Note: pulled the Avengers movie timeline back to fit Sunnydale timeline.
My Kingdom For A Prince....Not That One!
Xander was seething that he was fray adjacent. And had been used
as a sex toy by Faith then pushed out of the motel room. Which,
you know, just so great in his life. He hated his life
sometimes. He was putting on his clothes where just anyone could
watch, which was such an added bonus in his life, when he realized what
the zombies he had accidentally and unintentionally been hanging out
with earlier were going to do.
"They're going to bake a cake." He finished getting dressed and
headed down the stairs to the street. He had to stop them before
others got blown up. Because he'd probably never forgive himself
if he got haunted because his friends, who thought he was useless, got
blown up. Because they would haunt him, he was sure they'd haunt
him to nag him forever even though it was their own fault he hadn't been
there with them.
He made it to the street and had to pause to put on his other
shoe. Now he could jog. Of course, that plan was derailed by
a bright light that wasn't a car, truck, train, airplane, alien space
ship, or other motorized vehicle. It was a neat teleporting thingy
light. He looked around the round, wooden and stone room he was
in, then at the two arguing men on the other side of it. He
whistled. "Excuse me? How did I get here?" He knew who
they were. Any geek who had any access to the world of comics or
newspapers knew who they were.
They stared at him. "Who're you?" one demanded.
Xander sighed. "Great. Just great. Xander Harris. How and why did you pull me here?"
"We got pulled here, kid. We're trying to figure that out," the other said. "Any idea?"
"No, I was on my way to stop someone from blowing up a school.
This was not on my plans tonight." They stared. He looked
out the window. Woods. Lots and lots of woods. No
cities or villages in sight. No other buildings really in sight
though he could barely see what looked like a church in the far
distance. He leaned on the windowsill for a moment, rubbing his
hands through his sweaty hair. They were arguing about how to get
home. He looked at the two least practical people to get trapped
in the ancient past with. "How are you going to do that without
They stared at him. "Of course there is."
Xander pointed. "Candles, no light switches or plugs, no buildings
out the window but maybe a church to the west." He
shrugged. "I'm guessing we're somewhen that Kansas hasn't even
been thought of yet, Dorothy. So how are you going to build and
power, much less design, a temporal machine? Are you HG
Wells?" They glared. "Fine, whatever. Had enough for
the night. Let me go scout the area. Maybe I'll find a local
to see when and where we are." He looked. No doorway
out. So the window it was.
He looked. "Two stories, yeah." He slid out and carefully
down as far as he could then dropped the rest of the way, rolling at the
end. He stood up and dusted himself off. "No cactus, which
is wonderful." He walked toward where he had seen the church's
spire. There probably had to be people that way. He could
hear the two idiots snorting over his 'antics' but yay! He did
live in the modern pop culture world, and there was nothing Iron Man or
Bruce Wayne could create in the middle fucking ages to get them home
without having electricity.
He ran into someone on the way. "Well met."
The guy in the leather pants and vest looked him over, grimacing some. "Where are you from?"
"You speak English, that's good."
"When are you from?" he asked.
Xander stared at him. "Are you the reason I'm here?"
"No. When are you from?"
"I'm from Sunnydale, which is in California in the US, in 1999. Early 1999. You?"
The guy smiled. "Thank God." He shook his hand. "Agent Barton, also known as Hawkeye."
Xander's mind rebooted after a second. "Cool. Your
teammate's angsting in the tower because I just gave him a reality check
that he didn't like. He was somehow planning on building a
temporal device without any electricity."
"Great," he muttered. "Stark in a snit is hell."
"Yeah, well, reality, it bites," Xander said dryly. "Like many vampires."
The superhero stared at him. "Vampires?" he asked. "I know witches."
"I work with a witch every single damn day." That got a
glare. He stared back. "Not all of them are bad, in case you
were wondering. Some are, some aren't. Some have issues
that lead them to the path of 'I'm all but the goddess' and still manage
to help a slayer, just like I do."
"You're a watcher?"
"No, I'm her normal guy backup as she puts it." That got a
slump. "Beyond that, I was on my way to stop some zombies from
blowing up our high school where she's presently in a battle. Any
idea how we got here?"
"Great." He sighed, running a hand through his hair. "There has to be a higher demon involved."
"I thought it was probably a witch of some sort."
"Witches aren't that powerful without a deity or a higher demon
helping," Xander said, looking at him. "And hell, a few even use
that path for decent means. I had one last month panicking a few
of my poker buddies because she was using it to heal her son, who had
been poisoned by someone who wanted her house." Hawkeye slumped,
staring at him. "Like during the witch trials, a lot of people got
named a witch because someone wanted what they had. Hers was
bloodline gifted." He shrugged. "The kid's fine, she's fine,
she's suing the asshole and had his wife charged with the poisoning now
that the kid's fine. And I let the slayer hear about the demon so
she slayed him when she ran into him. Then nagged that I
shouldn't have heard a thing by playing poker to get her
information." He calmed himself down again. "Sorry,
venting a bit. I shouldn't. When and where are we?"
"We are in the thirteen hundreds."
"Great. Simply marvelous. Any idea where the summoning originated?"
"No." He stared at him. "Demons?"
"Yeah!" He looked over at the sound of humming, glaring at the two
fairies staring at him. They looked like miniature Buffy and
Willow's with pointy ears. "Did you two get pulled too?"
"We belong here, mortal. Who are you to question us?"
Xander turned to look at them. "I'm Xander, I help a slayer in my time zone."
"You're a watcher?"
"No. Mine has normal people helping. It meant she didn't
fully die when she was nine months into her reign. She's now going
on four years." They gasped. "Sometimes, backup is
good. Do you know why we were summoned and who did so?"
"No," the miniature Buffy said.
"Okay, thank you, Princess of the Pink Wings."
"I'm Queen Buffy," she huffed.
Xander stared at her. "Color me impressed," he said dryly.
She sniffled. He rolled his eyes and looked up. "Why
me?" He looked at her. "Why are you crying?"
"You're mean and rude!" the miniature Willow complained. "I should curse you."
"I know a witch who looks just like you who'd probably enjoy that since
she thinks I'm lesser for being a guy. I'm frustrated. I'm
over six hundred years out of my time zone. If I don't get back
soon after I left, my friends that look just like you are going to be
blown up during a fight with our hellmouth. I don't need this shit
today. The only thing I'm really interested in is how do I get
home to make sure they get to keep nagging me like the bitches they
Buffy sniffled and looked at him. "I know not but if you defeat
the three demons in our kingdom they would probably tell you."
He rubbed his eyes. "Summoned or funny looking demons?"
"There's kinds?" Willow asked.
"Yes," Xander said tiredly. "There's all sorts of kinds. The
funny looking ones can be harmful, neutral, or even good at
times. Some of them do important things like anchor realms,
control the weather, all that good stuff. Some of them are harmful
hellspawn who migrated here. The summoned kind are hardly ever
"How do you know?" the mini Willow demanded.
"Because I grew up on the hellmouth, dear. I grew up around all
that and then learned when I was fifteen." He stared at her.
"I play kitten poker with some of the funny looking ones."
"Kittens?" Hawkeye asked.
"That or humans?"
"Kittens are good," he decided.
Xander smiled. "We have vampires that buy blood from the local
hospital since it likes to kill people." He looked at them
again. "I can help you at least banish the demons. I'll need
a sword or a lightish battle axe."
"We have many but not in your size," Willow said happily.
"You could make one," Buffy said.
"Which would probably take me a year," he quipped back with a
grin. They slumped and dipped in the air as their wings
wilted. He looked back. "Got a spare sword I can borrow for a
week or so?"
"Yeah." He handed it over. "The grip's too narrow for me."
Xander tested it. "I can wrap it. Thank you. I'll give
it back in a few days. Which way, ladies?" They flew
off. "You have to let me catch up," he said impatiently, following
them. "Why in the fuck do I let them do this to me?" he muttered
as he stomped after them. "Why in the hell did it have to be
Hawkeye grimaced. "I'm not sure if he's being a normal angry
teenager or not. I'm a bit out of touch apparently." He
looked up and fired a grappling hook arrow up, then climbed up the
tower. "Hey, Rapunzel, get to growing the hair," he said.
"Hawkeye," Tony said, staring at him. "This is where you disappeared to?"
"Yeah, welcome to the middle ages." Tony stared, mouth slightly
open. He nodded. "We're mid thirteen hundreds.
"What?" the other guy demanded.
"The kid? He's been hunting demons?" The two billionaire
playboy industrialists laughed. "Guys, he's not kidding.
I've been being a witch hunter here. Against real witches that
take real kids to sacrifice." They quit laughing. "Though,
some fairies nagged him into helping so he could stop the demons in
their fairy kingdom and maybe figure out what's going on." He
stared at them. "So, Rapunzel and Rose Red," he said, staring at
Tony kicked the wall and muttered a few swear words. "At least it's not Afghanistan."
"No, it's not. It's less technical than Afghanistan was," Clint
said with a grin for him. "And you need to learn how to set a
fire." He moved over to do that for them. "I'm in the middle
of a hunt. You two.... hang out here. I'll be back in a few
days and I'll check on the kid before I return." He slid down the
rope. The kid had been right, Wayne and Stark were not meant for
the middle ages. There wasn't a whole lot they could do even
if they had their fancy suits.
Tony and Bruce shared a look. "I really need a drink," Tony said.
"No, you want a drink, and unless you can make a still and do that, you probably aren't getting one, Stark."
"Which totally sucks. How are we going to get home from the middle ages?"
"How are we not going to change history," Bruce countered. "You
and I, we'd start the industrial revolution centuries too early."
Tony nodded that was true and sat down by the fire to get warm. "I
thought you were in New York."
"I was at home in Malibu. I hate the cold."
"Oh." He built up the fire some. Tony knew how to
camp. He had been taught it by Rhodey. Bruce had been taught
it during his training. They could manage this and help the other
one where they were weaker. Though it made them feel like damsels
in distress at the moment.
Xander flopped down after killing the last demon, catching his
breath. "You did it," Buffy cheered as she flew in.
He looked at her. "I need a moment to rest."
"Is that a good idea inside the summoning circle?"
He used the sword to chop into the floor on a few of the lines.
"Now it won't matter." She stared at him. "I need a few
minutes to rest," he said more firmly. She huffed and flew over to
look at what was on the tables in there. "Don't touch those."
"I know about magic."
He looked at her. "Then you would've known how to cancel a
summoning circle. That's a basic lesson." She glared.
He stared back. He got up and moved her out of the way so he could
see. "Hephrion. Huh. Poker buddy. He's *so*
paying me back when I get home." He looked at the materials.
"Someone substituted. That's not Juneberry, that's
Thistle." He sighed and looked around. "Great, we have a
Rosenburg." He found the banishing spell and considered it.
Maybe magic wouldn't backfire as hard here without the hellmouth.
Banishings didn't take magic to do per se.
He found everything but one thing and that was kind of important.
It said white chalk. Buffy found some charcoal. "The intent
of the spell and the workings of the spell can change if we
substitute. I learned that watching a witch I know do it
often." He took it and considered it. Would it matter?
He had no idea. He kept looking and found the wooden box of
chalk. That helped. He walked outside onto the walkway,
doing the rite as it said, step by step. He finally got into the
pentagram and did the banishing. Which made a lot of demons scream
and flee the fairy kingdom. Xander grimaced, finding one staring
at him. "Why did you bring me here?"
"The fairies brought heros to save them. Who are you?"
Xander grinned. "I'm Xander. I work with the slayer Buffy."
He blinked a few times. "I've heard of you."
"I saw the fuckup trying to call my poker buddy Hephrion."
"Yeah, that was one of the mages trying to banish." The demon
smirked. "I could do it for you." Xander threw the sword at
him and cut him. "What the hell are you!" he demanded.
"According to my slayer, a normal guy." He got out of the diagram
and lunged, kicking the demon back and grabbing the sword. "Three
years of hunting vampires. You'd think by now someone would've
realized who was on the team. Then again, I get no respect from
any of the bitches." He took out his bad mood on him. "How
do I get back?"
"You don't," he sneered.
"That's fine. So be it. That means I won't get to save them
when the hellmouth blows them up thanks to the zombies. Another
slayer will be called." The demon gaped. Xander
stared. "Sometimes you get used to the silence." He cut the
demon's head off and spit on him. "Jackass." He walked back,
scuffing over the lines. He stared at the fairies.
"Something you wanted to tell me?"
"No," Buffy said, floating backward. Xander smirked.
"Really, there's not." Xander threw the fishing net he had found
on her. "Hey! Let me go! I'm the queen, damn it!"
"Shut up," Xander warned. She stared at him. "Which of your minions summoned us?"
"I'd like to know that too," Tony said from the trees. He and Bruce came out of them. "You can use a sword?"
Xander looked at him. "I've been hunting vampires and demons in my
town now for three years. Yeah, I can. And a
crossbow." He looked at her. "Which. One?"
"We needed the help! We're overrun! There's a machine and it
keeps bringing demons! We can't shut it off! We've tried
"Where?" Xander asked patiently.
"We'd let you rule the kingdom for your puny mortal life," she offered with a smile.
"I don't want your kingdom. I hate bitches. You've proved
yourself to be a using bitch." She gasped. "All I want is to
go home so I can keep the zombies from blowing up the school that
houses the hellmouth and my friends currently fighting in it."
"I don't know how she did it! That was some of her work up there!"
"Great, it was Rosenburg. Wonderful!" He growled and calmed
himself down. "Where?" She pointed. He picked up the
net and carried it with her in it to the machine. He looked and
flipped the tiny little switch to 'off'. He looked at her.
"Did you even try?"
"I didn't see that."
Tony unplugged it. "That might help too. What does this run on?"
"Hellmouth energy," she said. "We have one nearby and she drains it all the time to make things work."
"Hellmouths are unstable holes between realms, usually leading to places
that are considered hell dimensions," Xander told him. "Think of
it like an inter-cellular black hole." He looked at her.
"Anything else she wanted to have fixed?"
"Nope. Can I be let free now?" she asked with a perky smile.
"You're going to be damn lucky if I don't pluck you both and then stake
you on a giant ant hill." She slumped. "You can't just
summon people six hundred years in the past to flip a switch that you
could've done yourself!" he shouted. "Do you have NO sense!"
"We didn't see it!"
"It has the word 'off' on it." He pointed. "How hard is that
to see? Did all of your people miss it?" She nodded.
He handed her to Tony. "I'm going to vent." He walked off,
and the adults winced at the shouting that happened. Then a large
thing came running out to get away from him. Xander shot it.
"Dumb ass! And you still owe me poker winnings at home!"
"Sorry, Xander!" the furry demon shouted. "I can't help you get home! I can give the girls a message!"
Xander stared at him. "They had me fray adjacent last night," he
said bitterly. "As you well know. That whole 'I'm a special
girl and you're a normal guy who keeps up with us' thing is going to get
them killed. Unless you're going to stop the zombies?"
"I can't do that."
"Can you get home?"
"Yes," he said carefully.
"Then kindly go stop the damn zombies for me."
"And save the slayer?"
"How about you save Rosenburg since she's probably closing the hellmouth
again and she seems to keep getting more and more powerful each time
she does it?" Xander offered. "We think there might be a bigger
explosion if she does."
The furry demon winced. "That could be. We've known for a while now she's not really following the path she claims."
"No, she steals Giles' books. She's looking at magic like she
looks at cooking. Now and then it's really interesting to try and
she likes to read a lot about it." The demon moaned and shook his
head. "And you're letting the zombies blow that up with the
hellmouth!" He nodded with a grin. "Really bright!"
"I'll go stop the zombies," he said. "Only the ones that brought
you can send you back." He pointed at the fairies. "That was
them. Sorry." He disappeared right before he got shot.
"Please don't shoot my poker buddy," Xander ordered. "He might be
helpful in figuring out how to get us home." He looked at the
fairy queen and her people that were staring. "Okay. What
the fuck was the brilliant idea? And how do we reverse it?"
"How did you turn off the machine?" one asked with a happy smile for him.
"I flipped the switch to 'off'. Like you guys could've."
They 'ooh'ed. He stared. "There's no such thing as a kingdom
full of idiots." They flinched back. "So don't
pretend. I can smell the lies." The others were glaring at
various fairies to make sure nothing else happened.
"Willow has to undo it," everyone pretty well said in unison. "She brought you here to save us."
"Why bring the others of us?" Bruce asked.
"You were trials. She wanted a hero with sense," Buffy said with a
perky smile. "Can I go free now?" Xander threw the sword at
her, making her yelp and duck so it hit her back. "Hey! Mr.
"I'm pretty sure I know where she got the idea," Xander told her.
"Willow?" No answer. "Fairy Willow?" he called again.
No answer. "Willow of Arborganth, I summon thee before I hunt thee
down," he said in Elven. It paid to be a geek sometimes.
She squeaked. He found her and pulled her out of her knot in her
tree. He could ignore the bee stings. He held her up by her
arms. "Send. Us. Home."
"I can't!" she wailed. "It's not working! I already
tried! You're not the hero I wanted even if you did solve the
problem! You're mean and you're growly and you smell like our
"I grew up on one," he said dryly. "And yeah, hunters aren't pleasant." She whimpered. "Why bring them?"
"I wanted a hero with sense and they didn't have any! They talk
about machines and the first one got banged on the head so he went off
on witches and we're not all bad. You know that."
"Not all of you are bad, no. You, however, violated *all* the
rules of ethics and magic." She started to cry. He handed
her to Stark. "I'm going to kill her. You hold her for now."
"Sure, kid." He stared at her. "How do you reverse it? Was it a machine?"
"It's one that runs on magic! I can show you." She tried to fly off but he caught her. "Hey!"
"I think you're staying with us." He tucked her into the net with
Buffy and bagged it up so they couldn't get free. "Lead the way,
dear." She pointed and huffed, sitting down to pout. They
went to look. Stark was baffled. He had no idea why the
thing that looked like it ran on a potion would work. "How did
"The well cover takes the potion to open the portal so we can cast the
spell to bring people here," Willow said, pouting at him. "I don't
know how to undo it. I had to warp the summoning one to get what
Xander looked it over. "You substituted again, didn't you?"
"It called for mythical things like cotton!"
"Cotton's a plant," Xander said. "It's what makes up the majority
of our clothes." She slumped. "Where are your notes?"
"I didn't write them down."
Xander put a pen and a notebook down. "Write it out for us so we can undo it."
"It took me years to do," she said.
"Yes, but I'm used to working with a human version of you. She's
taller, doesn't have wings, and does the same stupid shit." He
pointed. She pouted but did write out her spell and the
potion. He took it from her when she was done. "Next time,
pull yourself. She might've enjoyed that." He read it
over. Even to his untrained eye it looked like she had mixed and
substituted again. "You got the summoning potion from where?"
"It's a mix of the fertility potion and the growing potion but I flipped
it so it's on the dark side for moon growing and added in the moon
charm on top of it to make it an opening potion." Xander looked at
the books in there and found those.
"How do you know that?" Tony asked.
Xander looked at him. "We hang out in the library with the
slayer's watcher and all his many books for researching the demon of the
week. I've seen many of these books, flipped through them, and
wondered why anyone would need this." He went back to
looking. "Moon charm?" She pointed. He got that book
to look over. "Not in latin. Fairy language?" he asked,
holding it up. They nodded. "Okay." He put it
down. "Then what did you do?"
"I wished really hard?" she offered with a hopeful grin.
"Did you hear the words 'wish granted'?" Hawkeye asked from the doorway.
"Yeah but I thought it was the hellmouth."
"No it's a wish demon," Xander said. He looked up. "Did I deserve this for some reason?"
The wish demon appeared, smiling at him. "It wasn't meant to get
you, Harris. It was meant to get Rosenburg. It was just how
wacky magic goes around you that brought you."
"Great! So send us home?"
"I can't do that."
"I can wish us home," Xander offered.
"Can't do that either." She pointed at Buffy.
"I vowed that whoever saved us would lead our fairy kingdom for the length of his mortal life," Buffy said.
The demon smiled at her. "And as soon as a demon heard he had been pulled, he granted him immortality."
"Fuck you," Xander said firmly, glaring at her.
"Now, now, Xander." He growled. His eyes started to
glow. "Um... oh, yeah, hyena taint. Charming to meet you
too, miss." He lunged and she yelped but didn't quite make it out
of range. "Help!"
"Sure, send us home," Stark said.
"I can't! This links him here! That and the other one has a
duty now, because he said he'd catch someone and it became a blood vow
because of the concussion and cut on his head!"
"Then send them home and get us when you can," Clint said.
"If he's immortal, he can't," she said. "Please get him off me!"
They shared a look. Tony rescued her but Xander bit him, making
him scream and try to get free. "Possessions are often bad," Buffy
quipped. "That's probably why he's so mean."
"I think he's mean because he's pissed off," Stark said, holding his
wrist. Xander hadn't broken the skin at least but at least one of
the bones in his wrist was crushed. He looked at his
teammate. "What vow did you make?"
"That I'd kill the witch that brought me here when someone told me it
had to have been one. I was bleeding from the head and had a
concussion, Stark. I was speaking in Arabic for that
matter." The demon whimpered. He glared at her, arming his
special shotgun. "Gretel would love to meet you."
"No thank you," she squeaked. She tried to move but Xander stopped
her. She backed away slowly but he followed. "Nice
hyena. Very nice hyena kitty. Please?" she said, starting to
"Send whoever you can home and come up with a way to get the rest of us there," Clint said. "And I'll tranquilize him."
"It never works on him! Xander never has the right reactions!" she
shouted. She glared at him. "He's always *there* right when
a plan needs to happen to do something for the good of all demons, and
he stops it!"
"Good! That's what we do too," Stark said.
"Usually with human bad guys or aliens," Bruce agreed.
"Some of us just do it with more style and less anger," Clint said with a smirk. "Now, let's reverse it."
"I can't. Undoing the wish will kill me and the boss has to
agree. I've been trying to summon him for hours and he's not
"I can tether her so we can keep pulling her back," Willow offered from inside the net bag.
"Shut up," Bruce told her. "You've already caused enough
problems." She shrank behind Buffy again. He smacked Xander
on the head, getting attacked. Fortunately he could fight.
The kid, he wasn't trained but he had a few raw skills. Clint took
the kid from him and slammed him into a wall, knocking him cold.
"Shut up. Let the hunters deal with it."
Tony looked at him. "Hunters?"
He smirked. "I've been hunting witches."
"Oh." He nodded. "Great."
"Yeah, ya think?" He looked at the demon. "I didn't even
know demons were real until I met the kid. I thought he was a bit
mental, and really angry. Now I know he was just *really*
angry." The demon was still shaking and crying. "How.
Do. We. Get. Home?" he asked simply but firmly.
"You'd have to get one of the Highest to help and the only one I know is
my boss and he's not coming," she sobbed. She looked up at
him. "Please? I can go ask him."
"No, you can't. If you try to leave, you're going to die.
I've seen more than a few that have begged for their lives but were
evil." She slumped. He fired the tranquilizer at her.
"That won't work," Willow said.
"That's my version for witches. Yes it will. It puts them
into a near-death state." Clint looked at Tony. "You good?"
"Bit sore. Bit pissed."
Bruce nodded. "I'll agree with the bit pissed. Things like this go on in our world?"
Clint shrugged. "Never ran into it before I got brought back here. Apparently wherever he's from, yes."
"We only know of one hellmouth so it must be here," Buffy said.
"He's from the United States, not from Germany," Clint said.
"Where's that?" Willow demanded.
"In about two hundred years, it'll be founded." They
groaned. "You ever get the feeling you're surrounded by the
sorority sisters of ditziness?" he asked his teammate.
"Yes, but usually I'm at least partially drunk and they don't have to
say a word," Tony said dryly. "Except maybe moaning my name and
"Eww, you stoop to sorority sisters?" Bruce asked, grimacing at him. "How cheap."
"Beats paying for it," he needled back with an evil smirk. "Or sleeping with the bad guys."
"One. Just once," Bruce said firmly.
"I don't need the know the details of any billionaire superhero's
bedroom style," Clint said firmly. "You're both pathetic at
it. Mine actually want me to stay." They glared at
him. He stared back.
"Xander only draws evil ones," a new voice said. The demon with horns showed up. "What did you do to my minion?"
"I'm keeping her until she finds out how to send us back," Clint said. "Who're you?"
"D'Hoffryn, over wish demons." He smiled. "I was not aware...." Clint shot him. "How dare you, mortal!"
Xander glared from his seat. "Shut. Up." The demon
stared at him and laughed. Xander got up and stared at him.
"I'm going to kill all of your people. Apparently I have centuries
to do that in." D'Hoffryn looked and gaped, backing away shaking
his head. "Yeah!" He smirked. "So this plot? Can
it be done with? Undo command? Anything like that?"
"I don't have a problem with her undoing the wish but it won't save you, Harris. You're in the way."
"That's great. Then you get to deal with the fallout when Willow
goes bye-bye while trying to seal the hellmouth during that
fight." He grinned. "Because not like Faith knows to stop
D'Hoffryn laughed. "She won't cause problems."
"You sure about that? She who restruck Angel's soul from a
hospital bed? Hours after waking up from a short coma?" The
wish demon stared. Xander smiled. "You haven't seen her
recently, have you?" He shook his head. "Go look and come
back. We'll be here." He did and came back, eyes wide.
"You destroyed humanity."
"No, I got pulled here. I had not a damn thing to do with being
pulled here. I wanted to go back home to stop that shit. Did
you help? No! Did she help? No! So send me the
fuck back!" he growled.
"Back down from the eye glowing thing please," Bruce said, sounding tired. "We'd all like to go home."
Xander looked at him. "There's people to do your job.
There's people to do their jobs. Most people don't do my job
because most people are like you and like to look past it. By the
way, your town has a *really* high rate of the peaceful demon community
and a few that get out of hand now and then, like the Penguin."
Bruce gaped, one eye starting to twitch.
"Yeah, dude, it's all over the underground and we know. I'm pretty
damn sure they can find a replacement for Stark and for Hawkeye some
year in the future. There's not a whole lot of people who're
willing to step into demon battles because most of you overlook them as
'oh, look, he has a birth defect'. It sucks ass that one tiny
little teenage girl has to save the world by herself, with only some
stuffed ass british guy going 'you need to train harder so you die
faster'. There may be some, but I'm kinda doubting that it'll be
Oz who learns how to use a crossbow or Cordelia or Willow."
"Oz probably could," D'Hoffryn admitted, considering it. "But he's
fairly pacifist for a werewolf. Rosenburg.... we'll destroy if
she gets out of hand." Xander snorted. "We will."
"You won't. Because if Buffy loses, then it's Faith, who's still
healing from all that torture and stuff she went through, or the next
girl, who's probably a good little Council warrior. Can they stop
whatever's coming this spring?"
D'Hoffryn scratched an eyeridge. "No, they won't be able to.
Fuck!" he shouted. His demon flinched even though she was
unconscious. He stared at him. "How do you do that?"
"Have common sense? I don't know how I managed to keep it through all the shit in my life."
The demon smirked. "I could send you back to when you were a child."
"And now I know how to blow them the fuck up." He smirked. "Because they deserve it."
The demon grimaced, looking up. "Halfrek agreed with you."
Xander grinned. "Damn it." He sighed. "I cannot get
you home, Harris. You've become an anchor point here."
"By killing those demons?" Bruce asked.
"No, by having common sense and being the fence that keeps those two
from killing their kingdom off." He pointed at the bag.
Xander calmed himself, putting all his emotions away. That meant
he couldn't go home. Ever. Which he wasn't going to think
about today. It wasn't the time for it. He looked at
Clint. "I need you to make sure that the zombies are stopped on
this date," he said, writing it down and handing it to him.
"You'll see me with them earlier, because I had no idea they were
zombies. Once I'm with Faith, go stop them please." He
nodded, straightening up. "If not, make them please," he said
"Stark, if I can't, you make certain," he ordered handing it over.
"You'll get to go home when your vow's completed. I have no idea how you kill a fairy though," D'Hoffryn admitted.
Xander looked at him. "All right, let's get this death march on
the road, D'Hoffryn. If I'm going to die for this, so be it."
"It's not torture, Harris. You might have to live that long."
Xander stared at him. "We'll see." The demon shivered.
"Go on." He sent them home. Xander closed his eyes and
inhaled. He looked at the demon on the ground then at the head
demon. "What exactly do I have to do to get home?"
"Survive that long."
Xander stared at him. "Why?"
"You're immortal and you have to keep those two confined. If the fairy kingdom dies then all of Europe will have issues."
"Will it stop anything like the Nazis?"
"No. Unfortunately not. Though it will mean that some of the hidden enclaves will be protected."
"Then why do I care if it can't change something that huge?"
"It's a turning point in human history. It's something that
changes how humanity sees itself and sees others. If some of it
doesn't happen then humanity doesn't change, they don't evolve, and they
stagnate and die off," the head demon said. "I'm sorry. I
wish I could change that too." Xander nodded once.
"Though." He considered it. "You can mitigate it."
Xander nodded. "I'm not sure how."
"Okay. We can talk about that when it's closer to that time,"
Xander said quietly. "Any other conditions I have to fulfill
beyond keeping them tied up?"
"No. Not that I'm aware of."
"Then I can do that." He looked around. "I'll make them a nice tree house or something."
"Sure, you do that," he said, stepping back. "Barton, you have to
find a way to kill the witch that brought you. That was the blood
vow. Fairies are nearly indestructible."
"We'll figure it out so he can go home," Xander said a bit too
calmly. "Just...." D'Hoffryn created a cage for him.
"Thank you." He put them in there with the net. They
managed to work their way out once he had untied the neck again.
He put it onto a shelf and looked at the demon. "Do they have a
"No. They can be eaten by dark creatures. I'm told they're fantastic delicacies," he offered.
"I'm not eating her," Clint said.
"Then you'll figure it out and then you can go home."
"Back to when I got taken?"
"Shortly thereafter. In time to stop the zombies, yes."
Clint nodded. "I can do that." He looked at Xander, who handed the sword back to him. "You might need it."
"I might make my own." He looked at D'Hoffryn. "Any other 'but' clauses we have to hear before we ruin humanity?"
"No. Not really. Do be aware you can get some girl pregnant."
Xander snorted. "With as much hellmouth energy and taint as I carry, I'm lucky I didn't appear here in girl form."
"Also true." He disappeared with his demon. She was going to be dissolved for this. Slowly dissolved.
Xander looked at him. "Check back and I'll do the research here, maybe it'll be something simple like silver or a spell."
"Thanks." He stared at him. "You'll be okay?"
"I'll be fine. I'll be setting up a small cabin in the woods and
all that. I've camped in the back yard every year for the holidays
and got possessed by someone who had basic SERE training. I'll
"You're the ruler until you die, why would you live in the woods?" Buffy asked.
Xander stared at her. "Because I'm not taking over your kingdom."
"But that was my vow."
Xander shrugged. "Your vow sucked ass. You couldn't figure
out how to turn off a machine when the switch was marked. I'm not
sure how your people are still alive." She shrank down and hugged
her knees. He looked at the superhero.
"Go easier on her. She was trying to help her people." He
pointed. "I saw, but right now you're acting out of anger."
"Yeah, I am." He nodded. "I'll fix that sometime soon too I
guess." Clint nodded and left, going back to the local
village. Xander stared at them. "If you hadn't had us
summoned things would be better."
"My people will die," Buffy said, staring at him. "Don't you care?"
"As far as I knew, you guys were myths when I was alive. I'm not
really ruler material. So can you rescind it?" She shook her
head. "I don't want to rule your kingdom."
"You can let me go. Keep Willow. It was her summoning."
"You gave me the idea and told me we needed heros," Willow
complained. "Look at the one we got. He's normal, he's mean,
he's got a lot of anger in him. I was going for another fairy
hero but *no*, you wanted one who was heroic and could handle the hard
Xander stared at them. "Shut up."
Willow glared. "That's not polite."
"I don't care." She shrank back. "I'm not the polite, friend
making sort. Actually, I've never been the polite, friend making
sort," he said dryly. "I've had two good friends and one's turned
into a royal bitch at home. The other died a few years ago. I
could care less about anything like this. My job is to make sure
the vampires are gone so they don't kill more people. That is my
duty and my life, ladies." They stared at him.
"Heros aren't shiny metal suit wearing people unless they're only in the
armor to get women. Real heros, we do what's necessary to save
people, even if it sucks and it means our own life. We're usually
not found around a lot of people. We're usually pretty much
fucking alone because if we care about someone and they're not prepared
to be in the life with us, they're targets." Buffy was
"We go into battles as prepared as we can be, knowing that it's never
good enough, and come out hopefully only slightly physically injured and
maybe a bit more mentally bent from watching people die from our
actions. Heros aren't nice, we aren't friendly, we don't dance
waltzes with pretty princesses. That's a story and a myth.
Real heros, real warriors, we train, we live as well as we can between
battles, and now and then we regret turning into us. And you
two just made my life thousands of times more difficult."
He stood up. "I'm not going to rule the kingdom. I'm not set
up to rule a kingdom. I'm not able to rule a kingdom. I
haven't even finished high school yet and I have no idea about things
that a real ruler would've learned. Things like economics and
growth cycles of farming. Things like who other world leaders
are. I barely know who my world leader is." He stared at
them. "I'm not suited for your job. So tell me who I pick to
do it in my place please," he finished.
Buffy shook her head. "It'll start a war. There's factions."
"I'm sure there are. There's always someone who wants power."
"If you don't take over, then me breaking my vows would let them torture me and my sister."
Xander hung his head. "I'm going to destroy them. Accidentally but
I would." He looked at her. "I know more about weapons than
I do about history or english or math or science. Or magic for
that matter since it goes so very wrong around me."
She nodded. "Still, it's the vow and breaking it will get us
tortured until we will ourselves on." She covered her mouth and
looked at Willow. "There's kinder ways in the histories.
You'll have access to the libraries. The kingdom pretty well runs
itself. I'm not exactly brainy queen fairy myself."
"I can tell." He stared at her. He rolled his head around
and popped his neck. "We'll figure it out tomorrow. I'm
tired, I'm dirty, I need a bath and some food. Let me find an inn
or something." He turned and found a bunch of fairies staring at
him. "What?" he asked, sounding exhausted.
"You have our queen hostage."
"Yes, she stole me from my life and could've caused humanity to die in
the future," he said simply. "So until I'm no longer immortal, I
have to keep her hostage." Buffy said something in fairy, making
them all nod and look down. He looked at her. "Told them
why?" She nodded. "All of it?" She nodded,
grimacing. She really was like a miniature Buffy, especially
when Buffy's being the slayer instead of a teenage girl. He
looked at the fairies. "We're going to talk about things
tomorrow. Let me find an inn, get a bath, get some sleep and some
food, and then we'll talk."
"Breaking the vow she made will mean we'll have to rip off her wings and
make her go into exile as a mortal," one of the ones dressed in a
uniform said. Xander supposed he was a guard. "Any vow like
that is tied into our core being and powers, sir."
"Xander, I'm Xander." The guard nodded at that. He rubbed
his forehead. "Let's deal with this tomorrow, please?"
"You can use the guest suite we have for visiting dignitaries.
It's set up for human or goblin usage," the guard said. "It's the
least we can do for saving us."
"That'd be nice, thank you." He carried the cage with him.
They went into his room, in the sitting area on a table. He used
the net to fashion a complicated knot and let it stay there.
"We will not escape," Buffy said.
Xander nodded. "I'm not sure what would happen if you did
considering what D'Hoffryn said." He looked around and found the
bathroom. He took a short bath, making sure to scrub everything
then clean out the tub afterward. He came out to find a tunic and
pants waiting on him. "I'm going to sleep," he told the maid
turning down the bed. "Thank you though."
She smiled weakly. "Aye, sire."
"Xander. Just....Xander." She nodded and bowed then
left. He put the clothes on the chair and climbed into bed in the
towel he had fashioned into man panties. He was asleep almost
"We can get out of that knot," Willow hissed. "I saw how he made it."
Buffy looked at her. "So our people die?" Willow flinched
back. "If the choice is living in a cage until he's in his right
time or all of our people dying then my duty is to live in the cage and
you deserve to be beside me for getting me into this mess!" she hissed
back. She looked in the bedroom and sighed then looked at
her. "Ariana." The maid popped back in. "Make sure he
eats. He hasn't eaten in days."
"Can he eat our food, Highness?"
"I don't know. Ask the adopted human in the kitchens what he
eats." She nodded and left. Buffy sat down and considered
things. It wasn't the most comfy cage but she could manage
it. He had mentioned a tree house and that might be nice.
Plus it meant she didn't have to deal with all the fighting and factions
anymore. It might be a nice, long vacation.
Willow sat facing the other direction, pouting about it. This isn't what she meant to have happen.
Xander woke up to a tiny being staring at him. He blinked at
it. "Time to get up?" He smiled and nodded. "Okay,
thank you." It settled on his bed. "I'm kinda almost
naked." The little thing laughed and smiled at him. "Is that
"No," Buffy called. "He's a child."
"I thought he was." He stroked over his hair. "You're not
old enough yet. When you are, then you can stare at me when I'm
nearly naked." The kid giggled and flew off to chatter at
Buffy. Xander got up to go to the bathroom and rinse his face
off. He used a cup to wash his hair because it looked like it was a
mess. Then he came out to put on the clothes they had given
him. His were sitting there clean and nicely mended. "Thank
you whoever did that for me." He pulled them on and sat down to
pull on his shoes, then made the bed.
"There's a housekeeper," Buffy said.
Xander shrugged. "I'm a guest, I can make a bed." He came
out to stare at her. "Food? And do you guys need anything?"
"We got handed plates and there's some berries and honey over there with
bread." Xander smiled, settling in to eat something. Buffy
smiled at the little boy. "Go tell your father he's up and
eating." He nodded, flying off with a buzz of sharp-edged
wings. Xander had noticed that the younger ones were louder than
the more ancient looking fairies when they flew. He looked at her
as he ate. "The seneschal."
"That's fine. However you need to figure this out." He finished up and washed his hands, cleaning the plate as well.
"We have servants," Buffy huffed. "We're not poor."
Xander looked at her. "I'm not used to servants and why make more
work for them when I'm a guest?" She sat down with a huff.
He carefully washed the plate and put it onto the serving tray, smiling
at the woman waiting. "Here you go."
"Thank you, sire."
"Xander. Just Xander." She nodded, taking it with her.
As she flew off it shrank down to an easier carrying size for
her. "That's neat, that magic resizing thing." He sat down.
"You don't do that at home?" Buffy asked.
"I don't use magic at home. It tends to go screwy around me. My version of Willow uses magic at home."
"Oh." She nodded. "That must be very strange."
"Magic is pretty strange, though most humans don't really know it exists for real."
"Huh." The seneschal walked in with a guard behind him. "Morning, Boris, morning, Hector."
"Morning, my Queen," Hector said, bowing to her. He looked at Xander. "Morning, sir."
"Xander." He held out a hand. "Xander Harris."
He shook it with a slight smirk. "You're not used to our ways."
"No, as far as I knew you guys were a myth."
"That figures." He looked at the queen then at him. "I heard
yesterday. When you showed up with her in a net, people started
to frantically yell for me to come save her."
Xander nodded. "With the mood I was in yesterday, might not have happened."
"I saw that as well. If I may ask, what was the possession by?"
He grinned. "Matriarch hyena."
"Ah! An excellent hunter."
"It's helped some hunting vampires and demons on my hellmouth with my slayer."
"You're a watcher?"
"No. Ours gets some normal people help."
"Oh, I see."
"She's been going for over four years."
The guard gaped in awe. "The others need that." Xander nodded. "Good work then."
"They took a friend," he admitted. "It didn't seem right that one
little teenage girl should be responsible for saving the world by
"No, it doesn't," Hector agreed.
"Then again, I revived her when she drowned so there's two getting
normal guy help now." Boris the guard moaned and nodded, looking
down. Xander smiled. "Instinct. Pure instinct."
"Wonderful." Hector perched himself on the table. "Having
heard all the fussing and the demon's commands yesterday, there's some
things you have to realize. Her breaking her vow will mean we will
rip her wings off her, rip her magic from her, and banish her to live
out the rest of eternity in misery as she slowly dies from lack of
magic. It'll take centuries." Xander winced. "I take
you as an honorable sort."
"Most of the time. Sometimes, honor has no place. Like on a true battlefield."
Boris nodded. "That is true. You can act with your own honor
code but your enemy will not follow it nor will they honor you for
it. It will make the battle harder."
Xander nodded that's how he felt too. "Sometimes you do you what
you gotta do, even if it's not the right thing or the best thing by some
Hector nodded. "It's a viewpoint many fairies share." He looked at him. "What are your plans?"
"I was hoping to build a small cabin in the woods and stay there."
"That would get our queen tortured."
"Which sucks ass on many levels," Xander said dryly.
"Quite," Hector agree, smirking some. "She must fulfill her vow."
"She's offered it. Wouldn't that fulfill it?"
"No. Not with the way she worded it. You'd have to rule for the rest of your mortal life."
"And I was told yesterday that I'm not mortal."
"That is a complication," Boris said, looking at the seneschal.
"I heard. We're looking up a way to figure that out." Xander
nodded. "If so, would you allow it to be removed?" Xander
nodded. "You know that means you won't go home."
"I realized that yesterday. That's why I handed on my duty."
"I can understand how hard that is." He sighed, looking at his queen then at the human. "What of the other?"
"Apparently he made a blood vow." The seneschal winced. "I told him I'd help by doing some research for him."
"There are ways, none pleasant."
"None of us who were called are pleasant about things. You called
people who get into funny outfits to go save people. Or me I just
go on patrol."
"I can understand that." He considered it. "We're not sure
how to note you anyway. Even without all this other problem, she
probably would've taken you as a mortal spouse." Xander shuddered
and shook his head. "She is attractive."
"She looks just like the girl that keeps telling me I'm too normal to
help her, even though I saved her life." Boris whimpered, shaking
his head. "It went from 'he's a good friend and helps now and
then' to 'you're useless, go fetch me things' with her. Even with a
former crush on that slayer, I'd never touch her. Not after the
last year of hell she's put me through for daring to help her. If I
had to so people wouldn't die, I could find it in myself to make myself
go through a ceremony but there would be no consummation and no living
"You think I'm ugly?" Buffy asked quietly.
"No, I think my friend that looks just like you is a hideous bitch to me
and has pretty well made it so I'm not even sure if I like girls
anymore." She shook her head, looking down. "It's all about
her in this case and you're like a miniature her with wings." He
found his wallet and pulled out a picture to show her. "That's my
Willow and Buffy."
"We do look astoundingly like them," she agreed. She looked at
him. "They're that mean?" Xander nodded, putting the picture
He considered how to tell them. "If, and this is an if, two of the
group are dating others, and then for some reason, which we have not
ruled out magic yet, end up kissing a few times for no known reason or
out of any desire for each other, though she had a bad crush on him
earlier, and they only blame him, is that right?"
She considered it then shook her head. "You and the one who looks like me?" He shook his head. "She's dating?"
"My Buffy? A vampire with a soul curse."
"Eww," Boris said.
"That was my feeling. And I pointed out many times that he's a
vampire. She's a slayer. Not exactly compatible, especially
when he got totally happy and his soul fled".
"Could it have been magic?" Buffy asked.
"Don't know. I was helping her do something and suddenly our lips
were like magnets. More than once. It got my girlfriend,
that claimed we were casually dating but not fully dating, injured and
her werewolf boyfriend pissed off. But somehow it became my fault
and only my fault."
Buffy shook her head. "Doesn't seem right if you both participated."
"If you meet her, tell her that."
"I shall." She looked at Willow then at him. "Is that one the
witch that screws up?" He nodded. "No wonder you were so
harsh to her."
"Because I've seen the errors starting. Which is kinda scary with how magic goes on intent from what I've been told."
"It does," Hector agreed. "Substituting can change the definition
in the spell or the intent underwritten into it." He grimaced at
Willow then at the new king. "How do you want to handle this?"
"With as little input as possible from me. I'm not smart enough,
capable enough, or sneaky enough to rule a country. I'm a pretty
simple guy and a hunter."
He nodded. "We can arrange that but it would lead to others trying to take some of your powers from you."
Xander nodded. "Can I name a defacto heir? Someone to do it for me?"
"That would bring in strife and probably lead to conflict, which we do
try to avoid," Hector said. "Though not a bad idea in the long
run." He stood up. "Will you give them a bigger cage?"
"I was planning on it."
"Thank you." He looked at her. Then at him. "We'll be
back tomorrow, after you've rested some more, Xander. I'll have
them bring you some clothes."
"I can wash these."
"Truly, it takes less energy to make you new ones than to soak those heavy pants clean."
"I didn't think about how heavy they are when they're wet. Sorry."
"No, don't be. They seem comfortable." He smiled. "We
will manage to work things out over the next week. Though, I will
keep the Council from bothering you. They're a bit...huffy."
Boris snorted, shaking his head. "They're downright 'kill the
human' in a few of them and the others are 'use the human' instead."
Xander shook his head. "I doubt that'd work."
"They would expect her heir and/or consort to be a magical creature."
"Well, I was born and bred on the Sunnydale hellmouth. I have a
bit of DNA taint due to a mermaid incident. Two
possessions." They gaped. He grinned. "All the wacky
that is hunting on the hellmouth."
The seneschal smiled like he had just found out that Christmas meant you
got presents. "Thank you. That will actually help a
lot." He and Boris bowed to Buffy then left.
Xander looked at them. "Let me get to work designing a bigger and better cage."
"Thank you. This one's nice but I could use a bed."
He looked around and held up a pillow that would fit. She nodded
and shrank it to bring into the cage for herself. He also let her
into the bathroom so she could arrange a potty break however she
wanted. They'd have to work that out. Maybe something like a
Xander was working on the plans when a new fairy flew in and stood on
the table in front of him. He put down the pencil to look at
him. "New problems?"
"You are an upstart mortal."
"Well, I was a mortal," he said dryly. "I'm told someone fixed
that without my permission." The fairy's eyes went wide. He
stared at him. "Other than that, we're figuring out how to handle
the mess that I got shoved into against my will."
"You did not have to save us."
"No, I could've found someone else to send me home. I had no idea
that killing those demons meant I was chained to your people
suddenly." He stared at him. "Right now, I don't really care
about a whole lot, including all the political BS going on.
Politics is not my strong suit or my wanted job." The fairy
sneered. "Hunting however...." He stared at him until the
fairy flew backwards to get out of range. "You have a nice
day." He got back to his sketch.
"Planning a house?" he sneered.
"For the two I have to keep in custody or else your entire race dies,"
Xander agreed. The fairy gasped and tried to hit him but Xander
smacked him with the ruler he was using, making him pass out.
"Hey, um, guards?" he called.
"Boris?" Buffy called. "Crits just got his butt handed to
him." Boris flew in. "He was trying to get Xander into a
fight so he could try to kill him."
"I only smacked him with the ruler. He should be fine," Xander said quietly.
"It has metal so perhaps not. It can injure us but not kill
us." He flew off with the injured fairy. He came back to see
what the human was working on. "Her house?" Xander
nodded. "That's nice looking."
"Thank you. It's based on a doll house I helped someone put
together a few years back." He went back to sketching.
"We'll have to figure out how to do a sanitation tank that can be
"We can help you arrange something. None of us would want to die
and as long as it's a humane capturing vessel we will not mind."
He looked at Buffy.
"I agree. I doubt it'll be any smaller than this."
"I was thinking that maybe the garden room," Boris suggested with a
smile. "With a pass-through to the pond area you enjoy sitting
in?" She grinned and nodded. "I'll show him that in the
morning so he has more time to rest and the Council can get it out of
Xander looked at him. "If they're that pissy, tell them I'll gladly give
it up if they're willing to do that to their queen." Buffy
gasped. He held up a hand and grinned at her then at the guard,
who was smirking evilly. He flew off to make that offer. The
Council got into 'hell no' shouting and finally settled down to figure
out how to manage this the easiest way possible. They liked their
queen, she was simple and didn't get in their way. This *human*
clearly had *ideas* though. Boris gave a report that he was
planning on how to get them a more proper residence for the queen and
that witch to live in. That was a well liked idea as well.
Buffy stared at Xander in awe when the reports came back via one of the maids. "How did you know they'd do that?"
"If you're beloved by the people no one would want to see you harmed,"
he said simply then shrugged. "It makes sense." She smiled
and flew back to her pillow. Xander had set the cage on top of a
bird bath earlier after taking off the bottom and the pillows she had
shrank for her and Willow. They had a good soak and gotten clean,
plus her maid had brought her something comfortable to wear. That
had been great. She was feeling like her old self again and she
could help this human with her kingdom full of fussy courtiers.
Xander got finished with the plans and Buffy got one of their
blacksmiths in to help him work on it. "Hey." He shook his
hand. "This is what I was thinking. The only thing I'm not
sure about is how to do a real sanitation area."
He looked over the plans. "That's not that hard to build. It's a pretty house design."
"It's like a dollhouse I helped someone put together a few years back."
"That's fine. Where?"
"Boris had a good idea," Buffy said with a grin. Boris came in to
show them where. Xander brought the cage with him. She
pointed. "On that wall?"
Xander looked. "If we arrange it so it's partially there and
partially in front of the window with a nice entryway and patio out
there, that would probably work best." Boris nodded and showed
which tree Buffy liked to sit under. They could make a great cage
that wouldn't bother the tree or the sunlight. The wall had some
pipes for the fountains so they could divert those for the necessary
sanitary facilities. The blacksmith and Xander agreed on how to do
the cage so she'd have some privacy. She'd have a pretty
house with non-removable walls and a nice entertaining area. They
could arrange things so they held any entertainments in here or in the
gardens so Buffy could enjoy them as well. Willow hated it and
tried t break free a few times but Boris knocked her cold for it.
Xander grinned at him. Boris smiled back. "We don't want us
all to die because she got free." The blacksmith smiled at them
and got others in to help them. It'd take them a few weeks but it
was going to be nice and they could easily move the throne room in here
as well. Or they could put up a nice cage set in there for
her. Maybe cages running all around the castle's walls, out of the
way of people, so she could get everywhere she needed to. Boris
gave a few ideas of the necessary areas. That got agreed upon and
the first phase of her home would be done first. That would give
her privacy and a sense of normal routine again. They'd make it as
easy on their queen as they could. Especially since the human
wasn't a mean and cruel one.
Not like they heard that witch hunter was.
One of the fairies flew up to Xander while they were working on the
queen's new residence, clearing his throat. Xander looked at
"Xander," he corrected.
"Xander. We must figure out how to either crown you or otherwise figure out your title."
"Can't I just be Xander?"
"I'm afraid that might not work so well," he admitted. "It
wouldn't exactly get us reasonable diplomatic relations." Xander
shuddered. "They're important."
"I know *nothing* about that. I haven't even finished high school
and I'm not brainy. I'm not exactly a jock but I don't know
science, math, any of that. I know hunting."
"Okay, that makes sense," he said, staring at his queen. "She has
much that same issue and we help her deal with it." He smiled
slightly. "We're not sure if we should coronate you as the King,
pro tem, or if we should just announce it.... Which might make the
Queen look bad."
Xander nodded. "I know nothing about that stuff. Tell me
when you figure it out and make sure I can't destroy the world?" he
suggested with a grin. "Fire pretty and weapons are great to
me. Diplomacy is a word I had to look up a few years ago."
"We can do that," he agreed, patting him on the arm. "That looks
like it'll be a good residence for her. Very quaint and
charming." He flew off to tell the others of the Council. If
he could've stood their queen they would've married them off
already. They could name him King Pro Tem. Then they'd do
the leading from behind him like they did behind their queen's
back. One did want plans on the new residence but the
blacksmiths guild only had partial ones drawn up. The new
residence had four bedrooms, three bathrooms, one a guest one, and would
include an area to entertain and an outdoor section in the gardens for
her. They all agreed it was very thoughtful of Xander. He
was making sure their lifetime confinement was a comfortable one.
It proved he wasn't an evil bastard out to destroy everyone, even if he
was a hunter.
Xander walked into the local human town, putting a notice up on the
board. One of the local priests was staring at him. "The
fairy queen said so."
"They're evil, boy," the priest said.
Xander snorted. "No, they're not. They're really mostly
pretty much normal. I've seen evil. I dated a few evil
things." He grimaced. "Having wings doesn't make them evil,
Father. Find real evil and fight it." He walked around him,
going to the pub. He ran into a blonde lady. "Gretel."
She turned to stare at him. He held up an envelope. "From
one of the other fairy kingdoms. They're having a sorcerer
summoning things to eat and kill them and wanted help."
She took it with a smile. "How do you know me?"
"I know your brother. I'm Xander."
"OH!" She smiled and shook his hand. "You escaped?"
"Putting up a notice that the hellmouth's going to have an issue in
about six weeks. It's handled but just in case so the people know
to stay away from the boundaries for a few days. It might flash a
bit and maybe let something out but I'll be there to kill it."
She nodded. "We can deal with that too probably." She looked
at the letter. "I've run into that one before and injured him."
"They said his left arm's limp and non-working. He has imps to cast on that side."
"Wonderful. We can kill them."
"Hey, kid," Clint Barton/Hansel said as he walked in. "The priest's in a snit fit."
"I told him to find real evil instead of thinking the fairies
are." He rolled his eyes. "Six weeks, some minor flashing
from the hellmouth there. I'll be handling whatever comes out but I
put up a notice to warn the locals in case they're near the
"That's a good one to have," the bartender agreed. "You're fairy kin?"
"No, I got sucked in due to someone's blood vow." He
grinned. "I'm Xander." The bartender blinked at him, mouth
slightly open. He nodded. "Yup." He looked at them
again. "They're *insisting* that there's going to have to be some
sort of coronation."
"We're invited?" he asked with a slight grin.
"Yup. That way I have someone to talk to who wants nothing
diplomatic. Because I have *no* clue what to do with them besides
look at them strangely and nod."
"We can back you up," he promised, patting him on the arm. "No little winged bitches?"
"In their new house. The blacksmiths and I built them a great little house area."
"Wonderful. Still looking that up for me?"
"I've found four ideas, none real nice, and the main library is up a
mystical staircase I'd need to fly over. They've offered me wings a
few times but I don't really want them. So I'm figuring out how
to get up there."
"That's reasonable. Thanks."
"Welcome." He walked off. A few men were waiting on
him and he sighed. He shook his head. "I don't have the
energy to deal with you people. I have to stop whatever's
coming out of that hellmouth in a few weeks." He walked around
them. One lunged at him so Xander turned and kindly punched him
then kicked him back. "Do you not listen?" he asked
sarcastically. "I'm pretty sure you're not deaf with the supposed
battle yell you let out." He rolled his eyes.
"Pathetic. Seriously pathetic." He walked off and waved over
his shoulder. "Watch out when it starts to flash. I'll take
care of anything but it could hit a few wild creatures near the
boundaries then." He walked into the fairy ring and it took him
back to the kingdom. "Imbeciles."
Boris stared at him. "The priest? Usually."
Xander nodded. "Seriously. At least most humans will grow
out of that." He walked off. "I invited Hansel and his
sister to the coronation or whatever it is."
"That's fine, Xander. I'll let the Council know." He flew
off to tell them that. They didn't like that Hansel had a blood
vow to kill Willow but they'd handle it well enough and his sister was
probably pretty if she wasn't in her battle outfits.
Xander went to have a headache. One of the courtiers smiled at him
and held up a book. Xander looked at it then at him. "I
don't care about clothes as long as I'm comfy. This is as
miserable as I want to be in any outfit. By the way, can we please
make underwear? That way the pants quit riding up my ass?"
The courtier blushed. "Underwear?" Xander nodded. "I'll see if we know what that is."
"Go ask Hansel if you can't. He'd know." That got a nod and
he flew off to note that. They knew Xander wasn't one for the
courtier tights and tunics but they were fashionable. Maybe
they'd make him clothes like battle pants? Though, no one knew
what underwear was. He'd have to figure that out. He decided
to go check on that human hunter since Xander had said he'd know.
He appeared out of the fairy ring and found humans glaring at
"I come to ask the hunter a question about battle clothes. Not
like we usually have any." He flew off, going to the local
pub. Most humans seemed to go there at least once a day. It
made sense that the hunter would be there. The bartender stared
then pointed at a table under the stairs. He flew over and stood
on it, smiling at the pretty girl. "Is your brother here? I
was referred to him about a clothing issue."
She nodded. "He'll be right back from the outhouse." She
sipped her ale. "Why would fairies need clothing help?"
"Our King Pro Tem needs something he's more comfortable in. Our
usual styles don't seem to please him because he's always wiggling and
he mentioned something called underwear that I don't understand."
Hansel sat down, staring at him. "You guys don't wear anything under your tights?"
"They're breeches," he said.
"Uh-huh. They're tights." He sipped his own ale.
"Underwear cover your privates and butt. They sit at your
waist. Some are looser, some are tighter."
"They would surely show under our breeches," the fairy said, sitting
down and crossing his feet. "We believe he's not very comfortable
in our style of breeches."
"No, probably not. He'd probably be more comfortable in what I wear," Hansel agreed.
He looked at the outfit then at him again. "They're very plain."
"Oh." He considered it. "From animal hides?" Hansel
nodded, eating a bite of bread and offering the fairy some. "No
thank you. I just ate." He considered it. "We eat a
lot of pork."
"That doesn't make great leathers. Cow does," Gretel said with a smile. "Pig skin is too thin."
The fairy considered it then shrugged. "We'd never think to wear animal hides."
"You can make them in cotton and other fabric, but for battles, leather is good," Hansel said.
"Huh. I'll think on that. We're working on the coronation
outfit. How would one do underwear? Would that be like
"Yes," Hansel said. "Only for men instead."
The fairy considered it. "That would be confining."
"Not all men like to hang free," he said dryly.
"Huh. I can tell the others. That might make him more
comfortable. We're learning how to be comfortable with him in
charge." He stood up. "I thank thee for your help.
Happy travels." He flew off out the back window to avoid the
yelling humans he could hear.
Hansel and Gretel shared a look. "I know you wear such," she said with an evil smirk. "They have holes."
"It happens and I'll have more made." He finished his dinner and
they went to pack so they could get out of this town with the idiot
priest who thought everything was evil. He was giving them a
headache. They had a hunt anyway. The request was an easy
enough one and he wouldn't miss that sorcerer where Gretel had.
Guys like that caused a lot of problems if they weren't taken out.
A few weeks later, Xander stopped Gretel before she set fire to a young woman. "She is not harmful."
"She's a witch!" she said firmly, getting her arm free.
"Who is not harming anyone."
"That child is sick!"
"It's her kid," he said bluntly. "And he was poisoned by one of
the villagers." She glared at him. "Go ask them. They
want her house and lands. She can herb heal, that doesn't make her
a witch. Beyond that, I've worked with some that aren't evil,
they actually help slayers and things like that." Gretel huffed
off to get her brother. Xander released her. "Is your son
well?" he asked.
"Nay. They're going to kill him so they can have my mother's house." She was crying. "Thank thee."
"I worked with a few," he said, leading her back to her house. The
men were already there going through things. He shot them with
his crossbow. "No, I think not." They stared at him.
"Greed is not good." Hansel stomped in. Xander smacked him
on the head, getting punched back. "Like others, they accused her
out of greed. That's why *they* poisoned *her* son." He
stared at him. "Ethics, it's still an available subject back here
too! Not all herb healers are evil bitches!" He glared at
the people he had shot. "You're all in deep."
"We say she's a witch!" one shouted.
"And I say you are," Xander countered, staring at him. "For the
same reason she is since you're one of the ones that poisoned that
kid. If he dies, that makes you a murderer." They
shuddered. "Even the church has ethics. Using the system to
get petty things like her house is evil. I'm pretty damn sure
you're all going to hell and I'll make sure you get there if I have to."
Gretel stomped in. "That boy is not hers."
The young woman grabbed her son. "*SHE* is my daughter," she sneered. "You're just as evil as they are!"
Xander looked at her. "The system has flaws but hunters like them
take out the evil ones who cause problems," he noted calmly. "It's
bad that the villagers accused you and harmed your child due to
greed." She went to the bedroom. He glared at Gretel.
"Let me kill them and I'll help her heal her kids." He stabbed the
few men and walked in there. "Have you tried Hope's Potion?"
"Nay. I can't find the thistle down." He snapped something
and Boris showed up. She gasped. "That's a fairy!"
"Boris, humans made her children ill so they could get her house,"
Xander said quietly. "She needs some potions ingredients and maybe
a healer to help her."
"Aye, Xander." He disappeared and came back with someone. "Here."
She bowed. "Thank thee," she said, starting to cry. "I've
been trying to save them. I'd do anything to save them."
Xander hugged her gently. "We'll do what we can. No parent
should go missing a child due to that sort of power ploy." He
walked out there, staring at the head of the village, who was standing
in the doorway arguing with Gretel. "We will be talking to the one
that made the poison that harmed her children."
"She did....." He looked around then at the hunters he had talked to. "How dare you!"
"I did it, because they were falsely accusing her," Xander said
bluntly. "She's no more a witch than I am." The healer came
out. "The children?"
"The other is in grave shape but the potion I have may cure him. The daughter is on the way to getting better."
"Thank you," Xander said quietly. He bowed and went back to
her. Xander looked at the headman again. "Let's go talk and
see who made that poison to hit her so they could have this land."
The man went pale and backed out. Xander followed. He
shoved him into the village square. "Who knows who really created
that poison to hurt the herb woman's children?" They gasped.
"I know she did not. She was willing to sell her soul so they
were healed. I also know that she was accused because she had
something someone wanted." A few people stared to move away from a
young woman. He stared at her. "Why did you do that?"
"I did not!" she sneered.
Xander sneered back, moving closer. "I'm Xander, King pro tem of
the Fairy Kingdom." She gasped. "You bothered one that is
protected as one of ours. Her grandmother's herb skills saved a
few children. Which means you just started a war, little girl."
"We would win."
Xander smirked. "Really?" He considered her. "Then
you'd better get a sword. We have no quarrel with anyone who
didn't falsely accuse her or poison her children. The rest of the
village would be spared. Those one's families are under a death
sentence." She went pale, shaking her head. He nodded.
"Oh, yes, all of them." She backed away slowly. "Now, why
did you do that?"
"Her intended is mine! Her house should be mine! She's
nothing but a vile herb woman and she has one of the most beautiful
houses!" she shrieked.
Xander slapped her and she fell down sobbing. "Her house is
beautiful because she tends it well. I can tell which one is yours
because it looks pathetic even under the bright paint. Even I can
clean better than you do. Hell, I could take better care of your
wanted spouse than you can too!" He stared down at her. "I
would suggest you go find somewhere they don't know you're
tainted. Somewhere that news won't get to them about you getting
at least three families, including yours, put under a death
sentence." She got up and ran off. He stared around.
"Any other petty bullshit we have to manage today?" They all
looked down and shook their heads. He looked at the headman.
"My second wife's."
"I'm fully against beating one's spouse but perhaps you should have a
talk about why she's spoiled. Is she an evil stepsister?" He
"The death sentence?" one woman yelled.
Xander looked at her. "I'll let the hunters talk to me about
that. Right now, I'm livid that you would poison two harmless
children to gain their mother's house. How pathetic and evil are
you, woman?" She blanched, looking down. He walked off,
going back there. Hansel was outside and Gretel was swearing
somewhere in the woods.
"Do they really deserve that?"
"Do they deserve her help?" Xander countered.
"When you have gifts you need to use them," Hansel countered.
"Maybe. Sometimes you gotta let the bitches flounder a bit.
Though, healing is one of those that you usually use with compassion and
empathy. I'll leave it up to her."
Hansel nodded. "Thank you."
"Not a problem." Gretel stormed their way. "Like when people
accuse you two of being the wrong sort of close to discredit you,
others have greed too. Try to investigate? See if there's
actual harm done?"
"How did you hear of that?" she demanded.
Xander stared at her. "It's a common tactic, Gretel. It's
been used a lot. So has accusing someone to a witch hunter so they
can have what's theirs taken by someone. Jealousy and greed rule
the world. People want what they don't have and they're not into
righteous thought to get it. For that matter, I was pretty sure it
had happened but was not sure. Personally, I don't give a damn
either way." He shrugged. "I've seen worse in this world
than some sibling fucking. That does not concern me in any
"We are not," she hissed.
"Okay." He nodded and shrugged. "Like I said, I don't
care. You just validated someone's push for power the same way you
nearly got destroyed for it. Learn to investigate first?
Please? We don't want to have to destroy people for being greedy
dumbasses." He walked around her and went inside.
"Boris?" The guard looked at him. "Any new news?"
"The girl child is getting much better. The boy is still weak."
Xander walked in there. "Anything I can do to help?"
"I need more power for a healing spell," the healer said.
"Suck at mine," Xander offered, holding out a hand.
He tested his. "You were clearly tainted by the hellmouth you grew up on, Xander. I cannot use yours."
"Use mine," Hansel said, coming in.
The healer tested and nodded. "I can. Sit, you may feel
dizzy." He pulled a chair over and let the fairy take some of his
energy. The boy started to look less pale immediately. The
healer backed off and let Hansel go. "That's as much as I can
do. You have what you need for the two potions that will help you
and I'll help you brew the first batch," he told her, earning a weak
smile and a hug. "We would let no child suffer." He flew
with her to her workbench to put together the potions for the children.
Xander made one for Hansel, handing it over. "To replenish the
energy loss. It's mostly fruit juice and some herbs." He
nodded, sipping it. "I drank a lot of it after patrols," he said
quietly. He leaned against the table. "What more can we do
"Not much," the healer said. "We'll leave a guard here?"
Xander nodded. "Then that should solve most of it. The one
who did this?"
"The guy that I dragged back to town's daughter. She wanted her
intended spouse and a pretty house since hers wasn't. I suggested
she run for her life before I killed her and her family for it."
He looked at the mother. "I made a point that you were protected
as well." She smiled at him. "I'll stay for a few days to
make sure that no one touches you."
"My spouse will be back next month, sire."
"I'm just plain old Xander."
She nodded. "Thank thee, Xander."
"It's not a problem. Dose the kids then get some rest. You
need to keep up your own health." She nodded, going to do that and
lay down with them. He looked at the fairy healer. "Thank
"It is in no way a problem, Xander. We would see no child harmed
that way either." He patted him on the arm and settled in to rest
and make sure the children reacted well to the potions.
Xander looked at Hansel then at Gretel. "I'll sit watch on
them." They nodded. "Thank you for at least acting slowly."
"He got food poisoning last week," she snorted.
Xander nodded. "I've done that to myself a few times."
Hansel smirked at him. "Really, I have." They left. He
settled into a chair, watching over the family until her spouse could
get back. He got back there a few days later and Xander held up a
hand. "I'm watching over the family to make sure no one else tries
something stupid against her or the children," he said quietly.
"They're all asleep in the bedroom." He went to look then came out
looking pissed off. "Are they not well?"
"They are. Who are you?"
"Xander. King pro tem of the fairy kingdom." The man gaped. "Her grandmother healed some children ages back."
"What happened that called in that debt?" Xander settled in to
tell him. He nodded and then went outside to swear. The
daughter bounded out to pounce him. He smiled and hugged
her. "I'm glad you're both all right." He looked at Xander,
who had stood up. "Thank thee."
"Not a problem. She seems very good and the children seem
sweet. She's fully healed, her mother is having a few nightmares
from almost being burned. Your son is a bit weak but the healer
said he's getting stronger. It may take a few months for him to
get back up to full boy strength."
"Thank them for me."
"Of course." He shook his hand. "I'll leave them in your
protection." He smiled and headed for the fairy ring, going back
to the palace. Buffy was waiting, and out of her cage. He
stared at her.
"We were going to send me to check on you, make sure you weren't captured. Why did you stay?"
"To make sure no one retaliated for their plans being shut down."
"If they're bad enough to poison kids, yes. Not all humans are."
She nodded. "We've had a few fairies like that. They're
mostly locked up." She grimaced and landed on his shoulder.
"Willow's still in the residence."
"Cool." He took her to the meeting room, letting her go into that
cage. It linked back to the residence by a tunnel in the
walls. He looked at the fairies, smiling at the healer. "Her
spouse has returned and he's guarding them. He sent his thanks."
"Good." He smiled. "Did you tell him the boy would be okay?"
"I told him it'd probably take a few months, as you told me."
"Even better. Thank you, Xander."
"That sort of thing is no problem for me. I loathe people that
would hurt their kids." They smiled. "Let me go clean
up." He went to his suite to do that.
Buffy smiled at them. "I managed to pick well."
They nodded. "You did," Boris agreed. "He's a sane, strong leader of people."
"He has compassion," one of the Council said. "Yet he was willing to destroy if they harmed those he protected."
The others nodded. They had a good king. One they
could appreciate. Now if only they could get on with the
Xander walked around the 'coronation' party. He was bored
stupid. At least he wasn't being forced to wear something
'glittery' and 'twinkly' as the courtiers had tried to push. He
sighed and sat down on a windowsill next to Hansel and Gretel. "At
least you two don't want me to be twinkly and shiny."
Hansel looked at him. "We heard them complaining that you're plain."
"They've been complaining that I've been learning from the blacksmiths
too." They shared a smirk. "Anything new going on somewhere
"Got that sorcerer for the other kingdom. Got two evil bitches
last week," Gretel said, sipping her wine. She was in an actual
dress with her hair done up tonight. "They're all very shiny."
Xander smiled and nodded. "They are. They had a mass debate
about the role of underwear. A few said that they wore it anyway
and the courtiers almost had a heart attack as a group." Hansel
laughed, nodding some. "Other than that...." He looked
around again. "Not too many diplomats. The Council sent
letters around to them warning them that we have a dual ruling party
now. I let Buffy handle most of it but had to complain about
something the other day. They wanted to push some kids out of an
orphanage to get the lands on the other side of them. So now we're
"I heard that," Hansel said, leaning against the edge of the
window. "The kids are doing much better with someone to watch over
"That's what I wanted to happen. Even the little bit of Dickens I
could make myself read wasn't as bad as some of them." They shared
a look then Xander shrugged. He pointed behind him. "See
the blue sparkling light?" Hansel looked and nodded. "That's
the main library." That got a grimace. "They've offered me
wings a few more times."
"Great. Are they confined?" he asked, spotting Buffy flying free.
"Willow is. She's in hiding because she's embarrassed. The
Council devised a spell so she could not get free of a room during
things like this. Won't work for garden parties but she's got part
of her house out there." He nodded and they followed him to
see. "We did a really nice job and it goes into the garden by her
"It's very nice," Gretel agreed, smiling at the thin, fine mesh that
went between the bars of the dome over the house and garden area.
"Lets in plenty of light and rain."
"But it's safe because we had a harpy the other day. Buffy and
Willow got the preschool class that was learning plants in the royal
gardens into their covering to protect them until I could come shoot
Hansel patted him on the back. "Nice job, kid."
"Thanks." They went back to the party and settled in another
corner since theirs had been taken by someone making out with one of the
other leader's wives. Xander got some weakened wine and sipped
it. "I'm having to get used to drinking."
"You were young," Hansel said. "Probably had a few nights at parties."
"No, not really. I wasn't the party sort. Didn't get
invited." They shared a look. "And alchie parents I'd like
to have eaten by vamps."
"No." Xander shook his head. "Not that I'd wish them on any
other kid. The watcher was kinda the defacto parent of the
group. Rosenburg's traveled a lot on book tours." Hansel
looked confused. "Shrinks."
"Great," he said blandly, taking a sip of his weakened wine. "Your slayer had a family?"
"Yeah, we love her mom. She doesn't *know* but she tries to make
up for things." Xander shrugged. "I like Joyce. She's a
nice lady most of the time."
"That's good." He considered it. "What if you could get her to move?"
"I doubt she would without her daughter, even if she learned why she kept sneaking out."
"Hm. Well, maybe we'll be able to figure something out." He
settled more firmly against the wall, watching as some diplomat took his
sister out to dance. She looked good and was using good
manners. Though he had spotted a few evil things in there.
He nudged Xander and pointed subtly. Xander looked and snorted,
taking a drink of his wine to cover it. "Any idea?"
"Diplomat," he muttered, shaking his head.
"Figures." Xander snapped and pulled out something to show him. "That's pretty."
Xander smiled. "I helped with the final forging steps. I'm learning a lot from the blacksmiths."
"Wonderful." He handed the dagger back. "Bit shiny," he teased with a grin.
"Yeah but not fully. Then again, I'm hearing rumors that people
are pissed off that Buffy can't make an alignment marriage. I told
the Council if she found someone she could figure it out. They
said no. Even if he was willing they didn't want to align
themselves to that idiot." That got a nod and a slight
smile. "So we're figuring it out. She knows she's free to
court and all that. She's had a few dates. Though, like
mine, she likes them dangerous."
"Maybe she's somehow influenced her," Gretel said as she came back.
"Maybe." He grinned. "I have no idea how to do those so I'm
hiding from the ones searching for me to say I danced with them as a
"Probably a good idea," Hansel agreed. "There's a lot of political BS that you have to watch out for, kid."
"I have a D average," Xander said, looking at him. "I don't care
much about anything like that. Guess I'll learn that too.
Though I went a whole day without anyone huffing at me."
Hansel smiled and taught him how to spot 'politics' and 'you favor me by
giving me things to do' starting around him. It was not something
anyone wanted the kid to fall to. Hansel could appreciate the
kid's style and ethics, and his strength because he would've killed the
queen and the witch for how she had ruined his life. There were a
few more 'adult' things that Xander hadn't seen though.
Thankfully, Clint had a lot of experience with both politics messing up
assignments and his life.
Xander looked at the letter he had been given then at his guard
Boris. They'd had a few quiet weeks since the coronation
party. "I don't know why they're asking me. Won't that cause
some big dramatic BS to start?"
Boris looked then shrugged. "Probably not since they asked.
It's been done before when rulers are infertile. If you don't send
back an answer or turn her down for some noble 'I'm with someone' or
reasonable reason like 'I have something' it definitely will."
"I'm not sure I'm not infertile." Boris stared at him.
"Mermaid taint. Hellmouth taint. Possibly a few spells in
"We can check." He got one of the upper level healers in there to
look him over. "He got the 'please father our child for my
infertile husband' letter."
"The Council thought there might be one," the healer admitted. He was married to one of them so heard all the best gossip.
Xander looked at him. "I've been exposed to mermaid essence. Nearly turned into one."
The healer stared at him. "How?"
"I don't know. Well, I do know, but that was because I was trying
to see why the rest of the swim team was turning into them. That
might also matter to the hellmouth taint I carry."
"I don't think that would matter. Most of us do." He pulled
out his instruments and enlarged them once Boris had them in a private
room. He did an exam and looked at his blood, then his aura.
He blinked a few times. "You're not infertile. You will
pass those gifts onto others. The gifts gained from the mermaid
taint, like the better breath control, will be passed on. How did
you do that?"
Xander shrugged. "There's always been weird things around me."
"Clearly!" He checked something else. "You are very filled
with hellmouth taint. Much more than most of us carry." He
grimaced. "Boris, have my spouse send back a letter stating
that he's having to undergo medical treatment for the spell that brought
him back to us. That he's not going to be able to honor their
request this year. Maybe in two years, but not right now."
He nodded, flying off. "We can help with some of that. It
might make you a bit ill for a few days but the temporal magic clearly
made you suck up more hellmouth energy."
"Actually, I'm pretty sure I've always been filled with it. I've
spent time overtop of it every night for the last three years while we
worked on patrol things. It's underneath our high school library,"
he said when the healer stared at him. "My Willow, the witch that
keeps screwing up, says that magic goes weird around me for some reason
The healer did another sensing spell, separating out the temporal magic
from the old hellmouth taint and the new one. "Do the others not
get this level of problems?"
"A watcher, our slayer, the witch, the werewolf? My semi-normal girlfriend?" He shrugged.
"The watcher probably has protections against it." He sighed and
rubbed his eyebrow. "He should have taken those out on you."
"He wasn't so sure he wanted us helping at first because it's not the Council way," Xander said sarcastically.
"Clearly!" He grimaced. "Your witch is probably magic-poisoned."
"No, I think she's just been stealing spell books again," Xander said.
The healer looked at him. "That way leads to the path of darkness."
"Which I fully agree with. I'd like to kill the brat every now and
then. The night the spell hit me, I was being fray adjacent
because they thought I was *normal*."
The healer burst out laughing. "Really? No, not in the
least, Lord Xander." He held up a hand. "I am keeping my
professional distance with the title. It's not right because we
are not friends at this point so I cannot be that informal with you."
"I get that. The doctor that took out my appendix did the same thing." He shrugged slightly.
The fairy looked at him. "You're missing an organ?"
"I was seven. That's probably the last time I went to the doctor's
too. Willow did most of my stitches from her mother's medical
The healer looked at him then shook his head. "If I'm around when
you get back to your right time, let me talk to them, Lord Xander?"
Xander grinned. "Sure, but I have to make sure they're not blown
up first. Zombies were going to bomb the school while they were
fighting the hellmouth being opened."
The healer held his forehead, shaking his head. "I can do that
afterward. Maybe the common sense will sink in." He did a
few more telling spells and wrote something. "I'm going to change
"I usually live on the school's lunch, sandwiches, and twinkies," Xander said.
The healer looked at him. "I can tell, Lord Xander. We'll
put you on the same diet we put warriors on so you can do more training,
since I've heard you've been doing that and with the
blacksmiths." Xander grinned. "That should help a few other
things as well." He flew off to talk to the head
housekeeper. They had ways of helping those who got too close to
their hellmouth. Hopefully they'd help that one as well. He
sneered at Willow when he caught her trying to listen in, making her
huff off. When he got back to his office, he sent that
hunter a letter. They had seemed to be friends and maybe he'd end
Willow sooner so he could go home and handle things like that witch in
Lord Xander's time.
Hansel accepted the tiny letter from the fairy messenger. "Thank thee."
"You're welcome. Our head healer bade me give that to you, sir." He flew off to find a fairy ring and go home.
Hansel let it grow in his hand and read it. He smiled at the nice
information on how you could kill a fairy. Six proven methods and
two that were rumors. His sister looked over his arm so he let her
"Too bad we don't have a goblin or something handy," she
complained. "And I'd never eat the stew you'd make out of her for
that one." He tucked it into his backpack and they rode off
again. "Why their head healer?"
"Xander had a few injuries when he appeared. They were probably treating them."
She looked at him. "So he does what we do?"
"He was living on a hellmouth. Like the fairies guard. He
explained it as a thin spot between realms and hell dimensions."
She nodded at that. "He was working with a slayer there. He
was her normal guy backup as he put it." He glanced at her.
"He's a mostly nice young man. Though, he swore a lot more when he
showed up. He had his reasons though."
She considered it. "He was cold when he stopped our bad judgement but he explained things."
"He does. He doesn't hate us for it either. Like you, he's
seen the darker sides of life when hunting. His town has a lot of
vampires." She shuddered. "And demons. Some that he
claims are just and peaceful, some that might even be beneficial."
"I've heard rumors of those from a watcher I got drunk so I could get into his books but they don't care."
"Apparently they do in his town."
"Huh." She considered it. "He's a nice seeming young man."
"That's a man here," she said with a smirk.
"In ours, he's a year from it."
"That's not that long. Perhaps he can help us now and then?"
"If he wants."
She smiled. "Good." She rode ahead. "First one to the inn picks the better bed."
He snorted. "With your luck, it'll be one that only has a large bed that we have to share with many others."
She shuddered. "They always try to grope."
He smirked. "That's why you should sleep in more clothes."
She stuck her tongue out but they kept going to the next village, where
they had heard problems were starting.
Two years later, Hansel and Gretel showed up unexpectedly. "I'd
like to ask for a bit of sanctuary," he said, nodding at Xander.
"I heard, and it's granted," he said, looking them over. A few of
the courtiers hovering around gasped. He glared. "They've
been dealing with the same things that have been nibbling on our border,
people, and I respect them. Deal with it and move on!" They
huffed but more quietly. He looked at them. "Need a
"No," Hansel said. "Just a safe spot to catch our breath. The trolls are gathering heavily."
"The one that's been bothering us has been calling them," Buffy said
from her seat inside her ornate cage fit for the Queen of the
Fairies. "Please, rest, clean up, let us know if you need a
healer." They nodded. "Boris?"
"This way, Hunters. We have a safe, interior room that won't make
you paranoid. Xander had us build it for safety reasons during
assaults." They nodded and followed.
Xander looked around. "It's pretty clear we're going to have to do something."
"That is not our way," the Seneschal said.
Xander stared at him. "When would you deal with it? When
it's trying to break down the doors of the castle and it's killed all
your people?" He gasped and flew backwards. "They're on our
borders, trying to cross them. That makes them hostile. Any
hostile action has to be dealt with swiftly or your people are
victims. Which did you want?"
"We'd like them to sue for peace."
Xander stared at him. "They don't want peace. They want you
in pieces." The fairies listening all slumped. "If they had
peaceful intent, they wouldn't be trying to breach a border protection
with trolls. Did you forget that you have people out that way?"
"They can come in," Buffy said.
Xander looked at her. "Why should they have to leave their homes
to be protected among their own people? That should be a last
resort, not a primary one." She nodded at that. He looked at
his guard. "Boris, we're going to go scouting." He nodded
and flew off to get Xander's gear. He stood up. "Do *not*
bother the hunters. They need to rest and calm down. I'll
see them when I get back." They all nodded. "Any who bother
them get my foot up their hind ends and I won't be shrinking it
first." A few looked at his feet and shuddered. Xander
walked off, taking the new shirt Boris handed him.
"Xander, take me," Buffy said. "If the locals need help I can
order them to." He stared at her. "I have been taught
tactics, mister scary pants."
He snorted. "No. Not this time. If it was a field
battle perhaps. For now, prepare all the areas around the kingdom
for war. They're not just trying that border from what I overheard
last night." He looked at one courtier. Then he grabbed his
weapons and let Boris fly him there. They found the border still
working, barely. There was a siege engine trying to get over the
top of the barrier that surrounded the kingdom. Xander considered
it. "Mages?" he asked quietly.
"Nay, they know not war spells, Xander."
Xander nodded. "We need a war college for warriors and
mages." He considered it. He handed over two things.
"Hold those." He snuck closer and lit the siege engine on fire,
making the trolls roar as they went up. They were all hairy and
hair burned very well. Xander checked the others. The
barrier was trying to hold. Xander huffed. "Boris, go open
that stupid protection whoever did. It's weakening the barrier."
"I will not leave you."
Xander looked at him, taking his weapons. "I can handle
this. They aren't as bad or as mean as vampires. Go.
Now. Before they make it across in another spot." He zipped
back to do that, sending more guards to Xander. Who never showed
up. Xander crossed the border and took out the suffering
trolls. The others.... They came running to help. He
got most of them down before he got seriously injured and made it back
across the boundary before it went back up. When it did, the
trolls trying to get to him screamed in pain as the protections burned
them. Xander held his side and breathed. "Okay," he
decided. He looked around, spotting Boris coming back looking
grim. "We have these ones down."
"They breached the south border."
"Whoever did that protection, they're up for treason," Xander decided. That got a nod. "Can we go back faster?"
"You're injured!" He looked around. "I heard they were cowards."
Xander shook his head. "They're under control, Boris. They
see me as a usurper." That got a grimace but a nod. "Let's
go. We'll hit the palace, get guards, and go take out the ones
that managed the border. Then we'll handle the sorcerer behind
"Aye," he decided, checking the few remaining trolls. "Are we leaving them?"
Xander took a crossbow from the guard and shot them. "Nope."
They went back to the castle and he found who had done it. He
smacked him hard into a wall during his speech. "Thanks to you,
the south border got crossed by trolls. Your people are
dying. Are you going to handle it?" The courtier in charge
gasped and started to cry that he wasn't in charge. He looked at
Buffy. "Handle his shit."
"Gladly. Guards, go with King Xander and I do mean *with*," she
snapped. "Before all our people die!" They followed.
One of the healers got Xander's injuries cured on the way there.
She glared, getting out of the cage and locking it. She spotted
Willow. "Are you trying to doom us all too?" she demanded.
"I can help! I'm one of the few with offensive spell capabilities!"
"Yes, and they go wrong!" Buffy shouted back. "You can't do
anything to help that won't hurt our people!" Willow
flinched. "Get your ass back in the cage, now!"
Hansel caught her and handed her over. "I can help."
She looked at him. "You're tired. Rest. You, me, and
your sister can take the palace guards if they need a second
wave." He nodded, going to do that. She glared at the
courtiers. "Take him into custody!" No one moved. She
beat the shit out of a few of them, one of them literally because he
crapped himself during it. "Take him into custody and find the
rest of them," she sneered. "My mother would be ashamed of all of
you. Watch me have Willow summon her shade back!"
They fled to do as she bid and those who were in trouble decided to
flee. Buffy wrote a nice note to the other fairy kingdoms so they
wouldn't allow them in. She sent it out with messengers and got
the rest of the guards gathered. They were mostly older
guards. She sighed, looking around. "You six," she said with
a point. "Are the absolute rear guard. If we do not survive
or they sneak around us, they do not get around you to get the
city." They nodded. She pointed at the others, giving them
field assignments. "Did the generals go with Xander?" she demanded
"They are gathering to go over strategy with him and the hunter," one guard reported. "On their way there, My Queen."
"Excellent. Make sure they have runners for messages." That
got a nod. "The city will prepare for war. The ones around
us who are vulnerable, get them here." She looked at one very old
guard. "Go to that human orphanage we protect and make sure the
children are safe or else move them here." He nodded, flying off
to get a flying chariot to take him. Buffy psyched herself up for
this. She did not want to fight a war but it was being brought to
her doorstep. She would not let her people down.
Xander looked up from his battle position killing things with the battle
axe he had made, finding help standing there with a bow. "Hi,
how're you today?" he quipped, killing the demon trying for him.
"They summoned them late last night."
"We heard. That's why we came to help." He shot more of them. "The sorceress?"
"In the blue tent with her mages. They're all more powerful than
she is. She's the heir though. Some mystical prophecy
bullshit." He killed a few more demons and moved on to take out
more so they could be safe. Hansel was shooting what he knew would
be killed by arrows. Gretel was taking out more of them with a
sword. Xander tossed her his spare and they moved forward with
Hansel backing them up. The fairies were trying to hold a line
against the demons and Xander made sure they could. The mages were
helping with that.
The trio of humans made it to the tent and Gretel set it on fire.
The ones inside put it out with a spell. Xander opened it and they
went in to kill them. It was a lot bigger inside.
"Overconfidence," Xander sneered. "A lot of overconfidence."
He killed one of the mages that popped up and then a few more
demons. Gretel was dealing with another one. "Gretel, these
you don't have to burn or behead, just kill." She nodded and
killed him then they moved on.
The interior of the tent turned into a field of grass. Xander
sneered and countered the spell by stepping into it. The poisonous
snakes fled from him. So did the grass, leaving bare
ground. They rushed forward and got the mages, finding the hiding
'heir' in a trunk. Gretel set her on fire in it. They walked
off, coming out of the tent as the demon hoard died and the tent went
up in a rush of flames. They killed off the other summoned things
and made it to the fairy line. It was shaky but holding. A
few had died. The guards set up a cheer of joy.
One higher demon showed up. "Xander?"
Xander turned to look at him. "What?"
"What are you doing here?"
He smiled and pointed at Buffy. "Her vow. What are you doing here?"
"You just screwed up some plans and history." Xander shot him with
the crossbow he carried, making him yelp. "That's not nice!"
Xander sneered. "What makes you think I'm suddenly *nice*?"
He took on the demon and it laughed but Xander had a silver dagger that
the demon didn't see until it came out of his heart. Then it
screamed and the ground trembled. Xander gave it an unimpressed
look. "I've seen girls scream less." He stuck him with
another one. That killed it and Xander spit on it.
"Jackass." He lit it on fire after taking his daggers. A
short 'whoosh' and then it was ashes. He looked around. "Any
others?" he asked the air. Nothing. "Good!" He smiled
at the queen, who was gaping at him. "What?"
"You killed that demon."
"I've killed many demons today." He shrugged. "What did you
expect me to do? Sleep with it?" She shook her head, flying
off. "Gretel, want to set the field on fire? You seem to
like fire a lot."
She smirked. "Jackass." She did set the bodies on fire that
weren't fairies. They were carried back for proper burials. She
and Hansel followed Xander back. They were all sore, a bit sliced
up, but able to walk.
The city got quiet as they walked in. Xander nodded at them.
"We have three days of mourning the honorable dead that fell during the
battle and anyone who fell due to the invasion," he announced.
"That gives you three work days and the weekend free to mourn and the
families to claim their missing for the proper rituals." The crowd
nodded at that, bowing to him. "Once that is done, we'll be going
over the safety of the barriers," he told the staring generals.
"That way no one gets that close again."
"Aye," one agreed. "We've wanted to and got shot down."
Xander nodded. "We'll figure out a good middle ground." They
nodded. He looked at the people. "We got it stopped as soon
as we could. I'm sorry for all the losses I could not
stop." He walked off, going up to his rooms to bathe the blood and
Buffy looked at her people. "I agree, and the longer rituals that
will take all week we'll gather to do as a city, after dinners are
done. That way they're properly honored but no one has to mourn
alone." They nodded and flew off to handle things. She
looked at the generals. "I didn't realize," she said
quietly. "Though I still think that full guard units are
"We can trim it to a guard outpost every few miles and patrols between
them," one said. She smiled and nodded, going to her home to clean
up. The general looked at the two humans. "You two need the
healer. Go bathe and I'll send one."
"Thank thee," Gretel said, bowing slightly.
"You saved our people. It's the least we can do," another said
dryly. He pointed. They went inside. The generals
helped arrange the bodies so they could be claimed by their
families. A few were orphans so the royal family would act as
their families for the rituals. Xander seemed like the sort that
would understand them.
Buffy flew out of her house and to the main hall. "Guards,
Xander's fevered. Did a healer not check on him?" They
gasped and sent for one while she went back to her confinement.
Willow was sobbing but yay. She had been in her first
battle. She had nearly lost her first battle and died. She
had a lot of heavy thoughts and Xander being that injured didn't
help. She hated having to worry about him. They really
needed to give him wings, make him an honorary fairy so he could use
Hansel walked into Xander's room the next morning with some tea.
"This will help his fever. It does mine." They dosed him
with it and Xander drifted back into a fitful sleep. He looked the
boy's injuries over, taking out a tusk. That helped and the
healers could fix the wounds now. He settled in beside the bed,
looking at Buffy since she was staring his way. "We can handle
"You three nearly died for us," she said.
He shrugged. "It's the right thing to do, even if he wasn't vowed to your people."
She was silent for a moment. "We would not do that. Our people aren't that way."
Hansel nodded. "Not many humans are either. Some are good
souls. No matter how much darkness they see and fight."
She nodded. "I did not understand. Now I think I do more. Are you going to kill Willow?"
"I'm too tired to kill her at the moment. Give me a few days and I
might. Or I might wait until next time." She nodded, flying
back inside. He got comfortable to sit watch on the kid.
Xander would do better once he was healed and could talk about
things. Most warriors needed to talk now and then. Not like
fairies would understand how he had done this nightly before.
Ten months later, Hansel walked up to where Xander was banging on a
sword to get it back into straightness, taking a swing at him.
Xander yelped and ducked. "What?" he demanded, staring at him.
"Have you never been told not to sleep with a friend's sister?" he demanded.
"No! Is that some sort of guy thing I missed hanging around with
girls? Because Jesse never told me that before he died. Not
that he had a sister...." He shook his head quickly. "It
wasn't like she didn't ask!" he complained at the continued scowling.
"It's not done, kid. Really, it's not."
"I don't know anything about these guy rules you know about! Hell, most of the time Willow was like my mother!"
"Eww." He glared at him. "Let's go talk like men about
things." Xander huffed but followed him. He really had to
tell the guy things. It was like he was Xander's big brother in a
few ways, which brought up nasty thoughts about Gretel's new
daughter. Thankfully it was by adoption instead of blood
Xander looked down at his daughter. "So," he said, making her
grunt. "I guess you should get to know me at least
somewhat." He brushed over her hair since it was sticking
up. "I think it'll be okay." The baby grunted at him
again. He shrugged. "I don't know, kid. I've never
been around babies before. We'll figure it out." He leaned
on the wall next to the cradle. "Beyond that, you have a
half-sister because the fairies said I'd start a war if I didn't give in
to the diplomatic request. She didn't even want me to make it
seem normal, just get in there and get it done. At least your mom
was nicer about it. Made it less creepy. Didn't show me the
"There's many things I don't want to know about you and her playing,"
Hansel said quietly as he walked up into the loft of the house they had
taken over. It had been empty for years so they had claimed
it. "Including if you made her squeal or anything else."
Xander looked at him and grinned slightly. "You sure? I wasn't mean to her."
"I didn't figure you were since you're still alive." They stared
at the girl. "She'll be a strong fighter, like her mom."
Xander nodded. "With that mole, she's a potential slayer," he said
quietly, pointing at it. Hansel winced. "Don't let them
take her. They'll ruin her."
"I won't." He leaned against the other wall, staring at her.
"Gretel's seriously complaining that I complained. She said we
needed to carry on the blood."
"At least I wasn't some guy at some inn?" Xander guessed. Hansel
grimaced but nodded. "I guess it's cool with me. I didn't
expect to make it this long after finding out what was going on in
Sunnydale. I never expected kids." He shifted and
grimaced. "I'm guessing that's a bad face with the way her butt is
"Yeah, it is," he sighed. He picked her up and took her to her
mother. "You wanted a daughter, have fun changing her." He
walked off to talk to Xander about the Council and how they raised and
trained slayers. He was not letting that happen to his
niece. Xander promised to have her noted officially so if
something happened she could come live with him. Then the guard
showed up looking worried because Willow wanted to bless the baby.
Xander went to stomp on her with Hansel. Which made Willow hide
and sob that she was going to be killed. Hansel tried really hard
but he couldn't do more than injure her this time. Pity.
Willow cast a curse that some day he would do the worst thing that
humans could imagine, he'd sleep with a member of his family.
Hansel snorted and shrugged. He told her he's done worse than that
in his life and left her bleeding.
Skip Forward About 650 Years
Hansel, or as he was presently known Clint Barton, snuck closer to the
school. He had seen the kid take off with the zombies, he had been
watching them all day. Xander looked so young and innocent
then. He watched the girls, who did indeed look just like those
two spoiled fairy bitches. And were just as bitchy as they
were. Yeah, he was going to remember his vow to kill him a
Willow. And then teach the human one a lesson! He waited
until he spotted the zombies coming back without Xander to follow them
down to the boiler room. He glanced in the library but a kraken
wasn't that hard. He'd beaten two of those in the last hundred
years or so. He got the zombies, disabled the bomb, and was
carrying it out when Stark got there in his shiny suit. "You're
Stark looked at him. "You've been in a bad mood all day long while
ignoring all the calls to your phone. Just because of this?"
Xander stepped out of a nearby fairy ring. "No, probably
not. Someone resurrected Fairy Willow last year." Stark
shuddered, even his suit did. "Yeah, exactly." He looked at
the bomb then at his buddy, grinning. "Remember Gretel's second
"I don't want to remember you sleeping with my sister, Xander."
"Okay, but I found her descendants and you did get hit by that blessing
from Willow. Remember the redhead from Transylvania?"
"Graphically." He grinned. "She was?"
"About four generations down the line, yeah." They shared a
smirk. Xander handed over the file. "On the family and
they've got huge shit coming down on them soon." He looked at
Stark. "No, I'm still stuck." Stark slumped, staring at
him. "Yeah, basically. He was stuck until about fifty years
ago and then he got free but someone rejuvenated her. Which Buffy
sees *no* problem with by the way." He heard the complaining and
took the small cage off his neck to look at her. "What?"
"We need the powers, Xander. There's more bad things coming from
your hellmouth." She looked around. "Which is kind of dirty
and nasty. At least we keep ours clean." She grimaced.
Xander put her back on. "It happens. The Mayor here is drawing demons on purpose so he can ascend."
Clint stiffened. "Ascension? You're sure?" Xander
grinned and handed over that file. He read it, nodding.
"Yeah, you're damn certain. Fuck!"
"Oh, interesting point," he said with a grin, nodding at the redhead
strolling up to them after killing a few vampires. "Speaking of
redheads and Transylvania. She had twins." Clint
glared. "One of which moved north, to Vladivostok. The other
of which ended up emigrating to the new world and Canada. Which
then turned into Winchesters." He grinned at the redhead
woman. "How did the Council miss you?"
She shrugged. "The Soviet government was not inclined to humor them at that time."
Xander smiled. "Great. Can you please beat some sense into
the girls?" He looked at Clint, who was scowling at her. "I
have no idea if she knew or not. Though, half of the line from
Canada split off to become Winchesters and the daughter of one time's
became Bartons. So you're actually the father of your own
Clint shook his head. "That's so warped."
"Yeah, well, I have airheads around me all day. They want to throw
a seven hundred year ruling party in a few years. You wanna
"If I'm still around."
Xander smiled and pulled out the cage, pointing at the second fairy, who
was praying for invisibility. "We can check, dude."
"You are," Buffy said with a smile. "I asked and had one of the
healers check on you. So until you kill her again you're immortal
again." She beamed. "So can you and Xander maybe do the fun,
giggling stuff that humans do when they're not exactly
procreating? It might help him and you could help him rule while
you took out Willow."
"I'm thinking there's things that will kill her that your people didn't
know about then," Clint said. "Like the Hulk. Or maybe a
Natasha looked at the two fairies then at the young man. "Who are you?"
"Xander, King Pro Tem of the Fairy kingdom." He held up the cage
and pointed at Buffy. "Her fault. They took me from about an
hour or so ago." Natasha stared at him. He grinned and
nodded. "I went back to when he was a witch hunter. With
Stark and another creepy dogooder sort who uses technology."
Stark put up his face shield. "At least you made it this long."
"Six-hundred-fifty-some years, Stark," Clint said. "That's not a
reward." Stark grimaced. They watched as the fight ended
with the hellmouth closing. "Let me go talk to someone." He
strolled off, handing off his bow to Natasha. He didn't need it
for this. He walked into the library and over the mess, grabbing
the human version of his eternal torment. "Let's talk, Miss
"Do I know you?" she squealed. "Let me go!"
He stared at her. "Your watcher probably does know me. Way
back when I went by Hansel, Witch Hunter Hansel." He stared at
her. "I've seen a lot of witches delicately stepping over the
boundary line but you take the cake. You really do.
Including theft." He walked her outside. Xander had kindly
set up a bonfire for him. "Thanks, kid."
"Xander!" she shrieked. "Help!"
He stared at her. Then he shook his head. "No, because you
and your crackhead fairy doppleganger both had the same idea to get me
cursed to an eternity with you two." He walked over and held up
"She really is like Willow, and just as tainted," Fairy Buffy said. "Huh."
Willow stared at them. "Who're they?"
Buffy glared. "I'm Queen Buffy, plebe." Xander shook the
cage a bit. "Queen of the Joined Fairy Kingdoms. Xander is
our pro tem king because I made a stupid blood vow." Willow
whimpered, staring at Xander. "Clearly, you don't appreciate him
the way we learned to. It only took us five years. You've
known him for how many years?" She looked up at Xander then at her
double who was stomping out. "Clearly we need to ship her some of
that flower conditioner."
Xander shrugged. "She was just in a battle, and nearly blown up by zombies. She's allowed to look sweaty."
"What gives, Xander?" Buffy demanded.
Xander smiled and handed her the cage. "You two talk." He
looked at Willow. "Did you perchance *wish* or think really hard
about me earlier?"
"No!" she said, looking nervous. "Why would I?"
"Because your fairy other-half stole me, Iron Man, your buddy, and
Batman to the Middle Ages," Clint said, staring at her. "Through
the power of the hellmouth that you channel like it's water." She
shook her head quickly.
"Yes, we traced that spell. The wish was granted by a demon who
fixed both wishes," Queen Buffy said dryly. "Which is why my
eternal damnation is in a cage listening to Xander be picked on by my
people because he doesn't have wings and he refuses to be switched to a
Xander shrugged. "I like being kinda human," he said dryly. "If I
did, I'd get more diplomatic offers to father kids and I don't like
"Yay. It's good for humanity too," Buffy said with a smirk. "One of yours outbred."
Xander pointed at Clint. "I had two daughters with Gretel and both
had fantastic lines. One of which is that demon hunting family
I've had researched recently."
"Oh, them. They seem growly." She looked at her human other
self, shaking her head. "Xander has solved all our wars for
us. Even our warriors and generals now appreciate him and before
they were all 'what's a human going to do for us'. Hell, even my
insane uncle likes him now."
"Because he wants to sleep with me," Xander snorted. "And no thank you!"
"I think I can say a hearty thank you, Goddess, for that too," Buffy quipped.
"Hold on," Giles said, holding up a hand. "Xander?" Xander
blinked at him. "You were taken from our time back to theirs?"
"Yeah. Mid thirteen hundreds. They wanted a hero to solve
all the demon problems they were having thanks to a machine on the
hellmouth. When I found out that I got made immortal because her
wish was for whoever solved the demon problem to be the ruler of their
kingdom until they died....." Giles and Buffy both
shuddered. "So yeah, after we burn this evil bitch of magic for
stealing books, using black magic on people, helping create the
situation that led to me being sent back, and a few other issues," he
said, staring at her. "We'll be going back to the kingdom."
He looked at Stark. "Did you pick up the files?" They got
handed over by Natasha. He looked at them and handed one to
Giles. "Happy graduation battle." Giles went pale as he
read. Xander nodded. "And I can't be there." He looked
at Buffy. "She's really like you. She even complains
because each time she's away from home, all her laundry gets done and
put up on her. She complains that they switch her clothes out and
all sorts of neat stuff. I actually had to build a vacation cabin
in the woods by the palace to get away from her nagging that I'm wearing
underwear and that's not the fairy way."
Clint snickered, shaking his head. "I remember them coming to me
to figure out what they were." He finished repiling the wood and
said a quick prayer for her remaining soul before lighting it on fire.
"No! I need her help!" Buffy complained, kicking at the burning
wood. "You can't kill her. I need her. Especially if
I'm losing Xander."
Stark looked at her. "Did you think about that before you sent him
away and nearly got blown up?" She looked confused so he pointed
at the bomb. "Some zombies put it on the boiler. Clint got
it solved since Xander wasn't back here yet."
Buffy stared at it then at Giles. "That's a bomb?" He looked
and nodded, lips pressed together. She looked at Xander.
"Jack, a few of his buddies."
She took a deep breath. "What does he have against Willow?"
Clint handed over his notes. She read them, shivering
slightly. "I still need her help. Unlike most slayers, we
have a really active hellmouth here and I need the help. Can you
do something to keep her from doing harm?"
Clint stared at her. "I don't use magic, Slayer Buffy. I
never have. It's my duty to end the evil bitches among those that
do before they hurt others. Beyond that, you had help. You
tossed it away, repeatedly from what we've seen." He stared at her
until she looked away. "Do you really want to risk her moving
farther onto the dark side? Going to human sacrifices, even of
"No, but I doubt she would," Buffy said. "She's not like that. She was experimenting."
"Magic goes on intent," Xander said. "It's also a precise
science. It's not a science experiment." Buffy glared at
him. He stared back. "It's not. I've seen plenty of
really good mages and wizards, and even some herb witches and the like
that stayed on the side of good. She Who Steals Books and Powers
isn't any more." Buffy stifled a sob. He looked at
Hansel. "After the ascension?"
He considered it then nodded. "She needs a pretty cage too."
"I shall make sure she does not stray any longer," Giles said quietly.
Xander snorted. "That would include her removing all the spells
she's done on all of us? I've had a lot of mages picking at a few
of them when they can. They still can't end her BS issue, Giles."
"I can do so." He stared at Willow. "You'll end them, Willow."
"I don't know what I did, Giles! I didn't mean to cast
anything." Clint lit another match but she was crying. "I
didn't! I just thought things and they happened! Even when I
try they don't work right because Xander messes up my magic."
"How is it his fault?" Stark asked.
"The closing spell worked right and he wasn't here," she said, glaring at him. "Who're you?"
He smirked. "Iron Man." She blanched. "Your little
fairy other half there brought me back to the middle ages too."
She shuddered. He looked at his teammate. "So, you were part
of Hansel and Gretel?"
"Yeah, I got there as her brother died so she decided I was the
reincarnated version of him. That concussion did nasty things to
my head for a few days and by then, I realized she needed the help and
had a good reason to be hunting them. Though I've heard they had
some demons pretending to be us here on the hellmouth."
"And a few she didn't but we talked," Xander quipped, shifting his
weight. "And Willow, I was out here when you were doing the
closing." She slumped, starting to cry. He looked at his
buddy again. "Know any Men in Black sorts with the flashy stick?"
"If I knew someone who had a neural realignment stick, I'd call them,"
he admitted. "Or whatever it's called. As for Man in Black, I
know an agent I can trust." Xander shrugged. He looked at
Buffy. "You need the help, I get that. We need to have the
evil purged before she gets much worse and starts to sacrifice people."
"She's been part of my team since I moved here to Sunnydale," Buffy said quietly, staring at him.
"I get that," he agreed. "I'm worried about her starting to sacrifice people or starting an apocalypse."
Xander handed over a scroll. "From one of the seers at the palace."
Queen Buffy looked at him. "Didn't you have that one?"
"I am one of the seers at the palace," he said dryly.
"Oh, never mind. You probably didn't want them to know." She sat down again. "We need something bigger."
"Who demanded to bring her?" Xander asked bluntly, sounding tired.
"I did," Buffy huffed.
"And who said she had to come as well?" Xander asked.
"I did." She pouted. "We still need a bigger one."
"I can't wear it if it's bigger and if you're separate from me, you
could've been taken and eaten. Vampires can eat fairies and
they'll heal." Queen Buffy shuddered.
"Can't you let her out?" Buffy demanded. "That's cruel, Xander."
"If he does release us and we get too free, it can mean the destruction
of my people," Queen Buffy complained back. "If it's my duty to
see my people well by living in a cage, so be it. And at home I
have a huge palace with tunnels everywhere so I can get to almost every
room and a huge house he had made for us specially." She
smiled. "It means I get a lot less complaining from the courtiers
because I can escape them."
Buffy looked at Xander. Who pointed at the mini witch and the
regular one. Buffy rolled her eyes. "Wish demons," Xander
quipped with an evil smirk for Willow. Willow was still trying to
get away. "You know what? I wanna see what happens if she
gets a guardian spirit." He looked at Clint.
"Gretel would kill you."
"She always wanted to meet Willow and Buffy." Xander
grinned. "Plus she was a pretty good fighter. Nearly slayer
quality. She trained both the girls that ended up being
slayers. And the boys who were pretty badass too. Even if
that witch's curse did make them all pretty gay."
Clint smiled. "I was so proud I found that one a spouse who would put up with his hair fixation."
"Willow would never do that," Buffy quipped.
"Bullshit," Clint and Xander said.
"I only wanted Xander to be happy," Fairy Willow complained. "He
was grumpy again and taking it out on us. He wouldn't even let me
read a new spell book. It's totally unfair. That's why I
made three generations of the mean one's family gay."
Buffy blinked at the fairies then at Xander. "Is he good in bed?"
"Yup," Xander agreed. "And so am I. That's why I had sixteen
kids in the last six-hundred-fifty years." Buffy shuddered and
shrank back. Giles was giving him odd looks. "Apparently
it's a huge insult to turn down other leaders who need the new blood
because the hubby's hasn't been mixed in a while. And four with
his sister." Clint hit him on the arm, making Xander wince.
"Ow! Dude, I had six demons appear last night wanting me to not
step in to save our mutual relatives!"
Clint stared at him. "We can fix that." He glared at Willow
again. "She definitely needs someone with a leash."
Xander looked at the queen and Willow. "That's not a bad idea, but
she'd kill us all in our sleep," Queen Buffy said dryly.
"Hey, that means you get the kingdom back again," Xander quipped.
"Maybe she'll kill me in bed instead." Clint hit him again.
"Ow!" He rubbed that spot. Clint moved the shirt to
look at the spot, wincing. "Yeah, pain. Huge pain."
"Sorry, kid." He looked at Willow. "Maybe Darla? She
was a slayer, she should be able to help Buffy. We did teach her a
lot of tactics." Xander nodded, considering it. A light
started and a female figure stepped out. "I wasn't going to
"If there's a witch involved, I go where my children go," the blonde
woman said, staring at him. She smiled at Xander. "Of course
I'll try to kill you in bed again, Xander."
"Hey," Clint complained. Suddenly she was fully there, so were two girls and four boys. "Kids."
"Uncle Hansel," one of the boys cheered and ran over to pounce him. He hugged him back with a smile. "Hi, Xander."
"Hey, guys." He smiled at the girls. "This is the original
Buffy and Willow I had in my life, kids." They stared at them, one
of them with their mouth open.
"Wow, she might even break the curse on me so I'm not into guys," one said.
Clint stared at him. "Whatever works for you, Niles."
"Thanks!" He grinned. "Which witch is that? Is she
evil? We haven't burned one in a while." He bounced in place
a few times. "Why are we holding off? Is her family
pressing more charges against her? How many kids did she
"He's clearly yours," Buffy said, staring at him. Xander swatted her. "Hey! Watch the hair!"
He smirked. "Not with the tangled mess it's in. Guys, this
is the Slayer Buffy. She wants to spare this witch because the
witch works with her." Gretel snorted, crossing her arms over her
chest. Clint tossed her the vision and let her read it.
Gretel grimaced but stared at her. "We can watch over the
witch. Niles, she's yours to be with all the time, every
day. No magic but helpful magic, no looking up new spells without
permission. You are her new cage."
"Yes, Mom." He bounded over to untie her and walk off babbling at
her. "Mom, she needs to learn how to do it the right way.
"Then you teach her, son." He nodded and took her to do
that. She looked at Buffy. "At least you're not whiny about
"Yes I am. Clothes are important to me," Buffy said quietly.
Gretel huffed. "Fine. We can put up with that and help you, Buffy. Xander, the other one you mentioned?"
"Motel." He pointed. "Room 12."
She nodded. "I'll introduce the girls to her in the
morning." She walked Buffy off. "Show me a map of your
charming little grungy town. Is there an inn?"
"Not really." She staked a vampire that lunged at them. The
girls got two more casually as they followed with the three boys.
Xander looked at Clint. "Call when you're ready to talk to the
relatives. I've gotta go home and see who screwed up what this
time," he sighed. "Laters." He disappeared with the caged
Clint looked at Stark. "Their graduation, huge battle."
"We can hopefully be there." He looked back at the staring man. "Cap, you look like you've seen a ghost."
"Xander once told me that I'd meet someone who knew him a long time from when we met."
Clint grinned. "How did you two meet?"
"We were on a mission and tripped into a fairy ring while injured.
Xander had us patched up, let us rest for two days, then let us go back
to the battles." He shook his head quickly. "I never put it
together, Clint. Sorry."
Clint shrugged. "It's fine, Cap." He looked at Giles.
"We'll be checking on our family and I'll make sure SHIELD knows that
you could use some help with sense." He walked off. "C'mon,
guys. We'll burn the witch in a few weeks when she goes off the
deep end. Niles is enough to do it to anyone with how bouncy he
Natasha cleared her throat. "I feel a bit weird."
"It's the hellmouth," he said with a grin. "It needs a cover like the fairy kingdom's but it's in the floor so we can't."
She stared at him. "Not for that reason."
"It's been six hundred years, Natasha. I think it's okay
now." She swatted him with a scowl. He shrugged. "It
is!" He got them to the quinjet so they could go back to their
base. Tony clearly wanted to talk to him about what had happened
and Natasha had some questions of her own.
Giles rubbed a hand over his hair, looking around. "This is not
how I expected tonight to go." He walked off to have some
scotch. He really could use some scotch, and to look up those two
slayers in the histories. They sounded familiar for some reason.
Clint walked into the clearing he had set the meeting at. It had
taken a few weeks to get this set up because hunters were paranoid
bastards, which Clint appreciated. He stared at the three
guys. One father, two sons. "Hey."
"Why did you want to meet?" the father asked.
"I'm the start of your line."
"Shouldn't you be, you know, dead?" the elder son asked.
"Blood vow, demons, wish demons," he said with a shrug. "Got
pulled back to the thirteen hundreds and became a witch hunter."
The sons both stared.
John smirked slightly. "I heard that was the start of our lines."
"Yeah, you were my sister Gretel's kid with Xander. Speaking of, he should be here. Xander?" he called.
He walked out of the trees. "Being nagged," he said, handing over the cage. "Here, have a bitch."
Clint looked at the mini Willow and grinned. "Hi."
"No!" she sobbed. "My magic's bound!"
"Yay!" He put her on his belt and grinned. "A blood vow to
destroy the witch that brought me back there and fairies are really hard
"Yes they are," Xander agreed. He grinned. "I'm the other
half of your family line. I slept with his sister." They
just nodded. He smiled at John and held out a scroll. "That
should look familiar."
He took it to look over, looking pissed off. "When was this done?"
"Eighteen hundreds." He grinned. "Azazel was kinda jump
happy. He got his timing off due to the heavenly body shifting
going on." John stiffened, staring at him. Xander shrugged,
putting his hands in his pockets. Clint tossed over the scroll
Xander had given him. "That's a vision one of us in the fairy
Dean looked it over, gasping and handing it off. "Never happen, dude."
Xander nodded. "That's what I thought. That's what I hoped
anyway." John read it and went totally still. Xander looked
at him. "We can help if you want. Your line's mother is
helping the slayer right now; she called all the kids back to help her
with the witch they have that's going rogue but is needed at the
moment. They're about to have a demonic ascension soon if you
wanted to help them."
John stared at him. "Where is he?"
"Don't know," Xander admitted. "Where's the key slot? That's
in a cemetery not far from here. Samuel Colt got taught by a few
of the fairies and built it. And the gun key."
John nodded once, rolling up the scroll. "How do I protect them?"
"Well, that's a good question." Xander hopped up onto a stump then
got off with a yelp to kill the ants. Then he sat back
down. "I hate ants sometimes." The fairy snorted.
"Shut up, Fairy Willow." He looked at the sons then at the father
again. "There's a few things I, personally, would do. I'd go
kill the key slot. I might change the key enough so it couldn't
be used." John nodded at that. "I'd figure out why you guys
but it's our bloodline. He was trying for one of the bloodline
during that one," he said with a point at the scroll. "And she
ended up defeating him by sacrificing herself as she blew them both
up. We'd like to avoid that situation, and the problems that
raised. So we can do a few things. Sam, I know you have a
full ride scholarship. Do you have one to any other schools?"
"Two," he admitted. "Not as prestigious."
Dean looked at his little brother. "You have what?" he demanded.
Sam gave him a shy grin. "A full ride scholarship to three colleges; one's Stanford."
"Huh," Dean said, then nodded. "Good job of your giant brain,
Sammy." He punched him on the arm. "Tell me next time!"
"You would've told Dad. I was going to escape all this and go be
normal. Have a real life that doesn't come with a risk of a really
nasty death." He looked at Xander. "Why can't I go to
"If we can kill the demon, go for it," Xander said. "I'm not sure he's hanging around yet though."
Sam nodded, taking the scroll to look at. "So that's why."
Xander nodded. Sam huffed. "Maybe I'll study abroad that
year? I really liked Stanford."
"Sure, we can do that," Xander agreed, looking at Clint.
"I can talk to some of our people at SHIELD and have them put you in for agent training that year," he offered.
Sam grinned. "I don't think I could do that. I want to be a lawyer."
"We have lawyers and tuition reimbursement," Clint said with a
smile. "We have a whole department of lawyers who work on lawsuits
because we had to handle something, and occasionally an international
incident during a mission."
"That sounds interesting. I was going for defense attorney but.... I might think about that."
Xander smiled. "As my heir, you're more than welcome in the fairy
kingdom with me, Sam. We can protect you because that demon can't
get into our boundaries. He's tried a few times."
"So, disappear for a year, be safe," Dean said, looking at his father. "While we find the demon and stomp him flat."
John nodded. "That may work. Why the fairies?"
"I handled the demons and the queen had made a blood vow," Xander said dryly.
"Oh, shit," John muttered.
"Fuck," Dean said more loudly.
Xander grinned and nodded. "Yeah, basically. And immortal on
top of it because she said I'd do it for the rest of my natural, mortal
lifespan." He smirked. "I used to help a slayer. This
was the demon's payback."
Dean nodded. "That so sucks but it's something that Sammy could definitely do."
Xander grinned. "He gets it from me."
"Yes, he clearly does, and the hair thing," Clint quipped. Sam ran a hand through his. "So, how can we help?"
John considered things. "I need to do some research on this demon."
"I'd offer the fairy library but you'd need wings to get up to it,"
Xander said. "I let them do a temporary one on me so I could
research a demon that was trying to kill the kingdom a few years
back. It's really weird feeling."
"I bet," John said, then shook his head. "We should be able to
find enough information without that. I really don't like magic."
"Amen," Clint said, glaring at the fairy on his belt.
"If you weren't mean, we wouldn't have to bless you to do nasty things like that," Willow quipped.
"I'm finding a troll," he told her.
"That won't kill her," John said.
Clint smiled. "I know. I made it to the sixties before I
could kill her." John shuddered. "Then she got brought
"There was a very young wizard who thought she was a tragic maiden in a
story," Xander sighed. "I beat the shit out of him for you,
"Welcome." He looked at the boys. "I registered all the kids
so if there's a problem I could help them and have them come
visit. That includes you guys."
"The only fairies I know are on South Beach and San Francisco," Dean said bluntly.
Sam swatted him. "You're just mad because they quit hitting on you even though you don't like guys."
"Xander should be gay and I can *bless* him to make sure one of you is a
suitable mate," Willow quipped. Clint shook the cage until she
puked and held her head. "Ow," she sobbed. "You're evil!"
He grinned. "Yes, I am when I have to be." He looked at
John, who was shaking his head. "She's just like the witch the
slayer has helping her. Almost exactly."
"We can burn her," Dean offered with a grin.
"My fun," Clint assured him with a grin back. "The slayer begged
since she's helping her. Which is how my sister and nieces and
nephews got called back by some higher power."
"I should call back someone who would give you a leash holder like you
gave that one," Willow sneered, starting to chant. Before she
could finish, Clint shook her again. She finished it anyway and a
bright light heralded a figure.
Clint stared at him. "Coulson?"
He walked out of the light. "Barton." He glared at the
witch. "He's allowed to torture you." She wailed and threw a
tantrum in her cage. He looked at Xander. "Harris."
"Hi." He grinned and waved. "Greggy, get a healer to make
sure he's fine," he called. Two fairies flew out to surround the
new person and then a healer came flying out to check him over. He
looked at his guards. Boris had finally retired a few years ago
and left him with his son. "Greggy, do you have the three weapons
I've been working on?"
"I can get them, Xander." He flew off and came back with them, handing them to John.
John looked at the tiny weapons, which grew in his hand. He looked at Xander. "Unfinished?"
"They need to be finished by the primary wielder. It has to be
your sweat, your blood, your energy that goes into the final
forging." He stared at him. "They'll be yours. Bound
to you." He pulled his axe off his back to show off.
"They're strengthened by your will. You can borrow our forges to
finish them if you wish."
John swallowed and nodded. "I might take you up on that, Xander. Thank you."
Xander grinned. "I've made a few over the years." He handed
Clint something, getting a grin back. "I like crossbows, I find
"I do for close range work." He stuck it on the other side of his
belt. Then he shook Willow again. "You're getting it
later." She was still throwing a tantrum. The healer floated
backward. "Is he okay? Human?"
"He's fine, and fully human," the healer said with a smile. "More
than Lord Xander is." Xander shrugged. John stared at her
oddly. "He has somehow gotten hold of mermaid DNA and other
things," she noted.
"All the wacky that was patrol in Sunnydale," Xander quipped, shifting to cross his feet.
"I've heard of that town. Is that what's wrong with it?" John
asked. "A hellmouth? I'm assuming it's like a hellgate."
"Goes to more realms but yes," Xander said. "It's under the high
school's library. We worked overtop of it for the last three years
for patrol things." The healer shuddered. Xander
"You still carry taint and we've weeded much out of you, Lord Xander."
Xander shrugged again. "Not my fault."
"No, probably not. It just likes you, like ours does."
Xander nodded. "It does." Clint looked at him. "It
flashes each time I come home. I keep checking the cover to make
sure it's in place."
"Probably a good idea." He looked the kid over. He had grown
and kept a lot of muscles and a few extra inches of height. He
looked hard and tough, but his grin spoke of sweetness underneath all
that. "I've got to find you a nice woman."
"Nice women don't like him," Greggy said, staring at him. "We've
tried a few times." Xander nodded, grimacing some. "They
"And mostly brainless," Xander agreed. "In my human past, I dated
some slightly bad girls. Buffy nagged about that a lot until I
reminded her she unsouled a vampire by sleeping with him."
"Souled vampire," Dean said, considering that. "Heard about that curse."
"His name's Angel," Xander said with a grin. "He's just back from hell."
"Greatness," Sam said with a grin. "Can he go back?"
"He's the Powers That Be's champion," the healer said. "We feel
the wrongness like he's a ghoul and wanted to banish him but cannot due
Xander looked at her. "Is he sucking up soul bits?"
"I'm not certain. It could be that the curse of the soul is what
we feel as it's fundamentally wrong to do. We can make sure he's
not. If so, it's probably weakening those around him." She
looked at one of the guards. "Send one of the priests to check on
that." He nodded, flying off to yell that to the waiting
"If so, I'm sure Gretel will have a great time burning him too," Clint said with a smile for the healer. She smirked back.
John shook his head. "I thought that was a myth."
"No, Willow restuck it from her hospital bed after a short coma," Xander
said dryly. "After Buffy screwed him for her birthday and he lost
it because it made him happy."
"Virgins don't make me that happy," Dean quipped. John swatted him. "Hey! Watch the hair!"
"Buffy says the same thing. Are you a shallow former cheerleader?"
Xander quipped with a grin, getting a glare back for it. He
"Sammy definitely gets the goofy shit from your side," Dean shot
back. Xander laughed. He looked at Clint. "How can you
help us with that demon?"
"I can help you hunt it, I can back up the family. I'm between
missions at the moment. Our director was not happy when he found
out about that curse."
Coulson nodded. "I'm not either." Clint shrugged slightly,
not quite looking at him. He looked at the fairy. "How would
you kill her?"
"I was thinking about handing her to the Hulk after a bad mission to see
if he'd like to name her George," Clint quipped with a grin. "If
she's alive after that, they can talk science versus magic after he's
"That would drive Stark nuts," Coulson admitted. "Though I'm not sure if the Hulk could kill her either."
"Fairies don't die from whatever a Hulk is," Willow sneered.
Clint and Xander both smirked at her. "We can see." She
piped down. Clint looked at Xander. "Meeting, your place,
"I can do that. See if any of the other fairy kingdoms have
spotted Azazel. Or Doom since one's in his kingdom and hates his
ass." They shared a meaningful look. "The one that kept
hitting on you is in his kingdom."
"Maybe we can destroy him then." He looked at Coulson.
"Let's get you back to SHIELD. They'll want to test you."
Coulson nodded. "I can do that. Then we can figure out how
the Avengers can help with that upcoming battle I saw in the future and
your next one." He looked at John. "Two weeks?"
"I can do that. How would I get there?" Xander pointed at the second guard. "At least he won't eat a lot."
The guard fairy smiled. "Not really. I have enough in my
pack, Hunter Winchester. I can also help you with a few other
things. Like the one that's been haunting some children nearby."
"Got it," Clint noted. "And the one in the next valley that was
causing problems." Xander hugged him. "Thanks, get
off?" Xander laughed but got off him. "Go home,
Xander. We'll see you in two weeks."
"Sure. By then I'll have the castle repainted. It needed
it. If not, we can go to my vacation cabin." He disappeared
with his guard and the healer.
"I need a teleporting spell sometimes," Clint muttered. "But I'd
never stoop to magic." He grinned at the family. "See you
guys in two weeks. Bring what you find and I'll have others
looking for more information on him." He walked off with his boss,
calling in to have them picked up. The agent flying them back
stared at his senior agent in awe. "Witches," Clint said dryly,
holding up the fairy.
"The director will be so happy he'll swear even more than usual," the
junior agent said, getting back into the pilot's seat. They took
off and headed back to New York.
Clint nodded. "He might swear in happiness."
"Director Fury has been known to," Coulson agreed sarcastically, staring
at his agent. Clint grinned. "I saw." Clint
shuddered. "You looked good in the leather hunting outfit."
"I have a new version of it and my present vest's not as jaunty," he quipped.
"We can fix that if you want." Clint shook his head. "Does Natasha know?"
"Xander told her. She's still a bit creeped out but it was
five-hundred-forty-five years ago." He shrugged. "We'll
"Of course we will." He relaxed. He would be under testing
for *days* thanks to this. Maybe he'd put the fairy on an elastic
string to taunt the Hulk like you would a kitten with a toy. He
might like that and it might make him happy. When they got back,
the other Avengers were waiting. Clint walked off first.
"I see you brought home guests," Stark quipped. He stared. "Coulson."
"She brought me back."
"Motherfucking hell!" Fury shouted, pushing his way through the staring
crowd. "What the fuck happened to bring back the dead?"
Clint held up the fairy with a grin. "She thought I needed a leash holder, sir."
"I think we'll be putting an elastic band on her and dangling her like a
cat toy," Coulson said, adjusting his jacket. He stared at his
boss. "The Fairy King had his healers check and I'm fully human
and alive, sir."
"Fairy King?" Fury demanded.
"Long story," Stark complained, staring at the fairy. "I have a
string that would work great for his plans and it needs tested anyway."
"You're still not worthy of us," she sneered.
"Good! Because Xander's a bit scary sometimes." She slumped down again.
"Sir, we can disclose how this happened," Clint said. "But it's
going to be a *long* discussion. I filled seventeen journals and I
didn't do an entry every day." Fury stared at him oddly.
"Yeah, it's one of those. If it gets out, SHIELD's betting pool
about the next major screw up will be won by me thanks to her."
"I wanted to hear this before it happened," Fury noted.
"Sir, if I could've stopped us being pulled back to the thirteen hundreds, I would've."
"Thirteen hundreds?" Fury demanded, staring at him. His mouth
opened and his cigar fell out. He picked it up to light and take a
puff. "We need beer for this?"
"Could help," Stark admitted. "I, personally, went for vodka when I got back."
"I quit drinking American beers. They're weak as hell," Clint muttered. "Sir, sitting area?"
"Yeah. Who's your captive?"
"She's the start of all this. She wanted *heros* to save her
kingdom." Fury shuddered. They went to a sitting area where
Clint put the fairy into Coulson's care while he got the journals.
He came back with that and some hooch he found in his trunk thanks to a
fairy sneaking it in there. He had thanked her when he had let
her out of his trunk, the lid had fallen on her. He put the
bottles down. "Fairy ale. Pretty damn strong. Knocks
me on my butt a lot." He handed over the journals, got a drink and
started the story with Stark. Fury was listening while reading
but kept giving Clint odd looks. He finished up with the Sunnydale
incident and meeting his relations. By then it was noon the next
Fury closed the last journal, staring at him. "Do you never do anything easy?"
"Not my fault."
"Only you, Barton. Really."
"Hey, she stole me and Wayne too," Stark said dryly. "If we had
known it was a machine we would've solved it long before it caught
Xander in that wish curse."
"I can't imagine you being the king of the Fairy kingdom," Natasha said, staring at him.
"I can," Clint said with a grin. "He'd like all the parties more than Xander does."
Captain America nodded slowly. "We saw them preparing for one and
Xander complaining that he had to go to it when he rescued us for those
few days." He rubbed his nose with a finger then looked at
Clint. "So, since she's back?"
"As far as I know the blood vow is back in effect." He grinned at
Dr. Banner. "We're going to see if the Hulk would like a flying
toy next time."
"He might like that." He stared at her. "Maybe we'll be able to figure out how to calm down that hellmouth there."
"The next most active is Cleveland," Natasha said.
"As in Ohio?" Fury demanded. She nodded. "How do you know?"
"I was nearly taken by the Watchers Council, who are over slayers.
I was never selected as a slayer, just a potential one."
He stared then nodded slowly. "Fuck it, California can sacrifice
that town. We'll get the people out of it. That way we don't
have to sacrifice a city that close to DC." He stood up, looking
at Barton. "Is she going to survive?"
"There's very few ways to kill a fairy, sir. I'm figuring out new ones to try though."
"I don't need to know until she's dead." He walked off with the
journals. "I'll return these later. Coulson, infirmary for
"Yes, sir." He got up with a slight sigh and went to get poked,
prodded, tested, examined, and scanned. The fairy way was so much
faster and easier.
Clint grinned at the fairy then at Natasha. "Help me think up new ways?"
"I believe I can do that." She smirked slightly at the fairy too,
who was looking scared. "That witch she looks like?"
"Gretel says she's teaching her the proper way to do things by force of
having her in a collar and on a literal leash. Niles is most happy
to go to school with her. He's even helped the ladies with their
french homework a few times. The watcher out there is very happy
to have someone so knowledgeable helping him as Faith's watcher.
Gretel and Faith get along pretty well. The girls like Faith more
than Buffy because they don't understand how she can act like a teenage
princess and be a slayer. The boys love that Buffy shops. It
gives them excuses to go too.
"Though Buffy had to tell one he could not wear something he really
wanted because it made him look nauseous. He wasn't happy with
that. Her mother got read into the secret and had a screaming fit
at her daughter about hiding something so important. And about
Angel. They thought Joyce was going to have a stroke."
Natasha snorted, nodding that was likely. "But she's calmer now
and handling the information. She's questioned Giles about her
training schedule and how her calorie intake was affecting it.
"She's making Buffy eat because she was getting a bit skinny
again. Faith too. Faith's now living with Joyce instead of
at the motel. Faith's a bit creped out but handling it.
She's got some emotional scars." That got another nod. "Over
all, they're doing fine. Gretel said she wanted to dress a few of
the girls at the school because they looked like hos. Though, she
and Xander's ex Cordelia have *bonded*. They're besties," he said
with a wicked smirk.
"I spent a day watching them," Natasha said. "Cordelia is a bit
cold and cutting. She has sheep cheerleaders behind her doing the
Clint smiled and nodded. "Yup."
"Perhaps you're not mean enough for Xander then." She stood up with a smirk for him. "It might suit you."
"The sixty years I spent with him thanks to the fairy set-up wasn't
bad. He has skills. It's why Gretel kept going back to him
each time she got seriously injured. I'm still wondering who the
father of the other two boys are." He shook his head
quickly. "I don't need to know really." He grinned at
her. "You and Xander would be *fantastic* together."
"I don't allow attachments," she reminded him then strolled off.
Stark looked at him. "She might overwhelm him."
"Nope. Xander would tease her into pouncing and then make her
squeal. He's good at it according to my sister." He smirked
at the fairy again, watching her try to shrink away from him.
"Let's go think up ideas to test." He picked up the cage and
carried her off. On his way to his suite, the head of the betting
pools stopped him and handed him cash. "It got out already?"
"Yup." He walked off shaking his head. "Only you, Barton."
"Wait until you guys meet Xander," he said happily then cackled.
It was a good amount. He'd have a great dinner with that.
Too bad he didn't want to eat Willow. That would kill her but he
wasn't into cannibalism. He'd figure it out though. He
always found a creative way of killing things that needed it.