madimpossibledreamer: Izanagi|Souji in full costume holding out a hand (persona 4)
[personal profile] madimpossibledreamer
Main Points:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Iron Man Crossover and more than just your average fic in this 'verse (Self-Made Hero)
Summary: Most people run away from their lives on a vacation.  Mr. Knight just happens to go to parallel universes.
Word Count: 765
Rating: Teen

 

           Tony’s fast.  A lot faster than she’d expected, but he was worried.  “You’re sure you don’t need a doctor?” he asks, the very second he enters the room, and Xander rolls his eye and stops dismantling the toaster.  Which, again, has Pepper nervous.  The similarities are eerie, yet somehow comforting, at the same time.
           “Like you didn’t refuse one, like, all the time when you came back from Afghanistan.”  He shrugs.  “I’ve been in the hospital for a while.  I’m good, really.”
           Something dark, haunted, passes through the kid’s eyes.  He’s probably sick of people treating him like an invalid.
           Stark sighs and tries to stop hovering.  “Where do you want to do this, kid?”
           An eyebrow raises in response  “How many times do I need to tell you to stop calling me kid?”
           “Until I stop.  Nice try with the misdirection, by the way.”  Tony stands, awkwardly unsure of what to do with his hands until he crosses his arms.  “Look, I know Star’s programmed to look after your health first and foremost, just like Jarvis, which means I could get the whole story from her.”  Star?  Another AI?  “But I think you’d rather tell it, Xander.”
           “Like you told her about me?” Xander asks, suddenly on his feet, snarling and gesturing at Pepper.  “You ignored my advice about that, why—”
           “Because you’re hurting and you’re scared so you’re lashing out,” Tony responds with uncharacteristic patience and understanding, stepping forward and pulling the younger man into a hug.  Which starts the tears.  “Seriously, you can at least be comfortable.  And I’ll actually follow your very good advice now, how’s that?”
           “You’re an idiot,” Xander manages through the tears, and that earns a half-smile in Pepper’s direction.
           “Yep,” Tony agrees cheerfully, and half-carries Xander back to the couch, suit and all.  He looks a little strained, but determined, and the younger man doesn’t put up a fight.
           Pepper, meanwhile, is trying to stay calm, but she doesn’t understand any of this, and she’s a little scared.  And worried for the kid.  She has a heart.  “What’s going on?” she asks softly.  “I think I deserve to know, Tony.”
           He sighs in response.  “Yeah, you do.”  He settles the younger man on the couch, carefully, and turns back to her with an apologetic look.  For once, it’s even sincere.  “Which he pointed out to me.  I just….I was going to tell you, and then the whole thing with dying happened, which at least I had an idea of what was going on and how to stop it…”
           “I’m glad you listen to me sometimes,” Xander interrupts, yawning.
           “But with all that,” Tony continues, with a glare that’s met with a tired smirk, “…I kind of had other stuff that I wasn’t telling you, so it didn’t seem fair to tell you about some things and not others, and that—”  He swallows his next words.  He’s nervous.  He pulls on her sleeve to get her to sit on the chair and then plops down on the couch.  “If it makes it easier, you can think of this guy—Alexander Knight, did he ever completely introduce himself?—as my brother.”
           Xander mutters something suspiciously like “cop-out”.  In retaliation, he ruffles the kid’s hair, which immediately produces a disgruntled look.
           “Okay…” Pepper says, looking between the two of them.  There’s still something missing.
           “The longer story involves alternate dimensions,” he continues, and she immediately looks at Xander.  No rolling of the one eye, no annoyance, just a resigned, utterly exhausted look.
           “I was also a skeptic at first, Miss Potts, but the evidence was largely overwhelming,” Jarvis adds, and that makes it easier to believe.
           “This guy,” Tony reaches over again to rub a shoulder affectionately, “…was just a normal kid.  Until a chaos mage like Loki—you remember me telling you about Loki, right?—cast a spell on Halloween.  He’d dressed as me.”
           “He’s your brother from an alternate dimension via magic,” Miss Potts states flatly.
           “There’s a reason she writes the summaries,” Tony leans over and fake-whispers, and Xander responds with a tired grin.
           She stands up.  “No, no, this can’t—”  She’s clutching her arm.  Apparently the hysteria she’d been staving off this entire time had come back in full force.  “I can’t—”
           “I didn’t believe it either, at first, but it’s the truth,” Tony agrees, standing up with a look of concern, but Xander puts a hand on his arm.
           “You know Miss Potts.  Sometimes she just needs time to think.”  The voice of reason Mr. Stark can (rarely) be.
           She flees.

 

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