Title: Conversations about Letters
Summary: Steve and Nick talk about Xander's letters
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything from Buffy, I don’t anything from Marvel, as I am married and have a kid, don’t own much of anything, please don’t sue.
“So, you got another letter from our Californian “Golden Boy”? Nick Fury asked his longtime friend and associate Steve Rodgers.
“Yeah,” Steve replied, it was the third one, each one space two weeks apart starting two weeks from Halloween, “and how many times have I asked you not to read my mail?”
“Eight hundred twenty-seven as of last Monday,” Nick replied, smiling around his cigar. Steve really appreciated video conferencing at moments like this; he liked seeing Nick most days but was glad he didn’t have to keep smelling those damn things. “So, what’s your take on it?”
“I’m torn,” Steve replied, “I want to go talk with him, let him know he isn’t alone, and let him know how I got through some of it. Then, I have to wonder if this is just because he knows me so well from my memories and if he is just pushing my buttons to get me to feel this way.”
“Good,” Nick replied, “give me a few more decades and I just might be able to grind the rest of that “boy scout” outlook of yours off and make you a realist”.
“Nick,” Steve’s voice had a note of warning to it.
“The kid has saved the lives of eight of my field agents, knew they were mine, let them know he knew, and then gave them pointers on how to stay alive if they were going to keep following him around Sunnydale at night. We are currently debriefing three of those agents again, and letting them know that neglecting to add details like that will get them even fewer brownie points than including them. Even if this is a big set up, I owe the kid for those lives alone,” Nick replied.
Steve smirked, “That bad eh? So have your profilers finished with him yet?”
Nick snorted, “Yes, apparently he’s as stubborn as you, almost as paranoid as I am, and has all the respect for authority that Logan has; the rest is that he is a seventeen year old kid with more responsibilities than someone that age should have, he has issues with his own self-worth, and has a psychological need to help.”
“Physically?” the long time hero asked.
“From the video taken and reports from my agents: he doesn’t appear to be as strong or as fast as you, and you are a better, more controlled fighter, he heals faster, never seems to get seriously tired and can shrug off a punch that would normally leave even you reeling. There is one thing though; if one of his friends is in danger he can seriously push the limit of supernatural in strength and speed”
“Dust off your teachers certificate, it looks like you are down grading to teaching high school history for a semester,” Nick replied.
“That long? Why?” Steve asked as he started thinking about what he would need to pack for his trip to the Hellmouth.
“The kid has been sending me… ‘Mission reports’, for want of a better word, giving me some idea of what the ‘nightlife’ as he likes to call them are up to and what he and his group have been doing to keep a lid on things,” Nick said, “ So I want you to be check that the reports are accurate, and if they are… offer the kid a job, if he and his friends are going to save more lives than the local police force they should at least get paid for it.”
“It’s a good thing you said that,” Steve said. “I have over half a dozen Avengers who want to adopt him on the spot and bring him to New York and one that has started the paperwork.”
“I take it they liked their gifts then?” Nick asked
Steve gave Nick a sour look, “Let’s officially make it eight hundred and twenty-eight, shall we?” Steve’s face turned a little wistful, “Yeah, everyone like their gifts. That is something else I don’t get, Xander knows these people from MY memories, so why have I never thought of doing something like that.”
“I don’t know,” Nick replied, slowly drawing the smoke from his cigar into mouth savoring the taste, “Why don’t you give me a run down of the responses so I can see where the differences lie.”
Steve gave Nick a sour look, “Ok, as you know there were gifts for everyone at the Avengers mansion, in the package that held my last letter. After handing those out I had to explain to everyone who Xander is and how he knew them so well.”
“Not great for security, but if you can’t trust the Avengers…”
“My thoughts exactly,” Steve continued, “There was a dozen apples for Thor, and the big guys eyes started to tear up, his note was written in Norse runes. Apparently, Xander was hoping that, while the apples weren’t the same as the ones he would have gotten in Asgard, they would help him from getting homesick. Oh, he isn’t perfect, Thor got a laugh as the wording could easily read the gift as a request for Fostering, and he’s checking with Odin to see what he thinks of the idea…He even has Jen and Matt getting the paperwork ready”
“Janet got a small photo album of one of his friends wearing a different one of her clothing designs in each picture, showing a different day for each outfit; Wanda got a medallion, handmade, that was to help protect against mind control, and a note mentioning that as one champion of chaos to another, that Chaos isn’t evil, or good , it is change, and that if she ever needed to talk with someone who would understand that he was as close as her phone, so she shouldn’t curl up in a corner and cry because…’Dis is Kaos and ve don’t do dat here!!!’ she giggled for over have an hour.” Steve recounted.
“Nick he gave everyone something that they needed to remind them of the lives they have and that they are still human and that there are people out there that still see them that way, and some of them still care,” Steve said.
“So, what was with the picture he sent you?” Fury asked.
“That picture is of his oldest friend… who told him a story of Steve Rodgers during WWII, a story of how a young man with old eyes shared the last food he carried with one of the people from the concentration camp that had just been freed.” Steve replied, tears slowly filling his eyes, “It was the girls great grandfather that took the food that should have fed the young soldier for two days and shared it with the other refugees and it kept four people alive for the week it took for the supply trucks to arrive. The letter has a girl’s handwriting on the back with just two words, ‘THANK YOU’. I have saved so many people in costume, done so much; I sometimes forget that Steve Rodgers always was there as well, not as noticed but still there.”
“So, what do you want to do?” Nicks normally harsh voice asked quietly, as he thought of the similar note and picture he received, about the same you ladies, great grandmother, but then he didn’t have a more famous alias taking all the credit.
“I don’t think I am going to Sunnydale,” Steve said quietly, “I think I am going to send him a letter and plane ticket, ask if he wants to come and visit here over the Christmas holidays.”
“Do you think he will come?” Nick asked.
“With his home life? The only thing that would keep him there is if one of his friends convinces him they need him,” Steve replied.
“You do realize, I am going to want all that testing done one way or another,” Nick said.
“Of course, we don’t need him loosing it physically or mentally because of this, we don’t really need someone new in the costume set, but men like him we are always in short supply of,” Steve replied.
“Keep me appraised of what happens, Try and show him a good time,” Nick said smiling.
“Will do, I’ve wanted to go and talk with him since I talked to Wanda,” Steve replied.
“That bad, eh?” Fury asked through his cigar.
“Nick, what Wanda and Stephen told me gave me nightmares for a week,” Steve replied, “and when you sent me the real crime statistics, I seriously considered kidnapping this kid and getting him out of there.”
“Don’t do that!!!” Nick yelled over the link-up. “If my contacts are right, that boy has bee instrumental in keep that hellmouth closed, and is directly responsible for keeping the current Slayer alive and reasonably sane”.
“Doesn’t mean I don’t want to,” Steve replied. “He touched everyone at the mansion with that package, even if it was just a card; he even sent Jarvis a box of TRUE English tea. Jarvis said the note, mentioned something about hoping it would help keep him sane since none of his charges would.”
“Do you think he realizes that he is making friends with some of the most powerful people on the planet… and that means making just as bad a group of enemies?” Nick asked.
“If he honestly thinks he is helping, I don’t think it would make the least bit of difference,” Steve said. “Nick, take care of him.”
“He’s one of ours, you bet I will.”