Old Fashioned Mayhem
Word count: 6624
Disclaimer: Everything Buffy and Marvel doesn't belong to me.
A/N: I took a break from Dragon Verse back in July...and an Alpha Harris AU happened. Not just any AU...a soulmate AU. The kind where people have the first words their soulmate ever says to them somewhere on their body. And though it’s rare some people have two soulmates.
A/N 2: I apparently need to be very clear on something...Xander is 18 here. He and Steve are meeting for the first time. Its pre-slash. No hanky-panky. In the sequel, titled Old Fashioned Fella, there will be some chaste kisses and snuggling. Not sure when I'll post it though.
This wasn't how things were supposed to go. He wasn't supposed to be on another battle worn flying deathtrap. Really some days he wished no one had found him in that chunk of ice. But here he was, suiting up for battle to stop a mad god, or alien, or whatever a body wanted to define Loki.
Stark was going to head out first to see if his hunch was right; that Loki was going to launch his attack from the Stark Tower in Manhattan. The smarmy billionaire stepped up, his suit clinking in place around him. His face stayed visible for a moment. “So I've heard a rumor that when SHIELD thawed you out you had a second soulmark.” Stark grinned, “Any idea who the newbie is?”
“That's a personal question, Mr. Stark, and we only just met. Besides we have pressing matters to attend to.”
“Yeah, but my old man was a friend of yours... I'm told you and Aunt Peggy had a thing.”
Steve blinked. “You called her Aunt Peggy?”
“When I was I kid... Aunt Peg was more of a parent to me than either Howard or Maria... you know how rich socialites can be.”
“Not really. If Howard told you anything, it should have been that I was just a kid from Brooklyn. I didn't keep up with the rich and famous.”
“He kept up with them a little too much.” Stark hesitated a moment longer. “Aunt Peg never really got over you, ya know. I mean yeah she got married, had a family, and helped found SHIELD...”
“Can we not do this heart to heart thing? We have a mad man to stop.”
“Sure, sure. See you kids in New York.” He snapped his helmet into place and blasted out of the hanger.
Steve sighed in relief...he'd much rather fight monsters than think about a brand new soulmate who wasn't Bucky Barnes. Bucky's words were still on his body, starting on the outside of his left hip and trailing down his thigh. The SHIELD doctors who ran numerous tests on him after he woke up said they'd fade with time...but that had been six months ago. The words were still there, dark as ever against his skin.
The new ones wrapped around the inside of his right thigh, a much more intimate place and he wasn't sure he wanted a new soulmate. Not unless Bucky was at his side to meet them. But Bucky was gone, decades dead; and Steve felt lost in this new world, adrift in a way he'd never been before.
It was supposed to be one of their last hurrahs before prom and graduation. A vacation from the Hellmouth and the evil plans the Mayor had for them all. Their senior trip to the Big Apple, including a tour of the public areas of the Stark Tower, was something they were all looking forward to.
There were downsides of course, such as the chaperones. Mrs. Summers and Giles weren't so bad; Snyder, however, tended to suck the fun out of everything – a troll that thrived on being a fun sucker. A few other parents had volunteered to tag along; not the Rosenbergs of course, they were forever on the lecture circuit and too busy for their daughter. Tor's godfather had fit in well with Giles and Buffy's mom, and was very much in the Snyder is a Troll opinion club.
Even with Snyder the trip had been fun; Xander had never been on a plane before, had never thought he'd be in a big city. L.A. didn't count; it was practically in their backyard a simple two hour drive from Sunnydale. The hotel was nice, though Cordelia said there were so many in the city that were so much better. The beds were comfy and the food was good.
Oh god the food. He'd had to reign in his wolves more than once simply because of all the food venders that seemed to be on every street. All of it smelled wonderful and Kyle did manage to treat them to several yummy things being the current moneybags of the group. Xander still had to keep them from going nuts about the food though.
They thought it was perfect, all the sights and sounds, Manhattan was a crazed wonderland of hustle and bustle. If this was going to be one of the last awesome things they got to do before battling the Mayor then they were okay with that. As long as nothing Hellmouth-y happened in New York everything would be roses.
That wasn't the kind of luck the Sunnydale kids had though... nor the pack. Xander noticed it first when they arrived at the base of the Stark Tower, Snyder yelling at them to behave or they'd have detention the rest of the year. There was an odd energy in the air, something he hadn't felt anywhere else in the city, and it seemed to be coming from the roof of the Tower.
“Wills, Jono...you feel anything magic-y afoot?”
Both witches blinked at him and focused on their own magic, using that part of themselves to sense their surroundings. They shuddered a bit and looked up, just like Xander was afraid they would. “There's something-” Willow started to say just before they saw a flash of red and gold land on the roof. “Maybe Mr. Stark is trying out some new tech that's kinda magic-y?”
Snyder tried to rein them in, make them go into the tower's lobby. Most of their fellow students followed the little rodent man while Xander and his pack huddled on the sidewalk, looking up. Giles and Joyce hesitated and the Watcher put his hand on Xander's shoulder. “Xander? Something wrong?”
“I don't know...make sure everyone is inside just in case...I've got a bad feeling.”
Buffy sighed and hiked the duffel higher on her shoulder. “Hellmouth-y stuff?”
“Maybe...I bet you're glad Giles had a contact here so we could get weapons.” He told her.
“Hell yeah.” Faith agreed; her own duffel in her hands.
“Mom, go inside with Giles...please.” Mother and daughter hugged and the adults made sure the rest of the civilians in their class were safe inside Stark Tower.
He looked at Willow then at the rest of his pack. “This isn't Sunnydale; if things get crazed we need to hide our faces.”
Willow nodded and took off her backpack, handing it to Oz so she could access its contents. “Jonathan and I have been working on these for a while. It’s a little Zorro but well, here.” She handed the first mask to Faith.
“Uh, Red... Can't the cops use like facial recognition and shit? Like if we're caught on camera?”
“Not with these on.” Jonathan said. “The spell we used messes with cameras...our heads will look like blurs on any security footage and it can't be cleaned up.”
Tor grinned as his boyfriend handed him a mask. “Awesome Jono-”
All the wolves looked up suddenly at the sound of glass breaking and they saw a man falling. “Holy Shit.” Heidi muttered.
“Think that's Stark?” Kyle asked.
“Can you slow his descent?” He glanced at the witches who were already holding hands to combine their magic...
“Wait.” Buffy pointed. “Look.”
They watched as something followed the man down and seemed to link up to him and surround him, just in time. Then Iron Man zoomed about narrowly missing their small group.
“Think you were right about the badness Boss.” Faith said.
“Unfortunately.” Xander sighed. “Masks on kids. We've got ground control if Iron Man needs it.”
“Do we know what's happening outside?” Joyce asked a man in a black suit that just screamed 'security'.”
“I'm sorry Ma'am. We don't have any information at this time.”
“How long will this lockdown last?” Snyder demanded. “You can't keep us here against our will, I have rights.”
“Sir, Stark Industries is responsible for the safety of you and your students while you're here. Please follow your guides to the lower levels where you'll be safer.”
Giles put his hand on Snyder's shoulder and squeezed before whispering in the troll's ear. “Do as they say...if students end up hurt or worse because you threw a tantrum getting fired will be the least of your problems.”
“What are you going to do about it?”
“Me?” Giles grinned, very much in Ripper mode. “I was going to hand you over to Mrs. Summers.” Snyder paled and scrambled away, herding the students toward the stairs.
They'd faced the end of the world before: vampires, demons, even the mouth of Hell...but none of that prepared Xander and company for the alien invasion happening all around them. An actual honest to God alien invasion.
The moment that portal opened up Buffy and Faith distributed the weapons in their duffels. There was at least one sword for everyone except Willow and Jonathan who were concentrating on a magical defense. Xander saw just how well that defense was going to work when they threw up a sort of energy shield with their combined power, hand in hand. One of the flying machines that brought to mind futuristic motorcycles crashed against the barrier and shattered on impact.
“Well that's going to be handy...I want you two on the defensive, help people get off the streets and underground, block incoming when you can.” He glanced at Oz and Tor. “I trust you'll watch over them.”
“Good. The rest of us have a lot of ground to cover.”
“I don't like my sword, is there an ax instead?” Cordelia asked.
Xander frowned at her. “I really wish you had gone inside.”
“Whatever. Is there an ax?”
Buffy handed her an ax, then another to Xander as he preferred an ax over a sword. “Too bad these things are too advanced for stakes.”
He made a sound of agreement. “Everyone be careful...Heidi...”
“Stay close to Cordy?”
“You got it. Now let’s go kill some aliens.”
Heidi ripped one creature's arm from its body and proceeded to beat it to death with the appendage before using it on another. Cordelia was at her back ax swinging, taking one head off, then hitting another alien center mass. Apparently it was close enough to what passed for the thing's heart because it slumped to the ground, leaving her to brace a foot against its corpse and pry the ax free.
Heidi used her sword to cut an approaching alien in half, head to crotch. “You're pretty good with that.”
“Cheerleading isn't just for show.” Cordelia told her. “Using an ax isn't much different from twirling a baton.”
“It’s a little different.” The blond insisted.
The ax twirled and took another head. “You were saying?”
They shared a fierce grin and kept at it.
Faith flipped over a pair of aliens on their flying scooter, cutting one down and decapitating the other sending the machine careening into a parked car. “Best field trip ever! And I'm not even in school!”
“Watch out for civilians!” Buffy scolded her. “No repeats!”
Her words sobered Faith a little and she nodded. “You got it B! Behind you! Civvies in trouble!”
Buffy whirled and saw some of the creatures cornering a group of people, blasters in hand. “Let's go.” They ran side by side rushing the aliens and cutting them down before they could do more than injure a couple of people. With the beasts sliced and diced Buffy looked directly at the almost victims. “Get underground, basements or subway, spread the word.”
There were a few nods and most of the group left, running to safety. Two stayed behind, a man with red hair and a woman with brown, their eyes flashed gold. Faith frowned. “Not vamps.”
“Are you Hunters?” The woman asked.
Buffy shook her head. “You wolves are safe from us. We're Slayers.”
“Both of you?” The man shook his head. “How is that possible?”
“Our boss split the Slayer line.”
That seemed to make them more confused and the woman asked another question. “Your Watcher?”
“Our Alpha,” Buffy replied. “Now go.”
Instead of leaving each wolf picked up an alien gun. “We'll help people get to safety.”
“Watch your backs.” Buffy told them, before diving back into the fray, Faith a second behind her.
“Keep going! Don't stop until you're underground!” Tor yelled at the people fleeing, keeping one eye on Jono and Willow as they used their magic to block the blasts from the alien weaponry. “How you two doing? Getting tired?”
“Not yet!” Willow replied.
“We're kinda absorbing some of their energy blasts.” Jonathan grinned, like he'd had one too many cappuccinos. “I feel like I could do this all day!”
“Let’s hope we don't have too.” Oz told them.
Their conversation halted when a body crashed down beside them, debris from the impact bounced off the witches' shield. Tor got there first, sword at the ready, but it wasn't one of the aliens it was a man. A big blond man with muscles and armor and a red cape.
“Hey, you alive?”
The man started to stand, bracing himself on the big ass hammer in his hand. “I live.”
Tor offered him a hand and helped the big guy up. “You're not human are you?”
“I am not.”
Willow and Jonathan moved, bringing their shield with them to block incoming energy blasts. The Cape Guy blinked at them in surprise. “I did not expect to find sorcerers here.”
“Well we weren't expecting an alien invasion today.” Willow told him.
Another alien came at them and Oz cut it down with his sword. “It’s not fun.” He added.
“No, the Chitauri are relentless.” Cape guy agreed. “I wish you well warriors.” With that he swung his hammer and flew through the air.
“Holy shit.” Tor watched him fly off for a moment.
“Behind you!” Jonathan yelled, and Tor swung to take another head from a Chitauri invader. It was good to have a name for them now.
“Anyone else notice the civilians taking on the Chitauri with swords?” Hawkeye asked from his vantage point.
“I thought I was seeing things.” Natasha commented. “What do they think this is a Renaissance Fair?”
“They seem to be holding their own.”
“The youngsters wearing masks,” Thor said, “they wield their weapons as true warriors...and they have sorcerers among them.”
“Good to know.”
Rhonda jumped on one of the flying scooter things before Kyle could stop her. It took her up, so high up he could barely make her out. When the first body fell, he prayed it wasn't hers, and let out a whoop of victory when the alien smashed into the ground. Something smaller fell...a head he thought and then the stupid scooter was out of control forcing Rhonda to jump ship.
His heart was in his throat as his girlfriend plummeted to earth; even a werewolf wouldn't survive a drop like that. A roar startled him from the view of horror and a big green demon launched itself toward her falling form and caught her mid-air. It landed on its feet, sinking into the pavement, making craters before it put Rhonda down. She didn't have a scratch on her.
She grinned, looking a little manic, before she climbed up the demon to plant a kiss on its cheek. “Thanks Big Guy.” He looked at her, surprised before putting her down.
Kyle reached them and offered his hand to the Big Guy as Rhonda had dubbed him. “Yeah, thanks, for saving my girl. There is no way I could have caught her.” The Big Guy carefully shook Kyle's hand and nodded at him.
“Now that I'm not falling to my death how about we kill some more aliens?” Rhonda asked, though she didn't wait for Kyle to answer, just pounced on the nearest alien and sliced it in half.
They stared after her for a moment and Kyle sighed. “That's my cue. Later.” He didn't look back as he followed Rhonda back into battle.
Steve had honestly hoped Barton had been kidding about civilians, kids with swords and masks fighting the Chitauri. Surely a bunch of kids would know better than to take on monsters like this. Then he saw one of them.
It was hard to tell how old the young man was behind the eye mask, but he looked like he could still be in high school. The thought of someone that young on the battlefield made his stomach twist, even if the kid seemed to be doing fine taking on a group of Chitauri all on his own.
His ax slashed through them like they were soft butter and not covered in advanced armor. Then he picked up one of the blasters and shot the next wave, never missing a mark, which spoke of long hours of target practice. Twenty Chitauri dead in seconds. Still, he'd have preferred it if the kid was far away in a classroom somewhere, not here surrounded by corpses.
“Son, leave this to the professionals.”
The kid looked at him, shaggy brown hair framing his masked face and skeptical brown eyes. Before he could warn the boy about the danger to his left the kid dropped both weapons and grabbed the Chitauri, ripping its head from its body with his bare hands.
“Uh...” Was all Steve could manage.
The kid had the gall to smirk at him. “Try and keep up Old Glory.”
Heat and ice went through him, all the way down to his soul it felt like. Those were his words. The words that had been on his skin when he woke up from the ice. The words of his new soulmate.
“I...you...” He couldn't get anything else passed his lips.
His soulmate took pity on him. “Just follow rule number one and we'll talk later.”
“What's rule number one?”
“Don't die.” Then he threw the Chitauri head in his grasp hard enough to take out two more invaders. They died on impact...that wasn't normal human strength.
When all the aliens simply dropped Xander froze in surprise. “What the…?” He gave the nearest corpse a poke of his ax. Nothing happened. “Huh.” His eyes were drawn upward towards the portal and he watched it close, a falling object slipping through at the last possible second. Red and gold metal glinted in the sun...Iron Man was falling to his death. “Shit.”
Xander ran toward where he assumed the impact point would be, knowing he'd never get there in time. Hell he didn't think any of his wolves or his slayers could jump high enough to save Tony Stark. Maybe the witches? They were scattered though and he doubted they could get close enough before he hit the ground.
Luck seemed to be on the billionaire's side though because a big green thing jumped up and caught him, and then latched itself on a building to slow their descent. They slid a bit down the building's side before the thing kicked off and hurtled toward the ground, taking the brunt of the impact. Awesome.
By the time he actually got there Iron Man, Tony Stark, was babbling about eating something called shawarma. Standing around him were the big green guy, a muscle-y guy with a cape and Captain Freaking America. Or at least a guy wearing a remake of the war hero's uniform. There was no way the guy could be the real deal...Steve Rogers had gone down in a plane off the coast of Greenland somewhere decades ago.
The Green Guy saw him first and growled; Xander held one hand up, hoping no one took offense to the ax in his other hand. The Star Spangled man turned to look at him...and dear god he might actually be the real deal. Without the mask he looked just like every picture Xander had seen in his history books.
“What's going on?” Stark asked. “I thought we won.”
“One of the masked warriors has joined us.” Cape guy told him.
Xander got to them and held out his empty hand to Captain America. “Xander Harris.”
“Steve Rogers.” They shook hands and Steve held onto him.
“Didn't you die way back when?”
“I thought so...somehow I survived the ice...SHIELD thawed me out. Want to tell me how someone as young as you handled those weapons like you did?”
“You could at least buy me a cup of coffee before you demand all my secrets, words or no words.”
“What's he talking about?”
Steve was still holding his hand and pulled him forward so Stark could see him better. “You wanted to know if I'd met my new soulmate Stark. Here he is.”
“Cap here wanted me to leave the fighting to you guys...I told him to keep up.”
“You and your compatriots fought well, yet you hide your faces.” Cape Guy said.
“The last thing we want is to end up on the government’s radar, any governments’ radar.” Xander shrugged. “We're not exactly normal.
“Super Soldiers?” Steve asked him, blue eyes suddenly very, very worried.
He shook his head. “Werewolves.”
“Seriously?” Stark asked. “Werewolves are real?”
“Mr. Stark, a lot of things are real.” He focused on Steve. “So we should talk.”
Cape Guy interrupted the moment. “After we deal with my brother Loki.”
Xander blinked. “Loki? Like Norse mythology Viking God Loki?” He did a double take at Cape Guy's hammer. “Wait does make you Thor?”
“Right, so we scold Loki, and then I'm treating everyone to shawarma. You too kid.”
“If it’s all the same to you I'll have that drink now.”
Xander stared at Loki, beaten and barely able to move after the beating he'd gotten from the Hulk earlier. “So what was the point of all this?” He asked. “Was that crazy alien army even yours? I'm guessing they aren't from your world.”
“They were not of Asgard, Loki called them the Chitauri. Their like is not known to my father Odin AllFather. I believe Loki was working for another.”
“It’s not like he's going to tell us anything.” Stark muttered.
Xander groaned. “I can try to find out...”
“Who is this kid?” Barton asked everyone in general. “Not that I'm complaining, he and his friends did a good job.”
“He's Cap's soulmate.” Stark told him before rounding on Xander. “And how would you get him to talk? You don't look old enough to be a spysassin.”
Xander held up his right hand, let it shift so his nails became claws. “I can take walk in his mind. Maybe.”
“Maybe?” Steve asked; blue eyes still worried. “You've never tried this before?”
“I've been a werewolf for less than a year...the Alpha who turned me didn't give me step by step instructions. She likes to keep me guessing I think.” He kneeled by Loki and reached for the back of his neck.
For a moment Loki looked scared. “No, don't-”
Xander sunk his claws in and suddenly he was walking beside Loki on a stone staircase that seemed to float among some sort of debris field in the middle of space. At the top was a throne...and a huge being, a purple monstrosity sat on it. He smiled; death in his gaze.
“What the heck?”
“This is what will eventually come for all of earth. His name is Thanos.” Information seemed to bombard Xander's mind then and he punched Loki in the face to stop the onslaught.
When he came too he was on the floor in Steve's lap, not an entirely bad place to be considering. “Are you hurt?”
“Fine. Those gems... inside the scepter and the tesseracttt. They're called Infinity Stones. You need to separate them and hide them, hell blast one of them into the moon or something.”
“What are you talking about?” Natasha asked.
“The thing that supplied the army? He's called Thanos the Mad Titan. He likes to kill and has taken out entire planets for fun. He's collecting the Infinity Stones...the most powerful forces in the universe...they're actually older than the universe...and that's about all I got before I punched Loki in the mindscape.
They all stared at him before Stark cleared his throat. “Right...well for now SHIELD can hold him while we go celebrate with some shawarma.” He nudged the unconscious Loki with his foot. “Think he's brain dead now?”
“Not caring.” Barton grinned.
“What is shawarma?” Xander whispered to Steve.
“He doesn't know, but he wants to try it.” Steve whispered back.
“Huh...I'll join you later then...don't wanna be here when SHIELD shows up.”
“How will you find me?”
Xander grinned as he got up. “Got your scent Cap. I can track you better than any bloodhound.”
Xander got to the lobby of the Tower just as the rest of his pack came in the front doors. He ran his eyes over each one of them, looking for injuries and finding nothing but a few minor scrapes and a bit of dirt.
“We're good.” Buffy nodded then glanced at the others. “We're good right?”
There were several nods and murmured agreements from the tired teens. Then Kyle opened his big mouth. “How'd you get in here so fast?”
He blinked. “I took the elevator.”
“Why?” Willow asked.
“Little meeting with the Avengers.”
Buffy frowned. “The who?”
“Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Thor, and the Hulk. The superheroes you saw fighting the Chitauri.”
“Oh goddess...” Willow's jaw dropped. “That was THE Thor?”
“Yeah, apparently Loki is the one who brought the army to attack New York. I did a little mind walking to find out why.”
“That brain scan that Talia mentioned?” Rhonda asked. “Did it work?”
“Yeah, not bad for a first time I guess.” He sighed. “When we get home we're gonna have a lot of work to do.”
Faith groaned. “Fuck, why?”
“Because someday we may face someone a lot scarier than the mayor.”
“Can we do the research for that after we survive graduation?” Buffy asked. “Can we try to relax while we're still here in the city? Not that Snyder will let us stay here much longer. I bet he'll have us on the next available plane out of here.”
“Speaking of Snyder.” Xander took his eye mask off. “Better get ready to blend with the crowd.”
The wolves all tilted their heads and listened, just catching the irate sound of the troll's voice from the stairwell. Oz waggled his sword a bit. “Better hide the weapons.”
“Where?” Heidi asked. “The duffels are who knows where.”
“If I may, you can hand your weapons to Stark Tower Security.” A voice that seemed to come from everywhere said.
“I've read about this, Mr. Stark has an AI that runs the building.”
“You are correct Miss. Please leave your masks and weapons with security; I'll stall your principle for a moment longer.”
Xander debated ditching his pack to meet The Avengers for shawarma, for all of ten seconds. Honestly it was a bad idea, after a battle like that both his wolves and slayers would be famished. That faster metabolism could be a bitch and everyone needed to refuel, even the witches, who despite absorbing alien energy needed a boost. Also it was tradition, save the world, throw a party.
So once Snyder got their class back to the hotel, they bailed and went back to the Stark tower and from there Xander tracked Steve and company to the shawarma joint. Xander opened the door, eyes roving over the small shop which was kinda trashed, not surprising really. However they seemed to be open for business since the group of heroes were sitting at a large table in the middle of the room.
“We're actually gonna eat with superheroes?” Kyle asked. “Shit, I thought you joking Harris.”
“I don't care who they are.” Faith said. “I'm starving, move it DuFours.” She shoved her way passed Kyle into the shop and settled at another table.
“We're closed, private party.” A man behind the counter protested.
“No, no. They're with us.” Stark admonished. “I'm paying.”
“Seriously?” Faith grinned. “I'll have one of everything.”
The man’s eyes widened but he nodded easily. “Right away Miss.”
“You probably should make several orders of everything...” Xander told the man who was looking more and more frazzled. “Most of us have fast metabolisms...and you know how much teenagers can eat.” The owner wandered off toward the kitchen in a daze; hopefully he'd still be able cook.
The rest of the pack settled around the smaller tables; Xander, however, pulled up a chair between Steve and Thor. It was crowded since Steve was at one end of the table with Thor on his left...but Xander figured that was the safer option. Black Widow was on Steve's right and he didn't really want to sit next to her. They'd barely exchanged a word since meeting, he just had a feeling that he didn't want to piss her off.
“Xander?” Buffy asked, “There a reason you're sitting with Captain America?”
Before Xander could respond Stark grinned at her. “Guess your friend didn't tell you, he and Cap are soulmates.”
His pack erupted into vocal chaos, questions bouncing around the room like Frisbees on crack. He flashed his eyes at them and put a bit of growl to his voice. “Enough!” Sudden silence. “I brought you with me so you'd know. I could have left you behind at the hotel. I wasn't going to hide it.”
“Dude. Captain America is your soulmate?” Tor asked.
“I'm pretty sure he's fine with being called Steve.”
“Yeah, I'd prefer that actually.”
Willow stood up from her seat beside Oz. “Mr. Rogers.”
He looked at Willow tiredly. “Steve, please.”
“Can I hug you?”
Steve blinked at her in confusion, glanced at Xander who just grinned before looking back at her. “I suppose.” He stood and Willow went to him to give him a hug. “Is this for saving the world?”
Willow pulled back, eyes watery. “No, that's for saving my grandmother back in World War II. She was eight years old when you and the Howling Commandos liberated the camp she was being held in. Her parents, brothers and sisters, all died there...you got there in time to save her.”
Xander nodded. “If you and your men hadn't done that Steve, Willow wouldn't exist and I'd have never met one of my best friends.”
“So thank you.” Willow added.
She pulled back and returned to Oz and Steve sat down beside Xander, looking a little stunned. “I wasn't expecting that.”
“Okay yeah, that's nice and everything.” Stark said. “But can we talk about the whole werewolf thing? I mean are all of you werewolves?”
“Two of them are sorcerers.” Thor added helpfully.
Xander looked at his pack. “You guys okay with a big reveal?” They all shared looks and nodded. “Okay. Witches, raise your hands.” Willow and Jonathan raised their hands. “Werewolves.” He and the other wolves followed suit. “Slayers.” Buffy and Faith raised their hands. Natasha, the Black Widow, seemed to stiffen in her seat before focusing that deadly gaze on Xander.
“Two slayers? How did the Watcher's Council manage that?”
“I guess I really shouldn't be surprised you know about Slayers.” Xander offered her a smile and hoped she didn't throw any cutlery at him.
“A bunch of men using girls and young women as weapons, that's something I'm very familiar with.”
“We don't work for the Council.” Buffy informed her. “We're part of Xander's pack, and he ran them out of his territory.”
“Excuse me, what's a Slayer?”
Xander looked at the man at the other end of the table. “You the Hulk?”
“Not all the time. Doctor Bruce Banner.”
Willow made a strangled sound and Xander gave her a look. “Wills?”
“Sorry, I've just read every paper he's ever written.”
“So he's your level of smart?”
Natasha cleared her throat. “Slayers are girls with mystical powers, they're like super soldiers. They're used to fight vampires.”
“Not just vampires.” Faith said.
Buffy nodded. “More like anything that goes bump in the night.”
“Vampires are real?” Stark asked, most of the room replied with a resounding yes, including Steve, Natasha, and Barton.
Xander lifted a brow at Steve. “Fought some vampires did you?”
“We thought it was Hydra outpost...surprised us when they tried to rip out our throats instead of shoot us.”
“Vamps are wacky that way.” He replied.
“What about you?” Barton asked, motioning toward Cordelia. “You're not witch, werewolf or slayer?”
Cordelia shook her head. “Cheerleader.”
“Cheerleader who can really swing an ax.” Heidi muttered. “I'm never making fun of her baton twirling again.”
“Yeah, never underestimate Queen C.” Xander agreed.
Willow snickered. “You should see her run down vampires with a car. That was fun... and life saving.”
He blinked. “Wait; is that how Cordy's car ended up in the hallway outside the library sophomore year?”
“Yep. Ms. Calendar and I were cornered in the parking lot when Cordy showed up outta nowhere.” Willow told him. “We got in and she ran down the vamps before driving her car through the school doors and all the way to the library.”
“I'd always wondered about that.” Buffy grinned.
“What was I supposed to against an army of vamps? My car was the only weapon I had.”
“Do you fight these creatures often?” Thor asked. “These vampires?”
“They're a type of demon.” Willow told him.
“They drink human blood.” Buffy added. “They look human until they feed, and they make more of themselves by nearly draining a human of blood, and then giving that human some of their own blood. Then when a human dies, their soul leaves, and a demon takes up residence in the body.”
“I see. How do you kill such a creature?”
“Wooden stake through the heart, decapitation, sunlight, fire, or holy water.”
“You didn't answer the original question.” Stark frowned. “You fight vampires a lot?”
“Have too.” Xander said.
“Our hometown is full of them.” Willow added.
“Where do you kids live?” Barton asked.
“Sunnydale.” They all said at once.
“Shit.” That came from Natasha. “The Hellmouth?”
Steve turned to focus on Xander. “Do I want to know what a Hellmouth is?”
“A portal beneath our hometown that leads to a hell dimension. We make sure it stays closed. Otherwise an army of demons could sweep over the earth and eat everyone.”
“How old are you kids?” Stark exclaimed.
“Eighteen,” was the resounding reply.
“Nineteen,” Oz added.
“And you've been doing this for how long?” Steve asked.
“Since we were sixteen,” Xander told him.
“Some of us only joined the good fight in the last year.” Rhonda added.
“I was fifteen.” Buffy grumbled.
“And most of you have super powers?” Doctor Banner asked.
“Most of us only got these powers in the last year or so...” Xander shrugged. “Before I was a werewolf I was still in the thick of it.”
“And if he hadn't been, I'd be dead.” Buffy said.
Natasha gave her a sharp look. “That have something to do with why there are two slayers?”
“Xander broke a prophecy.”
Xander groaned. “Just because a bunch of old white guys didn't know about modern first aid and CPR doesn't mean I broke a prophecy.”
“As fun as this is, we don't even know your names, other than Xander here.” Stark said. “What kind of name is Xander anyway?”
Steve smiled a little. “I'm guessing its short for Alexander.”
Xander nodded but it was Willow who shrugged and blushed. “In my defense we were five and Alexander was hard to say. I'm Willow Rosenberg.”
They all introduced themselves, though Stark made a rude comment about Buffy's name, which earned him a round of glares. By then though the first of their food was ready and the pack dove in. The banter and conversation continued throughout the meal, the owner in awe of how much his customers could put away. He and his staff could barely keep up.
Xander looked worriedly at Steve who wasn't eating and spoke low for his ears alone. “Not hungry?”
“Just tired. How can you eat?”
“Its tradition.” Xander smiled.
“Save the world, throw a party. Though we prefer a little old fashioned mayhem, to this alien shtick.”
Steve managed a tired grin. “And what do you consider old fashioned mayhem?”
“Vampires, demons, and the mouth of hell trying to open. Normal stuff.”
“You're idea of normal is worrying...so is your age.”
Xander shrugged. “You know nothing has to happen between us right? People don't put as much stock in the idea of soulmates these days.”
“That may be true...but I'm an old fashioned fella. So I'll take my time getting to know you.” He blushed. “If that's alright with you?”
“I can work with that.”
Somehow they managed to not get detention, probably because Giles and Joyce ran interference with Snyder. Or maybe they just threatened the little troll, Xander wasn't sure he cared which it was. He was too preoccupied with the brand new Stark phone that he'd been given. All of the pack had received one before they had to catch a plane back to Sunnydale, each of the Avengers phone numbers programmed into them. Stark's personal number the first on the list...except for Xander's.
Steve's was the first in his. They'd been texting since New York. Steve was helping with the clean up...Xander had wanted to do the same but there was no way Snyder would let them get away with that. So they were on their way back to Sunnydale and Xander wasn't sure when Steve was going to start that old fashioned courting.
But he figured Steve Rogers was someone worth waiting for...at least if they survived graduation.