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Tinkering Chaos is Tinkering.

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Tinkering Chaos is Tinkering.








The guy that Xander dealt with at the electronics component store was giving Xander an odd look. "Are you building another little robot friend like Frodo?" he guessed.

"Something to help me in the garden." He grinned. "They're going to be really handy."

"How much garden space do you have? I didn't think anywhere in Manhattan was that green outside Central Park."

Xander shrugged. "I didn't measure but a few people helped me set up a pretty garden space." He grinned. "They can weed when I'm not home."

"Book tour?"

"Or another asshole sort who wants to keep me as their purr kitty so they kidnap me," he agreed with a grin. "I'm hoping it's a book tour. It'll mean more sales." He looked at things. "Let's give all the fairies green eyes?" he asked his robot Frodo. Frodo barked and shined a light on some purple ones. "Okay, they'll look nice next to yours," he agreed.

The sales clerk coughed. "They're twice as much as the basic colors." Xander looked at him. "You said you were feeling more broke this week."

"Broken but not broke. I make fantastic interest." He grinned and bought two sets. "I'll stick with two for now though. Just to see how many I really need. I have four fairies started but I might not need them all." He walked up to the counter with the few other things he needed, including some more wire. He handed over his debit card.

"New aftershave?" he asked him. "It smells nice. My brother would like that."

Xander blushed, ducking his head. "Sorry, hormone condition. Really bothersome hormone condition. I doubt he wants to be kidnaped to be someone's lap cat." He cleared his throat, signed the slip, and hurried off before he infected the nice guy that gave him some ideas. Frodo barked and took the bags to follow his human to the hired car.

The sales guy shook his head, sending an email to his other favorite client. That one came in a few hours later. "Thanks. He gets stranger and stranger. Somehow he's got enough garden space in Manhattan to need mechanical fairies to help him weed if he's been taken again."

"I can't even get that much room inside a garden dome," Stark said. "I'll ask. Fairies?"

"Yeah. He said he's building mechanical fairies."

Stark just nodded, picking up what he wanted. Stark walked off texting someone so they could check on the kid again. Harris was just a bit too weird. Especially if the goblin bank rumors he had heard out of SHIELD were true.

***

Frodo let the agent he knew in, barking at him louder than usual to warn his human. "Hey, Frodo," Agent Crill said, patting him on the head. Xander came out of a door he didn't remember seeing before. "Did you add on, Xander? I thought your building backed up to another one."

"It does." He grinned. "No comment. I'm not sure if I have to pay taxes on my garden space or not."

Crill stared at him. "Did you take over someone else's apartment?"

"No."

"Then how did you get garden space?"

"Someone helped me set it up." He grinned. "Do I have to pay taxes on it?"

"Probably. The city's strapped cash-wise so they're bleeding every cent they can from people." He walked over to look through that doorway, blinking. "Did you open up onto another world where Manhattan's not inhabited?" he asked, looking at the goofy young guy.

"No! It's only two acres," he said with a slight pout. "Not that I think I could handle more."

Agent Crill blinked a few times. "How did you do that?"

"Magic." He grinned. "It's a few spells on top of a space creating one."

"Uh-huh. Okay." He walked out there. Fresh air, open sky, lots of plants. Two flying silver things wearing purple dresses. "The fairies Stark reported?" he asked with a point.

"Yup. They're very handy and they weed so much more delicately than I do." He walked him over to the trees to show him. "The one that's like me in Miami really likes making this lemon pudding dish so I put up a few trees for those and cherries, which he said makes a great ice cream base instead of a pudding. I put up some nuts, an apple tree, and a few others, plus I put in some veggies." He showed him that part of the garden. The fairies were driving the little train that held bushel baskets.

Xander patted them both on the head. "Thanks, Fairies." They chattered at him and went to pick anything ripe. "Just enough for dinner please. I need to clean out the freezer." They flew a basket back to him. "Thanks, guys." He grinned and walked off with the stunned agent. He closed the door most of the way behind him and let Crill calm down while Xander put up the groceries. "It really saves on the grocery bill and I eat a lot better," he quipped when Crill finally shook his head to clear it.

"I bet it does," he agreed. "I know some people who'd kill to have that done in their tiny city apartments." He rubbed his forehead for a second then looked at him. "Any other huge shocks going on?"

"I don't find that shocking but then again, we're like that." He grinned.

Crill nodded. "I can understand why." He stared at him. "Have you done it to anything else?"

"I expanded my workshop a tiny bit to give myself more working room."

"I guess that's fine." He stood up. "I won't tell anyone so they won't charge you tax on that. I can only imagine how huge the bill would be for two acres of garden space in this city." Xander handed him a bottle so he looked at it. "Lemonade?"

"Fresh squeezed. That's a reusable glass bottle."

"Cool. I'll bring it back next time. Thanks, kid." He left after patting Frodo. He wasn't sure if finding the robots more normal than the garden space was a bad thing or not. He went back to base, going up to the Director's office. "Sir." Fury nodded, not looking up. "We now have evidence of magically expanded space." He opened the lemonade while the Director moaned. He took a sip and looked at it, nodding. "That's good. I need to know what sort of lemons he put up." He took another sip while the director stared at him. "He gave himself a garden so he eats better. Including some lemon and other fruit trees, sir."

Nick Fury stared at him. "In Manhattan?"

"There's a new doorway and it leads to a nice open garden. He said it's about two acres, and he has a couple of robotic fairies to fly around and help with weeding."

"We are talking about the same goofball author, right?"

"Yes, sir."

"You're positive you weren't drugged?"

"No, sir, not drugged. I didn't open this until after I started to report and it's really good lemonade he made." He finished the bottle and stared at him. "It's a nice, pretty garden. Has a little train to transport heavy loads. Two flying robotic fairies, dressed in purple." Fury held up a hand, shaking his head. "I did the same thing. He's worried someone might find out and make him pay taxes on it."

Fury stared at him. "He probably should."

"I'm not turning it in, sir. He liked the garden. It seems to suit him and it's giving him something else to wear out his attention on."

"Uh-huh," Fury said dryly. "Ask him nicely if we can have the plans for those fairies."

"I can do that the next time I'm over there, sir." He walked off. He heard the director swear and thump something so he had successfully shared the bad thoughts. It was sweet of Xander to share with him. Especially since he found a robot that almost looked like Frodo, if it had been put together by Dr. Frankenstein, delivering a fruit basket to his desk. "Thank you. Which one are you?" he asked it. It had a much slower, more mechanical bark but showed him the tag he wore. "Agent K. That's a great name for you, Pup."

He patted it on the head. It barked again then rolled off slowly. He sat down, looking at the card. Xander had sent the fruit basket but they had intercepted Frodo delivering it. He called down to R&D. "Want me to take film of Frodo so Agent K can get better?" he asked when someone answered. "I did. It's slower, and a lot less formal than Frodo is. I can take film of him if you want me to. I don't think the kid would mind." He shined an apple and bit into it, moaning. "No, the fruit basket it was moving. Sure, I can do that. Thanks."

He hung up and ate his treat. Apples weren't that nice in the city. He found a container of that lemon pudding and moaned his way through that. So what if he got turned in for having sex in his office. It was that good and he was more than happy to let Hill have a spoonful when she stomped in to break him up. She tasted it and moaned. He grinned at her. "Harris makes it from his lemon trees."

She groaned, walking off shaking her head.

***

Natasha was making coffee when Xander woke up the next morning and stumbled out to the kitchen. "Good morning, Xander."

"Morning," he said, yawning and accepting his cup of coffee. "You're here early to spar."

"I'm leaving on assignment later." She sipped her coffee, taking a delicate sniff in his direction. "We need to introduce you to some nicer people."

Xander nodded. "Might be nice but I have a helpful room I can use for a few minutes." He took his coffee to that dark closet looking space. He stepped in and it was like people were touching him in pretty, happy ways all over. So he got coffee and an orgasm at the same time. That was a great breakfast, only needed chocolate. He stepped out, got a shower and changed, then came out for more coffee. "That's nicer."

She stared at him. "What did you do?"

"We made me a helpful space." He grinned slightly. "It's very helpful."

She walked into there to look in that room. It looked like a darkened closet. There wasn't any light she could find. She stepped in. The door closed without her closing it and suddenly she was being stroked and touched. She backed out and went out to look at him. "Is that really helpful?"

"More so than masturbating can be." He got her more coffee with a grin. "Having someone else there works better."

"I'm sure it does. Though... robots?" He shook his head. "How did you do that?"

"Magic." He smiled. "You can't tell anyone. Only Crill knows I put up a spare room."

"I can do that." He took her down to his practice space so they could spar and he could show her more of the dances. It was definitely improving her sword work and some of her knife work. Xander was still clearly on a happy hormone high so today's was intense but sexual in nature instead of one of the fighting ones. She still managed to learn a few new moves that would help her during a fight. As proven when he tossed her a practice sword to practice those with.

When they were done, she showered in his spare bathroom and changed clothes then went back to SHIELD. She made a report on her sparring of the morning, leaving out the room of hidden hands. She didn't think SHIELD needed to know about that. Not like they could use it to stop groups who were going to hurt others for a meaningless point.

***

Agent Hill showed up at Xander's a few days later with a file. She got let in by Frodo. "Thank you, Frodo. Is your human here?" He barked and rolled off. She followed. Xander came out of a room sweaty and looking a bit shaky. "Are you all right, Harris?"

"I'm good. Just ...curing something. Um, what's up, Agent Hill?" he asked, grinning some.

She smelled the hormones so she handed over the folder and stepped back a step. "They're going to have to go to trial with the people that tried to take you last time." Xander nodded, looking that over. "We've warned the prosecutor that you're not always in town, not always of your own choosing, and that you have a condition that makes you a bit scatterbrained unless you're in danger."

"Thank you." He smiled. "They'll let me know when I have to testify?"

"Yes. They offered him two different deals and he wouldn't take them. They are working with the police that would have jurisdiction over his island cemetery. They've found a great number of remains so they're most happy to have stopped that serial killer. The agent working with him took a deal so he'll be asked to testify probably." Xander nodded. "Are you all right? Did you get herbed again?"

"No, I was just handling it."

"I'll let you get back to that." She walked off, going back to the helicarrier to shower, change uniform, and then report back to her desk. She did not want to make people think she was so afflicted or give anyone ideas about pouncing her like they did to the poor kid. She wouldn't even wonder what was in that room. If it helped him, she didn't care as long as it wasn't illegal or a kid, and Harris wasn't like that. She decided on a double shower when a few people gave her interested looks on her way to her suite.

***

Xander's editor Todd showed up the next day, staring at the things flying around the kitchen. "Xander, why do you have mechanical fairies putting up fruit for you?"

"They help in the garden." He grinned at them. "Nice job, ladies." They cooed back and handed him an apple before going back to their nice garden shed to recharge. Xander looked the apple over then ate a bite. "Want one?"

"No thank you. What garden?"

"Just something someone helped me put up." He ate another bite. "Big problem with the book?"

"No. Nice issue. It's being published this upcoming month so we need to go over what you need to be doing. Including maybe being seen in public?"

"I go to the park all the time." He ate another bite. "Frodo and I still go to write and play fetch. Last week he got a jogger because he thought they were a mugger running from an officer. We apologized and the officer wearing the NYPD t-shirt who was the next runner behind him agreed it was a good protocol in that park." Todd shook his head and sighed. "Sorry."

"No, that's a good thing. It keeps you safe." He looked at Frodo. "Be more careful. Only attack the ones trying to get Xander unless someone's shouting to stop someone. If he gets bad attention they won't publish his books." Frodo barked and nudged his leg. "Thank you, Frodo." He petted him and looked at Xander again. "What about a bookstore trip?"

"I have a few I haven't read yet," he admitted. "I like resellers for those. It's good for the community and I find stuff I like that's nice."

"That's always a good thing. A lot of us do." Xander grinned. "Any other outings you have planned?"

"I'm going to build a few more fairies. I need to pick up the LED's for their eyes. I was going to do that tomorrow." He finished his apple and tossed out the core, then licked his fingers. "I'm going for coffee with an agent I met at a club a few months back. We casually know each other and sometimes goof around."

"That's fine, Xander. You being bi won't affect sales hardly at all." Xander grinned. "I'll tell your agent that. She said you hung up on her?"

"I ran out to help the car crash that had happened outside. Someone got thrown so I had to help. Ambulances take forever around here."

"Yes they can. That's fine. I'll tell her that. She got a bit pouty."

"I can write her an email."

"Go ahead. That'd be even nicer." He smiled. "Anything new for me?" Xander stuck a USB keydrive into his port and copied stuff, then tossed it at him. He caught it and it went into his pocket. "Okay, I'll look this over. I'll talk to you next week." Xander nodded. "Good boy." Frodo and Xander both barked, making him smile but shake his head as he left. Xander was such a goofy kid.

Xander and Frodo grinned at each other then they went to work on the new fairies together. They had to be protective as well as useful and pretty. He had done a good job on them.

***

Agent Hill nearly yelped when she looked up from some paperwork and found a hovering, tiny, robotic fairy. "What are you?" she demanded. It held out the envelope. "Thank you. Tell your human I said thank you." It giggled and flew off. She watched, then groaned and opened the letter since it was addressed to her. Harris had a new stalker who had sent him parts. "Great," she muttered, calling up Crill. "Fairies are from where?" she demanded.

"They're his garden helpers."

She winced but shook her head, handing over the letter. "They deliver like the dog." He nodded, walking off reading it.

Fury looked over from his station. "I saw that thing."

"Harris, sir."

"Obviously. I don't think even Stark would build robotic fairies."

She stared at him for a moment. "Maybe I'll suggest they should go brighten up the lives of some children in a hospital setting. They'd probably like them." Fury snorted but got back to checking the calibration of the helicarrier's flight system. She sent that email to Xander, and that she had passed on that note to Agent Crill. He sent back a 'thank you' and 'I'll consider that'. So maybe the kid's insanity would do some good for some kids too. Though she wasn't sure why garden fairies were wearing purple. Sometimes she worried that she wondered but she knew *she* was sane. Usually.

***

Stark was there the next time a fairy showed up at SHIELD. He didn't want to be there, but he had been called in to be bitched at about something he didn't really care about. Stark stared at the window behind Fury's head. "That's...interesting."

Fury turned to look at it then huffed. "That window doesn't open," he said. The fairy flew off and came in through a ventilation hatch instead. "I need to make those smaller," he complained, taking the scroll it was holding. "What now?" He read it and blinked. "Hill?" he called. She came to the doorway. He pointed at the fairy then tossed her the scroll. "Apparently he needs help and can't call."

"His cellphone broke during his last rescue." She walked off. "Thank you, Fairy." It tried to fly off but Stark caught it to look at.

Stark stared at it, watching it pout. "I just want to look. I won't hurt you. I've met Frodo and I liked him." It went limp in his hands so he looked it over. "You're fantastic." She giggled. "Tell the boy I'd like to see the plans he has. Okay?" She popped up a camera lens so he repeated that. She patted his hands then flew off through the ventilation hatch again. "I find that kid more and more interesting every day."

Fury shook his head. "We don't." He glared at him. Stark stared back. "Somehow he's got garden space too. That's their real job." Hill came back to the door. "You fix him again?"

"Agent Crill is down with a fairly bad concussion because he was doing a weekly check on Mr. Harris when he got knocked out by someone we think may be HYDRA, sir. We're not certain. Frodo has it on camera. The boy is presently laying down because whoever it was used a knockout gas and thought his neighbors were him. He rushed over with Agent Crill and Frodo to help them. Two of the three managed to get away. NYPD is not going to respond because they do not want to deal with the plate armor wearing idiot as Crill said when he took his phone back. It was locked and he was unconscious so Harris couldn't use it." Fury nodded once.

"I've sent a response team. We'll figure out who this person was. NYPD is claiming they're not set up to deal with this level of BS, as they called it, and it's not like these people came for normal folk. Xander told that officer off and said he might have a hormone problem that drew people to like him too much but he had never met that one. Apparently someone bragged," she finished blandly. "Something about style with him stealing the dogs when he walked off." She went back to her desk.

Fury looked at Stark. "I'm going to put him on your staff."

"If his hormone condition is that bad, he'd be disruptive and Pepper would adopt him to mother." Stark smirked. "But I wouldn't mind getting a chance to pick his brain." He stood up. "Let me go talk to him."

"Good luck making him make sense. He babbles, a lot," Fury complained. "Can't give a proper report for anything."

"He was never trained to," Stark said dryly. "I'm betting it's how you ask him and someone like Romanoff could probably get him to make a lot of sense. She has that way about her," he finished blandly.

"They spar. She's on assignment."

"Fine." He got his driver to bring him over there. When he got out, Frodo was blocking everyone. He walked up to the little robot, who stared at him. "Let me in, Frodo. Please?" It barked a negative sound. "Director Fury sent me to speak to your human. He needs a report."

One of the agents leaned out. "Mr. Stark?" Tony looked up and nodded, giving him a blandly amused look. "Why are you here?"

"Director Fury doesn't know how to talk to smart people," he said dryly. "So I said I'd come talk to the kid. I wanted to see if I could get a better look at Frodo and those fairies."

"The fairies are highly protective. They're hovering over him," that agent said. "Let him in please, Frodo. He's here to help in case more super idiots try to attack your human." Frodo barked a negative noise. "Now, mutt," he ordered. Frodo sent a ball his way, making him duck. "Sorry, Mr. Stark."

Stark squatted down to look at Frodo. "I don't care what he's doing," he said quietly. "I'm not going to hurt him or yell at him or anything else." Frodo shook his head. "I can divert things," he offered. Frodo's ball cannon came back up. "I'm trying to be nice, Frodo. Please let me in." He heard a gasp and looked. "They okay?"

"Yeah, he woke up poorly," the agent said. "We let him nap things off. Mr. Harris, you have someone here to take a statement," he called. "Can they come in? Frodo won't let them." He looked out. "He said it's okay, Frodo."

Xander wobbled out, staring at the new guy. "Why are you here? I didn't build a robot to take over the city."

"Fury doesn't understand how to talk to smart people so they give him what he wants to know." He smiled, standing up. "I also wanted to see if I could look at the fairies better. I was there when she flew in."

"Flora did a good job," he said, holding his head. "That gas is nasty." He looked at Frodo. "He won't hurt you and I doubt he'd do more than temporarily get around your sensors. We'll try to talk to him." Frodo barked but followed Stark inside. "Don't threaten my pet," he told Stark.

"I was only going to momentarily divert his attention with a battery on the neck." He held one up.

"Won't work," Xander said, tossing Frodo an energy snack. Then he flopped down. "Who were they?"

"Wannabe mover and shaker in HYDRA," one of the lesser agents said as he worked on the mess Harris had made. "You were right to call us in, Mr. Harris. This is well beyond NYPD protocols. They might've HAZMAT'd the building." Xander nodded, relaxing again. "What happened to your phone?"

"Fauna flew into it by accident while carrying more weight than she should have been. Cracked my screen," he said with a slight pout. "I had to adjust her weight calibration."

"Can I look at those?" Stark asked. Xander stared at him. "Just as a curiosity? I like robots. Look at my shiny suit."

Xander grinned slightly. "She's nowhere near your suit."

"Still, it's beautiful work. Why purple?"

"I was going to go for green eyes but Frodo liked the purple ones so we went with purple then had someone make them tiny outfits. Fauna?" he called. She came flying out of the charging station in the bedroom. He had the garden area shut down so no one could get into it. His special room too. "Let Mr. Stark look at you please." She flew over when he pointed, landing on Tony's hand. "She has sensors on all the metal that's showing."

"I'll try not to leave fingerprints," Tony said, staring over the little robot. "Those are very pretty purple eyes." She giggled and girlishly swatted at him. He grinned back, looking her wings over. "That's very neat work." She blew a kiss and flew off. "You do some amazing things."

"Thank you but I just adjusted some things that the uncle did."

"Uh-huh. I heard." Xander shrugged. "Are theirs flying little fairies?"

"No, they do robotic spiders and stuff for surveillance gear. And a few that are explosive."

"That might be handy," another of the agents said. "How realistic?"

"Frodo, fetch a listening spider please," Xander said. Frodo rolled off to grab one then came back to present it to the agent. "Thank you, Frodo. Toss him another treat please?" The agent did that as he looked over the spider. "They make a web fluid so they can look very realistic."

"Huh," he said. "Can we borrow these?"

"I'm not supposed to let anything of theirs out. They make their living on it. I can ask but my phone's broken."

"We'll see if we can borrow them," that agent said, handing it back. "I'd love to see how good that thing works." Frodo pulled up his screen to project the feed from the spider. "Wow."

Tony leaned closer. "For such tiny cameras, that's fantastic work," he agreed. "I'd love to meet those uncles if they ever show up here." He looked at him. "Please?"

"We'll see. They're busy in their usual lives."

"I get that. It's a good thing. I heard by the way." Xander nodded. He leaned back. "Thanks, Frodo." He put down the projection. Xander let the spider sit on Frodo for now, who went to watch the cops trying to handle things while the agents really worked. Stark looked at him. "What happened? Fury said you can't give a report, I told him he doesn't understand smart people."

"He doesn't." He shifted with a wince. "Agent Crill was checking on me and asking how I made that lemon custard pudding I shared. It's another uncle's recipe and it's fantastic." He grinned. "He's claiming he's putting on weight because of that. So I was sharing the recipe and showing him the hybrid lemon we use for that, which I have to plant another tree of soon, when we heard a huge bang next door. He rushed over to see what had happened since it sounded like an explosion. The guy had blown open their door and my mailbox had zapped him so he had fallen in while doing that."

"Mailbox?" the spider wanting agent asked.

"My mailbox got tampered with so I built a small taser system. Any mailman can run his badge under it and it'll open but anyone else touching it will get mildly zapped. Or if someone comes to the door with a bomb or a piece of artillery that's not wrapped pretty the mailbox will bite." The agent just nodded.

"I want to look at that too," Stark said. "Pepper would love that." He grinned. "So you both ran over to help?" Xander nodded. "Then what?"

"His suit was leaking this foamy gas looking stuff. I'm not sure what it was but it made me nauseous and it made Crill fall down and hit his head on the door. Which gave him a bad concussion. He's on his way to the ER or something. The agents sent him off. Is he okay?"

"He's fine," they assured him. "SHIELD has a great medical team."

"Okay." Xander looked at him. "We got the people out their side door, because they have one and I don't, and then Crill was calling in the guy and I was asking him what he thought he was doing after I plugged his gas nozzle with a piece of gum. He babbled about wanting me to prove he was good enough to be in the upper echelon and he could take over someday with someone like me at his side. I told him he wasn't worthy of me because he couldn't even read a mailbox to see I lived over here. He was pouty when they pried him out of his suit and took him off."

"Lower level but climbing member of HYDRA," the agent said. "He wants to be one of the top guys but he's slightly an idiot. If you ask, they might brief you on them, Mr. Stark. Just in case you run into them sometime."

"Good to know," Stark agreed, looking at Xander. "If he comes back are you safe?"

"I should be."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah. Though I think I might buy out the neighbors so they can't be hurt. They kept giving me looks like I'm evil and it's not my fault. I never even met the guy. He said something about someone bragging about my style getting away from that one idiot that I took his dogs from him for being mean to them."

"The one you met Agent Barton on?" the agent asked. Xander nodded. "Okay, that's good to know. He was in arms dealing, right?" Xander nodded with a grin. "The dogs?"

"He was treasuring his alligator that he got as a present above his purebred hunting dogs. When the alligator tried to use me for food because I was helping protect the dogs, I shot it and went off on him. Since I realized Barton was an agent, because he was kinda uptight in a different way than the others, I let him handle it and took the dogs before someone else hurt them. The embassy there said they'd help them find good homes or they'd ask me if I still wanted them."

"I'm sure they can. A lot of places can use hunting dogs if they're trained to track," Stark said. Xander smiled at him. "Are you okay? Need medical?"

"I'm good. I had a headache but I napped and it's okay."

"Okay." He patted Frodo since it was nearby. "You are just as fantastic as the fairies and more practical since you can help him shop." Frodo barked and rolled over to pet his human. Who hauled him up onto the couch and cuddled. "Anything you need right this minute?"

"I need to make dinner but I think I might order," Xander said. "Or talk to my bank guy for a bit and then order. I don't like them trying to hurt someone to get me."

A deeper voice cleared his throat. "We can buy them out and pay the extra taxes easily, Xander."

Xander grinned at him. "Will it be a lot?"

"Probably not. We'll offer the owner fair market value since they're renters. That way no one else can get hurt. We can extend your house over that way." Xander nodded, smiling at him. "We'll go over that offer once everyone has left. I thought by now they were gone."

"Sorry," Stark said. "I got asked to take a statement from him." He looked at Xander then at the being. "Not to be rude, but what are you?"

"Goblin," he said, smiling a very scary smile full of too many sharp, pointy teeth. "We're fantastic bankers and warriors."

"I need guys like you to do my bank account. Mine pretend to be mean but they're too damn nice and they keep trying to talk me into investing in stupid things."

The goblin nodded. "Most humans do try to be that tough. We do have a bank in London. We offer modest interest but it's always in a safe account. We also offer fund overseers for a fee so your money works without you having to worry."

"I'll look at your ideas. Where in London? Pepper loves London." The goblin handed over a card. Tony smiled, putting it into his pocket. "I'll be there in a few weeks."

"Ask for Stopgap. He's the branch manager and he'll assign you an overseer." He looked at Xander. "I'll gather up the necessary materials for that offer."

"Thanks. Can you bring me enough to order dinner? I can't find my debit card again. I think Frodo ate it."

"It's in your clothes closet. It's on a tracker. I shall bring you money for dinner though." Xander grinned. He left them alone, going to tell the others. Stark using them would give them a leg up in the traditional banking world. That was a handy thing to have.

Xander grinned at Stark. "I like them. They do nice things to make me baby money and they do all the investing stuff that I don't understand. They're very protective."

"We heard they had a dragon in their vault," one of the agents quipped.

Xander grinned and nodded. "His name's Hovar. No one steals from goblins." The agent nodded, making note of that and looking at Stark. "I don't know why he tried anything."

"We'll figure it out and I have no doubt SHIELD is going to keep him so he can't try again. His coworkers are probably going to laugh at him for going to the wrong apartment so he's done anyway." Xander relaxed and nodded. "What else are you working on?"

"The garden mostly. It's good to have a garden."

"It is. Fresh food is always great," Stark agreed. "Where did you rent one?"

"Someone helped me set one up." He grinned. "No comment about where."

"Sure, I get that. They'd probably ask you to pay taxes on it if they knew."

"Probably since I have two acres of trees and garden."

"Yeah, they'd want money on that," Stark said dryly. "It's like an extortion ring sometimes." Xander grinned. Stark leaned over. "You need anything tonight to feel safer?"

"I think we're okay. If another one comes back I'll use one of the explosive spiders or something."

"Can we look at that explosive?" the lead agent asked.

"Nope. That's proprietary. Sorry."

"I get that. Can we test one?"

"I'll ask them."

"Thanks, Mr. Harris. Let us clean up and disappear since the NYPD is no longer throwing a fit outside about not being able to handle this." They left.

Stark stood up. "If you need stuff let the guy at the shop know. He'll email me."

"I can do that. Thank you."

"You're welcome." He shook his hand and petted Frodo on the head then left to go back to SHIELD. He walked into the office. "Those spiders aren't all that hard to make. It's the software and that stuff that'd be harder, plus the web fluid so they don't stand out too much. For their size the explosive is probably a semi-strong liquid one. Maybe on par with something lie a stick of dynamite. The hard part is painting it so it looks realistic."

The agent nodded. "They'd still be nice and handy to have, Mr. Stark."

"If I can figure out the web fluid I'll see if I can work up one of the surveillance ones." The agent grinned and nodded. He looked at Fury. "I looked at his mailbox. It's a nice security feature. Pepper needs one of those. She has trashy neighbors who try to say stuff because she's a CEO and not an heiress." Fury shook his head, holding up a hand. "Fine. Crill okay?"

"He's good," Agent Hill said from behind them. "What happened?"

"The idiot went to the wrong apartment. His suit either malfunctioned and spewed a coolant or a gas designed to kill people," Stark said. "Harris thought well enough that he plugged the hole with gum." She nodded once. "They had to pry him out thanks to the mailbox's system. Which is really nice looking." He smirked a tiny bit. "The fairies are cutely sensitive and they're going to be hard to recreate for anyone. No idea if they have more than a tiny camera to take pictures with." She shook her head with a sigh. "That way he's better protected." He looked at the agents then at her. "What is wrong with his body chemistry?"

"He has a biological condition that raises his hormone output and makes people think he's a good concubine," Hill said dryly.

"Poor guy. Anything we can do to lower it?" She shook her head. "Very poor guy. If I know anyone who might like someone his age with his skill set I'll gladly introduce them."

"He talked to the goblin who oversees Harris' bank account," the lead agent said.

"I could use a tougher banking system to oversee my legacy," Stark agreed with a smile. "Even if it's only modest, safe interest that's great. Plus it's probably not on this country's faltering system that's screwed up." He looked at Hill, handing over the card. "I want that back." She took it to take a picture of then handed it back. "Pepper loves London." He smiled at Fury. "Overall, the kid's still got a headache. He's tired, but he's handling it. Where is his garden?"

"No idea," Fury admitted, looking at the agents.

"We found him closing a few doors but we didn't look in them for fear of finding things that would upset him, sir," the other agent said. "If we found his pot stash or something it might make things worse for him."

"Pot doesn't help lower the hormones," Fury said. "Or else he might use it." They shrugged. "Anything else to report?" They shook their head. "Then type it up." They left. "Stark, anything else?"

"I told him how to get in touch with me through the electronic supply store we both use if he needs me. That's who told me about him in the first place. That way we can nurture his talents and maybe shift him toward things that are protective and useful." Fury nodded. "Right now he's a bit upset but he'll handle it well enough. It's like looking at a happier, less partying me in some ways." He strolled off, going back to his new tower to talk to Pepper. She'd love goblins running a bank.

Fury looked at Hill. "Find that bank."

"I'm running it through the system. They link into an investment house in London but otherwise are totally off the grid, sir."

"Makes sense and makes it safer I guess. If the Brits don't care I don't as long as they're not helping the sort we like to capture," Fury decided. "Figure out how we can use this idiot's arrest to bring them down a few more pegs."

"Yes, sir." She walked off to oversee the interrogation. Since she was still getting speculative looks as she walked up the hall, she made a quiet stop in the infirmary to hiss at one of the doctors who knew about Fury so they could do a level test. Just in case since she hadn't been near Harris and Stark hadn't carried in any hormones. She decided to talk to R&D about getting a sensor made to make sure they weren't being spread by someone the blood tests didn't catch. Some day it might help her find the director if he had been kidnaped so it was practical as well as necessary.

***

Xander looked over his newest garden a few days later. The owners of the other side of the duplex had agreed to sell so there weren't any more issues from Xander's ...friends. So Xander was busy setting up the new garden space. He had some samples from Time Traveler Xander's garden, including a baby Morticia and Gomez. They were more than happy to live in the shade around a pretty wood gazebo. Xander even made sure he had a beehive and other bugs there. Time Traveler Xander had even shown up to help him plant things. He was really good at botany stuff. The new fairies for over here were wearing green. Frodo had liked that and was presently barking at Gomez for smoking - his robotic dog was very anti-smoking. Even if Gomez was really neat. He petted the big bulb head but avoided feeding it his fingers. Time Traveler Xander laughed but gave Gomez some food he had ready. He and Morticia were happy with the sausage meatballs. They were planting more samples of foreign fruits when Agent Crill showed up to check on him for the week. The agent was staring in the doorway, frowning at something. "Hi, Agent Crill," Xander chirped.

"Which uncle is this, Xander?"

"This is Time Traveling Xander." He grinned at that Xander then at him. "He accidentally set off a temporal device and went pretty well everywhere. He's *great* at plants so he's helping me set mine up." That Xander smirked at him and winked. They both grinned at the staring agent. "You can come see. I don't mind." Agent Crill walked over, petting Frodo on the head. "Did you use the emergency key?"

"Agent Romanoff used hers when you didn't answer," he admitted. "I noticed you already renovated."

"The bank had some young ones that wanted to do a project to prove they were good at the construction stuff so they could get a loan to start their own company. I let them do it once the paperwork was done." He shifted and petted Morticia since she was trying to pet him. "You're very deadly, dear. Almost an unearthly angel of death." The other Xander grinned at him but fed them more meatballs.

Crill looked around then at the two Xanders. "Anything in here I should be aware of in a dangerous sense?"

"It'll take a few decades for Gomez or Morticia to be big enough to eat full grown people," Time Traveler Xander quipped, smirking at him. "Some of the others are plants I found on my travels."

"Wonderful. Anything useful I can bring a sample of? R&D is a bit bored today."

The two Xanders shared a look then shrugged. The other Xander got one and handed over a full plant he had dug out. "That's called an air vine. Remove the roots and it grows alarmingly fast until it's sucked all the oxygen out of an area," Time Traveler Xander said, staring at him. "We use them in space battles." Crill shuddered. Xander nodded. "It'll keep growing as long as there's oxygen and then it'll live on the decomposing material. It's only killed by fire but you can graft the roots onto another plant so they'll have the same growing benefit."

"Huh." He looked the tiny plant over. "So, you cut off the roots and it'll keep growing until there's no more oxygen at all?" That Xander nodded. "Very mean, guys, but they'll adore this. Grapes?" he asked, spotting them.

"Those are wine grapes," native Xander quipped. "As in they're already alcoholic."

Crill walked over to taste one, nodding. "That's nice." He went to get Agent Romanoff, who was above him in the agent hierarchy. She walked into the garden and sighed in pleasure. "Over here, ma'am." She walked over, staring at the grapes. She tasted one and smiled. "I can see someone planting those around the base for the underground."

"As can I." She looked at the wiggling plant then at Xander. "That's...unusual."

"That's a cutting from my plant Morticia," the other Xander said with a tiny smirk. "She'll grow up to be a man eater some day."

Natasha squatted down to look her over. The tentacle that came up to suck on her arm wasn't harming her so she left it. "She's pretty and obviously deadly in nice ways."

"She's a great friend to have. Gomez likes fingers. And sometimes pencils because he hates graphite so I let him sharpen them for me." She stared at him. "Sniff the smoke, Agent Romanoff." She did and moaned lightly, reaching over to pet Gomez, who nicely nibbled on her fingers for her. She pulled her hand back, wiping it off. "They're great together and they've given me whole lots of plant babies to fuss over."

"I can see why," she said. "Our R&D people would be a bit creeped out by them but they seem nice." She patted their Xander on the head. "Show me what else you have that's new?" They got up to show her around because you never turned down the request of a pretty, deadly woman.

Crill followed, petting the airvine plant. He had the feeling the director would want to talk to him about this one being a bit dangerous if it got free.

***

The director was watching what happened when they cut the roots off that new plant Harris had found. Nothing so far. The researcher reached in to cut further up the stalk from the roots. By the time she had pulled her hand out of the oxygen box, it was already being grabbed by the vine. The vine was spilling out of the box and breaking the plexiglass container. It was quickly taking over the bare lab they were using. Agent Romanoff stepped in with a flamethrower to kill most of it. She left the saved root portion alone. Fury looked at the remains then at Crill. "What do they use it for?" he asked a bit too calmly.

"He said space battles, sir."

Fury nodded once. "I can see how that would be a useful idea. Or on submarines." Natasha shuddered.

The researcher cleared her throat. "We've started grafts to two other plants and they're going extremely well so far, sir. The plant grows like kudzu."

"That's the only way to kill kudzu when it starts to infect your lawn too," one of the watching researchers quipped. "Do we know who bioengineered this plant?" she asked Agent Crill.

"No. The source said it's found a lot of places he's been."

"Hmm. Interesting." She finished making notes and left with the other researcher, who had planted a few cuttings of the original plant as well as the cross-grafts.

Fury looked at him. "Where did he find it?" he asked quietly.

"The other Xander had some temporal travel, sir. He found it. And a few pretty things."

"An Addams family plant," Natasha added. Fury stared at her. "Very nice tentacle vines that are very friendly."

Crill grinned at her. "I think it's neat Frodo barks at Gomez because he smokes."

"His spit has very nice numbing features," she said. "It took nearly four hours for my fingertips to regain feeling." Fury was starting to glare. "He has hypnotic smoke."

Fury looked up then at her. "Do we have cuttings of those?"

"No. The other Xander thought of Morticia and Gomez as his family, sir."

"Great. He loves plants and he time travels." He walked off shaking his head.

Crill smiled. "Did you take a cutting from the grapes?"

"I did. He let me have a bunch as well. I've sent them to Coulson." She smirked a tiny bit. "I'm sure Hawkeye will like having something to divert his attention out there." She strolled off.

Crill went to check on his own cutting of the alcoholic grapes. He had a nice window in his office that would do great helping him grow his own 'headache tonic'.

***

Two days later, Phil Coulson received another box from Natasha, this one stamped 'rush' and 'biological materials'. He opened it and looked at the carefully packed grapes. On top was a simple note: From Xander's garden; don't let Hawkeye steal more than a few. He frowned a bit. "How does he have enough green space in Manhattan to grow grapes?" he asked himself. He checked, they were well packed and hadn't gotten damaged in transport. He tasted one and nearly choked. He tasted another to make sure. He found the other note at the bottom. "He calls them wine grapes. The lab is very happy with a few other samples he handed over." He carefully closed the box. He had this weekend off. He could save them in his mini-fridge until then. Clint Barton leaned in with a grin. "Grapes."

"Grapes, really? Like the ones that I heard rumors about?" He came in to check them and taste one. "Wow. We need more of these." He took another one before walking off texting Xander. "Sure, I like cookies too," he said as he got one back. "Cookies are great. Even if I don't like that flavor, I can trade with someone." Xander said he'd send him some. A minute later, a box fell at his feet. A small bunch of those same grapes, and a baggie of cookies. Plus some weird looking round, purple fruit. He picked the box up, taking it to his bunk. The cookies were good. The grapes were still alcoholic. The round fruit was the texture of a plum but was more dayglo purple instead of darker purple. He cut a tiny piece off and moaned as the happy feeling started. No alcoholic but *very* nice. Coulson walked in and took his own piece of the plum-like thing. "I like these. I need to grow these."

"Yes, we do." He sent a picture of it to Natasha so she could grab one for the lab. It wasn't hypnotic, didn't give you hallucinations, but it did make you feel happy and sated with life. That was a very good thing.

***

She looked at the picture then patted her own plant of that. Xander had helped her start it growing. She did graciously give one of the samples to the lab for testing. They were going nuts over the properties. The lab people were arguing about exposing it to an agent who was depressed. The director might complain a lot about the plant diversion going on but they all liked the very useful plants.

Now all she had to do was talk Xander into letting her borrow some of the surveillance equipment for testing. She was looking forward to such testing. There were many places she could use those rumored spiders and the fairies. She might even be able to talk her way into meeting the 'uncles' who had created the originals. They sounded pleasantly weird but useful to know.

***

Agent Crill showed up two days later, looking around the now expanded bottom floor. Xander's library was now the other side's living room and the kitchen was now a powder room. The master bedroom was a study room for other hobbies, including a project on a loom it looked like. That was nice. He found Xander shelving books and tipped his head to read a few spines. "Demonic chemistry?"

Xander grinned at him. "From a demonic CSI program. One of the CSI us took it when he got blackmailed into it by his favorite teacher at UCLA's program."

"Huh. UCLA is teaching it?"

"Private college. He was doing his ballistics CSI training at UCLA." He handed him one. "First book in that program."

Crill flipped through it, pausing at something. "I've seen that."

Xander leaned over then shrugged. "It's a cousin to the one I killed in the park that day." He went back to shelving.

Crill looked, then nodded. "Can we copy these?"

"I wouldn't care but I doubt you guys would need them. I'm open to researching in them for you."

"I'll have someone scan them in so we can have them in a single case." He patted Xander on the back. "Alchemy?"

"He said it's surprisingly helpful. It's helped him banish and stuff too. That's all taught in the same class as healing potions."

"Huh." He nodded, putting that book back after taking a picture of it. He walked around to see what else was weird in this new collection of books. He pulled down one to look at it then put it back with a shudder. It was an account of a spell done on another realm to turn that one into a fantasy world. He did not want to know unless it could happen here.

"We have stuff to help if they do it here but the witches were eco-terrorist witches," Xander quipped. "Including some kids of the Devon Coven. Not sure if they're here or not." Crill put that on his 'scan in' list. Soon two geeks showed up to start the scanning project for him. He marked a few more to be scanned that might be useful. And one magic book that was apparently part succuba because he *really* wanted to touch it but it was behind glass so he knew he shouldn't touch it. But he *really* wanted to touch it so badly.

"It's possessed," Xander said from the other side of the room when the alarm blipped a warning sound. "If you touch it, it'll climb into you. If you read it or scan it, it'll release the demon onto the new media, and therefore the internet."

"Good to know," one of the geeks said quietly. Not that they believed in demons but sure, if the guy did. They shared a look and one walked over to look at that book. Something about it was attractive. He managed to get the case open and touched the cover. He woke up to holy water being sprinkled on him and hearing Latin being chanted. He had the worst headache of his life. He blinked at the guy doing the exorcism.

Xander grinned and waved. "Demon," he said. The geek groaned, shaking his head. "Not from here." He helped her up. "There you go, all clear and the demon's back in the book before I put it into a romance novel." He went back to his project. Crill had taped the exorcism. That poor geek would be in for a lot of tests once they got back to base. The book was locked up again and they were all avoiding even looking at it because it felt pouty.

***

Crill walked the geek into the infirmary and pulled up the video on his phone, letting the doc see it. He had taped from when the geek had touched the book, to his floating, lightening skinned possession, to the exorcism. The doctor grimaced but took the geek to check over. Crill took the same film up to Hill, showing it to her. She stared then sighed in displeasure. "I dropped him in the infirmary, sir."

"Thank you," she said.

"He's got it locked in a case but it is wanting to be let free. It's very happy and wants you to be happy with it by touching it. Or maybe scanning it in so it can find a sneaky backdoor onto the internet." He put the phone in his pocket. "One of them was a ballistics CSI who had a demon CSI course as well," he said quietly. "The books have all been scanned in."

"Anything good?"

"Yes. Including how to differentiate slimes and the like."

"That may be handy," she decided.

"I had them scan in the account of a spell that changed the fundamental nature of a realm to a D&D world." She slumped, staring at him. "Dragons and all." He smiled slightly. "And a few others I thought we might use. Persot did the scanning."

"I'll check the contents in a few minutes. Anything else weird?"

"They taught him to weave."

"That's a nice, sedate hobby," she decided. He walked off smiling. She went to get a copy of those books. If it was good she might add them to the educational roster for updating skills. They had included the catalog from that program, which helped her see how realistic it was. "Alchemy?" she muttered. But maybe it was useful. She looked through the various classes offered, finding more standard forensics training classes. She marked it as optional updating classes and sent it back. They might be able to use that.

"Why do we need to know alchemy, Hill?" Fury asked a minute later.

"Because the class also had banishing potions and other more useful topics, sir."

"Oh. Great." He came to his door to look at her. "Harris' book collection?" She nodded. "At least he's helpful." He went back to his desk. The report from Crill on the exorcism got sent up and he blinked at it. "We need to destroy that."

"If you destroy the book, it'll release the demon in a corporeal form," Crill said when he answered the summons. "I suggested it."

"Great," Fury complained, leaning back. "That one?"

"I dropped him in the infirmary and showed one of the docs the video of the possession and exorcism." Fury smirked a tiny bit. "I feel sorry for the guy but I fought off the urge to do more than open the case, sir."

"Even better. Have him lock that up."

"He said he's putting it into a safe later but he has to clean out the safe. The bank doesn't want it in their vaults since they consider it a hazard."

Fury nodded. "I consider him a hazard to my mental health," he said bluntly.

"I like the kid. He's a good kid. He bends over backwards to cooperate with us so we don't have as many problems when we have to save him. He's a nice kid."

Fury shook his head with a sigh. "Still weird."

"Weird is relative, sir. We have Iron Man out running around in a mechanized tin can full of weapons. I'm sure in other places that's considered very weird."

Fury nodded. "Yes it is." Crill smirked a tiny bit. "Fine. Anything else come of it?"

"Not yet, sir. He's settling in the new area."

"He...."

"Bought the neighbors out so they couldn't be hurt by anyone who couldn't read the mailbox, like the last guy."

"Fine. Whatever." Crill left. Fury had a headache. He went to the infirmary to get something for it and to check on that agent. They had her in an MRI doing a brain scan. They'd be sending up a report in a few days. Maybe they could encourage Harris to go live with one of his uncles. He might be happier and safer there.

***

Xander looked at his options. He had heard there was going to be a huge battle here sometime soon and he wasn't going to be able to sit by and do nothing. So he had to have something planned to help. The only problem was, he didn't know how to do the weapons stuff. He could do minor crafting but not like this. He hadn't seen plans he could warp. He couldn't design but he could improve on plans that were already out there and Agent Crill had already called twice wondering why he was on google looking up weapons designs.

The twins who had taught him how to create robots were busy. Something about going to finally turn a street gang gay for being bitches. Which made perfect sense to him. Xander thought most street gangs were a bit gay like prison sex was supposed to be. He leaned on the table, considering things. He couldn't ask the guy at the electronic store to help him by asking Stark for him. Crill had said he didn't need to worry abut such things. So what was he going to do? Flora flew in with an orange so he settled in to eat it while she sat on his shoulder and hummed at him.

He looked at her. "Maybe some warrior fairies," he decided. "Maybe a real Pippen tank too." She grinned and nodded so he drew out what he wanted to modify the fairy design to do. Not like Flora, Fauna, Hedges, and Fruits could do that. His four present fairies couldn't do more than bite if you irritated them. Not much help during a full scale invasion of earth.

***

Agent Crill looked up from his boring paperwork to find someone in his office. "What's up, kid?" he asked, putting down his pen. Xander looked real serious so it was clearly a problem. "New suitor?"

"Well, yeah, but I'm keeping his present for now." He put down a comic book. "According to some of the other ones, this is going to happen here soon."

He looked at the cover and winced. "That's not...."

"Bullshit." He stared at him. "I live here too. What makes you think they won't come for me too? I'd make a great queen," he said dryly, staring at him.

"You could, yeah." Crill leaned back. "We've got plans in place."

Xander shook his head. "Not for defending high risk targets. Like hospitals. Evacuation centers? Those things?"

Crill winced. "Good point. What are you thinking about?"

"Using the original Pippen tank to do that. At least it'd help and they can stay out of the way."

"True. I'm not sure if we could send people out to deliver them during it."

"So I tell them where to go."

"Not a bad idea. They could probably scramble there on their own." He considered it. "I'll ask the director." Xander relaxed. "You're really worried?"

"Yeah. There's been a few big things mentioned and this totally sucks in a lot of ways from what I've heard."

"Is that why you and the director talked?" Xander nodded. "Okay, that's a good reason. I'll take that concern up to him and maybe we can find something for you to do to help. If it does happen, I want you closed in your safe area."

"Bull. If they're here, it's part of the reason I was born. To protect people." He shrugged. "Only these aren't demons."

"Swords probably aren't going to help."

"And yet, I can find and use artillery." Crill grimaced. "And maybe my hormones might be deadly to them if they make it onto the ground. I'm betting if they're right, even the mob and gang kids are going to try to step in."

"Yeah, they might," he agreed. "I'll talk to the director. You, go be safe. You're going to get kidnaped again."

"Are your fellow agents really that mean?"

"No but a few want to treat you like a candy apple," he said dryly.

Xander grinned. "I might not mind that." He smiled. "Thanks." He left.

Crill got up, heading upstairs. "Sir, got ten?" he called from the doorway.

"No," Fury said. He looked up. "Is it that bad?"

Crill walked in and shut the door. "Just got a visit."

"I can tell. You're sweating in a cold office."

Crill stared at him. "Xander's not emoting today, sir." He sighed. "He's heard that the big thing coming up, he might need to help with. Maybe by providing something to guard places like hospitals or evacuation centers. He's guessing if it's that bad even the gang and mob kids as he put it might join in."

"From what we hear, that's possible."

"He wants to know how you want him to help. He realizes swords might not help."

"Probably not."

"If they hit the ground...."

"They might go for places where humans are hiding or being treated. Hospitals would be soft targets," Fury agreed. He considered it. "Can he build weapons?"

"He was thinking something like the original Pippen tank on them. Small enough to be out of human's way but big enough to blast something if they have the right weapons. I caught him looking up weapons designs on google the other day and told him to stop it."

"That's not a bad idea. We know he can build robots. That could help. I'll ask Stark. They'd only be for soft targets."

"Sir, he joked that maybe his hormones would be dangerous to whatever's coming if they're on the ground."

"You never know. If so, I'll gladly let him wear them out that way." He stared at him. "I'll figure that into any response plan."

"Yes, sir. I'll tell him that. I sent him back home." He left, leaving the door open.

Nick Fury sat back, considering things. "That might actually be really helpful," he decided. He called Stark to come in for a meeting. If anyone could figure out mechanical means to guarding hospitals and the like, he could. He hoped.

***

Xander looked over as someone knocked on the door. "Frodo, go get the door," he called. It rolled over to let whoever in. Xander finished up his current paragraph, then turned to face Stark. "I was created so people would be protected," he said quietly. "It's why my mother had me."

"That freaky birth certificate thing?"

Xander grinned. "Who said time ran the same on other realms?"

"Damn."

"She's with the Coven. They wanted to have a protector. Thankfully I got saved before I grew up strange." He stood up. "How can I help?"

"What's coming?"

"I don't know. They haven't told me that. Uncle Phil told me the him here's going to be really badly hurt. I've got a healing potion coming for that. I'm going to have something shadowing him all the time once it's starting." He shrugged. "I'm figuring there's going to be soft target problems. Things like evac centers and hospitals."

"That's a worry. Let's see the plans for the original tank." Xander pulled them out. Tony looked it over. "Practical. This is what you warped into Frodo?" Xander smiled and nodded. "It's a good twist on it." He considered it. "It'd need something more deterring than a ball cannon or a mini laser."

"I was thinking about a heavier light explosive thing but I don't know how to make those. I can't design but I can warp something that's already there. I don't know how I can help beyond being on the ground when needed."

"That's not a bad thing to be aware of. It's when you don't ask and you just assume you can do things that's the problem." He went back to the plans, making ideas on a notepad the kid put down. "Okay, we can warp that. Can I borrow this?"

"They said only for this sort of thing and only for soft targets."

"Not a problem. I don't do weapons anymore." He stared at him. Xander smiled and got a book, handing it over. "What's this?" He looked at the opening and blinked. "They did what?"

"Yeah. The people that did it there are here, at least two are. So they could do it and it'd cause a lot of chaos. That's the account in case it happens here and how they worked to fix it. I can't warp those at all." Stark flipped through it, coming to the design page, nodding slowly. "I have no idea but if we need it....." He waved a hand in the air.

"Good point. Yeah, I might need to know that some day. If we have a sudden influx of mythical creatures I'll come get that again."

"The twins created it but said it was free to a good home if things like that happened here."

"I can definitely use that if we suddenly get a lot of dragons and other mythical creatures." He looked at him. "If something happens."

"I'll be on the ground, like the white knights all of us are." He shrugged. "Not much different from a demon."

"Maybe. Okay, we can put that into the plans."

"I'd bet on even the mob guys in Jersey showing up to help."

"Me too," Stark agreed, smiling now. "Do what you can, guard an area, protect the people unless you have something or know something that can stop it sooner."

"If my hormones help, so be it."

"Good." He patted him on the arm. "Good ideas, kid." He left, going back to SHIELD to go over those plans. He had taken pictures and the mini tank might be very practical. If the thing was half as smart as Frodo it'd be an excellent help if any whatever-was-coming broke into a hiding area. Yeah, they could use that help.

***

Back at the house, Xander went back to his internet search. He had seen Natasha's guns so he knew what size they were. She'd need reloads and SHIELD would be too busy to do that. The agents he knew used about the same size so that was good. A bullet stockpile was a good thing. And some arrows since he was excellent with a bow and a crossbow. They might come in handy too.

TBC....
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