Notes:  Thanks to the many Imaginings list members who gave me the idea for this story.

A Troubled Universe.
(A Redemption Children AU)

D'Hoffryn, head of the wish demons and the one who sent Redemption Children out on assignment looked around.  "We have a crisis universe next door to us," he announced.

"We have a few," Xander quipped from his seat.  "Which one are we handling of all the shitpiles going on?"

D'Hoffryn glared at him.  "They are not."  Xander pulled up views and he winced.  "Some are," he admitted.  "The one very next door to us."

Xander looked around then at the screen.  "There's no way."

"I've already sent a few of you.  I'm having troubles with the transitions for the rest of you, mostly due to Samuel."  He put up his plans for who was going to go.

"We can leave Sam here," Xander said.  He sat up and looked.  "Okay, you've already gotten them screwed."  D'Hoffryn growled.  "Seeing as I used to watch that comic and read those comics," he said firmly.  "You sent the wrong ones.  You sent non-tech liking people to be Iron Man's son.  Hello, he is a mega tech person."  D'Hoffryn slumped.  "Also, you only sent three for a multi-one situation.  This is worse than Hogwarts was.  We're going to need to call everyone in, except maybe Sam since he's damn immortal."  He looked up.  "SAM!"  He appeared.  He pointed.  "He sent the wrong three to handle things."

"I'm in the middle of an alien crisis," he complained.

"Shit," Xander muttered.  "You know what, ask your assistant.  He'd make a great one and I have just the spot for him."  Sam breathed a sigh of relief.  "I know you don't want to lose him."  Sam nodded and fled to handle that situation.  Xander gave D'Hoffryn a pointed look.  Then a point and a growl.

"Even if I don't see why," he muttered.

"Because you have ten redemption children and you need fourteen," Xander quipped back.   He and John laid out how they had to do this, and do it quickly before D'Hoffryn got back.  Xander called in the ones that were nearly done with their current lives as well as the ones that had already been sent to that situation.  Greg and Spenser showed up.  "Huge ass problem and it's in a comic world, guys."

"Better than Hogwarts," Spenser said dryly.  "I would've had to disprove magic too often."

"I tried very hard," Rodney said from his seat.  "Doctor Rodney McKay, recent nominee."

"Spenser Reid this last life.  This is Greg Sanders."  Greg smiled and waved.  "How bad?"

Xander expanded the scene.  The new one showed up.  "I have the perfect spot for you.  You're going to be the herald so you don't have to learn how to be subtle this life."

"I'm usually quite subtle," he chided gently with a nice, delicate Welsh accent.

Xander smirked.  "Welcome to being a redemption child.  That sort of subtle won't work."  Ianto Jones glared at him.  Xander grinned.  "But we do more important things or else multiple universes collapse."

"Jack said it was important."

"Sam?  Yeah."


"Jack Harkness is the newest incarnation of one of us."  Ianto glared.  Xander grinned.  "Technically, he was Sam Winchester his first life and he's been a few others since then.  He's presently stuck as Jack Harkness but he and you can meet up next life so it'll be okay.  By the way, he really did love you."  He stared at him.  "Sam was my dad in one life.  He did love you."  He pulled him over.  "Read comics?"

"A few now and then."

"Cool.  We're going to the Avengers."  Ianto moaned.  "Not quite the standard comic lineage.  This one looks like an updated storyline from the one I'm used to."

"There were those movies," Ianto offered.  "I remember him from it."  He pointed at a name.  "Am I going there?"

"Yup."  He grinned.  "Because things are going to need to be quiet and calm at first.  Then all hell will break loose like usual.  That's why you don't have to do subtle."  D'Hoffryn showed up.  "Okay, send us in these spots."  The head demon glared.  Xander stared back.  "Do you really want to lose that world?  Their support system is screwed.  Their lives are screwed.  They're all in hell.  They're going to fall into hell."

"Fine," he decided.  He did it without looking.  Then he realized he had sent Jonathan Sheppard to a godhood and Xander to a different one.  The new one was the harbinger and that was an odd place for the newbie but Xander knew what he was doing even beyond D'Hoffryn sometimes.  This time, he wasn't so sure.


Agent Phil Coulson answered his cellphone.  "Authenticate recipient," a male voice said.

"Dad, must you?" he asked.  "I'm a bit busy right now.  I have to deal with Iron Man in a few minutes."

"Yes, you must," he said.   "Do you know how many species of shape changers there are?"  Phil recited his authentication code to prove it was him.  "How are you, son?"

"Not bad.  I have superheros who are moping, a few who have realized that they're mortal after all.  We just buried a good tenth of the agents I work with due to mental reconditioning of one of them.  I had to be revived after a bit in stasis.  Humanity wants to kill us all for daring to save them.  How about yourself?" he asked in the same pleasant tone of voice.

"Don't get snippy with me, Junior.  There's a reason I called."

"Is the world going to end?  Because the offer you gave me the last time we nearly lost may apply.  I'd have to do a few forms and get permission but I'm sure the Director won't mind much.  Especially if you're here in New  York since we are."

"No.  Something different."  He sighed.  "Remember when I disappeared?"

"Must we really go over this?" he asked calmly and quietly.

"We must.  It relates."

"Why?  Are you disappearing into a different covert agency that's not under the same heading we are?" he asked in a normal tone of voice, ignoring the odd looks he was getting from the other agents.

"Watch your attitude, Junior, and no, I'm not."

"That's good to know.   Am I disappearing into your agency?  Because after that movie, I hear plenty of jokes about the dark suits and sunglasses thing behind my back."

"It funded operations for a few years.  Wasn't my call.  Remember when you found me and you thought you found a little brother?"

"Yes, I'm still wondering if I was wrong."

"Clone but yes, you were.  This time it's a son.  Congratulations."

"Excuse me?  I have a what?" he asked.  He snapped his fingers and got some paper and a pen.  "Where is said son, Father?"  He wrote it down.  "That's interesting.  I'll lead a strike team.  Any idea who's behind it?  Ah, the bosses.  I'll be sure to tell others.  Anything special I need to be aware of?"  He stiffened slightly.  "They did.  Interesting.  I was not aware of that.  Thank you."  He hung up and looked at the director, who was staring.  He ignored the junior agents who were all backing slowly away from him.  "The same bosses that are over us and my father's agency have decided I need a son.  May I please take a strike team with me?"

"Who's the mother, Godzilla?" an agent asked.

"No clue.  The lab that made them has a few others.  Including Loki's son."  He looked at Thor.  "And yours."  Thor gave him a strange look, shaking his head.  "Oh, yes."  He looked at the director.

"Find it, stop it."

"They're infants, sir."

"They're born!" Nick Fury demanded.

"According to what he found, yes."

"Hell no!"

"With all respect, sir, if my son is in a lab setting, he won't be staying there."  He stared at his boss, looking totally calm and impersonal.  "I'm told there's ten children there."  He saw the silent head count and shrugged.  "No idea, sir.  That's why I want a team."

"Take it and go.  If there are children, they can't come onto the hell carrier."

"If I do have a son I'll let you have my two weeks notice at that time, sir."  He walked off.

"Excuse me?" one of the agents asked.

"If the child can't come back with me, do you really think I'd allow him to stay there?" he asked.  "If so, I have a delightful spot you can fill in.  Agent Hill, can he join Major Amblin's group?"

"Yes, he can for being that stupid."  She glared at him.

Fury snorted.  "I'm sure he'll enjoy that.  Report as soon as you have anything.  Bring Stark if you need to."

"I doubt I will."  He walked off.  He hand-picked his team.  They really had to be careful this time and Stark would piss people off by being less than subtle.  Phil stopped to get a weapon out of the armory.  He made sure they had an interrogation kit too.  He had some questions he wanted to ask.


Phil walked up and shook his father's hand.  "Any idea?"

"Not yet."

One of the agents following stared at him.  "Aren't you...."

"Watch me zap you so you forget our funding drive," he said bluntly.  He looked at the lab.  "The higher ups have fled."

"Why?" Phil asked.  "Did you send in your rookie?"

"No, J's safely at home moping that he needs a girlfriend that doesn't have eight tentacles and ideas on how to use them," he said blandly.  "By what we've found, they left last week and that was the thing that let us know.  One of the people in there let it slip to get the kids some help before they got terminated.  There's an order we've diverted for two days."  He looked at his son.  "He's cute."

"That's good."

"Looks a lot like you.  Even wears the same designer sort of suit.  Why can't you wear something more standard?"

"I can move easier in mine, Dad.  Besides, I have to babysit high powered people.  I can't look like a cookie cutter agent."

"Fine.  Some day you can take my place."

Phil looked at him instead of the lab.  "That one halloween notwithstanding," he said dryly.  "I doubt I could deal with stranger than I presently do."

"Metahumans are fun toys to my part of the agency."

"I know."  They looked down there again.  "Anyone left to question?"

"Not really.  A few of the kids worry me."

"Loki's offspring being down there does worry me."

"They're twin boys.  They're cute and don't totally look like him.  Lighter hair."

"Babies darken."  Phil grimaced.  "Set up a perimeter line.  If anyone comes, stop them, hold them, make them miserable if they try anything."  That got a nod from his team.  "Especially if it's Stark."

"You think he would?" his father asked.  "Think he could get in on our R&D weapons department?"

"Ask but I doubt he'd make your protege a suit."

"If he does, I have to cap one of them," his father said just as dryly.  They walked down there together.  "Isn't the gun overcompensation, son?  You really don't need to.  You were quite respectable the last time I changed your diapers."

"Dad!" he said then sighed.  He shifted his huge gun on his shoulder.  "No, it's not.  We don't have the miniaturized tech you do.  Stark only makes things that are loud and flashy, like he is, so they can't be ignored."

"Boy needs a swift kick," his father said.

"No, he got a few too many of those from a father that should have probably been around more often.  Some of us grew up as role models and some of us didn't."

His father looked at him.  "There's that snippy attitude again, Junior."

His son looked at him.  "Don't start, Dad."  He walked in and looked at the woman staring at him in awe.  "Are you in charge?  We'd like to talk to them."  The woman started to cry.  "Now please."  She ran off.  He waited.  An older man came out.  "Agent Coulson, SHIELD.  This is Agent K.  You have something of mine.  I want to know details and then handle things.  If those aren't mutually exclusive I'll make sure you can disappear."

The head scientist sighed.  "I knew I was right to leak the children so someone could save them.  We're all doomed."

"Not really."  Coulson followed him, gun on his shoulder.  His internal monologue was so profane there were a few higher beings feeling threatened somewhere.

K followed, shaking his head.  "Quit swearing, son."

"You're not telepathic anymore, Dad.  That wore off after six weeks."

The scientist looked at them.  "You were?"

"Classified," they said in unison.

"Then I shouldn't remark about the movie?" the head scientist suggested.

"Probably not," K said.

"Fine."  He led them into his office and sat down to pull up files.  "This is what you need to know."

"No, we need everything," Phil said.  "We're confiscating all your records."

"I..."  Phil stared down at him, perfectly calm and bland.  "It could be used again."

"No, it won't be."

"This has been a long term project."  Phil shrugged.  "Fine.  I can see how that's important.  Do you think you can save some of them?"

"Probably.  I need to make a report later."   He spotted the window and moved to look down there, nearly whimpering.  "Is that my son in the suit?"

"Yes.  He refuses to wear jeans."  The scientist looked up.  "He also shows a fondness for tea and coffee, we have no idea why."

"So do I," K and Phil said blandly.

"Which one are Loki's?"

"The two brunette twin boys," he said with a point.  "Them.  We named them Spenser and Greg."

"Huh."  He nodded.  "Any other demigod offspring?"

"Yes.  There are a few."  He looked and pointed.  "That's Thor's daughter, we named her Antonia."  That got a nod.  "I can't see a few of them."  He leaned up to look down the wall.  "There's Rodney.  He's Iron Man's son.  There are the twins, Evan and Alexander.  They share a father."

"Which?" K asked.

"Agent Barton?"

"Interesting," Phil said.  He was going to lose his mind but they'd handle that.  "Dad, go set up a camera so I can make a report and make people panic that Stark has a son that's tinkering with electronics already?"  His father snorted but did that.  He looked at him.  "Where were the samples procured?"

"The agency handed them over to us."

"I want all the research."  He nodded and started to download things.  He walked down there.

One of them looked up.  "Shiny!" he shouted, running over to try to grab the gun.  He moaned and whimpered.  "Shiny!  Please!"

Phil looked down.  "You're too young for a gun."  The baby started to wail.  K took it and took out the power core then handed it over.  "Dad, that's not real good for a baby."

"Shut up, son.  You nearly teethed on mine."  He looked at the others.   "I'll film."

"Thank you."  He  set up his phone to start the video conference.  His father logged the camera onto the same signal.  "Director."

"Agent Coulson, I see that we were correct?"

"We were, sir."  He smiled at the kid sitting on his feet and the one feeling the cloth in his pants.  He patted him.  "Hi."

"D&G," he said happily with a smile.  "Nice."

"Thank you.  I like your suit too."  The baby smiled shyly and ducked behind him.  He looked up again.  "There's ten children here."

"There's possibly two more but they may have been taken by their natal families," K said.  "Most likely demigods."

"Who's that?" Fury asked.

"My father."  He pointed.  "These are Loki's sons, Greg and Spenser."  His father moved.  "This is Rodney Stark."  He could see Stark choking.  "As you can see he's tinkering.  Do not put electricity to that."  He took it.  "Please."  He looked at the camera and phone again.  "We're putting names to genetic identities."

"Any other agents or Avengers involved?" Fury demanded.

"Yes, sir."  He pointed at the two trying to get the gun from the first kid.  "These are Alexander and Evan Barton."  He heard the quiet moan.  "They are not twins I believe."  He spotted one.  He looked at the scientist and pointed.  "That one?"

"That is Jeremy Fury," she said quietly.  "Quite a strong crossing."

"Excuse me?" the director demanded.  "I heard my name mentioned."

K looked then at her.  "My partner and him?"  She smiled and nodded.  "He'll be swearing before long."

"Too late," she quipped.  "He says damn a lot already."  She patted the one who was trying to defend the gun.  "Dean, please."

"Mine!" he said firmly.  "Bitch."

Phil looked down.  "Language," he noted.  "Dean...."


"Good to know as well."  He looked at his phone again.  "Sir, we have plans of evacuating the staff and children.  There was apparently a termination order on them that's managed to be held off for a bit."

"I want to debrief them," Fury said.

"I'm sure you do.  We're gathering all their files.  Apparently this was a long-term project."  He looked at his father.  "You didn't find me in one of these, right?"

"Funny, son.  Your mother can always come back to beat you to death for me."

"Anyway," Phil said dryly.  "We'll be back in a few days.  We need to know the arrangements before then."

"You can stay with them," Fury said.

"That is my usual job anymore, sir.  I tend to babysit high profile targets."  Fury looked confused.  "I babysat Stark.  I babysat Thor.  I hang out with Captain Rogers because he'd never do anything to draw embarrassment on the agency.  If you want me to do that, that's fine.  They'll still need beds for all ten of them."

"I think two need to be somewhere safer."

"I believe they're children and a lot of that depends on how they were raised," Stark said firmly.  "Stop my son?"  He took the screwdriver from him.  "Thank you.  Son, please don't electrocute yourself before we can meet.  Okay?  The mansion has a sublevel we can use for now.  I'll have Pepper find someone who knows about early childhood development."  Phil nodded.  "Is yours already wearing a suit?"

"They said he prefers it," Phil said.  "And tea."

"Yeah, only you," he said, getting up and walking off.

"We'll be back in two days, sir."  He hung up.  His father turned off the camera.  He looked at Rodney then at the scientist.  "There's no way he's normal."

"They did a brain download from someone.  I'm not sure who.  I only bred them, I didn't have anything to do with their training."

"Implanted memories would account for the weird things," K said, staring at his grandson.  Who was polishing his shoes.  "They're very shiny, grandson."  The baby beamed at him.  "What is his name?

"Ianto."  He looked up at her.  "The agents wanted to know your name."  He smiled at them.

"Huh," Phil said.  "Let's pack all them up and move all of you somewhere else."  He picked up his son and moved closer to his father.  "Do you still have that alien diaper contractor?"

"I do, yes.  We use him whenever someone's deaged."  He patted his son on the head. Then his grandson.  "We should take a picture to put in the vault."

"We should."  He looked at his son.  "You'll get used to it."  K set up the camera and came back, letting it be taken.  Then they left with the kids.  The other agents were staring.  Phil realized Dean still had his gun and took it back, getting the power source from his father.  Ianto smiled and cleaned off the fingerprints.  Dean was pouting.  "We're going to see Rodney's father and he has shiny things all over the house," he told Dean.  "Can you quit pouting until we get there?"  Dean huffed but nodded. 

"Thank you.  Antonia?"  She came running back with her wooden sword.  "That's a very pretty sword.  Into the van please."  She climbed in and they got them all buckled in.  His father got in to drive.  Phil got the other adult seat.  He counted and came up one short.  "Greg, get back in your seat."  He climbed back up there.  "You have to be in it until we're on the plane."  Fortunately he was within reaching distance to get him hitched back in.  Then they were off.  The other agents were evacuating records and scientists to SHIELD.  Though Stark confiscated all the records for him once they showed up.

By the time they got to the plane he had realized a few things.  Xander was the more dangerous Barton, possibly more than his father.  Evan liked weapons but Xander was worse.  He was also slippery.  Nearly got lost in the airport.  Dean liked weapons too but shiny things were his favorite.  He also learned that apparently Thor had ADHD as a child as both of his had it. 

Antonia could not focus on anything.  But her grip on her sword never wavered and they learned she thought teddybears were evil but she liked turtles.  Ianto fussed.  Rodney avoided the fussing but when Ianto *somehow* managed to get a big cup of coffee from someone (and it took twenty minutes for said yuppie to be missing his specialized latte and complain loudly about it) Rodney liked it, but grimaced at it.  Dean calmed down.  Antonia calmed way down.  Xander calmed down.  Evan got a bit hyper, and Jeremy Fury got growlier about it being hazelnut.

K looked at that one.  "I know your father hates it too, but suck it up for now."  Jeremy pouted.  "We'll get you some you like later."  He walked the few he was herding off.

Phil followed the rest.  "I'm taking out stock in Starbucks."

His father snorted.  "It's already in your portfolio as well as coffee futures, son."

"I have to look at that again.  Apparently we're going to need a lot of it."  They got them onto the SHIELD jet and settled in.  They didn't want to sit still but yay.  "Until we take off, you have to sit."  They pouted as a whole group.  "This might actually be worse than Stark sitting."  He sat down between his son and Antonia.  She being the only girl was odd but if they were looking for future warriors, they wouldn't really want women he supposed.  "You can nap," he offered.

"Nope."  She grinned and looked outside, giggling at the incoming rain storm.

"No creating storms or we have to sit here and you have to stay in the seats," K noted.  Amazingly, the storm cleared up and Dean glared at his sister.   "Thank you whichever one cleaned that up.  Let it happen later if it's supposed to."  They nodded and settled.  Him, being a slightly more experienced father, had a movie ready and popped it in.  The kids all cried at the dog movie.  Phil downloaded something with robots and weapons, since a lot of the kids liked them.  That went over better and the kids were happily watching the light anime.

Rodney snorted.  "Not possible," he shouted.

Phil looked back at him.  "Yet.  We can create it some year."  Rodney blinked then scowled.  He smiled.  "You can.  Your father might."  He huffed and went back to what he had been tinkering with in the lab.  Phil got up and frisked him for tools then handed it back.  "Not until we're on the ground please.  That way you can't hurt the plane and make us crash."  Rodney huffed but settled in to look at that and the other things in his pockets.  On a hunch, he frisked Xander and got a few agent weapons the kid had been hiding.  "That's very nice of you to give me someone to write up, Xander, thank you."  He sat back down once they were all unloaded and in his bag.

"I may adopt him," his father noted.

"I'm sure he'll look marvelous in your special suit, Dad."  He looked at him.  "You might ask his father though."

"Good point.  Hopefully the files will have who their other parents are."

"They should but if not I'm going to have some drawn as part of their intake physicals."

"That's reasonable."  He got the weapon from Evan, who just grinned.  "I don't know why you have a crossbow, but not on the plane.  Even if it is Nerf."

"Any other weapons get put up," Phil announced.  Antonia fussed and clutched her wooden sword.  "Here, we'll put this here," he said, tucking it between the seats.  "And you can curl up and touch it if you need to nap.  That way it can't hurt anyone."  She nodded and did that.

"God fucking damn it," Xander shouted and winced, holding his arm.

Phil sighed.  "First, no swearing.  Second, what happened to your arm?"  He pouted and pointed at Dean.  "No using your powers on anyone," he told him.  Dean glared and fussed. 

Xander swatted back and got up to change seats.  "Mean shit."

"Language," K said more firmly.  Xander glared at him too.  "Sit."  Xander huffed but sat in his own row, pouting some.  Phil moved back there to contain that disaster in the making.  K smiled. "You'll do fine."

"Thanks, Dad.  I'm having you reassigned."

"I'm sure your bosses would adore that, son," he said dryly.  "Especially when I have to bring my partner."

"If he's my new stepmother, I need to shop for a present.  Blender or coffee maker?"

"Not cute, son."

"Whatever," Dean told him.

"Sit."  Dean huffed but sat back down and let Phil redo his seatbelt.  The pilot was looking back at them.  "Can't we leave yet?"

"Not quite yet.  There's a jet in front of us for take off and I'm trying to figure out why directional sensors are now in 3D, sir."

Phil reached up and plucked Rodney's things from him, putting them in a lockbox in one of the bins.  "That help?"

"Quite a lot.  Thank you."  They finally taxied off and went back to New York.  Before the kids drove them to lose their calm, cool demeanors.

Halfway through the flight, Ianto looked at the fussing ones.  "Quit."  They glared at him.  "Have to fly.  Then coffee."  That made everyone happier.

"After your intake physicals," Phil corrected.  "Then you can make coffee, son."  Ianto beamed and nodded.  Phil was making notes on his phone to send as soon as they landed.  Xander was slowly falling asleep but anytime Phil shifted he woke up.  That gave him an idea.  He wasn't sure all of them had been made at that lab.


Stark was waiting on them when the jet landed.  "I've got a van for them, with kid seats."  He was staring at his son.  "Why are you pouting?"

"I had to take the tech from him so we could take off.  It was making the plane's systems haywire," Phil said, handing over that lockbox.  "Into the van.   Antonia, into the van," he said patiently.  K handed him the last few things.  Antonia still had a death grip on her wooden sword.  Rodney had forgotten his tools.  Evan had his crossbow that was confiscated.  Xander was sneaking the weapons out of Phil's bag.  Phil caught him.  "Those are agent weapons and have live rounds.  You may not have live bullets until you're ten."

Xander snorted.  "Mine!" he said.

"No, not yours."  He pointed.  "Van.  Now please."

"They gave them weapons?" Stark demanded.  Rodney cackled.

"No, Xander decided to pickpocket agents," he said.  He sent his notes to Fury and herded the little geniuses onto the van.  Though he had to go get Antonia from where she was fighting the evil flowers.  "You can fight the evil roses later," he told her, walking her back that way.

"She gets a sword?" Stark asked.

"Yes, it's her favorite thing.  The same as Evan has a crossbow and Xander just pickpocked you."  Tony took his wallet and few weapons back.  "Thanks."  They finally got them all in there.  He stared at his father.  "There's an extra seat."

"I need to report in."

"Get in the van, Father."

"Fine.  I'll make sure you get them wherever."

Once they were on their way, and had went back to get Xander since he had snuck off, Phil nicely sent in a form to have his father submitted for a full medical evaluation.  He clearly had problems somewhere.  Even if it was mean and his father would have to go through the prostate scanner being implanted for a day, his father clearly had a few issues.  He was almost too gleeful about getting a grandson out of wedlock.


Fury walked into Avengers mansion, looking around.  No one was around so he went to the meeting room.  He found them all at a monitor that overlooked the new play area.  "We know anything yet?"

Stark nodded.  "Memory downloads that would go with their chosen parent's skills," he said.  "My son apparently got some other genius put into his brain."  He grimaced.  "I've had to take power tools from his twice already.  Not even I was that good."  He looked at Fury.  "Xander declared the house the new Atlantis."  Fury snorted and shook his head.  "Your son has a foul mouth."  He pointed at where he was standing in a corner.  "So does Xander.  Evan likes crossbows, Dean likes all weapons, Thor's daughter might be tougher than he is, and Xander can pickpocket."

"Loki's kids?"

He pointed.  "They're mostly of the quiet, smart, prank playing sort as far as we can tell.  Antonia and Dean have powers.  I'm not sure if those two do or not."

Thor looked over and nodded.  "They do but they're quiet sorts.  Which their father never was.  My daughter may yet end up on a horse's back."

"Women can be warriors," Natasha Romonoff reminded him dryly.  "I suspect at least one is mine."

"I'd think you're right," Stark said.  "Though we're running DNA scans now."

Barton looked down at them.  "They're like darker and lighter mes."

"They are," Natasha agreed, patting him on the arm.  "They definitely are.  Xander is also not liking people around him."

"We need to kick someone around about that," he agreed.

"I'm not totally sure he was made there," Phil admitted.  Clint looked at him.  "The others are all very...happier than he is."

"Some kids aren't happy, shiny people," Stark said.  "I was a sarcastic bastard at six."

"Why none of Rogers?" Fury asked.

"Couldn't get his DNA?" Stark guessed.  "Or Banner's?"

"His powers wouldn't pass on and it's uncontrollable," Natasha said.  "Ours were not."

"My father has to tell his partner that one of them is half his," Phil said.  "He's not happy."

"I'm not happy," Fury complained.  He looked down there.  "One's missing."

Phil looked.  "Xander?" he called.  "Come see what weapons the director has on him.  He doesn't think you can do that."  He heard the cackle and checked.  "Check your stashes, people."  They did.  Stark had the AI that ran the house find the kids.  Rodney and Xander were tinkering together.  "No creating higher weapons until you're ten," he said, taking the ones they had stolen.  He frisked Xander and handed him to Clint.

"Hi."  Xander stared at him, head tipped to the side.  "I guess I'm your dad, kid.  So we've got to get to know each other."

He leered over his shoulder.  "Pretty."

Natasha looked at him.  "You're much too young for me."

"So?  Still pretty."  He scrambled over his father to pounce her, cuddling in and cooing at her.

She smiled.  "Your father would have done that a few times."  She gave him a hug and handed him back.

Clint grinned.  "You have excellent tastes, son."  Xander beamed and wiggled.  "Potty time?" he guessed.  "I have no idea how to do that."  Xander cackled and wiggled free, running off.

"Stay down here," Phil called.  "The armory's closed, right, Stark?"  Tony ran to do that.

Thor looked at his daughter and son.  "We'll get you a proper dress, daughter."


He blinked.  "You're a girl, you should wear a dress."

"Hell no!" she shouted.

"Language," Phil called.  "Thor, not all girls wear dresses.  Ask Jane, I'm sure she can help find little girl clothes for you."

"That is a good idea.  I have no idea how to handle a willful girl child."  He looked at his son.  "Or you."

"Dress?  No," Dean said, shaking his head.  "Not again."

"You wore dresses?"

Dean shuddered and got up, going over to pounce his cousins.  "Play!  Too quiet.  Geeks."

Greg swatted him.  "Jackass."

"Language," Phil said more firmly.  They pouted.  "Thank you.  Would you three like some blocks?  There's legos," he said with a point.  They looked and moved to build stuff with Dean.

"How can we make sure they don't turn into their father?" Fury asked.

"Well, first, I'd quit asking in front of them," Phil said.  "They're old enough to remember that."  He stared at his boss.  "Secondly, they're children.  They'll grow up how they were raised.  Even if their father is a chaos demigod who likes to be bowed to, a lot of that is in the raising."  Fury backed down.  His son patted him.  "Yes, Ianto?"  He held up a mug.  "Thank you."  He sipped.  "Oh, wow, you do make great coffee."  The baby grinned. 

"Very good job, son."  He gave him a hug.  "Which ones need it?"  He pointed.  "You can give them half a cup each."  Ianto beamed and went to do that.  Somehow he had found whipped cream and chocolate sauce, which went over well.  Antonia calmed down again.  Dean calmed down again.  Xander came in to get some and then disappeared again.  So did Rodney but his father was following him.  Clint was still trying got find his son.  Evan had some and got a bit bouncy again but he wore it out on the climbing net that was on one wall.  The twins got some and babbled at each other and Dean about their building.  Jeremy sipped and sulked in the corner watching it all.  "Jeremy, why don't you play?" Phil called.  "Go climb with Evan."

He looked and shrugged, going to try that.  "Mugger?" he quipped.

Evan grinned.  "I can do that."  He let out and evil cackle and Jeremy ended up chasing him all over the room.

Fury watched, his stomach knotting.  "My son's playing the good cop."  He went back to watching from a safe distance.  He wasn't sure what was going on.  He was very confused at this moment.

Steve Rogers walked in and looked around.  "I think it's my turn to play," he said with a grin.

"Oh, no, it's a super hero, run before he destroys the town fighting the bad guy," Spenser yelled.  The kids all yelled and ran for the doorway, which meant Phil nearly got knocked down.  It also meant the kids were loose in the house.

"Hey," Steve complained.

"It was a plot," Stark yelled as he chased them.

"Probably, yes," Fury agreed.

"I did a good job," Ianto said with a grin then ran off.

"You did, son.  That was a very good plan," Phil said.  "We'll teach you tactical maneuvers when you're old enough."  Fury gave him a dirty look.  "He might need it, sir."  They found all but a few of the kids.  Stark was up a maintenance shaft somewhere.  Evan Barton was with his father, up on top of ceiling prop that was down for maintenance.  There was no sign of Xander or Spenser.  Phil looked up at Barton.  "Spenser and your other son?"

"Spenser's behind you in the ballroom playing with the radio and books."  Stark went to save his stuff.  "Xander's....."  He sighed and pointed.  "He's up there and I have no idea how."

Phil looked.  "Tiny handholds."

"He shouldn't be able to climb that yet."

"He's an exceptional child, Hawkeye.  How did your other son get up to you?"

"Point.  Xander?"  Xander's head popped up.  "Want to get down now?  We could probably talk Coulson into a snack to soak up that coffee."

"It calmed him and Thor's children down," Phil said.  "He can have a half a cup twice a day.  Unless you want him on meds?"

"No.  Coffee's good.  Your son does make great coffee."  His son had disappeared back into his hiding spot.  "Is that over a weapons stash?" he asked.

Phil mapped it and shook his head.  "Computer array."  Stark popped up and looked then went into that room to make sure nothing was being tampered with.  "Xander, come down please."

"No thank you."

"Right now."


He looked at Barton, who could be the king of stubborn when he needed to be.  He nodded he'd get him down.  Phil got Evan, staring at him.  "Want a nap?"

"Hell no."

"No swearing.  I don't know who taught you that but no swearing."  Evan pouted.  "Thank you."  He carried him back in there and set up a bean bag toss game.  "There, make sure your aim is still good."  Evan cackled and tossed, hitting the hole.  "Good job."  He patted him.  "Make the others practice."

Antonia got one and tossed it overhand, making the hole.  She grinned at her father.  "See, good."

"Very good, daughter.  Some day you'll make a fine warrior wench."

She huffed.  "I'm an agent," she said firmly.   "Brother's a wench."

"Hey!" Dean yelled.  "Bitch."

"Language," Phil said.  "No swearing."

"My sister."

Phil looked at him.  "No.  Swearing."

Dean pouted.  "Jackass."


Dean huffed but went to stand in it, pouting.  "Mean."

"Only if you swear," Phil shot back.

"My mother would have soaped my mouth," Thor said.

"I doubt it'll help with how many swear words he knows," Phil said dryly.  He went to check on Clint and Xander.  Clint had made it to where Xander was hiding and was prying him out.  "Give him incentive."

"I'm going to get my old practice bow and bring it in for the boys to look at."

"Evan has good aim with the bean bags."

"Good."  He looked at his other son.  "How about yours?"  Xander pouted and covered his eye.  "We'll see if we can fix that so you're just as great at he is.  Okay?"  Xander nodded, cuddling him then realized he was cuddling and pulling away.  "Hey, no, you can cuddle.  I don't mind cuddles.  You shouldn't mind cuddles."  He pulled him into his lap.  Phil let him have this time to talk to his very strange son.  "Really.  You can cuddle.  You're a kid.  They're supposed to be cuddly as far as I know."  Xander shook his head.  "I said you can and anyone who told you different I'm going to shoot an arrow up their ass.  Got it?"  Xander grinned and nodded. 

He hugged him.  "Now, let's get down and go find my old bow."  He got them down and went up to his room.  It was easy enough to find, it was on the wall.  It got taken down there.  Evan moaned and made grabby hands.  "Both of you can share," he said.  They settled in to pet it and Evan kept playing with the string.  Evan got the crossbow to compare it to.  Clint got up and put a target up on the wall.  "Evan, hit the target with your bow?"  Evan did and it hit near it.  "Nice job.  Xander?  Want to try?"  Xander shook his head.  "Okay.  Can you use the crossbow?"  He nodded.  "Want to show me?"

Xander took it and reloaded a new foam dart then hit the nasty looking spider on the wall.  "Nasty thing."

Clint stared then at his sons.  "Nice job."  Xander gave him a shy grin so he patted them both on the head.

Antonia flopped down.  "Teach me."

"Sure, I can teach you," Clint said.  He showed her how to use the nerf crossbow and she wasn't bad but could use some practice.  "We'll work on that."  She grinned and nodded, then got up to stomp on the spider's remains.  He laughed.   "It's dead, Antonia."

"Cool."  She ran off to get her sword before her cousins could get it.  "Mine!"

"I play," Greg pouted.

Stark walked in with a few others he had the system make.  "Here.  That way she can have her special weapon and you guys can have your special weapons."  They cheered and got them.  Xander tested a few then picked one.  The others picked their own by grabbing.  Stark watched the one weird little one.  Then looked at the father, who shrugged.  Stark walked off to start looking at the records about that one.  Coulson was right, he wasn't like the other kids.  He was ignoring the Sesame Street jingle that was going off in his head.


Two days later, Stark got a delivery slip.  "What did I order?"  He called to pick it up, finding it was a few new weapons.  He checked with his AI.  "Who ordered the grenade launcher?"

"I thought it was you.  Who else would be online at three in the morning looking at weapons," JARVIS asked.

"No, not me."  He went to look at the whole shipment.  "Barton!" he bellowed.  He came jogging down the stairs.  "Your son has my credit card.  Go find it for me before I'm broke thanks to his weapon habit?"

"Weapon habit?  He's a toddler."  Stark pointed at the weapons.  He stared.  "Damn."

"Language," Phil said, coming up from downstairs.  "Or the children will never stop swearing."  He stared.  "Why did you order the lower grade ordinance, Stark?  You can make better."

"I didn't.  Someone did at three in the morning."

Clint went to his son's room and found the credit card and the stolen phone.  He brought it back, handing Stark his card.  "Natasha?"  She came down the stairs.  "Xander had your phone.  He ordered weapons."

"That's very nice of him."  She looked things over.  "Gun sets for him, Dean, Antonia, Jeremy, Evan, Ianto, and Rodney."  Stark gave her a strange look.  "He does handle them properly.  I let them look at one of mine and he swatted Greg when he wanted to touch the trigger.  Spenser was cautious but he held it.  Greg was a bit confused."  She looked at the others.  "Heavier weapons for him and Dean.  Evan has a new crossbow.  Though there's two.  So probably one's his."  She looked at the last heavy weapon.  "I believe that was his dream weapon though."  She smiled at the men.  "He's a very smart little boy.  Good weight for them as they're all lightweight and easy pulls."

"They're toddlers.  If they need weapons I'm going to destroy the earth," Stark assured her.  "Especially my son."

She smiled.  "It's possible whoever was training Xander had ideas."  She strolled off.

"Natasha, the DNA is back," Phil said quietly.  She stared at him.  "Evan's yours as well."

"I figured one was."  She grimaced but shrugged.  "What will be is.  Antonia?"

"Not.  Or Jane Foster's.  I have the feeling she's a lot like her father only female.  Dean comes up as his and Jane's."

"Then it must be Jane that calms him down more," Stark snorted.  "Because Dean's a lot calmer than Antonia."

Barton nodded.  "The 'I'll beat you, scoundrel' tag game last night after dinner was cute."  He went to talk to his one son to see who had been raising him.  He wanted to talk to them about how they had gotten his DNA.  If he could find his son since he wasn't in bed.

Stark and Coulson shared a look.  "Mine?" Stark asked.  "Is he Pepper's?"

"No, your old lab assistant."  Tony sighed in displeasure.  "Pepper has seen him.  She called last night while I was forcing a bedtime on them.  She called them adorable.  Rodney told her girls got in the way of science."  He walked off.  "The kids are starting to get up."

"Let me hide these," Stark said, carrying them to the armory.  He'd watch Xander pout later because things hadn't appeared yet and talk to him about it when he caught him trying to lift Natasha's phone again.  He stared down at him.  "No more ordering using my credit card, kid."  Xander pouted.  "They're in the armory and staying there."  Xander pouted worse.  "You can't have real guns with real bullets until you're ten.  Or later."

"I had them at nine," Natasha quipped.  She was creating a new lock code for her phone.  She put it back into her pocket and patted him on the head.  She picked him up to look at him.  "Who taught you to aim?"  He babbled at her in another language.  "Really?"  She walked him off.  "Barton."  He looked at her and stared at his son.  "Tell him, Xander.  Who taught you about guns?"  He babbled happily about them.

"Aren't they some of the ones who were training you?" Clint asked her.  She nodded.  "Interesting."

"Excuse me?" Phil asked.  "Who?"  He took Xander to put on his hip.  "Who was training you?  If you tell me I can get their records so we know what you can do and add onto it with fun things you'll like since you hated math when Rodney was babbling about it."  Xander hugged him and grinned, saying something in Russian.  "I see."  He kissed him on the head.  "We'll get your records.  Let your father change you?"  Clint took him to do that with Natasha's help.

Phil was calling his father.  "I need a string pulled.  No, I'm not going to ask you for an authentication code, Dad.  Only you and your partner answer that phone and I'm still buying you two a blender.  No," he said, repeating a name.  "Them."  His father actually spluttered.  "Xander was happy talking about them.  He also ordered weapons, including a fetching gun set for your grandson.  Thank you.  Let me know if you need help."

"No, I won't need help," Clint called.

"My father's looking," he called.  "Thanks, Dad."  He hung up, smirking slightly at the worried looking father.  "He can diplomatically get them."

"Your father, because the guy I saw was scarily familiar, and that flashy device doesn't work on some people," Tony said dryly, "will probably destroy someone and then make them forget."

"Quite possibly or he'll have a contact give it to him."  He walked off.  "I'm making cookies, Xander."  Xander cheered and followed him.  He and Ianto were baking.  Ianto had made a little apron out of a towel and it was nicer.  Their clothes were in so everyone got a bath after cookies and changed.  Xander was wearing all black.  Evan was wearing blue and black.  Ianto had another nice suit.  Antonia had sweats and what looked like a battle helmet.  Dean had jeans and a t-shirt plus workboots.  Jeremy was wearing dark brown jeans and a t-shirt that had a slight collar.  Spenser and Greg were wearing jeans and button up shirts.  Rodney had on jeans and a blue shirt that looked like a uniform top.

Thor looked at his daughter.  "Why are you wearing those?"

"Comfy to fight in, Daddy."  She grinned up at him.  "I wear jeans tomorrow."

"That's fine."  He was starting to get confused again.  Natasha talked to him about girls.  Jane had tried but she thought that the baby needed one dress for things like pictures.  "Jane wanted pictures, Son of Coul."

"You can take pictures and send her."

"Pictures?" Ianto said.

Phil smiled.  "Ours are in the vault, like all of the family ones are.  That way no one can find them."  Ianto beamed and nodded, handing him a cookie.  "Thank you.  We did a good job."  Ianto nodded and ran out to handle things.

Stark watched him organize the play area.  "He's going to follow Pepper as my assistant," he decided.

"Aliens?" Ianto asked.

"Only Thor."

"Good!"  He smiled and got back to work.

Tony Stark looked at his son because that question was starting to send up sparks in his brain.  "What are you building now, son?"

"Time turner."

"Not the Doctor!" Ianto snapped.

Rodney glared.  "Bite me."  Ianto glared back.  "Not Sheppard," he shot back.

"So?  Harkness tougher."

"Bullshit," Xander called.  He smirked.  "Me."  They stared.  He grinned.  They huffed and let it go.  Ianto didn't understand yet and Rodney realized things.  Xander cackled and disappeared.

Stark was watching.  "He just blinked out," he said.

Barton was staring too and nodded.  "How did he teleport?"

"Magic," Rodney groaned.  "Damn it."

Ianto huffed.  "Magic not good."

Rodney snorted.  "Should see it."  Ianto shuddered.  "Luna!" he shouted.

"Shut up!" Dean shouted back.  "Bitch!"

"Xander poofed."

"Fuck."  He went to look for him.  He could be anywhere in the state by now.

"Excuse me?  What?" Tony asked.  "Because clearly not normal."  They stared at him oddly.  "Where did you guys come from?"

"'Lantis," Rodney said with a smug look.

"Wales," Ianto said happily.

"That explains why you make tea," Stark said.  "Rodney, would you like to tell me more about Atlantis?"

"No."  He smiled.  "Not here anyway."  He got back to his tinkering.

Phil cleared his throat.  "What, exactly, is going on?" he asked Greg and Spenser.  He had noticed those two had a hard time hiding anything they were thinking so they probably couldn't lie very well yet.

Spenser winced.  "Can't."

"You can tell me and I will know."

Greg huffed.  "Need book."

"What book?  We have an extensive library."  One thumped down nearly on his foot so he looked at it.  "That book?"  They nodded.  He picked it up to look at.  "Xander!" he bellowed.  "Reappear or no cookies for days and grounded."  He reappeared with a pout, sucking on an ice cream cone.  He looked at him.  "I won't even ask who gave you that."  Xander shrugged.  His other hand was in his pocket.

Clint watched how he was standing, walking over to frisk his son.  "Clearly someone's missing things," he said, handing over the watch and money.  And business card.  For a detective.  "We'll call him later, son.  What is going on?"

Phil sighed and repeated something that he was reading.

Lo, and those that are reborn over and over are meant to redeem those they are born to.
To better humanity.
To make their parents whole.
To create new worlds.
To make peace and happiness.

Though that does not mean that one should not watch out for the Redemption Children.
They are not normal.
They are not peaceful.
They are those who show the path, not lead or guide down it.

To one born, a child is given.
A wish created and a wish granted.  A wish given.
No others may interfere.
No one can stop the cycle.
The choice is theirs about redemption and relief.
Lo, hark and heed these words, all ye who may be born or need redemption.

He shut the book.

Xander shrugged.  "Happens, dude."  He grinned and walked off.  Rodney took the ice cream but Xander took it back.  "Orange."  Rodney huffed.  "Sorry!"

"He's allergic to oranges?" Clint asked.  Xander nodded.  "Good to know."

"His medical records didn't have that," Phil said.  "We can make sure."  Rodney shook his head quickly.  "Is it a very bad allergy, like you need an epi pen?"  Rodney nodded.  "Any others?"


"Okay, good to know.  Anyone else have any?"  They shook their heads.  "Thank you."  He went to include that in his report.  Had they given up hope?  Yes.  Especially after the backlash from the battle in Manhattan.  It made a lot more sense now, except for Xander.  He came back to stare at him.  "Then why weren't you with them?"

Xander smiled.  "I'm older and warp things."

"Ah."  He walked off nodding.

Thor ran into him in the hall and spotted the book.  "Why do you have that?"

"You know of this myth?"

"Aye.  It's said a warrior got one years past.  His name is Anthony."

"So are all the kids."

Thor groaned and slumped.  "I had not lost all hope in humanity."

"Apparently it was coming," Stark said.  "This means what?  They're recycled souls?"

Thor sighed and sat on the stairs to tell them what redemption children were.  "It's said that long past, before the Gods and men walked the earth, there were demons."  Xander plopped down next to him.  He looked at him.  "You're one of the original two."  Xander smiled and nodded.  "Peace child."  Xander cackled.  "Oh, dear."

Xander patted him.  "You're fine."  He finished his ice cream cone.  "Demons made us to keep magic strong.  Then demon war.  We won.  Humans took over.  D'Hoffryn made more to keep humans strong.  Keep going over and over and over again.  Now for you in this realm."

"So you're saying that my son was some sort of scientist in his last life?" Stark asked.

Xander cackled.  "'Mione last life.  Before that Rodney."

"Huh.  So why come?"

Xander stared at him.  "Lost all hope and humanity is doomed.  Two more on support.  John and Tony."  Thor stiffened.  "Tony good.  John better."

"John would probably be Strife's son, Jonathan."  Xander grinned and nodded.  "Yes, he is very good."  Thor stared at him.  "Who were you last life?"

"Harry, unfortunately.  Called not given.  Before then, Dean's son and on 'Lantis.  Twice."

"Atlantis is real there?" Tony asked.  Xander grinned and nodded.  "Is it here?"

"Have to ask John or Rodney.  They're her family."

"Good to know.  So, Rodney was an engineer before?"  Xander smirked and nodded.  "Genius level probably."  Xander beamed and nodded again.  "Can he make a time turner?"

"Magic so yes."

"Why?" Tony asked.  "Those don't go together."  He hated it when magic got mixed in with his science like some peanut butter/jelly combined jar.  It always made the science stuff pout.  Especially him.

"Because last life they called instead of being given."  He made them all forget, except Phil and Thor, who were staring at him.  He grinned.  "Easier."  He got up and skipped off again.

"Okay, what happened?" Stark asked.  "We were in the hallway."

"Alexander did something," Thor admitted.  Which explained a lot to him.

"It does not work on some," Natasha said from upstairs.

"I like pretty but mean," Xander called.  "Can we date?"

"Not likely.  You're much too young, Xander."

"Shoot."  He went to hide again.

Stark caught him and held him.  "No hiding.  Go play."  He let him go.  Xander huffed but did that.  Phil still had the book so he took it to look at.  "That's...."  He stared toward the playroom.  Phil nodded.  "Crap."

"We lost hope," Natasha agreed from the top of the stairs.  "Especially when they called to put us in jail.  But now we know why they made them yours."

"Rodney's so a little me," Tony said.  "I can see him in the suit."

"John's job," Rodney said firmly.  "I fix, he flies.  Or Evan."  He walked off again to yell at Xander.  Things never went normal around them.  Xander showed him why.  The parents wouldn't have time to worry about them soon.  There was another battle coming.  A huge one.  Rodney nodded and they gathered to make plans.

The adults watched.  They could work around their plans and get them to the point where they were big enough to do things again.  Barton was going to lose his mind though.  At least one son was mostly normal.  The other was going to be retrained into a badass warrior if he could manage it.  With or without his father's help.  Though it was funny he was trying to avoid all the talks about school.  Stark got someone in to deal with the educational needs.  He didn't have the time or energy to home school a bunch of what would look like baby geniuses and one real genius.  Though, Spenser and Greg were very brilliant.  That was going to be odd.  Nothing that Fury would know about but odd.

It meant Thor could ease up on his daughter too.  She was going to be a warrior if she wanted to.


Stark was spending some time with his son in the lab, staring at him.  "Okay," he said.  "I want a history report."

Rodney looked at him.  "Why?"

"Because I'm realizing you're already in my class of genius."  Rodney nodded, looking up someone online.  He frowned.  "Your last life not in this realm?"

"Not by any means," he said, sounding thankful.

"What?  Were you a girl?" he teased.  Rodney shuddered but nodded.  "Eww.  You guys change gender?"  Rodney nodded, shuddering again.  "Huh.  Anything you can't do?"

"We keep skills.  That's why I have magic."  He shrugged.  "Dean has a warrior angel mate."

"Interesting.  Is that the guy in the trench coat that we barely saw watching you guys play outside?"  Rodney smirked and nodded.  "Huh."  He twirled the screwdriver between his fingers.  "Where are you in the sciences?"  Rodney did another search and came up with something, showing it to him.  "I see.  So...  Alien tech."  Rodney nodded.  "Plans?"

"Can't spread."

"If they're not here.....  It could help."

"Could.  Have to be bigger and make some things."

"I can help."

"Maybe."  He smirked.  "We'll see."  He saw a twinkling and smirked.  "Sheppard."

"We saw that they know."  He strolled over.  "Tony and I got sent back farther.  John, formerly Colonel Sheppard, USAF."

"Tony Stark, now his father."  He shook his hand.  "I'm told you're the son of Strife now?"

John chuckled, a low, warm sound.  "Yes, I am."  He smirked evilly.  "We can't tell you everything about the Stargate program."

"Why not?  Is it here?"

"No, and it can't be opened here.  The ones that can aren't here.  It takes a special gene sequence and there's no ATA carriers outside myself, Rodney, Evan, and Xander."  He stared at him.  "But Atlantis is here, just in another galaxy.  She's not in Pegasus here, Rodney.  They went to a binary here."


"That flu plague thing.  They barely touched here then went toward the inner rim."

"Huh.  So the demons gave it to them again?"

"Probably."  Rodney nodded.  "There's very little tech in this realm."

"That's fine."  Rodney waved a hand.  "I can create what I need."

"Good."  He smiled at Tony.  "If I didn't have a mate....."  He disappeared.

"Xander needs a mate," Rodney sighed.  "He really does."  He shook his head.

"Who's John's mate?"

"Evan."  He grinned.  "We were on 'Lantis together."

"That's good to know.  Was Evan the warrior sort before?"

"Warrior geek, most of them were.  He was second-in-command under John.  I was head of science of course."   He shook his head.  "That whole magical life seriously screwed things up.  I nearly went into a soft science like medicine."  He went to tinker on something else.

"You consider medicine a soft science?"

"Of course.  There's no absolutes."  He stared at him, smirking smugly.  "Then again, you'll never get Xander into math."

"Good to know."  He leaned against a table, watching his son.  "What does Xander do best?"

"Weapons, warping prophecies and things, being an Old One in many ways."  He looked at him.  "He was one of the first."

"Good to know.  The other?"

"Not in this realm either."  He looked up and frowned.  "I wonder if I can pull my library...."

"No," a voice called.  "You may not."

"Might need," he called.

D'Hoffryn appeared as an image.  "I may still be stuck over there due to Sam being immortal and stuck but you do not need it."  Rodney showed him why he did.  He growled.  "Why?"  Rodney showed him the upcoming battle and he slumped.  "Damn it!"

"You want us to save this realm.  We have to do it our way.  Next time we'll go back to the standard methods.  Be thankful Xander hasn't had to break out yet."

"I am."  He scowled.  "Fine.  You may have your stored library.  Xander may not have his."

"He'd only want a few things.  A journal, a crystal, and two weapons.  He was missing his."

"I can see that."  He went to check on the others.  Someone panicked when they saw him, and it was a nice feeling.  He looked at them.  "Do you mind?  I have a migraine."  He looked at his youngest one.  "Do you need something from your last life?"

"Jack would be nice."

"He's still stuck over there.  That's why I can't leave."

"Kick his realm," Xander said with a shrug.  He held up the knife.  "Not that one.  The one in the box please."  He changed them out and moaned.  Xander smiled.  "Thanks!"  He walked off petting his box of knives.  "Poor babies."

"Can we have a jumper?" Evan quipped.

"Only if your mate pulls one."

"If I'm pulling tech, I'm not doing a puddle jumper," John called then appeared.  He smirked.  "There's better that I'd pull."  He looked at Evan and they shared an evil look.  "She's in a binary system farther away thanks to that plague.  The Earth storehouse is still around though."  He winked and left again.

"Cool!" Evan breathed, looking at Rodney.  "Can we?"

"Too young but some year."

"Where?" Tony asked.

"Antarctic," Rodney and Evan said.  "Control chair." 

Stark stared then nodded.  "Okay.  We'll look into that."  He walked his son off.  "Did you get what you need?"

"No, need the other two book sets," he said, staring at his overlord.

"Why?" he demanded.  He pointed at Xander's direction.  "I see."

"He's lonely and they're somewhere around here."

"I can foresee that."  He sighed but brought them and something else.  "That is his."  He disappeared.

Stark took the gun to look at.  "A laser pistol."

"Not Ronon's," Rodney said, taking it back to look at.  "Huh."

Stark plucked it back.  "Let me look this over.  Make sure it works."  Rodney smirked, he knew that tone of voice.  He looked at the books then at him.  "Why?"

Natasha walked up and looked at the two book sets and picked up one to look at.  "Interesting."  She walked off reading the first one.  She looked back at Rodney.  "Truth?"

"Mostly.  He warped it.  That was the one from before we got pulled there."

"Excellent."  She went back to reading.  Clint would give her a few strange looks; she didn't usually read young adult fantasy novels.  When she was done a few hours later, she let him read the first one.  He'd figure it out.  She was figuring out a lot of things.  Including that Xander was resourceful.  The book had an overlaying image of the story as it happened to them as well as the underlying one of what the books had originally had planned.

Clint looked at it, frowning toward the kids' rooms.  "Really?" he asked quietly.  He snuck down there.  Xander was actually asleep in his bed for a change.  "Hey, Harry?" he called quietly and had to duck the fireball.  "Whoa."  Xander panted, looking around.  "Hey."  He picked him up to stare at him.  "Rodney had books brought."  Xander slumped and shook his head.  "Wanna talk?"

"No.  I handled it."

Clint put him back onto the bed.  "You handle things like I do, kiddo.  Even if you're some mystical warrior, you're my kid now.  Even if Evan is like a happier version of me, you're still mine in this life."  He stared at him.  "So we're going to start training together."  Xander looked confused.  "We both need it and it'll help me learn how to be a better dad."

"You're fine."

"No I'm not.  So we'll start training together.  The same as the geniuses are going to be in the lab."

"Spenser and Greg aren't that sort of geek.  Or Ianto.  Or John really."

Clint smiled.  "I thought they might be."  He patted him on the head.  "We'll be fine and learn to get along like a family."  He stared at him.  "For now, be young?  Okay?"

"I hate being this young."

"Tough."  He smirked.  "You might get to do it again but the rest of us don't."  He stood up.  "Go back to sleep.  Tomorrow, the three of us are going over the obstacle course Coulson set up.  We can train and it'll be good.  Bonding or some shit like that."

Xander smirked.  "They should've made me someone else's.  We're too alike."

"Probably but Cap still has hope and some of us know how dark the world can be.  Unless they were going to overload 'Tasha, that wouldn't happen.  Not too many other heros that could use your help.  Banner won't let himself get close to anyone yet.  Thor has the demented twins."

Xander nodded.  "It can be."

"You've seen too much of it.  Think of this as mostly a vacation life.  Okay?"  Xander nodded, grinning at him.  "Good boy."  He left, going to think about that.  Xander was a lot like him, and probably just as dangerous as an adult.  Evan was a lot like a geekier version of him.  He'd have to make sure both boys had an easier time this life.  No being sold to SHIELD's service, no being left alone.  Which meant he had to get better so he didn't die on them.  Who knew what Stark would turn his kids into.


Phil looked at the other parents in the know.  It was late enough that all the kids were asleep, and early enough that the few that got up and wandered weren't yet.  "We have to make some decisions."

"My boys are not going to SHIELD," Barton said.

"That's mostly a later decision.  For now, we have to figure out who can know and who can't know."

"Cap needs to know," Tony said, tapping the table a few times.  "He'll figure it out.  Steve's not dumb."

"Banner should," Natasha said.  "It might give him some hope even if he'll be scared of himself around them."

"So we keep it team-wide only?" Barton said.  "With a short exception for Pepper probably?"

"That seems the most reasonable," Thor agreed.  "I have not sent word home about either set of children.  Though, those two being my brother's children is odd.  They're smart like he is but not all that cunning.  No pranks being played or anything.  I could have seen Dean as his more readily, though I'm no scholar myself."

"Geniuses have to use cunning in different ways," Tony said.  "Usually to get around people who think we don't need to study and think about certain things.  I used to use mine to get around teachers so I could independently study or sneak out of school all together.  But no, we won't see pranks.  Any idea who they were in their last incarnations?"

"Yes, I do.  I found someone who resembled what patterns they think in now," Coulson said.  "I believe Spenser was a therapist or profiler of some sort.  He tends to think in the manner of mental defects and how it warps people.  That showed up when he was analyzing Dean to annoy him.  Greg was science oriented, I got that from him and Rodney talking about chemistry.  Though the way he was talking about it, I'm thinking he was in an investigative science."

"So a criminalist or an investigative lab for the FDA?" Tony guessed.

"Probably, yes.  Thanks to a few hints, I believe we've seen those Harry Potter books?"  Tony looked confused.  Clint pulled the one he was reading to slide down to him.  "Rodney called Dean 'Luna'."  Clint shuddered.  "And whoever Sam was is apparently related to Dean."

"They were brothers," Xander said, smiling at him.

"Nice concealment spell," Barton said.  His son had been invisible.  That was a skill he really had to learn from the kids.  "Who else were they?"

"Demon hunters.  Me too sometimes."  He shrugged.  "Helped a slayer."

"We have those here," Phil said.  He pulled it up.  "We have the current one as Buffy Summers."  Xander flinched.  "I see.  Do you want to try to meet her?"

"No.  Too much different."  He climbed up to sit on the table using Natasha's chair.  "Who else?"

"We know some about Rodney."

"Recent joiner."


Xander grinned and whistled an opening theme song.

"I saw that show," Clint said.  "He was with who?"



"Yup."  He grinned.  "His first go-round.  He was the harbinger so someone would come find us."  He looked at Phil.  "You're very alike."

"We are."  He smiled.  "I've seen that show.  So Harkness?"

"Sam.  Pisses D'Hoffryn off that he's immie now."

"Was Spenser a shrink?" Tony asked.


"Some department?"

"FBI."  He grinned.  "Mega nerd.  College at 14 nerd."

"Okay.  I can respect that," Tony agreed.  "Greg?  CSI?"  Xander nodded.  "What about Antonia?"

"Don?  PD the last few times."

"Jeremy?" Coulson asked.

"PD, undercover too many times."

"Good.  Is that his natural name?" Phil asked.  Xander shook his head.  "Will he respond better to it?"

"No, he's good."  He smiled.  "Watch out for Mounties though.  He might get stuck on them.  Worked with one."

"I saw a show like that," Stark muttered.  Xander grinned.  "Why is this happening this way?"

"You guys needed the help faster and sooner, before the next battle.  Or else we would've done it the normal way.  One shows up, we coo, get cuddly, make you have squishy feelings, then another one would show up somehow, coo, get cuddly, make you squishy.  This time we have to be independent enough because another battle coming and jackasses in control.  Who aren't going to get to hurt Spenser and Greg," he told Coulson.  "Or else it would've been John and Tony being evilly bored."

"Them being so dissimilar means that they have less room to be jackasses about things," Tony realized.  Xander grinned back at him and nodded.  "How many of you are older at this?  You said Ianto was new."

"Rodney and Evan recent.  Dean recent.  Sam recent.  Ianto first tour.  The others are second group in.  Not all normal though.  John and Tony in the second wave of makings but have more lives."

"Why was that one as Harry so different?" Clint asked.

"I was summoned, not sent.  Great manipulator," he said, waving a hand.  "Made huge booboo.  Not the nice one."  He grinned sweetly.  "Then Ancients showed up.  Pissing off Rodney always a bad idea.  Especially when he has PMS."

"How did you know the ones that were training you?" Natasha asked.

He smiled at her.  "Owed me kittens from poker game.  He'd let me play with weapons.  I could handle things from outside but they spotted me."

"So, until they spotted you, I would've only had Evan," Clint said.  Xander nodded, looking at him.  "Why?"

"Need external support.  John and Tony good but limited at times by gifts and oversight.  I wouldn't be.  May still need to be."

"No.  We'll handle it internally," Tony told him.  "Even if they come for Greg and Spenser, we can handle it."  Xander stared at him.  "I can."

"I could send them to demon city."

"No, I doubt they'd like it."

"Kinda homeland for us."  He smiled.  "Caledin is where temples are to us.  Especially mine."

"You have your own?" Clint asked.

Xander smiled.  "I was one of first two.  We were around for long time before the others.  Centuries.  We inspired humans to fight to overthrow demons."  Clint shuddered.  Xander nodded.  "Yup, some years.  Was warrior mage then warrior, then mage, then warrior, then demon hunter, then Sheppard's son with Rodney.  He had lost hope too.  Then Sam's son with Dean and Cas nagging.  Then back to Atlantis to end that life."  He shrugged.  "Then Harry.  Where I got mad."

"I'm reading that section now," Natasha said, patting him to the back.

"Hey!" he complained.  "Not need to know."

"I do so."  She smirked.   "The box?"

"In my temple.  Should get it but might have porn."

Clint snickered.  "Yeah, you're my son."  Xander grinned at him.

"Are there other mates we should worry about?" Tony asked.  "I heard about John and Evan."  Clint stared at him so Tony nodded.

"They are," Xander agreed.  "Dean has Cas, who's a warrior angel.  Who sighs a lot, especially with Dean a girl last time.  And visions," he warned.  "If so, tell Rodney."  They all nodded.  "Or mine."  That got another nod.  "I don't have one.  Sam's is Ianto."  Phil stared.  Xander grinned.  "He found out last life.  Is why I suggested he be brought in."

"Why don't you have one?" Tony asked.  "Having been around for so long...."

Xander shrugged.  "Not in the realms I've been in.  Everyone thinks Peace Child but he's more like a brother.  Some lives a pretty wife."  Clint shook his head quickly.  "Happens."  He looked back at Tony.  "Not sure why.  Rodney's math thinks he's here in this one.  Not a clue, dude."

"Clearly you spent time in southern California," he said dryly.

"Sunnydale.  Hellmouth."

"Our hellmouth here is on the edge of LA," Coulson said.  Xander sighed.  "Sunnydale isn't a town anymore.  It got shut down after a plague.  Demon?"

"Mayor," he said dryly.  "Huge demon snake."  He frowned.  "Finn?"

"Who?" Clint asked.

"Riley Finn.  Initiative mess."

Phil looked that up.  "I see him being part of a classified project.  Not called that."

"Demons?" Xander asked.

He looked at what he could.  "Not sure."  He sent that file to Fury to ask him to have it looked into.  He sent back their higher ups had wanted it there.  He sent it to his father, who said that shit was going down when he wrote back a minute later.  "Dad said hi."  He smiled.  "And that he wants to use their machine to download memories."

Xander snickered.  "I have centuries of memories."

"I think he wants the recent ones."

Xander shrugged. "Might not work.  Ask Rodney, if he say okay I will."

"That'll work," Phil said, answering his father back.  He looked at him.  "What about when things even out?"

"Not sure," Xander admitted.  "John wants to be next generation.  I think he'd make a sucky Picard."  Tony burst out snickering at that joke.  "Evan would like ship though.  He likes flying."

John appeared sitting with his feet up on the table.  "You're really chatty, Xander.  Why?"

Xander shrugged.  "They need to know?"

John smirked at him.  "I had the same thing with Evan."  Xander stiffened, staring at him.  "Yeah, busted.  They're here."  He grinned.  "Finally!"  He hugged him then let him go.  "Beyond that."  He looked at Coulson.  "Some of us are the next generation of the team.  Me, Tony, probably Rodney somehow though he swears up and down he's not a hero, even if he did help us save Atlantis twice.  And we're making sure there's no wraith anywhere near here.  Or Ori."  He grinned.  "Or Gou'ald."

"Dad found one," Phil told him.  "Killed him.  Made them run from J."

"Great."  He beamed.  "Ianto might, not sure.  His old job was partially saving the world and partially being the hero's sidekick that did the mundane things."

"He was that one's Pepper," Tony said.

"Yup."  He grinned at him.  Then at Natasha.  "Antonia can follow you if you want.  Don's not a bad fighter.  Not used to it a lot though.  Ray was a street punk sorta cop.  He gets that from his daddy, J."  He grinned at Clint.  "Evan will be there.  Xander will if we let him."  Xander nodded.  "If he doesn't do something stupid and reincarnate too soon."

"Probably not."

"I'd rather the boys didn't go to SHIELD," Clint said.

"Who said it's going to stay under SHIELD?" Tony asked.  Clint stiffened.  "SHIELD is having their own issues.  We might have to move the team privately or under Stark's banner.  Not sure."

"The same people that are overtop of the SHIELD program and others were over that lab," Phil said.

Clint stared at him.  "Really?"  He nodded.  "Did they have others?"

"Two.  They're both junior agents in training."

Clint shuddered.  "So they would've been the next team anyway."

"Yup," John agreed.  "Some of us are the sort to jump in and help.  No matter what.  We'd see a need and help.  Evan and I are both like that.  Xander was too," he said when Xander waved a hand.  "They used to call him the White Knight."

"And occasionally a black knight," Xander admitted.  "Was a bit mean sometimes when needed."

Clint stared at him.  "I don't want you two to die like I'll probably go."

Xander smiled.  "We won't.  We'll be better trained."

"Could be," he agreed, smiling a bit.  The kid had a point.  "Still."

"If not necessary, won't.  Evan will follow John.  That's what mates do."

"I get that.  Try?"

Xander smiled.  "I could go take out dictators."

"Please don't.  It doesn't pay well."

Natasha laughed.  "It doesn't, no."  She patted the baby on the back.  "What was your last girlfriend like?"

"Last one was Anya," he said.

John shook his head.  "Don't ask.  Just...  She's here in this realm and she saw him, saw the her in his first realm, and burst out crying for a few days."

"She missed the sex," Xander quipped, getting swatted by Natasha for it.  "Did!" he insisted.  He considered it then pulled up some magic to show them.  "Last life as Xander."

"That's why I said not to ask," he said at Clint's mutters and whimpers.  Xander gave him a look.  "Even I never dated someone like her, Xander, and I had a few money and position grubbing hos."

Xander shrugged.  "She didn't want to kill me.  Was nice."

Clint stared at him.  "This time, take Stark's castoffs.  Please?"

"No one I dated was that evil or needy."  He'd hate to see what the kid dated this time.  Because *damn*.  Everyone was staring at him.  "Was that out loud?"  John smirked and nodded.  "Truth.  *Damn*."

Xander cleared it and shrugged.  "Been three lives so yeah, missing it and her."

"Won't happen.  Can't be corrupted this one because I'm not giving up my job," she shouted.

He looked up and shrugged.  "If you want to keep it at that level."

"If you're not at least sixteen she's getting an explosive arrow to the brain," Clint assured him.  Xander huffed but nodded.  He looked at John.   "What's Atlantis like?"

"Beautiful and scary.  A bit broken but not fully broken.  Lonely.  She was alone for millennia."  Clint shivered.  "She's my favorite lady of all time. She's a grand old dame but sometimes I'm sure she swore about us.  Especially when we made her quit making babies in the labs."  Stark looked at him oddly.  "That's how a few were created.  That one," he said with a point at Xander.  "Crawled out of a stargate on a planet we've never been to, with DNA saying he was mine and Rodney's, and decided he was ours."  Xander cackled.  "He made us go on for a really long time.  Both go-rounds.  He had some ideas that helped a lot against the wraith."

"What's a wraith?" Stark asked.  John put up a memory of them.  "Okay, that's freaky," he said.

"Eat through their hands," Xander said, changing it to one where he was nearly eaten but he managed to blow them back at the last second.  Clint shuddered and pulled him closer.  "We won there."

"We'll win if they come here," Clint assured him.  Natasha pulled him over to get her own hug.  "Anything that they'd do against women?"

"There was one that we tried a new way of modifying them so we could undo the wraith taint.  He was trying to breed special warriors," John said.  "We blew the hell out of him when we got a teammate free."

Xander nodded.  "Happily."  He looked at him.  "Carson?"

"He went on to have a happy afterlife, Xander."

"Cool.  He can be bored.  Probably some of his mother's cats."  John smiled.  "There might be."

"Maybe, you never know."

"I'll never find out."  He shrugged.  Everyone stared.  "Doing this until the universes end, people."

"It's a lonely life but some day he'll have a mate to meet up with each new go-round," John quipped.  "Evan and I have to make sure we're not put in as siblings or something.  Dean and Sam are brothers so they need the same thing and Dean's mate just pops in to stalk him."  Xander cackled.  "I know, but still.  I like Cas.  He's quietly efficient and badass all at once, but he does nag."  He shrugged slightly.  "You needed it in the life as their kid."

"Yeah, probably.  Used to stop bullies."

"I heard."

Xander smirked.  "Deserved it."

"Yeah, we heard that too."  Xander smirked at him.  "This time, less fights, okay?"  Xander shrugged.  "Watch over Rodney for me?  You know how he gets a wild idea and focuses on it for *weeks* until he either does it or proves he can't."

"Will.  Of course.  Mom and all that."

"Thanks, kiddo.  Let me get back before someone suspects something."  He winked and left.

Xander grinned at them.  "We're all nuts."

"I think all heros have a bit of nuts in them," Stark said dryly.  "Know that focused state very well though."  Xander smirked at him.  "I'll make sure he's fine."

"So, how did Dean and Sam get picked if they were your parents?" Clint asked.

"Got asked before we died on Atlantis."

"Huh."  That got a nod.  "So it's not by volunteer?"

"Only Evan."

"That's good to know."  They settled in to go over ideas on what needed to be done to support the kids and let no one else know how special they were.  Xander slowly fell asleep.  Clint stared at him then at Natasha, shrugging some.  He'd handle it.  Xander needed guided and healed.  Evan needed trained.  They'd handle it.  Xander was mumbling about Sanda, who Stark shook his head about.  The meeting broke up and Clint put Xander back in bed.  He sat up to think.  That explained a lot about his two sons.  Evan was a good boy, who was a warrior underneath.  Xander...  Xander was a lot like him in the bad ways and the ways that counted.  And that was scaring the crap out of him.


Phil took a night off, trusting the other parents not to warp his son or their own children too much in just a single night.  He went to a bar downtown in the city, sighing as he sat in the booth across from a familiar looking man.  "J, is my father critically late or just tardy?"

"How do you know me?" he asked.  "And I'm going to have to take this from you, you know that right?"

Phil smirked a tiny bit.  "I'm sure you'll want to, stepmother."  J flinched.  "He critically late or just tardy?  We have to talk about his grandson."

K sat down with beers.  "What did we find out that was so different?"

"Redemption children."

K choked even though he wasn't drinking.  "Really?"  Phil nodded, taking a sip of his beer.  "Why?"

"What happened after that battle?"  Phil countered.

"Are you sure you're my son?  I keep sensing this snippy attitude, son."

"Dad, quit," Phil ordered.  "Before I buy you condoms for you and my stepmother instead of a blender."  J was choking now.

K looked at his partner.  "See what I have to put up with?  It's why sometimes I treat you like you're a kid."  He looked at his son.  "Any other good news?"  Phil found a video online and let him see it.  He watched then looked at his son.  "Really."

"Really."  He smirked slightly.  His father scowled.  He pulled up the redemption child myth so he could read it.  "It's his first tour."

K slid the phone back.  "That's really weird, even for my part of our shared agency."

"It is for us too.  We had a talk with one of them.  Who is ancient by all definitions."

"I've read that myth a few times."

"Alexander Barton."

K shuddered.  "We knew something wasn't standard about hm.  So?"  He sipped his beer.

"Necessary before we all lost hope," he said quietly.  "Loki's sons might need guarding.  That's why they're geeks."

"They are.  I bent a few rules out of place to contact someone in another realm that we've worked with in the past."  Phil slid over the first book.  He nodded.  "We have a confiscated copy at the office from another reality."  J took it to look over.  "Why is that one different?"  He looked and stared at his son.  "Excuse me?"  Phil sipped his beer with a slight grin.  "Huh."

"We have two outside sources of help.  Xander was going to be one but got caught being too good."

"That's making more sense about him," K said.  He sipped more of his beer.  "Anything else I need to know?"

"Yes, three things.  Rodney said Atlantis is real."  K slumped, shaking his head.  "Which means you owe me that hundred back."  He smiled.  "Ianto's birthday is in four days.  He turns four."  He slid over a paper.  "His sizes and yes, he only wears good suits, Father.  Sorry.  Also, we think that with the next battle, something's going to happen that's huge, and that's why the kids are so old.  Xander said usually he'd be a cooing little cute thing."

K nodded.  "That's how I was told it worked."

"Can they do this here?" J asked, pointing at the book.

Phil shook his head.  "No school here," K said.

"If you're talking manipulative people like him, yes.  They run the people that are over both of our agencies.  Which is how I found him again after he disappeared."

"Good to know, why?" J asked.  "I thought that'd majorly break the rules."

"He got recruited to SHIELD," K said quietly, glancing around.  "Which did not please me."

"I love the job, but some of the people drive me insane," Phil admitted.  "I'd die for the group but I might kill Stark first."

"And have, which pissed me off majorly," K assured him, staring at him.

"I got better as you told me once," Phil shot back calmly, staring back.

"Guys, let's not have a polite nagging contest," J noted.  "There's no telling who'd be destroyed with what K and you can probably both pull out."

"He'd have to get something from Stark," K quipped.  "You're getting nagged later."

"Fine."  He looked at his father's partner.  "I do have better, but I'm not allowed on the hell carrier since I have a son."  K choked again.  "Director Fury's orders."

"Bullshit," he noted.  "The kids would adore the hell carrier."  He could sense the mischief in that suggestion.  "No one told him," he said with a nod at J.

Phil got into his phone and held up a picture of a little boy dressed in dark jeans and a t-shirt.  "Look familiar?"

"Should he?"

"The same people that are over your group and my group had a breeding lab," Phil said.  "Which is where your partner's grandson and your son came from."

"Excuse me?  My what?" J demanded.  "How in the hell?" he hissed so they'd quit drawing attention.

"The same way the new grandson was made," K said, finishing his beer.

"You and Director Fury actually," Phil said with a slight smile.  "He swears, a lot, but we're working on that."  He put his phone up.  "So, still a blender I need to buy, Dad?"

"Not cute, Son.  Really not cute."

J shook his thoughts free.  "Where is he?"

"With the other kids."

"Where would that be?"

"Avengers mansion," K said dryly.  "Probably trying to blow things up."

"Rodney is working on a time turner."  His father moaned and slumped in his seat.  "After being Hermione....."  His father glared.  He smiled.  "Ianto is very much a good little boy.  He organizes things, he makes excellent coffee and cookies.  He's the anchor of the group, they all range out and come back to him for coffee."

"You're going to go nuts," his father said.

"Quite likely," he agreed with a grin.  "Though if Barton can't handle it, I'm adopting Alexander."  His father shook his head, looking down.  "He's a very good little boy.  Very street smart.  I even got him to quit swearing at tripping over his feet again."

"So let me get this straight," J said.  "Someone above us decided we needed future agents?"

"From what we found, yes," Phil said.

J glared.  "This has got to be a joke, right?"

"No.  Sorry."  He showed him the video of the kids playing.  J slumped and finished his beer.  "His other father has been mostly absent after one check in."

"Yeah, how does that work for us?" he asked K.

"It usually doesn't.  The bosses are having fits that I found out."  He finished his son's beer.  "They want to recruit Phil but can't do it.  The memory eraser won't work on him."

"Or Stark," Phil offered.

"Really?" K asked.  "Interesting.  We'll have to try something else."

"Make him forget Pepper, watch everyone get destroyed by her," John quipped as he walked past the table.

"Where is Anthony?" Phil asked.

"Hiding."  He smirked back and disappeared again.

"Good to know."  He and his father shared a look then K shook his head.  Phil smiled slightly.  "So, blenders are good then?  Or I can find a toaster or something."

"No, we don't need wedding presents, Junior," K complained.

J shook his head.  "I wouldn't have the old guy for anything, man.  He's all yours to be nagged by."  He got up and walked out to throw a quiet fit somewhere private.

K smiled.  "He'll show up to look at the kids soon."

"That's fine."  He got up.  "The others have birthdays over the next few months."  He walked off.

K looked at the sizes then put them into his pocket.  He could find his overly-nicely dressed grandson something he was sure.  They had female agents he could ask.  He got up and put down a tip, taking down the shield device J had used.  He went to gather his partner, who was looking pissed off.  "You can visit."

"He's my kid.  I should be raising him."

"I can flash you and make sure you have the time off," he offered.

J stared at him.  "Let me process and ask again."  He walked off.

K followed.  It was a hard decision.  Phil had been six when he had been recruited.  He knew that fight very well.


Phil looked at the gathered Avengers.  "Birthdays," he noted.

"I don't celebrate," a few said.

"The children's," he said bluntly.

Bruce Banner smiled.  He had met them earlier and been a bit freaked out until Xander had flirted with him.  "They should celebrate them."  Phil put down a list of when they were.

Clint looked then at him.  "What would the kids like?"

"Evan likes to fly," Stark said.  "Xander likes weapons and ancient books on paranormal and magical theory."

"Magic?" Bruce snorted, smiling some.  "Really?"

Xander appeared on the table, smiling at him.  "Hi, Unclie Bruce."  Bruce was gaping in horror.  He beamed.  "Some of us are great."  He looked at Clint.  "No birthday.  I don't celebrate."  He disappeared.

"Tough, you're getting one anyway," Clint yelled.  He sighed and made notes.  "What does Ianto want?"

"Something nice for his suit collection probably," Phil offered.  "Though he does appreciate nearly anything."

They all nodded and figured out what to buy for the kids.  "Are we getting something like a clown or anything?" Bruce asked.

"Xander has nightmares about clowns," Clint said.  "And sometimes headmasters."  Stark slid the book set down to him.  He handed them to Bruce.  "What are we getting Antonia?  Toni Odinson is the biggest tomboy ever and even I can't always keep up with her on a rampage."

"That was sugar," Stark admitted.  "Rodney fed her my pixie sticks."  They all groaned.  "He wanted some peace and quiet for a bit.  Sorry."

"Your kid's a menace," Bruce said but he was smiling.  "What is he working on creating?"

"A time turner."

"A what now?"

"You turn it and go back an hour," Stark said.  Bruce slumped, staring at him.  Tony nodded.  "Basically, yes."  Bruce groaned and looked over the books.  He pointed.  "Last lives.  Some of them."

Phil cleared his throat.  "Thor, what are you getting the children for their birthdays?  I can have someone help you shop if you want."

"We can do it online and order," Tony offered.  "Less damage to people who want to hug and cuddle Thor's hammer for him."

"We celebrate naming days," Thor said.  "You celebrate the birth?"  They all nodded.  "Hmm.  I have no idea what one gets their whelp as a present when they are that age.  They're too young for weapons and too old for baby toys."

"Children have a whole range of toys," Natasha told him.  He smiled at her.  "I will help you look.  I found some charming light chest plate armor for those that Ren Faire."

Tony looked at her.  "Antonia might adore that.  Dean likes cars," he told Thor.  "I found him looking at the engine of one of mine."

"He has a softness for Impala's," a new, unfamiliar male voice said as he appeared.  He walked forward and smiled at Phil.  "No, I'm not free yet.  I've heard mate rumors.  Can I check on that?"

"They're taking a nap, Sam."

"Thanks."  He smiled.  "Dean likes shotguns, our former Impala, which was kinda our home, and could probably use protection jewelry.  Not too many demons in this realm but better safe than sorry."

"I have it," Xander yelled from somewhere in the air vents.

Clint looked up.  "You really are my son."  Natasha shook her head.  "Is your brother up there with you?"

"He sniffly nap."

"Thank you," Clint said.  "I'll have him checked over."  He looked at the new guy.  "Who're you?"

"Jack Harkness."  He leered.  "You're adorable."

"Yes, I am, but mostly straight.  Sorry."  Sam cackled and walked off.  He pointed.

"Dean's brother in their original life," Phil told him.  "Presently immortal in a race that can bear male pregnancies and the occasional companion of a temporal traveler."  He looked around.  "Where are we holding the parties?"

"Here seems safest," Tony said.  "Less chance of someone breaking in to get one of them.  I think it's great Evan snuck out and nearly got taken."  Clint stiffened.  "Pepper rescued him.  He was supposed to tell you, or she was."  He sent a text at Pepper, who claims she forgot.  He looked at Phil.  "Jeremy's other father?"

"Is now aware and venting."

"Good.  Are we going to see him?"  He pointed at the security camera on the playroom.

Phil looked then nodded.  "That is him."  He looked at them.  "Yard, kitchen?  Do we need to put up a playground?"

Tony nodded.  "Probably should.  Though I'm not sure they'd use it.  Some of them are *real* serious and never seem to relax."  He shifted in his seat.  "I found Rodney had made a plasma based lava lamp to watch at night when he couldn't sleep."

"He has PTSD," Natasha said quietly.  "Most of them do."  Bruce moaned.  "Their last few lives were not fun."

"No, probably not," Clint agreed.  "I've helped Evan with his.  Each time I go looking for Xander to check on him, he's not in bed and I can't find his nest."

"Stone treehouse out back," Tony said with a point.  "I asked for one and my father had that built.  He's almost always out there when he's not hiding in the vents."

"Thanks, Stark."

Tony smiled.  "I did the same thing a lot, Barton.  It's a great hiding spot and has a few rooms hidden by secret doors."

"I'll remember that."  He shifted to lean back.  "Standard they pick the dinner, cake and ice cream, then presents?"

"That works for me," Phil agreed.  "Anyone not agree?"  They all shrugged it was fine with them.  "Stark, can you please quit letting Xander and Rodney make things?  I got a call from the local airport that their sensors were going off and they were wondering if you were tinkering.  Apparently the manager remembered when you were sixteen and you brought down the whole airport while rebuilding a personal helicopter."

"What were they building?"

"No clue," Phil admitted.

"I'll check and lock down the most dangerous things.  I don't think my son needs fissionables at this point in his life.  Or plasma."  He rolled his eyes as he called up security footage on his tablet computer.  "Huh, yeah, that would bend all radar by a thirty-degree angle probably if they calibrated it right."  He got up to go disable that.  No wonder the news had said that the local airport was diverting all day today.  He flipped off the switch and disabled the power supply, then put it into the safe.  He did a search of the lab, putting all the other things they were building into a storage room until he and Rodney could go over it.

Clint looked at Phil.  "Xander's not my kid with Stark, right?"

"Not that we could find," Phil said blandly.  "Though sometimes he does seem like it."  Clint got up and went to find his boys.  The others left to go deal with their own children.  Phil sat down and relaxed.  Ianto brought in some coffee so he pulled him into his lap to drink it with him.  Ianto grinned.  "I'm very happy you're my son."

"You're nice too."

Phil grinned.  "I try sometimes."  He let him have a sip then took a larger drink.  "Do you like weapons?"

"No.  Can but no."

"Robots?"  The shudder his son went through earned him a hug.  "I didn't mean to ask something painful."  Ianto shrugged.  "What do you like for toys?  Games?  Computer games?  Video games?"

"Don't really play games," he admitted.  "Didn't think about it."  He shrugged.  "I'm good."

"You are very good, son."  He gave him a squeeze and settled in to talk with him.  He had to get to know his son better.  He wanted to get him more than more clothes or a coffee set.


Phil walked up to Stark because he was the only person that might be able to handle this probable issue.  "The children have no safety fall back," he said.

Tony turned on his stool to look at him.  "Are we thinking that might be an issue?"

"We had agents turned away earlier by other SHIELD agents and my father's group."  He  pulled up the security footage from up the street.  "They stopped them by the gates."

Tony watched, nodding slowly.  "Okay," he decided.  "That has to be handled.  Anything you want to add to the idea before I get to work on it?"

"They'll be kids, and Xander kept having dreams of you as a baby."  Stark winced.  "In the future."

"Shit," he muttered, tossing down the pencil in his hand.  "Seriously?"

"Possibly.  I have no idea how correct his visions are."

"Xander?" Tony called, knowing he was up this time of night.  He strolled in rubbing his head, wearing a t-shirt that he had clearly stolen from an adult.  "Okay, two things.  Visions?"  Xander nodded, looking up at him.  He picked him up by his waist to put him on the table.  "How right, anything we can do for the pain?"

"Few herby things work for the pain.  Feels like a migraine with a movie preview," he complained.  "I'm almost always right.  Not always on time but always right."

"Okay, so you're having visions of us being deaged or just me?"

"You, I see Clint, I see Natasha and Steve.  I haven't seen Thor yet in any of them in any form."  That got a nod.  "Do have an idea."  Both adults stared at him.  "Thanks to other mes having convention," he said with an evil smirk.  "One of us bought an island."  He typed into Tony's tablet once he had found the map feature.  He looked and scowled until he found them.  "Here.  Private, not owned by another country.  Usually looked at as wasted space and rocks."

Tony looked those up.  "Those aren't owned by anyone.  Or claimed it looks like."  Coulson pulled up the information he could on them.  "That's not that hard to do.  What did that other you do?  And are we talking you as another you?"

"'Nother realm me.   Black knight me."  He took the pencil to draw, swallowing the nausea he was having.  Phil went to the first aid box and came back with something to make him take.  "Why?"

"Should help.  It can with migraines," he said quietly.  Xander took it and went back to the basic sketch.  "What does that one do that he needs a hotel-like structure?"

"It's for the hos.  They can say no but hired so his men don't cheat and his kids don't get pregnant."  He burped and grimaced.  Tony sent a text message, getting him some water.  Clint strolled in.  "Hey."

"What happened?  Concussion?  I saw you fall out of the tree earlier but you hid before I could check you over."

"Vision.  Migraine with movie preview."  He burped again. 

Clint took him to the infirmary they had to get him scanned and get him something.  Even if he vomited they had someone who could handle it on site now.  Coulson had insisted after Rodney had created a plasma fire to entertain people out back.  And had incidentally roasted someone who wanted to capture Greg and Spenser.  Clint's phone rang with a text message so he looked at it and showed the EMT they had.  He nodded and got that medicine to give to the kid.  Xander was conked out within minutes.  He looked like he was in less pain so that was good.  Clint carried him back to bed, finding Rodney in there turning it down.  "Thanks.  Let me help him."

Rodney stared at him.  "Was his second father once," he said dryly.  "We had many of these."

"Anything work well?"

"Time.  Chocolate laced with herby things."  He looked in his journal, finding the recipe.  "Here.  Works on Dean's too.  Use the chocolate to flavor it."  Clint smiled and looked it over.  "I can make the potions."

"Teach Natasha how to do it."

He nodded.  "I can do that."  He tucked Xander in and untucked his feet then left him alone.  He went to wake her up, which she did when he opened the door.  "Clint said to teach you potions for vision headaches."

"I am a decent cook and I do know chemistry," she said, sitting up.  "How difficult is it?"

"Not.  Needs touch of magic and I can do that."  He showed her the formula and wrote out the potions for her.  She nodded she could gather things in the morning for them to work on it together.  He grinned and let her get back to sleep.  Clint was sitting beside Xander's bed.  Dean had snuck in and was curled up behind Xander to cuddle him.  It was really only him, Dean, and Evan who had known and helped with Xander's uniqueness before.  Everyone else was off being godly or demigodly.  Rodney went back to the lab.  "Strange thing is, I nearly switched with Xander."

Tony looked at him.  "That might've driven me more nuts than you stealing things to reprogram on me."

Rodney smirked.  "D'Hoffryn wants Xander to be more normal.  Quit being so strong and one of the ancient ones.  He puts me places where I'm not comfy either."

Coulson looked at him.  "Is he able to shift here?"

"No, he's not until Sam shifts over.  So we'll be rotating in and out of this system for a while."

Tony stared at him.  "This realm or this group?"

"Don't know.  Not that old," he admitted.  "Ask Xander because he got so mad he can take over."

"I read that."

"He handed it back after much nagging."

"I read that too.  Can he do that for you guys while the higher ups are there?"

Rodney shrugged.  "No clue.  Have to ask."  He sent an email to a special account that went to Sam's in Torchwood. They have multi-realm pickups.  He got one back saying that Torchwood had no idea about what he was talking about.  "Hmm.  Gwen.  Reminds me of Bitchy."  He sent another one to another address on that same system.  He got back a 'quit emailing us please' response.  "The other bitch."  He looked up.  "Sam!"  He appeared and Rodney pointed.  "Bitches do not rule."

"No, I'm about to spank them both.  What's up?"

"If D'Hoffryn can't switch realms, what does that mean for them?" Tony asked.

Sam grimaced.  "Not sure.  I haven't been doing that this long.  You can't ask Xander?"

"Vision," Rodney said bluntly.

"Let me get you the stuff you need for the potion.  I'll ask."  He disappeared to talk to D'Hoffryn about that.  Sam knew he wasn't going to die for centuries yet.  Like six hundred or so of them if you count linearly.  Who knew how long it'd be if you counted all the years he'd live.  He came back with a box of stuff for Rodney, a wand, giving him a pointed look for forgetting it, and a book.  "That's for Xander.  It's how he switches them. 

"If he doesn't switch them out and around, they'll stay within, basically, the lineages that they have.  So he'll switch back and forth among all of your lines as you need him to."  Stark and Coulson nodded.  He looked at Rodney and handed over something from his back pocket.  "Got it during a convention.  One of the companions in another realm hit a time vortex with the Doc and our Doc was horrified but pleased and really confused by that Xander."  He smirked.  "He got the bottomless bags from another Xander from another place."

"Heard of those," Rodney agreed, digging into the bag.  "Thank you, Einstein," he prayed.  "My old kit."

Sam patted him on the head.  "Xander's battle axe, a few other special weapons.  You forgot your wand?"

Rodney looked up.  "Magic against science?  Science wins."

"So use both, dude."  He smirked and handed Stark something over Rodney's head.  Then he winked at the kid.  "I have no clue.  The Doc that was displaced and that Xander moved everything they had, including the hidden areas," he said with an eye roll, "to this realm.  To this realm's temple.  Caledin is on your bucket list."

"Yes it is.  My next two year's list."  He grinned.  "Other treats?"

"A lot.  They're hiding."  He smirked.  "Can't make it easy on you.  Want Owen?"

"Xander would like to flirt."

"When he was an older Harry, they did make a nice couple of fuck buddies."  He shrugged.  "If Owen dies he's coming here too.  He's going to become the guy who oversees the redemption children here.  The ones we still have there, like Carson, are off doing the usual thing and having fun.  Though he is pouting because he still wants Esme O'Neill to be brought back for him.  Thinks she's his mate.  Could be right," he admitted.  "Beyond that."  He handed Coulson something with an evil smirk.  "For Xander."  He looked at Rodney.  "I added a few treats.  Don't get too happy with them and share.  Watch out for Ianto?  He gets into such trouble."

"Will.  Of course will."  He flapped a hand.  "Go screw light post."

"Gwen is a bit smarter than a light post," he said dryly.  "Most of the time.  She really does remind me of Buffy sometimes."  He disappeared.  He fixed the email thing and swatted them both about it.  "That's a redemption child that just got posted to another realm.  He needed help.  Shut the fuck up."  He walked off.

Rodney dug into the bag.  "Butterbeer!  Yes!  Was missing this."  He opened one and took a drink.  "Hmm, warm too.  Good."  He walked off with his treat bag.

"Oh, no, no beer, son," Tony said, taking it to taste.  "Hmm.  Low alcohol."

"Wizarding world is Victorian," he said dryly, taking it back.  "Drank it at eleven, can now."  Tony took the bag.  "Don't rip it!"

"Okay, I won't.  What is it?"

"Magical.  Bottomless.  Rips means everything goes away."

"Definitely not ripping it.  How do we pull things out?"

"Think about it."  He looked and concentrated on Xander's axe.  It came up and he grabbed it, grunting at the weight.  "Heavy, ancient weapon of doom."  He dragged it by the head, the handle end dragging on the floor, all the way to Xander's room.  Clint opened the door, staring at him.  "Was his.  Favorite thing."  He walked it over and Dean helped him lift it.  Xander cooed and cuddled his axe.  "Sam left stuff."

Xander blew a sleepy kiss.  "Get more weapons tomorrow.  Thanks."

"Welcome.  Knew you missed her."  He walked out drinking.  Ianto took it to sip and looked at it then at him.  "Butterbeer."

"Interesting.  We need to market that."  He walked off.  "How is Jack?"

"Cranky with the light posts of ho-dom you worked with."

"Figures.  Owen?"

"Coming here if he dies to help us."  They shared an evil smirk.  Hermione had visited Torchwood a few times with Luna.  And let Harry pounce Owen.

Tony walked past the boys, taking the butterbeer.  "I'm having it analyzed so we can make more."  They smiled.  "I put all the candy up.  All the weapons are in the armory but I'm going to be breaking a few down to make sure I can make more of them, because yeah we like laser weapons, and you're in deep shit for that blowing up the sun theory that was in your book of notes."  He smirked.  "You're a scarier geek than I am.  I didn't think it was possible.  Banner's going to set up an altar to you, kid."  He walked off.  "Which makes me a happy geek."

Rodney cackled.  "I could use an altar to my greatness."

"You could use coffee," Ianto said.

"Yes, please, if you have some made?"  Ianto got him some and Rodney went back to his room happier.  That made his night.  Ianto made the best coffee and Rodney was a coffee addict.

Ianto served the others coffee with a smile.  "Need help?"  He looked and pointed.  "Torchwood issue."

"We're going to do diagrams, build new prototypes, make them better, and let you guys use the old ones," Tony said.

Ianto grinned.  "Thanks."  He walked off to go clean up the play area.

Coulson stopped his son and picked him up.  "Bed."

"Not tired."

"Tough.  Bed."  He kissed him on the forehead.  "Now."  He put him down.  "Need a bedtime story?"

"Haven't had one in years," he said quietly, giving him an odd look.

"Then it'll be good for the both of us."  He walked him off to put him into bed and read him a story.

Tony looked at the new goodies in his lab, checking the bag for more.  He found a few things, including a ferret, and put it aside.  It squeaked and ran off to find a good spot to play in.  "Sure," he decided.  "You can be our mascot.  Natasha will love you."  He found what had blocked the bag and tipped it up, thinking about everything coming out gently so nothing got damaged.  More weapons.  Some ancient, some not.  More treats.  More candy he'd have to hide from all the Bartons and the rest of the kids. 

He nibbled on something he didn't think they had in this realm.  "That's really good."  He put it aside to finish later and when the flow stopped he checked the bag, putting it carefully into a storage box, and then sorted things out.  The books got put in one pile.  He couldn't identify most of the languages.  Yet.  The weapons got sorted into the armory.  He didn't want to wake up to Antonia and Xander having another sword fight with real blades ever again.  Or Rodney with his light saber, which was a scary application but fun.  The geeks all enjoyed it a lot. 


Clint hugged Evan when he came in to check on Xander.  "Vision."

"Sucks," Evan agreed.  "Hate those things."  He petted Xander's head.  "Food?"  Xander shook his head violently and put it under the blanket.  "You have your axe?"

"Someone brought it," Clint said.

"Cool!"  He ran off to see what else came.  Tony had some of it in the open.  "Hey, no weapons?" he demanded.

Tony looked at him.  "In the armory so the mini-geniuses can't get into them."

"Not fair."

"Yay."  He smirked.  "Watch me not build you a laser pistol."

"Bloody wankers," a male Welsh voice complained as he appeared.  "What the fucking hell?"

"Language," Tony snapped.

Evan laughed.  "Hi, Owen."  He grinned and waved.

He stared at the boy.  "Do I know you?"

"Last time you saw me, I was marrying Ron."

"Oh, that's you.  What the hell?"


Owen shuddered.  "I got told on my way here."

Evan grinned.  "You're our admin?"


"Cool."  Evan made a list.  "I need these."

Owen looked.  "How would I get that here?"

Evan made better notes and grinned maniacally.  "We should save her."

"Sure, get me a space ship," Owen quipped dryly, staring at him.  "I was told I'd be in Turkey for some reason."


Rodney walked in and stared.  "Huh.  Wrong continent, Doctor Love."

"Hermione!" he asked, looking amused.  "You're a bloke?"

"Was before her," he said dryly.  "Hated being a girl."  He shuddered.  Rodney called out to someone Xander did.  She appeared then whimpered.  "D'Hoffryn's stuck so he's our surrogate and handler.  He's supposed to be at the temples."

"I'll bring him to Caledin, Rodney.  Evan, no shuttles."


"Not unless you can build your own," she quipped.

"Need things," Rodney complained.  "I had my old kit."  Tony pointed at the old-fashioned carpet bag.  "Good!"  He got something and scanned her.  "Not from this realm."  She groaned but took Owen with her to the temples so he could settle in and administrate.  "Huh."  Rodney looked.  "Need the recharger."  He found it and looked then moved to build something to plug it into.  "Need an adapter for the recharger."

"What does it run on?" Tony asked.

"Sub-nuclear power fields and fluctuations."  He smirked.  "Void energy."  Tony moaned and his whole body clenched.  "Dangerous but good and handy."  He looked at the arc reactor.  "We can compare."  He beamed and started on the math for a new ZPM.  He had finally figured out how to combine magic and tech to make one.  Or more.  More was always good.

Tony watched, getting up to help him with the advanced math.  Rodney shook his head and fixed something.  "Magical physics?" Tony guessed.

"Magical math."

"Huh.  Didn't know that."  They went over it and yes, Rodney could do that.  He could actually use Tony's old arc reactor to start the process and slowly make a new ZPM safely.  It would take a year but that was fine.

No one should need one for a year anyway.

He hoped.


Xander woke up and blinked at the ceiling.  "Hate this fuzzy feeling."  A bottle of water was handed to him and he flinched.  "Damn it."

"Chill," Clint said.  "It's my job."  He helped him sit up to drink it.  "Before you ask, the axe is under your pillow so you don't get cut."  Xander checked on it, still sipping his water, getting onto his knees to look it all over.  "She's pretty."

Xander smiled.  "Had her in Sunnydale."  He petted her.  "She's special."

"I have a bow like that."  He got comfortable.  "You better?  Still achy?  Still have the migraine?"

"I'm good."

Clint stared at him.  "That's usually my line."

"I'll survive."

"That's Natasha's."  He smirked a bit.  "Try it again?  I have tylenol."

"Could use that," he admitted, taking the pills to swallow with the rest of his water.  "Thanks."

"Welcome."  He smiled.  "Laundry mysteriously got done and all your stuff got folded."

"You do laundry?  Wow.  Teach Dean?"

"I don't do laundry, Stark hired us housekeepers for all of you to make messes for."

"Pretty?  Dangerous?"

"Hopefully not dangerous, but one's mildly cute."

"Shoot, not my type."  Clint burst out laughing.  Evan came in and pounced Xander to hug.  "Awww."

"No more visions," Evan ordered.

Xander hugged him back.  "I'll try, stepmom."

"Thank you!"  He got free and grinned.  "You missed cake."  He ran off.

"I saved you a piece," Clint said with a smile.  Xander beamed back and wiggled some.  "Let's get you into a shower.  I wasn't going to wake you up by giving you a bath."  Xander hopped off the bed and headed for his bathroom.  "Need help?"


"You sure?"


"Okay, let me know if you do.  I'll be right here."  Xander leaned out to stare at him.  "I figured we should talk.  I have no idea of the response that's needed when you have a vision.  If it's like a seizure?  If it'll cause damage?"

"Mostly, take notes if I say anything, make me tell you when I have it, and then let me sleep it off."  He ducked back into the bathroom.

"Okay, I can put that into the protocol book."  He got comfortable.  Xander hummed while in the shower, which was cute.  Xander came out wrapped in a towel.  Clint pulled him closer to look at a scar on his shoulder.  "Tell me that's a carryover?"

"Can't.  Got in the way by accident.  It wasn't too bad."

"Sure it wasn't.  It's nine inches long and looks pretty deep.  Claw?"  Xander nodded and turned around.  "Any other injuries that will freak someone like a baby doctor out?"

"Probably not.  Well, if the old vasectomy scar still carries over, maybe."  Clint stared at him.  "My life with Anya."

"It carried over?"

"Yeah, I didn't have time to fade all my scars then and since then I've been busy."  He shrugged.  "I'll make it go if it is."  He found his underwear and put them on then dropped the towel to get dressed.  "I can't exactly hear thoughts but I can sense there's a few."  He slid onto his bed, leaving off his shirt.

"Okay, how do mates work?  If they're here, I'm assuming John mentioned it because they were close enough to the house.  Which would be weird."

Xander nodded.  "There's been a few of us that found mates.  Very few of us.  Mostly in other realms.  I know that one of them did have their parent ending up that way so they met up in the next life."  Clint shuddered.  "I'm not feeling that for you, relax."

"Thank you!"  Xander grinned.  "So how do you know?"

"John didn't realize it until Evan had to get a bit pushy.  I'm told there's like some sort of feeling when you touch them for the first time."  He shrugged.  "No idea."

"Anything we can read to figure out who?  That way you guys can spend some time together but not alone for years?"

Xander grinned.  "Might not work that way.  Don't know.  Like pretty but dangerous.  I let them come to me usually.  I'm a mighty alpha hunter dude but not that way."

"Good to know," he said.  "Though I think I'm drawn to the same sort."  Xander laughed.  "So, is it skin-on-skin touching that sends the signal?  Because everyone's at least patted your shoulder or hair."

Xander nodded.  "Yup, I think so.  Have to look at the books."

Evan leaned in.  "Owen's our admin to help us switch around."

"Cool.  Tell him he still owes me a blow job when I'm old enough."

"Which is not for at least a decade," Clint assured him.

"Or older for Owen," Xander agreed dryly.

"Evan, how did you know John was your mate?"

"I really liked the geeky goofball jackass.  Followed him when people wanted to attack the city to shut down the AI and steal the kids from us."  Xander nodded.  "Was there supposed to be some sort of sign?"

"I heard a touch thing," Xander admitted.  "No clue."

Evan looked up.  "John, is there some sort of mate batsignal?" he called.

"Yes, it's a tingling when you touch them the first few times and it gets stronger if you try to ignore it."

"Skin-on-skin?" Clint asked.

John appeared and nodded.  "Has to be skin-on-skin.  I got it our first kiss," he told Evan, who smirked.

"I'm fantastic, of course you did."  Xander cackled.  "No comment from the former kid gallery."  He winked at John.  "Shoo before they track you."

"They have.  I'm being asked a lot of odd things."

"I'm your mate.  They can blow you," Evan said dryly.

"Good point.  Might make waiting the next decade easier."  He disappeared again.  Hera was in apoplectic shock.  She was making more squeaky noises than squeaky dog toys did.  He shrugged and grinned.  "I'm here as support staff."

She cleared her throat and clasped her hands together.  "Come here, Jonathan."  He moved closer.  She did a test she hadn't thought she'd ever need to do again, nodding slightly.  "I see you are.  And that one is your mate.  I can see the marriage bond."  He grinned.  "The others?"

"Bad shit," John said.  "That's why they deployed eleven of us."

"I see nine and you."

"The gifted child of a warrior in Asgard?   Anthony?  He's my other support.  We're backup."

She nodded.  Because if it took *gods* to back up the problems going on, they might all be screwed.  "We have not had redemption children in this realm outside of one time that was critical so humanity continued."  He showed her why and she grimaced.  "I see it is that desperate.  Who are they?"  He sat at her feet to introduce them to her.  She relaxed.  Things were looking bad but they were mostly experienced in handling issues, and even the newest one was experienced in odd things to handle them.  She'd let John have more time with his mate soon.

*** (sent to list to here)

Clint stared at Xander.  "Want to figure out who it is?"

"I know they're male, even if I would love to flirt with Natasha.  She's so cool," he sighed.

Clint smirked at him.  "They made you my son because I do the same thing."  Xander grinned back.  "C'mon, I want Coulson to document that scar anyway."  Xander nodded and followed him out, cuddling his axe.  "Is that going to become your best friend like Toni's is her sword?" he asked quietly.

"Not until I'm bigger so I can handle it better."  He sat down at the table and stared at everyone.  "Sorry about the visiony thing."

"They happen," Rodney said dryly.  "No weapons at the table."

"That is not the house rule," Tony said dryly.  "Because only Banner doesn't have one on him.  Maybe Steve."

"Pen knife again?" Clint quipped, sitting between his boys.

Tony nodded.  "And a box cutter, I'm helping with the swing set putting up."

"Cool.  We could use a swingset," Bruce said with a smile.  "I can help hold."

Xander looked at him.  "You guys need a swingset?"

Clint patted him on the head.  "Be a kid, Xander.  Or else I'm going to have to torture you by tickling you all the time."  Xander gave him a funny look.  He smirked back.  "I'm mean that way."

"If you're sure."  Clint reached for him so he disappeared and landed behind Bruce.  "You're not mean, right?"

"I am, sorry."  He tickled him, making him run and hide behind Natasha, who just patted him on the head and handed him to Tony.  Xander nearly flinched.

Tony stared at him.  "Pain?"

"No, strange feeling."  He got free and went back to his seat.

Evan stared at him then at Stark then back at Xander.  "Huh."

Rodney stuffed his mouth before he quipped about having been Xander's mother and now Xander being his future stepmother.

"Okay and that was...." Tony asked.  "Pretty clear it was a set-up, Barton."

"Mates are told by a tingly, strange feeling under your skin the first few times you touch," Evan said dryly.  "So next go round, we'll have to make him your age."  He shrugged.

Sam appeared, staring at Xander.  Then at Ianto.  "Yes, I got it from you."

"I noticed it too," he admitted quietly, staring at him.  "When are you joining us?"

"Six, seven centuries counting in linear order."

Ianto grimaced.  "That's a very long time."

"When he gets free, they can send him back to be around you," Xander said.  "I'll make sure of it, Ianto."  He stuffed his mouth with toast.  "Sam, can I have the stuff I left in your locker?"

He nodded.  "Next time I show up."  He smiled because that was a devious plan.  "By the way, saw an Ascended, Rodney.  They made sure you weren't around to be mean to them before I went Ghostbusters on them."  He disappeared.

"Good, hopefully it was one of the ones that hated us enough to attack," Rodney said dryly.

"Probably," Xander said dryly.  "There's a whole bunch watching Torchwood to stare in horror at Sam."

Tony raised a hand.  "What, exactly, is in that closet, because all weapons will be confiscated for the adults to play with and tinker on until you are ten, and what, exactly, is a mate?"

"As in pre-destined, souls joined, all that lovey shit that annoys guys," Xander said, staring at him and eating more toast.

Ianto smiled.  "Not all of us.  Jack could be the sweetest man when he wanted to be.  Until something happened or he had to be expedient.  Then hell might be nicer than him."

Xander nodded.  "Sam had that too.  It was his stubborn bitch face according to Dean."  Dean cackled and nodded.  "Then again, we all have those, Ianto.  My bitchy face time pulls out improbable solutions that destroy things."

"I just build the weapons for us," Rodney quipped.  "Though I do find myself using them now and then.  I used to be much more peaceful before I went to the SGC and then Pegasus."  He ate some cereal.

"As in Galaxy?" Bruce asked him.

Rodney smirked.  "That's where Atlantis was.  John was our head of the military and I was our head scientist."  Bruce moaned.  "We're going to bring her home here some year.  Just have to find out which galaxy she's in and what system."  He ate another bite and smirked.  "You should've seen it when Xander was our kid.  Then Atlantis decided to make a few more babies.  We really do miss Esme, right?"

"She was our greatest nag and a great botanist," Xander sighed.  "Plus really good at helping us get around wraith hunting teams."  They all nodded.  "I want Ronon.  I miss the guy."

"Me too," Rodney sighed.  "He'd hate this revolving stuff though."

"Probably, yeah."  He ate some more toast, looking at Evan.  "I know you and John still miss Teyla like hell."

"Me as well," Rodney agreed.  "She was always calm, even in the face of an overwhelming attack, and so badass it wasn't funny."  He sighed again and stuffed his mouth.  "I still think it's adorable that Esme jumped Ronon to give him the child someone was nagging him for.  O'Neill nearly had a fit but the kid was a strong little brat."

Xander nodded.  "I've never been as bad as Hara was.  And sneaky beyond belief."

"Esme had some of that," Evan reminded him.  "Used to make sneaking off for candy trade missions easier."  Xander grinned and nodded.

Tony raised a hand.  "Can we have some backstory there please?"  Rodney and Evan settled in to tell them about Atlantis and how amazing and horrifying it was there.  Xander added in bits now and then.  By then it was nearly lunch and they were on sandwiches instead.  Tony cleared his throat.  "If we can, she'll come home, kids."  They grinned at him.  He looked at Clint, who looked sad.  "I'm not calling you Dad if it happens this life."

"You'd better not," he agreed dryly.  "I might have to shoot you for it, Stark."

Xander shook his head.  "Could be in a few lives.  Calm down."  He stuffed his mouth and looked at his axe.  "I need to sharpen it."

Antonia looked at him.  "Want help?"

"Sure."  He grinned.  She smirked back.  They went to the playroom to do that in there.  The others came in to climb and get coffee from Ianto.

Tony thumped his head on the table.  "That was evil, Barton."

"I wanted to know," he admitted.  "He's been alone a long time."  Tony looked at him.  He stared back.  "Before humanity was grunting, Stark, through four realities.  It's been a long time."

"I get that."

"Are any others looking for mates?" Natasha asked.  Privately she was glad it wasn't her.  She and Clint had enough problems with their occasional thing.

"Rodney's first love will always be science.  His would have to be in the labs with him or they'd never see him," Tony said.  "I can see a bit of that happening myself."

"Xander hates math but he's good in other ways," Coulson said.  "He's good at physical use of equations instead of the math it's based off of."

"Trajectory, force, battles," Clint said.  Coulson nodded.  "What else did his educational testing say?"

"His left eye is weak."

"Lost it one life," Xander called.

"Go play," Clint yelled back.  "That way we can talk about you guys."

"How many lives ago?" Natasha called.


"I figured that the more recent ones were more prominent in their present lives," she offered.

"Probably.  He said he might still have the vasectomy scar from that one too," he told Phil.

"I'll make note of that and the claw mark on his shoulder.  That way no one throws a fit."  He got comfortable, leaning on the table.  "I'd suppose that Natasha is correct.  That the last life would carry over more than the an earlier one, back to a few."  That got a nod.  "I'm fairly certain that Evan and John flew in their lives at that school.  I'm fairly certain Xander did because he's like that."  They all smiled.  "I'm also fairly certain that we'll probably never get Rodney out of a lab.   Probably, Evan and John might join the service together or SHIELD," he told Clint, who shook his head.  "Even as contractors?"

"Hell no.  I do not want my kids in that shark pit."

"The Air Force?" Tony offered.

"I'd like it better," he admitted.  "Not totally but better."

"If they become the next version of us then SHIELD will probably have some say," Bruce said quietly.

"Probably," Coulson agreed.  "I have no idea what the four demigods are going to be doing beyond that.  If they want to do other things.  Though Jeremy was caught staring at a picture of a Mountie online the other day."  Tony shook his head quickly.  "I've gotten pretty comprehensive backgrounds done on the kids.  That way we know what they were doing before."  He smiled.  "Antonia was actually a homicide detective who worked with a bunch of CSI.  He was third generation NYPD."

Clint looked back at the hallway then at him.  "Then the sword thing?"

"He was a warrior back when he was picked.  On and off until the nineteen hundreds.  A few of them did gather to become one team that was written about in myths back in the late eighteen hundreds.  They even based a Western on it."  Tony shivered.  "Xander wasn't in that one.  Most of them hadn't really met or worked with Xander in the past until he got sent to John.  Then the influx of new ones from Atlantis for the second-life's saving happened."

"Interesting," Tony said.  "Still stuck on the mate thing."

"Hell, there for a while I thought he was half yours and mine," Clint said dryly.  "You both create diversion to hide things but he does his more externally than your show-off persona, Stark."

"He's right," Coulson agreed.

Xander bounded in without his axe.  "Convention's coming next week."  He grinned maniacally.

"Are you going?" Natasha asked.

He beamed and nodded.  "Going to talk to President me about retraining stuff and hormone me about weapons making."  He beamed at his father then at Phil.  "Should take few hours."

"That's fine.  Let us know before you go," he agreed.  "Are any others going?"

"Nope, only for Xander's and their spouses or kids."  He bounded back off.

"Did he say there was a him that was a president of something?" Natasha asked.

"Yes, he did," Coulson agreed.  A book floated down so he looked at the pictures.  The note on the front made him smirk.  "Lavelle's plans for the island, Stark, and plans for the dragons coming here thanks to magic."   He looked over the book, finding a picture.  "That's probably Presidential Xander since he's at the white house."  He let her see them.  She shook her head.  "I know the agent with him.  That's very interesting since that was the descendent of one of the team that the others did."  He kept going.  "Plans."  He handed them over with the CDs as well.  "Explanation of the dragon thing."  Tony took them to run in his lab.  He needed some thinking time.

A few minutes later he stomped back in.  "If we have crackhead mages here who turn us into a Forgotten Realm, I'm going to kick them off my planet," he said, stomping back to the lab.

The others went to see what that was about.  Tony's mind must still be stuck since that hadn't been very informative.

Clint stared at the dragons.  "Damn."

"I need that weapon," Coulson said.

Stark looked at him.  "Working on it."

"Thank you."  He walked off.  "Don't make the cold one since it says it has other uses."

"Tooooooo late," Xander called then cackled.

Clint winced.  "Does that mean you had to set it off, Xander?" he called, walking that way.  For some reason the front windows were frosted over.  That made him pause and stare.  "Xander?" 

Natasha came out to see why he was staring.  "Interesting," she said.

"Who did you hit with the cold bomb, kids?" Coulson asked, heading to the play room.  He called in for a sit rep from the agents on the gate.  Who were shivering.  They told him who had been trying to get in to see the kids and which one had done that.  "Dean!"

Dean grinned.  "I like weapons too," he said dryly.  "I tinkered a lot to build stuff to hunt with."  Xander hugged him.  "Get off!  Grabby!"

"Hush, auntie."  He bounded off.

"No more sugar," Phil ordered calmly and patiently.  "Dean, who were they?"

"Idiots after Spens and Greg."  He beamed.  "Idiotcicles now."

"I can tell."  He went to check on that.  The gate was frosted shut so he had to warm the hinges to open it.  He walked out.  "Get jackets, singly," he ordered.  They sent in one agent to get everyone's.  The people in the surveillance van were indeed nearly frozen stiff.  They also were emitting a faint glow.  "The radiation sensors?"

"Very faint, sir," one of the gate agents said, slipping into his jacket.  "What's that supposed to be used for?"


The agents stared.  "As in fire breathing...." another agent offered.
Phil nodded.  "It came from another one where a mage did that to Hawaii."

"Oh, good!" he said, nodding quickly and walking off.  "Going for a smoke, sir."

"Take ten so we can have this cleaned up."

"How long will this cold snap last?" the first guard asked.

"Three days we think."

That got a nod.  "I'll dress more appropriately tomorrow then, sir."  He watched as a police car pulled up.  "Sir?"  He pointed.

Coulson walked over.  "SHIELD."

"Is Stark doing something really bad again?  We're not sure why it's suddenly chilly and anything strange is usually his fault."

"Slightly.  It's a new weapon, unintentionally grabbed when we found people trying to pull surveillance on the compound.  Sorry.  If we had time, we would've warned."

"How long?"

"We believe three days."

"I can tell them that.  By the way, they said thanks for fixing the airport's problem."  He turned his cruiser around and drove off shaking his head.

"Airport?" the smoking guard asked.

"Rodney was tinkering with Xander."  He walked back inside.  He called the main handling number at SHIELD to come get people to defrost.  He put on his suit jacket as well.  Even Clint had on a shirt with sleeves.  "The officer said thank you for fixing the airport as well, Stark."

"Sure," he said, waving a hand.  "There was a slight radiation spike."

"They're on a very low glow but it's not a destructive or harmful radiation."

Tony got into that bomb's specs to find it.  "No, it's not harmful."  He pointed at it.  Coulson looked and smiled, going to congratulate Dean then find out how he had gotten into the fissionable locker.  Stark walked off to make himself a drink and bang his head into the wall.

"I thought it was just my boys and Rodney that were warped," Clint quipped.

Natasha nodded.  "They are."  She walked off.  She patted herself.  "Xander, I would like my phone back.  I have contacts in there that you do not need to see."

Ianto smiled and handed it back.  "Needed to see if you had Torchwood's local number.  Sorry."  He handed her some coffee.  "Vanilla latte."  He bounded off.

She sipped the coffee, getting into her phone.  He hadn't done more than look.  She changed her lock code and walked off shaking her head.  "At least no one used it to order weapons this time," she decided.

"No, Rodney ordered it through the company," Tony called.  "Son, I'd like to talk to you about your order for specific heavy metals and some fissionables."

She looked around.  "I can't see him, Stark."

Stark pulled up the tracker dot on his phone, finding him hiding in the tree house with Xander.  He walked out there and picked his son up.  "You can have him back later, Xander.  We need to talk about why he needed plutonium."  He walked him off to ask him what he was working on.

Xander shrugged.  "Rodney likes bombs like I like my battle axe," he quipped.  "I'm surprised he only has two made so far."

Tony heard that mutter and he *really* needed to have a talk with his son, plus clean out his room, his work area, and all the other hiding spots around the mansion.  He didn't like the mansion overly much, it was too big for them, but he didn't want to blow up the block it took up either.


Phil sat down across from his father and his father's partner that next Saturday night, handing over the blender with a slight smile.

"Not funny," J complained.  "We're not that way."

"You're as close as I'm coming to a stepmother, so enjoy it.  Make fruity mixed drinks.  My son seems to like them."

K stared at him.  "Cute, really," he noted.  "What happened?"  He handed over the report he'd be giving to Fury in the morning.  He read it over, eyebrow slowly going up.  "He has a what?"

"Battle axe."

He nodded.  "That explains the cold snap too."  He kept reading, shaking his head at one thing.  "Stark's son is dangerous."

"He's a genius, they all are."  He felt like they were being watched and looked, finding a Barton trying to hide.  "Evan, you're a bit noticeable since this is a bar," he said quietly.  "Sit."  He crawled up beside him and sat.

J stared at him.  "How's my boy doing?"

"Pouty this week.  He's bored."

"Next week you're getting educational modules and a few other things," Phil said.

"Cool."  He beamed.

"How did you follow me?" he asked.  Evan pulled his wand then put it back.  "I suppose that's very stealthy of you."  He texted the elder Barton to tell him where his son was.  He got one back fairly fast.  "Your father said no drinking and you're grounded."

Evan snorted.  "Whatever."

"Manners," K ordered.  "Even if you're not usually that size."  He looked at him.  "Girls only like polite boys, like mine."

"Dad," Phil complained.  "No trying to set me up again.  Please don't."

"Mine's a guy anyway," Evan said with a grin.

K nodded.  "I doubt he wouldn't like manners too."

"Not really."  He shrugged.  "We're like that."

J looked at the kid.  "So you're really one?"  He smiled and nodded.  "Were you the only one that snuck in or are you the diversion?"

"Diversion," he admitted.  "But they're already well on their way."  He beamed.

Phil patted him and texted a message to see which other kids had escaped.  Xander was at home, which meant that he was the other diversion because they would have expected him.  Which meant Rodney was leading it probably.  He sighed.  "I might have to save a strip club or a science store soon."  He looked at his father.  Who shook his head but he was smiling.  "Your grandson loved the new tea set, Dad.  Thank you."  He took Evan with him.  "Let's go save wherever from Rodney and whoever else is out."

"But that's not nice," he complained.


"We need ten more minutes probably."

Coulson took the earpiece and put it into his.  "You are all grounded," he noted.  "Get back to the car immediately.  If I have to send agents to track you down you will regret it.  Especially you, Rodney, because there is a company that makes tasers in child-strength hits."  He heard the smart response and sighed.  He went to pick up Dean, who was flirting with strippers.  "Car.  Now.  I don't know how you snuck into it without me noticing but you're in so deep it's not funny."  He pointed.  Dean pouted but winked at the girls before leaving with him.  The others were mostly back at the car when he got there.  "Where's the mini-Stark?" he demanded.

"Coming," Jeremy said.

J came out to stare down at him.  "I know damn good and well my son does not break and enter or do industrial espionage."  He stared at him.  "Don't try the cuteness defense either.  It won't work.  I've seen cuter, more deadly things than you."  Jeremy pouted.

"It was?" Phil asked.

"Probably."  Rodney came jogging over.  "Check him when you get home and call your old man.  He's nearly cackling and it's scaring the natives and aliens in there."  He walked.

"Wow, any wraith?" Rodney panted.  "If so we really need to destroy them."

"No, or Ori," Phil said.  "Car."  They got into the car and hid themselves again.  He growled.  They hid Evan too.  He got in and texted which ones he had.  That left one missing.  "Where is Antonia?"

"Oops," Rodney said.  "We didn't plan on her coming."  They went to look in the trunk, which she wasn't in.  "Not with us."

Phil hung his head and sent that back.  The kids all got settled in on the floorboards, hidden magically, and he did a count to make sure.  "You're all grounded."

"You wouldn't really use a taser on me, would you?  You know, those can cause irreparable brain damage and mine is too magnificent to damage that way."

"I've nearly gotten your father more than once, kid.  Yes I will."  He drove off.  He came back for Evan, sticking him in the front seat.  He was now officially not in the mood for anything beyond maybe some sparring practice.  When he got home he confiscated the wands once they weren't invisible.  He handed Evan to Clint then Rodney to Stark.  "My father's partner thinks it was industrial espionage."

"Possibly," he admitted, sitting Rodney in a chair so he could check him over.  He handed over the two USB key drives and the lockpick.  They searched the other kids.

Dean grinned and ran off.

"Freeze," Stark ordered.  "Back here, Dean."  He trudged back.  "What was your part in this plan?"

"He was flirting with strippers," Phil said blandly.

"So a diversion," Natasha said, patting him on the head.  "You have better taste than the Pony Corral's whores, Dean.  If not, we will have to fix that."  She walked off.  "They were going after the new plans that someone had tried to steal from here."

"Widow, I could use some sparring time," Phil said.

She smirked.  "I can see that happening once they're down."  She looked at them.  "Unlike the fathers, a mother is not above sedating you all."  She gave each one a pointed look.  "I have many methods at my disposal to do that."  She strolled up to her room.

Evan sighed in pleasure.  "I can see why Xander likes them pretty but dangerous and a bit mean.  If John was a girl I'd want him to be like her."

"Still grounded like hell, kid," Clint said, pointing.  "Bed.  Now."  He trudged that way.  "Dean, you too."  He shrugged and went to his room.  "We still can't find Antonia."

"She's in the widow's walk," Xander called.  "Being pouty.  He's missing his CSI buddies."

"Thank you, son."  He went up to gather her so she could talk about things.  He was about the only one that could get up there outside Natasha.  He landed next to her, picking her up to stare at her.  "So, why the pout?  And thank you for not going on that crackhead plan."

She grinned.  "Just missing Danny and them."

"Tell me about 'em?"

She shrugged and settled in to tell him about her friends.  He missed Mac.  Mac would've went insane over all this.


Fury looked up the next morning, handing Coulson a kid for the report he took.  He looked at Ianto.  "Did you have to bring another one?"

"Yes.  He needed some supplies."  He looked at Xander.  "Did you go on your own mission?"  He shrugged but looked pleased.  "What did you go after?  Since we know what Rodney needed to stop."

"Few things," he admitted.  "Including protections for Dean."

He stared at him.  "You're grounded as well, Xander.  Your father has been losing his mind all morning long."

"Not really."

"Yes, really.  Even though you put up the nice little cameras to warn you when he was near, he's gotten around most of them.  That's why he's one of our top agents here at SHIELD."  He put him on the floor.  "Ianto, he's not to move away from your side.  You two are buddies for now so hold onto him."  He looked at the director.  Who was not looking pleased.  "I had to amend it last night after I reported to my father about his grandson's birthday."

Fury looked at Xander.  "If you were going for something like this, let the adults handle it."

Xander snorted and waved his free hand.  "Not likely.  Rodney had that handled."  He smiled.  "Dean needed protection.   Demons will like him and I got a set for Ianto too in case they come for him because all demons like me and Sam."  Ianto groaned and shook his head, looking down at his feet.  Xander hugged him.  "It's all right.  You can wear that out of him some year."

Ianto looked at him.  "Then what did you do?  You had hours, Xander."  Xander blew a kiss and tried to move but Ianto pulled him back.  "No, we do have to follow some rules."

Phil smiled at his son.  "Very true, son."  He looked at Fury.  Who was staring between them.  "He is a very good dresser."

"It's a cute little designer suit," he agreed.  He looked at the adult, patting the report.  "Factual?"

"Yes, sir."

"Why are you reporting to your father?"

"He's over the investigation."

"I see.  I've talked with your father recently."

"I'm shocked you remember, sir."

Fury grimaced.  "Me too."  He stared at him.  "That cold snap?"

"Agents making moves toward the children.  Dean did it."

Fury took a breath then let it out.  "The weapons?"

"Rodney mostly but a few were Xander's."  Xander shrugged.  "Xander, do not move by taking Ianto with you.  You are both to stay right there until we leave."  He looked down.  "I already warned Rodney I could find a child-safe taser."  Xander sulked, looking down.  "Thank you.  We don't want you in any danger."

"Just spank me," he complained.

"I don't believe in spanking.  I believe in more creative punishments."  He smiled slightly.  "You'll be informed of yours when we get back to the mansion."

"Ooooh," Ianto said with a wince.  "Dean cleaning toilets," he told Xander.  "By himself."

Xander shrugged.  "Done that many times.  Should try it on outhouses."

Phil stared at him.  "Yours isn't going to be that simple."

Xander pouted again.

"I nearly feel sorry for the hellion," Fury quipped, glaring at the boy.  Who stuck his tongue out then turned around to moon him.  "Are you sure you can't spank him?  He's baring it for you."

Phil patted Xander on the head.  "Stand up, pull that back up, and you need to have help bathing for weeks.  Clearly you missed a few spots."  He looked at the director again, smiling slightly.  Fury groaned.  "Did you need more reports, sir?"

"Not at this moment.  That vision thing?"

"It's included in an email sit rep."

"I'll find it then.  Dismissed.  No children on the hell carrier."

"Which agent found him and brought him in, sir?"

"Agent Hill found him.  Apparently he was drawn to her sidearm."

"Ah, dangerous and pretty.  He said that's his type."  He walked the boys out.  "Ianto, you get the front seat."

"Hey," Xander complained.

"Treats only go to good kids," Phil said patiently.  "Maria, thank you."

"Welcome."  She handed over a plastic bag.  "What he had on him.  I have no idea what some of those are or why he had his father's phone."

Xander shrugged.  "Needed to call someone.  Payphones suck and are too high."

She patted him on the head, smiling at him.  "You do something stupid like that again and I'm paddling you, kid."  He blew a kiss and strolled off.  "I think his father did that once when I threatened to waterboard him."  Xander moaned and whimpered.

"He likes them pretty but dangerous," Phil said quietly.

"No wonder he was drawn to me then."  She smiled.  "Good boys get treats."

Xander looked at her.  "Tell me that again in ten years," he said dryly.  She blushed.  He smirked and strolled off.  Ianto swatted him.  "Hey!  Watch the hair!"

Ianto huffed.  "Women don't react to those lines.  They're stupid."

"American women do.  Women in Wales are uptight like all British women."

"They are not!"

"Are so."

"Are not."


"Boys," Phil warned quietly.  "While British women are more staid and in control of themselves they have just as many party girls in London as LA has.  So no more arguing please."  He got them onto the chopper back to the mansion.

Agent Hill tried hard to control her blush.  Fury looked at her.  "Sorry, sir.  Didn't mean to inadvertently flirt with the child."

"I'm sure he's done the same to Romanoff."  She walked off still blushing.  Fury was wondering if Coulson was going to come back sane from this assignment.  He was starting to doubt he would be anywhere near normal for regular people, much less normal for Coulson.


Coulson nearly winced at the look on the father's face when he walked the two boys in.  "He did make Agent Hill blush nicely," he reported.  "Offered her some time in ten years."  He handed over the plastic bag.  "What she found on him.  I believe he did have a listening device that he planted somewhere on the hell carrier as well."

"Already figured out which one and logged into the signal," Stark called from his workshop.

Clint stared at his son.  "Tell me what was that important," he said calmly.

"Dean needed protections.  I had to make contact with another former poker buddy to handle something that was going to come up.  Because I saw the signs of us having a demon invasion here in a few years."

"Okay," he said.  "Is that all you went out to do?"


"There's plans for some sort of centrifugal force machine," Phil said.  Stark walked out to take the bag and look in, handing Barton the candy bar and other things that weren't plans or weapons.  "Yes, we noticed the small hunting knife," he told Stark.

"It's nicely sharpened too.  I saw Dean doing it."  He did one last search, handed over something, and walked off.

Clint looked at the bands then at Xander.  "Protections?"


"Dean?"  He popped out of the workshop.  "Protections?"

"Thanks, Xander."  He put them on and sighed.  "Now all I need to do is finish the rune stones and get some rock salt."  He walked off.

"Why?" Phil asked, following him with Ianto.

Clint looked at his son.  "Proper procedure is to tell me something is needed and I take you to cover your ass and back."

"I could...."

"You are not that old," Clint said.  "Not even Natasha was that young when she started."  He stared down at him.  "You will tell me and I will take you somewhere to do things.  You may not, however, do anything like stealing plans for nuclear separating devices."

Xander shrugged, putting his hands in his pockets.  "Rodney couldn't get to it."

"Son, don't start.  Go to your room while I decide on your punishment before I lose my fucking mind and start screaming."  Xander ran off.  He looked down and took a deep breath.  He wasn't going to turn into his father.  He wasn't.  He really wasn't.

Phil walked out with his notes on the punishments he had planned.  "Would that be suitable?"

"I don't think he knows what backup is."

"Hasn't in four lives," Rodney quipped.

"Five," Dean called.  "Slayers weren't really that way."  He leaned out.  "He spent a lot of time handling shit on his own."

"Language," Phil warned.  "Unless you'd like to crawl through every single air duct we have to dust them."

"I don't really like tiny spaces so no thanks."  He went back to the workshop.

Clint looked at him.  "Would that really help or would it drive him nuts?"

"It might help some things and it will definitely upset him but he'll also be watched.  Room, Xander."


"Room."  He went back in there.  He looked at him.  "If you have other ideas...."

"Not that don't come with a screaming fit," he admitted quietly.  "How did they find him?"

"He went to tease Maria Hill's sidearm."

"So it was a plan to get onto the hell carrier?"

"Probably, yes."

"He's got a devious little mind.  He needs to learn what backup is though.  Even I'm not that much of a loner."  He walked off to talk to his son.  Then he went to talk to Evan instead for a few minutes.  He needed more calm.

Evan looked at him.  "Xander would sooner take physical punishment than to have to talk about things like feelings," he said bluntly.  "We talked about his family in Sunnydale.  D'Hoffryn had great aim with the drunken shitheads."  Clint flinched.  "Who died because they weren't going to evacuate the town and invited in someone for a 'last day' party that ate them."

"Great," he muttered.  "What used to work?"

"Rodney used to assign book reports on some of the most boring shit ever.  John was reading _War and Peace_ and even that got more fond looks than some of the shit he had to do book reports on.  One time John made him go paint the piers on the city but he was fifteen that time.  He had totally screwed up and nearly created a new religion and babies from a harem that wanted to keep him.  Rodney snorted and said that was John's job.  Told him to read some german philosopher's crap."

"That would kill me too," Clint admitted.

"That report came down to hamsters because Xander's argument was they were just as relevant to the book as the book was to itself and reality.  He talked Rodney into agreeing."

Clint smiled a tiny bit.  "Good to know.  Backup issues?"

Evan snorted.  "Xander?  Hasn't had any since before humans controlled that first plane, Clint.  He never asks for help unless he's totally in the most hopeless cases.   Used to drive us fucking nuts.  Kid took down a Genii camp by himself because he accidentally ran into them.  Twenty of them against him.  Took him two days.  The only reason we know what happened is because he missed check in so we went looking because John had a feeling he was getting into trouble.  We found the last one as he took them out before they set off the huge ass bomb that was sub nuclear."  Clint slumped.  "John asked why he hadn't asked for help.  Xander said he had it and there were only twenty but showed us the other ten bombs he had disarmed."

"He's so much like his father at times," Natasha joked as she walked past them.  Clint flipped her off.

"Now," Evan said with a grin.  "One thing that used to drive him batshit insane was that in his life as Xander Harris, the girls treated him like a really butch lesbian half the time.  He could do a face mask, help them pick out slightly slutty but not fully ho skirts, all that.  It drove him nuts when he fell back into it."

Natasha smiled at that.  "I think I can help there."  She put some notes on Coulson's list and strolled off.  That way she had a shopping partner since Antonia hated nice clothes and shoes.

Clint nodded.  "It'd drive most guys nuts."

"He had a few lives as a girl," Evan said dryly.  "He told Dean when she was Luna how to properly tie off a corset."  He sipped his coffee from Ianto.

Clint sighed.  "So creative.  I can do that."

Evan grinned.  "At least he got the nuclear plans and we do have an ear in the hell carrier."

"They sweep each week, Evan."

"Rodney made those.  They're Atlantis designed ones."

"Huh."  He went to tell Stark that and then go see his son.  He stared at him for a minute while he thought up the most disturbing yet helpful punishments he could find.  "You're in so much trouble I'm going to have to give a punishment for each infraction, which is about five."  Xander winced.  "First, you're going to weed that flower garden out back.  By yourself.  By hand.  I want it pretty enough that Antonia might like to learn about it."  He stared down at him. 

"Secondly, you will be responsible for being Dean's buddy.  You two are going to be best friends.  Showering together to make sure you each get clean, eating together, lessons together."  He stared down at him, seeing the horrified look.  "Everything.  Together.  He's to help you shower and you're to help him.  I don't care if someone makes a joke about Sparta or not, kiddo." 

He smiled.  "Thirdly, you're hereby assigned to help Natasha whenever she needs to leave the house.  If that interferes with your Dean helping time, that's up to her about which one takes precedence.  So when she goes to get a haircut or a manicure, or whatever women do these days, you're going too."  Xander slumped.  "Fourth punishment is you're responsible for cleaning up the playroom for the next week.  Without Ianto's help. 

"Just your little fingers.  Fifth, you get to hang out with Bruce and read him a book that's suitably hard and make sure you understand it well enough that you can give an oral book report on it."  He grinned at Natasha since she had walked past the doorway to be nosy.  "I heard Rodney used to enjoy that one.  Suitably hard is at least at your current reading level but I'd like one that you had to sound out a few words.  Something either classical literature or a biography of someone scientific.  You'll need it later anyway."

"Can't I just be paddled?" Xander begged.

"No, sorry.  Don't believe in it after my parents used it too often."  Clint stared down at him.  Xander slumped.  "Do you understand all those and have any questions?"

"Why are you punishing Dean by making me shower with him?"

"Because you missed spots according to Coulson and Dean doesn't have a buddy to hang with all the time.  So you two will do for each other.  You're to scrub him and let him do the same to you.  Maybe, just maybe, you'll both learn the concept of backup."  He stared down at him.  "Am I clear?"  Xander pouted but nodded, looking down.  "Good.  Go start on the flower bed."  Xander huffed but got up to go do that.  He looked at Natasha.

"I believe they're good, solid punishments, even if someone will make a joke about Sparta."  She stood up.  "I could use someone watching over me when I shop."  She walked off happier.  Phil got notes on what Clint had ordered the kid to do.  She found Dean looking miserable.  "Barton assigned Xander to be your personal buddy."

Dean flinched.  "I heard.  That's so evil."

"Then perhaps you'll both learn about what backup is, Dean."  She patted him on the head with a smile.  "You can help us shop if you wish."

"No thanks.  I'm not into chick things.  They give me hives."  He walked off mumbling swear words.

"Dean, go weed the bushes out front," Phil ordered, marking that down.  "By hand."  Dean slumped.  "Then next time don't swear.  Good boys don't swear and don't get punished."  He stared at him.  "Don't even think about avoiding showers either," he said quietly.  "That will not work.  We're all very observant operatives."  Dean nodded, walking out and waiting until he was in the bushes to swear again.

Stark walked out sipping his coffee Ianto had made him.  "We have a lot of lone wolves among the kids.  Are we going to pair them up as mutual body slaves?"  Ianto squeaked.  "Not you.  You know what backup is."

"I know what it is," Antonia and Jeremy called.

"Call a Mountie," Jeremy said.  "He'll toss his hat or taste weird shit then polite 'em into giving up.  Or let his wolf play fetch with the bad guys."

"Call a CSI and they'll come help," Antonia quipped.

The adults looked at them.  Jeremy had clearly been a bit warped before.  "Good," Phil said, smiling slightly.  "You all have that lesson down so you'll start regular classes on Monday."   They ran off.  He looked at his son.  "You can give Xander tips but you may not help him clean or weed."

"I understand what punishment is," he agreed.  He walked off glad he hadn't been involved in that mess.  He'd hate to see what they'd make him do and if he got body slave duties for someone.  That would be really weird.

Clint looked at Natasha.  "When are you going to get that trim?"

"I had planned for later but I'll reschedule for tomorrow so he has time to do the flower bed first."  She walked off.  "Mud is good for the skin."

"I just had a shiver of dread," Tony said, shuddering as he went back to his lab.  "You can't have my credit card either, Romanoff."

"I don't need it."

"Thank you."  He closed the doors on the lab and settled in to cackle himself silly.  Everyone was going to have to get creative about the kids and their punishments but Barton was almost evil.  "Sparta," he cackled.

Rodney walked over to pat him.  "It won't matter.  It might embarrass him but Dean was his father."

"I think that's why he picked him since you seem to have sense about things like backup."

"I'm the geek support," he said dryly.  "If I'm on the front lines, Sheppard has either just flirted us into being attacked or we've run into the Genii or the wraith."  He went back to what he was tinkering with.

"Now, you can find better enemies.  I have a shitload that'll underestimate you."

Rodney smirked evilly at him.  "I know.  The one last night was an idiot of extreme proportions."

"Still grounded for that."

"Whatever.  More time to tinker."

"No, you're grounded from that too."  He kicked him out of the lab and went to gather all his tech stuff so he couldn't play with it.  "Suck it, kiddo, and next time tell us so we can do it instead."  He shut the doors again.

Rodney huffed.  "I'll just build other things."  He stomped off.

"Nope," Clint said, picking him up and carrying him into the play room.  "No building anything until you're not grounded.  You have to *play* instead."

"You're not my father," Rodney huffed.

He grinned and blew a kiss.  "We're doing it as a community this time."  He walked off and shut the door to keep him in there.

Rodney huffed but sat down.  He didn't want to *play*.  He hadn't liked playing when he was this age the first time.  It was so childish and he had never been that sort of child.


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