Ships and Ladders...To The Pits of Despair.
Xander walked into the throne room of Wakanda, nodding at the king. "Your area by the altar was rescued."
"Why was there a battle?" he asked calmly. The warrior watcher did not look happy or healthy at the moment so it had apparently been something big they hadn't heard about. With the amount of bruises, cuts, and stitches he had, it had been a horrible event.
"Because someone summoned something on purpose to take down your shield. Pity." He stared at him. "It's in a bunch of pieces. But we gotta talk. Because you need to paddle your sister and behead Ross."
T'Challa grimaced. "What did they do?"
"I told her not to test my blood, not to see what things I had been exposed to. Then she did. And Ross put it into a file in the CIA. So the nice people who would've wanted my body to harvest who summoned the demons to take down the shield had to be taken out."
T'Challa winced. "That's bad. Someone get Shuri," he called. "And Ross if he's not left yet." He looked at Xander. "How dangerous is it?"
"I fell into a Native American burial chamber of ones that had been taken out by white guy sicknesses. On Thanksgiving." T'Challa winced again. "And that was the nicest thing. We're not counting any demon diseases I might've been exposed to during battles."
"Oh, dear. Shuri!" he bellowed. She came jogging out. "Did you test Watcher Harris' blood?" he demanded.
"We needed to see if it was dangerous if we managed to run into some during battles." She looked at him. "What happened?"
"You tested it and it got out," Xander told her simply. "And then Ross heard and told the CIA. So I had to take out blood hunters." She flinched, shaking her head. He nodded. "Yeah. That's why I told you not to look at it. Remember that talk?" She slumped down. "Now, I've got to defeat at least three militias who might want my blood and the CIA." He glared at Ross. "Thanks for the target on my back. I needed another few dozen ones." He winced. "Telling them means that they told someone who told SHIELD, who wants to take me in to experiment on, and I just had to take out some blood hunters who summoned a demon to specifically take me out. Thankfully everyone underestimates me." He glared at him. "The PTB's messenger said I shouldn't stab you or behead you. I'm not sure *why* at the moment though."
"I did not mean that to happen."
"The road to hell and all that," Xander quipped, staring at him. Then at the person running in. He pulled his gun and shot the one chasing his slayer. He put the gun back and looked at Ross again. "You put myself and all the minis on this continent into danger with that. I had to rescue two of them yesterday because they were taken hostage to draw me to them. By SHIELD."
"Better hope you can do a memory spell over the government," Xander said firmly. "Because if I have to keep defending myself and my girls I will become the evil that SHIELD thinks I can be." Ross shuddered but walked off calling someone. He looked at Shuri, who was shuddering in a corner. He looked at T'Challa. "Can someone please put a better guard on Tin?" he asked calmly. "I hate having to rescue the girls. Everyone hates me having to rescue the girls since I tend to like explosives. The government in Kenya asked me to please quit blowing up the ones that took my girls hostage to draw me. Though they had heard why and wanted to know if they could have samples too."
T'Challa sighed and shifted. "Yes, I can do that, Xander. We need her to be extra guarded just in case. How long will this last?"
"How long do you think I'll live?" he shot back.
T'Challa nodded. "We can grant you sanctuary."
"No you can't," he said dryly. "They'll just come here for me. Even if I had guards it wouldn't help." T'Challa nodded at that. "I might ask Erik to come help me take out blood hunters for a bit, or act as a temporary watcher until I finish killing blood hunters and agents."
"He may do that," Shuri said. "I did not mean that to happen, Watcher Harris."
He looked at her. "Sometimes it's a good idea to let subjects be in the dark. Sometimes it's safer to ignore that there's a boogey man out there." She nodded, biting her lip. "Just please go erase everything on it."
"Do you want a list?"
"No. I have a pretty good idea thanks to a healer I went to at Goddess D'Isor's temple."
"All right," she said quietly, hurrying back to the lab to erase that information anywhere she could find it.
Xander looked at T'Challa. "I know she's young," he said quietly. "And wants to fix everything." The big brother king nodded patiently. "I don't blame her for that. For sharing it...." He sighed. "But I've met others like her who have to know everything. Willow was like that at one time."
"I can make sure it's safer for Tin and others," he promised. Xander nodded. "Are you going to retire to hide better?"
"They can't find me if I'm traveling," he said. "And no one else ever does my job. No one wants to take out the virgin male eating thing in Sudan either." He walked off. "I'm going back to the ship for now. I'll go tomorrow to stop that thing in Sudan."
"Of course." He went to talk to Nakia and Ayo. Who were in Nakia's office. "Shuri tested Watcher Harris' blood." Nakia winced. "Then it got to Ross. He's had to defeat those who want samples. And those who took some of the slayers hostage to get his attention."
"I'll put a better guard on Tin," Ayo agreed. "Is he going into hiding?"
"He said it's harder to find him when he's traveling," he admitted. "I worry but he did ask us to please guard her better so she wasn't taken like a few of the others were."
"I can arrange that," Ayo agreed. "And talk to her trainer as well."
"How many has he dealt with so far?" Nakia asked, pulling up her files. T'Challa shrugged so she sent an email to Xander to find out. He sent back pictures of the messes he had made. "That's...horrifying," she decided, looking up who they had been. "SHIELD," she said quietly. "They had taken two of the slayers into custody to draw him."
"He said he'll become the evil they thought he'd become," T'Challa said. "Let me know if we have to do something to help him or Tin." He went to talk to his little sister. She had meant well at least.
Xander landed near someone thanks to Valkyrie, staring at the balding guy there. "Your people are so damn corrupt and evil, it's a pleasure taking them out for kidnaping children."
The guy stared at him. "Which one of my agents, Mr. Harris?"
"Six of your agents a few days ago." He tossed over an envelope, then a second and third one. "One tried the mini in Wakanda. Thankfully the ship pulled me from a battle to go save her because no one realized that she needed it. The last is the one I just fed to a hellmouth in Africa that's not in Wakanda, but then again he had been trying to open it to summon something to take out all the slayers." He stared at him. Then suddenly turned and fired on two agents trying to sneak up on him. "That was horrifically stupid." He looked at Coulson again. "If you want me to become evil, I can and will. Especially over the slayers."
"How did you get diseases that're dead strains?"
"I fell into a burial chamber. Maybe you should try it so you have test subjects who're willing to be tortured." One of the ones sneaking over touched him then screamed in pain. "Yeah, body armor," he said, looking at her then smirking. "Hey, I remember stripping for you." She shuddered, falling down clutching her arm. He looked at Coulson again. "Don't try. Just...don't try it. You won't like it when I blow your asses open in the press or in reality. Because the safety of the slayers comes before *alllll* of your people," he said with a wave of his hand. "And I'll die defending them. Oh." He snapped his fingers and grinned. "The ones in Cleveland? Willow found them first. They're probably kraken tentacle toys by now since they were trying to harm the minis there." He grimaced. "Pity but you tried to take out kids." He shrugged and disappeared, leaving the tracking dot there.
Coulson looked at his people. "I did not authorize you to go near the slayers or him," he noted impatiently. "Why did you?"
"He's dangerous!" the one on the ground said.
Coulson looked at her. "Good. It means the world's kept going a few times when he stopped battles by himself." He picked up the envelopes to look at the agents, wincing at how they ended up. "That's disgusting," he decided. "But trying to take an infant hostage deserves that." He walked off. "If you're a SHIELD agent I expect you back at the base now. If not, I'll talk to your directors in a few minutes. Let me go talk to the president. Maybe he can play diplomat between us and the Council before we all die from a demon invasion."
He went to seethe for a bit first though. He had no idea how a guy who owned a semi-futuristic steampunk airship and a pickup truck saved the world and put up with this level of bullshit but he was sure Harris was going to snap soon and kill people on purpose who were annoying him. So far he had only shot to wound. He walked into the White House and got nodded back to the oval office. "Sir," he said, saluting as he walked in.
"Coulson." He stared at him. "This looks bad."
"Somehow, my people have decided to attack the Council, sir. I just had one of them warning me off the slayers since apparently a few agents had taken some of the younger girls hostage to get him so they could do illegal experiments on him." The president winced. Coulson handed over those photos. "What Harris handed me after having to fix problems and before he promised to turn into the evil someone under me thought he might become. Apparently he's going to prove them right."
The president looked at the pictures, grimacing. "I'd say he's already there." He looked up. "What caused this?" He flipped over a few of the pictures so he didn't have to look at them again.
"Someone found out Harris has diseases in his blood and told others."
The president winced. "I got a report on that from someone CIA," he admitted, pulling it out to hand over. Coulson read it, grimacing at it. "They did not intend that effect."
"It's nice he warned us about this," Coulson said. "Was it a deathbed confession?"
"No, his boss has put him in a tiny cubicle for now. Both protection and punishment." He stared at Coulson. "How do you want to fix this?"
"I'd like to make a treaty with the Council, which would also allow us to send them agents to help with things."
"They won't allow agents, Coulson. They were very firm in not allowing agents or former military people into their program."
"Someone mentioned that Sunnydale had an illegal program. I can't find anything on it." He called someone. "Find me any prices on Watcher Xander Harris' head now please," he ordered. "He just handed Coulson proof that there's something." He hung up. "He'll send someone over with it soon."
Coulson nodded. He called his people. "Melinda, find out why the Council hates agents and military people. Something in Sunnydale we think." He heard her ask someone that and Daisy already knew the answer. "Oh, shit," he muttered when she told him. The president gave him an odd look. "How long? Anything we know?" He took the held up keyboard to type an address into the search bar. Daisy uploaded everything to that site that they knew about that group.
"Anything else that I might need to hear right now? No, I knew he's dead. I have a nice picture of him screaming as the kraken he was summoning played with him. Harris," he admitted. He wrote down another address. "What's that one?" His eyebrow went up. "Who...oh, from Wakanda because someone there got pissed off at the 'he's normal' thing the slayers were pushing onto Harris. Thank you, Daisy.
"Anything else?" He wrote another note and put it into his pocket. "Might be a while but I can pick that up." He hung up. The president gave him a pointed look. "They ordered something for Doctor Simmons birthday and it's local." He let the president have his keyboard back. "The other is a video site with files from some of the battles down there, sir."
The president went over the first site, turning green and heaving at one point. "That's bad," he decided. He got into the personnel lists, which noted their current assignments. "I wouldn't trust Homeland either," he decided, letting Coulson see it.
Coulson kept himself from heaving but nodded once. "Can we subtly move them into a cave we block them into, sir?"
"I wouldn't care if you did," he admitted. "Though it's weird none of them were HYDRA."
Phil tipped his head. "That is weird. That's their sort of thing. Huh." He shook his head. "Proves they didn't have the monopoly of bad idiots."
"True." He got into the second site, blinking at the first battle. "That's the one against that purple guy."
"Thanos, sir." He came around to watch it over the president's shoulder. "Is that a demon goddess? And what is that snake thing?" The notes on the file mentioned who she was and that she had been picking on the ascended demon so she had brought it to help with the battle. "What's an ascended demon?" he muttered. He blinked a few times. "Willow Rosenburg can handle battle duties apparently. We thought her a bit too soft and squishy."
"Apparently not since she was on the original team out there when Sunnydale was a real town," the president said. Someone was let in and saluted. "Agent Ross," he said dryly.
"It's my screw up to fix, sir. I just wanted people warned so they could watch out for someone coming for him. Thankfully some higher messenger being told him not to behead me yet so I have time to help fix it."
Coulson handed over the pictures. "He had to fix some himself."
Ross looked at them, looking disgusted. "He must be sick. He's letting demons handle it on their own." He frowned.
"What's an ascended demon?" the president asked.
"A human or half-demon who wanted to turn into a pure demon so they did decades of rites and rituals to turn into a giant snake that would try to take over humanity, sir. I asked after that battle when I saw the footage."
"Someone in Wakanda put up a bunch of videos of his battles to show the slayers he wasn't that normal," Coulson said.
Ross looked then sighed and got into a better site. "Hosted in Botswana and Mozambique for training purposes because they've both had a few huge problems." He got out of the way.
The president watched one of them at random, staring at it oddly. "Why is he using a battle axe?"
"It had to be beheaded and as he told Erik Killmonger after his revival, it's really hard to behead with a gun, sir."
"I know that name," Coulson muttered, looking it up. "Oh. Huh. He's alive?"
"A young witch down there was possessed and told everyone they needed more warriors. She brought him back. Watcher Harris made sure he came back whole instead of being a problem in the making. He's working on training some of the Wakandan troops to handle outside problems and their mini slayer as well."
Coulson looked up. "They have a slayer?"
"She's ten." Ross pulled up a video he had gotten from Shuri to let them see. "Her first official ceremonial duty. She was taken in by the Dora Milaje to train her for her future duties. Watcher Harris gave her the first official weapon that day." They got to watch Tin bop people with her staff. The president grinned. "She's really tough and told me if I was there to be a colonizer she'd ask some of the local demons to eat me." He put his phone up. "Harris is very practical about his minis down there. They're mostly too young to be anywhere near battles. He wants them all to have happy childhoods. If someone near them can train them to the standards they need he allows it. Only a few have had to be removed from bad families and they're safely in schools. All the girls are to get educated and graduate."
"He sounds like he's good to them," Coulson said. "What do you know about his ship?"
"Princess Shuri adores Valkyrie. She told me he said he made it in the future but had to come back to save himself by handing her over."
Coulson blinked a few times. "That's more than we knew before. We know it can bring down a helicarrier."
"According to him, you tried it first and he calls most of you stupid," Ross told him. "Because of that and trying to proclaim the slayers enemy combatants."
"I was off realm then and I removed that as soon as I got back," Coulson said. "Apparently it's time for a talk though." He scratched his eyebrow. "Any other good news?"
"Harris can slightly build weapons. Or he'll find a way to get them. Including some dates that will dote on the girls and let them have weapons if necessary, and then will take Xander out on a date. And a few times he's had to get a militia into a battle." He looked at the site and selected one. "That was one of those. They wanted him to die for making them deal with that."
They watched that video, the president wincing. "Oh, dear," Coulson said. "I know that group." Most of them were dead by the end of the battle. "I'll have to pass on that they're handled for the most part."
"They merged with another group that was wiped out by a demon goddess sort. They're now training to be warriors of Allah in that sort of war because obviously they need to handle it themselves instead of letting a white guy do it. Or women."
Coulson nodded. "I can see that point. Can you send me files on that so we can update ours?"
"Of course." He looked at the president. "We're trying to get him out of notice, sir. Some may remember and they may need to be taken out. I know he hated having to deal with one of his dates that tried to get his blood a few months back, before all this."
"He did?" the president asked.
"He hates blood hunters almost as much as he hates slavers, sir." Ross grinned a bit. "There's four groups down there that have disappeared or all but disappeared thanks to him having to rescue someone. Only once was a slayer related. Another I was told had a slayer's sister. Apparently his method of correction for those sorts is explosives."
"I like that ideology myself," Coulson admitted. "If he wasn't in Africa, is he SHIELD material?"
"When I first heard about him, I thought he was already one of yours like Barton was," Ross said dryly, smirking at him. "Then I found out he's just been doing it since he jumped in at fifteen because one tiny, blonde girl shouldn't do it on her own and they took his best friend."
Coulson nodded slowly. "If we had known we might've recruited him." He sighed. "How do we calm him down?"
"Take out the blood hunters for him. He's talked Killmonger into going to help him for a bit. Erik is apparently creeped out by demons but he's not against taking out biowarfare sorts. When given the option to become a watcher with Harris or staying in Wakanda, Killmonger went on ritual meditation to stay in Wakanda and help them."
"That's bad," the president said. "Ritual stuff like that can drive you nuts."
"Apparently it's easier," Ross said with a shrug. "And he hates demons. The mini slayer there hit him a few good times when he was glaring at the local peaceful sorts they have there. Once she nearly broke his leg kicking him for it. He swatted at her and she tried to stab him. Which got her knife lessons from her aunt who's training her to be a Dora Milaje. And Killmonger got the little warrior-to-be her first dagger."
Coulson smiled. "It sounds like she's being treated well and she'll be strong."
Ross smirked back. "She's a tiny smartass too. She came home in a dress Summers had bought her, an American style dress, so her mother would have something to complain about beyond her being gone for a week."
The president smiled. "She sounds like a smart little girl." He looked at Coulson then at Ross. "How bad is it going to become?"
"Some groups won't go near Harris, sir. Unless he retires. They don't want to die from a demon invasion he didn't win. Some of those will try to dig up his body most likely." The president nodded at that. "Some of them...are kinda stupid. Mostly thanks to drugs. I know Xander's had a few demon contacts poison their drugs. It took out the, as he called them, militant yahoos who wanted to take out his slayer in Egypt. I'm told the government got amused at that when they were told."
"We heard one of those groups died due to their tainted drugs," Coulson said. "Interesting how that happened."
"Shuri thinks that Valkyrie, the ship, has a way of helping him brainstorm."
"It's sentient?" Coulson asked.
"Oh, yes. It likes to talk to Princess Shuri and help her vent about magic getting into her science."
Coulson groaned. "That's a huge bit of news."
"During the battle against Thanos, she had people in storage in case he managed to take out some of humanity."
"Why was Lang on it?" Coulson asked.
"She likes him. Shuri bragged that he helped build her in the future."
"Huh." He nodded, shaking his head quickly. "Can she shrink too?"
"No idea," Ross admitted. "I know she has a teleporting beam. She'll summon the kid when she wants him. He also carries some sort of remote to help him get up there. He does usually travel around Africa by pickup truck though. Can't really take an airship over most of the continent and not be noticed." He grinned suddenly and held up a hand. "Also, she has some sort of death ray beam that our analysts think may have been designed by Andrew Wells. Apparently he used to be an evil overlord wannabe in his teenage years with his geek group. Our devices around Lang had him talking about some of Andrew Wells' former plans and the ones he had inherited. Including the realistic robotic girlfriend that one of his friends had built himself."
"How realistic?" Coulson asked.
"Couldn't tell the difference. Lang's report to Hope VanDyne said he had met her and could not tell she was not human until she talked about needing to go top up her oil." Coulson slumped. Ross grinned. "The designer is dead. Wells inherited his plans."
"Can we build one for an LMD?" the president asked. "I know the current life model decoy I have is pretty low tech."
"I'll go ask him if he'd mind doing that for you, sir," Coulson said. He looked at Ross. "Have you interacted with anyone else of the Council?"
"A few of the slayers showed up thanks to Rosenburg. Harris beat her pretty badly then sedated her before going to handle the thing in London where they were finding some of the girls missing. He was very cuddly with one slayers' daughter. T'Challa said she had been a sweet kid but fussed horribly at her mother until Xander or Lang took her over. The kid was a future healer and hated magic. That was during that post battle meeting I saw on video so I did not get sneered at. I was told he was a great big brother to the slayers, and that's how he saw himself mostly."
"I can see how that would help them the most," Coulson said. "I'm going to liaison with the Council tomorrow."
Ross nodded. "Rupert Giles seems mild mannered but in his youth he was part of a heavy magic coven in London that did things like summon higher demons." Coulson winced. "He got himself cleaned up then went to college."
"Can he still use it?" the president asked.
"Considering he showed up during that thing in London with the missing slayers and worked with some heavy duty sorcerers, including the high priest of Janus he used to practice beside, and two of the high priests to Loki? Probably. We saw him using some magic during that incident in both Cleveland and London. Though he did not tell Harris to put down the crocodile that used to be an arms dealer when he was going to feed some of the changed witches to it."
"Anything else I should be aware of?" Coulson asked.
"The girls, they all think Harris is *normal*. Started with Summers from what we've overheard, but they will nag him about handling things because he's normal. Rosenburg is one of the worst at that. Harris will stomp off with a huff and handle something else but not tell them. The only reason they know anything about what he's done is he's filed minimalistic reports and someone told them. They had no idea that there were demon queens and gods down there until one post battle report noted a friendly one helping.
"They file big incidences in a book in the library for future reference. Someone joked they should make a whole one just out of whatever's handled in Africa. We hacked them pretty easily as most of them don't use computers. Harris likes to report in bland, 'I didn't do that' tones so no one nags him. His one for the battle against Thanos didn't mention a single thing about Goddess Tiahla or the ascended demon. Rosenburg's filed report did mention them but she noted she was confused about why they were there and pouted that Sorcerer Strange had pulled the powerful stone from her hand to use it himself. Rupert got a drink and called Harris, who told him why they had been there. He needed most of a fifth of scotch for that one talk."
"I can see that need myself," Coulson agreed. "I haven't had this urge since Barton got pulled off-realm and nearly made into a fairy queen."
The president looked at him. "What?" he demanded.
Ross grinned. "Half of the time the Council is all that way. The rest it's average patrols and girls being teenage girls."
"I can see how that would be normal for them. It's good they're like normal young women most of the time," Coulson said. "I'll go talk to them in the morning."
"I'll send over the files we have on the ones in Cleveland," Ross said. He nodded at the president. "Let me go get a few more biowarfare groups down, sir." He went back to his punishment cubicle to send those files to Coulson and then send Killmonger files on the groups near Xander who would cause problems, rated by how high of a threat they were and how hard they'd be to take out. Some groups were just too big to handle. Especially just by two warriors. Though he did send Shuri an email suggesting maybe some of the top warriors could go work with the slayers in Cleveland for a bit. They could use the training and the warriors could use the easier, fun times. He got back to work against those groups. It could only help the world be safer and saner.
Phil Coulson looked at the man he was meeting the next morning. "Doctor Fitz said you seemed like a mild mannered researcher sort but he did say that he thought you hid the warrior side you have very well, Mr. Giles."
Rupert sipped his tea with a slight smile. "Yes, well, sometimes must needs so you become what you must."
"True." He handed over his tablet. "Tell me if we missed any members so I can hunt them down and make sure of their status?"
He looked through it, frowning. "A good few seem to be injured."
"Mostly in battles, yes." Coulson stared at him for a moment. "I wouldn't allow those sort in my agency and the one I found out had transferred in I had removed last night. I don't blame you or the girls for avoiding most government agencies thanks to them." Buffy Summers walked in so he nodded. "Slayer Summers."
She looked over Giles' shoulder. "You're missing pages two and three."
He nodded. "Those ones are confirmed dead."
"I can understand how that happens. We nearly make it there sometimes too." Giles patted her on the hip. "So what's the DT?"
"I'm Director Phil Coulson of SHIELD, Miss Summers. I'd like to help your girls with training and battles. I have a number of excellently trained fighters at my fingertips and know of a few others who wanted introduced. I have checked to make sure they're not from that group, or any affiliated group, and not HYDRA."
"We have one watcher that was HYDRA but he decided being a watcher was more important for the world to go on so they could remake it later," she said with a shrug. "He's been good to the minis by teaching them about evil shits."
"He's still in traction for the next seven weeks," Giles told her. He looked at Coulson. "He and I had a talk when I found out. He explained how he was making sure that the world continued until his former employers got things together but even then he had negotiated that HYDRA was not coming after my slayers. As I found out later, he and Xander had a talk as well, before mine, and the poor chap was sure that HYDRA would be fed to a real one if they tried anything against the slayers." He smiled slightly.
"If he does do that, send me film please. I know a few I'd like to share that with," Coulson said. Buffy walked off laughing. "Miss Summers, you can stay. It does pertain to your girls." She came back with a cup of coffee with whipped cream and Andrew Wells following her. "Mr. Wells, some of my people wanted to talk to you later about some plans you inherited. We think that Mr. Meers stuff might hold a good idea for LMD devices."
"Natalie is very sentient on her own. I can't code a personality that way though."
"We'd like to copy her coding without harming it," Coulson said, pulling out a folder to hand to him. He looked at Mr. Giles again. "I have a great many agents who would willingly step into battles when necessary if you let us know and a few agents who couldn't handle being within a now smaller agency and helping rebuild it who would love to handle some of the girls in the field if you'd let them train as watchers. Including one of the top female agents formerly in SHIELD."
"Going from a large group to a tiny one can be mind warping," Buffy said. "Some of our watchers had that problem." She sipped her coffee with a moan. "Thanks for the cinnamon, 'Drew."
"Not a problem," he quipped. He looked at Coulson. "Do you still think Xander's going to be going too evil?"
"No," Coulson said. "Not unless we make him be. We have learned that lesson and the ones that hadn't learned it before are presently being watched for more faulty thinking. Especially after we had to rescue a few that were proving that point from their demonic captors." Buffy moaned, covering it up by drinking. He stared at her. "Someone tested his blood," he said quietly. She slumped but nodded. "He's been fighting against those sort for the last week or so."
"We heard," Andrew said with a grin. "Including that he had to rescue a few of the minis from someone who wanted his attention and then got what they wanted."
Coulson nodded. "I would have done the same thing. Though I don't have the same sort of skills with higher weapons he does."
Buffy stared at him over the rim of her coffee cup. "I don't need to know. I'll start looking at him funny again." She took a sip. Coulson slightly smiled and looked at Giles.
"I've been told that there's some of the battles on video that he didn't submit, just reports." Coulson got into the better of the two sites for him. Giles picked the top one to look over, frowning. "What is that?" He scowled until the bigger demon appeared and blew a kiss then punched the invading moron in the mouth and went off on him for daring to show up when he had stood her up on a date a few millennia ago. "Any idea?"
"That is the Goddess D'Isor, who is a giant flirt and fairly decent to him and your girls down there," Coulson said with a smile. Buffy leaned over to look, then groaned and went to get more whipped cream.
"Second fridge, on the door," Andrew called after her. He looked at Coulson. "I noticed both of those going up."
"I thought the one from Mozambique was interesting but I could see why the country was covering it up." Giles found that one and got into it, frowning in confusion as he watched the cloth eating demons attacking. "The higher ones that sent the cloth eaters thought that regular clothes were special, magic body armor," Coulson told him. "Or like turtle shells. They'll follow soon, once they think the humans are sufficiently weakened by being naked."
Giles nodded as he watched. Though he was not paying attention to the naked Xander in more than what he was doing with the battle.
"I'd hate to be naked during a field battle," Andrew said. "Whole lots of places to get hurt."
"Quite," Giles told him but was still watching. And then there were higher weapons suddenly. And a huge explosion. And his watcher doing a banishing rite for no reason? Oh, no, the head person was possessed and the possession being gone made him mad so he was attacking harder but they had gotten his people's weapons from them and were blowing them back to their world, and shooting a good bit through the portal so they'd have to take the time to rebuild their city.
Then Xander threw over one large bomb and it exploded the portal and everything else. Xander walked off wiping off demon blood and goo. The generals in charge were staring at each other then announced that nothing had happened and no one was saying a thing. Xander quipped he'd tell his higher ups that they said nothing had happened. "Well, I suppose it's good they're not letting pictures of that battle out," he decided, handing the tablet back.
"I'm told he's already a pinup to some demons," Coulson said with a slight grin. "Something about stripping and young and tasty."
"His roadtrip after graduation," Giles said dryly. "From the ones that took his blood, do we know if he's absorbed any other demon taints?"
"I did not look at that." He called up that file from the secure folder. "This is what was noted to be in there."
Giles stared then shook his head. "Only the two demon things and the mermaid taint. Interesting." He handed the tablet back. Coulson cleared it off. "We do not mind agents jumping into battles but the girls can get nervous about agents being involved in their daily lives. Especially after the Accords debacle. Some also came from places we had to have them rescued from."
"I can understand that. I know Mr. Harris trains local militaries as well as the girls so they have backup. Can we do the same thing?"
Giles smiled and nodded. "We can work that out, yes. There's been very few times when more people added to a battle wouldn't have helped. And most of those we were inside a portal of some kind or another."
"What about former agents?"
"I..." Giles looked at Andrew then at Buffy in the doorway. They both shrugged. "I'm..."
"I can have them introduced to Mr. Harris first," Coulson offered.
"Xander does have an excellent bullshit filter," Buffy said. "And he'd know dangerous because it'd flirt with him." She sipped her new cup of whipped cream with a bit of coffee underneath. "Yeah, if he says so, we might hire them on for my minis. I'm super overprotective over them and my sister."
Coulson nodded. "I'll try to get them together this week then. One of them is female." Buffy grinned. "She was one of the top ten fighters in SHIELD before it fell. After we rebuilt she was second."
"Then I'm all for people who can defend themselves," she said, walking off again. "Let us know."
"I can do that." He looked at Giles. "How else can we help the Council so you function and don't lose things?"
"I'm still working on rebuilding what we once had."
"I understand that very well, Mr. Giles. I'm doing the same thing with SHIELD. We went from a world-wide intelligence agency who handled terrorists before they made their names to being under five hundred people now."
Giles smiled at him. "Then I'm sure you've had the same headaches I've had about all this. We could use someone who knew weapons since Xander's not here all that often and the current armory master is an ancient weapons specialist, which is needed, but we may need some higher weapons help."
"I think I can find someone for that, yes." He shook his hand as he stood up. "Let me get those three near Harris for you."
"Let me know if there's an upcoming problem." He handed over his card with a smile. "This is my second-in-command, Melinda May. She is our top fighter." He shook Andrew's hand. "I'll set up a meeting to talk to you about those ideas in a few days, Mr. Wells. Thank you for your time." He walked off, getting in to drive off. He called on his way. "Bobbi, Coulson. Do yourself a favor and get yourself, Lance, and if you can pick up Hermanda, to Africa to meet up with Watcher Xander Harris.
"He's going to vet you to work with the slayers as a watcher and battle backup plus Hermanda is needed in the armory." He listened to her. "Yes, seriously. The guy in Africa has the right senses to say hire you or not. No, not undercover, Bobbi. For good. There's a bunch of teenage girls saving humanity while some agencies try to take them down for it. Plus terrorists and others. I think they could use your sense, Bobbi, and I think you'd make a fantastic big sister to them. Thank you." He hung up with a sigh of pleasure. Bobbi had needed a new career to make her quit moping about having to be disavowed.
Erik looked up from shooting a terrorist when someone behind them shot the next few. "Who're you?" he called.
"We got sent to talk to Mr. Harris about becoming watchers," the brunette lady said with a smile as she walked down the hill. "I know you're not him. Do you need help rescuing him?"
"Nah, I locked him in the truck when these idiots showed up." He pointed. "Let me get the rest."
Bobbi grinned and Lance waved his gun. "The other five with their jeep? They're down. Icers so you can ask them things or see if they'll hand over weapons to the slayers."
"Thanks." Erik straightened up. "Who're you two?"
"Bobbi Morse. Lance Hunter," she said with a point at them. "Used to be SHIELD but got disavowed for saving someone against diplomatic ties." Xander finally made it out of the back of the truck. Bobbi looked him over. "We have a small first aid kit if you'd like to borrow it, Mr. Harris."
Xander stared at them. "I saw you in the comics, lady," he said dryly. "Though your outfit had a mask and you were blonder." She just smiled. "Why come to me?"
"We used to work for Coulson and he talked to your Mr. Giles about us going to help your girls. Mr. Giles said to come talk to you about that."
Xander nodded with a grunt. "Okay, we can talk in a few. I don't know why I'm the hiring committee."
"We were told you had the right senses to see if we were dangerous to your girls."
"Yeah, you'd be flirting with him," Erik complained. Xander glared at him. "They do! You dated two last week."
"Whatever," Xander quipped with a hand wave. Then he turned and used his laser pistol on the few trying to come back. "No, I don't think so! Watch me call a higher demon, supposed-people!" They all fled. They had seen him do that and what had happened to the toy humans it had claimed. Erik burst out laughing, going to clean up on the bed of the truck. "Sorry," Xander said quietly, putting up his laser pistol. "So, you want to be watchers?"
"No tiny little girl should do it on her own," Bobbi said. "A real woman should always back up a teenage girl until she's able to do it for the next generation."
Lance nodded. "I tried to jump into another battle but the witches sent me off. We know a lot of the girls are just that, girls. That's an adult, agent, trained guy job. Not for little girls."
Xander grinned and nodded. "That's about why I jumped in too. Because no one little blonde girl should save the world by herself." They both relaxed some. "Sorry you had to see the idiots who wanted me for parts."
Bobbi laughed. "We saw the film from where you handed some over to some poker buddies. We thought it was brilliant."
Xander snorted but grinned at her. "Too thick, dear."
"No, seriously. If I knew some, I have a few agents I'd like to feed to them too. Before they screw up again and somehow end up destroying the US."
"Willow would undo it," Xander quipped. Lance's eyes went wide. "Yeah, she can do that."
"Wow," Lance said with a nod. "I find magic pretty weird but I'd rather she and that sorcerer guy both have very little to do."
"I just want her to quit turning people into pets," Xander said as he walked off. "My field kit's over here if you need something out of it." Erik waved the bandages. "Thanks, man. And for not letting me help."
"Better to have you safe than to have to rescue you from some lab," Erik said dryly. "I'd hate doing that and you'd hate me doing it for you."
"Yup. I hate being told I'm normal."
Bobbi gave him an odd look. "Normal? Normal guys run from the sight of guns. They don't shoot back." Xander grinned at her. "You remind me a lot of my ex-husband. Other ex-husband," she said with a glance at Lance then grinned at them again.
"I know you weren't talking about me," Lance said dryly. "I'm not insane enough to go into a battle against techno-terrorists like AIM with a bow." He looked at Xander, who was studiously not looking at Erik. "There's film of him taking down an AIM base with his battle axe."
Erik swatted Xander on the head. "Dumbass."
"Had to happen," he said dryly. He grinned. "And I got some neat weapons too."
"Uh-huh. I'm going to tell Tin so she can tie you up and fuss over you."
"Please don't," Xander begged quietly. "The girls get real huffy when I have to handle things for them. She's too young to do that."
"Bullshit. Girl went out with Cuz to look at the injured war rhinos and held one down so it could have the wounds treated. By herself." Xander moaned. "She's a sweet kid who'll fuss you to death. And I'll tell the one with the baby so she can help teach the baby how to fuss."
"Thanks." He grinned at Bobbi. "Sometimes you're so alone you think that you become a superhero."
"I know I'm Batman," Xander quipped with a grin for them. She snorted but looked amused. Lance was groaning and shaking his head. "I am."
"Did you name the truck Alfred?" Lance asked.
Xander burst out laughing and hit him on the arm. "I like that one. I should tell Valkyrie."
"Your ship is beautiful from the pictures we've seen," Bobbi said with a grin for him. "And the one that tried to fire on you got fired after being locked in a vault for two days by his coworkers. Coulson found out and let him out while firing him for being a dick."
"I might like that guy if he wasn't an asshole," Xander said dryly.
"Yeah but assholes get things done," she pointed out.
Xander nodded. "They still think I'm going to become evil."
"Coulson adjusted that file to note that you'd only go that way if it was necessary or you got pushed into it, and if so someone probably deserved it." He blinked at her. She showed it to him. "He let us copy that one and the ones on the slayers so they were able to handed over."
Xander flipped through them, nodding slightly. "Got Dawn's birthday wrong."
"We have no idea about Dawn in any manner. We just think she's perky and trying to be smart at college. One HYDRA agent tried her so she got a teddybear."
"Oh, I heard," Xander said dryly. "Buffy hasn't, and she probably shouldn't." He kept reading, nodding at most of it. He handed the device back, staring at her. "You know it's a lot of boring stuff, right? A lot of research stuff? Learning how to tell which thing from another thing that might be peaceful. We do work with the peaceful ones."
"I wouldn't want to make something attack me for being a dumbass," Lance said. "We got the agency's version of the field manual." He held it up once he pulled it out of his pack. Erik held up Xander's so they took it to flip through and make notes on their copies. He looked at Xander. "They said there's a HYDRA guy."
"Yeah. He's real sure if the slayers don't keep winning his people can never take over. He sees the girls as a necessary resource for their eventual takeover plans. His bosses weren't too happy but his slayer talked to the poker buddies about what HYDRA was when they told her about it. One went to scare his bosses to death because not even they could stop an invasion from another plane and that one offered to tell someone to do one there because it wasn't a place slayers could stop them. After the cannibal imps came through...." Erik walked off shuddering and holding himself. Xander grinned at his back then at them. "The heads of HYDRA decided the girls are necessary and protected because they don't want to have to fight a demon emergency and you guys."
Bobbi shook her head quickly. "I guess that's good."
"We had a talk with him. He knows he will not *ever* harm one of the slayers or their sibs. And I do mean ever. I vowed to come back from the dead to have them eaten even if I had to turn into a zombie to do it myself, and with my mermaid taint I might not be able to be beheaded at that time. He agreed. Said that's why he volunteered to help the girls. We had the talk about how all the slayers are to grow up being happy children if it was possible. Without any trauma that the bigger slayers see. They're not even allowed to know anything about demons before they hit puberty. It's all self defense until then and only that so they can get away."
Bobbi nodded at that. "No one wants a little kid to have to fight. It's always wrong unless they're trying to get away from some perv and then adults should step in to help 'em."
Xander nodded. "All my local minis are with their families, but two. They're all mostly happy young women. A bit sarcastic because it came with the slayer imprint, but otherwise they're mostly happy. We want the girls to be girls, have full girl lives, all that, and be slayers when they have to be." He stared at them. "Being a slayer is a calling that got put onto them before they were born. They didn't have a choice. They do have a choice about going on patrol or anything else. A number are hiding at home and hoping they never have to protect their people. It's their choice." They both nodded.
"His local girls are all little smartasses who seem like sweet hellions until their brothers or someone messes with their stuff," Erik agreed as he came back. "The few that have beginning training weapons, like Tin, they'll defend them worse than a kid does their teddy bear."
"Sounds about right," Bobbi agreed. "As long as they're old enough to learn about weapons."
"Part of self defense training," Xander admitted. "They learn regular staff work because you can pick up a stick if you must. They learn hand scythes because the mystical scythe is one and most of them are at least semi-rural slayers so a lot of them already know how to use one in a field. At later times they can learn knives or bows or whatever. Swords, axes, those things come after puberty and after the first couple of levels of demonology. Mostly until they're about to hit their last womanly growth spurt because then they're a size that can handle it." Bobbi held up her escrima sticks. "Those they can learn like they do swords. Swords are kinda mandatory. Really hard to behead without a bladed weapon."
She nodded. "Yeah, it would be. Even the Hulk couldn't pull something's head off usually," Lance said.
"We saw him in the battle in Wakanda," Xander quipped with a grin for him. "He seemed pretty handy and knew what he was doing. Though the ascended demon did creep him out."
"That thing was freaky," Lance said.
Xander grinned. "I know. We had to handle one at our high school graduation. Our former mayor did that."
Bobbi moaned. "We saw that something happened but no one noted what."
Xander grinned at her too. "Him. Ninety yards. Biggest version. And us without a volcano."
"Vol...." Bobbi started then just sighed and nodded. "I don't need to know yet."
He grinned. "Nice. A lot of the uptight watchers crack long before they hear about him. Lance swallowed, shaking his head. "I get a lot of that from the former old liners. Especially the ones that got fired for being jackasses to the girls when we rebuilt."
Lance stared at him. "Anyone who tries to turn a little girl into a child soldier should get their asses beat."
Xander nodded. "Yeah. Can you guys use bladed weapons?"
"Knife work but we can learn," Bobbi said. "I know other agents who're going to start training to jump in for battles."
"We can usually use some. Down here I'm happy when I get backed up by a regional military." Erik grimaced but nodded. "And once an army unit that went screaming home to their mommy general about horrifying things that wanted to screw them. So much nicer than the last one we had," he sighed. Erik moaned and shook his head with a sigh. Xander grinned at him. "Knew them?"
"Yup. Though I probably would've went to get drunk about it. Better a screwing sort than an eating sort."
"Someone put up videos from some of the battles down here so people could tell what happened," Lance said. Xander stared at him coolly. "Not us. We just found it during a talk. Someone CIA told us."
"Ross," Xander moaned, shaking his head.
"Probably," Erik agreed. "Because he wanted people to know that you're not an easy target and his bosses wanted to know why you did reports that read 'the country said the battle didn't happen'. Though if I had a battle where I was totally naked thanks to the first wave of demons I'd probably try to forget it too."
Xander looked at him. "At least it wasn't swords that time. Had that happen too. Slippery ground, rainy day, battle axe, me being naked and a few naked opponents." Erik shuddered, hunching in on himself. "Yeah. We're all damn lucky we walked away from that one." He looked at the two agents. "Giles said three were coming."
"Hermanda's laid up with sixteen broken bones thanks to her ex-husband finding out she had been a decent agent," Lance said, grimacing. "Thankfully he's under the jail and dead."
Bobbi nodded. "Her former partner did make a mess of that guy's body." She looked at Xander again. "She was on the weapons design team."
"They could use it," Xander agreed. "I only get things we can find around here. Unless somehow I change realms for a bit then maybe I can come back with higher level things."
Bobbi looked at him. "Is that possible?"
Xander grinned. "I do the impossible every day."
"Which means he keeps from dating some evil chick," Erik said dryly. "Because they all think he's better than chocolate."
"No, some of them like to combine me and chocolate," Xander quipped, hitting him on the arm twice. "The second's for giving Tin a dagger so soon."
"Kid earned it." He smirked at him. "She's not bad. We're not letting her do more than shine it and pet it for another year." He got some water to sip from the canteen. He looked around, took another drink then put it up. "Incoming."
"I saw," Xander said even though it was on his blind side. "And smell. They're rotten smelling." He stood up to look then sighed. "Oh, them again. They think they're holy knights for their god and women are inferior."
Bobbi shook her head. "Not likely."
"You should go hide," Xander said without looking at her. "They've tried to burn a bunch of females who might fight them." She hit him on the arm, scowling when he looked at her. "They won't hesitate."
"I took down whole groups of HYDRA," she said plainly. "And other terrorist groups by myself, Mr. Harris. I can handle a battle."
"Okay." He handed her a sword with a grin. "Have fun with that. Beheading. Lots and lots of beheading."
She nodded, checking the sword over. "I can figure that out." Lance took his sword. Xander got his axe, and Erik got a machete. They closed up the truck and waited for the idiots to come complain that Xander was a human who was fighting with the slayers, who they considered tainted for being fighting females. They spotted Bobbi and threw up a fit until she threw something and hit the main complaining one. They lunged and she and Lance did okay. They weren't used to swords. They still handled it pretty well with only a few injuries. At the end, when the living ones fled again, Xander handed them vials. "Anti-toxin?" she guessed.
"Poisoned damn claws," Erik said, taking his own. "Harris, you're not immune to those," he said, handing him one of the vials.
Xander put it behind him. "I had one yesterday. It should still be good and you can't take that more than every other day." He pulled Lance over to treat the cuts he had. Two were from how he was swinging the sword. And one from Bobbi hitting him by accident. They'd figure it out really fast. He got them sent to Cleveland, accidentally sending Erik with them. Erik came back that night growling. Xander looked up at him, holding up the canteen. "They hit on you?"
"Good. That means they're not battle worn warriors."
"Beyond that, they're spoiled. And the blonde thing was trying to go out in a skirt so short you could see her panties."
"Oh, hey, she's got a date," Xander said dryly. "She's like that. She only likes them dangerous so did she flirt with you?"
"No!" He sat down on the rock next to the fire. "The redhead was there too." Xander nodded. "She tried to tell me that you're down here doing dancing around the fires like on National Geographic."
Xander nodded with a sigh. "Willow doesn't travel very often. She's been to Sunnydale, LA, Cleveland, and Devon, England." He looked at him. "Her mother travels as a book writing shrink but Willow never went with her. She's been weirdly sheltered. Though I do enjoy the village celebrations with the dancing." He ate a bite of jerky then looked around. "I think the ship's here." The pickup disappeared. They disappeared. The fire got put out by something that moved sand on top of it. "Hey, Valkyrie," he said, patting the wall. "You good?"
"Are you?" she demanded. "And go make some food! You haven't eaten real food in days, Xander."
"I'm fine, Val. I've had supplies."
"Survival supplies are not food," she said firmly. "You need to do more than survive and that takes energy from food! Erik, dear, there's a casserole in the fridge if you'd warm it in the microwave. The Princess sent it because she was worried." She sighed in pleasure. "She understands what warriors need very well."
Erik walked off laughing. "Sure, Valkyrie, I can help you fuss over him for not eating."
Xander looked up with a sigh. "I'm okay, Valkyrie."
"Don't care!" She went to humming until he went to the kitchen. Erik was still laughing because it was cute how the ship mothered the boy.
Rupert Giles looked at his new watcher trainees that night, after their first patrol with the slayers. "So," he said.
Lance Hunter looked at him. "Can we say things about skirts and heels?"
"I do try to nag about that. Buffy thinks about being cute before being practical for patrols and dates."
Bobbi nodded. "There's a way to do both. I manage it often." She smiled. "So, sword training, identification lessons, helping the girls with homework?"
Giles nodded. "A few might need that sort of tutoring. One's three grades behind thanks to not having been in school before. Willow wants to try college again soon so she won't be available for that sort of helping."
"We both graduated college," Lance said with a grin. "And the SHIELD academy. We can even write papers." Giles smiled a bit. "I helped Britnney earlier with hers while we were on patrol."
"Thank you. She's been stressed so eating almost nothing but candy," Giles said with a sigh at the end.
"The girls should worry more about grades than patrols," Bobbi said with a nod. "The ones tonight were teenagers and they need to have normal teenage worries instead of battles."
"I agree," Giles said. He smiled some. "Xander sent an email saying that he appreciated you two. Do you see anything that's going to be missing from the training courses we offer?"
"The girls need to know how to use guns and other higher weapons as well as lower ones. By the records Xander showed us he's run into some demon gangs who use guns," Bobbi told him. "And we need to train more with the lower tech weapons. I've used a bow before but I'm not spot on and it's been years."
"That's part of our standard training. The girls are encouraged to learn how to use a firing weapon but most of them dislike them. Buffy loathes them but likes it when we have to use artillery."
"I've talked to the person who was supposed to be with us until her former husband found out she had been an agent," Lance said. "She's working on the idea of body armor for battles that's still reasonable to move in. It's giving her something to do while she's in traction. She was part of SHIELD's former armory department."
Giles nodded once. "It's something we've all worried about but never could come up with any ideas."
"She's excellent and came up with the action suits," Bobbi said with a grin. "Jumpsuits that fit a bit tightly but zip up the front and are bullet and cut proof."
Giles nodded. "We may like that to happen for larger battles."
"I'll let one of the girls try mine," she promised. Lance nodded he could too. "I don't think any of the girls are you size," she joked with a grin.
He rolled his eyes. "Going to call your other ex to come do bow lessons?"
She grinned at Giles. "I know an exceptional archer if it'd help the girls. He'd never tell me no for them."
"I....would he mind their duty?"
"Hawkeye? No. He's very much into not letting others need to come out as heros."
"Then if he wouldn't mind, some of the younger ones need some refinement with their crossbow work."
"I'll ask him in a few then. We've taken a room up the street."
"That's fine," Giles said with a smile. "We'll see you after breakfast?"
"Sure, we can avoid the surge of girls running for the bus," Lance agreed with a smile, shaking his hand. "We'll be back about eight."
"That's fine. We're mostly up by then." He shook Bobbi's hand and they left together. Giles leaned back in his desk chair, smiling at their backs. They might make good watchers and didn't blink at the strange stuff.
Bobbi waved at the face on her phone screen. "I'm a watcher trainee." He choked on his coffee. She grinned. "We have girls who could use some refinement of crossbow aim if you'd come down for a few days."
"Yeah. We all wondered about the girls but they're heavily guarded." She grinned. "Yeah, I can come help. Any others I should ask?"
"Nah. They're pretty ancient weapons based but sometimes have to use higher. Hermanda's looking at the body armor issue for battles because they don't have any."
"I heard rumors about her."
"Her husband's dead. Her partner got him for her."
"Good!" He took another sip of coffee. "Yeah, I can be down there Friday through probably Tuesday."
"I'll get it cleared tomorrow," she said with a smile and a wave before hanging up. She looked at Lance. "We can be great big siblings."
"Yeah, I can be a great big sibling for them. They could use more big brothers." He laid down beside her. She snuggled in and they slept to the tv. Sometimes your ex knew just what you needed.
Xander looked at their current problem and looked at Erik then back at the demons. "Have you ever had the feeling that a butt plug is the best idea ever?" he asked quietly.
"Yup. Having it now," he admitted. "Damn, that's sick."
"Yup." Xander sighed. He frowned. "I don't have any artillery." Erik winced. "The local military probably won't volunteer since their prime minister sort of guy did the rites to open that portal." He sighed again. "Got any plans?"
"Not off the top of my head. If we had a few dozen bombs and some rockets...."
"If we did, I would've already started to use them." He considered it. "Valkyrie, do we have anything?"
"No," his phone said. "I wish....hold on, another you just showed up."
Xander looked up. "What?" He frowned. "Which other me?"
"Hunter Xander with a wand," she said. "Get up here." She pulled them, their truck, and their things up to the ship.
Xander walked into the main room. "Are you the artillery fairy?" he quipped with a grin. "We really need to find them soon."
"Well, no, but I did get a few things from Lavelle so we can possibly go raid somewhere to get stuff. I was going to go to it to find mystical artifacts on my day off but it brought me here first." He nodded at Erik. Then looked at himself. "So...."
"Can we find weapons?"
"Yeah, I'm pretty good at finding weapons and mystical artifacts that sometimes are weapons." He smiled. "C'mon. Before we have to pull Daddy Xander, the one with the daughters, with us." He pulled his wand and they all disappeared with the ship.
Erik looked at the monitors when they reappeared. "It's been a few minutes but not too long. They're barely starting to move out." He looked at the two Xanders, which was still giving him a headache. "How does that naqqadah stuff work?"
"It's a highly explosive element," his Xander said. "And we've got a thing with sonic flare and that as a power source." He looked at himself, giving him a hug. "Thank you!"
"You're welcome." He winked at Erik then stared at himself. "Relax more often. You're tense."
"Someone did bloodwork and told the CIA."
"Well, fuck. I'll send a note through the convention boxes to see if someone like President Xander has a clue." He blew a kiss at them then gathered his bags of mystical artifacts to take home.
Xander grinned at Erik. "Let's go blow the shit out of some demons."
"Yeah, let's." He helped the kid pick up the sonic engine thingy he didn't understand so they could go down to set it off. He had to clamp his hands over his ears as it went off, but the sonic tornado that came out destroyed most of the demons as it passed through the ranks. The last few screamed and ran for the portal home. The human was basically pulverized by the sonic tornado. The military people showing up held back when they saw what was going on. Xander sighed in pleasure and turned it off. "I need to show Hope this one. Scott'll be happy."
Erik moved his hands, rubbing his ears to get feeling back in them. "As long as we can put it into a closet safely afterwards." He didn't want Shuri to get hold of that monstrosity to see if she could upgrade it.
"Yeah, we can probably put it into the garage's closet." He waved at one of the military guys he had worked with before. "Magic to close the portal," he yelled, waving his hands around his head. That got a nod and they got the two witches they had conscripted over to close the portal before anyone else came back. That general came stomping over. "We found a mystical sonic wave cannon's plans," he quipped with a grin. "Just in time."
The general looked at the chunky thing then at him. "That did all that damage?" he demanded.
Erik nodded with a grimace. "It's heavy and not field ready but yup, sure did. It's stupidly loud too."
"It's something Hope can maybe fix with Scott." Xander grinned at the general. "I'm really glad we got handed the plans by someone somewhere else. It was kinda miraculous."
"I'd say. We saw you leave."
Xander nodded. "I didn't have any artillery so we went to look on the ship."
The general nodded at that. "Have fun with the ship, Harris." He shook his hand. "Thank you for handling it."
"Not a problem. Thank you for showing up. I wasn't sure with who opened it."
"We weren't sure if we were going to be allowed to," the general admitted. "Go. I'd like a report on that weapon."
"It's from another realm." The general moaned. "But if we can get it reasonable for this realm....."
"Understood." He hiked back to his people to report that to his higher ups. They were amused, but not happy. The hunting duo had disappeared with their special weapon.
Xander waited until the ship was right over the office, then beamed down with the sonic cannon and the film Valkyrie had taken. He put the DVD into the player, getting everyone's attention. Scott stared as the battle happened, then looked at Xander, who grinned at him. "How did you do that?" Scott asked, trying to sound casual.
"Another Xander was going hunting in another realm to look for mystical artifacts so we ended up somewhere the Stargate program was abandoned early on. It's a sonic cannon thing that runs on naqqadah." Scott moaned, slumping some looking depressed. He and Hope had binged that show while waiting on Xander's eye to heal. "We need to make it safe and useful for more regular battles." He grinned. "And you know you're my second favorite geek. You can even call Andrew if you want."
Scott sighed but nodded. "Yeah, we can liaison with Andrew Wells. Ummm...." He looked at the device then at him. "Who made it?"
"We did off the plans we found."
"Plans?" Scott's coworkers asked in unison.
Xander held up a DVD. Scott took it to look over. "We need it usable for later battles, and if we need to use it to protect my stubborn ass then I need it back and useable please."
Scott stared at him. "What's happened now?"
"*Someone* did bloodwork and then the CIA put it in their records," he said dryly, staring at him. "So damn many blood hunters, and some agents who took the minis hostage to get me once. Apparently me feeding them to a few demons made sure the rest learned that lesson."
Scott winced. "Damn it."
"Yup. Though I've been getting help from Erik again. He's having an 'I'm over it' moment in his room."
"You can go into limited hiding so you have time to handle the underground stuff," Scott offered.
"It was suggested that I retire and hide but then they'll come for me. If I'm still taking out demon emergencies, then they don't want to take me out because they don't want to handle it themselves."
"That sucks ass," Scott said firmly.
"Yeah but it's reality and reality does suck. Or bite if you want the movie reference," he finished blandly.
"We can hide you for a few days."
Xander waved a hand. "I'm about to become my ultimate form and be the biggest bitch in the universe. Though Cordy did tell me not to paddle one and stab or behead the other." He waved and grinned. "Howdy." He looked at Scott. "There's a slayer reunion in two days. You can go in my place if you want. If I go, I'll get nagged horribly. I was already warned of that thanks to Buffy."
Scott shook his head. "No. I'll let that be slayer stuff and just jump in." He patted Xander on the arm. "Go get some rest? You're exhausted."
"Yeah I'm trying. We have to move the ship out of the US before something happens." He disappeared with a wave.
Scott looked at the others, who both smiled and waved at him. Scott went to the ship to help Xander for a bit. They could get into the plans on the sonic cannon up there. It was probably safer for it anyway.
Xander was still not resting easily when the next emergency happened. He showed up with the mystical artifact he had kept, tapping it on the ground. A hum went out that made all the slayers flinch away from him. He looked at the oncoming army, glaring a bit. "I don't need this shit today. They definitely don't need this shit today. It's a huge problem's anniversary. Try again tomorrow, people." Their leader yelled a battle yell and lunged at him. Xander waved the staff and the whole army dissolved into dust. The leader got in one horrified look but oh well. Xander looked at the portal then blasted it. It blew up and he sighed, frowning as a sorcerer walked past him taking the staff from him. "It adopted me," he complained.
"Xander, you don't do magic," Buffy called.
"Shut up," he called. "It thinks I'm sweet." He took the staff back and grinned at the sorcerer. "Hi!" He disappeared back to the ship.
You could almost hear Valkyrie rolling her eyes. A beam hit Xander and he fell down. "There, now he can rest," the ship said. "Go put him to bed, guys? The staff's fine where it is. I'll protect it for now."
Erik hauled Xander to his bed and tossed him onto it then came out to look at the staff. "What is this thing made from? It's not vibranium."
"It's partially vibranium and partially something that's a magically charged vibranium-like metal," Valkyrie said. "We only have myths of that instrument on Asgard. Seeing it in action, I can see why." She paused. "The Slayer Buffy is trying to call him."
"I'll go talk to the princess," Erik said, pulling on a shirt over his chest armor. He landed there, staring at the slayers. One of them squeaked, getting a nod back. "He's passed out. We made sure of it. He's in a creepy, tired place thanks to the threats."
Buffy stomped over. "Where did he get that! He doesn't use magic!"
"He still doesn't. The staff has a power source," he said, staring her down. "He found it on a side trip recently with another version of him. That one used magic." She shuddered. "He's just tired from the threats."
"We need to get him safely back," she said, staring at him. "We can protect him."
He snorted, smirking at her. "Stakes and crossbows won't work against agents or others who want his blood, Princess. Usually you have to use artillery against them." She glared and tried to punch him. He caught it and tossed her back by a few feet. "Don't try that again." He looked at the two agents. "We have Lang and he's watching over Harris." Bobbi grinned at him for that bit of news. "And we might call up Wells to look at a few plans they found on that trip. I have no idea what that world was about but the big ring thingy was weird."
Andrew squeaked. "Had hieroglyphs?" he demanded, pushing his way forward with his robots. "Round, lights up?"
"Yeah, sounds like it," he agreed with a nod. "It was a defunct program. They found tons of weird shit."
Andrew swallowed. "A stargate," he whispered. "Wow. Um...."
"Whole lots of weird things. Including some sort of sonic cannon he used to take out an army."
"I...." He looked at Giles.
"Go ahead. Have Xander do a report when he wakes up so we hear what sort of problems he's having?" He looked at Erik. "He could retire."
"He said being active is keeping him safer. No one wants to fight demonic battles if they take him out." He shrugged. "He's right."
"I know that feeling," Buffy quipped but was still angry looking. "I want to hear from him today, mister."
"He's. Asleep. It'll be days we hope."
She frowned. "Still....I can send Willow."
"No you can't. His ship hates her," Erik shot back. "And she'd end up being a tiny kitten. Harris has gotten to the point of paranoid." She shuddered, backing away from him. "Let the poor guy sleep." He looked at Wells. "Coming?" He nodded, gathering his current gear pack to go with him. "Valkyrie?" he called. They disappeared. All of Andrew's robots went to look around for him.
Scott Lang looked up from watching the scene, waving at Andrew. "Hey. Scott Lang," he said with a grin.
"Shrinking guy!" Andrew said with a grin. "I've seen your stuff. Great job!"
"Thanks. Mostly I just wear the suit but Hope will be happy to hear that." Andrew moaned. He grinned. "We've got plans."
"A stargate?" Andrew begged.
"Couldn't fit it on the ship. There's probably not any others here anyway." Andrew moaned. "We've got six or seven garages full of stuff that we looted."
"COOL! Alien tech!" He grinned. "Lead me to my future bitches? Robots, settle in and guard. No magic going on. Don't bother the ship."
"I find them adorable," Valkyrie said happily.
Andrew looked around then up. "Wow. How did Xander do this?"
"You helped him in a few years," she admitted. "You, Xander, and Scott."
"Wow." He petted it. "We did an excellent job." He stroked a bit of trim work. "You're beautiful."
"C'mon," Scott said with a head nod. "I'll give you the tour on the way to the first storage area." Andrew bounded out with him. The kid reminded him so much of a happy Xander, the one he had first met.
Erik was shaking his head. "Valkyrie, let's get out of US territories before some agent has a fit."
"Of course. We're already moving. I always wanted to scan some Thai temples."
"Sure, I've seen a few," he admitted. He sat down to watch the slayers throwing a fit. The few of the older girls were trying to calm Buffy and Willow down but Lance ended up knocking out Willow when she pulled up magic to summon Xander. Then they got the girls home.
Back in Wakanda, a Xander that no one there knew handed over a picture with a wink and a grin. "Put that on social media somehow, little slayer. It's marked which one we are. People will quit bothering Xander so much if they don't want that outcome." He looked around. "This world has a SHIELD. Uncle Phil will be pleased." He disappeared.
Tin looked at the picture, frowning. "There's a lot of Xanders there." She looked at her mother, who looked confused and worried. "I'll show my auntie." She went to talk to her training aunt, who lived a few blocks away. She apparently had a friend in so she went to talk to another training auntie, who probably wouldn't have a date. "Auntie Ayo?" she called as she walked up to her usual post. Ayo leaned out of a room. "A Xander who was not my watcher handed me this picture and said to put it up on social media because people would leave him alone before this happened here?"
Ayo took the picture, frowning at it. She flipped it over to read who the various Xanders were. At one she choked a bit and moaned. "Yes, I believe that could be." She helped Tin put it up onto the slayer bulletin board and on her facebook page too. Including how she had gotten it by hacking the picture of the Xander that had given it to her. She scanned in a copy of who everyone was noted to be as well. Tin hugged her and took the picture back to put in her album. Ayo went to show her king the picture she had uploaded. "Another Xander appeared to have Tin put that up online as a warning of what may happen."
He looked them over, frowning. "Is it a convention?"
"Yes. Look at the next uploaded picture." He did, frowning as he read who they were, flipping back and forth. He paused to stare at her. She nodded. "That must have taken a wish demon's interference but one was listed as the president of the US."
He handed the tablet back with a smile. "I'm sure he'll have fun doing it here if they drive him to it." He walked off feeling chilled for some reason. "Make sure Erik sees that, Ayo."
"Gladly. I'd hate to curse him to that fate." She went to email that to Erik and show Shuri. They would both hate to have Watcher Harris become president.
One of the teenage slayers looked at her phone that night. "Who's Lavelle?"
"That's Xander's middle name," Willow said, taking the phone to look at. "That's...not our Xander. He's older by the white hair." She read the post that was uploaded, including the picture of the group. The thought of a Xander convention made her shudder in horror. She read the noted ones about each of them and took the phone to Giles.
"Hey! My phone!" the slayer complained. "It's on the bulletin board!"
Willow handed her the phone back and went to bring up that page on the computer Giles hated to admit he could use. He gave her an odd look so she pointed with a shaky finger. He read it over, frowning as he got through the two pictures. "Well," he decided. "That's...."
"Horrifying. The word you're looking for is a horrifying apocalypse, Giles!" she whined. "And someone could do that!"
"That's probably why it was put up," Lance said from the doorway. "To prove that they don't really want to stress Xander out or he'll get real power and they'll be in deep shit." He sipped his coffee with a grin. "That's clearly a warning. Thankfully he's a few years too young to be president here. Has to be forty-five. He's just about thirty, right?"
She hugged herself, nodding. "Oh, damn it." She went to tell Buffy that. It was enough to make Buffy decide she didn't want to push Xander toward any form of evil or toughness. She didn't want him to crack and make a wish.
Giles looked at Lance. "The thing I most fear was that a Xander who was not ours handed over the picture to the young slayer in Wakanda."
"Erik Killmonger said she's a sweet kid," Lance said. "Trying to be pretty tough but a good kid." He went to tell Bobbi that. They shared a look and she sent that page to Coulson's email.
In the SHIELD building, Melinda May had the desk for a few hours while Coulson managed to get some sleep. She opened the new email, staring at the facts. She printed it out and hung it up on the bulletin board with enlarged versions of the pictures. She knew it could happen. If the regular person heard about the normal guy backing up the slayers and taking out huge problems to protect his girls, they'd get some hero worship and might think about electing him to be president. They really had to solve that problem before Harris came of age for election. She, like the others, ignored the one that said that Xander was Godly with Phil Coulson being his Godly spouse. Because that was too weird and she did not want to deal with that thought.
On the ship, Andrew and Scott walked into a warehouse room on the ship and paused. There was a lot of things in there. It was clearly expanded by magic. Andrew blinked as he looked around. "What did he do, summon all the naqqadah in the US when they went there?"
Scott cleared his throat. "Valkyrie, are there weapons in here that we should move?"
"Only the one so I can attach it as a main deck cannon, dear, please. It's very pretty and I always wanted a cannon like a pirate ship."
"Sure. Where is it?" She put a beam of light on it and they grabbed it for her. She had already made the hitching system for it so now she had a pretty cannon on her deck. She sighed in pleasure but she was a tough warrior lady that way.
Phil Coulson walked into his office and stared at the new thing on his bulletin board. He grinned at the photo from two conventions ago and sat down to handle the paperwork his local version hadn't gotten to. He had a soft spot for his local version. Being in charge of SHIELD was harming him so he had set him with a few healing goddesses for some fussing over. And really, this was easier to deal with than his own version of SHIELD. Joyce was a bit firm about deadlines and paperwork. Since he was in charge here, things got done much more casually and happily. They really had to give Joyce some hormone replacement medicines soon, before she chewed them all to death.
He would make sure the local version of his spouse wouldn't have to be given any sort of political office. It would drive this world nuts. And his local version would be worried when he managed to escape from the fussy healing grandmotherly sorts. Phil got hit with a wicked idea and set up an online shrine to Ares and Loki here. Here, Loki had invaded New York. Ares was thought of as a myth. Getting them both new worshipers and minions would keep them out of his Xander's hair very nicely for at least a few months.
Ships and Ladders...To The Pits of Despair.