New Slayers, New Things, New Problems.
Xander came down the stairs to answer whoever was pounding on the front door, nodding at the tallish guy standing there in the weird sunglasses. "Hey." He let him in and then the person rolling in behind him. He rolled his eyes but headed around them. "Sorry, the house isn't fully handicapped accessible at this time. I haven't had time to fix the elevator in the back area in a while since I'm still working on making sure all the bathrooms work. We're getting another ten girls in six weeks for a long training time with Wade and Cable thanks to Kara bragging." He headed into the kitchen. "Want water or something, people?"
"Is Russell all right?" Cyclops asked bluntly, staring at Xander.
"Russell, they're here for you," Xander bellowed, looking up. It had taken them longer than he had thought it'd take. Almost two full weeks.
"I thought I was doing good," the boy complained as he came down the stairs. He paused and cleared the sour expression off his face. Deadpool had shown him how to have a poker face in the worst situations. "Oh, it's you guys." He shrugged. "What's up?"
Cyclops looked at him. "We're worried that Xander's being too harsh on you."
Russell snorted, shaking his head. "He did get me thinking about something beyond my future prison sentence," he said dryly. "He's sent me to therapy, made the girls fuss at me if I don't go, and made them shop for me." Xander came out smirking at him. "It's like light torture but Wade agreed it was better for me than getting mad all the time."
"I told you that you had to stay in therapy until you either found a way around the anger or you got rid of it." Xander handed him a bottle of water. "I need to check your homework too." Russell glared. Xander stared back with a grin. "Suck it, kiddo. You've got to graduate. Just like the slayers do." Russell slumped but nodded, going up to get his books to bring back down. Xander settled in at the table to go over things. "You're doing good with the remedial stuff." He glared up at Cyclops, who winced. Then he looked at the kid as he kicked out a chair to prompt him to sit. "You can go ahead and tell them how mean I am. They already think I'm evil for training the girls to survive."
"Bullshit," Russell said, glaring at them. "The girls have to survive a lot of dirty shit that no one wants to deal with but they have to. It's the only life that sucks worse than being us." Xander smacked him lightly on the head. "It does!"
"No one said you had to be on a response team, kid. Frankly, I'm training you to follow in my ancient footsteps so I don't have to spawn." He stared at him. "Become a dwarf. Life sucks but you gotta do it because the alternative is boring."
Russell nodded. "That's true." He looked at the higher mutants again. "The girls need my sort of help. I can really learn a lot to help them. And it'll keep me out of the hands of goody goodies who think I should've just instantly healed from that orphanage." He grimaced. "Rogue and Logan both showed me how many of the kids were like me, and just mad, but nothing ever helps sometimes."
Xander leaned back. "Humanity as a whole, including the mutant part of it, sucks, Russell. It's a hard truth I hate seeing the girls learn but they had to because they had to hide from it a few times in one year." He stared at him. "You've seen it, and been there. I've seen it and been there. They've seen it and been there. That doesn't give you an excuse to let go and make everyone hurt. I had to stop Willow from doing it, and you're a lighter version of what she had then. Which is why you get therapy." He grinned.
"I guess," he complained, looking at them again. "Xander's got firm rules and the girls will whip my ass in sparring if I break them." Xander grinned and nodded. "Which is humiliating."
"Yup, so quit being a little dick." He sipped his water. "I warned you I wasn't going to put up with it."
"No. You were right, I was acting out of anger," he sighed, slumping down some. "I spent the whole next day in therapy thanks to that." Xander grinned and nodded at the older guys. "She's seriously creepy and seems to like hearing about suffering."
"Actually, her type of demon does feed off suffering, which means that she can help you a lot by draining it out of your mind," Xander said, then drank some water. "You won't lose the memories but it'll disassociate the pain and suffering from them and let you heal a bit faster and cleaner." Russell stared at him. Xander grinned and nodded. "Yeah. A lot of her people work in bill collection agencies too. Some work in the morgue to ease the suffering of the families that have to come in. That way they don't have to hurt as much over the loss they suffered."
"I..." Cyclops sat down across from them. "I hadn't thought about that benefit. I know we've seen some helpful demons and half demons that have been in odd places. Like succuba in massage therapy jobs."
"Yup, because that's an incidental letting out and it helps weed it down and the release of the tension. They're really great at it. Even got my back unscrewed once after a huge battle. I appreciate that service a ton. They can also feed off those feelings without anything sexual even if they're doing regular massage work. I've sent a few of the girls to one for that because they were so backed up on it they were about to pounce a statue one night. It helped ease all that tension without them having to do anything sexually."
Cyclops nodded. "That is a good idea," he agreed. "I know a few of the mutant kids who could use it too." He looked at Russell. "You can come back."
"I know but it's easier here. I don't have to put up with a lot of helpful people and a lot of coddling and a lot of people pretending to be nice because they think I'm weak. No one's going to look at me for my powers here and they might actually be a disability if I want to sign up to follow Xander's ancient footsteps." Xander grinned at that. "The other watchers are idiots."
"Some," Xander agreed. "We keep weeding those sort down. Though there's still six who have the price on my head." He shrugged. "We do what we gotta do even when others disagree because they'd bitch if we didn't."
"That's the way I feel sometimes too," Russell admitted. He looked at Cyclops. "You guys are all way too pansy and pretending to be nice too often. Half the kids there have seen just as bad as I did. Who gets them to let go of it and see anything but hate in the world?"
"Jean used to," he admitted. "We all try, Russell. Just sometimes we can't get there ourselves. Though most of us try to be nice to show some of those non-hate things."
"It comes off as fake," Russell told him. "I mean, totally giggling girls who're forcing it because it looks normal."
"We've noticed that," the Professor agreed. "We do try to counsel those kids. Emma is a counselor."
"She's the one that gave Xander the name of the lady I see." He looked at Xander then at the mutants. "I don't know but right now I'm doing okay here. I'm not struggling with classwork. If I get confused the girls or Xander will explain it if they can. Or I can ask Colossus when he's back from campus. Or Brad but he was military. He even explained why it was a bad option for any mutants." Xander nodded quickly.
Russell sighed, tapping his books a few times. "It's better out here. There's no fake bubble wrap around us to try to shield us from reality. And I can really help the girls. They could all use another influence that wasn't a big brother." Xander patted him on the back with a grin. "Though I do have to run away from the movie nights where they all want to cuddle on the floor to watch tv. It's weird."
"It is," Xander agreed with a nod. "For kids who grew up like you did, or I did, someone touching us because they want to is very weird. We tend to categorize touching as a few methods and dog piling in front of the tv isn't one we're used to. Then again, that's a very girl thing to do and neither of us are girls."
Russell nodded. "Yeah, that is a girly thing." He frowned, looking at Xander. "How does Deadpool handle that?"
"You get used to being hugged. It took me years. You're getting the crash course because of all the tiny ones who think you're tragic and trying to provoke you to swearing so they can laugh at it and you doing the dishes in punishment."
Russell shook his head quickly. "Girls are so weird."
"Yup," Xander quipped with a grin. "They sure are. That's why they're girls. They get weird into their twenties then settle down to become women. Or in Penny's case she went directly from girlishly weird to mom weird." He finished his water. "If you want to go back to the school you can do that. You can show up for lessons all you need to."
"No." He shuddered. "It's way too ...too nice and safe and weak and fake. Reality isn't nice or safe or weak. I like reality better."
"A lot of kids do," Cyclops agreed.
"We would worry that you may go to another group that would cause you to misuse your gifts," the Professor said.
"Cable would kill my ass and he made sure I knew that," Russell said. "He nearly did to keep me from doing that in the future. Thankfully Deadpool saved my chubby ass." He slumped. "I don't want to. I've talked to a lot of people about how I could use my gifts in various ways. Including Xander having me talk to someone from the Park Service about using it to fight forest fires easier." Xander nodded at that then went to the office area.
Russell looked at them. "I know you expected me to start crying 'save me from him being mean' but he's not mean. He's a lot nicer than I'm used to. He has set rules he told me about and explained when I got confused. He lets the girls torment me if I break them. He compared it to being a new gang recruit a few times but Deadpool just giggled at that and agreed. But I'm... I'm okay here. It's not comfy and it's still too nice and gentle, because the girls are, but it's reality. It's not fake niceness and fake reality where people aren't hateful assholes."
"The school's supposed to be a sanctuary from that," Cyclops said patiently.
"Yeah but I've been here too long to ever fall for it and it made my teeth hurt when I grind them."
"We can make you a dentist appointment," Xander called from his desk.
"Please don't," Russell begged. "Pretty please don't? Damn, Xander, please don't," he whined.
"Fine. You still have to go yearly for cavity checks. Just like the girls do."
"Nope. Because I'll bite someone and the healers don't have any dentists. I don't think I could handle a regular one anymore. But you're not me yet, Russell."
He grimaced, looking at Cyclops. "For that I might run away to check on some of the kids I came up with."
Cyclops grinned because this pouty teenager was more normal than he thought. "They have to go to the dentist next week. You can share the suffering with them." Russell grimaced. "It's good he's taking care of you. Are you getting training time with your gifts?"
"You mean practice time with Colossus nagging me about control issues? Yup." He grimaced again and nodded. "He's a worse nag than the girls my age are. Even worse than Rogue was."
"Yeah, he can. He grew up in the school and he saw a lot of kids come in and then leave. Including some that had to be confined because they became dangerous." An envelope flew out to hit him on the head. "Hey!"
"Sorry, banished it too hard," Xander called. "On those ones that got taken from confinement and where they're serving."
Cyclops opened it and growled. "You sure? We've heard rumors but couldn't substantiate it."
"Ask Cable. He got a few free and to another source to help heal."
"I can do that." He tucked it into his jacket pocket. "Those sort would like your gifts and we do worry about that."
"I'd fight back."
"Which would get you dead," Cyclops said with a sigh at the end. "That's how they do things. They're also not against kidnaping."
"That sounds like the assholes who tried the girls the other day that I made run away while pissing themselves."
"Did I hear about that?" Xander called.
"They begged me not to tell you because they don't want to see you in jail," Russell called back. Xander leaned over to grin at him. "Deadpool saw them."
"Okay. I'll get that from him so I can help stop the newest group of idiots." He leaned back again to get back to his reports.
Russell shook his head with a sigh. "He's kinda weird but he is like an older version of me I guess. I talk to Domino all the time. She grew up at the same orphanage. And Cable is real firm on me growing up to be a decent fucking human being as he put it. Deadpool is in and out all the time to nag about things because the girls think he's like a big brother to them too." He scrunched up his face then let it go. "He does pretty good with that too. Even if Bruno and Penny are teasing him by Bruno being a huge Deadpool fan. It's even his favorite big boy panties. I'm guessing potty training is like that though."
"You have to tempt them and train them to recognize the urges on their own," Cyclops told him. "Then they get the hang and start to go on their own. The baby slayer Bruno?"
"Yeah. Penny's son. He's cute and demands a story if he catches you doing anything but eating." He rolled his eyes. "Penny's made him a geek."
"That's how kids learn."
The Professor nodded. "We have had some children of mutants at the school that young while they attended lessons." He looked at him. "Are you safe here?"
"Yeah. Why wouldn't I be? The same things that protect the girls would protect me."
"There's...rumors," the Professor said.
Russell glared at him. "Probably started by guys like you who hate the girls' duty and the fact that we don't all think the same way you do." He got up and walked off. "I'm done before I lose my temper and start to yell things I'm thinking."
"Fine," Xander agreed. "I still need to check your homework." Russell went upstairs to get the rest of his stuff. Xander came out to stare at him. "First, I know how those rumors got started. And who exactly started them." He stared at the older man, who flinched back. "That information was easy to find through the local poker circuits. Hell, even a few of the bad ninja sorts we have in town told me about that, Professor.
"Second, if you *ever* insinuate that I'd ever touch one of the kids under my care wrong again I will out some things you don't want people to know. Including that you killed a whole team of yours. On purpose. The information wasn't that hard to find." The Professor rolled backwards, looking horrified. "Plenty of us don't play that shit. Ever." He looked at Cyclops, shrugging some. "Also, have you talked to Edna recently? I know she's a social worker now and I've talked to her about a few of your kids recently. None as badly hurt as Russell was but still pretty badly off."
"I can talk to her tonight. A kid that needs to be removed from their home because they're in danger?"
"In the special serial killer unit downtown." Cyclops winced. "Who is a telepath and she called in a few other telepaths to read him. He got tampered with. They're trying to undo it."
"I can, yeah, I can talk to her about the kid. Can we help him?"
Xander shrugged. "We're not sure. He was tampered with when he was about six or so. I think Logan might have some flashbacks to his own life with the kid. No claws but the kid's like a mini him, growling and all. Just more violent thanks to that tampering when he loses control. I got called in to bind him from doing intentional harm against someone innocent."
"I can talk to her tonight. Does she want to move him?"
"I don't know. I know she was contemplating calling herself but couldn't get through."
"I'll call her on the way home. Maybe we can stop in to check on him."
"Maybe you can, because he had a hugely bad reaction to a team photo in the paper. Which was when she had me come in to bind him from doing harm."
"Yeah, I can do that. Do we think it was one of us?"
"She said it was a telepath. A male telepath."
"Not that many of those," he agreed, considering it. "I can check. Maybe we can help the kid."
"He and Russell get along great. Chris could be a great mini Deadpool some year but he doesn't babble or have cancer. Or the healing gift."
"We can check," the Professor agreed. "I am sitting right here."
"She asked me not to mention it to you. Since it was a male telepath, she doesn't want to trigger him. He nearly freaked at Cable but got we got him calmed down. Cable was the one that identified it was a guy's signature instead of a female one."
"Yeah, I can go talk to her," Cyclops assured him. "Sounds like the kid could be turned around at least somewhat so Logan was more a role model."
Xander grinned. "Could help the kid. She said he's got a removed step in his thoughts and just basically goes on his underwater urges as she called them. He did take out two sickos who were tormenting the other kids. Then he went to have cocoa."
Russell came down the stairs. "Chris? Yeah, he's metal as fuck but it's like his mind doesn't have a consequences switch or voice or something." Xander nodded. "I saw him take out someone who broke in to supposedly rescue one of the girls in there then he looked at his hands and complained he had ripped a fingernail so he walked off chewing on it." He handed Xander his homework to check. "I still hate math."
"We all hate math. Math is important though. Things like building things and forging weapons and trajectory are all math." He tipped his head, frowning. "How did you even get that?" he asked. He pointed at it. "How?"
"The book said it was that?"
"Cheating on the homework means you have to help with the laundry."
"I checked it after I did it!" he defended. "Please don't make me help with the laundry?"
"Fine." He got the book to look through. "That can't be."
Cyclops took it to look at. "No, the answer's twelve." He handed it back and looked at the book. "Oh, that book series."
"That's what the state wanted," Xander quipped. "The girls are doing one out of Cleveland if they're doing distance learning or they're not enrolled in the local schools we picked." He grinned. "They're really hard too. Russell has to catch up before he gets those."
Cyclops grinned. "That's always a great thing. The girls have great potential they have to live up to."
"Yup. There's no GED slayers on my watch." He looked at Russell. "Or watcher trainee candidates."
Russell grimaced. "I could probably pass a GED faster. Then I could go into training faster."
"Um, no. Training doesn't start until eighteen." Xander grinned back. "Though you're getting minor training already."
"I noticed the biology lesson in demon body types." He looked at Cyclops. "First lessons is why tentacles can be bad or fun."
Cyclops patted him on the arm. "So I've heard." The boy sulked at that non-helpful sympathy.
"Trade ya, I learned that playing kitten poker and having to figure out if they were being flirty or sore tentacled as they waved them around and patted me with them."
"Yup. " Xander grinned at him again. "We can do it my way instead."
"KP for another night, kid. And granted, so learn to like the books. The girls get the same lessons."
"I can do that. I guess." He looked at the other adults. "In a few years I get to learn swords too."
"And how to use your fire gifts to forge them," Xander agreed with a nod. "That's one way to use it and it's temperature specific so you have to have a bit better control of the finite limits you have."
"Because you have to heat the metal up enough to be pliable but not melted," Cyclops said with a nod and a smile. "That's one very good lesson."
"And it can be helpful in other things. Like you're trapped under some metal, you know how to maneuver it so you can get it away from you and not burn yourself at the same time."
"I hadn't thought of that lesson but that could help," Cyclops agreed, standing up. "It's a good set of lessons." He looked at the kid. "If and when you want to come back, you can."
"I know." He waved a hand. "I'm good for now."
"Good." He patted him on the arm. "If you need advice or help training your gifts, come to us. The danger room has special areas for pyrotechnic talents." He shook Xander's hand. "You're sure you're okay with him?"
"Yeah. I can turn him into a great future watcher. That way all the urges he has to fight come out in a better manner. And he can help any of the girls that had a rougher upbringing calm down too because he'll have been there."
"Point. I forgot you guys had to pull some of the girls from social services care." Xander nodded. "Let us know if you need help with him or Beth."
"Bethy's training with her dad mostly. That way he can show her how to use the gift without wearing herself out the way she usually does. It's helped a lot. She's under a minute and a half for a mile."
"That's great. Pietro's gift is pretty hard to harness without practice and a lot of calories." He patted Russell's arm again then left with his boss. Cyclops looked at him. "I think he's still mad that you tried to break up Kara and Piotr."
"Quite possibly," he complained. "There are some weird anti-telepath wards or something in there stifling any gifts like that."
"That can help since last week Xander handed over a girl that was jealous of Kara thanks to Piotr's ex girlfriend and was sending nightmares at everyone." The Professor grimaced but nodded at that. He helped him into the car and drove off to talk to that social worker. Chris sounded like a kid they could definitely help. The world didn't need two Logans. Or two Deadpools.
Penny waddled past Russell doing his homework then paused, looking at him then at Kara. "That's Russell. Xander's turning him into a mini me, who has a foul mouth like Wade does."
"Oh," she said with a nod, then went back to waddling off. "That explains a lot."
Russell looked at her. "You could ask me."
Penny scowled at him. "With the way I feel about most guys today, you should probably hide, kid."
He pouted. "I'm not old enough to have knocked you up."
"She's got Brad for that," Kara quipped. She looked over his shoulder. "Go ask Amanda, she does best in science." He sighed but nodded and went to ask her to explain things. "Russell was at that place that Wade and Cable busted," she said quietly. "He was too used to bad to deal with the school."
Penny nodded. "I don't blame him for needing a more realistic place and Xander does need an heir before I have to have another son." Kara laughed, nodding some. "Have you seen Bruno recently?"
"He's napping in the armory," Xander called from the office. "And I'm taking your daughter to turn into my minion too. She can be the watcher for her brother."
Kara rolled her eyes. "So damn glad I'm adopting."
Penny punched her on the arm. "Remember, Rosenburg can do that." She went into the armory to find her son. She paused, sniffled a bit, and took a lot of pictures. She even sent one to her husband upstairs. He came jogging down to look and sighed, leaning on her shoulder. She looked back at him with a grin. "Xander said his sister can be his watcher."
"Yeah, she can do that if I don't talk her into my old job." They stared at their little chaos source, who had pulled down a katana and a smaller axe to help him nap on top of the box of grenades. They both took pictures to share around. Xander handed over his camera after taking a few for them. It was a better picture. Penny even shared with Dawn and Buffy, plus Faith because she had been stressed earlier during their senior slayer conference call. She got back a few 'awwws' and one 'he probably shouldn't be sleeping on grenades' from Buffy.
Brad sent one of the pictures to Weasel, who sent back a 'that's too damn adorable to do anything but banish evil, great job with the kid'. He showed Penny, who smiled and nodded. Bruno babbled in his sleep about his uncle, petting the sword. Penny caught most of it with her phone camera. They backed out slowly, running into Cable and Deadpool, both in uniform. She put her finger against her lip and pointed with a grin. Both guys looked in there and grinned. Bruno was still babbling about his favorite uncle while petting the sword.
Deadpool took out his phone to get a few for himself. "My kid might've done that," he said quietly, backing out of the armory. Cable followed shaking his head.
Xander hit him on the arm, grinning at him. "Vanessa promised I could turn your kid into my hallowed footsteps to be a watcher. As Remy's cousins prove, assassins do pretty well at the job." He walked off.
Wade smiled at Cable then at Penny, hugging her. "I'm turning the new one into a brat so she's not angelic." He walked off.
"Xander just said she'd be her brother's watcher," she quipped. "So no, not angelic thankfully."
Brad kissed her on the throat. "Go do pregnant slayer yoga. I'll get the others for sparring." She nodded, walking off to do that. "Fall in, ladies. Sparring," he bellowed up the stairs.
"Daddy, hush!" Bruno shouted back. "Mean shit!"
Wade burst out giggling, hugging the baby when he ran out to pounce him. "You're my favorite little guy, Bruno." He cuddled him. "You're so neat."
"Wade!" he cooed, grinning at him. "Good boy Wade." He patted him. "No mask!" He tugged at it until it came off with some help from Cable. "There! My Wade! I stealed!" He beamed at him.
"You sure did steal me, little dude." He walked off carrying him. "It's slayer sparring time. Wanna learn?" The baby cooed and petted him, babbling the whole way.
Xander had taken film of all that and sent it to Weasel and others, then winked at Cable since it went to his phone too. "For when you need a happy time." He went up the stairs. "Sparring, ladies," he reminded the chatting ones. "Warm up please." They groaned. Russell groaned too but did as ordered. He kept looking at Wade and Bruno. Xander poked Russell on the arm. "Wade actually made Bruno quit kicking his mommy one night and since then Wade's been his favorite uncle. I almost feel sorry for whoever comes after Bruno to try to get back at his mommy or me. They're going to be dearly departed of the vaporized variety before anyone else can tell us to stop."
"I won't be trying to get between you and Wade and them," Cable told him. "I'd hate to have to heal those injuries."
Xander grinned at him. "I have a special stuff for them." He considered it. "Or really bad boyfriends."
"You have poker debts," Wade quipped. "They're more scary."
Xander smirked at him. "Those sort would give my poker buddies heartburn. I can blow them up instead."
Cable stared at Xander. Then he smirked. "You scare me sometimes." Xander hugged him then bounced off to help the girls. Cable looked at Russell. "Follow his lead but don't become him. He's scary."
Russell nodded. "Especially since he hasn't slept since two days ago."
Wade looked over. "Did you forget where your room was?"
"No, I was just busy," Xander admitted. He took Bruno, making the baby pout. "Come stretch with us, Bruno. It's great fun." He grinned. "You can even help Mommy stretch." He put him down and pointed. Bruno ran over to pounce his mom and babble about his favorite uncle while she helped him learn how to stretch.
Wade got up and walked over to Xander, staring at him. "You need to sleep. You're not that good when you're tired."
"Couldn't help it. I got into cleaning stuff." He shrugged but grinned. "I'll sleep tonight." He yawned for show. "After dinner and getting everyone down."
Brad looked over. "I tried a tranq dart."
"Which means you get to make more because we were down to two," Xander quipped back. "I warned you about that."
"Fine. I'll go bribe that demon to let me have some of his slime and make more darts." He rolled his eyes but helped his son stretch. "Good boy, Bruno. Just like that." Bruno grinned and waved at him but went back to stretching. "Very good boy. Stretching is always important so you don't get injuries from doing stupid stuff." He punched one of the middle teen girls on the arm. "Quit doing that before you hurt yourself and someone else."
"Sorry," she pouted. "How do you do that?"
"You go take a class," Xander quipped with a grin. "All summer long if you want. Or after school."
"Would that fill in for sparring time?" she asked, looking hopeful.
"For that one class day a week."
"Sucks, but yay, princess," Xander shot back with a smirk. "We can sign you or any of the girls up to martial arts classes."
The other girls pouted but helped Bruno learn how to stretch and then they helped him learn how to trip people. He was really good and ran over to show Wade by trying to trip him. Wade played along and fell down on the second attempt at an ankle sweep, making Bruno a happy boy. That got another film taken because Bruno was proving he was a big, mean boy to all the others.
Bruno looked at his daddy with a huge grin. "Fuck you!" he cheered then bounced around.
Wade burst out laughing and shaking his head. "Not me!" he said between giggles. Bruno grinned and pounced him to tickle him, making them roll around and then Wade run away for show. Bruno cheered some more. Xander, he was happy taking film for future cute needs.
"Son, no saying fuck until you're thirteen at least," Penny said, staring at him. "Say nicer words please."
He pouted. "You say." Brad burst out laughing and nodding.
"Yeah but I'm a big person. When you're a big person you can say fuck and shit too." She grinned. "Until then, saying bad words means you stand in a corner or sit in a chair." He hugged her then ran over to pick on Cable again. Cable played along well enough, looking really amused but kinda sad. Bruno spotted Wade coming back in and snuck over in an overly exaggerated way that let everyone know what he was doing. He pounced him, knocking him down so he could sit on his back and bounce happily in triumph.
Wade looked back at him. "I'll cuddle you if you get off my back." Bruno laid down to cuddle him there. "Sure." He shifted slowly, flipping over and catching the kid to cuddle better. "Cuddle me this way, Bruno. That way I don't have creepy thoughts about you when you're an adult." Bruno blew a kiss and snuggled in again, taking Wade's gun to coo at and pet. Wade took it back to unload it then handed it back. "We don't need an accident. I'd hate that," he said quietly, petting the baby.
Xander had caught it all on film and sent it to Weasel, then Cable's phone, then he went to hide the film from the camera in the safe. Just in case so it couldn't get lost.
Cable looked at the duo then at the parents, who were grinning at him. "It's cute," he agreed. "And Bruno's a good boy. A strong boy who'll some day kick ass like Wade does." He came over to help the girls get into sparring practice with Russell. Two more guys came in with a late slayer. "Fall in, kids."
Amanda pulled her hair back, nodding as she stretched her arms. "I am. That's why we came home instead of studying at the school. I brought Peter and Ned again."
"That's fine," Cable agreed, pointing. "Fall in, boys." They sulked but did that. Wade was cuddling Bruno in the corner so it was an okay diversion.
Peter looked over then decided not to look at Wade and the baby. He was clearly having a moment and that was cool with him. He looked at Amanda, who was cooing quietly. He nudged her. "If you beat me I'll tutor you for the chem exam."
She smirked. "I'm already ahead in there. Aren't I tutoring you?"
He sighed but nodded. "Probably. I never win anyway." He finished stretching and fell into line to get into the sparring. When the boy came over to pounce them, Amanda tickled him until he ran to hide behind Cable and stick his tongue out at them. Peter grinned. "You're really cute, kid." Bruno nodded with a grin. "And modest too."
"Toddlers are like unholy relics; they're cute and you want to cuddle them but it's not always a good idea," Kara quipped. Cable poked her on the head. She kicked at him and it was a good sparring match. He won, barely, but she ended up in a dead end match with a dagger at his throat. Wade was giggling. Kara grinned at him. "Does that mean I can call off sparring for the rest of the night?"
"Only if you really win." He surged up and she had to roll out of the way, coming up with her sword. He had a gun. She was grinning meanly. "Are you possessed?" he asked dryly.
"Hell no. Flirty." She grinned. "You're cute but not strong enough."
Xander walked in and threw something at her head. Piotr was right behind her. "And that was Jean," Xander quipped. "Dumb bitch and all that." He touched her head, calling to the slayer spirit. It came up and forced out the intrusion. They all heard some woman's voice scream in rage but it faded out.
Bruno looked up and waved. "Bye-bye!" he called with a wave and a grin. "Have good day!"
"You're very nice, kiddo," Russell said, staring at him. "But that was a mean voice. We don't like that voice." Bruno pouted. "Say bye-bye to the nice voices." Bruno nodded, going to pounce Cable, which made him put up his gun. Xander did a banishing over him. Nothing. So it was just weird kid things. Xander did one for the rest of the girls, freeing them. Penny shook her head, doing another one over her poor son. He wasn't possessed, he just wanted to flirt with Cable's shiny guns apparently. Piotr was calling someone to tell them about what had happened.
Xander grinned at everyone. "So, sparring," he said, clapping his hands. "We were going to get back into that?" They all groaned but nodded.
Cable looked at Kara. "Was that you or her?"
"I think it was me. I do that a lot." She grinned. "I'm saving the good moves for the unnaturally strong pricks we have to fight." Wade swatted her so she got him back. They got into a swatting match, which the girls joined in on. That let the younger ones hog Cable and the horny ones try to pinch Wade.
"My Wade!" Bruno yelled, pushing at the girls. "You not hurt or I be mean!" He pushed at a few others. "Mine! Mine mine mine mine mine!" He scowled. "I whip your asses!"
"Yes you will, precious," Kara cooed, picking him up to cuddle. "You'll do really good at it some day soon." She cuddled him. "Such a good boy to protect Wade." He grinned and nodded, holding his arms out at Wade to be cuddled by him.
"I still think you're weird and I'm not a role model," Wade complained but took the kid to let himself be hugged. Bruno grinned and petted his head. "Thanks. Am I a dog?"
"Otter," he said with a happy grin.
"Oh, that's cool. Otters are nice creatures." Brad took his son back, grinning as he walked him off to go watch animal videos with him.
"Well, otters are smart. They use tools, they're cute and fuzzy, and highly protective of their kids," Xander quipped. Wade punched him on the arm. "Ow! Mean bitch!" He rubbed the spot, glaring at him. "Just for that I should tell Justin you do want to go out on a date."
"Don't you dare hook me up with your ex who is psychotically cheery and helpful," Wade warned, holding up a hand. "Just...don't."
Xander grinned. "He wanted to date both of us together. I told him I wasn't into threesomes this week." Wade glared. Xander grinned. "He said he'd take you alone because he could use some bouncy fun. I told him I'd ask."
"No," Wade said slowly and clearly. "I'm not going to date one of your weird ex's." He looked at Cable.
"Not like I've dated him," Cable complained but he was grinning too. "You could use a nice date. Justin was only into drugs from the background I did."
Xander nodded. "Making new ones, not selling."
Wade shook his head with a sigh, looking up. "Why me? Xander, why don't you date him?"
"Because I don't want to wear him out again. Last time he had to call in a minion to save him from the heart attack." He shrugged and grinned. "It wasn't even that long." He walked off sighing. "I do need a date before the world ends."
Cable looked at Wade. "See, you can be heroic."
"I'm going to kill you," Wade warned. "I really am. I'd run. Give me some fun, Nathan." Cable just grinned and went back to helping the girls.
"Thankfully the minis have a censor spell around them," Kara quipped with a grin for Penny. "It gives you beeps instead of bad words." Wade gave her an odd look. "Tara's a bit of a prude. She made sure the girls wouldn't hear too many swear words."
Wade walked off. "That's not a great idea. Let me go swear in private since it's pick on Wade day."
"I have not yet," Piotr said dryly. "Though I could join in. You and Xander would make a charming couple. And you could make sure he slept more often. We do worry about why he does not sleep. Or why you do not sleep."
Wade glared at him. Then he went back to his stomping off to swear in a bathroom. Hopefully pick on Wade day was over with soon. When he came out, two of the older slayers were walking down the stairs in pretty revealing clothes. "I know many strippers who wear more than that, you two. Go change! It's patrol, not stripping for allowances." He pointed. "Before I have a flashback to the girls at Vanessa's club." They pouted but went to change. "And there's no need for stockings!"
Xander came out of the armory, looking at him. "Wow, you do that nearly as good as I do." He hugged him. "It'll be okay. Buffy's coming tonight so you can flirt with her. She could use it. A lot. She only likes dangerous guys too."
"She'd hate the scarring."
"She's slept with vampires, Wade. You're thousands of times better than a dead penis even if you're not fully into it, but you could use the stress relief. Before you turn into me." He looked at Wade's overshirt of a Hawaiian shirt. "Is that mine?"
Wade looked down then sighed. "Yeah, I was missing mine when I got up and you left it." He took it off to hand over. "I don't want to turn into you. You don't use guns very often and you handle creepy things." Xander pouted. "Don't do that!" He walked off, running into Buffy. "Hey," he said with a nod.
She looked him over, smiling at him. "I know the girls get a lot of help from people in spandex. You clearly are one of them. You're really fit." She touched his arm. "Wow." She smiled. "Are you helping on patrol tonight?"
"He's just lost his girlfriend a few months ago," Xander said as he walked past them. "Wade is my best friend. Be nice to him, Buffy. Though a few of my ex's think he's hotter than I am. I have to go correct them sometime soon."
Buffy swallowed her spit, looking Wade over again. "I agree, he's hotter. You don't have muscles or an ass like that, Xander." Wade actually blushed as he headed for the armory. Cable came down and she stared at him. "Wow. Lots of hotties up here. Huh." She nodded.
"No," Cable told her. "Sorry, Buffy."
"That's fine. There's still one hotty in spandex." She went to talk to him. Maybe he'd be pouncy like those mercenaries at the bar were? She mentioned having been there a few times thanks to Xander and having fun with some of the guys. Wade just stared at her. So she decided to channel Faith and pounce him. He yelped but it was fun. He didn't complain and he was great at it. Even when Bruno came in to save him. She looked at the baby. "Go see Daddy, Bruno. He wants to feed you cookies." Bruno ran off with a squeal. She grinned at Wade. "Cookies are a favorite of all slayers. Even meaty cookies." She licked over his nipple again.
Xander closed the armory door and looked at the waiting slayers. "They'll catch up." They sighed but nodded, taking Cable with them. "Call if you need me. I'm going over homework."
"Have fun," Penny called with a wave, holding her poor son. "Let us know if you have problems because Xander's bored." The girls giggled but agreed they could as they left the house. She looked at her son. "We should get cookies. Auntie Buffy was right about that." She took him to get cookies. She wanted cookies too.
Xander snuck off to have some fun with an ex who was local. Even if that one had sucky stamina and got tired after an hour. By the time he got home, Wade was soaking his poor back in Xander's bathtub. Buffy was out on patrol with her minis. Penny and Bruno were in bed napping. Xander went down to clean the armory. It needed it due to the kid mess and then the Buffy mess. He didn't even want to know why a sword had a condom over the hilt. She might share if he asked and he did not need the thought of Buffy sex with any inanimate object. Or most animate objects with her liking vampires so much.
Wade came down to pull Xander back to bed, tucking him in to lay on top of the sheets so Xander couldn't sneak off again.
Wade saw the signs of nightmares on Xander the next morning. "Bad night?" he asked.
Xander shook his head and waved a hand. "Slightly prophetic one I think." He sat up, grimacing at his body. "I have no idea how to handle that but if that was right, I can protect two beings with one smartass." He got up, frowning as he walked off. Kara pushed him back into his room. "I need to hit the office. I'm pretty sure I had a slayer dream."
"I'm pretty sure Penny had it too because she was complaining you sent her son off with another version of you and Dawn to protect him and two of the three stones that Thanos needs."
"Yeah, that fit mine. Then you girls all went to the castle."
She grinned. "Shut up, Xander." She walked off. "Wade, knock him out please. Penny said that's not a workable plan when she explained it to Brad at one this morning."
"But it could be a solution, and we don't have one," Xander said, trying to get to his office. Wade stopped him. "Wade!" he warned.
"Tell me what it was," he said dryly. "I hate being the voice of reason but I do have better tactical training than you do." He stared at him. Xander explained how the vision/dream went. How he had stolen two of the stones and sent them with Dawn, and Forger, who was another Xander in another marvel universe. That one was blended thanks to Asgard so they had all the slayers and everyone else there.
Dawn took the time stone before they disappeared with a grin for the holder, that sorcerer guy. He had sent Bruno to protect him because he didn't think he could watch him disappear in a pile of dust. Wade just nodded slowly. "Okay, first, Penny will kill you like Thor kills pastries."
"I can get Bruno back afterwards. The convention realm doesn't connect really well to his realm but Dawn can get them back that way." He considered it.
Wade shoved Xander back onto the bed. "You, nap. Let me, Brad, and Cable think about that. And tell some others."
"There's two stones I know the location of. Well, three, because the Sorcerer guy wears one."
Wade winced. "Okay, that may be a workable part of the plan. Sending Bruno...."
Xander sat up, staring at him. "Wade, Thanos snapped and dissolved half the world. The people, the plants, the animals. All of that half just turned to dust and blew away. Do you want Bruno here?"
"No," he agreed. "I don't. That's kinda my worst nightmare and may be Cable's too with what happened to his family. Let those of us who were trained in tactics work over the plan while you rest. Then you can have a wacky plan idea on top of ours. Okay?" Xander sighed but nodded. Wade shoved him backwards. "Nap. You clearly still need a rest." He went jogging down the stairs, looking at Penny. "I'd send him off too. Just so I didn't have to see him turn to dust." She shuddered, hugging her son. "So no complaining about that?"
"No, I won't complain about that."
"Good!" He grinned at Cable, who stiffened and grabbed onto the counter. "It's bad. Thanos is beyond bad."
"I heard," he admitted. "It was a history lesson to me, Wade."
"How do we fix it? Or did we fix it? Did we just rebuild?"
"Nothing was in-depth about it. That he was stopped before he could destroy half of everything."
"Which is why Xander wanted to send Dawn and Bruno to another him in another world like ours. With at least two of the stones."
Cable considered it. "Not a horrible idea but I hate having to rely on that sort of abilities. And why Dawn?"
"Dawn has abilities that could help protect the stones and other places. None of us know *why* but we know she's got magic she can't really use very well and she's stupidly powerful," Brad said. Penny nodded at that. "It's not a bad baseline plan. Can we just move the stones? Even that way?"
"I'm assuming they can go off realm," a female said as she appeared. "I heard my name whispered in fear," she quipped with a grin, pinching Wade's cheek. "You're adorable." She looked at the baby who was staring at her oddly. "Hey, little guy. Come cuddle me?" Bruno shrugged but let her take him to cuddle. "You're really special and I agree with Uncle Xander, you need to be protected." She kissed him on the nose, getting a shy grin. "Good boy, Bruno." She looked at Penny. "Yeah, if something happens, I'll take him with me, Penny."
"Thank you, Dawn." She sighed. "Xander had a slayer dream, about when I did. It was us sending you, three stones, and the baby with a Xander named Forger."
"Hmm." Dawn sat down cuddling the baby. Who wanted Wade. Wade took him to hug then handed him back to his daddy since he wanted to be cuddly. "Forger...." She got up to get the book of solutions and came back looking it over. "Like ours, and like this universe, but HYDRA actually pulled him from his original realm to be their special warrior due to the hellmouth taint. Then pulled Andrew it says," she read, skimming it.
"They got free thanks to shaman skills, saved Bucky from them, and went on the run to destroy them until Andrew got home.
"Then he and Bucky went back to destroying HYDRA things." She looked up. "So not that bad and probably protective. He works with their Avengers sometimes and handles demon things for them." She looked at the baby then at Penny. "I'm not doubting it's a good plan, and a reasonable one, but is that the best place to put the stones and the baby since they're presently merged with that Xander's original world due to their Asgard."
Penny sighed. "I don't like that idea."
"Bruno will be safe even if you're not."
"I get that," she agreed. "And I hate that I have to think that way."
"The other only thing we have is that Thanos is actually locked up somehow with a bead of my heart's blood." Penny and Brad both winced. "Willow," she quipped with a grin.
"Fuck," Brad said, making his son giggle. "How?"
"She was on the astral plane and did it after fighting off his trap. I got told and had to explain it to others." They all grimaced.
Cable looked at her. "Dawn, I can feel something like a talent?"
"You can probably feel the artifact I got exposed to," she said dryly. "Which is trapped within me and I can barely use. But I can do super soldier strong magical protections. It's actually what I plan on doing for a career. No matter how often my sister bitches."
"She's in a room upstairs," Penny quipped.
"Great." Dawn smirked at her. "I'll ignore the fits." She tipped her head back and listened. "She's wanking off." She looked at Wade and Cable again. "Can one of you please screw my sister plentifully? She could really use one that's deadly in a better way than a vampy vamp."
Penny groaned. "Definitely." She took her sleepy son back to cuddle. "Are there other Xanders that might be easier to handle it?"
"Xander Lokison," she admitted. "They fought Thanos once. He wasn't super strong but they could only drive him off. They had a few weapons that worked. He was strong enough there to kill five gods and send another seven out of corporeal status. And nearly the me there. And they're used to kids because Xander's the stepdad to Phil's three and a half kids. Plus godfather to my six there and the Stark kids."
She considered it. "Dumass might be able to but if Thanos shows up there they're screwed. They don't have anyone in spandex. Just magic users who panic about non-magic using muggles. Especially their Stargate sorts." She looked at the book. "I doubt we want him in the cursed princess world. Magic and demons but no heros." She sighed. "Forger is probably the most subtle of all of them but he's not all that subtle or that strong. There's the twins' worlds.
"But again, no guys in spandex. There's GHS uni's, and that might be okay enough. No spandex wearing sorts but the Old Gods are around somewhat. And immortals." She considered it. I need to talk to Lokison's people." She got up and went to the office, sending herself to the convention realm then to Xander's temple. He gave her a pointed look. "My Xander had a prophetic dream about Thanos and having to send me, three stones, and Bruno to Forger."
"That's going to suck. Um...." He looked around his office.
"Can we get details of your battle? Maybe even the weapons?"
"Yeah, I can do that, Dawn." He stared at her. "What do you do?"
"Protections and artifact work." She grinned. "I know where three of them are on our world. I can gladly take them with me. And Bruno."
"I saw him. He's adorable." He grinned. "Want to talk to the you here?"
"Only if she wants to. I'm not against it." She grinned. "I'll need tips on how to babysit at the very least. And maybe theft of special stones."
"Ask Remy," Xander quipped. "He can do that." He summoned all the references they had used and the file of copies of plans they had for the weapons. He handed them over then laid a protection charm on her by kissing her forehead. "There. Try really hard and come running if you have to with the slayers."
"I have the feeling they're going to the castle." She grinned. "Which may creep out Dumass again. Thanks, Xander." She hugged him and bounded back, sitting at the table. "The battle against Thanos in Xander Lokison's world. Including stuff for Stark." Xander came down the stairs. "I talked to Protective Xander."
"That's cool. He's had the most experience with that. Only one other world that I know of had Thanos show up and he called up a few hell gods and one brought an ascended demon to help. Then Willow stole the stones from the gauntlet." He put his account of his slayer dream on top of it. Wade took it to look over and handed it to Cable. "I'm not sure if the castle would be safe enough to prevent the snap from hitting the slayers. For that I might have to send them to a temple in Princess Xander's realm. Or to Hunter Xander's realm. Or maybe Lavelle's. His has slayers but they're mostly bitches."
Dawn nodded. "I'm pretty sure the me in Lavelle's world would freak out."
"Could be," he agreed. "You are married to the cop that kept trying to capture them for over four decades. And pushing out mini cops."
She nodded. "So weird that I had kids." She shook her head quickly. "And the me in Lokison's world too." She grinned at Wade. "I don't think you were there, but in that world I'm married to Hawkeye and Natasha. And we have kids." Wade shuddered. "Yup."
"He went to the convention with me," Xander quipped with a grin for her. "Your heathens tried to help too."
"I was probably going nuts and let them before my head exploded."
"Could be," he agreed with a pat on her arm. "The you in Lavelle's world used to be an art thief."
"Wow but yeah I can see that." They shared a look. "Princess Xander's realm?" she decided.
"Probably safest but higher level demons. Might be safer to send them to hunter Xander."
"Could be. But the heaven vs hell battles."
"Point but they slowed down. One of the top dicks in their hell pulled Lavelle by accident while trying to get the me there. He was not amused."
"Lavelle wouldn't be, no. Not after fighting his way out of hell." She snapped her fingers. "The world with the Ders."
"That could be. No heros but magic capable. Pretty far off ours. Is a strong enough realm to hold multiple slayers and two not-natural twins of me." He considered it then nodded. "Yeah, I can ask him if he can. With Hunter Xander as a backup." She nodded at that. "That just leaves the stones."
"I'll steal if I have to," she said dryly. "And follow the girls there."
"No, he'll track the stones there if he can. You go visit Princess me." She nodded at that plan. He looked at the others. "Penny, that sound good for you? That's a whole world that's presently trying not to have an end times battle state."
"I can't see a problem with that if we don't get pulled into it." Xander grimaced. "Though it's probably the safest place." She looked at her son then at him. "Would they be after him?"
"Only a few slayers there. They never had the LA invasion, or at least not yet. The me there ran away from the bitching and got in with the traveling hunter sort." She smirked at him. He grinned back. "I finished my training with Bobby, yeah. He's like a dad to that me."
Penny reached over to pat his arm. "That's cool. You could use a nice daddy."
"Not that sort," he said sarcastically but grinned. "Okay. We need to remove the stones we can. Some are on Asgard. Some are in space. Three are down here. We have not a hope in hell of getting one of them. One's being a necklace while pretending to be a mystical artifact." He looked at Dawn.
"The other's in a demon bank that Xander stuffed it into." He nodded. "Yeah, I can do that. The sooner the better. But we need the soul stone."
"Which is off planet," Xander quipped. "As far as I know."
"Good!" she agreed. "But we have to stop him getting to that one."
"We'll have the time stone," Xander said. "And the mind stone."
"Yeah..." She looked back. "Hey, sis. Huge problems. Already have prophecies and now slayer dreams."
She came over to look, frowning at the slayer dream. "I saw that. Bruno needs to be safer. We'd hate to see him hurt." She patted Penny on the shoulder. "All the kids in the Council are sweetly cute and innocent. Especially him."
Bruno looked up at her with a huge grin. "Shithead."
"Son," Brad complained, glaring at him. "Bad word."
"Ooops." He grinned, wiggling until he could get onto the table and pounce Cable from there, making him catch him. "Mine!" He cuddled him, falling asleep on his metallic shoulder.
Wade looked at him then at Penny. "I think your raunchy wet dream of your husband in my suit with his guns got into your son's mind." She swatted him but blushed with a slight grin at Brad.
"Big guns can be hot but I'd look horrible in the spandex," Brad quipped. Penny blushed harder. He grinned at her. "I'll help you with the naughty thoughts later, dear."
"Awww," Dawn and Xander quipped with a grin for them.
"Happy couples are great," Xander agreed. "And not like you can get her pregnant now."
"True," Penny agreed, rubbing her stomach. "So are we agreed?" Xander and Dawn nodded. "Okay. My part is...."
"Going with the slayers," Wade ordered. "Probably with the kid if we can remove most of you."
"Sure." She nodded. She took her son back so Cable could finish buttering his toast. "You're a good boy most of the time, Bruno," she said in his ear. "We love you for that." He snuffled and shifted to curl up more on her breasts but he was comfy. She looked at Buffy. "If you ever date someone living you can have one."
"Funny," she said with a short glare. "Dawn can't have any and neither can I."
"Dawn can have some," she shot back. "And someday will find someone worthy of her magnificence. Until then Dawn is going to play the field and tease pretty men." She grinned at her sister. "Just like Mom would've done before she got in with your shitbag dad."
"Point," Buffy agreed. "I do enjoy flirting too. We got it from Mom." She got up to make some coffee then sat down with it. "What's our part in this battle?"
"Fleeing for our lives," Penny said. Buffy glared at her. "We can't fight an intergalactic immortal bad guy, Buffy."
"No, you can't," Xander agreed. "In one realm that we know of, a weaker version of him killed multiple gods, sent some incorporeal, including the me there, and only got banished."
"You're a god there?"
He grinned. "The son of one and the protector of humanity. And married to a nice guy."
"You need to see if you can flirt with him here."
"He's not into it."
"Oh, pity. You could use a nice guy." She sipped her coffee. "What are we doing instead?"
"I'm going to try to send you to Hunter me's world. The only problem is that their heaven vs hell end time battles are trying to go on."
Buffy waved a hand while she sipped. "If we have to, we can jump in." She stared at him. "And you'll be....."
"Guarding artifacts that Dawn'll be bringing me," he said dryly. "Since she'll be taking some of the power sources to another realm."
Buffy nodded. "That could work."
"That world was cursed back to about Middle Ages tech," Dawn told her. "But there's a name curse. You're a queen, I'm a princess, and Xander there was a princess because all second born kids are princesses." Buffy spluttered and choked. "But he was the son of a warlord."
"And they have the same demons that the hunters are dealing with," Xander said dryly. "But that me is married to a priest who hates cuddles. They even fought off Glory."
Buffy wiped her face off, staring at him. "How did they do it?"
He grinned. "They just discovered their Stargate neighbors. You were up there with a few others to handle the problem they were creating and send her through the gateway." He smirked. "Then shut it down when she tried to come back. Boom, no more goddess. She met some nice soldiers...." He trailed off with a grin. "That Dawn is presently learning how to protect herself too."
Buffy nodded. "Great. Can they dress her in the froofy dresses?"
"The you there wears the same sort of trashy club hunting outfits."
"Pity." She looked at Dawn. "If you find someone, bring them home. You could use a nice boyfriend I'll let the slayers steal."
"Yeah, right. Like I'd let a good boyfriend go."
Buffy rolled her eyes. "I still think you're a virgin and I'd better never be an aunt."
"Suck it up, because I do," Dawn quipped back, making Cable and Brad choke on air. "And I'm damn good at it too." She grinned at her sister. "Too bad you're not as good as I am at it, Buffy."
"I do just fine," she shot back, scowling. "I never get any complaints."
"That's because most of yours are only one night stands," Xander shot back. "A lot of Dawn's at least stay a weekend."
"Dawn's last one was a minor sorcerer who I had to help depossess that way. He needed a magical funnel to take the demon off him and put it into a jar. Apparently I have a magical funnel."
Wade looked at her. "You're kinda naughty."
She grinned and nodded. "Yes but I demand some fun things like going out. Buffy you can just tap in any old closet."
"Hey!" Buffy complained. "I'm not easy! I'm fun but not *easy*."
"I can go get those kissing statues," Xander offered.
She stared at him. "No thanks," Buffy shot back. "I know they were trying to prove the statues made them gay but damn. Kinda sore afterwards." Xander just grinned at her. "Though nicely non-stressful that week while I soaked out the soreness." She got more coffee and came back to the table, looking at Bruno. "He's very comfy."
"He's a good boy most of the time," Penny assured her with a grin. "He likes his cuddles."
"Mom snuggles are great for kids," Buffy said. "That's why I had a guy who wanted me to be his mommy and spank him. And I kinda freaked out because I'm not into spanking kids for being bad." She sipped her coffee with a frown, shaking her head. "I have no idea why he wanted that."
"Thankfully no one's asked me for that," Xander quipped. He looked at Dawn. "You go get that one?"
"Yeah, and help him set up better protections. You get yours by tomorrow and talk to Stark?"
"I can do that. Shoo. Go. It'll take you longer than me calling a bank in LA." She nodded, going to clean up in the bathroom then head to the Sanctorum. "Let me go to Stark. Wade, can you let Buffy check out your swords? She needs a different style than her short sword, it's too short for her reach." Wade nodded he could do that. "Good. Penny, pack ahead." She rolled her eyes. "Not sure if we can change money over to get diapers."
"He's doing okay with potty training. It means he can run around in his favorite big boy panties and his daddy's t-shirts." Brad nodded with a grin for her. "You have fun with Stark."
"I'll try." He gathered things and headed out. Thankfully it wasn't that far away. He walked through the entry of the tower, waving at the guards. "Super bad shit, guys. Prophecies already suck." They let him up to the meeting level area but he diverted to the lab thanks to the AI. He walked into the lab, making Stark flinch. "Got intel from a realm that already had Thanos show up but he was weaker there." He put the stuff on the table in front of him. "There they could only banish him. I have a memory cube for the other one that we know about." He put that one down too. "The first one has everything on their battle, including the weapons they managed to build."
"Purple guy, Stark."
"Oh, him. How bad? Immortal right?"
"Yup. Five stones, gaudy glove, we're working on a plan. The slayers are going off realm completely this time because he's going to snap and destroy half of everything." Stark frowned at him. "Like literal snap. Finger snap."
"Yup. Animals, cute puppies, people, fish. Everything."
"Super shit." He got into the memory cube first. "How is this one on our scale?"
"About the same." He plugged it in. "This one of me has a special ship, barely any magic, and called in some help from the friends he made in Africa. That is a hell goddess," he said with a point at the frozen picture. "That one is possessed by another one." He let it go. "That is an ascended demon that the first goddess brought as a toy." He let it play.
Stark stared, mouth dropping but him swallowing his spit. "Fuck me."
"Yeah, he will. He'll fuck everyone."
Stark looked at him. "So that's what we're facing."
"Yup. And that's in Wakanda."
"Which we can't get to," Stark said quietly. "Oh, fuck. It's too early for this."
Xander grinned at him. "We have four months. Total. It's so bad we have aliens coming to help us."
Stark winced. "How bad will ours get?"
"Well, you're holding a young guy that one of my girls goes to school with named Peter when he turns to dust." Stark stiffened, staring at him. Xander stared back. "Amanda got assigned to him on her first day there." He grinned. "They're chemistry and history class buddies and she brings him for sparring sometimes."
"I thought maybe they were flirting."
"No, Amanda's pretty sure he's got a girl on his dick's mind or Ned, maybe both." He shrugged. "Amanda's not interested in a guy that has a tougher life than she does. Though she does like flirting with Frank Castle when she runs into him for some reason."
Stark shook his head quickly. "So damn weird." He got into the other files. "Okay, that's research." He got into the weapons plans. "What does this one fire?"
"High energy balls. The me there, Xander Lokison, was one of the seven that lost physical form and it killed five gods, and he was weaker than the one in Wakanda. Which has a hidden stone."
"Get someone to tell them. Please? Before they have a huge problem?"
"I can do that. Yeah. Maybe. Maybe Coulson." He went over those notes, looking at the kid finally. "Can we kill it?"
"We can drive him off?"
"Yeah, we can. And we need to snatch the soul stone if he finds it. Completely one objective because if he makes people go bye-bye, they'll be trapped in there. May be retrievable but not sure. Myths state both ways."
Stark grimaced but nodded. "Yeah. Okay. How?"
"I'd suggest magic and telekinetics in a hidden back line so they can't be attacked."
Stark nodded. "Yeah. That's not a bad plan. Okay. Four months? We have a firm date?"
"We have oak trees so far into fall that the pretty leaves are falling off. You're wearing a sweat suit. You just told Pepper about a dream that you two had a kid named Morgan."
"That's a timeline I can think of." He flipped through the other stuff. "Shit. This is bad."
"Yeah, this is horribly bad. Which is why the visions gave me a two day migraine the first time. Last night's was a plot via prophetic dream. Which Penny got too. Including me sending Bruno off instead of anyone else."
"I'd do the same thing." He looked at him. Clint came in. "Intel on two other battles against Thanos."
Clint came to look. "We have one stone here."
"In Loki's staff," Xander agreed with a nod. "The mind stone if I'm right. Dawn will probably be stealing it to go off realm with it."
Stark nodded. "Yeah. I can go with that plan. Is it staying there?"
"Probably not. She'll be hiding in a realm that was cursed to middle ages times. Your people there are a knight conglomerate board running an area. Mine's the princess son of a warlord who ended up taking over and is married to a priestly demon hunter."
Clint shook his head quickly. "Weird."
"Yup but he has fun sometimes." He looked at Stark again. "Dawn has to help set up a bigger protection and then she's heading."
"I'll gladly let her take the stone and hide it somewhere there."
"It could cause problems if their higher demons get it. So it'll be a go and then come back."
"We can hide it after that," Clint agreed. He watched that battle, frowning. "Is that a demon?"
"Hell goddess. Xander there asked one if she'd show up. She captured an ascending demon during his last rite to bring with her just in case. He helped a lot."
"I can see that." He frowned. "Do we have any doing it?"
"Not that I know of and the next eclipse is after the probable battle date in four months."
"Shit." He looked at him. "We sure?"
"Late fall, all the pretty leaves were falling. Stark was wearing a sweat suit in the park with Pepper, who was wearing fallish clothes too. Clearly Central Park because a statue they walked past is there. He had a nanotech suit."
"I'm months away from that," Stark said dryly. "I need to get to work faster."
Xander leaned his hip against the table. "There have been two battles I wanted ass plugs for. One was the First Evil's battle, where we were inside the hellmouth seal against thousands of super vamps. The second was an invasion event in Africa when I didn't even have an army there and the few people I had talked into it weren't going to be much help. This one...even the vision made me want to reach for a plug and the lube bottle. Especially if we don't win. Because certain higher ups will use that snap to get rid of some of the slayers they don't want around."
"And you," Clint said.
"And possibly me," Xander agreed with a nod. "And Bruno, so I'm super for sending him off earlier."
Clint nodded. "Yeah, me too. I love the little Mini Wade." He went back to the plans they had. "This sucks."
"That does," Xander agreed with a nod. "If we have a few of the stones, we have a backup plan. We need the soul stone and it's off world. The only time we'll be able to get it is during the battle."
Clint nodded, grimacing. "What did Cable say?"
"We went over the prophetic dream Penny and I both had last night and came up with a better realm than Forger's. They've got most of you but they might be hitting it soon. He's good but he's more an anti-demon hero." A small tape fell from the ceiling so he caught it and handed it to Clint to run. "Hmm. That's a Stark kid," he said with a grin when the video came up. "And that's a Stark kid firing a weapon at Thanos. Hmm." They watched as they fought it and then she summoned it. "Oooooh." Then a portal happened to evacuate the Stark kid and a few of the stones. "That is Xander Lokison's realm. But their Dawn has multiple magical sources. Ours doesn't."
Stark grimaced. "She's a cute kid."
"She's your oldest and has multiple patents. Is graduating college at fifteen. Loves animals. Frustrates you to no end because now you know what a female you would be like."
Stark tried not to grin. "I'd be pretty badass even as a girl. Those stones?"
"Yeah, those were the stones. But that Dawn has multiple forms of magic and ours doesn't. Ours also has to be removed because she's a lock on some of his powers thanks to the Red Menace."
"I forgot about that," Clint admitted. "Shit."
"Yup. She's going to the cursed princess' realm."
"We can work up a plan and tell the others," Stark said. "Including warning Wakanda."
"Let Natasha," Clint ordered. "She can be diplomatic."
"Go for it," Stark agreed. "Run it by His Bitchiness."
"I can do that too." He walked off. "Thanks, Xander."
"Welcome." He looked at Stark. "I can't be of much help but I'll be there. Give me a heads up when it's the day if I don't get a sudden vision."
"I can do that. Thanks." Xander nodded and left. Stark groaned but went back over the information they had. It was really stupidly horrible. "Maybe I can send Pepper with Dawn. Pepper can probably do magic with all she does every day."
Dawn walked into the Sanctum Sanctorum. "Hey, Wong. We've got super huge problems. Can you get His Crankiness here?"
"He's at a meeting," he said, staring at her. "What sort of problems?"
"Huge problems. Like...Thanos problems." Wong winced but nodded. She sat down on her usual waiting couch. "We'll need to up the protections."
"We've barely managed to rebuild," Wong complained.
"Yeah but without it, it'll be a smoking wreck. And so will you guys. So yeah, protections." She grinned.
"Wonderful. I'll let him know and pull down our protection rites scrolls." He went to do that. Dawn looked amused at something so it had to be bad.
Stephen stomped in looking displeased. Then he spotted Dawn and stared. "This is probably not good news."
"No, it's not," she said, getting up to walk over to him, staring up at him. "I'm here to help you set stronger protections. You have four months until Thanos gets here. And I'm taking the stone to evacuate until he's left."
"I cannot let you do that."
"Then you're going to have a lot of problems when he stomps the Sanctorum and you. All of you." He stepped back, looking horrified. She nodded. "You have an eternity stone in your locket, Stephen. I'm taking it, the other two down here, and leaving to another realm once your mess of closets and people are safer. And I'm going to use one to store my own protected artifacts until I get back." She held up the bag she had carried with a grin. "We have four months to build your protections so strong it'll hold against intergalactic threats who are willing to do anything to kill you and take the stone."
"I have to protect it."
"You will be. I'll be holding the stone on another realm. The demons there might want to get near it but I'll have a lot of help."
He licked his lips. "The protections are strong."
"No they're not and they're loud. We need them to be airtight, subtle, and unbreakable. Make the house unsearchable by aliens. Make it impenetrable unless you allow them in. Even Kaecilius would be a worthy help against Thanos."
"You could help us fight."
"You forget, Willow locked him to my heart's blood."
"Yup." She grinned. "So, your protections? We have to get the full sorcerer's group into them probably. The sanctum can hold them all?"
"We can," he agreed. He considered it. "This is horrible beyond normal methods."
"This is horrible beyond earthly methods," Dawn corrected, grinning at him. "Xander hasn't wanted a butt plug for many battles but he's already looking for a good one. We're blatantly fucked if he gets all five stones. And the important one is off world." She looked up at him again. "This shit totally sucks. In every measurement scale. But if we don't win and he does, half of everyone goes in a snap of fingers."
He considered that. "That would take a different stone."
"Which is off world and we'll have to get during the battle." She touched his amulet. "If we have the time stone," she said with a tap on the cover. "If we have to it's a backup plan."
He nodded, laying a hand over it. "That I can agree with but it's my sacred duty."
"Then send one of your people with me to guard it. I'm going to a realm that has a cursed life. And higher hell spawn demons. The me there is actually a princess."
"So is the you here."
She smirked. "I'm not that bad here, Stephen. I could've followed in my sister's footsteps and became a real princess."
"Please don't." Wong came out with the scrolls they needed. Dawn pulled out the ones she had worked up for her protected areas. They could combine them and others to protect the important things. Doing so early meant they could find any faults and set extra ones on top without wearing themselves out for the battle. Especially since some would take seriously strong sex magic to set. Stephen looked then sighed. "That requires a virgin."
Dawn pulled out a vial and waved it. "Sex knowledge be gone?"
He took it to look at. "There's potions for that?"
She grinned. "Not around here but yeah I looked some up through another of us. They use it for arranged marriages." She leaned back over the table to point at a rune on the other end. "That one will take earth magic it looks like." She smiled at Wong. "You have that, right?"
"Myself and two others in the order."
"Good." She grinned. "We can all do this if we have to." She looked back at the staring sorcerer. "Do we have enough for a full conclave of working?"
"We are three short, I believe," he admitted. He put the precious vial into his desk and shut the drawer. He came back to look. "Yes, we need three more sorcerers."
"I can fill in one spot. Tara...I'm not sure if she can or not. She'll be helping the coven hide itself I'm sure. There's the mages group in town you can ask at."
"I know of one of them," Wong said. "They could help."
"Even a banned former member may help," Stephen said. "This one is marked as Judas spot." Dawn looked and nodded, standing up and getting out of his way. "They wouldn't have to betray us, just be a non-member and hate most of us probably. Unfortunately Xander let the one I would ask be taken by his debts."
"Xander's really strong in the defense of the slayers," Dawn agreed. "I'm surprised he didn't destroy all of you for that." She looked at him. He sighed but nodded. "And you still haven't apologized."
"He did not allow it."
"Write a letter? Do you want to die with that on your conscience? You might have to haunt the slayers if you do."
"That may be a nasty fate," he decided but smiled. She grinned back. "I may have a person to help me."
"Hey, if that's who you want. That potion will work on anyone with magic. You'd be responsible for that part so up to your choice really." He nodded, looking over the runes again. She looked at Wong, who grinned at her. "I'm figuring you're going to be the north pole here, Wong. All those acting as the north would gather around you."
He nodded. "That would suit me. I can fulfill that duty. It will take some study as I know not much about ritual magic."
Stephen patted him on the arm. "You're more than great enough to do that."
Dawn grinned at him. "I know a few books. I can get them from Cleveland if we have to. Also, Giles is a sorcerer."
Stephen smiled at her. "That may help. And Ethan Rayne.... Harris knows a few."
"I'll talk to him in a few. He's warning others with what we found out about the battle from other realms."
"That's reasonable for his duties," Stephen decided. "Go rest, Dawn. We'll make sure your artifacts duty is safe later when we go over the inventory."
"Sure." She went to lay down on the usual couch.
Stephen looked at Wong. "Call the others together?"
"I have already sent out a summoning." That got a nod and they gathered what they could. They would talk to Stark later for the full depth of horrors they'd face.
Xander walked up to Maria Hill, staring at her since she was in the mall. "I got intel on the upcoming problem from other mes," he said quietly. "And it's horrifyingly bad." She grimaced. "No, like butt plug bad." He walked around her. "Talk to your boss, Hill."
"I can do that. Thank you." She frowned at his back. "That's not our Xander." He shot a grin at her but winked and jogged off casually. "That's not our Xander," she said, going back to the tower. Stark was waiting on her. "I just saw a not-our-Xander?"
"Forger. His world is about to hit this same roadblock for humanity too. We copied stuff for him." He held up a still from the first tape. "Stupidly bad."
She took it and frowned. "Who are those warriors?"
"Wakanda. They have a stone."
She winced but nodded. "I can reach out and touch someone that way." She walked off. "You're briefing us all?"
"Tonight. Call a meeting." He walked off to get something for his stomach. He had the sort of heartburn only superheroes got. Mylanta wasn't going to help with this. Hell, tequila wasn't going to help with this.
Hill looked at the people. They all had things to nibble for stomach helping thanks to Pepper, who was sitting in. "We've all briefed you that we have an upcoming problem with an unknown date. Named Thanos, or that big purple guy." A few nodded. "Now we have an idea of a time frame, and we have information thanks to Harris and his extremely weird convention with other hims." She started the first film. "This is one from a nearby realm, one with a Stark daughter that had gotten pulled into it." She got out of the way.
Strange held up a hand so she paused it. "Who are his minions?"
"The Black Order," Thor said from his seat. He had just barely gotten back that morning after saving Asgard. "I asked for information on him when I was home." He tossed the tied scrolls onto the table. "We need the stones to fight him."
"We need the stones gone so he can't get them," Stark corrected. "Otherwise he takes out half of humanity." He tossed over the vision from that morning.
Thor read it over, frowning. "That...that snap is something he's desired and done in other places," he admitted. "Though usually through war instead of powers." He looked at them. "If we have the stones we can prevent him."
"If they're here, they can be taken from us," Stark noted. "Can you honestly protect them from him getting one? Or any of us?"
Thor scowled. "If they're here, we can use them against him." He looked at the sorcerer.
"No," he said, shaking his head. "I looked at the possible outcomes. As long as we can get to them as a backup plan, we can stop him and drive him off. We can't kill him. In no possible outcomes was he killed." Thor slumped. "We can drive him off and only two of the possible fifty positive outcomes had us with the stones. We are planning on getting the ones he's got from him at that time. Including the soul stone."
"The soul stone has *got* to be gotten," Stark agreed. He stared at him. "Harris?"
"And Dawn," he agreed with a nod. "Dawn is working on the protections of the Sanctorum with us so all that I keep quieted doesn't get out to help him." A few slumped. "Then she'll be guarding things. The slayers are of no use in this battle. They could battle aliens, but they're too powerful for regular magic or swords."
Cable cleared his throat. "I went over what they could do, and I fully agree. The slayers are all being evacuated off realm to another Xander's realm. Along with some of the Devon coven to protect them. We're getting a few staying," he told Strange.
"That could be helpful. Have we talked to the holders of the hidden one?" he asked Hill.
"I did. They're not amused."
"Nor are any of us," Strange agreed. "Can they guard it?"
"No. I put him in touch with Dawn, who told him the plan they already had going. They won't evacuate theirs but they will put a higher level of guarding. Including talking to a few people that helped Harris down in Africa since they're used to battles that will kill humanity." She leaned against the wall. "We need to get plans made for who goes to the battle, in what order, and how we can snatch the stones during it."
Cable looked at the Professor. "Xavier, you have some battle cleared telekinetics."
"I do," he agreed, frowning. "And I agree with that plan to put them in a protected back line to work to get the stones from him. What would we do with them?"
"Bury them suddenly," Stark said. "Just use any hole and cover it up. From what we've seen, he can't summon things so he'd have to have someone dig it up."
"Which is a limited area to stop someone," Cable agreed with a nod. He leaned his elbows on the table. "This looks to be a stupidly fucking evil battle on the likes that we've had with Apocalypse in my timeline. You do what you have to do. Some of the slayers have volunteered to stay to protect that back line since they won't be much good in the main battle."
"Where swords or axes or magic would be the most help," Steve Rogers agreed with a nod. "How many volunteered?"
"So far three in the local house. Xander overruled one because she's sixteen." Steve nodded at that. "Penny and Bruno are in the first line going. We all worried about him."
"I would too," Stark agreed, swallowing. "Bruno's special to a lot of the slayers." He considered it. "Harris?"
"In the battle," Cable agreed. "Either guarding or jumping in to lead an area with the people he fought beside before."
"Which is reasonable and they're used to working with him," Steve Rogers agreed with another nod. "And he can use higher weapons."
"The slayers know how to use artillery," Cable told him. "Xander made sure of it and we went behind his back to make sure they understood." He grinned slightly. "They're mean girls sometimes."
"They can be," Clint agreed from his seat. "What sort of weapons are they using, Hill?" She restarted the film for them. "That Stark kid is pretty damn good with weapons. Can we get her?"
"She's fifteen, Hawkeye. And on a walker. We were told she got shoved to that realm by accident and had to handle it like a real Stark."
Strange frowned when he saw that Dawn. "She...."
Clint cleared his throat. "I know about that Dawn thanks to talking to the me in her realm. She has more of those things that make her special." Strange winced but nodded quickly at that. "Ours doesn't."
"That is reasonable." He bit his lip as Hill started another version of it. "That's a hell goddess. One of war and love if I remember right. And that is an ascended demon she brought to help." He frowned. "Interesting ploy."
Stark looked at him. "What would make summoning the stones easier?"
"Another stone or an elemental power that was nearly as strong," he said. "Which we do not have." Hill paused the tape. "In that first one, their Dawn had clearly been exposed to a stronger artifact than ours was. Or more of them at least."
"On that Dawn's world, their Xander is a god," Clint quipped. "And so is Coulson. And that battle was weaker than either of those, killed five gods, sent seven more out of physical form, and nearly killed all of us too." Hill put up those notes.
"Fuck," Cable muttered. "And he was weaker? We're sure?" Clint nodded. "You asked?"
"Yeah. I had Xander ask the Xander in his realm that fought in that one and had to help rescue the Stark daughter in the first video one. Theirs was weaker, had to travel by the hellmouth, and had a cult summoning him." He shifted position to look at Hill. She stared at him. He grinned. "What?"
"You're not our Hawkeye."
"No, yours is going over the details we have at our SHIELD about the battle. So he's basically being pounced by my kids while Grandma watches them for a few hours of stress relief." He grinned. "That one," he said with a point. "We were in. We couldn't destroy the stone, but we could destroy the physical shape he forced it into. Like the tesseract being square? We could destroy the square but the elemental magic stayed."
He looked at Strange. Then he looked at Stark. "Yeah, your spawn? Super Starks with Summers mixed in." He grinned. "Sometimes your daughter swears more than her Aunt Dawn does. She has a Summers Woman step to her temper when things happen and just goes to weapons and fuck this shit. She keeps forgetting she has common sense."
"How did I get kids?" Stark asked, sighing at the end.
"NID made her from Buffy." He smirked. "It was a plot to get super warriors. Then we at SHIELD found out about Gods. True old Gods. We had Thor but then Thor's nephew showed his ass. And we ran into Ares, ours not yours. Like the original one." Cable shuddered, shrinking back some. "He's married to our Loki and they're in constant competition for who's on top and whose plots win out. Plus sometimes they screw loudly enough that it makes Cupid run and hide." He smirked at him. "Our Xander is the Protector of Humanity. He does the same stupid, self sacrificing shit yours does. Yours gets it naturally."
Thor shook his head. "I met that Xander when he warned us about the pheromone serum."
Clint waved a hand with a grin as he said a word in Norse. Thor shifted and moaned. "We had Lavelle, another Xander, with a shot to turn that on, Thor. He hit Richards and a bunch of warlords. On purpose for fun." He smirked. "Your Xander, he's pretty decent and calm. Our Phil works too often and can't screw the bad ideas out of ours."
Cable stared at him. "Damn."
"Hmm." Clint grinned at him. "He trained our Dawn to protect herself before she took any self defense training or got hooked up to be Stark's assistant. We all learned how weird those ones were, and formal dinners are a pain in the ass that last forever."
Thor nodded. "Yes, they are. We hate them when it's just Asgard having one."
Clint reached over to swat Thor on the arm, making him change into Loki so Clint could grin at him. "You're not half as slick as ours is. And you squeal less." Loki glared at him. He smirked back. "Where's Thor?"
"Taking off to warn the people where the soul stone is." He looked at Hill. "All of Asgard that still remains is behind you in this battle. We narrowly defeated Hela but we will gladly help protect against her boyfriend."
Hill forced a smile. "Thank you, Loki. Why did you appear as your brother?"
"None here would trust me." He shrugged but smirked as he leaned back in his chair. "The Dawn here may be able to summon *a* stone but it will burn her out and possibly kill her to do so." He looked at Strange. "She is an adequate guardian for yours."
"That plan will be the most helpful. Though, if he gets the soul stone, it takes a sacrifice." He looked at Stark. "The mottled group of idiots that may show up to help, and found another stone for it to be moved to safety, will be fractured if he gets the soul stone due to that sacrifice."
Stark nodded. "Got it. Any other wise notes?"
"The first one was weakened by something."
"Ours is presently partially tied up by Dawn's blood and a witch's curse," Strange said. "Would that weaken him much?"
"It will weaken him using the gauntlet, not the stones. He can wield an individual stone. As he did when he made the staff he gave me." He tipped his head at Hill. "Getting more than one will make him connect his energy to the gauntlet and doing that is what she locked him away from."
"So, using them singly," Clint said, considering it.
"Still means power," Loki warned. "He just can't use them in concert and the soul stone is the dangerous one." He looked at Xavier. "You know those who have the gifts to steal it. Do use them as fast as you can because if he kills with the soul stone in his possession, they are entrapped in it forever to power it. The more souls, the more power he can pull from it."
"So like ancient Aztecs," Steve Rogers said. He frowned. "Can we be sure he'll get it?"
Loki nodded. "Yes. The aliens will be fractured by their missing member dying. He can still do that disastrous snap but it won't be as powerful. Maybe it'll take a third instead of half."
Stark slumped. "Can we trust you to help us and not him?"
Loki stared at him. "You do not know of the things he can do with the mind stone, Stark."
"No, I don't," Steve Rogers said. "But I know what you did with it." Loki stared at him. Steve stared back. "As long as you help us because it's in your best interest, I'm all for it. No trying to steal them yourself."
"While power is addictive, that much power is problematic and means you have to defend it for the rest of your very short life," Loki said dryly. "It is not the power I seek to contain."
Steve nodded. "I get that. Thank you for that honesty. What about that Dawn girl?"
He grinned. "While she would be a...memorable enemy I do not wish that sort of stupid into my life," he said dryly. "She is much like her adopted heart brother Xander and he is not the one I want to battle against either. He has this way of winning things that are stupidly wrong for humans to win by some strange methods. Including two battles while naked. Not what I'd want to do while holding a sword on slippery ground."
Cable burst out laughing. "He had a nightmare about that one night and broadcast. I'd have hated that battle myself." He stared at Loki then at Rogers. "Even if he wants the power, fighting with Thanos wouldn't be reasonable to help his goals."
"I just don't want to have a battle after that battle to fight Loki."
"I will vow not to touch those stones. While it is ...addictive, I don't want to see what would come for it, or me, if I wield it."
"Thank you." He looked at Stark, who nodded.
"I can accept that vow. That much power does make you a shiny target." Loki nodded, relaxing. "We'll gladly accept the help. From any group that wants to help us. This is too big for just us." He looked at Xavier. "Can you tell your better half?"
"I wouldn't consider him my better half but I will inform him of this. When do we know he's coming?"
"Late fall. Xander's visions had fall colors in the park but the oak trees were leaking leaves," Stark said. "I was in a sweat suit, walking with Pepper in the park. He thinks about four months."
Xavier nodded. "That's a reasonable timeline to prepare. Would it be useful to hide some of the children?"
"If he snaps, it'll take half of everything no matter where they're hiding," Hill said. "Protect them from the idiots who'd take advantage of it to hit the kids though."
Xavier nodded. "That's another worry we have. Thank you. I'll call a peace event tonight. If I can have copies?" Hill tossed a big envelope down to him. "Thank you. Anything else I need to know before I warn the rest of my people?"
"It was suggested that Remy may have the best method or way of getting those stones," Hill said. "Or at least could lead that part."
He considered it. "He does have that gift, yes. I had not thought of that. It would be a good space and he could always jump into the front battle if necessary." He nodded slowly. "That would be a workable team up to lead that group. Thank you." He rolled off, going to talk to his people. He found Magneto waiting in a limo outside, thinking loudly enough to draw his attention, and went to get in with him. He handed over the file once he was hitched in and his wheelchair in the trunk thanks to the driver. They drove off. "It's bad."
He read it over, grimacing. "This one is powerful."
"That is a weaker version. The other two are battles with other versions of him. Both more powerful."
Magneto stared at him. "I heard it was horrible."
"Half of everyone gone if he snaps his fingers with intent."
Magneto grimaced but nodded. "That's horrible." He patted the file then looked at him. "Once more into the battles?"
"We all need to fall in. We're all going to be needed and there will be many deaths. The slayers are going to flee."
"They don't have the skills to deal with this. Killing demons with a sword is one thing. Killing aliens with artillery is another. The young women have a destined battle, Charles."
"I know, Erik. He does baby them."
"And yet, they've handled worse than this without notice. We could not have handled the invasion in LA."
"No, we couldn't," he agreed. "We would have taken much longer to handle it."
Magneto nodded. "This is not demonic and I do not expect them to jump in."
"Some will. Mostly to guard the telekinetics."
"That's a wise decision. A good use of their skills. By volunteer?" Charles nodded. "Good." He cleared his throat. "I did some research since finding out that I'm related to one."
"Three," Charles said with a smile. "Three of Pietro's many children are called as slayers. Sarah is one. One of the middle pack is. The one you met seems to rule the other children in the family very well."
Erik Leshner smiled and nodded. "I have a great legacy to live up to it appears. You should have had children, old friend."
"You never know what will happen," he said dryly, smirking back. "Are we going to the school?"
"Yes. My lieutenants are on their way as well." He relaxed, pouring them both some bottled sparkling water. "Here, you look like you have a headache."
"I do. Cable has quite the protections from me reading his mind."
"As he's from the future, perhaps he knows things we don't."
"He keeps censoring thoughts of Apocalypse."
"That may be why his timeline is destroyed. He is strong." Charles nodded. They drove up to the school, watching the scenery. When they got there, the driver got the wheelchair out of the trunk and held it so Xavier could transfer over. Then Erik got out to follow him inside, waving at his people.
Logan stepped forward. "What are you doing?"
"It's that bad, his hirsute friend," Erik said dryly. "Everyone is falling in this time." He handed Storm the envelope. "There's tapes of battles in there."
"From other realms," Charles told her. "Two different versions that are closer to the powers we'll be facing. We all must know and make plans for the battle. Remy, it was suggested that you'd be the one protecting the back line of the telekinetics we'll desperately need." Remy grimaced but nodded once. "You'll have some help from a few of the slayers." He pointed. They went into the living room to go over the first battle's film. Logan was shuddering in a corner. Charles looked at him. "Exactly."
"Yeah, we need to stop that. The others?"
"Yes, who can," Charles agreed. "Remy, we need to steal any stones he has managed to acquire. It was suggested stealing it and just burying it during the battle. That way we can prevent him from getting it back but it won't endanger us." He looked at him. "He won't have all five. A few are being moved off realm before then."
"Oui, stealing then dropping them into a hole would be safer unless we need 'em," he agreed, shifting his stance. "The kids?"
"Protecting themselves here. There are unfortunate idiots who would take advantage of it to harm the youngest mutants," Magneto said.
Remy nodded. "It's a worry. We can work that up. Logan?"
"I'll lead a battle unit," he agreed. "Cy?"
"I can lead A team," he agreed. "You lead B. Professor, Jean?"
"If she's healed," he agreed. "If not, I'll have her here guarding the children." That got a nod from Scott and a few others. He looked at Sabertooth. "I know you have informal battle units."
"I'll be leading us into battle," he agreed, frowning at the tv. "We'll be behind your two teams to cover the center." He looked at Logan. "You take left?"
"I can do that. Yours take left of center. One-eye, take right of center. Put other battle mutants in a team behind yours with whoever's leading."
"Could be Cable," Cyclops said. "He's been in battles."
Logan nodded. "That'll work and keep us taking out the powerful things that're going to get in the way of the main, center team of the Avengers and whoever?"
"That would work for my desire to not have to deal with this one," Charles agreed quietly. "I truly do not want this to go on but he's going to be here in about four months. Late fall by the visions."
Sabertooth looked at him. "The slayers?"
"Mostly leaving," Charles said.
"Good! They're not set up for this level of shit." He looked at Logan, who smirked back. "Some are staying though."
"They can guard the telekinetics with Remy," Remy said. "They can battle but bigger enemies won't freak them out. Plus some of the warriors down in Africa will probably be called on to jump in since that's not in the US."
"No, that's in a country called Wakanda," Charles said. "They're being warned. The Sorcerer Supreme was warned as well."
"He hides some horrible things," Logan said dryly. "We'd like them to not come out to help." He looked at Storm, who patted him on the arm. "We'll hopefully live through it."
"If not it's a good reason to die," she said. "We are not Klingons as Kara said, so it is never a good day to die, but sometimes it happens and we will go out as they do."
Charles looked at her then at Erik. "Harris made that rule."
He nodded. "It's true. There's no good day to die. It's always a problem." He looked at his lieutenants. "Let us watch the other one." That one got put into the player, letting them all see that battle. "Who is that girl?"
"A daughter of Stark from another realm. She got displaced to there so handled it as a Stark," Charles said dryly. "She's fifteen."
"Her father must've screamed for years," Cyclops said dryly. "But she's good with the weapons." He paused when he saw Dawn summoning the stones. "Can we...."
"Ours isn't that powerful and will be guarding a few of them," Charles said.
"Huh. Pity. Maybe Strange will be able to figure that out." He sighed and shifted his stance. "How long?"
"Four months. Late fall."
Cyclops nodded. "So we have time to train at least."
"Can he possibly not show up?" Sabertooth said.
"Probably not. He wants the stones and we have three of them on this planet," Logan complained. Sabertooth grimaced but nodded once. "We'd all like for Harris to be wrong for the first time." He looked at the bosses. "The lighter mutants can protect the city?" Charles nodded at that. "I'll let them know later. Maybe we can bring the vampire Hand members with us to help the battle. At least they'd die for a reason beyond being annoying." He walked off to call them to tell them to meet him later.
Erik frowned at Cyclops. "They did?"
"Someone turned some to get the slayers. Ninja vampires are stronger apparently," Rogue said from her seat. "Harris got a number of them gone and then turned a lot into statues." Magneto moaned. She grinned at him. "It helped save the girls."
"I'm all for that," he assured her. Then he looked at Cyclops. "Can you call the other teams?"
"Richards was at the meeting," Charles said. "So was a Hawkeye from another realm while our version got more information from their SHIELD. We even had Loki promise to help us with the battle."
"I'm with the girls who rate things on how big of a butt plug you need," Rogue quipped. "This is clearly a battle for the biggest size that you only see in dirty movies online." She got up and walked off. "Let me get my team together to start training now."
"You need the TK with me," Remy ordered.
She grinned at him. "Of course, and I'm stealing Russell for it." He nodded at that. She called him as she walked off to gather her team. Colossus showed up with X-Force to train with them. Cable was a badass that they couldn't beat in a fight. Deadpool too. So at least they had better warriors with them. And they could help Russell focus for the battle itself.
Cyclops looked at the dark mutants then at their leader. "We've heard rumors that someone was starting a Dark Avengers?"
"I can talk to them. Osbourne is an idiot but not suicidal. Logan's son might be quite helpful."
"He has a son?" Cyclops demanded.
Sabertooth nodded. "Yeah. Kid's an asshole with an attitude problem too." He shrugged. "He can sometimes back it up though." Logan came back. "Your son?"
"Can you tie him up in a closet? He's too over confident."
"It'll beat it out of him like it did us," Sabertooth said with a shrug. "Could be helpful too."
"Yeah, Daken might help. He won't take a call from me."
"Osbourne is making a Dark Avengers team," Erik said with a smile for him. "We can borrow. I'll go to them today." He looked at his people. "We'll work on training starting tonight." They all nodded. "When the ungrateful come, we'll handle that as well." He nodded at Charles. "Call out for me before the battle if you can."
"I will." They shook hands and Erik left with his people. He sighed, looking at his students, who all stared back. "This is going to be horrible. We will survive if we can." They nodded. "Start to work on training your teams, and train the children in how to hide and get away." They left him to do that. He reran the files to go over again. "This is going to suck," he muttered. "Worse than Cuba."
Xander woke up gasping. All that had been a vision. Shit.
New Slayers, New Things, New Problems.