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Reestablishing Parity

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Summary: Nick Fury 's been wanting the Watchers Council to make their people available for S.H.I.E.L.D.'s use for a while, now. The issue's recently become quite volatile, and some people in the Council are making their own views known.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Marvel Universe > AvengersGreywizardFR1811,6332578,33121 Dec 1221 Dec 12Yes
Disclaimer: They all belong to Joss and ME, or to Disney and its minions. Deal with it. I have.

Category: BtVS/Avengers crossover, and a response to Joe Hundredaire's Foresight site challenge.

Time Frame: Present day.

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don’t know what happened up to this point, why are you reading this story?

Character Bashing: None whatsoever, as I'm trying to present the characters as canonically as possible. That doesn't mean that some characters aren't going to dislike other characters, or take actions to make that dislike obvious.

Feedback: Of course!

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author’s Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author’s Note 2: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author’s Note 3: This is not the story I was originally intending to write when I sat down at my keyboard, but it’s the one my muse dictated to me, so here it is. Things are probably going to be substantially different from what you're expecting.

Author’s Note 4: This is story #21 in my own personal Christmas Fic-A-Day Challenge.

~~~

December, 2012


An office building overlooking Times Square
and approximately three-quarters of a mile away
New York City, NY

"Are you sure you want to do this, Xand?"

The gorgeous red-haired Slayer was carefully surveilling the entire area beneath and surrounding the office building they were currently occupying as she spoke, while also keeping an eye on the dark-haired man calmly looking out over the same area.

"Yeah, I've never been more sure of anything in my life, Vi," Xander Harris answered, his eyes not straying from the focus of his attention by even a single millimeter. "Did you or any of the Potentials have any doubts when you heard Willow's voice asking if you wanted to be strong, all those years ago?"

"This isn't the same kind of thing, Xand," Violet McGonagall shook her head, as though in disagreement with his comment. "We always had the potential to become Slayers; we were born that way. It's our destiny. What you're doing is completely different."

"Maybe. But as far as I'm concerned, Vi, this is *my* destiny," Harris responded. "To make sure that all of you girls aren't turned into slaves by the government, just because some rich, egocentric asshole thinks that he and his fellow assholes know how to 'make the best and most efficient use of the abilities bestowed upon a segment of the population genetically predisposed to preternatural methods of enhancement.'

"Seriously, I still can’t help laughing at the way that Stark still insists that magic is just some as-of-yet undetermined form of technology," Harris said with a smirk.

An impartial observer, however, might have noted that there looked to be very little amusement present in the one-eyed man's face. The expression might just as well been a baring of fangs, as it was an indication of humor.

"This is something the government's never gonna let go, if you do it, Xand," Vi warned her companion, while she simultaneously kept watch for any potential enemies approaching. "They'll never stop hunting for you, ever. Not until they either catch you or they kill you."

"And that makes my life different than it is, right now – aside from exactly who it is that's gonna be after my ass – how? Hmmm?"

"Well, the fact that the entire federal law enforcement system of this country currently doesn't seem to give a fuck about your existence would seem to indicate that your life could get a lot worse," the redhead pointed out.

"Judging by your vocabulary, you hung around Faith way too much, Miss Potty-Mouth."

"To which I say, 'Fuck you, X.' That's what Faith would have said, you know."

"Yeah, that's exactly what she would have said," Harris agreed, his attitude seeming to lighten slightly at the mention of the absent Slayer.

"You've got all of our numbers, Xander," the redheaded scourge of the demonic world reminded her friend. "So don't be afraid to use them."

"After what I'm gonna do? No way. Because that would give Fury all the justification he'd need to have all of you girls grabbed and locked up in in whatever little gulag I'm sure he's already got set up, Vi," Xander shook his head in denial of the reminder. "So I'll tell you right now, that's never gonna happen."

"Once Willow finally wakes up from her coma, she'll be able to tell everyone what really happened that night, Xand," Vi said, a mixture of lingering pain and incipient hope evident in her face. "And once she does, and the public learns the truth about Buffy's and Faith's deaths and who actually started that fight, they'll be completely on our side; no question about it."

"Maybe so," Harris nodded a somewhat general agreement with that observation. "Of course, you’re assuming that Fury's willing to let the public know what actually happened. What's more likely, though, is that those assholes on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s council will have the deciding vote. Which means that they'll do their best to keep everything that happened on the down low.

"And while the public's learning the truth is something I personally don't think is gonna be happening any time soon," he stated, with an apparently indifferent shrug of massive shoulders, "either way, it's not gonna make any real difference as far as what I'm planning on doing.

"I'm depending on you and the others to keep Dawn, Willow and Giles safe, Vi," Xander went on calmly, even as he fluidly rose to his feet, his attention now focused on the movement currently taking place on the podium he'd been watching. "That's all I really care about, now."

"You really think those bullets are gonna work against Stark's armor and those repulsor fields he's got reinforcing it?" Vi asked, her curiosity intrigued by the thought of magic pitted against technology, and which would triumph in the looming battle.

"Willow told me a while back that, while Andrew might be a total geek-tastic nerd of the highest order, he was also one of the most brilliant magical researchers she'd ever had the fortune to work with," Xander answered as he carefully picked the Barrett XM500 sniper rifle which had been waiting on a table a few feet away. "And this 'Imperturbable' spell he came up with makes whatever it's cast on as physically impervious as any object can be. Just like that adamantine metal that all of the legends mention – something that's harder than anything else in the world

"At least, it does if Andrew’s research notes are anywhere near right," Xander qualified his previous remark with a smirk and another shrug of his shoulders.

"I guess we're gonna find out whether that's true, very shortly," Harris added, as he settled the bipod of the rifle onto the small table he'd earlier repositioned in front of the window in the fifth story office he'd commandeered the previous night.

"You need to leave now, Vi," Xander ordered as he examined the podium situated in the middle of Times Square through the Schmidt & Bender 3-12x50 PM II telescopic sight he'd acquired. "That’s an order."

"Xand –"

"You can't give Fury the slightest justification for him to grab you, damn it," Harris growled, not looking away from the scope as he spoke to her. "Not even the slightest pretext to pull you in for questioning."

He turned his head and looked over at the redhead, who had been designated as the Senior Slayer by the other women in the New Council, and the intensity in his remaining eye was enough to bring incipient tears to her eyes.

"With Buffy and Faith gone, you’re the most experienced Slayer now," Xander told her. "The kind of Slayer the new girls all look up to, and want to be like. Just like you did with Buffy and Faith.

"So, you use that portkey Andrew magicked up for you, and make sure that you're conspicuously visible somewhere in London in the next ten minutes," he commanded.

"And tell the Gang, I love them all, and that I'll be around to look them up, sometime in the not too distant future. Okay?"

Swallowing the lump in her throat, Vi nodded her agreement at the blatant lie he'd just told her and grasped the amulet Andrew the Wise (as he was now identified among the Council forces) had made especially for her, and pressed the activation stud. Vanishing at once, she appeared on the other side of the pond and set about giving herself an airtight alibi, as ordered.

Staring at the spot she'd occupied for less than a moment longer, Xander Harris quickly turned his attention back to his mission.

The public relations dog and pony tour Fury currently had the Avengers doing, to try and fix the damage to their image that had resulted from the deaths of the world’s two most famous, and immeasurably popular, Vampire Slayers, was providing Harris with an opportunity that he simply couldn't pass up. Not if he wanted to be able to look himself in the mirror, ever again.

Regardless of how long the chance to do that might or might not be.

"Okay, Nicky, you arrogant old bastard," Xander murmured as he examined the area through the scope again, his words barely audible even to himself, "you took two of our best people away from us, just because you didn't like our attitude?

"You know what they say about payback…"

Mentally reviewing the specs of the Iron Man armored suit which Andrew had somehow managed to obtain, Xander centered the scope's reticules on the left eye slit of Stark's helmet (since that was undoubtedly the weakest point in the armor), then smoothly shifted the crosshairs to the center of the star on Captain America's chest as Fury's preeminent public relations project stood quietly basking in the limelight showered on them by an ignorant and unknowing public.

Xander repeated the sequence twice more to acclimate himself to the series of motions required, then took a deep breath and centered himself, mentally.

"Let's see how you like this feeling, asshole," Harris whispered as he gently squeezed the trigger.

Both targets were dead and gone less than three seconds later.

Even the best doctors in the world couldn't do anything about a missing head or repair a six inch hole blown through a man's chest by a cartridge designed to destroy engine blocks of cars.

By the time the screaming started, Xander was gone as well.

FIN

The End

You have reached the end of "Reestablishing Parity". This story is complete.

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