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It would seem strange in any other family but the Coulson extended family just simply defied description. Phil had learnt to hide behind his stoic agent façade and his niece; well he could confess that she had picked his favourite act – EVER.

Anyone who did not look too closely would believe that his young niece of sixteen was the typical Californian princess. Buffy had perfected the airhead routine very quickly; it was only when you managed get close enough and view her actual test scores that you understood that it was exactly that; an act. His mother had an act; he did and now his niece.

He’d been so angry when had found out that she had been called and especially when he had found out what had happened with the Master. When he had discovered this he had gone direct to his boss to find out everything that was known. Just like he suspected; his boss explained everything. Phil listened in horror as Fury outlined how the young girls were called; what their purpose was and the final part that made his blood run cold was their short life expectancy.

Phil was determined; he could not change her calling but he could help her perfect her skills. Buffy would not be dead for any longer than two minutes for as long as possible. He asked for a favour from his boss; it was a calculated move. Fury would not like giving a young girl security clearance but on the other hand; he knew all about the Avenger idea.

It turns out that Phil shouldn’t have been worried about Fury’s reaction. When he had let his boss know he had demanded that Buffy come to his place. Fury’s aunt had been a Slayer and he would do all he could to help any slayer. Fury had loved meeting Buffy and gifted her with the most beautifully crafted Chinese throwing stars. Buffy’s squeal of delight showed just how happy she was, plus both he and Fury were gifted with rib-crushing hugs before she ran off in the direction of the training rooms.

Fury gave what could only be described as a bemused grin, “I’d go and find Buffy before Barton and Romanov adopts her.”

Phil could not decide if it would be a blessing or a curse for Buffy to meet, not that he’d ever admit it, his favourite agents. What he really wanted to do was taze the Chinese guy who come up with the saying ‘may we live in interesting times’. Still, in the long run, if it allowed Buffy to relax and learn more tricks to help keep her alive then he was only too happy to let her meet them.

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When Phil had entered the gym Buffy had already got the measure of the throwing stars. He watched fascinated as she moved around the littered training room, using the equipment as obstacles and pivoting to throw the darts. Buffy missed the obstacles using a combination of natural grace and gymnastics training.

Phil clocked the movement above, which meant Hawkeye was in residence in one of his ‘nests’. He wondered what Clint would make of Buffy. It occurred to him that Buffy had a unique combination of Hawkeye’s and Natasha’s strongest skills.

Phil smirked, “How do you manage throwing upside down?”

Buffy stopped mid-flow and quirked an eyebrow; Phil bit back a smile at her mimicking him. He managed to say with a perfectly straight face, “Buffy you must be able to adapt to all surroundings.”

Barton could have sworn that the tiny blonde was pouting muttering something about not letting him watch a ‘Star Wars’ marathon. Barton made a mental note to find out all the possible secrets this girl possessed. He could admit that he was impressed with anyone who could help Agent Coulson unwind.

Barton watched as Buffy seemed to come to a decision; she shrugged seeming to find it a perfectly acceptable reason. Unlike all the other agents, she didn’t need to shimmy up the rope she vaulted using the horse to land on the thin line.

Barton sucked in a breath seeing the fluid grace. He knew former circus workers who would kill to have skills like that. Of course it begged the question of where Coulson had found the tiny blonde spitfire. Personally, this mystery Buffy reminded Clint of Natasha, without the anger that his best friend carried although there was plenty of fire.

He slid away knowing perfectly well that Coulson was aware that he had been watching. He walked in the direction of Natasha’s quarters to see what she would make of the blonde.

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Buffy was hanging off the metal pole that ran adjacent to the ceiling having a great time. Uncle Phil could see that she was not being stretched by the stationary project. So he dared her to do better. She could see the moving target that had been set to senior agent level and she was getting her eye in so she could use the throwing stars.

Buffy thought it was going to be really hard to put the stars down, they were now one of her favourite weapons apart from ‘Mr Pointy’ and her beautifully carved samurai sword. The sword had been a gift from him and Nana Vicky and had become invaluable since she had been called.

The Agents walked in not even bothering to hide their curiosity. They knew and respected Phil too much to pull that kind of falsehood with him. Clint admired the throws, which were finding the target perfectly. Natasha let out a Russian curse, “bozhe moi”

Buffy decided to come back down to ground level and she knew that Agent Barton would be jealous. He always would use a rope but thanks to her enhanced agility and balance this distance was perfectly acceptable jumping range so she flipped before landing gracefully in front of them.

Buffy knew she could have fun with the Agents, well a small amount. What was more interesting to Buffy was how her Uncle was reacting around Agent Barton. To anyone else, he looked like the perfect Agent, in total control of his surroundings. Buffy knew better, she had caught the several glances up to the roof, where she knew Clint stood observing her training session.

“So you’re Robin Hood?”

Clint put in an extra flourish as he kissed her hand, “No my fair lady I’m Clint Barton.”

Buffy did not flush and while amused clearly saw through his attempt at charm. Buffy turned to her Uncle, “He is everything you said he was Uncle.”

Now her face took on an extraordinary pout; Clint was impressed that face should be classed as a weapon. He thought Natasha was that mistress of manipulation but even she was impressed. “Can we please practice archery together?”

Clint and Natasha shared a look, clearly both thinking the same, “What the hell?”

Still it made a twisted sense, most agents had no family and if they did you very rarely spoke about them. It was clear that Coulson believed his niece could handle herself. Clint having seen just a small demonstration of her ability he didn’t doubt that she could. What he really wanted to do was get to know her. He thought that she could obviously do with a friend as both he and Natasha could recognise that haunted look. Plus, he was starting to man up to the crush he had developed on Coulson and figured after his last close shave that it was about time that he did something about it.

Coulson gave an exaggerated sigh, “You may practice together if Agent Romanov agrees to oversee.”

Buffy saw that the attraction went both ways. Barton was never going to know what had hit him. She just hoped she could convince Agent Romanov to help.

Romanov eyebrow made a minuscule movement which Phil could read. “It’s not a punishment. I’m just asking you to keep an eye on my niece.”

Barton was starting to pout and that was doing bad things for Coulson’s control. Natasha shook her head and smirked, “Come along children I want to see Buffy hand Hawkeye his ass.”

“Hey.”

Coulson watched as they wondered off toward the practice range. Fury came to stand next to him, “Is that wise?”

Coulson shrugged, “I’m hoping the Black Widow can keep control.”

Fury was amused, “You assume that Natasha won’t be a bad influence?”

Phil smirked, “Oh no Buffy has the potential to be far deadlier than either of them.”

Fury listened to what could only be the boast of a proud Uncle. In fairness though, he knew what Buffy was facing and he couldn’t help but agree. He vowed to keep an eye on her and do all that he could to assist her.

Of course, the next day he sat in his office laughing his ass off at the latest report. Hill had reported that the junior agents were complaining that they were being shot in the ass with arrows with messages consisting of constant vigilance.

He knew that he should be the Big Bad director and put a stop to this – really. Yet, there was just a small part of him that found this too funny. It also had the added advantage of putting a huge dent into the massive egos that some of the younger agents were building.

Hill could see the devious cogs turning in her bosses head, “Sir what shall we do?”

Fury sat back still snickering, “We get Coulson to give Agents’ Barton and Romanov and his young niece a paint-ball gun.”

“Sir?” He could tell that Maria didn’t understand the order and was dying to question it.

“Egos around here are getting a little too big. This will be just the operation to remind people to never get too complacent.”

Hill acknowledged the order and had to admire the unorthodox method in which the Director approached the problem.

Still that did leave her with one problem; how was she going to write an official memo basically stating that the Boss had okayed a two day exercise, where all personnel were likely to be attacked with paint balls by the three most deadly people on the base.

She did know one thing; the next few days were going to be interesting.

Authors Note: Okay I now have some free time having completed my teacher training, which means that I’m starting up my bigger stories. In the short term that means finishing Fresh Starts pt 1 and working on the big sequel to ‘One badass family’.

However, I will be writing these short stories so if reviewers have any suggestions I will listen to the ideas and do my best to write them!

Chapter Text

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Fury was sitting behind his desk listening to the junior agent complain about an unprovoked attack by a young blonde that he wanted to see punished.

Fury really did enjoy toying with idiots; this Agent was only there because he was rich and entitled; sadly even he had to play the political game.

“You want me to bring Agent Coulson’s 16 year old niece upon charges because you’re embarrassed even though she was asked to do this by me.” He didn’t say anything else; he felt that one sentence said everything really.

It was interesting he had never seen anyone lose colour so fast. Fury wondered what had scared him; the fact he’d been bested by a 16 year old; she was Phil’s niece or that he had given the order. Okay the last one was not strictly true but Fury figured that he could classify it as a retroactive order.

“Sir?”

Fury smiled and it was all teeth but he didn’t care the guy was a douche. Fury may be a big bastard. He was always the first one to admit it; he was proud of that fact so he didn’t bother to hide his enjoyment, “All personnel will be taking part in the field test.”

“Field test!” Fury supposed he’d give the idiots points for not letting his voice crack.

“Indeed you are being tested on evasion and situational awareness.” It said something when you learnt to couch a paintball exercise in suitable politically correct language.

“What does this exercise mean?”

Fury smiled and was going to enjoy this part, “Well the exercise has been refined so Hawkeye and the Slayer are not allowed actual arrows.”

The agent stuttered, “They are calling the young girl Slayer?”

Fury tried for an innocent face; he was pretty sure that he failed; after all, he hadn’t been innocent in a long time. “She has more than earned her title.”

Maria Hill walked in and her body language screamed contempt for the man, “Sir Black Widow, Hawkeye and Slayer have been issued with the exercise parameters.”

Fury lent back in his chairs looking at the monitors, “well let the fun and games begin.”

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Coulson looked over at the three unrepentant agents, “You know when I asked you to oversee them I hoped to limit stunts like this.”

Natasha shrugged, “Sorry Anderson was being an idiot. Buffy offered a none lethal way of me gaining revenge. I thought you would be happy.”

Phil sighed because with one sentence she had just neatly backed him into a corner. “I suppose you’re right but Director Fury has asked you to conduct a two day exercise.”

Clint was waiting for the penny to drop, “Relax Barton I think Buffy has saved you. He wants you to take these paintball guns, evade, conceal yourselves and eliminate as many agents as you can. It is not an option for you Agents. Buffy you can’t be ordered but I think you could learn a lot.”

Buffy grinned, “Hey, I’m just loving the chance to see where you work. If I can have some fun and learn something that will help me stay alive well then kudos to you guys.”

 

Coulson was not a naive man, he knew better than to believe the innocent faces he was currently seeing. Oh well, he’d sit back in his office and watch as they unleashed what he vaguely hoped was controlled chaos.

 

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Clint unrolled the blueprints for the different floors and chucked communicators, which Buffy fitted copying Natasha.

“So Grasshopper what would your plan of attack be?”

Buffy tilted her head to the side and contemplated, she ran several scenarios through her head. “I don’t know a suitable one I’m used to being a lone wolf.”

Natasha smiled genuinely shocking Clint; he’d never seen his friend take to someone new that quickly. The red-headed agent spoke, “It’s good to recognise what you do and don’t know. My suggestion we play to our strengths.”

Clint smirked, “Who will you be this fine evening?”

Natasha showed his the long brunette wig, “Natalie Rushman is starting today in HR.”

Buffy was snickering, “Poor Miss Rushman to start work during such a period of tension.”

Natasha snickered softly, “Go show Buffy the best walkways and if you’re feeling nice show her some of the nests.”

Clint smirked, “Come along sparrow.”

Buffy feigned outrage, “The demon world calls me Slayer and you think I’m a sparrow?”

Clint smiled and Natasha figured that several female agents’ ovaries had just exploded. It was even funnier when she knew that none of them had a chance, Coulson would only have show the slightest interest and no one else would get a look in.

Tasha need twenty minutes and she was ready, Coulson had already had emailed the perfect forms ready for her ‘secondment’.

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Meanwhile, walking stealthily above the walkways and corridors, Clint was showing Buffy cool places for eliminations and better ones for surveillance. Buffy had guessed that Clint had his intelligence behind his clown act; just like she hid behind the Cali-girl.

She asked him hopefully, “Can we really go to town on the ass-hat we got with an arrow?”

Clint shrugged there was certainly no love lost between him and Anderson. After all, Buffy gave him the perfect cover, “What do you have in mind sparrow?”

Buffy pursed her lips in displeasure at the nickname, “Well we have tiny paintball cartridges; if we’re good we can right messages.”

Clint pouted, “If? We can paint smiley faces.”

Buffy snickered softly mindful of the fact that she was meant to be quiet, “We’ll have to take out a few others or he’ll go whining to Nicky.”

Clint was proud that as an experienced agent he didn’t fall off the edge in shock. He managed not to show any shock in his voice, “you know the Director?”

Buffy nodded, and showed him her belt with the stars firmly in place, “Yeah he gave me these as a gift. They are so shiny and deadly that they are perfect.”

Clint muttered softly, “Note to self, keep you and Natasha apart.”

Buffy grinned, “Don’t worry about that besides I’ll put in a good word with Uncle Phil.”

Clint narrowed his eyes, “Christ your dangerous. Right let’s get started I say one point for the drones, ten for the agents, twenty for senior agents and fifty for Agent Hill, Agent Coulson.”

Buffy’ eyes were alight with mischievous, “One hundred if you dare to go for Uncle Nicky.”

Clint held his hand out, “We have an accord, do you agree Natasha.”

“This is on we have to get them all.”

Buffy pretended to be confused, “I thought they were agents and workers not pokemem.”

Clint shook with silent laughter, “Come on let’s go.”

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Within an hour Buffy and Clint had taken out the training room agents and taken great glee in eliminating all the agents who thought staying outside to train.

 

Bufyf hollered, "400"

Clint chimed, "410"

Natasha made them wait for their update,her visit to legal had eliminated the department but she was still behind. A visit to the Canteen caused mild uproar before she left without being noticed. She didn't bother to hide her amusement, "420"

After two hours they agreed to meet back up and assess how well their plans had progressed and who was left.

The day did not get better for any of the staff.

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Coulson waited until the end of the day to brief the Director alongside Hill.

Fury didn’t even bother hiding his amusement from his two deputies, “Well?”

Coulson actually snickered when he handed over the photographs of some of the most attacked personnel. Fury smiled on seeing Anderson being front and centre. He put the photos on the desk, “Whose handiwork?”

Coulson shrugged, “Buffy executed Barton’s plan.”

Agent Hill couldn’t resist, “I don’t suppose I can have a copy of that photo.”

Fury nodded handing the photo over to her, “My gift to you.”

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Of course, the next day, everyone was on edge. They really didn’t want to get in the way of the epic paintball match that erupted. A memo went out to the effect that, the personnel were free from being attacked as the senior team were conducting a field exercise. The only way the personnel would end up coated was if they got in the way. Hill and Fury were overseeing operations, with their paintball guns by their sides.

It ended up being three teams, Hawkeye & Natasha; Coulson and Buffy and finally Hill and Fury.

Buffy read the rules of the game, “The rules state that we are playing it as a competition but what if we agree to work together before splitting up.”

Clint was admiring, “Wow you’re such a positive influence on your niece!”

Coulson smirked deadpan, “It’s good when they grow up right.”

Buffy and Natasha shared a look of commiseration. Buffy asked silently if they flirted a lot and Natasha’s response was delicate shrug as if saying, ‘what can she do’.

 

Fury in the end had to bow to the sneakiness of the sixteen year old. She had created an alliance so as to eliminate him and Hill; then almost immediately the family had turned on their partners.

Clint pretended to be betrayed but a buoyant Buffy rebuffed any complaints, “Uh huh our deal was until we had eliminated our foe at no point did we make a deal for a time limit after that.”

Hill looked between the family members, “I’m not sure if we should encourage you pair or split you up to stop you from taking over the world.”

Buffy snorted, “Too much work, it’s better to rule from the shadows.”

Fury said nothing, “Amen spitfire, came back soon.”

 

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Buffy was sad to be leaving but she could admit the visit had been good for her. The battle with the Master had shaken her. Her Uncles calm nature and willingness to accept her, had helped her heal.

She did not share the visit with anyone in Sunnydale for a long time. It had been personal and there was also the small matter of none of her friends having the right security clearance.

To this day she had yet to shake off the spitfire moniker around S.H.E.I.L.D’s headquarters. Every year, barring when she was in heaven she returned and they re-enacted the paint-ball battle. To this day she had yet to be defeated; the latest battle included the Avengers and the teams had changed but that is a story for another time.

Chapter Text

Authors notes I’ve replied to all the suggestions most will actually be written in some shape or form. Just FYI the Avengers paintball match will occur in the bigger sequel Badass Summer, which is being written.
Timeframe: Post Sunnydale but Pre-Avengers so Clint is firmly established as a fixture of Buffy’s life.

---------------------------------------Spy Wedding in Vegas------------------------------

Clint’s last mission had been a clusterfrak of epic proportions. On the whole, Clint had fairly ambivalent feelings about the majority of handler’s but Smith was such an idiot; Clint was actually amazed that he managed to get out of bed without help.

Fury had not been too impressed when he had come to personally debrief him in the Las Vegas medical facility. The only bright side so far of the entire mission was that Phil was accompanying him. His chest hurt from the impact with wall sometimes he really hated his trained instincts to protect the handler’s.

Smith was standing at the end of his bed looking just plain shifty. He was making Clint’s fingers itch for a bow; personally he thought he should be allowed to shoot at least one arrow into the guys ass. A bright thought came into his mind; if he let Buffy, Dawn and Willow know; they could create a suitable revenge. Dawn had spent a little too much time being babysat by Spike and a former vengeance demon not to have some awesomely scary ideas on how to gain revenge.

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Buffy had phoned him last week laughing her ass off explaining about her formal adoption. She had decided that Hank was a useless waste of space and there was no way in hell that she was going to let him claim custody of Dawn. The solution had been unique, but when you’re mentor, who had been more like a father was actually a British peer with enough clout to get a rush adoption; it became simple.

Buffy was unaware that both he and Phil had had a few words to say to the man. Screw whatever badass reputation the man had in his youth; Hawkeye was not afraid of explaining to the ‘ripper’ just how he had screwed up with Buffy.

The conversation started with Clint snickering as Buffy explained how she had somehow gone from Buffy Summers to Lady Elizabeth Summer Giles. Clint had cheerfully informed her that he didn’t care how good she was with Sword; he was going to tease her about being a lady.

Buffy got her own back explaining that she knew perfectly well how to behave like a lady thanks to a screwed up Halloween. He could practically hear the shit eating grin from here, “You want to know the really good part?”

Clint had pretended to be upset, “You’re going to tell me anyway.”

Buffy’s bright voice was full of laughter so Clint was okay with it. Buffy had had too little laughter in so long that if her laughter came at his or Phil’s response they were more than okay with that fact. “I have diplomatic immunity.”

Clint was grinning at the thought of telling his lover when he got back. Still, Buffy was too sneaky it was the effect of growing up with her skills and knowing him, Phil, Fury and Natasha to name but a few.

Buffy snickered, “So in light of my new found immunity I have to ask… When are you going to make an honest man of my Uncle?”

She cut the phone off not giving him the chance to respond. He was never going to tell Natasha about this.

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So here Clint was lying in bed and all he could hear is that question bouncing around his head. He had been thinking about the question all the time, while off duty and being injured sucked. He hated injuries as they made him realise that sadly, he was in fact human. Well he could live with that revelation but he knew exactly how to fix one problem.

“So what happened?” Fury asked with no preamble.

“Sir the fact I’m not allowed my bow in bed is the only reason Smith doesn’t have one sticking out of his ass.” Was Clint’s calm response.

Fury quirked an eyebrow at this, “You believe Agent Smith’s performance to be sub-par?”

Clint grinned; the best thing about being interviewed now was that he could blame his injuries. “Well he ignored my advice. He also refused to let me use my bow on the grounds that it wasn’t a valid weapon.”

Fury turned to face the man who was doing a superb impression of a shrinking violet. “Son I’d get out of here before Agent Coulson remembers you’re here. He hates when his partner gets unnecessarily injured.”

Oh if it didn’t hurt; Clint would be laughing his ass off right about now. Coulson was doing his best; ‘I’m a BAMF who really wants to hurt you but I’m not because my boss is by me.’

Clint sighed in relief when the Agent actually hightailed it out of the hospital. “You have my thanks. Now can I get out of here?”

He addressed the question to Phil because if he said no; he wouldn’t argue, it just wouldn’t be worth it. Fury smirked, and biting his tongue resisted the urge to make a comment. The eye-patched man shrugged, “Now if you want to.”

Clint was starting to shrug off his bedclothes. “Oh yeah can you still conduct marriages sir?”

Fury was giving him a ‘what are you smoking look?’ Clint smirked, “Well Buffy had a good point.”

Fury did not look amused, “Immunity is non-transferable.”

Clint shook his head, “Well she asked me why I had not made an honest man of her Uncle.”

Coulson looked to his boss wondering if he was going to be the voice of reason. Fury was too busy silently laughing, “If you’re marrying don’t think you should ask Phil?”

Clint was clearly proud, “He told me to set the date when I was ready. I’m more than ready; we’re in Vegas I just need to get Buffy and Dawn.”

Buffy entered the room, with her younger sister trailing her, alongside them was Maria Hill and Natasha. It seems Buffy was one step ahead of him yet again. He smiled seeing all the men in the ward trailing the contingent of beautiful women coming to his bed. If they only knew that while he loved each and every one of them; the one that held his heart was Phil.

Of course, then the Uncle instincts raised in all the males; Buffy could see it. She gave him a look as if to say ‘I’m amused by the overprotectiveness but don’t push it.’

The poor doctor who’d been summoned looked flustered; it didn’t improve when Buffy blinded him. Hill and Natasha were sharing amused glances; Dawn was alternatively snickering and trying to stop her Uncles from killing the doctor.

Dawn rolled her eyes, “Please Buffy is giving us chance to get out of here. She’d eat him for breakfast.”

No one disagreed with her.
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An hour later they were heading to Vegas; Buffy had borrowed them the Council Jet. She shrugged and feigned arrogance, “I’m travelling in the style befitting my position.”

It hadn’t escaped anyone’s notice that she had lost her accent when she said it. Fury was unsure whether she was channelling her adoptive father or her grandmother. The party moved down to the casino with the largest chapel.

Dawn showing why it was bad to be raised around the slayers as it seemingly removed a person’s fear gene, “So if you are officiating in a Vegas wedding are you going to wear an Elvis costume?”

Clint was glad he was behind Phil so no one could see his whole body shudder in silent laughter.

While the others were looking at Dawn in awe; Fury was trying to quell her with a glare. It failed, after all, Spike used to babysit her. In the end, he bowed to the inevitable and sassed her back, “The suit won’t go with the eye-patch.”

Buffy rolled her eyes, “So who’s who?”

Clint sighed, “Tasha is my best man and you’re my witness.”

Phil nodded in agreement, “Maria is my best man and Dawn is my witness.”

The curator of the chapel looked vaguely scared, which showed that he had common sense. The couple vowed to love; honour and always come for each other.

Clint had agreed when Buffy argued that as much as she loved her Uncles’ obeying might be a bit beyond them. Fury had snorted saying, “I wish.”

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The evening celebrations had started early, drinking was allowed for all; bar Dawn and Fury. Buffy in a rare show of indulgence indulged in some alcohol.

The women had cackled sharing stories of who was hot and not. Dawn upon hearing that Natasha thought Willow was hot vowed to do some matchmaking. Fury had bet Clint that Maria would be too reserved to say anything and subsequently lost money when she admitted to fancying Agent Hunt of the IMF.

They pushed Buffy into answering and Dawn was glad she did, because it said a lot about how much her sister had grown. Initially, Buffy had been reluctant to say anything. Buffy was aware that Stark was coming up on S.H.E.I.L.D’s radar and didn’t want to encourage Uncle Phil’s homicidal urges.

Dawn was like a dog with a bone, Buffy sometimes wished she hadn’t inherited all the families endearing traits. “Come on spill, we’ve all shared.”

Buffy mumbled, “Tony Stark.”

Coulson raised an eyebrow, “I’ll tase him; watch Supernanny and use him as a foot rest.”

Dawn looked absolutely delighted but had cocked her head to the side, “Nope doesn’t beat the threat of beating someone to death with a shovel and then use it to bury him.”

Buffy rolled her eyes, “Relax he doesn’t run in the same circles as me.”

Fury wasn’t so sure about that. The social circles were different, Tony was new money and Buffy had been adopted into old wealth. Yet, they would come together in the Washington power circles. He rolled the idea around in his head. Buffy certainly would be able to out quip him; wouldn’t put up with his bullshit and could beat him with a hand tied behind her back.

He figured as a wedding present he would delay his diabolical plan until Clint annoyed him. Yep, he was definitely going to introduce the Slayer to Stark. She would either kill him or marry him and he wasn’t averse to either solution.

He sipped the last of his drink, “Right we have to get back to base to make sure the world keeps spinning. Dawn, Buffy don’t be strangers the minute you want jobs there yours. Come on Black Widow and Hill we need to go.” He stood up throwing his money down, “Gentlemen enjoy your honeymoon but do not tell me any details.”

“Yes Sir.” The chorused reply came back.

Dawn cooed, “It’s so sweet they are already talking in sync.”

Buffy burst out laughing at their disconcerted faces, “Dawn Marie you are so evil I’m so proud. I’m with Uncle Nick, these are for you.” She handed them a pair of first class tickets to Mauritius.

Still not wanting to be outdone, “Think of it as a perfect gift, as you’ll want to be far away when you let Nana know you got married without her.”

Phil grimaced knowing his niece had a point. Buffy stood signalling to Dawn, “Now congratulations it was about time you made an honest man out of my Uncle. We’ll leave you to enjoy your wedding night; I’ll make Willow see that you’re Wedding details are not visible to anyone without Level Seven Clearance.”

It was a sensible precaution but who would believe they the dependable Agent Coulson had been married to Agent Barton in Vegas by Director Fury? Probably no one, Clint thought but better to be safe than sorry.

It was strange that he could hear his eldest niece in his head going, “Uh-huh rule don’t die.”

At that point Phil pushed him onto the bed as he wrestled his shirt off. Well they were no more thoughts of any kind apart from sexy thoughts. Clint realised what a lucky bastard he was. No one but him got to see the passion in Agent Coulson, which was exactly the way it was going to stay or he’d put an arrow through their eye.

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Authors note 2 Next up: How a problem like Angelus can be solved when you have a friendly family sniper willing to help!
As always please read and review I love reading your comments and thoughts.

Chapter Text

This chapter is for McSpender – I hope this is what you were looking for?
An AU version of the finale to season two events have been slightly tweaked!

--------------How to solve a problem like Angelus--------------------------------------

Buffy sat after dark in the park in Sunnydale. It was strange but when you’re a slayer, you’re pretty much guaranteed to make it home. She was hugging her knees trying to figure out what to do; her mother may have kicked her out but she still needed to save the world. She knew that Angelus had to die but it was so hard to kill him with a stake. Normally, it was never a problem but all of a sudden being close enough to stake a guy was a problem; it was too personal.

Buffy was heartbroken; Angelus had systematically destroyed her support network within the town. She started to break the problem down with military like precision just like Uncle Phil taught her. She could have smacked her forehead, she’d forgotten the most obvious help. If there was one thing Uncle Phil had taught her was that there was no such thing as an unwinnable position.

She thought about asking Xander but she didn’t trust him after he lied to her. She could ask Spike but he was too unstable as an ally; he was definitely a last resort plan. What she needed was true deviousness; Natasha was out the country. She didn’t dare think what Uncle Nick was doing. The solution came to her mind and she smiled as it was absolutely perfect – Phone Clint.

She used the cell that none of the others knew about. He answered on the second ring, “hey spitfire what’s up?”

Buffy had been trying to be strong for so long that she was grateful for the chance to share her burden. The whole story came tumbling out soon enough. It was brilliant, he wasn’t judgemental; he wasn’t grieving like the people in Sunnydale he just offered quiet support.

Well sought of, she could hear him rustling, “Uncle Clint?”

She’d started calling him it not long after she’d seen him hook up with her Uncle. “I’m in LA I’m going to ask for leave and I’m bringing my bow and my rifle. Who says you have to kill him alone?”

Buffy laughed, even if it sounded like a broken sob, “You’re good people.”


Xander watched Buffy from afar. He knew that he was unable to truly battle the supernatural but he wanted to be there just in case he could help. Some man’s voice carried over the cemetery but Xander was too far away to hear what had been said. Buffy’s whole attitude changed once she heard the voice.

Xander could admit that he was a little jealous. He saw the soldier come into view, it was clear that Buffy knew him well. She hugged him with familiarity and it looked as if her strength and confidence had returned by the sheer presence of this mystery man.

Xander watched through the scope as the man unfurled a very hi-tech bow and arrow. Then he flung the gun to Buffy. He watched in fascination as Buffy caught the gun reflexively; she cocked and loaded the military grade weapon.

It was clear that Buffy had found an ally in her battle and it wasn’t Spike. Xander wasn’t sure if he preferred this or not. It never entered his mind that they were much wider issues at play than his bruised ego.

He watched as the man shimmied up a tree giving him a direct line of sight into the mansion. He was a true world class sniper, which raised the question: How did Buffy know him?


Buffy was deciding whether to go with stealth but figured screw it. Angelus had been torturing her in the last few months it was only to return the favour.

Buffy waltzed into the mansion like she owned it. Dru attacked hissing furiously about ‘Miss Edith’ lying. Buffy dodged the attacks perfectly until she managed to land the perfect back hander. She watched in satisfaction as Dru went flying across the room landing in an undead heap. She was aware that Spike could actually walk and looked directly at him, “Peroxide get your girl and get gone.”

The implicit command in her voice made Spike obey. He wasn’t stupid; he figured that Angelus had bitten off more than he could chew with this slayer. The only real problem was that he was torn in two. He really wanted to watch his sire’s demise, he had warned him that his arrogance would be his undoing and Spike really wanted to see it.

On the other hand, he could tell that the slayer meant business and if he stuck around then it could mean the end of his and Dru’s undead life. One of the other reasons, Spike had survived was he knew when to fight and when to run. He had never thought running to be cowardly it just meant you could come back with bigger weapons.

He could see which way the wind was blowing so he hollered, “well peaches it was nice knowing you!”

Angelus stormed into the atrium, “Oh yeah how will you manage the stairs.”

Spike snickered, “Well I’m grabbing Dru and leaving.”

Any retort Angelus could have had died on his lips. Spike figure walking was a pretty effective way of ending the argument.

Angelus’s brain caught up with what he was seeing and he growled trying to follow him. Buffy soon ended that plan with a well-aimed roundhouse kick.

Buffy grinned brightly, “Where do you think you’re going lover?”

Angelus sneered, “Oh you think you can play in the big leagues?”

Buffy snickered, “Oh you’re jealous you should have said honey.”

Angelus didn’t seem to carry on arguing but grabbed a sword. Buffy shrugged, meeting steel with steel but still wanting to tease him, “Okay honey we’ve spoken about this you need to use your words, not violence.”

“You have no one left and that is why I’ll win.” He snarled.

Buffy quirked an eyebrow, in any other situation, Clint would tease her about taking after her Uncle. She used a parry-feint attack that Tasha had taught her the last time she was in New York. Buffy decided to enlighten him to a secret that no one else knew in Sunnydale.

“I’m not as alone as you think!” Angelus snarled his obsession was really unhealthily.

Buffy knew that she couldn’t keep the swordfight up forever so she took pre-emptive action. “I didn’t mention my favourites Uncles did I?”

Angelus frowned, he was missing something. Still, he maintained his attack he’d watched this slayer take too many opponents out by distracting them. Buffy gave him a vicious kick that sent him flying, just as he got to his feet felt the bullet slice him in half.

“What?”

Buffy advanced on him; like she was stalking prey. It was an odd turn around for someone who liked to make people prey. She asked him, “Does it sting? Uncle Clint made it to complete really tough hits.”

He could feel the blood seeping out, “…the rules.”

Buffy grinned, now seeing the incredible irony, “you taught me to bend them. Uncle hasn’t killed you with a modern weapon just helped me.”

Buffy swung the sword that would decapitate the monster, who was using her lover’s body. It was fortunate in many ways because of her Uncle’s intervention she never saw the spell work. It would have only added to the heartbreak.

Clint moved towards his niece wanting to make sure he could comfort her. He wanted to be near her when the shock of killing someone she knew hit her.


Buffy was organising her thoughts; she knew what she needed to do. She needed to survive by getting out of Sunnydale but first she would see Giles.

She stood outside the apartment block where Giles lived, reluctant to take the final steps to the apartment.

Clint gave her hug, "We're almost in the clear. Joyce may have kicked you out but you'll have a place to stay in New York."

Buffy was frustrated, she really wanted to just cut and run but she couldn't leave Sunnydale without protection. Her Uncles spend their lives dedicated to ensuring America's safety and she couldn't look them in the eye if she failed in her own duty.

Buffy smirked seeing a perfect solution. Her friends felt that she needed to be a perfect slayer; well then let them deal with a perfect slayer. She phoned her Grandmother, "Hey Nan, do you still have sway with Travers?"

She could practically see her Nana visibly brighten at the thought of causing a little mayhem, "I do indeed. Are you finally letting me say what I want to that horrible excuse of a human being?"

Buffy wished she wasn't as tired as she would probably enjoy this a lot more. "Oh yeah have fun."

"I shall. Can I speak to your Uncle's Archer?"

Buffy grinned, "Of course Nana, I need to have a chat with my watcher."

Buffy wanted to have a chat with Giles before she left and to start with she needed to do it on her own.


Giles had tried to be understanding but he had all but exploded at the thought of her abandoning her duty.

Buffy laughed hollowly, "Oh the new slayer will be on your doorstep in hours. Nana will see to that but Giles I need space."

Giles realised that he had mis-stepped but if he was honest, he cared greatly for his young charge. He could see why she wanted to leave and he would be having words with young Alexander himself.

Giles saw the dangerous man grace his doorway. The looks he sent towards Giles spoke volumes. This man was unknown to him but Buffy trusted him as she hadn't even reacted to his presence. It was clear to Giles that if he was even a hint of a threat towards Buffy this man would put him in the ground.

"You ready to go Spitfire. You're Nana also told me you're learning the craft."

Giles was very confused, "Buffy what is going on?"

Buffy shrugged, "This is my uncle; he's part of an organisation, which has more power than even the council. Don't look for them or you'll end up deported. I'll be with them because they will help me get my head screwed straight on straight.” She wanted him to understand, “they helped me stay sane last summer and it is not like I have anything to come back to here."

Giles looked so adorably confused that Buffy almost felt sorry for him, "Mom has thrown me out; I've just been kicked out school; my best friend lied to me and while it was not Angel, I've just killed the man I love. I have issues I need to sort through." She finished a little out of breath having released her burdens.

"Oh dear lord."

Buffy snorted it felt a little inadequate, "Nope just me but I have people in New York who will help me be me again Giles and that is something that I need."

Giles let her go because he knew that it was the right thing to do. If he claimed to care for her, then he could do nothing else however hard it may be for him.


In New York, S.H.E.I.L.D the agents were buzzing. The young blonde Coulson who had caused such havoc the summer before was back again.

The agents were justifiably weary but breathed a sigh of relief when they went to the snipers range.

Buffy listened attentively as Clint shared his expertise about the ins-and-outs of sniper craft.

Much to the surprise of many of the junior agents; Clint was a good teacher. Buffy played spotter learning to call out all the relevant factors that could impact a shot. In doing this, Buffy learnt exactly how to focus and what she needed to focus on when shooting.

One onlooker, who was always given enough room to see the training, was Agent Coulson. No one wanted to get on the bad side of Agent Coulson, he was plain scary. Phil would happily let his two favourite people shoot all the targets in the world if it would keep them smiling.

Nick Fury stepped out onto the observation deck. It was amazing how quick the deck cleared when he appeared.

He asked wryly, "Was it something I said?"

Phil snorted, "I believe it may be your imposing nature Sir."

Fury gave him a sideways look but said nothing about the comment. He was more worried about the young blonde, she was good at what she did but he never wanted her to lose her fire.

“How is she doing?”

Phil looked sad but answered honestly, “She is sad but we will make sure she heals and Mom wants her learn the family way.”

Fury nodded after all, it didn’t matter who you were; what Victoria Winslow wanted you did.

Just like Director Travers was currently finding out. Instead of being rid of a thorn in his side like he thought; he actually had quite a headache. How could he ensure that the Slayer remained on their side? He could not go against Victoria Winslow the woman was notorious and if she felt that he had wronged her niece then he would be six feet under before he could blink.

Back in New York, Nick Fury was showing a vaguely human side. Although he would deny it with his dying breath but he knew exactly what to say, “So I think we need another Paintball exercise?”

Coulson actually grinned, “Yes Sir I’ll go and find the equipment.”

That is how a tradition is born and the annual S.H.E.I.L.D paintball exercise was born. They would not do some corporate event it was full on and everyone gave their all.

Yet, to this day, Buffy had never lost, not even when she paired up with Tin-man…No one from either group had worked out how the pair had managed to get Steve with a perfect replica of his shield design on his butt. Faith approved as she decided that she needed to strip him out of his dirty clothes but that is a story for another time.

 

------------------------------------------------End of Story-------------------------------------------------

Authors Note Okay this series has received such fantastic reviews and I’m so grateful for all the great reviews and suggestions.

Next up: People have been asking to find out what happens when mama Coulson finds out about the wedding. Does anyone else think that this cannot end well?

Chapter Text

Big thanks to the beta’ing from McGurrin and ConstanceTruggle

Timeline – Set directly after ‘spy wedding in Vegas’ so Buffy has just been formally adopted and in terms of RED its set post-movie but pre-Moldova.

Notes: Okay a little more background to RED the movie, which stars Bruce Willis who is a Retired Extremely Dangerous agent who is put on a kill list for a mission way back when. The deal is that he seeks help from old allies/enemies. Helen Mirren who plays Victoria had fallen in love with a KGB agent who she was asked to kill. In this ‘Verse she carries out the orders like in the movie she shots him three times but does not kill him but was also pregnant with Coulson.

Okay with that out of the way – On with show or chapter in this case.

-------------------------------Mama Knows -----------------------------------------------

Phillip Coulson could rarely remember being so content. Yesterday, he had been spontaneous but knew that he had made the perfect decision. Clint had been in the hospital bed, looking a little worse for wear. Whilst neither man was naive, or immune to danger, it had been a startling reminder about what could happen. Well, Phil refused to let Clint doubt his love or commitment and more to the point he was possessive of what was his. It was not an enlightened attitude in the modern age but he could admit to his own personal faults. Thankfully, Clint was just as bad as he was so he had no room to bitch. Heaven help though, anyone stupid enough to flirt with either one of them in the presence of the other. From experience, they can safely say that it did not end well for the flirtee but it did end the night with fantastic, jealous hot sex.

In the here and now, Phil was enjoying waking up slowly with his arms wrapped around his husband. He tested the word in his head and knew that it wouldn't get old anytime soon. His muscles were a good sore but he blamed Clint. It definitely was his new husband’s fault. After all, what was he to do? His husband had challenged him to prove just how much stamina a handler had. Well never let it be said that he couldn’t rise to the occasion in more than one way.

What truly showed how distracted he had been by yesterday’s events was that everyone, himself included, forgot one tiny detail. No one had told his mother. A fact he soon realised when the phone started buzzing. Whilst, he may be sleepy, years of training were too hard to let go of but he hoped the world was ending or he was not going to be a happy man.

“Unless it’s the end-of-the-world I don’t want to know.” He figured that he shouldn’t have to be polite he was on his honeymoon.

The regal, very cool sounding voice of his mother soon cut through all his happy mojo, “Well Phillip I’d like to know why I wasn’t there to see my son marry his archer.”

Phil sat bolt up-right, a burst of adrenaline having shot through his system. “Well it seemed like a really good idea at the time.”

The harrumph at the other end of the phone suggested that his mother was not as impressed. “Phillip you may have two days then, I will expect to see you at Eagles Nest.”

Phillip Coulson had faced down incredibly poor odds; too many foes and many other intense situations. He did know one thing though he would not go against his mother.
“Yes mother.”


Two days later, mid-morning the new happy couple rocked up to Eagles nest. Phil really hoped that his mother would be mellow, as she had recently reunited with his father. Sure enough, when the car pulled up his mother was standing on the porch with his father's arm wrapped around her. It seemed that they had yet to get past the idea that this was real and that they could have this.

Clint really would like to say that he was secure enough in his own skills to know that he could walk away, if the couple decided they wanted him dead, but he had never been a kidder. Then again, he had never gone to dinner with his in-laws who were the greatest wet work specialist both sides of the Cold War divide.

Who knows? Just maybe he could survive this trip. Phil loved him so that must count for something right?

Phil squeezed his hand, trying to comfort his obviously uncomfortable husband. It was a little funny that Hawkeye, who was known for seeing everything, and being as ice-cool as his partner was so worried.

His mother just looked very amused, which made him feel relieved. It meant this trip wasn’t likely to end in blood. She chuckled, "Relax Phillip, Buffy will be here soon. She has yet to give me the full story of how she ditched the wastrel father and found herself a Lord as a father."

Phillip didn't even rise to the bait, after all, she was more than aware of Giles and apart from a few times he'd screwed up, and she actually liked him. To his mother, the man despite at the time having only been her watcher had been a much better father figure than her biological father.

Oh the visit she, her son and his archer paid Hank was absolutely wonderful.

Victoria hugged Clint and kissed his cheek, "Relax Clint it's just I've recently been reunited with Phillip's father and I wanted them to get to know each other. Although, I do intend to tease Phillip so be extra nice to him."

Clint really was fond of his mother-in-law; she really was a cool person. Of course, he could say this now he was reasonably sure that she had no intention of serving his heart for dinner.


He was well aware that he and Phil did not fit the mould of the average couple. Hell, they didn’t fit the mould of the average spy couple. Therefore, it was only fitting that Clint spent most of his honeymoon with some of the biggest legends of the Cold War.

Although, Victoria had promised not to kill him, there was still many ways in which to cause a man extreme discomfort. Dinner with several ex-agents and two current ones is a special kind of fun. Let’s just say that when Vicky reached for the sharp knife to carve the meat they were several tense people. Ivan could see how they all instinctively reached for their closet available weapon, he chuckled.

Phillip saw his mother’s evil glint, and rolled his eyes, "If mother wanted to kill you she wouldn’t use a sharp knife she would be inclined to use the Swedish K under the table."

Frank, who was someone Clint had been introduced to upon entering Eagles nest, shook his head in bemusement. "How did you get that from Marvin?"

Vicky shrugged her shoulders delicately, looking coolly amused, "He gave it to me."

If Clint wasn't aware that the man was a retired extremely dangerous CIA agent he would have sworn the man was pouting.

Clint felt a little like the character Alice, when she slipped through the looking glass. The one guy Marvin was twitchy; there was no other way to describe the guy. He'd sent a non-verbal question to his hubby asking what the deal was and got a shrug in response. It was only later in their room that Phil explained about how the ex-agent’s paranoia was due to 11 years’ worth of LSD daily doses by the CIA.

The death threats came at the end of the evening so later than Clint was expecting. Personally, Clint was impressed with the range and creativity of the threats. You had to admire agents who took the time to create good threats.

Frank started it, "With age comes a certain perspective, our business is a hard one. Just remember that we are taught never to care but if you harm Phillip. Well, I'll find a way to rip everything you love out of your life and then I'll kill you."

Phil groaned they were treating him like he was unable to take care of himself.

Marvin snickered but Clint noticed how he pulled the pink bunny closer, he really wanted to know what he was hiding in the bunny. Marvin struck him as the kind of guy who used his craziness as a cover, the pink teddy was a perfect cover. "Wow Frank you must really like the guy you gave him the nice speech."

Clint chuckled, when you work so closely with Natasha communicating through death threats and other threats of bodily harm becomes a way of life. "If I harm Phil, then you have no leverage."

Frank raised a glass in acknowledgment and chuckled wryly, "Good answer I can see why Vicky approves."

Clint finished off his shot of Vodka, "anymore threats you want to get out of your system? I've already run through the whole IWC council."

Ivan raised an eyebrow, he had come across the new council and he could confess that they impressed him greatly. He struck them as a group of highly competent individual who would strike with a swift fury when angered.

Victoria chuckled softly, "It helps that you have the support of our granddaughter."

Clint shrugged unrepentant, "It was you that ordered me to teach her the craft."

Frank was grinning now, he'd heard a little about Vicky's granddaughter. She was apparently a lethal combination of her grandparents and Uncles wrapped up in someone who looked like a Californian princess.


Franks first impression of Buffy lived up to expectation. There was a scuffle in the hallway the next morning while nearly everyone was still asleep. Everyone in the house had reacted; all were on the stairs pointing a variety of guns/arrow at the intruder.

Only to find a beautiful blond that reminded Frank of a younger Vicky, she was kneeling on Marvin’s back having hog-tied him and was using an impressively beautiful carved red wood scythe to ensure he didn’t wriggle.

Buffy had a wry grin on her face, "Hey Nana I figured he was a guest so I didn't kill him."

Vicky snickered she was well aware of granddaughters great reluctance to harm humans. However she had always taught her to work with everything that she had. So as along as others were not aware of that small fact then it could work as an amazing deterrent. She added, "I appreciate the restraint darling. We need to have words about a certain wedding and I want to officially introduce you to your actual grandfather."

Buffy well used to Willow-babble managed to fitter and decipher the huge deluge of information that she had just received and grinned in response. "I realised you may be mad about the wedding so I took some steps to rectify the situation."

Vicky could see that Buffy was growing into quite he politician. She waved her hand in a motion for her granddaughter to continue.

Buffy took a breath, "Well Willow made a HD version of the Wedding video and I brought you a ‘I'm sorry gift’."

Marvin who was finally released, rubbing his sore wrists, "Well you certainly didn’t fall far from the family tree."

 

Buffy stood up, all fluid grace, "Well given who I'm related to how can you expect otherwise?"

All the Agents took a step back when she pulled an incredibly ornately carved dagger from her back.

Buffy had a bright grin, "It's shiny, beautiful, cuts through anything and matches your purse. What more could a woman ask for?"

All the spectators held their breath, without even realising it their niece had pulled a rabbit out of her ass. Vicky smiled warmly and for once no one checked for the nearest weapon, "it’s beautiful darling."

Buffy bounced on her feet, "Does that mean I'm forgiven?"

"Of course come I want you to meet Ivan."

Frank, Clint and Phil looked on as the two striking women walked off towards the kitchen trading a familial conversation.

Phil let out a breath of relief, "Well I guess that means we are off the hook."

Clint nodded, he owed a Buffy a really a special gift. She had saved their assess, it was clear to Clint yesterday that whilst Vicky had promised not to kill him. It didn’t mean that she wasn’t going to toy with them until she felt better about the situation. That was never a good thing considering the person involved.

Clint felt Phil tug on his arm, “Come on, Buffy’s given us a chance to enjoy some free time. We’ll find her something special to say thank you.”

Two days later the high powered cross bow seemed to be the perfect thank you given how loud the squeal of joy was.

------------------------------------------End of Chapter ---------------------------------------------------------------

Next up - Buffy at a big-wig party and meets Tony – Let the pigtail pulling begin!

Chapter Text

Beta: ConstanceTruggle

 

-----------------------------------------First Meetings-----------------------------------------------------

Buffy was wearing a killer dress for this Washington Party. If she was going to be bored, then she would look fashionable whilst she was bored to tears. Thoughts like that made her realise just how much Giles was influencing her. She’d picked a classy black cocktail dress that showed her assets off to perfection.

She’d been asked to attend by President Bartlet and therefore she and Giles were there representing the newly reformed IWC. Buffy liked the Bartlet’s but found most politicians in Washington to be soul sucking vultures, who were far worse than any Vampire. Just to add to Buffy’s fun night, she knew there would be military bigwigs at this party. Buffy had stopped thinking that they were all idiots, but she was still not overly fond of the military. In fact, she could honestly say that so far she only liked the SGC personnel and, maybe, Riley’s group at a push.

Buffy had smiled and started to talk to Major General Jack O‘Neill as he was “good people.”

Jack snickered, “That’s because I told Ross he had it coming.”

Buffy shrugged her shoulders, “It is not my fault that the man screwed up on an epic level and then tried to kidnap my girls to prove himself.”

O’Neill had laughed his ass off when he’d seen the video footage of Faith and Buffy ripping through the soldiers on the base like they were barely trained. In truth, Ross had surrounded the girls with his highest trained soldiers. Well, Jack was not stupid; he had contacted the Council and reiterated that he was not Army and would Buffy and Faith consider coming to his base and leading some training sessions.

Buffy had had fun ripping through the idiot Ross’ base. What Jack had not seen or heard about, was the video conference she enacted between her and Jed. She could still fondly remember the blowhard general’s face when the president had called her by name and apologised for the ineptitude of his general. At one point, Buffy had thought his blood pressure would rise to the point where he would explode.

She was enjoying telling Jack all about the conversation when she turned the subject away from their more interesting topics because she sensed someone approaching. She finished the tale by gleefully adding, “I only wished I had the time to record the conversation. You would have adored it.”

O’Neill shrugged, “I’ll settle for your help in ruining Kinsey’s life.”

Buffy, who had an innocent expression, added, “Well, we always have to have goals in life, they're important.”

O’Neill grinned, “You’re so cool. Sam stops me from playing with the idiots.” Then O’Neill saw Tony coming over and said, “Billionaire on collision course, I’m outta here.”


Tony was people watching again. He was watching the beautiful blonde who’d entranced a large number of the men at this shindig and made their accompanying dates jealous. She was a puzzle and therefore intriguing to Tony. He observed her conversation with General Jack O’Neill. She was treated differently from the other civilians in the room; some of the military personnel treated her with respect, some showed a heightened wariness – and in the case of General Ross – contempt.

Tony had watched the President give her a warm greeting earlier in the evening. It made Tony really want to meet the Princess to find out who she was. He couldn’t read her well enough to figure it out.

Tony got the invite when one of the geeks he knew waxed lyrical about one of her best friends. She insisted that they go and talk. She headed in the direction of where the blonde was chatting with one General O’Neill, “Buffy, it's so great that you are here.”

Tony watched the blonde turn round and he was impressed. She was clearly a very beautiful woman but she expected to make her way through the world with her skills and not her looks. At least that was what he thought until she opened her mouth.

“Lydia, it’s great to see you again! I’ve been so bored. Dad has dragged me to yet another boring party.”

Tony sighed wistfully; yet another Californian Princess. However, it did raise the question of why she was at this party. If Tony had given it much more thought he would remember that to gain entrance to this party you had to have a very high security clearance.

Buffy smirked as she had seemingly played the genius with an act that she had finely crafted since she becoming the slayer. Buffy smiled charmingly, “Lydia you haven’t introduced us.”

Lydia looked a little sheepish, she assumed that Tony needed no introduction but forgot that Tony would not know about Buffy.

“Tony, this is Lady Elizabeth Giles.”

Buffy winced, she wasn’t used to being called Elizabeth and only the Queen of England did so. Her legal name – once the adoption had been made official – was Elizabeth ‘Buffy’ Summer Giles.

“I hate Elizabeth; only the Queen calls me that,” she said narrowing her eyes in mock annoyance.

Tony looked exasperated. How on Earth did a British aristocrat end up speaking and acting like a Californian Princess? He asked, “Do you mean the Queen of England?”

Buffy innocently nodded her head, “That’s right, she is Daddy’s friend.”

Tony wondered exactly why some of the Military men were treating her as if she was a live bomb. Maybe she could throw her Manolo shoes really accurately and ninja-like. Otherwise he was at a loss to explain it, but then he could have smacked his head in frustration. Christ, she was good, she had clearly honed that act over many years. Still he had many questions that he would like to know the answers to - like who, exactly, was she? What did she do? She was clearly more than a politician because she moved more like a predator now that he was looking closely.

 

Tony had very quickly realised that he was being played. Never being one to beat around the bush, he asked, “Does the dumb blonde act go far?”

Buffy cocked her head to the side, amusement showed clearly in her eyes, “You tell me.”

She may have a point, but Tony had vowed never to surrender any ground. It was something that had become his mantra since Afghanistan, “I suppose you may have the looks to carry it off,” he said snarkily. “What I really want to know is why the big bad military men treat you, as if you’re either their best friend in the whole world, or like you’re the most dangerous?”

Buffy surprised him, by seemingly taking great delight in his observation. Her voice changed and if Tony didn’t know any better, he would think that she was flirting with him, “Don’t you know the best things come in small packages.”

Yet again, she was evading his questions, and all he could do was rise to the challenge. “I’m sure, but I’ve never had a complaint…”

He trailed off in horror seeing the reporter, Christine, whom he’d slept with after the charity gig upon on escaping Afghanistan. Interestingly, his new verbal sparring partner also seemed upset by the approaching pair. Oh god, the guy was like a walking advert for the Military, complete with shining, pinging white teeth.

Buffy was known for taking decisive action and saw a good exit strategy, “I know you can talk, but can you dance?”

Tony grinned and Buffy could definitely see how his charm would play with the ladies. “Any style you want,” he promised.

Buffy put her hand in his, “Then show me what you got because I don’t want to deal with Riley and you hate the reporter.”

Tony could lead elegantly, so much so that Buffy had to resist the urge to step on his toes out of spite. She figured that one good turn deserved another and she really felt that she was growing as a human being.

“So who is the walking tooth paste ad?”

Buffy groaned, “An Ex. Please, can we not talk about it?”

Tony looked delighted, “Oh no, this is too good. What on Earth attracted you to Mr Farmboy?”

Damn. Buffy really wanted to giggle but she was determined to remain annoyed with the billionaire. She zinged straight back, “I was young. I was in college and didn't know any better.”

She could see he was about to snark so cut him off, “Tell me again, Tony, why you wanted to dance with me.”

Tony smiled, all patent charm, “Because you are the loveliest creature in this room.”

Buffy was coolly amused, “Flattery won’t get you anywhere. Besides, I recognised the reporter; she wanted to interview me.”

Tony wondered how she escaped the interview, “How did you escape that hell?”

Buffy did giggle now, she couldn’t help it, “No hell, but I was sparring with Faith and we scared her off. It was so not my fault,” Buffy finished.

Tony was admittedly intrigued, “So, can we spar sometime?”

Buffy could hear the song was ending so she could make an exit stage left. She wondered if he knew he was flirting. “You know, if I was your only sparring partner just maybe,” she finished wistfully.

She did not allow him a response as she switched dance partners with Abbey Bartlet.

Giles watched in fascination as Buffy all but dragged Tony Stark off to the dance floor. He had observed the earlier interactions and almost wanted to have another drink. Tony Stark was a well known playboy, one that Buffy was well aware of and she never wanted to repeat the Parker debacle again. Yet, Giles could clearly see the signs of attraction between the bickering couple. Giles had laughed softly when he realised that the couple may have been dancing but were still snarking at each other.

Giles would only realise just how close to the truth he was, on the day he led his eldest down the aisle of the church to let her marry Tony. Well, it would take a while; Gods, Uncles, Nanas and crazy ass plots of the supernatural and extra-terrestrial kind, but come hell or high water, they would get married.

 

-------------------End of Chapter----------------------------

Next up: The day where Buffy got adopted and Clint, Phil and Vicky go to chat with dear old Hank.

Chapter Text

As always huge thanks to ConstanceTruggle for the speedy beta.

Added disclaimer In the course of this chapter we encounter the characters of the BBC Sherlock series. As usual I don't own the characters and cannot make any money from them.

 

---------------------------------Fun Conversations-------------------------------------------------

 

Hank Summers was a selfish ass. This was not news to the Scoobies, but even they were sometimes amazed by the sheer capacity of his selfishness.

What happened, exactly? Well, it may have something to do with the fact that he recently tried to reconcile with his daughters. If Buffy and Dawn had felt that he had been even the remotest bit sincere they would have tried. Instead, the man had tried to demand they meet him in Spain and had not shown even the barest hint of remorse. This did not sit well with Buffy, who’d told him that he could go to hell.

His interest had been evoked after their photo had been published in the European papers, partying with the Princes of England. Buffy had been introduced to the Princes during a meeting at Buckingham Palace. She and Giles had met with the Queen and one of her advisors, Mycroft. They had talked about many things, and Buffy blushed when the Queen thanked her for her sacrifices. She couldn't help but flush at the praise and the warm affectionate look Giles gave her.

At the end of the meeting, Mycroft promised Buffy a favour. Giles had clearly been surprised and Buffy had quizzed him about it afterwards. It was then that Giles explained how Mycroft, despite not having an official title, was one of the most powerful men in England. Personally, Buffy liked him; they'd traded stories about annoying little siblings. However, they could not decide who had the better story. Buffy had laughed hearing about Sherlock in a bed-sheet, whilst at a meeting in the Palace. Mycroft had been coolly amused when she told the story of Dawn meeting the Pope in pyjamas.


Anyway, Buffy was reminded of both the promise and the day because she and Giles were both spitting mad and plotting. In recent months, Buffy had found that she had an innate talent for Politics, which Giles had recognised and encouraged. If there was one lesson that had been learnt from Sunnydale, it was that Buffy needed an identity and purpose beyond the role as slayer. Still, the letter which had caused all the anger was from Hank. The letter basically informed them of Hank’s intention to sue for Dawn’s custody.

Having read the letter, they locked themselves in their large office and indulged in some fantasies that would put Angelus to shame. Then once their initial anger died down, they got serious. The bastard had no idea what he’d started but by God, they would finish it.

Buffy was apocalyptically cross, considering in those short months when she had been dead he hadn't even bothered to check on his youngest. Still, on paper at least, he was Dawn's father and it was possible – especially with Wolfram and Hart – that he could challenge and win.

Buffy sighed and flopped down on the leather green sofa, "It's not fair, you've been more of a father to us than he ever was."

Giles looked sad, "You know I think of you both as my daughters Buffy."

Then a devious smile crossed Buffy's face. Giles would have been wary of that smile, if she had been next to explosives.

Buffy smirked, “It’s simple, Mycroft did promise me one favour. I wonder if two adoptions will pose a challenge. He did say that he longed for a challenge and a distraction from Sherlock’s antics.”

Giles was awe struck, "Do you truly mean this Buffy? It is a pretty big step."

Buffy respected Giles, so she took the time to formulate an honest response. After a few minutes, she spoke. "Yeah I do. I know of everything that has gone on, but we worked so hard to repair our relationship. Giles, it may not be a blood relationship but you are truly the closest thing to a father and I know that Dawn agrees with me."

Giles grinned, "Then I accept. What will you do about your f...Hank?"

Buffy grinned, having already solved that conundrum, "Do you know, Nana and Uncle Phil have wanted to chat with him for like, ever? Nana is very good at getting people to see reason."

Giles chuckled softly and he could honestly say that the thought appealed to him. Victoria Winslow could get anyone to agree with her point of view, or, she would kill them. It was perhaps not the most elegant of solutions but he could not deny the effectiveness of the method.

In reality, it took Mycroft less than a day and within a week the adoption and appropriate titles had been conferred.


Spain

Hank heard a knock on his Villa door. He preened, assuming his daughters had finally seen sense. He knew he had not always been the best father, but he wasn't so bad that he deserved his eldest telling him to go to hell.

He opened the door wide and froze. Oh Christ, this was not how his morning was meant to go. Not really having a choice, given the matching guns being pointed at him, he invited the party inside. "Why don't you come in Victoria, Phil and I'm sorry I don't know your name."

Clint gave him a hard smile, "Not important, but think about this … Buffy calls me Uncle."

Any other man would have felt shame about not realising just how much he'd missed of his daughters’ life. For Hank, though, he just wanted to use his daughters’ connections to help him advance his own career.

Victoria forced him to sit on his chair with no verbal threat. All she had done was walk forwards, forcing him to retreat until he fell backwards. He'd collapsed in an ungainly heap that did not impress the two males going by their matching eye rolls.

"Well Hank, I'd like to know why you seem to think you can be a father to my grandchildren all of a sudden." Victoria’s voice was as cold and hard as an arctic blast.

Hank flushed; it was clear that Joyce had either not known, or forgot to mention some vital facts about her mother. He was smart enough to know that whatever answers he gave would impact upon how long he had to live. The whole family was positively vibrating with restrained violence and he was the sole attention of their fury.

"I have made mistakes," he conceded.

Phil snorted, "You did not care for either daughter and you repeatedly cheated on their mother before divorcing her. You have not paid child support for either child in years."

Clint grinned and didn't bother to hide his disgust, "Let’s not forget that he signed custody over to his eldest child who had to take two jobs just to keep a roof over their heads."

Victoria smiled, "Oh we have so much to talk about dearest Hank."

Phil deadpanned, "Mother, he's a lawyer."

Victoria smiled at her son, "Of that I am aware, which is why the drink he's just drank to try and hide his nervous was dosed with a truth serum."

Phil could see that Hank was starting to visibly sweat so the drug was working. "So, why did you launch this ridiculous suit?" Victoria asked calmly.

"I saw the photos of them partying with the royal family of England." Hank hated that he’d revealed the truth. He was a lawyer for God's sake; he was meant to be good at this.

Victoria sighed and shook her head, "I really hated you when you were married to my daughter but she loved you. I would have liked nothing more than to kill you slowly and feed you to my pigs, but Joyce never knew about that life."

Clint sighed wistfully, "Well, I can always put an arrow through his eye when he least suspects it. I think my record stands at 1750 metres. He would never see it coming," he promised.

Victoria smiled brightly, looking like a proud parent. "You've increased your own record. Impressive."

Clint grinned; it was nice to be appreciated, especially by such a legend.

They continued to question and record the conversation. They were shocked by his sheer lack of morals. After all, they had worked with all sorts due to their career paths; but Hank Summers was a singularly repulsive person.

Hank was coming around as Joyce’s brother finished making a copy of the disk.

He twirled around and stated calmly, “This is your spoken confession of all the ridiculous and immoral things you’ve done concerning your daughters and for your job.”

Clint was smiling but it was thin and mean, “Tell him the rest, baby.”

“Buffy and Dawn have been officially adopted by her mentor. They are now untouchable. If you so much as look at them wrongly… Well, you already know that you won’t see it coming and I’ll ensure that a) they never find you and b) they won’t get charged. As insurance, you cause trouble and I’ll release this tape to your boss.”

Hank flushed and desperately shouted, “You can’t threaten me, you work for the government.”

Clint snickered absolutely delighted, as Vicky and Phil now owed him a hundred bucks each. He enjoyed this, “You know, I don’t actually exist. My boss saw to that. Vicky is retired and Phil? Well his boss is my boss and he is awfully fond of Buffy, so he’d probably help us.”

Hank deflated like a lead balloon. All his plans had come to naught; he flinched when Vicky clapped his cheek in a cheerful manner. “Oh Hank, it could be worse.”

“How?”

“I could have killed you today.”

She was calm, this was no threat Hank realized – it was a promise. “You’re lucky that my son convinced me that it would not be best for Buffy.”

Phil shrugged, “Buffy and Dawn think that he is a waste of space, but they don’t wish him dead.”

Hank would watch as Dawn would become a well-respected academic, whose opinion was sought by all sorts. He saw the photos of another man walking his eldest down the aisle, in that year’s most eagerly anticipated wedding. It was only then would he realize what a selfish ass he’d been, but as the story goes – It was too little; too late.

---------------------End of Chapter--------------------

Next up – The news of Buffy’s death hit the Scoobies hard but it hit the S.H.I.E.L.D people just as hard. How did they handle it?

As always I love to read your thoughts and opinions!

Chapter Text

As always big thank you to ConstanceTruggle for beta duties!

 

----------------Dealing with Grief----------------------------

 

Maria Hill had often wondered what it would take to break the level 9 S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Within S.H.I.E.L.D. there were only five people who held that level - herself, Coulson, Clint, Natasha and Director Fury. There was a reason for that; they were the best of the best - deadly, ruthless and very clever. She was well aware that all of them, at some point or another, had suffered torture, but none had broken - until now. Maria’s biggest problem was that the cause wasn’t physical and therefore, it was harder to solve. Grief was a terrible thing and it had hit them hard. The rec room had been cleared and the three were sitting there drinking. One of Hill's assistants had come in, whimpering that the rec room had been commandeered. Maria had asked, “On whose authority?”

 

She figured she should have expected an answer like, “On Hawkeye’s arrows.”

 

 

Maria was well aware that most of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents thought that Barton, Coulson and Romanov were robots; but she knew the truth. They were envied for their ability to shut off their emotions, and more than one psychologist had commented on their inability to handle healthy human emotion in an adult way.

 

Hill did wonder just how clever the psychologists truly were. You see, usually, when one of them was brave enough to express this opinion to Fury - they ended up crying.

 

Maria was a work-a-holic, self-confessed, but even she worried about Coulson, Clint and Natasha. Once upon a time, Maria was very worried about the three agents. She had thought Coulson insane, the day he'd brought Barton in alive. However, she'd figured that insanity was contagious because Fury had offered him a job.

 

Still, whilst she could respect a healthy work ethic - in fact she demanded it - she also hoped to see the agents develop lives outside their work. The agents that were unable to form any emotional attachments were usually the ones that ended up dead.

 

Clint quickly became an irritatingly talkative yet highly respected agent. Whilst she could never admit it aloud, she found his bouts of terrorizing the junior agents very amusing. The entertainment only increased when he gained his very own partner in crime – the Black Widow.

 

However, it was the introduction of a blonde dynamo that truly eased all of Hill's fears; and almost in one fell swoop. She'd first met Buffy when Phil came to get her clearance levels raised officially. She had been reluctant, until Phil smugly informed her to follow him. She had followed him to the gym where she met Buffy. Well, kind of. She got to see a sixteen year old twirl, dance, pirouette and annihilate the obstacle course that made even hardened agents cry. She was more than willing to clear Buffy for that reason alone, yet there was something else. Buffy was the emotional attachment that was needed for Phil. Later on, she would realize that Buffy was that attachment for Clint and Natasha as well.

 

The two feared assassins had adopted Buffy soon after meeting her. The annual paintball fight began because of Buffy. Maria still remembered the events that triggered the start of that particular tradition.

 

Yet this year, there would be no paintball fight. Instead, she had to manage the downside to emotional attachments - the potential pain. The report had come in early this morning; Buffy was dead. Maria tried to be professional but it was so hard when she saw her colleagues and – dare she say friends? – in pain. She had never seen the trio look so broken and she had been there for the aftermath of the Budapest mission.

 

It was only two weeks until Buffy would have visited. The visits were legendary, and good for the morale of everyone involved. Fury had once described Buffy as S.H.I.E.L.D.'s very own sunshine-wrapped, deadly teenager who could pout and snark her way to victory.


No formal announcement about Buffy’s death was made. However, it didn't take long for the message to spread through the base. It went along the lines of do not screw with them, because Fury had no intention of stopping them. Fury knew anger, and he knew pain. Whilst he would do whatever it took to save the Earth, he would walk through fire if it would help any of his best agents. Sadly, though, he could not stop death.

 

Natasha did not want empty platitudes. She needed to take her anger out in the most visceral way possible. Fury had asked her why she was not shutting down. That had earned him a wry smile, and such a simple answer. The answer amounted to that Natasha would not disappoint Buffy, especially when she was dead. Clint and Coulson were hit the hardest. It was not hard to see why. Buffy had been the driving force in getting them together. The only tiny advantage was that at least they had each other to help with their grief.


For 141 days the agents tread very carefully around the deadly trio. The junior agents had learnt very quickly that pissing off any of them would end in bruises. When they asked the older agents about it, they would mention a blonde, but details were sketchy.

 

Then one day, Coulson had barged into Fury's office. Maria had not been amused, but if anyone had earned the latitude to do that, it was Phil. Whatever the message was that Fury relayed it made Phil laugh in joy and disbelief, but amazingly she could also see anger.

 

Coulson left quickly, Maria never heard what was said but she did hear Fury promise to get Natasha and Clint to him.

 

She let the furor die down before she went into Fury's office. If she had just lost three of her best agents out of the rotation, then she would like a good reason.

 

"Sir?" They had worked together long enough that they did not need to say much. On reflection, she thought she should probably be more distressed by that thought than she actually was.

 

"Buffy is alive."

 

Such a simple statement, but it landed Maria on her ass. She fell back in the chair with none of her usual calm.

 

"How ... I don’t understand."

 

Fury looked disgusted, "Her friends have dragged her out of heaven in a misguided attempt to free her."

 

Maria's brain caught up, she remembered that with magic, anything was possible. Yet, Death was something that not even witches tended to screw with; Fate often found ways to return the favor.

 

Fury shrugged, "She is back; her friends are unaware of what has gone on but I let them go to her, she will need them."

 

Maria's heart went out to the bubbly blonde. She was aware of her huge sacrifices, made worse because she was so young. She asked in curiosity, "what did they not know?"

 

Fury looked grim, "Strange once told me, that any champion, irrespective of how they die, will go to heaven. It is their reward for what they sacrifice whilst alive."

 

Maria was sad, and worse, she didn't know what to do. She could not compute the sheer level of misery that had been wrought on someone who did not deserve it.

 

She did know one thing, she felt really sorry for that families enemies, and that was exactly what Phil, Clint, Natasha and Buffy were. During the last few months, in their anger, they were more likely to kill their opponents than bring them in. As opposed to now, where they would keep them alive. But Maria very much doubted that anyone would want to be in the Black Widow's tender mercies for long.

 

Her sorrow lasted as long as it took her to remember exactly what S.H.I.E.L.D. hunted, and then all sorrow was gone. If anything, she wished them luck because they were going to need it.

 

What she did not regret, or even once complain about was the next year’s paintball match. Life was too short and besides, when she watched Buffy nail Fury on the ass. Well, you just can’t beat that entertainment; can you?

 

-----------------End---------------

Chapter Text


Tony frowned upon hearing the loud conversation occurring in his apartment. He'd returned from the latest mission and wouldn't lie he was looking forward to some alone time with his partner. They refused to call each other boyfriend and girlfriend as, well; they were not in high school. The Press adored them, the British Lady and the billionaire. It turns out that forget Buffy's accomplishments i.e - degrees and power that she could, and did wield. The Press were far more impressed with the fact that she was the woman, who had in fact managed to tame the great playboy.

More than one question from the press had been along the lines of asking how she'd managed the impossible. Buffy who wasn't very fond of the press refused to answer, and would only give a coy smile, and Tony a filthy smirk - it was entertaining to see how frustrated they'd become.

The source of the angst came in the form of her sister slayer, which concerned Tony as he'd come to adore Faith like a little sister. She was like a mini replica of Tony and several had questioned whether there was any relation.

"Dad wants me to go to the White House party." Faith didn't bother to hide her exasperation.

Buffy was a little confused, neither of them were strangers to parties since their adoptions. It was great gaining stable father figures but the parties could definitely be classed as drags. "Faith what gives? You will have support I'll be there and so will Tony."

Tony smirked as he slid to gain a sideward hug off Buffy. They looked the very definition of an adoring couple; Tony couldn't resist being snarky, "Yes for you know where my lady goes ... I will surely follow." He added fluttering lashes and an adoring look to finish the image.

Buffy snickered and pushed him away, "Yes well I couldn't have a more perfect boyfriend."

Faith sighed and finally gave in, knowing that when both Tony and Buffy ganged up on her - it was a lot cause. "Yeah and the IWC will be in attendance."

Buffy finally understood, "Translation Robin the cheater will be there."

Faith pouted, "Exactly."

Tony was not seeing the problem. He hated that any man had made Faith feel anything less than perfect. He was more than aware of her shadier past, as they'd shared stories and fought several of their demons together.

He smirked, "Hey JARVIS is the good Captain here?"

"Indeed Sir," said the AI with a tone that could only be described as long-suffering.

Tony looked like a cat, which'd just discovered the mother lode of cream. "Can you ask him to come up here? ... Tell him that a fair-maiden needs rescuing or something."

The women smiled and Faith was happy to see Buffy so happy. She knew that she was being a little silly, but Robin had been the first time that she really tried in one of her relationships. Only to watch the relationship burn to the ground when she'd discovered Robin cheating on her with one of the female watchers. She'd been livid and embarrassed. The best part had been Robin's excuse that she wasn't emotionally available.

Steven Rogers, the man behind the legend walked through the door. Faith smiled softly seeing him appear in the apartment. He was pretty amazing; he was strong enough for her slayer, yet such a good man that he never made her feel anything less than, well, special. It was not a feeling she was use to when it came to men. He really was a prince among men and she was astounded that he'd picked her. Upon seeing Faith, he gave her such a wide smile that Faith forgot what was bothering her.

Buffy and Tony shared a matching grin. They had seen everything, it was sickeningly sweet hallmark moment, one that would usually have them snarking but in this case they would forego that pleasure. Faith rarely showed vulnerability and anyone who made her feel bad was sure to fear the Queen Slayer and Iron Man's wrath. They were kind of like family in that way. When the information had come to light Buffy had offered to shove a scythe up Robin's ass, and when Tony was informed; he'd offered cheerfully to ruin the man's life when she gave the word.

Steve looked over Faith's head, to mouth, "What is wrong?"

Buffy smiled, as a brilliant plan of attack formed in her mind, "Hey Steve, Faith and I are being dragged to a ball ... where we will be bored out of our mind. Will you come along to keep Faith sane?"

Tony loved his sneaky, maniacal, kickass lady; Fury should take lessons off her on how to be quietly sneaky. He decided to add, "Yeah, you'll have to go in uniform to keep all the cads away."

Steve chuckled, "Not even I say cad Tony but why is Faith so upset."

Buffy rolled her eyes, "Faith's bastard ex will be there. He made her feel bad, I want to shove my scythe up his ass and Tony wants to blow his ass up but I can think of a quieter revenge."

Steve squeezed Faith's hand gently in reassurance causing the brunette smile. It was ironic that he didn't have to treat her gently yet did. He seemed resolute and would do anything to get this stupid man back. "So what is the plan?"

Buffy smirked, "You two just need to be dressed to the nines and let me and Tony take care of the rest." You see while they could both fight and were damned good at it; they were both experts at using words to destroy opponents just as effectively. Buffy couldn't think of a more worthy target of their acidic tongues than Robin. She would make sure that the dads were there as well. It had taken a hell of a lot to stop Giles going Ripper on his ass. The main reason being - Buffy was torn between stopping her Dad from unleashing his bad side and egging him on.


The night was on and fortuitously the benefit was being held in New York. It was being as the crème-de-la-crème of society's elite, and it truly was, as the big hitters on the political, military and Meta scenes were all in attendance.

Buffy and Tony arrived in style, his Audi R8 and looking nothing short of spectacular. He was wearing a tailored tux, with red trimmings. Buffy was wearing a dark scarlet velvet figure hugging cocktail dress, with a tantalising split, and her tumbling loose from a twist. They looked coiffed, poised, and rich - the Press ate it up.

Not two seconds later, Steve and Faith pulled up in a vintage car he'd been gifted by Tony. It was decided that mess-dress wasn't necessary, as he looked an even finer specimen in a tux. He'd of course had to stand as it was debated by his girlfriend, Buffy and Tony. It was a good job that the war had eradicated any sense of embarrassment as if not, he'd have been beet red for most of the afternoon.

In the ballroom many self-important people were milling about but Faith, Buffy and their other halves just found a quiet corner. They were content to sit and mock the other guests. Faith took in the surroundings and sighed; it was just like being back in London. "There he comes."

Tony raised a glass, "Let's go and introduce ourselves darling."

Faith glanced to Buffy to ask was her boy being serious; only to see a matching grin. Good God, insanity really is contagious. She also made a mental note to ask Pepper to keep an eye on Buffy and Tony plotting. If it was one thing they'd learnt was that they shouldn't leave the two to plot too long otherwise chaos would descend.

Robin puffed out his chest up, when he saw two of his heroes heading his way. He had loved Captain America as a kid, and had positively squeed with Xander when he was defrosted. They were yet to get close enough to see, who were with them. The ladies were very clearly the envy of nearly all the people in the room.

He couldn't see them, but both gave off an air of regal beauty, which few could match. The women wanted to be them, and the men would prefer to be the one whose arm they were hanging on to. He could guess that Buffy was on Stark's arm. He had heard all about them from the London House, and had managed to grit his teeth to hear all about the fabled courtship of Buffy and Faith. He felt a pang of regret over that; he really did. He hadn't meant to cheat. Really he hadn't but he couldn't handle not being first in her heart.

He froze when he saw who was walking beside Captain America - it was Faith. She looked radiant and happy, and so in love that it hurt. He felt jealous and wanted to punch something, which was weird. he had always prided himself on being able to rise above petty things.

Buffy stopped, "Robin how nice to see you in America. Have you met Tony and Steve."

Tony shook his hand but clearly was more interested in Buffy than him. He hated that he was being ignored. Steve stepped forward to shake his hand. Steve smiled, looking to all the world like his good natured self, but anyone who knew him, knew better. "So I hear you're the one I have to thank."

Robin frowned, "I'm sorry. I don't understand."

Tony grumbled something that might have been, "I thought that teachers were supposed to be smart." However it was said quietly but Buffy's response was loud enough, "Yeah, well anyone who hurts Faith is stupid."

He winced, he'd been stupid and wished he'd never cheated on Faith. Steve squeezed his hand a little harder, which was none subtle reminder of his strength, "Yeah if it hadn't been for your stupidity I would never have had a chance with Faith."

Tony laughed, "You're awesome Steve. Don't let anyone tell you differently."

Faith snickered, "Yes he is and now he is gonna take me dancing."

Buffy said a little louder, "Public place."

Whilst Tony wiped a mock tear away, "She really is like me. It[s impressive to get that much innuendo in such an innocent word."

Robin coughed feeling very awkward. He had no idea why Wesley and Giles had insisted he be here, but he was starting to get an idea about why he'd been asked. The couple turned back to him with matching shark like grins, "Doesn't Faith look happy?"

Robin was forced to look on the dance-floor to see the couple dancing. They were a picture perfect definition of a couple in love, and God did it burn to watch.

Buffy and Tony shared a look of satisfaction. Okay, so Buffy hadn't got to hit him, which would have been way more fun for her, but just maybe, this was a neater solution. Tony wasn't done though. "She is happy and if you mess with that. I will ruin you financially and then I'll let Buffy have her fun."

Buffy grinned, "Yep everyone is in agreement that we shouldn't be allowed to plot together."

Tony swept up her hand extravagantly, "They are just jealous of our love. Let's show them how to dance."

Robin got to watch on the outside as the couples enjoyed their own company. And yeah he was jealous of their love, but soon turned his attention elsewhere as he'd caught the gazes of Rupert and Wesley. He was not a stupid man and could see that Faith, Buffy, Steve and Tony hadn't forgiven him and it was just plain suicidal to court the anger of the man, formerly known as Ripper.

Buffy just rested her head on Tony's shoulder and said quietly enough that only Tony, Steve and Faith would be able to hear, "Feel better?"

Faith sighed, as she mirrored Buffy - not realising that she was hammering the final nails in the coffin for Robin. "Heaps. You guys rock."

The revenge would be complete a year later, when Robin had to watch from near the front row as Steve and Faith vowed in front of each other, and their guests - to love, honour and obey.


Authors Note: Well hoped you like. Sadly the day job kicks in again on Monday and that means updates will be sluggish until late February.