Thugs vs Old Ones.

Fury walked into the Tower and got signed in, heading up to the lab floor.  He ran into Dawn first.  "That game thing I read?"

"It is here, they do not let Xander near it because of his abilities, and yeah, they're looking for problem solvers the easy way while making money off the misery," she said bluntly.  "Though ours is in a casino in Florida."

He shook his head.  "Should we step in?"

She shrugged.  "Send agents, they might like that.  I almost went on my last vacation but I got overruled."

"Fine.  Olympics are next weekend."

"I know.  Pity but I know."  He huffed off toward the labs.  "He's in the caf."

"Thank you."  He went back down there to bother Stark.  "You remember it's next weekend, right?"

"Unfortunately I do have that good of a memory."  Callia stared at him.  "I got nagged into running with agents."

"Poor daddy," she said, patting his hand.  "It'll be okay and I'll have ice packs made so you don't hurt later."

"Thanks."  He kissed her on the head and looked at Fury.  "You look confused.  What's happened now?"

"That game?"

"Florida.  I thought about going but got warned that my suit wouldn't work there.  I thought about bribing Barton but got overruled by Romanoff, the same as Dawn did."

"That is not how I want to spend my vacation," she said from her seat in the corner behind her book.

Fury looked over then at him.  "I'll assign agents so we don't have an immigration problem from that realm.  The new slayers?"  Callia stiffened and got up to get something to nibble on.  "What's her issue?" he asked quietly.

"Her mother took all her siblings to Asgard for a year," Tony said dryly.  "It's a lot to adjust to, especially with the time running faster up there."

"I didn't think about that.  She going to be okay?"

"We hope so."  He hugged her when she came back with cake for both of them.  "You need veggies at the same time."

"I will."  She snuggled into his lap, looking at the director.  "I need my father, do you mind?"  Tony poked her on the side.

"One last thing.  That movie?" he demanded.

Tony smirked.  "The theater across the street will be done in time.  We'll be hosting the opening for this city."

Fury groaned, walking off shaking his head.

Tony looked at her.  "We'll figure it out.  It'll be okay."

"If you're sure."

"I'm certain it will be.  Alana said that Xander had Garnet's wolf pack watch over the kids and your mom.  Plus Fenrir is there to do the same thing.  Xander made a deal with him to protect that whole village, especially your siblings, and moved his confinement there no matter what Odin wanted."

"I like the wolves.  They're nice creatures."  She curled up in his lap.  "I already miss them."

"Of course you do.  I do too."

"We need to make an alternative car, Daddy, and make it run on goat power."

"We can work on that.  I have no idea how we'd measure goat power."  She poked him but then ate a fingerfull of cake.  "Eat it properly before your Aunt Pepper sees you doing that."  He handed her a spoon.  She ate both pieces of cake and then the tomato salad the ladies at the lunch line sent over.  He'd worry about her diet but she had eaten real food for dinner.  "You have gymnastics today."

"Can I not go?"

"No.  You made a commitment and you have to honor it.  That's like making a promise."  It was great that Pepper had coached him how to say that by saying that very thing to him a few years ago.  There were days it was clear he was the faulty beta model to his daughter.

She looked up at him.  "I guess."  She sighed.  He nodded.  "Let me go change."  She got up and went up to change and do what she needed to do before her class.  She wasn't really into it today but since she had promised....

Tony got some coffee to go, heading up there to help her get ready faster before they ended up late.  He took her and sat there to watch her.  Usually she didn't want anyone there but today she wanted to be clingy and he understood that.  She wasn't her usual bouncy self and the coach stared at him.  "Her mom's taken her siblings and moved farther away for a year," he said quietly.  "She's still upset."

"That's normal I guess."  He went to work on her mood with the other kids.  The girls were good for each other and the single boy in the class.  They could work on some tumbling things today.  Before class ended he lined them up.  "Some of you are going to a meet next week."  He saw the interested look start on Callia's face.  "We have Jimmy, Paulina, Mary, Grace, and Jocasta ready.  Callia, you'll be ready for the next one.  You don't have a floor routine ready and you need beam work.  The next one is in two months." 

He stared at her.  "If you're good by then, you can go."  She nodded and smiled.  He looked at the others.  "The rest of you have a lot more work to put in but you might make it by then or the one after that, which is a few weeks later.  Got it?"  They all nodded.  "Good.  We went over what makes a floor routine.  Bring me an idea of what music you like."  They nodded and filed out to their parents and/or drivers.  He stopped Callia.  "You can make it faster but you're not ready yet."

"I understand.  I haven't been doing this too long and I need more practice to get better."

"That's right, you do."  He smiled.  "Music?"

"Daddy really likes heavy metal."

"Nothing that loud.  Has to have a rhythm like you could dance to but nothing techno, heavy metal, or too loud."

"Okay, we'll talk about it later."  She hugged him then ran back to her father.  "We need music."

"Why do we need music?"

"If I can work up something I can go to the next meet in two months."  She stared at him.

He smiled.  "We can go through the music library."

"Nothing techno, metal, or too loud," the coach warned.  "And clip her toenails."

"I can handle that.  Between ours and your aunt's collection we'll find you something."  She climbed up him and he stood up, carrying her out to the car.  "C'mon, we'll listen while we work out what goat power should be rated at."

"Okay.  Will we get to test Thor's goats to see how fast they can pull his cart thingy?"

"Maybe.  That might be a good place to start.  I know a single horsepower is 550 foot-pounds per second.  We'll measure what his goats can do."  She grinned and hugged him around the neck.  They got into the car and headed back to the tower so she could start looking up music.

She walked into the lab with him.  "JARVIS?"

"Yes?" he asked after a second.

"I need music for a floor routine.  It can't be loud, techno, or heavy metal.  It has to be something I could dance to."

"Most of the gymnastics videos I can find online have light dance music or classical  selections, with a few that go into anthems and school songs.  There's some from the more tour-oriented gymnastics groups that feature more popular works."  Music started from the mobile modem box they had created.  "That's a beautiful piece, Atlantis.  Is it original to your people or one of the current residents?"  He paused.  "She said Doctor Jackson found that in her archives."

Callia shifted and tried to dance to it.  "Needs more tempo.  I have to be bouncy to it, Atlantis.  JARVIS, can you show her gymnastics?"  He put up a few videos.  She changed songs and she could dance to that.  "I like that!"

"I'll burn down a copy for you to take to your next lesson, Callia."

"Thanks, JARVIS, and you too, Atlantis.  Your people had really pretty music."  She patted the box.  "I'd hug you but you're on the west coast."

"Hugs do seem to be appreciated," Atlantis said, sounding happy.  "I'll have that one marked for you."

"Thank you," Tony said.  "JARVIS, send an email to Xander to tell him we need to know what Thor's goats rate against horsepower."

"I can do so.  Done."

"Thank you," Callia chirped.  "Sean wanted to make goat powered cars."

"I'm sure that would be wonderful," Atlantis agreed.  "He's a very bright little boy."

"Yeah but he's on Asgard for a year.  He'll come back all big and nearly a teenager, Atlantis.  That sucks, I won't have more playmates."

"You still have Liz and the twins," Tony reminded her.  "Plus your Aunt Tara was thinking about getting pregnant again."

Callia stared, eyes wide.  "Really?"


"Wow.  More babies are cool!"  She ran off to tell her Aunt Pepper about that and the music.  She was in a meeting with her Aunt Dawn so she found Jonathan and Andrew to tell them.  They wanted to know when it was so they could watch.  She hugged them and babbled, letting JARVIS play the song there for them.  They liked it too and got into the music database that Atlantis had.  She had a lot of music they really liked.  Though a lot of flutey-sort of instruments.  That thought made Jonathan blush but only because of the movie he'd been watching he told Callia.  She didn't understand and gave him another hug then danced around with Roomba dog until her aunts were done.


Dawn got stopped by a reporter lunging out at her as she came out of the Stark tower.  "You look like you ate springs," she said with a small smile.  "Something hugely important?"  She had to remember she needed to be nice to reporters.  Even when she wasn't in the mood for it.

"Just a few things to get your opinion on.  We're trying to judge how much of an impact younger, more competent people have on today's opinions."

"Sure, I have ten minutes."  She leaned against the building.  "I'm comfy so what did you want to know?"

"What's your opinion on the current presidential race of the incumbent president versus Mr. McDonald?"

"I think neither one is capable of making decisions that don't make me flinch every few minutes.  Especially for those that are trying to amass wealth for our later generations."

"How did you get that money?"

"I'm fairly frugal and kitten poker."  She smiled.  "Though I've mostly given up that habit.  I only play now to keep track of people who are acquaintances off-realm.  That's where I was going when you paused me."

"We haven't seen your sister in Cleveland recently."

"No, the twins were born a bit early and a bit ill so Buffy and Hylal decided that they should go to Asgard for a year.  So they took all them and Sean, but please don't mention it around Callia."

"Is she upset?  I'd probably be upset if my mother didn't take me on such a trip."

Dawn grinned.  "No, she's mad that Buffy took her siblings.  She said Buffy and Hylal could go but she wanted the babies here.  Especially Sean since time ran so differently up there and they'd all be older than her when they got back."

"Awww.  That poor sweetheart.  That has to be confusing."

"Some.  We're working through it."

"So, if you don't like them, do you have anyone you'd like more?"

She beamed.  "I think Pepper and Tony should take it.  Pepper would have to be in charge of course, she has all the admin skills, but Tony's a natural diplomat when he wants to be.  The rest of the time he subtly pisses people off and makes them huff off and leave everyone alone.  We need someone who has her skills and his charisma and abilities to bullshit when necessary and lay it low to piss people off because they need to hear the truth even if it is too blunt for them."

"I can see that," the reporter said with a smile.  "That's actually not a bad combination."

Dawn grinned.  "If Callia was older...."  The reporter laughed and nodded.  "Anything else?"

"Do you invest?"

"I do.  I have a very nice investment person who helps me.  I've heard rumors that he was going to move companies so I'm not sure how I'm doing that at the moment.  He and I worked out a very realistic budget that included my shopping and other needs and a lot of saving.  He makes my net worth grow about three percent a year."

"There's rumors that the leader of a small former Soviet Protectorate has expressed a desire to see you."

"I'm with someone and I'd never break that up; I've seen some of his people when they tried to kidnap me.  A few I saw at the end of my gun."  The reporter shuddered.  "I was not pleased and I would suggest he find someone who is not taken and who is more interested."  She smiled.  "Because I do not fit in that category and I will destroy anyone who tries to take me again."

"I can understand and fully agree.  Someone like that shouldn't force anyone to be their wives."  She smiled.  "Thank you for your time, Miss Summers."

"You're welcome."  She strolled off to her waiting car, getting into the back and leaning back once the door was closed.  "Going to the kitten poker hall down on Penguin."

"Sure thing, Dawn.  You okay?"

"She just brought up that stupid warlord wannabe world leader who wants to own me.  It's not like I'm going to dump what I have, which is excellent in so many ways, to go for that mental troll."

He glanced back in the mirror.  "Some women would go for the power."

"Yes but I'm not a ho.  I have all the power I want and need."

"Sure, we agree with that."  She smiled at him for that bit of temper easing.  "So just kitten poker tonight?"

"Yeah, I need to check rumors on where Buffy is.  There hasn't been a letter in a few weeks and Callia's getting anxious.  And maybe I'll get a few new weapons too.  My mates could use a new weapon or two."  She grinned.  He shivered.  "It's that or more cats, dear."

"Then weapons are good, yeah."  He found the bar and pulled up.  She tipped him and dismissed him, heading up the street to the pub.  He made note of it and radioed in to his boss, then called his employer.  She was not going to be an easy conquest, but really that's what was thrilling him.


Dawn was in the park to meet an information source late the next night.  "Okay," she said.  "What's going on?"

"Your future husband wants to see you.  He has your mates and your niece over there for your wedding."

She stared at him.  She hadn't been expecting that.  She had been expecting to hear information on where Callia was.  "I'm already married."

"He said those are not legal in his country and he wishes you to come see him."

"Small problem since I don't have a passport."

"You do in the system."

"It's not in my possession.  Director Fury has it."  He grimaced and texted that back.  Dawn looked at the man walking up behind her.  Never let it be said that her danger sense didn't call backup.  She had shouted mentally at Phil and there he was with the director and Agent Hill.  All looking very imposing and armed.  She looked at Fury, who shook his head.  "Can I have my passport back, Director?"

"My employer said that you have popped around before."

"If I'm pissed off or feeling threatened, my powers don't do gentle," Dawn said, staring at him coldly.  "I'd appear and there'd be a crater."

"He is sure you can control that so your niece doesn't have to see such matters.  You can even bring your mother."

"There's no way in hell I'd bring my mother over there."  She stared at him.  "If he's touched them I'm going to kill him."  She was poking at the bond they had tied off on their sides.  She had wondered why.  She stared at him then at Phil.  "Big brother?"

"We can go," he agreed.

"He said only her mother."

Phil flashed his aura.  "I don't take orders from mortals."  The man whimpered.

"Amen," Dawn said, gathering her powers.  She opened all the keys.  "C'mon then, Big Brother."  She looked at Fury.

"We'll be listening for you to need picked up." 

"Sure."  She took the minion and Phil with her.  Where she landed was indeed now a crater of glass.  She walked off, dragging the minion with her.  Once they were gone, Maria Hill was getting things in motion for them to go on a rescue mission and stomp that idiot wannabe Dawn owner.  Fury was not happy but that one person's identity led them to a few others who were subtly in his employ, including her driver and a few others in interesting places.

"I can lead you to him."

Dawn stared at him.  Then at Phil.  "I get to kill this one, right?"

"You really shouldn't kill the messenger, but I don't care."

"Hmm."  She smirked.  "Did you forget that someone tried really hard to make me an agent?"  He shivered.  "Including teaching me *many* ways to kill people."  He was sweating.  "Don't get too far ahead."  She let him go and he ran off.  She followed.  Phil was following her making notes for John back at the temple, who was passing them on to Fury.  They got up to the palace to find the idiot, her niece, and the panting, begging minion there.  "Where's my spouses?"

"They are not legal here," he said smugly.  "I knew you would come."

Dawn walked up to him.  "You have nothing I want outside my niece and my spouses.  If you think I won't destroy your whole country, you're wrong."

He laughed.  "I'm sure you cannot."  She let power out and he gaped.  "You...."

"Are pissed off, yeah.  Callia, run to Uncle Phil please."

"Can't.  Collar thingy hurts."  Dawn looked and reached over to undo it.  She ran down to Phil.  "Uncle Phil."

"Callia."  He looked up.  "Roque, please come get her."  He stepped out of a shadow and grabbed her.  "Her parents?"

"Home."  He left with her.  "Little kids don't need to see that sort of destruction."

"You will be mine.  Or else I will kill those *spouses* of yours," he sneered.

Dawn laughed.  "Really?"  She leveled the building they were standing in front of.  The magic made sure nothing remained that was bigger than a tiny piece of road gravel.

"There they are," Phil said, calling the waiting agents in to help him evacuate them while the supposed leader gasped and babbled.  If they ran into other innocent spectators they could be gotten out of Dawn's radius of harm too he supposed.  He did have other people in 'custody' to 'interrogate'.

"I have done the paperwork," he sneered.

"Yay."  Dawn shrugged.  "Still not your wife.  It's not legal since I'm already married."  He moved closer, trying to menace her.  "Hint, dude, you can't do it better than a hell goddess who was after me at fifteen or any of the other supposed bad guys that I've seen since then."  He tried to pull her closer and she stabbed him, making him scream in agony.  She smiled and changed the shape of her magic around her dagger.  "Really?  Pepper screamed less in labor and I'm pretty sure that hurt a lot more than what I just did to you."  She walked off, her heels clicking over the broken stones.  "Phil, do I need to find a healing spell?"

"No, they're just slightly injured, Dawn.  Not badly."  He pointed.  "Bureaucrats."

She turned to stare them down.  "I did not want him to kidnap my niece, my spouses, or continue his deranged little stalking/wanting me thing after I said no the first time.  Much less when I said no the third.  This was the sixth or so.  I've had enough.  He's going to die if he comes near me again.  Right now I'm thinking of your people and how miserable they must be under him but you guys having a civil war probably won't help them either.  Feel lucky I have mercy considering how you hurt what was mine."

"If he dies, you're the regent for his heir," one said.

"Fuck no I'm not," she said bluntly.  "I don't give a goddess fucking damn about what the hell he wants!"

"He had you married!"

"I'm already married," she snarled, walking back there.  "You are disrespecting my relationship.  I'm sure his kid is young enough to be turned into a decent human being but that is not my job.  Why would I want to take care of anyone's kid when they've stalked me, kidnaped my niece, kidnaped and tried to torture my spouses, and have tried to make my life a living fucking hell!" she finished in a shout.  "I'm pretty damn sure if this kid is real, then he's probably got decent people somewhere in this land who can guide him to becoming a moral, upright, *good* leader."  She stared at them.  "But it won't be me because I am not his stepmother.  No matter what sort of illegal paperwork he had done."

"It is legal here," one said.

"It's not legal in the US and mine is," Dawn said bluntly.  "I'm a citizen there so that's all that matters to me."

They talked.  "We will give you the title."

"I don't want it," Dawn said in a snippy, cold voice.  "I want nothing to do with any of you people.  You've pissed me off in a manner that I usually find annoying enough to destroy everything when bad guys do it."  They shuddered and looked at the mess of the castle.  "Now, do we have anything else we want to annoy me the fuck with?"

"No," one said.  "Thank you for being so merciful to our people, Mrs. Barton."

She smirked.  "It's Barton-Romanoff."  He shuddered, shrinking down some.  "You have a nice day.  I hope the kid, or kids, grow up so much better than their paternal donor."  She walked off.  Phil let her go with Natasha and Clint.  He got the rest of the mess cleaned up and went last to make sure their people were safe.


Pepper grabbed Callia.  "Thank you, Roque.  Who had her?"

"Moron world leader sort."  He grimaced.  "Dawn just lost her temper."  He faded off to make sure they didn't need more help then back to the temple.

John faded into the office and patted Callia.  Then looked at Tony.  "I'm going to make my feelings known since I'm the one that put that family on the throne.  She good?"

"We're going to make sure," Tony said firmly.  "Is he dead?"

"He will be."  John faded out to there, staring from the top steps.  "This is not what I meant when I put his grandfather on the throne," he said bluntly, making them all flinch.  "Nor is it what needs to happen to make your people heal."  He looked at them.  Then at the mess then back at them.  "Dawn was clearly feeling *very* merciful."

"You know her?" one asked, head still bowed.

"Dawn and I spar every few weeks."  He smirked.  "She's the all-but adopted little sister of my half-brother, Alexander.  She did learn how to vent from him."  He looked around again, nodding.  "Nicely compact too."  He looked at the sobbing man then shot him.  "Had enough of you.  You're defacing the entire bloodline."  He looked at them again.  "Pick the kid a great regent who will make sure he's raised correctly."  They nodded, bowing at him again.  "Because we've all had enough.  We tried to be subtle before.  You made us quit that."  He disappeared in a flash of light.  He appeared where they were getting off the helicopter on the hell carrier.  "You left him alive?"

"He's a world leader and I didn't want to hear the shit, though those wounds would never heal and he'd slowly die of it.  So kinda."  She followed Natasha's gurney.

John smiled.  "I like that about her."  He followed them, calling for Apollo.  He groaned but appeared.  "Did you get to see how nicely compact Dawn destroyed their castle?"

"I did.  It's a nice job.  That whole not-healing thing sends wiggins up my spine each time she does it but the destruction was nice."

"I only do it when they deserve it," she quipped, sponging off some of Clint's injuries.  Natasha was in x-ray.  Clint was about to be stitched.  He was passed out too.  So was Natasha.

Apollo came over to heal what he could, nodding.  "Not poisoned.  Just back in his mind."  He forced the bond open, seeing when Clint scrambled but Dawn was there and talking to him.  He did the same for Natasha once Clint was calmed down.  He went in there to heal most of hers.  She still had a few cuts but nothing too tragic.   "Apparently the guy really hated that she loved you more than he hated that she loved him," he said when Natasha blinked at him.  "She's nearly ready to blow again."

"Dawn?" she called.  She ran in and hugged her, making Natasha wince but hug back.  "I am fine."

"You're not fine."

"I'm fine."  She made her look at her.  "I'll be fine."

"I should go back and torture him the same way."

"You will not," she ordered, staring at her.  "We need you here to fuss over us."

Dawn wiped off her cheeks. "Of course I am!"  She helped roll them back out to where Clint was.  He got scanned then x-rayed, then brought back.  She sat between them.  Clint blinked at her.  "Tylenol?"

"Maybe some aleeve.  I don't need morphine at least.  Thanks, Apollo."

"Not a problem.  We would like Dawn to stay calm, regular, and sweetly held.  It makes the world go easier."

She looked at him.  "If I get pregnant sometime, I'll be sure to send up a warning yell."

"Thanks, might help."  He looked at John then left.

"If and when you do, we'll do protections so the blood can't call anything," John quipped, leaning against the wall behind Dawn.  "She totally destroyed him and made her feelings known, guys.  She was going to let him slowly die from the injury that wouldn't heal like that director of foreign intelligence that she got that one time."  Dawn snorted but grimaced.  "So we're all good?"

"Callia's okay?" she asked.

"Yes, she's fine," John assured, hugging Dawn around the shoulders.  "I'll go tell Stark.  That way he can calm down everyone else."  He flashed out to the infirmary in the tower.  "She's worried that Callia's not all right."

"The ouchy collar sucked," Callia said.  "We need to ban those, Daddy."

"We have, dear, and we're doing it for others now."  He hugged her.  "She's fine, John.  Natasha and Barton?"

"Bit banged up.  He hated Natasha more than Clint, but Apollo healed them."  Pepper sniffled and nodded, hugging Callia around Tony.  "They're on the hell carrier.  They'll be back soon."  He nodded.  John tweaked Callia's ear, getting a grin.  "Your auntie destroyed his fairytale castle and him."

"Good!  He wasn't Prince Charming by any means," she said bluntly.  "Dumbass bastard!"

"Language," Pepper sniffled.  "Good girls don't swear."

"He deserves it," she said.  She looked at her father again.  "I'm okay."

"I still need to cuddle you to make sure you're okay."

"You can let the other cuddly aunties and those sort in to cuddle too.  Because you need one too, Daddy, and Uncle Steve does that best."

"Yeah, he does."  John went to tell them and let them in.  Steve stole Callia to hug.  "Hey!"

"Hug him, Uncle Steve.  Daddy needs one too."

"I'm super talented, I can hug you both."  He hugged the two adults and the baby, letting Joyce steal her eventually for her and Bruce to hug.  "The idiot?"

"So gone," Pepper said.  "John said she destroyed him."

"Good!" Bruce said.  "JARVIS, can you pull up photos of where Dawn destroyed?"  They came up.

"Wow, auntie went off like a nuke," Callia said in awe.

"Saves me from asking Xander to teach me how to make one," Joyce said.  Bruce smiled and gave her a squeeze.  "Why did he take Callia?"

"He told me I'd be incentive and she'd help me dress up in a pukey dress with all sorts of layers of stuff under the skirt, like a ballet skirt, Granma, so they could get married.  I told him my aunt had more taste than that.  It was even poofier than my mom's."

She nodded.  "Your aunt does have better taste than that."  She gave her a squeeze and let Tony and Pepper have her back.  "Is he gone?"

"Yup," Tony said.  "If not, he will be."

"He is," Phil said as he appeared.  "John finished him off instead of letting that wound slowly linger for the rest of his life."  He grinned.  "Just like Stallet."

Tony shivered.  "That was mean."  He gave her a squeeze.  "Dawn and them?"

"Fine.  Apollo healed them."

"Good!  They're to come back here tonight."

"If I can."  Tony gave him a pointed look.  "I might not be able to move them both."  Roque and Clay walked out of the shadows with Natasha and Clint, Dawn following holding onto Clay's belt.  "Thank you.  I hadn't even thought that your way was easier, guys."  They got them settled in and Callia got free of all the hugging to fuss over them.  She and her auntie could take turns with each one.

Clint looked at Callia.  "You learned how to fuss from your aunt.  You do it just like her."  He pulled her in to cuddle because that's how you stopped Dawn's.  Callia moaned and let herself be held.  That worked and she fell asleep on his shoulder.  Tony smiled and carefully took her back.  "We do the same thing with Dawn," he said quietly.

"I'll have to remember that when she's fussing over me."  He smiled and walked her off.  "Let me put her down."

"Sure," Natasha said, using that cure to stop Dawn from fussing over her few remaining injuries.  "We need double sized beds in here," she told Clint.

"At least one for the three of us, yeah.  That way whenever she's injured or we're injured we have ways of being cuddly so she doesn't fuss herself into a horrible sickness."

"That might help.  If they made them I would," Dr. Pigalli said.  She checked their monitors.  "As is, I can put you three into a private room tonight and push the beds together again."  Tara stomped in and hugged Clint.  "Or she might be able to do something."

Phil and Xander appeared.  "All his shit is done with," Xander said.  He looked and stretched one of the beds in a private room so it was bigger.  "That should help," he decided.  The doctor smiled and got them in there, with the remote monitors, and let them rest.  Tara tucked them in with Joyce.  Bruce was controlling his temper.  Pepper was controlling her temper.  Liz was snoring on Mommy's stomach.  It would all work out for the night.


Dawn was let into the conference room in the morning.  Pepper had apologized but someone from the State Department was there to see her.  She stared at him.  "If you're going to be huffy because the man had my six-year-old niece and my spouse hostage, then I don't care.  I've rebuffed him plenty of times, up to and including taking out the ones trying to take me hostage."

"We're just now hearing about this," he said.  "We should've heard earlier, Miss Summers."

She stared at him.  "Not like you guys stopped it when the Russian Mob tried to keep me."  He flinched.  "You didn't want a damn thing to do with it then.  I doubted you wanted this one either.  Especially since it was pretty well known, even by FBI people, that they had a contract out on my husband's life."  He winced and shook his head.  "So no, I don't rightly care who says anything," she said slowly and clearly.  "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go baby their injuries."  She walked off again, leaving it with Tony.

Tony walked in.  "She's still mad."  He handed over the file.  "What we found when we went looking and SHIELD went looking."

He took it to look over.  "We never heard more than the former President over there wanted to meet her, Mr. Stark."

"Yeah, he said that after he'd been stalking her for a while and she had managed it without telling us.  Which pissed us off by the way."  He stared at the diplomat.  "I don't care what sort of damage she did to their ancestral ruling seat or whatever."

"There was a question about how she got a bomb over there."

Tony snorted, shaking his head.  "She's got some pretty strong magic.  She ripped down the building with that."

"Are you certain?  It was pretty destructive."

"Yeah, I'm certain.  Dawn's the same one that was at the battle in Sunnydale in chainmail."

"Oh!"  He nodded.  "We had not correlated that they were the same person.  Or at least my bosses hadn't."  He made notes on his tablet, which Stark realized was one of his.  "All right."  He looked up.  "The ones he had hostage?"

"My daughter."

"She said her niece."

"Her sister was knocked by NID using my sperm.  Callia's both."

"Oh, I see.  Shock collar?"

"All Callia said was that it was an ouchy collar and he had her in the most hideous pseudo-middle ages dress ever."  He walked out and got handed it by his daughter.  "C'mon."  He walked in and handed it over.  "You can give it back to him if you'd like."

"I can send that.  Miss, did he hurt you beyond the collar?  I need to know for the report."

She shrugged.  "The nanny over there wasn't very nice and she didn't seem to think that I should be worried about my pets.  She was clearly stupid because she didn't like animals and she thought that pulling my hair was all right.  I kicked her so hard she had to get x-rays but they gave me another one that didn't speak english and put that collar on me so I couldn't go where he didn't want me to go.  Otherwise I was about halfway out the window so I could get away from him.  Genius princesses have to save themselves, not wait for stupid princes," she said at her father's odd looks.  "Auntie Dawn does."

"She's an adult."

"I was going to get free and find an adult who'd let me call, Daddy.  Or even get outside so the thingy that Doc keeps reminding herself is in my scalp could work."

"That would've helped."  He looked at him.  "We do have anti-kidnaping and tracking devices on her," he admitted.

"I find an implanted GPS chip to be totally practical for your daughter," he assured him.  "I'm sure there's a few who'd like her as leverage."

"I'm not a board to move rocks," Callia told him.  "And my auntie likes to make those sort run.  Which I enjoy."

Tony nodded.  "So do we whenever I run one off."  He hugged her to his side.  "Anything else you have to know?"

"Her spouse?"

"It's not really a matter of public record," Tony said more quietly.

"It was said he had two other hostages?"

"Yes, both Avengers members and both her spouses."  The diplomat winced.  "We do know that her wife got more torture than her husband.  We also know that they did it in a way that meant that some countries don't acknowledge certain things but we don't really care."

"Did she file for multiple licenses here in the US?"

"No.  They're all done outside the US.  The only legal one within the US that we recognize is the one between Dawn and Clint.  The other two are legal in certain countries."

"I suppose that's a smart thing since we don't allow trios at this point in history."  He made that note as well.  "Thank you, Mr. Stark.  If there's more questions we'll call for an appointment with her."  He tucked his tablet back into his bag and shook their hands before leaving.  His boss was going to be unamused.

Tony looked at her.  "Was that one of our tablets, Daddy?" she asked.

He nodded. "Yup."

"Cool!  That means another one sold so I can afford a new bathing suit?"

"We'll see."  She giggled and walked off with him.  It was so great that his daughter was resilient.  Just a few nightmares.  Her aunt was still having nightmares.


Fury looked at his gathered agents and associated members.  "Summers, are you sure?"

"I'm getting some frustration out.  It's good."  She looked around.  "Sitwell, are you doing  5 or 10k?"

"Marathon.  I know Coulson was trying to find you a running buddy in case someone tried to snatch you again."  He pointed.  "Run with her."

"I'm on for 10K," she said.

"I would but I tend to fall into my head when I run, sir," the agent said.

"Me too," Sitwell admitted.

"Aww, can't she run alone?" one of the SGC guys asked.  Dawn punched him.  "Hey!"

Dawn stared at him.  "I can't because there's been some agents who thought I'd be useful to them.  They've tried neat things like trying to take me from my cab," she said, speaking down to him.  He shuddered.  "So, no, I need a running buddy in case that happens."

"I'll do it," Evan said.

She smiled.  "Thanks, Evan.  You doing 10?"

"Yup."  She gave him a shoulder nudge with a grin.  "Yeah, we got guilt tripped too."

"Me too."  He laughed and nodded.  They got their numbers and gathered together.  The firing pistol went off and the pack took off but slowly some of them gained ahead.  She looked at him.  "Ahead or pack?"

"Ahead," he decided.  They sped up and moved ahead of most of the pack, putting on a considerable lead before they slowed back down some.  It was a nice enough day for it.  Not humid, not hot, but a bit bright.  It was also early morning so it was fairly quiet out here in this park in Washington DC.  They made the 5K mark and got drinks from one of the stations then moved on.  He watched her.  "Cramp?"

"Slight one in my foot but I've done worse on the treadmill."

"It's probably your shoes."

"I can't find shoes that fit.  These are the only sneakers I've found."

"That sucks."  She nodded.  They got more water in a few more miles.  They were nearly there.  They heard some runners behind them and looked at each other.  "First one across owes the other a shoulder massage?"

"You're on."  She sped up.  He grinned and sped up.  They made it across with Dawn first.  They were about fifth overall but she won against Evan.  She grinned.  He swatted her on the arm but handed her to Clint and Natasha.  "Later."

"Sure.  I've got two more events."

"I've got the languages one and a fighting one."  He groaned.  "And to cheer him on in marksmanship."

"Good luck, guys."  The group walked off together, giving their numbers to the person collecting them.  Tallies were already being collected.  Dawn grinned at her mates.  "How was yours?"

"Not bad," Clint said, putting an arm around her shoulders as they walked off.  Natasha smiled at that possessive mood.  She was brushing arms with Dawn, who smirked at her for it.  "Languages is across town from mine."

"It's going to be kinda boring.  I'm told it's a walk up to someone, say something like 'hi, I'm with SHIELD' and have them not understand it so you can move on.  Three misunderstandings and you're out."

"Sounds boring," Natasha agreed.  "While you're doing that I have my gymnastics one."

"Which is up the hall from mine so I'm attending yours and then mine," Clint promised.

"Tape it for me?" Dawn asked.

"I can do that."  They let Dawn go on the shuttle to the other event.  They went back to the main center to get ready for theirs.


The judges at the language event gave her a sheet.  "That is your sentence."  She nodded, memorizing it.  "Walk up the row, get each one, say what theirs is after you hear it."

"If they're using slang or something does that count against them?  Because that word," she said with a point.  "Translates into six different ones in Chinese."

They blinked.  "Everyone has different sentences.  If something that were to occur, you can ask them for a clarification in that language.  If they cannot answer you back, then they are out."

"Cool."  Dawn walked out, tightening her ponytail.  She started at the first station, using one of the most obscure human languages she knew.  He blinked and looked clueless.

"Is that a human one?" one of the judges asked.

"Yes.  It's an African language.  Roque taught it to me when I was bored.  I can switch to a demon one, or something else.  I read ten and I speak eight."

The judge followed her.  "Try each one."

"Yes, sir."  She said her sentence to him in that language.  The guy whimpered and shook his head.  She tried her next one.  He understood French, Russian, and Chinese.  The judge decided she could use the African one since it was a human one instead of the demon one.  They moved on.  One person understood her in that language.  She smiled and switched to the demon one, which he babbled back in.  She grinned.  "Watcher."

"Slightly," he agreed.  "Your accent is very nice."

"Thank you."  She shook his hand.

"You two sit out together," the judge said with a point.  "Since you two understood each other and no one else did, we'll have to eliminate between you two."

Dawn nodded.  "Okay."  They sat down and Dawn finished cooling off her hair.  "I need a shower."

The guy laughed.  "That's why I only did 5K."

"I run ten miles three times a week.  I didn't get that benefit."

"Pity."  One person joined them as only one person had understood them but they had washed out on the next person's test sentence.  At the end they got called up together.

The judges stared at them.  "Use your sentence to speak in one language at your fellow contestants.  It will be elimination by not understanding."

Dawn nodded, pulling up something she almost knew and was kind of obscure that Spike had taught her.  She looked at him and said something in Troll.  That other guy groaned and shook his head, falling out.  The watcher spawn replied in his, making her cackle and hit him on the arm.  She looked at him and tried Hindi, but he got it.  She got his.  Dawn looked back.  "Human created languages or just in-use human languages?"  They blinked.  She looked at the guy and did something Xander had once taught her, and Jonathan had corrected her pronunciation in.  Klingon.  The guy blinked and shook his head.  She smiled.  "Go ahead and give yours."  He did and she answered back glibly in his chosen demon language.

"What language were you using?" one of the judges asked.

"Klingon.  I work with geniuses."  She smiled.  "It's the preferred swearing language around Stark labs."

"Which is human made, not ancient, and fits the rules," the other guy said, shaking her hand.  "Good job."

"Thank you, and you as well."  She grinned.

The judges conferred and nodded.  "That does fit the rules," they agreed.  So Dawn took it.  She took her certificate and bowed, signing the sheet.  She left, going back to the main center.  Natasha still had two events to go through so she sat beside Clint and stared in awe at her wife's grace and abilities.  Clint was too.


Dawn looked at the slightly illegal fighting tournament and then at the agents in charge.  "Really?"

"Really.  You're the only female."

"Well, I was taught to use weapons."  She shrugged and put down her bag, pulling out hers.  They all stared and she smiled.  "They were a present from Alexander for my eighteenth birthday."

One of the guys moaned, coming over to look at them.  "Where did he get them?"

"Dwarves."  The guy whimpered.  She smiled.  "They're really nice too.  We spent some time up there so I could do some in-depth meditation work on my magic.  They were such great hosts and each time I offered to help with dinner in thanks for taking up space they wouldn't let me."

"That is very nice of them."  He handed it back carefully.  "They're beautiful work."

She smiled.  "They are.  They've saved me a lot of times."

He nodded.  "I can see why.  You're a pretty girl."

She smiled.  "I'm more than just a pretty girl.  I'm a pretty, competent, assistant sort of girl."  He laughed and walked off.  The first few rounds were called and Dawn watched.  She'd probably have to face one of them.  When it was her turn she blinked at the huge guy.  He was six-eight or so.  As broad as Thor, and looked really pissed off.

"She's a girl!" he complained.

"Who keeps getting kidnaped," Dawn complained back.  "What?  You never had to fight a girl?"  She attacked and the guy growled but Dawn got him down and begging in about thirty minutes.  She stepped back when the ref called it, wiping off her sweat.  She smiled and held out her hand.  "Nice fight, thank you."

He swatted it.  "I'm not that nice, girl."

"I spar.  I'm using to congratulating my opponents."  He slumped but walked off.  She bowed to the ref then went to the winner's benches to cool down.  They had some gatorade.  She looked around, finding John and Evan watching, smiling at them.  John couldn't compete due to the godhood thing.  Evan wasn't in this one.  He had been in staff weapons earlier.  He had gotten second there.  Teyla had gotten first.  Dawn watched as the next one was called.  Ronon.  She grinned and watched, nodding at his usual moves.  He was a bit stiff but using this guy to warm up.  The guy was really sorry by the time he knocked him down.  Ronon walked over and sat next to her, getting a hug.  "Hey, Ronon."

"Dawn."  He looked at her.  "You were not bad.  Your foot hurt?"

"Cramped earlier.  It's good now."  He nodded.  "The appearance of a defect now is a good thing," she said quietly, earning a smirk and a nod.  They watched the others then the winners were paired up.  She got some guy that sneered and went down to a kick in the balls as a first move.  Most guys didn't do that to other guys so he wasn't expecting it from her.  The ref blew his whistle, though it sounded like he was trying not to laugh.  She sat down again.  Ronon joined her within a few minutes of his match.  That left four people to fight.  They were paired against the other two.

"This final match is a free-for-all," the referee announced to the crowd.  "That way you can show why you made it."

Dawn looked over.  "Anything goes sort of free-for-all?"

"No magic."

"Okay."  The whistle blew and she flipped forward, catching one of them unaware and knocking him down then helping Ronon beat the other guy fairly fast.  She stared at him, circling some, grinning a bit.  "So I hear my nephew is going to come train with you?"

"Alexander has asked if I'd take on that privilege."

"Can't think of a greater guy to do it, Ronon."  She smiled.  The other two were out so the ref blew his whistle.  "You wanna give up?"

"No.  That's not in my genes."

"Mine either most of the time."  She stared then attacked.  He defended and she flipped him using Natasha's favorite move then flipped away before he could get up, grabbing one of the ropes holding the fence together.  She flicked it at him and he batted at it.  She flicked it again then used it to whip at him, which he caught and used to pull her closer.  She dropped it at the last minute, which left him pulling, but she managed to get under his guard and kick him.  He laughed and batted at her.

"I taught you better."

"You did," she quipped.  "But I'm still sneakier."  She gauged it and then moved to the side before attacking again.  He had shifted with her but now he was facing into the light.  It was a bit bright in there.  She got grabbed during it so she let him have her shirt and then kicked him in the nuts while he was staring at her chest.  "You've seen them in a sports bra before," she taunted.

"More than I care to.  We need to find you better fighting clothes."

"I have them at home."  She tripped him and jumped over his attempted grab at her ankles, landing on his back.  She ruffled his hair.  "I adore you as a sparring partner."  She got off and walked off.  "He can win," she told the Ref.  "He's the greater warrior stud from Pegasus and we'll spar in private later."

"Not fair," Ronon called after her.

She winked at him.  "We'll settle this the next time I'm out to spar.  When we can both use all our strengths."

He grinned.  "I can accept that challenge.  Until then."  He nodded.  She bowed back and disappeared.

The ref swallowed.  "The winner, Ronon of Atlantis."  He looked at him.  "She's good."

"She is.  I trained her well."  He gave him a smug look and took the certificate.  John got Dawn's for her.


Dawn appeared at the marksmanship event, watching it.  She walked down to where the archers were waiting, tapping Clint on the shoulder and whisper in his ear.  He nodded and smirked at her.  Then she went back to her seat.  He checked his arrows, choosing a different one from the quiver they had been given.  "She let me know it's bowed more than I thought.  I thought the ones Alexander used for hunting on Asgard were crooked."  The other archers laughed.  They were using plain old bows for this part then their speciality bows later.  He had used worse in the circus.  He really had but it was nice that Dawn had just given him incentive.

He took his shots and they were perfect.  He got that one easily.  He moved to his speciality bow and a fresh, unmarked quiver from Stark.  He tested them, finding one he liked, rolling it between his fingers and playing with it until it was his turn.  He made the classic splitting the prior arrow shot, and then turned and got someone who tried to shoot at him.  The judges all looked at that one and his rifle that had fallen.

"Jeez, again?" Dawn complained.  She got up and got the rifle, pulling the arrow for him.  She handed that over and made the rifle safe so the judges could have it.  "Looks like FBI by the thing around his neck."  She sat down again, smiling at him.  "So, Robin, are you fighting for the fair Maid Marian today?" she quipped to break the silence.

He smirked at her.  "You'll be getting it later, and you're not a maiden, Dawn."

"Well, no, I'm not," she said with a faint blush.  A few of the agents laughed.  "But I can play a princess if you want."

He groaned.  "Not tonight."  He took his shot and it was perfect.  The judges all moaned.  He shrugged and grinned.  "What did you expect from me, people?"  They gave the win to him and let him walk off with Natasha and Dawn.  A few of the agents were staring in awe and want.

Fury stopped them in the hallway.  "Dawn, you gave up first place?"

"Ronon and I don't spar like that, Fury.  Beyond that, we're both yours."

"Good point."

"We'll spar the next time I'm at the temple and he is too.  That way we spar like Ronon against Dawn does, not like little boys.  I mean, seriously, I took one out with a ball shot."  She walked off with Clint and Natasha.  "Dinner?  Tony said there's a fantastic restaurant nearby."

"We have reservations," Natasha assured her.

Dawn grinned.  "Then I need to shower."  They nodded and went back to clean up and go to dinner.

Fury shook his head but he was smiling.  He loved his special agents sometimes.

Agent Hill came out of the handgun marksman event, handing over her second place finish certificate.  "How is the tally looking, sir?"

"We're actually doing good.  We're in third place right now behind the CIA, who had some Spetnaz cross-training with them for the last month.  Which sounds fishy to me but whatever.  In second is one of the tiny covert agencies."  She nodded, going with him.  She had to call Tara and tell her how she had done, plus talk to the kids before they went to bed.


Dawn was summoned to the State Department the next morning, going with Natasha.  She got met at the front desk by the agent who had come to get statements.  "What now?" she asked.

"Their higher power wanted to talk."  He grimaced.  "It's very...delicate socially right now."

Dawn looked at him.  "I can be diplomatic.  Where?"  He led her up there, knocking and opening the door.  She walked in and paused, staring at the Prime Minister of Russia.  "Mr. Putin," she said in Russian.  He smirked at her.  "Let me make this very clear before any complaints get started.  I did not ask him to stalk me.  I did not ask him to try to kidnap me.  I did not ask him to put my six-year-old niece in a shock collar.  I did not ask him to take my spouses and try to torture them.  He is very lucky someone felt more mercy than I did because I was going to let him stay that way and suffer for however long he could hold on.  I am absolutely unforgiving when it comes to my family and my own safety."

He laughed.  "You have balls," he said in Russian.

She smiled.  "When I need to.  I didn't figure you wanted me to be some simpering little girl."

"No, you are clearly not.  I have seen you in the papers."

"I'm an assistant to someone.  Sometimes that means I have to go to events."

He nodded, looking at the other one.  "Your assistant?"

"My wife."

"Oh.  I see."  He stared at her.  "I noticed you said spouses."

"He's sleeping in."  She smiled.

"Interesting.  There is a problem with you attacking him, young lady."

"Then he should not have had me summoned to supposedly marry him by taking my spouses and my niece hostage.  I warned his minion I was not going to be pleasant."

"And you were not."

She shrugged. "If it was your family, what would you do?"

"I would go in with my Spetnaz teams," he admitted with a slight smirk.

"I'm better than that.  I don't need a bodyguard to help me."  She smirked.  "I take care of my own threats when they happen.  I tried to be nice.  I turned down his first few offers.  I shot back when he tried to have me stalked.  I didn't kill him when he came near my mother, which did piss me off enough to nearly get him dead then.  I didn't do more than take out his people when they tried to kidnap me a few times.  I showed amazing restraint."

"You did," he decided.  He smirked.  "There is the matter that he did file for marriage."

"I'm already married by US and other standards, Minister Putin.  Why would I care that he did that?  I want nothing from them.  I made that clear when his people showed up."

"I can agree though they think they should acknowledge you in some way."

"Then they can do it as a warning fable, meant to teach boys not to push their luck and girls that they have the right to fight back."  She smiled.  "I like Aesop."

"I did when I was younger."

"I read them to my niece."

"It's a good thing for young children to learn."  He stared at her.  "I will tell them you do not want anything."

"Thank you."

"If they get insistent?"

"I'm not taking over stepmother duties for whatever heir they mentioned.  I'm not taking a seat or anything else.  I don't want a title.  Put up a picture and a fable to my greatness."

He tipped his head.  "I can understand those urges.  It is clear it upset you."

She snorted.  "I've had things that upset me worse.  One from your country since the Russian Mob kept trying to get me to their side for years on end.  I'm still fighting with them."

He stared at her.  "Why would they?"

She smirked meanly.  "I killed some of the ones that kidnaped me.  They thought I was useful then and even more so now.  They're wrong but I wasn't polite about it the last time."

He laughed, smiling at her.  "That is good to know.  They do not like to be thwarted.  They're much like the old bears of Communism that way," he said in English.

Natasha smiled.  "They are, yes," she agreed in Russian.  He stared at her.  She smiled.  "Thank them for us, Minister.  We appreciate the face-saving offer but it is not necessary."  She bowed and took Dawn's hand.  "I will be keeping what is mine."

He stared her down.  "I've seen your picture, carefully hidden inside the Kremlin."

"You have.  I keep meaning to take that from there."  She smiled.

Dawn looked at her.  "I can't magically get it without a picture of the current location."

Putin spluttered.  "You are her."

Dawn smiled.  "I am her.  And he took what was mine and my niece."  She grinned.  "Let them make me a teaching fable."

"I will pass that on.  You are quite wise."

"I try really hard sometimes," she said in Russian then grinned and walked out with Natasha.  She looked at her once they were outside.  "I didn't think being sweet and nice was going to be okay."

"No, it probably wouldn't have been.  He understands strength and you were."  They saw cars pulling up with screeching tires.  "What now?"

"No idea," Dawn said, pushing her panic button.  Phil got there as the other agents did.  He got them backed down while she and Natasha sat on a bench watching him work.  He came over.  "Why did they do the 'busting in to break someone' thing?" she asked.

"The president wanted to talk to you."

"Um... I just talked to one," she said.  "No thank you," she told the agents.  "I've talked with him before through Loki."  She smiled.  He got out of a car that pulled up and walked over.  "What did your spouse want to talk about?"

"What happened?"

"There?"  He nodded, staring at her.  "He tried shit.  I ended his shit.  Thankfully I was feeling slightly merciful."

"You were restrained and merciful," Loki decided.  "We want a report."

"State Department guy?" she suggested with a point.

"No, in person, Miss Summers."

She sighed.  "I'm only in for the agent olympics and some time off.  Can't it wait?"

"No," he said firmly.

"Well, fuck," she muttered, standing up.  She looked at Natasha, who smirked at her.  "Go to the spa and I'll hopefully be there shortly?"

"We remade your appointment for an hour from now," Loki said.  He walked her off.  "Boys, you were nearly turned into mice," he noted.  "She does like doing that when she's threatened."

"I'm sure they're good agents who would rather be at the agent olympics thing," she said dryly, getting into the car.  She didn't know the other person in there.  "Hi, Dawn Summers.  You would be?"

"Director Millson, FBI."

"I've turned some of your agents into mice for trying to snatch me," she said with a grin.  "They're usually much nicer afterward and quit trying to snatch me."

He blinked, looking at Loki.  "Relative, sir?"

"My son did all-but adopt her but no.  She's Slayer Summer's little sister."

"Oh, I've heard of you," he said, shaking her hand.

She smiled.  "Good things I hope?"

"Mostly.  I did hear about that mice thing a few times and wondered."

"They tried neat stuff like trying to gas me in a cab.  I thought I was very restrained in how I fought back to protect myself."

"Yes, you were.  Thank you for not causing permanent damage."

Loki laughed.  "You were," he agreed.  "My son would've probably rather you made a more showy statement of their defeat."

"Xander likes subtle sometimes," Dawn said with a grin.  "Look at his spouse."

"True."  He poured himself a drink.  "Want one?"

"No.  I do not drink outside of remembrances and sometimes at dinner.  Thank you anyway."  They got taken to a very nice hotel.  "This is not the White House."

"It is not," Loki agreed.  "We'll be doing it by camera."

"Whatever."  She got out when they stopped and held the door.  "From a princess to a  queen."

Loki gave her a look.  "I should paddle you for that."

She cackled.  "I'm sure you'd like to.  Then again, I still owe you for what you did to my spouse."

"I removed it."  She looked at him over the edge of her sunglasses.  He shivered.  "I will not think to use him again."

"Thanks."  They were let into a room.  She nodded at the few she'd met at business meetings in the past.  She looked at Loki.  "I thought Tony could lie when he wanted to."  He gave her a smug look.  She zapped him and made him heave.  "I'm not the nice fairy when I'm taken under false pretenses.  Even by Gods, Loki."

"Dawn, calm down.  We just wanted to know what your plans were," one she had met said.

She looked at him.  "I believe you have my email.  You're taking me away from time with Natasha."  They shivered.  She smirked.  "We're getting pretty for Clint later."  A few moaned.  "As for my plans?  I'm the greatest super assistant sort that Stark has and some day his daughter will have.  What other plans could I have beyond maybe a future language degree?"

"They mean about that country."

"I asked Minister Putin earlier to have them make me a teaching fable.  That way boys learn not to get so pushy and girls learn they can fight back when they do.  That's all I want out of that whole mess."  She looked around the room.  "Frankly, if I had wanted something I would've let him do the ceremony and then stabbed him."  They all smiled at her.  "Anything else?"  They shook their heads.  "Excellent."  She looked at Loki.  "Where is that spa from here?"

"Three doors up, chit."  She patted him on the arm and walked off.  He looked at the group.  "She is a very strong, sure young quim."

"Your son did good becoming her acknowledged father," one told him.

"He worked with her sister," Loki said dryly.

"That makes much sense."  They talked about it and came up with a plan of action, which they would make the others in the world like.  Unfortunately someone had been listening and it was stopped the easy way.  By knockout gas and agents. 

Loki, being him, wasn't affected but played it to watch the people who came in, took what they wanted from everyone, and then left a large note in the center of the table about what was going to happen.  Perhaps he'd get to talk to Minister Putin himself soon.


Dawn walked into the suite and found Stark.  "Problems?" she guessed.  "Is Clint hurt?"

"No."  Natasha walked in with Clint.  "He was getting coffee.  Are you all right?"

"Did I send up a huge insult when they had me talk to the Russian Prime Minister or the Blandenburg people?" she guessed.

"Is that who that was?" Natasha demanded.  She flashed her a picture.  Clint moaned and shook his head.  "What idiots to come at you that way."

"I think Loki wasn't specific enough when he had them gather me," she shot back with a grin.  "I told them I only wanted to be a teaching fable too."  She took a kiss and Clint's coffee, moaning.  "I adore you and we're having babies this year."

He took it back to kiss her, getting all the taste out of her mouth.  "If you're ready, I'm there."

Tony cleared his throat.  "Not this year," he ordered.  "I can't have her on that long of a maternity leave.  Pepper's thinking about a second one because she's missing the spoiling.  I can't have them both go at the same time."  Clint shrugged and sipped his coffee, letting Natasha have some of it.  "You three really are in gushy, gooey love.  It's disgusting."

Dawn blew a kiss.  "Some of us get gooey minded, some of us get dirty minded."

"Good point.  Yours usually is."  He shook it quickly.  "But we're okay?"  She nodded, doing what Phil had shown her to create a mirror so he could see.  He walked off with it so Fury and Pepper could see.  Pepper had been worried and Fury showed up to be nosy.

Dawn looked at Clint.  "So, since I offered you whatever you want sexually for winning....."  She smiled and moved closer, running a hand up under his sleeveless t-shirt.  "What do you want me to do?"

He stared down at her.  "I...."  He and Natasha shared a thought.

"No, that was your incentive.  Natasha is getting her own tomorrow night," Dawn quipped with a grin.

He finished his coffee, tossing it out.  "That's an interesting challenge.  What do I want?"  Dawn teased his stomach.  "Nat, I think we need to go find a new toy together."

"That might be nice," she agreed with an evil smirk.  "I'll need one for my own reward."  Dawn smirked at her.  "Come."  Dawn took her hand and they went to the kinky store up that Clint found online.  It had a huge selection.  It was discreet.  Senators used it for their mistresses.  They looked around, Natasha finding what she wanted.  Dawn looked and then at her, giving her an odd look.  "You will enjoy it."

"Are you sure?"

"I am."

"Okay, as long as you're sure."

She got something else.  "In case I'm wrong."  Dawn nodded.  Clint found a few things he liked and Dawn handed him something they needed, lube.

"Edible," he corrected, finding that display and grabbing two bottles.  "Just in case."  Dawn shivered.  He gave her an evil smirk.  "'Tasha, what about body slave duties?"

"She does much of that already.  She does feed you, she helps you shower, she does whatever you want her to.  Me, I get dirty looks whenever I suggest she does laundry."

"That's because she shrinks things and then you complain," Dawn reminded her.

"True, you do shrink many things."  She looked at her current outfit then shook her head.  "Much too demure."

Dawn went to the lingerie section and found a few things, bringing them back.  "Do we like these?"

Clint stared.  "No, they're for trashy, not classy."  She put them back.  Natasha helped her pick out a few things, but what she really wanted her to wear was at home.  They finished up and went back to the hotel suite, Clint laying out the lube and toys.  Dawn stripped for him when he looked at her.  "Very nice, princess.  Tiny bit of hair that would fit inside your tiniest, non-slutty bikini."  He ran a hand over her hip, which had a bruise.  "No cuts?"



"Earlier.  Banged it in the car."  She looked down and healed it.  Then she smiled at him.  "Better?"

"Pure skin.  I like that."  He ran a hand over her stomach.  "Were you serious?" he asked in her ear.

She blinked at him.  "If you want to keep to the two year agreement, I will but I got such envy," she said quietly.  "Especially after that day."

He nuzzled her throat.  "Next year."  She nodded.  He kissed her on the neck, earning a slight shiver.  "Bit chilly," he teased, pinching a hard nipple.

"You do it to me most of the time," she teased back with a grin.  "Should I find heels?"

He shook his head.  "No.  I want pure skin."  He stroked over her again.  "You have to work tomorrow, don't you?"  She nodded with a grin.  "Pity.  I could use a full day of you being naked."  She kissed him.  "Hmm.  That's nice."  He grabbed a scrunchie out of her bag and put her hair up.  "That's nicer."  It let him tease her neck better.  Natasha came in to fix the hair mess for him and put it back up.  "Thank you, Nat."

"It would've tangled."  She took her own kiss.  "Tomorrow night, you will wish you had offered something specific."

Dawn leered.  "Because I'll be sore?"

"Yes, you will be."

Clint grinned at her.  "I wanted to keep her naked all day, Nat."

"We planned dinner out before we leave."

"That's a good point."  He checked the clock.  "We have four hours before we leave."  He walked around Dawn again, teasing her ribs now.  "You need a day off.  I'll defer until then."  Dawn nodded, moaning slightly.  "Though we still have to celebrate your wins.  So we have four hours for that."  He pulled her closer to kiss.  "Suck me, Dawn."  She shifted down, teasing him as she went.  His jeans unzipped easily and she had a good, hearty lunch of him, staring up at him.  He finally couldn't take it and backed up so he fell out of her mouth.  "Bed."  She got up and strolled over to the bed, draping herself prettily for him on the sheets.  Natasha had pulled back the covers.  He stared, then kicked off his jeans and pulled off his t-shirt.  "Nat, you want some?"

"I will enjoy it when we get home."  She patted him on the butt.  "Both of you."

He leered.  "We can do that."  He strolled over, leaning down to take a kiss.  "Open for me."  She spread out and he grinned, laying on top of her to get what he wanted.  "You be as loud as you want," he ordered.  "Or need to get."  He moved to tease her breasts, smiling at the breathy noises.  Then lower.  It was like a siren's call to him.  "How do you remove the hair down here?"


"Nice."  He licked over the clean skin, tasting her, tasting the happy, horny taste.  He nuzzled his nose into her to give him more room to play.  Slowly up then back down, teasing, cleaning her up for his later dirtying.  A slow stab of his tongue into her body, then a teasing tongue tip to her clit.  She was trying to stay still, which he liked about her.  He was going to make her scream so loudly it wasn't funny.  Nat came back in and handed him something she had picked up.  He grinned because he knew what that was.  The violet wand might not be a Dawn toy, but he'd tease her with it.  He turned it on and did her thigh, which made her swear and move.  "Okay, sorry."  He turned it off and put it aside.  He soothed her, petting her stomach.  "It's meant to feel good, Dawn."

"Not there it didn't."

"Okay."  He soothed her and got her calmed down.  "We'll see if you like that later on, somewhere else."  She nodded, swallowing.  He moved up to hold her.  "I won't be mean to you.  You know that."

"I do."  She kissed him.  "You broke my happy mood."

He smiled.  "I can fix the broken happy mood if you want."  She nodded, kissing him again and moving down to tease him.  "That's my happy mood, not yours," he moaned, letting her do it for a few minutes.  "Damn I taught you well."  He pulled off and moved back to teasing her.  Within a few minutes he had her making happy, loud noises.  Then squealing noises.  Then.... Nat gave him a dirty idea and he found one of the bottles of lube so he could tease all of her at once.

"Oh, shit," Dawn moaned, twisting some.  "Today?"

"You're getting Natasha up it later," he said into her thigh, nibbling on the scar there.  Dawn moaned and whimpered, pushing down against him.  He grinned, adding another finger and going back to teasing her clit.  He loved that she was so responsive.   Natasha came in when he finally let her come and slid into her.  She didn't have her strap-on set but she had a nice toy in hand to use. 

Dawn was trapped between heaven and hell and they enjoyed it thoroughly.  They teased her until she needed to come and then paused, kissing each other over her shoulder until Dawn came down some.  The second time, Dawn opened their bonds wide and drew them in so they could see how much torment it was.  She couldn't talk so she had to.  They smiled and finished driving her insane.  She finally came with a bone jarring, room rattling, magic flashing orgasm that made Clint and Natasha both blink.  Dawn was a sweaty, moaning mess between them.  "That's never happened before," Clint said.

"No, not that I've noticed," Natasha agreed, checking the time.  They still had an hour.  They got her into the shower and helped her scrub down.  She was nearly asleep and they let her while they packed and cleaned up the room so they could leave.  Dawn woke up in the car to the restaurant and it was nice.  They had a good dinner, with nice, happy Dawn conversation.  They had a good trip to the airport.  Dawn checked their carry-on luggage before they got to the private terminal's TSA people.  The lube got packed carefully into her bag.  They got checked in, put through security, then let onto the Stark International plane.  Where Dawn curled up between them and slept.

Tony got on and stared.  "You two wore her out that much?"

Natasha smiled.  "Yes, we did."

"Wonderful job," Pepper praised.  She sat down and put Liz's carrier next to her.  Callia was with Grandma but they weren't going to make her watch Liz too.  Even if Joyce did pout.  "How was it?"

"Very good," Clint said smugly.

"Remember, she has to be able to work tomorrow," Tony taunted, getting himself a drink and sitting down again.  He looked at the snoring baby.  "Sinuses?"

"No, she just snores.  I had her baby doctor check, there's nothing wrong with her sinuses."  She adjusted Liz's blanket and turned off the air over her.  "There, that's better.  Less chilly."  She buckled in.  They were all on here.  Pepper could see them loading the bags.  "Be more careful with those," she ordered.  "That's my daughter's bag."  The handler got a bit more gentle.  "Thank you."  Dawn snorted and woke up, blinking at them and falling asleep on Natasha's shoulder.

Clint and Natasha shared a look, checking on her.  "Magic overload," Clint said, helping Dawn turn it off.  They came out as the plane taxied down the runway.  "Sorry, it was so good one of the Keys went happy fountain."

Tony nodded.  "It's great when it's good.  As long as you're good to her."  He smirked.  "I might even give her tomorrow off."

"We have that interview and the meeting with the metal manufacturing people tomorrow," Pepper said.

"I forgot.  So the next day then.  She can work from home."  He grinned and saluted them with his drink.  Liz woke up and fussed a bit, getting Mom to take her into the back and feed her once they were leveled out.  Tony followed, making Pepper blush.  "I love watching you nurse her."  He kissed her.  "It's the most womanly thing I've ever seen you do."

She blushed harder.  "It's better for her."

"It is."  He laid down behind her and held her while she fed the baby.  Liz drifted off in the middle but that was about usual.  Pepper did back up her nursing bra and tucked Liz into her carrier, which was strapped down beside the bed so it wouldn't move when the plane banked.  He flipped over her to kiss her properly.  "So," he said, nibbling on her bottom lip before sucking it in for a better kiss.  She moaned and wrapped her arms around him.  "You were having heavy thoughts the other night."

"Just a few."

He stroked over her breasts, taking off the nursing bra and drip pads.  They carefully got put aside and then his hand teased until she swatted him.  He licked over the side Liz hadn't gotten to, tasting the milk that came up.  "Interesting."  He licked the other one, making her moan and shift.

"Tony.  The baby needs those."

"Right now, you need these back.  Liz can have them later."  He teased her but moved down, earning a smile.  "I'm coming back to those."

"I've heard some fathers end up using breast milk in their coffee and things."

"If you were pumping I might."  He sucked on one side, his hand insider her panties, making her thrash and groan.  He switched sides as he slid two fingers into her, stroking her.  "This is the most intense, womanly, feminine thing ever," he said into one.  He looked up at her.  "Each time I see you nursing her I want to make you sing with pleasure."  She shivered.  He took off her skirt and shoes, then her panties so he could tease her properly.  She spread out for him nicely and he had the time of his life.  Pepper had been too sore to touch or even want to be touched for the last six months, since Liz had been born.  Now.... it was his turn to celebrate the birth.

"We only have an hour," she moaned.

"Fuck it, we can circle New York a few times.  It's my plane and my gas, and we're going to LA anyway."  She stared at him.  "We are."  He dove back into her, making her gasp and clutch the bed.  He dove in to lick her until she begged.  Which he adored.  Pepper could only take so much teasing and then she had to have more.  Now, the need grew faster.  The hormones from her nursing were making her so sensual and sexually motivated.  He slid into her, surging up her body to kiss her.

"Condom," she ordered.

He kissed her.  "You sure?"  He stared down at her.  "You absolutely sure?"

She moaned and kissed him.  "I...."  He shifted and slowly pulled back to thrust back in.  "Damn it!"

He laughed and kissed her.  "How about we use the Barton Birth Control method?  If it happens it does?"  He pulled back to thrust in again.  "Because I'm adopting Liz, Pepper.  She's my daughter too."  She sobbed and nodded.  He got happy with her.  It was always great with Pepper.  She wrapped those long legs around his waist and it gave him all he needed for permission to make her squeal happily.

"Oh, God, Tony!" she panted, clawing at his arms.  He kissed her and she pulled back to pant and breathe through it but she was going to come and he was going to be smug and do more, because he liked her wrung out so far she had to swear at him for it.  He finally let himself follow her over and she wailed, thrashing around a bit.  He teased her clit with his thumb, making her arch up and shriek a loud 'damn it, Tony' at him.  He grinned and kissed her as she came down, letting her cuddle.  She stared at him.  "Damn you."

"I know.  I am if only because I'm not the perfect man that you need.  If I was better, you'd never go a day without me."  He nuzzled her throat.

"I like you the way you are.  I couldn't put up with you otherwise."  He laughed and held her.  She blinked when he slid out.  "Did we just have unprotected sex?"


She blinked at him.  "The doctor wanted me to wait at least a year."

He kissed her.  "If it does it does."

She kissed back and relaxed.  "Yeah, that might work."  He smiled and lapped up the milk that had squirted out during sex.  She moaned.  "Tony, please?"

"I know, the baby needs most of it."  He smirked.  "Can't I have a tiny bit?"

"You've had some."  She looked down, Liz was sucking on her fingers staring at them.  "She won't realize it, right?"

"She knows that her mommy and stepdaddy love her and each other.  That's all she'll remember."  He kissed her again and pulled the baby up to nap with them.  Liz latched on and sucked until she fell asleep again.  "That's my girl."

"You can't adopt her unless we marry."  She made him look at her.  "Which we can't do because I'm not going to hurt Steve."

"We'll do a trio's bonding.  It might not be legal but you're both my heirs anyway."  She gave him a kiss and a grin.  "If something happens to me, you and Steve are going to raise all our kids together.  That way they're amazing, just like you two are."

"You're pretty amazing yourself."

"I try."  He smiled.

"Are we really going to LA?"


"Why?  We have those meetings tomorrow."

"In LA."  He got up and put on pants long enough to check on that and take Dawn's phone to make sure he had rescheduled for them being in LA.  Which he had.  He handed it back.   "We'll be back in New York on Thursday."  They grinned.  "There's a privacy curtain thing here so you can have some quiet time."  He pulled it and gave Barton a look.  "She and Pepper cannot be pregnant at the same time or I'd go nuts."  He closed them in, got them some water from the galley, smiling at the attendant, and went back to the bedroom area.  "Here, water."

"Thanks, nursing her makes me a bit thirsty sometimes."  She sipped.  "Dawn's not getting pregnant this year."

"With the way she cooed at you and helped you, you're lucky she isn't already pregnant.  Especially with that little fertility drug thing they did."  He laid down beside her again, holding her and Liz.  "Some day, I want to take Andrew's new side project and use it."

"On you?" she asked.

"Not sure yet.  I can see Steve volunteering."  She shivered and kissed him.  He grinned, because he had seen Pepper reading something mpreg the other day online.  "So we'll see when they get it perfected."  He took another kiss then kissed Liz on the head.  They looked at the doorway when the breathy, loud noises started.  "Hmm.  They can make Natasha get loud."

She pinched him.  "I'm sure she gets very happy."

"Oh, Goddess, Dawn," Natasha moaned.  "More.  There."

Pepper nodded.  "She's very good to them."

"She is.  I'm giving them Thursday and Friday off if we don't need them.  I saw she gave Clint incentive to win the archery contest and I'm sure they didn't have time."

"I don't know."

He grinned.  "Incentive like that takes *hours*, Pepper."  He smiled and kissed her, settling in to tell her about Steve and his amazing lap dance.  He compared it to the one he had talked her into giving him when they had first gotten together, making her blush hard, but she said she wanted to see that.  Liz flinched awake at a yell but it wasn't a happy yell and the plane was slowly dipping down accompanied by a roar of noise.  Then suddenly it wasn't.  Tony ran out there to see what had happened.  Natasha was helping Dawn hold on.  The door was open.  Tony found the emergency gear and fired an anchoring dart for Dawn's climbing system into it to pull it shut.  It was a struggle but it helped.  "Okay, what happened?" he demanded.

"Stewardess said that we were all going to die for being ungodly," Dawn said, blinking at him.  "Clint?"

"I have it," he noted.  "Found the nearest tower.  We're doing an emergency landing in two, Stark."

"Got it."  He went to help Pepper get redressed and Liz safely into her carrier.  Clint got them landed and people swarmed the plane.  "Pepper and I were feeding the baby," he told the first agent.

"She said we were ungodly," Dawn said.  "That we'd die for it."

Clint came out of the cockpit.  "She capped the pilot.  Fortunately he had it on autopilot."

"Are you a certified pilot?" one of the agents asked.

"I keep up my skills because I'm an agent with SHIELD."

"That's reasonable," he decided.  "Is everyone okay?  Need a hospital?"

"Need a potty break," Dawn admitted.  "Need a valium.  Need to go kill that fucking church in North Carolina.  Valium might keep me from killing that church in North Carolina."

Natasha hugged her.  "We will handle it together."

Dawn looked at her and then at Clint, who nodded.  "You're not taking my fun either, Dawn.  I'd like to talk to them too."

Dawn nodded.  "Okay, we can do that.  Let me calm down and I'll bring us there."

"No," Tony said.  "We'll go as a team.  You can back us up, Dawn."

"They thought I was ungodly, Tony, not you," she said.

"Tough shit," Pepper said, making Dawn flinch.  "They're going to die by *my* hand this time."  She looked at the agents.  "Tony got the door closed.  Clint took the controls.  I have no idea where her body landed."

"Did she open the door or did someone else open the door?" the agent asked calmly.

"She did and said we were ungodly," Dawn said.  "Then let the wind suck her out."

"Good to know.  About how far back, did you think to get coordinates?" he asked Clint.

"Five minutes ago, over some woods.  Two minutes before I called in."  He nodded, taking that down.  He tipped Dawn's face up.  "Calm down.  We're going to stomp them together."  Dawn got onto her phone, checking the sites for those churches.  She ran the tape for the agent.

"It appears that God has seen fit to deliver us from that evil, cowardly wench," the minister said.  "It appears that He crashed their plane to make sure that the unholiness wasn't passed on to her *mentor's* daughter, or her boss.  Pity because I like his tablet and phone but God has spoken," his voice said from the podcast.

"When was that uploaded?" the agent asked, taking the phone.  "That church in Georgia's site.  And it was uploaded an hour ago.  Thank you, people.  We should still probably take you to the ER."

"We're good," Dawn said.  "We'd like to safely get somewhere we can shake."  He nodded, making that call.  She looked at Tony, who shrugged.  They got their bags and their carry-ons, heading to a hotel nearby.  Dawn called both meetings off for Monday, pushing them back a day.  Both of them understood being stranded without their plane in Kansas City due to mechanical failure.  Dawn updated Pepper and Tony by text message then turned and threw her phone against a wall.  Thankfully it was a Stark phone so it survived.

Clint picked it up and turned it off.  "Dawn?  Want a hug?"

"Hell yes."  They crowded around her and cuddled her.  "Shit, call Steve?"

Natasha did that.  "We are all fine.  There was an attempt to crash the plane but we are all fine and in Kansas City.  We'll be in LA either tonight or early tomorrow morning for those meetings," she said calmly.  "Liz is fine.  They were in the bedroom when the stewardess tried her thing.  I'll have him call."  She hung up and texted Tony to call Steve.  Then she turned her phone off.  Clint's was ringing with a text message so she answered it and turned his off.  She went back to cuddling Dawn's back.  She was shaking and it was not a good thing.  "We will stop them," she said quietly.

Dawn turned to look at her.  "What if I couldn't have held it steady long enough?"

"He had the controls and I was moving to get the door somehow.  Had I known about the grappling hook I would've used it before Stark got out there."  Dawn nodded, squeezing her.  "It will be fixed."

"I'm more than willing to destroy them."

"I know but we are going to do that as a team," Natasha said, getting a nod and a cuddle.  Clint held them both.  He was shaking too.  Natasha was pushing it back down. Clint nudged it and she nodded.  "I was scared too," she admitted.  They shifted some so she was in the center and it was good.  Much more healthy than going to kill someone.


Tony hung up with Steve, who was swearing.  He wiped off his ear, looking at Pepper.  "He's really pissed off."

"Good!  I'm really pissed off!"

"No, like he's going to Hulk out soon.  Steve was swearing.  He said 'fuck'."  She winced.  Steve might now and then get so pissed off he let out a tiny 'damn' but not that word.  "I had him conference in Joyce so she could tell Callia we're okay.  We're still going to LA but it'll be a few hours.  Joyce promised she hadn't let Callia see any tv, apparently she had helped Bruce color bomb the kitchen to paint it."  Pepper smiled, shaking her head.  "So she's fine.  We're all okay." 

He moved closer, pulling her into his arms.  She went from sniffling to full out crying, which was what Pepper did when the stress was done and she needed to let it out.  He understood that.  His phone beeped and he looked at it then he tapped out a message one handed.  "I forgot Rhodey."  She laughed but helped him type it and send it then went back to cuddling him.  He stroked over her back, letting her calm down on her own timetable.  Liz was sleeping.  He had to turn them to look as Phil appeared.  "We're good."

"Good.  Want me to take Liz to Tara?"

"It's going to be hard for Tara to feed her," Pepper said, wiping off her cheeks.

Phil gave her a hug.  "She can have a bottle for a few days."

She shook her head.  "No, I can handle it.  Thank you, Phil."

"It's not a problem.  Dawn, Clint, and Natasha?"

"Up the hall," Tony said with a point.  He looked that way and nodded.  "They're calm?"

"Getting there.  SHIELD's taken over the investigation."

"That minister in North Carolina," Pepper said.  "Look at the Georgia church's site."  He smiled and left to do that.  She hugged Tony again, sighing in relief.  "We still need to get there."

"I got a text from Dawn.  She moved them back a day and moved the one on Tuesday back a week in New York."  She nodded, relaxing against his shoulder.  "C'mon, let's put you down for a rest.  I'll arrange for us to get to LA."  She yawned and nodded, cuddling Liz on top of the blankets.  He grabbed what he needed and left, going to call Happy from outside. 

Natasha joined him a few minutes later with a printed sheet then she left.  He read it to Happy, who said he'd make sure it was thoroughly safe for them.  Tony hung up, went to the bar to have a few drinks and calm himself down.  There was nothing he could tinker with.  There was nothing he could build.  There were no targets he could take out.  Nothing to help him calm down but Pepper and she needed him to not be losing his temper.  So he'd retreat back to his old methods to work it out then go see her.


They came off the plane in LA, Tony checking around.  Tony was wearing a bulletproof vest.  Dawn was guarding Pepper.  Clint and Natasha came down next.  Clint moved to check the car since it was alone there.  He shook his head and called that in.  They had agents there in minutes.  Happy pulled up a few minutes later.  Clint checked the car and nodded so they got Pepper and Dawn loaded with the baby while Tony talked to the agents.  Natasha got in to guard them while Clint waited and backed up Tony.  Finally they got in and headed for the Malibu house.

Dawn winced and held her head.  "Not again," she complained, leaning forward.  Natasha shifted to hold her, stroking her back.  She took a deep breath, trying not to heave.

Natasha concentrated.  Clint nodded he saw it.  He looked at Tony.  "Something's going to happen to the house."

"My house?  This one?"

Clint nodded.  "Not soon.  I see fall colors on the tree out front."

"Good to know," Pepper said, stroking over Dawn's back too.  She got her a bottle of water from the bar in there.  "You're having another CT as soon as we get back to New York," she said quietly.

Dawn nodded, sipping the water, looking at Tony.  "Something's going to make the house fall, boss.  Completely fall."

He nodded.  "Okay, I'll make plans and start moving some things out of there.  Thanks, kid."

"Welcome."  She looked around then at Natasha.  "There's another enemy.  I'm not sure who.  It was some shadowy figure but I'd guess a guy by the outline."

"I can look into the hidden areas," she promised, soothing her.  Clint and Pepper changed places so they could cuddle her.  "I know your cars are there, Stark."

"The artwork collection is stored there too," he said, looking at Pepper.  She had helped him build it.

"We're moving it to specialized storage.  The New York tower is too easy to be compromised if we get another attack.  Maybe the house in Vail?"

"Too small for anything like that.  It's normal house sized," he admitted.  He considered it and called JARVIS.  "Scan the house, JARVIS.  Dawn just had a vision that someone's going to attack it."

"Soon?" the AI asked from his phone.

"Fall colors on the tree out front," Tony said.

"It's still lushly green at the moment," he said.  "Shall I make a list of priority things that need to be moved?"

"Please," Pepper agreed.  "Dawn and I will find somewhere this week."

"Old silos are being turned into bunkers and houses," Dawn said quietly.

"That might work," Pepper agreed.  "We'll have to see."  She smiled.  "Rest.  It'll be almost twenty more before we get home."

"Yeah, I can do that."  She yawned and curled up with her head on Clint's shoulder but pulling Natasha closer so she held her.

Tony and Pepper shared a look and Pepper nodded.  She'd talk to that researcher herself about how to stop visions.  "Were we there?" Pepper asked them.  Clint nodded.  "All of us?"  He nodded again.  "Then it's good she warned us.  Maybe sell it?" she suggested to Tony.

"Maybe.  Though I'm not sure I want to.  I might rebuild there afterward."  He shifted and crossed his feet, looking at the baby.  "Barton, stick her pacie back in."  He reached over and did that.  "Thanks."  His mind was whirling with plans and possibilities.  He had needed a fall back spot and hadn't had one in years.  He hated the New York mansion or he would've moved all the Avengers in there instead.  Maybe he should donate that one somewhere, like to a fraternity.  No, best to keep it so he could show Callia about his father some year when she was ready.  The house in Vail was too small.  The one in England was huge and unprotected for the most part.  He needed something protected and close enough that he could get to it.


Dawn walked out to Tony that night, handing him her tablet.  "That's about perfect.  Clint's wincing in misery.  He had no idea it was being sold by SHIELD."

He looked at the former research center, wincing.  "That's a huge bit of destruction and that's really bad."  He flipped to other things.  "Underground?"

"Harder than hell to blow up."  She flipped to one.  "I like that one."

"Huh."  He read it over, nodding.  "House on top but enough room down there for at least a few labs and storage areas for things like the art collection."  She pointed.  "It has a cooled, humidity controlled storage area?"

"The last one used it for survival supplies."

"Not a bad idea."  He went over the details, nodding at it.  "That's very not bad.  It's far enough in the middle of nowhere that we can block off the road."

"You'd own two-hundred-seventy-three acres of prime North Dakota land.  It's near a state park so the land between probably isn't high on the construction list in case they eminent domain to get it.  Two roads, one's more of a path through the woods.  It's sank into the bedrock.  Has self-supplying wells, three around the house.  Has six levels underground, each with bomb and sound proofing between them in case one level got compromised.  You can totally seal off certain levels even from the air system.  It's already set up for that.  The main house up top has six bedrooms, could use a bit of work because it's a wood paneled hellhole to me, and the kitchen's basically the fireplace and a wood burning stove.  Heating system would need upgraded."

He nodded.  "Cheap too for something that size."  He smiled and gave her a one-armed hug.  "Good job, Dawn."

"Thanks, Tony."  She went back to her room to cuddle.

Tony showed Pepper, who smiled at the plans and started the process to buy it for him.  She had access to all his accounts.  The locals wanted it sold quickly because the guy who had set it up had been arrested by the DEA for drug trafficking to pay for his insurance.  They set up a chat with Pepper to talk about why someone like Stark would need it.  She pointed out that sometimes geniuses needed some peace and quiet and he needed some privacy plus security for the kids.  They decided he was a nice enough guy and he didn't have plans to put up a hotel or anything, which they'd hate.  So they allowed it to start.  She thanked them and they gave her the realtor's name.  She walked outside to stare at the sunrise while calling them with a glass of wine.


Dawn walked into the demon kitten poker club that afternoon.  Everyone stared at her.  "What?  Did I lose a major bet?" she asked.  They all shook their heads.  "Anyone wanna tell me anything?"  One raised her hand.  "What's up, Grace?"

"Are you okay?"

"Mostly.  Nerves are bad."  She smiled.  "I'm getting some Greeth."  They nodded and she paid for it then turned around.  "Though, the people who did this?  I'd like to know who's behind it.  And the vision that I saw of them attacking the house with Callia in it.  Because we all know I'm going to destroy this earth if you hurt one of the kids, right?"  They all groaned but nodded.  She smiled.  "Not even those who're mine could stop me from doing that if they're hurt, people."  A few more moaned.  "So, information nice."

"You willing to pay?" one teased.

Dawn smirked and patted him on the horn.  "Sure, depending on the price."

"Some blood?"

"Not a chance in hell, dude.  I'd so kill you."  She smirked.  "Hard.  The very hard way."  He whimpered.  She patted his horn again.  "Callia likes music and wanted to learn to play an instrument.  Think a horn flute would work?"

He shuddered, shrinking in on himself.  "Few cats?"

"Few bucks?" she countered.  She walked over to the ATM and withdrew money, putting it on the table.  "The more I hear the more I pay."

He looked then at her.  "I usually get a few hundred."  She fanned it out to show him.  He touched it.  "Damn.  Um....  The guys that took Stark in Afghanistan are behind the upcoming attack I think?"

"How sure?"

"Not totally sure but now they're Nine Rings instead of Ten if you get my drift?"  She smiled and handed him five hundred.  He swallowed.  "There's some overlord sort and some crackhead designer with plans."

"The more I hear the better I'll feel about protecting the kids," she announced.  They nodded they'd tell her.  "Thanks, guys."  She handed the bartender the rest.  "Buy a round for those who need and deserve it."  She strolled off, handing Clint the bottle.  "Natasha and Phil both learned how to drink that."  She grinned at the guy staring at her.  "Hi, Kitten."

"Dawn," he said with a polite nod.  "Heard about the attempt on you guys."

She nodded.  "I'm not real happy yet."

"Good to know."  He stepped back some.  "Needed information?"

"Yup.  Especially with a vision yesterday."

He blinked a few times.  "I know people who'll take most visions but they're evil."

"I heard about them trying with Cordy."

"Not them.  Wish demons wanted some for someone who wished really hard."

"Have them call me."  She handed over her card then smiled.  "I might be willing to give up all but the most important ones or to switch to dream ones."

"They might do that."  He licked his lips and took another step back.  "You're glowing."

"Sorry."  She pulled it back in.  "Been a long few days.  Especially since I had to end someone who wanted to own me like I was a kitty cat."

"I heard," he moaned.  "Oh, Goddess, I heard."  She smirked.  He looked at Clint then at her.  "I'll pass that on."

"Thank you."  He nodded and left them alone.  She took Clint to the car and then the bank.  They had to get some things straightened out.  Her backup identity could be a bit more broke for a few months.  Her investment guy was doing shady things.  So they'd fix that next.  Then Dawn took him to a jewelry store.  She walked in and smiled at the salesman.  "I have a question."

"All right?  Is it pertinent to jewels?"

"I own a house, well two houses and a lake in Guatemala.  I found this on the bottom of the lake," she said, putting the stone on the counter.  The jeweler gasped and called someone from the back.  "Which is why I'm not sure what I need to do.  You're the first people I've told.  I haven't even told my spouse," she said with a point at Clint.  "I'm not sure if someone was hiding it there or not.  I'm not sure what it is beyond twinkly and might be quartz or a diamond."

"If it's diamonds the locals are going to go nuts," Clint assured her, giving her a pat on the back.  That was very interesting that they hadn't heard that.  He'd have to have a *talk* with Dawn about her hiding things from them again.  Some secrets were fine but since they were opening up her treasure chest of secrets, this should've been on top of the pile.

"It's a low grade diamond," the jeweler that got called out said, looking at her.  "How many more did you find?"

"I found a good handful by touch but I only brought up that one to look at it.  I would've went to the ones in New York but I was worried someone might talk.  I've gotten minor pieces from you guys before."  She touched her earrings.

The jeweler smiled.  "They look nice on you."

She smiled.  "Thanks.  Since I'm an assistant I'm told I shouldn't be too twinkly."  The saleswoman laughed.  "So what do I need to do?"

"What part of Guatemala?" he asked.  She pulled out her tablet to find it on the map.  He nodded.  "It can't be local in that area.  I'd say someone dropped it in there to hide it years ago."  He fingered it.  "It's not worth much but it might make a good something."

"Okay, so do I have to tell the locals?"

"No, not if it was hidden.  Unless it used to belong to a cartel person?"

She shrugged.  "It was rental property.  I bought both houses and sold one to a friend."

"Interesting to note.  Anything else you've found there?"

Dawn took off her necklace and opened the small casket there, looking inside and pulling open the door from in there.  It opened and Clint moaned.  She smiled.  "Won it at poker," she agreed.  She pulled out the tiny chest and put it on the counter.  Once she let it go it grew.  She closed back up the casket and put back on her necklace.  She grinned at their looks.  "Kitten poker.  It's that, bet cats, or bet weapons."  She shrugged.  "I like twinkly things."

They looked through it.  They were impressed with the quality and a few they couldn't take due to where they probably came from.  Dawn accepted that.  They cashed the rest out and it was good for them. 

Dawn took him to that speciality shop, walking into the back with him following.  "People, this is one of my spouses," she introduced.  They stared in awe.  Dawn smiled.  "People are fucking with me again.  Can I get into my locker?  Did I pay my rental fee?"  They nodded and let her into the locker under the store.  She handed Clint the two bags and took off the casket to load the rest of the stuff in there into it.  Then she shut it and put the necklace back on.  She walked out with him, handing over the key.  "Thanks, guys.  I might need one again some year but not right now."  She winked at her favorite salesguy.  "Natasha needs something beautiful for dinner tonight and so do I."  She put the money down.  "That's my budget."

He blinked.  "The redhead?"

Dawn grinned.  "Yup, the wife."

He moaned.  "You have excellent taste, Dawn."  He found two dresses and something for Clint, who smiled at that.  "That will do nicely."

"Thank you."  She kissed him on the cheek and paid for it, handing Clint the rest of the money.  "Have a good day, guys."

"Pay your storage in New York this month," the manager reminded her.

"I can do that."  She winked and they walked out together.

Clint waited until they were in the car.  "What is that place?"

She smiled.  "It's like Harry's in New York.  It's basically run by people who used to do your job.  It's part storage, part really good clothier, part supply and gear shop."  She grinned.  "The one in New York is down by Penguin street."

"I want to see," he said.

"I'm taking you both when we get back to clean out some of the stuff I have stored there."

"Show me how to open that thing on your necklace?"

She grinned.  "It's your combined birthday present."  He groaned and kissed her.  She grinned.  "Did you want to go to the Stark benefit tonight or out to dinner?"

"Dinner."  He drove them off.  Dawn was so getting laid later.  He had never heard of those sort of stores.  He thought at Natasha, who said she had heard rumors but you had to be introduced.  He glanced at her.  "How did you find them?"

"Spike."  She grinned.  "Kids."  He paused and they let the demon kids run across the street.  "School must be out."  They watched and waited.  One last one ran past with her dog friend.  Then they drove back to Malibu.


Natasha walked out to talk to Pepper, who was feeding Liz again.  "How did Dawn know about supply shops?"

"Spike."  She smiled.  "He got her all sorts of weird contacts and stores to go visit.  She's safer down in the demon part of the city but there's all sorts of weird contacts.  Like the succuba store."

She nodded.  "That makes more sense but how would Spike know?"

"No idea unless one of his playmates knew."  She grinned.  "No idea and I'm not sure I want to know.  You might ask John if he knows."

John appeared buffing his nails on his shirt.  "I do know about all three of them."  He looked at her.  "There's one in New York and one in London."  Natasha smiled at him.  "She has friends in all three."  She moaned.  "Why is she consolidating?"

"To make herself appear more bulked up so she's not as vulnerable," Pepper said.  "She warned me earlier she was going to have to find a new investment guy because he was being dicey and she was moving some of her money from her backup identity to this one just in case."

"We can make the stupid bastard overseas pay for bothering her," John said.

Pepper shrugged.  "Not my job to wonder.  That's a Dawn plan.  She took Clint."  She patted Liz on the back, making her drink more.  "You need to eat more than you need to sleep."

John laughed.  "I'm sure she eats when she's hungry."  He looked at Natasha.  "Remember reading that story by Harold?"


"It's his brother that started the one in London."  She moaned and sat down.  He grinned.  "That's also where Dawn likes to shop."  He shrugged and disappeared again.

"That's where she got those jeans that made her butt look holy," Pepper agreed with a grin.

Natasha nodded. "I need such contacts."

"Talk to Spike."

"I have in the past but he makes my head hurt."  She looked over as those two walked in, looking at the bottle.  "Why did you get that?"

Dawn gave her an evil smirk.  "Because I have wicked plans for it and tomorrow off."  She grinned at Pepper.

"You do because Tony said you needed it.  Do you want to go to your old place so you don't keep us up?"

"I think I'll hit my backup identity's place here.  We're going to give it up soon when the lease is done."  They grinned.  "So we're going to dinner tonight then we'll be hiding."

"Have fun, kids."  Pepper smiled.  "Check in at least once tomorrow, Dawn, so we don't worry that you've been kidnaped again."

"I can do that."  She grabbed their things and they headed.

Pepper smiled at Liz.  "Your aunt is going to have a lot of loud, energetic sex.  I remember being her age and having enough stamina to do that too."  She heard a male laugh and looked over as Steve and Tony came up from the garage.  "She...."

"We heard.  We were monitoring up here."  He kissed her then Liz on the head then her again with a grin.  "Finish up."  She huffed but did that and Liz got put into the carrier.  Which Steve took.  They went to the basement to look over what had to be moved. 

"I forgot how massive the art collection was," she said.  "We'll need speciality movers for that."

"And the cars," he agreed.  They shared a look then one with Steve.  He opened the safe to point.  She groaned. "Mom's jewels, yeah.  I need to give them to Callia."

"Some year.  She's not ready for them yet, Tony."

"I know."  He patted her on the back and they made note of the various collections down there. She knew who she'd need to call.  They finished in the lab because of course Tony would be moving it and installing JARVIS' main computer array in the new house for safety reasons.  Tony got them some water and they sat around to talk about how to accomplish the move without people realizing.  That way they wouldn't attack that house instead. 

Some was going to New York and then slipped back to the new place.  Especially the cars.  The artwork needed evaluated for insurance reasons but they had put off doing the reevaluation.  They could do that now and move it to more secure storage on the way back.  People might wonder if he was selling some but he could say that he was renovating out here.  He did put up plans for the next house when this one got blown up.  Including a Dawn-soundproofed room and rooms for Callia, Liz, and two future kids.  Plus a huge master suite with a decadent bathroom.  Pepper smiled and he shrugged.  It spoiled them all.


Dawn let them into her hidden apartment locally and closed the door behind them, turning on the security system.  "Gun cabinet's in the living room," she said with a point.  They looked around, nodding that she had turned the boxy, standard apartment with crap view into something comfortable.  It had wonderful views of a few rooftops from each room.  The bathroom was better than usual but still pretty plain.  The bed was comfortable and a pillowtop but firm underneath.  The other bedroom had a desk and  workbench.  Most things could stay here or be sold off.  Very few things needed to be moved.  The gun cabinet was a heavy, antique cabinet.  It looked like it had originally held swords.

Natasha looked at her.  "Swords?"

"This life fences for stress relief."  She smiled.  "I can't have them associated though."

"You could remake your fallback," Clint offered.  "Take back all the stuff you invested in it?"

She considered it.  "I have a lot of contacts that know that one."

"Most of them would realize you were you," Natasha said.  "Let me check into it."  Dawn handed her a letter in her name that was on the table.  She settled in to check that one over.  It was fairly plain.  Had a slight work history with a company that didn't exist outside paying someone to add you as an 'employee' in Abu Dhabi.  Which led back to that gear shop in London.  They popped up to talk to her.  "Someone has managed to hack the Stark system."

"Two people.  Andrew and one of the guys at the gear shop in London," Dawn agreed.  "Andrew told Tony how he had done it."

"Interesting."  She started by introducing herself and that she was Dawn's wife.  Dawn leaned over to type a message and her name.  They accepted it.  Natasha told him what they were thinking and they gave her how easy it would be.  They could craft another one very easily and it would be fine.  Only a few owned things and she could 'buy' them from herself easily enough.  "You have two fallbacks in New York?"

"Mine and my alternate ID's," Dawn agreed.  "Hers is a semi nice penthousy place that, again, has a lot of rooftop views.  The other one's by the park."

Clint stared at her.  "You never mentioned that one."

"I only got it recently in case the building got attacked again."

"Rent or buy?"

"Rent.  Monthly rent, no lease."

He nodded.  "We can keep that up for now."  He hugged her.  "You did a really good job and we didn't even realize."

She smiled sadly.  "I should've told you."

He kissed her.  "It's impressive but we'll help with the next one."  He grinned.  She grinned back.  "So why are we here?"

"Because Tony needs to move Pepper into his relationship full time and you wanted naked time."  She smirked.  "Once we come in from dinner until we have to leave for the airport I'll be totally naked for you."  He moaned and kissed her harder.  "We have reservations at seven."  She snuggled against his chest.  "Does that make up for not getting your reward?"

"Hell yes."  He looked at Natasha, who had moaned.  "Good?"

"Imagining how that will be."  She went back to her discussion, apologizing for not answering immediately, she had been talking to them.

Dawn winked at Clint and strolled off.  "I'm going to shower and get ready for dinner.  I have to shave."

"Sure," Clint agreed, heading after her.  "Join us when you're done, 'Tasha."

"I will."  She crossed her legs and got back to her discussion.  They had it all set up within minutes.  Once they got back to New York, the plans would drop, Dawn could clear out all her places via local moving companies, and her things in the New York apartment would be transferred to her via inheritance.  That would help set everything up. 

He explained how the identity worked.  You paid them a good fee plus your 'salary' for the year.  He did the taxes on it and sent it back to you.  That was very helpful to know. She thanked him and said they'd talk once they got back to New York.  They were going to dinner and Dawn was being a tease.  He laughed and said she was like that and to enjoy it.  She hung up the chat and shut down her tablet, stripping on her way to the shower.  Clint was having Dawn scrub his back for him.  She smiled and moved in to kiss him.  "Spoiled."

"Very spoiled but damn lucky," he said with a moan.  "Dawn?" he begged.

She smiled and kissed his shoulderblade.  "Yes, Clint?"

"Can I have a blowjob to tide me over until after dinner?"

"I can do so," Natasha promised, earning a smirk from him.  She got down to please him and herself.  Clint appreciated both her oral sex and her working herself off.  Then Dawn got her cleaned off while Clint relaxed.  They got her finished and out.  She disappeared to do her hair and makeup, coming out dressed.  Natasha had dressed in the bathroom so she could do her own makeup.  Dawn's hair was up and curly.  Her makeup was flawless and pretty, not dark or too light.  Her dress hugged her figure perfectly.  Natasha's own dress fit her well and it was stunning on her.  Clint finished by pulling on his jacket and smiled. 

They left, Dawn telling him where they were having dinner.  It was upscale and slightly trendy but not fussy, expensive, or overly popular.  It had great food, decent wine, and wait staff that served food looking like Chippendale dancers because they were all in tux pants and bowties but nothing else beyond silk slippers.  It was a relaxing, happy dinner.  Dawn sipped her wine and ate her dinner with a smile.  Clint was getting ready to pounce again by the images she shot at him.  Natasha got a few herself at Dawn, who did moan at one point.  She covered it up by eating another bite of dessert.  Which was decadent enough to make one moan.  The valet gave them back their car and they went back to the apartment.

Dawn walked up to Clint.  "It's your turn to strip me.  Natasha got last time."

He grinned and took off his jacket then undid her necklace, handing it to Natasha.  He unzipped her dress, letting it fall.  "Shoes off," he said.  She stepped out of them and they got her out of the bra, panties, and garter with stockings.  He looked her over.  She had shaved everything but a tiny bit of pubic hair again.  She looked like a painting by a master back in the Renaissance.  He kissed her, smiling at her.  "Natasha, would you like her first?"

"I believe I do.  She has teased me all day by teasing you."  She kissed Dawn, walking her into the bedroom to tease her back.  She stripped down and climbed in next to her to have her mouth again.  Dawn had amazing skills with them.  Clint was stripping and letting them watch.  It was a good show.  Dawn was willing to do anything they wanted.  Even try that violet wand again.  She didn't like it, which Natasha understood, but it was nice that she tried for them.  Clint laid on Dawn's other side to kiss them both.

Natasha was having fun with her Dawn time and it was good.  Dawn was already making squealy noises.  Clint was moaning and stroking himself.  Natasha gave them a wicked smirk and sent a thought to Clint, who grinned back.  Natasha had picked up some extra supplies while they had been out.  Including a new strap-on set.  Dawn moaned and gripped at her.  She got free and gave Dawn the ride she needed, including flipping her onto her knees so she could get deeper.  Clint let Dawn lick him while Natasha rode her hard.

"My turn?" Clint begged.

"Hmm.  Perhaps."  They switched places, letting Dawn suck on her fake cock for her.  Clint slid in and Dawn moaned, twitching some.  "Was I a bit hard?" she asked.

Clint teased the area.  "She's a bit warm but not swollen."  He pulled out to lick and soothe her.  Dawn spread her knees a bit farther apart and let him do whatever he wanted.  "Hmm.  This is nice.  I need to remember this."  He smirked at Natasha.  "She looks nice doing that."

"She does and it does move it nicely against my clit."  She felt Dawn touch her.  "You may."  She stroked a finger around and into her pussy, making Natasha moan.  "That is very nice, Dawn.  I like that."  Dawn slurped and went back down on her.

Clint moaned.  "She does look hot doing that."  He licked her again then slid back into her.  "Damn you're tight tonight, Dawn."  He slowly built up to a good, long, hard ride that was satisfying even as it wrecked his thigh muscles.  By then Dawn was mewling and begging into Natasha's uncovered crotch, licking her until she came again and again.  "So pretty like that," he said quietly, stroking up her back.  He leaned down to nibble on her shoulder, making her shift to bare her neck.  "No, I want here," he said in her ear.  He pushed in extra hard, finding her G-spot again.  She shrieked so he grinned and did it again.  She came and went limp.  He pulled back, rubbing a hand over her buttcheek.  "I need more of that."

Dawn turned her head to look at him.  "You didn't get off?"

"I did get off.  I'm still hard."  She pulled herself over to clean him up and take care of that for him.  He moaned, enjoying that just as much.  "That's beautiful, Dawn.  I love it when you do that."

Natasha moaned.  "I do too."  She pulled Dawn's hips around to lick her clean.  When Clint finally came they curled up in the bed, all naked.  Dawn still had a whole day of nudity because they'd be flying out at eleven the next night to make it back to New York.


Tony looked up from holding Liz as the trio got onto the plane.  "Long line?" he joked.

"To hand the rental car back," Clint said with a grin for Pepper, who looked really sleepy on Steve's shoulder.  "We good?"

"We're great.  We got a new pilot, did a background and all that," Tony said.  "No stewardess but we'll manage to sleep."  He smiled.  Liz finally yawned and finished falling asleep for him.  He tucked her back into her carrier.  "We'll figure out sleeping things once we're in the air."  The pilot came back from overseeing the luggage and it was good.  Happy had gone back earlier to be waiting on them - first class of course because that's the sort of boss Tony was sometimes. 

They settled in and let the pilot do his job.  Once they were in the air, Pepper was asleep, Steve was asleep.  Tony was nearly there.  He had Clint help him pull down the couch so they could spread out.  Steve woke up slightly.  "Just making it into a bed," he said in his ear.  Steve smiled and let Tony nap with them.  Liz went into the chair next to them.  "Take the bedroom, guys."

They went back there, settling in to sleep together.  "Not naked," Natasha warned.

"But she's good at it," Clint protested.

"Someone else might see us."

Clint shrugged.  "They can admire but they'd better not touch me."  Dawn swatted him, getting down to her sports bra and thong.  He stared.  "That's hot."  He kissed her.  "In the middle."  She got in the middle and they stripped down to curl around her.  Even if Clint was insisting that she was getting off.

Out there Tony shook his head.  They weren't being too loud at least.  He could barely hear Dawn above the plane's noise.


They made it home in time to shower and change, get breakfast, and report to work.  Dawn yawned a few times.  Pepper yawned too.  "Why are you so sleepy?" Pepper asked after one that had gotten her to yawn back.

"We slept okay on the plane but not perfectly."

"Uh-huh.  So you three had sex?" she guessed.

"Natasha wouldn't."  She shrugged.  "Clint gave a great massage though."  She grinned.  Pepper laughed and blushed.  "You three sleep okay?"

"It was pretty good.  Steve's a great pillow who doesn't move all night.  No matter how many times you try to fluff him."  They shared a grin and got back to the work of running Stark International.  The baby was in her bassinet with the closet door open.  Callia was staring at the baby but it was probably protective.  Dawn goosed Callia, making her jump and flail.  "Why are you staring?" Pepper asked.

"I'm making sure she's okay."

"She's just fine," Dawn said.  "If I had to, I could've sent her at you to make sure of it."

Callia smiled.  "I can handle that."  She bounded off to the lab to go tinker with the new cars that were being delivered today.

Pepper smiled a bit sadly.  "If we have to, please do."  She nodded, patting her on the arm before leaving.  Pepper got back to work.  She had to do a bit of thinking.  Did she want to give in to Tony this one time?  Well, yes, she did.  She touched her stomach, counting backwards.  She had no idea if it had worked or not.  Her periods were still screwed up from the birth.  She'd take a test in a few weeks.  Then again....  "Dawn?"  She came in.  "Can you tell if someone's pregnant?"

"Not this soon.  Maybe in a few days.  Tara's better at it."

"I might ask her then."  She smiled.

"Or you could take the blood test version," she offered.

Pepper smiled and nodded.  "I forgot all about that version."  She went down to the infirmary to talk to Dr. Pigalli.  She was an understanding woman who could do the testing.  She'd have to wait a day or so.  She went up to check on Tony and Steve.  She walked into a discussion on condoms so she walked off blushing.  Dawn walked past her with the reports for Tony.  "They're talking."

"Figured that out with the blush, Pep," she joked with a grin.  She walked in and handed them to Tony.  "Take him to the Condom Mart place in Times Square.  There's all the examples there so you can touch them and see which ones you like most."  He gaped.  She smiled.  "Saw Pepper's blush.  That and Callia wanted to know what one was."

"Oops," Tony said with a wince.  "That's not a bad idea."

"Then come back and spend time with Callia," she said.

"I'm going to."  He patted her on the arm.  "You all right?"

"I'm fine."

"Okay."  She strolled off, getting back to her daily fussing rounds.  He went through the reports.  "What the hell?" he muttered.  "JARVIS, have Jonathan come here."  He came in a few minutes later.  "What the hell?" he demanded, handing over that report.

He looked at it then at him.  "You told us we could work on that."

"Did he miscarry or something?"

"No.  Well, kinda but we're working on getting it more precise sometime soon."

"There are ethical rules for human testing," Tony said, staring at him.  "Go find them, research them, and then hand me a report on why you violated half of them."  He nodded, sighing but going to look that up.  He put that one in the shredder.  The rest got put where they needed to go.  Sometimes he worried about those two geeks.  Steve was grinning.  "Don't ask," he muttered.  "Let's take that trip then we'll come back for some playing in the park time?"

"I could like that."  They went to the condom shop together.  It had over a thousand brands displayed, most with samples hanging up.  Some from private companies or speciality ones overseas.   Tony got his usual brand and waited while Steve touched some of them to pick his favorite brand.  He finally chose one even though he was blushing bright red.  They stuffed them in the glove box on the way back to the tower and picked up Callia, who ran out to jump into the backseat and hitch herself in.  They went to the park to play together.


Dawn answered her phone.  "Thank you for calling Stark International, how may I direct your call?"  She listened, frowning.  "I don't see a problem with that, ma'am.  Captain Rogers is one of her favorite uncles."  She snapped toward the office.  "No, I think she wanted some playing in the park time and it's better to have her guarded while she's out before someone tries to hurt her."  She took down the number off the caller id.  "I'll definitely express your concern to Mr. Stark about that, but...."  The woman huffed and hung up.  "Pep, we've now got a PR problem."  She came out with Liz on her shoulder.  "Some woman just called up spitting vile things about Tony and Steve taking Callia to the park."

"Crap," she muttered, going in there to call up her PR person.  "Warn them."

"Am."  She tapped out a text message, and when she didn't get one back she called.  JARVIS sent one saying his phone was in the lab.  She called Steve.  "It's me, it's important.  Hand the phone to Tony."  He did.  "Some woman just called up here spitting absolutely vile shit about you two being in the park with the baby.  Yeah, as in gaybashing, boss.  So be a bit more careful. 

"Should I send one of the guards?  Boss, that playground is right by the biggest anti-gay group's office," she said.  "Yeah, them.  Right on the park, probably about a block from you.  I can do that.  Be careful."  She hung up and called Security.  "It's Dawn.  Captain Rogers and Mr. Stark are in the park with the baby.  We've just gotten a gay bashing call against them for it.  Yes, please do subtly.  Just in case.  On the playground.  Thanks."  She hung up and walked in there.  "I called Cap."

"Thank you, Dawn.  Should we worry?"

"Yeah, the neo-nazi, skinhead, anti-gay group's office is right by there."  Pepper winced.  "I'm going to be a bit worried."  She played with her earring.  "Let me put Liz down."  Their PR head walked off the elevator.  "C'mon."  They came in.  Dawn picked up the remote to go channel surfing.  "It's on Fox."  She turned it up.

The PR person winced.  "That's going to be a bit bad."

"There's been rumors in the past," Pepper reminded him.

"I remember.  Is that... that's a live feed."

Dawn watched, biting her lip.  She groaned and grabbed something from her work closet, heading there.  She appeared without a jacket but with the shotgun on her shoulder.  She stared at the people coming their way.  "Do you honestly think I won't kill you over my niece, people?"  They backed off.  "Keep going.  I'm only reacting to an imminent threat to my niece," she told the officer with them.  "Callia, let's go."

"Is it safe?" she called from the monkey bars.  "They look stupid and mean, Auntie."

"They are.  They won't touch you though."  She climbed down with help from Steve.  Who walked off carrying her.  Tony walked off behind them.  Dawn followed.  The guards met them at the gateway and took Tony home.  Dawn got in the second car.  By the time they got back there was a protest outside the building.  "Great.  Gotta love the global media," she said dryly.

"Not hardly," the head guard said from behind the wheel.  They parked in the garage and got out.  "Mr. Stark, are you three all right?"

"We're good."  He looked at Dawn.  "Overreacting."

"They had explosives on them."  The guards all nodded.  "Those sticks?  They were hand-packed pipe bombs."  They called that threat into the NYPD.  The officer with them got arrested with them for it.  "Okay," Dawn said once they were upstairs.  She got a poke from Clint, telling him they were okay.  He was somewhere in the building.  So was Natasha.  "Can we do this the old fashioned way and use boiling oil?" she offered to the group in the office as she made coffee.

"That would hurt them, not teach them better," Callia chided.  "If we're mean to them they'll just get worse, Auntie.  Like all bullies."

"I'm sure you're right," she said, giving her a hug.  "Go hug Andrew."  She ran off to do that and warn him.  Dawn closed the door and paused against it while Tony vented a bit then opened it again and handed out coffee to those who drank it.  "At least there's no church in Georgia to make it worse," Dawn quipped. "Just FOX News."  She sipped her coffee.  Natasha came off the elevator so she waved her in.  "New developments?"

"Director Fury was told by Joyce, who was doing a news check for stories when the alert hit her phone.  She went on a vile swearing rant at those sorts that made the Director stare in awe and offer to soap her mouth like she had offered to do to him once.  Until she showed him, then he walked off muttering swears."  She looked at Tony.  "I doubt he'll do anything but be supportive.  He has realized."

"Sure," Tony agreed.  He looked at Steve, who shrugged, hands in his pockets.  "Do you want to come out as the All American icon for gay rights?"

He considered that.  "I'm all for gay rights and I'm not going to hide who and what I am.  Humanity should be past this by now."  Tony nodded, smiling at him.  "How do we do this?  Reporters?  Press conference?" he sighed.  He sat down.  "I have no idea about this stuff."

"We need a family spokesman anyway," Pepper said, looking at them.  They smiled at her.  Callia came back with Andrew, who looked pissed off.  "Is she okay?"

"How dare they try to hurt her!" he said hotly.  "I'm going to get the battle armor out and go stomp them no matter what Phil Coulson wants!"  He turned and ran into Xander.  "You would too!"

"No, I'd take my axe and make a holy mess," he said dryly.  "Using the battle armor just pushes them farther over the edge, Andrew.  Remember how you went against that stupid reporter?  We need more of that.  Social media works faster and better than battle armor will this time."

He nodded.  "I can do that."

"Good," Dawn said.  "Let me put up something on my lj."  She pulled out her phone to do that.

"Dawn, please quit swearing?" Natasha asked.  Dawn flashed what she was seeing.  "Huh.  That's bad.  Stark, someone's filling a petition to get your daughter from you on Buffy's behalf."

Xander snorted.  "I can bring her back for that."

Dawn waved a hand.  "I'm telling Mom."

"Sure, she can kick their asses," Xander agreed.  He looked at Andrew.  "Go.  Social media it, especially pictures from the park that show the tubes."  Andrew blanched.  "Now."  He nodded and jogged off to do that.  He picked up Callia.  "If we have to, you can come visit me."  She hugged him.  "We love you too, sprout."

"I'm not a sprout.  They're nasty tasting and I'm pretty so I'd taste good," she said.

Xander looked at her.  "That's almost a Spikian thought," he said dryly, patting her on the back.  "Let me tell your Mom."  He took her with him.  She could visit.


Joyce got the message from her daughter.  "Oh, hell no!" she muttered.  "Sir, I have to leave early today.  Someone just did something incredibly stupid."  She got up and walked off with her jacket.  She walked outside and up the street to the nearest reporter.  "Hi, I need to make a statement."

"Is it important?" the receptionist asked.  Joyce showed him the text message.  "How are you involved?"

"I'm her grandmother."  He called a reporter upstairs to see if she wanted to talk to her.  The reporter ran down the stairs to gather her and walk her off so they could chat.  "Thank you.  I got told the stupid humans tried to file to take my granddaughter from her father in Buffy's name.  Buffy wouldn't want that.  Buffy would probably kick them around a bit and then stomp off before she killed them."

"I understand fully, Mrs. Summers."  She settled in to talk to her, recording it so they could put it online.  They went over what had happened and what was going on.  Joyce did send a message once but Dawn sent back a comment.  She smiled at the comment, reading it into the file.  That was going to help some.


Dawn walked out that afternoon.  "Shut the fuck up!" she shouted over the chanting.  "You are on private property, people, and not welcome here.  Move or be moved."  NYPD pulled up, because she had called them.  "Officers, if they do not move, they are to be removed or pushed back.  However you feel like dealing with them today."

One nodded.  "We can do that, ma'am."

"Thank you.  By the way, that," she said with a point at one thing.  "Is probably an explosive.  Which is why I pulled a heavier gun than usual to go rescue my niece from their group in the park."  Officers got that person down.  It was an explosive so Bomb Squad got called and everyone got arrested.  Dawn watched, staring at them, sneering slightly.  One lunged and Dawn punched her.  "I had enough of people like you from that one church.  I'm not putting up with you going anywhere near my niece.  I'll kill over my family.  Gladly and easily."  That one backed up slowly until an officer grabbed her.  She crossed her arms over her chest.  "By the way, what makes you think Buffy would mind?" she asked the person with that sign.  "Buffy wouldn't care as long as it was a healthy relationship and Callia was loved by the other parent."

"Who're you to say that?" she sneered.

"Buffy's my sister, bitch.  I think I know her a bit better than you do."  The woman backed down.  Dawn took the sign and broke it then tossed it into the trash.  "False advertising isn't welcome either."  One of the officers snickered.  "My sister wouldn't have left you very much.  For that matter, I'm in that mood too."  More people came rushing over to help the protestors.  She froze them.  "Watch me kill you," she offered.  The officers got the weapons from them and arrested the ones who had them.  Dawn let the rest go.  "Can't they be mice?" she asked one of the officers.  "I can do that."

"That would probably be an abuse of power, ma'am," he said, staring at her.

"Pity.  I hate it when things threaten my family."  She looked on as they got the rest moved and the sidewalk blocked off.  She went back inside.  They had been watching from the security cameras.  Dawn added another statement to her livejournal.   She nodded at Buffy when she appeared with Xander.  "Hey."

"Hey."  She walked outside with Dawn following her.  "Excuse me, stupid humans?  I don't care if the father of my eldest daughter is screwing a goat.  Thank you!  As long as it's a healthy, safe, consensual relationship and the goat loves her, I'm all for it.  Not like some of my past dates have been very traditional."  She stared around.  "By the way, the first one of you that threatens my daughter again will get *me* up your nose and you will not like it.  I will make your last few minutes very painful."  She walked off to the booing.  "Xander, can I have a weapon?"

"Sure," he said, handing her his sword.  "Have fun with it."  She walked back out there.  He followed to back her up, axe in hand.  The NYPD was freaking out at Buffy, who was threatening someone who had a sign saying what she'd hate.

Buffy hacked the sign out of his hands.  "Are you sure I'd hate it?  Really?  Because I'm pretty damn sure that as long as he's happy and they love my little girl like I do and her father does, I don't give a damn where he sticks it."  She looked around.  "Anyone else?"  They fled.  "Good idea," she promised.  She smiled at the watching NYPD officers.  "Thank you for helping guard my daughter."  She walked off.  "Xander, home?"

He took her home.  "Hylal, she didn't let me kill anyone for her."

"Pity.  I would take great fun killing those sort for her."  He hugged his wife.  "Callia, are you staying tonight?"

"No, I don't want to miss out on things by suddenly getting older, Daddy Hylal."  She hugged him then her mother.  "I miss you and them and you don't write.  Dumbass."  She kicked her on the ankle, making Buffy laugh.  "It's not nice and I worry.  So stop that!"  She hugged her siblings and they went home.  "Daddy, Sean's taller than me," she complained.  "He doesn't like games either.  They ruined my baby brother.  He's not a geek anymore."

"We'll help him remember that side when they come back," he promised, giving her a hug.  "Let's go work on the alternative engine idea."  She beamed and nodded, going with him.

"Oh, to be that young and able to ignore stress that way," Dawn said quietly.

"We all wish we could," Steve agreed.  He patted her on the knee.  "Thanks, Dawn."

"Welcome."  She got up.  "Let me go handle the desk stuff."  She looked at Pepper, who nodded.  She went back to answer her ringing phone.  "Thank you for calling Stark International.  How may I direct your call?"  She listened and made a note.  "He's not presently taking phone calls.  He's in the lab with his daughter.  I can take a message.  No, I cannot transfer you to his voicemail.  Sorry, he doesn't like to use it so he'd never hear it."  She made a note.  "I'll pass that on, sir."  She hung up and sent it to Tony in an email.  That was not good.  They were a supplier who said he wasn't going to supply that faggot in the tin suit anything anymore.


Tony hummed as he walked into the board meeting.  He looked at them.  "I'm going to be short and yet very blunt.  Bite me if you don't like me being happy.  There's the doorway and you can resign your seats at any given time.  Now, are there going to be any more babbling from the board about who I care about on tv?"  They all glared.  He stared back.  "I can dismiss the board."

"We've already filed an injunction with the shareholders."

"What shareholders?  We bought it all back last night," Tony said bluntly.   She gasped.  "There's no shareholders outside the family.  If we have to, I can offer a few and I'm sure I can find great people to buy them."  He looked around again.  "Leave.  Now.  The board is disbanded.  If you don't like it, take me to court."  They huffed off.  He plucked the writ out of one's hand as she stomped past. 

It went to Legal, who threw up a challenge and got it overturned based on the fact that there were no stocks currently available.  Legal also made a good point that the CEO and owner of the company together could disband the board of directors at any time they wanted.  The judge made sure the CEO felt that way but Pepper sounded like she had been crying and demanded the right to beat a few of those board members to death.  So the judge winced and sided with Stark.


Dawn sat down across from a reporter on her lunch break the next day.  "I only have a half hour."

"That's fine, Miss Summers.  Just a few questions on the commenting going on."

"You mean the putrid mess that proves some of humanity are still apes?" she asked.

"Well, yes, that mess."  She smiled.  "Was that your sister with the sword?"

"It was.  She got brought back for a few by Alexander.  She's on Asgard with the younger kids because she and Hylal thought it'd do the twins some good."

"I wondered why her hair was so long."

"She probably hasn't had the time to whack it off.  She does have Sean and the twins up there."

"That is a lot of kids," she agreed.  "Was she going to stab someone?"

"Probably.  Buffy and I are both hyper protective of our families.  She might not have killed them, because that can do strange things to a slayer, but she would've wounded them a lot."

"You showed up in the park with a shotgun.  Why?"

"If you look at a picture of that group, those tubes in their hands were explosives."  The reporter shuddered.  Dawn leaned her elbows on the table.  "If they had dared to use them near my niece I would've lost it and they'd be making me rebuild the park."

"It seems that Stark draws controversy."

"I think, if you look psychologically, which granted I only had to take two classes of for my degree, it's an 'I hate you because you have more and do more than I do' thing.  That's my take on it.  When it was me they were bitching about because I choose to be backup on call for apocalypses but not every battle, it was all about 'if I had your powers' with most people.  Now it's Tony Stark, who has money, power, and the suit.   It's Captain Rogers, who has his skills.  It's turning into another case of 'if I had your gifts'.  Though we have had a few that showed up to protest that Tony's not going to give away his entire fortune to charity."

"That billionaire pledge?"

Dawn nodded.  "Them.  He gives sizeably to charity every year and Stark matches the lab and upper admin employees' contributions up to three hundred dollars."  The reporter smiled.  "That's helped a lot with the men's shelter I help support and things like the local animal shelters with his daughter."

"She does?"

Dawn grinned.  "We've made sure Callia knew what donation was.  Everything from cleaning out her closets to give away the clothes that don't fit her to the old toys she doesn't play with any longer.  She made Pepper set up recycling containers in the office out here.  We had them in Malibu and when she realized that she had her set them up here.  Callia loves animals so last year we asked her where she'd like to donate to.  She asked some good questions about how you did that and what it meant, and what it meant to her allowance, but she decided to donate to the zoo, for the children's programs and to subsidize school trips, and to the animal shelter nearest the tower."

"That's wonderful of her."  She smiled.  "How are you feeling?  I know some of this is like a flashback."

"It is.  You know, when I was younger, I thought humanity had evolved.  Now that I'm older and I've seen people like these, the ones who brought explosives to a park to face down Tony, Steve, and Callia, who is six, I'm not so sure.  If they have I'm glad I didn't stop at that evolutionary step.  Then again, half of them probably don't believe in evolution anyway," she said dryly.  She rolled her eyes.  "Some day those sort are going to have to justify themselves if their god is real.  What're they going to say when asked why they brought explosives to threaten a six-year-old who was enjoying the park?"

"I'd hate to see the buttkicking that would bring," she admitted.

Dawn nodded.  "Me too.  Thankfully I'm not of their faith and the one I believe in doesn't hurt kids.  Doesn't want to hurt anyone except in self defense.  All this has made my faith in Wicca a lot stronger.  Because, damn, the Goddess would kick them all over the earth for that."

The reporter grinned.  "I can see that viewpoint myself.  Tough question."  Dawn nodded.  "That plane emergency landing?"

Dawn snorted.  "You mean a member of that church in North Carolina opening the door of the plane mid-flight and telling us we were all going to die for being ungodly before letting it suck her out?" she asked.  The reporter gasped.  Dawn nodded.  "Thankfully, Clint can fly.  Liz, Pepper, and Tony were in the bedroom so it didn't hurt her.  Tony got the door shut very quickly and it wasn't the sort that flew off when opened.  We got damn lucky that day.  Clearly our karma points were really high and we used a lot of them up that day."

She patted her on the hand.  "Thank you.  Are they arresting anyone?"

"They should be.  An hour before, right after we took off, that minister put one on the site that the church in Georgia used to run saying that God had punished us by making us crash."  The reporter gaped then swallowed.  She nodded.  "I went looking at their sites first.  Just in case because of what she said.  And there it was."

"Is that what encouraged those two to get together?"

"Steve and Tony hang out a lot.  Tony gets bored, Steve wants to learn something new, so Tony shows him.  Last night he was showing him how the internet worked."

"Aww."  She smiled.  "I know we've seen them chatting at events."

"Yeah, they're kinda boring to Steve and sometimes Tony so they hang out together and talk.   It's good for them."

"Having friends is good.  What about Miss Potts?"

"Have to ask them.  I am not authorized to make statements for anyone inside Stark International."

"I'll do that."  She smiled and patted her again.  "Thank you."

"Welcome.  I'd love to get some truth out there and make people calm down.  I hate it when my niece has nightmares about people attacking her."  She got up and grabbed her bag.  "Have a good day."  She got some coffee and went back to the office.

The reporter sent it to her editor, who praised it and put it up on their website.  Without editing.  She got her own coffee and sat down to call Pepper Potts' main line to see if she'd give a quote.  No one was being let through but the outer assistants gave her the number of the PR director so she could ask him.  That was a handy number to have so she wrote it down and called it.  "Hi, this is Delores Mayhugh with the Times.  I just talked with Dawn Summers and wanted to get a reaction to a few things she said." 

She played the tape so he could hear it.  He gave her a good comment and agreed with everything.  "Anything on how Miss Potts is reacting since we've seen hints that she was dating Mr. Stark in the past?"  She smiled and took that down as well.  "Is Callia Stark safe?   Dawn was very worried about that."  That got a more serious comment, which she made sure she got verbatim even if her phone wasn't taping.  "Thank you, sir.  You have a better day."  She hung up and typed that up on her netbook, sending that as well.  Her editor blew a kiss and put that up too.  This was the hot story of the moment. 

The fact that everyone was worried about the yahoos hurting the babies was an important fact.  One that couldn't be forgotten.  She had almost forgotten that Potts had a newborn daughter.


Pepper hung up and leaned her head back.  "My mother wants to bring Liz home for a bit to protect her."

Dawn walked in.  "Is that such a bad idea?"

Pepper looked at her.  "I'm not sure but I'm hoping not."  They shared a look.  "Right to someone safe?"

"Definitely.  Mom or Callia.  Someone she knows and trusts."  Pepper smiled.  Dawn handed over the mail.  "Scanned, sorted, three things that are marked personal that got scanned extra hard and two reporters."

"Thanks."  She opened the first one, staring at it.  "Our scanners failed."  She hit the quarantine button.  "Get Liz to Stark."  She nodded, moving around to do that.  There was a security bubble around the desk.  Tony came rushing in.  "Our mail scanners failed to find powder."

Dawn walked Liz out and down to the labs.  "Callia, watch Liz."

"What's that alarm?" she demanded.

"Someone sent Pepper something mean in the mail.  We're handling it but Liz can't be there right now.  Go to Grandpa."  She nodded, taking the baby with her.  She looked at Jonathan, who nodded, following her.  She looked at Andrew.  "Powder," she mouthed.  "Find or make a better scanner?"

"Already working on it." 

She nodded, going back up there.  The envelope had already been gathered.  Pepper was in quarantine in the infirmary.  The alarm got shut off.  Dawn went down the garage to throw a fit.  This was an excellent fit throwing time.  She was ranting in another language when someone took a swing at her.  She turned and kicked them, knocking them back into the wall.  She tapped her headset.  "Need someone in the garage, people."  She tapped it off and blocked the new hit, then backhanded him.  The needle in his hand slipped out and hit her arm, scratching her.  "What was in that?"

"You'll die now," he sneered.

"I doubt it."  He got up and rushed her.  She jumped and kicked him in the jaw then landed on top of him.  A security guard came off.  "Gather the needle.  He said something in it would kill me."

"I doubt that," the guard snorted.  He called for some backup to arrest the idiot.  He walked Dawn up to the infirmary so they could get a tetanus shot and bloodwork done.

Tony walked in.  "What?"

"I was throwing a hissy in the garage to relieve stress," she said.  He nodded.  "Got scratched by the needle the guy brought to the fight.  He said it'd kill me."

"Wonderful."  He looked at the doctor, who was shaking her head.  "Blood?"

"Not identified yet.  It'll take an hour or so."  She looked over.  "Pepper's is going to take four."

"Let me know.  I'm with her."  He put on the personal shield and went to sit with her.  She was scared and he knew that.

Dawn calmed herself, checking herself over.  Nothing was starting.  It wasn't an acid like the last time someone had gotten her.  It wasn't a sedative.  It had barely scratched her.  Natasha heard her worrying and sent calming thoughts so she showed her what had happened.  They heard Clint hiss and suck in a breath.  Then slowly let it out.  She told them she'd know soon.  The garage was supposed to be guarded and monitored.


Stark got the text from Happy, turning on the tv in there.  "Oh, just great," he complained.  He looked at Pepper, who nodded and smiled sadly.  "They can handle it without me."

"No they can't and it'll do good if you're seen helping."

"It sucks."

"It does."  He nodded and went up to get on his suit.  The others were suited up and getting to the problem thanks to Clint flying them.  Bruce was not happy in the least.   Pepper was watching it, chewing on her bottom lip while things were going on.  It was not good but at least Tony was getting some of the anger out.  He was beating things instead of firing on them.


Dawn watched the docs readying for injuries.  "Need me to move?" she asked a nurse.

"Why are you in here?"

"Needle stick from the bastard that attacked me in the garage.  Waiting on results.  Doc told me to wait."

"Wait over there," she said.  Dawn moved over there.  She told the doctor to remind her.

She looked at the machine.  "Looks like twenty more, Dawn."  They finished getting ready, glancing at the tv now and then.

Callia was in the penthouse with Liz, who was cooing at her.  She was doing okay and showing her the pet mice and Carrot.  All kids liked animals, which was great about them.  She heard the elevator and looked out there, then hit the alarm and thought really hard at Uncle Phil.  She had to have him right now!  That guy had a gun!  Phil appeared and beat the shit out of the human.  Callia got up and closed the door.  "We're okay, Unclie Phil."

"Good, stay in there.  Put the animals up so we can move you two."  He got the next few too.  Dawn came off the next elevator with a gun and helped.  "Get them to your mom," he ordered.

"I can help."

"Do it anyway."

"Yup."  She grabbed the diaper bag and into Callia's room.  "Grab on."  She laid a hand on Liz, the carrier handle over her arm.  She took Callia's hand and they left together.   "Mom, attack on the tower."  She took Liz to check and hugged Callia as hard as she could.  "I'll be back in a bit.  We have Phil."  She went back there and came out to help him.  Phil had a graze.  Dawn was going to blow her stack.   Suddenly the people rushing around didn't.  At all.  Anywhere on Manhattan.  She moved a bullet that was about to hit Phil in the chest and then killed the idiot who had fired it.  She turned and found a clapping Loki.  "Fuck off.  I don't need your shit today too."

"I was going to offer to help."

She stared at him.  "They just tried to attack the kids."  She snapped and unfroze it then blasted all of them.  She glared at Loki again.  "I've had enough." 

He nodded.  Xander had clearly influenced her temper, it was a lot like his son's.  "I fully understand."  His son showed up in a way that shook the tower.  "Son, a bit loud."

"Shut up, Dad.  Phil, you good?"  He checked him, healing the wound.  He felt Dawn seething and looked at her.  "Go help."

"I can't.  I need to be here to find out what was in the needle I got scratched by."  He shuddered.  "Can you find out how I make a new physical form?"

"I can look that up."

"Thanks.  Going down to handle more idiots."  She went down on the elevator, finding the other rampaging idiots.  They got banished from wherever they were.  Even if it meant they fell a few stories they got banished.   They would never do that again.  She made it to the garage, where more were pulling in and made the cars explode.  The guards were giving her worried looks.  She was concentrating though and she was not Miss Happy Camper; she wouldn't even qualify for Miss Congeniality in that contest, though she might get Most Photogenic.  The next one speeding toward them went up.


Tony's visor display lit up with a warning.  "JARVIS, what's going on at the tower?" he demanded, moving to fly back.

"They have saved both the children from the attack on the building.  All the labs are sealed, mostly with scientists inside the labs.  The ones pouring in to try to finish the attack off are being blown up by Dawn, sir.  Agent Coulson and Alexander are handling the other points of contact."

"Coming."  He flew back there.  Dawn's version of fixing it was economical, though he could see her sweating.  He landed and poked her.  "Leave the building standing.  I hate rebuilding."

She looked at him.  "They made it to the penthouse.  They won't do it again."

"No, they won't."  He fired and finished off the rest of them.  "Aren't you supposed to be waiting?"

"Not with this sort of danger."  She wiped off her forehead.  "I'm going to check for more."

"JARVIS, scan.  See if we're missing anyone, who's injured, and if there's any more of these idiots."  They got onto the elevator together.

"I cannot find Jonathan," he admitted a minute later.  "Andrew is injured."  Dawn scanned and found Jonathan, getting him to Andrew.  She went to help them, taking them down to the infirmary.  JARVIS cleared his throat.  "She may have tossed one of the scientists off with the rest, I'm not totally sure.  Either that or she jumped, sir."  Tony got the film from the security cameras.  "Ah, she jumped.  Opportune timing since her medical records list serious depression being treated." 

Tony groaned.  They made it to the infirmary and looked in there.  "We good, people?"

"No," Dr. Pigalli said.  "Are there more attackers?"

"No.  Not that we can find.  If there are, I'll handle them."  She nodded, moving to Andrew to help him.  Dawn was holding the bandage on his side.  Tony went to get out of the suit and put in a security earpiece.  He needed to review what happened once things had slowed down.  Something wasn't adding up.  You needed a pass and a code to get to the penthouse.  He ran into Xander and Phil.  "We're all good."  He looked around at the mess then at them.  "Thank you."

"Joyce has them," Phil said.

"Good.  That's what I'd expect her to do."  He let the unit take the suit off and stepped off it, grabbing some water.  "Let me go throw a screaming fit at someone."  He went back down to review the security footage.  He knew who he'd have to yell at.   Who Pepper would get to scream at.  Steve came in while he was reviewing, patting him on the back.  "I'm fine."

"Is everyone else okay?"

"Mostly."  He looked at him.  "Go check on Pepper?"

"I was, I just paused to check on you."  He went up there, still in his suit.  He grabbed the personal shield unit and walked in.  "Hey.  He's fine.  He's figuring out what happened."  She nodded, staring at him.  "We're all okay."

"Liz?  I can't find her."

"I haven't heard anything.  Let me go ask."  He walked out.  "Anyone know where the kids are?"

"Joyce," Dawn called.

"Thanks."  He went back in there.  "Joyce has them.  Dawn said so."  She relaxed and nodded, letting him hug her because she was going to cry soon.  "I'm just as worried, Pepper.  I'm going to kill a whole lot of people over those kids.  Including Callia and Liz's future boyfriends."  She laughed but patted him.  He sat beside her.  "We'll figure it out and stop it."

"I hope we can."

"I know we can.  A lot of people won't like that they went for the kids."  She nodded, patting his hand again.  He held it for her and she relaxed.  "I'm here.  Just relax for now."  She nodded, curling up on her side to try to rest.  He leaned back, holding her hand.  Sometimes comfort was what someone needed the most.


Dawn looked over once Andrew had been taken to the surgery unit.  The nurses were all tired.  She sat down in the corner.

"You should go home," one said.

"I still have to hear what I got stuck with," she said.  The nurse winced.  "I can wait.  Doc's busy."

"I forgot about yours and Pepper's," the head nurse said.  She looked at them.  "I don't know which is which.  One of you got Anthrax.  The other one got blood products, namely plasma."  Dawn winced.  "Think that was yours?"

"Yeah, probably since he had it in a needle.  Any way to tell what was in it?"

"If we can find it and test it."  She looked and held up the evidence bag.  "That look like it?"  She nodded.  "I'll have it run for diseases."  She took it up to one of the labs, finding a very angry chemist.  "Boys, can you run a disease check on this plasma?  Someone stuck Dawn with it."  They took it to run.  "Thanks."  She went back down there.  Doctor Pigalli was out of surgery.  She had called in help and she was tired.  "I told Dawn what it said, Doctor."

"Thank you."  She looked at the other one.  "Relative strength is really low."  She went to talk to Pepper.  "Did you get an Anthrax vaccine?"

"Last year."

"Good."  She held up the paper so she could see it.  "We'll be testing your blood now that the emergency's over with."

"Okay," she agreed quietly.  "Now?"

"Let me get what I need."  She went to do that.  Dawn was still in a corner.  "What did yours say?"


"Crap."  She went to draw Pepper's blood.  It was easy enough to test for and then she went to see where the sample was.  They had it running.  She picked a few new tests to add to it.  That helped and they'd have answers soon enough.  By the time she got back down there, Dawn was calming Jonathan down.  Both her spouses were getting patched up.  Stark was staring at the machine running Pepper's blood.  She patted him on the arm.  "It was a low level."

"She hasn't had the vaccine in a year."

"It might still hold."  He nodded he knew that.  "Worry more about what they stuck Dawn with."  He winced.  "All we know so far is plasma."  Clint looked over then at Dawn.  "It'll take tonight, people."  They all nodded.  Dawn got up and walked Jonathan over to help him fuss over them.  Jonathan went to Andrew's side when he came out of surgery.  It hadn't been a bad wound but enough of one to freak them both out. 

Tony got the trio to a guest suite for the night.  Then he called Joyce to update her.  She said she was keeping them tonight.  He agreed and told Callia that Pepper was fine but they were cleaning up a huge mess.  She promised she'd watch Liz for him.  He thanked her, told her good night, told her he loved her, then hung up and went to start throwing things at a wall until he didn't feel like destroying part of humanity.


Dawn walked into the infirmary around daylight the next morning.  The night shift nurse gave her an odd look.  "I got tired of staring at the ceiling waiting on a result."

"I don't think we have anything of yours, Dawn."  She nodded.  She checked.  "It's not here.  Go eat and come back when the doctor is here."

"I can't eat.  I'm going to the gym."  She went down there to beat up on the heavy bag.  It seemed to work for everyone else.  Maybe it'd work for her.  She had to quit worrying about being on medicine the rest of her life to make sure that whatever was in that needle didn't kill anyone.


Doctor Pigalli came in, knowing it was going to be a long day.  Half of her patients would get to go home today.  She found Jonathan sleeping on Andrew's bed with the girls gathered to wait with him.  "Girls, he came through fine," she said quietly.  Jonathan snapped awake.  "Go get breakfast.  When you come back I'll look at his injuries."  They nodded and left.  She checked on the bloodwork pile.  "Where's Dawn's?" she muttered, going to find it.  Dawn would be sick with worry.  The girl was like that.  She read the results.  "Hepatitis.  Great."  She smiled at the researchers.  "Nothing else came up?"  They shook their heads.  "Not the HIV one?"  They shook their heads faster.  "Thanks, boys."  She went back down there.  Clint was in there calming Jonathan down.  "Didn't I say to go eat?"

"Where's Dawn?" he asked.

She looked at him.  "Don't you have a connection with her?" she asked.

"She's got it blocked.  I can't find her.  All I can sense is this whirlwind of thoughts about 'can't let them be hurt'."

"There was a fight before the main attack.  The idiot had a needle.  It scratched her."  Clint squeezed his eyes shut and yelled at her.  She came in a minute later.  She looked at them, taking them into the office.  "I don't think you have to worry.  It was just a scratch.  Not much could've gotten into your blood, Dawn."  Dawn slumped.  "It's not that bad.  Not HIV.  It's Hepatitis B.  Which you took shots for."  Dawn shook her head.  "You should have.  We can administer them."

"We did the first of the series and I got hellishly sick," Dawn reminded her quietly, rubbing her face.  "So....  Meds to make sure?"

"Let me look that up."  She got into her records to find out when that was.  She grimaced as she read it.  "They gave you the military version.  There's another version.  We can try it."

"Will that make it absolute that I can't get it?" she asked quietly.  Clint stroked over her back.  She looked at him.  "I can't let you guys get sick."

"You won't," he assured her.  "That's not spreadable that way."

"Not true," the doctor said.  "Unfortunately.  We can give her the first injection today."  Dawn nodded, rolling up her sleeve.  She went to get it and brought back the set.  "We can do one a week.  Then test in a month."

"A month?" Clint asked.

"Sometimes, vaccines can be mistaken for antibodies.  I don't think there's anything to be worried about.   She barely got cut by the needle and it looked full when it was brought in."  He nodded, relaxing again.  She gave Dawn the shot and watched her start to look sick.  "Dawn, scan yourself."  She did and it disappeared.  "Blocking it?"  She nodded.  "We'll make note of that.  Tara might have that same complication."

"You know Tara's allergic to shellfish, right?"

"I do."  She looked it up.  "Once a week, I was right."  She looked at her.  "It'll be okay."

"I...."  She swallowed.  "I can't risk them."  She got up and walked off.

"That's not happening," he called after her.  He looked at the doctor.

"Probably not.  I'd think it was the most rare ever."  He nodded.  "Condoms.  All barriers until we know for sure," she said quietly.

"Yes, Doc."  He went after Dawn, finding her in the gym.  Natasha wasn't there yet so he told her.  She shuddered but said they'd talk later.  He walked Dawn away from the heavy bag and into the changing area, locking them in.  He looked at her.  "It's not going to get you.  It definitely won't pass to us."

"I can't risk you two."

"Shut up, Dawn.  Not happening."  She looked up at him.  "It won't.  Doc said it's such a small risk of even you getting it.  There's no way I can."

"We used up all our karma points in the crash."

"We did not.  This isn't that stupid movie."  He sat down next to her on the bench.  She started to lean toward him then stopped.  He pulled her against him.  "Beyond that, you're getting the vaccine.  It'll be okay."  She shook her head.  "It will be."

"It won't be."

"Dawn.  Really.  It will be."  He gave her a squeeze.  He checked, Natasha was thinking.  He looked at her again.  "It doesn't matter."

"It can kill you."

"Unlike you, I'm healthy."  He stared at her.  "You're run down from all the magic yesterday.  Which I'm still upset about."

"You guys were there."

"Yay!  You didn't even yell."

"I'm not going to distract you during a fight.  You could get dead."

"Point," he admitted.  He pulled her closer again.  The bench had somehow stretched.  He pinched her and it quit.  He pulled her into his lap to hold her.  "You probably didn't get any."

"I can't be sure of that.  I can't pinpoint germs.  I can't heal it in case it seals it in there."

"It won't.  When did you turn into such a worrywart?"

"Since people brought explosives near my niece."

He gave her a squeeze.  "It's not the same thing you went through and they'll be stopped even if I have to go on a rampage.  Got it?"  She nodded, resting against his shoulder.  Someone picked the lock then left them alone when they saw the cuddle going on.  "Quit.  Worrying," he said quietly.  "It's not going to happen.  Positive thoughts."

"What if it's not a positive outcome?"

"Then we'll deal with it.  There's treatments."  She shuddered.  "We'll handle it.  Period, end of sentence."  He held her hand.  "Where's your ring?"

"Room.  My hand's swollen."

"That's because you're supposed to wear gloves when you beat the heavy bag," he said.  "And your form still sucks."  She snorted but curled up better on him.  He let her.  "It'll be fine."

"We hope."

"It'll be perfectly fine.  If not, the people behind this are going to die."  She nodded.

Tony walked in and stared at them.  "Why don't you go back to bed?"

"Because I'm due at my desk in an hour," she said.  "I need to be there to divert idiots from complaining."

"We have the two non-personal assistants."

Dawn shook her head.  "It'd be better if I worked while I worried, Boss.  How's Pepper?"

"She's fine.  She's not showing any signs.  The bloodwork came out without anything.  We'll do another run tonight to make sure.  She's fine.  Are you okay?"

"The needle had Hepatitis," Clint said.  "We're doing the vaccine now."

"Good!"  He looked at her.  "It can't happen."

"It can."

"It can't."  He stared at her.  "It really can't."  He walked off.  Maybe he should nag Natasha?  Or not.  She might have her own worries.  He went up to his lab to check over what needed to be repaired and how everyone was doing.  He had made sure the lab staff that didn't live there stayed home today.  He might find a place for the others.  It might be safer if he did anyway or sent them back to Malibu for a few days.  He considered which way might be best and got interrupted when something hit his foot.  "Hey, Roomba dog."  He reached down to take what it had in its tentacle, staring at it.  It had seconds left.  "Shit."  He didn't have time to disarm that.  "JARVIS, shield it!" he ordered, tossing it off to the side.  He stopped the Roomba from going to get it again.  Dawn appeared and put up a shield, wincing as the tiny bomb went off.  "Dawn?"

"Ow," she said.  She rubbed her forehead.  "JARVIS, he'll need that contained better I think."

"I can see that.  I'm working on the containment field now, Dawn.  Give me a moment."  Robots with shield devices showed up and put them up inside hers.  "There, now release yours."  She did and fell down in a faint.  Tony got her down to the infirmary while JARVIS got to handle the delightful affects of the slight bit of radiation.  He cataloged what was in it.  It was something that one could find in most high school labs.  Easily available on the internet, including on  He had the guards come get the Roomba to scan the rest of the building.  Mr. Stark was not going to be pleased.

Clint walked into the infirmary.  "What happened?"

"She put up a shield around a bomb that JARVIS couldn't shield fast enough," Tony said.  "Wore herself out again."

"Okay," Dr. Pigalli said.  "Then we probably need to move everyone."

"Move them back to Malibu's lab, Doc," Tony ordered.  "I'll get the family moved to somewhere safer with the pets."  She nodded and started that evacuation.  Tony got the rest ordered.

Clint got Dawn's migraine meds and a few IV's with epi pens.  "Taking her home, Doc."

"It might not be safe, Clint.  They know your building.  They've been protesting there."

"Not that one."  She smirked.  He grinned back.  Natasha came in to help him.  "We're going to the backup spot."

"Coulson already has the twins and Tara there," she agreed.  She got the supplies while he got Dawn.  Their lease car was in the garage and not damaged.  She made sure while he tucked her into the backseat.   He got in to drive while she monitored Dawn.  She sighed.  "What are we doing about her?"

"Migraine stuff like last time."

"Not that."

He looked at her.  "It barely scratched her.  She doesn't need you going hyper worrying too, Nat.  Really."  She nodded at that.  "Doc said it was such a minimal chance it would probably not happen.  She's getting the vaccine now."  He started the car and backed out, heading to their more private backup spot, his.  Dawn's was nice but Dawn wouldn't be able to take the twins rampaging around the house.  She gave him a sideways look. "It'll be fine."

"If you're sure."

"I am."

"You're not worried?"

"Not in the least.  The needle was still full.  We don't think anything got into the scratch."

"Then I'll worry less.  I have seen people dying of that."

"We're not in a third world country.  We have meds here to combat that."

"Good point."  She checked, Dawn was not awake or aware.  "I think she's back in her head again."

"Probably avoiding the migraine.  I would be."  He parked in his building's garage and got them out and upstairs.  It wasn't the greatest place ever but it was nice enough.  He did ask John to go pack for them.  Which he nicely enough did.

John appeared with their luggage.  "I moved all the artwork that wasn't in storage back to storage.  All the jewelry of hers is packed.  All yours is packed, Natasha.  If you had a journal or something I couldn't find it."  She shook her head.  "I did find that picture."  She smiled and nodded.  "All the weapons are in her little necklace holder."  He handed that over.  "I'm going to go stomp someone."  He left.  He and Xander needed to wear off some energy.

Clint put it onto her necklace and left it there.  They'd figure that out later.  He had some guns and a spare bow stashed there.  She got her meds and it was better.  She was looking a bit thin again from all the magic.  He sent a coded message to Agent Hill to warn her that they were in a fallback spot that was hidden.  She agreed it was a great idea and wished him well with her migraine.  They settled in and it was fine.  It would be fine because he'd kill whoever tried anything.


Dawn woke up and blinked at the ceiling.  She did not know this place.  Which was usually a bad indication in her life.  She gathered herself to fight, even though her head felt like it was going to fall off.

Clint nudged her mind.  "You're at my fallback spot.  Relax," he told her mentally.

She turned her head, feeling her neck muscles creak.  "Yours?"

"Yeah, mine."  He stared at her.  "Want some water?"

"Why aren't I sick?"

"We crushed up your med and got it down you earlier with some juice."  He grinned.

She hummed and flipped to her side carefully, looking at the IV bag.  "Okay."  She sat up with his help, holding her head.  "It's not as bad as usual."

"I figured it might help."  He let her sip from the bottle of cold water.  She leaned against his arm.  "You're safe, relax," he said quietly.

"Is Natasha okay?  I can't hear her at all."

"She's reading on the couch."  He unhooked her and helped her bandage her arm then walked her out there.  She fell down and pulled him on top of her, earning a grin.  "Sure, we can cuddle."

Natasha stroked over Dawn's hair, which she had put up in a braid.  "Rest, Dawn.  You need rest."

"I'm sorry.  This was a shitty time for that."

"If not, the bomb would've killed Stark and probably someone else," she said, looking down at her since Dawn was resting on her hip.  "It was the right thing to do.  Even if you do have a migraine."  Dawn nodded, closing her eyes and cuddling her.  She looked at Clint.  "This one won't last as long."

"No, giving it to her while she's asleep seems to work best," he agreed.  He stroked over Dawn's side, keeping her calm and letting her rest.  "Now what?"

"Now, we wait to see where things fall."  She went back to reading.  Clint rested with Dawn.  Natasha could keep watch for a bit.  Thankfully this part of the city was more quiet.  A lot of run down factories that had been taken over by homeless people but more quiet.


Tony finished up with the police inspectors.  They weren't happy this had been happening and realized that Stark was livid so they were trying to keep him from getting into his shiny suit to go stomp people - including the officers that hadn't responded to any of the threats.  It might not work but they'd try awfully hard.  They left and Tony turned, finding Coulson there.  "Hiding all day?" he demanded.

"No.  Handling the ones that attacked SHIELD and getting Tara and the twins to a safer location.  They found Dawn's other backup spot and tried to raid it."  He held up a single sheet of paper.  "Want this?  Fury wants to investigate all this but the FBI says it's their job."

He took it to look over.  "I can definitely look into that."


"She's okay.  Not infected with the stuff they sent."


"Migraine I think.  They have her well in hand."  Phil nodded.  "You good?"

"No.  I'm trying very hard not to destroy people."  Stark looked at him.  "I'm not totally succeeding either.  Want my help?"

"No, go guard people.  I'll tell all the Avengers when I find them."  He nodded, disappearing with Pepper by what the security camera showed him.  Tony smirked.  "That's very handy too.  Thanks, Coulson."  He got into that information and it was easy enough to trace.  These people weren't geniuses.  They weren't all that smart, computer savvy, or even able to do more than check their emails.

"Sir, the FBI hacker that keeps trying to get in wanted you to not lure them into an area for capture yet," JARVIS said sarcastically.


"I'm not certain."  He popped up an IM box to that agent, letting Tony talk to him.  The agent was talking to other ones.  Who really wanted Tony to let them handle it.  Tony's reply wasn't really fit for adult agents to hear but they had probably seen worse typed about them.  They decided on a plan and let Tony get into their systems to send that gathering email using one of the older ones as a template.  They watched the area and found very few showing up. 

Tony found why and changed the code to the next line of the poem at the bottom, as his sig line.  That brought the rest and the FBI swooped in to arrest them all.  That was nicely done and Tony got to gloat.  He used that happy time to make sure the FBI couldn't try to hack him again.  He found the doorway that SHIELD had tried to create and locked it down too. That made him happier after he sent a warning email that another attempt like that and he'd take his weapons making fingers overseas.


Joyce got a phone call and smiled.  "Thank you, Maria.  Are the babies and Tara all right?  Wonderful."  She hung up and looked at Bruce and the babies.  "They're all fine.  Tara is at the temple with the twins.  Tony's gotten most of the group down.  The FBI was not pleased to find their bomb making lab."  Bruce smiled.  "Dawn has a headache the last she knew.  Pepper's at the temple too."  He nodded, pulling her closer to hug.  She kissed him.  "We're better now."

"Are my pets okay?" Callia asked.

"I'm sure they are.  If not, we can go stomp them in the court for hurting innocent animals, dear."  She smiled and nodded but still looked a bit sad.  "You can email your father to ask him."

She grabbed her grandfather's phone off his hip and did that.  She got one back that said he had forgotten to feed them but he was going right up to do that and he'd text her in a minute.  She put it beside her and went back to eating, staring at the phone.  It took ten stressful minutes, which Liz tried to interrupt by belching up all her dinner on herself.  When the phone rang Callia grabbed it before Bruce could, staring at it.  "Why did I lose a mouse?"  She saw there were two messages and moved to that one. 

"Oh, one got free and is somewhere in the building.  I guess I can accept that for now."  She sent back a 'thank you, daddy' text and wrote one to Uncle Steve, who said he and Aunt Pepper were fine.  She grinned and took a picture of Liz being cleaned up, sending it to him.  Pepper sent one back that babies did that a lot.  She had.  Callia was happier with that and got back to dinner.  She was so glad she was only big enough to help feed the baby, not help her with diapers or clean up puke.

Bruce patted her on the back then took his phone back.  "Diapers happen and so does puking," he assured her.

She looked at him.  "Was that out loud?"  He smiled and nodded.  "I'm turning into Daddy.  I need some shopping time to make sure I stay a girl."  She stuffed her mouth again.  "Granma, do you like to shop?"

"I do, dear, but not right now.  Not until we're sure it's safe."

"Okay.  Can I go tinker with the car?"

"No, dear.  We need it to stay working until this is over with," Bruce said.  "We can build more models though."  She beamed and nodded, digging in to eat faster.  "Slow down.  I'm not nearly done yet."  She huffed but got seconds.  She deserved them.  She had even remembered to email her gymnastics coach that she couldn't be in for a few days due to the problems going on.


Xander showed up later that night, smoking but okay.  Phil stared at him.  "Huge demon."

"You okay?" he asked, holding out a cup of juice.

"I'm pretty okay."  He took a kiss and drank it, calming himself down.  "Pepper?"

"Her bloodwork came out clear again.  Steve's fussing over her at my temple."

"Wonderful."  He blinked a few times.  "I had no idea how tired I was."  He finished his juice, letting Phil take him to bed so they could sleep.  It didn't take long, just getting horizontal.  Phil stayed beside him to stroke over his hair.  The twins ran in and climbed up to cuddle their uncle's back and nap, no matter how huffy Tara got.  Phil smiled and shook his head so she left them alone.  It was comforting after a long, hard problem.  Phil slid down and let himself drift off too.  It was done with, he could rest too.


Out in the kitchen, Talsa was figuring out how to do dinner.  It might be the four adults who were awake but with the way things were going it might just be her.  Well, leftovers were good for breakfast.  She made a regular dinner that could be gotten cold from the fridge and settled in to eat hers warm.  It was a nice, quiet night.  Finally.

The End.

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