NC-17, m/m, m/f/f

Screen Time Old Ones

Dawn looked over as Callia walked up to her desk, sucking on her bottom lip.  "What's wrong?" she asked, going back to her typing up of memos that had to be sent out about leave time, vacation plans, the expo in two weeks, and then the plan for after it.

"What's school like?"

"It's like what you do upstairs only there's more kids to take the teacher's attention so you don't get her to help you all the time."  She glanced at her.  "Why?"

"I was wondering.  So there's other kids?  Like lots?"

"In some schools, up to forty in one classroom, which means you never get personal time from the teacher."

"Oh."  She considered that.  "Are there smaller ones?"

"Yup."  She finished the memos and pulled Callia closer.  "Why are you wondering about other kids things?  Aren't you getting enough other kid time at lessons?"

"Sometimes but they're usually older."

"That happens sometimes.  You'd be the youngest in your class too because you're at least a year ahead of the other kids your age."  She stared at her.  "I can talk to your dad about school stuff if you want.  Or maybe other lessons?"

"I like my lessons a lot.  When do I get to go back to gymnastics?"

"When your ankle is fully healed and Dr. Pigalli says so.  She's already talked to the coach about it and he knows you probably have another two weeks on that sprained ankle."

She pouted.  "I can walk fine."

"So?  Doesn't mean it's healed.  Trust me, just because it feels fine doesn't mean it's fully healed."

"You've had a sprained ankle?"

"And more than that."

"Did they hurt like that?"

"Yeah, some worse."


"Because bruised ribs means that you can't move your arms without pain and you can't find a comfortable way to sleep."

"Wow.  So it hurts a lot more?"  Dawn nodded.  "Why did you have those?"

"Uncle Rhodey was screwing around and tipped some filing cabinets on me."

"Did you get him back?"

"Yup, he needed the infirmary too."  She straightened out Callia's shirt.  "I'll have your dad check with Dr. Pigalli to see if you can go back to gymnastics class."

"He's been really busy with Uncle Steve."

"Going to take a break for a girl talk, boss.  Schedule meetings about school stuff."  She walked Callia off to the break room, sitting in there with her.  "Are you mad that they're spending so much time together?"

"No!  I love Uncle Steve."  She blinked at her aunt.  "They never spend time with me though."

"Sometimes people who are goofy the way they are together forget the important things, like work.  Your dad called off meetings for six days, including some really important ones."  Her having to go up and tell Tony he could fuck or have a company, because the meeting he was missing was important to the whole thing, thanks to the Pentagon calling on them to make military things again, was not a good day.  Steve had put his foot down about calling off meetings.  Tony had pouted for hours but they came out with contracts that would keep the company going.

Callia sighed.  "He did?"  She nodded.  "So it's not just me?"

"No, it's not just you and I'll remind him that he forgot to read to you last night too."  Callia grinned shyly.  "Now, you know how my mom and Uncle Bruce got married?"

"I'm still confused.  Is he Uncle Bruce or Grandpa?"

"Ask him which one he wants you to call him," Dawn suggested.  Callia grinned and relaxed.  "But you know it's the second marriage for my mom, right?"

"Yup, I've heard you call him stepdad."

"Stepdad is because he's not my biological dad.  He's my new dad, so that makes him a stepdad.  Which is really a complicated thing but it's all right."

"So, Uncle Steve is going to be my stepmommy?"

"Something like that but stepdad would probably work."  Dawn grinned.  "But you can ask if he'd like to be called stepmommy."

Callia grinned.  "I can do that."  She sipped the soda her aunt had gotten her.  "Why does that one girl in the papers wear heels at our age?"

"Because she thinks it's needed to make her feel pretty.  When you live in Hollywood, things are weird and women are expected to be prettier than normal but in odd ways.  They're all too skinny and half of them end up being anorexic looking women who insist they're beautiful and talented when they're not."

"Huh," she said, considering that.  "Why can't she be smart instead?"

"Because she's not being encouraged in that like you are."  She grinned.  "If you meet her, don't tell her that idea."


"Remember the talk about the people who think they live in Candy Land and get mad when they're shown that they don't?"  She nodded.  "Hollywood is really Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land's baby game system.  It's weird that way and they get super mad when you prove to them that heels, makeup, and thousand dollar dresses aren't required for beauty."  She sipped her own soda.

"You have some of those," she said.

"Yes, but I picked mine to tease others."  She smiled.  "Not because someone told me I had to wear *that* designer and *that* dress to impress the babbling people on tv who rate fashion.  Frankly, I know when I look good, I know when I feel good, and that's what's important to me.  They probably wouldn't like it because I don't conform to the psychotic Hollywood rules but yay.  We don't live in Hollywood."

"Are they like supermodels?"

"Yup, a lot.  They tend to date between the two groups unfortunately.  Them and sports people.  Some of them are smart enough to avoid all that.  Some....  You see them on the tabloids and on tv."

"I saw some of that.  Daddy made me turn it off before it warped me."

Dawn nodded.  "It can, yeah."  She sipped her soda.  "Are you really lonely?"

"There's no one my age, Auntie."

"I know."  She ruffled her hair and grinned.  "Even if you went to school you'd be with older kids.  I can see if we can find you some sort of after school thing that's got kids around your own age."  Callia beamed and nodded.  "Then I'll look for that."  She grinned.  "I'll talk to your dad about stuff too."  Callia hugged her.  "Thank you.  Go ask Andrew how his new wife is?"

"He got married and didn't tell us?" she demanded.

"He barely told me and that was because he needed some help."

Callia huffed.  "That's mean of him.  Does Daddy know?"

"He knew afterward."

"He should've told me!  He knows I like Andrew and Jonathan!"  She stomped off to talk to the geeks.  She ran into her father and kicked him on the ankle.  "You should've told me my favorite geeks got married!"  She kept stomping off.

"Callia?" Steve asked.

"Boys, in here," Dawn yelled.  She paged Pepper so she'd join them.  They walked in and sat down.  "Callia's really lonely," she told Tony, who winced.  "Including the fact that someone hasn't read to her in a few days."

"Shit," he muttered.

"We explained stepparents," Dawn said with a grin.  "And told her to ask her Uncle Bruce if he wanted to be an uncle or grandpa."

"That's a good idea," Pepper agreed as she joined them.  "I heard the girl talk thing."

"She wanted to know what school was like.  I told her and then pointed out she'd probably still be with older kids."

Pepper grimaced.  "Yes, she probably would be at least two grades ahead."  She looked at Tony.

"After school things with kids her age was my suggestion, and she wanted to hurry back to gymnastics."

"I think she can go back next week but we need to do a checkup first," Tony admitted.  He considered things.  "Why did she kick me?"

"You didn't tell her about Andrew getting married."

"Oh."  He grimaced.  "They are her favorite geeks."  Dawn and Pepper smiled and nodded.

"Is she mad at me?" Steve asked quietly.

"No," Dawn said, giving him a hug.  "She's not mad at you.  She's a bit confused. Before you'd come to dinner, spend time with both Starks, all that."

He nodded.  "We haven't had a lot of time with her."  He looked at Tony, who nodded.  "We have to fix that."

"You are," Dawn assured him.  "Now that you know you'll work on fixing it."  He smiled at her for that bit of sense.

"Yeah, we can work on that," Tony agreed.  "There's no reason for her to need the nanny after work hours."

"That means you'd have to work standard hours," Pepper said.  "You did the same thing to me, Tony."  He nodded he remembered.  "So that's a priority, getting her some new friends her own age is too."

Dawn nodded.  "I was thinking the multi-cultural center has classes on Saturday that are all ages.  They should have kids her age, even if they are hippie spawn.  I know the UN has something with a kid's program too."

"Not bad ideas," Pepper agreed.  "She's very multi-cultural with her dance classes too."

"I didn't figure Tony was going to start going on and on about his ancestors," Dawn said with a small shrug.

"No, not really," Tony agreed.  He looked at Steve.  "We had plans.  We can change them?"

"Definitely.  Or take her with us."

"No," Pepper said.  "You two go out tonight after reading her the bedtime story.  Your dinner's not until nine."  They smiled and nodded.  Callia had an eight o'clock bedtime.  "Anything else?"

"She asked about the little baby star that wears heels all the time.  I reminded her of the people who live in Candy Land get mad when you tell them they don't talk and we talked about unrealistic expectations.  She pointed out I wore fancy dresses but I told her the difference."

Pepper nodded.  "You do dress nicely now."  Dawn grinned at her for that compliment.  "Wear that cream and gold corset dress to the Expo's dinner?"

"Nope.  I'm wearing something a bit more stately to show off the pretty jewelry I won in a poker game."  Pepper moaned.  She smirked.  "I made sure they're not stolen."

Tony looked at her.  "How often do you play kitten poker?"

"Twice a month.  Usually on the fifth and the twenty-ninth."  He stared at her.  She smiled.  "Spike and Clem made sure I was very good at kitten poker, even if I can't play regular poker.  It has given me contacts and safety things."

"It has," Steve agreed.  "I can't imagine you letting them have kittens though."

She smiled.  "You can bet with cash, Steve."  She patted his hand.  "Or jewels."  He nodded.  "Natasha is still figuring out the exchange ratio."  Pepper snickered.  "She asked Spike to teach her how to play out in LA."

"When is she due back?" Pepper asked.

"Three days or so."

"Fine."  She looked at Tony then at the doorway.  "Callia, you don't sneak very well."

Jonathan leaned in.  "It was me, not her.  We have her in the lab nagging Andrew."

"I told her he got married.  She kicked her dad for not telling her."

Jonathan grinned.  "She's asking if they have things like messy kitchens?"

Tony winced and blushed.  "My fault.  No, the answer to that is probably not."

"Thanks, we were hoping it wasn't something like that."  He left them alone.  "Peria, let's not eavesdrop with our cameraphone," he complained loudly, then took it to toss it into the break area.  "They can fire you for selling those things to TMZ again."

Tony got up to get the film and erase it.  "Yes, he will be if I find out he did," he said loudly.  That geek assistant ran off.  Tony sat down and put the phone on the table.  "Anyway," he said dryly.

Steve smiled.  "You picked that up off Dawn."

"I did," he agreed.  Pepper giggled.  "She's a bad influence."

"Only to impressionable minds," Dawn quipped with an evil smirk.  "Are you really impressionable?  Or do I just give you ideas?"

"You give me many bad ideas."  She swatted him.  "Who was it that wanted the multi-line grappling hook system?"

"I still can't climb ropes."  He shook his head.  "That's why I have a motorized system."

"Quit while you're ahead, Dawn," Tony ordered.

"Fine.  I won't give you one for the stupid dragon problem either."

He stared at her.  "You already did."  She wrote out something and folded it over, sliding it over.  He stared then at her.  "You evil, teasing wench."

She grinned.  "Yes, I am."  He groaned.  She looked at Pepper.  "I need the approval stamp on my dress for the Expo dinner.  The other one I look really hot in.  Mom nearly had to cover the saleswoman's eyes.  The green one for the Expo is a bit more staid."

"I can look."  She smiled.  Dawn pulled up the photo and let her see it.  "Bit older but you do look good in it."  She handed it back.  "Jewelry?"

"Very delicate emeralds."

"That's a good match.  Did you buy it?"

"I wasn't sure if I wanted it in that color or not."

"Darker usually looks better on you.  We can go look later."  Dawn smiled and nodded.  Callia got walked back in and Tony picked her up for cuddles.  "Hi, Callia."

"Hi, Auntie Pepper and Bouncy Baby Ball."

Pepper hugged her then handed her back.

Tony cuddled her.  She looked up at him then at Steve.  "Should I call you stepmommy or stepdaddy?  I wasn't sure."

He whimpered and pulled her over to hug her.  "Stepdaddy would be good," he promised.  "Stepmommy might make people wonder."  She giggled and cuddled him then her father.  He grinned at Dawn, who shrugged slightly.

"I think he'd make a good stepmommy," Tony said with a smile for his female clone.  "You can call him that around the house."

"Thanks, Daddy.  Are you going to be home tonight?"

"Until you go to bed, then we're going out to dinner because it's an anniversary.  Tomorrow we're going to be home all night."

Callia grinned.  "What's an anniversary?"

"It's an important date you celebrate.  Like when you met or when you get married, that sort of thing," Dawn said.

"Oh.  Is it a married anniversary?"

"No, it's a when we met one," Tony said.

"Oh."  She nodded.  "That's good.  Are we going to get married like Mommy did?  Because I can find the laser pistol you hid from me again if I need to.  That way when poopy heads attack I can help defend you or Stepdaddy Steve."

"When did you start calling people that?" Dawn asked.  That was a worrying phrase, it had been Willow's way of swearing.  It had just sent up a giant flag that had 'not good' written on it.

"I saw it on one of Mommy's old movies.  She was telling me about Auntie Willow, who had problems."

"She did," Dawn agreed.  "What did she tell you about her?"

"That she had magic, like us and Auntie Tara, but she wasn't careful and it hurt her."

Dawn nodded.  "Which you never have to worry about doing.  Tara is teaching you the right way so you never have to worry about that."  Callia smiled and nodded.  "What else did she say?"  She squeezed Steve's wrist under the table to tell him to stop Tony from protesting.

"Mommy said she was really smart but she had redder hair than Auntie Pepper did.  That I reminded her a lot of Willow but I was a good girl and I'd never have the problems that she did."

Dawn relaxed.  "Willow was smart, but not like you and your daddy are, and yeah, she had some problems that you'll never have."  Callia nodded, grinning again.  "If you ever get worried about that, you need to talk to us."

"I can do that.  Did you know her?"

"Yeah, I knew Willow pretty well.  Uncle Xander did too.  She was your mom's best friend once she moved to Sunnydale."

"Wow."  She looked at Pepper.  "I need one of those like I need one of you."

"You'll find both when you're older, sweetheart.  Buffy had to wait until she was fifteen to find Willow and Xander.  Tony didn't meet me until he was twenty-three."

"Wow.  That's really old."  Pepper hugged her.  "Maybe some day soon then."  She looked at her daddy.  "Can I go to school?"

"Not for a few years.  There's some things we're worried about, like the fact that you're so far ahead of your age group that you'd be around kids who were much older and might pick on you."

"I can understand that."

"So once you reach high school levels, ninth grade time, we'll look at schools."  Callia smiled and nodded.  "Which, admittedly might be in a few years."  He gave her a squeeze.  "Anything else you want to talk about?"

"Can I have friends my own age?"

"We'll find stuff for you to do with kids that're closer to your age," Tony promised.  "It'll take us a bit to find some but we'll try a few different things, including other sports if you want."

Callia kissed him.  "Thanks, Daddy."  She hugged him around the neck, then Steve, then Dawn, then Pepper before running off.  "I'm going to read to Carrot."

"Okay.  Use a real book story, not one on the computer please."  He looked at Dawn.  "Why?"

"Do you know how often I got lectured by Giles and Buffy not to turn into Willow?" she asked quietly.  He winced.  "Buffy still doesn't want me to do major magic things because she thinks I'll lose control or start looking for more power."

"She doesn't realize that Willow had to search out a magic dealer for the black magic?"

"She knew.  Blind spot."  She shifted and crossed her legs.  "I love my sister but she does have some.  Before the wedding she was missing Willow again.  Frankly, the rest of the group didn't but my sister still wants to be the pretty, popular girl she used to be.  Willow was part of it back then."

"I've seen her retreating," Tony agreed.  "Do you think it was a warning?"

"No, I think Buffy was remembering and told Callia.  I think if Willow was still around, she'd start being nagged like I was.  They never nagged Tara.  I got a lot of 'you shouldn't do that, we don't want you to start down Willow's path' from her and Giles, and Giles had to go to the coven that tried to help Willow for his own problems.  It's like huge blindspot that I'm Dawn and not Willow about the magic stuff.  Even Tara did it once until she realized because I huffed off.  I don't want her to have to see that.  Have her compared to Tara, not to me, not to Willow."

"I can see that," Tony agreed.  "Tara's trained by her mother in the old ways.  You learned them from her and your own research."

"Willow's method was a mash of whatever worked with mismeasurements and not caring that she had to be precise and exact.  There were plenty of spells that backfired in Sunnydale that she blamed on Xander when she substituted and wasn't exact.  If I have to do something ritually or with a potion, I'm perfectly on the recipe.  I make sure I know the steps before and practice if I have time.  She'd just throw things in.  Sometimes not even close to what she needed because she couldn't easily find it."

"It's the difference between target practice and shooting in the field," Steve said.

Dawn nodded.  "Battle magic versus home practice and those sort of spells, yeah.  And Willow did it all like she was in the field.  Even when she had to be extra careful."

Steve nodded.  "I get that.  We were taught that there was a difference."  Tony nodded he had learned that too.  "So we want Tara to be her role model for the magic stuff?"

"Tara's mom trained her," Tony said quietly.  "She got it starting very young, like Callia has, and Tara always treats it as an art, not a science to investigate and fiddle with.  She treats it like a philosopher treats their ideas.  There's study, there's practice, there's keeping certain ways.  Willow, from what little I knew her, was always 'let's try this to see what it does' about magic.  She treated it like McKay treats stupid laws of physics he doesn't agree with."

"Then she started to need to clear some of what she was hoarding so she went to a magic dealer," Dawn said quietly.  "Who fed her black magic to get high."  Steve shuddered.  "Yup, and that's why she snapped in the end.  Her addiction got the better of her and her old 'special girl' thing from high school led to her 'special girl' issue on top of her addiction where she believed she was the Goddess.  Which is why I hated it whenever someone used to bring up Willow and my skills in the same sentence."

"I get that," Pepper agreed.  "I never nagged you that way, right?"

"You reminded me not to become like her or Hermione."

Pepper smiled.  "You do have the brains and the tenacity of Hermione."

"I do, yeah."  She grinned.  "But I'd never be the know-it-all champ."

"No, you have more sense and like to hide your brains."  She looked at Tony and Steve.  "Maybe we can let Callia start hanging out with the coven?"

"No other magically active kids," Dawn said.  "Or else I would've brought her to something or Tara would've.  Most of the kids are early teens too.  So it'd still be Callia acting like a big sister for the twins."

Pepper nodded.  "Are there younger witches?"

"Not many and mostly are inside family boundaries at her age.  We need to remind her again not to use her skills unless absolutely necessary.  The gymnastics coach had to have a talk with her when she caught someone who fell."

Tony nodded.  "I can do that too."  He looked at Steve, who grinned.  "Some day we're going to have to tell her future kids not to play with weapons the same way."  Steve patted him on the arm.

"Hell, you keep reminding me not to play with weapons," Dawn quipped.  She got up.  "Let me finish off that last memo for approval."  She left them to talk.  Sometimes she knew how Callia felt.  She was a lot younger than the people she hung out with.  Even her mates.

Pepper smiled.  "We'll figure it out.  Callia will never turn into Willow."

"No, she won't.  She's more likely to be an alcoholic than a magic addict," Tony said dryly.

"We can talk to her about that too," Steve said.  "She's scowling at Dawn whenever she drinks."

"She does at me too," Tony agreed.  He looked at Pepper then at Steve.  "Any idea for things around her own age?"

"A play group?" Pepper suggested.  "One that gets her onto a playground?  Maybe in the park?"

"She'd love that," Tony agreed.  He got up.  "Let's go spend time with my prototype."  Steve smiled and followed him.  Pepper went back to her desk, taking the memos from Dawn to approve of.  They could figure it out while they ran the company.


Natasha had finally gotten to talk with the people who were screwing with her history for a movie.  "I believe that some of those were classified for a reason and can compromise the integrity of SHIELD," she said.


"Most people don't know who certain agents are," she said dryly.  "Or which agents were at which events."  He winced.  "It could get a great many killed, which would be a bad thing."


"Agent Natasha Romanoff," she corrected, making him swallow a moan.  She smirked.  "Yes, I am one of those that would end up dead."  He slumped back into his seat.  "For that matter, the area where you start off is not a very good point."

"We have it planned out as part of one of the lead-in movies."

"Lead in movies?"

He pulled out a folder and showed her.  "See, there's two lead-ins then the main one."  He looked at her.  "That one will draw in more girls."

She smirked.  "I'm not exactly the girlish sort that women go to see for a romantic moment."

He swallowed again.  "No, I'd imagine not, but there's good backstory for both characters."

She pointed at one.  "That biography was crap and it's pissing him off as well."

"You've talked to Mr. Stark?"

"Often."  She crossed her legs.  "I believe he found out and his first call was to his legal department."  He winced.  "I believe his assistant Dawn said that they appeared within minutes and half the building shuddered in horror at her cackling in glee."

"Oh, dear."  He looked it over.  "Would he mind if it were more factual?"

"That would have to come from him."  She wrote down a phone number.  "Pepper's assistant's direct line."  He smiled.  "Do not abuse it.  Stark is not the average genius."

"No, he's not.  What about his assistant?  Do you think there's good backstory there?"  Natasha quirked an eyebrow up.  "Um, saw that you're apparently dating her boyfriend."

"Not exactly," she said dryly.  He popped up some sweat beads on his forehead.  She smirked.  "Though nothing like that is allowed to go on inside most agencies, including SHIELD."

"I can understand that," he said quickly.  "Do you think we could revamp the scripts some to make them more factual?"

"I believe you should take out the mind control as there are still groups trying such things."  She stared at him.  "Or else some people would've hidden closer to home."

He shuddered.  "I figured it had to be something drastic since you guys went into hiding before the press descended and her mother said she was missing."

"Quite but it was...managed."

He nodded, calling in someone.  "Agent Romanoff, this is the young actress I had cast as you."

Natasha looked her over.  She was blonde, a bit closer to middle age than Natasha herself looked.  Not as curvy.  "At least you are not a stick figure."

She smiled.  "No, I'm not.  It's so important for girls to have realistic, good, healthy role models to look up to.  I realize now I can't hope to live up to your form but I want to try really hard."

She smirked a bit.  "You may do, if the project is not stopped by SHIELD getting involved.  Director Fury nearly had his second stroke of his life.  The first due to a trainee agent asking if we could have Halloween costumes."  The actress giggled and left them alone.  She looked at him.  "She's not bad, I've seen her in other things."

"You like movies?"

"Sometimes.  It's good to relax.  Sometimes they're good noise in the background."

He grinned.  "That's very cool.  Is Stark a huge geek?"

"I've met worse ones, but yes.  Most of the worse ones work for him or on Atlantis."

He swallowed.  "I'd love to see Atlantis done as a movie."

She smirked.  "Dawn has said another realm has them as a tv show."

He moaned.  "That would be great."  He took down that idea and smiled at her.  "Can I schedule to talk to you, the archer guy, and Stark?"

She considered it, sending a thought at him.  "Perhaps but not this week.  Apparently there's been an issue."  She looked at her phone.  "Oh, damn," she said in Russian.  She put her phone up.  "SHIELD is a bit busy today."

He looked at the tv in the corner, turning it on.  "Oooh.  Why?"

"Apparently the desist capture order on Doctor Banner was not heeded.  They took his wife, who is Dawn's mother."  The producer winced.  "Though, they were in New York.  Clearly she managed to hit a bit of time slipping," she said in Russian.  "I must talk to her about that."

He looked at her.  "My grandmother was Russian."  He grinned.  "Which is why I thought it was so important to get you correct.  She always looked up to you."

Natasha inclined her head.  "Like the robotic version of me, I wish it would be close but not perfect so it did not endanger anyone."

"There's a robotic version of you?"

"Thanks to a scientist that lost his mind."

He whimpered.  "I...."  He wiped off the drool when she smirked.  "I can change things."

She stood up.  "Thank you.  Call Dawn tomorrow."  Her attention was caught by something on the tv.  The general Dawn had been sneering at pulled a gun once she turned her back.  She nearly hissed but Dawn caught the bullet and then killed him.  She walked away, leaving it hanging in the air, no longer covered by her hair, a single drop of blood on end.  Natasha wobbled.  "We will be talking with her later."  She nodded politely and left, going back to Stark Labs.  It was the fastest way back to New York.  Thankfully she had seen Coulson there to help Dawn.

The producer leaned back, calling in his staff.  "Agent Romanoff...."  One of the writers whimpered.  "That was her, yes.  She wants us to start at a different point, because there's still people who try mind control that way, and she said we're very unfactual about Stark.  Which pissed him off enough to talk to his lawyers."  That got another wince.  He pointed.  "She was not happy about that."

They looked.  "Well, it's not exactly a secret that she's with Stark's assistant and Hawkeye," the hissing writer noted.  "There's enough clues there for most people to catch one if they want.  Especially if you know Summers."

The producer looked at him.  "I forgot you're from the same town."

"I am."  He went back to watching.  They were replaying something in the upper corner.  "They hurt her mom.  They're going to die.  Buffy would do the same thing."  He shuddered at the new generals stomping in to stop things.  O'Neill looked like hell was nibbling on him but he was beating it back by hand.  Dawn was slightly calmer, mostly of the stiff and unemotional sort.  "Any idea?"

"They captured her mother to get the Hulk.  Romanoff said she went back a few minutes at the least."  That got a nod.  "We need to rework things."  They all nodded and got to work on it.  The classified files they had were a great help.  Who knew Stark hired so many hackers that then got fired?

One of the writers pulled up footage of the last battle.  "Who's that?" he asked, pointing at an apparently high ranking SHIELD female agent who was kicking ass.

The director looked at the files they had gotten in the mail.  "That may be Agent Hill.  She's the top female agent, second-in-command."  He looked at that.  "She's good."

"Seeing Agent Romanoff, who we cast isn't feminine enough but she'd do good for her," another writer said.  That got a nod and a note made.  "No Agent Coulson.  The one who went to Miami with Summers."

"No, or Alexander.  I'm wondering what they were handling instead," the director said, considering it.  He could draft out a few new ways for the storylines to go.  It'd mean some recasting and a bit of reshooting but they had barely gotten started.  They had anticipated that someone was going to complain sometime.


Dawn got beamed back to the Penthouse at Stark, walking around her niece.  "You stay in here."

"He needs me."

"He got given something that won't let him turn back, Callia; you can help him later.  Right now, I really understand that rage."  She walked out there, locking the patio doors.  She walked up to the upper roof deck where the Hulk was smashing lawn chairs.  She walked up to him and patted him.  "Mom's fine."  He turned to glare at her.  She stared back.  "Don't give me that look, I'll give you food poisoning on purpose, Stepdad."  He roared and she patted him on the arm, sitting down on a chair he hadn't thrown or damaged yet.  She stared at him.  "Mom's fine.  The army does not have her."  Hulk stared at her then looked around.  "Callia's inside.  It's cold and I don't want her exposed to you in this state.  You're a bit too mad for her to calm down.  Especially with whatever they sent you."

Stark came halfway up the stairs, holding Callia.  "See, he's fine."

"Grandpa Grr Guy, are you okay?" Callia demanded.

Hulk stared at her.  "Callia okay?"

"Callia's fine."  She got free and ran over to give him a hug.  "Callia's chilly.  She's going to go inside."  Hulk cuddled her.  She hugged back.  "It'll be okay.  You're going to be okay, Auntie's going to be okay, Grandma's going to be okay.  I'm going to learn how to stomp the army flat."  She got free and grinned.  "Let me get warm and I'll come cuddle."  Hulk smiled and patted her on the head.  "Be a good boy and help Auntie calm down."  She ran back inside and right under the throw blanket on the couch.

Stark smiled at Dawn.  "Wanna explain how you went back in time?"

"Not a clue," Dawn admitted.  "I guess my mental picture had shadows or something."

"Could be.  Bruce, we're looking at what they sent and we're working on an antidote.  You two calm each other down.  I turned on the space heaters up here."  He went back inside and locked the screen door again.

Dawn looked at him.  "It sucks.  It really, truly sucks."

Hulk looked at her.  The Bruce part of his brain was growling at this one's bad mood.  "Dawn mad."

"Dawn super mad," she said dryly.  "Dawn nearly destroyed a military unit."  Hulk groaned and sat on the floor.  "There's a chair, Stepdad, use it?"

He looked at her.  "Why Dawn mad?"

"Because the army guys took Mom.  Gave her meds to make her sleep.  Which was not a good thing.  Dawn had to restart her mother's heart.  Dawn nearly destroyed the whole military unit for daring to touch her mom."  Hulk was staring at her.  "Dawn really got mad and lost her temper.  Dawn nearly needed a containment unit.  Or a body bag."

Hulk stared at her.  The Bruce part of his mind was in a flurry of emotions, including anger that even eclipsed the Hulk's.   Mostly he was worried.  "Dawn okay?"

"No.  No, I'm not okay.  I'm probably not going to be okay.  If I didn't know some really good people that were army, I'd be working against them right now."  She shifted and sighed.  "I'll lose my temper, you'll lose yours.  We'll both be okay.  Deal?"

Hulk looked at her.  "Joyce?" he asked, looking around.

"She'll be back up soon.  They said she can fly back home this afternoon."

"Where Joyce?"

"The hospital.  Joyce collapsed and nearly died thanks to the medicine they gave her."  Her breath caught.  "Actually, she did in the ER but I was talking to her and the doctor so I got her restarted."  Hulk stared at her.  "She's awake and complaining, she's fine."  Hulk relaxed.  Dawn made herself relax.  She had to calm herself down or she needed to hit her containment room.  She was not in good shape.

They both looked over at the cleared throat.  "You couldn't have caught that bullet sooner?" Clint asked.

"I thought he'd let me get farther away and no, I caught it as soon as I heard it."

He nodded.  "Thankfully you caught it.  Any injury?  I saw the blood drop.  Nearly freaked out on the rec room I was in."

She touched her head.  "I'm pretty sure I healed it."  He patted the spot next to him and she got up, using the chair to launch herself up so she could catch the edge of the roof and climb up.  "Watching over us?"

"Over Banner.  Doc, I'm here to make sure you don't jump down and hit the city."  Hulk stared at him.  "Including the new sedative.  That way you're not dangerous to anyone else."  Hulk smiled and moved next to the heater.  He looked at Dawn.  "You okay?" he asked quietly.  She shook her head quickly, starting to lose it.  He pulled her closer.  He had noticed she hadn't gotten to the point of crying when they took her mother off after she had collapsed.  She hadn't done it after nearly being shot.  Now, she felt safe enough and it was a huge honor and responsibility but she was his.  This more than most things proved it.  You didn't let down your guard or your emotions around just anyone.  She was sobbing on his shoulder and he held on.

Hulk stared.  "Dawn sad."

Clint nodded.  "She's really upset, Doc.  Let her calm down, okay?"  Hulk nodded and sat in Dawn's chair.  Clint spotted a sniper on another building, focusing on something else.  "Dawn, let me handle something."  She sniffled and nodded, pulling back to wipe at her cheeks.  He kissed her and smiled.  "Better?"


"Give me three."  He turned and fired an arrow at the other sniper, making him drop his gun and scream as his shoulder was pierced.  He called that in and let the other agents handle that idiot.  He looked at her.  She was smiling.  He scanned around then looked at her.  "Need to talk?"

She shook her head.  "Why do we even protect them?" she asked quietly.

He brushed her cheeks clean.  "Because we can't pick and choose or we're evil shits."

She leaned forward, putting her head against his shoulder.  "Maybe I want to be an evil bitch then."

"No you don't.  We'd definitely have to confine you."  She snorted but sounded happier.  He gave her a hug.  "Calm down.  It wasn't intentional."

"They acted like it didn't matter.  One called Mom a pervert for liking him.  Called him and me an abomination."

"I would've killed that one."

"He landed on the ground.  I'm not sure if they've taken him for x-rays or not."

He grinned.  "You did good kicking his ass in under ten moves."  She smiled weakly and put her head back down.  "It'll be okay and Joyce is going to sue the hell out of the army for that."  She nodded.  "So can you."

"I....  I probably did that all wrong."

"You reacted emotionally instead of tactically, though there were plenty of tactical elements there.  Taking them to the white house lawn was very tactical because they cannot disobey a direct presidential order."  She nodded.  "It wasn't bad.  Better than just destroying the whole unit in downtown Manhattan."  He looked up then at her.  "Natasha said your phone's probably going off."

"I have no idea where it is," she admitted.  "I saw them capture Mom when she was coming for lunch and I... I so lost it, Clint," she said quietly.  "I went into my full on Hulk."

"I would've done the same thing."  She looked at him.  He nodded.  "Really.  I would've shot them there."  She sighed and nodded, looking down.  "Then again, I'm an agent and you're not."  She nodded, leaning on his shoulder again.  He petted over her hair, calling that in.  Coulson answered Tara had her purse and phone, had paid for Dawn's lunch, and was on her way to the building to bring it to her.  That Buffy had written but he had told her that she didn't have her phone at the moment.  "Thanks."  He hung up.  "Tara got it."  She nodded.  "You did good.  It all worked out.  No one's permanently damaged," he soothed.  She relaxed.  "You always get the shakes, the nibbles, and tired after using too much magic," he said quietly.  "Which sounds like low blood sugar.  Even I can feel the shaking."

"I'm a bit chilly but I can't eat."

"I get that."  He rubbed her back.  "I'm a furnace, move closer."  She did.  "Fury was throwing a fit that you had to defend her," he said quietly.


"Welcome."   He smiled at her.  "You sure you can't even drink something?"  She shook her head, turning a bit green.  "Nerves.  Got it."  He got her down to the chairs, tucking her into one with a blanket that was on the stairs.  "There, warm up."

"I ...."

He stared at her.  "I'm going to check on things.  You sit.  Get warm."

"I'm going to make cocoa," she decided, getting up.

"I love your mom's recipe," he said with a smile.  She smiled back.  "Why is hers sweeter?"

"She uses some sort of European chocolate powder.  I can't find it so I use Mexican chocolate."

"Hmm.  That's why it's a bit different."  She nodded.  "Go make cocoa and come back out here."  She went down there.  He called in an update.  Hulk was totally calm but not able to change back.  He heard why.  "Hey, Doc, should Dawn make you cocoa?"

"Cocoa Joyce," he said.

"She'll be back in three hours."  Hulk pouted but nodded, settling in.  "You cold?  I can get you a blanket or a jacket."  Hulk shook his head.  "Okay."  He walked inside, finding Dawn looking at her little package of cocoa making necessities she had stashed in there.  "Got any marshmallows?"

She smiled.  "Not the tiny ones that I can see."  She added extra sugar.  "It's bittersweet chocolate."  He shrugged.  She made it and handed him a mug.  Tony walked past with a bag of marshmallows but the regular sized type.  He plopped one in each cup.  "Thanks, Tony."

He looked at her.  "We've already told the board to bite us about firing you.  Finish relaxing?"

"I'm not sure if I can."  She sipped her cocoa.  "I'm trying really hard though."

He nodded.  "I'd have destroyed them to the last man."  He went outside with a blanket.  "Hey, Bruce?"  He looked up.  Callia had snuck up and was cuddling him.  "Daughter, go put on a real shirt, a jacket, and pants, plus at least socks," he ordered.  "I don't know how you're out here in just a leotard."  She ran inside.  He handed him the bottle.  "Up your nose."

Bruce glared at the bottle.  Tony took it and used it.  Bruce swatted at him but he was changing back.  "Thanks," he said once he was mostly normal.

Tony smirked.  "Dawn, make your stepfather some too."

"Already going."  Callia carefully carried up mugs for each of them and snuggled in again.  Tony covered them with a blanket and put down an extra space heater unit.  He walked back inside.  "Thanks."

He punched her on the arm.  "They were idiots, Dawn.  Pure idiots."  He went down to the board meeting to yell at them some more.  He walked in and slammed the door.  "They're all fine, Banner's down," he told them.  Fury was in there, and he smirked.  He looked at the whiners on his company's board.  "If it was your mother, what would you have done?"  They shut up about the whining and made plans to make sure that the Army had nothing from him for a bit.

Upstairs, Dawn and Clint walked back out, shutting the door so all the heat didn't flow out.  Callia was talking to her slightly green grandfather.  Dawn settled in on the upper roofline with Clint.  Someone walked up behind them.  "Hey.  I can go make you cocoa," she offered.

Natasha sat down.  "You're not drinking yours."  She took it to sip and handed it back.  "One of the writers was at graduation."  Dawn whimpered.  "Your sister is seriously panicking."

"Tara has her phone," Clint said.  He handed Dawn his.  She looked at him.  "Not like she doesn't have me in her contact list."

She smiled and wrote her sister, assuring her that their mom was fine, she was fine and calming down, and everything was all right.  Buffy sent back one demanding to know what happened.  Dawn told her.  Then asked if she was in labor since there were key stutters.  Buffy said she might be, the doctor would tell her when she saw her in a half-hour.  She demanded to know more details so Dawn sighed and sent it as an email.  Buffy growled back.  She promised that Joyce was fine and coming home in a few hours.

"Stark sent the private plane to get her," Natasha said.  Dawn smiled and typed that in too.  Natasha used her smartphone to get onto Dawn's livejournal and a few other bulletin boards they monitored for her.  "You should make a statement."

Dawn got into Natasha's phone and sent a simple one.  What would you do if it was your mother they were kidnaping and had nearly killed?  She sent it and handed the phone back.  Clint got his and Dawn finished calming down.

"At least when you were ranting you said you knew some great army people," Clint said.  "That way no one's going to hold it against all of them."  Dawn nodded.  "Clay would probably complain though."

"Probably.  And tell me I should go back with a sniper rifle."

"Probably," Natasha agreed, smiling at her.  She smoothed Dawn's hair back behind her ear.  "Remember that girly movie your mother had us watch with her?"  Dawn looked at her and nodded.  "She's playing me."

"The one on the CSI show?"


Dawn blinked.  "She's not as curvy as you but she's nice."  She hugged her.  Natasha hugged her back.  "Thank you for not nagging."

"There is nothing to nag about, Dawn."  She patted her.  "You managed a very hard thing by not breaking down there."

"I did it here."

"Which was a good thing.  A hysterical daughter would not have had the same impact," Natasha said quietly.

"I couldn't let them see me as weaker," she said quietly.  "I don't want Callia to have to learn that."

"She'll need some emotional control so she doesn't smite the board," Natasha said dryly.  Dawn snorted but nodded.  Natasha looked over at Clint, who nodded he had handled it.  She smiled at him over Dawn's head.  "We will handle whatever happens."

"I should go hide again," Dawn complained.

"No, we will not."  She kissed her on the forehead.  "Relax.  Nothing will come of it.  No one would want it to be their mother so harmed."  Dawn nodded and finished relaxing.  "Now, take Clint down and get something to eat?"

"I can't."

"I know.  Try.  Just something light."

"I'll puke it back up."

"Those are post-battle nerves," she reminded her.  "You know how to take care of those."

"I'm not really in the mood for that either," Dawn quipped.

"Then find the gym," Natasha ordered.  "Take him with you.  I'll watch over these two until Stark gets out of his meeting or Joyce is here."  Dawn nodded, hopping down and hugging the duo on the chair.  She wandered off.  Clint took in the mugs but followed.  Natasha slid down to curl up next to a heater.  "I don't see how Barton doesn't need a jacket sometimes," she said.  Bruce gave her a weak smile.  "Are you all right?"


"Her either.  I think I lost a few years when I realized they had shot at her and she had barely caught it."  He stiffened.  "She's fine.  I checked, the tiny injury is healed."  He stared at her.  "It's on the news."  He looked around, no tv up here.  She handed him her phone.  He found CNN's news site and replayed the report, shuddering.  Natasha had watched it during traffic pauses for lights and wrecks.  She did not want to see it again.

Bruce made sure Callia couldn't see or hear it because she was asleep.  She didn't need to see that.  He nearly lost control again but Callia shifted and cuddled better.  He made himself calm down.  Especially when it showed Dawn reaching through a portal to help restart her mother's heart and arguing about the do not resuscitate order applying if she was on machines, not for this.  Finally it showed her being awake and Dawn clearly fighting herself.  "Is she all right, Natasha?" he asked quietly.

"She's attempting to be."

"I saw her break down."

Natasha looked at him.  "That level of trust is a good thing and we needed to be there for her."  He nodded, handing back the phone.  She pointed.  "It got worse a minute later."  He unpaused it and kept watching while she looked away.  He growled, which woke up the baby.  "She caught it."

"Barely," he said.

"They are being court marshaled."

"Good," he said.

Callia blinked at him.  "Grandpa Grr Guy, do you need more cuddles?" she asked.  "I give very good ones because I learned from Auntie Dawn and she learned from Grandma."

"You do give excellent cuddles, Callia," he promised, cuddling her better.  It helped him calm back down.  "Joyce?"

"Three hours.  Stark's private plane is retrieving her."   He nodded and squeezed her.

"I'm not a stuffed bear.  I'll poop if you squeeze too hard," Callia stage whispered in his ear, making him ease up and laugh.  She snuggled in and went back to sleep.  She needed a nap.

"Would whatever they were doing work?"

"No.  The automatic response to her being attacked that way is to leave the area," Natasha said.  "She would've done it then but she needed to stay and fight."

He nodded.  "It won't hurt her?"

"Sonic pulses would only give her a headache and she's fought through worse."

"I hate that for her."

"We all do," she assured him.  He relaxed again and nodded.  They could handle this fall out once he made sure Joyce was all right.


Nick Fury stomped out of the meeting with the idiot Hollywood people who were annoying him.  Joyce held up a cup of coffee and two advil packets as he walked past her desk.  "That won't cut it today, Summers."

"I added scotch," she said dryly, giving him a pointed look.  "It could be worse.  They could be in your history like they are Natasha's."

"No, then I'd kill."  He took them into his office to sit down and take the headache pills with his doctored coffee.  She had a good hand, just enough to taste but not too overpowering, unfortunately.

Stark strolled up the hall, smiling at Joyce.  "Are you good enough for Callia to come pout at you this weekend?  She said she wanted to about dance classes being canceled for the next few months."

"Why are they canceled?"

"The teacher's pregnant."  She smiled and nodded.  "I'll tell her that.  We're looking for things with kids her own age."


"She hates ballet and jazz classes.  I had her try them, a few different sports, and put her in swimming lessons."

She smiled.  "Take her to the park and let her play."

"That could be dangerous."

"You're going to be there.  You'll have Happy most likely.  How dangerous will it be?"

He nodded.  "Good point.  I can try that."  He went into the office.  "Unless I give them a proper biography...."

"Don't you dare," Fury cut in.  "Help us stop this shit?"

Stark nodded.  "I'm flattered but not that much and Pepper is freaking out."  He smirked.  "But we'll see."  He walked off.  They had not hammered out any sort of agreement with the Hollywood people.  They had made their feelings known, had offered to look over the new scripts, and would get back with them in a week.  That's all they promised.  Which was not enough for them to go forward or backward at the moment. 

Though, the one playing Natasha, he was going to suggest play Agent Hill.  She was badass and slightly feminine but not totally.  Also a lot less curvy than Natasha.  If you were going to play the Black Widow, you needed to look more like her.  He walked off thinking.  Maybe he could find a suggestion somewhere.  He had an ex that was nicely built but not a good enough actress for it.  Well, more than one.  One might make a really great Pepper though.


Dawn looked up Friday, staring at the family grouping.  "It's been a week of hell, I need to get the stress out, and I need to combat the baby rumors," she announced.

"You have that pretty silver dress that's only shirt length," Joyce offered with a smile.  "It looks like something off a Cosmo cover and they'll be able to tell there's no bump."

Clint looked over at her.  "Don't encourage her to go out in ho clothes.  The cream dress is still floating around somewhere."

"It's in a box," Dawn said dryly. "Anyone going with me?"

Clint nodded.  "I think we should."

She smiled.  "Cool."  She kissed her mom on the cheek then Bruce and Callia.  "You behave.  If you do one wrong thing, you go home."

"Yes, Auntie.  I know I'm grounded."

"Good."  She patted her on the head, smiling at Natasha.  "Coming?  Or do you want a night in the tub?"

"I could enjoy a night out," she agreed, standing up and following them out to the car Dawn had leased.  They went home to spiffy up and change.

Clint stared at Dawn as she came out dressed and putting in her earrings.  "Um.... no," he said, staring at the very short, very showy dark/bronzy silver dress with the neckline that plunged down to a scoop around her navel.  "No, not going out in that."

She looked then at him.  "I look hot."

"Yeah, but Natasha would look hotter in it."  Dawn pouted.  "Dresses like that?  Bigger chests show better."  He turned her around and gave her a nudge.  "Go hand that to her.  Find something alluring."

"Alluring in my closet won't prove I'm not pregnant."

"Find something that'll make me beg."

"It would."

"It'll do it more on Natasha than you."

"Fine."  She walked in there.  Natasha came out of the bathroom and nodded, taking that from Dawn to put on instead of her choice.  Dawn looked in her closet.  "I hate that I can say I have nothing else to wear and enough clothes for two of my sisters."

Natasha laughed and looked, pulling out something.  It turned out to be longer.  "What is that for?"



"I look like a goddess, it's fully covering, and hey, the geeks can drool."  She grinned.

"Yes, they probably will."  She put it back and looked at the other things, shooing the cat that was trying to help out of it.  "Go sleep in the other one, Loki."  Dawn put him in the nice nest she had created for him.  Natasha found something.

"Last year's.  Someone will say something," she sighed.

"Since when do we care about those sort?"

"Since one nagged Pepper again?" she guessed with a grimace.  "Apparently I don't dress like a starlet my age enough."

"Thankfully, no you don't," Clint said from the doorway.  "You have tons of clothes."

"All work clothes," Dawn told him.  "And a few formal things."

Clint looked at that section then at her.  "That silver and gold one?"


"Huh."  He closed that closet so the cat couldn't ruin anything.  Dawn got into it again and pulled out something.  "Hell.  No."  He put it back.  If it had to be clothes-pinned to the hanger, it wasn't being worn.

Natasha laughed and picked out what she wanted Dawn to wear.  It was slim fitting, it was belted to show off her waist.  It was mid-thigh so slightly demure.  Dawn gave her a dirty look.  "Fine."  Dawn went to a closet she never got into.  They had been on a problem in Brazil way back when they were hiding from the US.  There had been people that had been stealing magically active teenagers for sex and then sacrificial rituals.  They had to taunt for three days before they figured out Dawn was powerful and could be taken.  It had been hell on their nerves having to let her go club by herself but it had worked. 

Dawn had drawn one and they had gotten most of the children free before the sacrificial rite.  Dawn had gotten clubbing clothes for that one and they hated to see her in them but it might be necessary.  Dawn pulled out a slim fitting light silver dress that did fantastic things for her body.  It had a built-in bra from the sides.  The plunge was covered with a very fine silk netting lace that hid nothing.  It created a slight shadow to make Dawn look like she had a bigger chest.  The skirt ended about two inches below her butt. 

She took it to the bathroom to dress and do a hairlessness check, because this one did dip low enough to show pubic hair if she had any.  She came out in it, skin colored stockings that hitched to the dress itself instead of a garter belt that would show, and clearly skin colored panties.  She closed the closet after getting the silver heels out and sliding into them.  A bit of adjustment in her lipstick and a necklace that had a pendant resting between her breasts.  It definitely drew the eye.  Dawn put on drop earrings and rebrushed her hair.

"I need more ammo," Clint said, going to that shelf in the room's entertainment unit.

"I cannot hide many weapons in this dress," Natasha said, tipping her head to the side.  "It looks better on you now that it did then.  You aren't five pounds underweight."  Dawn smirked and kissed her, earning a moan.  "We will club and relieve rumors and stress."  She walked them out.  Clint had extra ammo on him.  Plus a few more concealed weapons.  "Where are we going?"

"The ones I like or somewhere else?" Dawn asked.  She turned to look at them at the elevator.

"That one with the paintings," Clint said.  "Their music is good.  I had to do surveillance in there."  She grinned and they got into the elevator with Phil, who sighed in displeasure.  "Relieving stress and rumors, sir."

"I can tell."  He looked at Natasha then at Dawn.  "Wasn't that one yours?" he asked her.

"Yes."  She grinned.  "Clint wanted it on Natasha, said it looked better with a larger chest."

"It does," Phil sighed.  "I clearly need to do some meditative mind clearing."  He got off on his floor and went home to Xander so he could help him forget.  Xander was sweating.  "You saw?"

"Natasha is a fantasy woman for many men," he said.  "And yeah, it does look slightly better on her than on Dawn."  He pulled him in for a kiss.  "Let's take these nasty thoughts out of our heads."  He fell to his knees and unzipped Phil, getting right to the blow job.  Phil moaned and wound his fingers in Xander's hair.  He was so damn good at that.  Phil nearly fell when he came but Xander caught him and carried him into the bedroom, tossing him onto the bed.  He took both of their clothes off, grabbed the lube to spread on himself, then moved closer to get his mate ready for him.  Phil let him because it was good for both of them and hard-fast-more was their only thoughts for the next little while.

Natasha blushed at Dawn.  "Perhaps we'll hide this dress after tonight."

"We can wait while you change," Dawn offered with a grin.

"No, it will be fine."  They walked off the elevator and called a cab.  They were nicely nearby so it only took a few minutes to get to the club.  The bouncer gaped in awe at Clint, then at Natasha and moaned.  She winked.  They got let in and pulled Dawn in with them.  Dawn went onto the floor, Clint following because he was a tiny bit possessive.  Natasha found her own spot near them and would join them later.  Clint pulled her closer and they danced around him instead.  That was really safer so no one took either of the girls.  Though a few tried to cut in, Clint was not happy with it.  Dawn was his, Natasha was his, and he had that caveman growl in the back of his head again.

Dawn teased him by turning around to dance against his chest, back to chest, and smiled at him.  "I hear a growl," she teased.

"You do."  He pulled Natasha around to let her dance with Dawn while he got her back.  He nodded at a problem that had come in.

Dawn snorted and waved a hand until it caught Natasha's.  "Not an issue."  She smirked at her then shifted closer to her wife.  There was that growl again.  "He sounds like Hellion," she quipped.

"He does," Natasha agreed, smiling at Clint over Dawn's shoulder.  "Someone is getting claimed tonight."

"Hmm.  Wonder who."  She smirked and teased her then strolled off to get a drink.  The bartender stared at her.  "Virgin fruit slushy please?"  She paid and he got her one, making it right in front of her.  "Thank you, dear."  She strolled off, taking it back to the group.  They pulled her between them, letting them take drinks.  It was good.  It was hot, and then Dawn spotted someone.  "I think we've got chaperones."

Clint looked and nodded.  "We do.  Huh.  Dawn, go tease him?"

"Sure, I can dick tease the boss."  She strolled over, taking her drink with her.  Tony blinked a few times, mouth opening.  "Orders, bossman.  You're not supposed to be chaperoning."  She winked at Pepper, who giggled.  "I like that on you.  Even if it is a bit plain."  She finished her drink and put it on the table.  "They need alone time."

"Fine," he said with an evil smirk.  "It'll be payback for the halloween party."

She winked.  "I'm not that evil tonight.  I'm still the good princess."  Pepper cackled and nodded.  She strolled off, letting Tony lead.  He was safe.  She pointed at a few problems and he nodded, but she did enjoy dancing with Tony.  He was smooth, he was good at it, and he didn't get handsy like most of the guys did.  She finally let him go back to Pepper a sweaty, needy mess and strolled off to find someone else.  Clint and Natasha were a bit involved with each other.  She could help with that.  They needed alone time too.  She found an agent and smirked.  "FBI, here?" she quipped.  He moaned.  "Why?"

"Surveillance, Miss Summers."

She laughed.  "On me?"

"No.  You are not my target."

"Good, then you're safe enough to dance with and not destroy."  She pulled him out to distract and tease him.  He was sweating a lot sooner than Tony did.  He was fully distracted and kept stammering at her.  "What question is that?" she asked.

"I saw a picture of you in that dress," he said, squeezing his eyes shut for a moment then looking up at her face.  In her heels she was just an inch taller than he was.  "What was that about?"

"Some stupid mother fuckers that were taking kids to sacrifice after raping."

"Thank you."

"I'd never let that go on."  She smiled and patted him on the cheek.  "Bathrooms are in the back."  He swallowed hard and went that way.  She strolled off with a thought at Natasha that she was giving them space.  She got back a 'be careful, be on alert, and do not switch clubs' from Clint.  She said she'd go to her usual ones, which were safer.  He glared but she grinned and did that.  The cab nicely didn't smell on the way over.  The bouncer saw her and whimpered.  She smiled.  "I'm in a teasing, flirty mood and they're busy."  She shrugged.  "Can I go in?"

"Yeah," he said, letting her in.  The bartender glared then spotted her and moaned.  She was over their quota but hot.  Very, very hot.  They knew her and she was never a problem.  The floor was a mass tonight and she found a few partners easily enough.  It was good for her ego.  She nearly broke up a few couples but she turned down anyone that was clearly taken.  The few single guys in there were all sweaty and groping but she stopped most of them. 

One was big and polite, so she danced with him.  He still had on his NYPD badge so he was safe.  He relaxed and it was good.  When she was done being hot, sweaty, and taunting, she went home.  Clint and Natasha were on the couch making out.  She went to prepare the bed, including putting the weapons where they needed to go.  She checked and sent a thought at Natasha that they were out of condoms for him.  She went to run a bath for them for later.  That was nice of her and by the time they were in the bedroom, Clint was too hot to care about anything but having her.  Dawn came out and kissed them both, putting down water, some strawberry juice drink, and some peppermints.  Then she strolled off to shower and change into jammies.

Clint groaned, kissing Natasha again.  "She's giving us privacy."

"She is and I could appreciate that tonight.  I have not had you all to myself in a while."  He groaned and kissed her again, moving up some to get a better angle to enter her at.  "Clint, condoms?"

"None," he panted, working himself deeper into her.  "You're on the pill and the shot.  There's not a chance," he reminded her.  "Please, 'Tasha?"

"I'm yours."  She smiled and teased his shoulder with her nails.  "Do as you want."  Clint growled and flipped her over to make it a harder ride, which she enjoyed.  She was gripping the headboard and pushing back against him, making him take her where she wanted to go, at her pace.  She was demanding and he always lived up to her needs and wants.  She shivered as he came inside her, reaching down to alleviate her own need.  He beat her to it and made her nearly shriek.  She didn't do it often but he was very good to her.  She finally finished coming and laid down.  He was on her back, panting hard.  "She ran us a bath."

"I'd love a bath."  He kissed her shoulder then nibbled on it.  "Then I'm going to ride you harder."  Natasha smirked but let them go in there.  Dawn was on the couch reading.  "When do you want time with just her?" he asked once they were in the nice, hot, soothing tub.  Dawn had used those crystals again and it smelled nice.

"She has vacation in a week."  She took a kiss and leaned her back against his chest, getting comfortable.  "I was going to manipulate my way into going with them."

"Leaving me here alone with my hand?" he quipped.

"Yes, so that you two can have an explosive night when she gets back."  Clint groaned and nodded, kissing her neck.  "Being uncovered felt different."

"It does," he agreed.  "Much more intimate to share body fluids."

She shivered and snuggled in better.  "There is no harm in a few now and then."

He kissed her ear.  "I'd love for it to be the norm, not the exception."  She looked at him.  "I would."

She kissed him.  "We'll see."  He grinned and cuddled her better.  It was relaxing, even if he was stroking over her stomach with his fingertips.  She swatted his hand but he laughed in that dark, rich sound that made her shiver.  She shifted and sat on his lap for a proper kiss, making him clutch her and pull her closer.  "Clint?"

"Still feeling a bit possessive."

"I could enjoy that harder ride you promised me."

He smirked.  "All yours, Nat."  He started by teasing her.  She loved to be teased.  She wouldn't admit it but it got her hot and wet faster than anything.  He ended up pulling them out and to the shower to wash off the herbal crystals, then back to the bed, which had been remade.  Their weapons were where they should be, they both checked, and it was fantastic.  Natasha got loud, more so than Dawn did, and just let it all go for him.


Dawn walked into work the next day and smiled at the guards.  "Problems?" she asked at the scowl.

"You were dancing with the boss."

"They needed a night together.  He was safe and not going to kidnap my pretty ass."  They laughed but let her log in and head upstairs.  "Morning, Pepper."

"Morning," she squeaked.

Dawn closed the office door for her.  "Let me know when you're ready for me to come take notes."

"Sure," she said, still sounding a bit squeaky.

Dawn got into her desk to straighten things up, because Andrew had been looking for her peppermint stash again, and settled in to go over the interoffice mail and other things.  Tony walked up the hall and she frowned then at the door then at him.  "Huh, didn't know she did that."

"Of course she does," he said dryly, handing her a newspaper.  "I'm pretty sure they realize you're not pregnant now."

"No, I wasn't."  She smiled and handed it back.  "He's NYPD and at the club I usually hit."

"Why did you leave them?"

"They needed alone time."

He nodded.  "Got it.  That's a necessity with any trio I guess."  He looked at the office door.  "Squeaky?"


"Then it's a good day."  He walked off again.

Dawn popped her neck and got back to work.  Sleeping on the couch always gave her a crick in her neck.

Natasha strolled off the elevator.  "Where is he this time?"

"Headed down to the tinkering lab or to check on my geeks."  She grinned.  "You okay?"

"I'm very good."  She took a fast kiss.  "You could have joined us."

"As he said, we all need alone time within the group."  She stared at her.  "I've been hogging him."

Natasha smiled.  "We both hog you."  Dawn blushed.  "I'm going on your vacation with you and her."

"Okay.  If you want."  She smiled.  "I'm bringing the blue bikini and a few others."

Natasha nodded.  "Very good for tanning."

"I wasn't expecting anything else, dear."

"You will get it," she promised, strolling off.  Her gait was a bit off this morning, she was a bit sore, but it was good.  Dawn was watching her walk and leering mentally, she could feel it.  So could Clint, who had to shut them out.  He had the idiot rookie agents again today.

Dawn offered to spar with them.  Clint promised her she could kick their butts and he'd bring them over later to break them.  Dawn smirked and got back to work, closing them both out of her mind.

Jonathan came up and stared at her.  "My girlfriend wants to know where you found that dress of male damnation?"

"Brasilia."  She smiled.  "A few years back."

He sighed.  "I'll let her know there's no way we can find it up here."  He strolled off.  "You made the girls pant and think lesbian things, Dawn."

She cackled.  "Sorry, Johno."

"We're not."  He grinned and went back to his lab.  He walked in.  "They were in Brazil."  His girlfriend Patty pouted at him.  "She was so hot and didn't get any.  Clint was all on Natasha by the way she's walking."  Andrew moaned.  "So apparently Dawn's getting it later."  They shared a smirk.  It was fun watching them go at it sometimes.

"I need to go to the gym," MB, Andrew's new wife, said.

Andrew looked at her and shook his head.  "Don't you dare."  She blushed.  "I like you the way you are and there's no way you can compete with Dawn.  It's like us competing against Stark as heros."  She took a kiss, which he enjoyed, then the girls went to their own labs to get back to work.  He sighed.  "I so need to figure out how to do more than that."

"Talk to Tony or Clint," Jonathan quipped.  "They'd know.  Phil apparently likes Xander a whole lot too."

He nodded, going to talk to Tony about that.  Clint was a bit scary because he was the possessive, alpha male sort.  Stark, not as alpha in the obvious ways.  He sat down next to Tony.  "How do I do more than kiss and fondle her?"

Tony looked around to make sure Callia wasn't in there with them then looked at him.  "You want me to teach you sex ed or just give you sites?"

"Clint suggested oral sex and gave me a link.  It looked like fun but she got all embarrassed and blushy."  Callia walked in.  He hugged her.  "Can you go talk to MB about not having babies?"

"We need more babies."

Andrew smiled.  "When you're a teenager you can babysit but no babies this year."

"I can see that.  You need time to set up the house, like the dollies and GI Joe do."  She skipped off to talk to MB, who she adored.  If her geeks had to marry, they had picked nice girls at least.

Tony smirked.  "Smooth.  Is she on something?"

"No!" he complained.  "She's never even thought about drugs.  Why would you ask that?"

Tony patted him.  "I meant birth control."

"Um....  Huh?"

Tony texted Dawn, who told him she'd ask her.  "Okay, first, we're going to make sure you know what things are."  He took him downtown to Times Square and a favorite kink shop he liked to frequent.  He showed him all sorts of things and explained the uses.  Including how things like oral sex worked with the fake pussies they had in boxes.  Andrew was bright red but taking notes.  It was the sort of geek he was.  The shop boy was giving them odd looks.  "Newlyweds."

The clerk smiled and pointed.  "Newby kit?"

Tony took him to look at it and had to explain why there were fuzzy handcuffs.  But Andrew now had ideas and knew what he was doing.  He'd have to make sure Jonathan didn't need the same talk.  He handed the junior geek to his wife at lunch, and gave them permission to work over tonight so they had a long one.  Andrew took her up to their shared suite and put some of the new ideas into practice.  Tony went back to his lab happier. 

Dawn had left him a note saying she had told MB that they could do the birth control shot, patch, and pill in the infirmary in case she needed it, and that he had been showing Andrew what a condom was for.  That Patty liked porn apparently, and so did Jonathan, so they were a bit more worldly and knew what things were, but hadn't went there yet.  So it was good for him.  He was a great mentor.


Clint was stretched out on the couch when the girls got home.  He had his present favorite bow being cleaned in his lap and some music on to hum to.  Dawn leaned down to kiss him.  He smirked.  "Thank you for last night."

"You guys need some alone time.  I've been hogging you."

He smirked.  "No you haven't.  We've been hogging you between us."  He took another kiss.  "Strip for me?"  She quirked up an eyebrow.  "Natasha, don't you think she should strip?"

"I believe she should," she agreed, sitting down to cross her legs, the top foot wiggling with the music.  "You even have nice music on for it."

Dawn blushed.  "I'm not good at this part."

"So?" Clint offered.  He shrugged and put his bow aside.  "Strip for us, Dawn."  She blushed but pulled down her hair, shaking it out.  Then she kicked off her shoes.  "No, I like those," he promised. 

She put them back on and worked on the buttons of her shirt, making him lean back again and stare at her.  She wasn't being overly tempting.  She got the plain, cream shirt off and tossed it into a chair.  She turned to undo the zipper of her skirt and push it down, leaving it a puddle of cloth on the floor, then she turned back around to tease herself.  He nodded he liked that and tipped his head to the side.  She teased her stomach then up to her bra clasp, it was a front hook. 

She undid it and let it hang, stroking over her breasts and teasing her nipples through the fabric.  He was getting to the point of pouncing.  She shifted again and came over to kiss Natasha before undoing her garter straps and pushing the panties down on one side.  It showed just a hint of the hair she had left because that's what Clint liked.  She moved over to kiss him and pushed them off all the way, then went back to slowly teasing herself. 

He plucked off the bra and tossed it then pulled her down to kiss her better.  "I want to go naked with you like I did Natasha last night," he said against her ear.  "Any comments?"  She moaned and kissed him.  "Pills and all that?"

"I'm good.  Got the shot earlier this week."

He smiled.  "Good."  He spanked her once.  "Get up and dance for me, Dawn?"  She did that, making him strip off his sleeveless t-shirt and undo his pants button and zipper.  Dawn was a great club tease.  "Who was that guy?"

"NYPD officer."

"Safe then.  The other one at the first club?"

"FBI agent."

"Hmm.  Safe enough."  He made turn around motions and she did, letting him see her shake her backside.  Then she turned back around.  The garter belt came off.  The stockings still stayed up, they were a bit tight at the top.  He smiled.  "Like that even more.  More skin to tease."  He motioned her closer.  "Lap dance for me?" he suggested.

She grinned down at him and walked over to change the music then came back.  It was one of his favorite CD's and she liked it.  It was good to dance to.  She was dancing in front of his knees, barely brushing them.  "Did you need a lap dance?"

"I definitely do."  His thighs were drifting apart and he was stroking his stomach.  Dawn licked her lips and leaned down to blow a kiss at his lips, casually brushing her breasts against his thigh.  He smiled at that move but she stood back up and went back to dancing for him.  She finally moved closer, straddling his thighs, giving him the brushing pressure he wanted. He pulled her closer to kiss, holding her up by her nicely rounded butt.

"No butt sex without a condom, I don't want you to get a UTI," she said in his ear, earning a shiver and a nod.  She smiled at him.  "I was taught to only go fully naked with you when we were totally serious, committed, and Mom had made sure he was better than anything she or my sister ever dated."

"If I had known that, I would've quit buying them months ago."  She grinned and sat down on his cock, not letting it pierce her, but on top of it.  It was trapped in her folds and getting damp.  He slid a few times, which was good and teased both of them.  He stood up and carried her into the bedroom, taking the shoes off.  The cat ran from them but that was normal.  Loki hated them having sex.   He stripped off his jeans and boxers, then slowly peeled her stockings off and tossed them aside.  "You sure?"

"Are you?  I consider that a really big commitment step."

"I'm already yours," he reminded her, kissing her.  He leaned down, taking control of everything.  Dawn's body was not a secret to him, he knew where every single hot spot, every spot that made her twitch or moan, and every entrance key he had to get her to let him into her body.  He started with a touching tease on her shoulders but she wiggled so he moved down.  "Day at work bad?" he guessed.

"Some tension.  Pepper's in *that* stage.  I had to keep hiding from her squeaky noises."

He kissed her.  "Don't want to hear about Pepper masturbating.  It's hot but not as hot as you."  He kissed her again and moved down to nibble on her shoulders.  A simple shoulder massage and she was nearly puddled underneath him.  He teased a breast, which she had learned to enjoy.  Then he moved lower.  He loved oral sex with Dawn.  She made fantastic noises.  Today was no exception and Natasha came in to hand him a gag then left them alone.  "I don't care if you get loud.  I love it."  He smirked and went back to making her messy and cleaning it up.

"Clint!" she begged.  "Please!"

"Not time yet."

She moaned and wiggled some.  "Please?  Need to come."

"I know you will.  Be patient."  She whimpered and writhed.  He was enjoying it.  One final orgasm and he came up to slide into her, making her hiss and claw at his arms.  "Better this way?"

"So much better this way," she moaned.  "Oh, Goddess, so much better this way."

He smiled.  "I like it too."  He kissed her.  "Come for me, Dawn, so I can make you go off one last time?"  She nodded and clutched his shoulders, wrapping her legs around his waist.  She was a bit hesitant.  "Nothing's changed, baby.  Still yours."  She nodded and tried to flip them over.  He smirked.  "Nope, not this time.  Next time."  He thrust in hard, making her squeal.  It was good to hear.  He was quiet, had learned that a long time ago.  Natasha was usually quiet, unless he got her very worked up.  Dawn wasn't and he loved that about her.  She was a mass of noise that just made him get warmer and warmer.  He finally came and brought her across, making her go limp and pant.  He smirked.  "Did you fake that one?"

"Hell.  No."

"No fluttery feelings."

"Dear, those muscles are limp and not getting back up for anything," she quipped.  He groaned and pulled out to tease them with a finger.  She laid there and watched him.  "See?"

"I do see.  Are you sprained?" he teased.

"No.  They'll have some recovery and teasing time then come back up."  She kissed him.  "The same as yours will."

He laughed and hugged her.  "Definitely need recovery time tonight.  I haven't been this happy since I was fourteen."

She kissed him.  "I bet you were hell in bed even then."

He smirked.  "Yes, I was."  She snuggled against him.  He enjoyed it and it was good.  Relaxing.


Andrew gave Dawn a shrewd look the next morning.  She wasn't really sitting right.  Like she was slumped at the hips but trying to appear upright.  "If he's doing it so hard you're in pain, then I need to have a talk with him, probably from my robotic battle suit but definitely a talk with him."

She smiled.  "Normal sex can make you sore too, Andrew."

"Uh-huh."  He stared at her.  "If I'm like your brother I should threaten him."

She laughed.  "I think you tried that once."

"I think I did too.  MB's blushing harder than ever."

"She's probably having her cycle," she said dryly.

"Oh!"  He nodded and left to talk to Patty and MB.  He was worried about Dawn.  Well, they were busy and Jonathan was doing an interview with Warren's new therapist to help him get his mind back to the right spot.  So maybe he'd go talk to Clint Barton himself.  He headed for his storage area but Phil Coulson caught him and walked him off.  "He made it so she can't sit.  Again!" he complained.  "I was only going to talk to him."

"I'm sure you were but he's getting ready for a new mission, Andrew.  I'll talk to him for you.  Dawn's like my sister too."

Andrew pouted.  "I don't want her hurt."

"He'd never really hurt her.  He just got too enthusiastic.  Some day you will too and you'll baby MB."

"He's not babying her."

"He is but he's doing it long distance today."  He stared at him.  "There's no reason to pull out the battle suits."  Andrew pouted but nodded, huffing off.  He walked up to check on Dawn.  He didn't want to know what SHIELD would do to Andrew if he tried to attack Clint.  Probably sic Thor on the battle suited genius.  Which would cause problems with Stark and Dawn.

He found her leaned back in her chair, eyes moving and open, and clearly not there.  He pushed his phone for Stark's speed dial.  "Vision.  Dawn."  He hung up and got what he'd need.  He texted Maria Hill to see if she knew what was going on.  Because if they were connected, Barton or Romanoff would be getting it too.

Xander appeared, staring at her.  "She doesn't have apocalypse visions," he said quietly.  "It's always about personal things for her."  He disappeared to check on them.  Medical was checking on Natasha.  "Don't," he ordered.  "Dawn's having a vision and broadcasting."  They backed off.  Coulson had put in protocols for people having visions.  "She'll need something for the migraine," he said more quietly.  They nodded and got an IV prepared.  He looked around.  "Where's Barton?"

"Can't find him," Hill noted.

Xander concentrated and took one of the medics with him to check on him.  He wasn't having as much of a link this time.  He got the IV started, making Clint relax.  He checked, Dawn was still having it.  He flashed back to Natasha to start the IV since none of them dared to touch her.  She moaned and tried to move.  "Shh, I've got you," Xander said in her ear.  "It's a vision, Natasha.  It's a preview."  Natasha nodded slightly. 

"Help her.  Don't fight it.  It'll cause brain damage if you fight them."  She nodded slightly again.  He went back to help move Barton out of his spot.  He and the medic appeared with Barton between them.  He was groaning and holding his head.  Xander touched his forehead to see what it was, wincing.  "She only has personal major event ones," he said quietly.  Clint barely opened his eyes to glare at him.  "Not my fault."

"No, but we have to stop that urge," he said very quietly.

"She's not mine," he pointed out.  "What did you expect her to do?  What did she do last time?"

Clint winced.  "Don't remind me."  He put his head back down.  "Can I have a sledgehammer to cave in my skull?"

"Sorry but I can start the painkiller, Agent Barton," the medic said, starting that.  He got rolled off.  They got Natasha moving.

Xander went back to Stark tower, finding their medics there with Dawn.  "They got it mirrored."  Phil nodded, following Dawn down to the infirmary.  Xander followed.  "How many of these has she had?"

Phil shook his head.  "Maybe four."

"We need to check for the brain changes Cordy had," he said quietly.  Phil stiffened but nodded, adding that request.  The doctor called up that file, but didn't have it.  He accessed the one from SHIELD and she winced, taking her to a CT.

"Okay, what the actual fuck?" Tony demanded, staring at them.

"Vision," Xander said.  "Barton's next mission is going to go clusterfuck and she's going to need to step in to save his ass, which he's not going to like."

Tony's eye had a twitch most people had never seen.  Pepper had only seen it a few times.  She knew it meant to get out of the way.  "Phil?" she suggested.  He followed her back to the CT room.

Tony stared at Xander.  "The CT?"

"Cordelia.  Remember her?"

"Vaguely, yes."

"Gifted with visions by the irish mother fucker when he died?"

"Remember that part," Tony said, clearly ready to lose his temper.

"She died from them, kind of."  Tony sucked in a breath.  "It caused extreme brain changes.  Human brains can't always take the stress of visions.  Dawn's not fully human but you can track vision-related changes early on."

Tony nodded slowly.  "That explains the CT.  She's had four, right?"  Xander nodded but shrugged.  "So we're looking to make sure it's not going to fry her brain?"

"While I'm writing one of the more magical Xander's to see if there's anything we can give her to block out visions that won't make her a thorazine zombie.  Because I don't think they'd like to watch her take heroin all that often and that's the only street drug I know that can block visions and other powers."

"Good to know," Tony said bitterly.  "Why did she have this one?"

"Each of us gets different types.  I get full blown apocalypse battles."  Tony shuddered.  "Dawn gets personal ones, things that can go hellishly wrong with her made and actual family."  He stared at him.  "She had one about you once, one of them involved an accident that Pepper was going to have."

"I remember that one."

"This one, Barton's next mission is going to go clusterfuck.  Her going to help save his dumb ass is going to start the mother of all fights and it looked like a divorce."  Tony winced.  "But he would've survived."

"Okay," Tony decided.  "Anything else we know?"

"They were apparently open enough that the other two saw it too," Phil said, coming back out.  "There's a very minute change.  It's nothing like what Cordelia had."  Xander relaxed and nodded.  "Cordelia's came from the Powers That Be, right?"  Xander nodded more quickly.  "Then Dawn's probably come from a less powerful source or she has them naturally as a gift."

"That's considered a gift?" Tony demanded.

"Forewarned is forearmed," Xander said bitterly.  "I didn't have one until I lost my eye and my powers suddenly rebalanced on me."

"You were showing temporal lobe damage the last time you were on Atlantis, after you broke out," Phil said quietly.  Xander looked at him.  He nodded.  "Lesser than Cordelia's.  I'm not sure if it got healed or not, Xander."

"So we need to find something to block those out," Tony said.

"If it's important she'd probably keep them," Xander said.  "If it was trivial things or she was getting every single semi-dangerous demon attack to tell a hero, then she'd probably ask to have them eased."

Tony nodded.  "What about driving?"

Xander shrugged.  "I don't know.  Angel tried to get me to give up driving when I started to have them.  He did talk Cordelia into not driving when hers got worse."

"By looking genetically we're fairly certain Doyle only activated her natural gift as a seer," Phil said.  He rubbed his left ear to ease the ache in it.  The doctor had grabbed him by it.  "The source sending it with pain to make sure they didn't think it was daydreams and her being fully human were the reasons it changed her so much.  We have someone looking over her medical records and that of a few others to see if there's others who have the same sort of problem.  We were hoping for something to ease the problems or block them off."

Xander shrugged.  "Visions can run in my family.  I'm not sure if they are or not."

"Yours are hereditary.  I had your file from Atlantis sent to him.  He identified the same gene sequence that Cordelia had, which was twisted by the Hellmouth's power.  It would've stayed latent in both of you if it hadn't been activated by powers or Powers."

"Are Dawn's hereditary?" Tony asked.

"Possibly.  I haven't had her genome scan sent over.  I wasn't about to risk that because of who and what she is.  She had been getting minor flashes, not major, explicit visions like this one."

Tony nodded.  "We have geneticists on staff."

"I know.  One of them works with him part of the time.  It's his father."

Tony smirked.  "I'll have him work on Dawn's."  He went into the CT room but got sent out because of his arc reactor.  "Fine."

"When we know you will," Dr. Pigalli noted, then slammed the door.

Xander looked at Phil.  "Want here or there?"

"There.  You baby Dawn."  Xander took him back to SHIELD so they didn't realize he had powers then went back.  He walked into the infirmary.  Fury was living up to his name again.  "Anything?"

"No cognitive or physical changes," the doctor said.  "How did Dawn do that?"

"She needs to keep her mind to herself," Fury complained, glaring at Phil.

"It was about Barton's next mission, sir."  Fury slumped.  "Alexander read it from their minds.  Said it was going to be a clusterfuck as he put it."  Fury stomped off.  He walked over to ease the pain they were feeling.  Clint barely opened his eyes to stare at him.  "They're checking Dawn over."

"She's never going to get another one again," he vowed.

"You can't promise that.  Nor can I or Alexander," he said quietly.  "If we could, we'd take them for her."  Clint nodded and swallowed.  "Want some water?"


"Dawn can hear them and she's scared," Natasha said.  Phil sent a thought at Dawn, calming her down.  "Thank you."  She put a hand on her forehead.  "How has she lived through these?"

"This was her fourth real one," Phil said quietly.  "Xander's had dozens but all his are battle ones.  Usually apocalypse or higher, harder battles."

"There has to be something we can give her to block them off," Clint said.

"Xander offered the idea of heroin," Phil said.  They both glared at him and so did the doctors.  "He said that's the only street drug he knows that can block powers."  He looked at them.  "Comparing her to Cordelia Chase's files, she's barely got any changes caused by them."

Clint made himself sit up.  "No, there's no more.  Even if I have to go beat the ass of some higher power, no way in hell."

Natasha nodded.  "Ditto when I can move."  Phil adjusted her IV, making her relax.  "I needed less pain medicine, not more."

"Hush," he told her.  "Dawn has migraine medicine for a reason beyond stretching her boundaries."  He patted her on the wrist.  "Rest."  He looked at Clint.  "You, lay back down."

"I need to check on her."

"She's in the CT at Stark Tower."  Clint stared.  "Once you're better."  Clint nodded, pulling his IV.  "I said better, not more stubborn."

"I can do this shit there."  He stood up and wobbled.  "Please?"

"I'm up," Natasha moaned, sitting up holding her head.  "I hope I never have another of those."

"She had one before this but after you three bonded," Phil said quietly.

"I had some nightmares from that."

"We weren't involved in that one," Clint said.  "How can you tell how much was her low self esteem?"

"I'm not sure," he admitted.  "It may twist some of it, Barton.  I don't know how to tell."

"Some of it was more twinkly than the rest," Natasha said.  "Most of it was like watching tv in your mind, but there were twinkly parts, including that whole fight thing."

"Then that must be her interpretation," Clint decided.  He carefully moved away from the bed.  "Coulson, you're driving."

"Yes I am."  Natasha checked herself out and they headed over.  The SHIELD infirmary team sent Dr. Pigalli's team notes so they could stick them on IV drips over there.  Maybe it would help Dawn.


Stark found his geneticist in his lab, humming at a copy of a genome.  "Hey."  The guy flinched and looked around before removing it.  "I know that's Dawn's.  I know you've been fascinated with Dawn.  Your lucky day just happened."

"Is she suffering from some chromosomal anomaly?"

"No.  She's suffering from visions."  The other scientist stiffened, staring at him.  "Just had her fourth one, which she shared with her spouses."

"Damn.  We noticed they could look at each other and seemed to hold conversations."

Tony nodded.  "That was during the whole mind control thing to help each other.  It will not get out.  Not in the least."

"I've been secretly looking hers over but I hadn't evaluated it against what my father was doing."

"Do so.  Find some way to block it  if possible.  Or flip it off except in horrible emergencies.  Whatever."

"I can do that.  I know he got Alexander's genome.  Comparing it against Thor's is driving him nuts."

"Loki was adopted," Tony said dryly.

"Beyond that.  It's like he's got a mixed sample as DNA."

Tony thought at Xander, who joined him with Phil.  "Talk to him about your genetics."

Xander looked at him, getting the examples flashed.  "That's the birthing gifts and blessings.  They can change some things."

Tony scowled.  "Like if you're blessed to be really strong and fast by another god as a gift, it'll increase that skill?"

Xander nodded.  "Only a few pantheons do that.  Most don't, consider it tampering.  We do, the Greeks do, the Egyptians used to.  I have some blessing from pantheons that the current ones think are mythical and never existed.  That's what they found when Odin had Hera help me weed out some of the mermaid and hellmouth taint."  He went to his elemental form.  "All the flashing things are gifts.  Though I have no idea why I'm blue.  I used to be a more twinkly, silver one."  Phil coughed.  "That would probably do it, yeah."  He returned to human.  "I used to show gifts from thirteen pantheons, three of which couldn't be identified.  Something happened recently."

"Was it where Callia locked you guys in that containment cell?" Tony guessed.

"That preceded the event that changed his elemental look," Phil said.  Tony stared at him.  "Not sharing, Stark."

"It might be important and could it change his DNA more?" the geneticist asked.

Xander and Phil nodded.  Xander showed Tony the mirror of what happened.  Tony shivered but nodded. "Yes, it probably did.  His DNA might read more like Coulson's now."  He handed it over.  "Take another swab and try."  He did that.  "Xander, can we put you both in a CT to compare?"

"Sure," Xander decided.  "If it'll help him come up with a way to block them from Dawnie."

"Thank you," the other scientist said with a happy grin.  "Mr. Stark, her genomic scan will not get out at all.  I'll handle that myself."

"Thank you.  And quit crushing on her?"

"I'm aware of why that's a bad idea now."

"They're in the infirmary too," Phil admitted.

"If they have that fight anyway, there's going to be a dead sniper," Xander quipped.

"Please don't threaten my sniper, Xander," Phil chided.

"Yours?" Tony asked dryly.

"I am the agent overseeing the Avengers Initiative."

"I thought you meant in the other sense," Tony said sarcastically.

"No one's put a shrine up to me yet, Stark.  Though I wouldn't mind.  The unattached prayers reach my ears anyway.  Maybe if I had a shrine I'd get more than the 'oh god please' prayers."

"I liked you better without a sense of humor, Coulson," Tony complained.

"Who's kidding?" Xander asked.  "I got plenty of the 'oh god' prayers, Stark.  Any protector, any sort of prayer, including those in bed, that didn't have a destination attached."

"So you're the dead letter office for prayers?" Tony quipped to hide that revelation bothered him.

"Quite," Phil said dryly, staring at him.  "Thankfully they can mostly be blocked off."  He walked off.  "We can go to the infirmary so you can get the current scan as well," he told the geneticist.  Who all but ran after him.

Xander smirked at Tony.  "Yeah, those too."


"Pray to a certain one and they get it.  Send up a random one and the one over your life, or the ones over your life, get it.  You lucky guy you, the one over heros thinks it's a good thing when you get laid often."  He walked off looking more smug.

"I'll start dedicating those to someone specific," he complained, following them.  They had Dawn's CT up to look at.  "What's the dark spot?" he asked, pointing at it.  "That's not normal."

"The bruise from the battle in Sunnydale, from all the power," Phil said quietly.  Tony shuddered.  "It's probably permanent but doesn't cause any other problems, Stark.  Worry about the tiny bit of swelling and the discolored blotches."

"I see those.  Is that the vision damage?"  Xander nodded.  "It looks bad."  The geneticist got into his files to pull one up, making Tony shudder.  "Cordelia's?"

"Yeah," Xander said.  "That's hers after a year of visions.  About twenty, twenty-five of them."  Tony shuddered again.  "Dawn's not showing the same level of relative damage but it's going to eventually get there.  She's gaining damage at maybe third-speed of Cordy."

"Then we have to stop them," Tony decided.

Xander looked at him.  "That could mean stopping her magic.  Are you willing to go that far since that could kill her?"

"No," Tony sighed.  "Anything that might help?" he asked his geek.

"We're working on hypothesis.  Including one that there has to be a medicine that can lower it."

"Heroin," Xander said bluntly.  "It blocks out all natural gifts, including empathy and magic."  He pointed.  "That's her empathic surge."

"Do we know why it works?" Tony asked.  "Can we mimic the effect on the brain without the drug itself?"

"No idea," Xander admitted.  "Not my field of expertise.  I'd ask John.  He did a lot of research into them a few generations back when the girlfriend he really wanted had them.  Then Aisha got her."

"Okay," Tony said.  "I can put you with Colonel Sheppard," he told his geek.

John cleared his throat.  "It's an odd fact that those who are in training for something strenuous, like the olympics, will get dream visions but not outright daytime full visions," he said.  "They can be just as harmful but nicer to live through."  Xander nodded.  "Warriors in full battles never get visions."

"Wrong," Xander said.  "I had two during the invasion.  That's why I stopped to catch my breath."

"Huh.  Okay, human ones don't," John said.  "Or so the ancient sources I saw said.  So it's possible that something about the great exertion on the body can block the receptors.  I'm not sure."

The geneticist nodded.  "Okay," he said.  "That's not a bad idea and we know how heroin infects the brain so we can see if those responses are similar."  He gathered the notes.  "I'll get yours from my father, Alexander.  The new one can be compared with the old one."

"They're merged now," John said.  "He and Coulson probably read like fraternal twins."

"I can check that," the geneticist said happily and left, taking John with him to talk to.

Tony looked at them.  "Anything we can do to ease that?"

"Napping helps," Xander said.  "Like her overuse headaches, only time and stuff for migraines."

"I gave Agent Barton some adrenaline just now," Dr. Pigalli's nurse said.  "She overheard and said to try it on him with his permission.  It has helped the pain and the response time he's got cognitively."

"That's good to know," Phil agreed.  "Find us an effective way of dealing with them."  She nodded, leaving them be.  "There's a few others that they found the markers in," he told Stark when he got stared at.  "Including in Thor and Agent Sitwell."

"Sitwell's got a latent talent somewhere," Xander said.  "I can almost feel it off him."

"His child will probably have an active one.  Tara told him that."  Stark shuddered and walked off.  He looked at Xander.  "We can help them talk."

"We can," he agreed.  "You popped over earlier."

"Dawn was a bit sore this morning and Andrew took offense at that."  He grinned slightly.  "He was going to get out the battle suit and stomp on Barton until he apologized for making her sore."

"Dawn would've stomped right back," Xander said dryly.

"Probably, yes."  They went to check on Dawn and her spouses.  Clint was awake and sitting up.  "The adrenaline help?"

"For now but I can feel a crash coming hard later," he said, staring at them.  "Natasha didn't react that much."

"She was hit harder," Xander said.  "You were only half as deep as they were."  Clint nodded at that.  "Now what?  And I'm asking as a nosy big brother who will destroy you."

Clint stared at him.  "We don't have many rules but I think we need to start one."

Xander patted him on the cheek with a smirk.  "You were nearly suicidal and she was right to point it out," he said quietly.  "The fact that you yelled because she saved your ass was a bad thing."

Clint nodded, getting free.  "I understand why.  We'd never fight like that.  I'd go retreat and think first, Xander."

"Good.  Because your destruction would be certain if you two had that sort of fight."  He stared at him.  "If you think Andrew can't, you can be sure I can and will."

"Xander, quit threatening my sniper," Phil said impatiently.

Xander looked at him.  "Family over coworkers, dear."

"Hush."  He looked at Clint.  "I'm sure you two will work it out in a way that won't leave her sobbing on our shoulders."  He walked Xander off.

Clint looked at Natasha, who was almost smiling.  Then at Dawn, who was asleep.  Natasha was facing him but Dawn was on her other side, facing away.  Clint got up and walked over, sitting beside her cot.  "Hey."  Dawn moaned and held her head.  "I know.  Can we try that shot thing?"

"Hasn't helped her yet," the nurse said.  "Let her sleep.  Whatever you're going to fight about can wait, Agent Barton."

"Fine."  He got comfortable in his chair, watching Dawn sleep.  Natasha was up first, though the pinched look on her face showed she was still in pain.  She opened up their link and showed him what she had gotten that he hadn't.  Yeah, that mission had went totally wrong and he had sacrifice played it to get what they needed done.  Without an exit strategy.  Dawn had solved the need for an exit strategy.  He had gotten mad about that, which he might but he'd cool off on the way home. 

Then they had the totally illogical fight that clearly came from her mind instead of the vision.  Natasha had seen what was underneath it, basically him moving out.  That was not going to happen.  So they had to deal with it, make sure his next mission went picture perfect so Dawn wouldn't worry, and then make sure they were more solid and Dawn couldn't come help on a mission.  Which was nearly impossible but that's what sort of missions they sent him and Natasha on.

Natasha shook her head, showing him something else.  That was bad.  Bad on many levels.  So bad on too many levels really.  He didn't like sacrifice plays and he surely didn't want to be carved up by one.  Interrogation training was nothing on the real thing, he'd had enough of them to know that, but that one wasn't an interrogation, it was for fun.  One guy wanting to be the friendly neighborhood butcher that hadn't been able to get the credit to open a shop.  Who knew the backwoods of Belarus had so many regulations to jump through to be a butcher, or so the guy had told him while he was cutting him up.  Dawn interfering had saved him, and the few rookie agents with him.

He stared over at Natasha, who shrugged.  She had no idea how to handle this without that fight.  The fact that Dawn had a true vision about the mission and then the fight afterward got added in meant that something really had to be done.  She was sure it was being reassigned and they could tell the overseeing agent so they could handle it.  She blinked at the table next to her cot, finding her phone.  Tony handed over his tablet, letting her type out a message.  He sent it for her and then she let herself drift off again.  This headache was worse than any she'd ever had.

Tony watched Barton stare and Natasha try to sleep it off.  "Scan them too," he told the nurse.  "In case some of the damage spread."

"They won't let us.  We suggested it," the nurse said quietly.

"Barton, Romanoff, CT," Tony ordered.  "So we can make sure it didn't cause you two damage."  They both glared at him.  "Yay.  Who knows what can pass around and you both got hit pretty hard."  He pointed.  "Now.  Shouldn't take more than ten minutes then you can come back to glare or rest."  They nodded and got taken in there.  During it Dawn moaned, holding her head.  "Hey," he said, moving beside her bed.  "I'm right here."  She whimpered, shaking her head.  "They're in the CT to make sure the vision didn't hurt them.  They both saw it."  He smoothed back her sweaty hair.  "Want some water?"

"Need to take it down," she mumbled. 

He opened the word processing program on his tablet and let her do that.  When she was done she went limp again.  Tony scanned over it then sent half of it, the important half, to SHIELD.  They didn't need to know about marital spats.  Even the dissolving the union kind.  He got back a 'thanks' from Maria Hill.  He made sure she had Natasha's and she said she did.  They were handling it and to tell Barton he was excused from missions, but they were going to be doing a lot of scans soon.  Tony sent over they were doing a CT right now.  She said it wouldn't save others but they needed copies.  He said he'd talk to Coulson about it. 

She said that was fine and he put his tablet back into his pocket.  Dawn was fitful but trying to sleep.  He turned up her IV drip rate so she got more pain medicine, which made her pass back out.  The nurse scowled.  He shrugged.  She nodded it was fine and pointed at him to go.  He shook his head.  When the other two came out he left them to recover together.  He ran into Andrew pacing, looking really worried.  "It was a vision, 'Drew."

He looked at him.  "I heard they killed someone we went to school with."

"I know about Cordelia."

"She did?  Arnold Amstrice died of his.  I'm not sure if it was the vision that caused a brain clot or the car accident he had with it."

"I'll try to get his records.  Someone's looking into that."  Andrew nodded and walked off.  "She's napping.  Visit later."

"I can do that."

"If they're talking, since it was about an upcoming mission, let them," Tony warned.

"I can do that."  He went to check on them.  He hugged Dawn, getting a pat back.  "At least you don't have to try to sit."  She snorted but grinned slightly.  "You rest."  He stared at Clint.  "She's still like my sister."  He left.

"Everyone's threatening me today and I haven't even done anything," he complained quietly.

The nurse smiled.  "Rumors say that Agent Coulson had to make him leave his battle robot alone because she couldn't sit comfortably," she said next to his ear.  He groaned.  "He may not understand girls very well but he does understand protecting girls."  She patted him on the shoulder.  "Want something?  The doctor said you can have something."

"I'm good for now."

"Okay.  If you start to crash, back in your bed."  He nodded.  "You're all staying overnight.  We'll move you to a private shared room later."  She walked off to check on Natasha's.  "Want me to turn up the IV?"  She shook her head.  "Okay.  Let me know."  She made notes on their charts and let them sleep for now.


Clint felt it when Dawn woke up, the spike of pain heralded her moan out loud and grabbing her forehead.  "You really awake this time?"

"Fuck," she moaned, putting the pillow over her head.

"I'll take that as a yes."  He looked at Natasha, who was marginally better.  He reached over to lift the pillow off her head.  She glared at him for it.  "At least you didn't share with everyone?"  She glared harder, looking like a weak kitten.  He really hated being pissed at his girls.  They were like cherries sharing a stem, one slightly tart yet with a
sweet center and one that was still a bit short of ripe but sweet to the tongue.

"I think you're hungry," Dawn complained.  "You're thinking in food metaphors."

"I probably am."  He leaned closer.  "Those things are scarier than seizures."

"Never had one."

"I have, two.  Both caused by problems before you ask.  They're damn scary."  Dawn blinked but nodded.  He took a calming breath.  "But...."  She went back to glaring.  "No, we're going to talk about it, even though I'm off the mission.  We trained you how to back us up if something totally stupid happened."  He leaned his arms on her mattress, looking at her.  "This is further along that line."

"I did good."

"You did, but it was risky.  What if someone related you back to Stark?"

"He told you in the vision I had used the company plane."

"I didn't get that part."

"He did," Natasha said from her spot.  Their beds were pushed together and the railings between them were down.  It was a very short gap of maybe eight inches to cross over.  She did that and laid behind Dawn, cuddling her.  She needed the physical comfort.  "It was the right way to solve it," she said in her ear.  "It was the wrong thing to solve it."


"I saw more than he did," she assured her.  Dawn looked at her.  "I did."  Dawn went limp and nodded.  "If you had called, I would've went."

"You were on a mission."

"I have gotten off missions before to save his ass," she said bluntly.  "I would have."

"You were in a dangerous spot doing your usual flirty 'talk to me, I'm just a pretty girl' thing."

"That does work well."  She stroked Dawn's stomach, earning a wince.  "Why are you sore?"

"Her last migraine had full body aches," Clint said quietly.  Dawn nodded he was right.  He stared at her.  "So let's set down how to do it properly."  She blinked at him.  "Some day I might need it.  I'd never yell because you saved my life unless you did something stupidly flashy that would get the same people down on your own ass, Dawn.  So we're going to set down hard, absolute rules of what may and may not happen.  That way we don't have to fight."  She opened her mouth again.  "Seriously."  She nodded, closing her mouth again.  "Thank you."  He kissed her then Natasha.  "You sleep and we'll do it tomorrow."

"Not sleepy."

"Bullshit.  I am and I've been up most of the day."  He stared at her.  "They're looking at things to block off visions," he said quietly.

"It could get people killed if I don't have one."

"It could get you killed if you do," he said.  "Including a car crash or like your friend Cordelia did."  She shivered.  "So, we'd like them to not happen.  Ever.  If they're super important then fine.  Saving my life, I'll accept."  He patted her hand.  "I'm glad you had that one."  She nodded, shifting some.  He kissed her on the lips.  "Rest, relax.  I got told if I even thought about molesting you in that bed Dr. Pigalli was going to castrate me."

She snorted.  "Mine, she can't touch 'em."

He grinned.  "They are.  Only you two can rip my balls off."  Natasha laughed, which made Dawn moan.  "You two rest."

"I'm sorry you have my migraine," Dawn told Natasha, looking back at her.

"I'm glad we had the vision so we could plan for that problem."  He kissed her on the temple.  "You rest.  We'll be here all night."

"Did I tell anyone?"

"Tony had you write it out.  He only sent up until the point where you were coming back."  Dawn relaxed and yawned, letting them soothe her into a nap.  She looked at Clint.  "Any absolute rule will end up broken."

"If it's that important, broken is fine," he assured her.  Natasha smiled.  "I don't want her to have to see that or even being hunted, Nat.  Never."

"No, neither do I."  She cuddled Dawn and it was better.  The headache seemed to flow back to her, which probably wasn't fair but Dawn was doing something about it.  They'd survive this and not have that fight.


Dawn woke up in the middle of the night, finding Phil standing there staring at her.  "You woke me up?" she whispered.

"Slightly.  We're inside your head."

She stared at him.  "You're not Phil."  The demon sneered and changed.  "Go the fuck away."

"No.  You're mine now."  Dawn reached out and touched him, making him scream.  She got jolted back to the real world by Clint yelping in pain.  She blinked at him.  "Demon in my head.  Sorry."

"What?" he demanded.  She showed him.  He laid down with her.  "I swear only the weird things happen to you."

She yawned.  "Dream demons aren't that uncommon but you can disperse them by disproving them."  She snuggled on his shoulder.  "'Tasha's cold.  You get the center."

"Bull.  She can snuggle up to your back."

She blinked at him.  "You're warmer."

"So?"  He smirked.  "That's what blankets are for, Dawn."  She touched him and he swatted her.  "I'm real.  Just a bit annoyed.  I was having a great dream about us on a deserted island."

"Was I Mary Ann or Ginger?"

"Mary Ann.  You don't try to be glamorous all the time."  He looked over.  "Nat, come cuddle.   You're chilled."  Natasha moaned and stretched out.

"See, not my dream demon."  Dawn pulled her over to cuddle her, making Clint move to her other side.  She opened the link and strolled over, swatting the demon from behind.  It screamed and left again.  She scowled at Natasha.  "Clint said things like that only happen to me so do you have on the choker to become me?"

Natasha laughed but hugged her.  "Not likely."  Clint joined them and it was nice.  She was warming again.  The demon was not going to visit again.

"Maybe I should learn how to use a sword," Clint grumped.  The girls cuddled him.  "I know I prefer long range weapons but really, it could come in handy."

"I can teach you some," Dawn offered.  He grinned and kissed her then Natasha, who was staring over their shoulder.  "Butt out, Coulson."

"Fine.  Just checking.  Xander said he felt something odd."

"Dream Demon Arafit."

"I'll tell him."  He disappeared.

Dawn shrugged.  "He liked Xander for a while too.  Used to play word games with him from what he said."  She snuggled into Natasha's side.

"I am not a teddy bear," she complained.

"Yes you are because you have squishy parts," Dawn quipped.  She grinned.  "You give a great cuddle and you're the sole of discretion.  Like most bears you would never tell anyone's secrets."  Natasha stared at her.  She smiled.  "Hey, I missed that stage," she said dryly.  "Created at fourteen means I still have a tiny bit of childlike innocence."

"You were watching _the Neverending Story_ again," Natasha said dryly.

"Yes but I'd make a sucky empress."  She snuggled in again.  "Nap, people.  Before the headache comes back.  I can escape it in here."  They yawned and fell asleep with her, humoring her but they liked to humor her weird moods at times.  Even if Natasha could not see herself as a teddybear.  Clint gave her a squeeze.  She looked at him and he grinned.  She rolled her eyes but let herself be soothed back into a nap.  It was nice being so warm.

In the real world, Xander was adding a quilt from their house.  "I'll have a talk with my old flirting buddy," he said quietly, disappearing to talk to that demon.  He appeared and leaned on his shoulder, grinning at him.  "Have I mentioned recently that Dawn is like my sister?"  The demon slumped.  "I know she's got a very tight bond, which I appreciate the hell out of most of the time."  He patted him on the other shoulder.  "It'll be okay."

"Someone wanted me to torment her."

"I don't give a damn."


"Thank you."  He disappeared.  Then came back.  "No doing it to Callia Stark, her mommy Buffy, her husband Hylal, or their new spawn Sean Hjalmar."  He disappeared again.

The demon looked up.  "Buffy spawned again?" he asked.

"With that warrior guy," another demon called.  "He's a few days old and cranky.  She's even more cranky from the birth and not having sex for months.  Hylal seems pleased with him though.  Fourteen pounds and a few ounces.  Huge kid.  She'll never unstretch."

Arafit shook his head.  "That's what you get when you as an Asgardian to screw you, huge kids.  At least Alexander's future kids might be normal sized."  They all laughed.

"You didn't hear that they bound him to his consort?" the bartender called.  The whole room moaned.  "My cousin's near his temple.  There was a shitload of fits, people.  Then something happened and Gaia bound them together."  A few people paid off bets.  "They ended up having to mate and bond for real to save his consort's life.  So he's now the husband of the agent over the Avengers."

"Well, he helps them anyway," Arafit complained.

"Hold on, he married Coulson?" someone demanded.  The rest of the bar nodded.  "Why?"

"Gaia said so," the bartender said, staring at him.  "Why do you think it happened?"  That demon shuddered and slumped down.  "Yeah, exactly.  Alexander even took him home to his private home in the middle of nowhere a few times."  A few more bets got paid off.  They'd celebrate Xander's wedding later.


Fury walked up to where Maria Hill was waiting for him.  He sat across from her, turning on a shield around the table.  "Let's be honest."

"About what, sir?"  She sipped her lite beer.  He had called this meeting outside the office so no one could overhear.  She had picked the bar so it'd be safer because he didn't really frequent the local bars.

"I heard rumors of a light tether Dawn kept on them, to keep herself grounded.  Earlier proved it was a bit more."

"I'm not at liberty to talk about what happened when they were under mind control."

Fury grimaced.  "So that's how it didn't ruin her?"  She nodded.  "Which one?"

"She had one with Barton earlier.  A very light one from when she had the migraine and another few times when she showed him memories according to Tara."  She sipped her beer.  "They do have doors between them.  They can completely shut her out and she can do the same thing.  The vision today was apparently too important and they got caught."

"So it is all three?"  She nodded.  "Why?"

She put her beer aside and leaned on the table.  "They had them for over a month, sir.  They used VR and other methods."  He shuddered.  "Barton's initial report to Coulson said he thought it had been about four months."

"So they anchored her to sanity?"

"No, I think they created a bond to help her.  I think it was him and her since Agent Romanoff's not as tightly linked and some of the reports he's blacked out have mentioned that they didn't find her until later."

"So they were hitting all three," he said.  She nodded.  "Are they compromised?"

"Is love compromising?" she countered.  "That started before the bond and they discovered how terrific she was after that."  She grinned.  "Which I can agree with.  Dawn would make a proud little sister for me too, sir."

He nodded.  "So they side-stepped it that way."  She nodded.  "Anything you know?"

"She mentioned once that he has a great singing voice mentally and she tends to reach for music to distract her enough that she doesn't totally focus on anything.  Though, they were together before then."

"How together?"

"Casually before then."

"How deep did hers go?"

"They were going to use Barton to spar against until she killed him for the visions of what he would do to her if he won," she said, staring at him.  "Some of them got suppressed.  Some of them got removed by Lethe water thanks to Loki."  He blinked at that.  She smiled.  "She's like his mortal granddaughter.  That and it let him have some political points."

"I don't like him being with the president."

"Not much we can do until he enacts a greater plan."  She smirked.  "He'll never make president himself."

"That's good to know but he's probably working people around to liking his ideas."

"Probably but you try to talk to the President of Russia, sir."

"Good point, the man's more stubborn than Coulson."  He took her beer to sip.

"Sir, I'm not really into sharing bodily fluids with you," she said dryly.  He choked and shook his head.  "Tara would be most upset."

He looked at her.  "Tara's a good young woman."

"She is."

"What if she has to move?"

"I don't know, sir.  I know if you had stayed infected with those nanites they were going to move to the LA office."  He nodded once and finished her beer.  She smiled.  "Dawn's fairly normal.  She has to spar now and then to keep urges down from what I've seen and overheard.  They have it under control."

"Outside of her going to Romania?"

"Then they overpowered her.  He chased through Stark's generosity and got it solved."

"I heard."  He glanced around then at her.  "I'm aware of their legal status."

She smiled.  "Tara and I are following their lead this spring, sir.  Did you want an invitation?"

"No.  Then I can't deny it if someone asks."  He stared at her.  She smirked back. "Coulson?"

"What about him?"

"He's *borrowing* powers?"

She sighed and leaned her elbows on the table, leaning forward some.  "Callia Stark locked them in the depowering containment cell that Stark has," she said quietly.  "Which nearly killed them both through Alexander nearly losing cohesion permanently."  He shuddered.  "I'm told that Roque and John got them to Asgard to fix Alexander, which was why he wasn't at that battle, and somehow during it Phil got sucked into his elemental form."

"So immortal?  Roque said that."

"No comment."

He stared at her.  "He is?"

"No.  Comment."


She smiled.  "Because someone decided that someone else was overloaded and needed someone specifically to watch over heros."

Phil appeared, looking at her.  "Did Tara give you chatty drugs?"

"No, but she did make a fantastic lasagna."

"I found the leftovers," he said dryly.  He looked at his boss.  "I was named the Shield of SHIELD, sir."

Fury looked around.  "I need a beer for this."  He looked at him.  "So you're over the Avengers?"

"In many ways, and Alexander.  All the other protectors as well.  I had to use a lot of power calming him down now and then before the time flip."

Fury grimaced.  "How is that working out?"

"Sir, if you're sucked into someone's elemental state, whichever of you is stronger basically ends up pregnant with the other if you don't take a specific potion," he said bluntly.  "We were locked together for about ten minutes."  Fury slumped.  He smiled.  "But otherwise it's pretty fantastic.  Alexander's very good to me, sir.  He's fantastic in bed.  I can help him with his duties.  I'm going to be blocking this talk off by the way."

"I figured you would.  All those little blips?"

"I'm still learning.  I got the crash course from him and Ares, then the Egyptian pantheon."

"Were they nice?" Maria asked.

"Very nice.  A bit uptight about some things but very nice.  I had a lot of fun with Isis teaching me things, and Thoth too.  He was getting Xander calmed down.  They didn't go to that disastrous banquet."

Fury shook his head.  "So you're not protesting the marriage any longer?"

"I decided to make the best of it and learned that he's more than worthy of me.  He's done things that no one's ever realized and kept humanity safe for generations.  He's an amazing man, sir.  I learned I could love him and that was where I made my decision.  He left it up to me until we accidentally bonded that way."  He looked at Maria.  "By the way, that does change DNA.  I have my new one on your desk waiting for you to slip it into my file."

"I can do that," she agreed.  "You were carrying him?"

"An energy pregnancy basically means that he's trapped inside me.  They gave me a potion so we could separate.  Though there are ways of having sex that way."  She cackled and punched him on the arm.  He grinned at the boss.  "He's still an amazing man."

"He is," Fury decided.  "He sure as hell puts up with all my crackhead agents."

Phil smiled.  "Our first kiss before the time flip...."

"I don't need to know," Fury said.

"You do because someone's going to eventually look and ask why I was helping him free a few orphanages, church owned and not, from some drug runners in Mexico."

"I already got that call and denied all knowledge, Coulson."

"Thank you, sir."

"That was you?"

"Yes.  He was taking them out to create a distraction so they could move the children.  I had to bring him spare ammo and guns.  Then Dawn dropped some on us and left."

Fury moaned.  "Is she going to keep doing that?"


"Not unless she absolutely has to so her family is protected," Maria agreed.  "That's what the vision was, right?"

"Yes.  His mission turned into a sacrificial play to get the junior agents out of harm's way, and she went to save him, then they had the mother of all fights that ended up with them splitting.  It's been worked over and solved.  Barton's set down rules on how and when she is to come help if they're stranded and in desperate circumstances.  Romanoff's added to it."

"I saw the copies.  Can we block those?" Fury asked.

"We've got people looking into it, sir.  To be honest, that's what killed Cordelia Chase and we've had someone looking at it since before she died.  When it was noted that she was going to die of it."  Fury shuddered.  "None of us want that for Dawn, or Alexander."

"He does?" Maria asked.

"Saw him have one.  Scariest shit ever," Fury told her.  "He just stiffened and started to whimper like he was having nightmares."

"He has them about huge things like apocalypse battles," Phil said.

"I saw him have the one for Ragnarok."

"I saw that scroll.  He's had a few minor side visions about that."

"Anything block it?" Fury asked.

"He said heroin.  It blocks all powers."

"So we could have some people with true gifts out there strung out to keep them down," Maria said.  Phil nodded.  "Any idea how we'd search?"

"I ran a search through the systems for anyone who had empathic surges or anything like that.  I've found two and they've both since died of their addictions.  I did breach the subject with the clinic in Massachusetts.  They said they had someone like that and from his records they're right."  Fury nodded once.  "But we'll never get her straightened out."

"Quirker?" Maria asked.  Phil nodded.  "They kept saying she was hearing feelings."

"She is empathic.  I told him how Dawn spikes with that, attributing it to her magic, and she agreed that it was a similar pattern.  But again, totally gone now.  She's so far back in her head she'll never come out."

"Good to know for future notice," Fury decided.  "How far are they on it?"

"John Sheppard did some research into it due to an ex that was killed before they married.  He thinks those that train for strenuous problems, like warriors in a battle or those training hardcore for the olympics, don't get them as often.  That with the heroin thing that Xander said it gave them some new information earlier, plus his scan and Dawn's, which is only with the guy at Stark International that was helping his father with it anyway."

"Safe enough I suppose," he agreed.

"He had a crush on Dawn."

"Even better."  He played with the glass.  "That leaves me with a problem, Coulson."

"Sir, I'm over the Avengers in all meanings of the word.  If they need me on the ground, I'm there.  I don't have the skills to jump in like Thor does."

"That figures," he agreed.  "I'll leave you there.  You're good with them, even calm down Stark."

"I had to talk to him earlier about his bad habit of praying during sex, sir," he said blandly.  "Because unfocused ones hit me anyway."  Fury squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head.   "That was my feeling as well."  He smiled at Maria.

"She prays to Gaia."

"Yes, she does."  He gave her a pointed look.

"I'll start praying to Gaia."

He smiled.  "I can usually block it off but sometimes the stronger things come through."

"The trio hit you?"

"I had to go to Asgard with Xander to get away from them the last time they got into a playing mood," he said dryly.

"I.  Do.  Not.  Need.  To.  Know," Fury said bluntly.  "Especially about the trio.  Just that he's not hurting them and she's not doing anything to them to damage, compromise, or lead them astray."

"Not that I know of, sir, but the next time you're infested with something they're moving to the LA office and we'd have to figure out how to handle Maria and Tara's relationship and my visitation with the twins."

"That would give Dawn bikini time," Maria said dryly.

"I think that was why that one was mentioned.  Plus Stark's main office is there."

"Did we scan Barton and Romanoff earlier?" Fury asked.

"Yes, we did," Phil said.  "I made sure.  Stark's infirmary did a wonderful job treating them.  They're both healthy and had none of the effects beyond the migraine."  He looked up then at him.  "Dawn's is mostly gone so she'll probably be at work tomorrow.  Or they'll be talking about that situation."

Fury nodded.  "I warned the agents going to Belarus.  The head agent going complained that it looked like the rookie agents screwed up."

"Sir, the current class of rookies is bad," Maria said.  "Even I can't get them straightened out."

"I can pick out three that I want to keep training," Phil agreed.  "Two more might make it at the lesser, junior agent levels.  The rest I slightly feel sorry for their original agencies.  What about a video game?  The army does it for recruiting but something on the game system that uses your body as a controller?"

"That would help," she agreed.  "Put in mission profiles and let them handle them?"  Phil nodded.  "Watching old movies?" she guessed.

"Actually, yes."  He smiled back.  She laughed and nodded.  "Someone at Stark could probably make one within months."

"Stark needs a backup for the suit," she said.

"He knows.  He's hoping Callia wants it some day but right now she wants to turn it into an animal hospital when it's her turn in it."

"She'd make a great vet or zoologist," Maria agreed with a grin.

"I'm about to suggest that Andrew and Jonathan get some suit training.  They've both got the battle suits they built with Meers.  They could recalibrate it on the fly if necessary.  They might come up with improvements."

"No," Fury said.  "There's going to be a set playlist until Stark gets an heir that can and will take it over.  Until then, Iron Man and War Machine both devolve to O'Neill's control."  Phil stared at him.  "O'Neill, Sheppard, Mitchell, Lorne.  Carter if they must or Jackson.  I've already nagged the people it the Pentagon about it in case Colonel Rhodes gets injured.  He had three weeks of injury leave off for some reason."

"He tipped three filing cabinets on top of Dawn and bruised her ribs," Phil said bluntly.  "She got up once she got free and kicked him around until she got pulled off him and reminded that she was sore, sir."

Fury smiled.  "She's plucky, I like that.  If something happens and she has to leave Stark, she's coming to SHIELD as an assistant in the labs."

"I think if something happens at Stark International, she'll be running from the US again," Maria said.

"Probably," Phil agreed.  "She has two fairly known about fallbacks and a few that we had to search for weeks to find.  She makes me incredibly proud, even if Joyce wasn't sure why she found weapons in their bedroom."

"I have some too," Maria said.  "Tara got nervous but we came to a compromise."

"I had one in mine and a few other places.  The twins weren't able to get into them then."

"They can't now.  I have them in quick-draw holsters but they're too heavy for them.  No matter how much Melissa really wants the one under the coffee table."  He smiled at her.  "I know, but she likes to help me clean it and John likes to help me clean the shotguns."  She shrugged.

Fury shook his head.  "Make sure they can't hurt themselves.  I'd hate to see them harmed, Agent Hill."

"I do, sir."

"Good."  He looked at Coulson.  "Are you two going to be adopting or using Roque's mother?"

"Not this century."

"Good.  That would be a bit strange."

"We nearly had a male pregnancy in the white house, sir."

"I remember.   Really, I remember."  He looked around.  "Create a beer?"

"That's disrespecting the local establishment," Phil said.  He smirked.  "Sorry, sir."

"Whatever.  Anything else I should have been briefed on but wasn't for security and other reasons?"

"Xander's willing to take the agents in for longer and train them properly if we find people to help him with that."

"That might help but we still need good recruits," Hill said.  "I heard about you duct taping someone's mouth shut and Barton nearly did the same thing when he had them running surveillance exercises."

"There's a place for chatty agents," Phil said.  "PR and other areas."  She smirked meanly.  He grinned back.  "We could use them there.  Especially if they go ahead with that movie."

"I saw the film they've shot for the first one and it's amazing," Maria told him.

"Is that the one with Stark or the one with Barton and Romanoff?" Fury asked.

"Them.  It's very good so far.  That new casting is great.  The one they had cast for Romanoff is now playing me and she's good.  I'm a bit more slinky in the movie but I still kick butt.  The one they got for Romanoff's part oozes sex appeal and can still kick butt.  It's a very strong girl power message."

"Stark was saying he wanted to go to the premiere."

"Of course he does," Fury said dryly.  "Are they no longer using classified files?"

"They've changed locations, names, and reasons.  The rest... it's pretty spot on."  Fury groaned.  "It's really good.  I had Andrew hack."  Fury smirked.  "I'll show you and the team tomorrow if everyone's awake and aware."

"They should be.  One wanted to do one with Dawn," Coulson said.  "Stark had to put his foot down.  They cut her totally out of the Iron Man movies.  Her and Callia."  Maria sighed in pleasure.  "They might show up later as minor parts but no."

"Good.  That's very protective of him."

Fury shook his head.  "I still don't like it."

"We might get some really good recruits," Phil offered.

"That might salve the wounds a bit," he said dryly.  "I'm already getting joking emails from the head of the CIA."  He got up and took his shield device with him.

Phil smiled at her.  "Give you a lift home?"

"Please."  She paid her bar tab and Phil took her from outside to the apartment building.  He went to his, she went to hers, and her nice, warm, snuggling witch.  It was a good thing.


Fury walked into his safehouse and let made sure everything was locked up.  He made sure the anti-listening device technology was active.  He made sure that everything was set up so he was safe.  Then he let loose with a vile string of curses for over an hour.

This was not what he had in mind with the Avengers but he'd have to learn to live with it and move on.

He just needed to clear his system.


O'Neill was the last to the meeting at the diner in the middle of nowhere for pie.  He nodded at Fury and frowned at the other guy there.  "What's this?" he asked, sliding into his chair.

"This is the fact that I pulled rank," Fury said.  "Because I needed to get something that's too damn important out of political hands."

O'Neill snorted.  "Can you do the same for Atlantis and our gate?"

"Granted," Fury said, handing over a folder.  "You're now part of SHIELD."

O'Neill stared.  "Excuse me?"

Fury smirked.  "You do protect the world, O'Neill.  Politics was getting in the way of that.  The president and I talked.  Then he called in the Joint Chiefs and chewed on them for over an hour about the political bullshit."  O'Neill grinned.  "A flying city goes well with my flying hell carrier."

"That's cool," O'Neill said, looking over the new orders.  "So what's with the Lieutenant Colonel I don't know?"

"Lt. Colonel Rhodes, sir."

O'Neill stared at him.  "You use the other suit."

"I do."  He grinned.  "I was also mentioned during that talk."

"Also under SHIELD now," Fury agreed.  "Though under you officially.  As for the suits."  He leaned on the table.  "They stay where they are.  If they are injured, the replacement list is you, Mitchell, Sheppard, Lorne, Patricks or Dannison, Carter or Jackson.  McKay is taking over the duties for War Machine's upkeep and maintenance."

"Is he moving to Atlantis?"

"No.  He's working out of Stark whenever he gets bored," Fury said dryly.  "We have him logged in more there than we do going out for coffee."

"He's found geeks of his level that tinker," Xander said as he appeared.  He grinned.  "Slight issues."  Fury winced.  "John can't use the suit.  The arc reactor doesn't react well to godly issues."

"That's good to know," O'Neill said.  "Sit, Xander."  He pulled over a chair and sat.  "He'll pout about that."

"He's going to do the wing spell during the next battle and fly it."  He grinned.  "Stark and McKay are working on that problem but even immortality would crank it sideways."

"That's very good to know," Rhodes said.  "Any other ideas of the replacement list?"

"Mini Jack?" Xander said, looking at O'Neill.

"He's going on the list," he agreed.

"Huh?" Fury asked.

"The little alien Asgard Loki made me a clone."  He grinned.  "He's twenty."

"Damn, I could use that.  The goo clones were good but Dawn got by one with a 'do I look fat' comment."

Xander looked at him.  "Phil told me."  Fury shrugged.  "You use him and I'm going to make sure it changes hands."

"I understand."

"Good."  He smiled.

"Why are you so protective over the geek Coulson?" Rhodey asked.

"Gaia made them marry," O'Neill said.  "He's now Xander Harris-Coulson or some shit."

"Something like that," Xander agreed.

Rhodey stared.  "Does Stark know?"

"Yeah."  He grinned.  "Everyone but you knew it for months now."

"Oh.  Great."

"Also," Xander told Jack.  "That means you're not stuck with just Air Force or Marines."

"Clay's going in the suit," he said.

"Pooch would probably be a better choice," Xander said.  "But...  I'm not sure how it'd react to Jensen."

"That's a scary geek," Rhodey quipped.

"We're all scary, Rhodey," Xander quipped back.  He looked at Fury.  "Test Jonathan and Andrew's battle suits for the regular troops or as training suits."

"I can do that," Fury agreed.  "I wanted to look at them."

"Warren's is nicely free," Xander quipped.  "Probably the more engineered version.  The other two were customized toward what they were good at."

Fury pulled out his phone to text Coulson.  "He can talk to them."

"The geeks that went after that senator for Dawn?" Rhodey asked.  Xander grinned and nodded.  "They're not strong enough for battles."

"They were at graduation, Rhodey."  He slumped and stared at him.  Xander nodded.  "I let them lead a corner."


"Plus, Andrew's now married."  He grinned.

"He managed to talk to a girl?" O'Neill asked.

"Yeah.  She talked to him and they found a niche together.  Dawn had to tell him what a prenup was.  Stark had to give sex advice, but they're happy.  Jonathan's good with his girlfriend too."

"Huh," O'Neill said.  "Sheppard said it'd happen sometime in the near future.  Guess he was right."

Xander smiled.  "They're both some of mine."

Phil walked in and sat down, looking at Rhodey.  "Someone has been screwing with your suit," he said quietly.  "McKay just found a self-destruct and takeover module so you'd be incapable of controlling the suit yourself until you blew up."

"Who?" he demanded.

"Hammer it appears."  He handed his boss the files.  "What we've found so far.  Whoever was assigned to watch over him dropped the ball a few times.  Hammer managed to get hands-on time with the suit due to bribes.  I've already told the Joint Chiefs and they were livid, sir.  One was taken out by ambulance because he was having what might have been a stroke or a severe blood pressure spike."

"Good to know," Fury said, handing it back.  "Barton, Romanoff, take the two mini geeks at Stark with you to bust him.  They can handle anything Agent Romanoff can't."

"Yes, sir."  He got up and looked at Rhodey.  "Sheppard's pouting that he can't try out your suit.  McKay promised he'd fix the arc reactor problem.  So if you're too injured by dropping filing cabinets again, you're covered."  He left.

Xander grinned at him.  "You're lucky he was there instead of me, Rhodey."

"She still tried really hard to kick my butt."

"She had bruised ribs and you went on three week leave," O'Neill said.  "I think she pretty well did kick your ass, Rhodes.  Which means you get sparring time with our warriors."  He smiled.  "Teal'c and Ronon really want to help you train and Teyla wants to look at the suit.  So does Ronon but he's not sure if it'd work for his alien physiology."

"Stark let him admire the portable one," Xander said.  "He thinks it's a great thing and wants to take one back to finish off the wraith."  He looked at Fury.  "Did you share that folder of threats Jackson got from the spores?"

"No.  It's in my filing cabinet."  He texted Maria, who pulled it so Xander could grab it and bring it back.  He handed it over.  "He had Jackson talk to some spores that showed up on the super silver metal."

"Great, threats from beyond our galaxy," O'Neill said, looking through them.  "They do what?"

Xander looked then at him.  "They think 'no' is a flirt.  They agree to be shot if they violate any taboos."  He pointed.  "That one's closest.  You're the only one with space capabilities."

O'Neill looked at Fury.  "No wonder we got moved under SHIELD."

"Hell yes, and I'm taking some of your people for agents.  We have bad rookies this time."

"I like Phil's answer of PR and the more open agents.  Nothing undercover but you've had to have agents calm down people and all that.  Your spokesagent and all those sort of issues."

Fury nodded.  "I like that too and a few are well spoken.  They never shut up but they're well spoken."  O'Neill laughed.  "Seriously.  Coulson had to duct tape one for humming."

"So an upper, more noticed level," Rhodey said.  "With an underground MIB-like unit without the cool weapons?"  Xander nodded.  "That's not a bad idea anyway.  The team's well known so people will associate but you have agents that go undercover.  They've got to be less well known.  You can run them from the hell carrier and then the others from the HQ buildings."

"Run the undercover people from somewhere else," Xander corrected.  "The hell carrier's known about now.  They noticed it heading for the Sunnydale battle."

"I didn't hear that."

Fury nodded.  "It was.  I can arrange that.  The new HQ can have other levels that no one can get to without access to the more classified areas."

"Stark's going to be redesigning his tower to house the Avengers team for meetings, training, all that," Xander said.  Fury smirked.  "That way he doesn't have to leave the lab for as long but it's also practical and keeps them out of the way of hell from politics and other problems."

"It does," he agreed.  "When is he doing that?"

"He's redoing one floor into the gym and meeting areas.  It goes well with the building they all live in."

"It does," Fury agreed.

"That was slick," O'Neill agreed.

"Dawn was going to do it for her and Steve, maybe Coulson, Tara, and the twins.  Stark took it over."

"Huh," he agreed.  "I've heard rumors he was going to build a second tower?"

"Next to the other one or across the street.  That one's going to be more public.  Shops, all that to make the payments on it, but also probably where the Avengers can meet and train."  That got a nod from Fury.  "He's still deciding which way he likes best from what he was swearing about earlier."

"That could help," Fury agreed, sending him a text to talk to him about that, because he liked that idea.  It got some attention off SHIELD.  He put his phone up, looking at O'Neill.  "Will that work for you?"

"I need a few things fixed."

"Tell me."

O'Neill pulled out that folder to go over a few things.


O'Neill faced off with all his people, from Atlantis and the main base, including Clay's team.  "People."  They came to attention.  He stood on the chair so they could all see him.  "We have a change of status as of this morning.  We are now no longer under military control.  Now we are under SHIELD's authority.  For us not much will change."  He looked around.  "Except that nothing's going to be that uptight."  He smiled.  "The few changes will mostly be minor.  The first is that we now can draw from agents and other military branches. 

"So if you know someone who should be one of us, you submit a name or a dossier for me to look over.  This week for the first wave.  We can add on about fifty people if we need to."  That got a few smiles.  "Second, the UCMJ is still in effect, but SHIELD's bylaws play merry hell with a few of those.  I want them to be read today and understood.  The one about fraternization is not in effect for us because I know we have a few married couples."  That got a few nods.  "Thirdly, Director Fury has enacted a plan to take some other critical projects from the government.  Including the War Machine one."

"Yes!" Radek said happily.

O'Neill smiled at him.  "I love a happy geek.  The rotating order for injuries for either War Machine or Stark's Iron Man, and this is only in case of emergencies or they're critically injured and can not serve, is Mitchell, Lorne, Dennison, Carter, Jackson, Jon Carter-O'Neill, Clay, Jensen, Pooch."  He looked around.  "I would have put in Sheppard but he has a biological reaction to the arc reactor.  So if our geeks need to help with that, you are to help with that.  That project is solely under Doctors Zelenka and McKay.  Those of you on the list, you have sim time to log in each month now.  Clay, you can travel to do yours?"

"I can.  Why me?"

"It takes tactical thinking and other abilities more than flying ones," Rhodey said from his spot, grinning at him.  "Xander nominated you."

"I'll thank him later," he said dryly.  "Why me before Pooch?  He can fly better."

"He can't fight better and I'm thinking of making it a list based on which machine you'd get along best with.  I can see you being War Machine if you must instead of Iron Man.  That's a more physical fighting style than Stark's."  That got a nod.  "Most of them are pilots, but you can handle that training I'm sure."

"I can, sir."

"Good."  He smirked.  "Any other teams like yours?"

"I can have their dossiers on your desk today thanks to Jensen."

"Good."  He looked around.  "Any questions?"

"Field uniforms changing, sir?" John asked.

"No.  You are still military people, just now subcontracted to SHIELD.  So standard issue uniforms are in effect.  Sheppard, your people have different ones."

"Half of us moved back to fatigues.  Some of us would prefer the other one.  Most of the geeks like the Atlantis ones, sir."

"I can see that.  It lets them get down to t-shirts and all that.  We'll arrange that."  Sheppard nodded.  "Carter."  She stiffened.  "Look at their body armor systems to see if we can use it here.  Also, thanks to Daniel going Ascended again, we have heard about a few more farther threats to this planet.  It is assumed one will be here within a century.  Sheppard, Mitchell, Lorne, Clay, you're on the team to find responses to them.  The file is on my desk."  They nodded. "I want a full response protocol for them.  Also, make one for anyone else we might run into.  Before we make more enemies."  He looked around.  "Any other questions?"

One of the other pilots raised his hand.  "Can other pilots test into the list for the two suits, sir?"

"Yes.  The training to test for it is going through Alexander's, then two good sim tests to be judged.  Because it takes phenomenal stamina."

"The motors do the moving but you're still lifting about fifty pounds per leg each step," Rhodey agreed.  "Swinging your arms is the same way.  Just like when you have automatic steering you still have to turn hard sometimes."  The pilots nodded.  "I will caution you that the battle suit will wear you out.  If you are the least bit claustrophobic don't even think about it.  It's very tight fighting and to adjust the size too much we'll have to move some wiring. 

"Also, it is computer based.  You don't have the AI in mine like you do in Stark's.  It has a minor one but nothing beyond targeting and flying help, people.  It takes tactical sense because you only have so much power and so many weapons.  Without them, you're in a shitload of pain when they attack."  That got a mass nod.  "Clay, we'll arrange things for your bigger frame."

"Thanks," he said dryly.  "So heavier than a pack while jogging on each leg?"

"The full suit weighs close to three hundred pounds fully loaded with weapons.  Just under two hundred without.  And if you guys want to make me more compact, less energy eating weapons, please do."  He smiled.  "I'll give those on the list a chance to get handsy with mine so you can make sure you can fit comfortably in the suit.   Then those that think they can will do sim training."

"Sounds reasonable," O'Neill agreed.  "McKay, the suit now has B-2512 as it's storage and work area.  It's a large enough room that if you have to you can pull apart a section and rewire it or work on weapons.  It is not to get out of that room unless someone is in it."  They all nodded.  "Good."  He clapped his hands.  "Any other questions?"  They shook their heads.  "Then dismissed."  They left after a group salute.  He got off the chair and walked over to Clay's team.  "I think you three will have the best chance.  Cougar, I would've included you but I didn't think sniper training is going to be the best effect.  Maybe the geek's battle robots but I'm not sure."

"They are sweet," Jensen agreed.  "I talked with Jonathan and looked them over for a computer link up he wanted to add in.  They're very anime style but they're good suits for training and lesser combat modes.  Flying is weaker so they'd be ground pounding type, sir."

"That works for me," O'Neill agreed.  "We're looking them over soon."  That got a nod.  "Clay, as a warning, I was told a godhood interfered with the arc reactor technology."

"I'll warn Roque of that, sir."

"Good.  Get me those names.  You're the best poach I've ever had."  He walked off happier.

Clay looked at his team.  "Jensen, pull up the files on Ditcher's team, Mildred's team, and Sofan."  He nodded, walking off pulling them up on Stark's trial tablet.  "Let's go look at your weapons-heavy tin can, Colonel."

"Works for me," he agreed.  "There's been nights I couldn't sleep that I ended up shining him."  He led the future users down there to look it over.

Pooch looked it over, opening the suit to look at it.  "That's a tiny space."

"It is," Rhodey agreed.  "Could be tighter though.  Stark's a bit tinier than I am and it was built for him.  We managed to push some things back."

Clay looked and then at him.  "Emergency release in case of issues?"  Rhodey pointed.  "That's not a bad spot.  Right near your arm if you can move."  He shivered and looked around.  "What do you want, Loki?"

Loki appeared, smirking evilly.  "I bring glad tidings."  He stared at him.  "Did you think it only happened once?"

"Shit but I'll handle it later," he muttered.

Pooch looked at him.  "I noticed," he said dryly.  "How many times a year do yellow furs go into heat?" he asked the god.

"Four.  You whelp in just under four months.  Fifteen weeks if I remember right."  He beamed.  "Also, the president said that you're much too strange and your final posting is here, Colonel.  He does not want to even hear Jensen's name again."

Clay looked at his tech support guy.  "What did you do this time?"

"I ordered him a dildo because his husband was scowling all the time."  He smiled.  "I used his ex-wife's account that she had hidden during the divorce proceedings."

Loki laughed.  "You did."  He smirked.  "Also...  You might think about your training at Xander's."  He disappeared.

"I can make it over the obstacle course in regulation time," he quipped.  He looked at the suit then at Clay.  "When do I get to build myself a backpack system of weapons for when I'm flying around?"

"You don't."

"He can fly?" Rhodey asked.

Jensen changed and hovered, smirking at him.  "Yes, I can."

"That's really weird," he decided.  Pooch changed down and he stared.  "So that's whatever the yellow fur thing is?"  Pooch nodded, then glared at Clay.

"Going," he promised.  He called in using his comm.  "General, Clay.  Loki just showed up to tell me I'm in heat thanks to Roque's mother.  Permission to go off base before the ones on base decide to help me with that?"  He smirked at the 'get out of here before I have to see the orgy' response.  "Thank you, sir."  He looked around.  "Roque, your mother created a permanent condition."  Roque appeared and took him off.

"Roque's mom is a fertility goddess," Jensen quipped.  "She wants grandkids very badly."  He changed back, sitting on the edge of a table to look at Pooch.  "You have knots.  No visit from Jolene?"  He turned back to glare at him.  He grinned.  Radek walked in.  "Hey, Radek."

"Jensen.  Where is other loud colonel?"

"In heat thanks to his husband's mom," Jensen said dryly.  Radek stared at him.  "Yellow furs go as a pack, Radek, not a single one.  He's hiding."

"Must be good idea because that is clearly bad thought to have if one is single," he decided, cracking Cougar up.  "Colonel, let us start with weapons and any needed repairs.  Do you have damage information on the weapons?"

"Not really.  We weren't going to waste any for tests."

"We can waste a single one because I'm fantastic enough to build you better ones," McKay said as he walked in with his new cup of coffee.  "For future reference, Rhodes, do not wear citrus or peanut based aftershaves around me.  I am highly allergic and can die from it, which means you get no new weapons."

"I heard you had an allergy so I didn't wear any today, Doc.  Is there a list?"

"Yes, the infirmary has it," Pooch said.  "Doctor Janet did it before she retired."

"I can look at that.  You think you can make me new weapons?"

"I suppose I can," he said dryly.  "Since I tinker with Stark now and then, if I can't we can together."  He smirked.

"He and I aren't as close as we used to be, Doc."

"I know.  Then again, his daughter will kick you on the ankle and make you sorry for that.  She did Radek one day for picking on her geeks."

"I want kids like her some day," Jensen said with a grin.

"You are a kid like her," Pooch assured him, getting swatted back.  "Some day you'll grow up and like animals like she does.  Maybe flowers and penguins too."

Jensen changed into his full form, staring down at him.  "I think I'm already pretty grown up, Pooch.  You're not this big."  He smirked and curled around him and Cougar.  Cougar got free but Pooch was caught.  He couldn't even change because it would probably crush him.  "Problems?"

"J, c'mon," Pooch complained.  "I'll tell Clay."

Jensen lapped him then grinned.  "He's a bit busy for the next three days."

Radek looked at him.  "Down, Jensen.  You are magnificent in many ways but still young enough to be playful.  We must find you good woman."  He patted the dragon on the side.  "One who will oil and brush you."  Jensen changed back to hug him.  "Thank you.  Go do tech things."  Jensen skipped off.

"You guys are insane," Rhodey said.

"That's why they named the team the Losers," Rodney quipped back.  Pooch nodded that was true, wiping off his face.

"We were more sane before finding out about Sunnydale and then Pegasus," Cougar said.

"Don't remind me," Rodney ordered.  "I remember being much more sane before Pegasus."

Radek nodded.  "We all were."


Stark walked into the meeting room.  "Add me onto the meeting schedule, Dawn."

"Already done," she quipped.

He looked at her, tipping her chin up.  "Still got the headache?"  She nodded.  "Didn't I tell you to take today off?"

"I am after this."

"Good."  He smirked as he sat down.  "All right, what's up?"

Maria Hill turned on the footage she had.  "I had Andrew hack."

"They probably know," Tony told her.  "They're all comic geeks too."  They watched, mostly glancing at Natasha and Clint.

"She is very much like I was when I was younger," Natasha admitted.  "Your ex is good, Stark."

"Thank you.  I have another one that's going to play Pepper."  He grinned.

Barton nodded.  "They have me pretty down pat."  He leaned on the meeting table.  "Can we hide from this?"

"Yes," Maria said with a smile.  "You can.  We're going to be restructuring a bit once we get the new building ready."

"Which is partially my doing," Tony told them.  They all stared at him.  He tossed the USB stick at Dawn, who inserted it and pulled up the plans for him.  "This is going in across the street from Stark Tower.  There'll be a connecting bridge here," he said, getting up to point.  "From this level to this level," he said, pulling them out.  "Are Avenger training, meeting, and hanging out areas.  Bruce, you still have your lab in the old building but this is going to be more for the public from here down," he said with a motion that highlighted those sections.  "One up, Dawn."

"One down, Boss.  That's rentable formal space for Stark announcements and balls.  You had to cut it down by two floors due to zoning."

"Oh, yeah."  He nodded.  "Okay, so from here down is open to the public, including a new café I hope."  They all smirked at him for that.  "Here is rentable offices and things, and our new Stark ballroom space for parties so they're not at my house.  Then Avenger only space and the top floor is going to remain empty in case we have to store things like weapons or anything."  He looked at them.  "Notice the landing pad on top, Barton.  It's for a Quinjet and a chopper."  He smirked and nodded.  "Anything you can see that I haven't thought of?"

"Will these gyms and things be open all day and night?" Steve asked.

"Yes.  It'll take a pass to get onto those floors, same pass to get into the main building but it'll only answer to Avenger members.  No geeks coming up to bug people unless they're escorted and that stuff."  Natasha smiled.  "I know, they've been asking you if you wanted better weapons and bothering your training time.  Sorry.  They're geeks and you're hot."  He looked around.  "I had plans of a large training area on one floor, and range, Barton and Romanoff, but otherwise it's all a lounge to hang out in or host team dinners at.  All that stuff."

"That will work for me," Natasha agreed.  "The building is only ten blocks from there."  Steve nodded.  He smiled at her.  "Dawn's pass?"

"Yeah, she and Pepper are the exceptions because they do half of everything outside the R&D labs, and Dawn does a tenth of the R&D labs because she nags us all."  She snickered quietly.  "I'm also putting up three shielded, quiet rooms in case they're needed."  He looked around.  "For stress naps, headaches, need to get away because of battle nerves, that stuff."  They all smiled at that.  "Callia will only be allowed over if she asks, and we grant her permission."

"That'll work since she's been staring at sparring practice," Clint said.

"I know.  We had an incident recently."  Natasha stiffened. "It's not your fault.  You had no idea that the old nanny had been fired because she was trying to force Callia to wear out her powers.  If anyone else in the family had seen her, they would've had security escort her out.  Now you know and next time you can kick their asses."

Dawn nodded.  "I sure will be."

"They did what?" Bruce asked.

"Remember Gertrude and Brittney?"

He nodded.  "The last nannies.  They left."

"They got fired," Dawn said dryly with an evil smirk.  "They were trying to make Callia's powers dry up by making her overuse them to attack them so she'd be more godly."  He shuddered and shrank down some.  "So we had a talk and I had a yell at Gertrude."

"She did, impressed the hell out of me," Tony agreed.  "I had one after her."

"I even put it in 'if your God doesn't make mistakes and she was born this way, don't you think there might be a reason' language for their little minds," Dawn finished.

Stark nodded, sipping his water.  "She did and I was proud of it."

"So that's why no parties near the house," Steve said.

"That and Callia's old enough to want to be up later and see things that happen at parties.  It's better if I have them somewhere else so she doesn't have to see it.  I was thinking about making the offices a hotel chain and renting business suites out because I more than most know what goes on at my parties."

"Not a bad idea but there's a ton of hotels near there, boss," Dawn said.

"I know, which is why I'm still considering it.  I almost considered a casino but it's too much paperwork for that level of profit."

"And Pepper would kill you," Steve quipped with a grin.

"That too."  They all smiled at him.  "So, any changes?"

"We'll have to see the plans for the gym and the range but for now it looks like adequate space," Natasha said.

"Why are we moving us?" Clint asked, leaning back to get comfortable.

"Because that," he said, pointing at the screen with the movie footage waiting to replay, "will draw too much notice.  We already draw notice to SHIELD, who wants to be anonymous.  So they'll have the hidden levels of agents, those who go undercover and things," he said with a nod to Clint and Natasha.  "They'll have us off site so we draw attention away.  Then they'll have the more open agents who handle the little things that the public might see."

"There's a whole rookie training class that can go there," Dawn quipped.

"There is," Natasha agreed.  "That does solve their placement and the problems of being SHIELD agents out and about."

"So we're an external decoy," Clint said.  "We'll have an internal decoy in the new building of the more open agents doing more public relations and other open things work, and then we'll have the real agents doing the harder things."

"The more public ones will also probably be sent to battles," Steve said.  "To back us up."

"That would save someone catching sight of an agent on film," Natasha said.  "Which could compromise them."  Tony smiled and nodded.  "Interesting strategy."  She looked at Dawn, who shook her head and pointed at Tony.

"It means no more press people camped on the doorstep of HQ," Steve said.  "The press would draw attention to the new shops and we'd probably have a few entrances, right?"  Tony nodded.  "Then that might work for me."

"If we get it up in time and I let them put in a movie theater, I can even host all the openings for the Avenger related movies," Stark said with a wicked smirk.  "So you guys could sneak in and see them from some hidden door."

"I nearly used the choker to go to one the other day," Dawn admitted.  "They would not leave me alone.  Everyone wanted to know why I wanted to go see the hotty guys in cars instead of a girly movie."

Clint laughed.  "I managed to mostly sneak in.  Only one girl recognized me in the lobby when I took off my sunglasses."

Natasha shook her head.  "I had my hair pulled back and under a ball cap, plus I was dressed down."

"I looked almost sloppy," Dawn told her.  "They still figured out who I was.  Then I got criticized for being so sloppy and for going to that movie instead of a girly movie."

Natasha looked at her.  "That nagging reporter is back?"

"Yeah, she is."  She looked at Tony.  "What's the Stark policy on sending letter bombs?"

"Don't," he said with a smile.

"Natasha, what's the SHIELD policy in case I want to follow that one instead?"

"It's highly unprofessional unless you're sure of the target and only they can get it.  It's considered a last resort if a sniper can't get a shot."

"So, boss," Dawn said.

"No," he said.


"Even if Pepper does want to do the same thing because she called her fat."

"She's letting people see the baby bump later."  Tony groaned and sat down, shaking his head.  "She said she had to, nothing fit."

"Clearly."  He looked at the group.  "Anything I need to handle?"

"I heard rumors of a backup list?" Steve asked.

"O'Neill's people were put under SHIELD," Coulson said as he appeared.  "Yes, he knows."  They groaned.  "We had a talk last night."  He looked at Clint then shrugged.  "About that as well."

"Thanks for the warning," he said dryly.

"He'll use it to monitor you when you have to be off-comm."  He sat down.  "We integrated the SGC and Lt. Colonel Rhodes earlier.  There is a backup list from the SGC in case Stark or Rhodes gets too injured."

"John will love that," Dawn said.

"Can't.  Godhood against the arc reactor," he told her.  "Xander told us that."  She nodded.  "There was a quip about him using the wing spell next time."

"So we have SGC people doing simulations in case someone needs to take over the suit," Clint said.  Tony nodded.  "Are you good with that?"

"No.  It's practical in case I get too injured though.  I've had a few close calls."

Clint nodded.  "Okay.  Who is on the list?"

"Mitchell, O'Neill himself, Evan Lorne," Phil said.  "A few of Clay's team.  Anyone who wants in it has to pass training at Xander's to make sure you have the stamina to use the suit properly and then sim work."

Clint nodded.  "Not a bad idea."  Natasha nodded too.

"I haven't met some of them and I'd like to," Steve said.  "I've met Colonel Clay and Jensen from his team.  The others?"

"You've met Evan Lorne," Dawn said.  "He's the quiet second-in-command under John, Steve."

"Oh, him.  I'm told he's a gifted pilot and good on ground offenses."

"He is," Dawn said with a smile.  She pulled up things from her private computer at home.  "This is from when we were up there."  He read over the journal entries.

"Did Fury ever get his infirmary module back?" Tony asked.

"Yeah, boss.  When they landed it got flown back."  She smiled.


"What?" Clint asked.

"We were shot at on the hell carrier," Tony said.  "There was a plot to get us and the SGC down right before the invasion.  You were in Arizona I think.  The hell carrier got hit with a beam of some sort.  Willow fought it back.  Xander showed he had broken out in godly powers by taking the infirmary module with the whole Sunnydale team to his half-brother's city in Pegasus."

"His migraine lasted for over a month," Dawn said dryly.  Phil shuddered.  "Saw that?"

"Yes, I did.  John got very upset at his brother passing out at his feet."

"Yes he did.  We spent three and a half months on Atlantis.  They did Mom's first tumor surgery up there.  Her meds were in with us thankfully.  Tara and I babied some of the soldiers while Mom did her thing with the ones that had battle burn out so bad.  I did John's paperwork and made up forms for him so it was easier and he only had to photocopy and paste.  That's when he got confirmed to his job, when he woke up."

"There were a few attempted assaults," Phil said.  "She mostly stayed in the armory to reload and recharge weapons."

Dawn nodded.  "Or in the infirmary to help bandage small things.  Buffy was waddling by the time we got back.  They saw Xander get up with a migraine and use his battle axe on a few people trying to invade."

"Damn," Clint said.  "How was Pegasus?"

"Brutally beautiful, like Sunnydale was."  She smiled slightly.  "We had just left Sunnydale thanks to the NID and their shit.  They had tried to burn Tara in the store because she fought back.  Buffy was knocked up by them.  Mom was in the hospital.  Xander was livid for months on end.  Spike and I hung out a bit in LA for my stress reilef time."

Phil nodded.  "I still don't like Spike."

She leaned over to kiss him on the cheek.  "Yay, big brother."  He smirked at her.

Clint shook his head.  "Things were insane while we were off on assignment."

"Yes, they were," Coulson agreed.  "I would have brought her further to the Arizona site but I didn't want her in more danger and by then she had Pepper helping her too.  She taught Thor to play checkers."  Thor smiled and nodded.  "Hangover?"

"Headache for other reasons."

Dawn got up to touch his head, then looked in his hair.  She plucked out a piece of glass.  "Getting hit with a beer bottle does that, Thor."  He groaned.  She smiled and plucked out some more.  "Mom, I need some tweezers please," she called.  They were in a sealed room.  "Thor got hit in the head with a beer bottle last night."  Joyce brought in a tray.  "Thanks, Mom."  She and Joyce picked the glass out.

Thor looked at them when they were done.  "Thank you.  Much more gentle than the Valkyries would do.  Alana would also nag."

Joyce patted him with a smile.  "Quit going to the rough bars, Thor.  It's not good for you.  You get injured and then Xander has to go beat up on them for you."

"I knew not that he was."

"He will once he hears you got hit on the head," Dawn said dryly.

"Perhaps."  She sat down and Joyce took the glass and tray with her.  He stretched.

"Thor, after this meeting, go to the infirmary to make sure none's under your skin," Maria said.  "That way we can document the fight."  He grimaced but nodded.  She looked at Stark.  "The infirmary?  Our doctors are jealous that yours is preferred."

"Dr. Pigalli is a lot nicer," Dawn quipped.  "She's not handsy, she doesn't try to ask me how my ovaries are doing.  She can fill in for the little things like birth control shots."

"What is this birth control?" Thor asked.

"It's to make sure women don't get pregnant until they want to," she said.

"That could be helpful in some of the villages."

"I introduced some of the women to condoms when they got into my stuff at the temple," she said dryly.  He shook his head.

"Xander said they didn't use them," Phil told her.  "Too modern of tech for most of Asgard."

"There was contraceptive back in ancient Egypt according to the History Channel.  Even if it was smooth pebbles and crocodile dung."

"Eww," Steve said.

"Yeah, basically," she said.  "Some of the middle ages herby stuff too."

Tony looked down.  "Where did you see that?"

"They have a week-long series on sex through the ages."  She smiled.  "It went over a lot of things, including when the nuns were considered prostitutes for the church and clergy hired hookers all the time.  Why potatoes were nearly banned in some places after being carved specifically for use."  Tony shook his head with a groan.  "They have some really neat stuff.  Including a shooting competition show that's really good.  They go over the various weapons they switch to each week and all that."

"I saw that," Clint said with a smile.  "It's not bad.  It's the only reality tv I can stand."

"Iron chef," she reminded him.

"Oh, yeah, but that's kinda tilted, Dawn."

"Yeah, it is.  You know, Alton Brown had an ep where he mocked that."

He smirked.  "I saw that one in your collection, yes."

"Can't you guys watch normal shows?" Tony asked.

Steve laughed.  "I'm sure they do but you watch Deadliest Warrior, Tony."

"I do, yeah.  Some of those guys would not last in modern warfare."

"No they wouldn't," Phil agreed.

"So you watch more than Super Nanny?" Tony taunted.

"Often."  He smirked back.  "Xander has a very varied taste and he's introduced me to things that are very different."

"Hentai, huh?" Dawn joked with a grin for him.  "I babysat that collection for a few weeks too."

Phil swatted her.  "No, thank you anyway.  I did not need that sort of stimulation."

"Why does it always devolve to sex talk?" Maria complained.

"That's usually his line," Tony said with a point at Phil.

"I hear plenty, thank you."

Bruce shook his head.  "Glad I don't live there.  Don't we have soundproofing, Tony?"

"They do and it's rated very highly.  It takes a near scream to get through unless something's open."  He pointed at Dawn.  Dawn was blushing.  So was Maria even though she wasn't the loud one.

"SHIELD agents are trained for silence," Coulson quipped.  "That's how we know Dawn never will be one."  She hit him on the arm.  "Weak, Dawn."  She added power to it and he yelped.  "What was that?"

She smiled.  "Something Clint taught me."  She got up.  "Going back to nap, boss.  If Pepper decks the reporter bitch, save me footage?"  She strolled off.

Coulson looked down at Clint.  "You taught her what?"

"She used magic wrapped around her fist to stab Stallet," he said in Russian.

"So that's why they never healed," Coulson said.  Clint smiled and nodded.  "Huh.  That's interesting."  He checked his arm, just slightly bruised.  "Nice trick, good idea."  He got up.  "Those on medical leave go home."  They left.  Stark got his USB keydrive and went back to the office.  Where Pepper was ranting at Dawn.

"You have no idea how they find out these things but they always do, Dawn.  So how did you get that money?"

Stark cleared his throat.  "Kitten poker."

Pepper groaned and sat down, holding her stomach.  "Kitten poker, really?"  Dawn quipped something obviously by the look on her face.  "No more of that.  Even if you are winning weapons to impress your spouses with."  She pouted.  "Yes, I mean it.  Even if it is a good source of information.  Send Natasha."  She hung up and tossed Tony the paper.

He read it, nodding.  "Figured that's how they financed their year and a bit on the run.  That and that reparation in LA from that kidnaping."  He turned to finish the article, laughing.  "She's so far off base."  He let her read it, getting a growl.  "You know there's been speculation."

"Yes but I don't care.  It needs to stop."

"Then come out with the baby bump."

She pouted.  "I wanted to wait."

He shrugged.  "You can wait but then you get to keep being annoyed."

She sighed and nodded, getting up to get some water from the mini fridge.  She opened it and sipped.  "We're going to lunch."

"I thought we had a meeting at lunch."

She checked and grimaced at the clock.  "Fine, we're running out for salads now."  She grabbed her bag.  "You're treating me to one from that Mexican place by the way."

"I can do that."  He followed her out.  The hormone swings were the most fun thing to watch at times.  Especially when they weren't focusing on him.  Andrew got on lower down.  "We're going down, Junior."

"Do you need a guard?  I'm bored and have no idea what I'm doing today."

"You're doing reports because you forgot last week," Tony said, looking at him.  Andrew nodded he had those done.  "Fine.  I'm treating her to a salad from the Mexican place."

"Sure."  He grinned.  "I had the quiche thingy at the caf and it's way too spicy for me."  They walked out, him helping Pepper over a crack in the sidewalk, which made Tony amused.  "Pepper, what about those little tip things that widen your heels?  MB said she looked it up and you'll become unbalanced soon."

"That's the hormones too," Tony quipped.

She swatted him but was smiling.  "I've looked into those, Andrew.  Thank you for trying to take care of me."  He blushed but grinned.  They ran into a reporter, who gasped.  Pepper smiled.  "Have you met Andrew?  He's one of our favorite R&D people.  Callia considers him one of her geeks."

The reporter stared at him.  "In which field?"

"Computers and engineering, especially in robotics and stuff," he said quietly.

"Oh, that's nice."  She looked at Pepper's stomach then at her face.  "So you're the one that's pregnant?"  She smiled and nodded.  "I know Dawn was wearing a fairly flattering and showy dress but I'm fairly certain there's rumors of concealing spells."

"No, she's not," Tony said.  "She's off today for a migraine but she's never been pregnant.  Pepper decided she wanted a mini genius."

"Yours?" the reporter asked.

Pepper smiled.  "No, I went to a genius sperm bank."  The reporter sighed.  "But thank you for asking."  She smiled.  "Tony's treating us to salads before our lunch meeting."  She walked around her.  Andrew helped her since there was a huge puddle.  "You are quite the gentleman, Andrew.  MB is very lucky to have you."  He beamed at her for the compliment.  He even held the door for her and Tony.

The reporter hurried back to her desk to make that report before it hit the online news.


Dawn was watching TMZ giggling at the stupidity, but winced when they showed Pepper after work.  "Yup, she shows great in that dress."

Natasha looked up from her reading, nodding.  "She certainly does.  Why do you watch that trash?" she asked, going back to her e-book.

"Because now and then they catch me and I'd like to know when I'm being stalked."  She got twin stares.  "They got me the other day going to Starbucks for Tony.  I had no idea and didn't see a single photog."

"Huh," Clint said.  "Long distance photos?"

"No, that's the weird thing.  They were right up on my ass.  It was a fantastic ass shot that asked if I wore stockings for a reason."  She found it online and showed him.  He groaned.  "I would've felt anyone that close."

"You would," Natasha said.  "That is strange.  Perhaps some magic of his own?"

"No, I would've normally felt that too."  She shrugged. "So I'm caring when they catch me right now."  They went to the 'news room' section where they were talking about stories.  Including about Pepper having been out with Stark and a young genius.  She texted Andrew and Pepper to answer that one.  Her phone rang so she hit the speaker button.  "What's wrong, Buffy?  New attack?"

"Your nephew will not stop crying," she complained.

"It's called colic, it's gas pains usually, and have you tried a warm bath or a car ride?"

"You know I don't drive and neither does Hylal.  I can't really ask the agents down here to give us a ride around the park."

"I'm nearly naked but give me five and I'll pop down, Buffy."

"Thank you!  He's driving me nuts!  I don't think I've slept in days!  Even Hylal hasn't slept in days!"

"Let me change."  She got up with a groan, going in to change.  She came out wearing jeans and a long sleeved henley style shirt with a coat on.  She put on her hiking boots and headed down to see her nephew.  He was screaming his lungs out.  She picked him up and burped him, which made him calm down some.  "Hi, Sean.  It's nice we could finally meet this way."  Sean stared at her, still fussing.  "I'm your Auntie Dawn."  She smiled.  "C'mon, we'll go get coffee."  She got him dressed for outside.  "You have an hour," she noted.  They ran up to the bed.  She grabbed a diaper bag too.  She walked out with him and nodded at the waiting agent.  "Colic."

"I know.  My sister's had it for months."

She smiled.  "He'll be fine.  They're napping for an hour."

"Thank you."  He escorted her off.  She gave him a pointed look.  "Agent Coulson's orders, ma'am.  You are not to be in Cleveland without an escort."

"Fine.  We're going for coffee."

"That's fine."  He helped her into the car with the babyseat. 

She hitched Sean down and sat beside him.  That helped him be happier, even if he was now farting.  She changed him when he did more than fart and they were on the way to the local Starbucks.  She walked in and into a barrage of cameras.  "People, damn," she said.  "Just visiting my new nephew."

"He's adorable," one reporter said.  "Can we see him better?"

"Um, no, because we don't want people to hurt him to get his mother."  They backed down.  "Beyond that, he has colic.  Do you really want to talk to my sister when she hasn't slept in a week?"  That got them to leave her alone.  She looked at Sean.  "You'll run into people with more and less sense than the average tabloid reporter, nephew.  The thing is figuring out which is which."  The agent walked off giggling.  She smiled.  Sean gummed on her collar. 

"Very advanced, nephew."  She walked up to order her coffee and a glass of ice water for the baby.  Her agent escort got his own coffee.  Dawn paid and they settled in a corner so she could fuss over him.  He let out one loud fart and wailed but she burped him and he settled down.  "Better?"  He sipped the water from her fingers and it was nice.  She grinned.  "Good boy, Sean.  Even if I did just talk to you like I do the cat."

"You have a cat?" the agent asked.

"The building had a stray cat that Cap named Loki."  The agent winced.  "Black cat, green eyes."  She smiled.  "Likes to stare at Clint from the top of the fridge.  Natasha brought him in."

"I never expected her to like pets."

"Longer story there but you'd have to hear it from gossip, Agent Walter."  He smiled.  She fussed at Sean, who fussed back but it was happier sounding fussing.  She laid the protections on the necklace she had put into her pocket, putting it around his wrist and looping the chain around a few times.  "There you go.  Your first protection necklace."  He cooed.  She grinned and finished her coffee.  "I promised your mommy an hour with your daddy.  Do you think they're finished having sex yet?"

"If they're smart, they're sleeping," Agent Walter said, finishing his coffee.

"Buffy hasn't has sex in months.  They're having sex."  He smiled.  She picked him up.  "You done?"  She sniffed and went to change him, coming out with him and the diaper bag.  "Okay, let's go do this."  They went home.  Sean's amulet of protection lit up and he set up a wail.  "Wow, so that's what's wrong."  The agent had his hand on his gun.  "No, dude, spirits.  Xander!"  He appeared in a flash.  He looked at the baby, the amulet, then the house, stomping in there to send any spirits off.  Three different ones wailed and fled.  Then one got destroyed by him.  She walked in once things were calm.  "We good?"

"We're good," he said, taking Sean.  "You're loud."  Sean grinned at him thanks to his gas problem.  He smirked back.  "You're louder than the twins together.  I don't know why since you're not mine or Phil's."  Buffy let out a sigh of pleasure.  "Not a protector unless he wants to turn agent."

"Over his tanned ass," Buffy complained.  She came down to get him, looking at the chain.  "Nothing shorter?"

"Sorry," Dawn quipped.

"Thanks.  What was that, Xander?"

"Possessing spirits," Hylal said.

"We can send you the template for that," Dawn promised.  Buffy smiled and cuddled her boy.  Dawn handed over the diaper bag.  "He had some nice ice water.  We had coffee."

"Thank you, Dawn."

"Gas meds, Buffy."  She patted the baby on the back, getting another belch.  "I know. It's really bad to be so gassy so young.  You'll drive off all the cute guys who'll think you're gay."  She and Xander left.

"She's so going to turn him into a drag queen," Xander agreed, then went back downstairs.

Dawn kicked off her boots and walked into the bedroom, smiling at the reading people on the bed.  "One nephew suitably soothed."  They didn't move.  She tested.  "Xander?" she called.  She grabbed a sword.  There was no reason for a time stop spell on this apartment.  She turned and hit the demon that had appeared.

"I'm not your enemy, Key."

"You called me that, yes you are.  What did you do to them?"

"We only wished to talk about how you got an extra one."

"Someone pulled it from another realm."

"We wish to speak to them."

Dawn snorted.  "Hell no.  I'm guarding them the same as I do my others."  The demon glared.  She attacked better and it tried to flee but it's own spell was trapping it.  Dawn finally killed it and the spell ended, making her pant.  "Okay," she decided.  Clint came out to stare at the demon.  She took a kiss.  "It's a dumbass who wanted to talk about Keys."

"Great," he muttered.  "Are there more coming?"

"No.  Probably not."  She stared at him then slowly opened the mental bond.  Clint in the shower.  Interesting.  She stared at him, pulling up power.  "Can you explain where exactly I am?  Since mine of you is at home?"

He smiled.  "We wanted to talk about the extra Keys." 

Dawn attacked this one.  "Mind not being him when I kill you?"  She stripped the spells and absorbed them, which made her wince but it was automatically sealed off.  The demon looked happy but she smirked and shoved the powers back out in an attack.  The demons in there screamed.  She sent a prayer up to Xander to see if he had been the one to banish the spirits at Buffy's.  Or if that had been a plot too.

Xander appeared, staring at the demons.  "Did you mean to piss me off?"

Dawn tested.  He was still there.  She attacked him but he shot power at her.  "Hi, Ares."  She ducked the next hit and attacked back, making him growl in pleasure.  "Not.  Yours."

"You could be."

"I don't want to be.  I'm very happy praying to Natasha and Clint.  Thanks though."  She grinned.  "You're not getting them."

"I can try that other nicely forming one."  She glared at him.  He smirked.  "I'm being honest and you don't need all them."

She pulled up extra power and shot it at him, sending him flying.  "For a war god, you certainly fly like Cupid," she sneered.  She sent a thought across the bond because not even he could lock that down.  Then she finished off the demons.  It hurt but she was a bit used to it.  Ares looked pleased and amused so she turned it on him and burnt him.  He yelped and put himself out.  "Not like you'll make me wear one out."

"You're not usually telepathic," he taunted.

"Yeah, well, magical extension in a fight."  She blasted him again.  "After all, I'm the original green energy source, self renewing and all that."

"I have prayers."

"Not as many as Xander and Phil," she taunted.  He glared, looking like he hated her.  "You try, I push back.  This isn't going to go on very long.  I wanted sex tonight with my personal love gods.  You're making it so they'll have to calm me down first.  Though it's usually very *interesting* sex."  He attacked and she blocked it and changed her sword to something shorter and more her style of weapon.  He sneered but she attacked both ways and he looked pleased until she stabbed him in the stomach.  She sent out a blessing she had read, making him glow and yelp.  "Get out of my life.  I'm not even the Key you need, Ares.  There's others that could be useful for you."

"You need to dump more energy.  You're a danger to the world."

"That's Xander's job, not yours."

"I could be sparing him the grief."

"I doubt it."  She stared at him.  "You may like Xander like a nephew, but I so doubt you're doing this to spare him."

"I'm not the monster I used to be."

"And I'm not the glowy ball I used to be.  Though if you try to attack any other glowy ball, I'll suck all the energy from Olympus and destroy your whole pantheon.  You'd be surprised what books are at Xander's temple from Willow's collection."  Ares' eyes went wide.  She smiled.  "Including that neat pregnancy spell.  You want a Key so much, that's the Arapex key, like I suggested you find.  It's actually a weapon."  Phil appeared and the room shook.  "Hi, Phil."  She walked over to him, standing beside him.  "He thinks I'm dangerous and he's sparing Xander angst."

"I doubt it," Phil said, staring at him.  "Don't touch my people, Lord Ares.  I don't want to have to quit playing nicely."

"You?" he snorted.  "What can you do?"  Phil linked with Xander and blasted him from that plane back to a subrealm.  He looked around.  "How in the hell?" he demanded.  He could hear Dawn giggling and Phil reminding him that he was mated to one of the toughest Gods around.  Then that demonic realm dissolved, the energy feeding back to him.  He was still trapped in that subrealm.  It'd take him weeks, if not months, to find his way out.  That little brat was going to suffer. 

His stomach twinged and he bent over to hold the place that she had inserted the spell.  Dawn learning from Rosenburg's books was a danger greater than Dawn being overpowered. He went to his elemental form and slowly made the energy in him form its own sphere so he could remove it.  When it was done, he looked at the ball that turned into a baby god.  He stared. "No," he said quietly.  The baby smiled and cooed at him.  "No!" he shouted.

He had just caused her to start off the prophecy that might destroy the Greek Pantheon.


Dawn sighed in pleasure as she and Phil reappeared, hugging him then Xander.  "Hi."

"Who?" he asked.

"Ares," Phil said.

Dawn hissed in Xander's ear, making him groan and call John to find him.  She looked at him.  "Prophecy BS.  The kid might destroy their whole family."

"She's adorable and I doubt it."

"She?" Phil asked.

Dawn smiled.  "He needs a girly, cooing daughter.  One who loves pink and ponies and lace and dolls and boy band music."  He groaned and hugged her.  "I know, but yay."

John appeared, looking at her.  "It's not the kid that starts it off because it's a girly little girl."  She smiled.  "Damn you're evil."

"Yes, I am.  When I'm pushed to be.  Did you get to see the evil empress outfit I wore at Halloween?"

Phil handed her to Clint and Natasha.  "Cure that.  Thank you."  Dawn cackled all the way upstairs.  "Is everything okay?"

"It's fine.  Ares said she got into Rosenburg's books?"

"Before the battle out in Sunnydale, looking for spells to use."  John winced.  "I'll go talk to him."  He and John went back to talk to Ares, though the baby was now past potty training age.  He took Ares from there with her and brought him home.  "He attacked Dawn, Dawn had read some of Rosenburg's spell books before the battle at home, and she made him a girly little princess to raise."  He grinned.  "Demeter, it looks like she's under you."

She walked forward carefully to test the child.  "She's the Goddess over Roses."  She blinked a few times.  "Well.  Ares, we'll make sure you have appropriate dresses for her."  She picked up the baby to carry back to Hera and Zeus.  "Fiona, the Goddess of Roses."

Zeus took her to test.  "She is not the one from the prophecy," he announced.  Everyone sighed.  "Hermes, can you herald her birth?"

"Of course," he said happily, zooming off.  He landed in the bar most of the demigods had taken over.  "Behold the birth of Fiona, Goddess of Roses, from Ares' loins.  A sponsored energy pregnancy thanks to him pissing off the Key."  Most of them choked.  He grinned.  "He attacked her.  She fought back and locked him in a subrealm so the pregnancy could go on easily.  It was a natural, elemental form birth."  He zipped off to tell Thor and Loki, who were being forced to have a dinner by Frigg.  They were both glued to their chairs.  "The Goddess Fiona, over roses, was just born tonight in an elemental pregnancy to Ares via him pissing off the Key," he announced.  Loki choked and gulped some water to wash the bite of meat out of his throat.  He smiled at them.  "She's an adorable girly little goddess who likes flowers and pink so far.  She demanded her first dress be pink ruffles and pink lace."  He zipped off.

Loki looked at Thor.  "Just think, you work with her."

Thor smiled.  "Aye, but a smart man never pisses off a woman.  Especially that one or her mates as they are all deadly when upset."  He ate a bite of vegetable.

Loki stared at him.  "How have you managed this long?"

Thor stared at him.  "I'm a wise man and my women mostly like me to come back to them."  He smirked and ate another bite.  "You should try that instead of doing what you did to your daughter/son's mother or Xander's mother.  She was probably much nicer before you influenced her with mead."

"Perhaps," he said dryly.  He stuffed his mouth.  "We must send blessings."

"I will bless her with the ability to sense nature as it matters to her special flowers and other plants," he said and sent.

Loki ate a bite and considered it.  "I bless her with the ability to find a mate that will not only tolerate her, but put up with her moods and flowers and who can protect her."  That got sent out.  Thor smiled at him.  "She'll probably need it if she's anything like the sponsoring mother."

"Perhaps but that has slowed down recently.  So her mates must wear it out of her."

"Perhaps," Loki said, stuffing his mouth and shaking his head.  "I need a drink."

"Aye, the dinner would go better with mead or tequila."

"You drink tequila?  The favored son of Valhalla?" Loki asked dryly.

"I could not get mead.  Therefore I substituted at an agent's suggestion.  Do not drink them together though, even my head was not fit for thought consumption."

"That's very good to know."  They got some tequila sent over and went back to dinner.  Thor showed him the proper lick/suck/drink procedure and it was good enough for now.  It went well with the vegetables.


Clint looked at Dawn once they were back inside.  "Are you all right?  Injured?"

"Bit sore in that shoulder.  Ares isn't a lightweight."  She changed her sword back and cleaned it then put it in the corner again.  He smiled and helped her out of her jacket and boots, then the shirt so he could check her shoulder.  Natasha came out half dressed and Dawn kissed her then him.  "Thanks."

"Welcome," Natasha said.  "What did you do?"

"He pissed me off, told me I was dangerously overpowered, so I made him pregnant with the Key he really wants."  She smiled sweetly.

"Would that be considered like the child was hers?" Natasha asked Clint.  He sent a thought down to Phil and Xander.

"Not exactly," Xander's voice said from mid-air.  "It'd be more like she's the godmother and doctor that did the IVF treatment.  Ares would be considered both parents but she'll be put on the certificate as the facilitating power.  I have two of those myself and that's how I was put down.  By the way, she's the goddess of Roses and her name is Fiona, Dawn."

"Cool."  She smiled at the air.  "I thought he could use a softer influence."

"Yes, he certainly could."  His voice faded on the warm chuckle and the quiet 'Phil'.

Dawn kissed Clint then Natasha.  "So I was a good girl and I added to the general prettiness of the world.  Bia likes roses and taught Callia about flowers so maybe they'll be playmates."

"You are so warped," Clint said.  "And we were tired."

Dawn snuggled into his arms.  "It's all right.  You can wear me out tomorrow."

"Yes, I can."  Natasha took her to bed.  Dawn got them both stripped and in with her to tease.  Natasha always loved oral sex.  Clint loved to watch them have oral sex.  It was a good thing for the night.

"Wearing me out does not cure your dirty mind," Natasha complained but she was feeling a lot less worried about it.  "Like that, Dawn.  Only harder?"  Dawn quit teasing and nibbled harder, getting a moan for it.  "That's nice."

"That's very nice," Clint agreed.


Phil slid down next to Xander, making him hang up with the trio.  "Maybe we should send a mind healing spell at her."

"That would take some power raising," he said with a wink and a smirk.  "Which means sex outside, under the full or new moon."  He pulled him into his lap.  "Totally naked.  Just you, me, and the tiny bit of oil we'd be allowed to use."  Phil shivered.  "It's not the right moon phase down here and you can't take Asgard naked."

"What about the other realms of Valhalla?" he asked.

Xander considered it then nodded.  "One's in the right phase and it's fall there."  They flashed there thanks to him and landed without any clothes.  Xander had picked a good clearing.  He sensed, the only people around were some weres and they were miles off.  Xander led Phil to a blessed tree - it had amulets hanging from it and blessings carved into the bark.  He created a blanket of leaves and laid them down, stroking up Phil's side while they kissed.

"Will anyone get upset?"

"No.  The local werewolves might watch but nothing else."  He took another kiss, walking his fingers down Phil's ribs to his hip.  "To do it right, we have to release onto the ground," he warned.

Phil nodded, watching him.  "I can do that."  Xander smiled and moved to tease a nipple with the tip of his tongue.  Phil had nice nipples, dark, big, tempting.  He moved to tease the other one, trapping their cocks between them.  He slowly ground down as he licked and teased over the nipples, alternating nibbling bites and licks.  Phil was gripping some of the leaves.  Xander smiled and moved up to tease his neck.  "You sure you want to raise power?"

"She needs it," he moaned.  Xander chuckled.  "Okay, so maybe I'm a bit kinky," he admitted.  "But it's not really exhibitionism if there's no one watching."

"No, it's not.  I don't mind sex outside.  I love getting back to nature."  They kissed while one hand was playing with the hard little brown pebbles of Phil's nipples.  Phil reached up to play with Xander's and he liked that. He moaned and shifted to give him better access.

"Would it be different if I was a wife?" he asked quietly.

"Then you'd be allowed to get on top but you'd still be dripping any essence on the ground or I'd have to lick it and spit it out on it."  Phil shivered but nodded.  He and Xander went back to kissing and the nipple play.  Xander finally moved down to tease them with his tongue again before moving lower to tease a few scars.  Phil stiffened but Xander kissed each one before biting the spot on Phil's inner elbow that made him both flinch and twitch.  Phil shifted but Xander was relentless in his need to see Phil's cock dance for him.  Finally he moved on to his wrist, which got licked over and then nibbled on the pulse point.  Phil shivered.  Xander smiled and moved to tease his other wrist.  It got the same careful attention.  Phil was still shivering.  "Cold?" he asked quietly.

"No, not chilled."

Xander smiled and moved to his stomach.  Phil had a nice abdomen.  Not at all soft but not fully what someone would consider defined.  It gave him a bit of padding to tease.  He found a ticklish spot but Phil shifted to get him off it.  Xander smiled and leaned down to rim and suck at his navel.  Phil shifted uncomfortably.  "Relax."

"I am."

"You're not."  He looked up and took a long lick up the abdomen that he was playing with.  "We're going to do this but it's got to be special.  Hot memory special."  Phil nodded.  Xander went back to his teasing, which he adored doing to Phil.  Phil was so uptight sometimes that making him beg was great fun.  He moved to tease the crease between his leg and pubic area, teasing the tender, untanned flesh.  Phil shifted his thighs out, giving Xander room to tease the inside of his thighs.  He found new spots there that made Phil hiss and twitch again.  In a better way than his elbow had. 

"Have to remember that," he said, licking over it then nibbling hard.  Phil winced but Xander was having fun and Phil was still hard.  He spared a second to lick over the damp balls, making them twitch too.  The cock got a lick up the underside then Xander was onto the other inner thigh area to tease and taunt.  The hot spots were slightly different on this side.  Phil was still quiet though.  Xander looked up and kissed the cock, earning a long stare.  "Want me to move on?"

"I like watching you play but I have no idea where you're going with that.  Even though I heard the 'beg' comment."  He smiled slightly.

Xander suddenly swallowed Phil down and Phil shouted, arching up.  He pulled back to nibble on the head.  "That sound is beautiful to me."  He did it again and Phil nearly whimpered.  "So is that one."

"I was trained for silence in all things."

"I'm not all things.  I'm your mate."

"You are," he agreed.  "I can't break that without breaking anything else."

"That's okay, I can make you break it, Phil.  Whenever I want you to."  He turned his hand incorporeal and to his elemental form.  He touched the inside of Phil's thigh over a spot that had made him warm.  Phil shouted and arched up, going to his elemental form for a moment then pulling back.  "See?"  He smiled and leaned down to go back to teasing the hard cock.  He let that hand be the one that teased Phil open, slowly sliding into him, one finger at a time, slowly making him sweat and open and swear loudly about it.

"Xander!" he finally shouted.

"Right here," he said and nibbled on the circumcision scar.  "Always here."  He changed his cock to the elemental form and slid in once his fingers were out of the way.  Phil ground down, trying to capture it, trying to make him become more than energy and power.  "Tingles?"

"Oh," he panted, nodding.  "Xander, please?"

He drizzled some oil as he pulled out, becoming flesh and bone again as he slid back in.  Phil whimpered and made clutching motions.  "You're so beautiful like this.  All wrung out, all taunt and ready to come."  He kissed his stomach, slowly moving his way up until he was fully on top of Phil's body, kissing him.  Phil moaned and pulled him closer, trapping his cock between them so it was rubbed as Xander slowly thrust and made him lose his mind. 

They didn't notice the sky lightening or darkening.  They didn't notice anything but each other.  Xander teasing by letting his cock go elemental every few strokes.  Phil acting like it was electrocuting him.  Xander was panting and speeding up slowly.  Phil was sweating hard, clutching at Xander, kissing him as he got to the point of shouting and begging to be flipped over so he could spill his seed on the ground.

"Bit longer," Xander panted.

Phil looked up at him.  "It's daylight."

"Time runs really fast here," he said with a smile.  "In a few hours it'll be the new moon.  We'll have completed half a cycle."  Phil groaned and wiggled back, getting free.  He flipped over and Xander growled in his ear, claiming him again.  One swift, hard thrust in and he was back to riding him.  Phil was in heaven and hell.  He had to come so badly.  He needed to come.  Xander wouldn't let him come.  His hand was doing wicked things but keeping his balls from ascending.  The sky was dark again and Xander finally released him so he could stroke him instead. 

Xander rode him hard, fast, sharp stabs that brought Phil over quickly.  Finally.  Loudly because all he could hear was his own panting and gasping as he went elemental for a minute.  Xander moaned and followed, riding him until he had to come, pulling back to spray the leaves underneath them.  Then he became tangible.  Phil slowly did, reforming on his back this time.  Xander leaned down to kiss him.  "Next time, I'll take the full cycle."

Phil nodded, swallowing a moan at that promise.  He took another kiss. "How do we gather it?"

"We already sent it.  We said prayers up front and the earth gathered for us to spread it there."  He laid beside him, teasing his chest.

Phil stopped the teasing fingers by holding them.  "There's no way I can get it up again this week, Xander."

Xander grinned.  "All week?"

"All week."  Xander chuckled and kissed him, nibbling on his lips.  "Even with that incentive."  He moaned but wouldn't let them go any farther.  "Shower?"

"I could like a shower."  A warm rain started to fall.  "Not that sort but thank you."  They went home, going to their shower to share one. 

Phil wanted to be soaped and washed.  He was in the mood to be body spoiled, to be touched and stroked.  Xander felt and knew that so he played body slave.  It calmed and soothed the shredded nerves that were still twitching until he could sleep.  Probably for the rest of the week.  Xander finished his own shower and led them to the bed, drying them with a thought so they could lay down.  Phil moaned, letting Xander cuddle.  "Thank you."

"You're welcome.  Anytime you want we can revel for the moon phase or whatever you need to do."  Xander kissed him.  "Rest, Phil.  Being debauched that way takes a lot of work."  Phil smiled and snuggled against his side.  Xander got comfortable too, ignoring his hard on that would be handled in the morning.  Phil was getting really good at blow jobs and liked to give them in the mornings so they didn't have to hurry to get to work.  Next time it was his turn to try a kink.  Phil would probably like it too.

Phil didn't even open his eyes.  "We'll see."  Xander squeezed him.  He reached down to stroke him until he got off.  "Sleep, Xander."

"Sure.  I can do that."

The End.

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