Disclaimer: BtVS and all characters from the show are owned by Joss Whedon, SHIELD, and Nick Fury are owned by Stan Lee and Marvel Productions.
Author’s note: Once more I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read and leave a review. I especially wish to thank those who enjoyed it enough to believe that it’s worth a recommendation. Your feedback is truly appreciated. Olbear
SHIELD Training Facility.
The Recreation Facility was busy as over a hundred trainees, who, in less than a week, would become Probationary SHIELD Agents enjoyed an evening off from training. Several trainees carefully made their way from the bar with jugs of beer in hand to join the other members of their training teams. In the room there were several pool tables scattered around, all of them in use.
At one table a trainee who appeared younger than average, with short cropped, dark hair and the physique of a swimmer or gymnast was lining up a shot. With a smack the cue stick hit the white ball and sent it travelling down the table. The cue ball deflected off one ball, sending it into the side pocket before impacting with the Eight Ball. Straightening he watched as the Eight Ball went into the corner pocket.
“My game I think Gunny.” Trainee Alexander Harris smirked at the man standing on the opposite side of the table as he swept up the bills on the side of the table.
Carl Alvarez just shook his head. “Dammit Kid.” He mocked growled. “If I’d have known you were such a pool shark I wouldn’t have played you for money.”
Xander just shrugged and grinned as he pocketed the fifty dollars. “C’mon Gunny I’ve got to get back the money I lost to you on the range somehow.” Earlier in the week he and his team mate had had a friendly wager on who was the better shot.
Xander should have known better but at the time he thought that since his carbine was fitted with a high power optic sight while Carl’s only had iron sights he thought he was in with a chance since the range was at one hundred metres.
So with Morgan holding the money they’d both taken their positions on the mound and prepared to fire.
Xander was the first to shoot and he was pretty pleased with the result. He had put the twenty five rounds right into the X-ring of the target, leaving a hole in the centre of the target no bigger than the palm of his hand.
Then Carl had shown exactly why he was not only rated as a sniper in the Marine Corps but an instructor in marksmanship and sniping. His first fifteen shots had left a hole in the centre of the target no bigger than a silver dollar. He then used his last ten to draw a ‘Smiley Face’ on the target and Xander had learned a valuable lesson. Never bet against a Marine if he was smiling.
With the game over they handed the cues over to another pair of trainees who wanted to use the table and headed back to where the other members of their training team were sitting.
“So how much did the kid take you for Gunny?” Graham Douglas asked as he poured the last of the beer in the pitcher into his glass.
“Fifty bucks” Alvarez growled, annoyed that Douglas had grabbed the last of the beer and he had lost half the money that he had won off Xander in the first place.
“Live and learn Gunny, live and learn.” Steve O’Hara quipped as he placed another pitcher of beer on the table as well as a plate of nachos.
Morgan looked at the pile of corn chips, melted processed cheese, ground beef, hot sauce and Jalapeno peppers, still steaming from the oven with distaste. “How can you eat that crap?” She asked. “I can feel my arteries hardening just looking at it.”
Actually what she wanted to do was grab a handful for herself but she knew that if she allowed herself to do so she’d be paying for it in the gym the next day as she worked off the calories. Her hourglass figure took a lot to maintain.
O’Hara just shrugged and shovelled a mess of chips, hot sauce and melted cheese into his mouth. “Cause it tastes good!” He mumbled while he chewed then washed it down with a swig of beer before helping himself to nachos.
“God you’re a pig!” Morgan said as Stephen chewed with his mouth open.
Ignoring the bickering pair Graham turned to Xander who was still nursing his first beer.
“I can’t believe that what you scored for your first assignment.” He said.
Since they would be graduating in a matter of days they all knew where they would be going to begin their careers as S.H.I.E.L.D agents. To everyone’s surprise, especially Xander, he had been assigned to the Helicarrier, the airborne headquarters of the agency.
“Hey it wasn’t like I put the Helicarrier as my preferred assignment.” Xander said defensively. Before the postings had come out he had thought that he would most probably end up in either New York to be close to the Sorcerer Supreme since there was only a little over eighteen months till he was due to be sent home or some minor S.H.I.E.L.D office in one of the ‘Fly over’ states where he could keep out of sight for the remainder of his time in this dimension.
Still it was definitely an ego boost to be considered good enough to be placed amongst the cream of S.H.I.E.L.D’s agents.
“Besides.” He said, sipping his beer. “It’s not like any of you can complain where you’re heading.”
“Maybe so kid.” Douglas said, snagging the pitcher of beer and refilling both his and Carl’s glasses, ignoring the glare that Steve shot him. “But it is a bit strange that you ended up at the Helicarrier straight out of the Academy.”
Xander just shrugged and made no answer. He thought he knew why he was going to the Helicarrier but there was no way that he could tell his friends without blowing his cover. Still it would be cool to see the look on their faces after he told him that he was actually from another dimension and knew more about this world’s heroes and villains than anyone else.
Supressing the urge to blow his friend’s, and it was then that he realised that he now considered the members of his training team friends, minds he changed the subject.
“So where are you guys going for your down time?” He asked, referring to the ten days that all S.H.I.E.L.D graduates got before they reported to their duty stations.
As he listened to them talk about visiting family and friends Xander felt a wave of homesickness wash over him and he silently wondered what Buffy and Willow were up to.
1630 Rovello Drive
Buffy closed her last bag and looked up to see her mother, Joyce, standing in the door of her room.
“Everything packed?” Joyce asked.
“Yep.” Buffy said patting the last bag before picking up ‘Mr Gordo’. For a second she considered placing the plush pig in one of her bags but decided that he deserved to see where they were going instead of spending the trip stuffed in a dark bag.
Joyce sighed. “I can’t believe that my little girl is grown up and moving out.”
“C’mon Mom. It’s not like I’m going to the other side of the country.” Buffy said, unconsciously hugging Mr Gordo beneath her breasts. Despite looking forward to college the thought of moving away from home, even if she would be living only a few miles away, was just a little disturbing.
“I know honey. It’s just that it’s a big step in your life.” Joyce replied, thinking of when she herself left home for college.
“Don’t worry Mom, I’ll be home every week to do laundry and raid the fridge.” Buffy said and mother and daughter shared a smile.
The sound of a car horn out on the street had the Summers ladies go to the window to see a slightly battered van pulling up in front of the house.
“Oh it’s Willow and Oz.” Buffy said, leaning out of the window to wave to her friends. Because Oz had a van and knew the campus from playing gigs there Willow and Buffy had talked the musician/werewolf into helping move their stuff.
“Are you sure you’ve packed everything you’ll need?” Joyce asked.
“Of course Mom.” Buffy answered with a smile. “And if I have forgotten something it gives me an excuse to come home. Are you sure that you’ll be alright living here on your own?” She asked mock innocently. “Or am I going to come home to find you’ve allowed your latest ‘beau’ to move in with you?”
“Oh You!” Joyce said with a surprisingly girlish giggle. “Let’s get your things downstairs.” Reaching down she grabbed one of Buffy’s bags only to stop when the weight almost wrenched her shoulder out of place.
“Sorry Mom, that’s got my weapons in it.” Buffy said effortlessly picking up the bag and throwing it over her shoulder. With a bag of weapons on one shoulder and a stuffed toy in her other arm she went downstairs to greet her friends.
Minutes later Buffy returned to the now almost empty room. Despite the list that she had made about what she would need when she moved onto campus which she had followed to the letter she couldn’t help feeling that she was missing something.
“It can’t be anything important.” She thought with a shrug. “If it is I’ll probably remember it tomorrow or the day after.” With that she closed the door to her room and went downstairs to kiss her Mom goodbye and get in Oz’s van.
Author’s Note: Once more I’d like to thank everyone who takes the time to read and review my stories. I really appreciate it guys. Olbear