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
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
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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
"Reports from Accounting and things are in. They're on the
desk. I resynched the system yesterday so you might want to hit
"JARVIS did mine earlier." He kept staring at her. "You good?"
"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."
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
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,
"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
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
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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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?"
"I don't think so."
"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
"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.
"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?"
"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
"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
"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."
"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
"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?"
"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."
"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
"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
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
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
"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
"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
"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."
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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,
"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
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.
"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,
"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
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.
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
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
"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
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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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,"
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
"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
"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
"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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
"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
"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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
"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
"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
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
Ares felt then snapped the power that Hecate was drawing on. She
shrieked and tried to fight against him. He and Discord got her
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
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
"I did," Zeus agreed, looking at the baby Athena. "They were right
to. I have seen her turn from a childlike, innocent goddess
"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
"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
"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
"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,
"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
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.
"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
"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
"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
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.
"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
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
"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
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."
"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
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
"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
"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
"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?"
"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
"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
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
"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
"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
"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.
"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
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."
"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?"
"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
"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
"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
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
Clint woke up in the morning to a blow job by Dawn and Natasha teasing
herself. "Ooh, someone has energy." Dawn grinned at
"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
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
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
"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
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
"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.
"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
"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
"Great." She smiled. "I'll deal with that." She walked
off reading the ones in English. "Are these the only ones she's
"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.
"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
"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
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
"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
"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
"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
"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.
"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'
"Maybe," he agreed. "Though she should unstretch within a few days
by what we saw when we were researching pregnancy for our side
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
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
"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
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
"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
"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
"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.
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