A New Possibility
I own none of these characters, settings, or fandoms. They are the property of their respective creators and companies. Summary:
Buffy just thought she was coming to someone’s rescue in that dark alley. Instead she learned about a new organization with a name she had no hope of remembering.
Buffy frowned as she paused in the middle of the sidewalk. While the streets of humdrum middle America were a little busier than Sunnydale’s had been at this time of night, they weren’t exactly crowded either. She waited patiently until she had heard the noise again and headed in the direction of the sounds of fighting.
The slayer rounded the corner intent on lending a hand but nearly skidded to a stop when she took in the action. A man in a tailored suit was holding his own against a vampire. Granted, the vampire wasn’t exactly a master, but the man was surprisingly successful in dodging the blows from his opponent and landing a few of his own.
She leaned carefully against one of the brick buildings lining the alley and watched as the man in the suit maneuvered the fight until he suddenly dropped into a roll. When he rose up on his feet he had a broken piece of wood in his hand that he managed to grab in the maneuver. With smooth controlled motions, he blocked the last few attempts at a punch before ramming the stake neatly through the vampire’s heart.
If it wasn’t for her slayer hearing she wasn’t positive she would have heard him murmur, “And dust to dust,” as the vampire disintegrated in front of him.
“Not bad,” Buffy commented, pushing herself off the wall with minimal effort. “Although really, if you’re going to be hunting vampires, you should be carrying your own stake. Cuts down on the improvising.”
“I will try to remember that for next time, although I hope there will not be one,” he said, an easy smile on his face. “Miss Summers, I presume.”
Her green eyes narrowed. “Maybe, who are you?” Her body tensed in preparation. He may have appeared to be human, but there were all sorts of demons who could disguise themselves. Plus, anyone who knew her name and was aware of vampires wasn’t always a good thing.
“Agent Phil Coulson with the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division,” he replied, making no move to step closer to her.
She felt her jaw drop slightly. “The wha?”
“Strategic Homeland Inter-“
Buffy waved a hand to cut him off. “Forget it, I’ll never remember it. What do you want?”
He nodded his head and kept his hands held out slightly from his sides in a non-threatening gesture. “We recently took possession of a military project called the Initiative.”
“Not a way to earn Brownie points,” she interrupted again, her voice hard.
“I understand, I read their file on you. Rest assured we are not reviving the program, we just wanted to ensure no one else could either. We aren’t interested in creating a perfect soldier,” he said, the calm smile never leaving his face.
“Okay, that’s a better start. I gave the military my report on what happened, so what do you want with me?”
“I’m here to talk to you about the Avengers Initiative.”
Buffy waited until the waitress set their food down on their table before she said, “So what you’re saying is you want to call me in to work with some other superhuman like people whenever the shit hits the fan.”
“In the common vernacular, yes,” Agent Coulson agreed with a nod of his head as he adjusted his plate and silverware before him.
“And who are these other superhuman like people and are we talking special powers or something else?” She asked, truly curious. While she didn’t consider herself a superhuman, she could see where others could mistake her role as a slayer to be one. She wondered what it took to be considered superhuman to this group.
“Think of it less as superhuman and more of people with a highly-specialized skill set who have the ability to think outside the box. As for their identities,” he shook his head at her. “For now, until you reveal your decision on whether or not to join us, I have to protect their identities.”
Honestly, Buffy could respect that, she had her own charges within the New Council that she did her best to protect as well. “You do realize that I have a friend who could probably hack – “
“Willow Rosenberg. Yes, we’ve been aware of her for some time. We tried to recruit her in high school but she chose a different path,” he revealed before taking a bite of his hamburger.
“That would have been witchcraft,” she said smugly. She didn’t really know anything about this organization with a ridiculous name, but she was positive that it wasn’t what the Willow of that time needed.
“Yes, and later that year you also used a stolen rocket launcher in the middle of a mall to defeat a demon,” he said calmly with no hint of accusation in his voice, but kept it completely matter of fact.
Buffy’s fork paused on its way to her mouth and she squeaked out, “You know about that?”
“Security cameras,” he reminded her without a trace of smugness in his voice or face. “I know the Watcher’s Council did an adequate job in covering your tracks, but we monitor any potential problems. We began research on you but discovered the Council had a prior claim and that there was little possibility of them relinquishing it.”
“I quit once,” she pointed out, punctuating the once with her fork.
“I know, but we also knew that your sense of loyalty to Sunnydale would prevent you from leaving,” he said before taking another bite of his hamburger.
She couldn’t argue that point with him because he was right. Sunnydale was her only priority for the longest time. But that was then and this was now. “So what changed?”
“Sunnydale. You. The world.”
“Fair enough,” she said with a bob of her head. “But why now? Sunnydale was several years ago,” she said before taking another bite of her salad. It wasn’t exactly spectacular, but she had drowned it in enough dressing to make do for the evening.
“We’ve been keeping an eye on you,” Coulson said and she was impressed with how honest he had been through this whole process. “Not as close as we would like, the firewalls at the New Council are rather impressive, but close enough. Things are being set in motion and Director Fury is going for the proactive approach rather than reactive. We’d like to minimize the damage and danger as much as possible.”
She frowned at the mention of the new name. “And why didn’t this Director Fury talk to me himself?”
For a moment his calm smile actually turned into something a little more genuine before dropping back. “Director Fury also carries another title, that of General Fury. I convinced him that a less military approach would work better for you considering your… difficulties with the last organization.”
An indelicate snort escaped her lips as she tried to contain her laugh. “You’re probably right,” she admitted.
They ate in silence for several minutes as Buffy thought over everything he had told her. She was definitely going to have Willow do some investigating on them, but what he had laid out for her was actually intriguing. The leader in her couldn’t fault the Director for wanting to be prepared and at least he was willing to think outside the box.
“When do you need an answer?” She finally asked.
He pulled a business card out of an inside pocket of his suit jacket and slid it across the table to her. “Take as long as you need.”