large stack so Barton looked."
"Ah. That's fine then. How much did you confiscate for us, Xander?"
He grinned. "I split it with the Council. I didn't take any of the weapons though." He grinned. "Or the plane."
"If we can keep that, it'll be most handy. That's fine. I probably owe you more anyway as everyone somehow got a raise thanks to Willow but you two."
"Willow tried to get jealous, Giles," Bucky said. "To the point where we spanked her."
"Oh, dear. I heard." He walked off to get some tea and go back to the paperwork. Xander had done a good job keeping things up to date for him. The agents who were coming in to look over things were handled by Coulson, which pleased him. He went to offer him a job heading a region. Hill got mad about that but oh well. She was a slayer in charge of many things but they did need competent people in case Xander got hit by a car or stabbed by one of his lovers. Or worse, retired.
Clint looked out as Suzette tromped off the elevator with Larissa. "Hey, girls."
"You're back?" she said, hugging him.
"All but Bucky. He's in Cleveland helping Xander sort weapons."
"Cool," Larissa said, hugging him too. She and Suzette bounced off to play together in her room.
"Homework," Natasha yelled from somewhere.
"Ewwww!" both girls yelled back then giggled and slammed Suzette's door.
Clint shook his head, texting Steve. He was doing reports for Fury downstairs somewhere. He also texted Larissa's mom to make sure she knew her daughter was here. No answer on that one. Steve came off the elevator shaking his head. "Larissa?"
"Her mom's having a baby daughter today. She totally forgot to remind her ex-husband to pick her up. He's on his way here." He went to tell the girls that, getting pouted at. The girls got a good snack first at least. They needed one. Larissa's dad didn't cook either apparently.
Suzette hugged her when her dad got there, walking her down to meet him. "Hi, I'm Suzette."
"Nice to meet you, Suzette." He shook her hand and smiled. "Thank you for watching Larissa for me."
"She's my best friend. We play all the time."
"That's sweet of you." He took her to the car and got into the back with her, letting it drive off. "Very interesting company you keep," he said with a smile.
"Dad!" she sighed. "Don't pick on Suzette. Please?"
"I'm not. She seems nice and sweet. Her calling does shine through." His daughter rolled her eyes and huffed. "Behave please."
"Fine. Why am I getting a new sibling?"
"Your mother wanted one."
"Oh. Is she okay?"
"As far as I know," he said. He took her back to his present base and let her run inside to use the bathroom while he followed more slowly. Some day, Suzette might just make him change his plans.
Steve looked at the picture Stark showed him. "That's him." Stark nodded. "Interesting who Larissa's biological father is." He put it face side down. "What do we do about this?"
"So far he's never been near her."
"Do we think it's a problem?"
"Andrew didn't. I don't know what he's basing it on." Steve nodded. "Do we think there's a danger to Suzette?"
"Probably not. Though he may be getting information from her."
"I don't want to hide stuff from her."
"Not like she knows intelligence stuff," Stark said.
"Point. As long as she's safe." Stark nodded, tabling that discussion. "Anything good from the Sunnydale stuff?"
"Not really. The Council had to add onto their armory and library." Steve grinned. "Coulson's down there helping. I've already sent him a message about her dad."
"I won't discriminate against Larissa because of her dad."
"I wouldn't want you to," Stark agreed. Steve nodded. "How is her new sibling?"
"Larissa's email called it neat but cranky. Little boy to her surprise." Stark nodded, drinking his coffee. "Think there's any more projects like that?"
"We can fight HYDRA." Bucky appeared, stumbling like he had been thrown. Bucky was also growling. "What happened?"
"Rosenburg," he complained.
"She's out?" Tony demanded.
"No, she kicked me out of Xander's house." His phone rang and it was Xander. He answered it, walking off listening to him. "We have got to do something about her." He nodded. "That's a good point. I can do that. Thanks, Xander. You good?" He grinned. "Even better. Later." He hung up. "Let me go talk to her."
"Fury won't let you walk into SHIELD," Stark warned. "He said he wanted to make sure of you first."
"I don't have to walk in." He smirked. "Or I could think like Xander and ask someone." A demon messenger appeared, holding up a paper. "From?" he demanded.
"The Great Mean One. He is not happy." He disappeared.
Bucky looked at the message of 'too late' and grinned. "He had someone go talk to her." He walked toward Steve's room. "Apparently he's letting his temper out via mouthpiece." Stark shuddered as he hacked into SHIELD's security footage, finding the jail's system. Sure enough, a huge demon was there sneering about Willow's many faults. Including jealousy that her friend had other friends who didn't put him down or treat him as badly as she did. She was in a corner crying into her knees but oh well.
Hill was trying to get the demon. She kept getting shoved out of the cell block. Finally the demon glared at her and said he wasn't there for her. He was paying off a poker debt by saying the things that the Knight could not thanks to her mental conditioning. Then he glared at Willow and started on how the community saw her and him. Hopefully this would break her bad habits. When he was done he left her to the agents who wanted to save her.
Bucky walked off looking pleased. "Steve, I'm bumming your shower."
"We can set him up his own room," Stark said. "We have some spares. I was going to set Wilson up one in case he has to come up here more often."
"Ask him, Stark. I don't mind sharing or not." He watched the feed. Agents were yelling at Willow about things. She was yelling back. "They're trying to provoke her into using magic." He texted Xander. Who showed up and backed Willow into a corner, saying something to her. She burst out crying and hugged him then took them both. Stark moaned. Steve texted him again. "She's going to one of the harsher covens to get right with the Goddess. She's finally seen how much help she needs." He put his phone aside. "Hill is not going to be pleased."
"Fury's going to have a kid fit," Stark countered.
"Maybe," Steve agreed. His phone rang and he looked at it, grinning. "Bucky texted from the shower. Xander said he's well protected and if he has to, he'll go show them how to handle magical prisoners since they suck at it."
Stark shook his head. "I don't want to know. Though it's a scary thought that Xander can do the same thing politicians do." He got up to get a drink. "Water, Rogers?"
"Please. Thank you, Tony." He accepted the bottle of water, watching the agents blame each other.
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.