Training Old Ones.

Fury looked at his agent.  "Coulson, since you're so handily available and we're in a lull at the moment, I want you to take the junior agents to Xander's wherever and get them set up to train better.  Take Barton and Romanoff with you so they get used to working with Xander if it comes up."  He nodded.  "Dawn can go or stay as she wants."

"Dawn pops around for popcorn all the time," he said blandly.  "How many am I taking?"  Fury handed him the list.  "Fine."  He walked off making mental plans, which got noticed by Bia since she sent him a text message that they only had housing set up right now for twelve students.  That cut down his list by half and he told Fury why.  He agreed that was fine and they could rotate them when necessary.

Dawn walked past him and tossed a candy bar onto his folder.  "Because you'll need it.  Xander's being a grump today."


"Not many but the whole 'not ours' thing is still giving him flak and feedback.  The Elder ones are not happy about being found out."

"Pity but they shouldn't plot against each other."  He nodded at another agent.  "Are you joining us?" he asked as he walked off.

"Nope.  Gotta go be super assistant girl."  She widened her eyes and grinned maniacally.  "I have no idea what he'd do without assistants.  Probably shoot the paperwork."

He slightly snickered.  "That might happen, yes."  She grinned and headed back upstairs.  He went to make his first cut of agents and tell them to pack.

Dawn walked into the office area.  "Good morning, Ms. Havers."

"Back again?" she asked politely.

Dawn smiled.  "Pepper and Tony both assigned me here temporarily because of a death threat."  She knocked and walked into the office, handing over the pastry.  "All yours, the last cherry one they had."

He looked at her.  "Have a nice trip?" he asked.

She smiled and nodded.  "Tara and I had a *lovely* tea at that shop that you recommended."  He snorted and took the pastry from her.  "We've also made up a list of what Tara wants and needs in a work area.  Including one that has something like dirt.  Metal has an appeal but she's a nature witch."  She handed over her tablet computer.

He read it over.  "Can we do that?"

"We do have the gardens in the greenhouse area.  They're very confined, which we both understand, but she was taught as an earth-centered witch and she did most of my training, what I got of it.  Mostly it's a lot of following the recipe, finding the spell," she said at his dirty look.  "It's not like there's a *school*."

"No, thankfully not," he said dryly.  "Can she arrange this?"

"We're not totally sure and won't even start to look for an area without permission.  She knows you'd have a fit if you walked into a room that was suddenly a tree-filled summery area."

"Probably," he agreed.  He stared at her.  "What if Loki comes back?"

She smiled.  "According to the history the monks kept, he does know what a Key is.  He does know that Alexander will kill his ass if he tries something with me but I'm not the same sort of power as the blinky cube.  It takes the right spell at the right time."

"So if he plans it....."

"Goes to a hell dimension most likely," she said.  "I'm not sure if you can focus it that way and no one I've asked to look in the libraries of has had that information."

"Even better."  He considered it.  "While you're here, I want you to be armed."

"Natasha is working on my weapons and self-defense skills, Fury."

"I know.  I applaud that.  Especially with the ones that want your sister starting to gather again."

She looked at her phone.  "It's February, bit early for the usual spring apocalypse attempt."  She put the phone back after sending a text message to her sister.  "We'll see what's going on."

"I have Faith reporting to me."

"Am I involved?"

"Not yet.  Though it was nice that shutting Sunnydale down meant that the hell all along the west coast calmed down some."

She grinned.  "You can't really close a hellmouth.  You can do the same as stitching a wound but it won't heal.  It's a rip in the fabric of space and time.  It will tear stitches and has in the past."

"I know."  He grimaced but let it clear fairly quickly.  "Cleveland has the worst now."

"I'm sure people *love* that," she said dryly.  "Do they have evacuation plans?"

"I'd hope."

"I'm going to check with our emergency services people."  She took back her tablet to make that note.  "And one for LA because I'm pretty darn sure Angel never thought about it."  Fury nodded.  She made that note as well.  "Any other concerns?"

"No babysitting."

She looked at him.  "Most likely, anything going on I'd evacuate myself and whoever you wanted me to take with me, including her."

"If the ship's attacked again, you may not be able to."

"I was here when the ship was attacked last time.  I was trapped up here thanks to that meeting."  He winced.  "Loki didn't even notice me."

Their Loki appeared, staring at her.  "I'd never want to make my son that angry with me."  She punched him on the arm, making him yelp.  "Wench!"

She glared and he blinked when she started to glow.  "I'm no wench and no serving girl either, Loki.  I may not be a goddess but I'm still fairly powerful if I want to be.  Notice I don't go looking at the craft as my new career?"  He nodded.

Xander appeared.  "Dawn, down."  She backed down.  He looked at his father.  "Touch her, watch me destroy everything you hold dear," he offered.

"I was saying I didn't have plans of it," Loki said.

Dawn looked at him.  "Do you ever not have plans for something?"

"Point but not about you.  It's not really the realm I'd like to open to."  Xander popped him on the head.  "Son!" he warned.  He pulled up power.  Xander pulled some of his and he stopped and stared, looking horrified.  "How?" he demanded, staring at Fury.

"When the Initiative assholes drugged him, he had a power explosion," Fury reminded him.

Xander nodded.  "Yeah, that was part of it."  He stared at his father.  "Do you mind not screwing things up?  I've got plenty of hell going on right now from the Elders being pissed that we found out about their switching vacation plans," he said bitterly.  "And for some reason that's my fault."

"Actually, I believe that was Odin's starting," Loki glared.  His son shrugged.  "I have no plans of hurting your...friend."

"She's like my sister, Dad."

"Is she going on a horse then?"

"Hell no!"  He crossed his arms over his chest.  "She'd definitely remake Valhalla's female population if she did."

"That might be for the best," Loki muttered.

Xander smirked.  "All Odin or Frigg has to do is lift the chastity barrier."

"They'd never do that.  Remember the last one that wanted to be married?"

"Yes, and it was brilliant that I helped him get through it."

"That was you?" Dawn asked.  "With the circle of fire?"

"That was the time before last," Loki said dryly.  "The last one had her tied up inside a boulder."

"Pissed me off to no end since she was helping me guard some of the villages," Xander told her.  "I kindly told her future spouse how to get her free without killing her and then I presented the shards of the boulder to Odin during a council meeting.  Where I nicely pointed out that making me cover all the villages at once meant that I'd consolidate them to be safer and that would mean less temples for them."

Loki smirked at the young girl.  "The point did get across after their pool of worshipers got shrank by about a third with the combining.  He tried to make them undo it but the villagers said that there was no protection so they wouldn't."

"It also meant that they had big enough villages for markets and marriage brokers," Xander agreed.  "It helped the people prosper and be safer.  It helped all the Gods but Odin."  Dawn patted him on the arm with a grin.  He hugged her.  "Beyond that...."  He looked around.  "What the fuck?"

"Who?" Fury demanded, turning to his computer.

"Floating person by the infirmary.  It's like that imp guy from the Superman cartoons."

Fury found him and groaned.  "We found an honest to goodness leprechaun."

"Talk to Dr. Peter," Xander said simply.  "That's his people's people."  He disappeared.

Loki looked at her.  "At least he's as protective as any monk."

She smirked.  "He's a great big brother.  That's why he bought me weapons for my birthday."

Loki smirked.  "You do have that thread of chaos in you.  Chaos is part of creation."

She waved a hand.  "I'm almost eighteen.  All the chaos I have is making men pant and want me."  He gaped.  She smirked back.  "I'm very wantable.  Everyone should want a girl like me in their lives."

"True," Fury said.  "You can't date up here.  No dating junior agents."

She looked at him.  "Listen, Mom."  Loki cracked up.  "I don't plan on ruining any of them.  Really.  Most of them are a lot older than me.  That's Buffy's thing, not a Dawn want.  I want someone closer to my age who wants to be a good boyfriend.  Ideally someone that would remind me of Phil now and then because he is the blueprint for a stand up guy, even though he's much too old for me."

Fury cleared his throat.  "I'd like more agents like him and if I find one near your age I'll think about letting you two date."

She smiled at him.  "Do you really think you could stop me going on a date for coffee?"

"Well, yes.  We do have cells."

She smirked.  "That I can destroy," she said happily.  He shuddered.  "I'm not Rosenburg.  I have sense.  The same as Tara has sense.  Really."  She looked at Loki.  "Reasons for needing a meeting?"

"That other me didn't feel you."

She smiled.  "He shouldn't need me.  I can't get to the same realm.  And Xander said if they tried he'd marry me off to someone nice but protective."

"Good!"  He disappeared.  His boyfriend looked at him.  "Talking to Dawn."  He rubbed his forehead.  "My son is leaking universe's energy.  She's a mouthy child with ideas."  His boyfriend kissed him and handed him the advil bottle.  "Thank you."  He took a few and another kiss, going to lie on the office couch.

Dawn smiled at Fury.  "Any other plots and plans you want me to disband now, Director?" she asked, sounding chipper.

He stared at her.  "You cause me hell and I'm sending you to an all girls's school."

"Never tried being a lesbian.  I'd have to see how that worked for me."  She walked off.  "Going to make evac plans."

"Thank you."  He took some of his own painkiller.  Then he went to talk to Coulson.  Rumors had him being her 'big brother' and nagging the agents about her.  He walked into his office.  "Loki didn't spot her."

"If he had, she doesn't have the right wavelength."  He looked up.  "We checked."

"She's not to date up here."

"She's almost eighteen and we don't have fraternization rules, sir."

"We do now!"

"Not like the agents up here would try for her.  They're all at least ten years her senior and they know she's not some easy party girl."

"Thankfully.  What about college?"

"Another semester of school, sir."

"Fine.  She's making evacuation plans and working up plans for a room to practice in."

"There's a nice one I'll show her.  It has wood floors."  He looked attentive.  "Any other problems?"

"Not yet.  As long as she's safe up here.  I'm not responsible for her if she jumps people or whatever."

"Beyond picking on one of the senior agents who was trying to haze her, she'd never jump them, sir.  She doesn't really want someone that old."

"She told me you were the blueprint for her future boyfriend."

Phil smiled.  "I'd make a very good one if she were older and she realizes that.  As an ideal I'm a good one.  I'm steady, have a job, am protective but not overbearing about it.  I'm attentive and I'm a nice dresser."  Fury walked off shaking his head.  He texted Dawn.  She sent one back.  He told her where the room was.  She sent back a squeal and she was getting the senior agent dweeb again.  He told her to be gentle about it.  He put his phone back up and went back to work.


Dawn strolled into the mess that night during dinner and stared at the sneering agent.  She turned him into a pony and patted him.  "You'll make a fine boyfriend once you learn to like girls in a better way.  Because I heard you talking about your present one and I'm offended for all women everywhere at having to consider you human.  So make yourself useful and be the pony of the group.  You'll do great giving rides for stress relief.  Most of us won't even make jokes about desperate cowboys on the range."  She walked around him and went to get her dinner.

Agent Hill was staring from her table.  "Dawn, why is he a pink pony?"

"Because with the way he talks about women he's secretly a seriously submissive person and needs a bit of humiliation to get off."  She grabbed her salad and water, walking off.  "When he's a better human being he'll be one again."

"Okay," she decided, texting Tara and Phil Coulson.

Fury stomped in and stared.  "What did you do this time?" he demanded.  His phone beeped with a message from Coulson.  It was a report on why he was staring at a former employee.  "Yeah, that gets you a riding saddle in a jail, Agent Wentworth."  The pony shuddered as he turned back.  "Someone arrest him so we can throw him off the carrier."  He got his own dinner and went to get that report from the infirmary.  The three female agents he had been tormenting were in a private wing of the med center.  The doctors wouldn't let him talk to them because he was a man.  So he'd send Agent Hill later.  Or Tara.  She could fuss and get them to talk about things better than any shrink.


Dawn appeared in front of Pepper that night.  "Did you know they're all really uptight?"

"I did," she said with a wince.  "Sorry."

"Not your fault."  She waved a hand and sat down on the chair.  "I got to witness some serious problems earlier so I made a new pony."

Pepper smiled.  "Agent Hill told me."  Dawn smiled back.  "Good work."  Dawn relaxed.  "School work?"

"No one's sent me a single thing recently.  Was I supposed to teleport to classes today?  Which is why I came down actually."

"Um...  I thought we were sending it to you.  Let me check on that tomorrow."  Dawn grinned.  "Other problems?"

"Fury tried to tell me I couldn't date any of the agents.  Because apparently he's mixing me up with some ho."

"No, I know you're not that sort of girl, Dawn.  He's not used to nice young women with skills outside of being an agent."

"I doubt he told his assistant that.  By the way, she hates me."

"I wasn't aware he had one."

"Me either.  Apparently she can't file."

Pepper rolled her eyes.  "I'll look into that.  We're having a trip next week if you're going with us."  Dawn smiled and nodded.  "Good.  I can hear Tony grumping."

She leaned back to look up the hall.  "Boss, you need some chocolate?  You sound like a fourteen-year-old me.  All you need to do is squeal 'oh my god' a few times."

He smiled at her.  "I had chocolate earlier when something wouldn't work."

"Was it a wiring problem like usual or a power issue?  Or did you have one of those genius brain fart ideas?"

"Partially the last two.  I need to be able to counter magic in case we run into it."

"Magic is an energy source on a different spectrum, a more biological one."

"I've been working on a blocker that counters that."

Dawn shook her head.  "The fastest way to stop a witch casting is by a short shot of energy to distract her.  We get really focused and if you can do that in a battle situation you're casting like Willow, which means a taser would work there too."

"That's not a bad idea.  What about blocking it from hitting the suit?"

"Technically if you do that my protection on you falls too."

"I'll take that into account."  He smiled.  "Are they driving you nuts?"

"Yup.  Fury tried to proclaim me a hooker for the whole boat.  Told me I couldn't date anyone up there, because there's so many that I'd want."  She waved a hand in the air.

"He has an assistant?" Pepper asked.

"He did?  Beyond Agent Hill?"  He looked back at Natasha since she was back watching him for Fury.  They had made peace since she seemed to be helping mentor Dawn now and then.

She nodded.  "Technically only in the main office and she's not very tolerant.  She feels Dawn would take her place since she's more glamorous and skilled."  She looked at Dawn.  "A pinky pony?"

"Did you hear what he did?"

"I hadn't."  She typed out a message to someone up there and winced.  "You should've made him a toad."

"I wanted him to stand trial or I would've done that and used him in that new protection spell Tara and I found."

"Good tactical thinking," Natasha praised.

"Speaking of, the emergency people aren't sure why we need an evac plan for LA and Cleveland.  I broke the system to get your reports from Cleveland and the head guy's drunk and hoping like hell we can just close the towns for good."

"They're both too big and have too many industries going on," Pepper said.  "Especially LA."

"Routine freakout over demons?" Tony guessed.  Dawn smiled and nodded.  "Wonderful.  Let me talk to Banner about hellmouths."

"Sunnydale's shut down so he can safely go measure there," Dawn said.  "They tried to stitch it closed but it's still probably leaking."

"I can do that."  He walked off tapping out that message on his phone.

"Director Fury might not like that," Natasha said.

Dawn shrugged.  "There's that whole apocalypse each spring thing going on and we think that they're already building toward this spring's."  Dawn called Buffy from the desk phone.  "It's me."

"Why?" Buffy complained.

"Whine at me again, watch me have someone shut off your chocolate fund, Buffy.  What is going on this spring that Xander's going to have to help you handle?  Bia wants to know."

"Um...  I have no idea."

"We've had some people gathering powerful artifacts," Pepper said.  "We've noticed some pretty heavy hitters with magic heading toward you as well."

"Just what I need," she said dryly.  "I'll ask Giles and Wes, see if they can figure it out."

"Remember to keep the people under Fury in the loop," Dawn said.  "They might have to clean up the edges or something, or Goddess forbid if someone like Loki thinks it's a fine time to attack."

"I hadn't thought of that.  I'll send it to Fury tomorrow."

"Thanks.  Let me know if you need my help too, Buffy.  Stay safe and alive."  She hung up.  "Magic users, artifacts... summoning maybe?" she guessed.  "Recharging or depleting would matter."  She made some notes and handed them to Pepper.  Who smiled at her for it.  "Anyway."  She stood up.  "Am I staying down here or up there?"

"I don't know," Pepper admitted.  She looked at Natasha.

"I have no orders on that either."  She called and walked off.  "Dawn, you're to stay down here if it's not too much for you to report to work."

She shrugged.  "Pepper, can I bum the teleporty thing?"

"Sure," she agreed, smiling at her.

Dawn grinned at Natasha.  "Then I'm going to go home and soak.  I tripped on the stairs earlier."  She disappeared.

"Tripped on the stairs?" Pepper asked.

"That same agent set up a trap to catch the female agents on the stairs to humiliate them.  That's how she stopped him earlier."

"Great."  They shared a smirk.  "You wanted permission for what?"

"Driving lessons.  Including defensive driving."

"Talk to Happy.  I think he's given her a few oral lessons on how to drive."

"I shall."  She went to do that.  "Happy?"  He looked up and smiled at her.  "It's time to teach Dawn to drive."

"Her mother won't allow us to.  She wants her to do driver's ed."

"Her school doesn't offer it.  I'll work on that."  He nodded and held up a set of keys.  "To...."

"The car Alexander had in Sunnydale.  He left it in her care.  It's a fairly modest sedan."

"That should do then.  Thank you."  She walked off making plans to fit driving lessons for the young one into her schedule.  Then she and Barton had to talk to the slayers to make sure they knew who to call when something huge happened.  They were both tired young women who had been fighting too long and might slip and fall any time now. They had to be ready for that.


Natasha Romanoff had not had to talk to many mothers in her day.  Joyce Summers was a very fierce mother.  She was fiercer than some of the people who had trained Natasha into the spy she was today, even being sick.  "I've decided Dawn should have driving lessons."

"I wanted her to do it officially through the school, Ms. Romanoff."

Natasha shook her head.  "They don't offer it."

"Why not?"

"Because most of the children in that school will have drivers."

"I hadn't thought of that.  Even Sunnydale's pathetic school had driver's ed."  She shifted and got comfortable.  "Is this because someone else wants Dawn?"

"It is for her future safety but also because it is a life skill she'll need.  I doubt she'll always be the sort to want to pay a driver and bodyguard."

"It might help if she did," Joyce complained.  "I heard she had a date that got her sent to the ER?"

Natasha smiled.  "The date's ex-boyfriend attacked them for daring to dump him.  They had not been serious.  He and Dawn also agreed he wanted someone who was like her only with fewer scheduling issues.  Just one job, not a job, school, and training."

"Why is she training?"

"So the next time someone wants to take her hostage she can handle it herself.  Every young woman should have self defense lessons, should they not?"

Joyce considered it.  "I don't want Dawn in the field.  I'm going to lose Buffy some day, I don't want to lose both of my daughters," she said calmly.

"Training makes sure of that."  It was a sentiment she understood.  "A few of us have been helping her with things so she's not overly bothered by the senior agents or others who believe her a child."

"I've heard.  I'd like to meet this other big brother she's got."  She sipped her tea.

Natasha smiled.  "He's one of the senior agents and he's the same one that helps Tara."

"That nice boy in the expensive suits?"  Natasha inclined her head.  "Huh.  He did seem decent.  Dawn's got good taste in who she's setting up as a roadsign for a good relationship."  She put her tea mug back down.  "What else do you have planned for my daughter?"

"Originally I was going to see if she could train as an agent.  Dawn has expressed her desire to help in more safe ways, mostly to make sure you do not lose her as well."  Joyce smiled and nodded.  "Though she is aware that the world is a dangerous place, she's taking steps to make sure she is as protected as she can be."

"I like that about her.  Buffy's had to take too many stupid risks over the years."

"Sometimes that is the job, even if it isn't the most pleasant part."

"I know.  I figured that out watching the kids handle apocalypse battles like they were minor things.  Like they were school projects that had to get done."  She sipped her tea again.  Natasha's phone beeped.  Joyce smiled at her.  "Go ahead and check it.  It's probably Dawn."

She did and smiled at the threat Dawn sent her.  She sent back that they'd talk before sparring.  "She is indeed feisty today."

"Dawn's always feisty.  She can be dead on her feet and she'd be feisty."  She stared at her.  "Do not turn my daughter any more dangerous than you have to, Agent Romanoff.  I'm well aware of the fact that you're on that new team.  Not from Dawn but from the news.  Dawn would never tell me anything that would worry me."

"She is very discreet when she wants to be," Natasha agreed.  "That's why we didn't know she had been picked on until she kicked an agent and broke his leg."

Joyce smiled.  "They were picking on her?"

"It was stopped by Agent Coulson and Dawn herself.  I had no idea that a few of them were picking on her until he called a staff meeting to warn people to leave her and Tara alone."

Joyce smiled.  "Tara's a sweet girl and as much one of my daughters as my biological ones."

"She is very sweet.  She bakes cookies.  It's not a skill many women possess today, especially inside SHIELD."

"It's how she thinks.  Willow used to bake for guilt but Tara thinks best when she's doing something like planting or cooking."

"She has been fantastic in the greenhouses as well.  I'll have someone ask her what is troubling her or have her sent to you."  Joyce smiled and nodded.  "As for Dawn, do you have any desires about her going to college?"

"Yes, and she will graduate, unlike her sister.  Buffy ran into a problem with slaying and school, yet again, but I want Dawn to graduate as high up the chain as she can.  Even if she does go back to being an assistant like Ms. Potts.  That woman was very good to my daughter when I was in the hospital."

"She was.  Dawn considers her like a favorite aunt.  They were conspiring over her new shoes for a date this weekend."

Joyce grinned.  "That's my girls, always fashionable."  She stared the agent down.  "Do not let my baby get hurt, Agent Romanoff.  You will not like it when you're forced to realize where Buffy and Dawn get their mean and stubborn streaks from.  Even if I would have to have Xander help me," she said quietly.

Natasha smiled.  "Your younger daughter is much like you in strength.  That is why she came out of your treatment healthy, as you did."  Joyce tipped her head with a smile and sipped her tea.  "I'll make sure she is as safe as she can be."  She stood up.  "I'll let you rest and nag your daughter about her clothes for patrol.  Most of us would want body armor," she said at the odd look the mother gave her.

"Buffy said she can't bait in body armor and it's too restrictive for fighting."

"I'll see if our suits would work for her.  My own is very useful in fights."  She nodded and left.  Joyce hadn't scared her but she was scary in ways that Natasha never could be.  She would never be the mother that Joyce was.  She went to find Dawn.  "Driving lessons."

"She agreed?" she asked, her head popping up from Phil's paperwork.

"She did.  Though you are to pick a college soon.  We are to talk about body armor with your sister so she doesn't have to fight in a skirt and wedge heels again."

Dawn pulled out a picture.  "She went in that outfit a lot her first year in Sunnydale."

Natasha looked at the picture of a teenage Buffy wearing a backless shirt, a fashionably short skirt, and heels.  "That is not the outfit I would want to do battle in."  She handed it back.  "You have more sense."  Dawn grinned.  "Other than that, she wanted you to graduate college and to not join your sister in the field."

"I know.  That's why I'll be like Pepper instead of you.  I don't want to upset her.  She's got enough to worry about with my sister."

Phil smiled at her.  "I think it's a good decision and it'd only wear on you to be in the field anyway.  Speaking of, have we picked a college?"

"We have it narrowed down to four that have all accepted me."  She smiled.  He grinned back.  "I'm calling for a pizza dinner Sunday to go over them since two of them were recommended to me and the other two I'm not sure I want to go to.  I have no idea why Tony wanted me to go to MIT.  I'm not exactly an engineer."

"Good point," Natasha agreed.  "We can civilly talk about it Sunday, barring another attack."

She snapped and found a folder, handing it to her.  "What my sister is looking at this spring.  LA's is a different matter and it's Wolfram and Hart trying to restart.  Xander's been fighting against it but they have some higher demons in their pockets."

"Why didn't you give me that?" Phil complained.

"Because it's probably not going to take the whole team.  Maybe a few agents to back them up, and hopefully engage in some post-apocalypse stress relief with my sister, but not the Avengers."

He hummed and took the folder to look over, wincing at what he saw.  "No, I don't think more than Thor could handle that."

"Thor doesn't do magic," Dawn pointed out.  "He's still confused whenever Tara and I float things."

"Good point."  He smiled at her.  "We'll send it up so they can get some decent agents, and maybe Director Fury will send someone she might like."

"As long as he's not stakeable, I don't think anyone would mind," she offered.  "Oh, and tell them to leave Spike alone?"

"I don't particularly like Spike," he said.

"He guarded me a lot," she reminded him.  "He was my favorite Dawn sitter."

He nodded once.  "I'll tell them he's not a danger to the team at this time."

She smiled.  "He'd appreciate that.  He got so depressed when my sister and Willow treated him like he was helpless.  Only Xander really got that Spike was still dangerous, even if he couldn't harm a human being.  He's the only one that treated him like he was still a master vampire, just a disabled one at the moment.  I think Spike even got a bit suicidal in there when they were chaining him in the bathtub and stuff."

"I've known agents who have gotten that hurt so I've seen it," Phil told her.  "I'll make sure they know he's dangerous, just...a bit disabled thanks to the control chip."  He patted her on the knee.  "Go put on pants?"

She hugged him.  "You're a great big brother and my skirt actually hits my knee when I'm standing.  I'm very demure and proper, even if I am a flirty tease at times."  She smiled at Natasha.  "Isn't that your fault?"

"Perhaps," she agreed.  "Come along, Dawn.  I have the keys to Alexander's former car."  Dawn squealed and hopped up to follow her.

Phil smiled, going back to his own paperwork.  Dawn had taken over eighty percent of it so he could do the classified, important things.  He might actually make it home at a decent hour tonight thanks to her help.  When he got done, he carried things to drop off where they went and took the file about the apocalypse to Fury.  "Sir."

"Coulson."  He held out a hand, accepting the folder.  "Dawn do your paperwork?" he teased with a smirk.

"Yes, sir.  She's done all the mundane things for me within hours."

"Her mother?  I heard Romanoff went to visit."

"She did and got permission to give Dawn driving lessons, sir.  Also, those of us around her are going to talk to her about her college plans on Sunday, barring another fight."

"That's fine.  Girls like her should go to college and then find a real life."

"With her upbringing, she's stated she'll help in the way Ms. Potts does, sir.  She doesn't want to make her mother mourn her as well."

"That's a good daughter," he agreed.  He read the file and winced.  "Shit."

"Basically, yes, sir.  She suggested that it's not something the full Avengers could handle but a few agents might be helpful.  She also suggested that we use this as a way to introduce her sister to decent beings she can't stake if they have a domestic argument."

Fury nodded.  "Might help, yeah.  What about that vampire around them?"

"Spike?  She said he's one of her favorite former babysitters.  He taught her how to pick locks and shoplift."  Fury rolled his eyes.  "The picking locks is handy and if she has to flee something, shoplifting can be a life skill she'll need to gather necessary supplies."

"Point.  A bad one but a point."

"She also said that Spike is still very...human in his outlook.  That his continued... disability due to the control chip has worn on him like agents that have had similar career-ending injuries."

Fury looked at him.  "Do you consider him dangerous?"

"Yes, I do.  According to her, that means I saw something that Alexander did in him.  The girls did not."


"And they used to chain him up in the bathtub."

Fury let out a quiet snicker.  "That had to be hell."  He reread it.  "Assign ten lesser agents to rotate in and out to help her for the next few months.  I want it ended by the end of June.  If they hit on the slayers, that's between them.  Not part of our business."

"I'll pick a team and send them to you for approval, sir."  He left.

Fury sent the information on Wolfram and Hart to the SHIELD office on the west coast.  They had to know what the usual spring problem was.


It was the night before they left for the training camp.  Natasha was walking up the halls carrying dinner and two beers, knocking on a door to an agent's rooms.  He opened it.  "Burgers from the good place?"

"Better than the salads they've been trying to force on us."  He let her in and took his beer to open.  "Thanks, needed that."

She handed him his bag and settled on the chair next to his bed.  "I have been hoarding information that you probably need.  I realized this earlier while giving Dawn a driving lesson and we were talking about the training camp."

He nodded.  "I've heard nice things about it being difficult."  He dug out his burger and ate a bite, moaning.  "The really good place.  How did you get to New Orleans?"

She smiled.  "Stark has a beaming satellite."

"Really."  He put it aside and took a sip of his beer.  "How does that work?"

"You have to be keyed into it."  She sipped her beer and smiled slightly.  "Which you now are for emergencies."  He grinned at her for that.  She went over how things worked around Dawn, including how she worked at Stark.  Fury had been right, too many things happened to Dawn and there was every likelihood that he'd have to help them handle something.  He finished eating while she talked, then asked questions.

"She didn't have a weapons rating beyond 'took some training'."

Natasha nodded.  "She has some training.  Guns are not her first thought.  I have worked on her hand-to-hand many times.  She's not bad but she'll never be senior agent material in that manner."  He nodded slowly.  "She is proficient if not expert at guns.  She's got a size queen issue as she calls it.  Heavier ones always make her focus more."  That got another nod.  "She has a fondness for archaic weapons thanks to her sister's duties and their friends doing what they must.  She can vaguely handle a sword but isn't very sure with the one that's on her wall.  It's mostly for her magical altar thing that I do not understand."

"Okay," he agreed, considering that.  "What about magically?  We were told she had some lower level skills but access to that Key thing."

Natasha nodded.  "She does.  In the past she has passed out by shielding a building so that it was not destroyed during a battle."  He winced.  "That is not a minor skill, no, but she does discount her skills and hides others for her own protection."  She took a sip of her beer.  "Her mother is quite certain she will not have two heroic daughters."

"I can understand that.  It's got to shred her nerves watching over Buffy."

"She's had a very serious health issue."

"I saw the mention of her being in UCLA."

"On oncology.  She had a presumed-caused brain tumor."  He raised an eyebrow.  "Those same ones that were in Georgia.  Which is why we're both getting more scans than normal."

"I thought they were coveting my brain earlier," he said dryly, finishing his beer.  He got her a second one from his mini-fridge.  "I missed a lot being in Arizona."

"You did," she agreed.  "Coulson and I alternated helping her with her later adolescent years.  She's a good, sensible girl but Fury was right.  She's the sister of a hero and the adopted little sister of another in Alexander.  I've had her show up after minor things with bandages and ignore my wishes for some privacy to handle things for me.  Then she left me alone.  Usually with some ice cream or something she picked up."

He smiled.  "So she's a bit more girlish but she's not squeamish and she understands what sort of hell we have as a job."

She nodded, smiling back.  "She does.  I've seen her nag and swat Stark out of a building mood and a sulk both.  He glared at her and she just babbled at him and hugged him on the arm before reminding him about his daughter and walking off."

"Huh."  He sipped his new beer, considering it.  "Would she be willing to take a more minor role in SHIELD?"

"No.  She's quite sure she wants to stay the assistant sort as she put it.  She might take over Mrs. Havers' place.  She is quite snotty to Dawn.  Mostly because we have made Dawn into a glamorous, charming young woman that has the same steel her mother carries in her backbone."  She finished her first beer and tossed out the bottle, opening the other one.  "German?"

"Of course."  He sipped.  "So, she's like Potts the next generation but she's got skills toward helping those of us who might need one some day."

"Yes.  She's also promised if I needed a sudden place to hide some day, or called in a personal reference, then she would do so.  I taught Dawn not to trust anyone outside her made family but those ones she will."

"Which is you, Stark, Potts, and Coulson," he said.  She nodded with another slight smirk.  She sipped her beer and he finished his, getting comfortable on his bed once he had tossed the bottle out.  "That makes sense."

"He is very much her big brother."

"I saw the nagging before her date."  He grinned.  "She seems nice."

"She is until you upset her.  Then she'll growl and do whatever she feels she must.  Oh, and she does swear.  Often."

"Some girls do these days."

"I have heard her swear more than a shipful of Navy SEALs over something irritating but not critical."

"Wow, I don't know many more foul mouthed people than some of the SEALs I know."  He stretched his arms up and back then put them down.  "But if we come in totally injured...."

"She'd fuss over the injuries.  If she must, she does know how to make a last stand sort of situation work for her.  Including having the office attacked.  We've had one or two over the last few years.  She does have a temper."

"She's just about eighteen.  Of course she does."

"No, she has a very fiery temper."  She smiled.  "She turned it on me once when she was having a very bad week at school due to some problematic teachers picking on her.  I let her vent, while Stark was watching, then offered to kill the teacher bothering her.  She told me to give her a knife and she'd do it.  Stark sent her out with Pepper for some shopping time and talked to the teacher, who fled before I could get there."

"Okay," he agreed.  "She's young and handles things but now and then she'll let it get to her."  Natasha nodded.  "That's good to know.  How often do things really happen to her?"

She sighed and pulled up her personal files on that.  "That is what I was there for.  I know there were a few I missed because Coulson filed reports.   A few he may have stopped before then.  They're generally broken into three groups: against her sister, for her magic, or against Stark."

He read them over, one eyebrow going up.  "She had a what?"

She looked then smiled.  "She was very plain child of fifteen when Pepper took over mentoring her.  Two of the guards went to jail over trying to work their way into her pants.  She was not really aware of it at the time but Stark saw them trying to corner her and broke it up before she became aware.  Later on she became more aware of her body.  She is a flirt.  She does tease.  She even teases Stark and makes his week usually."  They shared a look.  "Some day I'll find someone worthy of her and introduce them."

"I heard rumors that she's set Coulson up as a measuring stick."

"He's a good one but she thinks he likes them uptight."

"Great."  He kept reading, shaking his head.  "Football players?"

"They were in it for the virgin points.  She totally dismissed their attempts and went back to clubbing."

He nodded quickly.  "Did anything need to be done?"

"One pinched her and she slugged him, ineffectually but enough that he got the point.  They got thrown out of the club.  Dawn found a safer one.  They went back to campus."  She shrugged.  "She's got sense.  She's sure where she's heading and knows how to get there in ways other than on her back.  She's been saving for her college and paying her own way with Pepper."

"That's good.  Very good actually.  I can't stand the society girls that lay there and want you to do all the work."  He kept reading, shaking his head.  "Someone let Vissily live?"

"Not after that," she said dryly.  He looked at her.  "We had a discussion.  When I showed back up to talk to Stark about him, he wasn't there but Dawn pulled me into an unused lab, babied the few cuts I had, no matter how much I told her to stop it, and then fussed over me.  She said I deserved it for not letting her stab him.  Both punishment and reward, but to next time remember she wasn't a bimbo."

He laughed.  "No, she's clearly not."  He finished the list and handed it back.  "I'll watch out in case someone does try something for her.  I know a few agents here stare."

She nodded.  "You should see it back at the main building in New York.  She's had a few that nearly followed her until Coulson glared at them."

"Some of us are leches," he said dryly.

"More than some."  She stood up.  "This way you know to watch out for her in multiple ways."

"I wouldn't mind someone who fussed over injuries once I'm calmed down."

"She has a bad habit of getting to you before then.  She does me.  She does Coulson.  Pepper still does it for Stark but Dawn helps by bandaging for her."  She left him to think.

He got another beer and relaxed.  Dawn was an interesting topic that would probably drive him nuts in close quarters but if she drew trouble like that he might have to stalk her around now and then to handle it.  It was a good warning.


Xander smiled at the new trainees and the three head people riding herd.  "They needed escorted that much?"

"It got them past the protections and I'm not staying," Phil said, looking around.  "Not bad for the first step of the expansion."  He looked at Xander.  "The shields are down?"

"Yeah, part of the backlash of finding all those elder ones taking vacations on other realms.  They're pissed off.  I'm going to arrange that later."  Phil smiled.  "Gotta wear out the extra energy before I start to be a nightlight.  Bia?" he called.

"Painting," drifted down from the temples.

"So?  Phil's here with the trainees."

She appeared in cut off shorts, a paint-dotted t-shirt, and her dark hair in pigtails.  "Hi, Phil."  She gave him a quick hug.  "Are these the new recruits?"

"Yes, they are."

She smiled.  "Hi, guys.  I'm Bia, Xander's consort.  Excuse the clothes, I've been painting."  They mostly smiled at her.  "We have a bunk house set up.  We're working on expanding things so there's more of you at one time."   She looked at Xander.  "Are you asking Roque to come in?"

"He's going to anyway.  Clay's being moved to the mountain."

"Wonderful."  She grinned.  "Jensen plays a mean hand of cribbage with me."  She smiled at them.  "For now, go ahead and drop shit in the bunk house, take a walk to get acquainted where things are.  Your bunk house has a kitchen area so you can cook.  Because I frankly can't beyond simple breakfasts."

"I can but I'm not great," Xander admitted.  "Once we're fully expanded, there'll be a caf but for right now.... krogers is down the hill."  The agents nodded.  "It's a nice two mile run there and back actually."

"Stopped on the way," Phil assured him.  "Drop your bags, come take a tour."  They walked off.  "Have you met Black Widow and Hawkeye yet?" he introduced.

"I've heard of you both.  Agent Phil tried to get me to flirt with you," he told Widow with a grin, shaking her hand.  "Only the dangerous ones like me." 

Bia swatted him on the arm.  "Which is why I'm only your consort, Xander.  I'm a good girl."  She smiled at the other one.  "If you're staying to supervise, there's two rooms down there for trainers.  One's above the garage, the other's above the indoor gym."  She took them to show them around.

Phil looked at Xander.  "They need to be better and stronger.  They're the agents that will be helping us handle apocalypse battles and the like."

"They can train like we got trained.  If you want to add trainers to that, send them in a week or so."

Roque appeared.  "Training?" he asked.  "Did I hear the siren's call of kicking asses?"

"You did, and they need to be tougher, stronger, and able to handle apocalypse battles," Phil said with a smile.  "Nice work with the wraith, Roque."

"Thanks."  He stared at him then at Xander.  "You did what?"

"Saved him.  Willow brought him back and he's more than worthy of being in the family."

"Your dad's going to start having *plans*," Roque complained.

Xander smiled.  "I adopted him into my house, not my natal house, Roque.  That means he's not related to my dad."

"Even better."  He looked around.  "Shields?"

"We had them."  He found the thing he needed.  "Let me set this into the ground."  He set it and Bia helped him sink it into the rock underneath the soil.  Xander poured layers of magic and energy onto it.  "Let it sink in then we'll anchor the edges again."  Roque came over to add his own.

Ares appeared and shaped it better.  "Zeus is back."

"Really?"  They shared a look.  "Am I going to hear more hissies?"

"No.  Not once he heard what was going on."  They looked up as the shields went back over the valley.  "Thanks, Mother."  They shared a look then he looked over the recruits.  "Military so partially trained.  I'll have John sent to help with his people."

"I can go ask him," Xander said with a smile.  "It'll help with a few things."  Roque looked and growled.  "Phil, give us a few."  He disappeared, flashing onto Atlantis in full brilliance mode.  "Hi."  He smiled.  "I need you and your two warriors to come help me with some training of agents for future apocalypse battles.  Yours against the wraith can only help them and even I have problems beating Ronon and Teyla."

"She's got her son," John admitted.

"That's fine.  The house is pretty kid proof with the dog."  He smiled at the watching people.  "Oh, I remember you.  You tried to kill Tara by burning her alive."  The woman flinched and moved off.  He felt something hit his back and slammed his elbow back to kill that one.  He pulled out the needle and handed it over.  "Feels like a sedative."  He bound the idiots and floated them to the gateroom.  He looked at John when two were in uniform.

"No clue about them," he admitted.  "Do I have a house there?"


"Wonderful.  We'll be up later and I'll bring Rodney so he has some defragging time."

"There's enough spare rooms available for Clay to bring his team too," Xander said with a grin.  "Fury sent us some trainees."

"Oooh," he said with a hiss and a happy smile.  "That's sweet."  He patted him on the arm.  "Later."

"Yup."  He disappeared, going back home.  "John will show up later."

Roque smiled.  "Good!  Did they drug you?"

"Tried, didn't make it.  Hey, Bia, NID came for John again.  They were trying to hit him with fertility meds."

"They're so fucking toast.  I'm telling his mother."  She called her while she was showing the trainees where everything was.

Xander and Roque both shuddered.  "If my mother shows up to nag, just smile and nod," Xander told Phil.  "And then remind her that I adopted you into my house, not hers.  And if she's pregnant, just flee.  It's always better to run."

"I remember her trying to flood the hell carrier while in flight."   He looked around.  "Not too many perching spots for Barton.  He likes to hide in higher up areas."

Xander pointed.  "They're subtle but there's places overlooking the training ring, the pond, and a few other areas so we can stare down at them."

"Good.  Dawn wanted dinner on Sunday to talk about her college choices."

Xander smiled.  "We can host."  He nodded and got sent back home.  Xander looked at Roque.  "I told Clay he could bring his team."

"I have spare rooms."

"I told John to bring Teyla and Ronon if they wanted."

"His temple has rooms and we can add Teal'c too."  He went to get him from the base.  "Teal'c."  The alien looked at him.  "Xander has some greenie agents in for training.  He wanted to know if you wanted to come help kick them around."

"It would be amusing," he agreed with a smile.  "I will be there tomorrow?"

"That's fine.  Call and we'll come pick you up."  He looked at O'Neill.  "He went to save John too.  Said something about NID and fertility drugs."

"Great," he said sarcastically, calling out there.  "Sheppard, what the fuck happened?"

"The usual, sir.  Idiots in charge syndrome.  I need to finish cleaning them up and discharge two people back to you because they got caught as well."  He hung up.

O'Neill shook his head.  "Great," he repeated.  "Roque, I've got some green team members too."

"He needs to put in more bunks.  He's only got twelve set up right now."

"That's fine.  We can help him with that soon."  They shared a smirk.  "Everyone from the city has two weeks of downtime."

"Great."  He flashed out, going to gather the team, and the few family members, to bring back to his temple.  Hephaestus was looking around.  "Did we break something already?"

"No, not hardly.  Zeus wanted to look around.  He thinks everything's too small."

"We're still adding on," Roque reminded him.  "We're going to be adding on new trainee barracks and things next.  More temples will come as more of us settle here."

Hephaestus smiled and nodded.  "We can do that now."  He crafted the expansion spell.  "I need three senior gods to help."  Xander came up to pour energy into it.  He blinked.  "How did you do that?"

"Got tortured, drugged, and nearly died," he said dryly.  Zeus showed up with the real Odin, you could tell.  "Doing some expansion work," he quipped.

Odin stared at him.  "How did you do that?"

"Torture, drugging, explosion?  Few weeks back?"

"Oh, dear."

"Apollo had to save him.  He was going to atomic bits when he finally shut off the link," Roque told them.  "Of course, he had been deaged to six at the time thanks to Rosenburg."

"What is wrong with Hecate?" Zeus asked.  They moved to anchor the stretching spell.  Two others that still liked Xander showed up to do that.

"We think Rosenburg did some sort of linking, friendship sort of spell on her early in her magical tinkering," Xander said.  "When she finally dies, Hecate's going to feel it like the loss of a special friend."  Zeus grimaced but nodded.

Odin looked around.  "Not many of your mother's touches."

"She's still mad."  He shrugged.  "Krishna considered that whole incident a *test* I had to pass."

"If I had known, we would have stopped it sooner," Odin said blandly.

Xander stared at him.  "I'd hope so since that nearly got this whole plane eradicated."   Zeus shuddered.  "Yeah.  Basically."  Ares showed up to add to the protections and then added a few new buildings to the training grounds.  "We need more barracks and a caf, plus staff housing," Xander joked with a grin.

"I put in a caf.  Most soldiers can't cook."

"I think field cooking lessons are always a good idea," Xander admitted.  "That way you don't starve."

"That's what MRE's are for," Roque quipped.

Xander looked at him.  "Eww."  Roque nodded he agreed.  "We're still going to teach them to spit cook and those sort of things.  Just in case since their job could have them sent to another world or realm where they'd have to hunt for their food."

"Good point."  Hephaestus looked down there and got what he thought the trainees needed.  Ares added more.  Zeus huffed but he and Odin upped the valley again and more senior gods came to help.  It was pretty rare that anyone set up anything new beyond an apartment.  Some of the demis came to help too.

John showed up with his people.  "Did we miss the party?" he asked.

Zeus looked at him.  "You broke out," he said bluntly.

"While Xander was six, I was his placeholder."

"You might still be my placeholder," Xander admitted, feeling around.  "Yeah, you are."  He called it back to him but it still left John a god.  "Cool."  They shared a smirk.  "Look, new agents to train," he cooed.

"Cool," John said with a smirk back.  "Let's find our home temple, guys."  Hephaestus and Roque took them to look that over.  The God of Builders called his other ones in to help put up things like a drinking hall for the demis and full gods.  They needed a meeting area that wasn't a bar in London.


Xander was watching the groups spar the next morning.  "He's not bad," he admitted.

"Natasha is wiping the floor with him," Hawkeye complained.

"Jensen's a Delta trained soldier."

"That explains why she's wiping the floor with him."  Natasha got Jensen pinned but Jensen changed and pounced.  "What the fuck," he said, staring in awe.

Xander grinned.  "Jensen's also from one of our refugee communities."  Barton stared at him.  "Dragons, yup."

One of the agents in training raised his hand.  "How did he do that?" he called.

"Birthright gift," Xander called back.

"Oh, never mind then."  He shook himself until he could think straight.

Jensen shifted to his smaller size and grinned at him.  "Awww, you're so adorable when you're confused!"  He licked Natasha on the cheek and grinned.  "Two of the agents aren't all that surprised."

She stood up and looked at them.  "You two, change," she ordered.

"Can't down here, ma'am.  I have no idea how he did it," one admitted.  Jake changed back and walked over to teach him.  The other one listened and huffed but changed.

Xander stared at him.  "Dude, sun and protein, today," he ordered.  The dragon huffed but nodded.  The other one changed and Jake made him go hunt down his own food since he was nearly white.  The other went with him.  He smiled at Natasha.  "Not all of us are the best bare-handed fighters, though there are some."  He pointed.  "These are Ronon, Teyla, and Teal'c.  They work with John and General O'Neill's people.  Teal'c is from a warrior society.  He's older than all of us but the demigod contingent.  Teyla's people were fighting beside John on Atlantis.  Ronon's people were wiped out by the wraith.  He was used as a training exercise by the wraith and lasted seven years."

Natasha nodded.  "Thank you all for doing that."  Ronon smiled at her.  "We'll see who is better."  They nodded and sparring practice was on.  Teyla was good.  She needed weapons so that was easily arranged.  Teal'c and Ronon were both excellent fighters and it was nearly happy making for her to find someone who could beat her.  "We need to see if either of you can spar against Rogers."

"Steve can come here any time he wants," Xander promised.  He looked at the others.  "For those of you who haven't figured it out, I'm Alexander, Protector of Mankind."  A few shivered.  He smiled.  "Son of the Loki from this realm, unlike the one that attacked New York, and a Hindu River Goddess.  I've been in every battle for Valhalla and half of the ones in other pantheons.  I'm very much a weapons person instead of a bare-handed fighter.  Roque, who is a demigod from Africa, is better at hand-to-hand.  He was taught singular hunting and stalking.  I was taught full field battles.  Before I ascended, my job was guarding the villages."

One agent raised his hand.  "Then Thor is your uncle?"

"Yes."  He smiled.  "He's a very tolerant uncle."  That agent nodded.  "Though he and I have gotten into a few knock down, hair pulling fights over the years."  They smiled.  "Behind the others is my half-brother John.  He's also known as Colonel Sheppard."  A few smiled and nodded at him.  "He was running Atlantis.  I hid up there a few times when I got sick."

"You'd better never pass out at my feet ever again," John warned with a smile.  "Or else I'll beat them to death and then hire someone to nag your ass."

"Yes, dear."  He blew a kiss.  "Behind him is actually Tyr, who is our war god in Valhalla.  Ares threatened to pop in a few times too.  So the bearded guy in leather is Ares."  They all nodded.  "We all have things we can teach you, even if I can't beat the lovely Agent Romanoff in a sparring session.  Though I'd never play that nice in a real fight."

She smiled back.  "Of course not.  Then it's whatever works."

"It is."  He smiled at the group.  "We're also going to be teaching you guys how to spit cook and things just in case.  That'll be dinner one night while you're here.  Until then, any questions?"

"Are all sparring matches out here?" one of the agents asked.

"Yes.  How often do you think your battles will be in nicely air conditioned buildings?"  The agent blinked.  "You'll be sparring out here each morning no matter what it looks like.  Even if there was a foot of snow you'd be out here, because most of your battles will be outside."

Hawkeye nodded.  "They usually are.  Range?"  Xander pointed at a new building.  "Where was it before?"

"There but no building.  I haven't gotten the fancier stuff put in yet so it's fairly basic.  If you want to make them go hunting for their spit cooking lesson that's fine.  I was going to teach basic snares and traps."

"No, we can work with that," he decided.  "What's on your agenda for training?"  Xander showed him the schedule.  "Not bad.  Sparring most mornings, endurance work in the afternoons in various ways.  A morning of practical non-battle skills that could save your life if you're in trouble.  Spit cooking?"

"How often is it possible that they'll be displaced or have to fade to protect someone?" Xander asked.

"I've had to use it in the past," he admitted.  "There's not always a 7-11 on the corner."  The agents groaned.  "Welcome to field work," he quipped.

"They're also doing three planned patrols with the slayers in Cleveland or LA."  Xander pointed.  "That way they're used to the vampires, demons, all that and you can make sure they don't freak out at the strange issues that might pop into their lives."

"That's not a bad idea.  A few of these are going to be rotating off to the hellmouth now and then.  Is that why you have a basic lesson in sword work?"

"Yup.  And another one in crossbows and stakes."

"Good."  He handed it back.  "This morning is sparring to make sure you have some skill in it," he said.  They nodded, moving to test against the better warriors.  Teyla wiped the floor with most of them.  Ronon certainly did and he was already ordering the boys in how to do it better.  As was Teal'c.  O'Neill showed up with some new military members for his away teams and they got involved too.  By the time lunch was called everyone was sore.  Bia showed them where the showers were, including the thermal mineral spring she had called up for their needs.  They ate, soaked for an hour, then got back to work.

If they noticed Xander was taking his own opportunity to train against the better warriors, no one mentioned anything.  It was always a good idea to up your skill set.


Barton was watching the kids fight from the cliff-side walkway a few days later.  "They're tired."

Xander nodded.  "They have tomorrow off, even if they don't know it yet."  He looked at him.  "They've got to be better.  If there's a real apocalypse battle, it'll probably be a multi-day one next time.  They're not up to where they could have been at the one in LA and not had to fall down during it."

"Those times you pull up extra energy somehow," Clint said.

Xander nodded.  "Yeah, but they don't have that pool yet.  They will.  Give it a few more weeks.  A few are finding it filling."  That got a nod.  "You wanted to ask so go ahead."

"I actually had a few questions.  Consort?"

"Odin demanded that all the gods in Valhalla or attached to them marry and have kids.  I pointed out I'm the only grandkid and I didn't want his throne.  Especially after we had my dad taking over for a bit when my uncle was banished for being a teenage boy again."

"I saw."

Xander smiled.  "I kicked his ass a few times over things."

"I saw the aftermath with that one."  He shifted.  "So she's your political spouse?"

"We've been friends for years.  She, me, and John used to prank everyone.  It solved people nagging her that she should remarry, because she was at one point in time, and it solved me giving in to Odin's demands.  I was dating Carolyn Lam, out of the SGC."  He nodded he had heard of her.  "But she didn't want to become immortal to stay mine.  She suggested it and we're still casually seeing each other but she doesn't want to be immortal."

"That can suck I guess.  So you two aren't really more than sharing a temple?"

"Yeah, basically.  Bia wasn't really allowed to hang out with anyone.  So that solved another issue for her.  Odin wants us to have kids but I sponsored a few energy pregnancies to get rid of some taints I have.  It just weeded them down pretty far," he said at the confused look he was getting.  "So that got past the whole 'has to have a kid' thing.  Bia and I are in the sort of consortship that if we find someone we really want, we can break it by going to Hera and asking politely.  She knew it was to get Odin off my back, get Bia out of nagging range, and to help me set up here."  He grinned.  "If you want to flirt with her, she'll probably giggle and swat you but if you get farther than that, it's fine with me.  That's all up to her."

"Thanks.  She's a sweet lady."  Xander burst out cackling, shaking his head.  "I guess all women have it sometimes."

"Yup.  She's a hellion when she wants to be.  Though she's always sweet to Star Wars fans."

Barton smiled.  "I guess since she's the Goddess of Force they worship her?"  Xander smiled and nodded.  "That's great."  He leaned on a rock, watching the kids spar.  "One still hasn't learned what sunscreen is."

"Lack of common sense happens.  I should send him to that world I landed on after Rosenburg blew up Sunnydale.  Two suns."

Barton stared at him.  "Huh?"  Xander removed the glass eye, making him wince.  "When did that happen?"

"When Rosenburg blew up Sunnydale.  I was caught in the blast then she sent me and Roque to a world with two suns so we couldn't get out of there.  Had to go through the SGC.  General Landry got overruled by my father to get me back.  It's the last time I asked my father for a favor.  The first time in over six centuries too thinking about it."  He put it back.

Clint stared.  "So you two aren't close?"

"No, not since he wanted me to marry Roque.  It was an alignment attempt and a plan.  It was the worst idea ever.  I walked when Roque became an asshole about wanting me as a wife instead of an equal.  Now he's happier.  I'm glad I made them get together."

Barton nodded.  "I've seen him and his consort."

"They were teammates.  On the same Delta team that Jensen and the others were on."

"That's actually not a bad base for a relationship.  Why didn't they work it out?"

"Roque had turned on them for a bit.  Got totally pissed off at Clay's attraction to crazy bitches."  Barton shuddered.  "So he walked and got tangled in with the other side, which had gotten them declared dead.  Roque asked me to save them so I did some fixing there and ended up setting them up together."  He grinned.  "They're still growling about the whole sex sling discussion thing I set up."

"You did?"

"I so did."  He smirked at the agent.  "It worked too.  They talked and figured it out fairly fast."

"Huh.  I'll keep that in mind."  Xander cackled.  The sparring agents looked up.  "Get back to it, boys.  You have another two hours."  They groaned, got a drink, and went back to sparring with Teal'c, who loved teaching.  "So, Buffy.  Any good in anything but patrolling?"

"That can depend on how far up her ass her head is.  Now and then she thought I was normal before I showed what I really am."

"I heard she gave Dawn that speech too."

"I'm pretty sure Dawn popped back that she wasn't that normal."  He smiled.  "Dawn's a good girl."

"She seems pretty feisty but decent."

"Her mom made sure she's not a bitch like her sister can be.  Then again, I'm not sure if the bitch is partially the slayer essence or not."  He shrugged.  "We were a group that worked together, like the X-Men in the comics, not a team like yours is."

"I can see that.  Ours is growing into a tighter team framework."  He considered it.  "That Spike guy?"

"Spike's a master vampire.  He can find a way around the chip, and has found a way around the chip to fracture the group in the past, but the girls treat him like he's a tamed tiger that is now toothless.  Spike isn't toothless.  He's happy with the belly scratches and the picking on Buffy.  Spike's about a hundred and twenty.  Turned by Angelus and Dru.  Speaking of, she's around somewhere.  We have got to get you guys her file."  He found his phone and tapped until he found it, handing it over.  "Special filters catch them."

"Good to know."  He read it over.  "I've seen her."  He looked around.  "Natasha!"  She looked up.  He waved the phone.  She jogged up to get it to look over.  "Remember her?"

She looked then nodded.  "Prague," she said.

Xander grinned.  "That drove her battier than she had been.  Spike was the vampire helping and guarding her.  They were together for over a century.  He protected her when she was talking to the stars and her doll Miss Edith."  He took his phone back.  "I know she's somewhere in the US."

"Miami," Barton said with a grimace.  "Can you send that to Coulson?"  Xander nodded, tapping out a message and sending it to him.  He got back a text message from Dawn.  He told her why.  She said she'd brief him.  Xander put his phone up.  "Thanks.  We don't need vampire agents."

"If so, Buffy might like that," he said dryly.

Natasha shuddered.  "Dawn suggested that we send agents who might flirt with her."

"She goes for dangerous and predatory," Xander said.  "Angel, and Angelus lusting when he lost his soul.  Spike.  Riley Finn."  Barton growled.  Xander smiled.  "I take it you met him?"

"I read that file."

"They dated for nearly eight months.  He always wanted more backup than Buffy."

Natasha snorted.  "Wimp."  She walked off to get back to training.  Teal'c looked at her.  "About a vampire we have run into that Xander knew."

"I find those things disturbing but they must be handled."

"If you run into Dru, she's a seer and she can warp your mind without really trying too hard," Xander called down.

"And she thinks you're her kitten," John quipped.  "Because only dangerous women like you that way, Xander."

"So true.  Thankfully Bia is giggling over them now."

"If you want to date a dangerous woman, you go right ahead," Bia called from where she was planting trees with Tara.  "I know we're only consorts."

Xander rolled his eyes.  "That's why Bia's a really good friend."

"I saw Anya and kitty hissed at her until she left the agent she was teasing alone," Tara called.

"One did?" Xander asked.

"Yup.  She thought he was very much like you and might like her favorite things."

"Torture or oral sex?" Xander quipped.  Tara glared at him.  He looked at the gaping trainee agents.  "If Anya comes onto you guys, remember that she's very old, very tricky, and really likes money and oral sex."  They just nodded.

Teal'c considered it then looked at John.  "Did she perhaps show up on the base?"

"Yeah, trying to flirt with O'Neill.  She walked off crying when she found out Xander had lost his eye.  Not because he had been injured but because he was now disfigured.  She's a bit shallow, even after her stint as a vengeance demon.  As Dawn puts it, she's all about the moans and the moolah."

"Ah, yes, I do remember her correctly.  She was the one that was talking about needing oral sex," Teal'c said.

Teyla looked over.  "Did she not know discretion?"

"She never quite figured that out when she got rehumaned," John said.  "She wore out Xander for nearly a year.  She worked but wanted him to pay for everything.  If she wasn't satisfied, she told *everyone* in hearing at the top of her lungs.  She was not the sort of girl I want my baby brother to date."

"We should introduce her to Stark," one of the trainee agents quipped.

"He'd never get building time again," Xander called.  "At the time we were dating, I was working construction, patrolling with Buffy, and then going home to her needs."

"Which is why he no longer sleeps unless he's sick," Bia quipped.  "Damn glad I don't have to deal with the stamina though.  I heard how normal people pass out."

Xander stuck his tongue out at her and zapped her lightly on the ass.  "I'm not that bad anymore.  I've calmed down a lot."

John looked at him.  "Should I even mention the three hours of oral sex that knocked out your last girlfriend so hard she asked for an intervention?"  Xander blushed and ducked his head.  "At least she was happy in that scary smiling way."  He walked over to hug his brother.  "I'm sorry I teased," he said quietly.

"How is she doing?"

"She's good.  She's found a slightly normal guy to date.  He reminds us of you but less intense."  Xander nodded at that.  "You'll find someone great."  He patted him on the cheek.  "Shouldn't you be sparring?"

"I'm going later against Ares.  I need to find ways to weed out more energy every day."

"Good."  He went back to the training ring.  "One more hour then lunch, people."  They got back to work.

Barton looked at the young-ish God next to him.  "You have way more stamina than I do," he said quietly.  Xander grinned at him.   "Three hours?"

"Anya really liked oral sex once I showed her what it was.  It helped with her needing and wanting six or more a night.  There was one Sunday night where I gave her about five hours because it was her birthday and that's what she wanted for it.  Then about an hour of regular sex."

Clint Barton stared, mouth slightly open.  "Huh.  I'm never dating her."

"You don't make the sort of money she'd like her boyfriend to have," he quipped.  "She's a present girl."

"Ah, yeah, not my type.  Mine get me as a present."

"She wanted me as a present and then presents.  Buffy retrained her to modern thinking by Cosmo."

Barton shook his head, going to spar to get those thoughts out of there.  "Five hours of oral sex and then an hour of regular sex," he told Natasha.  She stared.  "Her birthday."  She shuddered and attacked him.  "Thank you!"  The trainees gave them a corner of the sparring field.  It was good for them too.

"The sad thing is she wouldn't reciprocate," John complained.  "Xander would've been a lot happier if she had."

"Hey," Xander complained but he was grinning.  "But you're right, she never did.  Guys, after lunch, you're all doing the obstacle course."  The trainees all whined.  "Tough, guys.  I need this area for working on my power stuff with Ares."  They nodded and trudged off for lunch.  Bia always fixed them lunch and it was nice.  Xander looked at the others.  "Go eat too."  They smiled and headed off to inhale the spread Bia put out for them.  Ares appeared, looking at him.  "I can't find enough tasks every day to wear some of that out," he said quietly.

"I figured you couldn't."  He took off his vest.  Xander removed his shirt, and they went at it for a while, then included powers into the battle.  "Doing better," he admitted during it.  The trainees were watching them.  "Your stamina is still up."

"Anya helped me build it a lot," he quipped back, wiping some sweat off his forehead before it got into his eyes again.  "I need a headband.  You're barely sweating."

"I live in a hotter climate," he said dryly.

Bia strolled out with glasses of water without ice.  Too cold would make their stomachs cramp.  "Take a break, boys, before I prove what a goddess can do."  They smiled and rested, Xander walking around in circles while he drank so he wouldn't cool down too much.   "Good boys."  She took the glasses back.  "It's been an hour."  Ares shrugged.  "Fine.  When you're done manfully grappling with each other, I'll make dinner."  She strolled off.

Ares looked at Xander.  "If you had to have a consort, she's a really good one."

"She is, yeah."  He grinned and attacked.  Ares growled in pleasure and it was on again.

Natasha looked over their style.  "He holds back with us."

"He knows humans are more fragile," John said.  "Even us demigods.  He'd never use his full powers or full strength on us."  They nodded that was reasonable.  The lesser agents sent up silent prayers for that mercy.  "Ten minutes then ropes."  They groaned but went to the bathroom, got another bottle of water, and headed for the obstacle course.  John had to show them how to get across the one part that appeared to need godly powers to flash across.  There were actually subtle stepping stones and then a climb back up to the next part because you had to be higher to get across the next part.  The agents groaned but got to it.  They were learning a lot.


Dawn appeared with Phil Coulson that Saturday.  "We're staying over," she quipped with a grin for Bia.

"Of course you are.  He has a room in our temple and so do you, Dawn.  The agents are being whiny today."

Phil nodded.  "We can fix that.  What's the schedule?"

"Two more hours of sparring and then the obstacle course.  That's Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday's schedule."

He nodded, taking off his suit jacket and handing it to Dawn.  "Let's go help."

"You should change.  It's dusty," Bia said.  "Go get some of Xander's jeans and t-shirts, Phil."  He nodded, smiling for that courtesy.  Then he and Dawn went down there.

Dawn sighed.  "Hi, Teyla."

"Dawn."  She pulled her over.  "I am using you to show new moves."

"That's fine.  You did a good bit of training with me on the city."  She got to work against her.

"Why is she wearing a skirt?" one of the agents asked.

"Because I'm a girl," Dawn quipped back.  "It's mostly girls who wear skirts.  Now and then you get a guy who does, and sometimes they have very good taste, but mostly it's girls who wear skirts."  She grinned at the senior agents who were laughing.

"I think he means you should've changed," Ronon said.  He looked her over.  "You do look cute in that.  Very girlish.  People would underestimate you."

Dawn grinned.  "That's half the point."  She got sent some shorts by Bia so she went to change and came back to kick some more butt.  Teyla was very patient with her.  The older woman had agreed that some were meant to be front-line fighters and some were meant to be home defense and Dawn did good with that area so she was training her in that instead of going out to hunt down threats.

Phil nodded at John Sheppard.  "I believe I need to see how they're doing."

"Sure."  He pointed.  "Front and center.  You're the weakest we have right now on sparring."  He nodded but grimaced, coming out to get kicked around.

"Agent Coulson, how is your skill level?" Ronon asked.

"I haven't had the time to spar recently.  I would be honored to gauge myself against you, Ronon.  I read your history file and it amazed me."  Ronon smiled and attacked.  It was a good fight.  Ronon was younger, faster, and stronger but Phil had his own strengths in the battlefield.

"Wow," Xander said, coming down.  "Ronon, don't pick on Phil.  He needs a challenge that doesn't have a sprained shoulder.  Teal'c?"  He nodded and came over.  Xander looked Ronon's shoulder over, doing a minor healing spell.  "Have Roque finish that.  Should be as good as new."  He nodded and walked over to Roque.  That helped and then he got to spar with Clay's whole team.  They were good but could do better at times.  Not many were physical weapons instead of firing weapons fighters.

Phil bowed to Teal'c.  "I've read your history as well, Master Teal'c.  I'd be honored to be beaten by you."

Teal'c smiled.  "You have spent too much time talking to those who sit and do paperwork."

"Yes, unfortunately I have."  They got into it and it was good to be moving.  Teal'c was in a class all his own.  "Have any of the junior agents shown skills that we should hear about?"

"A few show some brains and some tactical skills.  Most are....  Field soldiers I believe you call them."

"That's fine.  In any battle there's a place for them and a place for those who can act alone to cause greater damage."

Barton and Natasha were watching.  "Dawn's showing your style too," he said quietly.  She smiled and nodded.  "Coulson's doing really good.  I can't get that good with Teal'c."

"He's been a warrior for over a hundred years.  You respect that sort of dedication and service," Natasha said.  She was paying more attention to Dawn and walked out there. "I taught you better."  Dawn huffed but nodded and did it like she had been shown.  Teyla paused them and showed her a different way of doing it which worked a bit better.  "That is better," Natasha agreed.  She turned it into a three-way battle and it was better.  Teyla could let go against her where she didn't against Dawn.  They had talked about Dawn's skills before.  She understood where Teyla had trained her and why she had trained her for home defense sort of action instead of front-lines fighting.  It was a good thing.  "She still needs weapons training time," Natasha warned.  Dawn was panting and nearly out of energy.

"I can teach her the rods as I was taught."  Dawn summoned them and panted, leaning down.  "Get some water and come back, Dawn."  She nodded, going to do that.  Xander handed her a bottle of water to gulp.  She showed Natasha how to use the bantos rods.  She was a quick learner and very good with all weapons.

"She was playing with my klingon weapon too," Xander called with a grin and a wave.  "Dawn, you have some smaller weapons coming for your birthday present."

"Thanks, big brother."  She hugged him.  Xander flashed off and came back with a box.  She cooed as she opened the package.  "Oh, wow," she breathed.  "Like yours?"

"Yup, like mine," he agreed with a smile.  "Plus a new set of daggers that are just yours.  You can magically mark them so you can retrieve them."  She hugged him and walked over to Natasha to show her.

"We can train you with those," she agreed.  "Good choices, easily concealed, good in most fights you would get into."  Dawn beamed and put them back, coming back to learn bantos rod work.  Natasha smiled at Xander, who grinned back.

"Those are some deadly women, even if one is only deadly in a cute way," one of the trainees said to his friend next to him.  He yelped and ducked when a hard object hit his head at high velocity.  "Ow!"  He rubbed the spot.

"Dawn, bantos rods are not for throwing.  There are clubs for throwing," Teyla said patiently.

Dawn summoned it back and smiled.  "He called me cute like I'm a puppy."

"Your sister is more the fluffy, cute puppy sort," Barton said with a grin and a wave from his safe spot.  Natasha was his own version of the pissed off goddess society.  He knew how deadly she was.  He was staying out of the way.  And learning a lot about how Dawn could do things in case he had to protect her.  He had learned that even if they had to protect Alexander due to him being on death's doorstep the guy wouldn't let anyone fuss over him.  Maybe Bia or if he was with someone they might get some fussing time.  John might now and then when he was in the infirmary but otherwise no one was going to be able to do more than corral Xander into his spot in battle.  Barton looked at him.  "Fury said....."

Xander held up a hand.  "I heard Fury's crackhead idea that I'm not good enough."  He looked at him.  "He's wrong."

"He wanted you to have a less ground-oriented spot until you were a bit more healed."

"I can and have handled ground combat in a number of wars.  I will again I'm sure.  I did during the invasion and I was very new to my powers then.  Beyond that, I'd probably get there before you guys did.  I tend to get this calling pull in my blood to go handle things."

"I don't think any of us would mind that but he wanted you up higher instead of on the ground for a while."

"I may not be the special sort of agents you guys are, but I'm still damn good at what I do."  He walked off before he lost his temper.  He knew it wasn't the guy's fault.  It was Fury's fault for thinking he was *normal*.  Why Fury was turning into Buffy he wasn't sure.  Maybe Rosenburg had infected him from her jail cell.

Dawn glared over at him.  "I'd so run," she mouthed.  "Now."  She got back to it.  Dawn noticed he didn't take that advice so she'd talk to him later about upsetting Xander that way.


Dawn let the nice agent guy wake up and smiled sweetly at him.  "Let's talk."  She noticed when he realized she was: a, sitting on his chest, b, he was tied down to the bed, and c, she was not a happy camper.  "My sister, in all her stupidity before she found out he was a demigod, thought Xander was *normal*.  A lot.  Tried to use it and her special girl status with Willow to push him away.  Hell, my sister tried that with me recently," she said, checking her manicure.  She looked at him.  "Which you just restarted.  Why?"

"We were talking about later battle placements.  How did you do this?"  This was not the normal interrogation he was used to.  No hitting, no screaming, no real threat, just one really pissed off teenage girl.

"Did you think the magic only floated coffee?"  He slowly shook his head.  "Did you think I didn't learn a few handy spells to help if I get taken hostage by some magic using mother fucker who wants to bleed me for their sick and twisted desires?"

"I think you're learning a bit too much from Natasha and don't swear.  Good girls don't."

Dawn leaned down.  "I've seen my sister slaying and went on a few patrols before Buffy cut it off.  Buffy's *very* concerned that I'm not normal enough, even though I'm more special than she is, and then she complains when I can't handle it myself.  Which is why I asked for self-defense lessons."  He nodded slowly at that.  "You clearly did not get a good history on Xander.  You upset him and I don't let anyone upset my big brother.  Not you, not his ex's, no one."  She stared at him.  "Why did you upset him?"

"Fury wanted him to take a higher up approach for battles until he was fully healed and back in control."

She snorted and waved a hand.  "Xander is older than most of the countries in the world.  He was born before writing started."  He winced.  "He's been in battles for a *very* long time.  And you want to sit a warrior like him way up high to take shots with you?  No.  Not only no but hell no!  I have no idea why Fury is turning into my sister but no!"

"Eww, just saw him in her outfit," he said, scrunching his eyes closed.  She batted him hard.  "Hey!"

"Focus, jackass."  He glared.  She stared back.  "Like the pink pony, I can make sure you never get to upset my big brother again."  He nodded, calming himself back down.  "Good."  She smiled as she adjusted the pillow under his head.  "Do you really think that's a good idea after learning some more?"

"I think he's tired and sore," he said.

"Has that ever stopped any real warrior?"

"No," he admitted.  "But it means they die from it."

She shook her head.  "It'd take one hell of a lot of damage to kill Xander and he'd probably just reciprocal deage again."  Barton slumped.  "Yeah, like last time.  Beyond that, he's a full god now.  Do you know how few things there are to kill real gods?  Hinds' blood only works on Greek gods, not Norse or Hindu gods.  There's a special dagger that kills Hindu gods, but Xander's only half so it only hurts him a lot.  Only another Norse god can kill one of them and Xander's half there so they'd only damage him a lot."  She stared at him.  "The only thing that can really kill Xander is himself."

"I get that.  He's still tired."

"Which is pretty well why he's set up here to train people."

"He still said he'd be at battles."

"Well, yeah," she said dryly.  "He is the God Protector of Humanity."  Barton frowned.  "That's his official title.  If there's a battle that could hurt a great portion of humanity, or all of it, he's going to feel the need to be there.  Symbolically he'll always take one of the first blows of the battle too.  That's kinda part of the calling," she said, talking down to him.  She started to touch his forehead but he ducked.  "Hold still.  I'm showing you something, not hurting you."  He did and she showed him the first few minutes of the battle.  "It probably wasn't on Fury's little tape."

"No, it wasn't."

"Figures."  She stared at him.  "Beyond that, you seriously underestimated Xander."

"I know he went into the one in New York as a kid.  Fury didn't want it to happen again."

"Fury has no say over what Xander does and does not do.  Hell, the gods Xander swears allegiance to have no say over what Xander does and doesn't do."  She stared at him.  "Underestimating the Sunnydale team is always a fatal mistake.  We may be dysfunctional but we are a family in many ways.  Xander was the backbone of the family at times, Mom was the rest.  He was the one that helped Buffy by jumping in, even though it wasn't done and the Council had a price on his head for it.  He's the one that backed her up, made her see that backup was good for her, got her straightened out when she went spastic about dying that first time, all of it.  And for that she treated him like shit and he still helped her.  Perhaps you should learn something from her experience?"

"I didn't mean to put him down, Dawn.  I was starting off by telling him what Fury wanted for the next few battles so he could talk to me about how he did things."

"Well, you done fucked up," she said bluntly.  "Xander's never going to take a behind the scenes spot if he can get in there and help.  Hell, Xander didn't have to be in any of those battles and he was.  Even the ones up there in Asgard.  He was to guard the villages, not jump in when the main hall was attacked."  He nodded.  "You two are a lot alike underneath the superhero costume.  Think what you would've done if someone had started off that way with you."

"I would've walked."

"Which he did."  She stared at him.  "Don't hurt Xander again.  You guys may not realize how many ways we assistant types can kill you with a paperclip but you should know better."

"You're barely trained."

"And yet I have you tied to a bed, had you knocked out for over a half an hour, went through all the stuff you brought with you, nice panties by the way, pokemon really, and read all the files."  He glared.  She smirked.  "I had to learn to get around my sister a lot too.  I learned by watching Xander and learning from Spike when watching wasn't enough.  I may be nice *now* but none of us were nice back then.  We can easily revert back to Sunnydale.  Or Xander reverting back to when people clubbed each other on the head. 

"Bia told me that there's blessings on Xander's aura from pantheons that have been extinct so long they're not even mythical anymore to the senior gods," she said quietly.  "They all appreciated him more than his family did.  More than my family did most of the time.  There's ones that even the remaining Titans don't remember being around.  And you just made him sad enough to stomp off."

"I'll correct myself tomorrow."

"Have a better talk with him.  He could use more people he trusts and will talk to about stuff.  Hell, you might even end up friends."  She hopped off his chest and smoothed down her shirt.  "I won't have Xander upset and I can and will take most of you out.  All I have to do is let go of the control.  Sometimes it's not a rage issue, it's a matter of self-control."  His mouth opened.  She smiled.  "And I'm a lot more dangerous than people expect me to be.  As I said, paperclips are useful sometimes."  She beamed.  "You have a better night."  She strolled off.

"Can I be let free?" he called.

"Nope.  You're a superhero now, you can get your own self free."

He huffed and struggled but the ropes were very tight.  He spotted Natasha when she walked in.  "Can you cut these?"

She tried then shook her head.  "She magicked them."  She put something on the top rope and they disappeared.  "I had someone make me a special magic absorbing amulet."  She put it back into her pocket.  "Did she threaten you?"

"She pretty well threatened everyone."

Natasha smiled.  "She is a very smart young woman."

"Who can pull a Banner on her Key powers?"

Natasha considered it.  "That does not surprise me.  She's been in critical danger too many times not to learn how.  Especially with that hell goddess wanting to bleed her."  They shared a look.  "What started this off?"

"I tried to talk to Xander about Fury's orders."

She shook her head.  "He'd never follow orders.  It's why no one's even thinking about recruiting him."

"The way she said it, he's been around longer than writing?"  Natasha shrugged.  "And been in battles most of that time?"

"Perhaps.  We would have to ask Thor."

"Would Thor even know?  He doesn't seem that close to his nephew."

Loki appeared, smirking at them.  "The little bint was right.  I do adore her for how she protects my son's heart at times."  They both had weapons in their hands.  "It won't do anything to me and I'm not the one you fought."

"Doesn't mean we won't try really hard to destroy you," Barton sneered.

Loki smirked.  "You are much like my son, only mortal."  Something flew through the door with a glow and he yelped when it stuck in his side.  "Bitch," he hissed, pulling it out.

Dawn leaned in and smiled, wiggling her fingers at him.  "Xander said to leave the scary super agents alone, Loki.  Before he had to come save them."  She walked off again.

"How dare you try to attack me."

Dawn came back and stared then cleared her throat and moved something on a necklace.  "Do we really want to get into a pissing match?"

"I was not aware you were that open to it," Natasha said.

Dawn smiled.  "None of your business.  The same as you have personal things that I don't know about, so do I."  She glared at Loki.  "Just think, if it hadn't been for Glory being so damn close I wouldn't have went looking."  He backed up slowly and carefully.  "I'm not intending to use it but I'll be damned if you threaten the family.  No one upsets my family.  I may have to accept that Buffy's going to die some year soon during a fight or a patrol but you don't touch the rest of my family."

"You are playing quite a dangerous game, young lady," Loki said.

She smiled.  "Not really.  After all, there's more than one Key in the universes, right?"  He gaped and backed up shaking his head.  "Yeah, found it when the uber yucky space soldiers brought it with them as part of a weapon they never got to use thanks to Thor.   And gee, me being down there helping remove civilians.....  It got drawn right to me.  They had *two* other Keys."  Loki swallowed and slowly shook his head again.  "Oh, yeah.  And hey, I can even access the memories they have easier since they're not the ones that created my present form.  Now, do you still want to piss off your son?"

"No," he said calmly.  "I was merely here to talk to the ones who were sent to help him with his battles."

"Liar.  But that's part of your title.  Shoo.  Go.  Now."  He left.  She looked at Natasha, putting her necklace back into place.  "None of you noticed at all that I ran and hid for a bit then started to put plans into place in case one of them went off."

"That's why Hecate backed away."

"No, she didn't realize either.  Being the Key means that I'm an interdimensional power source.  A fairly powerful one that if released can destroy creation."  Barton shuddered.  "Which is why it's so damn important that I have control and I have them cooped up.  The one that made me I can barely touch.  Those two falling down meant that they got drawn to me and I have to be in conscious control.  Though they're still hard to touch."

"What if you get knocked out and the necklaces taken?" Natasha asked.  She had clearly lost a few skills by being a pet for so long.

"You have about fifteen hours.  That's how long the shielding spell will hold without me being awake and able to add to it.  Then it starts to leak.  When it starts to leak, as long as nothing notices it, you've got about a day before I explode.  Though any energy sensor on this planet should be able to find me when I start to leak."  She shrugged then grinned.  "I have plans in place for my dangerous times.  I took what you taught me to do that."

"I'm glad you did."  She stared at the younger woman.  "That's another reason why you won't take a front-line approach," she realized.

Dawn smiled and nodded.  "Yup.  Though really, I'd never upset my mother that way.  We're going to be mourning Buffy soon enough.  We already have once but Xander brought her back with CPR."  She shrugged slightly.  "The family of any of you has to realize that fact.  It's what makes it so sucky to be family."

"Are you immortal?" Barton asked.

"No.  I'm not even close to it.  I can do spells for that but I don't want to turn demonic.  Xander would have major flashbacks to the mayor."  She looked at her other mentor again.  "Don't upset Xander.  He's my big brother and none of us in the family need that shit ever again.  Anya nearly destroyed him for a bit when she huffed off because he was injured.  He was planning on marrying her.  Going to offer her the golden apple he earned in a battle for their pantheon, all that."

"I would never date Xander, even without knowing that," Natasha said.  "I don't allow entanglements for the same reason your mother worries."

Dawn smiled.  "It sucks though.  If you don't have that, you're missing out on things.  I'd rather have the happies while I can and then miss them than not have them at all."

"Better to have loved and lost," Natasha agreed.  "I had that once."

Dawn smiled.  "Then you understand my mom a lot more than I do at times.  Especially when she turns into Buffy."  She shook her head.  "Anyway."  She smiled.  "Now that my scary portion of PMS is done for the week, let me go back to bed."  She strolled off.

The two agents shared a look.  "You trained her well," he said.  "She's a scary woman."

Natasha smiled.  "She is in many ways.  I only know three ways to kill with a paperclip."

He shook his head.  "Do we tell Coulson?"

"Yes.  I will."  She walked off, going to find his room and wake him up.  He was on the patio enjoying the night air.  "She wake you sneaking back in?"

He nodded.  "She needs to work on her stealth movement.  Especially with that belt that jingles."

"I think she does that so we don't think she's sneaking up on us."

"Could be," he agreed.

"Did you know that one dropped during the battle?"

He looked at her.  "She admitted it to me when I found her glowing green and meditating one night a few weeks ago.  We had a long talk and I went over her emergency precautions.  They are sealed in a way that no one can get to.  Stark knows because Pepper knows."

Dawn huffed from the balcony above them.  "Stark knows because I went to talk to him about dumping some of the excess I was having problems with."  They looked up at her.  "He guessed.  He pointed out he is a genius and he can make leaps of logic when he wants to.  Then he tried to talk me into engineering again."  She looked at them.  "I was making a point known, I didn't mean to scare anyone."

"You didn't," she admitted.  "You did however worry us."

"Which is why I put plans in place," Dawn said.  "I worried me.  I'm the practical one in the family."  Phil smiled at her.  "Beyond that, I'd hate to make Agent Popcorn Buddy there disappointed in me."

"Dawn, not in front of the other agents," Phil said mildly.  "They'll lose respect."

"Because they know that you're more than a robot?"

"In some ways, yes," he said.  "Competent agents don't have little sisters who work with them."

"Fine."  She smiled.  "But I get private time teasing rights."

"That's fine.  That's been yours for a while now."  She grinned.  "I'm making the popcorn next time so it has enough butter."

"Sure."  She smiled at Natasha.  "You can watch movies with us too.  I know you're super scary and that's a normal person thing but we won't nark on you dropping the scary act now and then."

"I will."  She looked at her.  "They are good plans?"

"They're very good plans.  We have a frequency reading on her powers so if they leak we have an alarm set," Phil said quietly.  "That way if she's forced into it we can find her quickly or if she's dumping it because she's beating a problem to death with it we can find her quickly."

"Tell Fury I don't need Dawn sitters anymore?" Dawn asked.

"Fat chance.  If there's that big of a danger, we'd put anyone like you or Xander into more protective custody," Phil assured her.  "Even if he'd fuss he'd still get protected."

Dawn smiled.  "We might like it if someone wanted to protect Xander.  It's been a long time since there was one."  She went back to bed.

Phil and Natasha shrugged at each other.  "I added input where she needed something technical done," he said quietly.

"That's fine.  Then I won't worry overly much about her."  She walked off, going to tell her partner that.  Barton was worried but he could calm down about her.  Though it meant Dawn was getting her training upped to the point where she would qualify as an agent.  Some day they wouldn't be hovering over her to protect her.  They did not want that day to come and her to be attacked.


Phil looked at Dawn during their pre-breakfast jog.  He had gotten her up for it.  He did most mornings she was on the base.  "A question came up with that new Initiative program."

"About?" she panted.

"You need more stamina work."

"I'm slowly building it.  You've only been making me jog for four months."

"I know."  He considered how to phrase it delicately.  "There was a file started with your name on it and some attempted chemical testing done on some shed hair."  She glanced at him.  "To see if you were a good match for the program to work from."

"I'm infertile," she admitted.  "The power that created me didn't allow it.  I can do a spell to change that, and I might if I decide I want kids and I find a great guy or girl some year, but no, it wouldn't.  They also can't clone me.  Though, one weird thing.  Something about gamma radiation boy means that his DNA is warped.  Like Xander's is warped but in a different way."

"They both read as semi-human," Phil realized.  She nodded.  "Would that get past it?"

"If they're good enough to manipulate it and use a dish, yes.  I couldn't carry it.  I have a very rudimentary uterus by what the docs in the infirmary found when I asked.  I swore them up and down to secrecy, which I know they can't, but they won't gossip about it.  My file lists me as a magical construct though so they were curious."

"So you did get an ultrasound?"


He nodded.  "That makes sense.  So you'd have to do something major to fix that rudimentary problem?"

She paused, leaning down to pant.  "Yes."  She looked at him.  "Right now, I'm not even putting out eggs, there's no structure to house them or create them.  So if they wanted it they'd have to take a skin scraping or tissue sample to work from."

"Okay," he said, considering that.  "We can make note of that.  Did our doctors take one?"

"Once and I destroyed it as soon as I realized what they were doing then I told them it was dangerous to have around.  People attacked me to get that much of a sample.  They still probably don't understand why."

He nodded.  "I can add that order to your files.  The scans?"

"All electronic and the doc said he erased them once they were read.  My infirmary file has all of three injuries and nothing too personal in it beyond that I'm on the pill to control my cycle.  It can cause a bit of a power flux in me."

"Good to know."  He smiled.  "We'll figure it out."

"I shouldn't have told anyone."

He shrugged.  "Sometimes you have to let some of the secrets out so you have someone at your back."

"That's not the Sunnydale way, Phil."

"You're not in Sunnydale anymore, Dawn."

"Yeah, but if I don't live like I am there's a lot more chance of me getting pounced."

"Not really.  There's some people I trust implicitly.  Clint and Natasha are on that very short list."

"Is Fury?"

He considered it then shook his head.  "No.  I know he has to deal with bigger pictures and sometimes agents are pawns.  Overall he's good to work for but he does have his secrets and his plans."

"He's Dumbledore," she said dryly.  "I'd never let him make me into Harry or Hermione."

"You'd look bad with the bushy hair."  She grinned back.  "Seriously though, if you need it, even if they're compromised, I'd trust Natasha and Clint."

She nodded.  "I get that."

"Good.  We should finish the two miles."

"You're mean."

"Only when necessary.  You need more stamina to draw in a good man.  Real men last more than ten minutes."

She swatted him on the arm.  "I'm hoping whoever I finally end up with has skills like Xander with a tiny bit less stamina."

He laughed.  "That's learned over generations.  Most mortals aren't quite that great."

"I can take slightly lesser but maybe only two or three hours, not four and five that Anya wanted of oral sex and then another three orgasms by regular sex."  He nearly blushed.  "Yeah, she's like that."  She grinned.  "She's in New York if you wanted introduced."

"I don't have that much stamina and I can run a 10K in nearly record time."  They took off jogging again.  "Though I should probably start a file on her in case she comes onto Stark."

"I asked if he'd build her a robot to handle that for her.  I had them meet and all that when he got confused.  He did build her one and it works well.  She actually had to call off work she was so sore that first day."  He groaned and shook his head.  She grinned.  "Pepper thought it was great that she was busy and couldn't flirt with Tony again."

"I'd say."  She grinned at him and they kept on so they could attend breakfast.  They found O'Neill and Stark at breakfast going over mission weapons.  He looked at Stark.  "Did you start a file on Miss Emerson?"  Xander choked from his spot at the table.

"I did and I have surveillance gear built into that robot in case she gives it up and goes to someone like Loki for her next suitor.  Not cameras but usage tracking."

"Thank you.  I'll need it to merge with ours."  He went to the buffet table to get breakfast.

Xander looked at Tony.  "Why did you meet my ex?"

"I introduced them before Anya could try something," Dawn quipped with a grin.  "I asked him to make her something so she'd quit pining over you too."

"She was pining?" Xander asked.

"Remember that 'things were different when I was a demon' mood of hers?" Dawn asked.  Xander nodded.  "She was feeling like that about you."  He nodded, looking at his plate.  She got up to give him a hug.  "She was good but not great.  You need and deserve great."  She kissed him on the cheek.  "You deserve so great that it's blinding and makes us all gag, Xander."  He patted her on the hand and grinned.  "We're keeping a watch on her in New York because she tried to have someone attack Buffy after my sister said she was a mean and cruel bitch.  Anya sent a thank you note and an assassin after her because that news got to her newest boyfriend and the higher demon thought it was odd she had dated you."  She sat down.  "Apparently the boyfriend was like a toy to her but he just let her do it for her own pleasure not his."

"Huh," Xander said then stuffed his mouth.

"I'd like to meet her," Natasha said.  "She sounds like she has good insight into many matters."

Xander nodded.  "I did hear a lot about her former job when we were together."

"What was her former job?" Stark asked.  "I mostly heard about you and her needs for sex."

"Vengeance for women scorned," Dawn said with a grin.  "I'm still wondering if the guy she turned into the only flush toilet in his tiny village in Central America is still working."  Barton choked and spluttered until Coulson pounded him on the back.  Dawn smiled.  "He had beaten his wife for not putting the seat back up."

"Someone needs midol," Stark said, staring her down.

She laughed.  "Not this week, next week I need some and I have some in my kit.  Thanks for worrying."  She smiled.  "When you go back home, can you pop an IM to Pepper about getting my new pills for me please?  The docs in the infirmary are getting scarily gropey about me for some reason."

"I can definitely do that so I don't have to wonder if your daughter and Callia will be shopping buddies," Stark said.

"Not an issue," she admitted then stuffed her mouth.  He stared at her.  "Really."

"Did we look?" Stark asked.

"Yeah, we wondered."

"Okay," he decided.  "That's a good thing to know."

"I can fix it but it'll take some work."  She ate another bite.

"Even better to know," Xander agreed.  He frowned, looking up.  "That's the shield's alarm," he muttered, stuffing his mouth and walking out.  "Huh.  We're close enough to be attacked like they are at the Mountain."  He pulled weapons and fired on the glider.  It went down in a ball of flame just outside the shields.  "O'Neill, I shot down the alien glider thingy that was trying to get into the shields."

O'Neill came jogging out.  "Where?"  Xander pointed at the column of smoke.  "Damn it."  He jogged that way, calling for backup from his team.

"Some of us are agents," Coulson called.

"Stay in case there's more," O'Neill yelled back.

"Of course."  He looked at Xander.  "A question got raised by one of the junior agents.  Am I part of your natal family or part of this house?"

"This house.  I adopted you into the Protectorate of Humanity."  He grinned.  "I'd never let my dad get another person to use as a pawn for things.  He makes sucky marriage alignments.  You might end up with Dawn."  He walked him back inside.  "O'Neill's handling the aliens.  If more show up we can shoot them to."  He sat down and got back to breakfast.  "Thanks for the extra egnlish muffins with peanut butter, Dawn."

"Welcome.  Please don't marry me off this month?"

"Nope, probably not."  He ate another bite and looked around.  He smiled while he chewed.  "Technically I could if I wanted to and needed an alignment marriage or if I wanted her protected a whole lot."  He finished that english muffin and went back to his scrambled eggs.

"He's not that mean," Bia promised with a smile.  "If Dawn needs that sort of protection we can easily shove her in a closet.  Mine's fairly large and has a link to the bathroom in it.  I'm not using hardly any bit of it so she can camp on a shelf."  Dawn giggled, nodding that was true.

"We have plans in place to shelter her," Natasha told her.

Bia grinned.  "Is it as spacious as Xander made my closet?"

"Probably with more guards."

"Well, maybe they can camp in there too.  It'd give me eye candy."  One of the junior agents moaned and ducked his head.

Dawn looked down at him.  "Mind out of the gutter, boy.  Before I let Xander use you as training aid."  He nodded and finished up.

"I'd suggest some stamina work since it's a partial free day outside of the gym," Phil ordered.  "You do need stamina, people.  Battles can go for hours."

"And if you're helping my sister with an apocalypse battle then it can go for weeks," Dawn agreed.  "Between the fighting, the running, the setting up traps...."

"That reminds me, your pit cooking and snare learning day is Tuesday," Xander said.  "It will take the place of your obstacle course."

"Thank you for sparing us that torture," one quipped.

Phil looked at Xander.  "Do you have a time limit?"

"Not for the first few weeks.  By the end they should be able to do it within a half an hour I think."

Barton looked over and shook his head.  "I can't do it in under forty-five, Xander."

Phil looked at him.  "Why?"

"There's one part that you need to find a way across or you have to jump down, cross the stream, climb back up the muddy hill without handholds, climb back up the scaffolding, and then use the zip line.  If I shoot a line across to walk over I can do it in thirty-two."

"So I'll set the limit at fifty then," Xander decided.  "For newbies that should be a good time?"  Barton nodded.  Natasha did too.  "Your last week is meant to get you through it in that time, impress the self-defense teachers so at least three say that you're ready to move on, and then prove to me that you can use a gun."  They all nodded.

"Which means you all need stamina work," Phil assured them.  They nodded and went to do that after breakfast.  "Dawn and I are up to two miles," he told Xander.  "I've been making her jog."

"Wonderful.  I hate jogging."  Dawn burst out cackling, nodding at that.  "I only run if I'm being chased.  I get plenty of exercise in other ways."

"How do you do the obstacle course?" Phil asked.

"Roque and I chase each other all over it," he said, looking at Roque, who was wobbling in.  "Long night drinking?"  Roque muttered a 'fuck yourself' and got food and coffee.  "Want to do the course with me today?"

"Only if you can take the evil shit Sheppard with us."  He inhaled his coffee. Dawn floated over the pot.  "Thanks, Short Stuff."

"Welcome, grumpy dwarf."  Roque glared at her.  She grinned.  "You are."

"I can paddle you."

"Only if you knock me out."  He lunged at her and she zapped him, making him moan and curl around his stomach and the new hard on he couldn't do anything about.  "Don't worry, I'm sure the cockring spell and the viagra spell won't counteract each other for *too* long."  She beamed.  "You have fun with trying to cure that."  She grabbed some coffee to go and strolled off.  "I'm showering then I'll be down in the gym, guys."

"That's fine," Xander agreed.  He looked at Roque.  "I can't remove that.  John has more subtlety than I do so he might be able to."  Roque limped out holding himself.  "I know it's a Summers daughter thing to need laid badly enough to cure the evil influences.  I wasn't aware she had that yet."  He looked at Phil.

He shook his head.  "She hasn't."

"She's tampered with the idea but nothing from another person," Natasha agreed.  "That cures that?"

"I think it cures it in most people," Barton said.

"Joyce sent me an email asking if I could find someone nice for Buffy because her tension was driving Joyce nuts.  Maybe I'll find two."  John strolled in.  "Did you cure Roque?"

"Eased it enough that Clay could cure it for him.  Where is Dawn?"

"Needing the pool I put on Atlantis," Xander said.  Phil paused in eating, staring at him.  "That was the original intent before the tentacle monster.  Cupid said they needed one."

"Yes we did," John agreed.  "When we found it, Rodney went bright red and stomped off to hide from any water source for a while."  He sat down to eat.  "Bia, I love your cooking fingers."

"Thank you, John."  She handed him the coffee.  He grinned and dug in.  "Someone wanted to see you, Xander, and Roque on the course."

"I could use it to hone my powers."  He looked at Xander, nibbling on some bacon.

"I could use the exercise."  They nodded at each other and finished up.  Roque let our a loud bellowing yelp.  "I think Clay bit him somewhere delicate."  Barton tried not to laugh.  "Hell, those two, there's no telling," he told him.  "It's why they had their making up talk with one of them in a sex sling at a sex club."

"Aww, you went fancy for them," John said with a smile.  "I didn't hear that part, just that you had set it up."

Xander grinned.  "Roque listens better after an orgasm."

"Some of us aren't getting any," Stark complained.

"Me either," Xander said dryly.  "Bia's my consort, not my snuggle bunny or my energizer girl."  Bia blushed.  "Bia, after Anya?  I'd probably kill you in bed.  I realize this.  I need to lose some of the stamina I have.  It's why I don't work out as often."

"Having met your ex I'm wondering if you give classes in how you kept up with her," Stark said.  John spluttered.

Xander grinned.  "I had to teach her what oral sex was.  She likes toys a lot."  He sipped his soda.  "And hey, I don't sleep all that much."

"That needs to change," Phil said.  "You look tired and it's not her fault."

"No, last night I kept getting woken up by partial visions."  Phil stared at him.  "Updated things for Valhalla.  That all important one is cranked but I had the updated version."

"I heard."  He nodded.  "You all right?"

"I'm fine.  I'll take a nap after we three go at it."  Bia squeaked.  He grinned at her.  "I'd never sleep with John.  Unlike some gods I'm not into the family plan, Bia."


He laughed.  "I could be worse.  Remember the fourteen hundreds?"

"Please don't remind me," John complained.  "No wonder you managed to wear out Anya."

Stark looked at John then at Xander.  "What did you do then?"

"Half of Italy, Greece, France, England, and Russia," John said bluntly.  "In fifteen years."  Tony Stark gaped.

"I had gotten needy and lonely and kept getting run out of places by mad relatives," Xander complained.

"Theirs or yours?" Natasha asked.

"Mostly, mine.  Heimdall was not amused with me."

"You're the one that laid that prank that turned him green and purple for ten years," John said, buttering a biscuit.

"I know.  And Dad was bright red for most of it."  They shared a smirk.  Bia cackled.  "Odin got so pissed off that he had me hounded for a bit.  He was enjoying me being chased around until that every decade thing turned his favorite chair into a nibbling thing."

"I was listening to him talk about something while waiting to hand over something from Mom's pantheon and suddenly his eye got *really* large," John told the table.  "I thought for a minute that one was going to pop out."

"Frigg asked him what was wrong," Bia said with a wicked smirk. "He said he knew not what was wrong with his nether parts but apparently he had been cursed to be eaten in tiny bites.  They got him out of his chair, to his bedroom to look him over, because he was a bit frozen in horror, and then found the one in his seat.  Who gave you the idea for the pool?" she asked Xander.

"Roque."  He smiled.  "And then the results of the mexican fast food feast became apparent and that gas attack warped it from the nice pool to a naughty pool and then tentacles for Odin and Zeus, and then everyone else.  The vampires in Sunnydale were not amused by any means.  Strife had to make them quit acting like villagers in a bad Dracula movie."

Phil cleared his throat.  "I would have if you had been at hand and I was there.  Thankfully I was on a mission."

"Me too," Barton said.  Stark had shown him that film when another agent had brought it up.

"Sorry, guys.  The Elders all declared that every single kid of a chaos god has to power them once a decade no matter what.  We have no say in it.  It's like a really bad gas cramp that you can't get to go away no matter what.  It just comes."

"Last time it was floating, adoring disco balls," John told them.

"Before then it was singing butterflies that prompted a few hippy flashbacks," Bia agreed.  "Artemis loved the free love age.  The butterflies gave her happy memories for *weeks*.  I think she still has a few trapped in a cage in her temple."

"I'm sorry I drove Athena nuts with the Barney and other PBS songs," Xander said.  "But she had been picking on me for weeks before then."

Bia smiled and shook her head.  "She'll still sometimes hum one and then have to go do something to get it out of her head.  I haven't seen her weave that much since Greece was the majority of its own empire.  She made a twenty foot woven blanket," she told Phil.  "In three hours trying to get a Sesame Street jingle out of her head."

He nodded.  "I'd take something for that.  Or use a club."

"We'd knock you out," Barton said with a smile.

"Thank you," he assured him.  "Let me go oversee Dawn in the gym."  He left, cackling all the way down there until the other agents could see him.

"So every single chaos god's offspring has to do this?" Natasha asked.  Xander grinned and nodded.  "How many are there?"

"Sixteen of us left.  Some are more minor ones and can focus them on a group to destroy them.  Some of us can't.  I tried and it didn't work.  Though it was nice that the bastards I was focusing on got creamed by pies for sixteen weeks."

Stark stiffened. "My father wrote about that incident."

"I tried to do something worse.  I spent that whole war in France trying to free people and get things where they needed to go.  Roque was on the other side of Germany's border doing the same thing.  Kyra and a few were our lead ins since there was such a heavy occult thread and they might recognize us."

"Did you get captured?" John asked.  "I never heard one way or another."

"Yup, once.  Blew the shit up.  Escaped, took a lot of people with me.  Including Tony's father."  Tony shook his head quickly.  "Got more to free on the way once they were safely off.  Got yelled at by US generals for not being a soldier and doing the job.  I made him impotent and then sent him to be a morale helper for a weekend.  He came back up much more clear headed and created another surge that got parts of lower Europe free."

"Wow," Barton said.

Xander grinned.  "I've been in most major human conflicts in the US, Europe, England, and now and then in some of the ones on th other continents.  It's why I have titles for helping in almost all the other pantheons.  John has some in most of them too.  Roque has a good few of them but Africa always has a civil war going so he was focused closer to home a lot."

Stark smiled.  "Some day I want to have someone take a real history report from you."

"They'd never believe it."

"Not the point.  You knew a lot of historical characters that we can only guess at and been in battles that we don't know happened until someone digs something up."

Xander smiled.  "It's the duty, ya know."

"Yeah, I do.  Now."  Xander patted him on the arm.  "Why don't you wear battle armor to battles?"

"I used to wear leather armor to battles, still usually do," he admitted.  "The newer stuff is too stiff.  I have favorite medium thickness leather that works for me."

"Won't stop bullets," Barton said.

"I have shields for that unless I'm exhausted.  The stuff you guys wear is still too restrictive for me.  I can't move, fight, throw fireballs or anything in it without feeling cooped in.  That's why I ended up shirtless during the invasion, I was feeling too cooped in by using my powers."

"We'll see if there's a way around that," Stark said.  "Does silk or leather help more?"

"I can't wear silk during battles.  I sweat tons and it sticks to me.  My leather vest is usually overtop of a shirt these days.  Before I could wear it without one and have it lined with fluffy wool instead of woven material but I can't do that now."

"That stopped when the wool nearly got melted into your chest," John said.

"Yeah, it was.  The leather did melt."  Everyone was staring at him. "Fire giants.  One of them captured me to be their love slave."

John nodded.  "Odin did not listen to a single thing I said that day when they were attacking.  They were pounding in the door and I was trying to tell him that but he didn't want to hear it.  Nearly lost all the stored warriors because of it."

Xander nodded.  "When I got free I stomped them flat for all that shit."  He sipped his soda and leaned on the table.  "Odin somehow decided John had done that with Roque."

John and Xander's mother appeared.  "Son, you will marry."  He pointed at Bia.  "Hello, dear.  I didn't see you."  She kissed her on the temple.  "More pranks?"

"I'm his consort for the rest of this decade," she told her.  "Odin demanded that he marry so he married me."

John and Xander's mother stared at her son.  "Did we not hear?"

"You did hear.  You cried on her right after the twins were born, Mom."

"Oh."  She thought back.  "I don't remember that.  I wonder why."

"See if Rosenburg infected you too?" John quipped.

She smiled and kissed him on the head.  "My older son.  You should marry as well."

"No one I'm interested in right now, Mom."

"It is not good to stay single for so long.  I'm sure your brother is reaping the rewards of being married."

"No he's not," Xander quipped.  "He'd probably kill a lover in bed right now."

His mother scowled.  "Dear..."

"She's my consort, Mother.  Don't start.  Please?  Not in front of coworkers?"

She huffed.  "Fine.  Whatever.  I want grandchildren."

"I fathered two energy pregnancies," Xander said bluntly.  "Until I marry for a reason more than someone demanding it, with Bia or someone else, I'm not undoing the sterilization I have.  Since you have a long life ahead of you too, I'm sure you'll live to see that day."  She pouted.  "Yay."  His mother disappeared.  He looked at John.  "If you do marry and it's a guy, Gladriel said that she has a plan to ask Roque's mom to make one of you fertile."

"Thanks for the warning."  He got more coffee and sipped it.  "Sorry, people.  She showed up on Atlantis to hit on the Marines too."

"Never let our mother drink," Xander told them.  "Or else she'll end up on top of you and then pregnant.  Between her and Loki's idea of seducing women with liquor, I almost never drink anymore."

"That's a reasonable reason," Stark decided.  "Has she done that often?"

"We have year-old twin sisters," John said with a smile.  "Thanks to her flirting with Apollo when Xander had that power break-out.  They came from her new wine vintages."

"I came from mead," Xander quipped.  "John came from wine."

"Your mother's assistant is an elf queen?" Barton asked.

"The writer met her and named his character after her.  Cheeses her off," John said, grinning at him.  "She's a demi."

"Gladriel called Pepper to see if she wanted her to find a spot for Dawn.  Pepper waxed poetic about her taking over Tony wrangling since Pepper's the CEO now."

"She does a pretty decent job and handles the battle moments a lot easier than Pepper does," Tony admitted.

"She's had practice," Xander said.  "Which we all think sucks for her and Joyce."  Tony nodded.  "Do we have plans in place for when the slayers get turned or killed?"

"We think, statistically speaking, that Buffy would be turned and Faith killed," Tony said.

"The calling only goes through Faith," Xander said.

"So we'd be back down to one," Tony said, adding that into the mental math he'd been doing over that problem.  "That's good to know.  Any idea which one is next?"

"No.  I've felt the calling around a few girls.  I'll probably feel it when it happens.  Do we have a plan for when she's vamped?"

Tony stared at him.  "I'd never suggest you to go stake her."

"It's ...  Kind of almost my duty as her friend."

"Yeah, I remember during the trial, kid.  Fury can go stake her."

"She might be good enough to turn him.  She's good enough to knock him down in sparring and she'll be stronger and faster then."

Tony considered it.  "Then we'll find stake shooters.  I've already got one in testing."  Xander grinned.  "I updated your plans for the holy water grenades too.  They're much more efficient and less likely to bring the building down on your head."

"That could help."

"Also won't blow up any plans or plots they have," Tony agreed, smiling at him.  "Let us worry about some of that or the remains of the Council trying to reform."

"I could've sworn O'Neill was going to get the library."

"No room, or so Fury said.  It's in one of the major headquarters instead of the hell carrier."  Xander nodded at that.  "So are the book nerds he swears up and down creep him out because they stare like he's a talking book."

"I met one of those.  They are a bit creepy," Barton said, leaning on the table.  "I know you're friends with them, Xander, but no one would expect you to take out a friend."

"It's kind of the Sunnydale team way," Xander said.  "That's how I jumped into fighting this life, back when I was just an immortal demigod."  Barton slumped.  "I swore to Buffy she'd never have to face taking out one of us.  She didn't handle having to take out Angelus too well when he lost his soul.  She hates like hell that I lied to her to get her to do it.  If I had a way I would've removed him but I didn't have the time to plan it and I had about a billion things I was handling behind her back because she couldn't handle it right then.  It's really bad when your boyfriend loses his soul and starts to torture people and fish."

"Fish?" Barton asked.

Xander waved a hand.  "It's how he taunted Willow he was stalking us.  Her fish were strung up and left on her pillow.  Giles' girlfriend was killed and left on his pillow."  Tony winced.  "I was kind of doing all the patrols while she was sick and things.  Or else I would've taken him out at the hospital.  Too many witnesses though and the girls all thought I was *normal* by then.  In the end, it's what made Buffy run away for six months."

"Still, friends would help," Tony said.  "Fury could easily do it for you."

"Fury and Buffy sparred once," John said.  "Right after she gave birth.  She said she needed to prove she could handle herself in a real battle and Captain America flat out refused to spar with her because it'd only been a week since she'd been operated on.  So Fury did.  Fury lasted a while, Buffy was still pretty weak, but she did win.  Xander and I watched it to make sure she wasn't pushing herself too hard.  She was exhausted but happy and we both made sure she didn't go patrol for a few more days by telling Giles about the sparring match and how long it lasted."

"I've seen her spar with him before," Tony admitted.  "And win a few times but not every time."

"Think about it.  She's already enhanced by the slayer calling.  Vamps are ten times faster and stronger than when they were alive," Xander said with a small shrug.

"So it'll probably need to be before she gets up or a weapon," Stark said.

"And if she's turned by another species of vampire than the usual, a stake might not work.  We're probably going to have to behead," Xander said quietly.  "There's two species that doesn't work on.  Both have been noted in Cleveland but they're not the biggest subgroup right now."

"What kills them?" Barton asked.

"Dead man's blood and silver," John said.  "I actually temped in as a watcher a few decades back."  Barton grinned at him.  "Xander was off fighting with Roque to help him."

"Damn but we hated the civil war problems," he agreed.  He rubbed his face with his hands.  "I don't want to make plans but I know it's dumb not to."

"That's why we're doing it for you behind your back," Tony quipped.

"I appreciate that.  How many plans does he have in case I lose it?"

"He's going to remake the hulk cell for you," Barton said.

"That won't kill me, I learned how to use my powers to teleport."  They shared a look.  "By the way, she's done worse when people have upset her.  That was probably a friendly warning."

"You heard?"

"No, not all of it.  That she did it, yeah.  She has not learned subtle yet and the alarms around the valley track her glowiness."  Barton winced.  "Yeah, I noticed."

"We apparently didn't," Tony said.

Xander looked at him.  "She was probably afraid of the same thing that nearly happened before.  She's not sure Fury won't try a more subtle NID sort of plan."

"He probably wouldn't.  They are looking for weapons."

"And the last ones were wanting to breed the next generation of weapons," Xander countered.  "They tried like hell to get a sample from my blood and couldn't manage it."

"Do we think they have remaining samples?" Barton asked.

"Has anyone went in to clean up the mess?" John asked.  They both shook their heads.  "Then yeah, they know where the backup area is.  If the government was cleaning it up, it'd depend on the clean up team.  If they haven't touched the wreckage at all they know where the backup files and things are."  He looked at his brother.  "Any idea if they had more of mine than the NID had?"

"No clue.  I got caught sneaking in.  They had power sensors.  I would've made it if they didn't have a few of us turned."  Barton shuddered, shrinking down some.  "You are not responsible for what you do when you're under mind control.  That's why it's called mind control.  No matter how pissed you get at yourself over it."  He nodded he knew that.  "But the knowledge still eats you, I know."  He slumped and looked at John.  "I'm still trying to find who sponsored it."

"Rodney's been looking into that.  I haven't heard a report yet."

"When you do?"

"I'll tell you.  It's possible it's not just the US."

"No I can pretty well guarantee the UK is," Xander agreed.  "They're feeling left behind.  All they can claim is a few notable extended capability humans and a link to the slayer lineage."

"Well, the US does have the environmental decay that can lead to mutations," John quipped.

"And most of the demis living are here or in mainland Europe somewhere," he countered.  "Which means they pout about that.  Even their own ancestors don't live there."

"London's really crowded and some parts are still really nasty from the industrial revolution," John complained.  Xander shrugged.  "I know.  That's the usual reason."  He considered it.  "I used to have a backup house there."

"I haven't had a backup house this life at all," Xander admitted.  "When I realized I was on the hellmouth I was pretty sure I might not make it far enough along."  He rubbed over his fake eye.  "Anyway," he decided.  "Enough depressing stuff.  Go wake up Roque?"

"No way in hell."  Xander looked that way and suddenly Clay was shouting about ice.  "He's going to thump you for that."  John finished his coffee.  Roque was stomping back over.  "Want to go work out now or is your mate still needing your physical training skills?"

"He's getting rewarmed in the shower," he said dryly, swatting Xander on the head.  "C'mon, slowpoke."

"Me?  Slow?"  He disappeared to the course to warm up.

"Great, it's going to be one of those sparring matches," John said dryly.  He walked out with Roque, both going to calm Xander down.  He was still bouncy some days.  They really need to get him laid.

Barton looked at Tony since they were the last in there.  "What trial?"

"Rosenburg's that got her sentenced for the explosion in Sunnydale."

"Got that file?"

"At home."  Barton nodded and they went to watch the sparring.  The junior agents were all watching.  The boys were randomly popping around but Xander had laid a few traps that sprung fireballs at John.  John was swearing about them following him when he popped in and then left again.  Roque got one from John that made him yelp.  Xander was cackling.  "Do it for real," Tony called.  "Show us how you guys do the course." 

They shrugged and attacked then flashed out to move behind or around each other.  The sparring session was brutal.  Roque was bleeding from a few cuts.  Xander and John both had ones on their cheeks from Roque's knives.  Xander had started with a knife and moved to a staff.  John was working with a staff weapon instead of a wooden staff.  Xander was the least technical and the best at defeating an attack by moving and then getting them.

Barton whistled.  "I want to be able to disappear like that."

"Me too," Tony agreed.

"I can tell you how to find the stash of ambrosia for mortals," John quipped.  He flashed out to get Xander.  He and Roque were going to get him this time.  Xander appeared, disappeared, got pounced when he appeared, wiggled free, disappeared, and reappeared with a crossbow that got shot at both of them.  "No fair," John complained.  "We're not using firing weapons."  Xander grinned and wiggled his fingers.  John growled and let himself drop into real battle mode, flashing after Xander.  Roque was nearly there and the next hit from John got him there.  They could send Xander into his temperish spot easily enough.  Then it was really on.

The junior agents were gaping in awe.  "Can Thor do that?" one asked Coulson, who shook his head.  "Are we sure?"

"His powers don't lend to teleporting," he said quietly.

"I think I found a religion I can stand," Barton said quietly.  Stark nodded he had too.  Finally it came down to a John/Xander battle, Roque being knocked out on the ground beside the stream - his head had hit the climbing structure on the way down.  John and Xander were grappling.  They were shirtless now and sweaty.  It was a good show.  Then John hip threw Xander and made him whine in pain.  "Truce?" Barton called.  John looked at him.  "If he's that injured, he'll need medical and I'm told he only gets that on your city."  He grinned.

"He does, yeah."  He helped Xander up.  "Truce?"

"Fine, you win.  This time."

John hugged him.  "Thanks, baby brother."

"I'm not that much younger!" he complained, cracking a few agents up.  They went to check on Roque, who Dawn and Bia were handling.  Roque was groaning and sitting up.  Dawn was doing a healing spell.  Roque finally shook the ladies off him and stood up with help from Bia.  He trudged off to let Clay soothe his aches.

"Want the lego ship?" Dawn called with a grin.  "It made Xander calm down after the battle in LA."

"I've got the toy he wants, Dawn," Clay quipped.  She cackled and bounced off.

"Right now I just want a massage and a shower," Roque complained.  "I'll consider playing with your toys later."

"I'm all for the shower idea," John decided, stretching his back.  "I could use one.  I'm sweaty."

"Yes, you are," Bia assured him with a smile.  He blushed and walked off.  "Xander?"

"I'm fine.  I'll go dip in the pond or something."  She nodded and let them get back to whatever.

Coulson nodded.  "You all need that sort of stamina," he decided after checking his watch.

"But they're Gods!" one of the junior agents complained.

Coulson looked at him.  "I didn't say the powers.  I said the stamina."

"Battles can go for hours," Dawn agreed.

"Some of us don't want to be Avengers, we want to be good agents."

"SHIELD agents back up the Avengers," Coulson said simply.  "You have to be good enough to last through the battle by taking up a defensive position or by removing civilians."  The agent slumped.

Dawn stared at the group.  "Phil, permission?"

He stared at her for a second.  "Not graduation."

She smiled.  "They need the truth."

"They do but they can't handle that yet."

She waved a hand.  "That's why they're in training.  To teach them to handle it."

"Fine," he decided.  "Report to the barracks for a battle movie."

"What?" one demanded.

Dawn crossed her arms over her chest, staring at them.  "Guys, my sister started to save humanity at fifteen when she suddenly got a destiny poke and a brain download.  Then a few months later she lost the weird old guy who was training her to use the brain download's contents by a master vampire that was sending her weird dreams about braiding her hair with ribbons."

"Was he related to Druscila?" Phil asked.  "I wondered when I read that."

"No, that was just his creepy come to me thing."  She shrugged.  "You guys don't near measure up to what my sister does.  Some of you need to because you're probably going to be helping in Cleveland and you'd better thank every God that Sunnydale's shut down.  Now, let's go have a movie night."  She waved a hand.  They trudged that way.

Coulson followed.  He uploaded the file from the archives.  "Be aware that at this time, Alexander did not have any powers, he was an unpowered demigod.  The blonde is Dawn's sister.  She is the senior slayer.  This is their graduation so they were all seventeen and eighteen."  He started it and got out of the way, going to talk to Dawn, who was talking with her sister.  "Someone called?" he guessed.

She nodded. "Something about protocol when you're pulling things out of the archive."

"There is."

"Why are you showing them graduation?" Buffy asked.

"Because they needed the reality," Dawn said.

"If you're fighting I'm going to come kill your dumb assistant ass," Buffy warned.  "Mom does not need that."

"I'm only training for self defense and defense if I get trapped in the middle of something so I can clear people, Buffy.  What you should have been doing all along."

"Whatever.  You're normal."

"Please!  There's only *one* of me," she said dryly.  "Unlike you."

She grumbled something impolite.  "Whatever."

"Beyond that, not really normal.  You always considered Willow better and special for her magic."

"We don't want you doing magic."

"Bite me.  Everyone's damn scared I'll turn into Rosenburg but I'll be damned and we have plans in place in case I do start to slip."

"Good!  Because you'd scare me, Dawn."

"I have control.  Conscious, good, effective control."

"Good!" Buffy repeated.  "I like that even if I don't like you doing magic or getting anywhere near the battle stuff."  She huffed.  "Are there plans in place in case I get turned?"

"Yes," Phil said.

"You've already told Xander?"

"It won't be him.  None of us would make him do that, Summers."

"Xander promised me," she said firmly.  "It's his job to handle anyone on the team that goes rogue.  That way I don't have to try to handle it myself ever again."

"We'd do it so he didn't have to have it on his conscience," he said.

"No.  It's Xander's job.  Promise me, Dawn."

"He knows," she assured him.  "They were talking about that over breakfast in case you got turned into something weirder than a vampire."

She sighed.  "Thank you."


"We can spare him that pain," Phil said.

"I'd take all of your people out and then get happy.  I trust Xander will end me if he has to, even if he has to end himself too," Buffy said simply.  "You guys are nice and all but the world needs a lot more of you.  Xander can do it.  He's got super skills he's still hiding."

"Then I'll make that note in the official plans," Phil decided.  Buffy sighed in relief.  "We're sending you a few agents soon."

"Do you guys have any updates?"

"I sent one yesterday to your email, Summers."

"I have an email?  Bob, do I have an email?  Why didn't you tell me, I could've signed up for cute cat pictures and stuff!  How long have I had an email?"  Phil rolled his eyes.  Dawn was shaking her head but smiling.  "Oh, there it is.  Thanks, Bob.  Agent Phil, Bob is pretty handy even being vamped and having every limb but one tied to the chair so he can't nibble on me."

"Going to turn him into Spike?" Dawn quipped.  "There's no Dru there to drive him batty."

"Not hardly.  Though saw her recently.  Angel swears up and down she's dead but nope."

"Figures," Dawn agreed.  She looked in there at the screaming.  "It's not that bad.  She faced it in person!  It's only a film, dudes!"  She shook her head.  "Trainee agents," she told the phone.

"Yay.  Am I getting them?  I can warp a few good, hotty agents into liking the hunting lifestyle if you send them to me."

"We'll see about them being cute," Phil said dryly.  "But you're getting a few a month on a rotating schedule and I'll have Agent Decker replaced."

"But he's handy," she said.

"I'll let you keep him."

"Cool!  Hey, Bob, wanna learn why a slayer's a vampire's best girlfriend?"

"Eww," Dawn said then hung up.  She put the phone back in her pocket.  "I almost feel sorry for the agents."

"So do I.  Especially for Agent Decker."  He sent that text back to Maria Hill for Fury.  They walked over to sit outside.  They had both seen the graduation battle's film.  He looked at her.  "Someone suggested you were getting less than brotherly feelings for me," he said quietly.

She giggled.  "Not quite.  You're a roadmap, a great big sign of a good boy, but I figure you like them wild so you can calm them down or really uptight so you can loosen them.  That and you're too old for me.  Unlike my sister, I don't need to date that far over my age.  I asked Natasha to find me one that was about my age."

He smiled.  "I do have good qualities.  I've never had complaints from any former girlfriends outside of the hours I work."

She gave him a shoulder nudge.  "Have you asked Agent Hill out?"

"No, I haven't.  I don't think she has a preference beyond asexual."

"Hmm.  I thought I caught her staring."  He blushed but shook his head.  "Maybe you should try.  Have dinner in the mess one night as a sneaky date?"

"I might if I find out she's interested."  He smirked at her.  "Got your eye on anyone I need to correct the ideas of?"

"No.  I'm not sure if I want to.  There's some...issues that might come up."

"Any agent in SHIELD would easily ignore the protection marks."

"True.  That goes against the whole college thing though."

He smiled.  "Yale is a great school."

"It's too far away to work for Stark part-time, and he said I can as long as I keep my grades up."

"True, but it's safe.  It's prestigious.  It'd get you out of the fighting for a bit."

She looked at him.  "But that's not what I want.  I want to help in whatever way I can.  I like working for Tony.  I fit in there well, I've made myself a good spot.  Until they run me off I want to stay there.  Which means NYU is the better option."

"There's a decent enough private school in town or Sarah Lawrence is nearby."

"I never applied to Sarah Lawrence.  I don't really dig their whole lesbian empowerment thing at times.  And I've been to that private college's campus.  Something there was giving me the wiggins."

"Any idea what?"

"Yeah, the wormhole research in the science building.  It felt way too comfy to the hellmouth."  She kicked her feet.  "I like NYU even though it's not as prestigious."

"Being hired later on could matter on your college choice.  Also remember you can pop around for work."

"Can't.  Yale's got protections on it to prevent any magic anywhere near the campus.  They're ancient.  Even if it was an emergency to get away I couldn't.  Which is why they had a nature witch killed there a few years back."  He nodded he understood that.  "Beyond that, Yale is *safe*.  There's nothing to do.  All the clubs are bars.  There's very few cultural things to go to that aren't on the campus.  There's nothing there that I can find that I'd want to hang out at."

"You can find one."

"I don't want to find one, Phil.  I found a few good ones in New York, including a club I can dick tease in whenever I'm in that mood.  I found safe places, I know my way around, I can pop off if I need to, and I know the emergency procedures there.  Yale was...  Yale was like vanilla pudding.  It's nice and all but has no flavor.  NYU has flavor and little crunchy stuff sprinkled in it from the muggers and other assorted jackasses in the darker side of life."

"I get that," he agreed.  "It's ultimately your choice but I would talk to Pepper about it.  Because if for some reason you need to change jobs, NYU might be counted against you where Yale wouldn't be."

She looked at him.  "The years of work should counter that."

"It should," he agreed.  "Plus you'd be allowed to put you worked as an assistant part time at a classified project that was related to your other job."

"I listed that on my college application and they called up to see what sort of game I was playing.  I was with Pepper, who told her it was a classified project in conjunction with Stark Enterprises and gave me a really dirty look."

"I'll look it over, make sure it's stated in a way that doesn't look too odd."  He smiled at her.  "You should start thinking about dating too."

"I am thinking.  I'm thinking a bit too often about guys," she admitted.  "That's one of those things I'm kind of worried about.  If it's a normal guy I'll have to freak him out with the Key stuff so he understands that the magical protections around my apartment are because I don't want to blow everyone up if I get happy that first time."

Xander walked past.  "You can hire an escort to teach you for all we care, Dawn.  Even Joyce said that."  He looked at her.  "Date an agent, date a nice boy that's not an agent, date a few nice girls, whatever, just be safe when you do it.  Because you needing antibiotics from a date means that I'm going to kill their dumb asses then marry you off."  He turned and went into the barracks.  "I heard the prayers.  What?"  They pointed.  He looked then at them.  "Not terribly bad considering I only had the jocks to plan with and had to do it the night before because Giles forgot that we'd have family and spectators there."  They slumped.  "I also built the bombs."  He smiled.  "Any other questions."  They shook their heads.

Barton slowly raised his hand.  "What's the chances we'll run into another of these?"

"There's multiple ways to ascend.  He took the hundred year version to be the biggest demon worm he could be.  Are there others with plans?  Probably.  I have no idea.  I haven't been tracking them.  Frankly, we'll deal with them when they pop onto the radar instead of trying to stop them beforehand.  Also, their last hundred days as a mortal they can't be killed."  He walked off.  He stopped to look at Phil.  "You may be having problems next week."  He walked off again.

"Battle?" he asked.

"No, not really.  Just got sent some information that I'm looking over and getting pissed off at."

"Thanks for the head's up," he said.  "Let me know when you do, Xander."

"Can do.  Dawn, if you want to get laid to see what it's like, go for it.  However you want, just be careful.  And don't date the guy that Barton's going to set you up with.  He's going to try to implicate you when he's busted for drugs by putting them in your purse."

"Okay," she said, nodding some.  "I can do that."

"Thanks."  He disappeared, going to talk to someone about that information they had just prayed.

She looked at Phil.  "I'm not one to get it in the back room of the club or in the car."

"Good," he said.  "Maybe I can ask a few commandos I know."

"I'd hate to rate them against Riley."

"Finn is a piss poor commando, Dawn.  They'd be superior in every way against him going to feed vampires for the adrenaline rush."

"Yeah, I guess most of them would be," she agreed.  "Though Buffy said she ran into one hunting down a former teammate and he was pathetic.  Apparently they have Riley's people commando shots that gave them stamina and extra length."

"Not likely.  There's no known shot for that.  Or else SHIELD would have the patent to it so we wouldn't worry about funding."  She cackled, batting him on the arm.  "Are you sure you'd rather try it than date?"

"No, I'd rather date but dating seems to get complicated by people who want to snatch my pretty ass.  Or mess it up."

"You'll find someone good.  You're only eighteen.  You're still in the statistical timeframe of normal for virginity and dating slowly."

"She could try you," one of the agents said from the doorway.  "That really happened?"

Dawn looked at him.  "Yes, that was their graduation."  She smirked.  "And I'd take Phil up on your offer but I'm not into anyone that much older than I am.  I'm sure he's great at it.  I'm pretty darn certain that he's got all that and can measure up heavily with porn stars from what I've heard in the rumors around the hell carrier."  Phil was blushing.  "Even with the rumors of him being the best lay on the ship doesn't mean I'm going to go for the guy who's like my big brother."  The agent was bright red.  "You seriously need to get over it, dude."  She looked him over.  "You've got no reason to brag or even hope to brag so just accept it, learn it like a new skill so no one has to complain or ask if you're in there yet, oral sex is supposed to make up for that if you're wondering, and then maybe you can get your own girlfriend."  He stomped back inside.

"Many women think so but men expect it more than women do," Natasha said from behind them.

Dawn grinned at her.  "Why would I date a guy who couldn't or wouldn't reciprocate?  And how do you end a gag reflex?"

"There's a few ways," she admitted.  "I haven't had one since before I was your age.  I'll ask a few of the male agents for tips for you."  She strolled off to talk to the panicking newbies.  She walked in.  "Critique the battle plans," she ordered.  Most of them settled down and quit praying for it to never happen again.  "We have three others trying it.  Two in Europe and one here in the US in Chicago."  They stared at her.  She smirked.  "They won't be up for another three years and the ones in Europe are due in about ten."  They muttered more prayers about being out of those fights but did the critique.

Barton looked at her.  "Alexander wasn't sure."

"He has more important things to worry about."  He nodded.  "Anything to add as a senior agent?"

He smiled.  "Alexander said he only had their team and the jocks, that he had to replan the night before because he had been too busy.  I probably would've flanked them a bit more tightly but overall it seems he put them where they had the best chance of surviving.  I'm shocked he only lost that few."

She nodded.  "So was he I believe."  The agents were staring at her.  She stared back.  They went back to their critiques.

One agent raised his hand.  "I've heard spring apocalypses mentioned.  Are they always about that bad?"

"It depends on the year," Dawn said as she and Phil walked in.  "The year after that they had to take down a Special Ops project that was torturing demons to figure them out.  Their ultimate plan was to put them in your jobs."  Barton shook his head quickly.  "And the head scientist was creating her own Frankenstein's Monster from spare demon and soldier parts.  He killed her though and the military took firmer control.  The year after that was Glory, the hell goddess.  Then a bunch of NID shit, including my niece.  Some attacks, the invasion got moved up from when they were planning in about five years later than it happened.  This last fall apocalypse wasn't *too* bad.  Bit creepy with the guy creating so many zombies out of living people in Florida that we had to handle and then cover up."  She looked at Phil.

"I'm glad I heard that lemon juice takes out zombie smell," he said.

"Thank you for telling my sister.  She was about to shave herself bald."  She looked at them.  "As I said earlier, my sister got poked with the destiny to be a slayer at fifteen.  She came to Sunnydale shortly after her sixteenth birthday."  They slumped and nodded.  "If we can do it as teenagers, you should be good enough to help us.  Especially as SHIELD agents. 

"Because you guys not only have to back up apocalypse battles with the slayers if necessary, you'd have to be battles like New York.  Phil was and he was dead that morning."  She stopped herself from shuddering.  "This is the yardstick you have to measure up to, people, and it's set really high.  Even the regular field agents have to measure up to the same stick he does."  She walked off rubbing her arms.

Phil looked at the group.  "The official standards are set in the handbook," he said quietly.  "Learn them and live up to them or else we can transfer you to another agency so we have people who we know we can work with there."  They all nodded, going back to their notes.  He followed Dawn.  It's clear what had upset her.  She was still shaking.  He patted her on the shoulder, making her flinch.  "I did get better thanks to you, Tara, Xander, and even Willow," he said quietly.

"I could've lost you and I'm so not into losing more people I like," she said quietly.

"That is the nature of the job."

She snorted.  "Don't remind me.  If Xander hadn't forced Angel to bring him to where Buffy was dead, she'd still be dead."  He squeezed her shoulder and she leaned against his side.  "Don't get dead again, Phil.  Or else I'll bring you back as a puppy or something."  He laughed but she was serious.  "I will.  A little yappy dog."

"I'm sure you'd be a great pet owner.  You took good care of Natasha."  She slightly relaxed.  "I try as hard as I can every single day.  Even that day.  Some days none of us can avoid things."

"I know."  She gave him a quick hug and a tight squeeze.  "Just don't die again until I'm older.  Okay?"  He nodded.  She walked off.

He let her, she needed some thinking time and perhaps some ice cream time.  He went back to dealing with the agents who had not a clue what the reality was.  "I think I'll suggest that we reinstate the mandatory 10K run per year rule," he told Natasha.

"That's very mean," she said but she was slightly smiling.  "I don't think many of these ones can run a full 10K, much less a marathon."

"Yes but they need to be able to," he pointed out.  "The ones helping from the ground in New York certainly needed that sort of stamina and that battle only lasted a few hours."

She nodded.  "Even I was exhausted."

"Me too and I had the least strenuous spot," Barton said from his corner seat.  "That special ops project the same one that tried to get restarted?"

"Yes," Phil said.  "They weren't as bad this time.  Much more humane by what I've seen."  Barton grimaced.  "Did you hear about Spike?"

"Some," he admitted.  "I saw the file."

"They did the chip."

"Excuse me?" he demanded.

"It was to test it before it went into soldiers."

"Fuck them," he said.

"Many had that sentiment," Natasha agreed.  "I'd expect they were planned for special use soldiers, like assassins?"  Coulson shook his head.  "Really?"

"They used Army personnel because the Marines would've killed them when they learned it was for them.  Someone asked the higher ups during the tribunal."

One of the less capable junior agents raised his hand.  "Should we learn about them in case they're restarted, sirs?"

Coulson considered it.  "They did restart and were just ended."  He pulled up those files, having to bypass the security clearance rating.  Natasha put in a password she had ...found lying around.  That worked and he let them look over those files and the tapes they had stored.  Barton lasted about an hour then had to leave.  Natasha left quickly after that because the next tape was gruesome.  Coulson wasn't watching or listening.  He knew better.  He had already seen them.  Dawn strolled in and got onto an online file storage site and pulled up more files.  "That's not very secure," he said quietly.

"Willow hacked."  She grinned and strolled off again.  "Behind that I pulled up Glory just in case something like that shows up."  She paused then came back.  "Have we realized that Loki, ours, is still dating the VP and it's about time for him to decide if he's running for office?"

Coulson blinked.  "I had not thought of the issue," he admitted, sending that to Fury directly.  And to Alexander.  He got back a 'yup, he'll try' from the God and a bit of a complaint from Fury about it being his day off.  "They'll figure it out, Dawn.  Thank you for thinking of that."

She grinned.  "With your luck he'd try to breed you too."  He nodded that was true since Loki had praised his loyalty to his son once.  "Do you think he wants grandkids with the way he went off on the NID when they tried that shit?"

He quirked an eyebrow up.  "Probably to make future alignments with.  At that time, his son was a lot less powerful."

"But now Xander could remove them from the Norse lineage completely," she said.  "Just put whatever spawn he has into the local house.  He's already put Callia in there to protect her."

Loki appeared, glaring at her.  "I would rather have a grandchild that I could teach to follow in my glorious footsteps, Miss Summers.  Not ones to pawn off on others so they must put up with my son's hyperactivity disorder during their marriage.  My son's offspring would probably destroy this world better than I ever could."

"I heard that," Xander's voice floated out.  "Just think, the Initiative fuckers were trying too, Dad."

Loki looked up.  "You destroyed them without mercy, my son."

"Not hardly."

"Excuse me?" Dawn and Loki asked, both looking up.

"Alexander, can I have that file?" Coulson asked.

"In a few."  His voice cut off abruptly.

Loki got that sinking feeling.  "They can't use you, correct?"

"No, not with how I was born.  I'd have to do some corrective work," she admitted.

"You're a trannie?  You can't tell," one of the junior agents quipped.

"No!" she snorted.  "I'm born fully female but not with a functioning uterus, thank you."  He shrank down.  "I can correct it magically."

"Does Tara have that same sort of problem?  Is it magical in nature?"

"No.  Hers is her parents.  Who I'm going to torture if I run into them.  Even if she does scowl at me."

"Her father's in jail for spousal abuse and the death of his first wife from said abuse," Phil said simply.

Dawn squealed and hugged him.  "Thank you for taking care of him for her."

"Welcome.  And no hugging while I'm with agents, Dawn."

She looked at them.  "You guys all know I hug, right?"  They all nodded.  "Good.  Because if you pick on Phil, being the next pony ride is the least of your worries."  She looked at one.  "Isn't that right, Draco?"  He blanched and slid down in his seat.  She smiled at Loki.  "You'd make such a cute ferret too."  He huffed but left.

Bia leaned in and smiled at her.  "Instead of the grandparent warping them, we'd load them up on sugar and send them to him for a few hours."  She beamed and disappeared.

Coulson shook his head.  "I'm sure they'd have fun watching the kid destroy Valhalla by bouncing it to death."  He rubbed the back of his neck.

She smiled.  "All those calm, meditative Hindu gods?" she suggested.

He looked at her.  "Find some ice cream to take the bad ideas away, Summers," he ordered.

She grinned.  "I don't think that'll work this time.  Apparently I'm picking up Buffy's bad idea time."  She strolled off twitching her butt a bit since the junior agents were all staring anyway.

"She's taking fix ups," Coulson said.  "They have to be decent and they're not getting anywhere near first base for ten dates."

"My little brother's nineteen and in the army.  I'll see if he wants introduced," one said.  "Before she gives Stark some really bad ideas."

Coulson put the tentacle monster video up.  "That's Alexander's sort of bad idea when he's forced to power his father's chaos energies for a decade."  They all watched and most of them were clutching their dicks and bending down to make sure they weren't cut the same way they were taking down the tentacles.  John started to walk in then turned and walked back out.  "Sorry," he called.

"We all got royally drunk that night.  Roque had to go get more booze for us since we ran out of Radek's hooch," John called back.

"Yes, this happened on that classified project that just got leaked by Colonel Fury," Phil said smugly.  "Where his brother had to handle it."  The agents cheered when the warrior women showed up, even if they were wincing at the arrows through the dick looking tentacles.  "Sadly, this is a SHIELD problem as well."  He smirked.  "We only got two of them and Director Fury took a flamethrower to them when he heard that they were attacking things because Captain American and Mr. Stark were both hiding from them as high up as they could get."

"Did the agents get reprimanded for hiding?" one asked.

Coulson nodded.  "Even Captain America did.  Stark got a second one for bringing in ten strippers to help the drunk agents forget they had seen the tentacles."

"Where were you, sir?" one asked.

"On a mission with Barton."

They settled in to guard their man parts and finish taking notes.  SHIELD expected a lot from their agents and most of them were doubting they could handle it at the moment.

"Regular agents get to shoot at things trying to take out humanity," Coulson said.  "Special agents get to train to take a place on the Avengers some day."  They relaxed and decided they could handle the lesser duties.  Any agent good enough to be an Avenger had to be extra special and slightly insane.


Xander flashed in front of someone getting huffy.  "What?" he asked.  "You yelled?" he prompted when O'Neill stared.

"Where's Colonel Sheppard?"

"Relaxing.  His whole team is visiting my house to help with some training.  You were there the other day, General."

"Still?" he demanded.

"Yeah.  John said you hadn't recalled him and when he tried to get sent back General Landry blocked it.  He's waiting on orders.  He said he sent you an email through McKay."

O'Neill looked at his assistant, who got into his email.  "I don't have that."

Xander looked then at him.  "Does that shock you since there's demon cocksuckers who hate the city?" he asked bluntly.  The reporters gasped.  He looked at them.  "Hi."  He smiled.  He looked at O'Neill again.  "If he's that mean, I'm taking the warriors with me."

"They're on leave right now," he said.  "Does Thor need them?"

"Don't know.  I'd have to ask."  Thor appeared, looking a bit shocked since he was holding a plate.  "Quick question.  Do you need the warriors we leant to O'Neill?"

"I would not mind having them around.  Many agents I work with daily are a bit strange about me still."

"Cool."  He sent him back and put a mug of mead next to his plate.  Xander grinned.  "I'll check with the head guy for that."

"Thanks.  Tell Sheppard to call me?"  Xander looked up and then O'Neill's phone rang.  "Thank you.  Dismissed, Harris, before you cause a freak out."

"Sure but I know it'd be lust because I'm so pretty."  He smirked and left.  He really did have to stop that new plan.  He got a very bad idea.  He spread it to the family to see if they'd like to help.


Dawn looked up.  "Oh hell no, Xander!  Do not pull one of your demented spawn from another realm to show those who want you to have kids what they'd be like!  Please, Goddess, don't do that!"

Roque looked over at her.  "What?"

"Xander just suggested he go to the Xander convention coming up and babysit for a while so they could see how his kids would turn out."

"Fuck no!" Roque shouted.  "No way in hell, Xander!  I don't feel like helping you destroy everyone that way!"

Xander appeared.  "I can ask the Sividia me to appear deaged for a bit," he offered with a sweet grin.  "He'd love that prank."

"Go get laid," Roque ordered with a point.  "Right the hell now!"

"If they catch me with Bia they'll try to name us mates," he said with a grin.  "Can't do that."  He cackled.

Coulson leaned out of the barracks.  "Like with Stark, I can taze you too, Xander.  It might take a higher hit to knock you out but I can manage I'm sure."

"I'd have to add to it," Dawn said.  "Bia, he's got a really horrible idea."

"I heard," she called.  "Xander, honey, go find a whorehouse please?  Or jump Stark, something?"

He pouted.  "But it'd stop that plan."

"What plan?" Clay demanded.  "You already stopped the Initiative people's plans."  Xander shook his head.  "Shit.  Jensen!"

"Yup?" he called, flying closer.  "What's up?"

"Someone has a new plan to take the place of the Initiative's breeding program," Xander said with a grin.

Jensen landed and changed.  "Let me go hack that so you can turn over the files."

"I was going to bring a few of my kids from other realms," Xander offered.  "That way they'd stop it of their own free will and not restart it.  Or maybe a little me.  There's a few that got deaged."

"Xander, I hate to agree with the stuffed colonel there, but go find a whorehouse," Dawn ordered.  "Please!  Before I have to tell Mom so she won't get attached."

"But...." he started.

Roque sent him to the nearest demi so they could help him unwind.  He was sure Ezra knew where the better working girls were in his city of choice.  He looked at Clay.  "What's really scary is that they literally held a Xander convention.  Over three hundred of them in one spot."  Clay whimpered a tiny little sound.  "Yeah!  Exactly."

Dawn grinned.  "You should've heard about hormone Xander.  He's a high priest for Ares, Strife, and Cupid."  Roque gave her a horrified look.  "Their realm has people who have really high pheromone output.  It makes them super horny and often gets them kidnaped or presents from people who want to own them like a special pet.  Then again, he had a few CSI hims and one set of CSI hims that also designed weapons.  Or the one that was the president."

"I heard about that one," Roque complained.  He walked off rubbing his forehead.  "Twin Xanders are evil."

"They don't hold that convention here, right?" Clay asked.

"No, they pick a realm that touches a lot of places and then close it off for a few days."  She grinned.

"Thank you, God!" Clay shouted.  He followed his mate to calm down both of their headaches.  He found him in Xander's kitchen;  Roque pounced him there.

Bia looked over.  "If you conceive in there, I get to name it."  Clay waved a hand, probably for help, but she was having eye candy time so it was all good.  Even if she would have to order pizzas and restock the pantry.  She so needed more batteries anyway.

Dawn looked at Coulson, grinning some.

"We have got to find a way to get those out of your head before they warp you permanently," Coulson complained, going back to his debriefing.  Dawn's cackle faded so she was clearly going to tell Stark that joke.


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