This is the sequel to the fic "The New Kid" over at fanfiction.net. It's an AU as the previous Middleman is very different from the one shown in "The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse." Later stories in the series are mm/ww, but Wendy does not appear in these.
The New Sidekick
The Middleman was semiconscious with pain by the time he heard their pickup vehicle coming. He roused himself; the new kid's reactions could tell him a lot. "There's our ride."
The ex-SEAL heard it too. He shook his head. "There's nowhere to put a chopper down here except in the highway. Anyway, that one's miles away."
"Bet you half a dollar?" The Middleman sat upright.
It looked like a helicopter, all right, its chassis just big enough to fit in their tiny clearing. Sounded like one, to a casual observer who wasn't used to the earth-shattering noise they made in real life instead of on television. Even that half-hearted noise faded out in the last few yards of descent. The body of the 'chopper' landed, apparently weightless, beside the two men. The much larger circle of whirling blades, which looked solid and real, passed through the trees without a quiver.
The Middleman watched the kid watching it, fitting a flood of new ideas into his world view. I wonder how I looked to The Old Man my first day. I should have asked when I had the chance. He shut his grief down; they were busy.
"Right." The kid drew the word out thoughtfully. "Anything else I should know?"
"You'll still be learning the day you retire." A stab of guilt; 'expendable' was an understatement for the career path the Middleman was luring this kid into. "I know I still am. But you meet interesting people." He gestured just as the side door of the chopper came open.
His robot support staff hadn't dressed for the occasion. She wore a mu-mu in an explosion of primary colors and house slippers with pink flowers on them. "You look like hammer-pounded crap," she snarled at the Middleman. "Smashed the leg again, huh? When are you gonna let me whack it off and build you something useful?"
"It's not bad. Maybe a couple of pins knocked loose." He didn't want to hash this out again, or not in front of the kid. "This is Ida. Don't worry, you get used to her."
(rest of the story at Part One....)