Fix-It Old Ones.

Dawn showed up for work when the tower reopened, staring into the empty office.  She checked, no notes.  She went looking for Stark in his lab, finding no one.  No one in the penthouse either.  So she went back to her desk and logged in for the day.  No phones ringing, nothing.  She had some reports she could do though so it was good.  Quiet was always good.  Unless someone was holding everyone hostage somewhere.  She checked the security cameras and nope, no group of hostages or workers getting information.

So she got back to work, putting the completed reports on the desk.  She went on her usual lab rounds, finding less than half the scientists in.  They all gave her weak smiles but they were okay.  No one in Lab 7 so they were probably in their suite.  Still no one in Stark's lab.  So that cut down her duties for the day.  She grabbed the other administrative reports due and put them on the desk.  Then she sat down to pop her neck and see if she could get the stress knot out.  Because, yeah, she was still worried.  The elevator dinged, making her jump.  She watched who came out.  The agent from the State Department.  "Mr. Stark and Miss Potts are not here today," she said professionally.

"I got sent on behalf of the people that the Prince had underneath him."

"I still don't want a damn thing from them."

"I understand that.  They wanted me to tender official apologies from the Regent and the new Crown Prince."  She nodded, smiling slightly.  "And they still have to denote you somehow in the records."  She groaned, shaking her head.  "Sorry."

She looked at him.  "We were not married.  I have a valid marriage already."

"I'm aware of that now.  Unfortunately he made laws invalidating marriages that were done in any other country but his and Russia.  So by their laws, you're a widow with the way he did the paperwork.  The lack of a ceremony or you being there was a perk of the office.  If you had given in, you would've had the ceremony that night."

She stared at him.  "Can you politely tell them to leave me the fuck alone?"

"I've tried.  That's all they want.  Just to put you in the books so their history is correct."

She groaned, shaking her head again.  "Fine, whatever, as long as I do not have to hear about it and I don't have to deal with a single one of them."

"No, I don't think they want to deal with anyone right now.  They've pretty much shut the borders for the time being."  He pulled out papers.  She read them over, marking out whole sections before handing it back.  "I'll hand this to them and have them amend it, Miss Summers.  Will you be here today?"

"Barring another emergency or me having a screaming fit in the garage, yeah."

"Thank you.  If not, it'll be tomorrow."

"Tomorrow we have meetings with the FBI by the desk calendar."

"That's fine."  He left, going back to the embassy to talk to them.  She had reasonable conditions so the others should deal well with it.  She wasn't asking for any sort of compensation.  Just to be left alone.  The new Regent should understand that.

Dawn thumped her head on the desk then emailed the doctor to see if it was time for her next shot yet.  She sent back she was free so they could do it.  Dawn went down there to grab some tylenol and swallow them dry before getting jabbed in the arm.  "Thank you."

"Welcome.  Are you all right?"

"That wannabe world leader's people want to keep their history straight."  The doctor laughed, shaking her head.  "Seriously, Dr. Pigalli.  They offered me a title since he managed to screw up his whole country to try to marry me against my will."  She looked around.  "Everyone in Malibu but us?"


"Figures.  Thanks."  She walked off, going back to her desk.  She sent an email to Pepper's phone, hearing it ringing in the office.  Stark's went to JARVIS, who sent back he'd tell him and they could probably video conference if they had to.  She leaned back, popping her neck again.  Then she got up to make sure that system was set up.  Which it wasn't.  The system was hard to get together, hard to make work together, and a pain in the ass to deal with.  Great!  But it gave her something to do.  One of the electronics people came down to help her when she called.  They were confused by it too.  "It's a Tony special," she said dryly.  "I know how it's supposed to hook up."

He looked at the cords then shook his head.  "This does not work."

"No, but we'll need it.  There's meetings and they're in Malibu."

"Great."  She grinned and they did manage to connect things and get it set up.  He blinked at Tony's lab popped into view.  "Welcome."

"Thanks, Miller."  He walked off happier.  She looked at the projection, stepping into view of the camera.  "Meetings tomorrow?"

"JARVIS told me.  Thank you for setting that up."

"Not an issue.  But can you maybe make it one piece instead?" she asked with a smile.

"I'll try really hard to think about that," he said dryly, smirking at her.  "Why are you there?"

"Because as far as I knew I was supposed to be here today."

"Oh, well, that's a failure in communication.  Anything happen?"

"No.  It's been absolutely silent so far."

"Good!"  He grinned.  "Ummm," he said, noticing Callia walking into his lab.  "Feed them?"

"Going to."  She hung up and went up to handle the pet maintenance for her niece.  Carrot was sniffly so she called the vet too, taking it down there to be examined.  They gave Carrot a shot and some drops for his cold.  She got shown how to do that and it would work.  She got them back to the office and him back in the cage, counting mice.  She was now missing two.  She found that one in the bathroom.  The other one was somewhere.  Setting up a humane trap was easy enough, and the mice loved the food she picked so it was good.  They had food, water, clean litter, it was a great day to be a Stark pet. 

She checked the time on her phone on the way back to her desk, seeing it was barely noon.  Which sucked.  She sat down to work on the tasks ahead, getting things ready for the board meeting in a few weeks, because they would call one about the attacks, and ready for a few other meetings they had coming up.  Including finding and bookmarking sites for them, inserting them into the presentation so she could pull them up quickly that day.  She heard running and winced but it was the guys in Shield Development playing catch again. 

"Guys?" she complained.  "Gym?"  They huffed but went down there.  "Thank you."  She made notes on what events were coming up, and how formal they had to be, because Pepper would need something to wear.  She'd only have to hit one of them.  That was a great bonus.  She leaned back in her chair, looking over the calendar beyond the month ahead.  She had a day off scheduled.  She hadn't but she had one marked.  She checked and the files.  She asked her spouses, who said they hadn't put in paperwork for it. 

She sighed and undid that, making a special note in the system that she had not asked for that day off.  That got resynched so it was updated and it was good.  It was barely after one but it was good.  She went down to lunch and brought it back up there since no one was in the caf either.  It felt like she was working in a ghost town.  She sent an email up to Jonathan to see how Andrew was.  No answer so they were probably enjoying the day off too.  After another boring hour, the phone finally rang. 

"Thank you for... hey, Pepper.  No, it's all on your desk.  I've updated the schedule since I found a day off I hadn't asked for, and I've done the work for the upcoming meetings.  The video conferencing setup is working in case you need it for tomorrow.  Yes, you do.  Allegro Industries."  She looked at the schedule.  "Then at ten you have a meeting with your lawyer over your will being updated.  At one you have the meeting with the jet design team.  Then at four you have one scheduled with Williams and Shield Design."  She leaned back again.  "All that's ready.  No, it's absolutely silent here today.  Very few of us are here.  Sure, I'll be here until five.  You know that."  She hung up after Pepper did.  At least it gave her time to work on not getting sick from the vaccine dose.


Dawn came home that night to a bad scene.  "Mission?" she asked since she saw the two larger bags packed by the door.

"Yup," Clint said, coming down from his apartment with a few things to pack.  He took a kiss.  "Long one too.  Sorry."

She sighed.  "How long?"

"Maybe a month?"

She grimaced.  "That sucks.  At least you'll be back for that final blood test though."

He gave her a hug.  "Quit worrying about that.  Nothing's going to come up, Dawn."  She gave him a pointed look.  "Really."

"Fine.  Whatever.  Are you leaving tonight or tomorrow?"

"Ass crack of pre-dawn," he said dryly.  "I ordered dinner."

"Okay."  She went to change and came out to find Natasha finishing her packing.  She took a kiss from her too, though Natasha kept it really restrained.  Dawn looked at her.  "Worried?"


Dawn nodded, grabbing dinner when the door was knocked on.  She gave the nice delivery guy a tip once Clint had paid and they settled in to eat and relax.  'Tasha and Clint both needed to relax so they could get into the proper mindset.  They watched some tv and cuddled around her, Clint giving her squeezes whenever he shifted.  She even waited up with them so she could say goodbye properly and not have them sneak out on her.  Natasha gave her a nice, restrained kiss again.  Clint mugged her against the wall.  She smiled and watched them head down to get into the SHIELD SUV for the trip to the airport.  Then she went to bed.  Sometimes she really hated all their jobs.


Dawn turned on the conferencing software the next day after a warning text.  It didn't want to come on.  One of the cables had slipped free.  It came on with a loud beep of noise.  Tony was mugging Steve.  "Guys?" she called.  They broke apart and Tony shrugged.  "I sent a text."

"Didn't hear it," Tony said.  "Pepper, meeting?"  She came over with Liz in her snuggler.  They settled in to go over what was needed, what they were meeting about, because Stark had forgotten, and Dawn pulled up all the projections they should need.  They didn't come to a full agreement but a tentative one was halfway done so it was a good one.  She escorted them out and then came back to turn things off.  Tony was waiting.  "What?" he asked.

"Nothing.  Why?"

"You look tired."

"They left for a mission this morning."

"Seriously?  It's not like they can do covert work."

"I didn't ask," she said firmly.  "That's not my need-to-know most of the time."

He nodded.  "Good point.  You good?"

"Bit bored," she said dryly.

"That happens.  Everything else good?"

"No one new showed up from yesterday, boss."

"They're mostly here.  Jonathan was pouting that you sent an email instead of coming to see them until I pointed out you were at home."  She shook her head with a sigh.  "Anything we need to see?"

"Reports from Accounting and things are in.  They're on the desk.  I resynched the system yesterday so you might want to hit yours."

"JARVIS did mine earlier."  He kept staring at her.  "You good?"

"I'm fine."

"You're worried."

"They're gone for probably a month this time."

He winced.  "That's bad."

"Yup."  She smiled.  "So, anyway."  She waved a hand.  "Should I keep this up for tomorrow's meetings?"

"We're using the beaming satellite tonight."

"Sure.  I'm going to go up to check on her pets during lunch."

"Have fun with them."

"Carrot has a cold.  She has antibiotic drops she has to take."

"I have no idea how to do that," he admitted.

"I wrote out the instructions when the vet told me."

"Thank you."

"I think I may have caught the other mouse.  I put up a humane cage trap for it last night."  She leaned against a chair.  "Anything you need me to do?"

"No.  Go take care of the animals.  I want you to eat lunch, not work through it."

"Boss, I'm about down to shopping or an inventory," she said dryly.  She turned things off and went to do that.  The mouse had been caught.  Or a mouse had been caught and Callia's pet white mouse was nibbling at some dropped food.  She scooped it up and put it into the cage.  Carrot got his drops.  Everything got cleaned and tidied.  Including the kitchen because there were dishes.  Apparently Callia had decided to 'cook' again by using every dish in the kitchen.  Then she went down to start the inventory of the supply cabinets.  It had to be done anyway.  Might as well get it done now. 

By lunch she had all the supply cabinets done, including the ones for the lab floors.  She did grab something to eat, because Tony would nag, and went back to her desk to eat it.  Her phone rang.  "Thank you for.... I'm eating right now, Tony.  No, I'm not in the caf.  It's absolutely empty.  There's like nineteen of us in the whole building.  I don't feel like going to sit by myself in there."  She ate a bite of salad.  "See, eating."  She hung up and ate mechanically, reading on her nook.  The State Department guy showed up.  "Thankfully the FBI realized they were out there."

"That's a good thing.  They're insistent that since it's legal to them, that you have to be noted officially."

Dawn stared at him.  "If they try to give me a title I'm coming back there to finish them off."

"Okay," he said with a nod, backing off.  "I'll let them know that."  He left, calling them from the car.  Apparently adamant and stubborn were both in her personal dictionary.  He went back up there when he got a sighed agreement.  "They're sorry.  They thought it might make things easier."  Dawn shrugged, finishing her last bite of salad.  "I'll bring the papers tomorrow?"

"I'll be here," she quipped.

"Thank you, Miss Summers."  He left, going back to get the faxed papers.  His boss was not amused but yay!  Some girls didn't want that sort of recognition and power.  Not every young woman wanted to be a princess or a countess.


Dawn came in the next morning to more noise and still no Pepper or Tony.  She found Steve staring at the mail on her desk.  "Big things?"  He blinked at her and grinned.  "Huge mail problems?"

"Wondering why you have one in Russian."

"I have no idea yet."

"It's been opened."

"Um, yeah, that's the new protocol for any admin letters.  Just in case."  He nodded he understood that.  "The wonder twins?"

"They're still there.  The beaming satellite's interface went down last night during a storm."

"Figures," she said dryly.  The State Department agent came off the elevator looking happy.  "It fixed?"

"It is."  She read it over and signed it, handing it back.  "Thank you, Miss Summers."

"No, thank you for making them leave me alone.  Want to handle the Russian mob?"

He winced.  "Not really my area of expertise.  Why?"

She scanned the letter then let him have it with a smile.  "Because they won't leave me alone either."

He read it and winced.  "That's bad.  Have they been persistent?"

"Very.  For over four years now.  I get a nice 'come work for us' offer every few weeks from three different groups."

"I'll talk to my boss.  May I copy this?"  She ran it for him.  "Thank you, Miss Summers.  I'll let you know."  He left, going back to his office.  His boss hated that letter once it had been translated for him.

Dawn looked at Steve and shrugged.  "Maybe they can make them go away since I couldn't and no one else could."

He patted her on the arm.  "Maybe.  Anything going on today?"

She checked the calendar, which was suspiciously empty.  "It should have things to do today."  She checked.  Her computer had been erased.  She sighed and looked at him.  "Let me reload the backups."

"Sure."  He went into the office to see what theirs said.  "This one's clear too."

"That's because Tony's is the master calendar."  She heard him talking to Tony a minute later.  "Hey, JARVIS?" she asked quietly.  No answer.  "Tell him JARVIS isn't answering."

He came out.  "He said there's a total server failure."

She groaned and got into her phone.  She hadn't synched it in a few days.  "They have meetings at ten and three today."

Steve read them off over her shoulder.  "Okay, Tony.  I'll tell her."  He hung up.  "He said if you're bored, do the inventory."  She handed him that folder with a smirk.  "That bored?"

"Nineteen of us in the building for the last few days."

"Shoot, that's quiet."  He put it and the others she handed him onto the main desk and came back.  "Need help with anything?"

"No, I'm all done ahead of time.  As long as I can get the files off the computer."  He smiled and left her to be frustrated with it.  Thankfully she had done a backup yesterday.  Her backup drive got plugged in and she rebooted the computer.  This time the safe mode came up thanks to the files on the backup drive.  She got into it to restore the backup and let things happen as they should.  It took nearly an hour but it happened sometimes. 

When her phone rang she grabbed it while typing one handed.  "Thank you for calling Stark International, how may I direct your call?"  She listened.  "He's not here, Fury.  He's in Malibu with broken stuff.  No, I haven't heard anything.  Are they supposed to be checking in with me?  Because they never said that."  She listened to him.  "We can block it off.  I have it fully blocked off so I don't distract them.  I do anytime they're in the field."   She rolled her eyes.  "If I hear something I'll tell you as I'm going to rescue, okay?"  She hung up on him and got back to work after tapping out a text to Tony.  He'd get it eventually.

Steve came out.  "They're on assignment?"

"For probably a month," she said dryly as she worked on the computer.  "Yay."

He patted her on the head.  "You can come down for card games too."

She smiled.  "I know."  He went back into the office, reading things that Tony had collected about himself.  Dawn looked up as the air conditioning system went down.  "Really?" she asked.  She called down to maintenance.  No one.  She called security.  "Do we have maintenance people?  No, the vents just quit blowing.  Thanks."  She hung up.  A maintenance guy showed up a few minutes later to check the system on their floor.  He came back scowling and headed down on the elevator. 

She shook her head.  "It's going to be one of those weeks," she muttered.  She finally got everything restored and printed off the things she needed as she disconnected the backup drive.  Then she did a system backup onto the server, which didn't work.  She looked up at the sizzling noise and winced.  The computer had just died.  Her nook had died.  Her backup drive had died.  "Great," she complained.  "Steve, we just hit by an EMP."

"I heard the noise."

"It killed the computers."  She sent out a building-wide announcement to that effect.  She could almost hear the groans from the computer people.  Steve tried but his phone was dead.  Her phone had been inside her purse, underneath her shielding layer.  She handed it over and let him call that in to Tony and Pepper while she went to survey the damage.

"Tony said he'll replace all the computers and phones.  To go grab one from the storage area."

"If they were in the building, they got hit too," she said dryly, looking up at him.  "Is he exhausted?"  Steve nodded.  "Figures.  Maybe I can reboot it too."  She took her phone to put into her shielded bag and took his to see if she could get it to reboot.  It took plugging it in to recharge it and fiddling with the connections once she had the phone open but she did get it to boot up for him.  "Finish charging it."  He grinned, taking it to the office to plug in so he could finish reading.  The system came back up and her computer rebooted, but now it had duplicates of everything.  "Fuck it, I'll fix it tomorrow, when I have nothing to do."  She looked up.  "JARVIS, status check please?"  Still no answer.  She sent out a company-wide email to check the status of their labs for repairs that were still needed.  Then she went to get some coffee.  She was tired for some reason and hadn't really done anything all day.


Tony got the same email and winced.  "Why would we need more?  We have spares in the closet."

"That was in the same building," Pepper reminded him.  Tony groaned and shook his head, hanging it.  "Sleep, Tony."

"I can't.  I have to fix things."

"Sleep anyway.  You can fix JARVIS later."  He looked at her.  "He's reloading himself anyway."  She handed him Liz.  "Go nap."  He nodded, taking her to nap with Callia, who was sleepy for some reason too.  Pepper smiled, settling in to check her email now that it was back up.  She had a few panicked ones from the other buildings.  The beaming satellite really needed that interface fixed.  She called Jonathan.  He and Andrew were the next best thing to a Stark.  "Guys, are you okay?" 

She listened to Andrew grumping that he was grouchy and itchy.  "It happens to all wounds like that.  Trust me.  Want to come tinker with the beaming satellite interface?  It's still broken and trying to send another EMP out."  They hung up and were up there a few minutes later.  She showed them where it was hidden.  MB and Patty, their wife and girlfriend, showed up to help.  Andrew moaned when he saw the burned out mess in there.  "Do I need to see if Rodney's busy?"

"You might, yeah," Jonathan said.  "Or if there's a free, well-stocked Radio Shack somewhere nearby, Pepper.  This is a huge mess."  She looked and winced, handing over her corporate card.  They grinned and went to get the supplies they'd need.  Plus extra because if one system went down, others quickly followed.  It was a Law of Engineering.

Pepper smiled and sent out messages, turning off the satellite for now. Tony hadn't wanted to but there was no way she wanted to have to replace all the computers all over Stark Industries this year.


Dawn came home that night to a flashing light on her answering machine.  She hit it.  "Dear, why don't you come over for dinner tomorrow?" her mother suggested.  "Tonight we're busy going out but I'm making croquettes tomorrow."

She smiled and called her mother back.  "I can do that," she agreed.  "Pending an emergency at the office.  No, ask Bruce about the beaming satellite and the EMP it did."  She did and he groaned.  "We might have to replace every single machine, Mom.  Thanks though.  I'll try to make it."  She blew a kiss.  "Have fun at dinner.  Love you both."  She hung up and looked in the fridge.  Nothing edible.  The freezer had a few things.  Nothing she wanted to eat.  She decided on a few granola bars and a diet soda to some mindless tv in her jammies. 

Not like she was on a schedule, no one was there to impress, and she was exhausted because sleeping on the cat wasn't the same as sleeping on Clint.  She noticed where the cat was and stared at him.  "Get off the tv."  He jumped down and went to the bedroom.  "I'm not that sort of tired, Loki cat."  She had learned to distinguish because of the time Loki had showed up to see why she had called for him.  And glared heavily when she had pointed at the cat with a grin before handing him the catnip ball she was trying to tease him with. Apparently godly Loki didn't like catnip balls.

The cat hopped up and walked along the back of the couch, settling in to nibble on her hair.  At least someone loved her enough to check on her.


Dawn came in the next morning to find angry people.  That was a change for this week.  "People?" she said.  They all turned to stare at her.  "What's happened now?"

"The computers are still down!" one of the lab assistants said.  "Pepper said that they're all working on it."

"Okay," Dawn said.  "Who has tablets that work?"  They all groaned and went to do it that way.  "Once the system is back up, we'll restore all the old files and everything.  They have to fix the problems out there then come here and fix them."  That got a few nods and a few grimaces.

"Can't we get the two geeks you dote on?  Stark's been mentoring them," one of the interns said.

"They're in Malibu.  Pepper had them taking shifts with Stark to fix things."

"Oh, pity."  She went down to talk to her fellow lab people.  It looked like they'd have an easy day.

Rodney appeared in a beam of light, donut in his mouth, staring at her.  "What happened?"

"The only thing I've heard is how the beaming satellite's interface getting fried issued an EMP.  Who told you?"

"Atlantis.  She was worried about JARVIS."

"He's there in Malibu.  He can't answer here the last I knew."

"Great," he said.  He finished his donut.  "Where are the systems?"

"The other side of the quarantine floor."  She smiled.  "Please?"

"Going.  Get me coffee?"

"Of course, Rodney."  She moved to make him a pot to take with him.  "There's a coffee maker in Tony's safe room too."

"Good."  He took it with him.  She stuffed a few coffee packages in his pocket, earning a smirk.  He got let into that level by security, who didn't even remark on him carrying the entire pot of coffee.   He was well known to them thanks to the tinkering times.  He found the computer modules and winced.  "I need a fan first of all," he complained, setting down his precious coffee and going to get one, and the coffee maker.  It was going to take forever to get this fixed.  He sent a list of materials to Dawn, who said she'd have Bruce get them since she didn't know what some of them were.  He sent back a 'fine' and got to work separating out what was the most critical to get fixed.

He'd definitely need more coffee.

And maybe Radek.  Radek would love JARVIS.


It had been a greatly long weekend, but everything was fixed when Dawn came in Monday.  Dr. Pigalli was happy too when Dawn went down for her vaccine stab.  "Last one?" Dawn asked.  She nodded.  "Then a month wait?"

"Just in case, so the vaccine doesn't get caught as an infection," she said quietly.  "You need to quit worrying and sleep."

"I can't sleep.  The cat's not the same as Clint.  He doesn't cuddle the same way."

"They're not home?"

"They've been on a mission now for a week, Doc.  Might be a month."  Doc growled.  "I'd like to do the same but I know their jobs and the reality of it," she sighed.  "They can't even check in."  The doctor patted her on the knee.   "I know, I need to quit wallowing."

"I think it's pretty normal.  Do you want me to prescribe you something?"

"No.  Because then I'll probably have nightmares."

"Okay.  Let me know if it gets too bad."  Dawn nodded and stood up.  "Go and try not to worry.  I'm sure it's nothing, Dawn."

"If you're sure.  Can you maybe reassure my wife?" she asked quietly.  She went back up to her desk, finding screaming people.  She whistled.  "Shut.  The.  Fuck.  Up!"  They all stopped to stare at her.  "Thank you!  This is a workplace.  We do not need to have that sort of screaming match in a workplace.  Those of you who are screaming I know aren't employees so I'd mind my manners before I have Security throw you off the roof.  Am I clear?"  They backed away from her.  "Good.  Now, what did you non-employees want?"

"I demand to see my daughter," one of them said.

"Okay, and that would be?"

"My daughter is Mary Beth," she said, sounding bitter.

"MB's still in Malibu, ma'am.  They're working on the last of the repairs out there.  There was a huge electrical storm that hit the computer towers the wrong way, and it blew everything.  She's decided to help since Andrew and Jonathan are both out there working on it."  She stared at her.  "I can call out there so you can talk to her if you wish."  She pursed her lips and nodded.  Dawn grabbed her desk phone to dial MB's phone.  "It's Dawn.  Your mother's here."  She handed the phone over.  "The rest of you were screaming at the assistants why?" she asked.

"I demand to see that pervert Stark," one ordered.

She stared at him.  "My wife can kick your ass," she said bluntly.  The man gasped and backed up.  "We do not allow such prejudice language in this building."  She stared at him.  "Did you have an appointment?"  Tony came out of the office.  "Boss, are you busy?"

"I was trying to be.  You yell better than some Marines I know," he quipped with a grin for her.

"Sometimes I have to."  She shook her head, looking at the last screaming, heaving person.  "I know you're a reporter.  How did you get up here without us being warned?"  She glared.  Dawn stared her down until she looked away.  "Well?  You aren't on the schedule that I'm aware of."

"I wanted a comment on all this mess."

"Well, then you should probably call the PR person.  Let me get him up here to talk to you on the way down."  She used her cellphone to do that.  He came off the elevator to talk to her on the way down to the main entrance.  She rolled her eyes.

"Yours still works?" Tony asked.

"Because I had it in the shielded bag.  I went in and soldered a few connections on Steve's so his should work."

"Figures.  We'll replace all the non-working stuff later."

"Sure, boss.  That includes a lot of lab equipment."  He winced but nodded he'd handle it.  She went to her desk to make notes.  MB's mother was getting huffy about something.  Dawn looked at her.  "As far as I know she's not pregnant, MB's Mom.  Andrew and Jonathan have a side project of working on male pregnancies so she never has to suffer through one."

"This baby she's been around?"

"Probably Pepper's daughter, Liz.  She's seven-months-old tomorrow."

She glared.  "I still don't want her breeding like that."

"That's really up to MB since she's an adult and married."  She stared at her.  "I do have to protect our interns, ma'am, so please quit threatening your daughter in my hearing?"  She hung up on her when she started to rant.  "Thank you.  Have a great day and thank you for visiting Stark International."  She smiled sweetly.

"My daughter will get out of this libidinous hellhole one way or another!" she threatened.

"MB signed on this weekend to a very nice contract as a lab second," Tony quipped, smiling fakely at her.  "She's got good benefits, on-site housing because the boys live here in one of the suites, and she's a great lab second.  Patty got the same deal."

"I will have my daughter out of here!" she ordered.  She took a swing at Tony and Dawn tazed her.

"Sure, when you're no longer evil and back on your meds, we can talk about that," Dawn quipped.  She stared at her.  "By the way, I am the defense perimeter around here, ma'am.  You just violated it.  Your choice is to leave the building, or get arrested and leave the building in handcuffs.  We don't need this after having a whole week of computer issues."  Security came up smiling at her.  "Hey, guys.  Not even a mouse this time."  They smiled and pulled out the taser spikes to walk the woman off.

Tony looked at her.  "Are you taking tips from Coulson?"

"Maybe," she said dryly.  "Someone around here has to have one since he's on assignment."

"He is?" Tony demanded.

"Yuppers."  She grimaced.  "Want me to make you guys coffee and set up a conference room, boss?"

"No, we're good."  He took his meeting to the office.  "Sorry, sometimes she's very protective of us."

"If my mother was like that I would've put her in a home."

"MB is a very sweet young woman.  Great chemist too.  Her mother made it so she didn't really understand people but she's working on that and she's on a much better footing with her new husband."  He smiled.  "I mentor her husband and his lab partner."

"That's wonderful.  Young scientists should have mentors that they can look up to."

"We do try."  Rodney came in looking exhausted.  "Don't tell me you worked all weekend, Rodney."

"No, just since about four when a fuse blew in JARVIS's local systems."

"JARVIS, are you all right?" Tony asked.  No answer.  He groaned.  "Go nap, Rodney.  I'll have him rebooted out there."  Rodney smirked as he left them alone.

"Eat something before you nap, McKay," Dawn ordered.  "That way we don't have to worry about your blood sugar dropping too low."

"I had a power bar a few minutes ago."

"Fine.  Have a good nap."

He shook his head.  "You still sound like someone's mother," he complained.

She smiled.  "Not this year."  He shivered and went down to his guest suite to curl up and nap after having a moment of masturbation.

Dawn made more notes and filed them away.  She sent out a company wide email about needing to know who needed things replaced or repaired, this was their last chance to be put on the list.  She had barely gotten any so she knew they were missing some.  She linked to the form they needed in the email.  Within minutes she had over a dozen.  She checked and printed them as they came in, sending a few back for corrections because it just had 'lab machines' or something on it instead of which lab machines.  She added a note she needed to know the names so they could be ordered or fixed.  They got sent back fairly quickly but she'd check on her making coffee rounds in an hour.

Tony glanced at his phone when the email beep happened.  "We don't have them all, Dawn?"

"Nope.  Barely got ten."

"I was hopeful."  He put his phone face down on the desk after turning off the ringer.  "It's been an insane week."

"I figure it has."  He smiled.  "How are the interns looking?"

"We don't officially quit taking them until April.  One has an automatic in with someone who never takes them but she came up with his mentor."  That got a smile and a nod.  "Most of the others are looking a bit short.  We've only gotten ten applications.  I'm not sure if that's because of what happened two weeks ago or not."

"Probably a worry about how safe it will be."

"Maybe but that hardly ever happens.  I think the lab in Malibu got a few more.  We'll have to see."  That got another nod.  "Did you have one you wanted to talk about?"

"I have a few coming up that show promise."  They both looked up at the crackling noise.

"Oh, dear, what a headache," JARVIS complained, sounding a bit miffed and like an American teenager.  "I feel like I have a hangover."

"JARVIS, your voice is off," Tony said.

"It is?  Oh, dear, it is."

"Reboot from your last backup," Tony said with a fond smile.

"Yes, I think I shall."  He did that and then cleared his throat, his voice back to the normal calm, quiet, genteel British voice.  "That's better.  Let me do a damage assessment of all Stark properties."

"Dawn's gathering those," Tony said.  "Let me know later."

"I can do so, sir."  He faded out.

"I'll fix that option later too.  His equalizer is off."  He shrugged and shifted to look at his former teacher again.  "It's going to be a long week."

"Probably."  He smiled.  "You have a lot to show for it though."

"Yeah, we'll be getting back to normal."  He smiled as Pepper walked in.  "Liz?"

"Napping."  She sat down.  "We had a screaming match?"

"MB's mother.  She threatened she'd be getting her daughter out of this libidinous hellhole."

Pepper snorted and shook her head.  "Why?"

"She was gushing over a baby apparently," the professor said.

"Liz," Tony agreed.

"That woman needs meds," Pepper said with a smile.

"She might get them since Dawn tazed her."

"Good!  Saves me from doing it."  She walked off after grabbing the reports, closing the door so they had some privacy.

"Sorry, Pepper's having a mean day," he said with a grin.

His former professor laughed.  "That's usual for some women.  Liz?"  Tony showed him a picture from his phone.  "She's cute.  Yours?"

"Hers.  Genius sperm bank."

"Wonderful.  Going to mentor her into MIT?"

"If at all humanly possible and my own spawn Callia."  He grinned.  "She's already tinkering with cars and circuit boards.  She made a self-rocking cradle mechanism.  She wanted it to be rocket powered but she understood why she couldn't."

"Aww.  My next protege."  He smiled and shook Tony's hand.  "I'll scare up a few for you."

"I'll consider them like I have the others you've sent me."  His professor smiled and let him have some peace and quiet for a few minutes.  He looked out there, seeing Dawn rubbing her neck.  He walked out and swatted her hands.  "Let me."

"I'm good, Tony.  I slept funny trying to curl around the cat."

"Uh-huh.  How long?"


"That sucks."  He worked out the tension, making her wince a bit but then she relaxed.  She actually fell asleep in her chair.  He grinned at his good work, taking her phone and forwarding her desk phone to it.  He walked off to find Pepper in one of the conference rooms.  "I fixed Dawn's neck problem.  She's napping."

"Did they get too energetic?" she asked, not looking up from her reading.

"They're on a month-long mission."

She stared at him.  "Both of them?"  He nodded.  "She's got that really horrifying bloodtest coming up in a few weeks!"

"I think she's resigned to doing it on her own."  He sat down and put his feet up in a free chair.  "So, how are we looking?"

"A lot of damage according to JARVIS.  He looked at the ones Dawn had gotten and made a list of the rest."  She handed it over.  "If we use our new computer systems, we'd wipe out our stockpile for sale."

"They're not going as fast as I had hoped.  We'll probably be okay if we start with the most critical and move on to some laptop systems."  He handed it back.  "Plus the lab machines need to be looked at by their sort of repairmen.  Maybe they can fix half of those."

"Maybe," she agreed. She handed something else over.  "The art collection is in for cleaning and evaluation.  It'll be here for the next six months."  He smiled.  "The cars are all here in storage until the garage in the new tower is completed.  Callia's got it on security monitor while she's brushing her pets.  Carrot's getting drops.  We called to see how to do it since Dawn's handwriting was a bit messy.  The paper got wet.  We're due for a checkup of that in a few days."  He nodded.  "She did manage the drops by herself.  Carrot's happy enough to suck on the eyedropper."

"Even better.  Are they all there?"

She nodded with a slight smile.  "Dawn caught the other one with a humane trap."

"Excellent.  I hate to see Callia sad over her mice."  He shifted to cross his feet in the other direction.  "Anything else going on?"

"She's going to gymnastics today.  She's happy that she's working on her routine for the meet next month."  He nodded he remembered that.  "Dawn resynched her calendar?"  He checked and set it to be the main one then reset the whole system with it.  That fixed it and he put her phone down again with a grin.  "Nice work."


"What're we going to do about that?"

"Nothing.  It's the job sometimes and she understands that, even if Fury does have sucky timing."  They shared a look.  "We can hand-hold."

"I can do that.  I've got to have some about then too."  He gave her a smug look.  She pinched him.  "No being smug."

"Fine."  He looked over as Steve came in.  "Anything good?"

"Nothing happened here.  Thankfully.  Dawn looks like she was a bit stressed."

"Is she still asleep?" Pepper asked.

"No.  The guys from Shield Development woke her up arguing."

"They like to walk past her to annoy her," Tony said.  "We'll figure it out."  Steve grinned.  "Any idea what they're doing?"

"Surveillance.  That's all Agent Hill would tell me."

Tony shook his head.  "Great.  Why did he need both of them?"

"I don't know.  They have Coulson with them."

"At least he'll make sure they're going to be okay," Pepper said.  Steve nodded.  "That thing with that prince?"

"All finished.  She signed papers with the State Department to make sure it was all done."

"Even better," Tony decided.  He put his feet down and stood up.  "Let me go check on the labs."  He took the damage report and gathered the ones from Dawn.  "Rest."

"I'm good.  Thanks for that."

"Not a problem."  He went down to the upper lab floor to check on his people.   The building was still way too quiet.  He paused and looked up.  "JARVIS, is the AC out too?"

"It appears it's not running, sir.  Maintenance is still staring at it in consternation."

"Let me check on that."  He pushed that button when the door opened.  They had people from their external maintenance contract with the repair group with them so he could ask nosy questions.  The control box had blown up during the EMP and power surges.  He hadn't even thought about those systems.  He'd have to check the emergency computer backup system too.


Xander showed up, hands in his pocket, staring at Dawn.  "Are you all right?"

"I'm fine.  Are you okay?"

"I can sleep with the dogs.  Hellion's about as tall as Phil is and likes to let me cuddle."

"The cat doesn't mind when I curl around him."  She smiled.  "We'll handle it."

He nodded.  "We will."  He gave her a hug.  "Your mom's worried."

"I knew what their job was when we got together."

"I know.  She's a worrywart just like you.  Speaking of...."


"Damn.  That's a long time to worry."  He patted her.  "Let me go find something to do.  I'm without trainees."  He went to find Stark and McKay.  They had to have some idea of something he could get into.

Dawn smiled, shaking her head.  Xander was the best big brother ever.  She was glad he was happy with the other big brother sort she had.  She got up to deliver things to Pepper and had to grip the desk when the dizzy feeling hit her.  Xander came back to stare at her.  "Just stood up too fast."

"Bullshit.  You haven't eaten probably."

"No, I had breakfast."  She shrugged.  "It'll be okay."  She took the reports in.  Pepper was staring at her.  "Stood up too fast.  I ate breakfast."

She looked at the clock then at her.  "Go eat real food with real meat for lunch."  Dawn nodded, going to do that.  She shook her head.   Sometimes Dawn worried her.  Especially if she passed on those mannerisms to Callia and Liz.


Dawn reported to the infirmary that night, blinking at the doctor.  "I feel like shit," she said.

"You look like shit.  Haven't you been eating?"

"I have eaten.  I haven't skipped a single meal, even if I have to force myself.  I actually got some sleep last night."

"Hmmm."  She put her on a table so she could look her over.  "Can you feel anything off?"


"Flu maybe?"

"I don't think so."

"Food poisoning?"

"I've only gotten some coffee.  Everything else has been either leftovers or Mom cooked or the caf here."

"That's weeding out food poisoning then."  She drew some blood to test it.  "Not that test but we'll see if you maybe have some sort of infection."

"Okay.  Sure."  She held her head.  "Still dizzy." 

She got laid down while the doctor checked things.  It came up with an extremely high white count and no visible infection.  Everything came out normal for organ functions.  She ran her into the CT to do a full body image.  That showed what it was.  "You're swollen."

"Where?" Dawn asked.

"Your uterus is swollen."

"Like I was pregnant?" she asked quietly.

"No.  Like you have some sort of obstacle up there."  Dawn looked at her and shook her head.  "You sure?"

"Yup.  I don't play with toys when I'm by myself."

"That's normal I guess."  She got her into the right position and checked.  She pulled out the small bit of swab to look at.  Dawn shrugged.  "No exam recently?"

"I'm not due for another month."

"Good to know."  She ran the swab to see if it had any known drugs on it.  "How do you think it got up there?"

"Some godly interfering sort?" Dawn guessed.  "There's a few that don't like me.  I'm not sure why but they don't."

"Interesting."  She heard the beep and went to get the results, finding Pepper there.  "It was in Dawn and she has no idea how unless the cat did it for her."

"I don't think Dawn likes cats that way."

The doctor looked at it.  "Lube, which is reasonable for where it was.  Dawn, fertility meds again."

"Fuck them.  They did that on the wrong damn month."

The doctor and Pepper shared a smile.  That was the peppy Dawn they knew and liked.

Dawn came out dressed.  "Can we counter it?"

"You're not due for a shot anytime soon and like you said, you can't really get pregnant right now," she said.  "I'll make sure to give you the higher dose with your next one since it's due next month."  Dawn nodded, pushing her hair back.  "Go soak tonight."  She gave her an antibiotic to take.

"I can do that.  Thanks, Doc.  Night, Pepper."

"Better night, Dawn." 

Dawn grinned as she walked out.  She got home and flopped onto the couch.  "JARVIS?"

"Yes, Dawn."

"Find out when they put that in me please?" she asked quietly.  "There's no way I've been taken without knowing.  I've only been here, work, Mom's, and one futile trip to the grocery store."

"I can see if there's any inconsistencies."

"Thank you."  She put her feet up and petted the cat since he was handily next to her.


Tony looked up as a monitor started to flash pictures and information.  "What happened now?" he asked.

"Dawn's worried that she might have been taken again, sir."


"I believe it has to do with the doctor finding a piece of medical swab inside her body."

Pepper walked in.  "I thought that was the doctor's swab and she was testing for new drugs that got given to her."

"No.  The swab was causing an infection and that's why she's been so rundown," the AI said.  "There's an inconsistency there," he noted.  "It somehow took her three hours to get home from her mother's by cab."

"She has a driver," Tony said.

"The company has not answered calls for anyone in a few days," JARVIS said after looking.  "I'm not sure if they're suddenly defunct or not."

"Happy said he knew the person who ran it," Tony said, calling him.  "Happy, that car company that you referred Dawn to.  They're not answering their phones?  Dawn's having to take cabs again."  He listened.  "So they went back to their home in the little former Soviet protectorate.  Sure.  Please.  Or no, I'm having her move here so we have time to look.  Thanks, Happy."  He hung up and grabbed a jacket.  "Let me go check on her."

"She's on the couch, sir."

"That's fine."  He kissed Pepper.  "Be right back with her."

"Please.  That's scary, Tony.  Especially since I heard Dr. Pigalli say that it had a new batch of fertility meds."

He shuddered.  "That's a really bad sign."  He went over there, with Happy driving so he had someone to help in case he needed it.  He knocked and Dawn opened the door, blinking at him.  "C'mon, you and the cat are being moved to the tower."

"I'm okay."

"You're not okay.  JARVIS found where it took you three hours to get home from your mother's."  She winced.  "C'mon, pack."  She grabbed some things, including one necklace, while he got the cat's things.  "I'll get you a new litter box so you don't have to filter that and bring it.  You can scoop it tomorrow or something."  She nodded, going with him.  Happy helped her carry one of the bags.  She had to go back up there for shampoo and soap, but that was normal.  They went back to the building and put them into one of the suites.  Happy took her to Petsmart to get things for the cat.  Then she settled in to sulk and watch tv there with the cat.  Tony went back up to the lab.  "JARVIS, do we have an ID on the cab driver?"

"I have been looking but I cannot find him in any federal or local level database."

"A thought but have you scanned airport arrivals?" Pepper asked.

"I had not yet."  He went through that one and sighed.  "He came into LaGuardia two weeks ago.  He does not have a legal cabby's licence, that cab is registered to someone else, who was reported missing the day after he appeared.  It was the one that picked him up from the airport.  Sir, I have no idea who has such plans."

"We'll figure it out, we always do," Tony assured him.  "We just have to figure it out faster."

"I'm seeing where he came from.  England."

Tony smirked at the ceiling.  "That's a great thing.  They're friendly sorts."

"Indeed, though he's not an agent of theirs in covert branch.  Hmm.  Last seen by Leeds before flying off.  Listed as a resident just outside there, in a small town that has....  A fertility clinic.  Not well known, doesn't take anything but special patients."  Tony was scowling.  "That is not good.  It's a research facility, sir.  The same one is connected to that scientist Gershwin Verganthes that you got noted to you before the battle in Sunnydale.  With the dosing of fertility medicine that Agent Romanoff got and Joyce had in her second tumor."

"Huh," he said.  His brain was working in very bad manners right now.  "So breeding new superheros and they dosed Dawn with fertility meds.  That's not a great thing.  Warn her?"

"I have."

"Excellent.  Let's see if we can stop them."

"Gladly.  I would not want to see anyone that upset."


Clint sat up gasping, holding his head.  "Ow.  Even the dream ones hurt."  He rubbed his eyes.  "Coulson?"

"Right here," he said quietly, handing him some water to drink and sticking his arm with an epi pen.  "Why did you get the vision?"  He handed over some headache pills, the strongest thing they had with them for a painkiller.

Clint blinked at him.  "Because she's going to be in danger."

"You can't share skills that way."

Clint shook his head.  "I can pull a very slight amount of her magic from her."  He looked around.  "She's on the target?"  He nodded.  Clint winced.  "Just read it.  I don't want to let those sort of things into the open air."

Phil read his vision and growled.  "Over their dead bodies."

"Ditto."  He finished the water and laid back down.  "We need to get back there."

"We need to stop that facility."  He looked at him.  "You're getting scanned."

"Yup.  Can you maybe let us have enough time so I can nag before I have to blow up like I did in it?"

"You two can talk later.  We're speeding this up.  Let me talk to Stark."  He flashed back to wherever he was, which was the lab.  "We have an issue."

"If this is about Dawn being given a new set of fertility meds, we know," Tony said, not looking over from his typing.

"Barton just had a vision showing that she'd be kidnaped soon."  Tony turned to look at him.  "You couldn't get hold of us.  When you finally did, it was with Dawn in a hospital in Amsterdam.  That was the nearest specialty hospital you could find on short notice.  She had just gotten out of surgery."  Tony shuddered.  "Not that sort."

"I know, I'm looking at them now."

"Barton said he saw all that.  That the nice agent she beat that day by the infirmary found her and told you."

"She's downstairs.  I had her and the cat moved."

"Thank you."

"A month, really?" he demanded.

"It is suspiciously bad timing," he agreed.  "I have no idea, Stark.  I didn't make the assignment."  He left, going back there.  He gave the spouses time to talk about what Clint had seen.  He could understand Natasha's worry, she had seen people who had died horribly from Hepatitis in the past.  Though he was fairly certain Dawn wasn't going to have it.  He hoped.  Natasha went stomping past.  "Stark's working on that lab.  Dawn's been moved to the building."  She turned to look at him.  "I told Stark, he had already had her moved."

"I will talk to her later."

"You might want to calm down first, Natasha," he said quietly.  "She's probably highly upset and you know how she gets tense when she's worried."

"If it was that minimal, she wouldn't worry."

Phil snorted, shaking his head, but he was slightly smiling.  "This is Dawn, Natasha.  She worries.  She gets it from Joyce.  Though I'm worried that you're not okay."

"I'm fine."  Phil sent a thought at John, who came to snatch her and check her over.  She slapped him.  "What are you doing?"

"Making sure you're not a robot."  He stared at her.  He touched her head, grimacing.  He poked something hard and she gasped.  "That's a really good way to lose it all."  He walked her off to talk to her.  There had been a time that they had worked together and he had nearly asked her out on a date a few times.  He respected Natasha.  He adored her like a sister, now, but he loved Dawn more so she was getting fixed.  Then John would go help destroy that lab.


Dawn woke up in the morning feeling like she hadn't slept.  She felt along the bonds, tied shut.  So it wasn't something bad happening that way.  They were still there and alive, and healthy.  Because she had put up a health reading on them.  She took a shower and got dressed, getting breakfast from the caf on the way to her desk.  Loki had found a few new perching spots and was staring at the new pigeons.  He had scared most of the ones around their building.  She made it to her desk to find a vision in her email.  She blinked.  "He had a vision?" she asked, then groaned.  "I need to find the people that can take those before he gets hurt."

A wish demon showed up.  "Sorry, couldn't get back to you faster, Dawn.  Are you sure you want to give them up?  They're handy to have."

Dawn blinked up at her.  "Can you take all but dream ones for the really important things?"

"I might be able to leave an emergency exception."  She ran a hand over her head.  "You've got some cranked things going on, princess."  Dawn grinned.  "Yeah, I can do that and it'll make sure he can't be hurt either.  You'll all have a migraine."

"Let me shout at Phil."  She sent a prayer his way and Xander showed up scowling.  "Someone wanted visions."

"Great!  They can have some of mine too," Xander said dryly.  He looked at the wish demon.  "Meri."

"Xander."  She smiled.  "I can move them to be dream ones unless they're really important."  She did that and took the skill with her.  Dawn was slumped on her desk by the time she left.  "There, all done."  She smiled.  "Let me get these to that person who wanted them."  She disappeared.

Xander tested and healed the burned feeling spot he could feel.  He thought at Phil, who said both Clint and Natasha were down but healthier.  Xander got Dawn to the infirmary.  The doctor glared at him.  "A wish demon just took most of her visions for someone that wanted them."

"Someone asked to have visions?"


"Huh."  She nodded and they scanned Dawn.

Apollo appeared.  "I see more of her than I do some of my priests," he said dryly.

"No one called you," Xander said, looking at him.  "But if you want to help you can."  He smiled.

"My son likes her.  'Sclep would shoot me if she was hurt."

"A wish demon just took her visions from her."

"Someone actually wanted them?" Apollo asked.  "Weird."

"They probably had something bad happen and wanted to be warned before the next one."

"Could be."  He healed the rest of the damage the demon had caused.  "There, though that big burned out spot....."  He tested it and glared at Xander.

"Those were implanted with the mind control.  Hera said that area might not heal," he said quietly.  He sent over what he knew about that and that Hera and Mnemosyne had handled it. 

Apollo looked more deeply.  "That's sick of someone."

"They were going to make her kill him as training," Xander said, shifting against the wall.  "They're all dead.  The few they left, I didn't."

"Good!"  He healed that, bringing his son and Mnemosyne running to help him.

"I couldn't heal that," the Goddess of the Mind said.

"Yeah, you should've asked," Apollo complained.  "I knew I felt something was off."  He and his son healed the bigger burned spot while she took all those fake memories away.  Including the ones in the box.  Dawn seized during it but that was to be expected with the level of energy pouring into her brain.  Finally it was completed and he smirked at her body.  "Nice work.  Very compact."  He looked at the doctor, holding up a finger.

"Because I want to," she said quietly.


"We adore Dawn around here."

"Even better."  He smiled and patted her on the shoulder.  "That's an interesting method of helping visions.  I hadn't thought about adrenaline helping the post-vision problems."

Asclepias nodded.  "I've been working with the researcher who's been finding a way to block them.  It does help."  They tested and Dawn was all right.  "Her bonds are shut?"

"They're on assignment," Xander said blandly.

"Question, before you can go," Dr. Pigalli said.  "Someone got into a fight with Dawn, they were attacking the tower to kill everyone, and had brought a needle with plasma in it to inject into her.  It had Hepatitis B in it.  Can you see if she's infected?  She's worried herself sick.  I've given her all three vaccine shots since she got scratched."

Asclepias looked then frowned.  "I can't tell.  The vaccine's still too new."

"Thank you for trying, Lord Asclepias."

Apollo looked and shook his head.  "There's a very tiny bit."  He scooped it out.  "That should prove she's not."  He grinned at her.  "A few germ modules."

"Thank you."  She bowed properly and smiled.  "I'll tell her so she can quit worrying."

"Joyce does the same thing," Xander said dryly.  Tony walked in.  "Tony Stark, I'm sure you've seen Apollo, this is his son Asclepias, and Mnemosyne, Goddess of Memories and the mind."

"Thank you for helping her.  We like Dawn around here."

"The Key was a favorite research topic of mine when I was younger," Asclepias said with a smile.  "Now she's a charming young woman."

"She is," Tony agreed.  "Who nags."

Apollo laughed.  "Some women do.  Those ones I never go back to after the initial tap."  He grinned.  "Laters, people."  He and his son disappeared.

Mnemosyne smiled at Tony.  "We've managed to repair the damage from the battle in Sunnydale and the implanted memories should all be gone."  She disappeared.

"Thank you," Tony called.  "That worried us a lot too."  He looked at Xander.  "They good?"

"Passed out.  Phil's managing it."  He looked at the doctor.  Then at Dawn.  "Need more help, Doc?"

"I can get her onto a regular bed, boys.  Go celebrate.  She'll probably have a thumping headache later."  They left her to do another CT on Dawn's head.  The damage she had been showing was gone.  It was a blessing.


Dawn blinked, looking around her mind.  "Wow, less cluttered."

Clint walked out of his gateway to look around.  "Didn't there used to be a forest and a tower here?"

"Yup," Dawn agreed.  "I guess that got moved too."  She looked around then at him.  "So, vision?"

"They still suck ass."  He stared at her.  "That's a sacrifice, and I realize that.  Thank you."

"I'll still have the dream ones."

"They still hurt," he quipped, coming over to hug her.  "If they had, I would've destroyed Fury and SHIELD for not telling us," he said quietly, giving her a squeeze.  She hugged him back.  Natasha came out of her mental gate and looked around.  "Someone did some housekeeping."

"The bruise from the power burnout in Sunnydale is healed," Dawn said, smiling at her.  "Want a hug?"

"I...."  She blinked.

"It's not like I'm contagious, Natasha."  She flinched.  "I might not even have any."

"It was just a scratch by the needle," Clint agreed.  "If so, we're not in a third world country.  There's treatments and we can make sure she's safe."  Natasha huffed and stomped off.  "We'll talk in a few, Short Stuff."

Dawn nodded, cuddling him.  "I missed this.  I sleep sucky when I'm by myself.  You're just too damn comfy, Clint Barton."

He grinned, kissing her on the head.  She tipped her head back for a real one.  "I am very comfy with you."  He looked at his own head.  "I have no idea why I have a club going on in there but it's probably what's causing the headache."  Dawn looked over and it was suddenly quieted but her headache got worse.  "Quit that."  He poked her.  She snuggled in again.  "We'll handle it, Dawn."

"I know."  She looked up, pulling back some.  "I realize it's your job and that you have to go on missions, all that.  I'm a realistic person, Clint, even when it sucks."

He grinned.  "We like that about you."  He took another kiss.  "Let me get back to my head.  I'll talk with Natasha later."

"I'll talk with her later.  It's our problem."

"I think it's a full family problem," he corrected.

"We'll see."  She kissed him and he made sure it lasted as long as it could.  "Pop around again?"

"I've been checking on you while you've been asleep."

She poked him on the stomach.  "I think that's why I've had some really funny dreams."

"Could be."  He kissed her again and headed back to his own mind.  He blinked up at Coulson.  "They healed the damage and took out the implanted memories."  He rolled to look at Natasha, pulling her closer.  "We have to talk, Coulson."

"I'll give you two some privacy."  He flashed off to check on Dawn, getting a hug from his spouse and a boyish happy grin.  "Is she okay?"

"She's good."  He held Phil for a minute then let him go.  "How's it going?"

"Not bad.  The person is a problem."  Xander nodded.  "We should hopefully have enough on him in a few days."  Xander grinned.  "We'll see."  He got another hug.  He stroked their bond and Xander relaxed again.  He checked on Dawn, helping her come up from behind the shield that had been put on her mind.  He checked then removed it.  She built a new one behind everything that was her up-front mind.  He grinned when she blinked at him.  "Nice rebuilding."

"Thank you."  She sat up, holding her head.  "I have less of a headache."

"Lord Apollo removed the few bits of future virus from you," Dr. Pigalli told her.  "So we only have to do checking bloodwork every six months."  Dawn beamed at her.  "So no more worrying!"

"Yes, Doc."  She got up and wobbled.  "I think I'm hungry."

"I'd hope so," Xander agreed.  He hugged her.  "You're going to get too skinny again."

"I'm fine.  I'm near my correct weight."

He poked her with a grin.  "Buffy's actually gained an extra ten pounds."

"Wow.  Really?  Does she look good?"

"The Summers chubby cheeks came in but she's dealing with it."  He grinned.  "The rest of her looks better."

"It's weird that we lose from our hips first and gain in our chins first."

"It is but that's just human biology."  He tweaked her ear.  "Speaking of, your curves are getting subdued."

"It's five whole pounds, Xander."

"So eat."

"Come eat with me?"

"I can do that."  He looked at Phil.

"They're talking so need privacy."  He checked on their target, putting a light tether on him so he could subtly watch him.  They got her discharged and down to the caf to eat.  Tony, Pepper, Liz, and Callia showed up to eat with them.  Happy came in to get some coffee.  "You can join us," Phil called, looking at him.  "You are like Tony's family."

Happy smiled.  "Later.  I came to see if Callia was helping me move a few of the cars today."

She beamed and nodded.  "I sure am!"

"Happy can wait twenty minutes while you eat with us," Pepper said firmly.  "Happy, sit."  He sat down.   "Family dinners are important."

Callia stared at her.  "You're starting to sound like Granma Joyce."

"I am," she agreed with a smile.  "It's a mom thing.  You'll have it some year."

"That shall not number less than twenty," Tony added then stuffed his mouth.

"Daddy," she sighed, giving his arm a hug.  "Even if I have a baby, I'm still your little girl and I won't ignore you for them.  You'll get to see both of us instead of just me."  She grinned.  "Then you can teach them like you do me."  She kissed him on the cheek.

Dawn pulled out her phone to pull up an article and handed it to Tony.  "A thought since that sounded very teenagerish."

Tony read the headline and shuddered, handing it to Pepper.  "That's a Mom job."

She read it and nodded.  "It certainly is.  Who would try someone that young?" she demanded, reading the rest.  "Oh, the dad was only a year older.  Great!"

Xander looked over then nodded.  "I saw a few of those mentioned in the local papers too."

Happy leaned over then shuddered.  "I don't even want to consider her being that old yet.  Eleven is just too damn young."

Dawn nodded.  "Which is why I had that thought when she sounded a bit adult there," she quipped.

"Are we talking about big girl things?" Callia asked.

"Yup," Dawn quipped with a grin.  "You and Auntie Pepper and Grandma need to have a big girl talk soon."

Pepper beamed.  "I hadn't thought to have Joyce help.  She did give Buffy hers and you some of yours."  Dawn grinned.  She sent that article to Joyce and suggested that maybe they have the first of the series of big girl talks with Callia soon.  Joyce sent back a text message saying that she had a few talks with Callia about needing to wear a shirt more often when she was with her but they could definitely start having that talk and she felt sorry for both the mothers in that story, the eleven-year-old's and the new mother.  Pepper handed back the phone with a smile.  "She'll help."  She looked at Callia.  "Why were you shirtless?"

"We were under the car doing an oil change for Granpa and my shirt got all sticky because he had a transmission leak.  So I took it off.  Not like I'm a big girl yet."

"No, you have to wear a shirt," Tony said.

"Granpa said that girls in other areas don't always have shirts," she said.  "Some of the places he's worked as a doctor people barely wore clothes."

"If we move there, you can go native," Tony said, staring at her.  "As we're in the US we have to abide by US customs and they say you have to wear a shirt because guys get freaked out when they see too much breast on young women."

She huffed.  "I'm not old enough for those yet, Daddy."

"So?"  He smirked.  "Get used to it now so you don't worry about it then."

"Then I should have a training bra."

Tony was looking so horrified it was almost comical.  "They do make them," Phil said.  "Tara was looking ahead for Melissa."

"Hell, some company in France makes lingerie for kids," Pepper said grimly.  "Here in the US they have push up bras for kids her age and a bit younger.  She doesn't need that yet."

"No, not yet," he agreed.

"No!" Tony said, shaking his head.  "Hell no!"

Callia hugged him.  "Calm down, Daddy."

He hugged her back, pulling her into his lap.  "You won't need one of those things for years and when you do, your aunts and grandmother can take you," he said a bit more calmly.  "But I never want to know about it."  She giggled and gave him a squeeze around the neck then sat back down to eat.  He pouted.  "I can't hug?"

"Happy's waiting, Daddy.  It's *cars*."

He smiled.  "I was the same way for years," he assured her.

"Would that be last year?" Pepper asked dryly.  "A few years ago?"  He pinched her on the arm.

Callia finished inhaling dinner and hugged her father again.  "We'll have bedtime stories when I get back?"

"We can do that."  He kissed her on the forehead.  "Be safe.  Wear your seatbelt."  She grinned and went out with Happy.  "Thanks, Happy."

"I love teaching the kid, boss.  She's sweet and sucks up car knowledge like a sponge."  He grinned back at them.  "I can even remind her how bad boys are for you."

"Of course they are," Callia quipped.  "They don't like science yet.  They have to be older for that."

Tony groaned, Pepper moving his plate before his head hit it.  "I need to make an anti-aging formula to keep her a little kid for a while longer.  That way I have a decade before I let her become a teenager."

"With the way the company's had luck for the last week it'd be a faster aging potion," Dawn quipped.

Tony lifted his head to look at her.  "Next time you have a worry about that sort of thing, *tell* *me*.  I'll have you protected and all that."

"That's why I asked JARVIS to see if he could find it."

"Yeah, from your couch in your empty apartment," he said dryly.

"Full of weapons," she countered.  "I have to hike farther here to get weapons and there's no telling if they can get in here too.  At least there, I have Maria upstairs and Tara.  Plus Cap if he's home."

"That's slightly a point.  Let me know there's a problem?"

"I went home to deal with my shock and then make plans.  I would've talked to you the next morning when I had processed."

"That I can understand," Pepper said, laying a hand on Tony's arm.  "If I hadn't thought that the doctor had used that swab you wouldn't have walked out of the building."  Dawn grinned.

"If I had heard then what I heard ten minutes later you wouldn't have made it out of the building," Tony agreed.   "Cap could've gotten the cat."  He looked around.  "He hasn't gotten free?"

"Not yet.  I'm careful to keep him in there.  The last time he was in the tower he tried to stalk Carrot."

"That's high expectations for the cat," Xander said dryly.  "Carrot's a big, fat bunny."

"The vet said he wasn't too hefty and told me to tell her to cut down on his rations a bit."

Tony nodded.  "He is hefty.  He's half her weight I think."

"I meant for him to be heavy enough that she couldn't carry him around everywhere so he couldn't get hurt," Xander said.  "Sorry."

"He is," Tony assured him.  "She's learned a lot of responsibility taking care of the bunny and the mice."  He looked at Xander.  "How are you handling being alone for a month?"

"Hellion's about Phil's size when he's stretched out on his side of the bed.  He doesn't mind if I curl up on him because I did since he was a puppy."

Tony nodded.  "True, Hellion is a huge dog."  Xander grinned at Phil, who rolled his eyes but he was smiling.  "At least you know he'll want you back.  The dog farts more than you probably do, Coulson."

"Only when you feed him pork," Phil said.  "Especially bacon."

"He and the two older puppies stole a ham Talsa had just gotten done cooking, it was cooling on a counter," Xander told them.  "Ripped it apart before she came out of the bathroom."  Tony winced, shaking his head.  "The younger four got the scraps and Garnet huffed at them until Hellion gave up his ham bone.  I gave her and the younger puppies some ground deer meet I had Talsa pull out of storage.  They farted so hard that night even the trainees complained that they smelled it.  John came back from Atlantis to kick the dogs out of his temple because he claimed he could smell it through the doorway."  Pepper was laughing.  "Bia went to visit her mother to be nagged to get away from the dogs."

Phil smiled at him.  "You poor thing," he said sarcastically.  Xander poked him, getting patted on the wrist.  "It'll be okay."

"I sent them to visit Ares to see if they could cure it.  I got the dirtiest look when he brought them back.  He said he wouldn't usually consider a visiting wardog an act of war but he might make an exception.  We sent them to check on Buffy and them instead.  Hylal sent back a note saying that they had finally stopped after three days."

Pepper wiped the tears of laughter off her cheek.  "That's so bad.  Those poor dogs."

"Poor dogs?" Xander asked.  "I had to air out the temple and use six or seven cans of Febreeze, Pepper.  Poor humans!  Garnet wouldn't even curl up with them."

Tony was snickering, shaking his head.  "I can see that."  He looked at Dawn.  "I heard you had a cat-related problem?"

"Loki cat was being a pain in the ass by meowing from across the room for no reason.  I decided he wanted attention and playing since everything else was fine.  So I picked up a catnip toy.  One of the little balls.  I was calling for him with it, tempting him to come play.  Instead, I got the human Loki.  He looked at me oddly.  I smiled and held up the catnip ball, asked him if he wanted to play too.  Since then, Loki's now Loki cat."

"I heard Dad complaining about your cat and wondered why," Xander quipped, reaching over to hug her.  "I can only imagine the look on his face when you offered the catnip ball."

"He looked *so* disgusted," she quipped with a grin.  Tony held his earpiece.  "Problems?" she sighed.

"The cleaning team went in to do your bathroom and your cat's loose."

She nodded.  "I'll find him in a few."  One of the guards brought him in and handed him to her then walked out sneezing.  "Thank you!"

"Tell my daughter no if she asks you for kittens please."

"I can do that."  She looked at her cat.  "Were you being your mischievous self?" she teased, petting his ears.  He purred and looked around, staring at Liz.  "Liz is not a mouse and she's not old enough to chase you like the twins do, Loki cat."  He leaned over to sniff across Tony's lap.  Pepper took him to let him sniff Liz.  He licked her then nuzzled a bit before going back to his human petting slave's lap.

Xander grinned.  "He's a good cat."

"He's a very good cat," Dawn agreed, smiling at her pet.  "He's even let me curl up around him recently."

"Aww," Xander said, petting the cat.  "I'll make sure the dogs leave you alone."

Phil looked up then took a kiss before disappearing.

"Guess he's busy," Dawn quipped.  She finished lunch and looked at her cat.  "Want to go work?"  He meowed and hopped down to stalk the nice smelling person heading for the kitchen.  "No, Loki cat."  She got up to grab him.  "This isn't like home where you can sit on top of the fridge and watch us cook."  She grinned.  "Let me put him back upstairs."  She walked off, petting him.

"Is that your evil pet?" someone joked in the elevator.

"Yup, this is Loki cat and it's his mission in life to do intelligence gathering for me."  She smiled.

The science lab helper shook his head.  "You're weird, Summers."

She grinned.  "He loves to sit and stare at people."  He got off on his floor, going to warn the others that Dawn had a cat in the building.  She looked at her cat.  "He just doesn't understand, does he?"  The cat meowed loudly.  "I know.  We'll get you some catnip?"  She got off and walked down to her suite, opening the door and looking in.  "Guys, I'm putting down some catnip for him.  Don't vacuum it up."  The cleaning team nodded.  "Thanks."  She found some in the mini fridge's shelf, pouring it out for him.  He hopped down to sniff and lounge around in it.  She grinned.  "Thanks, guys."  She went back to her desk.

The cleaning team watched the cat roll and flop around then went back to vacuuming the rest of the suite.  Thankfully they were human instead of robot cleaners so they took orders like that.  Some of the robotic ones cleaned no matter what you wanted.


A few hours later, Andrew looked over as their Roomba dog came back into the lab with a jingling ball on his tentacle.  Right after him was a stalking, pissed off looking cat.

"Aww," MB cooed, picking up the cat.  "You're so sweet!"

Andrew looked at it.  "That's Dawn's cat, Loki."  He took the ball to hand her.

Loki appeared then huffed.  "Why do people with power continue to call me when they want that cat?" he demanded.

Andrew blinked a few times then grinned.  "Lord Loki, I had no intention of summoning you but if you want, I have some candy."  He held some up with a grin.  "I said he was a cat first.  Though I didn't know I was that powerful."

Loki glared before leaving.  "I should sic Roque's mother on them."  He went to sulk in his room.  He knew that this was a punishment from that damnable minion Barton.

Dawn's voice popped up next to him.  "Actually, Steve named the cat, Loki."  He glared up at the ceiling.  "Because he used to sit in the window and stare at him.  Just like you did."

"I demand you rename the cat," he growled.

"There's thousands of cats named after you.  After all, they do cause trouble.  They rip things, knock things over, steal food, cause hell and havoc, especially when they have hairballs and vomit on things like your shoes.  You should be pleased that so many offer up lesser versions of you as offerings by sharing your name with them.  And turn down the sensitivity on us.  Before we start doing it on purpose."  Her voice faded.

He growled and stomped off to get a drink.  "Irritating wench.  I should take her minion from her."  Suddenly, his pants were on fire and he had to put them out.  He looked up.  "Not nice."

Dawn appeared, smiling at him.  "You wanted to do what with what's mine?"  He backed down at the anger he could feel coming off her.  He didn't want this fight today.  Xander appeared behind her, grinning.  "I can handle this, Xander.  Really."

"You are not in my class of magic, no matter how many Keys you have," he said, sipping his drink.  She opened her necklace and pulled something out, letting it expand as she opened it.  He blinked at the weapon.  "That's a Star Destroyer from the alien Asgard.  It's meant to destroy weakened stars.  How did you get that?"

She grinned.  "Kitten poker."  She flipped the armed switch.  "Now, you wanted what with my spouse?"

"Nothing, chit," he said with a forced smile.  "We'll call a truce on that."  He finished his drink.  This one was slightly insane and would probably destroy everyone over her mates.  It was the sort of insanity only young women in *love* got, which is why he never allowed such nastiness around him.

She turned it back off and grinned at him.  "Just think, some day we'll have kids together."  He shivered and shook his head.  "Yeah, sometime soon even.  We're thinking about next year."

He stared at her.  "Someone may like that future hero."

She smirked.  "I'd be even more protective and possessive over them than I am their future father.  The people in England that you've been giving ideas to?  I'd so destroy them.  I have six of these."  He shuddered, walking off.  "Have a great day, Loki."  Xander took her home.  She put the weapon up even though Tony was staring at it.  She grinned.  "It's Asgardian.  I thought it was appropriate."

"Very," Xander agreed.  "Though I've never heard of a star destroyer."  He called.  "Hey, John, have you ever heard that the alien Asgard made something to destroy weak and defective stars?"

"No, I haven't.  Let me ask Rodney.  McKay, did the alien Asgards have star destroying weapons?"

"Myths of them," he said, which was broadcast by John.  "Why?"

"Dawn won one in kitten poker," Xander said.  John and McKay appeared.  "Show them?" he ordered with a grin.

"Fine."  She pulled it back out for them to look at.  "I had to do a bit of soldering.  The connection under the switch was broken."

Rodney looked at her, whimpering some.  "We can't test this."

"I had no idea what it was until Loki identified it."  She grinned.  "I thought it was another weapon for hitting planes."

Tony looked at Pepper.  "I was wrong, she is still dick teasing.  Where did you pull that from?" he complained, coming over to look at her necklace.  "What's that?"

"Storage area," John said.  "Very fragile.  Has an entrance key usually."  Dawn nodded.  "I saw you wearing one in LA."

"I was."  She grinned.  "I won this in kitten poker too.  And since I'm all alone right now, I get to go play tonight."  She grinned.  Tony shook his head, walking her down to the lab so they could scan that and whatever she had in there.  Rodney and John carried the weapon with them.  Xander got the case.

Pepper cackled.  Dawn had just found something to irritate yet inspire geeks for ages.  She called the two in Lab 7 to go help.


Dawn came in the next morning with the cat.  She had pretended to be a socialite and brought it with her.  It had a lot of fun playing with Clem.  Clem loved her little Loki cat too.  He had even shared one of his kittens with him.  So the other kitten was in her pocket.  She had lost a tiny bit but won more so it was a good night.  She had been worried when she had lost until the succuba was made to quit broadcasting.  She tucked Loki back into her room with the new kitten.  It made pitiful noises at her. 

"Hey, you nearly got eaten," she told it.  "Feel happy you have a home that won't eat you."  The tiny yellow kitten batted at Loki, who huffed and stomped off.  "Keep it up and I'm naming him Thor," she told her cat.  It came back to love on her.  She grinned.  "Not Thor then?  I can find him another name."  She petted him.  Then the new one.  The new one smelled food and ran off to eat.  Loki sauntered after the other cat.  "Share, Loki cat."  She changed and went to work.

Tony was staring at her.  "Did you lose?"

"About three hundred bucks but I won more than enough to cover it.  I made sure we were betting in US dollars and not one of the off-world currencies that can change by moon phase on that plane."

He shook his head.  "Demon economics is going to drive someone nuts."

"Natasha never did figure it out."  He stared at her.  "No weapons, boss.  Sorry, I only accepted cash last night."

One of the security guys came off the elevator with a certain light yellow kitten.  "Did one follow you home?" Tony asked dryly.

"No, Clem gave him to Loki cat."  She took it.  "Did you guys accidentally let Loki free too?"

"He was guarding the food bowl and the thing was crying pitifully."  He stared at her.

"Loki considered him a toy all night.  I'll put down some extra food for him.  I was going to name him Thor but Loki cat got really cuddly and apparently hated that idea."  She grinned.

"I'll start worrying if you find a purple one," Tony quipped.  Dawn pinched him, getting up to go put down a second bowl of food.  Loki could only guard one so the kitten could have the other.  It was so sweetly fluffy and innocent looking.  Tony shook his head.  "Warn the cleaning crew?"

"I will, sir."  He went to do that.

Tony waited until Dawn came back.  "No new weapons?"  He held up her storage area.  She smiled and took it to put onto her necklace.  "It can switch?"


"Huh.  So no new weapons?"

"No, sorry.  A few were offered but I didn't want the holy sword.  That's more a Buffy thing than mine."

"I still don't understand kitten poker."

She checked, she was mostly clear.  She sat him down and pulled out some cards to go over the various rules.  She showed him what Clem had about some of the sneaky rules.  Her phone rang.  "Thank you for calling Stark International.  How may I direct your call?  No, Director, I haven't heard from them for more than personal matters.  You never told them to report to me.  Do I have to come have you put in for another medical exam?  You're getting forgetful in your old age and I doubt it's like Mom's medicine's side effects."  She listened to him complain.  "Then next time, tell him that.  He said he's been checking on me while I'm asleep."  She hung up, shaking her head quickly.  He was staring at her.  "Wanting to know if they had given me any sort of update."

"Why would he?"

"They're not supposed to call in," she said dryly.

"If that vision had happened and I found they were that far out of touch, unless they were deep undercover, I would've left Barton atoms to rant at."

Dawn grinned.  "Thanks, Tony."  She got back to teaching him what she knew about kitten poker.

JARVIS cleared his throat.  "Dawn, your new cat just decided to climb a wall."

"How?" she asked.  "There's nothing in there for them to climb and the walls are painted."

"Yes, they are."

She groaned, going to get the new cat to sit with her.  Tony stared at it.  "You can see why I nearly named it Thor."

"I can.  He might not be happy with how tiny that thing is."  He petted it and it clawed him.  "You're meaner than Romanoff was as a cat," he told it.  It purred at him and licked his fingers for the blood.  "That thing's just strange."

"Very," she said.  "But Loki cat liked it."  She grinned.

He stared at her.  "Doesn't say much," he said dryly.

"Did you know you could dye cats and dogs?"

"I've seen some suspiciously pink poodles," he said.

She pulled up an email she had been sent by her mother to show him.  "We can get the star spangled cat for Cap," she teased with a grin.  The white cat was painted as a full American flag.

Steve came out of the office to stare over Tony's shoulder, petting the kitten that clawed his way over Tony's chest to his shoulder.  "That's so wrong," Steve said, plucking the cat off Tony's now bleeding shoulder.  "You need your claws clipped."

"I did clip his claws," Dawn quipped.  Tony took it to look at and groaned, handing it back to Steve.  "We should get you the Star Spangled Cat."

"No, thank you.  Cats should be normal colored."  He walked the kitten into the office.  "This one's a bit mean."

"I nearly named him Thor because Loki cat played with him all night," Dawn quipped.

"You need a vacation," Tony said, patting her on the shoulder.

"I need laid, Tony," she shot back with an evil look.  "No one's here to control any of the evil that I can do."  She cackled.

He patted her again.  "Want some of the vibrators I sent to Barton at work?"  He walked into the office, taking the cat to stare at.  "You claw me again and I'm giving you to the twins."  He handed it back.  Dawn stuck it in her empty bottom drawer with some balled up paper to play with.  That made it a happy, evil little cat.  Tony put out a 'Dawn has a kitten to give away thanks to a kitten poker match' notice on the inter-tower bulletin board.  A few people came to look but MB snatched it and walked off cooing at it and petting it.  He hoped none of the quad was allergic.

Dawn leaned in there.  "That's mean to take Loki cat's toy, boss."

"As long as it won't claw me again," he complained, rubbing some neosporin on one since Pepper was fussing at it.

"Sorry.  It really wanted Cap."  She went back to her desk.

"Naming it Thor would make sense since he likes to find you and hang out with you," Tony agreed.

Steve shook his head, putting ointment onto a spot Tony couldn't reach.  "Thor's never clawed me or you even if he has wanted to hit you with his hammer a few times."

Pepper shook her head but she was feeding Liz and grinning.  Two big, macho guys brought low by a fluffy, cuddly kitten was cute!

Maybe she should wish that Callia would get a kitten?


Tony made it up to the penthouse for a late dinner with his daughter.  Pepper was at her place tonight, thinking.  Steve was watching their building to make sure everyone there was fine.   He walked off the elevator and was nearly run over by a meowing silver cat with black horizontal spots.  He blinked then stared around his formerly nice living room.  "Why do we have three cats?"  Callia pointed at a bookshelf while reading.  "Four cats?  Really?"  She pointed again and he sighed.  "Okay, five cats.  Why do we have more cats than we do mice, daughter?"

"No we don't, Daddy.  Did you forget how to count?"  She put her book down.  "Apparently I'm the emissary of good will towards Mommy.  They wanted to make sure I was still very happy even with Mommy and everyone up there so when a demonic cat breeder died, he left me his kitty family collection.  There's Auntie Dawn kitty, she's a Singapura.  They only come in that fawny color with white bellies. I looked them up when his wife told me what they were.  Singapuras are perky people pleasing cats who are very friendly. 

"There's the Uncle Phil cat that greeted you.  He's an blue silver ocicat, it's a very popular color for a lot of breeds and they're very like dogs but they're confident and not too meowy, but possessive sometimes.  That one's very calm and unruffled, just like Uncle Phil is.  He blends in well with others too.  They're pretty high activity level and like to play and jump but can settle down and play with themselves."  She'd ignore her father moaning and rubbing his forehead.  Adults were so silly sometimes.

"Then there's the Auntie 'Tasha red marbled bengal kitty.  She's a very recent crossbreed so she's a bit aggressive and wary around people but when she finds her human she'll be very loyal and love them forever and ever.  They're very active and very great jumpers like the Uncle Phil kitty but a bit better at it.  They love fun things and they're great.  Red isn't a recognized color for the show kitties but she's still a purebred and she likes to walk on the edge of things and do acrobatic things too." 

She grinned and pointed.  "There's the Uncle Clint kitty.  He's a fawn abyssinian kitty.  They like way up high spots too.  They're *very* curious but don't like to be picked up or held.  They like to hide and chase and sneakily push things from way up high onto the floor to see what happens. Then there's the you kitty, Daddy," she finished with a grin.  "He's a black chausie cat.  They're very loyal to whoever they decide is their human but usually only to one human for their whole life really.  The black color is a genetic recessive trait. 

"It's got tiny black stripes and they're so very curious.  She said that one gets into *everything* at least twice to see what it is."  She beamed.  "It's went into the washer and dryer a few extra times because he didn't understand human laundry at all.  They get very smart, very curious, and into *everything*.   They're highly active, she said he can jump almost six feet straight up, and he loves to be the center of attention."  She beamed.  "She said he was considering naming a new kitten after me."

Tony sat down and let the 'Uncle Phil' cat sniff his fingers then walk off.  "I think I'm going to have a hangover soon.  Dear, five cats, six mice, and a bunny is a bit much.  We don't live in a zoo."

"You said I could turn your suit into one, Daddy."

"Yeah but I meant some year in the future, not this week."  He looked up.  "JARVIS, can you please send her introduction of the cats to Pepper and Steve's phones?"

"I called Granma when his wife came up to us while Granpa Bruce was getting me from gymnastics today.  They talked and she said it was great that he had named them so well after the family and that most of them were very smart kitties.  Auntie 'Tasha kitty has even been taught to use people toilets instead of litter box and how to walk on a leash."

"I'm not sure if you could teach your Aunt Natasha how to walk on a leash or not," he admitted then shook his head.  "Maybe we can give a few to Aunt Tara?"

She sighed and shook her head, looking a lot like Pepper when she did it.  "Daddy, the twins are still a bit mean.  They still like to pet my poor bunny the wrong way all the time.  Besides, I've already introduced Loki kitty to them.  Uncle Phil kept batting at him until he quit sniffing at Auntie Dawn's tail.  Auntie 'Tasha got a bit aggressive and chased him around a bit because he was near her toys.  Uncle Clint stared down at him and growled. 

"They're not used to him or Mortimer yet.  Auntie Tara will have to introduce Mortimer because he's her familiar."  Dawn hopped up beside her and chattered at them. Her meowing and chattering was quiet, unlike Clint's, which was a bit louder and stronger.  Then Clint jumped off the top of the shelves onto the couch and purred at them, chattering happily.  "They like to be funny and entertain," Callia said with a grin.

"I can see that.  They definitely named them well."  He petted them both.  Clint was a bit standoffish but Dawn nearly climbed up him to chatter on his shoulder.  He sighed.  He was going to have to yell at Joyce for letting Callia have five cats.

Pepper and Steve came off the elevator.  Phil met them to greet them then ran off.  Dawn was greeting them from Tony's shoulder.  Pepper blinked, looking around.  "There she is.  I only saw four.  She hides very well."

"She's a first generation cross so she's still a bit wild," Callia said with a grin.  "Hi, Auntie Pepper and Uncle Steve."  She waved and petted Clint, who ran off to jump and chase at dust motes in the air because there was nothing there.

Pepper giggled.  "That's very cute, Clint."

Tony gave her a look then at his daughter.  "Five cats, six mice, and a bunny rabbit are a bit too many animals, daughter.  Plus, they might chase your mice."

She huffed.  "If Sean was down here, he could have my mice but he's not, Daddy, so he can't have them for a year."  She got up and stomped off.  Phil and Dawn followed, with Clint and then the Tony cat racing after them.  Tasha leaped down and sauntered in like it was her idea right before Callia slammed the door.

He groaned, holding his head.  "Damn it."

"I have no idea how to handle this," Pepper admitted, sitting on one side of him.  Steve sat on the other side, patting him on the back.  "Have you asked Joyce?"

"She's the one who said it was okay for her to have five cats."

A female demon with tiny horns appeared.  "Callia, help?" she called.  She came running out of her bedroom, pausing when she saw the dog.  "The owner was horribly killing the puppies.  Can you call Tara for me?"

"JARVIS, call Auntie Tara ASAP," she ordered.  "Someone was mean to a dog."  She cooed and petted the dog.  "Aww, you poor thing.  You've got stripes like the Uncle Phil cat has.  That goes well together."  She took it to cuddle.  "Why was he being so mean?"

"I have no idea.  Tara?"


"I can't appear in the building.  Anna is going nuts and killing the dogs."

"I'll meet you there."  She hung up.

"Can you watch him for a few minutes?"  Callia nodded, petting the puppy.  "Thank you."  She disappeared.

Callia looked at the dog.  "I don't know why the mini witch went nuts but that's clearly evil and she's a bitch.  Come meet the cats, Uncle Xander."  She walked him in there.  Clint had followed to see what was going on with Phil but they followed her back in there.  She looked out at Dawn, who was on the couch chatting with Pepper and Steve.  "Want to come join us?"  She ran over to join the others in the bedroom then Callia slammed the door again.

"That makes thirteen pets," Steve said.

Tony looked at him.  "Don't remind me.  I don't want to buy a zoo.  I might have to put up a penguin house," he said quietly.  He looked over at the yelp.  "What happened?" he yelled.

"Auntie 'Tasha pounced Uncle Xander and swatted his nose.  She's a bad kitty," she warned.  "Leave Uncle Xander alone and he'll quit lapping you.  See, the other kitties like it.  Even the daddy cat likes it."

Tony leaned forward to hold his head again.  He wasn't even drunk and his life was surreal at the moment.  "Why me?" he muttered.

"Maybe Sean will take the mice when he gets back," Pepper offered.  "Or the twins."

Tony looked at her.  "I can't see Hylal getting used to housecats."

"Possibly," she admitted.

"She described most of them as very owner loyal," Steve said.

"Also a point."  She patted Tony on the back.  "We'll figure it out.  She'll still have to be responsible for them, including taking that dog for a walk.  It looked like a Pit."

"It was a boxer," Steve said.  "A neighbor had one when I was younger."  She grinned and ruffled his hair.  "They're very active dogs.  They take a lot of playing."

"So do some of those cat breeds so maybe they'll play together."

Tony looked at her.  Then shook his head.  If he said something mean Pepper would swat him and his head already hurt.  "Bring Liz over?" he suggested.

"Grandma Joyce wanted some Liz time."  She called.  "Joyce, Tony wants to introduce Liz to the new six pets."

"She only talked about five, Pepper."

"Someone just gave her a boxer puppy because the witch was going spastic," Tony said from between his hands.  "She's already named it after Xander."

"Awww.  Of course I'll bring Liz over so I can pull Bruce out of the lab for dinner."

"Thank you, and figure out how we're dealing with having thirteen pets?" Tony asked, looking up.  "It's a bit much even for a penthouse."

"We'll see, dear."  She hung up.

"I'll have an empty bedroom set up as an exercise area for the active pets," JARVIS said quietly.  "That way the cats have things that are appropriate to climb on and over and the dog has something he can run on."

"Thanks," Tony said sarcastically.  "A bit of support here, JARVIS, please?"

"Sir, there's no way I can tell her no."  He looked up what dogs and cats liked to play on.  He could manufacture most of it and have the robots put them together by the morning.  He had no idea that cats could use a bigger version of a hamster wheel.

Dawn came off the elevator with a bottle and a packet.  "Treats," she said, handing them to Steve.  She walked into Callia's room after a brief knock, sprinkling some of the stuff in the packet onto the floor.  Natasha hopped down to sniff and rolled around in it, batting at anything that came near her luxuriating in the catnip.  Dawn poured out a few more piles for the others.  Callia hugged her.  "She's new," she said, looking at the dog.

"That's Uncle Xander.  He's very friendly and laps me a lot.  Plus he has stripes in patterns like Uncle Phil does."  She grinned.  "They're already friends.  Uncle Phil was sitting on his back."

"That's really cool," Dawn said with a smile, patting her on the head.  She checked and closed the door again, going to talk to the other adults.  "Let her see how much work it takes and how much it cuts into her lab time," she said quietly.  They smiled at her for that advice.  "But Mom's on the way and Uncle Xander is really cute."  She left.  She sent that whole talk to Clint's phone so he could share it.  That way he could see his namesake.


Somewhere in the middle of Europe, Clint heard the thought from Dawn and pulled out his phone to turn on.  He found the three voicemails and ignored them.  They were all from HQ and probably not totally important.  He got into the new video mail, watching it.  He laughed and waved Phil and Natasha over.  He let them see the whole thing from when she brought them home.  Including the introduction to Tony and the new dog's introduction too.

Phil smiled.  "I do look like an every cat."

Natasha smiled.  "Mine is red, even if she is not my hair color."  She grinned.  "She has good taste."

Clint laughed at his cat's antics.  "Whoever named them got them very well."  He sent an email back to Dawn and let Phil have the voicemails to deal with.

"What do I need it for?" Phil asked.

"Three voicemails from HQ."

Phil walked off listening to them.  "We're supposed to be giving Dawn reports."

"No, she's not an agent," Clint said bluntly.  "Hell no."

"I agree," Natasha said.

Clint pulled her closer.  "Are you having another episode?"  She huffed but glared.  He stared at her.  "You're the one that started it," he said quietly.  "We consider that a promise to us, Nat."  He made her sit on his knee and held her.  "So, how are we going to work this out so Dawn doesn't have to know that you were having a moment?"

"I am not having a moment."  She glared at him.  "We're on a mission and there's no sex on missions unless it's necessary for the mission."

"Not what I'm talking about."  He forced their bond open, showing her.  She was still glaring but he could see when she got it.  She slumped a tiny bit, just through her shoulders.  "So, how are we going to work this out?" he asked her mentally.

"We...  We will do it on the way home.  We're in the middle of a mission and I can't deal with that right now."

He kissed her on the cheek.  "If that's what you want."  She stared at him.  He stared back.  "I know I'll always have Dawn.  You're the one that's always been in question.  Even though it was you that wanted us tighter," he said quietly.  "So that makes it your decision and your shit to be dealt with."

She shook her head.  "It is not like that."

"It is like that.  You got panicky and pulled back from both of us."  He kissed her properly.  "The mission is nearly done."

She sighed but nodded.  "We will talk once it's over with."

He nodded.  "Okay."  He gave her a squeeze and let her go.  "Whenever you're ready or I get too impatient."  He grinned.  She smacked him upside the head and stomped off.  He relaxed again, thinking at Dawn, who was cooing at their cat.  He made a decision.  They might take their namesakes in.  That would mean three cats instead of one.  She pointed out there was her namesake as well.  Who was an adorable, chatty cat who loved everyone.  She sent him a link to what they were doing.  The Dawn cat was bothering and trying to play with the Natasha cat while she was wallowing in the catnip pile.  He smiled and looked at Phil.  "She sent one for Nat."

Phil looked and let her see it.  She cracked a smile.  "That is very much like us sometimes," she agreed, turning the phone off.  "Let Dawn work, Barton."

"It's dinnertime.  She's playing with Loki cat.  By the way, we're taking in our namesakes."

"Do we need four cats?" she asked.

"Maybe.  Not sure if Loki will mind or not."

"She needs siblings to take care of some of them," Phil said.  "Because Callia will never give up some of her animals."

"Mice aren't long lived," Natasha said.  "Maybe two years."

"She's had Gruyere, the first one, for over a year now," Clint said.  He looked it up online.  "One and a half to two years, with some living up to three."

"That's going to suck when they all start dying off in a few months," Natasha sighed.  "We'll have to attend mice funerals."

"She did have that one that died," Clint reminded her.  "They quietly buried it over at the new tower."  He sent that thought at Dawn, who said she had more rock markers to paint ready and waiting.  Plus she sent that text at Tony.  "So within two years she'll only have seven pets."

"Possibly sooner if the cats get into the mice cage," Phil noted.  "Some of those are hunting cats.  Especially Natasha's namesake."

"Perhaps the twins would like mice?" Natasha suggested, then suggested it to Dawn, who texted it to Tony.


Tony read the newest text message.  "Callia, can we give your mice to the twins before the cats eat them?" he called.

She leaned out of her room.  "What?"

"Can the twins have your mice so the cats don't eat them?" Steve asked.  "Cats hunt mice.  Especially more wild cats like Natasha."  Dawn was walked across him so he petted her.  Then Tony was trying to get inside his shirt.  "I think that's the human's version of you's job."  He petted him anyway.  The Tony cat was sniffing and batting at his hair instead of trying to get down his shirt.  "I know, I need a haircut.  The human you doesn't seem to mind." 

Tony shook his head he didn't care about him needing a trim.  The cat tried to get down his shirt and succeeded this time.  Then meowed from in there.  He untucked it to get the cat out.  "Thank you for that bit of help."  The Tony cat bounded into the kitchen to start looking through the cabinets.  Tony ran in to close things.  That open cabinet that had glasses was going to be a problem.  The cat got free when he was carrying him back to the living room and went for the bar.  "Yeah, they named him right," Steve quipped.

Tony watched as his namesake sniffed each bottle and then the glasses, making the hanging wine and martini glasses swing with bats from his tail.  Then he went nose-down into the sink for a sniff, then back up to sniff at the liquors again, batting at one with a disgusted look on his face.  "It's not like I drink the orange liqueur, cat.  It's for Pepper's drinks."  He got him off the bar and he ran outside to sniff.  "Oh, no, you might try to jump." 

He brought him back inside but the Xander puppy had found the pool and jumped in.  He was happily paddling around it.  Clint was batting at it and fell in, making Tony laugh.  He got out and shook off like he had meant to do that.  Phil came in and howled.  Xander got out of the pool and shook off, making both cats flee from the extra bath time.  Xander trotted back in, nudging Pepper to pet him.  She cooed and did that, then he hopped up on Steve to get petted.

"I like you too, Xander."  He petted him carefully.  "Even if you are all wet."

Xander appeared.  "I like you too, Steve, but I'm not wet."  Steve pointed at the dog.  He stared.  "Hi, pupkins."

"He's named after you, Uncle Xander," Callia said sweetly, grinning at him.

"Aww.  He's adorable!"  He petted the dog, who barked and yapped and wagged his stumpy tail at him.  "You're a good dog.  Go play."  He ran off to play with the cats.  Natasha hissed and leapt up out of the way of the wet dog's nose before she got wet.  Xander looked in there.  "Quit being so mean," he told the cat.  "Before I tell Tara on you."  He walked off shaking his head.  He pointed once they were all in there but the Dawn cat that was sucking up to Pepper to get some of the cat treats she had.

"Demon cat breeder died," Tony said.  "Named them after the family.  Apparently your namesake really likes the Phil cat and his stripes match Phil's spot and stripe pattern."

"Okay," he agreed with a grin then disappeared to cackle himself sick at home.  Garnet came over to lap him to make sure he was all right so he petted her.  He'd talk to her about the new cats later.


Maria and Tara showed up at Stark's penthouse together, because Tara had called and asked her to bring the cat to meet Callia's new cats.  And as it turned out a puppy that met them at the elevator by barking loudly at them.

"Xander, enough," Callia warned.  He pouted at her.  "That's Auntie Tara and Auntie Maria with Mortimer.  They're here to make sure you like Mortimer too."  Dawn came off with Loki cat.  "Hi, Loki kitty."  They went into her room to introduce all the pets to each other.

Tara came out, looking at Tony.  "How?"

"Demon cat breeder," he said dryly.  "Joyce thought it was great."

She nodded.  "Way too many pets."  She went in there to talk to Callia about maybe the twins taking in the mice.  Maria didn't like that idea, she hated mice.  She promised they'd be in their cages most of the time.  Which made Callia pout but she promised they'd play when she was at work.  That worked and Mortimer knew not to chase the pet mice.  He was used to the first few of them.  Tara looked them over.  "Aww, one's pregnant."

"Then the mice are definitely yours if you want them," Tony called.  "Thirteen pets is more than enough."

Dawn came out without Loki, but he was following her with her namesake.  She sat down and he hopped up into her lap, huffing at the new cat.  She petted him then the new one, who went to chatter at Pepper and Steve.  "Xander and Phil might go to Xander and Phil," she offered quietly.

"Hellion and the puppies are more than enough for them," Pepper said.  "Really."

"Good point."  She petted her cat, who rolled onto his back for belly loves.  She smiled at him.  "Thank you, Loki cat.  You don't usually let me do that.  Are you showing off how docile you are to rub it in the other cats' noses?"  He purred.  "Figures."  She went back to petting him anyway.  "Clint suggested we might take in our namesakes but Natasha didn't want four cats.  It'd be mean to separate us."

"It would," Tony sighed.  "At least cats only need slight playing."

"No, half of those are high energy, highly playful cats, boss.  I looked them up through Animal Planet."

Callia bounded out with Clint following her bouncy footsteps.  "Did you know that kitties could have exercise wheels like the mice?   JARVIS found a video."  She beamed.

"That could help and give them all some extra exercise.  Make sure it's big enough for the dog?" Tony suggested.

"Um, Tony, boxers get up to be something like sixty pounds," Steve said quietly.  Tony stared at him.  "But they are highly protective dogs.  Easily trained sometimes.  Very smart, slightly weird and funny to be around, my friend's was a very playful, hiding and bounding out at you sort of dog.  They called him a court jester a few times."

"She named him right then," Dawn quipped.  Callia beamed at her.  "We'll figure it out but your dog needs to go for a walk tonight and you have to get food, which should come out of your allowance since they're your pets."

She considered it.  "Do I make enough allowance for dog food?"  Tony nodded.  "I'll pay half?"

"That's fine," Tony said.  "We can walk him on the way to Petsmart since it's only ten blocks away.  Take pictures of the cats."  She ran to do that and print them out.  He looked at Dawn, who shrugged.  "That's mean."

"They're her pets.  That's what Mom told me when I said I wanted a dog."

"Maybe," he complained quietly.  He got up and got them things to go up to the store tonight.  Steve and Pepper, with Liz, went with them.  Dawn got some water for them and a few spare toys that Loki hadn't gotten to use yet.  Then she and Loki curled up to watch some tv.


Dawn looked up from working the next day when someone shouted, "Oh my fucking God!  Are you Romanoff in pet form again!  You used to be a black cat!"  She groaned and shook her head, going to look.  "No, that's the Clint kitty."  She scooped him up.  "C'mon, Clint."  He struggled a bit but yay.

"Did you turn your spouse into one?" he demanded.

"No, a cat breeder died and left them to Callia."  He moaned and walked off.  "Natasha's actually a bengal cat.  Phil's an ocicat....."  He flipped her off so she let it go and carried him back up there.  She counted and let Security know that they were missing Phil and Dawn cats.  They were brought up a few minutes later and they left them to play together. 

They liked to play with Clint while Natasha watched.  She went back up to put the Tony cat that had snuck onto the elevator back and went back to her desk. She sent out a memo about the cats, just in case.  They were mostly very curious cats so you never knew.  Especially the Tony cat, which had tried to jump down from the Penthouse onto the walkway to the new tower, sixteen stories below.  The memo included pictures of the new pets for easy identification.


Jonathan walked up to Pepper that afternoon with the memo in hand.  "She has thirteen pets?"

"The mice went to the twins."

"Aww.  So seven pets.  Cool.  Andrew said that the number was a good sign."  She groaned so he grinned.  "By the way, the Tony kitty made it out of the penthouse when his human took the Xander dog for a walk.  He's in our lab with Roomba investigating the hanging filing cabinets and everything else.  We can't get Tony out of his lab to come get him.  Dawn's with you."

"I'll come get him," Pepper promised, handing Dawn Liz so she could do that.  The Tony cat loved her just like the human one did.  It meowed from a hanging light fixture.  "How did you get up there?"  Andrew pointed at the cabinets on the wall.  "Ah."  She snapped.  "C'mon.  Or no treats."  It leaped down onto her shoulder, making her flinch but pull it around to pet.  "We'll get you treats on the way home." 

She took it up there and did give him a few treats before she put him down.  People and robots came in carrying things for the pets.  Pepper got them all moved out of the way.  Having to catch Tony before he got stepped on was about usual.  They set up the play area, complete with cat hamster wheel system that gave treats as they ran on it and treadmill for the dog.  The robots put down a few new litter boxes and poured in litter for them.  Then a large fountain for drinking from was hooked up to the bathroom in there.  The litter boxes got put into that bathroom. 

The pets were sent in there by the robots chasing them, with a bit of help from Roomba to get Natasha down.  They left, giving her smug looks.  Tony tried the cat wheel first and got surprised when it moved for him, jumping off.  Then he saw the cat treat.  He hopped back up to get it and it moved again, giving another treat.  He learned that trick and the other cats smelled it so came over to get their own.  It had three treat dispensing spots so that was good for them. 

Xander was sniffing the treadmill and hopped up to use it.  He liked that and it was fun.  He had a faux-grass pad to pee on if he needed it.  Pepper watched for a few minutes.  They were happy cats with an extensive climbing system complete with ramps, stairs, hiding spots, and comfy sleeping spots.  The dog had a dog bed and dog treats.  The cats had cat toys and cat treats.  Including some growing cat grass that Dawn had started earlier.  She counted and all the cats were in there.  The dog was in there.  She snuck out and it was okay. 

Only Tony would get out later to see what else this new house had to offer.  He made it to the other tower and was investigating over there when security found him.


Natasha hacked in to watch the new pets.  "I strolled over most of the Malibu lab whenever I could get free," she said quietly.  "I didn't have a climbing system beyond up Dawn's back."  Clint laid next to her on the bed, making her flinch.  "JARVIS built them a cat funhouse."

He smiled.  "It looks like fun.  The little me is having a lot of fun jumping from level to level and picking on Phil."

"He is," she agreed.  Her cat version was on top of the system staring at the little cats and being bored.  She jumped down and shoved Dawn out of the cat wheel, getting hissed at for it and batted at.  She batted back but Dawn pounced and it was a brawl.  Phil came to see what was going on but it was Xander coming over to lap them both that stopped it.  Then Natasha huffed into the cat wheel with Dawn. 

The Xander dog did drool a bit.  They both got treats and it was fun for them.  Dawn was perky and happy.  Natasha slinked over to pick up a toy and carry it off to play with it behind something.  Phil stole it and she chased him to play with it and him.  That helped and they all calmed down after a while, Natasha laying on her woven fish toy.  Phil was on top of Xander's back taking a nap.  Dawn was on top of Clint, even if he was batting at her tail since it kept hitting his ear.  "They are very like us."

He grinned.  "They are."  He put an arm around her shoulder.  "What were you like as a cat?  Beyond mean because Dawn said you hardly let her pet her without being scratched."

"She put a fluffy black sweater on me, Barton."

He kissed her on the cheek.  "You were probably adorable."

"I was but still."  She found old footage Dawn had saved for her and let him see it.  "They took me on walks too."

"She's cute."  He grinned at her.  "You were a mean cat though."

"Dawn accepted it."

"Yeah, she does until she retaliates."

"I think that's why I got periodic baths.  It was her way of paying me back for scratching her."

Clint watched some of those.  "Yup, by the look on her face it was."  They finished watching them.  "What did you find that you didn't as a human?"

"Six rats.  A small hidden area in the labs that someone was storing things in.  I knew it shouldn't have folders so I stayed there until the humans found me.  Another time I found a tryst going on and hopped up on them to make sure they knew that screwing by the large arc reactor was a bad idea."  He laughed.  "They were not pleased and one was allergic.  They carried on their trysts back by the cafeteria instead."  She shook her head.  "I found where the hidden weapons were."  He looked at her. 

"The things in prototype and in highly classified storage.  I nearly died in there.  It's air tight and Stark didn't see me before he closed the door.  No one heard me meowing but Dawn was missing me so she went searching and had Tony look since he had been in there.  I heard them coming so I hopped up onto something and was nonchalantly taking a bath.  He growled and swore at me for an hour before handing me back."

He gave her a squeeze.  "I'm glad they found you.  I would've missed having you around."

"You are mushy today."

"That's because we just got the idiot and all his people."  He grinned.  "They were having their monthly meeting.  Now they're not."  She smirked back.  "All gone, yeah."  He kissed her again.  "The clean up team is there.  So we can go home soon."

"We can," she agreed.

"Are you calmer and not going to be so off-putting?" he asked more quietly.  "This time Dawn can't bathe you for it."

"She might borrow a poison from Coulson," she said dryly.

"'Tasha, Dawn studied over his shoulder."  She shivered.  "It goes well with her other skills."  He took another kiss, rolling them over so he was on top of her.  "So?"

"I...  I do not think I could handle her getting as sick as her mother did."

"It's a shitty thing to do when she needs us most, Nat."  He stared at her.  "Though, Apollo made sure it wasn't in her."

She went limp.  "I'm not sure if the danger ...."

"She'll be doing checking blood work every six months for the rest of her life."

"I understand why."  She stroked his cheek.  "Sometimes it's easier with you."

"Not really.  We rub each other wrong all the time, Nat.  The sex was always great but you treated me the same way you treat her now.  Like a kid who doesn't know what he's doing.  Every once in a while when you realize you're happy and you love us, you snap and overcompensate because you get scared."  He stared down at her.  "Which we hate but understand by the way."


He kissed her.  "We don't like it but we do understand," he repeated, staring at her to make sure she got it.  "Though if you make Dawn cry again, you're on your own when she kicks your ass."

"I did not."

"You did."  He shifted.  "The night after that battle, she was in the bathroom crying.  The next night too.  I brushed her mind and she quit being loud enough so we couldn't hear her and said she was fine, just having a bit of stress relief and to go back to sleep."

"It was not my doing."

"It was your doing.  You wouldn't even touch her, Nat.  She got really upset right after we left too because you wouldn't do more than give her a socially polite kiss.  She had nightmares all night about you leaving and me getting sick."  She went limp so he kissed her again.  "We've got to work this out.  We're together and we have to handle things together.  Your fears, my fears and neurosis, her fears and neurosis."

"She doesn't have any."

"Yes she does.  She's deathly afraid of being left in case you hadn't noticed," he said dryly.  "Of being not human as well."

"I hadn't thought about those going that far."  He nodded.  "They can be fought."

"They have been.  Now and then they still come out.  They're a bit deeper than a fear, they're a crippling panic attack each time they hit her."

She considered it.  "I was afraid that she might get that sick.  Or make me that sick," she said when he gave her a pointed look.

"We're not in a third world country, Nat."

"We might end up in one to get away from everyone," she said quietly.

"I'll end up on Asgard first," he said bluntly.  She snorted and shook her head.  "You'd like it.  Snow.  Lots of hunting.  Dawn wearing pretty, long things."

"I do not think so.  I think I would like going back to Thailand better."

He kissed her again.  "If we have to leave the US that might not be safe enough."

"I know."  She stroked his cheek.  "Perhaps one of the other realms that is not as full of snow?"

"There's a few," he said with a grin.  "I asked Thor."  She smiled back.  "So can you relax?  Dawn's still worried you're leaving us because you think she might make you sick."

"I...  I'm working on things in my own head."

"Work faster."  She slapped at him but he ducked.  "Neither of us want to lose you.  She's even made geek plans for a baited trap and things."

"I'm sure she has.  I'm not usually one to fall for them."

He stared at her.  "This is Dawn we're talking about.  She might make one and then get snatched by someone else."

She smiled.  "That is true.  Can we cut down on her being in danger?"

"Sure, if we chain her in the house and make everyone forget who she was and is."

"Point."  She stroked his cheek.  "Sometimes it's easier this way," she said quietly.

"When you let go of all the worries and the outer world, you two are great together.  You're so easy and curl up together all the time," he said just as quietly.  "We're harder than you and she or she and I are."

She nodded.  "Sometimes it's hard to let the world go."

"Yes but if we don't, then we'll never be comfortable and healthy.  I want us to be fully comfortable and healthy again."

"We will be.  We'll talk when we get back."

"Which will make her cry and I'd hate to shoot you over that."

She smiled.  "You would?"

"Yeah.  I'm pretty possessive over both of you in case you hadn't noticed."

She smiled more brightly and naturally.  "You are," she agreed.  "We will talk later.  Together.  Mentally so we are not overheard."

"Sometimes you have to forget that others have worries about us."

"I know."  She took a kiss.  "We should pack."

"We will pack.  Though I'm already packed."  She poked him so he let her up.  "I wonder if she's put back the forest yet."

"No idea," Natasha admitted.  "Even without it, the cave might still be there."

"Maybe."  They got everything cleaned up by the time Phil came back for them.  "We done?" Clint asked.

"We're done.  We're taking a quinjet back.  The prisoners are all with the European branch."  He smirked.  "Nice work catching that meeting, Barton."

"Thanks, sir," he quipped back.  "Are you taking in your namesake?"

"No.  I'm not sure the puppies would like another cat and dog in their house."  Natasha laughed, nodding that was true.  "We might cat sit sometimes however."  They checked over the entire apartment then left for the airfield.  They settled in to rest.  He found Xander doing a word search and helped him find all the words using their bond.  Xander relaxed and sent back a cheek lap.

Clint and Natasha stared at each other then went into their minds, going to find Dawn's mind.  She was awake and aware.  Clint checked, it was barely five in the morning so that was a bad sign.  He found her and tapped at her until she looked their way.  She shrugged and laid back down with the cat to cuddle so she could join them.  He pulled her into the cave with them, laying down beside her.  Natasha took her other side, petting the cat.  "You brought the cat?"

"He's been very cuddly.  He's missed you two too."  Clint petted him, getting purred at.  Natasha did too.  "See?"

"Let the cat nap for now," he said.  She did, and he settled in to bathe Clint's hair.  "Thanks, Loki cat."  He petted him then squeezed Dawn.  "We're on our way home."  She smiled.  "With debrief time we'll make it for dinner."

"Tony still has me at the tower."

"I heard why."  He nuzzled her neck, making her relax.  She opened to them and it was great.  He could feel all the anxiety relaxing.  "I know it's hard when we go on missions."

"I know it's your job and all that.  I guess every agent, officer, and soldiers's spouses feel the same way."

"Probably," Natasha agreed, linking herself in more firmly.  Dawn blinked at her.  "Am I not welcome?"

"No, you are."  She pulled her closer to kiss.  Natasha deepened it when Dawn tried to give her something more innocent.  "I was worried."

Dawn stared at her.  "If I was infected would you still be worried?"

Natasha nearly flinched.  "I have seen others who have died of it."

"Was that back before antibiotics?" she asked.  "Or treatments?"

"Mostly.  Also in places like the less developed world."

"Which we don't live in."  She sighed and stared at her.  "If I had to I could probably burn off this physical form and create another one with a bit of work."

"Hell.  No," Clint ordered.  "Not unless it's something like HIV, Dawn."  He felt her relax.

Natasha looked at her.  "I would not accept that at all."

"It would mean I wasn't sick."

Natasha tipped her face up.  "I would be worried and slowly realign my mind with the new reality so we could face it together.  Even if I did spend a few days up in Barton's thinking spot on the roof.  You are not to do that unless it is life threatening in a way that he mentioned."  Dawn slumped but nodded, not looking at her.  She pulled her close to hold.  "I would miss you if you did that," she said in her ear.  She had meant to slip into Russian but apparently they were in Thor's All Speak in here.  "Never do that to us, Dawn."

"I won't unless I have to."

"Good!"  She kissed her and cuddled her.  "Even if I'm worried, I would not accept that."

"Ditto," Clint said, snuggling up to hold both of them.  "Neither of us want you to do something that drastic."  He stroked over her side, then down her arm.  "Just... we'll figure things out if you get scratched with another needle or something.  It's never that desperate."  Dawn nodded, tucking her head under Natasha's cheek.  He gave them both a squeeze.  He and Natasha shared a look.  Neither of them had realized Dawn was that worried about her own health. 

He decided to tackle it.  "If you ever get sick like your mom, we're not leaving."  Dawn flinched.  "Really.  We might need some processing time to swear at the higher beings in the universe but we'd never leave you because of it.  I know there's a high divorce rate among cancer patients, I saw you reading that article, but I'll be damned."

She flipped over to look at him.  "You...."

He kissed her.  "No.  Not even if it's full blown AIDS.  We wouldn't have sex anymore but you'd still be ours to hold, help, pamper silly, and take care of.  Like if I land in a wheelchair, you'd help take care of me."

She nodded.  "I would."

"We'd do the same," Natasha said.  "After some anger at the universe."  She moved up behind Dawn's back.  "I had no idea that you had these worries.  Clint, did you see that boy?"

"Yeah, I've video conferenced with him since then too.  I snuck off to call him the other day."

She smiled and Dawn kissed his neck.  He gave her a squeeze.  "You're a good guy," she said.

"I try."  He looked at her.  "Are you feeling better?"



"Because I'm going to be late for work."  He laughed and kissed her, taking her mind off work.  Natasha was teasing Dawn's stomach with her fingers.  "We can take this up later."

"If we're at home," Natasha agreed.  "Not in the tower."

"I'll see if we can move back tonight."  She looked up and frowned.  "There's a lot of magic around you two."  They snapped back to their minds and she snapped back to hers.  She felt someone moving against the quinjet and snapped out at them.  That distracted them enough for Phil and Xander to handle it.  Dawn didn't know who was that stupid but they were going to be sorry fuckers in about ten minutes.  A few minutes later she heard swearing higher beings yelling at her.  She pointed out that whoever had just tried to kill her spouses by downing their plane and they deserved it.  She got dressed and got pulled up there, landing in front of Hera.  "Did you think I wouldn't protect my spouses from someone attacking them?"

"No, I knew you would," she admitted calmly.  "You put a drain into Athena's powers?"

"I had no idea who it was," she said honestly.  "I also have no idea why Athena hates me so damn much.  First with the cursing me before the Sunnydale battle and now this?"

Ares appeared.  "I'm not sure if it's because she wants to make sure I can't grab you and one of your Keys, or if it's whatever's wrong with Hecate."

Dawn looked at him.  "You try and I'll do worse than make you pregnant next time."

He laughed.  "I like that you're perky."

"She just tried to kill my spouses."  She looked at Hera.  "I'll remove it if you can make sure she won't come anywhere near my spouses again."

Hera nodded.  "We can bind her to that condition."  Zeus stomped in.  "She tried to kill Dawn's spouses."  He growled at Dawn, who snapped and flashed power at him, making him flinch.  "Dawn!" Hera warned.

"Don't attack me either," she warned.  "Did you think I was the nice Summers woman?"  Zeus looked confused.  "Your daughter just tried to kill my spouses and then you try to attack me.  Did you expect me not to react?"

"Dawn," Ares said, patting her on the head.  "Relax.  He was threatening, not attacking."

Dawn huffed and removed her magic from Athena.  "She attacks me and *any* of my family again and I'm going to end whoever helps her.  Just like Xander and Phil did over the twins.  They're my mortal family too."  Zeus shivered.  "Xander and I may have a pack instead, but yay.  There's at the most twenty, including future kids.  Can't you two pick on other humans?"  She flashed off.

Zeus pointed.  "Is she insane?"

"No, she was mad," Hera told him.  "Your bratty daughter attacked her husband and wife.  What would you do if they attacked your mistresses?"

Zeus nodded.  "I would have destroyed Athena."  He walked off shaking his head.  "Ares, send someone to see if Dawn's broken out in a godhood.  Five keys is a bit much."

Apollo popped in sweating.  "She's near the same level but not quite a Goddess.  No immortality."

Xander appeared.  "I *do* have that apple," he noted.  "I can make all three, Stark, Pepper, Rogers, and Banner immortal."  Hera gasped.  He grinned at her.  Then scowled at Zeus.  "I have no idea why Athena has such hatred for my family but it needs to end.  Before I call for a blood feud.  I've had enough of her shit this year."  He disappeared.

Ares nodded.  "He would.  He'd win too."  He walked off happier.  He had no idea why Athena was acting like that.  Maybe they should find out.  He sent Discord to find it.  If there was a secret she could find it.

Discord appeared twenty minutes later.  "Three years before the battle in Sunnydale, Athena and Hecate were together for six weeks to tryst," she reported.  "During that, whatever infection that was over Hecate was pulled into Athena because they tried to merge powers with Rosenburg helping.  They pulled her to Olympus."

"Was that about when she decided she was a Goddess who had the right to make decisions for others?" Ares asked as he appeared.  He had a hunk of meat in one hand to eat and a dog begging at his feet.

"Yes, right after her magic addiction started.  Which is why it got worse."  She looked at the leaders of her pantheon.  "It was them trying what Phil and Xander did that made them hate them even more when Xander ascended.  Athena's always seen him as a threat because he was almost adopted and he would've taken most of her war job from her," Discord said with a smile.  "We would've welcomed him more than her."

"Definitely.  The boy has sense, tactical and otherwise, and other battle skills," Ares agreed.

"So they went mad due to trying to bond the way that Phil and Xander did," Zeus summarized.  "Now they go after Xander's family due to that and Dawn's why?"

"They're bound mentally," Ares said with a slight shrug.  "She created a small connection and later incidences with that brainwashing thing made it stronger between the trio.  They have the mortal version of what Xander and Phil have.  Barton can even pull power from her sometimes."  He ate another bite of meat, glaring at the dog when it whimpered.  "Shut up, Marble."  It laid down on his feet, looking pathetically at Discord.  "Don't you dare," he warned.

"I'd only give him veggie ones.  I'd hate to kill him for farting all night again."  She tossed down a vegetable treat for him.  The other three had tracked their sibling and got some too for such good work.  "You three did very good tracking him all over Olympus."

Hera nodded.  "They're very sweet dogs.  I know Hellion was a half wardog, what are these?"

"Hellion and a red wolf's get," Discord said.  "Garnet's still a bit wild but like his human, Hellion loves them a bit dangerous."

Ares nodded.  "She's from that same wolf pack that used to protect him, Mother."  He finished his treat.  "Can we weed this out of them?" he asked Hera.

"I'm not sure if we can or not.  Gaia?"  She appeared.  "Athena...."

"I saw what Discord did.  I accidentally walked in on it.  It was supreme arrogance."

"Xander and Phil did it by accident," Ares said with a smirk.

"I saw and that's how I wanted it done."  She looked at Hera, who was looking stunned.  "It shouldn't be done unless they want it to be done.  With the other things that happened, it was the right moment.  I didn't like them being prompted while they were sick but they were what healed the other so I accepted it."

"Can we weed it out before Hecate and Athena have to be cut off from humanity?" Zeus asked.

"I'm not certain.  I need to look at them.  Apollo, escort me?"

"Gladly, Gaia."  He took her arm to walk her to their temples.  He hadn't seen that in them.  She showed him and then how Xander and Phil were connected.  The power core infection could be separated but they both felt that it wouldn't really separate them.  That they'd be resentful and try again sometime after punishing everyone.  He escorted her back after knocking both goddesses out and setting Hermes to watch them.  He gave his report to the rest of the Council of Twelve.  She gave hers.

Zeus and Hera looked at each other.  "For now we will confine them.  The next time they act they are to go to the Judge's Council," he sighed.

"Zeus, if either one acts against Xander, they won't make it there," Ares said.  "He meant it about the blood feud.  He's already lost a lot to that hellhole they started off."

He considered it and called out for Xander to appear.  Xander sent a scroll saying he was guarding his mate for the moment and would appear after they had landed.  He sent back that they were confined.  He felt them trying again.  "Someone is trying again," he announced.

Ares felt then snapped the power that Hecate was drawing on.  She shrieked and tried to fight against him.  He and Discord got her down.

John appeared with a sword in hand.  "There's an attack on this pantheon by evil sources," he announced.  "I'm going to take it out with your leave, Zeus."

"It's your half-brother," Hera said.

John stared at her.  "He's not the evil."  He disappeared.  Soon they felt Hecate dissipated and reformed.  Hera flinched and held her stomach as the powers roiled and growled around them but John managed Athena the same way.  She almost didn't want to reform but she did next to Zeus in child form.  John reappeared with the child of Hecate.  "This way they can be taught the right ways," he said, glaring at Zeus.  "Before the blood feud with my family rends my obedience.  Because I will always side with blood."

Zeus nodded.  "As is expected, Jonathan.  Thank you for bringing them to the state they're in."

"They're as innocent as Diama and the new one Ares had.  I hope this time they have better raisings without so much attitude.  Because I heard that you had suggested a match and they refused due to it."

"I did," Zeus agreed, looking at the baby Athena.  "They were right to.  I have seen her turn from a childlike, innocent goddess into..."

"A bitch," Ares filled in when Zeus couldn't find a word.  "A tea-totaling, snobby bitch who thinks that her virgin ass was better than anyone else.  Even you two."  They nodded.  "If this doesn't work, can she go live with the grandparents?"

"Yes, she can," Hera agreed.  "Both of them can."  Zeus nodded that was reasonable.  If they could not be made sane, healthy goddess again then they could rest with the Titans.  They acted like them half the time anyway.  She checked them.  "Jonathan, they're still linked."

"I could not undo that or with the shade of Rosenburg.  Hades has her.  He keeps her as an eight-year-old so she's happy and healthy mentally.  She isn't aware of all the hell she caused and if they pulled her back again they could only do it at that age and wait until she grew up.  They're both younger than her but will grow up."

Zeus considered them then called Hades to talk to him.  Hades decided to make them a little grotto.  They could still get prayers and powers from the mortal realm but they could not send any out unless he authorized it.  He took them to their embedded mate and let them play together in the flowers there.  Zeus sighed, looking at Jonathan.  "Thank you for that remaking."

"Humanity couldn't lose either of them without a lot of hell going on," he said.  Diama came rushing out with her too-big-for-her sword.  "Didn't Ronon tell you to quit running with that?"  He took it from her and handed it to Discord.  "We'll find you one that's your size if your uncle will teach you."

"Why would she need to know?" Ares asked.

"Because people steal engineers," John said bluntly.  "Do you know how many times I had to rescue the geeks on Atlantis?  Or how many times Stark got taken before his father died?"

"Point," he admitted.  "Yeah, I'll teach you self defense, Diama.  You and Fiona can take it together."

She grinned.  "I like Fiona and she likes radios and things.  So that makes her cooler than Aphrodite any day.  Because the Pink One doesn't like any machines."  She looked at Discord, smiling shyly.  "Can I go talk to Radek?"

"You're not my kid, why ask me?" she demanded.

"Because you've been bothering him and it's mean."  She kicked her on the ankle, something she had gotten from Callia.  Discord yelped and hopped around.  She grinned.  "Leave my geeks alone before I have them make mean things to kick you again."  She disappeared with John.  She ran to pounce Radek.  "I kicked the mean bitch on the ankle for giving you bad dreamies, Radek."  She hugged him.  "It's all better now."

"No swearing," Rodney ordered.  "Even baby goddesses shouldn't swear unless it's a life or death situation."  She looked at him and said something in her native language.  He plucked her off Radek and stuck her in a corner.  "I warned you.  Stand there for the next twenty minutes until you can learn not to swear, young lady.  You're also grounded from following Teyla and Ronon around today.  Atlantis, make sure she stays in the corner for the full twenty minutes please."   He walked off with Radek.  "Bad dreams?"

"Nightmares of us sinking again."

"Hmm.  That is bad," he agreed.  "We can build an anti-goddess shield."

John blinked at the baby then at the retreating geeks.  He shrugged.  "I agree, good girls don't swear," John said when she pouted at him.  "I didn't know Rodney was that fierce but still."  He shook his head.  "Next time, don't swear," he reminded her when she sniffled.  "Not even Callia gets away with it."

"Fine."  She pouted and stood there.  She understood why she got punished even if it did suck and she was going to dose his coffee with ex-lax.  Discord had taught her what it was for after a huge cheese festival.  She hadn't known about food geeks until that time.  They were just as much hers as engineers because most of them were just as scientific and persnickety about their food things.  She had found out there were even *balloon* geeks.  Which was a great thing to her.


Dawn made it to her desk a bit late, finding Tony scowling at her ringing phone.  "Sorry, boss."  She answered it.  "Thank you.... you sure you're all right?  You'd better be or I'll go curse her again!"  She listened.  "Good!  Then I'll see you two tonight?"  She smiled.  "Even better.  Yup, I'll calm down.  Have fun, guys."  She hung up.  "Athena tried to crash their plane."

"So I take it they're on the way back instead of following their target somewhere like Natasha does?" he guessed.  She nodded.  "Good!  You still can't go home until we up the security on the building."  He went into the office.

"But Natasha won't let us have sex here," she complained.

"I'm sure you can tempt her into it," he shot back with an evil look.

"No, I left all that at home too," she complained.  He laughed.  She settled in to get back to work.  She had to finish weeding out the duplicate files from her doing the reboot too soon.  JARVIS saw what she was doing and did it for her.  "Thanks, JARVIS," she said quietly.

"You're most welcome, Miss Dawn.  Also, I found two duplicate media files and checked, they were exactly the same song so I erased the one that was not referenced in any playlist."

"I adore you.  You save me a ton of work."  She grinned at her computer.

"You're very welcome.  Shouldn't you get something to eat?"

"I'll eat a big lunch.  I promise to eat lunch."

"I doubt that won't impact your health."

Tony came out.  "Order something and bring it back, Dawn.  Before we start nagging you like you do us."

"I only skipped one meal, not many in a row," she quipped but went to get something and bring it back.  Her phone was ringing again so she leaned into the office.  "Doc wanted to see me for my bc shot."  She took her breakfast down there.  "Are we sure this one's not a fertility med?" she joked.

"Unless they changed the depo medicine bottle, it shouldn't be."  She stuck her.  "Just now getting to breakfast?"

"I was chatting with them."

"Good!"  She shooed her off again, making a note of it.  She did test the bottle in case it had been switched.  She really had to find out who did that.  She called up the head of security to see if he had ever figured it out.


Tony came out of the meeting with Dr. Pigalli, staring at Dawn.  "We finally found out who changed the meds."

She blinked up at him, saving what she had been typing up for him.  "Who do I get to beat the ass of?"

"The head of security.  He was missing his second paycheck to that stupid prince and the fertility center that was planning on taking you since it got shut down last night."

She licked her lips.  "That nice guy that holds doors for me and all that?"

"Yeah.  He had a quiet crush on you and if you had a kid he'd be really happy and save you both so he could be the stepdaddy."

"But I have my two," she said.

"No, he had plans on killing them once you were pregnant then saving you."

"Ah," she said, nodding.  She opened her desk drawer, getting it shut by the doctor.  "I need those."

"No, he's going to be talked to by SHIELD," Tony said dryly.  "We told Maria Hill.  She's on her way.  Agent Hill is not a happy camper."

"Is that because she's got morning sickness?" Dawn quipped.

"Maybe," Dr. Pigalli said with a smile.  "Probably mirrored from Tara's."  Dawn shook her head.  "Really?"

"Really.  They borrowed Lavelle's choker."  Tony shivered and went back to the office. "Are you sure I can't have even the taser, Doc?"

"No, sorry.  Let Agent Hill be mean for you, Dawn.  Warn your spouses?"

Dawn leaned back in her desk chair to tell that to them.

In the plane, Clint looked up then told Phil and Xander, who growled.

Dawn smiled at her.  "They're not happy with that plan either."

"You need another shot."


"Yup."  She smiled.  "I don't have any undosed though."

"Well, Natasha won't let us have sex here in the building anyway," she complained.  "Tony said we can't go home yet."

Doc patted her on the arm and left to go cackle in the infirmary.  She could order a new dose of meds for her.  Maybe it'd come in today.

Dawn told Clint that news.  He was of the opinion that if they did have sex and she got pregnant it was fine with him.  She smiled, blushing some.  All their sex stuff was still at home.  Dawn got back to work, then did some online shopping with somewhere that would deliver today.  Tony was laughing in the office.  She got something for him too, which made him groan.  "Then quit watching what I'm shopping for, boss," she called.

He came out.  "I didn't know that they made a gag that looked like Cap's shield."  He went to tell him that.  He was upstairs being played with by the dog and cats.  "Thankfully the rabbit can't play fetch yet," he said in the elevator.

"If anyone could teach it to, I'm sure your daughter could," JARVIS said mildly.

"Probably, yeah," he said, getting off and being greeted by the chipper Dawn cat.  "Hi, Dawn kitty."  It ran off and babbled at Phil, who talked back to her.  He sat down beside Steve, pulling up that item to show him.

Steve blushed bright red.  "Why did they make that?"

"Apparently for those who want to be gagged patriotically?" he guessed.  Steve scowled.  He grinned.  "Dawn found it."

"Figures."  He turned off that app on the phone and handed him the damp tennis ball. 

He threw it for Xander and the dog ran off.  Natasha went after the cat version of it with Clint following her and Phil bathing Dawn's ears for her. The Tony cat was nowhere to be seen.  Tony looked around.  "Where's my namesake?  Tony?"  The cat pushed his head through some papers, looking very messed up and a bit greasy.  "What did you get into?"  The cat bounded down to nuzzle him and purred then ran off to the kitchen.  Tony threw the ball again.  "JARVIS?"

"I believe he wanted to know what the deep frier was, sir.  It's presently unplugged thankfully.  I believe he's now going for the rice."  Sure enough, they heard a clatter of the canister being pushed over and then Tony came out shaking rice off his sticky fur.

"I think it's bath time.  Get me some bulletproof sleeves, JARVIS," he ordered.  One of the robots brought it up already on and took the cat to bathe it, no matter how much it hated that idea.  "Thanks."

"It's safer than you being clawed to ribbons, sir."

Steve was snickering.  "Definitely, yes."  Tony ran past being a bubble covered cat and the robot chased, moving smoothly around the other pets to grab it and carry it back.  It howled but the robot didn't have feelings.  "I've nearly done that to you a few times when you come up a grease covered mess," he said with a grin for Tony, giving him a kiss.

Tony smirked back.  "You can scrub me all you want, Rogers."  He threw the toys again since the pets were all staring at them.  Phil nudged him with his head and lapped Steve before running off after the toy Natasha was ignoring to stare at them.  "I threw it," he said with a point.  "Phil has it."  He threw another toy.  She walked up him to nibble on his hair then ran off again.  "Thanks, Romanoff cat.  I like you too."  He leaned his head on Steve's.  "We have seven pets," he said.

"We do, yup."  He threw the tennis ball when Xander brought it back.  That time he laid down on top of it to nap.  Phil brought over his toy.  Dawn slunk over and curled up under Xander's chin since Phil was on top of the dog again.  Clint and Natasha decided to nap in the climbing tower that was next to the porch's sliding doors.  He took pictures through JARVIS and sent them to Clint and Natasha with a grin.


Clint looked at his phone, sharing it with Phil and Xander with a grin.  "They're so like us."

"They did name them well," Xander agreed. "Even the little me that Callia named."  They grinned. "There's a cat missing."

Clint sent that at Steve, who showed it being all damp and huffy but hiding inside a cabinet full of legos from a robot.  "Yeah, that's a Tony cat."  He showed them.  Natasha laughed, leaning on his arm.

"The cats are more fun than the Starks, and I still like Callia better than I do her father."

"We'll be home in a few hours," Clint said.

Phil nodded.  "Thankfully."

Xander nuzzled his ear with his nose.  "You're so getting pinned down and claimed tonight," he whispered.  "You have tomorrow off."

"I do?" he asked with a smile.

"You will need it."

Phil gave Xander's hand a squeeze.  "We'll see who needs tomorrow off."

"Dawn will," Clint quipped.  "Maybe even two days worth."

Natasha looked at him.  "Not if we're spending tonight at the tower.  I do not have sex while I'm a guest at someone's house."

"Hoboken," Clint said with a mean grin.  "Oahu.  Tempe.  Detroit.  Bellsmith, England."  She shivered.  "Should I mention Norway?"

"Please don't," she moaned.

He grinned.  "I knew that wasn't a real rule."

"They did not have surveillance."

"Actually, I'm pretty sure there were cameras in Norway and Oahu.  I deleted the footage he kept from our Hawaiian vacation."

"Thank you.  I should've heard."

He grinned.  "I still can't get footage from the one in Norway."

She sighed and wrote that contact an email.  He was her contact, not Clint's.  He promised he wasn't watching it anymore and he'd send it to Dawn.  She hung her head but typed in a thank you.

He put an arm around her.  "I wonder if the one from the hotel in Greece is still around."  She poked him hard, making him yelp.  "You picked the hotel."

"Do not remind me of that op, please," Phil ordered.  "I don't care that you two were having fun during it, as the assignment called for it, but I don't want to remember having to evacuate you, Barton, because you had been shot three times."

"They shot me because they wanted 'Tasha all for themselves," he complained.  "They had good taste but sucky timing."

She poked him again.  "I do not like remembering how close we were then either.  Even if you were very nicely warm for me that week."

He grinned.  "We should find that and send it to Dawn too."

"I'm sure Stark would like her to work today," she shot back, giving him a pointed look.  He shrugged.  "Good point.  Stark should do some of his own work and the scientists will survive a day if she doesn't nag them to eat."  She found that footage and hacked it from her Starkpad.  It got sent to Dawn with the others that she could find and erase from their sources.  They both heard Dawn's mental groan of defeat.  "I believe she likes the sight of you stripping for me."

"Probably.  I should do that for her."

"Hmm.  We need to do something spectacular for her birthday."

"We do," Clint agreed.  "We have months to plan it."  She nodded that was true.  "Or our anniversary.  Which is in less than a month."  Natasha smiled.

"I want to remember dates like you do," Xander quipped.  "Sorry, dear."

"I forgive your few faults because the rest of you is spectacular enough to compensate," he said patiently, getting kissed for it.  "Thank you."  They blocked off power coming their way.  "Who?"

"Hmm.  Looks like Dad."  He zapped the hell out of him for it.  Then pointed out that he and his husband were on that plane and he would destroy all of humanity over Phil.  "Oh, he was trying to take down a different plane.  Nope, not going to work."  He blocked that minor plan, which let Loki do the real one.  Though, Phil got that one stopped because Xander knew it had been a diversion. 

The attack on New York was stopped before it began.  The bar the demigods were hanging out in all saw it start and get shut down violently but they shrugged it off as 'Loki pulling more shit' and had another round.  In return for him trying that, Xander changed him again.  Now he was a Chihuahua.  A yappy little mean dog that needed clothes because wherever he was it was too chilly for his thin fur and blood.

Phil looked at him.  "Quit insulting yappy dogs, Xander.  They're annoying but really."

Xander shrugged.  "He can change himself back after he goes into heat."  He smiled.

"You really do like to punish people with animals," Clint said dryly, staring at him.

"Sometimes.  Why?"

"Goat," he said.  "Dogs...."

"Well, yeah but I learned it from the Greek pantheon.  Then again I do have a mostly unacknowledged half brother that I get along with just fine.  Odin announced we do not talk about Fenrir.  I'm still wondering why he came out a wolf when his mom's a giant."  He shook his head.  "Dad's animal magnetism and skill at talking virgins into beds hit again.  Thankfully the twins *adore* Fenrir.  They tease him all the time and come out to put pretty ribbons in his hair.  They used to climb on him for pony rides...."  Natasha was cackling, leaning against Clint's side.

"They're twin, white-blonde hell bitches in training, Natasha.  They never wear clothes, which their mom complains *so* hard about.  Dad's training them in how to fight so they can protect themselves when someone tries to snatch them again.  Sean's totally embarrassed by them all the time because they run around shirtless and beating up on the boys in the village.  Their big brothers can't look at them because they claim they're future Valkyries.  Buffy had a 'hell no they're not going to that duty' fit.  So they'll be warrior wenches."

Phil nodded.  "They're so evil sometimes.  During a spring festival they made flower necklaces for the wolf pack Xander has watching them and Fenrir and talked them into wearing them.  Hylal called Xander to check them for magic, which they do have, but didn't use.  They're both gifted with talking to animals."  Xander grinned at him.  "Yours?"

"Yup, I blessed them with it."  He grinned at the other couple.  "They're such little hellions though.  I look forward to them making everyone blush for years."

Natasha smiled.  "I will help with their self-defense training."

"They'll need it," Phil said.  "They're beautiful young women.  They're going to turn out supermodel pretty."  Clint shivered.  "Oh, yes, but without being too skinny.  Callia's going to get jealous."

"She's going to turn out pretty.  There was an aging program and Dawn used it on her picture to see.  She turned out really pretty, a lot like her dad but with her mom's facial structures," Clint said.  "Dawn cooed that she'd need a few new shotguns for her."

"Liz will be charming like her mother," Natasha agreed.  "Callia will be the female Stark clone he claims her to be."

Xander nodded.  "Probably."  He leaned against Phil's side again.  "Aren't we nearly there yet?"

He checked his watch.  "Few more hours.  Want to nap?"

"No."  He yawned.  "That's no fair, Phil."

"I'm on watch, Xander."  Xander yawned again and fell asleep at his prompting.  He smiled at them.  "Tell JARVIS you want privacy and he will," he reminded them.  They nodded at that wisdom.  They could nap and listen to Dawn be a blushing girl about the sex tapes they had stolen back.


Dawn blinked at the new email, opening it.  The message got a 'thank you' back and she considered before clicking on it.  "Oh, wow," she said, turning it off before Tony could see.  Another few came in and she watched a few minutes, blinking at it.  "Huh.  They were really happy there."  She turned it off when she heard Pepper's footstep behind her.  She grinned, still blushing a bit.  "They confiscated the tapes that were made while they were on assignment."

"Ah.  That good?"  Dawn turned on the one that started off with Clint stripping for a lounging, teasing herself Natasha.  Pepper blinked a few times.  "I've seen real strippers that aren't that good.  The next time I need one for a bridal shower for a friend, I'm hiring him."

"Hey," Dawn complained.

"They don't get to touch," she quipped, going back to her office.  "After hours, Dawn."

"I am."  She turned it off.  "I really need to learn how to do that right," she muttered.  She saw her computer reload a page and leaned in there.  "Stark!"

"Just wanted to see why she was blushing," he said, staring at it.  "Wow, I don't have moves that way."  He turned it off.  Steve didn't have those moves either.  He had to show that to him.  Dawn erased it after saving it down onto her private tablet.  Which he had promised not to hack without good reason.  Which his sex life wasn't so it was a pity Steve wouldn't see it.

Dawn put her tablet into her shielded purse and got back to work.  She had to cross her legs because she was a bit horny now.  It had been three weeks.  She was pouty and needy.  Maybe she'd do that for lunch instead.  She needed to hit a store anyway to get some supplies.  Some of them had trial methods, so that might be nice.


Pepper came out at three, looking at something then at Dawn.  "I'm so glad you're on salary instead of overtime."  She held up the time sheet.  "HR wanted to know if there was a crisis since you've done nineteen hours of overtime."

"I have?"

"You have."

"Huh.  I did not realize that."  She blinked at her boss.  "Sorry?"

"Go do something else?  Go to the zoo, go find something pretty to wear...."

"Did that during lunch."

"Then go eat lunch and break early for the night."  She smiled.  "Set up whatever you bought during lunch for whenever they get home."

Dawn nodded.  "I might like that.  Won't take me that long and I have to finish these letters."

Pepper looked.  "Why are you typing in Russian?"

"Rebuffing the newest offer," she said dryly, finishing it off and printing it.  "Dumb jackasses but now they want me to run their administrative branch."  Tony came out to get the letter to read and put into the envelope she had ready.  "Thanks for mailing that for me, boss," she quipped, waving at his back.  She put the other one into the outgoing mail box.  She pulled up something.  "I have pre-made templates for the upcoming meetings, including links so I can pull up the daily values for the meeting about the new supplier."

"That's fine.  Go home!"

"I'm fine.  They won't be done until nearly dinner."

"Dawn.  Go.  Eat.  Play."  She pointed.  "Now."  Dawn sighed but shut things down and went to eat lunch.  "Thank you!"  She smirked and waved.  Dawn came back and got Liz to eat with her.  "I can handle her."

"I'm not the only one that's worked overtime," she said, looking her over.  "Those are my short of heels, not yours, Pepper."  She gave her a pointed look then grinned at Liz.  "We'll go eat lunch then cuddle the Loki kitty.  You need to learn to like kitties like Callia does while your mom goes to pounce the Tony daddy."  They got onto the elevator and went down to the caf.

Pepper was blushing but did lock down her office to go distract Tony.  She was feeling a bit needy.  She looked around as she walked in.  Only the Tony cat was investigating things.  No bigger Stark.  He came out of his bedroom area to stare at her.  "Callia?"

"Steve's hiding from the other cats."  He swatted his namesake to get him away from the oil.  "Get out of the industrial lubricant."  It ran off to investigate the cars.  He rolled his eyes.  He looked at Pepper.  "Problems getting her to go to lunch?"

"She stole Liz and told me to come distract you."  She moved closer, kissing him and undoing his shirt buttons.  His overshirt was half-done up.  "I need to distract you."

He grinned, taking her to the other sleeping area.  "Yeah, I can distract you just fine, Pepper."  He helped her strip off, looking at the shoes then at her.  "I didn't notice them earlier.  Or you might've been distracted earlier too."  He stripped off and joined her on the cot.  It was a bit narrow but they could manage it.  Pepper was hot enough to flip him over and slide down him instead of letting him play.  Which was okay with him. 

He had plenty he could play with.  She was still sensitive from nursing part-time.  She moaned and clutched around him, riding him hard and fast.  He pulled her hips more firmly against his, thrusting up harder like she wanted, making her mewl and grab on.  His mouth was busy with her nipples but she enjoyed that.  He sat up and ground up into her, which gave better contact to her clit while he had to lose contact with a nipple in favor of her lips.  She panted and groaned, letting him finger her until she got off. 

She kissed him, sighing at the end.  "Good?" he teased.  She nodded, grinning at him.  "Good, because I'm just barely started."  He flipped them over so she was on her back, looking down as he did his best to ride her into a second orgasm.  She was groaning and stroking his back.  He lifted one of her feet around his hip to give himself a better angle.  She arched up and whimpered when he bit her nipple, using the extra bit of depth to her advantage.  "Pepper."

"Tony!" she said, trying to help him.

"Shh, let me, Pepper."  He kissed her, then nuzzled behind her ear.  She had a sweet spot there that he liked to suck on.  She moaned and let him do whatever he wanted.  She was getting happy and that's all that mattered to her until she got off and he followed.  He groaned, pushing in as hard as he could as he let go and came.  She pulled him to kiss her, letting him catch his breath after the kiss.  "Better?"

"Much better."  She kissed him again, shifting them to curl up side-by-side.  "Tony, condom?"

"Nope."  He kissed her.  "You said you wanted Liz to have a sibling and I'm going to do my best for that goal," he said, teasing her stomach.  She had exactly three stretch marks and he adored them.  He smiled at her.  "Unless you want Steve...."  She stopped that thought with another kiss.  "Good."  He flattened his hand to stroke over her stomach.  "Moving in?"

"We'll see."

"Move in tonight?" he asked, giving her a begging look he had clearly learned off the dog last night.

She smiled and kissed him.  "We work better when we're not living together, Stark."

"So move into the apartment below the penthouse?" he offered.  "I've had it renovated."

She smiled.  "I might do that."  He grinned and hugged her.  "Is there a new staircase?"

"A nice spiral one.  With a door so the cats don't come live with you all the time."

"I might like that."

"Steve was getting a midnight snack and had three of them climbing up his legs chattering at him for his food.  The other two were twining around his feet and the dog was giving him begging looks from his spot on the couch.  He had to give them more tuna and the dog his sandwich so he made another one."  She laughed.  "We need to teach them not to beg."

"I'm not sure cats are that trainable, even those."  She teased his lip with a fingernail.  "Callia will never leave Liz alone," she said quietly.

"Yes she will.  She has to walk the dog and clean up after the other six pets."  He took a quick kiss and grinned.  "Plus there's always new things to learn and the cars."

"True."  She stroked her stomach then his chest around the arc reactor.  "We'll see what happens."

"It will sometime," he promised.  "The rest just feels incredible."

"It does."  She kissed him again.  Then yelped as his fingers found her clit and teased it.  "Tony!"

He grinned.  "What?" he asked with an innocent smirk.

Steve came to the doorway rumpled, hair stick up on one side.  "You could've used the bigger bed," he pouted.

Tony got up and walked Pepper in there, Steve following.  "C'mon, super stud."

"I am not."

"You're a very handsome man, and I would've still liked you and dated you even before the super serum," Pepper said, making him blush but grin shyly at her.

"You're overdressed," Tony noted, kissing him.  He put Pepper down so he could tease and fondle her again.  Steve got undressed and joined them.  He knew that Pepper was trying to get pregnant again and Tony said it was going to be his so he made sure he had some condoms at hand.  Pepper focused on him while Tony got to tease her from behind.  "I guess that's fair since I had you once."  He nibbled on her shoulder while touching them both.  Steve groaned.  Pepper took charge and it was great for him. 

Then Tony got her while Steve got to touch her.  That was even better because Tony was a virtual god of touching women while Steve was his high priest who still had a few things to learn.  Pepper was making gasping, breathy noises that Steve loved to make her have.  Tony came with a grunt and moved to tease her until she came.  She finally went over and kissed them both, making them curl around her so they could rest.  It wasn't often they got a few hours alone together without something going on or Callia looking for them.


Clint looked up from Fury yelling at them because Dawn had just let a bit of feeling slip over.  Apparently she was getting happy with herself.  He could feel the vibrating thing in her and that she was teasing herself.  He blinked at Fury to clear his mind.  "Since when is leaving our mundane phones on a good idea while on covert assignment?" he demanded back.  "We always turn them off.  You did not give us that instruction before we left.  I don't read *your* mind, sir."

Fury glared.  "Watch your tongue, Barton."

"Or what?  You'll make me do interviews then send me on another assignment?"  Fury growled.  He stared at him.  "I got asked for two different autographs while I was there.  Hell, Coulson got asked for *five*, sir!  What did you want us to do?  We were following protocol.  Next time, tell us that before we leave!"  He walked off.  "Agent Hill, is there any sign of any sort of threat to the world for the next three days?"

"Not that I've seen, Barton.  I think he wants you back in there."

Clint looked at him.  "Sir, it's dangerous for us to go on assignments until people decide that the ones in the movies are really us.  That should take a few months after it comes out.  Until then, people got growled at by Romanoff because they asked her for an autograph and asked us about Stark."  Fury stomped back into his office.  "I'm going to see Dawn after I check on Bob."  He went to do that first.  A quick net search for obits made him happier.  He hadn't succumbed.  He was still in the local hospital according to the person he had watching over the kid for him. 

The junior agent had his whole job making sure of where certain people were each day.  Slipping one more that shouldn't be moved was easy enough and the small bribe was appreciated by the agent.  He went to check on him in person, shoving back at Dawn by telling her he was going to visit the kid.  To give him an hour before she got too smutty?  She agreed and blocked him off, sending it at Natasha.  He rolled his eyes in the cab but he had on sunglasses so the cabby didn't notice.  He paid and got out, nodding at Bob's mother since she was outside having a smoke and a cry.  "I just got back into town.  Is he okay?"

"He's fine, Agent Barton."  She smiled.  "He's in scans today."

"Okay.  Is tomorrow better?"  She nodded, shaking his hand.  "Then I'll check up on him then."  He smiled.  "Did Dawn send over that gift certificate to the educational store?"

"She did and it was very sweet.  A few of the kids are falling behind on homework."

"I figured some of the kids needed a bit of something challenging to take their mind off things."

"They do sometimes."  She smiled.  "Stark handed out Starkpads to all the kids.  When he heard a few got missed because they were stuck in quarantine in their rooms, he came back to give them one specially."

"Stark's a stand up guy most of the time."  He grinned at another parent.  "If he needs something, let me know."

"The only thing he needs right now is bone marrow and I doubt you're a match."

"Actually, I'm forbidden to donate.  An assignment a few years back got me exposed to chemical warfare crap."  She winced.  He nodded.  "Or I'd get tested.  I'll see if Dawn has or if anyone there in the tower has.  She works with a bunch of really nice people.  They didn't even roll their eyes when somehow Callia got five cats and a puppy one night without her father knowing."

She burst out laughing.  "Really?"

"Really.  Apparently there had been a cat breeding demon that had them.  He named them after the family, got most of them right.  They've been driving the tower nuts all day by escaping to investigate."  She giggled and hugged him, going back inside.  "Let me know."  He caught another cab to the tower.  He relaxed and let Dawn broadcast at him again by opening his mind.  Natasha was trying to resist and do her report.  He'd do his tomorrow.  Phil would be doing his tomorrow too because they drove past the building they lived in and it was glowing.  So yeah, it was fantastic in Phil and Xander's bedroom tonight.

The cabby slowed down.  "Should we report that?"  He knew who he was carrying and where they lived.  Most of New York did.

"No, that's Alexander's fault.  His spouse was on assignment for a few weeks."

"Oh, that's good to know."  He dropped Clint at the tower, letting him pay for the fare and a tip.  He called that in anyway, that way they could ignore that street for a while.  They didn't want any cabs hurt if the building exploded or something.

Clint went inside. He checked, Dawn didn't have dinner and he hadn't eaten yet today.  She told him to get dinner, she could wait.  He asked if she had eaten and she said she had eaten an hour ago and had something for a snack later in the mini fridge.  He went to the caf to get dinner.  He grinned at the cooks.  "I'm starved."  They gave him extra servings.  "Thanks, ladies.  I'm making Dawn wait."

"Inhale fast.  She had that naughty look again," one said.  "And Liz with her at the time."

"We love Liz.  She's a calm baby."  He settled into a chair to inhale the food, and got seconds to go with it.  By then Natasha had snapped and was on her way back.  He finished up and popped in a breath mint on the way up to their guest suite.  He found the door unlocked.  "Dawn?"  He walked in and avoided the cat coming to check on him.  "Morning, Loki cat."  He closed the door, sending a thought at Natasha that it was unlocked.  The room was pretty dark.  "Hey, JARVIS, we're getting privacy tonight, right?"

"Yes, she has asked for it," he promised.

"Thank you."  He stripped off his shirt as he walked in there, still not stepping on the cat that was trying to trip him up.  He paused to pick him up and pet him.  "I missed you too, cat."  He spotted Dawn in the mostly dark room.  There were a few electronic candles lit.  The bathroom light was on.  Dawn was on the bed, already sweaty, clearly enjoying the vibrating thing in her.  One arm was cuffed to the headboard, the other was gripping it with the remote next to her hand.  He put the cat down on the couch and shut the bedroom door so he could walk closer.  "Hmm, that's a pretty look, Dawn."

She panted, staring at him.  "Save me?  It's in the wrong spot."

He smiled.  "Too high?"  She nodded.  He leaned down to kiss her.  "We'll see if I'm that heroic today or not."  He sat down to take off his boots, watching how she was moving, trying to get it into the right spot.  "Can't reach the cord?"

"No cord," she moaned.  "That goes to the other one."

He looked.  She did have one in each hole.  "I really could use a shower."  She whimpered.  "How long have you been like that?"

"Hour," she moaned.

He kissed her then finished stripping down.  He undid her wrist.  "Shower with me."  She followed him, helping him clean off.  It was sexy and she was still needy.  He teased her a bit when he cleaned her up.  "That is too high."  He teased it with a fingertip, shoving it a bit higher.  She grabbed onto the walls and held on for dear life.  "Poor thing," he said in her ear.  "You did it to yourself."

"I wanted to make myself look like I should be pounced," she moaned.

"You did.  If I wasn't all sweaty I would've pounced you and made you howl for me," he said in her ear, making her shiver.  "As is, I think I need worked up to it now."  He teased her clit, making her go limp against his chest.  "Let me pop those out for you."  He slowly and carefully pulled them both out.  "That one's hard to get."

"It's got a sleeve but I didn't want latex tonight," she said, leaning against him.

"I'm better than a toy any day."

"Yes, you are."  She turned to kiss him.  "Want help drying off?"

He grinned.  "I think I want to make sure you're all clean."

She nibbled on his collarbone then looked up at him.  "Thoroughly cleaned everywhere."  He shivered.  "I got a depo shot just before I came up.  Still on my pills."  She kissed a nipple then teased it with her teeth until he pried her off it with a hiss.  "There's not a single condom in this apartment."

He moaned.  "You naughty thing.  Not even if I wanted to have all of you?"  He pulled her closer to kiss her.

"That's why I cleaned myself *thoroughly*."

He smirked.  "You wanton, evil thing."

"Yes I am."  She turned off the water.  "It's getting chilly.  You don't look good when you're blue."

"No, I don't."  He got them out and toweled off, making sure to pat everything dry.  "Lube?" he asked.

"Only a tiny bit for that."

"Good.  Because Nat likes prep work."

"Yes, she does."  She smirked.  "And we enjoy it when she does."

"We do."  He led her back out there, looking at the bed.  Special, new sheets he knew they didn't have at home.  Not silk but very soft.  They'd probably absorb sweat well since it wasn't stained from where Dawn had been sweating.  A soft set of cuffs if he wanted to play with them.  A foot set in the same soft material in case he wanted them.  Two new toys he'd never seen before.  "What're those?"

"One's a rabbit.  It's supposed to be fantastic but the tiny thing is in the wrong spot to hit my clit, and the other's like anal beads only on a stick.  So you can slowly open me with it if you need to."  She knelt on the bed, teasing his chest with her fingers.  "I figured we'd like the second one anyway."

"It sounds handy," he agreed, pushing her backwards.  He looked her over.  Shaved all but that tiny bit of hair.  A few stray hairs here and there so she had shaved instead of naired this time.  He leaned down to kiss her, getting pulled down.  "Are you going to let us pounce you tonight?"

"I'd adore being pounced tonight," she admitted, kissing him.  "I've missed you two."

"This is definitely a heroic reward."  He smiled.  "Quit being so hyper.  We wanted to come pounce you too.  Even without all this."

She kissed him.  "I wanted this."

"You sure?"  She nodded, staring at him.  "Absolutely sure this is your fantasy for tonight?"

"I am."  She kissed him.  "I haven't had many since you were gone."

"You could've."

"Doesn't get me as hot as you watching me do it does."  She shrugged slightly.  "I'm slightly kinky that way."

"Just a bit but we like you this kinky."  He kissed her and ran a hand over her side.   "Shift up."  She got up onto the pillows and made sure she was comfortable. He looked her over.  "Hands up, but I'm not hitching you down.  I want you to have the control to stay in that position."  She nodded, swallowing.  "If you can, you get a lot of reward."  He kissed her, then moved down to tease her throat, a known weak spot.  She was spreading out under him and it was nice.  Her hands stayed where they should.  Clint got to tease her breasts, licking over one.  "Buffy can't get pregnant, Dawn."

"Um...  Oh, that.  Liz tried to latch on earlier when I had her on my lap during lunch."  She sighed.  "I told Pepper, who fed her.  They were...busy."

"Hmm.  Not that I mind."  He licked over the other side, which didn't.  "Am I going to start that off too?"

"No, I think it's just her.  I thought I made sure that spell hadn't popped back into being."

He licked over it.  "Go ahead and end it again?"  She did and he grinned, cleaning up what little she had gathered.  "Thanks.  Don't want to worry about that tonight."  He teased her, making her get happier.  He moved back to tease her stomach, which made her wiggle and laugh at a few spots but he liked hearing her laugh.  He pulled back to look over her lower half.  One finger came up to spread her open so he could look her over.  "Very pretty.  Slightly damp."  He teased her holes.  "Nicely open."  He kissed her then pulled back to lick over her. 

"I missed doing this while I was there."  She moaned and shifted some for him.  "Good girl."  He dove in, teasing and tasting her.  She had been very needy.  He could feel how close she was to coming again.  He wanted to bury himself in her so much but they both enjoyed this.  Fuck it, he surged up and planted himself in her, kissing her hard and fast.  "Hands," he warned.  She clutched the headboard again.  He pulled her hips up against his and rode her as hard as he could, making her pant and moan and wiggle for him.  "Mine?"

"All yours."

"That's why I love you.  You love my possessive times."  He kissed her again.

"I love more of you than that but I find them pretty hot," she panted.  "Clint, please!" she begged.

"More soon, princess."

"Not a princess."

"You are *my* princess.  Everyone else can fuck off about it."  He kissed her hard and fast, inhaling her breathy moans.  "All mine."

"All yours and Natasha's," she agreed on a moan.

He grinned and teased her clit with a finger.  "If she doesn't get here soon I'm not leaving her any," he said in her ear.  "Come for me soon?"

"Need more!" she panted, arching up into his hand.

"I know.  I know just how you like it."  She shivered, straining against him.  "Hands."

"Cuff me, please?" she begged.  "I can't!  I need to touch!"

"Touch me.  I don't mind now."  He pulled her hands down to put on his shoulders.  She ran her hands all over him.  "It's me, all me.  I'm right here."  She was getting happy feeling him so he let her.  It was important and he knew that.  She had miscalculated what she needed tonight but he'd give that to her too, not just what she wanted.  She burrowed into his shoulder so he went back to teasing her clit.  She came within minutes, moaning at him.  He kissed her then her chinline.  "I'm all here, Dawn."

"I needed you."

"I know.  Now I'm here."  He stroked her.  "All yours."  She pounced and he grinned, doing it back because now she was back in needy Dawn mode and it was always great.  Even if he did want to put her on her knees, cuff her to the headboard, and ride her so hard she begged for mercy.  Which wasn't a bad plan for the night.  He flipped her over and put her where he wanted her.  She went with it because she trusted him, which tripped his trigger every single time, and let him do whatever he wanted. 

He dove back into her hole, tonguing her until she was twitching around him and making pleading noises.  He pulled back to tease her clit, which had gotten nudged a few times by his chin but no attention otherwise.  It was hard, ready for him to suck on.  It only took a few sucks before she shivered and was coming hard against his lips.  He licked her clean then pushed up to push into her again.  She squealed and pushed back. 

He went back to the hard, outside world dissolving ride that made sure he realized he was home with Dawn.  She was making such great noises and pushing back as hard as he was giving her.  She was going to be so sore in the morning but he'd baby her for it.  This is what he needed.  He heard Natasha come in and get greeted by the cat, then come in to join them.  "Keep the cat out there," he ordered.

"He won't come help.  He hates to watch us have sex."  She pulled down her hair and stripped off, coming over to kiss him then Dawn, who mugged her mouth.  She moaned into it.  "Is he being good to you?"  Dawn nodded with an insane looking grin.  "Excellent.  I stopped to get a few supplies."  She kissed Clint again.  "Can I have some of that?"

"Give me ten minutes," he panted.  "I'm nearly finished."

She smirked.  "Slow down and move her position for me?"  He grinned and did that.  Natasha finished stripping and pulled on her strap on device.  It was hers from home.  It had a slim, life-like toy attached that Dawn and he both liked.  Natasha got under Dawn and he held still while she pushed in with him.  Dawn was moaning in pleasure.  "It's very tight in here."

"It's very tight," he agreed with a growl.  "Nat."  She pulled out to thrust back in.  He joined but it felt wrong to him.  She pulled out and he pulled Dawn up so he could lay underneath her. 

Natasha got on top this time and pushed into her ass.  Dawn whimpered, tensing up some.  They had done this a few times and she liked it but you always tensed up at first.  Then slowly she relaxed.  Natasha added more lube and it was easier.  She pushed in and Clint was back to riding Dawn, who was panting against his neck now.  It was gentler, easier on Dawn, but it was going to go on for a very long time.  Clint had hold of Dawn's hips so he could push into her as deep as he could.  Natasha was enjoying his possessive streak tonight.  Dawn lifted her head to kiss him and whimper.  He kissed her back and then pulled Natasha down for one too.  "You can possessively claim us later," she soothed.

"You're both mine," Dawn panted.

"Yes we are," she said, kissing her ear.  Dawn made pouty faces so she kissed her as best she could with the angle they had.  "You're both of ours."  Clint groaned and came hard, she could feel it.  She smiled and pulled out, cleaning her toy self off so she could take his place.  Dawn looked worn out but happy.  She slid in and Dawn moaned, clutching at Clint's chest with her newly freed hands and wrapping her legs around his hips.  "That is an excellent position for me," she praised.  She gave her the hard ride she had been getting from Clint, making him recover and start to get hard again.  "I think she should lick that clean for you."

"Hmm.  Maybe," Clint agreed.  "Want to lick me clean, Dawn?"  She moaned in his ear, taking a kiss.  "I think she's too far gone for that," he said with a grin.  He shifted her slightly so he could slip a hand in and rub her clit.  She stiffened but it was great and she was so far gone she could barely tell anything but she was full and being kept from coming again.  She was clawing up his arm because of that so he kissed her.  "Relax.  We're giving it to you.  You'll get to come and sleep with us."  She was starting to thrash.  They'd seen Dawn this far gone before and checked for magical protections.  There were a few thankfully.  She finally came and her magic flashed a tiny bit but not what they were expecting. 

Natasha hit her g-spot and there was the flash.  The cat yelped and ran for a closet.  The room was glowing green for a few minutes.  Natasha slowly calmed down, slowly easing out of it.  Clint stopped teasing her and was just stroking around her now to ease her off that point.  Dawn was making begging, kitty noises again but they didn't want her that far gone.  Not tonight.  She reached down to do it for herself but Clint stopped her fingers with his and sucked on them, teasing her into that last little bit.  She shrieked in pleasure, making him wince since it was in his ear, but it was good enough that Dawn nearly passed out between them.

Clint looked at Natasha.  "She didn't do anything while we were gone."

"That's bad.  She waited too long."  She and he kissed and he pulled her down to cuddle him.  He found her damp and needy so he teased her into coming.  She moaned into his mouth.  "That is very nice of you."

"I'm a nice guy sometimes."  He grinned.  They tucked Dawn between them and let her sleep it off.  Anytime she started to wake up, Clint or Natasha stroked over her back or side and she fell asleep again.  That's how they usually slept at night though so it was normal.

Clint woke up in the morning to a blow job by Dawn and Natasha teasing herself.  "Ooh, someone has energy."  Dawn grinned at him.  "Sore?"

"Tiny bit.  Can you cure that for me?"

He pulled her hips around to make sure she wasn't too sore.  "I might be able to fix the soreness, yup."  He dove in to his favorite breakfast.  Dawn moaned around his cock, making it great for him.  "Leave me some for you."  He teased and tempted her into getting hot.  Natasha helped.  They loved Dawn being in the mood to spontaneously make them get off.  When he was nearly ready to pop she pulled off with a slurp and shifted to lick Natasha until Clint had to shift her.  Natasha moved with them, holding Dawn's head down so she did what she wanted.  Clint slid into her, hearing the happy moan.  He grinned at Natasha.  "It's a naked day.  I'm hoping she has it off."

"I'm fairly certain I told Stark she did," Natasha said.  Dawn groaned but was doing what she liked.  "Dawn, please," she begged.  Dawn shifted Natasha's hips for her and it was better.  Natasha was breathy and moaning within a few strokes of her tongue.  Clint grinned and rode Dawn hard enough to make her thump into Natasha's body.  "I need some of that."

"Put your strap-on on her," Clint ordered.  "I'll get you later, Nat."

She smiled and got it from the floor to make sure she had cleaned it last night, then put it around Dawn so she could get under her.  Dawn was more than happy to do that and share kisses with her while nibbling on the tempting nipple nuggets of pleasure she had.  Dawn was giving her a very good, hard ride, while Clint was holding on for dear life behind her.  "She's very enthusiastic today."

Clint nodded, biting his lip.  "Very."  He grabbed Dawn's hips to slow her down and take control again.  "My turn to set the rhythm, Dawn."  She shivered but nodded, kissing and nibbling on Natasha's neck.  He set a good one that shoved her into Natasha and gave him all they all wanted.  Natasha came first, making him happy.  He changed his angle, getting Dawn's g-spot hard a few times until she came and her squeezing brought him over. 

He groaned, pulling out to rest and cuddle.  Dawn and Natasha were still going at it.  Nat was gasping in pleasure and clutching at Dawn.  Who was keeping the same rhythm he had set.  "Harder, Dawn.  She likes it harder."  Dawn sped up and he teased Dawn's breasts, making her shiver.  "Make her come for me."  Natasha gasped and did come a few minutes later, making Clint happy.  Dawn pulled back and leaned down to lick her.  "That's beautiful, Dawn."

Dawn smiled at him.  "We both like how she tastes.  Should I share?"  She took a long, poetic looking lick up Natasha's body.  He shivered and they moved Natasha so they could both lick her clean.

Natasha was clutching the sheet.  "Please!" she ordered.  They kept teasing.  "I'm going to garrote you both!"  Clint laughed.  She reached down to grab him but Dawn grabbed her fingers to hold and moved up to tease her breasts until Natasha finally came again thanks to Clint's tongue.  She panted, gulping and swallowing air.  "You two are mean."

"We like to tease," Dawn said, kissing her then Clint.  "Good morning."

"Morning."  He kissed Natasha too then pulled Dawn between them.  The strap-on got tossed back onto the bedside table.  Natasha got pulled into the center by Dawn.  It was good for them.  They could go back to sleep this way.


Somehow MB had gotten roped into sitting on the desk today.  She smiled at the man coming off the elevator.  "Welcome to Stark International.  Who did you need to see today?"

He pulled out a badge.  "I was going to see Miss Summers about the plot to have her impregnated."

"She's busy.  The ones that she's claimed are just back from a three-week mission today."

The agent blushed.  "Good to know.  Will she be in tomorrow?"

"Probably."  She smiled.  "I can take a message and leave it for her when she checks in."

"Please."  He handed over his card.  "Have her call me.  We've found an irregularity in their files."

"I can do that."  He nodded and left.  She made the note and tucked the card into it.  She'd slide it under the door later.  Pepper came in, finally.  It was almost noon and she looked worn out.  "Where's Liz?" she pouted.

"Upstairs.  Callia and the cats are watching over her while keeping the dog from drooling on her."  She smiled.  "She'll bring her down when she needs changed.  She usually does."

"That's so sweet."  She smiled.  "We've only had a few phone calls."  She handed that over.  "And one agent who wanted to talk to Dawn about the plan to make her pregnant."

"Sure."  She went to her office, where she could barely sit.  Tony had been working out again and he had proved it.  All the way to throwing his back out.  Which is why she had left Liz up there, because he could supervise from the couch.  She shifted and hissed, wincing some as she carefully let all her weight down again.  "MB?"  She walked in.  "Have you talked to your mother about her needs for medication yet?"

"A few times.  That's really why I went into chemistry.  To find something to make her calm down.  I can't believe she was so mad because I had baby envy over Liz."  She shook her head, going back to the desk.  Sure enough, Callia walked in less than a half-hour later with a baby Liz that looked like she was pooping.

"I'm not responsible for diapers until they're my babies or until I'm babysitting and by then no one's going to have pooping babies that need changed."  She skipped off to hug MB then go check on her geeks since her aunt wasn't in today.  She guessed they were sleeping in or something.

"And yet she always asks for more babies in the family," Pepper told Liz.  "She's going to have to take the nasty with the sweet this time."  She took her to change and put into her playpen beside the desk.  She turned and found a suspicious black cat with black stripes on the desk pawing at everything.  "Your human namesake deals with those.  They don't need a paw print, Tony cat."  She put him onto the couch.  The cat investigated the cushions. 

There was space behind them which delighted him for a few minutes.  Then he came out and leapt into the playpen to sniffle the baby, which got him picked up and dropped out.  "No."  He leapt back in and settled in to lick this thing.  It was weird but the humans loved it and so did the dog.  So he'd figure out the weird thing.  Pepper took pictures and took the cat back out of the playpen, handing him to MB to play with.

"Awww.  Are you evil like mine?  Even Andrew said he's evil and he would know."

"Dawn nearly called the one you have Thor because Loki used it as a playmate all night," Pepper said, leaning in the doorway.  It hurt a lot less than sitting so it was a good position.  "When he met Tony he climbed up him using claws she said she had clipped."

"He does that even with blunt claw covers on," MB agreed with a grin.  "He likes to try to climb Jonathan.  Patty swatted him for it last night and then babied his injuries.  Jonathan was in the middle of a game and couldn't pause it."

Pepper shook her head.  "That's mean of your cat.  Maybe the cat whisperer person?"

"Maybe."  She shrugged.  Tony cat got free and found the desk drawer handles fascinating until he managed to move one so he could wiggle his way into the drawer.  MB pulled it out and took him away from the whiteout, putting him in the empty one that had a paper ball in it.  He thought that was great for nearly a half-hour.  Then he hopped out and sauntered to a fake plant.  It wouldn't hold him when he tried but he used the edge of the pot to leap up and land on the decorative shelf.  He settled in up there to nap.  Pepper moved the metal pot before he shoved it off.  It was easier than getting the cat down and back upstairs.  MB was laughing but she'd learn.  Her own cat probably did the same thing.

"Thank you for calling Stark International.  Who are you needing to speak to?" she answered the phone.  "Dawn's not at her desk today.  Her boyfriend just got back from some work....  I can try to transfer you, ma'am.  Give me a moment to figure it out.  No, actually I'm a chemist, not a receptionist.  I don't usually do more than glare at my phone."

"Teen Vogue, I forgot about them," Pepper said.  "Hold on, Gloria," she said next to the earpiece.  She hit the transfer button, dialed Dawn's number, hearing it ring in the office.  She went in there to grab that phone, sending it to the other one.  She came back and listened then hit the transfer button again.  "Okay, hang it up.  Don't press that line, it's taping their conversation just in case."

"I can understand that with how often Dawn gets threats."  She found the mail and handed over a few things.  "The mail person banded those and said they were all threats.  And two more foreign ones too."  She handed those over.

Pepper leaned in the doorway to read the threats, sticking them under her arm for now.  The two foreign ones, she read one of the languages.  Tony got summoned and the cat meowed at his namesake when he walked past him.  Steve got him down and put the vase back up there, taking him back upstairs.  "Threats."  He took the ones under her arm to read, grimacing.  The two foreign ones got a scowl.  "I could read the French one."

"The other one you don't want to read.  They're very mad that she told others that she keeps telling them no.  How dare she do that to them.  They might have to take her to make her work for them but she'd get a few weeks in the most hellish brothels they run to break her overly willful spirit."  He looked at MB then at Pepper.  "Problems?"

"She's sore and called off," MB said.  "Natasha called off for her."

"I'm sure she is," Pepper agreed.  She knew how that went.  Tony grinned at her.  She swatted him.  "Don't even think about it."

"Fine.  MB, can you get Legal up here?"

"Sure, Tony."  She pushed one of the other lines and called down there after looking up the number.  "Mr. Stark wanted to see someone in the head office for a minute.  Thank you."  She hung up.  "I didn't realize how much tech there is in this job," she told Pepper.  "Or how boring it is."

"If Dawn was here, she'd be doing a lot of paperwork for me plus answering the phone, doing the lab rounds, gathering reports since it's report week, and finishing an inventory ordering session."

"She did the inventory while everything was down," Tony said.  "It's on your desk somewhere, Pepper."  She went to look.  He looked at her.  "She only spends half the day at the desk."  MB shuddered.  "Yup, she does earn her really high paycheck."  The head of Legal came off the elevator.  He handed over the letters.  "Not only the Russian Mob, but two other groups, one in French.  The native one is from that one remaining church and a senator."

"Great."  She smiled.  "I'll deal with that."  She walked off reading the ones in English.  "Are these the only ones she's gotten?"

"Usually she sends back letters to leave her alone to the Russians," MB said.  "Or so she said.  The church....."  She looked through the desk, finding a bundle of letters, all from North Carolina.  "These people?"  Tony looked and nodded, handing them over.  Plus the journal underneath it since it was a list of people who had sent them and a rating of how bad they were.  There was a bundle of Russian ones too.  One other French one.  And a bundle to MB.  Tony looked at the top one while she groaned.  "My mother?"

"Yup."  He grinned.  "I'll call for some help if her mother shows up.  She's cranked."

"I can do that," the head of Legal Affairs quipped and went back to her office.  It was nice that Dawn was so thorough.  Each letter in the stack had a matching entry in the journal.  She noted when they came in so she dealt with the ones in front of her that came in during the last three weeks.  Some entries had the number of letters they had sent.  "What are you, the Anti-Amnesty International?  Instead of writing to get people free you're writing to get them tortured?" 

She sighed but this was a normal thing.  Stark International got a few threatening letters a month thanks to Iron Man.  They were automatically routed to their department.  The hate mail about Dawn's unholiness making Iron Man an unholy wreck were almost funny.  She brought a few up so Tony could read them himself.

He looked at the first one.  "Hey, Pepper?"  She looked over from bending down to play with Liz.  "Apparently it's Dawn that made me sleep with Steve."  Steve groaned from his seat.  "Her unholiness has spread to us and that's what's wrong with us."

"So all the whoring you used to do, all the drinking, the partying, all that?" she asked.  "They forgot about it?"

"Maybe."  He looked at the other one, shaking his head.  He smiled at his legal rep.  "You can tell them about how I'm actually a bastard and I probably warped her if you want."  He handed them back with a smile.  "How's the hate mail count due to us?"

"Steady at the moment.  Six more than the complaints about Stark International and Iron Man."

"That's fine.  Thanks."  She left to write a tasteful letter noting that Mr. Stark was many things - an alcoholic, a womanizer, a party monger - but he was not that way due to Miss Summers since he had been doing that longer than she had been alive.  Tony looked over at Steve.  "Bored?"

"Go tinker," he said with a grin.  "Or invent."

"I can do that."  He hopped up and hugged Pepper even though she was bent over.  "See you both later.  Bye, Liz."  She cooed at him.  "Good girl."  He left with a grin for MB.  "Going to the lab."

"Sure.  Have fun with that."  He laughed so she settled herself in to read a magazine since she couldn't do any of Dawn's other jobs.  Which would probably drive her nuts.  Chemicals were so much easier and nicer than people.  She answered the phone.  "Thank you for calling Stark International, who did you need to speak to?"  She leaned in the office.  "Pepper, it's your mother on 0304."  She put her on hold.

Pepper tapped that button and picked up the handset.  "Mom?  Sorry, Dawn.  One of the phones is mismarked.  MB is."  She switched lines.  "Sorry, Mom.  One of the phones has the lines listed wrong.  No, we're good.  Liz is here beside me in the playpen.  Callia got in her Liz time until she dirtied herself."  Steve smiled and let her talk to her mom in private.  He wanted to check out the new tower's progress in their areas.  She shifted and winced a bit.  "No, Mom, I'm okay.  Just can't sit.  No, not hemorrhoids, Mom. 

"Tony, Mom, not the other sort of pain in the butt."  She smiled.  "He's very sweet.  I'm wobbling.  I'm not sure, Mom.  She's very sweet.  Liz is adorable and cooing at the cat that somehow snuck out.  MB, I think this one is yours."  She came in to get her cat to play with him.  "Sorry, Callia inherited some cats.  No, like five.  One's named after Tony and it's just like he would be as a cat.  They named them well.  No, I hadn't heard we had someone die here.  MB, who died?"

"Rumors say that one of the guards had a heart attack on the front desk," she said, leaning over to look at her.  "Apparently he was by himself and someone on the street saw him having it so they called EMS."

"I had not heard that.  Thanks, MB."  She smiled and nodded.  She leaned back some to put the pressure on her tail bone instead of her tail.  "No, that's why I was sore, Mom.  We didn't have any meetings today or anything."  She listened, smiling at Liz.  "Your grandmother said hi and she needs new pictures."

JARVIS cleared his virtual throat.  "I can send her the ones that Callia was taking earlier."

"Please do email them to her, JARVIS.  Thank you."  She smiled.  "Yes, he is, Mom."  Her mother looked and moaned.  "Ah, all the cats with Liz.  And the dog?  Cool.  No, the dog's Xander.  Named after her uncle, yup.  It's a sweet dog who loves everyone but he's very protective of Callia already.  One of the guards came up with the nanny and he growled and barked until she told him the nanny was okay and the guard wasn't going to hurt her.  Then the little puppy begged her for her breakfast." 

Her mother cackled.  "No, the twins got the pet mice so we didn't have thirteen pets.  As we found out, one was pregnant too."  Her mother asked an important question.  "I'm not sure how long rabbits live."  She looked that up.  "It says five to fifteen years.  I'm not sure since I think that rabbit's Asgardian....  No, Xander made it for her.  No telling."  She cleared the search.  "Carrot's a bit hefty and he has a cold.  She's doing excellently with the pets, Mom.  She got up early to take the dog for a walk then went back to bed.  She cleaned up the poop without being told to. 

"She's very good to the animals."  She listened, getting comfortable until someone else came off the elevator.  This time with an officer.  "JARVIS, call Tony to warn him.  I think that's MB's mother.  Later, Mom.  No, evil cunt," she muttered.  "Bye."  She hung up and checked on Liz then went out there to stop the shouting match.  Tony was coming up the hall with Steve.

"Let's take this into a conference room," Tony ordered.  He looked at the officer.  "You're here why?"

"Because her mother claims you're holding her daughter hostage, sir.  I have to follow up on reports."

"I understand that fully," he agreed.  Andrew was coming up the hallway.  "Let's got to a meeting room so we're not in the open."

MB stopped Andrew.  "No evil," she warned him.  "Not today."

He stared at her.  "Are you sure?"

"I'm positive."  She hugged him.  "It's not nice enough for her anyway."  He hugged her back.

"See!  That's not right!" MB's mother shrieked.

"They're married.  He can cuddle his own wife," Tony said firmly.  "Two doors down to the left," he said with a point.  He followed.  "MB?" he called since they weren't following.

Andrew pulled back to look at her.  "Are you sure I can't pull out the battle gear?"

"No battle tech against my mother unless she tries to kidnap me like she did from camp."  She kissed him and smiled shyly.  He grinned back, walking her down there.  He cuddled her against the wall.  "I know but we'll persevere and overcome like the old time freedom fighters did against slavery."  He laughed in her ear, making her shiver.  "Andrew!"

"If she touches you I'm slugging her."

"Sure, then we can go do it to Jonathan's mom?"

"Half the time she doesn't realize he's in the room," he said, staring down at her.  "She's not evil, she's in her own little world.  Though, yeah, I can go slug Jonho's mom.  I asked my mom to do it in the past."  She smiled.  "Even Warren's mom said something to her about it."

"That's sad.  Does she like Patty?"

"He told her about Patty a few times.  I'm not sure if she heard him or not.  So we'll hover around my mom?"

"We love your mom and Patty's mom is mostly normal too."

"That works."  He kissed her again.  "Ready?"

"No.  But we have to."  They walked in there holding hands.  She started to sit on the same side as her mother but Andrew pulled out her chair for her and helped her into it on the other side of the table.  She smiled at him.

"You're such a gentleman to her, Andrew," Pepper said with a smile.  "I'm so proud that you have manners like that."

He grinned back.  "Thanks, Pepper.  Where's Liz?"

"Steve has her."

"He does like her."

"The whole building likes Liz.  She's the second favorite around here," Tony quipped.  "She eclipsed me as soon as she came out a copper redhead with cat green eyes."

"She'll be stunning when she's older," MB said.  Pepper blushed so she grinned.  "I heard you used to model."

"Nothing too high up but I did."  She smiled at the officer.  "Now, let's start with you.  What did she tell you?"

"That you were holding her daughter hostage and in sexual bondage.  That you were going to force her to breed future scientists for you?  That you never let her out of the building?" he asked, letting them make statements on that.  It was always better and it kept the yelling down.

"All interns have shared two-bedroom suites in the building," Pepper told him.  "Intern salaries would never pay for anything above a slum in this city or in Malibu by the other lab so we've offered them free room and board in the cafeteria for the last twelve years."  The officer nodded, making that note.  "She had her bedroom with her friend, who is another intern.  Her internship ran out a few weeks back and she signed on with us.  She's not in intern quarters though since she and Andrew have married.  They're sharing his suite with his best friend, who is not sleeping with his girlfriend right now but she's usually found on their couch.  She's also signed on to work in the labs."

"We go out all the time," Andrew told him.  "We take recommendations for restaurants because we have no idea about anything that high class and this city has almost nothing between Wendy's level and needing reservations.  We go to the museums all the time.  We go to the park to play with our Roomba dog.  We take my battle gear out for flying tests sometimes in the park."

Tony stared at him.  "The place for those is at the airfield in New Jersey, Andrew."

"I have no way of getting it over there with her, Tony.  I don't think I could carry her that far."

"Try a truck?" Pepper suggested with a smile.

"I can't drive," they said in unison.

"We can have someone teach you kids," Tony said smugly.  "Happy's been bored."

Andrew beamed.  "Thanks, Tony.  I couldn't get into driver's ed in school.  All the cheerleaders took the spots and ran everyone else off."

"It's fine.  Does Jonathan need it?"

"I think he snuck a car a few times to teach himself but he doesn't have a license.  He can drive though, kinda."

"We'll make sure, 'Drew."  He made a note for himself.

"A lot of local kids don't either," the officer said.  "They don't feel they need to with the subway and bus system."  He looked at MB.  "Do you feel like you're being kept hostage?"

"No!"  She smiled.  "I love Andrew.  I love my work.  I work with people just like me, who understand chemicals more than people.  Though I'm aware of why I don't understand people."

"I'm pretty sure we knew," Tony told her with a grin.  "You're not the first we've seen, MB."  She smiled at him.  He looked at the officer.  "She showed up the other day screaming about MB having baby envy over Pepper's daughter."

"She said she had been tased."

"She took a swing at me and one of the defense options we have did it," Tony said honestly.  "That's protocol.  Though it should've been tased and arrested.  She was feeling gentle and let her free."

"After the things you had a few weeks back, I'm not surprised that's your new protocol, Mr. Stark," the officer said delicately.

Tony smirked.  "It's been protocol since I was twenty-six and I had a screaming, psychotic ex.  Though back then it was pepper spray."

"I've seen a few of those."  He made another note.  "She did say she was being forced to breed a new generation of scientists?"

"No, if and when we have kids, it'll be because I want a baby," MB said.  "I'm more than woman enough to tell Andrew I want a baby and encourage him to get to work on it until the job's done." 

Andrew was bright red.  "We agreed on talking about it in three years or when we get four more patents passed."

"Does that count the ones you've got filed and are waiting to hear from?" Tony asked.

"Any filed after January," she admitted, looking at Andrew.  "I forgot you had three filed that month."  He nodded.  "We can discount them?"


"We'll talk about it at Christmas."  He grinned and nodded, kissing her on the cheek.  She smiled at her mother.  "I had baby envy, Mother.  Liz is adorable, even when she's crapping herself.  Most women in the building had baby envy over Liz."  Tony smiled and nodded.  "I'm sure her next one will be just as cute.  So far I've been able to restrain myself from jumping Andrew and making a baby.  Though it's nice that someone finally told me how that happened."

"Thanks for that, Tony," Andrew quipped.

"Welcome, kids."

"We didn't want you two to end up like that family with twenty kids on tv," Pepper said with a smile for them.  "You'd go nuts and not in that good way."

MB nodded.  "Definitely.  She's probably as open as that guy on the video Jonho found during his and Patty's 'find the kinkiest porn' night thing."

"Maybe," he agreed.  "Though she should unstretch within a few days by what we saw when we were researching pregnancy for our side project."

"Usually three," Tony said with a smirk at Pepper, who swatted him.

"I think that's an irrelevant bit of information," she said firmly.  "They don't need to know how I did after the birth, Tony."

"Yes, Pepper."  He looked at the huffy mother again.  "We encourage odd ideas and wondering about things.  It's very scientific and it leads to better ideas later on."  He smiled.

"Three days?  Ow," MB muttered, glancing at Andrew.

"So much pampering and babying," Pepper said with a smile.

"That might be nice.  I like being spoiled."  Andrew kissed her.  She grinned back.  "Mushy," she teased.

"Yes I am."  He saw something.  "Hey, Roomba dog."  It barked at him and got patted by them and Tony, then Pepper.  He spotted the other one.  "Roomba 2, no biting," he warned.

Tony looked then at him.  "Why does it bite?"

"Because sometimes we need a guard dog," Jonathan said from the doorway.  "I was going to let it sniff Liz so he'd know to protect her but it came in here.  C'mon, 2."  It barked a deeper sounding bark and sat beside MB.  "Fine, guard the wife."  He walked off happier.  Maybe he'd go polish the battle gear.  That shouldn't get Coulson's attention and he'd hate MB's mother too.

"No," Phil's voice said from beside his ear.  "No battle tech, Jonathan.  If you must defeat the evil wench, use a laser."

"Dawn's lasers are locked in the armory," Xander's voice said.  "But I'm pretty sure you guys have at least one. Just nothing too big or noticeable so they don't have to call us.  I went three weeks without Phil."

"Xander!" Phil complained.

"Yell if you need heavier backup, Jonho."  They quit broadcasting.

Jonathan looked up.  Then shook his head.  He did not want to know what Phil and Xander did.  Though the armory was a sweet place.  One of the security guards shooed him out.  "MB's mom is back."

"Still.  You have plenty of things in your lab."  He pointed toward his lab.  "Mr. Stark said no one was allowed in the armory right now unless there was an attack."

"Fine."  He went to see what was in the lab.  They had all sorts of projects and one was nearly done.  He got into that and brought it to Andrew.  Roomba dog 1 barked at it and had a hissy fit.  "I'm letting them see it," he said.  "Stop it, Roomba."  It settled down.

Tony reached down to take the bomb to disarm.  "Thank you, Jonathan.  We'll consider the design."  He grinned and left.   He looked it over.  "Did you two help with that?"

"Just what he'd need for chemical release criteria," MB said happily and grinned at Andrew.

"It's very compact," he agreed.  "Uses a very minute charge.  It's more of a chemical spreader than not, Tony."

"It's a good, compact design, Andrew.  You four did great."  He smiled.  "We'll make plans off it."  The officer was giving him an odd look.  "Myself, McKay from Atlantis, and Dr. Banner all tinker and build bombs when we're bored.  We taught them."

"It does help us learn some types of engineering better so we can up the weapons on our battle suits," Andrew said happily.  He even put up a picture of it.  "That's mine."

The officer nodded.  "It looks really efficient."

"It is," MB agreed happily.  "It's sensitive enough that it can hit squirrels as they run from us and pigeons.  Nasty things that they are."

"It does have a wide range of weapons on it and an excellent targeting system," Tony agreed.  "Getting anything automatic to target something as small as a pigeon or a squirrel is considered exceptional and it catching them moving is even better.  I've had some designs that I couldn't build that into.  Thankfully my suit uses mostly manual targeting or JARVIS assisted targeting."

Pepper smiled at the nervous looking officer.  "Yes, they're like that.  Tony designed weapons for a very long time.  He's passing on those skills to the ones he mentors."

"Hell, I taught Dawn how to do it too," Tony admitted with a grin for the officer.  "She might need it someday."

"She might," MB agreed.  "People still want to take her, even though her claimed ones are mean."

"That slut..." her mother started.

"Mother, she's had one male lover.  That doesn't make her a slut," she said firmly.

"I've seen her in the news," she sneered.

"Yes, she's had one male and one female lover," Tony said dryly.  "That still doesn't make her a slut.  Having over twenty makes her a slut.  By her age, I was well past the level of slut so I'd know and be able to set levels of how much of a slut someone is."  She backed down away from him.

"Hell, by the time you were twenty-two you'd had more than double that number," Pepper said quietly.  Tony shot her a look.  "You did."

"I did," he agreed.  "Because I had an addiction to twins back then."  He shook his head to clear it.  "McKay was totally against that idea."

"Some people only need and want one," MB said.  "I only need the one."

He grinned.  "Some people do.  That's great for them.  It's healthier and it makes them happier, MB.  That's why we don't mind if you two cuddle in the hallway now and then on breaks."

"Not a storage area?" MB's mother sneered at her daughter.

"No, there's a fine if they're caught groping in the closets or storage areas," Pepper said with a smile.  "Has been since Tony's second year as CEO."

"Having sex in a storage area is tacky," Tony agreed.  "It's a five hundred dollar fine."

"We need to do that in my precinct," the officer said.  "Ma'am, are you thoroughly content to be here?"

"I'm so happy here.  There's people here who're like me, who *understand* me and get why I love chemicals.  My Andrew's here.  I'd never leave my Andrew unless he was mean to me and then Dawn would help me kick his ass."

"You do not swear!" her mother shouted, starting to get up.  Roomba 2 snapped out a growl and 'bit' her with a tiny laser cannon that popped out of his tentacle.  She shrieked and started to sob like she was really hurt instead of mildly shocked.

Andrew looked down.  "Down, 2."  It settled down, still growling.

MB reached down to pet it.  "Thank you, 2.  That was a very good boy to protect me."  It made happy puppy sounds and ran around in circles a few times.  "Good boy, settle down."  It did beside her.  She smiled at her mother.  "They made 2 to protect Patty and I in case we're invaded again, Mom."

Pepper and Tony were both leaned over to look at that Roomba.  "Where's the laser?" Tony asked.

"Inspection," Andrew said.  The 'dog' popped up his.  He grinned.

Tony picked it up to put on the table so he could look it over.  "Nice, compact work, boys.  Does it take up the storage space for dirt?"

"Unfortunately but we don't need this one to clean up.  If we do, there's an external canister we created for it.  It's easier to empty and it doesn't whine like Roomba does when we empty it."

"It is kinda like making him poop the dirt into the trashcan," MB said, looking at him.

He nodded.  "I know but it's a design flaw from that company.  Didn't they expect people to use them for other things?  I know someone who uses it to work their cameras on their stop-motion film making project."

Tony put the roomba back down with a pat.  "Good boy."  It put all the weapons up and went back to guard MB.  He smiled at Pepper.  "I knew the Roomba was a great thing and we should've bought the company."

"No, Tony," she said patiently.  "You don't need to buy Roomba."  She patted him on the hand.  "We'll let you buy a fruit grower later though so your daughter can get her craved fruit faster."  He smiled at her for that.

The officer cleared his throat.  The first roomba came over to 'sniff' him.  "What is it doing?"

Andrew looked.  "Probably getting the dog hairs off you.  That one still cleans."  He grinned.

"It's a very good pet.  Probably very low maintenance and no cleaning up after it."  It barked at him so he patted it hesitantly.  It barked happily and went to bark at Pepper until she petted it again.  Then it zipped off.  "Is it okay?"

"Probably going to check on Liz," Tony and Pepper said with Andrew.

"Even the robots love Liz," MB quipped with a grin.

"Dummy does love her," Tony agreed.  "He doesn't like that he can't rock her anymore.  I had to input commands so he could push her in a swing."

"My daughter is leaving this cult," MB's mother ordered, glaring at her daughter.  "Come along, Mary Beth."

"No.  I'm loved and wanted here, Mom.  I make a great salary with great benefits.  I have my husband here."

"It's not legal," she sneered.

"We went to the local Justice of the Peace at City Hall.  It is," she corrected.  "It doesn't have to be a church wedding to be legal, Mom.  Get over it.  Please?"

"We've thought for a while that her mother might need some chemical help," Pepper said quietly but delicately at the Officer.

He nodded.  "I'm starting to see that."  He looked at her.  "Ma'am, if she's here of her own free will and she's over the age of consent we can't remove her against her will."

"You will or I'll sue you and them!" she shouted.  Two zapped her again, making her shriek and start to wail, then stomp off.  "I'll get you for that!"

"No you won't," Tony quipped.  "Down, Two."  It heeled beside MB.  "Andrew?"

"Can't stop that," he admitted.  "It's very protective of MB. It's nearly spastic about Patty, boss."

"That's very handy though," Pepper admitted.  "We'll handle it if she tries to sue us."  She sighed, looking at the officer.

"I can't find a reason to remove her or do anything, but you guys are a bit weird."

"It's all the high IQ's," Andrew said, giving him a dirty look.  "We're free mental flowing around here."  He nodded and left.  Andrew looked at his wife.

She smiled back.  "Not until when we agreed.  I don't want to set her off again.  She might try to snatch the baby."

"Okay.  If you're sure."  He took a kiss.  "Boss, our reports are late this week."  He helped her up and they walked out together, her cuddled against his side and his arm around her.  "I thought Rosenburg was spastic until I met your mom," he admitted.

"From what you said, she's more cracked than her," she agreed.  The roombas followed with a quick trip to bark at Liz from them.

Tony looked at Pepper, who was shaking her head.  "They're my proteges."

"They really are.  I could see a twenty-three-year-old you making roomba dogs too." 

He grinned and went to the office to log in the meeting and send a copy of the tape to legal just in case.  Steve was shaking his head at the new bomb.  Tony took it to his lab to make schematics of it and file for the paperwork since it wasn't like anything on file that he could find.  The boys would be happy with the new paperwork being filed.  If it wouldn't destroy their childlike innocence that anything was possible he'd have sent them to his favorite professors at MIT on his dime.  They were best semi-conscription he had ever done.


Dawn was sitting in a chair, kissing anything that got into range as Clint and Natasha unpacked back and forth from the bed to the closets arguing about where to go for dinner.  Dawn was highly amused and grinning some.  She had to pull Natasha over to kiss her better, being at the perfect height to dip her tongue into her slit and tease her.  "Dawn," she moaned, holding her head there.  "That's very nice of you."  Clint put up his armful of clothes and came over to get his own.  "Jealous?" she taunted him.

"Very."  He grinned.  Dawn leaned over to lick his cockhead, making him happier.  "We're going for Italian."

"We're going to Mexican," Natasha said.

"We're going for seafood because I want shrimp," Dawn said.

They looked at her then shrugged.  "Sure," they decided.  Dawn kissed them both for it and then went back to her tempting them to pounce her again.

Clint smirked at her.  "No pouncing until after dinner."

"Fine."  She let Natasha go, licking her lips with a grin.

"Get dressed," Natasha said, smiling at her.  Dawn got up to find something to wear.   "Something we would approve of that is not too teasing," she ordered when she saw what she pulled out.  She looked at Clint.  "You let her buy that?"

"I said it was too tempting."

Dawn smirked at him.  "Sometimes I need to be an evil tease."  She went to the bathroom to clean up and change.  Plus do her hair.

"She really is," Clint agreed, pulling out something to put on.  "The pub on the pier?"

"No," Natasha complained.  He sighed and put back his jeans.  "The one by the park."  He grinned and pulled them back out to put on.  She liked him in them.  They looked nice on his ass.  Dawn came out dressed and putting on a necklace.  She kissed her.  "You could wear pants."

"Should I wear pants?"  She looked over Clint's outfit then at hers.  She shrugged and pulled out jeans and a nice shirt plus heels.  He grinned at her for it.

Natasha caught herself staring at Dawn's ass.  "Did you not buy any that weren't that tight?"

"No," she said with a grin.  "They all make my ass look like a holy temple to be worshiped at."

Natasha sighed and nodded.  "Yes, they do.  Which I will be doing later."  Dawn beamed and kissed her, then changed earrings.  Clint kissed them both and strolled out to get his jacket.  Dawn grabbed hers from in there and followed.  Natasha told herself to calm down in Russian and got dressed.  Dawn was going to give her a heart attack some year soon.

Dawn looked at her as she came out.  "If you want me to do that, I probably could but it'd probably take a lot of sex."  She grinned.

"Don't you dare," she warned but she was smiling.  They went out together.  The cat was pouting but that was fine.  They'd be back later to play with him.  Or let him nibble on Clint's hair some more.  They took a cab to the restaurant and got seated, though Dawn detoured to hug her mother.  They smiled and waved.  The server gave them an odd look.  "That's her mother."

"Oh."  He nodded, handing over menus and walking off.

Bruce stopped over on their way out.  "Are you three back in the apartment?"

"We are.  Tony relented when Dawn promised to stuff extra weapons around the house," Clint said with a grin.

"Not like it's a problem," Dawn quipped.  He laughed and hugged her, she gave him a squeeze back.  "Have a good night, Stepdad and Mom."

"You three too."  She winked and walked out on Bruce's arm.

Dawn concentrated, frowning outside.  "Give me a minute."  She went out to stop the muggers before Bruce could change.  "Excuse you.  Leave my mother alone."

"Or what?" the punk with a gun demanded.

Dawn started to glow.  "Or you won't like my response overly much."  The guy was backing away slowly.  "Don't come near my mother, dude.  I will destroy this city over my family.  Especially that part of it.  Got it?"  He nodded.  "Good, then apologize nicely to Dr. Banner and my mother before you run away."

"B...banner?" he asked, looking at him.  Bruce smiled and nodded.  "As in... big, green, destroys things...."  They all smiled and nodded.  "Yeah, I'm super sorry I'm so damn stupid.  I really, really am."  He turned and ran.

Dawn grinned.  "Night, guys."  She went back inside.  "There, no more mugger near Mom."

Natasha smiled at her.  "You are very protective of your mother."

"Of course I am," she quipped with a grin, sipping her wine.  "There are stupid people who think she's a fair target."  She took another sip and put the glass down.  "Then I introduced Stepdad.  The punk was not happy to learn that he had nearly gotten beaten to death by him."

"No, if I was a mugger, I wouldn't want to tangle with Bruce either," Clint agreed, then ate a bite of lobster.  They got back to eating, talking about putting up some more cat areas for Loki.  When the check came, Clint paid for it.  It was his turn.  His card turned down so Dawn paid in cash.  She checked their cards on the way home, calling the bank to see what happened that time.  It turned out the bank out in LA was without power to process anything so his was down too.  Natasha had one that would've worked and Dawn's local ones would've worked.  So it wasn't a problem at the moment.

It was nice to be without problems for the time being.  Very soothing and relaxing.  And it led to better sex.

The End.

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