Chaos of War.
Xander looked at the options he had for the upcoming battle he had been warned would come. If he didn't make some plans now, he'd probably end up missing half the battle by grabbing things he'd need. That wasn't what he wanted for his first battle. There had been a few false starts with people not answering and making him think it was now but they had answered before he made it out the door with weapons. Since there was a SHIELD agent out there to watch over him - Crill had found out who his newest suitor was and had went on a flaming rant about the guy being a genocidal fuckhead that needed to be killed as horribly as possible so he had a junior agent eating and reading in his car outside - he didn't want to worry the poor guy.
Xander was looking over his weapons again. He sharpened his swords again, just in case. When that was done, he checked the small bag of stuff for the militant fairies to use. It was one of Miami GHS Xander's bottomless bags. It had spare bullets, spare arrows, because Clint might be there if he was local, and a few other neat things that might help. Then he looked at the fairies. They didn't have the same amount of skin sensors that the picking ones did - which reminded him he had to retrain Hedges and Fruits to avoid the tentacle plants.
The usual outfits weren't what he'd want them to wear during a battle. The little dress might get caught by something or allow them be grabbed. Dresses weren't really useful for battles anyway. Maybe a jumpsuit? Or maybe... He had seen SHIELD battle uniforms and they were almost cute. Not very cute but a tiny bit cute. He could do something like that. Or maybe like female leather armor. He had some spare leather to work with and the measurements for his fairy's outfits.
He sat down to work on them. It gave him something to do while he worried. It was this or make new things. Since Stark was making Pippen tanks to protect people, that was a great thing. Though he did have a few of his own as backup. And Frodo if he needed to lend him out. Xander had also made Frodo a spare pack with supplies to hand out in case the bag got ripped by something, that's why he had spare leather. He sketched out the outfits and decided on what he wanted then got to work sewing the tiny leather outfits. He wasn't a slayer so the outfits didn't have to be cute while being practical. They just had to be practical.
Xander woke up and stared at Fauna, who was smiling at him. "What's up?" She flew over to move his sweaty hair off his head. "I know, it was a bad dream. Thank you, Fauna." She patted him and then pointed out front, where he could hear Frodo growling. He got up, heading out there. Stark. "Problems?"
"No, I brought one for you to look at the programming." He pointed at what Frodo was growling at.
Xander sat down in front of the tank to look it over. "Programming up," he said quietly. A screen popped up. "We need to give it a 'any humans good' program."
"I've got one going." He squatted down to pull that up. Xander read it and nodded, adding in a line about 'any other beings, ask'. Stark gave him an odd look. "Demons."
"Yes, and a lot of them are peaceful beings," Xander said, looking at him. "Some are, some aren't."
"Okay." He coded that into the program, which accepted it. They went over what it could do and it wasn't very strong but it'd be enough to pause an enemy. Xander got up and grabbed something, coming back to put that attachment onto the laser. "We do ours slightly differently so it's got a stronger yet smaller beam." He reconfigured it, getting a nod. They tested it and it was good. Frodo nudged the tank, getting beeped back at. "That's a Pippen, Frodo. He's going to help protect people from the bad things that're coming." Frodo barked and rolled off, coming back dragging his pack. "That's right, that's what that's for."
Stark looked at it then at him. "What is it for?"
"Spare bullets," Xander said.
Stark nodded. "Not a bad idea. What're you packing?"
"Forty-fives and nine mil bullets. I'm not sure what they'd be using in the way of automatic weapons."
"I don't know," Stark admitted. "Those are probably handy. I can ask but I can't guarantee Fury will tell me. It's a need that you don't think about until you run out."
Xander nodded. "That's what I'm worried about."
"If we run out beyond what he can carry I'm pretty sure SHIELD will have some."
"If they're not too busy."
"They wouldn't leave their agents without reloads." He stood up, helping the kid up and getting a grin for it. "You good?"
"Good. Try to keep Frodo out of things. Make him drop and run."
"I'm hoping he can. He's a slightly shiny target. Maybe I'll make him an outfit to conceal him somewhat."
"That might help." He patted him on the arm. "We have one for each hospital's ER in the city plus three for other evacuation points."
"I have one here that's not fully got the programming. I couldn't figure out how to word the 'humans good' part of the program."
"I'll do it. We can copy over it." Xander got him those. He nodded. "This one has an extra laser?"
"That one's got an extra spinny turret because I ran out of parts so I had to improvise."
"That's not a bad thing. What about after the battle?"
Xander grinned. "I'm giving mine to the goblins for the bank. The dragons would like having the backup."
"I can see that being a good idea." He smiled and left with the other tanks and his version. It was a good idea. It couldn't hurt people there. He did add a picture of them as 'acceptable being' to protect. That way he wouldn't have to reprogram them later.
Xander looked at Fauna, who shrugged and they went to check the militant fairies. They were fully charged and resting. He packed all the bags full of the spare bullets and supplies. This waiting was driving him nuts but it was better to be over-prepared than to be missing critical things.
Xander had decided to can. He had to look up how to do that, but he was canning half of everything from his garden. The fairies had taken the internet instructions and set half of everything up for him. They couldn't carry the heavy pot of water for boiling the jars closed. After two ears of corn being stripped in the worst looking way, he hurried out to pick out kitchen gadgets to help him. He walked into the kitchen supply store he had found, looking pitiful. "I'm canning veggies for the first time."
The woman smiled. "What are you missing?"
"Sanity." She laughed. "Ears of corn are really hard to trim." She nodded, leading him to that gadget to help him strip the ears of corn. It was really cheap. "Is the plastic better than the steel one?" he asked with a point.
"That one's a danger to your fingers. The plastic one's safer but not as strong." She let him look at that one.
He put it into the basket she had nicely picked up for him. They walked all over the store then he paid and went home with the multiple bags of stuff he might need. It would help. He had even gotten some new mixing bowls because he was already out of them. Washing would take forever because he only had four. The nice lady had even given him a few tips to stripping veggies easier. That trick with the bowl inside the bowl to help him trim the corn off the cob was really helpful. It let him make fruit salads and salsas too. He had picked up extra jars, lids, and rings, but he had to get a few more cases in. "I had no idea I planted this much stuff," he admitted. The fairies giggled but they were helpfully putting labels on jars that had cooled down. He was still canning at midnight, when he started to yawn. He took the fairies to the bedroom to cuddle up with them since Frodo was plugged in for a bit. He'd cuddle Frodo tomorrow while he canned the rest of everything.
When they were finally done, three days later, Xander ordered pizza and collapsed once it came. The fairies came over to fuss at him for the pizza but he let them have the crusts he didn't want. They got to put them into the compost pile, which made them happy. Frodo got some play time with the box. Xander looked at his overly full pantry and freezers, he had to order a second one for the stuff that couldn't be canned, then finished his pizza. He deserved the triple meat pizza for the last week of fixing veggies. That waiting feeling was easing so that was nice. He turned on the news to make sure he hadn't missed the battle while making salsa and fruit salads. Nope, the world was still the same.
Xander sat up with a groan, grabbing the phone before flopping backwards again. Thankfully the repair guy had been able to fix his cracked screen. He pulled up a few contacts to put into a text message.
//I just finished canning the entire garden. Anyone wants anything from it, I've got canned single veggies, veggie mixes, salsas, fruit salads, and frozen stuff too.//
It got sent and Xander looked at the fairies. "If not, maybe we'll donate some of it." They chattered and patted his hair. It was sweet of them. He got back two immediate responses that they couldn't really store food on the heli carrier. Which he guessed was normal. Crill told him he'd pick some up for his sister and her kids in the morning. Xander agreed and that made him happy enough to use his room of hands. The fairies giggled about that but that was just how he was made. He needed that stuff sometimes when he didn't get dates.
Agent Crill was there when Xander got up in the morning. "Morning, Xander," he said.
"Morning." He pointed at the pantry. "Any idea which ones she'd like?"
"I'm getting her a few jars of each thing if I can."
Xander nodded. "I went through nineteen cases of jars. I have plenty." Crill laughed, nodding a bit. "I also have vacu-sealed veggies in single packs."
"I noticed the extra freezer." He picked out a few boxes that had held jars, removing the jar separators in one. He picked out a few jars that he knew his nephew and niece would like, even if the fruit salads weren't exactly their tastes. Then he took some of the frozen veggies to put into the other box. They were more than good enough. Xander gave him a sleepy hug as Crill carried the boxes out to his car. He came back. "What's wrong with Frodo?"
"I don't know. He's been charging a lot." He sat down in front of him to look him over. "Are you pregnant, Frodo?" Crill moaned, shaking his head. "Hmm." He found the reason, his battery had slipped out slightly. He fixed that and Frodo lapped him then went to play. "His battery slipped."
"At least it was something simple then." He smiled, watching Xander putter around. He got a casual look at the gardens. They were nicely ready for new plantings and the food fairies were fussing around the trees and bushes right now. The other, weirder, garden had almost no food in it, but some stuff left on trees. He pointed at one. "Xander, what's with the purple apples?"
"Not ripe yet," he said. "They come from another galaxy and it'll take two years to ripen."
"Oh, okay." He nodded. "Let me get this to my sister. You finish resting. You look tired." Xander grinned. Crill left, going to his sister's to drop off the food. She opened the door, staring at him. "One of the people I guard just canned from his first garden."
"That's supposed to be a good thing for everyone," she said dryly. "You know the kids won't eat vegetables."
"You will and there's fruit mixes too. Including two bags of peaches, without sugar." She smirked a tiny bit. He got out to hand her the boxes. She looked through them then at him. "He used nineteen cases of jars plus all the suction bags." She rolled her eyes but let him come inside to check on his youngest nephew, who wasn't in school yet. "I picked you up a bit of each. I figure at least you and the guy I wanna kill can eat some of it."
"We'll probably eat all of it. If I can identify something." She held it up. Crill tipped his head and texted a picture to Xander, who sent back what it was and how he liked to prepare it. "Fried, no dredging, or baked like you do potatoes, very sweetish like a sweeter squash, and you can also mash it up and juice it. He said he added it to pineapple juice." He put his phone up and grinned. "Never hurts to be healthy."
"No, it doesn't, and the kids will like the fresh fruit." She smiled. "Is he a nice guy? Or is he one of *those*?"
"He's ...young and he's pretty nice. He's just got this unfortunate draw for guys who need to be under the jail. He's had two that have kidnaped him to Europe in the last year." She groaned, shaking her head. She put up the food. "The kid's nice. We were trying to figure out what was up with him and he told us to ask. So we finally did. Then we found out how bad the hormone problem he has is. He's nineteen."
She smirked a tiny bit as she nodded. "I remember being that age and sure I knew everything."
"He's aware he doesn't. He actually asks about things if he's not sure. Sometimes at the wrong moment but otherwise he's a good kid. He has a robotic dog to protect him."
She snickered, shaking her head. "Understood." He grinned. "Don't try to set us up if you kill Bill."
"Nah, you're not his type. He only draws evil." He looked at his phone when it beeped. "Something just happened. I'm needed back at the office." He hugged her. "Be safe." He left, driving back to the base. He checked in and headed up to check with the director. "Sorry, sir, I was giving my sister some of the food Xander canned."
Fury nodded as he gathered a few things. "I heard." He grimaced. "We have a situation brewing. Keep. The. Kid. Local."
"I can do that." He called him. "Xander, Crill. Stay here. No matter what you hear, stay local. Yeah, that's probably about due, kid. Just calm down and see what's going on before you jump in. We probably have it so just guard your neighbors. Okay?" The kid said something and hung up. "Should I join him?"
"No," Fury said. "I have no doubt he's going to react too strongly. He's new at a this." Crill nodded, going to make plans for those he watched over. Fury left, going up to the helicopter pad.
Xander hung up and looked at everyone. "It's nearly time, guys. Let's go over our plans." They gathered to gather their bags and make sure they could carry them. Xander made sure everything was loaded where it should be. The healing spell was all but made. He only had to mix in the last few ingredients, heat it, do the spell, and cap it. It'd only last for three days so he'd be watching for when it happened. He hoped he got there in time and that it worked. It should work. He hoped. He didn't want Uncle Phil to be disappointed with him.
After that was all done and packed, he moved to stretch and work on his flexibility. He needed some for the battle. During one stretch he decided to get up and look something up. He had to try, as long as it didn't wear him out too much. He read while he stretched to keep calm. He could practice that night to see how much it wore him out.
Xander finally found the local demon bar and walked in. He looked at the bartender, sighing a bit when the guy gave him a funny look. "The witches of the Devon Coven decided they needed one of me here." The bartender groaned. "I'm not looking for inclusion, but huge things are coming," he said quietly. "I need to know when it starts, before it turns into a war. Please?" He pushed over a card with his number. "It's really important this time or I'd still be hiding."
"I can smell why."
Xander grinned. "She made a wish for me to be as strong as the strongest Xander there ever was." The bartender shuddered. "Basically, yeah. It'll be soon but stuff beforehand is kind of important to me."
"If we hear, we'll call," the bartender said. "Are you going to join the poker circuit?"
Xander shook his head quickly. "I inherited muses too." The bartender shuddered again. "But my first book is due out soon." He grinned and left.
The bartender looked at the others in the room, who all shrugged. Who knew about any Xander Harris that was ever created. They certainly didn't. Though it was nice this one wasn't as weird as they had heard some of them were.
Xander heard what had happened and winced. This was bad. Though he did 'lend' Phil a few of his warrior fairies to pack stuff for the agents and anything else they could grab to pack for them. He let Frodo deliver them to Crill once they were in the bag.
Agent Crill looked down at the mechanical bark, taking the bag. "Huge problems, Frodo?" he asked quietly. Frodo nudged him and barked again then rolled off to go home. Crill opened the bag. He recognized that. The militant fairy flew out to stare at him. "I don't know you," he told her. She giggled and patted him on the head then pointed in the bag and flew off. Fury was staring at him in that pointed 'tell me that's actually important' way. He looked and got up to pour things out of the bag. "He sent something to pack."
"What. Was. That. Thing?" Fury demanded.
"The fairies help him in his garden, sir, but that's not the ones I knew about. So he might have made one for packing." He shrugged. He got the rest out, making the director smile about the weapons cases. The other agents got let in to grab their things. "I'll return the bag to him later, sir."
"That's fine." He went back over what had happened. They clearly had an emergency coming and even with the warning they'd had from that kid, this was worse than they thought or had hoped. He pulled Crill aside. "Harris is to get to Coulson once the shit hits the fan," he said quietly. "No matter what."
"Yes, sir. Are we anticipating a problem?"
"How bad? Do we have an estimate?"
"Worse than we want. I've got to send Coulson to wake up Stark." He walked off.
Crill nodded. With the way the director felt about Tony Stark, the world might be ending. That was a really bad thing. He'd keep the kid advised of what was going on if he could. That way whatever reason he needed Coulson for would be done.
Xander got up to open the door, staring at the agent there. "You're still okay. That's good."
"Thank you for packing everything."
"I didn't want you to miss out on the cookies," he said with a grin.
"Uh-huh." He handed over the bag. "Thank you." Xander nodded. "Those fairies?"
"They'll have some reloads."
"It's going to get worse?" He walked inside. Xander nodded. Phil looked around. "You bought the other side?"
"It kept freaking out the neighbors and once got them targeted. I thought it was a good idea. Plus it gave me a new garden area and a nice library."
Phil nodded as he looked around. "This is nice." He looked at him. "Which one saw something?"
"A few of them did."
"And it's going to get bad?" Coulson asked. The kid was prevaricating. That was a bad sign.
Xander grimaced. "I let Stark look at the original plans for the ELF tanks. That way they could protect any evacuation points."
Coulson blinked. "Okay," he said, staring at him. "Will we need evacuation points?" Xander nodded. "Okay," he decided. "We'll be aware of it."
"I need to know when it starts. I've been given something to help one specific agent during it thanks to that Xander."
"Is it Agent Barton?"
"Clint? Bow guy?"
"Him, yes. He's..." He cleared his throat. "The bad person used him."
"So that's what that Xander's husband meant," he muttered. "Hmm. Loki's kind of a shithead. Including his father Loki." He looked at him. Phil was gaping. Xander nodded. "He's now the God Protectorate of Humanity. He was in his."
"Huh. That's interesting. Are you related?"
"He's decided he's soaking up all my chaos energy but I don't pray to him. He just blessed me to himself when I was born. I pray to that Xander and his spouse. They like me more."
"I can understand that." He patted him on the arm. "If I can, I'll call and tell you when things get serious."
"I have stuff to use before the actual battle, after some bad things though."
"If I can." He patted him again and left, going to talk to the Director. "Have you talked to Harris?"
"Yes." He looked up. "When the shit starts, he needs to be there but we're going to try to keep him out of the field battle."
Fury flipped over that photo to show him. "I saw a verison of you, Coulson. One who was mated to that kid's other self."
"Was he a god?"
"Yes, on both counts." Phil stared at him, mouth slightly open. "That you said you were mated."
"Mated. All right. What else do we know and when do I need to tell Xander?"
"Within a day of us getting Loki into custody from what little he's spilled."
"I can remember that and tell Crill the same thing."
"Good." He flipped that picture back over. "Go rest. You'll need it in a few days."
"For the battle?"
"I don't know yet, Coulson. He didn't know that much."
"Understood." He left, going to see Crill. "What have you gotten from Xander about the upcoming battle?"
"Not much," he admitted, turning to look at him. "I know you're going to be injured before it." Coulson grimaced. "He let slip that we'll need evacuation points, and he worked with Stark to get original models of the ELF tanks, the ones he built Frodo on top of, to guard them."
"He said that."
"They're not as classy as Frodo is. They're cute little tanks with the same weapons capabilities and some storage. They have 'friend or foe' settings built in. Stark said afterward he'd make sure the kid had a good place to hide them."
"That's a good idea. Anything else we know so far?"
"He mentioned the heli carrier once when he was half asleep. Not sure if it's related or not."
"That might be a bad thing. Does the director know?"
"I submit tapes of every talk I have with the kid."
"Good idea. Thank you." He walked off to think about the few facts he had. This was sounding very bad. Very, very bad. He still had to call Natasha and tell her.
Crill called Xander. "Level with me, kid. What do you know so I can make plans to help you get wherever?" He listened to what little the kid knew, wincing some. "I have no idea how to get you up there. No, that's really important. Can it be made ahead? Three whole days of lifespan. Great," he said dryly. "Okay, well, if I hear they're moving that way, do you have enough to give two doses?" He nodded once. "Even worse. Can I brew it? No, I don't have magic." He sighed. "Okay, let me consider this and I'll call to tell you when we capture him. How soon after that? Not a bad idea. Yup. I can do that." He hung up and considered things, going up to the director. He glared when he walked in. "If we're on the heli carrier, how am I getting him and the healing potion up there?" he asked quietly.
"I did not think about that," he admitted. "Can he get himself up there?"
"I don't know."
"I want you on this base and as soon as the alert sounds, grab him."
"It takes him an hour to finish the potion, and it lasts for three whole days." Fury winced. "Tell me before then, sir."
"I can do that." Crill nodded and left him to handle things. "That's a huge problem," Fury agreed quietly. "But if it works, I'll kiss the kid and send him out with an agent of his choice."
Xander needed to meditate. He was all nerves and he could have as much as a week before the battle. He couldn't let himself fall too far but he needed to. He felt someone lean against his back, looking back at them. "Hi," he said quietly.
"I'll bring you out," Miami GHS Xander promised. "Meditate." Xander relaxed and let himself fall. He needed to control some reactions before they wore him out. He more than most knew that problem. He even helped by giving him a good massage. He wondered if it'd be okay if he helped during the battle but he guessed he'd probably be breaking some sort of cross-realms law by doing that. He called Lavelle from his phone. "It's me. If I'm here visiting, am I going to cause any problems by jumping in?" He listened. "Oh, really?" He winced. "That sucks. Thanks, Lavelle." He hung up and hugged the younger him. "He said I probably would freak out people."
"Evacuate people then."
"I can do that if I'm here." He cuddled him. "Relax. Let it go for now."
"How do you teleport?"
"I can teach you how to use the portals but I'm not sure if there's any where you need to go." He searched then shook his head. "Nowhere near the heli carrier." The younger Xander slumped but nodded. "Do a finding spell in the library?"
"I have. Nothing."
"Let's ask Dumass then." He texted him. Draco sent back instructions on how to apparate. That could help. They could practice that. It'd be handy for both of them to know. Dumass sent back a spell for teleportation and noted how much power you had to have to use it. Which was a lot, especially before a battle. So they'd handle it however they could. Even if Xander did have to bring Coulson to his garden to let the plants heal him. Morticia would love to pat him as he healed in the garden.
Miami Xander went home, looking at his worried looking assistant. "The young me is going into his first battle in two damn days," he said.
Wade grimaced. "That's going to suck."
"He's got a healing spell for the one that needs it most. Then they're having the invasion of New York." Wade raised an eyebrow so Xander got a comic book to let him see it.
Wade flipped through it. "He need help?"
"Lavelle said if you're in that realm, you can't do more than minor things." He looked at the portal.
"Go do the healing spell for him. He'll be too tired to fight." Xander grinned, getting what he needed and going back. Wade watched him go. "Find out if I'm there."
"You are. The team's half there."
"We have it." He smiled. "I'm a bit experienced with battles." He waved and disappeared.
Wade sat down, sending messages to those who needed to know that Xander was doing something minorly dangerous. And why. Jensen filled in more details for him, which made Wade want to follow his boss. Guys in spandex body armor were not better at war than commandos. Unfortunately he couldn't get the portal to reopen.
One of these days, Xander was going to finish off his last bit of sanity. He really was.
The time came when things were starting to move. Loki had been captured. Xander gathered all his little helpers and made sure all the bags were packed. The other one winked and nodded. Xander snuck out to help watch over things. Miami GHS Xander created a portal to the heli carrier, getting there about ten minutes too late. He still knelt beside the body, shifting one of the paramedics. "It'll help heal him. It's from another realm." He poured it down the man's throat, letting him choke and cough. Then he did the healing spell. Coulson gasped. "Hi. Welcome back," he said quietly.
He blinked at him. "Already?"
"Soon." Coulson passed back out. The paramedics moved him to the infirmary for surgery. Xander went to clean off his hands. He hated blood. He came out to find Fury waiting on him. "We heard late. Is he still okay?"
"He should be okay. We might need to work on a few things."
Xander nodded. "I'll do what I can but he's got less magic than I do and I'm not all that powerful. I'll ask the others who have stronger magic."
Godly Xander appeared, giving him a hug. "He'll be okay." That Xander smiled. "We can't help the battle. It'll break the realm barriers if we take lives. Saving or making lives is okay but taking lives is a super bad."
"I get that. Is Wade really here? He almost volunteered to help."
"He is, and really insane," Fury said, walking off. "I didn't see you two."
Xander looked at his back then grinned at the other him. "At least the me here isn't a godly six-year-old like I was during ours." He took Xander with him back to the convention realm.
Fury pause. That was probably bad but he couldn't ask him anything because he was gone. "Damn it," he muttered. He went to face down his two potential leaders. He'd check on Coulson later, to make sure he had made it through surgery. He wouldn't put his faith in magic or healing potions.
Xander looked at the god that was posturing. "It's really weird that we're having this talk. I got warned about it."
"My minion," Loki smirked.
"Not likely. The only Gods I swear allegiance to is that other Xander and his husband Phil." He stared at him. "You won't win."
"I will win. You can't stop me."
"You'd be shocked but you still won't win." He stared at him. "Just because you assumed I'd pray to you doesn't mean I'll bow or blow or suck." He stared at him. "For that matter, for supposedly sucking the chaos taint off me I sure as hell seem to have a lot of it going on around me." He looked at him. The God was sneering now. Xander stared back. "You're already lost, Loki. You just don't realize it."
"You're but one man. Even with that *blessing* to be strong."
"Hmm. Which brings up a question. Which one is the strongest Xander? The one that spent seventy centuries blipping back and forth through time, mostly by himself and running into a lot of people who wanted to own him?" He moved around him. "The one that's ruined forty-seven realms for wanting to own him? One who lost all that was important to him and then went to teach the slayers so they could share his strength? Which one is the strongest one?"
Loki stared at him. "Why would that matter?"
Xander smirked. "Because if you don't know, you've already underestimated me. You gotta figure out of all the heros that are possible across the multiple universes, they picked me for some reason. Why? Why pick a supposedly normal person who used to hunt demons?"
Loki considered it. "They could easily control you. Like all humans, you want to be controlled."
Xander snorted. "GHS don't bend that way, Loki. We don't bow to anyone. We may be pets - expensive, cranky, tough, sexual pets - but we're not ownable that way. Still, not the strength that others have seen." They were circling around each other now. "You're not going to win. Even if all the Avengers fell. Even if I fall, you still won't win. Most of humanity won't bow. It might actually make them pull themselves together and quit fighting each other to fight you." He smirked a tiny bit. "All they'd need is a figurehead and I'm pretty damn sure SHIELD has plenty of those."
"They've all died, boy."
Xander snorted. "No they didn't. Another me delivered a healing potion earlier." He grinned. "You still don't realize the strength that you're trying to push."
"You are but one *boy*."
Xander laughed. "Really? And yet, one man can make a difference in any reality." He shrugged. "You've still lost. You can't kill me."
"You can't. You really can't." He smiled. "Which GHS do you think I got the hormones from?" Loki paused then sneered and lunged to hit him with his staff. Xander blocked it and the fight was on. Loki stared at the one cut he managed that was healing rapidly. "Ooh, did I forget to mention that all GHS uses are immortal?" He grinned. "Hmm, immortal, with the strength of people who have to kill repeatedly to save their lives, plus to save themselves from wannabe owners. That plus the strength I got blessed with? Not all strengths are physical and I'm not your brother to rely on my muscles." He took a bad swing but it distracted Loki enough so he could move in to stab him in the body armor. "I kinda liked Clint. He was decent to me when he was helping me rescue myself that once. I'm really offended on his behalf," he said blandly then grinned. "I think I'll fight in his name today. Be his chosen knight."
Loki snorted. "I'll give him to you once I have him back under control."
"Not into that. Too much like rape." He stabbed him again, getting a tender spot. Loki pulled back, healing it. Xander smirked, clicking his tongue. "Such a shame you're not using your real strengths. Unless you getting killed or captured again is a part of your shitty plan to force others to do things?" Loki lunged again, looking pissed off. Xander snorted and shifted out of the way, kicking him on the ass. "Look, it's Iron Man." He looked at him. "And yet, you still couldn't beat me, just one man. How do you expect to subjugate humanity?"
"Such big words," Loki sneered.
Xander shrugged. "I'm a writer too. By the way, he lost everything and still kept going until he found someone who could live in his life with him. Muses, battles, and wacky things at the same time with demons." He waved a hand in the air. "You've still underestimated humanity. I mean, if you can't beat me, how can you beat them? Do you really think you can subjugate someone who's lost everything and is willing to kill themselves if they can take you with them? Look around, all the gang kids would be like that. There's religious nuts who would help them with it because you're not their god. Or goddess."
He grinned. "Did you really have Hel and Slepnir?" Loki growled and attacked again. Xander fought him off and knocked him back. "Hmm. Maybe you and Lavelle should talk about having kids. He got an artifact to help him have a family after someone he was dating gave him to a hell lord to supposedly solve an apocalypse battle. He survived hell for nine months and killed the ones who had him. I don't think you're stronger than him either. And gee, the wording of the spell? They made me as strong as all of them. You won't win." Tony Stark stomped in. He nodded at him. "People are already moving."
"Good," Stark agreed. "What are you doing?"
"This nice man decided I should pray to him back when I was born. He's not my chosen deity. Uncle Xander and Uncle Phil are. They're over humanity's protection."
"Phil Coulson?" Tony demanded.
"Yeah, he's mated to one of me that's this guy's son in that realm. That Xander's the God Protectorate of Humanity. Phil's over heros and the consort of all pantheons because that me had to take over. Too many plots," he said dryly, staring at Loki. "Let me go help the people get out of the way." He disappeared.
Stark poured himself a drink, nodding. "I like that kid more and more."
"You'll still lose. I have an army."
Stark took a drink. "We have a Hulk."
Clint Barton looked over as he landed on the ground. A small flying silver thing carrying a bag was flying toward him. He had seen pictures of it somewhere. "What?" he demanded when it hovered in front of him. It offered him the bag. He looked inside, taking the arrows. "Tell whoever sent you I said thanks." He checked. They'd work with his system. "Nat, reloads." He tossed them over, letting her and Captain America reload. "Thank you," he told the fairy. She blew a kiss at Natasha then flew off, running into one of the aliens and knocking him off his skid. "Huh. Who...." he asked with a point.
"Xander," she said, reloading her guns.
Stark landed. "He and I built stuff to guard human evacuation points," he noted. "Then we're going to give them to the goblin bank." Frodo barked and rolled over, opening up his back compartment to hold up things. "Recharging supplies. Thanks, Frodo. Shit, move," he said, shielding the little robotic dog, who shot the alien back. "Go back to your human." It barked and dropped more arrows and bullets then rolled off at a faster than usual pace.
"I like Frodo," Natasha said. "He's a very good dog." Clint and Stark both nodded. Captain Rogers looked very confused. "I'll introduce you if we all survive this."
"Sure." They moved to face the aliens.
Stark's display lit up. "We have gang kids protecting Harlem and a few other areas," he said, sounding happy. "The kid mobilized the underworld army."
"Good job," Clint said, loading his bow with an arrow as aliens came closer. "We could use them here too." Artillery was exploding around them. "That's helpful," he said.
Natasha nodded. "Quite."
Xander leaned into the demon bar. "Guys, we're being invaded by aliens from a higher being's realm," he noted. "Anyone willing to come help or at least protect yourselves?"
"We have shields," the bartender called.
"No you don't. They got through them because I just killed the one that was trying to get in." He pointed at the body. They looked and a few growled, coming out to help with the battle. "Thanks, guys." Xander headed off to help defend a few of the human evacuation points. The aliens were heading for a hospital to take out the injured, easy targets. Xander ran after them and fired on them. He hopped over the mini tank that was in the doorway firing. "Go recharge and reload," he ordered. "I've got it." The tank moved under a crowded seat and plugged in.
"That thing is freaky," a guy with a bandage on his arm and shoulder complained.
"He's called a Pippen tank. We're borrowing them to protect the evacuation points." He fired on the stupid aliens again until more of them peeled off. Then he pulled something out of the bag on his back, opening it and blowing them up so they couldn't fire on the hospital anymore. They all fell to the net. He killed them, letting the paramedics carry in more people.
He backed in, guarding that point. Two of the other hospitals were shut down and evacuating by what the police band scanners were saying. This was not good. He pulled out his phone to text all the tanks, having them follow the people to guard them. Most of them got picked up by police officers and carried with them to help. A few were downtown herding people into safer locations. One wasn't answering at all. He expected more of them to be disabled by now so maybe something was going right in their lives.
The radios started to go nuts about something Stark was doing. Xander and Phil hadn't said anything about a nuclear warhead. Xander considered things. He had no idea how to handle it if one went off. He shot another alien and avoided the police officer pulling in with more injured. He got out of their way. One of the nurses hissed something at him so the officer came over.
"Yeah," Xander said, looking at him. "What's up?" He looked outside then at him. "I'm sorry to usurp and all that but I'll be damned if humanity falls to this."
"Not an issue, though I'd suggest you disappear *real* fast when we're done." Xander grinned and nodded. "You know something about those little tanks according to what I heard."
"I borrowed the plans for Tony Stark to build. A relative who designs legitimate things built theirs for home defense. They're called an ELF and theirs is called a Pippen. Because that way they know immediately who the geeks are when they laugh at that misnaming."
The officer nodded. "That's a good thing. Are they in the US?"
"They're not really anywhere near here. They're not from a bad country. They're criminalists."
"Okay, that's good to know. What are you going to do with them afterward?"
"They're going to a few banks."
"I can appreciate that. Can the NYPD get a good look at them?"
"Ask Mr. Stark. I only borrowed the plans for this." He fired on an alien, which let someone run inside. "Shit. You're in labor," he said, backing away. "I know nothing about babies." The nurse came out to check her over and get her triaged. He looked at the officer again after checking outside. "I'm not allowed to give the plans out. You might ask Mr. Stark if he can improvise with them."
"I can have the boss talk to them. Thank you for the help, sir."
"It's not a problem. None of us want to fall to these. Even the gang kids I ran into didn't want to fall to these sorts. What are we doing about that bomb?"
"From the radio, Iron Man's got it." Xander sighed and relaxed. Then he turned and nearly shot a paramedic who was a demon but got the demon that was trying to snack on a victim. The officer blinked a few times. "I hate those things."
"I don't particularly like their species," Xander said, glaring at him. "Shoo. We don't need you right now too. We have chaos gods and aliens." The demon huffed off. Xander switched guns and shot him in the back of the head, killing him. He put that gun up and helped the victim inside. Suddenly all the aliens fell down. Xander sighed. "Thank you, Goddess," he mumbled. He sent a recall order to all the tanks. Six weren't responding but they were reading alive but off. Xander sent the reactivate and retreat to the house order. They all headed that way. Xander got the one there with him and put him into his backpack then waved at the officer.
"Let me disappear as ordered, Officer. Happy cleaning up." He jogged off. He was exhausted but he had done the best he could. He knew he had a few problems and he had paused too long to get others into the battle but he did okay for his first one. He ran into a demon that wanted to eat him and pulled a sword to behead it. He panted. "I'm tired," he told the corpse. "Can't you wait?" He went home and counted the tanks. Frodo hadn't shown up. He sent the code to him. No answer. He winced. "No, not Frodo," he moaned. He turned on the GPS and went to find him once he had everything there. Officers gave him an odd look as he walked off. "Looking for my dog," he called.
"Sir, there's a curfew," one said firmly.
Xander stared at him. "I only want my dog, Officer. Frodo!" No answer. "Shit." He jogged off. The officers had bigger things to deal with than him. "Frodo!"
A police cruiser pulled up beside him. "Sir, all civilians should be safely sheltered in place."
Xander looked at him. "I'm on my way home from holding a hospital safe and I'm looking for my dog, okay? I'll go home then." He looked around again. "FRODO!" A tiny bark. He headed that way. No, that was a real dog. He did a healing spell and it limped off but it was going to live. Hopefully it had a home. It had tags and wasn't dirty or hungry looking so it probably had a human. He found a few gang members staring at his dog a few blocks later. "Frodo, you're okay." He walked over, nudging one of the guys out of his way. "C'mon, Frodo. Let's go home. We'll recharge, have some chocolate, and watch the news." His dog tried to bark. "Did you get shot? Who was that mean? I'll behead the fucker." He picked him up. "C'mon. We'll go home. Did you see that last tank?" He walked around the guys.
"Who the fuck are you?" one of the gang kids demanded, staring at him.
Xander grinned. "I'm Xander. This is my dog Frodo. He's real protective but I had him carrying reloads earlier." They gang guys all glared. Xander shrugged. "I was holding an ER safe, guys. Besides, I'm the one that got a few of you to guard your own neighborhoods." He walked off. One tried to stop him so Xander put Frodo down carefully then stepped into his face. "Do not try this shit right now," he said calmly and quietly. "We're both post battle hot and I don't want to beat you to death." The guys all laughed. So he hormoned them and grinned. "Have fun with that, guys." He picked up Frodo again and carried him off while they attacked each other. One of them yelped so they had picked their bitch easily enough. The same officer was watching. He smiled. "This is my Frodo. He's very protective."
"He's ... is he like the tanks?"
"Kinda. I borrowed the plans from an uncle. They make the tanks for home defense. I adopted it for Frodo but changed it." He smiled. "Let me go home."
"We should arrest you for making things worse, sir."
Xander looked back then at the officer. "They won't be tense or uptight after the battle later," he said dryly. "And I hate to kill people when they attack me. It's bad enough last month there was some art thief. Seriously below my usual level." He walked around him. "I'm heading to comply with orders to get to a safe spot."
"You're going to the station. And don't you dare do to me what you did to them."
An agent parked and got out. "Mr. Harris?" Xander looked over and nodded. "Go. Home."
"I was getting Frodo. He ran out of power." He patted his dog. "I'm on my way home."
"In the car. I'll give you a ride," he said dryly. He looked at the officer. "Just...feel lucky. He can't help the hormones. Smarmed a whole gym once during a sparring match." Xander glared. "In please, Mr. Harris. Agent Crill is in the infirmary and had me track you down instead of any of the others we guard."
"Yup," he said quietly, climbing into the back of the car. The agent got in and drove off, taking him home. He let Xander out of the back and handed over the non-working tank. "We found him. He ran out of power and got shot a few times." Xander smiled and hugged him then jogged inside. "I can see why we monitor him," he muttered, getting back into his car to find the others they watched over. The director wanted an immediate check of all hidden assets. Thankfully most of them were hiding instead of helping.
Xander looked up as Fury stomped into his apartment. "Didn't the potion help?"
"It did. He stayed alive long enough for us to get him into surgery to fix things. He'll be fine eventually." Xander sighed and nodded, checking over Frodo's battery pack. "He injured?"
"He's got a battery slipping problem. I'm working on hitching it down without interrupting anything else. Am I in trouble for helping that ER or asking the gang kids and the demons to guard their own areas?"
"Nope. That was a good idea. Even though the NYPD is really horrified that gangs had that sort of ordinance in town." Xander shrugged. "Did you give them any?"
"Fine." He sat down, staring at him. "Stark said you had a talk with Loki."
Xander nodded, looking at him. Frodo nudged him so he got back to work. "We had a talk about how he was already a loser and had lost. He had seriously underestimated humanity. He had seriously underestimated me and what we'd do to him for this. Hell, I even pointed out that humanity might quit fighting each other to get him." He glanced up. "Also known as a stalling tactic."
"Stark's AI recorded the talk."
Xander shrugged. "I'd hope he'd erase it instead of sharing it around."
"He only shared it with Romanoff since she knew you." He stared at him. "I don't like that guy."
"Stark or Loki?"
"Either really," he admitted. "Loki more though. Smartass." Xander grinned and finished the strapping down then plugged Frodo in. He beeped as he recharged and got stronger again. Xander installed the backup batteries as well. That was going to charge too and Frodo nuzzled him. Xander handed him an energy toy to play with and hugged him. Fury snorted. Xander glared. "What are you going to do if he comes back?"
Xander shrugged. "He won't bother me. I'm not his type and I can't help him get back at his daddy. Plus I totally pissed him off when I asked about his kids." He grinned. "Sometimes mildly annoying is stronger than all out evil."
"Sometimes," Fury agreed, staring at him. "Are you going to jump into things again?"
"They gave birth to me to help protect others. Do I want to help your people? Not really. If something happens around me I'll handle it. Though I still need someone to help me with boyfriend things since I've got another one." He got up to get the package then sat down once he had handed it over. "I don't want him. He sounds like an arrogant jackass."
Fury looked at the note, nodding. "Yes he is." He put it into his jacket pocket and stared at him. "Why don't you retire to be an author."
Xander stared back. "I am. Unless something happens around me. Then I'll react and things will be handled. Not like I'm going to stand by while people are eaten by demons and I don't see your people doing it."
"We're a bit busy."
Xander shrugged. "You like to ignore it because you're too small to handle all the problems and they're too poor and not intelligence targets you can use if you save 'em, Fury. I'm well versed in how assholes with power act." He stared at him. "That sort *really* like to own guys like me. And hey, one of us dated a Caesar."
"As in of Rome?" he asked flatly.
"Yeah. He was accidentally time traveling. Dated Octavius. Octi at least had people explain things like philosophy to him." He grinned. "There were a few genocidal fuckheads who were running planets that wanted him as well. They just like us."
Fury shook his head quickly. "That's a headache making thought." He stood up. "Stay indoors."
"I have a book event in two days. Otherwise, this is kind of my life and I'll live it however I want and see fit." He smiled. "You have a good cleaning up. Do you need help? I have all that canned stuff I can donate."
"There's a few shelters that are looking for stuff. I'll have Crill send you their number."
"Is he okay? I texted and he said he had a concussion."
"He does. He's fine." He left, going back there to order Crill to make the kid lay lower.
Crill texted Xander to talk to him. He also got the number of the helping shelters.
Xander called them. "Hi, my name is Xander and I just got done canning a bunch of stuff out of my gardens. I have some frozen stuff and some canned stuff, both veggies and fruit. Can you guys use that?" He looked in them. Then he gave them his address. "You can come pick what you need and can use. I've got seventeen cases of canned stuff and two freezers full. Sure, I'll be here. Thanks." He hung up and texted the twins to see if they could figure out what was wrong with Frodo. He wasn't charging as fast as usual. One of them came over, grabbed Frodo, and carried him off talking to him about things. "Let me know. I love my Frodo puppy," he called after him.
"I'll bring him back tomorrow at the latest, Xander," he called, grinning back at him. "Calm down." Xander nodded, relaxing for now. When the shelter person got there, they went through all the stuff, taking a good bit of it with them. Xander offered them as much as they wanted and could carry. He got the fairies for the gardens to plant more food right away instead of waiting. They'd need it and he could quick ripen it in the next few days.
Six days later, Xander was showing up with more canned things for the shelter. He grinned. "I asked a friend who had a garden if I could have most of hers."
"It's needed," the shelter worker agreed, smiling at him. "Thank you, Mr. Harris."
"It's not a problem. It's a small way I can help. Do you guys need anything else?"
"There's a whole list of things we need," she admitted, handing over their donation paperwork.
"I'll talk to my bank guy, see how much I can reasonably do this year. I'm on a trust." She smiled and nodded. He drove off, going home. Frodo was there and there was a mini Frodo puppy too. They had made a lapsized Frodo for him to play with. Frodo's battery problem had been solved and he was at full charge, plus had two backup batteries and they had unclogged his laser and the ball cannon that had melted from the heat of the laser plus fixed that problem. So that was great and now he was better. They were playing fetch when Crill walked in. "I gave a lot of the canned stuff to the shelter people."
"That was nice of you, kid."
Xander looked behind Crill at the sneaking cat. The mini Frodo, Samwise, barked so it ran into the special garden. Xander went to save it from Morticia and let it hide wherever it wanted for now. There were a few mice in there for Morticia to catch for food. The light-toned brown mottled tortoiseshell coat was cute on it but she was obviously used to getting her own way as she took up residence in the gazebo and stayed there. "Sure, just don't pee on things or I'll have to send you home." She huffed but laid there. Xander went back to check on Crill. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. Small concussion when the ship tilted. Are you okay? I know it was your first battle."
"I talked with a few others, who pointed out where I spent too much time getting others to help instead of letting them call their own peoples out. They gave me ideas of how to pack better reload packs next time if I need to."
"Next time?" Crill asked. "Are we expecting a next time?"
Xander shrugged. "I don't know. They didn't know when I asked. But better to be safe than to be caught in the bathroom on the toilet when the shit hits the fan."
"That's actually....yeah, I get that," he agreed. Xander smiled. "For now I want you and Frodo and...."
"Ah, Sammy there to stay in the house for the next few days. At least until people want to forget to thank you for helping."
"I have two book things in the next week."
Xander shrugged. "They've been scheduled for a while now but I've asked and they said they're still on. People need a party right now."
"They do, yeah."
"So why not hold a huge community dance thing at the Garden or something for stress relief. No alcohol or drugs but get down and get funky to relieve stress sort of thing."
"I'll suggest that to the director." He stared at him. "Hide for the most part."
"I can do that. Does anyone need to rest in my spare rooms? Preferably someone I'll like but I can lend one for a while. I heard you guys took some damage."
"We took a shitload of damage and I'll ask the one guy that really wants to hide. For now, relax." Xander nodded, throwing a toy for the dogs. They barked and rolled after it to play tug of war. Crill patted Xander on the head as he walked past him, glancing in at the cat. "She's peeing on the cushion." Xander went to yell at the cat and threaten her with a new home somewhere else. For now she ran and hid under something. Xander created a litterbox area with the help of the fairies. They got programmed to pick her up and put her into it now and then. It could be used as fertilizer.
Agent Crill walked into the temporary Avengers residence hall, clearing his throat. "Agent Romanoff, may I have a moment?"
"Have two," Stark quipped. "She's back in scary, silent mode today."
"Thanks," he said, walking her off. "Xander asked if any agents might need his spare room. I immediately thought of one that's trying very hard to hide," he said quietly. "Or you, yourself, so you can get away from all the men."
She nodded. "It's a thought I could enjoy at times. I'll ask him."
Crill grinned. "They made a mini Frodo named Samwise." She shook her head with a sigh. "And a cat just snuck in to play with the tentacle plants."
"I'll keep that in mind and alert him if he so desires."
"It might help. The director was fuming that an internationally known spy and arms dealer was wanting the kid." They shared a look. "They're playing fetch right now."
"It's a good way to calm down."
"He suggested we throw a city-wide disco at the Garden to relieve stress."
"It could help," she admitted. "But it'd bring the wrong ones." He smiled and left. She went back to the group. "Xander has offered us his spare rooms," she told Clint. Who just nodded. "There's apparently a mini Frodo now and a stray cat's snuck into his garden area." Clint barely smiled. "It'd be calm. I doubt anyone could find you there."
"It sounds like Jack Mayhugh may be onto him as well." Clint stared at her. "Crill said an internationally known spy and arms dealer."
Stark snorted, shaking his head. "I'd love to find some sort of cure to his hormone problem. That way the kid could be normal and gainfully employed by someone like me making great things."
"He seems to like writing," Natasha said. "He and I spar as well." She looked at Clint. "He did have one of the fairies pack everything from out there."
"That means the director has Coulson's things," he said quietly. "And those tapes." She smirked a tiny bit. "Maybe he'll use them for stress relief. He could probably use it too." He shifted. "The kid would probably hover. He's a fussing sort."
"He is," she agreed. "When I pulled a groin muscle learning those dances, he showed up in my quarters to offer me his tub. He let me soak all night, sent Frodo in with warm towels and toast, and only checked on me when I couldn't grab my phone from across the room. As promised, he was not near the bathroom all night." Clint shook his head quickly. "I need to get back to that practice."
"What dances?" Stark asked.
"He learned a storytelling set of dances that lead to a self-defense style with swords or staves," she said.
"It's like dance porn," Clint said. "Coulson got a full set of the videos thanks to Tasha and I snuck a few to watch. We were both trying not to mentally see her doing them." She smirked at him. "It was as good as the cookies were out there." He shifted and slumped to get comfortable again. "One of the junior agents out there got a single disc he mistakenly left out while looking for the stored cookies the kid sent him. Watched it since it wasn't marked classified. Coulson found him whacking off in front of the tv in Coulson's room." She smiled. "He made him run laps around the outside of the labs. He spent all day running laps around the outside of the lab. When he came in, he asked Coulson to please introduce him to that very flatchested young man, who he'd make a proper wife."
"I think he'd make a charming wife," she agreed. "Is that junior agent his type?"
"Not deadly. Bit dangerous though."
She nodded. "That's very bad. Maybe Xander would still like introduced."
"Maybe." He shrugged. "I'll check on the kid tomorrow."
"Is this the same guy who sent the reloads during the battle?" Steve Rogers asked. Natasha and Stark both nodded. "Is he okay?"
"He's fine. He got a few bruises but from what I heard he was standing guard on a few evacuation points after handing out reloads. Only one of the mini tanks was damaged," he told Natasha, who smiled. "They did good when a few of the landing parties headed for hospitals to take out more weak targets. It was a brilliant idea to have them guarding hospitals to free up some of the NYPD and others to help on the ground."
"I saw a miniature tank," Steve said. "He built those?"
"He built some and I built some. We put in a friend or foe setting so they'd let anything but the aliens through," Stark said, with a grin for him. "The ones who created their design use them for home defense and around their labs."
"Another weapons designer?"
"Not on this realm," Natasha said. "They know Xander however and let him borrow the design as long as it did not get out. So they're going to the bank?" she asked Stark, who nodded. "That's a nicely hidden use. It goes well with Hovar, who I heard nearly ate Agent Hill."
"She'd be stringy," Clint said dryly. "What is Hovar?"
"A very large dragon." Everyone stared at Natasha. "He protects their vaults."
"I thought dragons were mythical on this realm," Steve said.
"I have no idea where he came from, or the goblins that run it," Stark quipped, sipping his water. "They're scary looking but efficient and give decent, safe interest."
Natasha nodded. "I now have an account with them as well."
Clint shook his head. "I missed stuff when I was in Arizona, huh?"
"Yes. Including two more kidnapings of Xander."
He shook his head. "That poor guy and his hormones."
"What's wrong with his hormones?" Bruce Banner asked.
"They're really out of whack," Tony said. "Higher than average pheromone and other sex hormones. It makes him smell like he's a dog in heat to most people. The ones who are attracted to him tend to be dangerous." He pointed at Natasha, who scowled back. "Or deadly."
"It was nice he helped when I ran into him being a cooperative hostage to the arms dealer that had him in Europe," Clint said dryly. "He threw a massive fit and stomped off, but made it look like I had chased after him so I'd fit in better. Burned the guy's ferrari. Saved his dogs."
"There were two more. One managed to get him to Vancouver for a day but he flew back on his own with the guy's private plane and wallet, and his blessing. Apparently that date had went better for him than Xander. The other one got stopped by the airport security people telling the TSA the highly drugged Xander was a hostage."
"Wow, the TSA did something?" Stark asked. "That's good."
"Not really. Airport security handled it then handed it over when they demanded," Natasha admitted. "The director was not amused because their files said if they saw him they were to ask if it was a willing trip but they hadn't done so. He's had him added to most agency's databases because of his hormones. That way they could get him back faster. The State Department got huffy after that one rescue," she said with a casual wave at Clint, who smirked a tiny bit. "We shared the information on the hormones and what we've seen of their support group's literature from that other realm. They were highly unamused but one of the agents spent ten minutes with Xander and asked if he wanted to be licked all over by him or if he'd prefer butterscotch topping first. They went out on a few dates until Xander found out he was married. Then he got upset because he wasn't a trifling ho sort as he put it. That was about two days before the battle."
Bruce Banner shook his head. "I can't even imagine what sort of hell that has to be for his body."
Natasha looked at him. "He can wear them out. It just takes a lover with stamina. Which he is still looking for."
"Or two," Clint quipped.
"Or two," she agreed. "The ones that did the tapes of the dances had two, but they were working full time and ignoring him. So he dumped them and now he's dating. His commando assistant is not amused from what our Xander shared." She shifted on her part of the couch. "Crill said he might volunteer for that position if he retired from SHIELD."
Clint nodded. "He could probably use it. Isn't Crill not field certified?" She nodded. "Then what happens if he has to go rescue the kid?"
"He sends junior agents who have talent but not enough field experience because he knows Xander will train them better if he has to," she said dryly. "I suggested they send him one every few months to help them both. It'd also give Xander something to do besides write and sparring or dance practice."
"He canned the gardens," Clint said. "I got a text saying I could bum some of it."
"It went to the people helping those displaced," Stark said. "I have a tiny bit of the AI paying attention to any report about the kid in case someone comes after him for being able to make Frodo."
"What is Frodo?" Bruce asked.
"It's a little robotic dog," Natasha said with a smile. "The one that brought us reloads during the battle."
"I didn't see it I guess."
"He goes most everywhere with Frodo," Stark said. "It's about the size of a schnauzer." Bruce nodded at that.
"It looked like it came from a science fiction movie," Steve said.
"It has a few self defense capabilities and some extra storage space," Natasha said. "It can also do searches for fingerprints, read ID's with a coding strip, and knows when people are there to help or hurt his human. It's a very practical pet for Xander."
Clint nodded. "Especially since it doesn't need fed if he's taken again."
She smiled at him. "When he was rescuing himself from your assignment, Frodo snuck into the base and up to Fury's office to play a pre-recorded message about him needing a bit of help to finish saving himself. Crill then taught him where his office was."
Stark nodded. "It's a very practical pet."
"Are there others with his hormone problem here?" Steve asked. Bruce shook his head.
"On the world they originated on, and the others that had sufferers, less than one quarter of one percent of people had it. Here, it's only him and the director so far." Stark sat up, staring at him. "He's a very low level three."
Stark smirked a tiny bit. "I wondered about that."
"Does that mean he could do the dances?" Bruce asked.
"Quite probably," Natasha agreed. "If he wished to be flexible and practice." She found one of them on her phone. "I load the ones I'm presently working on so I can practice when I have time." She let Stark project it onto the tv. The guys all stared at the video, and mostly moaned at some of it. "That's a dance about a battle," she said at the second moan. "I'm still learning some of the steps."
"I did not need that mental image," Stark complained. "Do you wear flirty clothes?"
"It'd look nice with some belly dancing clothes," Clint said. She swatted him on the head. "It would!"
"It may," she agreed. "I'm not that gifted yet." They watched the rest and most of the guys excused themselves. She smirked slightly as she ended the video on her phone and the program to project it. Clint smirked a tiny bit at her. She smirked back. Clint got up and walked off to take care of his own needs. Natasha settled in to text Xander to check on him. He texted back almost immediately so that was a clear sign he was bored again - ten minutes to respond meant he was writing, twenty to thirty minutes meant he was working out or in the shower, or in that room with the non-physical hands, and more than thirty meant he had either forgot his phone at home while he went to the park or he had been taken again. He was probably working in the garden and playing with his pets or the fairies today.
Xander bounded over to answer the door that night, letting Natasha and Clint inside. "I'm going slightly insane. The muses are nuts," he said with a manic grin.
"Did you get herbed again?" she asked. He nodded, still smiling. "Go work it out, Xander. I'll show him where the guest rooms are. He's hiding because SHIELD is having issues."
"Then you need to remove the two listening devices the director had put in again." He pointed at them. "Let me go to my room of hands." He bounced off.
She looked at Clint. "You got the allergy sheet?" He nodded. "Some of it hit him." She showed him where the spare rooms were and let him unpack. It'd keep the angry SHIELD agents from coming after Clint for being brainwashed. It wasn't his fault but they were blaming him because Clint had managed to bring down the heli carrier with a surgical strike maneuver that had shown they weren't ready for the huge issues in the world. Which some of them had known. Just not the younger or the junior agents. Agent Hill was straightening it out but they had little hope on it being done with quickly. So Clint was in technical hiding.
Two of the fairies flew up to help them unpack, one of them petting his bow for him before putting it onto the desk in the spare room. Then they giggled as they flew off. They came down, hearing Xander's shower going. She got them dinner and settled in. "He's expanded," Clint said, looking into one of the gardens. "I'm guessing he canned a lot of stuff from there."
"Crill said nineteen cases of jars and more frozen things." She flipped the grilled sandwiches and stirred the soup she was warming. Xander came out more relaxed. She fed him and Clint then looked at Xander. "Junior agents are highly upset that Clint exposed our unreadiness for serious emergencies while he was under mind control."
"I can protect him, Natasha." Xander grinned at Clint then at her. "And I have books to help you do mental protections against magical and other forms of mind takeovers."
"That could be helpful," Clint agreed.
Xander hugged his arm and sat up again. "Eat. I made the soup mix."
Clint dug in, nodding. "Very nice. Cute gardens too."
Xander grinned. "Watch out for Morticia in the other one. She'll pet you if you get too close. She's friendly and you're too big for her or Gomez to eat but she'll still pet you if that might freak you out. And the stray cat's in there somewhere still." Clint nodded, digging in again. Both dogs came out of that garden and came over for Natasha to pet them. "The little one's Samwise."
"He's adorably carryable," she said, smiling down at the pets. They barked and let her have a toy so she could play with them. She settled in to do that and they were happy pets. Clint finished eating and came over to sit with her and help. The dogs liked him. He played very well. Xander cleaned up the dinner mess once he was done and set up the coffee maker. He had given up coffee for a few weeks. He was tired of it but agents liked coffee so he'd leave it up for Clint to use. That was being a good host. Xander went to write since the dogs were occupied. Natasha looked over. "What are you working on now?"
"Roadtrip of priestesses."
"Hmm. Is it interesting?"
"So far they've beaten off some warriors in an inn who thought they might like them. Now they're fighting off sentient trees who think females are only for breeding new trees. I'm not sure how human woman would have half-trees but the trees are kind of desperate since the local boys no longer come out to use them thanks to a recent war that killed a lot of them or made them warrior conscripts." He shrugged. "I have no idea sometimes. It's a weird thought that woke me up."
"It sounds very female powered," Clint said.
Xander grinned. "Girls can and should be able to kick ass. Even if these ones wear flower crowns and veils." He got back to his rereading so he could start writing again.
Natasha smiled at Clint. "I got a preview copy of his first one. It's coming out soon."
"That's a good thing." Xander's phone rang and it was closer to Clint so he tossed it over for Xander to catch and answer.
"Hi, Todd. No, I didn't remember I had a thing tonight so thank you. I was about to start writing again. When am I due there?" He winced at the clock. "Thankfully I just took a shower. Let me change and get a cab." He hung up and ran for the bedroom. "Gotta go do author things, sorry. Watch tv if you want, Clint." He came out pulling on a suit jacket over his looser silk shirt with the open collar and suitpants. He grabbed his wallet and keys then called a cab on the way out the door. Samwise barked but Xander smiled. "I'm going to do boring author things. I'll bring you next time, okay?" The dog went back to playing. "Later, guys. It'll probably be midnight." He closed the door. His cab was coming up the street.
"We gave him the name and numbers of a few good hired car services," she told Clint. "Apparently there had been an incident where he was pulled over for failing to signal properly and the officer offered to forget the ticket if he could lick Xander all over. The director heard and had a fit so he's not supposed to drive."
Clint nodded. "He has a car?"
"He rented one for the day."
"Ah." He nodded, tossing the ball again for the dogs. They were nice dogs. Very cute too. They both spotted the mottled light brown tortoiseshell cat sneaking out of the garden.
"Ah!" she said. The cat ran back into the garden area. "She has a bad habit of marking her territory in odd places," she said, getting up to close all the bedroom and the library's doors. "Just in case."
"Did he adopt her?"
"His text message said she snuck in after Crill and he hasn't sent her back outside yet. He's named her Chocolate."
Clint just nodded. "It's nice he adopts animals that need it. Plus he makes good dogs." He handed them a thing from the bowl that said 'treats'. They both barked and rolled off to play with and drain their energy treats. Natasha showed him the charger for those. That was a nice system.
Clint managed to get to sleep about dawn that night and woke up about an hour later to hear Xander sneering at someone. He got up and silently moved down the stairs to just out of sight.
"Dude, I don't care what your rude ass wants," Xander said bluntly. He sounded pissed off. "Not only did you wake me up, but you're disrespecting my house. Since I'm the one that had the idea for the little helpful robots that were guarding human evacuation points and was holding a few of them myself, I don't need this shit nor do I deserve it." He slammed the door and headed for the kitchen. "Some of your coworkers are assholes," he said quietly. "And I'm about to expand that on some of them so they can unclench the tiniest bit."
Clint snorted, leaning down the last few feet. "That wouldn't help most of them. What did he want?"
"She and she wanted to bring you in for some sort of reward according to what she spilled later." He waved a hand. "I doubt that'll work and hide in the garden if you have to." He saw a light and grimaced. "Great, she's going to try to drive into the house." He patted something on the wall between the master bedroom and the stairs, walking into the suddenly unhidden closet. He came out and walked outside, opening the case and pulling out the weapon inside. "I don't think you're going to drive your shitty ass sedan into my house, sweetheart, and I think if you try that'll be the last thing you ever fucking do." He smiled a tiny bit. "I love destruction. It's a great thing. You're next." She backed up and sped off, and he could see she was calling someone. Xander brought the weapon inside to put up then pulled Clint out and slammed the closet door shut. Which hid it again. "If cops show up, go ahead and sit in the garden too." He walked over at the knock, staring at the guy standing there. "Sitwell, are you going to stick up for Agent Stupid Bitch?"
"She didn't present ID. Wanted to raid my damn house to confiscate someone she thinks I have hiding here. Then she was going to ram her car into the front of my house." He pointed. "Her." She was there with an officer. He smiled at the officer. "Can you please arrest her for pretending to be an agent and trying to ram the front of my house, Officer? She never presented credentials even when I asked politely because she woke my ass up." He looked at Sitwell, who was shaking his head. "Know which agency she's from?"
"No, I don't." The lesser agent gasped, staring at him. He stared at her. "I would suggest if she's an agent she go talk to her supervisor before I find out however." She stomped off again. Xander grinned and waved. "Officer, I'll handle this." He held up his ID case.
"Thank you, sir. Did he have artillery?" He noticed Frodo. "I saw pictures of that dog, never mind." He walked off.
Xander reached down to pet Frodo. "You're a good boy and very scary sometimes when you need to be. She's not bad girl enough for me anyway." He let Sitwell in. "So you're back overtop of me? Or do I still have Crill?"
"You still have Agent Crill watching over your shoulder, Mr. Harris." He stared at him. "The director wanted to know how things got rescued from Arizona."
"The same fairies that were in the battles carrying reloads. Want some coffee?" He walked back into the kitchen.
"No thank you. I ate an hour ago." He stared at his back. "Why would they pack things for us?"
"Because I sent them to?" he guessed, shrugging some and waving his cup in the air. "I'm nice that way and a few people I knew were there." He took a sip.
"That was a classified base."
Xander snorted. "Agent Sitwell, it may have escaped your notice but half the stuff I know about SHIELD I know about due to comics in other realms. There's a whole series based on the SHIELD people plus a movie about the Avengers Initiative. That's how I had some warning to prepare for the battle, which I told your director about." He took another drink then put the cup down. "Just because the hormones cloud me in daily life doesn't mean danger doesn't hold it down very well," he said dryly. "Then I surge later on to relieve the post battle stress." Sitwell swallowed but nodded, making that note into his phone. "What else did your people want to know?"
"The mini tanks?"
"They're going to my bank to help Hovar guard the vaults."
"Ask Agent Hill. She met him." He grinned a tiny bit and drank some more coffee. "I promised the designers of the tanks that I wouldn't let the design get out so they didn't have to sue someone for copyright infringement."
"I can understand that. They're going to a bank?" Xander nodded. "Like investment bank?"
"That too. Ask Agent Hill, she's talked to them." He typed that in and shook his head a tiny bit. "Anything else this shiny, bright new morning?"
"The food Agent Crill said you had canned?"
"A good portion went to the people helping those who are displaced."
"That's very nice of you." He heard a beep. "You sent Agent Coulson things?"
"I sent him some cookies and I heard that Agent Romanoff sent him a copy of the self defense dances on dvd so he could see all the dances. He sounded interested and she's learning them."
"Like the one that you did in the gym?" Xander nodded, finishing that cup of coffee. "What does that lead to?"
"Self defense styles."
"Oh. I see. Probably very practical for you then." Xander nodded. "Cookies?"
"Nice people deserve cookies," he said dryly. "I liked Agent Coulson."
"A lot of us did, Mr. Harris. We all wish he had survived the attack on the heli carrier."
"That's funny, the healing potion I sent worked," he said dryly. He stared at him. Agent Sitwell was awfully pale for such a dark skinned guy. He smiled. "It would've held him long enough for an extensive surgery. Elixir of life's healing potion lasts for twelve hours for anything that's not healed immediately. That's why one of my uncles got me that vial for him."
Sitwell swallowed. "As far as I know, he did not survive, Mr. Harris."
Xander nodded. "That sucks. I wonder who he used the potion on then. I'll have to see." Sitwell nodded once and left. Xander snorted once he was gone. "Bull fucking shit, Sitwell, I can scry," he muttered, making a second cup of coffee for the stunned sniper. "Here, you barely got any sleep. I heard Samwise trying to bark you to sleep."
"He's a good dog and very cuddly. He wanted petted." He sipped the coffee then looked in the cup then at the young man. "Irish coffee?"
"Just flavored." He smiled. "They can do all sorts of flavors these days." He strolled off. "Let me get pretty for the day. You go rest."
"Coulson's alive?" he asked.
Xander looked at him and nodded. "Yup, he sure is."
Clint nodded once, looking pissed off. "He never told us."
"Uncle Phil, who is married to another me in another realm, said that happened there too. Thankfully he had a witch revive him." He went to shower and then get dressed.
Clint went up to his room with his coffee, calling Natasha. "He lied to us, Nat. Coulson's alive." She growled and hung up. He called back. "Bring him here? I have the feeling we can protect him better," he said quietly. He hung up and laid down with his coffee beside him. The puppy hopped up beside him again and laid against his stomach. He patted him gently. The puppy was a good dog. Very easy to care for too. No shedding.
They could figure out what to do about Coulson, the rest of SHIELD, and everything else later on, after he had another short nap. He knew he wasn't going to get any real sleep but he could use a rest. He was exhausted.
Chaos of War.