Disclaimer: BtVS and all characters from the show are owned by Joss Whedon. Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D are owned by Stan Lee and Marvel Productions.
Xander Harris looked out the observation window. He could see the lights of New Orleans off in the distance. It had always been part of his ‘Great American Road Trip’ to get this far. But never in his wildest dreams had he ever thought he’s see it like this.
He was on the FREAKING SHIELD Helicarrier!!!
The fan boy in him wanted to run around just collecting autographs. Even though back on his world he’d been more of a DC comics fan, some of his favourite comic book characters were real people here, Captain America, Iron Man and The Avengers, Professor Xavier and the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Spiderman. They were all here and more.
He’d lost count of how many times he pinched himself in the first few days after he’d woken up to convince himself that he wasn’t dreaming. Especially when he first met Colonel Nick Fury, though for some reason the head of SHIELD was a bit standoffish around him.
Then the reality hit him. This wasn’t his world, there was no Alexander Lavelle Harris here nor was there a town called Sunnydale, at least not one that he recognised. He needed to get back to his own reality, his friends were in danger and he had to warn them. Who knew what surprise good old Dick had in store for them.
For the first week every time someone entered his room his first question was always when he could go home. It was only when he had a special visitor that he realised that he was stuck here for a while.
Xander idly stirred his bowl of thin soup with a spoon. Hospital food had never been his favourite but what was being served to him now was worse than anything that he had eaten while at Sunnydale General. The orderlies that brought him his meals had explained that since he’d just undergone major internal surgery it would be a while before he could have solid food.
Despite that he was heartily sick of nothing but soup, gruel and jello. He was almost at the stage that he was missing his Mom’s cooking, which considering Jessica Harris’ culinary skills were limited to putting TV dinners in the microwave or ordering Take Out was saying something. The last time that his mother had tried to cook something from scratch she had almost set the kitchen on fire.
His musings were interrupted by the door to his room hissing open. Expecting one of the orderlies he pushed his uneaten meal aside.
“Thanks guys.” He said, not paying attention to who it was in the room with him. “I’ve finished with this. Would it be too much to ask for a few crackers to go with my next meal or maybe a sandwich?”
A new voice twinged with humour answered him. “I’m sorry Alexander but I have no control over your menu.”
Xander turned to look at the man who had just entered his room. He took in the neat business suit and the well trimmed goatee but his eyes were drawn to the ornate medallion that hung on his chest.
“You... Your Dr Stephen Strange!” He squeaked, much to his mortification. At the same time he felt a huge weight lift from him. If The Sorcerer Supreme was here it must mean that he was about to go home.
“Yes I am.” This world’s premier occultist said as he picked up the chart from the end of the bed and looked over it with a professional eye before replacing it. “So, how are you feeling today?”
Xander swallowed nervously before answering. “Still a bit sore sir but I’m getting better.” He paused for a moment before continuing. “But now your here I guess it means that I’m going home?” He asked hopefully.
Dr Strange looked at the young man who had arrived in such a unique manner.
“I’m sorry Alexander but at the moment there’s no way I can return you to your own world.” He saw the youth’s face fall and he hastened to finish. “Unless you don’t care whether you’re still alive when you arrive for the five seconds it will take for your world to be destroyed.”
“Huhh?” Xander grunted still reeling from what Dr Strange had just said. “But you’re the Sorcerer Supreme! You’ve faced beings of unimaginable power, why can’t you not send me home?”
“Xander because your world is home to a ‘Hellmouth’, if I tried to send you back now the energies required would cause a chain reaction that would not only result in your death but the entire destruction of your world and of several others.”
Stephen saw the crushed look that appeared on Alexander’s face and quickly spoke to reassure him. “But just because I can’t send you home now doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to go home one day.”
“Two years.” Xander thought as he looked down at the coastline. The Sorcerer Supreme had been adamant. It would be nearly twenty four months before the required planetary alignment occurred that would allow him to be sent back with a better than even chance of surviving the experience. Xander still thought that that was too long. Who knew what might happen in Sunnydale over two years. He just prayed that Stephen Strange was right and when he did send him home time would have passed at a slower rate, hopefully he would be back before his friends even realised that he was missing.
He snorted when he imagined the look on Willow’s face when he told her that his Road Trip had taken to a world with technology and magic that she could only dream of. While his oldest friend had never been as big a fan of comics as himself and Jessie she had once told them that one day she was going to build a computer like ‘JARVIS’, The AI that Tony Stark used.
His musings were interrupted by someone entering the observation lounge.
“Mr Harris.” A feminine voice said and Xander turned around to regard the five foot ten dark haired woman who had just spoken to him.
“Hey Maria, what’s the haps?” Xander asked the Deputy Director of SHIELD and carefully concealed a smirk as Maria Hill’s eyes tightened slightly. He couldn’t help it, he just had to tweak the nose of authority figures be they High School Principals, Librarian/Watchers or high ranking secret agents.
Blithely ignoring the hard look that Hill shot at him he continued speaking.
“Any chance of me ‘jumping ship’? It’d be great to visit New Orleans during Madi Gras.” He asked with a grin on his face.
“Not today Mr Harris.” Maria said, once more wishing that they could just get one of the agency’s telepaths to read the young man’s mind. However all members of the psychic department were busy thanks to one of the first nuggets of information that Harris had shared. That HYDRA, instead of being on the ropes thanks to infighting was still going strong and had been infiltrating ‘Sleeper Agents’ into SHIELD almost from the day the counter espionage/intelligence unit was formed.
At first Hill didn’t want to believe it. The vetting system used by SHIELD was extensive and thorough. It was even joked that SHIELD knew more about your life than you did. But within six hours of Harris telling them about the supposed HYDRA moles an agent who had been with SHIELD for years and had received commendations for valour in the field had tried to kill the inter-dimensional castaway.
Any doubts of the agent’s true loyalty were gone when the man had screamed “Hail HYDRA!” before he leapt off the Helicarrier to his death. Now Fury and a handful of people that he trusted were going through the records of all agents with a fine tooth comb, trying to identify the remaining moles. And while the Director was busy with that it was up to Maria Hill to talk with Alexander Harris, to see what other information he had.
Taking a seat opposite the youth she pulled out a micro-recorder. “So Alexander, last time we were talking about Erik Lehnsherr and his ‘Mutant Brotherhood’, is there anything you’d like to add?”
Xander took a deep breath and gathered his thoughts before starting to tell everything he remembered about the Holocaust survivor turned terrorist known to the world as Magneto.