Summary: Xander was coming home, but some changes were going to be made first.
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.
Rupert Giles looked up from his book, and looked toward the library door. Faintly, he could hear the rhythmic clicking of a pair of high healed shoes steadily getting louder, as they came closer to the doors of the library. He put down the cup of tea he was holding as he looked up at the clock on the wall, 9:30 pm, both too late and too early for Buffy to be coming in, Willow was spending the last evening before school started at home studying for some computer quiz she was expecting this week, Cordelia wouldn’t show up from Mexico until tomorrow, and Miss. Calendar… Jenny, was spending time with her family, so who could this be at this hour, he wondered?
Giles looked around his Sanctuary, and thought for a moment how many people would have wondered about him being alone in a library the day before his first day back to “work”. Most people didn’t know that books have been his oldest friends, they have entertained him, taught him, and helped to save the lives of the people neatest to him, even helped to save the world. They were his friends and sometimes he just needed to be around them to feel at peace.
That peace was being disturbed by the person coming down the hall. He stood as the doors opened to admit a woman into the room. She was dressed in a power suit and carried a brief case, had brown hair and was about five foot ten. She looked around the mostly dark and silent room, then focusing on Giles, smiled, and asked, “Rupert Giles?” as she stepped forward hand outstretched to shake his.
“Y-y-yes,” he replied stepping toward the woman, warily, hand outstretched to take hers’, then he noticed a silver cross around her neck and he relaxed a little as they shook hands in greeting. “H-h-how can I help you, Miss…?”
“Walters, Jennifer Walters,” she replied, moving over to the research desk and putting her briefcase on it. “I am here for a couple of reasons, the first is that I am a lawyer and am here as legal representative for Anthony Stark, Steve Rodgers, and Col. Nick Fury.”
Giles took his glasses off and pinched the bridge of his nose, “What has Xander done now?” he asked.
Jennifer chuckled, “Nothing bad … unless you count his wardrobe, but this is as much about you as it is him.”
“Me?” Giles asked, “What is going on?”
“Yes, you, all three, representing three different organizations want to offer you a job… or two,” Jennifer continued.
“I’m flattered but I am already…” Giles began.
“Actually,” Jennifer interrupted, “The first one is a consulting job, Stark International, The Avengers, and SHIELD would like to have you on retainer for occult, supernatural and for obscure translation issues.”
“Why would those organizations want me?” Giles asked, as he sat down in one of the research chairs.
“That would be Xander's fault,” Jennifer replied, “You see it was Tony Starks phone that he called you on, about that ‘Zorn’ demon. While the call wasn’t recorded the length of the call was, and Steve was close enough to hear and remember the description of the creature, Xander gave you. That information was taken to the researchers normally used by these organizations, no one supplied an answer in anything less than three times as long as it took you,” Jennifer shook her head, “One of them was Stephen Strange, when he found out about your response he asked for your number so he could contact you for additional work along those lines.” She pulled a card out of her briefcase and handed it to Giles, “Here’s his number if you decide to talk to him.”
Giles took the card with a shaking hand, the most powerful magic user in the dimension wanted to talk to him about research. He shook his head, “I have responsibilities, but I would be happy to help whenever I can.”
Jennifer’s smile got bigger, “Thank you, I will sleep better knowing we have someone like you to call.”
“Wait a moment,” Giles said looking confused, “Xander was going to visit a “Steve Rodgers” in New York, how did he get introduced to all of these people knowing him, and me”.
“Well, Steve is a good friend of Tony’s, and Tony’s bodyguard is Iron Man, who is an Avenger, and the Avengers are loosely affiliated with SHIELD,” Jennifer answered.
Giles nodded to her as his mind went back to the phone call, “Drop the hammer,” he muttered to himself, as his eyes got wider as he looked at Jennifer Walters, “Thor, he was fighting beside the God of Thunder?”
Jennifer’s smile turned to a grin of pure mischief, “Looks that way, good thing to as it was Thor that blessed the swords that Xander used on that thing.”
Giles started to smile, “So when he was destined to meet his God…”
“That’s right,” Jennifer grins again, “It was funny, and afterward Steve asked him how he could believe in the Asgard and worships them as Gods so easily. Xander looked at him with a puzzled look on his face, then reached out and poked Thor in the arm with one finger and said, ‘Seems pretty real to me’.”
“Somehow, I can see him doing that,” Giles chuckled, I hope Thor wasn’t upset by the disrespect.”
“I can guarantee that he wasn’t upset,” Jennifer replied.
Giles took a deep breath, to calm him, “Alright,” he said, “You said you had two jobs for me, what is the second.”
“Well,” Jennifer looked a little sheepish, as she pulled a stack of papers out of her briefcase, and handed them to Giles, “the interested parties need you to sign these non-discloser forms before we can continue talking about it, but it does pertain to Xander.”
Giles had a look of worry on his face as he began reading the papers in front of him. As he read his worry turned to dread. Looking at Jennifer he said, “These are National Security documents. What has he gotten himself into?”
“We would like to discuss it but there are issues of National Security as well as an on going FBI investigation,” Jennifer replied. “I’m afraid that you are going to have to sign these before we can discuss it any farther.”
Giles growled and grabbed hi pen and signed. “There, so tell me, what is going on?”
Jennifer calmly put the papers away handing Giles, his copies, then looked at him and took a deep breath, “Well, as I’m sure you have guessed, for Xander, it started last Halloween, but for Steve Rodgers it started about two weeks after that. Steve received a letter from Xander describing what had happened and what was now running around in his head. The physical aspect aside, there were things of a very sensitive nature that Xander now knew that could put him and many other people in jeopardy of their freedom or even their lives. Xander came forward and let Steve know this but also what he and his friends have been doing for the last year, and gave him some suggestion on who to contact to verify what was in the letter. He also said he wanted someone as a backup that had some idea of what was happening in case he and his friends fell.”
“Xander knows this Steve Rodgers and believes he is trust worthy, but the rest of us don’t.” Giles was showing serious irritation, “I would have thought he would have a least asked us first”
“Xander didn’t mention anyone else by name or description,” Jennifer replied, her eyes flashing green, “as I said the only reason we had YOUR name is the call he place to so he could get the needed information to stop a serious threat.
“Fine, he was at least discreet,” Giles replied, “Just who is Steve Rodgers that Xander trusted him this fast,” Giles indicates the paperwork in front of him, “and causes this much trouble and effort?”
“That would be me,” a soft voice said from the shadows in the back of the library, Giles jumped and turned toward that voice even as he backed toward the weapons cage.
He watched as a human form stepped from the shadows. His jaw dropped as he was confronted with an American icon. The sight of the distinctive red, white and blue uniform and shield almost made Giles fall over a chair as he backed into it.
“You’re real.” Giles asked.
“Yes,” Captain America replied smiling
“I thought so,” Giles said as he sat down in the chair he had almost tripped over. Looking up at the man standing beside the lawyer, he began to polish his glasses, “The Council was wrong weren’t they?” he asked, “They were certain that you were a different man in the suit.”
“There have been others but I am the one who defeated Baron Blood,” the Captain said a little sadly.
“From some of the details about the end of Baron Blood, Xander says he remembers, I believe you,” Giles said, taking a deep breath he looked at the lawyer and super-hero and asked, “So what is this all about?”
The two looked at each other a moment and then Jennifer stepped forward, “Well, to start, a friend of ours has claimed Xander as a fosterling. This means far more in his culture than the foster system that is practiced here. He has all but adopted Xander, taking responsibility for his training, education and welfare. He is now considered the heir apparent until our friend actually has a blood child, and even after that happens he will be like an older little brother.”
“I would have thought that Captain America, or rather Steve Rodgers would have been the one who to take the boy in,” Giles said.
Captain America smiled sheepishly, and looked at the floor, “I was going to, but I was over ruled. I have had ‘discussions’ with Xander's Foster father on more than one occasion, I wasn’t going to argue with him about this, and I think it would be good for the both of them.”
“It’s Thor, isn’t it?” Giles asked.
“Yes, it is,” Jennifer spoke up, “He plans on coming in and speaking with you as well, but he said that there is something in this town that would not react well to his presence.”
Giles looked at the floor in the middle of the library, “The Hellmouth,” he whispered.
“It’s in the high school?!!” Jennifer and Captain America chorused. Giles noticed that Jennifer’s colouring went a little green, and she sat up straighter, almost as if she had gotten bigger, for a moment before she returned to normal.
“Well, yes, the school was built around it,” Giles replied.
“Looks like we are going to have a research party or two when we get back to New York,” Captain America said to Jennifer, “The town could be a coincidence, but the high school? Someone is trying to protect it.”
“Interesting thought,” Giles said, polishing his glasses, “It would give us something to look into when we don’t have something trying to open it. I’ll get Xander to send you what we learn.”
“We’ll do the same back,” Jennifer replied.
“Getting back on track then,” Giles looked at Captain America, “How much of you have Xander retained?”
“We aren’t sure.” Captain America replied, “Physically he currently is a little slower than I am but has more endurance, I can manage to run a mile in a minute, but not for much more than that minute, he can manage fifty-five miles an hour, but he can maintain it for ten minutes. He is slightly stronger, I can power lift 1000 lbs, while he can manage 1100, but doesn’t have my control, using his strength against normal people would result in at least broken bones, or worse, while I can break bones I can keep from doing it most time. It seems to be mostly a matter of training and getting him used to what he now has to work with.”
“I thought he had all your memories up until Halloween, how would training help more, he is already able to help me train …. The Slayer,” Giles said.
“So, you are a Watcher,” Steve said, “I kind of thought so, we’ll discuss that later. It is fairly close to what I understand Slayers are like, he has the instincts of what to do, but without training he will stay working on instinct, he needs to train so the memories are his and he isn’t restricted to responding. Also, the super-soldier serum seems to have affected him a little differently, instead of being directly responsible for the change in him like it did to me, it seems to have… cleaned his personal gene pool making it natural for him to be this strong and fast. When I went through it, I was in my twenties, and had weeks of treatments before the final serum was administered, Xander has not finished maturing, and he was in better physical health than I was when I went through it, we don’t know how that is going to affect the results, let alone the energies from the Hellmouth . He may have no upper limits beyond the ones he sets for himself, and the effort he decides to put into it.”
“Alright, what about schooling, he needs his diploma, and what does he do beyond high school?” Giles asked.
“We pulled a fast one on Xander for his high school,” Jennifer replied, “During the testing we were doing for what he remembered from Steve, we slipped him a GED, to see how he would do, he passed, easily. So we talked with Charles Xavier, who runs the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters, and got a curriculum for him as a home schooling program. If he is as stubborn about this as he is with so many other things I expect he would have the something akin to a bachelor’s degree by the time his friends finish high school.”
“Has he become that intelligent, along with the physical changes,” Giles asked, polishing his glasses again.
“We are certain that damage that was done back when he was a toddler was repaired, whether it has made him smarter than he was or should have been we don’t know, but most of the courses are going to be refreshers, making him comfortable with the knowledge that he gained from Steve, beyond what ever else he wants to learn on his own,” Jennifer replied, “Languages seems to be something that he is interested in, apparently he wants to work on Wakanda next, once he has his ancient Norse down”
Captain America looked questioningly at her, “I thought he was pumping Wanda for Romany?”
Jennifer smirked at Captain America, as Giles chuckled and said, “If you are referring to the Scarlet Witch, I’m certain that he is interested in the entire…body… of Romany lore he could “pump” her for.”
“Alright, so he is going through a refresher course for the information he got from you Captain, and probably a little updating since a lot of thing you originally learned has changed in the last sixty years,” Giles continued, “What exactly do you want to hire me for?
“He is going to need a mentor, an advocate within the school system,” Captain America replied, “Someone who can keep certain ‘trolls’ off his back.”
“Tony Stark doesn’t have that much money,” Giles replied with a mild huff.
“We also need someone who can teach him how to learn, how to research,” Jennifer continued, “He is determined that he is going to continue to fight the ‘nightlife’ in this town or where ever it is to be found, and from what we have discovered with the new filters that SHIELD put on their news files, we may have a need for someone with those skills. The Slayer has to stay here,” she nodded to the spot Giles looked toward earlier, “but having someone who is available to call in for help on suspected supernatural hot spots could save a lot of lives.”
Giles nodded, “And while you will use him as needed, you want him as prepared as it is possible to be. I have one charge already, one more won’t be too much more effort, did I just say that?” Giles sighed, then looked at Captain America and put out his hand, “I accept.”
Captain America took it smiling