madimpossibledreamer: Interior of early TARDIS (early tardis)
[personal profile] madimpossibledreamer
This fic was born from a need to have everyone on the cast get hugs after the Fall of Sunnydale especially because they all are precious and they all have PTSD and they need comfort.
...I'm working on getting the others to accept help.

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: 1765
Rating: Teen
Notes: Xander's been messing with different dimensions for a while.  Mostly just video, though he had visited the Armored Adventures Tony at some point, so he did know how to physically travel between them before then.  It's just that there was so much to do on either side of the dimensional divide that neither could make the excuse to leave before now.  He's actually decently close with an MCU!verse Tony and an Armored Adventures Tony, mostly because they were the easiest to contact and he's been talking to them for a while.  Also because he was reluctant to mess with too many dimensions because he wasn't sure that wouldn't make the universe explode, and that would be of the bad.


          Pepper expects to be totally, utterly alone in the upper Tower, since the Avengers are off having some sort of conference with SHIELD and they’re the only ones authorized to be anywhere higher than the fifteenth floor.
          Which is why she screams and drops her StarkPad, thankfully not breaking it (Tony would tease her for months), when she sees an unfamiliar suit in silver and purple with a few blue accents on the sofa, motionless.  The intruder’s head is just resting against the back of the sofa.  Any sign of breathing is nigh impossible to detect.
          “Jarvis?” she asks after several false starts of trying to get her voice above a whisper.  “Are you still there?”
          “Of course I am, Miss Potts.  Why would I not be?”  Jarvis’s voice is…
          Is not quite as cheerful as he’s trying to make it out to be.  Dear God, he’s picking up on things from Tony.  Like hiding how he really feels.  And that’s a little weird, talking about an AI having feelings to hide in the first place, but if anyone could pull it off it’d be Tony.
          “Well, the intruder.”  She carefully hides around the corner.  It won’t actually protect her from a man in an iron suit, but perhaps it will keep him from—for at least a little while—detecting her.  He’s probably created a suit and come after Tony for some perceived slight or other, and she refuses to be the girlfriend in distress yet again.
          There’s a brief pause.  “I apologize if the appearance of the young master has alarmed you in any way.”  Young master?? she mouths, knowing that Jarvis is reading her lips and expression and knows she’s utterly bowled over.  This is the man that can’t remember his own social security number, how the hell was he meant to keep a secret like a secret kid from her?  …Probably with Jarvis’s help, and that makes her feel a hint of betrayal before that gives away to resignation.  Of course he wouldn’t trust her with something like that.  Any of the important secrets, the ones close to his heart, he keeps close, but he just blabs everything else.
          “His presence is unexpected.  He will not harm you, of course.  I am attempting to reach Tony now.”  That gets her to duck back around the corner, and she can see it, a little, in the boyish face, the scruff and out of control brown hair.  Even in the way the exhausted face twists, caught in a nightmare.  The eyepatch isn’t all that unexpected, given the fact that his progeny seems to have decided superheroics was a good idea, too, but it does send a chill of fear down her spine, since Tony’s crazy luck can’t hold out forever, and she doesn’t want to see him hurt.  Not like that.
          “SHIELD blocks communications to stop Tony from playing games on his phone, don’t they?”  Not that she’s fool enough to imagine Jarvis can’t override that, eventually, but it’s still a consideration.
          “Not that it’s stopped him, but yes.  I am breaking through now.”  Jarvis sounds…annoyed.  Amused, fond, worried, strained, determined.
          The stranger jerks strong enough that he might hurt himself, especially as he’s still in the suit, and she realizes from Tony that’s it’s more than a little dangerous to wake someone in a suit, but she’s not about to let him hurt himself, either.  She doesn’t even touch his shoulder before he startles awake, brown eyes bright with unacknowledged tears.  “Hi.”
          It’s vulnerable.  It’s friendly and scared and maybe a little flirtatious.  She ignores that.
          “Is there something I can get you?” she asks, and he groans and attempts to move, wincing as he does so.
          “Uh, water, maybe.”  He shakes himself back awake.
          “Not alcohol?”  She needs some herself, but with the quick and desperate way he shakes his head, there’s a story there.  She’ll forgo some for the time being and just drink a little in her room later, just to deal with the situation.
          When she returns, the TV’s been turned on.  He’s resting his head, boneless, on the back of the couch again, so she thinks it’s meant to be more like white noise than anything helping him.  Or maybe he’d tried to actually watch and just was too tired to continue?
          She clears her throat, and he pulls his head up.  “Xander.”
          “What?” she asks, confused by the non-sequitur when she’d been expecting gratitude.
          “My name.  You were wondering.”  He drinks the glass down in one go and smiles at her.  “Thank you, by the way.  Sorry if I scared you.  I’d thought Tony finally acted on my advice for once, but maybe not.”
          “I have finally reached Tony,” Jarvis announces, and he nods, laying his head back again.
          “Don’t chew him out too badly,” he suggests, already falling asleep again.  “If I had the energy, I’d change out of the suit.  As it is,” he yawns, “I don’t wanna move this century.  Mark that on my calendar, Jarvis.”  Jarvis mutters a distracted affirmative. 
          Still, Pepper feels more comfortable moving this conversation into another room, just because if he’s anything like Tony he needs his sleep.  If he can sleep.
          “Hello?  Pepper?  Jarvis said something about an emergency, and it’s not the sort of thing that he can just deal with or neither of you would be calling me because you’re both slavedrivers, I swear, so this is big.  Huge.  Colossal.  Aaand you’re not saying a word which is just making me antsy and I know you hate dealing with me when I’m antsy, so please just say someth—”
          She’s almost hesitant to interrupt him when he’s being like this because the concern is kind of cute, but there’s also still a strange man in a suit on the couch, and Jarvis had called him because he believed Tony would want if not need to know.  “Tony.  Breathe.”  He’ll be no help if he has another panic attack, and she hates to see him hurting.
          “Oh, there you are.”  He’s smiling.  It’s a little shocking that there’s no video, but it appears that SHIELD actually does have some ability to stop Tony from doing whatever he wants, which is probably a pretty good thing.  “Not that I don’t enjoy hearing from you, Pep, but I’m pretty sure you told me to attempt to pay attention during this meeting, and you wouldn’t have changed your mind unless it was something important.  Life and death important.”
          “There’s someone in a suit on the couch, and it’s not Rhodey.”  She calls on the forged steel that is being his assistant to keep all the repressed hysteria in check.  “He apparently has the access codes to get in.”
          There’s a hint of the worry from before in his voice, but he keeps it steady and calm.  “You’re sure it’s not Rhodey?”
          “Not unless he got an eyepatch since I last saw him,” she responds.
          “Wait—he has an eyepatch?  What’s his name?”  Tony sounds vaguely panicked, now.
          “I know it’s not Director Fury.”  Not that she’s met the man personally, but she has a vague description from Phil.  He’d introduced himself—well, said his first name, anyway—just before the call.  “Xander?”
          Tony swears, and she gets the feeling that the panic attack that they’d staved off was returning in full force.  “Yeah, I know, Nicky’s in the other room glaring at me through the expensive window for answering my phone during a meeting.  Even though he should know being the self-appointed King of Knowledge the only way you’d interrupt me being vaguely responsible is if it was an emergency.”  He pauses the stream of words for a second, then tentatively asks, “Is he okay?”
          She nods at Jarvis to mute for a minute and walks into the other room where Xander is staring with one dead eye at the wall.  “Are you okay, sweetie?  Do you need medical attention?”  She wants to minimize the damage to Tony’s emotional state if this kid is not okay.
          It takes Xander a few moments to realize he’s even being addressed, and then he glances up.  Another second.  “Oh, yeah, sorry.”  A theatrical thumb’s up.  “Been there, done that, all the shirts were lost in the Sinking of Sunnydale.”
          “I heard that,” Tony’s voice shakes, and at her shocked gasp explains almost breathlessly, “I overrode Jarvis.”  No apologies, but then, he’s in panic mode.
          “It’s not pleasant.  I would request you not do so again,” Jarvis adds, and when there’s no reply Pepper resolves to bring it up again even if Jarvis doesn’t.
          “Who is he?”  He’s clearly important to Tony, so even if he isn’t an illegitimate child (a notion that’s looking more and more remote as time goes on), she would have thought he’d still have mentioned him.  Particularly having given him an armored suit.  Which…how had this not ended up on the news?
          “Pep, honey, if I had a secret love-child you’d know about it.”  He sounds wry and amused and affectionate all at once.  There are times like these when Pepper doesn’t understand Tony.  Is the statement meant as just a fact—because Pepper’s in charge of so many accounts, she’d notice the child support charges and probably have been involved in the court case?  Or is it meant to be comforting, like ‘I’d tell you my secrets because I love and trust you’?  Or is it another pick-up line?  She gets the feeling it’s the second option, mainly, though he’s probably flirting, too, but she’s not sure, and she’s also pretty sure it’s not actually comforting, no matter how Tony intended it.  “He…He’s like Harley.  He’s a good kid.”  Tony reins in the emotion and pulls himself together.  “Look, I’ll see if I can’t get this wrapped up quickly, okay?  The Cyclops won’t like it, but if Xander needs me, I’m going to be there for him.”
          “Be careful,” Pepper makes him promise, and she hears the steely conviction in his voice as he does so.
          Once Tony hangs up she walks back into the other room.  Xander hasn’t moved.  “How about I make you some eggs and toast?”
          He runs his hand through his hair.  “That’d be great.  Thanks, Pep.”  The tone is a mirror of Tony’s, as is the ghost of a smile.  She feels a shiver run down her spine but reminds herself that it’s (probably) fine and goes to make the food.  And if she grabs the heaviest skillet she can find, well.  If all goes well, no one has to question why.



madimpossibledreamer: Jiraiya|Yosuke jumping and using a throwing star (Default)

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