Notes: Spoilers for _The Avengers_ movie in a big
way. Also, a slight fix it. Also, changed the timeline a
bit. Loki's free, Hawkeye's free of the mind control. The
whole Black Widow/Hawkeye thing went a bit sideways and he wouldn't
remember that it was Xander who fought him, called by Thor, or that it
was Dawn that was helping him as he woke up at first. Also, be
aware that while I mostly use movie cannon, now and then I do end up
using something that happened in comic book cannon that I've been
reading up on.
Tiny Old Ones.
Willow heard her ex sobbing and knew why. Tara only sobbed that
way over a few things. Since she probably wasn't having to kill
and eat a chicken again and she wasn't having her period by the date she
calculated - so therefore not crying over the commercials for the ASPCA
and Teleflora - it had to be that someone she liked had died.
Willow searched around. "The scary one," she said, looking at her
hands. The magic reducing drugs they had her on were evil but she
couldn't take Tara sobbing that way. She just couldn't. Even
after going all evil and scary she still loved Tara. So she'd
have to do something about it. She gathered her strength and
concentrated. They had only left her alive so she could turn a
certain cat back....but maybe he'd do it for her. Willow had to
wait until the evil influence left the ship so he wouldn't get in her
way. She did not want to tangle with that, at the moment.
Willow looked at the body on the metal table and frowned. "You
made my Tara cry and that's not allowed, Mister," she said
quietly. She held a hand over his chest, getting the bullet
out. She felt the alarms starting and hurried up the spell.
She was weak but he gasped and sat up moving the sheet off him.
"You can't make Tara cry."
He stared at her. "That's your job, isn't it," he said bitterly.
"I never meant to make her cry but she was sobbing over you. So
you can be all scary and protective like...." She had to stop
because he had batted her on the head in just the right spot to knock
"I think protecting her from you is the first job of SHIELD some days,
Rosenburg." He checked, he was still dressed. It was clear
where he was, which was creeping him out slightly. He checked, the
wound on his chest was healing. So was his back. He found
his bag of possessions on the end of the sliding table and swung around
to dig into them, putting in his earbud. "Director Fury, may I see
you in the morgue for a moment? I just sedated Rosenburg
physically again." He hung up.
Up in the command center Fury took out his earpiece and looked at
it. "What the fuck!" he shouted. Agent Hill flinched and
shrugged. "Is she not in her goddamn cell?"
"No, sir," she said after a quick check.
"Great!" He walked off that way. "Someone call Xander and
see if he can make sure she didn't botch it. If not him, then get
Tara. That way the girl quits crying on the junior agents."
He stomped into the elevator and stabbed the button. By the time
he got into the morgue, Coulson had changed his shirt so it wasn't
bloody, cleaned up the blood still on his chest, and managed to look
impeccably calm. "How in the hell?"
"She muttered something about the trade-off was reasonable." He grimaced slightly. "I had no idea, sir."
"I know you didn't and they'll be happy to have you back." He
looked him over. Tara came charging in. "Whoa," Fury said,
getting out of her way.
She cast a spell on her buddy and then caught a hiccup before launching into his arms to hug him. "You're okay."
"I guess I am." He patted her gently on the back. "What did she do?"
She sniffled, looking up at him. "She robbed Peter to pay
Paul. One of the others is going to have a power backlash," she
said quietly. "I don't know who but I can guess."
"Sir, find Alexander to make sure he's all right?" he suggested.
"Already called for him." He tapped his earpiece. "Agent
Hill, is there any sign of Alexander yet?" He grimaced.
"What did his consort say?" He winced. "Great! Found
out why. Call her in and Thor if we can find out where he landed
and is alive." He hung up and looked at him. "Let's
go." He got the guards to take Rosenburg back to her cell.
"See if she can turn Natasha back from a cat yet. I'm tired of
letting her lounge in our jail." He stomped off.
Phil Coulson looked at Tara. "Any other side effects?"
She shrugged. "I can't tell. She's stronger than I am," she said quietly.
"Then we'll figure it out I guess." He walked off. He found
Dawn with her cat and patted her on the head. He felt the spell
hit and hmmed when she turned back from a cat into a woman.
She blinked at him. "How are you alive?" she asked calmly.
"Willow," Tara said quietly. "Dawn, find Xander. She bounced
it off him." Dawn winced and nodded, walking off calling him
mentally and on the phone. Natasha went to medical to help her
friend. She had her old earpiece and what she was hearing was very
bad. Something she needed to help with.
Xander looked at the man that was sneering down at him. "My father
does that *so* much better," he sneered back. "Hell, the slayers
do that better."
"You are but a pipsqueak."
"Presently but that also means you've already underestimated me."
The other Loki laughed. Xander smirked and summoned something,
taking a wild swing with it. Loki yelped and moved off but Xander
followed. "I may be tiny at the moment but I'm still the Protector
of Humanity." He threw a lightening bolt at him and then started
to rain more punishment on his not-father. Loki was fighting back
and it was getting nasty. Then the machine lit up.
Loki cackled. "No one can stop me now! Not even you!"
Xander looked then formed a spear of power and threw it at Loki,
knocking him off the building to the lower level of the penthouse's
porch. He could feel the heros flying in, they were still his
people. "I'm not the Goddess of Engineers. She can do it
herself." Diama was about toddler age but was staring at the
machine in awe. "Diama, it's a bad machine. It's calling bad
things to kill everyone," he yelled, moving to defend the tower.
She scowled and patted it, frowning when the shield bit her. "Bad
thing!" She disappeared with a squeak and a point. "Bad
thing!" she told Strife with a point. "Bad, bad thing!
Xander and bad thing!"
"I know, but you can't be there," he said impatiently, handing her to Cupid. "Let me go help Xander."
"No, let *me* go help Xander," Ares said. "I'm not sure if that
other Loki's powers will counter yours and create more problems."
"I say we're staying here," Zeus ordered.
Hera stared at him. "You are not my husband." He gasped then
cackled. She destroyed the throne he was on, kicking it into a
void. "Ares, go help Alexander."
"Going." He disappeared, going to find Xander. He found him fighting. "You are not old enough for that."
"Fucking yay," he growled, moving forward again. Ares got the ones
trying to take down the godling. Xander let loose some power and
it was an atrocious wreck for the flying things. Ares
helped. They could work on keeping things where the heros could
handle it. Ares called some of his warriors to become NYPD people
and help. They couldn't just *appear* and be warriors. No
one would trust them.
Xander yawned and patted him on the arm. "They're shooting bad idiots."
Ares watched the flying things. They were shooting warriors from
the sides. "That's a stupid design," he decided, sneering at
it. He ended one. He fought against whoever was trying to
summon him. "I swear it's your relatives."
"Go beat them for me please?" Xander asked quietly, throwing another
power bolt. He narrowly missed Iron Man but shrugged at the look
in his direction. "I was aiming for the same spot," he called.
"Shut up. It's still my damn job." The fake Loki showed back
up and he went to battle him. He knew many ways of wearing down a
chaos god. He had even managed to make his father stomp off and
cry a few times. This one wasn't expecting him so it was all
good. Plus it was a really great way to wear out bad moods.
Ares appeared in the middle of the fuming Valhallans. "What did
you expect him to do?" he demanded. He blasted a few people.
"They're not of you." Tyr tried to hit him so he tested
him. Then he showed him the dead one's powers. "Not of our
realm," he said slowly and clearly. Sometimes he thought this
whole pantheon was dumber than his half-brother Hercules. Some
days their combined IQ wasn't as high as a troll's. "Now, we're in
the middle of a battle." He disappeared.
Tyr followed and stared, pointing. "What be that!" he demanded.
"Duh!" Xander shouted. "Hit a flying mechanical whale! They're trying to destroy everyone!"
Tyr looked and started to blast at them. It wasn't doing much good. "I know not why it doesn't work!"
Xander huffed. "They're close to our realm. Not perfectly of
it but close." He concentrated and felt. Then he sent out a
zapping pulse that nearly killed him but it killed a few of the whale
things. Ares glared at him and did the same thing.
"Recalibrate it to be about fifteen degrees south of our normal
range." Ares nodded and did that. Tyr did the same. It
helped contain and beat the extras that the heros weren't
getting. Xander went back to working against the chaos
magic. The building shook as something hit it. It knocked
the doctor down. Xander kept an eye on the machine. He
couldn't end it and Diama couldn't tell him how either. She needed
more experience with machines. He'd have to send her to Rodney.
Xander looked over the end of the battle, sighing in relief. The
calling in his blood was ended and it was nicer. Ares and Tyr were
both glaring at him. "Not like the duty ended when I
shrank." He disappeared, going to hide from everyone. He was
exhausted. He ached. He wasn't going to go to his home
temple, Bia would call someone to help his injuries and he couldn't risk
it. So he'd help himself and find a nice spot to nap. A
quiet, out of the way, hidden spot. One that not even Dawn could
find. He found a few that had things in them, instead he found a
smaller one that whoever had done that couldn't get into either.
Then he crawled inside and took a nap.
Ares went to test all his people. A few looked sickened by the
portal closing. He got them first. Apollo looked sick for
other reasons. "Mirroring morning sickness?" he quipped. His
mother was tainted by that other Odin's power signature.
Great. He got them all quarantined and let the other two kingdom's
rulers in to help with their needed detoxes. Hades did it to some
of the dead shades that showed up with extra powers still going
Ares flopped down and told the others what had been going on. That
other Loki was going to be held for trial in the present Valhalla once
Thor let everyone back in. Xander wasn't really injured but he was
worn out and hiding with the last bit of his energy. The rest of
the world was safe again, for now. He also assigned Hecate to go
chew on Rosenburg and not to touch the one she had resurrected.
Xander blinked awake when he felt the power show up. He summoned
Coulson to somewhere safer. Bia would protect him. Then he
fell back asleep.
Dawn looked at the empty spot then around. Everyone was staring at
her. "Xander moved him." They all relaxed. "Hecate's
Fury walked off to go ask her if she could find a reason he had to keep
Rosenburg around. Even waiting that week was making his insides
clench in ways that usually made him grab weapons.
Dawn got her salad and sat down, looking at Pepper. "Injured?"
"Very." She ate a bite of her frozen yogurt. "I hate sitting at home waiting."
"So don't," Dawn said with a shrug. "Take self defense lessons,
find a way to join the fight as a backup." She ate a bite of
salad. "Tara and I were sure helping."
"I saw and I'm very proud. Though I ignored six calls from your mother."
"So did I." They shared a smile and went back to their
dinners. Dawn's phone rang so she looked at it. "It's a text
from Buffy." She read it and snickered. "She gave me the
speech she gave to Xander about not being a slayer and being normal so
therefore not fit to fight in real battles."
Pepper took it to write one back. Then she turned off the
phone. "Let your mother beat that out of her." They let
Bruce Banner sit with them. "Doctor Banner, were you introduced to
my assistant Dawn Summers? Her sister's the senior slayer and
she's becoming a super assistant underneath me."
"Pleasure," he said, shaking her hand with a smile. "I saw you moving some of the civilians."
"I did what I could to shield them as we moved them too." She
smiled at Tara, who came in to join them for some dinner. "Hecate
Tara huffed. "Yes!"
"Nagging Xander for not killing her?" Dawn guessed, eating a bite.
"For still being a God at his age. For being deaged, even though it was Willow."
Dawn and she shared a look then they sent up a prayer/spell that would
make Hecate see the truth for a bit instead of rose colored
"I felt that!" a female voice screeched.
"Good!" Dawn shouted back. Hecate stomped in and Dawn stared at
her. "Xander didn't give her permission this time either!"
Hecate backed off. "So back down!" Hecate huffed but
"Dawn, you're glowing mucus green," Pepper said then stuffed her mouth.
She pulled it back in. "Sorry, it's been a long day," she said
more calmly and quietly. "Let me finish dinner and then go sort
papers. That's very calming at times." She finished up and
went to do that.
"She's one of us?" Bruce asked quietly.
"No," Pepper said. "She's just.... she had contact with a specific
magical artifact. Now and then it just makes her glow like
nuclear mucus. She doesn't want to use it but it's easily hidden
by her temper." She looked at Tara. "Buffy wrote a text
"In real english or in Buffy-lish?" Tara asked.
"Real english. Dawn said it was the same rant she used to give to Xander."
Tara huffed. "Those of us with sense need to ship the others off
to a tiny island somewhere harmless so they can't upset anyone."
She stuffed her mouth.
"I say we ship them to the Middle East and let them remake it in their
image. It'd be better then," Pepper quipped with a smile.
"Can't you see Buffy turning Iran into her country?"
Tara's fork hit the plate and she checked Pepper's forehead. "Are you sick? Did one of those things infect you?"
"I'm fine. I caught the mean feeling."
"Clearly you need more than frozen yogurt." She got up and got a
candy bar from one of the agents. "Here, you need that more before
you actually send Buffy to take over Iran and make it her country."
The agent stared at her then shuddered. "I met the senior
slayer. She needs it more. I'll get another candy
bar." He went to report that mean streak in case it was the start
of another attack. Then he could get a second candy bar.
Pepper Potts clearly needed it worse than he ever would.
Tony Stark limped in and looked at her. "We'd have to send her to
Saudi. She's a princess. They understand princesses there
and she doesn't drive anyway." He got something to eat and walked
Agents followed Stark and came in to get the people at the table to
quarantine them. Just in case. Doctor Banner got released
after a brain scan to make sure he wasn't infected.
Clint Barton was hiding from people again. Up in the rafters
watching people. He knew Fury wanted to know where Coulson
was. Which meant finding Xander and asking him. Xander was
missing. No one could find him. Not even his uncle. Of
course, Barton found a tiny air duct that snored so he had a pretty
good idea. Apparently the kid was exhausted. He was still
sleeping a few days after the battle. There was a plate of food
outside the air duct. So whenever the kid woke up he could eat
something before Fury yelled at him.
He glanced back when the snoring stopped. Of course it started a
nightmare. "Great," he muttered, reaching in to shake the
kid. It got him bitten. He winced and waved his sore
hand. At least the kid hadn't drawn blood. He had no idea
what he was doing. Natasha wouldn't. Stark really
wouldn't. Banner probably didn't understand kids at all. So
that left....Pepper maybe? But the kid was hiding from her
assistant too. He ate a twinkie and considered who he could nag to
come help the kid. Probably the only one who could would be
Coulson. Or Thor. Thor couldn't fit into this air shaft
Stark walked over and sat down, glancing in there. "He's good at
hiding." He looked at Barton. "Fury wants a report.
I'll watch out for him."
"He's having a nightmare. He bit me."
"Doesn't shock me any." He pointed. "Go do your
report." Barton gave him a dirty look. Stark tossed a candy
bar into the hiding spot. They heard it be unwrapped. "Dawn
said she wants to cuddle you."
"Fuck off," was muttered then the sound of eating. "I'll go hide better later."
"Sure," Tony agreed. "Fury wants you too."
"He can suck me too."
Barton looked in there then at Stark. "Should he know that language?"
"Not like the old knowledge left," Xander said dryly, sticking his head out. "Thanks for the breakfast."
"It's been three days."
"Cool." He pulled back in to eat then they were blinded by a tiny flash of light.
Stark looked then nodded. "He teleported."
"I want that skill." He did his report and sent it over the wi-fi
on the hellcarrier. Below them a terminal blinked a new email
message sign. They left to find their own things to do.
Fury looked at Bia when she finally appeared. "Do you have my agent?"
"I've instituted healing methods for him."
"Why do you talk differently to Thor?" he asked.
"Because his people are uptight and we're not?" She
shrugged. "If you don't use their way of talking they ignore
you. Even if it's important. John did that once about a
battle and Odin totally ignored him even when they were breaking in the
doors of the drinking hall." Fury rolled his eye and shook his
head. "Anyway, he'll be fine. Rosenburg's still tied to him
and I'm working on closing it. Not my best skill; I'd ask Hecate
but somehow she's got blinders about her." She shrugged.
"Give him two weeks." She disappeared.
"I wanted to see how the kid was," he called.
"Hiding," she called back.
"Great." Fury had the hell carrier scanned. He found Stark
making energy weapons and turned off the power in the lab before he blew
it up. He found Romanoff in the workout area with Xander's new
Klingon weapon. He found Dawn, she was glowing and sneezing.
He sent a message to Stark to have her quarantined before she blew
something up by sneezing. He found Rogers in the gym with
Romanoff. He was boxing a punching bag again.
Banner was asleep on the table in his lab. It took two tries to
find Barton and he was in one of his hidden spots in the ceiling.
Again. He sent his phone an IM about how his report needed to be
proofread and to find the kid. He got a short one back saying it
was sent and done. And that the kid had teleported off.
"Fine," he muttered, sending one back to correct the report, it was
sloppy, and to let him know if the kid showed back up. He put his
phone away and went back to making plans. The Council hated him
more than life itself right now. Maybe he'd send some friendly
Xander appeared in front of Phil when he finally got sent back. "I can fix it."
"Fix what?" he asked.
"Fix the anchoring thing that's going to drag you back some day.
It's why you're dreaming about it." Coulson almost shrugged.
"C'mon. We need to sit somewhere not messy because it'll take a
few drops of blood."
"Really." He hauled on his arm until he followed. They found
an unused office and he sat down, pointing in front of him.
"There's three people that could need to release you. I've asked
all three and they said they didn't have you. One's Magrid and has
a crush though so I'm pretty sure they're all lying. Therefore
we're going to have to do this the official way." He manifested a
"Why blood? And it's only been six days."
"I know that." He grinned. "It gets you around all
that. It's like adoption." He slit his hand and forearm then
took Coulson's arm to do the same to it. Then he chanted the
quiet spell. He joined them in a warrior's grip. "You're now
part of my house." The places where their bloods joined glowed
blue. "You'll make a fine Defender of Mankind, Phil. Just
like a brother of mine would."
Loki, theirs, appeared. "Shouldn't you ask before you add to the
family, son?" Xander zapped him and he had to leave. "Dear
Goddess," he muttered, stomping off to tell his brother. "You have
a new nephew."
"I'm glad Xander thought that much of Son of Coul. He is a good
man, a just man. He will make an excellent addition to the
family," Thor said officially. A gong sounded and he smiled.
"I'm glad it worked. It will make sure he doesn't slip away
again." He walked off. "They will confuse you."
"I'm not that evil minded," he said dryly. He went to talk to his
daughter-in-law, who shooed him off because she was *busy*. He'd
try later when all the batteries were worn out.
Back in the office, Xander smiled at Phil. "Like John, you're
considered a demi without any special powers or perks. It just
means that you're anchored to this reality. You can't leave it
easily. You're welcome at the temple whenever you want." He
patted his clasped hand. "You're now like my brother and no one
will ever break that bond. Not even the blight of
Rosenburg." The door opened and he waved. "Fixing
things." He grinned at Phil. "Let me go find something sweet
to have for dinner."
"You need a better diet," Coulson said.
"Yeah but I'm six. If I'm eating healthy stuff there's something wrong with me." He grinned. "Can't kill me."
"What if they try to take your powers?" Phil asked.
"Can't. My powers don't come from any of my natal families.
Or anything near it." Coulson gaped in horror. "When I broke
out, I broke out in some of the Asian pantheons' types of powers.
I had a duty and title with them because of helping them in the past
with battles and emergencies. Frankly, I don't actually have a
*Title* in Valhalla. I have a duty but not a title. With
Mom's I have the same thing. None of my natal family can do
anything and it'd take all the gods working together to bind me.
Over forty in all from all the pantheons. They can't even agree
what to have for dinner so I'm guessing it's pretty minor of a
worry. And if not, then I'm still a demigod. They can't take
that from me." He grinned. "It's also guaranteed that when I hit
maturity at sixteen then I'll rebreak out."
Hades appeared, looking at him. "Fine. I'll release his hold
in my realm. Even though I could've found a very cushy job for
him with the judges council." He sighed and disappeared.
"Xander, quit stressing. If they try that I'm going to kill them
all. You're saving me work."
"Thank you, Hades." He looked at Coulson. "Magrid?" he called. She appeared and he pointed.
She pouted. "We wanted him among the warriors. He'd treat us
female warriors well and less like wenches. He would start a new
group of them that would protect us all too when the time came."
She glared at him. "Why are you so young?"
"I was the one that Rosenburg used to bring him back. If she had asked I would've done it for her."
She winced. "Freya is bitching about that but Alana told her she
had not the whole story." She disappeared to report that.
Xander looked up. "Auntie Hel?"
She appeared in a flash of light and huffed. "Fine. Even
though I would have set him up in a nice job and let my daughters fight
over him." She disappeared looking slumped.
Xander looked at him. "Welcome to the family." He let his hand go and the wounds were healed.
Coulson was feeling more like his usual self. He was staring at
the kid. "I don't want you to get into trouble for me."
"Bite me, Phil. You're one of the few assholes on this boat I can
stand." He stood up. "I may have to help some of the
jackasses protect people but that doesn't mean I like some of
them. Especially some of your fellow agents." He
Coulson stood up, brushing his suit off. "Which agent picked on him?"
"There's been a few," the junior agent admitted, looking scared. "Does that mean you're like Thor?"
"Powerless and not immortal."
"That's fine. Fury's looking for Barton."
"He can't scan the rafters again?" He walked off to find his
former charge. Barton looked at the drips of blood on his
"Are you okay?"
"Better. He's a bit exhausted I think. Fury's looking for you."
"Now." Barton huffed but followed him down to talk to the boss.
Fury looked at him. "The kid all right?"
"Tired looking. Said he hates half of us because some of us picked on him, sir."
Fury winced. "That's not good. We'll have to stop that before John steps in."
"Sir, with all due respect, John's just a figurehead. The kid's
never stopped doing his duty." He walked off to find Xander and
see what he was working on so they could help him. Bia hadn't
known. She was busy setting Xander's new temple up.
"What did you think of the kid?" Fury asked his sniper.
Hawkeye shrugged. "He's really pissed off."
"I'd be pissed off too. Anything else?"
"He's not sleeping. He was having nightmares. When he did
sleep for two days, it was uninterrupted until Stark got up there."
"Great. Any other news?"
"He'll have to go back through school. A few of the agents
are picking on him and Dawn. I don't know why about her except I
keep hearing artifacts mentioned."
"She got exposed to one. It's why a hell goddess wanted to sacrifice her."
"Do they do anything normally?"
"No." He smirked. "Their town is now shut down but there's
another one starting to grow. We might have to send you there for a
bit. It's all staking and shooting crossbows at the vampires or
beheading demons. Romanoff will adore that."
"Not likely. She hates vampires, sir."
"Whatever. Plan for Cleveland in the near future."
Barton nodded. "If I must." He walked off thinking about
it. He decided to do a bit of hacking to see what he could find
about Dawn. He ran into Stark Industries security protocols.
He expected that since she was Pepper's assistant. He tried a
side-path through their HR department, which was the least secure.
It listed her mother being in the hospital. That explained why
she was Pepper's assistant. It also had a tiny mention of a file
in another government database. That one was easier found.
He read it over, scowling. "What the hell?" he muttered. He
took it to Stark. She was his personnel. That file was very
bad by what he could decipher of the science. "Did you see this?"
Stark looked. "That's new things in her old one. Why were
you looking at Dawn? Pepper will kick your ass if you hit on her."
"She's much too young but some of the agents are cracking jokes."
Tony glared at the doorway and got him into a different file.
"There's every chance someone's going to have to rescue her or watch her
when something comes for her again. It has in the past." He
looked into that new file then called someone. "Pepper, warn her
that the Initiative restarted and they're in Georgia of all
places. Also, it appears her guard is one of them. Get her
to somewhere safer and limit their access." He hung up.
Barton called Coulson. "What's an Initiative?" He listened
to the hateful program's description. If Coulson used language
like that it was something like Nazis. Actually with the way he
was describing them, Coulson used nicer language about a renewed Nazi
cult they had taken down. "Looking at Dawn." He hung up on
the vile swearing. "He's not happy."
"I'm not happy." He shut both files. "Bia!" She
appeared, blinking at him. "Tell your consort that the Initiative
restarted. It's in Georgia and going after Dawn."
"I have the feeling he knows. He's somewhere near Atlanta."
"He's not old enough," Stark complained.
"Have you ever been able to tell someone that stubborn not to do anything? I'm only his consort."
"Can you tell Roque?"
"No, he and his mate are off fighting wraith before they come home."
"I can tell the other demi's. See if they can help." Stark
nodded so she went to talk to them at the usual hang-out bar.
"The Initiative restarted and I think Xander's going to try to take them down."
"Sounds like him."
"Rosenburg got him deaged to six."
"Again, sounds like him," she sighed. "Where?"
"I'll go have a look. I was headed to Miami for some time on the
beach anyway." She paid her bar bill and went back to her hotel
room to book a flight. She made it about halfway before someone
snatched her off the street and sedated her before she could fight back.
Bia felt it happen and looked around. No other fighters. She
didn't want to do it. "Roque!" she bellowed. He stepped out
of a shadow. "Someone just snatched Kyra off the street.
Xander's fighting the new Initiative weenies in Georgia and I just asked
her to help him."
"So you think he's captured?"
Roque grimaced. "Heard that from John. Let me look after we
finish this battle." He disappeared. He sent that at John,
who broke out in cheerful swearing.
Roque appeared to Fury later that night with a file. "They're
capturing demigods this time to get their own base of heros to create
from." He tossed the file on the desk.
"Are they down?"
"I can't do it on my own. No shadows at all."
"Not looking too great but he's in that cackling evilly stage of the
torture." Fury shuddered. He'd been there once. He had
destroyed everyone between him and the door. "We might be missing
a state soon."
"Shit." He called people to go help Roque. While they were
gathering the President called to tell him to stop it. Fury hung
up on him. "The president said they're fine."
"Bet me," he muttered. "Loki," he summoned. Theirs appeared
looking upset. "Your son is being tortured and the president just
said it's a fine idea."
"I heard," he sneered. "That will not last long." He
disappeared. He cast some very nice chaos on the president so his
plans all went awry. Permanently. By the time he got back to
the base, Fury's people were in the air. The base was a smoking
wreck. He tested. No son's energy signature. A few
others were trapped so he summoned his brother. "I believe your
nephew did that. I'm in no means a hero."
Thor looked and stomped down there to help the demigods out. He
was a hero and it was part of his duty to protect the earth. When
agents showed up he glared but they moved to help him, including the
medics. "Loki, ours not the evil one, said that my nephew may have
Coulson looked around and nodded. "He's still here somewhere."
"I cannot feel him." Thor looked at him, seeing the glow. "He adopted you formally instead of the other way."
"He did." He walked over to some rubble. It was
shaking. He moved it off the trapped being. Not
Xander. Natasha but not Xander. "We were wondering where you
"They captured us in Cleveland."
"Found Barton," one called. "Just knocked senseless."
"Good." He helped her up and to the medics then went back to
looking. There were a few walls still standing. Mostly
heavily reinforced ones. He opened the doors, finding most of them
had dead people in them. He found one that didn't and that one
was shaking. "Xander," he called, knocking before opening
it. The person in there had a needle in the kid's throat and it
was half drained. "Give me the god, now," he said politely.
"You'll never need him again," he sneered. He pressed the rest of the plunger.
Coulson shot him. He could feel Xander. "I think it's an acid trip."
Xander blinked at him in that fuzzy way. "Yes, it is. And if
they think this will make me less pissed off they're very wrong."
He stumbled when he tried to get up.
"Let me get you back to our medics. We can work some of this out of your system," he said calmly.
"No, I need to get away from people. I'm going to have a power
explosion soon." He was shaking. "I really need to get away
from here." He flashed out. He made it to Pegasus and a
blank world that had wraith. No humans but wraith. He had
picked this one just for that benefit and let loose his power.
John looked up, staring at the gateway. "Something's happened to
Xander. At least he's not passing out at my feet this time."
Rodney came rushing in with one of his computers, dialing a
gateway. "It's Xander, McKay."
"It's radioactive. He just set off a bomb. It'll draw the wraith there."
"That's a wraith-held world anyway," John said. "Give him ten
minutes then we'll go retrieve him. That way he's less glowy."
Mari came rushing in. "Mom said Xander was drugged. He just
compressively let go of his powers. He has more than two
pantheon's now." She dialed the gate and hurried over.
"Xander, it's Mari," she called. "Come on, let's get you to some
safety." She got blown back through the gate with the next
one. "Shit, he was drugged. John!"
He helped her up and stepped through, staring around.
"Xander!" He felt the gathering powers and followed it, shielding
against the explosions. "At least you're not on earth," he
complained. He found him shivering, sitting in a depression in the
ground, arms around his knees, shaking badly, not able to see or hear
anything. "That's it." He knocked him out. That was
standard procedure for a god going postal. The final release of
the powers was longer and harder. John was getting a tan from
it. Xander was glowing. "Xander!" he snapped again.
Xander whimpered. "Fuck. Don't burn yourself out." He
clicked his radio. "Mari, shoot me a limiter!" One came
flying their way with Jensen. "Out, Jensen. Someone drugged
"I'm pretty impervious in this form," he said, changing to his smaller
dragon form. Xander clutched him and shook. John put on the
limiter. It focused where the power was going. "Damn."
"Xander," John said, trying to wake him back up. Clearly knocking
him out was not going to work. "C'mon, baby brother." It was
still going and Xander was now white light mostly. "That's his
elemental form," he muttered. "Jensen, back to base."
"We can't leave him here."
"I'm not leaving him. Go back to base." Roque came jogging over. "What the hell happened?"
"The Initiative fuckers restarted. I was going to check up on them
tonight." John growled. He slapped something on
Xander. "That worked in the sixties when one of the other demis
got him high on PCP and blotter." It wasn't helping this
time. He was in power decay. He was radiating too
much. "Go, John."
"Hell no! Jensen, that's an order." Jensen flew off.
"Thanks for watching out for my geek. He's an annoying brat but
helpful at times." Apollo appeared at his summoning.
"Someone drugged him."
"You sure he didn't do it himself this time?" he demanded. Roque
glared at him. "Fine, whatever." He checked and blocked the
power feed. Xander went limp and quit glowing. Apollo looked
him over. "Why does he have cuts?"
"Because someone was torturing his ass," Roque said bluntly. "But I'm sure you think he did that to himself too?"
"He changed himself," Apollo told him.
"Wrong," John said. "Rosenburg did it." Apollo gaped then
checked and fixed it and the drugs in his system. Xander was
laying there shivering, his actual age. Maybe a bit younger still
but he looked legal at least. John squatted down. "Xander?"
he asked quietly. Xander flinched away from him. "Hey, it's
me. It's John, Roque, and Apollo's here." Xander mumbled
something. "What?" Xander mumbled it again. "No, they
can't get you here. You're in Pegasus." Xander passed
out. "Roque, go find out what happened to my baby brother.
I'm a bit pissed off and I need to know who I'm taking it out on."
Roque faded into the shadows, going to find someone at SHIELD.
They probably knew. Fury was in his office. "John wants to
know who he gets to destroy."
"Xander already did."
"He's got marks from torture."
"Really? We knew that when he blew up half a county to get away
from the Initiative people, Roque." He stared at him. Roque
was growling. "He good?"
"No. He nearly died. What did they give him?"
"The plane doesn't have a toxicology lab. We'll figure it out later. Is it important to having him heal?"
"He nearly let all his powers out at once in a way that would have
burned every single molecule in his body," John said as he
appeared. "Yes, I'd say it was." Loki, theirs, appeared and
looked scared. "He's safe for now."
"No he's not. Apollo had to block his powers. The others are taking it as a sign that he's dangerous."
"He was drugged," John said bluntly. "And tortured. Even if
his little kid form had been an illusion I doubt any of us stand up for
"I do not."
John growled. "Let me go talk to them. Find out what they
used." Loki handed over the needle. "Roque, right to
Peter." He disappeared, going to where the Elder Gods were
meeting. "Shut the fuck up," he ordered. They all stared at
him. "Xander was just tortured. He was still
six-years-old. They drugged him. It made him explosively
release his powers. By the time Apollo blocked it off, he was
starting to burn everything." A few shuddered.
"He changed himself," Hera said.
"Bullshit. Rosenburg changed him." Hecate screamed and
attacked him so he punched her. "I may respect the Goddesses but
not you any longer." He looked at the others. "I don't know
what's wrong with her but damn are the rest of us tired of it."
They all looked less than pleased.
Apollo appeared. "Looking over Alexander, he was changed down to a
child by Rosenburg when she brought someone back to life by siphoning
from him. He's now linked to him and that link alone kept him from
burning himself out from the drugs they gave him."
Hera cleared her throat. "How did that happen?"
"I don't know, Hera. Who restarted the Initiative and gave them
all the demigods?" John asked. She flinched. "Was it you?"
"Then who was it?" A few were trying to disappear. "Let me
make this *real* clear. Xander named me his placeholder until he
was able to do it full time again." He sneered at them.
"You'll get him through me." A few tried to run and he captured
them and handed them to Apollo. One of Doctor Peter Jenning's
people, one of the ancient Celtic judges, appeared. "I want to
know who endangered us all."
"As do I. That is why I am here." He laid a hand on the
trapped ones' heads. "This one gave them the names." He
checked the rest. "These are his minions."
John looked at that God then at the judge. "Are they all right?"
"No. Mostly they'll heal." He looked at him. "Who is that new demigod?"
"Xander adopted to save him."
"Wonderful." He looked around and pointed at one. "I can see
the taint on you, ma'am. I know you're not her." That one
tried to run but John shot her in the ankle, making her scream as she
fell down crying. The judge smiled at John. "Pretty
"Thank you. I'm working out my bad mood on the wraith later. If Xander left any alive."
"Not on that planet. There's no more life there," Apollo
said. "Down to the germs in the dirt." Hera slumped, shaking
her head. "He let it all go due to the drugging." He looked
at him. "Is Xander up before you?"
"Why would he be? He's done nothing." He shrugged. "These
ones are going before a full panel of the Pantheons." He took them
John looked at Apollo. "Go check Mom's people?"
"Gladly." He went to do that. He came back grimacing. "They decided it was a *test* for him to pass."
"Fuck them then. I've had enough of their shit too." He
turned and walked off. He flashed home and they all realized
Xander had released his powers. He was not a demigod any
longer. John walked into the infirmary. "He'll be fine we
"I've already given him something to counteract the drugging," Carolyn Lam said quietly.
John hugged her. "If he can be fine he will be fine. Even if
he does sleep all the way back to Earth." She smiled and swatted
him, getting free so she could check on the other patients. John
hopped up on the foot of Xander's bed to test him. He was fully
broken out in more powers than he had taints to. "How did you do
that?" he muttered.
Thor looked up as Coulson walked up to where he was sulking. "Any news on my nephew?"
"He's alive, well, and an adult." He handed over the email. "John wrote."
"It is good he goes to John when he needs help." He read it, grimacing. "How did he do that?"
"No one's sure."
"Then I suppose we will see when he gets back."
"He'll be on the city when it lands in just over a month," Coulson said.
Thor smiled. "John will properly fuss over him so he's better. Who has his dog?"
"Bia. He's just discovered girls." He walked off. "Worry less, Thor."
"I shall. Thank you." He tucked it into his pocket.
Now he only worried that some day Xander would try to find John up there
when he was in danger and not find him because he was back on earth.
Dawn flopped down beside Bia on the couch, taking a pint of ice cream. "Thanks. It's been a crappy day."
"I understand about those."
"Maybe I need more self defense lessons," she muttered as she ate her
first bite of Ben and Jerry's. "Though my sister will shriek in
Bia gave her a hug. "It can't be worse than torture."
"No, not quite that bad today. Just the half of the human
population that think having a dick means they get to be
jackasses." She stuffed her mouth again.
"I haven't had too many guy problems. Then again, my parents
wouldn't let me off Olympus." She shrugged and got her own ice
cream. They flipped on a movie and it was a good girls' night in.
Natasha appeared. "Dawn, Director Fury would like a word."
"He can suck me." She ate another bite of ice cream.
"What happened this time?" Natasha asked. "I know you broke an agent's leg."
"I was being kidnaped. I was doing good fighting back and then
suddenly three neanderthal linebackers wearing MIB suits show up to save
the damsel," she said sarcastically. "They made a joke about me
needing to stay in the hell carrier because obviously I'm a danger to
myself. So I politely said thank you for the saving and kicked one
in the shin. I broke him?" She ate another bite.
"Yes, you did. Though, Agent Coulson broke his wrist for you."
Dawn smiled. "I need a man like him when I'm ready for one.
Not him exactly because I figure he's either got a thing for way uptight
or way too wild, of which I'm neither. But a nice, steady, good
guy like him some year soon. If you find one, introduce me?"
"Of course. Right after I up your self-defense training. Why were they trying to take you?"
"Wouldn't tell me. They didn't have anything about them that
suggested magic or anything like that. Of course, my sister said
that I should come home because I'm in danger, because I'm such a baby I
can't take care of myself, and how it'd be easier for her to watch over
me. That I'm worrying Mom." She got up. "I'm getting
more ice cream."
"I might need to get more," Bia admitted. "I think I only had the one pint, Dawn."
Dawn waved a hand. "Not an issue."
"You did *not* steal that," Bia said, scowling at her.
"No, I pulled from my fridge at home. It had nine pints for days
like this, depending on the severity of the suckiness." She
brought out a pint and handed one to Natasha. "I figure you've
done girl things at least once in your life so sit and commiserate with
us." She stuffed her mouth again.
Natasha called in to make that report while sitting down to eat ice
cream. "They wanted you to get Pepper to do something," she said.
"Great," Dawn said dryly. "So nothing mystical at all.
That's actually a great thing." She ate another bite. "My
whole paycheck is going to have to go to groceries. So Fury let
you use the blippy machine or did you use the Stark Enterprises one?"
"Fury sent me via our transport service," Natasha admitted. She held her
earpiece. "Understood." She looked at Dawn. "Director
Fury said next time to go gentler on them. They were junior
agents in training and still fairly dumb. Next time don't damage
them as much."
"Whatever. I'm tired of the jokes about being more kidnaped than
the Xander with the hair and the hormones." Both older women
stared at her oddly. She grinned. "Didn't hear about the
Bia burst out in giggles. "I did hear! Oh, *hormone*
Xander! Got it." She hugged her. "You're not more
kidnaped than him, Dawn, and I'm sure it'll slow down."
"It's been a sucky day anyway. The nanny won't let me near
Callia. She's freaky in ways that don't even touch her being a
half-demon. She gives me the wiggins and she never lets me see my
niece. She usually glares when I try."
"She's a half-demon?" Natasha asked. "One of the peaceful ones?"
"Yeah. They're meat eaters but not flesh eaters. She
probably eats raw beef most of the time. I'm a bit worried she's
feeding it to the baby."
"She has no teeth," Bia said.
"You can puree steaks too," Dawn reminded her. "Which is probably
not really good for babies either. Or the stories about her
people's wicked and mean gods beating our own."
"No, it's probably not," Bia agreed. She checked on the baby. "Yes, she is trying to feed her chopped up raw meat."
Natasha stood up and keyed in the remote for the Stark Enterprises
transportation satellite. She made it to the house and picked up
the baby, smiling at it. "Your aunt is very worried about you."
"Her aunt is a minion," the nanny sneered.
Natasha calmly shot her in the leg. "We'll see." Pepper came up the stairs so she handed over the bowl.
"Eww, is that steak?" She looked at the nanny. "So
fired." She took the baby back. "Thank you for saving her."
"Dawn was worried. She's been kept away from her."
"That's going to end too. Ice cream?"
"With Xander's consort."
"Remind her she has math homework and we're going over that accounting
project online later." She walked off with the baby. "We'll
find you a great sitter, Callia. It'll be wonderful and she'll
tell you all sorts of silly stories." She smiled at the
baby. "You're almost sweet enough to make me want one of you until
you make a nasty diaper," she cooed. "Tell her Tony yelled at the
agents who picked on her."
"I can do that." She went back there. Bia had been scrying
so Dawn was pulling out her netbook to get to work. Natasha
smiled. "After school and work tomorrow we'll go over your
"Thank you. Apparently I need it." She sighed and looked. "I hate Trig."
"You must graduate," Natasha reminded her. "Or no one will hire
you." She nodded and got into her homework. She'd reward
herself with the accounting project and another pint of ice cream for
The two older women shook their heads. Their lives hadn't been
nearly as insane as Dawn's. Xander's dog, Hellion, came out to
join them, hopping up to cuddle up to Dawn's side while she
worked. It knew who petted him the most.
Phil Coulson walked into the meeting he had called, staring at the
people there. "We're going to go over a few personnel
matters." One of the agents slumped down. "Yes, because of
earlier. I did not want to have to correct someone, though I will
again." He pulled the file up. "For those who are unaware,
this is Dawn Summers. She is Ms. Potts' assistant and aunt to
Stark's daughter." A few winced. "Yes, that makes her
Buffy's sister," he said patiently.
He changed the slide. "Earlier today she was nearly taken because
someone wanted a hold over Ms. Potts. Some of our agents did the
correct thing by saving her, until they decided to act like teenage
boys." He changed the slide. "Notice the clearance rating
that's high enough that even I can't get into her full file. I'm
aware of the reason for that, which you are not, and you will not
be. I will reiterate that Dawn has been in danger in the past,
both because of her sister, because of the reason it's classified, and
because of Stark."
He changed it again. "Notice that Miss Summers is rated as an
asset to the agency. She does have skills we use on occasion,
including magical gifts. She also managed to file around Fury for
six days so his office was clean without pissing him off more than once a
day." A few looked amazed. "Also, please notice her
He stared at one. "She is seventeen." That agent slumped
further down in his seat. "If she picks you for the singular honor
of being her first boyfriend I would expect exemplary conduct.
Because her best friend is still Alexander. She is still being
mentored not only by Ms. Potts but also by Agent Romanoff. She is
not some worldly little toy that you pick up in the clubs, even when Ms.
Potts lets her go out to clubs she's not.
"I would expect better of this agency's agents than them acting like
teenage boys." He stared around the room. "Or the next one I
have to correct will wish I had been so polite." He smiled.
"Any questions?" They shook their heads and fled for their
lives. Phil turned off the laptop in there and strolled out.
He did adore acting like her big brother. Dawn did need some
protection and he really did have to talk to Stark about upping her
bodyguard and doing driving lessons for the young lady. Defensive
and regular of course, just in case, and a good weapons seminar as
well. Again, just in case. Though he knew she'd never show
the bad taste her sister did in her dates.
Fury walked past him. "You done being a big brother?"
"Not hardly, sir. Dawn's very sweet and innocent. As is
Tara. They both need protected from some of the leeches we have as
Fury smiled. "I'm pretty sure Tara scared off the last one on her own."
"Really? I hadn't heard." He went to check on her. She
was working on a knot in Thor's shoulder. "Ran into the wall
again?" She jumped and gave him a scared look. "Did one of
the agents bother you?"
She shrugged and ducked her head. "They were trying to be friendly."
Thor growled. "I made myself quite plain about his chances at
continued drawing of air," he assured him. "He is now aware that
she is not here to help his morale or other duties."
She swatted him on the shoulder. "He would've taken no or he'd be a toad."
Thor smiled. "Save it for many bad people in the future,
Tara. For now, let us be real men who can protect those who need
it." She swatted him again but went back to the knot on his
shoulder. "Aye, I hit the wall hard sparring with the Hulk."
Phil nodded. "That's a good reason. I broke the wrist of the
on that tried to pick on Dawn, Tara. Let me know if I need to
correct someone else." She blushed and ducked her head.
"Male or female. I know we have a few predatory women on the hell
carrier." He patted her on the arm. "Dawn is with Bia and
Natasha if you wanted to join them."
"I might," she squeaked. He smiled and left her to her
healing. She finished up and sent herself there. Dawn handed
over her tub of ice cream. "Phil heard someone kept hitting on me
and Thor had to threaten him."
Dawn hugged her. "It'll be okay. Next time I'll threaten
them." She smiled. Tara rolled her eyes but snuggled in to
help her with her math homework.
Back on the base, Phil tracked down the rest of the staff to have the
same sort of talk about Tara. Before things got out of hand.
Including Barton because he had been teasing Tara by flirting with
her. That way they'd have another protective person who understood
Tara was shy, danger liked Dawn, and he would kill them all for getting
them hurt. Even if Director Fury was giggling in his office about
this set of meetings.
Xander blinked awake, finding someone staring down at him. "Am I floating?" he asked hoarsely.
The nurse nodded. "You've about swam all over the
infirmary." She helped him stand up and he landed on the floor,
holding his head. "Your brother said it was normal. Peter
was going to find a dog leash." She helped him back into his bed
and checked him over. "Blood pressure's a bit high." He
yawned and shrugged a bit. "Doctor Lam will be back on shift in a
few hours if you want to rest some more."
"Should," he said through another yawn. "Thank you. Sorry about the swimming."
She smiled and patted him on the arm. "Swimming in midair is
pretty unusual but not as freaky as we've seen around here." He
nodded, letting her tuck him in. He fell asleep and started to
float again. She called John to report that.
John walked down to where Clay's team was bunking, finding Roque
lounging and having dinner. "Any idea why Xander's so much more
"Actually, yes," he said with an evil grin. "Remember being told that our powers are finite, in a box?"
"Remember being told that sometimes, if the situation was dire enough, we could break the box?"
"No. I've heard myths of it happening though. Usually of family and temple defense."
"So Xander's basically his own personal hellmouth?" Jensen asked.
Roque nodded. "Wow. That's going to suck for him drawing
"He'd probably draw them anyway," Roque quipped. "Boy always did."
"So he's broken over into the cycle of creation's powers," John said, sitting down. "Can we block it off?"
"If Apollo didn't, probably not. He had to realize with how much he put out."
"Biologists took samples right before we left," Clay said quietly.
"They said there's nothing. No trees, no germs, no earth
worms. Nothing. Any wraith there were killed."
"Maybe some day it'll heal," John sighed, rubbing his face. "He's swimming around the infirmary."
"He has to burn off the excess energy he can't block off," Roque said simply. "I did feel a link."
"He worked to finish saving the one that Willow had used his powers to save."
"Fuck," Roque muttered. "Is she still alive?"
"Probably. For some reason Hecate adores her."
"Has got to be a spell. No one likes Rosenburg anymore."
"I'll suggest to someone that they check." John stood up.
"Clay, if we have a space battle and I'm out there, you're in
charge. Evan Lorne already knows." He walked off to let them
have their team dinner in peace and quiet. He went back to the
infirmary. Rodney had solved the swimming problem by hooking
Xander to a rechargeable station. He was recharging some batteries
at the moment. "Will that hurt him?"
"No, it's soaking up the energy he was putting out," Rodney said.
"Interestingly enough all the computer glitches in this tower are
stopped as well." They looked at the young man on the bed.
"Broke through the personal power barrier."
"Charming I'm sure."
"It's a problem he'll have to handle forever now," John said quietly. "Thanks, Rodney."
"Welcome." He left. The nurses knew when to change out
batteries. John was sitting on the foot of his brother's bed
staring at him again. He seemed to do a lot of that whenever
Xander was in the infirmary. Though Rodney would probably do the
same for his sister if she were that ill.
Fury and Jack O'Neill met for pie in the midwest somewhere. Fury got there last and flopped down. "How are they?"
"Good. We're keeping Colonel Clay. They're going back to Army staff but they're mine."
Fury nodded. "That's fine. I reserve the right to call them out if we need something huge."
"That's fine. My people would come anyway." He
grinned. "You have to get Alexander off the city before she
lands. The president is going to be there and he hates him."
"He hates him more now that he exposed his plans to create his own
superhero team by forced breeding of demigods and other heros." He
dug into his pie. "Blackberry. Been a while since I had
any." He ate a second bite. "As for that, tell his brother."
"I have. We're seeing signs that they'll have a battle as they come back. They might need him there."
Fury shook his head. "I'm not sure if he's healed or not.
When they were torturing him, he broke through to some extra powers and
then they drugged him." He ate another bite and looked at
him. "He also somehow adopted Coulson as his family."
"Interesting. Any other news?"
"Rosenburg's done something to Hecate we think."
"Wonderful," he said sarcastically. He huffed and dug into his
pie. "We'll see what we can do to help. That's not really a
mundane problem like we deal with."
"I can tell. Not really my area either. Though it was nice
Coulson had a talk to everyone about not picking on Dawn and Tara."
O'Neill smirked. "Carter can do that about some of the more
delicate scientists on the base." They ate for a few
minutes. "How's his temple looking?"
"Bia said it's all set up but she's still painting. They've got
training areas I'm sending my green ass people to use." They
shared a smirk. "Roque said it's very mean. He's got a house
"Sheppard probably does too then." He finished his pie and sipped his coffee. "We're planning on landing the city."
"Do you need someone like Stark to stand by in case it causes problems?"
"Please. If it's not exact it could easily create a wave."
"Got it. We can do that." He tapped out a message to his assistant. "Agent Hill will pass that on."
O'Neill smiled. "The president wants to shut my people down."
"He's downright pissed off at mine for doing what they needed to
do. Then again, the Loki from here is still mightily pissed off
about it too."
"Still dating the VP?"
"Wonderful." They shared a smirk. "Make sure no one sees him."
"Is he an adult again? She made him six. A foul mouthed, drinking six-year-old."
"Sheppard said he was."
"Good! That'll make my witches quit fussing."
"Nothing makes girls like them quit fussing at someone," O'Neill said
dryly. "I have an language-gifted anthropologist like that.
He'll make someone a fine mother some day."
"No, we stopped that program." He handed over the file. "They had some of his."
"Fucking NID," O'Neill muttered. "We should blow them open."
"Please do. Means they can't try to come for Thor again."
"Probably trying to compare it to the other Asgardian DNA we have on
file." They shared a look. "I probably can't do that without
outing my own project."
"I don't see much of a problem with that really. People already
know about bad aliens, O'Neill." O'Neill glared at him, glancing
around. Fury shrugged and smirked. "They do." He got
up and put down money for the pie and coffee. "Have a better
day." He left, going back to his hellcarrier to get to work on
that subtle leaking.
Dawn walked in and looked over his shoulder, taking his keyboard to get
into a different site. "Started way back when." She handed
it over and walked off. "I'm off to beat an agent. Should I
leave him able to eat dinner?"
"Did he hit on you?" he called after her.
"Not exactly." She walked up the halls humming, finding the
pussbag she wanted. She kicked him into a wall, staring at
him. "Why oh why did I get called to the infirmary and she was
sobbing your name?" she demanded dryly.
"I got her there!" he said quickly.
Dawn cast the truth spell on him. "Repeat that." He tried
and then had to grab his water to put out the flames coming off his
tongue. Dawn smiled, crossing her arms over her chest. "So
why did I have to go help her?"
He broke down crying. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to summon
the wish demon on my ex!" He looked up at her. "I
didn't! I swear!"
"Uh-huh." She walked off. Other agents were watching.
"We'll be talking later when there's no audience for you to get sympathy
He started to reach for his sidearm but another agent took it from
him. "I don't think you need that for any possible reason you
might be reaching for it." He hauled him up and down to the shift
commander. "Sir, Miss Summers just attacked him and made him
confess something about a wish demon and his ex, who apparently is in
The shift commander looked at him. "Really." The gun was put
on the desk and the agent fled. "What did you do?" He
started to say something but flames came out of his mouth. "I knew
I allowed Summers to use that truth spell for a reason," he said dryly,
letting him have his coffee to put out the flames. "Wanna try
that again, Agent?" The guy burst out crying and babbling about
how sorry he was. The shift commander called up to the
infirmary to get the file. "You couldn't think of anything worse
than a VD curse?" he snorted. "Unimaginative and weak on top of
Dawn walked up to Agent Hill on the bridge. "As senior female on
this barge, Tara wanted to know if the female agents wanted to do
something girlish sometime soon so they had female downtime."
Agent Hill blinked. "I have no idea, Summers."
"Okay, well, ask around. You're high ho on the totem pole to use a
common expression." She smiled. "Not that we know you
didn't beat your way to the top." She shrugged. "Tara was
thinking a girly movie night and maybe some pedis or manis."
"I'll pass that around, see if there's an interest." She smiled. "Aren't you supposed to be at Stark Tower?"
"Nope. Tony told me to stay here because the guy who was trying to
snatch me for the Initiative mess showed back up as my blind date last
night." Agent Hill winced. "So yeah, I'm being the boss
guy's assistant so he can find his desk," she said dryly. "Let us
know." She went back to Fury's office. "Tony stomp the guy
"Not yet. He's still searching for him. Where did you put the budget files?"
"In the file marked budget," she said, getting it for him. "These
two filing cabinets are Admin things like the budget and protocol
files." She pointed. "This is the disciplinary file
cabinet. Sorted by year for the lower drawers and the top one by
name." She pointed at the third set. "That's for your top
secret stuff that's already online anyway since they have the best
locks." She smiled. "And the coffee maker has real coffee."
"I noticed. Thank you." He got up to check those, adding a
few of those to the protocol cabinet. It was actually filed in a
way that normal people understood and could follow. His desk was
too when he looked. All his forms were in labeled folders.
"Dawn, go sort out the paperwork issue on the main bridge."
"Yup." She went back out there. "Agent Hill, Fury said to sort out your paperwork mess too."
She smiled and pointed. "All the daily reports, agent reports, all that."
"You get agent reports?"
"They pass through me."
"Ah." She nodded, going to set up an area for those. She had
to get something from storage but it worked. She heard a coo and
smiled, taking her niece. "Hi, Callia. Help the Auntie Dawn
file. You'll like filing. It's like working in a library
only no Library of Congress system to confuse you." She fashioned a
carry sling and they worked together while Pepper went to talk to Fury.
Thor stomped out and paused. "You had no spawn that I knew of."
"It's my niece, Thor."
"Ah!" He smiled. "She's grown since I last saw her."
He came over to look at her, getting a smile and a wave. He waved
back and smiled. "You're adorably drooling."
"Babies drool," she said patiently. "They have to cut teeth."
"I've seen some that did that." He took the baby to hold. "Did you mystically appear?"
"Pepper brought her."
"Wonderful. You're much too young to fly or teleport yet."
Dawn was giggling. "Are you nearly done? She's thinking
"Nearly. Tell Pepper I need the diaper bag?" He handed her
back and hurried off. Dawn got finished. "Agent Hill, will
this work for you? Check it over while I change her."
"Restroom just outside the break area has a changing pad for some
reason," she offered with a point. Callia was a cooing, happy
baby. It was nice to see. She looked it over.
Everything had a labeled place to be put and a basket to hold it.
It was nice and efficient. As long as the hell carrier didn't flip
onto its side or anything it should hold. Dawn had even put a
stapler and a box of paperclips there for ease of use. She sorted a
few things to her personal way of grabbing them and it was much
nicer. "People, we have a new place to put reports. There
are labeled baskets. I expect you to use them." The staff
all nodded and checked it on their way out to breaks.
Dawn came back with the baby and a whiteboard. She stuck it to a
wall and put up a note. Then she smiled. "For your daily
notes or rotation changes."
"That would work. Usually I just text it."
"Half of the people up here never carry their phones," Dawn said.
"You can do it at the same time so they can't claim they missed it."
"Good point." She patted the baby on the head. "You should be somewhere safer."
Dawn snickered. "I think it's okay for today." She walked
off telling her about the ship. The baby loved stories so it was
good. They ran into Steve Rogers in the hallway and he cooed,
picking her up. "Baby Stark."
"She's adorable and drooling." He grinned. She squealed and
patted him on the nose. "Thank you, dear. You're going to be
very smart like your father. Hopefully you'll wear more clothes
than your mom." Dawn snickered as she took her back. "Are
you babysitting up here?"
"Pepper brought her."
"That's fine." He smiled and let them head for the Mess Hall.
Stark walked in. "Is your aunt teaching you about girl food
already?" he teased, smiling at his daughter. It was apparently
lunch time. Callia was standing in a chair and eating the smashed
up veggies her aunt had in a bowl.
"I sure am. She's got to learn about veggies so she appreciates
them, unlike Xander." She fed her some carrots. The baby
squealed and ate them, smiling and waving at Daddy. Who hugged
her. Dawn grinned. "Going to repossess her?"
"Probably. Fury said the hell carrier's too dangerous to have her up here for long."
Dawn gave him a funny look. "So's the street when you guys are
fighting. For that matter, so are cars. There's safety
procedures and I'm pretty darn sure I can remove us both from here if
Stark smiled and patted her on the hand. "That's why I like you as
Pepper's assistant." He fed her the next bite of carrots since
the baby was making begging noises. That made her happier and she
squealed at the agents in the Mess with them. "You're happy
today. Did you learn how to squeal from your aunt too?" he teased.
"I'm out of my squealing phase," Dawn quipped. She took back the spoon to feed her some more carrots. "New nanny?"
"Being interviewed. Want to babysit tonight?"
Dawn blushed. "I kinda might have a date."
"Should we pat him down for weapons?"
"Yeah, you might want to. Someone introduced me to their little brother, who's in agent training. He's twenty."
Stark considered it. "Not too big of an age difference. Tell your mom?"
"Yup. She's still nagging that I was helping evacuate and shield people."
"She's a mom. They do that from what others say." Stark
finished feeding her. "You done?" The baby pouted and
pointed. "We'll see if they have other mooshy things for you,
Callia." He went to look. The cook was most happy to moosh
up some cauliflower for her. "Thank you."
"She's a delightful child."
Dawn smiled. "She's my niece."
"We'll stock up on chocolate now for when she's older," the cook quipped, cracking Tony up.
Natasha walked in and stared. "You're loud," she said at a
squeal. The baby squealed louder and waved at her. She waved
back. "Hi." The baby pouted. She patted her on the
head, getting her hand gnawed on.
"Babies teeth like puppies," Dawn said. "Only not on shoes."
"That's good to know." She got free and patted the baby
again. "Eat and grow strong enough to need self-defense
lessons." She looked at Dawn. "School?"
"Out for spring break," Tony said with a grin. "Her stalker's back."
"The former bodyguard. He's not a stalker. He's never called or anything like that," Dawn quipped.
"No, we arrested the actual stalker, who had wanted your powers for
something he was working on," Natasha said. Dawn groaned and shook
Tony stared at Dawn. "Why didn't I hear about that?"
"I barely heard about it," she admitted. "After the fact."
"You're welcome," Natasha said, walking off. "Since you're off
school and only working on the office tasks around here, we'll be
sparring in a bit."
"Yes, ma'am." Natasha got some fruit and walked off happier.
Dawn huffed but they fed the baby then let her go home for now.
Dawn changed out of her work clothes to something for sparring. A
few of the agents gave her funny looks. "Sparring practice."
They just nodded. She walked in and took the staff. "We're
"You're going to be on the range later. I can't bruise you that much."
"Go easy on me anyway? I have a date tonight."
Natasha stared at her. "Has anyone had a talk with this boy yet?"
"He's the little brother of an agent."
"Hmm. We'll do a background check, just in case. Your
sister's bad taste might be sticking to you and you wouldn't realize
it." She attacked and Dawn defended as much as she could.
She was getting better. Phil walked in. "Did you know she
had a date?" Over the last year and a half they had teamed up
together to help Dawn's education in the more mundane things while
Pepper taught her like a big sister would.
"The boy had a 3.2GPA in college, NYU. Majored in biology.
Has had three serious girlfriends but is not one to play around or
expect it before they move in together. He was serious enough with
all three to go there but they thought him a bit clingy so ended
it. He's not shown any traumatic signs that we'd look for that
indicated abusive behavior, rage issues, or even being a dickhead,"
Coulson told her. "Overall, he's not a bad first date for her."
"I've had a few others," Dawn admitted. "Even if one did turn out to be the former bodyguard."
"You handled that fairly well," he agreed, smiling slightly at
her. "You're still dropping your right guard." She huffed
but got back to it.
"At least a biology major will know what birth control is," a male voice called down.
"He's not getting near my panties for at least the first five dates and
then he's only allowed light groping during making out," Dawn quipped
back. "I'm young, not easy."
"Tenth," Coulson told her.
"Pepper said we can make out on the fifth date. By then I should know enough about him to make that decision."
"Tenth," he repeated, walking off. "And wear pants."
"I was going to wear the new blue outfit. Want to pick out my shoes too?"
"Ugly ones," he assured her. "Orthopedic if you have some."
"Nope, I have cute toes." She got back into the sparring
practice. An alarm started to go off and she felt the magic.
"I swear to the Goddess I'm going to end Willow myself." She
glared that way and snapped out something in Latin. The alarms
stopped and she smiled. "There, better. No loud noises
making my head hurt."
Coulson called in and nodded. He hung up. "Fury said you're grounded. That was actually an ambassador."
She snorted. "Sure it was." She pushed her sweaty hair back
and looked at Natasha. Who shrugged. "Be right back."
She stomped off, staring at the person she had put the idiot curse
onto. "Did you just try to magic this ship, Mister?" She
removed it and he blinked at her. "Answer me!" She tapped a
foot and crossed her arms over her chest.
"You're a delightfully sweaty child." He sneered. "How dare you question me."
Dawn manifested some power and he flinched, backing away quickly.
"These are *my* people. Do you understand me?" He
nodded. "You do not try to magic anyone of *my* people or I call
friends to help me clean up your abused remains." She banished the
power. "Don't do it again." He nodded, looking down.
"Thank you for your cooperation." She walked off. "I'm off
to spar some more. It's only making me look better for my date
Fury blinked a few times. "Get some damn chocolate," he called after her.
"While I'm primping for my date, thanks for the permission, Director." She shot a grin at him from the elevator.
"I hate kids," Fury muttered once she was gone. "Sorry, she's a bit protective."
Tara cleared her throat from her spot behind two overprotective
agents. "She's good at it and we appreciate it in her." She
stared at Fury until he backed down. "She'll be eighteen in ten
days, she's not a child." She stared at the idiot. "The
Goddess would hate those who tried to curse the ship to misfortune."
He backed away from her. "I'm sure I meant no such thing and it was a slip."
"Good." She smiled and strolled off. "Let me make sure her outfit isn't something her sister would wear."
Fury shook his head. "I love our witches. They're very
strong women. Even if one is quiet and shy." His assistant
smiled and nodded. He led the ambassador off to his office to talk
to him about what he was trying to do.
Dawn looked up from her seat in the ER, shrugging some at the scowl she
was getting. "We got jumped. He tried really hard to defend
me but the ex-boyfriend of his was mightily upset."
"Seriously?" Natasha asked, tipping the girl's chin up to look at the
bruised cheek. "Coulson didn't say anything about that."
"He hid it very well," he said as he walked in, handing her the forms. "Sign."
She read them over and signed them. "So I can go home?
Because I totally don't blame him. The guy was a bit
unhinged. He got a few of his buddies to straight bash us."
"Thankfully he pressed charges and so are you," Natasha said.
"Your mother just groaned and said at least it wasn't someone trying to
capture you." Dawn rolled her eyes. "Let's go." Dawn
hopped off the table and grabbed her jacket. "That is a cute
"Thank you. Mom helped me pick it out." She smiled at the nurse. "Thank you."
"You're welcome, dear. Be more careful."
"It wasn't the date. It was his ex. If it had been my date, he'd be in the ICU."
Coulson smiled and nodded. "Probably yes."
She punched him on the arm. "I would've put him there myself."
"Fine." He held open the door for them. "What are you doing for your birthday?"
"Pepper promised me some shopping as long as we're not in the middle of
something." She heard someone shouting and looked then at her
fellow 'assistant'. "I think they love you."
"I think they don't know me." They got into the waiting car and headed off. "How is Alexander?"
"Still in the infirmary on Atlantis. They can't get email while they're in flight."
"We'll see him soon I'm sure." She looked at her. "You
comported yourself well. The young agent as well. He's been
advanced in his training."
"We're not going to be serious. He's a sweet guy, very much a
comic geek, but he wants a real girlfriend who doesn't have a schedule
like his. School or work, but not both and then sparring and other
practices or emergencies. But he's a really nice guy. If
Buffy liked nice guys I'd gladly set them up."
"He's not quite dangerous enough for her yet," Coulson said. "He
will be by the time he's done with his training. He's going to
Xander's training compound next week." Dawn grinned. "When
we get back, go to bed."
"I know, I have classes again tomorrow before we fly to Singapore."
"Why isn't Pepper going?" Natasha asked.
"She is, that's why I'm going. Stark's not going."
Dawn nodded. "Yup, basically."
"You're wearing a locator," Coulson said. "They have enemies over there."
"Sure. If I must."
"You must," the two agents agreed. They pulled into the parking
garage at Stark Towers and got out to escort her up there. The
lower levels of sleeping rooms was untouched from the battle.
That's where they were staying until the rest of the tower was fixed.
Tony met them at the elevators. "His ex-boyfriend straight bashed
you?" She nodded. "Huh. Never had that happen to me."
"Xander either." She smiled. "Am I still on the Singapore trip tomorrow?"
"No, because you got a death threat earlier." He handed it to Natasha then walked off. "Go to bed, Dawn."
"Going, King Nag."
"I'm not wearing the sparkly crown today."
"Does that mean we should send you with Buffy to Saudi since you're a princess too?"
He paused, glared at her, then burst out laughing. "Not
quite. King definitely, not a princess." Dawn smirked.
"Go to bed before the funny mental disease becomes contagious."
He went back to his office to tell Pepper that joke.
"What?" Coulson asked. Dawn explained it as they escorted her to
her room to lock her in. Because they were highly overprotective
that way. He even took the death threat to look over and handle
for her. It would help banish the thought of the Middle East
turning into Valley Girl central. The clerics over there would
definitely hate the booty skirts and heels.
Fury looked up at his two 'normal' agents that night as they answered
his summons and tossed over a disc. "Get familiar with it.
With the way his powers are about scattered, I want him in a protected
spot he can fire from. That's his dossier, his tape from
self-defense testing we snuck in on him, and footage from the invasion
in LA. I do *not* want to ever see him deage and nearly die again
taking on the bad guy all by himself but he's just like that."
Natasha stared at the disc then at him. "I take it that's on
Alexander?" Fury smirked and nodded. "Very well.
Dawn's in for the night. The death threat is being looked at."
"It's another magical person from what I was told."
"How bad can they get?" Barton asked.
"If they get her, have enough power, and the right spells they can open
interdimensional portals with her blood," Fury said. He handed
over a folder. "What you were looking for. We wanted to know
what a Key could do too. Thankfully we took over the Council's
duties and library. I had to hire some major book nerds to make me
an index and research out of them since half of them can't be scanned
into a computer."
They settled in to go over it. Natasha knew some but that was a
lot more comprehensive. "No wonder there had been a hell goddess
after her," she muttered.
"Dead. Iron Man killed her with Rosenburg. Took an hour,"
Fury said. "That was when she was first given to Pepper to
"Good!" He went back to the files. Dawn seemed a lot more normal than this. "Can she access it?"
"Only briefly or it knocks her out. Only in emergencies but she's
got enough personal power to do things like shields, moving people, that
stuff." Fury looked at him. "That has knocked her out
too. She's the sister of a hero, the almost little sister of
another, and learned very well that sometimes the duty sucks ass."
"Yes it can. I'm glad I'm working on her weapons skills."
"I want a rating on that," Fury ordered her. "By the way, Buffy
taught her how to use an old-fashioned crossbow. They use them
sometimes on patrol."
"She's not fully accurate at it, fires too high and to the left,"
Natasha said. "She does not want to follow in my footsteps."
"No, I believe she'll be our hidden asset," Fury said. He
smirked. "I can put up with her doing the paperwork for
Hill. She and Tara make an interesting team and it's better if
they're safe up here." The two agents nodded. "They won't be
*agents* but they're someone we'd have to watch over and help with
"So we should bone up on magical stuff?" Barton asked.
"If you get magic to work for you, you're fired," Fury assured him with a
smirk. "You'd be evil." Barton smirked back. "Learn
demon classifications though. They seem to like them and a lot of
them respect the girls."
"Got it," he agreed. They went over Alexander's files. He wasn't *bad*. "Who trained him?"
"Figures. Modern weapons?"
"Often. Pets and coos."
"Great." They watched the invasion. He had been moving
civilians when he wasn't firing on the mass of demons. He had been
too far away to see any of the real action going on. Someone had
been wearing an assault cam so this was that footage. They could
work with him until he was up to their standards.
Xander finally made it home and collapsed onto the couch with his war
puppy. Bia smiled at him. "Fury said until you're at full
Xander strength and capabilities, you're to handle things from up high
"Whatever," he muttered.
She tested him. "How did you do that?"
"Huh." She handed him something. "Wear a bit out each day, Xander."
"Will." He yawned and let himself drift off with his dog.
She made out a list of things that still needed to be done that Xander
could wear his powers out doing. There was always training too.
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