Jealous of the Old Ones.

Tony's head popped up when he heard the slight 'pop' noise, staring at the other Xander.  "I heard about you but I never thought we'd meet in person."

Xander grinned.  "Hi.  I just saw another of you."

Dawn strolled in and gave him a hug.  "I'm free in about five minutes if you're bored."

"I am, but I have no idea how Lavelle handles things."

Dawn smiled.  "Well, no goblin banks here to change things over so we'd have to do the demonic mafia's bank."  Xander nodded and headed out with her.  "What did you want to do?  Coney Island?  Your usual shopping?"

"We're in New York?"  Dawn smiled and nodded.  "Is Great Escape open?"

"Nearly Christmas here."  She winked.  "We can maybe hit LA though."  He beamed and nodded.  "Let me call my lovers.  I'll file this while I do that, and then we'll head."  She did that, getting a question from Natasha, who admitted she didn't know what she was talking about.  So she explained it better.  Then she took him down to the locker rooms so she could change into jeans and a t-shirt.  She took him with her.


Clint showed up an hour later.  "Stark, using your teleporting satellite before someone kidnaps Dawn and that Xander," he called into the lab then set it off.

Tony looked up then checked the news.  No major incident had happened yet.  Thankfully.


Phil looked up at the prayers then at Xander, since they were sparring.  They were both sweaty, half-naked, and had swords.  "Shower?"

"Shower," he agreed.  "I like hanging out with that me and it might keep them from being taken."  They flashed up to the house to clean up, without any shower sex unfortunately, then found clothes and went to Universal Studios, LA.  They found the duo before Clint could.  Phil told Clint where they were and he found them before the next roller coaster.  Long haired Xander was happily beaming and bouncing around like a big kid.  Xander hugged him and grinned.  "Roller coasters kick ass."

"They do and I never get to go anywhere anymore.  I'm still being picked on for bringing Wade and Anya to Disney."

"We can ride all the rides you want," Dawn promised with a smile.  "I know how bored you get."  Xander hugged her and they went off together, Clint following talking to him about weapons.

Xander and Phil followed.  When Security figured out they hadn't paid, Phil paid for their entry fees and it was nicer.  Long haired Xander was like a big kid.  Dawn was too.  Clint was happy she was happy, even though roller coasters were a bit much for him at times.  He made them hit other rides between the coasters.  Dawn made sure they hit all the ones that Xander wanted to hit.  So that went over well.  When the park closed, they all went back to the trio's place, where long haired Xander helped Dawn cook dinner.  Natasha moaned when she got in at one.  They were sitting up playing cards and eating.  She got her own seat and got dealt in.  It was good, quiet, calm.  They all needed the night off for fun.


Pepper looked up the next morning.  Dawn's hair had grown nearly a foot and was a bit wild and slightly curly looking.  She had on a pretty pair of nude heels, a dress that had one shoulder and sleeve, was cinched at the waist, and flowed over her like the water it was colored to look like.  "Hair extensions and long party?" she guessed.

Dawn grinned.  "Long haired Xander showed up yesterday to go have some fun.  He did the hair lengthening charm."  She handed the mail over and smiled.  "The dress is because we have that luncheon later."

"Oh, yeah."  She made sure she had something, which she didn't, so Dawn went to pick something up for her while Pepper handled paperwork.  "Thank you," she said when Dawn handed her a dress bag.  "That's a nice thing."  Dawn smirked and strolled off.

She walked past Bruce on her way to do her daily route through the labs.  "Morning, Stepdad."

"Morning, Dawn.  You look nice today."

"Thank you."  She pinched him on the cheek, earning a smirk.  She went into the first lab and cleared her throat.  "Make me pull a damn sword, people!"  They quit brawling.  "Thank you!"  They stared at her.  She stared back.  "Fighting is only permitted in the gym.  You know that.  What if you had knocked over your little laser prototype there and hurt one of you?"  They groaned and detangled then got up to act like adults.  "If you need rolling around playing time, go to the gym.  We do."

She smiled as she took reports, made coffee, then walked off.  It was apparently an argumentative day at Stark International.  Even the boss was arguing with Rodney in the tinkering lab.  She walked in and sighed, taking the coffee maker to carefully empty then refill.  She came out and smacked them both on the head.  "You're acting like toddlers.  Watch me turn you into some."  She walked off again.

"Gee, Mom," Rodney complained.  He stared at her.  "It's December.  Why are you wearing that?"

"Luncheon."  She floated the refilled ancient percolator out and put in coffee grounds then covered it and turned it on so it could make the two gallons of coffee.  "I'm probably going to be nagged that I don't fade into the background like a good assistant but Natasha liked it this morning."  She smiled sweetly.

"Thanks to your kitten poker habit, you have enough money to be mildly eccentric," Tony said dryly, looking her over.  "No stockings?"

"I need some new clear ones.  I forgot to pick them up.  Besides I don't really need them."  She gave them the first cups and handed over the stack of reports.  "Anything else, boys?"

"Quit making mom jokes," Tony ordered, sipping his coffee.

She smiled.  "Then quit acting like little boys."  She pinched him on the cheek.  "Because if I was your mom, you'd be a genius but not a playboy."  She strolled off.  She went down to HR.  "Hi, I think you guys screwed up my check."

The secretary there smiled back.  "How did we do that?"

"Well, first of all, I'm not an hourly employee, even though you discounted half of the hours I work."  She showed her the printout that had come with her direct deposit statement.

"You have to sign in on your computer, not with security."

"I'm still on salary, not hourly.  And that's not going to work since half of us in the building don't log in all day."

"All science people...." she said with perky cheer.

Dawn smirked.  "I'm Pepper's assistant, sweetie.  I'm on *salary* because I'm in Admin, not in the labs.  Is your boss in?"

"I don't think she'd be handling this."

"Melinda, your assistant is stupid," she said as she headed for the head office.

"Sometimes, why?" she asked, opening the door.  "What's wrong, Dawn?"  She held up the statement, getting a wince.  "You're on salary."

"I am.  You do realize that half the science corps don't have computers in their labs because they do physical things and don't use them real often?  Most of them maybe have a laptop that they only log on for wifi access."

"I had not."  She let Dawn in so they could go over the flaws in the newly implemented software, including that no one had officially moved the science teams to hourly as the assistant thought.  Dawn called Stark and Pepper on her cellphone to get them together to talk about it.  Pepper had a slight mood swing but Tony got her calmed down.  They figured it out and the rest of Dawn's check would be deposited tomorrow.  "That's a lot for a bachelor's," she said.

"I have an MBA.  I went for a condensed since I had a few credits due to AP classes and work credits, plus passing the tests."  She smiled.  "I had to take some out of Rio and transfer them in since they weren't offered online up here but I did manage it.  I'm also a few credits short of another language degree in a few different ones."

"Interesting."  She smiled.  "I'll handle the issues, Dawn."

"Thank you.  Do you want me to type up a memo to let you know if others had wrong checks?"

"Please.  It'll save me doing it."

"I can do that."  She got up and walked out typing it on her phone.  It sent a text memo to everyone in the building or associated with Stark labs.  She walked into her usual office and looked in at Pepper.  "You good?"

"I'm fine.  They tried to tell you that you were hourly?"

"Yeah, and discounted most of my hours.  The assistant down there said you had to log in on your own system, not at security."

"No, not likely.  I can see the pass sensors on the doorways maybe but even those get held open at times."  Dawn nodded, settling in to type up the official memo for those who didn't have a phone or didn't look at their phones.  Pepper shook her head, taking it to sign off on and send off.  When it was time, Pepper got up to get dressed.  Dawn checked and finger-combed her hair, then put on some tasteful jewelry and a jacket that only enhanced the outfit.  They left together after closing and locking the office doorways and their desks.  They met Tony outside.  "Are you going to the women in business luncheon too?" Pepper teased with a smile.

"Not likely.  I'm out for pizza."  He kissed them on the cheek.  "Pepper, she tried to mom us earlier."

"If you need it, you do," she teased.  She and Dawn got into the hired car that Dawn used.  Tony waved as they drove off.  "Which store did you get that at?"

"The succuba run one."  She grinned.  "They liked to tease Clay but they've always been very nice to me."

"They can't really hit on you so I guess they would be," Pepper said.  "Why do they work there?"

"It's the younger set that aren't out on assignment from the higher ups.  That way they can pay rent in LA.  They're the non-hunting for kills sort too, I made sure before I ever went in there.  Buffy got a few favorite outfits from them and took me once."

"That's sweet of your sister.  How is she liking being pregnant again?"

"She's not.  Hylal keeps nagging her to eat.  Sean took so much of her extra weight from her even Mom and Bruce are nagging her to eat."

"She did look a bit thin the last time I saw her."

"She did," Dawn agreed with a grin for her.  Her phone rang.  "What's up?" she asked.

"Dawn, we've lost stuff," Jonathan said.  "Did you clean on us?"

"Patty did, Johno.  Look in your new filing cabinet under the desk."

He clearly opened something.  "Why did she put it there?"

"To shore up that shaky corner you two hop up to sit on."

"Oh, I guess that'd do it."  He found what he needed and sighed.  "We need to reorganize totally."

"I'll help you with that tomorrow.  We're going to a luncheon and we won't be back until four."

"Thanks, Dawn.  We'll work up some ideas on what we want and need."

"Welcome.  Don't panic, she was trying to help."

"I know.  It was sweet of her."  He hung up and groaned, looking around their lab.  He looked at the walls then at the filing cabinet.  He and Andrew had to figure out something.  It was too small and only had the one work area anyway.  Though it had more room than their garages had back in Sunnydale.


Dawn came back letting Pepper lean on her arm.  "Relax," she soothed.  "It's still fake contractions."  Pepper sighed and nodded, giving her arm a squeeze.  "Want to hit the infirmary?"

"No, my OB said they'd be getting stronger as time moved on.  I'm nearly eight months."

"You sure?  I can ask Dr. Pigalli."

"I'm okay."  She got put on her office couch.  "I can work."

"Of course you can, and put your feet up too."  She handed over the papers after she had sorted through them.  "Anna presorted."  She smiled and took an envelope with her.  She wasn't going to worry Pepper.  She walked into security.  "Lumpy envelope, people.  Not scanned."

It got taken from her and scanned, then they called the local bomb squad unit to come get it.  "We'll track it," the head guard assured her.

"Thanks.  It was on Pepper's desk."  They nodded and let her go search up there with one of them.

Pepper looked up.  "I noticed you kept one that looked a bit thick."

"And lumpy," Dawn quipped.  Pepper stared at her.  "They scanned it.  Now we're going to do the rest of the office.  Want helped down to the labs?"

"Let me check the couch first," the guard ordered.  He got down to look and winced.  "Dawn?"

She looked then took a picture and sent it to Tony.  He came rushing in.  She got out of his way.  "We're scanning since I found a letter bomb, boss.  I found it after she sat down."

Tony nodded.  "Okay."  He unrolled his toolkit and got into it.  "Someone got into the tinkering lab's plans.  It's one of ours but with shitty homemade explosives."

The guard called that in so the bomb disposal guys came up to get it.  Tony got it undone and handed it out.  The bomb tech took it and got down to look too.  "That's not nice."

"We were tinkering and came up with this one but it's supposed to use semtex," Tony admitted.  "It's what we geeks do when we're drunk," he said at the odd look he was getting.  "Myself, McKay, and Banner are the only ones who're supposed to have access.  Dawn, I need Roomba dog."

Dawn called down for it and Andrew brought it up.  "Here, Tony."

"Roomba, come suck this out."  It zipped under the couch and he pointed the flashlight on it.  "Suck that."  It sucked next to it so he moved the nozzle/tentacle.

"That's cute," the bomb tech said with a smile.

"A few of our younger geeks made Roomba dog.  It's a great dog.  My daughter loves him."  He finished disarming it and they removed it.  "Okay."  They came out from under the couch.  The Roomba did too.  "Dawn, take Pepper and Callia to my lab.  It's got bomb shields."

"Callia's already there," Andrew said.  "With Steve, Tony."

"Thank you."  He smiled.  "Go."  The ladies went with him and Roomba got to search the room.  Tony looked at the guard, who nodded they were pulling up surveillance footage.  They found the other ones on the desks and got them disarmed too.  Tony watched the tech and guard disappear down the elevator then swore in his third known language, Klingon.  He was a geek at heart after all.

Phil appeared, staring at him.  "You speak Klingon?"

"Of course I do.  I'm old enough to have watched it in first run, Coulson."

"That's interesting.  Is there a reason why you summoned?"

"Four bombs."

"Excuse me?"

"All against Pepper and Dawn."

"Huh."  He went to security to ask.  The bomb tech gave him an odd look.  "SHIELD does stare over Stark's shoulder," he said blandly.  "Just to make sure he doesn't accidentally blow up the universe."

"Again?" one of the guards joked.

"Yes, again."  He patted him on the shoulder.  "The ladies and the baby?"

"Stark's lab, Agent Coulson."

"Thank you."  They watched the tapes together and he nodded.  "She's not an agent that I can tell.  She moves too plainly and too clumsily to be an agent."

"She's the one in HR that Summers called dumb earlier for screwing up everyone's paychecks," one of the other guards said quietly.  "I went in to have mine fixed."  Phil smiled.  "She's still probably there."

"Probably.  We'll see what her problem is."  He looked at the NYPD.  "I believe it's yours but I can help with interrogation."

"The help would be appreciated, sir."  They went up there together.  Phil typed out a text message when he got one.  Then he put his phone up.

The perky assistant smiled.  "All the paychecks will be fixed by tomorrow, gentlemen."  They held up their badges and she started to look around.  "Did that nasty little girl do something wrong?"

"No, I don't believe it was her," Phil said dryly. 

The woman glared at him.  "Girls like her slept their way into their jobs."

"Actually, she's been doing the job since before she slept with anyone, by about two years.  Stark's not that patient.  You'd have a better chance at claiming she got it by nepotism since she's Callia's aunt.  Though she did have the job before then," the NYPD officer said.  "It's been in all the mags, miss. Now, let's go have a talk."

The head of HR came out.  "Officer, Agent Coulson, is there a problem?"

"Four bombs in Pepper and Dawn's offices," Phil said.

"You sure it's her?"  They nodded.  "Then you have fun with her, boys.  I'll help you get her locker and desk contents."  The officer smiled and called in for some backup to do that.  She tried to attack Phil, who punched her. 

She fell down crying.  "She's going to ruin all the great things they do here!  Stark will never make things to save everyone with her looking over his shoulder!" she shouted.  "He'll be ruined!"

Tony strolled in and stared at her.  "Why would I be ruined?  I make Dawn weapons all the time.  The Avengers too."  He smirked.  She whimpered and he got away from her.  "I don't even know you, Miss."

"We slept together a few years ago.  You said I was yours."

He looked at her.  "I never lie to anyone I'm sleeping with that way.  Beyond that, I doubt it was a few years ago.  I quit being such a slut when my daughter was born."  He walked off shaking his head.  "At least she won't need to be Warren's roommate."

"No, she's not that smart," Phil agreed.  Officers showed up to get her and her things.  He made sure she confessed.

Tony walked into his lab, looking at Pepper.  "Did you make me take off the question about if I had ever slept with the new hires?" he asked.

"I did because it might mean a lawsuit.   She was?"

"Claimed she was and I told her I was hers."

Dawn snorted.  "No, you have taste.  Even when you were a slut."

"Thanks."  He looked her over.  "You look nice."

She smiled.  "Succuba store."

"Figures."  She smirked.  "What's with the hair?"

"That Xander did a hair lengthening charm."

"It looks nice but a bit wild."  She smiled at him for that.  "Is the reporter slut going to note that you're too flashy again?"

"Yup.  Probably.  Yay."

"My feeling too," Pepper agreed.  "We like you flashy and flirty."  She rubbed her stomach.  "I don't like practice contractions."

Dawn called the infirmary.  "Doc, we need a quick check of Pepper.  Her usual practice contractions make her hiss and tighten up, this newest one made her rub instead.  Yup, right down there."  She walked over and helped her up.  "We'll check to make sure they're still practice ones."

"I'm sure they are."

"Like Callia, the baby's like my sibling, and so I'm going to fuss and be paranoid, Pepper," she said as she walked her out.  "Suck it up, dear."

"I know, you fuss.  It's the young woman you are until you have a few of your own."  They went down to the infirmary.  She hissed and grabbed onto Dawn's arm, doing the breathing they had taught her at lamaze, which Tony and Steve had both taken with her, and Dawn.  They came off on the infirmary level, Dawn freezing the car until they could walk again.  Then she unfroze it.  They walked toward the infirmary.  "I don't want to go already."

"We can make sure," Dr. Pigalli said.  Dawn helped her up onto the exam table so she could feel around her stomach.  "Any loss of fluid?"

"Only peeing."

"That's expected," she promised with a smile.  She felt the next one.  "I believe that is a minor real contraction.  Let me call your OB, Pepper."  She went to look her up and talk to her.  They gave permission to start Pepper on an IV to stop the early contractions and to keep her overnight.  Her OB would show up to check on her later.  Dr. Pigalli had to send out for the meds but one of the guards got it and came back almost immediately. 

They started the IV once Pepper was down to comfortable clothes and in bed.  Dawn let the immediate family, including Pepper's mother, know and stayed with her until Tony got down there to fuss.  They got Pepper moved to one of their private rooms and settled back in with Tony hovering and Steve looking nervous.  Dawn gave him a shove in then closed the door behind him.  She walked off to check with security then went up to check on the labs before going home.


Dawn came in the next day dressed in one of the newer outfits, one of the slimmer skirts and a nice tailored jacket with a pretty shirt underneath.  "Boss, I have that interview scheduled today."

"Pepper added a second one," he said from the main desk.  "They stopped it in time."

"I figured they did and she texted me that she was on bedrest for the rest of the month."  She went through the mail and brought in what he needed to deal with.  She put down another pile.  "Pepper things so she can be bored in bed."

He smiled.  "I'm sure she'll thank you for something to do soon."  He looked them over and handled a few but she grimaced.  "No?"

"No.  They're misusing money."  She got the report on that.  He nodded, going over it.  He let her change the form and recopy it.  He looked at the other things.  Dawn handled something and he nodded, getting up to head to the labs.  "By the way, Andrew and Jonathan are remodeling their lab space."

"That's fine," Tony agreed, smirking at her.  "Have fun with the poison pen."

Dawn smirked evilly.  "I think I will."  She gathered what she'd need for later, putting it into the meeting room she had chosen.  It had nicely comfortable seats but was beside security in case there was a problem.  She included a printed sign in the corner that stated all interviews were being taped.  That's all that she had to do by law.  If the reporter ignored it that was her stupid fault.  She went up to do her lab rounds until security called that they were there.  She walked in with a cup of tea and sat down.  "Good morning."

"Morning."  She stared at her.  "Let's get started."

"Sure.  Please turn on your tape recorder."  The reporter huffed but did that.  "We'd like some accuracy and I'm sure you can't take notes as fast as someone can talk.  Even with shorthand."  She sipped her tea and got comfortable.  "So, what did you want to know?"

"What are you going to do when your frivolous suit is tossed out of court?"

Dawn smiled.  "I don't believe that threatening to have me attacked is frivolous.  Nor do I think him being part of a kidnaping plot that had me taken from up here to Georgia, while drugged, is frivolous.  Do you?"

The reporter snorted.  "There's no reports of that."

Dawn nodded.  "There are.  The courts have the federal reports.  Both the FBI one and SHIELD's."  She crossed her legs at the knees.  "The FBI got brought into it after the agents helping me rescue myself found dirty agents."

"Dirty agents?" she sneered.

"Yes.  They were arrested at the same time for being part of the same cult that had kidnaped me.  One agent was there to meet the disreputable person's supposed new wife, meaning me, and when I protested I had been kidnaped he denied that knowledge.  Then his supervisor was called in, and he decided to hide that report and his agent's arrest by SHIELD.  Which then included him.  I'm told the agents we work with up here were not amused in the least."

"Why was SHIELD there?"

Dawn smirked.  "SHIELD does pay attention to Mr. Stark now and then.  Especially when the building that SHIELD agents live in was broken into to capture me."

"Why do you live there?"

"Because I function as the administrative assistant for a lot of them as well.  I'm not the only non-agent that lives there.  One agent moved in with his twins and their mother."

"His ex?"

"No, they only got together for procreation."  She smiled.  "They live in the building.  Stark International leases it to SHIELD for a subsidized rent."

"I see.  So only the Avengers live there?"

"No.  A few non Avenger agents live there as well."

"I see."  She made a note on that.  "So you think this minister is wrong?"

Dawn pulled out her phone and pulled up a video.  "I have these bookmarked because I brought this to the meeting with my attorney."  She played it and let her see it.  "I think him offering a few hundred thousand to capture me so he could 'remake me' as he put it is a problem.  Do you believe any other Christian minister would go that far?  Even Reverend Phelps, that great idiot out in Kansas?"

"Did you just compare him to that man that pickets funerals?"

"Yes, I did.  They're both idiot bigots in the same manner.  They both occasionally send me hate mail.  Even the skinheads I berate when I run into them wouldn't want to claim either of these idiot bigot ministers."

"You berate skinheads?"

"Yes, I do.  I hate bigotry in every sense of the word and half of them have no clue what they're actually worshiping.  I had to ask one if he knew who Stalin was since it was on his shirt.  Then I told him who Stalin was, which meant he ripped off his shirt.  He was a genocidal asshole but not a skinhead."

The reporter blinked.  "You have a degree, don't you?"

Dawn smiled.  "I do.  I came in with a lot of extra credit from working, some AP classes in high school, and testing out of some of the classes.  I did it all online.  Why?"

"Why would you get work credits?"

"Because I had been working for over two years.  I also got credit for speaking three languages at the time."

The reporter huffed.  "Normal people don't get that."

"Yes they do.  The college I graduated from has a great person who evaluates your work history to see if you have any reasonable work history that can count and gives you tests to make sure you can pass the classes.  I was one of two of us working toward the compressed MBA."

The reporter glared.  "It's said you get perks other normal people don't."

"No, not that I've seen."

"Your *job*?"

She laughed.  "You really should've done some homework, dear.  Everyone else knew that Pepper took over mentoring me when my mother was on the oncology ward at UCLA.  I'm sorry, is that too big of a word for you?  I can define it if you want."

"No, I know what it means," she sneered.

"Then you're doing better than one reporter in Florida.  She had no idea what that word meant or why oncology floors would be age restricted."  She smiled and sipped her tea.  "What perks do you think I get?"

"The apartment?"

"I work here.  As I said, I'm not the only non-agent living there and SHIELD doesn't subsidize my rent.  I pay my own way."

"Mr. Stark paid for your schooling."

"No, I paid for my schooling and Tony decided that was something he could cover because I was useful in the company and doing things like finding accounting errors that would have cost us millions of dollars.  So he paid me back for it.  I paid for all my own college courses.  Without needing anything like a Pell grant or a loan.  I was lucky that I managed to save enough for that."  She sipped her tea and put it aside.  "Beyond that, I've paid my own way since I was eighteen.  My own rent, my utilities, and before then my own food bills and clothing bills.  Pepper and I had an agreement since I lived above her garage until we moved here full time."

"No one believes that you got where you are any way beyond on your knees."

Dawn chuckled, shaking her head.  "Sorry.  I was taught it had to mean something more than being tapped in the back of a club or doing the boss.  Do you really think Tony would've waited two years with how much he got?  Seriously?  With the way he got more than a whole battle cruiser in the Navy since he was my age?"

She glared.  "You call him by his first name?"

"Yes, he said I could.  I'm also the one that gets to go in to nag him to get to meetings on time."  She smiled.  "It's a perk of the job to nag."

"There's no way you were a virgin until you were eighteen."

"Ask anyone you want.  They all knew.  My clothing changed when I realized my own sexual nature, back when I was seventeen.  I think most young women go through that transition.  I had some great people who helped me through that transformation but I still didn't tap anyone until after I was eighteen.  After my trip to Miami."  She crossed her legs in the other direction.  "I might still be one if it hadn't been for that sacrificing cult that wanted me."  She shrugged and sipped her tea, putting it aside again.  She heard Clint's 'don't involve me in that hissing match please' comment and promised she wouldn't.  "You can ask almost anyone that was at that meeting.  Ask Alexander, he was there and he's the one who told me the cult wanted to sacrifice me for being a virgin."

"You waited?" she sneered.

"Yes, I did.  My mother raised me to think that sex meant something.  That it wasn't meant for a backseat, a broom closet, the backroom of a club, the bathroom of a club, or anywhere else."

"You go to vastly different clubs than I do.  None of mine have backrooms to have sex in."

"They all have storage areas and I got plenty of invites back to them when I was sixteen.  Which I ignored."

"Maybe it was where you go places with succuba working."

Dawn shrugged.  "Succuba feed off sexual urges and feelings.  My sister introduced me to a store that they run.  Them making people look hot means that they can randomly feed off the streets instead of having to kill someone they pick up in a club.  So I let them help me find some new flirty things.  They have great taste.  They even got my sister into a dress that was tastefully flirty.  Her husband adores her in it."

"Your sister...."

"Buffy?  My only sister?" she said dryly.  "You really didn't do more than read a wiki page, did you?"

"I did enough homework to know that you're not considered a real person."

Dawn cackled, shaking her head.  "Sorry, the monks that made me made me a real person.  I have DNA and all that.  The body may have been created by magic but then again so are most pregnancies.  Do you know how wrong things can go when a woman starts to carry a child?  There's over ten thousand things that can make her miscarry in the first month, and not even realize she was pregnant.  That's pretty magical to most of us."

"It's said that the magic didn't make you whole."

"The magic missed a tiny thing, which I fixed when I was eighteen.  But yes, I'm fully a real girl.  More so than Pinocchio was.  I wasn't wooden first."  She stared at her.  "Can't help you with that delusion, Miss Skeeter."  She smiled.  "You and your poison quill will have to find a different story."

"Does your mother know?  And your *boyfriend*?"

"Yes.  Actually, my mother knew before I did.  Something in the brain tumor meant that she could tell spells were going on.  She saw the magic around me at that time.  It led to us looking and finding out why there was a Hell Goddess who wanted to kill me."  She sipped her tea and put the cup down again.  "As for anyone I'm with, yeah, they know.  I don't hide things like that.  If I'm with someone then I'd trust them enough with most of the secrets in my life.  Including that one since it's not exactly a secret thanks to that monk.  Who I'm told got killed by his order for that."  She leaned on the table, smirking slightly.  "If you can find him to ask him, go for it.  I'm pretty sure he's going to duck you though.  He does most reporters."

"Does your *boss* know?"

"I met Pepper because SHIELD was protecting me from the hell goddess," she said dryly.  "They knew before we met probably since our meeting was done by SHIELD agents."

She cleared her throat.  "About this preposterous claim that the minister offered a bounty on someone to rape you?"

Dawn got into another video to show her.  "I think that's pretty clear cut."  She got into another one.  "There's that one as well."

"How did you get those?"

"The church puts the sermons up each Monday.   Beyond that, Nightline was asked to investigate."

"I thought this was exclusive," she sneered.

"I never saw anything that said anything about an exclusive interview, and I didn't ask them.  One of the members of the church did."  The reporter gasped.  "She didn't want her daughter, who might have a gift, to be thought of the same way.  It's not like I'm the only one in the world that has it."

"That blonde girl."

"I don't name anyone because I'd hate for them to get the same sort of hate mail, threatening letters, and contracts out for them to be kidnaped and raped that I have on me.  The same as I don't name who the other slayer is, even though I know her very well.  I don't want anyone to be as threatened as I am.  I don't want anyone's family to worry about a bomb in the mail like I got yesterday.  It was addressed to Pepper and inside had a note saying it would keep me from warping others since they expected me to open it first."  The reporter shuddered.  "Frankly, those sort of bigots really need to take a good, long look at their book of faith.  Because their God would probably be a bit pissed off."

"Thou shalt not suffer a witch," the reporter sneered.

Dawn sneered back.  "King James put that in there.  It's not in the original.  You should read the original book sometime."

"You're Christian?"

"I'm nominally Wicca.  I have read the Bible, in the original format.  Because I read Latin."  She smiled.  "And Ancient Greek as well as Hebrew in the modern and the ancient."  She stared at her.  "There's plenty of things I can't and can agree with.  Frankly, I picked Wicca because it fits how I see the world.  I definitely live by the three fold rule."

"The what?"

"The three fold rule.  Whatever you do, ill or good, comes back on you three times."  She stared at her.  "Before you can say anything mean, I've seen you use the concept of Karma in the past.  About the same only magnified."  She smiled and finished her tea.  "Anything else?  I have to figure out how to use the hover board one of the geeks put in their labs to reach their filing cabinets."

"You ...what?"

"They're geeks.  Of course they mounted their filing cabinets on the walls so they're out of the way and built a hover board to get up to them.  Geeks do things like that."  She heard a meow and looked out.  "In here, phone."  He ran in and meowed at her.  "Excuse me for a minute."  She answered it.  "Thank you for calling Stark International, how may I help you?"  She listened to Tony telling her to quit baiting the bitch and asked if she really thought that about him.  She laughed.  "Yes, boss, I do think you got more than a whole battle cruiser since you were twenty.  I think you'd probably admit it too."

"You wouldn't go for him?" the reporter sneered.

"No, I like mine with less than a hundred lovers under their belts," she said dryly.  "The fewer the better, but enough for excellent technique."  Tony said something.  "Yes, I think you did, boss.  Because I'm pretty sure there were a few years in there that you did the phone book."  She laughed.  "Sure, be up there soon to figure out how to do things in the boys' lab."  She hung up.  "Sorry."

"We're being listened to?"

Dawn pointed at the sign.  "You didn't read it?  Wow, I read all signs that might be important in a room when I was fifteen.  Then again, I had people who wanted to kidnap and kill me at fifteen," she admitted.  "So I was a bit paranoid.  Still am."  She smiled.  "Yes, all interviews done here in Stark's building are taped by our security system.  We do that in most of the rooms.  All the meetings are taped, all the hallways are taped in case of something happening."  She smiled.  "It's also for safety reasons.  That way if someone's attacked again, we know who did it."

The reporter got up and huffed off.  "You're not as special as you think, Miss Summers."

"I never said I was special.  The only ones I'm special to are my family, friends, and the people I choose to involve in my private life.  You have a nice day."

"You actually wished me well?" she sneered.

"Three fold rule, sweetheart.  I might be in the mood for an argument and not willing to pay for it like Monty Python did, but I'd never trip that rule by wishing someone ill.  It'd undo my good karma points."  She smiled.  "Beyond that, Tony always says that sarcasm is better than anger at stupidity."  The reporter huffed off.  Dawn turned off the tape recording and sent it to a few people, including her lawyer.  Who sent back a laugh and that she was right about the sarcasm.  She got up and went up to the lab.  "Okay," she said, looking at Tony.

"Nightline did do one.  They sent someone into the church and all that stuff.   The reporter nearly lost his professionalism and said something during the service."

"Did he up the price to have me raped or was it a new bounty if he could make my ovaries work?"

"That too."  He let her see the film.  She grimaced and flipped it off, shrugging some.  "That doesn't upset you?"

"It does, but I'm pretty damn sure the cults that used to want to kill me had about the same plan for me.  It's nice that they're following in the footsteps of a pre-Christian cult's ways.  I hope they enjoy hell for being hypocrites."  She shrugged again.  "Idiots are idiots because they don't want to learn."

"That's beyond ignorance that can be cured."

"No, that's hate like all other bigots.  Which again, not really within their religion of choice."  She looked at him.  "If I let them get to me, I'd have to cry about all the other ones that have wanted me.  I haven't done that since Glory hurt the whole family, Tony."

"Good."  He patted her on the arm.  He looked her over.  "That skirt is too tight."

"It's not too tight.  It's gothically slim."  She smiled and walked off.  "Going to lab 7 to see what they've done."

"A hover board?"

"Yeah, or at least a floating platform."  He went with her.  The boys had moved all the filing cabinets onto the walls above their heads.  The shelves with parts were along one wall.  They had imported a few new tables and a few of the monitorless workstations.  "This is cute.  How do I file?"  Andrew helped her onto the platform and she squeaked. "Andrew, handle bars," she ordered.  "This thing has a severe wobble."

"Okay," he said, making it come back down.  "The up and down keys and left and right are the arrows from the DDR system we broke apart."

She tested it and nodded.  "Still wobbles, dear."  She got off and let Tony try it.  "Is it the heels?" she joked.

"No, it's where your stance is too narrow," Tony said.  "But you're right, it needs a safety rail, boys."  He looked around, nodding.  "Nice designs."  They smiled.  He patted them both on the back.  "Does Roomba like it?"

"He's got a whole recharging doghouse now," Jonathan said with a point at it.

Tony looked.  "That's an excellent job.  Where is he?"

"With Callia and Pepper guarding them," Andrew said quickly, smiling at Dawn.  "Can we ruin the snotty reporter bitch?"

"No, there's freedom of the press and thought, Andrew.  Unfortunately."  She patted him and gave them both hugs.  "Nice work, guys, but remember girls aren't as heavy as you two and we do wear heels sometimes."  They nodded and got to work on the handrail.  "Need anything from the caf?"

"Not yet," Jonathan said with a grin.  "We got breakfast."

"Cool.  Boss?"

"Get me some more coffee?"

"Yup."  She went down there to get him something, finding the caf empty.  "Huh.  That's strange."  She got Tony some coffee and moved to find a muffin for herself.  That's when someone attacked.  Dawn threw the coffee in his face, making him yelp behind his rental ninja costume mask.  She pulled a knife and attacked back, pinning him to the wall.  She touched her earpiece.  "Security, this is Summers.  Come get the faux ninja please?  He's stopping me from getting the boss coffee."  She hung up and took off his mask.  "Who the fuck are you?" she asked, staring at him.

"You will be taught proper womanly ways," he sneered.

Guards and Tony walked in.  "No she won't.  Pepper already taught her that."  He slugged the guy.  "Now you can have the idiot."  Dawn walked off making sure she didn't get anything on her.  She handed him a cup of coffee and took her muffin and tea back up to her desk.  "Dawn?" he called, following.  "How many of these have there been?"

"He's the sixth," one guard called.  "We stopped four at the door trying to get in, Mr. Stark, and the other one tried in the car parking lot.  He got maced by the scientist he mistook for her."  Tony groaned and shook his head.  It let Dawn escape into the elevator.  "Dawn needs to work from a virtual office somewhere safe," he told his partner.

"She couldn't make coffee then."

"Good point."  They hauled the guy to their interrogation room while the PD got called.  "That really is a cheesy rental ninja costume," he decided.


Steve sat down across from Natasha and Clint at lunchtime back at HQ.  "Is Dawn all right?"

"The wannabe rapist was caught," Clint said.  "Before I could pound his head in."

"Or before I could," Natasha agreed.  She sipped her shake.  For some reason she wanted a milkshake today.  It must be bleedover from Dawn.  "She's fine otherwise.  The second reporter was much more succinct and had better questions.  Including about the created thing," she admitted.  "Which did upset her."

"She had a bad dream last night that she ended up in jail for attacking the judge and minister for declaring her not a human," Clint said.  "It took nearly an hour to calm her down."

"I guess she'd have to worry about that."  He looked around then at them.  "Is she okay otherwise?"

"She's fine.  A bit pissed off at the people in Georgia but fine," Natasha said.  She finished her shake and dug into her salad.  Even if she wanted fries.

Clint looked at her.  "You're mirroring Dawn's food cravings?"

Steve blinked.  "Why is she having a food craving?  Is she...."  He waved a hand.

They shook their heads quickly.  "It's a girl PMS thing, Cap," Xander said as he appeared.  He handed Natasha fries.  "I dropped some off on her too."  He tossed Clint the candybar he'd been wanting all day.  "Between that and stress nibbles, Dawn's going to need to work off a few extra calories tonight."

"I'm sure they can help her with that," Steve quipped, getting a grin and a nod back from Clint.  "Anything we should know?"

"The stupid first reporter is from that church in North Carolina that agrees with the one in Georgia but he quit calling her to be forced into slavery or bred to," Xander said.

"Good to know," Natasha said.  She nibbled the fries and her salad.  "Thank you, Xander."


Clint looked at him.   "Dawn's still worried about something."

Xander nodded.  "She's not right.  They work fine."

Clint smiled.  "I'll let her know."

"Thanks.  Anything else today?"

"Coulson looks like a stuffed sausage," Dawn said as she appeared.  "He needs to visit his tailor."

"We did some training time on Asgard."  He grinned.

She kissed him on the cheek.  "Good boy."  He swatted her.  She swatted him back.  "Fries."  She took some of Natasha's.

"Eat all yours?" Clint teased.

"Tony took half."  She nibbled, looking at them.  "So now what?  The preliminary hearing is next week.  It's probably going to go to an appeal no matter which way it goes.  The judge has already rejected their motion to dismiss based on freedom of speech versus making threats."  She nibbled another fry.  Natasha sent over a soothing thought so Dawn smiled at her.  "Thanks."

"Welcome."  She gave her a few more fries then put the rest on her salad.  Dawn smiled.  "Where were the cafeteria workers?"

"In the walk-in fridge.  Idiot locked them in there.  Dr. Pigalli took a swing at him herself for that bit of extra work."  Xander snickered, shaking his head.  Phil walked in.  Dawn ran a hand over his arm.  "You need a tailor."

"I know.  I need a lot of new suits."  He sat down, taking off his jacket.

Clint stared.  "A lot of sparring?"

"I asked to learn sword and axe work," he admitted quietly, looking around.

Xander smiled.  "I took him to the same people that trained me and he did an excellent job.  They actually smiled, which they never did at me."

"Aww," Dawn said with a smile.  "I'm giving you a gift certificate for clothes for your birthday."

Phil smiled.  "That will save me a lot since everything's too small."  She patted him on the hand.  "You're not eating?"

"I had a muffin and some fries."

He stared at her.  "The judge isn't going to dismiss it.  He'll probably grant the restraining order too."

"He already did.  Yesterday's sermon was about how he was going to take me, breed me, then tie me up in a wooden shed once I'd given two good kids so he could burn me to death."  Natasha and Clint both flinched.  She nodded.  "Tony saw it first."  Xander was growling so she patted him on the hand.  "Down, boy.  My job."

Clint stared at her.  "No way in hell you're doing it on your own."

She sighed.  "Thanks, but I think I can handle it."

"So?" he asked.  "Dawn Summers-Barton-Romanoff does not get to go into scary shit alone," he said quietly, staring at her.

"You three have to figure out that last name thing," Xander quipped.  Dawn swatted him.  He looked at Phil.

"So do we," he agreed.  "I'm keeping mine for professional reasons."

"We can hyphenate."


"I can change mine to yours."

"Your father would shit bricks," Dawn quipped.  "We can use a new sitting area on the roof so can you do that?  That way we don't have to buy bricks?"

Xander cackled, reaching across Phil to hug her.  "I love you like you're naturally my sister, Dawn."  He let her go.  "Are you going to go hyphenated?"

"There's not many places I can use it but maybe."  She looked at them, getting smirks back.  "We'll talk about that later."  They nodded they could do that.  She settled in to nibble from Phil's plate, getting swatted.  "Sorry."

"Get real food," he ordered with a point.

She got up to get her own lunch, smiling at them.  "I had a disgusting reporter who said I'm not a real girl and who thought the church in Georgia was nice and decent."  They growled. "Yeah, seriously.  Phil said I had to stop stealing off his plate."  They got her a takeout box of food, making her grin.  "Thanks, ladies.  Any fries?"  Some got piled on.  Dawn paid with a wink for that lunch lady then sat down to eat until she had to get back to work.

Steve made himself stay calm.  "Is there anything I can do to help with that church thing?"

Dawn looked at him.  "Don't hold me back when I beat their asses?"

He nodded.  "I'd never do that anyway, Dawn.  You might turn me into a mouse or something."

She smiled.  "Callia would love a second mouse."

"She has one.  It's named Cheddar.  She freed it from a lab last night because it was too skinny and told the scientist in there off for not taking good care of her pets."  She giggled and dug in.

"If it turns into a team thing instead of a personal vendetta, we'll call," Clint assured him, smiling some.  "Not that we need help."

"I'd suggest one of those ice arrows but I'm pretty sure they're the sort that wear long sleeves in the summer."

"You read Ancient Hebrew?" Phil asked.

"Yes, I do."  She smiled.  "I don't read it perfectly and I need a few words translated here and there, but I do read it fairly well.  Ancient Greek too."

He nodded.  "Can you speak them?"

"Yes.  The event thingy said only modern languages so no Latin or anything ancient."

"Pity."  He dug in again.

Fury walked in, staring at Dawn.  "Slumming?" he taunted.

"Ours got taken hostage by a wannabe ninja guy from that church."  She ate a bite.

Nick Fury paused and stared at her.  "Excuse me?"

She nodded.  "He popped out when I was getting Tony coffee.  His special blend was enough for the guy to shriek at.  I'd hate to see what he'd scream at Rodney's favorite blend."

Phil looked at Xander.  "She diverts attention the same way you do."

"I taught her well in the ways of the Force," Xander quipped back.

Dawn smirked at him.  "I fell off the path, Master.  I'm told I'm actually a dick teasing Sith most of the time.  Sorry."

"Only sometimes.  I'm pretty sure even Jedis get urges to cuddle up to more than the Force or there wouldn't be baby Jedi."  Clint moaned, shaking his head.  "Sorry, Barton."

"Please quit ruining a good childhood memory for me?"

"Sure.  I can change movie references."  He looked at her.  "Fozzy you are not, but fuzzy you can be.  Maybe Animal?"

She laughed.  "I like Animal, he's sweet underneath the wild exterior but I still do not understand that new shrimp one.  Thankfully I'll never be the diva that Miss Piggy is."

"Me either," Phil said.  "And ditto on the childhood memory, people?  Please?"

Nick Fury walked off shaking his head to talk to Agent Hill.  Before his head exploded.  The image of Dawn in Slave Leia gear would not leave his head.  He got off the elevator and Joyce stared at him.  "Dawn and Xander?"  He nodded.  She picked up a binder and smacked him hard enough on the head to make him yelp.  She smiled.  "Welcome."

"Thanks.  Now I don't see her in that costume."

"Star Wars, Star Trek, or Muppets?" Joyce asked.

"Star Wars," he muttered, rubbing his head.  "Someone called her a dick teasing Sith."

"It's her flaw," Joyce sighed, sitting down again.  "I'm sure others like it though."

Maria nodded, rubbing her head.  "Joyce, can you hit me too?"

"The outfit on the Jabba ship?" one of the admin techs quipped.  He got hit by Joyce's slingshot and she did smack Maria on the head too.

"Thank you," Maria said.  Dawn walked off the elevator and handed her two books then left.  She looked.  "Who's Alexian Harris?"

"Xander in another realm.  He's a fantasy writer.  Are they both his?  He's supposed to have a great DCIS series and a half elf series where he teases dwarves into giving him a blow job."

"Only one.  The other's on angels?"  She frowned.  "Why is she reading that?"

"It's said to be a good read," Joyce admitted.  "It's on the best seller list, Maria."

"Huh."  She took it to lunch with her.  Dawn was gone with her lunch.  Maria walked over to the shared table.  "Did she go to a goth shop for that skirt?"

"They really knew her there," Clint said dryly.  "They have action figures out for the movies."

She winced.  "Is mine good?"

"Yours looks just like the actress."

"That's nice."  She got something with chocolate for lunch and went back to her desk to cure her headache.  She and Tara could read later.

Phil looked at them.  "How did the reporter this morning know that she went to a shop with succuba?"

"I haven't heard her talk about it in public," Natasha said, looking at Clint, who shook his head.  They asked and she said she had told Pepper.  "She told Pepper in the car."

"She's changing car services then," Clint decided, putting his fork down.  Natasha stole the last of his steak salad then got up to walk off.  He shook his head.  "Sure.  I'm getting fat."  He got up to follow once his dishes were properly stored.

Phil and Xander shared a look, Phil shrugging.  "They'll handle it."  Xander nodded.  He finished up and went up to his office.  Xander followed.  He smiled.  "Needed something?"

"You have ten minutes left."

"Yes, but I have a ton of work."  Xander pouted.  "You can be my assistant like Dawn used to."

A few hours later, Nick Fury looked at some of the forms that had come from Coulson.  "Whose handwriting is that?" he muttered.

Joyce came in and looked then smiled.  "Xander's.  He was filling in for Dawn's old spot of helping him."  She went back to her desk.


"They're probably talking about the trainees."

"Probably," he said, hoping it was that and nothing in the forms had biological deposits on it.  Coulson wouldn't but Alexander seemed to want to claim him in public and who knew what warrior sorts considered appropriate claiming manners while in a building full of agents.  He wasn't going to ask Thor to find out.


Dawn walked into the penthouse suite, smiling at Pepper.  "Moved bedrest to the couch?"

"Steve carried me out here," she said with a smile.  She took the mail.  "All checked?"

"All scanned.  I didn't open them since a few are marked private.  I can if you want."

"I'm not that helpless.  I heard that interview."

"I was as nice as I could be."

"I know.  You were."  She opened a few of the private ones, blinking at them.  "Tony?" she yelled.  He came out of the bedroom.  She handed them over.  "They've switched to hating us too."

"The church or another dysfunctional group of morons that gather together for self-validation?" Dawn asked, taking one to look at.  "The church people.  How pleasant."  She handed it back.  She took the rest to open and glance at, handing the other threats and hate mail to Tony.  "You don't need the stress."  She kissed Pepper on the forehead.  "Need anything?"

"An arena booked so we can beat them to death on pay per view?" she offered, looking at Tony.

"Don't tempt me."  He read them over.  "Dawn, need your lawyer's number."  She found it in her phone and handed it over.  He hit send and walked off.  "This is Tony Stark...  No, new hate mail against the company as well for hiring her.  Please."  He got transferred.  "How would you like them sent?"  He closed his office door to read a few.  Pepper didn't need to hear those.  She had gotten some of the more mild ones thankfully.

Dawn shrugged.  "Not my doing, boss lady."

"I know.  Go home, be fabulous tomorrow.  It's all a real woman can do when things get trying."

"They asked about the succuba shop."

She considered it.  "Cabs aren't safe.  Have Happy drive you home?"

"How about I just blip home?"

"Good plan," she said with a smile.  She checked the clock then at her.  "You're done for the day anyway."

Dawn smirked, heading home to make dinner.  Clint was already doing it so she washed her hands to start on the dishes she had left last night.  "We good?" Clint asked.

"Yup, just fine."

"Death threats?"

"At Pepper."

"Huh," he said, texting Stark, who said he was handling it and they were going to be very sorry.  He put his phone up.  "Where's your phone?"

"In Tony's hand."  She took his to text Buffy then handed it back with a kiss.  "I'm sorry I gave you bad mental images at work."

He smirked evilly.  "Fury got one of you in the slave girl outfit."  She nudged him and shook her head, getting back to the dishes.  "Go change."

"I can do that after I do these."  He sighed but nodded, staring at her.  She took off the jacket and he leered.  The shirt was a bit ....showy on her.  "That's why I wore the jacket."  He took a kiss and she smiled.  "Sparring later?"

"Tomorrow?  Tonight I want to break my bad mental image streak and that takes nudity."

She leered.  "I can do that.  Natasha too?"

"She's around here somewhere."

"Cool."  She finished up and rinsed out the sink then went to change into something flirty she had gotten at that speciality store.  It was a silver lace long shirt that had half-sleeves and came to just below her butt.  It was totally see-through and was a bit tight.  A bit itchy too but she'd put up with it.  Natasha came up from her apartment, staring at Dawn.  She smiled.  "He said he wanted to remove some bad mental images."

"That certainly will replace them," Natasha agreed, moving over to kiss her.

Clint paused in his stirring to watch them.  "Yeah, that'll work those bad mental images out."  He came over to get his own kiss then went back to dinner.  "Nat, let her wear it through dinner."

"I can do that."  It wasn't like it was an impediment to anything she wanted to do anyway.  Someone knocked so she reached back to open the door.  "Yes, Tara?"

Tara blushed when she saw Dawn.  "Alexian Harris?"

"Xander in that realm."

"Oh."  She nodded and left, still blushing.  She had that outfit in deep purple.  Maria liked to growl at it.  Maybe she'd get some growling time in later since Phil and Xander were home.  She smiled at the kids.  "Want to see Daddy later?"  They cheered and ran for the door, Melissa managing to open it before they could stop her.  They knew where Daddy lived.  They got off on the right floor and ran to the door, pounding on it.

Phil opened it, already shirtless.  "Hi, kids."  They ran in and pounced him for cuddles.  "Sure, we'll have cuddles."  Maria brought down dinner then left them alone.  "I think you're sleeping down here tonight."

Xander smiled at him.  "We can have a good dinner."  Phil grinned back.  The kids were more than happy to help them cook, remake the beds, and then do their nighttime rituals with them.   It meant Xander and Phil couldn't get loud but that happened when you were a parent.


Dawn showed up the next morning looking professional, calm, and sated.  Pepper smiled at her.  "You should be in bed or on the couch."

"I'm on the couch in here," she promised.  Dawn nodded, letting the Roomba dog in to sniff around for them.  Jonathan patted Pepper's stomach then left them alone.  "Thank you, Jonathan.  That's very sweet of you."

"We heard you and Dawn got death threats from psychotic people.  Just making sure," he quipped.

Dawn grinned at him.  "They're from that church."

He shuddered.  "We should send one of those fire and brimstone ministers down on them for it."  He went back to his lab.  "They're all clear," he told Andrew, who smiled.  "The threats came from that church."

"No pulling out battle gear, tech to hurt them, or anything else to retaliate, boys," Phil's voice called.  "I will not be happy if you do."

"Yes, sir," they sighed.  They went on their social media pages instead to ruin that church the easy way.  They had major geeks on their pages.  Major geeks wouldn't want the pretty one that helped take care of them threatened either.  Especially since Dawn had spoiled some of them during the Expo.  They appreciated Dawn and were campaigning for spoiling assistant sorts in their companies.


Tony got an email from a rival/old friend and blinked at it, cackling.  "Dawn?" he called, letting JARVIS summon her.  She walked in a few minutes later.  "People are pushing to get one of you for themselves."

"Can they order one?" she quipped.  He swatted her.  "They're still in business."

"Hell no they can't order one.  There should only be one of you unless you're identical twins."  She smirked at him.  He showed her the email, making her happy.  She sent over suggestions of how she handled it and then let him talk to his buddy.  It was a good ego boost.  She knew others casually wanted her, they had offered her nice packages to come work for them.  But this went beyond being a good admin.  She went up to tell Pepper, who grinned and sniffled.  Dawn hugged her and they got back to work.

Tony walked in a few minutes later.  "He'll tell one of his younger admin so they can work on it."  He nudged her again.  "That's something to be proud of."

"I am.  I'm super proud."  She smiled.  "Thanks for sharing, boss."

"Welcome."  He went into the office to show Pepper the updated email from his buddy.  She knew him, they had worked together on a project years ago.  Pepper got back to sniffling so he got to cuddle, which was nice.  Even if the baby did kick him for it.


Callia got sneaky and had Happy bring her to SHIELD HQ instead of being sent over this time.  How had she talked him into it?  She had taken her daddy's phone and sent a text message from it.  She wanted to talk to her stepmommy Steve.  She got there and got out, heading in the front door.  The security team tried to stop her.  "My daddy's in here," she said.

"None of the kids of agents are your age, miss," one of the guards said.

She looked him then grinned.  "I'm Callia Stark."  He backed up and nodded.  "Daddy said to come meet him here in the gyms.  That way we could watch Uncle Steve spar."

The guard called up to Joyce, who said that Steve was sparring and she hadn't personally seen Tony but Steve would watch out for her while she called.  So they let her up there and pushed the right button for her.

"Thank you."  She rode up and found the gym easily enough.  It was full of loud, grunting people.  She snuck in and over to where her uncles were, sneaking behind Natasha.

"You are not that good yet.  We will work on it with you," Natasha said quietly, looking down at her.

"I wanted to see Uncle Steve and talk to him."

"Your father is going to throw fits."

"He sent for me.  He sent a text message."  She grinned.

Natasha cleared her throat.  "You lie worse than Dawn used to.  He's over there."  She pointed.  She watched the kid sneak past the majority of the agents.  Only six spotted her.  There were over twenty agents in the gym sparring and working out.  That was a bad, low number.  She sent a thought at Clint about doing some surveillance work.  He said most of them clearly failed it since he had spotted her and he was mid-spar with Steve.  She sighed and wrote a memo to Fury.  He could assign some basic work.

Clint ducked a hit by Steve then shoved him back at Callia, who pounced.  He jumped but stared at her, earning a grin.  "What are you doing here?  We could've hurt you."

"I waited until Uncle Clint noticed me.  I wanted to talk to you about serious stuff."

He nodded.  "We'll finish later," he told Clint, picking her up to walk her off.

"Uncle Steve, you're all sweaty."

"That's what happens if you're using the gym the right way," he said dryly.  He took her to the caf to talk to her, sending Tony a picture text, which he had just learned how to do today.

What he got back looked like an unintelligible string of growling and the word grounded at the end.  He showed her.  She shrugged.  "I'll suffer for a few days for this."  She looked around to make sure they were private then looked at him again.  "Why can't you and Daddy do what Auntie Dawn is so I get two stepmommies and a daddy?" she asked quietly.  "I'd like that."

He sighed.  "We offered, Callia, and she said she couldn't."

"Oh."  She pouted.  "She doesn't love us?"

"She does but some people don't want to share.  Actually, most people don't like to share."

"I share with the twins and my baby brother."

"It's not the same," he said with a sigh at the end.  "Let me shower and change, I'll take you back to the tower."

"Happy drove me."

"We can make sure he's still here."  He took her to his room so he could shower quickly and put on real clothes then took her downstairs.  He wouldn't mention the security breach if no one else did.  Happy was waiting.  "Thanks," he said.

"The text said her father was here."

"Slight mistake," he said dryly.  Happy stared at Callia.

"I needed to talk to him."

"Then next time, summon him like the princess you are."  He got in to drive since Steve could handle the booster seat for her.  He and Tony needed to talk to figure out how to handle this little imp of his.

Steve and she talked on the way over, quietly and him making sure she knew why she was in trouble for it.  He wasn't sure if Callia had no sense because she was a genius or because she was five.  Sometimes Tony showed the same lack of common sense so he really wasn't sure.  They got to the Tower and he walked her inside, letting Happy go hide.  Tony was waiting at the elevator on the penthouse level, staring at his daughter.

"I wanted to talk to him."

"Then call!" he complained back.

"Aunties Pepper and Dawn said all good girl talks had to be done in person, not over video conference where everyone could hear."   She started to stomp back onto the elevator but Steve picked her up.  "I was going to talk to Auntie Pepper."

"First you're going to talk to us," Steve said.  "That way you can't upset Aunt Pepper."  He handed her over.  "She sent a text in your name to Happy."

"That's what Joyce said she told the guards."  He looked at his daughter.  "So grounded."  She shrugged.  He walked her to the couch and put her down so they could sit on each side of her and talk to her.  It looked like one of those semi-grown up talks.  "Okay, what's wrong?"

"Why can't we do what Auntie Dawn is and I get both of them?  I could use two stepmommies."

Tony blinked.  "That was Pepper's decision.  She's not against us being friends or helping each other out but she doesn't want to date more than one person at a time.  Her mom told her it was wrong."

"Does she get mad at Auntie Dawn then?"

"No.  She knows that works best for Dawn," Tony said.  "Every now and then we get a bit frustrated with Barton and Romanoff but not Dawn."  Callia looked at her hands.  Tony tipped her face up.  "I would love nothing more than to do that.  Okay?"  She nodded.  "But Aunt Pepper only wants one boyfriend at a time."

"You can't marry them both so one would be a husband," she said.

"Yeah, maybe but not really.  Anything like that takes a lot of work to make sure everyone's equal in the relationship.  It takes a lot more work than a regular one does.  It takes rules and working things out and doing things together, which I've never excelled at any of those."

"So, if I wanted both of them, I'd have to get them together and you'd visit?" she asked, looking confused.

"Don't even think about it," Tony said, smirking at her.  "I'm a possessive father.  They're both mine.  Someone's just taking some time to realize it."  Steve gave him a pointed look.  He grinned back.

Steve cleared his throat.  "I know sometimes you need a girl talk sort of thing that we can't give you because we're not girls, Callia.  Pepper will still be there for that, even if she's not sleeping up here with us."

She pouted.  "But I like seeing you both over cheerios.  Daddy's usually gone by then."  Tony flinched.  "Or in the gym."  She pouted at him.  "Can we work things out and make the rules?"

"We'll talk to her later," Tony said.  "You may not because it could upset her.  We'll talk about it like adults and then come talk to you."

"Yes, Daddy."  She got up.  "I'm going to hug Auntie Dawn."  She went down to talk to her.  She had no idea that they had rules like she did.  Well, besides that Dawn had to be pretty most of the time and Uncle Clint or Auntie Natasha would help her take care of bad guys that wanted to beat her up.  Like she had when she was little, she climbed up into her aunt's lap between her arms and watched her type.  "Why are you typing in that language?"

"I'm writing a reply to someone in Russia who wanted to have your dad help him on a project."

Callia looked up at her.  "Lies feel tingly in my head," she said bluntly.

Dawn kissed her on the forehead.  "He wanted me to work for him and I'm being insulting."

"Oh, okay then.  Bad guy?"


"Huh."  She snuggled in and waited.  Her aunt finished the letter, proofread it, printed it, and got it ready for mailing then switched back to her usual English settings.  "Why do things have to be complicated when you grow up?" she asked quietly.

Dawn gave her a hug.  "Because the more you know, the more you add to things until they're no longer simple.  If you only know that the sky is blue, but not why, then you don't wonder why the clouds change or sometimes it rains or snows.  When you know why there's clouds and why they change then you can worry about how often they change and how much rain or snow you get."

"Is it like that with people things too?"

"Even more so with people things.  Because as you grow up, things get more complex on their own, even if you don't realize it.  That's why, at your age, princesses live happily ever after with whatever prince picks them to save.  At my age, princesses are picky about which prince saves them and how they're saved so it doesn't look bad or make them look weak."

"Oh."  She nodded, snuggling in better.  "So love changes all on its own?"

"Yup.  When you're your age, love is cuddles and hugs and kisses from Daddy or one of the uncles or aunts.  When you're my age, there's other things involved and emotions and you learn that you love your parents differently than you do your boyfriend or girlfriend."  Which reminded her, she needed an anniversary present this weekend for her mother.

"So you love Uncle Clint and Auntie Natasha differently than you do your mommy?"

"Yup.  Because cuddling with them is different than cuddling with you or Mom."

"Oh.  I realize that cuddling with you isn't the same as cuddling with Daddy or Uncle Steve or Auntie Pepper."  She looked up.  "Like that?"

"That's a first step but as you get older, there's other things beyond cuddling that get added into that.  It makes it change and grow.  You know how butterflies start out as wormy things, right?" 

She nodded.  "Caterpillars."

"Exactly.  Then they cocoon, which lets them grow and change into butterflies, until they're ready to be released and become beautiful things that people stare at."  She smiled and nodded at her aunt.  "Well, being a kid is like being the caterpillar.   Things are pretty simple for most kids.  You don't have to change until you hit puberty or become a teenager.  Then things start to change and you change, until you emerge from the other side as a butterfly."

"Oh, wow.  Will I have wings?"

"I didn't mean literally."

"I know I don't eat leaves.  They're yucky and sometimes poisonous."  Dawn nodded.  "So right now I have caterpillar love for everyone and it's pretty much the same, but when I go into my cocoon and become a teenager, things change?"

"Yes they do.  That's the whole purpose of puberty.  To make simple things change into something more complicated and sometimes messy."

"Then I come out of being a teenager as a butterfly that can fly off to meet other butterflies and have caterpillar babies?"

"Yup, exactly."

"Huh."  She shifted back so she was resting against her chest.  "Can I not do that?"

"Nope, sorry.  There's nothing that I know of that can keep you from growing up.  Though, read _Peter Pan_ tonight, okay?"

She nodded, snuggling in again.  "Things are mostly good right now.  I'd like them to stay that way."

"We all wish things would stay where they were good.  Every adult, every kid.  But if you didn't have some of the bad things then you wouldn't understand how good the good things are," she said quietly, kissing her on top of the head.

"That might suck."

"Yeah, it might."

"Are Jonathan and Andrew out of their cocoons?"

"They took a bit longer but they're butterflies now, just drying their wings off."

"Okay."  She shifted some, getting comfy again.  "You can type around me."

"I am that talented, yes."  She smiled and got back to work.

In the office, Pepper was sniffling.  Tony had told her why Callia had snuck off to find Steve.  She had heard Dawn and Callia talking.  She wanted to be a caterpillar again too.  It was so much easier when she was younger.  When they were all younger.  When he was Dawn's age it was all flirting and flightiness during college, dating and escapes for the weekend.  Even after she had started to work for Tony it was still fun and easy.  Then he had gotten sucked into Tony's vortex of magnetism and now she was trying to tread water because if she didn't, she'd drown and be lost.  Maybe not literally but she wouldn't be the same Pepper anymore. 

Steve handled that so much better.  He could do more than dip his toes into the pool over the edge of the boat they both took refuge in.  She sighed.  She was getting depressed again.  When she was twenty, she would've jumped in and drowned for a bit.  Dawn did when it was offered.  They kept covering the pool between them so none of them drowned.  She didn't have that luxury.  She was in a drown or don't swim bottomless lake.  She went up to talk to Tony.  Then she decided she wanted ice cream.  This was an ice cream think.  Frozen yogurt wouldn't cut it this time and she needed calcium anyway.

Dawn smiled at her back.  "Caf?"

"Ice cream."

"Look in the blue freezer in the back of the pantry.  I stocked you some." 

Pepper smiled and went to look.  Sure enough, she found her favorite flavor of Ben and Jerry's.  Dawn was so great to her.  She went back to the office, closing herself in and thinking hard about what she wanted.  She wanted them in her life.  She wanted to drown but keep being Pepper.  That wasn't really possible with Tony.  With anyone else but she'd probably run them over because she was used to dealing with such a strong personality.  She felt like she did it to Steve sometimes too.  She ate some more and considered things.

Dawn opened the door, one hand on her earpiece.  "Spotted him.  Thank you.  Pepper, move.  Now."  She got up and headed out with Dawn, who closed the door in time to have it shot.  "Go to the decontam floor.  Callia's heading there with Stark."  She nodded, taking her ice cream that way.  Dawn and security made sure all the scientists were herded somewhere safer. 

She walked into the labs and hit the emergency switch.  "Someone just shot at Pepper and one of the labs, people.  Hit the caf, now."  They hurried off after locking down their labs.  Dawn did a lab check, getting a few that were lost in their own worlds and music.  Then she followed.  She hated being shot so she had stayed carefully away from all the windows.


Clint looked up from his recert for CPR, grimacing.  "Problems?" the instructor said.

"Slight ones but not here."  He went back to it.  He probably passed it in the fastest time ever and headed out.

Fury stopped him in the range.  "It was against one of the geeks, they wanted the unholy duo.  They've arrested the sniper."

"No they haven't.  Dawn just beat someone nearly to death, sir."  Fury groaned.  He called.  "Stark, who just attacked Dawn?  She's too focused to tell me."

"Some idiot who thinks he's protecting the evil geeks from her evilness.  Come get him.  I've got Pepper and the baby with me and I can't leave them."

"Coming."  He hung up and looked at his boss, who got out of his way.  He grabbed what he needed and hit the switch to take him to Stark.  The building was mostly silent, though an alarm was going off because the flashing light was going off.  He put in his earpiece, switching to the Stark channel.  "It's Barton.  The alarm Banner?"  He nodded.  "I've got a sedative one."  He went to find him first.  He was on a rampage but they had erected shields to keep him in an area he couldn't fully destroy.  Someone had darted him with something. 

He shot the arrow at him, letting it hit him on the arm.  Banner yelled and threw it once he had pulled it out.  He glared at Clint and stomped toward him.  Then he dropped over.  Clint walked over to check, he was unconscious but alive.  He put on the specially made handcuff ties then went to help Dawn.  He came off the elevator and fired off two quick arrows then one up the other way in the hallway at the one trying to take on Natasha.  He had wondered where she was hiding, he hadn't seen her since Callia had come home.  "Dawn?"

"Good," she panted then stabbed that one and moved to duck the next blow and take him out.  "Could use a bit more help though.  This is number eight or so."  Clint took down a few more and shot one because he wasn't at a bow-friendly angle.  Dawn caught her breath, going to help Natasha, but she killed that one and it was better.  Dawn looked her over.  "You okay?"

"I'll heal.  You have cuts."

"I'm fine.  I'll heal 'em soon.  Stepdad?" she asked Clint.

"Sedative arrow.  Special flexsteel cuffs to give him a few minutes worth of work."

"Okay."  She called in.  "It's Summers, Barton, and Romanoff.  We're in the infirmary level.  It may be clear.  Checking now."  They moved off to check.  Then Natasha went down to the caf to calm and check the scientists.  They were used to seeing her around the office.  Dawn would head down later.

Clint paused her, staring at her.  "Why did she only have one?"

"He had the bomb."

"Oh, charming."  He took a kiss, staring at her.  "You seriously all right?"

"I'm fine."  He smiled and let her go.  She grinned.  "They're on the decontam level."

"Got it."  He went to check on the family.  Sealed off.  Special access key with them.  That helped.  He made it there another way and walked into the unit.  "We good, people?"

"So far," Tony agreed.  "Pepper's a bit stressed.  Need Steve?"

"We have it."  He left, telling the infirmary about Pepper.  He didn't want to see her deliver early.  Most preemies had problems.  Callia had more than her share if he had heard right.  He cleared the lab floors again, shooting a few that were trying to get into labs.  He hit his earpiece.  "Security, got three on the lab floors.  All with regular arrows."  He went back to clearing it.  They had to come up and unseal one to get him out of there.  He was fighting the new robo guard dog.  Which Clint found amusing as hell since the first one had bitten Dawn.  This time the dog backed away from her looking scared.  She patted it and tossed them at Clint, seeing what he was doing.  "Robotics?" Clint guessed.

"More than."  She bundled things up and had that scientist released.  They got escorted up.  "This was on the table.  The robo mutt worked very well."  He nodded, looking things over, finding what was missing.  Someone had gotten away.  They made note and let him handle his dog.  Dawn checked the backup security system she had laid on the building, finding them hiding.  "You're not that smart, buddy."  She zapped them and made them scream, which got picked up on the sensors.  Guards ran off with Clint to get them while she cleaned up.  She went down to the caf, looking around. 

"It looks as though they were going for robotics and machine information," she announced.  Everyone shut up and stared at her.  "We're fairly certain we know which labs they got into.  Everyone check your labs when you're allowed back up there and let us know immediately if something's missing.  And no, I don't mean staplers," she told one guy who was about to crack the stress relieving joke.  "They were in the crawl spaces too."  They nodded and security did a recheck then let them back to their labs.  

"We're going to keep the quarantine/break-in seals active until we're sure we got them all," she told them.  "So try to stay in your labs for now please.  Just in case we missed one."  She followed them up, making sure everyone could get into their labs.  Some people hadn't remembered their passes or their security codes to get in.  She was back on the main floor of the lab, heading for labs 7, 8, and 9 when she was grabbed from behind.  She started to fight back but the needle jab in her throat made her pause.  "I'm not giving you anything."

"You'll get me into two labs or what's in this needle will kill you," the female said in her ear.

Dawn snorted.  "I can do a pretty mean healing spell, lady."  She winced as something firelike was shot into her neck.  "I'm not getting you into anything.  You want it, break in."

Downstairs, Clint and Natasha paused, winced, then took off running.  Natasha was calling for medical support.  They knew what that was.  It was acid being shot into Dawn's neck.  Dawn would start having seizures soon if not treated.

Dawn saw the elevator ding on their floor and 'ported just out of the way.  The woman shrieked and she kicked her back toward the elevator.  Natasha caught her and took her down.  Dawn was holding her throat.  Clint came off the next one and sat her down to look at it.  "What was it?"

Natasha sniffed.  "A very light acid."  The medical team showed up to take the needle and Dawn down to the infirmary.  "What did you still need into?" she asked.  The woman spat something at her.  Natasha hit her.  "Now, what did you need into?"  She looked and got up, taking the idiot with her to lab 7.  "Boys, I need some HCL in a needle."

Andrew looked at her.  "That's dangerous but it's in the blue box on the wall beside the doorway.  It's the anti-theft system."

Natasha opened it and pulled out the needles she wanted, smiling at them.  "Very nice job, boys."  She walked the idiot off to talk to her in private.  Her screams might be heard all over the lab but it would mean no one else would try this stupidity again.

Clint looked up as Tony walked into the infirmary.  "It was a light acid, didn't do much damage.  Dawn's worked a bit of healing and the rest will have to heal on its own for now."

"She good?"

"She'll be fine.  Her neck is a huge mess."  He leaned on the bed where Dawn would be back in a minute.  "They're scanning her to make sure it was just acid."

"We can put in a neutralizer."

"We did," Dr. Pigalli called.  "It's soaked it up.  Now we need to get it out of there."

"I can handle a scar," Dawn noted.  "Even if I do hide it."  They nodded and got her into the mini surgical suite to do that.  "No sedatives, people.  Let me do it on my own."  They nodded, letting her go into her mind to wrap herself around her links to Clint and Natasha.  Clint stiffened slightly but held her for now.  Natasha let Dawn see how she was paying the bitch back for that injury.

The doctors got into her neck wound to clean it out.  It wasn't pretty but it would heal mostly fine with a very minimal scar they hoped.

Stark watched over Clint for now.  He was in no shape to do it on his own while he was guarding Dawn that way.


Dawn's lawyer presented the judge with some paperwork that had been sent down from SHIELD and Stark.  "Sir, my client will not be at the preliminary hearing due to an injury that the other party has helped cause."

The judge looked them over.  "So they paid this group that wanted to break in anyway to pick up your client as well, thereby funding this illegal action," he said, looking at the lawyer, who nodded.  "Has the other side seen this?"

"No, not yet.  I'll leave that up to you.  I know that my client is in their infirmary due to acid being shot into her neck."  He handed over that information.  "She resisted when someone captured her to get them into the sealed labs."

"I see."  He considered all the information.  "I need to inform his attorney."

"As you see fit, sir."  He sat down while he called him in.  Their office was only up the street, most of them were in this area.  That lawyer came in and the judge handed over the information.

"What's this?"

"What your clients paid for earlier," the judge said.  "They traced the payments back."

He read it over, going pale.  "I have no idea about any of this, Your Honor."  He looked up.  "They did not include me in any discussion of this corporate espionage plot."

"Good," the judge agreed.  He looked at the first lawyer.  "Your client is dismissed from appearing."

"Thank you, sir.  Should I keep sending you batches of the sermons that have the threats?"

"Please do."  He looked at the other one.  "As they did precipitate an illegal act of such magnitude and seriousness, are you withdrawing?"

"I need to think about it, sir.  Possibly beat my clients but I'll let you know by tomorrow."  He let the clerk copy it then took it to the church to meet with the morons.

The judge looked at the pictures.  "It's a shame.  She was a pretty girl.  That scar's going to be pretty bad."  He made notes in the case files.  This was seriously getting out of hand.


Callia looked at Pepper that night.  "What happens if someone hurts Daddy?" she asked quietly.

"If your daddy's too hurt, you come to me.  If we're both hurt you go to Dawn."

"If she's too hurt?"

"Your grandmother or Clint and Natasha, then Tara."

She nodded.  "If everyone's hurt?"

She smiled.  "Then I'll come back as an angel to kick everyone's butt while Uncle Rhodey takes you in."  Callia smiled and hugged her.  "You need to talk, don't you?"

"I talked with Auntie.  You taught her how to have girl talks very well."

"I did, yeah.  So did your grandmother."  She cuddled her.  "I'm sorry you got so scared earlier."

"You didn't make the bad guys come.  I hope Uncle Xander hurts the ones who did though."

"That's normal, but no wishing."

"I won't."  She snuggled in and held her.  "Can you maybe move in for a few days to try it?" she whispered.

"Sweetheart," she sighed, hugging her.  "I can't.  It won't work well and we'd never be as happy as we are the way we're at right now.  I wish I could but I can't."

She looked up at her.  "I'd want you there even if it wasn't for the baby."

"I know, Callia.  I know.  Sometimes I'd want it to happen too."  She hugged her, rocking them both in the rocking recliner.  If Tony wasn't such a bastard, things might've worked themselves out but she wouldn't love him if he wasn't a bastard so there was no way to work things out and remain sane.  She and Tony worked best on a sometimes schedule instead of a full time one.  Even if it did upset her elder daughter.  Because Callia was so hers.


Clint let Dawn go back to her own body and relaxed, staring at the bandage around her throat.  Dawn woke up and blinked.  "Mirror?"

Clint flashed a picture over.  "It's a three-sided box shape," he said quietly.  "They had to remove some tissue that was damaged."

She nodded, keeping herself calm.  "If I have to, I can pay someone to inject my butt fat into it or whatever."  He nodded, resting his hand on hers.  She looked around.  "She still killing her?"

"Making a report.  Fury threatened to have her taken back in cuffs if she didn't come."  They shared a look and shot a thought at her, getting a tight one back.  "Hey, kill him for us," Clint said dryly.

Dawn concentrated and pulled up her phone, logging into her mother's deskcam.  It looked directly at the office desk area.  She zapped a lightening strike on it, making Fury yelp and move away from his now burning desk.  Natasha was cackling as she walked off.  The sprinklers were going.  "I'm in a bad mood," she said when Clint stared at her.  "I'll buy him a new damn desk."  Clint leaned up to kiss her, making her smile.  "Thank you."

"Welcome."  He looked over.  "Hey, Doc, home therapy?"

"No.  She's in here until tomorrow at the least, Barton."

"Sure.  Private room?"


"Doc," he complained.

She came out to look at him.  "No," she said slowly and clearly.  "Even though you want to check the rest of her over and hold her, I'm sorry.  We need her closer to monitor her."

"We have the new trial monitors," Dawn said.  "They went to the Expo, Doc.  I could use a cuddle," she said when the doctor stared at her.  "Really I could."

"I understand that.  If they were here and hooked up...."  Tony walked in with a set of them.  "Eavesdropping?" she asked sarcastically.

"Yup.  This is Pepper's favorite soap opera and mushy novel combined.  Fury said you're buying him a new desk and a new flask of really good whiskey that was in a drawer."

"If it was metal, it probably survived with some smoke damage," she said.

"It was and it did but still."

She snorted.  "Whatever."

Tony smiled, hooking up the monitors to Dawn.  The doctor approved so she got moved to a private room with a locking door.   When Natasha got there, the door got locked and they both cuddled her.  It made her feel better because this was closer than she had gotten to death in a very long time and it had freaked Dawn out a lot.

Tony looked at the doc, who shrugged.  "They're my favorite sappy love story too."

Tony smiled.  "Mine too."  He walked off calling Joyce.  "She's fine, Joyce."  She went off on a screaming rant.  "Let me find him.  He's probably sitting in a corner somewhere."  He hung up and went to find Banner, who was human and the cuffs had automatically inflated to keep him bound as he changed down.  "Hey."  He undid him.  "Sorry."

"I needed the calming down time.  What happened?"

"The idiot church hired some people who wanted to break into the robotics labs."

Banner glared at him.  "Are they dead?"

"Somewhat.  Dawn's in the infirmary."


"Not great but they're with her and behind a locked door.  Joyce just chewed me a new one about where you were."

"I'm on my way home," he said, getting up.  He found the outfit that someone had dropped for him while he had been unconscious and put it on, heading home.  He walked in and Joyce pounced, crying.  He got them to the couch and laid down to hold her for a while.  He was upset too.  Maybe he'd go work at SHIELD for a while to make sure nothing happened to her again.


Dawn woke up around two, blinking at the two staring people.  "Can't sleep?"

"You had nightmares," Clint said quietly.  "You kicked me and bit her."  She hugged them both.

"It happens after such things," Natasha said quietly.  "You're still worried."

"I want to see it."

"In the morning," Clint said.

"I need to see if I can heal it."

He made her look at him.  "Even if it's a huge, ugly scar that's permanently raised and red or blotchy, we won't care."  Dawn slumped.  "Really.  I love you, scars and all."

"As do I," Natasha said, giving her a squeeze.  "Though I'm sure it will fade to a regular scar, like a shaving one."

"I still need to see what sort of damage it did."

"We will in the morning."

"Do I have to have all the gauze?"  Clint pulled out a pocket knife to remove that part.  It left the bandage on the right side of her throat.  She floated a mirror over to look at it, wincing at how large it was.  "That's going to be hugely ugly."

Clint kissed her.  "Doesn't matter."

"It does to me."

He stared at her.  "It doesn't to us," he said firmly.  "Which is why it would matter to you."  She slumped again.  He kissed her again.  "It'll be fine and we'll do what we can to minimize it if you want."  He kissed just to the side of it.  "I'm happy you have it."  She pouted.  "If you didn't, we'd be burying you, Dawn.  That is a really old dirty trick that you used for nasty field assassinations."  She shuddered.  "So, scar's fine.  Scar means you're here with us and that's what matters."

"I guess.  I want to be here."

They smiled.  "Sleep," Natasha soothed, humming at her.

"S'no fair that you have a nice mental singing voice too and I suck."

"It happens."  They soothed her into sleep and looked at each other.  They'd help her in the morning when she saw it for the first time.  "It could have been much worse," she agreed quietly.

He nodded.  "I've seen ones where they had to remove a limb that got hit."  He wrapped himself around them again.  Natasha did the same and it was better.


In the morning, the nurse woke them up by pounding on the door before unlocking it and bringing in breakfast.  "Food."  Clint looked at her.  "Yes, you have to eat even if you normally don't.  Also, your boss has been calling here every thirty minutes for the last two hours wondering where you two are."

Natasha looked at the clock across from them then nodded.  "We slept in."

Clint shrugged.  "I have vacation time I haven't used in years."

Natasha smiled.  "I do as well."  She took the trays and put them on their laps.  Dawn was picking at her toast.  "Eat and then we'll look at your neck."  Dawn nodded, digging in listlessly.  "It is not as bad as you think.  Remember, it will heal."

Dawn looked at her.  "I hate scars."

"It doesn't matter to us," Clint said firmly.

"It does to me."

Clint looked at her.  "Nat and I have seen people who lost whole limbs to this.  Where yours is, we would've lost you.  We'll take some disfiguring scar over losing you any day."

"I know that and I agree, but..."  He kissed her.  "I don't want to be marked.  I won't feel like I'm *me* anymore."

"That's a normal thing when you've had a serious injury," the nurse assured them.  "It's like you're suddenly a bell ringer in Paris.  Even if it's a tiny thing.  Even if it's fixed.  That's why she's always healed things before you guys could really get a good look at them.  Burn victims and those who've went through heavy radiation or chemo have the same problem about not looking like they used to."  She smiled at Dawn.  "Though, we were fantastic and it will heal with a very thin, slightly noticeable scar instead of something huge."  Dawn sighed in relief.  "Now, eat.  Or else we can't look at it and put the anti-itch stuff on it."  She nodded, digging in a bit faster.  The nurse let them eat in peace.

Clint looked at her.  "You do?"

"Yeah.  If I had kept each and every single scar I've gotten since we moved to New York I'd look like that bell ringer."  She stuffed her mouth.

"You've only had six," Natasha said.

"Twelve," Clint said.

"Try closer to twenty-four, twenty-nine, something like that if we're counting minor cuts from fights.  The one with the spy from the UK, the first one, I got like seven.  The second I had the broken bones, the dislocated bones, the tiny hole from the taser spike that hit me, and a few cuts."  They stared at her.  She nodded.  "That whole week would be eleven, including the graze I got earlier in that first fight's day."  They groaned.  "I don't want to be a mass of scar tissues.  I definitely won't feel flirty ever again if I am.  Or sexy, and I doubt I'd let anyone touch me if I felt that hideous about myself."

Clint shut her up the old fashioned way, making her sigh.  "We wouldn't let you do that."

"It's not about us, it's about her self image," Natasha said, getting it.  She really did.  "It's why I have scars that I keep covered up with makeup whenever I dress up."

Clint stared at her.  "It's a girl thing?"

Dawn leaned over.  "If you had a scar like Roque's, what would you be like?" she asked.

"Probably a lot less flirty," he admitted, realizing it.  "Okay, so I get it.  I do.  I really do."  She smiled and kissed him quickly before going back to eating.  "Eat slower, we know you missed dinner.  You're going to choke."  She did but grimaced.  He gave her his extra bagel, earning a grin.  "Even if you had more, we wouldn't care about this one.  Because this one means that you got saved."

She swallowed, nodding.  "I get that.  But if it's ugly I'm having it fixed with plastic surgery."

"We can accept that," Natasha agreed, squeezing Clint's knee since it was next to her hand.  "But nothing else."

"Eww.  I don't need fake parts."

"Good."  She handed over half of her eggs, getting a grin back.  They had managed dinner.  Dawn had still been asleep. 

The doctor knocked and walked in.  "Good, you all ate."

"I'm horribly starved," Dawn quipped.  "I nearly ate them."

Doctor Pigalli smirked.  "No eating of your spouses in this infirmary, young lady, unless we're doing a fertility treatment."  She looked.  "I see you got the gauze off."

"I felt like I was suffocating."

"I can understand that."  She got Natasha out of the way since she was on the bandage's side, and moved to undo it.  She looked and spread some gel around it.  "Not as bad as it could be."  She found a mirror but Dawn was floating a larger one over.  "The scar will fade.  Right now it's inflamed.  It should heal down to a minor line."

Dawn stared at it.  "That big dip in my throat?"

"That can be filled in with a fat injection or something."  Dawn nodded.  "We can refer you for that."  She patted her on the knee.  "No trying anything healing yet.  Give it a day.  It's not going to be anywhere near scabbed over by then."  Dawn nodded, putting the mirror back.  The doctor rewrapped it and taped it down.  "Rest.  You can go home tonight if you rest today."  Dawn nodded, swallowing.  "They can stay with you.  I've already yelled at their boss twice about being a dickhead."  She patted Dawn on the foot.  "Be a good girl."  She left.

Dawn looked at them.  "It's not as bad as I was thinking it would be."  They cuddled her, knowing she needed it.


Tony walked into Fury's office, looking at the former desk then at the man who usually sat behind it.  He tossed over a copy of the medical report from yesterday.  Fury shuddered.  "Leave.  Them.  Alone."  He walked off.  "Coulson, your might-as-well-be little sister wants you to visit when she gets home tonight."

"I was planning on it anyway."  He looked at him.  "She better?"

"Calmer.  She'll work on the healing tomorrow with the doctors watching over her."

Phil nodded.  "I'll help if I can but I know nothing about healing spells."

"I have a healing syrup for cuts," Tara offered from her corner beside Joyce's desk.  She was helping her today.

"Doc said no, sorry, Tara," Tony said.  He shrugged slightly.  "She's going to probably need someone to help her by injecting something into her neck to cover up the divot of flesh they had to remove."

Phil shuddered.  "The acid?"

"Neutralized fairly quickly.  Didn't do much damage.  The scar's not big but you know how she is about them."  He nodded.  "So she's calmed down.  Doc slipped her some valium in her IV this morning before she looked at it."  Phil smiled.  "She'll be released after dinner."

"That's fine.  We can come visit.  Thank you."

"Welcome.  By the way, the people that wanted to do this are in seriously bad shape."  He smirked.  "They had DoD contracts."  He walked off snickering.

Phil nodded.  "Let us know if you find anything we should know about."

"I will."

He looked at Joyce, who was making plans to show up.  "You bring dinner and I'll bring the twins to hug then go home?"

She nodded.  "That would probably work best."  She and Bruce texted back and forth, and with the evil duo before they got into it.


Dawn came home to find people.  "Hi."  She blinked.  Her mother hugged her, getting cuddled back.  "Hi, Mom."

"Dawn."  She put her on the couch and tucked her in.  She got Clint and Natasha onto the couch too.  She tucked them in with Dawn.  She got them dinner while Xander and Phil hugged her.  Bruce fussed a bit.  The twins hugged and went home with Mommy Maria, which made Joyce sniffle that they called her that.  Tara got in her own hugs and promises of helping with the healing if she needed her to.  Then she left them alone.

Phil looked at her.  "I know nothing about healing spells or I would too."

"None of the ones I know would help this sort of injury," Xander admitted, giving her another hug.  "We'd miss you so you can't get dead.  At all."  He kissed her on the head.  "Be a good girl."  He and Phil went home.  He needed cuddles.  Losing Dawn was going to kill him.  Maybe both of them.

Joyce smiled and fussed some more until Bruce pulled her home to cuddle her.

Natasha looked at their tucked in states then at the food that was on the coffee table, which was just out of reach.  Dawn pulled it over magically so they didn't have to move.  "I have never been fussed over by anyone like her."

Dawn looked at her.  "Be thankful you've been mostly healthy.  I do a mean impersonation."

"You do," Clint agreed.  He fed her something and they got back to eating.  It was good and they could help Dawn through any nightmares later.  If they managed to make it off the couch.  Joyce tucked them in a bit too tightly.  But it meant more Dawn cuddles so they were okay with it.

Dawn looked at him.  "Mom always leaves the right bottom edge loose so you can get your feet free."  He hugged her and they settled in that way.  They could spend the night on the couch.  It was comfortable.  Dawn could sleep this way.


Dawn was at the infirmary the next morning for a bandage change when what looked like an imp in a business suit showed up.  She blinked at it.  "I know you're not a house elf."

"No, Miss Dawn.  I'm a herald for a law firm.  May we have a meeting later?"

"I'm at my desk all day.  I'm free all afternoon."

"You're off today," the doctor assured her.

"I have to work to pay for Fury's new desk since I lit his on fire."  She looked at the imp.  "I'm not doing anything strenuous later.  Call me and I'll set up a room so we can have a meeting."

The imp nodded, taking that down.  "The Masters say at three, here."

"Agreed.  Should I bring anyone like an attorney of my own?  What is this about anyway?"

"An inheritance."  He disappeared.

Dawn nodded.  "Okay.  I don't know too many people who'd use a demon law firm."  She grimaced but cleared it up.  She looked at her neck.  "Doc, how much work is going to be needed to heal that divot?"

"Not much.  You can deflect attention in public until they can fix it."  She nodded at that.  "I have a name for you."  She handed it over.  "He's an imperial jackass but he's a good doctor and he agreed to work on it."

"I can put up with jackasses.  I do here."  The doctor laughed and patted her.  She recovered it.  "Thanks, Doc.  You were super."  She hopped down off the bed and headed upstairs.  She found Tony glaring at the elevator when the doors opened.  "I have to pay for Fury's new desk somehow."

"What was that?"

"An imp that was asking for a later appointment with me over an inheritance.  No clue.  They're coming at three."

He stared at her.  "Make sure the conference room is one they can't get out of."

"I will, boss.  They're not Wolfram and Hart.  They don't use herald and scheduling imps."  She grimaced then winced when she tried to shrug.  "Got to not do that for a few weeks."

He stared at her.  "We'll be there with you."

"I'm not sure who I inherited from."

"We'll see."  He walked off.  "You have injury leave time, Dawn."

"I'm fine and going nuts at home.  I almost vacuumed.  That's not my chore."

He rolled his eyes.  "Sit there and do nothing.  You and Pepper are both on couch rest."

"Yup, whatever.  Did anyone take out the mail?"

He paused then looked at her.  "No, they didn't.  Andrew found it this morning and wondered why one was in Russian."

"I wondered where she was," Dawn muttered.  "I told him no.  I forwarded Legal the letter he sent as well, boss."

"Won't save your ass."

She sighed, shaking her head slightly.  "I did what I was supposed to do."

"You're supposed to rant about those sort.  Most women would."

"Tony, I may shop like a woman, act and look like a woman, but I'm not that sort of girl," she said sarcastically.  He laughed but walked off looking smug over having handled it for her.  "Not like it was the first anyway," she muttered.

"Heard that," Tony quipped back before he walked around a corner.

Dawn found the listening device and got up to stomp on it until she heard him yelp in pain from the noise of it breaking.  She presented it to Pepper and went back to her desk.

Pepper smiled, adding it to the one that had been in her office.  "Sometimes Tony's an overprotective boob," she said quietly.  "But he's sweet about it most of the time."


Clint and Natasha walked into the room and sat around where Dawn was at the head of the table nearest the door.  The demons were at the other end.  Tony strolled in too.  "Boss, we can do it without you," Dawn promised.

He looked at her.  "My building, my assistant, my rules."

"Fine."  She looked at the demons.  "He's being highly overprotective again."

"Sometimes people are."  The lead demon lawyer smiled.  "We're with the Hertzgold Group, Miss Summers."

She quirked an eyebrow up.  "I've heard of you.  You're mostly light sided, you deal with things like marriage contracts between clans that are at war and things of that nature."

He smiled.  "We do have a few that do prenuptial agreements and wills."  She nodded slowly, then winced and held her throat.  "Are you well enough for this?"

"Someone tried to kill me yesterday," she said.  "I'm fine.  Just a wound."

"Very well then."  He pulled out papers.  "We are here about the will of one Alexander Lavelle Harris-Jigen-Lupin, AKA Lavelle."  He looked up.

"Lavelle died?  Was it a raid or a job?"

"No, he died in his future but his wishes were that his assets be taken back to the point where the recipients could use them.  We also have the contents of the wills of the you in that realm, and her spouse.  Also the ones from his spouses and the elder Goemon clan leader."

She blinked.  "Why now?"

"Because it was thought that you could use the safety that the things might give you.  There were certain things that went to his own clan and family but not everything.  Frankly, his will said that if he outlived a few of the heirs then they were to go to who we chose would honor them.  In this case...."  Phil and Xander appeared.  "Thank you for attending.  And the other one," he said at the older looking Xander behind him.  "Thank you for not making us travel planes today, Lord Xander."

"Welcome."  They sat down.  "So, this is Lavelle's will in the future?"

"In about sixty years of his timeline.  He knows that we have disbursed it in this timezone, so even your charming conventions won't be bothered by it."  They all nodded.  "He'll die at approximately one-hundred-seventy-eight due to deaging potions and things like boons so Hell wouldn't have to have him too soon."  They all nodded.

"Why hell?" Tony asked.  That seemed a bit odd even if he was a dark Xander.

"Lavelle got given to a Hell Lord, one of the Princes," Dawn said quietly, patting his hand.  "He killed him and took over his spot before getting free.  He killed a number of them before getting free."

"Yes, he did," their Xander agreed.  The lawyer smiled.  "How many more of us get things?"

"The one in Miami gets something.  The one that fought his way out gets his status and a few of his books and artifacts.  The one in that newly magical Hawaii gets a few things."

"Decent," comic store owning Xander agreed.

"We have arranged to move his assets to the realms where they need to be disbursed.  As such, all his collected comics and animes are now yours," he told comic shop Xander, who moaned and nodded.  "You also inherited his lifetime subscription to _Hell's Hit List_ because it always made him happy to see how you did."  Xander grinned and nodded. 

"Lord Xander, he left you a few specific books and one that we cannot move.  He left you his chocolate company."  Xander grinned and nodded.  "He thinks you'll get a lot of teasing enjoyment out of it.  He did leave Miss Dawn a box a month so she'd never run out, and the one in Miami as well."  He licked his lips and turned the page.  "As for why we're here today, Miss Dawn Summers-Rosenburg-Romanoff-Barton....."

"Um...." Tony said.  "Rosenburg?" he asked Dawn.

"Willow did a blood adoption rite to bind her and Buffy together, but it went haywire, as usual," the lawyer said dryly.  "It bound her to her family instead of her natal one.  It's a mess legally.  Her marriages actually cleared many things up."  Dawn smiled.  "My client left you a few things.  Including all his kimono collection, both male and female ones.  He would've left it to the Goemon clan but they took what they wanted from it already and they only wear them for special occasions.  He left you the ownership of his art collection, legal and not I'm afraid, and half of his jewelry, all his female pieces specifically.  He also left you all his female clothes."

"The rest is going to the long haired Xander?" Natasha asked.

"The jewelry and a few other things are.  The books and other things are going to the Xander and his children in the newly magical Hawaii.  If that Xander does not want them then they'll go to him or to Dawn."

"They can go to him.  He has the boys and the new daughter to care for," she said.  "I have some money socked away."

"Good."  He smiled.  "He said that we were to pick the best time to hand this over.  This will give you some protection as you're now wealthy enough to handle getting bodyguards if you should need them.  It also means that you'll have to sort out the collection fairly well."  She nodded.  "The pieces that were stolen in that realm will not be so here so I'm not sure how to deal with that.  That is not my area of expertise."

"We can ask someone at the Met," Dawn said.  "They have someone that's a half-demon who'd realize what happened."

"That's fine.  That's up to you."  He smiled.  "There is no inheritance tax across realms."  He smiled.  "He also left you half of his weapons, new and archaic."  Dawn moaned.  "He left you the information on the businesses he ran legitimately.  That way if you want to start them here you may."  She nodded.  "He did suggest that you have a backup plan for that."  He stared at her.  "Such as a second identity that did that."  She smiled.  "And he wished you much luck with the churches."

"Thank you," Dawn said quietly.  "His family is taken care of?"

"Fully.  They have more than enough and knew about his will.  Melissa amended it on him to cut them out more fully."  He slid down the papers to them.  "Read and sign please."

They went over them.  Dawn pointed.  "This clause that we will not give to police charities?  Do my mates being with SHIELD count and I do donate to the widows and orphans fund.  They didn't do anything to deserve to have that happen to them."

"That may be fine."  He looked that clause over in the will.  "It's stated in here that you would not support any charity that would get his family captured.  That would not as far as I can tell."  He smiled.  "Their jobs are fine.  That's not a charity and his daughter's own wanted spouse was ICPO for a while."

She smiled and went back to reading.  She signed hers last because it was thicker to read through.  She let Clint and Natasha have it to read over and sign as her spouses.  Then they handed it back.  "Thank you."

"You are most welcome.  We have used some space charms on the storage area you have claimed here.  That way everything would fit."

"Thank you."  She got up to properly shake his hand, earning a smile.  "May your spawn be blessed with good health and happy wealth."

"Yours as well."  He smiled and took the others home to show them their things.  Then to talk to the other two Xander's.

Dawn led them down to her storage area, opening the door and gasping.  "Wow, they needed more stretching."

"You can only stretch an area so much," the imp in there said.  "We can move some to another area and stretch it."

Natasha looked around.  "Move the kimonos to my apartment?"

"There's thousands," Dawn said.  "And I'm not going to get to them for weeks probably, 'Tasha."  She smiled and patted her on the cheek.  "Then that's fine.  Can you?" she asked the imp.  Who nodded.   They looked at the rest of everything.  From fandom costumes, which disappeared to comic Xander's realm, to jewelry stacked very high.  There was a stack of paintings, a gathering of statues, and some pretty rare plants.  "I need Wardrobe Xander's TARDIS," she sighed.  They went to look at the weapons in the next storage area.  No one else used these.  Tony moaned at a few thing.  Clint was petting something.  Natasha was looking amused.  Dawn was looking at the crown jewels.  "I knew he said he hit the Tower but damn."

Natasha came back to look over her shoulder.  "It is."  She moaned.  "Oh, dear."

"Possibly."  She looked up.  "JARVIS?"

"Yes?" the AI asked.

"Can you please look up the number for the Met Museum?  I need to talk to Mr. D'Ortenic."

"I can connect you."  There was a pause.  "Here he is, Dawn."

"Thank you, JARVIS.  Mr. D'Ortenic?"

"Yes, Miss Summers?  Is there a problem with an artifact found on a hellmouth?"

"No, actually, Lavelle's will in the future was just handled by the Hertzgold Group."

"Interesting.  Are there artifacts?"

"And he was a jewel and art thief," she said dryly.  "I'm presently staring at two I know I've seen in your museum and a few pieces of crown jewels."

"Oh, my."

She smiled at the ceiling.  "As I know that you're able to deal with such matters honorably, can I ask you to sort them out for me?"

"I can do so, and hand back to that realm what's theirs."

"Thank you.  I'm at Stark International."

"I'll be there in about a half-hour."

"Thank you."  She hung up.  "Thank you, JARVIS."

"You're most welcome.  Should you be standing this long?"

"I'll get to sit later."  She looked over more things, shaking her head.  "Wow, found his female clothes."  It looked like it'd mostly fit outside the shoes.  She found his choker and held it up, staring at it.  Natasha took it from her fingers, giving them a squeeze.  "I'll miss him in the future."

"I know.  He seems like a very interesting Xander."  Dawn smiled and nodded, settling in to tell her about Lavelle until the art manager got there.  He walked in and moaned.  "The weapons are next door," Natasha told him.

He smiled.  "Not my area of expertise at all, ladies."  He looked at the statues.  "I know three of those will be copies here."  He sorted out tags in his briefcase so they could mark where they were here.  Dawn got him dinner from the cafeteria so he could glance through the paintings.  A few more got marked but some got sorted out.  "These were fakes he was going to put in their places."

Dawn smiled.  "I don't mind owning fake of the real things."

He smiled.  "They're excellent fakes but the colors don't have the right depth and luster."  He looked at the other piles and then at the jewels in the cases.  The show cases got marked.  He opened them to get into specific ones.  "I know this one here is a fake because the original got stolen.  It was said to be four teenagers."

"That could've been his kids.  He was so proud that they managed to rob Gringotts in a realm they hit," Dawn said with a grin.

He blinked a few times.  "That's very strong in their skill set."  He went back to looking. One necklace he looked at the sapphire pendant.  "I'm not sure about this one.  It was stolen at the same time but it's not the same cut.  I'd have to check serial numbers."

She smiled.  "I'll gladly let you do that and pay you for your time."

He smiled.  "Thank you, Miss Summers."  He shut his case.  "I'll be back tomorrow to do that.  Would that be acceptable?"

"I'm on light duties so I can let you in here.  Will you need anything?"

"A wifi signal so I can log on."

"I can get you a temporary log in here on ours," Dawn said with a smile.  He shook her hand and left.  She looked at Natasha.  "You didn't want to see the weapons?"

"I saw them but you needed some comfort."

Dawn kissed her and snuggled into her arms.  "Thank you."

"You're most welcome.  Though you will drop the Rosenburg from your name."

Dawn pulled back to grin.  "Whatever we decide on as a last name is going on my other identity," she said with an impish grin.  "Is that okay?"

"That would be an excellent use."  She winked and they left, letting security lock everything up tightly.  The boys came out of the other storage areas with an ATF agent.  "This would be?" she asked.

"Ezra," Dawn said, shaking his hand with a smile.  "Have you been introduced to Natasha yet?"

"I have heard of her beauty and skills."  He smiled and shook her hand.  "Agent Ezra Standish, ATF, and son of Demeter."

Natasha smiled.  "It is good we can keep things in-house as it were."

"Quite.  Half of these have never been created here."

"That Xander did have a huge geek complex of his own," Dawn quipped with a grin.  "We compared them.  We had some of the same geeks working for them."

He smirked.  "Clearly."  He looked at Tony then at her.  "We'll list them as being prototypes in holding here.  It will find a more secure storage area that cannot be found."  She nodded slightly.  He looked at her neck.  "That's bad.  Have none of the healers looked at it yet?"

"It only happened yesterday and I wasn't going to ask for favors."

He snorted and waved a hand.  "Apollo, may I have a moment?" he called.

He appeared wearing a short cream toga that showed his gold speedos well and gold sandals.  "Thankfully I'm just back.  Ow, Key.  What happened?"

"Some jackass put an acid in my neck."  He grimaced.  "Our docs were fantastic."

He looked and nodded.  "They were."  He touched it and healed it.  "I can heal the wound itself but the missing tissue won't recreate."  He took off the bandage and nodded.  "Not a bad scar."

Dawn looked and hugged him.  "Thank you, Lord Apollo.  I wasn't going to ask for favors."

He grinned.  "I like coming to flirt with you.  You're surrounded by prettiness."

"Yes, I am, but sadly I would never bend over for you," Ezra said dryly, cracking the healing god up.  He disappeared with a smirk for him.  Ezra smiled at her.  "That's not as noticeable."  She hugged him.  "You do give exceptional hugs.  I shall remember that for later hugging needs."

She smiled.  "I learned from my mom."

"Most of us do."  He tweaked her ear.  "Be good."  He looked at Stark.  "I'll bring the paperwork tomorrow."  He disappeared to tell his team.

Clint stared at the scar then kissed it.  "That's very tiny," he said in her ear.  She hugged him too.  He pinched her.  "No more mushiness at work."

"Please!" Tony said, flapping a hand.  "You're Pepper's favorite soap opera."  He walked off.  Security sealed up that storage area.  "Did we miss one, people?"

"The other one has more clothes, sir, and light jewelry plus some books," the head of security said.

Tony smirked.  "We'll move most of it this week if possible."

"Thank you, sir."  He looked at Dawn.

"I need new bookcases first."

He nodded.  "Maybe a few new closets too."  She laughed and walked out with her mates.  They had leftovers waiting for them.  He assigned two guards to sit in that hallway at all times.

"More mice?" one joked.

"No, someone left Dawn stuff from another realm.  Expect an Agent Standish and a Mr. D'Ortenic from the Met tomorrow."  They groaned but sat there and made sure there weren't any problems.  Dawn didn't need any more hell in her life.


Dawn looked in her closets, moaning.  The cat was giving her bad looks for taking his napping and hiding spot but yay.  She got him a little kitty climbing and hiding house.  He liked that because it let him sit on top and stare at the bed.  Her closets were now overly full of all the extra clothes.  She started with the gowns.  She could donate the ones she couldn't wear.  Somehow Xander had gotten on a puffy sleeve kick. 

They got laid on the bed.  One had a huge bloodstain so she put it aside to be cleaned.  If it could be gotten out then great.  If not, she could donate the fabric to some quilting group or something.  She looked at the rest.  Lavelle had good, sultry girl taste.  The her in that realm had cat suits and a lot of mom jeans for some reason.  Those got put into a donation pile.  As well as anything that was too large.

Clint walked in and stared at the mess on the bed.  "Sorting the closets?"

"Going to donation."

He smiled.  "That's fine."  He helped her.  The shoes she couldn't wear got sent too.  That Dawn was a normal foot width unfortunately.  One pair of boots were really cute looking but not in her size.  Natasha walked in.  "Going to donation."

She picked through things, pulling out a few she wanted.  The jeans were going to be too big for her.  The shirts were well fitting but not the sort she'd wear.  She looked at one that was in a more cowboy motif with fringe and pearl snaps.  She carefully put it back down before it infected her.  She didn't want to know.  The guy's clothes that was being pulled out for donation Clint let Coulson know so he could come look through them.  He said he had new things but thank you.

Dawn finally sighed in pleasure.  "There."  They smiled at her once she had closed the closets.  Loki's nest of her sarongs got put beside the closet and vanity so he could still lay on them.  The top one was hopelessly furred.  He meowed and stared at them.  Dawn reached up to pet him.  "You're welcome."

Natasha smiled at the tiny black cat.  "You're very spoiled.  I'm glad I taught her to spoil kittens."

Clint kissed her.  "I probably would've freaked out if I had seen you as a kitten."  He smiled, helping Dawn bag things up.  "We'll take them to donation later."

"Tomorrow," she said with a smile.  "After my appointment with the guy who can put stuff in the dented area."  They nodded and let it go.  Dawn made dinner once the bed was clear.  They got comfy to watch tv in there and eat.  Then they'd pounce Dawn.  They had to make sure she was really all right.  They hadn't been able to while she was injured.  Now they could make her squeal and writhe and be all right.


Dawn looked at the doctor the next day, smiling.  "Thank you for seeing me on such short notice."

He nodded.  "I know Dr. Pigalli."  He looked at her neck.  "Healing spell?"

"Apollo finished healing it for me."  She grinned.  "Someone asked."

"Interesting."  He looked at it, poking gently.  "I know what happened.  I can shave down the scar so it's less noticeable."  She nodded.  "What were you hoping for?"  He moved back to sit behind his desk.

"I was hoping maybe some filling in on my neck?  To make it look more even?"

He nodded.  "I can do a fat transplant for that.  It may not be permanent."

"I understand that and that it won't be perfectly symmetrical but I still flinch slightly when I see it.  I know it'll never go fully away."

He nodded.  "Then you're not an airhead like so many young women your age."  She smirked.  "Which I've heard as well.  I can do some fat injections to put in there.  I can hopefully even it out.  The scar shaving can be done by laser.  I can probably take it down to a faint line instead of a raised scar."

"That'd be great.  How much will it cost and how long will it take?"

"Are you on a timetable?"

"I'm not sure if I want to go to the scientific fundraiser next week with it but not really.  I can cover it up then.  I have a few heavier necklaces that'll work to cover it."

He stared at her.  "You're worried how people will see you?"

She snorted.  "Not really but there's always people who complain about anything I do.  One complained that I'm a bit sparkly and twinkly when I have to go to those things.  She's done that a few times because I don't fade into the background like a good assistant should according to her.  I'm usually pretty flirty and sensual, but....  That's not exactly stopping it but it's making me feel very different."

He nodded.  "Injuries can do that.  Especially when you nearly died."

"It's not my first one but this one wrecked me more than the others have."

He nodded.  "Sometimes the reality hits at the wrong moment.  Even if you're threatened."

She snorted.  "I have two churches that want to burn me at the stake.  You can't get more threatened than that or the hate mail because I have a gift or because I'm me."

"No, you can't," he agreed.

"I just want to feel like myself again."

"I understand.  It's not that hard.  We can schedule a fat injection for early next week.  That will take a few days for any swelling to go down."

She nodded.  "I can handle that problem."

He smiled.  "I'm sure you can.  I'll try to do the scar shaving at the same time but it may leave a large irritated area where the laser touches the skin."  She nodded she understood that.  "Good."  He looked in his book.  "I have early Monday."

She looked at her schedule.  "I have an interview to help Pepper with that morning at ten.  Which means I have to be there by nine-thirty."

He looked at her.  "You do what?"

"I'm an administrative assistant," she said with a grin.

"Interesting."  He looked.  "I can do it at two."

"I'm free from one-thirty to three.  Then she's got lamaze and birthing class at three-forty.  Traffic usually takes about a half-hour on a good day."

"That will be fine," he assured her, penciling her in.  She put him into her schedule.  "Are you pregnant or on anything?"

"Caffeine now and then.  Not pregnant as far as I know.  I'm on the shot."

"Good to know.  That shouldn't matter."  She nodded.  "I'll see you then."

She shook his hand.  "See you then, sir, and thank you."  She gathered her bag and left.

He leaned back in his chair, considering her.  A bit vain but reasonable about it and overly concerned what others thought but not the point of anxiety over it.  That was a reasonable woman and patient.  Unlike his next one who wanted bigger implants put in.


Dawn looked on as the dresses for donation were looked over.  "Oh, not that one.  How did that get in there?"  She pulled out her new backless black dress.  It wasn't the same dress but she'd wear that one.

The helper smiled.  "Must've gotten tangled in there."  She finished making out the donation receipt and handed it over.  "Here you go."

"Thank you."

"You've donated before, I remember you.  Why do you need so many gowns?"

"I'm an administrative assistant but this batch I inherited from a good friend."  She smiled.  "Most of them aren't my size."

"That's always a great thing."

Dawn grinned.  "I'm sending a whole lot of clothes to the Salvation Army's store too."

"I'll tell a few I know.  Do you get shoes?  Now and then we do take shoes if they go with the dress."

"I got some but they're all plain heels, not specially dyed."

"Pity.  If you do, remember us."

"I will."  She smiled and walked out with her dress.  She texted Clint, who said that dress was at home so apparently it was Lavelle's version.  It went into the closet and he helped her haul the bags down to the hired car for the rest of the donation.  He and Dawn carried it into the store.  "Donations?"  They pointed.  They carried them back there.  "Hi, donating some stuff I inherited that I can't wear, both sexes of clothes."

The women back there smiled and took the bags to look through.  "These are in great shape, dear.  Thank you," one said.  "Oh, and shoes.  That's charming."  She smiled.  "We'll send them to the Dress for Success."

"I couldn't find where to donate to them directly but thank you.  Can I do that with business suits through you?"  They wrote down the address for her.  "Thanks."  She smiled and walked off with Clint.  "I do have those older ones in the closet."

"You do and it's a nice thing," he assured her.  They shared a grin and got ice cream for lunch on the way home.  Once they had gotten home and pigged out on their ice cream pints, he pulled her into his lap to kiss her throat.  "How bad?"

"He can fill it in but it might still leave a small dip.  He can also shave down the scar so it's not so prominent."

He kissed it again, licking over it.  "I can accept that."  She shivered and he held her, letting her get used to it.  He knew it was still hitting her and she needed to deal with it in her own way.  He could do that because he wanted to make sure the wound didn't reopen, even though he knew it was healed.  It had been too close and she hadn't been doing anything dangerous or in the field.  She petted his chest and stomach, calming him down.  They could handle this together and help Natasha when she came up from looking over the kimonos.  She came up to join them, taking Dawn for her own cuddling time.  Clint moved closer to cuddle Dawn's stomach while Natasha got her own squeezing time in.


Dawn smiled as she walked into the Japanese consulate the next evening.  "Hi, I have a stupid question."

"We've heard some of those," the receptionist said.

Dawn smiled.  "I inherited some kimonos from someone."

"Okay.  Do you know how to store them properly?"

"Yes.  He sent his specially humidity and dust free cases for them."  The receptionist smiled.  "I inherited over three thousand kimonos."  She winced.  "Is there anywhere that's looking for some to exhibit without donation?"

"I don't know.  Let me ask our art people."  She called back there to ask him.  He came out to talk to Dawn, who told him most of what had happened.  She could tell he was at least a partial demon.  He said a few of the collection may have been stolen but there were a few places in Japan that were looking for certain types of examples to show.  She let him see the pictures that Natasha had taken of them.  He moaned and pointed at a few she should hide. 

The rest, he called someone in Kyoto who he knew was looking for some.  He explained why she had inherited them and he said he knew someone.  They'd be in New York in a few weeks for a business meeting.  As it turned out at Stark so Dawn promised they could talk then.  He promised to listen to see if anyone needed more for an exhibition and let her have the pictures back.  She bowed properly and left.  He was charmed by her.  She was so nice.


Xander and Phil were sparring at the temple, which the recruits were staring at in awe.  "Do we have plans?" Xander asked.

"For?" Phil asked with a parry.

"The team?"

He nodded.  "I have an idea."  He shared it mentally.  Xander smirked and nodded.  "How would I do that?"

"You make sure you're there and change the energy structure at the last minute."  Phil nodded, backing up a step to let Xander's lunge pass to the side then back forward to meet the next one.  Xander spun and hit him from the side, making Phil wince but he managed to mostly block it.  They kept going.  Xander sent over the image of how you did things like that and it was better.  Phil could see doing that.  "I'll help if you can't get there," Xander promised.

"Thank you."

"Welcome."  They finally broke apart when John walked into the ring.  "Need some?" Xander teased.

"Nope.  The trainees need time."  They moved out of the way.  He smirked at Phil.  "Nice."

"He took me to some dwarves to have me trained."

"They do a great job.  I look forward to sparring with you."  He looked at the trainees.  "Yes, you have to learn how to use a sword in case it comes up, especially if you're in Cleveland, people."  They groaned but the trio taught them the basics of how to use one in case it became necessary.  Someone was swinging his around like an idiot so Coulson slapped him with the flat of the blade, making him yelp.  John smirked.  "Keep it up, watch someone lose something important and you be back at home." 

The agent in training nodded and looked down.  "Good.  Get back to it."  They went back to the simple exercises that would help if they were in the field and had to pick up a blade.  Xander also taught them how to use a crossbow.  That was a bit easier for them.  Buffy showed up to waddle around.  John looked at her stomach.  "I thought you were only five months," John said, patting the mound gently.

"I am," she complained.  "Apparently I'm making up for having a son first."  She handed him off her back to Xander, who stared at Sean, who grinned back.  "I have no idea but he's demented.  He kept trying to get into his diaper earlier."

"All kids do," Phil said, taking Sean to look at.  Sean hugged him.  "Thank you, Sean."  He patted him on the back, earning a burp but the baby was giggling.  John took him and got a squeal.

"See, demented noises," Buffy complained.

"John's his mancrush," Xander said dryly.  "Go take a nap?"

"Please?" she begged.

"Go take a nap," Phil promised.  "Diaper bag?"  She handed it over and fled to nap on their couch.  Hylal was up there and Bia got them to a real room with a real bed for now.  "We'll sneak an ultrasound on her later," he said, taking Sean back.  "Want to play with the twins?"  He squealed and beamed, patting Phil.  "We can do that."  The trainees were staring at him.  "Yes, I'm the father of Tara's twins," he said blandly.

"I thought that was Agent Hill," the idiot said.

Phil stared at him.  "Did you flunk basic biology?"  The guy groaned and looked down again.  He looked at Xander.

"Don't look at me.  I'm not a god that can make male werewolves pregnant.  Ask Roque's mom."

"Then send him out to sex someone up for information?" John teased with a grin.  "Been there, done that.  The head of the oil company way back when was kinda fun."

Phil looked at him.  "Very fun or just mildly fun?"

"Mildly.  I never get anything beyond mildly fun if they're not fully evil."

"Which is why I used to date the evil ones," Xander quipped with a grin.

"Thankfully yours now uses evil for the good of us all," John quipped.

"I do try," Phil said dryly.  The idiot agent in training and a few others gasped.  "Gaia decided we'd be married and made it so without consulting us."  He shrugged.  "It happens."  They all stared at him.

"Tried it on me too," John agreed.  "It's the Kentucky Derby of nagging up there.  Whoever wins sponsors the wedding that becomes the Preakness and the Belmont is the honeymoon.  Which is why McKay tazed someone who tried to force him to a dinner so they could marry us off together."

"Dawn's going to have to do something about that for the next one," Phil said quietly.

Xander cackled and nodded.  "Yup, though Hera noticed."  They shared a smirk.  "They have to pick a last name too."

John looked at them.  "In the open?"

"Probably not."

"That's fine then, I can't see the freaking out if not."  He went back to the crossbow lectures.  The group had patrol in Cleveland tonight with the three vamped agents and the two that were currently on duty there.  And Buffy if she quit snoring so loudly.  He looked at the house.  "Is that Clay or Buffy?"

Xander listened for a second.  "Hylal and Buffy.  Apparently they equal Clay."

"Bite me," Clay yelled from where he was working out.  "Scrolls with dinner invitations came earlier."

"Shit," Xander and Phil muttered together, walking off to handle things with some of the trainees.

"Who sent 'em?" John called.




"Oooh," Xander said with a wince and a hiss.  "Formal table manners but less strict dress codes."  He texted Clint to make sure he knew he'd probably have to go.  Then he sent Bia to find him something to wear.  Bia came down wearing too many earrings.  "I thought Hera called it."

"She did but your Mom's hosting a tea."

"Dawn's at work."

"Thankfully."  She blew a kiss and grabbed Clay, walking off carrying him over her shoulder.

"Bia, I needed that workout."

"Do situps for Roque's dick, Clay.  His mother's at this tea so he's going."  She put him down and patted him on the head.  "Be a good boy and get dressed.  I'll make sure Roque knows that you can do situps during sex."  She went back to finish getting dressed.

Clay groaned, walking off shaking his head.  Roque looked nervous.  "Tea?" he demanded with a smirk.

"Tea.  Horrible food so eat first."  Clay nodded, accepting the sandwich.  "Put on something that vaguely doesn't resemble sweatpants?"

"Going, nag."  He went to shower and change so he could be dapper and be bored shitless by the gods nagging each other.  He, Roque, and Bia disappeared together.  They got there and got seated on couches, which was nice instead of the banquet chairs that put your ass to sleep after twenty minutes on them.

"Mother," Roque said with a nod.

She looked at Clay.  "What is that?  That is not what I meant."

"Mother, you're interfering with his career," Roque said firmly.  "That is the only way we could keep him out of heat, before he got attacked and raped for being in heat."  She backed down.  "Would you mind taking it off?  We're not going to have kids for at least a century."  She glared at him.  He stared back.

"I don't think the military would take a kind view on me being pregnant and I'd probably end up in an NID lab somewhere," Clay said, relaxing slightly.

"I'd pretend to be Xander and go blow that shit up," Roque assured him with a smirk.

Clay smirked back.  "Works for me but get there before they get to the torture?"

"I can probably do that.  Don't want you scarred."  Clay smirked more evilly.  He grinned.  "You won't be a pretty wife then."

Clay swatted him. "I'm not the wife, you are.  You take more dick than I do."

"That's because Xander's last chaos child outburst gave you *trauma*," he sneered.

"It gave it to you too!" he defended.

"Yeah, it did.  I have to admit the dildo tentacles did give me nightmares for a few days."

Xander and John's mother looked at him.  "What?"

"His last chaos kid outburst," Roque said dryly.  "It created tentacle monsters that had dick tentacles that liked to pull people down and work out the stress for them."  She shuddered.

"John had to beg Artemis and some Valkyries to kill them for him," Clay agreed.  "Xander will never live that down."

"Wonder what next time's will be," Roque quipped.  "I didn't mean to give him that idea that time but it was a good one."

Clay nodded.  "It was fun to watch until we had to kill the damn things."

Bia looked at them.  "I saw it on replay."  They smirked at her.  "Poor Jensen, they couldn't decide if his wings were sexual or not."

"Ask him, not us," Roque quipped.  "Or Xander, he had wings for a bit."

"I saw.  They were adorable."  They shared a smirk.  "I wonder if Phil wants to try flying sex."

"Who knows," Roque said dryly.  "John's more the flying sort though."

"I doubt Phil would try it with John," Clay said.  "He's the faithful sort."

"Thankfully before I have to kill him," Roque and Bia said together.  Roque punched her on the arm.

"Roque, I had to point out earlier that he could be doing situps during sex if you're doing it right.  Clearly you're falling down on his physical training requirements."

He swatted her again.  "Filthy minded bitch," he said dryly, smirking evilly at her.  "I do him just fine.  He has to work other muscles beyond his ass and stomach sometimes though."

"Fine."  She waved a hand in the air.  "Mine is better than that."

"Does your mother know you're dating?" John and Xander's mother asked politely.

"Hell no.  Not since she sabotaged my last one and Xander at the same time."  She shuddered.  "I'm not talking to my mother.  Or Gaia since she still redid the bad thing.  Even if they did learn they could be good together."

"Is he still upset?" Roque's mother asked.  "They are good together."

"If you got forced into marriage, even if it was a great thing, you'd be pissed too because of the forcing stuff," Bia said, staring at her.

"You young Gods don't understand duty and honor."

Roque snorted.  "And yet I've done more than my duty to our people."  He sipped his tea, looking at his mate.  "The King said you were hot in that tabloid shot of you guarding Dawn."

"I was hot," he agreed.

John showed up in a flash of light, looking sweaty and nasty.  "Guys, slight issue.  The hellmouth just opened."

"On it," Roque said, changing their clothes to join him.  They flashed down to the mess in the park that housed it.  "Damn."

"Yup," John said, tossing them weapons.  "Half of the mess was Xander and Phil taking on the Krel'tek demons."  Roque shuddered but they moved to clean up any remaining problems.

Clay found a major problem and looked around.  "Roque, we've got a preschool!" he yelled.  Roque, Xander, and Phil came jogging back to get the kids free and out of the way.  "Any others?" he asked the adult with the kids.

"There's another group but they were hogging the other play area so we came to this one."

"We can make sure," Xander said.  "Get them to safety back at the center."  She nodded, helping the kids run.  Xander looked around.  "Clay, find them."  He nodded, heading to do that.  "Roque, the Krel'tek are mostly done for.  There's a few other harmful ones and a peaceful cult that's worshiping."  They nodded and headed out to fix the rest of the trauma.  Clay reported that the kids were now on their way out of the park.  Apparently the other side hadn't been cleared.  Xander let out a string of swears in Greek that made John shiver.  They finished up the damage and the demons.  Xander did the spell to close the hellmouth, making it wail as it sucked closed again.  Then he stomped off.  The locals were getting his foot up his ass.

"Let me," Phil ordered, changing and cleaning up so he was in a suit.  Xander stared at him.  "It's my job to deal with higher ups."  He put on his sunglasses.  Xander nodded, letting him do it while they got to work burning the bodies.  Phil walked off, snapping at the lesser agents.  "On my six."  They followed him to the local City Hall.  He walked in and stared at the mayor.  "Please call in your head of the police here."

"Who're you?" the mayor demanded.

"Agent Coulson, SHIELD."  The man gaped and then frantically called.  Phil waited until he walked in and the lesser agents had shut and guarded the door.  "Did it not occur to anyone that if and when the hellmouth opens, that it would be wise to evacuate the children from *both* sides of the park?  Because perhaps it might take anyone responding a few minutes to get there, and that would mean some of them could escape into the city?"  The Mayor flinched.  "Thankfully, the ones of us today managed to get both daycare groups out of the way."  He stared at the officer.  "Also, we could not find a single officer anywhere near that park.  Is no one being mugged there any longer?"

"Yes, sir," one of the lesser agents said.  "There has been a string of muggings, robberies, and three rapes there that we have been working to find the reasons for since the local officials are not having the area patrolled," he reported.

Phil nodded.  "Thank you.  Did you file a report?"

"I have, sir, and Director Fury wasn't sure why until we informed him that it was not being patrolled even though it is near three colleges and events are held there by them and the local high schools.  In fact, class picture day was interrupted by the Hari Krishna-like group that lives downstate because they were up for a remembrance of their Highest ascending during a battle to protect people."

"Good to know.  Thank you."  He looked at the two officials.  "Is there a problem we can help you solve by perhaps training some of your officers?" he asked them.  "Or letting them have some sort of easier to understand manual?  Most of the agents who tour through here have made their own.  We'd be more than happy to share so that your people are safer."

"Why can't you end that?" the head of the PD demanded.

"How do you end a spot that's basically a rip into the powers of the universe?"  The man started to stomp off but the agents were at the doorway.  "We have numerous physicists working on that problem.  Including Dr. McKay's team.  No one has found any way to repair said leaks, and think that even if they did, it might reform somewhere else because of the pressure.  Basically, the universe is expanding and the skin it's in isn't."  He stared at the Mayor.  "Also, the response time for emergencies is somewhere between fifteen minutes and possibly up to thirty, depending on where the agents and slayers are.  Right now, Mrs Cloudson is in Colorado napping off her, what we expect are, twins.  Thankfully we had agents who alerted Colonel Sheppard and us.  So let's work out how to handle things."

"We can't have the colleges moved," the Mayor said.

"It's not like we can camp in the park in tents," one of the lesser agents said.  "Even if we wanted to, there's no necessary facilities there and it's not exactly the duty most of us would agree to, sir."

Phil looked at him.  "No one has suggested that solution."

"They have locally, sir."

Phil hummed.  "Interesting."  He looked at the two higher ups again.  "The agents have a house that they rent next to the slayer house.  It is on the nearest residential block to the hellmouth as far as I was told."

"It is," he sighed.  "We can't just close the areas."

"Then it means we have to prepare better ways of handling things," Phil said simply.  "I'll be back tomorrow so we can look over your emergency plans, any staffing in that area and how they're trained, and make plans for handling any of the hundreds of things that could happen.  Including it being chaos mages instead of demons."  The Mayor shuddered.  "Yes, humans.  They have acted against all the hellmouths in the past.  What time would be good for you?"

"Can't Summers abort or something?"

Phil raised an eyebrow.  "She might be a slayer but that does not mean she has to give up a slightly normal life for this.  I'm fairly certain she did not plan either pregnancy and was upset that she caught so quickly after the last one.  Her husband is as well, especially since he thinks it'll get her killed."  The Mayor shuddered, leaning away from him.  "Beyond that, how do you expect one young woman to handle every single emergency, especially when she's forbidden to kill humans who might be affecting the hellmouth?"  Both higher ups slumped.  "When is a better time for you two to go over the emergency plans tomorrow?"

"I need to talk to the governor.  See if we can get some National Guard troops," the Mayor decided.  "Then we'll talk, Agent..."

"Coulson," he reminded him.  "I'm the liaison between Mrs. Cloudson and the other slayers to SHIELD."

"That's fine.  Thank you, Agent Coulson.  Let us make some plans."

"Agreed."  He handed over a business card.  "That is my cellphone."  He left with the junior agents.  Once outside and he had his sunglasses back on he looked at them. "Threat index?"

"Done, sir, updated monthly.  It's attached to our bulletin board."

Phil looked at the other one.  "Weapons list?"

"Sent in, Director Fury is considering parts of it.  So far our armory is acceptable but not exciting or overly useful.  He thought bullets might be made in specialty classes but no one has yet."

"I'll ask Stark about that," Phil said.  "Anything else of note?"

"Yes, sir.  We are unable to stop a private sorority of succuba."  Phil nodded slightly, letting a tiny grimace out.  "We are not sure if they're that way naturally or if they are recruiting.  We do not believe they are recruiting but we do not have anyone who they will talk to.  They can feel Buffy coming and hide from her for good reason."

"I'll see if Dawn can," he decided.  "Or perhaps Bia if she's been bored."  They nodded, smiling at him.  "Anything else I should hear?"

"No, sir," they agreed.

"Update those for our meeting.  Get me the actual needs for the armory that you don't have access to right now.  I'll have Stark work on it."  They nodded and he walked off, disappearing from the shadows.  Those two had decided to stay on the hellmouth and they knew enough about him to not wonder.  By the time he landed at Stark International, his phone had beeped with both preliminary copies.  He took them to the tinkering lab, where everyone was.  "Stark?"  He looked up then took the phone to look over the list.  "The armory in Cleveland is somewhat useful.  They have guns without speciality bullets."

"I can work on them but the wooden bullets don't react right."

Dawn walked in with one of the DCIS books and handed it to him.  "They jacketed the wooden ones and had a tiny bubble of holy water in another set."  She looked at Phil.  "The hellmouth?"

"It's fine.  There's a sorority of succuba?"

She grinned and nodded.  "There are.  There's one at UCLA too.  They play poker with Spike."

"Can you talk to them?  They're not sure if they're recruiting."

"They don't go out and recruit but if someone comes in and wants to join, that's open."


"Not tonight I can't."

"No, she can't," Dawn's phone said.  "Agent Hill said she could though."

"Thank you, Agent Romanoff," Phil said dryly.  "Are you hiding?"

"Talking with others."  She hung up.  Dawn grinned.

"Good."  He patted her on the cheek.  "Behave."  She cackled and walked off.  He looked at Stark.  "Can you at least come up with ideas?"

"Of course.  I'm the fount of all ideas," he said with a smirk.  "You know that."

"I do, that's why I come directly to you.  Dawn, dinner," he called after her.

"Not going."

"You probably have to."

"Can't.  Have to babysit."

Tony looked then at Phil, who shrugged.  "Okay," Tony decided then downloaded the list to his 'to do' list.  He handed the phone back.  "Welcome."

"Thank you."  He walked off.  He had to figure out what he had to wear to this one.  Fortunately John had something laid out for him.  A nice suit was good.  He was used to suits.  John came in looking dapper in his dress blues.  "Will they let you get away with that?" Phil asked.

"If Xander says it's okay it's fine," he said with a smug grin.  "Even if Hera or someone huffs.  It's my official dress uniform."  Clay leaned in.  "Wear your official dress uniform or a suit."

"Got it, thanks."

"Not your uniform," Roque ordered.  "I hate seeing you in it with the way they fucked you over."  He walked into the suite.  "Dawn's refusing to get dressed?"

"She claims she's babysitting," Phil said.

John laughed.  "Not likely."  He flashed over, letting his impression sink in with the appreciative looks.  "Babysitting isn't a fit excuse, Dawn.  Dress up, get them dressed up.  They'll pull them in whatever they're wearing if not."  He gave her a pointed look then at Clint.  "Tux or suit.  Tie covers acceptable.  Bowties are a bit much though.   Ladies are to be in formal dress."  He disappeared.

Dawn moaned, shaking her head.  "I was hoping we could get out of it."

"They'll announce us," Natasha said.  Dawn nodded.  "It'll be public record?"

"Among all the demis and possibly spread farther."  She stared at them.  "Still thinking about your jobs, guys."

They shrugged.  "We're all but famous.  They can't send us out as spies," Clint said.  He got up, putting aside his plate.  "Let me go find a suit."  He went upstairs.

Natasha smiled.  "Thank you for trying to help us."  She took a kiss.  "Wear something fabulous."

Dawn smirked.  "How fabulous?"

"Enough that we stare at you all night instead of whatever dinner is being served."

"If Hera's throwing it, it's greek food."

"I'll take that into account."  She got up and went to her own closet.  She didn't have much that was fantastic.  Dawn had clearly shared though because she had a few extra formal gowns.  One in black that looked slightly like her new one.  She pulled it out to look at.  Clearly it had come from Lavelle's collection with the length.  She put it against her and nodded, finding the right heels for it.  She went to shower and change, then do her hair.

Upstairs, Dawn went to her closet and pulled out her new black dress.  She went to shower and do her hair.  Her hair got turned into a riot of curls that flowed down her back.  A nice necklace, some earrings.  Some light makeup.  She stared at the scar, reaching for her coverup.  Then she closed her eyes and closed the coverup.  She stepped into her shoes and checked.  She walked out.  Natasha came up from her apartment in a similar dress.  Dawn's was sleeveless.  Natasha's were a very fine lace.  Natasha's hair was in a mass of pulled back curls.  They were held back by a simple comb on each side that was jeweled.  They kissed and grinned at each other.  "I knew that'd look good on you."

"It does."  Clint came down and stared.  Then he went to change suits and came down in something hotter, adding extra weapons.  He looked them over, kissing each of them.  "Names?" he asked.

"We have to decide if I'm hyphenating or if we're picking a mutual last name to use."

Clint shrugged.  "I heard your 'I'll use it in my other identity' thing."

She kissed him.  "I'd love to use it here."

He smiled.  "There you can be a Barton.  We'll all be Bartons."

"Why?" Natasha asked, adjusting his tie.

"Because I'm the husband?"  He smirked.  "Here....  Do we want to combine, hyphenate, or pick a mutual one?"  They considered it.

"Mine was changed when I was young," Natasha admitted.

"Mine's mine but not exactly happy memories."

Dawn sniffled.  "I'll accept what we decide."

They stared at each other, holding a silent talk.  "We're taking yours," Clint said, taking a quick kiss.  "Teeth?"

"I did."

"Can still taste your salad dressing."  She went to rebrush her teeth and then reapply her lipstick.  "You sure?" he asked Natasha quietly.

"I like hers."  She smiled and teased his lip.  "We are rightly matriarchical.  There's more of us."

"That always pleases me," he said with a wicked smirk.  Dawn came back and they were brought off before she could reach them.  He looked around.  "That's handy."

"Very," Dawn said.  She put her hands through each of their arms. The heralds stared at her.  "I didn't think to grab it, people."

"The Key, Dawn Summers, and her spouses," they announced in unison, opening the door. 

They walked in and Dawn curtseyed at all the major tables before sitting with her mates.  Clint got the center this time.  The elder ones were all talking and staring at them.  Dawn sipped her wine, smiling.  "That's a great vintage."

Bia was beside her.  "It is.  Lord Dionysus outdid himself this year."  She smiled, looking at the ring she wore.  "Pretty work.  No band and solitaire?"

"We combined them," she said happily.  Hera was staring at her.  She smiled at her.  "Thank you for the invitation, Lady Hera."

"You're quite welcome, Dawn.  They are stunning."

Dawn smiled.  "They're beautiful to me in all ways."

Hera smiled and nodded.  "Excellent."

Roque and Clay walked in and nodded at the head table then sat down at the other end of the table.  By tradition, the ruling people in the house sat in the center.  John got announced next and walked in.  Then Phil and Xander.

Hera gasped, standing up.  "How did you two do that?"

Xander looked at her.  "By accident, how do I do anything?"  He smiled at Gaia.  "Still pissed at you.  We're big gods now and don't need fix ups."  She slumped down but nodded.  They sat down and Phil was next to John while Xander was next to Natasha.  "You two look stunning.  Clint looks nice as well."

"Thank you," Natasha said with a smile.  She sipped her wine.  "We never find anything this good on earth."

"Lord Dionysus makes some of the best wines," Xander agreed.  "Even for the other pantheons.  They bring him berries and fruits to press for them."

"He has an excellent hand.  Just fruity enough to be flavorful but not overpower and moister than most white wines."

"I don't really drink wine but it does taste good with the dinners."  He grinned.  "We're not really grape growing people."

She laughed.  "I know."  He grinned.  She sent a thought at Dawn about why they had to bow to all the tables when the rest didn't.  It came down to the Key wasn't really a part of any house but Xander had adopted her mortal form into his.  So they were his and not his.  It was protocol that would drive them all nuts.

Zeus looked at John.  "Is that appropriate?"

"In this life, he serves honorably and has status and rank," Xander said simply.  "He is not to disgrace his present service or his past services by denying his duties."

Zeus nodded, looking thoughtful.  "I can see why you allowed it.  The ladies look nice as usual."  They all nodded with a smile.  The last few got announced and he rang the bell.  "Tonight we celebrate a few announcements."  They all stared at him.  He stood up.  "First, that even though Gaia had to be sneaky and push things that bordered on Alexander's temper, he is now mated."  They stood up.  "He and Phil, God over Heros, have come to an agreement that they could handle things."

"He is my mate, my true mate," Xander said, looking around coolly, daring anyone to say something.  His father moaned.

Hera stood up.  "Their marriage is more than accepted by our standards.  Especially as they have the mating and claim marks that are spoken of in myths and have joined their powers in ways that most of us would not even consider."

"Pure accident," Xander quipped, sitting down.  Phil sat down.  He noticed his father staring at him and smiled smugly.  "Yes, Father, we have joined our powers fully a few times."  Loki slumped and nodded.  "Before anyone starts to ask or nag, there will be no children for at least a century, people."  They all sighed in displeasure.  "Sorry."

"Our duties mean we can be called into battle at any time," Phil said calmly and quietly.  "Which means we must not be incapacitated by a pregnancy until more are doing the duty so we can take time off."

Dawn smiled down at him.  "Tony had a total brainfart vision where you were pregnant, Xander, walking down the halls at SHIELD with your axe over your shoulder, and eating a twinkie."

Xander laughed.  "That could happen."

Thor nodded.  "As long as they do not ask me again if I plan on thus."  He gave Roque a pointed look.

"I didn't send him into heat," he quipped.  "We're not having kids for at least a century either.  He's military and it would get him captured and tortured to see how he did it.  So until someone makes a mortal male pregnancy pill, we're staying kidless."

"Funny you should mention that," Natasha joked with a smile for him.

He flinched and looked down at Dawn.  "Seriously?"

"Andrew and Jonathan."

He whimpered, shaking his head.  "Still, it'll be at least a century."

"I think that's sweet," Xander cooed with a grin at her.  "I'll let them surrogate for us if they want."

Hera shook her head.  "I don't want to know."  She sat down.

Zeus cleared his throat.  "What?"

"They're working on a male pregnancy for mortals," Hera said simply.

Zeus looked at Dawn's family.  "It sucks.  It's heartburn, headaches, and then your head opens."  She smiled at him.  "We're also ready to announce that Dawn has married."  She stood up and they stood up with her.  "These are her mates...."

"Clint and Natasha.  They are my mates and I will make sure no one tampers," she said, staring at Loki.  He saluted her with a glass and smirked.  She quirked an eyebrow up.  "Remember, you nearly got pregnant too."  He gulped and choked on the wine.  She smiled at the others.  "We're presently deciding on name issues."

"You'll take his," Hera said.

"No we're not," Clint said.  "We're taking hers for official things."

Dawn looked at him.  "We are?  We're sure?  It'll make it official."

"We are," Natasha agreed.  "Hyphenated."

Clint smiled.  "I can agree with that.  For formal things, we're Summers."

Hermes smiled at them.  "Beat all the bets, kids."  Dawn smiled and they sat down.  "Very amazon of you all."

"Natasha is one hell of a warrior woman," Dawn said with a smooth purr in her voice and a smile at her wife.

Natasha smiled.  "You are quite good on your own."

"Yes, you both are," Artemis said with a grin for them.  "You are more than worthy of being one of our Amazons, ladies, and your mate is a good captured mate."  They smiled at her.  "Do you share?"

"Hell.  No," Dawn said with a smirk.  "I'll destroy this planet if someone touches what's mine without my permission."

Xander grinned.  "I'll help."

"Cool but I get the bigger ray gun."

"Sure.  I'll have my axe."  They shook hands behind the spouses.

Hera blinked.  "Good to know.  Bia, are you involved, dear?"

She checked on her mate, who was ready.  She had him summoned by the heralds.

"Major Evan Lorne," they announced. 

She stood up and held out a hand.  "Lady Hera, this is my intended when I finally trip him, tie him up, and carry him back to my tent as is proper for a female of my lineage."  She smiled and created a seat next to him while Xander stretched the table.

"Pleasure to meet you, Evan," Hera said, smiling at him.  "I'm sure you'll be good to our young one?"

"Of course.  Anything less is dishonorable, ma'am."

"Excellent.  Then we look forward to seeing how your relationship grows."  She smiled at Zeus, who was blinking.  "He serves with Jonathan."

"Wonderful."  He nodded and rang the bell again so food could be served.  That whole house was now full of people who were married or all but married.  It solved so many problems outside of Jonathan.  He looked at his pantheon's half-offspring.  "Jonathan, do you have anyone you would like to invite?"

"Still not dating, Zeus, sorry."  He stuffed his mouth.

"Pity," Hera said.  "You would make someone an excellent husband."

"Yes I will.  When I'm ready."  That got a nod and they got back to eating.

Phones went off all along Xander's table outside of Bia's and Dawn's.

Dawn looked at Clint's phone.  "Should I go prepare to be backup?"

"Not magical this time," Short Stuff."  Clint took a kiss.  Natasha took a kiss.  John blew a kiss with a smirk.  The rest of them disappeared.  They took Evan with them to spare him the formal dinner stress.  Thor went on his own.

Dawn looked at Bia, who was watching.  "Let me know if they need help."

"I will."

"What interrupts a dinner?" Demeter snorted snidely.

"An emergency where someone who's a demon cocksucking minion opens the hellmouth," Dawn quipped with a smile.  "The idiot."

"Buffy's pregnant with twins we think," Bia told Athena and Artemis, who both moaned and shuddered.  "We've let her nap with us all day.  Sean's been with his grandmother charming her and the twins that belong to Tara."

Gaia smiled.  "The twins are charming and Sean is adorable if large."

"His father's an Asgardian warrior," Dawn said with a smile.  "Buffy and Hylal make a good pair."

"Even if she is occasionally a dick trophy," Bia quipped then stuffed her mouth.  Odin coughed and choked.  "He hath claimed her properly, All Father Odin.   Almost a year before they did it on the mortal plane."

"My sister had no idea because he didn't tell her that all those things meant formal marriage but they did it in her way since Buffy considered that a handfasting."

Frigg smiled.  "They are a good couple.  As are yours, Dawn."

"Thank you, Frigg."

"When are you due to have children?"

"When we're ready.  Which isn't this year I don't think."  Frigg stared at her.  "Unless you know something I don't?"  She scanned herself.  "No, not yet."  She went back to eating.

"Children do enhance a marriage," Demeter said with a smile at her daughter.

"Yes but it also means you can't have loud, rowdy sex on the couch any longer," Persephone said then stuffed her mouth.  Hera moaned and Zeus looked confused.  "Children do get in the way of relations," she pointed out.

"That's why they have mothers."

"Then how do mothers have sex?" Bia quipped.  "To give second children."  Zeus moaned and shook his head.  "Personally I think you should wait at least two years after getting married before getting knocked up."

"Or maybe five," Dawn said.  "Depending on your age and things in your life."

"That's true.  Yours get shot at," Bia agreed.

Dawn nodded.  "I have too a few times."  She stuffed her mouth.

Apollo cleared his throat.  "Any pains, Dawn?"

"No, thank you.  I got referred to someone who can fill in that dent and he'll sand down the scar so it's not as noticeable."  She smiled.  "Thank you for healing that for me."

"You're welcome."  He smiled.  "It's clear your spouses consider you precious."

"I consider them more necessary than air sometimes," she agreed with a grin.

Bia flinched.  "They just got overrun by a larger demon."

Dawn wiped her mouth, took one last sip of wine.  "Excuse us.  We have to be backup."  She and Bia disappeared.  Dawn slipped out of the dress on her way to get on something she could fight in.  She came out pulling on her sneakers and then grabbed her chainmail and weapons.  She and Bia landed in Cleveland and got to work on the demons there.  She looked around.  "Where are the guys?"

"Um, Sunnydale's," she said.

"Great!" Dawn said dryly.  She had remembered her earbud.  "It's Summers.  Can we have some backup in Cleveland please?"  The security team said that SHIELD was enroute and to hold on.  "Got it.  How long?"  She nodded.  "Thanks."  She tapped it.  "Twenty, Bia."

"Great!" she mimicked, blasting the demons back away from the hole.  She and Dawn destroyed most of the demons but the bigger thing was still coming out.  "Weapons!  We need major weapons!" she yelled at the first agent to appear.

"That sort has to have the head taken off!" Dawn yelled, firing as she retreated to let the agents take the front lines.

Agent Hill looked at her.  "You're getting yelled at.  Why are you wearing makeup?"

"Formal dinner until this shit started."

"Oh.  Okay."  They blew up the huge demon worm while the ladies kept the demons from getting to the hole.  They got the human summoning the Old One out and Dawn kicked him in the head.  He went down in a lump of flesh.  Dawn looked at Bia.  "The guys?"

She checked.  "They may have it."

Agent Hill called in.  "Coulson, do you need backup?  We just took out Cleveland's problems."  She nodded.  "They do."

Dawn and Bia grabbed hands, Bia smiling at Dawn's 'fuck this shit' entrance key to her powers.  The ladies took Hill and a few others with them to Sunnydale.  Dawn looked.  "This is like a nightmare replay."  She looked around.  "At least it's not a purple guy."  She blasted the thing coming up with power, making him scream in pain as he lit on fire.  "You're ruining my manicure.  And damn it, I hate turning into my sister!"  She blasted him again with Bia's help.  The demon retreated.  The human doing it got shot by John.

Xander looked at her.  "I had the same thought."

"You were turning into my sister too?" she quipped.

"No!"  He punched her on the arm.  "Thank you, ladies.  I heard Cleveland mentioned?"  Maria waved her hand with the weapon in it.  "Oh, good.  Any others?  Two is not the usual number."

Bia scanned and nodded.  "Yup.  No wonder the Persian pantheon wasn't there!"  They all flinched and Maria called it in.

"Fuck it, and they can't capture some of us anyway," Xander decided.  "John?"

"I hate the Middle East but I guess."  Phil nodded, taking Xander's hand to go with him.  Clay and Roque got more weapons from Hill and went with them.  Clay got the rest of his team there.

Jensen changed to his larger form and stomped on the demon trying to come out.  "How dare you interrupt my movie night!  I was having relaxation time after beating up on cadets earlier!"  He kept stomping until the demon died.  He huffed.  "Pitiful.  Really pitiful."  He glared at the human, who was whimpering.  "You're next."  Xander shot him. "Cool."  He smiled at Xander.  "Home?"

"Home," he agreed, making sure everyone left before him.  The hellmouth there they could close somehow.  They hated magic and local militia types were showing up.


Clint looked at Dawn, smiling at her.  "Like the makeup with the chainmail too."

She pushed back her sweaty hair.  "That's good."  She undid the throat and wrist clasps, then took a kiss.  "You good?"

"I'm fine."  He looked over.  Natasha walked over after saying something to Thor.  She took her own kiss from Dawn, who grinned at her.

"If she's giving out kisses I'll pass.  She'd probably try to take control again," Stark said, putting up his visor.  "We done now?"  They nodded.  He got his people back to the lab. Dawn got her spouses home.  Tony let the take off station remove his suit and looked at the waiting ladies.  "Chaos sorcerers should be shot.  We were having dinner."  He smiled and walked over to them.  "Is it cold?  We have a few microwaves, one that even runs on nuclear energy around here somewhere."  He led them off.  Steve got beamed back because he had said he wanted to make sure the field was cleared up.  "Done?" he asked.

"Done," he agreed, removing his mask.  He walked over to his weapons cabinet and put his shield there.  It was his backup one but it was a good one.  He walked into the bathroom to change out of his uniform and into street clothes.  Then he came out to join them for dinner.  "Did you hear Dawn's comment that she was turning into her sister?"

"What's wrong with my mommy?" Callia asked.

"Sometimes your mom jokes about demons messing up her nails during fights," Tony said.  "Your aunt made the same joke."

"They do I guess," she said.  "We need to invent a nailpolish that won't get damaged, daddy."

"When you're old enough to know chemistry you can do that."

"Okay."  She smiled and they got back to dinner.

"With the makeup job she had, I'm wondering what she wore to the godly banquet," Pepper said with a grin for Tony and Steve.

"Probably something great that made Barton drool," Steve said with a smile.  "She seems to like that."

Tony's phone rang.  He put it on speaker.  "What?" he asked.

"Boss," Dawn said with a breathy moan.  Then a groan.  "Um, not making it tomorrow," she said then sighed in pleasure and groaned again.  "They're giving me a great massage and I can't walk.  I fell on the stairs."  She moaned a visceral moan that even Pepper reacted to.  "Bye."  She hung up and went back to getting spoiled.  She had used a lot of magic and was sore and tired.  Then she'd do the same for them.

"Backrubs make you moan?" Callia asked.

Tony nodded.  "If they're hitting the sore muscles they can.  You did when I worked out your leg cramp the other day."

"It hurt for a minute then it suddenly felt better."

"Which is why your aunt was groaning," Pepper assured her.  "Finish up?"  Callia smiled and finished dinner, skipping her bath and bedtime reading to go play with her pets in her room.  Pepper sipped her iced tea, looking at the boys.  "Wow."

"Very," Tony agreed.  "But not squealing loud enough to set off the security system this time."  He stuffed his mouth.  He knew that look, he'd need energy.  His phone beeped so he looked at it.  "Never mind.  Dawn gives excellent massages because Barton set it off this time."  He canceled it and put it into his pocket, looking at Pepper then at Steve, then back at Pepper, who was blushing like Steve was.  Tony grinned.  Finally!  Those who were his would be his!


Xander looked at Phil once they were home.  He loosened his tie.  Phil loosened his and smirked.  "Wrestle for being on top?"

"Sorry, out of your weight class," Phil joked.

"Did you call me fat?" he said, moving closer.

"More muscular, not fat."  Though he did pinch a love handle on his mate's side.  Xander pounced and he moved himself out of the way with a wicked smirk.  He slid his tie off and took off his jacket then undid his dress shirt.  "Someone was wondering earlier about flying sex."

"That would be the shit," Xander cooed with an evil smirk.  "I can see us doing that."

"Not tonight."

"No, not tonight.  When we've had plenty of arm resting time."  He slid closer and Phil teased him by moving away and taking off that dress shirt.  Then his undershirt.  Xander was pulling his tie free and dropping it onto the couch. He took off his jacket and shirt with a thought, staring at Phil.  He took off his shoes.  Phil toed out of his and then used his toes to push down his socks so he could get out of them.  Xander stared at his feet then at Phil.  "Want me to worship at your altar?"

"We'll see who worships," Phil said with a tiny smirk.  He undid his belt but left it hanging.  Xander stripped out of his pants.  Phil strolled off, taking off everything as he headed for the pond.

Xander pounced him into it and made Phil a happy, happy boy.

"Oh, no," one of the trainee agents said then turned around and huffed off.  "I did not want to know."

"We are married," Phil said dryly.  "I can and did learn to enjoy my husband now and then.  If you don't like it, I'm sending you on special missions to sex people up for information."  The agent shuddered and went to pack and leave.

Xander shook his head.  "He's more Victorian than Dru was.  Thought women should wear long skirts."

"Pity.  Legs can be nice."  Xander growled and kissed him.  Phil grinned.  "I can look."

Xander bit down on his claiming mark, earning a hiss.  "Look, yes.  Fantasize unless it's a trio and she's really great in bed will have to wait for a few years," he said in his ear, pushing Phil against the side of the pond to rub against him.

"I'd never cheat, Xander."

Xander kissed.  "I know but I'm still getting used to this.  I'm a mite possessive."

"Just a tiny bit," Phil agreed with a smile.  "I'll only fantasize about us in bed with women who want to get between us?"  Xander rubbed harder and Phil chuckled in his ear.  "I can do that."

"You certainly can."  He groaned and rubbed harder.

Phil wrapped himself around Xander's waist, letting him do whatever he wanted.  "So, wings?  Really?"

"They're like an extra sexual organ," he said in Phil's ear, casting the spell on them. 

Phil moaned as his wings came out.  Xander ran his fingers under the feathers and suddenly Phil knew why Dawn screamed when it was good.  He was clutching Xander too hard to play with his wings but Xander had covered them by wrapping his wings around them and Phil was nuzzling the one next to his head.  Xander was purring and Phil had found all new terms for happy nerve endings firing off in rapid succession that was leading him to an orgasm.  He came so hard he started to black out.  Thankfully Xander understood and held him up.  He panted, looking at him.  "Xander?" he panted.

Xander grinned.  "So, how do you like wings?"

"I love wings suddenly."  Xander and he kissed.  "Teach me to fly?"

"I can do that."  They got out and Xander dried off their wings with a thought, teaching Phil how to take off and fly.  Naked flying was good too and Xander was coordinated enough to get in some flying groping too.

John, Clay, and Roque looked at Xander's gasp of pleasure.  "Damn, he's gifted," Clay said.  "I don't think I could slide home and keep them both up there without crashing.   Don't even think about it, Roque."

"Never wanted wings."  He created them on John, who moaned in pleasure and went back to Atlantis to fly.

"This again!" Rodney ranted when he spotted him.  "Must you do that!"

"Yup, I must," John agreed.


Jensen looked up from where he was sitting with Cougar.  "See, that's just wrong.  Guys don't go into heat as dragons.  Girls go into heat as dragons."

"They have fluffy wings, not scaly ones," Cougar said, sipping some of his beer.  "Not in heat either."  He looked at Jensen.  "We need to find you a woman of your own."

Jensen glared.  "I get plenty of women even when you cockblock me."  He huffed off to the local town to find a few good, pretty girls.

Cougar snorted.  "Sure you do."  He'd give it two hours then go find Jensen.  Probably in jail but he'd find him somewhere.  When he went looking for Jake, he had to go into yellow fur form to sniff his path out.  He found where he was and changed back, heading in there by an upper, open window.  What he saw fried his brain.  There were six girls who wanted Jensen to partially change and do them that way. 

He snuck back out because only Jensen could find girls who wanted to get laid by a dragon.  He wasn't going to interrupt because he might find out things he did not want to know.  He had heard of groupies but dragon groupies?  He went back to the temple with a stop at a church on the way to apologize for being such a bad friend.  Clearly he had cockblocked Jake too often if he had ended up with the kinky six-pack of women.


Fury looked up as Phil walked in the next morning for the training meeting, staring at his back.  "What the fuck is that?" he demanded with a point.

Phil looked then at him like nothing was wrong or unusual.  "Wings, sir.  Alexander has a wing spell he likes.  They're actually very comforting in some ways.  Even if I did nearly shut one in the elevator just now."  He sat down.

"I can see that they're wings and I remember Harris doing it before," he growled.  "Why do *you* have them?"

"Because I'm his spouse.  He wanted to go for a fly.  It's very freeing."

Fury stomped off.  "That's it, I'm going on vacation."

"Should we book you anywhere?" Joyce asked as he stomped past her.   "I have a nice new list of places that people find relaxing."  Fury slammed his door and let out a scream of rage.  "Okay, maybe Bora Bora?" she asked Agent Hill.

"I'm not sure if we shouldn't book him a room beside Warren Meers," she said quietly, going into the meeting room.  She spotted the reason for the screaming in the office.  "Agent Coulson, should we be inputting new things into your identifying marks file?" she asked.

He looked over from talking with one of the other trainers.  "They'll only last two weeks, Agent Hill."  He smiled slightly.  "Xander wanted to go for a fly."

"Did him giving himself wings lead to yours?"

"For safety and security reasons he couldn't go alone," he said simply.  "Colonel Sheppard was back on Atlantis with his so he needed a flying buddy."

She nodded and walked out.  She tapped and walked into the office, kicking the door closed.  She took the scotch from her boss's hand and gulped some then handed it back.  "Joyce suggested Bora Bora, sir.  Warm, beaches."

"I'd get flashbacks to Summers in Miami," he complained.

"There's the north pole.  Somewhere in Scandinavia."  He gave her a dirty look.  "Africa, sir?  There's a mission going."

He snorted.  "I might go on that.  I can handle that sort of sand."  She nodded and filled out forms for the both of them, letting him sign them.  She handed them to Joyce to send off for her and went home to pack.  She, Tara, and the kids needed some bikini time and she'd back the day before Christmas.  Tara would enjoy that.

Fury walked out.  "I'm going on a mission in Africa, Summers.  Don't destroy anything until I get back or Hill gets back."

"Of course, not, sir."  She smiled and waved at his back once he was in the elevator.  She went in to look at the wings.  "You need preened, Phil.  You have bent feathers."

"Yes, but if I do, I'd have to take the day off."

She hugged him around the shoulders, resting between his wings.  "That's probably why Xander loves them so much."  She went back to her desk.  Things would go on like usual unless there was a crisis or an attack.  When Phil came out she held up something.  "A complaint from Cleveland that their demon cocksucking people were dumb."

"Thank you."  He walked off reading it.

Joyce smiled at the man coming off the elevator.  He was the technical third in command and an asshole bigger than Stark.  "Sir, Director Fury told you he was going on a mission?"

"He did," he said.  "Where is Agent Hill?"

"Bora Bora for the next week."  She smiled.  "The office is locked but there was nothing on his desk before he stomped off."  She found things and handed them over.  "Those are the current reports waiting on him to sign off.  Agent Hill dropped them on my desk before she left."

He grimaced.  "Open the door?"

"I'm sorry, sir, but Director Fury said no one in his office even if he's in a coma.  You can work in the secondary office," she said with a point.  "Or in the conference room.  The seats in there are more comfortable and you can spread out."  He glared at her.  She smiled sweetly.  "My daughter does that better."  He huffed into the conference room.  She routed Fury's phone in there and then sent in the other things that had to get signed.  Including the budget for the cafeteria.

He came out with that.  "Why does he need to specially sign off?"

"The World Security Council said anything out of the ordinary and they had a complete freezer breakdown.  It didn't get fixed for three days.  They lost about a month's worth of food they'll need to have replaced."

"Is that really a necessity?  We're not on the hell carrier, Summers."  He handed it back.

"Then you might lose your infirmary staff, everyone who's on sick leave, and about half the admin staff who is here because we have to eat on a schedule with medicines or for other reasons," she said, handing it back.  "The medical staff are all on medications right now to combat the virus that got released in the lab upstairs, which has to be taken with food every four hours.  By food, it needs to be taken with protein, which is usually at least refrigerated or beans, and three are allergic to beans." 

He sneered.  "Most of the admin staff are also on the same medicine for the very same reason.   You nearly lost us all to a quarantine situation for over a week."  Still sneering.  "Also, do be aware that I have to take mine with my medicine to make sure the brain tumor doesn't come back and if I don't get mine, then I have to go back to the hospital, which means nothing gets done."

"We did without a PA for years."

She slugged him.  "That's nice, sweetheart, but that's probably why nothing got done.  Including missing weapons, missing tech gear, missing science information, three leaks in R&D, that also happened to almost compromise Stark International, and we nearly got invaded by someone who wanted someone in our cells.  Which meant that our invasion drill turned real and three agents died.  Overall, those leaks have led to the loss of an irreplaceable sixteen agents.  Now, do you want to deal with things the proper way or would you like to keep throwing fits like a child, at which point in time I'll stick you in a corner like you're deserving?" 

He huffed and got up.  She  grabbed him by the ear and slammed him into a corner, making him yelp and hold his nose.  "Stay there until you can act your age."  She sat back down.  "People, work is not getting done," she noted.  The admin staff went back to it.  She typed a text to the fourth in command, who was much nicer.  The man tried to move so she casually hit him with her taser.  "I said stay there until you can be a big boy and use big boy panties and words, Dexter.  You're clearly missing out on your toddler years."

"I'll have you fired," he sneered.

She smiled.  "You go right ahead.  I can probably get one with Stark and have better benefits anyway."  She set off the taser again, making him scream.  "My!  I didn't even scream that much in labor.  Neither did Tara and she had twins without painkillers."  She smiled at the fourth in command that showed up.  "Good morning, AJ."

"Joyce."  He looked at the guy above him.  "Fury?"

"Mission in Africa I believe he said," Joyce said with a smile.  She showed him the film of him stomping off.

"Maria will love Bora Bora," he decided.  "Him?"

"Acting like a toddler."

"I thought that was Coulson's threat to Stark," he said with a grin.

"I did learn many great things from Phil.  He's such a nice boy when he's not in the field."

"Fucking faggot," the third in command sneered. 

She hit him again and dropped the taser into her plant by accident.  "Oops."  AJ dug it out and turned it off.  "Sorry.  It did slip."

"It did, I saw it slip."  The other guy was panting.  "Why don't you hit the infirmary and I'll deal with it."  Coulson came off the elevator with some folders.  "I wondered why Fury screamed that way and Hill took a sudden vacation."

Phil smiled slightly.  "Alexander wanted to fly and needed a flying buddy."

"Interesting.  Permanent?"

"Two weeks as far as happened last time."

"Wonderful.  Learn some skills that way to make sure if we want to do that in the future for battles."

"I'm sparring with Romanoff today."  He handed over the folders.  He stared at the other guy.  "We do have a non-discrimination policy and if you voice your opinion on my relationship again I'm going to use you to warm up.  We may not be gladiators that rank ourselves by our fighting abilities but I'm fairly certain you're near the bottom anyway."  He looked at AJ.  "The planned meetings over the move are on Friday," he said more quietly.

"I can attend those and conference in Fury.  Joyce?"  She handed over the scheduling book.  "What's this one with the caf?"

"The budget's due by then."  She pointed at the mark beside it.  "Paperwork due by then."  She handed it over.  "Freezer malfunction."

"I heard."  He looked it over.  "Seems reasonable.  We need to buy for the hell carrier too."

"That has a separate budget line."  She showed him.  "It's due next week.  They'll be sending the order to me by Wednesday so we can get it to them by next Saturday."

He nodded, signing off on things.  She pointed at the conference room.  "I know he hates people in his office when he's not there."

"That and Dawn burned his desk for him."  She smiled.

"We heard why," he assured her, heading to look those folders over.  "Agent Coulson, please drop our superior in the infirmary on your way to sparring."

"Yes, sir."  He hauled him up and down there.

Joyce sighed and smiled.  "He's gotten so much stronger from the sparring.  Xander's done him very good."

AJ came out.  "They spar?"

She smiled and nodded.  "Xander's teaching him sword and axe work too."

"Excellent.  Have him do a preliminary evaluation with it."  He went back in there.  "Then do one when he doesn't have the wings."

"Yes, sir."  She sent that text message.  He brought it up to hand over.  She patted him on the arm.  "You've gotten much more openly muscular, Phil."

He smiled at her.  "I have.  I had to buy whole new shirts and jackets."  He left, going back to his office.

AJ looked it over.  "He's pretty damn good."  He filed that for later inclusion into his folder.  Joyce had everything set up so he could deal with it within minutes, which left Fury time to handle everything else.  Before it'd be late nights of lost paperwork and having to redo things.  Now, it was much more smooth.  Though the guy above him really needed to be gone.  Unfortunately his profile was locked in the system.  Joyce brought him in a tablet with a site pulled up and logged into.  "," he read, shrugging and trying it.  It did a pretty good job of the public stuff.  "He was picked up for prostitution?"  He did a check on those through the local papers and courthouses.  Maybe that was a decent place to start.  He'd have to remember it.


Xander appeared, lazy smile in place, smirking at Dawn.  "You called off work because...."

"Mom?" she joked, smirking sleepily.  "He finally worked that kink out of my lower back."

"That 'my chair is at the wrong height' knot?  Cool.  Your mom wanted to know."

"I'll talk to her in a few."

"She said Fury took off for Africa on a mission."  Clint moaned and shook his head.  "Maria, the twins, and Tara all went to Bora Bora."  He grinned, his wings flapping slowly.

Natasha lifted her head up.  "Wings?"

"I like the wings.  I'm not usually one for flying but it's the shit."  He smirked.  "I can give her the spell."

"Um, no," Clint said from under Dawn's back.  "I'd never hear the end of the jokes.  Thanks though."

"Okay, if you're sure."  He disappeared, going to check on Stark.  "Hey."

Tony jumped and stared.  "Wings?"  He came over to look at them.  "Huh.  Messy feathers."

"Sexual organ," Xander said before Tony could touch them.  "Sorry."

"Like literally, like an extra dick, or just physically and sensation wise?"

"Sensation wise definitely.  Sividia me and his slightly evil Sam have wing foreplay."  He grinned.

"Wonderful.  I want readings on them."


He clipped two clips to the edges, ignoring Xander's wishes.  "More than a pinch?"  He turned it on and read what it showed without waiting for an answer.  "JARVIS, scan those for me?"  A beam went over Xander and a virtual model came up.  "Huh."  He casually touched a few feathers, watching how the image changed.  Then he stroked down over them, making Xander moan.  Suddenly the display lit up and a warning went off behind it in the form of Phil appearing with a scowl.  "Testing!  Not coming onto him!"

"Uh-huh.  Unhook my mate's wings, Stark.  Before we give you some."  Tony unclipped him.  "Thank you."  He took Xander home.

Xander popped back for a minute.  "Joyce wanted to know if you really let Dawn have today off due to sex."  He left again.

Tony nodded.  "Of course I did.  I totally changed my PhD dissertation defense one time due to the succuba sorority hitting on me the night before."  He shrugged and got back to work.  "She's allowed two sex days a every six months.  It's in her contract."  He went over the wings and the sensitive nature of them.  There might be something there he could use.

Jonathan walked in looking green.  "Tony, what do you do when you're motion sick from the elevators?" he asked.

Tony looked at him.  "With your recent research I'd go take an EPT," he said bluntly.  "JARVIS, run a scan on him please?"  It popped up with a bright pink plus sign over his head.  "Boy, girl...."

"No idea yet," JARVIS admitted.  "I can't test DNA without a sample and it's too soon for that."

Jonathan grinned.  "I managed it?  Cool!"  He ran off to babble at Andrew and the girls, who all cheered him on and took him to the infirmary for a test, even though the doctor was confused, then for ice cream.  Tony sent a text telling him which tests he needed to do and how often, how to journal everything, and then to get ready to publish it.  Jonathan showed them, it was a great step.  They could do great things with this!


Clay looked at his phone.  "Dawn texted."  Roque lifted his head.  Clay got into the message and groaned, throwing the phone at his mate's head.  "The geek twins managed it."

"They're going to be on us even more," Roque complained.  "Anyone wanna have kids for us?"

"Nope, but the ladies last night might like some," Jensen quipped.

"Condoms," Roque reminded him firmly.

"I did!  Even if I did stretch some way too far."  Cougar had been walking in but turned and walked off crossing himself and muttering in Spanish again.  "Sorry," he quipped with a grin and a wave.

"What hookers did you hire last night?" Clay asked.

Jensen grinned.  "Dragon groupies."  He got up and changed to his smaller form to fly off.

"Someone get me something to kill him with," Roque complained, rubbing his forehead.

"There's actual groupies?" Clay demanded.

Roque nodded.  "There's vampire and werewolf groupies too.  They'd love to have sex with them, and some'll do it in animal form."

"I did not need to know that," Pooch said, turning and walking off.

"Talk to Jensen about his," he ordered.

"Hell no.  I don't want to know."

Jensen leaned in a minute later, back in human form, and grinned.  "They were really nice.  They oiled me and they teased me and they had really a lot of fun squealing about me."

"In animal form?" Clay complained.

"My dragon form is as much a part of me as your wolf one is yours," he said firmly.  "Besides, having sex in human form can be really weird.  We're usually in dragon form when we mate if possible."  He jogged off again.

"I've got to buy him a damn wife somewhere," Roque complained.

Clay looked at him.  "We can ask Xander."

"No then he'd probably get more groupies!"

Xander leaned in.  "Did I hear groupies?" he asked with a grin.

"Jensen found dragon groupies last night."

"Can't say as I've ever tried a dragon in full size," Xander admitted.  "They'd probably be really big."  He shrugged and walked off.  "Jensen, if your groupies show up later, keep them off the trainees.  They're all mentally fragile about sex stuff."

"Sure, Xander."


Clay looked at Roque.  "Can you and I go back to Pegasus?  The shit there was weird but I could put up with it better than I can this shit."

He nodded.  "I'll see if we can."  He and Clay left to go somewhere far, far away from all groupies, Xander's wings, Jensen, Cougar, and anyone else.  They could go back to the same sex house they had been married at and replay their mating.

Clay looked around then at him.  "This seems familiar," he said dryly.

"Should," he agreed, throwing him in the sling and tying him down with an evil grin.  "Lucky for you I even brought a sharp knife to cut the clothes off you."  He got to work on that, slight, precise cuts that made Clay shiver and grab onto the arm straps he was hitched to.


Xander and Phil meet up later that night.  "So," Xander said, moving closer to Phil, one hand going around his waist.  "I hear we're not babysitting for a week?"

"We're not," he agreed, sliding one of his hands around Xander's waist.  "Why?"  Xander spun him and he grabbed him back and the sparring/tickle match/seeing who was on top match was on.

"Oh, dear lord Odin, just fuck already," Talsa yelled.

"We will when we see who's on top tonight," Xander quipped.  She threw a heavy pan at his head, making him yelp and duck.  Which Phil took advantage of with a smirk and taking them to the bedroom.

"You're not because you get funny ideas like wings!" she called after him.  "Need it cured, boy."  She went to fuss over the trainees.  They were all mentally slow but she guessed it was like field warriors who could only take orders, not make their own.

The End.

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