Old Ones in Love and Battles.
Carolyn Lam stared at him. "Excuse me? I'm what?"
"I'm sensing the unsubtle hand of a Love Goddess," Xander quipped. He and John shared a look. There were only so many who’d interrupt and it was most likely one of that small set.
"Lady Aphrodite?" John called loudly, making one of the nurses jump, especially when the bikini-clad blonde showed up with a smile and a cheek pinch for the boys. "Lady Aphrodite, did you tamper with Carolyn last night?" he asked.
She stared at her. "Well, it looks like it's a good match and he does need someone who can stand him."
"We haven't even slept together yet," Carolyn said firmly. "Beyond that, I didn't want to be immortal. I'm still considering that implication of dating Xander." Aphrodite gave her a horrified look. Xander hugged her. "I know I'd have to, but ... I'm not sure," she said more quietly to him.
"I understand very well," he assured her, kissing her on the cheek. He looked at her. "We may end up very close friends, Lady Aphrodite, but we've only been on a few dates. You jumped the broom race by a lot this time."
"Oops?" she guessed.
"Can we undo it?" Carolyn asked.
Aphrodite shrugged. "Let me ask Hera. They're her apples." Hera appeared before she could move. "Oh, good," she said with a smile.
"I felt you give it to her last night and wondered why."
"We've had seven whole dates," Xander told her. "We haven't even had sex yet, Lady Hera." Carolyn pinched him. "We've barely talked about sex."
Hera winced. "Let's see how much she gave you, dear. It might be able to be put in as making you very healthy if you didn't get a full one." She concentrated and John fed her some energy. "Thank you, Jonathan. You're a very sweet boy." She considered it. "You mostly got the juice but it reacts very well in your system, dear." She changed it. "You're not immortal, though you'll probably be one of the longest lived mortals on record," she said with a smile. "You'll heal a bit faster as well."
"Thank you," Carolyn said quietly.
Hera smiled. "We all wish that Alexander could find someone worthy of him."
"Please don't wish," Xander moaned.
"No wish demons up here," John said dryly.
"We have three on staff," Jensen said from the doorway. "I just made one walk off." Hera gave him a horrified look. Then turned it on Xander.
"I hope they didn't? I'd want whoever I'm with to have it naturally, not a wish-enforced mate."
"No, she didn't glow or anything, Xander. Not unless it was after she walked off." Jensen grinned. "News? Clay's grumpy and so is Pooch."
"Aphrodite got a bit happy that Carolyn was helping me calm down from Mom's mood swings."
"Awww." He grinned. "Well, if you decide to join us, it'll be neat. There's whole bunches of people we can tell you about." He walked off.
Hera sighed and nodded. "Their kind are usually quite energetic and entertaining."
Xander nodded. "I remember since I helped in their last battle." He grinned and kissed her on the cheek. "Let me go check on the dog." He disappeared. "Have a great day, Carolyn," he whispered as he faded out.
She shivered. "He's very...intense and yet very sweet."
John grinned. "He is. I taught him how to flirt. It used to be that women in Valhalla would throw themselves at him but he never knew why." Aphrodite giggled and disappeared. "Thank you." He looked at Hera. "Would you like to see your garden, Lady Hera?"
She smiled. "I would, Jonathan." She took his arm and brought the pretty young doctor with her to talk to her about Alexander. She adored that boy. She had almost talked Zeus into adopting him. She wanted the best for the brothers. She'd have to check on that doctor's line to see if Aphrodite had jumped the gun or not.
Elsewhere, both on earth and on Atlantis, the wish demons of all types heard a wish requested by a higher power that they knew not to piss off. D'Hoffryn and the other heads of the wish demon types all urged caution but they'd have to put their back behind that one. Alexander was too important to piss off. They might all die. That might be bad for them and humanity.
The ones who knew him weren't surprised the senior Goddess was frustrated with his dating life.
One even went to taunt Thor in New York, unfortunately during a battle. So he didn't exactly hear what he needed to before he slammed his hammer into that one's head.
Xander woke up from his nap and looked around his bedroom. "I really do have to decorate some day soon," he said dryly. He got up and showered then went to make breakfast, finding he had a visitor. He stared at her. "Back again?" he finally asked.
"I...." Anya swallowed. "I was dumb."
"Yup." He turned away to get stuff for breakfast. He was in emotional, soul deep pain. His dog came running in from the newly fenced in back yard and growled at her. "Hellion," he warned. The dog kept barking and growling at her. He looked at him. "What is wrong with you?" He picked him up but the dog kept growling at her. "I'm not dating her, Hellion. She's a selfish bitch who walked off crying because oh my god, I got injured." He put him into the living room and found another surprise guest. "Hey, Buff."
"Hi." She petted the dog, who sniffed her and barked in a more friendly manner. "I let her in."
He went back to fixing breakfast. "I need to paint."
"With the way the hellmouth could fall in any day now are you sure you want to?" Buffy asked, following him back to his breakfast making.
"Even Carolyn said it was dark and dreary," he said dryly. "It's really hard to get your woo on when she's thinking Addams Family thoughts."
"Good point. You could use a few good coats of paint." She grinned. "So anyway....." He looked at her. "Wish demons all over had a minor freak out last night."
"Why now?" he sighed. "Nothing pinged me."
"I think it was about you," Anya said dryly. "Someone made a wish for you to find a happy mate."
He looked up. "Leave Carolyn alone!" he shouted. "If it happens, it'll happen naturally, not with Goddess, God, or demon help!" He went back to his scrambled eggs. "So, anyway, Buffy, should you even be in Sunnydale?"
"Yeah, Giles warded me so I could come at least be present and make sure nothing too big was going to go down. Even though I can't fight," she said when he stared at her. "You can fight for me though." She smirked. "I'll just tell you 'go beat up that demon for me'."
He snorted. "I've heard that many times," he said dryly.
She pinched him on the arm. "I asked some of the demons. You've been alive a really long time." He nodded. "Like older than the US." He nodded again. "Older than even England maybe." He nodded again. "You are?"
"Yeah. I'm a lot older than they think. I didn't get sent to make friends for Valhalla until the Supposed Ones tried to take over our spots and created a war between pantheons to do it. I was barely into my adulthood then. That's when I found out I had a brother and my father handfasted me to Roque to stop the fucking thing." She shivered. He shrugged. "We weren't happy about it but it's our duty. Now, I'm even less pleased about those sort of things." Hellion came back and barked some more. "Why do you have whipped cream on your nose?" he asked his dog.
"Oops, my coffee," she said as she went to get it and come back. "Drained it totally, dog. That's mean. It was even decaf."
"We can get you some on the way to the hardware store for paint," he said dryly.
"Thank you." She hugged his arm. "Your mom didn't tell you?"
"Odin claimed me so as soon as I could I got sent to live with my dad. I visited a lot but she never managed to tell me about John. He's not that much older than I am."
"Huh." She sat down at the table in there. "You need a whole paint job and rearranging in here too, Xander."
"Yeah but I can't do that with my powers until I arrange to have the temple done," he quipped. He glared at Anya, who huffed. "I'm still not unpissed at you." He turned back to his egg making. "You so pissed me off you're lucky you're not ashes, Anya. There's plenty that offered to help me that night." She disappeared. He looked at his friend.
"She wanted to apologize," Buffy said dryly.
"She took one look at me and walked off sobbing like I was now horribly wrong somehow," he said dryly. "The only reason she came back is I'm under a potential curse that I'll kill about." He put down plates for them. She smiled and dug in. He sat down and ate his own breakfast. "Wanna help me paint?"
"Sure." She ate a bite, staring at him. "They're seriously scared of whoever wished, Xander."
Xander felt around and nodded. "Hera can do that to someone's balls. She's scared the crap out of me a few times too." He ate another bite. "Thankfully we don't need alignment marriages. Or else I'd have put Dawn up to one very protective warrior sort." He smirked.
Buffy shook her head. "She'd ruin someone like that."
"She'd tease them into doing more than practicing."
"Exactly and then she'd have to have the sex too, which would be bad for her."
"She's the same age you were when you started to see Angel."
"Which should be a huge 'no, don't do that' signpost," she countered. He stared at her, smirking slightly. "You hush."
"Fine." He ate a bite and chewed. "Want me to introduce her without pressure?"
"No!" She kicked him under the table. "Eww! She's too young until she's twenty-something."
Xander snorted. "I doubt that'll stick," he said dryly. "Even from your mother."
"Mom's being totally unreasonable and reminded me of Angel too." He smirked harder. She kicked him again. "I reminded her how that turned out."
"I told you he wasn't a good guy to crush on."
"Fine." They finished breakfast and he cleaned up then took her to the hardware store, with a stop for her decaf with whipped cream. He hoped he never got pregnant and got cravings. It'd be too weird and probably ruin his diet.
Dawn looked at her bosses, staring at the fighting, fussing people. She whistled. "We have more important things to argue about." They both glared. She huffed. "Fine, I won't mention that the Hulk's hugely green and going against a robot." She pointed. "Not like my sister's here to handle it." Tony looked and called over their communications system. Hulk didn't use them but Thor did and he was probably heading up to help too. He sighed and went to get into his suit.
Pepper snorted, shaking her head. "Sometimes you have to browbeat men, Dawn."
"And sometimes you have to humor them and change their thinking a different way," she quipped. "He's more stubborn than Xander and telling Xander no tends to get more mule headed problems. Pull a Buffy and do it her way."
Pepper grimaced. "I don't think I can do that. I don't have bimbo switch like she does." Dawn snickered, shaking her head. "Besides, he'd realize he was being manipulated."
Dawn stared at her. "You're better than that."
Pepper smirked. "Yes I am." She walked past her. "Let's go see what sort of damage is being done this time."
"You know, insurance companies must hate him." She followed. "Do they sell riders for superhero caused damage?"
"Not yet but I'm sure someone will sometime soon," Pepper said. "I should tell a former classmate that idea." She smirked at her assistant. "Where's your mother today?"
"Wonderful news." Dawn beamed back. "Hopefully she'll be done with that soon."
"We think so. They're doing another scan today since Mom's records from the city have the surgery listed. They'll tell her in the next few days. She's got an appointment with the oncologist in three days." She felt something and flinched. "Oh, shit, that's got to be sucky. It's heading for a children's hospital." She ran to the window and stared. The robot was going to fire on it and Thor was going to be slammed into it by the beam. She concentrated, pulling up her magic. A shield went up around the building. Thor slammed into it and Dawn flinched but held it long enough for him to fly off it. Then it dropped. "Ow," she said then passed out.
Pepper stared. "Well, young lady, perhaps we have to have a talk about that," Pepper said. She got their medics on staff for Tony's battle injuries to come get Dawn and called Tony while they picked her up. "That shield was Dawn and she's down. She said that's a children's hospital, Tony." She hung up and followed the paramedics. She glanced out the windows down there, wincing that they couldn't get the robot moved. She called Xander. "Xander, Dawn had to hold a shield over a hospital. Giant robot," she sighed. "Thank you. Yes, he's there too." She hung up. Then she called Joyce to warn her Dawn was fine, just asleep for a nap from that. That way she couldn't worry. Joyce proved she had special mom powers about Dawn getting into trouble more than once.
Xander hung up. "Gotta go help the uncle," he said, putting down his paint roller.
"Go. I can work on this."
"Cool." Xander flashed himself to New York, staring at the robot. "Yo, stupid, that's a children's hospital. Move your stupid bitch ass out of the way!" Thor gave him a horrified look. The robot tried to step on him so he shot power up it. It shook and pieces started to fall off. Including some of the panel armor. Xander considered it then nodded. "Call lightening, Thor. It's mechanical." He did that and the robot fried. The guy inside fried too. Xander shook his head. "They need to sell insurance for you guys." He went back to his painting. It was helping Buffy to nest since she didn't have a place to clean and fix up for the baby. Since he'd probably end up babysitting at least once she might as well set one up in his place.
Thor looked at Stark. "Would that work on your suit?"
"It'd short me out but I have things to account for possible lighting strikes. Did he do that before?"
"Yes, before I got my hammer back from Odin there was a battle. He did it then with her." They stared at the robot. "You need to build shields so Dawn doesn't have to. I'm sure that gave her a headache."
"Pepper said she's taking an unscheduled nap." They shot the robot's human operator and he flailed then went down. "Good." He heard sirens. "Cops."
"Let us go get the just rewards of a good battle well fought then." They disappeared to their various female fussy people to be bitched at and then pampered stupid, as heros should have. He heard Stark yelp over the comm system but smiled and shook his head. Pepper could be mean when she wanted to be. She reminded him of some of his aunts.
Though he'd never tell her that. He liked his skin in the condition it was in, not flayed or turned into ribbons from her nails.
Tony Stark walked into the infirmary inside the Avenger's building, staring at the bed. "She passed out?" The suit retreated with the take-off station in there.
"The shield was a bit too much for her so she passed out," Pepper said.
"We need to figure out how to build portable ones for the local officers. I'll work on that later." He came over to stare at her. "She'll be fine?"
"Just fine." She smiled. "Though Joyce is swearing if she turns into Willow she's going to beat her senseless."
"Dawn has sense and doesn't need more power. Or so we thought."
"She didn't tap into anything but her personal reserves. No hint of green," Pepper said.
"Wonderful! So she won't get too accustomed to it." Pepper shook her head. "Even better. Take her out for a walk later in the park. It'll probably help the headache."
"I can do that. Fury wanted a report."
"Of course," he sighed. He went to do that. Though he left out Dawn's part. He was wise enough and skilled enough in politics to know that if Dawn showed that sort of gift, Fury would be on her to use it for the Avengers team. Or like Black Widow had. Which would suck for the girl. She was only sixteen. He found Black Widow in his office. "Dawn is not to be mentioned."
"I don't take those sort of orders but I'd never do that to a child. Especially not a happy child," she said, staring at him. He nodded. "I am stepping up her training."
"Talk to her mother for permission."
Tony shook his head. "Joyce will rip his insides out and cackle. You have to ask Joyce's permission, Sonya." He smirked. "Even Xander doesn't like to upset Joyce."
She snorted. "Pepper has custody."
"No she doesn't. She has guardianship." She moaned, shaking her head. "For that matter, I'd check with Buffy too because Buffy's going to kill whoever makes her supposedly normal sister fight."
"She's not like us."
"She's not. She's a destined hero. She knows how sucky this job can be. Has for years." He stared at her. "If we have to protect Dawn so be it." She walked off shaking her head. "I'd hate to see what Dawn would change her into," he muttered.
"Done," a female voice said.
Stark called a number he had recently put into his phone. "Rosenburg's doing something?" He hung up and got to work on his short, limited detail report. He called Xander. "You may not know the answer to this but if Rosenburg turned someone into a cat and we put her to death what happens?" He winced at the 'she'll stay that way'. "Thanks." He hung up and called Fury back. "Xander said you if you kill her before she changes Black Widow back from the cute, fluffy little black kitten she currently is hissing in the mirror at, she'll stay that way." He hung up and finished his report, sending it off. Fury was going to be too busy torturing Willow to make her change Black Widow back. "Pepper, bad news. Your other assistant is a kitten," he called as he walked past her office.
"Excuse me?" she called. She got to her door in time to see Stark disappear around a corner and went to check. Sure enough, Tony's office had a hissing, spitting black kitten. "Oh, Sonya," she sighed, picking it up. The kitten hissed at her too. She stared at it. "Keep it up. Dawn can have a pet." The cat settled down. "We'll talk to Tara about changing you back." She called her to do that. Tara said if Willow did it she had to undo it. She wasn't as powerful and no one probably was outside Hecate. She called Xander to ask his opinion and he said Hecate was swearing at her but Willow had really put some power into it so only she could undo the spell. Pepper hung up, looking at the kitten on the desk. "We'll go talk to Willow. That way you can claw her to death." She took her up to the hell carrier.
Fury gave the cat a horrified look. "She'll gut us for seeing her like that."
"Quite possibly," Pepper said with a smile. "Xander's checked, even Hecate can't undo it."
"Fuck," he muttered, stomping back down to her cell. It was time to torture her. And he had just the place to start. The cat got tossed on her and she screamed as it clawed her. "Then change her back!"
"I can't!" Willow wailed. "I'd been storing power for weeks! She was going to turn Dawn into her!"
The two adults sighed and let Black Widow work her over some more. It was nice the cat was taking out her frustration.
Dawn squealed when Pepper handed her the cute and cuddly little kitten, snuggling it under her chin and petting it. "Awww! You got me a kitten?" she asked with a grin.
"No, Willow got you a kitten." Dawn paused in her petting then went back to it, giving her a look. "That's Sonya."
"As in your scary other semi-assistant and Stark-sitter for Fury?"
"Yes." She sat beside her bed in the infirmary. "She was going to... insert herself into your training."
"I don't want to be a spy. That lifestyle sucks and people try to use you to sexpionage and things."
"That's one reason not to let her, yes. Apparently Willow overheard her ideas and changed her the day she was due to be put down."
"So you can't because she'll stay this way," Dawn said with a smirk. Pepper nodded. "Huh. Has Mommy seen Willow yet?"
"We let Sonya have her for a good hour. It took her another hour and a half to get all the blood and skin off her claws."
Dawn smirked at the cat. "My mother's going to do the same thing to you for even *thinking* about that idea," she assured her, but petted her anyway. "I wouldn't mind following Pepper but I'll never be the snazzy spandex wearing girl you are, Sonya." She smiled at Pepper. "Can I do that?"
"Definitely," she said with a smile. "We can easily set you up to do what I'm doing with someone nicer than Tony." They shared a smile. "Ready to go to the park? Tony suggested we do that." Dawn nodded and got up, taking the cat with her. They got her a pretty collar and harness kit, plus a nice black sweater. Which the cat hated but yay! It made sure they could go for a walk in the park. Pepper was amused but Dawn and Sonya hadn't always gotten along. Dawn got why Sonya was so intense and sometimes scary but Sonya had no idea about why Dawn was still a happy person.
Tony smirked when they came back with fat free frozen yogurt cones and a pouty cat. He petted the kitten's head. "We'll make her change you back as soon as we can." The cat hissed but he just smirked. "Remember, now you're able to sneak around in different ways." He walked off.
Dawn looked back. "You're missing sparring."
"Yup, heading there now, Miss Nag."
"Thank you. Can't have the guys who save our butts getting flabby butt syndrome," she quipped back. "Then you'd never fit into the suit."
He snorted, staring at her. "I'd never let myself get that bad."
"Don't tempt him to start doing something to look like a bodybuilder. He'll have to build another suit and test it too," Pepper said, smiling at her evil little protege. "Then we'll see more accidents." Dawn snickered, she had seen the last one and helped him suffer through the concussion and sprained ankle.
"I'd never let myself get that big. I'd look dumber than I am." He walked off shaking his head but smirking. He'd have to tell his trainer and Howdy that joke. And about the new compound cat.
Xander showed up later that night when Tara yelped, looking at the mean looking guy staring at her. He punched him and knocked him down. "Let me make this very clear, dude. Tara is like a sibling to me. The same as Dawn is. You touch them and I'll make you demon toothpaste." He stared at him. He hugged Tara. "Dawn's freaking out why?"
"Willow's last moment of life's action," she said quietly.
"I heard," he moaned. "And then a few of them decided to show up to nag *me* about *her* shit." Tara moaned, shaking her head. "Exactly." He looked at the woman walking their way. "Hey." He looked at Tara again. "So, I've had Buffy nesting by painting half my house today." She giggled. "I made her dinner for it since Hellion kept trying to help by painting with his tail."
"She sent me video of it." She smiled. "Stark wanted to ask you a question."
"Sure, I'm here. I'm avoiding the paint smell for dinner." The female cleared her throat. "We're not ignoring you. You can jump into the conversation if you want, ma'am."
"Why is he on the ground?"
"Because he was menacing this nice young woman who is like my sibling. So I punched him."
"We're agents," she said dryly.
He smirked. "That's nice. I'm a God, sweetheart." She snorted in derision. "Fury?" he called, spotting him. "What did Stark want?"
"To see if he could breed Hellion to his patrol dogs I think," he said, walking that way. He saw what was going on and shrugged. "He boring Tara by hitting on her?" She shuddered but shook her head. "I knew the idiot wasn't that smart but really." He looked at her. "This is Thor's nephew Xander. God of Protectors."
She gaped. "They're actually Gods?" she demanded.
"Yeah," Xander said with a smirk. "Loki's my father."
Thor walked up behind him and clapped him on the back. "It's good you're more sane than your father ever was, nephew." He nodded at Tara. "My sisters would more than welcome you coming up to pet their steeds, Tara. They think you'd make a good valkyrie as well."
"With the way they treat some of the women up there?" Xander snorted. "I'd have to go up and teach women's lib with Buffy."
Thor looked at him. "My female associate said much the same." He looked at Tara. "Their steeds are mightily spoiled. They have not been properly exercised or groomed recently."
She smiled. "I wouldn't mind but I can't handle the whole battle and ale bearing thing."
Thor nodded. "As I'd expect. My sisters are women of olden days and mores." He walked off, stepping over the one on the ground. "He will not flirt with her again, Xander. What was Hellion doing that made her giggle?"
"Trying to help Buffy paint with his tail."
Thor snickered. "Dogs are strange and yet helpful. I'm glad we don't have many mutts in Asgard." He turned the corner.
Xander shook his head. "Sometimes but he's a Greek dog."
Tara giggled. "He's a good dog, no matter what his nationality is."
"Most of the time." He looked at the confused looking woman and guy on the floor. "Yeah, that was Thor." He looked at her. "If you want to go pet the horses, I'll bring you up." She smiled and nodded so he took her up. "Magrid!" he bellowed, summoning one of the younger cousins. She came jogging out. "This is Tara. Tara is *very* much like my baby sister."
"We won't let the warriors pick on her, Alexander." She smiled.
"Or flirt," Xander ordered. "She's a nice girl who likes girls."
Magrid nodded quickly. "We'll be nice to her, cousin."
"Thank you. They were going to let her pet the flying beasts."
"Okay. It's getting me out of dinner." She took Tara to the stables, helping her with the pegasi and other horses.
Xander went home and went back to painting. Before Buffy painted part of his house rose pink. He managed to get three whole hours of sleep before he was woken by someone screaming his name. He appeared there before he fully woke up, yawning some. He stared at the being and called his axe, cutting its head off. "How did a wraith get here?"
"That's what I was going to ask you!" Fury shouted, stomping toward him. "I know it didn't come back on the damn ship!"
Xander considered it. "Roque?" he called, bringing him shirtless and sweaty. "Get John for me?" He pointed at the corpse. Roque shuddered but did that. "John, is he a known one?"
"Yeah, that's the one you brought to Lam at the Mountain." He stared. "How did it get out?"
"I'll fucking well find out!" Fury said hotly, starting to call people. "It stays," he said when John squatted next to it. "I want the proof on hand."
"Sure," John agreed. "I'm trying to see if he's got weapons."
"Damn it, I don't care where the fuck O'Neill is! I want him on this phone now!" Fury shouted.
Xander smirked and got Jack O'Neill, bringing him, his fishing rod, and beer. "Him, Fury?"
"Yes, him!" He hung up and stomped over. "How did the wraith you had down for testing, in custody! Get free!" He pointed at it.
"How did it get free?" he demanded.
Xander tapped him on the shoulder. "We *all* want to know that. How many did you have?"
"Just him, thank God." He pulled out his own phone to call. "Damn it," he muttered. "I want General Landry! Xander!"
"Really?" he asked dryly. He checked. "I can't find him, O'Neill. I don't have him marked and I can't find him."
"I can," John said. "I marked him." Xander took him to find him. They took him from his kitchen, John nice enough to shut off his oven for him. "Here, sir." He handed him over.
"How in the hell did the captive wraith get free?" O'Neill demanded.
Landry looked at the corpse and glared then at him. "How did it get here?"
"That's what *we* want to know!" Fury said. He glared at the generals. "Who had it last?"
"It was transported to Area 51," Landry told him. "For testing and examination."
"Great, so it was the remaining weenies," Xander said dryly. "Just what we need."
Jack shook his head. "Definitely a shared response, kid. Relax."
"I am relaxed." He yawned again. Roque showed up with Clay. "Guys, the one they had me bring them somehow got from Arizona to here.... which I'm assuming is New York City." Fury nodded.
"So we have bodies all the way over?" Clay asked.
"No idea," Xander admitted. "It would've had to feed to get healthy after whatever they did."
"It was nearly starved when we transferred it," Landry admitted.
"Who's bright idea was it to move it?" Fury asked.
"The president's," Landry said.
"That's it, the man is going in for a mind control check," he complained, calling someone to set that up for him.
Xander looked at John. "What do fed-on people feel like?"
"That's not a bad idea," Roque admitted. They both searched for someone that felt that drained. Nothing. Roque shook his head when Xander did. "Only here," Roque agreed.
"I found one about two blocks that way," Xander said with a point.
Tony Stark landed, putting his suit's visor up. "There's three dead bodies there. College kids from the clothes. One's nearly skeletal and ancient, the other two look old." He stared at the body then at Xander. "I'm tapped into the local PD band and JARVIS said there's been no other reports. There was a lighting strike report."
"So unless we have highlanders, we know where he appeared," Jack said. He was starting to get very pissed off. "And he had to have been beamed."
"Probably," Tony agreed. "Ours is locked down. It's restricted to seven people. It's got a DNA key."
"It can't be hacked," Fury agreed. "We made damn sure."
Jack nodded. "Okay, then it had to be SGC beaming."
"No," Xander said. "There's that guy in Norway that was working on beaming that disappeared. Willow was pouting because she was hoping he managed it. They made him disappear over a year ago."
"Kindes," Stark said. "I tried to recruit him. He disappeared about a year and three months ago. Totally packed up his house and moved him without anyone knowing."
Fury grimaced. "How many other scientists have disappeared that way?"
"That I know of, four," Tony said. "Two theoretical physicist sorts, him, and a chemical engineer."
Xander considered it. "They'd need more than that unless one had biological experience."
"We can search," Fury decided. "This is where I could use Widow's contacts."
Xander looked at him. "Still can't get Willow to change her back?"
"No! Damn bitch."
"Well, yeah, could've told you that," Xander said dryly. "I'm still wondering why I got bitched at for her doing it."
Fury snorted. "Because someone has no sense. Goddess or not." He glared at Landry. "I want all the information on that transfer. That way I can find who else I get to have killed."
"Of course. I'd like the same thing." Xander took him back to the base and waited, taking that back to Fury's office. Then he sent John there to listen subtly. John could disguise himself pretty easily. It was a skill he was born with.
"I thought we got rid of them all," Jack complained.
Roque shrugged. "We can go kill more motherfuckers if we need to. I haven't had to maim or gut anyone in weeks."
Jack smiled. "Don't try to cheer me up with tempting NID bodies, Roque. You and Clay go back to the base." That got a nod and they left. He looked at Fury. "Can you find out if they did anything to it?"
"Of course I am. You'll be the first one I tell."
"Thank you." He shook his hand. "Kid, can I go home to pack up for the night?" Xander took him back. Then he came back to the site.
"Go home," Fury ordered calmly.
Xander nodded. "Okay. Yell if you need me." He yawned again as he disappeared.
Fury looked at his people. "I want it in autopsy ASAP. Let's see what other surprises they left for us."
"Freeze! NYPD!" a male voice shouted.
"Federal Agents, go have a donut," Fury said, waving his badge. "It's classified." His people got them all back to the hell carrier to go over the autopsy. Stark went back to his 'can't sleep flying test' and the rest of them went over what wraith did in case they got down here. The Avengers would have to help with that. It couldn't all be Xander's job.
The cops were left blinking and trying to figure out how to explain this to their bosses.
"So, what's all this about *Gods*?" the guy Xander had punched demanded, trying to stay calm.
Thor looked at him. "I am no mere immortal. Neither are most of my family. My nephew recently had his full gifts manifest and was ascended by popular vote of all pantheons since they like him so much. What did you expect the grandson and son of Odin to be?"
"Um... hysterical freaks with mental issues?" he guessed.
Thor snorted. "One day you too shall see the greater powers beyond even my fragile control." His hammer disappeared. "I do wish he would stop that borrowing habit." Xander appeared and handed it back smelling like smoke. "Was it a worthy cause?"
"NID weenies trying to blow up Sunnydale. Because apparently Willow didn't do enough damage," he said dryly. "You can tell Fury they're begging for him instead of me." He disappeared again.
"How do you use that infernal calling device?" he muttered, walking over to it.
"Fury, Xander just took Thor's little hammer to beat the shit out of some NID weenies!" Dawn yelled from the doorway.
"Yay him! Have him deliver them," Fury yelled back. "That way I don't have to take the extra energy to go stomp them there." Thor kindly thought that at his nephew and suddenly a shadow started to vomit crying people. Most of whom could not walk and had multiple broken or bleeding things. Fury walked in. "Thank you, Xander. Brief them on your shit this spring while I interrogate."
Xander pointed. "Team leader. His 2IC. His geek," he said with a final point. "Two left there but they're in really bad shape and the local cops wanted them." He shrugged and went to get the file then came back. "This is all we've found out. Every time I ask someone they get this look like they'd rather leave the planet and plane than see me at that battle. So no one's talking." He grimaced. "We know it's still going on because you guys tried to stop some of their shipments of needed things recently."
Roque walked out of the same corner and flopped down. "I've been asking and can't find a damn thing either."
"Well, the good thing is that property values in LA are going to go down soon," Xander quipped. "So maybe I'll buy a second house." Roque snorted, shaking his head. "Nice condo so I can woo from there? Carolyn was kinda freaked out by the cemetery view."
"That's all Sunnydale has," Roque said dryly.
"Good point." The woman that had helped the night before raised her hand. "What?"
"What, exactly, are they doing?"
"Fury, do they have a high enough rating to know what John does?" he called.
"No. Tell them anyway."
"Okay." Xander got stuff from Pepper and Dawn then came back to go over both briefings. "This is the thing from last night." They all stared at it, one nodding slightly. "This is what it does to people." He showed them that film and a few turned green. "John, who came with Roque last night, and Jack O'Neill deal with those things. And other bad aliens that want to subjugate humanity. Dawn, Buffy, and I handle the demonic things that're already here to kill and subjugate humanity." He turned on that briefing.
"Only you guys?" she asked.
"No, there's a group in England who hates it when people jump in to handle what they decided was their duty to turn young women into teenage warrior women with super skills."
"Where might they be?" she asked patiently.
"Well, Buffy's presently trying to convince her mother to let her paint her apartment while she nests. She's the one the NID did the needle stick on from Stark's panties." She blushed and moaned. Her boyfriend or whoever whimpered and shook his head with a muttered 'wrong'. Xander smirked. "The other's in jail for a friendly fire incident. She staked a human that got thrown at her during a fight with vamps. Both of which were called at fifteen." They all stared at him. He stared back. "Which is why it's a pretty unanimous hatred of the group in England." They all nodded they could see that point. "This spring, and it's almost always a spring thing with the demonic, it's in downtown LA." He beamed. "They're going to open a portal and vomit a plane into that city."
"And you're the lucky schmucks who have to help him," Roque said dryly.
"Awww, and who's my bestest warrior with knives," Xander cooed at Roque.
Roque snorted. "I know how to use a sword. I can do that."
"Bring it as backup. We think we can blow the heads off. We'll need someone to take down the portal as well."
"Oooh," he said, shifting because of the happy thoughts. "Yeah, I can do that."
"I was going to bring Rodney and Carolyn to a demon plane full of peaceful ones I know later. Rodney because he clearly needed a vacation and Carolyn as a date. We could hopefully find some more intel there."
"She'd hate that. The food sucks there, Xander."
"Point. So maybe a picnic?"
Roque nodded. "Could work but I have no idea how to do mushy things."
Xander smirked. "I remember." Roque reached over to hit him on the arm. He grinned. "Do you know how many people have suggested I take in Jensen?"
"I can't see that."
"Jensen said one of us would have to grow breasts and he's not sure he could keep going on missions with them. Someone might try to cop a feel to make me destroy them." Roque cackled, shaking his head. "Pooch heard one of those and just walked off moaning."
"At least you could wear each other out," Fury complained. "If you turn him into a girl at least the kids will be brilliant and strong." Xander beamed at him.
"We'd never get them to do anything," Roque assured him. "Jensen's the stubbornest motherfucker outside of me. And him. He might even beat Xander at stubborn." He looked at his former buddy. "If you want to, you'd have my blessing but I'd ask Cougar and Clay."
"I can do that if I decide to take the very bright hint. Aphrodite put a glowing, neon flashing lights, sign above my bed when I woke up this morning to suggest it."
"Love gods," Roque said with a shudder.
"Yeah." He looked at the group. "We've all been mining contacts. Black Widow was as well but... well.... Dawn's cat can't exactly talk to her contacts right now."
"So magic's real?" one of them asked.
"Yeah, haven't you seen Rosenburg in the jail?" He gave him an odd look. "That's why I'm missing the eye, dude. She blew up half the town in a magical hissy fit."
"Which is why she's in the jail," Roque agreed. "Why is she still alive?"
"Her last day she turned Black Widow into that cute, fluffy cat that keeps trying to make Dawn spar."
"Eh," he said, shaking his head quickly. "Can't be undone?"
"Nope, and for some reason Hecate came to complain at *me* about her."
"Figures," he muttered. "That whole 'it's not my job' thing biting her on the ass again." Xander nodded. "John?"
"Thought she'd make pretty kittens." Fury moaned, shaking his head quickly. "Especially since one of the dragon ambassadors that showed up turned Ronon into a hunting cat for a few hours. Until Jensen and Radek made him *real* damn sorry for it."
"They'd be warrior cats," Roque decided, ducking the thrown set of handcuffs Fury launched at his head. "They would be!"
"I can find a way to lock you in ice like they did to Captain America," Fury assured him.
"His mate would mind," Xander quipped. "I spent a lot of time and energy putting them together."
"I still can't believe you did it that way," Roque complained. Xander just gave him a smug look. "He suits me though, better than you would have." Xander nodded with a grin.
"Hold on, you two were together?" the guy asked.
"Arranged marriage to stop a battle," Xander told him. "Which I walked away from before it could be finished because Roque's an asshole. His current consort suits him more."
"Mate," Roque growled. "They made sure of it."
"Teammates are like that," Xander quipped. "So are packs."
"Good point." He stared at him. "What did get you anyway?"
Roque shook his head again. "You needed sanity."
"Well, yeah," he snorted. "And now I'm here." He waved a hand around. "Aren't you so proud?"
"That you survived." He got back to the briefing, going over what he knew. LA was going to be a wreck for weeks afterward if they didn't get it stopped sooner. Thor came in to listen as well, telling the other demigods about it so they could find more information among their contacts.
Heimdall appeared and nodded at his kin. "Nephew."
"Heimdall." He shook his hand and accepted a hug. "These are some of Thor's new coworkers in the Avengers." They got a nod. "Battle?"
"Odin wants you to prove your godhood on an attack."
Xander rolled his eyes. "Frost or fire?"
"Fire," he said dryly.
"Fine. I'll be right back, people. Shouldn't take me more than an hour." He and the other God left.
Thor looked at Roque. "The speculation still exists."
"I know," he said dryly. "Should see my twin step-fathers." Thor snorted, shaking his head. "Political to cement an alliance. My mother already has them wrapped around her ankles." He smirked. "Two rainforest Gods."
"Aww," Thor said dryly. "Young and uptight. She must have great fun teaching them."
"Probably, yeah." He shifted to go over the wraith problems better. Since he knew all about them. He had even subtly followed Clay on a few raids.
Xander came back sweaty and smoking around the edges. His t-shirt had a few browned spots from fire. He put his axe on the table then walked off. "Let me shower off the fire god drool."
Thor leaned back to watch him walk off. "Drool?"
"Their Queen, Thor."
"Never mind," he muttered, sitting up again. "Apparently his draw for dangerous things still exists."
Roque nodded. "Clearly, yeah." They got snacks until Xander came back. "You good, kid?"
"I'm only six years younger than you, Roque. Quit calling me a kid before I have my dog castrate you." They shared a look and Roque smirked. Xander sneered. "Really."
"Odin get on you again?" he asked dryly.
"Yup, and Dad. Damn the things you learn in India about weather control." He grimaced.
"Did Odin All Father say you had killed so many frost giants that you were turning into one?" Thor asked.
"No, Dad did. He's nicely in a huge ass ball of immortal ice presently. It'll take someone *really* nice to end the magic enhancing the strength of it from the outside. Odin's laughing but he hasn't realized he's now impotent forever more until he manages to find the virgin, male, two-headed goat with the blond mane that's to be born in Tibet some decade far in the future." They shared a look. "By the way, Frigg is giggling her ass off like she's taken something."
"The women would enjoy that probably," he said mildly. "There were some that wondered if you fighting with your father and Odin was the real start of Ragnarok."
"No, I just got tired of their shit." He sat down. "Where were we?"
"Boy!" Odin yelled as he appeared.
Xander threw something at him, making him scream as the tiny demon started to eat his nose. "Yes?" he asked dryly. "Did you forget I learned more than Norse ways?" He stared at him. "Go. Away. Before I finish cooling down from the battle with you." Odin stomped over but Thor took him home to settle the peace. "Sorry you had to see that but my grandfather considers me a blight, which is why I have godhoods from all the other pantheons and not my own." He shrugged. "I'm sure he and his future goat consort will be quite pleased." Roque burst out laughing. "Pity but you don't pick on me and decide it's my fault someone decided to raid Valhalla to get men. Especially since they were all disgusted by how small they were." Roque nearly fell out of his chair. "Anyway. Where were we?"
"What sort of demons are coming?" Roque asked with a smirk.
"As far as we know, they're flesh eaters. They think we taste like chicken. We're some of their favorite food and they're out of their favorite food on their plane so they've been having to make due with each other for a very long time. All the silicone parts in LA would probably only be seasoning to them but once they got to the free nature hippies upstate they'd have a huge party with their buffet.
"The ideal is to stop them before they take over LA, hopefully by closing the portal and killing them within six blocks of it. Roque, that day I need a reason to clear the people around Wolfram and Hart's building. Gas leak, something. Just get all the tasty, running happy meals to go." Roque nodded.
"Use whoever you need to for that. Guys, that day be prepared to blow them up, blow the portal up, and take their heads off. As far as any of the demonic knowing book geeks know it's a beheading thing to kill them. However you want to do that. I'll have my axe and probably my old scythes. They're easier in a battle than a full axe. Plus some backup swords if we need some."
"I'll start with a large caliber shotgun and heavy duty shells plus my old sword as backup," Roque told him. Xander nodded. "We can get them those if their special weapons won't help."
"Beheading I can rig up something to do a laser," Stark said from the doorway.
"As long as it'd only hurt them and not us," Xander quipped.
"Good point. How do you close a portal?"
"You implode the structure and then puncture it with a lot of energy," Roque said. "I shut one back in the eleven-fifties that nearly killed me because I had to do it with my powers. Even with people pumping power into me, it took nearly a day to destroy it and I nearly got reborn then."
Xander nodded. "This one's due to be about twice as big so they can run through. No idea where in the building it's coming from." Roque nodded, making note to scout that building. "Someone has told them *I'm* helping the slayers," he warned him.
"Got it." He smirked. "I'm still better at some things."
"Of course you are. I'm not the hunter you are. I'm the full battle trained sort and then I learned small group combat, Roque. You started out stalking and hunting things. There were plenty of days I wanted you on patrol with us because I can't even pretend to be you." Roque gave him a smug look. "Would've helped nightly staking of vampires go a lot easier."
"Definitely. You really need to leave Sunnydale and move somewhere normal."
"Until the hellmouth goes or Buffy and Faith do I'm their backup. I promised." Roque nodded he understood that. "If we could figure out how to close a hellmouth I'd gladly fuck them for it. I'd even give them their best night ever. Because we had a kraken a few years back. It's sitting on top."
"I remember you said that during that fear creature thing." He grimaced. Xander rolled his eyes. "You ever figure that out?"
"Ah." He smirked. "That'll make it extra special fun."
"Angel occasionally works with one but sometimes he's an enemy." He handed over a name he wrote down. "Him."
Roque looked then lit it on fire. "Got it. Go sleep. You look exhausted still." Xander nodded, going home to lay on the couch and nap with his dog. He looked at them. "I have no idea how to stop them outside of killing them, which I'm very good at. We've gotten some of them but the others are still going on because more power for them when humanity falls." They all nodded. "There had been three foreign officials involved. Two of whom have been found dead and one who's mysteriously missing, even from where I can find him. I think he's off-realm at the moment. Once he reappears I'll be handling him." That got another nod.
"Sometimes saving the world is messy business," Stark said as he came in to sit down. "Is there any way we can get intel from somewhere they've invaded? Another reality or something?"
Roque stared at him. "Don't ask me questions like that. I'd have to ask McKay."
"Or you can see where Xander just disappeared to," Dawn said as she walked in. "My telltale on Xander blinked out so he's not on this plane." A note floated down with a gray feather. She looked at it. "Maybe he'll find out." She handed it over. "Hmm, demonic feather." She went to put it into her working case.
Roque shook his head. "Only Xander."
Stark took it to look at. "A convention of Xander's. Interesting."
Xander appeared, handing him a CD. "On the invasion that the one of me who was president had a copy of."
Fury walked off shuddering. He had been coming in but the very *thought* of Xander as president was enough to make him want to hide in a closet like a kid.
"President?" Roque demanded. Xander smirked and nodded. "Why!"
"They wanted to feel protected. O'Neill got it before me, and John." He beamed. "And the demonic me, that Willow changed to a sividia demon, helped me get back. I'm going to go back to bed now." He disappeared again.
Stark ran the file, letting them watch. "There's a whole lot more slayers," he muttered.
"Yeah, but none of us," Roque growled. "That fucking sucks." He went to get John, McKay, and Mari. Peter joined in and they sat down to watch the whole thing with the rest of the Avengers.
"Damn," John said.
"McKay, I need a guestimate on how much explosive to kill that portal," Roque told him. "Overkill is fine. That's the evil lawyer's building."
Rodney nodded and Mari nodded faster. "I'll build you one," she promised. "Beheading?" They nodded. "I'll help Xander sharpen his scythes. Roque?"
"Clay can help me with my sword if Pooch can't." He smirked. "That's what he's for."
John took the note from Roque. He snorted. "That's a headache in the making."
"He got the film from the him that was a president." Roque smirked. "After O'Neill and then you."
Sheppard stared at him. "I'll die in Pegasus then. Thanks for the warning." He took everyone back home with Roque's help. He had an email from another Xander telling him about all the other ones. That gave him a migraine so he went to lay down in the infirmary and let Lorne have it. Lorne knew about his baby brother. He'd be amused. Within an hour, Lorne and McKay were both in adjoining beds thanks to that email. Carolyn looked at them. "There was a convention of Xander's, Doc. Over three hundred Xander's got together to talk."
She shivered. "That's probably a very charged environment."
"Get into my email," John offered. She did and lowered the lights for them after reading it. Her cackling in the office would keep them up for a few minutes but they understood.
Ronon walked in and stared. "I take it our mission is off?" John nodded. "What happened? Did we find something hiding?"
"Xander," John told him. "We all have headaches thanks to Xander."
"Did the dog try to procreate with someone again?"
"No," McKay moaned, shaking his head.
Peter came out to stick them with things to help the headaches. "It'll be fine, Ronon. Just a bit of family news that Johnny shared." He smiled.
"Fine." He went to see if Rodney's helper could let him see it. She was more than happy to hack into the email for him. Then she had to explain what some of them were.
O'Neill walked into the office at Stargate Command, pausing when he saw the extra person. "Stark, did you make us something new?"
"Xander got a copy of another world's invasion."
"Good! We need to know how bad it'll be." He paged Landry, who came back with a new bottle of tylenol. They settled in to watch it, O'Neill taking the stored bottle of tums out of the drawer he had always put them in to take a handful. Landry did the same. "How close is it?"
"Don't know," Stark admitted. "Probably pretty similar in size."
"Why all the girls?" Landry asked.
"Their world had more activated slayers apparently," Stark said. "He got it from the one where you got nominated for president after that so people felt safer," he told Jack.
Jack blinked. Then cackled. "I'd ruin everything."
"Fair warning though."
"Yeah, thanks. Hold on, what was the kid?"
"The president after Sheppard." He beamed.
"At least John's pretty," he complained. "They'd like him more."
Landry took a few extra tylenol. "That's something I don't even want to think about, people. Can we stop them?"
"If even one's around to do the sacrifice, no," Stark said. "We've found most of them and they're too hidden for even Xander and Roque to get. Roque said one's left the plane for a bit for safety reasons." That got a nod. "So... welcome to springtime in LA. I heard Xander made a joke about property values going down." He stood up. "Beheading from what we can figure out. So large gauge shotgun or anything else you can." They nodded. "Have fun prepping for that one. We are." He left, going back to his office and lab to think up new weapons that would help. He hated things like that happening here.
O'Neill and Landry shared a look. "Okay. Let's start training with staff weapons. Get some more built. Get some zats built too. We can see if they'll work. If not, maybe it'll disable so we can zat more and team them with someone with a shotgun." That got a nod and they made plans. "Someone has to do the portal."
"Roque's an explosives expert."
"Good point. So Xander would probably lean on him or Stark for that, and ask Sheppard to ask someone to figure out how much." That got a nod and they figured out placements and how many people they needed. That night they called the base together to watch the invasion. O'Neill looked at them. "That happened in another world this spring. As far as we know it is happening here this spring." One raised her hand. "LA." She put it down. "We're making plans now on how to help with the battle. Carter, weapons possibilities for beheading. Tomorrow if possible. If not, find something with Stark and McKay's help." She nodded. "The rest of you, your teams are to start doing combat drills. Because if it happens, we're going to be on call with the Avengers." That got a mass nod and salute. "Dismissed." They left. Cameron Mitchell hung back. "Cam, it's not pretty."
"Got us the tape. He'll be there. Some of his kind will be there. One slayer's in jail, the other's pregnant thanks to the NID." That just got a nod. "Figure out with Carter what we have that will work and if not, we'll probably pair up shotguns and zat or staff weapon bearers."
"I can do that, sir. Are we sure it'll happen?"
"They're working on it. If it can't get stopped, yes."
"Okay. I'll start on that. Daniel?"
"He's damn handy in a fight," Jack reminded him.
"I know but he's got a lot of funny looks recently."
"Ask him if he knows if Xander talked to the ones that took him to talk to," Landry said. Mitchell nodded and left. He looked at O'Neill. "We might have one someday if the Ori make it here or the wraith."
"I know. Let me tell the Joint Chiefs." He took the CD with him when he got beamed back. He stared at them, saluting. "Sirs." They sighed and sat down. "Small head's up on something we're working to stop." They all nodded.
"Get on with it, O'Neill," the head Joint Chief ordered. "It's dinner time and my anniversary tonight."
"Happy anniversary, sir, but I can't promise you'll be able to eat." He ran the CD's file. "We got this from another realm it happened on." They watched it. After ten minutes the head Joint Chief winced and had it cut off. "We're working on stopping it."
"Date?" one asked.
"Spring. No one's saying anything beyond 'I'll go visit relatives on another plane'," Jack said.
"That building looked familiar," one said, looking at their boss.
"That's Wolfram and Hart's building. Some of their people and some foreign dignitaries that have ended up dead are involved. One's hiding on another realm I'm told. If even one survives...."
The Joint Chief nodded. "Which they will since we can't get to him."
"I've told my people to be ready and do drills, just in case," O'Neill told him. "Sheppard knows so we can borrow some of his."
"Good. Excellent in fact. How long is the battle?"
"That one was just about five hours," Jack said. "They got the portal down within an hour, sir."
"Damn it. I wanted to eat dinner tonight."
"Harris made a joke that they'd think all the fake parts were seasoning," Jack offered. The head Joint Chief snickered, shaking his head. "And that property values in LA might go down."
"Probably for a few months, yes," he said dryly. "All right, we'll get the bases local to that area to start doing drills." The heads of service branches with them nodded. "Get us a firmer date as soon as you can."
"I'm trying, sir."
"Good! Fury and his sort?"
"Know, will be there."
"Even better. That's their sort of job."
"Actually, that's the slayer's sort of job," Jack said with an evil smirk. "But one's in jail for a friendly fire incident and the other NID knocked up."
"Slayers.... Those girls from that group in England?" the head of the Army asked. Jack nodded. "Do they know?"
"They're pissed that others stepped into their single female warrior's duty."
"How would they expect a single woman to do that?" he demanded.
"I'm not sure, sir, especially not since most of them are called as *teenage* girls." That got a mass growl. "The people who stepped in to help hate them like hell. They do have a large library of source material. They have trainees waiting on their turn to come spread around the globe." The head Joint Chief's eyes were narrowing. "We had a hacker get into their files, sir. Yes, that's what happened to your cousin's daughter. I have the file of where she is in my office in my safe. Last time they knew she was in Peru with her watcher."
"We'll see about that," he said firmly. "I want that file."
"First thing, sir."
"Good. Dismissed, O'Neill. We'll start doing drills to support your people. You might need it some day if one of them lands."
"Thank you, sir." He saluted and left with the CD.
The Joint Chiefs stared at each other. "Find me a way to diplomatically invade their asses. Tomorrow." They nodded. "We'll figure out how to handle that battle." They nodded and left. He got to call his cousin to tell her they had an idea about her 'runaway' daughter. Then he went to let his wife soothe him. She was so great and once she heard, she was sure someone was going to get their asses on a pole. Which she'd help him set on fire. He loved his wife.
Xander heard the muttered prayer while he was painting with Buffy. He considered it. "Someone at the Council is praying."
"They should," she quipped. They shared a look and she sighed. "Get official looking." He did and got her a wet cloth to clean up the paint splotches while they left. They appeared. "Hi," she told the soldiers pointing guns at them.
Xander stared at one. "Put it down, Junior. I have to answer a prayer, even if I don't particularly like the person sending it." The soldiers gave him a scared look. He grinned. "I'm Thor's nephew, Alexander." He waved. "This is one of their girls who I've helped for years." He walked her to where the praying person was. He could track it to the office. He stared at them. "You wanted me to do *what*?" he demanded dryly. They stared at him. "Yeah, same Alexander, guys." He smirked. "Helping Buffy did firm up my training in stalking and hunting instead of small group and battle combat techniques." She swatted him on the arm. "That's why I'm letting her paint my house."
"Mom won't let me paint hers," she said dryly. She rubbed her very large stomach.
"Ma'am, you're one of the girls they trained?" one of the soldiers asked.
"Yes. I'm Buffy, the current senior slayer of the two of us. Xander did CPR," she said at the confused look.
"Oh, I see." He stared at her stomach then at her. "Did they...."
"NID," Xander said, holding up a hand. "They're mostly dead for it. Though a few were Council idiots." He looked at Travers. "What?" he said at the pissed off look.
"She shouldn't be having it," he growled. "She's endangering people."
"How did you expect one slayer, or even two slayers, and their watchers to handle an *invasion*?" he demanded back. "They can't keep the hellmouth peaceful! Much less tackle over thousands of demons spilling into LA!"
Travers flinched. "They'd get help! That's why there's the rest of us, Harris," he sneered.
"No, that's why there's me," Xander sneered back. "And the Avengers." He smirked. Travers spluttered. "By the way," he told the soldiers. "The girls that they have in training? Sometimes they're handed over by family who know. Sometimes they're not."
"We've heard, sir. We spent a week digging through their files," the commander in charge said. "Miss, why don't you sit? My own wife had to sit pretty often when she was stuffed up." She smiled and sat down. "You help her?" he asked.
"Yes. I jumped in a few years back."
"That's interesting. So you're that Xander guy they have the hit on?" Xander nodded with a grimace. "Damn. That kinda sucks that they'd do that." He pulled a gun. Buffy tried to get out of the way. Xander moved her as he shifted around her seat. She went into the shadows with the chair. He and his dog attacked the soldier. Hellion was growling on his chest by the time they were done and the soldier was crying.
Xander stared down at him, then disarmed the gun and tossed it aside. "Feel better?" he quipped.
"Sir, we'll get him in custody as well," one of the soldiers said. "I'd never do something like that."
Xander looked at him. "Sure, thank you. Fury might want him, not really sure." He turned and threw a ball of power at Travers, who was grabbing something from inside his desk. "Don't move. Really." He stared at him. "I'm not the nice fairy, Travers. Hell, I've never been the nice fairy." He let him go and pulled Buffy back to check her over. "No pains?"
"No, I'm okay. You're bleeding." She checked his arm then swatted him. "Damn it!"
"Shut up, Buffy. I've had worse on patrol." She scowled. He stared back. "Let me get her to mother for safety reasons, guys. I'll be right back." He took her, the chair she couldn't get out of, and the dog to Joyce's side. "Here, let her nag you. Watch the dog please. Buffy, I don't think he's hurt so just pet him." He petted and cooed at the dog. "Good Hellion. Very good puppy." The dog barked at him and wagged his tail. He created some jerky for him to nibble on. "Watch the Joyce for me." He hopped up to lay on Joyce's bed and nibble on his treat. He went back there, finding them rounding people up. "Who's getting their library and weapons?" he asked calmly.
"The British version of the Avengers corps is getting the weapons, sir." one reported. "The library is going to a General O'Neill?"
"He's at Cheyenne Mountain or at the Pentagon, depending." He wrote down a phone number. "That's his desk phone at the pentagon."
"Yes, sir. Do you need to do more to help?" he asked quietly.
"No, but I do need files to help Buffy and Faith."
"Summers, Buffy, Dawn, and Joyce," one of them said, holding them out. "The only Faith we found was Lehane?" Xander nodded, taking them. "Have a good day, sir."
"You as well, Major. Thank you." He disappeared, stopping in on Jack. "They raided the Council and you're getting their library. I gave them your desk number."
"That'll work," he said, looking at the files. "On...."
"Buffy's family and Faith."
He took Faith's to look at. "We can get her sprung in March and bring her back a good week afterward if we can't work something out. I'll work on Fury for that."
"Okay. I was going to bring them to Fury."
"That's fine." He smiled. "What happened to your arm?"
"One of the soldiers decided he wanted the bounty." He disappeared, handing the files to Pepper. "On Buffy, Dawn, and Joyce from the Council."
She smiled and patted him on the cheek. "Thank you, Xander."
"O'Neill has Faith's."
"Even better. I'll make sure they get them." He grinned. "Hide before Dawn sees that gunshot wound."
"Her sister already fussed," he said dryly, going to pick up his dog. Who was napping. "Why are you so tired? Did they hit you?" he demanded.
"No, the nurse used something and was going to call security," Buffy said.
Xander rolled his eyes and left with the dog to see the Vet at Apollo's temple. Apollo gave him an odd look. "The hospital I had him guarding Buffy and Joyce in for a few minutes sedated him with something."
"Yeah," he said, nodding. "Only you, kid. Arm?"
He shrugged. "Just a graze. I'll slap a bandage on it later, Lord Apollo."
Apollo smirked. "Thanks for not giving me more work."
"I try so hard to be a good boy," he smirked.
"And fail half the time, kid." He handed him a bandage while the animal healer looked over the dog.
"He should be fine, Lord Alexander. Just let him sleep it off," the healer said with a smile.
"Thank you. He's been a very good dog. He's even helped us paint a few times." The healer laughed. "Buffy's nesting."
"They do that," Apollo said. "Go check in with Ares for more lessons, kid."
"Yup, I can do that. Thank you, guys." He left with the dog. He wanted to ask Cupid about wing things for that other Xander.
Cupid came in for a headache tonic then went back to talking to Xander about the him with wings. Strife had to look in on the other Xander's but that was cute. Especially since Ares said that Xander couldn't manifest any just as he was trying a spell to do that. That would confuse the dog for hours. It sure did Ares.
Xander appeared when Fury yelled for him. "What?"
"Are you trying to be Archangel?" he demanded, staring at the fluffy silver wings.
"No, one of the other Xanders got turned into a Sividia and had wings. I wanted to try it. The spell only lasts for a week." He grinned. "They're really neat. And kinda sensitive."
Thor walked in and paused. Then he shook his head. "Nephew, was it a curse?"
"No, Uncle. It's a spell I did."
"The other Xander had one."
"Ah." He nodded. "How long should we distract your father for?"
"A week. But he's seen them and cackled with Strife." He grinned.
"Hmm." He went to find something to drink. Maybe he'd go back to Valhalla for a day to check on Tara with the horses. They had good, strong mead there.
Xander looked at Fury. "What did you need?"
"Less of a migraine," he said bluntly.
"It's how you're fighting your lust to pet my pretty wings," he shot back with a smirk. "I'm going to teach John too."
"Jail? Is this a word association game?"
"Can you get her out?"
"Yeah. Can you?"
"Definitely. Then we'd have to keep her here."
"Faith's had the time to heal. She's not the same brash, young, injured woman she was before."
"Good to know. Which jail?" Xander took him there to the shadows of her cell. Faith looked exhausted but it was so noisy no one could sleep in here. He stared at her. "You okay?" he demanded.
She blinked. "Who the hell are you? X?"
"Yup. This is Nick Fury. He's the guy who runs SHIELD."
"Huh. About this spring?"
"And more," he admitted. "We're looking over your case."
She nodded. "I still can't be B."
"No one can," Xander assured her. "Only her. You're Faith and we'd be pissed off if they gave you drugs to make you Buffy."
She smiled. "Thank you."
Xander looked. "What's bleeding on you? I can smell it and it's too much to be girl blood." She grimaced, showing the wound. "Why didn't they treat that?"
"They said it was minor."
"With your faster healing it probably should've stopped bleeding by now." He looked at Fury, who nodded. "You can cover?"
"Yes. Do something spectacular at the same time, kid."
"Done." He sent Fury home and then appeared in the middle of the prison with a glow of white light. He stared at the running guards. "One of those I protect has been treated like shit for her injuries." One fired and he changed that one into a half-human, half-dog creature. "I'm the God Alexander, Protector of Mankind," he said bluntly. A few laughed so he changed them too. "Didn't ask you to worship me, you're not mine."
He walked into the prison, tossing aside one guard that tried to pounce him. "The Valkyries do that better, boy." He walked into the cellblock and ripped the door off, holding out a hand. "Anything you want to bring?" She gathered things and he walked her out. "They really should have treated that wound. That pisses me off to no end." He looked at the warden, who was pale and shaky. "You do know she's seventeen, right?" He took her with him. Then he came back for her bag. The tracker got tossed back a minute later. He handed her to Dawn. "Take her to the infirmary. Get that thing on her arm treated."
"X," Faith said, staring at him.
"I'm the Chosen Protector of Mankind, Faith. You're one of mine even there. If you had told me sooner I would've destroyed them." She nodded, letting Dawn walk her off. He went to talk to the governor of California. "I didn't mind that Faith turned herself in for the friendly fire incident. I left that up to her choice. She has to decide which way her life goes." The governor stared at him. "I minded that they intentionally were letting her bleed to death in her cell." He snapped his fingers and the prison mattress showed up. "I don't think that her arm should bleed that much in one day. Do you?"
"In the women's correctional by LA," he said dryly. "They'll be calling soon." He put down the mattress. "She is in federal agent custody of a special program that will need her help later this year."
"Do we know of you?" he asked.
"I helped Buffy in Sunnydale for years until I ascended to my Chosen Protector status." He smirked. "I'm the God Alexander. Son of Loki and the Hindu Goddess Mar...." The governor held up his hand. Xander smirked. "Chosen Protector for Mankind."
"I see. She's in Federal custody?"
"Yes. She's with SHIELD."
"I'll let them know when they show up." He looked at the blood spot. "That is too much."
"They decided it was just a simple thing. That it would seal. After two hours it was still bleeding."
The governor nodded. "That is wrong then."
"Yes it was. Thank you for your time. I'm going to fuss over her properly like a friend should." He smiled. "I promise I won't have to do it again as long as they're not doing it to others." He nodded once. "Have a better night once they've finished whining." He disappeared, leaving the mattress there.
The governor called in his head of prisons. He showed up and stared at the mattress. "I got told by someone who said he was a god that one of his friends was bleeding that much and your people had refused to even bandage it. That was in two hours and apparently they thought it was something minor."
"He said he was Alexander. Said her name was Faith. He claimed to be a god and had wings."
He grimaced. "I don't know of any of their kind in the jails."
"She was by LA in the women's correctional facility there."
"I'll go there and find her file. Is she considered escaped?"
"She's with SHIELD."
"Best place for those sort, sir. They keep their own in line. I'll send up a complaint about their methods." He left after another look at the mattress. It was very bloody. Though he hated those mutant freaks. He took the state helicopter down there, finding them still up in arms and everyone on lockdown. "What the hell happened?" he demanded.
"Some winged man!" the prison director said hotly. "He broke someone out."
"She's in Federal custody."
He paused. "What?"
"I want her records. Including why she was bleeding."
"She wasn't," he started.
He held up a hand. "The winged guy brought her mattress to the governor's office," he said calmly. "It was clear she was." He backed down. "Now, where is the file? The undoctored one?" His assistants came in to find it and see what had just been put into it versus the old one. He read it, nodding. "She should have been transferred to the special one."
"She's not that sort. We tested her for that gene and she's not."
Xander reappeared. "No, she's the Council's girl out of England. Mystically called, not a mutant." He smirked.
"You broke into a federal prison, sir," the director said. "We'll put you in your own cell."
Xander turned him into a hedgehog. "Really?" He looked at the prison people. "Faith made her choice to take responsibility for her actions when she was a teenager, which I applaud. She made a good choice and it was helping her get straight again." That got a nod. "I won't let my people be abused that way though." He stared at them. "She's much better than what they tried to do to her. Also, doesn't your state forbid testing for mutant genes?"
"Yes," he admitted. "It does." For some reason he couldn't lie to this being.
Xander nodded. "Good. So why do they?"
"I don't care."
"They can cause property damage."
"Why don't you base it on what they do instead of what they might be able to do? Because a lot that they've caught have been latent gifts. Not manifested and they couldn't use them. Which meant they were at the mercy of the ones that have powers." The official shuddered. "Exactly. So let's figure this out since it's illegal and she's not the only one who'll be pressing a lawsuit about it. Especially since you put her in prison as an adult and she's not, nor was she remanded to adult court for her plea bargain." The guy gave him a horrified look. "She's a lawyer's wet dream. She's probably not the only one. I know some of the people in here deserve to be in a facility like this. Though the underground fight ring that she got hurt in, when she was *forced* to participate against her will? I'd stop that too."
"I had no idea that was going on, sir."
"Alexander." He smiled. "It's my job to back up girls like Faith." That got a nod. "And the mutants who're fighting to help humanity." He stared at him. "I'd hope that the state would treat everyone equally but you've clearly not managed that. I'm hoping that this is a wakeup and a nudge toward that. The same as I'm hoping that you fire Mr. Hedgehog there for trying to pressure some of the women into giving him favors." He found that file and held it up. An FBI agent appeared and he handed it to him. Then he changed the hedgehog back. "Him."
He looked at it then nodded, pulling out his cuffs. "That's enough to start an investigation. Why are you here, sir?"
"One of my people was here and got injured, yet untreated, by their forced fighting ring. She was going to bleed to death if I didn't step in. So I came to be my impressive self." He smiled. "My grandfather's presently screaming at me but yay."
"You know of him?" the official asked the agent.
"Yes. He helped on the Sunnydale team for years."
"I was a minor, weakly powered Godling until recently," Xander said dryly. He shrugged then grinned. "The slayers need the help."
Xander pulled that book and let him see the right page. The guy shuddered. "Faith," he said with a grin. "That's why she's mine."
"Oh." He closed it and handed it back. "If there is a fighting ring, it will be stopped." Xander smiled and nodded. "Can you change them back so they can be sent home?"
"I realize the guards were doing their jobs, that's why I didn't hurt them." He undid those spells and they changed back. "I don't begrudge anyone doing their job but you don't hurt one of mine that way on purpose."
"No, they shouldn't have let her bleed that way without treatment," he agreed. Xander smiled and left with the book. He looked at the agent again. "We'll have more."
"Let me call some support. I was at home, just got there." He called someone to pick up his dinner delivery and his team to show up to help arrest people. They both stared at the removed door. The hinges had *broken*. "We'll bill him," the agent decided.
"That seems fair, yes," the prison official decided. "He did apologize and the prisoner is in federal custody I'm told."
"He works with SHIELD now and then."
"Even better. Girls like her should be with their own kind." They shared a smirk and got back to work.
Fury was sitting next to Faith when she woke up the next morning. He handed her the cup of coffee. "Some of the good stuff from the admin breakroom." She sat up and sipped it. "Thanks to you praying for your arm to clot, the warden was fired and arrested. The fighting ring was stopped. His sideline of porn with the prisoners got stopped." She sighed but nodded, taking another drink. "You're safe here, Faith. The president's commuted your sentence so you're a free woman. Which is why I'm free to give you a job offer." She stared at him. "You've heard of Black Widow?"
"Tiny bit," she admitted quietly.
"She was one of my better agents before Rosenburg turned her into a cat." Faith groaned, shaking her head. She took another drink and he waited. "We need someone with her sort of fighting skills and you do have them." She stared at him, eyes hard. "I'm not asking you to slay people, kid. I wouldn't want you to kill another human. Fight some of the problems that've been going on but not kill a human."
"There's a lot of potential for slipping," she pointed out.
"True, but we can give you incapacitating weapons instead. Things like a zat gun. That's a stunner at the first shot, kill at the second, dusting at the third. On vampires it'll dust on the first." He smirked. "We had a lot of fun testing that in Vegas' vampire club."
She stared at him. "Why me?"
"Because between you and Buffy you're slightly better at the hand-to-hand and sneakier. She's more...flashy even if she's able to kick most everyone's ass. You've never had the training time she had. You're also younger." She nodded she knew that. "So we'd like you to train, then after the spring apocalypse - which you'll have plenty of help during - you can take her spot or a spot of your own on the team somewhere."
"A general on the Joint Chiefs found out that they had taken his niece." She shuddered. "They're not around any longer. We have their library. All their files, all the genetics and lab things. The Brits got their weapons and buildings. They also got the joy of finding all the girls, evaluating their health and well-being, and then finding them a supportive family environment with their watcher if he stayed out of jail." She gaped.
He smirked. "Turning little girls into warriors pisses all real warriors and soldiers off, Faith." He stood up. "You'll be in here the rest of the day because they had to give you two pints of blood. I can't save you from Summers fussing over you. I don't think even Xander could save you from either Summers woman fussing over you." She groaned but nodded. He patted her on the head, making her finch.
"I'm mean but not that way, Faith," he said quietly. "I ride shotgun on a lot of arrogant assholes with powers just like yours." She stared at him. "You're probably the most grounded and down-to-earth one we'd have. You clearly aren't the asshole that Stark is." She smirked. "Or Thor. By the way, he might hug. Xander said he considers you like family and Thor is his uncle. He hugs Tara now and then." He let her go. "Think today. Good luck dodging Dawn. She's worried about Buffy since she won't answer her phone." He walked off.
Xander appeared in the doorway, smiling at her. "Dawn's still sleeping." She smirked. "They so ripped that jail apart and half the assholes in charge are gone."
"They're going to arrest you for that."
"No they won't. They did bill me for the door." She rolled her eyes. "I've already went to talk to the US Marshals." He smirked. "They hated that they did that and I had to step in. I pointed out if it wasn't *you* I probably wouldn't have heard." He leaned in the doorway. "How's the arm?"
"Better. I'm like family?"
He snorted. "Yes!" He stared at her. "Both of you super girls are." He stared at her for a minute then smirked. "By the way, Dawn's an assistant sort now."
"That's good. Means she won't be hunting."
"Nope. Pepper doesn't let her." He smirked. "Let me know if you need stuff, woman. Like clothes?" He pointed at the bag beside her. "Your storage area was next to mine so I had them move it into mine after the explosion. You only lost a box and the stuff inside was all right. I had the pictures remade so you didn't lose them," he said more quietly. She nodded, biting her lip. "Hey, sometimes you have to remember the past. Even me." She looked at him. "Speaking as a multi-millennium being...." She snorted. "I am. Buffy was awed I'm older than England." She burst out laughing. "Anyway." He smirked. "Rest. Heal. Let me know if you need stuff."
"Is Little D going to fuss?"
"Yup. We can't find Buffy and she's still pregnant so yup. The only way I could save you is to sacrifice one of the warriors I know to her." She cackled, shaking her head. "She's seventeen now. She's still considering boys." He looked up. "That's Joyce. Got a message?"
"Nah, I'll try to pop in and see her soon."
"Cool beans. Just yell for me. Fury does. Dawn does." He waved a hand and disappeared. "Yes, Mom." She glared at him. "What?"
"Why do you have wings?"
"I wanted to try it out." He grinned. "They're great fun."
"We can't find her."
"They have her. She was here with me last night and the nurse said an agent walked her off."
"Huh." He went into the shadows and went looking. He found her in a shiny surgical room with a doctor bending over her stomach. "Nope, don't think so," he said, phasing in and snatching her. He left behind a grenade since they weren't in a hospital. He felt the grenade go off and it was pretty. He phased into an ER he knew all too well. "People, I just found her with a doc cutting into her stomach in a *lab*." Nurses came running. "She was hooked up to an IV but I didn't think to grab it. She's due in May."
They made him stay there. He called Dawn. "Found her. Am at UCLA's ER." He hung up. A nurse came out to ask questions. He answered what he could and referred her to her mother up on oncology. They called up there and came back to deal with it. She was in full labor and they couldn't stop it. It was two months early. Xander watched as the baby was removed and NICU people ran in to take charge of it. They got her up to surgery to clean her up while the baby went to NICU. Pepper and Dawn showed up together. He pointed. "Baby Stark," he said quietly.
"Thank you," Pepper said. "Buffy?"
"Surgery. I blew up the lab's operating room." They shared a look and he took Dawn up to surgical waiting. "This is the blonde's sister," he told the staring nurse.
"Why do you have wings?"
"I wanted to try it out." He grinned.
"That's fine. Which blonde?"
"Buffy Summers," Dawn said. "Our mother's up on oncology."
"All right, I'll make that note and let you know if there's new news."
"Thank you." She and Xander sat down to wait, her curling up underneath a wing for comfort. Pepper came down. "Is it all right?"
"She's just fine," she soothed, sitting on her other side. Xander moved the wing so she could hold Dawn too. "You know Buffy heals very well, Dawn. I'm sure she'll be fine."
"I should've grabbed the IV," Xander muttered.
"I doubt it was poisonous. That would hurt the baby. They would've gotten her later on."
"Good point. I hope." He stared. It wasn't too long before a doctor came over to talk to Dawn and he called Joyce so she could hear as well.
Pepper walked into Tony's office, hanging up the phone on him since he was talking to Rhodey. "Your daughter is bright pink, yells a lot, and has the cutest belly button." He gaped. "Someone had her and was taking out the baby when Xander found her. He blew up the lab for you."
"Thank you. Where?"
"UCLA." She handed over the picture she had taken with a smile. "Buffy's awake after surgery and has nagged her way into visiting the baby and her mother. Dawn's been sitting vigil on the baby. So far she's very healthy but they did want a unit of blood from both parents in case she needed it."
"Of course." He stared at her. "You're not telling me something."
"For some reason Xander still has wings."
He snorted, shaking his head. "That's just him being him." He grabbed what he needed. "Paperwork?"
"Filed with the hospital. They understand why and agreed she could visit since the paperwork said she could. She had a good, long cry over the baby and she's better. We'll be moving her to the infirmary next to Faith. Dawn volunteered to be her assistant when she's older."
He smiled. "She might like that." They went to the hospital to visit the baby. He even let someone else drive because his mind was racing in bad ways. When they got there, Dawn looked up at him. "Why are you so sniffly?"
"It's the only niece I'll ever get, Tony."
"Good point but you can have kids."
"Actually, not so sure of that," she admitted. "Not with how I got created."
He patted her on the head. "You can ask your doctor that when you're older." She nodded. He got put into the gloves, gown, and mask then let into the NICU area. The nurse let him hold her for a few minutes. Of course, his mind shut down completely. Pepper got a few nice pictures before he became aware. "Dawn?" She leaned in. "How would you tell if she got her mother's gifts?"
"She did. Which is why Buffy was crying." She pulled back.
"Then we'll do the best we can for you, young lady, and you'll survive even longer than your mother will," he said quietly. He let her hold his finger. The nurse came to put her back and he looked at her. "I'm told you need some blood just in case?"
"I'm hoping you match hers since her mother doesn't."
He nodded and let her draw some to type, test, and have on hand for the baby. He got to feed her a bit from a bottle then he got kicked out. He went up to check on Buffy. She looked up from her pudding. "I'll make sure she gets the best trainers. That she'll last longer than even you will, Buffy." She smiled and nodded. "And she'll never go out on patrol alone or in a skirt." She giggled and smiled. "Good girl. Thank you."
"It's something I wouldn't normally get to experience. It's kinda unhappy making at the moment but I guess it's a really good thing. You'll baby her?"
"Some. She won't be spoiled but she'll have a great education and a lot of training. Who knows, I might even build her a suit for patrols." She cackled and smiled. "Good girl. Let me check on Joyce."
"There was a reporter sort recently."
"I'll deal with them." He smirked and left her with her thinking. He went up to talk to Joyce, having the reporter up there tossed out. "You're upsetting my assistant's mother." The reporter fled from his bodyguards. "Hi." She smiled weakly. "Need something?"
"Something for the headache that woman caused. Buffy?"
"She's eating ice cream." He sat beside her. "Thank you." She patted his hand. "I'll do my very best to make sure she's a normal girl most of the time. When she's old enough she'll get self defense and all that."
"She is?" Joyce demanded. He nodded. "Oh, no wonder Buffy was crying." He nodded again. "I'm sure you can have her trained by the best."
"I can," he promised with a smile. "She'll be the princess of my realm, Joyce."
"I know. Thank you, Tony."
"It's not a problem. I'll have her moved up to the infirmary near Faith and Dawn for you."
"That would make me worry less." He grinned and arranged it for her then let the nurses and Dawn fuss over her. Tony walked outside and found reporters laying in wait. "This looks like an ambush," he said dryly.
"Sir, it was reported your surrogate had your daughter," one shouted. "Is it true?"
He cleared his throat and considered his answer. "A government program decided that I needed a child and knocked up a young woman I know. Actually, Pepper's assistant's sister. Earlier today, someone caught them trying to confiscate the baby two months early. They kindly stopped them, got her here, and the baby's in NICU for the next few months." The reporters shifted. "The people who did it, I'd like to finish having a talk with but my daughter is precious and you guys won't see her until she's eighteen." A few laughed. "For now, her mother has the right to visit and I have custody. Do not bother the hospital or I'm told they'll press charges. Have a better day, people."
"Are you going to throw her a baptism party?" one shouted.
"No. She's too young to enjoy one," he said dryly. He walked off shaking his head. Guards got called up to guard Joyce, Buffy, and the baby. Hospital security helped them set up so they weren't bothered as often. So when Fury came in he had to sneak but he was used to that. Tony was back there after a long dinner and thinking session on his beach. "Did the reporter leaches get you too?" he joked.
"No, I snuck past them." He looked at her. "She's damn tiny."
"She is. She's got a good grip though. She got some of Dawn's hair earlier and didn't want to let go." Fury smirked. "She's....."
"You have a very good nanny. You'll have Dawn fussing over her. You'll have Pepper fussing over her."
"True," he said, relaxing again. "The others?"
"They know from the news. Someone managed a picture of her."
"I'm going to sue them," he decided. One of the nurses laughed. "Really, I am." She handed him the bottle and let him feed her a little bit more formula. "I still have no idea what to name her."
"Dawn suggested after Sonya so she'd sigh in displeasure when she's turned back."
"She'd thump me." He watched her eat. "You do that very well. Someday you and your aunt can have ice cream binges and stuff, princess."
Pepper cleared her throat after taking a picture of the two tough guys watching her eat. "By then Dawn might've grown out of ice cream binges. Tony, Howdy and Rhodey are here." He nodded so they got let in.
"Damn she's tiny," Rhodey said. "Then again her mother's short." Tony kicked him on the ankle without looking.
"She's cute, boss. Almost some hair. Clearly yours since she's not blonde."
"Neither's Buffy," Rhodey told him.
"I never question a woman's hair color. It means they don't hate me on sight," he quipped back.
"That's true," Tony sighed. "If she wants to be blonde when she's older, I'll let her go to someone who can do it skillfully." They men all smirked at him. "Anyone got any idea on names?" They all shook their heads. "Pepper...."
"You have four name books on your desk, Tony," she assured him with a smile. She got a picture of all of them watching her eat. It was so cute. Howdy smirked at her so she smirked back. "The family lawyer's ready to redo your will as soon as she comes home. The nanny and the backup nanny in case she doesn't work out have both been told she's preemie. I swear the backup one grunted at me in German." Rhodey snickered. "Mari is coming down next week to look over the building they'll have to demolish this spring if you wanted to meet with her about her future career." He nodded. "Also I've canceled all your meetings for the next three days so you can hang out in here until you can wrap your mind around her. Then Dawn can take over some fussing time for you while you do CEO things."
"That'll work, thank you," he agreed quietly. He smiled at her. "You still hate the nannies?"
"Yes, quite a lot."
"Then why did you two pick them?"
"I picked on skills but neither one are really...maternal."
"That's fine. We'll see what we can do. Does Xander still have wings?"
"Yup. For the rest of the week," Fury said dryly. "Though he's up with the dog bothering John and teasing him."
"Wonderful." Someone came to the door. "Hi. Come to stare in awe at her?"
"She's really tiny," he said. "So I'll stay over here. Boss, huge issue in LA?"
Fury looked at his phone, getting on the news servers. "Hyperion Hotel. Angel Investigations. They do what Buffy does." He nodded, going to look them up.
Coulson came in with Thor. "He wanted to see too."
"I don't mind. She's clearly going to wear the suit some day," Tony told him.
Coulson looked at him. "That'll be interesting on patrol." Tony stared back. "Dawn. Thor brought Tara back and she was crying on Tara." That got a nod.
Thor looked. "She's tiny but well built. Has all her parts. She'll drive you nuts like our cousins have done us many times, Stark."
"Thanks, Thor." He grinned.
"Welcome." He patted him on the head. "We will see what she needs before getting her the traditional whelping present." He stood up and walked off. "I shall help the demons celebrating calm down."
"Thank you," Fury called. Coulson waved and followed him. He was Thor's keeper. Fury shook his head as he stood up. "All right. You think you can handle it, Stark?"
"For now. Ask me in a few weeks when I start to lose my mind and babyproof the office."
Fury snorted. "I'm sure Dawn will help." He walked off with Rhodey and Howdy moving to talk to Pepper and the guards. They'd be sitting vigil on and off until she got out probably.
Tony stared at her. "You'll get used to them being assholes," he told her. "Me too probably. You'll probably be able to do what Dawn can't, pout me out of an asshole or a building mood." The nurses all laughed. He put her back down after carefully burping her. "There you go. Let me find the baby name books and possibly a new backup nanny." He walked out and Pepper handed him a few books. He went up to ask Joyce parenting questions and get her idea on names. It was her only granddaughter and she had sense where he didn't. She'd want involved.
Pepper smiled at his back and settled in to check her email until it was cuddling the baby time again.
Xander showed up and shot the two wraith trying to attack his brother. "Felicitations."
Rodney snorted, staring at him. "You gave me a migraine last week. Why do you have wings?"
"I wanted to try them out because one of them really liked his." He beamed. Then at Clay. "Behind Jensen." Jensen ducked and Clay shot that wraith too. "So, anyway, Hellion and I came up to tell you that NID decided Buffy should deliver earlier today by force. They probably didn't like the grenade I left them in return. So far the baby's just fine in UCLA's NICU unit." John grinned and nodded. "I can't pet the baby until I lose the wings according to the nurses. So I'm up to brag about wings." He beamed at his very-fly-happy brother. Hellion was still nudging them trying to figure them out.
Clay shook his head. "That's just weird, kid."
"Well, yeah." John came over to look since the threat was done with. He twitched. "Sensitive, John. Very, very sensitive. Him and his slightly-evil Sam have wing foreplay."
"Good to know." He looked over them. "Like Cupid's?"
"Yes and I got his advice before I did it." He grinned. "They're really a lot of fun."
"Uh-huh. How did you do that?"
"Spell. Would you like it?"
"He may not!" Rodney said firmly. "We don't need our leader out flying around on his own power."
"It only lasts a week," Xander told him. He looked at his big brother. "Though you have to sleep on your stomach or propped up on someone. I ended up napping on Ares after a sparring match."
John snickered. "That had to be cute." He looked over them, straightening out the few bent feathers. Hellion barked so he got petted to. "Can you fly?"
"Yeah. I learned that afternoon from Cupid. I nearly crashed a few times into Hera's temple but she just giggled insanely at me." He grinned. John moaned, going over them again. Xander leapt into the air, taking John with him for a fly. "Cupid said I should come give you a piggy back ride," he teased.
"I used to love his." He moaned as they flew over the trees. Not too high but more than high enough for fun and fresh air. He seriously was getting turned on by this. Xander landed and he stumbled a bit but John caught them and then he got to ignore Rodney checking him over. "It was just a fly, Rodney. There weren't even any bees."
"Still!" he complained. "Does Doctor Lam know that you have those?"
"I sent her a picture. They'll only last a week." Rodney huffed but got them all herded back to the city, the dog coming with Jensen. Jensen was a great player of fetch so he loved him.
Doctor Lam came to the gate room to stare. "I saw the picture. They're bigger than I thought." She came over to check them out, making him shiver. "Sensitive?"
He moaned and nodded, kissing her on the cheek. "Very sensitive." She gave him an evil smirk. "Let's get in private if you want to play with the feathers," he said in her ear, earning a nod. They disappeared to her room.
The others got herded to the infirmary to be checked over. Rodney insisted. Peter gave them an odd look. "Xander showed up with his dog and his wings," McKay blustered.
"Awww. I thought it was only John who loved to fly."
"He gives great piggy back rides, just like Cupid did," John said with a grin.
Peter checked him over. "I can tell, John." John blushed. "You're fine." He escaped to take care of that need. McKay could huff but unless he was helping the colonel with his needs he could give him an extra ten minutes. He checked the dog over too since it attacked him to lick. "Down, Hellion." The dog barked and climbed up to cuddle on Jensen's lap. "Fine, I can check him around you, mutt." He petted the dog and then Jensen, getting a grin back. Mari walked in smirking already. "Saw Xander and his wings?"
"Wings now?" she demanded. "His mother's going to be upset. Most of her people don't get wings."
"It's a spell."
"Pity. If it was natural he'd probably enjoy it."
"If it was natural he'd find however he had done it and give it to John," Clay said from his seat.
Peter and Mari nodded. "True," she agreed. "Then we'd have to deal with his."
Evan leaned into the infirmary with a grin. "Um, guys, is there something we should know about Xander and sex stuff? I just walked past Doctor Lam's room and she was squealing and giggling."
"He has a lot of stamina from what I've been told," Clay told him. "She's probably giggling over a tattoo or something."
"Okay then I'll move the guards near her room." He went to do that. The others shook their heads. No one wanted to know about Xander or Carolyn's sex life.
John walked into Carolyn's room to answer her plea for help. He leaned down to kiss her on the head. "What happened?"
"He has too much energy," she said hoarsely.
He smiled. "He's always had too much energy." He handed her the juice he had picked up for her. "That help?" She nodded, letting him help her sit up so she could drink. "Where is he?"
He smiled. "Nap, Carolyn. He's probably expecting to come tuck you in."
"I suggested the dog needed a walk."
"You rest. I'll distract him for a while." She hugged him and he tucked her in then went to find Xander. "So," he said quietly, making him wince. "She looked happy."
"I thought she was." He played with the dog.
"I think she's not used to guys with your sort of stamina, Xander." He patted him on the back. "It's not like she complained, right?"
"No, but she fell asleep during it."
"That means you did it too long." He shoulder nudged him. "She doesn't have the stamina of a warrior wench." He made his brother look at him. "You didn't...."
"No. I was busy making her happy." He pouted.
John petted his wing. Xander shivered. "You'll work it out and next time you'll know what she can handle."
"She'll probably dump me," he said quietly.
"Well... I don't think that'll make her decision but she's got a lot of things to think about because being with one of us comes with certain...requirements. Like the life thing." Xander nodded. "Didn't 'Mina have these thoughts?"
"No. She thought it was great."
"She always reminded me of Psyche. By the way, Strife used to say the same thing." Xander grimaced. "I know she's still thinking."
"Yeah but this was our first time together and I blew it, John."
"You didn't blow it. She had the most scary grin when I handed her the juice." Xander blushed, ducking his head to hug his dog. John patted him again. "It'll be okay, Xander. I promise."
"If you're sure. It's been so long since I dated I have no idea what I need to do and what's taboo anymore."
"So far she hasn't done more than grin a silly little smile at anything, Xander. You're not doing bad. She's seriously liking dating you." Xander looked up at him. "Really. She's one of those women who'll tell you to go away if she doesn't want it." Xander nodded he realized that. "Though it's nice she's not evil." Xander nudged him with his elbow. "Who this time?"
"The fire giant queen and Odin said she came for me."
John snorted. "That's just dumb, Xander. She didn't come to screw you." He put an arm around his shoulder. "If she doesn't work out, you'll find someone nice. Someone we can all stand. Or you can date Jensen." Xander shrugged. "I know. I heard those requests and his quip about breasts. If so, you'll do a great adjustment spell for him." He petted the dog. "You'll figure it out. Tomorrow, make sure she has breakfast and then assure her next time to tell you to get on with it."
"She didn't even hint until she drifted off."
"Sometimes women do that. I've had a few do it to me and it is something that made me pouty." Xander nodded. "It'll be fine."
"If you're sure."
"I'm certain." They all heard a loud squeal and then Xander had to move quickly to get away from the woman trying to pet him. "Stand down," John ordered. She tried again so he knocked her out. "Medics to the east pier," he called. "To pick up the insane bitch from biology." A medical team came out. "She squealed like she was fourteen and Xander was a new pet."
"Hell, she squealed like a girl going after shoes," he said dryly.
"Well, you do look soft," one of the nurses quipped.
"I'm very soft," Xander bragged. They picked her up and took her off.
Xander and John shared a look. "Go for a fly?"
"I'm full of energy. We might crash. I did bring the spell for you." John smirked and took it from him.
"Don't you dare!" Lorne yelled. "We can't be missing our CO to him flying."
Xander looked at John then they changed Evan and John so they could all go flying. Evan moaned but he was more than happy to fly.
McKay saw them go past his window and huffed, going out there to yell at them. "What are you doing!" he yelled. "That's not normal!"
"Normal's for mortals," Xander quipped as he looped around to follow them. "Lorne, more wing action before you drop lower and run into something." He sped up and they caught a thermal updraft, going to glide for a bit. Wings ached in places they didn't usually work. They landed and Evan winced, trying to stretch. Xander turned him around and worked on the cramping muscles, making him moan. Xander patted him. "Go find someone to preen you and finish the backrub so you can moan at them, Evan." He nodded, going inside. He was pounced by a nurse but he pointed her at John. He went to hide with a ...friend.
John looked at the nurse. "It's just a spell. Xander said it lasts for a week."
"Good," she said, smiling at him. "Let's preen those before you get twitchy."
"Actually, I could use a backrub," he admitted, stretching. Xander shifted him to do that for him, making him go limp and nearly doze off. She led him to the infirmary to scan the wings then to his room to settle in for the night. Xander and his dog were gone when she went to check on them. She also sent a sedative up to McKay's room since they could hear him complaining from his room over most of the city. Without his intercom.
Xander answered the summons of his uncle, staring at him. "What's up?"
"Has it not been a week?" Thor sighed.
"No. It's been three days." He grinned. "Carolyn thinks they're cute."
"I'm sure she does. All Father wants to see you."
Xander rolled his eyes. "Anything else?" Thor shook his head. "When did you get appointed messenger for Valhalla?"
"I have no earthly idea," Thor said with a smirk.
"Fine. At least he didn't send Dad to Sunnydale to get caught again." He went up there, appearing in front of the Council's seats. "You had Thor yell for me, All Father?"
Odin stared at him. "What are those?"
"It's a spell." He grinned. "John and I both have them for a week."
Frigg stared at him. "I knew not that you liked to fly, Alexander."
"I don't on planes but flying with wings is pretty cool. John got to fly too. He adored it." He grinned. "Don't pet me. They're sensitive," he said when someone tried to do that.
Heimdall walked around to look at him. "A few appear bent."
"Carolyn grabbed onto them earlier."
"Ah." He nodded. "It's good you're seeing someone decent."
"We're taking it a bit slowly but yes. She's very nice and sweet."
"Even better," Freya said. "I shall...."
"Not go near her before I turn you into something small, furry, and pettable for the younger Valkyries to have a pet?" Xander interrupted, staring at her. "Aphrodite already jumped the gun and tried to turn her immortal before we'd even had sex the first time." She slumped but nodded. "We're still *dating*. She has a lot to think about. Including my position. She's not sure she wants to give all that up so you can't force her."
"Fine," she said, waving a hand. "You used to respect us Goddesses."
"I do, all but you love goddesses that try to interfere and screw up my life," Xander quipped. He looked at Odin again. "What did you need, All Father?"
He was still staring at the silvery wings. "We have heard strange rumors about an end-time battle this spring?" he asked to them.
Xander moved back so he was in line of sight. "Black Thorn is trying to take over Midgard by opening a demon portal and letting the carnivorous demons pile onto LA to start their feast."
Odin blinked a few times. "Can we not stop them?"
"We've been working on stopping them. Roque and I have both killed some of them." Odin slumped. "One's hiding on a demon plane and you know it'll only take one. Some are also Wolfram and Hart, who're demon lords. Which, by the way, who had the bright idea to have them watch over Thor's trust fund?" Odin gaped in horror then stared at his wife. "Oh, okay. Um, you might want to have someone read the contract. They like to claim souls and powers." He grinned. "Angel has been fighting against them for *years* now."
"I shall look into that," she decided. "And if they need destroyed I shall do that as well."
"Just call. We won't mind," Xander quipped with a grin. He looked at Odin. "I've already alerted a lot of other fighters in case we do have to fight it instead of getting it stopped beforehand. Plans are going on to handle the battle. Including Thor's teammates." That got a nod. "And the group that uses the Ring of the Ancients."
"That is wise," Odin decided. "You can still call upon our war gods, grandson."
"I know. If we need one, I'll yell." Odin nodded. Xander looked at him.
"So far your plans look good," the Norse God of War noted. "Very simple yet elegant and changeable if necessary." Xander grinned. "I taught you well."
"Thank you." He looked around. "Anything else?"
"You still must mate sometime," Odin ordered.
"I'm *dating* her to see if she can stand the real me, All Father. We've only slept together twice now. We're not even ready to be handfasted. She's not sure she can stand being immortal beside me."
"That is something any wife of yours would have to think upon unless she was one of us," Frigg said more gently. "I should talk to her?"
"No, I'm trying to keep everyone from nagging her or pushing her," Xander ordered. "I want her to make the decision of her own free will."
"Of course," she snorted. "Freya I am not. Or Aphrodite."
"Though it's wise to keep your own mother from her," Heimdall noted.
"Mom made me lose my temper so much I went off killing wraith," Xander told him. "John had to get me calmed down after a week." Heimdall shuddered. "I promised to dump mercury in her river if she came near Carolyn again."
"Some women lose sense when they become with child," Odin sighed. His wife hit him on the shoulder. "I did not mention you," he complained.
Xander shook his head. "Let me go check on my dog so you two can do couplish things." He bowed then disappeared.
"He has learned well what women will not tolerate," Heimdall told his cousin, who nodded back. "Some day he'll make a good spouse." He walked off. Clearly Odin needed some time alone with his pouty wife. The others followed him so they could be alone.
Odin looked at his wife. "Did we not plan a meeting today?"
"I believe they think you need to learn how to handle a wife yourself," she said dryly. She walked off. She had a nice book to read thanks to that pretty Tara girl. Gloria Steinman was very good for a Goddess' education in modern women.
Odin sighed and went to get some mead. Clearly today was already shot. He'd have to finish that meeting tomorrow he supposed.
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