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 electricity?"

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 are?"

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 good though."

"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 them?"

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.  Demons?"

"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 them.

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.  "Good work!"

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 everything!"

"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. Mean!"

"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 hellmouth!"

"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 this work?"

"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 we needed."

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 cry.

"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 coming."

"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.  "I could've."

"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 requesting more."

"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 the zombies."

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.  "So?"

"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 quietly.

"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 death penalty?"

"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 manage."

"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 things."

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 sniffling. 

"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 instantly.

"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 okay?"

"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 herself."

"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 standards."

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 together."

"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 back.  "Unfairly?"

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 large dollhouse?


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 emptied."

"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 their systems."

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 him.  "Sire....."

"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 boundaries."

"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 him. 

"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."

"They're leather."

"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 maiden panties?"

"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.  "Yours?"

"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 walked off.

"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 manner."

"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 to help?"

"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 you."

"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."

"Humans would?"

 "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 coronation.


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 else?"

"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 protecting them."

"I heard that," Hansel said, leaning against the edge of the window.  "The kids are doing much better with someone to watch over their caretakers."

"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 favorite tree."

"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 her."

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 siblings?"

"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 favor."

"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 there."

"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 too."

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?"

"It burst."


"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 books."

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 your diet."

"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 see it.

"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."

"He's seventeen."

"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 healer?"

"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 them."

"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 calmly.

"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 sweat off.

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 excessive."

"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 magic, something.


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 it."

"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 relations.


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 royal asshole."

"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 stinking."

"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 late."

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 daughter?"

"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.  "Eww."

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 lineage.  Congrats."

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 come?"

"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 radioactive bomb."

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 Rosenburg."

"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 the cage.

"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 fairy."

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 that."

"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.  "Zombies?"

"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 children?"

"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 suggest you."

"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 sacrifice?"

"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.  She's *experimenting*."

"Then you teach her, son."  He nodded and took her to do that.  She looked at Buffy.  "At least you're not whiny about your clothes."

"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 fairies.

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 is."

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 to kill."

"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 kingdom had."

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 Stanford?"

"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 back."

"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, Clint."

"Thanks, Xander."

"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 them practical."

"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 grinned.  "Yay."

"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 were pleasant."

"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 to that."

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 messenger.

"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 smirked.

"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 normal again."

"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, two weeks?"

"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 handle it."

"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 day.

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 testing."

"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 same thing."

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.

The End.