The Relationships of the Old Ones and Not So Old Ones.

Dawn looked at the agents trying to stop her from getting into the building.  "Who are you and why are you in my building's doorway?" she asked.

"I'm FBI, ma'am, and we have a warrant to search a few apartments."

"Hmm.  I'm going to make an assumption that this has something to do with the two dirty agents that were found due to my last kidnaping?"

"I have no clue, ma'am."

"Who did you present the warrant to?"

"The building's manager."

"There isn't one."

"Yes there is."

"No there's not.  It's run as a joint project between SHIELD and Stark International."  He gaped.  She smiled.  "Now, did you present a warrant?"

"We handed it to the owner or manager, ma'am."

"Did you see Tony Stark?"  He looked confused.  "You know, that guy who puts on the red and gold tin can and becomes Iron Man?"  He shook his head.  "Then you didn't.  Because he's the technical owner."

"We really don't have to present one."

"Yes, you do."  She smiled.  "And I'll be seeing it immediately or I'm going to have you all frozen in blocks of eternal ice."  He spluttered.

"It's not a good idea to threaten agents, even dumb ones," one of the SHIELD agents said.

Dawn smiled.  "Yes it is."  She magically stole his ID badge and looked at it.  She opened a portal.  "Hi, can I see your ID for a minute?  I need to check his against it.  It looks wrong."

The guy on the other side stared at her.  "Do I know you?"

"Yes.  You're on the safe list the slayer keeps."  She smiled.  "I did the background check on those myself.  Just hold it up."  He did that and she checked.  "It's not right.  It's a really good fake though."  She let him see it.

"That is a fake.  Are you here in LA?"

"No, New York but I knew you well enough to show off this way."  She smiled.  "Thank you."  She closed the portal and looked at him.  "Put all my shit back.  I can already tell that my chainmail is missing."

"That's not yours," he said smugly.  "That belongs to a young woman named Dawn Summers."  She pulled her license out to hold up.  He snorted.  "Clearly not real."

"No, she's Dawn," the SHIELD agent said.  "You did background checks?"

Dawn smiled at her.  "Do you know how I met you guys?"

"No," she said.  "All I know is that Pepper took you in when your mom was sick, Dawn."

"There was a hell goddess after me to kill me so she could get my blood."  The agent winced.  "I've been a bit paranoid since I was created.  So yes, I did do the background checks on a safe agent list for the slay team in LA.  There's way too many minions, like this one, and too many dirty ones there to just blindly trust."

"You didn't have access to do those," she said.

"What was the first thing I did when I met you?" she asked.

"You asked to see my ID to make sure I was an agent."

Dawn grinned.  "  Thirty bucks a month to make sure of the people around you.  It's not government worthy but it gives me enough to know if you're on the take, actually using your own name, and if there's any major issues that I might need to be aware of.  Then I set up a rating from one to five for each of you.  You came up a three due to that juvie thing."

"That was sealed!"

Dawn grinned.  "It came up 'sealed juvenile record' so I called the library in your hometown.  They're generally really happy to help with genealogy things if you're not local.  You look a lot more like your dad than your mom."

"I do," she agreed dryly.  "Damn, that's sneaky."

"Yes, I am."  She smiled.  "Fury only rated a two until I was old enough to get on his recruitment radar.  Then he went up.  These guys are barely a two as they're minions."  She shrugged and turned to slug the agent then froze the other ones inside.

"We're going to return them to the one you took them from," the agent sneered.

"They're mine.  I wore them."  She checked him over.  "Huh.  Magical resonance device."  She tossed it at the SHIELD agent.  "Let me go get my shit."  She disappeared.

The SHIELD agent turned her phone to the BBC news channel.  If it was international, it'd be there.  If it didn't show up fairly quickly she'd assume it was inside North America and switch to CNN.  A few minutes later, there was a mass evacuation of a place in France.  "Huh.  She's a bit upset."

The fake agent sneered.  "We have what we need now."

She smiled.  "What makes you think Dawn will leave them living to use it?"  He gaped.  "There were those problem people that wanted her to be an agent."

Tony snorted from behind her.  "There were and most of them are destroyed too.  Who's this?"

"Fake agent, Mr. Stark."  She handed over the ID badge.

He looked and nodded.  "Very good fake."  He put it into his pocket.  "Let me guess, they were after Dawn?"


"I saw an alert on France and a lot of magic?"

"She found a device that took magical resonance or whatever as she said."

"Huh."  He nodded.  "It won't help them any.  It changes depending on where she is and how long she's been there."  Dawn appeared and most everything floated back inside.  "Not your chainmail?"

"That's on a truck somewhere.  I have it marked so I'm going to destroy them."  She smiled and disappeared then came back a minute later.  Those things were floating too.  The whole truck was floating.  The driver was hanging off the door crying.  "I created a small pothole but I filled in with the rubble from the truck."  Finally everything was back up there.  She looked at a few things then at the agent.  "She's going to kill you.  You bothered the stuff that not even I get to see."

Tony snorted.  "Yeah, probably."  He pointed at the two staring agents.  "They wanted Dawn."

She smiled and waved then tossed the truck back onto the street.  She smiled at the faux agent, moving closer.  He was looking really scared.  "I'm so over this already.  It's done with because your bosses are all under arrest.  There were agents already trying to get in."  She handed Tony the files she had found with familiar names.  "The French people probably want copies.  Edit it?"

"Gladly."  He looked at hers.  "It has to do with those stupid sex bots too."

"Hmm.  Bad funding methods."  She stared at the faux agent, smiling a bit.  "I've had enough."  The man whimpered, trying to move.  "It won't work.  The only thing that's saving you is hopefully someone having some chocolate.  You caught me on the *wrong* day, dude.  The last time I was in this sort of mood it took someone a half hour to come down from where I threw him into the air."  The agent started to shake.  "Now, would you like to talk to the nice federal agent or me?"

"Her!" he shouted.  "Please her!"

Dawn smiled and released him.  "The rest are probably upstairs," she said dryly.  She walked off.  "I'm getting chocolate.  Guys, need some?"

"Please," Natasha said.  "Get those filled croissants for dinner."  Dawn grinned and nodded, heading off.  She looked at the wailing agent.  She smirked and stared him down.  "We are SHIELD agents."

"We are," Clint agreed.  His arms were crossed over his chest.  "We can question him, Agent Mills."

"Did you know Dawn was doing background checks?" she demanded.

"Yes.  She pays some site thirty a month to go through all the publically available files on people.  It's not great but it's a good place to start if we need to do a deeper one.  We found it really handy when we were escaping idiots like them."

She shook her head.  "It's nearly paranoid of her."

"She's been taken how many times?" Phil asked dryly from the other side of the scene.  "By the way, I have Steve with her."  They smiled at him for that sensible idea.  "They were....?" he asked the first agent.

"Claimed they had a warrant, that Dawn wasn't herself, and she found a resonance device on this one."

Phil looked around then at the person, making sure he realized who he was now pissing off but the non-family and team members didn't see.  "Really?"  The foreign agent was staring, blinking hard.  "People, do we need Xander's help?"

"No, I believe Alexander is not needed this time," Natasha said.

The foreign agent swallowed his drool.  "I'm supposed to get one from him too if possible."

Dawn came back nibbling on brownie.  She handed the bag with dinner to Phil.   "I doubt it'd work on him either, and your bosses are all gone.  Pity."  She smiled.  "If the French don't keep them I'll sure as hell go make sure of it.  If I can't."  She pointed at the crest on the building.  "It's run by SHIELD for agents."  He looked and whined.  "Agent Mills, can I have him to play with since you're only threatening him right now?"

"That's not really a legal method, Miss Summers."  She walked him off.  The others got the other agents out of the apartments, after frisking them.  The ones from Dawn, Clint, and Natasha's apartments were summoned by Dawn, who was cranky and didn't want to be nice today.  They hit most of the stairs down the emergency exit and slid out on their stomachs from the doorway.  Agent Mills winced.  "I'll have to document that."

"Take pictures," Phil ordered.  "Have the doctors do it."  She smiled at that suggestion.  It saved her hours of paperwork.  He took some of Dawn's brownie, nibbling on it.  "I do hope they didn't get near the twins."

"No!" one shouted, shaking his head.  "We'll be destroyed!"

Phil smiled.  "Yes.  You will be."  The man stared and flinched back, sniffling.  "Agent Mills, will you need assistance?"

"No, sir, not for these weaklings, and if I do, I'll go ask those two nice geeks if they have more mean things like that band thing."  She got them into the back of the van and rode in with them.  Dawn was kind of scary when she had PMS.  She hoped that the rumored boyfriend she heard about could help her cure that.

Phil looked at Dawn, who shrugged.  "I know," he assured her.  "Let's go put things up.  I'm sure they made a mess."

"Probably," Dawn agreed, going upstairs to magic things back into place.  She was exhausted but it was worth it.  She flopped down on the couch, letting the others talk about what to do with this new problem without her.


A few days later, Dawn signed in for work and headed up to her desk.  She found people waiting.  "I'll make coffee in a few minutes," she quipped.  "Let me put my jacket down."  She felt something was off.  People felt mad.  She looked at Tony.  "Problems?"

"Many," he said smugly.  "Starting with you,."

She was confused.  "You had no problem with me yesterday.  What did I do since then?"

"You're sabotaging the company."

"No I'm not."

"You are," he said smugly.  "You've been feeding people things."

"I don't have access to the things that people like to steal.  You know that.  Is this like the goo clone thing?"

He laughed, which was a nasty sound.  "You wish," he said happily.

She tested him.  "Not metallic or a goo clone," she said, frowning.  "JARVIS?"

"Yes, Dawn?"

"What's going on?  They're not normal."

"I believe it has something to do with the gas canister on the air system for the lab floors.  I can't get it removed or shut off."  He scanned his creator.  "Though I'm finding tiny electrical signals."

"Nanites," she said, making Tony flinch.  Dawn teleported off before someone could grab her.  "JARVIS, what sort of infection is it?" she asked from the elevator that she locked off.

"It appears to only have hit the lab floors.  I'm not entirely certain."

"Chance of it spreading?"

"Greatly dangerous."

She took a breath as the elevator started to move up again.  "Lock the building down under Callia's quarantine code."  She disappeared as the doors opened.  She landed in the tinkering lab then thought better of it and headed up to the maintenance shaft.  "Is Callia here?  If so, evacuate her and seal the building.  No one in or out," she ordered.  "If the infirmary isn't under this infection, lock them down and use shields around there so they can't be attacked.  We'll need them.  Scan everyone and anyone not infected put them in there."

"I can move people around the building under that quarantine.  It's a recent adjustment.  The canister is two floors up on the main shunt to the lab's air cleaning system."

"Okay."  She moved that way.  She sent a shout at Clint and Natasha.  "I'm locking Stark down.  No one in or out.  We have people being infected by some weird nanite thing that is making them very mad at me," she sent mentally.  "No one in or out.  Make sure it doesn't cause a panic.  Tell them it's a lab accident from someone who was creating a hallucinogenic gas or something."

"Get out of there," Clint ordered.  "Before you initiate the lock down."

"Can't," she sent back.  "I'm at work and I might be infected too."

"We need samples," Natasha said.

"Working on getting to it.  I'll send it to you.  JARVIS?" she finished out loud.

"There's only sixteen infected people.  Mr. Stark is one of them."

"Is Pepper?"


"Good.  Let her go with Callia."

"We have Callia," Natasha sent back.

"Do you have Cheese and Carrot?  She'll be really upset if they're harmed and with this, someone might."

"We do," Natasha assured her.  "She's sucking her thumb."

"Give her a hug for me and tell her I'm handling it."

"I can do so," Natasha agreed.  "We need you out of there, Dawn.  Even if you're infected."

She shook her head.  "Can't," she said out loud.  She sighed mentally.  "There's sixteen geniuses, including Stark, that're infected, 'Tasha. They need something to focus on or they'll come out of here."  She changed her location because she heard someone stomping up the maintenance tube.  She concentrated.  There was someone nearby so she moved again.  "I'm feeling like that blue elf guy in the comic," she told them.  "I'll be safe.  Nudge me if you feel me starting to nap.  It's been a while since it was this long of a thing."  She cut them off.  "JARVIS, initiate full quarantine."

"It's already started.  That means that I do have to put up a magic dampening system."

"It won't affect me too much," she promised.  "Make me use a bit more but I can handle it."

"Your magical signature was registered."

"Yes but it's not the same as it was."  He grunted.  She grabbed a tool belt and found the canister, sending it at Natasha.  "There.  Now.  And if you're broadcasting me to them, don't.  Focus all sensors on the external areas.  No telling anyone about me and I can figure out their locations.  Make sure it's not broken by anyone."

"I can do that," he sighed.  "I can keep you two separate."

"I can."  She moved up, following the directions Clint had sent her.  She found the backup computer system and smiled, turning off the camera in there and making sure the quarantine stayed locked down.  She heard Stark and moved herself.  Clint showed her where Stark's other stashes were so she could raid them.  "JARVIS, tell me when we have a solution to this."  She grabbed a few things from her locker.  Then she pulled her old backpack from her closet.  It had things that she'd need.  Including a motorized grappling hook system.  It was what she had used when they had trained her during their on-the-run time. 

She sent an apology to them and mostly locked it down so she could concentrate.  First, out of the pretty dress and into more practical clothes.  Thankfully her period had just stopped.  It'd be easier if she didn't have to risk a bathroom break every few hours.  She found a good concealed spot and settled in to watch and wait.  She had put magical alarms on each and every single junction she had passed.  It would alert her if someone walked past it.  Stark might be able to build a magic sensor.  Andrew might be able to tell magically.  But that wasn't that total of a risk.

She had goofed by letting Andrew and Jonathan inside her shields but not fully.  She had kept some distance so they wouldn't know she could do things, like switch which Key she was accessing.  It would change her magical resonance.  It would buy her some time and some extra energy.  Because a week of this, at the least, was a bad prospect for her.


Phil reappeared with Callia and her pets, handing them to Maria.  "Dawn's locked down the building fully.  It'll take her and Stark to get it unlocked."

"So she has to survive," Natasha said.  Phil nodded.  "She's trying to distract them."

"Without it, the sixteen geniuses will easily get out and start ripping up the city," Phil agreed.  "That's their next thing, to make them lose credibility."  He sighed and looked at his boss.  "Xander made sure she'd have what she needs."

"Good.  What is going on exactly?"  Natasha caught the canister and Phil had it in a quarantine box they kept up there within seconds.  "What's that?"

"The gas canister that Dawn said was causing it.  She's thinking nanites," Phil said, getting it sent to R&D.  Banner was down there.  He could handle it.  He looked at Clint then at Natasha.  "The only bad news I have is that McKay is one of the affected."

"McKay and Stark are dangerous," Natasha agreed.  "Stark's not who I'm worried about.  Andrew has magic."

"He does," Phil agreed.  "Which is worrying the hell out of me too, people."  He walked off to follow the canister and let Banner know what he did.  They could help Dawn long distance when she stumbled or needed it.  He hoped they could find a way to kill the nanites quickly.


Dawn heard people getting near her nest so she froze.  She was above them and no one else was nearby.  The ones there were Stark and Andrew, with McKay guarding them.  They were heading for the weapons stashes.  Dawn had cleared most of them to a specific area Clint had identified as a good hiding spot that Stark hadn't used yet.  She calmed herself, watching them.

"Her magic's changed," Andrew said.  "It feels like one of the alternate reality resonances."

"We can check on the scanner once we hook up your machine," Tony said.  They found the cache empty and Stark started to swear.  "She's using that bond."

"She was trained," McKay reminded him, scanning around.  He could tell they were being watched.  He was fairly over-experienced in the battlefield thanks to the Pegasus galaxy.  "She's nearby.  She's watching."

"Of course she is.  She thinks that she'll outsmart us," Tony said dryly.  "She's not that good.  I've seen her sparring and know what was done to her."

Dawn bit back a retort, which was what he was pushing for.  She felt someone else coming closer to her and concealed herself.

"Magic flare," Andrew said, looking around.

Stark called over the headpieces they all wore.  "She's in the maintenance tubes, people."

"That's wise and her boyfriend knows a lot about them," Andrew said.  "I know he's watched her from there before."

Stark nodded.  "I know.  If she hadn't reprogrammed the sensors we could find her.  I did that on purpose."  They went back to the computer room.  Dawn had sabotaged it and used a new code to lock it but he could work it out.  After all, he was one of the smartest people on earth and had one of the others next to him.  Plus Andrew, who understood when Dawn's mind went strange magical and demony places.


Dawn was meditating to mimic sleep when she felt someone coming.  She flashed out as they shot at her, making her wince at the graze.  She pressed on it, watching the one who had done it.  Jonathan.  She zapped him with some magic.

"I think that killed them," JARVIS whispered.

"Not out loud," she hissed.

"As you don't have an earpiece, I have to."  She dug one out and he huffed.  "It's the same frequency they're using.  You'll have to retune it, which means finding the micro tools he has stored, which you have buried under the weapons, or finding some in one of the labs."

She summoned them, letting him show her how to do that by way of image projection.  She finally got it snapped back together and put it in her ear.  "Better?" she asked it.

"Much.  Less echoing at least."  He sent the new scan results to Dawn's tablet, getting a nod.  "It appears to have disturbed them enough that they're dying in him."

"Send him to the infirmary, one of the locked side rooms, and tell the Docs.  Maybe that'll help."

"Such treatment would cause brain damage," the AI said.

Dawn nodded.  "I know.  I read up on it after I had to be zapped."  She pulled up a few things on her tablet.  It wasn't her Stark International one.  It was a privately made, privately secured one that Stark didn't know she had.  If he suspected and went looking, he'd find a blank wall and have to work around it to get into it.  It didn't have a camera.  It didn't have any microphone device.  Her 'enhanced' Nook tablet was a bit handy right now.  Even if it was souped up a lot and made into a top-of-the-line netbook.

She settled in to wait.  She couldn't stay anywhere for more than a few hours.  She needed to rest between moves.  The shield was making it very hard for her to teleport.  She had to but she was getting worn out.

Only six more days at the least.


Andrew was looking at the calculations to build more nanites.  "It should work," he told Rodney.  "It's not."

"It's JARVIS," Stark said, pacing by the door of their lab.  "He won't listen to me.  Somehow she put us into a quarantine that we can't remove."  He paused.  "Which means she locked it under Callia's authority.  That means she and I have to both undo it or Callia and I do."  He found a phone and tried to call.  No signal.  "Did you block that too, JARVIS?  I'm sure the baby's worried."

"No she's not.  She's talked to Mis Potts each day.  She was told you were sick at the time due to the gas they released.  She's being kept occupied."  He hung up.

"Input my override code, the master one."

"I cannot and will not while you are a danger to yourself or others," he noted.  "Nor can you get to the self-destruct."  He hung up again.

"Just because she's *scared* doesn't mean we are," Tony sneered.  "I'd never blow up my own building.  I really should get to play with her before we kill her."

Andrew looked back at him.  "No.  It could create bigger problems.  The Key is unstable."

"So?"  He shrugged.  "She'll still be dead."  He walked off.  He had plans to get into. 

Andrew grimaced and looked at his other mentor, who shrugged.  "He's fixated because he's thwarted.  He's frustrated because the bitch teases."  He left him to deal with his own problems.

Andrew shook his head.  Something wasn't right.  Dawn didn't tease them mercilessly and even they could ignore something flirty she was wearing.  Clearly something was wrong and he wasn't sure what.  He was feeling pulled again and he wasn't sure where his compass was pointed.  He looked around his lab, staring at something on the wall that he and Jonathan had put up.  "Never make anything that would make Warren proud," he read.  He slumped.  That was a good place to start figuring out things.


It was the third day.  Dawn was sweaty and needed a shower.  The water was off in the labs.  Stark had retreated up to his penthouse.  The guest rooms were in use.  Dawn was also starting toward exhausted.  They were getting sleep, she didn't have that luxury.  She felt Clint nudge her and scanned around, moving from her hiding spot to the next one by rote.  She didn't have a set pattern but she had about six of them spread around. 

That one had someone so she used a taser on him and moved again to one she knew hadn't been touched yet.  It was on the roof.  Stark wasn't in the penthouse.  It was raining.  She captured some in her collapsible bucket so she could take a quick wash to get rid of the sweat.  Clint was laughing but she felt gross.  She listened from inside her little maintenance shed up there.  The door was locked shut by the handle and she had put a rake under it to make sure no one could get in.

Goddess, this sucked ass.

She heard someone out on the rooftop and paused.  The steps walked around the maintenance shed.  The rake was on the outside and didn't look like it had been moved.  In the state he was in, Stark wouldn't remember if he had done it or not.  They finally retreated.  Dawn took off her earpiece and shut it down.  If he wasn't tracking that, he was tracking her link so she had to shut it down.  She promised she'd check in later then clamped it shut and moved again.  She could finish her shower somewhere safer.

Outside, Stark smirked.  She was getting tired, she had flashed when she had left the shed.  But it was good to know.  He was finding all her hiding spots pretty easily now.  She was clearly not up to his level of genius.

Downstairs, JARVIS was scanning the infected one Dawn had tased.  He was almost completely free of Nanites.  He sent an email to the doctors and put that one in a sealed room for them to work on.  Maybe she had just figured it out.


Clint growled, looking at Natasha, who shook her head.  "He can track it."

"He needs to be stopped," she said.  "Not permanently."

John was up the table from them.  "If I could get in there, I could grab Rodney to break up the unholy duo.  I can't get through the shield either.  Which means that Dawn's using a lot more energy than normal for her moving."

"Can we get JARVIS to lower it?" Phil asked.

John shook his head.  "He and I talked.  He cannot lower it, even to let us get the infected ones into a better quarantine situation.  He's not programmed to allow it and the only ones who could override it are Dawn and Stark.  Together."

"Which was why she locked it that way," Clint agreed.  "The non-infected got moved back to the larger quarantine facility he had set up back at the Malibu lab.  Him, me, and Coulson worked on that plan."  Phil nodded.  "Anything new?"

He checked his email, which was hacked into the infirmary.  "Slightly.  Dawn had to use her taser on someone.  JARVIS thinks it's killing the nanites."

"That can cause brain damage," John said quietly.  "Or kill them."

Phil nodded.  "The nanites aren't dying off like we expected.  We're not sure how long they'll last."

"Banner doesn't have any idea either," Clint agreed.  "Or Zelenka."

"Neither are nanite specialists," Natasha said.  "They called one who was to see if they could unprogram them.  We're waiting to see if that helps."

"Personally I'm more worried that Dawn's going to have to kill someone to save herself," John said.  Clint stiffened.  "Someone she might really like."

"We'd hate that for her too but if it's her or them she knows it's to be them," Clint said firmly.

"I agree," John said.  "Doesn't mean she won't be wrecked."

"She would be," Natasha agreed.  "Especially if it were one of the geeks she fusses at."  She relaxed in her seat.  They had to get Dawn out of there.  "Can she teleport out?"

"She could be infected," Phil said.  "It could spread it."

"If we can get her out, we can put her in quarantine here," Natasha said quietly and calmly.  "Which would help her and them."

"That would upset them greatly and they'd probably break out," Radek Zelenka said as he walked over to join them.  "The nanite specialist thinks that the only way to destroy them is by an EMP pulse."

"JARVIS said that she tased someone and it killed the greater majority in them," Phil said, showing him the email.

He nodded.  "Is bad for brains.  An EMP would be as well and would shut down all the computer systems.  Including the quarantine."

"What would happen if the building was attacked?" John asked.  "Something like a ship beaming a weapon down?"

"They'd probably all be moved," Clint said.  "Everything would be locked down.  It'd panic the normals."

"Who are already panicked," John said.  He leaned forward, forearms on the table to lean on them.  "It doesn't have to be harmful.  It could be a shuttle firing on them.  Blowing a few windows.  That would let us separate them and move Dawn somewhere safer."

"JARVIS would never allow it.  He has defense systems," Phil said.  He sent that at the AI's email and got an answer back that he was programmed to defend the building and that would not break quarantine.  He couldn't allow them out into the open.  Phil typed in the idea and he said he still couldn't.  Phil shook his head.  "He'd defend the building and have to keep them in there."

"Then the only real alternative is a side assault through a shielded area," he said.  "Which is the infirmary."

"Which is six floors up," Clint reminded him.  "That's not the worst problem but there's a shield around it so no one infected can get in to kill the docs."

"We can move around it," Natasha said.  "Dawn has."  She sent that over the bond in a tightly worded message of three words.  Dawn sighed in pleasure and did that.  She nodded.  "She's in there being scanned, getting a shower, and eating.  She hasn't done any of that."

"That means they're going to try to take her out in there and the staff is at risk," Phil said.  "Or they'll figure out a way around it too."

Clint shook his head.  "No.  They won't."  He got up.  "I'm going to go scouting."

"Sit," Fury barked.  Clint glared at him.  "This is why we don't allow emotional attachments."

"Sir, do you really want me to shoot you?" he demanded.  "Because I will.  There's no telling what those infected geeks are building, especially since McKay and Stark build bombs for stress relief."  Fury flinched.  "We think we have a way to reduce them.  If we can get it set up, it could help."  He walked off.  He could plan this.  He could do it on his own if he had to.  John was following with the others behind him.  He could handle this.  He had an arrow tip that had a tiny EMP generator.


Dawn woke up at the nudge to her brain.  She looked around the room she was sealed in, nodding in happiness.  She had gotten a full four hours of sleep.  She got up and got dressed then came out to news.  "What's going on, Doc?"

"They're going to EMP the infirmary to make sure anyone here is clear."

"That's going to bring down the shields," she complained.

"We know."  She looked at Dawn.  "We're backing things up."

Dawn took the ration bars and put them into her backpack, along with a few other things she'd need once they were gone.  Once the EMP went off, she moved all the docs down to the safe house in Guatemala.  She had to go back for one and winced at the iron projectile that hit her arm.  They still made it though.  She panted, leaning on the table.  Doctor Pigalli took care of her and then she gathered what she needed and went back.  The infirmary was no longer safe.  The shields were down inside the building so she had new areas to roam and access.  And she had an idea.

It was her job to protect Stark, even from himself if need be.  So she would do her best.


Stark sneered.  "She's injured."

"It won't stop her," Andrew said.  "She's worked with worse."  Stark glared at her.  "She was nearly dead at the battle in Sunnydale and kept going.  You were there."

"I remember."  He watched the screens.  The internal cameras were theirs again but Dawn wasn't anywhere that he had spies.  That left very few areas to capture her in.  One silent alarm went up and he blinked.  "She can't get in there."  He smirked.  "But I can.  The security system won't let her out."  He strolled off.  He had some payback to get for the nagging and the fussing and the teasing.  When he got there, Dawn was waiting for him.  "Are you giving up?"

"No."  She hit him with something and disappeared.  The door being open was a crack in the defenses and she could shut Stark in there to protect him from himself.  She disappeared into the basement area.  Under the parking garage.  Under the maintenance areas.  There was an older area from the last building that was here, which had a subway entry for its workers.  That was handy.  Even if it was mostly sealed up.

Stark pounded on the door of his safe room.  He was locked in.  The bitch had sealed him in here.  He looked around.  He had food, water, a bathroom, a cot.  He had a laptop computer.  He just couldn't get out because the override was monitored by JARVIS and he wouldn't let him.  "Traitor," he sneered at the camera.

"No, I am not," JARVIS complained.  "I am making sure that you revert to yourself.  This way you are safe and out of harm's way."  He shut up and monitored things.  McKay was the really dangerous one.  He had field combat under his belt.  Including having to lead rescue missions.  He was organizing the remaining infected ones.  He was not putting up with Andrew's complaining either.  Well, perhaps that had broken that crush.


Dawn had concealed herself inside a tiny crack in the old subway entry's guard booth.  It had mice she had driven off.  It had roaches she had magicked off.  It had a demon that she was presently fighting while trying not to be noticed.  "Damn it, I'm dealing with too much shit," she complained quietly then shot it.  It died and she threw it out to the lobby for the other demons in here to feed on.  "I'm not food.  It's a damn emergency," she hissed at one.  "Leave me alone."

It sniffed.  "Blood.  Powerful blood."

Dawn blasted the other demons then moved her hiding spot, making sure no one had realized.  If Stark was monitoring magic use, she had just sent up a huge 'you are here' sign.  So much for her restful and safe spots.  She explored, finding a good hidden area off the closet.  It was still in rough stone.  She could cover her tracks.  She hadn't disturbed enough dust and with the dead demon bodies they probably thought it was from them.  Her own footprints had been dusted over so they were covered.  She covered her entrance hole and made herself comfortable for now.  She had set up alarms near the entry and no one was even near the stairs down to the maintenance tunnels under the parking garage.  She had time to relax for a bit.  She pulled out a ration bar to nibble on.  The remaining demons were feeding on the downed ones.

They'd make bad guards but she could hear if someone disturbed them.  Even if she might have to save them.


Clint sighed in relief.  "I have no idea where she is but it's dark, tiny, and protected."  He could still hear Dawn a tiny bit.  Natasha couldn't hear her at all at the moment.  They had gotten all the infirmary people with the EMP and had noticed Dawn moving them.  They also found signs of a recent injury.  Blood on the floor and a bit on a wall.  That meant Dawn was now injured.  They retreated to the nearest overlooking building's roof.

John was staring.  "She's not inside the building."

Clint was frowning.  Natasha snapped her fingers.  "The old private terminals."

The guys sighed in relief.  They had heard about neighborhood terminals that had been shut down during the fifties and sixties as the businesses they served shut down.  That also meant she was outside the quarantine shield somehow.  Which JARVIS had probably noticed and made sure the hole was fixed.  It gave them some time to work.  John watched, Natasha had hacked into JARVIS' cameras.  "Stark's neutralized?" John asked.

"She tricked him into his safe room," Clint agreed.  "Which was a good idea.  It means Rodney's head geek."

"Rodney's had to lead missions, people.  He's not the soft sort anymore."  They nodded they knew that.  They watched him give orders.  Andrew's nanites still weren't being made by the systems.  "Should we cut power?"

"They run on arc reactor technology," Natasha said.  "Totally off the grid."  That got a sigh and a nod.  "If we did, the shields would come down.  They realized she was in the maintenance tubes."

"Stark had hidey holes of tech and weapons in them," Clint said.  "I had her move them."  That got another nod.  "So we're down to eight geeks?"  They frowned and did a mental count.  "We have to have nine.  Where's the ninth?"

Natasha searched and found him.  "In the shower."  That got a grimace and they quit watching.  They found Rodney staring at them and she smiled.  "You can hack."

"Yes, I'm quite brilliant.  It's one of my many skills," he said smoothly.  "When can we get out?"

"When you're not infected with nanites," John said, moving closer.  "We're working on that."

He snorted.  "There's nothing wrong with us, Sheppard."

"Really?  And yet you're standing next to stuff you won't eat."  Rodney glared at him.  He shrugged.  "I've known you for years and you do not eat pastrami."  Rodney hung up.  Natasha undid her hacking and went in through a different way.  That was stopped.  She winced.  "He's going to find a way to turn off JARVIS."

Clint shook his head.  "This one is cloned from the main building and the house.  JARVIS, do a backup right now," he said.  He sent that email order as well.  JARVIS said he was doing one hourly so he wouldn't lose too much critical information.  Right now he was also keeping Stark from hacking his way out of his safe room or into the mainframes.

They relaxed and waited.  Natasha finally got a way in and it was easier.  Someone's webcam that she kicked them out of.  It wasn't near the lab floor.  She could use it to link to their system and then into the bigger system without raising any flags.


Dawn woke up from a short nap.  There was more snuffling outside but nothing too huge.  She did have weapons.  She checked her alarms.  They were all in a lab. JARVIS couldn't seal them in, the door was propped open.  It wasn't Andrew's lab.   McKay wasn't in there.  He was in the caf.  Dawn looked over the diagrams JARVIS was sending her.  She found a weakness and used the air cleaning system to blow the obstruction out of the way.  One geek managed to get out but the others were sealed in the lab and could not get out.  JARVIS could send in MRE's.   That left three, and two were the most dangerous ones.

She pulled out a power bar and ate it, taking some water to sip with it.  This is not how she wanted to spend this week.  She settled in to do her nails by feel.  That's when she realized she was turning into her sister.  Which she did not want to be. 

She was getting them all back for making her do this to them.  For making her turn into Buffy.

There was going to be hell to pay.


Stark finally got into the panels and looked at the wires.  He had fashioned clips so he could get into the main system.  If he had to, he could reboot JARVIS from the original installation.  He grabbed his laptop once he was hooked in, settling against the wall to figure out how to stop the bitch and his AI.  She had turned the one thing he could always count on against him.

JARVIS cleared his throat.  "She has not, sir.  She has made sure that I can protect you in your vulnerable state."

"I'm not vulnerable, JARVIS.  Just really mad."

"If you were normal, you wouldn't be mad."

Tony looked up.  "I'm perfectly normal."

"Really?  Then what were you planning for your daughter's birthday next week?"

Tony paused then growled.  JARVIS was reflecting it back at him.  He stared at the looped pictures JARVIS was showing him.  "No, that's not right.  I'd never hurt Callia.  She's my spawn."

"Exactly," the AI said.  "You're not in your right mind.  If you were, Dawn wouldn't have to be doing this to protect you."

"She's what?" he snorted.

"Protecting you.  As always.  We both are.  So until those nanites die off, and you're normal, you're staying in there."

"I can reboot you."

JARVIS snorted.  "No you can't.  I've already shut down that function.  Also, remember, you need her alive to end the quarantine."

"Or my daughter," Stark reminded him, typing in.  JARVIS had blocked him and was erasing all but a few things on his system.

"Your daughter is in the hands of SHIELD.  There is no way they would let her near here to do that."

"She can call it in."

"No she cannot.  She has to be on-premises to end it, the same as you do.  You can end a lockdown from your phone but not a quarantine.  Those are the protocols."

Tony paused.  "When did I do that?"

"When you updated the security and contamination protocols.  Thankfully it let everyone not infected be removed to the Malibu containment facility.  Miss Potts and the baby are fine, sir."  He went silent.

Tony sat there and seethed.  His creation had turned on him.  He couldn't fix it without ripping JARVIS apart.  He liked JARVIS, liked him like an uncle.  How dare Dawn make him do this to his own family!


McKay saw the report and sighed.  "Wells, go free them."

"Can't."  He looked over.  "The door's are sealed with a quarantine seal.  No one can hack in, even if you had the controls in your hands.  Even if JARVIS was turned off, it'd still have power and no way of getting it open."  McKay huffed and went to look at it for himself.  "Any hacking into it automatically initiates another level of shut down and we can't get into any labs."  That stopped him.  "The same as any weapons fire into any door does."

McKay nodded.  "That's good to know."

"We've been raided in the past," the other scientist said.  "That's standard in all Stark labs."  He was relaxing.  "Think she's still in the maintenance tubes?"

"Not by the magical and gamma sensors," Andrew said, looking at them.  "The gamma sensor is not happy but I think that's less chaos magic and more Banner's DNA floating around here somewhere.  We're near his private lab."

McKay nodded.  "We need to loot."

Andrew looked at him.  "My lab's the only one with real tech outside Stark's.  Mine's now sealed against us.  His is sealed against us."

"Use the duct system," he ordered.

JARVIS cleared his electronic throat.  "Those are mined with sensors that would shut down the whole building in that same security lockdown," he told them.  "The only exception to them is Agent Barton."

Andrew nodded.  "I remember Jonathan coding that one.  Is he all right?" he asked.

"He's fine.  His infection is mostly cleared and they're looking at them from his blood to find a way to turn them completely off.  He's quite worried about you but I've told him you're mostly fine."  Andrew grinned.  "Don't worry so much about him.  Try to figure out how to clear your own infection."

"It's not an infection," the other scientist declared.  "It's the truth.  She's dangerous."

"And yet, she's taken care of you for months," the AI said dryly.  He turned off to monitor them.

Andrew sighed, looking at his mentor.  "At least Jonathan's on the outside."

"He's probably in SHIELD holding."

"That wouldn't stop Jonathan.  He was Warren's second."  McKay looked at him.  "He's more of an engineer than I am."

McKay smirked.  "So we have a rat in the henhouse?"

"If they're not keeping him sedated, he's finding a way back here."

McKay smiled.  "Good."  He walked off.  "I'm getting an MRE."

Andrew grimaced.  "I don't see how you can eat those.  They're gross."  He followed because he was hungry.  He was a big boy, he didn't need fussed over by Dawn.  It was wrong of her to do that.  The other scientist was working on plans.  He'd figure it out when he got hungry.


Dawn woke up from the exhaustion nap and sensed around.  The demons in the main area were being disturbed by a higher source.  She grimaced and checked for humans.  Nothing.  She got out and went to look at it.  "Go away?  Please?"

It stared at her.  "This is our area, human."

Dawn stared at him.  "Right now, I'm hiding down here because there's a stupid ass nanite infection upstairs.  Okay?  Can we just peacefully coexist for a few days?"

"No."  It took a swing at her and she killed it by shooting it.

Dawn shrugged.  "Okay."  She walked off. One of them tried to pounce her but she backhanded it and killed it with her dagger.  "No, we leave the human alone," she ordered.  She went back to her hidey hole after using the bathroom down there.  Still no humans.


McKay was pacing.  "Where is she hiding?"

"The new sensors capture everywhere, even the bathrooms," Andrew said.  "She's not in the building so she found a way out."

"Probably magic," he sneered.

"No.  She's trapped in here.  JARVIS can only allow her to pop around within the building."

McKay grimaced.  "Then there must be places we don't realize."

"I finally found the weapons stash but she's moved most of it since then."  They looked at it.  Dawn had left very few things in there.  One was a crossbow.  "She's good with those," Andrew said.  "Is that a message to her mate?"

"It's possible.  Sheppard and I had a pebble code for hostage situations."  He went back to his pacing.  "It hits the garages?"

"It does cover them.  It also covers her former hiding spot on top of the roof in the maintenance shed.  Wherever she is, she's holed up and thinks she's safe."

"No, she's not," he said smugly.  "She may have a nice hiding spot but I am a genius and so are you."  He looked at the other scientist.  "Some of you are adequate but at least we are geniuses."

Andrew nodded.  "I'm missing a gaming date with my new female friend."  McKay gave him an odd look.  "We're not *dating* but she's a possible future girlfriend."

McKay waved a hand.  "It'll be fine. You can convince her it was necessary later."  He went back to thinking about things.  Where weren't they covering?  There had to be a hidden level, a hidden lab, something.  "We can see inside Stark's cell?"  Andrew nodded, turning that on for him.  Stark was resting right now, playing solitaire it looked like.  "What about where his armor is?"

"It's in a tiny closet and we can see but can't get into the penthouse at all," Andrew said, letting him see it.  "Unless we want to climb up the elevator shaft."

"No emergency stairs?"

"They have a separate set.  It'd mean going outside."  Outside was a rainy mess right now even if they could get out there.

"Fine."  He went back to his pacing and thinking.  There had to be some way to get them out of here and to get that bitch.


Stark banged his head against the wall.  His computer was completely wiped outside of six games and the barest Windows system files.  JARVIS had rewritten it to Windows 3.5, back from the 90's.  It was totally sucking.  He had played these in college.  He had forgotten how much he liked them but it wasn't getting him out of here.  He didn't even have an instant messaging program thanks to trying to talk to Pepper.  She had JARVIS remove it so he couldn't cause the company or himself any damage or embarrassment.  He'd have to 'talk' to her later on, but his mind kept turning away from that thought.  He wasn't evil like that.  He loved Pepper, even when she did nag him.

There had to be some way to get out of here.  He checked.  The air system was a filtered one to make sure nothing like a poisonous or knockout gas could be applied.  The tubes feeding air in to him were less than six inches wide and had a fan to force it in.  The water tubes went through a foot of concrete.  All the walls were at least a foot of concrete and so was the floor.  The ceiling above him was reinforced because the lab above him was one of the weapons testing labs.  This whole floor wasn't on the sensor grid.  Dawn had known, somehow, about it.  Probably her boyfriend or whatever.  He was like a bug that was always in the vents.

Even if he turned off his air supply somehow, JARVIS would only let him into the slightly larger external containment field.  Still no weapons, no way out, nothing that could help him.  That would give him more of a view.  It had electronic force shields that could run for years on the backup battery generator he had installed.  He had done a good job making a safe area if necessary.  Too bad he was trapped in here by the bitches.


McKay finally found his way down to the level where Stark was being held.   It was safe areas in case of a lab accident.  A backup infirmary station.  A decontam shower setup.  A suite that was sealed with the saferoom inside it as a bedroom.  He checked, he couldn't get into it.  If he picked the locks, the security lockdown would begin.  They'd be locked out of everything important but the infirmary and the cafeteria.  He heard the door shut and turned, finding it locked and sealed.  He glared.  "That won't stop me."

JARVIS turned on the tv to mindless PBS shows for children.  Some of the scientists had said it was torture.  He was in the mood to be mad at McKay for this.

Rodney shot the tv and paced around to search for a way out.

In the saferoom Stark jumped up but he couldn't tell who it was.  Hopefully it was Andrew.   The geeks had helped design the updated security modules that JARVIS was using.  He heard a tiny bit of noise and smiled.  No, that was McKay swearing.  "Get us out?" he yelled.

"Not yet," he called back.  "Are you all right?"

"Yeah, fine."  He turned and found Dawn standing there.  He sneered, moving closer.  "Tempting fate so you can pick your date of death?"

"No."  She stared at him.  "They found an EMP killed most of the nanites, Stark.  Build one?"  She disappeared before he could grab her.  She had checked on Tony when he was busy before, she knew how his mind felt.  The roiling, rippled, evil feeling oil slick he had now was not Tony's usual mind and she had caught pictures of what he was thinking about.  She shuddered once she was back downstairs.   Some people had dark places but she hadn't expected it to be that bad.  She found someone down there.  "Ares."

"You're *hiding*?" he sneered.

"Yeah, like a mofo."  She looked around.  "You're broadcasting."

"So?" he sneered.

She sighed.  "Ares, think tactically about things, okay?  Why am I hiding?"

He sneered harder.  "You're weak?"

"No."  She swatted him.  "Think.  Tactically."

He considered it.  "You're their bait."

She nodded.  "That way they can't hurt anyone else."

He flinched.  "They won't.  Just you."

"Yeah, they will.  The few nanites I can feel infecting me want me to get out and do damage."  Ares glared at her.  She glared back.  "Why are you here?"

"Because you needed a real warrior guardian."

She shook her head.  "I'm doing okay for myself so far."

"They'll be here soon."

"Only if Andrew lets them out."  Ares looked and glared at her.  "Did you have something to do with this?"

"Puny wars between mortal, mental midgets is not my forte," he said dryly.

She stared at him.  "So, your real job is pissing off women so we want to kill your dumb ass?"  He glared and took a swing.  She kicked him in the nuts.  "Are you infected too?  Because, damn it, I don't want to deal with you too.  I have enough on my plate thanks to the others.  Not that I think you're as dangerous as Stark and McKay together."  He flashed off.  She moved to pull down the old intercom system.  It was a dangerous thing to have broadcasting.

He had just ruined her slightly elevated mood.  It was a bad thing for him to have done.  She was still fighting against the urge to get free and cause damage.  She wanted to so badly.  She was going to have to miss her mother's wedding for this shit and she was not a happy camper.


Stark heard Ares and frowned.  "There's an old subway terminal under this block but it's sealed off," he called out to his design buddy.

"Good to know where she is.  Why was Ares bothering her?"

"Maybe he knows what a bitch she is too.  She said she was infected with the same things."

"She's still not on our side," McKay said.

"No, she's not," Stark agreed.  In his head something was screaming at him that he was being a dumbass.  Dawn was like his daughter most of the time.  It was the same screaming voice that Andrew was hearing now and then.  Stark had looked up how to fight possessions and he was trying that.  Because this wasn't like him.  The nanites took back over.  No more squishy feelings for the bitch could be allowed.


Dawn was meditating when she felt someone get the geek king free.  Not Stark but McKay was free.  That was fine.  She could handle it and it would keep her mind off the bad urges she was having about taking out the threats and then escaping.  She wasn't going to kill the geeks.  She might hurt them a lot but not kill them.  Clint was helping her force them back.  She knew this hiding spot wasn't going to be safe for much longer.  Ares had made sure of it and she'd be dealing with him later.  Even if Xander had kicked his ass she'd be pulling his temple down on his head.

She calmed herself, accessing her magic.  She had to get the nanites gone.  Before Clint had to use a taser arrow on her or something.


Clint looked up.  "If I had a taser arrow, I already would've hit someone," he muttered.

"R&D is working on one," Natasha reminded him.  Dawn had her locked out completely.  "Flashing?"

"Badly.  McKay got free."  She nodded, checking on them.  The other scientist was barely moving.  He and Andrew were doing good and heading down to the garage.  "If I had it now," he complained.  "She might have to alpha dog them to get them out of bad idea land."

"She might," she agreed quietly.  She knew what sort of dark places mens minds could be, especially when they were angry.  She had seen all together too many victims during wars that had nothing to do with the combat.  Clint touched her wrist, getting a small smile back.  "She'll be fine."

"She will be," he agreed.  "Then we're tying her down again."

"Perhaps," Natasha agreed.  "If she could stand it."  That got a nod of understanding.  She concentrated, finding her link with Dawn and why it was blocked off.  She sent a prayer at John about why he had blocked it off.  He sent back a good reason.  She did know and Dawn didn't need to see that knowledge from her mind at the moment.  It'd only make her anticipate the evil and over react if it was something lesser.  She acknowledged that was a good thing and let it go.  For now.

Coulson appeared with a new quiver.  "Here.  EMP generators."  Clint smiled and took it.  "They're in the garage."

He found a good vantage point and took aim, hitting one at the cars in there.  Someone in there shrieked and went down.  JARVIS moved him to the infirmary and locked him down.  The other two geeks were running back to the emergency stairs.  He'd get them soon.

Coulson shook his head.  "They're the more dangerous ones.  Did you miss?"

"No, I want them somewhere more contained," he said, moving off.  "Because this needs to be in there."

"If you go in, you'll be infected too.  The new air filters haven't caught all of them yet," Natasha said.  "We can't get you free."

"You just zap me until I fry," he told her with a grin.  "You'd like it anyway."  He headed for the fire escape.  John appeared and got him to the garage entrance.  That was the easiest way in.  He found the forcefield but it wasn't thorough.  JARVIS didn't realize how small of a hole it took to gain entrance.  Like the sewer grates.


Dawn was shouting at Clint to get out because they'd infect him too and she could not handle that on top of all this.  Not him and Natasha.  She nearly broke down then.  She couldn't fight those two.  Not reliably.  It was the urge to curl up in a little ball that nearly got her killed by a demon appearing but she could stab it and then cry on it.


Clint winced, trying to soothe her.  He was protecting her and getting the geeks for her.  She had closed down the bond because she couldn't handle it if he got altered.  Which he didn't want either but it had to be handled.  He steeled himself and got into the garage so he could handle this issue.  If they were watching then they'd be stunned when it came out of an opposite direction.  If they weren't, they weren't very bright geniuses.

Then he'd zap Dawn somehow to make the ones in her die off.  Well, maybe Natasha.  He hated to see Dawn in pain.


Natasha winced and grabbed at Dawn's mind, promising her she'd mildly electrocute them both if they were infected, that Clint wasn't going to be that way.  He had protections and ways around the bad thoughts.  Dawn was right, what she had felt from Stark's mind was evil.  She'd do anything to be able to stop that but she couldn't.  So she got Dawn calmed down and helped her find a slightly better hiding spot within the shelter down there.  The marble walls were cheaply installed against the original stone walls.  There were gaps for fixing problems.  Dawn and she found a better one, one that could be sealed off easier.  She got her moved and set up in there.  She soothed her back into a calm state so she could meditate and check on them.


McKay looked at Wells.  "How are you hiding the dark urges?"

He shrugged.  "My older brother was more psychotic than Warren ended up.  I've seen those ideas before and they don't do more than make me remember him."  Rodney stared  him down.  "I'd never do them.  I'm not like him or Warren.  I'm still mentally whole."  He walked off.  He needed something to eat.  His mind was arguing with him about how Dawn was like his sister and those urges weren't good but he was pushing the argument back to the back of his mind.

McKay stared at the young one.  He knew people like he said his brother was.  It was a shame he was so warped already.  He checked on Stark and smirked at what he was seeing.


Stark had a moment of clear lucidity and nearly found a knife.  He shuddered, pushing back the bad thoughts.  He had to save them and Dawn.  Especially Dawn.  She did not deserve anything like he had thought up.  He was still trapped but he had an idea.  He started to work on an equation.  It would get him free and he could come back stronger next time to take control of his body back.  Even if he had to make it to a suit and have JARVIS take total control of him.  He had that new body armor design that he had been working on for the other Avengers.

The bad thoughts pushed back and pushed him back down.  That was nice of his nicer side to help him get out of here.  He could finish that equation.


Stark looked at the computer.  Even Windows 3.5 had Notepad and he could code in it.  It had been a while since he had done it, but he remembered playing on the internet when it was still a military application.  The old routes onto it were still there, it's what the others built on.  And he did have building-wide wi-fi.  He could code himself a way onto the internet and talk to someone who could fix all this.  He had time to code a few thousand lines.  Nothing better to do anyway.


Something beeped in SHIELD headquarters.  "Why is Stark IM'ing with someone in Massachusetts?" Agent Hill demanded.

"That clinic," Joyce said.

They looked and sure enough he was.  Someone who knew nanites.  Maybe he wasn't as infected as they thought?  Or was fighting it off?  Then again, they could've come from up there.


Tony hummed as they chatted.  They had created the nanite virus and problems.  They could help him make sure others who weren't worthy weren't infected.  They could also help him get out of this room since Warren had helped with the security system.


Coulson went up to talk to them.  He had his methods of interrogating geeks down pat thanks to so much Stark sitting.  There was no way this was going to go on any longer than it had to.  Six days was more than too long.  He came back and clicked his headset.  "Barton, Romanoff, there's a code.  You have to EMP them then input the code from dialing the main server."

"Can we shut the server?" Clint asked.

"Negative.  It'll make sure the nanites can't be shut down ever.  We have to do it that way."

"Hit Jonathan," Natasha ordered.  "He's out of the building."

Coulson swore and headed to handle him.  Sure enough, he had a phone and was trying to get free.  He took the phone.  "I don't think you're supposed to have any machines, Jonathan."

He smiled.  "Yes I am.  I need to tell our girlfriends that we're not going to make it today due to that problem bitch."

He stared at him.  "Nurse."  She looked over.  "It's an EMP pulse and then calling in the code to deactivate them."

She nodded.  "We can zap them with a CPR system."  He smiled at that.  She did that and Coulson called in the quit code.  It worked and Jonathan burst out crying.  "Will it stop them being stopped in the others?"

"No.  They said you can use it as many times as you need to."  He left after leaving the number and code.  "We're clearing the ones that we managed to alleviate it in," he noted.

"Got it," Barton agreed.  "Can't get Stark.  She trapped him in his decontam safe room."

"That's fine.  We can get him out of there and do him.  Get the other two."

"On it," he agreed.  Clint focused and fired the arrow, hitting a computer, which sent up a shower of sparks and then the EMP pulse went out to kill the lab.  "Now," he ordered.  They stiffened and then went limp.  Andrew was shaking.  "Hey," he said, looking at him as soon as he came out of the ceiling.  "Andrew."  He looked up.  "You're not your brother.  He taught you what the dark was like but you don't live there."  Andrew nodded, making himself calm down.  "It's what let you survive."

"I know.  Dawn?"  He looked around.  "She's hiding around here somewhere."

"We know."  He grinned.  "We'll get her last.  Get Stark out for us?"

"I have no idea what the codes are," McKay said, rubbing his head.  "Did you have to do that?  I've been shocked too many times.  I don't need brain damage."

"Yes."  He got the other scientist on his way to the decontam level.  Natasha was getting into it with JARVIS' help.  He nudged Dawn.  "You're almost safe," he sent.

"It'll infect you and I'll have to escape you too," she sent back.

"We know how to cure it, Dawn.  I promise."  They got Stark out and Natasha tased him.  Clint smiled.  "I though that was Coulson's job."

"He can do it some other time."  Coulson clearly called in the code, Stark stiffened then went rigid as he fought himself.  "Stark?"

Tony looked up at her.  "Dawn's in the basement somewhere."

"In the old subway area," Clint agreed.  Stark nodded and walked off.  Clint watched him.  "That's not Stark."  He fired on him but Stark managed to mostly move.  He got him with the second shot, making him yelp since it hit him on the ass.  "Most easily healed area," he quipped.  Natasha set off the EMP and it worked.  "Call in the code again, Coulson."  He did and Tony fell down, head down, panting.  Clint walked over and unscrewed the arrow from the tip.  "Hey, Stark, I'm going to paint a spot on your armor right there."

"Not cute, Barton."  They helped him up.  "Jarvis, enter my code."

"Yes, sir.  Thank you for getting back to yourself."   He looked.  "Dawn's earpiece is off."

Clint thought at her.  She released the quarantine then fled.  They winced.  "We can track her.  She won't go after people."

Stark looked at him.  "Why would she?"

"She's got a light infection."  Stark moaned, shaking his head.  "We can track her."  He looked up.  "JARVIS, can you scan him to make sure they're all gone?"

"I'm reading some residue but not a living one.  I'll monitor them.  They have beds waiting for them in the Malibu complex."

"Callia?" Tony asked Natasha.

"With Tara.  Right where you'd expect, teaching the twins about caring for rabbits and a mouse."

He smiled.  "Good."  They let themselves be taken out there.  The building was still sealed but the people were in decontamination out there.  JARVIS had more sensors at his disposal out there.  There were still little nanites hiding in everyone but they could be ended somehow.


A week later, Clint took aim and hit his other girl with an arrow, though one of the crossbow bolts that he had modified instead of a full arrow.  She caught it magically.  He still set it off, making her shake and twitch.  Natasha was calling in the code.  It made Dawn hiss in pain but sorry.  She went back to her escape from the stupid sexbot people with most of their information.  They went to help her. 

She tried to get away but yay.  They had found a safe apartment here through a separate dummy corporation.  They had set up things to contain the three of them until they were sure Dawn was free and clear.  Natasha set off the bigger EMP pulse once they got in.  Dawn winced and held her head.  "I know," he said quietly.  She attacked him.  "Hey!"

Natasha frowned.  "It should have worked."

"They probably tailored it to do this to her," Clint said, fighting her off.  Natasha got her down and cuffed.  They could figure it out.  Coulson was watching over them again.

Dawn looked up at them.  "You won't make me do it.  I won't do anything for anyone."

"We know," Clint promised.  Dawn got free by teleporting and they pounced her again.  "We had Stark shields on the place.  They're Hulk proof and you can't teleport out, Dawn."

She sneered.  "He won't get me either."

"No, he won't.  He's flinching each time he looks at your desk," Natasha assured her, trying to stay calm.  "Perhaps the way we fixed yours?"  Clint glared at her.  She shrugged.  "It could help."

"Mine was more like a possession, not little electrical things."  He was holding Dawn against a wall.  "We worked on it so she has the right responses when we need to help her calm down."  Natasha nodded they did as she went to the bedroom.  If they had to tie Dawn down, so be it.  They had brought stuff for that.  He walked her in there and let Natasha handle the hitching down while he guarded.

"Real cute," she sneered.

Clint sat beside her, stroking over her hair.  "I have no idea why the EMP didn't work.  We'll figure it out."  She pulled away.  "Dawn, it's us."   He checked the bond, reopening it fully.  She was struggling behind it.  He and Natasha helped her push at them.  It created a few moments of lucidity.  "We have you," he promised quietly and calmly.  "We'll figure out why the EMP didn't work."  She nodded, gulping air. 

"Just relax, let us help."  She went limp and the evil her came back.  They got her calmed down and into a resting state.  He made sure her mind wasn't going to go somewhere odd like 'I've been captured and I'm not being rescued' while Natasha talked with Coulson about what was going on.  The bad thoughts were prompting her back into the ones that she had been given while under capture back in Romania.  That was never something they wanted to awaken, including Dawn's wishes not to go back to that state unless it was an emergency.

"It has to be a magical protection or the Key," Natasha said.  Clint nodded once.  "He's not sure which.  He's not sure why Ares showed up to torment her for a few minutes."

Clint stared then at her.  "When the extra ones showed up, he tried to grab one."

"Interesting."  Coulson showed up and put on a second layer of shields, ones that would prevent any god or any other higher being from getting in or out.  "What do we do?"

"We have two choices according to Stark and Andrew.  We can stop her for a few minutes then restart her once the higher EMP that would kill her anyway had killed the nanites or we can do it the hard way and have to magic them and then filter.  Which will leave some."  Clint glared at him.  "I do not like the choices, Barton.  I'm only repeating."

"What did McKay say?"

"Not a lot that wasn't swearing at himself."  He sat on the free spot on the bed.  "Dawn?"  She glared at him.  "Give me that look again, watch me spank you."  She went limp, looking like she was capitulating.  He looked at them.  "Risky or risk of reoccurrence?"

"I hate the first option," Clint said.

"The higher EMP we'd have to use would do it anyway.  It could cause a lot of damage."

"Can we wait a day and make sure there's no other solution?" Natasha asked.  Coulson nodded.  "She was raiding the sexbot company."

"They were testing her.  We've already moved in and shut them down."

Clint snapped.  "Can we transfer them to her metallic self?"

"We might be able to."  He called that in and one of the other agents brought one to them.  It was a creepier sexbot model instead of a more girlfriendly one.  Coulson handed it in so they could do another minor EMP pulse.  Some of them did flee.  Stark had built a sensor so they could tell who had some.  It was now part of JARVIS' sensor set in all the companies.

Dawn was in agony.  The EMP was bothering her heart rhythm.  It wasn't fully helping.  Natasha made the decision and without consulting anyone used her widow's bite to fully stop Dawn's heart for a few minutes.  The nanites fled to the fake Dawn.  They all had personal shields so they couldn't hit them again.  Then they got to work bringing her back.  Phil ended up zapping her back to working then he slumped and watched.

Dawn woke up and blinked at them.  "I do not want to turn into Buffy.  You all suck."

Clint nodded.  "Sorry."

"You're still getting it."

"You can kick my ass if you want," he promised, putting a personal shield on her and sending the sexbot to be taken apart in the bathroom.  The agents were very helpful and cleared out after a few minutes.  He relaxed, looking at her over their bond.  He could see all the bad ideas it had liked.  "I'm hoping Stark's mind isn't that bad," he said quietly.

Phil shook his head.  "Don't ask.  Even he won't look at how dark he went."  He kissed her on the forehead, checking her with the sensor.  "There's a few but they're shut down."  He called in the quit code but something made him stop.  "They used a different one in case she was infested."  He went to find it from Warren.  He saw him appear and started to scream for help.  "What's the quit code if Dawn got infected?" he asked politely.  Nurses came in.  "No!"  They stopped.  "I'm not hurting him.  He knows I will but I am not presently doing more than scaring him."  He stared at him.  "What's the quit code?"

"Their birthdays!"

"The ones on file?  Because they're wrong."

"Yes.  They're wrong?  Who does that!"

"People who need to.  Which order?"

"Him then her.  It'll turn them all back on if not."

Coulson stared at him.  "We'll be talking sometime soon, Warren Meers."  Warren shrank away from him.  Phil walked off and left, heading back there.  "Your birthday then hers," he told Natasha.  "The ones on file."

"So the ones she celebrates," Clint said, dialing it and inputting it.  He felt the few spark up.  "The tenth, right, 'Tasha?"

"Twelfth."  They had to hit her with a minor EMP again and then do it.  Dawn went limp.  They both checked to make sure she was still alive.  They settled in to rest around her until Dawn was calm and ready to be released.  They had noticed the slight cognitive traces of discord and they'd have to watch that.

Coulson walked out and made sure the door locked behind him.  Then he went to make a report.  Apparently the clinic had called up to complain but yay.  He wrote the report while waiting on Fury to get off the phone, printing it and handing it over once he had hung up.  "He deserved me hitting him for it," he admitted.  "They decided she was mean and evil because she took care of them and made them horny."

Fury nodded.  "Some men can't handle smart, strong women.  How is she?"

"Not good but she'll heal."

"Where are they?"

He smiled.  "They had her tested by raiding their company of information."

"That's sweet of them.  The same ones who did the bots?"  Coulson nodded once.  "The information?"

"With the agents still over there."

"How did you get here?"  He held up the sensor and remote for the Stark satellite.  "That's handy."

"I'm one of the few keyed into it.  We made sure when he created it."  He smiled a bit.  "She'll be fine but it'll probably take a few days."  He left.  "Joyce, they got the nanites out of her and she's calming down."

She sighed.  "Good!  Are they with her?"


"Even better."  She rubbed her head.  He tipped her chin up to look at her.  "Headache.  I just had a scan."

"Okay, just making sure.  We're all a bit paranoid."  She smiled at him for it.  "Doctor Banner's down in the labs."  He walked off to seethe in his office.  Someone deserved some retribution for touching his almost-little sister.

Xander appeared, staring at him.  "If you want help, let me know."

"I will."  He stared at him.  "Why would Ares want one of the Keys?"

"Because it's really powerful and he's had a spell forever that would ensure almost any battle's win for him with one."  He shrugged.  "I'm pretty sure it's a power weapon."  He stared at him.  "I can't even scry."

"Extra shields."

"Okay.  Stark's in a self loathing loop."

"I can't help him out of it.  He won't let me."

He went to talk to him, staring at him.  "I'm pretty sure if you had tried, she would've killed your genius ass."  Stark stiffened.  He smiled.  "She's fine.  Phil said she's fine.  I'm feeling a bit of memory blockage but otherwise fine."

"That's good.  Great actually.  I still have these thoughts."

"Yeah, so do I from the hyena."  He shrugged.  "You have bad ones from the PTSD too, Stark.  You have ones leftover from the battles you've been in."  Tony looked at him.  "Want me to blow smoke up your ass?"  Tony shook his head.  "Welcome to what Dawn deals with daily."  Tony slumped and nodded.  "You can control it.  It's not that hard.  In those, you have a moral compass.  You know you'd never try it.  Not on Pepper, not on Dawn, not on someone you're casually screwing for the night."  Tony snorted.  "Or whoever you're seeing."  He smirked a bit.  "The only way to deal with those is either push them down and lock them away or exorcize them.  I can find you an old priest and a young priest."

"No, I don't think that'll help."  He rubbed his forehead.  "It's going to be hard when she comes back."

"Since when has easy been the favored way?"

"It's not," Tony agreed.  He looked up.  "I'm going to be fighting it for a while."

"Probably years.  The same as I have and Barton does and Dawn does."  He nodded.  "Welcome to the wonderful world of being mind fucked.  It's not as fun as stories about telepathic sex make it out to be."  That got a happier sounding snort.  "Only you can do it unless you suddenly mentally bond with Pepper.  And then she'd probably kick your ass."

"She would.  I had...."

Xander patted him on the shoulder.  "I know.  I saw."  Tony winced.  "There's a guy in Rio who has worse plans for her.  I'm not sure why they let him live.  Andrew's dealing with his own.  His brother made sure he knew what the dark looked like."  Tony shuddered.  "He's always dealt with it.  Even heros have dark sides.  That's why so many of them go into S&M for punishment after battles."  He patted him again.  "Only you can fight that mental fire.  She's got the same ones.  She was sensitive enough to read some of those."  Tony winced.  "And she knew it wasn't you.  She was going to take off Barton's head for him, and then the other one's."

Tony nodded.  "I get it, Xander."

"Good.  Of course you can ask."

"Would lethe water help?"

"No.  The little hidden urges would still pop up and you'd be horrified because you couldn't remember why you had them.  There's no easy way."

Tony nodded, looking up at him.  "Thanks."

"Welcome."  He patted him again.  He showed him something.  "That's how you push them into a little box.  You've done it with other memories."  He nodded and settled in to work on that.  Xander went to talk to Andrew.  "She's fine."  He looked up.  He stared at him.  "I remember your brother, Andrew."  He leaned on the foot of the bed.  "You good?"


"Is it worse now?"

"I'm pushing it back down.  I've had surges of bad ideas through the years."

"I know.  The same as I know Jonho could use you right now."

"It's better if I don't."

"If you let this fracture you, you'll never get it back," he said quietly.  "I can put you two together."

Andrew considered it then nodded.  "He needs an anchor."

"You both need one," Xander corrected.  "You're the best anchor for each other.  Sentinel and guide, to go fandom geek, though I'm not sure which is which," he finished with a smirk.

Andrew grinned.  "He is.  He notices more stuff."  He shifted.  Xander went to get Jonathan and brought him.  "Hey."

Jonathan stared at him.  "Hey."  Xander gave him a shove so he moved closer.  "It wasn't us."

"No, it wasn't us," Andrew promised.  Jonathan relaxed.  "We've got to lock them up and handle it.  Before she comes back."

"You've got at least a few weeks," Xander said.   "They just barely broke all hers out today."  He disappeared to talk to McKay.  Who was in another type of self-loathing loop.  He stared at him.  "Hating the Genii is reasonable.  Hating yourself for wanting to turn just as psychotic is just as reasonable."

Rodney glared at him.  "I don't need some happy soft science bullshit from the psychobabble squad."

"Good.  Never really liked shrinks."  He sat on the foot of his bed, ignoring the kick and the grimace he got for it.  "Is it better or worse than the urges after bad battles?"


"Can you handle it the same way?"

"Maybe.  I'm working on it."

Xander took his hand and showed him.  "That's the locking away a memory meditation."  Rodney nodded.  "I can't lie and say there's an easy way, Rodney.  There's not."

"I realized that after the second battle."

"Yeah and you've still got PTSD from all that up there, and from back in the lab in Russia when you were attacked, all that.  That's why you never sleep."  He stared at him.  He considered it.  "John didn't start to journal things until after Rome," he said quietly.  "After I totally lost my shit and nearly destroyed the known world because they took out my mortal family."  Rodney stared at him, slightly stiff.  "I nearly killed Roque.  That's where he got the scar.  He was trying to get me calmed down and I attacked.  I was in such grief that I could not find reality.  It took six pantheons two months to put out all the fires I started during that battle."  He stared him down.  "Then John had to get it out of him.  So he started a journal."

"I saw him doing it," he said quietly.  "It's not something I think about."

"It's not a shrink."

"No, it's not," he agreed.  "It's a surrogate for talking it out."  Xander nodded.  "Do you?"

"No.  I tried.  I tried that, I tried talking to people I respected, ones who could mind heal.  There's no healing from how I broke."  He stood up.  "I reverted back a few centuries to a more wild time.  I'm still there.  I know I'm still broken and there's been things since then that broke me further."  He stared at him.  "You're going to turn into me if you don't handle it."

"I can try that."  He stared at him.  "Does your new consort know that?"

"Probably.  Someone told him about Rome."  He shrugged.  "If not, he can read me the same as I can read you because you're under my aegis."

Rodney nodded.  "You could try again."  Xander snorted and let his shields down a bit.  Rodney shivered.  "You need to work on it more than I do."

"Yeah, probably.  It's why I don't hang out with the twins all that often, or Callia."  He carefully rebuilt his shields.  "Don't turn into me."

"I'd hope I never do.  The point is taken."

"Good.  However works for you, dude.  Dawn's going to have enough problems since she reverted back to the mind control state she used to be in.  I'm not sure if she even remembers that they're together."  He disappeared, heading over there.  He stared at Dawn, laying a hand on her head.  He considered it then moved something.  It made her stiffen.  "Calm down, Dawn." 

He found the sticking spot and hit it with a bit of power, making it shift.  He stared at her.  "Remember more now?"  She nodded, swallowing.  He showed her how to do the same meditation.  She nodded again.  "Good.  Now, rest.  You need rest and food."  He smiled.  "I talked to the others.  Andrew and Jonathan are healing.  Stark's working on his own things.  So's Rodney."  He patted her on the arm.  "Let them help.  You're turning as stubborn as I am."  He disappeared.

"I thought the shields were god proof," Natasha said.

"I think they're lesser god proof," Clint decided.  "Not a lot keeps Xander out of places."  He stroking her hair back.  "You trimmed it."

"It was in my way.  It makes me look different."

"It does," he agreed. "Older, less wise."  He kissed her on the nose.  She went stiff.  "It's cool.  Remember us better now?"

"I...."  He pushed open the link again, making her feel them.  She looked at Natasha, who did the same thing.  Dawn still looked lost.  Clint found the ring Dawn had taken off, sliding it back on her finger.  "That's mine?"

"Yup, that's yours."  He kissed it then her.  "When you're ready, we'll be here."  He laid down again.  She went limp and examined the new memories with their help.  Clint was reading.  Natasha was cleaning weapons.  Dawn felt like she was stuck in hell.  She saw flashes of them.  It was confusing.  Clint helped her find the box of memories the nanites had created.  She opened it and suddenly she was overwhelmed.  Natasha reached over to stroke her stomach while he just held her.  It was appreciated and good.  She could work with this.

Clint looked at Natasha.  "She's still partially there.  Do we need to do the cognitive realignment the way you did mine?"

"Maybe," she admitted.  "If so, we'll deal with it."  He nodded, relaxing again.  He had been here, it was hell to go through.  She hadn't had to deal with this part after they had been captured.  Now they were all going through it together.  It sucked a lot and he wanted to help her but he couldn't.  All he could do was hold her.  Natasha had helped him and they'd both help Dawn even though she had to do most of the work this time.

Dawn laid there and thought, looking at things.  She saw a lot of things that she wasn't sure were real.  They were overlaid with images.  Clint helped her remove those and it was better.  When he looked he flinched and undid the damage he had caused.  It restored the right memories instead of the altered ones.  She stared at him.  He shook his head.  "That is not what I wanted you to see.  We are not like that with you."  He opened up and let her deeper into his mind.  It was a risk but he knew he could stop Dawn from hurting him here too.  Dawn looked at them, looking confused.  He nodded.  "Exactly."

She went limp again, shaking her head.  "I'm confused."

"I know."  He hummed mentally and she relaxed again.   Natasha was going behind him to straighten up things that had been altered.  She could tell.  Dawn focused on her and she cautiously let her into her mind.  Dawn nearly fell apart at what she showed her.  Clint picked up his book and went back to reading, over their bond.  It worked as well as music did with Dawn.  Natasha smiled at him for it.  They could handle this.


Lady Mnemosyne showed up that night, staring at the trio.  "There's no reason to be that tight to help her.  She has to do some of it herself," she told Natasha, who had sent her a prayer.  Natasha showed her why and she grimaced.  "What did that?"  That got shown too.  "Eww!"

Natasha nodded.  "It fractured some things."

"That sort of trauma can, especially when she's brought back."  She tested Dawn's mind, then Clint's mind.  She separated them a bit, which woke them both.  She smiled at Dawn.  "Quit fighting, young lady."  She tested a few things and nodded.  "That," she said, showing them.  "Is where the problem is.  It's created by those.  Whoever did those little machines hated her."

"They did," Clint said.  "Hated most women actually."

"Some men are damaged that way."  She showed them how to fix it.  "It's going to take a few weeks at the least."  They nodded.  "She can probably fake it at work if she must."

"If so we'll handle it," Natasha promised.  The goddess smiled and patted her on the head before leaving.  "Now we know how to help her."

Clint kissed her.  "Thanks."

"Welcome."  They had moved Dawn to the center of the bed so they could curl up around her.  Dawn was not happy.  They let her up and go to the bathroom.  The bot had finally been removed.  It had creeped them out earlier.  Dawn had questioned if she was real and had made a cut in her arm to make sure she bled.  She had understood but Clint had not been happy.  Dawn had let him fuss, looking confused, but she had let him.  That was the important thing.


Dawn looked around the room the next day, still hitched down to the bed.  "Do I usually get hitched down?"

"No," Natasha said.  "It's to make sure you can't harm yourself again.  I'd consider drugging you but it won't do you much good."  Dawn huffed but nodded.   "You have other questions?"

"I do.  I'm...  I'm with both of you?"  Natasha nodded, showing her things.  "Why?  Not that I'm saying you're not pretty or anything but is that considered good and normal?"

"You make us very happy and we do the same for you," Natasha said.  "The memories will come back, Dawn."  Dawn nodded she knew that.  Natasha helped her uncover a few more layers.  By then, Clint was in the shower and Dawn needed to pee.  She released her and let her do that.  Natasha sighed.  "I don't know why she can't remember," she said quietly.  "If it was the EMP pulses or not."  She looked that up.

Clint heard someone in the bathroom and felt, finding Dawn.  "Hey, Short Stuff."

"I'm not that short."

"It's a joke, Dawn."  He glanced out at her.  "Go ahead."  He went back to his shower, humming some to give her some privacy.  Most people still wanted privacy when going to the bathroom.  She did and washed her hands then wandered back out.  He sighed in displeasure.  Dawn would've usually joined him and let him at least get in some cuddling time.  He missed their Dawn.  That gave him a thought that he sent at Xander, who appeared with a mirror then left.  Clint smiled, bringing it out when he was done.  "Here."  He set it up to show her.  He dried off and redressed, laying back down beside her.  "This was before all that."

She watched, still confused.  It skipped some time.  "What was that?"

"That..."  He looked at Natasha.

"Someone captured us for a bit so we would be their soldiers instead," Natasha said.  "They tried some mind control, which is where you learned how to do what you did to that company."  Dawn nodded, letting it go on.  It wasn't always pretty but that was their life.  It didn't gloss over the sex or the fights, just boring things that had no bearing.

"So we're back to where we were then?" she asked with a point.

"No," Clint said.  "You had your memories then."

"Oh."  She went back to watching.  "We're hot together."

"We are," he agreed.  He squeezed her hand.  She was staring at them having sex.  "You pounced her," he said in her ear.  She shivered.  "When you're better, you can do it again."

She looked at him.  "What if I don't get better?"

"Then we'll rebuild what we can and move on."  He stroked over her cheek.  "I'm a bit possessive over you sometimes."  She blushed and turned her head some.  He kissed her and let her get back to watching.  He missed that Dawn just as much as she did.  Natasha felt the same sort of loss and it was hurting them all.  Dawn was trying though and that was the important thing.  Someone knocked and he got up to answer the door.  Xander handed over something.  "I don't think we're ready for that yet."

"I'm betting she'll try it."  He handed him something.  "Her memories from before."

Clint smiled.  "Thanks, Xander."  He took them to put on her head.  The egg glowed and she flinched but slowly relaxed.  He looked at her.  "Did that help?"

She nodded.  "Now I remember why I pounce you two."  She frowned.  "But not everything and now there's clashes."

"We can help you figure it out," Natasha promised.  Dawn nodded, letting her pet her.  Clint looked hurt.  She pointed out mentally that Dawn had just been fighting men with ideas about her health.  He nodded he knew that and curled up again.  "What else did he bring?"  He showed her.  "Hmm.  Might be a good idea."  She kissed him then Dawn, who blinked at her.  She smiled.  "It will work itself out."

"Why did whoever bring condoms?"

"He's like your big brother," Clint told her.  "He thought you might want them when you're better."

"Is it going to be soon? My head feels like it's stuffed full."

He nodded.  "Hopefully.  We miss you."

Dawn sniffled.  "You're making me emo."

He kissed her with a grin.  "That's fine."  He settle in again, blushing at what it was showing.  "My birthday."

Dawn watched.  The bondage thing looked a bit familiar since she was still tied to the bed.  It was clear she loved and trusted them.  She let them handle everything for her and she was begging in a voice so rough it was like a cat's tongue across her nerves, making her shiver.  Clint just held her tighter.  It was moving and powerful.  "I wish I remembered all this properly," she whispered.

"Us too, Dawn.  We want you back sooner instead of later."  Clint nuzzled her throat and held her.  "We're here until you're better and able to start doing things again."

A vengeance demon appeared, looking smug.  "Why should someone grant that wish?"

Clint stared at her.  He knew what that was.  "Is one of the shields down, Natasha?"

She looked.  "One's unplugged."  She fixed that.  The demon unplugged it with a rolled eye look.

Clint stared at her.  "Because the amount of hell that everyone involved is going through?  Because she had to take out three higher demons and they might survive otherwise?"

She considered it, sending that at D'Hoffryn.  "The others would still probably realize something happened."

D'Hoffryn appeared.  "Those three owing us would be nice," he admitted.

"They'd probably still know," Natasha said.  "They have kept memories before when others have not."

D'Hoffryn considered it, nodding.  "Probably."  He frowned.  "What is that one doing?"

"If it's one of the geek duo, we'll help him," Clint said.  "They're like brothers to Dawn."

D'Hoffryn pulled one and took the knife from him, shoving him at the bed.  "Some day you'll save humanity," he complained.  "And demon kind.  I can't let you do that right now."

"I'm not a hero," he said.

Clint grabbed him and pulled.  "Hug Dawn, Jonathan.  Now."  He sniffled.  She felt how sad he was so she pulled him down to cuddle.  "What's the cost of the wish to have them not been infected?"

"Someone will still have to find it, and will probably spend some time in the infirmary."  D'Hoffryn stared at him.

Clint nodded.  "I can do that."

"Don't you dare!  You're not getting sick to save me!" Dawn said hotly.

He kissed her on the lips and grinned.  "If it'll make you better, I can handle a few days of hell."

"I could find it instead," Natasha said.

"There's no reason for you to have been in the maintenance tubes," Clint said.  "I probably passed by it and never realized."

"Twice," D'Hoffryn agreed.  He stared at the one who would one day save humanity by helping a hero too much and then the Key, which he respected.  He noticed the others in her.  "How?" he asked.

"Andrew," Jonathan said, giving her a squeeze.  He saw the mirror and blushed, looking away.  "Damn that's hot."

"I am and I'm a bit weirded out," Dawn admitted.  He looked at her.  "Fractured memories."

"I'd like to kill them."  He gave her another squeeze.

D'Hoffryn sighed.  "Fine, I'll save the heros.  This time."  He cast the wish himself.  "So you found it before it went off."  The world shifted.


Jonathan looked up once he landed.  He still knew what had happened, what might have happened.  It was like an ache in his mind.  He looked at Andrew, who was slumped on himself.  "It wasn't us."

"It wasn't," he agreed, giving him a hug.  "I'll beat you with one of Dawn's stripper shoes if you EVER think about that again," he hissed against his ear.  Jonathan nodded, hugging him back.


In his lab, Rodney shuddered, stomach clenching.  He slowly let the breath out and calmed himself down.  He was not like that.  He had not attempted to hunt Dawn down to hurt her and then kill her.  He had not turned dark and evil.  He could make sure of it now.  He would never hurt Dawn, especially not that way.  It would not happen and the ones that wanted it to have happened were dead people when he got them.


Tony was gripping the table, head down.  The knowledge of what had happened and then unhappened was going to make him sick.  He knew in glowing detail what he had plotted.  How bad his mental depths were.  He looked up.  "JARVIS, if I ever get that bad, I want you to knock me out or take me out," he said quietly.

"What?" the AI asked.  "I do not understand that command."

Tony sighed.  "So you don't have memories, good to know."  He cleared his mind and set down protocols in case he ever got that bad.  JARVIS was the last line if he couldn't do it himself because he would not be allowing Dawn to do it.  It wasn't her job.  He called Natasha.  "If I should go there, deal with me," he ordered.  He relaxed at her 'of course I would'.  The knowledge of what was current hit him and he nodded.  "How is he?"  He grimaced.  "You can bring him here.  I know he's in quarantine but we can handle that. 

"Coulson might remember the code."  He quit gripping the table.  "Tell me if I can help," he ordered.  "No, there's a few of us here."  He hung up and went to find the boys.  He saw the scared looks and nodded.  "You weren't yourself."  They shuddered.  "None of us were and it showed how much she trusted you two."  Andrew nodded, looking down.  He gave them both a hug.  "All you can do is remind yourself it was not you."  He looked at Jonathan.  "And that you'd never do something like that."

"I wouldn't."

"Neither would I.  That's why it's called mind control."  Jonathan nodded.  "There, Xander compared it to what Dawn deals with daily from the time they had her hostage," he said quietly.  They stared at him.  "It wasn't you, the same as that wasn't her."

"I get that but I was horrible," Jonathan said.

Tony let out a bitter snort.  "Junior, you had nothing on what I planned.  I found new depths that not even hell would consider."  Jonathan shuddered.  "If you're that close, you talk to one of us."  Jonathan nodded, looking down.  "Even if it's Andrew, or Natasha, or Joyce."  He nodded again.  "Good boy."  He gave him another hug. 

"Andrew, you were damn impressive.  I'm making you do more work."  Andrew whimpered.  "But you get time off for dates."  Andrew relaxed.  He gave him another hug.  "Relax.  It was not here."  They nodded.  "Though that other one is clearly a mental midget."  He let them go, going to find Rodney.  He found Pepper first and pulled her in for a hug.  She was stiff.  They were in the halls.  "Just...  Hush," he ordered and held her.  He could relax around her, let his mind fix itself.

She petted him.  "I remember too."  He looked at her.  "I guess so I could make sure you don't drop over the edge of sanity."

He shook his head.  "There was a hole," he said.

"I think that's why she locked you in a room.  You were a damn scary geek."  He nodded, shifting some so she comforted him.  "It didn't happen here."  He shuddered.  She gave him a squeeze.  "I thought it was nice two of them took themselves out by not remembering to eat."  He laughed and let her go.  "You're okay."

"I'm okay."  He kissed her.  "Dinner?"

"Go find Rodney and get drunk with him and the boys."  She smiled.  "We'll have dinner once Clint's out of the infirmary."

"I can do that."  He found Rodney in his usual lab and nodded.  "I'm getting plastered with intent."

Rodney snorted.  "Yes we are."

"Pepper suggested we bring the boys."

"Andrew was really impressive."

"His brother taught him how to survive.  Which if he was alive I'd cure for him."  That got a nod and they picked up the boys, taking them to the tinkering lab.  "We need to build nanite sensors too, guys."  They nodded, settling in to drink and tinker and build.  The two younger geniuses were drunk faster, they had nothing on Tony's history of alcoholism, or Rodney's past with liquor.  Still, it helped them all.  By midnight they had managed to push the bad memories back down so they didn't have to remember that night.


Dawn looked up at the calling that was starting.  "My boyfriend is in the hospital," she growled.  "I'm not coming.  That's not nearly as important as this."  It stopped.  She shifted, staring at Clint through the window.  They wouldn't let anyone in with him.  Fury was giving her a strange look.  "Dinner."

"You should eat."

"Formal dinner."

"You could still go eat."

She looked at him.  "Watch me turn you into a ferret again."  He backed off.  Natasha was laughing in her corner.

Hera's handmaiden appeared.  "Dawn, it's a great snub."  Dawn pointed.  "Still."

Dawn glared.  "If my boyfriend wasn't in critical care I might attend.  Right now he's in a really bad spot medically and I'm going to fucking well be here.  If the goddess of marriage doesn't understand that, that's why there's divorces so she can find someone who loves her that way."  She stared her down.  "I don't really give a goddess damned bit of a care about anything like a formal dinner at the moment.  My place is here, with my boyfriend, so we can help him get better.   If that's considered a snub, then up theirs."

The handmaiden nodded, backing off.  "I'll remind her of that.  Should we send dinner?  Where is Phil?  They wanted him up to sit with Xander."  She pointed at him.

"No way in hell," he said quietly.  "Clint's a friend."

She bowed.  "I'll let them know."  She went up to tell her goddess in more polite language.  "She said her boyfriend was in a very critical condition and that was what she should be doing, not being up here," she said respectfully, looking down.  "She said it was not meant as a snub but that anyone who had love should understand that, especially a goddess of marriage."  She glanced up.  "Phil said that he was a friend so he was also sitting vigil."

Hera nodded.  "That is reasonable.  He is that badly off?"

"He is in a sealed room, Lady Hera," she said quietly.  "With many machines I know not the use of."

She nodded.  "Very well.  We will excuse them this time."  Her handmaiden bowed and went to her usual seat behind her Goddess.  She looked at Xander, who didn't look happy to be there.  "We will see them the next dinner."

Xander quirked an eyebrow up at her.  "Will we?"  He ate a bite.  She glared.  He stared back.  Then he went back to eating.


"Dawn, no going into his head.  We're not sure if they can pass across," Phil warned.

"It can't.  If so, don't kill me to cure it."  He flinched.  "Unless necessary."  She gave him a hug and settled down to keep Clint's mind carefully out of touch.

"Dawn, you're not a goddess," Fury noted.

"No, you're right.  I'm not.  I'm a mystical artifact that can cast some really powerful healing spells," she said.  "Which you're trying to keep me from doing."  He backed off again.  She went full on glow and Fury nearly ran from the room.  Dawn concentrated and felt a healing spell hit her mind.  She smiled and used it.  Clint flinched on the bed but the nanites went running. 

The storm she created in there zapped all the little fuckers.  She checked.  He had a few left but she zapped them and made them flee.  She relaxed the magic, opening her eyes to look in there.  The nurses in the hazmat suits were giving her odd looks.  She stared back.  They looked away and checked on him.  She went back to keeping his mind busy.

"You're right, you're tone deaf mentally," he called.

She smiled.  "That's why I have you.  You sound nicer than me when you sing."

He laughed.  "Thanks, Dawn."

"Welcome."  She relaxed against Natasha's side, getting a subtle pat.  Phil sat on her other side and gave her a hug.  "Thanks."

"Thank you."

"You know I'd do anything I need to so they're okay," she said quietly.  Natasha smiled at her.  She squeezed her hand.  "Both of you."

"I know."  She patted her.  "We'll still have to make sure he's fully clear of them."

"I know."  That meant at least another day in here.  She heard someone in the hallway making a joke about Barton and mind control being his usual state so she got up and went to knock him out.  She stared down at him after her punch sent him down.  "Really?" she asked.  "Because think of what would've happened if he hadn't found it.  Do you think Stark would become *nicer*?" she demanded.  He shook his head, scooting away from her.  "Think about it, Agent Idiot, before I have to rip your component parts apart."  He got up and scrambled off.  She looked at the other staring agents.  They all walked off too.

A few went to buy congratulations cards because only girlfriends and wives got that pissed off on your behalf.  The rest went to hide.  They had seen Dawn in a battle situation but they couldn't fight against magic.

Phil looked at her.  "You still move too far when you punch."  She snorted.  He hugged her, taking her back in there.  "Sit and distract him.  He's looking bored."

"I agree, you still shift too far when you hit," Clint said.  "We'll work on that in a few days."  She sniffled but nodded.  "None of that."  He stared at her.  He knew she remembered.  Natasha did too.  She slumped and sat down.  He reminded her that he felt the same way and she had been hurt a lot worse than he had been.  And he'd go kick that agent around once he got out.  She went back to humming crappy club music at him.  He grimaced.  "Black Eyed Peas?  Really?" he asked.

"Someone took that with them on a mission for O'Neill," she joked weakly, smiling at him.

"Great, so the whole universe thinks that we have humps."  He shook his head.  "At least switch to a better band?"  She did and it was nicer.  Still her music instead of his but she hadn't memorized any of his and his mp3 player was at home.  Summoning it over that distance would erase it.  Phil's phone had Pandora radio so she turned it on and got into some music he liked.  It was appreciated and he mentally cuddled her.

Fury walked in and stared at her.  "If you're going to assault the agents I'm going to kick you out of the building."

"Then they probably shouldn't joke about him being controlled being his natural state," she shot back, staring at him.  He glared.  She growled.  He backed down slightly.  "I only hit him once."

"You did," Natasha agreed.  "It saved me from doing it."

Fury huffed but walked off to yell at the agent for provoking it.  She was warned.  Not that he thought he could keep them apart.  It was clear she was doing the telepathy thing again with Barton.  He'd have to ask if that came with side effects.  If he was going to become telepathic full time, he'd need some training time.  If it was bonding those two, or three because he wasn't blind, then he'd have to do something about it.  Unfortunately the only two he knew who could answer it were either at a godly dinner or at home with the twins and not answering calls from him.


Clint finally got home and Dawn settled in to fuss him into needing the infirmary again.  She was mid-fuss over his dinner when he pulled her down and cuddled her.  It calmed her down, him down, and let him relax.  "Not used to the super hero fussing," he said quietly.

"I'm great at it."

"You are, but I started having 'mom' feelings and it creeped me out."


He grinned.  "No, it's great fussing."  He gave her a squeeze.  "This is better though.  Next time 'Tasha's hurt she can be the victim of super fussing."  Dawn laughed and snuggled in.  He looked over at Natasha.  "Your turn is next."

She smirked back.  "I don't cuddle."

"I've noticed that," Dawn quipped.  "Which sucks since you give such nice hugs."  Natasha blushed but finished off her part of dinner to bring out.  They sat up and Natasha took Clint's other side.  They ate and curled up to watch a movie.  It was a nice, quiet night in.  She and Clint were slowly separating out from each other's minds again.  She ran into a bit of thought from him and looked over.  "I saw that."

He grinned.  "I'm a guy, I think about that pretty often," he quipped.  Natasha sighed.  "She caught me daydreaming about you during a meeting the other day."  She blushed.  He winked.  "You're getting lucky later.  It'll make me feel like I'm home."

Dawn kissed him.  "If I had known you wanted that you already would've been tied to the bed."

"No tying me to the bed."

She grinned.  "Not even if we do it?"

"Nope.  Sorry."  She shrugged and settled in his lap to kiss him.  He moaned.  "When did you sneak chocolate?"

"I snuck some over."  She fed him the last hershey kiss, earning a smile.  They went into the bedroom, letting him be spoiled greatly by the two women.  Natasha fell asleep before Clint was done, they had worn her out together.  That meant he got Dawn all to himself tonight.  That was always a fun thing.  He flipped her onto her back and smirked down at her.  "I want you here tonight."

"You know I'm always up to whatever you want."  She stroked over his cheek, moving some hair off his sweaty forehead.  "What did you want me to do for you?"

"Enjoy it."

She smiled.  "I think that's a given, Clint."

He laughed and kissed her, then moved down to tease her.  They hadn't had time for more than quickies recently.  He had missed having the time to take his full appreciation of her body.  "Thank you for leaving some hair."  He tugged on it with his lips and shifted further back.  She moaned and opened up for him.  She was so sensual and loved oral sex.  Good thing he had taught her to love it.  Soft, gentle, teasing, tempting licks.  Moving slowly toward making her grip Natasha to steady and ground herself.

Then the vision hit.  He helped her calm down, making her take deep breaths, holding her until it was finished.  "What was it?"

"You."  She rubbed her forehead.  "Fury made you drop us.  He made both of you break it off."

"I'd never do that."

She looked at him.  "He gave you a choice of the team or me, Clint."

"No, he won't.  If he does, I'm quitting."  He stared at her.  "They need me and I'll do it like the others do."  He kissed her.  "So I was leaving?"  She nodded, swallowing.  "Nat?"

"Leaving later."

He gave her a squeeze.  "I'll have a talk with him later."  She relaxed.  He got her calmed down and soothed back into a cuddly mode.  He and Natasha looked at each other over Dawn's chest.  This wasn't the first hint she'd seen of that but they hadn't been sure if it was some low self esteem.  Now they knew.  Dawn was fully limp and relaxed, without the usual headache, and he had a good way to distract her.  She whimpered when he sucked on her neck, tipping it to the side to give him better access.  He held her hand, their rings touching.  "I'm glad that you wanted to switch it," he said in her ear.

She shivered.  "Seemed better, more right."

"It is."  He kissed her and looked at Natasha's hand.  When she was with them, the ring got switched back to her ring finger.  He kissed them both and let the ladies tease him back into pouncing.  Dawn deserved a good pounce.  She deserved a great pounce.  Thankfully he was great at it and knew all her little hidden kinks.  Including her one for being claimed.  That made him feel like he was really home, really there, and really theirs.  They'd forgive him for being an alpha male.


Barton and Romanoff walked into Fury's office together and shut the door.  "Sir," Clint said.

Fury put down his pen.  "This looks bad."

"We don't consider it to be so."

Fury stared at him.  "I can't have agents who are together on the same team."

"That's fine, then I quit," Clint said simply.  "Does that solve it?"  Fury gaped.  He smirked.  "I'll kill you over my women, sir.  I still want to be on the team but I'll kill you over Dawn and Natasha.  If you force my hand, so be it."

Fury stared at her, getting a nod back.  "I feel the same way."

"That year off running from everyone ruined you two."

"Actually, it didn't."  Natasha smiled.  "I learned quite a lot.  Including that Dawn has a filthy mind at times."

"Can we please not remind me of that birthday?" he begged.  "And you two still owe me a birthday present beyond the new shooting gloves she got me and the new jacket you got me."

She smirked.  "You're getting it Saturday.  We'll celebrate both of our official ones together."

"Cool."  He grinned at Fury again.  He put down copies of the change of status paperwork and copies of the certificates.  "If you want me off the team, I'll go work for Stark.  I'm sure he can make a position as an assistant superhero or something."

Fury looked at them then sighed.  "You're forcing my hand."

"No, sir, you have a few choices," Clint offered.  "The sucky one we'll handle and I'll do it anyway.  Not like Stark's on the payroll."

"Do the others know?"

"Yup.  The whole team knows," Clint said with a smile.  "Coulson actually found them and told us."

"Summers did it without telling you?" he snorted.  Clint pointed at Natasha, making him gape.  "You did?"

"I was ready to make sure others subtly knew who was mine.  It was much more subtle than tattooing my name on them."

"Barely," he complained.

"It was fully hidden," Clint admitted.  "We didn't know until Coulson found out."  He grinned.  "She had good taste of where to hide them."

Natasha nodded.  "I did, yes."

Fury cleared his throat.  "This puts me in a difficult position.  I've noticed you three are...tighter than before that time."

"Dawn went a bit telepathic during it and it helped us hold her steady," Clint admitted.  "She keeps a light tether on us, which we can block off, to make sure she's all right.  That's how she knew that I was in trouble that day."

"That makes more sense.  I've seen you echoing her a few times."

"It's a very light tether.  Sometimes she asks about dinner."  He shrugged.  "It let me know when there was an energy creature in one of the storage buildings that zapped her."

"I had to get her restarted," Natasha said.  "It was not a good day."

"No, I doubt it was," Fury said, frowning at her.  "Energy creature?"

"Two improperly stored failed creations."

"I don't need to know."  He looked at Barton.  "What happens if one of them gets pregnant?"

"There's shots for that," he said bluntly.  "And pills.  Not to mention condoms and other birth control methods.  As for when they want kids, then I'll be there happily, sir, and doing my best husbandly duty every few hours."  Natasha hit him on the arm.  "Or as often as they let me."  She punched him harder.  He grinned at her.  "I will be."

"I know."  She looked at the director.  "Neither of us are ready for that.  If it should happen by accident, we would evaluate the timing and make a decision.  Which you would hear about as soon as it became medically necessary."

He grimaced.  "Fine."  He stared at them.  "I should remove one of you.  The higher ups don't allow spouses to serve together."

Clint shrugged.  "Find a replacement for us, sir."  He smirked.  "There's not many."

"That's the only thing that's saving your job, Barton."

He shrugged.  "I can find another one that doesn't make me go on overseas missions now and then.  I'm pretty sure Stark won't send me to sex up someone for information ever again."

"So this is going to affect your duties?" he snorted.

"Not really.  I'm not the one you send on those.  You've sent Coulson on those more than you've sent me.  It may affect Natasha's duties."

"It may," she admitted.  "But I am getting older."  Fury gaped.  She stared him down.  "They do get wearing after a while."

"We'll see."  He grimaced at the paperwork, shredding them.  "I can't accept those or it's an automatic move of division.  I'd have to move one of you to training."  He looked at the certificates then shredded them since they were copies.  "It does not get out among the others."

"They're all aware we're dating, sir," Clint said.  "And if I find that little asshole who made the smart comment, he's going to go down again."

"Whatever.  Do it in the sparring ring."  He glared at him.

Clint smirked.  "Maybe.  I might shoot an arrow into his ass.  He's a sloppy agent anyway."

Fury grunted, looking at Natasha.  "You had a mission coming up."



"I'm not well liked there, but what was needed?"

"Your usual baiting job for information."

"I have trained three agents who can do the job to a satisfactory standard."

"Good.  I apparently need their names."  She wrote them down.  "Thank you.  Train a few more, and men."  He glared at Barton.  "I knew you were going to be a shitload of trouble as soon as you started dating Summers."

"Yet, you pushed us together," he said dryly.  "Even if it was the robotic version of you."

"Whatever."  He glared.  "We'll monitor this situation.  If things get out of hand or things change too noticeably we'll have to make a few choices."

"We would," Natasha agreed.  "It has not happened yet and we have been together since that incident, before the battle in Sunnydale."

Fury slumped.  "Really?"

Clint nodded.  "I think Dawn and I just moved into it, Natasha and I were ex's anyway, and one night we just fell together.  It was a good night."  She poked him.  He grinned at her.  "It was.  Even if there hadn't been a great dinner it was a good night.  Even with that issue."

"It was," she agreed, smiling at him.  She smirked at Fury.  "It's worked out well."

"I don't want or need details.  No conjugal visits on the hell carrier or in the building."

"It's not like we're in bunk rooms on the hell carrier," Clint joked.  "All the beds are terrible for backs anyway."

Fury glared.  "Still, it does not happen."

"Yes, sir."  He saluted with a smirk.  "Any other orders?"

"You had better be on something foolproof," Fury ordered Natasha.

"I have been since my original handlers showed up with some subliminal attempts for me to pay them back for my training."  He gaped, looking around.  "There was no report.  We handled it and made them flee."

"I should have known."  Natasha shook her head.  "Was there a physical problem?"

"It got handled and no one noticed," she said bluntly.

"I did but I was waiting on you to bring it up," Clint admitted.  She looked at him.  "Your taste changed."

Fury groaned.  "I do not need to know!"

Clint smiled.  "Good."  He walked out with her.  They both felt Dawn relaxing and stop eavesdropping.  He smirked at Maria Hill.  "We're celebrating our noted birthdays soon," he said in her ear.  "Sorry if we keep you up."

She blushed.  "Thanks for the warning.  I'll turn on the white noise generator.  It seems to help Melissa sleep."

He grinned.  "Helped Dawn a few times too when she was in the infirmary."  He followed Natasha off the admin area.

Joyce smirked at him.  "Remember the shovel rule," she called after him.

He grinned.  "I'm sure you're more creative than that, Joyce."

She laughed.  "Yes, I am."  He grinned.  Natasha smiled.  They left because they were off on medical leave for two weeks.  Stark was shut down to scan the building and make sure no other nanites or gas canisters were around.  They were probably going to keep up the twins she decided.   She would be.  Bruce came up to gather her for lunch.  She smiled and went with him, chatting about Dawn and Buffy's latest emails.  He was happy and she got to mug him for a kiss in the elevator since they had it alone this time.


Clint was kicked back on the bed after an awesome dinner that Dawn had cooked.  The ladies were in the bathroom together to get prepped for their birthday celebration.  He had seen the outfits they had chosen earlier be hung up and had many happy thoughts about them in them.  Dawn was such a tease but she always carried through for him and Natasha.  The ladies came out.  Well, two Natashas came out. 

He tipped his head to the side, staring at them.  "This is a good birthday present."  He looked them over.  The choker was concealed.  One was wearing Dawn's thigh high boots and an outfit that was mostly indecent but clung to her every curve.  It looked like a really thin, short toga.  The other was wearing a front zip unitard and heels that were indecently high.  He shifted to take off his shirt.  The ladies moved closer, making him moan when they kissed over him then him.  "It's a good thing we have a few days off," he quipped.

"If you survive, we're switching," one of them said in his ear, making him shiver.  Right now, he couldn't really tell which one was which.  He'd find out as they moved on.  Dawn still had rhythm issues and Natasha played a lot harder than Dawn did.  He let them strip him off and laid between them while they teased each other.  Now and then one would stroke up his side or his leg.  It was the biggest tease; it was making him so hard.  He loved watching them go at it.  Then being 'twins' was going to drive him out of his mind.  Someone pounded on the door.

One of the ladies got up and strolled out, not minding her catsuit was partially unzipped for some neck teasing bites.  "Cap?" she asked, smiling at him.

He blushed.  "Um.... poker night?" he offered.

She smiled.  "The stated birthdays are being celebrated.  Tomorrow?  If they survive?"

He blushed and nodded.  "I can do that."  He nearly fled.  "Have a great night."  He jumped into the elevator when it came.  Maybe he'd go visit Tony and Callia.

She shut the door and strolled back, leaning down to lick over Clint's stomach before climbing onto the bed and focusing on her wife again.

Natasha tipped her head back and moaned at the teasing her other self was doing.

"Damn," Clint moaned.  "Ladies, maybe a bit more skin?"

They smirked at him.  "For you or us?"

"For all of us," he growled.  He reached up to unzip the catsuit and undo the strap on the flirty dress that was basically a wrapped tied piece of silk gauze. That left them in the celebration bikinis, which were the same bulletproof silk yarn but this time they weren't crocheted.  They were solid and woven, in purple.  He groaned as he leaned up to kiss them both.  They smirked, making him lay back down while they went back to teasing each other.  He almost knew which one was which but then one went down on the other and Natasha's moan of pleasure was unmistakable.  He'd know that sound anywhere, at any time. 

He was running his hands over their sides, helping by undoing the ties holding the bottoms on.  Dawn leaned down to lick over his cockhead, making him flinch and pull her over for a kiss.  "Dawn," he moaned.  She chuckled.  "Oh, god."  She was moving to his throat to nibble and bite him.  One hard bite had him arching up and moaning.  Natasha was teasing his chest with a light massage.  He went limp so the ladies could do whatever they wanted. 

He got used as the pillow that held Natasha up when Dawn went down on her, getting to hold her and tease her breasts while Dawn had a long, in-depth lunch of her.  Then Natasha flipped them over and pinned Dawn beside him so she could reciprocate, which left Clint with some options.  Some great options.  He decided to help with the tease for now.  His girls were such teases.  He wasn't going to last once they got to the better parts.  Dawn was making breathy, panting noises so he shifted to please Natasha the same way.  She was so wet, so needy, a single touch made her moan.

He teased Natasha until Dawn came then got her off, making her shake and clutch Dawn's body.  Maybe he was wrong and this was Dawn.  He slurped and moved up her back to kiss the back of her neck.  No, it was Natasha.  She flinched a tiny bit at that.  "Nat, if I live, this is going in my all time favorite spot," he said in her ear.  "Above Germany, above Romania, above the last birthday you two conspired on or the night we finally got it together."  He kissed her ear, nibbling on it.

She smiled back at him.  "I should hope so."  She took a real kiss, kneeling over Dawn's body.  "I believe it's your turn."

"I think it is too but I'm not sure where I want to start."  He looked them over.   "I feel like I should have an extra dick.  So many options."  She moaned and he slid up behind her, pushing her back over so he could push into her.  "Kiss her.  Make sure she's at least halfway to coming when I'm done with you."  Natasha laughed and went back to teasing Dawn.  They all liked it that way.  Dawn made such great noises for them.  "Out loud, Dawn.  I want to hear them all.  You're only quiet when it's you and Natasha or you and me in a broom closet."  Dawn quit biting her lip to hold them in.  

The noises were as big of a turn on as the touching for him.  Natasha was usually quiet but tonight she was a vocal symphony of moans and pleading noises.  Dawn had flipped around to lick her while he rode her into a good nights sleep.  Natasha was licking on Dawn so she was more than ready for him.  It was so hot and he needed more control before it ended too soon.  Dawn got Natasha off for him and he pulled back.  Dawn licked him as he pulled out, earning a shiver.  "Your turn."

She rolled onto her stomach and crawled toward him.  "How did you want me, Clint?"

He moaned.  "I love you in all positions, Dawn."  He kissed her, tasting the sweetest things on her tongue.  He studied the bed.  "On your back.  Hands up above your head.  Grab the headboard for me."  She shivered but did it for him.  He leaned down to kiss her and work her up to where she was pleading.  He loved the begging noises the best.  She tried to move so he got to hold her hands down.  Which Dawn enjoyed so that was great.  He slid in and she moaned, arching up.  "Sensitive?"  She nodded.  He smirked.  "Good." 

He rode her hard but slowly, drawing it out.  Tempting every last wiggle and twitch out of Dawn's body was the best sex ever.  Natasha was nearly asleep and watching them while teasing her own body.  He leaned down to kiss her too.  She smiled and let one of his hands help her touch herself.  Dawn was trying to get him deeper so that was nice.  Natasha came and went limp.  She reached over to take the necklace off Dawn.  Which showed trust so great that it was blinding.  It made him shiver and Dawn creel with need. 

He sped up, going as deeply as he could each stroke.  He knew just how his bitches loved it and he was going to make sure Dawn was a puddle of goo by the time he was done.  She finally came and he followed, leaning down to kiss her.  She wrapped her arms around his neck and nearly inhaled his mouth.  He grinned and they each kissed Natasha the same way.  They curled up with Dawn in the center and it was a great night.  There was not a single dream all night long for any of them.


Phil had the night off.  The twins were with Tara and Maria Hill.  Tara was teaching their son about dresses while shopping and Melissa was helping Maria pick up spare ammo rounds and a gun cleaning kit.  Which suited his kids just fine.  His daughter cried the minute you got her near a clothing rack.  He felt all the sex going on and couldn't block it out so he sighed and went to check on Xander, who was collapsed on his couch in a sweaty mess.  "Should I avoid looking at the succuba or were you training?"

"Funny, but I was sparring with Roque."  He stared at him.  "Still can't block it off?"

"There's the trio and then Steve and Tony."  He sat down.  "I never got that much sex."

Xander smiled.  "I did many times over the years."  Phil stared at him.  "There's that whole warrior thing that draws them and John used to make them pounce me when he got too many hitting on him."

Phil shook his head.  "You're still more wild than I ever was."

"Times were wilder back then.  Even some normal mortals had two wives if their farms needed it."  He shifted his feet to give Phil more room.  "Barton fine?"

"Just fine with how they're using that damn choker to change forms."

Xander grinned.  "It's fun for that.  Lavelle does."  Phil shook his head.   "Oh, if you see a white haired me it's him and he's bored so he's visiting."

"Is he now?"

"No, but he has a few times.  He helped one of the long haired Xander's with a problem recently."

"That's nice of him."  Talsa shoved a plate into his hands.  "I'm not really hungry."

She snorted.  "Shut up and eat.  Xander, eat something."

"I'm really not hungry.  I just got done sparring.  It'll be a while before my stomach is calm enough for that."  She nodded, getting him some of that soda stuff she still didn't understand.  No one she knew wanted something fizzy to drink.  That was usually an indication that your drink was dosed with something.  "Any new random attacks of nagging?" Xander asked him.

"Only from the director.  Clint and Natasha told him about the marriage thing because Dawn had a vision."  Xander winced and grimaced.  "She doesn't have them as often as you do.  Most of them have been spot visions, not in depth visions."

"It's still a bad thing.  Visions can kill your mind.  It did to Cordelia.  That's why she's ascended."

Phil stared at him.  "I did not hear that news."

Xander nodded.  "A bit before the battle out there."

"I'm sorry you lost her."

"She still shows up to nag sometimes.  She's the Messenger for the Powers."

"At least she's not the one in _Jay and Silent Bob_," Phil offered.

"Not.  Cute," Cordelia called.  She appeared.  "Dawn's visions are going to stop.   You're the chosen one to send them to the heros."  She smirked.

"That's fine with me.  I can do that.  It won't hurt me near as much as it will her."

"Good."  She patted him on the head.  "The Powers are confused as to why you two are hanging out."

"Did you tell them that Gaia decided to marry us off against our wills?" he quipped with a smirk.

"Yeah and they're still confused.  They're not sure Gaia's a real being anymore."

"Bet me," Xander said dryly.  "She showed up to help Bia with a new plant earlier and kept scowling at me until I pointed out she was sneaky and we weren't up to being forced, and he has kids."

She nodded.  "I've seen the twins.  They're adorkable."  She faded out.

"They can be, yes," Phil said mildly, eating again.

"So, yeah, not totally lost her," Xander quipped.  Phil shook his head but ate another bite then put the plate down on the table.  Hellion came over.  "You are not a plate mooch," Xander reminded him.  Hellion jumped up into a free chair.  The three puppies ran in and the plate mysteriously broke while they were still a few feet away from it.  They both stared at the plate then at each other.  Then into the kitchen.

"The mutts needed fed anyway," she quipped.  "I can get you more."

"I'm full, thank you anyway, Talsa."

She snorted.  "You need a proper feeding."

"I haven't jogged all week to work one off."  He looked at Xander again.  Then up.  "Even with it blocked and me being so far away, I can *still* tell."

Xander felt along the same power lines.  "That's really hot and dirty."  He helped him close it off.  "Damn but she'd kill me."

"Natasha probably would, yes."

"Not her, Dawn for poaching."

Phil smiled.  "Probably, yes."  Xander got comfortable again.  "Is anything going on?"

"Everyone's out mining contacts about the upcoming problem and to see who's attacking Buffy's wedding."

Cordelia appeared, looking confused.  "Buffy's getting married?"

"You didn't see Hylal?" he quipped with a grin.  "Huge warrior guy that I introduced her to?  That knocked her up?"

She looked that way and blushed.  "The guy who's presently carrying her around like a dick trophy?"

"Yup, him," Xander agreed.  "They're due to marry in a few weeks."

Cordelia shivered.  "Damn!  I needed one of those when I was alive."

"Sorry, I was only the standard demigod then," Xander quipped dryly.

She stared at him.  "I forgot about that."

He smirked.  "Clearly I didn't try hard enough to make you howl.  I should get tips from Dawn and then go back for a few days."

She glanced at Dawn and went bright red.  "Wow.  So need the cold shower of the universe."  She fled before Xander offered again in front of his gay husband sort.

Xander grinned at Phil.  "The Powers need some perversion in their lives.  They're too uptight."

"Probably but that's mean to Dawn."

"She can block them if she wants."

"Good to know."  He shifted.   "They're probably going to switch to both being Dawns tomorrow."

Xander smirked.  "I didn't need the other dirty thoughts either, Phil."

"I didn't need to give them to myself honestly."  He rubbed his forehead.  Xander sat up and helped him block all of them out.  "Thank you."

"Welcome.  Should we tell them that any prayers that aren't specifically directed get sent to you?"

"I will when they show up at work.  It's mean to interrupt their fun before then."

Xander grinned.  "It is, yeah."  He stretched up then out again.  "Put in a movie?"

"I'm tired of movies."

"There's a library."

Phil smirked.  "I found a book that wasn't marked."

"That wasn't me.  That was Roque's doing."

"Roque, please mark any books you've stored something in?" Phil ordered.  "That way we can move it to an effective storage medium?"

"I'm.  Busy," got shouted back from Clay.

"Sure," Xander quipped.  "Have fun with that.  Can't be as hot as Dawn's."

Roque walked in and swatted Xander as hard as he dared.  "I did not need him to get that hot over them.  I was hoping for a mild night without need of straps, chains, or knives."  He walked back out.  His plans had just drastically changed.  Clay was nearly coming just from the thought of twin Natashas.

Phil sighed.  "I didn't want reminded either."


"No you're not."

"Well, okay, just a tiny bit of sorry," Xander said dryly.

Phil looked at him.  Then shook his head.  "For some reason I think that someone is spreading that around so more people screw."

"Probably, yeah.  Aphrodite is feeling a bit unloved since we all routinely hate her for things."

"I might, yes."  He shifted again.  "Are they broadcasting or in heat?"

Xander nodded.  "Clay might be, which means Roque's mom blessed him.  I'm going to send them extra condoms."  He sent his stash that way.

"If he does end up pregnant, I'm sure Pepper would be willing to share tips," Phil said dryly.  Xander burst out cackling, shaking his head.  He sighed.  "Please quit broadcasting that at me?" he demanded.  "I'm not having sex tonight, thank you."  The feeling quit.  He sighed in relief.  "Better."

Xander smirked.  "You know, there's that great masturbation thing."

"Not even close."  He picked up Xander's soda to drink since he wasn't.  Xander was staring at him.  "Sorry, the meat was a bit salty."

"Sharing food is one of those special things," Xander said delicately.

Phil blushed.  "It is?"

"Yeah, a lot."  He patted him with his bare foot.  "It'll be fine, Phil.  We'll figure things out."  Phil nodded.  They locked down the temple when the screwing got worse.  Clay clearly had the windows and doors open at his temple.  Cougar and Jensen came in fleeing it.  Pooch was with his wife right now trying for another baby.  Jensen flopped down.  "He's in heat."

"I thought only girls went into heat among yellow furs.  They do with dragons," Jensen complained.  "I've never been in heat so I know we don't."

Xander smirked.  "They do."

Jensen paused then shuddered.  "Please let them have condoms?"

"I sent out all of mine."

Cougar nodded, going to get his and tossed them in there so they might catch a clue.  He was fighting his urge to help the packmate in heat.

Roque stared at him.  "Do you mind?  We're a bit busy and don't need more."

"Yes you do.  Before the whole pack has to help."  He left again.  He needed to find something better to take this out on.

Roque paused then looked at all the extra condoms that had been given to them.  "I'm going to kill my mother."  Clay was panting, staring at him.  He sniffed.  "You're in fucking heat."

"I'm a guy," Clay complained.  "Can't be."

"Bullshit and that doesn't matter to my mother."  He went back to what he was doing.  Thankfully he had on a condom.  A very good brand of condom.  He checked, the ones that Cougar had sent had holes.  Same with the ones from Xander.  Roque sent Xander a dirty thought and heard him yell at Talsa.  He winced and pulled out.  "Let me go get some that don't have holes."  He disappeared and came back ten minutes later with a huge box of Trojans.  Ribbed for his/her pleasure sorts.  He rolled one on and got back to making his growling mate growl in a different key and for a different reason.  That was better.  Because he was not looking for kids this century.


Stark turned off the security system again.  "JARVIS, quit perving."

"Sorry, but she was making distressed noises."

"If she's with them, I don't need to see it.  Nor do you.  I'm pretty sure she's not in trouble if they're doing that to her."  He blocked out the images.  He might not be able to look at Dawn when she came back.  The two younger ones were giving him odd looks.  "Security settings are set to pain noises and screams."  They nodded.

"I didn't think Dawn would be a screamer," Andrew admitted.  He was a bit tipsy still.

Tony nodded.  "Yes, she is."  Rodney smirked at him.  "I've had to reset the levels a number of times."  He got another drink and they went back to tinkering.  It was their fourth day drunk of this version of trying to forget the memories again and they were actually working on the nanite sensors.  Well, Jonathan was snoring a bit now.  Andrew was giving Rodney speculative looks that would probably drive Tony out of the lab.  Yup, the younger geek pounced his mentor and Tony got to have a bit of fresh air from his balcony.  He turned off the security system to make sure no one else saw.  They didn't need that. 

He looked up at the penthouse's balcony.  There was a light on.  Which meant Pepper was probably making dinner.  If he was more sober he'd go up and beg her to cure his dirty mind.  But he wasn't and she deserved so much better than him when he was plastered.  Or even mildly tipsy.  When the noises quit he gave them a half an hour to calm down and rest then they got back to work.  McKay's assistants were right, he was in lecture mode instead of working thanks to the sex.  They'd get back to tinkering later.  Jonathan had apparently been woken up by it because he was blushing.  Tony smirked at him.  "It's all good, Jonathan."  He patted him on the back and nearly got pounced.  "No, pounce Andrew.  The only one I want pounced by is Pepper."  Jonathan blushed but Andrew pulled him over to cuddle him.

McKay looked over.  "Was one of them wearing that damnable choker?"

"Yup," Tony quipped.  "They switched it off today.  Last night was twin Natashas."  Rodney moaned and nearly came from that image.  "Barton's a really lucky guy."

"Pepper would do it for you."

"I know."  He grinned.  "She still deserves better than me."

She cleared her throat from the doorway.  "It's a wise man who realizes that he's not worthy of his dream woman yet still acts on it because he realizes he'll never be better than he is right now."

Tony looked her over.  She was wearing a sundress and wedge heels.  He walked over to kiss her.  "I know I'm not worthy."

"Yet I still love you anyway, dumbass."  She smiled.  "Dinner?"

He moaned.  "I've...."

"I can tell."  She took his hand and led him off.  "Boys, there's two beds in here.  Use them before dawn and, McKay, eat something."  She took him home and fed him then helped him into the shower.  He relaxed and let her handle him.  "You and Steve?"

"He said you were the only one he'd never mind," he said, turning her to pull her in with him.  He kissed her.  "I'm a lucky guy, Pepper."

"You certainly are since Steve's waiting on us."  She smiled at his very light blush.  "Hurry up."  She strolled out.

He finished up and made sure he brushed his teeth to hide the alcohol from earlier.  He came out in a towel.  Steve and she were talking.  "I have no idea what to say to this.  Well I do but Pepper would swat me too hard and Steve would pout."  He laid down on the bed.

Pepper kissed him.  "We're not sharing you that way, Tony."  He moaned.  She got up to work on his back muscles, making him limp and needy.  It always did it for him.  Then she strolled off, letting Steve have him.

Tony looked at him.  "I'm lucky."

"You are."  He took a kiss.  "Very lucky." 

Tony grinned and pounced.  He could like this pouncing this and maybe tonight they'd get beyond touching.  Though he'd have to be gentle.  He knew that someone was a virgin to guys at the very least.  So maybe he'd be extra sweet.  He stripped Steve off and laid him out on the bed for his pleasure, staring down at him.  He leaned down to take another kiss and then moved to lick a nipple.  Steve nearly flinched himself upright.  "Easy," Tony soothed.  He switched, using his fingers to tease the first one.  Steve was already needy.  He moved back to tease him more.

"Why aren't you naked?" he asked.

Tony stripped off the towel and tossed it off the bed.  "I can be naked.  I'm pretty good at it actually."  He leaned down to lick over the head of Steve's cock, making him shiver.  "We've done this."

"I know.  I had dreams about it the other night."  He gripped the bedspread.  Tony smirked and made him nearly fold in half when he swallowed him all the way down.  "Tony," he moaned.  "Please!"

"Am."  He went back to his sucking duty.  One hand found the lube Pepper had left out, pouring a bit out so he could start the stretching process.  Steve went limp when the first finger entered him.  "Have you been teasing yourself?" he asked with a grin.

"I wanted to know if I could."

"You can and it'll be great because we both are."  He took a quick kiss then got back to his stretching.  Steve didn't need distracted.  In fact he seemed to be savoring it.  Tony wouldn't deny him any bit of happiness.  It was great for him, Tony would make sure of it before he slid into the warm, tight tunnel.  When he finally did, Steve came with a shout.  Tony soothed him back down and then back up to the ready state, kissing and stroking him until he was ready to demand Tony get on with it.  Tony did work best under pressure.  He slowly pulled back and Steve clutched him.  "Not leaving," he said in his ear, sliding back in.  Steve shivered.  "You have thousands more of those coming because you're a good boy."

"I don't feel like a good boy," he said, gulping air.

Tony chuckled.  "You're a good boy because good boys get rewarded."  Steve keened and arched up so Tony sped up a bit.  Steve was trying to help so Tony showed him how to help him.  It was good and Steve made such a pretty, sweaty picture underneath him.  That was perfect.  A messy, sweaty, begging Steve was hot.  So damn hot Tony wasn't going to last.  He reached down to stroke him and it was what was needed.  Steve was starting to stiffen up.  He was going to come again.  Tony came with him this time and they laid there, panting at each other until Steve leaned over to kiss him.  Tony smiled.

"You're a good boy too because you earned that reward."

Tony smirked.  "Yes I did."  He took another kiss and Steve cuddled.  Tony didn't mind.  Cuddling was nice after sex as long as they weren't too clingy, which Steve wasn't.  Maybe later he'd teach Cap a few new things about male-to-male sex so he got his own reward.


In the morning, the trio woke up, went to do their daily workouts, then the ladies came up to shower without him.  He smiled and made sure had an extra bottle of water, and grabbed a bowl of cereal on his way to the shower.  He paused, because now there were two Dawns and one was tied down.  He finished his cereal and watched them tease each other.

Dawn gave it away.  "I'm so hot like that," she whispered.  "I had no idea."  Natasha nodded, smiling.  They went back to teasing each other.

Clint went to shower, brush his teeth, and then came out naked so he could help with that.  The fact that Natasha had let herself be tied down showed a level of trust that he usually never saw.  He kissed her.  "Nat, let us know if you need free," he reminded her.

She nodded.  "I will." 

He kissed her and then Dawn.  It gave him the opportunity to tease Natasha like he did Dawn, until she was past begging to incoherent and goo.  She couldn't do anything but beg.  Which Dawn kept silencing with kisses.  "I like hearing them," he said in her ear, taking a kiss.  "Make her happy, Dawn, and you're next."  She shivered but nodded.  Natasha was trying to shift away from him so he slid into her and gave her some relief. 

"Clint," she begged.

"Shh.  I have you.  You're so hot like this."  He kissed her and gave her the ride of her life, still teasing by changing rhythm and strength, moving her legs up to give him a better opening.  She was shaking by the time he let her finally come.  She went limp, staring up at him, panting hard.  He carefully undid each wrist then kissed it.  She went limp, smiling at him.  "That was so special," he said in her ear.  "Thank you."

She kissed him.  "I wanted to try that."  She took another kiss then kissed Dawn.  "We still have another toy to play with."

He grinned at Dawn.  "Present yourself to me, Summers."  She shivered but knelt over Natasha's body and kissed him.  He groaned, running a hand over her body.  "Thank you for not taking off all the hair."  He kissed her.  Natasha was teasing her with her fingers.  Dawn gasped and clenched down on them.  "Your turn."  She swallowed and nodded, laying down.  They hitched her down and he smirked.  "What new toy is that?"

Natasha brought out a second set of cuffs, attached to a spreader bar.   She hitched it to the headboard and then Dawn's ankles into it.  It held her open, her knees up by her shoulders, and fully open for them.  "That one."  She pointed at the toy that was in Dawn.  "It adjustable."

He licked around it, feeling it set on low vibration.  He took the remote to play with, making Dawn jump and babble then nearly weep when he turned it up higher.  He could have some fun with that.  "You're keeping this in today.  Even after we're out of here."  He finally turned it off, it was in his way, and Dawn deserved his full attention the same way Natasha had gotten.  Dawn was one writhing mass of woman.  It was so much fun watching her hiccup her moans.  A bit of teasing and then he slid in.  "Nice, sweetheart."

"Clint," she whined, trying to reach for him.

He smirked.  "You're still mine."  He gripped her hands, which was what she wanted.  Dawn was a grabber during sex, she needed something to clutch.  He ground down into her, making her try to help.  "Just enjoy it, Dawn."  He enjoyed this a lot.  Dawn got to enjoy Natasha and her strap on too.   When he was worn out, Natasha took over and gave Dawn the ride of her life while he stroked her breasts and stomach to keep her grounded.  Dawn finally gave up and nearly passed out.  They let her go and soothed her the same way he had Natasha, cuddling her between them.

This was how they were supposed to be.  It was good.


Coulson finally got free of all the hot and cold running smut that was flowing his way.  Because he was going to kill everyone soon for it.  He couldn't do a single thing at work.  He had snapped three pens.  He had to clean up a hell of a mess on his desk.   He couldn't make it to lunch because he couldn't walk.  He felt wrong about alleviating the need he had but Dawn had been praying all day as they teased her mercilessly.  He was going to give the girls a cock ring system for Clint so he would leave them alone.  He really was.  He was head down on his desk, trying to calm himself down, when someone pounded them walked in.  He knew who it was.  "Dawn's broadcasting a bit, sir."

Fury groaned.  "What are they doing?"

Phil looked up.  "Sir, he was in the infirmary in critical care.  Both of their birthdays on file were in the last month and a half.  What do you think they're doing?"  He put his head back down, silently begging Dawn to quit broadcasting.  Suddenly it shut off and he sighed in pleasure.  "Thank you."

Xander chuckled.  "Welcome.  I put up extra shields around your office to block off smutty thoughts."  He grinned at Fury.  "If she's that far gone on it, she does broadcast.  Then again, the twins are slightly empathic so those nights they sleep all night."  Phil stared at him.  "Tara noticed it and that's why Maria's been in a bad mood, because she cut her off.  I told her earlier since Tara could only stammer and blush."

"We need more shields around them."

"Summers needs to keep her mind to herself," Fury said.

"I don't know anyone who has total control during really great sex," Xander quipped with an evil smirk.  "Even gods get a bit mentally loud when it's good.  Clay and Roque nearly drove me off last night."  Fury shuddered as he walked off.  Xander handed over the folders the mortal had been carrying, cleaning up the rest of the mess.  "No one's going to mind if you fix that, Phil."

"I won't be able to look at them."

"Yes you will.  Dawn's been having great sex for a while now."  He moved to work on his shoulders, making him relax.  He added a touch of power and made Phil nearly get off.  "Easiest way."

"Get me home?" he begged.

"Mine or yours?"

"Yours.  It's farther away from them."  Xander took him home to Asgard, making Phil moan in relief.  He looked around the cabin looking house.  Then at Xander.  "We're on Asgard?  I noticed it's cold."

"We're in the coldest section, where some of the most vulnerable villages are."  He smiled.  "I thought you might like a bit of a stress break."

"I could, yes."  He relaxed, getting up to look around Xander's house.  There were some pictures of him and John in various places.  Including one with Roque overtop of a hunt.  "Rabid?" he asked.  The lion looked a bit scrawny.

"Trying to rip up a village and it was a zombie, sent by a shaman in a rival village."

"Huh."  He looked at other things.  There were a few marked books.  He tapped one.  "We should send these down."

"I'll do it if I remember it."  Phil nodded and moved to the pictures on the mantle.  Then to the other bookshelf.  It was filled with things from his travels.  He touched one braided doll, looking back at him.  "From a village I saved from some Ottoman Turks."  Phil smiled and moved on to look in the kitchen, which was rustic but it had a coffee maker that should need electricity.  The stairs led up to a single room as far as he could tell when he glanced up there.  He came back and sat down.  Xander relaxed.  "I should bring the dogs up so they can run around."

"They're good dogs."  Xander summoned the four of them and let them go romp in the snow.  One of the puppies sniffed and took off.  Xander sniffed and brought it back.  "Leave Heimdall alone, dog."  It pouted but went to play with its siblings in the snow.  Xander closed the door most of the way and set up a barrier so the cold wouldn't seep in.  Phil was wearing a normal suit and it wasn't exactly the warmest thing.  "Get comfy and change, Phil."

"I'm still working on that."  Xander smirked and changed him into jeans and a flannel shirt.  Phil smiled.  "Thanks."  He watched the fire.  It was almost totally quiet, outside the dogs ripping apart a rabbit to play with.  He shook his head.

"They're trained to not go near Carrot or Cheese," Xander assured him. "I'm sending one to her to guard her."

Phil smiled.  "Stark might mind the dog drool but it'll be good for her."

"It will be."  Hellion walked in with the rabbit, presenting it to him.  "Nice job.  Remember, you can't touch Callia's rabbit."  He took it from his dog, who ran off.  He made it disappear.  He wasn't going to eat a rabbit his dogs had chewed on.  Phil laughed.  "They're mostly good dogs."  That one puppy went bounding off to sniff Heimdall again but Xander just rolled his eyes.

"Xander, this one is adorable," Heimdall called, using magic to get it to them.

"They're Hellion's puppies."

"Good.  I'm taking this one."  He petted Hellion, who let him flash off with his spawn.

Hellion heard something and sniffed, growling slightly.  A female wolf came out of the trees.  He walked over to sniff at her.  If she was going to attack, she'd try it then.  The puppies were guarding the door.  He was the bigger dog and the alpha, it was his job.  She nuzzled him and sniffed back.  He found out she was in heat and it was his lucky day.  She moaned, the puppies bayed, but she was his sort of girl.  Like his human, he liked them a bit wild and dangerous.

Xander leaned out then shook his head.  "Inside," he told the puppies.  They went running in.  Phil dried the snow from them and cleaned them up before they could pounce the couch.  Xander sat down, having to move one.  "My seat."  The dogs still forced him up against Phil.  "Hellion found a girlfriend.  She's a pretty red wolf."

Phil considered it.  "He's a matted stone color, with a bit of brindling.  I wonder what they'll look like."

"No clue," Xander admitted.  "We'll find out soon enough."

Phil nodded.  "The new puppies would have fun training the agents too.  Though Director Fury doesn't want them back because of the whole farting issue.  He had someone shoot out windows to relieve the stench."  Xander cackled, hugging his puppies.   "Why do Yellow Furs all take care of a pack member in heat?"

"It's mostly a protective instinct.  So she catches sooner and goes out of heat, which can draw predators."

"Huh.  I hadn't thought about that being protective."  He shifted.  "Is Clay all right?"

"Cougar locked himself in his room so he couldn't help.  Jensen's not affected, and Pooch is at home."

"That's good."  He shifted.  "Is someone broadcasting up here?"

Xander felt and nodded.  "The witch in the local village is doing one for an arranged marriage I guess."  He blocked it off and Phil relaxed again.  "Go up and nap, Phil.  I can sleep on the couch with the dogs."  Hellion pushed his way in, getting cleaned up.  His new bitch came trotting in behind him.  Xander stared but cleaned her up and talked to her.  He moved to help her slight injury, Hellion had bitten her a few times, and it was nicer.

Phil stared.  "I forgot you could talk to wolves."

"I can."  He smiled.  "It's better than Dad's gift of talking virgins into bed.  Never had much luck with them."  He finished healing her and she laid down in front of the fireplace.  "She's from the pack that I had protecting me when I was three and one tried to attack.  That's how I found out I can talk to wolves."  He sat back down, trying to move one of the puppies.  "I'm not sitting in his lap, dog."  It shifted.  He got comfortable.  "We can be up here for a few weeks if you need to."

Phil smiled.  "Thanks.  I could use the quiet.  My shields have been shaky."  Xander looked at them and ended something, making him wince.  "I was connected?"

"Yup.  Worried about them probably." 

Phil nodded, getting up to go nap.  He was exhausted.  Xander was being nicely honorable.  "Xander, there's the trundle up here.  I can take it since it's warmer than in the living room."

"I still might pounce, Phil."

"You've done that before.  Just don't enforce nudity this time."

Xander snorted.  "I hate sleeping in clothes."  He went up there.

"Even up here?"

"Yup, even up here.  That's why I have quilts.  I made most of them myself when I was injured."  He stripped down to his boxers and climbed in then took them off and tossed them at his clothes.  One of the puppies stole them to wear on his head but he could only shake his head at that.

Phil laughed.  "I thought they only did that to women's panties."

"No, my dog's a bit warped so his puppies are too."  Phil climbed into the trundle.  Xander got him a few extra quilts and he settled in to rest.  Xander rested too.  He was tired for some reason.  The dogs all gathered in front of the fireplace around their stepmother and it was nice.

"How long do wolves gestate?"

"About two months if I remember right."

"So relatively soon we'll be able to see the pups?"

"Yup."  Xander shifted.  He looked down there.  "You okay?"

"I'm good, Xander.  Thank you."

"Welcome."  They settled in to nap.  It was nicely cold enough to sleep in the house and quiet.  Phil enjoyed the quiet after being in New York.


Phil was brought back to his office the next day, having changed and all that quickly on the way in.  He walked up to the main admin area.  "Maria, are the kids all right?  I forgot to call."

"They slept really well."  She smiled.  "We encouraged it and so did everyone else apparently.  You look well rested."

"Xander went home to Asgard for a few days; he took me so I could get some quiet from the broadcasting."  She snickered.  "Laugh now but it was bad."

"You were worried so you linked in somehow?" she teased.

"Something like that," he said dryly.  "We do know that Hellion plus a red wolf is a very pretty puppy."  She gaped.  "He found one when we got up there.  They're still suckling but Xander is cooing and promising one to Callia and possibly one to the twins."

"Part wolf might be aggressive, Phil."

"Xander can talk to wolves.  He compared it to his father's version of talking virgins into bed to screw them up."  He sipped the coffee he had poured.  She was laughing.  "So there might be a puppy for them soon."

"We'll see.  Tara got a cat."

"Sure."  He smiled at the other agents coming in.  "Beyond that, it was a nice few weeks up there."

"That's good."  Fury walked past them looking confused.  "Alexander had to go home for a bit and brought him."

"It was a cabin in the middle of nowhere but snow," Phil agreed.  He smiled at one of the admin people who handed him a file.  "Thank you."  He glanced through it, signed off, and handed it to Maria.  Who signed it and tossed it onto Joyce's desk.  "Did I miss anything?"

"I came home and Tara was bright red and shaking from the lust downstairs," she said dryly but quietly.  "It was a good night."  Phil grinned at her.  "Stark's looking for Dawn."

"She's probably still at home."

"I'll let him know."  She patted him on the arm.  "Are things working out better?"

"We've done some talking."  Fury came to his doorway.  "Yes, sir?"

"That plot to get you married off?"

"Remember me watching a movie that Bliss brought?"  He finished his coffee and got more but made some more since it was the bottom of the pot.

"I do."

"Did you remember Thor congratulating me because Gaia had decided to go behind our backs and we were basically screwed because no one could undo it, sir?"

"No, I did not."  Phil nodded.  "So that's why you went home with him?"

"No, I went home with him because I needed some peace and quiet.  Time runs differently up there."

"It does," Thor agreed as he walked toward them.  "Heimdall was showing off the puppy of war."

Phil smiled.  "Hellion found a red wolf he really likes.  The puppies are adorable."

Thor nodded.  "That one should go to Callia to guard her."

"We're considering it.  It'll need trained first."  Thor nodded that was true.  "The dogs had a lot of fun playing in the snow around the cabin."

"Ah, he took you to one of his on-duty houses, not his main house by Valhalla."  Phil frowned.  "We all have official residences near there or one of the rooms attached to the hall.  I had moved out when all the fighting got to me.  Loki's always lived off to the edge of the cleared areas.  Upon his official duties being given to him, Xander set up his own.  It's a bit grand, as befitting his position as the only grandchild, still, but not too large.  The cabins are where he prefers to go.  He tends to stay in his hall for official things when he's summoned to Valhalla.  As do I.  It keeps us out of the crossfire."

Phil nodded.  "That makes sense.  How many cabins does he have?"

"Three though one's hidden.  It's his main one, has personal things beyond weapons."

"That's where we were."

Thor smiled.  "Only Heimdall has seen that one.  It's a good sign."  He clapped him on the back.  "Someday you two will work things out."  He walked off.

"Oh, Thor, Clay got sent into heat," Phil said.

Thor paused to look at him.  "How?  He's mortal."

"He's a yellow fur."  Phil sipped his coffee, watching the amusing expressions Thor was going through.

"I was not aware, but still he's male, even as Roque's mate.... oh."  He nodded once.  "She has thankfully not blessed me so."  He went to hide from Roque's mother.  He didn't want to be a mother.

Phil smiled at Maria, who smirked back.

"Why?" Fury asked.

"Roque's mother wants grandchildren, sir," Maria said happily.

"We found out that all the condoms at the temple had holes poked in them," Phil said.  "Dawn's going to blow her stack."  He walked off happier with that spreading of news.

Maria shuddered.  "I don't want to see that fit."

"I don't want to see them pregnant," Fury complained, going back to his desk.

Maria smiled all the way back to her desk.  It was nice of Phil to spread such happy news.


Dawn flashed out to the temple, staring at the women.  "Do not touch a single thing in my house."  The woman glared at her.  "I mean it."

Alana laughed.  "I'm sure they won't, Dawn."

"Outside of them trying to ruin my clothes and poking holes in all the condoms," she said dryly.

"It's not proper," the woman sneered.

"Yes, I'm a proper *modern* woman.  We don't live in the middle ages."  The woman smacked her and Dawn laid her out, staring down at her.  "You done with your shit now?"  Alana was staring in horror at the woman on the floor.  "Because it does not happen.  I will ruin you so goddamn fast it's not funny."  She walked over and calmly put a lock on her house.  One that no one could get past outside of her, Xander, and Phil.  Maybe Alana.  She banished the ones in there from her house.  Fortunately all her clothes were at home.  Dawn took the sex toy one was holding.  "Thank you, wanted that to play with today since the man's tired."  She walked off, stuffing it in her back pocket.  "Xander?"  He leaned out.  "I had to lock my doors thanks to all the condoms having holes and other shit."

"Why is your cheek red?"  Dawn pointed at the woman crying on the ground.  He nodded.  "She hit you?"

"Then I punched her."

"Good."  He grinned.  "Talsa, get your sister to someone else before she annoys me again."  He hugged Dawn.  "You so drove Phil to nearly hiding in his office.  He couldn't even walk, Dawn."

She smiled.  "Not my intention.  Was he good?"  Xander gave her a dirty look.  "He wasn't linked to me."

"He was checking on your spouse."

"He's very cute to check on."  She grinned.  "Talsa, can you please keep them out of my shit?  I'll pop around and clean if I have to," she said when she opened her mouth.

"Would your mother condone you carrying that around in the open?"

"Yeah.  Mom has a toy, his name's Bruce and he's a fun one according to her."  Talsa blushed.  "Keep them out of my shit please.  No more poking holes in the condoms either, or else someone will end up pregnant and the next one to do that is probably Clay.  Do we really want to baby him through one?"

"No," Talsa said.  She banished most of the women to a mortal temple they still had.  "I did not mean for them to disrupt things," she told Xander.

Who shrugged.  "They're very traditional and the modern world is not the same as it is in Asgard, Talsa.  Women wear less, they work, they don't automatically get married and have kids.  Those ones need to know what modern women are like."  He shrugged and hugged Dawn.  "See you later."

"Okay.  Why?"

"Stark was thinking about a cookout?"

"Huh.  Hasn't told me yet."  She shrugged.  "We'll deal with it."  She went back home, handing Natasha the toy.  "I had to lock the house.  It's on the six pin system you showed me."

"I can pick that," she agreed.  "So can Clint."

Dawn smiled.  "JARVIS?"

"Yes, Dawn."

"Is there something Stark wanted to invite us to?"

"I believe he's been trying to all morning."

She sighed and looked at Natasha, who smiled and moved her fingers in a 'go on' motion.  Dawn nodded and sent herself to the building, hiking up to the lab floor.  She let herself in, noticing the flinches.  She stared at them.  "I'm not worried.  It didn't happen here.  You didn't have little machines doing mind control," she said bluntly.  "Even if you found out all humans are animals somewhere in their warped brains, I've seen worse.  Hell, I've probably had Spike tell me about him doing worse to victims."

"Not likely," Tony said, looking at her.  "You have no idea where I went, Dawn."

"Actually, boss, I was meditating to find you all."  He winced.  "So, yeah, do."  She crossed her arms over her chest.  "I've seen worse.  I've heard worse than that.  Hell, Spike has porn worse than that."  He let out a bitter sounding snort.  "Tell me if you're going to flinch each time I see you because I'll start looking for a new job.  I won't work here if it's going to make you that uncomfortable."

"No, it's not," he promised, staring at her.  "It doesn't bother you?"

"Hello, saw worse porn."  Tony shuddered.  "Saw worse in person during that time overseas because someone asked Natasha to help her get her little sister out of a people selling operation."  She stared at him.  "Really."  She walked closer.  "Beyond that, thoughts aren't reality.  Everyone has evil thoughts sometimes.  There's a few of the geeks I'm seriously considering how to stake on a demonic spider nest and tell the goo globes that like to rape people where they are."  She saw the wince.  She swatted him on the head.  "Remember, if you had tried, I would've kicked your ass."

He laughed and hugged her.  "I'm sorry."

She looked at him.  "Did you actually try something?"  He shook his head.  "Then there's nothing to be sorry for."  She swatted him.  "Dumbass."  He let her go but he relaxed.  She looked at Andrew and Jonathan, who both got swatted.  "At least you two would've been nicer."  Andrew hugged her.  She gave him a cuddle then pulled Jonathan over.  "See, it's all right."  They nodded, relaxing.  "No more drinking, boys.  You create weird things that your roomba dog runs from."  She looked over Jonathan's shoulder at Rodney and snorted.  She found a file and pulled it up on his system.  "One of Spike's favorites."   He shuddered and turned it off.  She grinned. "So, no, I was going to lock you in a room next.  You're a scary geek, all of you are, but not for that reason."

"We're doing a pool party for the family and the team," Tony said.  "No bikinis."

"You know, my only one-piece makes me look like a dominatrix," she said dryly.

He winced.  "Go buy one?"

"I need to shop a little bit.  The women at the temple tried to ruin things because it wasn't up to their standards on Asgard.  And poked holes in all the condoms right as Clay was sent into heat."  Rodney shuddered.  "I think Roque got told in time."  She patted him on the arm.  Then she swatted him.  "Genii I am not, or a genie, McKay.  If I was, I'd wish your ass into a harem outfit for your stupid picking on my hair thing."  She stared him down, getting a laugh back.  "I can ask Natasha if she'd like to help me shop.  I do have that clothing allowance."

Tony winced.  "I just felt my wallet twinge."

Dawn smirked.  "You added it."  She strolled off.  "When?"

"Six.  Dinner.  Pool's heated.  Public pool rules apply."

"Yup."  She disappeared to go home.

Stark relaxed.  "It went better than I thought."

McKay nodded.  "She's stronger than I am."

Andrew looked at the computer.  "I saw that one.  My brother liked it.  It's kinda gross.  The vampire cuts off little pieces of skin and licks it clean then moves on to the next few inches.  All over the victim's body."  Jonathan walked off shuddering, fingers in his ears.  "Sorry."

"I'm glad we burned all his stuff, 'Drew."

"Me too.  My mother blamed him having porn on me for some reason."  He followed his best friend.  "We're taking a break."

"That's fine, 'Drew," Tony said, watching them go.  "It's good he healed."

"It is," McKay agreed.  "I'd hate to lose his mind to that clinic."  He turned off the video player and put it aside.  "She did outsmart us."

"She's not exactly a genius but they did teach her street smarts."  He sat down.  "She might not be as scary as Romanoff but she's very good at what she does."  He looked up.  "Can you finally come down now?  I know you're hiding from them but really, Barton.  Find her a bathing suit that won't make Steve blush while you're at it."  Clint did come down.  "We're all working on it."

He smirked.  "I know."  He stared at McKay then at Stark.  "Are you going to be able to handle it?"

"Hopefully she'll give us a few days before she's in a teasing, flirty mood.  I don't think I could take her in something like that pink dress until I'm more settled."

"She doesn't have anything like that right now.  You're on your own with the bathing suit thing."  He shrugged.  "I can't dictate that."  He looked at the boys when they came back, seeing the horrified looks. "Relax, boys.  She still considers you like brothers."  They relaxed.  "Or else I would've already shot you."  He looked at Stark again.  "We have a battle coming up."

"I know.  Then an apocalypse level battle in a few months."

"Why two?" Rodney demanded.

"Buffy's getting married in a few weeks," Clint said with a grin.  "She's mad at herself for being pregnant during the second demon invasion we've had."

Tony laughed.  "She was barely out of the healing the last time."

"Dawn was complaining that during that she turned into her sister.  She was baiting a trap with herself and doing her nails."  Stark and McKay finished relaxing.  "Are we bringing anything?"

"Just yourselves.  Pepper has a tiny baby bump she wanted to show off."

Clint nodded.  "When is work restarting?"

"The cleaning's done.  We're waiting on the inspection, which will be in a week.  She's taking Pepper to Guatemala for their vacation during the invasion."

Clint nodded.  "We can handle that."  He punched him on the arm.  "Fury knows about us.  She had a vision of him forcing us apart."

"If he did, you'd have a job," Stark assured him.

Clint smiled.  "I figured I could have her sweettalk you into one for me."  He smirked as he walked out.  They were going to be fine.  The team would pull back together again.

Stark let out a breath and looked at the monitor next to McKay.  "Romanoff's not here at least.  She'd slam me into the floor, kick my ass, and then remind me she's her wife."  He went back to where he was tinkering.

"I never expected a girl like Dawn to realize that the world was that dark."

"Her sister fights monsters," Andrew said.  "Of course she knows.  She met SHIELD agents because there was a hell goddess after her, Rodney."

"Point," he admitted.  "She was so chipper when she was stuck on Atlantis."

Tony smiled.  "She still is and she's seen some of the worst things since then."  They all nodded and got back to work on the nanite sensors and something to deal with the ones who had sent them at them.  He looked at the boys.  "You two are coming tonight?"

"Nope," Jonathan said.  "I wanted to face down Warren and beat him."

"Okay," McKay agreed.  "Be careful.  Don't let him talk you into anything."

"We won't," Andrew promised quietly.  "He was our friend.  We owe him the beating in person instead of a letter bomb."  He handed it to Tony and got back to work.

Tony disarmed it and put it aside.  "Too much explosive, boys.  It would've taken out more than his bed.  Probably just the room but I'm not sure if he's in a private room."

"He is," Jonathan said.  "Because he made his old roomie cry and beg to be moved."

"Mostly by talking about his robotic girlfriends," Andrew added.  "I think they're worried Natasha's going to show up and do the leg-locker around the throat thing to them for upsetting her human."

Tony laughed.  "I can see her doing that.  She's been worried about him."

"What are we going to do about the robotic Dawn since SHIELD hasn't taken them down?" Rodney asked.  Tony shuddered.

Andrew looked at them.  "I got that passed to me from Jensen and told him they were just as sick as Warren."

Jonathan shrugged.  "The robo Pepper and Natasha are sweet but I like mine to have a heartbeat and like to cuddle."  Andrew nodded.  The older geeks stared at them.  "Some day I'll be ready for more than clothed, standing cuddles," he said with a blush, ducking his head.

"The two girls you two hang with are nice," Tony said with a smile.  "Did you write them?"

"They came over last night and encouraged us to go yell at Warren in person," Andrew said with a bright, hot blush.  "She knows.  I told her."

McKay patted him on the back.  "It's a good sign, Andrew."  He grinned but still blushed.  "Yes, I was totally toying with you while drunk."

"Shoot," he complained.  "I was hoping to take notes and show her.  She said she has no idea how to deal with men.  She had sisters and never got around to taking notes or experimenting scientifically with guys."

"Mine either, even though she had a brother she said he got creeped out when she asked for empirical differences between guys and girls."

Tony laughed.  "I remember being like that but then my father sent me a whore house for a week.  He didn't want me to be a twittering virgin."

"Twitter was around back then?" Andrew asked.

"Not that meaning of the word."

"Oh."  He nodded.  "I guess that would suck inside the suit too."

"Probably, yeah," Tony agreed.

"There was that potion," McKay joked.  "I nearly asked for some so I could dose all of the soldiers I know."

"Most of them could solve that pretty easily," Tony said.  "And the potion creates a perpetual one.  Dawn had a few days of problems with it."  The younger geeks whimpered.   Tony nodded.  "She said it grew back in under an hour one night."

McKay smirked.  "I think Sheppard would look nice as a perpetually virginal young woman."  Since nothing happened it proved no one was paying attention to them.  At least until he found himself inside a certain pond and being held under the water by said Colonel.

John stared at him.  "If you make a gender changing machine, you will be going into it," John assured him when he let him up.  "Am I clear?"  McKay glared.  He smiled back.   "Remember, I didn't learn to play nicely until about sixty years ago, Meredith Rodney McKay.  There's a whole lot of uncivility there that I can easily call up."  He strolled off.  "Teyla, I think Rodney needs some help with his meditation again.  He was just talking about making a machine to make me and Ronon pure little girls."

She looked at him.  "Is he fevered?"

"No, I dunked him in the pond.  There's no fever there."  He smiled.

She nodded, going to get him and walk him through the meditation exercises.  He clearly needed the mind clearing time.  Before he went evil.  Since he went willingly, with very little complaining, she knew he needed it badly.


Dawn showed up that night with her two spouses and in a zip-front modest top that nearly reached her belly button and a pair of bike short-like bottoms.  Tony sighed in pleasure at that look.  She pinched him on the cheek.  "You're getting it the first day I get back."  He shook his head.  She walked over to hug Pepper.  "I'm hearing baby bump rumors."

"From who?"


"Oh, slightly."  She let Dawn check, smiling at her grin.  "Someday you can do this."

"Maybe."  She hugged her.  "We're all okay."

Phil walked over and poked her.  "Quit.  Broadcasting."  He walked off when she giggled.

"Xander had to take him to Asgard to get away from you three," Tony quipped.

"Pervert," Clint teased with a grin.

"Because I was checking on you, which got me caught in her broadcasting.  I nearly had to hide all day, Barton," Coulson shot back.  "I started to feel like I had been appointed as a love god instead of protecting all of you."

"Which day was that?" Dawn quipped.  "They are fantastic to me after all."  Natasha pinched her on the arm.  "You are."

"I am," she agreed.  "Still not polite to torment him."

"Hell, I told one of the bitchy ones at the temple that Mom had a toy too, his name was Bruce and she said he was fun."  Her mother cackled while Bruce blushed and ducked his head.  She hugged him.  "We like you."

He smiled.  "Like me a tiny bit less?"

"No, then I'd have to destroy you or make sure Mom was only after you for carnal reasons."

He patted her on the back.  "I can understand that."  She smirked.  "Did you get poisoned or something?"

"No, I'm in a good, goofy mood.  My sister is finally marrying someone who has a pulse."  Joyce was still laughing.  "Spike's warned people away from the wedding so I only have to bring the usual weapons, and she's got a poofy dress that Hylal said he can't get under."  She strolled off.

Joyce hugged Bruce.  "I know you're more than a toy."  He smiled and went to get a drink before he blushed himself to death.  Tony poked him.  "Stark, you can't have my man.  I waited too many years for a good one."

"Now I know the bluntness is genetic," Tony quipped.  "Do you wear flirty things like Dawn does?"

"I haven't been her age in decades," she said dryly.  "I'm more demure than flirty.  I'm in my comfortable shoes years, not my way too high heels years."

"They're comfy after a few wears," Dawn offered.

"I'm sure you think they are until you mess up your ankles, knees, or back, dear."

"Hey, Buffy went out wearing chunky heels on patrol.  At least mine I can move in if I need to.  She nearly tripped more than once."

Joyce nodded.  "I remember."

"I meant the other day.  Hylal was complaining that his future offspring would want heels like that and he was worried for his son."

"Son?" Joyce demanded.  "We're sure?"

"We're sure," Phil promised with a smile.  "I had one of the agents take her to get an ultrasound, Joyce."  She smiled.  "Is that the first son in a few generations?"

"It is," she agreed.

"Well, he can be a drag queen so he's one of us Summers women," Dawn quipped with a hand wave and a grin.  "I'm sure Buffy can influence him that way."

Her mother swatted her.  "I'd hope not."

"Mom, are you going to bitch if I want a motorcycle?"

"Yes, dear, I will."


"Have one in storage," Clint quipped.

"Really?"  He grinned.  "Show me how to ride?"

"I taught you how to ride other things so why not," he said.  She poked him and he smirked.

"Really bad pun, dear," Joyce said, patting him on the arm.

Roque showed up with Hellion, the two puppies, Hellion's new girlfriend, and their puppies.  "We've had enough of the dogs.  Take them and their human."  He disappeared again.

Natasha was staring at the new mother.  "That's a wolf."

"She's dating Hellion," Phil said.  "Like his human, he likes dangerous women."

"McKay threatened to make a machine to make Sheppard a girl," Tony offered with a smirk.

Dawn pushed him into the pool.  "You clearly need something.  Don't make me pull out cute videos of babies and puppies while I have you tied up in a chair again."

"You did?" Pepper asked.

Dawn smiled.  "He was tormenting me about needing new bras."  She sipped her diet soda.  "He spent all day watching YouTube videos I selected."  She smiled sweetly.  "Including ones of the baby in the Bumpo seat and all sorts of dogs walking, crawling, and playing, and one on cats by engineers."  She beamed.

"That one was a bit weird but I liked it best," Tony said, pulling himself out of the pool.  "That was mean, Dawn."

She smiled.  "Thank you.  You deserve it for the suggestion that I start dressing like Tara used to."

"Please, God, don't wear that dress," Phil and Clint ordered.  Dawn cackled.  "Damn," they muttered.

Natasha shook her head but she was smirking evilly.  "I thought it looked darling on you."

Tony looked at her then at Pepper, who was also smirking.  "Never mind.  You may not wear that here, Dawn."

"If you're sure, Boss," she quipped.

"Did I see that one?" Joyce asked.

"I sent you a picture from the store," Dawn said.

Joyce pulled out her phone to look it up.  She stared then at her daughter.  "Looks a bit Ren Faire, dear."

"I know but that's what he wanted.  Alana thought the skirt was too plain."  She pulled out her phone to show her the other one.  "I bought this one."

Her mother patted her then took her phone and pushed her into the pool.  "Clearly someone needs to work the bad ideas out."

"We tried," Clint said.

"Too much," Phil quipped.

Tony nodded.  "I had to turn off the building's full security system, people.  Steve's apartment's sensor went off."  They blushed.  Xander appeared.  "Roque said he was tired of the dogs."

"Yeah, the new puppies like to curl up with Clay and worship him like he's the head wolf of the pack.  It's cutting into Roque's sex time since each time he turns around there's a puppy on Clay lapping him."

"He can bathe him," Dawn quipped, pulling herself out of the pool.

Xander stared at her.  "You are so in smutty mind land.  Talked to your sister?"

"Yup."  She grinned.  "Spike's warned people away from the wedding.  She's wearing something Hylal said he can't get under.  It's a boy."  Xander smirked and walked off.  "I think she'll turn him into the next generation of Summers woman."

Xander nodded.  "Probably.  She nearly turned me flaming a few times."

Stark burst out cackling.  "Can't see it, Xander."

"I have."  He settled in with his dogs.  "Callia?"  She popped out of the doors.  "C'mere, meet the new dogs."  She ran over.  "These two older puppies are Washington and Kennedy."

"Like the presidents?" she asked.

"Like the air craft carriers, which were named for presidents."  She beamed and let them sniff her so she could pet them.  "This pretty red one is Hellion's girlfriend.  Don't try to pet her.  She's a wolf.  She's still wild."  She smiled and waved.  "Her name is Garnet.  It's the color of her fur."

"It's a pretty name," she told the wolf.  "He had more puppies?"

"She had puppies with him.  Boys don't have babies unless there's a cranky Goddess involved."  She hugged his arm.  "These are  Ruby, Marble, Basalt, and the cranky one there who is missing Clay is named Concrete."

"Aww."  She looked at the momma dog.  "I won't hurt 'em."  She knelt beside the basket, letting them sniff her.  The momma growled.  "Sorry."  She moved back.  Concrete sniffed and wobbled out of the basket, plopping itself in her lap.  "Hi, Concrete."  She cooed as she petted him.  The mommy took him back and she grinned a bit.  "Puppies are very soft."

"They are," Xander agreed, handing her Ruby, who was colored like his mom.  She cooed and petted him too.  That one tongue attacked her.  She laughed and cuddled the dog then put him back before Mom could get upset.  "See," he told her.  "Callia is like my puppy.  So are the twins."  He pointed at them.  She went to sniff them, licking John on the hand before coming back to curl up around her puppies.  Callia ran off to play with the two older ones.  He grinned at the worried looking father.  "She's good with animals."

"I still think she'll be a zoologist or something," Clint quipped.

"Could be," Xander agreed.  "Or an ordinary Vet."

Tony shook his head.  "We'll see when she's older.  She cannot have a dog, Xander.  Not until she's older."

"We'll work on the training of one."  Thor landed and he pointed.  "Hellion, it's Thor."  He ran over to bark and jump at him until Thor reached down to pet him.  "Roque got tired of the new puppies hogging Clay."

"They have good taste in who could lead their future pack, "Thor said.  The other two ran out to be petted.  Then ran back in to play with Callia again.  He nodded at the wolf and looked at the puppies.  "They're very strong looking," he told her.  He walked over to get a beer.  "Why are we meeting?"

"To congratulate Mom and Bruce on finally finding a preacher," Dawn quipped.

Thor beamed at them.  "Good!  It's an excellent mating."  He hugged them both.  "Felicitations on your union.  I hope if you have more children they grow up as strong as your younger one but a bit less warped so she does not muddle men's minds."

Joyce smiled.  "Probably no more kids unless we adopt, Thor, but thank you."  He smiled and walked off.  "Dawn, are you warping men again?"

"Only the weak ones, Mom.  Just like you taught me to."

She smiled.  "I was never as good as it as you are.  Or your sister, who just babbles until men have their brains dribbling out their ears."

"Please don't remind me," Xander begged.

"Xander, when is your anniversary?" she asked.

"Depends on which realm you're on.  She filed it on Asgard on one day and on earth on another."

"With the difference in time, wouldn't that mean a few times a year you'd have your Asgardian one and one on the human realm?" Dawn asked.

Xander nodded.  "Five times most years."

"When were you on Asgard?" Tony asked.

"When he took me up there to do some quiet meditation somewhere no one could spot me.  The same night we brought back dinner.   We spent two weeks up there with the dwarves."

Phil nodded.  "He took me up there to get away from you three, and a few others, and we were up there about a month for a whole day."  Xander nodded.

"So are you two closer now?" Joyce asked him.  "I ask as a totally nosy mother figure."

"We did spend some time talking, but mostly I needed the vacation."

She patted him on the back.  "I fully understand, Phil.  Once you start to get to know him, most people can't resist the charm he hides underneath the warrior side."  She went back to talk to Dawn and Pepper about clothes.  Bruce was talking with Thor about things.  Stark was back at the grill with Clint and Natasha helping.  Steve showed up and everyone greeted him.

Dawn stared at him.  "It's a pool party, Steve."

"I don't really swim in mixed groups.  Never have."

"Your generation used to jump in the river."

"Yes, but we ran in single-sex packs," he said with a smile.  "It'll be fine.  I'm not much on swimming tonight anyway.  It's a bit chilly."

Tony looked at him.  "It's heated and there's a pair of swim trunks in on the guest bed.  Callia picked them out."  He went to look at them.

"Strawberry Shortcake or Spongebob?" Dawn quipped.

"Neither.  I talked her into a single color set."  He stared at her.

She grinned.  "I'm proud."  Callia and the puppies came bounding out together.  Dawn stopped her.  "How was dance class?"

"It's fun."  She beamed.  "There's other kids there.  They're all older but it's neat.  Self defense class is a bit boring but I know that there's bad guys since Daddy fights them.  So I'm going to make sure they can't get me.  And gymnastics is cool but the leotard rides up my butt."  She looked at Natasha.  "Can you do gymnastics?"

"I can.  I took lessons when I was younger."

"Cool!"  She made Natasha sit down so she could climb into her lap and talk to her about that.  "Auntie, can you do a backflip?"

"I can.  Natasha showed me how."  She put down her drink, checked her clearance then did one.

"Wow."  She looked at Natasha.  "You need to teach me."

"When you're older I'll work on your self defense."  Callia pouted.  "I'm not qualified to teach gymnastics but as you get older I'll help."  The baby hugged her then got off and went to talk to Tara about her kids going with her to classes.  They had babies in some of the lessons.  They could almost walk and it'd help them.

"When they're older," Tara told her.  "They have to be at least three and potty trained."

"Shoot."  She pouted.  "I like the twins.  We need more babies."

Tara smoothed down her hair.  "Some year I'll have another one."  Callia beamed and hugged her then bounded off again.

"Callia, did you have sugar?" Joyce called.

"Yup.  The doggies and I had the maple syrup candy Daddy was hiding."

"How much of it?" Tony called without looking.

"All of it.  Sorry, Daddy.  I'll buy you more with my allowance."  She ran back inside.

Tony shook his head.  "She'll never sleep tonight.  There was over a pound of candy."  Pepper patted him on the arm.   "I have no idea how she got into the cabinet over the refrigerator."

"She was using magic to help her climb in the library," Bruce reminded him.

"Oh, yeah.  That way."  Steve came out blushing a bit.  Tony grinned.  "Those look good on you."

"They're long, thank you."  The blue board shorts did look good on him.  They went just past his knees.  They were loose so he was covered in a way he liked.  It was nice.  He had put on his t-shirt again too.  That helped so he didn't feel too uncovered.  "Dawn, no bikinis?"

"No," Tony said.  "No bikinis allowed.  Callia doesn't need to want one and I don't need that mental image."  Joyce cackled.  "I saw the one Pepper got her.  More than enough of it thanks to a certain little person calling."  He went back to grilling.  "This is nearly done if you want it medium."  They piled over to get their food and sat around chatting.  The women were talking about fashion and the upcoming scientific awards event, plus the formal event during the Scientific Expo.  Dawn needed something new for both of them.  Joyce had seen a few that she had liked.  Dawn vetoed a few as being a bit too flashy but one sounded nice.  She had a dress like that before and it had looked good on her.  It was during the winter too so she wouldn't overheat at least.

The guys sat and talked about weapons.  It was a safe topic in their group and even Thor could join in.  Xander teased his dogs by not giving in to begging, no matter how much they stared.  Tony looked at them.  "Lay down," he snapped.  Hellion did.  The two puppies turned to stare at him.  "Now.  Lay down."  They did slowly, still staring at them.  "Thank you.  No begging."  He went back to his eating.  Hellion slunk over and nudged his plate with his nose.  Tony managed to catch it and save most of his dinner. The few pieces of steak got caught in mid air then Hellion ran off when Daddy ordered him to.  "I think they picked it up from the twins."

Xander nodded.  "I'm pretty sure Hellion taught it to the twins."  Bruce was laughing but the twins were begging Maria and Tara for dinner while Phil was trying to get their attention.  Phil finally won with offers of vegetables and got cuddles too.  It was nice.

Tony smiled.  "He's a good dad to them.  I'm thinking it's all those episodes of _Super Nanny_ he always threatened to watch."

Phil looked over and nodded.  "It was.  It helped a lot when Dawn had some problems with bullies too."  Tony laughed.  Dawn giggled.  Joyce stared at her daughter.   "You heard about most of them," he assured her.  She smiled and patted him on the cheek, taking one of the twins to fuss at.  "Joyce, I can handle it.  Help Callia."  She gave him a pointed look.  "I haven't gotten to see them in a few days," he admitted.  She smiled and handed the baby back, turning to help her grandchild.  He looked at his son.  "You can go back to Grandma Joyce in a few minutes."   His son babbled and patted him, earning a smile back.  "We like you too, John."

John Sheppard appeared.  "Sadly, not my type," he said, taking his namesake to hold.  "Hi."  John scowled at him.  Sheppard laughed.  "Okay, you can have Daddy back."  The baby beamed at his father.  John walked over to talk to Stark.  "Rodney's not allowed to build anything until he does at least ten more hours of meditation.  I'm handing in his excuse for not attending tinkering sessions."

Tony smirked.  "That's fine.  I couldn't get around Teyla either, Sheppard."

"Cool."  He disappeared.

Callia pouted.  "We need to play with him, Daddy.  He has neat machines and a whole *city* full of neat stuff."

He grinned.  "We can some day, Callia.  When it's safer."  She nodded and bounded back to Grandma with the chicken leg she'd taken off the grill.  She liked the legs, they were kid sized.  Grandma helped her with it and it was good.  She loved her grandma.  And her Uncle Bruce, who was now Grandpa, which she didn't understand but someone would explain it to her sometime.  They always did.  The robo Auntie Pepper had explained nuclear fusion to her earlier when she had found them being grounded in their room.  She babbled about them too.  Tony stared at her.  "Didn't I say no exploring until they were sure the building was properly cleaned when I let you back?"

"Oops?  They're done cleaning, Daddy."

"Yay."  She pouted but still, they were neat aunts.  She wondered if the robo Auntie Natasha knew gymnastics.  The other robo auntie was a bit pouty about missing her Warren.  She remembered Warren and she wasn't sure why she missed him but that was all right.  They'd cheer her up somehow.  She always managed it with everyone else.  Grandma had good ideas about that.

Tony shook his head.  His daughter was so warped and he wasn't sure who had done it or if it was genetic from her mother.


Clint heard a noise and looked out the window.  "Why is there a black cat with green eyes staring at us?"

"That's Loki, he lives on the fire escape apparently," Dawn quipped.  She got up to get him some food.

"Why are we adopting pets?" he sighed.

She smiled at him.  "I haven't adopted him."

"You named him, yes you did."

"He still lives out there.  If he lived in here, I would've adopted him but I know how you feel about that."  She opened the window and put the paper bowl of cat food out for it.  The cat rubbed his cheek against her hand and dug in.  She shut the window again and came back to the couch.

Clint was staring at Natasha, who was looking upset for the poor thing.  "What's your issue?"

"You didn't hear she got turned into a cat by Willow?" Dawn quipped.  "She was an adorable black cat who liked to claw me."

"I did.  Coulson lost his shit over that," he quipped, staring at her.

"Phil made sure I had what she needed and got her some of her favorite toys."  Natasha stared at her.  "That catnip mouse thingy you liked so much?  He bought that, and the food dish, and a lot of the other stuff."

Natasha shook her head.  "I block out anything I remember from that time on purpose, Dawn."  She got up and went to the window, opening it and sitting on the sill to pet the poor beast.  She normally wouldn't allow a pet in her house.  "Why Loki?"

"Black cat, green eyes, likes to stare," Dawn said with a grin and a hand wave in the air.  "Seemed appropriate."

"Cats can do mind control anyway," Clint muttered.  Dawn hugged him.  "You cannot travel with a cat."

"Well, technically I could because I could magically conceal him somehow."  She beamed.  "Then again, I don't travel all that much.  Maybe a few days here and there."

Clint stared at the cat then at her.  "If it was still Nat being the kitty maybe."

"I am not begging or anything.  That's why I've kept him out there."

Clint looked at the demanding bitch in their lives, who was apparently slightly smitten.  He groaned.  "'Tasha!"

She glared at him.  "He's a very young kitten, Barton."

"The use of my last name may mean that I'll be sleeping on the couch but I claim Dawn to help me sleep," he quipped back, staring at her.  "Who's going to take care of him while we're on missions?"

"He's a very friendly cat."

"He likes the twins.  He likes Tara.  Now and then he'll appear on Cap's windowsill to stare at him.  He's the one who named him actually."

Natasha brought in the bowl of food and the cat, closing the window.  "Do we have supplies?"

"I kept your old stuff.  It's in the hall closet."  She got up to help her find it.  They sent Clint out for cat litter, a specific brand because Dawn was picky since kitty Black Widow had been so picky, and some extra stuff.  The miniature future tomcat liked the toys, even if it did sniff Natasha then one of them a few times.  The redhead blushed but went to the bedroom.  Clint grumbled but it would keep the peace and quiet, plus keep him off the couch.  The bed was a lot more comfortable, especially with both his bitches on it with him.


Clint stared at the cat the next morning.  It was on top of the fridge, staring down at him.  "Let us know if you're really a chaos god," he said quietly.  "I'll make sure Dawn doesn't torment you too much if you are him hiding in cat form."  The cat blinked.  "You sure?  Because if so, she might give you tuna instead of purina."  He ate a bite of his cereal.

Loki appeared, glaring at him.  "I am not a cat.  I loathe cats," he complained, then sneezed.

Clint smirked.  "Really?"  Loki growled.  "Try it on Dawn's cat."  A ball of power slammed into Loki from behind and made him yelp but leave.  "Morning, Dawn.  I made coffee."  Dawn muttered swear words all the way out to get some and then all the way back to the shower.  Natasha came out and petted the cat before getting her own breakfast.  Clint watched the cat suck up to her and get attention for it.  "If I make begging eyes, will you give me belly rubs too?" he quipped.

"Definitely.  During sparring later," she said smugly.  "You are not tiny, young, and furry."

"Thankfully not.  So, how was being a cat?"  She hit him.  He smirked and finished his cereal.  "Later, Dawn."  He heard a grunt so that was good.  He left, Natasha following a few minutes later.

Dawn petted her new helpful buddy before getting dressed and heading to work.  She did remember to lint roll, even if it didn't get all of it.  One of the security guys sneezed.  "Sorry."

"We heard about the stray."

"Natasha brought him in last night."  She grinned.  "I'll lint roll better."

"Thanks."  He went to take something for it.

Bruce met Dawn in the elevator.  "Good morning."


"Anything going on with you three this week?"

"Natasha adopted the outdoor kitty."

He shook his head.  "Your mother's just come up allergic to one of the strays she's been feeding."

"Then I won't let her Loki-sit."  She grinned.  "I'll try to lint roll better too."

"Thanks."  He smiled, watching her get off to start the day.  He went to his lab, cackling about a kitten Loki.  Joyce would like that story.  Thankfully, only one other person in the building was allergic and Dawn never went in his lab because he had clean room rules, even though he didn't need them for his research.  The guy was so germ phobic he bleached himself sometimes.  The poor guy used a bubble from his car to his lab, went through the decontam double barrier, clean room procedures, then got to work.  He didn't take lunch, didn't eat anything in there, and then did it in reverse with the bubble.  You had to feel sorry for the guy.  He needed a bed on Warren's floor at the special hospital.

Dawn walked in.  "Natasha brought in Loki," she told Tony with a smile.

"Cap's Loki?"

"Yup."  Tony smirked.  "He loves her old toys."


"And the big, human one's allergic."  She smiled prettily.  He burst out cackling.   "I'll make sure I lint roll really well since Mom's allergic and so is one of the guards."  She synched their systems and went to start her daily rounds.

Tony smirked at Pepper.  "I'll have to remember he's allergic to his namesake."

"I'll make sure she can close her closet so the furry thing can't get in."  She smiled back.  "Have fun with that."  He went to design something that would totally destroy Loki the next time he tried to help his 'consort' campaign for something harmful to humanity. 


Xander looked at Phil when he showed up that night, with the twins.  "Spraying?"

"Cranky."  They crawled over to their uncle and cuddle mobbed him.  Xander smiled and petted them.  They settled in to nap.  "Let's get you guys to a bed."  They fussed.  "Now please."  They still fussed.

Xander looked at them.  "You two have to sleep on a bed, not on me."  They pouted.  He hugged them and put them in a chair next to him.  That worked and they napped like that.  "Still not a lot of luck separating them?"

"They do sleep in their own beds most of the time.  It helps a lot."  He sat down.  Xander was watching the sunset.  The kids were snoring on each other.  Phil moved Melissa to her own chair.  John fussed so he petted him.  "Just putting her on her own cushion."  He sat down again.  "We've been avoiding a lot of talking."

"We have," Xander agreed.


"Because you weren't ready yet and I told you it was your job to start it when you were ready?"

"Probably true," Phil agreed.  He looked at his chosen spouse then shrugged.  "Can we set up a rotating door?"

"As long as the twins and Callia can't get through it on their own.  I don't want them hurt by all the weapons or the trainees.  You guys sent me three last time that I was about to lock down."

Phil considered that instead of the knee-jerk reaction.  "Those are good reasons but the kids are part of my life."

"And I get that, but," he said, grimacing some.  "There's a lot of things that could hurt them here, Phil.  Including me if I'm in a rage."  He stared at him.  "I can't promise that I'll see them and not trip over them."

"I've tripped over Melissa a few times," he admitted.  "Then soothed her for it."  He stared at him.  "You're still scared of your reaction around the kids?"

"Yeah, I am.  I fully admit that Rome broke me in ways that can never and have never been fixed," he said quietly.

"I've felt that but it's not a full-time one."

"Dad pointed out I'm still wearing illusion shields around me so he can't even see what I actually look like."

"I've noticed those.  I figured they were some sort of protection."

"They partially are but they also hide scars and other things."

Phil stared at him.  "Is it that big of a worry?"

"Yes.  To me it is."

"Okay, so right now you're cautious when you're not supervised," he said dryly.  Xander glared at him.  "At least around the kids.  I can understand that.  What you went through was horrific."  Xander nodded as he sipped some soda.  Phil scanned him.  "I don't think you're as broken as you think you are."

"In these things, thinking is the real problem," Xander told him.

"I realize that."  He pulled up more of his godly influence to look at this one he protected.

"Phil," Xander warned.

"Just scanning."  He stared at him.  "I can't see through the last shield either.  The others are a bit strange.  Why does one make you look like a skeleton and the one below it a teddy bear?"

"It works."

"Oh, okay."  He concentrated on Xander's well-being and it was a bit muddy.  He calmed him and Xander went rigid.  "Being calming."


He pulled back and let the powers go.  "Sorry, trying to help."

Xander nodded.  "No, not like that."

"Okay."  He patted him on the arm, making him relax.  "We all have boundaries, Xander."

"I know.  I know mine are pretty fucked up."

"Quit swearing in front of the kids and we all have some that are.  Especially after the battles we've seen.  I have some from when I died."

Xander nodded, relaxing some.  The kids were still sleeping so that was good.  Maybe he'd start pulling out the memories to try to put them back together again.  Or maybe he'd just try to make himself forget them again.  That might help more.

"However you feel you want to fix them, we'll deal with it," Phil said quietly.

Xander looked at him.  "I doubt that's not a solo activity."

"But I can be there to support you."

Xander stared at him.  "Not really part of your job, Phil."

"It is, in all meanings of the word.  Even as just an agent, it would've been something I would've done for whoever I was guarding and Fury was going to send me to guard you.  He told me that a few weeks back."

Xander shook his head.  "I didn't need it."

"He nearly sent me to you in Sunnydale so I could guard the whole team.  Then Joyce getting sick and evacuated worked well with his schedule.  You two nearly got another SHIELD agent to help you around town."

Xander stared at him.  "We'd have driven them off."

"Probably would've sent you Barton," he admitted.  "He was on slight injury leave at the time."  Xander shuddered.  "It could've helped.  He handled Cleveland fairly well."

"Sunnydale was far beyond the insanity of Cleveland.  Even during apocalypse times Cleveland has nothing on Sunnydale during calm times."

"We didn't think it was that bad."

Xander nodded, creating a mirror.  "Yeah, it was."

"Dawn showed us some."

"So that's how the link started," he said.  Phil nodded, watching the past stream by.  It was the most disturbing, soap operaish horror movie ever.  He grimaced at a few things and looked at Xander once, who only shrugged.  Phil moved past some of the stuff he had seen, he had been sent after graduation to get statements and make sure the town was calm again.  Buffy had blatantly hidden from him.  Xander had been out of the town so he had talked to him and then informed the director of what he had said, so he had to go check it more quietly than not.  Buffy hadn't noticed one more 'parent' looking person up by the college that occasionally wandered the town.  He looked at Xander.  "You actually picked Oxnard?"

"Close enough in case I had to run back for an emergency but far enough away and with few enough demons that word wouldn't get back to the girls.  I needed a break to just drink and forget everything.  Which I got."

"You clearly did."  He stared at him.  "I was in town."

"I figured you were.  Have fun?"

"Not a lot and you did the store better than Giles ever could."  Xander grinned at him for that compliment.  He went back to watching.  He paused it.  "Graham Miller was at the strip club."  Xander leaned over so he pointed.  "Isn't that him?"

"It is him and that's their team's other guy in the back.  Huh.  Wonder if they were scouting or not."

"Probably not.  They would've mentioned it.  Though you did look different with the lighter hair."

Xander nodded.  "That's why I did it."  He sat back up.  "They clearly never reported that.  It wasn't anywhere in the Initiative files."  He shrugged.  "Odd but okay."

Phil smiled, going back to watching.  Xander was right, Sunnydale had more fighting and was a lot more emotionally destroying than Cleveland is.  "Will Cleveland shift this way?"

"More people and more area to spread the taint out in, so probably not.  Sunnydale had that partially closed subrealm thing going for it to keep all the energy in there."

"Good point."  He watched the last year of Sunnydale and nearly flinched at some of the stuff going on.  He shut it down.  It did give him more to think about.  Xander was definitely influenced by his current/last life as an immortal.  Even if the others were lying in wait underneath it was usually this last life that was the main personality traits.  Usually it took a battle or him losing his temper to fall back to one of his past lives or his original one.

John strolled over.  "You brought the kids?  You have three guys down there that'd like to chew on them," he told Phil.

"We do?"

"Yeah."  John retuned the mirror to show him those three's minds.

Phil stared then nodded.  "I'll have them reevaluated."  John smirked.  "They're grounded until I bring them in tomorrow."

Xander looked down toward their barracks and laid that.  "Okay.  Though one's out and around."  He scanned, sending him away from stalking Thor's goats.  "I'd never hear the end of it if he decided they were tasty goats."

"Probably not," John quipped.  "So why the serious talk that I'm blatantly being a tension break for?"

"We're just starting to talk about things," Phil admitted.

John smirked.  "It's probably a good thing since you've been married for so long."

"Still hate the bitch for forcing it," Xander sighed.

"Me too," Phil agreed.

John nodded.  "Sometimes, when you can't fight anymore, you have to accept and make the most of it.  Not like Gaia's going to give up."  He stood up.  "Want me to take the kids to my temple?  Or Atlantis?  The guys could use a cuddly thing to help them calm down.  It's a remembrance night."

Xander shook his head.  "It's not safe.  Your city's having a huge thunderstorm."

John looked and grimaced.  "Great.  It's a dramamine night for everyone."  He went back there.  Rodney was fussing with the shields to block some of the high waves out.  It finally worked and everyone cheered.  "Good job," he praised quietly.

Rodney smirked.  "Of course it was."

Diama appeared and touched one thing, fixing it.  Suddenly the storm shields went up.  She smiled at Rodney.  "Forgot to fix."  She kissed him on the cheek and blushed, then ran off giggling.  "Radek!"

"It's nice she adores him," he said dryly.

"He tells good stories."  Rodney got up from the floor and put his tools up.  "You okay?"

"I'm fine.  We really do need to make more ZPM."

Diama flashed back to stare at him, shaking her head.  "Dangerous.  Wrong air."  She flashed off again.

"Wrong air?" John muttered, considering it.

"I don't know," Rodney admitted.  "Maybe the specific gravity of a site or something?"  He went to his lab to consider all the variables that could be counted by the baby Goddess as 'bad air'.  It could be the wrong chemicals in the air.  It could be the amount of moisture.  Who knew what she meant but he needed to figure it out.

John relaxed and checked on Phil and Xander.  Then got to his desk of paperwork.  He really needed to order one of those Dawn robots to do his paperwork for him.  Not for any other reason but just for the office task stuff.


Xander smiled.  "John's city is less motion sick now."

"That's always a good thing when you're on a floating city."  He shifted and checked the kids, who were still snoring.  He shook his head.  "I have no idea why they snore."

"There's a few reasons for snoring but with them I'd say it was sinus trouble," Xander said.  "She's sniffly so he probably is too."

"Could be."  He got pillows to prop up their heads and they curled up on their sides, quit snoring, and made happy noises.  "Good kids."  He sat down again.  He looked at Xander.  "You're not as broken as you think," he said quietly.

"I am."

"Banner had the same thoughts."

Xander frowned at him.  "Did you just compare me to the Hulk?"

"Well, your anger and his anger issues...."  He smiled slightly.

"Yeah, not quite the same thing."

"A lot alike though."

Xander shrugged.  "Whatever."  That led places he didn't want to look.  Phil patted him, nearly making him jump.  "You were never this touch-happy before."

"I was with friends and family," he corrected, staring at him.  Xander relaxed again.  "If we're making you that nervous, we can go to the little house you made us."

"No, it's all right."  He calmed himself.  He was using his battle senses for some reason.  He scanned and found why, shooting energy at it.  The hovering, concealed craft died and crashed outside their shields.  Phil looked then at him.  "It was watching and had weapons ready."

"O'Neill's things?"

"Think so."  He texted John to let him know.  John could call someone on base.  Xander strengthened the shield on that side so whoever had survived couldn't just hike up to threaten them.  That helped a lot.  He relaxed again and next time Phil reached past him for something he didn't flinch.  Phil stole his soda.  "I can get you one."

Phil stared at him.  "I asked Thor about the sharing food thing."

"I don't just go by Asgard customs."

"I realized that but he could explain most of them to me."  He sipped it and put it down, staring at him.

"Um..."  Xander blinked at him.

"We'll have to figure it out sometime, Xander, and I'm not one for polite, political, boring unions," he said quietly.  "So we'll have to work it out."

Xander swallowed.  "That's not necessarily an absolute, Phil."

"It is."  Xander shifted.  "We had interest before all that."

"Yes but not all interest leads to marriages."

"No, it doesn't," he agreed.  "But since we are, we need to work this out between us."  Xander nodded.  "Because I can't take being miserable at home."

"I get that.  I don't want that either.  Because I know I would be.  It's like being tied down."

"It's not."  He smiled slightly.  "I'm not tying you down to anything unless you ask."  Xander stared at him.  He smiled.  "Really.  Not my thing."  Xander snorted but relaxed again.  "If you want, we can go up to the cabin with you and spend quiet time away from everyone."

Xander blinked.  "That means the kids will age faster for a bit."

"They're young and the two weeks or so won't hurt them.  It might get them past this cold they're developing."

Xander nodded.  He sent a thought at Roque about those three agents being picked up in the morning and Phil wanted to go to his cabin so he took them with him.  Them, the kids, the dogs, and it was a full cabin.  Xander looked and thought about adding on.

Phil laid a hand on his arm.  "If and when you decide to add on here, we'll do it by hand, not by powers," he said quietly.  "That way we both have sweat and time invested in the house."

Xander stared at him.  "That's almost a romantic notion for you."

Phil shrugged.  "Any relationship takes work."

"True."  He relaxed.  "Where are the twins sleeping?"

"On the trundle."  He smiled.  "We can manage."  Xander nodded slowly, staring at him.  "Can you sleep in clothes?"

"Not likely."

"Then we'll figure it out.  It's freezing in here."  He started the fire.  Xander smiled and warmed the house.  "Thank you."

"Welcome."  He stared at the kids and the dogs curled around them.  Even Garnet, the female wolf Hellion had taken as a mate, was helping guard the kids.  "Good dogs and Garnet," he said, petting them all.

Phil smiled and took a picture.  "Your moms will like that."

"She and Maria are that serious?"

"Yes, they are."

"Good.  Tara deserves the best there is."

Phil smiled.  "She does."  He went to the bathroom and came out to get the kids up to the trundle.  Garnet promptly stole John and carried him back downstairs.  "They need to sleep with human things, not dog things," he chided.  Hellion had stolen Melissa, who kept trying to climb over him, to cuddle up around.  He sighed, looking at Xander.  He gave them the command to guard and wake them if something happened.  They barked and Xander let the dogs upstairs.  They could sleep on the trundle too.  He even carried up the basket of puppies.  That made them all happier and the twins got the four young puppies with them on the bed while the adult dogs ranged themselves around the room. 
Xander considered the bed, staring at it.  He mentally shrugged, deciding Phil had to deal with the real him, not the nicer pretend him that he showed a lot of people.  He stripped down and climbed in.  He did wear socks.  The house was freezing tonight for some reason.  He checked and closed the window in the bathroom.  Then he did another rewarming charm.

Phil stripped down to his boxers and climbed in.  He checked but the twins were covered with a blanket and the puppies.  They'd be fine.  He settled in next to Xander and pulled the quilt up.  Xander snuggled in.  He smiled and relaxed, letting himself drift off.  The twins being there kept them from doing anything but it was good.  Comforting.  Xander did creep closer all night but he could appreciate that as it added extra warmth.  He checked on the twins, adding a second blanket and a warm stone from near the fireplace to the bed.  They cuddled in and it was good.  The puppies moved closer.

"There has to be another broken or open window," Xander muttered.

"Or the fireplace is letting too much heat out," Phil offered.

Xander shook his head.  "Not usually."  He checked the house again, finding someone trying to get in.  He flashed down there with his axe, scaring the two teenage boys to death.  "This is my house," he noted.

"Alexander!" one yelped.  "We're sorry!  We knew not that it was yours!"  They fled.

Xander stared.  "Next time, don't pick someone's house for meeting your girlfriends," he called after them.  "Real men bring them home."  He set up the alarms around the house again and flashed back upstairs.

"Get under here.  I put in a warm rock," Phil ordered.  Xander gave him a strange look.  "You went outside in the snow storm in socks, Xander.  Nothing but socks.  Get in here."

"We pretty well run around half-dressed," Xander pointed out.

"You're less than half dressed.  Climb in."  Xander climbed in and it was nicely warm under the quilts.  Phil moved closer.  Xander stiffened but Phil pulled him closer.  "This bed wasn't this large before."

"It's unconscious," Xander admitted, undoing the stretching spell.  Hellion jumped up and laid at his father's back then stretched, which meant that Xander got pushed toward Phil since that side was against a wall.  "Hey!"

Phil smiled.  "Thank you, Hellion, he's chilly."  He pulled Xander closer and held him.  "Body warmth, Xander.  You're cold to the touch."

"I don't feel like I am."

"Which is probably a bad thing."  He looked down at the twins then at his husband.  "We'll work on it."

Xander looked at him.  "You're going to have to accept me as I am."

"I know."  Xander relaxed again.  "Doesn't mean I can't complain about things like going outside naked except for socks during a snow storm."

"It's almost always snowing up here."

"I realize that," he quipped.  Xander relaxed again and snuggled in to warm himself.  It was nice and they could handle this.  Xander did give a good cuddle.  It was nice to have someone there, in his bed, beside him again.

Xander laughed.  "You should've dated.  Tara would've encouraged it."

"Probably, but I spent most of the last year exhausted."  They got comfortable.  Phil lost his shirt so Xander could quit rumpling it.  That worked well and it was fine with Phil.  It had been a long time since he had someone in his bed.


Xander woke up to someone patting his nose, blinking up at Melissa.  "Morning."

She smiled and patted him again then leaned forward, falling on the way, to kiss him.  She babbled at him.

"I used to do the same thing," he said.  She snuggled in against him and it was nice.  "You need changed, don't you?"

"I just did."  He brought John back up the stairs and let him wiggle his way into pouncing his sister.  He didn't care who else was there to pounce if his sister was there to pounce and cuddle.  She babbled at him.  He grinned and babbled back.  "He's going to be so overprotective of her."

Xander smirked.  "Probably."  Phil laid down.  Xander made himself relax.  Phil stroked over his hair.  "It probably needs washed."

"Probably but that's normal."  He kept soothing him.  The kids were being cute and babbling at their uncle and daddy.  Melissa was trying to get away from her brother.  Phil picked her up to cuddle.  John pouted and clutched at the uncle.  Melissa wiggled down and pounced him.  That made him happier.  "They get more personality all the time."

"They do," Xander agreed, petting them both.  "Why don't you two cuddle Daddy?"  They clutched him harder.  He sighed.  Phil smiled.  "Still not used to this."

"Neither was I."  He laid down again, getting them all under the quilts.  The babies crawled down to look at the other end of the bed.  Phil looked down there.  "Tell us if you get stuck."  He put the quilts back down after fluffing them up to give them extra air room.

Xander looked down there.  "It's just toes, guys."  They found the toes and he had to move one.  "No chewing on my feet."

Phil snapped and wiggled his fingers.  Melissa crawled up to pounce them and gum on them.  "Thank you.  Chew on your brother's toes, not ours."  She babbled at the fingers.  Then one of the puppies wiggled his way up to the main bed and under with them.  That made it a great game to play with the puppy.  Marble was more than happy to be under the warm things with his humans, all of them.

Xander shook his head, letting the quilt down again.  "They're a bit weird."

"They are."  He reached over again, smoothing some of the hair off Xander's forehead.  "Bit long."

"I'm getting it trimmed soon."  He shifted and moved the dog.  "Not that.  That is not a plaything."  He flashed on boxers.  "Sorry."

"I'm sure she's seen John's before they were born," he said dryly.  "She's too young to remember it otherwise, Xander."  The kids crawled up his stomach so he let them out.  They went to pounce the wiggling bump under the blankets with a squeal.  "You two are loud."  The dog escaped the twins and the blanket, laying above their heads.  The twins followed the bump and then dog down to the trundle bed.  They had blankets down there to play with the puppies under.  Ruby was tongue-happy again so it was great.

Even if Xander did have to get up and save Garnet from John, who had thought she was a furry bottle.  "You don't suck from wolves, kiddo.  Not even I did that."  He put him back on the trundle.  John pounced his sister with a squeal.  Xander laid back down.  "Are we staying up here all day?"

"For a while longer.  Until we're ready to go make breakfast."  He shifted closer.  Xander gave him a worried look.  "It's not like I'm going to attack, Xander.  I'm just getting warmer."

Xander checked, the house was pretty warm.  He checked over Phil.  "You're coming down with something."

"I know.  I realized that this morning when I had a runny nose.  I took something for it."  Xander nodded, letting him get close enough for body warmth but not cuddling.  Melissa huffed and crawled up to hide with them.  "Hiding from your brother again?" he quipped.  He patted her and let her cuddle.  John was making fussy noises.  "She's up here, John.  Come see me."  John crawled up and got his back to cuddle, which brought up the puppies.  Xander smirked.  "I know but it's good he likes animals."

"It is."  He patted Melissa on the head.  "You need your own room."

"How would you do that up here?  I'm not sure if you would separate twins."

"They'd have a joined room.  A wall between their beds but an open area.  Or the loft area in the house and a heavy blanket between the two sides, depending on what type of house you had."

"Why the loft?  That seems really dangerous.  Hard to grab them from."

"It's safer in case something breaks in."

"I hadn't thought of that.  Asgard is still pretty wild and has a lot of dangers."  Xander nodded.  Phil smiled.  "I'm sure it'll be okay."

"Probably.  They'll still get kid injuries."

"That's fine."  He shifted closer.  Melissa got put with her brother since she was inclined to nap.  He cuddled her by wrapping himself around her.  The puppies helped with that.  He shook his head.  "Concrete, off his back."  The puppy moved.  Xander snickered.  "He's a bit heavy for John's torso."

"He is a pudgy sucker."  He shrugged.  "He'll work it off in training."  He pulled Phil closer.  "Better?"

"A lot.  There's no cold nose in my back."  Xander reached over him to move the puppy, who huffed but curled up underneath the blanket at their feet.  Xander shook his head.  Phil smiled.  "At least he's not directly underneath us."  Xander expanded the bed a bit.  "Thank you."

"Welcome."  He yawned.  "I didn't realize I was still tired."

"It's all right.  I cleaned up the mess the kids made."

Xander sniffed and fixed it.  "You forgot the stink part."  Phil winced.  "It's cool.  I've bled and sweated on this bed."  He shrugged.  "Sheets wash.  We have another set."

"I can do laundry later."

"You're going to warm water, scrub them on a board, and then hang them up to dry?" Xander quipped.

"No washer?"  Xander shook his head.  "Maybe we'll bring them home with us and do them in the machine?"  Xander smirked and nodded.  Garnet hopped up to sniff the twins.  He looked back at her.  "Let them sleep please, Garnet.  They need to rest."  She laid down around them and the puppies, barking at her missing one.  He crawled back up to snuggle the mommy around the furless puppies. That helped them even if one of the bigger humans moved him off one of the furless puppies' head.

Xander finished shifting the puppy then got back to the smiling Phil.  "Chunky puppy butt did not belong on John's head."

"No but it's nice that they like him as a pillow.  He is very cuddly."

"He is."  He shifted some.  Phil pulled him closer.  Hellion groaned in pleasure and stretched out more to take over the newly freed spot.  Xander stretched the bed around them again.  Phil smiled.  "I know but Hellion's huge.  He needs his own bed."  The dog's tail wagged.  "Don't drool on the sheets or you're buying new ones."

"It's a queen and so is mine if you wanted to go snatch a few sets," Phil offered quietly.

Xander shook his head.  "It's good."

"Are these woven up here?"


"Huh.  Present?"  Xander smiled and nodded.  "We might have to find more sets.  That way we can wash them and save the special ones for special things."  Xander blushed but nodded.  He pulled him closer again.  "You keep stretching between us."

"I'm not really used to having someone there all the time.  I did it to Anya too."

"Unlike her, I don't expect you to throw me down and make me squeal again on it," he said dryly.  "Not yet anyway."

Xander chuckled.  "You think you'll squeal?"

"No clue.  Never been there with a guy.  I'm not really a loud person though."

"That can be changed," Xander said, shifting closer again.  He was good on the wooing of someone into his bed but still uncomfortable with wooing them into his life.  This part he could handle.  He kissed Phil, shifting closer so their bodies were touching.

Phil let him lead here, because he had no idea where they were going.  He pulled back, staring at him.  "No drinking with dinner?"

"Did you bring up bottled water?"

"A few jugs of it."

Xander smiled.  "That's fine then."  He kissed him again.  "Your first time won't be because of some liquor."  He pulled him closer, wrapping Phil in his arms.  "This means you have to get naked sometime," he teased.

"Which I don't mind as long as the house is warm and the kids can't see."

"We can put them up a room and then rebuild it by hand."

Phil looked at him.  "There's no doing it the easy way or it won't last."

Xander stared at him.  "I get that.  Even for a few days and we'll build it the next time we come up?"

Phil smiled and snuggled in.  "No.  Sorry."

"Okay.  They're your kids."

Phil looked at him.  "Some day they'll be your stepkids."

"Stepkids I might not mind," he admitted quietly.

Phil kissed him.  "We'll build this too."  Xander nodded and they went back to the kissing and fondling until the kids got up hungry.  Even if they did have to stop Garnet from nursing them.


Xander and Phil got what they needed for the new rooms and Xander had to teach Phil a bit but they got it under control quickly.  A few new rooms were easy enough to add on once the materials were in the proper form, which Phil did allow them to use their powers for.  The rest was built by hand, sealed by hand, and finished by hand.  It made Xander feel relaxed to build onto his house.  He had missed construction work.  It was tiring but they fell into bed each night relaxed after a warm bath. 

The kids loved the trundle bed.  Xander created beds for them and Phil agreed that was fine.  The room had a wall between the bed areas and then an open play area.  That worked well with thick, heavy curtains in front of the bed areas.  The kids took their toys in there and it was a great play area suddenly.  Toys got sent with name tags on them.  They smiled at the ones from Strife and Cupid.  A few from Diama that Melissa stared at because they made noise at her when she patted them.  She liked the noisy things.  John liked to smash things with his new toy truck.  They even went to their own beds without fussing.  John sometimes crawled in with his sister but when she got tired of being cuddled she went to his bed.

Xander smiled at Phil.  "Any other rooms you wanted to add on?"

"Our own bathroom?" he quipped.

Xander laughed and showed him where that was.  "You didn't figure that out?"

"I thought it was the closet."

"It is."  He smirked.  The door was on the other side of the closet.  "I never use in here because I need to put in a heater.  I didn't want to build another chimney."

Phil created a small firepit in the center of the floor.  It was far enough away from everything and there was a fence around it so they wouldn't run into it.  He looked at Xander.  "Like that one?"

"That'll work," he agreed, starting a fire in it.  The room was done in tile and it was freezing in there.  The fire was crackling merrily and warming up the room nicely within minutes.  Phil nearly got too warm and stripped off his outer shirt.  Xander was heading for the toilet, which had a room around it.

"Do we have a septic tank?"

"Special privilege of the Gods.  It kinda disappears into the void."

"As long as it doesn't redirect and make us enemies," he decided.  He used it after Xander and took a shower.  He was now sweaty.  The fire got calmed down by Xander and it was better.  He could even take a Dawn-length soak and not get chilly in here.  Xander moved the fire to one end of the room that had a free spot.  That helped some.  Phil looked up from washing his back as he was joined.  He blushed but let Xander have the shampoo.

Xander kissed him.  "I wanted to see how you did this."

"I think I use a pretty standard method of bathing," he quipped.  Xander smirked back and took over the brush to clean him.  Phil let him.  It was intimate but calming and soothing at the same time.  Even when Xander got cuddly.  It was just as nice in here as it was in the bed.

"Dadadadadada," John shouted as he crawled through the closet.

Xander looked at him.  "We have to head home soon anyway."

"I know.  They can stay with Tara tomorrow night?"

Xander grinned.  "Definitely if you're sure."

"I think they'll enjoy them babbling."  He looked out at his scowling son.  "I'm taking a bath, John."

"Dadadada!"  He beamed.

He smiled back.  "I love you too.  Go pounce your sister?"  John tried to pull himself up on the tub.  "We're naked, John.  You don't need to see naked people."  Xander laughed but got out.  He got the baby in with him and John squealed in pleasure.  He got him bathed and out, even though he pouted.  Phil came out too and got redressed.  John got redressed and Melissa pouted.  He got her a bath.  That was nicer and they could nap.  Phil went to find Xander in the kitchen, taking a kiss. 

He was getting better at initiating things.  Xander would let him go however far he wanted.  They still hadn't gotten beyond mild groping and kissing.  He'd have to change that the next time they came up.  They gathered the kids and went back to the temple, him taking the twins and those three agents with him.  They landed in front of the director with Xander's help.  "Sir, it was reported that these three need to go through a reevaluation of where they're to be stationed."

"I can have that done."  He stared at the twins.  "It's not that cold.  Why are you wearing flannel?"

"We were at Xander's cabin, sir."

"That's fine.  I'm sure you two have to talk about a lot of things."

"Yes we do."  He walked off, handing the twins to Maria, who was chewing someone a new one.  He stared at that crewmember, making them back away slowly.  "Good.  Idea."  He fled.  "They were just bathed."

"They're in flannel, Coulson."

"We were at Xander's cabin.  We put on a new room for them."

"Interesting."  She looked at them.  The babies were full out babbling at her.  Calling her 'aoo' for some reason.  "Is that their version of aunt?"

"Yes, I think it is," Xander said.  "They call me 'uc'."

She smiled.  "So that means you two are talking?"  They smiled and babbled at her.  "Nice job, kids."  She put them down.  They crawled off to suck up to the person that had coffee.  "No coffee."

"I had cocoa last night," Xander admitted, catching them and handing them back over.  Fury was glaring at them.  "It was pointed out that they were a bit...rougher than I am mentally."

"We can definitely look at those issues and see if they have skills we can use in that manner."

"Considering we were told they'd want to torture the twins?" Phil said.  Fury winced.  "One was going after Thor's goats for a snack, sir."

"Understood.  We can make sure of that."  The twins were pouting at him.  "What now?  And didn't I say no kids on the hell carrier?"

"Didn't stop at home first," Coulson said.  "We're going there right now, sir."  He took the twins back after they hugged their aunt.  Xander took him back there so he wouldn't drop one of the wiggly kids.

"Mamamamamamamamamama!" John squealed, lunging down to hug her.

"You spoke!" she said, staring at them.  She took them to cuddle.  "Went up to Asgard?"

"We did," Xander agreed.  "They have their room up there now."

She stared at him.  "Separate?"

"Bed areas are," Phil said, creating an image of it.  She smiled at them for it.  "They're good.  Just had a bath.  I need to change.  Why are we on the hell carrier?"

"Cleveland and Buffy's wedding."

"Oh, that reason."  He went to change into a suit.

Tara smiled at Xander.  "Shovel talk?" she asked quietly.

"Nowhere near there yet," he admitted.

"Uh-huh.  I didn't know cluelessness was one of your powers.  Is the blonde on that movie yours?"

"If so, then Buffy probably is too since she didn't realize they were married for nearly a year."  He flashed out, going to check on Buffy.  She was twitchy and pacing.  He stared at her.  "Want to be a bunny rabbit for a few hours to cure those nerves?"

"No!"  She stared at him.  "Where were you?"

"Took Phil to my cabin on Asgard last night."

"Oh."  She sat down with a huff.  "I'm getting married."

"Yes you are.  In a few days."

She nodded.  "There hasn't been a single attack yet, Xander.  Something's seriously wrong.  There's always attacks when I'm having happy celebrations."

"Spike warned *everyone*," he assured her.  "And I'm pretty sure you're getting one with the way Fury's got his hell carrier heading this way."  She winced.  "So yeah, probably.  Beyond that, does an attack have to happen to prove to you that you're happy?"

"I don't know," she admitted, looking at him.  "It feels like it's unfinished if not maybe?"

"We have an upcoming demon apocalypse you can't help with," he said dryly.  "They'll definitely help you celebrate then if not."

She sighed and nodded.  "Might make it feel less unfinished.  Where's Mom?"

Xander checked and shrugged.  "Boinking Bruce in their hotel room."

"Oh.  I don't need to know."  She rubbed her forehead.

He laughed and scanned her.  "Still just a headache, Buffster."

"Thanks, Xander."  She looked at him.  "Dawn?"

"Doing assistant things I'd guess."  He looked and sent her an extra dagger.  She used it on the being that was trying to stab her and Pepper.  "Or not.  There was a Moloch trying to get her as a sacrifice with Pepper.  They were out to lunch I guess."  She snorted and leaned forward, holding her head.  He scanned her more carefully, all over.  "Hmm.  Just exhaustion from the kids.  You could call and talk to Tara.  She's got the babies today."

"I did.  I don't want to keep bothering her."

"We're your slayerettes," he reminded her.  He sent a thought at Tara, who said she was coming down tonight with Phil.  "They'll be down tonight."  She smiled at him.  "Now, shouldn't you be doing mystical girl things like shaving or waxing?"

"I did that.  Hylal got horrified that I did my bikini line."

"Yeah, not something most Asgardian women do," he quipped.  "Mostly not their legs or armpits either."  She shuddered.  "Did he enjoy it?"

"Kinda.  I think that's why I'm pregnant."  He laughed and patted her on the head.  "So many of us can't be there."

"Cordy's ascended so she's spying probably.  Angel is in LA with the rest of them.  They should be coming."  She nodded.  "You have all the rest of us."

She looked at him.  "I miss Willow."

He nodded.  "I miss the old Willow, not the later years Willow."

"Yeah, me too," she sighed.  "I don't know anymore, Xander."

Xander smirked.  "I can't take the duty from you, Buffy."

"I wouldn't let you if you could."  He grinned.  "I know, it's remembering and all that.  We were little bitches."

"Yes you were."

"Gee, thanks," she said sarcastically.

"Just agreeing."  She laughed and went back to working on her hair.  He flicked a finger and made it do a beehive, which got him swatted.  She had to take it down and rebrush then figure out how to do it.  "Bun."  She tried that and nodded it'd look good.  "You got the four mystical mandatories?"

"Something old is my necklace.  I got it from a pawn shop.  Something new is the dress.  Something blue is on my garter.  Something borrowed....  No, I don't."

"Ask your sister for one of her bun cages."

She found her phone after a mad scramble and texted that.  Dawn said she'd bring one with her tonight.  She relaxed and went limp in her chair.  "Thanks."

"Welcome.  Now go pounce him.  He's probably just as nervous.  Rituals like this tend to make guys cringe, especially warriors who don't use magic."

She smiled and went to talk to Hylal.  Xander went home to get breakfast.  He was a bit hungry.  Xander did get Hylal's family down for the wedding.  Including his sisters.  That way they could do the special pre-marriage things the right way.


Xander looked up from the pre-wedding sitting around while everyone got seated time, frowning.  "Really, now?" he muttered.  He looked at Phil, who had Tara and the kids.  "Phil?"

"I take it the traditional opening attack is happening?" he quipped.


"Handled," Dawn said from her seat without her mates.  "They're out there right now."  She looked back.  "It's Riley."

"Fucker," he said.

"Fuck!" Callia said happily next to Dawn.

"You, stop," Xander ordered, staring at her.  "You know better."  She pouted but nodded.  "Thank you.  Set a good example for the twins."

"Yes, Uncle Xander.  You go help?"

"Yeah, I think I will."  He got up and went to talk to the people who had classified him as a 'useless tagalong'.  He walked out and picked up Riley, throwing him through a nearby tree.  "Good morning.  Did you come to help her celebrate the wedding?"  The other Initiative people were staring.  He flashed his magnificence.  "Yeah, I was hiding it," he said smugly.

"Nephew, we can handle such so you do not get too messy," Thor offered.

"No, I'm good.  They used to think I was useless, Uncle."

"They are clearly stupid," Thor noted.

"I think that's why the UN hides them in places that water doesn't run," Natasha offered.

Xander smirked at her.  "Could be."  He shot a few of the rushing 'agents'.  Barton got a few more.  Stark was without armor but he had a glove on.  Not like these wooses needed Iron Man to stomp them flat. They got it cleaned up in time for Buffy to appear.  She got out and looked at the mess then at him.  "They're making a carpet of your former life so you can walk over it and forget it."

She laughed and clutched Bruce's arm so they could walk over them.  "Thanks, guys.  Now it feels like a happy day."  She stared at Riley.  "Does your wife know you're here?  Does she like that you're still jealous?"  Xander looked then pointed at where Riley's wife was hanging off a branch and about to fall.  "Huh.  I guess she likes you pathetic then, Ri."  She walked in on Bruce's arm.  He was a bit sniffly but that was fine.  The rest of them got back into their seats and Xander made sure he was still spiffy.  Pepper came in after helping Buffy make sure her dress was perfect with Joyce.  Joyce and Bruce walked Buffy down to meet Hylal, who was so happy he was a bit sniffly.  Buffy was sniffly.  It was going to be one of those sniffly weddings.

Dawn handed Natasha an embroidered lace hanky.  She got a smile for it.

Pepper squeezed Callia.  Who was looking very confused but she liked the music.

Tara was sniffly and using Phil's handkerchief.  The twins were cuddling each other and quietly babbling about the twinkly lights in the church.  Phil had put a muting shield around them so they wouldn't disturb anyone.

The other Avengers were watching.  Though Clint was trying hard not to grin.  Buffy's poufy dress was a beautiful cream lace number over tulle.  Corset top that made her look like she had bigger breasts.  It was going to take Hylal an hour to get into it or a really strong knife to cut it off her.  She had two flowers tied with a ribbon being carried.  Joyce was seriously sniffly and leaning on Bruce's arm.  He was soothing her and it was all good.

Stark was resisting the urge to subtly pull out his phone and check his email.  Jonathan, Andrew, and their 'dates' - who they still insisted were girls they were friends with because they weren't ready for girlfriends yet - were trying hard not to pull out their phones for the games.  The girls were taking scientific notes about the emotional messiness that they didn't understand.  Though Andrew's kept glancing sideways at him and getting a grin back.

Xander was watching over it to make sure no one else tried to interrupt.  When Ares tried for Dawn again, he made sure he appeared outside with a sign next to him about it being a family wedding that would get him destroyed if he interrupted.  To feel free to take out anything on the remaining wooses they had destroyed.  The ceremony was short and sweet.  Then they went back to the slayer house to party.  Well, have dinner and cake.  The partying would be in individual groups.  Faith, who swore up and down she did not go to weddings, hosted the reception for them.  It was good.  The dinner was good.  Talsa and the others from the temple had done a great job.  Buffy and Hylal got to sneak away for their weekend on Asgard.  Roque would get them on Tuesday.  All his family followed to have a great family feast without the happy couple.

Dawn walked outside, smiling at the scowling God of War.  "Even if you could separate them out, they'd never power whatever weapon it was, Ares," she said quietly.  "They've been influenced by the teenage me in their home realms.  One was fifteen and humming the Care Bears song."  He shuddered.  "They're not weapons for war."

"They're power sources."

"That open doorways to other realms," she said dryly.  "Do you really want to face down that sort of invasion during a war?"

"No," he said.

"Then find the Arapex Key, not my Key."  He huffed and left.  She went back inside, hugging her mother and Bruce.  "Got that straightened out."  She kissed her mom on the cheek.  "He has a pulse, Mom.  It's a great thing."

Joyce laughed and swatted her.  "Until she kills him."

"Then I'll make him a zombie for her."  She went back to her seat, getting comfy.  Clint and Natasha were talking with Jonathan about something the younger man was flailing about.  She smiled at Xander.  "Spike?"

"Hosting the celebration at the demon bar," he said dryly.  "I took film for him."  She smiled.  "Faith, are you ready for the drunken and hungover attacks?"

"Yup, sure am," she quipped back with an evil smirk.  The heros in the room laughed but it was nice of them.  They understood.  They could even enjoy part of the drunken attacks since they were so ineffectual.


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