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Sometimes the idiot problem of the day is humans, not demons. Then you just...

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Congrats On The Family You Built.

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Congrats On The Family You Built.

The trio of guys came off the elevator at the tower but Bucky caught Suzette before she could pounce Xander. "He's got stitches, he can't be pounced yet."

"I'm really good at bandaging so I can help." She shifted over and Xander took her to cuddle. She smiled at her dad, waving. "Hi, Dad. Are you okay?"

"I'm good, Suzette." He took her to hug. "How was school?" She giggled and cuddled him all the way back to the table. Bucky sat Xander down and then sat next to him.

Stark looked at them. "If you eat like Steve does, I'll go put on more food."

"We had a snack on the way, Stark. We'd never show up starving without an invitation."

"Thanks." He looked at Xander. "Injured?"

"Some stitches that're healing."

"A higher power decided to shoot bowling balls at him," Bucky said. Stark stared at him. Steve nodded.

"She's my ex and she didn't know I was injured or it probably would've been something sharper."

"That's mean," Suzette said.

"Yeah but you'd have to meet Cordelia," Xander said. "Hopefully you won't have to since she's the messenger for the Powers That Be. Seeing her or Whistler is always a bad indication of something wrong."

She nodded at that wisdom. "What does Whistler look like?"

"He wears a really wrinkled suit and a fedora." He pointed at him. "I don't care what they want."

"They want you to quit."

"Over their dead bodies," Xander said in Latin. He grinned. "I'm not the nice one. I'll use one of the things owed to me."

Whistler stared at him. "You don't have any."

Xander laughed. "I inherited three from Anya, and I'm owed another six from poker debts. I just usually use them for weapons."

"Oh, dear," Whistler said. "Could you maybe at least go on long vacation? Take one of your girlfriends or whoever?"

"As long as they didn't want my blood to end parts of humanity they didn't like," Xander quipped. "Giles is able to get back to his own paperwork. Of course, if that changes, I'm his heir too. Though Ethan's trying to claim me as their psychically made kid."

"Yeah, we've seen that, Harris." He looked up then at him. "They're really not happy." Xander shrugged with a smile. "They're very not happy."

"I'm coming up there."

"Your afterlife isn't going to be with us."

"It might be with Alara," he said.

Whistler's eyes went wide. "When did you meet her?"

"When I was in Oxnard and fell into one of their doorways by accident."

"Oh, shit." He disappeared. He came back a minute later. "Okay, you're going on vacation while you heal. Giles is going to be fully healed. We're going to leave you alone and if you go with Alara, you're not allowed to be reborn. If you chose another one you can be reborn but the Powers are going to hate you then too."

Xander held up a finger and texted something to Andrew, who sighed as he appeared with the box off his dresser. Xander got up and hugged him then handed the box to Whistler so he could open it. Whistler stared then at him. "They might want to quit. Today."


"Yeah. The things you find when you fall into sacrificial chambers." He stared at him. "I'll be passing it on to either Kate or Dawn since it's supposed to be held by a female. The hyena's close enough because they purr at each other."

Whistler swallowed, closing the lid of the box gently. "Got it." He handed it back to Andrew, who grinned at him. "Want a new boyfriend?"

"I'd love a new boyfriend. They're so neat but I hate that so many of them want the price on my blood that they prompted Willow to put out there. Makes it really hard for me to date when I'm paranoid."

Whistler looked up then nodded. "We'll have that ended. Just...don't break that. Let the cute Key have it."

"Dawn wanted a normal life."

"Yeah, she can dust it weekly and pass it on if she has kids."

"They didn't get that good."

"Crap. Okay, well, she'll find a holder." He disappeared.

Xander handed Andrew the box. "What is that?" Stark demanded. He took the box to look at.

Natasha took it from him. "Since it's supposed to be in female hands. Not you, Suzette."

"It shouldn't hurt or activate her." He nodded so Natasha lifted the orb out to look at it. "That is a saved miniature clone of an ancient demon city," he said with a smile. "Held in trust by female guardians until the day they can take back over their real home. Which incidentally is in Beruit." He sat down. Natasha was staring at the tiny buildings and beings walking around. "For them, time's in a loop." She stared at him. "There was the human/demon war. They were trying to escape. They got a bunch of like minded pacifists and created the clone bubble."

She put it back into the box and carefully closed it again. "How many of those are there?" Steve asked.

"Two. That one and one that's supposed to be held by males."

Andrew smiled. "It was my present last year when Xander found them again in his storage area while looking for something else."

"I needed that bomb manual," he agreed.

Stark stared at him. "How do you do that?"

"I fell into a sacrificial chamber in Oxnard."

Steve nodded. "Are there other places like that chamber that might have things?"

"Yes. Andrew, how is our small team of a slayer that went into Anthropology doing with those?"

"She's having a ton of fun. She's working on the two in Canada to ancient pagan gods who are sleeping." Andrew took the box back. "It's on my dresser." He disappeared after patting Suzette on the head.

"Uncle Xander, can you teach me to find things like that?" Suzette asked.

"No," Steve said. His daughter pouted. "It's a lot of dirty, sweaty work. You have to dig a lot of holes. You have to study old languages no one else speaks."

"Oh, never mind. That's like history only worse."

"It is," Xander agreed. "You can ask the big slayers who have jobs what they do to figure out if you'd like to study something like that."

"I didn't think about that. I'm supposed to do a report on what my parents do for a living." She looked at her father. "She gave me a funny look and said to do more than bring in a poster."

"I do many things," he said. "We can help with that." She hugged his arm. He dished her up some more veggies. She dug in, eating happily.

"Dad, can I have a dragon?"

"Nope. They're mythical and dangerous if they're real." He shot Xander a glare when he opened his mouth.

"None on this realm," he told her with a grin. "There's some on a nearby realm but they're really grumpy and like to eat people."

"Shoot." She ate another bite. "The teacher got mad because we were pretending to be centaurs and stuff, Dad. She said it was silly and taking our minds from our studies."

"Don't give me that look, Steve," Xander said. "They live in a communal enclave in the not really well populated area between Russia and China. They're not really happy with normal humans but one slayer came from near there and they did teach her how to hunt. That would be Cassara."

"I can ask her about that."

"She can't give pictures in proof."

"That's okay. It's still neat." She dug back in, humming some.

Bucky looked at him. "How do you know that?"

"I has to go talk to Cassara about her newly activated gifts. They gave me the dirty looks and I told them why so they relaxed. We assured them the new Council had no problem with them living their lives unless they started to eat people or take down people without reason. Cassara's really happy guarding their enclave from everyone. Including the Chinese army recently. They were going to have a joint exercise so Cassara called up a huge, nasty looking demon that eats flowers to scare them."

Stark thumped his head on the table. He looked up at Xander. "Any other mythological creatures? Amazons?" Xander pointed at Suzette. "They are?"

"Yup. Some of the first amazons in history were slayers. They raised others to hunt among them. The Council wasn't as firmly in control back then so that's how a lot of the girls got trained. They got taken in by tribes and trained as hunters."

"Huh," Steve said. "That's not in the history book."

"That freaked out a few people. The full history book is about six thousand pages and it's not really happy. It includes some watchers that decided a village spotting a demon meant it had to go. The amazons. The downfall of a civilization no one has heard of." Steve stared at him. Xander nodded. "We showed that to our little one on the anthropology team and she went into glee. She's still trying to find proof they existed. Pre-Hittite and pre Egypt merging into one kingdom." Steve stared. "I can get you a copy of the full thing."

"It's a great weapon to hit someone with. I hit one of the research council with it twice," Bucky said. "He gave up on nagging me about not helping the girls hunt." He sipped his water. "They really don't want to make more of Xander but too late." Xander nodded. Suzette giggled. "By the time you're big enough to be a slayer, hopefully there'll be a lot more helpers." She smiled and got up to hug him then ran back to her seat to finish dinner.

"I'd like to see that history book," Natasha said.

"I'll get you a copy. I know the abridged version is in a special collection locally that got donated. It's only two thousand pages and we used that one to cut down for the given to parents copy."

Steve nodded. "Even that's kind of messy."

"We did the best we could," Xander said.

"Sure, we'd like to borrow that," Steve agreed. Xander nodded, making a note to Giles. Who said he'd send one the next day. Xander showed him and sipped his water.

Stark looked at them. "You two eat."

"I'm good," Xander said. "Thanks though."

"If you're chewing you can't say stuff that gives headaches," Stark said.

Xander smiled. "You'd be shocked."

"Do not remind me of the almost incident that nearly got that village invaded because you said the wrong thing during the peace negotiations," Bucky warned. "Thankfully you covered it well."

"It's not my fault he smelled like a goat! It stunk and I could barely eat."

Bucky stared at him. "I agreed with the sentiment but you're horrible when you have to talk to officials."

"Usually I tell them to f-off," he said dryly. "I don't deal with that and now that Giles is starting to get better, he can go back to doing it." He smiled. "Even if he tries to retire to the Carribean. He can do paperwork long distance. I can go visit when I get the urge to go look for buried treasure or something."

Bucky stared at him. "Shut up." Xander smiled. "I do not want to remember them either."

"I'm sensing a story," Natasha said.

"He broke up a ring of demons who were trying to kidnap young women to sell," Bucky said, looking at her, scowling some. "They were terrified of him so they broke up, he didn't have to do anything really weird. They offered to give back their present stock and then to tithe him so they'd be allowed to switch realms peacefully. I thought it was a good idea. Less problems you have to fight and they wanted to be peaceful. So they brought their 'treasures' as a tithe. It included ...." He looked at Suzette and went to Chinese instead. "It included the heart of a formerly powerful demon who had died of old age," he said.

"Was it one of the Higher ones?" Suzette asked in Chinese.

He had forgotten she knew more than English. "Shoot. What languages do you know?"

"Some of a few of them. Why?" She grinned. "Were there naughty things I shouldn't hear?"

"Yup," Xander said. She put her father's hands over her ears and squeezed her eyes shut. "There were also a few...appendages that the demons would probably miss if they were still alive. War trophies." Natasha gaped. "Not to mention three eggs that are really valuable. I could sell one and be set like a lotto winner. Any of them. Though I might just keep the phoenix one to see if it'll hatch. That was on top of the 'we killed the human slavers and took their stuff' cache and the stuff they'd been storing for generations. Because you don't use cash on off-realm markets. Especially not for big stuff. They'd been in the area since the twelve hundreds."

Natasha moaned. "Where is it?"

"Storage area." He grinned. "Which does have security."

Whistler showed up, shaking his head frantically. "You may not hatch that phoenix egg, Harris. It's dangerous and probably tainted. It'll go on a strike against humans. Even if it loves you. Please? Can you sell it to an off-realm group where it'd be in a great preserve? That way it was around its own kind?"

"Sure. What about the other two?"

"What other two?" he demanded. "We didn't know you had that one!"

Xander grinned because seeing higher powers panicking was a great thing to him. It may even be one of his favorite things in the universe next to chocolate and sex. "The slaver group that we ran into had it in their cache. They gave it to me in tithe so I'd let them leave the realm in single, living, body pieces."

Whistler stared at him. "What are the other two?"

"One's robin egg blue and it's got silver speckles." Whistler slumped. "The other's gold, no that's the phoenix egg. The other's white. Pure, glowing white."

"We'll find someone to bring them to somewhere safe if you'll take a lowball offer."

"Sure." He grinned. "I can use the room I've got them set up in for other stuff, like the enchanted rug I found. It won't come off the ceiling. I've got to figure out the commands."

Bucky looked at Steve. "Do you see now why I worry about him?"

"Yeah, I do."

"I got that in Sunnydale, guys. Anya found it and bought it." He shrugged. "It only really loves her. It was her favorite sex perch in the living room instead of the couch."

Whistler disappeared. A few minutes later Xander disappeared. He came back twenty minutes later looking happy. Bucky knocked him out before he could share a single thing. "I do not want to know," Bucky decided.

Natasha nodded. "I can't imagine sex on a flying carpet."

Stark looked at her. "Flimsy. Might fall on you. Might lose support."


"If he still has it, I'll talk him into letting you have it, Natasha. That way it has a new woman to adore," Bucky said. He picked Xander up and put him onto the couch then came back to the table.

Suzette grinned. "That means we can use Uncle Xander as a pillow during movie night."

"You can," he agreed. Darcy came off the elevator and stomped to her room. "Bad date?" he called after her.

"All men should be castrated so they think with the bigger head." Her room door slammed.

"I'm guessing it was," Clint said. Stark nodded. They finished dinner and got stuff for movie night. Suzette curled up against Xander's chest to use him as a pillow. Bucky helped arrange him for her. Clint looked at him.

"He does it for the bigger slayers too. Including during Game of Thrones." Steve gave him an odd look. "It was...interesting, but then there was a battle and blood and..." He waved his metal hand in the air. "I went to the armory for a bit. I came out to find he had kidnaped Sam."

Steve reached over to rub his normal shoulder. "It'll be okay. I have those too," he said quietly. Bucky nodded, relaxing again. "Why were they watching that?"

"Swords," Bucky quipped. Darcy came back out, still pouty, and headed for the kitchen. She came back to curl up in a chair but didn't have a good view thanks to Stark's head. "Darcy, there's a spot here that Suzette didn't take," he offered.

"I'll share my Uncle Xander pillow," Suzette offered, looking back at her. She smiled. "He won't mind. He lets the bigger slayers cuddle."

"I'm not a slayer and I don't cuddle without permission. Guys can get freaky about that, baby. I'm good, guys. Thanks." They nodded and got back into the movie. She ate ice cream and sulked about asshole men. Some day Suzette would find them too. Darcy just hoped it wasn't like the ones she kept finding.


Bucky woke up to the sound of Xander running to get sick. He followed him into the bathroom, yawning. "I didn't knock you out that hard."

"Necklaces. You took 'em," he said between heaves.

"Crap." He hadn't but he knew who had to have taken them. He went down to the labs, going in to grab them from Stark. "You took the wrong ones." He looked. "His shielding one isn't in here."


"It keeps the hellmouth taint inside." Stark found it on the scanner and handed it over. Bucky took them upstairs. Xander put them back on and the heaving stopped. "Was it the hellmouth or the witch? Because if it's her, I'm not going to be stopped this time like I was in Italy."

Xander snorted, looking up at him as he flushed the toilet and moved to rinse out his mouth. "No, it was magic of some sort. Sorry." He sprayed air freshener, making Bucky back out of the bathroom. "I'm okay."

"Didn't I say that after half that building collapsed on me in Italy?" he joked.

"I don't know, you spoke Italian for a week and I only speak Greek." He gave him a look. "Thank you," he said quietly, going back to the couch. "With my luck it's Willow trying to knock me up." He laid back down.

"That's a bad image and I'd deal with her for you, then we'd find it a sane parent so you didn't have to carry the kid in a backpack across Africa." Xander gave him a weak smile. "Try to rest." Xander nodded, flipping onto his side. Bucky handed him back the blanket that had fallen and went back to Steve's room. They had been talking and apparently he had fallen asleep in there. Steve looked at him. "He's okay. His shielding necklaces were taken off."

"You spoke Italian for a week thanks to a concussion?"

"Half a building fell on me. Yes I did. A lot of the local women he left me with while he finished hunting that demon down thought I was too cute to want to tie him down and do nasty things to him too. A lot of them had very dirty ideas of me chaining him on the bed and pouncing." He sat on the foot of the bed. Steve hauled him up next to him. "Steve," he said.

"Just nap. It's not the first time we shared a cot." Bucky grimaced but nodded that was true. "I'm not going to pounce or anything."

"Good. That might be weird."

"For both of us."

He looked toward Suzette's room, listening. "We didn't wake her up."

"Some days she never wakes for anything. Sometimes she's the lightest sleeper ever." Steve shrugged. "I'm not sure if that's her past, the slayer stuff, or what."

"I had some of that then I got used to a lot of noise. Then I never woke up." Steve grinned. Bucky shrugged back. He heard someone up and tipped his head that direction to listen. Xander was up getting some water from the fridge and sending a text message. He got up and went to the doorway. "Problems?"

"Not sure yet." He read the one that came in and nodded, putting his glass down. "Not for here. I need to go help."

"No," Bucky said, snatching the phone when Xander came closer to look at the messages. "I think that's a good, legal thing." Xander flipped back two messages. "Do we know him?"

"He's not an agent. Never has been." He stared at him. "Which means we're on the side of a small move making thing."

"I doubt they'll come after you." He looked at him. "Beyond that, you're not going to hide. You're going to draw them off instead." Xander nodded, taking his phone back. He sent out a mass text message to his lovers list. And Kate just in case. He got back a groan from her but oh well. He knew it was early. Bucky pointed at the couch when multiple 'stay there' messages came in, grinning at him. "They're not coming here."

"I'd still rather go somewhere to make sure she's safe."

"No. Lay down." He took the phone too. "I'll tell you if it's an emergency."

"Since when are you my boyfriend?" he asked, taking his phone back. "Or my keeper?"

"Since you're injured and you need sense." He took the phone back then dragged Xander in with him. "Lay down."

"Um, no," Xander said. "Not really a great idea." He went back to the couch.

Bucky grinned because he had kept the phone. He sent out a mass message to the same people and they all said that Xander was safe and he was safe so to stay out of the way and they'd fix the uppity idiot soon. Plus a lot of them had left stuff to the slayers for Xander to use. They all loved him with artillery. He looked out there. "Looks like their plan?"

"Maybe. If so that sucks since one of them protects three orphanages in some of the worst areas." He looked over at him. Bucky texted that and another one said he'd protect them. Bucky shook his head. Xander sighed in relief. "Thank you."

"Welcome. Sleep. Before you wake up the kid."

"She'll cuddle."

"Probably. Kids do that." He went back to Steve's bed, putting the phone down beside his side of the bed. "Maybe fixed. A couple of new idiots are trying to muscle in on things." Steve nodded. "Xander's going to protect his ex's, and contacts, but the fact that three protect orphanages in areas where there's civil wars is important."

"I'd guess it is. What happens if one of the girls is orphaned?"

"They have a whole wing of the house for the minis that need housing and about seven that are presently in state custody. They have standing offers or whatever to take them in if they need to. I'm guessing it's going through the courts." He relaxed back onto the pillows. "Faith used to be a street kid in Boston. All the kids coming in from anything like that work with her because they tend to be a bit more jumpy and wary."

"We were," Steve agreed. Bucky nodded. Steve sighed, curling up some. "Are you happy with that job?"

"I'm stopping the end of the world by making sure a bunch of teenage girls don't have to fight as hard."

"I get that. I'd do the same thing."

"You can jump in whenever you want. The girls could use more males in their lives. Maybe then they'd quit picking on Xander about getting injured and stuff."

"I've heard and answered as a male parent of a slayer," he said with a smirk. "The bulletin board got real quiet for a while but Buffy quit complaining about normal guys getting hurt."

"He heard. She apologized and then huffed. He said that's great and let her rant while he did other things. His phone was on speaker a bit away. I finally took it and walked off talking to her about her delusions. I couldn't take the nagging anymore." He smirked back. Steve grinned. "I've helped both Andrew and Xander get free of the nagging." Xander came in and got his phone, walking off texting someone. "What now?"

"Slight flash of a vision. Visily's involved in something that's going to be a problem. The Powers didn't hate that lab." He sent two other texts, putting the phone down then laying on the couch. He didn't get an answer before he fell asleep.

The guys shook their heads. They had no idea. They talked until Bucky fell asleep again. Steve grinned, falling asleep smiling at the peaceful look Bucky had on his face. He slept until Suzette pounced. He caught her in midair. Bucky had flinched and fallen off the bed. "Morning," Steve said, smiling at her. "Nice try. Don't do that to Bucky."

Bucky looked over the edge of the bed. "Some of us are a bit jumpy, Suzette. Especially after we had a few animals try to pounce us."

She pouted. "Were they mean?" He nodded. "That sucks. Did you beat their ass?"

"Language," Steve ordered. He rolled his eyes. "You're in a bad mood this morning."

She shrugged and he let her cuddle. Bucky stood up. She leaned over to grab his arm and tried to pull him back down. "Lay down. Uncle Xander's not up yet. My alarm's not going off yet. Lay down and cuddle me." Bucky sighed but did lay down and she did get cuddled. She fell back asleep.

Steve shrugged. He had no idea why she was so cranky except lack of sleep.

Bucky shrugged back. It was probably a girlish thing.


Xander looked at the kid that had just pounced him. He scowled. She smiled back. "It's not polite to pounce before coffee. Even Buffy learned that." She giggled and hugged him. He hugged her back. "Go do girl stuff for school." She ran off to do that. He yawned, sitting up. A cup of coffee appeared in front of him from Steve's hand. "Thank you." He sniffed then tilted his head back to look in it and sniffed again. "Who defiled coffee with knockout drops?" Bucky choked, coming to sniff his coffee. Xander sighed and laid back down. "Sure." He closed his eyes and went back to sleep.

Bucky tasted it and nodded. "Someone did." He went to find them. The guy in the kitchen screamed before trying to climb the wall to get away from him. He smirked coldly. "Good morning, Erik." The guy tried to get away from him. "Why did you try to drug Xander?"

"We want him safe!"

"And here isn't? I'll have to tell the others," he said dryly.

"No, it is, but he'll try to get away from you to help the one he's going to be missing." Bucky stared at him. "I'm just trying to protect Xander! And myself because the same Russian mob guys are coming for me and we think they're in bed with the demonic mafia." Bucky nodded. "They are?" That got another nod. "Shit."

"No swearing around the kid," Steve said, joining them. "Why are you defiling our kitchen?"

"I was making Xander breakfast for when he wakes up." He stared at him. "We'd miss Xander so we're going to protect him."

"Breaking in here isn't protecting him," Bucky said. Stark stormed off the elevator. "Just ask the landlord." He pointed.


Tony glared. "I know you."

"I'm here to protect Xander."

"I'm sure you are," he said dryly. "JARVIS, call Hill. I do not need an arms dealer in my kitchen."

"I already have, sir, and she said that's not a fashionable accessory she expected you to have around the tower."

Xander strolled out, staring at his soon to be ex-boyfriend. "Do you really think I need protection?" he asked quietly.

"Yes! They're going to be evil and try to take you out! One of them sniped my cousin."

"Your cousin was sniped because he's a moron. One who was trying to switch fields into the Yakuza's stuff in their territory." The guy flinched. Xander stared at him. "Just...don't. What started this off?"

"Mary Elice died last night with six of the racist bastards when a third party interrupted her going to suicide kill them."

Xander sighed. "The third party?"

"No idea. No one's sure but the Russian mob and the demonic mob are both upset."

"I can go talk to the local ones." The guy stared. Xander smirked. "One of them owes my ass *huge*. Is this the same thing that got a few agents?" Erik nodded. "Great. Let me go shower and change clothes." He stalked off. "No, Bucky. Stay."

"Like hell. I don't take orders unless your name's Captain." Steve patted him on the shoulder. He looked at Steve. "He's worse than you are."

"I figure he is. Have fun." Bucky grimaced but followed Xander. Who had escaped down the emergency stairs. Bucky grabbed his jacket and a few things to go with him. Steve looked at the guy, who looked smug. "If you had asked him, he would've handled it anyway."

"That ex will protect both of them from everything, including girls."

"I doubt that'll work," Stark said dryly. The guy sneered at him. Stark punched him and knocked him out. "Better." He walked over him. "JARVIS, are there any others?"

"Agent Hill and two agents are coming up the elevator, sir."

"Even better. She can take that waffle batter too."

"Make a new pot, Tony. Xander found knockout drops in his coffee." Stark sighed and poured it out, kicking the arms dealer on the floor for defiling coffee.

Agent Hill stepped off the elevator first. She stared at the arms dealer then waved. "Get him up and down to the SUV." She looked at Steve. "Two new punks are trying to take over the hard way and not succeeding very well today. I had no idea Harris had contacts like that."

"Erik said he was going to see an ex."

"I'm sure he was." She followed the agents. "Let Suzette skip today or send her to the SHIELD school, Steve. Larissa is changing over too. The teacher had an absolute fit on her last night on facebook."

"Me?" Suzette asked.

She smiled. "Larissa will see you soon."

"I was wondering why I got an email telling me to never come back to her class," she said, handing her father his phone. "So free day until lessons, Dad?" she asked with a grin.

"Apparently. We'll figure it out." He walked off calling the principal. "Tony, can you start some pancakes since it's a long morning in the making?"

"Yup," he agreed, pulling down stuff to do that. Suzette came in to watch and help.


Bucky blatantly walked into the building Xander had disappeared into, nodding at someone in his way. "Move."

"The boss wanted to talk to Xander alone."

"I don't care." The guy was still in his way so Bucky moved him then walked over his unconscious body. He walked into the room he could hear Xander complaining in and slammed the door. "Sorry, he's too valuable to risk."

"We heard you two were together," the guy behind the desk said.

"No. Just friends."

Xander looked at him. "I'm probably safe in here."

"Yay. It's this or I'm telling the slayers." The man behind the desk shuddered. "Exactly." He smirked at Xander. "What did we teach you about doing stupidly heroic things?"

"I needed spandex was the most common thing you've said about that." The man behind the desk laughed. "I'm safe, Bucky."

"Shut up, Xander."

Xander huffed. "It's okay. Really."

"So?" He smiled like Steve did at politicians. Xander groaned, he knew that look. He looked at the guy behind the desk again. "So what's going on?"

"A few rogue punks. Others have decided they're going to get some other things out of the way at the same time." He shrugged then smiled. "He is safe here."

"He was supposedly safe in Avengers Tower but Erik broke in to dose his coffee with sleeping drops."

"I do not like Erik DeFranc. Do not mention him to me."

"Agent Hill has him."

"Then I'm sure she'll be very pleased."

"Who started all this off?" Xander asked. "Really."

"Rosenburg from what I heard. She made a wish that you'd only have good lovers." Xander growled. He shrugged again. "You're still safe here."

Xander stared at him. "I doubt she'd consider you good."

"I do have protections and I did commission an even better set than you sell." Xander smiled. "What is she going to do?"

"Probably have something huge that owes her a poker debt show up. Or one of Buffy's few poker debts. You know how Willow is."

"That's a good point. It'd have to appear outside too. If so, I'll let you have the pretty sword I got you for your birthday." He got up to open that box from his closet and pulled it out. Xander squealed and hugged him, petting his new baby. "I got you another two swords too. I know you like them." Xander kissed him, making him moan. Bucky huffed but turned around. "Your friend is uptight."

"Sometimes." He shrugged and kissed him again. "I hate missing my ex's," he said quietly.

"Most of them are safely hiding. Erik chose to make his own bed so he'd be safely in SHIELD's company since the agents that got taken down were looking at him. Including two you worked with." Xander groaned. "They're still living but are injured. Their people have them safe." He took another kiss. "Let us have breakfast. It's always a good way to start a day," he said in Russian.

Bucky looked back at him. "The best breakfasts are always the blood of your enemies," he said in Russian, smirking evilly. The man gaped then burst out laughing. Bucky turned back around. "Xander is never to be harmed because the slayers will not have anyone to look up to without him. There's many that would start a war to avenge him."

"True," he agreed in Russian, smiling at him. "You are him."

"Depends on which him you're talking about," he said in English.

"The Soldier that was fighting with the good Captain in DC." Bucky nodded. "Excellent. Are you two...." He waved a hand. Both of them shook their heads. "Pity. Xander is an exciting lover."

"I've had it suggested a number of times. Including by little old Italian women with bondage fetishes." The man burst out laughing as he led them to the dining room. When the demons showed up, Xander got up and went outside with his pretty new sword. Bucky got one of the others and followed to go kill a good number of demons.

It was going to be one of those days apparently. Then they'd finish breakfast and let Xander check on his various former lovers and contacts. Bucky had no idea Xander had so many contacts.


Steve met with the principal of the school the SHIELD agents sent their kids to. "Thank you for seeing me on short notice."

"Captain, I dare say that your daughter needs us more than most of the children here." He smiled. "Maria Hill shared with me and I heard about her from Larissa. I've also been thoroughly threatened by Mr. Wells and given the standards for their chosen school for high school." He waved a hand and sat in his own chair. "How is she doing in her classes?"

"Mostly okay though she does hate history and math."

"Many children do." He smiled. "We're mostly project based but we do conform with most of the current standards set. We don't do all the testing her old school did." Steve nodded. "We also have two PE's, and a better lunch program."

"She likes to pick out her own lunch. She eats pretty much on the slayer diet."

"I've been given that as well by Mr. Wells."

"Andrew?" The principal nodded. "We never hear him called anything but Andrew."

"He's a wonderful house mother for the girls." Someone tapped and Coulson walked in, handing over two files. "Ah, my future minions were born."

Coulson smiled. "The mess that got started by the Powers That Be to rob Xander of some of his contacts and go-to people for weapons has been stopped. The two idiots they picked to do it gave up earlier when they were shot by the demonic mafia. The ones we have in custody all winced at what they did afterward and Rosenburg is very sorry she sicced them on the group. I can't find him."

"He went to see someone who was Russian mob this morning."

"Oh, him. That's fine. We can set up a watch near there."

"Bucky followed him."

"Even better. I like my nephew but he has little sense and even Kate Bishop thought he should have a uniform soon." He handed over something. "The bank that she has her account in is shut down today due to Treasury exams." He left.

"He seems to appear to handle things at times," Steve said, looking out there then at the principal.

"He's still trying to get back to his old ways from what we know." He shrugged. "We all like Agent Coulson and feel really sorry he nearly died." He stood up. "Come see our school, Captain. It'll make it harder on him to find you." Steve laughed, shaking his head but they went to take the tour. They found Larissa's group in the gym. She squealed and ran over to climb Steve to get a hug.

"Hey, Larissa." He hugged her. "Are you okay?"

"I'm really good and the last teacher's mean poop moment meant Andrew got to complain about her. Hopefully they fired her and got the kids a teacher like Mrs. Toliver." She cuddled him, grinning at the principal. "We like Mr. Steve."

"We like you too. You should get back to the class though," Steve said. "We're taking the tour so I can make sure Suzette will like it here." She giggled and hopped off him, running back to her group. Steve waved at the agent doing the PE stuff.

"It's good she can climb already," the teacher said, smiling at her.

"Suzette taught me. She climbs Thor sometimes."

"Yes she does and she's not really supposed to," Steve admitted. He grinned at her. "Sometimes it's okay though." She wiggled and hugged the pouty boy next to her, who fussed and pushed at her.

"Happy makes you feel better," she said, nuzzling him. "There, kitty nuzzles too." He pouted at her. She smiled. "We like happy."

"You're a weird girl."

"Everyone's weird. That's why we're not clones," she quipped with a smile.

"Very true but let him go please. There's no cuddling that tightly in this school unless someone's crying," the teacher said patiently. She huffed but let him go.

"She ties really great knots too," Steve warned as they moved on with the tour. He smiled. "She and Suzette tied Andrew up for six days. Clint for four of them and Bruce for the last two. Clint said whoever teaches the slayers knots does a really good job. They're better than Natasha's. Then the girls decided to make them happy to cure Andrew's evil mood and Clint's graze. Including a lot of anime and My Little Pony." The principal stopped to laugh, leaning against a wall shaking his head. "The girls are sometimes real unique about things. It worked, and the guys didn't even complain so they wouldn't make them pout. I couldn't even get her to see reason or logic. I couldn't figure out if I was proud or just confused of my little hellion."

The principal smiled at him. "We'll adore having Suzette here, Captain. We really will." He walked him off to fill out the paperwork for him and the city school board. The two little slayers would definitely be hell on some of his students but they'd be encouraging for others. Plus adorable.


Steve got back and found two agents standing watch outside the tower. "Guys," he said with a nod. "Huge problems?"

"No, Captain. The Vice President is in to talk to Mr. Stark," one reported. He touched his earbud. "Sir, Captain Rogers is back." He nodded. "Go ahead up, sir. They're in the office level and won't bother you."

"Thank you." He went up there, coming off the elevator on the living level. Suzette looked over her book at him, looking hopeful. "You'll really like it there. Larissa seems to." She beamed and got up to dance around. "You have a slight uniform." He showed her the paper. "So we need to get you some different pants today."

"Sure," she chirped, smiling at him. "Can Uncle Bucky come? He needs some happy times and me being cute will make him less grumpy."

"Is he back? The last I knew he was following Xander around."

"I don't know. JARVIS, is Uncle Bucky back yet?"

"He and Xander are presently handling a second attempted takedown of the building they're in by demonic entities," the AI said. "Not as many this time but they're making quite a mess."

"Eww," Suzette said. "Does he need help? Daddy can go help him."

"I don't think they'll need it," the AI admitted. "There's only three left and Xander's just taken down one. Ah, there, Mr. Barnes got the other two. They're down so they can be beheaded. The NYPD carrion eater has also appeared. Charming."

"Cool!" She smiled. "Can they go shopping with us?" She took her father's phone to text Xander's phone. She pouted. "Uncle Xander said he does not shop. The big slayers made him horrified of malls."

"Bucky said they made him shop once too," Steve said. Darcy came off the elevator and smiled at them. "Hey, Darcy. She's starting a new school tomorrow."

"Uniforms? I know half the city's school kids wear them."

"Nothing too drastic. Mostly just specific colors and no logos or pictures on t-shirts."

"That's good." She hugged Suzette. "You'll do great there."

"Thank you, Darcy. We have to shop. Wanna come?" she asked.

"I can if your dad doesn't mind. Jane's taking a nap. Science overwhelmed her before lunch by making all her machines pop fuses."

"Sure," Steve agreed. "Let me go check out a car. Get your cards, Suzette." She ran to get them from his dresser. He handed her the uniform list before going down to get a car out of the garage. Tony let them borrow a few of them.

Darcy and Suzette came down together, Suzette getting into the back. She was just barely big enough to not need a booster seat. Steve drove them off to the nearest store that'd have what she needed. She bounded inside as soon as he opened the door and Darcy followed. Steve locked the car, paid the meter, and followed smiling at his girl's energy. They really had to find something to let her wear some of that out.


Suzette climbed into her father's bed once he had finally laid down. He blinked at her. She snuggled in next to him. "Someone online caught a picture of me."

"I figured someone would. Did they know who you were?" She shook her head. "Then why do you look worried?"

"They thought you were taking your new girlfriend and her daughter shopping for me."

"Ah." He nodded. "Darcy's sweet."

"Do you like her like that?"

"I might. I haven't really considered it. Right now we're more friendly."

"Oh. Do you think you and she might date?" She picked up his hand to play with his fingers. "I really like Darcy, Dad." She glanced up at him then went back to playing with his fingers. "I don't want her to get upset."

"I think we'll stay friends no matter what and I doubt she'd be mean to you even if we tried to date and couldn't make it work."

"Oh. You're sure?"

"I'm pretty sure." He stopped her from moving. "It's something Darcy and I have to talk about, not you." She huffed. "You can show her the picture tomorrow before school." She nodded, snuggling into his shoulder. She yawned and drifted off. He laid there and thought about Darcy. He thought she was swell, but swell enough to date? He wasn't sure. Though he thought Bucky had flirted with her earlier. He'd have to talk to her. Maybe she thought of him like a silly brother sort. Jane did. Bucky and Xander came in, Xander wearing a suit. "You shopped?" he called quietly.

Bucky came to the doorway. "The lawyer made him put on a suit because he had to meet with the head of the law firm. Who Xander stabbed in the heart for being behind the invasion in LA." He tipped his head, smiling at the cuteness. "Want help?"

"Nah. She's good for now. Someone online caught a picture of her when we were shopping for new school clothes earlier. We went with Darcy and they guessed she was hers."

"She could do a lot worse than Darcy," Bucky said. He nodded and Steve nodded. He took Suzette's bed and Xander changed into sweats and climbed back onto the couch. Steve barely noticed it when she got up and went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and decided to nap on Xander instead since her bed was full of a guy who was way too big for her full size bed full of stuffed friends and ponies. Xander hugged her to his chest and she snuggled in. He was nicely warm and cuddly. Almost as good as he dad was.


Suzette climbed up onto the counter the next morning next to where Darcy was fixing coffee. Darcy gave her a look. "We have to have a grown up talk," she said, staring back.

"Okay, about what?" She quit trying to force the coffee maker's basket back into place. "Girl questions? I can do that."

"Yesterday someone caught a picture of us." She had stolen her father's phone and hit 'ignore' for the call coming in. She found it and showed her. "What are your intentions toward my daddy?"

Darcy looked at the picture and moaned. "That's going to be really bad when the press get hold of the real truth." She looked at the staring kid. "Your dad and I are friends, Suzette. You don't have to worry."

"I wouldn't care if you did the stuff the big slayers use code words around us about. As long as he's happy and you don't turn mean if you two break up."

She hugged her. "I'd never be mean to you unless I'm having a really grumpy day then you can call me on it and I'll apologize." She looked at her. "Your dad and I are still just friends."

Suzette gave her a version of her father's dumbass look. "You're pretty, you think Dad's pretty, go have grown up people things that no one talks about around me." She hopped down. "You should try to put the coffee basket in the right way."

Darcy looked at the basket and put it in then looked at her. "I'll talk to your dad about it, see if he wants to go to the movies with me." Suzette hugged her around the waist and ran off. "Go brush your hair and then well get breakfast."

"Okay. Thanks, Darcy."

Darcy smiled, watching the hyper little one get happy. The phone rang again. She picked it up to answer it. "Steve's phone he left on the counter. It'll be about ten minutes so please call back if possible. If this is an emergency, scream and I'll hand you to the next Avenger through the doorway." They choked and hung up. She put the phone down, noticing who had called. Bucky stormed in looking pissed off. "Not have a good night?" He grunted something in Russian. She got out of the way of the coffee pot. He grunted thanks in Italian and poured out the biggest cup he could to drink.

He poured a second so she changed the filter basket to the second one and took the last of the pot so the new pot could brew. He got more and walked off sipping it instead of gulping it. Darcy smiled. Water went on for Bruce when he appeared. Pepper liked tea, so did Natasha. Natasha was probably already up and stalking someone somewhere. Tony stumbled out, glaring at her. She pointed at the coffee maker. He poured a cup and gulped, then the rest of the pot. At least he made another pot before walking off.

Clint walked in next, nodding at her in a sleepy way. He took the coffee pot to drink out of on his to a shower. "Morning, Darcy."

Darcy made both baskets up for the coffee maker and put the spare pot they had bought into place so another pot could be started. Stark hated to hunt down the coffee pot in Clint's room to get more so he had bought two backup pots while yelling at him about his lack of manners for drinking straight out of the pot. By then, Bruce's tea water was done. He and Pepper got some and he started toast. Pepper stole some of Thor's poptarts. "Pepper, when you wake up, tell me?" she said. Pepper looked at her, part of a poptart in her mouth. She showed her the picture Suzette had showed her. "She asked my intentions and I assured her I'd still like her, no matter what."

Pepper winced as she finished her easy breakfast. "I'll get with Steve later to see what he wants to do about it." The phone in her hand rang so she answered it. "Steve's still in bed, Fury. Suzette stole his phone." She listened, stirring her tea gently with the spoon. "I'll go wake him up. Yes, she showed Darcy. I have no idea but I know he's got to get up soon to get her to school."

She hung up and got up, going toward Steve's suite. She knocked on the door, getting Bucky. He was shirtless, in jeans, wearing a gun holster on his hip, had wet hair and socks on. She swallowed and made herself quit staring at his abs and chest. He was giving her this irritating little smirk she liked to swat off Tony's face. She handed over the phone. "Fury called. He wants to know what Steve's going to do about the picture of them shopping yesterday for Suzette, and she's got to be at school in thirty minutes in Queens."

"I can bring her," he said. "Thanks, Miss Potts." He closed the door gently, looking in on Steve. He was still asleep. It was nearly a miracle with how loudly Suzette was singing. So was Xander, but he was snoring so he was coming down with a cold again. He got a t-shirt, his jacket, and boots. He leaned into the kid's bedroom. "We've got to hustle, kiddo."

She grinned. "I have no idea where I meet the bus."

"I don't think you do meet the bus. Where's your dad's car keys?"

"Daddy only borrows cars and he has the bike." She pointed at that set of keys. "He said some day he'll teach me to ride it too."

"Sure. We can do that. Grab everything." She finished packing her backpack. He took it from her to repack so it wasn't a lumpy mess. "Gotta teach you and Xander both that." He grabbed Steve's helmet, his keys, and the kid, taking her down to the garage. He knew where the school was. They would be going against the flow of traffic so they'd barely make it if he sped up a bit. He let her climb in front of him, definitely safer for her so she didn't have to try to hang on, and put on the helmet. With it on, no one had to know he wasn't Steve. He started the bike and walked it out of the parking spot, then took off. She squealed and hung on, making him grin. He even sped up a bit to get around some traffic.

He was careful with her, Steve would kill him if he wasn't, but she was having a lot of fun. She pointed at her school so he pulled up to the door and let her down, accepting his hug. "Be good today. Learn stuff and let the teachers get used to you." She nodded and ran inside. A bell rang as he sped off. It was a pretty morning for a ride and there was a Starbucks somewhere between this school and the tower. He got back with his large coffee, parking the bike and getting off. He went back up to Steve's room, finding him awake and just out of the shower. He hung up the keys and the helmet. Steve stared at him. "She loves your bike."

"She's a miniature thrill junkie," Steve agreed. He walked off shaking his head. "Thank you for taking her."

"Welcome." He checked Xander, then waved the coffee next to his head but just out of reach. Xander mumbled something that sounded like 'fuck off' in a demon language. "Get up or I'm drinking this coffee myself." Xander mumbled it again and flipped to face the back of the couch. "Not anatomically possible, Xander. C'mon, we'll get you some cold meds."

Xander blinked at him. "Shut up." Bucky smirked at him, sipping the coffee. "Eww, food." He put his head back down.

"When did you have the vision and did you write it down or something?" Xander pointed at the paper on the coffee table. Bucky tipped his head to read it and nodded, sending that to Buffy via email. "It's nice her taste in men is still compromised. At least he's better than Spike; he's living."

"Spike loved her enough to have a soul implanted," Xander said into the couch. "It's nearly as romance novel as you two." He sat up with a moan and took the rest of the coffee on his way to the bathroom. It made him sick but oh well. One sure way to wake up.

Steve came out, looking toward the bathroom then at Bucky. "He okay?"

"Post vision headache."

"Oh. Okay. Vision?" Bucky let him have it to read. "Eww. She dated who?"

"She dated Spike at one point in time. Xander said he was better than this one because he loved her enough to have a soul stuck back into him."

Steve shuddered, heading out to the main kitchen. Darcy looked at him, giving him a slightly scared look. "She told you?"

"She asked me my intentions."

"She's definitely opinionated," he quipped.

"I said we'd talk and maybe see about a date to the movies sometime if we both wanted to," she babbled. "I didn't promise or make it mandatory or anything just said we'd talk like grown ups."

He grinned. "There's that new period piece starting next weekend." She grinned and nodded. "Anything else happen?"

"You heard Fury called?"

"Nope. Bucky?" he called.

"Sorry, forgot and you were still asleep then." He and Xander came out, Xander going green at the smells from the kitchen before hiding in a bathroom again. "Morning sickness," he said with an evil grin for Darcy.

"It doesn't surprise me any with some of the things Rosenburg has done by reports," she quipped back.

"Post vision headache," Steve corrected, sighing and shaking his head but grinning at Bucky.

Xander leaned in. "I'm going to collapse on the porch."

"Sure," Bucky agreed. "Don't get stepped or jumped on by Sam, who's coming up later, or by Barton or Natasha if they're on the roof."

"I'll curl up in a corner," he said, going out there. He barely woke up when Sam landed on the porch. He only really noticed Sam because he pried his good eye open. "Vision," he mumbled.

"Sure. You nap, Xander." He walked inside, taking off his wing pack. "The kid okay?"

"He should be fine," Bucky said. "Just one of those that's making him nauseous." He heard Barton outside and texted him to leave Xander alone, he'd bite and throw someone off the porch with the headache he had. Clint walked in shaking his head. "He bite?" he asked, sipping his coffee.

"Yup. At Nat. She's not pleased. I showed her the text message and she's still not happy." He stared at him. "Hill wanted to see if you'd allow yourself to be tested by sparring."

"Count me out," Sam said dryly. "I'm a smart man who knows my limits." He smiled at Natasha. "He gets growly when he's had a vision. It's like a migraine."

"He nearly bit me."

"That's the hyena. She'll go back in when he's more awake," Bucky sighed. "Or I'll do the proper exorcism to lock her back in his head again." He finished his coffee, looking at Steve. Who shrugged. "Sure, I guess. I can handle sparring with the slayers and pulling my punches. I guess I can do it against you, Barton. You can't be any worse than a few of them are."

"I'll go clean the gym," Natasha said. She set up the recording equipment as well.

"Does Xander spar?" Steve asked.

Bucky considered it then shook his head. "No. The last time something showed up and he had to go totally evil to solve it. He spars against the girls now and then but not outside that. I asked him once after that if he wanted to try again. He said he gets plenty of sparring practice during battles."

"I guess I can understand that," Sam agreed. "Not sure how that happened though." He shrugged. "I'll ask him later." He looked at Bucky. "Go spar. I'll be here." Bucky nodded, going down there with Clint. He looked at Steve. "You good? I saw that picture."

"That's Darcy."

"I didn't figure it wasn't someone in the group, Steve. If you were seriously dating I probably would've heard that from you." He grinned. "How did the sprout take it?"

"She asked Darcy her intentions and she was a bit worried that Darcy might not like her as much. I said we'd talk and Darcy promised we'd talk like grown ups."

"That's a good way to handle it. Little sprout'll be fine."

"Bucky used my motorcycle to take her to school today."

Sam grinned. "She's a little hellion and some day she'll try to claim it on you."

"Maybe," he agreed. "I'm still working on her riding a regular bike though." He made more coffee and drank some, letting Sam get some water. Stark stomped in. "Bad day?"

Stark stared at him. "Harris nearly bit Romanoff?"

"He had a vision last night. He's got a headache," Sam said.

"Isn't there drugs for that?" Stark demanded.

"No," Sam said. "Nothing works. We're all pretty worried about that since his ex died of her visions." He sipped his water. Stark quit moving, staring at him. He nodded. "Chase's brain got ripped by hers. Not sure how that happened but it did. He handles it better or just doesn't admit it hurts that much. His post-vision pack for the bad ones has stuff from some of the shaman he met in Africa and a few other choice things to stop the pain."

Stark shook his head. "Can't he turn them off?"

"Nope," Sam said. "Doesn't work that way and no other seers presently with the Council."

"Fuck," Tony said. "Fine. He can be growly. At least he's outside."

"He threw up a few times earlier," Steve said. "Don't those drugs for migraines work?"

"No. He's tried them all," Sam said. "Including some experimental stuff out of Europe. Not a bit of help and one actually set off a run of less important visions when he was touching stuff."

Steve shook his head. "That really does suck for him." Sam nodded. He sipped his coffee, letting Tony have the coffee pot. "What happens if he has one out on his own."

"That's called normal Xander mode," Sam said. "Everyone decided him training Bucky was a sign he'd be retiring from field work. Hasn't happened yet and a few are pouting that Xander's still in the field. Mostly from the girls who think he's really normal and gets hurt easily. Xander's had plenty of visions without anyone there to help. He manages it and moves on to handle stuff. I know he's seen a battle, went to help handle it while under the migraine, and then went to hide in a hotel for a few days to heal without letting anyone know he was injured."

"Sam!" Xander complained. "I'm not that good or that heroic. Quit before someone else suggests I need spandex." He looked around then at Steve, eye squinting some. "Bucky's having problems." Steve jogged off, taking the stairs because it'd be faster. Sam followed. Xander went back out to the lounger in the corner of the porch. He got another flash of Bucky losing it and went down to help. You could see he was lost in the memories again. Xander pointed Sam to head one way. Steve was down and trying to get up but Bucky wasn't letting him. Xander boldly stepped into view. "Try me." Bucky stared at him. "C'mon. You want to beat someone, beat me."

"You're not him."

"No, I'm not." Bucky lunged. Xander fought back. Sam couldn't get a good grip on Bucky to stop them. Xander wasn't anywhere near his best but he could still handle emergencies. Until he had another vision and fell to his knees holding his head. Bucky stopped then groaned and knelt him to help him. "Battle. Huge gateway," he said, gulping air. "Uptown. Times Square I think. All the billboards at that triangle street." Bucky was rubbing his back. "Huge problems but only three. Immortal. Need to be blown to bits and kept apart like the Judge was." He blinked, letting it clear up. "Fuck." He patted his necklaces, finding one and handing it over. "The mythical closet. Use it well. Sam, help him."

"After we get you laying down," Sam said quietly, helping him up. Then Bucky. "You better?"

"I'm sorry. I got lost," he said, looking at Steve. "I flashed back to our battle. Is Barton all right?"

"Not that injured, just bent some," Clint said from where he was out of the way. Steve walked over to help him up. "Thanks. The infirmary's up the hall, Wilson."

"Xander doesn't do doctors," Bucky and Sam said. They got him back onto the porch with stuff for the bloody nose and a bucket in case he got sick again.

Bucky checked his eye. "Got any vision?" he asked quietly. Xander shook his head. "Lights?" That got a nod and Xander changed the tissues to block up the bleeding. "Want an ER?"

"Not like they can do anything," he mumbled. "It'll come back in a few hours."

"Okay. Stay here. Do not move. I'll be back in a while." He stood up and walked off, getting his new battle uniform out to put on. Steve was putting on his. "Not sure how much you can help, Steve. If we've got to blow them apart, it'll mean firing artillery until we can manage it."

"I can help fire off stuff at the least." He followed him out and downstairs to get a car out of the garage. Once there, they found Coulson waiting with agents. "It's a blow apart like the judge was," Steve said as he walked around him.

"We can help with that. Barnes?"

He opened the mythical weapons closet in the back of the SUV. The tiny door appeared as soon as the key was placed in the air in the right direction. He started to pull stuff out. "Someone tell 'Drew I'm in these." Steve did that. Stark was showing up with equipment to test for the gateway. The weapons were piled in the SUV for now. He looked over at the subtle pressure against his arm. "You shouldn't be here, Kate."

"Shut up." She smirked. "I can help."

"It's a blow apart."

"I have explosive arrows too."

"Might help," he admitted. "If not, we may need to hack them apart."

"I'm great with a sword. Xander made sure. How is he?"


"I figured."

"His eye looks like a mess," he said quietly. "Again." She nodded. "If he shows up for some reason, you handle him."

"Agreed." They got the rest of the weapons they hopefully wouldn't need out and waiting.

Stark landed and pointed. "It's there," he said with a point.

Steve looked up and around. "This is where I ran when I woke up in SHIELD's custody." He shook his head. "I guess it's fitting." He looked at Coulson. "We might want to evacuate them."

"As soon as the gateway is confirmed, we're doing that, Captain. We have teams at the ready to evacuate the people and turn off all the electronics." Steve nodded. "What happened to Xander?"

"He had a vision," Steve said. "Fell to his knees, eye's bloody, nose bleed." Coulson grimaced. "There's really nothing to help?"

"I haven't looked into it. I'll see what he's tried later. When we get a debrief about the vision for the report." Steve nodded. Stark yelled 'portal' so he called in the evacuation order. The demons stepped out once it was large enough. Coulson stared at them. Power started to go off in a wave as buildings were evacuated. "You do not belong in this place. Leave before you cause an incident to happen."

One of them stared at him. "You are nothing, mortal." He looked at everyone, focusing on Kate and Bucky, who had the weapons. "We wish to swear allegiance to the one who stole the High One's rank."

"Xander took out the demon who was part of the invasion in LA," Bucky said. "He works with slayers."

One of the other two sneered. "We can cure him of that affliction."

"Bet me," Kate said dryly. "Not likely." The demons growled and started to grow larger. They fired on them. Andrew showed up with a wooden box, making her hug him. "Thanks, 'Drew."

"Welcome. We knew we saved them for a reason." He let the agents take control of the bombs to use against the demons. Two got blown apart. The other was injured and they were running out of artillery. Bucky grabbed his sword. Kate got hers. Steve bummed one. Then they lunged in to fight the last one and chop it into pieces. It was messy but had to be done. He kept trying to regrow the stuff they were cutting apart. Bucky got his head off. Kate hacked off the last limb from behind, and Steve got his torso with a few chops. Andrew cheerleaded and sent over a fire potion. That lit them up nicely and the NYPD carrion dog just huffed but he had a few parts for himself. His handler clipped on his leash and walked him off with a finger he was chewing on, making him a happy dog. Andrew cooed and petted him, getting a bark back. "You're such a good dog." It barked again, picked up his finger, and trotted off with his human.

Bucky stared at the dog then shook his head. "That's gross," he muttered.

Kate nodded. "Yup, but helpful I guess. It can search out dead bodies better than a regular dog."

"Yes, it can," one of the officers agreed. "People..." He looked around then at them. "You're Council?" Bucky smirked and nodded. "Why all the weapons?"

"Xander trained him," Kate said with a smile. "And me. I back up the local slayer team."

"Oh, okay. That makes more sense. Thank you for your help and the warning, people." He walked off to make that report. Bucky strolled off. Kate watched him walk, head tipped. "Wow." Bucky stopped to stare at her. "Sorry, watching you stalk off in that 'going to find some prey I like' way," she quipped then ran off.

Bucky shook his head, looking at Steve. "You do," he agreed. He smiled, punching him on the metal arm. "You good?"

"Like usual. Coulson," he said with a nod before walking around him. Andrew had put most everything back and handed him the key. "Thanks, 'Drew."

"Welcome. Have Xander call when he can do paperwork."

"It'll be a few hours. It popped a blood vessel in his eye again."

"Figures." He disappeared.

Bucky got in to drive. Steve climbed in with him and they left before Coulson could start to demand they do paperwork.

Coulson watched them go then shrugged. "I'll have them do reports later. Make sure it's all cleaned up, check the buildings in case anything else came through, then let people back once the power is on," he ordered. "Post incident clean up as normal." The agents waiting nodded and went to do that. He shook hands with the incident captain for the NYPD. "I'm glad it was an easier one."

"Me as well. Harris?"

"Had a vision so he's resting."

"Even better. The guy gets freaky when he's in pain." He walked off. "Help them clear buildings, like normal." They ran off to clear the ones the agents hadn't gotten to yet.

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